Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 29 November 2018 - BrusselsProvisional edition
Application of the Euro 5 step to the type-approval of two- or three- wheel vehicles and quadricycles ***I
 Trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel treatment or punishment ***I
 Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund: Re-commitment of remaining amounts ***I
 Accession of Samoa to the EU-Pacific States Interim Partnership Agreement ***
 Appointment of the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank
 Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing
 Temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders ***I
 Common rules for the operation of air services ***I
 Authorisation for certain uses of sodium dichromate
 The Cum Ex Scandal: financial crime and the loopholes in the current legal framework
 Role of the German Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) in cross-border family disputes
 WTO: the way forward
 2018 Report on Serbia
 2018 Report on Kosovo
 2018 Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
 2018 Report on Albania
 2018 Report on Montenegro
 Defence of academic freedom in the EU's external action
 The situation of women with disabilities

Application of the Euro 5 step to the type-approval of two- or three- wheel vehicles and quadricycles ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 November 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 as regards the application of the Euro 5 step to the type-approval of two- or three- wheel vehicles and quadricycles (COM(2018)0137 – C8-0120/2018 – 2018/0065(COD))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0466A8-0346/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0137),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0120/2018),

–  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 the 11 July 2018(1),

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 14 November 2018 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the opinion of the Committee on Environment, Public health and food Safety (A8-0346/2018),

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 29 November 2018 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2018/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 as regards the application of the Euro 5 step to the type-approval of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles

P8_TC1-COD(2018)0065


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 Economic and Social Committee(2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(3),

Whereas:

(1)  On the basis of the Commission report to the European Parliament and the Council on the comprehensive effect study of the environmental step Euro 5 for L-category vehicles (“the effect study”) carried out under Article 23(4) of Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) and taking into account issues encountered by approval authorities and stakeholders in applying that Regulation, certain changes and clarifications should be made in Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 in order to ensure its smooth application.

(2)  Regarding the requirement to install an on-board diagnostic (OBD) stage II system, which ensures the monitoring and reporting on the emission control system failures and degradation, the Commission concluded on the basis of the effect study that there are technical limitations with respect to catalyst monitoring for certain vehicles and that further development is required to ensure its correct implementation. Catalyst monitoring is not expected to be ready for the first round of the Euro 5 emission step, but is envisaged for 2025. Article 21 of Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 should therefore provide for the lead time needed to ensure the correct implementation of the OBD stage II system requirement.

(3)  Given that vehicles of categories L1e and L2e are already excluded from the requirement to be equipped with an OBD stage I system, the vehicles of category L6e, which are designed and built around moped specifications and produced in rather small volumes, should also be exempted from that requirement.

(4)  It is necessary to clarify the exemption for vehicles of categories L1e and L2e from the requirement to be equipped with an OBD stage II system and to extend that exemption to light quadricycles (L6e category) and to the enduro (L3e-AxE) and trial (L3e-AxT) motorcycle subcategories.

(5)  Enduro and trial motorcycles have a short lifespan and are very similar in nature and use to heavy all-terrain quad (L7e-B) which are exempted from the requirement to be equipped with an OBD stage II system. That exemption should therefore be extended to enduro and trial motorcycles.

(6)  The Commission concluded in the effect study that the mathematical durability procedure set out in point (c) of Article 23(3) of Regulation (EU) No 168/2013, whereby vehicles are tested after 100 km of use, does not reflect the real degradation of the emission control system of a vehicle during its lifetime. That method should no longer be used and should be phased out by 2025 to provide sufficient lead time to stakeholders to adapt. For the period until 2025, the required accumulated distance travelled by the vehicle before it is tested should be raised to ensure that the test results are reliable.

(7)  The technology that is necessary to meet the Euro 5 limits is already available. However the Commission concluded in the effect study , that the date of application of the Euro 5 emission limits for certain L-category vehicles (L6e-B, L2e-U, L3e-AxT and L3e-AxE) will need to be postponed from 2020 to 2024 to increase the cost-benefit ratio compared to the base line. In addition, manufacturers of those vehicles, which are mainly SMEs, require more lead time to ensure that the transition towards zero emission powertrains, such as electrification, can be achieved in a cost effective way.

(8)   Article 30 of Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 requires that an EU type-approval certificate contains, as an attachment, the test results. In the interests of clarity, that provision should be amended in order to make clear that what is being referred to is the test results sheet.

(9)  Certain inconsistencies in the date of application of the sound level limits for Euro 5 in Annex IV to Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 should be clarified to ensure that the existing limits (Euro 4) remain applicable until the new limits for Euro 5 can be established.

(10)  Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 empowered the Commission to adopt delegated acts for a period of five years, which expired on 21 March 2018. As there is a continuous need to update elements of the type-approval legislation to technical progress or to introduce other amendments in line with the empowerments, that Regulation should be amended to provide for the extension of the delegation for another five years with the possibility of tacit extension.

(11)  In the interest of legal certainty, the empowerment in Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 for the Commission to adopt delegated acts concerning the technical requirements related to on-board diagnostics should be made clearer and more precise.

(12)  Since this Regulation amends Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 without expanding its regulatory content and since the objectives of this Regulation cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, by reason of its 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.

(13)  Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 should therefore be amended accordingly,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 is amended as follows:

(1)  Article 21 is replaced by the following:"

"Article 21

General requirements of on-board diagnostic systems

1.  L-category vehicles, with the exception of L1e, L2e and L6e vehicles, shall be equipped with an OBD system which complies with the functional requirements and test procedures laid down in the delegated acts referred to in paragraph 8 and as from the application dates set out in Annex IV.

2.  From the dates set out in point 1.8.1 of Annex IV, vehicle categories and subcategories L3e, L4e, L5e-A and L7e-A shall be equipped with an OBD stage I system which monitors any electric circuit and electronics failure of the emission control system and reports those failures which result in the emission thresholds laid down in Annex VI (B1) being exceeded.

3.  From the dates set out in point 1.8.2 of Annex IV, vehicle categories and subcategories L3e, L4e, L5e and L7e shall be equipped with an OBD stage I system which monitors any electric circuit and electronics failure of the emission control system and which triggers a report when the emission thresholds laid down in Annex VI (B1) are exceeded. OBD stage I systems for those vehicle categories and subcategories shall also report the triggering of any operating mode which significantly reduces engine torque.

4.  From the dates set out in point 1.8.3 of Annex IV, vehicle categories L3e, L4e, L5e and L7e shall be equipped with an OBD stage I system which monitors any electric circuit and electronics failure of the emission control system and which triggers a report when the emission thresholds laid down in Annex VI (B2) are exceeded. OBD stage I systems for those vehicle categories shall also report the triggering of any operating mode which significantly reduces engine torque.

5.  From the dates set out in point 1.8.4 of Annex IV, vehicle categories and subcategories L3e, L4e, L5e-A and L7e-A shall in addition be equipped with an OBD stage II system which monitors and reports emission control system failures and degradation, with the exception of catalyst monitoring, which result in the OBD emission thresholds laid down in Annex VI (B1) being exceeded.

6.  From the dates set out in point 1.8.5 of Annex IV, vehicle categories and subcategories L3e, L4e, L5e-A and L7e-A shall in addition be equipped with an OBD stage II system which monitors and reports emission control system failures and degradation which result in the OBD emission thresholds laid down in Annex VI (B2) being exceeded.

7.  Paragraphs 5 and 6 shall not apply to enduro motorcycles in subcategory L3e-AxE and trial motorcycles in subcategory L3e-AxT.

8.  In order to harmonise the OBD system reporting of functional safety or emission control system faults and facilitate effective and efficient repair of a vehicle, the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 75 supplementing this Regulation by laying down the detailed technical requirements related to on-board diagnostics with respect to vehicle categories and subcategories as set out in Annex II, C1 – Vehicle construction and general type-approval requirements, the row relating to No. 11, including functional OBD requirements and test procedures for the subjects listed in paragraphs 1 to 7 of this Article, and the detailed technical requirements related to test type VIII referred to in Annex V.”;

"

(2)  In Article 23(3), point (c) is replaced by the following:"

"(c) mathematical durability procedure:

Until 31 December 2024, for each emission constituent, the product of the multiplication of the deterioration factor set out in Annex VII (B) and the environmental performance test result of a vehicle which has accumulated more than 100 km after it was first started at the end of the production line shall be lower than the environmental performance test limit set out in Annex VI (A).

Notwithstanding the first subparagraph, for new types of vehicles from 1 January 2020 and for existing types of vehicles from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2024, for each emission constituent the product of the multiplication of the deterioration factor set out in Annex VII (B) and the environmental performance test result of a vehicle which has accumulated more than 2 500 km for a vehicle with a maximum design vehicle speed of < 130 km/h and 3 500 km for a vehicle with a maximum design vehicle speed of ≥ 130 km/h after it was first started at the end of the production line shall be lower than the tailpipe emission limit set out in Annex VI (A).";

"

(3)  In Article 30(1), point (b) is replaced by the following:"

"(b) the test results sheet;";

"

(4)  In Article 44(1), the second subparagraph is replaced by the following:"

"The first subparagraph shall apply only to vehicles within the territory of the Union which were covered by a valid EU type-approval at the time of their production, but which neither were registered nor entered into service before that EU type-approval lost its validity.";

"

(5)  Article 75(2) is replaced by the following:"

"2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 18(3), Article 20(2), Article 21(8), Article 22(5) and (6), Article 23(6) and (12), Article 24(3), Article 25(8), Article 32(6), Article 33(6), Article 50(4), Article 54(3), Article 57(12), Article 65 and Article 74 shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of five years from 22 March 2013. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of five years, unless the European Parliament or the Council opposes such extension not later than three months before the end of each period. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than 22 June 2022 and nine months before the end of each following five-year period.";

"

(6)  Annexes II, IV, V and VI are 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 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

Annexes II, IV, V and VI are amended as follows:

(1)  In Annex II, section C1, in the row relating to No. 11, the sign “X” is deleted for subcategories L6e-A and L6e-B;

(2)  In Annex IV, the table is amended as follows:

(a)  points 1.1.2.1., 1.1.2.2. and 1.1.2.3. are replaced by the following:

‘1.1.2.1.

Euro 4: Annex VI A1

L1e, L2e, L6e

1.1.2017

1.1.2018

31.12.2020; for L2e-U and L6e-B: 31.12.2024

1.1.2.2.

Euro 4: Annex VI A1

L3e, L4e, L5e,

L7e

1.1.2016

1.1.2017

31.12.2020; for L3e-AxE and L3e-AxT 31.12.2024

1.1.2.3.

Euro 5: Annex VI A2

L1e-L7e

1.1.2020;

for L2e-U, L3e-AxE, L3e-AxT and L6e-B: 1.1.2024

1.1.2021;

for L2e-U, L3e-AxE, L3e-AxT and L6e-B: 1.1.2025

’;

(b)  points 1.8.1., 1.8.2. and 1.8.3. are replaced by the following:

‘1.8.1.

OBD stage I functional requirements

L3e, L4e,

L5e-A, L7e-A

1.1.2016

1.1.2017

31.12.2020

OBD stage I environmental test procedure (test type VIII)

OBD stage I environmental test thresholds, Annex VI (B1)

1.8.2.

OBD stage I functional requirements including any operating mode which significantly reduces engine torque

L3e, L4e, L5e, L7e

1.1.2020

1.1.2021

31.12.2024

OBD stage I environmental test procedure (test type VIII)

OBD stage I environmental test thresholds, Annex VI (B1)

1.8.3.

OBD stage I functional requirements including any operating mode which significantly reduces engine torque

L3e, L4e, L5e, L7e

1.1.2024

1.1.2025

’;

OBD stage I environmental test procedure (test type VIII)

OBD stage I environmental test thresholds, Annex VI (B2)

(c)  the following points are inserted:

‘1.8.4.

OBD stage II functional requirements

with the exception of catalyst monitoring

L3e (except L3e-AxE and L3e-AxT), L4e,

L5e-A, L7e-A

1.1.2020

1.1.2021

31.12.2024

OBD stage II environmental test procedures (test type VIII)

OBD stage II environmental test thresholds, Annex VI (B1)

1.8.5.

OBD stage II functional requirements,

L3e (except L3e-AxE and L3e-AxT), L4e, L5e‑A, L7e-A

1.1.2024

1.1.2025

’;

OBD stage II environmental test procedures (test type VIII),

OBD stage II environmental test thresholds, Annex VI (B2)

(d)  points 1.9.1. and 1.9.2. are replaced by the following:

‘1.9.1.

Sound level test procedure and limit values Annex VI (D)

L1e, L2e, L6e

1.1.2017

1.1.2018

 

1.9.2.

Sound level test procedure and limit values (3), Annex VI (D)

L3e, L4e, L5e, L7e

1.1.2016

1.1.2017

’;

(e)  point 1.9.4. is replaced by the following:

‘1.9.4.

UNECE regulations Nos 9, 41, 63, 92 and associated new limit values proposed by the Commission

L1e-L7e

 

 

’.

(3)  In Annex V, section B, the content of the cell in the first column, second row, is replaced by the following:

"Type I test (19) Particulate mass (Euro 5 only)";

(4)  Annex VI is amended as follows:

(a)  in section B1, the first row, referring to Vehicle category "L6e-A”, is deleted;

(b)  in section B2, first row:

(i)  the words "L3e-L7e (6)" are replaced by the following:

"L3e, L4e, L5e, L7e"

(ii)  the words "All L category vehicles except category L1e and L2e" are replaced by the following:

"All L category vehicles except category L1e, L2e and L6e".

(1) OJ C 367, 10.10.2018, p.32.
(2) OJ C 367, 10.10.2018, p.32.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 29 November 2018.
(4)Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2013 on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles (OJ L 60, 2.3.2013, p. 52).


Trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel treatment or punishment ***I
PDF 916kWORD 527k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 November 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (codification) (COM(2018)0316 – C8-0210/2018 – 2018/0160(COD))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0467A8-0387/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure – codification)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0316),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 207(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0210/2018),

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

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

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0387/2018),

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

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

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 29 November 2018 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2018/… of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (codification)

P8_TC1-COD(2018)0160


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 207(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

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

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(2),

Whereas:

(1)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005(3) has been substantially amended several times(4). In the interests of clarity and rationality, that Regulation should be codified.

(2)  Pursuant to Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, respect for human rights constitutes one of the values common to the Member States. The European Community resolved in 1995 to make respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms an essential element of its relations with third countries. It was decided to insert a clause to that end in any new trade, cooperation and association agreement of a general nature concluded with third countries.

(3)  Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms all lay down an unconditional, comprehensive prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Other provisions, in particular the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (5) and the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, place an obligation on States to prevent torture.

(4)  Article 2(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Charter) states that no one shall be condemned to the death penalty or executed. On 22 April 2013 , the Council approved ‘ EU Guidelines on death penalty’ and resolved that the Union would work towards the universal abolition of the death penalty.

(5)  Article 4 of the Charter states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. On 20 March 2012 , the Council approved ‘Guidelines to EU policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (An up-date of the Guidelines) ’. In accordance with those guidelines, third countries should be urged to prevent the use and production of, and trade in, equipment which is designed to inflict torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and prevent the abuse of any other equipment to these ends. Moreover, the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment should impose clear limits on the use of the death penalty. Therefore , capital punishment is not to be considered a lawful penalty under any circumstances.

(6)  It is therefore appropriate to lay down Union rules on trade with third countries in goods which could be used for the purpose of capital punishment and in goods which could be used for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. These rules are instrumental in promoting respect for human life and for fundamental human rights and thus serve the purpose of protecting public morals. Such rules should ensure that Union economic operators do not derive any benefits from trade which either promotes or otherwise facilitates the implementation of policies on capital punishment or on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which are not compatible with the relevant EU Guidelines, the Charter and international conventions and treaties.

(7)  For the purpose of this Regulation, it is considered appropriate to apply the definition of torture laid down in the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and in Resolution 3452 (XXX) of the General Assembly of the United Nations. That definition should be interpreted taking into account the case-law on the interpretation of the corresponding term in the European Convention on Human Rights and in relevant texts adopted by the Union or its Member States. The definition of ‘other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’, which is not found in that Convention, should be in line with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The meaning of the term ‘lawful penalties’ in the definitions of ‘torture’ and ‘other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’, should take into account the Union's policy on capital punishment.

(8)  It is considered necessary to prohibit exports and imports of goods which have no practical use other than for the purpose of capital punishment or for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to prohibit the supply of technical assistance in respect of such goods .

(9)  Where such goods are located in third countries, it is necessary to prohibit brokers in the Union from providing brokering services in relation to such goods t.

(10)  In order to contribute to the abolition of the death penalty in third countries and to the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, it is considered necessary to prohibit the supply to third countries of technical assistance related to goods which have no practical use other than for the purpose of capital punishment or for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(11)  It is also appropriate to prohibit brokers and suppliers of technical assistance from providing training on the use of such goods to third countries as well as to prohibit both the promotion of such goods in trade fairs or exhibitions in the Union, and the sale or purchase of advertising space in print media or on the Internet and of advertising time on television or radio in relation to such goods.

(12)  In order to prevent economic operators from deriving benefits from transporting goods which are intended to be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and which pass through the customs territory of the Union on their way to a third country, it is necessary to prohibit transport within the Union of such goods, if they are listed in Annex II to this Regulation .

(13)  It should be possible for Member States to apply measures restricting the supply of certain services in relation to goods which have no practical use other than for the purpose of capital punishment or for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment , in compliance with the applicable Union rules.

(14)  This Regulation lays down an export authorisation system designed to prevent certain goods from being used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(15)  It is therefore necessary to impose controls on exports of certain goods which could be used not only for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, but also for legitimate purposes. These controls should apply to goods that are primarily used for law enforcement purposes and unless such controls prove disproportionate, to any other equipment or product that could be abused for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, taking into account its design and technical features.

(16)  As regards law enforcement equipment, it should be noted that Article 3 of the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials(6) provides that law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty. The Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in 1990, provide that, in carrying out their duty, law enforcement officials should, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms.

(17)  In view of this, the Basic Principles advocate the development of non-lethal incapacitating weapons for use in appropriate situations, while admitting that the use of such weapons should be carefully controlled. In this context, certain equipment traditionally used by the police for self-defence and riot-control purposes has been modified in such a way that it can be used to apply electric shocks and chemical substances to incapacitate persons. There are indications that, in several countries, such weapons are abused for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(18)  The Basic Principles stress that law enforcement officials should be equipped with equipment for self-defence. Therefore, this Regulation should not apply to trade in traditional equipment for self-defence, such as shields.

(19)  This Regulation should apply to trade in some specific chemical substances used to incapacitate persons.

(20)  As regards leg-irons, gang-chains and shackles and cuffs, it should be noted that Article 33 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners(7) provides that instruments of restraint must never be applied as a punishment. Furthermore, chains and irons are not to be used as restraints. It should also be noted that the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners provide that other instruments of restraint must not be used except as a precaution against escape during a transfer, on medical grounds as directed by a medical officer, or, if other methods of control fail, in order to prevent a prisoner from injuring himself or others, or from damaging property.

(21)  In order to protect staff and other people against spitting, prisoners are sometimes made to wear a so-called spit hood. As such a hood covers the mouth and often also the nose, it presents an inherent risk of asphyxiation. If it is combined with restraints, such as handcuffs, there is also a risk of neck injury. Exports of spit hoods should therefore be controlled.

(22)  In addition to portable weapons, the scope of the export controls should include fixed or mountable electric discharge weapons covering a wide area and targeting multiple individuals. Such weapons are often presented as so-called non-lethal weapons but present, at the very least, the same risk of causing severe pain or suffering as portable electric discharge weapons.

(23)  As fixed devices for dissemination of irritating chemical substances for use inside a building are being marketed, and indoor use of such substances presents a risk of causing severe pain or suffering not associated with traditional use outdoors, exports of such equipment should be controlled.

(24)  Export controls should also be applied to fixed or mountable equipment for the dissemination of incapacitating or irritating substances which covers a wide area, where such equipment is not yet subject to export controls in accordance with Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP(8). Such equipment is often presented as so-called non-lethal technology but presents at the very least the same risk of causing severe pain or suffering as portable weapons and devices. Although water is not one of the incapacitating or irritating chemical agents, water cannons may be used to disseminate such agents in liquid form and their exports should be controlled.

(25)  The export controls concerning oleoresin capsicum (OC) and pelargonic acid vanillylamide (PAVA) should be supplemented by export controls on certain mixtures containing these substances which can be administered as such as incapacitating or irritating agents or used for manufacturing of such agents. Where appropriate, references to incapacitating or irritating chemical agents should be construed as including oleoresin capsicum and the relevant mixtures containing it.

(26)  It is appropriate to provide for specific exemptions from the export controls in order not to impede the functioning of the police forces of the Member States and the execution of peace keeping or crisis management operations .

(27)  Taking into account the fact that some Member States have already prohibited exports and imports of such goods, it is appropriate to grant Member States the right to prohibit exports and imports of leg-irons, gang-chains and portable electric shock devices other than electric shock belts. Member States should also be empowered to apply export controls on handcuffs having an overall dimension, including chain, exceeding 240 mm when locked, if they so wish.

(28)  In order to limit the administrative burden for exporters, competent authorities should be allowed to grant an exporter a global authorisation in respect of goods listed in Annex III to this Regulation to prevent the relevant goods from being used for torture or for other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(29)  In some cases medicinal products exported to third countries have been diverted and used for capital punishment, notably by administering a lethal overdose by means of injection. The Union disapproves of capital punishment in all circumstances and works towards its universal abolition. The exporters objected to their involuntary association with such use of the products they developed for medical use.

(30)  It is therefore necessary to impose controls on exports of certain goods which could be used for capital punishment in order to prevent the use of certain medicinal products for that purpose and to ensure that all Union exporters of medicinal products are subject to uniform conditions in this regard. The relevant medicinal products were developed for, inter alia, anaesthesia and sedation.

(31)  The export authorisation system should not go beyond what is proportionate. It should, therefore, not prevent the export of medicinal products to be used for legitimate therapeutic purposes.

(32)  The list of goods for whose export an authorisation is required with a view to preventing these goods from being used for capital punishment should only include goods that have been used for capital punishment in a third country that has not abolished capital punishment and goods whose use for capital punishment any such third country has approved, without having used them for that purpose yet. It should not include non-lethal goods which are not essential for executing a convicted person, such as standard furniture that may also be found in the execution chamber.

(33)  Given the differences between capital punishment, on the one hand, and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on the other, it is appropriate to lay down a specific export authorisation system with a view to preventing the use of certain goods for capital punishment. Such a system should take into account the fact that a number of countries have abolished capital punishment for all crimes and have made an international commitment on this issue. As there is a risk of re-export to countries that have not done so, certain conditions and requirements should be imposed when authorising exports to countries that have abolished capital punishment. It is therefore appropriate to grant a general export authorisation for exports to those countries that have abolished capital punishment for all crimes and confirmed that abolition through an international commitment.

(34)  If a country has not abolished capital punishment for all crimes and confirmed that abolition through an international commitment, the competent authorities should, when examining a request for an export authorisation, check whether there is a risk that the end-user in the country of destination would use the exported goods for such punishment. Appropriate conditions and requirements should be imposed to control sales or transfers to third parties by the end-user. If multiple shipments between the same exporter and end-user take place, the competent authorities should be allowed to review the status of the end-user on a periodic basis, for example every six months, rather than every time an export authorisation for a shipment is granted, without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities to annul, suspend, modify or revoke an export authorisation where warranted.

(35)  In order to limit the administrative burden for exporters, the competent authorities should be allowed to grant an exporter a global authorisation for all shipments of medicinal products from the exporter to a specific end-user for a fixed period of time, specifying, where necessary, a quantity corresponding to the end-user's normal use of such products. Such authorisation should be valid for between one and three years with a possible extension of up to two years.

(36)  Granting a global authorisation would also be appropriate where a manufacturer intends to export medicinal products falling within the scope of this Regulation to a distributor in a country that has not abolished capital punishment, provided that the exporter and the distributor have concluded a legally binding agreement requiring the distributor to apply an appropriate set of measures ensuring that the medicinal products will not be used for capital punishment.

(37)  Medicinal products falling within the scope of this Regulation may be subject to controls in accordance with international conventions on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, such as the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Since such controls are not applied to prevent the relevant medicinal products from being used for capital punishment but to prevent illicit drug trafficking, the export controls of this Regulation should be applied in addition to those international controls. Member States should, however, be encouraged to use a single procedure in order to apply both control systems.

(38)  The controls on exports in accordance with this Regulation should not apply to goods whose export is controlled in accordance with Common Position 2008/944/CFSP, Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009(9) and Regulation (EU) No 258/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10).

(39)  The supply of brokering services and the supply of technical assistance in respect of the goods listed in Annex III or in Annex IV to this Regulation should be subject to prior authorisation in order to prevent the brokering services or the technical assistance from contributing to the use of the goods to which they relate for the purpose of capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(40)  The brokering services and technical assistance which this Regulation subjects to prior authorisation should be those that are supplied from within the Union, that is from within territories within the territorial scope of the Treaties, including airspace and any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of a Member State.

(41)  When authorising the supply of technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex III to this Regulation , the competent authorities should endeavour to ensure that the technical assistance and any training on the use of such goods that would be supplied or offered in conjunction with the technical assistance for which the authorisation is requested are provided in such a way that they promote law enforcement standards that respect human rights and contribute to the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(42)  In order to prevent economic operators from deriving benefits from transporting goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and which pass through the customs territory of the Union on their way to a third country, it is necessary to prohibit transport within the Union of such goods, if they are listed in Annex III or Annex IV to this Regulation, provided the economic operator has knowledge of the intended use.

(43)  The Guidelines to EU Policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment provide, inter alia, that the Heads of Mission in third countries will include in their periodic reports an analysis of the occurrence of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the State of their accreditation, and the measures taken to combat it. It is appropriate for the competent authorities to take those and similar reports made by relevant international and civil society organisations into account when deciding on requests for authorisations. Such reports should also describe any equipment used in third countries for the purpose of capital punishment or for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(

(44)  While customs authorities should share certain information with other customs authorities using the customs risk management system in accordance with Union customs legislation, the competent authorities referred to in this Regulation should share certain information with other competent authorities . It is appropriate to require that the competent authorities use a secure and encrypted system for the exchange of information on denials . To that end the Commission should make available a new functionality in the existing system set up pursuant to Article 19(4) of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009.

(45)  To the extent that it concerns personal data, processing and the exchange of information should comply with the applicable rules on processing and the exchange of personal data in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council(11) and Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council (12).

(46)  In order to adopt the provisions necessary for the application of this Regulation , 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 amendments to Annexes I to IX to this Regulation . It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, and that those consultations be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making(13). In particular, to ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the European Parliament and the Council receive all documents at the same time as Member States' experts, and their experts systematically have access to meetings of Commission expert groups dealing with the preparation of delegated acts.

(47)  In order to allow the Union to respond quickly when new goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, are developed, and where there is a clear and immediate risk that those goods will be used for purposes that entail such human rights abuses, it is appropriate to provide for the immediate application of the relevant Commission act, where, in the case of amendment of Annex II or III to this Regulation , there are imperative grounds of urgency for such amendment. In order to allow the Union to respond quickly when one or more third countries either approve certain goods for use for capital punishment, or accept or violate an international commitment to abolish capital punishment for all crimes, it is appropriate to provide for the immediate application of the relevant Commission act, where, in the case of amendment of Annex IV or V to this Regulation , imperative grounds of urgency so require. Where the urgency procedure is followed, it is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level.

(48)  A coordination group should be established. The group should serve as a platform for Member States' experts and the Commission to exchange information on administrative practices and to discuss questions of interpretation of this Regulation, technical issues with respect to the goods listed, developments related to this Regulation and any other questions that may arise. The group should, in particular, be able to discuss issues related to the nature and the intended effect of goods, the availability of goods in third countries and the question whether goods are specifically designed or modified for capital punishment or for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. If the Commission decides to consult the group when preparing delegated acts, it should do so in accordance with the principles laid down in the Inter-institutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making.

(49)  The Commission does not procure equipment for law enforcement purposes since it is not responsible for maintenance of law and order, proceedings in criminal matters or the enforcement of judicial decisions in criminal matters. Therefore, a procedure should be established to ensure that the Commission receives information on non-listed law enforcement equipment and products marketed in the Union in order to ensure that the lists of goods whose trade is prohibited or controlled are updated to take account of new developments. When addressing its request to the Commission, the requesting Member State should forward its request to add goods to Annex II, to Annex III or to Annex IV to this Regulation to other Member States.

(50)  The measures of this Regulation are intended to prevent both capital punishment and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in third countries. They comprise restrictions on trade with third countries in goods that could be used for the purpose of capital punishment or for the purpose of torture and other cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment. It is not considered necessary to establish similar controls on transactions within the Union as, in the Member States, capital punishment does not exist and Member States will have adopted appropriate measures to outlaw and prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(51)  The Guidelines to EU Policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment state that, in order to meet the objective of taking effective measures against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, measures should be taken to prevent the use, production and trade of equipment which is designed to inflict torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It is up to the Member States to impose and enforce the necessary restrictions on the use and production of such equipment.

(52)  The Commission and the Member States should inform each other of the measures taken under this Regulation and of other relevant information at their disposal in connection with this Regulation.

(53)  Member States should lay down rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and ensure that they are implemented. Those penalties should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

CHAPTER I

Subject matter and definitions

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation lays down Union rules governing trade with third countries in goods that could be used for the purpose of capital punishment or for the purpose of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and rules governing the supply of brokering services, technical assistance, training and advertising related to such goods.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation:

(a)  ‘torture’ means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from that person or from a third person information or a confession, punishing that person for an act that either that person or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing that person or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted either by or at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of, a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not, however, include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful penalties. Capital punishment is not deemed a lawful penalty under any circumstances;

(b)  ‘other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ means any act by which pain or suffering attaining a minimum level of severity, whether physical or mental, is inflicted on a person, when such pain or suffering is inflicted either by or at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of, a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not, however, include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful penalties. Capital punishment is not deemed a lawful penalty under any circumstances;

(c)  ‘law enforcement authority’ means any authority responsible for preventing, detecting, investigating, combating and punishing criminal offences, including, but not limited to, the police, any prosecutor, any judicial authority, any public or private prison authority and, where appropriate, any of the state security forces and military authorities;

(d)  ‘export’ means any departure of goods from the customs territory of the Union, including the departure of goods that requires a customs declaration and the departure of goods after their storage in a free zone within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(14);

(e)  ‘import’ means any entry of goods into the customs territory of the Union, including temporary storage, the placing in a free zone, the placing under a special procedure and the release for free circulation within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013;

(f)  ‘technical assistance’ means any technical support related to repairs, development, manufacture, testing, maintenance, assembly or any other technical service, and may take forms such as instruction, advice, training, transmission of working knowledge or skills or consulting services. Technical assistance includes verbal forms of assistance and assistance provided by electronic means;

(g)  ‘museum’ means a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment;

(h)  ‘competent authority’ means an authority of one of the Member States, as listed in Annex I, which is, in accordance with Article 20, entitled to make a decision on an application for an authorisation or to prohibit an exporter from using the Union general export authorisation;

(i)  ‘applicant’ means:

(1)  the exporter, in the case of exports referred to in Article 3, 11 or 16;

(2)  the natural or legal person, entity or body transporting the goods within the customs territory of the Union, in the case of transit referred to in Article 5;

(3)  the supplier of technical assistance, in the case of supplies of technical assistance referred to in Article 3;

(4)  the museum that will display the goods, in the case of imports and supplies of technical assistance referred to in Article 4;

(5)  the supplier of technical assistance or the broker, in the case of supplies of technical assistance referred to in Article 15 or brokering services referred to in Article 19;

(j)  ‘customs territory of the Union’ means the territory as laid down in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013;

(k)  ‘brokering services’ means:

(1)  the negotiation or arrangement of transactions for the purchase, sale or supply of relevant goods from a third country to any other third country, or

(2)  the selling or buying of relevant goods that are located in a third country for their transfer to another third country.

For the purposes of this Regulation the sole provision of ancillary services is excluded from this definition. Ancillary services are transportation, financial services, insurance or re-insurance, or general advertising or promotion;

(l)  ‘broker’ means any natural or legal person, entity or body, including a partnership, resident or established in a Member State that supplies services defined under point (k) from within the Union; any natural person having the nationality of a Member State, wherever resident, who supplies such services from within the Union; and any legal person, entity or body incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State, wherever established, that supplies such services from within the Union;

(m)  ‘supplier of technical assistance’ means any natural or legal person, entity or body, including a partnership, resident or established in a Member State that supplies technical assistance defined under point (f) from within the Union; any natural person having the nationality of a Member State, wherever resident, who supplies such assistance from within the Union; and any legal person, entity or body incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State, wherever established, that supplies such assistance from within the Union;

(n)  ‘exporter’ means any natural or legal person, entity or body, including a partnership, on whose behalf an export declaration is made, that is to say the person, entity or body, who, at the time when the export declaration is accepted, holds a contract with the consignee in the third country concerned and has the necessary power for determining the sending of the goods out of the customs territory of the Union. If no such contract has been concluded or if the holder of that contract does not act on its own behalf, the exporter means the person, entity or body who has the necessary power for determining the sending of the goods out of the customs territory of the Union. Where the benefit of a right to dispose of the goods belongs to a person, entity or body resident or established outside the Union pursuant to that contract, the exporter shall be considered to be the contracting party resident or established in the Union;

(o)  ‘Union General Export Authorisation’ means an authorisation for exports as defined under point (d) to certain countries which is available to all exporters who respect conditions and requirements for its use as listed in Annex V;

(p)  ‘individual authorisation’ means an authorisation granted to:

(1)  one specific exporter for exports as defined under point (d) to one end-user or consignee in a third country and covering one or more goods;

(2)  one specific broker for the supply of brokering services as defined under point (k) to one end-user or consignee in a third country and covering one or more goods; or

(3)  a natural or legal person, entity or body transporting goods within the customs territory of the Union for transit as defined under point (s);

(q)  ‘global authorisation’ means an authorisation granted to one specific exporter or broker in respect of a type of goods listed in Annex III or in Annex IV, which may be valid for:

(1)  exports as defined under point (d) to one or more specified end-users in one or more specified third countries;

(2)  exports as defined under point (d) to one or more specified distributors in one or more specified third countries, where the exporter is a manufacturer of goods included in point 3.2 or 3.3. of Annex III or in Section 1 of Annex IV;

(3)  the supply of brokering services related to transfers of goods which are located in a third country, to one or more specified end-users in one or more specified third countries;

(4)  the supply of brokering services related to transfers of goods which are located in a third country, to one or more specified distributors in one or more specified third countries, where the broker is a manufacturer of goods included in point 3.2 or 3.3. of Annex III or in Section 1 of Annex IV;

(r)  ‘distributor’ means an economic operator performing wholesale activities in relation to goods listed in point 3.2 or 3.3 of Annex III or in Section 1 of Annex IV, such as procuring such goods from manufacturers or holding, supplying or exporting such goods; wholesale activities of such goods do not include procurement by either a hospital, a pharmacist or a medical professional for the sole purpose of supplying such goods to the public;

(s)  ‘transit’ means a transport within the customs territory of the Union of non-Union goods which pass through the customs territory of the Union with a destination outside the customs territory of the Union.

CHAPTER II

Goods which have no practical use other than for the purposes of capital punishment, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Article 3

Export prohibition

1.  Any export of goods listed in Annex II shall be prohibited, irrespective of the origin of such goods.

Annex II shall comprise goods which have no practical use other than for the purpose of capital punishment or for the purpose of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

A supplier of technical assistance shall be prohibited from supplying technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex II to any person, entity or body in a third country, whether for consideration or not.

2.  By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the competent authority may authorise an export of goods listed in Annex II, and the supply of related technical assistance, if it is demonstrated that, in the country to which the goods will be exported, such goods will be used for the exclusive purpose of public display in a museum in view of their historic significance.

Article 4

Import prohibition

1.  Any import of goods listed in Annex II shall be prohibited, irrespective of the origin of such goods.

The acceptance by a person, entity or body in the Union of technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex II supplied from a third country, whether for consideration or not, by any person, entity or body shall be prohibited.

2.  By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the competent authority may authorise an import of goods listed in Annex II, and the supply of related technical assistance, if it is demonstrated that, in the Member State of destination, such goods will be used for the exclusive purpose of public display in a museum in view of their historic significance.

Article 5

Prohibition of transit

1.  Any transit of goods listed in Annex II shall be prohibited.

2.  By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the competent authority may authorise a transit of goods listed in Annex II, if it is demonstrated that, in the country of destination, such goods will be used for the exclusive purpose of public display in a museum in view of their historic significance.

Article 6

Prohibition of brokering services

A broker shall be prohibited from supplying to any person, entity or body in a third country, brokering services in relation to goods listed in Annex II, irrespective of the origin of such goods.

Article 7

Prohibition of training

A supplier of technical assistance or a broker shall be prohibited from supplying or offering to any person, entity or body in a third country, training on the use of goods listed in Annex II.

Article 8

Trade fairs

It shall be prohibited for any natural or legal person, entity or body, including a partnership, whether resident or established in a Member State or not, to display or offer for sale any of the goods listed in Annex II in an exhibition or fair taking place in the Union, unless it is demonstrated that, given the nature of the exhibition or fair, such display or offering for sale is neither instrumental in nor promotes the sale or supply of the relevant goods to any person, entity or body in a third country.

Article 9

Advertising

It shall be prohibited for any natural or legal person, entity or body, including a partnership, that is resident or established in a Member State and sells or purchases advertising space or advertising time from within the Union, for any natural person who has the nationality of a Member State and sells or purchases advertising space or advertising time from within the Union, and for any legal person, entity or body incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State, that sells or purchases advertising space or advertising time from within the Union, to sell to or purchase from any person, entity or body in a third country advertising space in print media or on the Internet or advertising time on television or radio in relation to goods listed in Annex II.

Article 10

National measures

1.  Without prejudice to the applicable Union rules, including the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality, Member States may adopt or maintain national measures restricting transportation, financial services, insurance or re-insurance, or general advertising or promotion in relation to goods listed in Annex II.

2.  Member States shall notify the Commission of any measures adopted pursuant to paragraph 1, or amendments and repeals thereof, before they enter into force.

CHAPTER III

Goods that could be used for the purpose of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Article 11

Export authorisation requirement

1.  For any export of goods listed in Annex III an authorisation shall be required, irrespective of the origin of such goods. However, no authorisation shall be required for goods which only pass through the customs territory of the Union, namely those which are not assigned a customs approved treatment or use other than the external transit procedure under Article 226 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013, including storage of non-Union goods in a free zone.

Annex III shall only comprise the following goods that could be used for the purpose of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment:

(a)  goods which are primarily used for law enforcement purposes;

(b)  goods which, taking into account their design and technical features, present a material risk of use for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Annex III shall not include:

(a)  firearms controlled by Regulation (EU) No 258/2012 ;

(b)  dual-use items controlled by Regulation (EC) No 428/2009;

(c)  goods controlled in accordance with Common Position 2008/944/CFSP.

2.  Paragraph 1 shall not apply to exports to those territories of Member States which are both listed in Annex VI and are not part of the customs territory of the Union , provided that the goods are used by an authority in charge of law enforcement in both the country or territory of destination and the metropolitan part of the Member State to which that territory belongs. Customs or other relevant authorities shall have the right to verify whether this condition is met and may decide that, pending such verification, the export shall not take place.

3.  Paragraph 1 shall not apply to exports to third countries, provided that the goods are used by military or civil personnel of a Member State, if such personnel is taking part in an EU or UN peace keeping or crisis management operation in the third country concerned or in an operation based on agreements between Member States and third countries in the field of defence. Customs and other relevant authorities shall have the right to verify whether this condition is met. Pending such verification, the export shall not take place.

Article 12

Criteria for granting export authorisations

1.  Decisions on applications for authorisations in respect of the export of goods listed in Annex III shall be taken by the competent authorities, taking into account all relevant considerations, including in particular whether an application in respect of an essentially identical export has been dismissed by another Member State in the preceding three years and considerations about intended end-use and the risk of diversion.

2.  The competent authority shall not grant any authorisation when there are reasonable grounds to believe that goods listed in Annex III might be used for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including judicial corporal punishment, by a law enforcement authority or any natural or legal person in a third country.

The competent authority shall take into account:

(a)  available international court judgements;

(b)  findings of the competent bodies of the UN, the Council of Europe and the EU, and reports of the Council of Europe's European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment and of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Other relevant information, including available national court judgements, reports or other information prepared by civil society organisations and information on restrictions on exports of goods listed in Annexes II and III applied by the country of destination, may be taken into account.

3.  The rules laid down in the second and third subparagraphs shall apply to the verification of the intended end-use and the risk of diversion.

If the manufacturer of goods listed in point 3.2 or 3.3 of Annex III requests an authorisation for exporting such goods to a distributor, the competent authority shall make an assessment of the contractual arrangements made by the manufacturer and the distributor and of the measures that they are taking to ensure that these goods and, if applicable, the products in which they will be incorporated will not be used for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

If an authorisation is requested for exporting goods listed in point 3.2 or 3.3 of Annex III to an end-user, the competent authority may, when assessing the risk of diversion, take into account the contractual arrangements that apply and the end-use statement signed by the end-user, if such a statement is provided. If no end-use statement is provided, it shall be up to the exporter to demonstrate who will be the end-user and what use will be made of the goods. If the exporter fails to provide sufficient information on the end-user and the end-use, the competent authority shall be deemed to have reasonable grounds to believe that the goods might be used for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

4.  In addition to the criteria set out in paragraph 1, when assessing an application for a global authorisation, the competent authority shall take into consideration the application by the exporter of proportionate and adequate means and procedures to ensure compliance with the provisions and objectives of this Regulation and with the terms and conditions of the authorisation.

Article 13

Prohibition of transit

A natural or legal person, entity or body, including a partnership, whether resident or established in a Member State or not, shall be prohibited from executing the transit of goods listed in Annex III, if he, she or it knows that any part of a shipment of such goods is intended to be used for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in a third country.

Article 14

National measures

1.  Notwithstanding Articles 11 and 12, a Member State may adopt or maintain a prohibition on the export and import of leg irons, gang chains and portable electric shock devices.

2.  A Member State may impose an authorisation requirement on the export of handcuffs which have an overall dimension including chains, measured from the outer edge of one cuff to the outer edge of the other cuff, exceeding 240 mm when locked. The Member State concerned shall apply Chapters III and V to such handcuffs.

3.  Member States shall notify the Commission of any measures adopted pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2 before they enter into force.

Article 15

Authorisation requirement for certain services

1.  An authorisation shall be required for any supply, by a supplier of technical assistance or a broker, respectively, of one of the following services to any person, entity or body in a third country, whether for consideration or not:

(a)  technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex III, irrespective of the origin of such goods; and

(b)  brokering services related to goods listed in Annex III, irrespective of the origin of such goods.

2.  When deciding on applications for an authorisation for the supply of brokering services concerning goods listed in Annex III, Article 12 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

When deciding on applications for an authorisation for the supply of technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex III, the criteria set out in Article 12 shall be taken into account to assess:

(a)  whether the technical assistance would be supplied to a person, entity or body that might use the goods to which the technical assistance relates for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and

(b)  whether the technical assistance would be used to repair, develop, manufacture, test, maintain or assemble goods listed in Annex III for, or to supply technical assistance to, a person, entity or body that might use the goods to which the technical assistance relates for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

3.  Paragraph 1 shall not apply to the supply of technical assistance, if

(a)  the technical assistance is supplied to a law enforcement authority of a Member State or to military or civil personnel of a Member State as described in the first sentence of Article 11(3);

(b)  the technical assistance consists of providing information that is in the public domain; or

(c)  the technical assistance is the minimum necessary for the installation, operation, maintenance or repair of those goods listed in Annex III whose export has been authorised by a competent authority in accordance with this Regulation.

