Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 6 October 2016 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Rwanda, the case of Victoire Ingabire
 Sudan
 Thailand, notably the case of Andy Hall
 International Financial Reporting Standards: IFRS 9
 Situation in Syria
 2016 UN Climate change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco (COP22)
 Implementation of the Food Contact Materials Regulation
 2014 Annual report on monitoring the application of Union law
 Placing on the market of genetically modified maize Bt11 seeds
 Placing on the market of genetically modified maize 1507 seeds
 Renewing the authorisation for genetically modified maize MON 810 seeds
 Placing on the market of genetically modified maize MON 810 products
 Placing on the market of genetically modified cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913

Rwanda, the case of Victoire Ingabire
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on Rwanda, the case of Victoire Ingabire (2016/2910(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0378RC-B8-1061/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 May 2013 on Rwanda: case of Victoire Ingabire(1),

–  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR),

–  having regard to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance,

–  having regard to the Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa,

–  having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, which was ratified by Rwanda in 1975,

–  having regard to the outcome of the 2015 Universal Periodic Review of Rwanda and to the 2016 concluding observation of the UN Human Rights Committee,

–  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

–  having regard to the Declaration by the High Representative Federica Mogherini on behalf of the EU on constitutional review in Rwanda, of 3 December 2015,

–  having regard to the joint local EU statement of 18 December 2015 on the referendum on a draft constitution in Rwanda,

–  having regard to the press release of 16 March 2016 of the United Democratic Forces on the appeal case of political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza,

–  having regard to the Freedom House report on Rwanda 2015,

–  having regard to the Amnesty International country report ‘Rwanda 2015/2016’,

–  having regard to the Amnesty International report entitled ‘Justice in jeopardy: The first instance trial of Victoire Ingabire’ of 2013,

–  having regard to the answer by Vice-President/High Representative Catherine Ashton of 4 February 2013 to a written question E-010366/2012 regarding Victoire Ingabire,

–  having regard to the Human Rights Watch statement entitled ‘Rwanda: Opposition Activist Missing’ of 29 September 2016,

–  having regard to the 2014 report on Rwanda of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Rwanda is among the few African countries playing a leading role in the achievement of the MDGs, especially on issues such as gender equality, women’s empowerment, universal primary education, child and maternal mortality, HIV prevalence and environmental sustainability;

B.  whereas strong economic growth has been accompanied by substantial improvements in living standards, evidenced by a two-thirds drop in child mortality and the attainment of near-universal primary school enrolment;

C.  whereas economic and political efforts have been made in order to improve the economy of the country and make it more industrialised and service oriented;

D.  whereas on 30 October 2012 Victoire Ingabire, President of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF), was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to harm the authorities using terrorism, and for minimising the 1994 genocide, on the basis of relations with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR);

E.  whereas in September 2016 a delegation from the European Parliament was denied access to jailed opposition leader Victoire Ingabire; whereas although the focus of the visit was women’s role in society and their empowerment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation considered there was ‘no special reason for Ms Victoire Ingabire, a convict that is subjected to national detention guidelines and rules, to receive a visit of the EU Members of Parliament on official mission’;

F.  whereas the mission noted that important challenges remain in this regard, such as access to education in rural areas, more equal property rights and better access to non‑farm employment, and whereas the human rights situation, in particular as regards political participation and freedom of expression in Rwanda, remains worrying, while independent civil society is still very weak;

G.  whereas many human rights organisations have denounced the first-instance trial of Victoire Ingabire, as serious irregularities were observed and she was treated unfairly; whereas in its report Amnesty International points to prejudicial public statements made by the Rwandan President in advance of her trial, and a reliance on confessions from detainees in Camp Kami where torture is alleged to be used; whereas, after having testified in 2012 against Victoire Ingabire in the Rwandan High Court, four prosecution witnesses and co-accused told the Supreme Court in 2013 that their testimonies had been falsified;

H.  whereas on 13 September 2012, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza was nominated, together with two other Rwandan political figures, Bernard Ntaganda and Deogratias Mushyayidi, for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2012;

I.  whereas in 2015 Ms Ingabire appealed to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, accusing the Rwandan Government of violating her rights; whereas in March 2015 Rwanda withdrew from the jurisdiction of the African Court, claiming that Rwanda’s courts were capable of dealing with all local cases; whereas, on 29 February 2016, the Rwandan Government withdrew its declaration allowing individuals to file complaints directly with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, only days before judges were to hear a case brought against the Rwandan Government by Victoire Ingabire;

J.  whereas, according to FDU-Inkingi, Victoire Ingabire’s party, Ms Ingabire’s detention conditions have deteriorated significantly since April 2016; whereas she is being deprived of external and special-diet meals and her medical certificate has been invalidated;

K.  whereas, among other things, FDU-Inkingi has not been able to legally register as a political party and several of its members have been threatened, arrested and detained;

L.  whereas several opposition party members are being kept in prison; whereas Illuminée Iragena, a nurse and political activist linked to FDU-Inkingi, has been missing for the past five months and there are fears for her safety; whereas Léonille Gasengayire, the treasurer of FDU-Inkingi, was arrested on 23 August 2016 and charged with inciting public insurrection;

M.  whereas Rwanda ranks 161st out of 180 in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index; whereas press freedom has continued to deteriorate as independent journalists have frequently been harassed, threatened and arrested; whereas exiled and foreign journalists are increasingly being subjected to extra-legal intimidation, violence and forced disappearance for criticising officials in their reporting;

N.  whereas, in October 2014, the government indefinitely suspended the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Kinyarwanda-language radio service following the airing of a controversial BBC television documentary about Rwanda’s 1994 genocide;

O.  whereas the consolidation of democracy, including ensuring the independence of the judiciary and the participation of opposition parties, is crucial, particularly in view of the presidential election to be held in 2017;

P.  whereas the Rwandan judicial system´s shortcomings in conducting the criminal trial of Victoire Ingabire have undermined its ability to deal with high-profile political cases;

Q.  whereas Rwanda is a key player in the Great Lakes region and can play a crucial role in the stabilisation process, including through the fight against the illegal trade in minerals and other natural resources; whereas the 2015 report of the UN Group of experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recommends that the Government of Rwanda investigate and prosecute those involved in the illegal trade in tin, tantalum and tungsten, as well as the laundering of minerals from the DRC in Rwanda;

1.  Strongly condemns politically motivated trials, the prosecution of political opponents and the prejudging of the outcome of the trial; urges the Government of Rwanda to extend economic and social achievements to the field of human rights in order to fully move towards a modern and inclusive democracy; urges the Rwandan authorities to ensure that Victoire Ingabire’s appeal process is fair and meets the standards set under Rwandan and international law; underlines that trials and the charges brought against accused persons cannot be based on vague and imprecise laws, and the misuse thereof, as is occurring in the case of Victoire Ingabire;

2.  Expresses its deep concerns at the Rwandan Supreme Court’s denial of appeal and judgement sentencing Victoire Ingabire to 15 years’ imprisonment and at the worsening conditions of her detention; believes that the appeal process conducted in Rwanda did not meet international standards, including Ms Ingabire’s right to presumption of innocence;

3.  Stresses that Rwanda’s withdrawal in March 2016 from the jurisdiction of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) just a few days prior to the hearing of the appeal case by Ms Ingabire is circumstantial and is aimed at limiting the direct access of individuals and NGOs to the Court;

4.  Reminds the Rwandan authorities that the EU has raised its concerns regarding respect for human rights and the right to a fair trial within the official political dialogue with Rwanda under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement; calls for a prompt and impartial review of Ms Ingabire’s case, based on facts, in accordance with the law and without any restrictions, improper influences, pressures or threats; calls for Victoire Ingabire’s rights, including her access to legal representation and adequate food and treatment, to be upheld in prison;

5.  Condemns any acts of intimidation, arrests, detentions and prosecutions of opposition party leaders, members and activists, as well as journalists and other perceived critics of the Rwandan Government, solely for expressing their views; urges the Rwandan authorities, in this connection, to review and adjust national law in order to guarantee freedom of expression, in particular Articles 463 and 451 of the penal code, which constrains freedom of expression;

6.  Calls on the Rwandan Government to show its willingness to investigate alleged abuses against opposition activists and journalists and to bring military detention centres into conformity with Rwanda’s laws and international standards; urges the Rwandan authorities immediately to release all individuals and other activists detained or convicted solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and to ensure the separation of administrative, legislative and judicial powers, in particular the independence of the judiciary;

7.  Urges the Rwandan authorities to step up their efforts to investigate the cases of Illuminée Iragena, John Ndabarasa, Léonille Gasangayire and other individuals who are feared to have been forcibly disappeared, to reveal their whereabouts and release or try them, if they are in detention, as well as to ensure the fairness of the trials of actual or suspected government opponents or critics, including those of Frank Rusagara, Joel Mutabazi, Kizito Mihigo and their respective co-accused;

8.  Urges the Rwandan authorities to ensure peaceful, credible and transparent elections in 2017 and calls on the government to engage with the opposition in the run-up to these elections; expresses its support for a long-term EU electoral observation mission for the 2017 presidential elections, with a focus on the political space and fundamental freedoms;

9.  Reminds the Rwandan authorities that democracy is based on pluralistic governments, a functioning opposition, independent media and judiciary, respect for human rights and the right of expression and assembly; calls, in this connection, on Rwanda to open its political space, live up to these standards and improve its human rights record; expects Rwanda to implement the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association (2014);

10.  Calls on the Rwandan authorities, as a matter of urgency, to proceed with the review of its declaration allowing individuals and NGOs to file complaints with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and to restore and reintroduce it;

11.  Calls for the EU and its international partners to continue supporting the people of Rwanda in their work to build peace and stability in the country and the region as a whole;

12.  Asks the Commission to continue to evaluate EU support to Rwandan government institutions on a regular basis, in order to ensure that this support fully promotes human rights, freedom of expression and association, political pluralism and independent civil society;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, Vice-President/High Representative Federica Mogherini, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, the institutions of the African Union, the East African Community, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the EU Member States, the defenders of Victoire Ingabire and the President of Rwanda.

(1) OJ C 55, 12.2.2016, p. 127.


Sudan
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on Sudan (2016/2911(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0379RC-B8-1062/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Sudan,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–  having regard to the Joint Statement of 8 August 2016 by the EU, the representatives of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Germany welcoming the Sudan Call’s signing of the AUHIP Roadmap,

–  having regard to the ‘Report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan’ of 28 July 2016 and the ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, on his mission to the Sudan’ of 4 August 2016,

–  having regard to the statement of 27 June 2016 by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President/High Representative (VP/HR) on the Sudanese Government’s announcement of a four-month unilateral cessation of hostilities,

–  having regard to the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2296 on Sudan adopted at its 7728th meeting on 29 June 2016,

–  having regard to the communiqué of 13 June 2016 of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on the situation in Darfur,

–  having regard to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,

–  having regard to the declaration of 9 April 2015 by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the lack of a conducive environment for the Sudanese elections in April 2015,

–  having regard to the ‘Sudan Call’ declaration on the ‘Establishment of a State of Citizenship and Democracy’,

–  having regard to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 18 December 1979,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the conflict in Darfur has been going on for 13 years and has claimed over 300 000 lives, with Sudanese Government forces continuing to attack civilians, especially in Jebel Marra; whereas ongoing indiscriminate bombing of civilians, including unlawful attacks by Sudanese forces on villages in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, has resulted in casualties and the destruction of civilian infrastructure;

B.  whereas the 2010 National Security Act granted the Sudanese Government sweeping powers to routinely hold detainees in solitary confinement, without charge and for prolonged periods, and organisations have been forcibly closed and raided;

C.  whereas, as stated in the UN Universal Periodic Review of 21 September 2016, Sudan reaffirmed its commitment to acceding to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;

D.  whereas human rights violations and abuses are escalating in Darfur, notably in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, including those involving extrajudicial killings, the excessive use of force, abduction of civilians, acts of sexual- and gender-based violence against women, violations and abuses against children, and arbitrary arrests and detentions;

E.  whereas civic space for opposition political parties, civil society and human rights defenders is restricted in Sudan; whereas it is reported that the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) constantly harasses, targets and prosecutes human rights defenders, students activists and political opponents for undertaking their legitimate activities; whereas so far this year numerous civil society activists have been arbitrarily arrested, including four representatives of Sudanese civil society intercepted by security officials at Khartoum International Airport on their way to a high-level human rights meeting with diplomats that took place in Geneva on 31 March 2016;

F.  whereas human rights groups have uncovered credible evidence of chemical weapon attacks on civilians by Sudanese Government forces, with villagers from the Jebel Marra region of Darfur revealing the gruesome effects of suspected chemical weapons attacks, the most recent of which occurred on 9 September 2016 in Gamarah village; whereas there have also been reported attacks by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a Sudanese military unit composed of former pro-government militia under the command of the NISS;

G.  whereas on 29 February 2016 the NISS brutally raided the Khartoum Centre for Training and Human Development (TRACKS), a civil society organisation, following which the director Khalfálah Alafif Muktar and activists Arwa Ahmed Elrabie, Al-Hassan Kheiry, Imani-Leyla Raye, Abu Hureira Abdelrahman, Al-Baqir Al-Afif Mukhtar, Midhat Afifadeen and Mustafa Adam were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy and waging war against the state, charges which carry the death penalty; whereas the director is reported to be in poor health and family visits are not permitted;

H.  whereas the Sudanese authorities impose severe restrictions on the freedom of religion; whereas threats against church leaders and the intimidation of Christian communities have continued at an accelerated pace over the past years; whereas Czech Christian aid worker Petr Jašek, Sudanese pastors Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour, Kuwa Shamal and Darfuri graduate student Abdulmonem Abdumawla Issa Abdumawla have been detained for nine months already by the NISS and are facing trial on charges of highlighting alleged Christian suffering in war-ravaged areas of Sudan; whereas in recent years there has been an increase in trials on charges of apostasy and subsequent death sentences;

I.  whereas the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) were recently deployed along the northern border of Sudan in order to counter the flow of irregular migrants; whereas on 31 August 2016 the Commander of the RSF declared that his forces were patrolling this border with Egypt and Libya, and in so doing claimed that Sudan was fighting illegal migration on behalf of the EU; whereas the EU Delegation in Sudan denied this support on 6 September 2016;

J.  whereas, on 24 August 2016, 48 potential Sudanese asylum-seekers were deported from Italy to Sudan; whereas in May 2016 the Sudanese authorities deported over 400 Eritreans who had been arrested en route to Libya;

K.  whereas the Sudanese authorities disproportionately convict women and girls of ill-defined crimes; whereas women are faced with systemic discrimination and the imposition of corporal punishment and flogging for vaguely defined dress code violations;

L.  whereas the ‘Sudan Call’ co-signatories (representatives from political and armed opposition parties, including the National Umma Party, the National Consensus Forces and the Sudan Revolutionary Front) are committed to working towards ending the conflicts raging in different regions of Sudan and towards legal, institutional and economic reforms;

M.  whereas two arrest warrants for President al-Bashir were issued in 2009 and 2010 by the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing him of responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide; whereas, although Sudan is not a state party to the Rome Statute, UN Security Council Resolution 1593 (2005) requires it to cooperate with the ICC, and Sudan must therefore comply with the ICC arrest warrant;

N.  whereas in June 2008 the EU Foreign Ministers meeting in the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) concluded ‘that Council stands ready to consider measures against individuals responsible for not-cooperating with the ICC’;

