Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 7 February 2018 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Non-objection to an implementing measure: amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard 9
 Non-objection to a delegated act: dates of application of two Delegated Regulations
 Composition of the European Parliament
 Revision of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission
 Automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Portugal *
 Fighting discrimination of EU citizens belonging to minorities in the EU Member States
 Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation

Non-objection to an implementing measure: amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard 9
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European Parliament decision to raise no objections to the draft Commission regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1126/2008 adopting certain international accounting standards in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (D054380/02 – 2017/3018(RPS))
P8_TA(2018)0027B8-0066/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission regulation (D054380/02),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 on the application of international accounting standards(1), and in particular Article 3(1) thereof,

–  having regard to the Commission’s letter of 18 December 2017 asking Parliament to declare that it will raise no objections to the draft regulation,

–  having regard to the letter from the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs to the Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs of 24 January 2018,

–  having regard to Article 5a of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(2),

–  having regard to the recommendation for a decision by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs,

–  having regard to Rules 106(4)(d) and Rule 105(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the fact that no objections have been raised within the period laid down in the third and fourth indents of Rule 105(6) of its Rules of Procedure, which expired on 6 February 2018,

A.  whereas the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued on 12 October 2017 amendments to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9 – Financial Instruments; whereas those amendments are aimed at creating clarity and consistency in the classification of debt instruments with negative prepayment options;

B.  whereas the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) provided the Commission with positive endorsement advice on 10 November 2017; whereas in its advice the EFRAG covers some of the issues raised by the European Central Bank in its letter dated 8 November 2017 to the EFRAG;

C.  whereas the Commission concluded that the interpretation meets the technical criteria for adoption as required by Article 3(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 and maintains that this proposed amendment would merely retain the status quo of accounting on amortised cost for these specific instruments as applicable before the introduction of IFRS 9;

D.  whereas the IASB set the effective date for this amendment to IFRS 9 as of 1 January 2019 with earlier application permitted; whereas accounting for financial instruments under IFRS 9 is required already as of 1 January 2018; whereas financial institutions subject to IFRS accounting cannot use the treatment under this proposed amendment before its endorsement and publication;

E.  whereas the Commission was aiming for the amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1126/2008 of 3 November 2008 adopting certain international accounting standards(3) to be published before the end of March 2018 in order to be applicable for financial periods starting on or after 1 January 2018;

1.  Declares that it has no objections to the draft Commission regulation;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Commission, and, for information, to the Council.

(1) OJ L 243, 11.9.2002, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(3) OJ L 320, 29.11.2008, p. 1.


Non-objection to a delegated act: dates of application of two Delegated Regulations
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European Parliament decision to raise no objections to the Commission delegated regulation of 20 December 2017 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/2358 and Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/2359 as regards their dates of application (C(2017)08681 – 2017/3032(DEA))
P8_TA(2018)0028B8-0069/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission delegated regulation (C(2017)08681) (‘the amending delegated regulation’),

–  having regard to the letter from the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs to the Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs of 24 January 2018,

–  having regard to Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Directive (EU) 2016/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 January 2016 on insurance distribution(1), and in particular Article 25(2), Article 28(4), Article 29(4) and (5), Article 30(6) and Article 39(5) thereof,

–  having regard to the recommendation for a decision by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs,

–  having regard to Rule 105(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the fact that no objections have been raised within the period laid down in the third and fourth indents of Rule 105(6) of its Rules of Procedure, which expired on 6 February 2018,

A.  whereas the amending delegated regulation should apply before 23 February 2018, the date of entry into force of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/2358 and of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/2359 (‘the two delegated regulations’), and full use of the three-month scrutiny period available to Parliament could lead to the two delegated regulations entering into force before the amended date of application of Directive (EU) 2016/97 (‘IDD’), 1 October 2018, as proposed by the Commission in its proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive (EU) 2016/97 as regards the date of application of Member States’ transposition measures (COM(2017)0792);

B.  whereas a swift publication of the amending delegated regulation in the Official Journal would allow for the alignment of the dates of application of the two delegated regulations with the amended date of application of IDD;

C.  whereas this corresponds to Parliament’s decisions of 25 October 2017(2) to raise no objections to the two delegated regulations, in which it requests the Commission to assess whether the application date of IDD could be extended to 1 October 2018;

1.  Declares that it has no objections to the amending delegated regulation;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 26, 2.2.2016, p. 19.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0404 and P8_TA(2017)0405.