4.  Notwithstanding paragraph 1, a Member State may maintain a prohibition on the supply of brokering services related to leg irons, gang chains and portable electric shock devices. Where a Member State maintains such a prohibition, it shall inform the Commission if measures previously adopted and notified in accordance with Article 7a(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 are amended or repealed.

CHAPTER IV

Goods that could be used for the purpose of capital punishment

Article 16

Export authorisation requirement

1.  For any export of goods listed in Annex IV, an authorisation shall be required irrespective of the origin of such goods. However, no authorisation shall be required for goods which only pass through the customs territory of the Union, namely those which are not assigned a customs approved treatment or use other than the external transit procedure under Article 226 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013, including storage of non-Union goods in a free zone.

Annex IV shall only comprise goods that could be used for the purpose of capital punishment and have been approved or actually used for capital punishment by one or more third countries that have not abolished capital punishment. It shall not include:

(a)  firearms controlled by Regulation (EU) No 258/2012;

(b)  dual-use items controlled by Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 and

(c)  goods controlled in accordance with Common Position 2008/944/CFSP.

2.  Where the export of medicinal products requires an export authorisation pursuant to this Regulation and the export is also subject to authorisation requirements in accordance with international conventions controlling narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, such as the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, Member States may use a single procedure to carry out the obligations imposed on them by this Regulation and by the relevant convention.

Article 17

Criteria for granting export authorisations

1.  Decisions on applications for authorisations in respect of the export of goods listed in Annex IV shall be taken by the competent authorities, taking into account all relevant considerations, including in particular whether an application in respect of an essentially identical export has been dismissed by another Member State in the preceding three years and considerations about intended end-use and the risk of diversion.

2.  The competent authority shall not grant any authorisation when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the goods listed in Annex IV might be used for capital punishment in a third country.

3.  The rules in the second, third and fourth subparagraphs shall apply to the verification of the intended end-use and the risk of diversion.

If the manufacturer of goods listed in Section 1 of Annex IV requests an authorisation for exporting such products to a distributor, the competent authority shall make an assessment of the contractual arrangements made by the manufacturer and the distributor and of the measures that they are taking to ensure that the goods will not be used for capital punishment.

If an authorisation is requested for exporting goods listed in Section 1 of Annex IV to an end-user, the competent authority may, when assessing the risk of diversion, take into account the contractual arrangements that apply and the end-use statement signed by the end-user, if such a statement is provided. If no end-use statement is provided, it shall be up to the exporter to demonstrate who will be the end-user and what use will be made of the goods. If the exporter fails to provide sufficient information on the end-user and the end-use, the competent authority shall be deemed to have reasonable grounds to believe that the goods might be used for capital punishment.

The Commission, in cooperation with competent authorities of the Member States, may adopt best practice guidelines on the assessment of end-use and of the purpose for which technical assistance would be used.

4.  In addition to the criteria set out in paragraph 1, when assessing an application for a global authorisation the competent authority shall take into consideration the application by the exporter of proportionate and adequate means and procedures to ensure compliance with the provisions and objectives of this Regulation and with the terms and conditions of the authorisation.

Article 18

Prohibition of transit

A natural or legal person, entity or body, including a partnership, whether resident or established in a Member State or not, shall be prohibited from executing the transit of goods listed in Annex IV, if he, she or it knows that any part of a shipment of such goods is intended to be used for capital punishment in a third country.

Article 19

Authorisation requirement for certain services

1.  An authorisation shall be required for any supply, by a supplier of technical assistance or a broker, respectively, of one of the following services to any person, entity or body in a third country whether for consideration or not:

(a)  technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex IV, irrespective of the origin of such goods; and

(b)  brokering services related to goods listed in Annex IV, irrespective of the origin of such goods.

2.  When deciding on applications for an authorisation for the supply of brokering services concerning goods listed in Annex IV Article 17 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

When deciding on applications for an authorisation for the supply of technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex IV the criteria set out in Article 17 shall be taken into account to assess:

(a)  whether the technical assistance would be supplied to a person, entity or body that might use the goods to which the technical assistance relates for capital punishment; and

(b)  whether the technical assistance would be used to repair, develop, manufacture, test, maintain or assemble goods listed in Annex IV for, or supply technical assistance to, a person, entity or body that might use the goods to which the technical assistance relates for capital punishment.

3.  Paragraph 1 shall not apply to the supply of technical assistance, if

(a)  the technical assistance consists of providing information that is in the public domain; or

(b)  the technical assistance is the minimum necessary for the installation, operation, maintenance or repair of those goods listed in Annex IV whose export has been authorised by a competent authority in accordance with this Regulation.

CHAPTER V

Authorisation procedures

Article 20

Types of authorisations and issuing authorities

1.  A Union General Export Authorisation for certain exports as set out in Annex V is established by this Regulation.

The competent authority of the Member State where the exporter is resident or established may prohibit the exporter from using this authorisation, if there is reasonable suspicion about the exporter's ability to comply with the terms of this authorisation or with a provision of the export control legislation.

The competent authorities of the Member States shall exchange information on all exporters deprived of the right to use the Union General Export Authorisation, unless they determine that a specific exporter will not attempt to export goods listed in Annex IV through another Member State. A secure and encrypted system for exchange of information shall be used for this purpose.

2.  An authorisation for exports other than those referred to in paragraph 1 for which an authorisation is required under this Regulation shall be granted by the competent authority of the Member State where the exporter is resident or established, as listed in Annex I. Such authorisation may be an individual or a global authorisation, if it concerns goods listed in Annex III or in Annex IV. An authorisation concerning goods listed in Annex II shall be an individual authorisation.

3.  An authorisation for transit of goods listed in Annex II shall be granted by the competent authority of the Member State where the natural or legal person, entity or body transporting the goods within the customs territory of the Union is resident or established, as listed in Annex I. If that person, entity or body is not resident or established in a Member State, an authorisation shall be granted by the competent authority of the Member State in which the entry of goods into the customs territory of the Union takes place. Such an authorisation shall be an individual authorisation.

4.  An authorisation for imports for which an authorisation is required under this Regulation shall be granted by the competent authority of the Member State where the museum is established, as listed in Annex I. An authorisation concerning goods listed in Annex II shall be an individual authorisation.

5.  An authorisation for the supply of technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex II shall be granted by:

(a)  the competent authority of the Member State where the supplier of technical assistance is resident or established, as listed in Annex I, or, if there is no such Member State, the competent authority of the Member State of which the supplier of technical assistance is a national or under whose law it has been incorporated or constituted, if the assistance is to be supplied to a museum in a third country; or

(b)  the competent authority of the Member State where the museum is established, as listed in Annex I, if the assistance is to be supplied to a museum in the Union.

6.  An authorisation for the supply of technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex III or in Annex IV shall be granted by the competent authority of the Member State where the supplier of technical assistance is resident or established, as listed in Annex I, or, if there is no such Member State, the competent authority of the Member State of which the supplier of technical assistance is a national or under whose law it has been incorporated or constituted.

7.  An authorisation for the supply of brokering services related to goods listed in Annex III or in Annex IV shall be granted by the competent authority of the Member State where the broker is resident or established, as listed in Annex I, or, if there is no such Member State, the competent authority of the Member State of which the broker is a national or under whose law it has been incorporated or constituted. Such an authorisation shall be granted for a set quantity of specific goods moving between two or more third countries. The location of the goods in the originating third country, the end-user and its exact location shall be clearly identified.

8.  Applicants shall supply the competent authority with all relevant information required for their applications for an individual or global authorisation for exports or for brokering services, for an authorisation for technical assistance, for an individual import authorisation or for an individual authorisation for transit.

As regards exports the competent authorities shall receive complete information in particular on the end-user, the country of destination and the end-use of the goods.

As regards brokering services the competent authorities shall in particular receive details of the location of the goods in the originating third country, a clear description of the goods and the quantity involved, third parties involved in the transaction, the third country of destination, the end-user in that country and its exact location.

The granting of an authorisation may be subject to an end-use statement, if appropriate.

9.  By way of derogation from paragraph 8, where a manufacturer or a manufacturer's representative is to export or to sell and transfer goods included in point 3.2 or 3.3 of Annex III or in Section 1 of Annex IV to a distributor in a third country, the manufacturer shall provide information on the arrangements made and the measures taken to prevent the goods included in point 3.2 or 3.3 of Annex III from being used for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or to prevent the goods included in Section 1 of Annex IV from being used for capital punishment, on the country of destination and, if available, information on the end-use and the end-users of the goods.

10.  Upon request of a national preventive mechanism established under the Optional Protocol to the 1984 United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the competent authorities may decide to make the information they have received from an applicant on the country of destination, the consignee, the end-use and the end-users or, where relevant, the distributor and the arrangements and measures referred to in paragraph 9, available to the requesting national preventive mechanism. The competent authorities shall hear the applicant before the information is made available and may impose restrictions on the use that can be made of the information. The competent authorities shall make their decisions in accordance with national laws and practice.

11.  Member States shall process requests for individual or global authorisations within a period of time to be determined by national law or practice.

Article 21

Authorisations

1.  Authorisations for export, import or transit shall be issued on a form consistent with the model set out in Annex VII. Authorisations concerning brokering services shall be issued on a form consistent with the model set out in Annex VIII. Authorisations concerning technical assistance shall be issued on a form consistent with the model set out in Annex IX. Such authorisations shall be valid throughout the Union. The period of validity of an authorisation shall be from three to twelve months with a possible extension of up to 12 months. The period of validity of a global authorisation shall be from one year to three years with a possible extension of up to two years.

2.  An authorisation for export granted in accordance with Article 12 or with Article 17 implies an authorisation for the exporter to supply technical assistance to the end-user to the extent that such assistance is necessary for the installation, operation, maintenance or repair of those goods whose export is authorised.

3.  Authorisations may be issued by electronic means. The specific procedures shall be established on a national basis. Member States availing themselves of this option shall inform the Commission.

4.  Authorisations for export, import, transit, the supply of technical assistance or the supply of brokering services shall be subject to any requirements and conditions the competent authority deems appropriate.

5.  The competent authorities, acting in accordance with this Regulation, may refuse to grant an authorisation and may annul, suspend, modify or revoke an authorisation which they have already granted.

Article 22

Customs formalities

1.  When completing customs formalities, the exporter or importer shall submit the duly completed form set out in Annex VII as proof that the necessary authorisation for the export or import concerned has been obtained. If the document is not filled out in an official language of the Member State where the customs formalities are being completed, the exporter or importer may be required to provide a translation into such official language.

2.  If a customs declaration is made concerning goods listed in Annex II, III or IV and it is confirmed that no authorisation has been granted pursuant to this Regulation for the intended export or import, the customs authorities shall detain the goods declared and shall make the exporter or importer aware of the possibility to apply for an authorisation pursuant to this Regulation. If no application for an authorisation is made within six months of the detention, or if the competent authority dismisses such an application, the customs authorities shall dispose of the detained goods in accordance with applicable national law.

Article 23

Notification and consultation requirement

1.  A Member State shall notify the other Member States and the Commission if its competent authorities, as listed in Annex I, take a decision dismissing an application for an authorisation under this Regulation or if they annul an authorisation they have granted. Such notification shall be made not later than 30 days following the date of the decision or annulment.

2.  The competent authority shall, through diplomatic channels where required or appropriate, consult the authority or authorities which, in the preceding three years, dismissed an application for authorisation of an export, a transit, the supply of technical assistance to a person, entity or body in a third country or the supply of brokering services under this Regulation, if it receives an application concerning an export, a transit, the supply of technical assistance to a person, entity or body in a third country or the supply of brokering services involving an essentially identical transaction referred to in such earlier application and considers that an authorisation should, nevertheless, be granted.

3.  If, after the consultations referred to in paragraph 2, the competent authority decides to grant an authorisation, the relevant Member State shall immediately inform the other Member States and the Commission of its decision and explain the reasons for its decision, submitting supporting information as appropriate.

4.  Where a refusal to grant an authorisation is based on a national prohibition in accordance with Article 14(1) or Article 15(4), it shall not constitute a decision dismissing an application within the meaning of paragraph 1 of this Article.

5.  All notifications required under this Article shall be made via a secure and encrypted system for exchange of information.

CHAPTER VI

General and final provisions

Article 24

Amendment of Annexes

The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 29, to amend Annexes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX. The data in Annex I regarding competent authorities of the Member States shall be amended on the basis of information supplied by the Member States.

Where, in the case of amendment of Annex II, III, IV or V, imperative grounds of urgency so require, the procedure provided for in Article 30 shall apply to delegated acts adopted pursuant to this Article.

Article 25

Requests for adding goods to one of the lists of goods

1.  Each Member State may address a duly substantiated request to the Commission to add goods designed or marketed for law enforcement to Annex II, Annex III or Annex IV. Such a request shall include information on:

(a)  the design and characteristics of the goods;

(b)  all the purposes for which they can be used; and

(c)  the international or domestic rules that would be broken if the goods were to be used for law enforcement.

When addressing its request to the Commission, the requesting Member State shall also forward that request to the other Member States.

2.  The Commission may, within three months of the receipt of the request, ask the requesting Member State to provide supplementary information, if it considers that the request fails to address one or more relevant points or that additional information on one or more relevant points is necessary. It shall communicate the points on which supplementary information needs to be provided. The Commission shall forward its questions to the other Member States. The other Member States may also provide the Commission with further information for the assessment of the request.

3.  If it considers that there is no need to ask for supplementary information or, where applicable, upon receipt of the supplementary information it has requested, the Commission shall, within 20 weeks of the receipt of the request or the receipt of supplementary information, respectively, commence the procedure for the adoption of the requested amendment or inform the requesting Member State of the reasons for not doing so.

Article 26

Exchange of information between Member States' authorities and the Commission

1.  Without prejudice to Article 23, the Commission and the Member States shall, upon request, inform each other of the measures taken under this Regulation and supply each other with any relevant information at their disposal in connection with this Regulation, in particular information on authorisations granted and refused.

2.  Relevant information on authorisations granted and refused shall comprise at least the type of decision, the grounds for the decision or a summary thereof, the names of the consignees and, if they are not the same, of the end-users as well as the goods concerned.

3.  Member States, if possible in cooperation with the Commission, shall make a public, annual activity report, providing information on the number of applications received, on the goods and countries concerned by these applications, and on the decisions they have taken on these applications. This report shall not include information the disclosure of which a Member State considers to be contrary to the essential interests of its security.

4.  The Commission shall prepare an annual report comprised of the annual activity reports referred to in paragraph 3. That annual report shall be made publicly available.

5.  Except for the supply of information mentioned in paragraph 2 to the authorities of the other Member State and to the Commission, this Article shall be without prejudice to applicable national rules concerning confidentiality and professional secrecy.

6.  The refusal to grant an authorisation, if it is based on a national prohibition adopted in accordance with Article 14(1), shall not constitute an authorisation refused within the meaning of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article.

Article 27

Processing of personal data

Personal data shall be processed and exchanged in accordance with the rules laid down in Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 .

Article 28

Use of information

Without prejudice to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (15) and national legislation on public access to documents, information received pursuant to this Regulation shall be used only for the purpose for which it was requested.

Article 29

Exercise of the delegation

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

2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 24 shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of five years from 16 December 2016. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than nine months before the end of the five-year period. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the European Parliament or the Council opposes such extension not later than three months before the end of each period.

3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 24 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

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

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

6.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 24 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 30

Urgency procedure

1.  Delegated acts adopted under this Article shall enter into force without delay and shall apply as long as no objection is expressed in accordance with paragraph 2. The notification of a delegated act to the European Parliament and to the Council shall state the reasons for the use of the urgency procedure.

2.  Either the European Parliament or the Council may object to a delegated act in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 29(6). In such a case, the Commission shall repeal the act immediately following the notification of the decision to object by the European Parliament or by the Council.

Article 31

Anti-Torture Coordination Group

1.  An Anti-Torture Coordination Group chaired by a representative of the Commission shall be established. Each Member State shall appoint a representative to that group.

2.  The Anti-Torture Coordination Group shall examine any questions concerning the application of this Regulation, including, without limitation, the exchange of information on administrative practices and any questions which may be raised either by the chair or by a representative of a Member State.

3.  The Anti-Torture Coordination Group may, whenever it considers it to be necessary, consult exporters, brokers, suppliers of technical assistance and other relevant stakeholders concerned by this Regulation.

4.  The Commission shall submit an annual report in writing to the European Parliament on the activities, examinations and consultations of the Anti-Torture Coordination Group.

The annual report shall be drawn up paying due regard to the need not to undermine the commercial interests of natural or legal persons. The discussions in the Anti-Torture Coordination Group shall be kept confidential.

Article 32

Review

1.  By 31 July 2020, and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall review the implementation of this Regulation and present a comprehensive implementation and impact assessment report to the European Parliament and to the Council, which may include proposals for its amendment. The review will assess the need to include the activities of Union nationals abroad. Member States shall provide to the Commission all appropriate information for the preparation of the report.

2.  Special sections of the report shall deal with:

(a)  the Anti-Torture Coordination Group and its activities. The report shall be drawn up paying due regard to the need not to undermine the commercial interests of natural or legal persons. The discussions in the group shall be kept confidential;

(b)  information on the measures taken by the Member States pursuant to Article 33(1) and notified to the Commission pursuant to Article 33(2).

Article 33

Penalties

1.  Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

2.  Member States shall notify the Commission without delay of any amendment affecting rules on penalties notified in accordance with Article 17(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 .

Article 34

Territorial scope

1.  This Regulation shall have the same territorial scope of application as the Treaties, except for the first subparagraph of Article 3(1), the first subparagraph of Article 4(1), Articles 5, 11, 13, 14, 16 and 18, Article 20(1) to (4) and Article 22, which shall apply to:

–  the customs territory of the Union;

–  the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla;

–  the German territory of Helgoland.

2.  For the purpose of this Regulation Ceuta, Helgoland and Melilla shall be treated as part of the customs territory of the Union .

Article 35

Repeal

Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 is repealed.

References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as references to this Regulation and shall be read in accordance with the correlation table in Annex XI.

Article 36

Entry into force

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

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

Done at …,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX I

List of authorities referred to in Articles 20 and 23 and address for notifications to the European Commission

A.  Authorities of the Member States

BELGIUM

Federale Overheidsdienst Economie, K.M.O., Middenstand en Energie

Algemene Directie Economische Analyses en Internationale Economie

Dienst Vergunningen

Vooruitgangstraat 50

B-1210 Brussel

BELGIË

Service public fédéral économie, PME, classes moyennes et énergie

Direction générale des Analyses économiques et de l'Economie internationale

Service licences

Rue du Progrès 50

B-1210 Bruxelles

BELGIQUE

Tel. +32 22776713, +32 22775459

Fax +32 22775063

E-mail: frieda.coosemans@economie.fgov.be

johan.debontridder@economie.fgov.be

BULGARIA

Министерство на икономиката

ул. ‘Славянска’ № 8

1052 София/Sofia

БЪЛГАРИЯ/BULGARIA

Ministry of Economy

8, Slavyanska Str.

1052 Sofia

BULGARIA

Tel. +359 29407771

Fax +359 29880727

E-mail: exportcontrol@mi.government.bg

CZECH REPUBLIC

Ministerstvo průmyslu a obchodu

Licenční správa

Na Františku 32

110 15 Praha 1

ČESKÁ REPUBLIKA

Tel. +420 224907638

Fax +420 224214558

E-mail: dual@mpo.cz

DENMARK

Annex III, No 2 and 3

Justitsministeriet

Slotsholmsgade 10

DK-1216 København K

DANMARK

Tel. +45 72268400

Fax +45 33933510

E-mail: jm@jm.dk

Annex II and Annex III, No 1

Erhvervs- og Vækstministeriet

Erhvervsstyrelsen

Eksportkontrol

Langelinie Allé 17

DK-2100 København Ø

DANMARK

Tel. +45 35291000

Fax +45 35291001

E-mail: eksportkontrol@erst.dk

GERMANY

Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle (BAFA)

Frankfurter Straße 29—35

D-65760 Eschborn

DEUTSCHLAND

Tel. +49 6196 908 2217

Fax +49 6196 908 1800

E-mail: ausfuhrkontrolle@bafa.bund.de

ESTONIA

Strateegilise kauba komisjon

Islandi väljak 1

15049 Tallinn

EESTI/ESTONIA

Tel. +372 6377192

Fax +372 6377199

E-mail: stratkom@vm.ee

IRELAND

An tAonad Ceadúnúcháin

An Roinn Gnó, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta

23 Sráid Chill Dara

Baile Átha Cliath 2

ÉIRE

Tel. +353 16312121

Fax +353 16312562

E-mail: exportcontrol@djei.ie

Licensing Unit

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

23 Kildare Street

Dublin 2

ÉIRE

Tel. +353 16312121

Fax +353 16312562

E-mail: exportcontrol@djei.ie

GREECE

Υπουργείο Ανάπτυξης, Ανταγωνιστικότητας, Υποδομών, Μεταφορών και Δικτύων

Γενική Διεύθυνση Διεθνούς Οικονομικής Πολιτικής

Διεύθυνση Καθεστώτων Εισαγωγών-Εξαγωγών, Εμπορικής Άμυνας

Ερμού και Κορνάρου 1,

GR-105 63 Αθήνα/Athens

ΕΛΛΑΔΑ/GREECE

Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks

General Directorate for International Economic Policy

Directorate of Import-Export Regimes, Trade Defence Instruments

Ermou and Kornarou 1,

GR-105 63 Athens

GREECE

Tel. +30 2103286021-22, +30 2103286051-47

Fax +30 2103286094

E-mail: e3a@mnec.gr, e3c@mnec.gr

SPAIN

Subdirección General de Comercio Internacional de Material de Defensa y Doble Uso

Secretaría de Estado de Comercio

Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad

Paseo de la Castellana 162, planta 7

E-28046 Madrid

ESPAÑA

Tel.: +34 913492587

Fax: +34 913492470

E-mail: sgdefensa.sscc@comercio.mineco.es

FRANCE

Ministère des finances et des comptes publics

Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects

Bureau E2

11 Rue des Deux Communes

F-93558 Montreuil Cedex

FRANCE

Tel.: +33 1 57 53 43 98

Fax: + 33 1 57 53 48 32

E-mail: dg-e2@douane.finances.gouv.fr

CROATIA

Ministarstvo vanjskih i europskih poslova

Samostalni sektor za trgovinsku politiku i gospodarsku multilateralu

Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog 7-8

10 000 Zagreb

REPUBLIKA HRVATSKA

Tel. +385 1 6444 625 (626)

Fax + 385 1 6444 601

ITALY

Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico

Direzione Generale per la Politica Commerciale Internazionale

Divisione IV

Viale Boston, 25

00144 Roma

ITALIA

Tel. +39 0659932439

Fax +39 0659647506

E-mail: polcom4@mise.gov.it

CYPRUS

Υπουργείο Ενέργειας, Εμπορίου, Βιομηχανίας και Τουρισμού

Υπηρεσία Εμπορίου

Κλάδος Έκδοσης Αδειών Εισαγωγών/Εξαγωγών

Ανδρέα Αραούζου 6

CY-1421 Λευκωσία

ΚΥΠΡΟΣ/CYPRUS

Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism

Trade Service

Import/Export Licensing Section

6 Andreas Araouzos Street

CY-1421 Nicosia

CYPRUS

Tel. +357 22867100, +357 22867197, +357 22867332

Fax +357 22375443

E-mail: ,

LATVIA

Ārlietu ministrija

K.  Valdemāra iela 3

LV-1395 Rīga

LATVIJA

Tel. +371 67016426

Fax +371 67828121

E-mail: mfa.cha@mfa.gov.lv

LITHUANIA

Policijos departamento prie Vidaus reikalų ministerijos

Viešosios policijos valdybos Licencijavimo skyrius

Saltoniškių g. 19

LT-08105 Vilnius

LIETUVA/LITHUANIA

Tel.: +370 82719767

Fax: +370 52719976

E-mail: leidimai.pd@policija.lt

LUXEMBOURG

Ministère de l'Economie

Office des Licences

19-21, boulevard Royal

L-2449 Luxembourg

BP 113/L-2011 Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG

Tel.: +352 22 61 62

Fax: +352 46 61 38

E-mail: office.licences@eco.etat.lu

HUNGARY

Magyar Kereskedelmi Engedélyezési Hivatal

Németvölgyi út 37-39

H-1124 Budapest

MAGYARORSZÁG/HUNGARY

Tel. +36 14585599

Fax +36 14585885

E-mail: armstrade@mkeh.gov.hu

MALTA

Dipartiment tal-Kummerċ

Servizzi ta' Kummerċ

Lascaris

Valletta VLT2000

MALTA

Commerce Department

Trade Services

Lascaris

Valletta VLT2000

MALTA

Tel. +356 21242270

Fax +356 25690286

NETHERLANDS

Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Directoraat-Generaal Buitenlandse Economische Betrekkingen

Directie Internationale Marktordening en Handelspolitiek

Bezuidenhoutseweg 67

Postbus 20061

2500 EB Den Haag

NEDERLAND

Tel. +31 703485954, +31 703484652

AUSTRIA

Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft

Abteilung ‘Außenwirtschaftskontrolle’ C2/9

Stubenring 1

A-1011 Wien

ÖSTERREICH

Tel. +43 1711008341

Fax +43 1711008366

E-mail: post.c29@bmwfw.gv.at

POLAND

Ministerstwo Gospodarki

Departament Handlu i Usług

Plac Trzech Krzyży 3/5

00-507 Warszawa

POLSKA/POLAND

Tel. +48 226935553

Fax +48 226934021

E-mail: SekretariatDHU@mg.gov.pl

PORTUGAL

Ministério das Finanças

AT- Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira

Direcção de Serviços de Licenciamento

Rua da Alfândega, n. 5, r/c

P-1149-006 Lisboa

PORTUGAL

Tel. +351 218813843

Fax +351 218813986

E-mail: dsl@at.gov.pt

ROMANIA

Ministerul Economiei, Comerțului și Turismului

Departamentul pentru Comerț Exterior și Relații Internaționale

Direcția Politici Comerciale

Calea Victoriei nr. 152

București, sector 1

Cod poștal 010096

ROMÂNIA

Tel. +40 214010552, +40 214010504, +40 214010507

Fax +40 214010568, +40 213150454

E-mail: adrian.berezintu@dce.gov.ro

SLOVENIA

Ministrstvo za gospodarski razvoj in tehnologijo

Direktorat za notranji trg, Sektor za trgovinsko politiko

Kotnikova 5

1000 Ljubljana

Republika Slovenija

Tel. +386 1 400 3564;

Fax. +386 1 400 3588

Ministry for Economic Development and Technology

Directorate for Internal Market, Trade Policy Division

Kotnikova 5

1000 Ljubljana

The Republic of Slovenia

Tel. +386 1 400 3564;

Fax. +386 1 400 3588

SLOVAKIA

Ministerstvo hospodárstva Slovenskej republiky

Odbor výkonu obchodných opatrení

Mierová 19

827 15 Bratislava

SLOVENSKO

Tel. +421 248542163

Fax +421 243423915

E-mail: lucia.filipkova@economy.gov.sk

FINLAND

Sisäministeriö

Poliisiosasto

PL 26

FI-00023 Valtioneuvosto

FINLAND

Inrikesministeriet

Polisavdelningen

PB 26

FI-00023 Statsrådet

SUOMI/FINLAND

Tel. +358 295 480 171

Fax +358 9 160 44635

E-mail: kirjaamo@intermin.fi

SWEDEN

Kommerskollegium

PO Box 6803

SE-113 86 Stockholm

SVERIGE

Tel. +46 86904800

Fax +46 8306759

E-mail: registrator@kommers.se

UNITED KINGDOM

Import of goods listed in Annex II:

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Import Licensing Branch (ILB)

E-mail: enquiries.ilb@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Export of goods listed in Annexes II or III, and supply of technical assistance related to goods listed in Annex II as referred to in Articles 3(1) and (4)(1):

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Export Control Organisation

1 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0ET

UNITED KINGDOM

Tel.: +44 2072154594

Fax: +44 2072152635

E-mail: eco.help@bis.gsi.gov.uk

B.  Address for notifications to the European Commission

European Commission

Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

Office EEAS 7/99

B-1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

BELGIUM

E-mail: relex-sanctions@ec.europa.eu

_____________

ANNEX II

List of goods referred to in Articles 3 and 4

Introductory Note:

The ‘CN codes’ in this Annex refer to codes specified in Part Two of Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 (16).

Where ‘ex’ precedes the CN code, the goods covered by this Regulation constitute only a part of the scope of the CN code and are determined by both the description given in this Annex and the scope of the CN code.

Notes:

1.  Items 1.3 and 1.4 in Section 1 concerning goods designed for the execution of human beings do not cover medical-technical goods.

2.  The object of the controls contained in this Annex should not be defeated by the export of any non-controlled goods (including plant) containing one or more controlled components when the controlled component or components are the principal element of the goods and can feasibly be removed or used for other purposes.

NB: In judging whether the controlled component or components are to be considered the principal element, it is necessary to weigh the factors of quantity, value and technological know-how involved and other special circumstances which might establish the controlled component or components as the principal element of the goods being procured.

CN code

Description

 

1.  Goods designed for the execution of human beings, as follows:

ex44219097

ex82089000

1.1.  Gallows, guillotines and blades for guillotines

ex85437090

ex94017900

ex94018000

ex94021000

1.2.  Electric chairs for the purpose of execution of human beings

ex94060038

ex94060080

1.3.  Airtight vaults, made of e.g. steel and glass, designed for the purpose of execution of human beings by the administration of a lethal gas or substance

ex84138100

ex90189050

ex90189060

ex90189084

1.4.  Automatic drug injection systems designed for the purpose of execution of human beings by the administration of a lethal chemical substance

 

2.  Goods which are not suitable for use by law enforcement authorities to restrain human beings, as follows:

ex85437090

2.1.  Electric shock devices which are intended to be worn on the body by a restrained individual, such as belts, sleeves and cuffs, designed for restraining human beings by the administration of electric shocks

ex73269098

ex76169990

ex83015000

ex39269097

ex42033000

ex42034000

ex42050090

2.2.  Thumb-cuffs, finger-cuffs, thumbscrews and finger-screws

Note:

This item includes both serrated and non-serrated cuffs and screws

ex73269098

ex76169990

ex83015000

ex39269097

ex42033000

ex42034000

ex42050090

ex62171000

ex63079098

2.3.  Bar fetters, weighted leg restraints and gang chains comprising bar fetters or weighted leg restraints

Notes:

1.  Bar fetters are shackles or ankle rings fitted with a locking mechanism, linked by a rigid bar which is typically made of metal

2.  This item includes bar fetters and weighted leg restraints which are linked to ordinary handcuffs by means of a chain

ex73269098

ex76169990

ex83015000

ex39269097

ex42033000

ex42034000

ex42050090

ex62171000

ex63079098

2.4.  Cuffs for restraining human beings, designed to be anchored to a wall, floor or ceiling

ex94016100

ex94016900

ex94017100

ex94017900

ex94018000

ex94021000

2.5.  Restraint chairs: chairs fitted with shackles or other devices to restrain a human being

Note:

This item does not prohibit chairs only fitted with straps or belts

ex94029000

ex94032020

ex94032080

ex94035000

ex94037000

ex94038100

ex94038900

2.6.  Shackle boards and shackle beds: boards and beds fitted with shackles or other devices to restrain a human being

Note:

This item does not prohibit boards and beds only fitted with straps or belts

ex94029000

ex94032020

ex94035000

ex94037000

ex94038100

ex94038900

2.7.  Cage beds: beds comprising a cage (four sides and a ceiling) or similar structure enclosing a human being within the confines of the bed, the ceiling or one or more of the sides of which are fitted with metal or other bars, and which can only be opened from outside

ex94029000

ex94032020

ex94035000

ex94037000

ex94038100

ex94038900

2.8.  Net beds: beds comprising a cage (four sides and a ceiling) or similar structure enclosing a human being within the confines of the bed, the ceiling or one or more sides of which are fitted with nets, and which can only be opened from outside

 

3.  Portable devices which are not suitable for use by law enforcement authorities for the purpose of riot control or self-protection, as follows:

ex93040000

3.1.  Batons or truncheons made of metal or other material having a shaft with metal spikes

ex39269097

ex73269098

3.2.  Shields with metal spikes

 

4.  Whips as follows:

ex66020000

4.1.  Whips comprising multiple lashes or thongs, such as knouts or cats o'nine tails

ex66020000

4.2.  Whips having one or more lashes or thongs fitted with barbs, hooks, spikes, metal wire or similar objects enhancing the impact of the lash or thong

_____________

ANNEX III

List of goods referred to in Article 11

Introductory Note:

The CN codes in this Annex refer to codes specified in Part Two of Annex I to Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 .

Where ‘ex’ precedes the CN code, the goods covered by this Regulation constitute only a part of the scope of the CN code and are determined by both the description given in this Annex and the scope of the CN code.

Notes:

1.  The object of the controls contained in this Annex should not be defeated by the export of any non-controlled goods (including plant) containing one or more controlled components when the controlled component or components are the principal element of the goods and can feasibly be removed or used for other purposes.

NB: In judging whether the controlled component or components are to be considered the principal element, it is necessary to weigh the factors of quantity, value and technological know-how involved and other special circumstances which might establish the controlled component or components as the principal element of the goods being procured.

2.  In some instances chemicals are listed by name and CAS number. The list applies to chemicals of the same structural formula (including hydrates) regardless of name or CAS number. CAS numbers are shown to assist in identifying a particular chemical or mixture, irrespective of nomenclature. CAS numbers cannot be used as unique identifiers because some forms of the listed chemical have different CAS numbers, and mixtures containing a listed chemical may also have different CAS numbers.

CN code

Description

 

1.  Goods designed for restraining human beings, as follows:

ex73269098

ex76169990

ex83015000

ex39269097

ex42033000

ex42034000

ex42050090

ex62171000

ex63079098

1.1.  Shackles and gang chains

Notes:

1.  Shackles are restraints consisting of two cuffs or rings fitted with a locking mechanism, with a connecting chain or bar

2.  This item does not control the leg restraints and gang chains prohibited by item 2.3 of Annex II

3.  This item does not control ‘ordinary handcuffs’. Ordinary handcuffs are handcuffs which meet all the following conditions:

–  their overall dimension including chain, measured from the outer edge of one cuff to the outer edge of the other cuff, is between 150 and 280 mm when both cuffs are locked;

–  the inside circumference of each cuff is a maximum of 165 mm when the ratchet is engaged at the last notch entering the locking mechanism;

–  the inside circumference of each cuff is a minimum of 200 mm when the ratchet is engaged at the first notch entering the locking mechanism; and

–  the cuffs have not been modified to cause physical pain or suffering.

ex73269098

ex76169990

ex83015000

ex39269097

ex42033000

ex42034000

ex42050090

ex62171000

ex63079098

1.2.  Individual cuffs or rings fitted with a locking mechanism, having an inside circumference exceeding 165 mm when the ratchet is engaged at the last notch entering the locking mechanism

Note:

This item includes neck restraints and other individual cuffs or rings fitted with a locking mechanism, which are linked to ordinary handcuffs by means of a chain

ex65050010

ex65050090

ex65069100

ex65069910

ex65069990

1.3.  Spit hoods: hoods, including hoods made of netting, comprising a cover of the mouth which prevents spitting

Note:

This item includes spit hoods which are linked to ordinary handcuffs by means of a chain

 

2.  Weapons and devices designed for the purpose of riot control or self-protection, as follows:

ex85437090

ex93040000

2.1.  Portable electric discharge weapons that can target only one individual each time an electric shock is administered, including but not limited to electric shock batons, electric shock shields, stun guns and electric shock dart guns

Notes:

1.  This item does not control electric shock belts and other devices falling within item 2.1 of Annex II

2.  This item does not control individual electronic shock devices when accompanying their user for the user's own personal protection

ex85439000

ex93059900

2.2.  Kits containing all essential components for assembly of portable electric discharge weapons controlled by item 2.1

Note:

The following goods are considered to be essential components:

–  the unit producing an electric shock,

–  the switch, whether or not on a remote control, and

–  the electrodes or, where applicable, the wires through which the electrical shock is to be administered

ex85437090

ex93040000

2.3.  Fixed or mountable electric discharge weapons that cover a wide area and can target multiple individuals with electrical shocks

 

3.  Weapons and equipment disseminating incapacitating or irritating chemical substances for the purpose of riot control or self-protection and certain related substances, as follows:

ex84242000

ex84248900

ex93040000

3.1.  Portable weapons and equipment which either administer a dose of an incapacitating or irritating chemical substance that targets one individual or disseminate a dose of such substance affecting a small area, e.g. in the form of a spray fog or cloud, when the chemical substance is administered or disseminated

Notes:

1.  This item does not control equipment controlled by item ML7(e) of the Common Military List of the European Union(17)

2.  This item does not control individual portable equipment, even if containing a chemical substance, when accompanying their user for the user's own personal protection

3.  In addition to relevant chemical substances, such as riot control agents or PAVA, the goods controlled by items 3.3 and 3.4 shall be deemed to be incapacitating or irritating chemical substances

ex29242998

3.2.  Pelargonic acid vanillylamide (PAVA) (CAS RN 2444-46-4)

ex33019030

3.3.  Oleoresin capsicum (OC) (CAS RN 8023-77-6)

ex29242998

ex29399900

ex33019030

ex33021090

ex33029010

ex33029090

ex38249097

3.4.  Mixtures containing at least 0,3 % by weight of PAVA or OC and a solvent (such as ethanol, 1-propanol or hexane), which could be administered as such as incapacitating or irritating agents, in particular in aerosols and in liquid form, or used for manufacturing of incapacitating or irritating agents

Notes:

1.  This item does not control sauces and preparations therefor, soups or preparations therefor and mixed condiments or seasonings, provided that PAVA or OC is not the only constituent flavour in them

2.  This item does not control medicinal products for which a marketing authorisation has been granted in accordance with Union law(18)

ex84242000

ex84248900

3.5.  Fixed equipment for the dissemination of incapacitating or irritating chemical substances, which can be attached to a wall or to a ceiling inside a building, comprises a canister of irritating or incapacitating chemical agents and is activated using a remote control system

Note:

In addition to relevant chemical substances, such as riot control agents or PAVA, the goods controlled by items 3.3 and 3.4 shall be deemed to be incapacitating or irritating chemical substances

ex84242000

ex84248900

ex93040000

3.6.  Fixed or mountable equipment for the dissemination of incapacitating or irritating chemical agents that covers a wide area and is not designed to be attached to a wall or to a ceiling inside a building

Notes:

1.  This item does not control equipment controlled by item ML7(e) of the Common Military List of the European Union

2.  This item also controls water cannons

3.  In addition to relevant chemical substances, such as riot control agents or PAVA, the goods controlled by items 3.3 and 3.4 shall be deemed to be incapacitating or irritating chemical substances

_____________

ANNEX IV

Goods that could be used for the purpose of capital punishment referred to in Article 16

CN code

Description

 

1.  Products which could be used for the execution of human beings by means of lethal injection, as follows:

 

1.1.  Short and intermediate acting barbiturate anaesthetic agents including, but not limited to:

ex29335390 [(a) to (f)]

ex29335995 [(g) and (h)]

(a)  amobarbital (CAS RN 57-43-2)

(b)  amobarbital sodium salt (CAS RN 64-43-7)

(c)  pentobarbital (CAS RN 76‑74‑4)

(d)  pentobarbital sodium salt (CAS 57‑33-0)

(e)  secobarbital (CAS RN 76-73-3)

(f)  secobarbital sodium salt (CAS RN 309-43-3)

(g)  thiopental (CAS RN 76-75-5)

(h)  thiopental sodium salt (CAS RN 71‑73-8), also known as thiopentone sodium

ex30039000

ex30049000

ex38249096

Note:

This item also controls products containing one of the anaesthetic agents listed under short or intermediate acting barbiturate anaesthetic agents.

_____________

ANNEX V

Union general export authorisation EU GEA [OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation…]

Part 1 — Goods

This general export authorisation covers the goods listed in any entry in Annex IV to Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation and complete footnote] of the European Parliament and of the Council(19).

It also covers supplies of technical assistance to the end-user to the extent that such assistance is necessary for the installation, operation, maintenance or repair of those goods whose export is authorised, if such assistance is provided by the exporter.

Part 2 — Destinations

An export authorisation under Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] is not required for supplies to a country or territory that is part of the customs territory of the Union, which for the purpose of this Regulation includes Ceuta, Helgoland and Melilla (Article 34(2)).

This general export authorisation is valid throughout the Union for exports to the following destinations:

Danish territories not included in the customs territory:

–  Faroe Islands

–  Greenland

French territories not included in the customs territory:

–  French Polynesia,

–  French Southern and Antarctic Territories,

–  New Caledonia and Dependencies,

–  Saint-Barthélemy,

–  Saint Pierre and Miquelon,

–  Wallis and Futuna Islands

Dutch territories not included in the customs territory:

–  Aruba,

–  Bonaire,

–  Curaçao,

–  Saba,

–  Sint Eustatius,

–  Sint Maarten

Relevant British territories not included in the customs territory:

–  Anguilla,

–  Bermuda,

–  Falkland Islands,

–  Gibraltar,

–  Montserrat,

–  Saint Helena and Dependencies,

–  South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands,

–  Turks and Caicos Islands

Albania

Andorra

Argentina

Australia

Benin

Bolivia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Canada

Cape Verde

Colombia

Costa Rica

Djibouti

Dominican RepublicEcuador

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Gabon

Georgia

Guinea-Bissau

Honduras

Iceland

Kyrgyzstan

Liberia

Liechtenstein

Mexico

Moldova

Mongolia

Montenegro

Mozambique

Namibia

Nepal

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Norway

Panama

Paraguay

Philippines

Rwanda

San Marino

Sao Tome and Principe

Serbia

Seychelles

South Africa

Switzerland (including Büsingen and Campione d'Italia)

Timor-Leste

Togo

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Ukraine

Uruguay

Uzbekistan

Venezuela

Part 3 — Conditions and requirements for using this general export authorisation

(1)  This general export authorisation may not be used if:

(a)  the exporter has been prohibited from using this general export authorisation in accordance with Article 20(1) of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation];

(b)  the competent authorities of the Member State in which the exporter is resident or established have informed the exporter that the goods in question are or may be intended, in their entirety or in part, either for re-export to a third country or to be used for the purpose of capital punishment in a third country;

(c)  the exporter knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that the goods in question are intended, in their entirety or in part, either for re-export to a third country or to be used for the purpose of capital punishment in a third country;

(d)  the relevant goods are exported to a customs free zone or free warehouse which is located in a destination covered by this general export authorisation;

(e)  the exporter is the manufacturer of the medicinal products in question and has not concluded a legally binding agreement with the distributor requiring the latter to make all supplies and transfers subject to the conclusion of a legally binding agreement requiring, preferably subject to a dissuasive contractual penalty, the customer

(i)  not to use any of the goods received from the distributor for capital punishment;

(ii)  not to supply or transfer any of these goods to a third party, if the customer knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that the goods are intended to be used for the purpose of capital punishment; and

(iii)  to impose the same requirements on any third party to which the customer might supply or transfer any of these goods.

