Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 10 October 2019 - BrusselsProvisional edition
Eurojust and Serbia Cooperation Agreement *
 Draft amending budget No 4/2019: reduction of commitment and payment appropriations in line with updated needs of expenditure and update of revenue (own resources)
 Adjustments to the amounts mobilised from the Flexibility Instrument for 2019 to be used for migration, refugee inflows and security threats
 Active substances, including flumioxazine
 Active substances, including chlorotoluron
 Genetically modified maize MZHG0JG (SYN-ØØØJG-2)
 Genetically modified soybean A2704-12 (ACS-GMØØ5-3)
 Genetically modified maize MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122 × DAS-40278-9 and genetically modified maize combining two, three or four of the single events MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017, 59122 and DAS-40278-9
 Foreign electoral interference and disinformation in national and European democratic processes
 Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and own resources: time to meet citizens' expectations
 Employment and social policies of the euro area

Eurojust and Serbia Cooperation Agreement *
PDF 119kWORD 47k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 10 October 2019 on the draft Council implementing decision approving the conclusion by Eurojust of the Agreement on Cooperation between Eurojust and Serbia (10334/2019 – C9-0041/2019 – 2019/0807(CNS))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0023A9-0009/2019

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (10334/2019),

–  having regard to Article 39(1) of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, and Article 9 of Protocol No 36 on transitional provisions, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C9-0041/2019),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2002/187/JHA of 28 February 2002 setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime(1), and in particular Article 26a(2) thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 82 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A9-0009/2019),

1.  Approves the Council draft;

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

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

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

(1) OJ L 63, 6.3.2002, p. 1.


Draft amending budget No 4/2019: reduction of commitment and payment appropriations in line with updated needs of expenditure and update of revenue (own resources)
PDF 169kWORD 63k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 4/2019 of the European Union for the financial year 2019: Reduction of commitment and payment appropriations in line with updated needs of expenditure and update of revenue (own resources) (11733/2019 – C9-0114/2019 – 2019/2037(BUD))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0024A9-0012/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  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, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012(1), and in particular Article 44 thereof,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019, as definitively adopted on 12 December 2018(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(3),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2014/335/EU, Euratom of 26 May 2014 on the system of own resources of the European Union(5),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 4/2019, which the Commission adopted on 2 July 2019 (COM(2019)0610),

–  having regard to the position on Draft amending budget No 4/2019 which the Council adopted on 3 September 2019 and forwarded to Parliament on the same day (11733/2019 – C9‑0114/2019),

–  having regard to Rule 94 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A9-0012/2019),

A.  whereas Draft amending budget No 4/2019 aims to update both the expenditure and the revenue sides of the budget to take account of the latest developments;

B.  whereas, on the expenditure side, Draft amending budget No 4/2019 decreases commitment and payment appropriations of budget lines by EUR 112 million and EUR 67,5 million respectively, in heading 1a "Competitiveness for growth and jobs”, heading 1b “Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion”, and heading 2 "Sustainable growth – natural resources"; whereas Draft amending budget No 4/2019 also seeks to increase by EUR 11,9 million commitment and payment appropriations in Heading 5, to adjust the budget 2019 of some institutions as a result of the postponement of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union to 31 October 2019;

C.  whereas, on the revenue side, Draft amending budget No 4/2019 concerns a revision of the forecast of Traditional Own Resources (i.e. customs duties and sugar sector levies), value-added tax (VAT) and gross national income (GNI) bases, and the budgeting of the relevant UK corrections and their financing, which all affect the distribution of own resources contributions from Member States to the Union budget;

1.  Takes note of the Commission’s proposal; reiterates its position considering that the Union budget is too small to respond to pressing needs and challenges it faces as well as its citizens;

2.  Takes note of the rebalancing of own resources made necessary by the revision of the forecast of Traditional Own Resources and VAT and by updates to the UK correction;

3.  Notes the Council position on Draft amending budget No 4/2019;

4.  Considers that a draft amending budget should follow one purpose only; notes that Draft amending budget No 4/2019 has two purposes, namely to release commitment and payment appropriations of budget lines for headings 1a - Competitiveness for growth and jobs, 1b - Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion, 3 - Security and Citizenship, 4 - Global Europe as well as for the European Union Solidarity Fund, and to increase the budget 2019 of some institutions as a result of the postponement of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union to 31 October 2019; notes that the most urgent purpose of Draft amending budget No 4/2019 is to adjust the budget 2019 of some institutions as a result of the postponement of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union to 31 October 2019; approves, therefore, those adjustments but rejects the proposed release of commitment appropriations;

5.  Decides to amend the Council position on Draft amending budget No 4/2019 as shown below;

6.  Asks the Commission to put forward a new proposal, the aim of which would be to redeploy the potential savings identified in its proposal for Draft amending budget No 4/2019 and in any newly identified appropriations which would not be used, to fund key Union programmes in lack of funding;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, together with Parliament’s amendments, to the Council, the Commission, the other institutions and bodies concerned and the national parliaments.

ANNEX: BUDGET AMENDMENTS 1 - 16

Amendment 1

 

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 04 02 63 01 — European Social Fund — Operational technical assistance

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

04 02 63 01

1.2.31

23 333 097

19 454 600

15 033 097

19 454 600

8 300 000

 

23 333 097

19 454 600

Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

23 333 097

19 454 600

15 033 097

19 454 600

8 300 000

 

23 333 097

19 454 600

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 2

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 12 02 04 — European Banking Authority (EBA)

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

12 02 04

1.1.DAG

19 158 256

19 158 256

16 668 256

16 668 256

2 490 000

2 490 000

19 158 256

19 158 256

Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

19 158 256

19 158 256

16 668 256

16 668 256

2 490 000

2 490 000

19 158 256

19 158 256

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 3

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 12 02 05 — European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

12 02 05

1.1.DAG

12 374 234

12 374 234

10 014 234

10 014 234

2 360 000

2 360 000

12 374 234

12 374 234

Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

12 374 234

12 374 234

10 014 234

10 014 234

2 360 000

2 360 000

12 374 234

12 374 234

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 4

 

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 12 02 06 — European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

12 02 06

1.1.DAG

27 235 160

27 235 160

13 565 160

13 565 160

13 670 000

13 670 000

27 235 160

27 235 160

Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

27 235 160

27 235 160

13 565 160

13 565 160

13 670 000

13 670 000

27 235 160

27 235 160

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 5

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 13 06 01 — Assistance to Member States in the event of a major natural disaster with serious repercussions on living conditions, the natural environment or the economy

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

13 06 01

9.0.3

343 551 794

343 551 794

313 803 159

343 551 794

29 748 635

 

343 551 794

343 551 794

Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

343 551 794

343 551 794

313 803 159

343 551 794

29 748 635

 

343 551 794

343 551 794

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 6

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 18 01 04 05 — Support expenditure for emergency support within the Union

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

18 01 04 05

3.0.12

250 000

250 000

130 000

130 000

120 000

120 000

250 000

250 000

Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

250 000

250 000

130 000

130 000

120 000

120 000

250 000

250 000

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 7

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 18 02 03 — European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex)

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

18 02 03

3.0.DAG

293 185 279

293 185 279

293 185 279

293 185 279

 

 

293 185 279

293 185 279

Reserve

19 321 000

19 321 000

7 200 000

7 200 000

12 121 000

12 121 000

19 321 000

19 321 000

Total

 

312 506 279

312 506 279

300 385 279

300 385 279

12 121 000

12 121 000

312 506 279

312 506 279

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 8

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 18 03 01 01 — Strengthening and developing the common European asylum system and enhancing solidarity and responsibility-sharing between the Member States

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

18 03 01 01

3.0.1

377 106 629

527 969 782

377 106 629

527 969 782

 

 

377 106 629

527 969 782

Reserve

460 000 000

94 500 000

452 800 000

87 300 000

7 200 000

7 200 000

460 000 000

94 500 000

Total

 

837 106 629

622 469 782

829 906 629

615 269 782

7 200 000

7 200 000

837 106 629

622 469 782

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 9

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 23 03 01 01 — Disaster prevention and preparedness within the Union

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

23 03 01 01

3.0.6

28 256 000

23 200 000

28 256 000

23 200 000

 

 

28 256 000

23 200 000

Reserve

105 900 000

46 560 000

70 900 000

20 170 000

35 000 000

26 390 000

105 900 000

46 560 000

Total

 

134 156 000

69 760 000

99 156 000

43 370 000

35 000 000

26 390 000

134 156 000

69 760 000

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 10

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 23 03 02 01 — Rapid and efficient emergency response interventions in the event of major disasters within the Union

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

23 03 02 01

3.0.6

4 100 000

3 700 000

4 100 000

3 700 000

 

 

4 100 000

3 700 000

Reserve

9 300 000

6 200 000

9 300 000

6 029 486

 

170 514

9 300 000

6 200 000

Total

 

13 400 000

9 900 000

13 400 000

9 729 486

 

170 514

13 400 000

9 900 000

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 11

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 23 03 02 02 — Rapid and efficient emergency response interventions in the event of major disasters in third countries

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

23 03 02 02

3.0.6

15 700 000

12 846 000

15 700 000

12 846 000

 

 

15 700 000

12 846 000

Reserve

2 000 000

2 000 000

2 000 000

p.m.

 

2 000 000

2 000 000

2 000 000

Total

 

17 700 000

14 846 000

17 700 000

12 846 000

 

2 000 000

17 700 000

14 846 000

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through global transfer closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 12

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 33 03 05 — European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO)

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

33 03 05

3.0.DAG

4 911 000

4 911 000

3 911 000

3 911 000

1 000 000

1 000 000

4 911 000

4 911 000

Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

4 911 000

4 911 000

3 911 000

3 911 000

1 000 000

1 000 000

4 911 000

4 911 000

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 13

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 40 02 41 — Differentiated appropriations

Amend figures as follows:

 

MFF

Draft budget 2019

Council's position

= DAB 4/2019

Difference

New amount

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

Commitments

Payments

40 02 41

-

757 529 650

326 288 650

703 208 650

278 407 136

54 321 000

47 881 514

757 529 650

326 288 650

Reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

757 529 650

326 288 650

703 208 650

278 407 136

54 321 000

47 881 514

757 529 650

326 288 650

Justification:

Restore previous B2019 figures in the context of an ongoing financial year, with a view to eventual adjustments through a comprehensive draft amending budget closer to year end, and when other factors that may arise in the coming weeks can be taken into account.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 14

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 03 01 11 — European Banking Authority (EBA)

Amend establishment plan as follows:

Function group and grade

European Banking Authority (EBA)

Budget 2019

Draft Amending budget No. 4/2019

Revised Budget 2019

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

AD 16

 

1

 

1

 

1

AD 15

 

1

 

1

 

1

AD 14

 

6

 

6

 

6

AD 13

 

2

 

2

 

2

AD 12

 

8

 

8

 

8

AD 11

 

12

 

12

 

12

AD 10

 

12

 

12

 

12

AD 9

 

22

 

22

 

22

AD 8

 

26

 

26

 

26

AD 7

 

19

 

17

 

19

AD 6

 

22

 

20

 

22

AD 5

 

13

 

7

 

13

AD Subtotal

 

144

 

134

 

144

AST 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 6

 

3

 

3

 

3

AST 5

 

4

 

4

 

4

AST 4

 

2

 

2

 

2

AST 3

 

1

 

1

 

1

AST 2

 

1

 

1

 

1

AST 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST Subtotal

 

11

 

11

 

11

AST/SC 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC Subtotal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

155

 

145

 

155

Justification:

Restore B2019

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 15

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 03 01 12 — European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)

Amend establishment plan as follows:

Function group and grade

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)

Budget 2019

Draft Amending budget No. 4/2019

Revised Budget 2019

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

AD 16

 

1

 

1

 

1

AD 15

 

1

 

1

 

1

AD 14

 

2

 

2

 

2

AD 13

 

5

 

5

 

5

AD 12

 

11

 

11

 

11

AD 11

 

17

 

14

 

17

AD 10

 

17

 

14

 

17

AD 9

 

17

 

19

 

17

AD 8

 

19

 

12

 

19

AD 7

 

12

 

14

 

12

AD 6

 

7

 

7

 

7

AD 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AD Subtotal

 

109

 

100

 

109

AST 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 10

 

1

 

1

 

1

AST 9

 

1

 

1

 

1

AST 8

 

3

 

3

 

3

AST 7

 

3

 

3

 

3

AST 6

 

3

 

3

 

3

AST 5

 

3

 

3

 

3

AST 4

 

1

 

1

 

1

AST 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST Subtotal

 

15

 

15

 

15

AST/SC 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC Subtotal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

124

 

115

 

124

Justification:

Restore B2019

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=

Amendment 16

 

-------------------------------

SECTION III — COMMISSION

Article 03 01 13 — European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

Amend establishment plan as follows:

Function group and grade

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

Budget 2019

Draft Amending budget No. 4/2019

Revised Budget 2019

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

Permanent posts

Temporary posts

AD 16

 

1

 

2

 

1

AD 15

 

2

 

3

 

2

AD 14

 

6

 

 

 

6

AD 13

 

2

 

1

 

2

AD 12

 

7

 

7

 

7

AD 11

 

14

 

14

 

14

AD 10

 

17

 

17

 

17

AD 9

 

39

 

39

 

39

AD 8

 

30

 

30

 

30

AD 7

 

58

 

45

 

58

AD 6

 

10

 

10

 

10

AD 5

 

11

 

2

 

11

AD Subtotal

 

197

 

170

 

197

AST 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 8

 

2

 

2

 

2

AST 7

 

3

 

3

 

3

AST 6

 

3

 

3

 

3

AST 5

 

3

 

3

 

3

AST 4

 

1

 

1

 

1

AST 3

 

1

 

1

 

1

AST 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST Subtotal

 

13

 

13

 

13

AST/SC 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

AST/SC Subtotal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

210

 

183

 

210

Justification:

Restore B2019

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(1) OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 67, 7.3.2019.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 168, 7.6.2014, p. 105.


