Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 2 February 2017 - BrusselsFinal edition
An integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity
 Cross-border aspects of adoptions
 Bilateral safeguard clause and stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement ***I
 Sustainable management of external fishing fleets ***I
 Third countries whose nationals are subject to or exempt from a visa requirement: Georgia ***I
 Rule of law crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Gabon
 Implementation of Erasmus+

An integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity
PDF 282kWORD 61k
European Parliament resolution of 2 February 2017 on an integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity (2016/2143(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0012A8-0381/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which specifies the purposes of the EU sport policy,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 18 January 2011 entitled ‘Developing the European Dimension in Sport’ (COM(2011)0012),

–  having regard to the Report of the EU Expert Group on Good Governance on "the Principles for Good Governance of Sport in the EU of October 2013",

–  having regard to the Report of the High Level group on Grassroots Sport on "Grassroots Sport – Shaping Europe" of June 2016,

–  having regard to the Report of the High Level group on Sport Diplomacy of June 2016,

–  having regard to the Erasmus+ programme, which aims to tackle cross-border threats to the integrity of sport, promote and support good governance in sport, dual careers of sportspeople and voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion and equal opportunities,

–  having regard to the Commission White Paper on Sport (COM(2007)0391),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 June 2015 on recent revelations on high-level corruption cases in FIFA(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2013 on organised crime, corruption and money laundering: recommendations on action and initiatives to be taken(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 September 2013 on online gambling in the internal market(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2013 on match-fixing and corruption in sport(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2012 on the European dimension in sport(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 May 2008 on the White Paper on Sport(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 29 March 2007 on the future of professional football in Europe(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 June 2010 on players’ agents in sports(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 November 2013 on Qatar: situation of migrant workers(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 on the role of intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and education in promoting EU fundamental values(10),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 31 May 2016 on enhancing integrity, transparency and good governance in major sport events,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 26 May 2015 on maximising the role of grassroots sport in developing transversal skills, especially among young people,

–  having regard to the Council resolution of 21 May 2014 on the European Union Work Plan for Sport (2014-2017),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 26 November 2013 on the contribution of sport to the EU economy, and in particular to addressing youth unemployment and social inclusion,

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 25 November 2013 on promoting health-enhancing physical activity across sectors,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 18 November 2010 on the role of sport as a source of and a driver for active social inclusion(11),

–  having regard to the Council of Europe convention of 3 July 2016 on an integrated safety, security and service approach at football matches and other sport events,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe convention of 18 September 2014 on the manipulation of sport competitions,

–  having regard to the case-law of the Court of Justice and General Court of the European Union and the Commission’s decisions on sport matters, betting and gambling,

–  having regard to the Global Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals,

–  having regard to Article 6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education (A8-0381/2016),

A.  whereas with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, the European Union acquired a specific competence for sport to build up and implement an EU-coordinated sport policy supported by a specific budget line, and to develop cooperation with international bodies in the area of sport, whilst taking into account the specific nature of sport and respecting the autonomy of sport’s governing structures;

B.  whereas sport plays a prominent role in the life of millions of EU citizens; whereas amateur and professional sport is not merely a matter of athletic abilities, sporting achievements and competitions, but also brings a significant social, educational, economic, cultural and unifying contribution to the EU’s economy and society, as well as to the EU’s strategic objectives and social values;

C.  whereas sport represents a significant and fast-growing sector of the EU economy and makes a valuable contribution to growth, jobs and society, including at local level, with value added and employment effects exceeding average growth rates; whereas sport-related employment has been estimated at equivalent to 3,51 % of total EU employment, and the share of sport-related gross value added at EUR 294 billion (2,98 % of total EU gross value added);

D.  whereas sport is not only a growing economic reality, but also a social phenomenon which makes an important contribution to the European Union’s strategic objectives, and to social values such as tolerance, solidarity, prosperity, peace, respect for human rights and understanding among nations and cultures;

E.  whereas practicing sports contributes to a better quality of life, prevents diseases and plays a fundamental role in strengthening personal development and health condition;

F.  whereas compliance with basic labour rights is essential for professional athletes;

G.  whereas sport also contributes to the integration of people and transcends race, religion and ethnicity;

H.  whereas the integrity of sport is of paramount importance if its credibility and its attractiveness is to be promoted;

I.  whereas sport has a specific nature that is based on voluntary structures and that is a prerequisite of its educational and societal functions;

J.  whereas recent corruption scandals in sport, and within sports organisations at European and international levels, have tarnished the image of sport, raising voices and questions about the need for genuine and structural reforms of sport governing bodies and organisations while taking into account the great diversity of sport structures in different European countries and the fact that sports organisations are by their nature largely self-regulated;

K.  whereas both professional and grassroots sports play a key role in the global promotion of peace, respect for human rights and solidarity, carry health and economic benefits for societies and have an essential role in highlighting fundamental educational and cultural values, as well as in promoting social inclusion;

L.  whereas good governance in sport should respect the appropriate regulation of sport through principles of effective, transparent, ethical and democratic management, participatory governance, processes and structures with the participation of stakeholders;

M.  whereas sports organisations are responsible for ensuring high governance and integrity standards and should raise these further, and adhere them it in all circumstances, in order to restore citizens’ confidence and increase public trust in the positive value of sport;

N.  whereas balanced policies that aim to increase financial transparency, stability and credibility in sport are key to improving financial and governance standards;

O.  whereas the European organised sport model is based on the principles of territoriality and nationality, with one federation per discipline, and on solidarity mechanisms between elite and grassroots sports, as well as on promotion-relegation, open competitions and financial redistribution;

P.  whereas the recognition of the principle of a single federation per sport is of particular relevance and is rooted in the social importance of sport as the best means of safeguarding the interests of sport and the benefits that it delivers to society;

Q.  whereas it is legitimate and necessary for all stakeholders to require that any sport competition be played and decided in accordance with the internationally recognised rules of the game;

R.  whereas sport tribunals have a central role to play in guaranteeing the universality of the rules of the game, the right to a fair trial in sport-related disputes and good governance, since they constitute the most appropriate means of settling disputes in sport in compliance with fundamental EU procedural rights;

S.  whereas the increasing amounts of money circulating in the sport sector and in the organisations involved have prompted demands for better governance and transparency; whereas sport, as an economic activity, is confronted with a series of match-fixing scandals involving various other crimes and illegal activities such as money laundering, corruption and bribery;

T.  whereas increasing practices of doping remains a threat to the integrity and reputation of sport in that it violates sport’s ethical values and principles such as fair play, and whereas the use of doping seriously jeopardises the health of the athletes concerned, often causing serious and permanent damage, and whereas the fight against doping is a matter of public interest and public health;

U.  whereas any act of violence, hooliganism and discrimination directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group, whether in an amateur or a professional sport, tarnishes its image and discourages spectators from attending sport events;

V.  whereas promoting sport for people with intellectual or physical disabilities should be a key priority at European, national and local level;

W.  whereas women’s participation and visibility in sport and sport competitions needs to be improved;

X.  whereas athletes, in particular minors, face increasing economic pressures, and are treated as commodities, and have therefore to be protected against any form of abuse, violence or discrimination that may occur in the course of their participation in sport;

Y.  whereas there is a growing, worrying trend of third-party ownership in team sports in Europe whereby players, who are often very young, are partially or integrally owned by private investors and can no longer determine the future paths of their careers;

Z.  whereas bad practices linked to agents and players’ transfers have led to cases of money laundering, fraud and exploitation of minors;

AA.  whereas grassroots sports offer opportunities to tackle discrimination, foster social inclusion, cohesion and integration, and make a strong contribution to the development of transversal skills;

AB.  whereas an increasing number of clubs rely mainly on the transfer market to compose their teams when they should pay more attention to local training;

AC.  whereas sport is perceived as a fundamental right of everyone, and whereas everyone should have equal right to engage in physical activity and sport;

AD.  whereas, overall, physical activity is stagnating despite hard evidence that it improves personal health, including mental health, and well-being, as a result of which Member States make significant savings in terms of public expenditures on health, and despite a growing trend for recreational sports, such as jogging, which are also practised outside of any organised structures;

AE.  whereas sport events and activities, and in particular major international competitions, showcase the benefits of sport and have a positive social, economic and environmental impact;

AF.  whereas national teams play an essential role not only in terms of fostering national identity and inspiring young athletes to reach the highest level of sporting performance, but also by promoting solidarity with grassroots sports;

AG.  whereas the further education and vocational training of athletes is a crucial part of preparing them for their careers at the end of their sporting careers;

AH.  whereas investment in and promotion of the training and education of talented young athletes at local level is crucial for the long-term development and societal role of sports;

AI.  whereas volunteers are the backbone of organised sport, providing for the development and accessibility of sport activities, especially at grassroots level; whereas, in addition, it offers a further excellent training and non-formal education opportunity for young people, also internationally and in association with cooperation and development programmes in non-EU areas in which dialogue needs to be strengthened and EU external policy supported;

AJ.  whereas sport, in its broadest sense, represents a value system for a community, and whereas these values form the basis of a shared language that goes beyond all cultural and linguistic barriers; whereas it can help, and should be considered an opportunity, to strengthen dialogue and solidarity with third countries, to promote the protection of basic human rights and freedoms worldwide and to support EU external policy;

AK.  whereas infringements of sports organisations’ intellectual property rights, including in the form of digital piracy, especially the unlicensed live transmission of sporting events, raise serious concerns for the long-term funding of sport, at all levels;

AL.  whereas the freedom of press must be ensured at all sport events;

AM.  whereas sport can contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy;

Integrity and good-governance of sports

1.  Repeats that fighting corruption in sport requires transnational efforts and cooperation among all stakeholders, including public authorities, law enforcement agencies, the sports industry, athletes and supporters;

2.  Calls on international, European and national sports organisations to commit to good governance practices, and to develop a culture of transparency and sustainable financing, by making financial records and activity accounts, including disclosure obligations as to the compensation of top executives and term limits, publicly available;

3.  Is of the opinion that developing a culture of transparency must be complemented by a better separation of powers within the sports governing bodies, better division between commercial and charitable activities and better internal self-regulatory procedures to advance, detect, investigate and sanction sport crimes and illegal activities within the sports organisations;

4.  Recalls that good governance, which should be a priority in the next EU Work Plan for sport, must be a condition for the autonomy of sports organisations, in compliance with the principles of transparency, accountability, equal opportunities, social inclusion and democracy, including appropriate stakeholder inclusiveness;

5.  Stresses the need for a zero-tolerance policy to corruption and other types of crime in sports;

6.  Underlines that the application of good governance principles in sport, together with monitoring, supervision and appropriate legal instruments, is a key factor to help eradicate corruption and other malpractices;

7.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, and on sports organisations and bidding entities, to ensure that bidding to host major events comply with good governance standards, with human and labour rights, and with the principle of democracy, in order to ensure a positive social, economic and environmental impact on local communities, whilst respecting diversity and traditions with a view to guaranteeing a sustainable legacy and credibility for sport;

8.  Is of the opinion that countries bidding for or hosting sport events need to implement socially, environmentally and economic responsible planning, organisation, implementation, participation and a follow-up of those events; calls on sports organisations and countries hosting such events to avoid undesired changes in the living environment of local residents, including the displacement of local populations;

9.  Calls on the Commission to develop a pledge board, and to explore the possibility of creating a code of conduct in the areas of good governance and integrity in sport; is of the opinion that sports organisations should lay down transparency rules, ethical standards, a code of conduct for their supervisory bodies, executive committees and members, as well as operational policies and practices to guarantee independence and compliance with the established rules; believes, furthermore, that exploring new instruments for cooperation between governments, sports organisations and the EU can help address some of the current challenges facing the sports industry;

10.  Urges the Member States to make public funding for sports conditional, subject to compliance with established and publicly available minimum governance, monitoring and reporting standards;

11.  Believes that improving good governance and integrity in sports requires a change in the mind-set of all relevant stakeholders; supports the initiatives taken by sports organisations and other relevant stakeholders to improve governance standards in sports and to enhance dialogue and cooperation with local and national authorities;

12.  Calls on sports organisations to put forward by 2018, and duly implement, concrete proposals to enhance good governance standards for sports organisations, sports governing bodies and their member associations, and to publish the outcomes; stresses that appropriate monitoring is essential in this regard;

13.  Calls on the Member States to establish match fixing as a specific criminal offence and to ensure that any criminal activity, such as match fixing and corruption in sports, is subject to judicial proceedings and appropriate sanction, where this is not already the case, as match fixing and the manipulation of sport competitions violate the ethics and integrity of sports and are already subject to sanctions by sports authorities;

14.  Points out that the challenges associated with the investigation of international cases of match-fixing require cross-border information-sharing and cooperation between sports bodies, state authorities and betting operators, within the framework of national platforms, in order to detect, investigate and prosecute match-fixing; calls on the Member States to consider introducing, where they have not already done so, dedicated prosecution services tasked specifically with investigating sports fraud cases; recalls that the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive introduces a requirement for gambling providers to carry out due diligence checks on high transactions;

15.  Urges the Council to find a solution that will allow the EU and its Member States to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions with a view to enabling its full implementation and ratification, and urges the Commission to support and facilitate this process and ensure that it is followed up effectively;

16.  Reminds the Commission of its promise to issue a recommendation on the exchange of best practices in preventing and combating betting-related match rigging, and urges it to publish this recommendation without delay;

17.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen interinstitutional links with the Council of Europe and, subsequently, to develop coordinated operational programmes ensuring the most efficient use of resources;

18.  Supports, and further encourages, prevention, education and awareness-raising campaigns and information programmes serving to provide athletes, coaches, officials and relevant stakeholders at all levels with advice on the threats of match fixing, doping and other integrity-related matters, including risks they may encounter and ways in which they can report doubtful approaches; calls on the Commission and the Member States to propose concrete measures to be included in the next EU Work Plan, such as pilot programmes and projects, aimed at ensuring that young persons are given civic education in sports at as early an age as possible;

19.  Calls on the Commission to continue to support anti-doping projects through the Erasmus+ programme, while assessing its impact and ensuring that it complements in a useful way existing anti-doping funding schemes;

20.  Calls on the Commission to support good governance in sports management projects throughout the Erasmus+ programme;

21.  Calls on the Member States to support doping controls, national testing programmes and legislations allowing coordination and information-sharing between state authorities, sports organisations and anti-doping agencies; calls on the Member States to enable the latter to establish extensive monitoring programmes for doping, and to process and exchange data in accordance with current and future EU data protection rules;

22.  Notes the importance of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the monitoring and coordination of anti-doping policies and rules all over the world; calls on the Commission and the Member States to work closely with WADA, UNESCO and the Council of Europe with a view to preventing and combating doping more effectively by reinforcing the legal and political commitments of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADAC); calls on the EU to encourage the exchange of information and best practices on health and prevention policies in the fight against doping worldwide;

23.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to encourage and facilitate the negotiation of agreements between countries permitting duly authorised doping control teams from other countries to conduct testing, respecting athletes’ fundamental rights, in accordance with the International Convention against doping in sport;

24.  Is of the opinion that doping is also a growing problem in the recreational sports sector, where education and information campaigns, and experienced and professional instructors and trainers, are needed to help promote healthy behaviour with regard to doping;

25.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to work closely with WADA and the Council of Europe in defining a policy to protect whistleblowers;

26.  Encourages sports organisations and national public authorities to establish coordinated anti-doping systems for cross-border monitoring, and to take concrete measures against the manufacture and trafficking of illegal performance-enhancing substances in the sports world;

27.  Welcomes the new Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events, and urges the Member States to sign and ratify it without delay; reiterates its proposal for the introduction of the mutual recognition of stadium bans in Europe and the exchange of data in this regard;

28.  Calls on the Commission to explore ways of information sharing in the context of violence in sports through the existing networks;

29.  Notes that the threat of terrorism requires new efforts to ensure operational safety and security at sports events;

30.  Stresses that sports bodies should ensure necessary access and news-gathering opportunities at all sport events for independent news media in order to allow them to fulfil their role as important and critical observers of sport events and of the administration of sports;

31.  Condemns strongly all forms of discrimination and violence in sport, both on and off the field, and underlines the need to prevent such behaviour at all levels, to improve the reporting and monitoring of such incidents and to promote core values such as respect, friendship, tolerance and fair play; is of the opinion that sports organisations abiding by high standards of good governance are better equipped to promote the societal role of sports and to fight racism, discrimination and violence;

32.  Recalls the need to boost the fight against human trafficking in sports, in particular the trafficking of children;

33.  Welcomes good, self-regulatory practices, such as the Financial Fair Play initiative, in that they encourages more economic rationality and better standards of financial management in professional sports, with a focus on the long-term as opposed to the short-term, thereby contributing to the healthy and sustainable development of sport in Europe; emphasises that Financial Fair Play has encouraged better financial management standards and should therefore be applied strictly;

34.  Welcomes transparent and sustainable investment in sports and sports organisations, provided that they are subject to strict controls and disclosure requirements and are not detrimental to the integrity of competitions and athletes;

35.  Considers the ownership model whereby club members retain control of the club (through the 50+1 rule) as a good practice in the EU, and invites the Member States, sports governing bodies, national federations and leagues to start a constructive dialogue on, and exchange of, this model;

36.  Stresses that athletes, in particular minors, must be protected from abusive practices such as third-party ownership, which raise numerous questions of integrity and broader ethical concerns; supports decisions by governing bodies to ban third-party ownership of players, and calls on the Commission to consider the prohibition of third-party ownership under EU law and to invite the Member States to take additional measures to address the rights of athletes;

37.  Considers that a reassessment of the rules promoting local players is required in order to broaden the opportunities for talented young players to play in their clubs’ first team and thus improve the competitive balance across Europe;

38.  Calls on governing bodies and national authorities at all levels to take measures that guarantee compensation to training clubs with a view to encouraging the recruitment and training of young players, in accordance with the Bernard ruling of the European Court of Justice of 16 March 2010;

39.  Reiterates its attachment to the European organised sports model, where federations play a central role, insofar as it balances the numerous diverging interests between all stakeholders, such as athletes, players, clubs, leagues, associations and volunteers, with appropriate and democratic representation and transparency mechanisms in decision-making, and with open competitions based on sporting merit; calls for more financial solidarity at all levels;

40.  Welcomes the annual EU Sport Forum, promoting dialogue with stakeholders from international and European sport federations, the Olympic movement, European and national sport umbrella organisations and other sport-related organisations; points out that the dialogue structure with stakeholders, the functions of the forum and the follow-up of the discussion need to be improved further;

41.  Welcomes the efforts of the Commission, and of all concerned stakeholders, to promote social dialogue in sport, which is an excellent opportunity to provide a balance between the fundamental and labour rights of sportspeople and the economic nature of sport by involving all stakeholders, including social partners, in the discussion and conclusion of agreements; acknowledges the responsibility of sporting organisations to commit to developing a culture of transparency; insists that the EU should actively promote minimum employment and labour standards for professional athletes across Europe;

42.  Reiterates its call for the establishment of transparency registers for the payment of sports agents, underpinned by an efficient monitoring system such as a clearing house for payments and appropriate sanctions, in cooperation with relevant public authorities, in order to tackle agent malpractice; repeats its call for the licensing and registration of sports agents, as well as the introduction of a minimum level of qualifications; calls on the Commission to follow-up on the conclusions of its "Study on sports agents in the European Union", in particular with regard to the observation that agents are central in financial streams that often are not transparent, making them prone to illegal activities;

43.  Believes that an integrated approach to gender equality in sports can help avoid stereotypes and create a positive social environment for all; welcomes initiatives that encourage gender equality and equal participation in decision-making roles in sports, enable female athletes to reconcile their family and professional sport life, and seek to reduce gender-based remuneration gap and award disparities, as well as any kind of stereotypes and harassment in sports; calls on sports organisations to pay particular attention to the gender dimension by encouraging women participation in sports;

Social inclusion, social function and accessibility of sport

44.  Believes that investing in sports will help us build united and inclusive societies, move barriers and enable people to respect each other by building bridges across cultures and across ethnic and social divides, and to promote a positive message of shared values, such as mutual respect, tolerance, compassion, leadership, equality of opportunity and the rule of law;

45.  Welcomes transnational sporting events staged in various European countries insofar as they contribute to the promotion of key shared values of the EU such as pluralism, tolerance, justice, equality and solidarity; recalls that sporting activities and events promote tourism in European towns, cities and territories;

46.  Underlines the value of transversal skills acquired through sports as part of non-formal and informal learning, and further stresses the link between sports employability, education and training;

47.  Emphasises the role of sport in the inclusion and integration of disadvantaged groups; welcomes initiatives to give refugees, migrants and asylum seekers the possibility to compete as athletes at sport competitions;

48.  Underlines the importance of education through sport and the potential of sport to help get socially vulnerable youngsters back on track; recognises the importance of grassroots sports in preventing and fighting radicalisation, and encourages and supports initiatives in this respect; welcomes two pilot projects adopted by the European Parliament: "Sport as a tool for integration and social inclusion of the refugees" and "Monitoring and coaching through sports of youngsters at risk of radicalisation";

49.  Recalls that young European athletes are often faced with the challenge of combining their sports careers with education and work; recognises that higher education and vocational training are crucial to the aim of maximising the future inclusion of athletes in the labour market; supports the introduction of effective dual-career systems, with minimum quality requirements and appropriate monitoring of the progress of dual-career programmes in Europe, as well as the provision of career guidance services through agreements with universities or institutes of higher education; calls on the Commission and the Member States to facilitate the cross-border mobility of athletes, to harmonise the recognition of sport and education qualifications, including non-formal and informal education acquired through sports, and to strengthen the exchange of good practises;

50.  Underlines the need to ensure sustainable financial support for dual-career exchange programmes at EU and national level through the Erasmus+ Sport chapter and to foster further research in this area; calls on the Member States to promote, in collaboration with educational institutions, cross-border exchanges of athletes and to provide access to scholarships for athletes;

51.  Supports the mobility of coaches and other service providers (such as physiotherapists and dual-career advisers), and the exchange of good practices, with a focus on the recognition of qualifications and of technical innovations;