Composition of the European Parliament
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 7 February 2018 on the composition of the European Parliament (2017/2054(INL)2017/0900(NLE))
P8_TA(2018)0029A8-0007/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 14(2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Article 10 TEU(1);

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2013 on the composition of the European Parliament with a view to the 2014 elections(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 November 2015 on the reform of the electoral law of the European Union, and the annexed proposal for a Council decision adopting the provisions amending the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage(3);

–  having regard to the European Council Decision 2013/312/EU of 28 June 2013 establishing the composition of the European Parliament(4),

–  having regard to the Good Friday Agreement of 10 April 1998;

–  having regard to Rules 45, 52 and 84 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A8-0007/2018),

A.  whereas the composition of the European Parliament must respect the criteria laid down in the first subparagraph of Article 14(2) TEU, namely representatives of the Union's citizens not exceeding seven hundred and fifty in number, plus the President, representation being degressively proportional, with a minimum threshold of six members per Member State, and no Member State being allocated more than ninety-six seats;

B.  whereas Article 14(2) TEU states that the European Parliament shall be composed of representatives of the Union’s citizens;

C.  whereas the TEU and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union emphasise the importance of equality and equal treatment of citizens by Union institutions; whereas it is essential to enhance the equality of representation with a view to increasing the legitimacy of the European Parliament as the legislative body representing Union citizens;

D.  whereas the European Parliament has examined a number of proposals for a permanent system for the distribution of seats based on mathematical formulas that were commissioned by, and presented to, it;

E.  whereas on 29 March 2017 and in accordance with Article 50(2) TEU, the UK government notified the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union and whereas the two-year timeframe for the negotiation and conclusion of a withdrawal agreement ends on 29 March 2019, unless the European Council, in agreement with the United Kingdom, unanimously decides to extend that period;

F.  whereas, unless the current legal situation changes, the United Kingdom will no longer be a member of the European Union at the time of the next European elections in 2019;

G.  whereas several Member States have recently voiced support for the creation of a joint constituency as from the European elections in 2019; whereas a precondition for the establishment of a joint constituency is a modification of the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage, which should be adopted at least one year before the European elections as stipulated in the Venice Commission’s Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters;

H.  whereas in its proposal of 11 November 2015 for a Council decision adopting the provisions amending the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage the European Parliament demanded the introduction of an obligatory threshold for constituencies, and for single-constituency Member States, in which the list system is used and that comprise more than a certain number of seats; considers that this threshold needs to be established taking into account the new allocation of seats;

1.  Notes that the current allocation of seats in the European Parliament as established in European Council Decision 2013/312/EU only applies to the 2014-2019 parliamentary term; stresses, therefore, that a new decision on the composition of the European Parliament for the 2019-2024 parliamentary term is required;

2.  Acknowledges the fact that that the current distribution of seats does not respect the principle of degressive proportionality in several instances, and therefore must be corrected for the composition of the European Parliament as of the next European elections in 2019;

3.  Recognises that a number of Member States consider that the voting system in the Council needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on the allocation of seats in the European Parliament;

4.  Underlines that, whilst the mathematical formulas display great potential for providing a permanent system for the distribution of seats in the future, it is politically unviable for Parliament to suggest a permanent system at this stage;

5.  Acknowledges the fact that, unless the current legal situation changes, the United Kingdom will no longer be a Member State at the time of the next European elections in 2019;

6.  Proposes that a new allocation of seats in Parliament, which respects the criteria laid down in Article 14 TEU, is applied as of the next European elections in 2019; considers that, in case the abovementioned legal situation concerning the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union changes, the allocation of seats applied during the 2014-2019 parliamentary term should apply until the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union becomes legally effective;

7.  Underlines that the seats to be vacated by the United Kingdom upon its withdrawal from the European Union will facilitate the adoption of a new allocation of seats in Parliament, which will implement the principle of degressive proportionality; further underlines that the new allocation proposed would allow for a reduction in the size of Parliament; notes that the use of only a fraction of the seats vacated by the United Kingdom is sufficient to ensure no loss of seats for any Member State;

8.  Underlines that the reduction in the size of Parliament would leave a number of seats to accommodate potential future enlargements of the European Union;

9.  Recalls that under the Good Friday Agreement, the people of Northern Ireland have an inherent right to hold British or Irish citizenship, or both, and by virtue of the right to Irish citizenship, to citizenship of the Union as well;

10.  Recalls that degressive proportionality, as defined by the Treaties, is based on the number of seats per Member State and not on the nationality of the candidates;

11.  Calls on the Council to rapidly finalise the revision of the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage;

12.  Underlines that the reform of the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage proposed by the European Parliament will strengthen the European character of the elections and send a positive message for the future of the European project;

13.  Considers that the proposed distribution based on the principles of the Treaties provides a solid foundation for a method to determine the allocation of seats in the future respecting the criteria of Article 14 TEU, in particular the principle of degressive proportionality, as well as being fair, transparent, objective, in line with the most recent demographic shifts, and understandable to European citizens;

14.  Submits to the European Council the annexed proposal for a decision of the European Council establishing the composition of the European Parliament, on the basis of its right of initiative laid down in Article 14(2) TEU; underlines the urgent need to adopt that decision, which requires its consent, so that the Member States can enact, in good time, the necessary domestic provisions to enable them to organise the European elections for the 2019-2024 parliamentary term;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the proposal for a decision of the European Council annexed hereto, together with the aforementioned report of its Committee on Constitutional Affairs, to the European Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

