Index 
Texts adopted
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Sustainable management of external fishing fleets ***II
 Amendments to various Regulations in the field of agriculture and rural development ***I
 EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS): continuing current limitations of scope for aviation activities and preparing to implement a global market-based measure from 2021 ***I
 Extension of the duration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments ***I
 Request for defence of the privileges and immunities of Eleonora Forenza
 Request for waiver of the immunity of Ingeborg Gräßle
 Customs duties on imports of certain products originating in the United States of America ***I
 EU-USA Air Transport Agreement ***
 EU-Switzerland agreement on the linking of their greenhouse gas emissions trading systems***
 EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (Consent) ***
 EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (Resolution)
 Renewal of the mandate of the Chair of the Single Resolution Board
 EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening citizens’ rights in a Union of democratic change
 Towards a digital trade strategy

Sustainable management of external fishing fleets ***II
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 (11382/2/2017 – C8-0358/2017 – 2015/0289(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0475A8-0374/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council position at first reading (11382/2/2017 – C8‑0358/2017),

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

–  having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0636),

–  having regard to Article 294(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Rule 67a of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Fisheries (A8-0374/2017),

1.  Approves the Council position at first reading;

2.  Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the Council position;

3.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council, in accordance with Article 297(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

4.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

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

(1) OJ C 303, 19.8.2016, p. 116.
(2) Texts adopted of 2.2.2017, P8_TA(2017)0015.


Amendments to various Regulations in the field of agriculture and rural development ***I
PDF 284kWORD 59k
Resolution
Text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and amending Regulations (EU) No 1305/2013, (EU) No 1306/2013, (EU) No 1307/2013, (EU) No 1308/2013 and (EU) No 652/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (COM(2016)0605 – C8-0404/2017 – 2016/0282B(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0476A8-0380/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0605),

–  having regard to the decision by the Conference of Presidents on 16 November 2017 to split the Commission proposal and to authorise the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to draw up a separate legislative report for the provisions pertaining to the remit of that committee, namely Articles 267 to 270 and 275 of the Commission proposal,

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and (3) and Article 42, Article 43(2) and point (b) of Article 168(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Court of Auditors No 1/2017 of 26 January 2017(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 14 December 2016(2),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 11 May 2017(3),

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0211/2017),

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure hereinafter set out, and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 15 November 2017 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 Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0380/2017),

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

2.  Approves its statement annexed to this resolution;

3.  Takes note of the statements by the Commission annexed to this resolution

4.  Underlines that the split of the Commission proposal is aimed at enabling the provisions pertaining to the remit of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to apply from 1 January 2018 and that the remaining part of the Commission proposal(4) will be examined at a later stage;

5.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

6.  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 12 December 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) …/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1305/2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), (EU) No 1306/2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy, (EU) No 1307/2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy, (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and (EU) No 652/2014 laying down provisions for the management of expenditure relating to the food chain, animal health and animal welfare, and relating to plant health and plant reproductive material

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2017/2393.)

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

Statement by the European Parliament

The new rules on producer organisations and competition law (CMO)

The European Parliament recalls that, according to Article 42 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), rules on competition apply to the production of and trade in agricultural products only to the extent determined by the Parliament and the Council, account being taken of the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as laid down in Article 39 of the same Treaty.

As set out in the treaty, and in accordance with the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union(5), the objectives of the CAP prevail over those of European competition policy. However, agricultural markets are not exempt from the application of competition law. The adaptation of competition rules to agricultural specificities is the prerogative of the co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council.

Within this context, the European Parliament by means of this Regulation proposes a clarification of the relationship between CAP rules, in particular the role and the missions of producer organisations and associations of producer organisations, and the application of European competition law. Such a clarification is necessary because of the existing uncertainties regarding the implementation of these rules, and is essential to reach the Union's objective to strengthen farmers’ position within the food supply chain. The European Parliament's proposals are based on the recommendations in the Agri-Market Task Force (AMTF) report of 14 November 2016. These recommendations were based on a series of hearings and contributions received from all actors in the food supply chain: producers, processors and retailers.

The European Parliament aims to simplify and clarify the conditions under which producer organisations or associations of producer organisations in all the sectors listed in Article 1(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 may carry out, on behalf of their members, activities of production planning, placing on the market, negotiation of contracts for the supply of agricultural products and optimisation of production costs. These tasks essentially require the existence of certain practices, including internal consultations and the exchange of commercial information within those entities. It is therefore proposed that these practices fall outside of the scope of the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements, laid down by Article 101(1) of the TFEU, and that producer organisations or associations of producer organisations, carrying out at least one economic activity, benefit from a derogation from the application of this article. However, this derogation is not absolute: competition authorities retain the possibility to intervene if they consider that such activities are likely to exclude competition or jeopardize the objectives of the CAP.

The role and the missions of producer organisations or associations of producer organisations and their relationship with competition law is thus clarified. Without prejudice to the institutional prerogatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament considers that the new rules do not require further clarification in the form of guidelines of the European Commission.

StatementS by the Commission

Ad Article 1 - Rural development

—  Extension of the duration of rural development programmes

Expenditure relating to the 2014-2020 rural development programmes approved in accordance with Article 10(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 will continue to be eligible for EAFRD contribution if paid to the beneficiaries by latest 31 December 2023. The Commission will address the continuation of support for rural development after 2020 in the context of its proposal for the next MFF.

—  Risk management

The Commission confirms its intention to review the functioning and efficiency of the risk management tools which are currently included in Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 in the context of its proposal on the modernisation and simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy.

—  Penalties for Leader

The Commission confirms its intention to review the effectiveness and proportionality of the penalties for LEADER included in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 809/2014.

Ad Article 2 - Horizontal Regulation

—  Crisis reserve

The Commission confirms that the operation of the reserve for crises in the agricultural sector and the reimbursement of appropriations related to financial discipline as provided for in Articles 25 and 26(5) of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 will be reviewed in the context of the preparations for the next MFF with a view to allowing an efficient and timely intervention in times of market crisis.

—  Single audit

The Commission supports the single audit approach, as confirmed by its proposal for Article 123 of the new Financial Regulation. The Commission also confirms that the current legal framework for the management and control of agricultural expenditure, established by Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013, already allows for such an approach and that this has been taken up in its audit strategy for the 2014-2020 period. In particular, where the opinion of the Certification Body delivered in accordance with Article 9(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 is considered reliable, the Commission takes this opinion into account when assessing the need for audits of the paying agency concerned.

Ad Article 3 - Direct payments

—  Protein Plan

The Commission confirms its intention to review the supply and demand situation for plant proteins in the EU and to consider the possibility of developing a "European plant protein strategy" with a view to further encouraging the production of plant proteins in the EU in an economically and environmentally sound way.

Ad Article 4 - CMO

—  Voluntary production reduction

The Commission confirms that Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products already contains, in Articles 219 and 221, the necessary legal base allowing it, subject to the availability of budgetary resources, to address market disturbances and other specific problems, including at regional level, with the possibility of granting direct financial assistance to farmers. Moreover, the Commission's proposal to add a sector-specific income stabilisation tool to Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 on support for rural development will allow Member States to include in their rural development programmes the possibility of compensating farmers in a specific sector in the event of a significant drop in their income.

The Commission further confirms that Article 219 allows it to introduce, in case of market disturbance or threats thereof, schemes under which Union aid is granted to producers who undertake to reduce their production on a voluntary basis, including the necessary details for the operation of such a scheme (Example: Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2016/1612, OJ L 242, 9.9.2016, p. 4).

—  Recognition of transnational IBOs

The Commission recalls that rules on producer cooperation of recognising transnational producer organisations, transnational associations of producer organisations or transnational interbranch, including the necessary administrative cooperation between the Member States concerned, are currently laid down in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/232. The operation and adequacy of these rules will be reviewed in the context of the ongoing process on the modernisation and simplification of the CAP.

—  Unfair trading practices

The Commission confirms that it has launched an initiative on the food supply chain which is now proceeding through the various stages required by the Better Regulation guidelines. It will decide on a possible legislative proposal once this procedure has been completed, if possible in the first half of 2018.

—  Producer co-operation

The Commission takes note of the agreement between Parliament and Council on the amendments to Articles 152, 209, 222 and 232. The Commission notes that the amendments agreed by Parliament and Council are substantial in nature and included without an impact assessment as required by point 15 of the Inter-Institutional Agreement on Better Law-Making. This leads to an unwelcome degree of legal and procedural uncertainty of which the impact and implications are not known.

As the changes to the Commission's original proposal taken together result in a significant change to the legal framework, the Commission notes with concern that some of the new provisions in favour of producers' organisations might have the effect of endangering the viability and wellbeing of small farmers and the interest of the consumers. The Commission confirms its commitment to maintain effective competition in the agricultural sector, and give full effect to the objectives of the CAP laid down in Article 39 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In this context, the Commission notes that the amendments agreed by the co-legislators foresee only a very limited role for both the Commission and the national competition authorities to act to preserve effective competition.

The Commission's overall agreement on the "Omnibus" proposal, including the amendments agreed by Parliament and Council, is without prejudice to any future proposals the Commission may make in these areas in the context of the reform of the common agricultural policy for the post-2020 period and other initiatives which are specifically meant to address some of the issues touched upon by the text now agreed by the European Parliament and the Council.

The Commission regrets that the issue of the very limited role for both the Commission and the National Competition authorities to act to preserve effective competition has not been addressed in a satisfactory manner by the co-legislators, and expresses concern with the possible implications of this limitation for farmers and consumers. The Commission notes that the legal text must be interpreted in a manner consistent with the Treaty, notably as regards the possibility for the Commission and national competition authorities to intervene if a producer organisation, which covers a large share of the market, seeks to restrict the freedom of action of its members. The Commission regrets that this possibility is not clearly safeguarded in the legal text.

(1) OJ C 91, 23.3.2017, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 75, 10.3.2017, p. 63.
(3) OJ C 306, 15.9.2017, p. 64.
(4) Procedure number 2016/0282A(COD).
(5)Judgment Maizena, 139/79, EU:C:1980:250, paragraph 23; Judgment Germany v Council, C-280/93, EU:C:1994:367, paragraph 61.


EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS): continuing current limitations of scope for aviation activities and preparing to implement a global market-based measure from 2021 ***I
PDF 248kWORD 45k
Resolution
Text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC to continue current limitations of scope for aviation activities and to prepare to implement a global market-based measure from 2021 (COM(2017)0054 – C8-0028/2017 – 2017/0017(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0477A8-0258/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2017)0054),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 192(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0028/2017),

–  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 31 May 2017(1),

–  after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 27 October 2017 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 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0258/2017),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out(2);

2.  Approves the joint statement 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 replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

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 12 December 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) …/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC to continue current limitations of scope for aviation activities and to prepare to implement a global market-based measure from 2021

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2017/2392.)

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

Statement by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission

The outcome of the work of ICAO on the implementation of the global market-based measure is key for its effectiveness and for the future contribution of the aviation sector to the achievement of the objectives under the Paris Agreement. It is important that ICAO member states, aircraft operators and civil society continue to be engaged in this work of ICAO. It will be necessary in this context for ICAO to act in full transparency and to reach out to all stakeholders to inform them about progress and decisions in a timely manner.

(1) OJ C 288, 31.8.2017, p. 75.
(2) This position replaces the amendments adopted on 13 September 2017 (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0338).


Extension of the duration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments ***I
PDF 250kWORD 54k
Resolution
Text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) 2015/1017 as regards the extension of the duration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments as well as the introduction of technical enhancements for that Fund and the European Investment Advisory Hub (COM(2016)0597 – C8-0375/2016 – 2016/0276(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0478A8-0198/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0597),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Articles 172 and 173, the third paragraph of Article 175 and Article 182(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0375/2016),

–  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 15 December 2016(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 7 December 2016(2),

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committees responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 8 November 2017 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 joint deliberations of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Regional Development (A8-0198/2017),

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

2.  Takes note of the Commission statement annexed to this resolution;

3.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

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 12 December 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2017/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) 2015/1017 as regards the extension of the duration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments as well as the introduction of technical enhancements for that Fund and the European Investment Advisory Hub

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2017/2396.)

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

Statement by the Commission on the EUR 225 million increase of the Connecting Europe Facility programme

As a result of the political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the financing of EFSI 2.0 an amount of EUR 275 million will be redeployed from CEF financial instruments, which represents a reduction of EUR 225 million in comparison with the Commission proposal.

The Commission confirms that the financial programming will be revised to reflect the corresponding EUR 225 million increase of the CEF programme.