Adjustments to the amounts mobilised from the Flexibility Instrument for 2019 to be used for migration, refugee inflows and security threats
PDF 128kWORD 42k
European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision (EU) 2019/276 as regards adjustments to the amounts mobilised from the Flexibility Instrument for 2019 to be used for migration, refugee inflows and security threats (COM(2019)0600 – C9-0029/2019 – 2019/2039(BUD))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0025A9-0013/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2019)0600 – C9‑0029/2019),

–  having regard to Decision (EU) 2019/276 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2018 on the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument to reinforce key programmes for the competitiveness of the EU and to finance immediate budgetary measures to address the ongoing challenges of migration, refugee inflows and security threats(1),

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019, as definitively adopted on 12 December 2018(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(3),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2014/335/EU, Euratom of 26 May 2014 on the system of own resources of the European Union(5),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 4/2019, which the Commission adopted on 2 July 2019 (COM(2019)0610),

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A9-0013/2019),

A.  whereas the European Parliament and the Council decided to mobilise the Flexibility Instrument in 2019 for an amount of EUR 1 164 million: EUR 179 million for heading 1a (Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs) to reinforce key competitiveness programmes, namely Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+, and EUR 985,6 million for heading 3 as proposed by the Commission.;

B.  whereas the Commission has proposed Draft amending budget No 4/2019 that includes reductions in the level of commitment appropriations for both heading 1a and 3 and therefore reduces the need for the use of the Flexibility Instrument in 2019;

C.  whereas the Commission has therefore proposed to decrease the amounts mobilised from the Flexibility Instrument by EUR 1 090 million, of which EUR 160 million for heading 1a and EUR 930 million for heading 3;

D.  whereas the proposed mobilisation decision amends Decision (EU) 2019/276 of 12 December 2018(6);

E.  whereas, as a result of Parliament position on Draft amending budget No 4/2019, the proposed adjustments have become void;

1.  Rejects the Commission proposal;

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

(1) OJ L54, 22.2.2019, p.3.
(2) OJ L 67, 7.3.2019.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 168, 7.6.2014, p. 105.
(6) Decision (EU) 2019/276 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2018 on the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument to reinforce key programmes for the competitiveness of the EU and to finance immediate budgetary measures to address the ongoing challenges of migration, refugee inflows and security threats (OJ L 54, 22.2.2019, p. 3).


Active substances, including flumioxazine
PDF 152kWORD 55k
European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/707 of 7 May 2019 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances alpha-cypermethrin, beflubutamid, benalaxyl, benthiavalicarb, bifenazate, boscalid, bromoxynil, captan, cyazofamid, desmedipham, dimethoate, dimethomorph, diuron, ethephon, etoxazole, famoxadone, fenamiphos, flumioxazine, fluoxastrobin, folpet, foramsulfuron, formetanate, metalaxyl-m, methiocarb, metribuzin, milbemectin, Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251, phenmedipham, phosmet, pirimiphos-methyl, propamocarb, prothioconazole, s-metolachlor and tebuconazole (2019/2825(RSP))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0026B9-0103/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/707 of 7 May 2019 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances alpha-cypermethrin, beflubutamid, benalaxyl, benthiavalicarb, bifenazate, boscalid, bromoxynil, captan, cyazofamid, desmedipham, dimethoate, dimethomorph, diuron, ethephon, etoxazole, famoxadone, fenamiphos, flumioxazine, fluoxastrobin, folpet, foramsulfuron, formetanate, metalaxyl-m, methiocarb, metribuzin, milbemectin, Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251, phenmedipham, phosmet, pirimiphos-methyl, propamocarb, prothioconazole, s-metolachlor and tebuconazole(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC(2), and in particular Article 21 and the first paragraph of Article 17 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/408 of 11 March 2015 on implementing Article 80(7) of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and establishing a list of candidates for substitution(3),

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2018 on the implementation of the Plant Protection Products Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009(5),

–  having regard to Rule 112(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

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

A.  whereas flumioxazine was included in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC(6) on 1 January 2003 by Commission Directive 2002/81/EC(7) and has been deemed to be approved under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;

B.  whereas a procedure to renew the approval of flumioxazine under Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 844/2012(8) has been ongoing since 2010(9) and the respective application has been submitted in accordance with Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1141/2010(10);

C.  whereas the approval period for the active substance flumioxazine has already been extended by five years by Commission Directive 2010/77/EU(11) and subsequently by one year every year since 2015 by Commission Implementing Regulations (EU) 2015/1885(12), 2016/549(13), 2017/841(14), 2018/917(15), and has now been extended again by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/707, which extends the approval period until 30 June 2020;

D.  whereas the Commission has failed to explain the reasons for the extension, other than saying: ‘Due to the fact that the assessment of the substances has been delayed for reasons beyond the control of the applicants, the approvals of those active substances are likely to expire before a decision has been taken on their renewal’;

E.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 aims to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment and at the same time to safeguard the competitiveness of Union agriculture; whereas particular attention should be paid to the protection of vulnerable groups of the population, including pregnant women, infants and children;

F.  whereas the precautionary principle should apply, and whereas Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 specifies that substances should only be included in plant protection products where it has been demonstrated that they present a clear benefit for plant production and that they are not expected to have any harmful effect on human or animal health or any unacceptable effects on the environment;

G.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 indicates that in the interests of safety, the approval period for active substances should be limited in time; whereas the approval period should be proportionate to the possible risks inherent in the use of such substances, but such proportionality is obviously lacking;

H.  whereas in the 16 years since its approval as an active substance, flumioxazine has been identified and classified as toxic for reproduction category 1B and as a probable endocrine disruptor, and yet during this time its approval has not been reviewed or withdrawn;

I.  whereas the Commission and Member States have the possibility and responsibility to act according to the precautionary principle, when the possibility of harmful effects on health has been identified but scientific uncertainty persists, by adopting provisional risk management measures that are necessary to ensure a high level of protection of human health;

J.  whereas, more specifically, Article 21 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 provides that the Commission may review the approval of an active substance at any time, especially where, in the light of new scientific and technical knowledge, it considers that there are indications that the substance no longer satisfies the approval criteria provided for in Article 4, and whereas this review may lead to the withdrawal or amendment of the approval of the substance;

Toxic for reproduction category 1B and endocrine disrupting

K.  whereas, according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(16), flumioxazine has a harmonised classification of toxic for reproduction category 1B, very toxic to aquatic life and very toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects;

L.  whereas the European Food Safety Authority concluded already in 2014, and subsequently in 2017 and 2018, that there were critical areas of concern as flumioxazine is classified under reproductive toxicity category 1B and also that the potential endocrine disruption of flumioxazine was an issue that could not be finalised and a critical area of concern;

M.  whereas in 2015 flumioxazine was placed on the ‘candidates for substitution’ list by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/408 because it is or is to be classified, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, as toxic for reproduction category 1A or 1B;

N.  whereas, according to point 3.6.4 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, active substances cannot be authorised when they fall into toxic for reproduction category 1B, except in cases where, on the basis of documented evidence included in the application, an active substance is necessary to control a serious danger to plant health which cannot be contained by other available means, including non-chemical methods, in which cases risk mitigation measures must be taken to ensure that exposure of humans and the environment to the substance is minimised;

O.  whereas, according to point 3.6.5 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, active substances cannot be authorised when they are considered to have endocrine-disrupting properties that may cause adverse effects in humans, unless human exposure to that active substance, safener or synergist in a plant protection product, under realistic proposed conditions of use, is negligible – that is, the product is used in closed systems or in other conditions that exclude contact with humans and where residues of the active substance, safener or synergist concerned on food and feed do not exceed the default value set in accordance with Article 18(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council(17);

P.  whereas flumioxazine has a high risk of bioconcentration, is highly toxic to algae and aquatic plants, and is moderately toxic to earthworms, honeybees, fish and aquatic invertebrates;

Q.  whereas it is unacceptable that a substance which is known to meet the cut-off criteria for active substances that are mutagenic, carcinogenic and/or toxic for reproduction or that have endocrine-disrupting properties, which are set to protect human and environmental health, continues to be allowed for use in the Union, putting public and environmental health at risk;

R.  whereas applicants can take advantage of the automatism built into the working methods of the Commission to secure an immediate extension of the approval periods of active substances when the risk reassessment has not been finalised, by deliberately prolonging the reassessment process by providing incomplete data and by asking for more derogations and special conditions, which leads to unacceptable risks for the environment and human health, since during this time exposure to the hazardous substance continues;

S.  whereas in its resolution of 13 September 2018 on the implementation of the Plant Protection Products Regulation, Parliament called on the Commission and Member States ‘to ensure that the procedural extension of the approval period for the duration of the procedure, pursuant to Article 17 of the Regulation, will not be used for active substances that are mutagenic, carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction and therefore in category 1A or 1B, or active substances that have endocrine disrupting characteristics and are damaging to humans or animals, as is currently the case for substances such as flumioxazine, thiacloprid, chlorotoluron and dimoxystrobin’;

T.  whereas the Dutch Parliament has expressed concern about these extensions and demands an end to extensions of the approval of substances known to pose a significant threat to biodiversity (in particular bees and bumblebees) or that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, endocrine disrupting and/or toxic for reproduction(18);

1.  Considers that Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/707 exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;

2.  Considers that Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/707 does not respect the precautionary principle;

3.  Considers that the decision to extend the approval period for flumioxazine is not in line with the safety criteria laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, and is based neither on evidence that this substance can safely be used, nor on a proven urgent need for the active substance flumioxazine for food production in the Union;

4.  Calls on the Commission to repeal Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/707 and to submit a new draft to the committee that takes into account the scientific evidence on the harmful properties of all the substances concerned, especially those of flumioxazine;

5.  Calls on the Commission only to present draft implementing regulations to extend the approval periods of substances for which the current state of science is not expected to lead to a Commission proposal for non-renewal of the authorisation of the active substance concerned;

6.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw the approvals for substances if proof or reasonable doubt exists that they will not meet the safety criteria laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;

7.  Calls on the Member States to ensure the proper and timely reassessment of the authorisations of the active substances for which they are the reporting Member States and to ensure that the current delays are solved effectively as soon as possible;

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

(1) OJ L 120, 8.5.2019, p. 16.
(2) OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 67, 12.3.2015, p. 18.
(4) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0356.
(6) Council Directive 91/414/EEC of 15 July 1991 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (OJ L 230, 19.8.1991, p. 1).
(7) Commission Directive 2002/81/EC of 10 October 2002 amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC to include flumioxazine as active substance (OJ L 276, 12.10.2002, p. 28).
(8) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 844/2012 of 18 September 2012 setting out the provisions necessary for the implementation of the renewal procedure for active substances, as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (OJ L 252, 19.9.2012, p. 26).
(9) OJ L 293, 11.11.2010, p. 48.
(10) Commission Regulation (EU) No 1141/2010 of 7 December 2010 laying down the procedure for the renewal of the inclusion of a second group of active substances in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC and establishing the list of those substances (OJ L 322, 8.12.2010, p. 10).
(11) Commission Directive 2010/77/EU of 10 November 2010 amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC as regards the expiry dates for inclusion in Annex I of certain active substances (OJ L 293, 11.11.2010, p. 48).
(12) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1885 of 20 October 2015 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances 2,4-D, acibenzolar-s-methyl, amitrole, bentazone, cyhalofop butyl, diquat, esfenvalerate, famoxadone, flumioxazine, DPX KE 459 (flupyrsulfuron-methyl), glyphosate, iprovalicarb, isoproturon, lambda-cyhalothrin, metalaxyl-M, metsulfuron methyl, picolinafen, prosulfuron, pymetrozine, pyraflufen-ethyl, thiabendazole, thifensulfuron-methyl and triasulfuron (OJ L 276, 21.10.2015, p. 48).
(13) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/549 of 8 April 2016 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances bentazone, cyhalofop butyl, diquat, famoxadone, flumioxazine, DPX KE 459 (flupyrsulfuron-methyl), metalaxyl-M, picolinafen, prosulfuron, pymetrozine, thiabendazole and thifensulfuron-methyl (OJ L 95, 9.4.2016, p. 4).
(14) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/841 of 17 May 2017 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances alpha-cypermethrin, Ampelomyces quisqualis strain: aq 10, benalaxyl, bentazone, bifenazate, bromoxynil, carfentrazone ethyl, chlorpropham, cyazofamid, desmedipham, diquat, DPX KE 459 (flupyrsulfuron-methyl), etoxazole, famoxadone, fenamidone, flumioxazine, foramsulfuron, Gliocladium catenulatum strain: j1446, imazamox, imazosulfuron, isoxaflutole, laminarin, metalaxyl-m, methoxyfenozide, milbemectin, oxasulfuron, pendimethalin, phenmedipham, pymetrozine, s-metolachlor, and trifloxystrobin (OJ L 125, 18.5.2017, p. 12).
(15) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/917 of 27 June 2018 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances alpha-cypermethrin, beflubutamid, benalaxyl, benthiavalicarb, bifenazate, boscalid, bromoxynil, captan, carvone, chlorpropham, cyazofamid, desmedipham, dimethoate, dimethomorph, diquat, ethephon, ethoprophos, etoxazole, famoxadone, fenamidone, fenamiphos, flumioxazine, fluoxastrobin, folpet, foramsulfuron, formetanate, Gliocladium catenulatum strain: J1446, isoxaflutole, metalaxyl-m, methiocarb, methoxyfenozide, metribuzin, milbemectin, oxasulfuron, Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251, phenmedipham, phosmet, pirimiphos-methyl, propamocarb, prothioconazole, pymetrozine and s-metolachlor (OJ L 163, 28.6.2018, p. 13).
(16) Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1).
(17) Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin and amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC (OJ L 70, 16.3.2005, p. 1).
(18) TK 21501-32 nr. 1176.


