Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 31 May 2018 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Situation of imprisoned EU-Iranian dual nationals in Iran
 Women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia
 Sudan, notably the situation of Noura Hussein Hammad
 Appointment of a member to the selection panel for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office
 Odometer manipulation in motor vehicles: revision of the EU legal framework
 Union Civil Protection Mechanism***I
 Connecting Europe facility after 2020
 Situation in Nicaragua
 Gender equality and women’s empowerment: transforming the lives of girls and women through EU external relations 2016-2020
 Implementation of the EU Youth Strategy
 Implementation of the Ecodesign Directive
 Responding to petitions on tackling precariousness and the abusive use of fixed-term contracts

Situation of imprisoned EU-Iranian dual nationals in Iran
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on the situation of imprisoned EU-Iranian dual nationals in Iran (2018/2717(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0231RC-B8-0254/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran, in particular those of 25 October 2016 on the EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement(1), of 3 April 2014 on the EU strategy towards Iran(2), of 17 November 2011 on Iran – recent cases of human rights violations(3), and of 10 March 2011 on the EU’s approach towards Iran(4),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the EU Annual Reports on Human Rights,

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty, on Torture, on Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights Defenders,

–  having regard to the new EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, which aims to place the protection and surveillance of human rights at the heart of all EU policies,

–  having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/568 of 12 April 2018(5), extending the restrictive measures related to serious human rights violations in Iran for one year, until 13 April 2019,

–  having regard to the joint statement made in Tehran on 16 April 2016 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javad Zarif, in which it was agreed to engage in a human rights dialogue and to organise exchange visits between the EU and Iran on human rights-related issues,

–  having regard to the annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the UN Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, of 23 March 2018,

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

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Iran is a party,

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

A.  whereas there are several EU-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iranian prisons, including Mr Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian researcher who has been accused of spying and sentenced to death following an unfair trial, with no access to a lawyer or to the necessary medical care, while under imminent threat of execution and in poor health;

B.  whereas Mr Kamran Ghaderi, an Austrian-Iranian citizen, was on a business trip to Iran when he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison after the prosecution used a coerced confession; whereas also currently detained in Iran is Mrs Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian who worked for a charitable organisation and has been diagnosed with advanced depression; whereas Mr Abbas Edalat, a British-Iranian academic, was arrested in April 2018 and the charges against himhave not been communicated yet;

C.  whereas the continuing practice of arrests of EU-Iranian dual citizens is followed by a pattern of prolonged solitary confinement and interrogations, lack of due process, denial of consular access or visits by the UN or humanitarian organisations, secretive trials in which the detainee is given limited access to counsel, long prison sentences based on vague or unspecified ‘national security’ and ‘espionage’ charges, and state-sponsored smear campaigns against the imprisoned individuals;

D.  whereas Iran, as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), should respect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, in line with its obligations;

E.  whereas Iran continues to imprison and has recently stepped up its arrests of civil society activists, human rights defenders, environmental activists and political activists; whereas human rights defenders, journalists and political activists are being actively prosecuted for their peaceful actions;

F.  whereas dual nationals detained in Iran have not always been given access to a lawyer and a fair trial; whereas in practice Iran treats dual nationals as Iranians only, which limits the access of foreign embassies to their citizens detained in the country, and the access of the detainees to consular protection;

G.  whereas several political prisoners and individuals charged with national security crimes have suffered from a lack of adequate access to medical care during detention, with serious consequences;

1.  Condemns the continuing practice of imprisonment of EU-Iranian dual nationals by the Iranian authorities following unfair trials; calls for their immediate and unconditional release, or for them to be retried in accordance with international standards, and for the officials responsible for the violations of their rights to be held accountable;

2.  Expresses grave concern about the arrests, without prima facie evidence of having committed a crime, of EU-Iranian dual nationals upon their entry into Iran; stresses that these arrests hinder the possibilities of people-to-people contacts;

3.  Deplores the fact that EU-Iranian dual citizens are detained in Iran’s prisons in poor conditions, and that they are often forced to make confessions following torture and inhumane treatment;

4.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to guarantee Mr Djalali full access to his lawyer and to any medical treatment should he so request; urges the Iranian authorities to annul his death sentence and to immediately release him, as requested by the international community;

5.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure the retrial of Kamran Ghaderi, in order to guarantee that his right to a fair trial is respected, to immediately release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is already eligible for early release, and to urgently make known the charges against Abbas Edalat;

6.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to respect the fundamental right of the defendants to access a lawyer of their choice and the right to a fair trial, given Iran’s international obligations as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

7.  Condemns, following credible reports, the acts of torture and other cruel treatment carried out, particularly during interrogations, and calls on the Iranian authorities to respect the human dignity of the prisoners; deplores the cruel and inhumane conditions of detention and calls on Iran to ensure that all the prisoners receive adequate medical care;

8.  Calls on the judiciary to respect the principles of fair trial and due process and to grant suspects access to legal counsel, consular visits and visits by the UN and humanitarian organisations, as well as full access to medical treatment and healthcare services in accordance with Iran’s international obligations; calls on Iran to take the necessary steps with a view to revision of the law in order to ensure fair trials and access to a lawyer during the investigative phases and to put an end to forced confessions made as a result of torture;

9.  Calls on the European External Action Service and the Commission to establish an internal task force in support of EU nationals who are facing the death penalty or manifestly unfair trials in third countries, in order to enhance the support available from their national consular or diplomatic services;

10.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to cooperate with the embassies of EU Member States in Tehran in order to establish a list of EU-Iranian dual nationals currently detained in Iranian prisons, and to closely monitor each individual case, given that citizens’ security and protection of their fundamental rights are of the highest importance for the EU;

11.  Calls for the release of all human rights defenders imprisoned in Iran and for all acts of intimidation against them to be stopped;

12.  Welcomes raising significantly the bar for convictions of drug-related crimes punishable by death as a first step towards implementing a moratorium on the death penalty in Iran;

13.  Calls on Iran to deepen its engagement with international human rights mechanisms by cooperating with the Special Rapporteurs and special mechanisms, including by approving requests for access to the country by mandate holders; urges the Iranian authorities to ensure in particular that the future UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran is allowed to enter the country;

14.  Supports the discussions on human rights taking place in the context of the EU-Iran High-Level Dialogue launched after the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; stresses that the EU should remain determined to continue raising its human rights concerns with Iran both bilaterally and in multilateral forums;

15.  Reiterates the engagement of Iran in a human rights dialogue and welcomes the openness on the part of the Iranian authorities to pursuing this dialogue;

16.  Calls on the VP/HR to raise the issues of prison conditions and violations of human rights with the authorities, and particularly the cases of the EU-Iranian dual nationals imprisoned in Iran, in order to put an end to cruel and inhumane treatment in Iranian prisons; calls on the VP/HR and the Member States to systematically raise human rights concerns with the Iranian authorities, including the situation of political prisoners and human rights defenders and freedom of expression and association;

17.  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 governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Government and Parliament of Iran.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0402.
(2) OJ C 408, 30.11.2017, p. 39.
(3) OJ C 153 E, 31.5.2013, p. 157.
(4) OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p. 163.
(5) OJ L 95, 13.4.2018, p. 14.


Women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on the situation of women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia (2018/2712(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0232RC-B8-0259/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Saudi Arabia, in particular those of 11 March 2014 on Saudi Arabia, its relations with the EU and its role in the Middle East and North Africa(1), of 12 February 2015 on the case of Raif Badawi(2) and of 8 October 2015 on the case of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr(3),

–  having regard to the awarding of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and Expression to the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi in 2015,

–  having regard to the statement of 29 May 2018 by the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on recent arrests in Saudi Arabia, including the arbitrary detention and disappearance, without due process, of Nawaf Talal Rasheed, a prince from the Al-Rashid dynasty, and the son of the late poet Nawaf Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rashid,

–  having regard to the statement of 18 May 2018 by the State Security Presidency of Saudi Arabia on the arrests of seven suspects,

–  having regard to the new draft legislation outlawing harassment approved by the Saudi Shura Council on 28 May 2018,

–  having regard to the impact on human rights, both at domestic and regional level, of the sanctions put in place by Saudi Arabia and other countries against Qatar and the report on the impact of the Gulf Crisis on human rights published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in December 2017,

–  having regard to Saudi Arabia’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council and of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), as well as its future membership of the Executive Council of the CSW, starting in January 2019,

–  having regard to the speech by Commissioner Christos Stylianides, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), in the European Parliament debate of 4 July 2017 on Saudi Arabia’s election as a member of the CSW,

–  having regard to the concluding observations of 9 March 2018 of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Saudi Arabia(4),

–  having regard to the joint submission on Saudi Arabia on behalf of ALQST, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) from the 69th session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on 7 March 2018,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights of 1966,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966,

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

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

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

A.  whereas since 15 May 2018 Saudi authorities have arrested seven women – Loujain al-Hathloul, Aisha al-Mana, Madeha al-Ajroush, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Youssef, Hessah al-Sheikh, Walaa al-Shubbar – and four men – Ibrahim Fahad Al-Nafjan, Ibrahim al-Modeimigh, Mohammed al-Rabiah and Abdulaziz al-Meshaal – for their women’s rights activism; whereas the arrested human rights defenders have since been charged with supporting the activities of foreign circles, recruiting persons in charge of sensitive government positions and providing foreign circles with money with the aim of destabilising the Kingdom; whereas these activists are known for their campaign against the ban on women driving and in favour of abolishing the male guardianship system; whereas they were arrested ahead of the anticipated lifting of the ban on women driving on 24 June 2018;

B.  whereas Ms Madeha al-Ajroush, Ms Walaa al-Shubbar, Ms Aisha al-Mana and Ms Hessah al-Sheikh were reportedly released on 24 May 2018;

C.  whereas the case of Loujain al-Hathloul is particularly alarming, as she was transferred from Abu Dhabi to Saudi Arabia against her will in March 2018 after attending a review session on Saudi Arabia at the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; whereas she was placed under a travel ban until her recent arrest and is currently, reportedly among other activists, being held incommunicado;

D.  whereas Saudi Arabia has some of the tightest restrictions imposed on women, despite recent government reforms aimed at boosting women’s rights in the employment sector; whereas the Saudi political and social system remains undemocratic and discriminatory, makes women second-class citizens, allows no freedom of religion and belief, seriously discriminates against the country’s large foreign workforce and severely represses all voices of dissent;

E.  whereas the investigation and work on the case are still ongoing and information on the arrests is difficult to come by owing to the limited information released by the Saudi authorities;

F.  whereas on 25 May 2018 Saudi authorities arrested prominent human rights defender Mohammed al-Bajadi, a founding member of the banned Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, which has accused the security forces of abuses;

G.  whereas within days of the human rights defenders’ arrests, government-aligned media outlets and social media platforms launched a vicious smear campaign against them, denouncing them as ‘traitors’ posing a threat to state security; whereas experts believe that the smear campaign currently being waged against the human rights defenders’ suggests the intention to issue potentially very harsh punishments;

H.  whereas Saudi society is changing gradually but constantly, and whereas the Saudi authorities have adopted a number of measures to improve due recognition of women as equal citizens, such as granting them the right to vote in municipal elections, providing them with access to the consultative Shura Council and the National Human Rights Council, lifting the ban prohibiting women from driving, and granting them access to public sports events;

I.  whereas the reform agenda Vision 2030, bringing about economic and social transformation of the country based on women’s empowerment, should be a real opportunity for Saudi women to secure their legal emancipation, which is absolutely crucial for the full enjoyment of their rights under the CEDAW; whereas, however, the recent wave of arrests of women’s rights activists seems to run counter to this aim and may distract from the reform agenda;

J.  whereas the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud has offered rhetorical support for women’s rights reforms, especially during his tour in Europe and the United States, but such reforms have so far been limited, and the male guardianship system, the most serious impediment to women’s rights, remains largely intact; whereas, moreover, he has overseen a widespread crackdown on prominent activists, lawyers and human rights defenders, which has intensified since he began consolidating control over the country’s security institutions;

K.  whereas Saudi Arabia has a range of discriminatory laws, in particular the legal provisions relating to personal status, the situation of women migrant workers, the Civil Status Code, the Labour Code, the Nationality Act and the system of male guardianship, which subjects women’s enjoyment of most of their rights under the CEDAW to authorisation by a male guardian;

L.  whereas Saudi Arabia has a lively community of online human rights defenders and the highest number of Twitter users in the Middle East; whereas Saudi Arabia is on the Reporters Without Borders list of ‘Enemies of the Internet’ owing to the censorship of the Saudi media and the Internet and punishment of those who criticise the government or religion; whereas freedom of expression and freedom of the press and media, both online and offline, are crucial preconditions and catalysts for democratisation and reform and are essential checks on power; whereas the 2015 Sakharov Prize Laureate, Raif Badawi, is still imprisoned solely for peacefully expressing his views;

M.  whereas Saudi Arabia’s UN Human Development Index value for 2015 is 0,847, ranking it 38th out of 188 countries and territories; whereas Saudi Arabia has a UN Gender Inequality Index value of 0,257, ranking it 50th out of 159 countries in the 2015 index; whereas Saudi Arabia ranked 138th out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2017 published by the World Economic Forum;

N.  whereas Saudi Arabia’s general reservation to the CEDAW is, according to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention and impermissible under Article 28 thereof; whereas Saudi Arabia pledged to ‘uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights’ when it applied successfully for membership to the UN Human Rights Council in 2013;

1.  Calls on the Saudi authorities to put an end to all forms of harassment, including at judicial level, against Ms Eman al-Nafjan, Ms Aziza al-Youssef, Ms Loujain al-Hathloul, Ms Aisha al-Mana, Ms Madeha al-Ajroush, Ms Hessah al-Sheikh, Ms Walaa al-Shubbar, Mr Mohammed al-Rabiah, and Mr Ibrahim al-Modeimigh and all other human rights defenders in the country, so that they are able to carry out their work without unjustified hindrance and fear of reprisal;

2.  Condemns the ongoing repression of human rights defenders, including women’s rights defenders, in Saudi Arabia, which undermines the credibility of the reform process in the country; calls on the Government of Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders and other prisoners of conscience detained and sentenced for merely exercising their right to freedom of expression and their peaceful human rights work; denounces the continued, systemic discrimination against women and girls in Saudi Arabia;

3.  Pays tribute to the Saudi women and women’s rights defenders seeking to defeat any unfair and discriminatory treatment and to those who have defended human rights despite the difficulties they have to face;

4.  Welcomes the promise to lift the driving ban for women inside the Kingdom as part of the Vision 2030 agenda;

5.  Emphasises that the treatment of all detainees, including human rights defenders, while in detention, must adhere to the conditions set out in the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;

6.  Notes that international automotive companies, in particular ones based in the EU, have already engaged in gender-targeted advertisement ahead of the lifting of the ban on women driving;

7.  Is deeply concerned about the prevalence of gender-based violence in Saudi Arabia, which remains largely underreported and undocumented and is justified with reasons such as the need to discipline women under men’s guardianship; urges the Saudi authorities to adopt comprehensive legislation to specifically define and criminalise all forms of gender-based violence against women, in particular rape, including marital rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment, and to remove all obstacles to women’s access to justice;

8.  Is dismayed by the existence of the male guardianship system, whereby authorisation from a male guardian is still expected in a number of areas, including international travel, accessing healthcare services, choosing residency, marriage, filing complaints with the justice system, leaving state-run shelters for abused women, and leaving detention centres; underlines that this system is a reflection of the deep-rooted patriarchal system that rules the country;

9.  Calls on the Saudi authorities to revise the Law on Associations and Foundations of December 2015 in order to allow women activists to organise themselves and to work freely and independently without undue interference by the authorities; urges also the revision of the Anti-Terrorist Law, the Anti-Cybercrime Law and the Press and Publications Law, which are repeatedly used to prosecute human rights defenders, as well as of all discriminatory provisions present in the legal system;

10.  Calls on the Saudi authorities to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, lift the reservations made to the CEDAW and ratify the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW so that Saudi women can fully enjoy the rights enshrined in the Convention, and to end child marriages, forced marriages and the compulsory dress code for women; urges Saudi Arabia to extend a standing invitation to all Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council to visit;

11.  Calls on the Saudi authorities to allow independent press and media and ensure freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly for all inhabitants of Saudi Arabia; condemns the repression of human rights defenders and protesters when they demonstrate peacefully; stresses that peaceful campaigning for basic legal rights or making critical remarks using social media are expressions of an indispensable right; urges the Saudi authorities to remove restrictions placed on human rights defenders which prohibit them from speaking out on social media and to international media;

12.  Recalls that Saudi Arabia was elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women with the support of some EU Member States;

13.  Calls on the VP/HR, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Member States to ensure full implementation of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, and to expand their protection and support for human rights defenders, particularly women human rights defenders;

14.  Calls for the EU to table a resolution on the situation of human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia at the next session of the UN Human Rights Council; calls for the EU, at the next Human Rights Council and at the Commission on the Status of Women, to raise the issue of membership of states with questionable human rights records, including as regards respect for women’s rights and gender equality; calls for the EU to propose at the UN Human Rights Council the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on human rights in Saudi Arabia;

15.  Calls for the EU to include a discussion on human rights, particularly the situation of women human rights defenders, as a permanent item on the agenda of the annual summit between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as other bilateral and multilateral fora; calls on the Council to consider the introduction of targeted measures against individuals responsible for grave human rights violations; notes that the Chaillot Prize for the Promotion of Human Rights in the Gulf Cooperation Council Region award rules restrict applications to those who are legally registered and active in a ‘constructive engagement with the authorities’;

16.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to actively support civil society groups and individuals defending human rights in Saudi Arabia, including through the arrangement of prison visits, trial monitoring and public statements;

17.  Urges the VP/HR, the EEAS and the Member States to continue conducting a dialogue with Saudi Arabia on human rights, fundamental freedoms and the troubling role of the country in the region; expresses its readiness to hold a constructive and open dialogue with the Saudi authorities, including parliamentarians, on the implementation of their international human rights commitments; calls for an exchange of expertise on justice and legal matters in order to strengthen the protection of individual rights in Saudi Arabia;

18.  Calls on the Saudi authorities to put a stop to any further flogging of Raif Badawi, and to release him immediately and unconditionally, as he is considered to be a prisoner of conscience detained and sentenced solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression; calls for the EU to continue to raise the issue of his case in any high-level contact there may be;

19.  Calls on the Saudi authorities to introduce an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a step towards abolition; calls for a review of all death sentences to ensure that these trials adhered to international standards;

20.  Calls on the Saudi authorities to end incitement to hatred and discrimination against religious minorities, and against all other individuals and groups subjected to violations of their human rights by Saudi Arabia, including foreign nationals from countries from other regions;

21.  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 European External Action Service, the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Commission on the Status of Women, the UN Human Rights Council, H.M. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Secretary-General of the Centre for National Dialogue of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

(1) OJ C 378, 9.11.2017, p. 64.
(2) OJ C 310, 25.8.2016, p. 29.
(3) OJ C 349, 17.10.2017, p. 34.
(4) CEDAW/C/SAU/CO/3-4.


Sudan, notably the situation of Noura Hussein Hammad
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on Sudan, notably the situation of Noura Hussein Hammad (2018/2713(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0233RC-B8-0265/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Sudan,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 to which the Republic of Sudan has been a state party since 1986,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Sudan has been a State Party since 1990,

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

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly resolution of 19 December 2016 on child, early and forced marriage,

–  having regard to Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979, and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1993,

–  having regard to UN General Assembly resolution 62/149 of 18 December 2007, presented by the EU and reaffirmed in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016, calling for a moratorium on the death penalty,

–  having regard to the first Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted in 1981 on the Rights of Women in Africa,

–  having regard to Articles 16 and 21 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which entered into force on 29 November 1999,

–  having regard to the urgent letter of appeal regarding the case of Noura Hussein Hammad sent on 17 May 2018 by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) to the Republic of the Sudan,

–  having regard to Sudan’s Constitution of 2005,

–  having regard to Article 96 (human rights clause) of the Cotonou Agreement signed by the Sudanese Government in 2005,

–  having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,

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

A.  whereas Noura Hussein Hammad was forced by her family to marry Abdulrahman Hammad when she was a child of 16; whereas Noura has stated that she was first raped by her husband with the assistance of members of his family; whereas, according to her testimony, on 2 May 2017, three men held Noura Hussein down while Abdulrahman raped her; whereas Noura stabbed her husband to death in self-defence when he attempted to rape her again the following day; whereas a subsequent medical examination indicated that she had also been injured during the struggle with her husband;

B.  whereas Noura Hussein Hammad was held in Omdurman prison until 29 April 2018 when she was found guilty of premeditated murder; whereas Noura Hussein Hammad, now 19 years old, was sentenced to death by the Central Criminal Court of Omdurman for killing the man her father compelled her to marry; whereas on sentencing, the man’s family chose the death penalty as a suitable ‘punishment’ for Hussein; whereas an appeal has been lodged against her sentence;

C.  whereas the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has gathered information that Hussein’s forced marriage, rape and other forms of gender‑based violence against her were not taken into account by the Court as evidence to mitigate the sentence; whereas the UN Expert on Summary Executions has argued that the imposition of the death penalty when there is clear evidence of self-defence constitutes an arbitrary killing;

D.  whereas Sudan ranks 165th out of 188 countries on both the Human Development Index (HDI) and the UN’s Gender Inequality Index; whereas the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the UN Human Rights Committee have expressed serious concern about the situation of women’s human rights in Sudan; whereas the legal system in Sudan is based on Islamic Sharia law; whereas evidence shows that where women are not politically, culturally and economically equal to men, they will be subjected to gender‑based violence, regardless of their faith, race or nationality;

E.  whereas the Sudanese Constitution provides that the ‘state shall protect women from injustice and promote gender equality’; whereas Pramila Patten, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict noted, following her visit to Sudan from 18 to 25 February 2018, that there is a deep-seated culture of denial of sexual violence in Sudan; whereas forced marriage, marital rape and gender-based violence are considered normal in Sudan, and all these forms of violence are justified by citing grounds of tradition, culture and religion; whereas to date the Special Prosecutor’s Office has not investigated a single case of conflict-related sexual violence;

F.  whereas the mandate of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to address impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide also includes atrocities commonly experienced by women, including a broad range of sexual and gender‑based crimes; whereas the ICC issued, on 4 March 2009, an arrest warrant for President Omar al Bashir of the Republic of the Sudan on charges of five counts of crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, and rape;

G.  whereas a global campaign ‘Justice for Noura Hussein Hammad’, seeking to overturn the death penalty, has been launched; whereas, as of May 2018, almost one million people have signed a petition entitled ‘Justice for Noura Hussein Hammad’; whereas the intimidation of defence lawyers represents an attack on the fair trial process, whereas, having been raped, Noura Hussein Hammad requires psychological support;

H.  whereas the case of Noura Hussein Hammad has drawn international attention to women’s rights and put the issues of forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan, where the legal age for marriage is only 10, under the spotlight; whereas marital rape was only recognised by Sudanese law in 2015; whereas, however, the judicial authorities refuse to recognise it as a crime;

I.  whereas, women’s and children’s rights activists have increasingly campaigned against forced marriages of girls and the marriage of underage girls, a widespread phenomenon in Sudan; whereas preventing and responding to all forms of violence against women and girls, including early and forced marriage, is one of the objectives of the European Union Action Plan for Gender 2016-2020;

J.  whereas both Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the UN Independent Expert on Sudan in his World Report 2017 have stated that Sudanese security forces have used sexual violence, intimidation and other forms of abuse to silence female human rights defenders across the country; whereas Noura Hussein Hammad’s lawyer was barred by the National Intelligence Security Services (NISSs) from holding a news conference amid an intensifying campaign of intimidation; whereas Nahid Gabralla, director of SEEMA, a non-governmental organisation working with victims and survivors of gender-based violence in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan, has been jailed several times while campaigning in support of Noura Hussein Hammad, as Sudan is placing restrictions on freedom of speech;

K.  whereas Sudan is one of seven countries still not party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);

L.  whereas the EU is currently funding EUR 275 million worth of projects in Sudan, mainly through the European Development Fund (EDF), the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Instrument contributing to Security and Peace (IcSP); whereas Sudan has not ratified the revised version of the Cotonou Agreement;