52.  Calls on sports organisations to promote, together with the Member States, minimum standards for coaches that include criminal record checks, training in the safeguarding and protection of minors and vulnerable adults, as well as in preventing and combating doping and match fixing;

53.  Stresses that lack of physical activity is identified by WHO as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, with considerable direct and indirect social and economic impacts and costs for Member States; is concerned that, notwithstanding the considerable costs expended to promote physical activity, and despite the significant impact on general health of the lack of it, physical activity levels are falling across some Member States;

54.  Calls on sports organisations and the Member States to cooperate on supporting the employability and mobility of coaches seeking to work across the EU, through a commitment to ensure quality controls of coaching competence and standards of qualification and training;

55.  Encourages the Member States and the Commission to make physical activity a political priority in the next EU Work Plan on Sport, especially for young people and vulnerable communities from socially deprived areas where physical participation is low;

56.  Calls on international and national federations, and on other providers of education, to ensure that issues pertaining to integrity in sport are included in the curriculum of sport coaching qualifications;

57.  Underlines that the promotion of physical education in schools is an essential entry point for children when it comes to learning life skills, attitudes, values, knowledge and understanding, as well as to enjoying lifelong physical activity; recalls that the participation in sports at universities and by older people play a vital role in maintaining healthy lifestyles and promoting social interaction;

58.  Takes into account the fact that the EU population is ageing, and that specific attention should therefore be paid to the positive impact that physical activity can have on the health and wellbeing of the elderly;

59.  Highlights the fact that sport and physical activity should be promoted in a better way across policy sectors; encourages local authorities and municipalities to promote equal access to physical activity; recommends the Member States and the Commission to encourage citizens to pursue physical activities on a more regular basis by means of appropriate health policies and programmes for their daily lives;

60.  Calls on the Member States to promote sport better among socially excluded groups, and among people living in socially deprived areas, where participation in sport is often low, and to enhance cooperation with non-governmental organisations and schools active in this area, in particular in the urban planning and construction of sport facilities, so that the special needs of the public, and in particular of vulnerable groups, are taken into account; calls on the Member States to ensure full and equal access to public sports facilities in all areas, and to foster the establishment of new sports clubs, particularly in rural and disadvantaged urban areas;

61.  Stresses that disabled people should have equal access to all sports facilities, and to the transport and other facilities – and the competent support staff – that this requires, and calls for greater integration of all sports-related components according to the principle that sports facilities should be accessible to all; urges the Member States to implement inclusive sport programmes for disabled people at schools and universities, including by providing trained coaches and adapted physical activity programmes, starting at lower levels at schools, so that pupils and students with disabilities can participate in sport lessons and in extra-curricular sport activities;

62.  Recognises the fundamental role of the International Paralympic Games in fostering awareness, fighting discrimination and promoting access to sport for disabled people; calls on the Member States to step up the efforts towards the inclusion in sport activities of persons with disabilities, and to increase public media visibility and broadcasting of the Paralympic Games and other competitions involving disabled athletes;

63.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to ensure that children practise sports in a safe environment;

64.  Welcomes the initiatives taken to promote inclusion, integrity and accessibility in sports through the use of new technologies and innovation;

65.  Welcomes the success of the European Week of Sport, which aims to promote sport, physical activity and a healthier lifestyle for all across Europe regardless of age, background or fitness level, and calls on all EU institutions and Member States to take part in, and further promote, this initiative, while ensuring that it is accessible to the widest possible audience, particularly in schools;

66.  Considers that traditional sports are part of the European cultural heritage;

67.  Welcomes the Commission’s study on the specificity of sport; calls on the Commission and sports organisations to consider further steps to develop sport specificity;

68.  Stresses that funding is an important EU policy tool used to improve key fields of EU activity in sport; calls on the Commission to allocate more funds to sport under Erasmus+, with a focus on grassroots sports and education, and to enhance its visibility and accessibility in order to improve the mainstreaming of sport into other funding programmes such as the ESIF or the Health Programme; calls for better communication between the Commission and the Member States to allow these funds to be used more effectively and to minimise the administrative burden on grassroots sports organisations;

69.  Encourages the Member States and the Commission to support measures and programmes promoting the mobility, participation, education, skills development and training of volunteers in sport, as well as the recognition of their work; recommends the exchange of best practices in volunteering by lending a hand in promoting the growth of sports practice and culture, including through the lines provided for by the Erasmus+ programme;

70.  Asks the Commission to issue guidelines on the application of state aid rules in sport taking into account the social, cultural and educational goals in order to bring more legal certainty; considers, in this regard, that no sports organisations, in particular grassroots sports organisations, should be discriminated against when applying for public funding at national and local level;

71.  Considers it crucial that financial solidarity mechanisms within sports establish the necessary link between professional and amateur sports; welcomes, in this regard, the contribution made by national lotteries to grassroots sports, and encourages Member States to make licensed betting operators subject to mandatory and fair financial return to grassroots sports and projects aimed at improving mass-access to sports, with a view to ensuring their sustainability, transparency and traceability, in complement to the financial contributions already made by the selling of media and broadcasting rights;

72.  Maintains that the selling of TV rights on a centralised, exclusive and territorial basis, with equitable sharing of revenues, is essential to the sustainable funding of sport at all levels and to ensuring a level playing field;

73.  Emphasises that infringements of intellectual property rights in sport threaten its long-term funding;

74.  Recommends the Member States to introduce and use actively their respective tax systems to support VAT exemption, tax breaks and other forms of financial incentives in grassroots sport; recognises that State Aid rules should not apply to such support;

75.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to allocate more funds to open public sports grounds and playgrounds in order to enhance easy accessibility to grassroots sports;

76.  Considers that sustainability and environmental protection should be an integral part of sports events and that sport stakeholders should contribute towards the Global Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals;

77.  Encourages the national Olympic committees and sports federations of the Member States to adopt and use the EU flag and symbol, together with individual flags and national symbols, on the occasion of international sports events;

78.  Emphasises that sport is a powerful factor in creating and strengthening a feeling of local, national and even European belonging;

79.  Stresses the importance of having full transparency of ownership in professional sports clubs;

o
o   o

80.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and to the European, international and national sports federations and leagues.

(1) OJ C 407, 4.11.2016, p. 81.
(2) OJ C 208, 10.6.2016, p. 89.
(3) OJ C 93, 9.3.2016, p. 42.
(4) OJ C 36, 29.1.2016, p. 137.
(5) OJ C 239 E, 20.8.2013, p. 46.
(6) OJ C 271 E, 12.11.2009, p. 51.
(7) OJ C 27 E, 31.1.2008, p. 232.
(8) OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 99.
(9) OJ C 436, 24.11.2016, p. 42.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0005.
(11) OJ C 326, 3.12.2010, p. 5.


Cross-border aspects of adoptions
PDF 218kWORD 59k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 2 February 2017 with recommendations to the Commission on cross border aspects of adoptions (2015/2086(INL))
P8_TA(2017)0013A8-0370/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Articles 67(4) and 81(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989, and in particular Articles 7, 21 and 35 thereof,

–  having regard to Article 2 of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography of 25 May 2000,

–  having regard to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 24 April 1963,

–  having regard to the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption,

–  having regard to the Issue Paper of the Commissioner for Human Rights on Adoption and Children: a Human Rights Perspective, published on 28 April 2011,

–  having regard to Rules 46 and 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Petitions (A8-0370/2016),

Common minimum standards for adoptions

A.  whereas in the area of adoption, it is essential that any decision should be taken in accordance with the principle of the best interests of the child, non-discrimination, and with respect for his or her fundamental rights;

B.  whereas the purpose of adoption is not to give adults the right to a child, but to give the child a stable, loving and caring environment to grow up and develop in harmoniously;

C.  whereas the adoption procedure concerns children who, at the time adoption is applied for, have not yet attained 18 years of age or the age of majority in their country of origin;

D.  whereas a good balance needs to be struck between the right of the adopted child to know its true identity and the right of the biological parents to protect theirs;

E.  whereas the relevant authorities should not consider the economic circumstances of the biological parents as the only basis and justification for the withdrawal of parental authority and giving a child up for adoption;

F.  whereas adoption proceedings should not commence before any decision withdrawing parental authority from the biological parents is final, and the latter have been given the opportunity to exhaust all legal avenues of appeal against that decision; whereas the recognition of an adoption order taken in the absence of such procedural guarantees can be refused by other Member States;

G.  whereas greater efficiency and transparency will enable improvements to be made to domestic adoption procedures and could make international adoptions easier, which could increase the number of children being adopted; whereas, in this respect, compliance with Article 21 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which all Member States have ratified, should be the primary benchmark for all procedures, measures and strategies regarding adoptions in a cross‑border context, while respecting the best interests of the child;

H.  whereas more work should be done in a determined manner in order to prevent prospective parents interested in adoption from being exploited by unscrupulous intermediary organisations, and whereas cooperation in combating crime and corruption within the EU therefore needs to be stepped up in this area as well;

I.  whereas the placement of siblings in the same adoptive family should be encouraged as far as possible, in order to spare them further trauma arising from their separation;

Intercountry adoptions under the 1993 Hague Convention

J.  whereas the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Convention), which all Member States have ratified, provides a system of administrative cooperation and recognition for intercountry adoptions, i.e. adoptions where the adopters and the child or children do not have their habitual residence in the same country;

K.  whereas the Hague Convention stipulates that recognition of intercountry adoptions is automatic in all signatory states, without the need for any specific procedure for recognition to be effective;

L.  whereas, under the Hague Convention, recognition may be refused only if the adoption is manifestly contrary to the public policy of the state concerned, taking into account the best interests of the child;

Civil justice cooperation in the field of adoption

M.  whereas judicial training in the widest sense is key to mutual trust in all areas of law, including that of adoption; whereas existing EU programmes covering judicial training and support for the European judicial network therefore need to include a stronger focus on specialised courts, such as family courts and juvenile courts;

N.  whereas citizens should be given better access to comprehensive information on the legal and procedural aspects of domestic adoption in Member States; whereas the e-Justice portal could be expanded in this connection;

O.  whereas cooperation within the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children was established in 1997, and Europe's ombudspersons on children's matters should be encouraged to cooperate and coordinate more closely in that forum; whereas efforts to do so could include involving them in existing EU-funded judicial training schemes;

P.  whereas an in‑depth analysis should be conducted, as more needs to be done to prevent and combat the cross-border trafficking of children for the purpose of adoption and to improve the proper and efficient implementation of existing rules and guidelines to combat child trafficking; whereas cooperation in combating crime and corruption within the EU therefore needs to be stepped up in this area to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children;

Cross-border recognition of domestic adoption orders

Q.  whereas the principle of mutual trust between the Member States is of fundamental importance in Union law as it allows an area without internal borders to be created and maintained; whereas the principle of mutual recognition, which is based on mutual trust, obliges Member States to give effect to a judgment or decision originating in another Member State;

R.  whereas, despite the international rules that exist in this field, opinions still differ in the Member States as regards the principles that should govern the adoption process, just as differences exist in respect of adoption procedures and the legal effects of the adoption process;

S.  whereas the European Union has competence to take measures aimed at enhancing judicial cooperation between the Member States without affecting national family law, including in the field of adoptions;

T.  whereas public policy exemptions serve to safeguard the identity of the Member States, which is reflected in the substantive family law of the Member States;

U.  whereas there is currently no European provision for the recognition – whether automatic or otherwise – of domestic adoption orders, i.e. concerning adoptions which are carried out within a single Member State;

V.  whereas the absence of such provisions causes significant problems for European families who move to another Member State after adopting a child, as the adoption may not be recognised, meaning that the parents may have trouble legally exercising their parental authority, and may encounter financial difficulties regarding the different fees applicable in this field;

W.  whereas the lack of such provisions thus puts at risk the rights of children to a stable and permanent family;

X.  whereas currently, when moving to another Member State, parents may be obliged to go through specific national recognition procedures, or even re-adopt the child, creating significant legal uncertainty;

Y.  whereas the current situation can cause serious problems and prevent families from fully exercising free movement;

Z.  whereas there may be a need to review and assess the overall situation through consultation among Member States' competent authorities;

AA.  whereas the Brussels II Regulation does not address the question of the recognition of adoption orders, as it exclusively covers parental responsibility;

AB.  whereas it is therefore of the utmost importance to adopt legislation providing for the automatic recognition in a Member State of a domestic adoption order granted in another Member State, on condition that full respect for national provisions on public policy and for the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality is ensured;

AC.  whereas such legislation would complement Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003(1) (Brussels IIa) on issues of jurisdiction and parental responsibility and fill the existing gap on recognition of adoptions as provided under international law (the Hague Convention);

Common minimum standards for adoptions

1.  Calls on the authorities of the Member States to take all decisions in adoption matters with the best interests of the child in mind and with respect for his or her fundamental rights, while always taking into account the specific circumstances of the particular case;

2.  Stresses that children who have been put up for adoption should not be seen as the property of a state, but as individuals with internationally recognised fundamental rights;

3.  Underlines that each adoption case is different and must be assessed on its individual merits;

4.  Considers that in cases of adoption with cross-border aspects the cultural and linguistic traditions of the child should be taken into consideration and be respected as much as possible;

5.  Considers that in the context of adoption proceedings, the child should always be given the opportunity to be heard without pressure, and express his or her view on the adoption process, taking into account his or her age and maturity; considers, therefore, that it is of the utmost importance that, whenever possible and regardless of age, the child's consent to the adoption should be sought; in this respect, calls for special attention towards young children and babies, who cannot be heard;

6.  Considers that no decision on adoption should be taken before the biological parents have been heard and, where applicable, exhausted all legal remedies concerning their parental authority, and the withdrawal of parental authority from the biological parents is final; calls, therefore, on the authorities in the Member States to take all necessary measures for the well-being of the child while legal remedies are being exhausted, and throughout the entire legal proceedings relating to the adoption, whilst providing the child with the protection and care needed for his or her harmonious development;

7.  Calls on the Commission to consider a comparative study to analyse complaints regarding non-consensual adoptions with cross-border aspects;

8.   Stresses that the relevant authorities should always first consider the possibility of placing the child with relatives, even when those relatives live in another country, if the child has established a relationship with those members of the family and following an individual assessment of the child's needs, before giving the child up for adoption by strangers; considers that the habitual residence of family members who wish to take over responsibility for a child should not be considered to be a deciding factor;

9.  Calls for equal treatment of parents of different nationalities during procedures relating to parental responsibility and adoption; calls on Member States to ensure the equality of procedural rights of the relatives involved in adoption procedures and who are nationals of other Member States, including by the provision of legal assistance and timely information about hearings, the right to an interpreter, and the provision of all documents relevant to the case in their native language;

10.  Stresses that where a child being considered for adoption is the citizen of another Member State, the consular authorities of that Member State and the child's family residing in that Member State should be informed and consulted prior to any decision being taken;

11.  Calls, moreover, on the Member States to pay very particular attention to unaccompanied minors who have applied for or have refugee status, ensuring they receive the protection, assistance and care that Member States are required to furnish by virtue of their international obligations, preferably by placing them in foster families in the interim period;

12.  Stresses the importance of providing social workers with adequate working conditions to properly perform their assessment of individual cases, without any kind of financial or legal pressure and fully taking into account the best interests of the child with the short-, mid- and long-term perspectives all considered;

Intercountry adoptions under the 1993 Hague Convention

13.  Notes the successes of, and the importance of applying, the Hague Convention, and encourages all countries to sign, ratify or accede to it;

14.  Deplores the fact that problems often occur concerning the issuance of adoption certificates; calls, therefore, on the authorities of the Member States to ensure that the procedures and safeguards established by the Hague Convention are always followed in order to ensure that recognition is automatic; calls on the Member States not to create unnecessary bureaucratic impediments to the recognition of adoptions within the scope of the Hague Convention that might lengthen the procedure and make it more expensive;

15.  Points out that further efforts could be made in order to respect and scrupulously enforce the provisions of the Hague Convention, as some Member States require additional administrative procedures or charge disproportionate fees in connection with the recognition of adoptions, for example in order to establish or amend civil status records or to obtain nationality, although this is contrary to the provisions of the Hague Convention;

16.  Calls on Member States to respect the procedures concerning the counselling and consent requirements set out in Article 4 of the Hague Convention;

Civil justice cooperation in the field of adoption

17.  Calls on the Member States to intensify their cooperation in the field of adoption, including both legal and social aspects, and calls for greater cooperation between the responsible authorities for follow-up assessments where necessary; in this respect, calls also for the EU to maintain a consistent approach to children’s rights across all of its major internal and external policies;

18.  Calls on the Commission to establish an effective European network of judges and authorities specialised in adoption in order to facilitate the exchange of information and good practice, which is particularly useful when adoption involves a foreign element; believes it to be extremely important to facilitate coordination and the exchange of good practice with the current European judicial training network, in order to achieve the greatest possible degree of consistency with the schemes already being funded by the EU; in this respect, calls on the Commission to provide funding for the specialised training of judges working in the field of cross-border adoptions;

19.  Believes that training and meeting opportunities for judges working in the field of cross-border adoption can assist to precisely identify expected and required legal solutions in the field of the recognition of domestic adoptions; calls, therefore, on the Commission to provide funding for such training and meeting opportunities at the stage of drafting the proposal for the regulation;

20.  Calls on the Commission to publish on the European e-Justice Portal relevant legal and procedural information on adoption law and practice in all the Member States;

21.  Takes note of the activities of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children and considers that this cooperation should be further developed and strengthened;

22.  Stresses the need to cooperate closely, including through European authorities such as Europol, to prevent the cross-border abduction, sale and trafficking of children for adoption purposes; notes that reliable national birth registration systems may prevent child trafficking for adoption purposes; calls, in this respect, for improved coordination in the sensitive area of adoption of children from third countries;

Cross-border recognition of domestic adoption orders

23.  States that there is a clear need for European legislation to provide for the automatic cross-border recognition of domestic adoption orders;

24.  Requests the Commission to submit, by 31 July 2017, on the basis of Articles 67 and 81 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a proposal for an act on the cross-border recognition of adoption orders, following the recommendations set out in the Annex hereto, and in line with existing international law in this area;

25.  Confirms that the recommendations annexed to this motion for a resolution respect fundamental rights and the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

26.  Considers that the requested proposal does not have negative financial implications, as the ultimate goal, the automatic recognition of adoption orders, will bring about a reduction in costs;

o
o   o

27.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the accompanying detailed recommendations to the Commission and the Council, and to the parliaments and governments of the Member States.

ANNEX TO THE RESOLUTION

DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A REGULATION OF THE COUNCIL ON THE CROSS-BORDER RECOGNITION OF ADOPTION ORDERS

A.  PRINCIPLES AND AIMS OF THE PROPOSAL REQUESTED

1.  Exercising their right to free movement, an increasing number of Union citizens decide each year to move to another Member State of the Union. This creates a number of difficulties regarding the recognition and the legal resolution of the personal and family law situation of mobile individuals. The Union has made a start on addressing these problem situations, for example by adopting Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(2), and by putting in place enhanced cooperation regarding the recognition of certain aspects of matrimonial property regimes and the property effects of registered partnerships.

2.  The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Convention) is in effect in all Member States. It concerns the procedure for adoptions across borders, and mandates the automatic recognition of such adoptions. However, the Hague Convention does not cover the situation of a family with a child adopted under a purely national procedure which then moves to another Member State. This can lead to significant legal difficulties if the legal relationship between the parent(s) and the adopted child is not automatically recognised. Additional administrative or judicial procedures may be required, and in extreme cases recognition may be refused altogether.

3.  It is therefore necessary, in order to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of such Union citizens, to adopt a regulation providing for the automatic cross-border recognition of adoption orders. The proper legal basis for such a proposal is Article 67(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which concerns the mutual recognition of judgments and decisions, and Article 81(3) of the Treaty, which concerns measures in the field of family law. The regulation is to be adopted by the Council after consulting the European Parliament.

4.  The proposed regulation provides for the automatic recognition of adoption orders made in a Member State under any procedure other than under the framework of the Hague Convention. As European families may also have connections with or have lived in a third country in the past, the regulation also provides that, once one Member State has recognised an adoption order made in a third country under its relevant national procedural rules, that adoption order shall be recognised in all other Member States.

5.  However, in order to avoid forum shopping or the application of inappropriate national laws, that automatic recognition is subject, firstly, to the condition that recognition must not be manifestly contrary to the public order of the recognising Member State, while emphasising that such refusals may never lead de facto to discrimination prohibited by Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and, secondly, that the Member State which took the adoption decision had jurisdiction under Article 4 of the proposal requested in Part B (the proposal). Only the Member State of the habitual residence of the parent or parents or of the child can have that jurisdiction. However, where the adoption decision was taken in a third country, jurisdiction for the initial recognition within the Union of that adoption can also lie with the Member State of nationality of the parents or child. This is in order to ensure access to justice for European families resident overseas.

6.  Specific procedures are required for deciding on any objections to recognition in specific cases. These provisions are similar to those encountered in other Union acts in the area of civil justice.

7.  A European Certificate of Adoption should be created in order to speed up any administrative query over automatic recognition. The model for the certificate is to be adopted as a Commission delegated act.

8.  The proposal only concerns the individual parent-child relationship. It does not oblige the Member States to recognise any particular legal relationship between parents of an adopted child, as the national laws relating to couples differ considerably.

9.  Finally, the proposal contains the usual final and transitional provisions encountered in civil justice instruments. The automatic recognition of adoptions only applies to adoption decisions taken from the date of application of the regulation, and, as from that date also, to any earlier adoption orders if the child is still a minor.

10.  The proposal complies with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, as the Member States cannot act alone to set up a legal framework for the cross-border recognition of adoption orders, and the proposal goes no further than absolutely necessary to ensure the stability of the legal situation of adopted children. It does not affect the family law of the Member States.