In the framework of the annual budgetary procedures for the years 2019-2020 the Commission will make the appropriate proposals to ensure an optimal allocation of this amount within the CEF programme.

(1) OJ C 75, 10.3.2017, p. 57.
(2) OJ C 185, 9.6.2017, p. 62.


Request for defence of the privileges and immunities of Eleonora Forenza
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European Parliament decision of 12 December 2017 on the request for defence of the privileges and immunities of Eleonora Forenza (2017/2199(IMM))
P8_TA(2017)0479A8-0398/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request from Gabriele Zimmer of 20 July 2017, announced in plenary on 11 September 2017, for the defence of the privileges and immunities of Eleonora Forenza in connection with an incident the latter endured following a demonstration held in the context of the G20 summit in Hamburg on 8 July 2017,

–  having heard Eleonora Forenza in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011 and 17 January 2013(1),

–  having regard to Rules 5(2), 7 and 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0398/2017),

A.  whereas Gabriele Zimmer, MEP, Chair of the GUE/NGL Group, has requested, under Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7, the defence of the parliamentary immunity of Eleonora Forenza, an MEP belonging to the same political group, who was searched and then detained by the German police along with a number of other activists following a demonstration held in the context of the G20 summit in Hamburg on 8 July 2017; whereas the search and detention took place after the demonstration, when Ms Forenza and her companions were on their way to have lunch together;

B.  whereas Parliament has broad discretion as to the direction it wishes to give to a decision following a request from an MEP for the defence of immunity(2);

C.  whereas Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union are mutually exclusive(3); whereas the case at hand does not concern any opinion expressed by an MEP, but rather conduct deemed to pose a danger to public order (alleged participation in a riot); and whereas, therefore, Article 9 of Protocol No 7 clearly applies in this case;

D.  whereas, under Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, MEPs are to enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament, and, in the territory of any other Member State, immunity from any measure of detention and from legal proceedings; and whereas Ms Forenza, as an Italian MEP visiting Germany, therefore enjoyed such immunity;

E.  whereas, according to the request for the defence of her immunity, Ms Forenza had told the German police right from the outset that she was an MEP; whereas she had immediately presented documents attesting to her status; and whereas she had even managed to put the Italian Consul in Hamburg in contact with the police officer in charge;

F.  whereas, despite her status as an MEP, the German police nevertheless subjected Ms Forenza to a thorough body search, and then detained her for more than four hours;

G.  whereas, in the light of the foregoing, the German police must have known that they had detained an MEP; whereas that amounts to a breach of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and in particular Article 9, first paragraph, point (b) thereof;

H.  whereas, given the circumstances of the case, it is clear that Ms Forenza was not found in the act of committing an offence, so the exception laid down in Article 9, third paragraph, of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union does not apply, and whereas Ms Forenza is therefore fully covered by her parliamentary immunity in this case;

1.  Decides to defend the privileges and immunities of Eleonora Forenza;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany and to Eleonora Forenza.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 12 May 1964, Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier, 101/63, ECLI:EU:C:1964:28; judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 July 1986, Wybot v Faure and others, 149/85, ECLI:EU:C:1986:310; judgment of the General Court of 15 October 2008, Mote v Parliament, T-345/05, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440; judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C‑200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C‑163/10, ECLI: EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23.
(2) Case T-42/06, Gollnisch v Parliament, cited above, paragraph 101.
(3) Joined Cases C-200/07 and C-201/07, Marra/De Gregorio and Clemente, cited above, paragraph 45.


Request for waiver of the immunity of Ingeborg Gräßle
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European Parliament decision of 12 December 2017 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Ingeborg Gräßle (2017/2220(IMM))
P8_TA(2017)0480A8-0397/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Ingeborg Gräßle forwarded on 27 July 2017 by the public prosecutor’s office in Ellwangen (Germany), in connection with criminal proceedings ref. 21 Js 11263/17, and announced in plenary on 2 October 2017,

–  having regard to the waiver by Ingeborg Gräßle of her right to be heard under Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the privileges and immunities of the European Union and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011 and 17 January 2013(1),

–  having regard to Article 46 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany,

–  having regard to Rule 5(2), Rule 6(1) and Rule 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0397/2017),

A.  whereas the public prosecutor’s office in Ellwangen has forwarded a request for waiver of the immunity of Ingeborg Gräßle, Member of the European Parliament elected for the Federal Republic of Germany, in connection with an offence within the meaning of Article 229 of the German Criminal Code; whereas, in particular, the proceedings relate to allegations of causing of physical injury through negligence;

B.  whereas on 10 June 2017, at the junction of Brenzstraße and Ploucquetstraße in Heidenheim, Ms Gräßle drove through a red light and caused an accident in which a person suffered a shoulder injury; whereas a private action has been brought for damages;

C.  whereas Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the privileges and immunities of the European Union stipulates that Members of the European Parliament ‘shall enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament’;

D.  whereas Article 46 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany stipulates that a Member may not be called to account or arrested for a punishable offence without permission of the Bundestag unless he or she is apprehended while committing the offence or in the course of the following day;

E.  whereas it is for Parliament alone to decide, in a given case, whether or not to waive immunity; whereas Parliament may reasonably take account of the position of the Member in order to decide whether or not to waive his or her immunity(2);

F.  whereas the alleged offence has no clear or direct bearing on the performance by Ms Gräßle of her duties as a Member of the European Parliament and does not constitute an opinion expressed or vote cast in the performance of those duties within the meaning of Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the privileges and immunities of the European Union;

G.  whereas, in this case, Parliament has found no evidence of fumus persecutionis, i.e. a sufficiently serious and precise suspicion that the proceedings have been brought with the intention of causing the Member political damage;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Ingeborg Gräßle;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of the Federal Republic of Germany and to Ingeborg Gräßle.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 12 May 1964, Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier, 101/63, ECLI:EU:C:1964:28; judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 July 1986, Wybot v Faure and others, 149/85, ECLI:EU:C:1986:310; judgment of the General Court of 15 October 2008, Mote v Parliament, T-345/05, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440; judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C-200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C-163/10, ECLI:EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23.
(2) Case T-345/05, Mote v Parliament (op. cit.), paragraph 28.


Customs duties on imports of certain products originating in the United States of America ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the amended proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on additional customs duties on imports of certain products originating in the United States of America (codification) (COM(2017)0361 – C8-0226/2017 – 2014/0175(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0481A8-0331/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure – codification)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2017)0361),

–  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 (C8‑0226/2017),

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

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 December 1994 - Accelerated working method for official codification of legislative texts(1),

–  having regard to Rules 103 and 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0331/2017),

A.  whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the proposal in question contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts without any change in their substance;

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

2.  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 12 December 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) …/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on additional customs duties on imports of certain products originating in the United States of America (codification)

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2018/196.)

(1) OJ C 102, 4.4.1996, p. 2.


EU-USA Air Transport Agreement ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Air Transport Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the United States of America, of the other part (13419/2016 – C8-0100/2017 – 2006/0058(NLE))
P8_TA(2017)0482A8-0376/2017

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13419/2016),

–  having regard to the Air Transport Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the United States of America, of the other part(1),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 100(2) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0100/2017),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0376/2017),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the United States of America.

(1) OJ L 134, 25.5.2007, p. 4.


EU-Switzerland agreement on the linking of their greenhouse gas emissions trading systems***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the linking of their greenhouse gas emissions trading systems (13076/2017 – C8-0415/2017 – 2017/0193(NLE))
P8_TA(2017)0483A8-0386/2017

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13076/2017),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the linking of their greenhouse gas emissions trading systems (13073/2017),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 192(1) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0415/2017),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A8-0386/2017),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Swiss Confederation.


EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (Consent) ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Kazakhstan, of the other part (12409/2016 – C8-0469/2016 – 2016/0166(NLE))
P8_TA(2017)0484A8-0325/2017

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (12409/2016),

–  having regard to the draft Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Kazakhstan, of the other part (09452/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 37 and Article 31(1) of the Treaty on European Union; and in accordance with Article 91, Article 100(2), Articles 207 and 209, and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), and Article 218(8), second subparagraph of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0469/2016),

–  having regard to its non-legislative resolution of 12 December 2017(1) on the draft decision,

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0325/2017),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

(1) Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(2017)0485.


EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (Resolution)
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European Parliament non-legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Kazakhstan, of the other part (12409/2016 – C8-0469/2016 – 2016/0166(NLE)2017/2035(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0485A8-0335/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (12409/2016),

–  having regard to the draft Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Kazakhstan, of the other part (09452/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Articles 31(1) and 37 of the Treaty on European Union and to Articles 91, 100(2), 207 and 209 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 218(6)(a) thereof (C8-0469/2016),

–  having regard to the signing of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) on 21 December 2015 in Astana, in the presence of the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini,

–  having regard to the provisional application of the parts of the EPCA under the exclusive competence of the EU as of 1 May 2016,

–  having regard to the continued implementation of the EU-Kazakhstan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), signed on 23 January 1995, since its entry into force on 1 July 1999,

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2012 containing the European Parliament’s recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service on the negotiations for an EU-Kazakhstan enhanced partnership and cooperation agreement(1),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Kazakhstan, including those of 10 March 2016(2), 18 April 2013(3), 15 March 2012(4), and 17 September 2009 on the case of Yevgeny Zhovtis in Kazakhstan(5),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 15 December 2011 on the state of implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia(6), and of 13 April 2016 on implementation and review of the EU-Central Asia Strategy(7),

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 19 January 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement continuing the International Science and Technology Center(8), established in Astana, Kazakhstan,

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 12 December 2017 on the draft decision(9),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 22 June 2015 and 19 June 2017 on the EU Strategy for Central Asia,

–  having regard to the fourth progress report by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commission services of 13 January 2015 on the implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia adopted in 2007,

–  having regard to annual EU-Kazakhstan Human Rights Dialogues,

–  having regard to various EU-Central Asia meetings,

–  having regard to Rule 99(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0335/2017),

A.  whereas the EPCA should lead to a perceptible deepening and strengthening of the political and economic ties between the two parties, while respecting and taking account of existing differences and the specific political, economic and social circumstances of the parties, for the benefit of the people of both Kazakhstan and the EU;

B.  whereas the EPCA (Article 1) could strengthen the framework for the fulfilment of essential elements, such as respect for democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principles of a market economy, already provided for in the PCA, as long as the implementation of all of the clauses is subject to a strict and effective monitoring mechanism based on clear benchmarks and deadlines; whereas countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has been added as a new essential element (Article 11);

C.  whereas Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian country to have signed an EPCA with the EU; whereas the EPCA, once ratified by all Member States and the European Parliament, will replace the PCA of 1999, and whereas the text of the EPCA was made public on 15 July 2015;

D.  whereas the EPCA sets out a broad spectrum of new areas of cooperation, which are not only in the political and economic interest of the EU, but are also suited to supporting Kazakhstan in the next stage of modernisation to which it aspires, while at the same time securing cooperation in meeting global challenges, particularly as regards sustainable social and economic development for all citizens, the preservation of cultural diversity, conservation of the environment and management of the consequences of climate change in accordance with the requirements of the Paris Agreement, as well as peacekeeping and regional cooperation;

E.  whereas since May 2016, two-thirds of the EPCA has been applied provisionally;

F.  whereas the European Parliament is prepared, within the framework of its competences, to involve itself actively in developing and fleshing out the specific areas of cooperation with Kazakhstan, including parliamentary relations;

G.  whereas Kazakhstan joined the WTO on 1 January 2016;

H.  whereas Kazakhstan joined the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) in March 2012;

General provisions on EU-Kazakhstan relations and on the EPCA

1.  Stresses that the enhancement of political, economic and cultural relations between the EU and Kazakhstan must be based on shared commitments to universal values, in particular, to democracy, the rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights and guided by mutual interests;

2.  Notes Kazakhstan’s consistent strategy of rapprochement with the EU; underlines the country’s essential contribution to the implementation of the EU-Central Asia strategy, which will undergo a substantial review in 2019;

3.  Welcomes the fact that the EPCA establishes a solid basis for the deepening of relations; notes that Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian partner country with which the EU has negotiated and signed an EPCA; considers this new-generation agreement to be a good model that could in future also be applied to other countries in the region;

4.   Welcomes the ambition expressed in the EPCA to enhance cooperation and to significantly boost economic ties between the EU and Kazakhstan in various areas of concern and common interest, such as democracy and the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, sustainable development, foreign and security policy, trade, justice, freedom and security and in 29 other key sectoral policy areas, such as economic and financial cooperation, energy, transport, environment and climate change, employment and social affairs, culture, education and research; encourages both sides to actively fulfil their commitments;