(f)  the exporter is not the manufacturer of the medicinal products in question and has not obtained a signed end-user declaration from the end-user in the country of destination;

(g)  the exporter of medicinal products has not concluded a legally binding agreement with the distributor or end-user requiring, preferably subject to a dissuasive contractual penalty, the distributor or, if the agreement was concluded by the end-user, the end-user to obtain prior authorisation from the exporter for

–  (i) any transfer or supply of any part of the shipment to a law enforcement authority in a country or territory that has not abolished capital punishment;

–  (ii) any transfer or supply of any part of the shipment to a natural or legal person, entity or body procuring relevant goods for or providing services involving use of such goods to such a law enforcement authority, and

–  (iii) any re-export or transfer of any part of the shipment to a country or territory that has not abolished capital punishment; or

(h)  the exporter of goods other than medicinal products has not concluded a legally binding agreement referred to in point (g), with the end-user.

(2)  Exporters that use this general export authorisation EU GEA […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] shall notify the competent authorities of the Member State where they are resident or established of their first use of this general export authorisation no later than 30 days after the date when the first export took place.

Exporters shall also report in the customs declaration the fact that they are using this general export authorisation EU GEA […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] by indicating in box 44 the relevant code found in the TARIC database.

(3)  Reporting requirements attached to the use of this general export authorisation and any additional information that the Member State from which the export is made might require on items exported under this general export authorisation are defined by Member States.

A Member State may require exporters resident or established in that Member State to register prior to the first use of this general export authorisation. Without prejudice to Article 20(1) of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation], registration shall be automatic and acknowledged by the competent authorities to the exporter without delay and in any case within ten working days of receipt.

_____________

ANNEX VI

List of territories of Member States referred to in Article 11(2)

DENMARK:

–  Greenland

FRANCE:

–  New Caledonia and Dependencies,

–  French Polynesia,

–  French Southern and Antarctic Territories,

–  Wallis and Futuna Islands,

–  

–  St Pierre and Miquelon.

GERMANY:

–  Büsingen

_____________

ANNEX VII

Export or import authorisation form referred to in Article 21(1)

Technical specification:

The following form shall measure 210 × 297 mm with a maximum tolerance of 5 mm less and 8 mm more. The boxes are based on a unit of measurement of one tenth of an inch horizontally and one sixth of an inch vertically. The subdivisions are based on a unit of measurement of one tenth of an inch horizontally.

20181129-P8_TA-PROV(2018)0467_EN-p0000002.png

20181129-P8_TA-PROV(2018)0467_EN-p0000003.png

[OJ: please insert the OJ-number of this Regulation in all places where reference is made to Regulation 1236/2005: box on the right-hand side of box 1, and box 15 ]

Explanatory notes to the form

‘Authorisation for export or import of goods that could be used for torture (Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation])’.

This authorisation form shall be used to issue an authorisation for an export or import of goods in accordance with Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation and complete the corresponding footnote] of the European Parliament and of the Council (20). It should not be used to authorise the supply of technical assistance.

The issuing authority is the authority defined in point h of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] which is set out in Annex I to that Regulation.

Authorisations shall be issued on this single page form, which should be printed on both sides. The competent customs office deducts the exported quantities from the total quantity available. It has to make sure that the different items subject to the authorisation are clearly separated for this purpose.

Where national procedures of the Member States require additional copies of the form (as for example for the application) this authorisation form may be included in a form set containing the necessary copies following the national rules applicable. In the box above box 3 of each specimen and in the margin on the left, it should be clearly indicated for which purpose (e.g. application, copy for applicant) the relevant copies are intended. One specimen only shall be the authorisation form set out in Annex VII to Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

Box 1

Applicant:

Please indicate the applicant's name and the full address.

The applicant's customs number may also be indicated (optional in most cases).

The type of applicant should be indicated (optional) in the relevant box, using the numbers 1, 2 or 4 referring to the points set out in the definition in Article 2(i) of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

Box 3

Authorisation No:

Please fill out the number and tick either the export or the import box. See Article 2(d) and (e) and Article 34 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] for the definitions of the terms ‘export’ and ‘import’.

Box 4

Expiry date:

Please state day (two digits), month (two digits) and year (four digits).

Box 5

Agent/representative:

Please indicate the name of a duly authorised representative or (customs) agent acting on behalf of the applicant, if the application is not presented by the applicant. See also Article 18 of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013.

Box 6

Country where the goods are located:

Please state both the name of the country concerned and the relevant country code taken from the codes established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(21) . See Commission Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012(22).

Box 7

Country of destination:

Please state both the name of the country concerned and the relevant country code taken from the codes established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 471/2009. See Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012.

Box 10

Description of item:

Please consider including data on packaging of the goods concerned. Note that the value of the goods may also be indicated in box 10.

If there is not sufficient space in box 10, please continue on an attached blank sheet, mentioning the authorisation number. Please indicate the number of attachments in box 16.

This form is designed for use for up to three different types of goods (see Annexes II and III to Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation]). If it is necessary to authorise the export or import of more than three types of goods, please grant two authorisations.

Box 11

Item No:

This box needs to be completed on the back of the form only. Please ensure that the Item No corresponds to the printed item number in box 11 found next to the description of the relevant item on the view side.

Box 14

Specific requirements and conditions:

If there is not sufficient space in box 14, please continue on an attached blank sheet, mentioning the authorisation number. Please indicate the number of attachments in box 16.

Box 16

Number of attachments:

Please indicate the number of attachments, if any (see explanations to boxes 10 and 14).

_____________

ANNEX VIII

Authorisation form for the supply of brokering services referred to in Article 21(1)

Technical specification:

The following form shall measure 210 × 297 mm with a maximum tolerance of 5 mm less and 8 mm more. The boxes are based on a unit of measurement of one tenth of an inch horizontally and one sixth of an inch vertically. The subdivisions are based on a unit of measurement of one tenth of an inch horizontally.

20181129-P8_TA-PROV(2018)0467_EN-p0000004.png

20181129-P8_TA-PROV(2018)0467_EN-p0000005.png

[OJ: please insert the OJ-number of this Regulation in all places where reference is made to Regulation 1236/2005: box on the right-hand side of box 1, box on the left-hand side of box 1 (vertical text), box 19, box on the right-hand side of the box “Report of use of authorised quantities”]

Explanatory notes to the form

‘Authorisation for the supply of brokering services related to goods that could be used for capital punishment or for torture ( Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation and complete footnote] of the European Parliament and of the Council(23))’.

This authorisation form shall be used to issue an authorisation for brokering services in accordance with Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

The issuing authority is the authority defined in point (h) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation]. It is an authority that is included in the list of competent authorities in Annex I to that Regulation.

Box 1

Applying broker

Please indicate the name and full address of the applying broker. Broker is defined in point (l) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

Box 3

Authorisation No

Please fill out the number and tick the appropriate box indicating whether the authorisation is an individual or global one (see points (p) and (q) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] for the definitions).

Box 4

Expiry date

Please state day (two digits), month (two digits) and year (four digits). The period of validity of an individual authorisation is from three months to twelve months and that of a global authorisation from one year to three years. When the period of validity comes to an end an extension can be requested, if necessary.

Box 5

Consignee

Please indicate, in addition to the name and address, whether the consignee in the third country of destination is an end-user, a distributor as referred to in point (r) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] or a party having another role in the transaction.

If the consignee is a distributor but also uses part of the shipment for a specific end-use, please tick both ‘Distributor’ and ‘End-user’ and mention the end-use in box 11.

Box 6

Third country where the goods are located

Please state both the name of the country concerned and the relevant country code taken from the codes established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(24). See Commission Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012(25).

Box 7

Third country of destination

Please state both the name of the country concerned and the relevant country code taken from the codes established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 471/2009. See Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012.

Box 9

Issuing Member State

Please state in the appropriate line both the name of the Member State concerned and the relevant country code taken from the codes established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 471/2009. See Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012.

Box 11

End use

Please give a precise description of the use that will be made of the goods and also indicate whether the end user is a law enforcement authority as defined in point (c) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] or a supplier of training on the use of the brokered goods.

Leave blank if the brokering services are supplied to a distributor, unless the distributor itself uses part of the goods for a specific end-use.

Box 12

Precise location of the goods in the third country from which they will be exported

Please describe the whereabouts of the goods in the third country from which they will be supplied to the person, entity or body mentioned in box 2. The location must be an address in the country mentioned in box 6 or similar information describing the whereabouts of the goods. Note that indicating a post office box number or similar postal address is not allowed.

Box 13

Description of item

The description of the goods should include a reference to a specific item of Annex III or IV to Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation]. Please consider including data on packaging of the goods concerned.

If there is not sufficient space in box 13, please continue on an attached blank sheet, mentioning the authorisation number. Please indicate the number of attachments in box 20.

Box 14

Item No

This box needs to be completed on the back of the form only. Please ensure that the Item No corresponds to the printed item number in box 14 found next to the description of the relevant item on the view side.

Box 15

HS code

The HS code is a customs code assigned to the goods in the Harmonised System. Where the code from the EU Combined Nomenclature is known, that code may be used instead. See Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1821(26) for the current version of the Combined Nomenclature.

Box 17

Currency and value

Please indicate the value and currency using the price that is payable (without converting it). If that price is not known, the estimated value should be stated, preceded by the mention EV. The currency has to be indicated using the alphabetic code (ISO 4217:2015).

Box 18

Specific requirements and conditions

Box 18 concerns the item 1, 2 or 3 (please specify where appropriate) described in the boxes 14 to 16 preceding it. If there is not sufficient space in box 18, please continue on an attached blank sheet, mentioning the authorisation number. Please indicate the number of attachments in box 20.

Box 20

Number of attachments

Please indicate the number of attachments, if any (see explanations to boxes 13 and 18).

_____________

ANNEX IX

Authorisation form for the supply of technical assistance referred to in Article 21(1)

Technical specification:

The following form shall measure 210 × 297 mm with a maximum tolerance of 5 mm less and 8 mm more. The boxes are based on a unit of measurement of one tenth of an inch horizontally and one sixth of an inch vertically. The subdivisions are based on a unit of measurement of one tenth of an inch horizontally.

20181129-P8_TA-PROV(2018)0467_EN-p0000006.png

[OJ: please insert the OJ-number of this Regulation in all places where reference is made to Regulation 1236/2005: box on the right-hand side of box 1, box on the left-hand side of box 1 (vertical text), box 15]

Explanatory notes to the form

‘Authorisation for the supply of technical assistance related to goods that could be used for capital punishment or for torture (Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation and complete footnote] of the European Parliament and of the Council(27))’.

This authorisation form shall be used to authorise a supply of technical assistance in accordance with Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation]. If the technical assistance accompanies an export for which an authorisation is granted by or in accordance with Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation], this form should not be used, except in the following cases:

–  the technical assistance relates to goods listed in Annex II to Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] (see Article 3(2)); or

–  the technical assistance relating to goods listed in Annex III or in Annex IV to Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] goes beyond what is necessary for the installation, operation, maintenance or repair of the exported goods (see Article 21(2) and, as regards goods listed in Annex IV, Part 1 of the Union General Export Authorisation EU GEA […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] in Annex V to Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation]).

The issuing authority is the authority defined in point (h) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation]. It is an authority that is included in the list of competent authorities in Annex I to that Regulation.

Authorisations shall be issued on this single page form with attachments as necessary.

Box 1

Applying supplier of technical assistance

Please indicate the applicant's name and full address. Supplier of technical assistance is defined in point (m) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

If the technical assistance accompanies an export for which an authorisation is granted, please also indicate the applicant's customs number, if possible, and indicate the number of the related export authorisation in box 14.

Box 3

Authorisation No

Please fill out the number and tick the appropriate box indicating the Article of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] on which the authorisation is based.

Box 4

Expiry date

Please state day (two digits), month (two digits) and year (four digits). The period of validity of an authorisation is from three months to twelve months. When the period of validity comes to an end, an extension can be requested, if necessary.

Box 5

Activity of the natural or legal person, entity or body mentioned at 2

Please indicate the main activity of the person, entity or body to which the technical assistance will be supplied. The term law enforcement authority is defined in point (c) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

If the main activity is not in the list, tick ‘None of the above’ and describe the main activity using generic words (e.g. wholesaler, retailer, hospital).

Box 6

Third country or Member State to which the technical assistance will be supplied

Please state both the name of the country concerned and the relevant country code taken from the codes established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 471/2009(28) of the European Parliament and of the Council. See Commission Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012(29).

Note that in box 6 a Member State should only be mentioned, if the authorisation is based on Article 4 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

Box 7

Type of authorisation

Please indicate whether the supply of technical assistance is provided during a particular period and, if so, state the period in days, weeks or months during which the supplier of technical assistance has to respond to requests for advice, support or training. A single supply of technical assistance concerns one specific request for advice or support or a specific training (even if it concerns a course given during several days).

Box 8

Issuing Member State

Please state in the appropriate line both the name of the Member State concerned and the relevant country code taken from the codes established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 471/2009. See Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012.

Box 9

Description of the type of goods to which the technical assistance relates

Please describe the type of goods concerned by the technical assistance. The description should include a reference to a specific item of Annex II, III or IV to Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

Box 10

Description of the technical assistance that is authorised

Please describe the technical assistance in a clear and precise manner. Insert a reference to the date and number of an agreement concluded by the supplier of technical assistance or attach such an agreement, where appropriate.

Box 11

Mode of supply

Box 11 should not be filled out if the authorisation is based on Article 4 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation].

If the technical assistance is supplied from a third country other than the third country where the recipient is resident or established, please state both the name of the country concerned and the relevant country code taken from the codes established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 471/2009. See Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012.

Box 12

Description of training on the use of goods to which the technical assistance relates

Please indicate whether the technical support or technical service covered by the definition of technical assistance in point (f) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) […OJ: please insert OJ-number of this Regulation] is accompanied by training for users of the relevant goods. Please state which type of users will receive such training and specify the objectives and contents of the training programme.

Box 14

Specific requirements and conditions

If there is not sufficient space in box 14, please continue on an attached blank sheet, mentioning the authorisation number. Please indicate the number of attachments in box 16.

Box 16

Number of attachments

Please indicate the number of attachments, if any (see explanations to boxes 10 and 14).

_____________

ANNEX X

Repealed Regulation with list of its successive amendments

Council Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005

(OJ L 200, 30.7.2005, p. 1)

 

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1377/2006

(OJ L 255, 19.9.2006, p. 3)

 

Council Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006

(OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 1)

Only the thirteenth indent of Article 1(1) as regards Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005, and point 13(5) of the Annex

Commission Regulation (EC) No 675/2008

(OJ L 189, 17.7.2008, p. 14)

 

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1226/2010

(OJ L 336, 21.12.2010, p. 13)

 

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1352/2011

(OJ L 338, 21.12.2011, p. 31)

 

Council Regulation (EU) No 517/2013

(OJ L 158, 10.6.2013, p. 1)

Only Article 1(1)(n), fourth indent, and point 16(4) of the Annex

Commission Regulation (EU) No 585/2013

(OJ L 169, 21.6.2013, p. 46)

 

Regulation (EU) No 37/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council

(OJ L 18, 21.1.2014, p. 1)

Only point 12 of the Annex

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 775/2014

(OJ L 210, 17.7.2014, p. 1)

 

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1113

(OJ L 182, 10.7.2015, p. 10)

 

Regulation (EU) 2016/2134 of the European Parliament and of the Council

(OJ L 338, 13.12.2016, p. 1)

 

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/181

(OJ L 40, 13.2.2018, p. 1)

 

_____________

ANNEX XI

Correlation Table

Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005

This Regulation

Article 1

Article 1

Article 2

Article 2

Article 3

Article 3

Article 4

Article 4

Article 4a

Article 5

Article 4b

Article 6

Article 4c

Article 7

Article 4d

Article 8

Article 4e

Article 9

Article 4f

Article 10

Article 5

Article 11

Article 6(1)

Article 12(1)

Article 6(2), first subparagraph

Article 12(2), first subparagraph

Article 6(2), second subparagraph, introductory wording

Article 12(2), second subparagraph, introductory wording

Article 6(2), second subparagraph, first indent

Article 12(2), second subparagraph, point (a)

Article 6(2), second subparagraph, second indent

Article 12(2), second subparagraph, point (b)

Article 6(2), third subparagraph

Article 12(2), third subparagraph

Article 6(3), introductory wording

Article 12(3), first subparagraph

Article 6(3), point 3.1

Article 12(3), second subparagraph

Article 6(3), point 3.2

Article 12(3), third subparagraph

Article 6a

Article 13

Article 7

Article 14

Article 7a

Article 15

Article 7b

Article 16

Article 7c(1)

Article 17(1)

Article 7c(2)

Article 17(2)

Article 7c(3), introductory wording

Article 17(3), first subparagraph

Article 7c(3), point 3.1

Article 17(3), second subparagraph

Article 7c(3), point 3.2

Article 17(3), third subparagraph

Article 7c(3), point 3.3

Article 17(3), fourth subparagraph

Article 7c(4)

Article 17(4)

Article 7d

Article 18

Article 7e

Article 19

Article 8

Article 20

Article 9

Article 21

Article 10

Article 22

Article 11

Article 23

Article 12

Article 24

Article 12a

Article 25

Article 13(1), (2) and (3)

Article 26(1), (2) and (3)

Article 13(3a)

Article 26(4)

Article 13(4)

Article 26(5)

Article 13(5)

Article 26(6)

Article 13a

Article 27

Article 14

Article 28

Article 15a

Article 29

Article 15b

Article 30

Article 15c

Article 31

Article 15d

Article 32

Article 17

Article 33

Article 18

Article 34

Article 35

Article 19

Article 36

Annex I

Annex I

Annex II

Annex II

Annex III

Annex III

Annex IIIa

Annex IV

Annex IIIb

Annex V

Annex IV

Annex VI

Annex V

Annex VII

Annex VI

Annex VIII

Annex VII

Annex IX

Annex X

Annex XI

(1) OJ C 102, 4.4.1996, p. 2.
(2)Position of the European Parliament of 29 November 2018.
(3)Council Regulation (EC) No 1236/2005 of 27 June 2005 concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (OJ L 200, 30.7.2005, p. 1).
(4)See Annex X.
(5)Resolution 3452 (XXX) of 9 December 1975 of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
(6)Resolution 34/169 of 17 December 1979 of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
(7)Approved by Resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977 of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
(8)Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment (OJ L 335, 13.12.2008, p. 99).
(9)Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 of 5 May 2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items (OJ L 134, 29.5.2009, p. 1).
(10)Regulation (EU) No 258/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 implementing Article 10 of the United Nations' Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UN Firearms Protocol), and establishing export authorisation, and import and transit measures for firearms, their parts and components and ammunition (OJ L 94, 30.3.2012, p. 1).
(11)Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).
(12)Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39).
(13)OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
(14)Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 October 2013 laying down the Union Customs Code (OJ L 269, 10.10.2013, p. 1).
(15)Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43).
(16)Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 of 23 July 1987 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff (OJ L 256, 7.9.1987, p. 1).
(17)Latest version adopted by the Council on 26 February 2018 (OJ C 98, 15.3.2018, p. 1).
(18)See in particular Regulation (EC) No 726/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 laying down Community procedures for the authorisation and supervision of medicinal products for human and veterinary use and establishing a European Medicines Agency (OJ L 136, 30.4.2004, p. 1) and Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use (OJ L 311, 28.11.2001, p. 67).
(19)Regulation (EU) […] of the European Parliament and of the Council of […] concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (OJ L […], […], p. […]).
(20)Regulation (EU) […] of the European Parliament and of the Council of […] concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (OJ L […], […], p. […]).
(21)Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/95 (OJ L 152, 16.6.2009, p. 23).
(22)Commission Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012 of 27 November 2012 implementing Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries, as regards the update of the nomenclature of countries of countries and territories (OJ L 328, 28.11.2012, p. 7).
(23) Regulation (EU) […] of the European Parliament and of the Council of […] concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (OJ L […], [….], p. […])..
(24)Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/95 (OJ L 152, 16.6.2009, p. 23).
(25)Commission Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012 of 27 November 2012 implementing Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries, as regards the update of the nomenclature of countries of countries and territories (OJ L 328, 28.11.2012, p. 7).
(26)Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1821 of 6 October 2016 amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff ( OJ L 294, 28.10.2016, p. 1).
(27) Regulation (EU) […] of the European Parliament and of the Council of […] concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (OJ L […], […], p. […]).
(28)Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/95 (OJ L 152, 16.6.2009, p. 23).
(29)Commission Regulation (EU) No 1106/2012 of 27 November 2012 implementing Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries, as regards the update of the nomenclature of countries of countries and territories (OJ L 328, 28.11.2012, p. 7).


Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund: Re-commitment of remaining amounts ***I
PDF 278kWORD 47k
Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on29 November 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council, as regards the re-commitment of the remaining amounts committed to support the implementation of the Council Decisions (EU) 2015/1523 and (EU) 2015/1601 or the allocation thereof to other actions under the national programmes (COM(2018)0719 – C8-0448/2018 – 2018/0371(COD))(1)
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0468A8-0370/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 1
(1)  The purpose of this Regulation is to enable the re-commitment of the remaining amounts committed to support the implementation of the Council Decisions (EU) 2015/1523 and (EU) 2015/1601 provided for under Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council8 or the allocation of them to other actions under the national programmes in line with Union priorities and Member States' needs in the areas of migration and asylum.
(1)  The purpose of this Regulation is to enable the re-commitment of the remaining amounts committed to support the implementation of the Council Decisions (EU) 2015/1523 and (EU) 2015/1601 provided for under Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council8 or the allocation of them to other actions under the national programmes in line with Union priorities and Member States' needs in specific areas of migration and asylum. It is also to ensure that such re-commitment or allocation occurs in a transparent manner.
_____________
__________________
8.  Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, amending Council Decision 2008/381/EC and repealing Decisions No 573/2007/EC and No 575/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Decision 2007/435/EC (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, p. 168).
8.  Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, amending Council Decision 2008/381/EC and repealing Decisions No 573/2007/EC and No 575/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Decision 2007/435/EC (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, p. 168).
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  Member States should have the possibility to use the above-mentioned amounts to continue implementing relocation by re-committing the amounts to the same action in the national programmes. In addition, it should be possible, duly justified in the revision of Member States' national programmes, to use this funding also to address other challenges in the area of migration and asylum, in line with the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund Regulation. Member States' needs in these areas remain significant. Re-commitments of the above-mentioned amounts to the same action, or their transfer to other actions under the national programme should be possible only once and with the approval of the Commission.
(4)  Member States should have the possibility to use the above-mentioned amounts to continue implementing relocation by re-committing the amounts to the same action in the national programmes. As a minimum, Member States should re-commit 20% of those amounts to actions in national programmes, for relocation of applicants for international protection or relocation of beneficiaries of international protection, or for resettlement and other ad-hoc humanitarian admission. For the remainder of those amounts, it should be possible, where duly justified in the revision of Member States' national programmes, to fund specific actions provided for in Chapters II and III in the area of migration and asylum, in line with the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund Regulation, notably in developing aspects of the Common European Asylum System, in particular family reunification or for supporting legal migration to the Member States and promoting the effective integration of third-country nationals. Member States' needs in those areas remain significant. Re-commitments of the above-mentioned amounts to the same action, or their transfer to other actions under the national programme should be possible only once and with the approval of the Commission. Member States should ensure that the allocation of funds takes place in full respect of the principles set out in the Financial Regulation, in particular efficiency and transparency.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5
(5)  The target group eligible for relocation should be expanded to give more flexibility to Member States in carrying out relocations.
(5)  The target group eligible for relocation as well as the countries from where relocation takes place should be expanded to give more flexibility to Member States in carrying out relocations. Priority should be given to the relocation of unaccompanied minors, other vulnerable applicants and family members of beneficiaries of international protection.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7
(7)  Member States should also have sufficient time to use the amounts re-committed to the same action or transferred to other actions prior to the decommitment of these amounts. Therefore, when such re-commitments or transfers of amounts under the national programme are approved by the Commission, the amounts concerned should be considered to have been committed in the year of the revision of the national programme that approves the re-commitment or the transfer concerned.
(7)  Member States should also have sufficient time to use the amounts re-committed to the same action or transferred to other specific actions prior to the decommitment of these amounts. Therefore, when such re-commitments or transfers of amounts under the national programme are approved by the Commission, the amounts concerned should be considered to have been committed in the year of the revision of the national programme that approves the re-commitment or the transfer concerned.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7 a (new)
(7a)  The Commission should report annually to the European Parliament and to the Council as regards the application of resources for the transfer of applicants for international protection and of beneficiaries of international protection, in particular as regards transfers to other actions under the national programme and re-commitments.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 12 a (new)
(12a)  Without amendment of Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 before the end of 2018, the relevant funding will no longer be available for Member States' use under the national programmes supported by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Given the urgency of amending Regulation (EU) No 516/2014, it is appropriate to provide for an exception to the eight-week period referred to in Article 4 of Protocol No 1 on the role of national Parliaments in the European Union, annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point -1 (new)
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014
Article 18 – title
(-1)  The title is replaced by the following:
Resources for the transfer of beneficiaries of international protection
"Resources for the transfer of applicants for international protection or of beneficiaries of international protection";
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014
Article 18 – paragraph 1
(1)  In paragraph 1, the words "beneficiary of international protection" are replaced by the words "applicant for international protection or beneficiary of international protection";
deleted
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1 a (new)
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014
Article 18 – paragraph 1
(1a)  Paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:
“1. With a view to implementing the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility and in the light of Union policy developments within the implementation period of the Fund, Member States shall receive, in addition to their allocation calculated in accordance with point (a) of Article 15(1), an additional amount as set out in point (b) of Article 15(2) based on a lump sum of EUR 6 000 for each beneficiary of international protection transferred from another Member State.”;
“1. With a view to implementing the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility and in the light of Union policy developments within the implementation period of the Fund, Member States shall receive, in addition to their allocation calculated in accordance with point (a) of Article 15(1), an additional amount as set out in point (b) of Article 15(2) based on a lump sum of EUR 10 000 for each applicant for international protection and beneficiary of international protection transferred from another Member State.”;
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014
Article 18 – paragraph 3
3.  The additional amounts referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be allocated to the Member States for the first time in the individual financing decisions approving their national programme in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14 of Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 and later in a financing decision to be annexed to the decision approving their national programme. Re-commitments of those amounts to the same action under the national programme or transfers thereof to other actions under the national programme shall be possible where duly justified in the revision of the respective national programme. An amount may only be re-committed or transferred once. The Commission shall approve the re-commitment or transfer through the revision of the national programme.
3.  The additional amounts referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be allocated to the Member States for the first time in the individual financing decisions approving their national programme in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14 of Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 and later in a financing decision to be annexed to the decision approving their national programme. Re-commitments of those amounts to the same action under the national programme or transfers thereof to other specific actions provided for under Chapter II and Chapter III of this Regulation under the national programme shall be possible where duly justified in the revision of the respective national programme. An amount may only be re-committed or transferred once. The Commission shall approve the re-commitment or transfer through the revision of the national programme. The funding shall be allocated transparently and efficiently in line with the objectives of the national programme.
In respect of amounts stemming from the provisional measures established by Decisions (EU) 2015/1523 and (EU) 2015/1601, at least 20% of the amounts to be re-committed shall be re-committed to actions under the national programmes for relocation of applicants for international protection or relocation of beneficiaries of international protection, or for resettlement and other ad-hoc humanitarian admission.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014
Article 18 – paragraph 3a
3a.  For the purpose of Article 50(1) of Regulation (EU) No 514/2014, where amounts stemming from the provisional measures established by Decisions (EU) No 2015/1523 and (EU) No 2015/1601 are re-committed to the same action under the national programme or transferred to other actions under the national programme in accordance with paragraph 3, the amounts concerned shall be considered to have been committed in the year of the revision of the national programme that approves the re-commitment or transfer in question.
3a.  For the purpose of Article 50(1) of Regulation (EU) No 514/2014, where amounts stemming from the provisional measures established by Decisions (EU) No 2015/1523 and (EU) No 2015/1601 are re-committed to the same action under the national programme or transferred to other specific actions under the national programme in accordance with paragraph 3, the amounts concerned shall be considered to have been committed in the year of the revision of the national programme that approves the re-commitment or transfer in question.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014
Article 18 – paragraph 3 c (new)
3c.  The Commission shall report annually to the European Parliament and to the Council on the application of this Article, in particular as regards the transfers of amounts to other actions under national programmes and re-commitments.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 4
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014
Article 18 – paragraph 4
(4)  In paragraph 4, the words "beneficiaries of international protection"' are replaced by the words "applicants for international protection or beneficiaries of international protection".
deleted
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 4 a (new)
Regulation (EU) No 516/2014
Article 18 – paragraph 4
(4a)  Paragraph 4 is replaced by the following:
4.  To effectively pursue the objectives of solidarity and responsibility sharing between the Member States referred to in Article 80 TFEU, and within the limits of available resources, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 26 of this Regulation to adjust the lump sum referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, in particular taking into account the current rates of inflation, relevant developments in the field of transfer of beneficiaries of international protection from one Member State to another, as well as factors which can optimise the use of the financial incentive brought by the lump sums.
4.  To effectively pursue the objectives of solidarity and responsibility sharing between the Member States referred to in Article 80 TFEU, and within the limits of available resources, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 26 of this Regulation to adjust the lump sum referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, in particular taking into account the current rates of inflation, relevant developments in the field of transfer of applicants for international protection and beneficiaries of international protection from one Member State to another and for resettlement and other ad-hoc humanitarian admission, as well as factors which can optimise the use of the financial incentive brought by the lump sums.

(1) The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0370/2018).


Accession of Samoa to the EU-Pacific States Interim Partnership Agreement ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 November 2018 on the draft Council decision on the accession of Samoa to the Interim Partnership Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Pacific States, of the other part (12281/2018 – C8-0434/2018 – 2018/0291(NLE))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0469A8-0376/2018

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (12281/2018),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0434/2018),

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 October 2016 on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2011 on the Interim Partnership Agreement between the Pacific States, on the one part, and the European Community, on the other part(2),

–  having regard to the Partnership agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 (the Cotonou Agreement)(3),

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

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade and the opinion of the Committee on Development (A8-0376/2018),

1.  Gives its consent to Samoa’s accession to the agreement;

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

(1) OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 2.
(2) OJ C 136E, 11.5.2012, p. 19.
(3) OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.


Appointment of the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank
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European Parliament decision of 29 November 2018 on the proposal for the appointment of the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (N8-0120/2018 – C8-0466/2018 – 2018/0905(NLE))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0470A8-0380/2018

(Approval)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the proposal of the European Central Bank of 7 November 2018 for the appointment of the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (C8‑0466/2018),

–  having regard to Article 26(3) of Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 of 15 October 2013 conferring specific tasks on the European Central Bank concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions(1),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament and the European Central Bank on the practical modalities of the exercise of democratic accountability and oversight over the exercise of the tasks conferred on the ECB within the framework of the Single Supervisory Mechanism(2),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0380/2018),

A.  whereas Article 26(3) of Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 provides that the European Central Bank is to submit to Parliament its proposal for the appointment of the Chair of the Supervisory Board and that the Chair is to be chosen on the basis of an open selection procedure from among individuals of recognised standing and experience in banking and financial matters who are not members of the Governing Council;

B.  whereas Article 26(2) of Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 provides that the appointments for the Supervisory Board in accordance with that Regulation are to respect the principles of gender balance, experience and qualification;

C.  whereas, in a letter dated 7 November 2018, the European Central Bank submitted to Parliament a proposal for the appointment of Andrea Enria as the Chair of the Supervisory Board;

D.  whereas Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs then proceeded to evaluate the credentials of the proposed candidate, in particular in view of the requirements laid down in Article 26(2) and (3) of Council Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013; whereas in carrying out that evaluation, the committee received a curriculum vitae from the proposed candidate;

E.  whereas the committee held a hearing with the proposed candidate on 20 November 2018, at which he made an opening statement and then responded to questions from the members of the committee;

1.  Approves the European Central Bank’s proposal for the appointment of Andrea Enria as the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank;

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

(1) OJ L 287, 29.10.2013, p. 63.
(2) OJ L 320, 30.11.2013, p. 1.


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application from Greece – EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing) (COM(2018)0667 – C8-0430/2018 – 2018/2240(BUD))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0471A8-0377/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0667 – C8‑0430/2018),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006(1) (EGF Regulation),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(2), and in particular Article 12 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3) (IIA of 2 December 2013), and in particular point 13 thereof,

–  having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 13 of the IIA of 2 December 2013,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Regional Development,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0377/2018),

A.  whereas the Union has set up legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns or of the global financial and economic crisis, and to assist their reintegration into the labour market;

B.  whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers made redundant should be dynamic and made available as quickly and efficiently as possible;

C.  whereas Greece submitted application EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing for a financial contribution from the EGF following 550 redundancies in the economic sector classified under the NACE Revision 2 Division 58 (Publishing activities) in the NUTS level 2 region of Attica (EL30) in Greece;

D.  whereas the application is based on the intervention criteria of point (b) of Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation, which requires at least 500 workers being made redundant over a reference period of nine months in enterprises operating in the same economic sector defined at NACE Revision 2 division level and located in one region or two contiguous regions, or in more than two contiguous regions defined at NUTS 2 level provided that there are more than 500 workers affected in two of the regions combined in a Member State;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in point (b) of Article 4(1) of the EGF Regulation are met and that Greece is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 2 308 500 under that Regulation, which represents 60 % of the total cost of EUR 3 847 500;

2.  Notes that the Greek authorities submitted the application on 22 May 2018, and that, following the provision of additional information by Greece, the Commission finalised its assessment on 4 October 2018 and notified it to Parliament on the same day respecting the deadline of 12 weeks;

3.  Notes that Greece argues that the redundancies are linked to the global financial and economic crisis, more particularly its effects on the Greek economy including a decline in per capita real GDP, rising unemployment, decreasing salaries and reduced household income coupled with the rapid digital evolution which, together with cuts in the advertising expenditure made by important advertisers, is transforming the publishing sector; notes that  the sector is facing a drop in both advertising and sales revenues;

4.  Recalls that the redundancies that occurred in three enterprises operating in the Greek publishing sector are expected to have a significant adverse effect on the local economy, and that the impact of the layoffs is linked to the difficulties of redeployment due to the scarcity of jobs, a lack of vocational training courses which correspond to recognised needs in the labour market and to the high number of job seekers;

5.  Emphasises with concern that the Attica region accounts for a large proportion of unemployment and long-term unemployment in Greece where unemployment still remains high;

6.  Recalls that this is the second application from Greece for a financial contribution from the EGF in relation to redundancies in Attica’s publishing activities sector, following application EGF/2014/018 in 2014 and a positive decision thereon(4);

7.  Notes that the application relates to 550 workers made redundant, of whom a large number are women (41,82 %); further notes that 14,73 % of the redundant workers are over 55 years of age and 1,6 % are below 30 years of age; acknowledges, in view of that fact, the importance of active labour market measures co-funded by the EGF for improving the chances of reintegration in the labour market of these vulnerable groups;

8.  Welcomes that the planned training offer reflects lessons learnt from the application EGF-2014-018 GR/Attica which has achieved good integration rates according to ongoing evaluation;

9.  Notes that no measures are planned for young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) despite NEET rates remaining at high levels in Greece;

10.  Underlines that financial allowances are conditional on the active participation of the targeted beneficiaries and can serve as a real incentive in the specific economic context of Greece;

11.  Notes that financial allowances and incentives, i.e. hiring incentives, job-search and training allowances are close to the maximum of 35 % set out in the EGF Regulation;

12.  Notes that Greece is planning five types of actions for the redundant workers covered by this application: (i) occupational guidance and job search assistance; (ii) training, retraining and vocational training in accordance with needs of the labour market; (iii) contribution to business start-up; (iv) job-search allowance and training allowance; (v) hiring incentives;

13.  Acknowledges that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with representatives of the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (ΕΣΗΕΑ), the Employees Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (ΕΠΗΕΑ) and the Ministry of Labour;

14.  Stresses that the Greek authorities have confirmed that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union funds or financial instruments and that any double financing will be prevented;

15.  Recalls that, in line with Article 7 of the EGF Regulation, the design of the coordinated package of personalised services should anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills and should be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy;

16.  Reiterates that assistance from the EGF must not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies, by virtue of national law or collective agreements, or measures for restructuring companies or sectors and welcomes Greece’s confirmation in this regard;

17.  Calls on the Commission to urge national authorities to provide more details, in future proposals, on the sectors which have growth prospects and are therefore likely to hire people, as well as to gather substantiated data on the impact of the EGF funding, including on the quality of jobs and the reintegration rate achieved through the EGF;

18.  Recalls its appeal to the Commission to ensure public access to all the documents related to EGF cases;

19.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

20.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

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

ANNEX: DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund following an

application from Greece – EGF/2018/003 EL/Attica publishing

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006(5), and in particular Article 15(4) thereof,

Having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(6), and in particular point 13 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Whereas:

(1)  The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aims to provide support for workers made redundant and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, as a result of a continuation of the global financial and economic crisis, or as a result of a new global financial and economic crisis, and to assist them with their reintegration into the labour market.

(2)  The EGF is not to exceed a maximum annual amount of EUR 150 million (2011 prices), as laid down in Article 12 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013(7).

(3)  On 22 May 2018, Greece submitted an application to mobilise the EGF, in respect of redundancies in the publishing activities sector in the region of Attica. It was supplemented by additional information provided in accordance with Article 8(3) of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013. That application complies with the requirements for determining a financial contribution from the EGF as laid down in Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013.

(4)  The EGF should, therefore, be mobilised in order to provide a financial contribution of EUR 2 308 500 in respect of the application submitted by Greece.

(5)  In order to minimise the time taken to mobilise the EGF, this decision should apply from the date of its adoption,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

For the general budget of the Union for the financial year 2018, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund shall be mobilised to provide the amount of EUR 2 308 500 in commitment and payment appropriations.

Article 2

This Decision shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from [the date of its adoption](8).

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(4) Decision (EU) 2015/644 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 April 2015 on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application EGF/2014/018 GR/Attica broadcasting from Greece) (OJ L 106, 24.4.2015, p. 29–30).
(5) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.
(6) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(7) Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884).
(8)* Date to be inserted by the Parliament before the publication in OJ.


Temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 29 November 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 as regards the rules applicable to the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders (COM(2017)0571 – C8-0326/2017 – 2017/0245(COD))(1)
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0472A8-0356/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Recital -1 (new)
(-1)  The creation of an area in which the free movement of persons across internal borders is ensured is one of the main achievements of the Union. The normal functioning and strengthening of such an area, which is based on trust and solidarity, should be a common objective of the Union and the Member States which have agreed to take part in it. At the same time, it is necessary to have a common response to situations seriously affecting the public policy or internal security of that area, or parts thereof, by allowing for the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders in exceptional circumstances and as a last resort, while strengthening cooperation between the Member States concerned.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 1
(1)  In an area where persons may move freely, the reintroduction of border control at internal borders should remain an exception. The reintroduction of internal border control should be decided only as a measure of last resort, for a limited period of time and to the extent that controls are necessary and proportionate to the identified serious threats to public policy or internal security.
(1)  In an area where persons may move freely, the reintroduction of border control at internal borders should remain an exception. As the free movement of persons is affected by the temporary reintroduction of internal border control, it should be reintroduced only as a measure of last resort, for a limited period of time and to the extent that controls are necessary and proportionate to the identified serious threats to public policy or internal security. Any such measure should be withdrawn as soon as the underlying grounds for it cease to exist.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 1 a (new)
(1a)  Migration and the crossing of external borders by a large number of third-country nationals should not, per se, be considered to be a threat to public policy or internal security.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 2
(2)  The identified serious threats can be addressed by different measures, depending on their nature and scale. The Member States have at their disposal also police powers, as referred to in Article 23 of Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code)8 , which, subject to some conditions, can be used in the border areas. The Commission Recommendation on proportionate police checks and police cooperation in the Schengen area9 provides guidelines to the Member States to that end.
(2)  The identified serious threats can be addressed by different measures depending on their nature and scale. While it remains clear that police powers are different in their nature and purpose from border control, the Member States have at their disposal those police powers, as referred to in Article 23 of Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code)8 which, subject to some conditions, can be used in border areas. The Commission Recommendation on proportionate police checks and police cooperation in the Schengen area9 provides guidelines to the Member States to that end.
__________________
__________________
8 OJ L 77, 23.3.2016, p. 1.
8 OJ L 77, 23.3.2016, p. 1.
9 C(2017) 3349 final of 12.05.2017.
9 C(2017) 3349 final of 12.05.2017.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 2 a (new)
(2a)  Before resorting to the reintroduction of border control at internal borders, Member States should give precedence to alternative measures. In particular, the Member State concerned should, where necessary and justified, consider using more effectively or intensifying police checks within its territory, including in border areas and main transport routes, on the basis of a risk assessment, while ensuring that those police checks do not have border control as an objective. Modern technologies are instrumental in addressing threats to public policy or internal security. Member States should assess whether the situation could be adequately addressed by way of increased cross-border cooperation, both from an operational point of view and from that of information exchange between police and intelligence services.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  However, experience has shown that certain serious threats to public policy or internal security, such as cross-border terrorist threats or specific cases of secondary movements of irregular migrants within the Union that justified the reintroduction of border controls, may persist well beyond the above periods. It is therefore needed and justified to adjust the time limits applicable to the temporary reintroduction of border control to the current needs, while ensuring that this measure is not abused and remains an exception, to be used only as a last resort. To that end, the general deadline applicable under Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code should be extended to one year.
(4)  However, experience has shown that there is rarely a need to reintroduce border control at internal borders for periods of longer than two months. In exceptional circumstances only, certain serious threats to public policy or internal security might persist beyond the maximum periods of six months currently authorised for the reintroduction of border control at internal borders. It is therefore necessary to adjust the time limits applicable to the temporary reintroduction of border control, while ensuring that this measure is not abused and remains an exception, to be used only as a last resort.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4 a (new)
(4 a)  Any derogation from the fundamental principle of free movement of persons should be interpreted strictly and the concept of public policy presupposes the existence of a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5
(5)  In order to guarantee that these internal border controls remain an exception, Member States should submit a risk assessment concerning the intended reintroduction of border control or prolongation thereof. The risk assessment should, in particular, assess for how long the identified threat is expected to persist and which sections of the internal borders are affected, demonstrate that the prolongation of border controls is a last resort measure and explain how border control would help in addressing the identified threat. In case of internal border control going beyond six months, the risk assessment should also demonstrate retrospectively the efficiency of the reintroduced border control in addressing the identified threat and explain in detail how each neighbouring Member State affected by such prolongation was consulted and involved in determining the least burdensome operational arrangements.
(5)  In order to guarantee that these internal border controls are a measure of last resort and remain an exception, Member States should submit a risk assessment concerning the intended prolongation of border control beyond two months. The risk assessment should, in particular, assess for how long the identified threat is expected to persist and which sections of the internal borders are affected, demonstrate that the prolongation of border controls is a measure of last resort, in particular by showing that any alternative measures have proven or are deemed insufficient, and explain how border control would help in addressing the identified threat. The risk assessment should also demonstrate retrospectively the efficiency and effectiveness of the reintroduced border control in addressing the identified threat and explain in detail how each neighbouring Member State affected by such prolongation was consulted and involved in determining the least burdensome operational arrangements. The Member States should retain the possibility to classify, where necessary, all or parts of the information provided.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5 a (new)
(5a)   Whenever the reintroduction of internal border control is proposed for specific planned events of an exceptional nature and duration, such as sporting activities, the duration of such control should be very precise, circumscribed and linked to the actual duration of the event.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6
(6)  The quality of the risk assessment submitted by the Member State will be very important for the assessment of the necessity and proportionality of the intended reintroduction or prolongation of border control. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Europol should be involved in that assessment.
(6)  The quality of the risk assessment submitted by the Member State will be very important for the assessment of the necessity and proportionality of the intended reintroduction or prolongation of border control. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Europol, the European Asylum Support Office, the European Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights should be involved in that assessment.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7
(7)  The power of the Commission to issue an opinion under Article 27(4) of the Schengen Borders Code should be modified to reflect the new obligations on the Member States related to the risk assessment, including the cooperation with Member States concerned. When border control at internal borders is carried out for more than six months, the Commission should be obliged to issue an opinion. Also the consultation procedure as provided for in Article 27(5) of the Schengen Borders Code should be modified in order to reflect the role of the Agencies (European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Europol) and focus on the practical implementation of different aspects of cooperation between the Member States, including the coordination, where appropriate, of different measures on both sides of the border.
(7)  The consultation procedure as provided for in Article 27(5) of the Schengen Borders Code should be modified in order to reflect the role of the Union Agencies and focus on the practical implementation of different aspects of cooperation between the Member States.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 8
(8)  In order to make the revised rules better adapted to the challenges related to persistent serious threats to public policy or internal security, a specific possibility should be provided to prolong internal border controls beyond one year. Such prolongation should accompany commensurate exceptional national measures also taken within the territory to address the threat, such as a state of emergency. In any case, such a possibility should not lead to the further prolongation of temporary internal border controls beyond two years.
(8)  In order to make the revised rules better adapted to the challenges related to persistent serious threats to public policy or internal security, a specific possibility should be provided to prolong internal border controls beyond six months on an exceptional basis. Such prolongation should accompany commensurate exceptional national measures also taken within the territory to address the threat, such as a state of emergency. In any case, such a possibility should not lead to the further prolongation of temporary internal border controls beyond one year.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 8 a (new)
(8a)   The necessity and proportionality of reintroducing internal border control should be balanced against the threat to public policy or internal security triggering the need for such reintroduction, as should alternative measures which could be taken at national or Union level, or both, and the impact of such control on the free movement of persons within the area without internal border control.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 9
(9)  The reference to Article 29 in Article 25(4) should be modified with a view of clarifying the relation between the time periods applicable under Article 29 and Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code.
deleted
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10
(10)  The possibility to carry out temporary internal border controls in response to a specific threat to public policy or internal security which persists beyond a year should be subject to a specific procedure.
(10)  The possibility to carry out temporary internal border controls in response to a specific threat to public policy or internal security which persists beyond six months should be subject to a specific procedure requiring a Council recommendation.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11
(11)  To that end, the Commission should issue an opinion on the necessity and proportionality of such prolongation and, where appropriate, on the cooperation with the neighbouring Member States.
(11)  To that end, the Commission should issue an opinion on the necessity and proportionality of such prolongation. The European Parliament should immediately be informed about the proposed prolongation. The Member States affected should have the possibility to make observations to the Commission before it issues its opinion.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13
(13)  The Council, taking account of the Commission's opinion, may recommend such extraordinary further prolongation and where appropriate determine the conditions for cooperation between the Member States concerned, with a view to ensuring that it is an exceptional measure, in place only for as long as necessary and justified, and consistent with the measures also taken at the national level within the territory to address the same specific threat to public policy or internal security. The Council recommendation should be a prerequisite for any further prolongation beyond the period of one year and hence be of the same nature as the one already provided for in Article 29.
(13)  The Council, taking account of the Commission's opinion, may recommend such extraordinary further prolongation and where appropriate lay down the conditions for cooperation between the Member States concerned, with a view to ensuring that it is an exceptional measure, in place only for as long as necessary and justified, and consistent with the measures also taken at the national level within the territory to address the same specific threat to public policy or internal security. The Council recommendation should be a prerequisite for any further prolongation beyond the period of six months. The Council recommendation should be immediately forwarded to the European Parliament.
Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13 a (new)
(13a)  Measures taken under the specific procedure where exceptional circumstances put the overall functioning of the area without internal border control at risk should not be prolonged by virtue of, or combined with, measures taken under another procedure for the reintroduction or prolongation of internal border control as provided for in Regulation (EU) 2016/399.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13 b (new)
(13b)  Where it considers that a Member State has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Treaties, the Commission should, as the guardian of the Treaties that oversees the application of Union law, take appropriate measures in accordance with Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, including by bringing the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 25 – paragraph 1
1.  Where, in the area without internal border control, there is a serious threat to public policy or internal security in a Member State, that Member State may exceptionally reintroduce border control at all or specific parts of its internal borders for a limited period of up to 30 days, or for the foreseeable duration of the serious threat if its duration exceeds 30 days, but not exceeding six months. The scope and duration of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders shall not exceed what is strictly necessary to respond to the serious threat.
1.  Where, in the area without internal border control, there is a serious threat to public policy or internal security in a Member State, that Member State may exceptionally reintroduce border control at all or specific parts of its internal borders for a limited period as a measure of last resort. The scope and duration of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders shall not exceed what is strictly necessary to respond to the serious threat.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 25 – paragraph 2
2.  Border control at internal borders shall only be reintroduced as a last resort, and in accordance with Articles 27, 27a, 28 and 29. The criteria referred to, respectively, in Articles 26 and 30 shall be taken into account in each case where a decision on reintroduction of border control at internal borders is considered pursuant, respectively, to Article 27, 27a, 28 or 29.
deleted
Amendments 22 and 52
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 25 – paragraph 3
3.  If the serious threat to public policy or internal security in the Member State concerned persists beyond the period provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article, that Member State may prolong border control at its internal borders, taking account of the criteria referred to in Article 26 and in accordance with Article 27, on the same grounds as those referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article and, taking into account any new elements, for renewable periods corresponding to the foreseeable duration of the serious threat and not exceeding six months.
deleted
Amendment 23
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 25 – paragraph 4
The total period during which border control is reintroduced at internal borders, including any prolongation provided for under paragraph 3 of this Article, shall not exceed one year.
deleted
In the exceptional cases referred to in Article 27a, the total period may be further extended by a maximum length of two years in accordance with that Article.
Where there are exceptional circumstances as referred to in Article 29, the total period may be extended by a maximum length of two years, in accordance with paragraph 1 of that Article.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 1 a (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 26
(1 a)  Article 26 is replaced by the following:
Article 26
"Article 26
Criteria for the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders
Criteria for the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders
Where a Member State decides, as a last resort, on the temporary reintroduction of border control at one or more of its internal borders or at parts thereof, or decides to prolong such reintroduction, in accordance with Article 25 or Article 28(1), it shall assess the extent to which such a measure is likely to adequately remedy the threat to public policy or internal security, and shall assess the proportionality of the measure in relation to that threat. In making such an assessment, the Member State shall, in particular, take the following into account:
Before a Member State decides, as a measure of last resort, on the temporary reintroduction of border control at one or more of its internal borders or at parts thereof, or decides to prolong such a temporary reintroduction, it shall assess:
(a)  whether the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders can be considered likely to sufficiently remedy the threat to public policy or internal security;
(b)  whether measures other than the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders, such as enhanced cross-border police cooperation or intensified police checks, are likely to sufficiently remedy the threat to public policy or internal security;
(c)  the proportionality of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders in relation to the threat to public policy or internal security, in particular by taking into account:
(a)   the likely impact of any threats to its public policy or internal security, including following terrorist incidents or threats and including those posed by organised crime;
(i)   the likely impact of any threats to its public policy or internal security, including following terrorist incidents or threats and including those posed by organised crime; and
(b)   the likely impact of such a measure on free movement of persons within the area without internal border control.
(ii)   the likely impact of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders on the free movement of persons within the area without internal border control.
Where a Member State assesses under point (a) of the first subparagraph that the temporary reintroduction of internal border control is not likely to sufficiently remedy the threat to public policy or internal security, it shall not reintroduce internal border control.
Where a Member State assesses under point (b) of the first subparagraph that measures other than the temporary reintroduction of internal border control are likely to sufficiently remedy the threat to public policy or internal security, it shall not reintroduce or prolong internal border control and shall take those other measures.
Where a Member State assesses under point (c) of the first subparagraph that the proposed reintroduction of internal border control is not proportionate to the threat, it shall not reintroduce or prolong internal border control.";
Amendment 25
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point -i (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – title
(-i)  the title is replaced by the following:
Procedure for the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders under Article 25
"Procedure for the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders in the event of a foreseeable serious threat to public policy or internal security";
Amendment 26
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point -i a (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph -1 (new)
(-ia)  in Article 27, a following new paragraph is inserted before paragraph 1:
"-1. Where, in the area without internal border control, there is a serious threat to public policy or internal security in a Member State, that Member State may, as a measure of last resort and in accordance with the criteria laid down in Article 26, reintroduce border control at all or specific parts of its internal borders for a limited period of up to 30 days or, if the serious threat persists beyond 30 days, for the foreseeable duration of the serious threat but, in any event, for no longer than two months.”;
Amendment 27
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point -i b (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
(-ib)  in paragraph 1, the introductory part is replaced by the following:
1.  Where a Member State plans to reintroduce border control at internal borders under Article 25, it shall notify the other Member States and the Commission at the latest four weeks before the planned reintroduction, or within a shorter period where the circumstances giving rise to the need to reintroduce border control at internal borders become known less than four weeks before the planned reintroduction. To that end, the Member State shall supply the following information:
"1. For the purposes of paragraph -1, the Member State concerned shall notify the other Member States and the Commission at the latest four weeks before the planned reintroduction, or within a shorter period where the circumstances giving rise to the need to reintroduce border control at internal borders become known less than four weeks before the planned reintroduction. To that end, the Member State shall supply the following information:”;
Amendments 28 and 57
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point i
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 1 – point aa
(i)  In paragraph 1, a new letter (aa) is added as follows:
deleted
(aa)  a risk assessment assessing how long the identified threat is expected to persist and which sections of the internal borders are affected, demonstrating that the prolongation of border control is a last resort measure and explaining how border control would help address the identified threat. Where border control has already been reintroduced for more than six months, the risk assessment shall also explain how the previous reintroduction of border control has contributed to remedying the identified threat.
The risk assessment shall also contain a detailed report of the coordination which took place between the Member State concerned and the Member State or Member States with which it shares internal borders at which border control has been performed.
The Commission shall share the risk assessment with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Europol, as appropriate.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point i a (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 1 – point a b (new)
(i a)  In paragraph 1, the following point (ab) is inserted:
"(ab) any measures other than the proposed reintroduction, taken or envisaged by the Member State, to address the threat to public policy or internal security as well as the evidence-based reason as to why alternative measures, such as enhanced cross-border police cooperation and police checks, were deemed insufficient;"
Amendment 30
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point ii
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 1 – point e
(e)  where appropriate, the measures to be taken by the other Member States as agreed prior to the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders concerned.
(e)  where appropriate, the measures to be taken by the other Member States as agreed prior to the temporary reintroduction of border control at the relevant internal borders."
Amendment 31
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point iii
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 1 – last sentence
Where necessary, the Commission may request additional information from the Member State(s) concerned, including on the cooperation with the Member States affected by the planned prolongation of border control at internal borders as well as additional information needed to assess whether this is a last resort measure.
If necessary, the Commission may request additional information from the Member State(s) concerned, including on the cooperation with the Member States affected by the planned reintroduction or prolongation of border control at internal borders as well as further information needed to assess whether this is a last resort measure.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point iii a (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 1 a (new)
(iii a)  the following paragraph 1a is inserted:
"1a. If the serious threat to public policy or internal security in the Member State concerned persists beyond two months, that Member State may prolong border control at its internal borders, taking into account the criteria laid down in Article 26, on the same grounds as those referred to in paragraph -1 of this Article and, taking into account any new elements, for a period which shall correspond to the foreseeable duration of the serious threat and shall not, in any event, exceed four months. The Member State concerned shall notify the other Member States and the Commission within the time period referred to in paragraph 1."
Amendment 33
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point iii b (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 1 b (new)
(iii b)  the following paragraph 1b is inserted:
"1b. For the purposes of paragraph 1a, in addition to the information provided under paragraph 1, the Member State concerned shall provide a risk assessment which shall:
(i)  assess how long the identified threat is expected to persist and which section of its internal borders is affected;
(ii)  outline the alternative actions or measures previously introduced to address the identified threat;
(iii)  explain why the alternative actions or measures referred to in point (ii) did not sufficiently remedy the identified threat;
(iv)  demonstrate that the prolongation of border control is a last resort; and
(v)  explain how border control would better help address the identified threat.
The risk assessment referred to in the first subparagraph shall also contain a detailed report of the cooperation which took place between the Member State concerned and the Member State or Member States directly affected by the reintroduction of border control, including those Member States with which the Member State concerned shares internal borders at which border control is performed.
The Commission shall share the risk assessment with the Agency and Europol and may request, where appropriate, their views thereon.
The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 37 supplementing this Regulation by adopting the methodology for the risk assessment.";
Amendment 34
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point iii c (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 2
(iii c)  paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:
2.  The information referred to in paragraph 1 shall be submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council at the same time as it is notified to the other Member States and to the Commission pursuant to that paragraph.
2.  The information referred to in paragraphs 1 and 1b shall be submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council at the same time as it is notified to the other Member States and to the Commission pursuant to those paragraphs.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point iii d (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 3
(iii d)  paragraph 3 is replaced by the following:
3.  Member States making a notification under paragraph 1 may, where necessary and in accordance with national law, decide to classify parts of the information. Such classification shall not preclude information from being made available by the Commission to the European Parliament. The transmission and handling of information and documents transmitted to the European Parliament under this Article shall comply with rules concerning the forwarding and handling of classified information which are applicable between the European Parliament and the Commission.
"3. Member States submitting a notification may classify, where necessary and in accordance with national law, all or parts of the information referred to in paragraphs 1 and 1b. Such classification shall not preclude access to information, through appropriate and secure police cooperation channels, by the other Member States affected by the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders and shall not preclude information from being made available by the Commission to the European Parliament. The transmission and handling of information and documents transmitted to the European Parliament under this Article shall comply with rules concerning the forwarding and handling of classified information which are applicable between the European Parliament and the Commission.";
Amendment 36
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point iv
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1
Following notification by a Member State under paragraph 1 and with a view to consultation provided for in paragraph 5, the Commission or any other Member State may, without prejudice to Article 72 TFEU, issue an opinion.
Following notification by a Member State under paragraphs 1 and 1a and with a view to consultation provided for in paragraph 5, the Commission or any other Member State may, without prejudice to Article 72 TFEU, issue an opinion.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point iv
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2
Where the Commission has concerns as regards the necessity or proportionality of the planned reintroduction of border control at internal borders or where it considers that a consultation on some aspects of the notification would be appropriate, it shall issue an opinion to that effect.
Where, based on the information contained in the notification or on any additional information it has received, the Commission has concerns as regards the necessity or proportionality of the planned reintroduction of border control at internal borders, or where it considers that a consultation on some aspect of the notification would be appropriate, it shall issue an opinion to that effect without delay.
Amendment 38
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point iv
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 3
Where border control at internal borders has already been reintroduced for six months, the Commission shall issue an opinion.
deleted
Amendment 39
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2 – point v
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27 – paragraph 5
The information referred to in paragraph 1 and any Commission or Member State opinion referred to in paragraph 4 shall be the subject of a consultation led by the Commission. Where appropriate, the consultation shall include joint meetings between the Member State planning to reintroduce border control at internal borders, the other Member States, especially those directly affected by such measures and the relevant Agencies. The proportionality of the intended measures, the identified threat to public policy or internal security as well as the ways of ensuring implementation of the mutual cooperation between the Member States shall be examined. The Member State planning to reintroduce or prolong border control at internal borders shall take the utmost account of the results of such consultation when carrying out border controls.
The information referred to in paragraphs 1 and 1b and any Commission or Member State opinion referred to in paragraph 4 shall be the subject of a consultation. The consultation shall include:
(i)  joint meetings between the Member State planning to reintroduce border control at internal borders, the other Member States, especially those directly affected by such measures, and the Commission, which shall be held with a view to organising, where appropriate, mutual cooperation between the Member States and to examining the proportionality of the measures to the events giving rise to the reintroduction of border control, including any possible alternative measures, and the threat to public policy or internal security;
(ii)  where appropriate, unannounced on-site visits by the Commission to the relevant internal borders and, where appropriate, with the support of experts from Member States and from the Agency, Europol or any other relevant Union body, office or agency, to assess the effectiveness of border controls at those internal borders and the compliance with this Regulation; the reports of such unannounced on-site visits shall be transmitted to the European Parliament.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27a – title
Specific procedure where the serious threat to public policy or internal security exceeds one year.
Specific procedure where the serious threat to public policy or internal security exceeds six months.
Amendment 41
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27a – paragraph 1
1.  In exceptional cases, where the Member State is confronted with the same serious threat to public policy or internal security beyond the period referred to in Article 25(4) first sentence, and where commensurate exceptional national measures are also taken within the territory to address this threat, the border control as temporarily reintroduced to respond to that threat may be further prolonged in accordance with this Article.
1.  In exceptional circumstances, where the Member State is confronted with the same serious threat to public policy or internal security beyond the period referred to in Article 27(1a), and where commensurate exceptional national measures are also taken within the territory to address this threat, the border control as temporarily reintroduced to respond to that threat may be further prolonged in accordance with this Article.
Amendment 42
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27a – paragraph 2
2.  At the latest six weeks before the expiry of the period referred to in Article 25(4) first sentence, the Member State shall notify the other Member States and the Commission that it seeks a further prolongation in accordance with the specific procedure laid down in this Article. The notification shall contain the information required in Article 27(1)(a) to (e). Article 27 paragraphs 2 and 3 shall apply.
2.  At the latest three weeks before the expiry of the period referred to in Article 27(1a), the Member State shall notify the other Member States and the Commission that it seeks a further prolongation in accordance with the specific procedure laid down in this Article. This notification shall contain all the information required under Article 27(1) and (1b). Article 27(2) and (3) shall apply.
Amendment 43
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27a – paragraph 3
3.  The Commission shall issue an opinion.
3.  The Commission shall issue an opinion on whether the proposed prolongation fulfils the requirements set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 and on the necessity and the proportionality of the proposed prolongation. The Member States affected may make observations to the Commission before it issues that opinion.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 27a – paragraph 4
4.  The Council, taking due account of the opinion of the Commission, may recommend that the Member State decide to further prolong border control at internal borders for a period of up to six months. That period may be prolonged, no more than three times, for a further period of up to six months. In its recommendation, the Council shall at least indicate the information referred to in Article 27(1) (a) to (e). Where appropriate, it shall determine the conditions for cooperation between the Member States concerned.
4.  Once it has taken the opinion of the Commission into account, the Council may, as a last resort, recommend that the Member State concerned further prolong border control at its internal borders for a period of up to six months. In its recommendation, the Council shall indicate the information referred to in Article 27(1) and (1b) and it shall lay down the conditions for cooperation between the Member States concerned.
Amendments 45 and 66
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3 a (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 28 – paragraph 4
(3a)  in Article 28, paragraph 4 is replaced by the following:
4.  Without prejudice to Article 25(4), the total period during which border control is reintroduced at internal borders, on the basis of the initial period under paragraph 1 of this Article and any prolongations under paragraph 3 of this Article, shall not exceed two months.
"4. The total period during which border control is reintroduced at internal borders, on the basis of the initial period under paragraph 1 of this Article and any prolongations under paragraph 3 of this Article, shall not exceed two months.";
Amendment 46
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3 b (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 28a (new)
(3b)  a new Article 28a is inserted:
“Article 28a
Calculation of the period during which border control is reintroduced or prolonged due to a foreseen threat to public policy or internal security, where the serious threat to public policy or internal security exceeds six months and in cases requiring immediate action
Any reintroduction or prolongation of border controls at internal borders made before ... [the date of entry into force of this Regulation] shall be included in the calculation of the periods referred to in Articles 27, 27a and 28.”;
Amendment 67
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3 c (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 29 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 a (new)
(3c)  in Article 29(1), the following subparagraph is added:
“The criteria referred to in Article 30 shall be taken into account in each case where a decision on the temporary reintroduction or prolongation of border control at internal borders is considered pursuant to this Article.”
Amendment 47
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3 d (new)
Regulation (EU) 2016/399
Article 29 – paragraph 5
(3d)  in Article 29, paragraph 5 is replaced by the following:
5.  This Article shall be without prejudice to measures that may be adopted by the Member States in the event of a serious threat to public policy or internal security under Articles 25, 27 and 28.
"5. This Article shall be without prejudice to measures that may be adopted by the Member States in the event of a serious threat to public policy or internal security under Articles 27, 27a and 28. However, the total period during which border control at internal borders is reintroduced or prolonged under this Article shall not be prolonged by virtue of, or combined with, measures taken under Article 27, 27a or 28.".
Amendment 69
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 a (new)
Article 1a
This Regulation shall apply to notifications made by Member States pursuant to Article 27 of the Schengen Borders Code from ... [the date of entry into force of this Regulation].
Any period of ongoing notification for reintroduction or prolongation of border control at internal borders which will have passed before ... [the entry into force of this Regulation] shall be taken into account in the calculation of the period referred to in Article 28(4).

(1) The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0356/2018).


Common rules for the operation of air services ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 November 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community (COM(2016)0818 – C8-0531/2016 – 2016/0411(COD))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0473A8-0150/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0818),

–  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 (C8‑0531/2016),

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 5 July 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 23 October 2018 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 (A8-0150/2018),

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 29 November 2018 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2018/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community

P8_TC1-COD(2016)0411


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 100(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

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

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

After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(3),

Whereas:

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 includes provisions allowing lease agreements for aircraft registered in third countries, in particular wet lease agreements.

(2)  Those agreements are permitted in exceptional circumstances, such as in the case of a lack of adequate aircraft in the Union market. They should be strictly limited in time and should fulfil safety standards equivalent to the safety rules provided for in Union and national law.

(3)  The Air Transport Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one hand, and the United States of America, on the other hand(4) (ATA) was signed on 25 April 2007 and subsequently amended by a Protocol of 24 June 2010. The ATA reflects its parties' commitment to the shared goal of continuing to remove market access barriers in order to maximise benefits for consumers, airlines, labour and communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

(4)  The ATA provides for an open wet-lease regime between its parties. The relevant provisions that are included under Article 10 of the ATA permit wet lease agreements for international air transport, provided that all parties to such agreements have the appropriate authority and meet the conditions prescribed under the laws and regulations normally applied by the parties to the ATA.

(5)  Relevant developments and past discussions of the Joint Committee established under the ATA have shown that parties to the ATA would benefit from a dedicated wet lease agreement which would provide precision to the relevant provisions of the ATA.

(6)  Since such a wet lease agreement would involve the relaxation of the existing time limits, it would have a ripple effect on Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008, in which time limits are provided for in cases where Union carriers wet lease from third-country carriers.

(7)  Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 therefore needs to be amended to allow for the relaxation of time limits on wet-leasing to be agreed in international agreements concluded by the Union with third countries.

(8)  Taking into account the fact that the Commission is currently reviewing Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008, including its provisions on wet-leasing and their possible impact on employees and consumers, and that the Commission's review could lead to a general revision of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008, this Regulation is limited to aligning Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 with the relevant international obligations. The international agreement on wet-leasing should include reciprocal rights and obligations for both parties and should be based on an existing Air Transport Agreement.

(9)  Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 should therefore be amended accordingly,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

In point (b) of Article 13(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008, the introductory phrase is replaced by the following:"

"unless otherwise provided for in an international agreement on wet-leasing signed by the Union which is based on an Air Transport Agreement to which the Union is a party and which was signed before 1 January 2008, one of the following conditions is fulfilled:"

"

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 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

(1) OJ C 345, 13.10.2017, p. 126.
(2)OJ C 345, 13.10.2017, p. 126.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 29 November 2018.
(4) OJ L 134, 25.5.2007, p. 4.


Authorisation for certain uses of sodium dichromate
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision granting an authorisation for certain uses of sodium dichromate under Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Ilario Ormezzano Sai S.R.L.) (D058762/01 – 2018/2929(RSP))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0474B8-0548/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision granting an authorisation for certain uses of sodium dichromate under Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Ilario Ormezzano Sai S.R.L.) (D058762/01),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC(1) (‘the REACH Regulation’), in particular Article 64(8) thereof,

–  having regard to the opinions of the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) and the Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC)(2), pursuant to the third subparagraph of Article 64(5) of the REACH Regulation,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of 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(3),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas sodium dichromate is included in Annex XIV to the REACH Regulation because of three intrinsic properties: carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and reproductive toxicity (category 1B); whereas sodium dichromate was added to the REACH Regulation candidate list in 2008(4), because of its classification as carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction (category 1B) according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5);

B.  whereas the molecular entity that drives the carcinogenicity of sodium dichromate is the chromium (VI) containing ion, which is released when sodium dichromate solubilises and dissociates; whereas chromium (VI) causes lung tumours in humans and animals by the inhalation route and tumours of the gastrointestinal tract in animals by the oral route;

C.  whereas already in 1997 in the framework of Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93(6), sodium dichromate was identified as a priority substance for evaluation in accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) No 143/97(7); whereas in 2008 the Commission issued a recommendation to reduce the risk from exposure to sodium dichromate(8);

D.  whereas Ilario Ormezzano Sai S.R.L (the Applicant) submitted an application for authorisation to use sodium dichromate in the dyeing of wool; whereas the application is described in the opinions of the RAC and the SEAC as an ‘upstream’ application; whereas the Applicant is the supplier of sodium dichromate to 11 downstream users that either manufacture the dyes or are dyers themselves;

E.  whereas the purpose of the REACH Regulation is to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment, including the promotion of alternative methods for assessment of the hazards posed by substances, and the free circulation of substances on the internal market, while enhancing competitiveness and innovation; whereas the primary objective of the REACH Regulation is the first of those three objectives, in light of Recital (16) in the preamble to the Regulation, as interpreted by the Court of Justice(9);

F.  whereas the REACH Regulation does not provide for a special authorisation regime for so-called ‘upstream applications’; whereas any applicant for authorisation, whatever their role or level in the supply chain, must provide the information listed in Article 62 of the REACH Regulation;

G.  whereas RAC confirmed that it is not possible to determine a derived no-effect level for the carcinogenic properties of sodium dichromate and sodium dichromate is therefore considered as a ‘non-threshold substance’ for the purposes of Article 60(3)(a) of the REACH Regulation; whereas this means that a theoretical ‘safe level of exposure’ to this substance cannot be set and used as a benchmark to assess whether the risk of using it is adequately controlled;

H.  whereas Recital (70) of the REACH Regulation states ‘for any other substance for which it is not possible to establish a safe level of exposure, measures should always be taken to minimise, as far as technically and practically possible, exposure and emissions with a view to minimising the likelihood of adverse effects’;

I.  whereas RAC concluded that the operational conditions and risk management measures described in the application were not appropriate and effective in limiting the risk(10);

J.  whereas Article 55 of the REACH Regulation provides that the substitution of substances of very high concern with safer alternative substances or technologies is a central aim of the authorisation chapter;

K.  whereas Article 64(4) of the REACH Regulation provides that the mandate of SEAC is to assess the ‘availability, suitability and technical feasibility of alternatives associated with the use(s) of the substance as described in the application […] and any third party contributions submitted under paragraph 2 of this Article’;

L.  whereas Article 62(4)(e) of the REACH Regulation requires the applicant for authorisation to provide ‘an analysis of alternatives considering their risks and the technical and economic feasibility of substitution’;

M.  whereas Article 60(4) of the REACH Regulation provides that an authorisation to use a substance whose risks are not adequately controlled can only be granted if there are no suitable alternative substances or technologies;

N.  whereas SEAC noted many deficiencies in the application for authorisation regarding the analysis of alternatives; whereas the Applicant, according to SEAC, failed to address key issues to the extent that this ‘hinder[ed] the Committee’s assessment of technical feasibility’, and some aspects as important as the economic feasibility of alternatives were only ‘briefly discussed’ by the Applicant(11);

O.  whereas the main argument used by the Applicant to conclude that no alternatives were suitable was that the customers (i.e. manufacturers/retailers of clothes) would not accept the quality of the colouring of the textile when dyed with an alternative;

P.  whereas, however, the alleged requirements of the customers were not supported by any evidence, and it is not clear whether the reference to ‘customers’ preference’ was made in full knowledge of the risks of sodium dichromate(12);

Q.  whereas in addition, SEAC has noted, despite further inquiries with the Applicant, that ‘whether an alternative product will ultimately be accepted by the customers of their downstream users still remains somewhat subjective and uncertain’(13), SEAC noted in its conclusion: ‘After welcome clarifications by the Applicant, the Committee still finds a number of uncertainties in the analysis’;

R.  whereas despite these gaps and uncertainties in the application, SEAC still concluded that no suitable alternatives were available, simply making a general statement that these uncertainties ‘are inherent to this kind of use (discussions on product quality can be marred by the subjectivity of fashion trends and consumer aesthetic tastes)’(14);

S.  whereas, in this context, the SEAC opinion shows that the Applicant has not provided a comprehensive analysis of alternatives available on the market to substitute the use of sodium dichromate for the uses applied for, but fails to draw the adequate conclusions;

T.  whereas such an outcome cannot be reconciled with the fact that alternatives are known to have been available for many years(15), that leading fashion brands are contributors to the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme, which does not allow the use of chromium (VI) in textile manufacturing(16), and that individual textile companies have explicit policies that do not allow the use of chromium (VI) (e.g. H&M)(17), including companies in high-end fashion markets (Armani(18) and Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna(19));

U.  whereas Gruppo Colle and Ormezzano have been the only applicants for authorisation under the REACH Regulation for chrome dyes;

V.  whereas the REACH Regulation places the burden of proof on the applicant for authorisation to show that the conditions for granting an authorisation are fulfilled; whereas SEAC has a duty to provide ‘scientific advice founded on the principles of excellence, transparency and independence’, which ‘is an important procedural guarantee whose purpose is to ensure the scientific objectivity of the measures adopted and preclude any arbitrary measures’(20);

W.  whereas it is not clear why, despite the deficiencies or uncertainties identified regarding the analysis of alternatives, SEAC concluded that sufficient information was available to reach a conclusion on the suitability of the alternatives; whereas it is also not clear why claims of subjective preferences were not rejected despite the absence of detailed objective and verifiable evidence, and why those claims were not assessed against best market practice;

X.  whereas it is not acceptable to tolerate potentially numerous cases of infertility, cancer and mutagenic effects, despite the availability of alternatives to sodium chromate, on the basis of an assumption that manufacturers of clothes would not accept alternatives due to their subjective ‘taste’;

Y.  whereas such an interpretation of the notion of alternatives and the level of proof required from the applicant is neither in line with the objective to replace substances of very high concern with alternatives, nor with the primary objective of the REACH Regulation to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment;

Z.  whereas the Commission is aware of the availability of suitable alternatives, thanks in particular to information provided during the public consultation and trilogue(21) organised by the European Chemicals Agency in the context of the Gruppo Colle case(22);

AA.  whereas it is not appropriate for the Commission to ignore critical information showing the availability of suitable alternatives from this parallel case;

AB.  whereas Article 61(2)(b) of the REACH Regulation empowers the Commission to review an authorisation at any time if ‘new information on possible substitutes become available’;

AC.  whereas the granting of an authorisation for the use of a non-threshold substance for applications for which alternatives are clearly known to be available is not in accordance with the conditions set out in the provisions of the REACH Regulation, and would unduly reward laggards and set a dangerous precedent for future authorisation decisions under the REACH Regulation;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, by not respecting the conditions set by that Regulation for granting an authorisation;

2.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision and to submit a new draft rejecting the application for authorisation for certain uses of sodium dichromate (Ilario Ormezzano Sai S.R.L.);

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

(1) OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(2) Opinion on Use of sodium dichromate as a mordant in the dyeing of wool as sliver and/or yarn with dark colours in industrial settings (EC No 234-190-3);Opinion on Repackaging of sodium dichromate to be supplied as a mordant in the dyeing of wool as sliver and/or yarn with dark colours in industrial settings (EC No 234-190-3).
(3) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(4) European Chemicals Agency Decision by the Executive Director of 28 October 2008 on the inclusion of substances of very high concern in the candidate list.
(5) Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1).
(6) Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 of 23 March 1993 on the evaluation and control of the risks of existing substances (OJ L 84, 5.4.1993, p. 1).
(7) Commission Regulation (EC) No 143/97 of 27 January 1997 concerning the third list of priority substances as foreseen under Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 (OJ L 25, 28.1.1997, p. 13).
(8) Commission Recommendation of 30 May 2008 on risk reduction measures for the substances sodium chromate, sodium dichromate and 2,2′,6,6′-tetrabromo-4,4′-isopropylidenediphenol (tetrabromobisphenol A) (OJ L 158, 18.6.2008, p. 62).
(9) Case C-558/07, S.P.C.M. SA and Others v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, ECLI:EU:C:2009:430, § 45.
(10) Opinion on Use of sodium dichromate as a mordant in the dyeing of wool as sliver and/or yarn with dark colours in industrial settings (EC No 234-190-3), p. 19, Question 6.
(11) Opinion on Use of sodium dichromate as a mordant in the dyeing of wool as sliver and/or yarn with dark colours in industrial settings (EC No 234-190-3), pp. 24-25.
(12) Applicant’s analysis of alternative available at: https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/88b2f393-17cf-465e-95eb-ba07282ba400
(13) Opinion on Use of sodium dichromate as a mordant in the dyeing of wool as sliver and/or yarn with dark colours in industrial settings (EC No 234-190-3), p. 24.
(14) Opinion on Use of sodium dichromate as a mordant in the dyeing of wool as sliver and/or yarn with dark colours in industrial settings (EC No 234-190-3), p. 26.
(15) See https://marketplace.chemsec.org/Alternative/LANASOL-CE-pioneering-replacement-of-chrome-dyes-since-20-years-44
(16) See: https://www.roadmaptozero.com/mrsl_online/
(17) See H&M Group Chemical Restrictions 2018 Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL).
(18) See Armani’s Restricted Substances List Version 9 - Effective as of the Season SS 18.
(19) See Huntsman presentation entitled ‘Turning risks into opportunities - How to dye wool sustainably‘ (p. 18).
(20) Judgment of the Court of First Instance (Third Chamber) of 11 September 2002, Pfizer Animal Health SA v Council of the European Union, Case T-13/99, ECLI:EU:T:2002:209.
(21) As explained in RAC and SEAC Opinion in the Gruppo Colle case: Use of sodium dichromate as mordant in wool dyeing (EC No 234-190-3) (p. 21 referring to two alternatives: Lanasol and Realan).
(22) ECHA Adopted opinions and previous consultations on applications for authorisation - Gruppo Colle.S.r.l. - Use of Sodium dichromate as mordant in wool dyeing (EC No 234-190-3).


The Cum Ex Scandal: financial crime and the loopholes in the current legal framework
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the cum-ex scandal: financial crime and loopholes in the current legal framework (2018/2900(RSP))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0475RC-B8-0551/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the cum-ex revelations made by a consortium of investigative journalists led by the German non-profit media organisation CORRECTIV on 18 October 2018,

–  having regard to 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(1) (‘ESMA Regulation’),

–  having regard to 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(2) (‘EBA Regulation’),

–  having regard to Council Directive 2014/107/EU of 9 December 2014 amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation (DAC2)(3),

–  heaving regard to Council Directive (EU) 2018/822 of 25 May 2018 amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation in relation to reportable cross-border arrangements (DAC6)(4),

–  having regard to the Fourth Inquiry Committee of the German Bundestag regarding the scandal, which culminated in a report(5) in June 2017,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 25 November 2015(6) and 6 July 2016(7) on tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect,

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 December 2015 with recommendations to the Commission on bringing transparency, coordination and convergence to corporate tax policies in the Union(8),

–  having regard to its recommendation of 13 December 2017 to the Council and the Commission following the inquiry into money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion(9),

–  having regard to its decision of 1 March 2018 on setting up a special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAX3), and defining its responsibilities, numerical strength and term of office (10),

–  having regard to its plenary debate of 23 October 2018 on the cum-ex scandal,

–  having regard to its joint ECON/TAX3 committee meeting of 26 November 2018,

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

A.  whereas ‘cum-ex’ and ‘cum-cum’ - or dividend arbitrage trading schemes - refer to the practice of trading shares in such a way as to conceal the identity of the actual owner and to enable both or multiple parties involved to claim withholding tax refunds on capital gains tax that had only been paid once;

B.  whereas the cum-ex scandal was revealed to the public through a collaborative investigation between 19 European news media outlets involving 12 countries and 38 reporters;

C.  whereas it is reported that 11 Member States have lost up to EUR 55,2 billion in tax revenue as a result of cum-ex and cum-cum schemes;

D.  whereas it is nonetheless difficult to calculate the maximum amount of the damage incurred, given that many actions started in the late 1990s and have long since been time-barred;

E.  whereas the investigation by the consortium of European journalists identifies Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy and France as allegedly the main target markets for cum-ex trading practices, followed by Norway, Finland, Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic, and whereas these practices potentially involve an unknown number of EU Member States as well as countries of the European Free Trade Association (Switzerland, for example);

F.  whereas investigations in the most affected EU Member States are ongoing;

G.  whereas cum-ex and cum-cum schemes bear some of the hallmarks of tax fraud, and it needs to be assessed whether there has been a breach of either national or EU law;

H.  whereas it has been reported that these criminal practices involve EU Member States’ financial institutions, including several large well-known commercial banks;

I.  whereas in some cases relevant authorities did not conduct in-depth investigations into the information shared from other Member States regarding the cum-ex revelations;

J.  whereas the fact that foreign investors are entitled to claim a refund of the withholding taxes on dividends plays a central part in the revelations;

K.  whereas as of September 2017, the second Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC2) requires EU Member States to obtain information from their financial institutions and to exchange it with the Member State of residence of taxpayers on an annual basis;

L.  whereas the sixth Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC6) requires any person that designs, markets, organises, makes available for implementation or manages the implementation of a reportable cross-border arrangement which meets pre-defined hallmarks to report those arrangements to national tax authorities;

M.  whereas the mandate of the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) explicitly covers any relevant developments within the remit of the committee that emerge during its term;

N.  whereas the role of whistle-blowers over the last 25 years has proven significant in revealing sensitive information that is at the centre of public interest, which has also proven to be the case in the cum-ex revelations(11);

1.  Strongly condemns the revealed tax fraud and tax avoidance which has led to publicly reported losses of Member States’ tax revenue, amounting to as much as EUR 55,2 billion according to some media estimates, which are a blow to the European social market economy;

2.  Highlights that, according to the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive(12), ‘tax crimes’ relating to direct and indirect taxes are included in the broad definition of ‘criminal activity’ and are considered predicate offences for money laundering; recalls that both credit and financial institutions, as well as tax advisers, accountants and lawyers, are considered ‘obliged entities’ under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and are therefore bound to comply with a set of duties to prevent, detect and report money laundering activities;

3.  Notes with concern that the cum-ex scandal has shaken citizens’ trust in tax systems and stresses how crucial it is to restore public confidence and ensure that any damage caused will not be repeated;

4.  Deplores the fact that the Commissioner in charge of taxation does not recognise the need to extend the existing system for the exchange of information between national tax authorities;

5.  Requests the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Banking Authority to conduct an inquiry into dividend arbitrage trading schemes such as cum-ex or cum-cum in order to assess potential threats to the integrity of financial markets and to national budgets; to establish the nature and magnitude of actors in these schemes; to assess whether there were breaches of either national or Union law; to assess the actions taken by financial supervisors in Member States; and to make appropriate recommendations for reform and for action to the competent authorities concerned;

6.  Underlines that the reported revelations do not affect the stability of the Union’s financial system;

7.  Recommends that the inquiry establish what failed in the coordination and surveillance tasks of financial supervisors, stock exchanges and tax authorities across the Member States which allowed these tax theft schemes to continue for years despite having been identified;

8.  Calls for national and European supervisory authorities to be given a mandate to look into tax avoidance practices, as they may pose a risk to the integrity of the internal market;

9.  Underlines that these new revelations seem to indicate possible shortcomings in national taxation laws and in the current systems of exchange of information and cooperation between Member State authorities; calls on Member States to effectively implement the mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation;

10.  Calls for information exchange to be strengthened at the level of tax authorities in order to prevent the issues with tax confidentiality that have been seen in some Member States;

11.  Urges all Member States’ tax authorities to nominate Single Points of Contact (SPoCs) in line with the OECD’s Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration, and calls on the Commission to ensure and facilitate cooperation between them, with a view to making certain that information on cases with cross-border relevance is shared rapidly and efficiently between Member States;

12.  Calls also on national competent authorities, where appropriate, to open criminal investigations, use legal tools to freeze suspicious assets, launch inquiries into the management boards potentially involved in this scandal and impose appropriate and dissuasive sanctions on the parties involved; takes the view that both perpetrators and enablers of these crimes, including not only tax advisers but also lawyers, accountants and banks, should be brought to justice; stresses the urgent need to end white-collar impunity and ensure better enforcement of financial regulations;

13.  Calls on the EU and Member State authorities to investigate the role of insurance funds and insurance supervisors in the scandal;

14.  Calls on national tax authorities to reap the full potential of DAC6 with regard to the mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation in relation to reportable cross-border arrangements, including the use of group requests; calls, furthermore, for DAC6 to be strengthened in order to require the mandatory disclosure of dividend arbitrage schemes and all information on capital gains, including the granting of dividend and capital gains tax refunds;

15.  Urges all Member States, identified as allegedly being the main target markets for dividend arbitrage trading practices, to thoroughly investigate and analyse dividend payment practices in their jurisdictions, to identify the loopholes in their tax laws that generate opportunities for exploitation by tax fraudsters and avoiders, to analyse any potential cross-border dimension of these practices and to put an end to all these harmful tax practices;

16.  Stresses the need for coordinated action between national authorities in order to guarantee recovery of illegally obtained resources from public accounts;

17.  Urges the Commission to assess and the Member States to review and update bilateral taxation agreements between Member States and with third countries to close loopholes that incentivise tax-driven trading practices with the purpose of tax avoidance;

18.  Calls on the Commission to start working immediately on a proposal for a European financial police within the framework of Europol with its own investigatory capacities, as well as on a European framework for cross-border tax investigations;

19.  Calls on the Commission to revise the directive on the common system of taxation applicable in the case of parent companies and subsidiaries of different Member States in order to tackle dividend arbitrage practices;

20.  Calls on the Commission to assess the role of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) revealed by the cum-ex papers and, where appropriate, to propose limiting the use of these instruments;

21.  Appeals to the Commission to consider the need for a European framework for capital income taxation that reduces incentives that destabilise cross-border financial flows, generate fiscal competition among Member States and undermine tax bases that guarantee the sustainability of European welfare states;

22.  Asks the Commission to consider a legislative proposal for an EU Financial Intelligence Unit, a European hub for joint investigative work and an early warning mechanism;

23.  Notes the fact that the 2008 crisis has resulted in generalised resource and personnel reductions in tax administrations; calls on Member States to invest in and modernise the tools available to tax authorities, and to allocate adequate human resources so as to improve surveillance and reduce timing and informational gaps; calls on Member States to improve the capacities and capabilities of their financial authorities to ensure they are fully functional for detecting tax fraud;

24.  Stresses the need for the protection of whistle-blowers who disclose information for example on tax fraud and tax evasion at national and EU level; invites anyone who has information of value for the public interest to report it, either internally, externally to the national authorities or where necessary to the public; calls for the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law to be swiftly adopted considering the opinions adopted in the different European Parliament committees;

25.  Welcomes the Commission proposal of 12 September 2018 to amend, among other regulations, the regulation establishing the EBA in order to reinforce the role of the EBA in anti-money laundering supervision of the financial sector (COM(2018)0646); stresses that, in accordance with the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the ECB has the task of carrying out early intervention actions as laid down in relevant Union law; takes the view that the ECB should have a role in alerting competent national authorities and should coordinate any action regarding suspicions of non-compliance with anti-money laundering rules in supervised banks or groups;

26.  Takes the view that the work of the TAXE, TAX2, PANA and TAX3 committees should be continued, in the forthcoming parliamentary term, in a permanent structure within Parliament such as a subcommittee to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON);

27.  Calls on the TAX3 Special Committee to conduct its own assessment of the cum-ex revelations and to include the results and any relevant recommendations in its final report;

28.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European Banking Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority.

