Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 13 December 2018 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Expedited settlement of commercial disputes
 Establishing the space programme of the Union and European Union Agency for the Space Programme ***I
 Establishing the Digital Europe programme for the period 2021-2027 ***I
 US-EU Agreement on cooperation in the regulation of civil aviation safety ***
 Common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services *
 Corporate taxation of a significant digital presence *
 Iran, notably the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh
 Egypt, notably the situation of human rights defenders
 Tanzania
 Blockchain: a forward-looking trade policy
 Adequacy of the protection of personal data afforded by Japan
 Conflict of interest and the protection of the EU budget in the Czech Republic
 Activities of the European Ombudsman in 2017
 Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions 2017

Expedited settlement of commercial disputes
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 with recommendations to the Commission on expedited settlement of commercial disputes (2018/2079(INL))
P8_TA(2018)0519A8-0396/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 67(4) TFEU and 81(2) TFEU,

–  having regard to Article 19(1) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’),

–  having regard to the study from the Directorate General for internal policies entitled ‘Building competence in commercial law in the Member States’,

–  having regard to the 2018 EU Justice Scoreboard,

–  having regard to the 2016 European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) ‘Judicial Training Principles’(1),

–  having regard to the Union acquis in the area of judicial cooperation in civil matters,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0396/2018),

A.  whereas the right to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time, as enshrined in Article 47 of the Charter and in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, constitutes one of the fundamental guarantees of the rule of law and of democracy and is an intrinsic part of civil proceedings as a whole;

B.  whereas the introduction of a European Expedited Civil Procedure could contribute to the modernisation of national proceedings, a level playing field for businesses and increased economic growth thanks to effective and efficient judicial systems, while at the same time facilitating access to justice in the Union and helping to uphold the fundamental freedoms of the Union;

C.  Whereas the 2018 Justice Scoreboard showed that the availability of legal aid and the level of court fees have a key impact on access to justice, in particular for citizens in poverty;

D.  whereas judicial cooperation has been promoted, supported and encouraged by several procedural acts of secondary law of the Union, including the Small Claims Regulation, the Legal Aid Directive, the Regulation on taking of evidence and the Regulation on service of documents;

E.  whereas the goals of judicial cooperation between Member States are, inter alia, to ensure the full respect of the right to effective remedy and a fair trial in cross-border cases, to guarantee effective and smooth judicial procedures also in those situations and to establish mutual trust in judiciary systems, which is the basis for further mutual recognition of judgments across the Union;

F.  whereas many issues with regard to procedural law in the area of civil justice are regulated at the national level, thus procedural law in this area differs from one Member State to another, which is in line with principle of subsidiarity and proportionality; whereas an accelerated procedure could lead to the necessary approximation of procedural regimes in the Union;

G.  whereas it is necessary to step up enhanced cooperation between the Member State authorities and judicial systems at Union level, with a view to removing any obstacles that might arise from incompatibilities between different judicial and administrative systems;

H.  whereas the Brussels I Regulation sets basic rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial cross-border matters in the Union; whereas the recast version, which applies from 2015 (Brussels Ia), introduced a number of key adjustments for the resolution of EU cross-border disputes, saving time and money for businesses and individuals;

I.  whereas the Rome I Regulation lays down rules on law applicable to civil and commercial contractual obligations;

J.  whereas procedural rules should guarantee both protection of the rights of the parties and speedy settlement of disputes;

K.  whereas settlement of commercial matters in public courts in the Member States is, in general, slow and fails to meet the expectations of parties involved in commercial disputes, a fact that is accentuated by the introduction of the European small claims procedure, which has, by contrast, led to substantially faster settlement of consumer disputes; and whereas proper use of Information and Communication Technologies in courts contributes to speeding up proceedings and to reducing costs.

L.  whereas the slow settlement of commercial disputes in the Union might lead commercial parties to seek alternative dispute settlement, or dispute settlement in non-member States and choose to apply the national law of a non-member State to contracts;

M.  whereas high quality settlement of commercial disputes depends on a high level of competence and experience in these matters in courts, among judges and lawyers and legal practitioners;

N.  whereas the availability of a rapid and cost-effective fast-track procedure supported by highly experienced and competent judges and lawyers in the Member States would make a decision to choose the national law of a Member State more likely and as a consequence enrich the competence in civil and commercial matters in the Member States;

O.  whereas it seems necessary to find a suitable solution as regards the different language regimes which could consist of harmonised forms, available in all the official languages of the Union;

P.  whereas courts and chambers specialised in commercial matters will guarantee a higher level of competence and independence in such matters and thereby attract such cases to the courts of the Member States;

1.  Notes that the settlement of commercial matters is far slower than it could be, taking on average between three and four years and that this leads to substantial losses for business, and not only in economic terms but also as regards time, energy and other resources that could be diverted for other opportunities;

2.  Stresses the need to ensure the full respect of the right of the parties to an effective remedy and to a fair trial, as established in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and to guarantee the high quality of judicial proceedings in commercial matters;

3.  Highlights the successful implementation of the European small claims procedure (ESCP), which provided a way of solving consumer and other cross-border disputes regarding small amounts within the Union in a swift and cost-effective way while upholding protection for the rights of the parties;

4.  Emphasises that mutual trust is a complex notion and that many factors play a role in building that trust, such as judicial education and upskilling, cross-border judicial cooperation and exchange of experience and best practices between judges;

5.  Stresses that, with regard to fair trial and access to justice, cooperation networks and databases enhancing judicial cooperation and exchange of information should be maintained and further expanded, including the European Judicial Network and the European e-Justice Portal, which is to become a one-stop-shop in the area of justice in the Union;

6.  Contends that the adoption of a regulation similar to the ESCP, the European Expedited Civil Procedure (EECP) applicable to cross-border commercial disputes would be the best way to address the long waiting times for commercial disputes in the Union, possibly making great savings for European businesses and mobilising unused capital;

7.  Contends that commercial parties will be better placed to pay for representation and prepare for a court case which means that they have better prospects of protecting their rights, which would allow for a faster procedure;

8.  Observes that such a procedure could build on requirements for thorough preparations by the parties before the procedure is launched, strict deadlines, few possibilities to add facts or evidence during the process and no separate appeal to procedural decisions, thus achieving a fast-track procedure;

9.  Is of the opinion that such a strict procedural system is compatible with the protection of the rights of the parties on condition that the EECP should be voluntary and should only apply:

   where the parties have agreed to make use of the procedure after the dispute has arisen, or
   where the defendant accepts to participate in the procedure after the claimant has brought an action under the EECP, provided that the defendant has enough time to adequately prepare before the start of the procedure;

10.  Believes that the EECP should in any case be valid only where the parties have been duly informed in advance of the consequences of consenting to use such a procedure; considers that the costs of the EECP should not be excessive for the parties, in order to guarantee the respect of the right of access to justice;

11.  Stresses that parties to a dispute often only reach an amicable resolution when the circumstances and arguments are fully developed, which means that in a procedural system that required the parties to investigate the circumstances and develop their arguments further before going to court, more disputes would be resolved amicably at an earlier stage;

12.  Observes that the aim to provide expedited and more cost-effective settlement of commercial disputes in the Union cannot be achieved solely through the introduction of a harmonised fast-track procedural system; to this aim, courts, judges, lawyers and legal practitioners that are highly proficient and experienced in commercial law and private international law would be needed in order to make such a procedural system efficient;

13.  Emphasises that the current distribution in choice of law in commercial contracts between the different European jurisdictions is not equal across Member States;

14.  Observes that choices of applicable law often are based on complex considerations, but that the combination of a foreign law and court often exposes a party to substantial economic risks, and that such provisions are specifically questionable if agreed as part of standard contracts or in situations where one of the parties has little or no chance of influencing the agreement in that respect;

15.  Understands that language barriers could be an additional obstacle and thus another reason for choosing one law over another to be applicable;

16.  Underlines that the availability of uniform standard forms, available in all the official languages of the Union, would facilitate access to the EECP;

17.  Suggests, that in order to ensure uniform standard forms, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission, exercised in accordance with the Inter-institutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making;

18.  Calls on the Commission to assess the need to review the Rome I, Rome II and Brussels Ia Regulations in order to strengthen the connection between the aim and subject matter of contracts and the law chosen while at the same time to ensure that the weaker parties in business-to-business relations and contracts are protected, and to preserve the autonomy of the parties in relation to the choice of law;

19.  Emphasises that legislative measures cannot address these issues alone, practical measures to raise the expertise both of courts and of lawyers are also necessary, such as improved training in commercial matters and better access to Union law and the national law of the Member States, in particular case law;

20.  Observes that commercial law and private international law are areas less codified than other areas of law, which means that there is a more important role for academic research, thus one of the measures to strengthen competence in commercial matters in the Member States is to make more resources available for research in this field;

21.  Welcomes therefore the EJTN’s nine judicial training principles adopted at its 2016 General Assembly, in that they provide a common foundation and framework for Europe’s judiciary and judicial training institutions alike;

22.  Stresses that also the quality of the law applicable to commercial matters and the degree to which it is well adapted to the practices and developments in the commercial sector is of great importance;

23.  Pursuant to Article 225 TFEU, requests therefore the Commission to submit by 1 January 2020, on the basis of Article 81(2) TFEU, a proposal for a legislative act on a European Expedited Civil Procedure and, in accordance with the recommendations set out in the Annex hereto, following the assessment of the Commission of the need for such a review, a possible proposal for amendments to the Rome I and Rome II and Brussels Ia Regulations;

24.  Invites the Commission and the Member States to supplement these proposals with other supporting measures aimed at raising the expertise in the Member States in commercial law and international private law.

25.  Confirms that the recommendations annexed to this resolution respect fundamental rights, the principle of national procedural autonomy and the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

26.  Considers that any financial implications of the proposal, in particular the costs of proceedings brought under the EECP, would be offset by equivalent savings, as the EEPC is likely to be substantially more cost-effective than the ordinary procedures of the Member States and given that the disputes in question would not be brought under the general procedural system of the Member State in question;

27.  Emphasises that commercial law is only one of the areas in which further actions at Union level are needed to ensure better access to justice, higher quality of proceedings, stronger safeguards for the parties and quicker settlement of disputes;

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

ANNEX TO THE RESOLUTION:

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MEASURES TO INTRODUCE AND SUPPORT A EUROPEAN EXPEDITED CIVIL PROCEDURE

PRINCIPLES AND AIMS OF THE PROPOSALS REQUESTED

I.  European Expedited Civil Procedure

The main aim of the following proposal is to introduce a voluntary European Expedited Civil Procedure in order to provide European companies a possibility to reach a settlement of purely commercial business-to-business disputes of a cross-border nature within a reasonable time frame.

A European Expedited Civil Procedure could build on the following principles:

1.  It should apply to cross-border commercial disputes to which the European Small Claims Procedure does not apply;

2.  It should apply if the parties so agree after the dispute arises or if the claimant launches a claim under the procedure and the defendant accepts it;

3.  It should apply only if the parties have been duly informed in advance of the consequences of consenting to use this procedure;

4.  It should require the parties to prepare their claims to a high degree before going to court; paired with early preclusion of the possibility to raise new facts or new evidence in court;

5.  It should not allow separate appeal against procedural decisions;

6.  It could in principle be a written procedure, allowing for oral hearings where at least one of the parties so request;

7.  It should, as a starting point, apply very short deadlines to the procedure, allowing the court, in agreement with the parties, to apply longer deadlines in cases of higher complexity;

8.  Encourage in- and out-of-court amicable settlement of cross-border commercial disputes, including by way of mediation;

9.  Encourage the use of modern technologies for the purpose of oral hearings, taking of evidence and service of documents;

10.  The costs of the procedure should be limited, in order to guarantee the respect of the right of access to justice;

11.  Allow for recognition and enforcement of the final judgment under the procedure in the simplest and most user-friendly way available under Union law.

II.  Possible changes to Rome I, Rome II and Brussels Ia Regulations

The proposal on European Expedited Civil Procedure could be supported by a proposal to amend the Rome I and Rome II and Brussels Ia Regulations to achieve a stronger connection between the purpose and aim of agreements and the law chosen within the Union also to afford the parties to purely commercial contracts further autonomy while ensuring the protection of the weaker parties in business-to-business relations.

Amendments to the Rome I Regulation could include:

1.  Consideration of reinforcement of the connection between the law chosen and the content, aim and purpose of the contract and of the parties;

2.  Reconsideration of the rules applicable to the validity of a choice of law, this ought to be considered under the default law applicable to the contract.

III.  Other measures to build competence in commercial matters in Member States

1.  These proposals ought to be further supported by actions by the Commission and the Member States to build competence in commercial matters, such as:

a)  training of judges and lawyers and legal practitioners in commercial matters;

b)  simplified and enhanced access to Union and Member States’ national law, including jurisprudence;

c)  further focus on commercial law and international private law in legal education;

d)  additional resources to academic research in the fields of commercial law and international private law; and

e)  the mastering of a foreign language and its legal terminology.

2.  Furthermore, Member States are invited to ensure that courts applying the European Expedited Civil Procedure possess specific competence in the field of commercial law, for example by designating or reinforcing existing commercial courts or chambers.

3.  In addition, the Commission is invited to further study the possibility to establish a European Commercial Court to supplement the courts of the Member States and offer litigants an additional, international forum specialised in settlement of commercial disputes.

4.  As a final measure, Member States are invited to consider reviewing their laws applicable to commercial matters in business-to-business situations, as one of the important factors for choice of law is how well the effectiveness and the quality of the commercial law of a country.