B.  TEXT OF THE PROPOSAL REQUESTED

Regulation of the Council on the cross-border recognition of adoption orders

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 67(4) and 81(3) thereof,

Having regard to the European Parliament’s request to the European Commission,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee,

Acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure,

Whereas:

(1)  The Union has set itself the objective of maintaining and developing an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons is assured. For the gradual establishment of such an area, it is necessary that the Union adopt measures relating to judicial cooperation in civil matters having cross-border implications, including in the area of family law.

(2)  Pursuant to Articles 67 and 81 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), those measures are to include measures aimed at ensuring the mutual recognition of decisions in judicial and extrajudicial cases.

(3)  In order to ensure free movement for families which have adopted a child, it is necessary and appropriate that the rules governing jurisdiction and the recognition of adoption orders be governed by a legal instrument of the Union which is binding and directly applicable.

(4)  This Regulation should create a clear, comprehensive legal framework in the area of the cross-border recognition of adoption orders, provide families with appropriate outcomes in terms of legal certainty, predictability and flexibility, and prevent a situation from arising where an adoption order legally made in one Member State is not recognised in another.

(5)  This Regulation should cover the recognition of adoption orders made or recognised in a Member State. However, it should not cover the recognition of intercountry adoptions performed in accordance with the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, as that Convention already provides for the automatic recognition of such adoptions. This Regulation should therefore apply only to the recognition of domestic adoptions, and to international adoptions not performed under that Convention.

(6)  There must be a connection between an adoption and the territory of the Member State which made the adoption order, or recognised it. Accordingly, recognition should be subject to compliance with common rules of jurisdiction.

(7)  The rules of jurisdiction should be highly predictable and founded on the principle that jurisdiction is generally based on the adopting parents' habitual residence, or the habitual residence of one of those parents or of the child. Jurisdiction should be limited to this ground, save in situations involving third countries, where the Member State of nationality may be a connecting factor.

(8)  As adoption generally concerns minors, it is not appropriate to give parents or the child any flexibility in choosing the authorities which will decide on the adoption.

(9)  Mutual trust in the administration of justice in the Union justifies the principle that adoption orders made in, or recognised by, a Member State should be recognised in all other Member States without the need for any special procedure. As a result, an adoption order made by a Member State should be treated as if it had been made in the Member State addressed.

(10)  The automatic recognition in the Member State addressed of an adoption order made in another Member State should not jeopardise respect for the rights of the defence. Therefore, any interested party should be able to apply for refusal of the recognition of an adoption order if he or she considers one of the grounds for refusal of recognition to be present.

(11)  The recognition of domestic adoption orders should be automatic unless the Member State where the adoption took place did not have jurisdiction or if such recognition would be manifestly contrary to the public policy of the recognising Member State, as interpreted in accordance with Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

(12)  This Regulation should not affect the substantive family law, including the law on adoption, of the Member States. Furthermore, any recognition of an adoption order under this Regulation should not imply the recognition of any legal relationship between adopting parents as a consequence of the recognition of an adoption order without, however, preconditioning the possible decision on the recognition of an adoption order.

(13)  Any procedural questions not addressed by this Regulation should be dealt with in accordance with national law.

(14)  Where an adoption order implies a legal relationship which is not known in the law of the Member State addressed, that legal relationship, including any ensuing right or obligation, should, to the extent possible, be adapted to one which, under the law of that Member State, has equivalent effects attached to it and pursues similar aims. How, and by whom, the adaptation is to be carried out should be determined by each Member State.

(15)  In order to facilitate the automatic recognition provided for by this Regulation, a model for the transmission of adoption orders, the European Certificate of Adoption, should be drawn up. For that purpose, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the establishment and amendment of that model certificate. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(16)  Since the objective of this Regulation cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.

(17)  In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of Protocol No 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice annexed to TEU and to TFEU, [the United Kingdom and Ireland have given notice of their wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Regulation]/[without prejudice to Article 4 of the Protocol, the United Kingdom and Ireland will not participate in the adoption of this Regulation and will not be bound by it or be subject to its application].

(18)  In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of Protocol No 22 on the position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Denmark will not participate in the adoption of this Regulation and is not therefore bound by it or required to apply it,

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Scope

1.  This Regulation shall apply to the recognition of adoption orders.

2.  This Regulation does not apply to or affect:

(a)  the laws of the Member States on the entitlement to adopt or on other family law matters;

(b)  intercountry adoptions under the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Convention).

3.  Nothing in this Regulation requires a Member State to:

(a)  recognise the existence of any legal relationship between parents of an adopted child as a consequence of the recognition of an adoption order;

(b)  make adoption orders in circumstances in which the relevant national law does not so allow.

Article 2

Definition

For the purposes of this Regulation, ‘adoption order’ means the judgment or decision creating or recognising a permanent, legal parent-child relationship between a child who has not yet reached the age of majority and a new parent or parents who are not biological parents of that child, howsoever that legal relationship is named in national law.

Article 3

Automatic recognition of adoption orders

1.  An adoption order made in a Member State shall be recognised in the other Member States without any special procedure being required, provided that the Member State making the order has jurisdiction in accordance with Article 4.

2.  Any interested party may, in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 7, apply for a decision that there are no grounds for refusal of recognition as referred to in Article 6.

3.  If the outcome of proceedings in a court of a Member State depends on the determination of an incidental question of refusal of recognition, that court shall have jurisdiction over that question.

Article 4

Jurisdiction for adoption orders

1.  The authorities of a Member State may only make an adoption order if the adopting parent or parents or the adopted child are habitually resident in that Member State.

2.  Where an adoption order has been made in respect of a child by the authorities of a third country, the authorities of a Member State may also make such an order, or decide on the recognition of the third country order in accordance with the procedures established by national law, if the adopting parent or parents or the adopted child are not habitually resident in that Member State, but are citizens of the same.

Article 5

Documentation required for recognition

A party wishing to invoke, in one Member State, an adoption order which was made in another Member State shall produce:

(a)  a copy of the adoption order which satisfies the conditions necessary to establish its authenticity; and

(b)  the European Certificate of Adoption issued pursuant to Article 11.

Article 6

Refusal of recognition

On the application of any interested party, the recognition of an adoption order made in a Member State may only be refused:

(a)  if such recognition is manifestly contrary to public policy (ordre public) in the Member State addressed;

(b)  if the originating Member State did not have jurisdiction under Article 4.

Article 7

Application for refusal of recognition

1.  On application by any interested party as defined by national law, the recognition of an adoption order shall be refused where one of the grounds referred to in Article 6 is found to exist.

2.  The application for refusal of recognition shall be submitted to the court which the Member State concerned has communicated to the Commission pursuant to point (a) of Article 13 as the court to which the application is to be submitted.

3.  The procedure for refusal of recognition shall, in so far as it is not covered by this Regulation, be governed by the law of the Member State addressed.

4.  The applicant shall provide the court with a copy of the order and, where necessary, a translation or transliteration of it.

5.  The court may dispense with the production of the documents referred to in paragraph 4 if it already possesses them or if it considers it unreasonable to require the applicant to provide them. In the latter case, the court may require the other party to provide those documents.

6.  The party seeking the refusal of recognition of an adoption order taken in another Member State shall not be required to have a postal address in the Member State addressed. Nor shall that party be required to have an authorised representative in the Member State addressed unless such a representative is mandatory irrespective of the nationality or the domicile of the parties.

7.  The court shall decide on the application for refusal of recognition without delay.

Article 8

Appeals against the decision on the application for refusal of recognition

1.  The decision on the application for refusal of recognition may be appealed against by either party.

2.  The appeal is to be lodged with the court which the Member State concerned has communicated to the Commission pursuant to point (b) of Article 13 as the court with which such an appeal is to be lodged.

3.  The decision given on the appeal may only be contested by an appeal where the courts with which any further appeal is to be lodged have been communicated by the Member State concerned to the Commission pursuant to point (c) of Article 13.

Article 9

Appeals in the Member State of origin of the adoption order

The court to which an application for refusal of recognition is submitted or the court which hears an appeal lodged under Article 8(2) or (3) may stay the proceedings if an ordinary appeal has been lodged against the adoption order in the Member State of origin or if the time for such an appeal has not yet expired. In the latter case, the court may specify the time within which such an appeal is to be lodged.

Article 10

No review as to substance

Under no circumstances may an adoption order made, or judgment given, in a Member State be reviewed as to its substance in the Member State addressed.

Article 11

European Certificate of Adoption

The authorities of the Member State which has made the adoption order shall, at the request of any interested party, issue a multilingual European Certificate of Adoption conforming to the model established in accordance with Article 15.

Article 12

Adaptation of adoption order

1.  If a decision or judgment contains a measure or an order which is not known in the law of the Member State addressed, that measure or order shall, to the extent possible, be adapted to a measure or an order known in the law of that Member State which has equivalent effects attached to it and which pursues similar aims and interests. Such adaptation shall not result in effects going beyond those provided for in the law of the Member State of origin.

2.  Any interested party may challenge the adaptation of the measure or order before a court.

Article 13

Information to be provided by Member States

1.  By 1 July 2018, the Member States shall communicate to the Commission their national provisions, if any, concerning:

(a)  the courts to which the application for refusal of recognition is to be submitted pursuant to Article 7(2);

(b)  the courts with which an appeal against the decision on the application for refusal of recognition is to be lodged pursuant to Article 8(2); and

(c)  the courts with which any further appeal is to be lodged pursuant to Article 8(3).

2.  The Commission shall make the information referred to in paragraph 1, as well as any other relevant information on adoption procedures and the recognition thereof in the Member States, publicly available through any appropriate means, in particular through the European e-Justice Portal.

Article 14

Legalisation and similar formality

No legalisation or other similar formality shall be required for documents issued in a Member State under this Regulation.

Article 15

Power to adopt delegated acts

The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 16 concerning the establishment and amendment of the model for the multilingual European Certificate of Adoption referred to in Article 11.

Article 16

Exercise of the delegation

1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 15 shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time from 1 July 2018.

3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 15 may be revoked at any time by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 15 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the Council has informed the Commission that it will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the Council.

5.  The European Parliament shall be informed of the adoption of delegated acts by the Commission, of any objection formulated to them, or of the revocation of the delegation of powers by the Council.

Article 17

Transitional provisions

This Regulation shall apply only to adoption orders made on or after 1 January 2019.

However, adoption orders made before 1 January 2019 shall also be recognised from the date where the child in question has not yet reached the age of majority on that date.

Article 18

Relationship with existing international conventions

1.  This Regulation shall not apply to adoption orders made in application of the Hague Convention.

2.  Without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States pursuant to Article 351 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, this Regulation shall not affect the application of international conventions to which one or more Member States are party at the time when this Regulation enters into force which lay down rules relating to the recognition of adoptions.

3.  However, this Regulation shall, as between Member States, take precedence over conventions concluded exclusively between two or more of them in so far as such conventions concern matters governed by this Regulation.

Article 19

Review clause

1.  By 31 December 2024, and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee a report on the application of this Regulation. The report shall be accompanied, where appropriate, by proposals to adapt this Regulation.

2.  To that end, Member States shall communicate to the Commission the relevant information on the application of this Regulation by their courts.

Article 20

Entry into force and date of application

This Regulation shall enter into force on the 20th day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2019, with the exception of Articles 13, 15 and 16, which shall apply from 1 July 2018.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in the Member States in accordance with the Treaties.

Done at Brussels, …

For the Council

The President

(1) Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000 (OJ L 338, 23.12.2003, p. 1).
(2) Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and acceptance and enforcement of authentic instruments in matters of succession and on the creation of a European Certificate of Succession (OJ L 201, 27.7.2012, p. 107).


Bilateral safeguard clause and stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement ***I
PDF 265kWORD 44k
Resolution
Text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 2 February 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 19/2013 implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Colombia and Peru, of the other part, and amending Regulation (EU) No 20/2013 implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other (COM(2015)0220 – C8-0131/2015 – 2015/0112(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0014A8-0277/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0220),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 207(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0131/2015),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 20 December 2016 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0277/2016),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Approves the joint declaration by Parliament, the Council and the Commission annexed to this resolution;

3.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 2 February 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2017/... of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 19/2013 implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Colombia and Peru, of the other part, and amending Regulation (EU) No 20/2013 implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2017/540.)

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

JOINT DECLARATION

by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agree on the importance of close cooperation in monitoring the implementation of the Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Colombia and Peru, of the other part(1) as amended by Protocol of Accession to the Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Colombia and Peru, of the other part, to take account of the accession of Ecuador(2), Regulation (EU) No 19/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2013 implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Colombia and Peru, of the other part(3) and Regulation (EU) No 20/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2013 implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other(4). To that end they agree on the following:

—  Upon request by the responsible committee of the European Parliament, the Commission will report to it on any specific concerns relating to the implementation by Colombia, Ecuador or Peru of their commitments on trade and sustainable development.

—  If the European Parliament adopts a recommendation to initiate a safeguard investigation, the Commission will carefully examine whether the conditions under Regulation (EU) No 19/2013 or under Regulation (EU) No 20/2013 for ex-officio initiation are fulfilled. If the Commission considers that the conditions are not fulfilled, it will present a report to the responsible committee of the European Parliament including an explanation of all the factors relevant to the initiation of such an investigation.

—  The Commission will, by 1 January 2019, assess the situation of Union banana producers. If a serious deterioration in the state of the market or the situation of Union banana producers is found to have occurred, an extension in the period of validity of the mechanism may be considered with the agreement of the parties to the Agreement.

The Commission will continue to carry out regular analyses of the state of the market and the situation of Union banana producers after expiry of the stabilisation mechanism. If a serious deterioration in the state of the market or the situation of Union banana producers is found to have occurred, given the importance of the banana sector for outermost regions, the Commission will examine the situation, together with the Member States and the stakeholders, and decide whether appropriate measures should be considered. The Commission could also convene regular monitoring meetings with the Member States and the stakeholders.

The Commission has developed statistical tools to enable the monitoring and assessment of the trends in imports of bananas and of the situation of the Union banana market. The Commission will pay special attention to reviewing the format of the import surveillance data in order to make available regularly updated information in a more user-friendly manner.

(1) OJ L 354, 21.12.2012, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 356, 24.12.2016, p. 3.
(3) Regulation (EU) No 19/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2013 implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Colombia and Peru, of the other part (OJ L 17, 19.1.2013, p. 1).
(4) Regulation (EU) No 20/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2013 implementing the bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilisation mechanism for bananas of the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America on the other (OJ L 17, 19.1.2013, p. 13).


Sustainable management of external fishing fleets ***I
PDF 304kWORD 99k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 2 February 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 (COM(2015)0636 – C8-0393/2015 – 2015/0289(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0015A8-0377/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0636),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 43(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0393/2015),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 25 May 2016(1),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries and the opinion of the Committee on Development (A8-0377/2016),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 2 February 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2017/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008

P8_TC1-COD(2015)0289


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 43(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(2),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(3),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(4),

Whereas:

(1)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008(5) (‘FAR’) established a system concerning authorisations for fishing activities of Union fishing vessels outside Union waters and the access of third country vessels to Union waters,

(2)  The Union is a contracting party to the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982(6) (UNCLOS) and has ratified the 1995 United Nations Agreement on the Implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea relating to the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks of 4 August 1995 (UN Fish Stock Agreement)(7). Those international provisions set out the principle that all states have to adopt appropriate measures to ensure the sustainable management and conservation of marine resources and to cooperate with each other to that end. [Am. 1]

(3)  The Union has accepted the Agreement to promote compliance with international conservation and management measures by fishing vessels on the high seas of 24 November 1993 of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO Compliance Agreement)(8). The FAO Compliance Agreement stipulates that a contracting party is to abstain from granting authorisation to use a vessel for fishing on the high seas if certain conditions are not met, as well as implement sanctions if certain reporting obligations are not fulfilled.

(3a)  The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea delivered an advisory opinion on 2 April 2015 in response to a request submitted by the West Africa Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission. That advisory opinion confirmed that the Union bears responsibility for the activities of vessels flying the flag of the Member States and the due diligence that the Union must exercise in that regard. [Am. 2]

(4)  The Union has endorsed the FAO International Plan of Action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and undeclared fishing (IPOA-IUU) adopted in 2001. The IPOA-IUU and the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for flag state performance endorsed in 2014 underlie the responsibility of the flag State to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and marine ecosystems. The IPOA-IUU provides that a flag State should issue authorisations to fish in waters outside its sovereignty or jurisdiction to vessels flying its flag. The Voluntary Guidelines also recommend that an authorisation be given by the flag State and by the coastal state when the fishing activities take place under a fisheries access agreement or even outside such an agreement. They should both be satisfied that such activities will not undermine the sustainability of the stocks in the coastal state’s waters (paragraphs 40 and 41).

(4a)  In 2014, all members of the FAO, including the Union and its developing country partners, unanimously adopted the Voluntary Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, including point 5.7 thereof, which highlights that small-scale fisheries should be given due consideration before agreements on resource access are entered into with third countries and third parties. [Am. 3]

(4b)  The FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication call for the adoption of measures for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources and for the securing of the ecological foundation for food production, underlining the importance of environmental standards for fishing activities outside Union waters that include an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management together with the precautionary approach, so as to rebuild and maintain exploited stocks above levels that can produce the maximum yield by 2015 wherever possible, and by 2020 at the latest for all stocks. [Am. 4]

(5)  The issue of the obligations and concomitant responsibilities and liabilities of the flag State and, where appropriate, the flag international organisation, for the conservation and management of the living resources of the high seas under UNCLOS has increasingly come into focus at international level. This has also been the case, under the heading of a due diligence obligation flowing from UNCLOS, for concurrent coastal State jurisdiction and flag State jurisdiction and, as appropriate, flag and coastal international organisation jurisdiction, to secure sound conservation of marine biological resources within sea areas under national jurisdiction. The Advisory Opinion of 2 April 2015 of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), rendered in response to questions raised by the West Africa Subregional Fisheries Commission, confirmed that the Union bears international responsibility before third countries and international organisations for the activities of its fishing vessels, and that such responsibility requires it to act with due diligence. A due diligence obligation is an obligation for a State to exercise best possible efforts and to do the utmost to prevent illegal fishing, which includes the obligation to adopt the necessary administrative and enforcement measures to ensure that fishing vessels flying its flag, its nationals, or fishing vessels engaged in its waters are not involved in activities which breach the applicable conservation and management measures. For those reasons and, more generally, to strengthen the ‘blue’ economy, it is important to organise both the activities of Union fishing vessels outside Union waters as well as the governance system pertaining thereto in such a manner that the Union's international obligations can be efficiently and effectively discharged and that situations where the Union might be reproached for internationally wrongful acts are avoided. [Am. 5]

(5a)  The Union committed itself at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development on 25 September 2015 to implementing the resolution containing the outcome document entitled "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", including Sustainable Development Goal 14 "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development", as well as Sustainable Development Goal 12 "Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns" and their targets. [Am. 6]

(6)  The outcomes of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development ‘Rio +20’(9) as well as the adoption of the EU Action Plan to tackle the illegal trade in wild flora and fauna, and international developments regarding the fight against illegal wildlife trade and the New Sustainable Development Goals (17 goals to transform our world, including Goal 14: Life below water) adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations should be reflected in the Union's external fisheries policy and in its trade policy. [Am. 7]

(7)  The objective of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), as set out in Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10) (the ‘Basic Regulation’), is to ensure that fishing activities are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable and are managed consistently with the objectives of achieving economic, social and employment benefits, and of restoring and maintaining fish stocks above levels which can produce maximum sustainable yield, and that they are contributing to the availability of food supplies. It is also necessary, in implementing this policy, to take account of development cooperation objectives in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 208(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). [Am. 8]

(7a)  The Basic Regulation also requires that sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPAs) be limited to surplus catches as referred to in Article 62(2) and (3) of UNCLOS. [Am. 9]

(8)  The Basic Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 stresses the need to promote the objectives of the CFP internationally, ensuring that Union fishing activities outside Union waters are based on the same principles and standards as those applicable under Union law, while promoting a level playing field for Union operators and third-country operators. Social and environmental legislation adopted by third countries may differ from that of the Union, creating different standards for fishing fleets. That situation could lead to authorisation for fishing activities inconsistent with the sustainable management of marine resources. It is therefore necessary to ensure consistency with the environmental, fisheries, trade and development activities of the Union, especially when it affects fisheries in developing countries with low administrative capacity and where the risk of corruption is high. [Am. 10]

(9)  Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 was intended to establish common ground for authorising fishing activities to be carried out by Union vessels outside Union waters with a view to supporting the fight against IUU fishing and better control and monitoring of the EU Union fleet across the globe, as well as conditions for the authorising of third country vessels fishing in Union waters. [Am. 11]

(10)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008(11) on IUU fishing was adopted in parallel to Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 (‘the Control Regulation’)(12) was adopted a year later. Those Regulations are the three implementing pillars of the control and enforcement provisions of the CFP.

(11)  However, those three Regulations were not implemented consistently; in particular there were inconsistencies between the FAR and the Control Regulation, which was adopted after the FAR Regulation. The implementation of the FAR also revealed several loopholes, since some challenges in terms of control, such as chartering, reflagging and the issuance of fishing authorisations issued by a third country competent authority to a Union fishing vessel outside the framework of an SFPA ("direct authorisations"), were not covered. Besides, some reporting obligations have proven difficult as has the division of administrative roles between the Member States and the Commission.

(12)  The core principle of this Regulation is that any Union vessel fishing outside Union waters should be authorised by its flag Member State and monitored accordingly, irrespective of where it operates and the framework under which it does so. The issuing of an authorisation should be dependent on a basic set of common eligibility criteria being fulfilled. The information gathered by the Member States and provided to the Commission should allow the Commission to intervene in the monitoring of the fishing activities of all Union fishing vessels in any given area outside Union waters at any time. This is necessary to enable the Commission to fulfil its obligations as Guardian of the Treaties. [Am. 12]

(12a)  Recent years have seen considerable improvements in the Union’s external fisheries policy, in terms of the conditions and terms of SFPAs and the diligence with which the provisions are enforced. Maintaining the fishing opportunities for the Union fleet within the framework of SFPAs should be a priority objective of the Union’s external fisheries policy and similar conditions should be applied to Union activities outside the scope of SFPAs. [Am. 13]

(12b)   The Commission should play a mediating role when the possibility of withdrawing, suspending or modifying a fishing authorisation is raised on account of evidence of serious threats to the exploitation of fishing resources. [Am. 14]

(13)  Support vessels may have a substantial impact on the way fishing vessels are able to carry out their fishing activities and on the quantity of fish they can retrieve. It is therefore necessary to take them into account in the authorisation and reporting processes set out in this Regulation.

