Index 
Texts adopted
Tuesday, 12 June 2018 - StrasbourgFinal edition
State of play of recreational fisheries in the EU
 Clearing obligation, reporting requirements and risk-mitigation techniques for OTC derivatives, and trade repositories ***I
 Common rules in the field of civil aviation and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency ***I
 CO2 emissions from and fuel consumption of new heavy-duty vehicles ***I
 Modernisation of education in the EU
 Towards a sustainable and competitive European aquaculture sector

State of play of recreational fisheries in the EU
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European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2018 on the state of play of recreational fisheries in the European Union (2017/2120(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0243A8-0191/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in particular Article 43 thereof,

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2017 on promoting cohesion and development in the outermost regions of the EU: implementation of Article 349 of the TFEU(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1954/2003 and (EC) No 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2371/2002 and (EC) No 639/2004 and Council Decision 2004/585/EC(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy, amending Regulations (EC) No 847/96, (EC) No 2371/2002, (EC) No 811/2004, (EC) No 768/2005, (EC) No 2115/2005, (EC) No 2166/2005, (EC) No 388/2006, (EC) No 509/2007, (EC) No 676/2007, (EC) No 1098/2007, (EC) No 1300/2008, (EC) No 1342/2008 and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1627/94 and (EC) No 1966/2006(3),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2328/2003, (EC) No 861/2006, (EC) No 1198/2006 and (EC) No 791/2007 and Regulation (EU) No 1255/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4), in particular Article 77 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/1004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 on the establishment of a Union framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the common fisheries policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 199/2008(5), in particular Article 5 thereof,

–  having regard to the research study entitled ‘Marine recreational and semi-subsistence fishing – its value and its impact on fish stocks’, published by its Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies in July 2017,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A8-0191/2018),

A.  whereas the definition provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in 2013 describes recreational fisheries as ‘the capture or attempted capture of living aquatic resources mainly for leisure and/or personal consumption. This covers active fishing methods including line, spear, and hand-gathering and passive fishing methods including nets, traps pots, and set-lines’; whereas clear definitions of recreational fisheries and marine recreational fisheries are needed, taking into account Article 55(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009, which states that ‘the marketing of catches from recreational fisheries shall be prohibited’;

B.  whereas it is important to understand the difference between recreational fisheries and semi-subsistence fishing, because the two should be evaluated and regulated separately and it should be made clear that recreational fishing is not semi-subsistence fishing; whereas the Regulation on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) makes no reference to the latter; whereas the two should accordingly be evaluated and regulated separately;

C.  whereas the EU legislation only operates with a two-tier fisheries categories system, covering recreational and commercial fisheries, and thus does not recognise semi-subsistence fishing and semi-commercial fishing;

D.  whereas recreational fishing, given its magnitude, can have a significant impact on fish stocks, but regulation of the issue falls primarily within the competence of the Member States;

E.  whereas the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has defined subsistence fishing as ‘fishing for aquatic animals that contribute substantially to meeting an individual's nutritional needs’;

F.  whereas without a clear legal distinction between recreational fisheries, semi-subsistence and semi-commercial fishing, certain illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing may go undetected by not being counted or properly regulated;

G.  whereas there is no single agreed, clear definition of recreational fishing at EU level, and whereas this makes it very difficult to control recreational fishing, collect data on it and assess its impact on fish stocks and the environment or its economic importance;

H.  whereas, in order to properly manage any type of fishing activity, including recreational fisheries, regular and robust data collection and time series are required in order to assess the impact on fish stocks or other marine organisms and on the environment; whereas at present such data are missing or incomplete; whereas, in addition to the direct impact on fish stocks, the further environmental impact of recreational fisheries has also been insufficiently studied;

I.  whereas studies have demonstrated that a substantial amount of traceable plastic debris in seas, lakes and rivers has originated from water-based recreational activities such as boating, tourism and fishing; notes that litter in the form of lost recreational fishing gear can cause serious habitat degradation and ecological damage;

J.  whereas the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) provides financial support for data collection, including for recreational fisheries;

K.  whereas the objectives listed in Article 2 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 refer to the need to achieve economic, social and employment benefits, and to restore and maintain fish stocks and other marine organisms above levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield;

L.  whereas, according to a recent study commissioned by Parliament, the impact of recreational fisheries may vary between fish stocks, representing 2 % (mackerel) – 43 % (pollock) of total catch;

M.  whereas, in order to achieve the objectives of the CFP, fish stocks and fishing activity should be managed and balanced; whereas these objectives cannot be achieved if part of the data on catches and on the economic importance of fishing activities, including recreational fisheries, is missing;

N.  whereas the Member States are under an obligation to collect data, including estimates of the number of recreational catches and releases of species listed under Regulation (EU) 2017/1004 and eventually included in multiannual management plans; whereas, in this regard, only some Member States have comprehensive data on the recreational fishing practised in their territory;

O.  whereas, although a wide range of species are caught through marine recreational fishing, mandatory data collection applies to just a few species, and a more country-specific multispecies survey and analysis is therefore required; whereas recreational fisheries catches should be included in the total fishing mortality and biomass estimates;

P.  whereas the availability of data on recreational fisheries varies from region to region, with better information available about marine recreational fisheries in the North and Baltic Seas than in the Mediterranean and Black Seas or the Atlantic;

Q.  whereas the estimated number of those practising marine recreational fishing in Europe stands at between 8,7 and 9 million people, or 1,6 % of the European population, who fish for an estimated 77 million days each year;

R.  whereas, according to Article 3(2)(6) of Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 on the EMFF, ‘fisherman’ means any person engaging in commercial fishing activities, as recognised by the Member State, and whereas it is therefore necessary to find another definition to cover those engaged in recreational fishing activities, as referred to in recital A;

S.  whereas the estimated economic impact of European marine recreational fisheries (without the value of tourist fisheries) is EUR 10,5 billion, comprising EUR 5,1 billion of direct, EUR 2,3 billion of indirect and EUR 3,2 billion of induced expenditure; whereas, in the EU alone, the amount is estimated at EUR 8,4 billion (comprising EUR 4,2 billion in direct, EUR 1,8 billion in indirect and EUR 2,5 billion in induced expenditure);

T.  whereas there is a direct link between fish stock abundance/structure, access to fishing opportunities and the resulting employment and economic and socioeconomic impacts that it delivers; whereas it is important to evaluate the impact of all fisheries on a specific stock, as well as its economic value, in order to adopt management measures that help achieve both the environmental objective and the economic ones;

U.  whereas marine recreational fisheries support an estimated 99 000 full-time equivalent jobs (FTEs) in Europe, comprising 57 000 direct, 18 000 indirect and 24 000 induced jobs, and generating an average economic value of EUR 49 000 per year per FTE; whereas, in the EU alone, the figure is estimated at 84 000 FTEs (50 000 direct, 15 000 indirect and 20 000 induced jobs);

V.  whereas recreational maritime tourism fishing, as well as other tourism fishing, is shown to be very important for the economy of many regions and countries, and should thus be analysed in order to better assess its value, impact and development potential;

W.  whereas all types of recreational fishing have a greater economic and social impact at local and regional level than at national level by supporting local and coastal communities through tourism, production, retail and renting of equipment and other recreational fishing related services;

X.  whereas, in some cases, recreational catches constitute a significant portion of the total fishing mortality of the stock, and therefore should be taken into account when setting fishing opportunities; whereas, according to a recent study commissioned by Parliament, the estimated percentage contribution to total catches by maritime recreational fisheries may vary widely, depending on the targeted species – from 2 % for mackerel to 43 % for pollock;

Y.  whereas it is important to evaluate individually the different recreational fishing methods, or segments described in the ICES 2013 definition;

Z.  whereas the evaluation of the impact of recreational fisheries on fish stocks includes the retention of catches and the mortality rates of released fish; whereas the survival rate of fish caught by rod and line (catch and release fishing) is, in most instances, higher than equivalent rates for fish caught with other gear and by other practices and should be taken into consideration in these cases; whereas further information is needed on the main gear used in marine recreational fisheries so that a comparison can be made between the survival chances of discards in commercial fisheries and released fish in recreational fisheries;

AA.  whereas recreational fishing includes a variety of gears and techniques with different stock and environmental impact, and should thus be evaluated and regulated accordingly;

AB.  whereas, owing to the poor state of Northern sea bass and Western Baltic cod stocks, recreational fisheries restrictions have been introduced at EU level by setting bag limits or forbidding retention (sea bass), in order to help recover these stocks; whereas emergency management measures taken when it is thought that the status of a stock is being affected by recreational fishing do not provide the sector with the necessary visibility;

AC.  whereas certain recreational fishermen are targeting diadromous species such as salmon, trout and eel; whereas data collection on these species should be carried out in both freshwater and saltwater in order to evaluate how fish stocks change over time;

AD.  whereas the areas that are most accessible to the majority of recreational fishermen are coastal areas where, in addition to species of fish, invertebrates and seaweed are often caught as well; whereas these play a key role in the ecology of such areas; whereas the impact of catches of these species will also need to be assessed, with regard not only to the stocks concerned but also the ecosystems of which they form a part;

AE.  whereas salmon return to their natal waters, and whereas ideally they should only be targeted in the river systems where efficient control and enforcement is possible; whereas targeting salmon at sea indiscriminately removes salmon from both healthy and vulnerable populations;

AF.  whereas recreational fishing could represent a significant source of fishing mortality, while the highest estimated environmental impact for fresh-water recreational fishing is associated with the possibility of introducing non-indigenous species in the ecosystem, with little such impact in maritime recreational fishing;

AG.  whereas the CFP was established to manage commercial fisheries, with no consideration given to recreational fisheries, its peculiarities and the need for specific management instruments and planning;

AH.  whereas the environmental impacts of recreational fishing include types other than fish removal, but the lack of clear data makes it difficult to separate them from other anthropogenic sources;

AI.  whereas the UK’s withdrawal from the Union should be taken into consideration for the future management of maritime recreational fisheries, in view of the importance of this activity in the UK and its significance for shared fish stocks;

AJ.  whereas recreational fishing has many social and public health benefits, e.g. it increases participants’ life quality, encourages interaction among young people and educates people with regard to the environment and the importance of its sustainability;

1.  Stresses the importance of collecting sufficient data on recreational fisheries, and on maritime recreational fisheries in particular, in order to properly evaluate the total fishing mortality levels for all stocks;

2.  Underlines that recreational fishing trends are increasing in most European countries and that this type of fishing represents an important activity with societal, economic, employment and environmental effects, notably the significant impact that it can have on fish resources; highlights the fact that Member States should, therefore, ensure that such activities are conducted in a sustainable manner compatible with the objectives of the CFP;

3.  Highlights the need to protect the artisanal fleet and ensure its survival and generational replacement in the face of the expansion of recreational activity linked to recreational ports and seasonal tourism;

4.  Considers that data should be collected on the number of recreational fishermen, the volume of their catches and the added value which they generate in coastal communities;

5.  Calls on the Commission to include and improve the existing provisions for recreational fishing in the new control regulation;

6.  Urges the Commission to evaluate and, if necessary, expand data collection for recreational fisheries in order to encompass more fish stocks and other marine organisms, to draw up a feasibility study on the uniform collection of data relating to its socio-economic impact and to make the collection of such data mandatory;

7.  Emphasises the need for improved reporting and monitoring of catches connected with recreational fisheries; recalls that in the adoption of the EU budget for 2018 Parliament approved a pilot project aimed at introducing a monthly reporting scheme for sea bass catches, and urges the Commission and the Member States to fund further monitoring projects for the species that are the most vulnerable to recreational fishing; recalls the importance of traceability and calls on the Commission to include and improve the existing provisions for recreational fishing in the new control regulation;

8.  Calls on the Commission to conduct an impact assessment on recreational fishing in the EU; considers that the assessment of the management plans which include recreational fishing provisions should also be embedded in the Commission’s final report on the impact assessment;

9.  Calls on the Member States to undertake the necessary technical steps to implement the current regulation on data collection and to expand it to include more stocks and aspects of recreational fisheries;

10.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that all the necessary data on recreational fisheries are regularly collected in order to provide a complete evaluation of fish stocks and other marine organisms in order to offer greater visibility to the sector; cautions that without such a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate actions taken on the basis of that evaluation, the fisheries management plans and technical measures might not achieve the objectives of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, nor a balance between recreational and commercial fisheries;

11.  Considers that, where recreational catches have a significant impact on the stock, they should be included as an integral part of the ecosystem and within the social and economic considerations of the multiannual management plans, for the purposes of both setting fishing opportunities and adopting relevant technical measures; calls, therefore, on the Commission, where necessary, to include recreational fishing in the multiannual management plans already adopted or about to be adopted;

12.  Underlines the fact that data collection is an obligation of the Member States; points out, however, that a proper definition of recreational fisheries would improve the quality of the data; calls on the Commission to propose a uniform definition for recreational fishing at EU level that clearly differentiates recreational from commercial and semi-substance fisheries, based on the principle that recreational catches should never be sold;

13.  Considers, on the basis of the data and the impact assessment report and taking into account Member States’ competences on recreational fisheries, that the Commission should evaluate the role of recreational fisheries in the future CFP, so that both types of maritime fishing – commercial and recreational – can be managed in a balanced, fair and sustainable manner with a view to achieving the desired objectives;

14.  Urges the Commission to provide support, including financial support, for the development of recreational fishing in the tourism sector, as an important contributor to the development of the blue economy in small communities, coastal communities and islands, particularly in the outermost regions; considers that doing so would have a positive impact on efforts to prolong the tourism season beyond the summer months; suggests that the Commission designate recreational fishing as a theme of the EDEN sustainable tourism project year and launch projects to promote recreational fishing tourism in small coastal communities under the COSME Fund;

15.  Points out that, outside the context of normal management of fishery resources based on substantive scientific data, the development of recreational fishing activities must not mean a reduction in professional fishing opportunities or a sharing of scarce resources between professional and recreational activities, especially in the case of small-scale and artisanal fishing;

16.  Recognises that recreational fishing has been practised for centuries across the EU and is an integral part of the culture, traditions and heritage of a great many coastal and island communities; notes that the different types of recreational fishing are as diverse as the cultures of the EU itself and that recognition must be given to this fact in any attempt to legislate in this area;

17.  Calls on the Commission to introduce appropriate measures in order to ensure that future provisions for the regulation of recreational fishing are appropriate and not detrimental to professional fishing activities;

18.  Highlights the need to lay down basic rules for the management of recreational fishing and suggests that a catalogue of recreational fishing activities, which should include information about fishing gear and operations and a description of fishing areas, target species and by-catches, should also be drawn up;

19.  Highlights the importance of the EMFF in helping to develop scientific capacity and guaranteeing full and reliable assessments of maritime resources for recreational fishing activities; recalls that the EMFF provides funds for data collection, and calls on the Commission to widen the future scope of the EMFF in order to provide financial support for research and analysis of the data collected;

20.  Stresses the strong and crucial need to share the data and points out that the EMFF supports data-gathering, including with regard to recreational fisheries; calls, therefore, for the Member States to take the necessary steps to gather data and urges the Commission, in addition, to further develop a common database containing comprehensive and reliable data available to researchers to enable them to monitor and assess the state of fishery resources; suggests that such measures could include the use of EMFF funding;

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

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0316.
(2) OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 22.
(3) OJ L 343, 22.12.2009, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 149, 20.5.2014, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 157, 20.6.2017, p. 1.


Clearing obligation, reporting requirements and risk-mitigation techniques for OTC derivatives, and trade repositories ***I
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Text
Consolidated text
Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 12 June 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 as regards the clearing obligation, the suspension of the clearing obligation, the reporting requirements, the risk-mitigation techniques for OTC derivatives contracts not cleared by a central counterparty, the registration and supervision of trade repositories and the requirements for trade repositories (COM(2017)0208 – C8‑0147/2017 – 2017/0090(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2018)0244A8-0181/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Amendment 1

AMENDMENTS BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT(2)
P8_TA(2018)0244A8-0181/2018
to the Commission proposal
P8_TA(2018)0244A8-0181/2018
---------------------------------------------------------
P8_TA(2018)0244A8-0181/2018

Proposal for a
REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 as regards the clearing obligation, the suspension of the clearing obligation, the reporting requirements, the risk-mitigation techniques for OTC derivatives contracts not cleared by a central counterparty, the registration and supervision of trade repositories and the requirements for trade repositories

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 114 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

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

Having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank(3),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(4),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(5),

Whereas:

(1)  Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU) on 27 July 2012, and entered into force on 16 August 2012. The requirements it contains, namely central clearing of standardised over-the counter (OTC) derivative contracts; margin requirements; operational risk mitigation requirements for OTC derivative contracts that are not centrally cleared; reporting obligations for derivative contracts; requirements for central counterparties (CCPs) and requirements for trade repositories (TRs) contribute to reducing the systemic risk by increasing the transparency of the OTC derivatives market and reducing the counterparty credit risk and the operational risk associated with OTC derivatives.

(2)  A simplification of certain areas covered by Regulation (EU) No 648/2012, and a more proportionate approach to those areas, is in line with the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme which emphasises the need for cost reduction and simplification so that Union policies achieve their objectives in the most efficient way, and aims in particular at reducing regulatory and administrative burdens without prejudice to the overarching objective of preserving financial stability and reducing systemic risks.

(3)  Efficient and resilient post-trading systems and collateral markets are essential elements for a well-functioning Capital Markets Union and they deepen the efforts to support investments, growth and jobs in line with the political priorities of the Commission.

(4)  In 2015 and 2016, the Commission carried out two public consultations on the application of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council. The Commission also received input on the application of that Regulation from the European Securities and Markets Authority (‘ESMA’), the European Systemic Risk Board (‘ESRB’) and the European System of Central Banks (‘ESCB’). It appeared from those public consultations that the objectives of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 were supported by stakeholders and that no major overhaul of that Regulation was necessary. On 23 November 2016, the Commission adopted a review report in accordance with Article 85(1) of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012. Although not all the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 are fully applicable yet and therefore a comprehensive evaluation of that Regulation is not yet possible, the report identified areas for which targeted action is necessary to ensure that the objectives of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 are reached in a more proportionate, efficient and effective manner.

(5)  Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 should cover all financial counterparties that may present and important systemic risk for the financial system. The definition of financial counterparties should therefore be amended.

(6)  Certain financial counterparties have a volume of activity in OTC derivatives markets that is too low to present an important systemic risk for the financial system and ▌too low for central clearing to be economically viable. Those counterparties, commonly referred to as small financial counterparties (SFCs), should be exempted from the clearing obligation while remaining subject to the requirement to exchange collateral to mitigate any systemic risk. The excess of the clearing threshold for at least one class of OTC derivative by a SFC should however trigger the clearing obligation for all classes of OTC derivatives given the interconnectedness of financial counterparties and the possible systemic risk to the financial system that may arise if those derivative contracts are not centrally cleared.

(7)  Non-financial counterparties are less interconnected than financial counterparties. They are also often active in only one class of OTC derivative. Their activity therefore poses less of a systemic risk to the financial system than the activity of financial counterparties. The scope of the clearing obligation for non-financial counterparties should therefore be narrowed, so that those non-financial counterparties are subject to the clearing obligation only with regard to the asset class or asset classes that exceed the clearing threshold ▌.

(7a)  Since financial counterparties and non-financial counterparties present different risks, it is necessary to develop two distinct clearing thresholds. In order to take into account any development of financial markets, those thresholds should be updated regularly.

(8)  The requirement to clear certain OTC derivative contracts concluded before the clearing obligation takes effect creates legal uncertainty and operational complications for limited benefits. In particular, the requirement creates additional costs and efforts for the counterparties to those contracts and may also affect the smooth functioning of the market without resulting in a significant improvement of the uniform and coherent application of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 or of the establishment of a level playing field for market participants. That requirement should therefore be removed.

(9)  Counterparties with a limited volume of activity in the OTC derivatives markets face difficulties in accessing central clearing, be it as a client of a clearing member or through indirect clearing arrangements. The requirement for clearing members to facilitate indirect clearing services on reasonable commercial terms is therefore not efficient. Clearing members and clients of clearing members that provide clearing services directly to other counterparties or indirectly by allowing their own clients to provide those services to other counterparties should therefore be explicitly required to do so under fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent commercial terms.