O.  whereas the EU is currently implementing a project on ‘better migration management’ with Sudan;

1.  Deplores the use of chemical weapons against civilians in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur by the Sudanese Government and highlights that this is a serious violation of international norms and also a war crime; recalls that Sudan is a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and calls for an international investigation into these allegations led by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons; reminds the Sudanese authorities of their responsibility to protect human rights;

2.  Remains deeply concerned at the ongoing unlawful killings, abductions, and gender-based and sexual violence in the conflict areas, notably in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, as well as the accompanying serious humanitarian emergency caused by enormous internal displacements; calls for an immediate end to the aerial bombardment of civilians by Sudanese forces;

3.  Condemns the arbitrary arrest and detention of activists and the ongoing detention of human rights defenders and journalists in Sudan; urges the Government of Sudan to guarantee the peaceful exercise of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly; underlines that the National Dialogue will only succeed if carried out in an atmosphere in which the freedoms of expression, media, association and assembly are guaranteed;

4.  Calls on the African Union and the Sudanese Government to promptly investigate all allegations of torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and excessive use of force and to hold those responsible to account in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty; calls on the Government of Sudan to issue an immediate moratorium on all executions and to abolish the death penalty and all forms of corporal punishment;

5.  Expresses its particular concern about the access restrictions still imposed on international humanitarian agencies and organisations; demands that the Sudanese Government make every effort possible to improve access by international humanitarian agencies to all those seeking humanitarian aid in accordance with its engagements during the universal periodic review; urges the Government of Sudan to engage constructively with civil society organisations in order to promote human rights awareness in Sudan without delay;

6.  Reaffirms that freedom of religion, conscience or belief is a universal human right that needs to be protected everywhere and for everyone; demands that the Sudanese Government repeal any legal provisions that penalise or discriminate against individuals for their religious beliefs, especially in the case of apostasy and especially concerning Czech Christian aid worker Petr Jašek, Sudanese pastors Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour, Kuwa Shamal and Darfuri graduate student Abdulmonem Abdumawla Issa Abdumawla;

7.  Expresses its concern with regard to the increased crackdown by the NISS on citizens who are civil society activists and calls on Sudan to release detainees immediately and unconditionally and to halt arbitrary detentions forthwith, to drop all charges that stem from their peaceful activities and to let NGOs, such as TRACK staff, their affiliates and student activists, conduct their work without fear of reprisals;

8.  Notes Sudan’s acceptance of recommendations to ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to strengthen efforts to prevent torture and inhuman treatment; calls, however, on the Sudanese Government to conduct an urgent review of its National Security Act, which allows the detention of suspects for up to four and half months without any form of judicial review, and to reform its legal system in accordance with international human rights standards;

9.  Calls on the Government of Sudan to repeal the extensive immunities it has stipulated in Sudanese legislation, to publish the findings of the three state commissions of inquiry, and to publicly admit to the scale of the killings during the crackdown on anti-austerity protesters in September 2013 and deliver justice to its victims;

10.  Recalls the June 2008 GAERC conclusions addressing the continued failure of the Government of Sudan to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and pointing out that the Government of Sudan has an obligation, and the capacity, to cooperate and that any arrest warrant issued by the ICC should be respected; urges Omar al-Bashir to comply with international law and to appear before the ICC for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide;

11.  Calls on the African Union Member States, and in particular those countries that have hosted President Bashir (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, South Africa, Uganda and Djibouti), to comply with the Rome Statute and the decisions of the International Criminal Court;

12.  Calls on the EU to move to impose targeted punitive sanctions against those responsible for continued war crimes and non-cooperation with the International Criminal Court; requests the EEAS to draw up a list of individuals for such sanctions without further delay;

13.  Notes that the Government of Sudan signed the Roadmap Agreement on 16 March 2016, and has subsequently clarified its commitments regarding the inclusion of other relevant stakeholders in the National Dialogue and on continuing to uphold any decisions reached between the opposition signatories and the 7+7 Mechanism, the steering committee of the National Dialogue; insists on the need for all parties to respect their commitments and calls for a continued dialogue towards the establishment of a definite ceasefire; calls for the EU and its Member States to continue their commitment to supporting the efforts of the African Union to bring peace to Sudan and the Sudanese people in their transition to an internally reformed democracy;

14.  Calls on the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to establish a permanent presence inside Jebel Marra; calls on UNAMID to investigate without delay and publicly report on allegations of violations of human rights and international law by members of Sudanese Government forces and opposition forces in Jebel Marra;

15.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to closely monitor EU development assistance in Sudan in order to prevent any direct or indirect support to local militias, and to ensure that RSF forces patrolling Sudan’s borders with Egypt and Libya do not purport to fight illegal migration on behalf of the EU;

16.  Urges the Commission and the Member States concerned to therefore ensure complete transparency concerning the ‘better migration management’ project with Sudan, including all planned activities and beneficiaries of EU and national funding, and to compile a comprehensive report on the visit of an EU technical delegation to Sudan in May 2016;

17.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to ensure that Parliament is kept fully informed of the dialogue established under the Khartoum Process and that the activities funded through the EU Africa Trust Fund, particularly those aiming to build the capacities of the Government of Sudan, are carried out in full compliance with existing agreements, ensuring that adherence to international obligations and laws is fully transparent to citizens and civil society in the EU and Sudan;

18.  Notes with concern the continued and frequent violation of women’s rights in Sudan, and of Article 152 of the Criminal Code in particular, and urges the Sudanese authorities to sign and ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women expeditiously;

19.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of Sudan, the African Union, the United Nations Secretary-General, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.


Thailand, notably the case of Andy Hall
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on Thailand, notably the situation of Andy Hall (2016/2912(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0380RC-B8-1068/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Thailand, in particular those of 20 May 2010(1), 6 February 2014(2), 21 May 2015(3) and 8 October 2015(4),

–  having regard to the answer given by Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Mogherini on behalf of the Commission on the situation of Mr Andy Hall of 19 November 2015,

–  having regard to the statements issued by the EU Delegation to Thailand, in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Thailand, on 14 November 2014,

–  having regard to the press statement of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of 20 September 2016,

–  having regard to the statement by Maurizio Bussi, International Labour Organisation Country Director for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic of 21 September 2016 on the conviction of labour rights activist Andy Hall in Thailand,

–  having regard to the Universal Periodic Review of Thailand before the UN Human Rights Council, and its recommendations, of 11 May 2016,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

–  having regard to the Thailand Migration Report 2014 of the UN Thematic Working Group on Migration,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998 and to UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/161 of 17 December 2015,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966, to which Thailand is a state party,

–  having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984,

–  having regard to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Human Rights Declaration of 18 November 2012,

–  having regard to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas workers’ rights defender Mr Andy Hall, an EU citizen, was sentenced on 20 September 2016 to a three-year suspended jail term and fined THB 150 000 after contributing to a report by Finnish NGO Finnwatch exposing labour rights violations in a Thai pineapple processing plant, Natural Fruit Company Ltd;

B.  whereas Andy Hall was formally indicted for criminal defamation and a computer crime relating to the online publication of the report, and whereas Mr Hall’s two criminal cases were allowed to proceed through the Thai judicial system;

C.  whereas a number of workers’ rights violations committed by the company had been identified by the Thai Ministry of Labour and by employees of Natural Fruit Company Ltd during previous court hearings;

D.  whereas on 18 September 2015 the Prakanong Court in Bangkok, ruling in favour of Mr Hall, upheld the dismissal of the other criminal defamation proceedings brought against him, which have been appealed by Natural Fruit Company Ltd and the Thai Attorney General and which are currently before the Supreme Court; whereas the two civil proceedings have been suspended pending resolution of the two criminal proceedings;

E.  whereas, according to reports in international and Thai domestic media, the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN), an organisation to which Mr Hall is an advisor, as well as Hall himself and 14 chicken-farm workers from Myanmar, face threats of similar criminal defamation and computer crime lawsuits from a Thai chicken supplier to the European market;

F.  whereas on 28 September 2016 the Thai authorities obstructed the public presentation and launch, by a number of foreign human rights experts and researchers, of Amnesty International’s latest research report documenting regular torture or abuse of political opponents, migrant workers, suspected insurgents and others at military bases, police stations and detention facilities;

G.  whereas the disproportionate use of criminal defamation laws, which carry penalties of imprisonment, against human rights defenders who report on alleged human violations, limits freedom of expression in violation of Thailand’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which it is a state party;

H.  whereas there are nearly four million foreigners living in Thailand, 2,7 million of whom are from Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar; whereas work permits have been available to migrants from these countries since 2001, but whereas there are still more than a million unregistered migrant workers in the country;

I.  whereas, according to Human Rights Watch in its statement of 18 September 2016, ‘human rights and labo[u]r rights of migrant workers in Thailand from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos working in Thailand have been regularly violated with impunity over the years’ and ‘migrant workers frequently receive little or no protection from Thai labo[u]r laws despite government assertions that all legally registered migrant workers will be protected under those laws’;

J.  whereas Thailand began implementing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the employment of workers with Cambodia and Laos in 2006 and with Myanmar in 2009; whereas, under the MOU system, workers could obtain job offers and travel documents before migrating to Thailand, but only 5 % of the workers from these countries have gone through the MOU process;

1.  Welcomes the EU’s strong commitment to the Thai people, with whom the EU has solid and longstanding political, economic and cultural ties;

2.  Regrets the guilty verdict against Andy Hall, and expresses concern about the judicial process and how it might affect the freedom of human rights defenders to carry out their work;

3.  Calls on the Thai Government to take all necessary measures to ensure that the rights – including the right to a fair trial – of Mr Hall and other human rights defenders are respected and protected, and to create an enabling environment conducive to the enjoyment of human rights and, specifically, to ensure that the promotion and protection of human rights are not criminalised;

4.  Calls on the Thai authorities to ensure that the country’s defamation laws are compliant with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which it is a state party, and also to revise the Computer Crime Act, the current wording of which is too vague;

5.  Commends the EEAS on its work on the case of Andy Hall, and urges it to continue to follow the situation closely; calls on the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to raise the issue with the Thai Government during the upcoming ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok;

6.  Calls on the Thai Government and the state institutions to comply with Thailand’s own constitutional and international obligations in respect of the independence of the judiciary, the right to due process and a fair trial and the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly;

7.  Recognises the progress achieved by the Thai Government in combating worker exploitation and protecting national and migrant workers, as shown in particular by a reinforced labour inspection system, legislation covering labour agencies, measures to prevent debt bondage and trafficking in human beings, a stronger sanction policy for labour abuses, the ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No 187 and the signing in March 2016 of the Maritime Labour Convention;

8.  Invites the Thai authorities to adopt and implement, in law and in practice, a holistic, long-term in-bound migration policy for low-skilled migrant workers in accordance with human rights principles and taking into account the needs of the labour market; in this context, suggests as a first step revising the Labour Relations Act with a view to guaranteeing migrant workers the same right to freedom of association as Thai nationals;

9.  Calls for the protection of migrant workers by means of stronger incentives for employers to engage in the regularisation process, while enforcing high fines or other punishments against employers that do not engage in the regularisation process or that are in breach of labour law;

10.  Asks the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the EU Delegation in Bangkok, as well as Member State delegations, to continue to monitor the human rights situation in Thailand, to continue to engage with the government and civil society and to use all available instruments to ensure respect for human rights, human rights defenders and the rule of law in Thailand;

11.  Urges the EU and its Member States to ensure that companies established in their territories which conduct business in Thailand respect international human rights standards through transparent monitoring and reporting, in cooperation with civil society, and welcomes the support that Finnish retailer S Group has given to Andy Hall;

12.  Strongly believes that companies should be held accountable for any environmental damage and human rights abuses for which they are responsible, and that the EU and the Member States should uphold this as a core principle;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the Government and Parliament of Thailand, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states.

(1) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 152.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0107.
(3) OJ C 353, 27.9.2016, p. 52.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0343.


International Financial Reporting Standards: IFRS 9
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on International Financial Reporting Standards: IFRS 9 (2016/2898(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0381B8-1060/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 on the application of international accounting standards(1),

–  having regard to the final draft of Commission Regulation (EU) .../... amending Regulation (EC) No 1126/2008 adopting certain international accounting standards in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards International Financial Reporting Standard 9,

–  having regard to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9 on Financial Instruments issued on 24 July 2014 by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), to the endorsement advice of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) on IFRS 9(2), to EFRAG’s assessment of IFRS 9 against the true and fair view principle, and to the comment letters from the European Central Bank (ECB) and European Banking Authority (EBA) on the endorsement of IFRS 9,

–  having regard to the amendments to IFRS 4 issued on 12 September 2016 by the IASB under the title ‘Applying IFRS 9 “Financial Instruments” with IFRS 4 “Insurance Contracts”’,

–  having regard to the October 2013 report by Philippe Maystadt entitled ‘Should IFRS standards be more European?’,

–  having regard to the G20 Leaders’ Statement of 2 April 2009,

–  having regard to the report of the High-Level Group on Financial Supervision in the EU, chaired by Jacques de Larosière, of 25 February 2009,

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2016 on International Accounting Standards (IAS) evaluation and the activities of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB)(3),

–  having regard to the letter of 8 January 2016 from its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs to the Chair of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) concerning ‘The financial stability implications of the introduction of IFRS 9 – Request for analysis’ and the response letter of 29 February 2016,

–  having regard to the letter of 16 June 2016 from its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs to the Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union concerning the IFRS 9 endorsement and to the response letter of 15 July 2016,

–  having regard to the studies for its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on IFRS 9 (‘IFRS Endorsement Criteria in Relation to IFRS 9’, ‘The Significance of IFRS 9 for Financial Stability and Supervisory Rules’, ‘Impairments of Greek Government Bonds under IAS 39 and IFRS 9: A Case Study’ and ‘Expected-Loss-Based Accounting for the Impairment of Financial Instruments: the FASB and IASB IFRS 9 Approaches’),

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on International Financial Reporting Standards: IFRS 9 (O-000115/2016 – B8‑0721/2016),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs,

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the global financial crisis brought the role played by international financial reporting standards (IFRS) in financial stability and growth, in particular the rules regarding the recognition of losses incurred in the banking system, onto the G20 and EU agendas; whereas the G20 and the de Larosière report highlighted key issues with respect to accounting standards ahead of the crisis, including pro-cyclicality related to the mark-to-market principle and profit and loss recognition, the underestimation of risk accumulation during cyclical upturns and the lack of a common and transparent methodology for the valuation of illiquid and impaired assets;

B.  whereas the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments as a key response to some aspects of the financial crisis and to its impact on the banking sector; whereas IFRS 9 will be effective from 1 January 2018 and replaces IAS 39;

C.  whereas EFRAG issued a positive endorsement advice on IFRS 9 with a number of observations concerning the use of ‘fair value’ in stressed market conditions, the lack of a conceptual basis regarding the 12-month loss provisioning approach and unsatisfactory provisions pertaining to long-term investment; whereas, owing to the different effective dates of IFRS 9 and the forthcoming new insurance standard IFRS 17, the advice expressed a reservation on the applicability of the standard to the insurance sector;

D.  whereas the controversy and debate on the impact of fair value accounting on long-term investment is accentuated by the absence of a quantitative impact assessment on the subject;

E.  whereas the recognition of unrealised gains under fair value accounting might be considered a violation of the Capital Maintenance Directive and the Accounting Directive; whereas the Commission is currently undertaking a comparison of Member States’ practices with regard to dividend distribution;

F.  whereas the principle of prudence must be the key guiding principle for any accounting standard;

G.  whereas the new standard appears to be equally if not more complex than its predecessor IAS 39; whereas the initial goal was to reduce complexity;