(14)  Reflagging operations become an issue when their objective is to circumvent CFP rules or existing conservation and management measures. The Union should therefore be able to define, detect and hamper such operations. Traceability and proper follow-up of compliance history should be ensured throughout a vessel’s lifespan the lifespan of a vessel owned by a Union operator regardless of the flag or flags it operates under. The requirement that a unique vessel number be granted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) should also serve that purpose.[Am. 15]

(15)  In third country waters, Union vessels may operate either under the provisions of SFPAs concluded between the Union and third countries or by obtaining direct fishing authorisations from third countries if no SFPA is in force. In both cases those activities should be carried out in a transparent and sustainable way. This is why the flag Member States should be empowered to authorise under a defined set of criteria and subject to monitoring, the vessels flying their flag to seek and obtain direct authorisations from third coastal states. The fishing activity should be authorised once the flag Member State is satisfied that it will not undermine sustainability. Unless the Commission has any further duly justified objection, the operator who has been given the authorisation from both the flag Member State and the coastal state should be allowed to start its fishing operation. [Am. 16]

(16)  A specific issue pertaining to SFPAs is the reallocation of under-utilised fishing opportunities that occur when fishing opportunities allocated to Member States by the relevant Council Regulations are not fully used. Since the access costs set out in the SFPAs are financed for a large part by the Union budget, a temporary reallocation system is important to preserve Union financial interests and ensure that no fishing opportunity which has been paid for is wasted. It is therefore necessary to clarify and improve the reallocation system, which should be a last resort mechanism. Its application should be temporary and it should not affect the initial allocation of fishing opportunities among Member States, which means that it will not damage relative stability. As a system of last resort, reallocation should only occur once the relevant Member States have given up on their rights to exchange fishing opportunities among themselves. [Am. 17]

(16a)  "Dormant agreements" is the term used where countries have adopted a fisheries partnership agreement without having a protocol in force, for structural or circumstantial reasons. The Union has several "dormant agreements” with third countries. Union vessels are therefore not allowed to fish in waters under the dormant agreements. The Commission should make an effort to "wake up" those agreements or to cease the partnership agreement concerned. [Am. 18]

(17)  Fishing activities under the auspices of regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) and unregulated fisheries on the high seas should also be authorised by the flag Member State and comply with RFMO specific rules or Union legislation governing fishing activities on the high seas. [Am. 19]

(18)  Chartering arrangements may undermine the effectiveness of conservation and management measures, as well as have a negative impact on the sustainable exploitation of living marine resources. It is therefore necessary to set out a legal framework that helps the Union to better monitor the activities of fishing vessels flying a Union flag and chartered fishing vessels by third country operators on the basis of what has been adopted by the relevant RFMO. [Am. 20]

(19)  Procedures should be transparent, practicable and predictable for Union and third country operators, as well as for their respective competent authorities. [Am. 21]

(19a)  The Union should seek an international level playing field where the Union fishing fleet can compete with other fishing nations, adapting market access rules accordingly whenever stringent rules are adopted for the Union fleet. [Am. 22]

(20)  The exchange of data in electronic form between Member States and the Commission, as provided for by the Control Regulation, should be ensured. Member States should collect all requested data about their fleets and their fishing activities, manage it and make it available to the Commission. Moreover, they should cooperate with each other, the Commission and third countries where relevant in order to coordinate those data collection activities.

(21)  With a view to improving the transparency and accessibility of information on Union fishing authorisations, the Commission should set up an electronic fishing authorisation register comprising both a public and a secure part. Information in the Union fishing authorisation register includes personal data. The processing of personal data based on this Regulation should comply with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council(13), Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(14) and applicable national law.

(22)  With a view to properly addressing access to Union waters of fishing vessels flying the flag of a third country, the relevant rules should be consistent with those applicable to Union fishing vessels, in accordance with the Control Regulation. In particular, Article 33 of that Regulation on the reporting of catch and catch-related data should also apply to third country vessels fishing in Union waters.

(23)  Fishing vessels from third countries without authorisation under this Regulation should, when navigating in Union waters, be obliged to ensure that their fishing gear is installed in such a manner that it is not readily usable for fishing operations.

(24)  Member States should be responsible for controlling the fishing activities of third country vessels in Union waters and, in the event of infringements, for recording them in the national register provided for in Article 93 of the Control Regulation.

(25)  In order to simplify authorisation procedures, a common system of data exchange and data storage should be used by the Member States and the Commission to provide necessary information and updates while minimising administrative burden. In this regard, the data contained in the Union fleet register should be fully used.

(26)  In order to take into account technological progress and subsequent possible new international law requirements, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission in respect of the adoption of modifications to the Annexes to this Regulation setting out the list of information to be provided by an operator in order to obtain a fishing authorisation. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, and that those consultations be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making(15). In particular, to ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the European Parliament and the Council receive all documents at the same time as Member States’ experts, and their experts systematically have access to meetings of Commission expert groups dealing with the preparation of delegated acts.

(27)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission in respect of the recording, format and the transmission of data related to fishing authorisations from the Member States to the Commission and to the Union fishing authorisation register, as well as to lay down a methodology for the reallocation of unused fishing opportunities. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(16).

(28)  The Commission should adopt immediately applicable implementing acts where, in duly justified cases relating to the reallocation of fishing opportunities, imperative grounds of urgency so require.

(29)  By reason of the number and importance of the amendments to be made, Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 should be repealed,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

TITLE I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation sets out rules for issuing and managing fishing authorisations for:

(a)  Union fishing vessels operating conducting fishing activities in waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of a third country, under the auspices of an RFMO to which the Union is a contracting party, in or outside Union waters, or on the high seas; and

(b)  third country fishing vessels operating conducting fishing activities in Union waters. [Am. 23]

Article 2

Relationship to international and Union law

This Regulation shall apply without prejudice to the provisions:

(a)  in SFPAs and similar fisheries agreements concluded between the Union and third countries;

(b)  adopted by RFMOs or similar fisheries organisations to which the Union is a contracting party or a non-contracting cooperating party;

(c)  in Union legislation implementing or transposing provisions referred to in points (a) and (b).

Article 3

Definitions

For the purpose of this Regulation, the definitions in Article 4 of the Basic Regulation shall apply. In addition, the following definitions shall also apply:

(a)  ‘support vessel’ means a vessel that is not equipped with operational fishing gear designed to catch or attract fish and that facilitates, assists or prepares fishing activities; [Am. 24]

(b)  ‘fishing authorisation’ means an a fishing authorisation issued in respect of a Union fishing vessel or third country fishing vessel, in addition to its fishing licence, entitling it to carry out specific fishing activities during a specified period, in a given area or for a given fishery under specific conditions; [Am. 25]

(c)  ‘fishing authorisation register’ means the management system of fishing authorisations and the associated database;

(d)  ‘direct authorisation’ means a fishing authorisation issued by a third country competent authority to a Union fishing vessel outside the framework of an SFPA;

(e)  ‘third country waters’ means waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of a third country;

(f)  ‘observer program programme’ means a scheme under the auspices of an RFMO, an SFPA, a third country or a Member State that provides observers onboard on-board fishing vessels under certain conditions to collect data and/or to verify the vessel's compliance with the rules adopted by that organisation, SFPA or country. [Am. 26]

(fa)   ‘contracting party’ means a contracting party to the international convention or agreement establishing an RFMO, as well as States, fishing entities or any other entities that cooperate with such an organisation and have been granted cooperating non-contracting party status with respect to such an organisation. [Am. 27]

(fb)  'chartering' means an arrangement by which a fishing vessel flying the flag of a Member State is contracted for a defined period by an operator in either another Member State or a third country without a change of flag; [Am. 77]

TITLE II

FISHING ACTIVITIES BY UNION FISHING VESSELS OUTSIDE UNION WATERS

Chapter I

Common provisions

Article 4

General principle

Without prejudice to the requirement to obtain an authorisation from the competent organisation or third country, a Union fishing vessel may not carry out fishing activities outside Union waters unless it has been issued with a fishing authorisation by its flag Member State.

Article 5

Eligibility criteria

1.  A flag Member State may only issue a fishing authorisation for fishing activities outside Union waters if:

(a)  it has received complete and accurate information, in accordance with Annexes 1 and 2 the Annex, about the fishing vessel and the associated support vessel(s), including non-Union support vessels; [Am. 28]

(b)  the fishing vessel has a valid fishing licence under Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009;

(c)  the fishing vessel and any associated support vessel have an IMO number, where required by Union legislation; [Am. 29]

(d)  the operator and master of the fishing vessel, as well as the fishing vessel concerned, have not been subject to a sanction for a serious infringement according to the national law of the Member State pursuant to Article 42 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 and Article 90 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 during the 12 months prior to the application for the fishing authorisation; [Am. 78]

(e)  the fishing vessel is not included in an IUU vessel list adopted by an RFMO and/or by the Union pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008;

(f)  where applicable, fishing opportunities are available to the flag Member State under the fisheries agreement concerned or the relevant provisions of the RFMO; and

(g)  where applicable, the fishing vessel complies with the requirements set out in Article 6.

2.  The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts, in accordance with Article 43, for the purpose of modifying the Annex.

Article 6

Reflagging operations

1.  This article Article applies to vessels that within five during the two years of the date of preceding the application for a fishing authorisation have:

(a)  left the Union fishing fleet register and been reflagged in a third country; and

(b)  subsequently returned to the Union fishing fleet register within 24 months from the date of leaving it.

2.  A flag Member State may only issue a fishing authorisation if it is satisfied has verified that, during the period that the vessel referred to in paragraph 1 operated under a third country flag:

(a)  it did not engage in IUU fishing activities; and that

(b)  it did not operate in waters of either a non-cooperating third country pursuant to Articles 31 and 33 of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 or a third country which became identified as a country allowing non-sustainable fishing pursuant to point (a) of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1026/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (17).

3.  To that end, an operator shall provide any the following information related to the relevant period during which the vessel operated under a third country flag required by a flag Member State, including at least each of the following:

(a)  a declaration of catches and fishing efforts during the relevant period;

(b)  a copy of the fishing authorisation issued by the flag State for the relevant period;

(c)  a copy of any fishing authorisation permitting fishing operations in third country waters during the relevant period;

(d)  an official statement by the third country where the vessel was reflagged listing the sanctions the vessel or the operator had been subject to during the relevant period.

(da)  complete flag history during the period when the vessel has left the Union fleet register.

4.  A flag Member State shall not issue a fishing authorisation to a vessel that has been reflagged:

(a)  in a third country which became identified or listed as a non-cooperating country in combatting IUU fishing pursuant to Articles 31 and 33 of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008; or

(b)  in a third country which became identified as a country allowing non-sustainable fishing pursuant to point (a) of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1026/2012.

5.  Paragraph 4 shall not apply if the flag Member State is satisfied that, as soon as the country was identified as an IUU non-cooperating country or as allowing non-sustainable fishing, the operator:

(a)  ceased fishing operations; and

(b)  immediately started the relevant administrative procedures to remove the vessel from the third country’s fishing fleet register. [Am. 31]

Article 7

Monitoring fishing authorisations

1.  When applying for a fishing authorisation, an operator shall provide the flag Member State with complete and accurate data.

2.  An operator shall immediately inform the flag Member State of any change to the related data.

3.  A flag Member State shall monitor at least once a year whether the conditions on the basis of which a fishing authorisation has been issued continue to be met during the period of validity of that authorisation.

4.  If a condition on the basis of which a fishing authorisation has been issued is no longer met, a flag Member State shall take appropriate action, including to amend or withdraw the authorisation and immediately notify the operator and the Commission and, if relevant, the secretariat of the RFMO or the third country concerned accordingly.

5.  Upon a duly justified request from the Commission, a flag Member State shall refuse, suspend or withdraw the authorisation in cases:

(a)  of overriding policy reasons pertaining imperative grounds of urgency related to a serious threat to the sustainable exploitation, management and conservation of marine biological resources;

(b)  or the prevention or suppression of of serious infringements relating to Article 42 of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 or Article 90(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, in the framework of illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing, or in cases in order to prevent them, in the case of high risk;

(c)  where the Union has decided to suspend or sever relations with the third country concerned.

The duly justified request referred to in the first subparagraph shall be supported by relevant and appropriate information. The Commission shall immediately inform the operator and the flag Member State when it makes such a duly justified request. Such a request by the Commission shall be followed by a 15-day period of consultation between the Commission and the flag Member State.

6.  If a, at the end of the 15-day period referred to in paragraph 5, the Commission confirms its request and the flag Member State fails to refuse, amend, suspend or withdraw the authorisation in accordance with paragraphs 4 and 5, the Commission may decide, after a further five days, to withdraw the authorisation and shall notify the flag Member State and the operator accordingly of its decision. [Am. 32]

Chapter II

Fishing activities by Union fishing vessels in third country waters

Section 1

Fishing activities under SFPAs

Article 8

RFMO Membership

A Union fishing vessel may only carry out fishing activities in waters of a third country on stocks managed by an RFMO if that country is a contracting party or non-contracting cooperating party to that RFMO. Where SFPAs have been concluded before … [the date of entry into force of this Regulation], this paragraph shall apply from … [four years after the date of entry into force of this Regulation]. [Am. 33]

The Union may allocate a proportion of sectoral support funding to third countries with which it has SFPAs, in order to help those third countries join RFMOs. [Am. 34]

Article 9

Scope

This Section shall apply to fishing activities carried out by Union fishing vessels in third country waters under an SFPA.

The Union shall ensure that SFPAs are consistent with this Regulation. [Am. 35]

Article 10

Fishing authorisations

A Union fishing vessel may not carry out fishing activities in waters of a third country under an SFPA unless it has been issued with a fishing authorisation:

(a)  by its flag Member State the third country with sovereignty or jurisdiction over the waters where the fishing activities take place; and [Am. 36]

(b)  by the third country with sovereignty or jurisdiction over the waters where the activities take place its flag Member State. [Am. 37]

Article 11

Conditions for fishing authorisations by the flag Member State

A flag Member State may only issue a fishing authorisation for fishing activities carried out in third country waters under an SFPA if:

(a)  the eligibility criteria set out in Article 5 are fulfilled;

(b)  the conditions set out in the relevant SFPA are complied with;

(c)  the operator has paid all fees;

(ca)  the operator has paid all applicable financial penalties claimed imposed by the third country competent authority over the past 12 months, after the conclusion of applicable legal procedures; and [Am. 38]

(cb)   the fishing vessel has an authorisation from the third country concerned. [Am. 39]

Article 12

Management of fishing authorisations

1.  Once it has issued a fishing authorisation verified that the conditions set out in points (a), (b) and (c) of Article 11 are met, a flag Member State shall send the Commission the corresponding application for to obtain the third country’s authorisation.

2.  The application referred to in paragraph 1 shall contain the information listed in Annexes 1 and 2 the Annex together with any other data required under the SFPA.

3.  The flag Member State shall send the application to the Commission at least 10 15 calendar days before the deadline for the transmission of applications laid down in the SFPA. The Commission may ask send a duly justified request to the flag Member State for any additional information that it deems necessary.

4.  When it is satisfied that Within a period of 10 calendar days from receipt of the application, or, in the event that additional information was requested pursuant to paragraph 3, within 15 calendar days from receipt of the application, the Commission shall conduct a preliminary examination to determine whether the conditions in Article 11 are met, the. The Commission shall then either send the application to the third country or notify the Member State that the application is refused.

5.  If a third country informs the Commission that it has decided to issue, refuse, suspend or withdraw a fishing authorisation for a Union fishing vessel under the agreement, the Commission shall immediately inform the flag Member State accordingly, if possible by electronic means. The flag Member State shall immediately transmit that information to the owner of the vessel. [Am. 40]

Article 13

Temporary reallocation of unused fishing opportunities in the framework of SFPAs

1.  During a specific year or any other relevant At the end of the first half of the period of the implementation of a protocol to an SFPA, the Commission may identify unused fishing opportunities and inform the Member States benefiting from the corresponding shares of the allocation accordingly.

2.  Within 10 20 days of receipt of this information from the Commission, the Member States referred to in paragraph 1 may:

(a)  inform the Commission that they will use their fishing opportunities later in the year or the relevant second half of the period of implementation by providing a fishing plan with detailed information on the number of fishing authorisations requested, the estimated catches, zone and period of fishing; or

(b)  notify the Commission of exchanges of fishing opportunities, pursuant to Article 16(8) of the Basic Regulation.

3.  If certain Member States have not informed the Commission of one of the actions referred to in paragraph 2 and, if as a result fishing opportunities remain unused, the Commission may during a period of ten days following the period referred to in paragraph 2, launch a call for interest for the available unused fishing opportunities among the other Member States benefiting from a share of the allocation.

4.  Within 10 days of receipt of that call for interest, those Member States may communicate their interest in the unused fishing opportunities to the Commission. In support for their request, they shall provide a fishing plan with detailed information on the number of fishing authorisations requested, the estimated catches, zone and period of fishing.

5.  If deemed necessary for the assessment of the request, the Commission may ask the Member States concerned for additional information about the number of fishing authorisations applied for, catch estimates, the zone and the fishing period.

6.  In the absence of any interest in the unused fishing opportunities by the Member States benefiting from a share of the allocation at the end of the ten-day period, the Commission may launch a call for interest to all Member States. A Member State may communicate its interest in the unused fishing opportunities under the conditions referred to in paragraph 4.

7.  On the basis of the information provided by Member States in accordance with paragraphs 4 or 5 and in close cooperation with them, the Commission shall reallocate, solely the unused fishing opportunities on a temporary basis by applying the methodology set out in Article 14.

7a.   The reallocation referred to in paragraph 7 shall apply only during the second half of the period of implementation referred to in paragraph 1 and shall occur only once during that period.

7b.   The Commission shall inform the Member States of:

(a)   the Member States to which the reallocation has been made;

(b)   the quantities allocated to the Member States to which the reallocation has been made; and

(c)   the allocation criteria used for the reallocation. [Am. 41]

Article 13a

Simplification of procedures for the annual renewal of existing fishing authorisations during the period in which the protocol to an SFPA in force applies

Faster, simpler and more flexible procedures for renewing the licences of those vessels whose status (characteristics, flag, ownership or compliance) has not changed from one year to another should be permitted during the period in force of a Union SFPA. [Am. 42]

Article 14

Temporary reallocation methodology

1.  The Commission may lay down, by means of implementing acts, a methodology for the temporary reallocation of unused fishing opportunities. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 45(2).

2.  On duly justified imperative grounds of urgency relating to the limited time left to exploit unused fishing opportunities, the Commission shall adopt immediately applicable implementing acts in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 45(3). Those acts shall remain in force for a period not exceeding six months.

3.  When laying down the reallocation methodology, the Commission shall apply the following transparent and objective criteria, taking into account environmental, social and economic factors:

(a)  fishing opportunities available for reallocation;

(b)  number of requesting Member States;

(c)  share assigned to each requesting Member State in the initial allocation of fishing opportunities;

(d)  historic catch and effort levels of each requesting Member State;

(e)  number, type and characteristics of vessels and gear used;

(f)  consistency of the fishing plan provided by the requesting Member States with the elements listed in points (a) to (e).

The Commission shall publish its justification for the reallocation. [Am. 43]

Article 15

Allocation of a yearly quota broken down into several successive catch limits

1.   The allocation of fishing opportunities in a situation where the Protocol to a sustainable fisheries partnership agreement an SFPA sets monthly or quarterly catch limits or other subdivisions of a yearly quota, the Commission may adopt an implementing act establishing a methodology for allocating, monthly, quarterly or other period, the corresponding fishing opportunities between Member States. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 45(2). shall be consistent with the annual fishing opportunities allocated to Member States under the relevant Union legal act. That principle shall not apply only when the Member States concerned agree on joint fishing plans that take account of the monthly or quarterly catch limits or other subdivisions of a yearly quota. [Am. 44]

2.  The allocation of fishing opportunities referred to in paragraph 1 shall be consistent with the annual fishing opportunities allocated to Member States under the relevant Council Regulation. [Am. 45]

Section 2

Fishing activities under direct authorisations

Article 16

Scope

This Section shall apply to fishing activities carried out by Union fishing vessels outside the framework of an SFPA in waters of a third country.

Article 17

Fishing authorisations

A Union fishing vessel may not carry out fishing activities in waters of a third country outside the framework of an SFPA unless it has been issued with a fishing authorisation by:

(a)  its flag Member State the third country with sovereignty or jurisdiction over the waters where the activities take place; and [Am. 46]

(b)  the third country with sovereignty or jurisdiction over the waters where the activities take place its flag Member State. [Am. 47]

A flag Member State may issue a fishing authorisation for fishing activities carried out in third country waters whenever the Protocol of a given SFPA covering those waters has not been in force with the relevant third country for at least the three preceding years.