(1) http://www.ejtn.eu/PageFiles/15756/Judicial%20Training%20Principles_EN.pdf


Establishing the space programme of the Union and European Union Agency for the Space Programme ***I
PDF 323kWORD 101k
Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 13 December 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme and repealing Regulations (EU) No 912/2010, (EU) No 1285/2013, (EU) No 377/2014 and Decision 541/2014/EU (COM(2018)0447 – C8-0258/2018 – 2018/0236(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2018)0520A8-0405/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Draft legislative resolution   Amendment
Amendment 1
Draft legislative resolution
Citation 5 a (new)
–   having regard to the Commission communication of 14 September 2016 entitled ‘Connectivity for a Competitive Digital Single Market – Towards a European Gigabit Society’ (COM(2016)0587) and the accompanying Commission staff working document (SWD(2016)0300),
Amendment 2
Draft legislative resolution
Citation 5 b (new)
–   having regard to the Commission communication of 14 September 2016 entitled ‘5G for Europe: An Action Plan’ (COM(2016)0588) and the accompanying Commission staff working document (SWD(2016)0306),
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 1
(1)  Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the daily lives of Europeans and play an essential role in preserving many strategic interests. The Union’s space industry is already one of the most competitive in the world. However, the emergence of new players and the development of new technologies are revolutionising traditional industrial models. It is therefore crucial that the Union remains a leading international player with extensive freedom of action in the space domain, that it encourages scientific and technical progress and support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of space sector industries within the Union, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups and innovative businesses.
(1)  Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the daily lives of Europeans and play an essential role in preserving many strategic interests. The Union’s space industry is already one of the most competitive in the world. However, the emergence of new players and the development of new technologies are revolutionising traditional industrial models. It is therefore crucial that the Union remains a leading international player with extensive freedom of action in the space domain, that it encourages scientific and technical progress and support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of space sector industries within the Union, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups and innovative businesses. At the same time, it is important to create the appropriate conditions to ensure a global level playing field for companies active in the space sector.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 2
(2)  The space sector’s development has historically been linked to security. In many cases, the equipment, components and instruments used in the space sector are dual-use goods. The possibilities that space offers for the security of the Union and its Member States should therefore be exploited.
(2)  The space sector’s development has historically been linked to security. In many cases, the equipment, components and instruments used in the space sector are dual-use goods. The possibilities that space and autonomous access to space offers for the security and independence of the Union and its Member States should therefore be exploited.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 3
(3)  The Union has been developing its own space initiatives and programmes since the end of the 1990s, namely the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and then Galileo and Copernicus, which respond to the needs of Union citizens and the requirements of public policies. Not only should the continuity of those initiatives be ensured but they must also be improved, so that they remain at the forefront in view of new technology development and the transformations in the digital and information and communications technology domains, meet the new needs of users and are able to meet political priorities such as climate change, including monitoring changes in the Artic, security and defence.
(3)  The Union has been developing its own space initiatives and programmes since the end of the 1990s, namely the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and then Galileo and Copernicus, which respond to the needs of Union citizens and the requirements of public policies. The continuity of those initiatives, as well as their uptake and use, should be ensured and must also be improved, so that they remain at the forefront in view of new technology development and the transformations in the digital and information and communications technology domains, meet the new needs of users and are able to meet political priorities. The Programme should promote space-based services also so that all Member States and their citizens can fully reap the benefits of the Programme.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  The Union needs to ensure its freedom of action and autonomy to have access to space and be able to use it safely. It is therefore essential that it maintains autonomous, reliable and cost-effective access to space, especially as regards critical infrastructure and technology, public security and the security of the Union and its Member States. The Commission should therefore have the possibility to aggregate launch services at European level, both for its own needs and, at their request, for those of other entities, including Member States, in conformity with the provisions of Article 189(2) of the Treaty. It is also crucial that the Union continues to have modern, efficient and flexible launch infrastructure facilities. In addition to measures taken by Member States and the European Space Agency, the Commission should consider ways to support such facilities. In particular, where space ground infrastructure necessary to perform launches in line with the needs of the Programme is to be maintained or upgraded, it should be possible to partially fund such adaptations under the Programme, in line with the Financial Regulation and where a clear EU value added can be established, with the view of achieving a better cost efficiency for the Programme.
(4)  The Union needs to ensure its freedom of action and autonomy to have access to space and be able to use it safely. It is therefore essential that it maintains autonomous, reliable and cost-effective access to space, including alternative launching technologies and innovative systems or services, especially as regards critical infrastructure and technology, public security and the security of the Union and its Member States. The Commission should therefore have the possibility to aggregate launch services at European level, both for its own needs and, at their request, for those of other entities, including Member States, in conformity with the provisions of Article 189(2) of the Treaty. It is also crucial that the Union continues to have modern, efficient and flexible launch infrastructure facilities. In addition to measures taken by Member States and the European Space Agency, the Commission should consider ways to support such facilities. In particular, where space ground infrastructure necessary to perform launches in line with the needs of the Programme is to be maintained or upgraded, it should be possible to partially fund such adaptations under the Programme, in line with the Financial Regulation and where a clear EU value added can be established, with the view of achieving a better cost efficiency for the Programme.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5
(5)  To strengthen the competitiveness of the Union space industry and gain capacities in designing, building and operating its own systems, the Union should support the creation, growth, and development of the entire space industry. The emergence of a business- and innovation-friendly model should be supported at European, regional and national levels by establishing space hubs that bring together the space, digital and user sectors. The Union should foster the expansion of Union-based space companies to help them succeed, including by supporting them in accessing risk finance in view of the lack, within the Union, of appropriate access to private equity for space start-ups and by creating innovation partnerships (first contract approach).
(5)  To strengthen the competitiveness of the Union space industry and gain capacities in designing, building and operating its own systems, the Union should support the creation, growth, and development of the entire space industry. The emergence of a business- and innovation-friendly model should be supported at European, regional and national levels by initiatives such as space hubs that bring together the space, digital and user sectors. Space hubs should work in cooperation with the digital innovation hubs to foster entrepreneurship and skills. The Union should foster the creation and expansion of Union-based space companies to help them succeed, including by supporting them in accessing risk finance in view of the lack, within the Union, of appropriate access to private equity for space start-ups and by creating innovation partnerships (first contract approach).
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6
(6)  Owing to its coverage and its potential to help resolve global challenges, the space programme of the Union ('Programme') has a strong international dimension. The Commission should therefore be enabled to manage, on behalf of the Union, and coordinate activities on the international scene on behalf of the Union, in particular to defend the interests of the Union and its Member States in international fora, including in the area of frequencies, to promote the Union's technology and industry, and to encourage cooperation in the field of training, bearing in mind the need to ensure the reciprocity of the rights and obligations of the parties. It is particularly important that the Union be represented by the Commission in the bodies of the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme or in relevant sectoral UN bodies including the Food and Agriculture Organisation, as well as the World Meteorological Organisation.
(6)  Owing to its coverage and its potential to help resolve global challenges, the space programme of the Union ('Programme') has a strong international dimension. The Commission should therefore be enabled to manage, on behalf of the Union, and coordinate activities on the international scene on behalf of the Union, in particular to defend the interests of the Union and its Member States in international fora, including in the area of frequencies. The Commission should strengthen economic diplomacy to promote the Union's technology and industry, and to encourage cooperation in the field of training, bearing in mind the need to ensure the reciprocity of the rights and obligations of the parties and fair competition at international level. It is particularly important that the Union be represented by the Commission in the bodies of the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme or in relevant sectoral UN bodies including the Food and Agriculture Organisation, as well as the World Meteorological Organisation.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7
(7)  The Commission should promote, alongside the Member States and the High Representative, responsible behaviour in space and outer space and explore the possibility for accession to the relevant UN Conventions.
(7)  The Commission should promote, alongside the Member States and the High Representative, responsible behaviour in space and outer space, in particular in finding solutions against the space debris proliferation and explore the possibility for accession to the relevant UN Conventions, including the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the Outer Space Treaty).
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 8
(8)  The Programme shares similar objectives with other Union programmes, notably Horizon Europe, InvestEU Fund, European Defence Fund and Funds under Regulation (EU) [Common Provisions Regulation]. Therefore, cumulative funding from those programmes should be foreseen, provided they do cover the same cost items, in particular through arrangements for complementary funding from Union programmes where management modalities permit - either in sequence, in an alternating way, or through the combination of funds including for the joint funding of actions, allowing, where possible, innovation partnerships and blending operations. During the implementation of the Programme, the Commission should therefore promote synergies with other related Union programmes which would allow, where possible, use of access to risk finance, innovation partnerships, cumulative or blended funding.
(8)  The Programme shares similar objectives with other Union programmes, notably Horizon Europe, InvestEU Fund, European Defence Fund and Funds under Regulation (EU) [Common Provisions Regulation]. Therefore, cumulative funding from those programmes should be foreseen, provided they do cover the same costs, in particular through arrangements for complementary funding from Union programmes where management modalities permit - either in sequence, in an alternating way, or through the combination of funds including for the joint funding of actions, allowing, where possible, innovation partnerships and blending operations. During the implementation of the Programme, the Commission should therefore promote synergies with other related Union programmes which would allow, where possible, use of access to risk finance, innovation partnerships, cumulative or blended funding. It is important to ensure continuity between the solutions developed through Horizon Europe and other Union programmes and the components of the Programme.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10 a (new)
(10 a)  Around 200 000 professionals are employed in the Union space sector. Therefore, it is essential to continue developing the state-of-the-art infrastructure of that sector and thereby stimulate upstream and downstream economic activities. In addition, to ensure the competitiveness of the European space industry in the future, the Programme should support the development of advanced skills in space-related fields and support education and training activities, with a special focus on girls and women, in order to realise the full potential of Union citizens in that area.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13 a (new)
(13a)   The Programme should exploit the synergies between the space and transport sectors, taking into consideration that space technologies play a strategic role in making land, maritime, air and space transport smarter, more efficient, safer, more secure, sustainable and integrated and at the same time a growing, innovative transport sector will increase the request of innovative and up-to-date space technologies.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14
(14)  Any revenue generated by the Programme should accrue to the Union in order to partially offset the investments that it has already made, and that revenue should be used to support the objectives of the Programme. For the same reason, it should be possible to provide for a revenue-sharing mechanism in contracts concluded with private sector entities.
(14)  Revenue generated by the components of the Programme should accrue to the Union in order to partially offset the investments that it has already made, and that revenue should be used to support the achievement of the objectives of the Programme. For the same reason, it should be possible to provide for a revenue-sharing mechanism in contracts concluded with private sector entities.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 16
(16)  The Programme relies on complex and constantly changing technologies. The reliance on such technologies results in uncertainty and risk for public contracts concluded under this programme, insofar as those contracts involve long-term commitments to equipment or services. Specific measures concerning public contracts are therefore required in addition to the rules laid down in the Financial Regulation. It should thus be possible to award a contract in the form of a conditional stage-payment contract, introduce an amendment, under certain conditions, in the context of its performance, or impose a minimum level of subcontracting. Lastly, given the technological uncertainties that characterise the components of the Programme, contract prices cannot always be forecast accurately and it should therefore be possible to conclude contracts without stipulating a firm fixed price and to include clauses to safeguard the financial interests of the Union.
(16)  The Programme relies on complex and constantly changing technologies. The reliance on such technologies results in uncertainty and risk for public contracts concluded under this programme, insofar as those contracts involve long-term commitments to equipment or services. Specific measures concerning public contracts are therefore required in addition to the rules laid down in the Financial Regulation. It should thus be possible to award a contract in the form of a conditional stage-payment contract, introduce an amendment, under certain conditions, in the context of its performance, or impose a minimum level of subcontracting, in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups. Lastly, given the technological uncertainties that characterise the components of the Programme, contract prices cannot always be forecast accurately and it should therefore be possible to conclude contracts without stipulating a firm fixed price and to include clauses to safeguard the financial interests of the Union.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 25
(25)  Sound public governance of the Programme requires the strict distribution of responsibilities and tasks among the different entities involved to avoid duplication and reduce cost overruns and delays.
(25)  Sound public governance of the Programme requires the strict distribution of responsibilities and tasks among the different entities involved to avoid duplication and reduce cost overruns and delays, and should aim to prioritise the use of existing European infrastructure and developing the European professional and industrial sectors.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 25 a (new)
(25a)  The Space Programmes are user-driven and therefore require the continuous, effective involvement of users' representatives for their implementation and development.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 26
(26)  Member States have long been active in the field of space. They have systems, infrastructure, national agencies and bodies linked to space. They can therefore make a big contribution the Programme, especially its implementation, and should be required to cooperate fully with the Union to promote the Programme’s services and applications. The Commission should be able to mobilise the means at Member States' disposal, might entrust the Member States with non-regulatory tasks in the execution of the Programme and benefit from their assistance. Moreover, the Member States concerned should take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of the ground stations established on their territories. In addition, Member States and the Commission should work together and with appropriate international bodies and regulatory authorities to ensure that the frequencies necessary for the Programme are available and protected to allow for the full development and implementation of applications based on the services offered, in compliance with Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme15 .
(26)  Member States have long been active in the field of space. They have systems, infrastructure, national agencies and bodies linked to space. They can therefore make a big contribution to the Programme, especially to its implementation, and should be required to cooperate fully with the Union to promote the Programme’s services and applications. The Commission should be able to mobilise the means at Member States' disposal, might entrust the Member States with non-regulatory tasks in the execution of the Programme and benefit from their assistance. Moreover, the Member States concerned should take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of the ground stations established on their territories. In addition, Member States and the Commission should work together and with appropriate international bodies and regulatory authorities to ensure that the frequencies necessary for the Programme are available and have adequate protection to allow for the full development and implementation of applications based on the services offered, in compliance with Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme15 .
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15 Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme (OJ L 81, 21.3.2012, p. 7).
15 Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme (OJ L 81, 21.3.2012, p. 7).
Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 27
(27)  As promoter of the Union’s general interest, it falls to the Commission to implement the Programme, assume overall responsibility and promote their use. In order to optimise the resources and competences of the various stakeholders, the Commission should be able to delegate certain tasks. Moreover the Commission is the best placed to determine the main technical and operational specifications necessary to implement systems and services evolution.
(27)  As promoter of the Union’s general interest, it falls to the Commission to supervise the implementation of the Programme, assume overall responsibility and promote their use. In order to optimise the resources and competences of the various stakeholders, the Commission should be able to delegate certain tasks. Moreover the Commission is the best placed to determine the main requirements necessary to implement systems and services evolution.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 28
(28)  The mission of the European Union Agency for the Space Programme ("the Agency"), which replaces and succeeds the European GNSS Agency established by Regulation (EU) No 912/2010, is to contribute to the Programme, particularly as regards security. Certain tasks linked to the security and promotion of the Programme should therefore be assigned to the Agency. In relation to security in particular, and given its experience in this area, the Agency should be responsible for the security accreditation tasks for all the Union actions in the space sector. Furthermore, it should perform the tasks which the Commission confers on it by means of one or more contribution agreements covering various other specific tasks associated with the programme.
(28)  The mission of the European Union Agency for the Space Programme ("the Agency"), which replaces and succeeds the European GNSS Agency established by Regulation (EU) No 912/2010, is to contribute to the Programme, particularly as regards security, cybersecurity and promotion of the services and the downstream sector. Tasks linked to those areas should therefore be assigned to the Agency. In relation to security in particular, and given its experience in this area, the Agency should be responsible for the security accreditation tasks for all the Union actions in the space sector. Building on its positive track record in promoting the user and market uptake of Galileo and EGNOS and with a view to promoting the programmes as a package, the Agency should also be entrusted with undertaking promotional and commercialisation activities for Copernicus. Furthermore, it should perform the tasks which the Commission confers on it by means of one or more contribution agreements covering various other specific tasks associated with the programme.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 29
(29)  The European Space Agency is an international organisation with extensive expertise in the space domain and which entered into a Framework Agreement with the European Community in 2004. It is therefore an important partner in the implementation of the Programme, with which any appropriate relations should be established. In this regard, and in compliance with the Financial Regulation, it is important to conclude a financial framework partnership agreement with the European Space Agency that governs all financial relations between the Commission, the Agency and the European Space Agency and ensures their consistency and conform to the Framework Agreement with the European Space Agency, in particular with Article 5 thereof. However, as the European Space Agency is not a Union body and is not subject to Union law, it is essential, in order to protect the interests of the Union and its Member States, that such an agreement be conditional on the introduction of appropriate operating rules in the European Space Agency. The agreement should also contain all the clauses necessary to safeguard the Union’s financial interests.
(29)  The European Space Agency is an international organisation with extensive expertise in the space domain and which entered into a Framework Agreement with the European Community in 2004. It is therefore an important partner in the implementation of the Programme, with which any appropriate relations should be established. In this regard, and in compliance with the Financial Regulation, it is important to conclude a financial framework partnership agreement with the European Space Agency that governs all financial relations between the Commission, the Agency and the European Space Agency and ensures their consistency and conform to the Framework Agreement with the European Space Agency, in particular with Article 5 thereof. As the European Space Agency is not a Union body and is not subject to Union law, it is essential that such an agreement contains adequate requirements regarding operating rules at the European Space Agency in order to protect the interests of the Union and its Member States. The agreement should also contain all the clauses necessary to safeguard the Union’s financial interests.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 31
(31)  To structurally embed the user representation in the governance of GOVSATCOM and to aggregate user needs and requirements across national and civil-military boundaries, the relevant Union entities with close user-ties, such as the European Defence Agency, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency, the European Fisheries Control Agency, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, the Military Planning and Conduct Capability/ Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability and the Emergency Response Coordination Centre should have coordinating roles for specific user groups. At an aggregated level the Agency and the European Defence Agency should respectively represent the civilian and military user communities and may monitor operational use, demand, conformance to requirements and evolving needs and requirements.
(31)  To structurally embed the user representation in the governance of GOVSATCOM and to aggregate user needs and requirements across national boundaries, the relevant Union entities with close user-ties, such as the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency, the European Fisheries Control Agency, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability and the Emergency Response Coordination Centre should have coordinating roles for specific user groups. At an aggregated level the Agency should represent the user community and may monitor operational use, demand, conformance to requirements and evolving needs and requirements.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 36
(36)  To ensure the secure circulation of information, appropriate rules should be established to ensure equivalence of security rules for the different public and private entities, as well as natural persons, involved in the implementation of the Programme.
(36)  To ensure the secure circulation of information, appropriate rules should be established to ensure equivalence of security rules for the different public and private entities, as well as natural persons, involved in the implementation of the Programme, with the establishment of several levels of access to information and, implicitly, security of access to information.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 36 a (new)
(36a)  The cyber security of European space infrastructures, both ground and space, is key to ensuring the continuity of the operations of the systems, and their effective ability to carry out the tasks continuously and to provide the services required.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 38
(38)  A growing number of key economic sectors, in particular transport, telecommunications, agriculture and energy, increasingly use satellite navigation systems, not to mention the synergies with activities linked to the security and defence of the Union and its Member States. Having full control of satellite navigation should therefore guarantee the Union's technological independence, including in the longer term for the components of infrastructure equipment, and ensure its strategic autonomy.
(38)  A growing number of key economic sectors, in particular transport, telecommunications, agriculture and energy, increasingly use satellite navigation systems. Satellite navigation also plays a role in the context of the security of the Union and its Member States. Having full control of satellite navigation should therefore guarantee the Union's technological independence, including in the longer term for the components of infrastructure equipment, and ensure its strategic autonomy.
Amendment 25
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 40
(40)  The aim of EGNOS is to improve the quality of open signals from existing global navigation satellite systems, in particular those emitted by the Galileo system. The services provided by EGNOS should cover, as a priority, the Member States’ territories geographically located in Europe, including for this purpose the Azores, the Canary Islands and Madeira, with the aim to cover those territories by the end of 2025. Subject to technical feasibility and, for the safety of life, on the basis of international agreements, the geographical coverage of the services provided by EGNOS could be extended to other regions of the world. Without prejudice to Regulation [2018/XXXX] [EASA Regulation] and the necessary monitoring of Galileo service quality for aviation purposes, it should be noted that while the signals emitted by Galileo may effectively be used to facilitate the positioning of aircraft, only local or regional augmentation systems such as EGNOS in Europe may constitute air-traffic management (ATM) services and air navigation services (ANS).
(40)  The aim of EGNOS is to improve the quality of open signals from existing global navigation satellite systems, in particular those emitted by the Galileo system. The services provided by EGNOS should cover, as a priority, the Member States’ territories geographically located in Europe, including for this purpose the Azores, the Canary Islands and Madeira, with the aim to cover those territories by the end of 2025. Subject to technical feasibility and, for the safety of life, on the basis of international agreements, the geographical coverage of the services provided by EGNOS could be extended to other regions of the world. Without prejudice to Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council 1a and the necessary monitoring of Galileo service quality and safety performance for aviation purposes, it should be noted that while the signals emitted by Galileo may effectively be used to facilitate the positioning of aircraft, only local or regional augmentation systems such as EGNOS in Europe may constitute air-traffic management (ATM) services and air navigation services (ANS).
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1a Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2018 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and amending Regulations (EC) No 2111/2005, (EC) No 1008/2008, (EU) No 996/2010, (EU) No 376/2014 and Directives 2014/30/EU and 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 552/2004 and (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 (OJ L 212, 22.8.2018, p. 1)
Amendment 26
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 40 a (new)
(40a)   EGNOS can assist precision agriculture and help European farmers to eliminate waste, decrease over-application of fertilisers and herbicides, and optimise crop yields. EGNOS already has an important “user community”, but the number of farming machinery compatible with navigation technology is more limited. That issue should be tackled.
Amendment 27
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 41
(41)  It is imperative that the continuity, sustainability and future availability of the services provided by the Galileo and EGNOS systems be ensured. In a changing environment and rapidly developing market, their development should also continue and new generations of these systems should be prepared.
(41)  It is imperative that the continuity, sustainability, security, reliability, accuracy and future availability of the services provided by the Galileo and EGNOS systems be ensured. In a changing environment and rapidly developing market, their development should also continue and new generations of these systems should be prepared.
Amendment 28
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 44 a (new)
(44a)    In order to support the exploitation of the services provided by Galileo and EGNOS and to support downstream services, in particular in the transport sector, the competent authorities should develop, common standards and certifications at international level. 
Amendment 29
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 45
(45)  Considering the importance for Galileo and EGNOS of their ground-based infrastructure and the impact thereof on their security, the determination of the location of the infrastructure should made by the Commission. The deployment of the ground-based infrastructure of the systems should continue to follow an open and transparent process.
deleted
Amendment 30
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 46
(46)  To maximise the socio-economic benefits of Galileo and EGNOS, notably in the area of security, the use of the services provided by EGNOS and Galileo in other Union policies should be promoted where this is justified and beneficial.
(46)  To maximise the socio-economic benefits of Galileo and EGNOS, notably in the area of security, the use of the services provided by EGNOS and Galileo should be mainstreamed, where possible, in other Union policies. Measures to encourage the use of those services in all Member States are also an important stage in the process.
Amendment 31
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 47
(47)  Copernicus should ensure an autonomous access to environmental knowledge and key technologies for Earth observation and geo-information services, thereby enabling the Union to achieve independent decision-making and actions in the fields of the environment, climate change, civil protection, security, as well as the digital economy, among others.
(47)  Copernicus should ensure an autonomous access to environmental knowledge and key technologies for Earth observation and geo-information services, thereby enabling the Union to achieve independent decision-making and actions in the fields of the environment, including agriculture, biodiversity, land use, forestry, rural development and fisheries, climate change, cultural heritage sites, civil protection, security, including of infrastructures, as well as the digital economy, among others.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 48
(48)  Copernicus should build on and ensure continuity with the activities and achievements under Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council17 establishing the Union Earth observation and monitoring programme (Copernicus) as well as Regulation (EU) No 911/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) and its initial operations18 establishing the predecessor Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme and the rules for implementation of its initial operations, taking into account recent trends in research, technological advances and innovations impacting the Earth observation domain, as well as developments in big data analytics and Artificial Intelligence and related strategies and initiatives at Union level19 . To the greatest extent possible, it should make use of capacities for space-borne observations of the Member States, the European Space Agency, EUMETSAT20 , as well as other entities, including commercial initiatives in Europe, thereby also contributing to the development of a viable commercial space sector in Europe. Where feasible and appropriate, it should also make use of the available in situ and ancillary data provided mainly by the Member States in accordance with Directive 2007/2/EC21 . The Commission should work together with the Member States and the European Environment Agency to ensure an efficient access and use of the in-situ data sets for Copernicus.
(48)  Existing capacities should be built on and should be complemented by new assets, which may be developed in common among the responsible entities. To that end, the Commission should work closely with the European Space Agency, Member States and, where applicable, other entities owning relevant space and in situ assets. Copernicus should build on and ensure continuity with the activities and achievements under Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council17 establishing the Union Earth observation and monitoring programme (Copernicus) as well as Regulation (EU) No 911/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) and its initial operations18 establishing the predecessor Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme and the rules for implementation of its initial operations, taking into account recent trends in research, technological advances and innovations impacting the Earth observation domain, as well as developments in big data analytics and Artificial Intelligence and related strategies and initiatives at Union level19. To the greatest extent possible, it should make use of capacities for space-borne observations of the Member States, the European Space Agency, EUMETSAT20, as well as other entities, including commercial initiatives in Europe, thereby also contributing to the development of a viable commercial space sector in Europe. Where feasible and appropriate, it should also make use of the available in situ and ancillary data provided mainly by the Member States in accordance with Directive 2007/2/EC21. The Commission should work together with the Member States and the European Environment Agency to ensure an efficient access and use of the in-situ data sets for Copernicus.
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17 Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010 (OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 44).
17 Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010 (OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 44).
18 Regulation (EU) No 911/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) and its initial operations (2011 to 2013)(OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 1).
18 Regulation (EU) No 911/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the European Earth monitoring programme (GMES) and its initial operations (2011 to 2013)(OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 1).
19 Communication "Artificial Intelligence for Europe" (COM(2018)0237) , Communication "Towards a common European data space" (COM(2018)0232), Proposal for a Council Regulation on establishing the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (COM(2018)0008).
19 Communication "Artificial Intelligence for Europe" (COM(2018)0237) , Communication "Towards a common European data space" (COM(2018)0232), Proposal for a Council Regulation on establishing the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (COM(2018)0008).
20 The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
20 The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
21 Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)
21 Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)
Amendment 33
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 49 a (new)
(49a)  The full potential of Copernicus for the Union society and economy should be fully unleashed beyond direct beneficiaries by means of an intensification of user uptake measures, which requires further action to render the data usable by non-specialists and thereby stimulate growth, job creation and knowledge transfers.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 52
(52)  With regard to data acquisition, the activities under Copernicus should aim at completing and maintaining the existing space infrastructure, preparing the long-term replacement of the satellites at the end of their lifetime, as well as initiating new missions addressing new observation systems to support meeting the challenge of global climate change (e.g. anthropogenic CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions monitoring). Activities under Copernicus should expand their global monitoring coverage over the polar regions and support environmental compliance assurance, statutory environmental monitoring and reporting and innovative environmental applications (e.g. for crops monitoring, water management and enhanced fire monitoring). In doing so, Copernicus should leverage and take maximum advantage of the investments made under the previous funding period (2014-2020), while exploring new operational and business models to further complement the Copernicus capacities. Copernicus should also build on successful partnerships with Member States to further develop its security dimension under appropriate governance mechanisms, in order to respond to evolving user needs in the security domain.
(52)  With regard to data acquisition, the activities under Copernicus should aim at completing and maintaining the existing space infrastructure, preparing the long-term replacement of the satellites at the end of their lifetime, as well as initiating new missions whose feasibility is currently being explored by the European Space Agency addressing new observation systems to support meeting the challenge of global climate change (e.g. anthropogenic CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions monitoring). Activities under Copernicus should expand their global monitoring coverage over the polar regions and support environmental compliance assurance, statutory environmental monitoring and reporting and innovative environmental applications (e.g. for crops monitoring, water management and enhanced fire monitoring). In doing so, Copernicus should leverage and take maximum advantage of the investments made under the previous funding period (2014-2020), while exploring new operational and business models to further complement the Copernicus capacities. Copernicus should also build on successful partnerships with Member States to further develop its security dimension under appropriate governance mechanisms, in order to respond to evolving user needs in the security domain.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 53
(53)  As part of the data and information processing function, Copernicus should ensure the long-term sustainability and further development of the core Copernicus services, providing information in order to satisfy public sector needs and those arising from the Union’s international commitments, and to maximise opportunities for commercial exploitation. In particular, Copernicus should deliver, at the local, national, European and global scale, information on the state of the atmosphere; information on the state of the oceans; information in support of land monitoring supporting the implementation of local, national and Union policies; information in support of climate change adaptation and mitigation; geospatial information in support of emergency management, including through prevention activities, environmental compliance assurance, as well as civil security including support for the Union's external action. The Commission should identify appropriate contractual arrangements fostering the sustainability of service provision.
(53)  As part of the data and information processing function, Copernicus should ensure the long-term sustainability and further development of the core Copernicus services, providing information in order to satisfy public sector needs and those arising from the Union’s international commitments, and to maximise opportunities for commercial exploitation. In particular, Copernicus should deliver, at the local, national, European and global scale, information on the state of the atmosphere, including air quality; information on the state of the oceans; information in support of land monitoring supporting the implementation of local, national and Union policies; information in support of climate change adaptation and mitigation; geospatial information in support of emergency management, including through prevention activities, environmental compliance assurance, as well as civil security including support for the Union's external action. The Commission should identify appropriate contractual arrangements fostering the sustainability of service provision.
Amendment 36
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 54 a (new)
(54a)  In order to achieve the objectives of Copernicus on a sustainable basis, a committee (the Copernicus sub-committee) could be established to assist the Commission in ensuring the coordination of contributions to Copernicus by the Union, the User Fora, the Member States and inter-governmental organisations as well as the private sector, making the best use of existing capacities and identifying gaps to be addressed at Union level.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 55
(55)  The implementation of the Copernicus services should facilitate the public uptake of services as users would be able to anticipate the availability and evolution of services as well as cooperation with Member States and other parties. To this end, the Commission and its entrusted entities providing services should engage closely with different user communities across Europe in further developing the Copernicus services and information portfolio to ensure that evolving public sector and policy needs are met and thus the uptake of Earth observation data can be maximised. The Commission and Member States should work together to develop the in-situ component of Copernicus and to facilitate the integration of in-situ datasets with space datasets for upgraded Copernicus services.
(55)  The implementation of the Copernicus services should facilitate the public uptake of services as users would be able to anticipate the availability and evolution of services as well as cooperation with Member States and other parties. To this end, the Agency and the Copernicus entrusted entities should engage closely with different user communities across Europe in further developing the Copernicus services and information portfolio to ensure that evolving public sector and policy needs are met and thus the uptake of Earth observation data can be maximised in the interest of European citizens. The Commission and Member States should work together to develop the in-situ component of Copernicus and to facilitate the integration of in-situ datasets with space datasets for upgraded Copernicus services.
Amendment 38
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 56 a (new)
(56a)  Member States, the Commission and the responsible entities should periodically run the Copernicus information campaigns regarding the benefits of the programme, giving all potential users access to the relevant information and data.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 57 a (new)
(57a)  Copernicus’ Climate Change services, although still in a pre-operational phase, are already well on track as the number of users doubled between 2015 and2 016. All Climate Change services should become fully operational as soon as possible and thereby provide the continuous flow of data necessary for effective climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 59
(59)  To promote and facilitate the use of Earth observation data and technologies both by local authorities, by small and medium-sized enterprises, scientists and researchers, dedicated networks for Copernicus data distribution, including national and regional bodies, should be promoted through user uptake activities. To this end, the Commission and the Member States should strive to establish closer links between Copernicus and Union and national policies in order to drive the demand for commercial applications and services and enable enterprises, particular small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, to develop applications based on Copernicus data and information aiming at developing a competitive Earth observation data eco-system in Europe.
(59)  To promote and facilitate the use of Earth observation data and technologies both by local and regional authorities, by small and medium-sized enterprises, scientists and researchers, dedicated networks for Copernicus data distribution, including national and regional bodies, should be promoted through user uptake activities. To this end, the Commission and the Member States should strive to establish closer links between Copernicus and Union and national policies in order to drive the demand for commercial applications and services and enable enterprises, particular small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, to develop applications based on Copernicus data and information aiming at developing a competitive Earth observation data eco-system in Europe.
Amendment 41
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 59 a (new)
(59a)   Given the major potential of satellite imagery for sustainable and efficient resource management, providing reliable and timely information on crop and soil conditions for example, that service should be further enhanced to meet end-user needs and ensure data linkage.
Amendment 42
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 62
(62)  Following the requests of the European Parliament and of the Council and, the Union established a support framework for space surveillance and tracking (SST) by means of Decision No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing a Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support24. Space debris has become a serious threat to the security, safety and sustainability of space activities. The SST is therefore primordial to preserve the continuity of the Programme's components and their contributions to Union policies. By seeking to prevent the proliferation of space debris, SST contributes to ensuring the sustainable and guaranteed access to and use of space, which is a global common.
(62)  Following the requests of the European Parliament and of the Council and, the Union established a support framework for space surveillance and tracking (SST) by means of Decision No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council24. Space debris has become a serious threat to the security, safety and sustainability of space activities. The SST is therefore primordial to preserve the continuity of the Programme's components and their contributions to Union policies. By seeking to prevent the proliferation of space debris, SST contributes to ensuring the sustainable and guaranteed access to and use of space, which is a global common. The SST is intended also to facilitate the preparation of European earth orbit 'clean-up' projects.
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24 OJ L 158, 27.5.2014, p. 227.
24 Decision No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing a Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support (OJ L 158, 27.5.2014, p. 227).
Amendment 43
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 63
(63)  The SST should further develop the performance and autonomy of SST capabilities. To this end, it should lead to the establishment of an autonomous European catalogue of space objects, building on data from the network of SST sensors. The SST should also continue to support operation and delivery of SST services. As SST is a user-driven system, appropriate mechanisms should be put in place to collect user requirements, including those relating to security.
(63)  The SST should further develop the performance and autonomy of SST capabilities. To this end, it should lead to the establishment of an autonomous European catalogue of space objects, building on data from the network of SST sensors. The catalogue could follow the example of other space capable nations and make some of its data available for non-commercial and research purposes. SST should also continue to support operation and delivery of SST services. As SST is a user-driven system, appropriate mechanisms should be put in place to collect user requirements, including those relating to security and the transmission of relevant information to and from public institutions to improve the effectiveness of the system.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 67
(67)  In addition, the SST should be complementary to existing mitigation measures, such as the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, or other initiatives, to ensure the safety, security and sustainability of outer space activities. With a view to reducing risks of collision, the SST would also seek synergies with initiatives of active removal and passivation measures of space debris. The SST should contribute to ensuring the peaceful use and exploration of outer space. The increase in space activities may have implication on the international initiatives in the area of the space traffic management. The Union should monitor those developments and may take them into consideration in the context of the mid-term review of the current MFF.
(67)  In addition, the SST should be complementary to existing mitigation measures, such as the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, or other initiatives, to ensure the safety, security and sustainability of outer space activities. With a view to reducing risks of collision, the SST would also seek synergies with initiatives aimed at promoting the development and deployment of technological systems designed for the active removal of space debris. The SST should contribute to ensuring the peaceful use and exploration of outer space. The increase in space activities may have implication on the international initiatives in the area of the space traffic management. The Union should monitor those developments and may take them into consideration in the context of the mid-term review of the current MFF.
Amendment 45
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 70
(70)  Extreme and major space weather events may threaten the safety of citizens and disrupt the operations of space-based and ground-based infrastructure. A space weather function should therefore be established as part the Programme with an aim of assessing the space weather risks and corresponding user needs, raising the awareness of space weather risks, ensuring the delivery of user-driven space weather services, and improving Member Stares capabilities to produce space weather service. The Commission should prioritise the sectors to which the operational space weather services are to be provided taking into account the user needs, risks and technological readiness. In the long term, the needs of other sectors may be addressed. The delivery of services at Union level according to the users' needs will require targeted, coordinated and continued research and development activities to support space weather services evolution. The delivery of the space weather services should build on the existing national and Union capabilities and enable a broad participation of Member States and involvement of the private sector.
(70)  Extreme and major space weather events may threaten the safety of citizens and disrupt the operations of space-based and ground-based infrastructure. A space weather function should therefore be established as part the Programme with an aim of assessing the space weather risks and corresponding user needs, raising the awareness of space weather risks, ensuring the delivery of user-driven space weather services, and improving Member States' capabilities to produce space weather service. The Commission should prioritise the sectors to which the operational space weather services are to be provided taking into account the user needs, risks and technological readiness. In the long term, the needs of other sectors may be addressed. The delivery of services at Union level according to the users' needs will require targeted, coordinated and continued research and development activities to support space weather services evolution. The delivery of the space weather services should build on the existing national and Union capabilities and enable a broad participation of Member States, international organisations and involvement of the private sector.
Amendment 46
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 73
(73)  GOVSATCOM is a user-centric programme with a strong security dimension. The use-cases may be analysed for three main families: crisis management, which may include civilian and military Common Security and Defence missions and operations, natural and man-made disasters, humanitarian crises, and maritime emergencies; surveillance, which may include border surveillance, pre-frontier surveillance sea-border surveillance, maritime surveillance, surveillance of illegal trafficking; and key infrastructures, which may include diplomatic network, police communications, critical infrastructures (e.g. energy, transport, water barriers) and space infrastructures.
(73)  GOVSATCOM is a user-centric programme with a strong security dimension. The use-cases may be analysed for three main families: crisis management, natural and man-made disasters, humanitarian crises, and maritime emergencies; surveillance, which may include border surveillance, pre-frontier surveillance sea-border surveillance, maritime surveillance, surveillance of illegal trafficking; and key infrastructures, which may include diplomatic network, police communications, digital infrastructure (e. g. data centres,servers), critical infrastructures (e.g. energy, transport, water barriers such as dams) and space infrastructures.
Amendment 47
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 78
(78)  For users of satellite communications the user equipment is the all-important operational interface. The EU GOVSATCOM approach makes it possible for most users to continue to use their existing user equipment for GOVSATCOM services in so far as they make use of Union technologies.
(78)  For users of satellite communications the user equipment is the all-important operational interface. The EU GOVSATCOM approach should make it possible for users to continue to use their existing user equipment for GOVSATCOM services.
Amendment 48
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 86
(86)  Infrastructure dedicated to the Programme may require additional research and innovation, which may be supported under Horizon Europe, aiming for coherence with activities in this domain by the European Space Agency. Synergies with Horizon Europe should ensure that research and innovation needs of the space sector are identified and established as part of the strategic research and innovation planning process. Space data and services made freely available by the Programme will be used to develop breakthrough solutions through research and innovation, including in Horizon Europe, in particular for sustainable food and natural resources, climate monitoring, smart cities, automated vehicles, security and disaster management. The strategic planning process under Horizon Europe will identify research and innovation activities that should make use of Union-owned infrastructures such as Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus. Research infrastructures, in particular in situ observing networks will constitute essential elements of the in situ observation infrastructure enabling the Copernicus services
(86)  Infrastructure dedicated to the Programme may require additional research and innovation, which may be supported under Horizon Europe, aiming for coherence with activities in this domain by the European Space Agency. Synergies with Horizon Europe should ensure that research and innovation needs of the space sector are identified and established as part of the strategic research and innovation planning process. It is important to assure continuity between the solutions developed through Horizon Europe and the operations of the components of the Programme. Space data and services made freely available by the Programme will be used to develop breakthrough solutions through research and innovation, including in Horizon Europe, on the main European policies. The strategic planning process under Horizon Europe will identify research and innovation activities that should make use of Union-owned infrastructures such as Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus. Research infrastructures, in particular in situ observing networks will constitute essential elements of the in situ observation infrastructure enabling the Copernicus services.
Amendment 49
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 87
(87)  Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 established a Union agency, called the European GNSS Agency, to manage certain aspects of the Galileo and EGNOS satellite navigation programmes. The present Regulation provides in particular that the European GNSS Agency will be entrusted with new tasks, not only in respect of Galileo and EGNOS but also for other components of the Programme, especially security accreditation. The name, tasks and organisational aspects of the European GNSS Agency must therefore be adapted accordingly.
(87)  Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 established a Union agency, called the European GNSS Agency, to manage certain aspects of the Galileo and EGNOS satellite navigation programmes. The present Regulation provides in particular that the European GNSS Agency will be entrusted with new tasks, not only in respect of Galileo and EGNOS but also for other components of the Programme, especially security accreditation and cybersecurity. The name, tasks and organisational aspects of the European GNSS Agency must therefore be adapted accordingly.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 88
(88)  In view of its extended scope, which will no longer be limited to Galileo and EGNOS, the European GNSS Agency should henceforth be changed. However, the continuity of the activities of the European GNSS Agency, including continuity as regards rights and obligations, staff and the validity of any decisions taken, should be ensured under the Agency.
(88)  In view of its extended scope, which will no longer be limited to Galileo and EGNOS, the European GNSS Agency should henceforth be changed. Where it entrusts tasks to the Agency, the Commission should ensure appropriate funding for the management and execution of those tasks, including adequate human and financial resources. However, the continuity of the activities of the European GNSS Agency, including continuity as regards rights and obligations, staff and the validity of any decisions taken, should be ensured under the Agency.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 2
(2)  ‘space weather events’ means naturally occurring variations in the space environment between the Sun and the Earth, including solar flares, solar energetic particles, solar wind, and coronal mass ejections that can lead to solar storms (geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms and ionospheric disturbances) potentially impacting Earth;
(2)  ‘space weather events’ means naturally occurring variations in the space environment between the Sun and the Earth, including solar flares, solar energetic particles, solar wind, and coronal mass ejections that can lead to solar storms (geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms and ionospheric disturbances) potentially impacting Earth or space-based infrastructures;
Amendment 52
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 5
(5)  ‘space situational awareness’ ('SSA') means a holistic approach towards the main space hazards, encompassing collision between satellites and space debris, space weather phenomena, and near earth objects;
(5)  ‘space situational awareness’ ('SSA') means comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the main space hazards, encompassing collision between satellites and space debris, space weather phenomena, and near earth objects;
Amendment 53
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 6
(6)  'blending operation' means actions supported by the EU budget, including within blending facilities pursuant to Article 2(6) of the Financial Regulation, combining non-repayable forms of support and/or financial instruments from the EU budget with repayable forms of support from development or other public finance institutions, as well as from commercial finance institutions and investors;
(6)  'blending operation' means actions supported by the EU budget, including within blending facilities pursuant to Article 2(6) of the Financial Regulation, combining non-repayable forms of support and/or financial instruments and/or budgetary guarantees from the EU budget with repayable forms of support from development or other public finance institutions, as well as from commercial finance institutions and investors;
Amendment 54
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 10
(10)  ‘SST data’ means physical parameters of space objects acquired by SST sensors or orbital parameters of space objects derived from SST sensors' observations in the framework of the space surveillance and tracking ('SST') component;
(10)  ‘SST data’ means physical parameters of space objects, including space debris, acquired by SST sensors or orbital parameters of space objects derived from SST sensors' observations in the framework of the space surveillance and tracking ('SST') component;
Amendment 55
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 14 a (new)
(14a)   'Copernicus third-party-information' means information licensed and provided for use within Copernicus activities which originate from sources other than Copernicus Sentinels;
Amendment 56
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 23 – subparagraph 1
'Copernicus core users' which benefit from Copernicus data and Copernicus information and have the additional role of driving the evolution of Copernicus, comprising the Union institutions and bodies and European national, or regional public bodies entrusted with a public service mission for the definition, implementation, enforcement or monitoring of environmental, civil protection, safety or security policies;
'Copernicus core users' which benefit from Copernicus data and Copernicus information and have the additional role of driving the evolution of Copernicus, comprising the Union institutions and bodies and European national, or regional public bodies entrusted with a public service mission for the definition, implementation, enforcement or monitoring of environmental, civil protection, safety, including safety of infrastructure or security policies;
Amendment 57
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 23 – subparagraph 2 a (new)
'Copernicus core services' means the operational services clustered in the data and information processing component or service component, which are of general and common interest of the Member States and the Union;
Amendment 58
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 23 a (new)
(23 a)  "space sector" means:
"the upstream sector", which includes activities leading to an operational space system, and space exploration;
"the downstream sector" which includes activities relating to exploiting satellite data to develop space-related products and services to end-users.
Amendment 59
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  an autonomous civil global navigation satellite system (GNSS) under civil control comprising a constellation of satellites, centres and a global network of stations on the ground, offering positioning, navigation and time measurement services and fully integrating the needs and requirements of security (‘Galileo’);
(a)  an autonomous civil global navigation satellite system (GNSS) under civil control comprising a constellation of satellites, centres and a global network of stations on the ground, offering positioning, navigation and time measurement services and, where appropriate, integrating the needs and requirements of security (‘Galileo’);
Amendment 60
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  an autonomous, user-driven, Earth observation system under civil control, offering geo-information data and services, comprising satellites, ground infrastructure, data and information processing facilities, and distribution infrastructure, and fully integrating the needs and requirements of security (‘Copernicus’);
(c)  an autonomous, user-driven, Earth observation system under civil control, offering geo-information data and services based on a free and open data policy, comprising satellites, ground infrastructure, data and information processing facilities, and distribution infrastructure, and fully integrating the needs and requirements of security (‘Copernicus’);
Amendment 61
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  a space surveillance and tracking system aiming to improve, operate and provide data, information and services related to the surveillance and tracking of active and inactive spacecraft, discarded launchers stages, debris and debris fragments that orbit around the Earth and complemented by observational parameters related to space weather events and the risk of near earth objects ('NEOs') approaching earth monitoring (‘SST’);
(d)  a space surveillance and tracking system aiming to improve, operate and provide data, information and services related to the surveillance and tracking of active and inactive spacecraft and space, debris that orbit around the Earth and complemented by observational parameters related to space weather events and the risk of near earth objects ('NEOs') approaching earth monitoring (‘SST’);
Amendment 62
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 2
Additionally, the Programme shall include measures for ensuring efficient access to space for the Programme and for fostering an innovative space sector.
Additionally, the Programme shall include measures for ensuring autonomous access to space, for tackling cyber threats, for fostering an innovative and competitive space sector, upstream and downstream, and for supporting space diplomacy.
Amendment 63
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  The Programme shall the following general objectives:
1.  The Programme shall have the following general objectives:
Amendment 64
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  provide, or contribute to the provision of, high-quality and up-to-date and, where appropriate, secure space-related data, information and services without interruption and wherever possible at global level, meeting existing and future needs and able to meet the Union's political priorities, including as regards climate change and security and defence;
(a)  provide, or contribute to the provision of, high-quality and up-to-date and, where appropriate, secure space-related data, information and services without interruption and wherever possible at global level, meeting existing and future needs and able to meet the Union's political priorities, including climate change; and support the evidence-based and independent decision-making capacity of the Union and its Member States;
Amendment 65
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  maximise the socio-economic benefits, including by promoting the widest possible use of the data, information and services provided by the Programme's components;
(b)  maximise the socio-economic benefits, in particular by strengthening the European downstream sector, thereby enabling growth and job creation in the Union and promoting the widest possible uptake of services and use of the data, information and services provided by the Programme's components both within and outside the Union;
Amendment 66
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  enhance the security of the Union and its Member States, its freedom of action and its strategic autonomy, in particular in terms of technologies and evidence-based decision-making;
(c)  enhance the security, including cybersecurity, of the Union and its Member States, and reinforce its strategic autonomy, in particular in industrial and technological terms;
Amendment 67
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  strengthen the European industrial and scientific ecosystem in the field of space, by establishing a coherent framework that combines the excellence of European training and know-how, the development of high-level design, manufacturing capabilities and the strategic vision needed in an increasingly competitive sector;
Amendment 68
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  promote the role of the Union in the international arena as a leading actor in the space sector and strengthening its role in tackling global challenges and supporting global initiatives, including with regards to climate change and sustainable development.
(d)  promote the role of the Union in the international arena as a leading actor in the space sector and strengthening its role in tackling global challenges and supporting global initiatives, including with regard to sustainable development;
Amendment 69
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point d a (new)
(da)  strengthen the Union’s space diplomacy and encourage international cooperation to raise awareness of space as a common heritage of mankind;
Amendment 70
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point d b (new)
(db)  promote Union technology and industry and foster the principle of reciprocity and fair competition at international level;
Amendment 71
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point d c (new)
(dc)  enhance the safety of the Union and its Member States in various fields, in particular in transportation (aviation, including unmanned aerial vehicles, rail transports, navigation, road transports, autonomous driving), infrastructure building and monitoring, land monitoring and environment.
Amendment 72
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  for Galileo and EGNOS: to provide of state-of-the-art and, where appropriate, secure positioning, navigation and timing services;
(a)  for Galileo and EGNOS: to provide long-term and continuous state-of-the-art and, where appropriate, secure positioning, navigation and timing services;
Amendment 73
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  for Copernicus: to deliver accurate and reliable Earth Observation data and information, supplied on a long-term basis, to support the implementation and monitoring of the Union and its Member States' policies in the fields of the environment, climate change, agriculture and rural development, civil protection, safety and security, as well as the digital economy;
(b)  for Copernicus: to deliver accurate and reliable Earth Observation data and information, supplied on a long-term basis, to support the implementation and monitoring of the Union and its Member States' user-driven policies and actions;
Amendment 74
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  for Space Situational Awareness ('SSA'): to enhance SST capabilities to monitor, track and identify space objects, to monitor space weather and to map and network Member States NEO capacities;
(c)  for Space Situational Awareness ('SSA'): to enhance SST capabilities to monitor, track and identify space objects and space debris, to monitor space weather and to map and network Member States NEO capacities;
Amendment 75
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point e
(e)  to contribute, where this is required for the needs of the Programme, to an autonomous, secure and cost-efficient capability to access space;