H.  whereas the upcoming new insurance standard IFRS 17, which replaces IFRS 4, is likely to be effective after 2020; whereas concerns have been raised about the misalignment of the effective dates of IFRS 9 and IFRS 17; whereas the IASB issued the final amendments to IFRS 4 in September 2016, offering two optional solutions: the overlay approach and a temporary exemption at reporting entity level;

I.  whereas its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has scrutinised IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments by conducting a public hearing, commissioning four studies on IFRS 9, and organising scrutiny activities in committee and the activities of its IFRS Permanent Team;

1.  Notes that IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments constitutes one of the major responses of the IASB to the financial crisis; notes that implementation efforts are already in progress;

2.  Acknowledges that IFRS 9 constitutes an improvement on IAS 39 insofar as the move from an ‘incurred loss’ to an ‘expected loss’ impairment model addresses the problem of ‘too little, too late’ in the loan loss recognition procedure; notes, however, that IFRS 9 calls for a great deal of judgement in the accounting process; underlines that there are huge differences of opinion and little concrete guidance from auditors in this respect; calls, therefore, for guidance to be developed by the European Supervisory Authorities in cooperation with the Commission and EFRAG in order to prevent any abuse of management discretion;

3.  While not opposing the Commission regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1126/2008 adopting certain international accounting standards in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards International Financial Reporting Standard 9, recalls the requests made regarding IFRS 9 in its aforementioned resolution of 7 June 2016;

4.  Recalls that the better regulation approach requires an impact assessment; notes the absence of a proper quantitative impact assessment for IFRS 9 which is due in part to a lack of reliable data; underlines the need to gain a better understanding of the impact of IFRS 9 on the banking sector, the insurance sector and the financial markets in general, but also on the financial sector as a whole; reiterates, therefore, its request to the IASB and EFRAG to strengthen their impact analysis capacity, notably in the field of macroeconomics;

5.  Reiterates the request of its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs to the ESRB for an analysis of the financial stability implications of the introduction of IFRS 9; recalls the ESRB’s commitment to respond to this request in the course of 2017; welcomes the fact that the ESRB has established a new task force on IFRS 9; recalls the Maystadt recommendations regarding the expansion of the ‘public good’ criterion, i.e. that accounting standards should neither jeopardise financial stability in the EU nor hinder the EU’s economic development;

6.  Notes the importance of fully understanding the interaction of IFRS 9 with other regulatory requirements; welcomes the ongoing EBA assessment of IFRS 9’s impact on banks in the EU, aimed at gaining a better understanding of its effect on regulatory own funds, its interaction with other prudential requirements and the way in which institutions are preparing for the application of IFRS 9; notes that banks using the Standardised Approach would probably be the most seriously affected by a reduction in their Core Equity Tier 1 capital; calls on the Commission, therefore, to propose appropriate steps in the prudential framework by the end of 2017, e.g. to insert into the Capital Requirements Regulation a progressive phase-in regime that will mitigate the impact of the new impairment model for a three-year period, or until an adequate international solution has been put in place, and avoid any sudden unwarranted impact on banks’ capital ratios and lending;

7.  Notes the misalignment of the effective dates of IFRS 9 and the upcoming new insurance standard IFRS 17; notes that the IASB has issued amendments to IFRS 4 addressing some of the concerns, notably relating to the use of the optional deferral approach; calls on the Commission to carefully address this issue in a satisfactory and adequate manner, with the support of EFRAG, ensuring a proper level playing field within the EU;

8.  Underlines the importance of long-term investment for economic growth; is concerned that accounting treatment under IFRS 9 of certain financial instruments held directly or indirectly as long-term investments, in particular equity, could go against the overall aim of promoting long-term investment; calls on the Commission to make sure that IFRS 9 serves the EU’s long-term investment strategy and reduces pro-cyclicality and incentives for excessive risk-taking; calls on the Commission to come forward with an evaluation no later than December 2017;

9.  Welcomes the Commission’s current initiative to compare Member States’ practices with regard to dividend distribution; calls on the Commission to ensure compliance of IFRS 9 with the Capital Maintenance Directive and the Accounting Directive and to cooperate wherever necessary with the IASB and national and third-country standard setters in order to obtain their support for modifications or, in the absence of such support, to provide in EU law for appropriate changes;

10.  Calls on the Commission, together with the European Supervisory Agencies (ESAs), the ECB, the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and EFRAG, to closely monitor the implementation of IFRS 9 in the EU, to prepare an ex post impact assessment no later than June 2019 and to present this assessment to the European Parliament and act in accordance with its views;

11.  Calls on the IASB to conduct a post-implementation review (PIR) of IFRS 9 in order to identify and assess unintended effects of the standard, in particular on long-term investment;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission.

(1) OJ L 243, 11.9.2002, p. 1.
(2) http://www.efrag.org/Assets/Download?assetUrl=%2Fsites%2Fwebpublishing%2FSiteAssets%2FEndorsement%2520Advice%2520on%2520IFRS%25209.pdf.
(3)Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0248.


Situation in Syria
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on Syria (2016/2894(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0382B8-1089/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas hostilities in Syria have escalated, particularly in Aleppo, which has come under heavy aerial bombardment, including attacks against medical facilities; whereas the situation has seen a dramatic and rapid deterioration, despite efforts by the international community to establish a cessation of hostilities;

B.  whereas the European Union is one of the main contributors to humanitarian aid for people fleeing the historic violence and destruction in Syria; whereas the lack of international unity makes a negotiated solution to the war in Syria significantly more difficult to achieve;

C.  whereas the EU should pursue its efforts and, collectively, through the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, play a more pronounced role in mediating a peace deal for Syria;

1.  Strongly condemns all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, the continuation of all sieges in Syria and the lack of humanitarian access to the Syrian people in need; expresses its deepest concern for the human suffering in the besieged areas of Aleppo and throughout Syria, affecting many women and children, who do not have access to essential humanitarian goods and desperately need food, clean water and medical supplies;

2.  Deeply deplores and unconditionally condemns the recent attacks on a humanitarian relief convoy and a Red Crescent warehouse near Aleppo as severe and alarming violations of international humanitarian law and as a possible war crime; pays tribute to the humanitarian workers who died in the effort to assist the people of Aleppo and throughout Syria and extends its sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the victims; calls for consequences and accountability for those guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity;

3.  Calls upon all parties in the conflict, and especially Russia and the Assad regime, to stop all attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including water and electrical infrastructure, to undertake credible and immediate steps for the cessation of hostilities, to lift all sieges and to allow rapid, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian agencies to reach all people in need;

4.  Welcomes the EU emergency humanitarian initiative for Aleppo, which, in addition to mobilising funds for urgent humanitarian needs, aims to ensure medical evacuations of wounded and sick people from Eastern Aleppo, with a focus on women, children and the elderly; urges all parties to urgently provide the necessary authorisations for humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations to proceed;

5.  Urges all participants in the International Syria Support Group to resume negotiations to facilitate the establishment of a stable truce and to intensify work for a lasting political settlement in Syria; fully supports the efforts made by UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura in this respect;

6.  Calls on the HR/VP to renew efforts towards a common EU Syria Strategy, which would aim at facilitating a political settlement in Syria, and include monitoring and enforcement tools to strength respect for agreements and obligations made within the International Syria Support Group;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States, the United Nations, the members of the International Syria Support Group and all the parties involved in the conflict in Syria.


2016 UN Climate change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco (COP22)
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2016 UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco (COP22) (2016/2814(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0383B8-1043/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol thereto,

–  having regard to the Paris Agreement, Decision 1/CP.21 and the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC and the 11th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11) held in Paris, France from 30 November to 11 December 2015,

–  having regard to the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the UNFCCC and the 8th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP8) held in Doha, Qatar from 26 November to 8 December 2012, and to the adoption of an amendment to the Protocol establishing a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol starting on 1 January 2013 and ending on 31 December 2020,

–  having regard to the opening for signature of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York on 22 April 2016, which will remain open until 21 April 2017, to 180 States having signed the Paris Agreement, and to 27 States having deposited instruments for its ratification, accounting in total for 39,08 % of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (as of 7 September 2016),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 October 2015 entitled ‘Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris’(1),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 March 2016 entitled ‘The road from Paris: assessing the implications of the Paris Agreement’ (COM(2016)0110),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 16 April 2013 entitled ‘An EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change’ (COM(2013)0216) and its accompanying Staff Working Documents,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 23 and 24 October 2014,

–  having regard to the submission on 6 March 2015 by Latvia and the European Commission to the UNFCCC of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of the EU and its Member States,

–  having regard to the 5th Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its Synthesis Report,

–  having regard to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Synthesis Report of November 2014 entitled ‘The Emissions Gap Report 2014’ and the UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2014,

–  having regard to the Leaders’ Declaration adopted at the G7 Summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, from 7 to 8 June 2015, entitled ‘Think ahead. Act together’, in which they reiterated their intention to adhere to the commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 40 % to 70 % by 2050 compared to 2010, with it being necessary to ensure that the reduction is closer to 70 % than 40 %,

–  having regard to the Leaders’ Declaration adopted at the G7 Summit of 26-27 May 2016 in Ise-Shima, Japan, which calls on all Parties to strive towards the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in 2016,

–  having regard to the European Systemic Risk Board report of February 2016 entitled ‘Too late, too sudden: Transition to a low-carbon economy and systemic risk’,

–  having regard to the encyclical ‘Laudato Si’’,

–  having regard to the International Resource Panel’s ‘10 Key Messages on Climate Change’ of December 2015,

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Paris Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention, accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 % of the total global GHG emissions, have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the UN;

B.  whereas the reduction pathway represented by the Commission proposals for the 2030 climate framework is not in line with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement; whereas, as a first step, the goals should be readjusted towards the higher end of the current 2050 range, i.e. 95 % by 2050;

C.  whereas the efforts to mitigate global warming should not be seen as an obstacle to striving for economic growth but should, on the contrary, be seen as a driving force in the realisation of new and sustainable economic growth and employment;

D.  whereas climate change can increase competition for resources, such as food, water and grazing lands, can exacerbate economic hardship and political instability, and could become the biggest driver of population displacements, both inside and across national borders, within the not too distant future; whereas the issue of climate migration should therefore be placed high on the international agenda;

E.  whereas the most serious effects of climate change will be felt in developing countries, particularly in those least developed countries and developing small island states that have insufficient resources to prepare for and adjust to the changes occurring; whereas, according to the IPCC, Africa is especially vulnerable to the challenge this poses and hence particularly exposed to water stress, extremely violent weather events and food insecurity caused by drought and desertification;

F.  whereas on 6 March 2015, the EU and its Member States submitted its INDC to the UNFCCC, which commits to a binding target of at least a 40 % domestic reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, as laid down in the conclusions of the European Council of 23 October 2014 on the 2030 climate and energy policy framework;

Climate action on a solid scientific basis

1.  Recalls that, according to the scientific evidence presented in the 2014 IPCC AR5, warming of the climate system is unequivocal, climate change is occurring, and human activities have been the dominant cause of observed warming since the middle of the 20th century; is concerned that widespread and substantial climate change impacts are already evident in natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans;

2.  Takes note of the UNFCCC secretariat conclusions that continuing with current levels of global GHG emissions will consume the remaining carbon budget consistent with limiting the rise in global average temperature to no more than 1,5 °C within the next 5 years; stresses that all countries should accelerate the transition to net zero GHG emissions and climate resilience, as agreed in the Paris Agreement, to avoid the worst impacts of global warming;

3.  Urges developed countries, especially the EU, to drastically reduce their GHG emissions beyond current pledges in order to avoid, as far as possible, the large-scale occurrence of negative emissions as the technologies have not yet been proven to be successful, socially acceptable, cost-effective and safe;

Urgency of ratifying and implementing the Paris Agreement

4.  Welcomes the Paris Climate Agreement as a landmark achievement in combating climate change and for multilateralism; considers that it represents an ambitious, balanced, equitable and legally binding agreement, and that the adoption of the agreement and the cumulative announcements by 187 Parties of INDCs by the end of COP21 marked a decisive turning point towards comprehensive and collective global action which, when implemented, will definitively and irreversibly accelerate the transition to a climate-resilient, climate-neutral global economy;

5.  Strongly welcomes the commitment of all countries to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1,5 °C, as well as the aim to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals of GHG by sinks (‘net zero emissions’) in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity;

6.  Recalls that limiting the rise in global temperature to well below 2 °C does not guarantee that significant adverse climate impacts will be avoided; recognises that a clear understanding of the specific policy implications of limiting the rise in global temperature to an average of 1,5 °C needs to be developed; welcomes therefore the preparation in 2018 of an IPCC special report for this purpose; emphasises that the potential of sinks as in contributing to emissions neutrality should not be overestimated;

7.  Recalls that early decarbonisation is necessary in order to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 °C, while pursuing efforts to limit that increase to 1,5 °C, and that global GHG emissions should reach their peak as soon as possible; recalls that global emissions should be phased out by 2050 or shortly thereafter; calls on all parties in a position to do so to implement their national decarbonisation targets and strategies by prioritising the phasing-out of emissions from coal, which is the most polluting source of energy, and calls on the EU to work with its international partners to that end, providing examples of good practice;

8.  Emphasises that the legally binding Paris Agreement and the outlined path towards decarbonisation will give reliable guidance for decision-making, avoid costly lock-in to high-carbon investments, provide certainty and predictability to business and investors, and encourage a shift from fossil fuel investments towards low-carbon investments;

9.  Emphasises that, even in the absence of scientific evidence of what limiting global warming to 1,5 °C means for every sector and region, it is clear that current efforts by countries are not enough to reach these safe limits for the most vulnerable countries; urges all countries, especially developed countries, to step up joint efforts and upgrade their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of the facilitative dialogue in 2018; calls on the EU to commit to further emission reductions in its NDC for 2030 in that context; recalls that action in the European Union alone will not be sufficient, and therefore calls on the Commission and the Council to step up their activities to encourage other partners to do the same;

10.  Welcomes the Paris Agreement commitment to reduce global emissions to net zero during the second half of the century; recognises that this means most sectors in the EU need to achieve zero emissions considerably earlier; underlines that the EU must put pressure on Parties that are not on a trajectory compliant with the Paris Agreement;

11.  Urges early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure early and swift ratification so as not to delay the entry into force of the Agreement; calls on the Commission, therefore, to report regularly to Parliament and the committees responsible on the stages reached in the ratification process, and especially on the reasons for any potential obstacles still being encountered; welcomes the fact that a number of Member States have already initiated, and some have already completed, their national ratification procedures;

12.  Regrets, however, that the sum of all the INDCs does not bring the world even close to the 2 °C target; points out that additional ambition is necessary and calls for concerted action by the EU and other major emitters to bring their INDCs into line with the Paris Agreement commitments; emphasises the urgency and critical importance of all Parties, including the EU, raising their emission reductions commitments in their NDCs every five years in line with the ambition mechanism in the Paris Agreement; considers that NDCs are key tools in national development planning in synergy with the Sustainable Development Goals;

13.  Stresses the importance of demonstrating the EU’s adherence to the Paris Agreement, inter alia through revisiting its own mid- and long-term goals and policy instruments, and of starting this process as early as possible to allow for a comprehensive debate in which Parliament should play a crucial role in partnership with representatives from national, regional and local authorities, civil society and the business sector; calls on the Commission to prepare a mid-century zero emissions strategy for the EU, providing a cost-efficient pathway towards reaching the net zero emissions goal adopted in the Paris Agreement;