ANNEX TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

Proposal for a

decision of the European Council

establishing the composition of the European Parliament

THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL,

Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Article 14(2) thereof,

Having regard to the initiative of the European Parliament,

Having regard to the consent of the European Parliament,

Whereas:

(1)  The first subparagraph of Article 14(2) of the Treaty on European Union lays down the criteria for the composition of Parliament, namely representatives of the Union's citizens not exceeding seven hundred and fifty in number, plus the President, representation being degressively proportional, with a minimum threshold of six members per Member State, and no Member State being allocated more than ninety-six seats,

(2)  Article 10 of the Treaty on European Union provides, inter alia, that the functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy with citizens being directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament and Member States being represented by their governments, themselves being democratically accountable to their national Parliaments or citizens, in the Council. Article 14(2) of the Treaty on European Union on the composition of the European Parliament therefore applies within the context of the wider institutional arrangements set out in the Treaties, which also include the provisions on decision making in the Council,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

In the application of the provisions of Article 14(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the following principles shall be respected:

–  the allocation of seats in the European Parliament shall fully utilise the minimum and maximum thresholds per Member State set by the Treaty on European Union in order to reflect as closely as possible the sizes of the respective populations,

–  degressive proportionality shall be defined as follows: the ratio between the population and the number of seats of each Member State before rounding to whole numbers shall vary in relation to their respective populations in such a way that each Member of the European Parliament from a more populous Member State represents more citizens than each Member from a less populous Member State and, conversely, that the larger the population of a Member State, the greater its entitlement to a large number of seats,

–  the allocation of seats shall reflect demographic developments in Member States.

Article 2

The total population of the Member States is calculated by the Commission (Eurostat) on the basis of the most recent data provided by the Member States, in accordance with a method established by means of Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5).

Article 3

1.  The number of representatives in the European Parliament elected in each Member State is hereby set as follows for the 2019-2024 parliamentary term:

Belgium

21

Bulgaria

17

Czech Republic

21

Denmark

14

Germany

96

Estonia

7

Ireland

13

Greece

21

Spain

59

France

79

Croatia

12

Italy

76

Cyprus

6

Latvia

8

Lithuania

11

Luxembourg

6

Hungary

21

Malta

6

Netherlands

29

Austria

19

Poland

52

Portugal

21

Romania

33

Slovenia

8

Slovakia

14

Finland

14

Sweden

21

2.  However, in case the United Kingdom is still a Member State of the Union at the beginning of the 2019-2024 parliamentary term, the number of representatives in the European Parliament per Member State taking up office shall be the one provided for in Article 3 of the European Council Decision 2013/312/EU(6) until the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union becomes legally effective.

Once the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union becomes legally effective, the number of representatives in the European Parliament elected in each Member State shall be the one indicated in paragraph 1 of this Article.

All representatives in the European Parliament who fill the additional seats resulting from the difference between the number of seats allocated in the first and second subparagraphs of this paragraph shall take up their seats in Parliament at the same time.

Article 4

Sufficiently far in advance of the beginning of the 2024-2029 parliamentary term, the European Parliament shall submit to the European Council, in accordance with Article 14(2) of the Treaty on European Union, a proposal for an updated allocation of seats.

Article 5

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

Done at ...

For the European Council

The President

(1) That article stipulates that “citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament”
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0082.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0395
(4) OJ L 181, 29.6.2013, p. 57.
(5) Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on European demographic statistics (OJ L 330, 10.12.2013, p. 39).
(6) European Council Decision 2013/312/EU of 28 June 2013 establishing the composition of the European Parliament (OJ L 181, 29.6.2013, p. 57).


Revision of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission
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Decision
Annex
European Parliament decision of 7 February 2018 on the revision of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission (2017/2233(ACI))
P8_TA(2018)0030A8-0006/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 5 October 2017,

–  having regard to the exchange of letters between its President and the President of the Commission, in particular the letter dated 2 October 2017 from the latter, which agrees to the drafting proposals submitted by its President on 7 September 2017,

–  having regard to the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission(1) and to the draft amendments thereto,

–  having regard to Article 10(1) and (4) and Article 17(3) and (7) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 245 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 295 TFEU,

–  having regard to the Commission Work Programme for 2017(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 November 2015 on the reform of the electoral law of the European Union(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 December 2016 on Commissioners’ declarations of interests – guidelines(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 February 2017 on improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 September 2017 on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions(6),

–  having regard to the draft Commission decision of 12 September 2017 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission, in particular Article 10 thereof on participation in European politics during the term of office,

–  having regard to the update of the study by its Directorate-General for Internal Policies entitled “The Code of Conduct for Commissioners – improving effectiveness and efficiency”,

–  having regard to Rule 140(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A8-0006/2018),

A.  whereas Article 10(1) TEU states that the functioning of the Union is founded on representative democracy, and whereas the Commission, as the Union’s executive, plays a decisive role in the functioning of the Union;

B.  whereas Article 10(3) and Article 11 TEU confer on the citizens of the Union the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union;