M.  whereas women in Sudan suffer from discrimination, arbitrary arrests and humiliating punishments; whereas, according to the UN Independent Expert on Sudan, so-called crimes against public morals, such as those used against women deemed to be ‘indecently’ dressed as, together with the humiliation of corporal punishment, violate international human rights standards; whereas Articles 151, 152, 154 and 156 of the Sudan Criminal Act reinforce restrictions on women and the way they dress and behave in public; whereas breaches of these laws are punishable by fines and even, in certain cases, by flogging;

N.  whereas the EU supports Sudan with a mix of development and humanitarian assistance, but also provides support to the country’s highly controversial border control and counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling operations, inter alia via the so-called ROCK project;

1.  Deplores and condemns the sentencing to death of Noura Hussein Hammad; calls on the Sudanese authorities to commute the death sentence and fully take into account the fact that Ms Hussein was acting in self-defence against the attempt by a man and his accomplices to rape her;

2.  Calls on the Sudanese authorities to comply with national law and international human rights standards, including the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, as well as the Protocol of the Court of Justice of the African Union, adopted on 11 July 2003; recalls that, according to international standards, the imposition of the death penalty against clear evidence of self-defence constitutes arbitrary killing, particularly in instances where women have been charged with murder when defending themselves;

3.  Reminds the Sudanese authorities of their obligation to guarantee fundamental rights, including the right to a fair trial; insists that all necessary measures must be taken to ensure that Noura Hussein Hammad’s trial genuinely meets the highest standards of fairness and due process;

4.  Reiterates that it is imperative that key laws in Sudan, including the 2010 National Security Act and laws regulating the media and civil society, are reviewed and reformed, in order to bring them into line with international standards, which uphold the freedoms of expression, assembly and association; expresses concern regarding the wide-ranging powers of arrest and detention conferred upon the NISSs, which arbitrarily arrest and detain people who, in many cases, are tortured and subjected to other ill treatment, with NISS officers immune from prosecution;

5.  Notes that while the case is going through the judicial process, the Sudanese authorities still have an obligation to show they do not condone rape or gender‑based violence, and, therefore, to save the life of a young woman whose existence has already been devastated for reasons beyond her control; calls on the Sudanese authorities to ensure that all cases of gender-based and sexual violence, including marital rape and domestic violence, are prosecuted and that perpetrators are held to account; urges the Sudanese authorities to tackle child and forced marriages and marital rape;

6.  Urges the Sudanese authorities to carry out an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations against the Sudanese security forces for the use of violence, intimidation and other forms of abuse against women;

7.  Regrets the banning by the NISSs of the press conference organised by Noura Hussein Hammad’s defence team after she was sentenced; strongly condemns the harassment of human rights activists and lawyers in relation to the case of Noura Hussein Hammad;

8.  Urges the Sudanese authorities to ensure the full protection of Noura Hussein Hammad’s physical and psychological integrity during her detention, as well of that of her lawyers and family;

9.  Reiterates its strong opposition to the use of the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances; considers that the death penalty violates human dignity and constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; appeals to the Sudanese authorities to comply with the UN moratorium on the death penalty; calls on Sudan to ratify the Convention against Torture (CAT) and CEDAW;

10.  Points out to the Sudanese authorities that better protection of women’s human rights and the criminalisation of marital rape could help save many lives and prevent outcomes such as that in Noura Hussein Hammad’s case;

11.  Strongly condemns early and forced marriage and violence against women and girls in Sudan and elsewhere; points out that the current appeal against Hussein’s sentence, which is limited to the formal and legal aspects of the conviction without any consideration of the facts, is not sufficient under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Sudan has ratified; urges the authorities to implement the recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and to amend the law on personal status to raise the age at which marriage is legally permitted;

12.  Strongly requests that the EU and its Member States ensure that the implementation of projects with the Sudanese authorities observe the ‘do no harm’ principle, which would rule out cooperation with actors responsible for human rights violations;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the President of Sudan, the African Union, the United Nations Secretary General, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Pan-African Parliament.


Appointment of a member to the selection panel for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office
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European Parliament decision of 31 May 2018 on the appointment of Antonio Mura to the selection panel set up under Article 14(3) of Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939 of 12 October 2017 implementing enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (‘the EPPO’) (2018/2071(INS))
P8_TA(2018)0234B8-0237/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 14(3) of Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939 of 12 October 2017 implementing enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (‘the EPPO’)(1),

–  having regard to the proposal of its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (B8-0237/2018),

–  having regard to its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Antonio Mura meets the conditions laid down in Article 14(3) of Regulation (EU) 2017/1939;

1.  Proposes that Antonio Mura be appointed to the selection panel;

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

(1) OJ L 283, 31.10.2017, p. 1.


Odometer manipulation in motor vehicles: revision of the EU legal framework
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 with recommendations to the Commission on odometer manipulation in motor vehicles: revision of the EU legal framework (2017/2064(INL))
P8_TA(2018)0235A8-0155/2018

The European Parliament,

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

–  having regard to Article 91(1) and Article 114 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Directive 2014/45/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(1),

–  having regard to Directive 2014/47/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(2),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/1151(3), Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4), Commission Regulation (EC) No 692/2008(5) and Regulation No 39 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 December 2013 on CARS 2020: towards a strong, competitive and sustainable European car industry(7),

–  having regard to the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) study from November 2017 entitled “Odometer tampering: measures to prevent it”(8) and its accompanying European Added Value Assessment “Odometer manipulation in motor vehicles in the EU”(9),

–  having regard to the final report of the Association of European Vehicle and Driver Registration Authorities entitled “Vehicle Mileage Registration”(10),

–  having regard to the Commission’s “Consumer Market Study on the Functioning of the Market for Second-Hand Cars from a Consumer’s perspective”,

–  having regard to Written Declaration 0030/2016 of 11 April 2016 on combating mileage fraud in the second-hand car market,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0155/2018),

Current situation

A.  whereas odometer tampering, namely the malpractice of deliberate and unauthorised altering of the real mileage of a vehicle shown on its odometer, is a serious and widespread problem throughout the Union, especially in the context of cross-border trade, and harms third countries which import second-hand cars from the Union;

B.  whereas the economic profit of odometer tampering can be remarkable given the low prices of the equipment needed and the artificial increase of the value of the used cars; whereas studies estimate the share of tampered vehicles to be between 5 and 12 % of used cars in national sales and between 30 and 50 % of cross-border sales, accumulating to a total of between EUR 5,6 and 9,6 billion in economic damage in the Union;

C.  whereas the number of kilometres driven is one of the most important parameters on the basis of which a buyer can assess the technical condition of a vehicle, and whereas the mileage reading has a significant impact on a vehicle’s market value;

D.  whereas odometer readings are stored and shown digitally, while external access for the purpose of reconfiguration is easy as the protection level of odometers is lower than that of other components in the vehicle;

E.  whereas odometer tampering harms consumers, second-hand car dealers, insurers and leasing companies, while financially benefiting those who commit this fraud, and technical solutions must be found in order to make it more difficult for non-professionals to tamper with odometers;

F.  whereas the increased wear and tear on cars with odometers that have been tampered with, negatively affects road safety; whereas buyers of such cars can face more than expected maintenance and repair costs because the cars are not inspected on the basis of their real mileage;

G.  whereas cars with odometers that have been tampered with, can show higher consumption and higher pollutant emissions than expected, thus violating durability requirements of the type approval legislation;

H.  whereas the second-hand car market in the Union, which is two to three times larger than the market for new cars, has the lowest consumer trust among goods markets according to the Commission’s Consumer Markets Scoreboard – 2014(11) and odometer tampering contributes significantly to the loss of consumer trust in second-hand dealers and thus distorts the functioning of the internal market and fair competition;

I.  whereas consumers are not sufficiently informed about possible ways of preventing the manipulation of odometer readings in second-hand cars and about existing techniques for monitoring mileage and preventing fraud in this area, and ways of gaining access to those techniques;

J.  whereas many Member States are still failing to provide consumers with the necessary tools that would enable them to verify the history of a used vehicle;

K.  whereas mileage fraud disproportionally affects social groups and geographical areas with lower income, exposing customers in the Member States which acceded to the Union in or after 2004 and in countries in the immediate vicinity of the Union (particularly Western Balkan countries into which second-hand cars are imported from the Union duty free or subject to an insignificant amount of duty) to a higher risk of buying a car with manipulated odometer and thus they are more often harmed by that malpractice;

L.  whereas in the absence of a common, integrated system for exchange of information between Member States, there is an increased risk of legalising a mileage reading already manipulated before its initial verification in the country in which the car will ultimately be registered and where there are already measures to register the vehicle and verify its mileage;

M.  whereas tackling odometer fraud by swiftly establishing uniform rules to prevent manipulation will fundamentally enhance security and certainty in the cross-border purchases of vehicles hence reducing the scale of unfair practices and also bringing substantial benefits to millions of consumers in the Union;

Existing measures addressing odometer fraud

N.  whereas some Member States have already introduced instruments to minimise odometer manipulation like “Car-Pass” in Belgium and “Nationale AutoPas” (NAP) in the Netherlands; whereas both those Member States use a database collecting odometer readings at every maintenance, service, repair or periodical inspection of the vehicle, without collecting any personal data, and both have almost eradicated odometer fraud in their domains within a short timeframe;

O.  whereas the Belgian system is operated on the basis of law by a non-profit organisation and the system in the Netherlands is run by a government agency; whereas both systems operate at a reasonable cost and their success is accompanied and fostered by awareness and information campaigns as well as a strong legal framework establishing clear rules and dissuasive penalties;

P.  whereas the significantly higher number of manipulated cars in countries without access to those databases shows that cross-border data exchange and cooperation between Member States are crucial to their success;

Q.  whereas the European Car and Driving Licence Information System (Eucaris) already provides infrastructure and organisation for the exchange of harmonised data related to transport between Member States’ authorities and is used by all Member States to fulfil obligations under Directive 2011/82/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(12) while its functionalities already include mileage recordings;

R.  whereas there are also technical solutions, both regarding hardware and software, that could be integrated into vehicles by manufacturers and thus prevent odometer manipulation from the start, whereas “Hardware Security Modules” (HSM) and “Secure Hardware Extensions” (SHE) are already used to protect electronic control units (ECU) in vehicles against unauthorised access, manipulation or car theft and their cost per vehicle is estimated at one euro;

S.  whereas Regulation (EU) 2017/1151 obliges manufacturers, in order to obtain type-approval for a vehicle, to implement systematic tamper-protection strategies and write-protect features to deter reprogramming of odometers, also taking account of remote data exchange features; whereas it only requires information and explications provided by the manufacturer and does not foresee any testing if the odometer is tampering proof while there are certified and internationally recognised processes, such as the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation; whereas internationally recognised processes such as the Common Criteria (ISO/IEC 15408) can help safeguard against tampering;

Legislation and loopholes

T.  whereas odometer manipulation is prohibited in 26 Member States but only ten Member States have additional measures to verify the mileage available to customers and only six recognise odometer manipulation as criminal offence(13); whereas the hardware and software used for tampering with odometers are freely available in the Union and that is not classified as a criminal offence and whereas more Member States are on the way to criminalising activities connected with the illegal manipulation of meter readings;

U.  whereas odometer fraud represents a threat to roadworthiness, which is also referred to in Directive 2014/45/EU, which requires Member States to impose effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties on such manipulations; whereas the Commission should further examine the feasibility of connecting national platforms in order to allow the cross-border exchange of information on roadworthiness which include odometer readings;

V.  whereas Directive 2014/45/EU contains the obligation to record mileage readings during the periodical technical inspection (PTI) and makes these recordings available for the subsequent PTIs, but only addresses mileage recordings during roadworthiness tests from the first roadworthiness inspection onwards; whereas the first PTI might occur as late as four years after the first registration of the vehicle, leaving enough time for odometer manipulation before the first inspection as well as between inspections and might even result in an official recording of an incorrect mileage;

W.  whereas neither Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(14) and Commission Regulation (EC) No 692/2008 on type approval, nor Regulation No 39 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UNECE Regulation 39) refer to mileage fraud or tamper-proof odometers; whereas Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 refers to UNECE Regulation 39 regarding approval requirements for speedometers but does not provide for requirements with regard to, or the essential characteristics of, odometers;

Future development in the automotive sector

X.  whereas the automotive industry has made huge progress in developing and producing vehicles that are connected, use ITS and communicate with their environment so that most cars entering the market are already capable of connectivity features thus progressively moving towards a connected car fleet on roads in the Union;

Y.  whereas, according to various surveys, the average age of cars on roads in the Union is 7 to 11 years and is constantly increasing, while in the Member States which acceded to the Union in or after 2004, cars are far above average age, resulting in a fleet that consists of newer, highly connected cars and older cars without any connectivity features;

Z.  whereas modern vehicles already regularly send datasets to manufacturers including actual mileage and total operating time delivering key data for the verification of mileage record plausibility;

AA.  whereas blockchain technology could be one solution for future odometer data storage;

AB.  whereas CarTrustChain is a successful project on how to use blockchain technology to eliminate odometer fraud that was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund ;

1.  Requests the Commission to submit, on the basis of Article 91(1) and Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), a legislative framework that requires Member States to create legal, technical and operational barriers in order to make odometer manipulations impossible, following the recommendations set out in this resolution and in the Annex hereto, within a timeframe of twelve months after the adoption by Parliament of this resolution; calls on the Commission to review the statutory requirements of Regulation (EU) 2017/1151;

2.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the same legal and technical barriers are also applied to imports from third countries;

3.  Welcomes technical solutions such as HSM and SHE, which are already widely used to protect sensitive data in cars, and underlines the fact that odometer readings should enjoy the same level of protection in order to prevent odometers from being manipulated;

4.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen type approval for in-car security, especially for the technical measures against odometer fraud but also in light of the increase of connected cars;

5.  Welcomes that the Commission included requirements on technology security for odometers in Regulation (EU) 2017/1151; points out however, that there are no provisions on how to monitor these requirements and therefore calls on the Commission to establish clear criteria for effectively checking the safety of odometers, to adjust those requirements if necessary, within the shortest timeframe possible, and to report to Parliament about the effectiveness of that Regulation;

6.  Notes that national solutions using databases of frequent odometer readings from PTI, garage visits and other vehicle inspections achieved great success in fighting odometer manipulation in the respective Member States, and therefore proposes that those Member States that have to date failed to act accordingly should establish appropriate solutions as quickly as possible;

7.  Emphasises in this regard that all Member States should have national registers and engage in the cross-border exchange of data from those registers, since that is the only way in which mileage fraud can be tackled efficiently in the Union; therefore calls on the Commission to propose a legislative framework for Member States to set up comparable and mutually compatible national data collection mechanisms, based on existing best practices, that will provide frequent and reliable mileage data collection starting at the time of a vehicle’s first registration, and to allow for international exchange;

8.  Stresses that cross-border access to odometer readings should be possible and that easy access to that information by a buyer of a second-hand vehicle would be a major contribution to consumer protection; underlines the fact that a buyer of a second-hand vehicle should be able to verify the accuracy of its odometer reading, regardless of the Member State in which it was previously registered; calls on the Commission and the Member States to inform consumers and stakeholders, in a proactive manner, about existing measures against odometer fraud and about ways in which to detect and prevent odometer manipulation;

9.  Stresses that Eucaris offers an existing infrastructure for cost-effective exchange of odometer readings across the Union based on a database solution; regrets that in 2017 only Belgium, the Netherlands and Slovakia made use of the Eucaris platform to exchange information on odometer readings and therefore encourages Member States to participate in exploiting the opportunities provided by this system;

10.  Calls on the Commission to make participation in Eucaris mandatory and to implement it as a vehicle information platform thus facilitating mileage verification throughout the Union with a view to reducing the possibilities for odometer manipulation;

11.  Regrets the fact that the electronic register provided for in Directive 2014/45/EU has not yet been established and that Member States’ penalties are not dissuasive enough, as a result of which the data exchange objectives have not been met;

12.  Calls on the Commission to provide for a legal framework enabling the Member States to register mandatory odometer readings from PTIs, from each inspection, service, maintenance operation and repair carried out, and from other garage visits, starting with the vehicle’s first registration;

13.  Emphasises that a blockchain-based solution could be more cost-effective and calls on the Commission to conduct a cost-benefit-analysis for this solution within twelve months of the adoption by Parliament of this resolution, including security, transparency and protection of data; stresses that, until the potential uptake of this technology effective easy to use and rapidly operational solutions, in particular databases, should be implemented without delay;

14.  Stresses that wider application of advanced cryptographic technologies, such as HSM or SHE based solutions, could provide additional protection against odometer manipulations, protecting odometers from non-authorised access by way of secured chips;

15.  Emphasises that vehicles have become increasingly capable of connectivity and that this development will continue, thus allowing to automatically feed odometer data into a database or a blockchain network; welcomes the automotive industry’s efforts to develop a variety of technical safeguards against odometer tampering including data encryption, data protection and security but also calls on manufacturers to further improve the effectiveness of their technical solutions;

16.  Highlights that all measures involving transmission and storage of data should follow the European data protection acquis, only be practiced for preventing odometer manipulation and with the highest level of cyber protection;

17.  Calls on the Member States to create or amend legislation on odometer manipulation in order to make it a criminal offence – including the provision of hardware, software and the related services required for unauthorised manipulation – since tampering leads to the incorrect assessment of vehicle roadworthiness and thus has a negative impact on road safety; calls on the Member States to provide sufficient human and financial resources for the effective, non-discriminatory and proportionate enforcement of such legislation;

18.  Believes that swapping a vehicle odometer for one with a lower mileage reading should be considered to be vehicle mileage fraud if the aim is to conceal the real mileage and thereby make a profit;

19.  Requests the Commission to submit, on the basis of Article 91(1) and Article 114 TFEU, a proposal for an act on measures tackling odometer manipulation, following the recommendations set out in the Annex hereto;

o
o   o

20.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the accompanying recommendations to the Commission and the Council.

ANNEX TO THE RESOLUTION

RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO THE CONTENT OF THE PROPOSAL REQUESTED

Fostering technical solutions and type approval

In order to make the manipulation of odometer readings more difficult, a higher level of in-vehicle security for odometer data should be established. This is to be achieved by including the following in the proposal:

—  Monitoring of the implementation of point (f) of Article 5 (3) of Regulation (EU) 2017/1151 and submit a report with the results to Parliament as soon as possible;

—  Establishing clear requirements for securing odometer readings against manipulation including – if positively assessed – cryptographic manipulation protection, manipulation recognition systems, separate mileage detection and recording and hardware security;

—  Introducing a test method or apply the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation for the preventive solutions provided for in Regulation (EU) 2017/1151 regarding odometer fraud;

Database systems

Databases with odometer readings significantly reduce the number of manipulated vehicles. It is important to achieve a Union-wide solution, as isolated national initiatives cannot prevent odometer fraud in cross-border trading of second-hand vehicles. Therefore, the proposal should provide for the following measures:

—  the mandatory odometer reading recordings provided for in Directive 2014/45/EU should be made available for cross-border exchange and on request also to customers;

—  create a legal framework for setting up comparable mileage recording databases in the Member States, ensuring international exchange and access to information, based on existing best practice that provides frequent and reliable mileage data recording;

—  existing odometer reading databases on Member States’ level should be interconnected, compatible and interoperable on EU-level and allow for international data exchange while existing infrastructure like Eucaris should be used for a cost-effective and timely implementation;

—  data protection rules should be respected and, where necessary, adapted in a way to enable storage and exchange of the relevant data and protection of privacy while effectively preventing fraudulent use of the collected data;

—  buyers of second-hand vehicles should be provided with a means to verify, before the purchase, the accuracy of the odometer reading of the car, based on the collected mileage data from that vehicle regardless of the Member State in which it was previously registered;

Blockchain and connectivity as potential and complementary long-term solutions

Vehicles become increasingly connected and the share of connected vehicles in the Union is constantly growing. They already transmit data like the actual mileage reading to the manufacturers’ servers. Those data could already be used to discover mileage fraud.

Blockchain technology could, in time, offer a reliable tool by which to secure data in a network and to help prevent manipulation of data entries. Combining those developments and technology could be explored as a long-term solution to odometer fraud.

Therefore, the following measures should be proposed:

—  the potential costs and benefits of establishing a European blockchain network for odometer readings should be assessed;

—  if positively assessed: the legal and regulatory framework for an automated transmission of odometer readings of cars that are equipped with connectivity functions and – irrespective of the blockchain assessment – for accessing odometer data stored and collected by the manufacturers complementing mileage recordings from manual entries at PTI and from other sources should be created;

—  the transmission of odometer readings from PTI, garage visits and inspections should be required, thus integrating but advancing from the database system;

Legislation and enforcement

Odometer fraud is not a criminal offence in all Member States, although Directive 2014/45/EU explicitly provides for that. The enforcement of effective legal measures, including penalties is crucial for the eradication of odometer fraud. The following measures should therefore be proposed:

—  odometer fraud should be regarded as an offence committed both by the person who orders the meter reading to be changed (the car owner) and by the person who changes the meter reading, and should be punishable by effective, proportionate, dissuasive and non-discriminatory penalties that follow a highly comparable standard in the whole Union.

(1) Directive 2014/45/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and repealing Directive 2009/40/EC (OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 51).
(2) Directive 2014/47/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union and repealing Directive 2000/30/EC (OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 134).
(3) Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/1151 of 1 June 2017 supplementing Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on type-approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information, amending Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Regulation (EC) No 692/2008 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 1230/2012 and repealing Commission Regulation (EC) No 692/2008 (OJ L 175, 7.7.2017, p. 1).
(4) Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended therefor (OJ L 200, 31.7.2009, p. 1).
(5) Commission Regulation (EC) No 692/2008 of 18 July 2008 implementing and amending Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on type-approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information (OJ L 199, 28.7.2008, p. 1).
(6) Regulation No 39 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE) — Uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the speedometer equipment including its installation (OJ L 120, 13.5.2010, p. 40).
(7) OJ C 468, 15.12.2016, p. 57.
(8) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/602012/IPOL_STU%282017%29602012_EN.pdf
(9) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/615637/EPRS_STU%282018%29615637_EN.pdf
(10) https://www.ereg-association.eu/media/1122/final-report-ereg-topic-group-xiii-vehicle-mileage-registration.pdf
(11) https://ec.europa.eu/info/files/consumer-markets-scoreboard-2014-edition_en
(12) Directive 2011/82/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 facilitating the cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences (OJ L 288, 5.11.2011, p. 1).
(13) See European Consumer Centers Network (ECC-Net, 2015), Cross-border car purchases: what to look out when you’re bargain hunting, p. 236.
(14) Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 September 2007 establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles (Framework Directive) (OJ L 263, 9.10.2007, p. 1).