COP22 in Marrakesh

14.  Believes that negotiations should advance on the key elements of the Paris Agreement, including an enhanced transparency framework, details of the global stocktake, further guidance on INDCs, an understanding of differentiation, loss and damage, climate finance and capacity support, inclusive multi-level governance, as well as a mechanism to facilitate implementation and promote compliance; urges the Commission and the Member States to uphold the commitments agreed to within the framework of the Paris Agreement, especially regarding the EU contribution to mitigation and adaptation, as well as its support in the areas of finance, technology transfer and capacity-building, in spite of any changes in the status of EU Member States;

15.  Stresses that time is of the essence in the joint efforts to combat climate change and to honour the Paris Agreement; underlines that the EU has both the capacity and responsibility to lead by example and to start work immediately on aligning its climate and energy targets with the agreed international goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 °C, while pursuing efforts to limit that increase to 1,5 °C;

16.  Encourages the EU and the Member States to continue their active involvement in the so called High Ambition Coalition and to commit themselves to accelerating the progress of negotiations and to supporting the Moroccan Presidency in its focus on the contribution of renewable energies and adaptation measures to the global fight against climate change;

17.  Emphasises the need to start discussions on the shape of the 2018 ‘facilitative dialogue’, which will be a key opportunity to close the persistent mitigation gap given the current INDCs; believes that the EU should play a proactive role in this first facilitative dialogue to take stock of the collective ambition and progress in implementing commitments; calls on the Commission and the Member States to submit well in advance of the facilitative dialogue further GHG reductions which go beyond current commitments under the Paris Agreement and contribute adequately to closing the mitigation gap in accordance with EU capabilities;

18.  Recalls that increasing mitigation action in the pre-2020 period is an absolute prerequisite for achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and a key element for assessing the success of the Marrakesh COP22;

Pre-2020 ambition and the Kyoto Protocol

19.  Notes that the EU is now well on track to overachieve its 2020 targets for GHG emissions reduction and to meet its 2020 target for renewable energy, and that significant improvements have been made as regards energy intensity thanks to more efficient buildings, products, industrial processes and vehicles, while the European economy has grown in real terms by 45 % since 1990; emphasises, however, the need for more ambition and action in order to maintain sufficient incentives for the GHG emissions reductions required to reach the EU’s 2050 climate and energy targets; underlines that insufficient progress has been made in GHG emissions reductions in the transport and agriculture sectors with respect to the 2020 targets and that efforts need to be scaled up in view of these sectors’ contributions to emission reductions up to 2030;

20.  Stresses that the 20/20/20 targets for GHG emissions, renewable energy and energy savings have played a key role in driving this progress and sustaining the employment of more than 4,2 million people in various eco-industries, with continuous growth recorded during the economic crisis;

21.  Clarifies that, although the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is limited in its extent, it should be seen as a very important interim step, and calls therefore on the Parties, including the EU Member States, to complete the ratification process as soon as possible; notes that Parliament has done its part by giving its consent and welcomes those Member States which have already finished their internal processes;

Comprehensive effort by all sectors

22.  Welcomes the development of emissions trading systems globally, including 17 emissions trading systems that are in operation across four continents accounting for 40 % of global GDP, that are helping to reduce global emissions in a cost-effective manner; encourages the Commission to promote links between the EU ETS and other emissions trading systems with the aim of creating international carbon market mechanisms so as to increase climate ambition and at the same time help reduce the risk of carbon leakage by levelling the playing field; asks that strong efforts be made to keep any Member State with a changing status in the EU ETS; calls on the Commission to establish safeguards to ensure that linking the EU ETS delivers permanent mitigation contributions and does not undermine the EU’s domestic GHG emissions target;

23.  Stresses that, in line with the IPCC’s findings, land emissions (agricultural, livestock, forest and other land use) have significant cost-effective potential for mitigation and enhancing resilience, and that EU action and international cooperation therefore needs to be strengthened in order to better estimate and optimise the carbon capture potential of land emissions and ensure safe and durable CO2 sequestration; notes the particular opportunities associated with agroforestry in this regard; points to the important agreement reached at the start of the parliamentary term on ILUC, and hopes that Parliament’s contribution to the negotiations on that occasion can form the basis for an ambitious solution during the forthcoming review of the rules;

24.  Notes that deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for 20 % of global GHG emissions, and emphasises the role of forests and active sustainable forest management in climate change mitigation and the need to enhance the adaptive capacities and resilience of forests to climate change; emphasises the need for mitigation efforts focused on the tropical forest sector (REDD+); stresses that the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C is likely to prove impossible without these mitigation efforts; calls furthermore for the EU to scale up international finance for reducing deforestation in developing countries;

25.  Stresses the importance of keeping human rights at the core of climate action, and insists that the Commission and the Member States ensure that the negotiations on adaptation measures recognise the need for respect, protection and promotion of human rights, encompassing inter alia gender equality, the full and equal participation of women and the active promotion of a just transition of the workforce that creates decent work and quality jobs for all;

26.  Calls for LULUCF to be included in the EU climate and energy framework for 2030, given that those emissions need to be taken into account separately to avoid the EU’s LULUCF sink being used to reduce mitigation effort in other sectors;

27.  Recalls that transport is the second biggest GHG-emitting sector; regrets that international aviation and shipping are not mentioned in the Paris Agreement; insists on the need to put a range of policies in place aimed at lowering emissions from this sector; reiterates the need for the UNFCCC Parties to act to effectively regulate and cap emissions from international aviation and shipping, in line with the needs and urgency of the situation; calls on all the Parties to work through the ICAO and the IMO to develop a global policy framework that enables an effective response, and to take measures to set adequate targets before the end of 2016 to achieve the necessary reductions in the light of the well below 2 °C target;

28.  Recalls that GHGs from aviation were incorporated into the EU ETS on 1 January 2012, obliging all aircraft operators under the scope of the ETS to obtain carbon emission allowances; notes the adoption of two ‘Stop-the-Clock’ Decisions in 2013 and 2014, which temporarily reduced the scope of the EU ETS to exclude international flights in order to allow the ICAO time to develop a Global Market-Based Measure (GMBM) for reducing international aviation emissions, and notes that this exemption will expire from 2017 onwards;

29.  Calls for the establishment at the currently ongoing 39th Session of the ICAO Assembly of a fair and robust GMBM to be implemented at international level from 2020 onwards; expresses its deep disappointment with the current proposal being discussed at the ICAO and recalls that any amendment of the existing legislation on including aviation in the EU ETS can only be considered if the GBMB is ambitious, and that, in any case, intra-European flights will continue to be covered by the EU ETS;

30.  Highlights the warning by the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) that belated awareness about the importance of controlling emissions could result in an abrupt implementation of quantity constraints on the use of carbon-intensive energy sources, and that the costs of the transition will be correspondingly higher, with potential effects on economic activity and financial institutions; calls on the Commission to further assess the potential systemic risks associated with an abrupt transition, and to propose where necessary financial market transparency requirements and policies to mitigate systemic risks as much as possible;

31.  Stresses the central role that the circular economy will play towards a low-carbon society; notes that actions focusing only on emissions reduction without taking into account the contribution of renewable energy deployment and an efficient use of resources will fall short of their goal; considers that, given the impact on GHG emissions of the exploitation of raw materials and waste management, the transition towards a global circular economy model must be properly addressed by the COP22;

32.  Highlights the importance of a holistic, systemic approach to devising and implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and points in particular to the decoupling of economic growth and human well-being from resource consumption, since resource efficiency reduces both GHG emissions and other pressures on the environment and on resources while, at the same time, facilitating sustainable growth, whereas a policy focused solely on reducing GHG emissions will not simultaneously guarantee resource efficiency; underlines the fact that efficient resource use facilitates economic and environmental profit; stresses that the circular economy and hence managing natural resources properly can provide key leverage on the climate issue; states, for example, that the extraction, processing, transport, transformation, use and disposal of resources directly accounts for a large proportion of energy use; states that increasing resource productivity through improved efficiency and reducing resource wastage through reuse, reprocessing and recycling also help bring about a major reduction in resource consumption and, at the same time, in GHG emissions; points in this connection to the work of the International Resource Panel;

Reduction of non-CO2 emissions

33.  Welcomes the Leaders’ Declaration adopted at the G7 Summit of 26-27 May 2016 in Ise-Shima, Japan, which stresses the importance of mitigating emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, including black carbon, hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) and methane, to help slow the rate of near-term warming;

34.  Calls for the adoption of an ambitious global HFCs phase-down in 2016 under the Montreal Protocol; recalls that the EU has adopted ambitious legislation to phase down HFCs by 79 % by 2030 as climate-friendly alternatives are widely available and their potential should be fully exploited; notes that phasing down the use of HFCs represents a low-hanging fruit for mitigation actions in and outside the EU;

Industry and competitiveness

35.  Underlines the fact that combatting climate change is the priority and should be pursued worldwide while ensuring energy security and the development of sustainable economic growth and jobs;

36.  Stresses that climate-related investments require a stable and predictable legal framework and clear policy signals;

37.  Welcomes the fact that China and other major competitors of the EU’s energy-intensive industries are introducing carbon trading or other pricing mechanisms; considers that until a level playing field is achieved, the EU should maintain adequate and proportionate measures to ensure the competitiveness of its industry and prevent carbon leakage where needed, taking into consideration that energy, industry and climate policies go hand in hand;

38.  Underlines the importance of making better use of the existing programmes and instruments, such as Horizon 2020, which are open to third-country participation, especially in the fields of energy, climate change and sustainable development, and the importance of mainstreaming sustainability in relevant programmes;

Energy policy

39.  Calls on the EU to push the international community to adopt without delay concrete measures, including a timetable, for progressively phasing out environmentally or economically harmful subsidies, including for fossil fuels;

40.  Stresses that a more ambitious target for energy efficiency in the European Union can help to achieve an ambitious climate goal and at the same time reduce the risk of carbon leakage;

41.  Stresses the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy for reducing emissions as well as for economic savings, energy security and preventing and alleviating energy poverty to protect and help vulnerable and poor households; calls for the global promotion of energy efficiency measures and the development of renewables (e.g. by stimulating self-production and consumption of renewable energy sources) and recalls that energy efficiency and renewables are two of the main goals of the EU’s Energy Union;

Research, innovation and digital technologies

42.  Underlines the fact that research and innovation into climate change and adaptation policies, and into resource-efficient and low-emission technologies is key to fighting climate change in a cost-effective way, reduces dependence on fossil fuels and should promote the use of secondary raw materials; calls therefore for global commitments to boost and focus investment in this area;

43.  Recalls that research, innovation and competitiveness is one of the five pillars of the EU’s Energy Union strategy; notes that the EU is determined to remain a global leader in these fields, while developing close scientific cooperation with international partners; stresses the importance of building and maintaining a strong innovation capacity in both developed and emerging countries for the deployment of clean and sustainable energy technologies;

44.  Recalls the catalytic role digital technologies can play in the transformation of the energy system; underlines the importance of developing energy storage technologies that will contribute to the decarbonisation of the power and the household heating and cooling sectors;

45.  Underlines the importance of increasing the number of skilled workers active in the industry and of promoting knowledge and best practice to stimulate the creation of quality jobs, while supporting the transition of the workforce where necessary;

46.  Calls for better use of technology, such as space satellites, for the accurate collection of data on emissions, temperature and climate change; points in particular to the contribution made by the Copernicus programme; calls also for transparent cooperation and information sharing between countries and openness of data for the scientific community;

Role of non-state actors

47.  Highlights the action taken by an ever-broader range of non-state actors to decarbonise and become more resilient to climate change; emphasises therefore the importance of a structured and constructive dialogue between governments, the business community, including small and medium-sized enterprises, cities, regions, international organisations, civil society and academic institutions and of ensuring their involvement in planning and implementing climate actions in order to mobilise robust global action towards low-carbon and resilient societies; welcomes the creation of the ‘Global Climate Action Agenda’ which builds on the ‘Lima-Paris Action Agenda’ involving seventy multi-stakeholder initiatives in different sectors;

48.  Emphasises that the Non-State Actors Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) should be fully integrated into the UNFCCC framework; notes that local and regional authorities are the biggest contributors to the ‘Lima-Paris Action Agenda’ and NAZCA and have already shown their commitment to deliver on the implementation of the Paris Agreement with regard to both mitigation and adaptation, ensuring horizontal coordination and mainstreaming of climate change policy, empowering local communities and citizens, and promoting processes of societal change and innovation, especially through initiatives such as the Global Covenant of Mayors and the Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding;

49.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to work with all civil society actors (institutions, private sector, NGOs and local communities) to develop reduction initiatives in key sectors (energy, technology, cities, transportation), as well as adaptation and resilience initiatives in response to adaptation issues, particularly as regards access to water, food security and risk prevention; calls on all governments and civil society actors to support and strengthen this agenda for action;

50.  Considers it important to ensure that the legitimate lobbying conducted during the negotiations on the future COP22 is characterised by the utmost transparency and that all officially recognised stakeholders enjoy equal access to all the necessary information;

51.  Reminds the Parties and the UN itself that individual action is as important as the actions of governments and institutions; calls therefore for a greater drive to organise campaigns and actions to raise awareness and inform the public about the small and large gestures that can contribute to combating climate change in developed and developing countries;

Climate resilience through adaptation

52.  Emphasises that adaptation action is an inevitable necessity for all countries if they are to minimise negative effects and make full use of the opportunities for climate-resilient growth and sustainable development; calls for long-term adaptation objectives to be set accordingly; recalls that developing countries, in particular LDCs and small island developing states, that have contributed least to climate change are the most vulnerable to its adverse effects and have the least capacity to adapt;

53.  Calls for the Commission to review the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change, adopted in 2013; invites the Commission to propose a legally binding instrument if the action being taken in the Member States is deemed insufficient;

54.  Underlines the serious negative, and often irreversible, consequences of inaction, recalling that climate change affects all regions around the world in different but highly damaging ways, resulting in migration flows and loss of lives, as well as economic, ecological and social losses; stresses that a concerted global political and financial push for innovation in clean and renewable energy is crucial to meeting our climate goals and to facilitating growth;

55.  Calls for serious recognition of the issue of climate refugees, and the scope thereof, resulting from climate disasters caused by global warming; notes with concern that 166 million people were forced to leave their homes because of floods, windstorms, earthquakes or other disasters between 2008 and 2013; draws particular attention to the fact that climate-related developments in parts of Africa and the Middle East could contribute to political instability, economic hardship and an escalation of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean;

56.  Welcomes the efforts of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, which is subject to review at the COP22; asks the Mechanism to continue to enhance the understanding of, and expertise on, how the impacts of climate change are affecting patterns of migration, displacement and human mobility, and to promote the application of such understanding and expertise;

57.  Calls on the EU and all other countries to tackle the human rights dimension and social impacts of climate change, to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights and solidarity, and to provide support for poorer countries whose capacities are strained by climate change impacts;

Support for developing countries

58.  Emphasises the importance of the role developing countries also play in attaining the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the need to help those countries implement their climate plans, fully exploiting the synergies with the relative sustainable development objectives of the climate measures implemented, the Addis Ababa Action Plan and Agenda 2030;

59.  Stresses the need to promote universal access to sustainable energy in developing countries, in particular in Africa, through the enhanced deployment of renewable energy; points out that Africa has huge natural resources that can safeguard its energy security; stresses that, ultimately, if electricity interconnections were successfully established, part of Europe’s energy could come from Africa;

60.  Stresses that the EU has the experience, capacity and global reach to be the leader in building the smarter, cleaner and more resilient infrastructure needed to deliver the global transition stimulated by Paris; calls on the EU to support developing countries’ efforts in the transition towards low-carbon societies which are more inclusive, socially and environmentally sustainable, prosperous and safer;