(10)  It should be possible to suspend the clearing obligation in certain situations. First, that suspension should be possible where the criteria on the basis of which a specific class of OTC derivative has been made subject to the clearing obligation are no longer met. That could be the case where a class of OTC derivative becomes unsuitable for mandatory central clearing or where there has been a material change to one of those criteria in respect of a particular class of OTC derivative. A suspension of the clearing obligation should also be possible where a CCP ceases to offer a clearing service for a specific class of OTC derivative or for a specific type of counterparty and other CCPs cannot step in fast enough to take over those clearing services. Finally, the suspension of a clearing obligation should also be possible where that is deemed necessary to avoid a serious threat to financial stability in the Union.

(11)  Reporting historic transactions has proven to be difficult due to the lack of certain reporting details which were not required to be reported before the entry into force of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 but which are required now. This has resulted in a high reporting failure rate and poor quality of reported data, while the burden of reporting those transactions is significant. There is therefore a high likelihood that those historic data will remain unused. Moreover, by the time the deadline for reporting historic transactions becomes effective, a number of those transactions will have already expired and, with them, the corresponding exposures and risks. To remedy that situation, the requirement to report historic transactions should be removed.

(12)  Intragroup transactions involving non-financial counterparties represent a relatively small fraction of all OTC derivative transactions and are used primarily for internal hedging within groups. Those transactions therefore do not significantly contribute to systemic risk and interconnectedness, yet the obligation to report those transactions imposes important costs and burdens on non-financial counterparties. All transactions between affiliates within the group where at least one of the counterparties is a non-financial counterparty should therefore be exempted from the reporting obligation, regardless of the place of establishment of the non-financial counterparty.

(13)  The requirement to report exchange-traded derivative contracts (‘ETDs’) imposes a significant burden on counterparties because of the high volume of ETDs that are concluded on a daily basis. The Commission public consultation on fitness check on supervisory reporting, which was published on 1 December 2017, aims to gather evidence on the cost of compliance with existing supervisory reporting requirements at Union level, as well as on the consistency, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, and the Union added value of those requirements. This consultation provides an opportunity for authorities to assess ETD reporting holistically alongside all existing and future regulatory reporting regimes, allows authorities to take into account the new reporting environment following the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 600/2014▌(7) and provides the possibility to make proposals to effectively reduce ▌burden on market participants who are required to report ETD transactions. The Commission should take those findings into consideration in order to propose future changes to the reporting requirements under Article 9(1) in relation to ETD reporting▌.

(14)  To reduce the burden of reporting for small non-financial counterparties not subject to the clearing obligation, the financial counterparty should be solely responsible, and legally liable, for reporting a single data set with regard to OTC derivative contracts entered into with a non-financial counterparty that is not subject to the clearing obligation ▌as well as for ensuring the accuracy of the details reported. To ensure that the financial counterparty has the data needed to fulfil its reporting obligation, the non-financial counterparty should provide the details relating to the OTC derivative transactions that the financial counterparty cannot be reasonably expected to possess. However, it should be possible for a non-financial counterparty to choose to report its OTC derivative contracts. In that case the non-financial counterparty should inform the financial counterparty accordingly and be responsible and legally liable for reporting that data and for ensuring its accuracy.

(15)  The responsibility for reporting other derivative contracts should also be determined. It should therefore be specified that the management company of an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities (‘UCITS’) is responsible, and legally liable, for reporting on behalf of that UCITS with regard to OTC derivative contracts entered into by that UCITS as well as for ensuring the accuracy of the details reported. Similarly, the manager of an alternative investment fund (‘AIF’) should be responsible, and legally liable, for reporting on behalf of that AIF with regard to OTC derivative contracts entered into by that AIF as well as for ensuring the accuracy of the details reported.

(16)  To avoid inconsistencies across the Union in the application of the risk mitigation techniques, supervisors should approve risk-management procedures requiring the timely, accurate and appropriately segregated exchange of collateral of counterparties, or any significant change to those procedures, before they are applied.

(16a)  In order to avoid international regulatory divergence and bearing in mind the particular nature of the trade in such derivatives, the mandatory exchange of variation margins on physically settled foreign exchange forwards and physically settled foreign exchange swap derivatives should only apply to transactions between the most systemic counterparties, namely credit institutions and investment firms.

(16b)  Post-trade risk reduction services, such as portfolio compression, can lead to a reduction of systemic risk. By reducing risks in existing derivatives portfolios, without changing the overall market position of the portfolio, they can lower counterparty exposures and counterparty risk associated with a build-up in gross outstanding positions. ‘Portfolio compression’ is defined in Article 2 (1) of Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 and excluded from the scope of the Union trading obligation established in Article 28 of Regulation (EU) No 600/2014. In order to align this Regulation with Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 where necessary, taking into account the differences of these two Regulations and the potential to circumvent the clearing obligation, the Commission, in cooperation with ESMA and ESRB, should assess which post-trade risk reduction services could be granted an exemption from the clearing obligation.

(17)  To increase transparency and predictability of the initial margins and to restrain CCPs from modifying their initial margin models in ways that could appear procyclical, CCPs should provide their clearing members with tools to simulate their initial margin requirements and with a detailed overview of the initial margin models they use. This is consistent with the international standards published by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, and in particular with the disclosure framework published in December 2012(8) and the public quantitative disclosure standards for central counterparties published in 2015(9), relevant for fostering an accurate understanding of the risks and costs involved in any participation in a CCP by clearing members and enhancing transparency of CCPs towards market participants.

(18)  Uncertainties remain as to what extent assets held in omnibus or individual segregated accounts are insolvency remote. It is therefore unclear in which cases CCPs can with sufficient legal certainty transfer client positions where a clearing member defaults, or in which cases CCPs can, with sufficient legal certainty, pay the proceeds of a liquidation directly to clients. To incentivise clearing and to improve access to it, the rules relating to insolvency remoteness of those assets and positions should be clarified.

(19)  The fines ESMA can impose on trade repositories under its direct supervision should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive enough to ensure the effectiveness of ESMA’s supervisory powers and to increase the transparency of OTC derivatives positions and exposures. The amounts of fines initially provided for in Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 have revealed insufficiently dissuasive in view of the current turnover of the trade repositories, which could potentially limit the effectiveness of ESMA's supervisory powers under that Regulation vis-à-vis trade repositories. The upper limit of the basic amounts of fines should therefore be increased.

(20)  Third country authorities should have access to data reported to Union trade repositories where certain conditions guaranteeing the treatment of those data are fulfilled by the third country and where that third country provides for a legally binding and enforceable obligation granting Union authorities direct access to data reported to trade repositories in that third country.

(21)  Regulation (EU) 2015/2365 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10) allows for a simplified registration procedure for trade repositories that are already registered in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 and wish to extend that registration to provide their services in respect of securities financing transactions. A similar simplified registration procedure should be put in place for the registration of trade repositories that are already registered in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2015/2365 and wish to extend that registration to provide their services in respect of derivative contracts.

(22)  Insufficient quality and transparency of data produced by trade repositories makes it difficult for entities that have been granted access to those data to use them to monitor the derivatives markets and prevents regulators and supervisors from identifying financial stability risks in due time. To improve data quality and transparency and to align the reporting requirements under Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 with those of Regulation (EU) No 2015/2365 and Regulation (EU) No 600/2014, further harmonisation of the reporting rules and requirements is necessary, and in particular, further harmonisation of data standards, methods, and arrangements for reporting, as well as procedures to be applied by trade repositories for the validation of reported data as to their completeness and accuracy, and the reconciliation of data with other trade repositories. Moreover, trade repositories should grant counterparties, upon request, access to all data reported on their behalf to allow those counterparties to verify the accuracy of those data.

(22a)   In order to reduce the administrative burden and to increase the matching of trades, ESMA should introduce a common Union standard of reporting to trade repositories. As CCPs and other financial counterparties are taking on delegated reporting duties, a single format would increase efficiency for all participants.

(23)  In terms of the services provided by trade repositories, Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 has established a competitive environment. Counterparties should therefore be able to choose the trade repository to which they wish to report and should be able to switch trade repositories if they so choose. To facilitate that switch and to ensure the continued availability of data without duplication, trade repositories should establish appropriate policies to ensure the orderly transfer of reported data to other trade repositories where requested by an undertaking subject to the reporting obligation.

(24)  Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 establishes that the clearing obligation should not apply to pension scheme arrangements (PSAs) until a suitable technical solution is developed by CCPs for the transfer of non-cash collateral as variation margins. As no viable solution facilitating PSAs to centrally clear has been developed so far, that temporary derogation should be extended to apply for a further two years in respect of the very large majority of PSAs. Central clearing should however remain the ultimate aim considering that current regulatory and market developments enable market participants to develop suitable technical solutions within that time period. With the assistance of ESMA, EBA, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (‘EIOPA’) and ESRB, the Commission should monitor the progress made by CCPs, clearing members and PSAs towards viable solutions facilitating the participation of PSAs in central clearing and prepare a report on that progress. That report should also cover the solutions and the related costs for PSAs, thereby taking into account regulatory and market developments such as changes to the type of financial counterparty that is subject to the clearing obligation. ▌The Commission should be empowered to extend that derogation for one additional year, if it considers that a solution was agreed on by the stakeholders and additional time is needed for its implementation.

(24a)  Small PSAs, in addition to those classified as small financial counterparties, do not present the same risks as larger PSAs and it is appropriate to allow them a longer exemption from the clearing obligation. For such PSAs, the Commission should extend the exemption from that obligation to three years. If, by the end of that period, the Commission considers that the small PSAs have made necessary effort to develop appropriate technical solutions for participating in central clearing and that the adverse effect of centrally clearing derivative contracts on the retirement benefits of pensioners remains unchanged, the Commission should be able to extend the derogation by two additional years. After the exemption lapses, small PSAs should be subject to this Regulation in the same way as all other entities within its scope of application. Due to the lower volumes of derivative contracts concluded by small PSAs, it is to be expected that they will not exceed the thresholds triggering the clearing obligation. As a result, even after the exemption lapse, most small PSAs would still not be subject to the clearing obligation.

(24b)  The exemption for PSAs should continue to apply from the date of entry into force of this Regulation and if this Regulation enters into force after 16 August 2018, should also apply retroactively to all OTC derivative contracts executed after that date. The retroactive application of this provision is necessary to avoid a gap between the end of the application of the existing exemption and the new exemption, since both serve the same purpose.

(25)  The power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of specifying the conditions under which commercial terms relating to the provision of clearing services are considered to be fair, reasonable, transparent and non-discriminatory, and in respect of the extension of the period in which the clearing obligation should not apply to PSAs.

(26)  To ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, and in particular with regard to the availability of information contained in the Union trade repositories to the relevant authorities of third countries, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(11).

(27)  To ensure consistent harmonisation of rules on risk mitigation procedures, registration of trade repositories and reporting requirements, the Commission should adopt draft regulatory technical standards developed by EBA, EIOPA and ESMA regarding the supervisory procedures to ensure initial and ongoing validation of the risk-management procedures that require the timely, accurate and appropriately segregated collateral, the details of a simplified application for an extension of the registration of a trade repository that is already registered under Regulation (EU) 2015/2365, the details of the procedures to be applied by the trade repository to verify compliance with the reporting requirements by the reporting counterparty or submitting entity, the completeness and accuracy of the information reported and the details of the procedures for the reconciliation of data between trade repositories. The Commission should adopt those draft regulatory technical standards by means of delegated acts pursuant to Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council(12), Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010 of the Parliament and of the Council(13) and Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the Parliament and of the Council(14).

(28)  The Commission should also be empowered to adopt implementing technical standards developed by ESMA by means of implementing acts pursuant to Article 291 of the Treaty of the European Union and in accordance with Article 15 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 with regard to the data standards for the information to be reported for the different classes of derivatives and the methods and arrangements for reporting.

(29)  Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely to ensure the proportionality of rules that lead to unnecessary administrative burdens and compliance costs without putting financial stability at risk and to increase the transparency of OTC derivatives positions and exposures, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, by reason of their scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(30)  The application of certain provisions of this Regulation should be deferred to establish all essential implementing measures and allow market participants to take the necessary steps for compliance purposes.

(31)  The European Data Protection Supervisor was consulted in accordance with Article 28(2) of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council(15) and delivered an opinion on […].

(32)  Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 should therefore be amended accordingly,

(32a)  The clearing obligation for derivatives laid down in Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 and the trading obligation for derivatives laid down in Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 should be aligned where necessary and appropriate. Therefore, the Commission should prepare a report on the changes made to the clearing obligation for derivatives in this Regulation, in particular regarding the scope of entities subject to the clearing obligation as well as the suspension mechanism, that should also be made to the trading obligation for derivatives set out in Regulation (EU) No 600/2014.

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 is amended as follows:

(-1)  In Article 1, paragraph 4 is replaced by the following:"

“4. This Regulation shall not apply to:

   (a) central banks and other public bodies charged with or intervening in the management of the public debt;
   (b) the Bank for International Settlements;
   (c) multilateral development banks, as listed in Article 117(2) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013.”;

"

(-1a)  In Article 1, paragraph 5, point a is deleted;

(1)  In Article 2, point (8) is replaced by the following:"

“(8) 'financial counterparty' means an investment firm authorised in accordance with Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(16), a credit institution authorised in accordance with Directive 2013/36/EU, an insurance or reinsurance undertaking authorised in accordance with Directive 2009/138/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(17), a UCITS authorised in accordance with Directive 2009/65/EC except if that UCITS is related to an employee share purchase plan,, an institution for occupational retirement provision within the meaning of Article 6(a) of Directive 2003/41/EC, an AIF as defined in Article 4(1)(a) of Directive 2011/61/EU, which is either established in the Union or managed by an alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) authorised or registered in accordance with Directive 2011/61/EU, except if that AIF is related to an employee share purchase plan, and, where relevant, its AIFM is established in the Union; and a central securities depository authorised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 909/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council(18) ▌;”;

"

(2)  Article 4 is amended as follows:

(a)  In paragraph 1, point (a) is amended as follows:

(i)  points (i) to (iv) are replaced by the following:"

“(i) between two financial counterparties that are subject to the conditions in the second subparagraph of Article 4a(1);

   (ii) between a financial counterparty that is subject to the conditions in the second subparagraph of Article 4a(1) and a non-financial counterparty that is subject to the conditions in the second subparagraph of Article 10(1);
   (iii) between two non-financial counterparties that are subject to the conditions in the second subparagraph of Article 10(1);
   (iv) between, on the one hand, a financial counterparty that is subject to the conditions in the second subparagraph of Article 4a(1) or a non-financial counterparty that is subject to the conditions in the second subparagraph of Article 10(1), and, on the other hand, an entity established in a third country that would be subject to the clearing obligation if it were established in the Union;”;

"

(b)  in paragraph 1, point (b) is replaced by the following:"

“(b) they are entered into or novated either:

   (i) on or after the date from which the clearing obligation takes effect; or
   ii) on or after the date from which both counterparties meet the conditions set out in point (a).”;

"

(c)  the following paragraphs are inserted:"

“3a. Clearing members and clients which provide clearing services, whether directly or indirectly, shall provide those services under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory and transparent commercial terms. Such clearing members and clients shall take all reasonable steps designed to identify, prevent, manage and monitor conflicts of interest within a group of affiliated entities, in particular between the trading unit and the clearing unit, that may adversely affect the fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent provision of clearing services.

Clearing members or clients shall be permitted to control the risks connected to the clearing services offered.

3b.  In order to ensure the consistent application of this Article, ESMA shall develop draft regulatory technical standards specifying the conditions under which commercial terms for clearing services, referred to in paragraph 3a, are considered to be fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent.

ESMA shall submit the draft regulatory technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph to the Commission by ... [six months following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation].

The Commission is empowered to supplement this Regulation by adopting the regulatory technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010.”;

"

(3)  The following Article 4a is added:"

Article 4a

Financial counterparties subject to a clearing obligation

1.  A financial counterparty taking positions in OTC derivative contracts may calculate, annually, its aggregate month-end average position for the previous 12 months ▌in accordance with paragraph 3.

Where the financial counterparty does not calculate its position or the result of that calculation exceeds the clearing thresholds specified pursuant to Article 10(4)(b), the financial counterparty shall:

   (a) immediately notify ESMA and the relevant competent authority thereof;
   (b) be subject to the clearing obligation referred to in Article 4 for future OTC derivative contracts, irrespective of the asset class or asset classes for which the clearing threshold has been exceeded; and
   (c) clear the contracts referred to in point (b) within four months of becoming subject to the clearing obligation.

2.  A financial counterparty that has become subject to the clearing obligation in accordance with paragraph 1 and subsequently demonstrates to the relevant competent authority that its aggregate month-end average position for the previous 12 months ▌no longer exceeds the clearing threshold referred to in paragraph 1, shall no longer be subject to the clearing obligation set out in Article 4.

2a.  Where a previously exempt financial counterparty becomes subject to the clearing obligation in accordance with paragraph 1, it shall clear its OTC derivative contracts within four months of becoming subject to that clearing obligation.

3.  In calculating the positions referred to in paragraph 1, the financial counterparty shall include all OTC derivative contracts entered into by that financial counterparty or entered into by other entities within the group to which that financial counterparty belongs.”;

"

(4)  In Article 5(2), point (c) is deleted;

(4a)   In Article 6, paragraph 2, after point d the following point is added:"

(da) within each class of OTC derivatives referred to in point (d), the details of the contract types for which relevant CCPs have been authorised to clear and the date at which those CCPs have become authorised to clear those contracts;;

"

(5)  In Article 6(2), point (e) is deleted;

(6)  The following Article 6b is added:"

Article 6b

Suspension of clearing obligation in situations other than resolution

1.  In circumstances other than those referred to in Article 6a(1), ESMA may request that the Commission temporarily suspend the clearing obligation referred to in Article 4(1) for a specific class of OTC derivative or for a specific type of counterparty where one of the following conditions is met:

   (a) the class of OTC derivative is no longer suitable for central clearing on the basis of the criteria referred to in the first subparagraph of paragraph 4 and in paragraph 5 of Article 5;
   (b) a CCP is likely to cease clearing that specific class of OTC derivative and no other CCP is able to clear that specific class of OTC derivative without interruption;
   (c) the suspension of the clearing obligation for a specific class of OTC derivative or for a specific type of counterparty is necessary to avoid or address a serious threat to financial stability in the Union and that suspension is proportionate to that aim.

For the purposes of point (c) of the first subparagraph, ESMA shall consult the ESRB prior to the request referred to therein.

Where ESMA requests that the Commission temporarily suspend the clearing obligation referred to in Article 4(1), it shall provide reasons and submit evidence that at least one of the conditions laid down in the first subparagraph is fulfilled. The Commission shall without delay inform the European Parliament and the Council of ESMA´s request.

1a.  A suspension request by ESMA as referred in paragraph 1 of this Article may be requested by a competent authority designated in accordance with Article 22. Where the competent authority requests that ESMA submit a suspension request, it shall provide reasons and submit evidence that at least one of the conditions laid down in the first subparagraph of paragraph 1 is fulfilled.

ESMA shall, within 48 hours of receipt of a request by the competent authority and based on the reasons and evidence provided by the competent authority, either request that the Commission suspend the clearing obligation for the specific class of OTC derivative or for the specific type of counterparty referred to in paragraph 1, or reject the competent authority’s request. ESMA shall inform the competent authority concerned of its decision and provide a detailed reasoning explaining it.

2.  The request referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be made public.

3.  The Commission shall, within 48 hours of the request referred to in paragraph 1 and based on the reasons and evidence provided by ESMA, either suspend the clearing obligation for the specific class of OTC derivative or for the specific type of counterparty referred to in paragraph 1, or reject the requested suspension. The Commission shall inform ESMA of its decision and shall provide a detailed reasoning explaining it.The Commission shall thereafter transmit that information without delay to the European Parliament and the Council.

4.  The Commission’s decision to suspend the clearing obligation ▌shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, on the Commission’s website and in the public register referred to in Article 6.