5.  Expects that the EPCA will promote a strengthening of the rule of law and democratic participation by all citizens, a more diverse political landscape, a better functioning, independent and impartial judiciary, increased transparency and accountability of the government, improvements to the labour laws in line with ILO requirements, more business opportunities for small and medium‑sized enterprises, sustainable development of the environment, water management, and of other resources, such as an efficient use of energy and the development of renewable energy sources;

6.  Underlines the importance and continued validity of Parliament’s recommendations of 22 November 2012 on the negotiations for an EU-Kazakhstan EPCA;

7.  Recalls that Parliament emphasised that progress in the negotiation of the EPCA must be linked to progress of political reform and real progress on respect for human rights, the rule of law, good governance and democratisation, where implementation of the Venice Commission recommendations could play a beneficial role; expresses serious concerns that rights to the freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and association remain restricted; urges the country to implement fully the recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the outcome report concerning his mission to Kazakhstan in January 2015;

8.  Stresses that further steps need to be based on the application of the ‘more for more’ principle;

9.  Welcomes the fact that the EPCA introduced the possibility of negotiating a visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Kazakhstan in parallel with the possible negotiation of an agreement regulating the specific obligations in relation to readmissions; points out the importance of stepping up exchanges, in particular at youth and academic level, and calls, in this respect, for a substantial expansion of the Erasmus + programme for Kazakhstan;

10.  Reiterates its call on the Council, Commission and the VP/HR:

   to ensure that both sides abide by the essential elements of the EPCA, because failure to observe them would lead to either a dispute settlement (Article 278) or even suspension in the event of serious violations (Article 279),
   develop benchmarks and deadlines for implementation of the EPCA,
   provide for a comprehensive monitoring mechanism between Parliament and the EEAS once the EPCA fully enters into force, including the elements as specified in its resolution of 22 November 2012;

11.  Recalls that Article 218(10) TFEU and relevant ECJ rulings with regard to immediate and full access by Parliament to all negotiating documents and related information are still only partially upheld by the VP/HR, Council and the Commission;

12.  Asks the EU-Kazakhstan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) to update its Rules of Procedure in order to provide for democratic scrutiny of the provisional application in those fields that have entered into force already and to use its prerogatives to adopt recommendations, and to prepare for scrutiny of the whole EPCA once it enters into force fully;

Political dialogue and cooperation, democracy, the rule of law, good governance and fundamental freedoms

13.   Calls on the EU to consistently prioritise in its political dialogue with Kazakhstan, the issues of the rule of law and democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights;

14.  Calls on Kazakhstan, in the light of social protests, some of them violent, to take proactive and concrete steps, when implementing the ‘Kazakhstan 2050’ programme, on political, democratic and social reforms, including a clear separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, and introducing further checks and balances within the constitutional system, in line with the country’s international commitments under various UN, OSCE and Council of Europe instruments; reiterates its conviction that the transition which Kazakhstan seeks, towards a new type of growth with an intensive scientific focus, would not appear to be possible without high-quality education, access for much of the population to essential modern services, an inclusive social policy and a system of regulated social relationships, particularly in the economy; welcomes the ‘100-step programme’ as an attempt to address the need for urgent reforms in the country;

15.  Welcomes some recent positive developments in the field of constitutional and administrative reforms as well as the establishment of a civil society consultative platform; is, however, gravely concerned about the restrictive effects of the Criminal and Administrative Codes that entered into force in 2015 on civil society organisations and their activities;

16.  Calls on Kazakhstan to fully implement the recommendations from the OSCE/ODIHR international observation mission to the 20 March 2016 elections according to which the country still has a considerable way to go in meeting its OSCE commitments for democratic elections; urges the Kazakh authorities to avoid restricting the activity of independent candidates; urges, furthermore, that citizens’ electoral rights be respected;

17.  Welcomes Kazakhstan’s cooperation with the Venice Commission and calls for full implementation of the relevant recommendations made by it in the area of democratic and judicial reforms in particular;

18.  Welcomes the current administrative reforms and recommends further reforms guaranteeing a genuinely independent and impartial judiciary and more efficient efforts in fighting corruption at all levels; appeals, however, for enhanced governance and reform, with a truly independent judiciary free from corruption and guaranteeing the right to a fair trial and defence rights, and for greater, more efficient efforts in fighting corruption, organised crime and drug trafficking; calls for the improvement and modernisation of and investments in core social sectors; stresses that further attention for economic and social development in peripheral regions and outside the main cities will be important for the country’s long-term stability;

19.  Notes the existence of civil society dialogue platforms; reiterates its concern about the legislation on NGOs, undermining their independence and ability to operate; recalls the importance of an active and independent civil society for the sustainable future of Kazakhstan; urges the Kazakh authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights activists and NGOs in Kazakhstan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions and thus contribute to the sustainable development of society and the strengthening of democracy; takes the view that the EPCA also implies enhanced support for the development of a genuine civil society, and calls on the Kazakh authorities to act accordingly, and on the Commission to step up programmes aimed at strengthening and consolidating the action of independent NGOs;

20.  Asks for an end to be put to the judicial persecution, harassment and imprisonment of independent journalists, civil society activists, trade union leaders, human rights defenders, opposition political figures and other outspoken individuals in retaliation for their exercise of the freedom of expression and other fundamental freedoms, a phenomenon that has intensified over the last couple of years; calls for the full rehabilitation and immediate release of all activists and political prisoners currently in jail, as well as for the lifting of restrictions placed on the movements on others; requests an end to abuse of its Interpol’s extradition procedures and a stop to the harassment of political opposition abroad;

21.  Welcomes the release on parole from prison of the prominent Kazakh activist and Alga! opposition party leader Vladimir Kozlov in August 2016;

22.  Expresses its concerns about the curtailment of freedom of the media, freedom of expression, and freedom of association and assembly, and freedom of religion, including by means of restrictive legislation, pressure, censorship and criminal prosecution of activists; points out that freedom of speech for the independent media, bloggers and individual citizens is a universal value that must be upheld; recommends Kazakhstan to apply the standards of the Council of Europe in its legal system; takes note of the efforts of Kazakhstan to improve the country’s international image as shown by the recent opening of EXPO-2017 in Astana; points out, nevertheless, that these efforts are contradicted by the crackdown on dissenting voices and pressure on civil society over the last few months;

23.  Is concerned that some of the provisions of the recently reformed Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedural Code restrict the freedom of expression; encourages Kazakhstan to revisit those in particular with regard to the criminalisation of defamation;

24.  Underlines that freedom of media and freedom of expression are essential in establishing and consolidating democracy, the rule of law and human rights; regrets that the environment for independent media outlets has become ever more hostile; expresses concern about the draft media legislation aimed at implementing rules for journalists involving them verifying their information with state authorities; urges the Kazakh authorities to withdraw such amendments from their draft legislation and to ensure full independence of investigation and reporting for journalists; calls, furthermore, on the Kazakh authorities to refrain from restricting access to state‑critical online and offline media in the country and from abroad; regrets that defamation also remains criminalised in Kazakhstan, and underlines that this has become problematic in the light of freedom of expression in the country; is concerned by the large number of defamation lawsuits, including cases against a few news broadcasters and other websites that report unfavourably on government policies and which are also routinely blocked, initiated by public officials and other public figures who enjoy special protection and demand large amounts in moral compensation as a result of articles containing allegations of corruption, misconduct or other issues that do not please them;

25.  Urges the reversal of the negative trends in terms of freedom of the media, freedom of expression, and freedom of association and assembly, and freedom of religion; recommends that Kazakhstan apply the standards of the Council of Europe in its laws; takes note, in this context, that, as of 2016, all Kazakh NGOs have been required by law to register with the authorities and to provide annual information on their activities for inclusion in a government database on NGOs; underlines that this step might be directed towards enhancing transparency in the sector; is concerned, however, that the new requirements add to the already extensive reporting obligations for the non-governmental sector to the state, while the transparency policy is disproportionally applied towards the non-profit, non-governmental sectors, as it does not apply to any other legal entities; is concerned that involvement in unregistered associations is criminalised and that failing to provide information for the new database or providing ‘incorrect’ information may result in penalties for organisations; regrets that the activities of registered public associations may be suspended or terminated by courts for any violation of national law, no matter how minor;

26.  Notes with concern that the adoption of recent anti-terrorism laws, including a bill proposing the withdrawal of citizenship for terrorist suspects could lead to the suppression of peaceful and legitimate political opposition; urges the Kazakh authorities to avoid using this legislation due to the possible effects of restricting freedom of speech, freedom of religion or belief, the independence of the judiciary or banning opposition activity;

27.  Takes note that, in its concluding observations on Kazakhstan adopted in summer 2016, the UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern about the broadly formulated provisions of the Criminal Code’s Article 174, which bans ‘inciting’ social, national or other discord, and Article 274, which prohibits ‘spreading information that is known to be false’, and the use of these articles to unduly restrict freedom of expression and other rights protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); regrets that a number of civil society activists and journalists have been charged and imprisoned on the basis of the above-mentioned articles of the Criminal Code; notes that the list includes Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan, who are serving five-year prison terms for their role in peaceful land reform protests, which took place in Kazakhstan in the spring of 2016; urges the Kazakh Government to release them all and to drop the charges against them;

28.  Calls on Kazakhstan to revise its Trade Union Law of 2014 and the Labour Code of 2015 to bring them in line with ILO standards; reminds Kazakhstan of its obligations to comply fully with the conclusions adopted by the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards (in 2017, 2016, and 2015);

29.  Condemns the closure of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (CITUK) by a court order in January 2017 for allegedly failing to confirm its status under the country’s restrictive 2014 Law on Trade Unions; reminds the Kazakh authorities of the need to guarantee an independent and impartial judiciary and to enable real social dialogue also by fostering the existence and functioning of independent trade unions, such as CITUK and its affiliates; refers to the Conclusions of the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards on the situation in Kazakhstan in June 2017; regrets that Larisa Kharkova, President of CITUK, was found guilty by a court on 25 July 2017 of charges of embezzlement and fraud related to the use of trade union funds, which are believed to be politically motivated charges; deplores the fact that she has been arbitrarily sentenced to four years of court-imposed restrictions on her freedom of movement, in addition to 100 hours of community work and a ban on holding leading positions in public associations for five years; calls on Kazakhstan to quash the conviction and drop the charges against her;

30.  Regrets that, in April and May 2017, two other trade union leaders, Nurbek Kushakbayev and Amin Yeleusinov, were sentenced to two and half and two years in prison, respectively, on criminal charges also considered to be politically motivated; notes that the sentences against the three trade union leaders are a blow to independent trade union activity in the country;

31.  Notes the multi-ethnic and multi-religious character of Kazakhstan and stresses the need for a protection of minorities and their rights, in particular with regard to the use of languages, freedom of religion or belief, non-discrimination and equal opportunities; welcomes the peaceful co-existence of different communities in Kazakhstan;

32.  Calls for a substantial review of the annual EU-Kazakhstan Human Rights Dialogue, in order to make it more effective and result-oriented; calls on the Kazakh authorities to fully engage in it, as well as in all other forums, in order to achieve tangible progress on the human rights situation in the country while paying particular attention to individual cases; recalls that the involvement of civil society in these dialogues and consultations must be guaranteed;

33.  Underlines the necessity for continual engagement within the cycle of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), in particular with regard to effective implementation of its recommendations;

34.  Insists that Kazakhstan comply with the recommendations of the UN Committee Against Torture and the 2009 recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture;

35.  Regrets that Kazakhstan has so far refused an independent international investigation into the Zhanaozen events of 2011, despite calls by the UNHRC;

36.  Welcomes the country’s application to join several Council of Europe conventions;

37.  Regrets that Kazakhstan is neither a party to, nor a signatory state of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and calls on Kazakhstan to sign and accede to it;

International relations, regional cooperation, and global challenges

38.  Welcomes Kazakhstan’s constructive cooperation in international relations as an important contributor to peace and stability at both regional and global levels, for example, through its facilitation of the talks on the Iranian nuclear deal, the negotiations between the parties in Astana for a comprehensive solution to end the war in Syria, its diplomatic efforts with regard to the conflict in Ukraine and its initiative on the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia; encourages Kazakhstan to continue to engage in and play a constructive role on the international stage; welcomes, in this regard, its call for the gradual eradication of armed conflict through nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and its initiation of the Universal Declaration for the Achievement of a Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free World; welcomes, in particular, the decision of Kazakhstan not to join the Russian ban on EU agricultural products, and considers this as a concrete and encouraging sign of the willingness of this country to step up its dialogue and cooperation with the EU;