Climate finance

61.  Notes that further efforts are necessary to ensure the mobilisation of climate finance to meet the USD 100 billion goal by 2020; welcomes its continuation up to 2025; urges the EU and all Parties in a position to do so to fulfil their obligations to provide climate finance in order to support greater efforts on GHG reduction and adaptation to climate change impacts, given the scale and urgency of the challenge; acknowledges that minimising dangerous climate impacts will require significantly higher low-carbon, climate-resilient investment and efforts to phase out fossil fuel subsidies; underlines the importance of incentivising wider financial flows through carbon pricing and public-private partnerships;

62.  Calls for concrete EU and international commitments to deliver additional sources of climate finance, including by introducing a financial transactions tax, setting aside some EU ETS emission allowances in the 2021-2030 period and allocating revenue from EU and international measures on aviation and shipping emissions to international climate finance and the Green Climate Fund intended, inter alia, for technological innovation projects;

63.  Welcomes the Paris Agreement commitment to make all financial flows consistent with low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development; considers that this requires the EU to urgently tackle financial flows to fossil fuels and high-carbon infrastructure;

64.  Looks forward to facilitative dialogue to identify opportunities to enhance financial resources and support the enhancement of mitigation by all Parties; recognises the responsibility of all Parties, donors and recipients to cooperate in scaling up support and making it more accessible and effective;

65.  Calls on the Commission to undertake a full evaluation of the possible consequences of the Paris Agreement for the EU budget and to develop a dedicated, automatic EU finance mechanism providing additional and adequate support towards the EU’s fair share in the delivery of the USD 100 billion international climate finance goal;

66.  Calls for broad-based pricing of carbon to be a globally applicable instrument for managing emissions and the allocation of emissions trading revenue to climate-related investments, as well as revenue from the carbon pricing of international transport fuels; calls furthermore for the partial use of farming subsidies to guarantee investment for the production and use of renewable energy in farms; highlights the importance of mobilising private sector capital and of unlocking the required investment in low-carbon technologies; calls for an ambitious commitment by governments and public and private financial institutions, including banks, pension funds and insurance firms, in favour of aligning lending and investment practices with the below 2 °C target and divesting from fossil fuels, including the phasing-out of export credits for fossil fuel investments; calls for specific public guarantees in favour of green investment, for labels and fiscal advantages for green investment funds and for the issuing of green bonds;

67.  Highlights the importance of sharing practices on the integration of sustainability issues into the financial sectors, both internationally and at European level, and asks for consideration to be given to the labelling of financial products, carried out through an evaluation and report on their exposure to climate-related risks as well as their contribution to the low-carbon transition, so that investors can be given reliable and concise information on extra-financial issues;

Climate diplomacy

68.  Welcomes the EU’s continued focus on climate diplomacy, which is essential for raising the profile of climate action in partner countries and global public opinion; underlines the fact that the EU, its Member States and the European External Action Service (EEAS) have an enormous foreign policy capacity and must show leadership in climate fora; stresses that ambitious and urgent climate action, and the implementation of COP21 commitments, must remain one of the EU’s priorities in high-level bilateral and bi-regional dialogues with partner countries, the G7, the G20, the UN and other international fora;

69.  Calls on the EU to focus its climate diplomacy efforts on ensuring a robust architecture of the Paris Agreement is built;

The European Parliament

70.  Commits itself to ratification of the Paris Agreement as soon as possible and to using its international role and its membership of international parliamentary networks to consistently seek progress towards the quick ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement;

71.  Believes, as it will also need to give its consent to any international agreement, that Parliament needs to be well integrated into the EU delegation; expects therefore to be allowed to attend EU coordination meetings in Marrakesh and to be guaranteed access to all preparatory documents from the moment negotiations begin;

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72.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU Parties.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0359.


Implementation of the Food Contact Materials Regulation
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on the implementation of the Food Contact Materials Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 (2015/2259(INI))
P8_TA(2016)0384A8-0237/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 October 2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food and repealing Directives 80/590/EEC and 89/109/EEC(1),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006 of 22 December 2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food(2),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 of 14 January 2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food(3),

–  having regard to the European Implementation Assessment on ‘Food Contact Materials - Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004’ of May 2016 carried out by the European Parliamentary Research Service(4),

–  having regard to the proceedings of the workshop on ‘Food Contact Materials – How to Ensure Food Safety and Technological Innovation in the Future?’, held on 26 January 2016 at the European Parliament(5),

–  having regard to the Commission State of the Art Report on Mixture Toxicity(6),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council on the combination effects of chemicals – Chemical mixtures (COM(2012)0252),

–  having regard to the conclusions adopted by the Council of Environment Ministers on 22 December 2009 on the combination effects of chemicals(7),

–  having regard to Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’(8), which, inter alia, recognises the need for the EU to address combination effects of chemicals and safety concerns related to endocrine disruptors in all relevant Union legislation,

–  having regard to an assessment of the ‘State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals – 2012’, prepared for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO)(9),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC(10) (‘the REACH Regulation’),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A8-0237/2016),

A.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 (‘the Framework Regulation’) sets out general safety requirements for all food contact materials and articles which are intended to come into contact directly or indirectly with food in order to ensure that substances do not migrate into food in quantities large enough to endanger human health or to bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food or a deterioration in its organoleptic properties;

B.  whereas Annex I to the Framework Regulation lists 17 food contact materials and articles (FCMs) which may be covered by specific measures;

C.  whereas out of the above 17, only 4 materials are subject to specific EU measures: plastics (including recycled plastics), ceramics, regenerated cellulose, and active and intelligent materials;

D.  whereas there is a strong need for revision of certain specific EU measures, in particular Council Directive 84/500/EEC on ceramics;

E.  whereas for the other 13 materials listed in Annex I, the possibility remains for Member States to adopt national provisions;

F.  whereas many Member States have already introduced or are currently working on different measures for the remaining FCMs; whereas with regard to these national measures the principle of mutual recognition does not work, and the effective functioning of the internal market as well as a high level of health protection, as envisaged by the Framework Regulation and the Treaties, cannot, therefore, be ensured;

G.  whereas materials not regulated by specific EU measures can pose a risk to public health and give rise to loss of consumer trust, legal uncertainty and increased compliance costs for operators – which are often passed on to consumers further down the supply chain – thus hampering competitiveness and innovation; whereas, according to the European Implementation Assessment of May 2016, carried out by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), there is a broad consensus among all relevant stakeholders that the lack of uniform measures is detrimental to public health and the protection of the environment, and to the smooth functioning of the internal market;

H.  whereas the ‘Better Regulation’ principles should not delay any measure aimed at averting or reducing potentially serious or irreversible consequences for human health and/or the environment, as compelled by the precautionary principle enshrined in the EU Treaties;

I.  whereas endocrine disruptors and genotoxic substances in FCMs are particularly problematic for both public health and the environment; whereas endocrine-disrupting or genotoxic properties cannot currently be reliably predicted from the chemical composition, and therefore biotesting should be encouraged as an optional premonitory measure to ensure the safety of chemically complex FCMs; whereas research on the development of both analytical and toxicological testing should be encouraged to ensure robust and cost-effective safety assessments of FCMs for the benefit of consumers, the environment and manufacturers;

J.  whereas deleterious microorganisms (pathogenic or spoilage) that may be present as contaminants of FCMs, and the biocides that may be consequently used to reduce their number, also pose a risk to public health;

K.  whereas some foods are in contact for long periods with a wide range of packaging materials;

L.  whereas more effective coordination of all the provisions which have a bearing on the use of FCMs could help to better protect consumers’ health and reduce the impact of FCMs and, in particular, packaging materials on the environment;

M.  whereas more effective coordination of all the provisions which affect FCMs, including the REACH Regulation, would make the circular economy more effective;

N.  whereas specific measures should be based on scientific evidence; whereas several scientific unknowns remain and more research is thus needed;

O.  whereas according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), nanotechnology and nanomaterials are a new technological development and FCMs are one sector in which the use of nanomaterials has featured; whereas the specific properties of nanomaterials may affect their toxicokinetic and toxicology profiles, but limited information is available in relation to these aspects; whereas there are also uncertainties stemming from the difficulty of characterising, detecting and measuring nanomaterials in food and in biological matrices, and from the limited availability of toxicity data and test methods;

P.  whereas health and environmental risk assessments at EU level are currently limited to the assessment of individual substances and ignore the real-life conditions of combined and cumulative exposure from different routes and product types, also known as the ‘cocktail’ or ‘mixture’ effect;

Q.  whereas according to a recommendation by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)/WHO (2009)(11), exposure assessments should cover the general population, as well as critical groups that are vulnerable or are expected to have a higher level of exposure than the general population (for example infants, children);

R.  whereas the traceability of FCMs should be ensured at all stages of the supply chain in order to facilitate monitoring, the recall of defective products, consumer information and the attribution of responsibility;

S.  whereas labelling is a very direct and effective tool to inform the consumer about the characteristics of a product;

T.  whereas a horizontal approach to substances across all economic sectors provides consistency in legislation and predictability for businesses;

U.  whereas the development of uniform EU testing methods for all FCMs would contribute to a higher level of health and environmental protection across the EU;

V.  whereas introducing a safety check for pre-manufactured food contact articles could be one way of supplementing certain specific measures;

Implementation of EU legislation on FCMs: successes and gaps

1.  Acknowledges that the Framework Regulation constitutes a solid legal basis, the objectives of which remain relevant;

2.  Underlines that, while the major focus should be on the adoption of specific measures for those 13 materials not yet regulated at EU level, all relevant stakeholders point out that shortcomings exist in the implementation and enforcement of the legislation in place;

3.  Anticipates the upcoming review by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre of the national provisions adopted by Member States for non-harmonised materials; calls on the Commission to use this review as a starting-point for drawing up the required measures;

4.  Urges the Commission, when drawing up the measures required, to take account of the European Implementation Assessment conducted by EPRS and of the national measures which are already in force or are being prepared;

5.  Points out that, given the prevalence of the materials referred to on the EU market and the risk they pose to human health, and in order to preserve the single market for FCMs and food products alike, the Commission should forthwith prioritise the drawing-up of specific EU measures for paper and board, varnishes and coatings, metals and alloys, printing inks and adhesives;

6.  Underlines that special attention needs to be paid to those food contact materials – whether directly or indirectly in contact with food – with a higher risk of migration, such as materials surrounding liquids and high-fat foods, and to materials that are in contact with food for a long period of time;

7.  Is of the opinion that the adoption of further specific measures at EU level would encourage business operators to develop safe reusable and recycled FCMs, thereby contributing to the EU’s efforts to establish a more effective circular economy; points out that one precondition for this would be better traceability and the phasing-out of substances in FCMs which could pose a threat to public health;

8.  Underlines, in this context, that the use of FCMs made from recycled products and the reuse of FCMs should not lead to a higher number of contaminants and/or residues in the final product;

9.  Is convinced that, in light of the EU’s focus on moving towards a circular economy, better synergies between the Framework Regulation on FCMs and the circular economy should be developed, which should include specific measures at EU level for recycled paper and board; notes that there is a limit to the number of times that recycled paper and board products may be reused, thus requiring a steady supply of fresh wood fibres;

10.  Given the risk of migration of mineral oils into food from food contact materials and articles made of paper and board, supports, pending the adoption of specific measures and a possible ban on mineral oils in inks, further research aimed at preventing such migration;

11.  Supports the increase in recycling and reuse targets for all materials in the Commission proposal for a Directive amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (COM(2015)0596); reminds the Commission, however, that targets for recycling and reuse must be accompanied by adequate control measures to ensure the safety of materials entering into contact with foods;

12.  Emphasises the difficult position in which small and medium-sized enterprises in the production chain find themselves, given that, in the absence of relevant legislative provisions, they are not in a position to receive or pass on information which would guarantee that their products are safe;

13.  Considers it imperative that Member States should involve all relevant stakeholders in the process when specific safety requirements for FCMs are proposed;

14.  Recognises that the current paradigm for evaluation of safety of FCMs is insufficient, as there is a general underestimation of the role of FCMs in food contamination and a lack of information on human exposure;

Risk assessment

15.  Is aware of the important role played by EFSA in the risk assessment of substances for use in FCMs regulated by specific measures; recognises the costs involved in the risk assessment of a particular substance and EFSA’s limited resources; calls on the Commission, therefore, to increase the level of funding for EFSA in view of the additional work involved given the increased need for risk assessments as detailed below;

16.  Calls on EFSA and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to cooperate and coordinate their work more closely in an effort to make effective use of the resources available to carry out comprehensive assessments;

17.  Recognises that in order to properly assess the risks of FCMs, it is necessary to take into account both substances used in their manufacture and processing and non-intentionally added substances (‘NIAS’), including impurities from the intentionally added substances and other substances resulting from chemical reactions; acknowledges that, to this end, starting substances must be clearly indicated to EFSA and to the relevant authorities in the Member States; stresses, accordingly, the importance of cooperation between scientific bodies/laboratories, and welcomes EFSA’s intention to focus more on finished materials and articles and the manufacturing process, rather than on the substances used;

18.  Emphasises the importance of further scientific research into NIAS as, in contrast to known hazardous substances, their identity and structure, especially in plastics, are often unknown;

19.  Calls on the Commission to review the evidence for: (i) current assumptions made on the migration of substances through functional barriers; (ii) the 10 ppb threshold concentration for migrating substances in food that is being used by some companies and competent authorities to decide which chemicals to risk assess; (iii) the extent to which functional barriers become less effective over long storage periods, as they may only slow down migration; (iv) current assumptions on molecular size affecting chemical absorption through the intestine;

20.  Calls on EFSA and the Commission to extend the concept of vulnerable groups to pregnant and breastfeeding women and to include the potential effects of low-dose exposure and non-monotonic dose responses in the risk assessment criteria;

21.  Regrets that EFSA, in its current risk assessment procedure, does not take account of the so-called ‘cocktail effect’ or the effect of multiple concurrent and cumulative exposures from FCMs and other sources, which can cause adverse effects even if levels of the individual substances in the mixture are low, and exhorts EFSA to do so in future; also urges the Commission to consider this effect, including over long periods of time, when determining migration limits that are considered safe for human health;

22.  Calls for further scientific research into the interaction between different chemicals;

23.  Further regrets that EFSA does not yet take account of the possibility of deleterious microorganisms in FCMs; urges EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), therefore, to examine the issue of microorganisms in FCMs through preparation of an EFSA opinion on the subject;

24.  Points out that FCMs are included within the scope of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012(12) (the Biocidal Products Regulation, ‘BPR’), as biocides may be present in food contact materials to keep their surface free from microbial contamination (disinfectants) and to have a preservative effect on the food (preservatives); notes, however, that the different types of biocides in FCMs are regulated under different legal frameworks and that, depending on the type of biocide, the risk assessment has to be carried out by ECHA or EFSA, or by both agencies;

25.  Calls on the Commission to ensure coherence between the regulations on FCMs and biocidal products and to clarify the roles of ECHA and EFSA in this respect; further calls on the Commission to work on a harmonised and consolidated approach for the overall assessment and authorisation of substances used as biocides in FCMs, with a view to avoiding overlapping, legal uncertainties and duplication of work;

26.  Calls on EFSA to consider the fact that food production sites were identified by the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) in 2009 as one critical place promoting the development of bacteria resistant to both antibiotics and biocides; points out, therefore, that FCMs containing biocides may also contribute to the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans;