Union Civil Protection Mechanism***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 31 May 2018 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (COM(2017)0772/2 – C8-0409/2017 – 2017/0309(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2018)0236A8-0180/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a decision
Recital 1
(1)  The Union Civil Protection Mechanism ('the Union Mechanism') governed by Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and the Council12strengthens cooperation between the Union and the Member States and facilitates coordination in the field of civil protection in order to improve the Union's response to natural and man-made disasters.
(1)  The Union Civil Protection Mechanism ('the Union Mechanism') governed by Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and the Council12 strengthens cooperation between the Union, the Member States and their regions and facilitates coordination in the field of civil protection in order to improve the Union's response to natural and man-made disasters.
_________________
_________________
12 Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 924).
12 Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 924).
Amendment 2
Proposal for a decision
Recital 3
(3)  Natural and man-made disasters can strike anywhere across the globe, often without warning. Whether of natural or man-made origin, they are becoming increasingly frequent, extreme and complex, exacerbated by the impacts of climate change, and irrespective of national borders. The human, environmental, and economic consequences stemming from disasters can be enormous.
(3)  Natural and man-made disasters can strike anywhere across the globe, often without warning. Whether of natural or man-made origin, they are becoming increasingly frequent, extreme and complex, exacerbated by the impacts of climate change, and irrespective of national borders. The human, environmental, social and economic consequences stemming from disasters can be of an unknown scale. Unfortunately, those disasters are sometimes intentional, for example in the case of terrorist attacks.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a decision
Recital 4
(4)  Recent experience has shown that reliance on voluntary offers of mutual assistance, coordinated and facilitated by the Union Mechanism, does not always ensure that sufficient capacities are made available to address the basic needs of people affected by disasters in a satisfactory manner, nor that the environment and property are properly safeguarded. This is particularly so where Member States are simultaneously affected by recurrent disasters and collective capacity is insufficient.
(4)  Recent experience has shown that reliance on voluntary offers of mutual assistance, coordinated and facilitated by the Union Mechanism, does not always ensure that sufficient capacities are made available to address the basic needs of people affected by disasters in a satisfactory manner, nor that the environment and property are properly safeguarded. This is particularly so where Member States are simultaneously affected by disasters that are both recurrent and unexpected, both natural and man-made, and collective capacity is insufficient. To overcome those insufficiencies and emerging hazards, all Union instruments should be made use of in a fully flexible manner, including through the promotion of active participation of the civil society. Nevertheless, Member States should undertake adequate preventive actions in terms of preserving an amount of national capacities that is sufficient to properly deal with disasters.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a decision
Recital 4 a (new)
(4a)  Forest fire prevention is vital in the context of the global commitment to reduce CO2 emissions. Indeed, the combustion of trees and peat-rich soils in forest fires results in the emission of CO2. More specifically, studies have shown how fires cause 20% of all CO2 emissions around the world, i.e. more than the combined emissions of all the transport systems on earth (vehicles, ships and aircraft).
Amendment 5
Proposal for a decision
Recital 5
(5)  Prevention is of key importance for protection against disasters and requires further action. To that effect, Member States should share risk assessments on a regular basis as well as summaries of their disaster risk management planning in order to ensure an integrated approach to disaster management, linking risk prevention, preparedness and response actions. In addition, the Commission should be able to require Member States to provide specific prevention and preparedness plans in relation to specific disasters, notably with a view to maximising overall Union support to disaster risk management. Administrative burden should be reduced and prevention policies strengthened, including by ensuring necessary links to other key Union policies and instruments, notably the European Structural and Investment Funds as listed in recital 2 of Regulation (EU) No 1303/201313.
(5)  Prevention is of key importance for protection against disasters and requires further action. To that effect, Member States should share risk assessments, on their national safety and security risks, on a regular basis as well as summaries of their disaster risk management planning in order to ensure an integrated approach to natural and man-made disaster management, linking risk prevention, preparedness and response actions. In addition, the Commission should be able to require Member States to provide specific prevention and preparedness plans in relation to specific disasters, including man-made ones, notably with a view to maximising overall Union support, in particular from the European Environment Agency (EEA), to disaster risk management. It is essential to reduce the administrative burden and to strengthen prevention policies, including by reinforcing links and cooperation with other key Union policies and instruments, notably the European Structural and Investment Funds as listed in recital 2 of Regulation (EU) No 1303/201313.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a decision
Recital 5 a (new)
(5a)   Risk constitutes a negative stimulus for the development of regions. Prevention and risk management imply the reformulation of policies and institutional frameworks, and the strengthening of local, national and regional capacities to design and implement risk management measures, coordinating a wide range of actors. Preparing risk maps by regions and / or member states, strengthening the response capacity and reinforcing prevention actions, with special emphasis on climate risks, is crucial. It is crucial that risk maps take into account both the risks caused by the current climate variability and the projected trajectories of climate change.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a decision
Recital 5 b (new)
(5b)   When Member States prepare their risk assessments and their risk management planning, they should take into account the specific risks to wildlife and animal welfare. The Commission should encourage across Europe the dissemination of information about animals affected in disasters. Training programmes and courses should be further developed in this regard.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a decision
Recital 5 c (new)
(5c)   The 2017 forest fire season was particularly long and intense in many Member States, resulting in over 100 deaths in one Member State alone. The lack of available assets, outlined in the Capacity Gaps Report 1a, and the inability of the European Emergency Response Capacity ('EERC' or 'voluntary pool') to respond in good time to all 17 requests for forest fire assistance, proved that the voluntary nature of Member States' contributions is insufficient during large-scale emergencies affecting several Member States at the same time.
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1a Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on progress made and gaps remaining in the European Emergency Response Capacity, 17.02.2017.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a decision
Recital 5 d (new)
(5d)   The most natural partners for deepening cooperation are neighbouring Member States who share the same expertise and structures and are most likely to be affected by the same disasters and risks.
Amendment 68
Proposal for a decision
Recital 5 e (new)
(5e)  The security of water resources is essential for climate resilience. Member States should map existing water resources to facilitate adaptation to climate change and to increase the resilience of the population to face climate threats such as droughts, fires or floods. The aim of the mapping should be to support the development of actions to reduce the vulnerability of the population.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a decision
Recital 6
(6)  There is a need to reinforce the collective ability to prepare and respond to disasters notably through mutual support in Europe. In addition to strengthening the possibilities already offered by the European Emergency Response Capacity ('EERC' or 'voluntary pool'), from now on referred to as "European Civil Protection Pool", the Commission should also establish rescEU. The composition of rescEU should include emergency response capacities to respond to wildfires, large-scale floods and earthquakes, as well as a field hospital and medical teams in line with World Health Organisation standards, that can be rapidly deployed.
(6)  There is a need to reinforce the collective ability to prepare and respond to disasters notably through mutual support in Europe. In addition to strengthening the possibilities already offered by the European Emergency Response Capacity ('EERC' or 'voluntary pool'), from now on referred to as "European Civil Protection Pool", the Commission should also establish rescEU. The composition of rescEU should include emergency response capacities to respond to wildfires, large-scale floods and earthquakes, terrorist attacks and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks, as well as a field hospital and medical teams in line with World Health Organisation standards, that can be rapidly deployed. In this regard, it is important to strengthen and include the specific capacities of local and regional authorities, since they are the first to intervene after a disaster. Those authorities should develop cooperation models in which communities can share best practices, giving them the opportunity to help to develop their resilience in the face of natural disasters.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a decision
Recital 6 a (new)
(6a)   The role of regional and local authorities in disaster prevention and management is of great importance and their response capacities need to be appropriately involved in any coordination and deployment activities carried out under this Decision, in accordance with Member States' institutional and legal frameworks, with a view to minimising overlaps and to fostering interoperability. Such authorities can play an important preventive role and they are also the first to react in the aftermath of a disaster, together with their volunteers’ capacities. Therefore, there is a need for on-going cooperation at local, regional and cross-border level with a view to establishing common alert systems for rapid intervention prior to the mobilisation of rescEU, as well as regular public information campaigns on initial response measures.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a decision
Recital 7
(7)  The Union should be able to support Member States where available capacities are insufficient to allow for an effective response to disasters by contributing to the financing of leasing or rental arrangements for ensuring rapid access to such capacities or by financing their acquisition. This would substantially increase the effectiveness of the Union Mechanism, by ensuring availability of capacities in cases where an effective response to disasters would otherwise not be ensured, particularly for disasters with wide ranging impacts affecting a significant number of Member States. Union procurement of capacities should allow for economies of scale and better coordination when responding to disasters.
(7)  The Union should be able to support Member States where available material and technical capacities are insufficient to allow for an effective response to disasters, including in the case of cross-border events, by contributing to the financing of leasing or rental arrangements for ensuring rapid access to such capacities or by financing their acquisition. This would substantially increase the effectiveness and deployability of the Union Mechanism, by ensuring the speedy availability of material and technical capacities, including for rescuing elderly persons or persons with disabilities, in cases where an effective response to disasters would otherwise not be ensured, particularly for disasters with wide ranging impacts affecting a significant number of Member States, such as cross-border epidemics. The pre-committed suitable equipment and Union procurement of capacities should allow for economies of scale and better coordination when responding to disasters. Optimal and transparent use of financial resources should be ensured.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a decision
Recital 7 a (new)
(7a)   Many Member States are faced with a lack of material and technical equipment when unexpected disasters arise. The Union Mechanism should therefore make it possible to expand the material and technical base where necessary, in particular for the sake of rescuing persons with a disability, elderly persons or persons with an illness.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a decision
Recital 9
(9)  In order to strengthen efficiency and effectiveness of training and exercises and enhance co-operation between Member States' national civil protection authorities and services it is necessary to establish a Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network that is based on existing structures.
(9)  Training, research and innovation are essential aspects of cooperation in the civil protection field. The efficiency and effectiveness of training and exercises, the promotion of innovation, and dialogue and co-operation between Member States' national civil protection authorities and services should be strengthened on the basis of existing structures with the involvement of and the exchange of information with centres of excellence, universities, researchers and other expertise available in the Member States.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a decision
Recital 9 a (new)
(9a)   While strengthening civil protection in the light of disaster trends, both weather-related and those relating to internal security, is one of the most important priorities throughout the whole Union, it is essential to complement the Union’s tools with a stronger territorial and community-led dimension, as local community action is the fastest and most effective way of limiting the damage caused by a disaster.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a decision
Recital 10
(10)  In order to achieve the functioning of the rescEU capacity, additional financial appropriations should made available to finance actions under the Union Mechanism.
(10)  In order to achieve the functioning of the rescEU capacity, additional financial appropriations should made available to finance actions under the Union Mechanism, but not at the expense of the financial envelopes allocated to other key Union policies.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a decision
Recital 10 a (new)
(10a)  Separate funding and budgetary allocations should be guaranteed for the revised Union Mechanism. Considering the need to avoid any negative impact on the financing of existing multiannual programmes, the increase in financing for the targeted revision of the Union Mechanism in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 should be drawn exclusively from all means available under Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/20131a, with particular recourse to the Flexibility Instrument.
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1a Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884).
Amendment 18
Proposal for a decision
Recital 11
(11)  There is a need to simplify Union Mechanism procedures to ensure that Member States can access assistance and capacities needed in order to respond to natural or man-made disasters as rapidly as possible.
(11)  There is a need to simplify, streamline and increase the flexibility of the Union Mechanism procedures to ensure that Member States can quickly access assistance and capacities needed in order to respond to natural or man-made disasters as rapidly and as efficiently as possible.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a decision
Recital 12
(12)  In order to maximise the use of existing funding instruments and support Member States in delivering assistance, particularly in response to disasters outside the Union, a derogation to Article 129(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and the Council14 should be provided for when financing is granted pursuant to Articles 21, 22 and 23 of Decision No 1313/2013/EU.
(12)  In order to maximise the use of existing funding instruments and support Member States in delivering assistance, including in response to disasters outside the Union, a derogation to Article 129(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and the Council14 should be provided for when financing is granted pursuant to Articles 21, 22 and 23 of Decision No 1313/2013/EU. Notwithstanding that derogation, funding for civil protection activities and humanitarian aid, in particular, should remain clearly separate in any future Union funding architecture and be fully in line with the different objectives and legal requirements of that architecture.
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14 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).
14 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).
Amendment 20
Proposal for a decision
Recital 13
(13)  It is important to ensure that Member States take all the necessary actions in order to effectively prevent natural and man-made disasters and mitigate their effects. Provisions should reinforce links between prevention, preparedness and response actions under the Union Mechanism. Coherence should also be ensured with other relevant Union legislation on prevention and disaster risk management, including for cross-border prevention action and response to threats such as serious cross-border health threats15. Likewise, coherence should be ensured with international commitments such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030, the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
(13)  It is important to ensure that Member States take all the necessary actions in order to effectively prevent natural and man-made disasters and mitigate their effects. Provisions should reinforce links between prevention, preparedness and response actions under the Union Mechanism. Coherence should also be ensured with other relevant Union legislation on prevention and disaster risk management, including for cross-border prevention action and response to threats such as serious cross-border health threats15. Territorial cooperation programmes under cohesion policy provide for specific actions to take into account disaster resilience, risk prevention and risk management, and further efforts should be made towards more vigorous integration and greater synergies. Furthermore, all actions should be coherent with, and actively contribute to meeting, international commitments such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030, the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
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15 Decision No 1082/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 on serious cross border threats to health and repealing Decision No 2119/98/EC (OJ L 293, 5.11.2013, p. 1).
15 Decision No 1082/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 on serious cross border threats to health and repealing Decision No 2119/98/EC (OJ L 293, 5.11.2013, p. 1).
Amendment 21
Proposal for a decision
Recital 13 a (new)
(13a)   It is essential that the modules previously registered in the Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS) be maintained in order to respond to requests for assistance and to participate in the training system in the usual way.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a decision
Recital 13 b (new)
(13b)   It is equally important to connect the Union Mechanism, which is limited to the period immediately following the catastrophe, to other Union instruments focused on reversing the damage, such as the Solidarity Fund.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a decision
Recital 13 c (new)
(13c)   It is essential that the Solidarity Fund be modified by introducing the obligation to repair the damage to the environment and by using the GDP per capita of the region or Member State instead of the global GDP as an indicator for its approval, to prevent large, populated regions with low levels of wealth from not being eligible to benefit from the Fund. It is very important to value the environment affected by a catastrophe in an economic way, especially areas of high natural value, such as protected areas or covered by the Natura 2000 network, in order to repair them.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a decision
Recital 13 d (new)
(13d)   There is a need for Union action to focus also on providing technical training assistance so that the capacity of communities for self-help can be enhanced, leaving them better prepared to provide an initial response and contain a disaster. Targeted training and education for public safety practitioners, such as community leaders, social and medical care practitioners, the rescue and firefighting services as well as local voluntary intervention groups which should dispose of rapidly available intervention equipment, can help contain a disaster and reduce fatalities both during and in the aftermath of the crisis.
Amendment 25
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1 – point a
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point e
(e)  to increase the availability and use of scientific knowledge on disasters.
(e)  to increase the availability and use of scientific knowledge on disasters, including in the outermost regions and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs);
Amendment 26
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1 – point a a (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point e a (new)
(aa)  in paragraph 1 the following point is added:
“(ea) to mitigate the immediate consequences that catastrophes may have on human lives and on cultural and natural heritage;”
Amendment 27
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1 – point a b (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point e b (new)
(ab)  in paragraph 1, the following point is added:
“(eb) to step up cooperation and coordination activities at cross-border level.”
Amendment 28
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  take action to improve the knowledge base on disaster risks and facilitate the sharing of knowledge, the results of scientific research, best practices and information, including among Member States that share common risks.
(a)  take action to improve the knowledge base on disaster risks and to better facilitate and promote cooperation and the sharing of knowledge, the results of scientific research and innovation, best practices and information, including among Member States that share common risks;
Amendment 29
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3 a (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point a a (new)
(3a)  In Article 5(1), the following point is inserted:
“(aa) coordinate the harmonisation of information and guidance on alert systems, including on a cross-border level;”
Amendment 30
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3 b (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point f
(3b)   In Article 5(1), point (f) is replaced by the following:
(f)  compile and disseminate the information made available by Member States; organise an exchange of experiences about the assessment of risk management capability; develop, together with the Member States and by 22 December 2014, guidelines on the content, methodology and structure of those assessments; and facilitate the sharing of good practices in prevention and preparedness planning, including through voluntary peer reviews;
"(f) compile and disseminate the information made available by Member States; organise an exchange of experiences about the assessment of risk management capability; develop, together with the Member States and by 22 December 2019, new guidelines on the content, methodology and structure of those assessments; and facilitate the sharing of good practices in prevention and preparedness planning, including through voluntary peer reviews;"
Amendment 31
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point a
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  develop risk assessments at national or appropriate sub-national level and make them available to the Commission by 22 December 2018 and every three years thereafter;
(a)  develop risk assessments at national or appropriate sub-national level in consultation with relevant local and regional authorities and aligned with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and make them available to the Commission by 22 December 2018 and every three years thereafter, based on a model agreed on with the Commission,’and, in this context, existing national information systems shall be used;
Amendment 32
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point a a (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point d
(aa)  point (d) is replaced by the following:
(d)  participate, on a voluntary basis, in peer reviews on the assessment of risk management capability.
(d) participate, on a voluntary basis, in peer reviews on risk management capability with a view to identifying actions that bridge the gaps.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point b
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 6 – paragraph 2
A summary of the relevant elements of the risk management planning shall be provided to the Commission, including information on the selected prevention and preparedness measures, by 31 January 2019 and every three years thereafter. In addition, the Commission may require Member States to provide specific prevention and preparedness plans, which shall cover both short- and long-term efforts. The Union shall duly consider the progress made by the Member States with respect to disaster prevention and preparedness as part of any future ex-ante conditionality mechanism under the European Structural and Investment Funds.
A summary of the relevant elements of the risk management planning shall be provided to the Commission, including information on the selected prevention and preparedness measures, in accordance with a template to be established by means of an implementing act, by 31 January 2019 and every three years thereafter. That implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 33(2). In addition, the Commission may require Member States to provide specific prevention and preparedness plans which shall cover both short- and long-term efforts. In this regard, these efforts may include a commitment on the part of Member States to encourage investments based on risk assessments and to ensure better post-disaster reconstruction. The additional administrative burden at national and sub-national levels shall be kept as low as possible.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 4 – point b
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 6 – paragraph 3
The Commission may also establish specific consultation mechanisms to enhance appropriate prevention and preparedness planning and coordination among Member States prone to similar type disasters.
The Commission may, in cooperation with the Member States, also establish specific consultation mechanisms to enhance appropriate prevention and preparedness planning and coordination among Member States prone to similar type disasters. The Commission and the Member States, where possible, shall also foster consistency between disaster risk management and climate change adaptation strategies.
Amendment 36
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 4 a (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point k
(4a)  In Article 8(1), point (k) is replaced by the following:
(k)  in close consultation with the Member States, take additional necessary supporting and complementary preparedness action to achieve the objective specified in point (b) of Article 3(1)
“(k) in close consultation with the Member States, take additional necessary supporting and complementary preparedness action, including through coordination with other Union instruments, to achieve the objective specified in point (b) of Article 3(1).”
Amendment 37
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 4 b (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 9 – paragraph 1 a (new)
(4b)   In Article 9, the following paragraph is inserted:
“1a. Member States shall strengthen relevant administrative capacities of the competent regional and local authorities, in accordance with their institutional and legal framework.”
Amendment 38
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 5
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 10 – paragraph 1
1.  The Commission and the Member States shall work together to improve the planning of disaster response operations under the Union Mechanism, including through scenario-building for disaster response based on the risk assessments referred to in point (a) of Article 6 and the overview of risks referred to in point (c) of Article 5(1), asset mapping and the development of plans for the deployment of response capacities.
1.  The Commission and the Member States shall work together to improve the planning of disaster response operations, both for natural or man-made disasters, under the Union Mechanism, including through scenario-building for disaster response based on the risk assessments referred to in point (a) of Article 6 and the overview of risks referred to in point (c) of Article 5(1), asset mapping, including earth-moving machinery, mobile electricity generators and mobile fire-fighting equipment among those assets, and the development of plans for the deployment of response capacities.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 6 – point b
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 11 – paragraph 1
1.  A European Civil Protection Pool shall be established. It shall consist of a pool of pre-committed response capacities of the Member States and include modules, other response capacities and experts.
1.  A European Civil Protection Pool shall be established. It shall consist of a voluntary pool of pre-committed response capacities of the Member States and include modules, other response capacities and experts.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 6 – point b
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 11 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.   As national prevention should be the first priority of Member States to reduce safety and security risks, the European Civil Protection Pool shall be complementary to existing national capacities.
Amendment 41
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 6 – point b
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 11 – paragraph 2
2.  On the basis of identified risks, the Commission shall define the types and the number of key response capacities required for the European Civil Protection Pool ("capacity goals"). The Commission shall monitor progress towards the capacity goals and remaining gaps and shall encourage Member States to address such gaps. The Commission may support Member States in accordance with Article 20, point (i) of Article 21(1) and Article 21(2).
2.  On the basis of needs and risks identified on the ground, the Commission shall, in cooperation with the competent authorities of the Member States, define the types and the number of key response capacities required for the European Civil Protection Pool ("capacity goals"). The Commission shall monitor progress towards the capacity goals and remaining gaps and shall encourage Member States to address such gaps. The Commission may support Member States in accordance with Article 20, point (i) of Article 21(1) and Article 21(2).
Amendment 42
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 6 – point c
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 11 – paragraph 7
7.  Response capacities that Member States make available for the European Civil Protection Pool shall be available for response operations under the Union Mechanism following a request for assistance through the ERCC, unless Member States are faced with an exceptional situation substantially affecting the discharge of national tasks.
7.  Response capacities that Member States make available for the European Civil Protection Pool shall be available for response operations under the Union Mechanism following a request for assistance through the ERCC, unless in the case of domestic emergencies, force majeure or when Member States are faced with an exceptional situation substantially affecting the discharge of national tasks. The ultimate decision on their deployment shall be taken by the Member State which registered the response capacity concerned.
Amendment 43
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 6 – point c
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 11 – paragraph 8 – subparagraph 1
In the event of deployment of such response they shall remain under the command and control of the Member States making them available and may be withdrawn when Member States are faced with an exceptional situation substantially affecting the discharge of national tasks preventing them from keeping those response capacities available. In such cases, the Commission shall be consulted.
In the event of deployment of such response they shall remain under the command and control of the Member States making them available and may be withdrawn if those Member States are faced with domestic emergencies, force majeure or if an exceptional situation prevents them from keeping those response capacities available. In such cases, the Commission shall be consulted.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 7
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12 – paragraph 1
1.  rescEU shall be established to provide relief where existing capacities do not allow responding effectively to disasters.”
1.  rescEU shall be established to provide relief in exceptional circumstances when capacities at national level are not available and where existing capacities do not allow responding effectively to disasters. RescEU capacities shall not be used to replace Member States' own capacities and relevant responsibilities.
Amendment 45
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 7
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12 – paragraph 2
2.  The composition of rescEU shall consist of the following capacities:
2.  The composition of rescEU shall consist of capacities additional to those that already exist in the Member States, with a view to supplementing and strengthening them, and shall seek to address current and future risks. The capacities are to be identified on the basis of any gaps in response capacities related to health emergencies, industrial, environmental, seismic or volcanic disasters, floods and fires including forest fires, as well as terrorist attacks and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.
On the basis of the identified gaps, rescEU shall contain at least the following capacities:
(a)  aerial forest firefighting;
(a)  aerial forest firefighting;
(b)  high capacity pumping;
(b)  high capacity pumping;
(c)  urban search and rescue;
(c)  urban search and rescue;
(d)  field hospital and emergency medical teams.
(d)  field hospital and emergency medical teams.
Amendment 46
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 7
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.   The nature of these capacities shall remain flexible and may change in order to address new developments and future challenges, such as the consequences of climate change.
Amendment 47
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 7
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12 – paragraph 4
4.  On the basis of identified risks and taking into account a multi-hazard approach, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 to define the types of response capacities required in addition to those identified in paragraph 2 of this Article and revise the composition of rescEU accordingly. Consistency shall be ensured with other Union policies.
4.  On the basis of identified risks and capacities and risk management planning according to Article 6 and taking into account an multi-hazard approach, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 to define the types of response capacities required in addition to those identified in paragraph 2 of this Article and revise the composition of rescEU accordingly. Consistency shall be ensured with other Union policies.
Where, in the case of a disaster or imminent disaster, imperative grounds of urgency so require, the procedure provided for in Article 31 shall apply to delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Article.
Where, in the case of a disaster or imminent disaster, imperative grounds of urgency so require, the procedure provided for in Article 31 shall apply to delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Article.
Amendment 48
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 7
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12 – paragraph 5
5.  The Commission shall define quality requirements for the response capacities forming part of rescEU. The quality requirements shall be based on established international standards, where such standards already exist.
5.  The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall define quality requirements for the response capacities forming part of rescEU. The quality requirements shall be based on established international standards, where such standards already exist.
Amendment 49
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 7
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12 – paragraph 7
7.  rescEU capacities shall be available for response operations under the Union Mechanism following a request for assistance through the ERCC. The decision on their deployment shall be taken by the Commission, which shall retain command and control of rescEU capacities.
7.  rescEU capacities shall be available for response operations under the Union Mechanism following a request for assistance through the ERCC. The decision on their deployment shall be taken by the Commission, which shall retain the strategic coordination of rescEU capacities and be the authority over deployment whilst the operational command and control shall remain with the officials responsible in the recipient Member States.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 7
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12 – paragraph 8
8.  In case of deployment, the Commission shall agree with the requesting Member State on the operational deployment of rescEU capacities. The requesting Member State shall facilitate operational co-ordination of its own capacities and rescEU activities during operations.
8.  In case of deployment, the Commission through the ERCC shall agree with the requesting Member State on the operational deployment of rescEU capacities. The requesting Member State shall facilitate operational co-ordination of its own capacities and rescEU activities during operations.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 7
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12 – paragraph 10
10.  Where the Commission procures equipment such as aerial forest firefighting equipment, by means of acquisition, leasing or rental, the following shall be ensured:
10.  Where the Commission procures equipment such as aerial forest firefighting equipment, by means of acquisition, leasing or rental, the following shall be ensured:
(a)  in case of acquisition of equipment, an agreement between the Commission and a Member State provides for the registration thereof in that Member State.
(a)  in case of acquisition of equipment, an agreement between the Commission and a Member State provides for the registration thereof in that Member State.
(b)  in case of leasing and rental, the registration of the equipment in a Member State.
(b)  in case of leasing and rental, the registration of the equipment in a Member State shall not be compulsory.
(ba)  commercial aircraft management is assigned to EASA certified operators.
Amendment 52
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 8
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12a – paragraph 1
The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of operations and progress made under Articles 11 and 12 every two years.
The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of operations and progress made under Articles 11 and 12 every year.
Amendment 53
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 8
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 12a – paragraph 1 a (new)
This information shall include an overview of the budgetary and cost developments, with a detailed technical and financial assessment, precise information on cost increases and changes in the types of response capacities required and the quality requirements of those capacities, if any, as well as the reasons for any such increases or changes.
Amendment 54
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 9
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 13 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1
The Commission shall establish a network of relevant civil protection and disaster management actors and institutions, forming together with the Commission a Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network.
The Commission shall establish a network of relevant civil protection and disaster management actors and institutions, including centres of excellence, universities and researchers, forming together with the Commission a Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network. The Commission shall take due account of the expertise available in the Member States and the organisations active on the ground.
Amendment 55
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 9
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 13 – paragraph 1 –subparagraph 2 – introductory sentence
The Network shall carry out the following tasks in the field of training, exercises, lessons learnt and knowledge dissemination, in close coordination with relevant knowledge centres, where appropriate:
The Network shall, while aiming for a gender balanced composition, carry out the following tasks in the field of training, exercises, lessons learnt and knowledge dissemination, in close coordination with relevant knowledge centres, where appropriate:
Amendment 56
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 9 a (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 13 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2 – point a
(9a)  In Article 13(1), point (a) is replaced by the following:
(a)  set up and manage a training programme for civil protection and emergency management personnel on prevention of, preparedness for and response to disasters. The programme shall include joint courses and a system for exchange of experts, whereby individuals may be seconded to other Member States.
‘(a) set up and manage a training programme for civil protection and emergency management personnel on prevention of, preparedness for and response to disasters. The programme shall include joint courses and a system for exchange of experts, whereby individuals may be seconded to other Member States. A new Erasmus civil protection programme shall be introduced, in keeping with the rules and principles of Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013*.
The training programme shall aim to enhance the coordination, compatibility and complementarity between capacities referred to in Articles 9 and 11, and to improve the competence of experts referred to in points (d) and (f) of Article 8;
The Erasmus civil protection programme shall also aim to enhance the coordination, compatibility and complementarity between capacities referred to in Articles 9, 11 and 12, and to improve the competence of experts referred to in points (d) and (f) of Article 8.
The Erasmus civil protection programme shall include an international dimension aimed at supporting the Union’s external action, including its development goals, through cooperation between Member States and between partner countries.
_______________
*Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing ‘Erasmus+’: the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 50).’
Amendment 57
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 9 b (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 13 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2 – point f
(9b)   In Article 13(1), point (f) is replaced by the following:
(f)  stimulate and encourage the introduction and use of relevant new technologies for the purpose of the Union Mechanism.
‘(f) stimulate research and innovation and encourage the introduction and use of relevant new technologies for the purpose of the Union Mechanism.’
Amendment 58
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 9c (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 13 – paragraph 3 a (new)
(9c)  in Article 13, the following paragraph is added:
‘3a. The Commission shall extend training capacities, and increase the sharing of knowledge and experience, between the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network and international organisations and third countries, to contribute to meeting international commitments with regard to disaster risk reduction, particularly those in the Sendai Framework.’
Amendment 59
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 11 a (new)
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 16 – paragraph 2
(11a)  in Article 16, paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:
2.   Interventions under this Article may be conducted either as an autonomous assistance intervention or as a contribution to an intervention led by an international organisation. The Union coordination shall be fully integrated with the overall coordination provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and shall respect its leading role.
‘2. Interventions under this Article may be conducted either as an autonomous assistance intervention or as a contribution to an intervention led by an international organisation. The Union coordination shall be fully integrated with the overall coordination provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and shall respect its leading role. In the case of man-made disasters or complex emergencies, the Commission shall clearly define, in consultation with humanitarian actors, the scope of the intervention and its relationship with the parties involved in the wider humanitarian response, ensuring consistency with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and respect for humanitarian principles.’
Amendment 60
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph – point 12
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 19 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2 a (new)
The necessary appropriations for the Union Mechanism shall be gradually authorised by the European Parliament and the Council in the framework of the annual budgetary procedure, taking due account of all means available under Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013*, with particular recourse to the Flexibility Instrument, as set out in Annex I.
____________________
* Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884).
Amendment 61
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 13
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 20 a – paragraph 1
Any assistance or funding provided under this Decision shall give appropriate visibility to the Union, including prominence to the Union emblem for those capacities referred to under Article 11, 12 and 21(2)(c).
Any assistance or funding provided under this Decision shall give appropriate visibility to the Union, including prominence to the Union emblem for those capacities referred to under Article 11, 12 and 21(2)(c). A communication strategy shall be developed in order to make the tangible results of the actions taken under the Union Mechanism visible to citizens.
Amendment 62
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 15 – point b
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 23 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  For Member States’ capacities that are not pre-committed to the European Civil Protection Pool, the amount of Union financial support for transport resources shall not exceed 55% of the total eligible cost. To be eligible for such funding, Member States shall undertake to produce a register of all the capacities at their disposal, together with the relevant management structures, over and beyond those pre-committed to the European Civil Protection Pool, enabling them to respond to health, industrial, seismic or volcanic disasters, to floods and forest fires, to terrorist attacks and to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.
Amendment 63
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 16
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 26 – paragraph 2
2.  Synergies and complementarity shall be sought with other instruments of the Union such as those supporting cohesion, rural development, research, health, as well as migration and security policies. In the case of a response to humanitarian crises in third countries the Commission shall ensure the complementarity and coherence of actions financed under this Decision and actions financed under Regulation (EC) No 1257/96.
2.  Synergies, complementarity and increased coordination shall be developed with other instruments of the Union such as those supporting cohesion, including the European Union Solidarity Fund, rural development, research, health, as well as migration and security policies, without entailing the reallocation of the funds from those areas. In the case of a response to humanitarian crises in third countries the Commission shall ensure the complementarity and coherence of actions financed under this Decision and actions financed under Regulation (EC) No 1257/96, whilst respecting the distinct and independent nature of those actions and their funding, and ensuring that they are in line with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid.
Amendment 64
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 18
Decision No 1313/2013/EU
Article 32 – paragraph 1 – point g
(g)  the establishment, management and maintaining of rescEU, as provided for in Article 12, including criteria for deployment decisions and operating procedures;
(g)  the establishment, management and maintaining of rescEU, as provided for in Article 12, including criteria for deployment decisions, operating procedures and the conditions for deployment of rescEU capacities at national level by a Member State and financial and other arrangements related thereto;
Amendment 65
Proposal for a decision
Annex I (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