In the event of renewal of the Protocol, the fishing authorisation shall be automatically withdrawn as from the date of entry into force of that Protocol. [Am. 48]

Article 18

Conditions for fishing authorisations by the flag Member States

A flag Member State may only issue a fishing authorisation for fishing activities carried out in third country waters outside the framework of an SFPA if:

(a)  there is no SFPA in force with the relevant third country, or the sustainable fisheries partnership agreement in force provides expressly for the possibility of direct authorisations;

(b)  the eligibility criteria set out in Article 5 are fulfilled;

(ba)  there is a surplus of allowable catch as required under Article 62(2) of UNCLOS;

(c)  the operator has provided each of the following:

(i)  a copy of the applicable fisheries legislation as provided to the operator by the coastal State;

(ii)  a written confirmation from valid fishing authorisation provided by the third country, following the discussions between the operator and the latter, of for the proposed fishing activities which contains the terms of the intended direct authorisation to give the operator access to its the fishing resources, including the duration, conditions, and fishing opportunities expressed as effort or catch limits;

(iii)  evidence of the sustainability of the planned fishing activities, on the basis of:

–  a scientific evaluation provided by the third country and/or by an RFMO and/or by a regional fisheries body with scientific competence recognised by the Commission; and

–  in the case of an evaluation by the third country, an examination of the latter by the flag Member State on the basis of the assessment of its national scientific institute or, as appropriate, the scientific institute of a Member State with competence in the relevant fishery;

–  a copy of the third country’s fisheries legislation;

(iv)  a designated official, public bank account number for the payment of all the fees; and

(d)  in the event that the fishing activities are to be carried out on species managed by an RFMO, the third country is a contracting party or a cooperating non-contracting cooperating party to that organisation. [Am. 49]

Article 19

Management of direct authorisations

1.  Once it has issued a fishing authorisation established compliance with the requirement laid down in Article 18, a flag Member State shall send the Commission the relevant information listed in Annexes 1 and 2, the Annex and in Article 18.

2.  If the The Commission has not requested shall conduct a preliminary examination of the information referred to in paragraph 1. It may request further information or justification within 15 calendar days of the transmission of regarding the information referred to in paragraph 1, the flag Member State shall inform the operator that it may start the fishing activities in question, provided it has been granted the direct authorisation by third country as well within a period of 15 days.

3.  If, following the request for further information or justification referred to in paragraph 2, the Commission finds that the conditions in Article 18 are not met, it may object to the granting of the fishing authorisation within two months one month of the initial receipt of all the required information or justification.

3a.  Notwithstanding paragraphs 1 to 3 of this Article, if a fishing authorisation is to be renewed within a period of no more than two years from the issuance of the initial authorisation on the same terms and conditions as agreed in the initial authorisation, the Member State may issue the authorisation directly once it has established compliance with the conditions laid down in Article 18 and shall inform the Commission thereof without delay. The Commission shall have 15 days to object following the procedure laid down in Article 7.

4.  If a third country informs the Commission that it has decided to issue, refuse, suspend or withdraw a direct authorisation to a Union fishing vessel, the Commission shall immediately inform the flag Member State accordingly, which shall inform the owner of the vessel.

5.  If a third country informs the flag Member State that it has decided to issue, refuse, suspend or withdraw a direct authorisation to a Union fishing vessel, the flag Member State shall immediately inform the Commission and the owner of the vessel accordingly.

6.  An operator shall provide the flag Member State with a copy of the agreed final conditions between him and the third country, including a copy of the direct authorisation. [Am. 50]

Chapter III

Fishing activities by Union fishing vessels under the auspices of RFMOs

Article 20

Scope

This Chapter shall apply to fishing activities carried out by Union fishing vessels on stocks under the auspices of an RFMO, in Union waters, on the high seas and in third country waters.

Article 20a

Application of the Union’s international commitments in RFMOs

In order to apply the Union’s international commitments in RFMOs and in accordance with the objectives referred to in Article 28 of the Basic Regulation, the Union shall encourage periodic assessments of performance by independent bodies, and shall play an active role in setting up and reinforcing implementation committees in all RFMOs to which it is a contracting party. It shall in particular ensure that those implementation committees perform general supervision of the implementation of the external fisheries policy and of the measures decided within the RFMO. [Am. 51]

Article 21

Fishing authorisations

A Union fishing vessel may not carry out fishing activities on stocks managed by an RFMO unless:

(-a)  the Union is a contracting party to the RFMO; [Am. 52]

(a)  it has been issued with a fishing authorisation by its flag Member State;

(b)  it has been included in the relevant register or list of authorised vessels of the RFMO; and [Am. 53]

(c)  where the fishing activities are carried out in third country waters: it has been issued a fishing authorisation by the relevant third country in accordance with Chapter II.

Article 22

Conditions for fishing authorisations by the flag Member States

A flag Member State may only issue a fishing authorisation if:

(a)  the eligibility criteria in Article 5 are fulfilled;

(b)  the rules laid down by the RFMO or the transposing Union legislation are complied with; and

(c)  where the fishing activities are carried out in third country waters: the criteria set out in Articles 11 or 18 are complied with.

Article 23

Registration by RFMOs

1.  A flag Member State shall send the Commission the list(s) of fishing vessels as defined in the Basic Regulation which are active and that, wherever applicable, have an associated record of catches, it has authorised for fishing activities under the auspices of an RFMO.

2.  The list(s) referred to in paragraph 1 shall be drawn up in accordance with the RFMO requirements and accompanied by the information in Annexes 1 and 2 the Annex.

3.  The Commission may request any additional information that it deems necessary from the flag Member State within a period of 10 days after receiving the list referred to in paragraph 1. It shall provide a justification for any such request.

4.  When it is satisfied that the conditions in Article 22 are met, and within a period of 15 days after receiving the list referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission shall send the list(s) of authorised vessels to the RFMO.

5.  If the RFMO register or list is not public, the Commission shall notify the flag Member State of the circulate the list of authorised vessels included on it to the Member States involved in the relevant fishery. [Am. 54]

Chapter IV

Fishing activities by Union fishing vessels on the high seas

Article 24

Scope

This Chapter shall apply to fishing activities carried out on the high seas by Union fishing vessels exceeding 24 meters in overall length. [Am. 55]

Article 25

Fishing authorisations

A Union fishing vessel may not carry out fishing activities on the high seas unless:

(a)  it has been issued with a fishing authorisation by its the flag Member State of that vessel based on a scientific evaluation assessing the sustainability of the proposed fishing activities which has been validated by its national scientific institute or, as appropriate, the scientific institute of a Member State with competence in the relevant fishery; and [Am. 56]

(b)  the fishing authorisation has been notified to the Commission in accordance with Article 27.

Article 26

Conditions for fishing authorisations by the flag Member States

A flag Member State may only issue a fishing authorisation for fishing activities on the high seas if:

(a)  the eligibility criteria in Article 5 are fulfilled;

(b)  the planned fishing activities are:

–  based on an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management as defined in point 9 of Article 4 of the Basic Regulation; and

–  in accordance with a scientific evaluation, taking into account the conservation of living marine resources and marine ecosystems, provided by the national scientific institute of the flag Member State. [Am. 57]

Article 27

Notification to the Commission

A flag Member State shall notify the fishing authorisation to the Commission at least 15 8,5 calendar days before the start of the planned fishing activities on the high seas, providing the information set out in Annexes 1 and 2 the Annex. [Am. 58]

Chapter V

Chartering of Union fishing vessels

Article 28

Principles

1.  A Union fishing vessel may not carry out fishing activities under chartering arrangements where an SFPA is in force, unless otherwise provided for in that agreement.

2.  A Union vessel may not carry out fishing activities under more than one chartering arrangement at a time or engage in sub-chartering.

2a.  Union vessels shall operate under chartering agreements in waters under the auspices of an RFMO only if the State to which the vessel is chartered is a contracting party to that organisation.

3.  A chartered Union vessel may not use the fishing opportunities of its flag Member State during the period of the charter. The catches of a chartered vessel shall be counted against the fishing opportunities of the chartering State.

3a.  Nothing in this Regulation shall diminish the responsibilities of the flag Member State with respect to its obligations under international law, Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 or other provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy, including reporting requirements. [Am. 59]

Article 29

Management of fishing authorisations under a chartering arrangement

When issuing a fishing authorisation to a vessel in accordance with Articles 11, 18, 22 or 26, and when the relevant fishing activities are carried out under a chartering arrangement, the flag Member State shall verify that:

(a)  the chartering State’s competent authority has officially confirmed that the arrangement is in line with its national legislation; and

(b)  the details of the chartering arrangement is specified in the fishing authorisation including time period, fishing opportunities and fishing zone. [Am. 60]

Chapter VI

Control and reporting obligations

Article 30

Observer programme data

If data are collected on board a Union fishing vessel under an observer programme in accordance with the legislation of the Union or of the RFMO, the operator of that vessel shall send those data to its flag Member State. [Am. 61]

Article 31

Information to third countries

1.  When carrying out fishing activities under this Title, and if the sustainable fisheries partnership agreement with the third country so provides, an operator of a Union fishing vessel shall send the relevant catch declarations and landing declarations to the third country, and send both its flag Member State a copy of that communication and to the third country.

2.  A flag Member State shall assess the consistency of the data sent to the third country, as referred to in paragraph 1, with the data it has received in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009. In the event of inconsistency of data, the Member State shall investigate whether such inconsistency constitutes IUU fishing within the meaning of point (b) of Article 3(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 and take appropriate action, pursuant to Articles 43 to 47 of that Regulation.

3.  The non-transmission of catch declarations and landing declarations to the third country referred to in paragraph 1 shall be considered a serious infringement for the purposes of applying the sanctions and other measures provided for by the common fisheries policy. The gravity of the infringement shall be determined by the competent authority of the Member State, taking into account criteria such as the nature of the damage, its value, the economic situation of the offender and the extent of the infringement or its repetition. [Am. 62]

Article 31a

RFMO membership requirements

A third country fishing vessel may only carry out fishing activities in Union waters on stocks managed by an RFMO if the third country is a contracting party to that RFMO. [Am. 63]

TITLE III

FISHING ACTIVITIES BY THIRD COUNTRY FISHING VESSELS IN UNION WATERS

Article 32

General principles

1.  A third country fishing vessel may not engage in fishing activities in Union waters unless it has been issued with a fishing authorisation by the Commission. It shall only be issued with such an authorisation if it fulfils the eligibility criteria set out in Article 5. [Am. 64]

2.  A third country fishing vessel authorised to fish in Union waters shall comply with the rules governing the fishing activities of Union vessels in the fishing zone in which it operates, and. Should the provisions laid down in the relevant fisheries agreement be different, the provisions shall be stated explicitly either in that agreement or by means of rules agreed with the third country implementing the agreement. [Am. 65]

3.  If a third country fishing vessel is sailing through Union waters without an authorisation issued under this Regulation, its fishing gear shall be lashed and stowed so that it is not readily usable for fishing operations.

Article 33

Conditions for fishing authorisations

The Commission may only issue an authorisation to a third country fishing vessel for fishing activities in Union waters if:

(-a)  there is a surplus of allowable catch that would cover the proposed fishing opportunities as required under Article 62(2) and (3) of UNCLOS;

(a)  the information in Annexes 1 and 2 the Annex about the fishing vessel and the associated support vessel(s) is complete and accurate; the vessel and any associated support vessel(s) have an IMO number when so required under Union legislation;

(b)  the operator and master of the fishing vessel, as well as the fishing vessel concerned, have not been subject to any sanction for a serious infringement according to the national law of the Member State pursuant to Article 42 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 and Article 90 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 during the 12 months before the application for the fishing authorisation;

(c)  the fishing vessel is not on any IUU vessel list adopted by a third country, an RFMO or by the Union pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 and/or the third country is not identified or listed as non-cooperating pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 or as allowing non-sustainable fishing pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1026/2012;

(d)  the fishing vessel is eligible under the fisheries agreement with the third country concerned and, where appropriate, is on the list of vessels under that agreement. [Am. 66]

Article 34

Procedure for the issuing of fishing authorisations

1.  The third country shall send the Commission the applications for its fishing vessels before the deadline in the agreement concerned or that set by the Commission.

2.  The Commission may ask the third country for any additional information that it deems necessary.

3.  When it is satisfied that the conditions set out in Article 33 are met, the Commission shall issue a fishing authorisation and inform the third country and the Member States concerned of this.

Article 35

Monitoring fishing authorisations

1.  If a condition set out in Article 33 is no longer met, the Commission shall amend or withdraw the authorisation and inform the third country and the Member States concerned of this.

2.  The Commission may refuse, suspend or withdraw the authorisation in cases where a fundamental change of circumstances has occurred or in cases where overriding policy reasons

(a)  pertaining inter alia to international standards of human rights;

(b)   of imperative grounds of urgency related to a serious threat to the sustainable exploitation, management and conservation of marine biological resources;

(c)  or to the fight against where action is needed to prevent a serious infringement pursuant to Article 42 of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 or Article 90(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, related to illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing; or

(d)  warrant such action or in cases where, for such or any other reason of overriding policy the Union has decided to suspend or sever relations with the third country concerned.

The Commission shall immediately inform the third country in the event that it refuses, suspends or withdraws the authorisation in accordance with the first subparagraph. [Am. 67]

Article 36

Closure of fishing activities

1.  Where fishing opportunities granted to a third country are deemed to have been exhausted, the Commission shall immediately notify it and the competent inspection authorities of the Member States of this. To ensure the continuance of fishing activities of non-exhausted fishing opportunities, which may also affect the exhausted opportunities, the third country shall submit to the Commission technical measures preventing any negative impact on the exhausted fishing opportunities. From the date of the notification referred to in paragraph 1, the fishing authorisations issued to vessels flying the flag of that third country concerned shall be considered to be suspended for the fishing activities concerned and the vessels shall no longer be authorised to engage in those fishing activities.

2.  Fishing authorisations shall be considered to be withdrawn where a suspension of fishing activities in accordance with paragraph 2 concerns all the activities for which they have been granted.

3.  The third country shall ensure that the fishing vessels concerned are informed immediately of the application of this Article and that they cease all fishing activities concerned.

Article 37

Overfishing of quotas in Union waters

1.  When the Commission establishes that a third country has exceeded the quotas it has been allocated for a stock or group of stocks, the Commission shall make deductions from the quotas allocated to that country for that stock or group of stocks in subsequent years. The amount of the reduction shall be consistent with Article 105 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009. [Am. 68]

2.  If a deduction pursuant to paragraph 1 cannot be made on the quota for a stock or group of stocks that was overfished as such because that quota for a stock or group of stocks is not sufficiently available to the third country concerned, the Commission may, after consultation with the third country concerned, make deductions from quotas in subsequent years for other stocks or groups of stocks available to that third country in the same geographical area, or to the corresponding commercial value.

Article 38

Control and enforcement

1.  A third country vessel authorised to fish in Union waters shall comply with the control rules governing the fishing activities of Union vessels in the fishing zone in which it operates.

2.  A third country vessel authorised to fish in Union waters shall provide to the Commission or the body designated by it, and, where relevant, to the coastal Member State, the data which Union vessels are required to send to the flag Member State under Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009.

3.  The Commission, or the body designated by it, shall send the data referred to in paragraph 2 to the coastal Member State.

4.  A third country vessel authorised to fish in Union waters shall provide upon request to the Commission or the body designated by it the observer reports produced under applicable observer programmes.

5.  A coastal Member State shall record all infringements committed by third country fishing vessels, including the related sanctions, in the national register provided for in Article 93 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009.

6.  The Commission shall send the information referred to in paragraph 5 to the third country to ensure that appropriate measures are taken by the third country.

Paragraph 1 shall be without prejudice to the consultations between the Union and third countries. In this respect the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts, in accordance with Article 44, to implement into Union law the outcome of consultations with third countries in respect of access arrangements.

TITLE IV

Data and information

Article 39

Union fishing authorisation register

1.  The Commission shall set up and maintain an electronic Union fishing authorisation register containing all fishing authorisations granted in accordance with Titles II and Title III, made of a public part and a secure part. That register shall:

(a)  record all information set out in Annexes 1 and 2 the Annex and display the status of each authorisation in real time;

(b)  be used for data and information exchange between the Commission and a Member State; and

(c)  be used for the purposes of sustainable management of fishing fleets only.

2.  The list of fishing authorisations in the register shall be publicly accessible and contain each of the following information:

(a)  name and flag of the vessel and its CFR and IMO numbers where required under Union legislation;

(aa)  name, city and country of residence of the company owner and of the beneficial owner;

(b)  type of authorisation including fishing opportunities; and

(c)  authorised time and zone of fishing activity (start and end dates; fishing zone).

3.  A Member State shall use the register to submit fishing authorisations to the Commission and to keep its details updated, as required under Articles 12, 19, 23 and 27. [Am. 69]

Article 40

Technical requirements

The exchange of information referred to in Titles II, III and IV shall be carried out in an electronic format. The Commission may adopt implementing acts, without prejudice to the provisions of Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(18), establishing technical operational requirements for the recording, formatting and transmission of the information referred to in those Titles. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 45(2).

To make a Union fishing authorisation register operational and to enable Member States to meet the technical transmission requirements, the Commission shall provide technical assistance to the Member States concerned. In order to do so, it shall help national authorities to forward the information that operators are required to supply for each type of authorisation and, by … [six months after the date of entry into force of this Regulation], develop an IT application for the Member States to enable them to transfer to the Union fishing authorisation register automatically and in real time data concerning applications for authorisations and the characteristics of vessels. [Am. 70]

For the technical and financial support for the transfer of information, Member States may draw on financial aid from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund pursuant to point (a) of Article 76(2) of Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council(19). [Am. 71]

Article 41

Access to data

Without prejudice to Article 110 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, the Member States or the Commission shall grant access to the secure part of the Union fishing authorisation register referred to in Article 39 to the relevant competent administrative services involved in the management of fishing fleets.

Article 42

Data management, protection of personal data and confidentiality

Data obtained under this Regulation shall be handled in accordance with Articles 109, 110, 111, and 113 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Directive 95/46/EC and its national implementing rules.

Article 43

Relations with third countries and RFMOs

1.  When a Member State receives information from a third country or an RFMO which is relevant for the effective application of this Regulation, it shall communicate that information to the other Member States concerned and to the Commission or the body designated by it, provided that it is permitted to do so under bilateral agreements with that third country or the rules of the RFMO concerned.

2.  The Commission or the body designated by it may, in the framework of fisheries agreements concluded between the Union and third countries, under the auspices of RFMOs or similar fisheries organisations to which the Union is a contracting party or a non-contracting cooperating non-contracting party, communicate relevant information concerning non-compliance with the rules of this Regulation, or serious infringements referred to in point (a) of Article 42(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 and in Article 90(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, to other parties to those agreements or organisations subject to the consent of the Member State that supplied the information and in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001. [Am. 72]

TITLE V

Procedures, delegation and implementing measures

Article 44

Exercise of the delegation

1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 5(2) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of five years from … [the date of entry into force of this Regulation]. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than nine months before the end of the five-year period. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the European Parliament or the Council opposes such extension not later than three months before the end of each period. [Am. 73]

3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 5(2) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

3a.  Before adopting a delegated act, the Commission shall consult experts designated by each Member State in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making.

4.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 5(2) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 45

Committee procedure

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture established under Article 47 of the Basic Regulation. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

3.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, in conjunction with Article 5 thereof, shall apply.

TITLE VI

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 46

Repeal

1.  Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 is repealed.

2.  References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as references to this Regulation.

Article 47

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at …,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

Annex 1

List of information to be provided for issuing a fishing authorisation

* mandatory fields (for items 22 to 25 and 28 to 48, may not be filled in if the information can be automatically retrieved from the Union fleet register thanks to the CFR or IMO number)

I

APPLICANT

1

Name of the economic operator*

2

Email*

3

Address

4

Fax

5

Tax number (SIRET, NIF…)*

6

Telephone

7

Name of the agent (according to protocol’s provisions)*

8

Email*

9

Address

10

Fax

11

Telephone

12

Name of association or agent representing the economic operator*

13

Email*

14

Address

15

Fax

16

Telephone

17

Name(s) of master(s)*

18

Email*

19

Nationality*

20

Fax

21

Telephone

II

VESSEL IDENTIFICATION, TECHNICAL CHARATERISTICS AND EQUIPMENT

22

Vessel name*

23

Flag State*

24

Date on which current flag was acquired*

25

External marking*

26

IMO (UVI) number*

27

CFR number *

28

International Radio Call Sign (IRCS)*

29

Call frequency*

30

Satellite telephone number

31

MMSI*

32

Year and place of construction*

33

Previous flag and date of acquisition (where applicable)*

34

Hull material: steel / wood / polyester / other*

35

VMS transponder*

36

Model*

37

Serial number*

38

Software version*

39

Satellite operator*

40

VMS Manufacturer (name)

41

Vessel overall length*

42

Vessel width*

43

Draught*

44

Tonnage (in GT)*

45

Main Engine Power (kW)*

46

Engine type

47

Mark

48

Engine serial number*

III

FISHING CATEGORY FOR WHICH FISHING AUTHORISATION IS REQUESTED

49

Vessel type FAO code*

50

Gear type FAO code*

53

Fishing Areas FAO code*

54

Fishing Divisions – FAO- or Costal State *

55

Landing port(s)

56

Transhipment port(s)

57

Target Species FAO code or Fishing category (SFPA)*

58

Authorisation period requested (start and end dates)

59

RFMOs register number* (when known)

60

Date of entry into the RFMO register*(when known)

61

Maximum total crew size*:

62

From [PARTNER COUNTRY]:

63

From the ACP:

64

Method of fish preservation/transformation on board*: Fresh fish / Cooling / Freezing / Fish meal / Oil / Filleting

65

List of support vessels: name / IMO number / CFR number

IV

CHARTERING

66

Vessel operating under chartering arrangement*: Yes / No

67

Type of chartering arrangement

68

Period of chartering (start and end dates)*

69

Fishing opportunities (tons) allocated to the vessel under chartering*

70

Third country allocating fishing opportunities to the vessel under chartering*

Attachments (list documents): [Am. 74]

Annex 2

List of information to be provided for a support vessel supporting a fishing vessel described in Annex 1

* mandatory fields (for items 22 to 25 and 28 to 33, may not be filled in for a Union flagged support vessel if the information can be automatically retrieved from the Union fleet register thanks to the CFR number)

I

OPERATOR OF THE SUPPORT VESSEL

1

Name of the economic operator*

2

Email*

3

Address

4

Fax

5

Tax number (SIRET, NIF…)*

6

Telephone

7

Name of the agent (according to protocol’s provisions)*

8

Email*

9

Address

10

Fax

11

Telephone

12

Name of association or agent representing the economic operator*

13

Email*

14

Address

15

Fax

16

Telephone

17

Name(s) of master(s)*

18

Email*

19

Nationality*

20

Fax

21

Telephone

II

SUPPORT VESSEL IDENTIFICATION, TECHNICAL CHARATERISTICS AND EQUIPMENT

22

Vessel name*

23

Flag State*

24

Date on which current flag was acquired*

25

External marking*

26

IMO (UVI) number*

27

CFR number (for Union vessels, if known)*

28

International Radio Call Sign (IRCS)*

29

Call frequency*

30

Satellite telephone number

31

MMSI*

32

Year and place of construction

33

Previous flag and date of acquisition (where applicable)*

34

Hull material: steel / wood / polyester / other

35

VMS transponder

36

Model

37

Serial number

38

Software version

39

Satellite operator

40

VMS Manufacturer (name)

41

Vessel overall length

42

Vessel width

43

Draught

44

Tonnage (in GT)

45

Main Engine Power (kW)

47

Engine type

48

Mark

49

Engine serial number

III

INFORMATIONS ON FISHING ACTIVITIES SUPPORTED

50

Fishing Areas FAO code

51

Fishing Divisions - FAO

52

Target Species FAO code

53

RFMOs register number*

54

Date of entry into the RFMO register*

Attachments (list documents): [Am. 75]

Annex

List of information to be provided for issuing a fishing authorisation

* mandatory fields (for items 22 to 25 and 28 to 48, may not be filled in if the information can be automatically retrieved from the Union fleet register thanks to the CFR or IMO number)

I

APPLICANT

1

Vessel Identifier (IMO number, CFR number, etc.)