Active substances, including chlorotoluron
PDF 147kWORD 54k
European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on the draft Commission implementing regulation amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances amidosulfuron, beta-cyfluthrin, bifenox, chlorotoluron, clofentezine, clomazone, cypermethrin, daminozide, deltamethrin, dicamba, difenoconazole, diflubenzuron, diflufenican, fenoxaprop-P, fenpropidin, fludioxonil, flufenacet, fosthiazate, indoxacarb, lenacil, MCPA, MCPB, nicosulfuron, picloram, prosulfocarb, pyriproxyfen, thiophanate-methyl, triflusulfuron and tritosulfuron (D062951/02 – 2019/2826(RSP))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0027B9-0104/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing regulation amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances amidosulfuron, beta-cyfluthrin, bifenox, chlorotoluron, clofentezine, clomazone, cypermethrin, daminozide, deltamethrin, dicamba, difenoconazole, diflubenzuron, diflufenican, fenoxaprop-P, fenpropidin, fludioxonil, flufenacet, fosthiazate, indoxacarb, lenacil, MCPA, MCPB, nicosulfuron, picloram, prosulfocarb, pyriproxyfen, thiophanate-methyl, triflusulfuron and tritosulfuron (D062951/02),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC(1), and in particular Article 21 and the first paragraph of Article 17 thereof,

–  having regard to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/408 of 11 March 2015 on implementing Article 80(7) of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and establishing a list of candidates for substitution(2),

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2018 on the implementation of the Plant Protection Products Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009(4),

–  having regard to Rule 112(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

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

A.  whereas chlorotoluron was included in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC(5) on 1 March 2006 by Commission Directive 2005/53/EC(6) and has been deemed to be approved under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;

B.  whereas a procedure to renew the approval of chlorotoluron under Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 844/2012(7) has been ongoing since 2013;

C.  whereas the approval period for the active substance chlorotoluron has already been extended by one year by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 533/2013(8), subsequently by one year by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1511(9), again by one year in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1262(10), and now again by one year by means of this draft Commission implementing regulation, which would extend the approval period until 31 October 2020;

D.  whereas the Commission has failed to explain the reasons for the extension other than saying: ‘Due to the fact that the assessment of the substances has been delayed for reasons beyond the control of the applicants, the approvals of those active substances are likely to expire before a decision has been taken on their renewal’;

E.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 aims to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment, and at the same time to safeguard the competitiveness of Union agriculture; whereas particular attention should be paid to the protection of vulnerable groups of the population, including pregnant women, infants and children;

F.  whereas the precautionary principle should apply, and whereas Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 specifies that substances should only be included in plant protection products where it has been demonstrated that they present a clear benefit for plant production and that they are not expected to have any harmful effect on human or animal health or any unacceptable effects on the environment;

G.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 indicates that in the interest of safety the approval period for active substances should be limited in time; whereas the approval period should be proportionate to the possible risks inherent in the use of such substances, but in this case it is clear that no such proportionality exists;

H.  whereas in the 13 years since its approval as an active substance, chlorotoluron has been identified as a probable endocrine disruptor, and yet during this time its approval has not been reviewed or withdrawn;

I.  whereas the Commission and Member States have the possibility and responsibility to act according to the precautionary principle when the possibility of harmful effects on health have been identified but scientific uncertainty persists, by adopting provisional risk management measures that are necessary to ensure a high level of protection of human health;

J.  whereas, more specifically, Article 21 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 provides that the Commission may review the approval of an active substance at any time, especially where, in the light of new scientific and technical knowledge, it considers that there are indications that the substance no longer satisfies the approval criteria provided for in Article 4, and whereas this review may lead to the withdrawal or amendment of the approval of the substance;

Endocrine-disrupting properties

K.  whereas, according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(11), chlorotoluron has a harmonised classification of very toxic to aquatic life, very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects, suspected of causing cancer (Carc. 2), and suspected of damaging the unborn child (Repr. 2);

L.  whereas in 2015 chlorotoluron was placed on the ‘list of candidates for substitution’ by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/408 because it is considered to have endocrine-disrupting properties that may cause adverse effects in humans, and because it meets the criteria for it to be considered a persistent and toxic substance;

M.  whereas, according to point 3.6.5 of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, active substances cannot be authorised when they are considered to have endocrine-disrupting properties that may cause adverse effect in humans, unless human exposure to that active substance, safener or synergist in a plant protection product, under realistic proposed conditions of use, is negligible, that is, the product is used in closed systems or in other conditions excluding contact with humans and where residues of the active substance, safener or synergist concerned on food and feed do not exceed the default value set in accordance with point (b) of Article 18(1) of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council(12);

N.  whereas it is unacceptable for a substance which is known to meet the cut-off criteria for active substances that are mutagenic, carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction, or that have endocrine-disrupting properties, which are established to protect human and environmental health, to continue to be allowed for use in the Union, thereby putting public and environmental health at risk;

O.  whereas applicants can take advantage of the automatic system built in to Commission working methods which immediately extends the approval periods of active substances if the risk reassessment has not been finalised, by prolonging the reassessment process on purpose by providing incomplete data and asking for more derogations and special conditions, which leads to unacceptable risks for the environment and human health since during this time exposure to the hazardous substance continues;

P.  whereas in its resolution of 13 September 2018 on the implementation of the Plant Products Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009(13) Parliament called on the Commission and Member States ‘to ensure that the procedural extension of the approval period for the duration of the procedure, pursuant to Article 17 of the Regulation, will not be used for active substances that are mutagenic, carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction and therefore in category 1A or 1B, or active substances that have endocrine disrupting characteristics and are damaging to humans or animals, as is currently the case for substances such as flumioxazine, thiacloprid, chlorotoluron and dimoxystrobin’;

Q.  whereas the Dutch Parliament has expressed its concern with these extensions and has called for an end to extensions for substances known to pose a significant threat to biodiversity, in particular bees and bumblebees, or that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, endocrine-disrupting or toxic for reproduction(14);

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing regulation exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing regulation does not respect the precautionary principle;

3.  Considers that the decision to extend the approval period for chlorotoluron is not in line with the safety criteria laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, and is based neither on evidence that this substance can safely be used, nor on a proven urgent need for the active substance chlorotoluron in food production in the Union;

4.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing regulation and to submit a new draft to the Committee that takes into account the scientific evidence on the harmful properties of all the substances concerned, especially of chlorotoluron;

5.  Calls on the Commission only to present draft implementing regulations to extend the approval periods of substances for which the current state of science is not expected to lead to a Commission proposal for non-renewal of the authorisation of the active substance concerned;

6.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw the approvals for substances if proof or reasonable doubt exists that they will not meet the safety criteria laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;

7.  Calls on the Member States to ensure the proper and timely reassessment of the authorisations for the active substances for which they are the reporting Member States, and to ensure that current delays are solved effectively as soon as possible;

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

(1) OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 67, 12.3.2015, p. 18.
(3) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0356.
(5) Council Directive 91/414/EEC of 15 July 1991 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (OJ L 230, 19.8.1991, p. 1).
(6) Commission Directive 2005/53/EC of 16 September 2005 amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC to include chlorothalonil, chlorotoluron, cypermethrin, daminozide and thiophanate-methyl as active substances (OJ L 241, 17.9.2005, p. 51).
(7) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 844/2012 of 18 September 2012 setting out the provisions necessary for the implementation of the renewal procedure for active substances, as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (OJ L 252, 19.9.2012, p. 26).
(8) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 533/2013 of 10 June 2013 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances 1-methyl-cyclopropene, chlorothalonil, chlorotoluron, cypermethrin, daminozide, forchlorfenuron, indoxacarb, thiophanate-methyl and tribenuron (OJ L 159, 11.6.2013, p. 9).
(9) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1511 of 30 August 2017 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances 1-methylcyclopropene, beta-cyfluthrin, chlorothalonil, chlorotoluron, cypermethrin, daminozide, deltamethrin, dimethenamid-p, flufenacet, flurtamone, forchlorfenuron, fosthiazate, indoxacarb, iprodione, MCPA, MCPB, silthiofam, thiophanate-methyl and tribenuron (OJ L 224, 31.8.2017, p. 115).
(10) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1262 of 20 September 2018 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances 1-methylcyclopropene, beta-cyfluthrin, chlorothalonil, chlorotoluron, clomazone, cypermethrin, daminozide, deltamethrin, dimethenamid-p, diuron, fludioxonil, flufenacet, flurtamone, fosthiazate, indoxacarb, MCPA, MCPB, prosulfocarb, thiophanate-methyl and tribenuron (OJ L 238, 21.9.2018, p. 62).
(11) Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1).
(12) Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin and amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC (OJ L 70, 16.3.2005, p. 1).
(13) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0356.
(14) TK 21501-32 nr. 1176.


Genetically modified maize MZHG0JG (SYN-ØØØJG-2)
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European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MZHG0JG (SYN-ØØØJG-2), pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D061869/04 – 2019/2830(RSP))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0028B9-0107/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MZHG0JG (SYN-ØØØJG-2), pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D061869/04),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 7(3) and 19(3) thereof,

–  having regard to the vote of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, on 30 April 2019, at which no opinion was delivered, and to the vote of the Appeal Committee, on 5 June 2019, at which again no opinion was delivered,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the opinion adopted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 17 October 2018, and published on 14 November 2018(3),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)(4),

–  having regard to Rule 112(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

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

A.  whereas, on 1 September 2016, Syngenta Crop Protection NV/SA submitted an application for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients and feed containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified (GM) maize MZHG0JG (the application) to the national competent authority of Germany on behalf of Syngenta Crop Protection AG and in accordance with Articles 5 and 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003; whereas the application also covered the placing on the market of products containing or consisting of GM maize MZHG0JG (maize MZHG0JG) for uses other than food and feed, with the exception of cultivation;

B.  whereas, on 17 October 2018, EFSA adopted a favourable opinion, which was published on 14 November 2018(5);

C.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 states that GM food or feed must not have adverse effects on human health, animal health or the environment, and requires the Commission to take into account any relevant provisions of Union law and other legitimate factors relevant to the matter under consideration when drafting its decision;

D.  whereas maize MZHG0JG has been made tolerant to glyphosate-based herbicides, as well as glufosinate ammonium-based herbicides(6);

E.  whereas Member States submitted many critical comments to EFSA during the three-month consultation period(7); whereas the most critical comments concern the toxicology assessment, the comparative analysis and the environmental risk assessment; whereas several Member States considered the data on toxicology to be insufficient and unreliable, especially as regards residue levels of glyphosate and glufosinate; whereas one comment highlights the fact that the comparative analysis revealed a lack of equivalence for ferulic acid – an important compound of plant cell walls – between maize MZHG0JG and reference varieties, which may result in increased herbicide accumulation;

F.  whereas an independent study(8) concludes that the risk assessment by EFSA is not acceptable in its present form since it fails to properly assess toxicity, especially as regards the possible cumulative effects of the two transgenes and the complementary herbicides and their metabolites; whereas the study questions the reliability of the data from the 90-day feeding study and furthermore concludes that EFSA’s environmental risk assessment is not acceptable since it does not consider the risk of the transgenes spreading through gene transfer between maize MZHG0JG and its wild relative teosinte in the event that viable maize MZHG0JG plant material were to enter the environment;

Complementary herbicides

G.  whereas it has been shown that the cultivation of herbicide-tolerant GM crops results in a higher use of herbicides, due in large part to the emergence of herbicide-tolerant weeds(9); whereas, as a consequence, it has to be expected that maize MZHG0JG crops will be exposed to both higher and repeated doses of glyphosate and glufosinate, which will potentially lead to a higher quantity of residues in harvests;

H.  whereas, under the Union’s latest coordinated multiannual control programme (for 2020, 2021 and 2022), Member States are not obliged to measure glufosinate or glyphosate residues in imports of maize(10); whereas it cannot be excluded that maize MZHG0JG or products derived from it for food and feed will exceed the Union’s Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), which have been put in place to ensure a high level of consumer protection;

I.  whereas glufosinate is classified as toxic to reproduction (1B) and thus meets the cut-off criteria set out in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(11); whereas the approval of glufosinate for use in the Union expired on 31 July 2018(12);

J.  whereas questions concerning the carcinogenicity of glyphosate remain; whereas EFSA concluded in November 2015 that glyphosate was unlikely to be carcinogenic; whereas, on the contrary, in 2015 the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen for humans;

K.  whereas, according to EFSA, the toxicological data needed for a consumer risk assessment of several breakdown products of glyphosate relevant to GM glyphosate-tolerant crops are missing(13);

L.  whereas in GM plants, the way that complementary herbicides are broken down by the plant, and the composition and thus toxicity of the breakdown products (metabolites), may be driven by the genetic modification itself; whereas, according to EFSA, this is indeed the case when the complementary herbicide is glyphosate(14);

M.  whereas assessment of herbicide residues and their metabolites in GM plants is considered to be outside the remit of the EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms;

Undemocratic process

N.  whereas the vote on 30 April 2019 of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 delivered no opinion, meaning that the authorisation was not supported by a qualified majority of Member States; whereas, the vote of 5 June 2019 of the Appeal Committee also delivered no opinion;

O.  whereas, both in the explanatory memorandum of its legislative proposal presented on 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of GM food and feed on their territory and in the explanatory memorandum of the legislative proposal presented on 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, the Commission deplored the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions have been adopted by the Commission without the support of the opinion of the Member States’ committee and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for final decision, which is very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, has become the norm for decision-making on GM food and feed authorisations; whereas that practice has, on several occasions, been deplored by the Commission President as not being democratic(15);