C.  whereas Article 17(3) TEU states that, in carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission shall be completely independent, that the members of the Commission are to be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt and that they are neither to seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution, body, office or entity;

D.  whereas the aim of the draft amendments is to implement democratic principles when electing the President of the Commission, in accordance with Article 17(7) TEU;

E.  whereas the draft amendments enable Members of the Commission to stand in European elections without having to resign;

F.  whereas it is common practice in the Member States for members of the Government to run in national parliamentary elections without having to resign;

G.  whereas the draft amendments also allow Members of the Commission to be designated by European political parties as lead candidates (‘Spitzenkandidaten’) for the position of President of the Commission;

H.  whereas Parliament has already expressed support for the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process, as clearly laid down in the Treaty, in its proposal for the revision of the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage(7);

I.  whereas, in accordance with Article 10(4) TEU, political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness, and whereas Articles 10(3) and 11(1) TEU extend this to citizens and representative associations;

J.  whereas the draft amendments also provide for the necessary safeguards to protect transparency, impartiality, confidentiality and collegiality, all of which continue to apply to campaigning Members of the Commission;

K.  whereas the draft amendments oblige the President of the Commission to inform Parliament of the measures taken to ensure the respect of the principles of independence, integrity and discretion enshrined in Article 245 TFEU and the Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission when Commissioners stand as candidates in electoral campaigns for European elections;

L.  whereas the draft amendments stipulate that Members of the Commission are not to use the human or material resources of the Commission for activities linked to an electoral campaign;

1.  Recalls that the President of the Commission will be elected by the European Parliament on a proposal by the European Council, taking into account the outcome of the European elections and after appropriate consultations have been held, and that therefore, as was the case in 2014, European political parties shall come up with lead candidates (‘Spitzenkandidaten’), in order to give the European citizens the choice whom to elect as President of the Commission in the European elections;

2.  Recalls that the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process reflects the interinstitutional balance between the Parliament and the European Council as provided for in the Treaties; furthermore emphasises that this further step in strengthening the Union’s parliamentary dimension is a principle that cannot be overturned;

3.  Stresses that, by not adhering to the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process, the European Council would also risk submitting for Parliament’s approval a candidate for President of the Commission who will not have a sufficient parliamentary majority;

4.  Warns that the European Parliament will be ready to reject any candidate in the investiture procedure of the President of the Commission who was not appointed as a ‘Spitzenkandidat’ in the run-up to the European elections;

5.  Considers that the 'Spitzenkandidaten' process is also a contribution to transparency, as candidates for President of the Commission are made known prior to the European elections, rather than after them as was previously the case;

6.  Underlines that the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process fosters the political awareness of European citizens in the run-up to the European elections and reinforces the political legitimacy of both Parliament and the Commission by connecting their respective elections more directly to the choice of the voters; acknowledges therefore the important added value of the ‘Spitzenkandidat’ principle in the goal of a strengthening of the political nature of the Commission;

7.  Is of the opinion that the political legitimacy of the Commission would be strengthened further if more elected Members of the European Parliament were nominated as Members of the Commission;

8.  Recalls that in the run-up to the 2014 European elections all major European political parties embraced the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process, indicating their candidate for President of the Commission, and that public debates among the candidates were held, bringing about a constitutional and political practice that reflects the interinstitutional balance provided for in the Treaties;

9.  Considers that in 2014 the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process proved to be a success, and stresses that the 2019 European elections will be the occasion to cement the use of that practice;

10.  Encourages the European political parties to nominate their ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ through an open, transparent and democratic competition;

11.  Considers that the draft amendments are in accordance with Article 10(1) and Article 17(7) TEU, and welcomes them as an improvement which consolidates the democratic election process of the President of the Commission;

12.  Notes the entry into force of the revised Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission, which aims to clarify the obligations applicable to Members of the Commission in and out of office; recalls the views already expressed by the European Parliament in terms of, inter alia, a cooling off period applicable to former Members of the Commission after ceasing to hold office, transparency, appointment of the Independent Ethical Committee and participation in European electoral campaigns;

13.  Considers it important to provide, in the Code of Conduct for the Members of the Commission, for strong standards of transparency, impartiality and safeguards in order to avoid any possible conflict of interest of the campaigning Members of the Commission;

14.  Recalls in particular its request for a three year ‘cooling-off period’ applicable to former Members of the Commission after ceasing to hold office;

15.  Approves the amendments to the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission, annexed to this decision;

16.  Instructs its President to sign the amendments with the President of the Commission and arrange for their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and its annex to the Commission and, for information, to the Council and the parliaments of the Member States.

ANNEX

Agreement between the European Parliament and the European Commission amending point 4 of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the agreement as published in OJ L 45 of 17 February 2018, p. 46.)

(1) OJ L 304, 20.11.2010, p. 47.
(2) Communication of the Commission of 25 October 2016 entitled “Commission Work Programme 2017 - Delivering a Europe that protects, empowers and defends” (COM(2016)0710).
(3) OJ C 366, 27.10.2017, p. 7.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0477.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0049.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0358.
(7) Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage annexed to the Council decision 76/787/ECSC, EEC, Euratom (OJ L 278, 8.10.1976, p. 1) as amended by Council Decision 93/81/Euratom, ECSC, EEC (OJ L 33, 9.2.1993, p. 15) and by Council Decision 2002/772/EC, Euratom (OJ L 283, 21.10.2002, p. 1).


Automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Portugal *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 7 February 2018 on the draft Council implementing decision on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Portugal (13308/2017 – C8-0419/2017 – 2017/0821(CNS))
P8_TA(2018)0031A8-0017/2018

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (13308/2017),

–  having regard to Article 39(1) of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, and Article 9 of Protocol No 36 on transitional provisions, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0419/2017),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2008/615/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime(1), and in particular 33 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 78c of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0017/2018),

1.  Approves the Council draft;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;

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

(1) OJ L 210, 6.8.2008, p. 1


Fighting discrimination of EU citizens belonging to minorities in the EU Member States
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European Parliament resolution of 7 February 2018 on protection and non-discrimination with regard to minorities in the EU Member States (2017/2937(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0032B8-0064/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Articles 10, 19, 21 and 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the right to petition enshrined in Articles 20 and 227 of the TFEU and Article 44 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EUCFR),

–  having regard to Articles 21 and 22 of the EUCFR,

–  having regard to the preamble to the TEU,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Protocol No 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages,

–  having regard to Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin(1) (Racial Equality Directive),

–  having regard to Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation(2) (Equal Treatment in Employment Directive),

–  having regard to Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC(3) (Free Movement Directive),

–  having regard to the judgment of the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of 3 February 2017 in Case T-646/13 – Minority SafePack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe v Commission(4),

–  having regard to its resolutions on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union,

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 June 2005 on the protection of minorities and anti-discrimination policies in an enlarged Europe(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 September 2013 on endangered European languages and linguistic diversity in the European Union(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2014 entitled ‘EU Citizenship Report 2013. EU citizens: your rights, your future’(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2016 on the activities of the Committee on Petitions 2015(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2017 entitled ‘Fundamental rights aspects in Roma integration in the EU: fighting anti-Gypsyism’(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 December 2017 entitled ‘EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening citizens’ rights in a Union of democratic change’(10),

–  having regard to the study of April 2017 commissioned by Policy Department C of the European Parliament at the request of the Committee on Petitions entitled ‘Discrimination(s) as emerging from the petitions received’,

–  having regard to the study of August 2017 commissioned by Policy Department C of the European Parliament at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs entitled ‘Towards a comprehensive EU protection system for minorities’,

–  having regard to the study of May 2017 commissioned by Policy Department B of the European Parliament at the request of the Committee on Culture and Education entitled ‘Minority Languages and Education: Best Practices and Pitfalls’,

–  having regard to the public hearing organised by the Committee on Petitions of 4 May 2017 entitled ‘Fighting against discrimination of EU citizens in the EU Member States and protection of minorities’(11),

–  having regard to Rule 216(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Committee on Petitions has received several petitions raising concerns about various practices that discriminate against EU citizens belonging to minorities and has organised a hearing on the different issues raised;

B.  whereas there is a strong link between minority rights and the principle of the rule of law; whereas Article 2 of the TEU expressly mentions the rights of persons belonging to minorities and whereas these rights deserve to be accorded the same treatment as the other rights enshrined in the Treaties;

C.  whereas Article 10 of the TFEU stipulates that ‘in defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union shall aim to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation’;

D.  whereas while international agreements provide a solid framework for minority rights, there is still considerable room for improvement in the way in which the protection of minority rights is put into practice in the EU;

E.  whereas every person in the EU has an equal right and duty to become a full, active and integrated member of society;

F.  whereas upholding minority rights is an essential requirement for candidate countries as laid down in the Copenhagen criteria;

G.  whereas discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin is cited as the most common form of discrimination and whereas discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation has increased significantly according to the most recent Eurobarometer survey on discrimination(12);

H.  whereas the Commission’s proposal for an Equal Treatment Directive (COM(2008)0426) covers a large number of areas, such as education, social protection, and access to and supply of goods and services;

I.  whereas petitions received by the Committee on Petitions in the field of discrimination in relation to minority rights should be examined thoroughly in order to understand the concerns raised by citizens and propose solutions;

J.  whereas several petitions show that minorities encounter discrimination in the exercise of their fundamental rights, and whereas this raises concerns regarding the future of minority communities, in particular in the light of activities that pollute the environment;

K.  whereas the protection and strengthening of cultural heritage related to national minorities in the Member States – a key component of the cultural identity of communities, groups and individuals – plays a crucial role in social cohesion;

L.  whereas Member States have a clear responsibility to take corrective measures against practices that discriminate against members of the Roma community, in particular in their dealings with regional and national administrative authorities;

M.  whereas petitioners are concerned about the lack of a comprehensive EU response and protection when it comes to their linguistic and other minority rights, which are enshrined in the EUCFR and the general principles of EU law, as stated by the CJEU;