5.  A suspension of the clearing obligation pursuant to this Article shall be valid for a period not exceeding one month from the date of the publication of that suspension in the Official Journal of the European Union.

6.  Where the grounds for the suspension continue to apply, the Commission, after consulting ESMA and the ESRB, may extend the suspension referred to in paragraph 5 for one or more periods of one month, which shall not cumulatively exceed 12 months from the end of the initial suspension period. An extension of the suspension shall be published in accordance with Article 4.

For the purposes of the first subparagraph, the Commission shall notify ESMA and inform the European Parliament and the Council of its intention to extend a suspension of the clearing obligation. ESMA shall issue an opinion on the extension of the suspension within 48 hours of that notification.”;

"

(7)  Article 9 is amended as follows:

(a)  paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:"

“1. Financial counterparties, non-financial counterparties that meet the conditions referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 10(1) and CCPs shall ensure that the details of any derivative contract they have concluded and of any modification or termination of the contract are reported in accordance with paragraph 1a to a trade repository registered in accordance with Article 55 or recognised in accordance with Article 77. The details shall be reported no later than the working day following the conclusion, modification or termination of the contract.

The reporting obligation shall apply to derivative contracts which ▌were entered into on or after 12 February 2014.

Notwithstanding Article 3, the reporting obligation shall not apply to OTC derivative contracts within the same group where at least one of the counterparties is a non-financial counterparty or would be qualified as a non-financial counterparty if it were established in the Union, provided that:

   (a) both counterparties are included in the same consolidation on a full basis;
   (b) both counterparties are subject to appropriate centralised risk evaluation, measurement and control procedures; and
   (c) the parent undertaking is not a financial counterparty.”;

"

(b)  the following paragraphs  1a and 1b are inserted:"

“1a. The details of derivative contracts referred to in paragraph 1 shall be reported as follows:

   (b) ▌the details of OTC derivative contracts concluded between a financial counterparty and a non-financial counterparty that do not meet the conditions referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 10(1) shall be reported as follows:
   (i) financial counterparties shall be solely responsible and legally liable for reporting a single data set, as well as for ensuring the accuracy of the details reported. To ensure that the financial counterparty has all the data needed to fulfil the reporting obligation, the non-financial counterparty shall provide the financial counterparty with the details relating to the OTC derivative contracts concluded between them, which the financial counterparty cannot be reasonably expected to possess. The non-financial counterparty is responsible for ensuring that those details are accurate.
   (ii) notwithstanding point (i), non-financial counterparties who have already invested to put in place a reporting system may choose to report the details of their OTC derivative contracts with financial counterparties to a trade repository. In that case, the non-financial counterparties shall inform the financial counterparties with which they have concluded OTC derivative contracts of their decision beforehand. The responsibility and legal liability for reporting and for ensuring the accuracy of those details shall in this situation remain with the non-financial counterparties.
   (ba) in the case of OTC derivative contracts concluded by a non-financial counterparty that is not subject to the conditions referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 10(1) with an entity established in a third-country that would be a financial counterparty if established in the Union, such a non-financial counterparty shall not be required to report pursuant to Article 9 and shall not be legally liable for reporting or ensuring the accuracy of the details of such OTC derivative contracts where:
   (i) the concerned third-country legal regime for reporting has been deemed equivalent pursuant to Article 13 and, the third-country financial counterparty has reported such information pursuant to its third-country legal regime for reporting;
   (ii) the concerned third-country legal regime for reporting has not been declared equivalent pursuant to Article 13, the third-country financial counterparty chooses to be subject to, as if it were a financial counterparty established in the Union, to the requirements of this Article and registers itself with ESMA.

ESMA shall make make a Union-wide register of the third-country financial counterparties that choose to be subject to this Article in accordance with point (ii) publicly available on its website;

   (c) the management company of a UCITS shall be responsible for reporting the details of OTC derivative contracts to which that UCITS is a counterparty as well as for ensuring the accuracy of the details reported;
   (d) the manager of an AIF shall be responsible for reporting the details of OTC derivative contracts to which that AIF is a counterparty as well as for ensuring the accuracy of the details reported;
   (e) counterparties and CCPs that report OTC derivative contracts to a trade repository shall ensure that the details of their derivative contracts are reported accurately and without duplication.

Counterparties and CCPs subject to the reporting obligation referred to in paragraph 1 may delegate that reporting obligation.

1b.  ESMA shall develop draft regulatory technical standards specifying the details to be provided  by a third-country financial counterparty for its registration with ESMA referred to in point (ba)(ii) of the first subparagraph of paragraph 1a.

ESMA shall submit those draft regulatory technical standards to the Commission by ... [six months following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation].

The Commission is empowered to supplement this Regulation by adopting the regulatory technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 of Regulation (EU) 1095/2010.”;

"

(c)  paragraph 6 is replaced by the following:"

“6. To ensure uniform conditions of application of paragraphs 1 and 3, ESMA shall, in close cooperation with the ESCB, develop draft implementing technical standards specifying:

   (a) the data standards and formats for the information to be reported, which shall include at least the following:
   (i) global legal entity identifiers (‘LEIs’);
   (ii) international securities identification numbers ('ISINs');
   (iii) unique trade identifiers ('UTIs');
   (b) the methods and arrangements for reporting;
   (c) the frequency of the reports;
   (d) the date by which derivative contracts are to be reported, including any phase-in for contracts entered into before the reporting obligation applies.

In developing those draft technical standards, ESMA shall take into account international developments and standards agreed upon at Union or global level, and their consistency with the reporting requirements laid down in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 2015/2365* and Article 26 of Regulation (EU) No 600/2014.

ESMA shall submit those draft implementing technical standards to the Commission by [12 months after the entry into force of this amending Regulation].

Power is conferred on the Commission to adopt the implementing technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph in accordance with Article 15 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010.;

__________________________________________________________________

* Regulation (EU) 2015/2365 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on transparency of securities financing transactions and of reuse and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 (OJ L 337, 23.12.2015, p. 1)."

"

(8)  In Article 10, paragraphs 1 to 4 are replaced by the following:"

“1. A non-financial counterparty taking positions in OTC derivative contracts may calculate, annually, its aggregate month-end average position for the previous 12 months ▌in accordance with paragraph 3.

Where the non-financial counterparty does not calculate its position or the result of the calculation referred to in the first subparagraph exceeds the clearing thresholds specified pursuant to paragraph 4(b), that non-financial counterparty shall:

   (a) immediately notify ESMA and the authority designated in accordance with paragraph 5 thereof;
   (b) where it has not calculated its position, be subject to the clearing obligation referred to in Article 4 for future OTC derivative contracts in all asset classes and to the requirements set out in Article 11(3);
   (ba) where the result of the calculation referred to in the first subparagraph exceeds the clearing thresholds specified pursuant to point (b) of paragraph 4, be subject to the clearing obligation referred to in Article 4 for future OTC derivative contracts in the asset class or asset classes for which the clearing threshold has been exceeded and exempted from the requirements set out in Article 11(3) in the other asset class or asset classes for which the clearing threshold has not been exceeded;
   (c) clear the contracts referred to in point (b) within four months of becoming subject to the clearing obligation.

2.  A non-financial counterparty that has become subject to the clearing obligation in accordance with the second subparagraph of paragraph 1 and subsequently demonstrates to the authority designated in accordance with paragraph 5 that its aggregate month-end average position for the previous 12 months ▌no longer exceeds the clearing threshold referred to in paragraph 1 shall no longer be subject to the clearing obligation set out in Article 4.

3.  In calculating the positions referred to in paragraph 1, the non-financial counterparty shall include all the OTC derivative contracts entered into by the non-financial counterparty or by other non-financial entities within the group to which the non-financial counterparty belongs, which are not objectively measurable as reducing risks directly relating to the commercial activity or treasury financing activity of the non-financial counterparty or of that group.

4.  In order to ensure consistent application of this Article, ESMA shall develop draft regulatory technical standards, after consulting the ESRB and other relevant authorities, specifying:

   (a) criteria for establishing which OTC derivative contracts are objectively measurable as reducing risks directly relating to the commercial activity or treasury financing activity referred to in paragraph 3; and
   (b) values of the clearing thresholds, which are determined taking into account the systemic relevance of the sum of net positions and exposures per counterparty and per class of OTC derivatives.

ESMA may develop distinct clearing thresholds for financial and non-financial counterparties taking into account the interconnectedness of financial counterparties and their higher systemic risk.

After conducting an open public consultation, ESMA shall submit those draft regulatory technical standards to the Commission by 30 September 2012 and shall regularly update them.

Power is delegated to the Commission to adopt the regulatory technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010.

After consulting the ESRB and other relevant authorities, ESMA shall periodically review the thresholds referred to in point (b) and, where necessary, in particular to ensure increased participation in central clearing, propose regulatory technical standards to amend them.”;

"

(8a)  In Article 11, the following paragraph is inserted:"

“1a. The requirements referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply to intragroup transactions as referred to in Article 3 where one of the counterparties is a non-financial counterparty which is not subject to the clearing obligation in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 10(1).”;

"

(8b)  In Article 11, paragraph 3 is amended as follows:"

“3. Financial counterparties shall have risk-management procedures in place that require timely, accurate and appropriately segregated exchange of collateral with respect to OTC derivative contracts that are entered into on or after 16 August 2012. Non-financial counterparties as referred to in Article 10 may not apply risk-management procedures that require timely, accurate and appropriately segregated exchange of collateral with respect to OTC derivative contracts that are in the asset class or asset classes for which the clearing threshold has not been exceeded.”;

"

(9)  Paragraph 15 of Article 11 is amended as follows:

(a)  Point (a) is replaced by the following:"

“(a) the risk-management procedures, including the levels and type of collateral and segregation arrangements referred to in paragraph 3, as well as related supervisory procedures to ensure initial and ongoing validation of those risk-management procedures;”;

"

(b)  The first sentence of subparagraph 2 is replaced by the following:"

“The ESAs shall submit those common draft regulatory technical standards to the Commission by [12 months after the entry into force of this amending Regulation].”;

"

(10)  In Article 38, the following paragraphs 6 and 7 are added:"

“6. A CCP shall provide its clearing members with a simulation tool allowing them to determine the amount, on a gross basis, of additional initial margin that the CCP may require upon the clearing of a new transaction. That tool shall only be accessible on a secured access basis and the results of the simulation shall not be binding.

7.  A CCP shall provide its clearing members with information on the initial margin models it uses. That information shall meet all of the following conditions:

   (a) it clearly explains the design of the initial margin model and how it operates;
   (b) it clearly describes the key assumptions and limitations of the initial margin model and the circumstances under which those assumptions are no longer valid
   (c) it is documented.”;

"

(11)  In Article 39, the following paragraph 11 is added:"

“11. Member States’ national insolvency laws shall not prevent a CCP from acting in accordance with paragraphs 5 to 7 of Article 48 with regard to the assets and positions recorded in the accounts referred to in paragraphs 2 to 5 of this Article.”;

"

(12)  Article 56 is amended as follows:

(a)  paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:"

“1. For the purposes of Article 55(1), a trade repository shall submit either of the following to ESMA:

   (a) an application for registration;
   (b) an application for an extension of the registration where the trade repository is already registered under Chapter III of Regulation (EU) No 2015/2365.”;

"

(b)  paragraph 3 is replaced by the following:"

“3. To ensure a consistent application of this Article, ESMA shall develop draft regulatory technical standards specifying the following:

   (a) the details of the application for the registration referred to in paragraph 1(a);
   (b) the details of a simplified application for the extension of the registration referred to in paragraph 1(b).

ESMA shall submit those draft regulatory technical standards to the Commission by [12 months after the entry into force of this amending Regulation].

Power is delegated to the Commission to adopt the regulatory technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010.”;

"

(c)  paragraph 4 is replaced by the following:"

“4. To ensure uniform conditions of application of paragraph 1, ESMA shall develop draft implementing technical standards specifying the following:

   (a) the format of the application for registration referred to in paragraph 1(a);
   (b) the format of the application for an extension of the registration referred to in paragraph 1(b).

With regard to point (b) of the first subparagraph, ESMA shall develop a simplified format.

ESMA shall submit those draft implementing technical standards to the Commission by [9 months after the entry into force of this amending Regulation].

Power is conferred on the Commission to adopt the implementing technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph in accordance with Article 15 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010.”;

"

(12a)   In Article 62, paragraph 5 is deleted.

(12b)   In Article 63, paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:"

“1. In order to carry out its duties under this Regulation, ESMA may conduct all necessary on-site inspections at any business premises or property of the legal persons referred to in Article 61(1). Where the proper conduct and efficiency of the inspection so require, ESMA may carry out the on-site inspection without prior announcement.”;

"

(12c)   In Article 63, paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:"

“2. The officials and other persons authorised by ESMA to conduct an on-site inspection may enter any business premises or property of the legal persons subject to an investigation decision adopted by ESMA and shall have all the powers as referred to in Article 62(1). They shall also have the power to seal any business premises and books or records for the period of, and to the extent necessary for, the inspection.”;

"

(12d)  In Article 63, paragraph 8 is deleted.

(12e)  In Article 64, paragraph 4 is amended as follows:"

“4. When submitting the file with the findings to ESMA, the investigation officer shall notify the persons who are subject to the investigations. Such persons shall be entitled to have access to the file, subject to the legitimate interest of other persons in the protection of their business secrets. The right of access to the file shall not extend to confidential information or to ESMA’s internal preparatory documents.”;

"

(12f)   In Article 64, paragraph 8 is replaced by the following:"

“8. ESMA shall refer matters for criminal prosecution to the appropriate authorities for investigation and possible criminal prosecution where, in carrying out its duties under this Regulation, it finds that there are serious indications of the possible existence of facts that it knows to be liable to constitute criminal offences under the applicable law. In addition, ESMA shall refrain from imposing fines or periodic penalty payments where it is aware that a prior acquittal or conviction arising from identical fact or facts which are substantially the same has already acquired the force of res judicata as the result of criminal proceedings under national law.”;

"

(12g)   In Article 65(1), the second subparagraph is deleted.

(13)  Article 65(2) is amended as follows:

(a)  in point (a), “EUR 20 000” is replaced by “EUR 200 000”;

(b)  in point (b), “EUR 10 000” is replaced by “EUR 100 000”;

(c)  the following point (c) is added:"

“(c) for the infringements referred to in Section IV of Annex I, the amount of the fines shall be at least EUR 5 000 and shall not exceed EUR 10 000.”;

"

(13a)   In Article 67(1), the following subparagraph is added:"

“The first subparagraph shall not apply if urgent action is needed in order to prevent significant and imminent damage to the financial system or significant and imminent damage to the integrity, transparency, efficiency and orderly functioning of financial markets, including the stability or the accuracy of data reported to a trade repository. In such a case, ESMA may adopt an interim decision and shall give the persons concerned the opportunity to be heard as soon as possible after taking its decision.”;

"

(14)  In Article 72, paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:"

“2. The amount of a fee charged to a trade repository shall cover all reasonable administrative costs incurred by ESMA for its registration and supervision activities and be proportionate to the turnover of the trade repository concerned and the type of registration and supervision exercised.”;

"

(15)  The following Article 76a is inserted:"

Article 76a

Mutual direct access to data

1.  Where necessary for the exercise of their duties, relevant authorities of third countries in which one or more trade repositories are established shall have direct access to information in trade repositories established in the Union, provided the Commission has adopted an implementing act in accordance with paragraph 2 to that effect.

2.  Upon submission of a request by the authorities referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission may adopt implementing acts, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 86(2), determining whether the legal framework of the third country of the requesting authority fulfils all of the following conditions:

   (a) trade repositories established in that third country are duly authorised;
   (b) effective supervision of trade repositories and effective enforcement of their obligations takes place in that third country on an ongoing basis;
   (c) guarantees of professional secrecy exist and those guarantees are at least equivalent to those laid down in this Regulation, including the protection of business secrets shared with third parties by the authorities;
   (d) trade repositories authorised in that third country are subject to a legally binding and enforceable obligation to grant to the entities referred to in Article 81(3) direct and immediate access to the data.”;

"

(16)  In Article 78, the following paragraph 9 and 10 are added:"

“(9) A trade repository shall establish the following procedures and policies:

   (a) procedures for the effective reconciliation of data between trade repositories;
   (b) procedures to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the reported data;
   (c) policies for the orderly transfer of data to other trade repositories where requested by the counterparties or CCPs referred to in Article 9 or where otherwise necessary.

(10)  To ensure a consistent application of this Article, ESMA shall develop draft regulatory technical standards specifying:

   (a) the procedures for the reconciliation of data between trade repositories;
   (b) the procedures to be applied by the trade repository to verify the compliance by the reporting counterparty or submitting entity with the reporting requirements and to verify the completeness and accuracy of the information reported under Article 9.

ESMA shall submit those draft regulatory technical standards to the Commission by ... [12 months after the entry into force of this amending Regulation].

Power is delegated to the Commission to adopt the regulatory technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010.”;

"

(17)  Article 81 is amended as follows:

(a)  the following point (q) is added to paragraph 3:"

“(q) the relevant authorities of a third country in respect of which an implementing act pursuant to Article 76(a) has been adopted;”;

"

(b)  the following paragraph 3a is inserted:"

“3a. A trade repository shall provide counterparties and CCPs referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 9(1a) with the information reported on their behalf.”;

"

(c)  paragraph 5 is replaced by the following:"

“5. In order to ensure consistent application of this Article, ESMA shall, after consulting the members of the ESCB, develop draft regulatory technical standards specifying the following:

   (a) the information to be published or made available in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 3;
   (b) the frequency of publication of the information referred to in paragraph 1;
   (c) the operational standards required to aggregate and compare data across repositories and for the entities referred to in paragraph 3 to access that information;
   (d) the terms and conditions, the arrangements and the required documentation under which trade repositories grant access to the entities referred to in paragraph 3.

ESMA shall submit those draft regulatory technical standards to the Commission by [12 months after the entry into force of this amending Regulation].

In developing those draft technical standards, ESMA shall ensure that the publication of the information referred to paragraph 1 does not reveal the identity of any party to any contract.

Power is delegated to the Commission to adopt the regulatory technical standards referred to in the first subparagraph in accordance with Articles 10 to 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010.”;

"

(18)  Article 82(2) is replaced by the following:"

“2. The delegation of power referred to in Article 1(6), Article 4(3) Article 64(7), Article 70, Article 72(3), Article 76a and Article 85(2) shall be conferred to the Commission for an indeterminate period of time.”;

"

(19)  Article 85 is amended as follows:

(a)  paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:"

“1. By ... [˘three years following the date of entry into application of this amending Regulation] the Commission shall assess the application of this Regulation and prepare a general report. The Commission shall submit that report to the European Parliament and the Council, together with any appropriate proposals.

"

(aa)  the following paragraph inserted:"

“1a. By ... [three years after the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], ESMA shall submit a report to the European Parliament, to the Council and to the Commission analysing the impact on market participants of the changes introduced by Regulation (EU) 2018/... [this amending Regulation] to the reporting regime. That report shall in particular assess the take-up and implementation of the respective provisions allowing the delegation of reporting to financial counterparties and requiring reporting of contracts by CCPs and investigate whether those new provisions have had the intended effect of reducing the reporting burden for smaller counterparties. It shall also investigate how those new provisions have affected the competition between trade repositories and whether and to what extent they have resulted in a less competitive environment and less freedom of choice for clearing members and their clients.”;

"

(b)  paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:"

“2. By [one year following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], and every year thereafter until ... two years following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], the Commission shall prepare a report assessing whether viable technical solutions have been developed for the transfer by PSAs of cash and non-cash collateral as variation margins and the need for any measures to facilitate those technical solutions.