39.  Notes Kazakhstan’s geostrategic importance and acknowledges the country’s multi-vector foreign policy, with its aim of fostering friendly and predictable relations, including, as a priority, building and balancing good neighbourly relations with Russia, China, the Central Asian states with which it shares borders, and other partners, including the US and the EU;

40.  Recognises Kazakhstan as an important player in foreign and security policy not least due to the consistent role it plays in global nuclear disarmament and security, and its non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council in 2017-2018;

41.  Recognises the security challenge posed to Kazakhstan by Daesh and other UN Security Council-designated terrorist organisations; notes the high number of Kazakh citizens among the foreign fighters in the Middle East; recognises the potential for further destabilisation of Kazakhstan resulting from the on-going conflict in Afghanistan, including by means of religious extremism, drug trafficking and terrorism; calls for closer cooperation on countering violent extremism and fighting against terrorism, and points out that the priority should be to address the root causes of radicalisation; notes that Article 13 of the EPCA focuses on counter-terrorism measures and plays a crucial role, especially in the current international environment;

42.  Notes that Kazakhstan belongs to all of the main regional organisations; regards the international profile which Kazakhstan has very recently achieved, through chairing international organisations as diverse as the OSCE, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, as a good starting point for joint activities endeavouring to stabilise the security situation in the Central Asia region and to find multilateral solutions to global challenges; welcomes, in this context, Kazakhstan’s clear statements to the effect that its membership of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will not affect the strengthening of relations with the EU;

43.  Recommends that the EU continue its support for regional cooperation in Central Asia, in particular the rule of law, confidence-building measures, water and resource management, border management, stability and security; supports, in this regard, Kazakhstan’s efforts in promoting good neighbourly relations and becoming a guarantor of stability in the region; calls for a sustainable Central Asian settlement on water management, energy and security issues that responds to all interests;

44.  Recognises that Kazakhstan is a leading power in the Central Asian region; urges Kazakhstan to use this position as a basis for positive engagement with its regional neighbours and to take steps to move forward in regional cooperation;

Sustainable development, energy and environment

45.  Welcomes Kazakhstan’s third modernisation strategy, announced in January 2017, with the goal of becoming one the 30 most developed countries in the world;

46.  Welcomes the enhanced chapter on raw materials and energy cooperation, which holds great potential for contributing to EU energy security; recalls that Kazakhstan plays an important role as an energy supplier to the EU; calls for the EU to engage in more active energy cooperation and to bolster its dialogue with Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries to strengthen EU energy security;

47.  Welcomes the inclusion in the EPCA of the chapter on cooperation in the area of climate change; calls for the EU to continue to cooperate with the Government of Kazakhstan, assisting it in identifying and developing innovative and sustainable environmental and ecological policies; recalls that Kazakhstan is heavily affected by the consequences of two of the most devastating man-made environmental disasters in the world, namely the drying up of the Aral sea and the Soviet‑era nuclear testing at the site of Semey/Semipalatinsk; calls on the Commission to step up its assistance to the Kazakh authorities, both on a technical and a financial level, in order to improve substantially water management and water conservation in the Aral sea basin in the framework of the action programme of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, and to develop an effective action plan for the cleaning-up of the former nuclear ‘Polygon’ area; welcomes Kazakhstan's participation in the voluntary Partnership Programme ‘Green Bridge’; believes this will provide a stable and long-term basis for green investment, the transfer of new technologies and innovations, and moving towards a carbon‑energy-free society;

48.  Underlines the need to apply the principles of environmentally sustainable development in Kazakhstan with regard to extraction and the processing of its vast natural resources; welcomes, in this context, the fact that the country complies with the standards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI);

Trade and economy

49.  Recalls that the EU is the country’s first trade and investment partner and that Kazakhstan is the EU’s main trade partner in Central Asia; hopes that these relations will be further strengthened; notes that 80 % of Kazakhstan’s exports to the EU consist of oil and gas; reiterates the importance of greater diversification of its trade with the EU; highlights that trade and human rights can positively reinforce each other when operating in a rule of law environment; recalls that the business community has an important role to play in offering positive incentives in terms of promoting human rights, democracy, and corporate responsibility; points out that global value chains contribute to enhancing international core labour, environmental, social and human rights standards, including the establishment and enforcement of occupational health and safety measures, educational opportunities, impartial institutions, and the reduction of corruption;

50.  Welcomes Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO on 1 January 2016, which fostered the economic and administrative modernisation of the country; notes that Kazakhstan’s economy is largely based on the exploitation and export of raw materials and hydrocarbons; hopes that the ambitious programme for diversifying the economy, in which the EU could play an important role, and for reforming the country, which includes, inter alia, the professionalisation of the public administration and the introduction of anti-corruption measures, is fully executed in practice; calls, in particular, on the Commission to assist Kazakhstan so as to make its economy environmentally friendly and sustainable;

51.  Takes note of Kazakhstan’s commitment to fully liberalising the movement of capital in the form of direct investment, and regrets that the Trade and Business title of the EPCA does not contain anti-corruption provisions; takes the view that particular attention should be paid to the issues of corporate governance and corruption in monitoring the implementation of the agreement, in order to avoid increasing the risk of money laundering;

52.  Welcomes Kazakhstan’s determination, as shown during the first year of the EPCA’s application, to honour and fulfil its EPCA and WTO commitments; calls on Kazakhstan to fulfil its commitments under the EPCA regarding intellectual property rights (IPRs), on the basis of a regional exhaustion regime;

53.  Calls on Kazakhstan to fully align its import tariffs with its WTO and EPCA commitments, irrespective of its participation in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), in order to avoid costly compensation payments to WTO trading partners;

54.  Calls on Kazakhstan to join the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) in order to enable effective sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls, and to use the bilateral EU-Kazakhstan SPS certificates;

55.  Takes note of the general five-year transition period for public procurement and the eight-year transition period for construction laid down in the EPCA, and looks forward to increased trade once these periods have drawn to a close; notes that public procurement constitutes a significant public policy instrument for Kazakhstan;

o
o   o

56.  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 EU Special Representative for Central Asia, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the government and the parliament of Kazakhstan.

(1) OJ C 419, 16.12.2015, p. 159.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0083.
(3) OJ C 45, 5.2.2016, p. 85.
(4) OJ C 251 E, 31.8.2013, p. 93.
(5) OJ C 224 E, 19.8.2010, p. 30.
(6) OJ C 168 E, 14.6.2013, p. 91.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0121.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0007.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0484.


Renewal of the mandate of the Chair of the Single Resolution Board
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European Parliament decision of 12 December 2017 on the proposal of the Commission for the renewal of the term of office of the Chair of the Single Resolution Board (N8-0092/2017 – C8-0425/2017 – 2017/0901(NLE))
P8_TA(2017)0486A8-0393/2017

(Approval)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 29 November 2017 for the renewal of the term of office of the Chair of the Single Resolution Board (N8-0092/2017),

–  having regard to the third subparagraph of Article 56(6) and to Article 56(7) of Regulation (EU) No 806/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2014 establishing uniform rules and a uniform procedure for the resolution of credit institutions and certain investment firms in the framework of a Single Resolution Mechanism and a Single Resolution Fund and amending Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010(1),

–  having regard to Rule 122a of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0393/2017),

A.  whereas on 19 December 2014, the Council appointed Elke König as Chair of the Single Resolution Board (SRB) for a term of office of three years as from 23 December 2014(2);

B.  whereas in accordance with Article 56(7) of Regulation (EU) No 806/2014, the term of office of the first Chair of the SRB may be renewed once for a period of five years;

C.  whereas on 29 November 2017, the Commission adopted a proposal for the renewal of the term of office of Elke König as Chair of the SRB and transmitted this proposal to Parliament;

D.  whereas Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs then proceeded to evaluate the credentials of the proposed candidate for the functions of Chair of the SRB, in particular in view of the requirements laid down in Article 56(4) of Regulation (EU) No 806/2014;

E.  whereas on 4 December 2017, the Committee held a hearing with Elke König, at which she made an opening statement and then responded to questions from the members of the Committee;

1.  Approves the Commission's proposal for the renewal of the term of office of Elke König in the function of Chair of the SRB;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the European Council, the Council, the Commission and the governments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 225, 30.7.2014, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 367, 23.12.2014, p. 97.


EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening citizens’ rights in a Union of democratic change
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European Parliament resolution of 12 December 2017 on the EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change (2017/2069(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0487A8-0385/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission report of 24 January 2017 entitled ‘Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change – EU Citizenship Report 2017’ (COM(2017)0030),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 24 January 2017 drawn up pursuant to Article 25 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on progress towards effective EU citizenship 2013-2016 (COM(2017)0032),

–  having regard to the results of the 2015 public consultation on EU citizenship conducted by the Commission, and to the results of the 2015 Eurobarometer surveys on electoral rights and on citizenship,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to Articles 2, 6 and 9-12 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), to Articles 18-25 of the TFEU and to Articles 11, 21 and 39-46 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to respect for the rule of law, as enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU,

–  having regard to Article 3(2) of the TEU enshrining the right of freedom of movement of persons,

–  having regard to the right to petition enshrined in Article 44 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to Article 165 of the TFEU,

–  having regard to the right to petition enshrined in Article 227 of the TFEU,

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

–  having regard to Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 29 February 2016 on the single market strategy(1) and especially to the document on the outcome of the informal meeting of SOLVIT Centres held in Lisbon on 18 September 2015(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2014 on ‘The EU Citizenship Report 2013. EU citizens: your rights, your future’(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 on ‘Learning EU at school’(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 October 2016 on ‘Monitoring the application of Union law: 2014 Annual Report’(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2017 with recommendations to the Commission on cross border aspects of adoptions(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 March 2017(7) on the implementation of the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, and on international child abduction (recast) (COM(2016)0411),

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions on the activities of the Committee’s Working Group on Child Welfare Issues(8), and particularly its conclusions,

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2016 on the activities of the Committee on Petitions 2015(9),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Petitions of 23 March 2017(10) and to the opinion of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of 1 June 2017(11) concerning the report from the Commission monitoring the application of EU law 2015,

–  having regard to the hearings organised by the Committee on Petitions in 2016 and 2017, and especially to: the joint public hearing of 11 May 2017 co-organised by LIBE, PETI and EMPL entitled ‘The situation and rights of EU Citizens in the UK’; the public hearing of 11 October 2016 entitled ‘Obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the Internal Market’; the public hearing of 4 May 2017 entitled ‘Fighting against discrimination and protecting minorities’; the joint public hearing of 15 March 2016 organised by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers and the European Parliament’s LIBE, PETI, AFCO and JURI committees entitled ‘Union Citizenship in practice’; and the joint hearing on statelessness organised by the LIBE and PETI committees on 29 June 2017,

–  having regard to the PETI hearing of 23 February 2016 entitled ‘Broadening the scope of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 51)?’, the hearing of 21 June 2016 on ‘Transparency and freedom of information within the EU institutions’ and that one of 22 June 2017 on ‘Restoring citizens’ confidence and trust in the European Project’, together with the previous hearings held in this legislative term on the ‘Right to Petition’ (23 June 2015) and on ‘The European Citizens’ Initiative’ (26 February 2015),

–  having regard to the studies commissioned in 2016 and 2017 by Parliament’s Policy Department C at the request of the Committee on Petitions, entitled ‘Obstacles to the right of free movement and residence for EU citizens and their families’, ‘Discrimination(s) as emerging from the petitions received’, ‘The impact of Brexit in relation to the right to petition and on the competences, responsibilities and activities of the Committee on Petitions’ and ‘The protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions and the opinions of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, the Committee on Culture and Education, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A8-0385/2017),

A.  whereas EU citizenship and its related rights were initially introduced in 1992 by the Treaty of Maastricht and were further enhanced by the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force in December 2009, as well as by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

B.  whereas the exercise of citizenship calls for a prior guarantee and enjoyment of all human rights, and especially economic, social and cultural rights;

C.  whereas a holistic approach designed to pursue the objectives laid down in the EU Treaties, such as full employment and social progress, is vital in order to permit the genuine enjoyment of the rights and freedoms arising from EU citizenship;