ANNEX I

INDICATIVE ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL ALLOCATIONS FOR THE PERIOD 2018-2020

 

 

2018

2019

2020

TOTAL

Total additional appropriations under Heading 3*

CA

19,157

115,2

122,497

256,854

 

PA

11

56,56

115,395

182,955

Total additional appropriations under Heading 4*

CA

2

2

2,284

6,284

 

PA

0,8

1,8

2,014

4,614

Total additional appropriations under Headings 3 and 4 combined*

CA

21,157

117,2

124,781

263,138

 

PA

11,8

58,36

117,409

187,569

(figures in EUR million)

* The full amounts are to be provided through the Flexibility Instrument.

(1) The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0180/2018).


Connecting Europe facility after 2020
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on the Transport Pillar of the Connecting Europe Facility after 2020 (2018/2718(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0237RC-B8-0242/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 311, 312 and 323 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(1) and the subsequent amendment thereof by Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2017/1123 of 20 June 2017(2),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2016 on the preparation of the post-electoral revision of the MFF 2014-2020: Parliament’s input ahead of the Commission’s proposal(4),

–  having regard to the Commission’s Reflection Paper of 28 June 2017 on the Future of EU Finances (COM(2017)0358),

–  having regard to its resolution of 24 October 2017 on the Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances(5),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 14 September 2016 for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (COM(2016)0604), the Commission communication (COM(2016)0603) and the accompanying staff working document (SWD(2016)0299),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 14 September 2016 for an amendment of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (COM(2016)0606),

–  having regard to the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Parliament on 4 October 2016 and by the Council on 5 October 2016,

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2016 on the mid-term revision of the MFF 2014-2020(6),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 15 June 2016 – Mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)(7),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 May 2018 entitled ‘A Modern Budget for a Union that Protects, Empowers and Defends. The Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027’ (COM(2018)0321),

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 28 March 2018 on the Action Plan on Military Mobility (JOIN(2018)0005),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 14 February 2018 on the mid-term evaluation of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) (COM(2018)0066),

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

A.  whereas the development and rehabilitation of transport infrastructure in the EU is still rather fragmented and represents a major challenge in terms of capacity and financing but is essential to ensuring both sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness and social and territorial cohesion within the Union, thereby countering imbalances between regions;

B.  whereas the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a common, centrally managed funding programme designed to promote the development of a high-performing, sustainable and interconnected trans-European network (TEN) in the fields of transport, energy and digital services infrastructure;

C.  whereas the early completion of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) will substantially contribute to the EU’s achievement of its emission reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement, to the decarbonisation of the European economy and to the EU’s 20-20-20 objectives in the area of energy and climate policy; whereas the core network should be completed by 2030 and the comprehensive network by 2050;

D.  whereas one in 10 Europeans work in the wider transport sector, and whereas investing in transport infrastructure will lead to the creation of new jobs as it is estimated that every billion euros invested in the TEN-T core network will create up to 20 000 new jobs;

E.  whereas the CEF focuses on facilitating cross-border connections, establishing multimodal and urban nodes, addressing market failure and removing bottlenecks; whereas the CEF has secured the realisation of projects that would not have been implemented otherwise, thereby providing a clear EU added value in facilitating transnational cooperation and coordination;

F.  whereas the transport sector has represented the greatest share of the CEF budget in the period 2014-2020; whereas the transport share was divided into a general envelope for all Member States and a cohesion envelope available to cohesion Member States and transferred directly from the Cohesion Fund;

G.  whereas the CEF is one of the most successful EU programmes as calls have largely been oversubscribed; whereas, by the end of 2017, CEF Transport had already allocated EUR 21,3 billion in grants for TEN-T projects, triggering EUR 41,6 billion of total investments; whereas, during 2018, additional grant agreements will be signed for a blending call combining CEF grants with private finance, including from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI); whereas the initial budget of EUR 1 billion for this call was increased in November 2017 by EUR 350 million to support the ‘Innovation and new technologies’ priority in line with the objectives of the Alternative Fuels Action Plan;

H.  whereas the introduction of the ‘use it or lose it’ principle has contributed significantly to the success of the CEF: whereas, however, the recovery of the budget of non-implemented projects should be accelerated;

I.  whereas the CEF is aimed at accelerating investment in transport infrastructure and innovation and leveraging funding from both the public and the private sectors, while increasing legal certainty and respecting the principle of technology neutrality;

J.  whereas the Commission is expected to publish its legislative proposals on European Strategic Investment, including an updated Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), in June 2018;

1.  Stresses that investing in transport infrastructure means investing in long-term sustainable growth, cohesion, competitiveness and jobs; underlines, therefore, the strategic importance of the CEF programme as regards the integration of the internal market, smart mobility and the opportunity for the EU to deliver tangible added-value for citizens through this programme;

2.  Emphasises that the CEF has been, is and must remain an effective and targeted instrument for investment in trans-European infrastructure (TEN) in transport, energy and the digital service sectors and in order to contribute to the EU’s priorities on jobs, growth and investment, the internal market, the Energy Union, the climate and the digital single market;

3.  Highlights the success of the CEF 2014-2020 programme in bringing high European added value by supporting connectivity projects with a cross-border, interoperable and multimodal dimension and projects enhancing connectivity in all modes of transport, including at sea, inland ports and inland waterways, prioritising projects that bridge missing links, and removing bottlenecks with a view to achieving a single European transport area accessible to all and an innovative transport sector; calls on the Commission to increase the cross-border added value of nodes, such as seaports, and to support projects enhancing connectivity with partner third countries;

4.  Acknowledges that the full benefit and potential of EU investment in the TEN-T network can only be realised after the completion of the core and comprehensive networks; calls on the Commission to bear in mind that the completion of these networks will require significant investments, part of which will depend on continued EU support, or they risk coming to a standstill; insists that pressure must be maintained to achieve their completion no later than 2030 and 2050 respectively, and in accordance with 21st-century standards throughout the process;

5.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the CEF programme under the 2021-2027 MFF proposal follows on from the current programme with even broader ambition in terms of policy objectives and financial resources; emphasises that investments in digital, innovative and sustainable transport projects must be accelerated in order to move towards a greener, truly integrated, modern, accessible-to-all, safer and efficient transport system;

6.  Acknowledges that CEF intervention was decisive in launching most of the projects, especially for connectivity projects at cross-border, national, regional and local level; stresses that the CEF has proven to be a major catalyst for public and private investment; believes, however, that further action should be taken to release its full potential;

7.  Calls on the Commission to consider further ways to promote the CEF as a policy-driven instrument with specific sectoral objectives, addressing complex projects with a cross-border or EU-wide interoperability dimension;

8.  Believes that, in the next MFF, drawing on a thorough review of the 2014-2020 period and the consequences of the complex relationship between the CEF and other financial programmes and instruments, such as Horizon 2020, the ESI Funds and the EFSI, and in particular the substitution effect observed between the CEF and the EFSI, the Commission should further reinforce and ensure the complementarity between the CEF and other programmes such as Horizon Europe and the InvestEU Fund, in order to maintain and promote the clear objectives of the programme, avoid overlaps and optimise budgetary resources;

9.  Stresses that any cut to the next CEF in favour of other programmes, as happened under the CEF 2014-2020 to the EFSI and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), would be considered unacceptable; urges the Commission to preserve the integrity of the financial capacity of the CEF, as a large majority of CEF funding relates to projects with wider regional and EU benefits, but for which sufficient national funding or market-based financing is unavailable;

10.  Recognises the encouraging success of the first results of the Blending Call for Proposals launched under the current CEF programme; strongly encourages the Commission, therefore, to repeat such calls in the future and continue using a stronger CEF in the form of grants, to be combined with EU and non-EU financial instruments, where possible; invites the Commission also to find ways of more effectively encouraging the participation of private co-investors, and the Member States to abolish legislative and administrative obstacles to such a process;

11.  Calls on the Commission to further encourage synergies at project level between the three sectors, which are currently limited because of the rigidity of the budgetary framework as regards the eligibility of projects and the eligibility of costs; urges the Commission to adapt infrastructure to the upcoming needs of clean and smart mobility; expects the future sectoral policy guidelines and the CEF instrument to be made more flexible in order to facilitate synergies and to be more responsive to new technological developments and priorities such as digitalisation, while accelerating the creation of a low-emission economy and addressing common societal challenges such as cybersecurity;

12.  Highlights the importance of direct management for the purposes of ensuring common procedures across the three sectors, a speedy allocation of funds and very sound budgetary execution; points out that the direct management of CEF grants has proved very efficient, with a strong project pipeline and a competitive selection process, a focus on EU policy objectives, coordinated implementation and the full involvement of Member States; acknowledges the crucial role played by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) in the success of the CEF by optimising the budget, particularly thanks to its flexibility in quickly redirecting unspent money for certain actions to financing new ones; insists on reinforcing the INEA to ensure that EU funds are appropriately spent;

13.  Supports the application of the ‘use it or lose it’ principle in the direct management of the CEF; insists, at the same time, on maintaining the possibility of recycling commitments in cases where projects are not performing as planned in order to increase the efficiency of the CEF;

14.  Acknowledges the complexity of submitting a project, especially for large transport infrastructure, and the relevance of the technical assistance provided, e.g. through the CEF Programme Support Action, in particular to cohesion Member States, in order to promote the eligibility of mature and high-quality projects; calls on the Commission to continue providing this type of assistance and to rethink evaluation criteria that would favour a clearer identification of the added value of projects; asks the Commission, additionally, to take further steps to significantly simplify administrative requirements not only for small grants and to adapt the technical assistance provided for smaller project applicants;

15.  Welcomes the fact that in the 2014-2020 programme EUR 11,3 billion was transferred from the Cohesion Fund to the cohesion envelope of the CEF transport pillar and highlights the outstanding success of the cohesion calls;

16.  Notes the Commission proposal to allocate EUR 42 265 million to the CEF for the period 2021-2027, including EUR 7 675 million for energy projects and EUR 2 662 million (both in constant prices) for telecommunications and digital projects; regrets, however, that in constant prices the allocation to CEF–Transport amounts to EUR 11 384 million and the contribution from the Cohesion Fund amounts to EUR 10 000 million, which represent cuts of 12 % and 13 % respectively; notes and cannot accept that funds allocated to the transport pillar are the only ones that have been decreased; underlines that the challenges facing the transport sector in the internal market and the success of the CEF are at odds with a reduction in the amount of the transport envelope and asks the Commission to reconsider the amount proposed;

17.  Believes that in order to maintain the high credibility and attractiveness of the CEF programme for investors, its financial capacity during the next MFF period should be increased; stresses that an insufficient budget for transport would put the completion of the TEN-T network at risk and that this would in fact depreciate investments from public finances already made;

18.  Underlines, in addition, that the cohesion envelope has a strong regional dimension that responds to local demand and is key to the completion of the parts of the core network in the cohesion Member States and therefore to the territorial cohesion of the EU; notes that investment in EU transport infrastructure, when implemented with the contribution from the Cohesion Fund, should remain a well-balanced system of centrally managed and shared management sources; stresses that the amount earmarked under the direct management of the CEF framework from the Cohesion Fund in the next MFF 2021-2027 must at least remain at the same level as in the previous MFF 2014-2020 and that this amount must be sufficient to complete, during the next MFF 2021-2027, those projects funded from the earmarked Cohesion Fund under the current CEF;

19.  Recalls that the completion of the transport core network in the EU and the fulfilment of the policy priorities will continue to require the participation in decision-making of the citizens and stakeholders concerned, transparency in assessing and monitoring the environmental and financial implementation of projects, the improvement of modal integration, and the promotion of co-modal operations;

20.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to remain committed to the CEF’s main policy objectives in the transport sector: by 2030 – completion of the TEN-T core network, including the deployment of Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR), Motorways of the Sea (MoS) and the European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS), and the transition towards clean, competitive, innovative and connected mobility, including an EU backbone of alternative-fuels charging infrastructure by 2025; progress towards the completion of the TEN-T comprehensive network by 2050;

21.  Underlines the need for a stronger focus on smart horizontal projects; therefore asks the Commission to consider establishing specific, dedicated and transnational initiatives to accelerate and ensure the correct implementation of horizontal priorities such as ERTMS by leveraging private investments, in part by bringing together grants and financial instruments;

22.  Recalls, in respect of the transport sector, the importance of focusing on multimodal and cross-border connections, digital solutions, modal shift and more sustainable transport; believes that the updated CEF should also prioritise more direct linkages between the core and comprehensive networks; believes that these objectives should be reflected in the lists of pre-identified projects included in the next CEF regulation;

23.  Recognises that the transport sector should take full advantage of the opportunities offered by digital and innovative technologies and acknowledges that new innovative transport infrastructure is always more attractive for investment, especially from the private sector; points out, however, that existing infrastructure remains the backbone of the EU network and emphasises the urgency of investing more heavily in the maintenance of existing infrastructure; calls on the Commission, therefore, to ensure the attractiveness of the retrofitting or upgrading of existing infrastructure with high innovation ambition;

24.  Calls on the Commission to devote particular attention to the outermost regions (ORs), as enshrined in Article 349 TFEU, by extending the core network of ports to improve connectivity within their geographical basins, between the regions themselves, with the mainland and with third countries; considers that the ORs should have up to 85 % of co-financing in all transport modes in order to improve their access to calls and to create regular maritime connections between the ORs and mainland areas; calls on the Commission to consider the creation of a specific call for the ORs and to consider, moreover, the allocation of funding for innovative technology for regional airports in the ORs so as to guarantee the safety and maintenance of airport infrastructure;

25.  Welcomes the objectives set in the joint communication on the Action Plan on Military Mobility in terms of both improving infrastructure and enabling synergies; calls on the Commission to use the CEF to support the development of dual-use civilian-defence infrastructure along the TEN-T network;

26.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and the Member States.

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(2) OJ L 163, 24.6.2017, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 101, 16.3.2018, p. 64.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0401.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0412.
(7) OJ C 17, 18.1.2017, p. 20.


Situation in Nicaragua
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on the situation in Nicaragua (2018/2711(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0238RC-B8-0244/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua, in particular those of 18 December 2008(1), 26 November 2009(2) and 16 February 2017(3),

–  having regard to the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America of 2012,

–  having regard to the EU Country Strategy Paper and Multiannual Indicative Programme 2014-2020 on Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

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

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders of June 2004,

–   having regard to the Constitution of Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 19 November 2016 on the final results of the elections in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the statements by the Spokesperson of the VP/HR of 22 April 2018 and 15 May 2018 on Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the press release of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of 27 April 2018 on the human rights situation in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) from 17 to 21 May 2018 to investigate the situation in Nicaragua and its preliminary statement of 21 May 2018,

–  having regard to the statement by UN Human Rights Office Spokesperson Liz Throssell of 20 April 2018 on the Nicaragua protest violence,

–  having regard to the press release of the Organisation of American States (OAS) of 14 May 2018 on the visit to investigate the situation in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the report of the General Secretariat of the OAS of 20 January 2017 on Nicaragua and its statement of 22 April 2018 condemning the violence in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the communiques issued by the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, and in particular the latest, of 23 May 2018,

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

A.  whereas reportedly at least 84 people have been killed, more than 860 injured and over 400 arrested as a result of the peaceful student-led protests that started on 18 April 2018 as opposition to the social security reforms announced by President Daniel Ortega; whereas the majority of victims showed bullet wounds to the head, neck, chest or abdomen, which points strongly to extrajudicial executions; whereas the Nicaraguan authorities have openly stigmatised protestors by calling them ‘vandals’ and accusing them of ‘political manipulation’;

B.  whereas on 23 April 2018, Mr Ortega announced the cancellation of the social security reform, but the demonstrations turned into a broader continuing unrest and calls for an interim government and restoration of democratic order; whereas another source of discontent and open conflict is the sharp increase in export-oriented ‘extractivist’ activities;

C.  whereas on 20 April 2018, 600 students were attacked in the metropolitan Cathedral of Managua by anti-mutiny forces and a group of members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front acting with total impunity and the complicity and consent of the police; whereas the IACHR has documented attacks on four university sites (UCA, UPOLI, UNA and UNAN);

D.   whereas the high number of casualties demonstrates the brutal repression used by the state authorities, violating the principles of necessity and proportionality as required under international law and standards setting out limitations to the use of force; whereas the chief of the National Police of Nicaragua, Aminta Granera, has resigned as a result of the excessive use of violence;

E.  whereas media outlets covering the protests were arbitrarily shut down by the government and journalists who expressed any form of opposition were intimidated and detained; whereas the Nicaraguan authorities’ crackdown on free speech and harassment of opposition leaders has been condemned as an attack on civil liberties; whereas the journalist Angel Gahona was shot dead while presenting a live broadcast;

F.  whereas human rights organisations have recorded many claims regarding the lack of assistance and treatment provided to injured demonstrators in public hospitals;

G.   whereas on 27 April 2018, the President of the National Assembly, Gustavo Porras, announced the creation of a Truth Commission to investigate what happened during the protests; whereas on 6 May 2018, a board of seven lawmakers – five of whom belong to President Ortega’s party – picked the Commission’s five members and the National Assembly ratified their appointment;

H.  whereas the IACHR visited Nicaragua from 17 to 21 May 2018; whereas it documented illegal and arbitrary arrests, practices of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, censorship and attacks against the press and other forms of intimidation such as threats, harassment and persecution aimed at dissolving the protests and inhibiting citizen participation;