(e)  to ensure an autonomous, secure and cost-efficient capability to access to space;
Amendment 76
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point f
(f)  support and reinforce the competitiveness, entrepreneurship, skills and capacity to innovate of legal and natural persons from the Union active or wishing to become active in that sector, with particular regard to the position and needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.
(f)  to foster the development of a strong and competitive Union space economy and maximise opportunities for Union enterprises of all sizes and all Union regions.
Amendment 77
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
The Programme shall support:
The Programme, in synergy with other Union and European Space Agency programmes and funding shemes, shall support:
Amendment 78
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  provision of launching services for the needs of the Programme;
(a)  provision of launching services for the Programme including aggregate launching service for the Union and for other entities, at their request, taking into account the essential security interests of the Union in accordance with Article 25, in order to enhance the competitiveness of European launchers and industries on the global market;
Amendment 79
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  development activities linked to autonomous, reliable and cost-efficient access to space;
(b)  development activities linked to autonomous, reliable and cost-efficient access to space including alternative launching technologies and innovative systems or services, taking into account the essential security interests of the Union and its Member States, in accordance with Article 25;
Amendment 80
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  where this is required for the needs of the Programme, the necessary adaptations to the space ground infrastructure.
(c)  where this is required for the objectives of the Programme, the necessary support for the maintenance, adaptations and developments of the space ground infrastructure, in particular existing infrastructures, rocket ranges and research centres.
Amendment 81
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – title
Actions in support of an innovative Union space sector
Actions in support of an innovative and competitive Union space sector
Amendment 82
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  innovation activities for making best use of space technologies, infrastructure or services;
(a)  innovation activities for developing and making best use of space technologies, infrastructure or services;
Amendment 83
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a a (new)
(aa)  appropriate measures to facilitate the uptake of innovative solutions resulting from research and innovation activities, in particular through synergies with other Union Funds, such as Horizon Europe and InvestEU, in order to support the development of downstream sectors of all the components of the Programme;
Amendment 84
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a b (new)
(ab)  strengthening the European space sector in the export market;
Amendment 85
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  the establishment of space-related innovation partnerships to develop innovative products or services and for the subsequent purchase of the resulting supply or services;
(b)  the establishment of space-related innovation partnerships to develop innovative products or services and for the subsequent purchase of the resulting products or services for the needs of the Programme;
Amendment 86
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point b a (new)
(ba)  design, testing, implementation and deployment of data-driven interoperable space solutions for public services, fostering innovation and establishing common frameworks in order to realise the full potential of public administrations’ services for citizens and businesses;
Amendment 87
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  entrepreneurship, from early stage to scaling-up, in accordance with Article 21 and other access to finance provisions as referred to in Article 18 and Chapter I of Title III;
(c)  entrepreneurship, including from early stage to scaling-up, in accordance with Article 21 and by relying on other access to finance provisions as referred to in Article 18 and Chapter I of Title III;
Amendment 88
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  cooperation between undertakings in the form of space hubs bringing together, at regional and national levels, actors from the space and digital sectors, as well as users, and providing support to citizens and companies to foster entrepreneurship and skills;
(d)  cooperation in the form of a network of space hubs bringing together, in particular at regional and national levels, actors from the space and digital sectors, as well as users, and providing support, facilities and services to citizens and companies to foster entrepreneurship and skills; fostering cooperation between the space hubs and the digital innovation hubs established under the Digital Europe Programme;
Amendment 89
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point d a (new)
(da)  the possible development of a ‘first contract approach strategy’ with all relevant public and private sector actors to support the development of space start-ups;
Amendment 90
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point d b (new)
(db)  Synergies with the transport, space and digital sectors in order to foster the broader use of new technologies (such as e-call, digital tachograph, traffic supervisions and management, autonomous driving, unmanned vehicles and drones) and tackle the needs of secure and seamless connectivity, robust positioning, inter modality and interoperability, thus enhancing the competitiveness of transport services and industry;
Amendment 91
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point e
(e)  provision of education and training activities;
(e)  provision of education and training activities in order to develop advanced space skills;
Amendment 92
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point f
(f)  access to processing and testing facilities;
(f)  access to processing and testing facilities for private and public sector professionals, students and entrepreneurs;
Amendment 93
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  does not confer to the third country or international organisation a decisional power on the programme;
(c)  does not confer to the third country or international organisation a decisional power on the programme or, where appropriate, access to sensitive or classified information;
Amendment 94
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 2 – point d a (new)
(da)  preserves, where appropriate, the strategic and sovereign interests of the Union in all relevant areas, including European technological or industrial strategic autonomy;
Amendment 95
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 3
3.  The Commission shall take the necessary steps to ensure that the contracts, agreements or other arrangements relating to the activities referred to in the first paragraph contain provisions setting out the appropriate ownership regime for those assets and, as regards point (c) that the Union can freely use the PRS receivers in accordance with Decision 1104/2011/EU.
3.  The Commission shall take the necessary steps to ensure that the contracts, agreements or other arrangements relating to the activities referred to in the second paragraph contain provisions setting out the appropriate ownership and use regime for those assets and, as regards point (c) that the Union can freely use and grant the use of the PRS receivers in accordance with Decision 1104/2011/EU.
Amendment 96
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1
The services, data and information provided by the Programme's components shall be provided without any express or implied guarantee as regards their quality, accuracy, availability, reliability, speed and suitability for any purpose. To that aim, the Commission shall take the necessary steps to ensure that the users of those services, data and information are informed, in an appropriate manner, of the absence of any such guarantee.
The services, data and information provided by the Programme's components shall be provided without any express or implied guarantee as regards their quality, accuracy, availability, reliability, speed and suitability for any purpose, unless such a guarantee is required by applicable Union law for the provision of the services concerned. To that aim, the Commission shall take the necessary steps to ensure that the users of those services, data and information are informed, in an appropriate manner, of the absence of any such guarantee.
Amendment 97
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1
The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme for the period 2021 – 2027 shall be EUR [16] billion in current prices.
The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme for the period 2021 – 2027 shall be EUR [16,9] billion in current prices.
Amendment 98
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2 – point b
(b)  for Copernicus: EUR [5,8] billion;
(b)  for Copernicus: EUR [6] billion;
Amendment 99
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2 – point c
(c)  for SSA/GOVSATCOM: EUR [0,5] billion.
(c)  for SSA/GOVSATCOM: EUR [1,2] billion.
Amendment 100
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – paragraph 2
2.  Cross-cutting activities as foreseen by Article 3 shall be financed under the Programme's components.
2.  Cross-cutting activities as foreseen by Articles 3, 5 and 6 shall be financed under the Programme's components.
Amendment 101
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  to promote in all Member States, throughout the supply chain, the widest and most open participation possible of start-ups, new entrants and small and medium sized enterprises and other economic operators, including the requirement of sub-contracting by the tenderers;
(a)  to promote throughout the Union and throughout the supply chain, the widest and most open participation possible of all economic operators, and in particular start-ups, new entrants and small and medium sized enterprises, including the requirement of sub-contracting by the tenderers;
Amendment 102
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  to foster the autonomy of the Union, in particular in technological terms;
(d)  to foster the strategic autonomy of the Union, in particular in industrial and technological terms, throughout the entire value chain;
Amendment 103
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 1 – point d a (new)
(da)  to follow the principles of open access and fair competition throughout the industrial supply chain, tendering on the basis of the provision of transparent and timely information, clear communication of the applicable procurement rules, selection and award criteria and any other relevant information allowing a level-playing field for all potential bidders;
Amendment 104
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 1
1.  To encourage new entrants, small and medium enterprises and start-ups, and to offer the widest possible geographic coverage while protecting the Union's strategic autonomy, the contracting authority may request that the tenderer subcontract part of the contract by competitive tendering at the appropriate levels of subcontracting to companies other than those which belong to the tenderer's group.
1.  To encourage new entrants, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, and to offer the widest possible geographic coverage while protecting the Union's strategic autonomy, the contracting authority shall endeavour to request the tenderer to subcontract part of the contract by competitive tendering at the appropriate levels of subcontracting to companies other than those which belong to the tenderer's group.
Amendment 105
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 2
2.  The contracting authority shall express the requisite share of the contract to be subcontracted in the form of a range from a minimum to a maximum percentage.
2.  The contracting authority shall express the requisite share of the contract to be subcontracted to industry at all levels, pursuant to paragraph 1, in the form of a range from a minimum to a maximum percentage.
Amendment 106
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 3
3.  Any derogation from a request in accordance with paragraph 1 shall be justified by the tenderer.
3.  Any derogation from a request in accordance with paragraph 1 shall be justified by the tenderer and assessed by the contracting authority.
Amendment 107
Proposal for a regulation
Article 19 – paragraph 2
In the case of a joint call, joint procedures shall be established for selection and evaluation of proposals. The procedures must involve a balanced group of experts appointed by each party.
In the case of a joint call, joint procedures shall be established for selection and evaluation of proposals. The procedures shall involve a balanced group of experts appointed by each party. Such experts shall not evaluate, advise or assist on matters in relation to which they have a conflict of interests.
Amendment 108
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 1
1.  In addition to the provisions of [Article 165] of the Financial Regulation, the Commission and the Agency may carry out joint procurement procedures with the European Space Agency or other international organisations involved in implementing the components of the Programme.
1.  In addition to the provisions of [Article 165] of the Financial Regulation, the Commission or the Agency may carry out joint procurement procedures with the European Space Agency or other international organisations involved in implementing the components of the Programme.
Amendment 110
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  strict distribution of tasks and responsibilities between the entities involved in the implementation of the Programme, in particular between the Member States, the Commission, the Agency and the European Space Agency;
(a)  strict distribution of tasks and responsibilities between the entities involved in the implementation of the Programme, in particular between the Member States, the Commission, the Agency and the European Space Agency, based on each entity's competences, improving transparency, effectiveness and cost-efficiency and avoidance of overlap of activities;
Amendment 111
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  strong control of the Programme, including strict adherence to cost and schedule by all the entities, within their respective fields of competence in accordance with this Regulation;
(b)  strong control of the Programme, including strict adherence to cost and technical performance by all the entities, within their respective fields of responsibility in accordance with this Regulation;
Amendment 112
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  systematic consideration of the needs of users of the services provided by the Programme's components, as well as of scientific and technological evolutions relating to those services;
(d)  systematic consideration of the needs of users of the services provided by the Programme's components, as well as of scientific and technological evolutions relating to those services, also through the consultation of the advisory User Fora at national and Union level;
Amendment 113
Proposal for a regulation
Article 28 – paragraph 2
2.  The Commission or, for the tasks referred to in Article 30, the Agency may entrust specific tasks to Member States or national agencies or to groups of these Member States or national agencies. The Member States shall take all the necessary measures to ensure the smooth functioning of the Programme and the promotion of their use, including by helping to protect the frequencies required for this programme.
2.  The Commission or, for the tasks referred to in Article 30, the Agency may entrust specific tasks to Member States or to groups of these Member States, subject to specific case-by-case agreement. The Member States shall take all the necessary measures to ensure the smooth functioning of the Programme and the promotion of their use, including by helping to protect the frequencies required for this programme at an adequate level.
Amendment 114
Proposal for a regulation
Article 28 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  The Member States shall pursue a proactive and coordinated consultation of end-users’ communities, in particular regarding Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus, including through advisory User Fora.
Amendment 115
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 1
1.  The Commission shall have overall responsibility for the implementation of the Programme, including in the field of security. It shall, in accordance with this Regulation, determine the priorities and long-term evolution of the Programme and shall supervise its implementation, having due regard to its impact on other policies of the Union.
1.  The Commission shall have overall responsibility for the implementation of the Programme and the responsibility in the field of security for the components of the Programme not entrusted to the Agency pursuant to Article 30. It shall, in accordance with this Regulation, determine the priorities and long-term evolution of the Programme and shall supervise its implementation, having due regard to its impact on other policies of the Union.
Amendment 116
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 2
2.  The Commission shall manage the component of the Programme where such management is not entrusted to another entity.
2.  The Commission shall manage the component of the Programme where such management is not entrusted to other entities referred to in Articles 30, 31 and 32.
Amendment 117
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 3
3.  The Commission shall ensure a clear division of tasks between the various entities involved in the Programme and coordinate the activities of those entities.
3.  The Commission shall ensure a clear division of tasks between the various entities involved in the Programme and coordinate the activities of those entities and shall ensure the full protection of the interest of the Union, the sound management of its funds and the application of its rules, in particular those related to procurement. Therefore the Commission shall conclude with the Agency and the European Space Agency a Financial Framework Partnership agreement, related to the tasks entrusted to the two entities, as referred to in Article 31a.
Amendment 118
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  Concerning the specific provision on the functioning and the governance of space weather and NEO functions, and GOVSATCOM, the Commission shall adopt delegated acts, in accordance with Article 105.
Amendment 119
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1
When necessary for the smooth functioning of the Programme and the smooth provision of the services provided by the Programme's components, the Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, determine the technical and operational specifications required for the implementation of and evolution of those components and of the services they provide after having consulted users and all the other relevant stakeholders. When determining those technical and operational specifications, the Commission shall avoid reducing the general security level and to meet a backward compatibility imperative.
When necessary for the smooth functioning of the Programme and the smooth provision of the services provided by the Programme's components, the Commission shall, by means of delegated acts, determine the high-level requirements for the implementation of and evolution of those components and of the services they provide after having consulted users and all the other relevant stakeholders, including the downstream sector. When determining those high-level requirements, the Commission shall avoid reducing the general security level and to meet a backward compatibility imperative.
Amendment 120
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2
Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 107(3).
Those delegated acts shall be adopted in accordance with Article 21.
Amendment 121
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 5
5.  The Commission shall promote and ensure the uptake and use of the data and services provided by the Programme's components in the public and private sectors, including by supporting appropriate development of those services and by fostering a stable long-term environment. It shall develop synergies between the applications of the various components of the Programme. It shall ensure complementarity, consistency, synergies and links between the Programme and other Union actions and programmes.
5.  The Commission shall ensure complementarity, consistency, synergies and links between the Programme and other Union actions and programmes. It shall, in close cooperation with the Agency and, where applicable, the European Space Agency and the Copernicus entrusted entities support and contribute to:
—  the activities relating to the uptake and use of the data and services provided by the Programme's components in the public and private sectors;
—  the development of synergies between the applications;
—  the appropriate development of those services;
—  fostering a stable long-term environment.
Amendment 122
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 6
6.  Where appropriate, it shall ensure the coordination with activities carried out in the space sector at Union, national and international level. It shall encourage cooperation between the Member States and promote convergence of their technological capacities and developments in the space domain.
6.  Where appropriate and in cooperation with the Agency and the European Space Agency, it shall ensure the coordination with activities carried out in the space sector at Union, national and international level. It shall encourage cooperation between the Member States and promote convergence of their technological capacities and developments in the space domain.
Amendment 123
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point b a (new)
(ba)  promote and ensure the uptake and use of the data and services provided by the Programme’s components, including the development of downstream applications and services based on the Programme’s components;
Amendment 124
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point b b (new)
(bb)  implement actions in support of an innovative Union Space Sector in accordance with Article 6;
Amendment 125
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point b c (new)
(b c)  support access to finance through the financial instruments under Title III and InvestEU, as well as, in cooperation with EIB, through the financial instruments established by the latter addressing in particular SMEs;
Amendment 126
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  undertake communication and promotion activities, and activities relating to the commercialisation of the services offered by Galileo and EGNOS;
(c)  undertake communication and promotion activities, and activities relating to the commercialisation of the services offered in particular by Galileo, EGNOS, and Copernicus;
Amendment 127
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  as regards Galileo and EGNOS: managing Galileo and EGNOS, as referred to in Article 43;
Amendment 128
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  provide technical expertise to the Commission.
(d)  provide technical expertise to the Commission, avoiding duplication with ESA tasks under Article 27 and 31.
Amendment 129
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  managing the exploitation of EGNOS and Galileo, as referred to in Article 43;
deleted
Amendment 130
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 2 – point b a (new)
(ba)  provide recommendations to the Commission on the priorities of space domain in Horizon Europe and participate in its implementation;
Amendment 131
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  implementing activities relating to the development of downstream applications and services based on the components of the Programme.
deleted
Amendment 132
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 3
3.  The Commission may entrust other tasks to the Agency, including undertaking communication, promotion, and marketing of data and information activities, as well as other activities related to user uptakes with regard to the Programme's components other than Galileo and EGNOS.
3.  The Commission may entrust other tasks to the Agency, avoiding duplication and on the basis of improved efficiency in the implementation of the Programme’s objectives.
Amendment 133
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  The Agency may sign partnership agreements or other agreements with national space agencies, a group of national space agencies or other entities for the purpose of fulfilment of its tasks.
Amendment 134
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 4
4.  The tasks referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 shall be entrusted by the Commission by means of a contribution agreement in accordance with [Article 2(18)] and [Title VI] of the Financial Regulation.
4.  The tasks referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 shall be entrusted by the Commission by means of a contribution agreement in accordance with [Article 2(18)] and [Title VI] of the Financial Regulation and shall be reviewed in accordance with Article 102(6) of this Regulation, in particular regarding the Copernicus component.
Amendment 135
Proposal for a regulation
Article 30 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.  Whenever entrusting tasks to the Agency the Commission shall ensure appropriate funding for their management and execution including adequate human and administrative resources.
Amendment 136
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  as regards Copernicus: development, design and construction of the Copernicus space infrastructure, including the operations of that infrastructure;
(a)  as regards Copernicus: development, design and construction of the Copernicus space and ground infrastructure, including the operations of that infrastructure;
Amendment 137
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  as regards Galileo and EGNOS: systems evolution, development of the ground segment and the design and development of satellites;
(b)  as regards Galileo and EGNOS: support to the Agency in the execution of its core tasks. When provided for in specific agreements concluded between the Agency and the European Space Agency, procurement in the name and on behalf of the Agency of systems evolution, design and development of the ground segment and the design and development of the space segment;
Amendment 138
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  as regards all the components of the Programme with research and development activities in its fields of expertise.
(c)  as regards all the components of the Programme with research and development activities concerning the Programme components infrastructures.
Amendment 139
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  encouragement of the cooperation between the Member States and promotion of the convergence of their technological capacities and developments in the space segment.
Amendment 140
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 2
2.  The Commission shall conclude with the Agency and the European Space Agency a financial framework partnership agreement as provided for in [Article 130] of the Financial Regulation. That financial framework partnership agreement shall:
deleted
–  clearly define the responsibilities and obligations of the European Space Agency with regard to the Programme;
–  require that the European Space Agency complies with the security rules of the Union programme, in particular with regard to the processing of classified information;
–  stipulate the conditions of the management of funds entrusted to the European Space Agency, particularly with regard to public procurement, management procedures, the expected results measured by performance indicators, applicable measures in the event of deficient or fraudulent implementation of the contracts in terms of costs, schedule and results, as well as the communication strategy and the rules regarding ownership of all tangible and intangible assets; these conditions shall be in conformity with Titles III and V of this regulation and the Financial Regulation;
–  require the participation of the Commission and, when relevant, the Agency in the Tender Evaluation Board meetings of the European Space Agency with regard to the Programme;
–  establish the monitoring and control measures, which shall include, in particular, a cost forecast system, the systematic provision of information to the Commission or, where appropriate, to the Agency, on costs and schedule, and in the event of a discrepancy between the planned budgets, performance and schedule, corrective action ensuring performance of the tasks assigned within the limits of the allocated budgets and penalties against the European Space Agency where this discrepancy is directly attributable to it;
–  establish the principles for the remuneration of the European Space Agency, which shall be proportionate to the difficulty of the tasks to be carried out, in line with market prices and the fees of the other entities involved, including the Union, and may, where appropriate, be based on performance indicators; those fees shall not cover general overheads which are not associated with the activities entrusted to the European Space Agency by the Union.
Amendment 141
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 3
3.  The conclusion of the financial framework partnership agreement referred to in paragraph 2 shall be contingent upon the establishment, within the European Space Agency, of internal structures and of an operational method, in particular for decision-making, management methods and liability, which make it possible to ensure maximum protection for the interests of the Union and to comply with its decisions, including for the activities financed by the European Space Agency, which have an impact on the Programme.
deleted
Amendment 142
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 – paragraph 4
4.  Without prejudice to the financial framework partnership agreement referred to in paragraph 4, the Commission or the Agency may ask the European Space Agency to provide technical expertise and the information necessary to perform the tasks which are assigned to them by this Regulation.
deleted
Amendment 143
Proposal for a regulation
Article 31 a (new)
Article 31 a
The financial framework partnership agreement
1.  The Commission shall conclude with the Agency and the European Space Agency a financial framework partnership agreement as provided for in [Article 130] of the Financial Regulation. That financial framework partnership agreement shall:
(a)  clearly define the roles, responsibilities and obligations of the Commission, the Agency and the European Space Agency with regard to the Programme;
(b)  clearly define the instruments of coordination and control for the implementation ofthe Programme components, taking into consideration the Commission´s roles and responsibilities to carry out overall coordination of the Programme components;
(c)  require that the European Space Agency comply with the security rules of the Union programme, in particular with regard to the processing of classified information;
(d)  stipulate the conditions of the management of funds entrusted to the European Space Agency, including the application of Union public procurement rules, when procuring in the name and on behalf of the Union, management procedures, the expected results measured by performance indicators, applicable measures in the event of deficient or fraudulent implementation of the contracts in terms of costs, schedule and results, as well as the communication strategy and the rules regarding ownership of all tangible and intangible assets; these conditions shall be in conformity with Titles III and V of this Regulation and with the Financial Regulation;
(e)  require the participation of the Commission and, when relevant, the Agency in the Tender Evaluation Board meetings of the European Space Agency with regard to the Programme, where the latter procures in the name and on behalf of the Union pursuant to paragraph 1a;
(f)  establish the monitoring and control measures, which shall include, in particular, a cost forecast system, the systematic provision of information to the Commission or, where appropriate, to the Agency, on costs and schedule, and in the event of a discrepancy between the planned budgets, performance and schedule, corrective action ensuring performance of the tasks assigned within the limits of the allocated budgets and penalties against the European Space Agency where this discrepancy is directly attributable to it;
(g)  establish the principles for the remuneration of the European Space Agency, taking into consideration its cost model as a public entity, which shall be proportionate to the difficulty of the tasks to be carried out, in line with market prices and the fees of the other entities involved, including the Union, and may, where appropriate, be based on performance indicators; those fees shall not cover general overheads which are not associated with the activities entrusted to the European Space Agency by the Union;
(h)  require that the European Space Agency ensures full protection of the interests of the Union and its decisions, which may also lead to the European Space Agency having to adapt its decision-making, management methods and liability provisions.
2.  Without prejudice to the financial framework partnership agreement referred to in Article 31a, the Commission or the Agency may ask the European Space Agency to provide technical expertise and the information necessary to perform the tasks which are assigned to them by this Regulation. The conditions for such requests and their implementation shall be mutually agreed.
Amendment 144
Proposal for a regulation
Article 32 – title
Role of other entities
Role of EUMETSAT and other entities
Amendment 145
Proposal for a regulation
Article 32 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  The Commission may entrust, in full or in part, by means of contribution agreements the implementation of the Programme's components to entities other than those referred to in Article 30 and 31, including :
1.  The Commission may entrust, in full or in part, by means of contribution agreements, the implementation of the following tasks to entities other than those referred to in Article 30 and 31, including :
Amendment 146
Proposal for a regulation
Article 32 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  the operation of the Copernicus space infrastructure or parts thereof, which may be entrusted EUMETSAT;
(a)  the upgrading and operation of the Copernicus space infrastructure or parts thereof, which may be entrusted EUMETSAT;
Amendment 147
Proposal for a regulation
Article 32 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  the implementation of the Copernicus services or parts thereof to relevant agencies, bodies or organisations.
(b)  the implementation of the Copernicus services or parts thereof to relevant agencies, bodies or organisations, managing also the relevant third party information acquisition.
Amendment 148
Proposal for a regulation
Article 32 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  The Commission shall take account of the scientific and technical advice of the Joint Research Centre for the implementation of the Programme.
Amendment 149
Proposal for a regulation
Article 33 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
The security of the Programme should be based on the following principles:
The security of the Programme shall be based on the following principles:
Amendment 150
Proposal for a regulation
Article 33 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  to take account of the experience of the Member States in the field of security and draw inspiration from their best practices;
(a)  to take account of the experience of the Member States in the field of security and draw inspiration from their best practices and national laws;
Amendment 151
Proposal for a regulation
Article 33 – paragraph 1 – point a a (new)
(aa)  to take account of the experience gained in the operation of Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus;
Amendment 152
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part
The Commission, in its field of competence, shall ensure a high degree of security with regard to, in particular:
The Commission and the Agency, in their field of competence, shall ensure a high degree of security with regard to, in particular:
Amendment 153
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2
To that end, the Commission shall ensure that a risk and threat analysis is performed for each Programme's component. Based on that risk and threat analysis, it shall determine, by means of implementing acts, for each component of the Programme, the general security requirements. In doing so, the Commission shall take account of the impact of those requirements on the smooth functioning of that component, in particular in terms of cost, risk management and schedule, and shall ensure not to reduce the general level of security or undermine the functioning of the existing equipment based on that component. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 107(3).
To that end, the Commission shall carry out in consultation with end users in Member States and the relevant entities managing the implementation of a component of the Programme a risk and threat analysis for the Copernicus, SST and GOVSATCOM components. The Agency shall carry out a risk and threat analysis for the Galileo and EGNOS components. Based on that risk and threat analysis, the Commission in consultation with end users in Member States and the relevant entities managing the implementation of a component of the Programme shall determine, by means of implementing acts, for each component of the Programme, the general security requirements. In doing so, the Commission shall take account of the impact of those requirements on the smooth functioning of that component, in particular in terms of cost, risk management and schedule, and shall ensure not to reduce the general level of security or undermine the functioning of the existing equipment based on that component. The general security requirements shall set out the procedures to be followed whenever the security of the Union or its Member States may be affected by the operation of a component. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 107(3).
Amendment 154
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 2
2.  The entity responsible for the management of a component of the Programme shall be responsible for managing the security of that component and shall, to that end, carry out risk and threat analysis and all the necessary activities to ensure and monitor the security of that component, in particular setting of technical specifications and operational procedures, and monitor their compliance with the general security requirements referred to in paragraph 1.
2.  The Commission shall be responsible for managing the security of the Copernicus, SSA and GOVSATCOM components. The Agency shall be responsible for managing the security of the Galileo and EGNOS components. To that end, they shall carry out all the necessary activities to ensure and monitor the security of the components for which they are responsible, in particular the setting of technical specifications and shall operational procedures, and monitor their compliance with the general security requirements referred to in the third subparagraph of paragraph 1.
Amendment 155
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 3 – introductory part
3.  The Agency shall:
3.  The Agency shall furthermore:
Amendment 156
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 3 – point d a (new)
(da)  ensure the cyber security of the Programme;
Amendment 157
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 4 – point a
(a)  take measures which are at least equivalent to those necessary for the protection of European critical infrastructures within the meaning of Council Directive 2008/114/EC of 8 December 2008 on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection29 and to those necessary for the protection of their own national critical infrastructures in order to ensure the protection of the ground infrastructure on the ground which form an integral part of the Programme and which are located on their territory;
(a)  take measures which are at least equivalent to those necessary for the protection of European critical infrastructures within the meaning of Council Directive 2008/114/EC of 8 December 2008 on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection29 and to those necessary for the protection of their own national critical infrastructures in order to ensure the protection of the ground infrastructure which form an integral part of the Programme and which are located on their territory;
__________________
__________________
29 OJ L 345, 23.12.2008, p. 75.
29 OJ L 345, 23.12.2008, p. 75.
Amendment 158
Proposal for a regulation
Article 34 – paragraph 5
5.  The entities involved in the Programme shall take all the measures necessary to ensure the security of the Programme.
5.  The entities involved in the Programme shall take all the necessary measures, also in light of the issues identified in the risk analysis, to ensure the security of the Programme.
Amendment 159
Proposal for a regulation
Article 38 – paragraph 2
2.  A representative of the European Space Agency shall be invited to attend the meetings of the Security Accreditation Board as an observer. On an exceptional basis, representatives of Union Agencies, third countries or international organisations may also be invited to attend meetings as observers for matters directly relating to those third countries or international organisations, especially matters concerning the infrastructure belonging to them or established on their territory. Arrangements for such participation of representatives of third countries or international organisations and the conditions therefor shall be laid down in the relevant agreements and shall comply with the rules of procedure of the Security Accreditation Board.
2.  A representative of the European Space Agency shall be invited to attend the meetings of the Security Accreditation Board as an observer. On an exceptional basis, representatives of Union Agencies, third countries or international organisations may also be invited to attend meetings as observers especially for matters concerning the infrastructure belonging to them or established on their territory. Arrangements for such participation of representatives of third countries or international organisations and the conditions therefore shall be laid down in the relevant agreements and shall comply with the rules of procedure of the Security Accreditation Board.
Amendment 160
Proposal for a regulation
Article 43 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  the management, maintenance, continuous improvement, evolution and protection of the ground-based infrastructure, in particular networks, sites and support facilities, including upgrades and obsolescence management;
(b)  the management, maintenance, continuous improvement, evolution and protection of the ground-based infrastructure, including infrastructure located outside Union territory, but necessary for providing Galileo and EGNOS with full coverage of the territories of Member States geographically located in Europe, in particular networks, sites and support facilities, including upgrades and obsolescence management;
Amendment 161
Proposal for a regulation
Article 43 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  the development of future generations of the systems and the evolution of the services provided by Galileo and EGNOS, without prejudice to future decisions on the Union financial perspectives;
(c)  the development of future generations of the systems and the evolution of the services provided by Galileo and EGNOS, without prejudice to future decisions on the Union financial perspectives, taking into account the needs of relevant stakeholders;
Amendment 162
Proposal for a regulation
Article 43 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  support the development and evolution of fundamental technological elements, such as Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers;
Amendment 163
Proposal for a regulation
Article 43 – paragraph 1 – point c b (new)
(cb)  support for development of Galileo and EGNOS downstream applications and integrated downstream applications using both EGNOS/Galileo and Copernicus;
Amendment 164
Proposal for a regulation
Article 43 – paragraph 1 – point e
(e)  the provision and market development of the services provided by Galileo and EGNOS;
(e)  the provision and market development of the services provided by Galileo and EGNOS, in particular, in order to maximise the socio-economic benefits referred to in Article 4(1);
Amendment 165
Proposal for a regulation
Article 45 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  a safety-of-life (SoL) service, which shall be free of direct user charges and shall provide positioning and synchronisation information with a high level of continuity, availability and accuracy, including an integrity message alerting users to any failure in, or out-of-tolerance signals emitted by, Galileo and other GNSSs which it augments in the coverage area, intended mainly for users for whom safety is essential, in particular in the sector of civil aviation for the purpose of air navigation services.
(c)  a safety-of-life (SoL) service, which shall be free of direct user charges and shall provide positioning and time synchronisation information with a high level of continuity, availability, accuracy and integrity. That service is provided in compliance with the EASA Regulation to ensure aviation safety requirements are met, including an integrity message alerting users to any failure in, or out-of-tolerance signals emitted by, Galileo and other GNSSs which it augments in the coverage area, intended mainly for users for whom safety is essential, in particular in the sector of civil aviation for the purpose of air navigation services.
Amendment 166
Proposal for a regulation
Article 45 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1
The services referred to in paragraph 1 shall be provided as a priority on the territory of Member States geographically located in Europe.
The services referred to in paragraph 1 shall be provided as a priority on the territory of Member States geographically located in Europe with the aim of covering the continental territories by the end of 2023 and all territories by the end of 2025.
Amendment 167
Proposal for a regulation
Article 45 – paragraph 3
3.  The cost of such extension, including the related operating costs specific to these regions, shall not be covered by the budget referred to in Article 11. Such extension shall not delay the offering of the services referred to in paragraph 1 throughout the territory of Member States geographically located in Europe.
3.  The cost of such extension, including the related operating costs specific to these regions, shall not be covered by the budget referred to in Article 11, but the Commission shall consider the exploitation of partnership programmes and agreements and, if appropriate, the development of a specific financial instrument to support them. Such extension shall not delay the offering of the services referred to in paragraph 1 throughout the territory of Member States geographically located in Europe.
Amendment 168
Proposal for a regulation
Article 47 – title
Compatibility and interoperability
Compatibility, interoperability and standardisation
Amendment 169
Proposal for a regulation
Article 47 – paragraph 2
2.  Galileo and EGNOS, and the services which they provide, shall be compatible and interoperable with other satellite navigation systems and with conventional means of radio navigation, where the necessary compatibility and interoperability requirements are laid down in international agreements.
2.  Galileo and EGNOS, and the services which they provide, shall be mutually compatible and interoperable with other satellite navigation systems and with conventional means of radio navigation, where the necessary compatibility and interoperability requirements are laid down in international agreements.
Amendment 170
Proposal for a regulation
Article 47 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  Galileo and EGNOS shall strive to comply with international standards and certifications.
Amendment 171
Proposal for a regulation
Article 48 – paragraph 1
1.  Copernicus shall be implemented building on prior Union investments and, where appropriate, drawing on the national or regional capacities of Member States and taking into account the capacities of commercial suppliers of comparable data and information and the need to foster competition and market development.
1.  Copernicus shall be implemented building on prior Union, European Space Agency and EUMETSAT investments and, where appropriate, drawing on the national or regional capacities of Member States and taking into account the capacities of commercial suppliers of comparable data and information and the need to foster competition and market development.
Amendment 172
Proposal for a regulation
Article 48 – paragraph 2
2.  Copernicus shall deliver data and information pursuing a full, free and open data policy.
2.  Copernicus shall deliver data and information based on a full, free and open data policy.
Amendment 173
Proposal for a regulation
Article 48 – paragraph 3 – point a – indent 1
–  the development and operations of the Copernicus Sentinels;
–  the development and operations of the Copernicus Sentinel satellites;
Amendment 174
Proposal for a regulation
Article 48 – paragraph 3 – point c
(c)  data access and distribution component, which shall include infrastructure and services to ensure the discovery, viewing, access to, distribution and exploitation of Copernicus data and Copernicus information;
(c)  data access and distribution component, which shall include infrastructure and services to ensure the discovery, viewing, long-term archiving, access to, distribution and exploitation of Copernicus data and Copernicus information, in a user-friendly manner;
Amendment 175
Proposal for a regulation
Article 48 – paragraph 3 – point d
(d)  user uptake and market development component in accordance with Article 29(5), which shall include relevant activities, resources and services to promote Copernicus, its data and services at all levels to maximise socio-economic benefits which are referred to in Article 4(1).
(d)  user uptake, capacity building and market development component in accordance with Article 29(5), which shall include relevant activities, resources and services to promote Copernicus, its data and services at all levels to maximise socio-economic benefits which are referred to in Article 4(1).
Amendment 176
Proposal for a regulation
Article 48 – paragraph 4
4.  Copernicus shall promote the international coordination of observation systems and related exchanges of data in order to strengthen its global dimension and complementarity taking account of existing international agreements and coordination processes.
4.  Copernicus shall promote the international coordination of observation systems and related exchanges of data in order to strengthen its global dimension and complementarity taking account of existing and future international agreements and coordination processes.
Amendment 177
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – title
Data acquisition
Eligible actions
Amendment 178
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  actions to provide continuity of existing Sentinel missions and to develop, launch, maintain and operate further Sentinels expanding the observation scope, giving priority to: observation capacities for monitoring anthropogenic CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, allowing for polar coverage and enabling innovative environmental applications in agriculture, forest and water management domains;
(a)  actions to provide continuity of existing Sentinel missions and to develop, launch, maintain and operate further Sentinels expanding the observation scope, such as: observation capacities for monitoring anthropogenic CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, allowing for polar coverage and enabling innovative environmental applications in agriculture, forest and water management domains;
Amendment 179
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  actions to provide access to third-party data necessary to generate Copernicus services or for use by the Union's institutions, agencies and decentralised services;
(b)  actions to provide access to third-party data necessary to generate Copernicus services or for use by core users, giving priority to data provided and/or funded by public entities in Member States, such as national agencies;
Amendment 180
Proposal for a regulation
Article 49 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  support for development of relevant Copernicus downstream applications and services.
Amendment 181
Proposal for a regulation
Article 50 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
Copernicus shall include actions in support of the following services:
Copernicus shall include actions in support of the following core services:
Amendment 182
Proposal for a regulation
Article 50 – paragraph 1 – point a – indent 3
–  land monitoring and agriculture to provide information on land cover, land use and land use change, urban areas, inland water quantity and quality, forests, agriculture and other natural resources, biodiversity and cryosphere;
–  land monitoring and agriculture to provide information on land cover, land use and land use change, soil quality, desertification, cultural heritage sites, inland water quantity and quality, forests and in particular deforestation, agriculture and other natural resources, biodiversity and cryosphere; Member States will be able to use the information and data resulting from monitoring of the agricultural area regarding the degree of land cover and farmland utilisation, so as to further reduce the administrative burden of granting farm subsidies;
Amendment 183
Proposal for a regulation
Article 50 – paragraph 1 – point a – indent 4 a (new)
–   mapping farmland in need of irrigation, crop forecasts and land use, and ensuring better food safety and quality by safeguarding the environment;
Amendment 184
Proposal for a regulation
Article 50 – paragraph 1 – point a – indent 4 b (new)
–   monitoring fishing activities, to ensure better food safety and quality by safeguarding the environment;
Amendment 185
Proposal for a regulation
Article 50 – paragraph 1 – point a a (new)
(aa)  Monitoring support for Union policy implementation;
Amendment 186
Proposal for a regulation
Article 53 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
The SST component shall support the following activities:
The SST programme aims at progressively equipping the Union with an autonomous SST capability.
The SST component shall support the following activities:
Amendment 187
Proposal for a regulation
Article 53 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  the establishment, development and operation of a network of ground-based and/or space-based sensors of the Member States, including sensors developed through the European Space Agency and nationally operated Union sensors, to survey and track objects and to produce a European catalogue of space objects adapted to the needs of the users referred to in Article 55;
(a)  the establishment, development and operation of a network of ground-based and/or space-based sensors of the Member States or of the Union, including sensors developed through the European Space Agency and nationally operated Union sensors, to survey and track objects and to produce a European catalogue of space objects adapted to the needs of the users referred to in Article 55;
Amendment 188
Proposal for a regulation
Article 56 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part
Member States wishing to participate in the delivery of SST services referred to in Article 54 shall submit a joint proposal to the Commission demonstrating compliance with the following criteria:
Member States wishing to participate in the delivery of SST services referred to in Article 54 shall submit a single or joint proposal to the Commission demonstrating compliance with the following criteria:
Amendment 189
Proposal for a regulation
Article 57 – paragraph 8
8.  The Commission shall adopt, by implementing acts, detailed rules on the functioning of the organisational framework of the participation of Member States in SST. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 107(3).
8.  The Commission shall adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 105 concerning the specific provision, detailed rules on the functioning of the organisational framework of the participation of Member States in SST. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 107(3).
Amendment 190
Proposal for a regulation
Article 58 a (new)
Article 58a
Monitoring of supply and demand for SST
Before 31 December 2024, the Commission shall evaluate the implementation of the SST component, in particular as regards the evolution of the user needs in relation to the ground based and space based sensors capacity, and shall complete the production of the European catalogue provided for in Article 53(1a).
The evaluation shall, in particular, examine the need for additional space and ground infrastructures.
The evaluation shall be accompanied, if necessary, by an appropriate proposal for the development of additional space and ground infrastructures under the SST component.
Amendment 191
Proposal for a regulation
Article 60 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  the creation of a European catalogue of NEO.
Amendment 192
Proposal for a regulation
Article 61 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
Under the GOVSATCOM component satellite communication capacities and services shall be combined into a common Union pool of satellite communication capacities and services. This component comprises:
Under the GOVSATCOM component satellite communication capacities and services shall be combined into a common Union pool of satellite communication capacities and services with appropriate security requirements. This component may comprise:
Amendment 193
Proposal for a regulation
Article 61 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  the development, construction, and operations of the ground segment infrastructure;
(a)  the development, construction, and operations of the ground and space segment infrastructure;
Amendment 194
Proposal for a regulation
Article 62 – paragraph 3
3.  The Commission shall adopt, by means of implementing acts, the service portfolio for services provided under GOVSATCOM, in the form of a list of categories of satellite communication capacities and services and their attributes, including geographic coverage, frequency, bandwidth, user equipment, and security features. Those measures shall be based on the operational and security requirements referred to in paragraph 1 and shall prioritise services provided to users at Union level. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 107(3).
3.  The Commission shall adopt, by means of implementing acts, the service portfolio for services provided under GOVSATCOM, in the form of a list of categories of satellite communication capacities and services and their attributes, including geographic coverage, frequency, bandwidth, user equipment, and security features. Those measures shall be based on the operational and security requirements referred to in paragraph 1. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 107(3).
Amendment 195
Proposal for a regulation
Article 62 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  The service portfolio referred to in paragraph 3 shall take into consideration existing commercially available services in order not to distort competition in the internal market.
Amendment 196
Proposal for a regulation
Article 63 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  legal persons duly accredited to provide satellite capacities or services in accordance with the security accreditation procedure in Article 36, based on the specific security requirements for the GOVSATCOM component referred to in Article 34 (1).
(b)  legal persons duly accredited to provide satellite capacities or services in accordance with the security accreditation procedure in Article 36.
Amendment 197
Proposal for a regulation
Article 63 – paragraph 1 – point b a (new)
(ba)  The providers of satellite communication capacities or services under this component shall comply with the specific security requirements for the GOVSATCOM component determined in accordance with Article 34(1).
Amendment 198
Proposal for a regulation
Article 65 – paragraph 1
1.  Pooled satellite communication capacities, services and user equipment shall be shared and prioritised between GOVSATCOM participants on the basis of an analysis of security risks by the users at Union and Member State level. This sharing and prioritisation shall prioritise users at Union level.
1.  Pooled satellite communication capacities, services and user equipment shall be shared and prioritised between GOVSATCOM participants on the basis of an analysis of security risks by the users at Union and Member State level.
Amendment 199
Proposal for a regulation
Article 66 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  GOVSATCOM Hubs shall take into consideration existing commercially available services existing in order not to distort competition in the internal market.
Amendment 200
Proposal for a regulation
Article 69 – paragraph 1
Before the end of 2024, the Commission shall evaluate the implementation of the GOVSATCOM component, notably as regards the evolution of the user needs in relation to the satellite communication capacity. The evaluation shall in particular examine the need for additional space infrastructure. The evaluation shall be accompanied, if necessary, by an appropriate proposal for the development of additional space infrastructure under the GOVSATCOM component.
Before the end of 2024, the Commission shall, in cooperation with the responsible entities, evaluate the implementation of the GOVSATCOM component, notably as regards the evolution of the user needs in relation to the satellite communication capacity. The evaluation shall in particular examine the need for additional space infrastructure. The evaluation shall be accompanied, if necessary, by an appropriate proposal for the development of additional space infrastructure under the GOVSATCOM component.
Amendment 201
Proposal for a regulation
Article 71 – paragraph 1
The seat of the Agency shall be located in Prague (Czech Republic).
The seat of the Agency shall be located in Prague (Czech Republic). In accordance with the needs of the Programme, the Agency's local offices may be established, as laid down in Article 79(2).
Amendment 202
Proposal for a regulation
Article 73 – paragraph 4
4.  The members and alternate members of the Administrative Board shall be appointed in light of their knowledge in the field of the Agency's core tasks, taking into account relevant managerial, administrative and budgetary skills. The European Parliament, the Commission and the Member States shall endeavour to limit changes of their representatives on the Administrative Board, in order to ensure continuity of the Board's activities. All parties shall aim to achieve a balanced representation between men and women on the Administrative Board.
4.  The members and alternate members of the Administrative Board shall be appointed in light of their knowledge in the field of the Agency's tasks, taking into account relevant managerial, administrative and budgetary skills. The European Parliament, the Commission and the Member States shall endeavour to limit changes of their representatives on the Administrative Board, in order to ensure continuity of the Board's activities. All parties shall aim to achieve a balanced representation between men and women on the Administrative Board.
Amendment 203
Proposal for a regulation
Article 73 – paragraph 5
5.  The term of office of the members of the Administrative Board and their alternate shall be four years, renewable once.
5.  The term of office of the members of the Administrative Board and their alternates shall be four years, renewable.
Amendment 204
Proposal for a regulation
Article 75 – paragraph 3
3.  The Administrative Board shall hold an ordinary meeting twice a year. In addition, it shall meet on the initiative of its Chairperson or at the request of at least one third of its members.
3.  The Administrative Board shall hold an ordinary meeting at least twice a year. In addition, it shall meet on the initiative of its Chairperson or at the request of at least one third of its members.
Amendment 205
Proposal for a regulation
Article 75 – paragraph 5
5.  [For any component of the Programme which entails the use of sensitive national infrastructure, only the representatives of Member States which possess such infrastructure and the representative of the Commission may attend the meetings and deliberations of the Administrative Board and take part in voting. Where the Chairperson of the Administrative Board does not represent one of the Member States which possess such infrastructure, he/she shall be replaced by the representatives of a Member States which possesses such infrastructure.]
5.  [For any component of the Programme which entails the use of sensitive national infrastructure, the representatives of Member States and the representative of the Commission may attend the meetings and deliberations of the Administrative Board, but only those representatives of Member States which possess such infrastructure are to take part in voting. Where the Chairperson of the Administrative Board, does not represent one of the Member States which possess such infrastructure, he/she shall be replaced by the representatives of a Member States which possesses such infrastructure.]
Amendment 206
Proposal for a regulation
Article 77 – paragraph 2 – point a a (new)
(aa)  adopt, by 30 June of the first year of the multiannual financial framework provided for under Article 312 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the multiannual work programme of the Agency for the period covered by that multiannual financial framework after incorporating, without any change, the section drafted by the Security Accreditation Board in accordance with point (a) of Article 80 and after having received the Commission’s opinion. The European Parliament shall be consulted on the multiannual work programme;
Amendment 207
Proposal for a regulation
Article 77 – paragraph 2 – point d a (new)
(da)  adopt transparency rules on industrial contracts and be regularly informed of them by the Executive Director;
Amendment 208
Proposal for a regulation
Article 79 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  comply with the transparency rules on industrial contracts and inform the Administrative Board;
Amendment 209
Proposal for a regulation
Article 79 – paragraph 2
2.  The Executive Director shall decide whether it is necessary to locate one or more staff in one or more Member States for the purpose of carrying out the Agency's tasks in an efficient and effective manner. Before deciding to establish a local office the Executive Directive shall obtain the prior approval of the Commission, the Administrative Board and the Member State(s) concerned. The decision shall specify the scope of the activities to be carried out at the local office in a manner that avoids unnecessary costs and duplication of administrative functions of the Agency. A headquarters agreement with the Member State(s) concerned may be required.
2.  The Executive Director shall decide whether it is necessary to locate one or more staff in one or more Member States for the purpose of carrying out the Agency's tasks in an efficient and effective manner. Before deciding to establish a local office the Executive Directive shall obtain the prior approval of the Administrative Board and the Member State(s) concerned. The decision shall specify the scope of the activities to be carried out at the local office in a manner that avoids unnecessary costs and duplication of administrative functions of the Agency. A headquarters agreement with the Member State(s) concerned may be required. Where possible, the impact in terms of staff allocation and budget shall be incorporated in the annual work programme, and in any event this project shall be notified to the budgetary authority in accordance with Article 84(11).
Amendment 210
Proposal for a regulation
Article 88 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3 a.  The Agency’s staff shall be remunerated from the Agency’s own resources and, where necessary for the execution of the Agency’s delegated tasks, through the use of budget delegated by the Commission.
Amendment 211
Proposal for a regulation
Article 89 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2
The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Administrative Board on grounds of merit and documented administrative and managerial skills, as well as relevant competence and experience, from a list of candidates proposed by the Commission, after an open and transparent competition, following the publication of a call for expressions of interest in the Official Journal of the European Union or elsewhere.
The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Administrative Board on grounds of merit and documented administrative and managerial skills, as well as relevant competence and experience, from a list of at least three candidates proposed by the Commission, after an open and transparent competition, following the publication of a call for expressions of interest in the Official Journal of the European Union or elsewhere.
Amendment 212
Proposal for a regulation
Article 89 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2
On the basis of a proposal from the Commission, taking into account the assessment referred to in the first subparagraph, the Administrative Board may extend the term of office of the Executive Director once for a period of up to four years.
On the basis of a proposal from the Commission, taking into account the assessment referred to in the first subparagraph, the Administrative Board may extend the term of office of the Executive Director once for a period of up to five years.
Amendment 213
Proposal for a regulation
Article 92 – title
Headquarters agreement and operating conditions
Headquarters and Local Offices agreement and operating conditions
Amendment 214
Proposal for a regulation
Article 92 – paragraph 1
1.  Necessary arrangements concerning the accommodation to be provided for the Agency in the host Member State and the facilities to be made available by that Member State together with the specific rules applicable in the host Member State to the Executive Director, members of the Administrative Board, Agency staff and members of their families shall be laid down in a Headquarters Agreement between the Agency and Member State where the seat is located, concluded after obtaining the approval of the Administrative Board.
1.  Necessary arrangements concerning the accommodation to be provided for the Agency in the host Member States and the facilities to be made available by that Member States together with the specific rules applicable in the host Member States to the Executive Director, members of the Administrative Board, Agency staff and members of their families shall be laid down in a Headquarters and Local Offices Agreement between the Agency and Member State where the seat or the local infrastructure is located, concluded after obtaining the approval of the Administrative Board.
Amendment 215
Proposal for a regulation
Article 98 – paragraph 1
1.  The Agency shall be open to the participation of third countries that have entered into agreements with the Union to this effect.
1.  The Agency shall be open to the participation of third countries and international organisations that have entered into agreements with the Union to this effect.
Amendment 216
Proposal for a regulation
Article 101 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.   The Commission shall define a methodology to provide for qualitative indicators for an accurate assessment of the progress towards achieving the general objectives set out in points (a), (b) and (c) of Article 4(1). On the basis of that methodology the Commission shall complement the Annex, at the latest by 1 January 2021.
Amendment 217
Proposal for a regulation
Article 102 – paragraph 2
2.  The interim evaluation of the Programme shall be performed once there is sufficient information available about the implementation of the programme, but no later than four years after the start of the programme implementation.
2.  The interim evaluation of the Programme shall be performed once there is sufficient information available about the implementation of the programme, but no later than three years after the start of the programme implementation. A specific section of this evaluation shall be dedicated to the governance of the Programme aimed at providing information as to whether amendments to tasks and competences entrusted to the different actors of the Programme are needed.
Amendment 218
Proposal for a regulation
Article 102 – paragraph 4
4.  The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
4.  The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions and if appropriate may accompany the evaluation with a new legislative proposal.
Amendment 219
Proposal for a regulation
Article 102 – paragraph 6 – subparagraph 1
By 30 June 2024, and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall assess the Agency’s performance, in relation to its objectives, mandate, tasks and location, in accordance with Commission guidelines. The evaluation shall, in particular, address the possible need to modify the mandate of the Agency, and the financial implications of any such modification. It shall also address the Agency’s policy on conflicts of interest and the independence and autonomy of the Security Accreditation Board.
By 30 June 2024, and every three years thereafter, the Commission shall assess the Agency’s performance, in relation to its objectives, mandate, tasks and location, in accordance with Commission guidelines. The evaluation shall address the possible need to modify the mandate of the Agency, in particular regarding the possibility to entrust it with additional tasks, in accordance with Article 30, and the financial implications of any such modification. It shall also address the Agency’s policy on conflicts of interest and the independence and autonomy of the Security Accreditation Board.
Amendment 220
Proposal for a regulation
Article 105 – paragraph 2
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Articles 52 and 101 shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period until 31 December 2028.
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Articles 52 and 101 shall be conferred on the Commission until 31 December 2028.
Amendment 221
Proposal for a regulation
Article 107 – paragraph 1
1.  The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.
1.  The Commission shall be assisted by a committee, which meets in specific configurations/ subcommittees dedicated to each main components of the Programme (Galileo and EGNOS, Copernicus, SSA, GOVSATCOM). That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.
Amendment 222
Proposal for a regulation
Article 107 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  International agreements concluded by the Union may provide for the involvement, as appropriate, of representatives of third countries or international organisations in the work of the Committee under the conditions laid down in its rules of procedures, taking into account the security of the Union.