1.  Deplores the fact that persons belonging to minorities still encounter obstacles in ensuring respect for their fundamental rights and remain victims of hate speech and hate crimes;

2.  Considers that Member States should consistently uphold the rights of minorities and periodically assess whether those rights are being respected;

Combating discrimination against autochthonous, national and linguistic minorities: a national and EU responsibility

3.  Observes that minority issues have not been high enough on the EU agenda and supports an integrated approach to equality and non-discrimination, with the objective of ensuring that Member States deal appropriately with the diversity of people in their societies;

4.  Believes that the EU has a responsibility to protect and promote the rights of minorities; considers it necessary to improve the EU’s legislative framework to protect the rights of persons belonging to minorities in a comprehensive manner;

5.  Emphasises the role of the EU institutions in raising awareness of the issues related to the protection of minorities and encouraging and supporting the Member States in promoting cultural diversity and tolerance, especially through education;

6.  Stresses that the development of any cultural heritage policy should be inclusive, community based and participatory, involving consultation and dialogue with the minority communities concerned;

7.  Notes that the EU lacks effective tools to monitor respect for minority rights; calls for effective EU-wide monitoring of the situation of autochthonous and linguistic minorities; considers that the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights should carry out enhanced monitoring of discrimination against national minorities in Member States;

8.  Acknowledges the important role of the Member States in the protection of autochthonous, national or linguistic minorities; recalls that the protection of national minorities and the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of language and membership of a national minority are enshrined in the Treaties and the EUCFR;

9.  Regrets that the issues raised in its resolution on the protection of minorities and anti-discrimination policies in an enlarged Europe have not yet been resolved;

EU legal framework on minorities: challenges and opportunities

10.  Highlights the fact that the rights of national minorities and the protection thereof are integral to the rule of law as laid down in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Copenhagen Document signed in 1990;

11.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that their legal systems guarantee that persons belonging to a minority are not discriminated against and to take targeted protection measures based on relevant international norms; condemns any discriminatory treatment by public officials of persons belonging to minorities; suggests that the competent authorities make use of the measures in place for reporting and, where necessary, sanctioning such cases of discrimination;

12.  Stresses that the situation and legal status of non-citizens permanently resident in Member States needs to be addressed;

13.  Highlights that the natural and cultural heritage resources of national minorities are key pillars of social cohesion and must be considered assets to be fully preserved for future generations, including by putting a stop to polluting activities;

14.  Calls on all Member States to sign, ratify and enforce the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Protocol No 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, or to update their commitments towards the relevant international agreements; stresses that linguistic and autochthonous minorities should be treated in accordance with the principles laid down in these documents;

15.  Calls for the Racial Equality Directive and the Equal Treatment in Employment Directive to be revised; deeply regrets that little progress has been made on the adoption of the proposal for an Equal Treatment Directive and calls on the Commission and the Council to relaunch the relevant negotiations with the aim of concluding them before the end of this legislative term;

Protection and defence of minority languages

16.  Encourages the Member States to ensure that the right to use a minority language is upheld and to protect linguistic diversity within the Union in accordance with the EU Treaties;

17.  Believes that linguistic rights must be respected in communities where there is more than one official language, without limiting the rights of one compared with another, in line with the constitutional order of each Member State;

18.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen the promotion of the teaching and use of regional and minority languages, as a potential way of tackling language discrimination in the EU;

Rights of LGBTI persons

19.  Encourages the Commission to take more resolute steps to combat LGBTI discrimination and homophobia, including concrete legislative measures, while respecting the competences of Member States; recommends monitoring LGBTI rights and providing clear and accessible information on the recognition of cross-border rights for LGBTI persons and their families in the EU; considers that Member States should duly invest in providing targeted education at different stages in order to prevent bullying and combat homophobia in a structured manner;

20.  Urges the Commission to ensure that Member States correctly implement the Free Movement Directive, consistently respecting, inter alia, the provisions related to family members and prohibiting discrimination on any grounds;

21.  Calls on the Commission to take action in order to ensure that LGBTI individuals and their families can exercise their right to free movement in accordance with both Article 21 of the TFEU and Article 21 of the EUCFR;

º

º º

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

(1) OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, p. 22.
(2) OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16.
(3) OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 77.
(4) ECLI:EU:T:2017:59.
(5) OJ C 124 E, 25.5.2006, p. 405.
(6) OJ C 93, 9.3.2016, p. 52.
(7) OJ C 378, 9.11.2017, p. 146.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0512.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0413.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0487.
(11) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/117287/peti-hearing-programme-20170504-en.pdf
(12) Discrimination in the EU in 2015, http://ec.europa.eu/COMMFrontOffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/Survey/getSurveyDetail/instruments/SPECIAL/surveyKy/2077


Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation
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European Parliament resolution of 7 February 2018 on zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) (2017/2936(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0033B8-0068/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of the Victim’s Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) of 25 October 2012(1) on the obligatory provision of support services to victims of violence, including those of FGM,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 21 of the Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU) of 26 June 2013(2) which specifically mentions victims of FGM amongst vulnerable persons who should receive appropriate healthcare during their asylum procedure,