ESMA shall, by [six months following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], and every year thereafter until ... [two years following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], in cooperation with EIOPA, EBA and the ESRB, submit a report to the Commission, assessing the following:

   (a) whether CCPs, clearing members and PSAs have undertaken an appropriate effort and developed viable technical solutions facilitating the participation of PSAs in central clearing by posting cash and non-cash collateral as variation margins, including the implications of those solutions on market liquidity and procyclicality and their potential legal or other implications;
   (b) the volume and the nature of the activity of PSAs in cleared and uncleared OTC derivatives markets, per asset class, and any related systemic risk to the financial system;
   (c) the consequences of PSAs fulfilling the clearing requirement on their investment strategies, including any shift in their cash and non-cash asset allocation;
   (d) the implications of the clearing thresholds referred to in Article 10(4) for PSAs;
   (e) the impact of other legal requirements on the cost differential between cleared and uncleared OTC derivative transactions, including margins requirements for uncleared derivatives and the calculation of the leverage ratio carried out pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 575/2013;
   (f) whether any further measures are necessary to facilitate a clearing solution for PSAs.

The Commission shall adopt a delegated act in accordance with Article 82 to extend the three-year period referred to in Article 89(1) once, by two years, where it concludes that no viable technical solution has been developed and that the adverse effect of centrally clearing derivative contracts on the retirement benefits of future pensioners remains unchanged.”;

"

(c)  paragraph 3 is replaced by the following:"

“3. By ... [two years following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation] ▌ the Commission shall either:

   (a) submit a proposal for a binding solution, other than permanent or further temporary exemptions of PSAs from the clearing obligation, if it considers that no solution has been found by stakeholders; or
   (b) adopt a delegated act in accordance with Article 82 to extend the two year period referred to in Article89(1) once, by one year, only if it considers that a solution was agreed on by the stakeholders and that additional time is needed for the implementation of that solution; or
   (c) allow the exemption to lapse, while encouraging stakeholders to implement their solution beforehand if it considers that a solution has been found.

"

(ca)  the following paragraphs are inserted:"

3a. By ... [three years following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], the Commission shall adopt a delegated act in accordance with Article 82 to extend the three year period referred to in Article 89(1a) once, by two years, only if it considers that the small PSAs referred to in Article 89(1a) have made the necessary efforts to develop appropriate technical solutions and that the adverse effect of centrally clearing derivative contracts on the retirement benefits of pensioners remain unchanged ;

3b.   ESMA shall by ... [12 months after the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation] submit a report to the Commission, assessing whether the list of financial instruments that are considered highly liquid with minimal credit and market risk, in accordance with Article 47, could be extended and whether this list could include one or more money market funds authorized in accordance with in Regulation (EU) 2017/1131.”;

"

(e)  the following paragraphs are added:"

“6. By ... [six months after entry into force of this amending Regulation], the Commission shall, after consulting ESMA, submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the alignment of the trading obligation for derivatives under Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 with changes made under Regulation (EU) 2018 /... [this amending Regulation] to the clearing obligation for derivatives, in particular the scope of entities subject to the clearing obligation as well as the suspension mechanism. Where such an alignment is deemed necessary and appropriate, the report shall be accompanied by a legislative proposal introducing the necessary changes.

7.  ESMA shall, by ... [18 months following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], in cooperation with EIOPA and EBA, submit a report to the Commission, assessing whether the principle of fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent commercial terms referred to in Article 4(3a) has been effective in facilitating access to clearing.

The Commission shall, by ... [two years after the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], present a report to the European Parliament and the Council assessing whether the principle of fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent commercial terms has been effective in facilitating access to clearing and proposing, where necessary, improvements to that principle. That report shall consider the findings of the report referred to in the first subparagraph and be accompanied by a legislative proposal, where appropriate.

8.  By ... [12 months after the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation] the Commission shall prepare a report assessing whether trades directly resulting from post-trade risk reduction services, including portfolio compression, should be exempted from the clearing obligation referred to in Article 4(1). In this report the Commission shall take into account in particular, the extent to which they mitigate risks, in particular counterparty credit risk and operational risk, as well as the potential for circumvention of the clearing obligation and the potential to disincentive central clearing. The Commission shall submit that report to the European Parliament and the Council, together with any appropriate legislative proposals.

To assist the Commission in the elaboration of the report mentioned in the first subparagraph, ESMA shall, by ... [six months after the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], in cooperation with the ESRB, submit a report to the Commission, assessing whether trades directly resulting from post-trade risk reduction services including portfolio compression should be exempted from the clearing obligation. That report shall investigate portfolio compression and other available non-price forming post-trade risk reduction services which reduce non-market risks in derivatives portfolios without changing the market risk of the portfolios, such as rebalancing transactions. It shall also explain the purposes and functioning of such post-trade risk reduction services, the extent to which they mitigate risks, in particular counterparty credit risk and operational risk, and assess the need to clear such trades, or to exempt them from clearing, in order to manage systemic risk. It shall also assess to what extent any exemption from the clearing obligation for such services discourages central clearing and may lead to counterparties circumventing the clearing obligation.

9.  Based inter alia on the findings of the Commission public consultation on fitness check on supervisory reporting published on 1 December 2017 and on the report submitted by ESMA pursuant to the second subparagraph, the Commission shall, by [12 months following the entry into force of this amending Regulation], review and report on the application of Article 9(1a). The Commission shall submit that report to the European Parliament and the Council, together with any appropriate legislative proposal. When reviewing the application of Article 9(1a), the Commission shall assess whether the obligation to report transactions under Article 26 of Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 creates unnecessary duplication of transaction reporting for non-OTC derivatives and whether the requirement to report non-OTC transactions under Article 9(1a) could be reduced without undue loss of information with a view to simplifying the reporting chains for non-OTC derivatives for all counterparties, in particular for non-financial counterparties not subject to the clearing obligation referred to in the second subparagraph of Article 10(1).

ESMA shall, by ... [six months after entry into force of this amending Regulation], in cooperation with the ESRB, submit a report to the Commission, assessing the following:

   (a) the consistency between the reporting requirements for non-OTC derivatives under Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 and under Article 9 of this Regulation, both in terms of details of the derivatives contract reported and access to data by the relevant entities;
   (b) whether it is possible to align the reporting requirements for non-OTC derivatives under Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 and under Article 9 of this Regulation, both in terms of details of the derivatives contract reported and access to data by the relevant entities; and
   (c) the feasibility of simplifying the reporting chains for all counterparties, including all indirect clients, taking into account the need for timely reporting and the acts and measures adopted pursuant to Article 4(4) of this Regulation and Article 30(2) of Regulation (EU) No 600/2014.”

"

(20)  In Article 89, the first subparagraph of paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:"

“1. Until ... [two years following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], the clearing obligation set out in Article 4 shall not apply to OTC derivative contracts that are objectively measurable as reducing investment risks directly relating to the financial solvency of PSAs, and to entities established to provide compensation to members of PSAs in case of a default of a PSA.

PSAs, CCPs and clearing members shall make their best efforts to contribute to the development of technical solutions that facilitate the clearing of such OTC derivative contracts by PSAs.

The Commission shall set up an expert group made up of representatives of PSAs, CCPs, clearing members and other relevant parties to such technical solutions to monitor their efforts and assess the progress made in the development of technical solutions that facilitate the clearing of such OTC derivative contracts by PSAs. That expert group shall meet at least every six months. The Commission shall consider the efforts made by PSAs, CCPs and clearing members when drafting its reports pursuant to the first subparagraph of Article 85(2).”;

"

(20a)  In Article 89, the following paragraph is inserted:"

1a. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, until ... [three years following the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation], the clearing obligation set out in Article 4 shall not apply to OTC derivative contracts that are objectively measurable as reducing investment risks directly relating to the financial solvency of the PSAs belonging to the category of small PSAs, and to entities established to provide compensation to members of those PSAs in case of a default of such a PSA.

The Commission shall adopt a delegated act in accordance with Article 82 to supplement this Regulation by determining which PSAs can be considered to be small PSAs in accordance with the first subparagraph of this paragraph, taking into account that the small PSA category shall not represent more than 5 % of the OTC derivative contracts entered into by PSAs.”;

"

(21)  Annex I is amended in accordance with the Annex to this Regulation.

Article 2

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

This Regulation shall apply from ... [five months after the entry into force of this amending Regulation].

Notwithstanding the second paragraph of this Article, Article 1(7)(d), and paragraphs 8, 10, and 11 of Article 1 shall apply from [six months after the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation] and Article 1(2)(c), Article 1(7)(e), Article 1(9), points (b) and (c) of Article 1(12) and Article 1(16) shall apply from [18 months after the date of entry into force of this amending Regulation].

If this Regulation enters into force after 16 August 2018, then Article 89(1) shall apply retroactively to all OTC derivative contracts executed by PSAs after 16 August 2018 and before the date of entry into force of this Regulation.

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

Done at …,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX

Annex I is amended as follows:

(1)   In Section I, the following points (i), (j) and (k) are added:

“(i) a trade repository infringes Article 78(9)(a) by not establishing adequate procedures for the reconciliation of data between trade repositories;

(j)  a trade repository infringes Article 78(9)(b) by not establishing adequate procedures to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the reported data;

(k)  a trade repository infringes Article 78(9)(c) by not establishing adequate policies for the orderly transfer of data to other trade repositories where requested by the counterparties and CCPs referred to in Article 9 or where otherwise necessary.”;

(2)   In Section IV, the following point (d) is added:

“(d) a trade repository infringes Article 55(4) by not notifying ESMA in due time of material changes to the conditions for its registration.”.

(1) The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0181/2018).
(2)* Amendments: new or amended text is highlighted in bold italics; deletions are indicated by the symbol ▌.
(3) OJ C […], […], p. […].
(4) OJ C […], […], p. […].
(5) Position of the European Parliament of ... (OJ ...) and decision of the Council of ...
(6) Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (OJ L 201, 27.7.2012, p. 1).
(7) Regulation (EU) No 600/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 201 on markets in financial instruments and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 (OJ L 173 12.6.2014, p. 84).
(8) http://www.bis.org/cpmi/publ/d106.pdf
(9) http://www.bis.org/cpmi/publ/d125.pdf
(10) Regulation (EU) No 2015/2365 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on transparency of securities financing transactions and of reuse and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 (OJ L 337, 23.12.2015, p. 1).
(11) Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).
(12) Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/78/EC (OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 12).
(13) Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/79/EC (OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 48).
(14) Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/77/EC (OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 84).
(15) Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1).
(16) Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments and amending Directive 2002/92/EC and Directive 2011/61/EU (OJ L 173 12.6.2014, p. 349).
(17) Directive 2009/138/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II) (OJ L 335, 17.12.2009, p. 1).
(18) Regulation (EU) No 909/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on improving securities settlement in the European Union and on central securities depositories and amending Directives 98/26/EC and 2014/65/EU and Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 (OJ L 257 28.8.2014, p. 1).


Common rules in the field of civil aviation and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 June 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council (COM(2015)0613 – C8-0389/2015 – 2015/0277(COD))
P8_TA(2018)0245A8-0364/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0613),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 100(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0389/2015),

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

–  having regard to the reasoned opinions submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Italian Senate and the Maltese Parliament, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 14 December 2016(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 12 October 2016(2),

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 22 December 2017 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0364/2016),

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

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

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 12 June 2018 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) .../2018 of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and amending Regulations (EC) No 2111/2005, (EC) No 1008/2008, (EU) No 996/2010, (EU) No 376/2014 and Directives 2014/30/EU and 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 552/2004 and (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2018/1139).

(1) OJ C 75, 10.3.2017, p. 111.
(2) OJ C 88, 21.3.2017, p. 69.


CO2 emissions from and fuel consumption of new heavy-duty vehicles ***I
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Resolution
Text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 June 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions from and fuel consumption of new heavy-duty vehicles (COM(2017)0279 - C8-0168/2017 – 2017/0111(COD))
P8_TA(2018)0246A8-0010/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2017)0279),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 192(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0168/2017),

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 18 October 2017(1),

–  after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 20 April 2018 to approve that position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0010/2018),

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

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

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

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 12 June 2018 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2018/... of the European Parliament and of the Council on the monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions from and fuel consumption of new heavy-duty vehicles

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2018/956).

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

DECLARATIONS BY THE COMMISSION

Proposal on HDV CO2 standards

As announced on the 8 November 2017 in the Communication "Delivering on low-emission mobility - A European Union that protects the planet, empowers its consumers and defends its industry and workers" (COM(2017)0675), the Commission intends to present the third mobility package in the first half of May 2018, including a proposal setting carbon dioxide emissions standards for lorries.

Calendar of the development of VECTO/Certification Regulation

The Commission is pursuing the technical development of the Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO) with a view of including new known technologies as of 2020 and other types of vehicles, i.e. remaining lorries, buses and coaches as of 2020 and trailers as of 2021.

Further information on the development of the VECTO tool as well as the amendment to Regulation (EU) 2017/2400 will be published on the relevant Commission websites to ensure that stakeholders and economic operators are regularly informed.

Development of an on road verification test under the Certification Regulation

The Commission acknowledges the importance of having robust and representative data on CO2 emissions from and fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles.

Regulation (EU) 2017/2400 is therefore intended to be complemented by a procedure for verifying and ensuring the conformity of the VECTO operation as well as of the CO2 and fuel consumption related properties of the relevant components, separate technical units and systems. That verification procedure, which should include on-the-road testing of heavy-duty vehicles in production, is planned to be voted in the Technical Committee Motor Vehicles before the end of 2018.

The verification procedure is also intended to form the basis for a future test for verifying the in-service performance of vehicles by manufacturers and type approval authorities, or by independent third parties.

(1) OJ C 81, 2.3.2018, p. 95.


Modernisation of education in the EU
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European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2018 on modernisation of education in the EU (2017/2224(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0247A8-0173/2018

The European Parliament,

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

–  having regard to the right to education as defined in Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 May 2014 on effective teacher education(1),

–  having regard to Article 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 May 2014 on quality assurance supporting education and training(2),

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning(3),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 18 and 19 May 2015 on the role of early childhood education and primary education in fostering creativity, innovation and digital competence(4),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 June 2016 entitled ‘A New Skills Agenda for Europe – Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness’ (COM(2016)0381) and to Parliament’s resolution of 14 September 2017 on ‘A New Skills Agenda for Europe’(5),

–  having regard to Article 2 of the Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the right to education,

–  having regard to Council of Europe Resolution 1904 (2012) on the right to freedom of choice in education,

–  having regard to the 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) entitled ‘New priorities for European cooperation in education and training’(6),

–  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’(7),

–  having regard to the Paris Declaration of 17 March 2015 on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education,

–  having regard to its resolution of 28 April 2015 on the follow-up of the implementation of the Bologna process(8),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 10 June 2016 on ‘A new skills agenda for Europe – Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness’ (SWD(2016)0195),

–  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 Council recommendation of 19 December 2016 entitled ‘Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults’(10),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 7 December 2016 entitled ‘Improving and modernising education’ (COM(2016)0941),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 30 May 2017 entitled ‘School development and excellent teaching for a great start in life’ (COM(2017)0248),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 30 May 2017 entitled ‘A renewed EU agenda for higher education’ (COM(2017)0247),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 30 May 2017 for a Council recommendation on tracking graduates (COM(2017)0249),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 5 October 2017 for a Council recommendation on a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships (COM(2017)0563 – SWD(2017)0322),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 30 November 2017 on ‘Modernising school and higher education’,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 19 October 2017 entitled ‘New EU education strategy’,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 17 January 2018 for a Council recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching (COM(2018)0023),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 17 January 2018 for a Council recommendation on ‘Key Competences for Lifelong Learning’ (COM(2018)0024),

–  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 17 January 2018 on the Digital Education Action Plan (COM(2018)0022),

–  having regard to the concluding report of the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, held in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 17 November 2017(12),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on ‘Early childhood education and care: providing all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow’, adopted at the 3090th Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting held on 19 and 20 May 2011(13),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 March 1984 on freedom of education in the European Community(14),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 11 May 2010 on the internationalisation of higher education(15),

–  having regard to the Joint Communication of the Commission and of the High representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council of 8 June 2016 entitled ‘Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations’ (JOIN(2016)0029), and to Parliament’s resolution of 5 July 2017 thereon(16),

–  having regard to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education, adopted in the framework of Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7,

–  having regard to Article 10 of the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

–  having regard to Strategic Objective B of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995),

–  having regard to Articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

–  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 4 and 5,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A8-0173/2018),

A.  whereas according to Article 6(e) of the TFEU competence in the field of education and training lies with the Member States, but the European Union has a vital supportive role to play in terms of setting challenges and goal and promoting and exchanging best practices;

B.  whereas the right to education is a fundamental human right and education in all its forms and at all levels must exhibit the following interrelated and essential features: a) availability; b) accessibility; c) acceptability; and d) adaptability;

C.  whereas the European Pillar of Social Rights has as its leading priority the provision of quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning;

D.  whereas achieving equal opportunities is an important function of education, and access to education must therefore be made non-discriminatory; whereas to this end, more efforts are needed to ensure that everyone, with particular regard to the most vulnerable, people with disabilities and special needs as well as disadvantaged groups, enjoys the same chances of accessing and completing education and training and of acquiring skills at all levels;

E.  whereas European education systems represent an immense wealth of cultural, social and linguistic diversity, while at the same time Member States share similar educational goals and challenges, including ensuring equal access to education for all, which can be addressed at the European level;

F.  whereas the ability of education systems to meet societal, economic and personal needs depends on their quality, accessibility, diversity, efficiency and equity, as well as on the availability of adequate human, financial and material resources;

G.  whereas it is important to recall that education, including teacher education, has been affected by the economic and financial crisis and that public funding for education plays a fundamental role in EU education systems; whereas, therefore, continuous and increased public financial support for education, including for teachers and their working conditions, as well as for research, is crucial for ensuring free, inclusive and accessible public education;

H.  whereas education and training should contribute to the personal development and growth of young people in order to make them proactive and responsible citizens who are ready to live and work in a technologically advanced and globalised world and provide them with the key set of competences for lifelong learning, defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship and employment;

I.  whereas teaching quality is an important determinant of pupil and student outcomes, and therefore strong support for excellence as regards teaching and educators is one of the priorities for cooperation at EU level in education and training;

J.  whereas the right to education includes the freedom to set up educational establishments, on a basis of due respect for democratic principles and for the right of parents to ensure that their children are educated and taught according to their religious, philosophical and pedagogical convictions;

K.  whereas the open method of coordination as applied to education allows Member States to create and implement a common strategy for education and training, also including the on-line platform ET 2020 (Education and Training 2020); whereas the benchmarks of this strategy are analysed and evaluated every year in the publication ‘Education and Training Monitor’, both for Member States and for the EU as a whole;

L.  whereas in the latest ‘Education and Training Monitor’, published in 2017, the Commission recognises that, despite continuous progress in reducing the number of early leavers from education and training, their number remains very high across the EU;

M.  whereas, according to the results of the latest PISA tests, 20,6 % of European pupils face problems in the acquisition of basic skills in the areas of reading, mathematics and science, and a significant number of European citizens lack literacy skills; whereas this is cause for serious concern in terms of further learning, personal development, and adequate participation in public life and in the labour market;

N.  whereas ensuring access to quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) services for all children is key to enabling them to enjoy a positive start in life and on educational paths;

O.  whereas quality of staff is a fundamental factor for ECEC services;

P.  whereas promoting student and staff mobility is an important part of European higher education systems, contributes to young people’s development and can stimulate economic and social progress; whereas there is a need for qualitative improvement and increased financial support with a view to expanding student and staff mobility under Erasmus+;

Q.  whereas methodological and digital innovations are a potential instrument for expanding access to content and knowledge, but cannot substitute personal contact and exchange among students and between students and teachers, nor should they be turned into the priority of educational systems;

R.  whereas gender equality is a core principle of the European Union enshrined in the Treaties and should be reflected in all EU policies, not least in the sphere of education and culture;

S.  whereas education is a powerful instrument for overcoming gender inequality and discrimination, but it may also often reproduce or exacerbate existing discrimination; whereas gender inequality in education hinders both personal development and employment and affects numerous socio-cultural fields;

T.  whereas despite the fact that women account for three fifths (57,6 %) of all graduates in higher education, the gender employment gap stood at 11,6 percentage points in 2015(17);

Knowledge as a key economic resource and a source of citizens’ well-being

1.  Affirms that universal quality education is an essential component of personal, cultural, social and professional development in a knowledge-based society;