P.  whereas, in its eighth term, the European Parliament adopted resolutions objecting to the placing on the market of GMOs for food and feed (33 resolutions) and to the cultivation of GMOs in the Union (3 resolutions); whereas there was not a qualified majority of Member States in favour of authorising any of those GMOs; whereas despite its own acknowledgement of the democratic shortcomings, the lack of support from Member States and the objections of Parliament, the Commission continues to authorise GMOs, even though it is under no legal obligation to do so;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the aim of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(16), to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, and environmental and consumer interests, in relation to GM food and feed, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

4.  Reiterates its commitment to advancing work on the Commission proposal amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011; calls on the Council to move forward with its work on that Commission proposal as a matter of urgency;

5.  Calls on the Commission to suspend any implementing decision regarding applications for GMO authorisation until the authorisation procedure has been revised in such a way as to address the shortcomings of the current procedure, which has proven inadequate;

6.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw proposals for GMO authorisations if no opinion is delivered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, whether for cultivation or for food and feed uses;

7.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise any herbicide-tolerant GM plants without a full assessment of the residues from spraying with complementary herbicides, their metabolites and commercial formulations, as applied in the countries of cultivation;

8.  Calls on the Commission to fully integrate the risk assessment of the application of complementary herbicides and their residues into the risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant GM plants, regardless of whether the GM plant concerned is to be cultivated in the Union or imported into the Union for food and feed uses;

9.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise the import for food or feed uses of any GM plant which has been made tolerant to a herbicide that is not authorised for use in the Union, in this case glufosinate;

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

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) Scientific opinion on the assessment of genetically modified maize MZHG0JG for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA‐GMO‐DE‐2016‐133), EFSA Journal, 14 November 2018, 16(11):5469, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5469
(4) In its eighth term the European Parliament adopted 36 resolutions objecting to the authorisation of GMOs.
(5) Scientific opinion on the assessment of genetically modified maize MZHG0JG for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA‐GMO‐DE‐2016‐133), EFSA Journal, 14 November 2018, 16(11):5469, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5469
(6) EFSA opinion, pp. 7-8.
(7) Search for Maize MZHG0JG: EFSA-Q-2018-00810 on http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/ListOfQuestionsNoLogin?2
(8) Testbiotech comment on ‘Assessment of genetically modified maize MZHG0JG for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA-GMO-DE-2016-133)’ by company Syngenta, https://www.testbiotech.org/sites/default/files/Testbiotech_Comment_Maize_MZHG0JG.pdf
(9) See, for example, Bonny, S., ‘Genetically Modified Herbicide-Tolerant Crops, Weeds, and Herbicides: Overview and Impact’, Environmental Management, January 2016, 57(1), pp. 31-48, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26296738 and Benbrook, C.M., ‘Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. – the first sixteen years’, Environmental Sciences Europe, 28 September 2012, Vol 24(1), https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2190-4715-24-24
(10) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/533 of 28 March 2019 concerning a coordinated multiannual control programme of the Union for 2020, 2021 and 2022 to ensure compliance with maximum residue levels of pesticides and to assess the consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origin, OJ L 88, 29.3.2019, p. 28.
(11) Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC, OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.
(12) https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/pesticides/eu-pesticides-database/public/?event=activesubstance.detail&language=EN&selectedID=1436
(13) EFSA conclusion on the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance glyphosate, EFSA Journal, 12 November 2015, 13(11), p. 3, https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4302
(14) EFSA review of the existing maximum residue levels for glyphosate according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, 17 May 2018, p. 12, https://www.efsa.europa.eu/fr/efsajournal/pub/5263
(15) See, for example, the Opening Statement at the European Parliament plenary session included in the political guidelines for the next European Commission (Strasbourg, 15 July 2014) or the 2016 State of the Union Address (Strasbourg, 14 September 2016).
(16) Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.


Genetically modified soybean A2704-12 (ACS-GMØØ5-3)
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European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified soybean A2704-12 (ACS-GMØØ5-3) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D062417/04 – 2019/2828(RSP))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0029B9-0105/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified soybean A2704-12 (ACS-GMØØ5-3) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D062417/04),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 11(3) and 23(3) thereof,

–  having regard to the vote of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, on 11 June 2019, at which no opinion was delivered, and to the vote of the Appeal Committee on 12 July 2019, at which again no opinion was delivered,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the opinion adopted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 29 November 2018, and published on 14 January 2019(3),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)(4),

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

–  having regard to Rule 112(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Commission Decision 2008/730/EC(5) authorised the placing on the market of food and feed containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified soybean A2704-12 (soybean A2704-12); whereas the scope of that authorisation also covers the placing on the market of products other than food and feed, containing or consisting of soybean A2704-12 for the same uses as any other soybean, with the exception of cultivation;

B.  whereas, on 29 August 2017, the authorisation holder Bayer CropScience AG submitted to the Commission an application, in accordance with Articles 11 and 23 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, for the renewal of that authorisation (the renewal application);

C.  whereas, on 29 November 2018, EFSA adopted a favourable opinion in relation to the renewal application, which was published on 14 January 2019(6);

D.  whereas soybean A2704-12 was developed to confer tolerance to glufosinate ammonium-based herbicides; whereas tolerance to those herbicides is achieved by expression of the PAT (phosphinothricin acetyltransferase) protein(7);

Complementary herbicides

E.  whereas a number of studies show that the cultivation of herbicide-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops results in a higher use of those herbicides(8); whereas, as a consequence, it has to be expected that crops of soybean A2704-12 will be exposed to both higher and repeated doses of glufosinate, which will potentially lead to a higher quantity of residues in the harvest;

F.  whereas, under the Union’s latest coordinated multiannual control programme (for 2020, 2021 and 2022)(9), Member States are not obliged to measure glufosinate residues on imports of soybeans; whereas it cannot be excluded that soybean A2704-12 or products derived from it for food and feed will exceed the Union’s Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), which have been put in place to ensure a high level of consumer protection;

G.  whereas glufosinate is classified as toxic to reproduction (European Chemicals Agency category 1B)and thus meets the ‘cut-off criteria’ set out in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10); whereas the approval of glufosinate for use in the Union expired on 31 July 2018(11);

H.  whereas in GM plants, the way that complementary herbicides are broken down by the plant, and the composition and thus toxicity of the break-down products (metabolites), may be driven by the genetic modification itself(12);

I.  whereas assessment of herbicide residues and their metabolites on GM plants is considered outside the remit of the EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms;

Member State comments

J.  whereas Member States submitted many critical comments to EFSA during the three-month consultation period(13); whereas the most critical comments regard the impossibility of properly assessing the risks relating to the use of soybean A2704-12 in food and feed, owing to the insufficient number and variety of field studies, a general lack of data on glufosinate residues and the absence of any chronic or subchronic toxicity studies; whereas several Member States remark that the environmental monitoring plan is neither in line with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(14), and the corresponding guidelines, nor with the EFSA guidance on post-market environmental monitoring (2011); whereas several Member States express concern over the impact of soybean A2704-12 cultivation on biodiversity and public health in producing and exporting countries;

K.  whereas an independent study concludes that the risk assessment by EFSA is not acceptable in its present form(15), having failed to identify knowledge gaps and uncertainties and having failed to properly assess the overall safety and potential toxicity of soybean A2704-12; whereas the study finds that EFSA has failed to acknowledge changes which have occurred in the 10-year period since the initial authorisation of soybean A2704-12, regarding the agronomic conditions under which herbicide-resistant soybeans are cultivated, for example the increasing number of problems with herbicide-resistant weeds necessitating ever-higher amounts of herbicides;

Upholding the Union’s international obligations

L.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 states that GM food or feed must not have adverse effects on human health, animal health or the environment, and requires the Commission to take into account any relevant provisions of Union law and other legitimate factors relevant to the matter under consideration when drafting its decision; whereas these legitimate factors should include the Union’s obligations under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD);

M.  whereas a recent report by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to food found that, particularly in developing countries, hazardous pesticides have catastrophic impacts on health and the potential to lead to human rights abuses against farmers and agricultural workers, communities living near agricultural lands, indigenous communities, and pregnant women and children(16); whereas SDG Target 3.9 aims, by 2030, substantially to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination(17);

N.  whereas deforestation is a major cause of biodiversity decline; whereas emissions from land use and land-use change, mostly due to deforestation, are the second biggest cause of climate change after the burning of fossil fuels(18); whereas the Paris Agreement and the global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, adopted under the CBD, promote sustainable forest management, protection and restoration efforts(19);

O.  whereas SDG 15 includes the target of halting deforestation by 2020(20); whereas forests play a multifunctional role that support the achievement of most SDGs(21);

P.  whereas soya production is a key driver of deforestation in the Amazon, Cerrado and Gran Chaco forests in South America; whereas 97 % and 100 % of soya cultivated in Brazil and Argentina, respectively, is GM soya(22); whereas soybean A2704-12 is authorised for cultivation in, among other places, Brazil and Argentina(23);

Q.  whereas the European Union is the world’s second largest soya importer and the majority of the soya imported into the Union is for animal feed; whereas analysis by the Commission found that soya has historically been the Union’s number one contributor to global deforestation and related emissions, accounting for nearly half of the deforestation embodied in all Union imports(24);

R.  whereas nine GM soybeans authorised for cultivation in Brazil are already authorised for import as food and feed into the Union; whereas, in addition, authorisation for import into the Union for food and feed for three GM soybeans authorised for cultivation in Brazil, including soybean A2704-12, is pending(25);

S.  whereas a recent pan-Union survey found that almost 90 % of respondents think that new laws are needed to ensure that products sold in the Union do not contribute to global deforestation(26);

Undemocratic process

T.  whereas the votes of both the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which took place on 11 June 2019, and the Appeal Committee, which took place on 12 July 2019, resulted in no opinion being delivered, meaning that the authorisation is not supported by a qualified majority of Member States;

U.  whereas, both in the explanatory memorandum of its legislative proposal presented on 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of GM food and feed on their territory and in the explanatory memorandum of the legislative proposal presented on 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, the Commission deplored the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions have been adopted by the Commission without the support of the opinion of the Member States’ committee and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for final decision, which is very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, has become the norm for decision-making on GM food and feed authorisations; whereas that practice has, on several occasions, been deplored by the Commission President as not being democratic(27);

V.  whereas, in its eighth term, Parliament adopted resolutions objecting to the placing on the market of GMOs for food and feed (33 resolutions) and to the cultivation of GMOs in the Union (three resolutions); whereas there was not a qualified majority of Member States in favour of authorising any of those GMOs; whereas despite its own acknowledgement of the democratic shortcomings, the lack of support from Member States and the objections of Parliament, the Commission continues to authorise GMOs even though it is under no legal obligation to do so;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the aim of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(28), to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, and environmental and consumer interests, in relation to GM food and feed, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

4.  Reiterates its commitment to advancing work on the Commission proposal amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011; calls on the Council to move forward with its work on that Commission proposal as a matter of urgency;

5.  Calls on the Commission to suspend any implementing decision regarding applications for GMO authorisation until the authorisation procedure has been revised in such a way as to address the shortcomings of the current procedure, which has proven inadequate;

6.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw proposals for GMO authorisations if no opinion is delivered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, whether for cultivation or for food and feed uses;

7.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise any herbicide-tolerant GM plants without a full assessment of the residues from spraying with complementary herbicides, of metabolites and commercial formulations as applied in the countries of cultivation;

8.  Calls on the Commission to fully integrate the risk assessment of the application of complementary herbicides and their residues into the risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant GM plants, regardless of whether the GM plant concerned is to be cultivated in the Union or imported into the Union for food and feed uses;

9.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise the import for food or feed uses of any GM plant which has been made tolerant to a herbicide that is not authorised for use in the Union, in this case glufosinate;

10.  Recalls that the SDGs can only be achieved if supply chains become sustainable and synergies are created between policies(29);

11.  Reiterates its alarm at the fact that the Union’s high dependence on imports of animal feed in the form of soybeans causes deforestation in third countries(30);

12.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise the import of GM soybeans, unless it can be shown that their cultivation did not contribute to deforestation;

13.  Urges the Commission to review all its current authorisations for GM soya in the light of the Union’s international obligations, including under the Paris Agreement, the CBD and the SDGs;