(1)The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0405/2018).


Establishing the Digital Europe programme for the period 2021-2027 ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 13 December 2018 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Digital Europe programme for the period 2021-2027 (COM(2018)0434 – C8-0256/2018 – 2018/0227(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2018)0521A8-0408/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Draft legislative resolution   Amendment
Amendment 1
Draft legislative resolution
Citation 3 a (new)
–   having regard to the resolution of the European Parliament of 17 May 2017 on FinTech: the influence of technology on the future of the financial sector,
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  Pursuant to [reference to be updated as appropriate according to a new decision on OCTs: Article 88 of Council Decision / /EU53], persons and entities established in overseas countries and territories (OCTs) should be eligible for funding subject to the rules and objectives of the Programme and possible arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the relevant overseas country or territory is linked.
(4)  Pursuant to [reference to be updated as appropriate according to a new decision on OCTs: Article 88 of Council Decision / /EU53], persons and entities established in overseas countries and territories (OCTs) should be eligible for funding subject to the rules and objectives of the Programme and possible arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the relevant overseas country or territory is linked. The constraints relating to the participation of overseas countries or territories must be taken into account when implementing the Programme, and their effective participation in the Programme must be monitored and regularly evaluated.
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53 Council Decision / /EU.
53 Council Decision / /EU.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5
(5)  Pursuant to paragraph 22 and 23 of the Inter-institutional agreement for Better Law-Making of 13 April 201654 , there is a need to evaluate this Programme on the basis of information collected through specific monitoring requirements, while avoiding overregulation and administrative burdens, in particular on Member States. These requirements, where appropriate, can include measurable indicators, as a basis for evaluating the effects of the Programme on the ground.
(5)  Pursuant to paragraph 22 and 23 of the Inter-institutional agreement for Better Law-Making of 13 April 201654 , there is a need to evaluate this Programme on the basis of information collected through specific monitoring requirements, correlated to existing needs and complying with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council54a, while avoiding overregulation and administrative burdens for all beneficiaries, in particular on Member States and SMEs. These requirements should, where appropriate, include measurable quantitative and qualitative indicators, as a basis for evaluating the effects of the Programme on the ground.
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54 Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016; OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
54 Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016; OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
54a 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).
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5 a (new)
(5a)  The Programme should ensure utmost transparency, accountability and democratic scrutiny of innovative financial instruments and mechanisms that involve the Union budget, especially as regards their contribution, both as regards initial expectations and end results made towards achieving Union objectives.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6
(6)  The Tallinn Digital Summit55 of September 2017 and the Conclusions of the European Council56 of 19 October 2017 indicated the need for Europe to invest in digitising our economies and addressing the skills gap to maintain and enhance European competitiveness, our quality of life and social fabric. The European Council concluded that the digital transformation offers immense opportunities for innovation, growth and jobs, will contribute to our global competitiveness, and enhance creative and cultural diversity. Seizing these opportunities requires collectively tackling some of the challenges posed by the digital transformation and reviewing policies affected by the digital transformation.
(6)  The Tallinn Digital Summit55 of September 2017 and the Conclusions of the European Council56 of 19 October 2017 indicated the need for Europe to invest in efficient digitalisation of our economies and addressing the skills gap to maintain and enhance European competitiveness and innovation, our quality of life and social fabric. The European Council concluded that the digital transformation offers immense opportunities for innovation, growth and jobs, will contribute to our global competitiveness, and enhance creative and cultural diversity. Seizing these opportunities requires collectively tackling the challenges posed by the digital transformation in several ways, including by ensuring that the essential building blocks on which new technologies rely are put in place, by creating effective and easily enforceable legal rules, by reviewing policies affected by the digital transformation, and by creating an innovation-friendly environment in which the interests of users are fully safeguarded. Optimally, the financial envelope for this Programme, a European level effort, shall be increased by significant private sector funds and contributions from the Member States.
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55 https://www.eu2017.ee/news/insights/conclusions-after-tallinn-digital-summit
55 https://www.eu2017.ee/news/insights/conclusions-after-tallinn-digital-summit
56 https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/21620/19-euco-final-conclusions-en.pdf
56 https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/21620/19-euco-final-conclusions-en.pdf
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6 a (new)
(6a)  The future of European society and the European economy will strongly rely on a harmonised and consistent spectrum policy, on 5G infrastructure, which will require an infrastructure objective regarding VHC networks, with the aim of providing high-quality and faster communication services; this is a prerequisite for the good implementation of the Programme. In this regard, the Programme should benefit of the good implementation of Connecting Europe Facility and in particular the Wif4EU initiative aiming to promote connectivity for citizens in the Union’s public spaces; the combination of those two programmes will maximise output and deliver on the Union targets of deliver reliable and consistent high-speed network coverage across the Union.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7
(7)  The European Council concluded in particular that the Union should urgently address emerging trends: this includes issues such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers technologies (e.g. blockchain), while at the same time ensuring a high level of data protection, digital rights and ethical standards. The European Council invited the Commission to put forward a European approach to artificial intelligence by early 2018 and called on the Commission to put forward the necessary initiatives for strengthening the framework conditions with a view to enable the EU to explore new markets through risk-based radical innovations and to reaffirm the leading role of its industry.
(7)  The European Council concluded in particular that the Union should urgently address emerging trends: this includes issues such as digital divide, artificial intelligence, while at the same time ensuring a high level of data protection in full compliance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679, rights, fundamental rights and ethical standards. The European Council invited the Commission to put forward a European approach to artificial intelligence by early 2018 and called on the Commission to put forward the necessary initiatives for strengthening the framework conditions with a view to enable the EU to explore new markets through risk-based radical innovations and to reaffirm the leading role of its industry.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7 a (new)
(7a)   On 10 April 2018, Member States expressed their support and a joint will to cooperate together on initiatives on artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technologies (for example blockchain) infrastructure services by signing cooperation agreements.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7 b (new)
(7b)   For a successful implementation of this Programme, more is needed than following the trends. The Union needs to be committed to privacy-enabling technologies (i.e. cryptography and decentralised applications (DApps)) as well as increased investments in future-proof infrastructure (fibre-optic) networks) to enable a self-determined digitalised society.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7 c (new)
(7c)   Europe has to make decisive investments in its future, building strategic digital capacities in order to benefit from the digital revolution. A substantial budget (of at least EUR 9,2 billion) must be ensured at EU level for this purpose, which must be complemented by sizable investment efforts at national and regional level, namely with a consistent and complementary relationship with structural and cohesion funds.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 8
(8)  The Commission's Communication on 'A new, modern Multiannual Financial Framework for a European Union that delivers efficiently on its priorities post-2020'57 outlines among the options for the future financial framework a programme for Europe's digital transformations to deliver 'strong progress towards smart growth in areas such as high quality data infrastructure, connectivity and cybersecurity'. It would seek to secure European leadership in supercomputing, next generation internet, artificial intelligence, robotics and big data. It would reinforce the competitive position of industry and businesses in Europe across the digitised economy and would have a significant impact on filling the skills gap across the Union.
(8)  The Commission's Communication on 'A new, modern Multiannual Financial Framework for a European Union that delivers efficiently on its priorities post-2020'57 outlines among the options for the future financial framework a programme for Europe's digital transformations to deliver 'strong progress towards smart growth in areas such as high quality data infrastructure, connectivity cybersecurity and digitalization of public administrations. It would seek to secure European leadership in supercomputing, next generation internet, artificial intelligence, robotics and big data. It would reinforce the competitive position of industry and businesses in Europe across the digitised economy and would have a significant impact on bridging and filling the skills gap across the Union ensuring that European citizens have the necessary skills, competences and knowledge to face the digital transformation.
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57 COM(2018)0098.
57 COM(2018)0098.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 8 a (new)
(8a)   Whereas in view of the delay in developing the Union's strategic digital capacities and the efforts made to remedy this, a budget commensurate with the ambitions of this programme and of at least EUR 9,2 billion should be guaranteed.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 9
(9)  The Communication “Towards a common European data space”58 , addresses the new measure to be taken as a key step towards a common data space in the EU - a seamless digital area with a scale that will enable the development of new products and services based on data.
(9)  The Communication “Towards a common European data space”58 , addresses the new measure to be taken as a key step towards a common data space in the EU - a seamless digital area with a scale that will enable the development and innovation of new products and services based on data.
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58 COM(2018)0125
58 COM(2018)0125
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 9 a (new)
(9a)   The Next Generation Internet initiative launched by the European Commission in 2017 should also provide ground for the implementation of the Programme as it aims towards a more open Internet with better services, more intelligence, greater involvement and participation, addressing technological opportunities arising from advances in various research fields, extending from new network architectures and software-defined infrastructures to new concepts for services and applications.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10
(10)  The general objective of the Programme should be to support the digital transformation of industry and to foster better exploitation of the industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development, for the benefit of businesses and citizens all over the Union. The programme should be structured into five Specific Objectives reflecting key policy areas, namely: high-performance computing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, advanced digital skills, and deployment, best use of digital capacities and interoperability. For all these areas, the Programme should also aim at better aligning Union, Member States and regional policies, and pooling of private and industrial resources in order to increase investment and develop stronger synergies.
(10)  The general objective of the Programme should be to support the digital transformation of industry and to foster better exploitation of the industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development as well as to modernise specific sectors of public interest, for the benefit of businesses, especially SMEs, and citizens all over the Union. Furthermore, the Programme should strengthen the Union's competiveness and the resilience of its economy.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10 a (new)
(10a)   There is a pressing need to support SMEs intending to harness the digital transformation in their production processes. Digital research and innovation will allow SMEs to contribute to the growth of the European economy through an efficient use of resources.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10 b (new)
(10b)  The Programme should be structured into five specific objectives reflecting key policy areas, namely: (a) high-performance computing, (b) artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technologies, (c) cybersecurity, (d) advanced digital skills, and (e) deployment, best use of digital capacities and interoperability. For all these areas, the Programme should also aim at better aligning Union, Member States and regional policies, and pooling of private and industrial resources in order to increase investment and develop stronger synergies.
Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10 c (new)
(10c)  Together with the general objective of digital transformation, the Programme should contribute to ensuring long-term strategic security objectives by building capacities and capabilities in the Union, giving priority to actions that increase the strategic potential and limit dependence on third countries suppliers and products, thereby securing the Union's economic and innovative competitiveness.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11
(11)  A central role in the implementation of the Programme should be attributed to Digital Innovation Hubs, which should stimulate the broad adoption of advanced digital technologies by industry, by public organisations and academia. A network of Digital Innovation Hubs should ensure the widest geographical coverage across Europe59 . A first set of Digital Innovation Hubs will be selected based on Member States’ proposals and then the network will be enlarged through an open and competitive process. The Digital Innovation Hubs will serve as access points to latest digital capacities including high performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, as well as other existing innovative technologies such as Key Enabling Technologies, available also in fablabs or citylabs. They shall act as single-entry points in accessing tested and validated technologies and promote open innovation. They will also provide support in the area of advanced digital skills. The network of Digital Innovation Hubs should also contribute to the participation of the outermost regions in the Digital Single Market.
(11)  A central role in the implementation of the Programme should be attributed to European Digital Innovation Hubs, which should stimulate the broad adoption of advanced digital technologies by industry including SMEs , by public organisations and academia. A network of European Digital Innovation Hubs should ensure the widest geographical coverage across Europe59 . A first set of European Digital Innovation Hubs will be selected based on Member States’ proposals and then the network will be enlarged through an open, transparent and competitive process. The European Digital Innovation Hubs will serve as access points to latest digital capacities including high performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, as well as other existing innovative technologies such as Key Enabling Technologies, available also in fablabs or citylabs. They shall act as one-stop-shops in accessing tested and validated technologies and promote open innovation. They will also provide support in the area of advanced digital skills. The network of European Digital Innovation Hubs should also contribute to the participation of the outermost regions in the Digital Single Market and support the digital transformation in the overseas countries and territories.
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59 As indicated in the Communication on Digitising European Industry (COM(2016)0180)
59 As indicated in the Communication on Digitising European Industry (COM(2016)0180)
Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11 a (new)
(11a)  In order to create synergies between investments under this Programme and Union research and development investments , in particular those under the Horizon Europe programme, European Digital Innovation Hubs should act as a platform to bring together industry, business and administrations which are in need of new technology solutions on one side, with companies, notably start-ups and SMEs, that have market-ready solutions on the other side.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11 b (new)
(11b)  The planning, development and procurement of the programme should be carried out with a view to enhancing Union capacities and competitiveness in the medium and long term. Priority should be given to actions that increase the strategic potential and competiveness of the Union which aim at limit the dependence on third countries suppliers and products. The participation of third countries to specific objectives of the Programme should therefore depend on the contribution such countries would make to the Union.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 12
(12)  The Programme should be implemented through projects reinforcing essential digital capacities and their wide use. This should involve co-investments with Member States and, when needed, the private sector. This should notably require reaching a critical mass in procurement to obtain better value for money and guarantee that suppliers in Europe stay at the forefront of technology advancements.
(12)  The Programme should be implemented through projects reinforcing essential digital capacities and the Union's strategic autonomy. To this end the programme should ensure an EU budget of at least EUR 9,2 billion complemented with co-investments from Member States and/or the private sector. This should notably require reaching a critical mass in procurement to obtain better value for money and guarantee that suppliers in Europe reach the forefront of technology advancements.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14
(14)  The Programme's actions should be used to address market failures or sub-optimal investment situations, in a proportionate manner, without duplicating or crowding out private financing and have a clear European added value.
(14)  The Programme's actions should be used to reinforce and extend the Union's digital base, tackle major societal challenges, further raise the Union's digital industrial competences, as well as address market failures or sub-optimal investment situations, in a proportionate manner, without duplicating or crowding out private financing and have a clear European added value.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 15
(15)  To achieve maximum flexibility throughout the lifetime of the programme and develop synergies between its components, each of the specific objectives may be implemented through all instruments available under the Financial Regulation. The delivery mechanisms to be used are direct management and indirect management when Union financing should be combined with other sources of financing or when execution requires the setup of commonly governed structures.
(15)  To achieve maximum flexibility throughout the lifetime of the programme and develop synergies between its components, each of the specific objectives may be implemented through all instruments available under the Financial Regulation. The delivery mechanisms to be used are direct management and indirect management when Union financing should be combined with other sources of financing or when execution requires the setup of commonly governed structures. In cases of indirect management, the Commission will ensure that all quality and safety standards required for the direct management of the programme are maintained and respected.
Amendment 25
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 16
(16)  The high performance computing and the related data processing capacities in the Union should allow to ensure wider use of high performance computing by industry and, more generally, in areas of public interest in order to seize unique opportunities that supercomputers bring to society as regards health, environment and security as well as competitiveness of industry, notably small and medium-sized enterprises.
(16)  The high performance computing and the related data processing and storage capacities in the Union should allow to ensure wider use of high performance computing by industry and, more generally, in areas of public interest in order to seize unique opportunities that supercomputers bring to society as regards health, environment and security as well as competitiveness of industry, notably small and medium-sized enterprises. The Union needs to acquire world-class supercomputers, secure its supply system and deploy services for simulation, visualisation and prototyping while ensuring a HCP system in accordance with Union values and principles.
Amendment 26
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 17
(17)  The support to the Union's intervention in this area was expressed by the Council60 and, by the European Parliament61 . Moreover, in 2017 nine Member States signed the EuroHPC Declaration62 , a multi-government agreement where they commit to collaborate with the Commission to build and deploy state-of-the-art HPC and data infrastructures in Europe that would be available across the Union for scientific communities, public and private partners.
(17)  The support to the Union's intervention in this area was expressed by the Council60 and, by the European Parliament61 . Moreover, in 2017 nine Member States signed the EuroHPC Declaration62 , a multi-government agreement where they commit to collaborate with the Commission to build and deploy state-of-the-art HPC and data infrastructures in Europe that would be available across the Union for scientific communities, public and private partners and strengthening the EU-added value.
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60
60
61
61
62
62
Amendment 27
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 18
(18)  For the high performance computing specific objective a joint undertaking is deemed the most suited implementation mechanism, in particular to coordinate national and Union strategies and investments in high performance computing infrastructure and research and development, pool resources from public and private funds, and safeguard the economic and strategic interests of the Union63 . Moreover, high performance computing competence centres in Member States will provide high performance computing services to industry, academia and public administrations.
(18)  For the high performance computing specific objective a joint undertaking is deemed the most suited implementation mechanism, in particular to coordinate national and Union strategies and investments in high performance computing infrastructure and research and development, pool resources from public and private funds, and safeguard the economic and strategic interests of the Union63 . Moreover, high performance computing competence centres in Member States will provide high performance computing services to industry, including SMEs and start-ups, academia and public administrations established in the Union
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63 Impact Assessment accompanying the document "Proposal for a Council Regulation on establishing the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking" (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/proposal-council-regulation-establishing-eurohpc-joint-undertaking-impact-assessment)
63 Impact Assessment accompanying the document "Proposal for a Council Regulation on establishing the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking" (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/proposal-council-regulation-establishing-eurohpc-joint-undertaking-impact-assessment)
Amendment 28
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19
(19)  Developing capacity related to artificial intelligence is a crucial driver for the digital transformation of industry and also of the public sector . Ever more autonomous robots are used in factories, deep sea application, homes, cities and hospitals. Commercial artificial intelligence platforms have moved from testing to real applications in health and environment; all major car manufacturers are developing self-driving cars, and machine learning techniques are at the heart of all main web platforms and big data applications.
(19)  Developing capacity related to artificial intelligence is a crucial driver for the digital transformation of industry and also of the public sector . Ever more autonomous robots are used in factories, deep sea application, homes, cities and hospitals. Commercial artificial intelligence platforms have moved from testing to real applications in health and environment; all major car manufacturers are developing self-driving cars, and machine learning techniques are at the heart of all main web platforms and big data applications. In order to create the best framework conditions for these new technologies to foster in Europe, the Union needs to add the innovation principle to its policy-making process.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 a (new)
(19a)   In its resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry the European Parliament pointed out the impact of language barriers on industry and its digitisation. In this context the development of large-scale AI-based language technologies such as automatic translation, speech recognition, big data text analytics, dialog and question-answering systems are essential to preserve linguistic diversity, ensure inclusiveness and enable human-human and human-machine communication.
Amendment 30
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 b (new)
(19b)  The increasingly rapid development of self-learning robots and artificial intelligence as well as their ability to multiply knowledge and learning content within seconds makes it difficult to predict any stage of development until the Programme’s termination in 2027. Consequently, the Commission should pay particular attention to this fast-evolving digital trend and, if applicable should swiftly adapt the objectives of the work programme, accordingly.
Amendment 31
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 c (new)
(19c)  In light of European industry’s increasing demand for AI robotics solutions and the importance of avoiding a significant investment gap in this field, the Programme’s objectives on artificial intelligence should encompass robotics powered by artificial intelligence.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 d (new)
(19d)  Products and services based on artificial intelligence should be user-friendly, legally compliant by default and provide consumers with more choice and more information, in particular on the quality of products and services.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20
(20)  The availability of large-scale data sets and testing and experimentation facilities are of major importance for the development of artificial intelligence.
(20)  The availability of large-scale data sets and testing and experimentation facilities to secure the internal market where artificial intelligence is used and access to text and data mining are of major importance for the development of artificial intelligence, including language technologies.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20 a (new)
(20a)   On 25 April 2018, the Commission committed to propose a European approach by developing draft Artificial Intelligence guidelines in cooperation with stakeholders within the AI alliance, a group of artificial intelligence experts, in order to boost AI-powered applications and businesses in Europe.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 21
(21)  In its resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry64 the European Parliament highlighted the importance of a common European cybersecurity approach, recognising the need to raise awareness and considered cyber-resilience as a crucial responsibility for business leaders and national and European industrial security policymakers.
(21)  In its resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry64 the European Parliament highlighted the importance of a common European cybersecurity approach, recognising the need to raise awareness and considered cyber-resilience as a crucial responsibility for business leaders and national and European industrial security policymakers, as well as the implementation of security and privacy by default and by design.
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64 Document ref. A8-0183/2017, available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0240
64 Document ref. A8-0183/2017, available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0240
Amendment 36
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22
(22)  Cybersecurity is a challenge for the whole Union that cannot continue to be addressed only with fragmented national initiatives. Europe's cybersecurity capacity should be reinforced to endow Europe with the necessary capacities to protect its citizens and businesses from cyber threats. In addition consumers should be protected when using connected products that can be hacked and compromise their safety. This should be achieved together with Member States and private sector by developing, and ensuring coordination between, projects reinforcing Europe's capacities in cybersecurity and ensuring the wide deployment of latest cybersecurity solutions across the economy, as well as by aggregating the competences in this field to ensure critical mass and excellence.
(22)  Cybersecurity is a challenge for the whole Union that cannot continue to be addressed only with fragmented national initiatives. Europe's cybersecurity capacity should be reinforced to endow Europe with the necessary capacities to protect citizens, public administrations and businesses from cyber threats. In addition consumers should be protected when using connected products that can be hacked and compromise their safety. This should be achieved together with Member States and private sector by developing, and ensuring coordination between, projects reinforcing Europe's capacities in cybersecurity and ensuring the wide deployment of latest cybersecurity solutions across the economy, as well as by aggregating the competences in this field to ensure critical mass and excellence.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23
(23)  In September 2017, the Commission put forward a package of initiatives65 setting out a comprehensive Union approach to cybersecurity, with the aim of reinforcing Europe’s capacities to deal with cyber-attacks and threats and to strengthen technology and industrial capacity in this field.
(23)  In September 2017, the Commission put forward a package of initiatives65 setting out a comprehensive Union approach to cybersecurity, with the aim of reinforcing Europe’s capacities to deal with cyber-attacks, to increase cyber resilience and threats and to strengthen technology and industrial capacity in this field.
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65 https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/cybersecurity
65 https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/cybersecurity
Amendment 38
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23 a (new)
(23a)  As a matter of principle, cybersecurity solutions should contain safety and security standards as core design parameters according to the available state-of-the-art technology and the principles of ‘security by design’ and ‘security by default’.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 24
(24)  Trust is a prerequisite for the Digital Single Market to function. Cybersecurity technologies such as digital identities, cryptography or intrusion detection, and their application in areas such as finance, industry 4.0, energy, transportation, healthcare, or e-government are essential to safeguard the security and trust of online activity and transactions by both citizens, public administrations, and companies.
(24)  Trust is a prerequisite for the Digital Single Market to function. Cybersecurity technologies such as distributed ledger technology, digital identities, cryptography, encryption  or intrusion detection, and their application in areas such as finance, industry 4.0, logistics, energy, transportation, tourism, healthcare, or e-government are essential to safeguard the security, transparency and trust of online activity, including 5G platforms, and transactions by both citizens, public administrations, and companies.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 25
(25)  The European Council in its conclusions of 19 October 2017 stressed that to successfully build a Digital Europe, the Union needs in particular labour markets, training and education systems fit for the digital age and that there is a need to invest in digital skills, to empower and enable all Europeans;
(25)  The European Council in its conclusions of 19 October 2017 stressed that to successfully build a Digital Europe, the Union needs in particular labour markets, training and education systems fit for the digital age and that there is a need to invest in digital skills development and improve the digital literacy, to empower and enable all Europeans with an integrated approach.;
Amendment 41
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 26 a (new)
(26a)   Considering the need for a holistic approach, the Programme should also take into account the areas of inclusion, qualification, training and specialization which, in addition to the advanced digital competences, are decisive for the creation of added value in the knowledge society.
Amendment 42
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 27
(27)  In its resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry67 the European Parliament stated that education, training and lifelong learning are the cornerstone of social cohesion in a digital society.
(27)  In its resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry67 the European Parliament stated that education, training and lifelong learning are the cornerstone of social cohesion in a digital society. It furthermore demanded that the gender perspective would be incorporated in all digital initiatives, emphasizing the need to address the severe gender gap within the ICT sector, since this is essential for Europe’s long-term growth and prosperity;
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67 Document ref. A8-0183/2017, available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0240
67 Document ref. A8-0183/2017, available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0240
Amendment 43
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 27 a (new)
(27a)  In its resolution of 28 April 2016 on gender equality and empowering women in the digital age, the European Parliament underlined the need of collecting gender-disaggregated data on the use of ICT, and of developing targets, indicators and benchmarks to track the progress of women's access to ICT and promote best practices examples among companies;
Amendment 44
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 27 b (new)
(27b)  In its resolution of 19 January 2016, Towards a Digital Single Market Act, the European Parliament fully supported and encouraged a digital entrepreneurial culture for women, as well as their integration and participation in information society.
Amendment 45
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 28
(28)  The advanced digital technologies supported by this Programme, such as high performance computing, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence are now sufficiently mature to move beyond the research arena and be deployed, implemented and scaled-up at Union level. Just as the deployment of these technologies require a Union response so does the skills dimension. Training opportunities in advanced digital skills need to be scaled up, increased and made accessible throughout the EU. Failing this could impede the smooth deployment of advanced digital technologies and hamper the overall competitiveness of Union's economy. The actions supported by this programme are complementary to those supported by the ESF, ERDF and Horizon Europe programmes.
(28)  The advanced digital technologies supported by this Programme, such as high performance computing, cybersecurity cloud computing, data protection and information governance and artificial intelligence are now sufficiently mature to move beyond the research arena and be deployed, implemented and scaled-up at Union level. Just as the deployment of these technologies require a Union response so does the skills dimension. Learning and training opportunities in advanced digital skills need to be scaled up, increased and made accessible throughout the EU. Failing this could impede the smooth deployment of advanced digital technologies and hamper the overall competitiveness of Union's economy. The actions supported by this programme are complementary to those supported by the ESF, ERDF, ERASMUS and Horizon Europe programmes.
Amendment 46
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 29
(29)  Modernising public administrations and services through digital means is crucial to reducing administrative burden on industry and on citizens in general by making their interactions with public authorities faster, more convenient and less costly, as well as by increasing the efficiency and the quality of the services provided to citizens and businesses. Since a number of services of public interest already have a Union dimension, the support to their implementation and deployment at Union level should ensure that citizens and businesses will benefit from the access to high quality digital services across Europe.
(29)  Modernising public administrations and services through digital means is crucial to reducing administrative burden on citizens and industry by making their interactions with public authorities faster, more convenient and less costly, as well as by increasing the efficiency, transparency and the quality of the services provided to citizens and businesses while at the same time increasing the efficiency of public spending. Since a number of services of public interest already have a Union dimension, the support to their implementation and deployment at Union level should ensure that citizens and businesses may benefit from the access to high quality multilingual digital services across Europe. It is also important that these services be accessible to people with disabilities.
Amendment 47
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 29 a (new)
(29a)   Digitalisation can facilitate and improve barrier-free accessibility for everyone, including older people, persons with reduced mobility or a disability, and those in remote or rural areas.
Amendment 48
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 30
(30)  The digital transformation of the areas of public interest such as healthcare68 , mobility, justice, earth/environmental monitoring, education and culture requires the continuation and expansion of Digital Service Infrastructures, which make secure cross-border exchange of data possible and foster national development. Their coordination under this Regulation best achieves the potential for exploiting synergies.
(30)  The digital transformation of the areas of public interest such as healthcare68 , mobility, justice, earth/environmental monitoring, security, reduction of carbon emissions, energy infrastructure, education and training and culture requires the continuation, upgrading and expansion of Digital Service Infrastructures, which make secure cross-border and cross-language exchange of data and information possible and foster national development. Their coordination under this Regulation best achieves the potential for exploiting synergies and ensuring complementarity. The digital transformation should nevertheless take into account that some citizens are not taking part - out of different reasons - in it and networks should be supported to continue informing those citizens, helping them to remain in full possession of their rights and participation to all social and civic duties.
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68 http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/dae/document.cfm?doc_id=51628
68 http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/dae/document.cfm?doc_id=51628
Amendment 49
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 30 a (new)
(30a)   The digital transformation of this sector must in all circumstances allow EU citizens to access, use and manage their personal data securely across borders, irrespective of their location or the location of the data.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 30 b (new)
(30b)   The deployment and access to advanced technologies in areas of public interest, such as education, also require training in skills necessary to make use of these technologies. Therefore the objectives included in Specific Objective 8 should also cover training programmes for those persons who will be using the advanced technologies.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 32
(32)  The modernisation of European public administrations is one of the key priorities for successful implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy. The mid-term evaluation of the Strategy highlighted the need to strengthen the transformation of public administrations and to ensure citizens have easy, trusted, and seamless access to public services.
(32)  The modernisation of European public administrations is one of the key priorities for successful implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy. The mid-term evaluation of the Strategy highlighted the need to strengthen the transformation of public administrations and to ensure citizens have easy, trusted, secure seamless and inclusive access to public services.
Amendment 52
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 33
(33)  The Annual Growth Survey published by the Commission in 201769 shows that the quality of European public administrations has a direct impact on the economic environment and is therefore crucial to stimulating productivity, competitiveness, economic cooperation, growth and employment. In particular, efficient and transparent public administration and effective justice systems are necessary to support economic growth and deliver high quality services for firms and citizens.
(33)  The Annual Growth Survey published by the Commission in 201769 shows that the quality of European public administrations has a direct impact on the economic environment and is therefore crucial to stimulating productivity, competitiveness, economic cooperation, sustainable growth, employment and high-quality work. In particular, efficient and transparent public administration and effective justice systems are necessary to support economic growth and deliver high quality services for firms and citizens.
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69 COM(2016)0725
69 COM(2016)0725
Amendment 53
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 34
(34)  Interoperability of European public services concerns all levels of administration: Union, national, regional and local. Besides removing barriers to a functioning Single Market, interoperability facilitates successful implementation of policies and offers great potential to avoid cross-border electronic barriers, further securing the emergence of new, or the consolidation of developing, common public services at Union level. In order to eliminate fragmentation of European services, to support fundamental freedoms and operational mutual recognition in the EU, a holistic cross-sector and cross-border approach to interoperability should be promoted in the manner that is the most effective, and the most responsive to end-users. This implies that interoperability is to be understood in a broad sense, spanning from technical to legal layers and encompassing policy elements in the field. Accordingly, the span of activities would go beyond the usual lifecycle of solutions to include all the interventions elements that would support the necessary framework conditions for sustained interoperability at large.
(34)  Interoperability of European public services concerns all levels of administration: Union, national, regional and local. Besides removing barriers to a functioning Single Market, interoperability facilitates cross-border co-operation, alignment of common standards, successful implementation of policies and offers great potential to avoid cross-border electronic and language barriers, to cut red tape, further securing the emergence of new, or the consolidation of developing, common public services at Union level as well as preventing unnecessary double-storage. In order to eliminate fragmentation of European services, to support fundamental freedoms and operational mutual recognition in the EU, a holistic, technology-neutral cross-sector and cross-border approach to interoperability should be promoted in the manner that is the most effective, and the most responsive to end-users and that ensures a high level of data protection. This implies that interoperability is to be understood in a broad sense, spanning from technical to legal layers and encompassing policy elements in the field. Accordingly, the span of activities would go beyond the usual lifecycle of solutions to include all the interventions elements that would support the necessary framework conditions for sustained interoperability at large.
Amendment 54
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 34 a (new)
(34a)  On 6 October 2017, EU Ministers in Tallinn stated that the European digital strategy should be based on collaboration and interoperability, including the use of open licensing policies and open standards. The programme should, therefore, encourage open source solutions in order to allow reuse, increase trust and secure transparency. This will have a positive impact on the sustainability of funded projects.
Amendment 55
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 37
(37)  In April 2016 the Commission adopted the Digitising European Industry initiative to ensure that "any industry in Europe, big or small, wherever situated and in any sector can fully benefit from digital innovations".71
(37)  In April 2016, the Commission adopted the Digitising European Industry initiative to ensure that "any industry in Europe, big or small, wherever situated and in any sector can fully benefit from digital innovations". This is of particular relevance to small and medium enterprises in the cultural and creative sectors.
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71 null
Amendment 56
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 39
(39)  Reaching the target objectives may require leveraging the potential of complementary technologies in the networking and computing domains, as stated in the Communication "Digitising European Industry"73 that recognises "availability of world class networking and cloud infrastructure" as an essential ingredient of industry digitisation.
(39)  Reaching the target objectives may require leveraging the potential of complementary technologies in the networking and computing domains, as stated in the Communication "Digitising European Industry"73 that recognises "availability of world class networking and cloud infrastructure" as an essential component of industry digitisation.
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73 COM(2016)0180: Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a digital single market.
73 COM(2016)0180: Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a digital single market.
Amendment 57
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 40
(40)  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), applicable from May 2018 onwards, by providing for a single set of rules directly applicable in the Member States legal orders, will guarantee the free flow of personal data between EU Member States and reinforce trust and security of the individuals, two indispensable elements for a real Digital Single Market. The actions undertaken under this Programme, when they involve the processing of personal data, should therefore support the application of the GDPR, for instance in the field of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
(40)  Regulation (EU) 2016/679 by providing for a single set of rules directly applicable in the Member States legal orders guarantees the free flow of personal data between EU Member States and reinforces trust and security of the individuals, two indispensable elements for a real Digital Single Market. All actions undertaken under this Programme, when they involve the processing of personal data, should therefore be in full compliance with that Regulation. They should especially support the development of digital technologies that comply with the ‘data protection by design’ obligations which are binding pursuant to that Regulation to the extent that the processing involves electronic communications data, due respect is to be paid to Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.1a
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1a Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications) (OJ L 201, 31.7.2002, p. 37).
Amendment 58
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 41
(41)  The Programme should be implemented in full respect of the international and EU framework of intellectual property protection and enforcement. The effective protection of intellectual property plays a key role in innovation and thus is necessary for the effective implementation of the Programme.
(41)  The Programme should be implemented in full respect of the international and EU framework of intellectual property protection and enforcement. The effective protection of intellectual property plays a key role in innovation and maintaining European added value and thus is necessary for the effective implementation of the Programme.
Amendment 59
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 42
(42)  Bodies implementing this Programme should comply with the provisions applicable to the Union institutions, and with national legislation regarding the handling of information, in particular sensitive non-classified information and EU classified information.
(42)  To the extent that bodies implementing this Programme handle sensitive non-classified information or Union classified information, they should respect the relevant provisions laid down in Union acts or national legislation regarding the handling of information, as applicable.
Amendment 60
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 43
(43)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Programme will contribute to mainstream climate actions and lead to the achievement of an overall target of 25% of the EU budget expenditures supporting climate objectives74 . Relevant actions will be identified during the Programme's preparation and implementation, and reassessed in the context of the relevant evaluations and review processes.
(43)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s obligations to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Programme will contribute to mainstream climate actions and help leading to the achievement of an overall target of 25% of the EU budget expenditures supporting climate objectives74 . Relevant actions should be identified during the Programme's preparation and implementation, and reassessed in the context of the relevant evaluations and review processes in order to ensure full compliance with these obligations.
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74 COM(2018)0321, p. 1.
74 COM(2018)0321, p. 1.
Amendment 61
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 44
(44)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission for the adoption of the work programmes so that the objectives of the Programme are achieved in accordance with the Union's and Member States' priorities while ensuring consistency, transparency and continuity of joint action by the Union and the Member States. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 4 of Regulation (EU) 182/201175 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers.
deleted
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75 Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13)
Amendment 62
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 45
(45)  The work programmes should be adopted in principle as multi-annual work programmes, typically every two years, or, if justified by the needs related to the implementation of the programme, annual work programmes. The types of financing and the methods of implementation under this Regulation should be chosen on the basis of their ability to achieve the specific objectives of the actions and to deliver results, taking into account, in particular, the costs of controls, the administrative burden, and the expected risk of non-compliance. This should include consideration of the use of lump sums, flat rates and unit costs, as well as financing not linked to costs as referred to in Article 125(1) of the Financial Regulation.
(45)  Work programmes should be adopted so that the objectives of the Programme are achieved in accordance with the Union's and Member States' priorities, while ensuring consistency, transparency and continuity of joint action by the Union and the Member States. The work programmes should be adopted in principle every two years, or, if justified by the needs related to the implementation of the programme, on an annual basis. The types of financing and the methods of implementation under this Regulation should be chosen on the basis of their ability to achieve the specific objectives of the actions and to deliver results, taking into account, in particular, the costs of controls, the administrative burden, and the expected risk of non-compliance. This should include consideration of the use of lump sums, flat rates and unit costs, as well as financing not linked to costs as referred to in Article 125(1) of the Financial Regulation.
Amendment 63
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 46
(46)  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 concerning amendments to Annex II to review and/or complement the indicators. 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 on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016. 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.
(46)  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 concerning amendments to Annexes I and II to review and/or complement the indicators. 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 on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016. 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.
Amendment 64
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 46 a (new)
(46a)   In order to ensure, maintain and develop long term financing for the Digital Europe Programme it requires clear, common EU rules that are future-oriented and pro-competitive in order to drive investment and innovation and preserve affordability;
Amendment 65
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 47
(47)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Unions, notably those referred under Articles [8], [11], [16], [21], [35], [38] and [47] regarding the protection of personal data, the freedom of expression and information, the freedom to conduct business, the prohibition of discrimination, healthcare, consumer protection and the right to effective remedy and fair trial. The Member States must apply this Regulation in a manner consistent with these rights and principles.
(47)  Actions which fall within the scope of the Programme should respect fundamental rights and observe the principles acknowledged in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, notably those referred under Articles [8], [11], [16],[21], [22][35], [38], [41] and [47] regarding the protection of personal data, the freedom of expression and information, the freedom to conduct business, the prohibition of discrimination, linguistic diversity and right to communicate in any of the EU languages, healthcare, consumer protection and the right to effective remedy and fair trial. Such actions should be in conformity with any legal obligation including international law and with any relevant Commission decisions, as well as with ethical principles, which include avoiding any breach of research integrity.
Amendment 66
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 47 a (new)
(47a)  In April 2018, the Commission committed 1a to set up a framework for stakeholders and experts to develop draft Artificial Intelligence guidelines in cooperation with the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies; the Commission will support national and EU-level consumer organisations and data protection supervising authorities in building an understanding of AI-powered applications with the input of the European Consumer Consultative Group and the European Data Protection Board.
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1a Communication of 25.4.2018 on Artificial Intelligence for Europe, COM(2018)0237, available at:http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2018/0237/COM_COM(2018)0237_EN.pdf
Amendment 67
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 48
(48)  Third countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate in Union programmes in the framework of the cooperation established under the EEA agreement, which provides for the implementation of the programmes by a decision under that agreement. A specific provision should be introduced in this Regulation to grant the necessary rights for and access to the authorizing officer responsible, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) as well as the European Court of Auditors to comprehensively exert their respective competences.
deleted
Amendment 68
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1
This Regulation establishes the Digital Europe programme ('Programme').
This Regulation establishes the Digital Europe programme (the 'Programme'), which shall be implemented for the period of 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027.
Amendment 69
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point e
(e)  'Digital Innovation Hub' means legal entity designated or selected in an open and competitive procedure in order to fulfil the tasks under the Programme, in particular providing access to technological expertise and experimentation facilities, such as equipment and software tools to enable the digital transformation of the industry.
(e)  'European Digital Innovation Hub' means an existing or new legal entity or a consortium of legal entities designated or selected in an open, transparent and competitive procedure in order to fulfil the tasks under the Programme, in particular providing access to technological expertise and experimentation facilities, such as equipment and software tools to enable the digital transformation of the industry as well as facilitating access to finance. European Digital Innovation Hub shall be open to business of all forms and sizes, in particular to SMEs, scale-ups and public administrations across the Union.
European Digital Innovation Hubs shall act as one-stop-shops where companies - especially SMEs, start-ups and mid-caps – can get help to improve their business, production processes, products and services by means of digital technology that could result in added value. The Hubs will therefore create a decentralised network across the Union offering support to companies to ensure that their employees’ skills match the expertise required to handle the available digital technology. The Hubs shall also coordinate with education providers with a view to supporting training for students and on-the-job training for workers.
Amendment 70
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point f a (new)
(fa)   "media literacy" means the analytical skills necessary to find one's path of understanding throughout the digital world.
Amendment 71
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point f b (new)
(fb)  'European Partnership' means an initiative where the Union, together with private and/or public partners (such as industry, research organisations, bodies with a public service mission at local, regional, national or international level or civil society organisations including foundations, SMEs organisations), commit to jointly support the development and implementation of digital innovation and technological deployment activities, including those related to market, regulatory or policy uptake;
Amendment 72
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point f c (new)
(fc)  ‘small and medium-sized enterprises’ or ‘SMEs’ means small and medium-sized enterprises as defined in Article 2 of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC;
Amendment 73
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point f d (new)
(fd)  'consortium' means a collaborative grouping of undertakings constituted to carry out an action under the Programme.
Amendment 74
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  The Programme has the following general objective: to support the digital transformation of the European economy and society and bring its benefits to European citizens and businesses. The Programme will:
1.  The Programme has the following general objective: to support and to accelerate the digital transformation of the European economy, industry and society and to bring its benefits to European citizens, public services and businesses, as well as to reinforce the strategic autonomy and cohesion of the Union while securing competitiveness and reducing the digital divide. The Programme shall:
Amendment 75
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  widen their diffusion and uptake in areas of public interest and the private sector.
(b)  widen their diffusion and uptake in the private sector and in areas of public interest, supporting their digital transformation and ensuring access to digital technologies;
Amendment 76
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  deploy, coordinate at the Union level and operate an integrated world-class exascale77 supercomputing and data infrastructure in the Union that shall be accessible on a non-commercial basis to public and private users and for publicly funded research purposes;
(a)  deploy, coordinate at the Union level and operate an interoperable world-class exascale77 supercomputing and data infrastructure in the Union that shall be accessible to public and private users and for publicly and privately funded research purposes;
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__________________
77 Billions of billions of floating operations per second
77 Billions of billions of floating operations per second
Amendment 77
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  deploy ready to use/operational technology resulting from research and innovation to build an integrated Union high performance computing ecosystem, covering all scientific and industrial value chain segments, including hardware, software, applications, services, interconnections and digital skills;
(b)  deploy ready to use/operational technology resulting from research and innovation to build an integrated Union high performance computing ecosystem, covering all scientific and industrial value chain segments, including hardware, software, applications, services, interconnections and digital skills, ensuring a high level of security and data protection;
Amendment 78
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  deploy and operate a post-exascale78 infrastructure, including the integration with quantum computing technologies and develop new research infrastructures for computing science.
(c)  deploy and operate a post-exascale78 infrastructure, including the integration with quantum computing technologies and develop new research infrastructures; encourage the development within the Union of the hardware and software necessary for such deployment , for computing science.
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__________________
78 A thousand times faster than exascale
78 A thousand times faster than exascale
Amendment 79
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  The actions under Specific Objective 1 shall be primarily implemented through the Joint Undertaking proposed by the Commission and endorsed by the Council of Ministers on 25 June 2018 in accordance with Regulation (EU) ... of the European Parliament and of the Council1a.
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1a Regulation establishing the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. 10594/18. Brussels, 18 September 2018 (OR. en). http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-10594-2018-INIT/en/pdf
Amendment 80
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  build up and strengthen core artificial intelligence capacities in the Union, including data resources and libraries of algorithms in compliance with data protection legislation;
(a)  build up and strengthen core artificial intelligence capacities in the Union, including data resources and libraries of algorithms. In compliance with data protection legislation, AI-based solutions and resources made available shall respect the principle of privacy and security by design; and ensuring that humans remain at the centre of the development and deployment of Artificial intelligence,
Amendment 81
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  make those capacities accessible to all businesses and public administrations;
(b)  make those capacities accessible to businesses, especially SMEs and start-ups, and public administrations including not-for-profit organisations, research institutions, universities,
Amendment 82
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  to develop and reinforce industrial application and production systems, facilitating integration of technologies in value chains, development of innovative business models, and shortening the time passed from innovation to industrialisation; and to foster the take up of AI-based solution in areas of public interest and society
Amendment 83
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 a (new)
The actions under this specific objective Artificial Intelligence shall be implemented exclusively through direct management by the Commission or an executive agency on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis.
Amendment 84
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1 b (new)
Actions carried out under Specific objective 2 shall comply with ethical principles and relevant national, Union and international laws, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention of Human Rights and the Protocol thereto. The Commission taking into account the recommendations of the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence shall specify conditions related to ethical issues in the work programmes under Specific objective 2. The calls or the grant agreements shall include relevant conditions as set out in work programmes. An ethical review of each project shall be performed during the evaluation of each action. Actions that are not ethically acceptable or that do not fulfil the conditions agreement shall not be eligible for funding.
Amendment 85
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  support, together with Member States, the procurement of advanced cybersecurity equipment, tools and data infrastructures in full compliance with data protection legislation;
(a)  support, together with Member States, the procurement of advanced cybersecurity equipment, tools and data infrastructures in order to achieve a common high level of cybersecurity at the European level, in full compliance with data protection legislation and the fundamental rights while ensuring EU strategic autonomy
Amendment 86
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  support the best use of European knowledge, capacity and skills related to cybersecurity;
(b)  support the best use and the increase of European knowledge, capacity and skills related to cybersecurity; and the sharing and mainstreaming of best practices;
Amendment 87
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  ensure a wide deployment of the latest cybersecurity solutions across the economy;
(c)  ensure a wide deployment of the latest cybersecurity solutions across the economy; with special attention to public services and essential economic operators such as SMEs;
Amendment 88
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  reinforce capabilities within Member States and private sector to help them meet Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union79 .
(d)  reinforce capabilities within Member States and private sector to help them meet Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union79 including through measures aiming at developing a cybersecurity culture within organisations .
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__________________
79 OJ L 194, 19.7.2016, p. 1
79 OJ L 194, 19.7.2016, p. 1
Amendment 89
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point d a (new)
(da)  improve resilience against cyber-attacks, to increase risk awareness and knowledge of basic security processes among users, particularly public services, SMEs and start-ups, to ensure that companies have basic levels of security, such as end-to-end encryption of data and communications and software updates, and to encourage the use of the security-by-design and by default knowledge of basic security processes as well as cyber-hygiene;
Amendment 90
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 a (new)
The actions under Specific objective 3 Cybersecurity and trust shall be primarily implemented through the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Cybersecurity Competence Network in accordance with [Regulation ..... of the European Parliament and of the Council1a].
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1a Regulation ..... of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres
Amendment 91
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
The financial intervention by the Union under Specific Objective 4. Advanced Digital skills shall support the development of advanced digital skills in areas supported by this programme, thus contributing to increase Europe's talent pool, fostering greater professionalism, especially with regard to high performance computing, big data analytics, cybersecurity, distributed ledger technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence. The financial intervention shall pursue the following operational objectives:
The financial intervention by the Union under Specific Objective 4. Advanced Digital skills shall support the development of advanced digital skills in areas supported by this programme, thus contributing to increase Union's talent pool, reducing the digital divide, fostering greater professionalism on a gender balance way, especially with regard to high performance computing, big data analytics, cybersecurity, distributed ledger technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, communication systems and networks, data protection competencies, artificial intelligence. To stimulate and improve labour market, and specialisation in digital technologies and applications, the financial intervention shall pursue the following operational objectives:
Amendment 92
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  support the design and delivery of long-term trainings and courses for students, IT professionals and the workforce;
(a)  support the design and delivery of high quality long-term training courses including blended learning for students, teachers, educators, IT professionals, researchers and the workforce including public servants, in collaboration with schools, universities and research centres;
Amendment 93
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  support the design and delivery of short-term trainings and courses for entrepreneurs, small business leaders and the workforce;
(b)  support the design and delivery of high quality short-term trainings and courses including blended learning for entrepreneurs, small business and start-up leaders, and the workforce including public servants and self-employed;
Amendment 94
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  support on-the-job trainings and traineeships for students, young entrepreneurs and graduates.
(c)  support high quality on-the-job trainings, including blended learning and traineeships for students, young entrepreneurs and graduates.
Amendment 95
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7 – paragraph 1 a (new)
The actions under Specific objective 4 Advanced Digital Skills shall be primarily implemented through direct management by the European Commission. The European Digital Innovation Hubs may act as facilitators for training opportunities, advising companies and liaising with the appropriate competence centres to ensure the widest geographical coverage across the Union .
Amendment 96
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
The financial intervention by the Union under Specific Objective 5. Deployment, best use of digital capacities and Interoperability shall achieve the following operational objectives:
The financial intervention by the Union under Specific Objective 5. Deployment, best use of digital capacities and Interoperability shall achieve the following operational objectives complementing the digital infrastructure actions to that end while reducing the digital divide:
Amendment 97
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  ensure that the public sector and areas of public interests, such as health and care, education, judiciary, transport, energy, environment, cultural and creative sectors, can deploy and access state-of-the-art digital technologies, in particular high performance computing, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity;
(a)  ensure that the public sector and areas of public interests, such as health and care, education, judiciary, transport and communication energy, environment, cultural and creative sectors, as well business established within the Union can effectively deploy and have the necessary skills through training to use access state-of-the-art digital technologies, in particular high performance computing, language technology, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity
Amendment 98
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  deploy, operate and maintain trans-European interoperable Digital Service Infrastructures (including related services) in complementarity with national and regional actions;
(b)  deploy, operate and maintain trans-European interoperable state of the art Digital Service Infrastructures across the Union (including related services) in complementarity with national and regional actions;
Amendment 99
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  facilitate the development, update and use of solutions and frameworks by European public administrations, businesses and citizens, including the re-use of interoperability solutions and frameworks;
(c)  facilitate the development, update and use of solutions and frameworks by European public administrations, businesses and citizens, including open source and the re-use of interoperability solutions and frameworks;
Amendment 100
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  offer to public administrations access to testing and piloting of digital technologies, including their cross-border use;
(d)  offer to public administrations access to testing piloting and scaling-up of digital technologies, including their cross-border use;
Amendment 101
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point e
(e)  support the uptake of advanced digital and related technologies, including in particular high performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and future emerging technologies by the Union industry, notably SMEs;
(e)  support the uptake of advanced digital and related technologies, including in particular high performance computing, artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technologies, cybersecurity data protection, cloud computing and information governance and future emerging technologies by the Union industry, notably SMEs and start-ups;
Amendment 102
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point f
(f)  support the design, testing, implementation and deployment of interoperable digital solutions for EU level public services delivered through a data-driven reusable solutions platform, fostering innovation and establishing common frameworks in order to unleash the full potential of the public administrations’ services for European citizens and businesses;
(f)  support the design, maintain, testing, implementation and deployment of interoperable digital solutions for EU level public services delivered through a data-driven reusable solutions platform, fostering innovation and establishing common frameworks in order to unleash the full potential of the public administrations’ services for European citizens and businesses;
Amendment 103
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point g
(g)  ensure a continuous capacity at the Union level to observe, analyse and adapt to fast-evolving digital trends, as well as sharing and mainstreaming best practices;
(g)  ensure a continuous capacity at the Union level to spearhead digital development, in addition to observe, analyse and adapt to fast-evolving digital trends, as well as sharing and mainstreaming best practices and facilitating cross-fertilisation between the different national initiatives, leading to the development of the digital society thanks to a permanent cooperation among all actors involved at EU level;
Amendment 104
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point h
(h)  support cooperation towards achieving a European ecosystem for trusted infrastructures using distributed ledger services and applications, including support for interoperability and standardisation and fostering the deployment of EU cross-border applications;
(h)  support cooperation towards achieving a European ecosystem for trusted infrastructures using inter alia distributed ledger services and applications, including support for interoperability and standardisation and fostering the deployment of EU cross-border applications based on security and privacy by design, guaranteeing data protection and consumer safety;
Amendment 105
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 a (new)
The actions under Specific objective 5 Deployment, best use of digital capacities and Interoperability shall be primarily implemented through direct management by the European Commission. The European Digital Innovation Hubs and competence centres may act as facilitators.
Amendment 106
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 1
1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme for the period 2021−2027shall be EUR 9 194 000 000 in current prices.
1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme for the period 2021−2027shall be EUR 8 192 391 000 in 2018 prices (EUR 9 194 000 000 in current prices).
Amendment 107
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  up to EUR 2 698 240 000 for Specific Objective 1, High Performance Computing
(a)  up to EUR 2 404 289 438 in 2018 prices (EUR 2 698 240 000 in current prices) for Specific Objective 1, High Performance Computing
Amendment 108
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  up to EUR 2 498 369 000 for Specific Objective 2, Artificial Intelligence
(b)  up to EUR 2 226 192 703 in 2018 prices (EUR 2 498 369 000 in current prices) for Specific Objective 2, Artificial Intelligence
Amendment 109
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  up to EUR 1 998 696 000 for Specific Objective 3, Cybersecurity and Trust
(c)  up to EUR 1 780 954 875 in 2018 prices (EUR 1 998 696 000 in current prices) for Specific Objective 3, Cybersecurity and Trust
Amendment 110
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point d
(d)  up to EUR 699 543 000 for Specific Objective 4, Advanced Digital skills
(d)  up to EUR 623 333 672 in 2018 prices (EUR 699 543 000 in current prices) for Specific Objective 4, Advanced Digital skills
Amendment 111
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2 – point e
(e)  up to EUR 1 299 152 000 for Specific Objective 5, Deployment, best use of digital capacities and Interoperability
(e)  up to EUR 1 157 620 312 in 2018 prices (EUR 1 299 152 000 in current prices) for Specific Objective 5, Deployment, best use of digital capacities and Interoperability
Amendment 112
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 5
5.  Resources allocated to Member States under shared management may, at their request, be transferred to the Programme. The Commission shall implement those resources directly in accordance with point (a) of Article 62(1) of the Financial Regulation or indirectly in accordance with point (c) of that Article. Where possible those resources shall be used for the benefit of the Member State concerned.
5.  Resources allocated to Member States under shared management may, at their request, be transferred to the Programme. The Commission shall implement those resources directly in accordance with point (a) of Article 62(1) of the Financial Regulation or indirectly in accordance with point (c) of that Article. Where possible those resources shall be used to the maximum extent possible for the benefit of the Member State concerned.
Amendment 113
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
The programme shall be open to:
deleted
Amendment 114
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1 – point 1
1.  Members of the European Free Trade Association, which are members of the European Economic Area, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the European Economic Area agreement;
1.  The programme shall be open to Members of the European Free Trade Association, which are members of the European Economic Area, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the European Economic Area agreement;
Amendment 115
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1 – point 2
2.  Acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates , in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for their participation in Union programmes established in the respective framework agreements and Association Council Decisions, or similar agreements, and in accordance with the specific conditions laid down in agreements between the Union and them;
2.  Full or partial association to the programme of third countries that are not referred to in paragraph 1 shall be based on a case by case assessment of the Specific objectives, in accordance with the conditions laid down in a specific agreement covering the participation of the third country to any Union programme, provided that this specific agreement fully respects the following criteria:
—  the participation of the third country is in the interest of the Union;
—  the participation contributes to achieving the objectives lay down in article 3;
—  the participation does not raise any security concerns and fully respects the relevant security requirements lay down in article 12;
—  the agreement ensures a fair balance as regards the contributions and benefits of the third country participating in the Union programmes;
—  the agreement lays down the conditions of participation in the programmes, including the calculation of financial contributions to individual programmes and their administrative costs. These contributions shall constitute assigned revenues in accordance with Article [21(5)] of [the new Financial Regulation];
—  the agreement does not confer to the third country a decisional power on the programme;
—  the agreement guarantees the rights of the Union to ensure sound financial management and to protect its financial interests.
Amendment 116
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1 – point 2 a (new)
2a.  When preparing the work programmes, the European Commission or other relevant implementing bodies, shall assess on a case-by-case basis whether the conditions laid down in the agreement referred to in paragraph 2 are met for the actions included in the work programmes.
Amendment 117
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1 – point 3
3.  Countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in Union programmes established in the respective framework agreements and Association Council Decisions, or similar agreements, and in accordance with the specific conditions laid down in agreements between the Union and those countries;
deleted
Amendment 118
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1 – point 4
4.  Third countries in accordance with the conditions laid down in a specific agreement covering the participation of the third country to any Union programme, provided that the agreement
deleted
—  ensures a fair balance as regards the contributions and benefits of the third country participating in the Union programmes;
—  lays down the conditions of participation in the programmes, including the calculation of financial contributions to individual programmes and their administrative costs. These contributions shall constitute assigned revenues in accordance with Article [21(5)] of [the new Financial Regulation] ;
—  does not confer to the third country a decisional power on the programme;
—  guarantees the rights of the Union to ensure sound financial management and to protect its financial interests.
Amendment 119
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – paragraph 2
2.  The cooperation with third countries and organisations mentioned in paragraph 1 under Specific Objective 3. Cybersecurity and Trust shall be subject to Article [12].
2.  The cooperation with third countries and organisations mentioned in paragraph 1 under Specific Objectives 1, High Performance Computing, 2 Artificial intelligence and 3. Cybersecurity and Trust shall be subject to Article [12].
Amendment 120
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 5
5.  The work programme may also provide that legal entities established in associated countries and legal entities established in the EU but controlled from third countries are not eligible for participation in all or some actions under Specific Objective 3 for security reasons. In such cases calls for proposals and calls for tenders shall be restricted to entities established or deemed to be established in Member States and controlled by Member States and/or nationals of Member States.
5.  The work programme may also provide that legal entities established in associated countries and legal entities established in the EU but controlled from third countries are not eligible for participation in all or some actions under Specific Objectives 1, 2 and 3 for strategic and security reasons. In such cases calls for proposals and calls for tenders shall be restricted to entities established or deemed to be established in Member States and controlled by Member States and/or nationals of Member States.
Amendment 121
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.  Actions including the transfer of technology outside the Union shall not be permitted. With a view to ensuring long term strategic security objectives, an opportunity evaluation shall be carried out in respect of the participation of entities which have their main establishment outside the Union.
Amendment 122
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 5 b (new)
5b.  Where appropriate the Commission or the funding body may carry out security checks, actions which do not comply with security rules may be excluded or terminated at any time.
Amendment 123
Proposal for a regulation
Article 13 – paragraph 1
1.  The Programme is designed to be implemented enabling synergies, as further described in Annex III, with other Union funding programmes, in particular through arrangements for complementary funding from EU programmes where management modalities permit; either in sequence, in an alternating way, or through the combination of funds including for the joint funding of actions.
1.  The Programme is designed to be implemented enabling synergies, as further described in Annex III, with other Union funding programmes, in particular through arrangements for complementary funding from EU programmes where management modalities permit; either in sequence, in an alternating way, or through the combination of funds including for the joint funding of actions. The Commission shall ensure that when leveraging the complementary character of the programme with other European funding programmes, in particular ESIF, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Horizon Europe and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF-2), investEU, Erasmus, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) the achievement of Specific objectives 1 to 5 are not hampered.
The Commission shall look into ways of improving the overall efficiency of programmes offering resources in the field of digitalisation.
Amendment 124
Proposal for a regulation
Article 13 – paragraph 2
2.  Appropriate mechanisms of coordination between relevant authorities and appropriate monitoring tools shall be established to systematically ensure synergies between the Programme and any relevant EU funding instruments. The arrangements shall contribute to avoiding duplications and maximising impact of expenditure.
2.  Appropriate mechanisms of coordination between relevant authorities and between authorities and the European Commission and appropriate monitoring tools shall be established to systematically ensure synergies between the Programme and any relevant EU funding instruments. The arrangements shall contribute to avoiding duplications and maximising impact of expenditure.
Amendment 125
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 2
2.  The Programme may provide funding in any of the forms laid down in the Financial Regulation, including notably procurement as a primary form as well as grants and prizes. It may also provide financing in the form of financial instruments within blending operations.
2.  The Programme may provide funding in any of the forms laid down in the Financial Regulation, including notably procurement by the Commission or funding body, by grant beneficiaries individually or jointly as a primary form of the action as well as grants and prizes. Procurements may authorise the award of multiple contracts within the same procedure and may provide for place of performance conditions in line with applicable international procurement agreements. The Programme may also provide financing in the form of financial instruments within blending operations.
Amendment 126
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 – paragraph 1
The Programme may be implemented through European Partnerships. This may include in particular contributions to existing or new public-private partnerships in the form of joint undertakings established under Article 187 TFEU. For these contributions, provisions relating to European Partnerships under [Horizon Europe Regulation, ref to be added] apply.
The Programme may be implemented through European Partnerships agreed within the Strategic programming Process between the Commission and the Member States. This may include in particular contributions to existing or new public-private partnerships in the form of joint undertakings established under Article 187 TFEU. For these contributions, provisions relating to European Partnerships under [Horizon Europe Regulation, ref to be added] apply.
Amendment 127
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 – paragraph 1 a (new)
European Partnerships shall:
(a)  Be established in cases where they will more effectively achieve objectives of Digital Europe Programme than the Union alone;
(b)  Adhere to the principles of Union added value, transparency, openness, impact, leverage effect, long-term financial commitment of all the involved parties, flexibility, coherence and complementarity with Union, local, regional national and international initiatives;
(c)  Be time limited and include conditions for phasing-out the Programme funding.
Amendment 128
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 – paragraph 1 b (new)
Provisions and criteria for their selection, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and phasing-out are set out in (Reference to be added).
Amendment 129
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – title
Digital Innovation Hubs
European Digital Innovation Hubs
Amendment 130
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 1
1.  During the first year of the implementation of the Programme, an initial network of Digital Innovation Hubs shall be established.
1.  During the first year of the implementation of the Programme, an initial network of European Digital Innovation Hubs shall be established on existing infrastructure and shall be at least one European Digital Innovation Hub per Member State.
Amendment 131
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 2 – introductory part
2.  For the purpose of the establishment of the network mentioned in paragraph 1, each Member State shall designate candidate entities through an open and competitive process, on the basis of the following criteria:
2.  For the purpose of the establishment of the network mentioned in paragraph 1, each Member State shall designate candidate entities through an open, transparent, inclusive and competitive process, on the basis of the following criteria:
Amendment 132
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  appropriate competences related to the functions of the Digital Innovation Hubs;
(a)  appropriate competences related to the functions of the European Digital Innovation Hubs;
Amendment 133
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  appropriate management capacity, staff and infrastructure;
(b)  appropriate management capacity, staff and infrastructure and skillset;
Amendment 134
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 2 – point d a (new)
(da)  proven cooperation with the private sector to ensure market relevance of the interventions under the Specific Objectives 1 to 5;
Amendment 135
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 2 – point d b (new)
(db)  links with existing ICT Hubs created under Horizon 2020, the EUinvest Hub and the European Entreprise network;
Amendment 136
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  The detailed conditions to be fulfilled in order to be designated as 'European Digital Innovation Hub' and the tasks to be executed, shall be harmonised and published in due time in order to allow for proper preparation and implementation of the actions.
Amendment 137
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 3 – introductory part
3.  The Commission shall adopt a decision on the selection of entities forming the initial network. These entities shall be selected by the Commission from candidate entities designated by Member States on the basis of the criteria mentioned in paragraph 2 and the following additional criteria:
3.  The Commission shall adopt a decision on the selection of entities forming the initial network. These entities shall be selected and clearly identified by the Commission from candidate entities designated by Member States on the basis of the criteria mentioned in paragraph 2 and the following additional criteria:
Amendment 138
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 3 – point b
(b)  the need to ensure by the initial network a coverage of the needs of industry and areas of public interest and a comprehensive and balanced geographical coverage.
(b)  the need to ensure by the initial network a coverage of the needs of industry and areas of public interest and a comprehensive and balanced geographical coverage, improving convergence and contribute to fill the gap between the cohesion countries and the other Member States and to decrease the digital divide in geographical terms.
Amendment 139
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 4
4.  Additional Digital Innovation Hubs shall be selected on the basis of an open and competitive process, in such a way to ensure the widest geographical coverage across Europe. The number of entities of the network shall be proportional to the population of a given Member States and there shall be at least one Digital Innovation Hub per Member State. To address the specific constraints faced by the EU outermost regions, specific entities may be nominated to cover their needs.
4.  Additional European Digital Innovation Hubs shall be selected on the basis of an open, transparent and competitive process, in such a way to ensure the widest geographical coverage across Europe. The number of entities of the network shall be proportional to the population of a given Member States. To address the specific constraints faced by the EU outermost regions, additional Innovation Hubs may be selected in those regions.
Amendment 140
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 5
5.  The Digital Innovation Hubs may receive funding in the form of grants.
5.  The European Digital Innovation Hubs shall be clearly identified by means of specific indications and receive funding in the form of grants.
Amendment 141
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 6 – introductory part
6.  The Digital Innovation Hubs which receive funding shall be involved in the implementation of the Programme to:
6.  The European Digital Innovation Hubs which receive funding shall be involved in the implementation of the Programme to:
Amendment 142
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 6 – point a
(a)  provide digital transformation services - including testing and experimentation facilities - targeted towards SMEs and midcaps, also in sectors that are slow in the uptake of digital and related technologies;
(a)  provide digital transformation services and technological expertise including testing and experimentation facilities - targeted towards start-ups, SMEs and midcaps, also in sectors that are slow in the uptake of digital and related technologies;
Amendment 143
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 6 – point a a (new)
(aa)  support companies, especially SMEs and start-ups, organisations and public administrations to become more competitive and improve their business models through use of new technologies covered by the Programme
Amendment 144
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 6 – point b
(b)  transfer expertise and know-how between regions, in particular by networking SMEs and midcaps established in one region with Digital Innovation Hubs established in other regions which are best suited to provide relevant services;
(b)  transfer expertise and know-how between regions, in particular by networking SMEs, start-ups and midcaps established in one region with European Digital Innovation Hubs established in other regions which are best suited to provide relevant services; encourage exchanges of skills, joint initiatives and good practices;
Amendment 145
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 6 – point c
(c)  provide thematic services, including services related to artificial intelligence, high performance computing and cybersecurity and trust to the administrations, public sector organisations, SMEs and midcaps. Individual Digital Innovation Hubs may specialise in specific thematic services and do not need to provide all thematic services mentioned in this paragraph;
(c)  provide thematic services, including services related to artificial intelligence, high performance computing and cybersecurity and trust to the administrations, public sector organisations, SMEs, and start-ups and midcaps. Individual European Digital Innovation Hubs may specialise in specific thematic services and do not need to provide all thematic services mentioned in this paragraph;
Amendment 146
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 6 a (new)
6a.  The European Digital Innovation Hubs may also cooperate with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in particular the EIT Digital as well as the Digital Innovation Hubs set up under Horizon 2020.
Amendment 147
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 6 b (new)
6b.  The European Digital Innovation Hubs may carry out the activities of the Digital Innovation Hubs set up under the Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation, including the Innovation Hubs of the EIT Digital
Amendment 148
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 1
1.  Only actions contributing to the achievement of the objectives referred to in Article [3] and Articles [4]-[8] shall be eligible for funding.
1.  Only actions contributing to the achievement of the objectives referred to in Article [3] and Articles [4]-[8] shall be eligible for funding in accordance with the general objectives set out in Annex I.
Amendment 149
Proposal for a regulation
Article 18 – paragraph 2 – point a – point ii
(ii)  a third countries associated with the Programme;
(ii)  a third countries associated with the Programme in accordance with articles 10 and 12;
Amendment 150
Proposal for a regulation
Article 18 – paragraph 3
3.  Legal entities established in a third country which is not associated to the Programme are exceptionally eligible to participate in specific actions where this is necessary for the achievement of the objectives of the Programme.
3.  Legal entities established in a third country which is not associated to the Programme are exceptionally eligible to participate in specific actions where this is necessary for the achievement of the objectives of the Programme, and when it does do not imply additional security risks for the Union or put in question the Union's strategic autonomy.
Amendment 151
Proposal for a regulation
Article 18 – paragraph 4
4.  Natural persons shall not be eligible, except for grants awarded under Specific Objective 4. Advanced digital skills.
4.  Natural persons may be eligible for grants awarded under Specific Objective 4. Advanced digital skills. Third country nationals may be eligible provided that they reside within the Union.
Amendment 152
Proposal for a regulation
Article 19 – paragraph 1
Grants under the Programme shall be awarded and managed in accordance with Title VIII of the Financial Regulation.
Grants under the Programme shall be awarded and managed in accordance with Title VIII of the Financial Regulation and may cover up to 100% of the eligible costs on duly justified reasons, without prejudice of the co-financing principle; and in accordance with the specification under each objective.
Amendment 153
Proposal for a regulation
Article 20 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  The award criteria shall be defined in the work programmes and in the calls for proposals, taking into account at the minimum the following elements:
1.  The award criteria shall be defined in the work programmes and in the calls for proposals, taking into account at least the following elements:
Amendment 154
Proposal for a regulation
Article 20 – paragraph 1 – point e
(e)  where applicable, the economic, social, climate and environmental impact, and accessibility;
(e)  where applicable, the economic, climate, environmental and social impact, in particular promoting accessibility and equal educational and professional opportunities;
Amendment 155
Proposal for a regulation
Article 20 – paragraph 1 – point g
(g)  where applicable, a balanced geographical distribution across the Union, including the outermost regions;
(g)  where applicable, a balanced geographical distribution across the Union, including the outermost regions including overseas countries and territories;
Amendment 156
Proposal for a regulation
Article 20 – paragraph 1 – point h a (new)
(ha)  where applicable, the freedom for re-use and adaptation of the projects' results;
Amendment 157
Proposal for a regulation
Article 20 – paragraph 1 – point h b (new)
(hb)  where applicable, the public interest;
Amendment 158
Proposal for a regulation
Article 20 – paragraph 1 – point h c (new)
(hc)  where applicable, a reduction of digital divide between regions, citizens or business.
Amendment 159
Proposal for a regulation
Article 21 – paragraph 1
Blending operations decided under this Programme shall be implemented in accordance with the [InvestEU regulation] and Title X of the Financial Regulation.
Blending operations decided under this Programme shall be implemented in accordance with the [InvestEU regulation] and Title X of the Financial Regulation. The amount of expenditure from this programme to be blended with a financial instrument shall be non-refundable.
Amendment 160
Proposal for a regulation
Article 22 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  Where an action has already been awarded or has received contributions from another Union programme or support from an EU fund, that contribution or support shall be listed in the application for a contribution under the Programme.
Amendment 161
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 – paragraph 3
3.  The first multiannual work programme shall focus on the activities set out in the Annex and ensure that the actions thereby supported do not crowd out private financing. Subsequent work programmes may include activities not set out in the Annex provided that they are consistent with the objectives of this Regulation, as set out in Articles [4 – 8].
3.  The work programmes shall focus on the activities set out in the Annex I and ensure that the actions thereby supported do not crowd out private financing.
Amendment 162
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 27 to amend Annex I to review or complement the activities set out therein in a manner consistent with the objectives of this Regulation as set out in articles 4 - 8.
Amendment 163
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 1
1.  Indicators to monitor the implementation and progress of the Programme in achieving the general and specific objectives set out in Article 3 are set in the Annex II.
1.  Measurable indicators to monitor the implementation and progress of the Programme in achieving the general and specific objectives set out in Article 3 are set in the Annex II.
Amendment 164
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  The Commission shall define a methodology to provide for measurable indicators for an accurate assessment of the progress towards achieving the general objectives set out in Article 3(1). On the basis of this methodology the Commission shall complement Annex III at the latest by 1st January 2021.
Amendment 165
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 2
2.  To ensure effective assessment of progress of the Programme towards the achievement of its objectives, the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 27 to amend Annex II to review or complement the indicators where considered necessary and to supplement this Regulation with provisions on the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework.
2.  To ensure effective assessment of progress of the Programme towards the achievement of its objectives, the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 27 to amend Annex II to review or complement the measurable indicators where considered necessary and to supplement this Regulation with provisions on the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework.
Amendment 166
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 3
3.  The performance reporting system shall ensure that data for monitoring programme implementation and results are collected efficiently, effectively, and in a timely manner. To that end, proportionate reporting requirements shall be imposed on recipients of Union funds and Member States.
3.  The performance reporting system shall ensure that data for monitoring programme implementation and results are suitable for an in-depth analysis of the progress achieved and the difficulties encountered and are collected efficiently, effectively, and in a timely manner. To that end, proportionate reporting requirements shall be imposed on recipients of Union funds and Member States.
Amendment 167
Proposal for a regulation
Article 24 – paragraph 4
4.  Official EU statistics such as regular ICT statistical surveys shall be used to their maximum. National Statistical Institutes shall be consulted on, and involved together with Eurostat, in the initial design and subsequent development of statistical indicators used for monitoring the implementation of the programme and the progress made with regard to digital transformation.
4.  Official EU statistics such as regular ICT statistical surveys shall be used in the most efficient manner possible, as well as collection of DESI datasets at NUTS-2 to help address the lack of Digital Europe related regional data. National Statistical Institutes shall be consulted on, and involved together with Eurostat, in the initial design and subsequent development of statistical indicators used for monitoring the implementation of the programme and the progress made with regard to digital transformation.
Amendment 168
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – title
Evaluation
Programme Evaluation
Amendment 169
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 1
1.  Evaluations shall be carried out in a timely manner to feed into the decision-making process.
1.  The Commission shall ensure regular monitoring and external evaluation of the Programme, based notably on the performance reporting system as referred to in Article 24, paragraph 3. The evaluations shall also provide for a qualitative assessment of the progress towards achieving the general objectives set out in Article 3(1).
Amendment 170
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 2
2.  The interim evaluation of the Programme shall be performed once there is sufficient information available about the implementation of the Programme, but no later than four years after the start of the implementation of the Programme.
2.  In addition to regularly monitoring the Programme, the Commission shall establish an interim evaluation report and shall submit it to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions no later than 31 December 2024. The interim evaluation shall present the findings necessary to make a decision about a follow-up to the Programme beyond 2027 and its objectives.
The interim evaluation shall be submitted to the European Parliament.
Amendment 171
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 3
3.  At the end of the implementation of the Programme, but no later than four years after the end of the period specified in Article [1], a final evaluation of the Programme shall be carried out by the Commission.
3.  On the basis of a final external and independent evaluation, the Commission shall establish a final evaluation report of the Programme, which assesses its longer-term impacts and its sustainability.
Amendment 172
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.  The Commission shall submit the final evaluation report referred to in paragraph 3 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions no later than 31 December 2030.
Amendment 173
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25 – paragraph 5
5.  The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
deleted
Amendment 174
Proposal for a regulation
Article 26 – paragraph 4
4.  As part of the control system, the audit strategy may be based on the financial audit of a representative sample of expenditure. That representative sample shall be complemented by a selection based on an assessment of the risks related to expenditure.
4.  As part of the control system, the audit strategy shall be based on the financial audit of at least a representative sample of expenditure. That representative sample shall be complemented by a selection based on an assessment of the risks related to expenditure.
Amendment 175
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 2
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 24 shall be conferred on the Commission until 31 December 2028.
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Articles 23 and 24 shall be conferred on the Commission until 31 December 2028.
Amendment 176
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 3
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 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.
3.  The delegation of power referred to in Articles 23 and 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 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.
Amendment 177
Proposal for a regulation
Article 27 – paragraph 6
6.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to article 24 shall enter into force if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by 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.
6.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Articles 23 and 24 shall enter into force if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by 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.
Amendment 178
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 1
1.  The recipients of Union funding shall acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of the Union funding (in particular when promoting the actions and their results) by providing coherent, effective and proportionate targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public.
1.  The recipients of Union funding shall acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of the Union funding (in particular when promoting the actions and their results) by providing coherent, truthful, effective and proportionate targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public.
Amendment 179
Proposal for a regulation
Article 29 – paragraph 2
2.  The Commission shall implement information and communication actions relating to the Programme, and its actions and results. Financial resources allocated to the Programme shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, as far as they are related to the objectives referred to in Article [3].
2.  The Commission shall implement information and communication actions relating to the Programme, and its actions and results. It shall also ensure integrated information and access to potential applicants to Union funding in the digital sector. Financial resources allocated to the Programme shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, as far as they are related to the objectives referred to in Article [3].
Amendment 180
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 1 – paragraph 2 – point 1
1.  A joint procurement framework for an integrated network of world-class HPC including exascale supercomputing and data infrastructure. It will be accessible on a non-economic basis to public and private users and for publicly funded research purposes.
1.  A joint procurement framework for an integrated network of world-class HPC including exascale supercomputing and data infrastructure. It will be accessible to all businesses and public administrations, and on a non-economic basis to public and private users and for publicly funded research purposes.
Amendment 181
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 1 – paragraph 2 – point 6
6.  The deployment of ready to use/operational technology: supercomputing as a service resulting from R&I to build an integrated European HPC ecosystem, covering all scientific and industrial value chain segments (hardware, software, applications, services, interconnections and advanced digital skills).
6.  The deployment of ready to use/operational technology: supercomputing as a service resulting from R&I, in particular new technologies that have previously benefitted or that currently benefit from Union funding, to build an integrated European HPC ecosystem, covering all scientific and industrial value chain segments(hardware, software, applications, services, interconnections and advanced digital skills).
Amendment 182
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 2 – paragraph 1
The Programme shall build up and strengthen core Artificial Intelligence capacities in Europe including data resources and repositories of algorithms and making them accessible by all businesses and public administrations as well as reinforcement and networking of existing AI testing and experimentation facilities in Member States.
The Programme shall build up and strengthen core capacities of Artificial Intelligence and distributed ledger technologies in Europe including data resources and repositories of algorithms and making them accessible by all businesses and public administrations as well as reinforcement and networking of existing AI testing and experimentation facilities in Member States.
Amendment 183
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 4 – paragraph 1
The Programme shall support easy access to advanced digital skills, notably in HPC, AI, distributed ledgers (e.g. blockchain) and cybersecurity for the current and future labour force by offering students, recent graduates, and existing workers, wherever they are situated, with the means to acquire and develop these skills.
The Programme shall support easy access and training opportunities in advanced digital skills, notably in HPC, AI, distributed ledgers (e.g. blockchain) and cybersecurity for the current and future labour force by offering students, recent graduates or citizens of all ages in need of upskilling, jobseekers and existing workers, wherever they are situated, with the means to acquire and develop these skills.
Amendment 184
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 4 – paragraph 2 – point 1
1.  Access to on the job training by taking part in traineeships in competence centres and companies deploying advanced technologies.
1.  Access to on the job training and blended learning opportunities by taking part in traineeships in competence centres and companies deploying advanced technologies.
Amendment 185
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 4 – paragraph 4
All interventions will be designed and implemented primarily through the Digital Innovation Hubs, as defined in Article 15.
All interventions will be designed and implemented primarily through the Digital Innovation Hubs, as defined in Article 16.
Amendment 186
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 5 – subpart I – point 1 – point 1.2
1.2.  Support the design, piloting, deployment, maintenance and promotion of a coherent eco-system of cross-border digital services infrastructure and facilitate seamless end-to-end, secure, interoperable, multi-lingual, interoperable cross-border or cross-sector solutions and common frameworks within public administration. Methodologies for assessing the impact and benefits shall also be included.
1.2.  Support the design, piloting, deployment, maintenance, expansion and promotion of a coherent eco-system of cross-border digital services infrastructure and facilitate seamless end-to-end, secure, interoperable, multi-lingual, interoperable cross-border or cross-sector solutions and common frameworks within public administration. Methodologies for assessing the impact and benefits shall also be included.
Amendment 187
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 5 – subpart I – point 2 – point 2.1
2.1.  Ensure that EU citizens can access, share, use, and manage their personal health data securely across borders irrespective of their location or the location of the data. Complete the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure and extend it by new digital services, support deployment of the European exchange format for electronic health records.
2.1.  Ensure that EU citizens can access, share, use, and manage their personal health data securely and in a way that guarantees their privacy across borders irrespective of their location or the location of the data. Complete the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure and extend it by new digital services, support deployment of the European exchange format for electronic health records.
Amendment 188
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 5 – subpart I – point 3
3.  Judiciary: Enable seamless and secure cross-border electronic communication within the judiciary and between the judiciary and other competent bodies in the area of civil and criminal justice. Improve access to justice and juridical information and procedures to citizens, businesses, legal practitioners and members of the judiciary with semantically interoperable interconnections to national databases and registers as well as facilitating the out-of-court dispute resolution online. Promote the development and implementation of innovative technologies for courts and legal practitioners based on artificial intelligence solutions which are likely to streamline and speed-up procedures (for example “legal tech” applications).
3.  Judiciary: Enable seamless and secure cross-border electronic communication within the judiciary and between the judiciary and other competent bodies in the area of civil and criminal justice. Improve access to justice and juridical information and procedures to citizens, businesses, legal practitioners and members of the judiciary with semantically interoperable interconnections to databases and registers as well as facilitating the out-of-court dispute resolution online. Promote the development and implementation of innovative technologies for courts and legal practitioners based on artificial intelligence solutions which are likely to streamline and speed-up procedures (for example “legal tech” applications).
Amendment 189
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 5 – subpart I – point 4
4.  Transport, energy and environment: Deploy decentralised solutions and infrastructures required for large-scale digital applications such as smart cities or smart rural areas in support of transport, energy and environmental policies.
4.  Transport, energy and environment: Deploy decentralised solutions and infrastructures required for large-scale digital applications such as smart cities, smart rural areas or outermost regions in support of transport, energy and environmental policies.
Amendment 190
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 1 – part 5 – subpart II – title
II Initial activities related to the digitization of industry:
II Initial activities related to the digitisation of industry:
Amendment 191
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 2 – part 2 – point 2.2
2.2  Number of companies and organisations using AI
2.2  Number of companies and organisations testing and experimenting with AI in co-operation with Digital Innovations Hubs
Amendment 192
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 2 – part 2 – point 2.2 a (new)
2.2a   Number of concrete AI applications supported by the programme that are being currently commercialised.
Amendment 193
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 2 – part 4 – point 4.1
4.1  Number of ICT specialists trained and working
4.1  Number of ICT specialists trained and working each year in the Union
Amendment 194
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 2 – part 4 – point 4.2
4.2  Number of enterprises having difficulty recruiting ICT specialists
4.2  Number of enterprises having difficulty recruiting ICT specialists each year in the Union
Amendment 195
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 2 – part 4 – point 4.2 b (new)
4.2b   Number of students, recent graduates and unemployed that have improved their status after training provided in the framework of the programme.
Amendment 196
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 2 – part 5 – point 5.1
5.1  Take-up of digital public services
5.1  Frequency of take-up of digital public services
Amendment 197
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 2 – part 5 – point 5.2
5.2  Enterprises with high digital intensity score
5.2  Number of enterprises with high digital intensity score
Amendment 198
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 2 – part 5 – point 5.3
5.3  Alignment of the National Interoperability Framework with the European Interoperability Framework
5.3  Extent of alignment of the National Interoperability Framework with the European Interoperability Framework
Amendment 199
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 3 – point 1 – point b a (new)
(ba)   Digital Europe Programme shall actively create synergies with Horizon Europe around the sustainability of data originating from research projects;
Amendment 200
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 3 – point 1 – point c
(c)  Digital Europe will invest in (i) digital capacity building in High Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and advanced digital skills; and (ii) national and regional deployment within an EU framework of digital capacities and the latest digital technologies in areas of public interest (such as health, public administration, justice and education) or market failure (such as the digitisation of businesses, notably small and medium enterprises);
(c)  Digital Europe will invest in (i) digital capacity building in High Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and advanced digital skills; and (ii) national, regional and local deployment within an EU framework of digital capacities and the latest digital technologies in areas of public interest (such as health, public administration, justice and education) or market failure (such as the digitisation of businesses, notably small and medium enterprises);
Amendment 201
Proposal for a regulation
Annex 3 – point 3 – point c
(c)  Digital Europe will invest in (i) digital capacity building in High Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and advanced digital skills; and (ii) national and regional deployment within an EU framework of digital capacities and the latest digital technologies in areas of public interest (such as health, public administration, justice and education) or market failure (such as the digitisation of businesses, notably small and medium enterprises);
(c)  Digital Europe will invest in (i) digital capacity building in High Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence, distributed ledger technology, Cybersecurity and advanced digital skills; and (ii) national and regional deployment within an EU framework of digital capacities and the latest digital technologies in areas of public interest (such as health, public administration, justice and education) or market failure (such as the digitisation of businesses, notably small and medium enterprises);