(1) OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 84.
(2) OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 12.
(3) OJ L 359, 16.12.2014, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 139, 5.6.2018, p. 1.
(5) Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 18/12700, 20.6.2017.
(6) OJ C 366, 27.10.2017, p. 51.
(7) OJ C 101, 16.3.2018, p. 79.
(8) OJ C 399, 24.11.2017, p. 74.
(9) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 132.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0048.
(11) European Parliament ECON/TAX3 Hearing of 26 November 2018, ‘Cum-ex scandal: financial crime and the loopholes in the current legal framework’.
(12) Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC, OJ L 141, 5.6.2015, p. 73.


Role of the German Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) in cross-border family disputes
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the role of the German Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) in cross-border family disputes (2018/2856(RSP))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0476B8-0546/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 81(3) of the TFEU,

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

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 24 thereof,

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 20 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which underline the obligation of governments to protect a child’s identity, including his or her family relations,

–  having regard to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, in particular Article 37(b) thereof,

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

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000 (Brussels IIa)(1), in particular Articles 8, 10, 15, 16, 21, 41, 55 and 57 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents), and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1348/2000(2),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 15 February 2011 on an EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child (COM(2011)0060),

–  having regard to the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), notably its rulings of 22 December 2010 in case C-497/10 PPU, Mercredi v Chaffe(3), and of 2 April 2009 in case C-523/07, proceedings brought by A(4),

–  having regard to the mapping of the child protection systems carried out by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to the very large number of petitions received on the role of the German Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) in cross-border family disputes,

–  having regard to the recommendations made in the report on the fact-finding visit to Germany (23-24 November 2011) to investigate petitions concerning the role of the German Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt),

–  having regard to its resolution of 28 April 2016 on safeguarding the best interests of the child across the EU on the basis of petitions addressed to the European Parliament(5),

–  having regard to the recommendations of 3 May 2017 of the Committee on Petitions’ Working Group on Child Welfare Issues,

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

A.  whereas Parliament’s Committee on Petitions has, for over 10 years, been receiving petitions in which a very large number of non-German parents denounce systematic discrimination and arbitrary measures taken against them by the German Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) in family disputes with cross-border implications involving children, on matters concerning, inter alia, parental responsibility and child custody;

B.  whereas the Committee on Petitions relies mainly on the subjective report of the petitioner and generally does not have access to judicial decisions that give a full and objective description of the situation, containing testimonies of both the parents, the children and witnesses;

C.  whereas the Jugendamt plays a central role in the German family law system, as it is one of the parties in all family disputes involving children;

D.  whereas in family disputes involving children, the Jugendamt delivers a recommendation to the judges, the nature of which is practically binding, and can adopt temporary measures, such as the ‘Beistandschaft’ (legal advisership), which cannot be challenged;

E.  whereas the Jugendamt is responsible for the implementation of the decisions taken by the German courts; whereas the broad interpretation of these decisions by the Jugendamt has, according to petitioners, often been detrimental to the effective protection of the rights of non-German parents;

F.  whereas the non-recognition and non-enforcement by the competent German authorities of decisions and judgments taken by other EU Member States’ judicial authorities in family disputes having cross-border implications can represent a breach of the principle of mutual recognition and mutual trust among Member States, thus jeopardising the effective protection of the best interests of the child;

G.  whereas petitioners denounced the fact that in family disputes having cross-border implications the protection of the best interests of the child is systematically interpreted by the competent German authorities with the need to ensure that children remain on the German territory, even in cases where abuse and domestic violence against the non-German parent have been reported;

H.  whereas non-German parents denounced in their petitions the insufficient counselling and legal support, or the lack thereof, provided by the national authorities of their country of origin in cases where alleged discriminatory or disadvantageous judicial and administrative procedures were adopted against them by the German authorities, including the Jugendamt, in family disputes involving children;

I.  whereas according to the information provided by the European Court of Human Rights, there have been 17 cases lodged with the Court against Germany by non-German petitioners on parental responsibility or child custody in cross-border family disputes, all of them assessed as inadmissible;

J.  whereas all EU institutions and Member States must fully guarantee the protection of the rights of the child as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU; whereas the best interests of the child, primarily and best realised within its own family, is a fundamental principle that should be respected as a guiding rule for all decisions related to childcare issues at all levels;

K.  whereas increased mobility within the EU has led to a growing number of cross-border disputes on parental responsibility and child custody; whereas the Commission must step up its efforts to promote in all Member States, including Germany, the consistent and concrete implementation of the principles set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by all EU Member States;

L.  whereas the scope and objectives of the Brussels IIa Regulation are based on the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality between citizens of the Union and on the principle of mutual trust between the Member States’ legal systems;

M.  whereas the provisions of the Brussels IIa Regulation should in no way allow for any abuse of its underlying aims of ensuring mutual respect and recognition, avoiding discrimination on the grounds of nationality and, first and foremost, truly protecting the best interests of the child in an objective manner;

N.  whereas the absence of accurate and detailed checks on the non-discriminatory nature of procedures and practices adopted by the German competent authorities in family disputes having cross-border implications involving children can have detrimental effects on children’s welfare and lead to increased violation of rights for non-German parents;

O.  whereas the subsidiarity principle applies in all matters of substantive family law issues;

P.  whereas the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that a court can ask to hear a child who is still not quite three years old at the time of the decision; whereas in other EU Member States children of this age are considered too young and not mature enough to be consulted in disputes involving their parents;

Q.  whereas the child’s right to family life should not be threatened by the exercise of a fundamental right such as the freedom of movement and residence;

R.  whereas the case law of the CJEU establishes the autonomous notion in EU law of the ‘habitual residence’ of the child and the plurality of the criteria to be used by the national jurisdictions to determine the habitual residence;

S.  whereas it follows from Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU that, unless contrary to the interests of the child, children have the right to uphold on a regular basis a personal relationship and direct contact with their parents when their parents are exercising their right to free movement;

1.  Notes with great concern that problems concerning the German family law system, including the controversial role of the Jugendamt, denounced through petitions by non-German parents, still remain unsolved; underlines that the Committee on Petitions continuously receives petitions by non-German parents in which serious discrimination is reported as a result of the procedures and practices concretely adopted by the competent German authorities in cross-border family disputes involving children;

2.  Notes with concern all cases of alleged discrimination against non-German parents by the Jugendamt;

3.  Points to the long-standing work of the Committee on Petitions on the treatment of petitions concerning the role of the Jugendamt; takes note of the responses given by the competent German ministry on the functioning of the German family law system, but underlines that the Committee on Petitions continuously receives petitions concerning alleged discrimination against the non-German parent;

4.  Stresses the obligation, as provided for in the Brussels IIa Regulation, for national authorities to recognise and enforce judgments delivered in another Member State in child-related cases; is concerned about the fact that in family disputes having cross-border implications, the German authorities can, allegedly, systematically refuse to recognise judicial decisions taken in other Member States in cases where children who are still not quite three years old have not been heard; underlines that this aspect undermines the principle of mutual trust with other Member States whose legal systems set different age limits for the hearing of a child;

5.  Regrets the fact that for years the Commission has not implemented accurate checks on the procedures and practices used in the German family law system, including the Jugendamt, in the framework of family disputes having cross-border implications, thus failing to effectively protect the best interests of the child and all other related rights;

6.  Recalls the Commission’s reply with respect to the petitions on the role of the Jugendamt in cross-border family disputes; reiterates that the EU has no general competence to act in matters of family law, that substantive family law remains the sole responsibility of the Member States and cannot be monitored by the Commission, that, in case of concern about the functioning of the Jugendamt, redress must be sought at national level, and that if parents consider that any of their fundamental rights have been violated, they may lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, once the domestic remedies have been exhausted;

7.  Insists on the importance of Member States collecting statistical data on the administrative and judicial proceedings concerning child custody and involving foreign parents, particularly on the outcome of the judgments, in order to allow for a detailed analysis of existing trends over time and to provide benchmarks;

8.  Emphasises, in accordance with the case law of the CJEU, the autonomous notion of the ‘habitual residence’ of the child in EU law and the plurality of the criteria to be used by the national jurisdictions to determine the habitual residence;

9.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the habitual residence of the child has been properly determined by the German jurisdictions in the cases referred to in the petitions received by the Committee on Petitions;

10.  Strongly criticises the absence of statistical data on the number of cases in Germany in which court rulings were not in line with the recommendations of the Jugendamt and on the outcomes of family disputes involving children of binational couples, despite the repeated requests over many years for such data to be collected and made publicly available;

11.  Calls on the Commission to assess in the petitions in question whether German jurisdictions have duly respected the provisions of the Brussels IIa Regulation when establishing their competences, and whether they have taken into consideration judgments or decisions issued by jurisdictions of other Member States;

12.  Condemns the fact that, in cases of supervised parental access, the failure by non-German parents to comply with the Jugendamt officials’ procedure to adopt German as the language during conversations with their children has led to the interruption of conversations and to a ban on contact between the non-German parents and their children; believes that this procedure adopted by the Jugendamt officials constitutes clear discrimination based on origin and language against non-German parents;

13.  Stresses that the Jugendamt generally allows the use of a common mother tongue and, if needed for the child’s well-being and safety, such as in possible abduction cases, they endeavour to provide an interpreter in order to ensure that the Jugendamt officials understand the content of the discussion;

14.  Is firmly convinced that in cases of supervised parental access, the German authorities must permit all parental languages during conversations between parents and their children; asks for mechanisms to be put in place to guarantee that non-German parents and their children can communicate in their common language, as the use of this language plays a crucial role in maintaining strong emotional bonds between parents and their children and ensures the effective protection of children’s cultural heritage and welfare;

15.  Firmly believes that consistent and effective follow-up must be given to the recommendations of the final report of 3 May 2017 of the Committee on Petitions’ Working Group on Child Welfare Issues, and notably to those related directly or indirectly to the role of the Jugendamt and to the German family law system;

16.  Reminds Germany of its international obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, including Article 8 thereof; believes that major improvements must be made by all German competent authorities to adequately safeguard the right of the children of binational couples to preserve their identity, including family relations, as recognised by law without unlawful interference;

17.  Considers that in light of Article 81 of the TFEU the Commission can and must play an active role in ensuring fair and consistent non-discriminatory practices towards parents in the treatment of cross-border child custody cases throughout the Union;

18.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that accurate checks are carried out on the non-discriminatory nature of procedures and practices used in the German family law system, including by the Jugendamt, in the framework of cross-border family disputes;

19.  Reiterates that the principle of subsidiarity applies in matters of substantive family law;

20.  Calls on the Commission to increase training for and international exchanges between social services officials in order to raise awareness of the functioning of their counterparts in other Member States and to exchange good practices;

21.  Emphasises the importance of close cooperation and efficient communication between the different national and local authorities involved in childcare proceedings, from the social services to the jurisdictional and central authorities;

22.  Stresses the need to improve mutual judicial and administrative cooperation between the German authorities and the authorities of the other EU Member States in order to ensure mutual trust in matters concerning the recognition and enforcement in Germany of decisions and judgments adopted by other EU Member States’ authorities in family disputes having cross-border elements involving children;

23.  Recalls the importance of providing non-German parents without delay, from the outset and at every stage of child-related proceedings, with complete and clear information on the proceedings and on the possible consequences thereof, in a language that the parents in question fully understand, in order to avoid cases where parents give their consent without fully understanding the implications of their commitments; calls on the Member States to implement targeted measures aimed at improving legal support, aid, counselling and information for their nationals in cases where they denounce discriminatory or disadvantageous judicial and administrative procedures adopted against them by the German authorities in cross-border family disputes involving children;

24.  Stresses that the denounced instances whereby non-German parents are prevented from communicating with their children in their common mother tongue during visits constitute discrimination on the grounds of language, and are also contrary to the aim of fostering multilingualism and diversity of cultural backgrounds within the Union and in breach of the fundamental rights of freedom of thought, conscience and religion;

25.  Calls on Germany to step up its efforts in order to ensure that parents are allowed to use a common mother tongue with their children during supervised visits;

26.  Expresses its concern about cases raised by petitioners regarding short deadlines set by the competent German authorities and documents sent by the competent German authorities which were not provided in the language of the non-German petitioner; stresses the right of citizens to refuse to accept documents that are not written or translated into a language they understand, as laid down in Article 8(1) of Regulation (EC) 1393/2007 on the service of documents; calls on the Commission to thoroughly assess the implementation in Germany of the provisions of this regulation in order to properly address all possible violations;

27.  Calls on the Commission to verify the respect of language requirements in the course of proceedings before the German jurisdictions in the cases mentioned in the petitions presented to the European Parliament;

28.  Calls on the Member States to implement targeted measures aimed at improving legal support, aid, counselling and information for their nationals in cross-border family disputes involving children; notes, in this context, that the competent German ministries at federal level have established the German Central Contact Point for Cross-border Family Conflicts in order to provide counselling and information in cross-border family disputes involving parental responsibility;

29.  Reiterates its call on the Commission and the Member States to co-finance and promote the establishment of a platform providing assistance to non-national EU citizens in family proceedings;

30.  Reminds the Member States about the importance of systematically implementing the provisions of the Vienna Convention of 1963 and of ensuring that embassies or consular representations are informed from the start of all childcare proceedings involving their nationals and have full access to the relevant documents; stresses the importance of trustworthy consular cooperation in this field and suggests that consular authorities should be allowed to attend every stage of the proceedings;

31.  Reminds the Member States of the need to provide the child with any necessary and justified foster care in accordance with the wording of Articles 8 and 20 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in particular to enable continuous childcare that takes into account the child’s ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural identity;

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

(1) OJ L 338, 23.12.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 324, 10.12.2007, p. 79.
(3) Judgment of the Court (First Chamber) of 22 December 2010, Barbara Mercredi v Richard Chaffe, C-497/10 PPU, ECLI:EU:C:2010:829.
(4) Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber) of 2 April 2009, A, C-523/07, ECLI:EU:C:2009:225.
(5) OJ C 66, 21.2.2018, p. 2.


WTO: the way forward
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on WTO: the way forward (2018/2084(INI))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0477A8-0379/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Marrakesh Agreement of 15 April 1994 establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO),

–  having regard to the Doha Ministerial Declaration of the WTO of 14 November 2001(1),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the WTO, in particular those of 24 April 2008 on ‘Towards a reform of the World Trade Organisation’(2) and of 15 November 2017 on ‘Multilateral negotiations in view of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference’(3),

–  having regard to the Outcome Document adopted by consensus on 10 December 2017 at the Annual Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO in Buenos Aires(4),

–  having regard to the results, which include a series of Ministerial Decisions, of the 11th Ministerial Conference held in Buenos Aires in December 2017, at which it was not possible to adopt a Ministerial Declaration(5),

–  having regard to the 6th Global Review of Aid for Trade, which took place in Geneva from 11 to 13 July 2017(6),

–  having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals(7),

–  having regard to the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), effective since November 2016,

–  having regard to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published on 8 October 2018, which shows that limiting global warming to 1.5° C is still possible if countries ratchet up their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020,

–  having regard to paragraph 16 of the European Council conclusions of 28 June 2018(8),

–  having regard to the joint statement of the trilateral meeting of the trade ministers of the United States, Japan and the European Union adopted on 31 May 2018(9),

–  having regard to the joint statement of the 20th EU-China Summit establishing a joint working group on WTO reform chaired at vice-ministerial level(10);

–  having regard to the Commission’s concept paper of 18 September 2018 on WTO modernisation(11),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade and the opinion of the Committee on Development (A8-0379/2018),

A.  whereas since its creation, the WTO has played a pivotal role in strengthening multilateralism, promoting an inclusive world economic order and fostering an open, rules-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system; whereas developing countries now account for about half of world trade, up from 33 % in 2000, while the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut by half since 1990, to just under one billion; whereas the WTO is built upon a system of rights and obligations, which obligates members to open their own markets and not to discriminate;

B.  whereas the WTO should remain the main point of reference for governments and businesses in rule-setting and trade disputes;

C.  whereas the EU has consistently advocated a strong multilateral and rules-based approach to trade, as the EU economy, and workers and consumers in the EU and its partners, are increasingly integrated with global value chains and depend on predictable developments in international trade for both imports and exports and in social and environmental conditions;

D.  whereas the results of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017 were disappointing, and clearly showed that the negotiating function of the organisation is paralysed;

E.  whereas the rules-based multilateral trading system is facing its deepest crisis since the creation of the WTO, threatening the basic functions of the organisation, namely setting the essential rules and structure for international trade and delivering the most effective and developed dispute settlement mechanism of any multilateral organisation;

F.  whereas despite important exceptions such as the Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO trade reform has lagged since the 2000s;

G.  whereas the Appellate Body is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the WTO owing to the binding character of its decisions and its status as an independent and impartial review body; whereas the Appellate Body’s membership fell to the minimum number of judges it needs to function after the ending of the term of Judge Shree Baboo Chekitan Servansing, leaving only three judges appointed; whereas this deadlock, caused by the US administration, could lead to the collapse of a system that is essential to managing disputes among all WTO members;

1.  Reiterates its full commitment to the enduring value of multilateralism, and calls for a trade agenda based on fair and rules-based trade for the benefit of all, which contributes to peace, security and the sustainable development agenda by including and enhancing social, environmental and human rights, and ensuring that multilaterally agreed and harmonised rules are uniformly applied to all and effectively upheld; stresses that the WTO must also contribute to promoting fair trade and combating unfair practices; underlines that trade is not an end in itself but a tool for reaching globally defined development goals;

2.  Considers that it is now a matter of urgency to proceed to the modernisation of the WTO, in the light of the latest developments but also owing to the long-standing lack of progress on the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), and to fundamentally review several aspects of the WTO’s functioning with a view to increasing both its effectiveness and its legitimacy; considers it essential, in this perspective, for the WTO Secretariat to create opportunities for all WTO members to be involved in the debate from the beginning; calls on the Commission and the EU Member States in the WTO to reach out to other WTO members, in particular our major trading partners such as the US, Japan, China, Canada, Brazil and India, in order to agree on common positions; is encouraged by the initial statements from the EU-China summit regarding the reform of the WTO;

3.  Welcomes in this regard the mandate given by the European Council to the Commission on 28-29 June 2018, and takes note of the approach outlined in the conclusions, as well as of the Commission's concept paper on WTO modernisation of 18 September 2018 and Canada’s proposals for WTO reform of 25 September 2018; looks forward to the publication of more proposals, especially from developing countries, as well as from working groups already established among WTO member states;

4.  Expresses its utmost concern over the fact that only three posts on the Appellate Body are filled, thus severely undermining the current and proper functioning of the dispute settlement process, and calls firmly on the US to resolve this situation in a way that allows for the vacant Appellate Body seats to be filled expeditiously; welcomes the initial proposals put forward by the Commission in its concept paper on WTO modernisation to resolve the deadlock by addressing some of the concerns that have been raised, including through transitional rules for outgoing members or changes to the length of terms on the Appellate Body or to the maximum time allowed before the publication of a report, as well as to the setting of new case-law by the Appellate Body; notes that the concerns expressed by the US regarding the Appellate Body extend beyond procedural changes and entail significant reforms to the rulings of the body’s judges;

5.  Views the decision of the US to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium products on 31 May 2018 on grounds of ‘national security’ under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 as unjustified and considers that it fails to address the challenge posed by excess steel in global markets and does not comply with WTO rules; strongly encourages the Commission to work with the US to address trade disagreements and remove barriers to trade within the WTO’s rules-based dispute settlement framework;

6.   Is of the view that, as a way to address the root causes of the current crisis, it is necessary for the WTO to adapt to a changing world while delivering on some of the outstanding issues of the DDA, especially regarding food security; considers that it is therefore necessary:

   a) to address current gaps in the rulebook in order to level the playing field as regards market-distorting subsidies and state-owned enterprises, as well as to keep intellectual property protection and investment market access up to date; also to address issues of protection and forced source code disclosure and other state- directed activities giving rise to overcapacities, as well as regulatory barriers to services and investment including technology transfers, requirements of joint ventures and local content requirements; and to monitor the implementation, administration and operation of existing agreements;
   b) to create the necessary regulatory framework to cope with technological developments by covering e-commerce, global value chains, public procurement, updated domestic regulation for services, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs);
   c) to master the most pressing global environmental and social challenges, ensuring systemic policy coherence between trade, labour and environmental agendas;
   d) to welcome in this regard, the joint statements that were adopted in Buenos Aires on e-commerce, domestic regulation, investment facilitation and women’s economic empowerment, as well as the work that has been done on these issues since then;

7.  Stresses that the EU should emphasise its rules on privacy and data protection so that they may be promoted at international level and become a benchmark for the development of international and multilateral standards;

8.  Recalls that access to public procurement is one of the European Union's priorities in its trade negotiations and that, in this sense, the fulfilment of the commitments of WTO members to join the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and improvements in the functioning of and respect for the provisions of this agreement are expected in a spirit of reciprocity and mutual benefit; notes that the full effectiveness of potential improvements in the state aid framework and the role of public enterprises partly depends on progress in this area; calls on the Commission to work with those members who are in the process of acceding to the GPA to accelerate their efforts in order to extend the benefits of procurement liberalisation among WTO members;

9.  Is convinced that the current differentiation between developed and developing countries does not reflect the economic reality and the effective situation in the WTO, and that this has been an obstacle to advancing the Doha Round, to the detriment of countries most in need; urges advanced developing countries to take up their share of responsibility and make contributions commensurate to their level of development and (sectoral) competitiveness; notes that the Commission’s concept paper calls for rules under which developing countries will graduate from their low-income status as they grow richer; believes the special and differential treatment (S&DT) mechanism should be re-examined in order to better reflect human development indexes, as a policy tool enabling developing countries to link implementation of multilateral agreements with receiving assistance from richer countries and donor organisations;

10.  Strongly welcomes the ratification by two thirds of the WTO membership of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in February 2017; is convinced that the TFA sets an important example and could provide a model for future WTO deals, taking into account the differences in the development status and needs of the WTO’s members; encourages WTO members to take responsibility and maintain their commitments in accordance with their real economic power and capabilities; considers that the next challenges will be the full ratification of the agreement, especially by the African members who are expected to benefit the most from the agreement, the effective implementation of the TFA, and the notification of development assistance under the agreement;

11.  Acknowledges that on the whole China’s accession to the WTO in 2001 has increased access to its domestic market, which has benefited the global economy; is concerned that China does not apply the spirit and principles of the WTO’s tenets of national treatment;

12.  Takes the view that it is necessary to revise the functioning of the negotiating process by introducing more flexibility than has currently been the case under the consensus rule, while recognising that the Single Undertaking approach has limited the effectiveness of multilateral trade governance; express its support for the concept of flexible multilateralism, whereby WTO members interested in pursuing a certain issue where full consensus is not yet possible should be able to advance and conclude plurilateral agreements, either through so-called WTO Annex 4 agreements, in accordance with Article II:3, Article III:1, and Article X:9 of the Marrakesh Agreement, or via ‘critical mass’ agreements that extend negotiated concessions to the WTO membership on a most-favoured-nation (MFN) basis; encourages the Commission not to use these articles as an alternative to constructive dialogue with WTO members to address barriers to trade and reform of the WTO and its functions; considers in this regard that its members should boost the WTO’s capacity-building to ensure that it is equipped with financial and human resources in accordance with expanded needs so as to maintain the same quality of work; believes that, in general, the monetary contributions of new members should increase the WTO’s budget and not lead to lower membership fees for existing members;

13.  Recognises that while rules-based multilateralism remains the key part of the WTO’s structure, there are possibilities for deeper and more flexible plurilateral cooperation among interested states in areas where consensus has proven difficult to achieve; notes that such agreements must complement and not undermine the multilateral agenda and should be used not as alternative fora to address trade barriers, but rather as stepping‑stones towards progress at the multilateral level; calls for the resumption of plurilateral negotiations for the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and asks for special rules for SMEs in plurilateral and multilateral agreements; stresses the importance of the WTO continuing and deepening its work in international cooperation with other international organisations such as, but not limited to the UN, the OECD, the WCO, and the ILO;

14.   Stresses the role that trade can and must play in contributing to development and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and of the Paris Agreement commitments in the fight against climate change; regrets that the EGA was blocked in 2016 and recalls its potential to provide greater access to green technologies and help meet the above-mentioned commitments; underlines that beyond the negotiations on fisheries subsidies, the WTO must now define the more concrete action that needs to be taken in this regard to protect marine life; recalls that the WTO concept of Process and Production Methods (PPM) offers possibilities to differentiate among so-called ‘like-products’ for their environmental impact; suggests revitalising the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE), with the mandate of drawing up criteria for combating environmental free-riding and establishing closer links to the UNFCCC Secretariat;

15.  Reaffirms the links between gender equality and inclusive development, as also expressed in SDG 5, emphasising that women’s empowerment is key to the eradication of poverty and that removing barriers to women’s participation in trade is critical for economic development; welcomes the increased focus of the WTO on issues related to trade and gender, and encourages all 121 signatories to the 2017 Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment to deliver on their commitments; emphasises the need for a systemic gender approach to all fields of WTO rule-making in the form of gender-specific impact assessments; notes the importance of initiatives such as SheTrades in highlighting the positive role of women in trade and encouraging greater participation of women in international trade around the world;

16.  Draws attention to the conclusions of the 6th Global Review of Aid for Trade, held in Geneva in July 2017, entitled ‘Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development’; supports the view that this should be translated into concrete action in order to facilitate e-commerce and turn digital opportunities, such as blockchain, into trade realities, for developing countries as well; notes in this regard that investment in both physical and digital infrastructure, as being crucial to achieving progress in this area, remains a key challenge; calls, therefore, on WTO members to promote investment in both physical and digital infrastructure, encouraging, among other initiatives, public-private partnerships;

17.  Reiterates its call for the EU to ensure that its activities with developing countries, in the areas of both development and trade, are based on a balanced framework among equal partners, are aligned with the principle of Policy Coherence for Development established in Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and are aimed at the promotion of and respect for human rights;

18.  Regrets that the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference did not secure progress on issues of key importance to developing countries; welcomes, however, the enhanced preferential treatment previously secured at the WTO for least-developed countries (LDCs), including preferential rules of origin and treatment for service providers, and emphasises the need to undertake capacity building measures that would allow suppliers from LDCs to benefit from the LDC services waiver;

19.  Stresses that transparency is a key element in ensuring a stable and predictable trading and investment environment; believes it is important to enhance the transparency of monitoring procedures by increasing incentives for WTO members to comply with notification requirements, reducing their complexity and burdens and by providing capacity-building if needed, while wilful non-compliance should be discouraged and challenged;

20.  Stresses that the role of the WTO Secretariat in facilitating and safeguarding a bottom-up approach for the active participation of all members is critical and that it should be further strengthened and made more flexible in support of various negotiating processes, as well as in implementation and monitoring functions; considers it necessary to strengthen the financial and human means and resources available to the WTO Secretariat, and urges WTO members to mutually fulfil their responsibilities in this regard; expresses the view that the regular work of the WTO committees should also be revitalised by giving their chairs a more active role in developing and proposing solutions and compromises, thus going beyond simply moderating the contributions of members, and that this extended task should be supported by the Secretariat;

21.  Urges the WTO members to ensure democratic legitimacy and transparency by strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the WTO, and to support a memorandum of understanding establishing a formal working relationship with the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO; stresses, in this regard, the need to ensure that parliamentarians have full access to trade negotiations and are involved in the formulation and implementation of WTO decisions, and that trade policies are properly scrutinised in the interests of their citizens;

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

(1) Doha Ministerial Declaration (WT/MIN(01)/DEC/1) of 14 November 2001 – https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min01_e/mindecl_e.htm
(2) OJ C 259E, 29.10.2009, p. 77.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0439.
(4) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pcwto/en/sessions/2017.html
(5) https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/mc11_10dec17_e.htm
(6) https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/devel_e/a4t_e/gr17_e/gr17programme_e.htm
(7) http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
(8) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/06/29/20180628-euco-conclusions-final/
(9) http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/may/tradoc_156906.pdf
(10) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/36165/final-eu-cn-joint-statement-consolidated-text-with-climate-change-clean-energy-annex.pdf
(11) http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/september/tradoc_157331.pdf


2018 Report on Serbia
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the 2018 Commission Report on Serbia (2018/2146(INI))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0478A8-0331/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the Thessaloniki European Council meeting of 19-20 June 2003,

–  having regard to the Sofia declaration of the EU-Western Balkans summit of 17 May 2018 and its ‘Sofia priority agenda’,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2008/213/EC(1) of 18 February 2008 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the European Partnership with Serbia and repealing Decision 2006/56/EC,

–  having regard to the Commission opinion of 12 October 2011 on Serbia’s application for membership of the European Union (SEC(2011)1208), the European Council’s decision of 2 March 2012 to grant Serbia candidate status and the European Council’s decision of 27-28 June 2013 to open EU accession negotiations with Serbia,

–  having regard to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Communities and their Member States and the Republic of Serbia, which entered into force on 1 September 2013,

–  having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999), to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion of 22 July 2010 on the accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo, and to UN General Assembly Resolution 64/298 of 9 September 2010, which acknowledged the content of the ICJ opinion and welcomed the EU’s readiness to facilitate dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo,

–  having regard to the Berlin Process launched on 28 August 2014,

–  having regard to the declaration and recommendations adopted at the eighth EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC) meeting of 13-14 June 2018,

–  having regard to the final report of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODHIR) on its limited election observation mission on the early parliamentary elections in Serbia of 29 July 2016,

–  having regard to the OSCE/ODIHR election assessment mission report on the presidential elections in Serbia of 2 April 2017,

–  having regard to the Commission’s 2018 report on Serbia of 17 April 2018 (SWD(2018)0152),

–  having regard to the Commission communication on a credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans of 6 February 2018 (COM(2018)0065),

–  having regard to the Joint Conclusions of the Economic and Financial Dialogue between the EU and the Western Balkans and Turkey of 23 May 2017 (9655/17),

–  having regard to the fourth meeting of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Council held on 16 November 2017,

–  having regard to the eight meeting of the Accession Conference with Serbia at Ministerial level held on 25 June 2018,

–  having regard to the report of July 2015 of the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body – GRECO – on Serbia and GRECO’s Fourth Evaluation Round report of 20 October 2017 on ‘Corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors’,

–  having regard to the Commission assessment of 17 April 2018 on the Serbia 2018-2020 Economic Reform Programme (SWD(2018)0132) and to the joint conclusions of the Economic and Financial Dialogue between the EU and the Western Balkans adopted by the Council on 25 May 2018,

–  having regard to the Venice Commission’s ‘Opinion on the draft amendments to the constitutional provisions on the judiciary’ of 25 June 2018,

–  having regard to the outcome of the 2017 survey on marginalised Roma in the Western Balkans, supported by the Commission and conducted by the World Bank and the UN Development Programme,

–  having regard to the joint staff working document entitled ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020’,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2017 on the 2016 Commission Report on Serbia(2),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0331/2018),

A.  whereas Serbia, like every country aspiring to EU membership, must be judged on its own merits in terms of fulfilling, implementing and complying with the same set of criteria and whereas the quality of and the dedication to the necessary reforms determines the timetable for accession; whereas accession is and will remain a merit-based process fully dependent on the objective progress achieved by each country, including Serbia;

B.  whereas since the opening of negotiations with Serbia 14 chapters have been opened, two of which have been provisionally closed;

C.  whereas Serbia has been continuously engaged in the normalisation of relations with Kosovo, resulting in the ‘First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalisation of Relations’ of 19 April 2013 and the agreements of August 2015; whereas Serbia has remained engaged in the dialogue;

D.  whereas Serbia has contributed to strengthening regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations, as well as peace and stability, reconciliation and a climate conducive to addressing open bilateral issues from the past;

E.  whereas Serbia has remained committed to creating a functioning market economy and has continued to build a track record in implementing the obligations of the SAA;

F.  whereas rule of law is a fundamental value on which the EU is founded and is at the heart of both the enlargement process and the stabilisation and association process; whereas reforms are needed to tackle the important challenges that remain in this area, notably in ensuring an independent, impartial, accountable and efficient judiciary, and in the fight against corruption and organised crime, as well as in the protection of fundamental rights;

G.  whereas Serbia has ratified all fundamental International Labour Organisation conventions, including in particular the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention of 1948 (No 87), the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention of 1949 (No 98) and the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 (No 29);

H.  whereas the situation as regards freedom of expression and independence of the media remains a particularly serious concern which needs to be addressed in a determined and effective way as a matter of priority;

I.  whereas Serbia benefits from pre-accession assistance under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II), with a total indicative allocation of EUR 1,5 billion for 2014-2020; whereas a revised indicative allocation of IPA II for Serbia for the period of 2018-2020 is EUR 722 million; whereas Serbia has been granted a mid-term performance reward;

1.  Welcomes Serbia’s continued engagement on the path of integration into the European Union; calls on Serbia, with the support of the Commission, to actively promote this strategic decision among the Serbian public and to further increase timely and transparent information and visibility of the EU and its funded projects and programmes;

2.  Underlines that thorough implementation of reforms and policies is a key indicator of a successful integration process; calls on Serbia to improve the planning, coordination and monitoring of the implementation of new legislation and policies; welcomes the adoption of a third revision of the national programme for the adoption of the EU acquis and warns against the consequences of inadequate transposition of important EU laws on alignment with the acquis; welcomes the Commission’s assessment in its communication entitled ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’ that, with strong political will, the delivery of real and sustained reforms, and definitive solutions to disputes with neighbours, Serbia could become a member of the EU; calls on the Council and the Commission, provided that the necessary progress warrants this, in particular in the fundamental area of rule of law, to support the opening of the technically prepared chapters and to accelerate the overall accession negotiation process;

3.  Welcomes the successful completion of the IPA 2018 programming process and the signing of the Financing Agreement for IPARD II; calls on the Commission, in designing the new Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III), to include adequate provisions to cater for a possible accession of Serbia to the EU;

4.  Welcomes the progress made by Serbia in developing a functioning market economy, ensuring economic growth and preserving macroeconomic and monetary stability; stresses that Serbia has made good progress in addressing some of the policy weaknesses that have been an issue in the past, in particular through budget consolidation; stresses, however, that unemployment, brain-drain and economic inactivity are still high; calls on Serbia to develop a sustainable plan for the future of state-owned enterprises; stresses the paramount importance to Serbia’s economy of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and calls for a more transparent and less burdensome business environment; supports Serbia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO);

5.  Expresses concern about persistent unemployment and underlines the importance of training and developing entrepreneurial skills among young people; calls on Serbia to improve the position of women on the labour market; calls on Serbia to strengthen tripartite dialogue; calls for an amendment to the Law on Contributions for Compulsory Social Insurance and the Law on Health Insurance in order to prevent discrimination against small agricultural producers;

6.  Takes note of the presidential elections of 2 April 2017; welcomes the general conduct of the elections and calls on the authorities to ensure that international standards are applied; calls on the authorities to fully address and implement the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission, in particular to ensure a level playing field during the campaigning period, and to engage in a dialogue with independent domestic election observation missions; calls on the authorities to properly investigate claims of irregularities, violence and intimidation that arose during past electoral processes; notes with concern the lack of transparency in the financing of political parties and election campaigns; points out that funding of political parties needs to be transparent and in accordance with international standards;

7.  Calls on Serbia to increase its alignment with the EU’s foreign and security policy, including its policy on Russia, also within the United Nations; welcomes Serbia’s important contribution and continued participation in a number of EU common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions and operations (EUTM Mali, EUTM Somalia, EUNAVFOR Atalanta, EUTM RCA), with Serbia taking part in 4 of the 6 military missions or operations currently being carried out by the Union; is concerned, however, about Serbia’s continuing military cooperation with Russia and Belarus;

8.  Commends Serbia’s constructive approach in managing the effects of the migration and refugee crisis, and the substantial efforts the country has made to provide shelter and humanitarian supplies, primarily with EU support; welcomes Serbia’s adoption of the new Asylum Law, the Law on Foreigners and the Border Control Law; urges Serbia to progressively align its visa policy with that of the EU; notes with concern that Serbia’s nonaligned visa policy opened a possibility for illegal migration and smuggling towards EU countries, as well as neighbouring non-EU countries; urges Serbia to put in place a return mechanism for irregular migrants which is in line with the EU acquis and to further improve its capacity to address the needs of unaccompanied minors; calls on Serbia to find a viable solution for refugees from neighbouring countries, including as regards their housing needs and access to work and education;

Rule of law

9.  Urges Serbia to step up its reform efforts in the area of rule of law, and in particular to ensure the independence and overall efficiency of the judicial system; stresses that special focus should be put on implementing effective reform in this area; notes that while some progress has been made in reducing the backlog of old enforcement cases, and in putting in place measures to harmonise court practice, judicial independence in Serbia is not fully assured and the scope for political influence over the judiciary remains a concern; calls on Serbia to strengthen the accountability, impartiality, professionalism and overall efficiency of the judiciary, and to establish a free legal aid system ensuring a broad range of free legal aid providers; calls for the implementation of all rulings of the European Court of Human Rights;

10.  Reiterates the importance of intensifying the fight against corruption and urges Serbia to show a clear commitment to tackling this issue; welcomes the implementation of the Law on Organisation and Jurisdiction of Government Authorities in the Suppression of Organised Crime, Terrorism and Corruption; welcomes the adoption of the amendments made in the economic crimes section of the country’s criminal code and encourages Serbia to fully implement these, including the amendment on abuse of office, so as to prevent any misuse; calls for continued implementation of the national anti-corruption strategy and action plan; reiterates its call for Serbia to swiftly adopt a new law on its Anti-Corruption Agency to improve the planning, coordination and monitoring of the implementation of new and existing legislation and policies; stresses that it is critical that the Agency receives and maintains the human and financial resources it needs to carry out its mandate in an independent manner; stresses that the members of the Anti-Corruption Agency must be elected according to the principles of transparency, absence of conflict of interest or political affiliation; calls on the authorities to fill all open positions in the Agency; calls on Serbia to further improve its track record on investigations, indictments and final convictions in high-level corruption cases and to publish statistics on a regular basis about the results of investigations in all cases of alleged corruption of public officials;

11.  Calls on the Serbian authorities to implement the recommendations of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO); calls on the Serbian Parliament to address in particular the recommendations with regard to corruption prevention and conflicts of interest, and to adopt the Code of Conduct;

12.  Acknowledges that some progress has been made in the fight against corruption and organised crime and welcomes Serbia’s active role in international and regional police and judicial cooperation; calls on Serbia to show further commitment and deliver tangible results in this fight, notably through a convincing track record of investigations, prosecutions and convictions in organised crime cases, including illegal trafficking and smuggling of migrants from Serbia to the EU and to non-EU countries, organised crime related murders, cybercrime, financial flows supporting terrorist activities and money laundering; calls on Serbia to continue with the full implementation of the action plan agreed with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); draws attention to the rising number of criminal assaults and calls for their resolution through full cooperation with the judicial authorities;

Democracy and social dialogue

13.  Stresses that the Serbian Parliament still does not exercise effective oversight of the executive, and that the transparency, inclusiveness and quality of the legislative process need to be further improved; welcomes the declining use of urgent procedures to adopt legislation; stresses, however, that the still-frequent use of urgent procedures undermines parliamentary and public scrutiny; stresses that all actions that limit the ability of the Serbian Parliament to conduct an effective debate on, and scrutiny of, legislation should be avoided; stresses the importance of the work of the opposition in a democracy and underlines that its politicians should not be subject to slander and libel; expresses concern that some politicians are misusing public discourse to fuel the rise of radicalism; calls for additional measures to ensure cross-party dialogue and effective involvement of civil society; calls on the Serbian Parliament to review the practice of filibustering and whether it stifles democratic debate; welcomes the Serbian Parliament’s continued efforts to improve transparency through debates on Serbia’s negotiating positions on EU accession chapters, and through exchanges with the core negotiating team and with the National Convention on the European Union; stresses that the role of independent regulatory bodies, including the country’s Ombudsperson, the Anti-Corruption Agency, the National Audit Authority and the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, needs to be fully acknowledged and supported; calls for the Serbian Parliament to engage in the implementation of independent regulatory bodies’ findings and recommendations, notably those of the Ombudsperson; recalls that one of the pillars of the European social model is social dialogue and that regular consultation between the government and social partners is instrumental in the prevention of social tension and conflict; underlines that it is essential for social dialogue to go beyond the exchange of information and that interested parties should be consulted on important laws before they are subject to parliamentary procedure;

14.  Welcomes the presentation of the draft constitutional reform of the country’s judiciary submitted to the Venice Commission for opinion; stresses the importance of fully implementing the recommendations of the Venice Commission; encourages the Serbian authorities to enter into an inclusive and meaningful public debate conducted in a constructive manner in order to raise awareness of the constitutional reform process in the country; calls for a comprehensive public consultation before the final draft is submitted to the Serbian Parliament;

15.  Welcomes Serbia’s progress in reforming its public administration, notably through the adoption of several new laws on public service salaries and employment relations, on local government and salaries in autonomous provinces, and on the national training academy; stresses that political influence on senior managerial appointments remains an issue of concern; calls on Serbia to amend the civil service law to guarantee the neutrality of the public administration; notes that strengthening administrative capacities at all levels is important for the successful implementation of key reforms; welcomes the creation of a Ministry for European Integration, incorporating the structures of the former Serbian European Integration Office, which has continued to provide political guidance for European integration;

Human rights

16.  Underlines that the legislative and institutional framework for upholding human rights is in place; stresses that consistent and efficient implementation across the whole country is needed; calls on Serbia to adopt the new Law on Data Protection and ensure that it is fully in line with EU standards and best practices; notes that further sustained efforts are necessary to improve the situation of persons belonging to vulnerable groups, including children, persons with disabilities, persons with HIV/AIDS, and LGBTI persons; condemns the continued occurrence of hate crimes against Roma and LGBTI persons; calls on Serbia to actively pursue investigations, prosecutions and convictions of hate-motivated crimes; calls on the Serbian authorities to promote a climate of tolerance and to condemn all forms of hate speech, public approval and denial of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes;

17.  Urges Serbia to strengthen the role and capacity of its authorities concerning the protection of vulnerable groups, including women, children and people with disabilities and to ensure better cooperation between the police, public prosecutors and social services in this regard; welcomes Serbia’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention and the recent developments as regards measures for the protection of children from violence, including the government’s announcement of the creation of an Ombudsperson for children, and calls on the authorities to monitor the effect of legislation and other measures; underlines that shortcomings in upholding the human rights of people with disabilities still persist, and urges the government to adopt a national strategy on persons with disabilities;

18.  Strongly encourages the Serbian authorities to step up their efforts to improve the situation regarding freedom of expression and of the media; welcomes the establishment of the new working group dedicated to development of the Draft Media Strategy; stresses that threats, violence and intimidation against journalists and media outlets, including administrative harassment and intimidation through court procedures, remain an issue of concern; calls on officials to be consistent in publicly condemning any form of intimidation of journalists and to refrain from interference in activities of media and journalists, including in the context of elections; notes, in this regard, that while several cases have been solved and some criminal charges have been filed, convictions are still rare; welcomes the effort of the standing working group that was established through the Agreement on Cooperation and Measures for Increasing the Safety of Journalists and calls on the authorities to demonstrate their full commitment to investigate and prosecute any cases of attacks against journalists and media outlets; calls for the full implementation of media laws and the strengthening of the independence of the country’s Regulatory Body for Electronic Media; welcomes the renewed efforts to adopt a media strategy to create a pluralistic media environment, and stresses, in this regard, the importance of a transparent and inclusive consultation with stakeholders; underlines the need for complete transparency in media ownership and funding; calls for the adoption of policies that will protect media and programmes in languages of national minorities living in Serbia;