2.  Considers that safeguarding European common values and the attainment of the EU’s economic and social objectives as well of competitiveness and sustainable growth are linked to quality education through the promotion of democratic values, human rights, social cohesion, integration and individual success;

3.  Underlines the crucial role of education in shaping the future of Europe both economically and socially, while providing for the needs of Europe’s citizens and building a community of diverse citizens united by their common core values;

4.  Underlines that quality education and training systems promote active citizenship and common values, and as such help shape an open, inclusive, pluralist, democratic and tolerant society;

5.  Stresses the role of education in helping learners to develop ethical and civic values and become active, responsible, open-minded members of society who are able to exercise and defend their democratic rights and responsibilities in society, value diversity, play an active role in democratic life, and take responsibility for themselves and for their communities; stresses, in this context, the importance of citizenship, civic, ethical and environmental education;

6.  Emphasises that in order for young people to confront challenges, become active European citizens and be successful in life and the labour market while also shaping the world’s future, quality and inclusive education must provide them with the necessary knowledge, skills, media literacy and critical and autonomous thinking, as well as with democratic attitudes;

7.  Underlines that ensuring equal access to quality inclusive education is the key to achieving continued social cohesion by combating poverty, the social exclusion of people with disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds, and gender stereotypes, and is therefore still the greatest aid to social mobility;

8.  Notes that quality education can foster innovation and research relevant for and benefiting society;

9.  Recognises the importance of education in developing cultural competences and encouraging cultural development; encourages closer synergies between the educational and cultural sectors, to be achieved by supporting an active role for culture and the arts in formal, informal and non-formal educational contexts;

10.  Notes the role that education plays in developing lifelong learning attitudes which help people to adapt to the changing demands of the modern world;

11.  Recalls that schools and educational institutions play a key role in creating and nourishing a positive attitude towards learning, also on a lifelong basis;

The changing educational reality and related challenges

12.   Believes that an all-encompassing approach to education policy, with strong political and public support, is vital to the educational reform process, and that in order to achieve these objectives it is essential to involve both society as a whole and all relevant and interested actors, including parents;

13.  Considers that effective governance and adequate funding for all educational settings, modern quality educational resources and teaching, motivated and competent teachers, and lifelong learning are crucial for achieving equity, diversity and excellence in education;

14.  Highlights the potential of new information and communication technologies (ICT) and innovation, as instruments for offering new opportunities in education, meeting individual learners’ needs more effectively (including special educational needs), and increasing flexibility in learning and teaching, personalisation and responsibility, as well fostering interactive forms of cooperation and communication;

15.  Stresses the opportunities that digitalisation and the establishment of common educational platforms offer for modern education, especially in terms of distance learning, distance education, and blended learning, which should allow more flexibility in education by tailoring it more closely to learners’ individual living situations and thereby benefiting lifelong learning, education quality, accessibility and the development of future skills; highlights the need for age-appropriate ICT and media curricula that respect child development and wellbeing and emphasise the importance of both responsible use and critical thinking;

16.  Notes that effective learning and teaching through digital technologies requires equal access, a competent level of digital skills, high-quality learning resources, training in adapting technology for pedagogical purposes, and promotion of the attitudes and motivation needed for meaningful digital participation; believes that digital and media literacy skills should be an essential part of education policies and include, among others, civic competencies and critical thinking; stresses the importance of critically assessing sources and their reliability, and of media literacy projects in this respect;

17.  Recognises that in an increasingly globalised and digitalised world innovative and relevant methods of learning, teaching and assessment are necessary, as well as an adequate educational infrastructure which enables group work and team teaching, and stimulates creative thinking and problem-solving together with other progressive educational methods; recalls the importance of involving students, teachers and other school staff in assessing whether and how learning objectives have been met;

18.  Notes that efforts are needed to adapt the educational paradigm so that it balances both a teacher- and content-centred approach, individually and specifically attuned to learners and their living circumstances, with an understanding-centred approach, combining learning methods adapted to both traditional and online learning models, thus strengthening the personalisation of the educational process and thereby increasing retention and completion rates;

19.  Highlights that educational systems should promote and develop interdisciplinary, cooperative and creative approaches and teamwork aimed at equipping pupils and students with knowledge and skills, including transversal and soft skills as well as with professional, transversal, social and civic competences;

20.  Recalls that delivering quality teaching and learning is a continuous process encompassing dialogue, a sense of sharing and questioning, and should be given priority when modernising education;

21.  Emphasises that the facilitation of equal access to quality inclusive education is essential for the independence and integration in society of learners with disabilities; calls on the Member States to facilitate access to mainstream inclusive quality education taking into account the needs of all students with all types of disabilities, which means, for instance, providing bilingual inclusive education for deaf children with regard to their special linguistic needs; calls on schools to provide both formal and informal differentiated services, and extra support, also using the potential of new technologies so that the individual needs of all learners are met; calls on the Commission to monitor schools on their non-rejection policy, and to set disability-specific indicators within the Europe 2020 strategy;

22.  Maintains that European education must seek above all to develop reasoning, reflection, and scientific curiosity; that it has to be capable of building on the foundations of an artistic, scientific, and technical humanistic culture; and that, proceeding from the practical reality of local, regional, national, and European life, it must impart the training necessary to resolve national and European problems and raise awareness of problems within the international community;

23.  Acknowledges the reality of individual differences in cognitive abilities and personality traits that interact with social and environmental factors, influencing educational outcomes; highlights, in this context, that education is more efficient, equalitarian and fair when these differences are taken into account;

24.  Acknowledges that in a competitive world it is crucial to identify and promote European talent as early as possible;

25.  Stresses that enhancing educational outcomes on average is compatible with the stimulation of excellence among talented students; notes, in this context, the importance of designing appropriate intervention programmes for enhancing psychological traits relevant for maximising people’s potential;

26.  Highlights the need to give importance to visual literacy as a new life-skill, acknowledging that in this day and age, people are communicating far more through images than through traditional means;

27.  Notes the proposal for the creation of a European Education Area, as presented at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth held in Gothenburg in 2017; recalls that this initiative should foster cooperation, mutual recognition of diplomas and qualifications, and increased mobility and growth;

28.  Supports the Council conclusions of 14 December 2017 calling for enhanced student mobility and participation in education and cultural activities, including through a ‘European Student Card’, which should facilitate recognition of university credits obtained in other Member States;

29.  Believes that Erasmus+ is the EU’s flagship programme in the field of education, and that its impact and popularity have been fully proven over the years; calls, therefore, for a substantial increase of funding for this programme in the multi-financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, in order to make it more accessible and inclusive and enable it to reach out to more students and teachers;

30.  Underlines that youth unemployment is a Union-wide phenomenon which is reported to stand at a rate around twice the average overall unemployment rate; expresses its concern with regard to the alarmingly high rates in Mediterranean Member States, with peaks in Spain (44,4 %), Italy (37,8 %), and Greece (47,3 % for youth unemployment and 30,5 % for young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs)), according to Eurostat;

31.  Points out that in spite of the 2 million job vacancies existing in the EU, more than 30 % of qualified young people with diplomas are in jobs that do not match their skills or aspirations, while 40 % of European employers have trouble finding people with the skills they require(18);

32.  Affirms the need for education systems at all levels to maintain a gender perspective that takes into account the needs of people suffering multiple forms of discrimination, including people with disabilities, people identifying themselves as LGBTI and people from marginalised communities;

Early childhood education and care (ECEC)

33.  Stresses that quality and accessible ECEC creates a foundation for more equitable and effective education systems, as well as ensuring individual personal development, wellbeing and the effectiveness of further learning;

34.  Highlights the great benefits for all children, especially those from disadvantaged groups, of attending ECEC, and stresses in this context the importance of guaranteeing that every child can access ECEC; notes with concern, in this regard, that in several Member States the demand for ECEC places exceeds the supply, especially for younger children;

35.  Underlines the importance of monitoring the quality of ECEC so as to allow children to develop their cognitive skills and determine whether the best interests of children are being met;

School education

36.  Sees all schools as autonomous centres for fostering critical and creative thinking and promoting democratic values and active citizenship; considers that schools should focus on helping young people to acquire the skills necessary for understanding and using available information, as well as for developing their learning autonomy and language proficiency;

37.  Points out that the specific needs of all students should be at the centre of effective school functioning, which requires the establishment of joint objectives and a clear agenda for their implementation, as well as the close collaboration of the entire school community and stakeholders, where appropriate;

38.  Considers that modern curricula should be competence-driven, should enhance personal skills and health-conscious, future-oriented life management competence, and should focus on formative assessment and physical and emotional wellbeing; believes that every student should have the possibility to fulfil his or her own intellectual potential; stresses that developing and strengthening skills is a continuous process, which operates through all levels of education and into the labour market, and that skills and competences should be taken into account both in the education process and in the recognition of educational qualifications;

39.  Underlines that mastering basic literacy and numeracy skills is fundamental to pupils’ further learning, personal development and acquisition of digital competence; stresses that the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) and the Commission’s New Skills Agenda should complement national actions and support Member States in this regard; calls on the Member States and educational institutions to reinforce basic skills through project- and problem-based learning, among other solutions;

40.  Considers that Member States should guarantee that nobody graduates from school without basic skills, including basic digital skills; underlines the fact that most jobs now require greater literacy, numeracy, digital literacy and other crucial skills and that modern education systems should therefore combine all eight key competences outlined in the Commission’s proposal for a Council recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, which also include knowledge and attitudes; welcomes the fact that this proposal also defines digital skills as basic skills;

41.  Considers that, notwithstanding the impact of new technologies on education, the school should still remain a fundamental learning environment where potentialities are developed, and where each individual can find space and time for personal and social growth;

42.  Draws attention to the fact that granting schools more autonomy regarding curricula, assessment and finance has been shown to result in increased pupil performance, provided there is effective school governance and school-based accountability for pupils’ learning;

43.  Emphasises the positive impact of cultural diversity and multilingualism in schools on pupils’ linguistic and cognitive development, as well as on the promotion of intercultural awareness, respect and pluralism;

44.  Stresses the need to enhance the learning of languages with a view to speaking two languages in addition to one’s mother tongue, and to promote at secondary school level the teaching of at least two subjects through a non-native language;

45.  Points out that secondary school exchanges do much both to encourage pupils to acquire the abilities, skills, attitudes, and values intrinsic to dynamic European citizenship and to develop constructive critical thinking;

46.  Stresses the need to make schools more open in order to enable recognition of non-formal and informal learning and smoother transitions between different educational paths (e.g. technical and academic);

47.  Underlines that learners should be encouraged to use self-assessment techniques to measure their learning progress; encourages educational institutions to ensure that feedback tools provide reliable information by using a mix of several instruments, such as student questionnaires, focus groups and suggestions boxes;

48.  Emphasises the importance of leading an active life through sport; stresses, in this context, the need to promote and give an expanded role to physical activity and physical education in educational curricula at all levels, with enhanced possibilities for developing cooperation between educational establishments and local sports organisations; also encourages educational initiatives and extracurricular activities with a view to supporting the fulfilment of students’ individual needs and interests while also building bridges with local communities;

49.  Underlines the importance of quality education, vocational training and community and voluntary activities in contributing to raising the status of work-based vocations;

50.  Notes that a considerable number of new jobs are being created in industries relating to renewable energy, and that green sectors and occupations should be addressed in school curricula accordingly;

51.  Emphasises that information management skills, critical thinking and the ability to apply acquired knowledge are key goals of academic education;

52.  Acknowledges the need to strengthen the knowledge triangle and to improve links between research and teaching by allocating adequate resources to relevant programmes and by ensuring that students involved in research programmes are granted the financial means to carry out their research;

53.  Believes that higher education systems should be more flexible and open, and that dual training paths should be promoted in universities and further education institutions, in particular by encouraging apprenticeships, enabling the recognition of informal and non-formal learning, and ensuring smoother transitions between different levels of education, including that between vocational education and training (VET) and higher education, as well as various forms of programme delivery; stresses that the above should be based on a better understanding of the performance of graduates;

Higher education

54.  Emphasises, within the context of creating a European Education Area, the importance of supporting cooperation and building on the potential of all European higher education institutions (HEIs) and of students in order to stimulate networking, international cooperation and competition;

55.  Is of the opinion that an all-encompassing approach to internationalisation, including increased mobility for staff and students (also through traineeships and apprenticeships), and an international dimension for the curriculum and for teaching, research, cooperation and additional activities, should be an important element of EuropeanHEIs;

56.  Advocates an increased focus on interdisciplinary study programmes, and encourages the promotion, in tandem, of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) disciplines and of human and social sciences; highlights the need to encourage the participation of women and other under-represented groups in STEAM subjects and the relevant professions;

57.  Advocates that higher education must engage with society at large in order to promote innovative growth and social welfare; believes that cooperation between HEIs and external stakeholders is desirable, as the latter can contribute knowledge and expertise in the design and delivery of higher education programmes; stresses, however, that the responsibility for decision-making must always lie with students and pedagogical experts;

58.  Recognises the pivotal role played by academics and students in disseminating knowledge, empirical findings and facts to the wider public; encourages, in this respect, economically and politically independent research that is relevant to and benefits society;

59.  Highlights the role of research-based education and pedagogical research as a means of stimulating active learning, enhancing skills development, and improving teaching methodology;

60.  Underlines that learners should be encouraged to use self-assessment techniques to measure their learning progress;

The teacher as a guarantor of quality teaching

61.  Considers that teachers and their skills, commitment and effectiveness are the basis of education systems;

62.  Stresses the need to attract greater numbers of motivated candidates with sound academic or professional backgrounds and pedagogical competencies to the teaching profession; calls for fit-for-purpose selection procedures and for specific measures and initiatives to improve teacher status, training, professional opportunities, working conditions, including remuneration, that avoid unstable forms of employment, social rights, safety and protection, as well as to provide teachers with support comprising mentoring programmes, peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of best practices; calls on the Commission to encourage greater gender equality in the teaching profession;

63.  Underlines the importance of reshaping and investing in teacher education from the initial phase and throughout teachers’ professional development, in order to equip them with solid, updated knowledge, skills and competences essential for a high standard of teaching, which includes diverse teaching methods, such as distance education, enabled by digital learning technologies; stresses the importance of the continuous professional development of teachers, including the provision of lifelong learning programmes and refresher courses and of reskilling and upskilling possibilities throughout their careers, which offer practical solutions for the challenges teachers encounter in their work at classroom level, and opportunities to participate in international teacher exchanges so that an institutional learning culture is fostered;

64.  Agrees that the high-quality pedagogical, psychological and methodological training of school and tertiary education teachers and lecturers is a key condition for the successful education of future generations; emphasises, in this regard, the importance of sharing best practices and developing skills and competences through international cooperation, mobility programmes such as Erasmus+ and paid internships in other Member States;

65.  Emphasises the teacher’s key role in providing an inclusive learning environment that requires embracing a range of methods and approaches to meet diverse needs, thus enabling all pupils to be involved in the design, realisation and assessment of their learning outcomes; acknowledges the crucial function of teachers as proactive guides and mentors who teach how to evaluate information, adopt a supporting role in the face of challenges, and prepare learners for life;

66.  Considers that the involvement of teachers and school leaders in modernising education systems is vital for effective reforming processes and for motivating educational staff to further improvements in school policy;

67.  Is of the opinion that an across-the-board school policy must guarantee effective support for teachers in order to ensure the attainment of educational goals, an enabling school environment, efficient school functioning and development and collaborative governance;

68.  Acknowledges the important role of educators as well as of cooperation between parents, teachers and school authorities within formal, non-formal or informal education in supporting current and future generations; encourages, in this regard, enhanced collaboration among all relevant actors in formal, non-formal and informal learning;

69.  Is of the opinion that enhanced cooperation between schoolteachers, researchers and academics is beneficial for all related parties and results in the improvement and updating of teaching content, learning practices, and pedagogy as well as fostering innovation, creativity and new skills;

Recommendations

70.  Considers that the European Education Area should focus on achieving common goals including ensuring quality education for all, and must be created on a basis of alignment and critical assessment of existing policies and educational trends and figures both inside and outside the EU in order to ensure coherence, consistency and achievable results, while also giving new impetus to their development and respecting the principles of conferral, subsidiarity, freedom, proportionality, and institutional and educational autonomy;

71.  Believes that the European Education Area should not jeopardise or substitute the Bologna Process, and that the latter should, rather, be developed and strengthened; stresses the importance of mutual links and complementarity between the European Education Area and the European Higher Education Area;

72.  Calls on the Member States to support the creation of a European Education Area and to strengthen cooperation in developing and implementing its objectives; calls, in this regard, on the Commission to ensure the sharing of ideas and good practices with a view to achieving those goals;

73.  Supports, as a basis for increased cooperation embracing HEIs both inside and outside the EU, the creation of a European network of universities, based on a bottom-up approach and initiatives of the universities themselves, which should contribute, among others, to the European Education Area becoming a more innovative, vital, and appealing space for learning and research;

74.  Calls on the Member States to recognise education as investment in human capital, and to provide greater public funding of a transparent character for realising initiatives aimed at improving quality, inclusivity and equity in teaching and learning;

75.  Stresses that increased investment in education and training systems, as well as their modernisation and adjustment, constitute a crucial condition for social and economic progress; stresses, therefore, the importance of ensuring that social investment, especially in education and training for all, is prioritised in the forthcoming programming period of the MFF for 2020-2026;

76.  Encourages, with regard to increasing inclusiveness and ensuring freedom of educational choice, the provision of adequate financial support for schools of all categories and levels, both state schools and not-for-profit private schools, provided the curriculum offered is based on the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and complies with the legal systems and rules and regulations regarding the quality of education and the use of such funds in force in the Member State concerned;

77.  Considers that it is high time for the necessary investment to be made in educational infrastructure in less developed regions, always taking care to adapt coordinated investment to the specific features of the region concerned; stresses that, in this connection, it is particularly important to enable greater support from the European Investment Bank and the European funds for regional initiatives aimed at developing education;

78.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to exchange experiences and best practices on public funding mechanisms and methods, including performance-based funding and competitive research funding, with a view to achieving a sustainable and transparent diversification of funding;

79.  Calls for enhanced cooperation among Member States in modernising education; urges Member States to begin implementing the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights that offer means of reducing inequalities in Europe through education, training and lifelong learning;

80.  Stresses the role of the European Semester in promoting national reforms, namely by defining the education-related country-specific recommendations;

81.  Expects the Digital Education Action Plan to support the Member States and educational institutions in the increased, more effective and age-and development-appropriate use of state-of-the-art technology, in learning, teaching and assessment, which meets quality assurance standards; believes that any digital education plan should establish and regularly assess the connection between digital means of education and qualification frameworks based on learning outcomes;

82.  Recommends that Member States and educational institutions promote learner-centred, individualised learning methods, including tailor-made courses that are based on and combine the academic and professional experience of the learner as well as innovative methods and interaction between teachers and students, in order to support continuing education and the achievement of intended learning outcomes where students are active participants in their own learning process;

83.  Calls on the Member States to adopt a holistic approach to education and to provide learners with specific, flexible learning opportunities that can equip them with the necessary core competences for successful entry into the labour market;

84.  Calls for increased incorporation of inquiring, active, project- and problem-based learning into educational programmes at all levels, with a view to promoting cooperation and teamwork; recommends that education systems work to strengthen transversal, soft and life skills;

85.  Reiterates that the right to education must be guaranteed to every person with disabilities, from kindergarten to university, and stresses the importance of having appropriate teaching and technical equipment, appraisal measures and qualified personnel to ensure that persons with disabilities are genuinely able to enjoy this right;

86.  Supports and encourages the implementation of actions concerning the development of media literacy and critical thinking through education and training; recalls the existing commitment in this field, as outlined in the Council conclusions of 30 May 2016; calls, in this context, on the Commission to coordinate policy developments at EU level in the area of media literacy with a view to disseminating updated knowledge and best practices in this field; calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop specific measures to promote and support media and digital literacy projects, such as the pilot project on Media Literacy for All, and to develop a comprehensive media and digital literacy policy, with a particular focus on school education;