I.  whereas the national dialogue between Mr Ortega and the Nicaraguan opposition and civic groups mediated by the Catholic Church and launched on 16 May 2018 failed to find a solution to the crisis and was suspended, as the government negotiators refused to discuss a 40-point agenda presented by the mediators, which included a road map towards democratic elections, including reforms to the electoral law, bringing forward elections and prohibiting presidential re-election; whereas the creation of a joint committee comprising six people – three from the government and three from the platform ‘Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia’ – was proposed;

J.  whereas since 2007, Mr Ortega has been elected to the office of President on three consecutive occasions, despite the fact that the Constitution of Nicaragua prohibited consecutive re-election, demonstrating the corruption and authoritarianism into which the state has descended; whereas the elections in 2011 and 2016 were highly criticised for their irregularities by the EU institutions and the OAS, having been conducted without the presence of observers from either organisation or any other credible international observers;

K.  whereas public sector corruption, including corruption involving relatives of Mr Ortega, remains one of the biggest challenges; whereas bribery of public officials, unlawful seizures and arbitrary assessments by customs and tax authorities are very common; whereas legitimate concerns about nepotism within the Nicaraguan Government have been expressed; whereas human rights groups have condemned the gradual concentration of power entailed by one-party rule and the weakening of institutions;

L.  whereas the state of Nicaragua has seen a decline in democracy and the rule of law in the past decade; whereas the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms must form an integral part of the EU’s external policies, including the Association Agreement between the European Union and the countries of Central America of 2012;

1.  Condemns the brutal repression and intimidation of peaceful protestors in Nicaragua who are opposing the social security reform, resulting in many deaths, disappearances and arbitrary arrests perpetrated by the Nicaraguan authorities, armed forces, police and violent groups supporting the government; reminds all Nicaraguan security forces of their duty to, above all, defend citizens from harm;

2.  Expresses its condolences and sympathy to the families of all the victims killed and injured during the demonstrations;

3.  Calls on the Nicaraguan authorities to cease all acts of violence against people exercising the right to freedom of expression and the right of assembly; calls also on the demonstrators and civil society organisations leading the protests to refrain from the use of violence while exercising their rights; urges the Nicaraguan authorities to release all arbitrarily detained people, to compensate all affected family members and to provide guarantees that no criminal action will be taken against them; urges the state authorities to refrain from making public statements that stigmatise demonstrators, human rights defenders and journalists and from using state media to conduct public campaigns that may encourage violence;

4.  Calls on the Nicaraguan authorities to immediately allow an international, independent and transparent investigation in order to prosecute those responsible for the repression and deaths during the protests; welcomes, in this regard, the IACHR visit to Nicaragua and expresses its concern over the conclusions of the preliminary report; urges the international community to play an active role in holding those responsible to account;

5.  Asks the Nicaraguan Government to recognise and reinforce the authority of the committee for monitoring the implementation of the recommendations presented by the IACHR, and to set up a calendar of its new visits; requests the creation of a public registry of attendance in hospitals, as requested by the IACHR;

6.  Urges the Nicaraguan authorities to provide all actors in society, including opposition forces, journalists and human rights defenders, including environmental activists and civil society, with sufficient space to operate freely, under international law, in order to set the stage for all opposing sides to discuss the situation in Nicaragua and uphold the human rights situation in the country; recalls that full participation of the opposition, the depolarisation of the judiciary, the end of impunity and the plurality of the media are essential factors in restoring democratic order to the country;

7.  Deplores the violation of media freedom in Nicaragua, both before and during the protests; considers the seizure of media outlets by the authorities during the protests to be unacceptable; calls on the government to restore full media freedom and freedom of speech in the country and to put a stop to its harassment of journalists;

8.   Takes note of the recent launch of a national dialogue and establishment of a Truth Commission, which must include the participation of independent national actors in all sectors, as well as international actors; regrets the failure of the first round of national dialogue as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Nicaraguan Government and expresses the hope that the recent resumption of the dialogue provides an opportunity to solve the crisis and end the violence; stresses that any dialogue should take place in the absence of violence and repression, with respect for the law and the constitution and the principle that any changes in the law should be made in accordance with the procedures established thereunder;

9.  Denounces the illegal steps taken in violation of the judicial system which have led to constitutional changes removing presidential term limits and so allowed the continuous presidency of Mr Ortega, in clear breach of the right to democratic elections; stresses the need for strong democratic institutions, freedom of assembly and political plurality; calls, in this regard, for electoral reform resulting in fair, transparent and credible elections that respect international standards, as the way to resolve the political crisis;

10.  Calls on the authorities to fight the rampant corruption within Nicaragua’s political circles, which impairs the functioning of all state institutions and limits foreign investment; calls for the implementation of Nicaragua’s anti-corruption legislation, including that on bribery, abuse of office and facilitation payments; is concerned about the links between President Ortega and other conflicts in the region; calls on the Nicaraguan authorities to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;

11.  Points out that, in the light of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the countries of Central America, Nicaragua must be reminded of the need to respect the principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights, as set out in the agreement’s human rights clause; urges the EU to monitor the situation and, if necessary, assess the potential measures to be taken; warns against the serious political, economic and investment consequences which might follow the breaches of human rights;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Central American Parliament, the Lima Group, and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Nicaragua.

(1) OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2010, p. 89.
(2) OJ C 285 E, 21.10.2010, p. 74.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0043.


Gender equality and women’s empowerment: transforming the lives of girls and women through EU external relations 2016-2020
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on the implementation of the Joint Staff Working Document (SWD(2015)0182) – Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020 (2017/2012(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0239A8-0167/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention of 18 December 1979 on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),

–  having regard to the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No 197) and the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS No 201),

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Convention of 11 May 2011 on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention),

–  having regard to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) report of 2012 entitled ‘Marrying Too Young – End Child Marriage’,

–  having regard to the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action from the 4th World Conference, and the outcomes of the review conferences,

–  having regard to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the outcomes of the review conferences,

–  having regard to United Nations Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security Nos 1325 (2000), 1820 (2009), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2010), 1960 (2011), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015),

–  having regard to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development of July 2015,

–  having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015 and which entered into force on 1 January 2016, and in particular to Sustainable Development Goals 1, 5, 8 and 10,

–  having regard to the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative,

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

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the EU Gender Action Plan 2010-2015 (GAP I),

–  having regard to the European Pact for Gender Equality (2011-2020), adopted by the Council on 7 March 2011,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 21 September 2010 entitled ‘Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015’ (COM(2010)0491),

–  having regard to the Joint Communication of 28 April 2015 by the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council, entitled ‘Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2015-2019), Keeping Human Rights at the Heart of the EU Agenda of 28 April 2015’ (JOIN(2015)0016),

–  having regard of the Council conclusions on Gender in Development of 26 May 2015,

–  having regard to the EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 (GAP II), adopted by the Council on 26 October 2015, and to the Annual Implementation report 2016 thereof, published on 29 August 2017 by the Commission and the High Representative,

–  having regard to the Commission’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 of 3 December 2015,

–  having regard to the EU Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy of June 2016,

–  having regard to Article 208 TFEU establishing the principle of Policy Coherence for Development, requiring that the objectives of development cooperation be taken into account in policies that are likely to affect developing countries,

–  having regard to the new European Consensus on Development,

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 October 2015 on the renewal of the EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2017 on the Revision of the European Consensus on Development(2),

–  having regard to the European Implementation Assessment of the EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020, published in October 2017 by the European Parliamentary Research Service,

–  having regard to the report by COC Nederland on the implementation of the EU LGBTI Guidelines(3),

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

–  having regard to the joint deliberations of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0167/2018),

A.  whereas the principle of equality between women and men is a core value of the EU and is enshrined in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and gender mainstreaming is thus to be implemented and integrated in all EU activities and policies so as to deliver equality in practice and achieve sustainable development; whereas equality and women’s empowerment form a precondition for achieving post-2015 sustainable development goals, as well as being a self-standing human rights issue that should be pursued independently of its benefits for development and growth;

B.  whereas the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG5) is to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls worldwide, and whereas SDG5 must be mainstreamed into the entire 2030 agenda so as to achieve progress across all SDGs and targets;

C.  whereas no development strategy can be effective unless women and girls play a central role;

D.  whereas the original Gender Action Plan I (2010-2015) (GAP I) brought some progress, but was also marked by a number of shortcomings: narrow scope, absence of gender-responsive budgeting, weak understanding of the gender equality framework by the EU delegations, lack of commitment on the part of the EU leadership, and lack of institutional architecture and incentives to motivate and adequately support staff;

E.  whereas Parliament called in its resolution of 8 October 2015 for these shortcomings to be corrected and for a number of other changes to be adopted, including widening the scope of the GAP and increasing management-level responsibility for gender equality;

F.  whereas 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and whereas the principle of equality forms the core of the human rights vision of the 1945 UN Charter, which states that human rights and fundamental freedoms should apply to all human beings ‘without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, language or religion’;

G.  whereas the new Gender Action Plan II (2016-2020) (GAP II) emerged from Parliament’s recommendations with a focus on shifting EU institutional culture at headquarters and delegation levels in order to create a systemic change in how the EU approaches gender, as well as on transforming women’s and girls’ lives through four pivotal areas;

H.  whereas the four pivotal areas created within GAP II are: ensuring girls’ and women’s physical and psychological integrity; promoting the economic and social rights and the empowerment of girls and women; strengthening girls’ and women’s voice and participation; and a horizontal pillar consisting of shifting the institutional culture of the Commission services and the EEAS in order to more effectively deliver on the EU’s commitments;

I.  whereas in its resolution of 3 October 2017 on addressing shrinking civil society space in developing countries(4), Parliament stresses the high importance of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment through the EU’s external relations;

J.  whereas it is difficult to determine the budget allocated to actions pursuing gender equality, as gender mainstreaming is not yet internalised in all budget allocations and spending decisions as part of a gender budgeting methodology; whereas according to the Commission, EU financial commitments to gender equality have increased, but the Commission’s and the EEAS’s human resource capacity to manage this increasing volume of work has not;

K.  whereas women’s participation in economic activities is crucial for sustainable development and economic growth;

L.  whereas gender equality tends to be absent from programme and project monitoring systems and evaluation processes, and whereas gender analysis is scarcely used to inform country strategy objectives, programmes, projects and dialogue;

M.  whereas one year on from the adoption of GAP II it is too early to undertake a full assessment of its impact; whereas an interval of at least three years of policy intervention or implementation is recommended before an evaluation of an EU action is undertaken; whereas the objective of this resolution is therefore not to debate the objectives of GAP II, but to consider how the stated objectives have been implemented in its first year and to recommend actions to improve implementation in future years;

N.  whereas the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has been signed by 195 countries, is legally binding, and is an essential instrument to deal with the vulnerability of girls and their need for special protection and care;

O.  whereas the reinstatement and extension of the Mexico City Policy or so-called ‘Global Gag’ rule, cutting off US global health assistance from organisations that provide girls and women with family planning and sexual and reproductive health services, is a matter of serious concern; whereas programmes which address HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, Zika response efforts and other health and disease areas will be affected, as will organisations that provide, counsel for, refer to or advocate for abortion services – even if they are doing so with their own, non-US funds and even if abortion is legal in their country;

P.  whereas the EU delegations and missions are on the frontline of implementing GAP II in partner countries, and the leadership and knowledge of delegation and mission heads and staff play a significant role in ensuring the successful implementation of GAP II; whereas there is still a gender barrier impeding women’s access to leadership and management posts in EU delegations;

Q.  whereas only a third of all EU delegations work on LGBTI human rights; whereas the EU’s LGBTI Guidelines are not being applied uniformly; whereas their implementation depends strongly on the knowledge and interest of individual ambassadors instead of a structural approach;

R.  whereas men and women are affected differently in conflict, post-conflict and fragile situations; whereas women are not only victims but also agents of positive change, who could contribute to conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding, peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction; whereas women and girls might experience different forms of discrimination and be more exposed to poverty; whereas one in three women in the world is likely to experience physical and sexual violence at some point in her lifetime; whereas 14 million girls are forced into marriage every year;

1.  Notes the release in August 2017 of the first annual implementation report for the year 2016, which demonstrates a clear momentum towards the implementation of GAP II;

2.  Stresses that one year on since the adoption of GAP II, it is still early days, but the general direction of travel is welcome and a number of positive trends have been noted; also notes, however, a number of challenges as regards the reporting and implementation of key priorities and gender-related SDGs and the monitoring of progress on all objectives, as well as in terms of mainstreaming gender into sector policy dialogue;

3.  Notes that GAP II has been produced in the form of a Joint Staff Working Document; calls on the Commission to demonstrate its firm commitment by upgrading it into a future communication on gender equality;

4.  Notes that the use of cutting-edge policy research and robust evidence are critical ways of building knowledge on gender equality and women’s empowerment, in order to develop policies and strategies that strengthen the capacity of the Union to make gender equality a lived reality; asks the EEAS and the Commission, therefore, to pay special attention to their goal of ensuring that an independent evaluation is carried out of the implementation of the measures set out in Annex 1 of GAP II;

5.  Notes that GAP II provides a comprehensive agenda that spans the entire EU foreign policy agenda, and welcomes in this regard the choice of three thematic pillars, namely ensuring girls’ and women’s physical and psychological integrity, promoting the economic and social rights and the empowerment of girls and women, and strengthening girls’ and women’s voice and participation; stresses that these pillars are intended to tackle the main factors and causes involved in discrimination and marginalisation; also takes note of the horizontal pillar consisting of shifting the institutional culture of the Commission’s services and the EEAS in order to more effectively deliver on the EU’s commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment through the Union’s external relations;

6.  Points out that the chief contributory factors and causes leading to discrimination and marginalisation include: sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, including harmful traditions such as child marriage and FGM; inadequate access to basic sectors and social services, for example health, education, water, sanitation, and nutrition; difficulties in gaining access to sexual and reproductive health; and unequal participation in public and private institutions, as well as in political decision-making and in peace processes;

7.  Notes that gender inequality intersects with, and exacerbates, other forms of inequality and that an understanding of that point has to guide the selection of priorities and commitments for action;

8.  Calls for a greater focus in the implementation of GAP II on girls and women who suffer additional discrimination on account of ethnicity, sexuality, disability, caste, or age, and for data to be broken down accordingly;

9.  Maintains that greater inclusion of women in the labour market, better support for female entrepreneurship, safeguarding equal opportunities and equal pay for men and women, and promoting work-life balance are key factors for achieving long-term inclusive economic growth, combating inequalities, and encouraging women’s financial independence;

10.  Welcomes the strong monitoring and accountability framework established to measure and track progress in GAP II, and acknowledges that its increased ambition provides a real opportunity for the EU to advance equality between women and men, as well as the empowerment of girls and women in the field of external relations; recognises, however, the need for deeper understanding and harmonisation of this framework in order to properly assess the impacts of EU actions;

11.  Recognises the importance of strengthening policies and measures promoting education for girls, and its implications in terms of their health and economic empowerment; points out that girls and young women are particularly vulnerable and that specific focus is needed to ensure their access to all levels of education; calls in this regard for the consideration of a range of opportunities in the field of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM subjects);

12.  Points out that greater involvement of both public and private sectors is crucial for advancing women’s rights and their economic empowerment across different economic sectors; emphasises the need for women’s inclusion and representation in emerging economic fields that are important for sustainable development, including ICT; stresses that business has an important role to play in enhancing women’s rights; calls, in this context, for increased support to be given to local SMEs, especially to female entrepreneurs, so as to enable them to gain from private sector-led growth;

13.  Stresses the need to empower rural women by improving their access to land, water, education and training, markets and financial services;

14.  Calls on the EU to promote the increased participation of women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding processes and EU military and civil crisis management missions;

Achievements of GAP II

15.  Welcomes the expansion of the gender action plan to all EU external services and to the Member States, and notes the progress in shifting EU institutional culture at headquarters and delegation levels, which is key to strengthening the effectiveness of EU initiatives and their impact on gender equality; also welcomes the compulsory requirement introduced by GAP II for all EU actors to report annually on the progress delivered in at least one thematic area; reiterates, however, the need for strengthened leadership and for continued improvements in coherence and coordination among EU institutions and Member States while using the existing structures and budget;

16.  Welcomes the fact that the Commission’s services and the EEAS, as well as 81 % of EU delegations and 22 Member States, submitted gender reports for 2016; while aware that there might be exceptional circumstances explaining delegations not reporting, expects the delegations and the Member States to step up their efforts, and wishes to see continued progress year on year towards all reports being submitted; notes that there are still significant disparities between Member States; recalls that full compliance in GAP reporting and implementation will be key to attaining the GAP II target of mainstreaming gender actions across 85 % of all new initiatives by 2020;

17.  Welcomes the practical steps towards a culture shift and the introduction of a mandatory gender analysis for all new external actions undertaken, thus placing the overall responsibility for reporting on the GAP with the heads of the EU delegations (EUDs), as well as the increased number of high-level staff involved in the implementation of the GAP II and the appointment of an increasing number of gender champions and gender focal points in the EUDs, although as things stand there is a gender focal point in only half of the EUDs; calls for more management-level time to be dedicated to gender issues and for those delegations which have still not done so to create their gender focal points; stresses that all gender focal points should be given sufficient time and capacity to carry out their tasks;

18.  Regrets that, according to an EEAS report of November 2016, only a few EU CSDP missions provide training on sexual or gender-based harassment, and notes that in 2015 no cases of sexual or gender-based harassment, abuse or violence were reported by CSDP missions; stresses the importance of applying a zero-tolerance policy regarding cases of sexual or gender-based harassment and of supporting institutional structures focused on preventing sexual or gender-based violence; calls on the EEAS and the Member States to support all efforts to combat sexual or gender-based violence in international peacekeeping operations and to ensure that whistle-blowers and victims are effectively protected;

19.  Welcomes the increased number of actions with a gender equality focus (G1 and G2 markers), and the requirement for delegations to justify projects having no such focus; underscores that overall increases in such projects should not come at the expense of specific gender-targeted projects (G2 marker), recommends, therefore, a specific target for G2 projects; notes that it is unclear how targeted (G2) and mainstreamed actions (G1) should complement each other; calls for further efforts to clarify gender mainstreaming and to increase targeted actions;

20.  Notes that only a few recurrent components of gender equality are applied in programming and project selection; calls on implementing actors to use the whole range of gender equality areas;

21.  Condemns all forms of violence against women and girls, and all forms of gender-based violence, including trafficking in human beings, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, honour crimes, FGM and the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war; calls on the EU and all Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention, as the first legally binding international instrument seeking to prevent and combat violence against women;

22.  Regrets that women who have experienced or are experiencing violence are unequally supported against male violence, in terms of information on, access to and provision of shelters, support services and rights, helplines, rape crisis centres, etc.; emphasises that the Istanbul Convention should place its core focus on male violence against women, while also addressing all gender-based violence by tackling violence motivated by the intersection of various grounds, including sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; underlines the importance of strategic measures to proactively combat gender stereotypes and counter patterns of patriarchy, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, as well as gender normativity and heteronormativity;

23.  Strongly regrets that current programming appears to sideline the gender dimension in situations of crisis or difficult conflicts, which, among other outcomes, has meant that girls and women who are victims of war rape do not have access to non-discriminatory care, and specifically to comprehensive medical care; calls on the Commission to systematically implement GAP II in humanitarian settings where it must provide non-discriminatory access to medical services, and to actively inform its humanitarian partners that the Commission’s policy foresees that, in cases where pregnancy threatens a woman’s or a girl’s life or causes suffering, international humanitarian law may justify offering a safe abortion; urges that the provision of humanitarian aid by the EU and the Member States should not be subject to restrictions imposed by other partner donors regarding necessary medical treatment, including access to safe abortion for women and girls who are victims of rape in armed conflicts; welcomes the fact that many EUDs have focused on combating violence against women; insists in this context on the need to ensure the protection of the right to life and dignity of all women and girls by actively combating harmful practices such as gendercide; highlights that the use of rape as a weapon of war and oppression must be eliminated, and that the EU must bring pressure to bear on third-country governments and all stakeholders implicated in regions where such gender-based violence takes place, in order to bring the practice to an end, bring perpetrators to justice and work with survivors, affected women and communities to help them heal and recover;

24.  Emphasises that universal respect for and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) contributes to the achievement of all the health-related SDGs, such as prenatal care and measures to avoid high-risk births and reduce infant and child mortality; points out that access to family planning, maternal health services and safe and legal abortion services are important elements for saving women’s lives; regrets, however, that priorities related to family planning or reproductive health are neglected in terms of both funding and programmes; is concerned that that no EUDs in the Middle East and North Africa or the Europe and Central Asia regions chose any SRHR-related indicator despite the important needs regarding SRHR in those regions; calls on EUDs in those regions to re-evaluate these worrying figures to determine whether they may be linked to misreporting or if there is a need to complement current programmes with targeted actions on SRHR, taking advantage of the mid-term review of the programming; underlines that the dedicated chapter on SRHR must be retained in the annual report so as to ensure that the transformative impact of GAP II is properly assessed and that progress on SRHR is appropriately captured by the methodological approach of the report;

25.  Notes that the report shows the need for stronger action on SRHR as a precondition for gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as the need for appropriate tools to measure progress with regard to ensuring universal access to SRHR, as agreed in accordance with the EU’s commitment to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences, as per SDG 5.6; also recalls, in this regard, SDGs 3.7 and 5.3;

26.  Regrets that in a context of shrinking civil society space, Objective 18 focusing on women’s rights organisations and defenders of women’s human rights is receiving little attention; is concerned that the thematic priority relating to political and civil rights, and specifically the participation of women and girls in political and civil rights, has not been emphasised in GAP II implementation;

Key recommendations for the Commission/EEAS

27.  Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to take further steps to facilitate exchange of best practice in improving gender equality and gender mainstreaming between delegations and units, such as establishing and promoting a network of gender focal points and sharing more positive examples of successful practice, including but not limited to programme formulation, implementation and systemic gender analysis, and to ensure that the gender analyses effectively impact the programmes implemented by the EUDs;

28.  Points out that significant progress has been made in different priority areas, but with some recording slower advancement than might have been expected; calls on the Commission to examine through a study the reasons why certain thematic objectives and priority areas are more often taken into consideration by the EU delegations, with greater progress being achieved;

29.  Calls for the strengthening of the human resource capacity dedicated to gender mainstreaming within the Commission’s services, through tailored training and reorganisation of existing structures and by taking on additional staff; suggests that enhanced staff training, aimed especially at senior officials in management roles and including specific training on gender issues within more vulnerable groups as well as a gender focal point per unit and a gender coordination group across units in DG DEVCO, DG NEAR, DG ECHO and the EEAS would better help to mainstream gender across the external policy units; considers that improvements and further specialisation in training on gender equality issues should also be made available to local partners at government level and among non-state actors, including NGOs;

30.  Stresses the need to ensure coherence and complementarity among all existing EU external instruments and policies in their relation to gender mainstreaming, including the new Consensus on Development, the EU resource package on gender mainstreaming in development cooperation, and the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy;

31.  Welcomes the guidance note of 8 March 2016 that outlines the resources and tools for the implementation of GAP II applying to DG DEVCO and the EEAS, and calls for the provision of a guidance note for all the European services involved in the implementation of GAP II;

32.  Welcomes the launching of the joint EU-UN global gender initiative (‘Spotlight Initiative’), in line with the objective of GAP II of addressing sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices such as FGM, early forced marriage, or human trafficking; notes, however, that the Spotlight Initiative addresses mainly elements of the agenda which are already shared concerns globally, as proven by the implementation report, and therefore underlines the need to advance gender equality in a more comprehensive way, through an adequate mix of programmes and modalities; calls for the Spotlight Initiative to be resourced with additional funds not already earmarked to gender equality; calls the Commission to use the mid-term review of its international cooperation programmes for increasing funding of the Gender Resource Package in order to realise the ambitious goals of GAP II, including streamlining gender into bilateral cooperation and through thematic programmes;

33.  Stresses that the principle of equality between women and men must be promoted and mainstreamed by the EU in its external relations; notes, however, that the link between trade and gender is not sufficiently addressed in GAP II, and more generally that gender mainstreaming remains a multidimensional challenge; recalls, in this respect, that the negotiation of trade agreements, and especially of Trade and Sustainable Development chapters which cover labour rights, represents an important tool for advancing equality between women and men, and empowering women in third countries; calls, therefore, on DG TRADE to take steps to implement GAP II in its work and for all EU trade agreements to include girls’ and women’s rights and gender equality, as drivers of economic growth, and to respect the ILO core conventions on gender and labour rights, including on forced and child labour; recalls the need to monitor the impact of EU trade policies on women’s empowerment and gender equality during their implementation;