2

Vessel name

3

Name of the economic operator*

4

Email*

5

Address

6

Fax

7

Tax number (SIRET, NIF…)*

8

Telephone

9

Name of the owner

10

Email*

11

Address

12

Fax

13

Telephone

14

Name of association or agent representing the economic operator*

15

Email*

16

Address

17

Fax

18

Telephone

19

Name(s) of master(s)*

20

Email*

21

Nationality*

22

Fax

23

Telephone

II

FISHING CATEGORY FOR WHICH FISHING AUTHORISATION IS REQUESTED

 

Type of authorisation (fisheries agreement, direct authorisation, RFMO, high seas, charter, support vessel)

24

Vessel type FAO code*

25

Gear type FAO code*

26

Fishing Areas FAO code*

27

Target Species FAO code or Fishing category (SFPA)*

28

Authorisation period requested (start and end dates)

29

RFMOs register number* (when known)

30

List of support vessels: name / IMO number / CFR number

III

CHARTERING

31

Vessel operating under chartering arrangement*: Yes / No

32

Type of chartering arrangement

33

Period of chartering (start and end dates)*

34

Fishing opportunities (tons) allocated to the vessel under chartering*

35

Third country allocating fishing opportunities to the vessel under chartering*

[Am. 76]

(1) OJ C 303, 19.8.2016, p. 116.
(2)OJ C 303, 19.8.2016, p. 116.
(3)OJ C , , p. .
(4) Position of the European Parliament of 2 February 2017 and decision of the Council of … .
(5)Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 of 29 September 2008 concerning authorisations for fishing activities of Community fishing vessels outside Community waters and the access of third country vessels to Community waters, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93 and (EC) No 1627/94 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 3317/94 (OJ L 286, 29.10.2008, p. 33).
(6)Council Decision 98/392/EC of 23 March 1998 concerning the conclusion by the European Community of the United Nations Convention of 10 December 1982 on the Law of the Sea and the Agreement of 28 July 1994 relating the implementation of Part XI thereof (OJ L 179, 23.6.1998, p. 1).
(7)Council Decision 98/414/EC of 8 June 1998 on the ratification by the European Community of the Agreement for the implementing of the provisions of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the conservation and management of straddling stocks and highly migratory fish stocks (OJ L 189, 3.7.1998, p. 14).
(8)Council Decision 96/428/EC of 25 June 1996 on acceptance by the Community of the Agreement to promote compliance with international conservation and management measures by fishing vessels on the high seas (OJ L 177, 16.7.1996, p. 24).
(9)United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/Res/66/288 of 27 July 2012 on the outcome of the Rio +20 Conference, entitled "The Future We Want".
(10)Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy (OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 22).
(11)Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1936/2001 and (EC) No 601/2004 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 1093/94 and (EC) No 1447/1999 (OJ L 286, 29.10.2008, p. 1).
(12)Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy, amending Regulations (EC) No 847/96, (EC) No 2371/2002, (EC) No 811/2004, (EC) No 768/2005, (EC) No 2115/2005, (EC) No 2166/2005, (EC) No 388/2006, (EC) No 509/2007, (EC) No 676/2007, (EC) No 1098/2007, (EC) No 1300/2008, (EC) No 1342/2008 and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1627/94 and (EC) No 1966/2006 (OJ L 343, 22.12.2009, p. 1).
(13)Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.12.2001, p. 1).
(14)Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31).
(15) OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
(16)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 (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).
(17)Regulation (EU) No 1026/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on certain measures for the purpose of the conservation of fish stocks in relation to countries allowing non-sustainable fishing (OJ L 316, 14.11.2012, p. 34).
(18)Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) (OJ L 108, 25.4.2007, p. 1).
(19) Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2328/2003, (EC) No 861/2006, (EC) No 1198/2006 and (EC) No 791/2007 and Regulation (EU) No 1255/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 149, 20.5.2014, p. 1).


Third countries whose nationals are subject to or exempt from a visa requirement: Georgia ***I
PDF 243kWORD 44k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 2 February 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Georgia) (COM(2016)0142 – C8-0113/2016 – 2016/0075(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0016A8-0260/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0142),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 77(2)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0113/2016),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Protocol No 1 on the role of national Parliaments in the European Union,

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 20 December 2016 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0260/2016),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading, hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 2 February 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2017/... of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Georgia)

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2017/372.)


Rule of law crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Gabon
PDF 175kWORD 44k
European Parliament resolution of 2 February 2017 on the rule of law crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Gabon (2017/2510(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0017RC-B8-0120/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),

–  having regard to the statements by the EU Delegation to the DRC on the situation of human rights in the country,

–  having regard to the political agreements reached in the DRC on 18 October 2016 and 31 December 2016,

–  having regard to the statement of 18 December 2016 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini, on the failure to reach an agreement in the DRC,

–  having regard to the statement of 23 November 2016 by the spokesperson of the VP/HR on current political efforts in the DRC,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 23 May 2016 and 17 October 2016 on the DRC,

–  having regard to the local EU statements of 2 August 2016 and 24 August 2016 on the electoral process in the DRC following the launch of the national dialogue in the DRC,

–  having regard to the UN Security Council resolutions on the DRC, in particular resolutions 2293 (2016) on renewing the DRC sanctions regime and the mandate of the Group of Experts and 2277 (2016), which renewed the mandate of the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO),

–  having regard to the UN Security Council press statements of 15 July 2016 and 21 September 2016 on the situation in the DRC,

–  having regard to the annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, published on 27 July 2015, on the situation of human rights in the DRC,

–  having regard to the UN Secretary-General’s reports of 9 March 2016 on the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC, and on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region,

–  having regard to the joint press releases of 16 February 2016 and of 5 June 2016 by the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the International Organisation of La Francophonie on the need for an inclusive political dialogue in the DRC and their commitment to supporting Congolese actors in their efforts towards the consolidation of democracy in the country,

–  having regard to the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement for the DRC and the Region, signed in Addis Ababa in February 2013,

–  having regard to the final report of the European Union electoral observation mission (EOM),

–  having regard to the joint statement issued on 24 September 2016 by the VP/HR and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, following the announcement by the Gabonese Constitutional Court of the official results of the presidential election,

–  having regard to the statement on Gabon issued by the VP/HR’s spokesperson on 11 September 2016,

–  having regard to the press release issued by the African Union on 1 September 2016 condemning the violence of the post-electoral conflict in Gabon and calling for its peaceful resolution,

–  having regard to the EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2014, adopted by the Council of the European Union on 22 June 2015,

–  having regard to the 11th European Development Fund 2014-2020 National Indicative Programme, which prioritises strengthening democracy, governance and the rule of law,

–  having regard to the resolutions adopted by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly of 18 May 2011 on challenges for the future of democracy and respecting constitutional order in ACP and EU countries, and of 27 November 2013 on the respect for the rule of law and the role of an impartial and independent judiciary,

–  having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Republic of Gabon and the European Union concerning the EU’s election observation mission (EOM),

–  having regard to the Congolese and Gabonese Constitutions,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of June 1981,

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

–  having regard to the African Union’s Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa (2002),

–  having regard to the UN International Charter of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the rule of law, accountability, respect for human rights and free and fair elections are essential elements of any functioning democracy; whereas these elements have been challenged in some countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, notably the DRC and Gabon, thereby plunging these countries into a lasting period of political instability and violence;

B.  whereas, most recently, Ali Bongo, the Gabonese outgoing president, in power since the death of his father, Omar Bongo, in 2009, was declared the winner of the 2016 presidential election; whereas international observers, and in particular the EU EOM, identified clear anomalies in the compilation of the results;

C.  whereas Jean Ping, his main contender, immediately challenged and condemned this result; whereas an appeal alleging electoral irregularities and calling for a recount was lodged with the Constitutional Court, who eventually confirmed the result; whereas, however, consideration of the appeal has not dispelled all the doubts surrounding the outcome of the presidential election;

D.  whereas Congolese President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, has delayed the election and remained in power beyond the end of his constitutional mandate; whereas this has caused unprecedented political tension, unrest and violence across the country;

E.  whereas violence escalated following the expiry date of President Kabila’s mandate, causing the death of at least 40 people in clashes between protesters and security forces; whereas, according to the UN, 107 people have been injured or ill-treated and there have been at least 460 arrests;

F.  whereas an agreement was signed on 18 October 2016 between President Kabila and a section of the opposition to postpone the presidential election to April 2018; whereas after months of negotiations, the parties to the agreement of 18 October 2016 reached a global and inclusive political agreement on 31 December 2016; whereas this agreement provides for the first peaceful transfer of power in the country since 1960, the putting in place of a transitional government of national unity, the holding of elections by the end of 2017, and the stepping-down of President Kabila;

G.  whereas in both countries street demonstrations broke out and were violently suppressed, leaving a number of people dead; whereas the authorities have clamped down on members of the opposition and of civil society opposing the power in place; whereas human rights groups continuously report on the worsening situation with regard to human rights and freedom of expression and assembly, including the use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrators, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and politically motivated trials;

H.  whereas there has been a serious deterioration in the freedom of the media, which is limited by constant threats and attacks against journalists; whereas media outlets and radio stations have been shut down by the authorities, and restrictions have been put on the internet and social networks;

I.  whereas one of the characteristics of democracies is respect for the Constitution, which underlies the state, the institutions and the rule of law; whereas peaceful, free and fair elections in these countries would have contributed greatly to addressing the challenge of democratic progress and alternation of power faced by the Central African region;

J.  whereas the 11th European Development Fund 2014-2020 National Indicative Programme prioritises strengthening democracy, governance and the rule of law; whereas both EU and African partners have a strong common interest in the continued development of democracy and the establishment of properly functioning constitutionalism;

1.  Deplores the loss of lives during the demonstrations over the last few months in both countries, and expresses its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims and the people of the DRC and Gabon;

2.  Is deeply concerned at the increasingly unstable situation in both countries; urges the authorities, and above all the presidents, to abide by their international obligations, to guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and to exercise the task of governing with the strictest respect for the rule of law;

3.  Strongly condemns all the violence perpetrated in Gabon and the DRC, the breaches of human rights, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions, political intimidation of civil society and members of the opposition, and the violations of freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the context of the presidential elections; calls for all restrictions on the media to be lifted and for all political detainees to be released;

Gabon

4.  Considers the official presidential election results to be non-transparent and highly doubtful, which has the effect of calling into question President Bongo’s legitimacy; deplores the fact that the appeal procedure which led to Ali Bongo being declared the winner in the election was conducted in an opaque manner, and that the Constitutional Court failed to take proper account of the irregularities noted in some provinces, notably in Haut-Ogooué, the fiefdom of Ali Bongo; regrets the Constitutional Courts’ refusal to recount the votes and compare the ballots before they were destroyed;

5.  Is deeply concerned by the political crisis in Gabon and the unfolding violence between protesters and security forces following the proclamation of the 2016 presidential election;

6.  Strongly condemns the intimidation and threats against members of the European Union EOM and the attacks challenging its neutrality and transparency; deeply regrets the fact that, despite the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Gabonese Government, the EU EOM was granted only limited access to the centralised vote counts in the local electoral commissions (LECs) and at the National Electoral Commission (CENAP) headquarters, and that this prevented the EU EOM from observing key parts of the presidential electoral process;

7.  Notes the planned launch of a national dialogue, as proposed by Ali Bongo, voices reservations as to the credibility and relevance of such a process; points out that the leading opposition figure, Jean Ping, is refusing to take part and has launched and concluded a national dialogue of his own;

8.  Urges the Government of Gabon to conduct a thorough and expeditious reform of the electoral framework, taking account of the recommendations made by the EU EOM, in order to improve it and make it fully transparent and credible; stresses that the Gabonese authorities must guarantee full and sincere cooperation with all relevant national and international stakeholders in order to ensure that the next parliamentary elections are fully transparent and fair and take place in a free, democratic, inclusive and peaceful environment;

9.  Calls for an independent and objective investigation into the election-related violence and the allegations of serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and underlines the need to make sure that all those found responsible are brought to justice; calls, moreover, for the EU, in collaboration with the UN and the African Union, to continue to monitor closely the overall situation in Gabon and to report all cases of violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms; notes the requests for a preliminary inquiry at the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the post-electoral violence;

10.  Urges the Council to initiate a consultation process under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement as soon as there is a lack of progress in the intensified political dialogue; calls on the Council, if no agreement can be reached within the consultation process, to consider imposing targeted sanctions on those responsible for the post-electoral violence and human rights abuses, and for undermining the democratic process in the country;

Democratic Republic of the Congo

11.  Deplores the failure of the Congolese Government to hold the presidential election within the constitutional deadline; reiterates its call for all necessary steps to be taken to create an environment conducive to free, fair and credible elections to be held no later than December 2017, in full accordance with the Congolese Constitution and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;

12.  Urges all political actors to engage in a peaceful and constructive dialogue, to prevent any deepening of the current political crisis and to refrain from further violence and provocations;

13.  Welcomes the efforts made by the National Bishops’ Conference (CENCO) to forge a wider consensus over a political transition; takes note of the agreement reached in late December 2016 denying a third term to President Kabila and calling for the election to take place before the end of 2017; reminds all parties of their commitment to this agreement, and therefore encourages them to apply it in all its components and to set out a concrete calendar for the next elections as soon as possible; reminds them of the high stakes involved if they fail to bring about a successful outcome;

14.  Urges the Congolese Government to immediately address open questions related to the sequencing of the electoral calendar, its budget and the updating of the electoral register in order to allow free, fair and transparent elections; recalls that the Independent National Electoral Commission should be an impartial and inclusive institution with sufficient resources to allow for a comprehensive and transparent process;

15.  Calls for the European Union and its Member States to support the implementation of the agreement and the holding of the electoral process; and calls on all international actors to provide major political, financial, technical and logistical support to the DRC as needed for the elections to take place by December 2017; calls for transparency as regards all the financial support of the European Union and its Member States to the Congolese elections;

16.  Urges a full, thorough and transparent investigation into the alleged human rights violations that took place during the protests in order to identify those responsible and hold them accountable;

17.  Welcomes the adoption of the EU targeted sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on those responsible for the violent crackdown and for undermining the democratic process in the DRC; calls on the Council to consider extending these restrictive measures in the event of further violence, as provided for in the Cotonou Agreement;

o
o   o

18.  Calls on the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the serious human rights violations which have occurred in both countries recently;

19.  Calls on the Congolese and Gabonese authorities to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance at the earliest opportunity;

20.  Calls on the EU Delegation to use all appropriate tools and instruments to support human rights defenders and pro-democracy movements, and to conduct an enhanced political dialogue with the authorities, as enshrined in Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement;

21.  Calls, moreover, for the EU and ACP countries, in collaboration with the UN and the African Union, to continue to monitor closely the overall situation in both countries;

22.  Stresses that the situation in Gabon and the DRC poses a serious threat to the stability of the Central African region as a whole; reiterates its support to the African Union in its crucial role in preventing a political crisis in the region and any further destabilisation of the Great Lakes Region;

23.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the African Union, the President, Prime Minister and Parliament of the DRC and of Gabon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.


Implementation of Erasmus+
PDF 342kWORD 74k
European Parliament resolution of 2 February 2017 on the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing ‘Erasmus+’: the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC (2015/2327(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0018A8-0389/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 165 and 166 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 14 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing ‘Erasmus+’: the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC(1),

–   having regard to Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning(2),

–  having regard to the Council Resolution of 27 November 2009 on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018)(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2010 on promoting youth access to the labour market, strengthening trainee, internship and apprenticeship status(4),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 19 November 2010 on education for sustainable development,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 18 January 2011 entitled ‘Developing the European Dimension in Sport’ (COM(2011)0012),

–   having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2011 on ‘Youth on the move: a framework for improving Europe’s education and training systems(5),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 20 September 2011 entitled ‘Supporting growth and jobs – an agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems’ (COM(2011)0567),

–  having regard to the Council Resolution of 28 November 2011 on a ‘Renewed European agenda on adult learning’(6),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 28 and 29 November 2011 on a benchmark for learning mobility(7),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning(8),

–  having regard to the 2012 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the Strategic Framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), ‘Education and Training in a smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe’(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 October 2013 on ‘Rethinking Education’(10),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 May 2014 on effective teacher education,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 May 2014 on quality assurance supporting education and training,

–  having regard to the Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education (‘Paris Declaration’), adopted at the informal meeting of European Union Education Ministers on 17 March 2015 in Paris,

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 September 2015 on promoting youth entrepreneurship through education and training(11),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 15 September 2015 entitled ‘Draft 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018)’ (COM(2015)0429),

–  having regard to the 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the Strategic Framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), ‘New priorities for European cooperation in education and training’(12),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the role of early childhood education and primary education in fostering creativity, innovation and digital competence(13),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on reducing early school leaving and promoting success in school(14),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 on Learning EU at school(15),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 on Erasmus+ and other tools to foster mobility in vocational education and training – a lifelong learning approach(16),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 30 May 2016 on developing media literacy and critical thinking through education and training,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 30 May 2016 on the role of the youth sector in an integrated and cross-sectoral approach to preventing and combating violent radicalisation of young people,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 June 2016 entitled ‘A new skills agenda for Europe’ (COM(2016)0381),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 June 2016 on follow-up of the Strategic Framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020)(17),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure, as well as Article 1(1)(e) of, and Annex 3 to, the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 12 December 2002 on the procedure for granting authorisation to draw up own-initiative reports,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A8-0389/2016),

A.  whereas Erasmus+ is one of the most successful Union programmes and the major tool to support activities in the fields of education, training, youth and sport, and is designed to improve the career potential of young people and to offer social links to participants; giving over the period 2014-2020 the opportunity to study, train and volunteer in another country to more than four million Europeans;

B.  whereas the Commission has shown flexibility and taken innovative steps to target new challenges, such as a proposal for refugees, and to foster civic values within the incentives Erasmus+ offers, towards a more active and participative intercultural dialogue;

C.  whereas the programme’s high educational, societal, political and economic relevance is reflected in the budget increase of 40 % for the programme period, and in the commitment rate of the budget provided for, which has reached nearly 100 % because of a high number of applications;

D.  whereas not all relevant data for a full quantitative and qualitative analysis of the implementation are yet available, whereas it is therefore too early to conduct a qualitative assessment of the programme’s impact;

E.  whereas the results of the Erasmus Impact Study of 2014(18) show that those who have studied or trained abroad are twice as likely to find work compared to others who lack similar experience, that 85 % of Erasmus students study or train abroad in order to enhance their employability abroad, that the unemployment rate for those who have studied or trained abroad is 23 % lower five years after graduating; whereas the Erasmus Impact Study also shows that 64 % of employers think international experience is important for recruitment (as compared to only 37 % in 2006) and that graduates with an international background are given greater professional responsibility; whereas one in three Erasmus trainees is offered a job at the enterprise where they did their traineeship and almost one in 10 Erasmus trainees who did work placements have started their own company and three out of four plan to or can envisage doing the same;

Main conclusions

1.  Points out that Erasmus+ is the EU’s flagship mobility, education and training programme, which has been allocated a 40 % budget increase as compared to the 2007‑2013 period, given the positive results and high demand;

2.  Notes that a large majority of national agencies expect the Erasmus+ programme’s objectives in the fields of education, training and youth to be reached;

3.  Considers that the Erasmus+ programme plays a vital role in fostering European identity and integration, solidarity, inclusive and sustainable growth, quality employment, competitiveness, social cohesion and youth labour mobility by making a positive contribution to the improvement of European education and training systems, lifelong learning, active European citizenship, and better prospects for employment, by providing Europeans with an opportunity to acquire transversal and transferable sets of personal and professional skills and competences via studies, training, work experience abroad, and volunteering, as well as by offering individuals the chance to live more independently, adapt more easily and achieve personal development;

4.  Emphasises that although the overall programme is more visible than its predecessor the different sectorial programmes still lack visibility; recalls in this context that the specific features and characteristics of the different sectors must be taken into account during the implementation of the programme;

5.  Emphasises that sector-specific formats such as Grundtvig Workshops and national youth initiatives open to informal groups should be reintroduced, and transnational youth initiatives should be more easily accessible; proposes that the impact of the programme be maximised with new eligible actions, for example by introducing large‑scale youth exchanges based on the structure of the large‑scale European Voluntary Service (EVS) in the framework of Key Action 1 (KA1);

6.  Stresses that the youth chapter of the programme is the one most affected by European citizens’ increasing interest in Erasmus+; notes that, at present, 36 % of all Erasmus+ submissions are in the field of youth, with a 60 % increase in submissions between 2014 and 2016;