87.  Encourages the Member States to ensure opportunities to develop key competences in order to maintain and acquire skills paying special attention to basic skills, STEAM disciplines, language competencies, entrepreneurship skills, digital competences, creativity, critical thinking and teamwork; encourages the Commission and the Member States to facilitate the use of the EU Key Competences Framework in all educational settings and to enable its application to formal, non-formal, and informal learning, thus maximising its potential as a crucial tool for lifelong learning;

88.  Encourages the Member States to raise public awareness of lifelong learning and to integrate a gender perspective in developing relevant policies and programmes, with a particular focus on women with lower levels of education, in both urban and rural areas, in order to provide them with upskilling opportunities;

89.  Supports the increased EU benchmark for participation in lifelong learning; calls, in this regard, on the Commission to propose best practices recommendations with a view to achieving this ambitious goal; encourages stronger emphasis on lifelong learning at all levels of education; stresses, in this context, the role of HEIs in the realisation of a lifelong learning strategy, the education of professionally active people, the development of competences and the formation of a learning culture for people of all ages and different backgrounds;

90.  Encourages the Commission to support the Member States in developing, promoting and reinforcing training and educational programmes facilitating adult learning, and their active inclusion in the education system; recalls that adult learning and education should provide a variety of learning pathways and flexible learning opportunities, including support for people in managing their lifelong learning pathways, second chance programmes for people who have never been to school, early school leavers and school dropouts; calls on the Commission to implement commitments such as the Skills Guarantee stipulated in the EU New Skills Agenda, and to act to improve the employment opportunities of low-skilled adults in the EU;

91.  Calls on the Member States to develop intergenerational projects to facilitate understanding of the challenges elderly people face as well as providing opportunities for them to share their skills, knowledge and experience;

92.  Encourages the development of synergies and collaborations between formal, non-formal and informal education; welcomes the progress made in the last few years towards the implementation of the Council recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning by 2018; calls, however, on the Member States to continue beyond 2018 with their efforts to further enhance the implementation of those recommendations, and to establish relevant legal frameworks and create comprehensive validation strategies in order to enable validation; highlights that the recognition of informal and non-formal learning, including through free online courses, is central to the idea of opening up education to the more disadvantaged;

93.  Emphasises the key role of parents as part of the education triangle in supporting children’s learning; highlights the benefits of parental involvement in child education for increased pupil achievement, pupils’ wellbeing and school development;

94.  Calls on the Commission to support cross-border initiatives in open learning online;

95.  Emphasises that the quality of education should be measured in terms of the degree to which a learner has acquired not only knowledge and competences, but also the ability to pursue and develop lifelong learning and creative endeavours;

96.  Supports the Commission in the creation of a scoreboard to support the development of key competences as well as competency-based education, learning and training;

97.  Calls on the Member States to fight gender stereotypes in education in order to ensure that women have the same opportunities and freedom of choice in terms of the career they wish to pursue; is concerned, in this context, at the stereotypes that persist in learning materials in some Member States and teachers’ differing behavioural expectations as between girls and boys; points out the need to incorporate the principle of gender equality into both initial and continuing teacher training, as well as in teaching practices, in order to remove any obstacles preventing students from realising their full potential irrespective of their gender; calls on the Member States, when implementing gender equality in the curricula and syllabuses of regional education systems, to pay special attention to the outermost regions, bearing in mind the high rates of violence against women recorded there; stresses that education systems at all levels need to include a gender perspective and take into account the needs of people suffering from discrimination;

98.  Urges the Member States to promote the principles of equality and non-discrimination in educational institutions, be it through formal or informal learning;

99.  Recommends that the Commission and/or the Member States establish and promote a European/national award centring on the issue of gender equality in educational institutions, with a view to encouraging best practice;

100.  Stresses that education is a key tool for social inclusion and for the improvement of skills levels and qualifications among migrants and refugees, both minors and adults; encourages, in the context, exchanging best practices on integration through education and imparting common values, improving and facilitating recognition of diplomas and qualifications, providing scholarships and establishing partnerships with universities in the countries of origin, as well as building on the valuable experience of the Education Corridors;

101.  Stresses that greater efforts should be made to ensure access to education and training at all levels for pupils from autochthonous minorities and to support educational institutions that provide services in the mother tongue of autochthonous ethnic or linguistic minorities; calls on the Commission to strengthen the promotion of programmes focused on the exchange of experiences and best practices concerning education in regional and minority languages in Europe; encourages the Member States to facilitate the development of teaching in the mother tongue of pupils and students;

102.  Encourages the Member States to increase levels of language competence by making use of good practices, such as official certification of foreign language skills acquired under a certain age;

103.  Invites the Member States and the Commission to establish a system of 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;

104.  Welcomes, in this regard, the Commission communication on a new skills agenda for Europe (COM(2016)0381), which proposes solutions to skills mismatch and shortages and means of finding the right system of skills recognition; encourages the Member States, in this context, to establish quality dual systems of education (having the utmost value in terms of holistic personal growth and developing skills for lifelong learning) and vocational training in coordination with local and regional actors, and in line with the specific nature of each education system; notes the advantages and growing attractiveness of the hybrid VET system, which combines in equal measure strong school-based and work-based paths;

105.  Recommends that educational guidance should be reinforced as a vital tool for encompassing different educational systems in a flexible manner while enriching and updating knowledge and skills;

106.  Supports and encourages educational and vocational guidance as a vital educational task for the individual and social development of the young generations;

107.  Takes the view that entrepreneurship is a driver of growth and job creation and also a way to make economies more competitive and innovative, which helps to empower women;

108.  Highlights that social entrepreneurship is a growing field that can boost the economy while simultaneously alleviating deprivation, social exclusion and other societal problems; considers, therefore, that entrepreneurship education should include a social dimension and should address such subjects as fair trade, social enterprises, social responsibility of enterprises, and alternative business models such as cooperatives, in order to strive towards a more social, inclusive and sustainable economy;

109.  Calls on the Member States to focus on entrepreneurial and financial education, volunteering and foreign language proficiency in education, and also to prioritise these skills in VET programmes;

110.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the concrete employment opportunities associated with VET education and its relevance in the labour market;

111.  Calls on the Member States to develop career guidance that would facilitate the identification of pupils’ and students’ abilities and predispositions and strengthen the process of personalised teaching;

112.  Stresses the special educational situation of children and adolescents whose parents travel professionally in Europe, and calls on the Commission to conduct a study to highlight the specific situation of these children and adolescents with regard to the challenges facing them in terms of pre-school and school education;

113.  Recommends that the Commission should, acting under Article 349 TFEU, provide greater support to Member States which have outermost regions, with a view to improving their education systems at all levels;

114.  Encourages the Member States and regional authorities to regularly assess and monitor the relevance of educational policies, strategies and programmes, also taking into account feedback from teachers and learners, so as to ensure that education systems continue to address the changing needs and evolving socio-economic situation of the country concerned; recommends enhancing links between education policy and other policies so as to foster and assess the efficiency and performance of educational reforms;

115.  Reiterates the importance of monitoring the performance and impact assessments of the EU programmes targeting youth employment; stresses the importance of effective and sustainable investment;

116.  Appreciates the Commission’s activities in the field of modernisation of education systems, and in this context, calls on the Member States to be more involved in and committed to the implementation of proposed improvements;

117.  Encourages the Member States, in collaboration with the Commission, to support educational institutions in modernising reform processes by assigning specialised contact points at national and/or regional level to provide relevant information, guidance and assistance;

118.  Reiterates the need to create rights-based and gender-sensitive learning environments enabling students to learn about and stand up for human rights, including women’s and children’s rights, fundamental values and civic participation, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, democracy and the rule of law, being confident in their identity, knowing their voice is heard and feeling valued by their communities;

Early childhood education and care (ECEC)

119.  Calls on the Member States to ensure free and fair access to high-quality ECEC, and encourages them to take the necessary measures to ensure that the material and financial conditions are met to enable every child to access early childhood education without discrimination, and to provide more nursery and kindergarten places for children;

120.  Calls on the Commission to consider establishing a common European framework for ECEC, building on the principles proposed in the Quality Framework; supports setting a European benchmark for the quality of ECEC, to be designed in cooperation with teachers and professionals in the sector and in line with national or regional quality indicators;

121.  Believes that Member States should make greater efforts to encourage the governing bodies of ECEC institutions to investigate the possibility of pursuing Europe-wide projects; points out that professionals would, in that way, be able to keep track of teaching innovations and thus make pre-school education more meaningful;

122.  Maintains that early childhood institutions should not be excluded from the European Education Area; considers that these institutions should likewise promote the exchange of knowledge among Member States, especially for purposes of sharing information when implementing innovative projects;

123.  Recommends that cooperation between ECEC staff and pre-primary school teachers be increased to improve the quality of education and links between educational levels, prepare pre-schoolers for the transition to primary school, and focus on children’s development; highlights the importance of relations between ECEC providers and children’s parents and guardians, between school staff and children, and among children themselves;

124.  Encourages the Member States to increase funding for ECEC, as well as economic support and initiatives (such as tax reductions, subsidies, or waiving of fees) for parents and guardians, especially those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, in order to enable and encourage their use of ECEC services;

125.  Calls on the Member States to further invest in staff in order to attract more people to follow the relevant career path and thus ensure availability of highly qualified staff for ECEC;

126.  Calls on the Member States to reform and improve their systems with a view to achieving the Barcelona objective of having at least 33 % of children under three participating in ECEC programmes;

School education

127.  Encourages the implementation of a ‘Whole School Approach’ in order to increase social inclusion, accessibility, democratic governance, quality and diversity in education, as well as to address early school leaving and the issue of NEETs, while also aiming to put learning outcomes, learners’ needs, wellbeing and involvement in school life at the core of all activity; advocates promoting and supporting democratic school students’ representative structures;

128.  Highlights that the large number of NEETs – almost 6,3 million young people aged between 15 and 24 – could be reduced by action to prevent early school leaving and by making schools more practical and connected to their local environment, as well as by developing links with local companies, local authorities, social institutions and NGOs; is of the opinion that early school leaving, which is one of the reasons for young people subsequently becoming NEETs, could be combated by tackling poverty and social exclusion; believes that it is also important to support students in finding their own learning methods, including online courses and blended learning; welcomes the implementation of relevant and engaging curricula and of strong and well-developed guidance systems, with high-quality counselling and guidance services for all students;

129.  Stresses the need to strengthen opportunities and structures for internal and external collaboration at school level, including interdisciplinary cooperation, team teaching, school clusters and interactions with actors involved in the design and implementation of learning paths, including parents; notes the importance of international exchanges and school partnerships, through programmes such as Erasmus+ and e-Twinning;

130.  Stresses that school education should also be made more flexible in order to improve response to the actual living circumstances of students, e.g. by greater use of online services, so that, for example, blended learning opportunities can also be improved;

131.  Believes that the earlier people acquire STEAM skills, the better their chances of future educational and professional success will be; therefore, encourages more STEAM initiatives at school level, and in tandem, the promotion of human and social sciences, through enhanced and differentiated cooperation with higher education and scientific research institutions, among other means;

132.  Encourages the Commission to support the development among young Europeans of language skills in formal and non-formal educational settings, by developing innovative multilingual pedagogies, sharing best multilingual pedagogical practices, and enhancing teachers’ language competences;

133.  Encourages the Member States and the Commission to support existing initiatives and develop and implement all-encompassing policies on inclusive education and strategies aimed at targeting specific needs, promoting the rights of the most vulnerable groups, creating more inclusive learning environments and furthering openness and engagement; calls on the Commission to develop, together with the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, innovative methods and educational tools in order to foster inclusion and meet individual pupils’ needs;

134.  Recommends that the Member States integrate learning about the EU into their secondary school curricula, in order to familiarise students with the functioning of the Union, its history and the values of European citizenship;

135.  Stresses the importance of including and promoting, in school curricula and educational content, knowledge about the history of women’s emancipation, and in particular women’s suffrage, including on the occasion of symbolic anniversaries (e.g. 2018 as 100 years since women won the right to vote in Poland and Germany), in order to raise awareness with a view to promoting women’s rights within an educational framework;

136.  Emphasises the importance of health and relationships education, which must include teaching children and young people about relationships based on equality, consent, respect and reciprocity, as well as teaching about women’s and girls’ rights, including reproductive and sexual health and rights, as a tool to fight stereotypes, prevent gender-based violence and promote well-being;

137.  Encourages Red Cross training in schools for students, teachers and non-teaching staff, as an aid to learning essential first aid skills and being able to act in an emergency;

138.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop a pilot scheme to support exchanges of secondary students under which they would spend at least half an academic year in another Member State;

139.  Calls on the Member States to limit to the necessary minimum the use of standardised tests as instruments to assess the level of acquired knowledge and skills;

140.  Encourages the Member States to consider adopting measures to ensure the recognition of study periods abroad that do not lead to a diploma or qualification; invites the Commission, in this regard, to propose guidelines for the recognition of study periods abroad, taking into consideration the existing best practices of Member States, the principle of mutual appreciation between educational systems, and the key competences-based approach, as well as the specificities of national educational systems and cultures;

141.  Calls on the Commission, Member States and regional authorities to address the issues of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, addiction and violence by developing, at school level and in cooperation with the direct beneficiaries and all stakeholders (in particular teachers, parents’ associations and specialist NGOs), prevention programmes and awareness-raising campaigns embracing inclusion;

142.  Recommends that Member States, their educational institutions and the Commission engage more actively in promoting the practice of sports among pupils;

Higher education

143.  Calls for the creation of the European Education Area to be based on the potential of existing frameworks, e.g. the European Research Area, the Innovation Union and the European Higher Education Area, in such a way that they can strengthen and complement each other;

144.  Encourages the Member States to invest at least 2 % of their respective GDPs in higher education and to comply with the EU benchmark of investing 3 % of Union GDP in R&D by 2020;

145.  Suggests that Member States and regional authorities, when using national and regional resources and allocating European structural and investment funds, give priority to educational programmes and to fostering cooperation between higher education, the world of work, industry, research communities and society as a whole;

146.  Calls on the Member States to foster more inclusive and accessible mobility of students, trainees, apprentice teachers, researchers and administrative staff, since this contributes both to their personal and professional development as well as to a higher quality of learning, teaching, research and administration; advocates facilitating mobility for all through, among other measures, smooth recognition of credits and academic and professional qualifications obtained abroad, adequate funding and personal assistance, social rights guarantees, and, where appropriate, the incorporation of educational mobility as part of education programmes; notes, in this regard, the new initiatives on the part of the Commission, including the eCard to facilitate student mobility across borders;

147.  Takes the view that funding for the mobility of teaching staff and researchers needs to be increased by providing for study/research grants in addition to reimbursement of expenses, extending the duration of stays abroad, simplifying authorisation procedures, and promoting forms of teacher/researcher co-tutoring;

148.  Calls on the Commission to encourage Member States to boost mobility in adult education, as already provided for in the Erasmus+ programme;

149.  Stresses the importance of guaranteeing the mutual cross-border recognition and compatibility of qualifications and academic degrees, thus strengthening the system of quality assurance at EU level and in all countries that have joined the European Higher Education Area;

150.  Stresses the need to develop comprehensive strategies and appropriate tools for determining the quality of new modes of teaching and learning, e.g. e-learning, Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOCs) and open access resources; recognises, in this context, the role of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and other relevant European networks in contributing to the establishment of quality assurance;

151.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the renewed EU agenda for higher education among HEIs, regional and local authorities and employers, with a view to addressing HEIs’ and students’ needs and the challenges facing them, creating links with local and regional actors, reaching out to local communities, fostering local and regional development and innovation, building inclusive and connected higher education systems, strengthening collaboration with the world of work, and addressing regional skills needs; also encourages HEIs to become more involved in local and regional development by participating in cooperative community projects, among other actions;

152.  Calls for fulfilment of the commitments of the New Skills Agenda, including supporting Member States in efforts to make more information available on how graduates progress in the labour market; welcomes, in this context, the proposal to set up a European graduate tracking system by 2020; considers that graduate tracking information and the collection of accurate and relevant data (not only at national but also at EU level) are essential for quality assurance and the development of quality education;

153.  Encourages the Commission to increase its efforts to narrow the research and innovation gap among Member States and regions by proposing new initiatives in the framework of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), and to support the combination of research and teaching activities for MSCA beneficiaries who are preparing for an academic career;

154.  Suggests that the EU STE(A)M coalition should encompass a wide range of disciplines in order to prepare students for life and work in a context of dynamically changing reality;

155.  Supports the awarding of credits under the European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS) to students for community volunteer work, as a means of contributing to students’ professional and personal development;

156.  Emphasises that international cooperation programmes, cultural diplomacy and policy dialogues with third countries in the field of higher education not only enable knowledge to flow more freely, but also contribute to the enhancement of the quality and international standing of European higher education, while boosting research and innovation, fostering mobility and intercultural dialogue, and promoting international development in accordance with the EU’s external action objectives;

157.  Is of the opinion that future-proofed education systems should include learning for sustainability and peace-building and should be part of a broader reflection on occupational literacy in the context of the increasing digitisation and robotisation of European societies, focusing not only on economic growth but also on the personal development and improved health and wellbeing of learners;

158.  Calls on the Member States to promote cooperation between educational institutions and the world of work in order to better prepare learners to enter the labour market, as well as to take action on the need to address skills mismatches and skills shortages; encourages, in this regard, the inclusion of high-quality relevant work placements, recognised through ECTS credits, in higher education programmes and VET schemes, cooperation between higher education establishments, the world of work, the research sector and local and regional economic actors in the creation of quality dual education and vocational training systems, career guidance, apprenticeships, internships, and also reality-based training, which should be a part of vocational and higher education curricula; further calls on the Member States to secure the right of every young person in the EU to be offered a job, an apprenticeship, additional training or combined work and training;

159.  Considers that in order to ensure the provision of quality apprenticeship or traineeship placements, it is fundamental that contracts are in place delineating the roles and responsibilities of all parties and specifying the length, learning objectives and tasks corresponding to clearly identified skills to be developed, employment status, adequate compensation/remuneration, including for overtime, social protection and security schemes under the applicable national law, applicable collective agreements, or both;

160.  Underlines the need to offer proper learning and training content and decent working conditions for traineeships and apprenticeships so as to ensure their crucial role in the transition from education to professional life; stresses that traineeships and apprenticeships should never be used as a substitute for jobs, nor should trainees or apprentices be treated as cheap or even unpaid labour;

161.  Suggests that universities and training centres provide basic and further training for vocational education teachers, with contributions from experts in the work areas corresponding to the specialist fields covered by vocational courses;

The teacher as a guarantor of quality teaching

162.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support teachers in incorporating innovation and technology into teaching through the strengthening of their digital skills, as well as providing them with relevant resources and support, e.g. by increasing the provision of refresher training and by developing online communities and open educational resources and courses;

163.  Supports the creation of an Academy of Teaching and Learning, as a complementary facility enabling teachers to train and exchange best practices at European level, by providing a centre for online exchange, sharing experiences and mutual learning, as well as being a place for regular meetings in the form of workshops, seminars, and conferences to promote teachers’ collaboration, enhance the quality of teaching, and foster teachers’ professional development; calls on the Commission to propose a project for the creation of such an academy, based also on the know-how of the European Schoolnet Academy;

164.  Recalls the importance of pedagogical training for teaching staff in HEIs and of considering pedagogical competences as being at least of equal importance to research competences in the recruitment process; highlights the role of research-based education and pedagogical research in terms of stimulating a student-centred approach to learning and teaching, encouraging active learning, enhancing skills development, and improving teaching methodology;

165.  Calls on the Member States to introduce incentives to attract and motivate young people and qualified teachers to enter and work in the education system;

166.  Emphasises the need to recognise the professional status of ECEC employees;

167.  Calls for support for teachers delivering multilingual courses, since these are an important factor in the internationalisation of education;

168.  Highlights the role of intercultural learning as part of teacher education with a view to enhancing teachers’ intercultural competences, in order to promote European culture and common values as well as a European dimension of teaching; notes that intercultural competences are essential for working in increasingly diverse societies, as well as fostering internationalisation at school level;