D.  whereas access to EU citizenship is gained through nationality of a Member State, which is regulated by national laws; whereas at the same time, rights and duties emerge from this institution which are laid down by EU law and do not depend on the Member States; whereas for the above reason it is equally true that these rights and obligations cannot be limited in an unjustified manner by the Member States, including by their sub-state authorities; whereas in the context of access to national citizenship, Member States should be governed by the principles of EU law, such as those of proportionality and non-discrimination, which are both well elaborated in the case law of the ECJ; whereas according to the Treaties every EU citizen must receive equal attention from the EU institutions;

E.  whereas EU citizens trust in the Member States, including their sub-state authorities, to apply both Community law and their national laws, this being a precondition for the effective exercise of rights deriving from the EU citizenship which they hold;

F.  whereas efforts to promote EU citizenship are linked to improvements in the quality of democracy within the Union, to the practical enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms, and to the opportunity for every citizen to participate in the democratic life of the Union;

G.  whereas any unilateral change in the borders of a Member State constitutes, at the very least, a violation of Articles 2, 3(2) and 4(2) of the TEU, as well as jeopardising enjoyment of all the rights deriving from EU citizenship;

H.  whereas the Treaty of Lisbon consolidated the inalienable rights and guarantees of EU citizenship, including, inter alia, the freedom to travel, work and study in another Member State, to participate in European political life, to promote equality and respect for diversity and to be protected from discrimination, especially that practised on the basis of nationality; whereas the ever-increasing exercise of the right to freely move within the EU in the course of the past decades has had as a consequence the emergence of mixed families with different nationalities, often including children; whereas while this is a positive trend for the consolidation of EU citizenship as an institution in itself, it also entails specific needs and poses challenges in different areas, including legal aspects;

I.  whereas the prospect of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (Brexit) has highlighted the importance of EU citizenship rights and their crucial role in the everyday lives of millions of EU citizens, and has raised awareness in the EU about the potential loss of rights entailed by Brexit on both sides, with special regard to the 3 million EU citizens resident in the UK and the 1,2 million UK citizens resident in the EU;

J.  whereas on the heels of events in the United Kingdom, the refugee humanitarian crisis, the high levels of unemployment and poverty, and the rise in xenophobia and racism in the EU have undermined confidence in the EU system and the European project as a whole;

K.  whereas the right to freedom of movement and its exercise are central to EU citizenship and complement the other freedoms of the EU internal market; whereas young Europeans are particularly attached to freedom of movement, which is ranked among EU citizens, in terms of recognition and popularity, as the EU’s most positive achievement after ensuring peace;

L.  whereas freedom of movement and the exercising thereof have been violated by various Member States which have expelled EU citizens from their territory or threatened to do so, as reported in a number of petitions;

M.  whereas, as petitions and complaints addressed to the Commission and to SOLVIT have shown, EU citizens face notable difficulties in exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms, owing to serious economic and employment problems, aggravated byadministrative burdens and bureaucracy in Member States, and to misinformation and/or lack of cooperation on the part of Member State authorities;

N.  whereas the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation, as enshrined in Article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, is the primary expression of EU citizenship; whereas it is also crucial for the successful exercise of freedom of movement, as evidenced in petitions;

O.  whereas respect for the rights of persons belonging to minorities is one of the EU’s founding values as enshrined in the Treaties; whereas approximately 8 % of EU citizens belong to a national minority and approximately 10 % speak a regional or minority language; whereas the effective protection of minorities needs to be strengthened;

P.  whereas strengthening citizens’ rights and democratic institutions includes combating discrimination and gender inequality, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals;

Q.  whereas women’s under-representation in decision-making positions, especially in the political sphere and in business at board level, hinders capability development and weakens women’s participation in the democratic life of the EU;

R.  whereas women’s participation and leadership in political decision-making is still affected by various obstacles, such as the persistence of gender-based stereotypes and the consequences of the recent economic crisis together with its negative repercussions on gender equality issues;

S.  whereas significant gaps remain in terms of protecting victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence across the EU in cases of cross-border family disputes;

T.  whereas discrimination faced by women across the EU is an obstacle to equality; whereas women remain under-represented as voters as well as in leading positions, whether in elected office, the civil service, academia, the media or the private sector; whereas the widespread multiple discrimination faced by women and the disproportionate number of women facing poverty and social exclusion are obstacles to the full exercise of their citizenship rights;

U.  whereas the right to petition the European Parliament, as laid down in Articles 20 and 227 of the TFEU and in Article 44 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, is one of the pillars of EU citizenship, ranks as the second best-known of EU citizenship rights, and must create an interface between citizens and the European institutions through a process that must be open, democratic and transparent;

V.  whereas the fundamental rights of EU citizens could be guaranteed by means of a new approach regarding the interpretation of Article 51 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

W.  whereas European citizens are directly represented in the European Parliament and have the democratic right to stand and vote in European elections, even when residing in another Member State; whereas the right of European citizens who have exercised their right of freedom of movement to vote in European and local elections is not facilitated and promoted equally in all Member States; whereas various petitions have pointed out the existence of bureaucratic hurdles and of shortcomings of an administrative or other nature regarding the exercise of the right to vote in national or regional elections of their home Member State for those who reside in another Member State; whereas some citizens are being hindered in the exercise of this democratic right, such as persons with disabilities in Member States which have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) but have not complied with their obligation to reform their electoral laws to enable persons with disabilities to exercise their right to vote;

X.  whereas citizens have the right to organise or support, together with other EU citizens from all Member States, a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which should enable them to help set the EU’s legislative agenda; whereas the ECI is an important instrument of direct democracy enabling citizens to become actively involved in the framing of EU policies and legislation; whereas it should be transparent and effective; whereas the exercise of this right has not been satisfactory thus far;

Y.  whereas the creation of the Schengen area and the integration of the Schengen acquis into the EU framework have greatly enhanced freedom of movement within the EU and constitute one of the greatest achievements of the European integration process; whereas the Council of the European Union, in its conclusions Nos 9166/3/11 and 9167/3/11 of 9 June 2011, confirmed the successful conclusion of the evaluation process and the technical readiness of Bulgaria and Romania to accede to the Schengen area;

Z.  whereas security is one of EU citizens’ greatest concerns; whereas the EU should make its citizens feel that their freedom is protected and their security ensured across its territory while ensuring that their freedoms and rights are equally respected and protected; whereas terrorism is a global threat that needs to be dealt with effectively at local, national and EU level in order to ensure the security of European citizens;

AA.  whereas, according to the Commission’s impact assessment (SEC(2011)1556) accompanying the proposal leading to the adoption of Council Directive (EU) 2015/637 of 20 April 2015 on the coordination and cooperation measures to facilitate consular protection for unrepresented citizens of the Union in third countries(12), almost seven million EU citizens travel to or live in places outside the EU where their own country does not have an embassy or consulate; whereas the number of unrepresented EU citizens is expected to increase to at least ten million by 2020; whereas EU citizens resident in the territory of a non-EU country where their Member State of origin does not have representation are entitled to the protection of the diplomatic and consular authorities of any other Member State on the same conditions as that state’s nationals;

1.  Takes note of the Commission’s 2017 EU Citizenship Report, which contains an enumeration of new priorities by field of activity for the years ahead; recalls that the correct application of EU law is a shared responsibility of the Member States and the EU institutions; underlines in that respect the crucial role the Commission plays as the guardian of the Treaties in the implementation of Articles 258 to 260 of the TFEU; expresses the need for priorities to effectively answer citizens’ concerns and for well-defined, concrete commitments and actions for the next three years; urges the Commission to speed up its EU law enforcement policy by using all available tools and mechanisms;

2.  Notes that the rights to petition, to refer cases to the European Ombudsman and to access documents and registers are fundamental, tangible elements of EU citizenship and increase the transparency of decision-making; expresses, therefore, its wish that these rights be promoted and highlighted as key elements of the Commission’s EU Citizenship Report and properly reflected there;

3.  Highlights the fact that the effective exercise of the right to petition has been facilitated thanks to the improved processing of petitions in the European Parliament and the launch in late 2014 of the Committee on Petitions portal, which allows petitions to be submitted in an uncomplicated fashion and managed more efficiently, as illustrated elsewhere by the respective Annual Reports of the Committee on Petitions; calls for the conclusion without delay of the implementation of the next steps of the project as foreseen, since this will allow a far more interactive follow-up of the petition process by petitioners and supporters;

4.  Underlines that the successful exercise of citizenship rights presupposes that all rights and freedoms enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights are upheld by Member States; highlights the fact that the adoption of democratic and participatory governance, the greatest possible level of transparency and the direct involvement of all citizens in decision-making processes ultimately reinforce EU citizenship; calls on the Member States to better inform EU citizens as to their rights and duties and to facilitate equal access to and equal respect for these rights both in their country of origin and in other Member States; highlights existing opt-outs from parts of the EU Treaties by some Member States which lead to de facto differences in citizens’ rights;

5.  Expresses strong regret that for almost a decade now no significant progress has been made in the adoption of the EU-wide Anti-Discrimination Directive; calls on all EU institutions and the Member States to relaunch the relevant negotiations as a matter of the utmost priority; notes the Commission’s undertaking to actively support the conclusion of these negotiations;

6.  Is of the view that the effectiveness of EU policies in the field of anti-discrimination should be increased and remaining obstacles removed; recommends that the Commission update the first two anti-discrimination directives, namely Council Directive 2000/43/EC and Council Directive 2000/78/EC, to bring them into line with the current version of the Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

7.  Calls for the adoption of an effective legislative framework and coordination measures at EU and Member State level to ensure high levels of social protection and stable, properly paid jobs; considers this approach to be vital in order to strengthen the fundamental rights and freedoms arising from EU citizenship;

8.  Stresses that the austerity measures adopted at EU and Member State level have aggravated economic and social inequalities, thus severely limiting the practical exercise of the fundamental rights and freedoms arising from EU citizenship;

9.  Recalls its amendments adopted on 14 September 2017(13) and the Commission’s proposal on a comprehensive directive on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States as regards the accessibility requirements for products and services (COM(2015)0615), including different modes of transportation; recommends that legislators expedite their activities with regard to the adoption of a European Accessibility Act; welcomes the interinstitutional agreement reached on the implementation of the Marrakech Treaty on EU copyright law, which has been advocated by the Committee on Petitions since 2011, and reiterates its call for the swift ratification of the Marrakech Treaty by the EU and its Member States; calls on all Member States to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and to sign the Protocol thereto; supports the widening of the use of the mutually recognised EU disability card to as many Member States as possible; encourages them to facilitate the mobility of persons with disabilities and functional limitations in the EU; stresses the need to improve the accessibility of EU websites for persons with disabilities;

10.  Invites the Commission to take more active steps to fight discrimination against LGBTI persons and to combat homophobia by defining concrete action to be taken at national and European level; calls at the same time for the EU institutions to monitor LGBTI rights closely and to promote the recognition of cross-border rights for LGBTI persons and their families in the EU;

11.  Recalls that the principle of equality between women and men can only be implemented through strategic gender mainstreaming in all EU policies, including through its Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019; calls on the Commission to facilitate full access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services in all Member States; calls on the Commission to take meaningful measures to eliminate discrimination and combat discriminatory statements that are directed against women in the EU and which encourage gender stereotypes; reiterates the need for investment in citizenship and civic education and education on gender equality throughout Europe; draws attention to the gender pay and pension gaps in the EU, which undermine the possibility of genuine economic autonomy for millions of women; highlights the importance of the political participation of young people, particularly of women and girls, and calls for more action on the part of the Commission and the Member States in encouraging their participation.