–  having regard to Article 20 of the Qualification Directive (2011/95/EU) of 13 December 2011(3), where FGM as a serious form of psychological, physical or sexual violence is included as a ground to be taken into consideration for international protection,

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 February 2014 on the Commission communication entitled ‘Towards the elimination of female genital mutilation’(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2012 on ending female genital mutilation(5), which called for an end to FGM worldwide through prevention, protection measures and legislation,

–  having regard to the EU Annual Reports on Human Rights and Democracy in the World,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of June 2014 on preventing and combating all forms of violence against women and girls, including female genital mutilation,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of March 2010 on eradication of violence against women in the EU,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication of 25 November 2013 entitled ‘Towards the elimination of female genital mutilation’ (COM(2013)0833),

–  having regard to the Joint Statement of 6 February 2013 on the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation, in which the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative and five Commissioners confirmed the EU’s commitment to combatting FGM in its external relations,

–  having regard to the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019, in particular Objective 14(b),

–  having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular target 5.3 on eliminating all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation,

–  having regard to the Gender Action Plan 2016-2020,

–  having regard to the European Institute for Gender Equality report of 2013 on ‘Female genital mutilation in the European Union and Croatia’,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Convention of 2014 on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2017(6) on EU accession to the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,

–  having regard to the Declaration of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers of September 2017 on the need to intensify the efforts to prevent and combat female genital mutilation and forced marriage in Europe,

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly resolution of 20 December 2012 on ‘Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations’ (A/RES/67/146),

–  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

–  having regard to the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative of 2017 on eliminating violence against women and girls,

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) (O-000003/2018 – B8-0005/2018),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality,

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

A.  whereas the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly calls for the elimination of female genital mutilation alongside harmful practices under Goal 5 ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’;

B.  whereas FGM is a practice underlined for special attention within Objective 14 ‘Promoting gender equality, women’s rights, empowerment and participation of women and girls’ of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019;

C.  whereas the Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 (GAP II) under Thematic Priority B: ‘Physical and Psychological Integrity’ includes as an indicator the percentage of girls and women aged 15-49 years who have undergone FGM;

D.  whereas, as a detrimental practice of a transnational nature, FGM is now recognised as a global issue, with the 2030 Agenda on UN sustainable development goals identifying it as a harmful practice which is to be eliminated by the year 2030;

E.  whereas UNICEF’s 2016 statistical report states that a minimum of 200 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM, but the exact figure remains unknown;

F.  whereas FGM – still being traditionally practised in certain parts of the African continent but also in parts of the Middle East, Asia and Oceania – also poses a problem in the European Union, with severe consequences for the women and girls affected;

G.  whereas, although uneven, there has been progress over the past three decades, with the prevalence rates dropping by some 30 %; whereas this progress could nevertheless be offset by population growth, meaning that a greater number of girls and women will undergo the procedure;

H.  whereas local communities are often the greatest single influence on the decision by parents to cut their female children or by women choosing to undergo FGM;

I.  whereas although there is no religious requirement to perform FGM, a strong presence of religion in many practicing communities makes it necessary for religious and other leaders to be engaged in the movement against FGM;

J.  whereas, in order to devise an appropriate eradication strategy, this practice must always be examined in the local context;

K.  whereas FGM is often non-dissociable from other gender inequality issues and appears as only one of many violations against women’s rights such as: lack of access to education for girls, including comprehensive sex education; lack of work or employment for women; the inability to own or inherit property; forced or early child marriage; sexual and physical violence; and lack of quality healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health and rights services;

L.  whereas FGM shares the premise of control over women’s bodies with other forms of gender-based violence and violates a woman’s right to health, security and bodily integrity and, in some cases, even her right to life;

M.  whereas, while prevention represents a more desirable pathway to abandonment of FGM than prosecution given that offenders, aiders and abetters are frequently the parents of a victim, there is an evident need to also remove obstacles to the prosecution of FGM cases, while taking into account the best interests of the child;

1.  Notes a drop in the prevalence rates of FGM as a result of decisive actions and awareness-raising, and encourages all actors to continue their efforts in order to preserve the momentum in countries where FGM is prevalent;

2.  Sees this momentum as an opportunity for international organisations and states to step up their efforts, primarily through creating links and connections between different regions, stakeholders and sectors in order to actively work together to achieve the abandonment of this and other practices that are harmful to a girl child, who may suffer the physical, psychological and emotional consequences for the whole of her life;

3.  Recognises the invaluable work of the organisations working with communities on the ground both in the EU and outside on prevention and awareness-raising and in advocacy, and recognises that building bridges between them is a necessity if FGM is to become a thing of past;

4.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to mainstream the prevention of FGM into all sectors, especially health including sexual and reproductive health, social work, asylum, education including sex education, law enforcement, justice, child protection, and media and communication;