27.  Underlines that FCMs are a significant source of human exposure to chemicals of concern, including perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as phthalates and bisphenols, which have been linked to chronic diseases as well as reproductive problems, metabolic disorders, allergies and neurodevelopmental problems; notes that the migration of such chemicals is of particular concern in FCMs given their potential to cause harm even in extremely small doses;

28.  Notes with concern the increased effect on health that substances used in FCMs can have on babies and young children;

29.  Calls on the Commission to fill the safety assessment gap between the REACH and FCM legislation by ensuring that companies produce safety assessments of the human health aspects of exposure to chemicals used in FCMs during production, use and distribution; considers that this should be clarified in Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004;

30.  Calls on the Commission to ensure better coordination and a more coherent approach between the REACH and FCM legislation, in particular as regards substances classified as CMRs (categories 1A, 1B and 2) or SVHCs under REACH, and to ensure that harmful substances phased out under REACH are also phased out in FCMs; stresses that, in order to ensure that any danger to public health can be ruled out, the Commission must periodically inform and update Parliament and the Council if certain substances of concern (such as SVHCs, CMRs, bio-accumulative chemicals or certain categories of endocrine disrupting chemicals) that are banned or phased out under REACH or any other legislation are still used in FCMs; calls on the Commission to consider identifying Bisphenol A (BPA) as one of the substances classified as an SVHC;

31.  Notes the publication by the Commission, on 15 June 2016, of scientific criteria for determining the endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances used in biocidal products and plant protection products; underlines, however, the need for horizontal criteria for all products, including FCMs, and calls on the Commission to present such criteria without delay; calls for these criteria, once in force, to be considered in the risk assessment procedure of FCMs;

32.  Notes the fact that, following the recent EFSA opinion, the Commission has finally announced its plan to introduce a migration limit of 0,05 mg/kg for BPA for packaging and containers made of plastic, as well as for varnishes and coatings used in metal containers; considering, however, that multiple EFSA re-evaluations over the last decade have not effectively addressed all health concerns and that EFSA will again re-evaluate(13) the hazards of BPA in 2017, following publication of a report that raises concerns that the current tolerable daily intake (TDI) does not protect foetuses or infants from the effects of BPA on the immune system and recommends advising consumers to reduce their exposure to BPA from food and other sources, calls for a ban on BPA in all FCMs;

33.  Acknowledges, on the basis of the 2015 Science and Policy Report by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the issue of heavy metals migrating into food; understands that the Commission is reviewing the limits for lead and cadmium in Council Directive 84/500/EEC on ceramics; strongly urges the Commission to come up with a legislative proposal introducing lower limits for the release of cadmium and lead and regrets that the revision of Directive 84/500/EEC has not yet been discussed in Parliament and the Council;

34.  Supports research and innovation initiatives that seek to develop new substances for use in FCMs that are proven to be safe for human health; stresses, however, that for the time being, any safer alternatives should not include Bisphenol S (BPS) as a substitute for Bisphenol A (BPA), as BPS may have a toxicological profile similar to BPA(14);

35.  Supports, in particular, further research into nanomaterials, as there is still scientific uncertainty regarding the effects and migration capability of these materials and their effect on human health; believes, therefore, that nanomaterials should be subjected to authorisation for use not only in plastic materials but in all FCM materials, and should be assessed not only in their bulk form;

36.  Points out that market barriers, and in particular petitioning for authorisations under differing national rules, result in loss of opportunities for food safety improvement via innovation;

Traceability

37.  Believes that a Declaration of Compliance (DoC) can be an effective tool for ensuring that FCMs are compliant with the relevant rules, and recommends that all FCMs, whether harmonised or non-harmonised, are accompanied by a DoC and the appropriate documentation, as is currently the case for FCMs for which specific measures have been adopted; believes that conditions of use should be better reflected in the relevant declarations of compliance;

38.  Regrets, however, that, even when they are mandatory, DoCs are not always available for enforcement purposes, and that where they are available the quality of DoCs is not always high enough to ensure that they are a reliable source of compliance documentation;

39.  Calls for the traceability and compliance of FCMs imported from third countries to be enhanced by means of a requirement calling for proper and complete identification documents and DoCs; insists that imported FCMs must conform to EU standards, thus safeguarding public health and ensuring fair competition;

40.  Calls on the Commission to establish mandatory labelling of the intended presence of nanomaterials in FCMs and to establish mandatory labelling of the composition of the FCMs used for organic products and products intended for critical groups;

Compliance, enforcement and controls

41.  Expresses its concern that the level of enforcement of the legislation on FCMs varies greatly across the EU; highlights the importance of developing EU guidelines for FCMs which would facilitate a harmonised and uniform implementation and better enforcement in the Member States; to this end, underlines the importance of sharing data between Member States; believes that other non-legislative policy options, such as the experience of industry self-assessment, should supplement measures to improve the enforcement of the Framework Regulation on FCMs;

42.  Takes the view that further harmonisation of food contact materials and articles can help to bring about a uniformly high level of public health protection;

43.  Recommends the introduction of uniform EU standards for analytical testing of given categories of food contact materials and articles in order to ensure that companies and competent authorities across the EU carry out tests using the same method; notes that the introduction of uniform testing methods would guarantee the same treatment of FCMs throughout the internal market, thus ensuring improved monitoring standards and higher protection levels;

44.  Stresses that it is the responsibility of each Member State to carry out controls of companies that produce or import FCMs; regrets, however, that some Member States do not impose the requirement for companies to register their business activity, thereby allowing such companies to circumvent conformity controls; calls on the Commission to ensure that those Member States that have not already done so impose an obligation on all companies producing or importing FCMs to officially register their business activity in accordance with the revision of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004; recognises the existence of suitable registration mechanisms in several Member States, which can serve as examples of best practice;

45.  Calls on the Member States to increase the frequency and efficiency of official controls, based on the risk of non-compliance as well as on the health risks involved, taking into account the quantity of food, the intended consumer and the length of time it has been in contact with the FCM, as well as the type of FCM, temperature and any other relevant factors;

46.  Insists on the need for Member States to ensure that they put in place the necessary staff and equipment to perform uniform, robust and systematic controls, as well as a system of dissuasive penalties for cases of non-compliance, in accordance with the revision of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004;

47.  Calls for more effective cooperation and coordination between the Member States and the Commission on the early warning system for foodstuffs and feedingstuffs, so that risks to public health can be dealt with quickly and effectively;

48.  Calls on the Commission to study further the approach based on safety checks for pre-manufactured food contact articles or other approval procedures for food contact articles;

49.  Welcomes the Commission’s ‘Better Training for Safer Food’ platform; calls for its activities to be expanded;

o
o   o

50.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 338, 13.11.2004, p. 4.
(2) OJ L 384, 29.12.2006, p. 75.
(3) OJ L 12, 15.1.2011, p. 1.
(4) PE 581.411.
(5) PE 578.967.
(6) Kortenkamp 2009. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/effects/pdf/report_mixture_toxicity.pdf
(7) http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%2017820%202009%20INIT
(8) 7th Environment Action Programme (OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 171).http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32013D1386
(9) http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/endocrine/en/
(10) OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(11) Recent developments in the risk assessment of chemicals in food and their potential impact on the safety assessment of substances used in food contact materials – EFSA Journal 2016;14(1):4357 (28 p.). https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4357
(12) OJ L 167, 27.6.2012, p. 1.
(13) https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/160426a?utm_content=hl&utm_source=EFSA+Newsletters&utm_campaign=3bd764133f-HL_20160428&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7ea646dd1d-3bd764133f-63626997
(14) Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC), Opinion on an Annex XV dossier proposing restrictions on Bisphenol A, p. 13. http://www.echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13641/bisphenol_a_seac_draft_opinion_en.pdf


2014 Annual report on monitoring the application of Union law
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on monitoring the application of Union law: 2014 Annual Report (2015/2326(INI))
P8_TA(2016)0385A8-0262/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the 32nd annual report on monitoring the application of Union law (2014) (COM(2015)0329),

–  having regard to the report by the Commission entitled ‘EU Pilot Evaluation Report’ (COM(2010)0070),

–  having regard to the report by the Commission entitled ‘Second Evaluation Report on EU Pilot’ (COM(2011)0930),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 March 2002 on relations with the complainant in respect of infringements of Community law (COM(2002)0141),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 April 2012 entitled ‘Updating the handling of relations with the complainant in respect of the application of Union law’ (COM(2012)0154),

–  having regard to the Framework Agreement on Relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement on better law-making between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission,

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 September 2015 on the 30th and 31st annual reports on monitoring the application of EU Law (2012-2013)(1),

–  having regard to Rules 52 and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Petitions (A8-0262/2016),

A.  whereas Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) defines the fundamental role of the Commission as ‘guardian of the Treaties’;

B.  whereas, according to Article 6(1) TEU, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU) has the same legal value as the Treaties, and is addressed to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union and the Member States when they are implementing Union law (Article 51(1) CFREU);

C.  whereas, according to Article 258 (1) and (2) TFEU, the Commission shall deliver a reasoned opinion to a Member State when it considers that the latter has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties, and may bring the matter before the Court of Justice if the Member State in question does not comply with the opinion within a deadline set by the Commission;

D.  whereas the Framework Agreement on Relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission provides for sharing of information concerning all infringement procedures based on letters of formal notice, but does not cover the informal EU Pilot procedure which precedes the opening of formal infringement proceedings;

E.  whereas the Commission invokes Article 4(3) TEU and the principle of sincere cooperation between the Union and Member States in order to enforce its obligation to exercise discretion in relation to Member States during EU Pilot procedures;

F.  whereas EU Pilot procedures are intended to make for closer and more coherent cooperation between the Commission and Member States so as to remedy breaches of EU law at an early stage in order, wherever possible, to avert the need to resort to formal infringement proceedings;

G.  whereas in 2014, the Commission received 3 715 complaints reporting potential breaches of EU law, with Spain (553), Italy (475) and Germany (276) being the Member States that most complaints were filed against;

H.  whereas in 2014, the Commission launched 893 new infringement procedures, with Greece (89), Italy (89) and Spain (86) being the Member States with the highest number of open cases;

I.  whereas Article 41 CFREU defines the right of good administration as the right for every person to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the institutions, and whereas Article 298 TFEU stipulates that, in carrying out their missions, the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union shall have the support of an open, efficient and independent European administration;

1.  Recalls that the Commission is, according to Article 17 TEU, responsible for ensuring the application of Union law, including the CFREU (Article 6(1) TEU), the provisions of which are addressed to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union and to the Member States when they are implementing Union law;

2.  Recognises that the primary responsibility for the correct implementation and application of EU law lies with the Member States, but points out that this does not absolve the EU institutions of their duty to respect primary EU law when they produce secondary EU law;

3.  Stresses the Commission’s essential role in overseeing the application of EU law and submitting its annual report to Parliament and the Council; calls on the Commission to continue its active role in developing various tools to improve EU law implementation, enforcement and compliance in the Member States, and to provide data, in addition to that on the implementation of EU directives, on implementation of EU regulations in its next annual report;

4.  Recognises that the primary responsibility for the correct implementation and application of EU law lies with the Member States, and emphasises that the Member States, when implementing EU law, must also respect in full the fundamental values and rights enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the EU; recalls that the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of EU law lies with the Commission; calls, to this end, repeatedly on the Member States to make systematic use of correlation tables, but points out that this does not absolve the EU institutions of their duty to respect primary EU law when they produce secondary EU law; is reminded of the need to make use of its implementing reports regarding sectorial legislations;

5.  Acknowledges that Parliament also has a crucial role to play in this regard by exercising political oversight of the Commission’s enforcement actions, scrutinising the annual reports on monitoring the implementation of EU law and adopting relevant parliamentary resolutions; suggests that it could contribute further to the timely and accurate transposition of EU legislation by sharing its expertise in the legislative decision-making process through pre-established links with national parliaments;

6.  Notes that timely and correct transposition of EU law into national legislation and a clear domestic legislative framework should be a priority for the Member States, with a view to avoiding breaches of EU law while delivering to individuals and businesses the intended benefits made possible by the efficient and effective application of EU law;

7.  Underlines the important role of the social partners, civil society organisations and other stakeholders in creating legislation and in monitoring and reporting shortcomings in the transposition and application of EU law by the Member States; notes the Commission’s acknowledgment of stakeholders’ role by launching new tools in 2014 which facilitate this process; encourages stakeholders to remain vigilant in this regard in the future;

8.  Acknowledges the impact of effective application of EU law on strengthening the credibility of the EU institutions; appreciates the importance attributed in the Commission’s annual report to petitions submitted by citizens, businesses and civil society organisations, a fundamental right enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty, an important element of European citizenship and an important secondary means of monitoring the application of EU law and identifying possible loopholes in it through the direct expression by citizens of their views and experiences, alongside elections and referendums which remain their primary avenue for democratic expression;

9.  Considers that unrealistic implementation deadlines for legislation can result in Member States being unable to comply, providing tacit endorsement for delaying application; calls on the European institutions to agree on more suitable timetables for the implementation of regulations and directives, whereby due account is taken of necessary scrutiny and consultation periods; believes that the Commission should deliver reports, reviews and legislative revisions on the dates agreed by co-legislators and as laid down in the relevant legislation;

10.  Welcomes the fact that the new Interinstitutional Agreement on better law-making contains provisions that aim to improve the implementation and application of EU law and to encourage more structured cooperation in this respect; supports the call, expressed in the agreement, for better identification of national measures that are not strictly related to Union legislation (a practice known as ‘gold plating’); stresses the importance of enhancing transposition and the need for Member States to provide notification of, and clearly indicate, national measures that supplement European directives; stresses that the Members States, when applying EU legislation, should avoid adding unnecessary burdens to EU legislation, as this leads to a misconception of EU legislative activity and increases unjustified EU scepticism among citizens; points out, however, that this in no way affects the Member States’ prerogative of adopting at national level higher social and environmental standards than those agreed on at EU level;

11.  Stresses that Parliament should play a stronger role in the analysis of how accession countries and countries with association agreements with the European Union comply with EU law; proposes in this regard to provide those countries with suitable assistance, in the form of ongoing cooperation with their national parliaments in the field of the observance and application of EU law;

12.  Suggests that Parliament should draft proper reports, not simply resolutions, on all candidate countries in response to the annual progress reports released by the Commission, in order to give the possibility to all committees concerned to deliver relevant opinions; believes that the Commission should continue to release progress reports for all European Neighbourhood Countries that have signed association agreements, in order for Parliament to proceed with a serious and systematic assessment of the progress made by those countries on the implementation of the EU acquis as it relates to the association agenda;

13.  Welcomes the Commission’s 32nd ‘Annual Report on Monitoring the Application of EU Law’, and notes that environment, transport, and internal market and services were the policy areas in 2013 in which most infringement cases remained open in 2014; notes as well that, in 2014, environment, health, consumer protection, mobility and transport were again the policy areas in which the highest numbers of new infringement proceedings were instituted; encourages the Commission, in the interest of ensuring inter-institutional transparency, to afford Parliament better access to cases involving infringements of EU law;

14.  Notes that according to the Annual report, ‘the number of formal infringement procedures has decreased in the last five years’, and that, according to the Commission, this reflects the effectiveness of the structured dialogue with Member States via EU Pilot; considers, however, that the decrease in recent years, and the decrease expected to occur in coming years, are mainly due to the continuing fall in the number of new Commission legislative proposals; points out that the Commission does not carry out any EU Pilot procedures when directives have been transposed late;

15.  Recalls that this ex post evaluation does not absolve the Commission of its duty to monitor in an effective and timely fashion the application and implementation of EU law, and notes that Parliament could assist in reviewing the implementation of legislation through its scrutiny of the Commission;