34.  Notes that the empowerment of girls and women is one of the stated goals of EU external action through the Global Strategy for Common Foreign and Security Policy; notes that the role of women in peace negotiations and mediation as taken into consideration in GAP II is not sufficient; highlights the important role of women in promoting dialogue and building trust, building coalitions for peace and bringing different perspectives on what peace and security mean, in particular in conflict prevention and resolution and post-conflict reconstruction; notes that the promotion of women’s rights in crisis or conflict-ridden countries fosters stronger and more resilient communities; welcomes the designation within the EEAS of a Principal Advisor on Gender and on the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; encourages the strengthening of EU Member State and international action through the UN in order to more effectively address the impact of conflict and post-conflict situations on women and girls; calls on the Commission to support the new global Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network; notes the importance of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, and the importance of finding the best possible ways for the EU to implement this resolution;

35.  Recalls its request, in respect of trade negotiations with Chile, for the inclusion of a specific chapter on trade, gender equality and the empowerment of women; emphasises that the proposal to include such a dedicated chapter in a trade agreement is now becoming reality for the first time; stresses the need to be informed of the content of this chapter and to evaluate it with a view to subsequently taking decisions at a more general level; urges the EU to introduce cross-cutting measures in trade agreements in order to promote gender equality, exchange best practices and enable women to derive greater benefit from trade agreements;

36.  Calls for sex-disaggregated data to be gathered in the key sectors most affected by trade agreements, in order to provide a useful tool for predicting as accurately as possible how women’s lives might be affected and counteracting any adverse impacts; also calls for a mechanism to be set up expressly for the purpose of monitoring and strengthening gender policy under trade agreements;

37.  Welcomes the thematic priority of economic and social empowerment and the analysis of barriers in accessing productive resources, including land, and the corresponding activities; reiterates that while the EU has committed to investing in gender equality in agriculture, women farmers are not primary targets of agricultural official development assistance (ODA), and calls on the EU and the Member States to allocate more resources to women farmers, in line with Objective 5 of GAP II;

38.  Strongly encourages the institutions to substantially improve the proportion of women in terms of assignment to, and particularly headship of, EUDs, there currently being 28 women delegation heads out of 138, as well as that of women heads of mission (there are now 5 out of 17); calls, therefore, on the Commission and the EEAS to efficiently implement targeted policies to facilitate women’s access to leadership and managerial posts; points out the low presence of women in decision-making, which indicates the existence of invisible barriers preventing them from occupying positions of greater responsibility;

39.  Stresses that the success of GAP II will ultimately depend on the long-term and consistent engagement of high-level political and senior across all EU actors, as well as on the availability of sufficient human and financial resources for its implementation and on adapting EU efforts to local realities in the recipient countries; welcomes, in this regard, the positive engagement from the Commissioner responsible for international cooperation and development and encourages more commitment from other Commissioners; notes that more political leadership from the High Representative and managers is needed to increase resources and accountability and to coordinate and strengthen this engagement in the coming years; calls for all EU actors to make use of the Gender Resource Package in order to ensure that gender mainstreaming is consistently applied so as to realise the ambitious goals of GAP II;

40.  Strongly condemns the reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico City Policy (the so-called ‘Global Gag Rule’) by the US in January 2017 and its impact on women’s and girls’ global healthcare and rights; reiterates its call on the EU and its Member States to proactively support women’s rights worldwide and to significantly increase both national and EU development funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights, in particular for access to family planning and safe and legal abortion without discrimination, with a view to reducing the financing gap left by the US in this area;

41.  Calls on the EEAS to improve the implementation of the EU LGBTI Guidelines and to ensure that EUDs consult regularly with LGBTI organisations and inform them on what is being done on LGBTI rights, so as to ensure that the level of engagement and the actions taken depend on the needs of the LGBTI community in a country and not on the personal commitment of delegation staff, and to coordinate strategy and action not only with national embassies of EU Member States, but also with embassies of third countries and with international organisations such as the UN;

42.  Notes that adequate funding for gender equality in external relations will be necessary to sustain political commitment to this goal; stresses that current funding for gender equality and women’s empowerment actions remains inadequate and urges that this situation be reversed in the next MFF;

Key recommendations for EU delegations

43.  Welcomes the flexibility GAP II gives delegations to choose priorities according to their country context, since this allows a case-by-case analysis and assessment of the specific needs of each country or region, thus addressing the particular challenge of enhancing women’s rights and their economic empowerment; recommends, nonetheless, that delegations should be encouraged to have shown progress on at least one priority per thematic pillar by the end of GAP II, so as to ensure a more even coverage of the different thematic areas, such as strengthening policies and measures promoting education for girls and their implications in terms of health and economic empowerment; urges focusing on the situation of women and girls in conflict-affected areas as well as on gender-based violence and most particularly on the use of rape as a weapon of war; further recalls that EU-funded actions and projects should systematically aim to tackle gender inequalities and discrimination;

44.  Recalls the obligation under the Treaties to apply gender mainstreaming in all EU activities, including political dialogues and across all sectorial policy dialogues and in areas such as energy, agriculture, transport, education, and public administration which have so far received less attention; insists that gender mainstreaming should be integrated in national plans and policy frameworks in order to ensure the ownership and responsibility of partner countries, thus recalling the importance of supporting development projects promoted by women from the countries in question; points to the importance of working with partner countries on gender-sensitive national budgeting;

45.  Calls for a dedicated budget line on gender equality to be established in order to address in a more prominent way the level of political participation and representation of women, in the EU’s neighbouring countries and within the EU; stresses that these programmes should be fully integrated with the targets and programmes of UN Women and should set measurable targets to regularly track progress on gender equality in the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, strengthen cooperation and engage more with the governments of partner countries, with a view to achieving better results more rapidly, in the context of bilateral partnership and association agreements;

46.  Notes that gender mainstreaming training is taking place only in some delegations and that a large proportion of the staff trained had contractual status with temporary assignments; calls on the EUDs to fix this situation;

47.  Stresses the importance, during political dialogue, of improving women’s participation in education, economic activities, employment and business as a priority means of improving women’s position in society;

48.  Underlines the importance of conducting systematic and evidence-based gender analysis, using, where possible, data disaggregated for sex and age, in consultation and with the participation of local civil society organisations (CSOs) and women’s groups, human rights organisations and local and regional authorities for the selection and assessment of the choice of objectives, the means of implementation and monitoring sources, and the efficacy and sustainability of the outcomes; welcomes the fact that 42 country gender analyses have been completed, encourages rapid completion for all other countries and a far greater use of gender equality criteria in programme and project monitoring systems and evaluation processes, and calls for gender analysis to play a role in defining country strategy objectives, programmes, projects and dialogue; encourages the EU to explore possibilities for sharing, managing and updating gender analysis in a more systematic manner in order to help improve coordination and not limit gender analysis to obvious policy fields like education and maternal health, but to consider as well policy fields which are currently wrongly considered to be gender- neutral, notably agriculture, climate and energy;

49.  Notes that the Commission, in its Joint Staff Working Document on the 2016-2020 framework, has recognised that the EU’s financial investment in gender equality has not been systematically measured; calls on the Commission to adopt a clear results-driven approach that sets high standards for reporting, evaluation and accountability mechanisms, and to promote evidence-based decision-making in order to use the available financial resources more efficiently and effectively; requests a report to determine exactly how much funding has been specifically committed to gender mainstreaming and identify the most noteworthy goals achieved;

50.  Stresses the need to further improve data collection at national level and develop specific indicators with targets based on those indicators, as well as the importance of their monitoring being aligned with the SDG framework;

51.  Recalls that women’s rights are human rights, and encourages further work with regard to addressing social and cultural norms and gender stereotypes in societies through greater cooperation with civil society and grassroots organisations advocating women’s rights and empowerment, in particular in contexts of state fragility and conflict and emergency situations; believes that creating new networks or developing existing ones and involving all key actors, including the private sector, is essential, as well as the development of public-private partnerships, if possible; stresses the need for a growing role of women in local communities and NGOs in monitoring and holding local authorities accountable; maintains that rather than representing women and girls as ‘vulnerable’, emphasis should be laid on their role as agents of change and development and as agents for peace in conflict resolution; stresses that the inclusion and active involvement of boys and men are necessary to ensure real equality between women and men; encourages, therefore, a broad-based education for behavioural change regarding gender-based violence, engaging all men and boys and communities; stresses that social norms with regard to women’s and men’s roles place women in a situation of greater vulnerability, particularly in relation to their sexual and reproductive health, and lead to harmful practices such as FGM or child, early and forced marriages;

52.  Calls on the EU to promote legal frameworks and strategies that encourage a greater and more effective participation of women in peacekeeping, peace-building and mediation processes and EU military and civil crisis management missions, in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security, with a particular focus on conflict-related sexual violence; to this end, considers that gender-sensitive conflict analysis, in consultation with community-based actors and women’s organisations, may allow a better understanding of the role of women in conflict;

53.  Stresses the need for budgetary allocations for child marriage prevention programmes that aim to create an environment where girls can achieve their full potential, including by means of education, social and economic programmes for out-of-school girls, child protection schemes, girls’ and women’s shelters, legal counselling and psychological support;

54.  Stresses the importance of increasing the involvement, by regular dialogue and coordination, of CSOs and other stakeholders such as human rights, health, or environmental actors, with EUDs, as such cooperation will contribute to improving the visibility and implementation of GAP II, thereby increasing public accountability as regards progress on gender equality;

55.  Is concerned that insufficient attention is being paid to the protection of women’s rights defenders and women’s rights organisations, considering that they are currently under huge pressure due to the shrinking civic space in many regions; is equally concerned that the thematic priority of political and civil rights, and specifically the participation of women and girls in political and civil rights, has not been emphasised in GAP II implementation;

56.  Calls on the EUDs to ensure effective and regular data collection on violence against women and girls, to draw up country-specific recommendations, and to promote the establishment of protective mechanisms and adequate support structures for victims;

Key recommendations for the European Parliament

57.  Encourages Parliament’s delegations, in their work with their partner countries, to systematically enquire about gender programming, the results of gender analysis, and work on promoting gender equality as well as women’s empowerment, and to include meetings with women’s organisations in their mission programmes; calls on Parliament to ensure a better gender balance in the membership of its delegations;

58.  Calls for country gender analysis reports to be made available by the Commission and included in the background briefings for all delegations of Parliament to third countries;

59.  Recommends that Parliament should periodically examine future GAP II implementation reports, possibly every two years;

Key recommendations for future reporting

60.  Underlines the need for a simplified method of reporting which keeps bureaucracy to a minimum; calls for future implementation reports to be finalised and released within a shorter timeframe; calls for the development of on-line reporting, clear templates and the issuing of a guidebook to facilitate the work of the delegations;

61.  Emphasises the need for women’s inclusion and representation in economic fields that are important for sustainable development; stresses that business has an important role to play in enhancing women’s rights; calls, in this context, for increased support to be given to local SMEs, especially to female entrepreneurs, via micro-loans, so as to enable them to gain from private sector-led growth;

62.  Stresses the need to support the strengthening of national statistical capacities and mechanisms in partner countries, effectively coordinating financial and technical assistance in order to allow better measurement, monitoring and management of the results obtained in the field of gender mainstreaming;

63.  Calls on the Commission to collect gender-disaggregated data in the implementation of EU-financed programmes on women’s empowerment;

64.  Points to the need not just for sound gender mainstreaming policies, but also for reports on specific practical actions – particularly in sensitive areas such as sexual and reproductive health – with which to gauge the real impact on the lives of women and girls, and of men and boys as well;

65.  Recalls, however, that gendering data is more than collecting gender-disaggregated data, and calls for the improvement of data collection in order to enable a qualitative analysis of women’s situation, for example regarding working conditions;

66.  Stresses the need to improve the reliability of gender analysis by harmonising the data collected by EU delegations in such a way as to make it comparable;

67.  Points out that it is necessary not only to consult international and national partners, academia, think-tanks and women’s organisations, but also to ensure that their input and expertise can feed into the monitoring of EU-financed activities and programmes on gender equality;

68.  Recalls that it is the obligation of the EU and its Member States to respect the rights of girls and women as migrants, refugees and asylum seekers when implementing and developing EU migration policy; calls, in this context, for the reassessment of the engagement of the EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia with the Libyan coastguards, in view of the reports of systematic sexual violence against women in the detention centres on Libyan soil;

69.  Notes that the concept of gender mainstreaming is still often poorly understood, and that there is a need for better qualitative reporting which would allow evaluation of the implementation of GAP within existing policies and projects; points to the need for tangible goals and activities linked to clear, specific reference points and a strict schedule, and for qualitative assessment of data showing the real impact that measures implemented have had on recipient countries, the object being to ensure that GAP II serves as a genuine prioritising and policy implementation mechanism, as opposed to a mere in-house reporting tool;

o
o   o

70.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 349, 17.10.2017, p. 50.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0026.
(3) https://www.ilga-europe.org/sites/default/files/Attachments/report_on_the_implementation_of_the_eu_lgbti_guidelines_2016.pdf
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0365.


Implementation of the EU Youth Strategy
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on the implementation of the EU Youth Strategy (2017/2259(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0240A8-0162/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 9, 165 and 166 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and in particular Articles 14, 15, 21, 24 and 32 thereof,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by the EU in 2010,

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

–  having regard to the Council resolution on a European Union Work Plan for Youth for 2016-2018(2),

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee(3),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 7-8 February 2013 to create a Youth Employment Initiative(4),

–  having regard to the Council resolution of 27 November 2009 on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018)(5),

–  having regard to the Commission evaluation of the EU Youth Strategy(6),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020’)(7),

–  having regard to its resolution on of 14 September 2017 on the future of the Erasmus+ programme(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2017 on the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing ‘Erasmus+’: the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC(9),

–  having regard to the Paris Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education, adopted at the informal meeting of EU education ministers in Paris on 17 March 2015,

–  having regard to the 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018), adopted by the Council on 23 November 2015(10),

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning(11),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 August 2015 entitled ‘Draft 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020) – New priorities for European cooperation in education and training’ (COM(2015)0408),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘EU 2020: a European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 17 January 2018 entitled ’Digital Education Action Plan’ (COM(2018)0022),

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 October 2016 on the assessment of the EU Youth Strategy 2013-2015(12),

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 10 March 2014 on a Quality Framework for Traineeships(13),

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe resolution of 25 November 2008 on the youth policy of the Council of Europe (CM/Res(2008)23),

–  having regard to the Council of Europe recommendation of 31 May 2017 on youth work (CM/Rec(2017)4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 on Learning EU at school(14),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 September 2015 on promoting youth entrepreneurship through education and training(15),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Committee of the Regions — European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018)(16),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 on the role of intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and education in promoting EU fundamental values(17),

–  having regard to the Shadow Report on Youth Policy published by the European Youth Forum,

–  having regard to the resolution of the European Youth Forum on the EU Youth Strategy(18),

–  having regard to the position paper entitled ‘Engage. Inform. Empower’ of the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A8-0162/2018),

A.  whereas the negative impact of the recession on young people’s prospects for developing their full potential continue to be felt across the European Union;

B.  whereas many Member States, particularly those in Southern Europe, remain some way from achieving their pre-crisis levels on a number of youth indicators, such as employment, welfare and social protection;

C.  whereas narrowing disparities are evident at regional level across the EU; whereas many regions still have employment rates below their pre-crisis levels;

D.  whereas youth unemployment has been gradually decreasing in recent years, although, according to Eurostat, it stood at 16,1 % in January 2018, even exceeding 34 % in some Member States; whereas if we compare the figures from 2008 (15,6 %) we can see that the rate has increased; whereas these figures prevent a one-size-fits-all solution if we are to realise young people’s full potential; whereas there are worryingly high rates of youth unemployment in the outermost regions, with some of those regions registering rates of over 50 %, as in the case of Mayotte;

E.  whereas disadvantaged groups, such as ethnic minorities, people with special needs, women, LGBTIQ, migrants and refugees – who are facing barriers to enter the labour market and access culture, social services and education – are those most affected by the socio-economic crisis;

F.  whereas education helps in minimising the effect of socio-economic inequalities, providing skills and competences that are necessary for reducing the intergenerational transmission of disadvantages;

G.  whereas the overall lack of investment in young people and young people’s rights will prevent young people from claiming, exercising and defending their rights, and will contribute to the aggravation of phenomena such as declining populations, early school leaving, lack of professional and vocational qualifications, late entry into the labour market, lack of financial independence, potential malfunctioning of social security systems, widespread job insecurity and social exclusion;

H.  whereas the problems that young people face in employment, education and training, as well as in social and political engagement, are not uniform, with some groups being affected disproportionately more than others; whereas more effort is needed to support those who are furthest from the labour market or entirely detached from it;

I.  whereas safeguarding local schools and educational establishments in all European regions is vital if the aim is to improve education for young people and if the EU is to offer the regions its full support in meeting this challenge;

J.  whereas education, intercultural dialogue, strategic communication and closer cooperation between Member States in particular have a key role to play in preventing the marginalisation and radicalisation of young people and increasing their resilience;

K.  whereas young people should be actively involved in the planning, development, implementation, monitoring and assessment of all policies impacting young people; whereas 57 % of youth organisations in the EU consider that their expertise is not taken into account in the process of formulating youth policies(19);

L.   whereas it is important that youth organisations guarantee an adequate level of representativeness and inclusiveness of young people in order to be fully legitimate;

M.  whereas although the EU Youth Strategy is an ongoing strategy that is continually being refined, its objectives are still very broad and ambitious; whereas there is a lack of duly established parameters of reference;

N.  whereas the 2010-2018 EU Youth Strategy (EYS) emphasises the need for a structured dialogue between young people and decision makers;

O.  whereas the ultimate objective of the EYS is to increase the number of opportunities and ensure equality of opportunity for all young Europeans;

P.  whereas young people should be helped and empowered to address the serious problems they are currently facing and to tackle the challenges they will face in the future through more relevant, effective and better coordinated youth policies, improved and accessible education and the targeted use of economic, employment and social policies at local, regional, national and EU levels;

Q.  whereas in recent years the EU has launched a number of initiatives such as the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and the Youth Guarantee in the framework of its Youth Strategy, with the objectives of creating more and equal opportunities for all young people in education and in the labour market, and promoting young people’s inclusion, empowerment and active participation in society;

R.  whereas there is a need to mainstream EU action in the field of youth through the inclusion of a youth dimension in current and future policies and funding programmes, in particular in all key policy areas, such as the economy, employment and social affairs, cohesion, health, women, co-determination, migration, culture, the media and education;

S.  whereas there is a need for coordination of the implementation of the future EYS across different policy sectors and institutions;

T.  whereas a gender perspective must be included in decision-making on youth policies which takes into account the specific challenges and circumstances faced by young women and girls in particular, from different cultural and religious backgrounds; whereas specific gender-sensitive measures should be included in youth policy, such as prevention of violence against women and girls, education on gender equality and sex education; whereas women are 1,4 times more likely not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) than men on average(20) and continued efforts are needed to increase participation levels in the labour market among young women – particularly after maternity leave and for single mothers – and those who have dropped out of school, the low-skilled, young people with disabilities and all youngsters at risk of discrimination;

U.  whereas sustained efforts are needed to increase the participation of young people in society, particularly for people with disabilities, migrants, refugees, NEETs and those at risk of social exclusion;

V.  whereas education is a key factor in combating social exclusion and investing in skills and competences is therefore crucial to tackling the high unemployment rate, especially among NEETs;

W.  whereas Article 9 TFEU establishes that the Union, in defining and implementing its policies and activities, shall take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health;

X.  whereas the EYS established a good base for fruitful and meaningful cooperation in the field of youth;

Y.  whereas the achievement of the objectives of the last three-year cycle of the EYS (2010-2018) cannot be duly and precisely assessed and the comparison of the respective situations of the different Member States is very difficult to evaluate, owing to a lack of benchmarks and indicators, and to overlapping implementation instruments;

Z.  whereas career orientation and access to information on employment opportunities and educational paths are essential for future educational development and transition in to the labour market;

AA.  whereas in establishing the objectives of this strategy and implementing and evaluating it, the EU must work in close partnership with national, regional and local authorities;

Youth challenges and lessons from the current EU youth-related policymaking process

1.  Notes with regret that long-term austerity measures, notably cuts in funding for education, culture, and youth policies, have had a negative impact on young people and their living conditions; warns that young people, especially the most disadvantaged, such as young people with disabilities, young women, minorities, those with special needs, are greatly affected by rising inequality, the risk of exclusion, insecurity and discrimination;

2.  Welcomes the achievements of European cooperation in the field of youth, which has demonstrated its ability to tackle the problems faced by most Europeans and to support national policymakers, providing them with expertise, recommendations and legitimacy, and successfully mobilising more EU funding;

3.  Views the open method of coordination as appropriate, but still insufficient as a means for framing youth policies that needs to be complemented by other measures; reiterates its call for closer cooperation and exchange of best practices on youth issues at local, regional, national and EU level; urges the Member States to agree on clear indicators and benchmarks in order to allow for monitoring of the progress made;

4.  Acknowledges the positive achievements of the EYS though the development of cross-sector work and the implementation of structured dialogue in order to ensure the participation of young people, and believes that the general level of awareness of the objectives and instruments of the EYS on the part of relevant actors and stakeholders needs to be improved; notes, in particular, that the bottom-up approach used for structured dialogue represents added value and should be preserved; calls on the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to take into account the results of the VI Cycle of the structured dialogue that focuses on the future EYS when developing the new strategy;

5.  Suggests involving local and regional authorities in the area of youth policy, especially in those Member States where they have competence in this area;

6.  Welcomes the policy initiatives aimed at supporting the EU’s youth, in particular Investing in Europe’s Youth, the European Solidarity Corps and the YEI; believes, however, that these instruments should be better connected to the EYS and follow a bottom-up approach; calls on the Commission, therefore, to systematically link all policy proposals pertaining to young people to the overarching strategy and to involve all the relevant stakeholders, such as social partners and civil society, by taking a holistic, long-term approach with well-defined horizontal objectives;

7.  Urges the Commission to establish a cross-sectoral working group for the coordination of future EYS implementation, with the participation of the EU institutions, including Parliament, the Member States and civil society, in particular trade unions and youth organisations;

8.  Calls on the Commission to set up effective inter-service coordination tools and to assign the responsibility for youth mainstreaming as a cluster to a Commission vice-president;

9.  Encourages the Member States to use the European Pillar of Social Rights as a basis for drafting legislation for young people;

10.  Stresses the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles to prevent disease and considers it necessary to provide young people with correct information on and assistance with serious mental health problems such as tobacco, alcohol and drug use and addiction;

11.  Highlights the importance of the Commission’s evaluation of the implementation of the EYS in the Member States with a view to enabling increased checks and monitoring on the ground; urges the Commission to establish objectives for the EYS that can be qualitatively and quantitatively assessed, taking into account the specificities of each Member State or region; calls on the Commission to increase funding for programmes and actions preparing young people for the world of work;

Giving a voice to young people in the EYS

12.  Recommends that the future EYS should be participatory and centred around young people and improving well-being, reflecting the needs, ambitions and diversity, of all young people in Europe, while widening their access to creative tools involving new technologies;

13.  Believes that the EU should express solidarity with young people and continue to empower them to participate in society by developing specific measures, such as mainstreaming volunteering, supporting youth work, developing new tools – especially those involving new technologies – and promoting exchanges based on solidarity, community engagement, free space and democratic dialogue; recognises, therefore, the importance of youth associations as a space enabling young people to grow and to develop a sense of active citizenship; calls on Member States to facilitate the active involvement of young people in voluntary organisations; stresses that the increased social participation of young people can, apart from being an important achievement in its own right, act as a stepping stone towards increased political participation;

14.  Highlights in this regard the important role of non-formal and informal learning, as well as participation in sport and volunteering activities, in stimulating the development of civic, social and intercultural competences and skills among young Europeans;

15.  Calls on the Member States to provide for national legal frameworks and adequate financial resources for voluntary work;

16.  Strongly urges the Commission and the Member States to encourage young people, particularly those with fewer opportunities and those outside formal organisational structures, to play an active and critical role in public life, and to adopt a participatory approach to policymaking in order to enable young people to influence decisions that impact their lives by offering them online and offline democracy tools, while taking into account the limitations and risks of social media, and by involving the relevant stakeholders, such as social partners, civil society and youth organisations, in the development, implementation, monitoring and assessment of youth policies;