19.  Calls on the Serbian authorities to enhance cooperation with civil society organisations, including women’s organisations and human rights groups, whose role is key for a well-functioning democracy; condemns the negative campaigns and restrictions against certain CSOs; calls for the adoption of a national strategy and related action plan to regulate the environment in which CSOs operate; believes that further efforts are required to ensure systematic cooperation between the government and civil society and calls for increased attention when drafting and implementing legislation in areas affecting civil society;

20.  Notes some progress in the case of the unlawful demolition of private property and the deprivation of the freedom of movement in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Savamala in April 2016; calls for it to be resolved and for full cooperation with the judicial authorities in the investigations to bring the perpetrators to justice;

Respect for and protection of minorities

21.  Welcomes the adoption of an action plan for the realisation of the rights of national minorities, and the adoption of a decree establishing a fund for national minorities; invites the Serbian Government to fully implement all international treaties concerning minority rights; stresses that progress in the field of guaranteeing the rights of national minorities is not satisfactory and calls for full implementation of the action plan and for improved coordination and inclusion of stakeholders, including neighbouring countries for transport and communication needs; notes that the fund for national minorities is operational and that its funding has been increased; welcomes the adoption of crucial laws on the framework of minority rights; reiterates its call on Serbia to ensure consistent implementation of legislation on the protection of minorities, including in relation to education and culture, the use of minority languages, representation in public administration and the judiciary, and continued access to media and religious services in minority languages; acknowledges the active participation of the country’s national minorities election cycles and calls for the adoption of policies that will guarantee their just political representation in the Serbian national assembly; calls for full implementation of the right to timely birth registration; stresses that the promotion and protection of human rights, including the rights of national minorities, is a precondition for joining the EU;

22.  Notes that Vojvodina’s cultural diversity contributes to Serbia’s identity; stresses that the autonomy of Vojvodina should be preserved and that the law on Vojvodina’s financing resources should be adopted without further delay, as provided for in the Constitution;

23.  Welcomes the adoption of the new Roma social inclusion strategy for the period 2016-2025 along with an action plan covering education, health, housing and employment; welcomes the strategy’s recognition that Roma women face particular discrimination; urges Serbia to set clear targets and indicators to monitor the implementation of the new strategy; is concerned about the high rate of Roma girls dropping out of school; notes that the majority of Roma suffer from social exclusion and face systematic violations of their rights; calls for full implementation of the new strategy for Roma inclusion and the action plan; highlights the importance of formulating policies that will combat discrimination against Roma and anti-Gypsism; calls for meaningful public and political participation of Roma to be enabled at all levels;

Regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations

24.  Welcomes the fact that Serbia remains committed to constructive bilateral relations with other enlargement countries and neighbouring Member States; welcomes the fact that Serbia has maintained its engagement in a number of regional cooperation initiatives such as the South-East European Cooperation Process, the Regional Cooperation Council, the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, the EU Macro-Regional Strategies for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), the Brdo-Brijuni Process, the Western Balkan Six initiative and its connectivity agenda, and the Berlin Process; welcomes the results of the Western Balkans Six initiative so far and calls for the further development of the Regional Economic Area (REA); reiterates its call on Serbia to implement the connectivity reform measures associated with the connectivity agenda; welcomes Serbia’s efforts to prioritise infrastructure investments and underlines the importance of increased connectivity in the region; notes that more efforts need to be put in the economic and social development of the border regions in order to prevent them from depopulation; supports the proposal to reduce roaming charges in the Western Balkans; stresses that outstanding bilateral disputes should not have a detrimental effect on the accession process; strongly supports the Western Balkans partners’ pledge to continue strengthening good neighbourly relations, regional stability and mutual cooperation; recalls that the EU is determined to strengthen and intensify its engagement to support the region’s transformation;

25.  Welcomes the adoption of a national strategy for the investigation and prosecution of war crimes; takes note of the adoption of a prosecutorial strategy for the investigation and prosecution of war crimes and urges Serbia to carry out all foreseen activities; welcomes the appointment in May 2017 of a new war crimes prosecutor; reiterates its call for the implementation of this strategy, in particular by means of bringing forward indictments, and for the adoption of an operational prosecutorial strategy; calls on Serbia to effectively investigate all war crimes cases, in particular those that are high profile, and to cooperate with its regional partners in these cases; calls on the Commission and the Member States to make further efforts to resolve these issues in the EU-Serbia negotiation process; urges the authorities to continue to address the problem of missing persons during the wars of the 1990s; calls on Serbia to again cooperate fully with the current International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals; urges the Serbian authorities to continue working on the issue of the fate of missing persons, including opening state archives related to the war period; urges Serbia to prepare a reparations scheme for victims and their families; reiterates its support for the initiative to establish the Regional Commission for the establishment of facts about war crimes and other gross human rights violations on the territory of the former Yugoslavia; highlights the importance of the work carried out by the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and its local branches in promoting reconciliation among young people; calls for further amendments to the Law on Restitution and stresses the importance of non-discriminatory treatment of restitution claimants in comparison with other beneficiaries, in particular in the area of registration of public property;

26.  Regrets the reiterated denial of the Srebrenica genocide by some Serbian authorities; reminds them that fully cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and its successor the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, also implies fully accepting and implementing its rulings and decisions; stresses that the recognition of the Srebrenica genocide is a fundamental step in Serbia’s path towards joining the European Union;

27.  Welcomes Serbia’s continued engagement in the normalisation process with Kosovo, and its commitment to the implementation of the agreements reached in the EU-facilitated dialogue; welcomes the fact that the Serbian President has launched an internal dialogue on Kosovo; reiterates its call to move forward with the full implementation, in good faith and in a timely manner, of all the agreements already reached, including the ones on energy, and encourages both sides to determinedly continue the normalisation process; highlights the importance of creating an association / community of Serb majority municipalities; stresses that the work on a new phase of the dialogue with a view to a comprehensive normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, to be defined in a legally binding agreement, needs to be accelerated; reiterates its call on the EEAS to carry out an evaluation of the performance of the sides in fulfilling their obligations; unequivocally condemns the killing of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanović and stresses the need for genuine cooperation between Kosovan and Serbian investigators and for international support, so that the perpetrators are brought to justice;

28.  Notes the ongoing debate and public statements concerning possible adjustments of the border between Serbia and Kosovo, including exchanges of territories; underlines the multi-ethnic nature of both Kosovo and Serbia and that ethnically homogeneous states should not be the objective in the region; supports the dialogue facilitated by the EU as the framework to reach a comprehensive normalisation agreement between Serbia and Kosovo; considers that any agreement could only be acceptable if mutually agreed, taking into account the overall stability in the region and international law;

29.  Expresses its concern over repeated statements by high-ranking politicians putting into question the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and condemns any form of nationalist rhetoric aimed at encouraging its disintegration;

Energy and transport

30.  Calls on Serbia to fully implement the connectivity reform measures in the energy sector; encourages Serbia to develop competition in the gas market and to fulfil the corresponding obligations regarding unbundling as provided for by the Third Energy Package; calls on Serbia to develop its energy policy in order to decrease dependence on Russian gas imports; welcomes the country’s efforts to promote investments in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy; recalls that the legislation on efficient use of energy is not fully in line with the corresponding EU directives; calls on Serbia to diversify its energy sources towards other renewables;

31.  Calls on the Serbian Government to adopt the necessary measures to preserve protected areas with regard, in particular, to the development of hydroelectricity plants in environmentally sensitive areas such as Stara Planina Nature Park; calls, in this context, for thorough environmental impact assessments based on EU standards as established by the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Water Framework Directive; encourages the Serbian Government to increase transparency on planned projects through public participation and consultation involving all the stakeholders;

32.  Welcomes the joint commitment signed by Serbia and Bulgaria on 17 May 2018, on the occasion of the Western Balkans summit of Leaders in Sofia, to build the gas interconnector between the two countries and the adoption of the IPA 2018 package, which includes the strategically important infrastructure project ‘Nis-Merdare-Pristina highway of peace’, which will enable a better transport connection between central Serbia and Kosovo and has symbolic significance for relations in the region;

33.  Expresses its deep concern at the alarming level of air pollution in Serbia on account of which, according to World Health Organisation data, in 2016 some 6 500 people died of respiratory ailments; calls, in this regard, on the Serbian authorities to adopt the necessary short-term measures to tackle this situation and to reform effectively in the medium and long term transport and mobility policies in the big cities;

o
o   o

34.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Government and Parliament of Serbia.

(1) OJ L 80, 19.3.2008, p. 46.
(2) OJ C 331, 18.9.2018, p. 71.


2018 Report on Kosovo
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the 2018 Commission Report on Kosovo (2018/2149(INI))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0479A8-0332/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the Thessaloniki European Council meeting of 19 and 20 June 2003 concerning the prospect of the Western Balkan countries joining the European Union,

–  having regard to the Sofia Declaration of the EU-Western Balkans summit of 17 May 2018 and the Sofia Priority Agenda annexed thereto,

–  having regard to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Kosovo, in force since 1 April 2016,

–  having regard to the European Reform Agenda (ERA) for Kosovo, launched in Pristina on 11 November 2016,

–  having regard to the framework agreement with Kosovo on participation in Union programmes, in force since 1 August 2017,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 February 2018 entitled ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’ (COM(2018)0065),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 17 April 2018 on EU Enlargement Policy (COM(2018)0450) and the accompanying staff working document, the Kosovo 2018 Report (SWD(2018)0156),

–  having regard to the first agreement on principles governing the normalisation of relations between the governments of Serbia and Kosovo of 19 April 2013, and to other Brussels agreements under the EU-facilitated dialogue for the normalisation of relations, including the Integrated Border Management (IBM) protocol, the legal framework on the Association/Community of Serb majority municipalities, and the agreements on the Mitrovica bridge and on energy,

–  having regard to the integration of Kosovo Serb judges, prosecutors and administrative staff into the Kosovo judiciary in line with the Justice Agreement reached in February 2015,

–  having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/856 of 8 June 2018 amending Joint Action 2008/124/CFSP on the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo)(1), which also extended the mission’s duration until 14 June 2020,

–  having regard to the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Mission and Operations Annual Report 2017 and EULEX Compact Progress Report 2017,

–  having regard to the reports of the Secretary-General of the UN on the ongoing activities of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), including the most recent report of 1 May 2018, and the report on the operations of the Kosovo Forces (KFOR) of 7 February 2018,

–  having regard to the Commission assessment of 17 April 2018 on the Kosovo 2018-2020 Economic Reform Programme (SWD(2018)0133) and the Council joint conclusions of the Economic and Financial Dialogue between the EU and the Western Balkans and Turkey of 25 May 2018,

–  having regard to the final reports of the EU election observation mission (EUEOM) of 11 June 2017 on the legislative elections in Kosovo and 22 October 2017 on the mayoral and municipal assembly elections in Kosovo,

–  having regard to the fourth meeting of the EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), held in Strasbourg on 17-18 January 2018,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 4 May 2016 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Kosovo) (COM(2016)0277), and to the fourth Commission report of 4 May 2016 on progress by Kosovo in fulfilling the requirements of the visa liberalisation roadmap (COM(2016)0276),

–  having regard to the ratification of the Border Demarcation Agreement between Kosovo and Montenegro by the parliaments of Montenegro and Kosovo,

–  having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999), to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion of 22 July 2010 on the accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo, and to UN General Assembly Resolution 64/298 of 9 September 2010, which acknowledged the content of the ICJ opinion and welcomed the EU’s readiness to facilitate dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo,

–  having regard to the outcome of the 2017 survey on Marginalised Roma in Western Balkans, undertaken by the Commission, the World Bank and the UN Development Programme,

–  having regard to the joint staff working document from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 21 September 2015 entitled ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020’ (SWD(2015)0182),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Kosovo,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0332/2018),

A.  whereas continued substantial efforts, backed by a constructive dialogue between political forces and with the neighbouring countries, are needed in order to prepare for the challenges of EU membership;

B.  whereas each enlargement country is judged individually on its own merits, and it is the speed and quality of reforms that determines the timetable for accession;

C.  whereas 114 countries have recognised Kosovo’s independence, including 23 of the 28 EU Member States;

D.  whereas the EU has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to assist with the economic and political development of Kosovo through a clear European perspective, while Kosovo has shown aspiration on its path towards European integration;

E.  whereas owing to persistent polarisation among its political parties, Kosovo has demonstrated limited progress on EU-related reforms, which are essential for making further progress in the EU accession process;

F.  whereas Kosovo’s flourishing informal economy is hindering the development of a viable economy for the country overall;

G.  whereas the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor Office in the Hague have been fully judicially operational since 5 July 2017;

H.  whereas on 8 June 2018 the Council decided to refocus and extend the mandate of the EU rule of law mission (EULEX) in Kosovo, bringing the judicial executive part of the mission’s mandate to an end; whereas the mandate’s new end date was set at 14 June 2020;

I.  whereas Kosovo remains the only country in the Western Balkans whose citizens need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area;

1.  Welcomes the important pieces of legislation adopted within the framework of the European Reform Agenda (ERA) and calls for their full implementation; believes that cross-party consensus should be built to adopt key EU-related reforms; looks forward to the adoption of a new ERA in 2019;

2.  Points out, however, the slow pace in implementing fundamental reforms, caused by a lack of cross-party consensus and continued political polarisation; notes that this has adversely affected the ability of the assembly and the government to deliver sustained and sustainable reforms; condemns the obstructive behaviour of some parliamentarians; calls on all political parties to establish an inclusive political dialogue; stresses the need to improve the assembly’s effective oversight of the executive and the transparency and quality of law-making, including by ensuring active and constructive participation and limiting the use of urgent procedures for adopting laws; encourages consensus on EU accession-related reforms;

3.  Welcomes the fact that the area of public administration has registered some progress, but underlines the need for further reform; calls, in particular, for the state administration to be depoliticised and restructured;

4.  Welcomes the long overdue ratification of the August 2015 Border Demarcation Agreement with Montenegro in March 2018, which marks a step forward in the spirit of good neighbourly relations; underlines the significance of this step towards visa liberalisation;

5.  Urges Kosovo’s authorities to comprehensively deal with previously identified electoral shortcomings, including a lack of transparency and accountability of funding for political parties and campaigns, and allegations of widespread voter intimidation, particularly within many Kosovo Serb communities, by enacting timely legislative and administrative measures to address the outstanding recommendations of EU and European Parliament observation missions and of the Venice Commission well in advance of the next round of elections, in order to ensure they are fully aligned with international standards; welcomes the steps forward made within the electoral administration in relation to gender equality and calls on Kosovo to further step up its efforts to increase female political participation and to strengthen the overall legal framework;

6.  Expresses its concerns about Kosovo’s under-financed judiciary, widespread corruption, elements of state capture, undue political influence and issues of a lack of respect for fair trials and due process, including in cases of extradition; underlines the importance of reform processes in rule of law, with a particular focus on independence and efficiency and the need to further strengthen witness protection;

7.  Stresses that a representative judiciary and a uniform implementation of Kosovo law are prerequisites for addressing an inconsistent, slow and inefficient delivery of justice; welcomes the integration of Kosovo Serb judges, prosecutors and administrative staff into the Kosovo judiciary in line with the 2015 Justice Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo; believes the judiciary is still vulnerable to undue political influence and that further efforts are needed to build up capacity and ensure the disciplinary liability of judges and prosecutors, including through a substantial judicial functional review for all judges, prosecutors, high-ranking police officers and criminal investigators; welcomes the establishment in November 2017 of the Government Commission on the Recognition and Verification of the Status of Sexual Violence Victims During the Conflict in Kosovo;

8.  Notes that corruption and organised crime, including drug and human trafficking, and cybercrime, remain issues of concern that require concerted efforts; welcomes the initial progress made in strengthening the track record on the investigation and prosecution of high-level corruption and cases of organised crime; expects decisive and sustained efforts under the obligations of the EU accession process; welcomes the Ombudsperson’s continued efforts to strengthen its capacity to review cases;

9.  Calls for the establishment of an improved legal framework and for greater efficiency and capacity of the prosecution, so as to enable a comprehensive approach to investigations and prosecutions, which should be substantiated by the freezing, confiscation and recovery of assets, and final convictions in cases of high-level corruption, organised and financial crime, money laundering and terrorist financing; calls for safeguards ensuring independence in law enforcement and prosecution and preventive counter-corruption measures across various sectors; believes that further measures are required to ensure better cooperation and coordination between law enforcement institutions and to maximise the independence and accountability of the judiciary; calls on Kosovo to abide by international procedures and rules on the extradition of foreign nationals, putting in place the necessary measures to prevent cases such as that of the six Turkish nationals deported from Kosovo to Turkey at the end of March 2018; welcomes, in this regard, the decision of the Kosovo Assembly to set up a committee of inquiry to investigate this case;

10.  Calls for genuine and constructive judicial and police cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia’s authorities; believes that Kosovo’s membership of Interpol and increased cooperation with Europol would further improve the effectiveness of measures targeting transnational crime; encourages, in the meantime, further cooperation in the fight against terrorism;

11.  Deems it essential to implement, in a timely and comprehensive manner, the recommendations of Kosovo’s Ombudsperson, Auditor General, Anti-Corruption Agency and the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission; stresses the need to remedy deficiencies in the public procurement system and to improve interinstitutional cooperation and the exchange of information; strongly recommends the stepping up of monitoring, evaluation and audit capabilities and the adoption and implementation of an anti-fraud strategy to protect Kosovo and the EU’s financial interests;

12.  Welcomes the Commission’s confirmation, issued on 18 July 2018, that the benchmarks for visa liberalisation have been fulfilled; considers it vital to grant visa liberalisation to Kosovo without undue delay; takes the view that visa liberalisation will improve stability and bring Kosovo closer to the EU by improving the ease of travelling and doing business, while helping to counter people smuggling and corruption; calls on the Council to swiftly adopt its mandate to move forward towards the adoption of a visa-free regime;

13.  Notes that beyond the progress made on meeting visa liberalisation requirements, sustained efforts must continue to fight organised crime, drug trafficking, human smuggling and corruption, in addition to concrete efforts to manage irregular migration flows and bring down the number of unfounded asylum claims;

14.  Takes positive note of the steep reduction in the number of asylum requests and readmissions of Kosovo’s citizens, and of applications for readmission agreements; takes positive note of the new reintegration strategy and calls for it to be fully implemented;

15.  Commends Kosovo’s efforts in stemming the outflow of foreign fighters, who are almost exclusively jihadist fighters, and in tackling terrorist threats; calls for active regional cooperation in countering potential terrorist activities and disrupting financial flows destined for terrorist financing; urges Kosovo to address online radicalisation and external extremist influences; underlines the importance of terrorism prevention, and of prosecuting suspected fighters, together with their rehabilitation, education and social reintegration and that of their families; stresses the need to prevent the radicalisation of prisoners and vulnerable young people in particular, and to actively work on their deradicalisation;

16.  Unequivocally condemns the killing of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanović; considers his murder to be a major blow to the constructive and moderate voices in the Kosovo Serbian community; stresses, as a matter of urgency, the need for genuine cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia’s investigators and for international support, so that both the perpetrators of the killing and those who ordered it are brought to justice without further delay;

17.  Regrets reluctance to handle war crimes cases and underlines the importance of a clear political commitment to their prosecution; urges Kosovo’s authorities to demonstrate their firm and sustained commitment to their international obligations regarding the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague; expresses its deep concern about attempts by members of the Kosovo Assembly to abrogate the Law on the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in December 2017; deeply regrets the fact that these attempts resulted in a failure to adopt joint recommendations following the postponement of the fourth meeting of the EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC) to 17-18 January 2018; calls for a constructive approach to the EU-Kosovo SAPC and for enhanced parliamentary cooperation in this regard;

18.  Urges the authorities to increase mutual legal cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia’s prosecution offices and to support the creation of a regional commission (RECOM) for the establishment of the facts about war crimes and other gross human rights violations committed in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001;

19.  Notes the important role played by EULEX in strengthening the independent judiciary, police and customs systems; acknowledges, moreover, the preventive and reconciliatory role of EULEX in prosecuting and adjudicating in cases of war crimes, corruption and organised crime, and its continuing efforts to identify missing persons and uncover grave-sites in order to solve cases fully; recommends an assessment of the mission’s strengths and weaknesses;

20.  Reiterates its call on EULEX to increase its effectiveness and uphold the highest standards of transparency and a zero-tolerance approach to corruption, maladministration, misconduct and political pressure and interference;

21.  Underlines the need to promptly inform the Kosovo Assembly of EULEX’s activities and of any changes to its legal status;

22.  Takes note of EULEX’s new mandate and end date; stresses, however, that making concrete progress in Kosovo is more important than a set timetable;

23.  Calls for the enforcement of the human rights framework to be made a top priority, and backed by suitable and sufficient coordination and funding, especially in the field of gender equality, child and labour protection, social exclusion and discrimination against persons with disabilities, and ethnic and linguistic minorities and communities, as well as LGBTI people; underlines the need to reinforce the Agency for Gender Equality and the National Coordinator for the Protection from Domestic Violence and to strengthen prevention and enforcement of justice against related offences; reiterates the fact that the draft law on freedom of religion needs to be adopted;

24.  Expresses its deep concern about gender inequality and gender-based violence; urges Kosovo to ensure the full and timely implementation of gender equality and anti-discrimination legislation; expresses its deep concern at the lack of progress in implementing the strategy and action plan against domestic violence and calls on the authorities to adopt more stringent and effective action to fight gender-based violence, including through the reinforcement of the Agency for Gender Equality and the National Coordinator for the Protection from Domestic Violence; expresses its concern at the under-representation of women in decision-making positions; calls on Kosovo’s authorities to address gender mainstreaming as a priority, including in the European Reform Agenda and with civil society, including women’s organisations; encourages Kosovo to further address the issue of justice and support for women who were subjected to sexual violence during the war; urges Kosovo to implement the provisions of the Istanbul Convention;

25.  Calls on the Kosovo Assembly to take into consideration the position paper jointly signed by the EU, UNICEF, the Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo (KOMF) and Save the Children when drafting the Child Protection Law;

26.  Notes with concern that Kosovo has made limited progress in the area of the rights of people with disabilities; calls on Kosovo to safeguard non-discrimination and equal opportunities for people with disabilities;

27.  Calls on Kosovo’s authorities to address minorities issues as a matter of priority, including their rights, both cultural and linguistic, and their opportunities; regrets the fact that minorities, such us Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, continue to face problems acquiring personal documents, which affects their ability to access citizenship, education, healthcare and social assistance, and calls on the Kosovo authorities to address these problems; welcomes the willingness of the authorities to recognise the rights of people with historical Bulgarian ethnicity in the Gora and Zhupa regions; welcomes the adoption of the new Strategy and Action Plan for Inclusion of Roma and Ashkali Communities in Kosovo Society 2017-2021 and calls for Kosovo to take an active role in the regional cooperation of the Roma Integration 2020 project, implemented by the Regional Cooperation Council;

28.  Regrets the persistent discrimination against LGBTI people and the increase in online hate speech in connection with the Gay Pride event in Pristina;

29.  Stresses the need to adopt the new draft law on freedom of association of NGOs; calls for greater attention to be paid when drafting and implementing legislation in areas affecting civil society space, in order to ensure that the legislation does not place a disproportionate burden or have a discriminatory impact on civil society organisations (CSOs) or diminish the space for civil society; underlines the need for public funding available for CSOs;

30.  Stresses the need to ensure the editorial freedom, financial sustainability and independence of the Kosovo public broadcaster, and to guarantee transparency of private media ownership in line with the recommendations of the annual Commission report; urges the implementation of all relevant laws in this regard; calls for improvements to multilingual broadcasting and to the quality of information offered to all Kosovo communities; expresses its concern at the increase in the number of threats and attacks against journalists and urges Kosovo’s authorities to promptly investigate and prosecute those responsible; welcomes the Government of Kosovo’s approval of the draft law on the protection of whistleblowers;

31.  Calls for sustained efforts to comprehensively normalise relations between Serbia and Kosovo; considers that a full normalisation of relations with Serbia, under a legally binding agreement and its implementing arrangements, will not be possible without a comprehensive and mutual application of the existing agreements and is a key element of both parties’ paths towards European integration;

32.  Notes the ongoing debate and public statements concerning possible adjustments of the border between Serbia and Kosovo, including exchanges of territories; underlines the multi-ethnic nature of both Kosovo and Serbia and that ethnically homogeneous states should not be the objective in the region; supports the dialogue facilitated by the EU as the framework to reach a comprehensive normalisation agreement between Serbia and Kosovo; considers that any agreement could only be acceptable if mutually agreed, taking into account the overall stability in the region and international law;

33.  Notes that five EU Member States have not yet recognised Kosovo and invites them to do so; stresses that recognition would be beneficial to the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia;

34.  Takes the view that the conduct of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue must be open and transparent and that those responsible for it should regularly consult with the Kosovo Assembly on its developments;

35.  Regrets the fact that many of the agreements signed hitherto have not been implemented or have been delayed, such as those on energy and on the association of Serb majority municipalities; urges both parties to implement all the agreements in full and in good faith; reiterates its call on the European External Action Service (EEAS) to carry out an evaluation of the performance of both sides in fulfilling their obligations so as to address all the challenges facing implementation; urges the Serbian and Kosovo Governments to refrain from any action that could undermine trust between the parties and put the constructive continuation of the dialogue at risk;

36.  Expresses its deep concern at the rising number of inter-ethnic incidents; strongly condemns all acts of intimidation and violence; expects Kosovo’s authorities to immediately distance themselves from such acts and calls for the perpetrators to be identified and brought to justice; calls on national and local authorities to make further efforts to implement adopted laws to further develop a multi-ethnic society; regrets the rise of nationalist and extreme rhetoric in the region and requests that the Commission further support reconciliation through cultural projects;

37.  Calls once again for the prompt and unimpeded opening of the Mitrovica bridge, which constitutes an important step towards the reunification of the city; calls for the full implementation of the freedom of movement agreement; calls on the Serbian and Kosovar authorities to promote people-to-people contacts between local communities in order to strengthen dialogue, including at a non-governmental level; welcomes, in this respect, the Peja/Sabac mutual cooperation programme and calls on the Commission to support similar initiatives; welcomes the development of infrastructure projects allowing for increased contacts, such as the Nis-Merdare-Pristina highway;

38.  Welcomes Kosovo’s efforts in maintaining constructive neighbourly relations throughout the region and in proactively aligning with the EU’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP), and calls for further progress in this field; considers that Kosovo’s membership in international bodies would confer rights and obligations that entail the application of international norms and standards; encourages a positive approach with regard to Kosovo’s participation in international organisations;

39.  Highlights the urgent need to adopt and implement measures ensuring transparent and competitive privatisation procedures and to investigate alleged irregularities; is concerned that migrant remittances constitute a significant driver of domestic demand; expresses concern about the discrimination against women on the labour market, especially during the hiring process;

40.  Expresses its concern about the dire medical registration procedures and the quality of medicines, and about corruption in the health sector generally; urges the Kosovar Ministry of Health to speed up its efforts to investigate such crimes and to address the registration and quality problems as soon as possible; calls for a comprehensive reform of the health sector, including the implementation of universal health insurance, in order to ensure universal access to healthcare; underlines the need for adequate funding of the public health system;

41.  Calls on the Commission to develop a regional strategy to address the persistent youth unemployment and brain drain by tackling the skills mismatch between the education system and the labour market, improving the quality of teaching, and ensuring adequate funding for active labour market measures and vocational training schemes, along with adequate childcare and pre-school education facilities; regrets the lack of progress in improving the quality of education; calls on the relevant actors to include persons belonging to minority groups in the design and implementation of employment measures;

42.  Urges Kosovo to fully harness the potential offered by EU programmes; welcomes the signing of the agreement on Kosovo’s participation in the Erasmus+ and Creative Europe programmes; calls on Kosovo’s authorities and the Commission to further support SMEs in order to develop a viable economy for Kosovo; supports the proposal to reduce roaming charges in the Western Balkans;

43.  Draws attention to the extremely poor air quality of Pristina and other heavily polluted cities; calls for effective air and water quality monitoring systems, for the improvement of water treatment infrastructure and for reliable and readily available real-time pollution data; expresses concern about waste mismanagement, unsustainable landfilling and widespread illegal dumping practices; urges the authorities to adopt waste separation and recycling targets, to improve local collection disposal and recycling facilities and to hold polluters to account; calls on the UN to swiftly deliver the necessary support to the victims of lead poisoning in some refugee camps set up in Kosovo, including through the anticipated trust fund;

44.  Notes that most of the energy policy recommendations from last year’s report have not been implemented; stresses the need to move away from the use of lignite for unsustainable energy generation and the urgency of decommissioning Kosovo A Power Station and of ensuring additional sustainable generation and import capacity; notes partial progress on the Third Energy Package and stresses the need to ensure the independence of the Kosovo energy regulator; calls for stronger efforts in energy efficiency and energy saving, particularly in the construction sector; notes that while the first reading of the draft law on energy efficiency has been adopted, energy efficiency is hampered by the lack of progress in implementing the Energy Agreement between Kosovo and Serbia; calls on the authorities to establish the energy efficiency fund;

45.  Stresses that the envisaged hydro power plants should meet the EU environmental standards; welcomes, in this regard, the decision of the Minister for Environment to assess and suspend permits issued for hydropower projects;

46.  Regrets the lack of progress in exploiting the potential of renewables; calls on the authorities to adopt the Action Plan for Energy Strategy 2017-2026 for reaching the mandatory renewable energy target of 25 % by 2020; urges the Commission to step up assistance in this regard;

47.  Urges Kosovo’s authorities to adopt credible and sustainable public transport and mobility policies for addressing long-standing infrastructure deficiencies;

48.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service and the Government and Assembly of Kosovo.

(1) OJ L 146, 11.6.2018, p. 5.


2018 Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the 2018 Commission Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2018/2145(INI))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0480A8-0341/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the European Council’s decision of 16 December 2005 to grant the country the status of candidate for EU membership,

–  having regard to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, of the other part,

–  having regard to the Final Agreement for the Settlement of the Differences as described in the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 817 (1993) and 845 (1993), the Termination of the Interim Accord of 1995 and the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia of 17 June 2018, also known as the Prespa Agreement,

–  having regard to the Framework Agreement concluded at Ohrid and signed at Skopje on 13 August 2001 (Ohrid Framework Agreement, ‘the OFA’),

–  having regard to the Commission’s June 2015 Urgent Reform Priorities for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,

–  having regard to the political agreement (the so-called ‘Pržino Agreement’) reached between the four main political parties in Skopje on 2 June and 15 July 2015, and the four-party agreement on its implementation of 20 July and 31 August 2016,

–  having regard to the Recommendations of the Senior Experts’ Group on Systematic Rule of Law Issues of 14 September 2017,

–  having regard to the Berlin Process launched on 28 August 2014,

–  having regard to the final reports of the OSCE/ODIHR concerning the early parliamentary elections of 11 December 2016, which were also observed by the European Parliament, and the municipal elections of 15 October and 29 October 2017,

–  having regard to the declaration of the EU-Western Balkans summit of 17 May 2018 and its Sofia Priority Agenda,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 28 June 2018, endorsing the conclusions on enlargement and the stabilisation and association process adopted by the Council on 26 June 2018,

–  having regard to the decision of the Heads of State and Government of the NATO meeting of 11-12 July 2018 to invite the country to begin accession talks to join the alliance,

–  having regard to the 14th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the EU on 13 July 2018,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 February 2018 entitled ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’ (COM(2018)0065),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 17 April 2018 entitled ‘2018 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy’ (COM(2018)0450), accompanied by the Commission staff working document entitled ‘The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2018 Report’ (SWD(2018)0154), recommending opening accession negotiations in light of the progress achieved and in view of the sustained commitment to reforms,

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document on its assessment of the Economic Reform Programme of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (SWD(2018)0134) and the Joint Conclusions of the Economic and Financial Dialogue between the EU and the Western Balkans and Turkey of 25 May 2018,

–  having regard to the recommendations adopted at the 14th meeting of the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), held in Strasbourg on 7-8 February 2018,

–  having regard to the ‘Jean Monnet Dialogue’ process with the parliamentary leadership and political parties in the Assembly (Sobranie), launched in Ohrid on 17-18 May 2018,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the country,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0341/2018),

A.  whereas by implementing robust and inclusive democratic reforms and actively improving neighbourly relations, the new government is demonstrating continuity in the commitment to the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic path; whereas reform efforts should be paired with continued EU support for implementation of the Urgent Reform Priorities and measurable deliverables; whereas the prospect of EU membership is the great spur to reforms in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, especially as regards the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the fight against corruption; whereas the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is considered to be the candidate country which has made the most progress in aligning its legislation with the EU acquis;

B.  whereas the Prespa Agreement of 17 June 2018 on the settlement of differences and the establishment of a strategic partnership between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece sends a much-needed positive signal for stability and reconciliation in the whole Western Balkans region, improves the spirit of good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation and paves the way for the country’s European integration;

C.  whereas 11 Confidence-Building Measures were agreed between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, mainly in the fields of political and EU affairs, education and culture, trade and economic cooperation, connectivity, justice and home affairs, and health cooperation; whereas these Confidence-Building Measures have already produced tangible results;

D.  whereas all political parties and state institutions have a duty to contribute to a more inclusive and open political atmosphere, enabling further progress in the EU accession process;

E.  whereas the country must further strengthen, inter alia, parliamentary legislative and oversight capacity, the judiciary, respect for the rule of law, media freedom and the fight against organised crime and corruption; whereas sustained reform efforts are needed in the areas of public administration, the economy and employment, and a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA) is also required;

F.  whereas the accession of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to NATO will contribute to the peace and stability of the entire region;

G.  whereas on 28 June 2018 the European Council endorsed the 26 June 2018 Council conclusions, setting out the path towards opening accession negotiations in June 2019;

H.  whereas on 18 July 2018 the Commission initialled a status agreement with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to allow European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) teams to carry out joint operations with and within the country for the purpose of migration and borders management, as a core element of the Commission’s strategy for the Western Balkans;

I.  whereas air pollution is a major problem in Macedonian cities and according to the latest study by the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Macedonian Institute of Public Health, Skopje and Tetovo have the highest concentration of fine particles in the air (PM2.5) out of all European cities;

J.  whereas the Balkans region is strategically important;

K.  whereas each candidate country is judged individually on its own merits, and it is the speed and quality of reforms that determine the timetable for accession and the pace of negotiations;

L.  whereas, after a thorough and transparent legal process, Nikola Gruevski was convicted by the Macedonian courts for abuse of power and sentenced to two years in prison; whereas multiple courts upheld this conviction and the decision came into force after all the appeals had been exhausted; whereas he has also been indicted in four additional pending criminal cases and is involved in a further five ongoing criminal investigations;

Overall reforms and good neighbourly relations

1.  Welcomes the government’s strong political commitment to fully implement the Pržino Agreement and the Urgent Reform Priorities, leading to intensified efforts on EU-related reforms, based on cross-party and inter-ethnic cooperation and consultations with civil society, and underlines the importance of pursuing these efforts for the European future of the country; encourages the new government to maintain the positive momentum and to secure progress in, accelerate and fully implement EU-related reforms, in a transparent and inclusive manner; calls for support for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to join the Euro-Atlantic organisations so as to enhance regional security;

2.  Highly commends the positive diplomacy and active trust-building efforts leading to compromise, the settlement of open bilateral issues and the promotion of good neighbourly relations; stresses that bilateral issues should not obstruct the accession process; warmly welcomes the entry into force on 14 February 2018 of the friendship treaty with Bulgaria, that should provide for long-lasting and conciliatory good-neighbourly relations between the two countries;

3.  Welcomes the Prespa Agreement of 17 June 2018 between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and commends both sides for their significant efforts to reach a mutually satisfactory solution to the name issue; welcomes its ratification by the Parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 20 June and 5 July 2018; considers that it is in the interests of the citizens of the country that all political actors and civil society act in a constructive manner and assume their historic responsibilities; urges the parties to prioritise the interests of their country over party-political interests, to duly inform their citizens of the contents and implications of the agreement and to diligently complete all internal procedures for the ratification and implementation of this strategically important agreement, bringing an end to a protracted geopolitical limbo and setting a good example for peace and stability in the region; underlines the importance of the 30 September 2018 referendum concerning the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s integration into the EU and NATO;

4.  Takes note of the result of the 30 September 2018 referendum; stresses the need for further support to the Euro-Atlantic future of the country and for the implementation of the Prespa Agreement of 17 June 2018; encourages the government in Skopje to undertake all necessary and possible steps in order to honour the provisions of the Prespa Agreement, which opens the door to EU and NATO accession negotiations;

5.  Welcomes the vote of 19 October 2018 in the Sobranie to initiate the process of constitutional amendment in order to implement the provisions laid down in the Prespa Agreement; calls on all political parties to continue cooperating in a spirit of shared responsibility in the next steps of the amendment procedure; reiterates its strong support for the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic future and urges the government and parliament to continue their work on reforms which will pave the way for EU accession; encourages the Special Public Prosecutor and the courts to carry out their independent investigations on all pending cases of political and criminal wrongdoing and bring those responsible to justice;

6.  Welcomes the country’s diplomatic efforts to foster bilateral and regional cooperation with Albania and establish new qualitative relations in fields such as trade, law enforcement, the fight against fraud and the prevention of terrorism;

7.  Recalls that the country has already achieved a high level of alignment with the acquis; regrets the fact, nevertheless, that some of this legislation has not yet been implemented; takes note of the improvement in alignment with EU declarations and Council decisions on the Common Foreign and Security Policy and stresses the importance of progressively reaching full alignment, which is a prerequisite for the Euro-Atlantic future of the country;

8.  Acknowledges the progress made in the public sector with the adoption of the public administration reform strategy and the financial management reform programme; calls on the government to ensure full implementation of these reforms; encourages the country to further strengthen professionalism by improving transparency and equitable representation and ensuring full respect of merit-based recruitment for public service positions;

9.  Condemns in the strongest possible terms the 27 April 2017 attack on the Parliament of the country, which constitutes an attack on democracy and during which several MPs and journalists sustained severe injuries, and calls for the organisers and perpetrators to be brought to justice; welcomes the ongoing investigation and trial on the case; stresses that the establishment of accountability for these acts of violence should continue to be conducted in line with the law and in a transparent, independent and proportionate manner; further condemns any form of obstruction and any abuse of procedures of the Parliament or of Presidential powers in violation of the constitution;

10.  Fully endorses the Commission’s recommendation and ensuing Council decision setting June 2019 as a date for opening accession negotiations in recognition of the encouraging reform efforts; considers that a swift opening of the screening process and accession talks will sustain and deepen the reform momentum; considers that the opening of negotiations would provide further incentives for democratisation and enhance scrutiny and accountability;

11.  Welcomes the formal invitation of 11 July 2018 from NATO to the country to begin the membership negotiations to join the organisation;

12.  Considers that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s membership of NATO could contribute to achieving greater security and political stability in south-east Europe; calls on all EU Member States which are NATO members to actively support the country’s accession to NATO;

13.  Welcomes the country’s upcoming passage to the second stage of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and its inclusion in the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, and calls on the Council to include the country in the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region;

Democratisation

14.  Welcomes the initial steps taken towards reinstating checks and balances and increasing inclusion through measures improving the environment in which independent oversight institutions, the media and civil society organisations (CSOs) operate; welcomes the constructive dialogue between the government and CSOs and the role the latter have played in ensuring greater checks and balances; emphasises that the undergoing fundamental changes should be made in an inclusive and open political atmosphere;

15.  Appreciates the government’s efforts to prevent backsliding and eliminate the remaining elements of state capture and encourages it to step up these efforts; recalls that the country was a frontrunner in the accession process in the 2000s;

16.  Welcomes improvements in electoral legislation, but stresses the need for a timely revision of the Electoral Code by comprehensively addressing the remaining OSCE/ODIHR, Venice Commission and GRECO recommendations on campaign financing and on political parties; stresses that further efforts are needed to prevent and investigate any form of intimidation of voters; urges political parties to democratise their internal decision-making processes;

17.  Encourages the authorities to complete the interrupted census, which would provide accurate statistics on population data to serve as basis for government development programmes and adequate budget planning, along with organising elections and calculating election results;

18.  Welcomes the resumption of the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee meetings and encourages continued constructive work within this interparliamentary framework;

19.  Welcomes the launch of the Jean Monnet Dialogue process in Ohrid on 17 and 18 May 2018 and the resulting adoption by unanimous cross-party support of the Code of Ethics; encourages the Working Group on Reforms and Functioning of the Sobranie to review the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament and put forward proposals for amendments and timelines for adoption in the priority areas outlined in the conclusions in Ohrid; encourages all stakeholders involved in the political process to continue strengthening the culture of compromise and constructive political dialogue, especially among the Members of Parliament, and to refrain from creating any obstruction that would hamper the effective functioning of the Parliament;

20.  Recommends that the country’s Parliament make full use of its oversight and legislative functions, while strictly limiting the use of urgency procedures which undermine parliamentary and public scrutiny; calls for a credible track record to be established in the oversight of intelligence services and in the monitoring of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country;

21.  Welcomes the significant steps the government has taken to gradually restore a culture of compromise by reaching out to all stakeholders, including the opposition, with a view to strengthening democracy and the rule of law and the genuine desire to reform in an inclusive and transparent manner;

22.  Calls for effective implementation of the public administration reform strategy to begin and for clear lines of accountability to be established; underlines the importance of merit-based recruitment and open competition for all recruitment procedures, and calls for an increase in human resources management capacity; calls for enhanced measures to improve the sectoral and financial planning capabilities across the public administration;

23.  Welcomes the strengthening of decentralisation processes by the government with the adoption of the Action Plan for decentralisation and development 2018-2020 as an important step in addressing the scarcity of funding and services in the municipalities;

24.  Welcomes the ongoing efforts to promote good governance, accountability and a free media environment, and to increase transparency and improve access to public information, including through publication of the expenditure of state institutions; calls for further steps to guarantee citizens’ rights to access public information; calls for sustained efforts in increasing the inclusiveness of the decision-making process and improving interinstitutional coordination;

25.  Calls for further progress to be made in digitising public information with a view to making it more accessible, and encourages the authorities to find innovative e-solutions to further enhance transparency and easy access to public information and to reduce the related bureaucracy;

Rule of law

26.  Recalls that proper functioning of the judicial system and effective measures to combat corruption are of paramount importance in the EU accession process;

27.  Welcomes the judicial reform strategy aimed at restoring judicial independence, accountability and professionalism and ending political interference and selective justice, and calls on the country’s government and other stakeholders to intensify efforts to properly implement the judicial reform strategy by putting in place sound monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; stresses the need to complete legislative alignment in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission; calls for continuous adoption and implementation of measures envisaged in the judicial reform strategy; underlines that further efforts are needed to shield the judiciary from political interference;

28.  Welcomes the establishment of the Council on Judicial Ethics in January 2018 and the organisation of training courses by the Academy of Judges and Public Prosecutors on ethical behaviours for judges to prevent conflicts of interest and establish anti-corruption measures;

29.  Remains concerned by widespread corruption and welcomes initial achievements in the prevention and prosecution thereof; is concerned about limited final court rulings in high-level corruption cases, but notes the first court verdicts on cases of corruption and abuse of power, and on the events of 27 April 2017; calls for sustained efforts to establish a track record of investigations, prosecutions and final convictions in cases of high-level corruption and organised crime; commends the work carried out by the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) in difficult circumstances and remains concerned about attacks on and obstruction of its work and the lack of cooperation from other institutions;