(1) The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0408/2018).


US-EU Agreement on cooperation in the regulation of civil aviation safety ***
PDF 112kWORD 41k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 13 December 2018 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of an amendment to the Agreement between the United States of America and the European Community on cooperation in the regulation of civil aviation safety (07482/2018 – C8-0157/2018 – 2016/0343(NLE))
P8_TA(2018)0522A8-0432/2018

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council Decision (07482/2018);

–  having regard to the draft Amendment 1 to the Agreement on cooperation in the regulation of civil aviation safety between the United States of America and the European Community (07236/2017),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 100(2) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0157/2018);

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

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0432/2018);

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

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


Common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services *
PDF 197kWORD 70k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 13 December 2018 on the proposal for a Council directive on the common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services (COM(2018)0148 – C8-0137/2018 – 2018/0073(CNS))
P8_TA(2018)0523A8-0428/2018

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2018)0148),

–  having regard to Article 113 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0137/2018),

–  having regard to the reasoned opinions submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Danish Parliament, the Irish Houses of the Oireachtas, the Maltese Parliament and the Netherlands House of Representatives, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0428/2018),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, in accordance with Article 293(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

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

4.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the Commission proposal;

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a directive
Recital 1
(1)  The global economy is rapidly becoming digital and, as a result, new ways of doing business have emerged. Digital companies are characterised by the fact that their operations are strongly linked to the internet. In particular, digital business models rely to a large extent on the ability to conduct activities remotely and with limited or no physical presence, on the contribution of end-users to value creation, and on the importance of intangible assets.
(1)  The global economy is rapidly becoming digital and, as a result, new ways of doing business have emerged. Digital companies are characterised by the fact that their operations are strongly linked to the internet. In particular, digital business models rely to a large extent on the ability to conduct activities remotely and with limited or no physical or taxable presence in a given country, on the contribution of end-users to value creation, and on the importance of intangible assets.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a directive
Recital 2
(2)  The current corporate taxation rules were mainly developed during the 20th century for traditional businesses. They are based on the idea that taxation should take place where value is created. However, the application of the current rules to the digital economy has led to a misalignment between the place where profits are taxed and the place where value is created, notably in the case of business models heavily reliant on user participation. It has therefore become evident that the current corporate tax rules for taxing the profits of the digital economy are inadequate and need to be reviewed.
(2)  The current corporate taxation rules were mainly developed during the 20th century for traditional businesses. They are based on the idea that taxation should take place where value is created. However, the application of the current rules to the digital economy has led to a misalignment between the place where profits are taxed and the place where value is created, notably in the case of business models heavily reliant on user participation. Digitalisation has changed the role of users, allowing them to become increasingly involved in the value creation process. It has therefore become evident that the current corporate tax rules for taxing the profits of the digital economy are not taking this new factor into account and urgently need to be reviewed.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a directive
Recital 2 a (new)
(2a)   The objective is to close the gap between taxation of digital revenues and traditional revenues. Currently, on average, digital businesses face an effective tax rate of only 9.5%, compared to 23.2% for traditional business models1a. A taxation system must be fair and beneficial to society as a whole. There should be a level playing field for all companies operating in the Single Market.
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1a Source: Computations from the Impact Assessment of the European Commission, based on ZEW (2016, 2017) and ZEW et al.(2017).
Amendment 4
Proposal for a directive
Recital 3
(3)  That review constitutes an important element of the Digital Single Market3, given that the Digital Single Market needs a modern and stable tax framework for the digital economy to stimulate innovation, tackle market fragmentation and allow all players to tap into the new market dynamics under fair and balanced conditions.
(3)  That review constitutes an important element of the Digital Single Market3, given that the Digital Single Market needs a fair, modern and stable tax framework for the digitalised economy to stimulate innovation and inclusive growth, tackle market fragmentation and allow all players to tap into the new market dynamics under fair and balanced conditions. Digitalisation affects the whole economy, which goes beyond the creation of a digital services tax; thus tax rules should be reformed. The ad hoc measures contained in this Directive should not delay works on the taxation of a significant digital presence and on the inclusion of such taxation within a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base.
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3 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions 'A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe' (COM(2015)0192 of 6.5.2015).
3 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions 'A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe' (COM(2015)0192 of 6.5.2015).
Amendment 5
Proposal for a directive
Recital 5
(5)  Given the problem of taxing the digital economy is of a global nature, the ideal approach would be to find a multilateral, international solution to it. The Commission is actively engaged in the international debate for that reason. Work at the OECD is currently ongoing. However, progress at international level is challenging. Hence, action is being taken to adapt the corporate tax rules at Union level6 and to encourage agreements to be reached with non-Union jurisdictions7, so that the corporate tax framework can be made to fit the new digital business models.
(5)  Given the problem of taxing the digital economy is of a global nature, the ideal approach would be to find a multilateral, international solution to it. The Commission is actively engaged in the international debate for that reason. Work at the OECD, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank Group (WBG), which form the platform for Collaboration on Tax is currently ongoing. However, progress at international level is challenging. Hence, action is being taken to adapt the corporate tax rules at Union level6 and to encourage agreements to be reached with non-Union jurisdictions7, so that the corporate tax framework can be made to fit the new digital business models. Coherence with the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Inclusive Framework should be ensured, to guarantee no deviation from international standards and to avoid multiplied complexity.
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6 Proposal for a Council Directive laying down rules relating to the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence (COM(2018)0147).
6 Proposal for a Council Directive laying down rules relating to the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence (COM(2018)0147).
7 Commission Recommendation relating to the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence (C(2018)1650).
7 Commission Recommendation relating to the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence (C(2018)1650).
Amendment 6
Proposal for a directive
Recital 6
(6)  Pending such action, which may take time to adopt and implement, Member States face pressure to act on this issue, given the risk that their corporate tax bases are being significantly eroded over time. Uncoordinated measures taken by Member States individually can fragment the Single Market and distort competition, hampering the development of new digital solutions and the Union's competitiveness as a whole. This is why it is necessary to adopt a harmonised approach on an interim solution that will tackle this issue in a targeted way until a comprehensive solution is in place.
(6)  Pending such action, which may take time to adopt and implement, Member States face pressure to act on this issue, given the risk that their corporate tax bases are being significantly eroded over time. Uncoordinated measures taken by Member States individually can fragment the Single Market and distort competition, hampering the development of new digital solutions and the Union's competitiveness as a whole. This is why it is necessary to adopt a harmonised approach on an interim solution that will tackle this issue in a targeted way until a comprehensive solution is in place. The interim solution should be temporarily restricted in order to avoid it inadvertently becoming permanent. Therefore, a sunset clause should be introduced that would result in this Directive automatically expiring upon the establishment of a comprehensive solution, preferably at an international level. By 31 December 2020, if no comprehensive solution has been agreed, the Commission should consider a proposal based on Article 116 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, whereby the European Parliament and the Council act in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure. This is essential to come to an agreement without delay to avoid the multiplication of unilateral national digital taxes by Member States.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a directive
Recital 7
(7)  That interim solution should establish the common system of a digital services tax ('DST') on revenues resulting from the supply of certain digital services by certain entities. It should be an easy-to-implement measure targeting the revenues stemming from the supply of digital services where users contribute significantly to the process of value creation. Such factor (user value creation) also underpins the action with respect to corporate tax rules, as described in recital (5).
(7)  That interim solution should establish the common system of a digital services tax ('DST') on revenues resulting from the supply of certain digital services, including online content, by certain entities. It should be an easy-to-implement measure targeting the revenues stemming from the supply of digital services where users and intangible assets contribute significantly to the process of value creation. Such factor (user value creation and heavy reliance on intangible assets) also underpins the action with respect to corporate tax rules, as described in recital (5).
Amendment 8
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9
(9)  DST should be applied to revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services only. The digital services should be ones that are largely reliant on user value creation where the difference between the place where the profits are taxed and the place where the users are established is typically greatest. It is the revenues obtained from the processing of user input that should be taxed, not the user participation in itself.
(9)  DST should be applied to revenues resulting from the provision of digital services that are largely reliant on user value creation and on their ability to deliver services with no or a very limited physical presence. In these cases, the difference between the place where the profits are taxed and the place where the users are established is typically greatest.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a directive
Recital 10
(10)  In particular, taxable revenues should be those resulting from the provision of the following services: (i) the placing on a digital interface of advertising targeted at users of that interface; (ii) the making available of multi-sided digital interfaces which allow users to find other users and to interact with them, and which may also facilitate the provision of underlying supplies of goods or services directly between users (sometimes referred to as "intermediation" services); and (iii) the transmission of data collected about users and generated from such users' activities on digital interfaces. If no revenues are obtained from the supply of such services, there should be no DST liability. Other revenues obtained by the entity providing such services but not directly stemming from such supplies should also fall outside the scope of the tax.
(10)  In particular, taxable revenues should be those resulting from the provision of the following: (i) the placing on a digital interface of advertising targeted at users of that interface; (ii) the making available of multi-sided digital interfaces which allow users to find other users and to interact with them, and which may also facilitate the provision of underlying supplies of goods or services directly between users (sometimes referred to as "intermediation" services); (iii) processing, transmission and sale of data collected about users and generated from such users' activities on digital interfaces; and (iv) the supply of digital content such as video, audio, games or texts. If no revenues are obtained from the supply of such content, goods and services, there should be no DST liability. Other revenues obtained by the entity providing such services but not directly stemming from such supplies should also fall outside the scope of the tax.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a directive
Recital 13
(13)  For cases involving multi-sided digital interfaces that facilitate an underlying supply of goods or services directly between users of the interface, the underlying transactions and the revenues obtained by users from those transactions should remain outside the scope of the tax. The revenues resulting from retail activities consisting in the sale of goods or services which are contracted online via the website of the supplier of such goods or services, and where the supplier does not act as an intermediary, should also be outside the scope of DST because the value creation for the retailer lies with the goods or services provided and the digital interface is only used as a means of communication. Whether a supplier is selling goods or services online on his own account or providing intermediation services would be determined by taking into account the legal and economic substance of a transaction, as reflected in the arrangements between the relevant parties. For instance, a supplier of a digital interface where third-party goods are made available could be said to provide an intermediation service (in other words, the making available of a multi-sided digital interface) where no significant inventory risks are assumed, or where it is the third party effectively setting the price of such goods.
(13)  For cases involving multi-sided digital interfaces that facilitate an underlying supply of goods or services directly between users of the interface, the underlying transactions and the revenues obtained by users from those transactions should remain outside the scope of the tax. The revenue resulting from retail activities consisting in the sale of goods or services which are contracted online via the website of the supplier of such goods or services, and where the supplier does not act as an intermediary, should also be outside the scope of DST. However, given that it is possible to process user data through a digital interface and thereby create further value from the transaction, and because the absence of physical presence may create opportunity for aggressive tax planning, the enlargement of the scope of those services should be considered during the review of this Directive.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a directive
Recital 14
(14)  Services consisting in the supply of digital content by an entity through a digital interface should be excluded from the scope of the tax, regardless of whether the digital content is owned by that entity or that entity has acquired the rights to distribute it. Even if some sort of interaction between the recipients of such digital content may be allowed and therefore the supplier of such services could be seen as making available a multi-sided digital interface, it is less clear that the user plays a central role in the creation of value for the company supplying the digital content. Instead, the focus from the perspective of value creation is on the digital content itself which is supplied by the entity. Therefore the revenues obtained from such supplies should fall outside the scope of the tax.
(14)  Services consisting in the supply of digital content by an entity through a digital interface should be included in the scope of the tax, regardless of whether the digital content is owned by that entity or that entity has acquired the rights to distribute it. The revenues obtained from such supplies should be evaluated by the Commission within...[ two years of the date of entry into force of this Directive].
Amendment 12
Proposal for a directive
Recital 15
(15)  Digital content should be defined to mean data supplied in digital form, such as computer programmes, applications, games, music, videos or texts, irrespective of whether they are accessed through downloading or streaming, and other than the data represented by a digital interface itself. This is to capture the different forms which digital content can take when acquired by a user, which does not alter the fact that the sole or main purpose from the user's perspective is the acquisition of the digital content.
(15)  Digital content should be defined to mean data supplied in digital form, such as computer programmes, applications, games, music, videos or texts, irrespective of whether they are accessed through downloading or streaming, and other than the data represented by a digital interface itself.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a directive
Recital 15 a (new)
(15a)   Digital companies tend to invest less in buildings and machinery than regular companies do.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a directive
Recital 16
(16)   The service described in recital (14) should be distinguished from a service consisting in the making available of a multi-sided digital interface through which users can upload and share digital content with other users, or the making available of an interface that facilitates an underlying supply of digital content directly between users. These latter services constitute a service of intermediation and should therefore fall within the scope of DST, regardless of the nature of the underlying transaction.
deleted
Amendment 15
Proposal for a directive
Recital 17
(17)  Taxable services consisting in the transmission of data collected about users should cover only data which has been generated from such users' activities in digital interfaces, but not data which has been generated from sensors or other means and collected digitally. This is because the services within the scope of DST should be those using digital interfaces as a way to create user input which they monetise, rather than services using interfaces only as a way to transmit data generated otherwise. DST should therefore not be a tax on the collection of data, or the use of data collected by a business for the internal purposes of that business, or the sharing of data collected by a business with other parties for no consideration. What DST should target is the generation of revenues from the transmission of data obtained from a very specific activity (users' activities on digital interfaces).
(17)  Taxable services consisting in processing, the transmission or sale of data collected about users should cover data which has been generated from such users' activities in digital interfaces. These taxable services should be those using digital interfaces as a way to create user input which they monetise. DST is not a tax on the collection of data as such. What DST should target is the generation of revenues from processing, sale or transmission to a third party of this data obtained from a very specific activity (users' activities on digital interfaces).
Amendment 16
Proposal for a directive
Recital 22
(22)  Only certain entities should qualify as taxable persons for the purposes of DST, regardless of whether they are established in a Member State or in a non-Union jurisdiction. In particular, an entity should qualify as a taxable person only if it meets both of the following conditions: (i) the total amount of worldwide revenues reported by the entity for the latest complete financial year for which a financial statement is available exceeds EUR 750 000 000; and (ii) the total amount of taxable revenues obtained by the entity within the Union during that financial year exceeds EUR 50 000 000.
(22)  Only certain entities should qualify as taxable persons for the purposes of DST, regardless of whether they are established in a Member State or in a non-Union jurisdiction. In particular, an entity should qualify as a taxable person only if it meets both of the following conditions: (i) the total amount of worldwide revenues reported by the entity for the latest complete financial year for which a financial statement is available exceeds EUR 750 000 000; and (ii) the total amount of taxable revenues obtained by the entity within the Union during that financial year exceeds EUR 40 000 000.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a directive
Recital 23
(23)  The first threshold (total annual worldwide revenues) should limit the application of DST to the companies of a certain scale, which are the ones mainly able to provide those digital services for which user contribution plays a fundamental role, and which heavily rely on extensive user networks, large user traffic, and the exploitation of a strong market position. Such business models, which depend on user value creation for obtaining revenues and are only viable if carried out by companies with a certain size, are the ones responsible for the higher difference between where their profits are taxed and where value is created. Moreover, the opportunity of engaging in aggressive tax planning lies with larger companies. That is why the same threshold has been proposed in other Union initiatives9. Such a threshold is also intended to bring legal certainty, given that it would make it easier and less costly for companies and tax authorities to determine whether an entity is liable to DST. It also excludes small enterprises and start-ups for which the compliance burdens of the new tax would be likely to have a disproportionate effect.
(23)  The first threshold (total annual worldwide revenues) should limit the application of DST to the companies of a certain scale, which are the ones mainly able to provide those digital services heavily relying on mobile intangible and/or digital assets, for which user contribution plays a fundamental role, and which heavily rely on extensive user networks, large user traffic, and the exploitation of a strong market position. Such business models, which depend on user value creation for obtaining revenues and are only viable if carried out by companies with a certain size, are the ones responsible for the higher difference between where their profits are taxed and where value is created. Moreover, the opportunity of engaging in aggressive tax planning lies with larger companies. The threshold is also intended to bring legal certainty, given that it would make it easier and less costly for companies and tax authorities to determine whether an entity is liable to DST. It also excludes small enterprises, and start-ups for which the compliance burdens of the new tax would be likely to have a disproportionate effect.
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9 See Article 2 of the Proposal for a Council Directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) (COM(2016)0683).
Amendment 18
Proposal for a directive
Recital 27
(27)  In order to alleviate possible cases of double taxation where the same revenues are subject to the corporate income tax and DST, it is expected that Member States will allow businesses to deduct the DST paid as a cost from the corporate income tax base in their territory, irrespective of whether both taxes are paid in the same Member State or in different ones.
(27)  In order to alleviate possible cases of double taxation where the same revenues are subject to the corporate income tax and DST, a future Union wide common solution will have to be found on allowing businesses to deduct the DST paid as a cost from the corporate income tax base in their territory, irrespective of whether both taxes are paid in the same Member State or in different ones.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a directive
Recital 29
(29)  Where the users with respect of a given taxable service are located in different Member States or non-Union jurisdictions, the relevant taxable revenues obtained from that service should be allocated to each Member State in a proportional way on the basis of certain specific allocation keys. Such keys should be set out depending on the nature of each taxable service and the distinctive elements triggering the receipt of revenues for the provider of such a service.
(29)  Where the users with respect of a given taxable service are located in different Member States or non-Union jurisdictions, the relevant taxable revenues obtained from that service should be allocated to each Member State in a proportional way on the basis of certain specific allocation keys. Such keys should be set out depending on the nature of each taxable service and the distinctive elements triggering the receipt of revenues for the provider of such a service. Where the allocation key results in an imbalanced apportionment that fails to reflect the real economic activity, a dispute resolution mechanism could remedy such a situation. In light of the foregoing, the Commission should assess the possible establishment of a dispute resolution mechanism in order to ensure the proper resolution of disputes when different Member States are involved.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a directive
Recital 30
(30)  In the case of a taxable service consisting in the placing of advertising on a digital interface, the number of times an advertisement has appeared on users' devices in a tax period in a Member State should be taken into account for the purposes of determining the proportion of taxable revenues to be allocated in that tax period to that Member State.
(30)  In the case of a taxable service consisting in the placing of advertising or supplying content on a digital interface, or the number of times an advertisement or digital content has appeared on users' devices in a tax period in a Member State should be taken into account for the purposes of determining the proportion of taxable revenues to be allocated in that tax period to that Member State.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a directive
Recital 32
(32)  As regards the transmission of data collected about users, the allocation of taxable revenues in a tax period to a Member State should take into account the number of users from whom data transmitted in that tax period has been generated as a result of such users having used a device in that Member State.
(32)  As regards the processing, sale or transmission of data collected about users, the allocation of taxable revenues in a tax period to a Member State should take into account the number of users from whom data exploited, sold or transmitted in that tax period has been generated as a result of such users having used a device in that Member State.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a directive
Recital 34
(34)  Any processing of personal data carried out in the context of DST should be conducted in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council10, including that which may be necessary in relation to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses or other means of geolocation. In particular, regard should be given to the need to provide appropriate technical and organisational measures to comply with the rules relating to the lawfulness and security of processing activities, the provision of information and the rights of data subjects. Whenever possible, personal data should be rendered anonymous.
(34)  Any processing of personal data carried out in the context of DST should be conducted in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council10, including that which may be necessary in relation to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses or other means of geolocation, without allowing for identification of users. The Member State’s tax authority shall be informed of the method used to determine the location of users. In particular, regard should be given to the need to provide appropriate technical and organisational measures to comply with the rules relating to the lawfulness and security of processing activities, especially with the principles of necessity and proportionality, the provision of information and the rights of data subjects. Whenever possible, personal data should be rendered anonymous.
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10 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).
10 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).
Amendment 24
Proposal for a directive
Recital 35
(35)  The taxable revenues should be equal to the total gross revenues obtained by a taxable person, net of value added tax and other similar taxes. Taxable revenues should be recognised as obtained by a taxable person at the time when they become due, regardless of whether they have actually been paid by then. DST should be chargeable in a Member State on the proportion of taxable revenues obtained by a taxable person in a tax period that is treated as obtained in that Member State, and should be calculated by applying the DST rate to that proportion. There should be a single DST rate at Union level in order to avoid distortions in the Single Market. The DST rate should be set at 3%, which achieves an appropriate balance between revenues generated by the tax and accounting for the differential DST impact for businesses with different profit margins.
(35)  The taxable revenues should be equal to the total gross revenues obtained by a taxable person, net of value added tax and other similar taxes. Taxable revenues should be recognised as obtained by a taxable person at the time when they become due, regardless of whether they have actually been paid by then. DST should be chargeable in a Member State on the proportion of taxable revenues obtained by a taxable person in a tax period that is treated as obtained in that Member State, and should be calculated by applying the DST rate to that proportion. There should be a single DST rate at Union level in order to avoid distortions in the Single Market. The DST rate set at 3% is to achieve an appropriate balance between revenues generated by the tax and accounting for the differential DST impact for businesses with different profit margins
Amendment 26
Proposal for a directive
Recital 37
(37)  Member States should be able to lay down accounting, record-keeping or other obligations aimed at ensuring that the DST due is effectively paid, as well as other measures to prevent tax evasion, avoidance and abuse.
(37)  Member States should be able to lay down accounting, record-keeping or other obligations aimed at ensuring that the DST due is effectively paid, as well as other measures, including penalties and sanctions, to prevent tax evasion, avoidance and abuse.
Amendment 27
Proposal for a directive
Recital 37 a (new)
(37a)   Total DST paid by a taxable person per Member State should be a part of the system of country-by-country reporting.
Amendment 28
Proposal for a directive
Recital 38 a (new)
(38a)  In case a taxable person is liable to DST in more than one Member State, the Commission should audit, every three years, the DST return filed with the Member State of identification.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a directive
Recital 40 a (new)
(40a)  DST is a temporary measure awaiting a permanent solution, which should by no means delay the entrance into force of a permanent solution. This Directive should expire with the adoption of the earlier of the Council Directive laying down rules relating to the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence, or the Council Directives on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and Common Corporate Tax Base, including the digital permanent establishment as proposed in the legislative resolutions of the European Parliament of 15 March 2018 on the proposal for a Council directive on a Common Corporate Tax Base and on the proposal for a Council directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base respectively, or a Directive implementing a political agreement reached in an international forum such as the OECD or the UN.
Amendment 30
Proposal for a directive
Recital 40 b (new)
(40b)   Member States should regularly report to the Commission on the payment of the DST by entities, the functioning of the One-Stop-Shop and the cooperation with other Member States for tax collection and payment.
Amendment 31
Proposal for a directive
Recital 40 c (new)
(40c)   Two years after...[the date of entry into force of this Directive], the Commission should make an assessment of the application of this Directive and present a report to the European Parliament and the Council, accompanied, where appropriate, by proposals for its review in accordance with the principles of fair taxation of the digital sector.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a directive
Recital 41
(41)  The objectives of this Directive aim at protecting the integrity of the Single Market, ensuring its proper functioning and avoiding distortion of competition. Since those objectives, by their very nature, cannot be sufficiently achieved by Member States but can rather 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 of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives,
(41)  The objectives of this Directive aim at protecting the integrity of the Single Market, ensuring its fair and proper functioning and avoiding distortion of competition. Since those objectives, by their very nature, cannot be sufficiently achieved by Member States but can rather 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 of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives,
Amendment 33
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 a (new)
(7a)  ‘processing of data’ means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  the transmission of data collected about users and generated from users' activities on digital interfaces.
(c)  the processing and transmission of data collected about users and generated from users' activities on digital interfaces;
Amendment 35
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  the making available to users of content on a digital interface such as video, audio, games or texts using a digital interface.
Amendment 36
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 4 – point a
(a)  the making available of a digital interface where the sole or main purpose of making the interface available is for the entity making it available to supply digital content to users or to supply communication services to users or to supply payment services to users;
(a)  the making available of a digital interface where the sole or main purpose of making the interface available is for the entity making it available to supply communication services to users or to supply payment services to users, as long as no further revenues are generated thanks to the processing, transmission or sale of users’ data;
Amendment 37
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  the total amount of taxable revenues obtained by the entity within the Union during the relevant financial year exceeds EUR 50 000 000.
(b)  the total amount of taxable revenues obtained by the entity within the Union during the relevant financial year exceeds EUR 40 000 000.
Amendment 38
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 2 – point c a (new)
(ca)  in the case of a service falling within point (ca) of Article 3(1) , the digital content in question appears on the user's device at a time when the device is being used in that Member State in that tax period to access a digital interface.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 6
6.  The data that may be collected from users for the purposes of applying this Directive shall be limited to data indicating the Member State where the users are located, without allowing for the identification of those users.
6.  The data that may be collected from users for the purposes of applying this Directive shall be limited to data indicating the Member State where the users are located, without allowing for the identification of those users. Any processing of personal data carried out in the context of DST shall be conducted in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679, including processing which may be necessary in relation to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses or other means of geolocation.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 6 a (new)
6a.   The Commission shall analyse whether the establishment of a dispute resolution mechanism would further increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the settlement of disagreements between Member States. The Commission shall submit a report thereon to the European Parliament and the Council, including, if appropriate, a legislative proposal.
Amendment 41
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 1
The DST rate shall be 3%.
The DST rate shall be set at 3%.
Amendment 42
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 a (new)
Where point (b) of this paragraph applies, the Commission shall every three years carry out an audit of the DST return filed with the Member State of identification.
Amendment 43
Proposal for a directive
Article 13 – paragraph 2
2.  However, if the taxable person ceases to be liable to DST in that Member State of identification chosen under Article 10(3)(b), the taxable person shall change its Member State of identification in accordance with the requirements of Article 10.
2.  However, if the taxable person ceases to be liable to DST in that Member State of identification chosen under Article 10(3)(b), the taxable person shall change its Member State of identification in accordance with the requirements of Article 10, without prejudice to paragraph 2a.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a directive
Article 13 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.   If the taxable person ceases to be liable to DST in the Member State of identification chosen under point (b) of Article 10(3), the taxable person may decide to keep the Member State of identification initially chosen, given that the taxable person may be liable to DST in that Member State again in the next tax period. If the taxable person is not liable to DST in that Member State for more than two consecutive tax periods, it shall change its Member State of identification in accordance with the requirements of Article 10.
Amendment 45
Proposal for a directive
Article 17 – paragraph 2
2.  The amendments referred to in paragraph 1 shall be submitted electronically to the Member State of identification within three years of the date on which the initial return was required to be submitted. Amendments after such period shall be governed by the rules and procedures applicable in each Member State respectively where DST is due.
2.  The amendments referred to in paragraph 1 shall be submitted electronically to the Member State of identification within two years of the date on which the initial return was required to be submitted. Amendments after such period shall be governed by the rules and procedures applicable in each Member State respectively where DST is due.
Amendment 46
Proposal for a directive
Article 18 – paragraph 3
3.  Member States may adopt measures to prevent tax evasion, avoidance and abuse with respect to DST.
3.  Member States shall adopt measures, including penalties and sanctions, to prevent tax evasion, avoidance and abuse with respect to DST.
Amendment 47
Proposal for a directive
Article 18 – paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.   After adoption of this Directive, the Commission shall make a legislative proposal to include in Directive 2013/34/EU as regards disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches, providing for the total amount of DST paid by a taxable person to the different Member States to be added to the list of obligatory country-by-country reporting standards.
Amendment 48
Proposal for a directive
Chapter 4 – title
ADMINISTRATIVE COOPERATION
ADMINISTRATIVE COOPERATION AND MANDATORY EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION
Amendment 49
Proposal for a directive
Article -20 (new)
Article -20
Automatic and mandatory exchange of information
In order for tax authorities to assess tax due properly and to ensure the proper and uniform implementation of this Directive, the exchange of information on tax matters shall be automatic and mandatory, as laid down by Council directive 2011/16/EU. Member States shall allocate adequate staff, expertise and budget resources to their national tax administrations as well as resources for the training of tax administration staff focusing on cross-border tax cooperation and on the automatic exchange of information in order to ensure full implementation of this Directive.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a directive
Article 24 a (new)
Article 24a
Report and review
Two years after...[the date of entry into force of this Directive], the Commission shall make an assessment of the application of this Directive and present a report to the European Parliament and the Council, accompanied, where appropriate, by proposals for its review in accordance with the principles of fair taxation of the digital sector.
In particular, the Commission shall assess:
(a)  the increase in the DST rate from 3% to 5% together with a corresponding tax allowance in order to limit the difference in effective tax rates between traditional and digital companies;
(b)  the scope of the DST, including an increase in such scope to include the sale of goods or services which are contracted online via digital interfaces;
(c)  the amount of tax paid in each Member State;
(d)  the type of digital activities within the scope of this Directive;
(e)  the potential tax planning practices that were applied by entities to avoid paying the DST;
(f)  the functioning of the One-Stop-Shop, the cooperation between Member States; and
(g)  the overall impact on the internal market taking into account potential distortion of competition.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a directive
Article 24 b (new)
Article 24b
Reporting obligations
Member States shall report every year to the Commission relevant figures and information on the payment of the DST by entities, the functioning of the OSS and the cooperation with other Member States for tax collection and payment.
Amendment 52
Proposal for a directive
Article 25 a (new)
Article 25a
Sunset clause conditional on permanent measures
The DST is a temporary measure awaiting a permanent solution; therefore, this Directive shall expire with the adoption of the earlier of:
(a)  the Council Directive laying down rules relating to the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence;
(b)  the Council Directives on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and Common Corporate Tax Base including the digital permanent establishment as proposed in the legislative resolutions of the European Parliament of 15 March 2018 on the proposal for a Council directive on a Common Corporate Tax Base and on the proposal for a Council directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base respectively; or
(c)  a Directive that implements political agreement reached in international fora such as the OECD or the UN.