12.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal for the EU to sign and conclude its accession to the Istanbul Convention; regrets, however, that the limitation to two areas – matters relating to judicial cooperation in criminal cases, and asylum and non-refoulement – raises legal uncertainties as to the scope of the EU’s accession; urges the Member States to speed up negotiations on the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention; calls on the Member States which have not yet done so to swiftly ratify this Convention, and on the Commission to propose a directive on combating violence against women; welcomes the submission by the Commission of the work-life balance package, and calls on all institutions to deliver on these measures as soon as possible; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote women’s entry into and representation in leadership positions and to take specific action to address the needs of vulnerable citizens facing intersectional multiple discrimination, so that such citizens are able to exercise their citizenship rights, for example through appropriate strategies; calls on the Council to step up its efforts to unblock the Directive on Women on Boards; reaffirms its call on the Commission to adopt its Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 as a communication;

13.  Recalls that traditional minorities have coexisted for centuries with majority cultures on the continent of Europe; underlines the need for the EU institutions to play a more active role in the protection of minorities, for instance by promoting awareness-raising meetings, seminars and resolutions as well as concrete administrative steps within the EU institutions; believes that the EU should set high standards for the protection of minorities, beginning with standards codified in international law instruments, such as those of the Council of Europe, and that these standards should be strongly embedded in a legal framework guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights throughout the EU; encourages all Member States to fully ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages without further delay, and to implement the Treaties in good faith; recalls, furthermore, the need to implement the principles developed in the framework of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); deplores any rhetoric that incites discrimination on the grounds of nationality; encourages national governments to find durable solutions and to promote a culture of linguistic diversity in all Member States and the EU as a whole, beyond the confines of the official EU languages, as both the Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights contain references to the protection of national minorities and to discrimination practised on the grounds of language;

14.  Expresses its deep concern at the numbers of Roma in Europe who are victims of discriminatory birth registration and therefore have no identity documents and are denied access to essential basic services in their countries of residence and, consequently, are also denied enjoyment of any of their rights in the EU; calls on the Member States to take immediate corrective measures in this regard in order to safeguard the enjoyment of their fundamental human rights and of all the rights conferred by EU citizenship; calls on the Commission to assess and monitor the situation in the Member States and to initiate identification and protection of persons whose citizenship has not been recognised and who have no access to identity documents;

15.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to propose specific measures for removing obstacles to free movement, in line with Parliament’s resolutions of 15 March 2017 on obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the internal market(14) and of 28 April 2016 on safeguarding the best interests of the child across the EU on the basis of petitions addressed to the European Parliament(15);

16.  Calls on the Commission to regularly monitor the application of Directive 2004/38/EC in the Member States and to take appropriate measures to remove potential obstacles to freedom of movement; welcomes the e-learning tool on the right of free movement of Union citizens, which helps local authorities come to a better understanding of the rights and obligations that come with free movement;

17.  Acknowledges the Commission’s efforts to make multiple information and assistance outlets about the EU and the rights it confers on its citizens, such as the Europe Direct network, the Your Europe portal and the e-justice portal, available and more accessible, in order to better inform individuals exercising their rights as EU citizens; acknowledges the Commission’s proposal for a Single Digital Gateway to give citizens easy, online access to information, assistance and problem-solving services regarding the exercise of rights within the single market;

18.  Calls on the Commission to reinforce the SOLVIT network by improving the interaction between its services and national centres with a view to ensuring better follow-up of unresolved and repetitive cases and closer articulation between the different EU law enforcement tools such as EU PILOT and CHAP; invites the Member States, at the same time, to promote the SOLVIT network and its services, as well as other redress and citizen participation mechanisms, among EU citizens, both at Union level (e.g. via Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, the European Ombudsman or the European Citizens’ Initiative) and at national level (e.g. via regional or local ombudsmen, petitions committees or popular legislative initiatives);

19.  Supports the Commission’s commitment in the EU Citizenship Report 2017 to organise an EU-wide information and awareness-raising campaign on EU citizenship rights in order to help citizens better understand their rights; points out that citizens should have access to all information necessary for the genuine strengthening of European citizenship, and that such information should be presented in a clear and comprehensible way in order to enable them to make informed decisions on the exercise of their Treaty rights and rights guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; recommends the promotion of transparency and proactive consular support as the most appropriate tools to that end, as well as suitable publication of the information necessary to facilitate establishment for newcomers;

20.  Recalls that access to health services, coordination of social security schemes and recognition of professional qualifications in other Member States are areas in which EU citizens often face difficulties, and calls for vigorous enforcement by the Commission with a view to redressing such situations;

21.  Expresses its concern at the increase in political disaffection among the public ; stresses the need to prioritise the fight against xenophobia, racism, discrimination and hate speech;

22.  Acknowledges that action to enhance voter turnout in European elections is a shared responsibility of the EU and Member States; encourages the latter to promote democratic participation by better informing citizens of their right to stand and vote in local and European elections, through multiple channels and in accessible language, and by removing all barriers to their participation, such as economic, social or language discrimination, unfair practices or corruption; urges the Member States to remove accessibility obstacles for citizens with disabilities and to facilitate voting in all elections for citizens residing, working, or studying away from their usual voting location, for instance by embracing electronic identification and voting solutions;

23.  Believes that the reform of the Electoral Act could be an opportunity for the Union to become more democratic; highlights the fact that thousands of Europeans share this view; recalls the need to promote participation in European elections by increasing the visibility of political parties at the European level and that strengthening the European character of the elections to the European Parliament is a shared responsibility of the EU and its Member States; encourages the Council to include gender-mainstreamed and gender-balanced lists in the revision of the abovementioned act; asks the Commission to act on complaints regarding the exercise of the right to vote in European and municipal elections, to devise a concrete action plan for the introduction of electronic voting in the European Parliament elections starting at the earliest feasible date, and to make that system more widely available to all EU citizens; urges the Member States to do all they can to encourage persons who do not possess the citizenship of any state and who reside permanently in the EU Member States to adopt the citizenship of the host Member State so that they can enjoy full EU citizenship rights; considers that EU citizens who move to and reside in another Member State should have the possibility to exercise their right to vote in the national elections of their country of origin; calls on Member States that disenfranchise nationals who choose to live for an extended period of time in another Member State to ease the conditions for these nationals and preserve their right to vote in national elections; urges the Commission to take the necessary steps to enable persons with disabilities to exercise their right to vote without any form of discrimination; supports the possibility of introducing a European identity card in addition to national identification documents;

24.  Notes the Commission’s latest communication (COM(2017)0482) on the European Citizens’ Initiative containing a proposal for the revision of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 of 16 February 2011, with a view to improving its functioning; is hopeful that the revision of the regulation will result in an ECI instrument that is more transparent, effective and user-friendly, while ensuring democratic and broader participation of citizens in the European debate and agenda-setting; stresses the significant legislative role Parliament will play and the importance of good cooperation with the Commission during the revision of the regulation; calls on the Commission to include provisions aimed at revising the conditions for legal admissibility, the registration requirements and the examination procedures for an ECI;

25.  Takes the view that in the interests of Union citizenship action by the Commission is needed to strengthen the European cultural dimension; encourages the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme to finance more innovative projects with the potential for having a systemic impact; suggests developing the ‘Getting to Know Europe’ programme in parallel with and as a complement to ‘Europe for Citizens’;

26.  Proposes, with the aim of strengthening Union citizenship and the exercise of that citizenship, that the Commission should encourage local authorities to designate councillors responsible for European affairs, since this is the level that is closest to the citizens;

27.  Recommends that the Commission introduce an entry register at all of its headquarters, including the representation offices in the Member States, to enable citizens to address any EU institution in writing or face to face with the proper guarantees;

28.  Recommends that the Commission introduce, in cooperation with universal postal service providers, a messaging system with certification of content, date and sender, so that citizens can address the European institutions remotely in writing with the proper guarantees;

29.  Expresses its conviction that the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, enshrined in Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, free media and access to a plurality of voices in society and the media are indispensable parts of a healthy democracy and are therefore a constitutional foundation of EU membership as enshrined in Articles 2 and 6 of the TEU; underlines the need for a clearly-defined EU policy to tackle anti-European propaganda and false information, and to foster the independence of public media from governments; proposes that a minimum time in public broadcast media in all Member States be dedicated to content related to EU affairs; proposes that EU institutions proceed with the creation of European television channels broadcasting in all Member States and all EU official languages, and with educating citizens on media literacy from an early age; supports dissemination of press and multimedia productions in all official EU languages; underlines in this regard the need for further awareness-raising among European journalists;

30.  Maintains that linguistic diversity and transparency are key tools for bringing citizens closer to the EU and involving them in its activities; notes that access to documents represents 30 % of the investigations completed by the European Ombudsman in 2016, and therefore recommends the promotion of the right to access documents and the translation of as many documents as possible into all official EU languages; supports the intensification of dialogue with citizens and encourages public debates in order to improve citizens’ understanding of the impact of the EU on their daily lives and to allow them to take part in exchanges of views, through slots in television programmes for targeted audiences; calls for an horizontal directive on whistle-blowing which sets out appropriate channels and procedures for reporting cases;

31.  Supports the promotion of a culture of public service among EU and national institutions, and considers that the EU should lead by example through the highest administrative and transparency standards, in accordance with Article 41 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; proposes that local EU offices in the Member States be transformed into ‘one-stop shops’, offering comprehensive services for EU citizens, so as to reduce bureaucracy and the obstacles it poses to the exercise of EU citizenship rights; highlights the importance of the ‘once only’ project, which eliminates unnecessary burdens for European businesses that are asked to present the same data and documents repeatedly in their operations across borders;

32.  Underlines that accessible education plays a vital role in informing future EU citizens about their rights; emphasises the importance of promoting the development of transferable skills that enhance intercultural understanding and active participation in diverse societies through the Erasmus+ programme; encourages the Member States to give more space to civic education focused in particular on EU citizenship and also on EU affairs in their school curricula, and to adapt teacher training accordingly; recalls the need to support teachers and education practitioners in integrating information about EU rights and citizenship into their teaching; stresses, in this context, the need to further promote and develop online platforms, in order for education professionals to be able to access innovative multilingual teaching materials which help them to inspire and motivate students in learning about the EU; urges the Commission to launch an Education for European Citizenship strategy incorporating proposed guidelines to develop a curriculum that could include school visits to EU institutions;

33.  Recalls that, according to EU law as it stands, withdrawal of a Member State from the Union equates to the loss of European citizenship for its citizens; regrets that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will be the first instance in history of citizens being deprived of rights attributed to them through the EU Treaties; underlines that this loss of rights is expected to have a serious impact on their everyday lives; stresses that any agreement should be based on the principles of equity, symmetry, fair treatment, reciprocity and non-discrimination, as well as on full respect for the integrity of EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and its enforcement framework; urges both negotiating parties to give priority to all citizens affected and to safeguard their rights; calls on the negotiating parties to maintain all derivative social, economic and family rights, and in particular healthcare rights, to the fullest extent possible following the UK’s withdrawal;

34.  Proposes establishing a European public holiday on 9 May in order to reinforce a European feeling of belonging to the European family;

35.  Urges the Member States to guarantee that their national legislation is sufficiently clear and detailed to ensure that the right of free movement of citizens and their families is respected, to proceed with the proper training of the competent national authorities in this respect and to disseminate accurate information to interested parties in a precise manner, and to foster good cooperation and a swift exchange of information with other national administrations, especially where cross-border insurance and retirement pensions are concerned; calls for better cooperation between host Member States and the relevant consulates which will ensure a proper network of assistance and fair treatment in cross-border cases, particularly where custody of children is involved; urges the Commission to submit a legislative proposal on the cross-border recognition of adoption orders;

36.  Calls on the Council of the European Union and the European Council to allow all countries that fulfil the necessary technical criteria to become members of the Schengen area, thereby allowing all EU citizens to enjoy freedom of movement unhindered by border checks;

37.  Recalls that the EU legislation on security should be up-to-date, effective and efficient in preventing, detecting and reacting to evolving security threats; calls for the urgent implementation of the European Agenda on Security, better enforcement of existing EU legal instruments in this field, and more efficient information exchange and coordination among Member States and with EU agencies; welcomes the Commission’s initiatives to strengthen security cooperation between Member States; stresses the importance of fully respecting fundamental rights in the fight against terrorism; emphasises that harmonisation of internal and external EU action in the field of security is essential for the effective protection of EU citizens;

38.  Calls on the EU institutions and the Member States to intensify efforts to develop an effective and genuine security union that addresses all dimensions of the terrorist threat;

39.  Considers deradicalisation and the prevention of radicalisation to be an absolute priority for the EU, and strongly advocates the strengthening of specific cross-sectoral programmes targeting education, voluntary and cultural activities and youth work, as well as deradicalisation programmes in institutions, local communities, civil society, religious communities and regional administrations; believes that a comprehensive policy in this field should be accompanied by long-term proactive deradicalisation processes in the judicial sphere; stresses the need to develop strategies on social inclusion and policies tackling discrimination; calls on the Member States to address radicalisation holistically and to take advantage of the expertise of the Radicalisation Awareness Network set up on the initiative of the Commission; underlines that the prevention of radicalisation can also be supported through actions funded by EU programmes such as the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and Europe for Citizens;

40.  Calls for the full and effective implementation of Directive (EU) 2015/637 in order to ensure consular protection for EU citizens in third countries where their Member States are not represented;

41.  Calls on the Commission to make a proposal for a new, more secure format for an EU emergency travel document for unrepresented EU citizens outside the EU whose passport has been stolen, lost, destroyed or is temporarily unavailable, in order to guarantee that they can return home safely;