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

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) Scientific opinion on the Assessment of genetically modified soybean A2704-12 for renewal of authorisation under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA-GMO-RX-009), EFSA Journal 2019;17(1):5523, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5523
(4) In its eighth term, Parliament adopted 36 resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms.
(5) Commission Decision 2008/730/EC of 8 September 2008 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean A2704-12 (ACS-GMØØ5-3) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 247, 16.9.2008, p. 50).
(6) EFSA Journal 2019;17(1):5523.
(7) Opinion of the Scientific Panel on genetically modified organisms (GMO) on an application (Reference EFSA-GMO-NL-2005-18) for the placing on the market of the glufosinate tolerant soybean A2704-12, for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 from Bayer CropScience, EFSA Journal (2007)524, p. 1. https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2007.524
(8) See, for example, Bonny S, Genetically Modified Herbicide-Tolerant Crops, Weeds, and Herbicides: Overview and Impact, Environmental Management, January 2016;57(1):31-48, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26296738 and Charles M Benbrook, Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. – the first sixteen years, Environmental Sciences Europe; volume 24, Article number: 24 (2012), https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2190-4715-24-24.
(9) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/533 of 28 March 2019 concerning a coordinated multiannual control programme of the Union for 2020, 2021 and 2022 to ensure compliance with maximum residue levels of pesticides and to assess the consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origin (OJ L 88, 29.3.2019, p. 28).
(10) Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC (OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1).
(11) https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/pesticides/eu-pesticides-database/public/?event=activesubstance.detail&language=EN&selectedID=1436
(12) For example, EFSA states that this is the case when the complementary herbicide is glyphosate: EFSA review of the existing maximum residue levels for glyphosate according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, 2018, p12. https://www.efsa.europa.eu/fr/efsajournal/pub/5263
(13) Annex G - Member State comments http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionLoader?question=EFSA-Q-2018-00992
(14) Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC (OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1).
(15) Testbiotech comment on the EFSA assessment of genetically engineered soybean A2704-12 for renewal https://www.testbiotech.org/en/content/testbiotech-comment-soybean-a2704-12-renewal
(16) https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Environment/ToxicWastes/Pages/Pesticidesrighttofood.aspx
(17) https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/
(18) Commission communication of 23 July 2019 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Stepping up EU action to Protect and Restore the World’s forests’ (COM(2019)0352), p 1.
(19) Idem, p. 2.
(20) See target 15.2: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/biodiversity/
(21) COM(2019)0352, p. 2.
(22) International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (2017) ‘Global status of commercialized biotech/GM crops in 2017’ ISAAA Brief No. 53, p. 16 and p. 21. http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/53/download/isaaa-brief-53-2017.pdf
(23) https://www.isaaa.org/gmapprovaldatabase/event/default.asp?EventID=161
(24) European Commission technical report 2013 - 063 entitled ‘The impact of EU consumption on deforestation: Comprehensive analysis of the impact of EU consumption on deforestation’, pp23-24, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/1.%20Report%20analysis%20of%20impact.pdf: Between 1990 and 2008, the Union imported crop and livestock products embodying 90 000 km2 of deforestation. Crop products accounted for 74 000 km2 (82 %) of this, with oil crops having the largest share (52 000 km2). Soybeans and soya cake accounted for 82 % of this (42 600 km2), equivalent to 47 % of the Union’s total import of embodied deforestation.
(25) These figures are obtained from cross-referencing the GM approval database of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (https://www.isaaa.org/gmapprovaldatabase/approvedeventsin/default.asp?CountryID=BR&Country=Brazil) with the EU register of GM food and feed (https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/gmo/eu_register_en) – both accessed September 2019.
(26) https://www.fern.org/news-resources/press-release-87-per-cent-of-europeans-support-new-laws-to-combat-global-deforestation-new-poll-shows-1963/
(27) See, for example, the Opening Statement at the European Parliament plenary session included in the political guidelines for the next European Commission (Strasbourg, 15 July 2014) or in the State of the Union Address 2016 (Strasbourg, 14 September 2016).
(28) Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1).
(29) European Parliament resolution of 11 September 2018 on transparent and accountable management of natural resources in developing countries: the case of forests (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0333), paragraph 67.
(30) Idem.


Genetically modified maize MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122 × DAS-40278-9 and genetically modified maize combining two, three or four of the single events MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017, 59122 and DAS-40278-9
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European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122 × DAS-40278-9 and genetically modified maize combining two, three or four of the single events MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017, 59122 and DAS-40278-9 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D062827/02 – 2019/2829(RSP))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0030B9-0106/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122 × DAS-40278-9 and genetically modified maize combining two, three or four of the single events MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017, 59122 and DAS-40278-9 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D062827/02),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 7(3) and 19(3) thereof,

–  having regard to the vote of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 on 12 July 2019, at which no opinion was delivered, and to the vote of the Appeal Committee on 16 September 2019, at which again no opinion was delivered,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the opinion adopted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 28 November 2018, and published on 14 January 2019(3),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms (‘GMOs’)(4),

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

–  having regard to Rule 112(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, on 6 February 2013, Dow AgroSciences Europe submitted, on behalf of Dow AgroSciences LLC, an application to the national competent authority of the Netherlands (‘the application’) for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients and feed containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122 × DAS-40278-9 (‘the stacked GM maize’), in accordance with Articles 5 and 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003; whereas the application also covered the placing on the market of products containing or consisting of the stacked GM maize for uses other than food and feed, with the exception of cultivation;

B.  whereas the application covered the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from 25 subcombinations of the single transformation events constituting the stacked GM maize; whereas 11 of those subcombinations have already been authorised(5); whereas the remaining 14 subcombinations are, in addition to the stacked GM maize, covered by the draft Commission implementing decision;

C.  whereas, on 28 November 2018, EFSA adopted a favourable opinion, in accordance with Articles 6 and 18 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which was published on 14 January 2019(6);

D.  whereas the stacked GM maize is derived from crossing five GM maize events and confers resistance to herbicides containing glufosinate, glyphosate and 2,4-D, as well as producing six insecticidal proteins (‘Bt’ or ‘Cry’ proteins): Cry1A.105, Cry2Ab2, Cry1F and CryBb1, which are toxic to certain lepidopteran larvae, and Cry34Ab1 and Cry25Ab1, which are toxic to certain coleopteran larvae(7);

Member State comments

E.  whereas Member States submitted many critical comments to EFSA during the three-month consultation period(8), including that no final conclusion (especially in relation to foodstuffs) is possible with reference to the long-term reproductive or developmental effects of the food and/or feed in question, that further information is required before the risk assessment can be finalised, that the compositional analysis indicates a lack of equivalence between the stacked GM maize and its conventional counterpart and that, therefore, safety cannot be guaranteed, that the post-market environmental monitoring plan is inadequate, and that more research is needed on the biological role and activities of Cry proteins with regard to mammals before they can be deemed safe;

F.  whereas no experimental data were provided by the applicant for the 14 currently unauthorised subcombinations of the stacked GM maize(9); whereas stacked events should not be authorised without a thorough assessment of experimental data relating to each subcombination;

Complementary herbicides

G.  whereas a number of studies show that herbicide-tolerant GM crops result in a higher use of those herbicides(10); whereas, as a consequence, it has to be expected that the stacked GM maize will be exposed to both higher and repeated doses of glufosinate, glyphosate and 2,4-D, and therefore a higher quantity of residues may be present in the harvest;

H.  whereas, under the Union’s coordinated multiannual control programme for 2020, 2021 and 2022, Member States are not obliged to measure glyphosate, glufosinate or 2,4-D residues on imports of maize(11); whereas it cannot be excluded that the stacked GM maize or products derived from it for food or feed will exceed the Union’s Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), which have been put in place for the purpose of protecting consumer health;

I.  whereas questions concerning the carcinogenicity of glyphosate remain; whereas EFSA concluded in November 2015 that glyphosate was unlikely to be carcinogenic; whereas, on the contrary, in 2015 the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen for humans;

J.  whereas, according to EFSA, toxicological data needed for a consumer risk assessment of several breakdown products of glyphosate relevant to GM glyphosate-tolerant crops are missing(12);

K.  whereas in GM plants, the way that complementary herbicides are broken down by the plant, and the composition and thus toxicity of the breakdown products (metabolites), may be driven by the genetic modification itself; whereas, according to EFSA, this is indeed the case when the complementary herbicide is glyphosate(13);

L.  whereas glufosinate is classified as toxic to reproduction 1B and therefore meets the ‘cut-off criteria’ set out in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(14); whereas the approval of glufosinate for use in the Union expired on 31 July 2018(15);

M.  whereas independent research raises concerns about the risks of the active ingredient of 2,4-D as regards embryo development, birth defects and endocrine disruption;

N.  whereas a recent article by an expert involved in developing GM plants questions the safety of GM crops tolerant to 2,4-D because of its degradation into the cytotoxic breakdown product 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP)(16);

Bt proteins

O.  whereas a number of studies show that side effects have been observed that may affect the immune system following exposure to Bt proteins and that some Bt proteins may have adjuvant properties(17), meaning that they can increase the allergenicity of other proteins that they come into contact with;

P.  whereas a minority opinion adopted by a member of the EFSA Panel on GMOs in the process of assessing a similar but different stacked GM maize and its subcombinations found that while unintended effects on the immune system have never been identified in any application where Bt proteins are expressed, they could ‘not be observed by the toxicological studies [...] currently recommended and performed for the safety assessment of GM plants at EFSA because they do not include the appropriate tests for this purpose’(18);

Q.  whereas a recent study shows that a rapid rise in the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments in the United States coincides with increased planting of GM Bt maize(19); whereas the Union has banned the outdoor use of three neonicotinoids, including as seed coatings, because of their impact on honeybees and other pollinators(20);

R.  whereas assessment of herbicide residues and their metabolites on GM plants, as well as their potential interaction with Bt proteins, is considered outside the remit of the EFSA Panel on GMOs;

Undemocratic process

S.  whereas the votes of both the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which took place on 12 July 2019, and the Appeal Committee, which took place on 16 September 2019, delivered no opinion, meaning that the authorisation is not supported by a qualified majority of Member States;

T.  whereas, both in the explanatory memorandum of its legislative proposal presented on 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of GM food and feed on their territory, and in the explanatory memorandum of the legislative proposal presented on 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, the Commission deplored the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions have been adopted by the Commission without the support of the opinion of the Member States’ committee and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for final decision, which is very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, has become the norm for decision-making on GM food and feed authorisations; whereas that practice has, on several occasions, been deplored by the Commission President as not being democratic(21);

U.  whereas, in its eighth term, Parliament adopted resolutions objecting to the placing on the market of GMOs for food and feed (33 resolutions) and to the cultivation of GMOs in the Union (three resolutions); whereas there was not a qualified majority of Member States in favour of authorising any of those GMOs; whereas despite its own acknowledgement of the democratic shortcomings, the lack of support from Member States and the objections of Parliament, the Commission continues to authorise GMOs even though it is under no legal obligation to do so;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the aim of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(22), to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, and environmental and consumer interests, in relation to GM food and feed, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

4.  Reiterates its commitment to advancing work on the Commission proposal amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011; calls on the Council to move forward with its work on that Commission proposal as a matter of urgency;

5.  Calls on the Commission to suspend any implementing decision regarding applications for GMO authorisation until the authorisation procedure has been revised in such a way as to address the shortcomings of the current procedure, which has proven inadequate;

6.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw proposals for GMO authorisations if no opinion is delivered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, whether for cultivation or for food and feed uses;

7.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise any herbicide-tolerant GM plants without a full assessment of the residues from spraying with complementary herbicides, their metabolites and commercial formulations as applied in the countries of cultivation;

8.  Calls on the Commission to fully integrate the risk assessment of the application of complementary herbicides and their residues into the risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant GM plants, regardless of whether the GM plant concerned is to be cultivated in the Union or is for import into the Union for food and feed uses;

9.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise the import for food or feed uses of any GM plant which has been made tolerant to a herbicide that is not authorised for use in the Union, in this case glufosinate;

10.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise any subcombinations of stacked events unless they have been thoroughly evaluated by EFSA on the basis of data submitted by the applicant that are complete;

11.  Considers, more specifically, that to approve subcombinations for which no safety data have been provided, and which have not even been tested or created yet, runs contrary to the principles of general food law, as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002;

12.  Calls on EFSA to further develop and systematically use methods that permit the identification of unintended effects of stacked GM events, including in relation to the adjuvant properties of Bt toxins;

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

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) Scientific opinion on the assessment of genetically modified maize MON 89034 x 1507 x MON 88017 x 59122 x DAS-40278-9 and subcombinations independently of their origin for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA-GMO-NL-2013-113), EFSA Journal, 2019, 17(1):5521, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5521
(4) In its eighth term, the European Parliament adopted 36 resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms.
(5) 1507 x 59122, authorised by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1110; MON 89034 × MON 88017, authorised by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/2046; and MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122, MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017, MON 89034 × 1507 × 59122, MON 89034 × MON 88017 × 59122, 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122, MON 89034 × 1507, MON 89034 × 59122, 1507 × MON 88017, MON 88017 × 59122, authorised by Commission Implementing Decision 2013/650/EU.
(6) Scientific opinion on the assessment of genetically modified maize MON 89034 x 1507 x MON 88017 x 59122 x DAS-40278-9 and subcombinations independently of their origin for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA-GMO-NL-2013-113), EFSA Journal, 2019, 17(1):5521, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5521
(7) See EFSA opinion, p. 10-11.
(8) Annex G – Member States’ comments http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionLoader?question=EFSA-Q-2013-00210
(9) See EFSA opinion, p. 4.
(10) See, for example, Bonny, S., ‘Genetically Modified Herbicide-Tolerant Crops, Weeds, and Herbicides: Overview and Impact’, Environmental Management, 2016, 57(1): 31-48, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26296738 and Benbrook, C.M., ‘Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. – the first sixteen years’, Environmental Sciences Europe, 2012, 24(24), https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2190-4715-24-24
(11) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/533 of 28 March 2019 concerning a coordinated multiannual control programme of the Union for 2020, 2021 and 2022 to ensure compliance with maximum residue levels of pesticides and to assess the consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origin (OJ L 88, 29.3.2019, p. 28).
(12) EFSA conclusion on the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance glyphosate, EFSA Journal, 2015, 13(11):4302, p. 3 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4302
(13) EFSA review of the existing maximum residue levels for glyphosate according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, 17 May 2018, p. 12, https://www.efsa.europa.eu/fr/efsajournal/pub/5263
(14) Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC (OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1).
(15) https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/pesticides/eu-pesticides-database/public/?event=activesubstance.detail&language=EN&selectedID=1436
(16) Lurquin, P.F., ‘Production of a toxic metabolite in 2, 4-D-resistant GM crop plants’, 3 Biotech, 2016, 6(1): 1-4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13205-016-0387-9#CR25
(17) For a review, see Rubio Infante, N. & Moreno-Fierros, L., ‘An overview of the safety and biological effects of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins in mammals’, Journal of Applied Toxicology, 2016, 36(5): 630-648. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.3252/full
(18) Application EFSA-GMO-DE-2010-86 (Bt11 3 MIR162 3 1507 3 GA21 maize and three subcombinations independently of their origin) Minority Opinion, J.M. Wal, Member of the EFSA GMO Panel, May 2018 https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5309 p. 34.
(19) Douglas, M.R. & Tooker, J.F., ‘Large-Scale Deployment of Seed Treatments Has Driven Rapid Increase in Use of Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Preemptive Pest Management in U.S. Field Crops’, Environmental Science & Technology. 2015, 49(8): 5088-5097, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/es506141g
(20) https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/pesticides/approval_active_substances/approval_renewal/neonicotinoids_en
(21) See, for example, the Opening Statement at the European Parliament plenary session included in the political guidelines for the next European Commission (Strasbourg, 15 July 2014) or the 2016 State of the Union Address (Strasbourg, 14 September 2016).
(22) Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1).