Corporate taxation of a significant digital presence *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 13 December 2018 on the proposal for a Council directive laying down rules relating to the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence (COM(2018)0147 – C8-0138/2018 – 2018/0072(CNS))
P8_TA(2018)0524A8-0426/2018

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2018)0147),

–  having regard to Article 115 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0138/2018),

–  having regard to the reasoned opinions submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Danish Parliament, the Irish Houses of the Oireachtas, the Maltese Parliament and the Netherlands House of Representatives, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0426/2018),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, in accordance with Article 293(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

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

4.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the Commission proposal;

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a directive
Recital 1
(1)  Rapid transformation of the global economy as a result of digitalisation is putting new pressures on corporate tax systems both at Union level and internationally, and calling into question the ability to establish where digital companies should pay their taxes and how much they should pay. Although the need to adapt corporate tax rules to the digital economy is recognised at international level by bodies such as the G20, reaching an agreement at global level is likely to be challenging.
(1)  Rapid transformation of the global economy as a result of digitalisation is putting new pressures on corporate tax systems both at Union level and internationally, and calling into question the ability to establish where digital companies should pay their taxes and how much they should pay. Although the need to adapt corporate tax rules to the digital economy is recognised at international level by bodies such as the G20, reaching an agreement at global level is likely to be challenging and not taking place in the near future.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a directive
Recital 1 a (new)
(1a)   In the digital age, now that data has become a new economic resource in addition to labour and traditional resources in the past, and as too often multinational companies that heavily rely upon digital activities make tax arrangements allowing them to avoid or evade taxes, a new approach needs to be developed in order to have a fair and sustainable system of digital taxation, which will ensure digital companies to pay their taxes where their real economic activity occurs.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a directive
Recital 2
(2)  The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 1 report on "Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digital Economy" released by the OECD in October 2015 set out various different approaches for taxing the digital economy which were further examined in the OECD "Tax challenges Arising from Digitalisation – Interim Report 2018". As the digital transformation of the economy accelerates there is a growing need to find solutions to ensure a fair and effective taxation of digital companies.
(2)  The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 1 report on "Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digital Economy" released by the OECD in October 2015 set out various different approaches for taxing the digital economy which were further examined in the OECD "Tax challenges Arising from Digitalisation – Interim Report 2018". As the digital transformation of the economy accelerates there is a growing and urgent need to find solutions to ensure a fair and effective taxation of digital companies. However, to date the OECD work on taxing the digital economy has not resulted in sufficient progress which illustrates the need to advance on this matter at Union level. Notwithstanding the difficulties of reaching a global agreement and the action taken by the Union with this Directive, such an agreement should still be pursued with great effort. In the absence of a common Union approach, however, Member States will adopt unilateral solutions, which will lead to regulatory uncertainty and which will be difficult for companies which operate cross-border and for tax authorities. As called for by the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) and by its Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect (TAXE2), an empowered UN tax body should be installed to serve as the forum for debates and discussions on global agreements and other matters related to the international tax system.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a directive
Recital 3 a (new)
(3a)  The European Parliament concluded in its final reports of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion and the Special Committees on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect the need to address the tax challenges connected to the digital economy.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a directive
Recital 4
(4)  The European Council Conclusions of 19 October 2017 underlined the need for an effective and fair taxation system fit for the digital era and looked forward to appropriate Commission proposals by early 2018.15 The ECOFIN Council Conclusions of 5 December 2017 underlined that a globally accepted definition of permanent establishment and the related transfer pricing and profit attribution rules should also remain pivotal when addressing the challenges of taxation of profits of the digital economy" and encourages "close cooperation between the EU, the OECD and other international partners in responding to the challenges of taxation of profits of the digital economy.16 In this regard, Member States should be required to include rules in their national corporate income tax systems in order to exercise their taxing rights. Therefore, the various applicable corporate taxes in the Member States should be clarified. These rules should extend the definition of a permanent establishment and establish a taxable nexus for a significant digital presence in their respective jurisdictions. In addition, general principles for allocating taxable profits to such a digital presence should be laid down. In principle, those rules should apply to all corporate taxpayers irrespective of where they are tax resident, whether in the Union or elsewhere.
(4)  The European Council Conclusions of 19 October 2017 underlined the need for an effective and fair taxation system fit for the digital era and looked forward to appropriate Commission proposals by early 2018.15 The ECOFIN Council Conclusions of 5 December 2017 underlined that a globally accepted definition of permanent establishment and the related transfer pricing and profit attribution rules should also remain pivotal when addressing the challenges of taxation of profits of the digital economy" and encourages "close cooperation between the EU, the OECD and other international partners in responding to the challenges of taxation of profits of the digital economy.16 In this regard, Member States should be required to include rules in their national corporate income tax systems in order to exercise their taxing rights. Therefore, the various applicable corporate taxes in the Member States should be clarified. These rules should extend the definition of a permanent establishment and establish a taxable nexus for a significant digital presence in their respective jurisdictions. In addition, general principles for allocating taxable profits to such a digital presence should be laid down. In principle, those rules should apply to all corporate taxpayers irrespective of their size and of where they are tax resident, whether in the Union or elsewhere. Furthermore, the common rules set out in this Directive call for a broader harmonisation of the corporate tax base in the Union for all corporations. This is why this Directive should not hamper or delay works on the proposal for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base.
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15 European Council meeting (19 October 2017) – Conclusions (doc. EUCO 14/17).
15 European Council meeting (19 October 2017) – Conclusions (doc. EUCO 14/17).
16 Council conclusions (5 December 2017) – Responding to the challenges of taxation of profits of the digital economy (FISC 346 ECOFIN 1092).
16 Council conclusions (5 December 2017) – Responding to the challenges of taxation of profits of the digital economy (FISC 346 ECOFIN 1092).
Amendment 6
Proposal for a directive
Recital 5
(5)  However, the rules should not apply to entities that are tax resident in a non-Union jurisdiction with which the Member State of the significant digital presence has a Double Tax Convention in force, unless the Convention includes provisions on a significant digital presence which creates similar rights and obligations in relation to the non-Union jurisdiction as are created by this Directive. This is to avoid any conflict with Double Tax Conventions with non-Union jurisdictions, given that non-Union jurisdictions are not generally bound by Union law.
(5)  However, the rules should not apply to entities that are tax resident in a non-Union jurisdiction with which the Member State of the significant digital presence has a Double Tax Convention in force, unless the Convention includes provisions on a significant digital presence which create similar rights and obligations in relation to the non-Union jurisdiction as are created by this Directive. This is to avoid any conflict with Double Tax Conventions with non-Union jurisdictions, given that non-Union jurisdictions are not generally bound by Union law. Nevertheless, for the provisions contained in this Directive to be fully effective, Member States should be urged to adapt, where necessary, the Double Tax Conventions they currently have in force in order to include provisions on a significant digital presence creating similar rights and obligations in relation to non-Union jurisdictions as established by this Directive. The Commission may make a proposal to set up a Union model of a tax treaty amendment to be used in adapting the thousands of bilateral treaties concluded by each of the Member States.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a directive
Recital 8
(8)  A key objective of this Directive is to improve the resilience of the internal market as a whole in order to address the challenges of taxation of the digitalised economy. This objective cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States acting individually because digital businesses are able to operate cross-border without having any physical presence in a jurisdiction and rules are therefore needed to ensure that they pay taxes in the jurisdictions where they make profits. Given this cross-border dimension an initiative at Union level adds value in comparison with what a multitude of national measures could attain. A common initiative across the internal market is required to ensure a harmonised application of the rules on a significant digital presence within the Union. Unilateral and divergent approaches by each Member State could be ineffective and fragment the Single Market by creating national policy clashes, distortions and tax obstacles for businesses in the Union. Since the objectives of this Directive can 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 Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.
(8)  A key objective of this Directive is to improve the resilience of the internal market as a whole in order to address the challenges of taxation of the digitalised economy, while respecting the principle of tax neutrality but also the free movement of services within the Single Market and without discriminating between Union and non-Union companies. This objective cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States acting individually because digital businesses are able to operate cross-border without having any or having only a small physical presence in a jurisdiction and rules are therefore needed to ensure that they pay taxes in the jurisdictions where they make profits. Given this cross-border dimension an initiative at Union level adds value in comparison with what a multitude of national measures could attain. A common initiative across the internal market is required to ensure a harmonised application of the rules on a significant digital presence within the Union. Unilateral and divergent approaches by each Member State could be ineffective and fragment the Single Market by creating national policy clashes, distortions and tax obstacles for businesses in the Union. Hence, specific attention should be paid to ensuring that the Union approach is fair and not discriminatory against any particular Member State. Since the objectives of this Directive can 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 Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a directive
Recital 8 a (new)
(8a)  In order to set up a coherent and consistent tax base framework for all corporations, the concept of a significant digital presence and the solutions presented in this Directive should also become an integral part of the Council Directives on a Common Corporate Tax Base and on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a directive
Recital 8 b (new)
(8b)  If this proposal does not result in an agreement and therefore fails to eliminate distortions of competition and tax obstacles for businesses in the Union, the Commission should issue a new proposal based on Article 116 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, whereby the European Parliament and the Council act in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure to issue the necessary directives.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9
(9)  It is necessary that any processing of personal data carried out in the context of this Directive, should be conducted in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council17 , including obligations to provide appropriate technical and organisational measures to comply with the obligations imposed by that Regulation, in particular those relating to the lawfulness of the processing, the security of the processing activities, the provision of information and the rights of data subjects, data protection by design and by default. Whenever possible, personal data should be rendered anonymous.
(9)  It is necessary that any processing of personal data carried out in the context of this Directive, should be conducted in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council17 , including obligations to provide appropriate technical and organisational measures to comply with the obligations imposed by that Regulation, in particular those relating to the lawfulness of the processing, the security of the processing activities, the provision of information and the rights of data subjects, data protection by design and by default, with due regard to principles of necessity and proportionality. Whenever possible, personal data should be rendered anonymous. The data that may be collected from users for the purposes of applying this Directive should be strictly limited to data indicating the Member State in which users are located, without allowing for identification of the user.
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17 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).
17 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).
Amendment 12
Proposal for a directive
Recital 10
(10)  The Commission should evaluate the implementation of this Directive five years after its entry into force and report to the Council thereon. Member States should communicate to the Commission all information necessary for this evaluation. An advisory DigiTax Committee should be established to examine questions on the application of the Directive.
(10)  The Commission should evaluate the implementation of this Directive by…[three years after the date of entry into force of this Directive] and report to the European Parliament and the Council thereon, notably on the administrative burden and additional costs for companies and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the impact of the system of taxation provided for in this Directive on Member States' revenues, the impact on users' personal data and the impact on the Single Market as a whole, with particular regard to the possible distortion of competition between companies subject to the new rules laid down in this Directive. The review should also examine if the types of services covered by this Directive or the definition of the significant digital presence should be changed. Member States should communicate to the Commission all information necessary for this evaluation. An advisory DigiTax Committee should be established to examine questions on the application of the Directive. That committee should publish its agendas and, prior to their selection, it should be ensured that members of that committee do not have any conflicts of interest. An observer of the European Parliament should be invited to attend meetings of the committee.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a directive
Recital 10 a (new)
(10a)  Given the administrative costs for a significant digital presence, it should be ensured that SMEs do not unintentionally fall within the scope of this Directive. The Commission should, as part of the review process, examine the extent to which this Directive adversely affects SMEs.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a directive
Recital 12 a (new)
(12a)   As the provisions laid down in this Directive are meant to provide a permanent and comprehensive solution to the question of digital taxation, the interim solution of a digital services tax as provided for in the Directive on the common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services shall automatically cease to apply once the provisions laid down in this Directive become applicable.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1
This Directive applies to entities irrespective of where they are resident for corporate tax purposes, whether in a Member State or in a third country.
This Directive applies to entities irrespective of their size and of where they are resident for corporate tax purposes, whether in a Member State or in a third country.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 6
6.  The Member State where a user's device is used shall be determined by reference to the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the device or, if more accurately, any other method of geolocation.
6.  The Member State where a user's device is used shall be determined by reference to the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the device or, if more accurately, any other method of geolocation, without allowing for identification of the user, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679. The Member States' tax authority shall be informed of the method used to determine the location of users.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 7 a (new)
7a.   A taxpayer shall be required to disclose to the tax authorities all information relevant to the determination of the significant digital presence in accordance with this Article.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 5 – point a
(a)  the collection, storage, processing, analysis, deployment and sale of user-level data;
(a)  the collection, storage, processing, analysis, exploitation, transmission, deployment and sale of user-level data;
Amendment 25
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 6 a (new)
6a.   Member States shall allocate adequate staff, expertise and budget resources to their national tax administrations as well as resources for the training of staff to be able to attribute profits to the permanent establishment and to reflect the digital activities in that Member State.
Amendment 26
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 a (new)
Article 5a
1.  By... [the date of entry into force of this Directive] the Commission shall issue guidelines for tax authorities on how a significant digital presence and digital services are to be identified, measured and taxed. Those rules shall be harmonised across the whole Union and shall be issued in all the official languages of the Union.
2.  Based on the guidelines referred to in the first paragraph, the Commission shall issue guidelines with a clear methodology for companies to self-assess whether and which of their activities are to be counted into the significant digital presence. Those guidelines shall be issued in all the official languages of the Union and shall be made available on the website of the Commission.
Amendment 27
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 b (new)
Article 5b
Administrative cooperation
In order to guarantee a uniform application of the Directive in the European Union, the exchange of information on tax matters shall be automatic and mandatory, as laid down by Council Directive 2011/16/EU.
Amendment 28
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 – title
Review
Implementation Report and Review
Amendment 29
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 – paragraph 1
1.  The Commission shall evaluate the implementation of this Directive five years after its entry into force and report to the Council thereon.
1.  The Commission shall evaluate the implementation of this Directive by… [three years after the date of entry into force of this Directive] and report to the European Parliament and the Council thereon. In that report, particular emphasis shall be placed on the administrative burden and additional costs for companies and especially SMEs, the impact of the system of taxation provided for in this Directive on Member States' revenues, the impact on users' personal data and the impact on the Single Market as a whole, with particular regard to the possible distortion of competition between companies subject to the new rules laid down in this Directive. The report shall also examine if the types of services covered by this Directive or the definition of the significant digital presence should be changed.
Amendment 30
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 a (new)
Article 6a
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 shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time from… [date of entry into force of this Directive].
3.  The delegation of power referred to may be revoked at any time 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.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it to the Council.
5.  A delegated act adopted shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the Council has informed the Commission that it will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the Council.
Amendment 31
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 b (new)
Article 6b
Appeal
The companies – both Union and non-Union - may appeal the decision that the services they provide are digital services in accordance with national law.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 c (new)
Article 6c
Informing the European Parliament
The European Parliament shall be informed of the adoption of delegated acts by the Commission, of any objection formulated to them, and of the revocation of that delegation of powers by the Council.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 d (new)
Article 6d
Mandate to the European Commission to negotiate tax treaties with third countries
Member States shall provide a delegation of powers to the Commission to negotiate on their behalf the revision or adoption of tax treaties with third countries in accordance with the rules set out in this Directive, in particular as regards to the inclusion of the definition of a significant digital presence for tax purposes.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 2
2.  The DigiTax Committee shall consist of representatives of the Member States and of the Commission. The chair of the Committee shall be a representative of the Commission. Secretarial services for the Committee shall be provided by the Commission.
2.  The DigiTax Committee shall consist of representatives of the Member States and of the Commission and an observer of the European Parliament. The chair of the Committee shall be a representative of the Commission. Secretarial services for the Committee shall be provided by the Commission. This Committee shall publish its agendas and its participants shall be cleared of any conflict of interest before their selection. Stakeholders, including social partners, shall be allowed to attend relevant meetings as observers.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 4
4.  The DigiTax Committee shall examine questions on the application of this Directive, as raised by the chair of the Committee, whether on the chair's own initiative or at the request of the representative of a Member State, and shall inform the Commission of its conclusions.
4.  The DigiTax Committee shall examine questions on the application of this Directive, as raised by the chair of the Committee, whether at the chair's own initiative or upon request of the European Parliament or of a representative of a Member State, and shall inform the Commission of its conclusions.
Amendment 36
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1 a (new)
The DigiTax Committee shall draw up an annual report on its activities and findings and shall share this report with Parliament, Council and Commission.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.  The DigiTax Committee shall verify and control the correct implementation of this Directive by companies. It shall be able to gather and to use data it gathers from national tax authorities to examine the proper implementation of the significant digital presence rules and to serve as a body facilitating cooperation between national tax authorities to minimize the possibility of double-taxation and double non-taxation.
Amendment 38
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 1
The data that may be collected from the users for the purposes of applying this Directive shall be limited to data indicating the Member State in which the users are located, without allowing for identification of the user.
The data that may be collected from the users for the purposes of applying this Directive shall be limited to data indicating the Member State in which the users are located, without allowing for identification of the user. Any processing of personal data carried out for the purposes of applying this Directive shall fully comply with Regulation (EU) 2016/679.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a directive
Article 9 a (new)
Article 9a
Link with Digital Services Tax on Revenues
Once this Directive becomes applicable, the Directive on the common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services shall automatically expire.

Iran, notably the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh
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European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 on Iran, notably the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh (2018/2967(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0525RC-B8-0562/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Iran,

–  having regard to the statement on Iran of 29 November 2018 by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Chair of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty, on Torture and Other Cruel Treatment, on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline and on Human Rights Defenders,

–  having regard to the report of 27 September 2018 of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,

–  having regard to the awarding of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and Expression to Nasrin Sotoudeh in 2012,

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

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

–  having regard to the Iranian President’s Charter on Citizens’ Rights,

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

A.  whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, was arrested on 13 June 2018 after she represented a woman facing imprisonment for peacefully protesting against Iran’s compulsory hijab law by removing it in public; whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh has been in the women’s ward of Evin Prison since her arrest and started her third hunger strike on 26 November 2018 to protest against the Iranian authorities’ refusal to allow Farhad Meysami to receive hospital treatment;

B.  whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh was informed that she had been detained as the result of a five-year prison sentence that was issued against her in absentia in 2015 by a Revolutionary Court judge; whereas she was charged with ‘espionage in hiding’;

C.  whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2012 in absentia for her work and commitment to human rights; whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh has campaigned long and tirelessly for human rights in Iran, and has already spent several years in prison for her efforts; whereas her prosecution and the charges brought against her demonstrate the grave extent to which the Iranian judiciary is criminalising human rights activism;

D.  whereas Nasrin Sotoudeh has on several occasions spoken publicly about rule of law deficiencies in Iran and inadequacies in its justice system; whereas the arrest of Nasrin Sotoudeh is part of an intensified crackdown against women’s rights defenders in Iran; whereas women’s rights defenders who have actively campaigned to enhance women’s empowerment and rights have suffered harassment, arbitrary arrests and detention, and their rights to a fair trial and due process have been violated;

E.  whereas in September 2018, her husband, Reza Khandan, was arrested while peacefully demonstrating for the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, and accused of ‘spreading propaganda against the system’ and of ‘promoting the practice of appearing in public without a veil’ among other charges;

F.  whereas in Iran, civil society protests against poverty, inflation, corruption and political authoritarianism have been on the increase and have been met by the Iranian authorities with severe repression; whereas the Iranian intelligence service has intensified its crackdown on civil society workers and human rights defenders, lawyers, environmental activists, women’s rights defenders, students, teachers, truck drivers and peaceful activists; whereas in 2018, the Iranian authorities stepped up their repression of those seeking to peacefully exercise the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and jailed hundreds of people on broad and vaguely worded national security charges;

G.  whereas UN human rights experts have called on Iran to guarantee the rights of human rights defenders and lawyers who have been jailed for publicly supporting protests against the mandatory wearing of the hijab in Iran;

H.  whereas the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran has reiterated the grave concerns previously expressed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and his predecessor with respect to the continuing executions of juvenile offenders in Iran;

I.  whereas substantial violations of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities in Iran have been described in the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, including allegations of discrimination against religious minorities, including Christians and Baha’i;

J.  whereas Iranian courts fall short in providing due process and fair trials, with denial of access to legal counsel, particularly during the investigation period, and denial of consular, UN or humanitarian organisation visits; whereas sentences by the Iranian judiciary are often based on vague or unspecified national security and espionage charges;

K.  whereas there have been numerous reports regarding the inhuman and degrading conditions in prisons and the lack of adequate access to medical care during detention with the aim of intimidating, punishing, or coercing detainees, in contravention of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;

L.  whereas on 12 April 2018, the Council extended until 13 April 2019 its restrictive measures responding to serious human rights violations in Iran, including asset freeze and visa bans for individuals and entities responsible for grave human rights violations and a ban on exports to Iran of equipment which might be used for internal repression and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications;

M.  whereas the EU and Iran held the fourth meeting of the High Level Political Dialogue on 26 November 2018 in Brussels; whereas discussions on human rights were held as an integral part of the EU-Iran political dialogue and as a continuation of regular exchanges held in November 2017 and in February 2016;

N.  whereas the actual implementation of the Charter on Citizens’ Rights would be a step towards improving the civil rights of the Iranian people;

1.  Calls on the Government of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Nasrin Sotoudeh; commends Nasrin Sotoudeh for her courage and commitment; urges the judiciary system of Iran to respect due process and fair trial and disclose information on the charges against Nasrin Sotoudeh;

2.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that the treatment of Nasrin Sotoudeh while in detention adheres to the conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment’, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988; stresses that the Iranian authorities must guarantee the safety and well-being of all detainees while in detention, including through the provision of adequate medical care; calls on the Iranian authorities to investigate all allegations of ill-treatment in detention and bring the perpetrators to justice; condemns the systematic torture carried out in Iranian prisons and calls for all forms of torture and ill-treatment of all prisoners to be brought to an immediate end; calls on Iran to ensure, in law and in practice, that no one is subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

3.  Calls on the Government of Iran to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including of opinion and expression; calls for the release of all those arrested for the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of assembly, opinion and expression, including Reza Khandan, as well as other human rights defenders, environmental activists, trade unionists, women’s rights campaigners and prisoners of conscience; calls on the Iranian authorities to fully respect the universal human rights of all people, in particular the rights to freedom of expression online and offline; calls on the Iranian authorities to respect and protect the rights of peaceful assembly, and refrain from the use of violent force in dispersing non peaceful assemblies;

4.  Expresses its sympathy for and solidarity with the campaign against the country’s mandatory dress code; condemns the detention of women who removed their head scarves as part of the campaign, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release;

5.  Expresses its solidarity with Iranians demonstrating to improve their social and economic situation and pursuing social and economic rights;

6.  Expresses grave concern over the arrests of EU-Iranian dual nationals upon entry to Iran; stresses that these arrests hinder opportunities for people-to-people contacts, and calls on the Iranian authorities to allow all Iranians to safely travel to their country of birth;

7.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure the right of all defendants to a legal counsel of their choice in all court cases without undue limitations, and to a fair trial, in line with Iran’s international commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; calls on the Iranian Government to ensure the due process rights of all citizens detained in Iran and to grant them a fair trial;

8.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to guarantee religious freedom in accordance with the Iranian Constitution and its international commitments, and to stop discrimination against religious minorities as well as non-believers; condemns the systematic persecution of the Baha’i minority; calls, furthermore, on the Iranian authorities to ensure that all those who reside in the country have equal protection before the law, regardless of ethnicity, religion or belief;

9.  Calls on the Iranian authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Iran are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including the deprivation of liberty, intimidation and judicial harassment; calls on the Iranian authorities to halt all acts of intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders, including for communicating with EU and UN officials and independent human rights organisations;

10.  Calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commission to step up their efforts in support of Sakharov prize laureates at risk, including Nasrin Sotoudeh and others who have either been arrested or convicted or who are facing the death penalty or manifestly unfair trials in third countries;

11.  Calls on EU Member States with diplomatic missions on the ground to fully implement the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and to provide all appropriate support to Nasrin Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders, including prison visits, trial monitoring and the provision of legal or any other form of assistance that they might require;

12.  Strongly condemns the use of the death penalty, including its use against juvenile offenders, and calls on the Iranian authorities to introduce an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a step towards its abolition; notes the amendments to the drug-trafficking law, which should reduce the imposition of capital punishment;

13.  Reiterates its call on Iran to deepen its engagement with international human rights mechanisms by cooperating with the Special Rapporteurs and special mechanisms, including by approving requests for access to the country by mandate holders; stresses the need for closer engagement with the Human Rights Council;

14.  Calls for the EU, including the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Member States to systematically raise human rights concerns in public and in private with the Iranian authorities in bilateral and multilateral fora, including on the situation of political prisoners and human rights defenders and on freedom of expression and association, as an essential condition for making further progress in economic and political relations; expresses its support for discussions on human rights; emphasises, however, the necessity of a formal EU-Iran human rights dialogue based on universal human rights;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Government and Parliament of Iran.


Egypt, notably the situation of human rights defenders
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European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 on Egypt, notably the situation of human rights defenders (2018/2968(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0526RC-B8-0568/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt, in particular that of 8 February 2018 on executions in Egypt(1), that of 10 March 2016 on Egypt, notably the case of Giulio Regeni(2), that of 17 December 2015 on Ibrahim Halawa, potentially facing the death penalty(3), and that of 15 January 2015 on the situation in Egypt(4),

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

–  having regard to the EU Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Egypt of August 2013 and February 2014,

–  having regard to the EU-Egypt Association Agreement of 2001, which entered into force in 2004, strengthened by the Action Plan of 2007; having regard also to the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020, adopted on 25 July 2017, to the joint statement issued following the 2017 meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council, and to the joint statement issued following the 5th meeting of the EU-Egypt Subcommittee on Political Matters, Human Rights and Democracy in January 2018,

–  having regard to the joint declaration of 10 October 2017 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini, and the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe on the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, and to the statement of 2 November 2018 by the EEAS spokesperson on the attack on Coptic Christian pilgrims in Egypt,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 26 January 2018 by UN experts including Nils Melzer, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, urging the Egyptian authorities to halt imminent executions, to the statement of 4 December 2018 by the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Leilani Farha, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, and to the statement of 9 September 2018 by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemning the death sentences passed en masse on 75 people,

–  having regard to the Constitution of Egypt, notably its Articles 52 (on the prohibition of torture in all forms and types), 73 (on freedom of assembly) and 93 (on the binding character of international human rights law),

–  having regard to Protocols 6 and 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights,

–  having regard to Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the African Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance, which prohibit military trials of civilians under all circumstances,

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

–  having regard to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, all of which have been ratified by Egypt,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Egypt is party, and in particular to its Articles 14 and 18 and its second optional protocol on the death penalty,

–  having regard to the decision of Italy’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, to suspend its relations with the Egyptian Parliament owing to the lack of progress in the investigation into the death of Italian student Giulio Regeni,

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

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

A.  whereas the Egyptian Government has intensified its crackdown against civil society organisations, human rights defenders, peaceful activists, lawyers, bloggers, journalists, labour rights defenders and trade unionists, including by arresting and disappearing several of them and increasingly using counter-terrorism and state of emergency laws; whereas since late October 2018, at least 40 human rights workers, lawyers and political activists have been arrested, some of them forcibly disappeared; whereas women human rights defenders and activists defending the rights of LGBTQI people in Egypt continue to face various forms of state-led harassment, notably via defamatory campaigns and judicial prosecution;

B.  whereas human rights lawyer Ezzat Ghoneim, head of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), has been in pre-trial detention since March 2018, charged with ‘human rights terrorism’; whereas his whereabouts remain unknown since a court ordered his release on 4 September 2018; whereas human rights lawyer Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, co-founder of the League of Families of the Disappeared, was subjected to enforced disappearance and tortured and then ordered into arbitrary preventive detention, and remains in solitary confinement; whereas the El Nadeem Centre was forced to close in 2017;

C.  whereas the human rights defender Amal Fathy was handed a two-year prison sentence in September 2018, on charges of ‘spreading false news’ with intent to harm the Egyptian state and of ‘public indecency’ for publishing a video on social media criticising the government’s failure to combat sexual violence; whereas Ms Fathy is being held in pre-trial detention pending investigation over a second set of national security-related charges;

D.  whereas Ola al-Qaradawi, a Qatari national, and her husband Hosam Khalaf, an Egyptian national, have been detained in appalling conditions in Egypt since 30 June 2017, with no charges formulated against either of them; whereas in June 2018 the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that they have been subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that may amount to torture, declared their detention arbitrary and called on the Egyptian government to release them;

E.  whereas on 2 February 2016 the body of Giulio Regeni, who disappeared in Cairo on 25 January, was found bearing evidence of horrible torture and a violent death; whereas the Egyptian authorities have still not revealed the truth regarding his death and have not brought all the perpetrators to justice; whereas Egypt has once again rejected the request of the Italian prosecutor’s office that it identify the agents involved in the disappearance and death of Regeni;

F.  whereas Reporters Without Borders have documented at least 38 media workers who are currently in detention in Egypt for their work, on the basis of politically-based prosecution and multiple due process violations; whereas foreign media workers are also targeted, with several international media correspondents having been deported or denied entry into Egypt; whereas photojournalist Mahmoud ‘Shawkan’ Abu Zeid was sentenced to five years in a mass trial for his legitimate professional activities and is still serving an additional six-month sentence for non-payment of a substantial fine; whereas Ismail al-Iskandarani, a prominent journalist and one of the very few covering human rights violations in Sinai, was detained in November 2015 and was sentenced in May 2018 to ten years’ imprisonment by a military court;

G.  whereas in July 2018 a new media law was adopted broadening the definition of the press to include any social media account with more than 5 000 followers, making such accounts liable to prosecution for publishing ‘false news’ or anything deemed to constitute incitement to break the law; whereas respect for civil liberties - including freedom of expression and media freedom - is an essential part of the foundations of a democratic society, and journalists should be free to exercise their profession without fear of prosecution or imprisonment;

H.  whereas companies based in several EU Member States have continued to export surveillance technology to Egypt facilitating hacking and malware, as well as other forms of attack on human rights defenders and civil society activists on social media; whereas this has led to the repression of freedom of expression online;

I.  whereas Egypt opened a legal front against NGOs last year with a law requiring their funding, foreign or domestic, to be approved by the security agencies of the state, thus virtually banning them; whereas on 15 November 2018 President Al-Sisi called for a review of the NGO law to make it more ‘balanced’ and tasked the parliament with reviewing the law; whereas the retrial of 16 defendants of the ‘foreign funding case’ 173/2011 is scheduled for 20 December 2018 and the accused face charges of establishing and operating branches of international organisations without a government license;

J.  whereas there is an ongoing state of emergency in Egypt, in place since April 2017 and extended for three months from 21 October 2018; whereas according to state media the state of emergency was introduced to help tackle the ‘dangers and funding of terrorism’; whereas the President and those acting on his behalf have the power to refer civilians to state security emergency courts for the duration of the three-month period; whereas the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has criticised attempts to bestow immunity from prosecution for crimes allegedly committed by members of the security forces, which undermines the faith of the Egyptian people in the Government’s capacity to deliver justice for all;

K.  whereas Egypt’s 2015 counter-terrorism law uses a broad definition of terrorism that includes ‘infringing the public order, endangering the safety, interests, or security of society, obstructing provisions of the constitution and law, or harming national unity, social peace, or national security’, putting peaceful dissenters, pro-democracy activists and human rights defenders at risk of being labelled terrorists and sentenced to death;

L.  whereas under the rule of President el-Sisi, Egyptian courts have recommended at least 2 443 preliminary death sentences - including for at least 12 children - and confirmed at least 1 451 death sentences; whereas at least 926 of the confirmed death sentences are the result of mass trials of 15 or more people simultaneously; whereas during the same period, Egypt has carried out at least 144 executions; whereas the death penalty, particularly in mass trials, has frequently been applied against persons exercising their fundamental rights, including freedom of assembly;

M.  whereas in August a court in Egypt confirmed the sentences of over 739 people in relation to the protests that took place in Rabaa Square after the 2013 coup; whereas the court ratified 75 death sentences and confirmed sentences of life imprisonment for another 47 people; whereas numerous irregularities were denounced during the trial, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights described it as a serious miscarriage of justice;

N.  whereas at the end of November, Egypt announced the establishment of a ‘High Permanent Commission for Human Rights’, reportedly in order to ‘respond to claims’ made against Egypt’s human rights record and ‘formulate a unified Egyptian vision’; whereas the main members of this commission are representatives of the foreign and interior ministries, the military, and the intelligence services;

O.  whereas despite the constitutional recognition of the Coptic culture as a ‘pillar’ of the country, violence and discrimination against Egyptians of Coptic descent, who make up the majority of Egypt’s nine million Christians, has risen since 2011; whereas Coptic Christians, who constitute approximately 10 % of the mostly Muslim Egyptian population, have borne the brunt of sectarian violence; whereas on 2 November 2018 an attack perpetrated by Islamic militants on a bus of Coptic Christian pilgrims in Minya killed seven and left 19 injured, demonstrating the security challenges that Egypt is facing;

P.  whereas the EU-Egypt Association Council is due to meet on 20 December 2018; whereas a mission of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights to Egypt has been scheduled prior to the meeting of the Association Council; whereas Egypt has not officially extended an invitation to this delegation;

Q.  whereas Egypt has gone through several difficult developments since the 2011 revolution and the international community is supporting the country in addressing its economic, political and security challenges; whereas serious security challenges exist within Egypt, particularly in Sinai, where terrorist groups have staged attacks on security forces; whereas a number of devastating terrorist attacks have occurred in Egypt;

R.  whereas the new 2017-2020 EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities adopted in July 2017 are guided by a shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, and constitute a renewed framework for political engagement and enhanced cooperation, including on security, judicial reform and counter-terrorism, on a basis of due respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; whereas the Subcommittee on Political Matters, Human Rights and Democracy of the Association Agreement between Egypt and the European Union held its fifth session in Cairo on 10 and 11 January 2018, addressing cooperation in the areas of human rights, democracy and the rule of law; whereas the 6th meeting of the Egypt-EU Association Committee took place on 8 November 2018;

S.  whereas the EU is Egypt’s first economic partner and its main source of foreign investment; whereas EU bilateral assistance to Egypt under the European Neighbourhood Instrument for 2017-2020 amounts to around EUR 500 million; whereas on 21 August 2013 the Foreign Affairs Council tasked the High Representative with reviewing EU assistance to Egypt; whereas the Council decided that the EU’s cooperation with Egypt would be readjusted in accordance with developments on the ground;

T.  whereas avenues for peaceful political opposition were eliminated throughout the 2018 presidential election process, with a massive denial of Egyptian voters’ right to political participation;

U.  whereas the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 21 August 2013 stated that ‘Member States also agreed to suspend export licenses to Egypt of any equipment which might be used for internal repression and to reassess export licenses of equipment covered by Common Position 2008/944/CFSP and review their security assistance with Egypt’; whereas these conclusions were reiterated by the FAC in February 2014; whereas the VP/HR confirmed in a written reply dated 27 October 2015 that these conclusions constituted ‘a political commitment against any military support to Egypt’;

1.  Strongly condemns the continuous restrictions on fundamental democratic rights, notably freedom of expression both online and offline, freedom of association and assembly, political pluralism and the rule of law in Egypt; calls for an end to all acts of violence, incitement, hate speech, harassment, intimidation, enforced disappearances and censorship directed at human rights defenders, lawyers, protesters, journalists, bloggers, trade unionists, students, women’s rights activists, LGBTI people, civil society organisations, political opponents and minorities, including Nubians, by state authorities, security forces and services and other groups in Egypt; condemns the excessive use of violence against protesters; calls for an independent and transparent investigation into all human rights violations and for those responsible to be held to account;

2.  Calls on the Egyptian Government to immediately and unconditionally release human rights defenders Ahmad Amasha, Hanan Badr el-Din, Amal Fathy, Ezzat Ghoneim, Hoda Abdelmoneim, Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, and Azzouz Mahgoub and media workers Mahmoud ‘Shawkan’ Abu Zeid, Hisham Gaafar, Mohammed ‘Oxygen’ Ibraim, Ismail Iskandarani, Adel Sabri, Ahmed Tarek Ibrahim Ziada, Alaa Abdelfattah, Shady Abu Zaid, Mostafa al-Aasar, Hassan al-Bannaand and Moataz Wadnan, and all others detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression, in violation of Egypt’s constitution and international obligations; pending their release, calls on Egypt to allow them full access to their families, lawyers of their choice and adequate medical care, and to conduct credible investigations into any allegations of ill-treatment or torture; calls on the EU to implement in full its export controls vis-à-vis Egypt with regard to goods that could be used for torture or capital punishment;

3.  Reminds the Egyptian Government that the long-term prosperity of Egypt and its people goes hand in hand with the protection of universal human rights and the establishment and anchorage of democratic and transparent institutions that are engaged in protecting citizens’ fundamental rights; calls, therefore, on the Egyptian authorities to fully implement the principles of the international conventions which Egypt has adhered to;

4.  Calls on the Egyptian authorities to drop all existing baseless criminal investigations into NGOs, including the ‘foreign funding case’, and to repeal the draconian NGO law; encourages the replacement of that law by a new legislative framework, to be drafted in genuine consultation with civil society organisations in accordance with Egypt’s domestic and international obligations in order to protect freedom of association;

5.  Expresses its serious concern at the mass trials by Egyptian courts and the large number of death sentences and long prison terms handed down; calls on the Egyptian judicial authorities to cease applying the death penalty against individuals, including against those who were aged under 18 at the time of their alleged offence, and to uphold and respect the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a party, and notably Article 14 thereof on the right to a fair and timely trial based on clear charges and ensuring the respect of the defendants’ rights;

6.  Reiterates its call on Egypt to sign and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aimed at the abolition of the death penalty, as well as the UN’s International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; encourages the Egyptian Government to issue an open invitation to the relevant UN Special Rapporteurs to visit the country;

7.  Calls on the Egyptian Parliament to review Egypt’s Criminal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, counter-terrorism legislation and Military Code; calls on the Egyptian authorities to cease trying civilians in military courts;

8.  Expresses grave concern at the reprisals against persons who cooperate or seek to cooperate with international human rights organisations or UN human rights bodies, such as most recently the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing; reminds the Egyptian authorities of Egypt’s obligations as a UN member to refrain from such acts;

9.  Condemns the continued persecution of minority groups in Egypt; reiterates its commitment to freedom of conscience and religion in Egypt, and calls for the promotion of international collaboration, including an independent investigation by the UN to assess the situation of Coptic Christians in Egypt; calls on Egypt to review its blasphemy laws and ensure the protection therefrom of religious minorities;

10.  Urges the Egyptian Government to put an end to all discriminatory measures put in place after June 2017 against Qatari nationals, with particular reference to the case of Ola al-Qaradawi and her husband Hosam Khalaf;

11.  Supports the aspirations of the majority of Egyptian people who want to establish a free, stable, prosperous, inclusive and democratic country which respects its national and international commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms; recalls that respect for peaceful expression of opinion and criticism is important;

12.  Extends its most sincere condolences to the families of victims of terrorism; stands in solidarity with the Egyptian people and reaffirms its commitment in fighting the spread of radical ideologies and terrorist groups;

13.  Urges the Egyptian Government to ensure that all operations in Sinai are conducted in line with international human rights standards, to thoroughly investigate all abuses, to immediately open North Sinai to independent observers and journalists, to provide residents with essential needs, and to allow independent relief organisations to provide aid for people in need;

14.  Calls on the VP/HR to prioritise the situation of human rights defenders in Egypt, and to condemn the alarming human rights situation in the country, including the use of the death penalty; urges the EEAS to address recent developments in Egypt and to use all means of influence at its disposal to put pressure on Egypt to improve its human rights situation and halt imminent executions, to call for the prompt release of those in detention, and to encourage the Egyptian authorities to respect their commitments to international norms and laws;

15.  Underlines the importance that the EU attaches to its cooperation with Egypt as an important neighbour and partner; strongly urges Egypt to therefore respect its commitment made in the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities adopted on 27 July 2017 to promote democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights, in line with its constitution and international standards; underlines that the Partnership Priorities were concluded with Egypt in 2017 despite continuous backsliding in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law; urges the VP/HR and the Member States to make further cooperation with Egypt conditional on respect for human rights, and to mainstream human rights concerns in all talks with the Egyptian authorities, especially with regard to the three priorities established; reiterates that human rights should not be undermined by migration management or counter-terrorism actions;

16.  Reminds the Egyptian authorities that the EU’s level of engagement with Egypt should be incentive-based, in line with the ‘more for more’ principle of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and should depend on progress in the reform of democratic institutions, the rule of law and human rights;

17.  Urges the VP/HR and the Member States to maintain a strong and unified position on the EU’s stance on human rights at the meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council scheduled for 20 December 2018, as they should in all human rights fora and in bilateral and multilateral meetings, and to articulate clearly the consequences that the Egyptian Government will face should it fail to reverse its abusive trend, such as targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for human rights violations; calls also for the EU to issue a firm statement at the next session of the UN Human Rights Council, also in view of the recommendations for the 2019 UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR);

18.  Recalls its continued outrage at the torture and killing of the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni; stresses that it will continue to press the EU authorities to engage with their Egyptian counterparts until the truth is established on this case and the perpetrators are held accountable; reminds the Egyptian authorities of their responsibility for the safety of the Italian and Egyptian legal team investigating the case of Giulio Regeni;

19.  Reiterates its call on the Member States to halt exports of surveillance technology and security equipment to Egypt that can facilitate attacks on human rights defenders and civil society activists, including on social media;

20.  Deeply regrets the unwillingness shown by the Egyptian authorities to organise a mission of Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights to Cairo; expects the EU side to raise the continued refusal of the Egyptian authorities to authorise this visit;

21.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Parliament of Egypt.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0035.
(2) OJ C 50, 9.2.2018, p. 42.
(3) OJ C 399, 24.11.2017, p. 130.
(4) OJ C 300, 18.8.2016, p. 34.


Tanzania
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European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 on Tanzania (2018/2969(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0527RC-B8-0570/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Tanzania, including that of 12 March 2015(1),

–  having regard to the Declaration by High Representative Federica Mogherini of 15 November 2018 on behalf of the EU on EU-Tanzania relations,

–  having regard to the local EU statement of 23 February 2018 on the rise in politically-related violence and intimidation in Tanzania,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 16 June 2016 on LGBTI equality,

–  having regard to the statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), of 2 November 2018 on the prosecution and arrests of LGBT people in Tanzania,

–  having regard to the EU Council’s Toolkit to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (the LGBT Toolkit),

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR),

–  having regard to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (‘Cotonou Agreement’),

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

A.  whereas, since the election of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli in 2015, basic rights in the country have been undermined through repressive laws and decrees; whereas critical journalists, opposition politicians and outspoken civil society activists have faced threats, arbitrary detention and harassment;

B.  whereas there has been increasing stigmatisation, violence and targeted arrests against LGBTI people over the past two years in the country; whereas, under Tanzanian law, same-sex relationships are criminal offences punishable by 30 years to life imprisonment; whereas Tanzania’s anti-homosexuality law is among the harshest in the world;

C.  whereas suspected gay men in Tanzania are subjected to forced anal examinations, a discredited method of ‘proving’ homosexual conduct that the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights have denounced as torture;

D.  whereas Paul Makonda, the regional commissioner of Dar Es Salaam, has been a prominent advocate of the repression; whereas, at a press conference on 31 October 2018, he announced the creation of a task force to track down gay men, prostitutes and people conducting fraudulent fundraisers on social media; whereas he called on the public to report suspected gay people to the authorities;

E.  whereas the Ministry of Health has temporarily suspended the provision of HIV and AIDS services at community level and has closed drop-in centres for key populations, including gay men; whereas it closed 40 health centres on 17 February 2017 for allegedly encouraging homosexuality; whereas several organisations have reported that the crackdown on the LGBTI community has resulted in HIV-positive men failing to access their anti-retroviral treatment, while others have stopped accessing testing and preventive services;

F.  whereas in November 2018 ten men were arrested in Zanzibar for allegedly conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony; whereas 13 health and human rights activists were arrested on 17 October 2018 for participating in a meeting to discuss a law restricting the access of LGBTI people to some health services;

G.  whereas many children and adolescents, particularly girls, are exposed to human rights abuses and harmful practices, including widespread sexual violence, corporal punishment, child marriages and teenage pregnancies, that make schooling difficult or impossible for them; whereas the Tanzanian Government obstructs access to sexual and reproductive health services and intimidates organisations providing information about such services;

H.  whereas on 22 June 2018 President Magufuli issued a declaration banning pregnant girls from attending school; whereas the authorities are intimidating civil society organisations (CSOs) that advocate the rights of pregnant girls to go back to school;

I.  whereas the Tanzania Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance has not been operational for some time; whereas President Magufuli has not appointed commissioners or other office bearers to the Commission;

J.  whereas the government has shut down or threatened privately owned radio stations and newspapers, and ended live transmissions of parliamentary debates; whereas local channels and decoders which air local channels have been closed;

K.  whereas Tanzania’s National Assembly passed the Cybercrimes Act in 2015 and the Online Content Regulations in September 2018 with the aim of controlling content used on social media; whereas the Statistics Act adopted in 2015 states that it is not allowed to discuss or question certain statistics communicated by the government;

L.  whereas leading opposition members are regularly arrested on charges ranging from allegedly insulting the President to false information and sedition; whereas 20 members of Tanzania’s main opposition party were arrested in July 2018 over claims that they were fomenting trouble; whereas several political opposition members and parliamentarians have been violently attacked and even killed since the start of 2018; whereas on 22 February 2018 Godfrey Luena, a member of parliament with Tanzania’s main opposition party Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) and a vocal land rights defender, was killed with machetes outside his home; whereas in November 2018 the programme coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Africa Angela Quintal, and her colleague Muthoki Mumo were arrested and released after pressure by international institutions;

M.  whereas tourism development in recent years has led to increased activity, particularly in the Serengeti region where the Maasai live; whereas the control of arable or scarce land for speculative purposes has led to strong tensions in the area;

N.  whereas the EU Head of Delegation Roeland van de Geer was forced to leave the country after the Tanzanian authorities exerted increased pressure on him; whereas, since the election of President Magufuli, the Head of UN Women, the Head of the UNDP and the Head of Unesco have all been expelled from Tanzania;

O.  whereas the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini has announced a comprehensive review of the Union’s relations with Tanzania;

1.  Expresses its concern about the deteriorating political situation in Tanzania characterised by a shrinking of the public space through the tightening of restrictions on the activities of civil society organisations, human rights defenders, the media and many political parties; is especially worried about the deteriorating situation for LGBTI persons;

2.  Denounces all incitement to hatred and violence on grounds of sexual orientation; urges the Tanzanian authorities to ensure that Paul Makonda ends his provocation against the LGBTI community and is brought to justice for incitement to violence;

3.  Calls for independent investigations to be conducted into cases of attacks and assaults on journalists, LGBTI people, human rights defenders and opposition party members, with a view to bringing suspected perpetrators to justice;

4.  Reminds the Tanzanian Government of its obligation, including commitments made under the Cotonou Agreement, to protect the rights, dignity and physical integrity of all its citizens in all circumstances;

5.  Calls on Tanzania to repeal laws criminalising homosexuality;

6.  Urges the EU and its Member States to make full use of the LGBT Toolkit to encourage third countries to decriminalise homosexuality, help reduce violence and discrimination and protect LGBTI human rights defenders;

7.  Calls on the Tanzanian authorities to amend all restrictive provisions in the Cybercrimes Act, the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations and the Media Services Act and replace these with provisions that will guarantee freedom of expression and the media in line with international human rights standards;

8.  Calls on the Tanzanian authorities to repeal any laws, policies or other barriers to services and information that women, girls and young mothers need for a healthy life, most notably President Magufuli’s declaration that girls who give birth should not be allowed to return to school, including the repeal of regulations that make it legal for pregnant girls to be expelled from school;

9.  Urges the President of Tanzania to make the country’s Human Rights Commission operational as soon as possible, to appoint commissioners to follow up on human rights violations, and to take action to support domestic workers abroad;

10.  Calls on the Tanzanian authorities to release political prisoners;

11.  Expresses serious concern about the pressure exerted by the Tanzanian Government on the EU Head of Delegation, Roeland van de Geer; welcomes the decision of the European Union and its Member States to conduct a comprehensive review of EU policies towards Tanzania; insists on the importance of political dialogue to seek tangible commitments from the Tanzanian authorities towards creating an enabling environment for the operation of civil society, political parties and the media; calls on the Commission to ensure that an explicit reference to non-discrimination based on sexual orientation is included in the future ACP-EU partnership agreement post-2020;

12.  Expresses concern at the situation of the Maasai people; denounces the use of force by the authorities and security forces;

13.  Calls on the Tanzanian authorities to act decisively to safeguard the rights of civil society organisations, human rights defenders, journalists, health workers and political activists in accordance with the Tanzanian constitution, the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights and the country’s international and regional obligations and commitments;

14.  Calls for the EU to continue to closely monitor the human rights situation in Tanzania, particularly through regular reporting by its delegation; calls on the European Union Delegation and Member States to do all they can to provide emergency protection and support to human rights defenders at risk;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the European Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the ACP-EU Council, the institutions of the African Union, the institutions of the East African Community, and the President, Government and Parliament of Tanzania.