30.  Calls upon the authorities to intensify the fight against money laundering and conflicts of interest by establishing and strengthening the capacities of anti-corruption, counter-crime and financial investigation cells, and through freezing, confiscation, recovery and management of assets; urges the authorities to establish a track record of investigations and prosecutions and to increase the number of convictions in high-level money laundering and financial crime cases; welcomes the adoption of the law on the protection of whistle-blowers, which ensures better protection for whistle-blowers and strengthens government policies against corruption; calls for an urgent review of laws on anti-corruption, financial control and public procurement; encourages a reform of the general legal framework so that the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption has clear powers and can work in full independence and so that the Public Prosecutor’s Office against Organised Crime and Corruption can carry out regular investigations;

31.  Points out that corruption and organised crime are widespread in the region and also represent an obstacle to the country's democratic, social and economic development; considers that a regional strategy and enhanced cooperation between all the countries in the region are essential to tackle these issues more effectively;

32.  Calls for political and legal accountability for criminal offences to be strictly ensured, including for offences arising from the wiretap scandal; urges the Parliament to complete the reform of intelligence services, ensuring proper external oversight of security and intelligence agencies;

33.  Urges the authorities to take decisive action to dismantle criminal networks engaged in human, arms and drug trafficking, and to increase the institutional capacity of and the interinstitutional cooperation between law enforcement agencies and improve the track record of investigations, prosecutions and final convictions;

34.  Acknowledges the efforts made and the constructive role the country has played in addressing the challenges of the European migration and refugee crisis; notes the sustained effort and calls for further improvement of the asylum system and migration management; encourages the country to step up and further deepen the mutually beneficial regional cooperation and partnership with Frontex under a new status agreement with a view to dismantling human trafficking networks;

35.  Emphasises the need to ensure that migrants and refugees, especially women and children, applying for asylum in the country or travelling through its territory are treated in accordance with international and EU law;

36.  Deems it necessary for the authorities to continue and intensify their efforts to combat Islamic radicalisation and foreign terrorist fighters; calls for this to be implemented through increased cooperation between security agencies and CSOs, religious leaders, local communities and other state institutions in the education, health and social services sectors; calls for continued monitoring of returning foreign fighters by the security services, their proper reintegration into society and the constant exchange of information with the authorities of the EU and of neighbouring countries;

37.  Calls for further improvement of the children’s justice system; calls on the competent authorities to make sufficient budget allocations for implementation of the Justice for Children Law, and to improve support services for girls and boys who are victims of violence and abuse, and for children in conflict with the law;

38.  Calls on the Hungarian authorities to provide all relevant information and the necessary explanations concerning the case of former Macedonian Prime Minister Gruevski who fled his country with the secret diplomatic assistance of Hungary to avoid a prison sentence; considers this an act of interference in the internal affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and, in particular, an act of contempt towards the judiciary of and the rule of law in this country; notes the extradition request issued by the Skopje authorities, and expects Hungary to act strictly in line with the relevant national and international laws by responding positively to this request;

Fundamental rights and civil society

39.  Welcomes measures to improve inter-ethnic trust and calls for an inclusive and transparent review of outstanding aspects of the implementation of the OFA; considers it essential to ensure a full affirmation of ethnic minorities in public life; calls for further measures to foster educational inclusion of minorities with a view to reinvigorating social cohesion and integration of communities;

40.  Believes that the Macedonian legal proceedings have to continue according to the procedures in the country and that Nikola Gruevski has to be held accountable within the Macedonian justice system; invites Hungary to respect the independence of the Macedonian justice system and the rule of law in the country, re-evaluate the political asylum granted to Nikola Gruevski and proceed with his extradition to Skopje; expects all parties concerned to act strictly in line with the relevant national and international laws; stresses that these judicial procedures should not be politicised;

41.  Welcomes the reforms and efforts made to gradually align the legal framework with EU standards, the country’s decision to become an observer in the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the ratification of most international human rights instruments; encourages full implementation of human rights standards and policy documents such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), with particular attention being paid to the right of fair trial, freedom of assembly and association, the right to life, freedom of expression and respect for private and family life;

42.  Notes that the adoption of the law on the use of languages constitutes an important achievement and regrets the disruptive tactics aimed at undermining its adoption in full compliance with standard procedures;

43.  Welcomes the country’s ratification on 23 March 2018 of the Istanbul Convention and urges it to complete legal reforms for tackling discrimination and violence against women, girls and all children and to continue eradicating domestic and gender-based violence, which are still widespread;

44.  Underlines the need to ensure autonomy and adequate human and financial resources for independent oversight bodies; commends the role of the Ombudsman’s Office in enforcing human rights and underlines the need to ensure a systemic follow-up of the Ombudsman’s decisions;

45.  Remains concerned about the dire situation of people with disabilities and the persistent discrimination against them; calls for effective implementation of the existing instruments and strategies;

46.  Welcomes the initial steps taken in enhancing the prevention of discrimination and urges the authorities to include sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for discrimination in the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination; calls on the authorities to allocate an appropriate budget for the implementation of the National Strategy for Equality and Non-Discrimination 2016-2020; urges the authorities to effectively address hate crime and hate speech against minorities, including vulnerable groups such as the Roma and the LGBTI community, and to punish homophobic and transphobic violence and incitement to violence; remains concerned that societal prejudice continues and that hate speech is prevalent against LGBTI persons in the media and on the internet and social media; calls upon the authorities to ensure effective protection and to put in place dissuasive and proportionate sanctions for hate speech and homophobic/transphobic actions and violence; stresses the need to grant access to healthcare for transgender persons; deplores persistent deficiencies in the work of the Commission for Protection from Discrimination; welcomes the setting-up of the Inter-party parliamentary group for the rights of the LGBTI community and also the Inter-party parliamentary group for the rights of the Roma;

47.  Calls for strategies and legislation on the rights of persons belonging to minority groups and their protection to be fully implemented and supported by public funds; insists that measures be taken to further improve the education, employment rates, health, housing, access to goods and services, and living conditions for the Roma, condemning school segregation and other forms of discrimination;

48.  Welcomes the substantial improvement in the operational environment for, and the consultations with, CSOs, including the establishment of the Council for cooperation with civil society; stresses the need to enhance the legal, financial, administrative and policy framework, including through laws on foundations and donations; highlights the importance of a structured involvement of CSOs through a more regular, comprehensive, non-discriminatory and predictable consultative process;

49.  Reiterates its support for the initiative to establish the Regional Commission tasked with establishing the facts about all victims of war crimes and other serious human rights violations committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia (RECOM); urges the government to take the lead in its establishment; underlines the importance of this process and of the active engagement of all regional political leaders in order for RECOM to start its work without further delay; draws attention to the Coalition for RECOM’s Proposal of the Action Plan for RECOM, with clear dates and benchmarks;

50.  Welcomes the increased efforts of the government to intensify the process of deinstitutionalisation and social sector reform; commends the commitment to ending the placement of children in large public institutions and to establishing family and community-based care services instead; calls on the authorities to take urgent measures to reverse the growing rate of perinatal mortality and to establish a system for analysis of the causes of this alarming trend;

51.  Welcomes the partnership between the government and the country’s National Youth Council in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee Scheme as a good mechanism of cooperation between young people and decision-makers in the formulation and implementation of youth policies; calls on the government to increase financial support to youth organisations and young people with a view to tackling the brain drain issue;

Media

52.  Underlines the crucial role of independent media for a democratic and enabling environment; notes modest improvements in the media environment and conditions for independent reporting; calls for initiatives to create a climate that is favourable to the professional conduct of all media stakeholders, free from any internal and external influences, as well as to investigative journalism; welcomes the termination of state-sponsored advertising in the media based on political favouritism as an important measure to foster a level playing field in the sector and calls for further safeguards against politicisation of the media; stresses the need to strengthen the independence and capacity of the media regulator and the public service broadcaster; calls for measures to increase the protection of the labour and social rights of journalists and to ensure that there is no impunity in cases of violence, abuse or threats against journalists, which would also contribute to minimising the prevalent self-censorship in the media;

53.  Welcomes improvements in ensuring access to information; stresses the need to update regulations on media services and access to public information; stresses the need to demonstrate zero tolerance for and to effectively follow up on threats, intimidation and attacks against journalists through adequate registration and thorough investigation of such incidents; condemns any form of hate speech and inflammatory language; calls for effective measures to counter this and to counter violations of the journalistic code of ethics taking place online; points, furthermore, to the need to reform the media sector without delay with a view to strengthening the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services and guaranteeing objective and professional reporting;

Economy

54.  Stresses the need to improve the business environment by ensuring fiscal consolidation and regulatory transparency and reliability, while addressing remaining rule-of-law deficiencies, cumbersome regulatory procedures and arbitrary inspections;

55.  Urges the authorities to address the large informal economy and the persistent problems of tax evasion and weak contract enforcement which continue to deter foreign direct investment; stresses the need to implement measures on public procurement and internal financial control; notes the need to improve transparency of data on public spending, procurement, State aid and the use of EU funds; calls for measures to improve the planning, programming and management capacities of the national Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) structures;

56.  Calls on the government to make digitalisation one of its cross-cutting core priorities; urges the development, without further delay, of a long-term digital agenda, including, among other things, an e-governance strategy, an ICT strategy and a national cybersecurity strategy; underlines that a comprehensive digital agenda will enhance the economic environment and performance and increase the transparency and efficiency of the public administration and services;

57.  Appreciates the government’s efforts to improve conditions for young people and strengthen youth participation in politics, for instance through the National Youth Strategy (2016-2025); encourages the government to address the high youth unemployment rate by bridging the mismatch between the skills of young graduates and the needs of private companies;

58.  Urges the government to tackle long-term unemployment, youth unemployment and the low rate of participation of women on the employment market in a comprehensive and innovative manner; calls for urgent reforms in education to ensure that skills acquired match the needs on the labour market, thus preventing a brain drain; encourages the government to come up with a digital skills strategy and to increase digital literacy among the population;

59.  Recalls that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia completed its last population census in 2002; underlines the importance of conducting a new and long-overdue population census to obtain updated and realistic demographic statistics in line with EU standards;

60.  Welcomes the adoption of the new Energy Law by the Macedonian Parliament, which transposes the EU Third Energy Package and is fully compatible with the Energy Community Treaty; calls upon the authorities to focus on energy market reforms, while ensuring security of supply and diversification of energy sources, especially through renewables;

61.  Takes note of a number of planned infrastructure projects within protected areas that would be likely to have significant impacts on future Natura 2000 sites; calls, in this regard, for the recommendation of the Bern Convention Standing Committee (No. 184(2015)) to be respected by suspending the implementation of the projects within the territory of the Mavrovo National Park until a Strategic Environmental Assessment has been completed in full compliance with EU environmental legislation; further calls for UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s Decision(40 COM 7B.68) concerning the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region to be respected and for an overall Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) to be carried out before any further work is undertaken; urges that a national hydropower strategy be developed in line with EU environmental legislation;

62.  Encourages the country to develop competition in the gas and energy market with a view to the complete unbundling of utilities in line with the Third Energy Package; calls for substantial improvements as regards energy efficiency, the production of renewable energy and the fight against climate change;

63.  Commends the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for ratifying the Paris Agreement on 9 January 2018, as combating climate change will only be achieved through common efforts;

64.  Welcomes the government’s positive approach to regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations, and its active participation in regional initiatives such as the South-East European Cooperation Process, the Regional Cooperation Council, CEFTA, the Western Balkans Six, the Energy Community Treaty, the European Common Aviation Area Agreement, the Central European Initiative, the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) and the Brdo-Brijuni Process;

65.  Welcomes the country’s commitment to connectivity projects carried out in the framework of the Berlin Process; notes the need to diversify from road transport through the implementation of rail reform measures, including by upgrading or constructing railway links from Skopje to the capitals of the neighbouring countries; calls for greater progress in the finalisation of the railway and road connections within Corridors VIII and X;

66.  Calls for further trade and customs facilitation and diversification of exports, including by using the intra-regional trade potential; calls on the Commission to exempt the country from the steel and aluminium safeguard measures;

67.  Expresses its concern at the alarming level of air pollution in Skopje and other heavily polluted cities, and calls on the state and local authorities to take adequate measures as a matter of urgency to cope with this emergency situation, through effective targeted measures for air quality monitoring and improvement, including by enhancing public transport and effective mobility plans; urges the country to harmonise urgently its legislation with the acquis in the field of environmental, nature and climate protection; calls for waste management systems to be developed;

o
o   o

68.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Government and Parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


2018 Report on Albania
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the 2018 Commission Report on Albania (2018/2147(INI))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0481A8-0334/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Agreement,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 19-20 June 2003 and the Thessaloniki Agenda for the Western Balkans,

–  having regard to the European Council decision of 26-27 June 2014 to grant the status of candidate country for EU membership to Albania,

–  having regard to the General Affairs Council decision of 26 June 2018,

–  having regard to the European Council decision of 28-29 June 2018,

–  having regard to the recommendations of the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on the draft secondary legislation on the protection of national minorities in Albania,

–  having regard to the declaration of the EU-Western Balkans summit of 17 May 2018 and its ‘Sofia Priority Agenda’,

–  having regard to the 9th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council between Albania and the EU of 15 November 2017,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 February 2018 entitled ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’ (COM(2018)0065),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 17 April 2018 entitled ‘2018 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy’ (COM(2018)0450), accompanied by the Commission staff working document entitled ‘Albania 2018 Report’ (SWD(2018)0151),

–  having regard to the recommendations adopted at the 12th meeting of the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), held in Tirana on 12-13 February 2018,

–  having regard to the outcome of the 2017 survey on marginalised Roma in the Western Balkans, supported by the Commission and conducted by the World Bank and the UN Development Programme,

–  having regard to the joint staff working document entitled ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020’,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Albania,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0334/2018),

A.  whereas EU enlargement continues to constitute a strategic investment in peace, democracy, prosperity, security and stability in Europe;

B.  whereas Albania has continued to make steady progress towards meeting the political criteria and the five key priorities for the opening of accession negotiations as well as in consolidating democratic institutions and practices;

C.  whereas the Commission has recommended the opening of accession negotiations with Albania given the good progress achieved in the fulfilment of the five key priorities; whereas accession negotiations will allow closer EU scrutiny and are a powerful catalyst for implementing further reforms and consolidating democratic institutions and practices;

D.  whereas on 28 June 2018 the European Council endorsed the Council conclusions of 26 June 2018, setting out the path towards opening accession negotiations in June 2019;

E.  whereas challenges still persist and need to be addressed swiftly and efficiently in a spirit of dialogue and cooperation;

F.  whereas constructive dialogue between the government and the opposition on EU-related reforms remains crucial to advance with the reform agenda to the benefit of citizens and to bring the country closer to the EU;

G.  whereas there is wide public support in Albania for the country’s accession to the EU;

H.  whereas the rule of law is a fundamental value on which the EU is founded and is at the heart of both the enlargement and stabilisation and association process; whereas reforms are needed to tackle the important challenges that remain in this area, notably in ensuring an independent, impartial, accountable and efficient judiciary, and in the fight against corruption and organised crime, as well as in the protection of fundamental rights;

I.  whereas the protection of religious freedom, cultural heritage, and the rights of minorities are among the fundamental values of the European Union;

J.  whereas Albania has ratified all fundamental International Labour Organisation conventions, including in particular the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention of 1948 (No 87) and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention of 1949 (No 98);

K.  whereas each enlargement country is judged individually on its own merits, and it is the speed and quality of reforms that determine the timetable for accession;

L.  whereas regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations are essential for Albania’s progress on its path towards EU accession;

1.  Welcomes Albania’s intensified efforts in this regard, leading to steady progress on the implementation of EU-related reforms, especially on the comprehensive justice reform; calls on Albania to consolidate the reforms achieved and to continue preparing for EU membership obligations across all chapters;

2.  Fully supports the Commission’s recommendation that accession negotiations be opened in recognition of the reform efforts made by Albania; takes note of the Council decision to re-evaluate the situation in June 2019; welcomes the clear path that has been outlined towards the start of accession talks in 2019 and highlights the fact that the preparatory screening process has begun; recalls that the decision to open accession negotiations will depend on further progress in the reform process, calls on the Council to evaluate objectively and fairly the progress achieved by the country and to convene the first Intergovernmental Conference by the end of that year, and encourages Albania to maintain the reform momentum to that end; considers that the opening of negotiations would positively contribute to the reinforcement of democracy and rule of law by providing further incentives for the reform process and enhance its scrutiny;

3.  Calls on the Commission to apply the reinforced approach for negotiating Chapter 23 (judiciary and fundamental rights) and Chapter 24 (justice, freedom and security);

4.  Recalls the need to strengthen the Albanian Parliament’s oversight capacities, including in the EU accession process; calls for more efficient use of various oversight mechanisms and institutions, including inquiry committees; welcomes the adoption of the Albanian Parliament’s Code of Conduct, which will enhance the integrity and transparency of the parliamentary process and public trust in the institution; underlines the need for an enforcement mechanism, including sanctions, to make the code effective; underlines the central role of the Committee on EU Integration and the responsibility of the National Council for European Integration as a forum for consultation on accession preparations; calls for further cooperation with the Albanian Parliament within the framework of the European Parliament support programme for parliaments of enlargement countries, in order to enhance its capacity to produce quality legislation in line with the EU acquis and exercise its oversight role;

5.  Highlights the importance of raising awareness among the general population of the process of joining the EU and the role of the EU and Albanian institutions involved;

6.  Urges action and legislative and administrative measures addressing the outstanding recommendations of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR); underlines that inclusive and timely electoral reform is needed with a view to increasing public trust in the electoral process; recalls the need for due attention to be given to allegations of illegal and undeclared funding of political parties; welcomes the work by the Ad-hoc Committee on Electoral Reform of the Albanian Parliament related to independence and depoliticisation of the election administration, transparency in campaign finance, voter registration, vote buying, the use of new voting technologies and out-of-country voting, and urges it to reach consensus on, and adopt, the necessary reforms in due time before the 2019 local elections;

7.  Welcomes Albania’s revised law on political party financing; reiterates its calls on the country’s political parties to fulfil their obligation to ensure the exclusion of criminal offenders from public office at all branches and levels of government;

8.  Reiterates that constructive political dialogue, willingness to compromise, sustainable cross-party cooperation and a continued unwavering commitment to the implementation and consolidation of the reforms across all five key priorities are vital to the effort to advance the EU accession process and for the proper functioning of a democratic regime; welcomes the growing bipartisan collaboration and wide cross-party consensus that was reached when dealing with certain key reforms; encourages all political forces to make further efforts to establish a genuine political dialogue and to achieve constructive cooperation, thus supporting the reform process; reiterates its strong belief that political dialogue should take place within democratic institutions; is greatly concerned about the de facto boycott of the parliamentary process by the opposition following the summer recess of 2018;

9.  Underlines the fact that judiciary reform is a major demand by Albania’s citizens and a prerequisite for re-establishing trust in the rule of law, public institutions and political representatives; reiterates that the credibility and effectiveness of the overall reform process, especially the fight against corruption and organised crime, and the implementation of property rights, depend on the success of the vetting process and the continued and determined implementation of judicial reform;

10.  Welcomes the progress made in judicial reform aimed at increasing the independence, accountability, professionalism and efficiency of the country’s judicial institutions and at improving people’s trust in judicial bodies; regrets that the administration of justice continues to be slow and inefficient; notes that the re-evaluation process for all judges and prosecutors has delivered the first tangible results; welcomes the fact that a majority of priority dossiers have already been processed; calls on the Albanian authorities, however, to further advance the impartial vetting process, without compromising on quality or fairness; stresses the importance that the vetting process be implemented in line with the highest international standards and encourages Albania to continue its close cooperation with the International Monitoring Operation; takes note of the first dismissals and voluntary resignations of candidates prior to their hearings; considers in this light that the preparation of the next generation of judges and prosecutors is even more important and regrets therefore that political parties in Albania have so far not reached an agreement on the necessary amendments to the law on the status of judges and prosecutors with regard to a higher capacity of recruitment and training; encourages adequate financial and human resources to be continuously provided to the vetting institutions;

11.  Urges the Albanian authorities to complete as soon as possible the establishment of the new judicial bodies and to return to the Constitutional Court and the High Court to a functioning state; underlines the need to support the effective functioning of these institutions by means of adequate human resources and funding;

12.  Welcomes the continued progress made towards establishing a more citizen-friendly, transparent, professional and de-politicised public administration, including at local level; urges the full implementation of the oversight institutions’ recommendations as well as the Ombudsperson’s recommendations; notes also the progress made with regard to territorial reform and to further consolidation, administratively and financially, of the newly created municipalities, as well as the establishment of the Consultative Council to improve coordination between central and local governments; welcomes the setting up of local EU Desks and EU coordinators;

13.  Calls for further strengthening of the administrative capacity of institutions and bodies responsible for the implementation of accession-related reforms, for the transposition of EU legislation into national law and for preparations to be made for EU accession negotiations;

14.  Commends the significant improvements made in the legal and institutional framework with a view to preventing and eradicating corruption in public institutions, as corruption is still a major point of concern; calls for additional efforts to reduce the corruption affecting the daily life of Albania’s citizens, to improve the investment climate and to guarantee legal certainty of investments; underlines that high-ranking officials must not benefit from preferential treatment compared with ordinary citizens, should they be charged; calls on Albania to increase the use of financial investigations and establish a track record of seizures and confiscation/recovery of criminal assets resulting from corruption-related offences and to show tangible results in the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering;

15.  Welcomes the recent updates to the country’s anti-corruption legislation; stresses the need to complete the establishment of the National Bureau of Investigation, the Special Tribunal and the Special Prosecution Office Against Corruption and Organised Crime; calls for further improvement in interinstitutional cooperation and exchange of information between the police and prosecution; welcomes the re-evaluation of law enforcement personnel under the police vetting law;

16.  Calls for increased attention to be given to political and public-private corruption; calls for strengthening the track record of proactive investigations, prosecutions and final convictions in the fight against corruption and organised crime, including high-level cases;

17.  Welcomes the progress made in the fight against corruption and organised crime, in particular the recent arrests of members of the Bajri criminal group, and calls for tangible and sustainable results to be pursued further, including in the specific area of countering cultivation and trafficking of drugs, through the implementation of action plans against cannabis cultivation; welcomes that the Albanian police force is becoming more active in the fight against organised crime, and is encouraged by Albania’s intensified international police cooperation – leading to effective operations against criminal networks – including in joint working groups with Member States; believes that cooperation between the police, prosecution and other relevant agencies and bodies should be further consolidated;

18.  Urges the Albanian authorities to take decisive action to dismantle criminal networks engaged in human, firearms and drug trafficking, and to increase the number of investigations and prosecutions, but also of final convictions, especially of high-level members of organised crime groups; points to the need to step up efforts in preventing human trafficking, paying particular attention to unaccompanied children and child victims of trafficking, especially among children in street situations;

19.  Reiterates its call on the Albanian authorities to effectively ensure enforcement and progress towards the protection of property rights in an effective and transparent manner, while at the same time taking into account property registration, restitution and compensation; calls for necessary progress to be made on the digitalisation and mapping of property; urges the Albanian authorities to adequately inform citizens about their rights and possibilities for enforcement of their claims; underlines the importance of an effective property rights regime for guaranteeing the rule of law and an attractive business environment;

20.  Welcomes the steps taken to reinforce the protection of human rights, minority rights and anti-discrimination policies, including the equal treatment of all minorities; welcomes the adoption of a framework law on minorities, which abolished the differentiation between national minorities and ethno-linguistic communities and introduced the principle of self-identification, the prohibition of discrimination and the right to preserve cultures, traditions and mother tongues; calls for its full implementation in practice and encourages Albania to continue its efforts by adopting the necessary secondary legislation to the framework law, in line with European standards and with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in its drafting; insists that measures be taken to further improve the education, health, employment rates and living conditions of Roma, Egyptians and other ethnic minorities;

21.  Notes the tensions following an incident involving the loss of life of Konstantinos Katsifas, a member of the Greek National Minority and dual (Albanian and Greek) citizen, who was shot dead by the Albanian Special Police Forces (RENEA) during a World War II commemoration of fallen Greek soldiers in Bularat on 28 October 2018; calls for restraint on all sides and expects the Albanian authorities to investigate and clarify the circumstances which led to the loss of life;

22.  Welcomes the progress made in increasing women’s participation and representation in politics, in particular through the introduction of the gender quota system, and the equal representation of women in the new government; reiterates, however, its concern about discrimination against and lack of appropriate measures for the protection of women and girls belonging to disadvantaged and marginalised groups, such as Roma(1) women and women with disabilities, the still existing gender-discriminatory provisions in a number of laws, the difficult access to justice for women, the proportion of women in the informal labour market, and the high number of cases of domestic violence against women and children, especially those belonging to vulnerable groups; calls for an adequate response to these issues and commends the adoption of the resolution on the fight against gender-based violence and the establishment of a parliamentary sub-committee on gender equality;

23.  Notes with concern that women living in rural and remote areas and Roma and Egyptian women continue to have limited access to primary health care and sexual and reproductive health services, and are often unaware about the availability of such services; calls therefore on the Albanian authorities to ensure better information about such services and ensure that they are accessible, affordable and of quality.

24.  Welcomes reinforcement of the legislative framework on rights of children through the adoption of the law on the protection of children’s rights, the Criminal Justice for Children Code and the ‘Children’s Agenda 2020’; recalls that institutional mechanisms to protect children’s rights still need to be improved; urges the authorities to implement secondary legislation on protection of children rights and juvenile justice and calls for a significant increase in financial allocations for the child protection system, in particular child protection units (CPU) at local and regional level;

25.  Commends the climate of tolerance and cooperation among the country’s religious communities; calls on the Albanian authorities to effectively combat hate speech and the exclusion and discrimination of minorities, including LGBTI persons; welcomes the Gender Equality Action Plans recently adopted by five Albanian municipalities, in line with the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life;

26.  Calls on the Albanian authorities to enhance cooperation with civil society organisations, ensuring effective public participation and consultation throughout the decision-making and ongoing EU integration process, including at national and local levels, thus strengthening democracy and transparency; draws attention to the need to reform the legal and fiscal framework for civil society organisations as well as public funding available for CSOs working on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, including watchdog, advocacy, and small grassroots organisations, as financial sustainability remains a considerable challenge for a significant number of these organisations as the current registration process is characterised by lengthy procedures and high costs, and the current tax system imposes a significant burden on CSOs and hampers both corporate and individual donations; recalls that an empowered civil society is a key feature of a vibrant democracy and strategically important for Albania’s transformation into an EU Member State;

27.  Welcomes the signing of the cooperation agreement between the Albanian Government and the International Commission on Missing Persons, which will enable the latter to help in locating and identifying missing persons from the Communist era;

28.  Calls on the Albanian authorities to strengthen their policies towards people with disabilities, who continue to face difficulties in accessing education, employment, healthcare and social services and participating in decision-making;

29.  Regrets the delays encountered in setting up the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) in Tirana; urges the authorities to support the activities of the RYCO in a flexible way that allows a maximum number of young people to benefit from its work;

30.  Reiterates the critical importance of professional and independent private and public service media; notes the partial progress made in increasing the independence of the country’s audio-visual media authority and public broadcaster; calls for measures to improve the financial transparency of state advertising in the media; calls as well for measures to strengthen the protection of the labour and social rights of journalists;

31.  Welcomes the setting-up of the Albanian Media Council and underlines its role in establishing high ethical and professional standards for journalists and the media while promoting their independence and freedom; welcomes the adoption of the revised Journalistic Code of Ethics as well as the Ethical Guidelines for Online Media and calls for their principles to be reinforced in order to maintain public trust, truthfulness, fairness, integrity, independence and accountability;

32.  Urges the Albanian authorities to step up reforms aimed at increasing competitiveness and tackling the informal economy; stresses that corruption, rule-of-law deficiencies and cumbersome regulatory procedures continue to deter investment and Albania’s sustainable development; calls for the business and investment environment to be further improved by ensuring a predictable regulatory and legislative framework, legal certainty, the rule of law, enforcement of property rights and strengthened contract enforcement, vigorously pursuing fiscal consolidation, and reinforcing tax administration;

33.  Stresses the need to ensure positive convergence in social standards during the accession process; welcomes the adoption of the Sofia Priority Agenda, in particular its focus on socio-economic development and a focus on youth; calls on the Albanian authorities to reconsider the role of public-private partnerships and their impact on common resources and on goods of public interest such as highways, health, nature and cultural heritage in accordance with UNESCO obligations; calls on Albania to make public the criteria for awarding social assistance;

34.  Fears possible negative impacts on employment and social policy-making following the dismantling of Albania’s Ministry of Social Welfare as a result of governmental restructuring; calls on the Albanian authorities to foster cooperation with trade unions and strengthen social dialogue; urges effective measures to address the high unemployment rate, especially among young people and women, and to prevent child labour; calls for further improvement of the quality of education, while making sure that education remains accessible to the entire population;

35.  Commends the fact that, according to the Institute of Statistics in Albania (INSTAT), unemployment in Albania has decreased; stresses the need to improve the quality of the education system, including increasing capacity in order to better equip people with skills and knowledge in line with labour market needs; underlines the need to support long-term growth by developing the capacity for technological absorption, research, development and innovation;

36.  Urges the government to modernise the education system with a view to building a more inclusive society, reducing inequalities and discrimination and better equipping young people with skills and knowledge;

37.  Welcomes Albania’s commitment to implementing the Connectivity Agenda within the framework of the Berlin Process and the adoption of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) 2018 package, which includes the strategically important infrastructure project of reconstructing the Port of Durrës, which is strengthening Albania’s connections with Croatia and Italy and providing Albania’s landlocked neighbours, Kosovo and Macedonia with access to maritime transport routes; urges the Albanian authorities to accelerate planning and construction of the Albanian sections of the trans-European networks and proceed with harmonising the legal framework with the EU acquis; supports the proposal to reduce roaming fees in the Western Balkans in order to promote a market- and investment-friendly environment towards a digital economy; notes that 40 % of Albania’s population live in rural areas but only 1 % of these people are connected to the internet;

38.  Reiterates the importance of improving public infrastructure within the Western Balkan countries and with the EU Member States; recommends that the authorities speed up the construction of major infrastructure projects such as the rail link and modern highway between Tirana and Skopje as part of Corridor VIII;

39.  Expresses deep concern about certain economic projects that have led to grave environmental damage in protected areas, such as large-scale tourist resorts and the hydropower plants along the Vjosa and Valbona rivers; recommends that Albania review its strategy as regards renewable energy and decrease its dependency on hydropower for electricity generation; calls therefore on the authorities to explore investments in renewable energy projects other than hydropower; urges the authorities to step up the quality of strategic environmental assessments, environmental impact assessments and public consultations on such projects, taking into account local community views; urges the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to review their support for hydropower plant projects should they lack sound ex ante strategic environmental assessments and environmental impact assessments; stresses the need to ensure that the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP) is in line with the environmental and social aspects of the acquis; reiterates its call on Albania to implement relevant waste management measures and to align itself with the EU environmental acquis;

40.  Expresses concern that Albania remains the Western Balkan country from which the highest number of illegal entries and stays as well as unfounded asylum claims are made in Member States; calls for an increase in the measures taken in recent months to address effectively the phenomenon of unfounded asylum applications in the EU, as well as arrivals of unaccompanied minors, including their root causes; encourages concrete measures to boost employment, especially for young people, education, living conditions and health; calls on the Albanian authorities to establish systems to assist with the effective reintegration of families and children on their return to the country;

41.  Welcomes the steps made to reach the agreement on operational cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Albania, the first country in the region with which such an agreement was concluded, and encourages further cooperation on the operational level;

42.  Calls on the Albanian Government to abide by the provisions of Article 3 of the European Convention on Extradition, issued by the Council on Europe, and of Article 19 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and not to allow any extradition for political offences, or when the person may be subject to torture or inhuman treatment in the country requesting the extradition;

43.  Commends Albania’s success in stemming the outflow of foreign fighters; welcomes the regional cooperation that has been achieved in countering potential terrorist threats; reiterates the need for further measures to disrupt financial flows aimed at financing terrorism, to strengthen the prevention and monitoring mechanisms involving civil society and religious communities, and to effectively address online radicalisation; reiterates the need to further improve programmes to reintegrate returnees and their families and to prevent radicalisation in prisons by also strengthening the involvement of civil society and religious communities;

44.  Calls for greater cooperation between Albania and the EU against cybercrime and on cyber defence issues;

45.  Welcomes Albania’s active participation in the Berlin Process, the Western Balkans Six initiative and other regional initiatives, and its contribution to strengthening the profile of the Regional Cooperation Council; welcomes the signing of a Joint Declaration on Regional Cooperation and Good Neighbourly Relations within the framework of the Berlin Process; welcomes Albania’s proactive role in promoting regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations with other enlargement countries and with neighbouring Member States and underlines that good relations are an essential part of the enlargement process; welcomes the official launch of the Western Balkans Fund, which should promote common values and develop regional cooperation between citizens, civil society and institutions of the Western Balkans region; welcomes the establishment of the Albania-Serbia Joint Chamber of Commerce in Tirana and encourages strengthening trade and business cooperation in the region; welcomes continued efforts to enhance regional cooperation, especially in the area of environmental protection as outlined in the Adriatic Trilateral initiative; recalls that statements and actions that could negatively impact the good neighbourly relations should be avoided;

46.  Reiterates its support for the initiative to establish the Regional Commission Tasked with Establishing the Facts about All Victims of War Crimes and Other Serious Human Rights Violations Committed on the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia (RECOM); urges the Albanian Government to take the lead on its establishment; underlines the importance of this process and the active engagement of all regional political leaders in order for it to start its work without further delay; calls attention to the Coalition for RECOM’s proposal for an action plan with clear dates and benchmarks;

47.  Highly commends Albania on its continued full alignment with all EU positions and declarations made in the context of common foreign and security policy; calls on Albania to align itself with the EU common position on the integrity of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and to renounce its bilateral immunity agreement with the United States; commends Albania’s active participation in military crisis management missions under the common security and defence policy, as well as its contribution to NATO missions of strategic importance to the EU;

48.  Urges the Albanian authorities to make the most effective use of EU funds in all regions of the country; calls on the Commission to ensure strict conditionality of IPA funds and to assess, as part of its country reports, the effectiveness of IPA support for Albania, especially on the key priorities and relevant projects;

49.  Takes note of the constructive atmosphere at the 12th meeting of the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), held in Tirana from 12 to 13 February 2018; notes the improved cooperation achieved between majority and opposition representatives in the SAPC; underlines the importance of continued cross-party collaboration on the reform path towards EU accession;

50.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Government and Parliament of Albania.

(1) The word ‘Roma’ is used as an umbrella term which includes different related groups, whether sedentary or not, such as Roma, Ashkalis, Egyptians, etc., which may be diverse in culture and lifestyles.


2018 Report on Montenegro
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the 2018 Commission Report on Montenegro (2018/2144(INI))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0482A8-0339/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Agreement, in force since 1 May 2010,

–  having regard to the declaration of the EU-Western Balkans summit of 17 May 2018 and its Sofia Priority Agenda,

–  having regard to the 9th meeting of the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council on 25 June 2018,

–  having regard to Montenegro’s accession to NATO on 5 June 2017,

–  having regard to the ratification by the parliaments of Montenegro and Kosovo of the Border Demarcation Agreement between Montenegro and Kosovo,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 February 2018 entitled ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans’ (COM(2018)0065),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 17 April 2018 entitled ‘2018 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy’ (COM(2018)0450), accompanied by the Commission staff working document entitled ‘Montenegro 2018 Report’ (SWD(2018)0150),

–  having regard to the Commission assessment of 17 April 2018 of the Economic Reform Programme of Montenegro (2018-2020) (SWD(2018)0131) and the Joint Council Conclusions of 25 May 2018 of the Economic and Financial Dialogue between the EU and the Western Balkans,

–  having regard to the reports of the Election Observation Mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE ODIHR) and to the statement by the European Parliament election observation delegation, on the presidential election of 15 April 2018,

–  having regard to the declaration and recommendations adopted at the 15th meeting of the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC), held in Podgorica on 16-17 July 2018,

–  having regard to the outcome of the 2017 survey on Marginalised Roma in Western Balkans, undertaken by the Commission, the World Bank and the UN Development Programme,

–  having regard to the Berlin Process launched on 28 August 2014,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Montenegro,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0339/2018),

A.  whereas each enlargement country is judged individually on its own merits, and it is the speed and quality of reforms that determine the timetable for accession;

B.  whereas Montenegro is currently the most advanced in the negotiation process, having opened 31 of the 35 chapters of the EU’s acquis communautaire and having provisionally closed negotiations on three;

C.  whereas constructive dialogue among internal political forces and with neighbouring countries will be essential for making further progress in the EU accession process;

D.  whereas Montenegro has remained committed to creating a functioning market economy and has continued to build a track record in implementing the obligations of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA);

E.  whereas Montenegro benefits from pre-accession assistance under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II);

F.  whereas Montenegro has to further strengthen, inter alia, parliamentary, legislative and oversight capacity, institutional transparency, respect for the rule of law and independence of the judiciary, domestic handling of war crimes cases, integrity of the electoral process, media freedom, and the fight against corruption, organised crime and the informal economy;

1.  Welcomes the continued engagement of Montenegro in the EU integration process and its continuing good progress overall, based on broad public support for this strategic decision;

2.  Underlines that the implementation and application of reforms remain a key indicator of successful integration; calls on Montenegro to improve the planning, coordination and monitoring of the implementation of new legislation and policies and calls for the timely implementation of interim benchmarks for chapters 23 and 24;

3.  Welcomes the Commission’s assessment, as stated in its communication of 6 February 2018 on the Western Balkans Strategy, that with strong political will, with delivery of real and sustained reforms and with definitive solutions to disputes with neighbours, Montenegro could potentially be ready for membership by 2025;

4.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure adequate provision in the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) to cater for Montenegro’s possible accession to the European Union, as outlined in the Western Balkans Strategy;

Democratisation

5.  Reminds all political parties that constructive political engagement depends on a fully functioning parliament in which all politicians assume their responsibility towards voters by taking up their seats in the parliament; welcomes the fact that most opposition parties have returned to the parliament following a longstanding parliamentary boycott; urges all other political parties to return to the parliament and to make more concerted efforts to bring about genuine political dialogue in order to ensure that it has the means to fully play its role of legislator and oversight, thereby restoring a functioning democratic process;

6.  Calls for the implementation of the legislation on public and political participation of women and minorities, in particular Roma(1) people, including by enabling minority women to meaningfully participate in decision-making processes and take up positions within the public administration and other public institutions;

7.  Calls on Montenegro’s political leadership to focus on the remaining challenges, by tackling problems with the rule of law, media freedom, corruption, money laundering, organised crime and its associated violence, and to approach these issues as a matter of priority;

8.  Notes that fundamental freedoms were respected in the April 2018 presidential elections; calls on the government to work together with opposition parties and civil society so as to comprehensively address shortcomings identified by the OSCE ODIHR and fully implement its Election Observation Mission Priority Recommendations by adopting pending national legislation, and to reinforce the transparency and professionalisation of the electoral administration, in order to improve public trust in the electoral process; calls for local elections to be held simultaneously across the country and for the quality and transparency of elections to be improved; urges that provisions on the transparency of political party financing be strengthened;

9.  Calls for full investigations into all alleged electoral irregularities; insists, once again, on due follow-up on the 2012 ‘audio-recording affair’; calls on the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to step up the monitoring of possible abuse of public resources for political party purposes;

10.  Raises its concern at the Montenegrin Parliament’s decision to dismiss Vanja Ćalović Marković from the Council of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption; urges full transparency in the handling of this case;

Rule of law

11.  Notes the central role played by the Audit Authority, the ACA, the Public Procurement Control Commission, the Competition Agency and the State Aid Authority in tackling organised crime and corruption; welcomes the continued reforms aimed at improving the capacity and independence of these institutions, but notes the need to improve efficiency, establish better track records, encourage the prevention of corruption, including by means of appropriate sanctions, and remove remaining obstacles to achieving their full independence;

12.  Notes the progress made in strengthening the capacity of the ACA when it comes to investigating campaign funding; stresses the need, however, to improve trust in the agency and to enhance its reputation, which could be achieved by further distancing its work from all political influence;

13.  Welcomes the efforts made to improve the transparency of public administration and information sharing, but encourages the establishment of a more citizen-friendly, professional and de-politicised public administration; commends the more effective work of the Ombudsman; calls for improved regulatory impact assessments, comprehensive reports on audits and inclusive public consultations on law proposals; stresses the importance of cooperation with civil society organisations (CSOs) and of open access to information for the purposes of fighting corruption effectively, and encourages a revision of the legislative changes made in May 2017; recommends that resources and human capital in the public administration be optimised;

14.  Welcomes the considerable progress shown by Montenegro in e-governance and e-participation, with the country now one of the top 25 performers in these areas according to the UN E-Government Survey 2016; calls on the Montenegrin Government to maintain this pace of reform in order to further enhance the efficiency of and accessibility to the public administration;

15.  Welcomes the moderate progress made towards increasing the independence, transparency, accountability, professionalism and efficiency of judicial institutions; calls for safeguards against political interference and for a coherent application of codes of ethics and disciplinary measures; welcomes the fact that new judges and prosecutors have been appointed for the first time using the new recruitment system;

16.  Notes the need to advance the judicial proceedings on the alleged October 2016 coup attempt by ensuring full judicial cooperation with third countries; welcomes the decision to publicly broadcast the court case proceedings in the interests of transparency;

17.  Welcomes the amendments to the Law on the Judicial Council passed on 29 June 2018, which allow for the regular functioning of the Judicial Council to continue; notes that these amendments were adopted in line with the Venice Commission’s recommendations; highlights that these changes with regard to the election of lay members to the Council only represent a temporary solution; urges Parliament’s newly formed ad-hoc working group to resolve this issue swiftly;

18.  Is concerned by the increasing instances of violence and assassinations linked to organised crime, which have a detrimental effect on the daily life of ordinary citizens; welcomes the fact that the authorities have identified this issue but calls for more robust preventative action, including the use of non-conviction-based asset forfeiture; commends the investigation, prosecution and the handing down of convictions in high-level corruption cases; acknowledges, however, that this track record must be further strengthened, particularly in money laundering and human trafficking;

19.  Calls for progress in preventing conflicts of interest and the illicit enrichment of public officials, including at municipal level; calls on the authorities to intensify the confiscation of criminal assets, to advance inquiries into unjustified wealth and to take other steps leading to the dismantlement of criminal gangs, severing the links between organised crime, business and politics; denounces, meanwhile, the practice of issuing sanctions below the statutory minimum, as it is counterproductive to the prevention of corruption offences;

20.  Recalls that Montenegro must make further efforts to ensure the effective protection of the right to property, in line with the EU acquis and international human rights standards; urges the state authorities to provide for fair proceedings within a reasonable time when implementing the existing national legal framework, including on property rights and restitution of property; notes that a robust, non-discriminatory and stable property rights’ regime is a prerequisite to citizens’ and outside investors’ trust and business confidence;

Border management and migration

21.  Notes that Montenegro has hitherto proven itself capable of handling asylum requests, but underlines that further progress must be made; encourages Montenegro to work in closer cooperation with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in order to improve border management in line with European norms, address irregular migration and disrupt migrant smuggling networks; calls for intensified efforts and cross-border cooperation to prevent and dismantle organised criminal networks related to human trafficking, as well as drug and tobacco smuggling; emphasises the persistent concerns related to illicit tobacco trade in Montenegro, particularly those surrounding its free trade zones; calls on the Commission to continue to support Montenegro in controlling its free trade zones and in working to prevent illicit trade;