Foreign electoral interference and disinformation in national and European democratic processes
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European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on foreign electoral interference and disinformation in national and European democratic processes (2019/2810(RSP))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0031B9-0108/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, notably Articles 7, 8, 11, 12, 39, 40, 47 and 52 thereof, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, notably Articles 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16 and 17 thereof, and the Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, notably Article 3 thereof,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 16 December 1966, notably Articles 2, 17, 19, 20 and 25 thereof,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 April 2018 entitled ‘Tackling online disinformation: A European Approach’ (COM(2018)0236),

–  having regard to the joint Commission and VP/HR Action Plan against Disinformation of 5 December 2018 (JOIN(2018)0036) and the joint Commission and VP/HR report on the implementation of the Action Plan against Disinformation of 14 June 2019 (JOIN(2019)0012),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 18 October 2018,

–  having regard to the study entitled ‘Automated tackling of disinformation’ published by the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services on 15 March 2019(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2019 on security threats connected with the rising Chinese technological presence in the EU and possible action on the EU level to reduce them(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 November 2016 on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties(3),

–  having regard to its recommendation of 13 March 2019 to the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy concerning taking stock of the follow-up taken by the EEAS two years after the European Parliament report on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties(4),

–  having regard to 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)(5) and the ongoing reform thereof,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2018 on the use of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica and the impact on data protection(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 December 2018 on the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy(7),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 24 July 2019 entitled ‘Nineteenth Progress Report towards an effective and genuine Security Union’ (COM(2019)0353),

–  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)(8),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 6 June 2018 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Digital Europe programme for the period 2021-2027 (COM(2018)0434),

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas attempts by state and non-state actors from third countries to exert influence on decision-making in the EU and its Member States, as well as putting pressure on the values enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU by means of malicious interference are part of a wider trend experienced by democracies worldwide;

B.  whereas foreign interference can take a myriad of forms, including disinformation campaigns on social media to shape public opinion, cyber-attacks targeting critical infrastructure related to elections, and direct and indirect financial support of political actors;

C.  whereas foreign electoral interference constitutes a major challenge as it poses serious risks for European democratic societies and institutions, fundamental rights and freedoms, the rule of law, security, economic wellbeing and, ultimately, Europe’s sovereignty;

D.  whereas the global interconnection of people and economies by digital means and new technologies has also been used and misused by states engaging in foreign interference; whereas the media, notably social platforms, can easily be exploited to spread disinformation;

E.  whereas awareness needs to be raised about Russia’s disinformation campaigns, as this constitutes the main source from which disinformation in Europe originates;

F.  whereas state and non-state actors from third countries other than Russia are involved in malicious interference in European public debates;

G.  whereas a preliminary analysis by the Commission in June 2019 has shown that the measures put in place to protect the integrity of European elections did contribute to limiting foreign state and non-state interference in the European Parliament elections of May 2019;

H.  whereas the EU successfully implemented a number of measures to mitigate foreign influence on and preserve the integrity of the 2019 European Parliament elections, including a Code of Practice against Disinformation, a Rapid Alert System and a European Cooperation Network on Elections; whereas the Commission has announced its intention to take further action to address these issues;

I.  whereas the EU is highly dependent on foreign technologies, software and infrastructure, which can make it more vulnerable to foreign electoral interference;

J.  whereas the scale of acts of malicious interference requires a coordinated European response including several complementary strands;

K.  whereas the responsibility for countering disinformation and foreign electoral interference lies not exclusively with public authorities but also with internet and social media companies, which should therefore cooperate in achieving this aim while not undermining freedom of speech or becoming privatised censorship bodies;

L.  whereas several investigations have shown that crucial electoral rules have been breached or circumvented, in particular the existing provisions on the transparency of campaign financing, with allegations of political spending by non-profit organisations from third-country sources, notably from Russia;

M.  whereas all reported incidents of foreign electoral interference represent a systematic pattern that has been recurring over recent years;

N.  whereas more than 50 presidential, national, local or regional elections are due to be held in Member States before the end of 2020;

1.  Stresses that freedom of speech and expression, the protection of privacy and personal data and media pluralism, are at the core of resilient democratic societies, and provide the best safeguards against disinformation campaigns and hostile propaganda;

2.  Stresses that, despite the multi-faceted nature of hostile interference and disinformation from abroad, interference in elections is part of a broader strategy of hybrid warfare and that responding to it therefore remains a core security and foreign policy issue;

3.  Reiterates that foreign interference in elections undermines the right of people to have their say in the governance of their country, directly or through freely chosen representatives, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that such interference by other states constitutes a violation of international law, even when there is no use of military force, threat to territorial integrity or threat to political independence;

4.  Believes that free and fair elections are at the heart of the democratic process and therefore calls for the EU institutions and Member States to take decisive action on this issue, including in the upcoming process of reflection on the future of the EU;

5.  Expresses deep concern about the fact that evidence of interference is continuously coming to light, often with indications of foreign influence, in the run-up to all major national and European elections, with much of this interference benefiting anti-EU, right-wing extremist and populist candidates and targeting specific minorities and vulnerable groups, including migrants, LGBTI people, religious groups, people with a Roma background and Muslims, or people perceived as Muslims, to serve the wider purpose of undermining the appeal of democratic and equal societies;

6.  Acknowledges the worrying trend of global far-right groups using disinformation on social media platforms on a large scale; is concerned that such disinformation has influenced the backlash on gender equality and LGBTI rights;

7.  Acknowledges that the overwhelming majority of Member States have full or partial bans on foreign donations to political parties and candidates; recalls with concern that even where laws place restrictions on the sources of political funding, foreign actors have found ways to circumvent them and have offered support to their allies by taking out loans with foreign banks, as in the case of the Front National in 2016, through purchase and commercial agreements, as in the case of the allegations reported by Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung on 17 May 2019 against the Freedom Party of Austria and by Buzzfeed and L’Espresso on 10 July 2019 against Lega per Salvini Premier, and the facilitation of financial activities, as reported by the British press in relation to the Leave.eu campaign;

8.  Expresses deep concern over the highly dangerous nature of Russian propaganda in particular, and calls on the Commission and the Council to put in place an effective and detailed strategy to counteract Russian disinformation strategies in a swift and robust manner;

9.  Notes with concern that the number of disinformation cases attributed to Russian sources and documented by the East Strategic Communication Task Force since January 2019 (998 cases) is more than double that for the same period in 2018 (434 cases);

10.  Strongly condemns, furthermore, the increasingly aggressive actions of state and non-state actors from third countries seeking to undermine or suspend the normative foundations and principles of European democracies and the sovereignty of all EU accession countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries, as well as to influence elections and support extremist movements, taking into account the fact that the scale of cyber-attacks is constantly growing;

11.  Acknowledges the positive impact of the voluntary actions taken by service providers and platforms to counter disinformation, including new rules to increase the transparency of electoral advertising on social media in the Code of Practice, as well as the measures implemented by the Commission and the Member States in the last year, and reminds them of their joint responsibility when it comes to the fight against disinformation;

12.  Recalls its resolution of 25 October 2018, in which it urged Facebook, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, to implement various measures to prevent the use of the social platform for electoral interference; notes that Facebook has not followed up on most of these requests;

13.  Considers that electoral interference in one Member State affects the EU as a whole insofar as it can have an impact on the composition of the EU institutions; believes that these threats can neither be addressed solely by national authorities working in isolation nor by pure self-regulation of the private sector but require a coordinated multi-level, multi-stakeholder approach; considers that a legal framework for tackling hybrid threats, including cyber-attacks and disinformation, should be developed both at EU and international level, in order to enable a robust response by the EU;

14.  Reiterates, however, that a strong common European policy needs to be developed in order to address effectively both foreign interferences and disinformation campaigns through robust EU communication with online platforms and service providers;

15.  Calls on all actors involved to continue with their efforts to ensure that the democratic process, as well as elections, are protected from foreign state and non-state interference and manipulation; points in particular to the need to improve media literacy and civic education through culture and schooling from an early age in order to allow those targeted by disinformation campaigns to identify the information provided as biased; encourages the Member States, therefore, to include specific courses on media literacy in their school curricula, and to develop information campaigns targeted on the segments of the population that are more vulnerable to disinformation;

16.  Is concerned about EU dependence on foreign technologies and hardware; underlines that the EU needs to strive to increase its own capabilities, as this will limit the opportunities for malicious electoral interference by foreign actors;

17.  Reiterates its call on the Commission and the Member States to create an innovation-friendly environment, based on the principles of the market economy and the protection of fundamental rights, in order to allow European businesses to realise their full potential and utilise the protection of these rights as a competitive advantage;

18.  Calls for national and European funding to strengthen the capabilities for countering the strategic communication of hostile third parties and to exchange information and best practice in this area, including under both the current and the post-2020 multiannual financial framework, among other things through the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes; underlines that such programmes should include adequate safeguards to ensure strict compliance with international law and human rights, especially when funding third countries;

19.  Stresses the need to continue supporting and fostering responsible journalism and editorial responsibility in both the traditional and the new media in facing the challenge of non-verified or one-sided tendentious information undermining citizens’ trust in independent media;

20.  Emphasises that it is essential to support public service media which do not rely financially on private financing sources and can therefore provide high-quality and impartial information to the general public, while at the same time ensuring and maintaining their independence from political interference;

21.  Reiterates its support for the valuable work of the European Endowment for Democracy in supporting organisations fighting fake news and disinformation;

22.  Considers that the EU should work towards practical solutions to support and strengthen democratic, independent and diverse media in the countries of the EU neighbourhood and in the countries in the Western Balkans which are candidates for EU accession;

23.  Calls for an upgrade of the EU East StratCom Task Force to a permanent structure within the European External Action Service with significantly higher financing and staffing levels than hitherto;

24.  Points out that, by reason of the complexity of the risks posed by online electoral interference and disinformation campaigns, the detection and management of these risks requires cross-sectoral cooperation involving the competent authorities and stakeholders;

25.  Calls on the Commission to classify electoral equipment as critical infrastructure so as to ensure that in the event of a breach NIS Directive(9) responses can be applied;

26.  Recalls that a significant proportion of these malicious acts of interference constitute a breach of European data protection and privacy rules; calls on the national data protection authorities to make full use of their powers to investigate data protection infringements and to impose deterrent sanctions and penalties;

27.  Reiterates its call for investigations into alleged illegal use of the online political space by foreign forces to be carried out by Member States with the support of Eurojust;

28.  Calls on the Commission to continue its monitoring of the impact of foreign interference across Europe and to fulfil the commitment solemnly entered into by its president-elect Ursula von der Leyen to ‘address the threats of external intervention in our European elections’(10);

29.  Calls on the next Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to make the fight against disinformation a central foreign policy objective;

30.  Calls on the Commission to evaluate possible legislative and non-legislative actions which can result in intervention by social media platforms with the aim of systematically labelling content shared by bots, reviewing algorithms in order to make them as unbiased as possible, and closing down accounts of persons engaging in illegal activities aimed at the disruption of democratic processes or at instigating hate speech, while not compromising on freedom of expression;

31.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support public institutions, think-tanks, NGOs, and grassroots cyberactivists that are working on issues of propaganda and disinformation, and to make funding and support available for public awareness-raising campaigns aimed at increasing the resilience of EU citizens to disinformation;

32.  Recalls the important role of whistle-blowers as a safeguard of democracy and governance when disclosing information in the public interest; calls on the authorities of the Council of Europe member states to establish and disseminate a policy on whistle-blowing, on the basis of respect for the 20 principles set out in Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)6; recalls the recently adopted directive on the protection of whistle-blowers;

33.  Recalls that the EU is making EUR 4 175 million available for actions aimed at supporting media freedom and investigative journalism, including a response mechanism for violations of press and media freedom and the tangible protection of journalists;

34.  Considers that only by thinking holistically about foreign, authoritarian interference, and tackling the vulnerabilities in all aspects of democratic governance and institutions, including European political parties, can the EU safeguard its democratic processes;

35.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to engage in discussions with stakeholders, as well as international partners, including in international fora, with a view to stepping up their actions to counter hybrid threats;

36.  Emphasises that NATO and its centres of excellence are an essential tool in enabling Europe to strengthen the transatlantic link and for increasing both Europe’s and North America’s resistance to disinformation;

37.  Calls on the Commission to address the question of foreign funding of European political parties and foundations without impeding the creation of a European public space going beyond the European Union, and to launch a discussion with the Member States to address these issues in relation to their domestic political parties and foundations;

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

(1) Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services, Scientific Foresight Unit, 15 March 2019.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0156.
(3) OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 58.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0187.
(5) OJ L 201, 31.7.2002, p. 37.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0433.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0514.
(8) OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1
(9) 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 Union, OJ L 194, 19.7.2016, p. 1.
(10) ‘A Union that strives for more: My agenda for Europe’, by Ursula von der Leyen – Political Guidelines for the next European Commission 2019-2024 (2019), https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/political-guidelines-next-commission_en.pdf - p. 21.


Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and own resources: time to meet citizens' expectations
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European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and own resources: time to meet citizens' expectations (2019/2833(RSP))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0032B9-0110/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 310, 311, 312 and 323 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Commission proposals of 2 May 2018 on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the years 2021 to 2027 and the system of own resources (OR) of the European Union,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 14 March 2018 on the next MFF: preparing the Parliament’s position on the MFF post-2020(1) and on reform of the European Union’s system of own resources(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 30 May 2018 on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and own resources(3),

–  having regard to its interim report of 14 November 2018 on the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 – Parliament’s position with a view to an agreement(4),

–  having regard to the statements by the Commission and the Council of 10 October 2019 on the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and own resources: time to meet citizens’ expectations,

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

1.  Declares that it is time to meet EU citizens’ expectations and match the political commitments and ambitions of the EU with the necessary financial means; is determined to secure a strong and credible MFF that will enable the EU to respond to important challenges effectively and attain its political objectives over the next seven-year period; believes that the 2019 European elections conferred renewed legitimacy on Parliament’s position and role in this process; declares its readiness to reject any Council position that does not respect Parliament’s prerogatives or take due account of its positions;

2.  Adopts the present resolution to confirm and update its negotiating mandate both on the expenditure and revenue side of the next MFF; demands the launch of negotiations with the Council, without any further delay, in the interest of reaching a solid agreement in a timely manner and stresses that Parliament has been ready to do so since November 2018; requests that the Commission put forward an MFF contingency plan as a safety net intended to protect the beneficiaries of EU funding programmes, which would allow for the extension of the current MFF – in case the next MFF is not agreed in time;

Confirming Parliament’s firm position

3.  Confirms its negotiating mandate, as set out in its MFF interim report of 14 November 2018, on the MFF figures (per programme, heading and at global level), EU own resources, flexibility provisions, mid-term revision and horizontal principles, such as the mainstreaming of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, climate and gender equality across all policies and initiatives in the next MFF, as well as specific amendments to the proposed MFF Regulation and Interinstitutional Agreement;

4.  Reiterates that the next MFF should be set at EUR 1 324.1 billion in 2018 prices, representing 1,3 % of the EU-27’s gross national income (GNI); stresses that this global figure is the result of a bottom-up assessment of the required level of funding for each EU programme and policy; recalls, in this context, Parliament’s intention to boost flagship programmes (e.g. in the areas of youth, research and innovation, the environment and the climate transition, infrastructure, SMEs, digitalisation and social rights), to maintain the financing of existing EU policies in real terms (notably cohesion, agriculture and fisheries), and to match additional responsibilities (e.g. in the fields of migration, external action and defence) with additional financial means; firmly believes that European added value is brought about by pooling resources at EU level as a matter of efficiency, solidarity and global impact; stresses, in this context, the need to strengthen the focus of future spending on results;

5.  Underlines that Parliament will not give its consent to the MFF without an agreement on the reform of the EU own resources system, including the introduction of a basket of new own resources that are better aligned with and incentivise progress in major EU policy priorities; recalls that the purpose of introducing new own resources is not only to mitigate the predominance of GNI-based contributions, but also to guarantee the appropriate level of financing of EU spending in the next MFF; reaffirms its position, as set out in the MFF interim report, regarding the list of potential candidates for new own resources (a common consolidated corporate tax base, digital services taxation, a financial transaction tax, income from the emissions trading scheme, a plastics contribution and a carbon border adjustment mechanism), the abolition of all rebates and corrections, the simplification of the VAT-based own resource, the reduction of national ‘collection costs’ withheld on customs duties, and the inclusion of other revenue in the form of fines and fees in the EU budget;

6.  Reconfirms the necessity to put in place a new mechanism to protect the EU budget where the rule of law is not respected or where there is a systemic threat to the values enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), and where this affects or risks affecting the principles of sound financial management or the protection of the financial interests of the Union; underlines that such measures shall not affect the obligation of government entities or of Member States to make payments to final beneficiaries or recipients;

Responding to new initiatives following the European elections

7.  Welcomes the political commitments on additional initiatives taken by the President-elect of the Commission upon her approval in July 2019 and expects their budgetary impact to be clarified without delay; underlines the fact that any new initiatives, some of which were already largely anticipated in Parliament’s interim report, should be calculated on top of the original Commission proposals for the next period, thus resulting in higher MFF ceilings than initially proposed; therefore expects the Commission to formally reflect the budgetary impact of those initiatives in its initial MFF proposal and to defend, alongside Parliament, the necessary level of funding in the upcoming MFF negotiations with the Council;

8.  Calls for further legislative proposals for establishing new instruments to be tabled immediately by the new Commission, in order for their financing to be included in the agreement on the next MFF; expects any possible new initiatives that may be proposed after the adoption of the 2021-2027 MFF to be financed through fresh appropriations;

9.  Welcomes, on the revenue side, the President-elect’s commitments to relaunch or extend a number of initiatives that should be part of the future basket of new own resources; calls on the Member States, in particular, to seize the opportunity of introducing a carbon border adjustment mechanism, which would be a fair way to respond to popular demands for decisive leadership in the fight against climate change, while ensuring a level playing field in international trade;

A further step change towards climate transition

10.  Reaffirms its unambiguous support for the principle of climate mainstreaming; calls on the Commission to ensure that the next MFF fully complies with the Paris agreement and stresses the urgent need for another quantum leap in political and financial efforts in order to achieve its objectives, as well as a just transition towards a carbon-neutral economy based on the highest social justice criteria so that no one and nowhere is left behind; looks forward to a concrete proposal on the European Green Deal, as outlined in the political guidelines of the incoming Commission president; expects the budgetary means over the next financial programming period to be commensurate with this ambition, while stressing that a reduced MFF would obviously represent a step backwards;

11.  Highlights the fact that common climate action at EU level yields substantive added value and should therefore be at the core of modernising the EU budget and its expenditure programmes; emphasises, therefore, that climate and biodiversity mainstreaming in the next MFF must go beyond the levels of targeted spending shares as set out in its interim report, but also in terms of integrating the climate and social dimension into the decision-making of all major programmes and throughout the entire policy cycle; in this context, moreover, demands a more transparent, stringent and comprehensive methodology, including reformed performance indicators for defining and tracking climate and biodiversity-relevant expenditure, the prevention of financial support for harmful measures and the monitoring of the mid to long-term impact of climate mainstreaming for mitigation and adaptation; calls for Parliament to be closely involved in the conception of such a methodology;

Immediate launch of interinstitutional negotiations

12.  Recalls that Article 312(5) of the TFEU stipulates that, throughout the procedure leading to the adoption of the MFF, the three EU institutions ‘shall take any measure necessary to facilitate its adoption’; underlines the fact that Parliament has stood ready to negotiate for almost a year on all aspects of the MFF and own resources package, while the Council has so far not accepted to engage in any meaningful talks beyond short and formalistic briefings and debriefings in the margins of the General Affairs Council (GAC); believes that such minimalist contacts cannot be considered as satisfactory interinstitutional cooperation and do not comply with what the Treaty explicitly requires;

13.  Requests, therefore, the immediate intensification of interinstitutional talks on the MFF and own resources in order to pave the way for genuine negotiations, and calls on the Council to adopt its negotiating mandate without delay; considers, in the interest of securing Parliament’s consent, that the Council should already take due account of Parliament’s positions when deciding on its own position; expects, for this purpose, the Council presidency and the Commission to clearly communicate and explain Parliament’s views to the GAC, and requests the presence of Parliament’s negotiating team at all informal Council meetings dealing with the MFF; stresses the need to proceed with dedicated trilateral meetings, in order to deepen the discussion on the various aspects of the MFF and own resources proposals, which should supplement the existing GAC briefings and debriefings; expects, furthermore, high-level meetings between the Presidents of the institutions to be convened in line with Article 324 of the TFEU;

Safeguarding Parliament’s prerogatives

14.  Takes note of the Council’s methodology for preparing MFF negotiating boxes; is wary of the fact, however, that it is also an attempt to confer a predominant role on the European Council in taking irrevocable decisions on several aspects of the next MFF, as was the case in the process leading to the adoption of the current MFF; stresses that Parliament will not rubber-stamp a fait accompli from the European Council and is prepared to withhold its consent until a satisfactory agreement is reached;

15.  Underlines that these negotiating boxes not only include elements of the MFF Regulation, for which Parliament needs to give its consent, but also a significant number of legislative provisions relating to EU sectoral policies that are to be decided under the ordinary legislative procedure; considers, therefore, that such negotiating boxes reflect nothing more than an internal Council procedure that must in no way prevent Parliament from carrying out proper negotiations on all elements of the MFF package and sectoral legislation; urges the Council, therefore, to open negotiations with Parliament on all aspects of the sectoral legislation setting up the new EU programmes, as well as the rule of law proposal;

16.  Recalls that European Council conclusions are political in nature and that Article 15(1) of the TEU prohibits the European Council from exercising legislative functions; therefore calls on the European Council to refrain from adopting detailed and purportedly binding conclusions based on the MFF negotiating box, as this would amount to direct interference in the legislative sphere; counts on the Commission, as an honest broker and guardian of the Treaties, to support Parliament in exerting its legislative prerogatives under both the consent and ordinary legislative procedures;

A safety net to protect the beneficiaries of EU programmes: setting up an MFF contingency plan

17.  Regrets that the European Council has already extended the timeframe for reaching a political decision several times; fears that, should the Council and European Council run into further delays without engaging Parliament, there is a clear risk that such complex negotiations cannot be finalised successfully by the end of the current MFF; recalls the serious setbacks for the launch of EU programmes that resulted from the late adoption of the current MFF, as has been experienced in the past;

18.  Recalls the fact that, should a new MFF not be adopted on time, Article 312(4) of the TFEU provides for a safety net in the form of a temporary extension of the ceilings and other provisions of the last year of the present framework; is concerned, however, that such a safety net could be undermined not only by a lack of preparedness at operational level, but also due to the expiry dates in force for some of the current EU programmes; warns, in this context, against the shutdown of EU programmes, and declares its intention not to be forced into accepting a bad agreement due to time pressure;

19.  Urges the Commission, therefore, to immediately start preparing an MFF contingency plan with the aim of protecting beneficiaries and ensuring the continuity of funding in the event that it is necessary to extend the current MFF; asks for such a plan to be formally presented in the beginning of 2020, so as to be swiftly adopted by the Council and Parliament; requests this plan to include a horizontal legislative proposal to lift the time limits laid down in the relevant programmes, thereby ensuring consistency with Article 312(4) of the TFEU, and to include concrete operational provisions, in particular for the continuation of policies under shared management;

o
o   o

20.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the European Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 162, 10.5.2019, p. 51.
(2) OJ C 162, 10.5.2019, p. 71.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0226.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0449.


Employment and social policies of the euro area
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European Parliament resolution of 10 October 2019 on employment and social policies of the euro area (2019/2111(INI))
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0033A9-0016/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 3 and 5 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Articles 9, 145, 148, 149, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 158, 165, 166, 174 and 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on Better Law-Making(1),

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Title IV (Solidarity) thereof,

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

–  having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular goals 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 13,

–  having regard to the Commission Social Investment Package of 2013,

–  having regard to the Five Presidents’ Report of 22 June 2015(2) entitled ‘Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union’,

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 14 May 2018 on the economic policy of the euro area(3),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 12 June 2019 entitled ‘Deepening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union: Taking stock four years after the Five Presidents’ Report – European Commission’s contribution to the Euro Summit on 21 June 2019’ (COM(2019)0279),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 5 June 2019 on the 2019 European Semester: country-specific recommendations (COM(2019)0500),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 27 February 2019 for a Council decision on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States (COM(2019)0151), and to Parliament’s position thereon of 4 April 2019(4),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 21 November 2018 entitled ‘Annual Growth Survey 2019: For a stronger Europe in the face of global uncertainty’ (COM(2018)0770),

–  having regard to the Joint Employment Report from the Commission and the Council adopted on 15 March 2019,

–  having regard to the Commission recommendation of 21 November 2018 for a Council recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area (COM(2018)0759),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 21 November 2018 entitled ‘Alert Mechanism Report 2019’ (COM(2018)0758),

–  having regard to the Commission recommendation of 3 October 2008 on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market(5),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 21 November 2018 entitled ‘2019 Draft Budgetary Plans: Overall Assessment’ (COM(2018)0807),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 22 November 2017 for a Council decision on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States (COM(2017)0677), and to Parliament’s position thereon of 19 April 2018(6),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 April 2017 entitled ‘Establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights’ (COM(2017)0250),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 April 2017 entitled ‘An initiative to support work-life balance for working parents and carers’ (COM(2017)0252),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council recommendation of 13 March 2018 on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed (COM(2018)0132),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 5 April 2011 entitled ‘An EU Framework for Roma integration strategies up to 2020’ (COM(2011)0173) and to the subsequent implementation and evaluation reports,

–  having regard to Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU(7),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 26 April 2017 entitled ‘Taking stock of the 2013 Recommendation on “Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage”’ (SWD(2017)0258),

–  having regard to the Commission’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019, and to the European Pact for Gender Equality 2011-2020 and the Council conclusions thereon of 7 March 2011(8),

–  having regard to the 2002 Barcelona childcare targets, namely to provide childcare, by 2010, to at least 90 % of children between three years old and the mandatory school age and to at least 33 % of children under three years of age,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 4 October 2016 entitled ‘The Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative three years on’ (COM(2016)0646),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 14 September 2016 for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (COM(2016)0604),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 September 2016 entitled ‘Strengthening European Investments for jobs and growth: Towards a second phase of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and a new European External Investment Plan’ (COM(2016)0581),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 June 2016 entitled ‘A new skills agenda for Europe – Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness’ (COM(2016)0381),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 June 2016 entitled ‘A European agenda for the collaborative economy’ (COM(2016)0356),

–  having regard to the Circular Economy Package (Directives (EU) 2018/849(9), 2018/850(10), 2018/851(11) and 2018/852(12)),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 1 June 2016 entitled ‘Europe investing again – Taking stock of the Investment Plan for Europe and next steps’ (COM(2016)0359),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 8 March 2016 on launching a consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights (COM(2016)0127) and the annexes thereto,

–  having regard to the Commission white paper of 16 February 2012 entitled ‘An Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions’ (COM(2012)0055),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 7 December 2015 on the promotion of the social economy as a key driver of economic and social development in Europe,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2019 on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: employment and social aspects in the Annual Growth Survey 2019(13),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 December 2018 on education in the digital era: challenges, opportunities and lessons for EU policy design(14),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2018 on the employment and social policies of the euro area(15),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 September 2018 on pathways for the reintegration of workers recovering from injury and illness into quality employment(16),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 November 2017 on combating inequalities as a lever to boost job creation and growth(17),