17.  Calls on the Member States to encourage young people to participate fully in the electoral process;

18.  Expresses the need to continue the structured dialogue between young people and decision-makers under the next European cooperation framework in the field of youth; believes that the structured dialogue process should systematically increase the number and diversity of the groups of young people to which it reaches out, and notes that sufficient financial support for national and European working groups should be provided to ensure this; calls on the Member States to encourage the participation of national, regional and local decision-makers in the structured dialogue with young people;

19.  Urges the Member States to uphold transparency in submitting their accounts and using funds earmarked for boosting sustainable employment opportunities for young people; reiterates the importance, consequently, of the Member States submitting detailed information on the situation of their young people when requested;

20.  Highlights the lack of systematic updates and reliable data on the implementation of the EYS; urges the Member States and the Commission, therefore, to promote closer cooperation between national and regional statistics services when it comes to submitting relevant and up-to-date statistics on youth, which are important for assessing the level of success of the strategy being implemented; considers that the triannual reports submitted must be accompanied by these statistics;

21.  Recalls that there is a tendency of declining youth participation in national and local elections and that young people need political commitment and to be able to see the result of their contribution; recalls that opportunities to experience political participation in their own environment and local communities from an early age is a crucial step towards an increased feeling of European citizenship and for young people to become active citizens; calls on the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to encourage regional and local authorities to ensure that young people and youth organisations are able to fully and effectively participate and be involved in decision-making and electoral processes;

22.  Calls on the Member States to incorporate the youth national councils in the monitoring and implementation committees of the EYS;

23.  Stresses the potential of technology for connecting with young people and calls on the EU to strengthen their capacity to participate in society through e-platforms;

24.  Notes with regret that despite the continuous efforts of the Commission to communicate the opportunities for young people that are supported by the various Union programmes, many young people still believe that they have limited access to them; urges the Commission to improve its communication tools;

Equal opportunities for securing sustainable inclusion in the labour market

25.  Is highly concerned at the persistent high rates of youth unemployment throughout the EU, especially in Southern Europe; recalls that quality job creation and employment should be guaranteed and remain key commitments towards young people and calls in this respect for measures to facilitate the transition of young people from education to work by ensuring quality internships and apprenticeships; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote structural reforms of the labour market, fair working conditions and remuneration in order to ensure that young people are not discriminated against when it comes to accessing the world of work; stresses the importance of defining social rights for new forms of employment, fair professional traineeships and ensuring social dialogue;

26.  Underlines the importance of moves by national, regional and local authorities to adopt tailored measures and to provide personalised support in order to reach all NEETs; recalls the need to involve local stakeholders such as social partners, trade unions, civil society and youth organisations;

27.  Argues that special measures should be taken to tackle the precarious situation of young women in the labour market, with special attention to the gender pay gap and their over-representation in atypical forms of employment which lack social protection;

28.  Underlines the need to promote fair working conditions and the adequate social protection of workers in the so-called new forms of employment, where young people are overrepresented;

29.  Believes that measures should also be taken to integrate young migrants in the labour market in full respect of the principle of equal treatment;

30.  Stresses that an inclusive youth policy should defend and promote social programmes facilitating political and cultural participation; further believes that decent and regulated work, grounded in collective labour agreements, with non-precarious labour relations, adequate salaries and wages, and high-quality, universal public services are important for young people’s societal well-being; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote fair working conditions and adequate social protection, including with regard to new forms of employment;

31.  Recalls that employment and entrepreneurship constitute one of the eight priorities identified in the EYS (2010-2018); stresses that youth work and non-formal learning, particularly as developed in youth organisations, play a vital role in developing young people’s potential, including entrepreneurial skills, allowing them to develop a broad set of competences which can increase their opportunities on the labour market;

32.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to encourage cross-border professional and vocational opportunities, to expand and increase investment in the VET sector and to present it as an appealing educational choice;

33.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support regional and local authorities and to invest in new life opportunities for young people, in order to develop their creativity and full potential, to support youth entrepreneurship and to foster the social inclusion of young people for the benefit of their communities;

34.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to adopt a rights-based approach to youth and employment; calls on the Member States to ensure that young people have access to quality internships and jobs that uphold their rights, including the right to a stable job that offers a living wage, social protection and secures a life of dignity and autonomy;

35.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to supervise establishments that repeatedly offer consecutive internships without following them up with jobs, in order to ensure that jobs are not replaced with so-called internships;

36.  Welcomes the fact that YEI measures have provided support for more than 1,6 million young people(21); stresses that more efforts and financial commitments are necessary; emphasises the need to improve outreach to young people in NEET situations who face multiple barriers and to improve the quality of offers under the Youth Guarantee, by defining clear quality criteria and standards including access to social protection, minimum income and employment rights; calls on the Member States to effectively improve their monitoring, reporting and performance systems and to ensure that YEI funds are used as a supplement to national funding and not as a replacement;

37.  Further stresses the need to address quality in terms of mentoring and coaching, the quality and adequacy of actual individual training, traineeships or jobs, as well as the quality of the outcome according to the fixed objectives; underlines in this respect the necessity to ensure the application of existing quality frameworks, such as the European Quality Framework, under the YEI; is of the opinion that young people should be also involved in the monitoring of the quality of offers;

38.  Recalls that measures that foster the integration of young people not in employment, education or training into the labour market, including quality paid internships, traineeships or apprenticeships, must be financially supported by the YEI or future European tools, avoiding any form of job substitution or abuse of youth workers;

39.  Notes that fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among young people is a priority and that the formal and non-formal education systems are most effective interventions for promoting youth entrepreneurship; underlines that entrepreneurship is a tool to combat youth unemployment and social exclusion and stimulate innovation; believes, therefore, that the EYS should support the creation of a suitable environment for youth entrepreneurship;

40.  Recalls that the main objective of the YEI is to reach out to NEETS and therefore urges the Member States to invest greater effort in identifying and targeting the NEET population, especially the most vulnerable young people, such as those with disabilities, taking into account their specific needs;

41.  Invites the Member States and the Commission to establish innovative and flexible grants for nurturing talent and artistic and sporting ability in the field of education and training; supports those Member States that are seeking to introduce scholarship schemes for students with proven educational, sporting and artistic ability;

42.  Underlines that 38 % of young people have difficulty accessing information; highlights the importance of ensuring a collective approach to guiding, supporting and informing young people about their rights and opportunities;

43.  Further stresses the necessity for the YEI to focus not only on highly educated young NEETs, but also on those who are low-skilled, inactive and unregistered with the public employment services;

44.  Stresses that, despite high unemployment rates, labour mobility within the EU remains limited; draws attention, therefore, to the importance of worker mobility for a competitive labour market; calls on the Commission and the Member States to encourage cross-border professional and vocational opportunities to this end;

45.  Reiterates the importance of adults over the age of 55 in training young people in the workplace; argues, together with the Commission, in favour of the creation of programmes that allow the gradual departure of these people from the labour market up to retirement age, more specifically transitioning first to part-time work, during which they also train young people and help them to gradually integrate into the workplace;

46.  Points out the important role of enterprises in matters related to skill acquisition and the creation of jobs for young people; notes that education and training in areas related to the promotion of entrepreneurship may contribute to the achievement of long-term development, the promotion of European competitiveness and the fight against unemployment;

47.  Urges the Member States to indicate the hoped-for impact of the measures to be adopted in their action plans; emphasises, therefore, the importance of the Member States providing guarantees that the measures put in place have effectively boosted employment; reiterates the need to gauge the sustainability of the policies to be implemented;

Sustainable development: the future for young people

48.  Strongly believes that quality formal, non-formal and informal education and quality training is a fundamental right; considers, therefore, that access to all levels of quality education should be guaranteed for all Europeans, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity or gender, physical or cognitive disabilities; underlines the important role played by formal, non-formal and informal education in providing young people with the knowledge, skills and competences to become committed citizens and take part in the European project; calls, therefore, on Member States to develop specific policies and encourages, in this regard, the equal consideration of artistic and creative education with scientific and technological subjects (STEM) in school curricula;

49.  Underlines the importance of modernising education; calls on the Commission and the Member States to stimulate the inclusion of new skills and competences in education, such as citizenship, critical thinking and entrepreneurial spirit, and to promote the development of new educational tools that increase the participation in and the accessibility of education;

50.  Is deeply concerned at the particularly acute problem of child poverty, which affects up to 25 million children in the EU (more than 26,4 % of all Europeans aged under 18) from families that suffer every day from a lack of sufficient income and basic services; believes that youth policies could contribute to areas like child and family policy;

51.  Is deeply concerned by the phenomenon of early school leaving and calls therefore for appropriate solutions to tackle it, in view of achieving the Europe 2020 targets;

52.  Encourages the Commission to support initiatives which aim to foster active and critical citizenship, respect, tolerance, values and intercultural learning, and highlights in this respect the crucial role of EU programmes such as Erasmus+, Creative Europe and Europe for citizens; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote spaces for dialogue with young people on a range of themes, such as sex, gender, policy, solidarity and the environment, law, history and culture;

53.  Strongly believes that literacy, including digital and media literacy, numeracy, as well as the basic skills which act as a key vehicle to secure autonomy and a promising future for young people, must be a priority at the European, national and local levels; urges the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to step up their efforts at providing basic learning skills and competences for all;

54.  Calls on the Commission to encourage initiatives with formal education and informal learning to support young people’s innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship and to promote cohesion and understanding between young people of different groups;

55.  Notes with great concern, in this regard, the persistently high number of European citizens with poor literacy skills or literacy difficulties, including functional, digital and media illiteracy, which pose grave concerns in terms of adequate participation in public life and the labour market;

56.  Recalls that the first principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights declares that everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that enable all to participate fully in society and successfully manage transitions in the labour market; stresses, consequently, the importance of prioritising and ensuring social investment in education and training in the new programming period of the MFF for 2021-2027;

57.  Strongly believes that the social scoreboard, which was introduced within the framework of the European Pillar of Social Rights, should be used to monitor the EYS; calls on the Commission to adopt a specific set of indicators to monitor the EYS, such as education, skills and lifelong learning, gender equality in the labour market, healthcare, digital access, living conditions and poverty;

58.  Stresses the key role of the family and teachers in supporting young people who experience bullying at school and cyberbullying; urges the Commission and the Member States to take action to address these kinds of behaviour, which affect the mental well-being of young people, in particular by developing appropriate digital skills starting from primary school, as provided for in the Digital Education Action Plan;

59.  Argues that in order to increase the effectiveness of actions in the fields of education, youth and sport, joint objectives and instruments must be developed to measure the impact of policy, based on international studies;

60.  Underlines the harmful impact of stress on young people’s well-being at school, in training, on the labour market and in their personal lives; calls on the Commission and the Member States to invest in mental health programmes and to encourage the relevant actors to help young people in this regard;

61.  Underlines the importance of ensuring the mental and physical well-being of young Europeans; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote extra-curricular sporting activities and to raise awareness through nutrition campaigns;

62.  Underlines the importance of promoting intercultural dialogue in sport, including by creating platforms involving young people, refugees and migrants;

63.  Believes that in view of the complexity of youth policies and their impact, research collaboration must be stimulated in order to develop empirically justified responses and intervention and preventative solutions that will further young people’s wellbeing and resilience;

64.  Highlights the importance of culture not only in combating violence, racism, radicalisation and intolerance, but also in developing a European identity; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote and invest in culture and to ensure equal access;

65.  Emphasises that youth organisations play a crucial role for young people’s participation and inclusion in society; calls, therefore, on the Member States to support youth organisations and to recognise their role in the development of competences and social inclusion, and support the establishment of youth councils at all levels, working together with young people;

66.  Insists on the importance of validating non-formal and informal learning to empower learners, as it is essential to the development of a society based on social justice and equal opportunities, and contributes to the development of citizenship skills and individual fulfilment; regrets that employers and formal education providers do not sufficiently recognise the value and relevance of skills, competences and knowledge acquired through non-formal and informal learning; points out that the insufficient degree of comparability and coherence between the validation approaches of EU countries represents an additional barrier; calls on the Member States to continue their efforts to implement a national recognition and validation system and ensure adequate funding for competences acquired through non-formal education, recalling the Council recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning;

Stronger alignment and support from funding instruments for the EYS

67.  Believes that the EYS should follow the MFF and comply with the Sustainable Development Goals and all relevant flagship initiatives, programmes and policy strategies, setting up systematic dialogue between the respective bodies, defining clear goals and targets and establishing a relevant coordination mechanism;

68.  Recalls that in the area of youth, the EU can only carry out actions to support, coordinate and supplement the actions of the Member States in line with the principle of subsidiarity, notes the importance of coherence of EU and national funding and therefore calls on the Commission to facilitate synergies with national, regional and local initiatives to avoid the duplication, overlapping or repetition of activities;

69.  Urges Member States and the Commission to increase public investment in education and youth related issues;

70.  Strongly believes that the funds available to support various youth-related initiatives and policies such as the Erasmus+ programme, the YEI and the Europe for Citizens programme should be significantly increased in the next MFF to give more opportunities to youths and avoid exclusion;

71.  Welcomes the European Solidarity Corps – a programme to foster solidarity among young Europeans, volunteering and the development of inclusive citizenship; recalls Parliament’s position to properly finance the new initiative by means of fresh resources and not to use the programme as an option for tackling youth unemployment;

72.  Firmly believes that the Europe for Citizens programme should continue to stimulate active citizenship, civic education and dialogue and engender a sense of European identity; notes the low success rate of the programme due to a lack of funding; calls for a substantial increase in its funding allocation;

73.  Urges the Commission to keep the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme; encourages the Member States and the Commission to invest in promoting this programme together, along with chambers of commerce, companies and young people, while not neglecting their main areas of activity;

74.  Reiterates its support for strengthening the Creative Europe programme, which provides specific mobility schemes for young artists and professionals working in the cultural and creative sectors;

75.  Highlights the importance of Erasmus+: an essential tool to create active and committed young citizens; strongly believes that Erasmus+ should target all young people, including those with fewer opportunities, and that the greater aspirations for the next Erasmus+ programming period must be matched by significant additional funding to unlock the programme’s full potential, and to provide for a simplification of procedures through the establishment of electronic systems for access to cross-border services and to student data, such as the ‘e-card’ project;

76.  Calls for a better alignment between the EYS and Erasmus+, aligning the timeframes for implementation, amending the Erasmus+ Regulation to clearly support the objectives of the Strategy through common ‘youth goals’ and defining Key Action 3 as the Strategy’s main implementation tools;

77.  Stresses that the YEI budget is not sufficient to ensure that the programme reaches its targets; calls, therefore, for a significant increase in the YEI allocation under the next MFF and for the Member States to make provisions for youth employment schemes in their national budgets; further underlines the need to extend the eligible age limit from 25 to 29 in order to better reflect the reality that many recent graduates and labour market entrants are in their late twenties;

78.  Argues for the harmonisation, without prejudice to the principle of subsidiarity, of the concept of young person, setting an age limit applicable across the EU; encourages all the Member States to contribute to this harmonisation, eliminating obstacles to the gauging of progress and establishing measures to be put in place;

79.  Encourages the promotion of the future EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the development of integrated, evidence-based responses, intervention and prevention solutions that promote the well-being and resilience of young people;

80.  Notes the findings and risks suggesting that actions managed by the Commission (including student exchange programmes) are considered by the national authorities to fulfil the requirements of the Youth Strategy, and that some Member States are withdrawing their resources from policy areas which are supported from the EU budget(22);

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 50.
(2) OJ C 417, 15.12.2015, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 120, 26.4.2013, p. 1.
(4) EUCO 37/13.
(5) OJ C 311, 19.12.2009, p. 1.
(6) http://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/dgs/education_culture/more_info/evaluations/docs/youth/youth-strategy-2016_en.pdf
(7) OJ C 119, 28.5.2009, p. 2.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0359.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0018.
(10) OJ C 417, 15.12.2015, p. 17.
(11) OJ C 398, 22.12.2012, p. 1.
(12) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0426.
(13) OJ C 88, 27.3.2014, p. 1.
(14) OJ C 58, 15.2.2018, p. 57.
(15) OJ C 316, 22.9.2017, p. 76.
(16) OJ C 120, 5.4.2016, p. 22.
(17) OJ C 11, 12.1.2018, p. 16.
(18) https://www.youthforum.org/resolution-eu-youth-strategy-0
(19) Shadow Report on Youth Policy published by the European Youth Forum.
(20) Society at a Glance 2016 – OECD Social Indicators.
(21) European Parliament resolution of 18 January 2018 on the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative in the Member States (P8_TA(2018)0018).
(22) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/615645/EPRS_STU(2018)615645_EN.pdf


Implementation of the Ecodesign Directive
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) (2017/2087(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0241A8-0165/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in particular Article 114 thereof,

–  having regard to Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products(1) (hereafter ‘the Ecodesign Directive’) and the implementing regulations and voluntary agreements adopted under that Directive,

–  having regard to the Commission’s Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019 (COM(2016)0773) adopted in accordance with Directive 2009/125/EC,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2017 setting a framework for energy labelling and repealing Directive 2010/30/EU(2) (hereafter ‘the Energy Labelling Directive’),

–  having regard to the Union’s objectives on greenhouse gas emission reductions and energy efficiency,

–  having regard to the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC,

–  having regard to the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the EU and the Member States,

–  having regard to the long-term objective laid down in that agreement, namely to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it to 1,5 °C,

–  having regard to the General Union Environmental Action Programme to 2020 (Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013(3)),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 December 2015 entitled ‘An EU action plan for the Circular Economy’ (COM(2015)0614),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 16 January 2018 entitled ‘A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy’ (COM(2018)0028),

–  having regard to the Commission communication and the staff working document of 16 January 2018 on the implementation of the circular economy package: options to address the interface between chemical, product and waste legislation (COM(2018)0032 – SWD(2018)0020)),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 13 September 2017 on the 2017 list of Critical Raw Materials for the EU (COM(2017)0490),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on eco-innovation: enabling the transition towards a circular economy, adopted on 18 December 2017(4),

–  having regard to the Emissions Gap Report 2017 issued by UN Environment Programme in November 2017,

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 July 2015 on resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy(5),

–  having regard to EU legislation on waste,

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 July 2017 on a longer lifetime for products: benefits for consumers and companies(6),

–  having regard to the European implementation assessment (EIA) drawn up by the Parliament’s Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services to accompany the scrutiny of the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A8-0165/2018),

A.  whereas the objective of the Ecodesign Directive is to increase energy efficiency and the level of protection of the environment through harmonised requirements that ensure the functioning of the internal market and foster the continuous reduction of the overall environmental impact of energy-related products; whereas these measures also have a positive impact on energy security by reducing energy consumption;

B.  whereas the Ecodesign Directive provides for measures to be taken to reduce the lifecycle environmental impact of energy-related products; whereas, so far, decisions under the directive have largely concentrated on reducing energy consumption during the use stage;

C.  whereas the implementation of the directive could make a greater contribution to the EU’s efforts to improve energy efficiency and help to achieve climate action targets;

D.  whereas the reduction of the environmental impact of energy-related products at the ecodesign stage, through the provision of minimum criteria concerning their lifetime and their upgradability, reparability and potential for recycling and reuse, can offer considerable opportunities in terms of job creation;

E.  whereas, by the beginning of 2018, 29 specific Ecodesign regulations covering different product groups were in place and, in addition, three voluntary agreements recognised under the directive had been adopted;

F.  whereas the Ecodesign Directive recognises voluntary agreements or other self-regulation measures as alternatives to implementing measures when certain criteria are fulfilled; whereas not all of the existing voluntary agreements have proven to be more efficient than regulatory measures;

G.  whereas ecodesign brings economic benefits for industry and consumers and contributes significantly to the Union’s climate, energy and circular economy policies;

H.  whereas the Ecodesign legislation is closely linked to EU legislation on energy labelling and measures taken under these two directives by 2020 are expected to generate EUR 55 billion in additional annual revenue per year for the industrial, wholesale and retail sectors and are estimated to bring 175 Mtoe in primary energy savings per year by 2020, thus contributing to up to half of the Union’s energy savings target for 2020 and reducing the dependence on energy imports; whereas the legislation also contributes significantly to the EU’s climate targets by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 320 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents annually; whereas the potential for energy savings is even larger in the longer term;

I.  whereas, according to the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Report (European Commission, 2016), it is estimated that by 2020 EU consumers will save a total of up to EUR 112 billion, or around EUR 490 per year per household;

J.  whereas more than 80 % of the environmental impact of energy-related products is identified at the design stage;

K.  whereas for a majority of stakeholders three main obstacles to full implementation of the legislation can be identified: the lack of clear political support and direction, the slow pace of the regulatory processes and the inadequacy of market surveillance in the Member States;

L.  whereas it is estimated that 10-25 % of products on the market do not comply with the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives, leading to a loss of around 10 % of envisaged energy savings and to unfair competition;

M.  whereas the existing exemption for stage lighting from Commission Regulations (EC) No 244/2009(7) and (EU) No 1194/2012(8) has been an appropriate and effective way to respect the special needs and circumstances for theatres and the whole entertainment industry and should be continued;

N.  whereas, while the scope of the Ecodesign Directive was enlarged in 2009 to cover all energy-related products (excluding means of transport), no non-energy using products have yet been covered by ecodesign requirements;

O.  whereas in the EU, all products should be designed, manufactured and marketed by making minimal use of hazardous substances, while ensuring the safety of the product so as to facilitate its recycling and reuse and at the same time maintaining high levels of protection of human health and the environment;

P.  whereas the Ecodesign Directive states that its complementarity with the REACH Regulation on chemicals should contribute to increasing their respective impacts and building coherent requirements for manufacturers to apply; whereas requirements related to the use of dangerous chemicals and their recycling have been limited so far;

Q.  whereas a new database under the new Energy Labelling Regulation is being developed and the Information and Communication System on Market Surveillance (ICSMS) database is used in some, but not all, Member States;

R.  whereas one of the priority objectives of the General Union Environmental Action Programme to 2020 (7th EAP) is to turn the Union into a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy; whereas the EAP states that the Union policy framework should ensure that priority products placed on the Union market are ‘eco-designed’ with a view to optimising resource and material efficiency;

S.  whereas the EU action plan for the Circular Economy includes the commitment to emphasise circular economy aspects in future product design requirements under the Ecodesign Directive by systematically analysing issues such as reparability, durability, upgradability, recyclability, or the identification of certain materials or substances;

T.  whereas the Paris Agreement sets out a long-term goal in line with the objective to keep the global temperature increase well below 2 °C above pre- industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1,5 °C above pre-industrial levels; whereas the EU is committed to contributing its fair share towards these goals through emissions reductions in all sectors;

U.  whereas ecodesign measures should cover the whole lifecycle of products in order to improve resource efficiency in the Union, taking into account the fact that more than 80 % of a product’s environmental impact is determined at the design stage, which therefore plays a highly important role in promoting the circular economy aspects, durability, upgradability, reparability, reuse and recycling of a product;

V.  whereas in addition to making more sustainable and resource-efficient products, the principles of the sharing economy and the service economy need to be strengthened, while Member States should pay special attention to low-income households, including those at risk of energy poverty, when presenting programmes to encourage the uptake of the most resource-efficient products and services;

W.  whereas the Union is a party to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and is therefore required to take action on phasing out those hazardous substances, including by limiting their use at product design stage;

An effective tool to deliver cost-effective energy savings.