5.  Underlines that, under Article 38 of the Istanbul Convention, the Member States have the obligation to criminalise FGM, as well as incitement, coercion or procurement of a girl to undergo it, and that the Convention protects not only girls and women at risk from FGM, but also girls and women who suffer the lifelong consequences of this practice (in situations such as re-infibulation, asylum-related situations, access to care, etc.); stresses that the Istanbul Convention lays down that culture, custom, religion, tradition or so-called ‘honour’ cannot be a justification for any acts of violence against women;

6.  Calls on the EU and those Member States which have not yet ratified the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women to do so without delay so that the EU’s commitment complies with international standards promoting a holistic and integrated approach to violence against women and to FGM;

7.  Is pleased to note that the criminal law in all Member States protects girls and women from FGM either explicitly or implicitly, but is extremely concerned about its apparent ineffectiveness, having witnessed only a handful of legal cases in the EU;

8.  Notes with concern that the enforcement of laws and, specifically, prosecution is a challenge in all Member States and countries of origin; invites the Commission therefore to facilitate targeted training for relevant actors on detection, investigation and prosecution of FGM; calls on the Member States to be more vigilant when it comes to detecting, investigating and prosecuting cases of FGM;

9.  Observes that criminal law and targeted training must go hand in hand with the efforts to raise awareness in order to disincentivise practitioners from continuing the practice;

10.  Recognises that an important difference between FGM and other forms of gender-based violence is the lack of bad intention behind the act, and stresses that, while this can in no way serve as a justification, it must be considered in strategies aimed at abandonment;

11.  Deplores the rising medicalisation in certain countries and insists that this is an unacceptable answer to addressing the root causes, as already established by the UN and WHO; invites Member States to explicitly outlaw the medicalisation of FGM while raising awareness of medical staff about this problem;

12.  Underlines that FGM is one of the most predictable forms of gender-based violence and invites the Commission and Member States to guarantee strong preventive action in refugee camps; calls on the Commission to further include prevention of FGM and other harmful practices within integration procedures and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and to provide relevant information through the EU Asylum Agency;

13.  Asks for the highest standards of protection for asylum seekers on grounds relating to FGM within the framework of the reform of the Common European Asylum System and the revision of the Asylum Directives, and through the role of the new EU Asylum Agency;

14.  Looks forward to the establishment of the global network which will form connections between relevant actors from all parts of the world in order to bring ideas together and join forces; invites the Commission to provide support to this important network;

15.  Calls on the Commission to respond to the calls by civil society for funding to be flexible enough that grassroots organisations which carry out their work in the community can apply for funding, that an array of girls’ and women’s rights issues can be addressed alongside FGM using a holistic approach, and that connections can be established between organisations working in the EU and those working in the practicing countries; welcomes in this respect the work of the End FGM European Network and its members, including through the Change Plus project, in training representatives of local communities to promote not only legislative change but also behaviour change in their communities;

16.  Invites the Commission and Member States to keep data on the prevalence of FGM and its types, and to involve academia in the process of data collection, research and the education of future generations of professionals on FGM; recognises that the European Migration Network can play a role; considers that a joint research agenda on FGM would allow universities in practicing areas to connect with EU universities in order to organise exchange programmes, improve data collection and improve the capacities of future professionals in different sectors;

17.  Invites the Commission and the Member States to include basic information on FGM and other practices harmful to a girl child in the educational programmes of those disciplines that play a key role in the prevention of FGM;

18.  Stresses that, notwithstanding its local context, FGM should be seen in the context of gender-based violence and as a gender equality issue and should be tackled by a comprehensive approach so as to avoid the vilification of communities where it is practiced;

19.  Emphasises that ensuring that all girls attend school, and developing the preconditions for the economic empowerment of women, are the first steps towards elevating the position of women in practicing communities;

20.  Draws attention to the potential and power of various communication avenues such as art, literature, new and local media to bring messages closer to the people; emphasises the importance of involving boys and men in creating new narratives on gender equality and in combating existing power structures through networks, peer programmes, information campaigns and training programmes;

21.  Invites the Commission to assist Member States and practicing countries in setting up networks and integrated strategies for the prevention of FGM, including the training of social workers, medical personnel, community and religious leaders, and police and justice officers; recognises that no religion advocates this practice;

22.  Calls on the Commission to include the issue of FGM and other practices harmful to women and girls in its human rights dialogues and diplomatic outreaches; calls on the EEAS and on the Member States to step up cooperation with third countries to encourage them to adopt national laws banning FGM and to support law enforcement authorities in ensuring implementation;

23.  Notes with appreciation that the Delegations and the EEAS are trained each year on FGM within a children’s rights or gender training framework, and invites the Commission to make its tools such as the ‘United to end FGM’ toolkit for different sector professionals widely known and available to the target populations;

24.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and the Council of the European Union.

(1) OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, p. 57.
(2) OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, p. 96.
(3) OJ L 337, 20.12.2011, p. 9.
(4) OJ C 93, 24.3.2017, p. 142.
(5) OJ C 332 E, 15.11.2013, p. 87.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0329.

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