169.  Is aware of the need to create synergies between the knowledge of teachers and the technological potential of pupils, in order to maximise learning outcomes;

170.  Advocates the incorporation of teacher training placements guided by trained mentors, at all stages of teacher education;

171.  Encourages teachers and school leaders to promote and take a leading role in implementing innovation in the school environment and fostering its development;

172.  Encourages HEIs to prioritise, support and reward the improvement and updating of the pedagogical knowledge of higher education teachers and researchers, including educational possibilities offered by modern technology, as a means of enhancing student achievement and teaching efficacy;

173.  Supports the development of new, innovative and ambitious teaching techniques and educational standards in order to better respond to the needs of students and HEIs, as well as to the challenges of a rapidly changing world;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ C 183, 14.6.2014, p. 22.
(2) OJ C 183, 14.6.2014, p. 30.
(3) OJ C 398, 22.12.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 172, 27.5.2015, p. 17.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0360.
(6) OJ C 417, 15.12.2015, p. 25.
(7) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 50.
(8) OJ C 346, 21.9.2016, p. 2.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0018.
(10) OJ C 484, 24.12.2016, p. 1.
(11) OJ C 398, 22.12.2012, p. 1.
(12) http://www.socialsummit17.se/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Concluding-report-Gothenburg-summit.pdf
(13) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/educ/122123.pdf
(14) OJ C 104, 16.4.1984, p. 69.
(15) OJ C 135, 26.5.2010, p. 12.
(16) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0303.
(17) http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Gender_statistics
(18) http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/3072, and https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_publication/field_ef_document/ef1502en_0.pdf


Towards a sustainable and competitive European aquaculture sector
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European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2018 on towards a sustainable and competitive European aquaculture sector: current status and future challenges (2017/2118(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0248A8-0186/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture’ (COM(2013)0229),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 304/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 708/2007 concerning use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture(1),

–  having regard to Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes(2),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EC) No 710/2009 of 5 August 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, as regards laying down detailed rules on organic aquaculture animal and seaweed production(3),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and amending Directives 64/432/EEC and 93/119/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1255/97(4),

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control(5),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91(6),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1954/2003 and (EC) No 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2371/2002 and (EC) No 639/2004 and Council Decision 2004/585/EC(7),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1379/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1184/2006 and (EC) No 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 104/2000(8),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2328/2003, (EC) No 861/2006, (EC) No 1198/2006 and (EC) No 791/2007 and Regulation (EU) No 1255/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(9),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/1004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 on the establishment of a Union framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector and support for scientific advice regarding the common fisheries policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 199/2008(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 December 2008 on the adoption of a European Cormorant Management Plan to minimise the increasing impact of cormorants on fish stocks, fishing and aquaculture(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 June 2010 on a new impetus for the Strategy for the Sustainable Development of European Aquaculture(12),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 July 2010 on the arrangements for importing fishery and aquaculture products into the EU with a view to the future reform of the CFP(13),

–  having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 23 November 2010 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 708/2007 concerning use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture(14),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 September 2015 on untapping the potential of research and innovation in the blue economy to create jobs and growth(15),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2016 on traceability of fishery and aquaculture products in restaurants and retail(16),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document on the application of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in relation to aquaculture (SWD(2016)0178),

–  having regard to the Commission document of 2015 entitled ‘Overview report: Implementation of the rules on finfish aquaculture’ (DG(SANTE) 2015-7406 – MR),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 29 June 2017 on a European One Health action plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) (COM(2017)0339),

–  having regard to the economic report on the EU aquaculture sector of 2016 by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF),

–  having regard to the Eurobarometer report on ‘EU consumer habits regarding fishery and aquaculture products’ (2017) and the complementary analysis by the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA),

–  having regard to the scientific opinion entitled ‘Food from the Oceans’ produced by the High-Level Group of Scientific Advisors in November 2017,

–  having regard to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries,

–  having regard to the OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code,

–  having regard to Articles 42 and 43(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2017 on promoting cohesion and development in the outermost regions of the EU: implementation of Article 349 of the TFEU(17),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A8-0186/2018),

A.  whereas the aquaculture sector, including marine and freshwater fish farming, as well as farming of molluscs, crustaceans, seaweed and echinoderms, is an innovative economic sector, which is the fastest growing food production activity, and, potentially, a high-technology sector requiring structural and research investment and long-term operational and financial planning;

B.  whereas the fish farming and shellfish industries play an important and valuable role in terms of the economy, employment and social and environmental matters with respect to improving the quality of life of the coastal and inland areas of the Union and of outermost regions and to contributing to the nutritional and food security of Europeans; whereas there are certain factors which adversely affect aquaculture production, including environmental and climate-related factors but, above all, animal predators; whereas, as shown by a number of studies, these predation issues are having a significant impact on production;

C.  whereas the Commission communication ‘Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture’ emphasises four priority areas to be addressed in order to unlock the potential of EU aquaculture: administrative procedures, coordinated spatial planning, competitiveness, in particular by linking up the sector with science, and a level playing field;

D.  whereas the same communication recommends that Member States should draw up multiannual national strategic plans for aquaculture that would analyse the key shortcomings and the issues needing to be resolved, set out shared objectives and, where possible, establish indicators to assess the progress made towards achieving these objectives;

E.  whereas maintaining local ecosystems and stocks must be a key priority objective, preventing the displacement and destruction of local fisheries and farming;

F.  whereas despite good intentions and efforts EU aquaculture is stagnating, in contrast with increasing growth seen in other regions of the world;

G.  whereas it is estimated that aquaculture production in the EU only covers 10 % of the domestic demand for fish and whereas more than a half of the demand for fishery products comes from imports from third countries;

H.  whereas aquaculture should be seen and treated as a form of agriculture, especially in the case of pond farming;

I.  whereas the backwardness of the outermost regions in the development of aquaculture is particularly significant;

J.  whereas the recent opinion of the High-Level Group of Scientific Advisors on the question put to the group by Commissioner Vella, namely ‘How can more food and biomass be obtained from the ocean in a way that does not deprive future generations of their benefits?’, contains the following recommendations: ‘Mainstream a “food from the ocean” paradigm of responsible culture ... into broad EU and global systems-level policy agendas’; and: ‘Take the development of mariculture in Europe to a higher and more strategic level via a comprehensive, concerted policy framework – this includes issuing guidance on the inclusion of mariculture requirements in the implementation of the 2014 EU Directive on Marine Spatial Planning and extending technological cooperation to mariculture under sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPAs) between the EU and southern partner countries’;

K.  whereas starting up or expanding an aquaculture farm in the EU requires obtaining various permits and authorisations, and whereas the procedure for obtaining these official documents is not harmonised at EU level and is, in general, slow, complex and lacking legal certainty and economic predictability; whereas this situation risks hindering the development of the sector and could discourage business investment and result in excessive costs for the sector, in addition to indirectly encouraging imports from third countries;

L.  whereas the most complex procedures for aquaculture operations are those related to environmental requirements (environmental impact assessments, strategic environmental assessments and surveillance procedures), but, paradoxically, the slowness and complexity of these administrative procedures do not always ensure environmental protection, indeed on the contrary sometimes making it difficult to establish socioeconomic, environmentally sustainable and quality aquaculture farms; whereas there are differences between freshwater and marine aquaculture; whereas differences in the sub-sectors of aquaculture require different practices in terms of managing stocks, feeding and reproduction; whereas the necessary consideration must be given to these differences when drawing up regulations for EU aquaculture and, in particular, sustainable environmental standards;

M.  whereas bureaucratic complexity and delays, specifically those relating to licensing and planning, represent inaction that inevitably results in economic and socio-labour costs to potential investors in the areas in which aquaculture farms are established, with a particular impact on female and youth employment;

N.  whereas for adequate spatial planning the different needs of the various users, together with the need to protect nature, must be taken into account and efforts must be made to reconcile them; whereas the unavailability of locations, the lack of adequate spatial planning and the conflict with other economic activities have a considerable effect on the development of EU aquaculture in some regions, since the aquaculture sector may have less weight than other ‘powerful’ sectors;

O.  whereas spatial planning is one of the prerequisites for the long-term development of aquaculture and the necessary means of ensuring suitable planning locations for aquaculture, taking into account other activities in the areas concerned;

P.  whereas EU environmental legislation is based on directives (the Marine Strategy Directive, the Birds and Habitats Directives), and whereas it is therefore left to Member States and to local and regional authorities to transpose and apply them with a certain degree of discretion; whereas, consequently, there is no uniform implementation throughout the EU and this leads to legal uncertainty for enterprises and farms and a lack of predictability for investors, and creates an uneven playing field;

Q.  whereas according to the ‘Food from the Oceans’ scientific opinion, the only way to obtain significantly more food and biomass from the ocean in a short period of time is to harvest organisms at the bottom of the food chain, such as macroalgae and bivalve molluscs;

R.  whereas different national or regional legal frameworks for aquaculture can lead to businesses having different legal requirements even if they are active in the same sea basin, which in turn risks distorting competition;

S.  whereas the examples of good cooperation on the basis of voluntary agreements and other agreements between conservationists and the sector are to be welcomed; whereas, while the positive examples of contributions by aquaculture to the maintenance of good water quality and aquatic ecosystem services are to be welcomed, it is important also to acknowledge and seek to reduce the negative impacts which aquaculture can have on the local environment and water quality; therefore encourages further innovation and initiatives to ensure a long-term sustainable and profitable sector;

T.  whereas bivalve mollusc farming and macroalgae cultivation require a balanced supply of nutritive salts in the environment;

U.  whereas, in light of the above, this kind of freshwater fish farm also qualifies as an environmental protection service safeguarding the quality and quantity of water and deserves far more recognition and support from EU decision-makers than is currently the case;

V.  whereas EU products have to comply with a series of stringent environmental, animal health, animal welfare and consumer protection rules and standards covering production operations, feed, welfare, transport, processing and social conditions of employment, which directly affect the costs of production; whereas the result is excellent quality and sustainable products which may be more expensive and, thus often, less competitive than the imported ones, which frequently arrive on the EU market at low prices due to practices which are unsustainable from an environmental, social and labour point of view, and whose production has been accompanied by poor animal welfare and health standards;

W.  whereas some aquaculture companies depend greatly on energy resources, adding to the cost of aquaculture production;

X.  whereas the consumption of fish – a food containing proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and essential micronutrients that benefit human health – should be increased, and whereas the excellent quality of EU seafood should constitute a major competitive advantage for EU aquaculture;

Y.  whereas global consumption of fish is steadily increasing, in parallel with the global growth of the population;

Z.  whereas additionally, there is not always coherence among EU trade, social and environmental policies: for example, the EU grants Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP and GSP+) status to vulnerable developing countries, with the aim of allowing them to pay fewer or no duties on exports to the EU, giving them vital access to the EU market and contributing to their growth; whereas, at the same time, some of these countries, for example some Asian countries, produce aquaculture products which do not comply with the environmental, animal welfare, health, social and labour standards that EU operators must meet and which, in some cases, are in violation of human rights;

AA.  whereas the EU is also heavily dependent on the importation of fisheries products from third countries for aquaculture feed, and whereas more sustainable, alternative feed has so far been insufficiently researched and promoted;

AB.  whereas the EU’s external trade in aquaculture is in deficit and unfair competition is taking place between imported third-country and EU aquaculture products and EU produce, to the detriment of food quality and consumer health;

AC.  whereas aquaculture in third countries offers opportunities to EU investment;

AD.  whereas the differences between the products of European aquaculture compared to those of third countries in terms of quality, environmental footprint, social behaviour and respect for the welfare of animals cannot be perceived by European consumers when the information they receive about them is insufficient or inaccurate (especially in relation to country of origin, defrosting or identification of species);

AE.  whereas the EU legislation regarding information on aquatic products for the consumer is clear and whereas control thereof is the responsibility of the authorities of the Member States; whereas, however, the failure actually to provide this essential information for the consumer is generally notorious, in the case of both fishmongers and restaurants; whereas this situation of insufficient implementation undermines the competitiveness of EU aquaculture;

AF.  whereas sustainable fish farming is based on rearing healthy animals, and for this it is essential to develop specific and innovative veterinary tools, especially vaccines and antibiotics, which should be used in a responsible and restrictive manner that ensures animal and consumer health and welfare, and safe and nutritional aquaculture products, with no detriment for the environment and wild species; whereas the EU animal health regulations must also consider the particularities of aquaculture and specificities of fish species when dealing with the treatment of infections and diseases and the impact on product quality;

AG.  whereas the European One Health action plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) observes that immunisation through vaccination is a cost-effective public health intervention in efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance(18), which likewise applies to aquaculture;

AH.  whereas the image that European society and consumers have of aquaculture varies from one Member State to another but in general there is clearly room for improvement;

AI.  whereas although there is always room for improvement through better practices, the bad image of this activity is not always due to real problems (environmental, quality or safety aspects), but to the preconceived idea that consumers have of aquaculture; whereas a significant part of this situation is due to the belief that the real impacts of aquaculture in some third countries (developing countries) are also encountered in the EU, which is not true;

AJ.  whereas the widely varying practices with respect to aquaculture lead to significant differences in product quality, environmental impact and sanitary conditions, among others, leaving the consumer frequently uncertain of the resulting product;

AK.  whereas the poor reputation of aquaculture affects its governance by public administrations (licensing, planning, etc.), but also its marketing conditions;

AL.  whereas it is important to note the potential of freshwater aquaculture, inland aquaculture with enclosed waters, integrated multitrophic aquaculture and recirculation systems or aquaponics in urban zones for the improvement of food security and the development of rural areas;

AM.  whereas crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants, such as algae, are also an important resource for aquaculture;

AN.  whereas research and innovation have a fundamental role to play in unlocking the potential of sustainable aquaculture; whereas production can be sustainably increased through innovation-led expansion, the regeneration and cleaning of waters, the use of renewable energies, and energy and resource efficiency, while reducing environmental impacts and providing environmental services;

AO.  whereas EU-level standard protocols of scientific data that enable the supervision and improvement of management and production practices, as well as their environmental and health impact, are of considerable importance;

AP.  whereas the farming of native or endemic species should be given preference in order to reduce the environmental impact and make aquaculture more sustainable;

AQ.  whereas difficulties in accessing credit and a considerable time-lag between investment and first sale (in general three years or more) risk discouraging investors;

AR.  whereas the pre-financing conditions offered by banks and financial institutions are increasingly strict;

AS.  whereas the procedures, which in most cases are not sufficiently clear to users, and the plethora of documents that have to be submitted in order to obtain funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) are discouraging for the applicant; whereas the approximately EUR 1 280 million available in the current (2014-2020) programming period is not sufficient to develop the European aquaculture sector; whereas, in addition, there is an extremely low rate of absorption by the Member States;

AT.  whereas sustainable aquaculture must take account of potential impacts on wild fish stocks and water quality, but, conversely, it also needs healthy fish stocks and excellent water quality;

AU.  whereas available data show a growing gap – estimated at 8 million tonnes – between the level of consumption of seafood in the EU and the volume of captures from fisheries; whereas sustainable aquaculture can, together with sustainable fisheries, contribute to ensuring long-term food and nutrition security, including food supplies, as well as growth and employment for Union citizens, and to meeting the growing world demand for aquatic food, providing that sustainable sources of feed are used for aquaculture activities and environmental degradation is prevented; whereas it can thus contribute to the overall objective of filling the gap between consumption and production of seafood in the EU;

AV.  whereas in aquaculture one kilogram of low-value fish can be transformed into one kilogram of high-value fish (as in the case of capelin to turbot, where the value increases from EUR 0,10 to EUR 7 per kilogram);

AW.  whereas young people are less interested in working in the aquaculture sector or investing in and developing it due to poor communication and a lack of financial prospects and stability, which make it unattractive to younger generations;

AX.  whereas sustainable aquaculture owned and managed by the community can be of socio-economic benefit to coastal peripheral regions and play a positive role in the blue economy;

AY.  whereas freshwater aquaculture accounts for 20 % of the performance of the sector in Europe as a whole, and whereas EU support should match this proportion; whereas the divergent nature of freshwater aquaculture means that it needs special rules and a separate chapter in the legislation on the EU’s common fisheries policy;

AZ.  whereas research and innovation are crucial in achieving more sustainability and competitiveness for the aquaculture sector on the EU market;

BA.  whereas freshwater aquaculture projects can also be carried out with ex-post financing, and whereas this often requires disproportionate efforts from investors, with the result that in many cases fish farmers do not dare to embark on projects; whereas the intensity of support is in most cases inadequate;

Unlock the potential of EU aquaculture

1.  Recognises the positive effects that sustainable aquaculture, including both marine and freshwater sectors, can have on employment and the economy of the Union, in general, improving the productivity and quality of life of its coastal and inland areas; stresses the need to boost its development, diversification and innovation by promoting higher levels of production of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, algae and echinoderms from aquaculture and improving the competitiveness of such products (to improve EU aquaculture production so that it reaches at least the current global aquaculture growth rate within five years and to encourage investment in more energy-efficient and economical equipment), and increasing their consumption and contribution to food and nutrition security for EU citizens; insists that this must be done while conserving the proper functioning of the marine ecosystems so as to allow the continued practice of profitable aquaculture, commercial fisheries, and other sustainable uses of the marine environment;

2.  Believes that the EU needs to increase its production in the aquaculture sector, in particular with the aim of reducing pressure on natural fishing grounds; takes the view that fish-based feed should be sustainably sourced and should not jeopardise the maximum sustainable yield objectives of the common fisheries policy and that nutrient loads should be controlled; stresses the importance of cooperation between researchers, the aquaculture industry, feed producers, and environmental organisations and administrations; stresses that EU aquaculture should take into account quality, sustainability, food safety, environmental aspects, and animal and human health, and should be a model in this regard; takes positive note of new initiatives with land-based aquaculture, especially in sensitive seas and EU areas with closed waters, and believes that stronger measures are needed to make aquaculture a more efficient, economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally friendly sector, fulfilling a greater share of the European demand for fish and reducing Europe’s dependence on imports;

3.  Welcomes the Commission communication ‘Strategic Guidelines for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture’ and its identification of the areas where efforts need to focus in order to unlock the potential of EU aquaculture so that it, together with sustainable fisheries, can contribute to the objective of filling the gap between consumption and production of seafood in the EU in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable;

4.  Stresses that freshwater aquaculture is still an insufficiently explored opportunity for improving food security and developing rural areas;

5.  Stresses that sustainable growth needs to be based on: business investment predictability and legal certainty, which can be created through more efficient administrative frameworks, improved governance transparency, clear and homogenous and simplified criteria for granting licences across the EU, common disease management procedures and access to appropriate veterinary treatments that are not harmful to animal and human health, effective spatial planning, the availability of guidance documents, exchanges of best practices, the support of the Aquaculture Advisory Council, and adequate financial support; points out that all these factors can contribute to sustainable growth;

6.  Appreciates the conclusions and recommendations of the scientific opinion on ‘Food from the Oceans’ of November 2017 relating to maritime, fisheries and aquaculture policy development and implementation in the coming years to help increase the quantity of sustainable food coming from the oceans;

7.  Calls on the Commission to support the industry in its efforts to reduce its dependence on wild fish stocks for the production of fish feed, including through increased use of seaweed and other algae;

8.  Calls on the Commission to encourage the further development of the emergent seaweed aquaculture sector;

9.  Recognises the potential of aquaculture to contribute to food and nutrition security for EU citizens and the need for sustainable and healthy diets, climate-smart, animal welfare-friendly and environmentally sustainable food systems, and the circularity and resource efficiency of food systems, encouraging innovation and the empowerment of communities;

10.  Reiterates that the development of European aquaculture has to be linked to the basic and vital need for self-sufficient, safe, nutritional and sustainable food production and put higher on the EU global agenda;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to invest in research, studies and pilot projects for innovative, future-oriented, environmentally responsible aquaculture practices, including Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Systems (IMTA), Aquaponics, and Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS), that reduce the impact of aquaculture farms on habitats, wild animal populations and water quality, thus contributing to an ecosystem-based approach;