16.  Notes that the increase in the number of new EU Pilot files during the period under examination, and the decrease in the number of open infringement cases, show, according to the annual report, that the EU Pilot system has proved its usefulness, and has had a positive impact by promoting more efficient enforcement of EU law; reiterates, however, that the enforcement of EU law is neither sufficiently transparent nor subject to any real control by the complainants and the interested parties, and regrets that, despite its repeated requests, Parliament still has inadequate access to information about the EU Pilot procedure and pending cases; calls on the Commission, in this regard, to ensure greater transparency as regards information on the EU Pilot procedure, and on pending cases;

17.  Is of the opinion that financial penalties for non-compliance with EU law should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, taking into account repeated failures in the same field, and that Member States’ legal rights must be respected;

18.  Points out that in a European Union founded on the rule of law, and on the certainty and predictability of laws, EU citizens must, as of right, be the first to be made aware, in a clear, accessible, transparent and timely manner (via the internet and by other means), of whether and which national laws have been adopted through the transposition of EU laws, and of which national authorities are responsible for ensuring that they are correctly implemented;

19.  Calls on the Commission to interlink all different portals, access points and information websites in a single gateway that will provide citizens with easy access to online complaint forms and user-friendly information on infringement procedures; calls, furthermore, on the Commission to include in its next monitoring report more detailed information on the use of those portals;

20.  Points out that sincere cooperation between the Commission and Parliament is an obligation incumbent on them both; calls, therefore, for the Framework Agreement on Relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission to be revised so as to enable information about EU Pilot procedures to be supplied in the form of a (confidential) document to the parliamentary committee responsible for the interpretation and application of Union law;

21.  Recalls that, in its resolution of 15 January 2013(2), Parliament called for the adoption of an EU regulation on a European law of administrative procedure under Article 298 TFEU, but that, despite the fact that the resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority (572 in favour, 16 against, 12 abstentions), Parliament’s request was not followed up by a Commission proposal; calls on the Commission to re-examine Parliament’s resolution with a view to bringing forward a proposal for a legislative act in respect of the law of administrative procedure;

22.  Deplores, more specifically, the fact that there has been no follow-up to its call for binding rules in the form of a regulation setting out the various aspects of the infringement and pre-infringement procedure – including notifications, binding time limits, the right to be heard, the obligation to state reasons, and the right for every person to have access to his or her file – so as to reinforce citizens’ rights and guarantee transparency;

23.  Recalls, in this context, that the Committee on Legal Affairs has set up a new Working Group on Administrative Law which has decided to elaborate an actual draft regulation on the administrative procedure of the Union’s administration as a ‘source of inspiration’ for the Commission, not in order to question the Commission’s right of initiative, but to show that such a regulation would be both useful and feasible to enact;

24.  Believes that the intent of this draft regulation is not to replace existing EU legislation, but rather to supplement this when gaps or problems arise regarding interpretation, and to bring more accessibility, clarity and coherence to the interpretation of existing rules, for the benefit of citizens and businesses and of the administration and its officials;

25.  Calls, therefore, once more on the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal on a European law of administrative procedure, taking into account the steps taken so far by Parliament in this field;

26.  Recalls that the EU institutions, even when they act as members of groups of international lenders (‘troikas’), are bound by the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

27.  Calls on the Commission to make compliance with EU law a real political priority, to be pursued in close collaboration with Parliament, which has a duty (a) to keep the Commission politically accountable and (b), as co-legislator, to make sure that it is itself fully informed, with a view to constantly improving its legislative work;

28.  Supports the creation of a process within Parliament for monitoring the application of EU law in the Member States that is able to analyse the issue of non-compliance in a manner that is country-specific and that takes account of the fact that the relevant standing committees in Parliament monitor the application of EU law within their respective fields of competence;

29.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the Committee of the Regions, the Social and Economic Committee and the national parliaments.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0322.
(2) OJ C 440, 30.12.2015, p. 17.


Placing on the market of genetically modified maize Bt11 seeds
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize Bt11 (SYN-BTØ11-1) seeds (D046173/01 – 2016/2919(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0386B8-1083/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize Bt11 (SYN-BTØ11-1) seeds (D046173/01),

–  having regard to Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC(1), and in particular Article 18(1) thereof,

–  having regard to the opinion delivered by the European Food Safety Authority on 19 May 2005(2),

–  having regard to the opinion updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect-resistant maize MON 810 delivered by the European Food Safety Authority on 6 December 2012(3),

–  having regard to the scientific opinion supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations for the cultivation of the genetically modified insect-resistant maize Bt11 and MON 810 adopted on 6 December 2012 by the European Food Safety Authority(4),

–  having regard to the scientific opinion updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target Lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt‑maize pollen delivered by the European Food Safety Authority on 28 May 2015(5),

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2014 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of a maize product (Zea mays L., line 1507) genetically modified for resistance to certain lepidopteran pests(7),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas a notification (Reference C/F/96/05.10) concerning the placing on the market of genetically modified maize Bt11 was submitted in 1996 by Syngenta Seeds SAS (formerly Novartis Seeds) (hereinafter ‘the notifier’) to the competent authority of France pursuant to Council Directive 90/220/EEC(8); whereas an updated notification was submitted in 2003 pursuant to Directive 2001/18/EC;

B.  whereas the genetically modified event maize Bt11 expresses the Cry1Ab protein, which is a Bt protein (derived from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. Kurstaki) conferring resistance to the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) and the Mediterranean corn borer (Sesamia nonagrioides), and the Pat protein, which confers tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium;

C.  whereas glufosinate is classified as toxic to reproduction and thus falls under the exclusion criteria set out in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009; whereas for substances that have already been approved, the exclusion criteria apply when the approval needs to be renewed; whereas the approval of glufosinate expires in 2017; whereas the use of glufosinate should therefore in principle end in 2017;

D.  whereas pursuant to Article 26c(2) of Directive 2001/18/EC the cultivation of genetically modified maize Bt11 is prohibited in the following territories: Wallonia (Belgium); Bulgaria; Denmark; Germany (except for research purposes); Greece; France; Croatia; Italy; Cyprus; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Hungary; Malta; the Netherlands; Austria; Poland; Slovenia; Northern Ireland (United Kingdom); Scotland (United Kingdom); Wales (United Kingdom);

E.  whereas, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the evidence indicates that approximately 95 to 99 % of the released pollen is deposited within about 50 metres of the pollen source, though vertical wind movements or gusts during pollen shedding can lift pollen high up in the atmosphere and distribute it over significant distances up to several kilometres;

F.  whereas in an opinion of 2005 EFSA considered that maize has no cross-compatible wild relatives in Europe, thus at the time taking the view that no unintended environmental effects due to the establishment and spread are anticipated;

G.  whereas teosintes, the ancestor of cultivated maize, has been present in Spain since 2009; whereas teosinte populations might become recipients for transgenic DNA stemming from genetically engineered maize MON 810, which is cultivated in Spain in some of the regions where teosinte is spreading widely; whereas gene flow may cross to teosinte, causing it to produce Bt toxin, and confer higher fitness to the hybrids of maize and teosinte in comparison with the native teosinte plants; whereas this is a scenario carrying major risks for farmers and the environment;

H.  whereas the competent Spanish authorities have informed the Commission about the presence of teosinte in Spanish maize fields, including very limited presence in GM maize fields; whereas the available information indicates that teosinte has also been identified in France;

I.  whereas on 13 July 2016, the Commission requested EFSA to assess by the end of September 2016 whether, on the basis of the existing scientific literature and any other relevant information, new evidence has emerged which would change the conclusions and recommendations of the EFSA scientific opinions on cultivation of genetically modified maizes MON 810, Bt11, 1507 and GA21;

J.  whereas in point 24 of its draft implementing decision the Commission claims that as regards local mortality, EFSA considered two levels of ‘acceptable’ local mortality (0,5 % and 1 %); whereas, however, in its scientific opinion adopted on 28 May 2015 updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt-maize pollen, EFSA clearly states that ‘any specific protection level used here for illustration by the EFSA GMO Panel is intended as an example only’ and that ‘any threshold applied here must, by necessity, be arbitrary and should be subject to amendment according to the protection goals in operation within the Union’;

K.  whereas in its draft implementing decision the Commission chose a level of local mortality of below 0,5 %, providing in the Annex for arbitrary isolation distances of at least 5 metres between a maize Bt11 field and a protected habitat as defined in Article 2(3) of Directive 2004/35/EC, despite the fact that EFSA actually clearly states as confirmed that imposing an isolation distance of 20 metres around a protected habitat from the nearest crop of maize Bt11/MON 810 would be expected to reduce local mortality even of extremely highly sensitive non-target lepidopteran larvae to a level below 0,5 %, that distance being four times greater than that proposed by the Commission;

L.  whereas in its scientific opinion adopted on 28 May 2015 updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats, EFSA stated that ‘currently, there are insufficient data available to allow Bt-related larval mortality to be put into the context of overall mortality’;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Directive 2001/18/EC;

2.  Considers that the risk assessment of cultivation conducted by EFSA is incomplete and the risk management recommendations proposed by the Commission are inadequate;

3.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the objective of Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, which is, in accordance with the precautionary principle, to approximate the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States and to protect human health and the environment when carrying out the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms for any other purposes than placing on the market within the Community and placing on the market genetically modified organisms as or in products within the Community;

4.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1.
(2) Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms on a request from the Commission related to the notification (Reference C/F/96/05.10) for the placing on the market of insect-tolerant genetically modified maize Bt11, for cultivation, feed and industrial processing, under Part C of Directive 2001/18/EC from Syngenta Seeds, The EFSA Journal (2005) 213, 1-33.
(3) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect resistant maize MON 810. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(12):3017 [98 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.3017.
(4) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations for the cultivation of the genetically modified insect resistant maize Bt11 and MON 810. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(12):3016 [32 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.3016.
(5) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target Lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt-maize pollen. EFSA Journal 2015; 13(7):4127 [31 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4127.
(6) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0036.
(8) Council Directive 90/220/EEC of 23 April 1990 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms (OJ L 117, 8.5.1990, p. 15).


Placing on the market of genetically modified maize 1507 seeds
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize 1507 (DAS-Ø15Ø7-1) seeds (D046172/00 – 2016/2920(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0387B8-1085/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize 1507 (DAS-Ø15Ø7-1) seeds (D046172/00),

–  having regard to Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC(1), and in particular Article 18(1) thereof,

–  having regard to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientific opinion last updated on 24 February 2012 updating the evaluation of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations on insect-resistant genetically modified maize 1507 for cultivation(2),

–  having regard to the EFSA scientific opinion of 18 October 2012 supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect-resistant maize 1507 for cultivation(3),

–  having regard to the EFSA scientific opinion of 6 December 2012 updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect-resistant maize MON 810(4),

–  having regard to the EFSA scientific opinion of 6 December 2012 supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations for the cultivation of the genetically modified insect-resistant maize Bt11 and MON 810(5),

–  having regard to the EFSA scientific opinion of 28 May 2015 updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target Lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt-maize pollen(6),

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2014 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of a maize product (Zea mays L., line 1507) genetically modified for resistance to certain lepidopteran pests(8),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas a notification (Reference C/ES/01/01) concerning the placing on the market of genetically modified maize 1507 was submitted in 2001 by Pioneer Overseas Corporation and Dow AgroSciences Europe Ltd to the competent authority of Spain pursuant to Council Directive 90/220/EEC(9); whereas an updated notification was submitted in 2003 pursuant to Directive 2001/18/EC;

B.  whereas the genetically modified event maize 1507 expresses the Cry1F protein, which is a Bt protein (derived from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. Kurstaki) conferring resistance to the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) and certain other lepidopteran pests such as the pink borer (Sesamia spp.), fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon) and south-western corn borer (Diatraea grandiosella), and the Pat protein, which confers tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium;

C.  whereas glufosinate is classified as toxic to reproduction and thus falls under the exclusion criteria set out in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009; whereas, for substances that have already been approved, the exclusion criteria apply when the approval needs to be renewed; whereas the approval of glufosinate expires in 2017; whereas the use of glufosinate should therefore in principle end in 2017;

D.  whereas, pursuant to Article 26c(2) of Directive 2001/18/EC, the cultivation of genetically modified maize 1507 is prohibited in the following territories: Wallonia (Belgium); Bulgaria; Denmark; Germany (except for research purposes); Greece; France; Croatia; Italy; Cyprus; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Hungary; Malta; the Netherlands; Austria; Poland; Slovenia; Northern Ireland (United Kingdom); Scotland (United Kingdom); and Wales (United Kingdom);

E.  whereas, according to EFSA, evidence indicates that approximately 95-99 % of pollen released is deposited within some 50 metres of the pollen source, though vertical wind movements or gusts during pollen shedding can lift pollen up high into the atmosphere and distribute it over significant distances of up to several kilometres;

F.  whereas the possible evolution of resistance to the Cry1F protein in lepidopteran target pests is identified by the EFSA GMO Panel as a concern associated with the cultivation of maize 1507, as resistance evolution may lead to altered pest control practices that may cause adverse environmental effects;

G.  whereas teosintes, the ancestor of cultivated maize, has been present in Spain since 2009; whereas teosinte populations might become recipients for transgenic DNA stemming from genetically engineered maize MON 810, which is cultivated in Spain in some of the regions where teosinte is spreading widely; whereas gene flow may cross to teosinte, causing it to produce Bt toxin, and confer higher fitness to the hybrids of maize and teosinte in comparison with the native teosinte plants; whereas this is a scenario that carries major risks for farmers and the environment;

H.  whereas the Spanish competent authorities informed the Commission about the presence of teosinte in Spanish maize fields, including the very limited presence in GM maize fields; whereas the information available also indicates that teosinte was also identified in France;

I.  whereas on 13 July 2016 the Commission asked EFSA to assess by the end of September 2016 whether, on the basis of existing scientific literature or any other relevant information, new evidence emerges which would change the conclusions and recommendations of the EFSA scientific opinions on cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810, Bt11, 1507 and GA21;

J.  whereas in point 24 of its draft implementing decision the Commission claims that EFSA considered two levels of ‘acceptable’ local mortality (0,5 % and 1 %); whereas, however, in its scientific opinion of 28 May 2015 updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt-maize pollen, EFSA actually clearly emphasises that ‘any specific protection level used here for illustration by the EFSA GMO Panel is intended as an example only’ and that ‘any threshold applied must, by necessity, be arbitrary and should be subject to amendment according to the protection goals in operation within the EU’;

K.  whereas in its the draft implementing decision the Commission chose the level of local mortality of below 0,5 % and, in the annex thereto, provides for arbitrary isolation distances of at least 20 metres between a maize 1507 field and a protected habitat, as defined in Article 2(3) of Directive 2004/35/EC, despite the fact that EFSA clearly states as confirmed that imposing an isolation distance of 30 metres around a protected habitat from the nearest crop of maize 1507 would be expected to reduce local mortality, even that of highly sensitive non-target lepidopteran larvae, to a level of or below 0,5 %, which is further than the distance proposed by the Commission;

L.  whereas, in its scientific opinion of 28 May 2015 updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats, EFSA stated that ‘currently, there are insufficient data available to allow Bt-related larval mortality to be put into the context of overall mortality’;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Directive 2001/18/EC;

2.  Considers the risk assessment on the cultivation conducted by EFSA to be incomplete and the risk management recommendations proposed by the Commission to be inadequate;

3.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the objective of Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, which is, in accordance with the precautionary principle, to approximate the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States and to protect human health and the environment when carrying out the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms for any other purposes than placing them on the market within the Community, or placing on the market genetically modified organisms as or in products within the Community;

4.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1.
(2) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs); Scientific Opinion updating the evaluation of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations on insect-resistant genetically modified maize 1507 for cultivation. EFSA Journal 2011; 9(11):2429 [73 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2429.
(3) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect-resistant maize 1507 for cultivation. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(11):2934 [36 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2934.
(4) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect-resistant maize MON 810. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(12):3017 [98 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.3017.
(5) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations for the cultivation of the genetically modified insect-resistant maize Bt11 and MON 810. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(12):3016 [32 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.3016.
(6) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target Lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt-maize pollen. EFSA Journal 2015; 13(7):4127 [31 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4127.
(7) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(8) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0036.
(9) Council Directive 90/220/EEC of 23 April 1990 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms (OJ L 117, 8.5.1990, p. 15).