(1) OJ C 316, 30.8.2016, p. 122.


Blockchain: a forward-looking trade policy
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European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 on Blockchain: a forward-looking trade policy (2018/2085(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0528A8-0407/2018

The European Parliament,

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

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

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

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

–  having regard to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement,

–  having regard to the World Customs Organisation Revised Kyoto Convention,

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 May 2016 on virtual currencies(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2016 on a new forward-looking and innovative future strategy for trade and investment(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 December 2017 on ‘Towards a digital trade strategy’(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 May 2017 on the evaluation of external aspects of customs performance and management as a tool to facilitate trade and fight illicit trade(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2017 on the impact of international trade and the EU’s trade policies on global value chains(5),

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment on the Occasion of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017(6),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR)(7),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal on horizontal provisions for cross-border data flows for personal data protection (in EU trade and investment agreements),

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

–  having regard to the 2016 report of the Chief Scientific Adviser of the UK Government Office for Science on ‘Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond blockchain’(8),

–  having regard to the 2018 White Paper of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) on the technical applications of blockchain,

–  having regard to the declaration of 10 April 2018 by 21 EU Member States and Norway on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership(9), after which five more Member States joined the Partnership, bringing to 27 the current number of signatory countries,

–  having regard to the Commission’s launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum on 1 February 2018(10),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 19 October 2017(11),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0407/2018),

A.  whereas in this report blockchain will be considered, unless otherwise stated, as a private, permissioned distributed ledger technology (DLT), comprising a database made up of sequential blocks of data that are added with the consensus of network operators;

B.  whereas various case studies and industries will derive different utility from a mixture of private/public, permissioned/permissionless blockchains;

C.  whereas each block on a blockchain contains a hash that verifies the data on previous blocks, thereby enabling separate parties to engage in transactions with enhanced trust and accountability, given that data stored on a ledger cannot be easily falsified;

D.  whereas open-source blockchain technology is the bedrock of the rise of permissioned blockchains worldwide, helping to raise the level of participant trust in a given business-related network;

E.  whereas blockchain could enable certain administrators to clearly define participants’ roles, responsibilities, levels of access, and rights of validation;

F.  whereas global trade is based on an estimated EUR 16 trillion supply-chain sector in which the high transactional costs and burdensome paperwork lead to a complexity of processes and systems susceptible to error;

G.  whereas pilot initiatives have been launched with promising potential to reduce transport costs, make the industry more environment-friendly and boost economic performance;

H.  whereas there are at least 202 government blockchain initiatives in 45 countries around the world and economies in regions of Asia-Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East, in particular, are investing in blockchain technologies for trade;

I.  whereas blockchain can enhance and improve EU trade policies, such as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs), particularly of Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs), data adequacy decisions and trade defence measures;

J.  whereas blockchain has great potential to improve transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain, raise the level of participant trust in a given network, streamline customs checks and regulatory compliance, reduce transaction costs, strengthen the immutability and security of data and function as a tool to combat corruption; whereas the potential benefits are accompanied by several challenges, such as cybersecurity;

K.  whereas blockchain can provide a framework for transparency in a supply chain, reduce corruption, detect tax evasion, enable the tracking of unlawful payments and tackle trade-based money laundering (TBML); whereas there are risks associated with the use of unpermissioned blockchain applications for criminal activities, including tax evasion, tax avoidance and TBML; whereas the Commission and the Member States must monitor and address these issues as a matter of urgency;

L.  whereas blockchain is still evolving in the area of international trade and therefore needs an innovation-friendly, enabling and encouraging approach that provides legal certainty, while at the same time promoting consumer, investor and environmental protection, increasing the social value of the technology, reducing the digital divide and improving the digital skills of citizens;

M.  whereas blockchain technology may provide all parties involved in trade, be they public or private, with permanent real-time access to an immutable, time-stamped database holding documents pertaining to transactions, thus helping to build confidence, avoid compliance issues and tackle the use of counterfeited goods or fake documents;

N.  whereas some regional and metropolitan areas of the EU have already started developing this technology through specific projects and programmes, based on their own characteristics, and creating networks to spread best practices;

EU trade policy

1.  Recognises that despite previous trade successes, EU FTAs have large untapped potential and have yet to be fully utilised with, on average, only 67 % of EU exporters and 90 % of EU importers making use of the preferential tariffs in both the EU and its partner countries or regions, and supports analysis of technical solutions that may increase FTA utilisation and exports; notes that exporters could upload all their documents to a public authority application underpinned by blockchain, and demonstrate their compliance with preferential treatment granted by an FTA, such as qualification for preferential rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules, and Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) provisions; believes that blockchain could enhance provisions for cumulation in FTAs;

2.  Views the procedures for obtaining certification for both preferential and non‑preferential rules of origin to be costly and cumbersome for businesses; considers that, in the case of preferential rules, blockchain can assist in establishing the economic nationality of a good; considers furthermore that, in the case of non-preferential rules, blockchain could assist the Union’s proportionate use of trade defence instruments by providing transparency over the provenance of goods entering the European market and an overview of the influx of imports to ensure a more level playing field for businesses;

3.  Stresses that blockchain has the potential to support the TSD agenda by providing trust in the provenance of raw materials and goods, transparent production processes and supply chains, and in their compliance with international rules in the field of labour, social and environmental rights, considering the particular relevance to conflict minerals, illicit trade in cultural goods, exports control and corruption; stresses that blockchain could contribute to the sustainability work of companies and promote responsible business conduct;

4.  Believes that MRAs of AEOs enable businesses to diversify their supply chains through reduced time and costs associated with cross-border customs; notes that there are implementation issues to be addressed; believes that blockchain offers the potential to reduce the uncertainty associated with implementing MRAs of AEOs, through a seamless exchange of data;

External aspects of customs and trade facilitation

5.  Strongly welcomes the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA); views the TFA as a foundation for WTO members to explore further ways to ease trade, including through blockchain; welcomes the EU’s efforts to maintain and strengthen the WTO and its commitment to a rules-based trading system in order to ensure a level playing field and enforce global trade rules;

6.  Considers that blockchain could enable customs authorities to automatically obtain the required information for a customs declaration, reduce the need for manual verification and paper trails, and provide a precise update on the status and characteristics of goods entering the EU to all relevant parties simultaneously, thereby improving track‑and‑trace capabilities and transparency;

7.  Believes that digitisation will enable the exchange of information to be more efficient and transparent; considers that blockchain can enable producers, laboratories, logistics operators, regulators and consumers to have access to, and share, all necessary information regarding, for example, provenance, testing, certification and licensing; notes that blockchain could also assist in the appropriate issuing of e‑certificates; views digitisation and the use of applications along supply chains to be both a prerequisite for, and a complement to, blockchain’s full functioning; notes that there exist substantial differences between Member States as regards digitisation;

8.  Believes that the adoption of blockchain technologies throughout the supply chain can increase the efficiency, speed and volume of global trade by limiting the costs associated with international transactions and assisting business to identify new trading partners, and can lead to increased consumer protection and confidence in digital trade;

9.  Underlines the application of blockchain, notably in the following ways:

   a) strengthening the certainty of both the provenance and the intellectual property rights of goods, thereby reducing the risk of illicit goods, including fake and counterfeit goods, entering the supply chain,
   b) providing authorities with precise information as to when a good may have been damaged/tampered with on supply chains,
   c) improving transparency and traceability by enabling all participants to record their transactions and share this information in the network,
   d) upholding consumer protection and trust by providing consumers with detailed information on goods and contributing to the sustainability work of businesses,
   e) reducing the costs of supply‑chain management by removing the need for intermediaries and their associated costs, along with the physical requirement to produce, transport and process paper documentation,
   f) improving the application of correct duty and VAT payments and revenue collection within trade policy, and
   g) reducing the total time goods are in transit by automating tasks that are typically accomplished through manual means; notes the associated benefit, in particular to just-in-time supply chains, in reducing both the costs and the carbon footprint of the logistics industry;

10.  Notes that criminals can manipulate legitimate trade to mask their illicit activities, such as TBML, by tampering with the necessary documentation by means of false reporting, such as overvaluation or undervaluation of the good concerned; believes that blockchain can enable customs and other authorities to take necessary actions in a timely, prompt and coordinated manner to expose illicit financial flows;

Cross-border data flows and data protection

11.  Recognises cross-border data flows as an integral function for international trade in goods and services, and the design of blockchain architecture;

12.  Highlights the scope of blockchain for validating transactions across an international supply chain by defining levels of access and validation procedures for participants;

13.  Notes the connection between blockchain and cross-border data flows for trade; notes that a private permissioned inter-ledger network can provide trust between platforms by integrating data from multiple sources; recognises the importance of cross-border data flows for growth and jobs; highlights the distinction between personal and non-personal data on blockchains;

14.  Recognises the challenge posed by the relationship between blockchain and the implementation of the GDPR; highlights that the implementation of blockchain should be compliant with all existing and future EU legislation on data protection and privacy rules; underlines that blockchain technology can provide solutions for the ‘data protection by design’ provisions in GDPR implementation on the basis of their common principles of ensuring secured and self-governed data; emphasises the limited effect of the GDPR on commercial transactions due to the absence of personal data on private permissioned blockchains; acknowledges, however, the need for necessary safeguards and regulatory oversight; underlines that the GDPR applies only where personal data are concerned; invites the Commission to look further into this issue;

15.  Acknowledges the need for blockchains to be designed in compliance with the right to be forgotten and notes that verified users of blockchain and blockchain applications should at all times have access to all data related to transactions in which they are involved, in accordance with their access rights;

16.  Reiterates its call for provisions allowing for the full functioning of the digital ecosystem and for the promotion of cross-border data flows in free trade agreements; notes, in this regard, that adequacy decisions do not advance the free flow of non‑personal data; calls, therefore, on the Commission to negotiate binding and enforceable commitments on data transfers in FTAs, including on non-personal data;

17.  Underlines that blockchain represents a new paradigm of data storage and management that is capable of decentralising forms of human interaction, markets, banking and international trade; emphasises that the rise of blockchain presents both opportunities and challenges in terms of data protection, transparency and financial crime, as the data is immutable once it has been input and is shared with all participating parties, which also ensures its security and integrity; requests that everything possible be done, including at national level, to guarantee the non-falsifiable and immutable character of the technology and to ensure that the fundamental right to data protection is not put at risk;

18.  Recognises the challenge posed by the relationship between blockchain technologies and the implementation of the EU data protection framework, namely the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and recalls that, as a result, this relationship could reveal a clash between the protection of fundamental rights, on the one hand, and the promotion of innovation, on the other; suggests the need to ensure that blockchain fully conforms with the EU’s data protection framework and fully respects the principles set out in EU law, particularly in relation to the processing of personal data as a fundamental right under Article 8(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 16(1) of the TFEU;

19.  Stresses, furthermore, that blockchains, partly as a result of the clash described above, by no means automatically support data sovereignty, and must therefore be specifically designed to do so, given that they can also present risks to data protection;

20.  Underlines that, if adequately designed, blockchain technology should be in line with the principle of ‘data protection by design’, which serves to give data subjects more control over their data, in line with the GDPR; stresses, moreover, that personal data in a blockchain is normally not anonymous, thereby bringing it within the scope of the GDPR; insists that blockchains should be fully compatible with EU law, including when they are used to process personal data; recommends, in this respect, that blockchains and applications should integrate mechanisms that ensure that data can be fully anonymous, thereby guaranteeing that they store only data that does not relate to an identified or identifiable natural person;

21.  Underlines that future blockchain applications should implement mechanisms that protect personal data and the privacy of users and ensure that data can be fully anonymous; calls on the Commission and the Member States to fund research, in particular academic research, and innovation on new blockchain technologies that are compatible with the GDPR and based on the principle of data protection by design, such as zk-SNARK (zero-knowledge succinct non‑interactive arguments of knowledge);

22.  Takes the view that, in order to prevent the infringement of the fundamental right to the protection of personal data, blockchain technology should not be used for the processing of personal data until the user organisation concerned is in a position to guarantee compliance with the GDPR and to specifically ensure that the rights to the rectification and erasure of data are protected;

23.  Highlights the fact that blockchain users may be both data controllers, for the personal data that they upload onto the ledger, and data processors, by virtue of storing a full copy of the ledger on their own computer;

24.  Notes that, in cases where the blockchain contains personal data, the immutable nature of some blockchain technologies is likely to be incompatible with the ‘right to erasure’ set out in Article 17 of the GDPR;

25.  Notes with concern that, in cases where the blockchain contains personal data, the proliferation of copies of data in a blockchain is likely to be incompatible with the data minimisation principle set out in Article 5 of the GDPR;

26.  Invites the European Data Protection Board to issue guidelines and recommendations to ensure that blockchain technology is compliant with EU law;

27.  Notes with concern the lack of any reference to the serious implications of how blockchain technology is applied, particularly in areas such as the fight against money laundering, tax evasion and the financing of terrorism; deems that any utilisation of blockchain technologies should be anticipated by delineating what will be stored on and off the chain, with personal data stored off the chain;

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

28.  Believes that innovation and promotion regarding blockchain can create economic opportunities for SMEs to internationalise and to overcome the costs associated with exporting, by making it easier to interact with consumers, customs authorities, international and domestic regulatory bodies, and other businesses involved in the supply chain; adds that blockchain infrastructure can help to quickly and inexpensively bring products and services to market;

29.  Highlights the benefits blockchain could bring to SMEs by allowing peer-to-peer communication, collaboration tools and secure payments, increasing the ease of doing business and reducing the risk of non-payment and legal procedure costs of contract fulfilment through the use of smart contracts; recognises the need to ensure that the development of blockchain in international trade includes SMEs; highlights that, at the moment, smart contracts may not be sufficiently mature to be considered legally enforceable within any sectoral regulation and further assessment of risks is needed;

30.  Acknowledges the opportunities, including for SMEs, deriving from the introduction of blockchain technology as part of the EU’s trade policy, which could bring, among other benefits, lower transactional costs and greater efficiency; acknowledges, furthermore, that blockchain technology offers the potential to improve trust and confidence in the current trade system by providing an immutable record of transactions; recognises, however, that in cases that fall outside the scope of the EU’s trade policy, the application of this technology may present risks of money laundering and facilitate the financing of organised crime;

Interoperability, scalability and interactions with related technologies

31.  Considers the scalability challenges associated with the implementation of blockchain systems, in the context of expanding international trade networks;

32.  Notes the proliferation of different blockchains anchoring data for a transaction into separate private and public ledgers; recognises that there is an increasing need to develop global interoperability standards to integrate transactions across blockchains around the movement of an item along a supply chain to encourage interoperability between systems, including legacy operation systems; calls on the Commission to enhance collaboration with ISO and other relevant standardisation bodies;

33.  Considers the possible interactions of blockchain technologies with other international trade innovations; underlines the need to analyse the opportunities and challenges connected with developments in blockchain technologies; calls for further research into their applicability to the digital transformation and automation of international trade, as well as the public sector, in particular under the Digital Europe Programme;

Conclusions

34.  Calls on the Commission to follow developments in the area of blockchain, in particular the ongoing pilots/initiatives in the international supply chain, and the external aspects of customs and regulatory processes; invites the Commission to produce a horizontal strategy document involving relevant DGs on adopting blockchain technologies in trade and supply‑chain management as well as in the area of intellectual property and in particular regarding the fight against counterfeiting; invites the Commission to assess the judicial and governance aspects of blockchain and whether blockchain offers better solutions to existing and emerging technologies that can address current challenges in EU trade policy; calls on the Commission to follow developments in the area of blockchain, in particular the ongoing pilots/initiatives in the international supply chain; invites the Commission to produce a strategy document on adopting blockchain technologies in trade and supply‑chain management; believes that the aim must be to win the support of blockchain players for projects and initiatives in the international supply chain and to pursue projects on a joint basis, incorporating the identity, provenance and data storage of a variety of partners;

35.  Calls on the Commission to develop a set of guiding principles for blockchain application to international trade, in order to provide industry and customs and regulatory authorities with a sufficient level of legal certainty that encourages the use of blockchain and innovation in this area; stresses that legislating the technology forming the basis of the applications would limit innovation and the creation of new applications; underlines the importance for the EU, and especially for European industry, of showing leadership and ownership in the field of blockchain technologies and of ensuring a level playing field regarding global competition and in the areas of development and the regulatory environment; underlines the importance of dialogue and exchange of practices, as well as the building of competence and digital skills; calls on the Commission to work with the Member States to launch and supervise pilot projects using blockchain technology in international trade, in order to test its benefits;

36.  Encourages the Commission to work with Member States towards simplifying and enhancing the flow of information related to trade facilitation, by, amongst other measures, adopting suitable information and communication technologies;

37.  Calls on the Commission to set up an advisory group within DG Trade on blockchain and to develop a concept note for private permissioned pilot projects on the end-to-end use of blockchain in the supply chain, involving customs and other cross-border authorities, and taking into account intellectual property rights and the fight against counterfeiting; recognises that blockchain technology is still in the early stages of development, yet there is a need for an industry strategy on the effective implementation of blockchain;

38.  Calls on the Commission to examine ways in which blockchain could support trade and sustainable development; recalls Parliament’s position that measures supporting an EU digital trade strategy should be fully in line with, and contribute to, the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment; recalls Parliament’s position on the importance of promoting female participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and of closing gender gaps in access to, and the use of, new technologies;

39.  Calls on the Commission to conduct policy investigations into how blockchain can modernise the Union’s trade defence policies to strengthen their legitimacy and enforcement;

40.  Calls on the Commission to assess the optimality of blockchain architecture that keeps private data off the chain;

41.  Calls on the Commission to assess how to increase trade facilitation and security by means of blockchain technology, including the concept of AEOs;

42.  Encourages the Commission to collaborate with, and contribute to the work of, international organisations and feed into current projects on producing a set of standards and principles to underpin regulation aimed at facilitating the use of blockchain;

43.  Calls for the European Union and its Members States to play a leading role in the process of standardisation and security of blockchain, and to work with international partners and all relevant stakeholders and industries to develop blockchain standards, including terminology, development, and deployment of the technology in trade and supply‑chain management; stresses that cybersecurity is critical for blockchain applications, including for international trade; calls on the Commission to explore security challenges, to assess technological risks such as quantum computing and to undertake actions to address them;

44.  Calls on the Commission to work with relevant stakeholders in order to review and develop a framework for addressing challenges to interoperability and compatibility between blockchain systems;

45.  Welcomes the launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum and encourages it to study applications aimed at facilitating international trade; hereby requests that the Commission explore the possibility of expanding the mandate of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum and involve relevant local and global stakeholders to address upcoming challenges and foster the support of decision-makers;

46.  Calls on the Commission to take the lead in the assessment and further development of blockchain technologies, including in specific sectors, such as those covered by the EU’s trade policy, and to set up an advisory group on blockchains, which should include experts on anti-money laundering, tax evasion, data protection and organised crime;

47.  Reminds the Commission that the EU has an opportunity to become a leading actor in the field of blockchain and international trade, and that it should be an influential actor in shaping its development globally, together with international partners;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ C 76, 28.2.2018, p. 76.
(2) OJ C 101, 16.3.2018, p. 30.
(3) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 22.
(4) OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 44.
(5) OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 33.
(6) https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/mc11_e/genderdeclarationmc11_e.pdf
(7) OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1.
(8) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492972/gs-16-1-distributed-ledger-technology.pdf
(9) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/european-countries-join-blockchain-partnership
(10) http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-521_en.htm
(11) http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/21620/19-euco-final-conclusions-en.pdf


Adequacy of the protection of personal data afforded by Japan
PDF 149kWORD 52k
European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 on the adequacy of the protection of personal data afforded by Japan (2018/2979(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0529B8-0561/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Articles 6, 7, 8, 11, 16, 47 and 52 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)(1), and to other relevant European data protection acquis,

–  having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Justice of 6 October 2015 in Case C-362/14 (Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner)(2),

–  having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Justice of 21 December 2016 in Joined Cases C-203/15 (Tele2 Sverige AB v Post- och telestyrelsen) and C-698/15 (Secretary of State for the Home Department v Tom Watson and Others)(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 December 2017 entitled ‘Towards a digital trade strategy’(4),

–  having regard to the Article 29 Working Party document ‘Adequacy Referential’ of 6 February 2018(5), which provides guidance to the Commission and the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the assessment of the level of data protection in third countries and international organisations,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Data Protection Board of 5 December 2018 on the EU-Japan draft adequacy decision,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the adequate protection of personal data by Japan (COM(2018)XXXX),

–  having regard to the findings of the visit to Japan in October 2017 of an ad hoc delegation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, organised in the context of the adequacy negotiations in order to meet the relevant Japanese authorities and stakeholders in relation to the essential elements to be considered by the Commission when adopting its adequacy decision,

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

A.  whereas the GDPR has been applicable since 25 May 2018; whereas Article 45(2) of the GDPR establishes the elements to be taken into account by the Commission when assessing the adequacy of the level of protection in a third country or international organisation;

B.  whereas the Commission must, in particular, take account of the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, relevant legislation both general and sectoral, including that concerning public security, defence, national security, criminal law and access of public authorities to personal data, the existence and effective functioning of one or more independent supervisory authorities, and the international commitments that the third country or international organisation has entered into;

C.  whereas the European Court of Justice, in its judgment of 6 October 2015 in Case C-362/14 (Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner), clarified that an adequate level of protection in a third country must be understood to be ‘essentially equivalent’ to that guaranteed within the European Union by virtue of Directive 95/46/EC read in the light of the Charter;

D.  whereas Japan is one of the EU’s key trading partners, with which it has recently concluded an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that enshrines shared values and principles while safeguarding the sensitivities of both partners; whereas the common recognition of fundamental rights, including privacy and data protection, constitutes an important basis for the adequacy decision which will provide the legal basis for the transfer of personal data from the EU to Japan;

E.  whereas the ad hoc delegation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to Japan was made aware of the interest of the Japanese authorities and stakeholders not only in the application of the new GDPR rules themselves, but also in developing a robust and high-level personal data transfer mechanism between the EU and Japan that would meet the conditions laid down by the EU legal framework in terms of a level of protection considered essentially equivalent to that afforded by the EU data protection legislation;

F.  whereas transfers of personal data between the EU and Japan for commercial purposes are an important element of EU-Japan relations in light of the ever-increasing digitisation of the global economy; whereas such transfers should be carried out on a basis of full respect of the right to the protection of personal data and the right to privacy; whereas one of the basic objectives of the EU is the protection of fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

G.  whereas the EU and Japan launched discussions in January 2017 to facilitate personal data transfers for commercial purposes by means of the first ever ‘mutual adequacy finding’; whereas Parliament, in its resolution of 12 December 2017 entitled ‘Towards a Digital Trade Strategy’, explicitly ‘recognise[d] that adequacy decisions [...] constitute a fundamental mechanism in terms of safeguarding the transfer of personal data from the EU to a third country’;

H.  whereas the adequacy decision for transfers of personal data to Japan would be the first such decision adopted under the new and stricter rules of the GDPR;

I.  whereas Japan has recently modernised and strengthened its data protection legislation to align it with international standards, in particular with the safeguards and individual rights provided by the new European data protection legislative framework; whereas the Japanese data protection legal framework is composed of various pillars, with the Act on Protection of Personal Information (APPI) being the central piece of legislation;

J.  whereas the Cabinet of Japan adopted a Cabinet Order on 12 June 2018 that delegates to the Personal Information Protection Commission (PPC), as the authority competent for administering and implementing the APPI, ‘the power to take the necessary action to bridge differences of the systems and operations between Japan and the concerned foreign country based on Article 6 of the Act in view of ensuring appropriate handling of personal information received from such country’; whereas this decision stipulates that this includes the power to establish enhanced protections through the adoption by the PPC of stricter rules supplementing and going beyond those laid down in the APPI and the Cabinet Order; whereas pursuant to this decision, these stricter rules would be binding and enforceable on Japanese business operators;

K.  whereas the draft Commission implementing decision on the adequate protection of personal data by Japan is accompanied by, as Annex I thereto, the Supplementary Rules adopted by the PPC on 15 June 2018, which are based on Article 6 of the APPI, which explicitly allows the PPC to adopt stricter rules, including for the purpose of facilitating international data transfers; whereas the Supplementary Rules are not yet publicly available;

L.  whereas the purpose of these Supplementary Rules would be to address relevant differences between Japanese and EU data protection law with a view to ensuring appropriate handling of personal information received from the EU based on an adequacy decision, in particular regarding special care-required personal information (‘sensitive data’), retained personal data, specifying a utilisation purpose, restriction due to a utilisation purpose, restriction on provision to a third party in a foreign country, and anonymously processed information;

M.  whereas the Supplementary Rules would be legally binding on any personal information-handling business operator which receives personal data transferred from the EU on the basis of an adequacy decision and is therefore required to comply with those rules and any related rights and obligations, and would be enforceable by both the PPC and the Japanese courts;

N.  whereas, in order to ensure an essentially equivalent level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU to Japan, the Supplementary Rules create additional protections to be applicable on a basis of stricter conditions or limitations for the processing of personal data transferred from the EU, for instance in the cases of special care-required personal information, onward transfers, anonymous data and purpose limitation;

O.  whereas the Japanese data protection legal framework makes a distinction between ‘personal information’ and ‘personal data’ and refers, for some cases, to a specific category of personal data, namely ‘retained personal data’;

P.  whereas, according to Article 2(1) of the APPI, the concept of ‘personal information’ includes any information relating to a living individual which enables the identification of that individual; whereas the definition distinguishes two categories of personal information, namely (i) individual identification codes and (ii) other personal information, whereby a specific individual can be identified; whereas the latter category includes information which by itself does not enable identification but can, when ‘readily collated’ with other information, allow the identification of a specific individual;

Q.  whereas, according to Article 2(4) of the APPI, ‘personal data’ means personal information constituting a personal information database, etc; whereas Article 2(1) of the APPI specifies that the information in such databases is systematically arranged, similarly to the concept of a filing system under Article 2(1)of the GDPR; whereas according to Article 4(1) of the GDPR, ‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person; whereas an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data or an online identifier, or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person; whereas in order to determine whether a natural person is identifiable, account should be taken of all the means reasonably likely to be used, such as singling out, either by the controller or by another person, to identify the natural person directly or indirectly;

R.  whereas, according to Article 2(7) of the APPI, ‘retained personal data’ means personal data which a personal information-handling business operator has the authority to disclose, correct, add or delete the contents of, cease the utilisation of, erase, or cease the third-party provision of, and which shall be neither those prescribed by cabinet order as likely to harm the public or other interest if their presence or absence is made known, nor those set to be deleted within a period of no longer than one year that is prescribed by cabinet order; whereas the Supplementary Rules align the notion of ‘retained personal data’ with the notion of ‘personal data’ to ensure that certain limitations to individual rights attached to the former will not apply to data transferred from the EU;

S.  whereas the Japanese data protection law which is the object of the draft implementing decision excludes from its scope several sectors when they process personal data for specific purposes; whereas the draft implementing decision would not apply to the transfer of personal data from the EU to a recipient falling within any of the above-mentioned exceptions provided for by Japanese data protection law;

T.  whereas as regards onward transfers of EU personal data from Japan to a third country, the draft implementing decision excludes the use for such onward transfers of transfer instruments that do not create a binding relationship between the Japanese data exporter and the third country’s data importer and do not guarantee the required level of protection; whereas this would be the case, for instance, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Cross-Border Privacy Rules (APEC CBPR) system, in which Japan is a participating economy, as in that system the protections do not result from an arrangement binding exporter and importer in the context of their bilateral relationship, and are clearly of a lower level than that guaranteed by the combination of the APPI and the Supplementary Rules;

U.  whereas in its opinion of 5 December 2018, the European Data Protection Board assesses, on the basis of the documentation made available by the Commission, whether the Japanese data protection legal framework provides sufficient guarantees for an adequate level of data protection for individuals; whereas the European Data Protection Board welcomes the efforts made by the Commission and the Japanese PPC to increase convergence between the Japanese and European legal frameworks in order to facilitate personal data transfers; whereas the European Data Protection Board recognises that the improvements brought in by the Supplementary Rules to bridge some of the differences between the two frameworks are very important and well received; whereas it notes that a number of concerns remain, such as the protection of personal data transferred from the EU to Japan throughout their life cycle, and recommends that the Commission provide further evidence and explanations regarding the issues raised, and that it closely monitor the effective application of the rules;

V.  whereas the draft implementing decision is also accompanied by a letter from the Minister of Justice of 14 September 2018 referring to a document drawn up by the Ministry of Justice and several ministries and agencies on ‘collection and use of personal information by Japanese public authorities for criminal law enforcement and national security purposes’, containing an overview of the legal framework applicable and providing the Commission with official representations, assurances and commitments signed at the highest ministerial and agency level, attached as Annex II to the implementing decision;

1.  Takes note of the detailed analysis provided by the Commission in its draft adequacy implementing decision in relation to the safeguards, including oversight and redress mechanisms, applicable to the processing of data by commercial operators as well as to access to data by Japanese public authorities, in particular in the area of law enforcement and national security;

2.  Takes note of the fact that Japan is also simultaneously preparing the recognition of the level of protection of personal data transferred from Japan to the EU pursuant to Article 23 of the APPI, which would result in the first ever ‘two-way’ adequacy finding worldwide leading to the creation of the world’s largest area of free and safe data flows;

3.  Welcomes this development as an expression of the global spread of high data protection standards; points out, however, that this must not by any means lead to ‘tit- for-tat’ approaches in EU adequacy decisions; recalls that for an adequacy decision under the GDPR, the Commission must objectively assess the legal and practical situation in the third country, territory, sector or international organisation;

4.  Points out that the European Court of Justice has ruled that the term ‘adequate level of protection’ does not require an identical level of protection to that guaranteed in the EU, but must be understood as requiring the third country in fact to ensure, by reason of its domestic law or its international commitments, a level of protection of fundamental rights and freedoms that is essentially equivalent to that guaranteed within the European Union by virtue of the GDPR read in the light of the Charter;

5.  Notes that the right to privacy and to the protection of personal data is guaranteed at constitutional level both in Japan and in the EU, but that a complete alignment of the rules of the EU and Japan will not be possible given the differences in constitutional structure as well as culture;

6.  Takes note of the amendments to the APPI that entered into force on 30 May 2017; welcomes the substantive improvements;

7.  Notes that the categories of business and processing activities that are excluded from the material scope of the APPI have been expressly excluded from the scope of the adequacy finding;

8.  Considers that, following the adoption of the amended APPI and of the GDPR in 2016, the Japanese and EU data protection systems share a high degree of convergence in terms of principles, safeguards and individual rights, as well as oversight and enforcement mechanisms; highlights, in particular, the creation of an independent supervisory authority, the PPC, through the amended APPI;

9.  Notes, however, that the PPC itself finds that ‘despite a high degree of convergence between the two systems, there are some relevant differences’; also notes that in order to provide for a higher level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU, the PPC adopted the Supplementary Rules on 15 June 2018;

10.  Welcomes a number of important clarifications in the Supplementary Rules, including the alignment of ‘anonymised personal information’ in the APPI with the definition of ‘anonymous information’ in the GDPR;

11.  Considers that the additional protections of the Supplementary Rules cover only transfers under adequacy decisions; recalls that in view of the scope of the adequacy decision, some data transfers will be conducted under these other available mechanisms;

12.  Acknowledges that the additional protections stipulated in the Supplementary Rules are limited to personal data transferred from Europe, hence business operators who have to simultaneously process Japanese and European personal data will be obliged to comply with the Supplementary Rules, by ensuring, for example, technical means (‘tagging’) or organisational means (e.g. storing in a dedicated database) in order to be able to identify such personal data throughout their ‘life cycle’; calls on the Commission to monitor the situation so as to prevent potential loopholes by which operators could circumvent the obligations laid down in the Supplementary Rules by transferring data via third countries;

13.  Notes that the definition of ‘personal data’ in the APPI excludes data ‘prescribed by cabinet order as having little possibility of harming an individual’s rights and interests considering their utilisation method’; urges the Commission to assess whether this harm-based approach is compatible with the EU approach under which all processing of personal data falls within the scope of data protection law; also notes, however, that this approach would apply in very limited situations;

14.  Notes further that the definition of ‘personal information’ in the APPI is limited to information ‘whereby a specific individual can be identified’; also notes that this definition does not include the clarification provided by the GDPR that personal information should also be considered personal data when it can be merely used to ‘single out’ a person, as clearly established by the European Court of Justice;

15.  Is concerned that the narrower definition of ‘personal data’ (based on the definition of ‘personal information’) in the APPI might not meet the standard of being ‘essentially equivalent’ to the GDPR and to the case law of the European Court of Justice; questions, therefore, the statement in the draft implementing decision that ‘EU data will always fall into the category of “personal data” under the APPI’; calls on the Commission to closely monitor the practical implications of the different concepts in the course of the application of the adequacy decision and its periodic review;

16.  Calls on the Commission to provide further clarifications, and if necessary to request further binding supplementary rules from the Japanese authorities, in order to ensure that all personal data in the meaning of the GDPR are protected when transferred to Japan;

17.  Notes with concern that as regards automated decision-making and profiling, differently from EU law, neither the APPI nor the PPC Guidelines contain legal provisions and that only certain sectoral rules address this matter, without providing a comprehensive overall legal framework with substantial and strong protections against automated decision-making and profiling; calls on the Commission to demonstrate how this is addressed in the Japanese data protection framework in such a way as to ensure an equivalent level of protection; considers that this is especially relevant given the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica profiling cases;

18.  Considers that in the light of the Adequacy Referential of the EDPB further in-depth clarifications are needed as regards direct marketing, given the lack of specific provisions in the APPI, in order to demonstrate the Japanese equivalent level of personal data protection;

19.  Takes note of the opinion of the European Data Protection Board, which identifies several issues of concern, such as the protection of personal data transferred from the EU to Japan throughout their whole life cycle; calls on the Commission to properly address and provide, in the implementing decision, further evidence and explanation demonstrating the existence of appropriate safeguards;

20.  Invites the Commission to clarify whether, as regards onward transfers, the solution provided in the Supplementary Rules, which consists of requiring prior consent on the part of EU data subjects for approval of onward transfer to a third party in a foreign country, lacks certain essential elements that would enable data subjects to formulate their consent, as it does not expressly define what is covered by the notion of ‘information on the circumstances surrounding the transfer necessary for the [data subject] to make a decision on his/her consent’, in line with Article 13 of the GDPR, such as the third country of destination of the onward transfer; invites the Commission to further clarify the consequences for the data subject in case of refusal of consent for onward transfer of his or her personal data;

21.  Regrets that, as regards effective enforcement of the APPI, the level of possible fines that would be imposed by the penal authorities is insufficient to ensure effective compliance with the Act, as it does not seem to be proportionate, effective or dissuasive in relation to the gravity of the infringement; notes, however, that the APPI also provides for criminal sanctions including imprisonment; calls on the Commission to provide information on the actual use of administrative fines and criminal sanctions in the past;

22.  Takes note that while the PPC has no oversight of the data processing activities of the law enforcement sector, other supervision mechanisms exist, including oversight by the independent Prefectural Public Safety Commission; notes that the Information Disclosure and Personal Information Protection Review Board also has some competences in this field, including reviewing access requests and publishing opinions, but points out that these powers are not legally binding; welcomes the fact that the EU and Japan have agreed to put in place a specific redress mechanism, administered and supervised by the PPC, which will apply to the processing of personal data in law enforcement and national security sectors;

23.  Notes that under the Japanese Act on the Protection of Personal Information held by Administrative Organs (APPIHAO), business operators can also hand data over to law enforcement authorities on a ‘voluntary basis’; points out that this is not provided for in the GDPR or the Police Directive and invites the Commission to assess whether this is compliant with the standard of being ‘essentially equivalent’ to the GDPR;

24.  Is aware of media reports about the Japanese Directorate for Signals Intelligence (DFS), ‘which employs about 1 700 people and has at least six surveillance facilities that eavesdrop around the clock on phone calls, emails, and other communications’(6); is worried that this element of indiscriminate mass surveillance is not even mentioned in the draft implementing decision; calls on the Commission to provide more information about Japanese mass surveillance; is seriously worried that this mass surveillance will not stand the test of the criteria established by the European Court of Justice in the Schrems judgment (Case C-362/14);

25.  Regrets that the document ‘Collection and use of personal information by Japanese public authorities for criminal law enforcement and national security purposes’, which forms part of Annex II to the draft implementing decision, does not have the same legally binding effect as the Supplementary Rules;

Conclusions

26.  Calls on the Commission to provide further evidence and explanation regarding the above-mentioned matters, including those identified by the European Data Protection Board in its opinion of 5 December 2018, in order to demonstrate that the Japanese data protection legal framework ensures an adequate level of protection that is essentially equivalent to that of the European data protection legal framework;

27.  Believes that this adequacy decision can, furthermore, send out a strong signal to countries around the world that convergence with the EU’s high data protection standards offers very tangible results; stresses, in this regard, the importance of this adequacy decision as a precedent for future partnerships with other countries that have adopted modern data protection laws;

28.  Instructs its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to continue to monitor developments in this field, including on cases brought before the Court of Justice, and to monitor the follow-up to the recommendations made in this resolution;

o
o   o

29.  Instruct its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the European Data Protection Board, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the Committee established pursuant to Article 93(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation, the Council of Europe and the Government of Japan.

(1) OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1.
(2) ECLI:EU:C:2015:650.
(3) ECLI:EU:C:2016:970.
(4) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 22.
(5) http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/article29/item-detail.cfm?item_id=614108; endorsed by the EDPB at its first plenary meeting.
(6) Ryan Gallagher, ‘The Untold Story of Japan’s Secret Spy Agency’, The Intercept, 19 May 2018, https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/japan-dfs-surveillance-agency/


Conflict of interest and the protection of the EU budget in the Czech Republic
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European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 on conflicts of interest and the protection of the EU budget in the Czech Republic (2018/2975(RSP))
P8_TA(2018)0530RC-B8-0582/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous decisions and resolutions on discharge to the Commission(1) for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union(2) (the new Financial Regulation), in particular Article 61 thereof on conflicts of interest,

–  having regard to the questions to the Commission sent by the Czech Pirate Party on 2 August 2018,

–  having regard to the official complaint lodged with the Commission by Transparency International Czech Republic on 19 September 2018,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Commission’s Legal Service of 19 November 2018 entitled ‘Impact of Article 61 of the new Financial Regulation (conflict of interests) on payments from the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds’,

–  having regard to the presentation given on 20 November 2018 by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Budget to Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control, entitled ‘Conflict of Interests Rules in the Financial Regulation 2018’,

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

A.  whereas the provision in the 2012 Financial Regulation on conflicts of interest did not apply explicitly to shared management, but Member States were required to ensure effective internal control including the avoidance of conflicts of interest;

B.  whereas public procurement rules oblige Member States to avoid conflicts of interest (Article 24 of Directive 2014/24/EU(3)), including direct or indirect personal interests, and for situations perceived as conflicts of interest or specific obligations in shared management, rules (e.g. Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013(4)) are already in place;

C.  whereas the Council adopted its position on the new Financial Regulation on 16 July 2018 and the final act was signed on 18 July 2018; whereas Article 61 of the Financial Regulation, which prohibits conflicts of interest, entered into force on 2 August 2018;

D.  whereas Article 61(1) of the Financial Regulation (in conjunction with Article 61(3)) lays down:

   (i) a negative obligation on financial actors to prevent situations of conflicts of interest in relation to the EU budget;
   (ii) a positive obligation on financial actors to take appropriate measures to prevent conflicts of interest from arising in the functions under their responsibility and to address situations which may objectively be perceived as a conflict of interest;

E.  whereas according to the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union(5) ‘a conflict of interests constitutes, objectively and in itself, a serious irregularity without there being any need to qualify it by having regard to the intentions of the parties concerned and whether they were acting in good or bad faith’; whereas the Commission is obliged to suspend EU fund payments in cases where a serious deficiency in the functioning of the management and control systems exists and where undiscovered, unreported and uncorrected serious irregularities related to a conflict of interest have come to light;

F.  whereas on 19 September 2018, Transparency International Czech Republic lodged a formal complaint with the Commission claiming that the Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, had persistently violated EU and Czech law on conflicts of interest;

G.  whereas Mr Babiš has been revealed to be the beneficial owner of Agrofert, the controlling company of the Agrofert Group, including among others a number of important Czech media outlets, through trust funds AB I and AB II of which he is the founder and, at the same time, the sole beneficiary;

H.  whereas Mr Babiš is also Chair of the Czech Council for the European Structural and Investment Funds;

I.  whereas companies belonging to the Agrofert Group take part in projects subsidised by the Rural Development Programme of the Czech Republic, which in turn is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development;

J.  whereas companies belonging to the Agrofert Group have received significant sums from the European Structural and Investment Funds during the 2014-2020 period, ranging from EUR 42 million in 2013 to EUR 82 million in 2017;

K.  whereas the opinion of the Commission’s Legal Service states that according to the declaration of income of Czech public officials, Mr Babiš received an income of EUR 3.5 million during the first six months of 2018 from the Agrofert Group via his trust funds;

L.  whereas Parliament has repeatedly called on the Commission in its discharge resolutions to speed up a conformity clearance procedure with the aim of obtaining information on the risk of a conflict of interest concerning the State Agricultural Intervention Fund in the Czech Republic; and whereas Parliament has stressed that failure to take the necessary measures to prevent a conflict of interest could oblige the Czech authority to withdraw the accreditation of the paying agency and could also lead to the application of financial correction by the Commission;

M.  whereas in September 2018, Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control decided to address this issue within the framework of the annual discharge procedure, notably in the hearings with the Commissioners most concerned;

N.  whereas these hearings did not provide MEPs with clear and sufficient answers on the state of play of the potential conflict of interest of the Czech Prime Minister;

O.  whereas on 1 December 2018, European media outlets such as The Guardian, Le Monde, De Standaard and the Süddeutsche Zeitung published information about the legal opinion issued by the Commission’s Legal Service confirming Mr Babiš’s conflict of interest;

1.  Is deeply concerned about the Czech Republic’s non-compliance with Article 61(1) of the Financial Regulation regarding the conflict of interest of the Czech Prime Minister and his links to the Agrofert Group;

2.  Deplores any kind of conflict of interest that could compromise the implementation of the EU budget and undermine the trust of EU citizens in the proper management of EU taxpayers’ money; calls on the Commission to ensure that a zero tolerance policy with no double standards will apply regarding conflicts of interest of any EU politicians, and to find no excuse for delays when protecting the financial interests of the Union;

3.  Recalls its resolution of 27 April 2017 on discharge for the financial year 2015(6), in which it ‘notes that the European-Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) opened administrative investigations [...] into the project in the Czech Republic known as ‘Stork Nest’ on the basis of alleged irregularities’ and ‘calls on the Commission to inform its competent committee immediately when the investigations are completed’; recalls its resolution of 18 April 2018 on discharge for the financial year 2016(7), in which it ‘welcomes the fact that the OLAF has completed its administrative investigation into the Czech ‘stork nest’ project’ and ‘regrets that OLAF found serious irregularities’;

4.  Takes note of the answer of 29 November 2018 provided by Commissioner Oettinger within the 2017 discharge procedure to written question 51 informing Parliament that in accordance with the OLAF recommendation on the Stork Nest case, adopted in December 2017, the Czech authorities have withdrawn the project investigated by OLAF from the final claim of the Regional Operational Programme for Central Bohemia, and that no EU funds have been paid into this operation; notes in addition that OLAF has recommended to the national judicial authorities that they open a criminal investigation into the matters uncovered by the OLAF investigation and that they are now the competent authorities for this case;

5.  Stresses that given the direct applicability of Article 61(1) of the Financial Regulation on conflicts of interest, all those involved in EU budget implementation, including heads of government, are responsible for complying with the obligation of preventing conflicts of interest and for addressing situations that may objectively be perceived as conflicts of interest;

6.  Regrets that for a long time the Commission remained passive, despite there having been strong indications since 2014 that Mr Babiš had a conflict of interest in his role as Minister of Finance and later as Prime Minister;

7.  Recalls the obligation of national authorities to ensure that the Union’s legislation on conflicts of interest is applied in all cases and to all people;

8.  Calls on the Commission to set up a control mechanism to address the issue of conflicts of interest in the Member States and to set active avoidance of conflicts of interest as one of its priorities; calls on the Commission to intervene decisively, especially when national authorities fail to act to prevent conflicts of interest of their highest representatives;

9.  Calls on the Commission to follow up on this issue without delay, on the basis of the opinion of its Legal Service stemming from the complaint by Transparency International Czech Republic, and to implement the necessary corrective measures and procedures to amend any possible illegal state of affairs, including a measure to suspend all EU funding to the Agrofert Group until the conflict of interest has been fully investigated and resolved;

10.  Calls on all national authorities and government officials to proactively apply the new Financial Regulation, in particular Article 61 on conflicts of interest, in order to prevent situations harmful to the EU’s reputation, that of its Member States, democracy and the EU’s financial interests, and to serve as an example of working for the public good rather than personal gain;

11.  Calls on the Member States’ national parliaments to make sure that no national legislation on the prevention of conflicts of interest goes against the letter and the spirit of the new Financial Regulation;

12.  Takes note of the opinion drafted by the Commission’s Legal Service on the possible conflict of interest of the current Czech Prime Minister, Mr Babiš, in his role as Minister of Finance in 2014; demands that the Commission fully investigate the legality of all EU subsidies paid to the Agrofert Group since Mr Babiš joined the Czech Government, taking into account the previous Financial Regulation applicable prior to 2 August 2018 and the section therein on conflicts of interest;

13.  Requests that the Commission publish all documents at its disposal related to the possible conflict of interest of the Czech Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, and explain what steps it intends to take to remedy the situation;

14.  Urges the Commission to recover all funds that have been illegally or irregularly paid out;

15.  Insists on full transparency on any connections Mr Babiš may have with the Agrofert Group, and that these must not interfere with his role as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic;

16.  Calls on the Council to take all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent conflicts of interest in the context of the negotiations of the future EU budget and the next multiannual financial framework, in line with Article 61(1) of the Financial Regulation;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Government and Parliament of the Czech Republic.

(1) OJ L 246, 14.9.2016, p. 1, OJ L 252, 29.9.2017, p. 1, and OJ L 248, 3.10.2018, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 65.
(4) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320.
(5) Ismeri Europa Srl v Court of Auditors, Judgment of 15.6.1999, Case T-277/97, ECLI:EU:T:1999:124.
(6) OJ L 252, 29.9.2017, p. 28.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0121.