1.  Considers that the Ecodesign Directive has been a successful instrument for the improvement of energy efficiency, has resulted in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and has led to economic benefits for consumers;

2.   Recommends that the Commission continue to include more product groups selected on the basis of their ecodesign potential, including both energy efficiency and material efficiency potential as well as other environmental aspects, using the methodology set out in Article 15 of the directive, and that it keep existing standards up to date, in order to reap the full potential of the directive’s scope and objectives;

3.   Underlines that the Ecodesign Directive improves the functioning of the EU internal market through the definition of common product standards; stresses that the continued adoption of harmonised product requirements at EU level supports innovation, research and the competitiveness of EU manufacturers and ensures fair competition, while avoiding an unnecessary administrative burden;

4.  Recalls that the directive requires the Commission to come forward with implementing measures where a product meets the criteria, i.e. significant volumes of products sold, significant environmental impact and potential for improvement; stresses the responsibility placed on the Commission to respect this mandate and ensure that the benefits to consumers, the circular economy and the environment are effectively achieved, recognising that such product standards can only be applied at EU level and that Member States therefore rely on the Commission to take the necessary action;

5.  Believes that coordination with initiatives connected to the circular economy would further enhance the effectiveness of the directive; calls, therefore, for an ambitious plan on ecodesign and the circular economy, providing both environmental benefits and opportunities for sustainable growth and jobs, including in the SME sector, as well as advantages for consumers; notes that higher resource efficiency and the use of secondary raw materials in manufacturing offers considerable potential for cutting waste and economising on resources;

6.  Underlines that the Ecodesign Directive is part of a larger toolbox and that its effectiveness is dependent on synergies with other instruments, in particular on energy labelling; considers that overlapping regulations should be avoided;

Strengthening the decision-making process

7.  Highlights the key role of the Consultation Forum in bringing together industry, civil society and other stakeholders in the decision-making process and considers that this entity is working well;

8.  Is concerned by the sometimes significant delays in the development and adoption of implementing measures, which create uncertainty for economic operators, have led to significant missed opportunities for energy savings for consumers and the associated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and can cause adopted measures to lag behind technological developments;

9.  Notes that the implementation delays are due in part to the limited resources available within the Commission; calls on the Commission to deploy sufficient resources for the ecodesign process given the significant EU added value of the legislation;

10.  Urges the Commission to avoid delays in the adoption and publication of implementing measures and recommends defining clear deadlines and milestones for their finalisation and for the revision of existing regulations; considers that ecodesign measures should be adopted individually and released as soon as they are completed;

11.  Stresses the need to stick to the schedule provided for in the 2016-2019 Ecodesign Working Plan;

12.  Emphasises the need to base the ecodesign requirements on solid technical analysis and impact assessments, taking as a reference the best-performing products or technologies on the market and the technological development in each sector; calls on the Commission to give priority to the implementation and review of measures relating to products that have the greatest potential in terms of both primary energy savings and the circular economy;

13.  Recognises that the Ecodesign Directive allows for the use of voluntary agreements; underlines that voluntary agreements can be used instead of implementing measures where they cover a large majority of the market and are deemed capable of guaranteeing at least an equal level of environmental performance, and that they should guarantee a faster decision-making process; considers that the efficacy of the surveillance of voluntary agreements should be strengthened and the adequate involvement of civil society ensured; welcomes, in this respect, Commission Recommendation (EU) 2016/2125 on guidelines for self-regulation measures concluded by industry and asks the Commission to strictly monitor all voluntary agreements recognised under the Ecodesign Directive;

14.  Encourages the integration of technology learning curves into the Methodology for the Ecodesign of Energy-Related Products (MEERP) so as to anticipate technology improvements by the time the regulations enter into force and ensure the regulations remain up to date;

15.  Calls on the Commission to include assessments on release of microplastics into the aquatic environment in the ecodesign measures where appropriate; calls on the Commission to introduce mandatory requirements for microplastic filters in the review of the ecodesign measures for household washing machines and washer dryers;

From energy savings to resource efficiency

16.  Reiterates its call for a new impetus on the circular economy aspects of products and considers that the Ecodesign Directive provides significant potential for improving resource efficiency that is still untapped;

17.  Believes, therefore, that the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive – in addition to continued efforts to improve energy efficiency – must now systematically address the full lifecycle of each product group within its scope by the setting up of minimum resource efficiency criteria covering, inter alia, durability, robustness, reparability and upgradability, but also sharing potential, reuse, scalability, recyclability, possibility of remanufacturing, content of recycled or secondary raw materials, and the use of critical raw materials;

18.  Considers that the choice of circular economy criteria for each product group must be well specified and defined in a clear and objective manner, while being easily measurable and achievable at a proportionate cost, in order to ensure that the directive remains implementable;

19.  Calls for systematic in-depth analyses of the circular economy potential during preparatory studies for specific ecodesign measures relating to each product category;

20.  Emphasises that it is important that manufacturers should provide clear and objective instructions enabling users and independent repairers to repair products more easily, without specific equipment; also stresses the importance of providing information on the availability of spare parts and product lifetimes, where possible;

21.  Highlights the potential benefits of focusing on other environmental aspects beyond energy use, such as dangerous chemicals, release of microplastics, waste generation and material input, and calls for the tools under the directive to be used to enhance transparency for consumers;

22.  Considers that as more than 80 % of the environmental impact of a product is determined at the design stage, it is at that stage that, to a large extent, substances of concern can be avoided, substituted or limited; stresses that the use of materials and substances of critical importance, such as Rare Earth Elements (REE), or substances of a toxic nature or substances of concern, such as POPs and endocrine disrupters, must be specifically considered under the broadened ecodesign criteria in order to restrict their use or substitute them, where appropriate, or at least ensure the possibility of extracting/separating them at end-of-life, without prejudice to other harmonised legal requirements concerning those substances laid down at Union level;

23.  Calls for ecodesign requirements, in the case of energy-related products, not to create targets which are hard for EU producers to meet, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises, whose capacity in relation to patented technologies is significantly smaller than that of market-leading companies;

24.  Welcomes in this regard the 2016-2019 Ecodesign work programme, which includes commitments to develop requirements and standards for material efficiency, supporting the use of secondary raw materials, and urges the Commission to complete this work as a matter of priority; considers that such criteria should be product-specific, based on robust analyses, focus on areas with clear improvement potential and be enforceable and verifiable by market surveillance authorities; considers that, when defining best practices, the use of results of past and ongoing research activities and cutting-edge innovations in waste electrical and electronic equipment recycling should be promoted;

25.  Believes that the development of a ‘system approach’ to consider not only the product but the whole system required for its functioning in the Ecodesign process is becoming an increasingly critical success factor for resource efficiency and urges the Commission to include more of such system-level opportunities in the next Ecodesign work programme;

26.  Believes that particular attention must be paid to water-using products where significant environmental benefits and important savings for consumers could be achieved;

27.  Calls on the Commission to encourage the recovery of critical raw materials also from mining waste;

28.  Notes that the Commission has postponed action on information and communication technologies (ICT) such as mobiles and smartphones, pending further assessments and given the rapid technological changes in this product group; considers, however, that these products, which are sold in large numbers and replaced frequently, have a clear potential for improvements, in particular in terms of resource efficiency, and that ecodesign criteria should therefore be applied to them and that efforts should be made to streamline the regulatory progress; stresses the need to carefully assess how to improve the ecodesign of product groups for which reparability and replacement of spare parts are key ecodesign parameters;

29.  Stresses the need for reparability to be facilitated by the availability of spare parts throughout the lifecycle of a product at a reasonable price in relation to the total cost of the product;

30.  Recalls its demands for a broad review of the Union’s product policy framework in order to address resource efficiency features; in this context, asks the Commission to assess whether the current ecodesign methodology could be used for other product categories in addition to energy-related products and to come forward with proposals for new legislation as appropriate;

31.  Stresses that, in order to ensure the use of recycled/secondary materials, the availability of high-quality secondary materials is imperative, and a well-organised market for secondary materials should therefore be established;

32.  Stresses the importance of attributing responsibility to producers and expanding guarantee periods and conditions, of obliging manufacturers to take responsibility for the management of the waste stage of a product’s lifecycle in line with the relevant Union legislation, of boosting reparability, upgradability, modularity and recyclability and of ensuring that raw materials and waste management remain within the European Union;

33.  Calls for the extension of minimum guarantees for consumer durable goods;

Improving market surveillance

34.  Insists on the need to strengthen the surveillance of products placed on the internal market through better cooperation and coordination between Member States and between the Commission and national authorities and through the provision of adequate financial resources to the market surveillance authorities;

35.  Calls on the Commission to examine the potential of establishing a digital product fact sheet (‘product passport’), as suggested in the Council conclusions of 18 December 2017 on eco-innovation, as a tool to disclose materials and substances used in products, which would also facilitate market surveillance;

36.  Calls for a more coherent and cost-effective market surveillance system across the Union to ensure compliance with the Ecodesign Directive, and makes the following recommendations:

   that national authorities be required to use the ICSMS database to share all the results of product compliance checks and testing carried out for all products covered by Ecodesign regulations; this database should include all relevant information for compliant and non-compliant products in order to avoid unnecessary testing in another Member State and should be user-friendly and easily accessible;
   that the general product registration database for energy labelled products be extended to all products covered by Ecodesign regulations;
   that national authorities be required to draw up specific plans for their market surveillance activities in the area of ecodesign, to be notified to other Member States and to the Commission as provided for under Regulation (EC) No 765/2008(9); Member States should include random inspections in these plans;
   that fast screening methods be applied to detect products that do not comply with the regulations, and that these be elaborated in cooperation with industry experts and shared with public bodies;
   that the Commission consider defining a minimum percentage of products on the market to be tested, as well as develop a mandate for carrying out its own independent market surveillance and make proposals, as appropriate;
   that deterrent measures be adopted, including: sanctions for non-compliant manufacturers proportional to the impact of non-compliance on the entire European market and compensation for consumers who have purchased non-compliant products, even beyond the legal warranty period, including through collective redress;
   that particular attention be paid to non-EU imports and products sold online;
   that coherence be ensured with the Commission’s proposal for a regulation laying down rules and procedures for compliance with and enforcement of Union harmonisation legislation on products (COM(2017)0795), the scope of which includes products regulated under the Ecodesign Directive; in this context, supports the facilitation at EU level of joint testing;

37.  Highlights the importance of appropriate and clearly defined harmonised testing standards and stresses that test protocols as close as possible to real-life conditions should be developed; underlines that test methods should be robust and designed and executed in a way that rules out manipulation and intentional or unintentional amelioration of the results; considers that the tests should not give rise to an unreasonable burden for businesses, in particular taking into account SMEs, which do not have the same capacity as their bigger competitors; welcomes Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/2282 on the use of tolerances in verification procedures;

38.  Calls for the Commission to support Member States in their enforcement work and for enhanced cooperation when a product is found to be non-compliant; stresses the need for guidance for manufacturers and importers on the detailed requirements of the documents needed for the market surveillance authorities;

Other recommendations

39.  Stresses the need to ensure consistency and convergence between ecodesign regulations and horizontal regulations such as Union legislation on chemicals and waste, including REACH and the WEEE and RoHS Directives, and highlights the need to strengthen synergies with Green Public Procurement and the EU Ecolabel;

40.  Underlines the link between the Ecodesign Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive; calls on Member States to incentivise the market uptake of efficient products and services and to step up their inspection and advice activities; believes that improving the ecodesign of energy-related products can in turn have a positive impact on the energy performance of buildings;

41.  Underlines the need to provide the general public, and in particular the media, with clear information about the benefits of ecodesign ahead of the release of a measure, and encourages the Commission and the Member States to communicate proactively on the benefits of ecodesign measures as an integral part of the process of adopting these measures, and to engage more actively with stakeholders to improve people’s understanding of the legislation;

42.  Stresses that the transition to a sustainable and circular economy will present not only many opportunities but also social challenges; considers, as nobody should be left behind, that the Commission and the Member States should pay special attention to low-income households at risk of energy poverty when presenting programmes to encourage the uptake of the most resource-efficient products; believes that such programmes should not hinder innovation but should continue to allow manufacturers to offer consumers a broad range of high-quality products, and that they should also favour the market penetration of energy-related and water-using products capable of achieving greater resource efficiency and savings for consumers;

43.  Calls on the EU institutions and the Member States to set the right example by establishing and making full use of the circular economy and the Green Public Procurement strategies (GPP) in order to prioritise proven sustainable products, such as Ecolabel products, and the highest resource efficiency standards in all investments, and to promote a widespread use of green procurement, including in the private sector;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ L 285, 31.10.2009, p. 10.
(2) OJ L 198, 28.7.2017, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 171.
(4) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/32274/eco-innovation-conclusions.pdf
(5) OJ C 265, 11.8.2017, p. 65.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0287.
(7) Commission Regulation (EC) No 244/2009 of 18 March 2009 implementing Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for non-directional household lamps (OJ L 76, 24.3.2009, p. 3).
(8) Commission Regulation (EU) No 1194/2012 of 12 December 2012 implementing Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for directional lamps, light emitting diode lamps and related equipment (OJ L 342, 14.12.2012, p. 1).
(9) Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products (OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, p. 30).


Responding to petitions on tackling precariousness and the abusive use of fixed-term contracts
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European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on Responding to petitions on tackling precariousness and the abusive use of fixed-term contracts (2018/2600(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0242B8-0238/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 153(1) (a) and (b), 155(1) and 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Articles 4 and 30 of the European Social Charter and to Articles 31 and 32 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the anti‑discrimination and anti-abuse measures of Council Directive 97/81/EC of 15 December 1997 concerning the Framework Agreement on part-time work concluded by UNICE, CEEP and the ETUC – Annex: Framework agreement on part-time work(1) (Part-time Work Directive),

–  having regard to Council Directive 1999/70/EC of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP(2) (Fixed-Term Work Directive),

–  having regard to Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time(3) (Working Time Directive),

–  having regard to Directive 2008/104/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on temporary agency work(4),

–  having regard to Directive 2009/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees(5) (European Works Council Directive),

–  having regard to International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 98 concerning the Application of the Principles of the Right to Organise and to Bargain Collectively, and Convention 175 concerning Part-Time Work,

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 July 2017 on working conditions and precarious employment(6),

–  having regard to the study entitled ‘Temporary contracts, precarious employment, employees’ fundamental rights and EU employment law’ published by its Directorate-General for Internal Policies in November 2017(7),

–  having regard to the numerous petitions on violations of the Fixed-Term Work Directive in the public sector(8), on the precarious working conditions of workers employed on zero‑hours contracts in the private sector(9), on trade union representation and on discrepancies in social security systems(10) and opposing the increasing use of temporary contracts(11),

–  having regard to the new proposals by the Commission for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Labour Authority (COM(2018)0131) and for a Council recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed (COM(2018)0132),

–  having regard to the outcome of the hearing organised by the Committee on Petitions on 22 November 2017 on ‘Protection of the rights of workers in temporary or precarious employment, based on petitions received’,

–  having regard to Council Directive 91/533/EEC of 14 October 1991 on an employer’s obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship(12),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union, repealing Council Directive 91/533/EEC (COM(2017)0797),

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on ‘Responding to petitions on tackling precariousness and the abusive use of fixed-term contracts’ (O-000054/2018 – B8‑0022/2018),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Petitions,

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

A.  whereas the number of workers with fixed-term and part-time contracts has increased in the EU over the past 15 years, as a result of the austerity policies and curtailments of labour rights that were implemented, which have led to increasing precariousness and labour instability; whereas efficient policies are needed to encompass the various forms of employment and adequately protect workers;

B.  whereas precarious working conditions arise from the existence of major gaps in the effective protection of workers’ rights at different levels of regulation, including EU primary and secondary law and Member States’ law; whereas petitions concerning different types of employment should be considered in full accordance with the national legislation of the respective Member State from which they originate and with relevant EU law; whereas the EU’s social and labour policy is based on the subsidiarity principle;

C.  whereas there is a need to adapt policy responses to reflect the fact that precariousness is a dynamic aspect affecting all personal work relations; whereas the fight against precarious work needs to be pursued through an integrated multi-level policy package that promotes inclusive and effective labour standards alongside effective measures to ensure respect for the principle of equality;

D.  whereas the goal of effectively tackling unfair employment practices leading to precariousness should be also pursued on the basis of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, which looks at job creation, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue, with gender equality as a cross‑cutting objective;

E.  whereas Eurostat and Eurofound data on involuntary temporary employment, on gender and age discrepancies in temporary employment, and on the underemployment of a notable proportion of part-time workers, show a growing emergence of non-standard, atypical forms of employment; whereas the data on unemployment by gender and age shows that their rates are at their lowest since 2009;

F.  whereas several Member States have, over the years, experienced a significant increase in atypical and temporary employment contracts in both public and private sectors, in a legal framework where the abusive use of fixed-term contracts could neither be adequately prevented nor sanctioned owing to the absence of effective and proportionate remedies; whereas this has undermined the integrity of European employment legislation and the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union;

G.  whereas there is a comprehensive framework of EU legislation in place that should curb the risk of precariousness of certain types of employment relationships, such as the Fixed‑Term Contracts Directive, the Part-time Work Directive, the Temporary Work Directive, the Working Time Directive, the Equal Treatment in Employment and Occupation Directive, the Equal Treatment between Persons Directive and the Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive;

H.  whereas the Commission accumulated long delays in handling infringement proceedings concerning the breach of EU labour legislation by some Member States, allowing the abusive use of fixed-term contracts and violations of workers’ rights to go on for years;

I.  whereas recent information related to petitions concerning the abuse of fixed-term contracts in the public sector has highlighted the situation of some temporary workers who had been dismissed by the public body for whom they were working following rulings declaring that they had suffered from an abusive use of fixed-term contracts, in breach of Directive 1999/70/EC concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP;

J.  whereas working conditions differ from one Member State to another, as each has its own specific legislation related to employment contracts;

K.  whereas the Committee on Petitions has heard strong evidence about the growth of precarious work;

L.  whereas workers on zero-hours contracts must be considered as workers under EU law, as they work under the direction of another and receive remuneration for that work, and therefore the social legislation of the EU must apply;

M.  whereas precarious employment, including zero‑hours contracts, results in inadequate access to social protection and undermines the right to collective bargaining, particularly in terms of benefits and protection from unfair dismissal, while also impinging on career development and training; whereas precarious employment leads to overall life precariousness;

N.  whereas women are more likely to work part-time or on time-limited or low-wage contracts and are therefore more at risk of precariousness resulting from discrimination in the labour market, and this is slowing down progress in combating and eliminating the gender pay and pension gaps;

1.  Understands precarious employment to mean employment which arises from, among other things, an abusive use of temporary employment contracts in violation of international standards on working conditions, labour rights and EU law; underlines that precarious employment implies higher exposure to socio-economic vulnerability, insufficient resources for a decent life and inadequate social protection;

2.  Highlights that it is important to make a distinction between atypical work and the existence of precarious employment; stresses that the terms ‘atypical’ and ‘precarious’ cannot be used synonymously;

3.  Takes note of Parliament’s resolution of 4 July 2017 on working conditions and precarious employment and of the petitions received, and underlines that the risk of precariousness depends on the type of contract but also on the following factors:

   little or no job security owing to the non-permanent nature of the work, as in involuntary and often marginal part-time contracts, and, in some Member States, unclear working hours and duties that change owing to on-demand work;
   rudimentary protection from dismissal and lack of sufficient social protection in case of dismissal;
   insufficient remuneration for a decent standard of living;
   no or limited social protection rights or benefits;
   no or limited protection against any form of discrimination;
   no or limited prospects for advancement in the labour market or career development and training;
   low level of collective rights and limited rights to collective representation;
   a working environment that fails to meet minimum health and safety standards;

4.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to combat precarious employment such as zero‑hours contracts by ensuring the development of new instruments and coherent respect for the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as the concrete enforcement of EU and national legislation at national level with a view to solving the decent work deficit and implementing a rights-based approach; calls on the Commission and the Member States to cooperate with all social partners – particularly trade unions – and relevant stakeholders, promoting qualitative, secure and well-paid employment, in order to, inter alia, strengthen labour inspectorates;

5.  Urges the Commission to take immediate action in its legislation to effectively address the employment practices leading to precariousness;

6.  Calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to end unfair terms in employment contracts by addressing all abuses and loopholes; acknowledges the new proposal for a directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, which aims to establish new rights for all workers, particularly in order to improve working conditions for workers in new forms of employment and non-standard employment, while limiting the burdens on employers and maintaining labour market adaptability;

7.  Welcomes specifically the provisions on a right to seek additional employment, with a ban on exclusivity clauses and limits on incompatibility clauses, and a right to be informed of the commencement date of work at a reasonable time in advance of that date;

8.  Stresses that the Working Time Directive can and must be applied to workers on zero-hours contracts and that they are therefore covered by the rules on minimum rest periods and maximum working times;

9.  Calls on the Member States to take account of the ILO indicators in determining the existence of an employment relationship as a means of addressing the lack of protection offered by precarious employment;

10.  Notes that access to social protection is crucial for the economic and social safety of the work force and for well-functioning labour markets that create jobs and sustainable growth;

11.  Underlines that inspections must be ensured so that workers subject to temporary or flexible contractual arrangements benefit from at least the same protection as all other workers; notes that a targeted effort to use existing ILO instruments in a specific campaign against precarious work is necessary, and that serious consideration should be given to the need for new binding instruments and legal measures that would restrict and reduce precarious work and make precarious work contracts less attractive to employers;

12.  Strongly believes that an overall assessment of the circumstances surrounding the renewal of fixed-term employment contracts must be carried out, as the services required of the worker were not able to meet merely temporary needs, thus revealing the existence of an abuse in violation of Clause 5 of the Framework Agreement of Directive 1999/70/EC;

13.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to fully ensure equal pay for equal work at the same workplace;

14.  Insists that the Commission and the Member States assess legislation concerning precarious work in relation to its gender impact; considers it necessary to focus on various existing measures concerning the needs of women in precarious work, as an already over-represented group that will continue to be overly affected;

15.  Recalls that the premise on which Directive 1999/70/EC on Framework Agreement fixed-term contracts is grounded is that employment contracts of indefinite duration are the general form of employment relationship, while fixed-term employment contracts are only a feature of employment in certain sectors or of certain occupations and activities;

16.  Denounces the renewal of fixed-term employment contracts with the aim of covering needs which are not temporary in nature but fixed and permanent, as this represents a violation of Directive 1999/70/EC;

17.  Notes that the Court of Justice of the European Union has established that the conversion of a fixed-term contract into a contract of indefinite duration constitutes a measure which is consistent with the requirements resulting from EU law in that it prevents the misuse of fixed-term contracts and results in definitive elimination of the consequences of misuse(13);

18.  Highlights that the conversion of a fixed-term contract into a contract of indefinite duration must be considered as a measure to effectively prevent and sanction the abuse of fixed-term contracts in both public and private sectors, and must be clearly and consistently included by all Member States in their relevant legal frameworks on labour law;

19.  Highlights that the conversion of a fixed-term contract into a contract of indefinite duration for a worker who has suffered an abuse of fixed-term contracts, in violation of Directive 1999/70/EC, does not exonerate a Member State from the obligation to punish that abuse including, in addition, the possibility for the affected worker to obtain compensation for any damages suffered in the past;

20.  Underlines that if a Member State chooses to punish discrimination or abuse against a temporary worker in breach of EU law by awarding compensation to the affected worker, that compensation must in any event be adequate and effective and must fully compensate all damages suffered;

21.  Stresses that the budgetary considerations underlying a Member State’s choice of social policy cannot justify the lack of effective measures aimed at preventing and duly punishing the misuse of successive fixed-term employment contracts; stresses, in fact, that the adoption of such effective measures, in full compliance with EU law, is necessary to nullify the consequences of violation of workers’ rights;

22.  Condemns the fact that workers who had been recognised by the competent judicial authorities as victims of an abusive use of fixed-term contracts, in violation of Directive 1999/70/EC, have been made redundant; strongly believes that where abuses of successive fixed-term contracts have taken place, a measure offering effective and equivalent guarantees for the protection of workers can be applied in order to duly punish the abuse and to nullify the consequences of the breach of EU law, as well as to safeguard the employment position of the workers affected;

23.  Invites the Member States to improve job standards in non-conventional jobs by providing, at the very least, a set of minimum standards for social protection, minimum wage levels and access to training and development;

24.  Calls on the Member States to take measures to respect, promote and concretise the fundamental principles and workplace rights that concern those working in the informal economy, and to put in place appropriate mechanisms or review existing ones in order to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations and to recognise and enforce employment relationships in such a way as to facilitate workers’ transition to the formal economy;

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

(1) OJ L 14, 20.1.1998, p. 9.
(2) OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p. 43.
(3) OJ L 299, 18.11.2003, p. 9.
(4) OJ L 327, 5.12.2008, p. 9.
(5) OJ L 122, 16.5.2009, p. 28.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0290.
(7) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/596823/IPOL_STU(2017)596823_EN.pdf
(8) 0389/2015, 1328/2015, 0044/2016, 0988/2016, 1108/2016, 1202/2016, 1310/2016, 0188/2017, 0268/2017, 0283/2017, 0640/2017, 0701/2017
(9) 0019/2016, 0020/2016, 0021/2016, 0099/2017, 1162/2017
(10) 0019/2016, 0442/2017
(11) 1043/2017
(12) OJ L 288, 18.10.1991, p. 32.
(13) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 26 November 2014, Mascolo, C-22/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2401, paragraph 55.

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