12.  Asks the Commission to make a thorough analysis and ensure a proper follow-up regarding each of the recommendations of the High-Level Group of Scientific Advisors;

13.  Stresses that any sustainable European aquaculture policy must take account of the characteristics and different needs and challenges of the various types of aquaculture production and develop tailor-made measures that also account for geographic differences and the potential effects of climate change; calls, therefore, on the Commission, in the common fisheries policy post 2020, to set out individual rules tailored to the characteristics of each sub-sector;

14.  Highlights the potential of freshwater aquaculture as well as inland aquaculture with enclosed water, integrated multitrophic aquaculture and recirculation systems and aquaponics in urban areas; stresses that freshwater aquaculture is still an insufficiently explored opportunity for improving food security and developing rural areas, but that it plays an important social role by providing rural employment in the poorest areas, as well as playing an environmental role in maintaining valuable wetlands and providing a wide range of ecosystem services, which go far beyond its economic value;

15.  Stresses the importance of launching coordination instruments, study groups and EU activities, with a view to determining the cases in which mollusc production is significantly jeopardised by the predatory action of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), and to seeking sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions;

16.  Recognises the potential of aquaculture and the complementary processing and exporting of fish products as an indigenous industry for employment and economic benefit, especially for rural coastal and island communities;

17.  Underlines how important it is that the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) should provide protection for mollusc production areas, as laid down in the now repealed ‘Molluscs Directive’;

18.  Points out that, in an environment in which macroalgae or bivalve molluscs are to be produced, the reduction of nutrient inputs to achieve good environmental status must take into account the natural abatement capacity of the organisms being farmed or cultivated;

Simplifying administrative procedures

19.  Emphasises the vital role of local and regional authorities in the development of European aquaculture, including in implementing the multiannual strategic plans drawn up by the Member States;

20.  Stresses that the sustainable growth of aquaculture needs to be based on business investment predictability and legal certainty, which requires, notably:

   (a) simplification and acceleration of administrative procedures – less red tape – at EU, national and regional level, making the greatest possible use of information and communication technologies, while ensuring that the marine environment is not further degraded;
   (b) improved transparency and proper planning;
   (c) better coordination as regards the shared competences of the EU, the Member States and, where appropriate, regional and local authorities;
   (d) fast, clear and transparent licensing procedures accompanied by limited timelines for agreement, so as not to discourage investors;
   (e) close monitoring by the Commission of the Member States’ multiannual national strategic plans;
   (f) Commission guidelines for national strategic plans for a uniform application of the EU legislation (mainly environmental and for protecting health and ensuring that neither ecosystems nor fishing activities are harmed);
   (g) a coordinated legal framework between different regions and Member States sharing the same waters in order to ensure fair competition and efficient environmental policies;
   (h) close cooperation between the Commission and the competent authorities (national, but also local and regional) in the implementation of EU legislation (mainly sanitary and environmental) as well as supporting coordination of national or regional legislation where necessary;
   (i) mechanisms for the exchange of information and best practices between Member States, through an open method of coordination of national measures concerning business security, access to Union waters and space, and the simplification of licensing procedures;
   (j) adequate public financial support at EU and national level for sustainable and responsible aquaculture production, innovation and development;
   (k) better incorporation of the aquaculture and fisheries perspective in the Union’s trade agreements;

21.  Suggests, with regard to the administrative system, the creation, as soon as possible, of a ‘one-stop shop’, which would take on and exercise all responsibilities, allowing relevant documents to be submitted to a single administrative body; believes this would improve the relationship between the end-user and the different levels of public administration;

22.  Suggests establishing a simplified or ‘fast-track’ licensing system, whereby the competent administration grants a provisional certificate permitting those operators who meet predefined criteria to commence their activities; points out that these criteria could be based on applicants’ history or on the fact that they have put forward a pioneering aquaculture project in terms of innovation and/or sustainability, or on the establishment of reserved aquaculture easement zones where uses that are incompatible with aquaculture are defined in advance;

Equity in interaction with other sectors

23.  Underlines that appropriate spatial planning should take into account all sectors (holistic approach), sustainability issues and food security, without favouring powerful economic sectors to the detriment of aquaculture; stresses that spatial planning does not necessarily have to entail the segregation of activities in certain areas, but rather balanced compatibility between them, and that this can potentially bring benefits to all;

24.  Suggests supporting a more active and important role and implication of aquaculture organisations and fisheries local action groups (FLAGs) in the decision-making process, through regionalisation, in order to ensure the best approach for each specific region;

25.  Points out due consideration must be given to the aquaculture sector’s interests and that it must be treated fairly when it interacts with other sectors, e.g. in spatial planning;

26.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to elaborate spatial planning maps in order to identify possible areas where aquaculture and other activities may coexist;

27.  Points out that spatial planning and licensing conditions are the most likely reason for the unwillingness of other important or powerful sectors to share space;

28.  Points out that, in order to ensure a level playing field in access to marine resources, the socioeconomic and environmental impact studies required for aquaculture should also affect all sectors competing with it, such as, tourism or raw materials extraction;

29.  Urges the Member States and national authorities comply with the EU legislation on waters and the regeneration and cleaning of contaminated areas;

30.  Stresses that the legislation should be adopted after consultation, on an equal basis, of all interestedparties;

Adapting the legislation to aquaculture’s needs

31.  Stresses that environmental sustainability must go hand in hand with social and economic sustainability (sustainability has three pillars), and that due consideration needs to be given to the current and potential contribution of aquaculture to food security in the Union;

32.  Welcomes the industry’s best practices and examples of good cooperation on the basis of voluntary agreements and other agreements between conservationists and the industry, including in Natura 2000 areas; welcomes the many examples of contributions by aquaculture to the maintenance of good water quality; recognises the aquatic ecosystem services delivered by the industry and calls for incentives to strengthen them; stresses that the introduction of further legal complications affecting aquaculture is undesirable from the point of view of sustainability and socio-economic development;

33.  Stresses that the EU legislation should be better adapted to aquaculture’s realities, specificities and needs in the framework of the common fisheries policy and in coherence, inter alia, with EU environmental legislation, in line with the objective of achieving a good environmental status for all marine waters by 2020 and taking into account the importance of female and youth employment in the sector;

34.  Stresses that, where implementation of EU legislation is problematic or inconsistent, guidelines on its interpretation and best practices should be issued;

35.  Reiterates that the sector should be more closely involved in decision-making;

36.  Urges the Commission to improve the limited contribution of aquaculture production to the domestic demand for fish, estimated at 10 %, and reverse the fact that more than half the Union’s demand for fish comes from imported products;

Enhancing the competitiveness of EU aquaculture within and outside our borders

37.  Calls for imported products of aquaculture to be required to meet the same environmental, food safety and socio-labour standards and respect for human rights that EU operators must meet and deplores the fact that there is still no level playing field in this domain, and that dangerous distortions of competition are a serious problem for EU operators;

38.  Highlights the current situation of European pond farmers as they are struggling with substantial losses affecting their entire stock due to predators like otters, herons and cormorants; underlines that those predators also kill the spawn of zander and carp and as a result limit significantly the breeding and reproduction of freshwater fish; calls, therefore, on the Member States to apply existing derogations in the case of herons and cormorants and calls on the Commission to carry out a review regarding the conservation status of the otter and to allow, where necessary, the removal and control of those predators;

39.  Calls for more and better origin and border controls for imported products and, at internal level, measures to combat illegal or ‘furtive’ aquaculture practices that affect the internal development of the sector;

40.  Points out that the EU should export its sustainability standards and know-how; believes that this is especially relevant in the case of neighbouring regions that produce similar species to those produced in the EU and especially with third countries sharing the same waters as the EU;

41.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that under trade agreements with third partners preferential market access is made conditional upon respect for sustainability and animal welfare standards equivalent to those applicable in the EU;

42.  Calls on the Commission to sponsor, as part of the EU’s policy on cooperation with developing countries, support and training measures designed to help promote sustainable aquaculture and steer the awareness of aquaculture producers in those countries towards a policy on quality and higher production standards, particularly as regards the environment, hygiene and social standards;

43.  Urges that steps be taken to encourage EU investment in aquaculture projects in third countries;

44.  Calls on the Commission to continue ensuring that EU import rules are respected, including as regards farming procedures that comply with environmental, hygiene and social standards, in exporting third countries so that a level playing field can be implemented internationally; considers, at the same time, that the results of the monitoring of aquaculture processes in third countries should have a decisive influence on the renewal of export authorisations for products to the EU;

45.  Asks the Commission to assess the effects of Brexit in the field of aquaculture;

Improving consumer information

46.  Insists on full and complete implementation of the EU legislation on labelling and consumer information, both in fish markets and in the hotel, restaurant and catering sector (HORECA); believes that this is important for all fisheries products (and not only aquaculture products), both imported and EU-produced; considers that the Control Regulation should be adapted and reinforced to this end;

47.  Asks for the establishment of a specific label for the recognition of products from EU sustainable aquaculture and stresses the need for transparency for consumers also in connection with aquaculture products imported from third countries, by reinforcing traceability;

Ensuring Animal Welfare

48.  Takes the view that the strategy on slaughter should include proposals to ensure processes for developing effective parameters for humane methods of killing fish, in accordance with OIE and EFSA Guidelines, and to ensure that equipment used for slaughtering fish works in accordance with those parameters, and that effective humane slaughter of farmed fish is implemented, assessed, evaluated and certified throughout the EU;

Availability of veterinary products

49.  Points out that EU veterinary legislation must be better adapted to aquaculture’s realities and needs, taking into account different species and operating differences;

50.  Stresses that a real EU common market is required for vaccines and other veterinary products that protect animal and human health, especially for ‘minor’ species;

51.  Observes that the relatively higher costs of diagnosis, antimicrobial alternatives and vaccination in comparison with widely used antibiotics are regrettably an obstacle to achieving greater use and a higher rate of vaccination, as aspired to by the action plan(19); welcomes the fact that in the action plan the Commission announces incentives to increase the uptake of diagnostics, antimicrobial alternatives and vaccines(20);

52.  Urges the Commission to establish the obligation to provide information on the use of vaccines and antibiotics in aquaculture in view of possible risks to human health and the ecosystem;

53.  Believes that the Commission and the Member States should devise practical incentives and measures, including improved implementation of or, if required, amendments to, Directive 2006/88/EC, to promote an integrated chain approach to AMR and increase the use of antimicrobial alternatives, diagnostics and vaccines in aquaculture and thereby to promote prevention, control and eradication of diseases and antibiotic resistance in aquatic animals cost-effectively and maximise the survival, growth and production efficiency of aquatic animals;

54.  Underlines the need to favour scientific research in European and national programmes on shellfish and fish health and the development of new veterinary products for aquatic species;

55.  Notes, in this vein, that antibiotic resistance is a serious problem across human and animal medicine, and calls on the Commission to limit the use of antibiotics to situations where there is a risk of an epizootic in the aquaculture establishment and not simply as a preventive measure and to assess their impact on the risk of transferring resistance to consumers;

Better promotional campaigns and communication

56.  Points out that better promotional campaigns and communication at EU level on the benefits of aquaculture and fish consumption are needed;

57.  Calls on the Commission to encourage strong and long-lasting EU generic campaigns explaining the sustainability merits of EU aquaculture products, focusing on their high quality, animal welfare and environmental standards compared to those imported from third countries, as in the case of the label ‘Farmed in the EU’;

58.  Stresses the need to encourage and finance promotion campaigns for regional quality schemes, covered by Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, such as protected designations of origin; calls on the Commission in cooperation with the Member States to launch an EU-wide information campaign for consumers and businesses on aquaculture in general and in particular the differences between the stringent and comprehensive standards on the European market and the lower-level standards applicable to imported products from third countries, with particular emphasis on the problems caused for food safety and public health by the introduction into the Union of particularly resistant micro-organisms and AMR; stresses the value of the EU legislation on welfare of farmed fish during rearing, transport and slaughter in meeting consumers’ expectations and advertising product quality guaranteed by EU standards in comparison with third country imports;

59.  Calls on the Commission to set aside a suitable amount from the EU’s promotional budget for promoting fish and other fisheries and aquaculture products; believes that a wide-ranging marketing campaign based on common principles and covering all the Member States, set up as a collective measure and with 80-100 % support intensity, should be launched in order to increase the awareness and acceptance of EU aquaculture product;.

60.  Supports the aquaculture FLAGs of the FARNET network in the promotion of their activities at local, national and European level;

Supporting research and innovation

61.  Points out that the EMFF, which allocates EUR 1,2 billion for the sustainable development of EU aquaculture, and other sources of funding, such as Horizon 2020, provide an opportunity for innovation;

62.  Points to the importance of FLAGs, which are contributing to the development of fisheries and aquaculture in given areas by strengthening local fishery resources and encouraging innovation and diversification in fisheries and aquaculture;

63.  Calls on the Commission to support research into and the fight against the ostreid herpesvirus;

64.  Is concerned about the impact of some invasive alien species on European aquaculture; stresses the importance of scientifically based, effective and proportionate implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species (IAS) in order to protect both European aquaculture and native species and ecosystems; calls on the Commission and Member States to support research and innovation with a view to combating the most problematic IAS;

65.  Urges the Commission and Member States to support the fight against the Japanese oyster borer;

66.  Stresses that Horizon 2020 and Framework Programme 9 (FP9) should continue to support aquaculture research activities that improve the competitiveness of the sector and respond to the issues highlighted in the Commission’s conference of 2016, ‘FOOD 2030’, and in the opinion of the High-Level Group of Scientific Advisors, ‘Food from the Oceans’;

67.  Believes that the Commission should consult with the European Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) and the Aquaculture Advisory Council on priority subjects for inclusion in the national strategic plans;

68.  Urges that investments be made in research, studies and pilot projects on aquaculture practices based on the ecosystem, in particular for outermost regions and those with demographic handicaps;

69.  Points out that cooperation between the scientific community on the one hand, and aquaculture producers and other stakeholders upstream and downstream of producers on the other, should be strengthened;

70.  Asks that, on the basis of the best scientific recommendations, standard protocols be established at EU level for the collection of data with a view to monitoring and improving aquaculture management and production practices and the social, health, economic and environmental impact of such practices, for both marine and freshwater fish farms;

71.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote innovative and environmentally friendly technologies in aquaculture, such as aquaponics, in order to produce food in a sustainable and resource-efficient way and to avoid negative impacts on the environment;

72.  Calls on the Commission to encourage the exploring of opportunities to further develop seaweed aquaculture, a sector with ecological and economic value, with due regard for social and environmental sustainability;

Encouraging training and employment

73.  Calls on the Member States, wherever beneficial with support from the Commission, to guarantee appropriate vocational training in the field of aquaculture and takes note of the possibility of retraining professional fishermen in alternative methods of managing aquatic environments, thus also helping to create jobs for women and young people in rural and coastal areas and in the outermost regions, on islands, and, in general, in regions that depend to a great extent on fisheries and aquaculture activities;

Increasing the sustainability of the EU’s aquaculture sector

74.  Highlights the important role of women in the aquaculture sector and the need to adapt the legislation to this reality, and the need to give due consideration to the other activities attached to aquaculture itself, such as those developed, among other things, by fishing net weavers or packers;

75.  Notes that innovative systems aimed at breeding fish as closely as possible in keeping with the ecosystem and using natural feed have not so far had a sufficient presence on the European market; calls for the framework conditions for such systems to be improved;

76.  Believes that investments are necessary in order to use the potential and ensure the sustainability of the aquaculture sector, for protection of the environment and for the delivery of public goods, and calls therefore for an increase in funding for research, innovation and quality-orientated, sustainable production projects; calls on the Commission and the Member States to further simplify and reduce the bureaucratic burden on the aquaculture sector, including pond farmers;

77.  Underlines that encouraging cooperation between aquaculture sector research and innovation and specific University programmes will bring new ideas and boost the interest in this economic sector;

Ensuring adequate financing through the EMFF and further structural funds

78.  Welcomes the promotion of sustainable and competitive aquaculture as one of the priorities of the EMFF; expresses its concern, however, that, according to the conclusions of the study published in 2014 by the European Court of Auditors, its predecessor, the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), did not support the sustainable development of aquaculture effectively; notes that at European level the support measures were considered to have been poorly designed and supervised and to have failed to provide a sufficiently clear framework for aquaculture development; further notes that at national level the support measures had not been designed or applied correctly and the national strategic plans and their operational programmes had not provided a sufficiently clear basis for promoting aquaculture, and that the situation has not really been improved by EMFF support;

79.  Points out that education and good communication will attract young people into this sector, ensure its future and its competitiveness, and bring new technology and innovation into its development;

80.  Calls on the Commission, Parliament and the Council to increase the support intensity of investment support for freshwater aquaculture to 75 % in the post-2020 fisheries policy in order to boost the desire to invest and to provide much-needed help to fish farmers; calls in addition on the Commission to draw up, together with the European Investment Bank, an EU-level interest-rate support scheme for investing in aquaculture and financing liquid assets;

81.  Proposes also increasing EU support in the future for Research Development Innovation linked to aquaculture, with particular regard to areas affecting economic sustainability and international competitiveness such as energy- and resource-efficiency, the development of biological materials funding, reducing the burden on the environment, providing higher-level environmental services, etc.;

82.  Notes that, as a result of the delay in adopting the EMFF Regulation and approving Member States’ operational programmes, operators were not actually able to start using EMFF funds until late 2016 at best, a delay of almost three years;

83.  Calls for simplification as regards the procedure and documents that have to be submitted in order to obtain funding from the EMFF;

84.  Calls for all schemes that would prevent the promotion of aquaculture, including through other EU financial instruments (such as the ERDF), to be reviewed in a subsidy-oriented manner;

85.  Calls on the Commission to make further efforts and provide the additional help necessary to enable users of the EMFF to gain access to funding;

86.  Stresses that stronger support is needed for producer and inter-branch organisations so that they can become pillars of the CMO;

Harmonious symbiosis with fisheries

87.  Points out that no antagonism should exist between fisheries and aquaculture and that both sectors can be perfectly compatible and complementary, especially in coastal regions or islands which are highly dependent on those activities and in which artisanal fishing is practised; calls, therefore for offshore aquaculture installations to be further developed;

88.  Stresses that marine aquaculture is compatible and complementary with coastal fishing in the outermost regions, and calls on the Commission to support the development of farming and varietal-selection techniques in the warm waters of tropical or subtropical areas; calls on the Commission to highlight the role played by women in non-industrial coastal fishing and all associated activities;

89.  Calls on the Commission to allocate more financing to environmentally responsible aquaculture production methods such as closed-containment aquaculture systems in the sea (CCS) and land-based recirculation systems (RASs) in order to reduce the negative impact of aquaculture on habitats, wild fish populations and water quality;

90.  Reiterates the views it has already expressed in its resolution on the adoption of a European Cormorant Management Plan, and points out that reducing the harm caused by cormorants and other birds of prey to aquaculture farms is a major factor in production costs, and thus for their survival and competitiveness; calls on the Member States to apply the current exceptions in the case of herons and cormorants and to the Commission to review the state of conservation of the otter;

91.  Calls on the Commission, together with the Member States, to take action to drastically reduce cormorant stocks using all methods so that, on the one hand, the survival of cormorant stocks is secured and, on the other hand, no threat to other species is created and damage to the aquacultures concerned is averted;

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

(1) OJ L 88, 4.4.2011, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 221, 8.8.1998, p. 23.
(3) OJ L 204, 6.8.2009, p. 15.
(4) OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 250, 18.9.2008, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 189, 20.7.2007, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 22.
(8) OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 1.
(9) OJ L 149, 20.5.2014, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 157, 20.6.2017, p. 1.
(11) OJ C 21 E, 28.1.2010, p. 11.
(12) OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 132.
(13) OJ C 351 E, 2.12.2011, p. 119.
(14) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 177.
(15) OJ C 316, 22.9.2017, p. 64.
(16) OJ C 76, 28.2.2018, p. 40.
(17) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0316.
(18) European Commission (29 June 2017), ‘A European One Health action plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR)’, p. 10.
(19) ‘A European One Health action plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR)’, p. 15.
(20) Ibid., p. 12.

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