7.  Acknowledges the importance of the EU Structured Dialogue on youth, a participatory process that gives young people and youth organisations the opportunity to be involved in and influence EU youth policy making, and welcomes the support the programme is providing to the process through the support to National Working Groups and the Key Action 3 (KA3) Structured Dialogue projects; notes that the European Voluntary Service is an intensive learning and experience format for young people and requires a high-quality framework; emphasises that access to the Erasmus+ programme should continue to be reserved primarily for civil society;

8.  Recognises that, according to reports from stakeholders at all levels, while the first two and a half years of programme implementation were difficult and challenging, improvements have been made in the meantime, although simplifications introduced through the one-size-fits-all approach have in many cases had an adverse effect; considers that having fewer bureaucratic obstacles would lead to a wider and more accessible programme; therefore calls for further efforts to be made to reduce bureaucracy across the project cycle and to set the costs appropriately and in relation to the budget or type of project; at the same time, encourages the Commission to strengthen dialogue with social partners, local authorities and civil society so as to ensure the widest possible access to the programme; regrets that, owing to the high administrative burden, Erasmus+ funding can be unattainable for smaller organisations; believes that bureaucracy and reporting requirements should be simplified;

9.  Is sorry to see that the Commission does not provide any data on the quality of the successful projects; emphasises that analysing the quality of each project and the transparent exposure of the results are an obvious step that the Commission should take, which may contribute to a higher success rate in the applications;

10.  Stresses that the goal of simpler, more user-friendly and more flexible implementation has not yet been reached; deplores in this context the continuing lack of clarity and uneven level of detail in the programme guide, as well as the over-complicated application forms which put smaller, inexperienced and non-professional applicants at a considerable disadvantage; underlines the necessity of pursuing improvements in the programme, making it more user-friendly while taking into consideration the importance of differentiating among various sectors and groups of beneficiaries; regrets that the lengthy payment periods in Erasmus+ affect the possibilities of smaller organisations to apply for funding;

11.  Calls on the Commission to significantly simplify the application procedure, and to transform the programme guide and make it more user-oriented and sector-specific by merging all the relevant information for each programme sector into one chapter, and to publish the application forms in all the official languages at the same time as the programme guide and well ahead of the application deadline, as well as providing a clear indication of the documents needed at each stage; calls for clarification and simplification of the financial section of the e-form; emphasises that a coordinated and consistent assessment, supported by independent experts, is necessary for the evaluation of applications;

12.  Highlights the importance of clear learning outcomes and specific job descriptions for Erasmus+ work experiences abroad for vocational education and training students, trainees, and apprentices, and volunteers; stresses that the preparation of the candidates before their international experience is an integral part of the activity and needs to include career guidance sessions and language courses, as well as social and cultural integration training courses, including cross-cultural communication that would foster people’s participation in society and improve their working and living conditions; taking into account the importance of multilingualism in improving the employability of young people, considers that more efforts should be made to promote and support multilingualism in the Erasmus+ programme; welcomes the fact that the foreign language skills of participants in Erasmus+ projects will be enhanced, including neighbouring languages that can increase mobility and employability in the cross-border labour market; considers that the language courses for incoming mobility participants could be delivered in cooperation with the educational institutions and the host companies, and adapted to their field of study or traineeship;

13.  Recalls that despite the programme’s significant overall budget increase, only a limited increase for the first half of the programme period has been provided for in the MFF, which has led, unfortunately, to the rejection of many high-quality projects and hence a low success rate and high dissatisfaction among applicants;

14.  Welcomes the increase in funds available for the Erasmus+ programme for the year 2017 by almost EUR 300 million compared to 2016; further underlines the necessity to use these funds partly for improving the weak parts of the programme and mostly for increasing the number of successful quality projects;

15.  Recognises that investment from the EU budget under Erasmus+ contributes significantly to skills improvement, employability and a lower risk of long-term unemployment for young Europeans, as well as to active citizenship and social inclusion of young people;

16.  Believes that the 12,7 % increase in the total budget in 2017 compared to 2016 and further annual increases in the remaining programme years will result in higher success rates and greater satisfaction among applicants; expects the implementation of the Commission’s intention to allocate an additional EUR 200 million for the remaining programme period, though an even bigger budgetary effort is needed to cover the demand in underfunded sectors, which is actually much higher than the funds available; notes that 48 % of national agencies (NAs) report that programme actions are under-budgeted;

17.  Encourages the Commission to analyse the programme key actions and sectors that seem to be underfunded, such as Key Action 2 (KA2) Strategic Partnerships, adult education, youth, school education, vocational education and training (VET) and higher education, and those that could benefit most from the budgetary increase; underlines the need to maintain continuous monitoring of the programme with a view to identifying those areas and sectors, in order to adopt corrective measures as soon as possible; emphasises the need to secure sufficient funding for mobility, paying specific attention to increasing the mobility of underrepresented groups; emphasises that, owing to sector-specific needs, special budget lines for different sectors are necessary; points out that the budget is to be used exclusively as part of the programme provisions;

18.  Stresses that virtual means are one way to support the dissemination and exploitation of results, but that personal contacts and face-to-face activities play a very important role in the success of a project and of the overall programme; in this regard believes that awareness campaigns in the Member States should include seminars and activities that meet the potential participants in person;

19.  Stresses also that a strong component for all participants in Erasmus+ is the development of their language skills; welcomes, therefore, the on-line language tools that are offered by the Commission, but points out that an accompanying (national, regional, local) framework must be put in place to make mobility a success, in particular for school-aged pupils and VET students, as well as staff, to help with their integration into the different environments;

20.  Points out that, at present, only 1 % of young people in work-related training schemes, including apprentices, are involved in mobility schemes during their training; points out that it is essential to create the conditions for greater apprentice mobility within the EU, so as to give apprentices the same opportunities as higher education students and thus meet the objectives of the fight against unemployment, particularly youth unemployment;

21.  Stresses the importance of informal and non-formal education, youth workers, participation in sport and volunteering in the Erasmus+ Programme as ways to stimulate the development of civic, social and intercultural competences, to foster social inclusion and active citizenship of young people and to contribute to the development of their human and social capital;

22.  Stresses that previously, Erasmus and Leonardo were mainly geared towards young people with higher skills levels and with better labour market access options and fell short in targeting the most vulnerable; points to the EU target to decrease early school leaving and poverty; stresses that early school leavers, a high-risk group for poverty and unemployment, should be strongly targeted by Member States in implementing Erasmus+; stresses that programmes for early school leavers cannot be the standard mainstream VET or exchange programmes but should focus on their specific needs, on easy access and uncomplicated funding hand-in-hand with informal or non-formal learning environments;

23.  Notes the new societal challenges and the job content that is under constant evolution; recalls that the Erasmus+ programme also prepares young people for employment and considers that a special focus should be laid on a shift from on-the-job-competences to soft skills, promoting the acquisition of transversal and transferable sets of skills and competences such as entrepreneurship, ICT literacy, creative thinking, problem-solving and an innovative mind-set, self-confidence, adaptability, team-building, project management, risk assessment and risk-taking, as well as social and civic competences that are highly relevant for the labour market; considers that this should also include well-being at work, a good work-life balance, and the integration of people in vulnerable situations into the labour market and society;

24.  Notes that the Student Loan Guarantee Facility was only launched in February 2015 after signature of the delegation agreement with the European Investment Fund (EIF) in December 2014, and that to date there are only four banks in France, Spain and Ireland participating in this innovative tool; regrets that this financial tool is far from reaching the expected results, as to date only 130 Master’s students are participating; calls for a critical assessment of the Loan Guarantee Facility, examining its purpose and accessibility throughout Europe, and urges the Commission, in consultation with Parliament, to propose a strategy to re-allocate part of the budget that probably will not be used by 2020; underlines that the overall rate of indebted students should be monitored in order to guarantee that the comprehensive financial instruments used by the programme translate into more individuals helped;

25.  Regrets that organisations representing amateur sportspeople, and disabled sportspeople in particular, at local level are highly underrepresented as project participants in the implementation of grassroots sports projects; welcomes the introduction of Small Collaborative Partnerships with reduced administrative requirements as an important step in enabling smaller grassroots sports organisations to take part in the programme and enriching them further; underlines that intersectoral action, in this case linking more closely sport and education, can contribute to tackling this shortcoming; notes that the practice should be extended to other sectors of the Erasmus+ project funding, especially for volunteer organisations;

26.  Welcomes the particular involvement of the Erasmus+ programme in cooperation and activities in grassroots sport; encourages the Commission to improve accessibility and participation in the programme by grassroots actors such as sports clubs; calls on the Commission to assess whether the existing funding available for sport under Erasmus+ is being used effectively and for the benefit of grassroots sport and, if not, to identify options for improvement with a focus on grassroots sport and education to enhance visibility, to promote physical activity and to make sport more accessible to all citizens in the EU; invites the Commission to enhance a cross-sectoral approach on grassroots sport across all relevant actions of Erasmus+ and to coordinate actions in this field in order to ensure their effectiveness and desired impact;

27.  Emphasises the added value of Erasmus+ VET actions in supporting the integration or reintegration of disadvantaged groups into educational/vocational training opportunities in order to enhance their transition to the labour market;

28.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, including EU agencies such as Cedefop, to improve the quality, accessibility and equality of access to VET mobility programmes so that they deliver added value for all participants as regards qualification, recognition and content, and to ensure that quality standards are introduced for apprenticeship programmes;

29.  Acknowledges that, with regard to the high youth unemployment rates in certain Member States, a primary objective of Erasmus+ is to prepare young people for employment; places particular emphasis, at the same time, on the need to preserve the status of activities outside of school, vocational training and study within the Erasmus+ programme;

30.  Reminds the Commission that people with disabilities such as the hearing impaired have special needs and therefore need adequate funding and appropriate support, such as sign language interpreters, and access to greater information and a reasonable grant so they are able to access the Erasmus+ programme; calls on the Commission to continue its work on introducing further measures to grant people with disabilities barrier-free and non-discriminatory access to all scholarship programmes in the framework of Erasmus+; considers it worthwhile, if deemed necessary, to appoint so-called coaches within national agencies aimed at advising on the best possible allocation of funding;

31.  Stresses the requirement to support, either financially or by means of tax incentives, SMEs that offer vocational training under the Erasmus+ programme;

Recommendations

32.  Considers that Erasmus+ is one of the key pillars for adapting the European population to lifelong learning; asks the Commission, therefore, to fully exploit the lifelong-learning dimension of the programme by fostering and encouraging cross-sectoral cooperation under Erasmus+, which is much higher than under the predecessor programmes, and to evaluate cross-sectoral cooperation in the programme’s midterm evaluation presented at the end of 2017; recognises that cross-sectoral projects and activities show the potential to enhance the programme’s performance; calls for educational mobility to become part of any higher or vocational education programmes in order to improve the quality of higher education and the VET system, to help individuals upgrade their professional skills, competences and career development, as well as to strengthen awareness of competences gained during mobility in all targeted sectors and to foster knowledge about learning, training and youth work; calls for better opportunities for VET students to pursue an internship or part of their studies in neighbouring countries, for example by financing the travel expenses of students who continue to live in their own country;

33.  Points to Erasmus+ as an important instrument for improving the quality of VET across the EU; highlights the fact that inclusive quality VET and VET mobility play a vital economic and social role in Europe, in a rapidly changing labour market, as a means of providing young people and adults with the professional and life skills needed for a transition from education and training to work; stresses that VET and VET mobility should foster equal opportunities, non-discrimination and social inclusion for all citizens, including women who are under-represented in VET and people in vulnerable situations including Roma, unemployed young people, people with disabilities, inhabitants of remote areas, inhabitants of outermost regions, and migrants; suggests also focusing on low-qualified beneficiaries in order to increase their participation and thereby improve the outreach of the programmes;

34.  Points out the continued social selectivity in enrolment to mobility in some Member States; regrets that inequalities within and between Member States are making access to the programme difficult because they create barriers for applicants, especially for students with a lower income; indicates the high percentage of students in mobility supported by third parties (family, parents, partners, local actors close to beneficiaries); notes that many working students resign from their participation in the mobility owing to the potential loss of income; notes that the removal of barriers to mobility, such as financial obstacles, and better recognition of international work/study outcomes are important tools for meeting the KA1 objectives; encourages the Commission and the Member States to further increase financial aid for those who are unable to participate because of financial constraints, and looks for further possibilities to facilitate their mobility in order to make the Erasmus+ truly accessible to all; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure gender equality and equal access to the programme;

35.  Calls on the Commission to guarantee Europe-wide mobility even in times of crisis and to maintain options which make it possible for countries participating in the European Higher Education Area to access the Erasmus+ programme.

36.  Continues to express concern that Erasmus+ is viewed by young people and the wider public primarily as a programme for higher education; recommends, therefore, that greater importance be attached to raising the profile at the European, national and regional level of the different sectors that people can apply for, including school-level education, higher education, international higher education, VET, adult education, youth and sport, and volunteering as well as highlighting the possibility of having cross-cutting projects, notably by means of an information campaign and public relations work regarding the content of all programmes;

37.  Considers the long-standing brand names (Comenius, Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig and Youth in Action) and their logos to be important tools in promoting the variety of the programme; notes as well that the name of "Erasmus+" is becoming the best known, especially for newcomers; emphasises that the programme should defend its new name ‘Erasmus+’ and should further use different methods to promote awareness; suggests that the Commission should further highlight the relationship of the Erasmus+ programme with the brand names and its wide variety of sub-programmes; calls for the name "Erasmus+" to be added to the individual programmes (so they will be "Erasmus+ Comenius", "Erasmus+ Mundus", "Erasmus+ Leonardo da Vinci", "Erasmus+ Grundtvig" and "Erasmus+ Youth In Action"); calls on all stakeholders to continue to use them, especially in publications and brochures, in order to maintain and strengthen the identity of the sectoral programmes, to ensure better recognition and to overcome any confusion among beneficiaries; calls on the Commission to structure the Erasmus+ guide with the aid of the long-standing brand names and to use those labels rigorously in the guide.

38.  Encourages the Commission to strengthen its efforts towards an open, consultative and transparent way of working and to further improve its cooperation with the social partners and civil society (including, where appropriate, associations of parents, students, teachers and non-teaching staff, and youth organisations) at all levels of implementation; stresses that the Erasmus+ programme should become a transparency flagship for the European Union, recognised as such by its citizens, evolving towards a situation where 100 % of its decisions and processes become fully transparent, especially regarding their financial dimensions; recalls that fully transparent decisions provide a clearer understanding for those projects and individuals whose applications have not been successful;

39.  Stresses the important role of the Programme Committee, as laid down in Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 establishing Erasmus+, as a key actor in the implementation of the programme and in furthering the European added value through an enhanced complementarity and synergy between Erasmus+ and policies at national level; calls for a stronger role for the Programme Committee and its role in policy decisions; invites the Commission to continue sharing detailed information about the distribution of centralised funds to the Programme Committee;

40.  Underlines that IT tools should not be understood only as a vector for management, application and administrative processes, but that they can also provide valuable ways of keeping in touch with beneficiaries, and of facilitating peer-to-peer contact among them, potentially providing support for many other processes, e.g. feedback from beneficiaries, reciprocal mentoring and enhancing the visibility of the programme;

41.  Calls on the Commission to ensure a regular exchange of information and good cooperation between national authorities, the implementation bodies and civil society organisations at European level and national agencies on both decentralised and centralised programme actions; calls on the NAs to provide all the necessary information on their homepages in the same format and with the same content where possible;

42.  Invites the Commission and, respectively, the Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) to enable further promotion of decentralised actions such as KA2 by proposing adequate funding that is proportional to the size of the actions;

43.  Encourages further fostering of cooperation between the NAs and the EACEA in order to promote centralised actions of the Erasmus+ programme, to provide the necessary support, to increase awareness of the programme, to provide additional information about the programme among potential applicants, and to exchange feedback on improving their implementation process; calls on the Commission to develop, in collaboration with the national agencies, European implementation guidelines for the national agencies; asks for a facilitation of the contacts among the Commission, NAs, programme beneficiaries, representatives of civil society organisations and the EACEA by the development of a communication platform for exchanging information and good practices, where all stakeholders can receive quality information, as well as sharing their experiences and suggestions for further programme improvements; stresses the need to involve stakeholders and beneficiaries in the Programme Committee meetings; highlights that, in line with Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013, this could be facilitated by the establishment of standing sub-committees involving representatives of stakeholders and beneficiaries, sectorial national agencies, Members of the European Parliament and representatives from the Member States;

44.  Calls on the Commission to review the payment modalities to national agencies, the deadlines for applications and the appropriation periods, and to adjust them accordingly; points out that greater flexibility in mobility grants and administrative costs in favour of longer stays abroad should be made possible for the national agencies; encourages the Commission to give more flexibility to NAs to move funds within KAs in order to overcome the potential funding gaps based on beneficiaries’ needs; suggest entrusting NAs with this process, given their familiarity with the potential funding gaps in their respective country; notes that increased flexibility brings the need for corresponding monitoring and transparency;

45.  Is concerned over the decreasing number of pool projects under Leonardo and calls for the national agencies to have more decision-making scope on the amount of administrative expenditure subsidies, so that they can take national particularities such as the dual system into account more effectively;

46.  Is concerned about NAs’ difficulties in interpretation and application of programme rules and recalls that 82 % of the Erasmus+ budget is managed under decentralised actions; calls on the Commission to streamline definitions and improve guidance on decentralised actions and to ensure the consistent application of programme rules and regulations across the National Agencies, observing common quality standards, project evaluation, and administrative procedures, thus guaranteeing the uniform and coherent implementation of Erasmus+ programme, best results for the EU budget and the avoidance of error rates;

47.  Believes that NA performance should be regularly assessed and improved in order to safeguard the performance of EU-funded actions; acknowledges that participation rates and participants’ and partners’ experience should be key in this respect;

48.  Suggests that the organisational structure of the relevant Commission services be aligned with the structure of the programme;

49.  Calls for further improvement of the relevant IT tools and for the focus to be put on streamlining, user-friendliness and improving connections between the different tools rather than developing new ones; recalls, in this context, that new IT tools are among the favourite means of interaction with the web used by young citizens; underlines that IT technologies can play an important role in reinforcing the visibility of the programme;

50.  Calls on the Commission to develop further the eTwinning, School Education Gateway, Open Education Europe, EPALE, European Youth Portal and VALOR IT platforms in order to make them more attractive and user-friendly; asks the Commission to include an evaluation of these platforms in the Erasmus+ mid-term evaluation, to be presented at the end of 2017;

51.  Calls on the Commission to optimise the performance and user-friendliness of IT tools, such as the Mobility Tool, or other IT support platforms such as the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE), in order to ensure that the programme beneficiaries make the most of their experiences, as well as promoting cross-border collaboration and the sharing of best practices;

52.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen the school education dimension of the programme, allowing for more mobility of pupils, simplification of funding and administrative procedures for schools and for non-formal education providers, thereby taking advantage of the general intention of Erasmus+ to foster cross-sectoral cooperation, and with a view to encouraging non-formal education providers to become involved with partnerships with schools; encourages the Commission to strengthen youth work and non-formal education development practices within the programme by supporting youth organisations and other youth work providers, as well as by continuing support to the EU-Council of Europe youth partnership;

53.  Welcomes the introduction of two types of strategic partnership as a first and important positive step towards increasing the chances for small organisations to participate in the programme, as they often experience difficulties with meeting the requirements and are thus discriminated against, which detracts from the programme’s reputation and persuasiveness; calls on the Commission to carry out improvements that will make the programme even more appealing in order to ensure that more small organisations are included in programme activities with the final goal of increasing their share in the programme, bearing in mind quality requirements; welcomes the establishment of European implementation guidelines and a more detailed FAQ site to streamline answers about selection criteria and to showcase selected projects in order to clarify selection and better support small organisations; emphasises the need to involve diverse participating organisations in the programme’s activities and to keep a balance among them;

54.  Recommends that subsidy amounts in the school cooperation sector be reduced to the benefit of the number of subsidised projects, in order to subsidise school exchanges directly and thus make more personal encounters between people of different cultures and languages possible; underlines the significance of personal experiences with people of different cultural backgrounds with regard to the promotion of a European identity and the basic idea of European integration, and recommends attempts be made to let the greatest possible number of people participate, which should certainly be the case for all programme aims; welcomes in that connection the improvements which have already taken place but expects the rules to be made more flexible as part of the strategic partnerships by the national agencies and the Commission;

55.  Taking into account the importance of multilingualism in raising the employability of young people(19), considers that more efforts should be made to promote and support multilingualism in the Erasmus+ programme;

56.  Notes, in the context of new societal challenges for Europe, the need to strengthen a European approach to facing common European challenges by supporting large-scale innovation projects in the field of education, training and youth carried out by European Civil Society networks; points out that this could be done by allocating part of the overall Erasmus+ funding of KA2 to ‘Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices’ of centralised actions;

57.  Notes that 75 % of NAs reported a high administrative burden, which decreases EU budget investment capacity and threatens to have a direct impact on beneficiaries; calls on DG EAC and the EACEA to improve implementation, especially in the application process;

58.  Welcomes the introduction of the unit cost system into the programme in order to minimise the administrative burden; welcomes also the adjustments made in 2016 and planned for 2017 by the Commission; notes that, owing to regulatory requirements, some Member States cannot apply this system or find cost levels inadequate as compared with actual costs; considers the further increase in unit cost rates to be necessary to provide sufficient financial support for project participants, and emphasises the need to guarantee that participants and organisations from remote areas and border regions are not disadvantaged by the unit cost system; calls for the high personal engagement, particularly of the many volunteers and teachers, and of all other applicants, to be rewarded appropriately; calls for the (re)introduction of project initiation financing for making contact with potential cooperation partners or preparatory meetings, or a sufficient total allowance to cover those costs, for example; underlines that transparency in this area is an essential component of the transparency requirements and targets for the overall Erasmus+ programme;