22.  Regrets the lack of progress in addressing human trafficking and urges that particular attention be paid to the prevention of forced organised prostitution and child begging; stresses that additional efforts are needed with regard to the identification of victims and their access to assistance, compensation and protection measures; calls on Montenegro to provide effective protection to the victims of trafficking, and to devote particular attention to the rehabilitation of the child victims of trafficking and to Roma women and girls, on account of the vulnerable circumstances in which they find themselves as a result of poverty and marginalisation;

Media

23.  Is increasingly concerned about the state of freedom of expression and media freedom, in which three successive Commission reports have noted ‘no progress’; recalls that the related chapter 23 was opened in December 2013 and that it is progress in this chapter and chapter 24 that determines the overall pace of negotiations; condemns in the strongest possible terms intimidation, smear campaigns and verbal and physical attacks against journalists; notes that there were seven reported cases of attacks against journalists in 2017; urges the government to ensure that journalists are protected in practice; calls for further steps to be taken to ensure the independence of the media and journalists and encourages the systematic collection of data on threats against journalists; notes that the EU Delegation in Montenegro is following the situation closely;

24.  Is particularly concerned by the attack on 8 May 2018 against Vijesti journalist Olivera Lakić, and calls for a full investigation into the case; deems it unacceptable that there have been no new developments regarding investigations into old cases of violence against journalists; calls on the authorities to firmly condemn all attacks against journalists and to promote measures to protect journalists and eradicate impunity;

25.  Deplores the ongoing financial and editorial pressure placed on Montenegro’s public broadcaster (RTCG) and the Agency for Electronic Media (AEM); urges that safeguards against undue political and business influences be put in place, and that full transparency in matters of state advertising in the media be ensured; reiterates the need for the RTCG and all other media outlets to be protected from undue political influence; urges the state authorities to provide both the media regulators and the public broadcaster with sufficient funds to secure the financial autonomy and independence of both RTCG and AEM, which are crucial for a solid media environment during electoral campaigns; regrets the change in composition of the RTCG council and the dismissal of the Director-General of RTCG, Ms Andrijana Kadija; believes that early dismissals should only be permitted in limited circumstances;

26.  Warns that a lack of financial autonomy for the media foments its political dependence and polarisation; believes that a transparent and non-discriminatory allocation of state advertising funds is required, and calls on the authorities to consider alternative forms of indirect subsidies to foster media independence;

27.  Underlines the role of the AEM and effective self-regulation in ensuring the highest ethical standards in the Montenegrin media and in reducing the number of defamation cases; notes that the precarious situation of journalists undermines the quality and professionalism of the media;

Civil society and human rights

28.  Underlines the crucial role of CSOs in improving the functioning of state institutions and fighting corruption and organised crime; strongly condemns the recent intimidation of and unacceptable smear campaign against CSOs that were critical of the overall slow progress, or lack thereof, in key rule‑of‑law areas;

29.  Calls for greater attention to be paid when drafting and implementing legislation in areas affecting civil society space, in order to ensure that the legislation does not place a disproportionate burden on CSOs, and does not have a discriminatory impact on or diminish the space for civil society; underlines the need for public funding available for CSOs working on human rights, democracy and the rule of law, including watchdog, advocacy and small grassroots organisations; believes that CSOs should be free to receive funding from other donors, such as private donors and international organisations, bodies or agencies;

30.  Takes note of the changes to the law on NGOs designed to improve their public funding, and recommends the swift adoption of the requisite secondary legislation; reiterates its call for systematic, inclusive, timely and genuine consultations with civil society and the wider public on key EU-related legislative reforms, including their implementation at local level, in order to enhance the democratic character of decision-taking and bring about greater transparency; recommends improving the financial regulatory environment for CSOs by providing additional resources, and setting clear rules as regards governmental mechanisms for CSO consultation;

31.  Welcomes the ongoing legislative alignment on fundamental rights; urges that the institutional framework enabling effective rights protection be strengthened, including in the event of ill-treatment by law enforcement, intimidation and physical attack; calls for updates to the law on freedom of religious beliefs;

32.  Welcomes efforts undertaken so far on the implementation of the Istanbul Convention, but urges improvements in the enforcement and monitoring mechanisms for human rights protection, including by tackling violence against women and children; calls, in this regard, for an effective implementation of fundamental rights policies, in particular on gender equality, the social inclusion rights of people with disabilities, children’s rights and the rights of Roma people, by securing adequate budget allocations and resources to implement the policies and build the capacity of the institutions responsible; calls on the authorities to take the necessary measures to prevent forced child marriages;

33.  Urges Montenegro to safeguard the full and timely implementation of gender equality and anti-discrimination legislation and to monitor its effect on women from disadvantaged and marginalised social groups; calls on Montenegro to secure unfettered access to justice for all women, and to provide free legal aid to women who have been the victims of gender-based violence, devoting particular attention to Roma women, women with disabilities and women living in rural and remote areas; calls on Montenegro to strengthen the role and capacity of its relevant authorities, so that they are better equipped to handle the protection and rehabilitation of victims and to work proactively with men not to commit violence against women; urges Montenegro to increase the number and capacity of its state-run shelters;

34.  Calls on the Montenegrin authorities to continue to improve the climate of societal inclusion and tolerance and to take effective measures against hate speech, social exclusion and the discrimination of minorities; notes that Montenegro is still not fully aligned with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; encourages the competent authorities to continue to strengthen their efforts to safeguard the rights of LGBTI people; remains concerned about the difficulties of accepting sexual diversity within Montenegrin society; expresses concern about the discrimination faced by women and girls in the Roma community, and the fact that marginalised Roma people in Montenegro have limited access to opportunities in every aspect of human development, as evidenced by the results of a 2017 survey on this issue; stresses the importance of strengthening the SME sector and providing support through better legislation and the implementation of industrial policy;

35.  Notes the continuing progress in improving the position of minorities; calls for the multi-ethnic identity of the Bay of Kotor to be respected and additional efforts made to protect it;

36.  Urges Montenegro to launch public awareness-raising campaigns to fight discrimination and violence against LGBTI people, and to safeguard fair investigations and prosecutions in cases of crimes committed against them;

37.  Urges Montenegro to launch public awareness-raising campaigns to encourage the reporting of domestic violence against women and girls, to increase the number of well-trained and gender-sensitive judges, to ensure the proper investigation and prosecution of crimes, and to safeguard assistance, counselling and reintegration services for victims;

Economy, social policy, employment and education

38.  Welcomes the progress made by Montenegro in ensuring macroeconomic stability and fiscal consolidation, and calls for budget transparency and a good employment and business environment; stresses that corruption, the informal economy, rule-of-law deficiencies and cumbersome regulatory procedures continue to deter growth and investment; stresses that the European social model requires dialogue with all economic stakeholders, including trade unions;

39.  Urges that the full potential offered by digital tools in the field of land registry, invoicing and the issuing of construction permits be used; notes the need to speed up the roll-out of broadband access to businesses and households; stresses the need for a government-wide interoperability framework to support further digitalisation and the simplification of administrative and business procedures; welcomes the ongoing development of online electronic company registration;

40.  Welcomes regulatory changes in the field of education and efforts to increase pre-school participation rates, including for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to early childhood development; urges the authorities to address the high long-term unemployment rate among young people and women, including through gender impact assessments where appropriate; notes the preparation of a white paper to promote youth employment, in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation; stresses the need to introduce active labour market measures, most notably for women negatively affected by the repeal of their social benefits;

41.  Notes that social partners should be effectively and systematically consulted on issues concerning employment and social affairs; underlines the need to further strengthen the capacities of the Social Council; welcomes the adoption of rulebooks in the area of health and safety at work, but remains concerned about the high percentage of fatal accidents at work and the low number of work inspectors;

42.  Welcomes Montenegro’s strengthened participation in the Erasmus+ programme and expresses its support for the Commission’s proposal to double the Erasmus+ budget; encourages greater coordination on cross-cutting issues affecting youth employment, inclusion, active citizenship, volunteering and education;

Environment, energy and transport

43.  Expresses satisfaction that according to Article 1 of its constitution, Montenegro is an ecological state; welcomes the possible opening of chapter 27 of the acquis in the negotiations with Montenegro this year; calls on the authorities to better protect the most valuable areas, notably biodiversity, and to review hotel and hydropower plant construction projects;

44.  Notes that the development of additional hydropower and tourism capacities, particularly those in protected areas, must meet EU environmental standards; expresses concern at unsustainable hydropower development, as many of the 80 hydropower plant projects are not being planned in line with international conventions or EU legislation, despite the requirements of chapter 27; urges the further exploitation of potential renewables and energy-efficiency measures and the improvement of water and waste management; welcomes the successful alignment between Montenegro’s 2016 law on the cross-border exchange of electricity and natural gas and the Third Energy Package; commends Montenegro’s improved legislative alignment on energy efficiency and renewable energy, but urges the authorities to fully align national legislation with the Renewable Energy Directive and Energy Performance of Buildings Directive;

45.  Urges the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to review its support for hydropower plant projects, and to withdraw funding for all projects which are undertaken in protected areas or lack sound ex-ante environmental impact assessments;

46.  Stresses the need for timely and accurate information on the impact of the highway construction on the river Tara to be made available to a wide public, as well as for the cessation of all activities of waste dumping and riverbed alteration, in line with the commitments entered into by Montenegro to preserve areas having special national and international protection;

47.  Expresses concern at the special-purpose spatial plan for the Skadar Lake National Park; stresses the need to abandon the large-scale hydropower projects on the Morača river, as they are having considerable adverse effects on Lake Skadar and the river Tara, both of which are protected under national and international legislation;

48.  Welcomes the positive developments in further aligning Montenegro’s national environmental and climate change legislation with the acquis; urges the Montenegrin Government to protect Ulcinj Salina, both at national and international level, in line with the recommendations of the EU-financed study on the protection of Ulcinj Salina; underlines the urgent need to ensure Ulcinj Salina’s integration into the Natura 2000 network; calls for the identification and designation of marine protected areas;

49.  Highlights Montenegro’s proactive participation and constructive role in regional and international cooperation through the Berlin Process and the Western Balkans Six initiative; welcomes the outcome of the 2018 EU-Western Balkans Summit, held in Sofia, and the adoption of the 2018 IPA package, which includes funding for two important infrastructure projects: the Budva bypass on the Adriatic–Ionian Corridor and the Vrbnica–Bar railway section on the Orient/East-Med Corridor; emphasises the importance of traffic routes which provide a direct link between Balkan countries and EU markets;

50.  Commends Montenegro’s intention to establish the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) within the next three years and its adoption of secondary legislation on fuel economy and emissions from new cars; notes the importance of incorporating into Montenegro’s national legislation aspects of the EU ETS, the Effort Sharing Regulation and the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM);

51.  Welcomes continued efforts to enhance regional cooperation, particularly in environmental protection, as outlined in the Adriatic Trilateral initiative;

Regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations

52.  Welcomes Montenegro’s continued efforts for constructive regional cooperation and good bilateral neighbourly relations; supports the proposal to reduce roaming charges in the Western Balkans;

53.  Welcomes the ratification of the State Border Agreement between Montenegro and Kosovo; calls for the speedy conclusion of agreements to resolve outstanding border disputes with other neighbouring countries;

54.  Welcomes Montenegro and Albania’s signature of a joint declaration and 12 agreements concerning mutual assistance in a variety of fields, and considers it an example of positive cooperation in the region;

55.  Urges Montenegro to intensify its efforts in proactively prioritising and punishing war crimes and clarifying the fate of missing persons; welcomes the efforts for reintegration of displaced persons under the Regional Housing Programme; stresses that, despite adopting four documents on war crime investigation strategy, the state prosecution service has not opened new inquiries, started new proceedings, or brought new charges; expresses concern at the fact that the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) opened eight new cases in 2016, six of which are still only in the preliminary investigation phase; reiterates its support for the initiative to establish the Regional Commission for the Establishment of Facts about War Crimes and Other Serious Violations of Human Rights Committed in the Former Yugoslavia (RECOM); underlines the importance of this process and the active engagement of all regional political leaders; welcomes the prime minister’s public support for RECOM;

56.  Commends Montenegro on another year of full alignment with all EU positions and declarations made in the context of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and welcomes its active participation in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions; appreciates the manner in which Montenegro’s foreign policy has been conducted; calls on Montenegro to align itself with the EU’s common position on the integrity of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and with its guiding principles on bilateral immunity agreements;

57.  Calls for greater cooperation between Montenegro and the EU in the fight against cybercrime and on cyber defence issues;

58.  Recalls the strategic importance of Montenegro’s NATO accession for ensuring stability and peace in the Western Balkans;

o
o   o

59.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of Montenegro.

(1) The word ‘Roma’ is used as an umbrella term that includes different related groups, whether sedentary or not; not only Roma people, but also Ashkalis, Egyptians and others, which may be diverse in culture and lifestyles.


Defence of academic freedom in the EU's external action
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European Parliament recommendation of 29 November 2018 to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Defence of academic freedom in the EU’s external action (2018/2117(INI))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0483A8-0403/2018

The European Parliament,

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

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 13 thereof,

–  having regard to the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (11855/2012), adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on 25 June 2012,

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

–  having regard to the EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2016 and the European Union’s policy on the matter,

–  having regard to the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), at its 29th session from 21 October to 12 November 1997,

–  having regard to the Lima Declaration on Academic Freedom and Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education, adopted by the World University Service in September 1988,

–  having regard to Resolution 29/7 on the Right to Education, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council at its 42nd meeting of 2 July 2015,

–  having regard to General Comment No. 13 of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted on 8 December 1999 at its Twenty-first session,

–  having regard to Opinion 891/2017 of the Venice Commission,

–  having regard to the reports by national, European and international non-governmental organisations, and, in particular, the Principles of State Responsibility to Protect Higher Education from Attack,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions addressing fundamental rights,

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

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to Rule 113 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0403/2018),

A.  whereas UNESCO defines academic freedom as ‘the right, without constriction by prescribed doctrine, to freedom of teaching and discussion, freedom in carrying out research and disseminating and publishing the results thereof, freedom to express freely their opinion about the institution or system in which they work, freedom from institutional censorship and freedom to participate in professional or representative academic bodies’;

B.  whereas the right to education is of fundamental importance for the enjoyment of all other human rights and for achieving sustainable development; whereas this right can only be enjoyed in an atmosphere of academic freedom and with the autonomy of institutions of higher education;

C.  whereas the Lima Declaration on Academic Freedom and Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education defines academic freedom as the freedom of members of the academic community – covering all persons teaching, studying, researching and working at an institution of higher education – individually or collectively, in the pursuit, development and transmission of knowledge, through research, study, discussion, documentation, production, creation, teaching, lecturing and writing;

D.  whereas this definition must be grounded in core democratic values, including equitable access and anti-discrimination principles, accountability, critical and independent thinking, institutional autonomy and social responsibility; whereas there can be no democracy without the academic freedom that enables informed debate;

E.  whereas academic freedom is a key element to advance to sustainable development, in particular to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals enshrined in the 2030 Agenda, where quality education, scientific research and innovation occupy a central place;

F.  whereas autonomy is a necessary precondition for education institutions to fulfil their proper functions; whereas academic freedom requires constant and vigilant protection from undue pressure from the State or commercial interests;

G.  whereas academic freedom – including its constituent freedoms of thought, opinion, expression, association, travel, and instruction – contributes to creating the space in which any open and stable pluralistic society is free to think, question, share ideas and produce, consume and disseminate knowledge;

H.  whereas attacks on academic freedom undermine research, study, teaching, public discourse and the right to education, eroding academic quality and social, political, economic and cultural development; whereas answers to issues in society should be found through reason, evidence and persuasion;

I.  whereas the right to education, teaching and research can only be fully enjoyed in an atmosphere of academic freedom;

J.  whereas there is an urgent need to adequately address academic freedom during the accession process to the EU in order to prevent the occurrence of attacks in EU Member States, such as the attempts to close the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, which are set to result in the relocation of student admissions to Vienna as of 2019, as well as the blocking of gender studies in Hungary; whereas candidate countries should commit to core higher education values, including academic freedom and institutional autonomy;

K.  whereas the academic community and education institutions are increasingly vulnerable to interference, pressure or repression from states, the business sector or other non-state actors; whereas every year, hundreds of attacks on universities, higher education institutions and their members are reported around the world, including killings, violence and disappearances, wrongful imprisonment/detention, wrongful prosecution, loss of position, wrongful dismissal/expulsion from study, restrictions on travel or movement and other extreme or systemic threats; whereas violations of academic freedoms are also occurring within Member States of the EU and its closest partners;

L.  whereas cuts in public funding for education, including higher education, and the subsequent need for alternative sources of income puts academic freedom at risk, particularly when such external funding originates from autocratic regimes abroad or multinational corporations;

M.  whereas foreign education institutions within the EU are facing attacks from national governments and encountering violations of their academic freedom;

N.  whereas the attempts to control or silence higher education institutions or their scholars, students and staff extend well beyond the individuals and institutions directly targeted and affect society at large by shrinking the space for the inclusive democratic participation, free speech and empowerment of all citizens and by depriving future generations of high-quality academics and researchers;

O.  whereas the effective realisation of the right to education and the guarantee of academic freedom require states to ensure an adequate and reliable level of funding for education; whereas policies of financial and economic austerity have gravely undermined academic freedom and continue to do so around the world, including within the EU;

P.  whereas violations of academic freedom are rarely addressed within a human rights framework, reflecting, in part, a lack of familiarity with issues of academic freedom among human rights advocates and, in part, the fact that claims often refer to other rights being violated, such as freedom of expression or opinion; whereas, as a result, standards in this area are underdeveloped and violations of academic freedom underreported;

Q.  whereas there is a general need both to raise awareness of the importance of academic freedom as a tool to promote democracy, respect for the rule of law and accountability, and to create opportunities to improve the capacity for its advocacy and defence;

R.  whereas it is important to identify attacks on academic freedom as part of a global phenomenon, and to encourage the recognition of academics and students being targeted not only as individuals whose rights are being violated, but also as human rights defenders who are being attacked; whereas a robust response is needed at international and national level, both from within higher education itself and from civil society and the public at large;

S.  whereas many at-risk academics and students are not able to obtain access to the opportunities provided by EU programmes for academic mobility and human rights defenders, as a result of not meeting the application criteria or of having great difficulty in following the general application procedures, requirements and schedules;

T.  whereas funding limitations in EU programmes restrict the actions of organisations and universities in the EU that already support students and scholars who are at risk or flee their countries as a result of the threat of persecution for their academic engagement; whereas these organisations and universities require more assistance for their actions and initiatives;

U.  whereas the EU is committed to promoting and protecting human rights, democratic institutions and the rule of law worldwide; whereas the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy calls for a more effective EU human rights and democracy support policy, including increasing the effectiveness of Human Rights Dialogues, improving the visibility and impact of human rights country strategies, focusing on effective implementation of the EU Human Rights Guidelines and improving public diplomacy and communications on human rights;

1.  Recommends the following to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:

   (a) explicitly recognise the importance of academic freedom in public statements, policies and actions relating to the EU’s external action, including recognition of the principles that ideas are not crimes and that critical discourse is not disloyalty, but rather essential parts of a democratic society and its development, that the autonomy of education institutions should be protected at all times, and that academic freedom plays an essential role in the educational advancement and the development of humankind and modern society;
   (b) recognise that claims to academic freedom fall under existing human rights law, derived from the right to education and the rights to freedom of expression and of opinion; recall that academic freedom extends to the freedom of academics to disseminate information and conduct research and distribute knowledge and truth without restriction, the freedom to express their views and opinions ­– even if controversial or unpopular – in the areas of their research and professional expertise, which may include an examination of the functioning of public institutions in a given political system and criticism thereof;
   (c) publicly highlight the problems of attacks on academic freedom, including their negative consequences; express concern regarding the vulnerability of the academic community to undue interference by national authorities, private actors or corporate interests; recall the responsibility of states to guarantee academic freedom, act in conformity therewith and proactively protect higher education institutions, academics and students from attacks, regardless of their origin and nature;
   (d) ensure that EU institutions and Member States’ representatives visiting third countries are briefed on the situation of academic freedom;
   (e) demonstrate support for the institutions, staff and students that are at risk or have been the victims of coercion or violent attacks and publicly condemn such attacks, by raising the issue at all levels, including through statements, visits, invitations to public appearances and trial and prison monitoring, and specific references to individual cases of members of higher education communities at risk;
   (f) support equal access to the academic community, regardless of ethnicity, caste, disability, nationality, religious belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or other status; pay particular attention in their dealings with third countries, to support the elimination of gender-based discrimination and all forms of violence and to help realise gender equality and the right to education for all;
   (g) highlight that attacks on academic freedom can also take the form of cyberattacks, as academics today increasingly make use of the internet and social media to express their ideas and opinions;
   (h) raise academic freedom at different levels of political dialogue, including in human rights dialogues and consultations with partner countries; step up diplomatic efforts with partner countries through bilateral and multilateral engagement in relation to incidents of concern, involving threats or attacks on academic freedom and particularly violent attacks on institutions and members of the higher education community, as well as discriminatory policies or practices, undue restrictions on research or expression, wrongful prosecution or detention and restrictions on the right to form and join trade unions; encourage partner countries to set up a framework for academic freedom and institutional autonomy and to monitor the implementation of these fundamental rights; ensure that any international cooperation agreements with partner countries respect these principles;
   (i) include the defence and protection of academic freedom and institutional autonomy in the Copenhagen criteria for the EU accession process with a view to preventing attacks on academic freedom in Member States, as seen in the case of the CEU in Hungary;
   (j) encourage all states to do as most EU Member States have already done and endorse and implement the Safe Schools Declaration and its accompanying Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict, which serve as guidance on the responsibility to protect core values, especially academic freedom and institutional autonomy, in the context of violent and coercive attacks on higher education;
   (k) work with the UN, the Council of Europe, international agencies, civil society and higher education communities to create mechanisms for monitoring and reporting attacks, threats and undue restrictions on higher education and individual scholars and to strengthen and promote monitoring in order to raise awareness, hold perpetrators to account and improve efforts to prevent and respond to attacks on academic freedom;
   (l) engage and encourage regular dialogue with university communities and organisations whose mission it is to protect higher education communities and promote academic freedom, in order to develop the best policy frameworks, initiatives and advocacy strategies for academic freedom;
   (m) contribute to the development of capacities for prompt, thorough and transparent investigations of violations of academic freedom, particularly in situations involving violent attacks; improve efforts to prevent and respond to attacks on academic freedom and undertake all reasonable efforts to hold perpetrators to account;
   (n) foster work on research and advocacy aimed at reforming legislation and regulations imposing undue restrictions on academic freedom or the academic autonomy of higher education institutions, and promote institutional autonomy as a way of protecting systems of higher education from state, business or other non-state actors’ interference or attacks and preserving higher education from politicisation and ideological manipulation;
   (o) step up diplomatic efforts with partner countries through bilateral and multilateral engagement in relation to incidents of concern involving threats or attacks on academic freedom, in particular violent attacks on institutions and members of the higher education community, as well as discriminatory policies or practices, undue restrictions on research or expression, wrongful prosecution or detention;
   (p) revisit existing support and protection mechanisms for human rights defenders to develop the capacity to identify and provide assistance, including emergency protection and support, in cases involving attacks on academic freedom, including through physical protection, legal and visa support, medical support, trial and prison monitoring, advocacy and lobbying, and long-term support during exile; calls, in particular, on the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights to include among its priorities the promotion of academic freedom and support for at-risk members of the academic community;
   (q) review existing programmes and resources for academic mobility and other forms of education and research cooperation, including their criteria, application procedures, requirements, timeframes and schedules, for the purpose of eliminating obstacles which might preclude otherwise qualified at-risk academics or students from being able to obtain access to programme opportunities, placements or other resources; promote the existing projects financed by the EU, such as the ‘Academic Refuge’, which strive to raise greater awareness of the importance of academic freedom in the higher education sector and the consequences for society at large when this freedom is repressed;
   (r) ensure that the EU’s macro-financial assistance programmes for third countries and the policies of European financial institutions do not undermine academic freedom by supporting policies that reduce the allocation of national income to the education sector;
   (s) create new initiatives within existing and future programmes ­– possibly as synergies developed and funded by the Union through its non-education and research budgets – such as the Instrument for Pre‑Accession (IPA III), Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and the Marie Skłodowska‑Curie Actions, for new EU‑funded programme actions to support the placement of at-risk academics, student researchers and full degree students with international protection status in European higher education and research institutions;
   (t) support ongoing normative efforts at regional and international level, including through the adoption of an international declaration on academic freedom and the autonomy of higher education institutions; encourages the EU and its Member States to take initiative on academic freedom at the UN Human Rights Council;
   (u) ensure continued, high-level support to the European Inter-University Centre and the Global Campus on Human Rights and Democracy, as a flagship of the EU’s support to human rights education worldwide;

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


The situation of women with disabilities
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European Parliament resolution of 29 November 2018 on the situation of women with disabilities (2018/2685(RSP))
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0484B8-0547/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), and its entry into force on 21 January 2011, in accordance with Council Decision 2010/48/EC of 26 November 2009 on the conclusion, by the European Community, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)(1), and in particular to Article 6 thereof on women and girls with disabilities,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979) and its Optional Protocol (1999),

–  having regard to the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers(2),

–  having regard to Articles 10, 19 and 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation(3),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (COM(2008)0426) and Parliament’s position thereon of 2 April 2009(4),

–  having regard to the study of Parliament’s Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union entitled ‘Discrimination Generated by the Intersection of Gender and Disability’,

–  having regard to the report of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) entitled ‘Poverty, gender and intersecting inequalities in the EU’, with special attention to its Chapter 8 on ‘Gender and disability’,

–  having regard to the EIGE Gender Equality Index 2017,

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on the situation of women with disabilities (O-000117/2018 – B8‑0418/2018),

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

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

A.  whereas over 80 million persons with disabilities live in the EU; whereas one in four Europeans has a family member with a disability; whereas there are approximately 46 million women and girls with disabilities in the EU, comprising about 16 % of its total female population and representing 60 % of the overall population of persons with disabilities;

B.  whereas the word ‘disability’ encompasses a large variety of temporary, short-term or long-term personal situations that require tailored policy responses and include mental health issues;

C.  whereas changing demography and an aging population mean more people becoming disabled later in life;

D.  whereas every day fundamental rights are being denied to people with disabilities, by perpetuating the difficulties in access to remunerated employment conferring rights, in both public and private sectors; whereas the vocational training of people with disabilities falls short of what is needed and could be achieved in order for it to allow for the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences necessary for inclusion in working life;

E.  whereas only 18,8 % of women with disabilities are employed in the EU; whereas 45 % of working-age women (i.e. aged 20-64) with disabilities are inactive, the equivalent figure for men being 35 %;

F.  whereas 75 % of people with severe disabilities do not have the opportunity to participate fully in the European labour market, and women with disabilities are two to five times more likely to be victims of violence than non-disabled women;

G.  whereas 34 % of women with a health problem or a disability have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime;

H.  whereas sterilisation of women with disabilities without their knowledge or consent is a widespread form of violence, in particular affecting members of ethnic minorities such as Roma women;

I.  whereas there is a lack of visibility of disabled people in public life and media;

J.  whereas approximately two-thirds of carers in Europe are women; whereas 80 % of care in the EU is provided by unpaid informal carers and 75 % of them are women; whereas the economic value of unpaid informal care in the Union, as a percentage of the overall cost of formal long-term care provision, is estimated to range from 50 to 90 %;

K.  whereas the social and economic participation of women with disabilities is essential for the success of Europe’s overall economic and social strategy;

L.  whereas women with disabilities often face multiple forms of discrimination on the grounds of, among other factors, their gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics, which contributes to the feminisation of poverty;

M.  whereas persons with disabilities and in particular women with disabilities have lower incomes and are at higher risk of poverty and social exclusion; whereas situations of poverty and exclusion are perpetuated where social protection is manifestly insufficient; whereas the situation of working women with disabilities has deteriorated over time compared to that of men (the figure for women facing in-work poverty was 10 % in 2007 and 12 % in 2014);

N.  whereas technological developments are full of both opportunities and challenges, especially for women with disabilities, as the global workforce increasingly uses digital tools;

O.  whereas difficulties persist in accessing health centres, hospital care, support products, medicines, and essential therapies for monitoring and rehabilitation; whereas severe mobility problems persist, whether due to architectural barriers that impede traffic in public spaces and streets, or limited access to public and collective transport; whereas communication obstacles remain (such as the lack of sign language interpreters in public services and poor television accessibility for deaf people), which limit and prevent access to public services and information; whereas support, protection, communication, care and health services, such as those related to primary health, violence against women, childcare and motherhood, should be fully accessible in all languages, forms and formats for all women, and especially for women and girls with disabilities;

P.  whereas the full participation of persons with disabilities, as referred to in Article 29 CRPD, in political and public life, where they are often under-represented, will remain a pious hope, and particularly so for women, if the issue is not properly addressed;

Q.  whereas, despite the numerous international conventions and provisions of European law, as well as the current European Disability Strategy, persons with disabilities are still not fully enjoying their citizens’ and social rights; whereas equal access to culture, sport and leisure and equal participation in social and political life are not guaranteed; whereas professionals working in these areas are undervalued; whereas all the above mentioned conventions and provisions are systematically disregarded, while fundamental rights continue to be denied to workers and people with disabilities; whereas women and girls with disabilities remain on the margins of decision-making and progress in gender equality;

R.  whereas gender equality was not horizontally mainstreamed in the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020;

S.  whereas Articles 21 and 26 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union explicitly prohibit discrimination on the grounds of disability, and call for the equal participation of persons with disabilities in society; whereas equal treatment can be ensured by enforcing positive measures and policies for women with disabilities and mothers of children with disabilities;

T.  whereas including a gender dimension in the post-2020 European Disability Strategy will contribute to an integrated approach to eliminating discrimination against women and girls with disabilities;

U.  whereas the monthly wage of men with disabilities is higher than that of women with disabilities, while both wages are generally lower than those of other workers, in a discriminatory reality that persists;

V.  whereas the current labour market is unstable and precarious, and the increase of unemployment means a decrease in the opportunities of access to employment for people with disabilities;

W.  whereas there is a lack of human, material and pedagogical means in the state school system for the proper accompaniment and effective inclusion of children and young people with special educational needs; whereas full integration in society is mainly achieved through quality employment and accessible education; whereasemployment is not only considered a source of income, but has also become a mechanism of social integration as it creates a link with society, interpersonal relationships and a sense of participation in social, cultural and economic life;

X.  whereas women with disabilities may experience unique forms of abuse that are difficult to recognise, such as removing or destroying a person’s mobility devices or denying access to disability-related resources in the community and/or to healthcare appointments;

Y.  whereas breast cancer rates for women with disabilities are much higher than those of the general female population, due to a lack of adapted screening and diagnosis equipment;

Z.  whereas the EIGE Gender Equality Index 2017 shows that on average 13 % of women with disabilities experience unmet medical needs and 12 % unmet dental needs, while in the case of women without disabilities 5 % experience unmet medical needs;

General recommendations

1.  Reiterates that all persons with disabilities should be able to fully enjoy their rights on a basis of inclusion and full participation in society; stresses that this is only possible through the enforcement of active and public policies and the removal of all barriers to participation;

2.  Calls on the Member States to implement policies for prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and integration with regard to people with disabilities and support for their families, and to assume responsibility for the effective realisation of their rights, without prejudice to the rights and duties of parents or guardians; calls also for the development of a pedagogy that sensitises society to the duties of respect for and solidarity with people with disabilities, to counter the social discrimination to which they are subject;

3.  Calls on the Member States to fulfil their commitments regarding ratification of the CRPD, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the rights and freedoms as well as the responsibilities enshrined in it, in particular in areas such as employment, education, health, social protection, housing, mobility, access to justice, culture, sports, leisure and participation in social and political life, as well as the specific responsibilities defined in the CRPD for the rights of women and children with disabilities;

4.  Highlights the fact that women and girls with disabilities suffer from double discrimination due to the intersection of gender and disability, and may often even be exposed to multiple discrimination arising from the intersection of gender and disability with sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, country of origin, class, migration status, age, religion or ethnicity;

5.  Reiterates its call on the Commission and the Member States to mainstream women and girls with a disability perspective in their gender equality strategy, policies and programmes, a gender perspective in their disability strategies, and both a gender and a disability perspective in all other policies;

6.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support research and innovation with regard to developing products and services to support persons with disabilities in their everyday activities;

7.  Underlines that the number of elderly people is increasing and that according to the World Health Organization, disability prevalence is higher among women, who are particularly affected by this phenomenon owing to their longer life expectancy; stresses that there will therefore be a proportionate increase in the numbers of women with disabilities;

8.  Insists that gender-disaggregated data must be collected in order to identify the forms of intersectional multiple discrimination that are faced by women and girls with disabilities, in all areas covered by the Istanbul Convention and wherever relevant;

9.  Calls on the EIGE to continue providing analysis and contributions at EU and Member State level as regards the specific situation of women and girls with disabilities, with a special focus on intersectional discrimination;

10.  Reiterates that women with disabilities often face even bigger challenges and dangers in countries involved in conflict and in conflict zones; highlights, therefore, the need to protect women with disabilities in the EU’s external policies;

Rights of women with disabilities

11.  Underlines that women with disabilities must be ensured the full enjoyment of their rights as regards access to quality, accessible and affordable education, healthcare, including trans-specific healthcare as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights, employment, mobility, family life, bodily autonomy, sexuality and marriage, as well as the safeguards guaranteeing those rights;

12.  Recalls that authorities at all levels and relevant stakeholders must respect and uphold the right to independent living and, therefore, provide the necessary instruments and support to enable people with disabilities, especially women, to enjoy freedom of choice and control over their own life and lifestyle;

13.  Emphasises that women and girls with disabilities must be informed of their rights and of the citizens’ services available to them; underlines that this information must be provided in a simple and secure fashion, taking into account the different communication methods, media and formats chosen by and adapted to them; stresses that the right to information must not be confused with the conceptualisation of the need to actively seek access to rights (shifting the responsibility for right fruition to those in need), since Member States must assume responsibility for reaching all persons with disabilities and ensuring and guaranteeing them the rights laid down by law or international convention;

14.  Calls for the integration of people with disabilities into the regular structures of society at all levels, including health, education and employment, taking into account that the persistent and generalised use of special structures or services leads to segregation and reduces equal opportunities;

15.  Recognises the need for persons with disabilities to be able to access safe spaces, e.g. in the form of clubs and associations;

16.  Calls on the EU to remove barriers to the right to vote for persons with disabilities, especially for the 2019 European elections;

17.  Urges the Member States to enforce the principle of equal pay for equal work, to counter wage discrimination and to guarantee equality between women and men, including with regard to persons with disabilities;

Accessibility

18.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to enforce policies that promote accessibility as an essential step towards inclusion and an indispensable condition for the integration and participation of persons with disabilities; stresses also the importance of respect for the principles of equal treatment and equal opportunities in relation to accessibility and mobility;

19.  Insists on the need for Member States to take measures in particular in the fields of health, education, transport, urban planning and housing;

20.  Is deeply concerned that women and girls with disabilities are far too often denied access to facilities in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights; considers it worrisome that girls and women with disabilities are denied informed consent regarding the use of contraceptives and that they even face the risk of forced sterilisation; calls on the Member States to implement legislative measures that safeguard physical integrity, freedom of choice and self-determination with regard to the sexual and reproductive life of girls and women with disabilities;

21.  Is concerned that few countries have provisions securing the right of persons with disabilities to access legal gender recognition; notes that legal gender recognition, even where allowed, might be inaccessible for women and girls under legal guardianship; notes that mandatory psychiatric assessment in order to access legal gender recognition hinders access for women and girls with mental health issues; calls on Member States to adopt legal gender recognition legislation based on self-determination and taking into account accessibility needs for people with disabilities;

22.  Identifies the need, regarding transport, for the Member States to develop public transport policies that facilitate mobility for disabled people, together with the removal of architectural barriers; calls on the Council and the Commission to allocate the necessary EU funds to support the development of such policies;

Labour and workplace relations with a view to quality employment and a fair work-life balance

23.  Calls on the Member States to develop policies that promote the integration of persons with disabilities in the labour market; considers that such policies should encourage access to employment as a condition of social inclusion, promoting equal opportunities;

24.  Calls on the Member States to guarantee specific forms of labour regulation that address and integrate the specific needs of people with disabilities, especially as regards the regulation of working hours; stresses the need to define specific labour legislation that considers the needs of women with disabilities with regard to pregnancy and maternity, safeguarding permanence in the labour market and ensuring labour protection;

25.  Calls on the Member States to assess the need for arrangements to ensure that the application of maternity, paternity and parental leave and flexible working time is adapted to the diverse needs related to multiple births, premature births, adoptive parents, co-parents, parents with disabilities, parents with mental health problems, and parents of children with a disability, a chronic disease or a mental health problem;

26.  Calls for the promotion of the right to health and rehabilitation and for policies that seek to prevent and remedy accidents at work and occupational diseases for persons with disabilities;

27.  Calls on the Commission to provide Member States with expertise on ways forward to address intersectional discrimination;

28.  Calls on the Commission to support and encourage Member States in tackling discrimination generated by the intersection of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sex characteristics and disability, by means of diversity training and work with employers on workplace measures, e.g. promoting anonymous recruitment procedures;

Education

29.  Calls on the Member States, in providing pre-school childcare, to place emphasis not only on accessibility, but also on the quality and affordability of that care, in particular for children with disabilities while taking into account the needs of parents with disabilities; also calls on the Member States to improve public investment in early childhood education and care for those groups of people;

30.  Stresses the importance of integrating women with disabilities into mainstream educational and professional systems;

31.  Highlights that a higher standard and quality of education and training will lead to the greater empowerment of women with disabilities, as education is one of the tools that most influence the progress of society, providing the knowledge and values ​​necessary to achieve higher levels of wellbeing and economic and personal growth; underlines the special importance of quality education and training for persons with disabilities;

32.  Calls on the Member States to ensure effective equal opportunities in access to education by guaranteeing the effective integration of children and young people with disabilities into their education systems at all levels; calls for support for special educational needs and educational material, backed up by inclusive schools in order to ensure equal access, but also success, in the education system;

33.  Calls on the Member States to invest in high-quality education for children and adults with disabilities as part of mainstream education, thus facilitating access, especially among the most disadvantaged sections of the population;

34.  Calls for education policies that seek the removal of the many obstacles that persist for people with disabilities; urges the Member States to achieve within their mainstream educational establishments the physical and/or pedagogical conditions that allow persons with disabilities to attend them; stresses, therefore, the need to increase the numbers of teachers accompanying children with disabilities;

35.  Calls on the Member States to develop strategies to combat bullying and harassment, including in educational contexts and online, against children and young people on the grounds of disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, migration status, class, age, religion or ethnicity;

36.  Recalls the importance of taking into account the needs of women and girls with disabilities in the design and implementation of EU programmes and initiatives, in particular in the field of education, mobility and youth actions, as well as undertaking all relevant actions to ensure further their participation in such opportunities;

Health

37.  Considers that women and girls with disabilities must have full access to medical and dental care that meets their particular needs, in areas such as gynaecological consultation, medical examinations, sexual and reproductive health, family planning and adapted support during pregnancy, and trans-specific healthcare; urges the Member States to ensure public investment in this field and that their national public healthcare provision includes proper access to these services;

38.  Stresses that women and girls with disabilities must receive all appropriate information to enable them to freely take decisions regarding their health; emphasises the importance of Member States taking all necessary measures to combat forced sterilisation;

39.  Calls on the Commission to introduce targets for care services for persons with disabilities, on similar lines to the Barcelona targets, with monitoring tools for measuring the quality, accessibility and affordability of these services;

40.  Calls on the EU and the Member States to take all measures to ensure that women and girls with disabilities have equal access both to disability-specific healthcare and to mainstream services;

41.  Calls on the Commission to provide Member States with expertise on ways forward to address intersectional discrimination;

Gender-based violence

42.  Welcomes the decision of the Council for the EU to sign the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention), as an important step in combating violence against women and girls with disabilities; calls on the EU to swiftly ratify the Istanbul Convention and urges those Member States which have not yet ratified it to do so; encourages the Council to proceed to the conclusion of the EU’s accession as soon as possible;

43.  Stresses with concern that women and girls with disabilities are more likely to become victims of gender-based violence, especially domestic violence and sexual exploitation; points out that this also concerns forced sterilisation and coerced abortion; calls on the Member States to take appropriate measures and provide high-quality, accessible and tailor-made services in order to end violence against women and children and support the victims of violence, providing staff trained to give specialised advice as well as appropriate legal protection and support;

44.  Encourages the Member States to provide all health and education professionals with appropriate training for the prevention of discrimination and violence against women and girls with disabilities;

45.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to submit a comprehensive European strategy to fight violence against women with a proposal for a legislative act for preventing and combating gender-based violence, paying particular attention to women and girls with disabilities; also calls for the establishment of an EU observatory on gender-based violence;

46.  Calls for specific policy measures to address violence and abuse affecting persons with disabilities and learning difficulties, particularly women and girls, including online intimidation, bullying and harassment, as well as violence in situations of formal and informal care;

Digital and media inclusion

47.  Emphasises that more must be done to overcome stereotypes and prejudice about disability, and that women and girls with disabilities need to have greater visibility in the media in order to change prevalent exclusionary social norms; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote gender equality in media organisations, representative bodies and training institutions, especially in their boards, and to invest in public awareness initiatives, as well as to closely monitor and follow up the progress made;

48.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop programmes and services for women with disabilities, focusing on their digital inclusion and emphasising the huge potential of digitalisation for women with a disability;

49.  Stresses the need to increase accessibility to media services, with fully accessible internet services that meet the highest standards of excellence adapted to persons with disabilities;

50.  Calls on the Member States to encourage broadcasters to fully involve women with disabilities as participants and presenters in broadcast media of all kinds;

Legislation and implementation

51.  Regrets that the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 currently in force has failed to boost the adoption of effective legislative acts, measures and policies to tackle the segregation and rejection of women with disabilities in the labour market, political life, and schools and learning environments;

52.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to introduce policies to enable and encourage the participation of women and girls with disabilities in public, social, cultural, economic and political life, in particular by reducing barriers to mobility and encouraging women with disabilities to form and join organisations and networks, as well as through training and mentorship programmes;

53.  Calls on the EU and the Member States to develop positive actions targeting women with disabilities in order to promote training, job placements, access to employment, job retention, equal career paths, adaptation in the workplace and work-life balance;

54.  Calls on the Commission to develop positive actions to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities, to establish a mechanism to monitor progress, and to fund data collection and research on women and girls with disabilities, in accordance with the CRPD principles;

55.  Calls on the Commission to present a proposal for the European Disability Strategy 2020-2030 that fully integrates the CRPD provisions in future EU legislation, policies and programmes and is consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019, so as to ensure that women and girls with disabilities can fully enjoy their rights like any other person;

56.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to enshrine CRPD standards in their legal and policy frameworks in order to ensure that the human rights-based approach to disability is fully reflected in law and policymaking;

57.  Underlines that women and girls with disabilities, through their representative organisations, should be closely consulted on, and actively involved in developing and implementing, legislation and policies to ensure non-discrimination and equal opportunities, as well as monitoring their effectiveness; calls for a genuine structured dialogue between the EU and organisations representing persons with disabilities for the drafting of the European Disability Strategy 2020-2030;

58.  Stresses that organisations of persons with disabilities must be involved in the preparation, execution and ex-post evaluation of projects undertaken in the framework of EU cohesion policy;

Funding

59.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to optimise the EU Structural Funds, including the European Social Fund, in order to promote accessibility and non-discrimination for women with disabilities, and to increase the visibility of funding opportunities, e.g. for business start-ups and supporting entrepreneurship in general;

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

(1) OJ L 23, 27.1.2010, p. 35.
(2) OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16.
(4) OJ C 137 E, 27.5.2010, p. 68.

Legal notice