42.  Stresses that the victims of crime and terrorism must be guaranteed an appropriate level of rights without discrimination across the EU, and that they should be treated with respect and dignity and receive appropriate support in accordance with their individual needs and the needs of their families; underlines that a growing number of European citizens have suffered terrorist attacks in a country that is not their own, and therefore urgently calls for the establishment of protocols in Member States to help non-national Europeans in the event of a terrorist attack, in line with Directive (EU) 2017/541 on combating terrorism; stresses the need for a specific directive on the protection of victims of terrorism;

43.  Regrets the existence of cross-border obstacles in civil or social matters, such as family law or pensions, that prevent many citizens from the full enjoyment of their EU citizenship;

44.  Regrets that the options for redress open to parents and children in the event of separation or divorce are not the same in each Member State, with the result that hundreds of parents in Europe have contacted the Committee on Petitions to urge it to be more active despite it having very limited competences in this area;

45.  Calls for reinforced cooperation between the Member States in order to ensure the protection of victims of gender-based violence and that the best interests of the child are taken into account in cases of cross-border family disputes;

46.  Welcomes the launch of the EU Solidarity Corps for young European citizens, and calls for this initiative to be properly funded so that quality jobs are not replaced by unpaid volunteering;

47.  Calls on the Member States to put in place coordination and cooperation measures in order to effectively tackle the issues of double taxation and tax discrimination in any cross-border context and to take better account of the realities of cross-border worker mobility; considers that double taxation issues are currently insufficiently addressed insofar as they are handled via existing bilateral tax conventions or unilateral action by a Member State, and that they require concerted and timely action at EU level;

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

(1) Council document 6622/16.
(2) Council document 14268/15.
(3) OJ C 378, 9.11.2017, p. 146.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0106.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0385.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0013.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0063.
(8) PE 601.177v04-00.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0512.
(10) PE 597.698v03-00. See also report A8-0265/2017.
(11) PE 603.107v02-00. See also report A8-0265/2017.
(12) OJ L 106, 24.4.2015, p. 1.
(13) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0347.
(14) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0083.
(15) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0142.


Towards a digital trade strategy
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European Parliament resolution of 12 December 2017 on “Towards a digital trade strategy” (2017/2065(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0488A8-0384/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 207(3) and 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS),

–  having regard to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA),

–  having regard to the WTO Work Programme on E-commerce,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration by G7 ICT Ministers at the Meeting in Takamatsu, Kagawa on 29 and 30 April 2016,

–  having regard to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Declaration on the Digital Economy in Cancun in 2016,

–  having regard to the Dynamic Coalition on Trade at the Internet Governance Forum,

–  having regard to the ongoing EU trade negotiations with third countries,

–  having regard to the agreement in principle announced by the Commission on 6 July 2017 on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement,

–  having regard to Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (Directive on electronic commerce)(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)(2),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 October 2015 entitled ‘Trade for All: Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’ (COM(2015)0497),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘Digitising European Industry’ (COM(2016)0180),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘European Cloud Initiative – Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe’ (COM(2016)0178),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 23 June 2017 on trade and investment barriers (COM(2017)0338),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 January 2017 entitled ‘Building A European Data Economy’ (COM(2017)0009),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications) (COM(2017)0010),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 13 September 2017 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union (COM(2017)0495),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 2 May 2017 entitled ‘Digital4Development: mainstreaming digital technologies and services into EU Development Policy’ (SWD(2017)0157),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2016 on a new forward-looking and innovative future strategy for trade and investment(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 containing the European Parliament’s recommendations to the Commission on the negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 July 2015 containing the European Parliament’s recommendations to the European Commission on the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)(5),

–  having regard to the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development and the outcome document adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015 entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

–  having regard to the upcoming 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 10 to 13 December 2017, where e-commerce is likely to be discussed,

–  having regard to the UN International Telecommunication Union’s initiatives in support of Developing Countries (ITU-D),

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 8(1) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and to Article 16(1) of the TFEU,

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

–  having regard to the reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on the protection of freedom of speech on Freedom of Expression and the private sector in the digital age (A/HRC/32/38) and on the role of digital access providers (A/HRC/35/22),

–  having regard to the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline, adopted by the Council (Foreign Affairs) on 12 May 2014,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, European Treaty Series No 108, and the additional protocol thereto,

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 May 2016 on transatlantic data flows(6),

–  having regard to the Commission report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the implementation of the Trade Policy Strategy Trade for All – Delivering a Progressive Trade Policy to Harness Globalisation (COM(2017)0491).

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0384/2017),

A.  whereas technological developments, access to the open internet and the digitalisation of the economy are an engine for growth as they enable companies particularly start-ups, micro-enterprises and SMEs, to create new opportunities in developing, ordering, producing, marketing or delivering products and services, and to reach customers all over the globe at a faster pace and lower cost than ever before; whereas emerging technologies such as distributed ledger technology have the potential to enhance digital trade by improving the transparency of international contracts and expediting the transfer of value; whereas trade in physical goods has been replaced by increasing amounts of cross-border transfers of digital content, sometimes blurring the distinction between goods and services;

B.  whereas data collection, data aggregation and the ability to transfer data across borders has the potential to be a key driver of innovation, productivity and economic competitiveness;

C.  whereas the globalisation and digitalisation of our economies and of international trade have enabled businesses to grow and provided economic opportunities for citizens; whereas the digitalisation of traditional industries affects supply chains, manufacturing and services models, which could lead to job creation in new industries, but could also disrupt current jobs and lead to precarious working conditions as more and more tasks traditionally performed by humans are either automated or off-shored, or both; stresses in this regard that the necessary social flanking measures must be put in place for them to benefit the whole society, such as strong education and training policies, active labour market policies and measures to overcome the digital divide;

D.  whereas the digital economy requires a rules-based framework, including modern trade rules which can reconcile the rapid changes in the market with the rights of consumers, providing the policy space and room for new regulatory initiatives needed by governments to defend and strengthen the protection of human rights;

E.  whereas access to a free, open and secure internet is a prerequisite for rules-based trade and development in the digital economy; whereas the principle of net neutrality should be a key part of the EU’s digital trade strategy in order to allow for fair competition and innovation in the digital economy, while ensuring freedom of speech online;

F.  whereas investment in infrastructure and access to skills remain key challenges to connectivity and, therefore, digital trade;

G.  whereas the UN’s SDGs stress that providing universal and affordable access to the internet for people in least developed countries by 2020 will be crucial for fostering development, as the development of a digital economy could be a driver of jobs and growth, e-commerce being one opportunity to increase the numbers of small exporters, export volumes and export diversification;

H.  whereas women can benefit as entrepreneurs and as workers from better access to global markets, and as consumers from lower prices, whereas many challenges and inequalities still hinder women’s participation in the global economy, as many of women in low- and middle-income countries, still have no access to the internet;

I.  whereas e-commerce is also booming in developing countries;

J.  whereas governments around the world are engaging in digital protectionism by putting up barriers that hinder market access and direct investment, or create unfair advantages for domestic companies; whereas a number of broad measures in third countries taken in the name of national (cyber)security have an increasingly negative impact on trade in ICT products;

K.  whereas foreign companies currently benefit from far greater access to the European market than Europeans do to third countries; whereas many of our trade partners are increasingly closing their domestic markets and resorting to digital protectionism; whereas the EU should anchor its digital trade strategy in the principles of reciprocity, fair competition, smart regulation and transparency with a view to restoring consumers’ trust and restoring a level playing field for businesses;

L.  whereas geo-blocking should be put to an end and no forms of unjustified discrimination based on a customer’s nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market should take place in the future;

M.  whereas the building blocks that preserve the open internet in the EU’s digital single market, including principles such as fair competition, net neutrality and intermediary liability protections, should be promoted in all trade negotiations; whereas the global dimension of digital trade makes the WTO the natural venue for the negotiation of a rule-based multilateral framework; whereas the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2017 provides the platform for launching such a process;

N.  whereas the European Union is bound by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, including Article 8 thereof on the right to the protection of personal data, by Article 16 TFEU on the same fundamental right, and by Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU); whereas the right to privacy is a universal human right; whereas high data protection standards help to build trust in the digital economy among European citizens and thus foster the development of digital trade; whereas promoting high data protection standards, in particular as regards sensitive data, and facilitating international trade must go hand in hand in the digital era, in order to support freedom of expression and information, e-commerce, and encryption, and to reject digital protectionism, mass surveillance, cyber espionage and online censorship;

O.  whereas digital trade must protect endangered wildlife species, and whereas online market places must ban the sale of wildlife and wildlife products on their platforms;

P.  whereas private companies are increasingly setting norms and standards in the digital economy, which will have a direct impact on citizens and consumers, as well as on domestic and international trade and at the same time accelerate the development of technological solutions to safeguard business and customers;

Q.  whereas the OECD recommendations against base erosion and profit shifting and the EU’s plans for a common consolidated corporate tax base have highlighted the need to address a number of tax challenges, including those posed by the digital economy; whereas taxes should be paid where profits are made; whereas a more transparent, efficient and fair system for calculating the tax base of cross-border companies should prevent profit shifting and tax avoidance; whereas a coherent EU approach to taxation in the digital economy is necessary to achieve fair and effective taxation of all companies and to create a level playing field; recalls that trade agreements should include a clause on tax good governance that reaffirms the parties’ commitment to implementing agreed international standards in the fight against tax evasion and avoidance;

R.  whereas, according to the OECD, up to 5 % of goods imported into the EU are counterfeited, resulting in substantial losses in jobs and tax revenues;

S.  whereas sensitive sectors such as audio-visual services, and fundamental rights such as the protection of personal data, should not be subject to trade negotiations;

T.  whereas digital trade must also aim to promote the growth of SMEs and start-ups, and not only that of multinationals;

U.  whereas Mexico fulfils the conditions for accession to Council of Europe Convention No 108 on data protection;

V.  whereas the protection of personal data is non-negotiable in trade agreements, and whereas data protection has always been excluded from EU trade negotiation mandates;

W.  whereas trade agreements can be a lever to improve digital rights; whereas the inclusion of provisions on net neutrality, a ban on forced unjustified data localisation requirements, data security, security of data processing and data storage, encryption and intermediary liability in trade agreements can strengthen, in particular, the protection of freedom of speech;

1.  Underlines that the EU, as a community of values and the world’s biggest exporter of services, should set the standards in international rules and agreements on digital trade flows based on three elements: (1) ensuring market access for digital goods and services in third countries, (2) ensuring that trade rules create tangible benefits for consumers and (3) ensuring and promoting respect for fundamental rights;

2.  Stresses that even though the Digital Single Market strategy addresses many of the problems facing digital trade, EU companies still face significant global obstacles such as non-transparent regulations, government intervention and unjustified data location or data storage; points out that some of the key actions of the Digital Single Market strategy, such as the EU cloud initiative and the copyright reform, have an international dimension that could be addressed in a European digital trade strategy;

3.  Stresses the need to bridge the digital divide in order to minimise potential negative social and development impacts; underlines, in this regard, the importance of promoting female participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), of removing barriers to lifelong learning, and of closing gender gaps in access to and in the use of new technologies; calls on the Commission to explore further how current trade policy and gender equality are linked and how trade can promote women’s economic empowerment;

4.  Notes that the network effect of the digital economy enables one company or a small number of companies to hold a large market share, which could lead to excessive market concentration; stresses the importance of promoting fair and effective competition in trade agreements, in particular between digital service providers such as online platforms, and users such as micro-enterprises, SMEs and start-ups, and of promoting consumer choice, reducing transaction costs, ensuring non-discriminatory treatment of all market players and avoiding the creation of dominant positions that distort the markets; stresses, in this context, the importance of including net neutrality as a key part of its digital trade strategy; considers that a digital trade strategy must be complemented by a reinforced and effective international framework for competition policy, including by increased cooperation between competition authorities and strong competition chapters in trade agreements; calls on the Commission to ensure that businesses and companies comply with competition rules and that there is no discrimination against competitors to the detriment of consumers’ interests;

5.  Stresses that access to secure broadband internet connectivity and digital payment methods, effective consumer protection, in particular redress mechanisms for online cross-border sales, and predictable customs procedures, are essential elements in relation to enabling digital trade, sustainable development and inclusive growth;

6.  Considers that trade agreements should provide for increased cooperation between consumer protection agencies and welcomes initiatives to foster consumer trust-enhancing measures in trade negotiations, such as disciplines on electronic signatures and contracts and unsolicited communications; highlights that the rights of consumers must be protected and must not in any event be diluted;