59.  Welcomes the simplification introduced by the use of lump-sum and flat-rate funding; encourages the Commission to look for ways to further improve the complicated administrative procedure for the applicants in different sectors of the programme; is concerned that NAs are reporting a higher audit burden;

60.  Notes the need to strengthen the operational support to European networks under KA3 ‘Support for policy reform’ in order to maximise the promotion and dissemination of the opportunities offered by Erasmus+;

61.  Calls on the Commission to take relevant steps to make volunteering eligible as a source of own contributions to the project budget, as this facilitates the participation of smaller organisations, especially in sport, bearing in mind that Erasmus+ enables the recognition of volunteer time as co-financing in the form of contributions in kind, and that the new Commission proposal for financial guidelines includes this as a possibility; stresses that volunteer contribution must be recognised and granted visibility, given its special significance for the programme, provided that it is monitored in order to ensure that volunteering complements, but does not replace, the investment of public resources;

62.  Recognises the economic and social value of volunteering and encourages the Commission to better support volunteer-based organisations across the programme actions;

63.  Welcomes the Commission´s proposal to set up a European Solidarity Corps; encourages the Commission to involve volunteer organisations in the development of this new initiative in order to ensure its added and complementary value in strengthening volunteering in the European Union; encourages the Commission and the Member States to make a budgetary effort to accommodate this new initiative without underfunding other current and priority programmes and calls for possibilities to be explored of integrating it into the EVS in order to strengthen volunteering in the EU without duplicating initiatives and programmes;

64.  Highlights that volunteering is an expression of solidarity, freedom and responsibility that contributes to the strengthening of active citizenship and to personal human development; considers that volunteering is also an essential tool for social inclusion and cohesion, as well as training, education and intercultural dialogue, while making an important contribution to the dissemination of European values; believes that the European Voluntary Service (EVS) should be recognised for its role in fostering the development of skills and competences that can facilitate the access of the EVS participants to the labour market; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure decent working conditions for the volunteers and monitor whether the contracts under which volunteers work are fully respected; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that participants in the European Voluntary Service are never considered or used as a labour replacement;

65.  Calls for the decision-making period to be kept as short as possible, for the evaluation of applications to be done in a coherent and coordinated way and for a transparent and understandable justification to be provided for rejected applications, so that there is not a drastic loss of incentive among users of EU programmes;

66.  Strongly encourages more transparency in the evaluation of applications and the quality feedback to all applicants; calls on the Commission to ensure an effective feedback system in order for the programme beneficiaries to report back to the Commission on any irregularities that they might identify with respect to the implementation of the Erasmus+ programme; further calls on the Commission to improve and increase the flow of information between the European institutions responsible for implementing the programme and the national bodies; encourages national agencies and the EACEA, with a view to improving the implementation of the programme, to provide training opportunities for evaluators, and to organise regular meetings with beneficiaries and visits to projects;

67.  Notes the importance of strengthening the local dimension of the EVS; suggests providing the EVS volunteers with stronger support not only before departure, but also upon their return to their local communities in the forms of post-orientated and post-integrated training, in order to help them share their European expertise by promoting volunteering at the local level;

68.  Supports increased effectiveness and efficiency through larger-scale projects; notes, however, that there has to be a balance between small and large groups of applicants;

69.  Asks the Commission to harmonise the indicated pre-financing rates as much as possible throughout the programme in order to give all beneficiaries the same advantages and to facilitate project implementation, especially for small-sized organisations; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that large institutions are not favoured over their smaller, less well-established counterparts in terms of programme applicants;

70.  Notes regional imbalances at EU level and among areas within Member States in participation in Erasmus+-funded actions; is concerned that the success rates of its actions are relatively low, and divergent across the EU; calls for targeted and timely action to widen participation and improve success rates regardless of the origin of applicants, which seeks to earmark some of the funding for specific measures to promote and raise awareness of this initiative, particularly in those regions where access to funding has remained relatively low;

71.  Notes that Erasmus+ implementation in the EU’s regions reveals different funding demands and intervention priorities which require some Member States to refocus the programme intervention to ensure cost-effectiveness of the money spent;

72.  Notes unjustified grant discrepancies between countries and their methods of allocation; encourages the Commission to investigate the consequences of such differences in an effort to minimise socio-economic disparities in the European Union; encourages a further increase of grant rates, as well as their adjustment to the cost of living in the host country of mobility in order to encourage the participation of socio-economically disadvantaged students, students and staff with special needs, and students and staff from distant regions;

73.  Notes that the greater positive effect of, and higher demand for, Erasmus+ mobility grants in eastern and southern Europe contrast with a limited overall programme budget, which leads to a high proportion of rejected applications; proposes that the Commission step up efforts to promote mobility from western Europe to eastern Europe;

74.  Regrets that the growing inequality within and between some Member States and the high youth unemployment rate in the EU are making access to the programme difficult as they create barriers to mobility for applicants from lower-income regions that have been more heavily hit by the economic crisis and the cuts; states that the Erasmus+ programme and VET need to be active in remote and border regions of the EU too; considers the provision of access and equal opportunities for inhabitants of these regions to be a very positive move and a vehicle to cut youth unemployment and aid economic recovery;

75.  Underlines that grants to support the mobility of individuals within the Erasmus+ programme should be exempted from taxation and social levies;

76.  Calls on the Commission to recognise the special nature of projects and mobilities involving people with special needs and people from disadvantaged backgrounds; encourages stronger promotion of the possibilities for people with special needs and for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to engage in the programme, including refugees, and asks that their access thereto be facilitated;

77.  Stresses that although progress has been made in recognising study periods, credits, competences and skills through non-formal and informal learning gained abroad, these challenges remain; underlines that recognition of international qualifications is essential to mobility and forms the foundation for further cooperation in the European Higher Education Area; highlights the importance of making full use of all EU tools for the validation of knowledge, skills and competences essential to the recognition of qualifications;

78.  Emphasises that the number of study periods completed abroad through the Erasmus scheme has been steadily increasing since 2008, despite the economic, financial and social crisis; draws attention to the fact that, at the same time, the number of work placements abroad has increased exponentially; concludes that work placements are obviously regarded by young people as an excellent opportunity to enhance their employability; recommends that the Commission and national agencies, organisers and institutions take note of this development;

79.  Stresses that, due to the European Qualifications Framework(20), clear improvements have been made in recognition and validation systems of diplomas, qualifications, credits, skills certificates, competency accreditations in education and VET, but notes that problems still persist; highlights the importance of ensuring that the competences and qualifications developed through international mobility experience in any setting – formal learning environment, company traineeship or volunteering and youth activity – are properly documented, validated, recognised, and made comparable within the home system; calls on the Commission to reform and make progress towards strengthening the European Qualifications Framework from the current recommendation to a stronger instrument so as to support free movement; calls on the Commission and Member States to make systematic use of and further develop existing European instruments such as the Europass, Youthpass and ECVET; encourages the development of joint VET qualifications that can ensure international recognition of qualifications; calls on the Member States for the full and timely implementation of the Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning;

80.  Highlights that non-formal adult education and learning promotes basic skills and soft skills such as social and civic competences that are relevant for the labour market as well as well-being at work and a good work-life balance; points out that non-formal adult education and learning play a crucial role in reaching out to disadvantaged groups in society and helping them develop skills that support them in entering the labour market and finding a sustainable and quality job, or improving their employment situation as well as contributing to a more democratic Europe;

81.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote VET programmes, points out that traineeship and internship systems are formative opportunities that do not substitute for full-time professional positions, that they must guarantee decent working conditions and adequate pay for apprentices and that in no instance should the competences attributed to beneficiaries be replaced by those proper to an employee;

82.  Notes the more demanding implementation work for NAs under the current programme; calls on the Commission to provide NAs with sufficient resources and the necessary assistance, thus enabling more efficient programme implementation and allowing NAs to tackle new challenges resulting from the budget increase;

83.  Calls on the Commission to monitor the quality criteria used by the National Agencies in project evaluations and exchanges of best practice in this regard; encourages training programmes for evaluators to enable them to continue their development, especially in cross-sector projects, and to allow them to provide quality feedback to all applicants in order to encourage the accomplishment of goals in future projects and to improve the performance of future applicants;

84.  Believes that quality measurement should be equally important as a quantitative measurement; calls for the elaboration of the former in the context of Erasmus+;

85.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to validate and recognise formal and non-formal learning and apprenticeships; encourages the Member States to provide young apprentices with better information on the possibilities open to them and to give more support to learning centres seeking to become involved in the Erasmus+ programme, but also to put in place ancillary measures in cases of cross-border mobility experience in neighbouring countries in order to assist apprentices with accommodation and transport;

86.  Supports greater mobility in education and in apprenticeship programmes and traineeship periods under the Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative programmes, with the aim of trying to ease the high levels of youth unemployment and geographical imbalances within the European Union;

87.  Urges the Commission to identify current unequal participation of VET institutions in the EU mobility programmes in countries and regions in order to diminish these differences through improved collaboration and exchange of information among national agencies for Erasmus+, supporting teamwork among VET institutions by connecting experienced VET institutions with other institutions, offering policy support measures and specific suggestions to VET institutions, and improving VET institution support systems already in place;

88.  Encourages the Member States, in order to foster the mobility of teachers, lecturers and non-academic staff, to acknowledge their participation in mobility programmes as an important part of their career progression, and if possible to introduce a reward system linked to participation in mobility programmes, for example in the form of financial benefits or reduction of workload;

89.  Calls on the National Agencies to provide full transparency while evaluating projects by publishing the list of selected projects, together with their ongoing progress and designated financial support;

90.  Encourages the continuation in KA1 of the best function practices from Comenius, such as fostering school class exchanges and the possibility for school staff members to apply individually for mobility grants under KA1;

91.  Notes that despite the high quality of projects in KA2, many of them have been refused owing to limited funding; encourages the Commission to mark these projects in order to help them attract investments from other sources; encourages the Member States to acknowledge the projects that have been given marks by granting them priority in accessing public funds for their implementation, if such funds are accessible;

92.  Calls on the Commission to continue efforts to resolve the funding challenge for European organisations based in Brussels in order to further their contribution to the development of European policies in the fields of education, training, youth and sport;

93.  Notes the challenges faced by NAs in implementing International Credit Mobility (ICM); calls for greater flexibility for NAs to allocate resources from some countries and regions to others for the purpose of meeting the cooperation priorities of the higher education institutions (HEIs);

94.  Notes the decreasing number of individual mobility participants outside of Erasmus+ as a result of preferential treatment by European HEIs of an institutionalised mobility system; encourages the Commission and national authorities to renew opportunities for individual candidates to participate in mobility;

95.  Encourages the Commission to bolster the VET system by promoting Leonardo da Vinci sub-programmes among new organisations and smaller institutions, in addition to providing them with assistance with applying for appropriate funding by offering further guidance, on-line training, and personalised support in preparing high-quality applications for funding through contact with national agencies for the Erasmus+ programme;

96.  Encourages the promotion of the European Higher Educational Area around the world, as well as the advancement of individual knowledge worldwide by enhancing all relevant stakeholders (Member States, the HEIs, higher education associations) to make the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees more attractive to HEIs and potential applicants;

97.  Suggests a greater involvement of NAs in education, training, youth and sport policy development by strengthening the links between the Commission, the Member States and National Agencies;

Next programme period

98.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase efforts to simplify procedures and reduce the high administrative burden for students, institutions and for host companies involved in Erasmus+ projects, in particular those that are not sufficiently exploiting this opportunity in order to improve and facilitate equal access, registration, validation and recognition processes; maintains that information on this programme has to be provided in all the official languages of the EU in order to encourage greater involvement; calls on the Commission and the national agencies to standardise the access criteria with a view to ensuring access for the highest number of applicants possible;

99.  Suggests that the priority should be to refrain from further harmonisation and major changes in the structure of the programme, and instead to safeguard and consolidate achievements and make incremental improvements where necessary;

100.  Recommends that the significance and visibility of non-formal education should be increased for both youth employment and adult education in Erasmus+, as non-formal education is important in the European citizenship sector and the promotion of democracy and education on values; the programme is, however, often only associated with formal education owing to its name;

101.  Calls on the Commission to involve relevant stakeholders in the work on the next funding programming period, and in the introduction of possible improvements, in order to ensure the programme’s further success and added value;

102.  Recommends that Erasmus+ further develops cross-sector mobility of individuals within KA1, so that learners, teachers, educators, trainers, apprentices, workers and young people may engage fully in cross-sector mobility;

103.  Asks that a clear definition of cross-sectoral projects be developed in order to avoid confusion resulting from the mislabelling of projects;

104.  Not only calls for the current budget level to be secured for the next programme generation under the new MFF, but considers a further budget increase that ensures a level of annual funding for the next programme generation of at least the same level as the last year of implementation of the current framework to be an absolutely essential precondition for the continued success of the programme; proposes that the Commission explore the possibility of increasing pre-financing;

105.  Welcomes the structure of the programme and calls on the Commission to keep in the proposal for the next generation of programmes the separate chapters and separate budgets for education and training, for youth and for sport, bearing in mind their specific characters, and to adapt the application forms, reporting systems and requirements regarding the developed products sector-specifically;

106.  Encourages the national agencies to make the available budgets per key action and per sector easily accessible following each application round in order to allow applicants to strategically plan their future actions, and to publish the results of projects selection and budget lines, so that adequate external monitoring of the programme can take place;

107.  Calls on the Commission to regularly review the levels of financial support, such as lump sums for travel and subsistence allowances, in order to ensure that they match real living expenses and to avoid indebtedness caused by a training period, and therefore to help prevent discrimination and abandoning people with fewer financial means and/or special requirements;

108.  Indicates that disadvantaged groups are specifically targeted in the youth sector; suggests the extension of the Inclusion and Diversity Strategy to all programme sectors in order to promote social inclusion and the participation of people with special needs or with fewer opportunities in the Erasmus+ programme;

109.  Calls on the Commission to present and on Member States to endorse a quality framework for apprenticeships and a proposal on increased mobility for apprentices to ensure a set of rights for apprentices, interns, trainees and VET learners so as to ensure that they are adequately protected and that these mobility programmes never substitute standard employment contracts; calls for quality and remunerated traineeships and internships, and requests that the Member States report the situations where conditions concerning the tasks or rights of Erasmus+ beneficiaries are infringed;

110.  Calls on the Commission to work with the Member States to create stronger cooperation between education institutions and key stakeholders (local/regional authorities, social partners, the private sector, youth representatives, VET facilities, research organisations, and civil society organisations) in order to enhance the responsiveness of the education and VET systems to genuine labour market needs, and to guarantee that this cooperation is reflected in Erasmus+; believes that active involvement of beneficiaries and all stakeholders in the design, organisation, monitoring, implementation and evaluation of the programme ensures its viability, success and added value;

111.  Advocates allowing mobile students to combine studies abroad with a study-related placement within the programme, in this way facilitating their stay abroad, decreasing social selectivity, increasing the number of mobile students, upgrading students’ skills and enhancing the connections between higher education and the work environment; calls on the Commission to pay particular attention to the long-term mobility of apprentices when allocating Erasmus+ grants;

112.  Notes the imbalances between the Member States concerning admission criteria for the Erasmus+ programme; insists that the Commission ensure that the programme rules are applied in a harmonised way across national agencies, respecting common quality standards and procedural practices, and thus ensuring the internal and external coherence of Erasmus+ and positioning it as a true European programme; in this regard, calls on the Commission to develop a European implementation guideline for the Erasmus+ programme for the national agencies; encourages the national agencies, which have to be an inherent part of the monitoring process, to also focus on setting up or facilitating a forum for constructive dialogue between the authorities in charge of education and labour policies in each Member State; strongly encourages better coordination between the agencies to match the projects dealing with similar issues;

113.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase training opportunities abroad for VET and to position VET as a top choice for finding a job and starting on a promising career, and to ensure access for all citizens of all ages, and to provide adequate funding as the funds set aside for VET are not proportional(21) to the number of potential applicants for the mobility programmes on offer; strongly supports an efficient promotion and encouragement of VET mobility among women and considers that ambitious targets should be set by the Member States in this regard and the progress should be strictly monitored;

114.  Highlights that a redefinition of jobs and skills is taking place, especially due to the ongoing transition towards a more digitised economy with new business needs arising, and future-oriented sectors; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that the Erasmus+ programme reflects this reality;

115.  Calls for greater promotion of mobility programmes for advanced levels of higher education to ensure mobility between European research centres and further develop the aim of making European universities international;

116.  Stresses the need to increase awareness of the Erasmus+ instrument as a means of improving an individual’s own skills and giving them an added dimension, which should ensure the right approach to this instrument for the purpose of guaranteeing its effectiveness, and eliminating the risk of turning it merely into a life experience;

117.  Calls on the Commission to draw up and make available updated statistics and conduct follow-up studies on the implementation of Erasmus+, in particular the take-up rate among young people, broken down by region and gender, the impact it has had on employability, as well as type and rate of employment, and impact on salaries and how it may potentially be improved; calls on the Commission to analyse why some countries are applying for more VET mobility, where the gender gap is greatest and reasons for this gap, or where there are more applicants with disabilities, and build a plan on how to increase the involvement of the other countries; calls therefore on national agencies in Member States to work closely on the exchange of information and statistics; maintains that the results of the studies and statistics need to be included and taken into consideration in the next Erasmus+ mid-term review;

118.  Recalls that at a time of particular crisis with regard to the fundamental values of the EU, the Erasmus+ instrument can provide a fundamental opportunity to promote integration, understanding and solidarity among young people; calls therefore for the integration of young people to be promoted by means of awareness of different cultures and traditions and their mutual and necessary respect;

119.  Proposes that the Commission maintains entrepreneurship education and training as one of the objectives of a future Erasmus+ programme in the next financial period (post-2020), including mobility, and includes the following elements as part of the programme:

   (i) careful assessment of the impact of existing measures promoting entrepreneurship through education and training and potentially adapt them, while paying special attention to the impact on under-represented and disadvantaged groups;
   (ii) promotion of better defined learning content and tools for formal and non-formal education targeting all students – both theoretical modules and practical modules, such as student entrepreneurial projects;
   (iii) promotion of partnerships between educational institutions, enterprises, non-profit organisations and non-formal education providers, in order to devise suitable courses and provide students with the requisite practical experience and models;
   (iv) development of skills in the areas of entrepreneurial processes, financial literacy, ICT literacy and skills, creative thinking, problem-solving and an innovative mind-set, self-confidence, adaptability, team-building, project management, risk assessment and risk-taking, as well as specific business skills and knowledge;
   (v) highlighting of non-formal and informal learning as a privileged environment to acquire entrepreneurship competences;

120.  Encourages Member States to take further part in the Erasmus Programme for Young Entrepreneurs and to promote it further among young people who wish to engage in business projects, so that they can gain experience abroad and acquire new skills which will help them to carry out their business projects successfully;

121.  Strongly encourages peer-to-peer learning following studies, training, and work experience abroad in order to increase the impact of Erasmus+ on local communities; highlights that the sharing of good practices is vital for improving the quality of the projects under Erasmus+; welcomes the Erasmus+ platform for dissemination of project results and calls for a stronger approach to the sharing of good practices and international exchanges of views for national agencies, partners, and programme beneficiaries; calls on the Commission to provide support to programme applicants to find international partners, by developing user friendly platforms that combine public information about the various beneficiaries and their projects;

122.  Calls on the Commission to improve the programme guide and make it more user-friendly and understandable, and to develop specific information brochures on each of the key actions; calls on the Commission to streamline the application process in terms of administrative burdens;

123.  Supports the development of adult learning institutions through on-going professional development and mobility opportunities for teachers, school leaders, trainers and other education staff; encourages the development of skills and competences, particularly in the effective use of ICT in adult learning, for improved learning outcomes; underlines the importance of exchanging best practices;

124.  Welcomes the development of pilot projects such the ‘European framework for mobility of apprentices: developing European citizenship and skills through youth integration in the labour market’ aimed at implementing cost-efficient cross-border apprentice mobility schemes between VET institutions, companies and/or other relevant organisations, as well as formally recognising and validating learning outcomes and supporting the mutual recognition of diplomas, and ‘Youth mobility in vocational training – Better youth mobility’ aimed at improving the mobility of young people in vocational training; calls on the Commission to implement effectively the two pilot projects and their long-term integration into the Erasmus+ programme;

125.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to guarantee increased and more long-term structural support to European civil society organisations in the field of education, training, youth and sport in the form of operating grants, as they are the organisations providing learning opportunities and participation spaces to European citizens and residents to develop and implement European policies;

126.  Calls on the Commission to consider an appropriate solution to the situation of the European level non-governmental organisation based in Brussels applying for funds in Belgian national agencies;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 50.
(2) OJ L 394, 30.12.2006, p. 10.
(3) OJ C 311, 19.12.2009, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 351 E, 2.12.2011, p. 29.
(5) OJ C 377 E, 7.12.2012, p. 77.
(6) OJ C 372, 20.12.2011, p. 1.
(7) OJ C 372, 20.12.2011, p. 31.
(8) OJ C 398, 22.12.2012, p. 1.
(9) OJ C 70, 8.3.2012, p. 9.
(10) OJ C 208, 10.6.2016, p. 32.
(11) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0292.
(12) OJ C 417, 15.12.2015, p. 25.
(13) OJ C 172, 27.5.2015, p. 17.
(14) OJ C 417, 15.12.2015, p. 36.
(15) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0106.
(16) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0107.
(17) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0291.
(18) http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/library/study/2014/erasmus-impact_en.pdf
(19) JRC Science and Policy Report on Languages and Employability, 2015.
(20) OJ C 111, 6.5.2008, p. 1.
(21) According to the Commission, in 2016, owing to a lack of funding, the success rate of eligible applications for VET mobility under Erasmus+ was 42 %. The situation has worsened over the years – in 2014 the success rate was 54 %, and then in 2015 it was 48 %. Although the funding available has increased slightly over the years, the demand has grown much faster, but the limited resources of Erasmus+ does not allow for funding to keep up the pace with demand.

Legal notice