Renewing the authorisation for genetically modified maize MON 810 seeds
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 (MON-ØØ81Ø-6) seeds (D046170/00 – 2016/2921(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0388B8-1086/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 (MON-ØØ81Ø-6) seeds (D046170/00),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Article 23(3) thereof,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the scientific opinion updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect-resistant maize MON 810, delivered on 6 December 2012 by the European Food Safety Authority(3),

–  having regard to the scientific opinion supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations for the cultivation of the genetically modified insect-resistant maize Bt11 and MON 810, adopted on 6 December 2012 by the European Food Safety Authority(4),

–  having regard to the opinion updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target Lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt‑maize pollen, delivered on 28 May 2015 by the European Food Safety Authority(5),

–  having regard to the scientific opinion on the annual post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) report on the cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 in 2014 from Monsanto Europe S.A., delivered on 9 March 2016 by the European Food Safety Authority(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2014 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of a maize product (Zea mays L., line 1507) genetically modified for resistance to certain lepidopteran pests(7),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 11 and 18 April 2007, Monsanto Europe S.A. submitted to the Commission three applications, in accordance with Articles 11 and 23 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, for the renewal of the authorisation of existing foods, food ingredients and feed produced from MON 810 maize, of the authorisation of feed containing and consisting of MON 810 maize and of the authorisation of MON 810 maize in products consisting of it or containing it for uses other than food and feed, as any other maize, including cultivation; whereas after the date of entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, those products were notified to the Commission pursuant to Article 8(1)(a) and (b) and Article 20(1)(b) of that Regulation and included in the Community Register of genetically modified food and feed;

B.  whereas on 9 March 2016, Monsanto Europe S.A. sent a letter to the Commission requesting that the part of the application concerning cultivation be considered separately from the rest of the application;

C.  whereas the genetically modified MON 810 maize as described in the application expresses the Cry1Ab protein, derived from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, which confers protection against certain lepidopteran insect pests, including the European Corn Borer (ECB) (Ostrinia nubilalis) and pink borers (Sesamia spp.);

D.  whereas the placing on the market of genetically modified MON 810 maize seeds for cultivation was initially authorised pursuant to Council Directive 90/220/EEC(8) by Commission Decision 98/294/EC(9); whereas on 3 August 1998, France granted consent to Monsanto Europe S.A. (hereinafter ‘Monsanto’) for the placing on the market of MON 810 maize products;

E.  whereas, pursuant to Article 26c(2) of Directive 2001/18/EC, the cultivation of genetically modified MON 810 maize shall be prohibited in the following territories: Wallonia (Belgium); Bulgaria; Denmark; Germany (except for research purposes); Greece; France; Croatia; Italy; Cyprus; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Hungary; Malta; the Netherlands; Austria; Poland; Slovenia; Northern Ireland (United Kingdom); Scotland (United Kingdom); Wales (United Kingdom);

F.  whereas, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), evidence indicates that approximately 95 %-99 % of the pollen released is deposited within some 50 metres of the pollen source, though vertical wind movements or gusts during pollen shedding can lift pollen up high into the atmosphere and distribute it over significant distances of up to several kilometres;

G.  whereas EFSA arbitrarily excluded cross-pollination in maize from the scope of its scientific opinions on MON 810 maize, thereby overlooking the potential risks to biological diversity;

H.  whereas teosintes, the ancestors of cultivated maize, have been present in Spain since 2009; whereas teosinte populations might become recipients for transgenic DNA stemming from genetically engineered MON 810 maize, which is cultivated in Spain in some of the regions where teosinte is spreading widely; whereas gene flow to teosinte may occur, causing it to produce the Bt toxin, and confer greater fitness to the hybrids of maize and teosinte in comparison with the native teosinte plants; whereas this is a scenario carrying major risks for farmers and the environment;

I.  whereas the Spanish competent authorities informed the Commission about the presence of teosinte in Spanish maize fields, including the very limited presence in GM maize fields; whereas the available information indicates, in addition, that teosinte has also been identified in France;

J.  whereas on 13 July 2016, the Commission requested that EFSA assess by the end of September 2016 whether, based on the existing scientific literature and any other relevant information, new evidence has emerged which would change the conclusions and recommendations of the EFSA scientific opinions on cultivation of the genetically modified maizes MON 810, Bt11, 1507 and GA21;

K.  whereas in point 22 of its draft implementing decision the Commission claims that, as regards local mortality, EFSA considered two levels of ‘acceptable’ local mortality (0,5 % and 1 %), but whereas in its scientific opinion adopted on 28 May 2015 updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target Lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt-maize pollen, EFSA actually clearly states that ‘any specific protection level used here for illustration by the EFSA GMO Panel is intended as an example only’ and that ‘any threshold applied must, by necessity, be arbitrary and should be subject to amendment according to the protection goals in operation within the EU’;

L.  whereas in its draft implementing decision the Commission chose the level of local mortality of below 0,5 % and provides in its annex for arbitrary isolation distances of at least 5 metres between a MON 810 maize field and a protected habitat as defined in Article 2(3) of Directive 2004/35/EC, despite the fact that EFSA clearly states, as confirmed, that imposing an isolation distance of 20 metres around a protected habitat from the nearest crop of maize Bt11/MON 810, which is four times further than the distance proposed by the Commission, would be expected to reduce local mortality even of highly sensitive non-target lepidopteran larvae to a level below 0,5 %;

M.  whereas in its scientific opinion adopted on 28 May 2015 updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target Lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats, EFSA stated that ‘currently, there are insufficient data available to allow Bt-related larval mortality to be put into the context of overall mortality’;

N.  whereas there is a record of continuous lack of enforcement of post-market environmental monitoring, as EFSA observes that the 2014 PMEM report shows partial non-compliance with the implementation of non-Bt refugia in Spain as observed in previous years, and that methodological shortcomings similar to those found in previous annual PMEM reports on MON 810 maize were identified in the analysis of farmer questionnaires and the conduct of the literature review;

O.  whereas the EFSA GMO Panel strongly reiterates in vain each year its recommendations on MON 810 post-market environmental monitoring, namely to provide more detailed information on the sampling methodology, reduce the possibility of selection bias in farmer questionnaires and ensure that all relevant scientific publications are identified; whereas, with regard to improving the sampling frame of the farmer survey, the GMO Panel reiterates in vain each year the importance of national GMO cultivation registers and its recommendations to consent holders to consider how they may make best use of the information recorded in national registers and foster dialogue with those responsible for the administration of these registers where MON 810 maize is cultivated;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers the risk assessment on the cultivation conducted by EFSA to be incomplete and the risk management recommendations proposed by the Commission to be inadequate;

3.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the objective of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, the environment and consumer interests in relation to genetically modified food and feed, whilst ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

4.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect resistant maize MON 810. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(12):3017 [98 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.3017.
(4) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations for the cultivation of the genetically modified insect resistant maize Bt11 and MON 810. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(12):3016 [32 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.3016.
(5) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion updating risk management recommendations to limit exposure of non-target Lepidoptera of conservation concern in protected habitats to Bt-maize pollen. EFSA Journal 2015; 13(7):4127 [31 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4127.
(6) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), 2016. Scientific opinion on the annual post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) report on the cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 in 2014 from Monsanto Europe S.A. EFSA Journal 2016; 14(4):4446 [26 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4446.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0036.
(8) Council Directive 90/220/EEC of 23 April 1990 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms (OJ L 117, 8.5.1990, p. 15).
(9) Commission Decision 98/294/EC of 22 April 1998 concerning the placing on the market of genetically modified maize (Zea mays L. line MON 810), pursuant to Council Directive 90/220/EEC (OJ L 131, 5.5.1998, p. 32).


Placing on the market of genetically modified maize MON 810 products
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of genetically modified maize MON 810 (MON-ØØ81Ø-6) products pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D046169/00 – 2016/2922(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0389B8-1084/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of genetically modified maize MON 810 (MON-ØØ81Ø-6) products pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D046169/00),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 11(3) and 23(3) thereof,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the vote held on 8 July 2016 in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, with no opinion being delivered,

–  having regard to the European Food Safety Authority Scientific Opinion of 6 December 2012(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 December 2015 on Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/2279 of 4 December 2015 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × T25 (MON-ØØ6Ø3-6 × ACS-ZMØØ3-2) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87705 × MON 89788 (MON-877Ø5-6 × MON-89788-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 (MON-877Ø8-9 × MON-89788-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two or three of the events Bt11, MIR162, MIR604 and GA21, and repealing Decisions 2010/426/EU, 2011/893/EU, 2011/892/EU and 2011/894/EU(8),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 11 and 18 April 2007, Monsanto Europe S.A. submitted three applications to the Commission, in accordance with Articles 11 and 23 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, for the renewal of the authorisation of existing foods, food ingredients and feed produced from maize MON 810, of the authorisation of feed containing and consisting of maize MON 810 and of the authorisation of maize MON 810 in products consisting of it or containing it for other uses than food and feed, as any other maize, including cultivation; whereas after the date of the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, those products were notified to the Commission pursuant to Article 8(1)(a) and (b) and Article 20(1)(b) of that Regulation and included in the Community Register of genetically modified food and feed;

B.  whereas on 9 March 2016, Monsanto Europe S.A. sent a letter to the Commission requesting that the part of the application concerning cultivation be considered separately from the rest of the application;

C.  whereas the genetically modified MON-ØØ81Ø-6 maize as described in the application expresses the Cry1Ab protein, derived from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, which confers protection against predation by certain lepidopteran insect pests, including the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) and pink borers (Sesamia spp.);

D.  whereas the draft Commission implementing decision was voted on in the Standing Committee on 8 July 2016, with no opinion being delivered;

E.  whereas two major reasons for a negative vote or abstention by the Member States was the lack of long-term feeding and toxicity studies and insufficient risk assessment;

F.  whereas the draft Commission implementing decision was voted on in the Appeal Committee on 15 September 2016 and has again received no opinion, with 12 Member States representing 38,74 % of the EU population voting in favour, 11 Member States representing 18,01 % of the EU population voting against, 4 Member States representing 43,08 % of the EU population abstaining and 1 Member State representing 0,17 % being absent during the vote;

G.  whereas on 22 April 2015 the Commission deplored in the explanatory memorandum to its legislative proposal amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, the Commission deplored the fact that since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 authorisation decisions had been adopted by the Commission, in accordance with the applicable legislation, without the support of opinions of Member State committees and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for the final decision, which was very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, had become the norm for decision-making on genetically modified (GM) food and feed authorisations;

H.  whereas the legislative proposal of 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 was rejected by Parliament on 28 October 2015 on the grounds that, while cultivation necessarily takes place on a Member State’s territory, GMO trade crosses borders, which means that a national ‘sales and use’ ban proposed by the Commission could be impossible to enforce without reintroducing border checks on imports; whereas Parliament rejected the legislative proposal amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and called on the Commission to withdraw its proposal and to submit a new one;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the objective of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, environment and consumer interests in relation to genetically modified food and feed, whilst ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

4.  Calls on the Commission to submit a new legislative proposal on the basis of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 to take into account frequently expressed national concerns which do not relate only to issues associated with the safety of GMOs for health or the environment;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion updating the risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on the genetically modified insect resistant maize MON 810. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(12):3017 [98 pp.], doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.3017.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0456.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0040.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0039.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0038.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0271.


Placing on the market of genetically modified cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913 (DAS-24236-5×DAS-21Ø23-5×MON-88913-8) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D046168/00 – 2016/2923(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0390B8-1088/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913 (DAS-24236-5×DAS-21Ø23-5×MON-88913-8) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D046168/00),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Article 7(3) and Article 19(3) thereof,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the vote held on 8 July 2016 in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, with no opinion being delivered,

–  having regard to the opinion delivered by the European Food Safety Authority on 9 March 2016(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 December 2015 on Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/2279 of 4 December 2015 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × T25 (MON-ØØ6Ø3-6 × ACS-ZMØØ3-2) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87705 × MON 89788 (MON-877Ø5-6 × MON-89788-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 (MON-877Ø8-9 × MON-89788-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two or three of the events Bt11, MIR162, MIR604 and GA21, and repealing Decisions 2010/426/EU, 2011/893/EU, 2011/892/EU and 2011/894/EU(8),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, on 12 March 2009, Dow AgroSciences Europe submitted to the competent authority of the Netherlands an application, in accordance with Articles 5 and 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients, and feed containing, consisting of, or produced from 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913 cotton;

B.  whereas the genetically modified DAS-24236-5×DAS-21Ø23-5×MON-88913-8 cotton, as described in the application, expresses the phosphinothricin acetyl transferase (PAT) protein which confers tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium herbicides and the modified CP4 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate synthase (CP4EPSPS) protein which confers tolerance to glyphosate herbicides, Cry1F and Cry1Ac proteins, conferring protection against certain lepidopteran insect pests, and whereas the International Agency for Research on Cancer – the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organisation – classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans on 20 March 2015(9);

C.  whereas the draft Commission implementing decision was voted on in the Standing Committee on 8 July 2016, with no opinion being delivered;

D.  whereas the draft Commission implementing decision was voted on in the Appeal Committee on 15 September 2016 and once again no opinion was delivered, with 11 Member States representing 38,66 % of the EU population voting in favour, 14 Member States representing 33,17 % of the EU population voting against, 2 Member States representing 28 % of the EU population abstaining and 1 Member State representing 0,17 % of the EU population being absent during the vote;

E.  whereas on 22 April 2015 the Commission deplored in the explanatory memorandum to its legislative proposal amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions had been adopted by the Commission, in accordance with the applicable legislation, without the support of the opinions of Member State committees and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for the final decision, which was very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, had become the norm for decision-making on genetically modified (GM) food and feed authorisations;

F.  whereas the legislative proposal of 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 was rejected by Parliament on 28 October 2015(10) on the grounds that, while cultivation necessarily takes place on a Member State’s territory, GMO trade crosses borders, which means that a national ‘sales and use’ ban proposed by the Commission could be impossible to enforce without reintroducing border checks on imports; whereas Parliament rejected the legislative proposal amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and called on the Commission to withdraw its proposal and to submit a new one;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the objective of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, environment and consumer interests in relation to genetically modified food and feed, whilst ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

4.  Calls on the Commission to submit a new legislative proposal on the basis of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 to take into account frequently expressed national concerns which do not relate only to issues associated with the safety of GMOs for health or the environment;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Scientific Opinion on an application by Dow Agrosciences LLC (EFSA-GMO-NL-2009-68) for placing on the market of cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913 for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003. EFSA Journal 2016; 14(4):4430 [21 pp.]; doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4430.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0456.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0040.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0039.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0038.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0271.
(9) IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides, 20 March 2015.http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0379.

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