7.  Underlines that SMEs in developing countries make up the majority of businesses and employ the majority of manufacturing and service sector workers; recalls that facilitating cross-border e-commerce can have a direct impact on improving livelihoods, fostering higher living standards and boosting economic development;

8.  Recalls that nothing in trade agreements shall prevent the EU and its Member States from maintaining, improving and applying its data protection rules; recalls that personal data can be transferred to third countries without using general disciplines in trade agreements when the requirements – both at present and in the future – enshrined in Chapter IV of 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(7) and in Chapter V of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, are fulfilled; recognises that adequacy decisions, including partial and sector-specific ones, constitute a fundamental mechanism in terms of safeguarding the transfer of personal data from the EU to a third country; notes that the EU has only adopted adequacy decisions with four of its 20 largest trading partners; recalls the importance of guaranteeing, in particular through adequacy dialogues, the transfer of data from third countries to the EU;

9.  Calls on the Commission to prioritise and speed up the adoption of adequacy decisions, provided that third countries ensure, by reason of their domestic law or their international commitments, a level of protection ‘essentially equivalent’ to that guaranteed within the EU; calls on the Commission to adopt, and to make public, updated and detailed binding procedures with a specific timeframe for reaching these decisions, while fully respecting the powers of national supervisory authorities and the opinion of Parliament;

10.  Recalls that the ability to access, collect, process and transfer data across borders has become increasingly important for every type of company that delivers goods and services internationally; notes that this matters for both personal and non-personal data and includes machine-to-machine communication;

11.  Urges the Commission to draw up rules for cross-border data transfers as soon as possible which fully comply with the EU’s existing and future data protection and privacy rules; calls on the Commission, furthermore, to incorporate into the EU’s trade agreements a horizontal provision, which fully maintains the right of a party to protect personal data and privacy, provided that such a right is not unjustifiably used to circumvent rules for cross-border data transfers for reasons other than the protection of personal data; considers that such rules and provisions should form part of all new and recently launched trade negotiations with third countries; stresses that any disciplines in this regard should be exempted from the scope of application of any future chapter dealing with investment protection;

12.  Calls on the Commission to strictly prohibit unjustified data localisation requirements in free trade agreements (FTAs); considers that the removal of such requirements should be a top priority, and emphasises that the relevant data protection legislation should be adhered to; regrets attempts to use such requirements as a form of non-tariff barrier to trade and as a form of digital protectionism; considers that such protectionism seriously hampers opportunities for European businesses in third country markets and undermines the efficiency benefits of digital trade;

13.  Calls on the Commission to put forward, as soon as possible, its position on cross-border data transfers, unjustified data localisation requirements, and data protection safeguards in trade negotiations, in line with Parliament’s position, so as to include it in all new and recently launched negotiations and to avoid the EU being sidelined in international trade negotiations;

14.  Calls on the Commission to combat measures by third countries, such as ‘buy local’ policies, local content requirements or forced technology transfers, to the extent that they are not justified by UN-led programmes on closing the digital divide or TRIPS-related exceptions, so as to ensure that European companies can operate in a fair and predictable environment;

15.  Stresses that the EU should continue to pursue its efforts at bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral level to ensure that third countries offer a level of openness towards foreign investments equivalent to that of the EU, and that they maintain a level playing field for EU operators; welcomes the EU’s proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for review of foreign direct investments into the Union and supports its objectives to better protect critical infrastructures and technologies;

16.  Underlines that a digital trade strategy must be fully in line with the principle of net neutrality and safeguard the equal treatment of internet traffic, without discrimination, restriction or interference, irrespective of its sender, receiver, type, content, device, service or application; recalls, moreover, that traffic management measures should be permitted only in exceptional cases where they are strictly necessary, and only for as long as necessary, to comply with legal requirements, preserve the integrity and security of the network or prevent impending network congestion;

17.  Highlights that the deployment of and access to infrastructure, especially in rural, mountainous and remote areas, that is adequate in coverage, quality and security and supports net neutrality, is crucial for digitising European industry and increasing e-governance;

18.  Strongly deplores third country practices which make market access conditional on the disclosure and transfer to state authorities of the source codes of the software that companies intend to sell; considers that such measures are disproportionate as a blanket requirement for market access; calls on the Commission to prohibit signatory governments to FTAs from engaging in such activities; stresses that the foregoing should not prevent state authorities from promoting transparency of software, encouraging the public disclosure of source code through free and open-source software, as well as sharing data through open data licenses;

19.  Recalls that in some cases local presence requirements are necessary to ensure effective prudential supervision or regulatory oversight and enforcement; reiterates its call on the Commission, therefore, to undertake limited commitments in Mode 1, so as to avoid regulatory arbitrage;

20.  Believes that digital trade should be further facilitated in procurement policies, including by taking advantage of possibilities to provide services remotely and by enabling European companies, particularly SMEs, to obtain access to public and private procurement;

21.  Notes that pro-development technology transfer requirements should not be ruled out by disciplines on digital trade;

22.  Calls on the Commission to prohibit third country authorities from requiring the disclosure or transfer of details of the (cryptographic) technology used in products as a condition of manufacturing, selling or distributing these products;

23.  Notes that the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights and investments in R&D are a precondition on the EU’s knowledge-based economy, and that international cooperation is key to combating the trade in counterfeited goods throughout the entire value chain; encourages the Commission, therefore, to push for the worldwide implementation of international standards such as the WTO TRIPS Agreement and the WIPO Internet Treaties; recalls that legal protection throughout the EU, both online and offline, is needed for new creations since it will encourage investment and lead to further innovations; stresses, however, that trade agreements are not the place to extend the level of IP-protection for rights holders by providing for more extensive copyright enforcement powers; stresses that access to medicines in third countries should not be challenged on the basis of IP protection; stresses that trade in counterfeited goods requires a distinctly different approach to IP infringements in the digital economy;

24.  Exhorts the Commission to keep a close eye on ICANN’s gTLD Program, which expands domain names to thousands of generic names, and to guarantee, in line with its commitment to a free and open internet, the protection of rights holders, in particular those relating to geographical indications;

25.  Calls on the Commission to use trade agreements to prevent parties from imposing foreign equity caps, to lay down pro-competitive wholesale access rules for incumbent operators’ networks, to provide transparent and non-discriminatory rules and fees for licensing, and to secure genuine access to last-mile infrastructures in export markets for EU telecom providers; recalls that rule-based competition in the telecommunications sector leads to higher quality services and lower prices;

26.  Calls on the Commission to continue its efforts towards developing a set of binding multilateral disciplines on e-commerce in the WTO, and to continue focusing on concrete and realistic deliverables;

27.  Calls on the Commission to urgently re-launch TiSA negotiations in line with Parliament’s adopted recommendations; espouses the view that the EU should seize the window of opportunity to take the lead to set state-of-the art global digital standards;

28.  Recalls that, since 1998, members of the WTO have upheld a moratorium on tariffs on electronic transmissions; stresses that such tariffs would entail unnecessary additional costs for businesses and consumers alike; calls on the Commission to transform the moratorium into a permanent agreement on banning tariffs on electronic transmissions, subject to careful analysis of the implications in the area of 3D printing;

29.  Notes the efforts made by the WTO to advance its work programme on e-commerce; asks the Commission to seek the further expansion of the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement to include more products and more WTO members, and takes note of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires scheduled for December 2017; asks the Commission to consult European businesses and Member States as soon as possible on its position on e-commerce and other digital trade matters to be agreed at the conference in order to ensure a united European position;

30.  Calls on the Commission to use trade agreements to promote the interoperability of ICT standards that benefit both consumers and producers, notably in the context of a secure Internet of things, 5G and cybersecurity, while not circumventing legitimate fora for multi-stakeholder governance which have served the open internet well;

31.  Supports the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 on ICT standardisation priorities for the digital single market (COM(2016)0176); stresses that while ICT standardisation must continue to be primarily industry led, voluntary and consensus driven, based on the principles of transparency, openness, impartiality, consensus, effectiveness, relevance and coherence, a clearer set of priorities for ICT standardisation, together with high-level political support, will boost competitiveness; notes that this process should make use of the instruments of the European Standardisation System and involve a wide range of stakeholders, both within the EU and at international level, to ensure delivery of improved standard-setting processes, in line with the Joint Initiative on Standardisation; calls on the Commission to foster the emergence of global industry standards under EU leadership for key 5G technologies and network architectures, notably through the exploitation of the 5G public-private partnership (5G PPP) results at the level of key EU and international standardisation bodies;

32.  Stresses the importance of international standards on digital equipment and services, especially in the area of cybersecurity; asks the Commission to work to ensure the introduction of basic cybersecurity measures into Internet of things products and cloud‑based services;

33.  Considers that particular consideration should be given to the increasing number of consumers and individuals who are selling and buying items on the internet and are caught up in burdensome customs procedures for goods purchased online; recalls the need to put in place simplified, tax- and duty-free customs treatment of items sold online and returns unused; recalls that the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement aims to speed up customs procedures and improve their accountability and transparency; stresses the need to digitise customs information and management via online registration and operation of information, which should facilitate clearance at the border, cooperation in fraud detection, anti-corruption efforts and transparency of prices relating to customs; believes that the broader use of tools such as online dispute settlements would be beneficial for consumers;

34.  Calls on the Commission to encourage signatories of trade agreements to include, in the telecommunications chapter of their FTAs, provisions making both international roaming fees and the fees applied to international calls and messages transparent, fair, reasonable and consumer-oriented; calls on the Commission to support policies that promote cost-oriented retail prices for roaming services with a view to reducing prices, promoting transparency and preventing commercial practices that are unfair or in any way negative for consumers;

35.  Recognises that the principles of the E-commerce Directive (2000/31/EC) have contributed to the development of the digital economy by creating favourable conditions for innovations and by guaranteeing freedom of speech and the freedom to conduct a business; recalls that the Commission is bound by the EU acquis in its trade negotiations;

36.  Calls on the Commission to further mainstream digital technologies and services into the EU’s development policy, as outlined, inter alia, in the Digital4Development agenda; calls on the Commission to use trade agreements to improve and promote digital rights; recognises that only 53,6 % of all households worldwide have access to the internet; deplores the fact that there is still a significant digital divide; calls on the Commission to increase investments in digital infrastructure in the Global South in order to bridge this digital divide, including by stimulating public-private partnerships, but while still respecting the development effectiveness principles; notes in this context the contribution of the UN ITU-D in the creation, development and improvement of telecommunication and ICT equipment and networks; urges the Commission to make investments in broadband infrastructure in developing countries contribute integrally to, and contingent on, respect for a free, open and secure internet and to develop adequate solutions to promote mobile internet access; stresses that such investments are particularly important for local micro, small & medium enterprises, especially in developing countries, in order to enable them to interact digitally with multinational enterprises and to access global value chains; recalls that facilitating cross-border e-commerce can have a direct impact on improving livelihoods, fostering higher living standards and boosting economic development; recalls the contribution that such endeavours could make to gender equality since a great number of these companies are owned and run by women; reiterates that digital trade could also be a resource for public administrations and thus support the development of e-government;

37.  Stresses that it is imperative that any digital trade strategy must be fully in line with the principle of policy coherence for development, and should in particular seek to promote and enable start-ups and micro, small & medium enterprises to engage in cross border e-commerce, recalling the contribution this could make to gender equality;

38.  Considers that digital issues should also feature more prominently in the EU’s Aid for Trade policy to facilitate the growth of e-commerce via increased support for innovation and infrastructure and access to financing, notably via micro finance initiatives, as well as assistance in increasing online visibility for e-commerce businesses in developing countries, facilitating platform access and promoting the availability of e-payment solutions and access to cost-effective logistics and delivery services;

39.  Stresses that any digital trade strategy, including its flanking measures, must be fully in line with and contribute to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; notes that SDG 4 on quality education: providing free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education to all girls and boys, SDG 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, SDG 8.10 on promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, in particular by strengthening the capacity of domestic financial institutions and expanding access to financial services, as well as SDG 9.1 on developing reliable and resilient infrastructure with a focus on equitable access for all and SDG 9.3 on increasing the access of small enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets, are particularly relevant in this regard;

40.  commits to updating its digital trade strategy every 5 years;

41.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the EEAS.

(1) OJ L 178, 17.7.2000, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0299.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0041.
(5) OJ C 265, 11.8.2017, p. 35.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0233.
(7) OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31.

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