Activities of the European Ombudsman in 2017
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European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 on the annual report on the activities of the European Ombudsman in 2017 (2018/2105(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0531A8-0411/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the annual report on the European Ombudsman’s activities in 2017,

–  having regard to Articles 9, 11, 15, 24 and 228 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Articles 11, 35, 37, 41, 42 and 43 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Protocol No 1 to the Treaties on the role of National Parliaments in the European Union,

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

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD),

–  having regard to Decision 94/262/ECSC, EC, Euratom of the European Parliament of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties(1),

–  having regard to the European Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, as adopted by Parliament on 6 September 2001,

–  having regard to the Framework Agreement on Cooperation concluded between Parliament and the European Ombudsman on 15 March 2006, which entered into force on 1 April 2006,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the European Ombudsman’s activities,

–  having regard to Rules 52 and 220(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions (A8-0411/2018),

A.  whereas the annual report on the activities of the European Ombudsman in 2017 was formally submitted to the President of Parliament on 22 May 2018 and the Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, presented it to the Committee on Petitions in Brussels on 16 May 2018;

B.  whereas Articles 24 and 228 of the TFEU empower the European Ombudsman to receive complaints concerning instances of maladministration in the activities of the Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies, with the exception of the Court of Justice of the European Union acting in its judicial role;

C.  whereas Article 10(3) of the Treaty on European Union establishes that ‘every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union’ and that ‘decisions shall be taken as openly and as closely as possible to the citizen’;

D.  whereas Article 15 TFEU states that ‘in order to promote good governance and ensure the participation of civil society, the Union’s institutions, bodies, offices and agencies shall conduct their work as openly as possible’ and that ‘any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, shall have a right of access to documents of the Union’s institutions, bodies, offices and agencies’;

E.  whereas Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, concerning the right to good administration, states inter alia that ‘every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union’;

F.  whereas Article 43 of the Charter states that ‘any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State has the right to refer to the European Ombudsman cases of maladministration in the activities of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the Union, with the exception of the Court of Justice of the European Union acting in its judicial role’;

G.  whereas Article 298(1) TFEU establishes that ‘in carrying out their missions, the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union shall have the support of an open, efficient and independent European administration’;

H.  whereas in 2017 the Ombudsman opened 447 inquiries, of which 433 were complaint-based and 14 own-initiative, while closing 363 inquiries (348 complaint-based and 15 own-initiative); whereas most of the inquiries concerned the Commission (256 inquiries or 57,3 %), followed by the EU agencies (35 inquiries or 7,8 %), the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) (34 inquiries or 7,6 %), Parliament (22 inquiries or 4,9 %), the European External Action Service (EEAS) (17 inquiries or 3,8 %), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) (16 inquiries or 3,6 %) and other institutions (67 inquiries or 15 %);

I.  whereas the top three concerns in the inquiries closed by the Ombudsman in 2017 were: transparency, accountability and public access to information and documents (20,6 %); culture of service (16,8 %) and respect for procedural rights (16,5 %); whereas other concerns included ethical issues, public participation in EU decision-rights, the proper use of discretion, including in infringement procedures, sound financial management of EU tenders, grants and contracts, recruitment, and good management of EU personnel issues;

J.  whereas in its strategic work in 2017, the Ombudsman’s office closed four strategic inquiries and opened four new ones on Council transparency; on the ‘revolving doors’ issue concerning former European Commissioners; on the accessibility of Commission websites for persons with disabilities and on pre-submission activities linked to medicine assessments by the European Medicines Agency (EMA); whereas in 2017 the Ombudsman opened eight strategic initiatives on, among other subjects, European Council lobbying transparency, improving the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), and revolving doors rules at various EU institutions and bodies, and closed six strategic initiatives;

K.  whereas the EU is still facing the worst economic, social and political crisis since its foundation; whereas the ineffective approach adopted by the EU institutions in tackling the lack of transparency in both the EU decision-making process and in lobbying activities, in addition to other significant ethical issues within the institutions, are contributing to further undermining the image of the EU;

L.  whereas the refusal of access to EU documents and related transparency issues continued to account for the greatest proportion of European Ombudsman inquiries in 2017;

M.  whereas given the often time-sensitive nature of requests for access to documents, the Ombudsman initiated a trial phase for a fast-track procedure;

N.  whereas the Ombudsman has a crucial role to play with regard to ensuring the accountability of the EU institutions and the maximum transparency and impartiality of the EU administration and decision-making processes in order to successfully protect citizens’ rights, thereby increasing their trust, engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union;

O.  whereas the Court of Justice of the European Union has stipulated that the principles of publicity and transparency are inherent to the EU legislative process, and that the effectiveness and integrity of the legislative process cannot undermine the principles of publicity and transparency which underlie that process; whereas the Court of Justice of the European Union has given clear guidance on this issue, such as in its judgement of 22 March 2018 on case T-540/15;

P.  whereas the Ombudsman conducted a year-long complaint-based inquiry into the ECB President’s membership of the Group of 30 (G30), a private organisation whose members include representatives of banks supervised either directly or indirectly by the ECB; whereas the Ombudsman recommended that the ECB President suspend his membership of the G30;

Q.  whereas the Ombudsman inquired into complaints on the Commission’s handling of the post-mandate employment of its former Commissioners; whereas the Ombudsman had already found that the Commission’s failure to take a specific decision in the case of former Commission President Barroso constituted maladministration; whereas on the Barroso case, the Ethics Committee concluded that there were not sufficient grounds to establish a violation of the legal obligations, having taken into account the former President’s written statement that he had not been engaged to lobby on behalf of Goldman Sachs and that he did not intend to do so;

R.  whereas the financial crisis has brought about an economic and social crisis, casting doubt on the European institutions;

S.  whereas on 25 October 2017 a meeting took place between former Commission President Barroso and a current Commission Vice-President, which was registered as an official meeting with Goldman Sachs; whereas the Ombudsman noted that the exact nature of this meeting was not clear; whereas the Ombudsman highlighted that there are understandable concerns that the former President is using his previous status and his contacts with former colleagues to influence and obtain information; whereas this case raises systematic issues as to the Commission’s overall approach to handling such cases and the degree of independence of the Ethics Committee; points out the need, therefore, for stronger rules at EU level to prevent and sanction all conflicts of interests in the institutions and agencies of the EU;

T.  whereas in March 2017 the Ombudsman opened a strategic inquiry into the openness and accountability of the Council; whereas the Ombudsman found maladministration in the Council’s failure to record the identities of Member States that take a position in a legislative procedure and in the lack of transparency by the Council on public access to its legislative documents, such as the practice of disproportionately marking documents as ‘LIMITE’, i.e. not for circulation; whereas the Ombudsman submitted a special report to Parliament on her strategic inquiry on the accountability and transparency of the Council’s legislative work on 17 May 2018;

U.  whereas greater openness on the positions taken by national governments may serve to alleviate the ‘blame Brussels’ phenomenon, which distorts the reality of how EU legislation is agreed, fomenting Euro-scepticism and anti-EU sentiment;

V.  whereas the Ombudsman inquired into the non-compliance with EU and international rules of the EIB’s transparency policy on access to documents;

W.  whereas the adequate prevention of conflicts of interest within the EU institutions, agencies and bodies is an essential part of guaranteeing good administration and increasing citizens’ trust in the EU decision-making process; whereas the Ombudsman launched a strategic inquiry into how the Commission carries out conflict of interest assessments for its special advisers, who often simultaneously work for the private sector;

X.  whereas the Ombudsman inquired into citizens’ complaints denouncing the Commission’s failure to reach a timely decision on infringement cases concerning the abuse of fixed-term work contracts; whereas several Member States have, over the years, experienced a significant increase in atypical and temporary employment contracts, which has called into question the implementation of European employment law and the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union;

Y.  whereas for the purposes of decisions relating to the protection of human health and the safety of humans, animals and plants, the EU institutions, agencies and offices should be especially focused on citizens and service-minded in their outlook, and should properly address the public’s concerns regarding full transparency, independence and accuracy in the collection and evaluation of scientific evidence; whereas the scientific evidence and procedures used at EU level which led to the authorisations of, inter alia, genetically modified organisms, pesticides and glyphosate drew significant criticism and triggered a wide public debate;

Z.  whereas the Commission has yet to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations concerning its dealings with the tobacco industry, and is thus failing to ensure full transparency in line with its obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC);

AA.  whereas the Ombudsman published clear and practical recommendations for how public officials should interact with lobbyists, and made efforts to increase awareness of these within the Council and the Commission;

AB.  whereas the Ombudsman is part of the EU framework under the UN CRPD tasked with protecting, promoting and monitoring the implementation of the Convention at the level of the EU institutions;

AC.  whereas the Ombudsman conducted an inquiry into how Martin Selmayr, the then Head of Cabinet of the President of the Commission, was appointed Secretary-General of the Commission; whereas the Ombudsman highlighted that the Commission created an artificial sense of urgency to fill the post of Secretary-General in order to justify not publishing a vacancy notice, and organised a selection procedure for Deputy Secretary-General not to fill that role directly, but to make Mr Selmayr Secretary-General in a rapid two-step appointment; whereas the Ombudsman found four instances of maladministration in Mr Selmayr’s appointment due to the Commission’s failure to follow the relevant rules correctly, both in letter and spirit;

AD.  whereas the work of the European Ombudsman perfectly complements the work of the her national and regional counterparts; whereas the exchange and coordination of their work within the European Network of Ombudsmen, under the auspices of the European Ombudsman, is a very positive part of efforts to ensure that all EU citizens and residents enjoy the right to good administration at all levels;

AE.  whereas the current statute of the European Ombudsman was most recently updated before the Lisbon Treaty entered into force; whereas since then, new expectations have emerged among EU citizens on good administration and the role played by the Ombudsman in securing it, particularly as regards access to documents, whistleblowing and harassment, and in ensuring that the Commission handles the admissibility of European Citizens’ Initiatives fairly and impartially;

1.  Approves the annual report for 2017 presented by the European Ombudsman; takes note of its clear and easy-to-read style of presentation, highlighting as it does the most important facts and figures concerning the work of the Ombudsman in 2017;

2.  Congratulates Emily O’Reilly for her excellent work and constructive efforts to improve the quality of the EU’s administration and the accessibility and quality of the services it offers to citizens; reaffirms its strong support for the actions carried out by the Ombudsman for citizens and European democracy;

3.  Welcomes the Ombudsman’s five-year strategy ‘Towards 2019’, which aims to increase the impact and visibility of her office and forge strong relationships with the EU institutions, agencies and organisations, for the greater benefit of citizens;

4.  Notes with great concern that inquiries relating to transparency and accountability, including on access to information and documents, continued to account for the greatest proportion of cases handled by the Ombudsman in 2017, followed by complaints relating to EU agencies and other bodies;

5.  Welcomes the Ombudsman’s efforts to present the staff of the EU institutions with the Award for Good Administration 2017, in particular that for the Commission’s DG Health for their efforts on behalf of patients with rare diseases;

6.  Emphasises the importance of maximum transparency and improved public access to the documents held by the EU institutions; highlights the Ombudsman’s structural work in bringing instances of maladministration to light by adopting a case-by-case approach and launching an increasing number of own-initiative enquiries;

7.  Is grateful for the good cooperation of the Ombudsman and her team with the Committee on Petitions, which has been characterised by esteem and attention to detail;

8.  Underlines the fact that EU legislation on access to documents should be updated; reiterates its call for 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(2) to be revised in order to also facilitate the Ombudsman’s work in scrutinising the granting of access to documents by Parliament, the Council and the Commission; welcomes the Ombudsman’s introduction of the fast-track complaint procedure to deal with inquiries on access to documents;

9.  Emphasises that citizens must be able to participate more directly in the democratic life of the EU and follow the decision-making process at the EU institutions in detail, and have access to all the relevant information in order to fully exercise their democratic rights;

10.  Stresses the role of the Ombudsman in working for greater transparency and accountability in the EU legislative process in order to increase citizens’ trust, with regard not only to the lawfulness of an isolated act, but also to the legitimacy of the decision-making process as a whole;

11.  Calls for a review of the Council’s internal guidelines on LIMITE documents, which have no solid legal basis, in order to uphold the principle according to which LIMITE status can only be given to a preliminary draft that does not yet have an author and has no bearing on the legislative procedure;

12.  Recognises the need for maximum transparency in the EU decision-making process and commends the Ombudsman’s inquiry into the usual practice of informal negotiations between the three main EU institutions (trilogues); supports the publication of all trilogue documents in accordance with the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union;

13.  Strongly believes that the Ombudsman’s recommendations on the EIB’s transparency policy must be implemented without further delay; recalls that this policy is based on a presumption of disclosure and that under it anyone can access the EIB’s documents and information;

14.  Calls for the EIB Group’s disclosure policy to ensure an increasingly high level of transparency as regards the principles governing its pricing policy and governance bodies; calls for the minutes of the EIB Group’s management committee meetings to be published;

15.  Stresses that the positions of the Member States within the Council during the EU legislative process must be recorded and made a matter of public knowledge in a timely and accessible manner, as in any system rooted in the principle of democratic legitimacy, co-legislators must be held accountable to the public for their actions; believes that increased accountability in the Council on positions taken by national governments on EU legislation, including making legislative documents proactively accessible to the public while the legislative process is ongoing, would help to address the lack of transparency in decision making and alleviate the ‘blame Brussels’ culture for decisions ultimately taken by national governments themselves; demands that the Council, in accordance with Article 15(3) TFEU, revise its confidentiality policy in order to ensure the highest level of transparency in its work;

16.  Calls on the Commission to ensure maximum transparency and access to documents and information with regard to the EU Pilot procedures, at least in relation to petitions received, and full transparency and full access to the EU Pilot and infringement procedures that have already ended;

17.  Urges the Ombudsman to continue to monitor the implementation of the Commission’s reform of the expert groups’ system in order to ensure full compliance with legally binding rules and maximum transparency in the performance of all expert groups’ activities, and to investigate and report any possible conflict of interests; believes that a careful assessment of and information on all expert groups is needed in order to understand their degree of independence, with a view to serving the public interest and delivering added value in EU policymaking; believes that all members of expert groups must be on the transparency register;

18.  Reiterates its call for a central transparency hub for all EU institutions and agencies;

19.  Supports the Ombudsman’s commitment to improving the transparency of EU lobbying; stresses the importance of adopting an appropriate legislative act to make the EU transparency register mandatory and legally binding for all EU institutions and agencies and interest representatives, thereby ensuring full transparency of lobbying;

20.  Stresses the importance of regularly updating and greatly improving the accuracy of data on the EU transparency register, including the obligation for law firms that lobby to declare all their clients; underlines the need to make available all information on the influence of lobbyists free of charge, fully comprehensible and easily accessible to the public; believes that full transparency of the funding of all interest representatives must be ensured; calls for any organisation that breaks the revolving doors rules to be suspended from the transparency register;

21.  Highlights the Ombudsman’s findings that the ECB President’s continued membership of the G30 constituted maladministration as it gave rise to a public perception that the ECB’s independence from private financial interests could be compromised; stresses that the ECB’s executive board members should refrain from also being members of fora or other organisations which include executives from banks supervised by the ECB; takes note of the Ombudsman’s recommendations of 15 January 2018 on the involvement of the ECB’s President and members of its decision-making bodies in the G30 and urges the ECB to amend the relevant rules in order to ensure that the highest ethical and accountability standards are implemented in practice;

22.  Believes that the Commission failed to respect the principles of transparency, ethics and the rule of law in the procedure it used to appoint Martin Selmayr as its new Secretary-General; strongly regrets the Commission’s decision to confirm Mr Selmayr as its new Secretary-General, disregarding the extensive and widespread criticism from EU citizens and the reputational damage caused to the EU as a whole; emphasises that Mr Selmayr must resign as Secretary-General and calls on the Commission to adopt a new procedure for appointing its Secretary-General, ensuring that the highest standards of transparency, ethics and the rule of law are upheld;

23.  Calls on the Ombudsman to continue her work on strengthening ethics rules within the EU institutions in order to solve revolving door issues and to guarantee full transparency on all information relating to such cases, including the swift publication of the names of all those EU senior officials involved; looks forward to the Ombudsman’s analysis into how the Commission is implementing her guidelines and suggestions on how to improve the handling of revolving doors situations, including the possibility of adopting legislative rules for preventing and sanctioning such situations and possible abuses;

24.  Strongly believes that stricter, clear and easily applicable moral and ethical rules and standards need to be swiftly applied throughout the EU institutions, agencies and bodies, with a view to securing respect for the duty of integrity and discretion, and to preventing conflict of interests with the private sector; considers that these rules and standards must be based on a legislative act; takes note of the updated code of conduct for Commissioners, which entered into force in February 2018 and introduced stricter cooling-off periods; considers, however, that post-term-of-office notification periods should be increased;

25.  Stresses the urgent need for the existing Code of Good Administrative Behaviour to be upgraded effectively, by adopting a binding regulation on the matter;

26.  Believes that the meeting between former Commission President Barroso and a current Commission Vice-President, which was registered as an official meeting with Goldman Sachs, further demonstrated the urgent need to revise the current rules and practices in order to strengthen integrity requirements for Commissioners both during and after their mandates;

27.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to guarantee proactive publication and full transparency with regard to the post-term-of-office occupations of former Commissioners; calls on the Commission to ensure that the Ethics Committee is fully independent and accountable and encourages the Ombudsman to continue to assess and report on any possible conflict of interest of the Ethics Committee’s members;

28.  Congratulates the Ombudsman on her strategic inquiry on the transparency of the Council legislative process (OI/2/2017/TE), but regrets the Council’s failure to reply to the findings within the deadline; notes that this is, regrettably, a recurring topic that is constantly reflected in complaints submitted to the Ombudsman; believes, moreover, that it should be deemed of great importance for the democratic life of the Union and the effective participation of citizens across the continent, as it is hindering the fulfilment of the constitutional treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights; notes, in this connection, the Ombudsman’s findings in a recent case (1272/2017/LP – the Council’s refusal to give public access to the opinion of its Legal Service concerning an interinstitutional agreement on a Transparency Register), which suggested that the issue is threatening the principle of institutional balance and contravenes the essential practice of mutual sincere cooperation; points out that it is impossible to carry out ex-post checks on an ad hoc basis after a request is refused;

29.  Highlights the need to adopt major improvements on conflict of interest rules for special advisers; specifically calls on the Commission to fully implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations in this regard, by adopting maximum transparency and a proactive approach to its assessment of any potential conflict of interests before and after the appointment of special advisers, and to ensure that citizens have complete access to all the relevant information;

30.  Applauds the Ombudsman’s constant interest in issues pertinent to the staff of the institutions and highlights the importance of diminishing any kind of discrimination that might arise from differentiated status; reiterates the significance of the Ombudsman’s findings on unpaid traineeships in EU delegations of the EEAS (case 454/2014/PMC) and the recommendation that the EEAS should pay its trainees an appropriate allowance in accordance with the principle of non-discrimination; deplores the fact that other EU institutions follow the same malpractice of unpaid traineeships, which does not afford fair opportunities to young people or offer work equal to that of an employee, leaving young professionals excluded from a lack of sufficient funds with which to sustain themselves and inadequately remunerated for their services; points out that shortcomings in the status of trainees are witnessed in other areas, such as a lack of mechanisms for reporting sexual harassment in agencies of the Union; calls on the Ombudsman, therefore, to open a general strategic inquiry on the status of trainees;

31.  Urges the Commission to make its work fully transparent by publishing data online on all its meetings with tobacco lobbyists or their legal representatives and all minutes thereof, in line with its obligations under the WHO FCTC;

32.  Urges the Ombudsman to monitor the implementation of the recommendations for EU public officials on their interactions with interest representatives, and to continue to raise awareness of these recommendations among EU staff members throughout all the EU institutions, through educational training, seminars and related support measures;

33.  Deeply regrets the delays accumulated by the Commission in connection with infringement procedures on the abuse of fixed-term contracts in both the private and public sectors, which has allowed for the abuse and violation of workers’ rights in the Member States; calls on the Ombudsman to monitor this issue in order to safeguard citizens’ rights effectively;

34.  Supports the Ombudsman’s role in shaping a proactive and transparent policy in all EU agencies; urges the Ombudsman to continue monitoring all EU agencies in order to ensure that they meet the highest standards of transparency and provide public access to documents and information, with a particular focus on procedures and activities relating to the protection of human health;

35.  Urges the Ombudsman to launch a strategic inquiry in order to assess whether EU institutions, offices and agencies, such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the EMA, ensure that the collection, examination and publication of scientific evidence is fully independent, transparent, impartial, accurate and free from conflict of interests, and whether the proper policies and procedural safeguards are in place, notably when dealing with genetically modified organisms, glyphosate, pesticides, phytosanitary and biocidal products and medicines; suggests, in this regard, a further inquiry into the composition and selection procedures of the scientific committees and panels of these agencies, in order to ensure that they are completely independent and to put into place the most stringent mechanisms preventing any possible conflict of interests;

36.  Welcomes the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiries into the treatment of persons with disabilities under the Commission’s Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme and on the accessibility of the Commission’s web pages and online tools for persons with disabilities; encourages the Ombudsman to do her utmost with a view to ensuring the full and consistent implementation of the UN CRPD by the EU administration;

37.  Welcomes the Ombudsman’s commitment to openness and transparency throughout the Brexit negotiations; underlines the positive response received by the Ombudsman from both the Council and the Commission recognising the importance of transparency; calls on the UK Government to match this commitment;

38.  Encourages the Ombudsman to continue her collaboration with national ombudsmen through the European Network of Ombudsmen;

39.  Calls on the European Network of National Ombudsmen to show greater vigilance in monitoring that public authorities act immediately on cases of police brutality, racism and anti-Semitism in respect of human rights and democratic governance;

40.  Calls for greater financial and human resources to be allocated to the office of the Ombudsman so that it may cope with the current and future workload, with a view to upholding its crucial duty of enhancing good administrative practices within the EU, a service of vital importance to the citizens of the Union;

41.  Welcomes the annual conference of the European Network of Ombudsmen of 19 June 2017, which was dedicated to the fallout for citizens’ rights from Brexit and from increased populism in Europe;

42.  Welcomes the Ombudsman’s Award for Good Administration, which recognises the efforts of the EU civil service to find innovative ways of implementing citizen-friendly policies;

43.  Reiterates its willingness to update the statute of the European Ombudsman(3), and any related tranche of the acquis in order to tailor its role to EU citizens’ current needs and expectations regarding good administration;

44.  Stresses the need to improve social dialogue;

45.  Stresses that trust between citizens and the institutions is of paramount importance in the light of the current economic difficulties;

46.  Stresses the need for the Ombudsman to investigate the conflict of interest between the Commission’s role in the Troika and its responsibility as guardian of the Treaties and the acquis;

47.  Calls on the Ombudsman to ensure that the Commission will help to create an infrastructure for the ECI, providing legal advice and a legal framework that protects its members;

48.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the report of the Committee on Petitions to the Council, the Commission, the European Ombudsman, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Member States’ ombudsmen or similar competent bodies.

(1) OJ L 113, 4.5.1994, p. 15.
(2) OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43.
(3) Draft Decision of the European Parliament adopted on 22 April 2008 amending its Decision 94/262/ECSC, EC, Euratom of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties (OJ C 259 E, 29.10.2009, p. 116).


Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions 2017
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European Parliament resolution of 13 December 2018 on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during the year 2017 (2018/2104(INI))
P8_TA(2018)0532A8-0404/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the outcome of the Committee on Petitions’ deliberations,

–  having regard to Articles 10 and 11 of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to Articles 24 and 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which reflect the importance the Treaty attaches to the right of EU citizens and residents to bring their concerns to the attention of Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 228 of the TFEU,

–  having regard to Article 44 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union concerning the right to petition the European Parliament,

–  having regard to the provisions of the TFEU relating to the infringement procedure and, in particular, to Articles 258 and 260 thereof,

–  having regard to Rules 52, 215 and 216 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions (A8-0404/2018),

A.  whereas 1 271 petitions were received in 2017 – compared to 1 569 in 2016 – of which 776 petitions (60,2 %) were considered admissible;

B.  whereas 15 540 users of Parliament’s Petitions web portal supported one or more petitions in 2017, as compared to 902 users in 2015 and 6 132 users in 2016; whereas the total number of clicks in support of petitions was 21 955, as compared to 18 810 in 2016 and 1 329 in 2015; whereas this new form of public participation in petitions submitted is increasingly common and should be taken into account;

C.  whereas almost 250 identical or very similar petitions on three different subjects submitted in 2017 were treated together in groups per subject;

D.  whereas of the petitions submitted in 2017, 67 were co-signed by one or more citizens, 25 by more than 100 citizens, 10 by more than 10 000 citizens, and two by more than 100 000 citizens;

E.  whereas the number of petitions received was modest in relation to the total population of the EU; whereas this might indicate that a large portion of EU citizens and residents do not make use of the right to petition for lack of knowledge, taking into account the many potential concerns or expectations in different fields of activities of the Union; whereas more needs to be done to promote the right to petition the European Parliament;

F.  whereas only a small number of EU citizens and residents are aware of the right to petition, confirming the need for greater efforts and appropriate measures to increase public awareness and achieve a substantial improvement regarding the exercise of this right;

G.  whereas the criteria for the admissibility of petitions pursuant to Article 227 of the TFEU and Rule 215 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure specify that petitions must satisfy the formal conditions governing admissibility, namely that a petitioner, who is an EU citizen or residing in the EU, is affected by a matter which falls within the European Union’s fields of activity; whereas 495 petitions were declared inadmissible because they did not comply with the admissibility conditions;

H.  whereas the right to submit a petition to Parliament offers EU citizens and residents the means to address their directly elected representatives in a formal way; whereas the right to petition should constitute a crucial element of active participation of EU citizens and residents in the EU’s fields of activity and should therefore be promoted in the best way possible; whereas full exercise of the right to petition is related to the need for the EU institutions and Member States to arrive at prompt and effective solutions to issues raised by petitioners, ensuring full protection of their fundamental rights;

I.  whereas Parliament has long been at the forefront of the development of the petitions process internationally and has the most open and transparent petitions process in Europe, allowing petitioners to participate fully in its activities;

J.  whereas active participation is only possible provided there is a democratic and transparent process that enables Parliament and the Committee on Petitions to render its work citizen-friendly and meaningful; whereas this requires an aim of continuous improvement in the interaction with petitioners, keeping track and taking advantage of, among other aspects, the implementation of new technological developments, as well as with other concerned citizens and residents, such as supporters of petitions through the Petitions web portal;

K.  whereas petitions are useful tools for detecting breaches of EU law, as well as shortcomings, inconsistencies and possible loopholes in this law, when it comes to ensuring the highest standards of social justice and full protection of the fundamental rights of all citizens; whereas petitions allow Parliament and other EU institutions to assess the transposition and application of EU law and the actual impact of its improper implementation on EU citizens and residents; whereas they can also provide insight into the absence of regulatory provisions in fields of activity where the EU could legislate;

L.  whereas petitions represent an extra guarantee for EU citizens and residents compared to complaints directly to the Commission, as they involve Parliament in the process and allow better scrutiny of the Commission’s performance of its inquiry duties, as well as providing transparent debates on the matter, with the presence of petitioners, Members of the European Parliament and the Commission, as well as any other authority concerned where appropriate;

M.  whereas petitions often provide useful information in various EU policy areas to other parliamentary committees, also in relation to their legislative activities; whereas in return the committees responsible for the subject matters pertaining to a petition are expected to provide their expertise, with the aim of due treatment of the petition allowing a meaningful response to it from Parliament itself; whereas it is Parliament’s responsibility as a whole to fulfil the fundamental right to petition through an adequate treatment of petitions;

N.  whereas each petition should be carefully assessed and dealt with; whereas the petitioner has the right to receive information on the decision on admissibility taken by the Committee on Petitions and to have their issue addressed fully, both within a reasonable period of time;

O.  whereas a considerable number of petitions are discussed publicly in meetings of the Committee on Petitions; whereas petitioners have the right to present their petitions, and frequently take full part in the discussion, thereby contributing actively to the work of the committee; whereas in 2017, 248 petitions were discussed in committee meetings with 208 petitioners present, while 59 petitioners participated actively by taking the floor;

P.  whereas the information provided by citizens and residents in petitions and during committee meetings – complemented by expertise provided by the Commission, the Member States and other bodies – is pivotal to the work of the committee; whereas in order to avoid any socio-economic discrimination, petitioners whose petition is to be debated in a public committee meeting and who are willing to participate in the discussion, should be entitled to a reimbursement of the related costs, within reasonable limits;

Q.  whereas the main subjects of concern raised in petitions in 2017 pertained to environmental matters (notably issues concerning water and waste management, and preservation), fundamental rights (notably voting rights and rights of the child), the issue of stolen babies, free movement of persons, social affairs (working conditions), various forms of discrimination, and immigration, in addition to many other areas of activity;

R.  whereas the revision of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure should lead to an improved petitions procedure and whereas the relevant rules should optimise the ability of the Committee on Petitions to investigate citizens’ concerns, thereby ensuring full protection and more effective exercise of the right of petition;

S.  whereas 69,1 % of the petitions received (878 petitions) in 2017 were submitted via Parliament’s Petitions web portal, as compared to 68 % (1 067 petitions) in 2016; whereas the predominance of this format and its expected increase over time could allow a quicker initial treatment of these petitions;

T.  whereas petition summaries can now be uploaded on the Portal sooner – approximately one week after the Committee on Petitions reaches a decision on admissibility; whereas the automatic uploading of meeting agendas, minutes and Commission replies relating to petitions was introduced at the end of 2017, which has made these documents publicly available and increased the transparency of the work of the Committee on Petitions; whereas all these features reflect Parliament’s commitment to the aim of providing a more interactive experience and real-time communication with petitioners; whereas the frequently asked questions (FAQs) and privacy statement features were revised to reflect changes in the confidentiality provisions of the Rules of Procedure; whereas there have also been technical improvements, including further improvements to the search function and the introduction of a ‘read first’ page before a petition can be submitted, which contains information and advice for petitioners; whereas a large number of individual support requests have been handled successfully;

U.  whereas the Committee on Petitions considers the European Citizens’ Initiative an important instrument of direct and participatory democracy that, if taken seriously, should enable citizens to become actively involved in the shaping of European policies and legislation;

V.  whereas 2017 saw four fact-finding visits, conducted pursuant to Rule 216a of the Rules of Procedure: one to Sweden on the difficulties encountered by EU citizens in obtaining the identification number required to access most of the services they needed when temporarily moving to Sweden; one to Spain on petitions addressing allegations concerning newborn babies stolen from hospitals during and after Franco’s dictatorship; one to Taranto (Italy) on the impact of a local steel plant and refinery on the environment and how they had been causing air, land and water pollution; and one to Larnaca (Cyprus) on the environmental and health impact of a newly-built industrial port in the city;

W.  whereas pursuant to the Rules of Procedure, the Committee on Petitions is responsible for relations with the European Ombudsman, who investigates complaints about maladministration within the institutions and bodies of the European Union; whereas the current European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, presented her Annual Report for 2016 to the Committee on Petitions at its meeting of 30 May 2017, and the annual report of the Committee on Petitions is, in turn, partly based on the Ombudsman’s annual report, or on the Special Reports submitted to Parliament, the latest being on the transparency of the decision-making of the Council;

X.  whereas the Committee on Petitions is a member of the European Network of Ombudsmen, which also includes the European Ombudsman, national and regional ombudsmen and similar bodies of the EU Member States and candidate countries, and other European Economic Area countries, and which aims to promote the exchange of information about EU law and policy, and to share best practices;

1.  Draws attention to the fundamental role of the Committee on Petitions as a bridge between EU citizens and residents and the EU institutions, through which EU citizens and residents can formally alert Parliament of cases of misapplication of EU law and bring their concerns and ideas to the attention of their elected representatives, thereby allowing for the timely examination and resolution of petitioners’ requests wherever possible; points out that the manner in which the concerns of petitioners are addressed has a major impact on citizens regarding effective respect for the right to petition as enshrined in EU law and on their opinions of the EU institutions; reminds the Commission that petitions offer a unique means to identify situations in which EU law is not upheld and to investigate such situations by means of the political scrutiny of the European Parliament;

2.  Points out that petitions constitute both an opportunity and a challenge for Parliament and other EU institutions, since they allow a direct dialogue to be established with EU citizens and residents, particularly if they are affected by the application of EU law and seek an effective and efficient redress mechanism; highlights that the EU institutions and Member States must do their utmost within their respective spheres of competence to arrive at prompt and effective solutions to issues raised by petitioners;

3.  Stresses the importance of raising awareness through a continuous public debate and wider information about the actual competences of the EU, its functioning and its need for future improvements, in order to ensure that citizens and residents are well informed about the levels at which decisions are taken, so that they can be also involved in discussions about possible reforms and to prevent the ‘blame Brussels’ phenomenon used by some irresponsible Member States; considers that a broader public debate about the EU, as well as better information and education and rigorous media reporting would reduce the number of inadmissible petitions, as citizens and residents would be better aware of the competences of the EU; notes that the subject matter of an inadmissible petition can play a role in policy making even if it falls outside the scope of the committee;

4.  Stresses the need for enhanced cooperation between the Commission and other EU institutions and Member States’ national, regional and local authorities in ensuring the adoption and implementation of EU provisions intended to achieve the highest standards of social justice and full and effective protection of the economic, social and cultural rights of all citizens; underlines the need for more active cooperation with Member States’ representatives at committee meetings and for swifter follow-up to requests sent from the committee; calls therefore for a strong commitment from all the authorities involved at national and European level in handling and resolving petitions as a matter of priority; notes once again that numerous petitions have received superficial replies from the Commission;

5.  Urges the Commission to make proper use of its powers stemming from its role as guardian of the Treaties, as this role is of the utmost importance to the functioning of the EU with regard to citizens and European legislators; calls for a timely handling of infringement procedures in order to put an end, without delay, to situations where EU law is not respected;

6.  Reiterates that cooperation with other parliamentary committees is essential for a comprehensive treatment of petitions; notes that in 2017, 18 petitions were sent to other parliamentary committees for opinion and 357 for information; welcomes the fact that 21 opinions on petitions were received from parliamentary committees; encourages dialogue between the various parliamentary committees to be promoted in order to give proper attention to the problems raised by EU citizens;

7.  Points to the launch of the petitions network on 21 March 2017, attended by members from all parliamentary committees, at which the network’s guidelines were presented and its purpose and the role of its members outlined; is convinced that, if taken seriously, the petitions network is a useful tool for a better follow-up of petitions in parliamentary and legislative work; emphasises the importance of the network in raising awareness among the members about citizens’ concerns submitted to Parliament by means of a petition, and in discussing possible procedural improvements and sharing best practices; stresses that closer contact between the committees may improve efficiency in planning hearings and parliamentary studies on similar subjects; looks forward to the publication of the study by Parliament’s Policy Department C on the current functioning of the cooperation of the different committees with the Committee on Petitions; underlines the fact that enhanced cooperation with parliamentary committees on issues raised by petitioners should enable Parliament to provide a better and individualised follow-up to petitions and respond much more swiftly and efficiently to citizens’ concerns, delivering added value to the lives of EU citizens and residents, and to the activities of Parliament and Europe as a whole;

8.  Underlines the important contributions of petitions submitted ahead of the Brexit negotiations by citizens and residents concerned; points to the joint public hearing held on 11 May 2017 by the Committee on Petitions and the Committees on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) and Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) on citizens’ and residents' rights after Brexit, with a view to ensuring that these rights be made one of Parliament’s main priorities in the Brexit negotiations;

9.  Considers that, in order to ensure full consistency between the treatment of different petitions, the Committee on Petitions and its Secretariat should be allocated more resources; underlines the fact that the committee’s guidelines, adopted in January 2016, make the treatment of petitions and the decision-making process transparent and clear;

10.  Recalls that petitions are examined in accordance with Article 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which stipulates that any EU citizen and any natural or legal person who is resident or has a registered office in a Member State can submit a petition to the European Parliament on matters which fall within the European Union’s fields of activity; recalls that the procedure for dealing with petitions is laid down in the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament;

11.  Notes that refusal to investigate citizens’ complaints, including individual cases, thoroughly and promptly in line with the Commission’s approach in its 2016 communication entitled ‘European Union Law: Better Results through Better Application’(1) may prevent a rapid understanding of possible serious systemic shortcomings, thereby perpetuating multiple rights infringements at the expense of numerous citizens, whereby it essentially leaves to the national courts the bulk of the responsibility to monitor possible breaches of EU legislation except in systemic breaches; finds too much ambiguity in the interpretation of this notion and considers particularly such an approach within the domain of environmental legislation to be harmful; considers it a regression from the previous approach to EU environmental legislation implementation and an overall inhibition from its duties of guardian of the Treaties;

12.  Points out that consideration of petitions on precarious working conditions has revealed that, in certain Member States, many workers are the victims of inadmissible and discriminatory practices, reflecting a lack of effective preventive mechanisms and penalties in a number of cases; deplores the fact that the Commission has accumulated a substantial backlog of cases relating to breaches of EU labour law by certain Member States, thereby allowing infringements of workers’ rights to continue for years;

13.  Repeats its call on the Commission to inform the Committee on Petitions on a systematic basis about ongoing EU pilots and infringement procedures related to petitions and for access to the documents exchanged in the course of the procedures once these are closed in application of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), especially when they were fully or partly opened on the basis of petitions; welcomes the centralised platform created by the Commission in 2014 on which infringement decisions are published;

14.  Expects the Commission to be always duly represented during the public debates within the Committee on Petitions, namely by high-ranked officials who can provide additional information and respond to the requests of petitioners and Members of the European Parliament, beyond the scope of the previously provided written reply if necessary;

15.  Welcomes the increasing trend of the Committee on Petitions to raise issues to the plenary, by means of oral questions, resolutions or short motions for resolutions in accordance with Rule 216(2) of its Rules of Procedure; draws attention to its resolutions that were adopted following the publication of the Annual Report on the Committee on Petitions’ activities in 2016(2), the Annual Report on the European Ombudsman’s work in 2016(3) and the EU Citizenship report 2017(4); draws attention to its resolution of 15 March 2017 on obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the internal market(5);

16.  Notes the hearings on multiple and diverse topics organised by the Committee on Petitions during 2017, alone or in cooperation with other committees, namely those on ‘Fighting against discrimination and protecting minorities’ of 4 May, on the ‘Situation and rights of EU citizens in the UK’ following Brexit of 11 May together with the LIBE and EMPL committees, on ‘Restoring citizens’ confidence and trust in the European Project’ of 22 June, on ‘Statelessness’ of 29 June together with the LIBE committee, on the European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Ban glyphosate and protect people and the environment from toxic pesticides’ of 20 November, and on the ‘Protection of the rights of workers in temporary or precarious employment’ of 22 November; also welcomes the fact that the yearly workshop on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities took place on 12 October 2017;

17.  Notes that the Committee on Petitions expressed its opinion on various issues raised in petitions in several contributions to parliamentary reports, such as those on the European Accessibility Act(6), on the interpretation and implementation of the interinstitutional agreement on Better Law Making(7), on the Brussels IIa Regulation(8), on the Marrakesh Treaty(9), on monitoring the application of EU law 2015(10), on the use of energy from renewable sources(11), on the European Disability Strategy(12), on the Annual Report on the Situation of Fundamental Rights in the EU in 2016(13), and on the Revision of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative(14);

18.  Notes that environmental issues were the main area of concern for petitioners in 2017; points to the special Eurobarometer 468 report published in November 2017(15), which showed that the environment is one of European citizens’ main concerns; stresses the importance of delivering on the expectations of EU citizens and residents concerning proper environmental legislation, and of implementing the rules and policies that have been adopted; regrets the fact that environmental rules are not always properly implemented in the Member States, as described in the petitions; urges the Commission, as the guardian of the Treaties, together with the Member States, to ensure the proper implementation of EU law;

19.  Stresses the need for the Commission to ensure that accurate and comprehensive analyses of compliance with EU law are carried out in respect of environmental assessments by Member States for the authorisation of infrastructure projects about which petitioners have expressed concerns with respect to serious risks to human health and the environment;

20.  Deeply regrets the fact that air quality problems flagged by petitioners in a number of Member States are being exacerbated by pollution from 43 million diesel vehicles that fail to comply with EU rules on the type-approval and emissions of passenger and light commercial vehicles;

21.  Points to the work of the Committee on Petitions in connection with petitions relating to issues on disabilities; notes that there were fewer petitions on disability issues submitted in 2017; emphasises that access to transport and the built environment and discrimination, in particular in employment, are among the main challenges for persons with disabilities; notes that special attention was paid to discussions of petitions on disability issues, such as on support for family caregivers for persons with disabilities and on the swift ratification, implementation and application of the Marrakesh Treaty;

22.  Emphasises the protective role of the Committee on Petitions within the EU framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; points to the workshop on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that took place at the committee meeting of 12 October 2017, which included the presentation of a study on inclusive education; calls for the EU institutions to lead by example on this subject and to ensure that national authorities are correctly implementing, without delay, the legislation adopted in this field;

23.  Points to its resolution of 15 March 2017 on obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the internal market; reiterates its call on the Commission to clarify, update and expand its guidance for better transposition and application of Directive 2004/38/EC in order to incorporate, in particular, the recent rulings of the CJEU (Cases C-456-12 and 457-12); recommends the use of the Transposition Implementation Plans (TIPS) for the purposes of ensuring complete and proper application; urges the Member States to respect Directive 2004/38/EC, as well as the existing case-law of the CJEU on the free movement of persons, as a failure to comply is a direct violation of a fundamental right of citizens of the Union;

24.  Recognises the work done by the Committee on Petitions’ Working Group on Child Welfare Issues, and takes note of its final report and recommendations adopted on 3 May 2017; firmly believes that the Commission, the Council and the Member States should give a consistent and effective follow-up to the recommendations of the Working Group’s final report; calls on the EU institutions and the Member States to comply with European legislation and to effectively promote and improve cross-border cooperation on family matters, by providing training for judges and professionals, information on legal aid and bilingual lawyers;

25.  Reiterates its opinion that a too narrow and incoherent interpretation of Article 51 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights alienates citizens from the EU; asks the Commission to come forward with measures that will ensure a coherent and extensive application of the scope of Article 51;

26.  Encourages the Commission to urge the Member States to find solutions against the loss of voting rights and the disenfranchisement of EU citizens who freely move and reside within the European Union as well as the disenfranchisement of long-term residents; expresses disappointment that the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom makes no reference to citizens’ political rights;

27.  Emphasises that the European Citizens’ Initiative should be both transparent and effective in order to serve as an important instrument for active citizenship and public participation; regrets that this has not been the case in the past and that no tangible legislative outcome of previously successful initiatives has taken place; notes the Commission’s proposal for the revision of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 on the European citizens’ initiative(16) , published on 13 September 2017; highlights the most recent successful citizens’ initiative submitted, entitled ‘Ban glyphosate and protect people and the environment from toxic pesticides’; points to the public hearing on this initiative in Parliament on 20 November 2017; expects a consequent reaction by the Commission in regard to its content; confirms the commitment of the Committee on Petitions to being proactively involved in organising public hearings for successful initiatives; undertakes to give priority, at institutional level, to the effectiveness of this participative process and to ensuring due legislative follow-up;

28.  Stresses that, in connection with the public hearing on the European Citizens’ Initiative entitled ‘Ban glyphosate and protect people and the environment from toxic pesticides’ and in considering petitions on the same subject, it has emerged that EU authorisation procedures for substances such as glyphosate, genetically modified organisms and pesticides are compromised by a lack of independence, insufficient transparency and inaccuracies regarding the compilation and evaluation of scientific evidence;

29.  Notes the large number of petitions on animal welfare; draws attention to the study ‘Animal Welfare in the European Union’ and its presentation at the committee meeting of 23 March 2017, followed by a discussion of a number of petitions on the matter; considers it vital to launch a new EU strategy to bridge all the existing gaps, harmonise legislation and ensure full and effective protection of animal welfare, including animal transport, through a clear and comprehensive legislative framework that fully meets the requirements of Article 13 of the TFEU;

30.  Stresses the important role of the SOLVIT network, which provides a means for citizens and enterprises to address concerns about possible breaches of EU law by public authorities in other Member States; calls on the Commission, and on the Member States, to promote SOLVIT in order to make it more helpful and visible to citizens; welcomes, in this regard, the Action Plan to reinforce the SOLVIT network published by the Commission in May 2017; calls on the Commission to report back to the European Parliament on the results of this Action Plan;

31.  Underlines the importance of further developing the Petitions portal and the need to make it a two-way communication gateway and an easily accessible interactive tool, providing citizens of all EU Member States with access to all basic information regarding petitions and their treatment, opening up channels of communication and creating thematic communities for exchanges of documentation and best practice; stresses the need to further minimise the administrative burden in how petitions are processed; stresses that the portal also serves the function of a public register of petitions; reiterates that the technical capacity of the Portal must be enhanced to achieve a smooth petition process; stresses the need to improve communication with petitioners by sending them notifications on the progress of their petition in their own language; considers that supporters who have endorsed or expressed an interest in a petition are entitled to receive the same feedback and information as the petitioner, particularly when it comes to debates in Parliament or replies by the Commission; reiterates the importance of stepping up efforts to ensure that petitioners are present when their petitions are debated in committee;

32.  Calls for a more focused and active press and communication service and a more active social media presence, making the work of the committee more responsive to public concerns;

33.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the report of the Committee on Petitions to the Council, the Commission, the European Ombudsman, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and to their committees on petitions, national ombudsmen or similar competent bodies.

(1) OJ C 18, 19.1.2017, p. 10.
(2) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 105.
(3) OJ C 356, 4.10.2018, p. 77.
(4) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 11.
(5) OJ C 263, 25.7.2018, p. 98.
(6) Opinion adopted on 24 January 2017.
(7) Opinion adopted on 24 January 2017.
(8) Opinion adopted on 25 April 2017.
(9) Opinions adopted on 24 January 2017.
(10) Opinion adopted on 22 March 2017.
(11) Opinion adopted on 7 September 2017.
(12) Opinion adopted on 7 September 2017.
(13) Opinion adopted on 22 November 2017.
(14) Opinion adopted on 7 September 2017.
(15) Special Eurobarometer 468 Report: Attitudes of European citizens towards the environment, November 2017: http://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/Survey/getSurveyDetail/instruments/SPECIAL/surveyKy/2156
(16) OJ L 65, 11.3.2011, p. 1.

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