–  having regard to its resolution of 24 October 2017 on minimum income policies as a tool for fighting poverty(18),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 September 2017 on a new skills agenda for Europe(19),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2017 on a European Pillar of Social Rights(20),

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 May 2016 on poverty: a gender perspective(21),

–  having regard to its position of 2 February 2016 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a European Platform to enhance cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work(22),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2015 on the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020(23),

–  having regard to the initiative by the OECD and the European Commission on the ‘State of Health in the EU’(24) and to the related report ‘Health at a glance: Europe 2018’(25),

–  having regard to the Commission’s 2018 Pension Adequacy Report: Current and future income adequacy in old age in the EU, published on 26 April 2018,

–  having regard to the Commission’s 2018 Ageing Report: Economic and Budgetary Projections for the EU Member States (2016-2070), published on 28 May 2018,

–  having regard to the revised European Social Charter and the Turin Process, launched in 2014 with the aim of strengthening the treaty system of the European Social Charter within the Council of Europe and in its relationship with the law of the European Union(26),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 March 2011 on reducing health inequalities in the EU(27),

–  having regard to the concluding observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of September 2015 on the initial report of the European Union to the Committee of June 2014,

–  having regard to Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (the Equal Treatment Directive)(28), and to Article 141 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (1992), regarding the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value,

–  having regard to the Commission’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 and its goal of reducing the gender pension gap as a key priority, and to the Commission’s 2018 Pension Adequacy Report,

–  having regard to the EU Youth Strategy for 2019-2027, based on the Council resolution of 26 November 2018, and to the Europe 2020 target of reducing early leaving from education and training to less than 10 %,

–  having regard to the European Court of Auditors’ Special Report No 5/2017 of April 2017 entitled ‘Youth unemployment – have EU policies made a difference? An assessment of the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative’,

–  having regard to the OECD Employment Outlook reports for 2018 and 2019,

–  having regard to the European Accessibility Act,

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 9 April 2019 on economic policy in the euro area (2019/C 136/01),

–  having regard to the Commission’s 2019 annual review of employment and social developments in Europe,

–  having regard to the Commission report of 2019 on in-work poverty,

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 2018 on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed,

–  having regard to Directive 2019/1152 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union(29),

–  having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A9-0016/2019),

A.  whereas labour market conditions in the EU continue to improve, mainly thanks to a lengthy period characterised by a positive international economic environment; whereas the employment rate has continued to increase and reached 73,5 % in the last quarter of 2018, with 240,7 million people in work, a new record level; whereas the employment rate in the euro area has increased from 66,5 % in 2017 to 67,4 % in 2018; whereas great disparities in employment rates persist between Member States, regions and population groups; whereas the pace of growth of the employment rate has slowed down and whereas this trend is expected to continue; whereas if these dynamics continue the employment rate will reach 74,3 % in 2020;

B.  whereas long-term challenges, such as population ageing, digitalisation and its impacts on work, climate change and unsustainable use of natural resources remain pressing;

C.  whereas the employment rate has grown strongly among workers aged above 55; whereas in 2018 the employment rate of workers aged between 55 and 64 in the euro area was, at 58,8 %, still well below the average; whereas in particular, women in this age category have a lower employment rate (52,9 %); whereas demographic forecasts point to a growing number of older workers; whereas demographic change impacts on pensions, healthcare and long-term care systems;

D.  whereas effective policies are needed to encompass the various forms of employment and adequately protect workers from abuse, discrimination and poverty;

E.  whereas the in-work poor represent a significant share of people at work; whereas in 2017, 9,4 % of employed people were at risk of poverty while nearly 20,5 million workers lived in households at risk of poverty; whereas for certain categories of the population, notably people working part-time, the self-employed, temporary workers, younger people, less educated persons and single households, the in-work poverty risk is substantially higher and has in some cases been increasing significantly in recent years;

F.  whereas the employment gender gap was 11.6 percentage points in 2018 and has remained almost unchanged since 2013; whereas across the EU women earn on average 16 % less than men, although this varies significantly across Member States; whereas the gender pensions gap is around 37,2 % for pensioners aged between 65 and 79 in the EU-28; whereas unequal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men is still prevalent across the EU;

G.  whereas the primary responsibility for tackling youth unemployment rests with the Member States in terms of developing and implementing labour market regulatory frameworks, education and training systems and active labour market policies;

H.  whereas the total number of hours worked has been increasing steadily but slowly since 2013; whereas the rate of permanent and full-time employment continues to rise while the rate of part-time employment was in 2018 in decline; whereas the share of people working part-time in the EU rose from 15 % in 2002 to 19 % in 2017; whereas part-time employment was much more common among women (31 %) than men (8 %) in the EU in 2017; whereas the number of involuntary part-time workers is still very high and concerns 1,3 million more people than in 2008; whereas the share of temporary employees in the EU increased from 11 % in 2002 to 13 % in 2017;

I.  whereas some Member States are faced with structural challenges in the labour market, such as low participation and skills and qualification mismatches; whereas there is a growing need for concrete measures for the integration or reintegration of the inactive workforce to meet labour market demands;

J.  whereas the unemployment rate in June 2019 fell to 6,3 % in the EU and 7,5% in the euro area; whereas it fell for all age groups and for both men and women; whereas large differences in rates remain between Member States and the dispersion of unemployment rates across national and subnational territories has continued to widen since 2007; whereas youth unemployment remains unacceptably high, at 14,2 % in April 2019 (the average for 2018 being 15,2 % in the EU and 16,9 % in the euro area), but is lower than the pre-crisis level in 2008; whereas the differences between Member States are very significant; whereas on average every second unemployed jobseeker has been without work for more than 12 months, and at 3,8% the long-term unemployment rate remains above the pre-crisis level of 2,9 %; whereas unemployment remains particularly high for persons with disabilities;

K.  whereas according to Eurostat, in 2017 there were 8,973 million underemployed part-time workers in the EU-28; whereas, in addition to this, 8,127 million persons were available to work but did not look for a job, and another 2,289 million persons were seeking work without being able to start working within a short time period; whereas in total this means that in 2017 in the EU-28, 19,389 million persons had some resemblance to being unemployed without being counted in the unemployment rate, which is almost the same number of persons as those considered unemployed (18,776 million);

L.  whereas horizontal and vertical labour market segmentation as well as in-work poverty persist and affect, in particular, women, low-skilled people, young people, older people, people with disabilities, national, linguistic, ethnic and sexual minorities, and people with a migrant background; whereas in 2016 the employment rate for people with disabilities was, at 48,1 %, well below the average employment rate;

M.  whereas long-term unemployment disproportionately affects young people, single parents, informal carers, people with long-term sickness, disability or health problems, migrants, and people from ethnic and religious minorities, who continue to face specific barriers to accessing employment and discrimination at all stages of employment;

N.  whereas quality employment is an important factor in the fight against poverty and social exclusion; whereas there is a need to reach all members of society who are furthest from the labour market and at risk of poverty and social exclusion;

O.  whereas the job vacancy rate continues to rise and the mismatch between labour demand and supply is still an important reason for unemployment in many Member States; whereas structural skills mismatches and skills shortages affect numerous sectors, among others, tourism, traditional craftsmanship and the ICT sector, where the gap between demand and supply for specialists in the EU is expected to grow to about 500 000 by 2020; whereas, despite worries over increasing skills shortages and gaps, about 39 % of employees in the EU are trapped in low-quality jobs for which they are overqualified;

P.  whereas, according to estimates by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), the distribution of skills in the labour force largely matched the qualification requirements of the labour market in 2017 and labour supply exceeded demand for all qualification types, with the difference being particularly high for low- and medium-level qualifications; whereas the demand for a skilled labour force is likely to continue to grow, and the most recent forecasts by Cedefop indicate that between 2017 and 2025 more than 13 million jobs requiring high educational attainment will be created, while the number of low-qualified jobs will decline by almost 6 million;

Q.  whereas the Cedefop forecasts show a parallel rise in skills from both the demand and the supply side until 2025; whereas, however, skills supply is expected to grow slightly faster than skills demand, with, for instance, the share of the labour force having only primary or lower secondary education being expected to decrease from 20,2 % in 2017 to 16,8 % in 2025; whereas the share of jobs for people with low-level qualifications is projected to fall from 18,4 % to 15,4 %, but this parallel development does not prevent potential skills mismatches such as overqualification;

R.  whereas the labour market is highly fragmented and each segment has its own peculiarities;

S.  whereas more than one European in five is at risk of poverty and social exclusion; whereas some progress has been made towards the poverty target of the Europe 2020 strategy with a 5,6 million reduction since 2008, but the target of reducing poverty by at least 20 million by 2020 is still far off, with 113 million people still at risk; whereas higher levels of poverty are experienced by vulnerable groups such as children, single parents, people with disabilities and those with chronic physical and mental health conditions, migrants, Roma and ethnic minorities, the long-term unemployed and the homeless; whereas there is a rapid growth in in-work poverty (9,6 %) and a widening poverty and inequality gap across the EU; whereas social transfers have a significant impact on poverty reduction in many Member States (on average by 32,4 % in 2017, without pensions being taken into account); whereas this impact has declined every year since 2010 (except for 2013) and differences between Member States are significant;

T.  whereas universal access to quality and affordable housing and healthcare is a basic societal need;

U.  whereas gaps in coverage of social protection systems and access to services persist; whereas new forms of work have emerged, including platform and self-employed work; whereas social protection is traditionally geared to covering workers in full-time open-ended contracts and therefore needs to be adapted; whereas especially, atypical workers often do not have full access to social protection and many self-employed have no or only limited coverage; whereas bogus self-employment persists, causing uncertainty, precariousness and insecurity, and is affecting vulnerable groups in particular; whereas the lack of access to social protection hampers the wellbeing of the workforce and the functioning of labour markets;

V.  whereas the EU Youth Guarantee must be further improved in line with the recommendations by the European Court of Auditors, in order to provide help to all young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs);

W.  whereas there are disparities in life expectancy related to socio-economic status; whereas these gaps largely reflect differences in exposure to risk factors (including at work), with low-income households being more likely to report unmet health needs than high-income households; whereas it is therefore important to further promote and take into account health factors in employment and social policies;

X.  whereas intermediate levels of collective bargaining seem to produce a more compressed wage structure; whereas the erosion of collective bargaining in several Member States has coincided with an increase in low pay (i.e. workers paid less than two-thirds of the median wage);

Y.  whereas good mental health is a critical part of individual wellbeing; whereas more than one in six people across the EU Member States had a mental health problem in 2016; whereas people reporting chronic depression are much less likely to be in work in all Member States;

Z.  Whereas the total costs of mental ill-health across the EU is estimated to be over EUR 600 billion, or more than 4 % of GDP;

AA.  whereas in 2017 the per capita gross disposable household income exceeded the 2008 pre-crisis level in the euro area, although this was not the case in eight Member States or in numerous regions; whereas aggregate household incomes grew slower than GDP, indicating that income gains from the recovery have reached households only to some extent and suggesting that recent growth is not inclusive; whereas average wages in real terms still lag behind pre-crisis levels in many Member States and their growth remained below productivity growth in 2017; whereas income inequality is often linked to unequal access to education, training and social protection;

AB.  whereas according to the 2018 Eurobarometer, socio-economic situation and environmental issues are the most important personal concerns of EU citizens;

AC.  whereas global developments such as digitalisation and the environmental transition underline the urgent need for a common EU approach; whereas these global challenges affect regions and territories in different ways; whereas the role of social dialogue, social partners and civil society is crucial for an inclusive transition; whereas the involvement of social partners in policymaking is still low in many Member States;

AD.  whereas the economic sectors which are responsible for close to 90 % of total CO2 emissions employ about 25 % of the workforce in the EU; whereas the reskilling of this workforce is an important part of the transition towards a sustainable economy;

AE.  whereas ambitious climate policies generate jobs and growth, and have positive effects on wellbeing; whereas according to projections, the full implementation of the Paris agreement will create an additional 1,2 million jobs in the EU by 2030, on top of the 12 million new jobs already expected;

AF.  whereas only 9 % of the 2011-2018 Country Specific Recommendations were fully implemented, while 17 % made substantial progress, 44 % made some progress, 25 % only saw limited progress and 5 % registered no progress at all;

AG.  whereas in 2019 the Commission issued recommendations for improving the effectiveness, accessibility and sustainability of healthcare to 15 Member States;

AH.  whereas average housing costs and financial overburdening have declined in the EU, but scarcity of adequate and affordable housing is still a growing problem in many Member States; whereas in 2017 one in ten Europeans spent 40 % or more of household income on housing costs;

AI.  whereas a well-functioning social dialogue is a key element of the European social market economy which strengthens social cohesion and reduces conflicts in society, to the common benefit of workers, employers and governments; whereas social dialogue and collective bargaining are key to designing and implementing policies which can improve working conditions and terms of employment;

AJ.  whereas civil society organisations make an essential contribution in providing services for inclusion as well as representing a range of views in policymaking;

1.  Notes that while the economic conditions in the EU are currently favourable and overall employment is steadily growing, it remains vital to tackle youth unemployment and the issues faced by NEETs swiftly, and there is still an urgent need for improvement in terms of long-term unemployment, labour market segmentation and inequalities, inclusion of vulnerable groups, in-work poverty and productivity, especially in the context of a potential global economy slowdown or recession; strongly regrets that real wage growth at Union level remains below what could be expected given the positive labour market and economic performance; calls on the Commission to present a European unemployment benefit reinsurance scheme to protect citizens and reduce the pressure on public finances during external shocks;

2.  Takes note of the Commission’s 2019 country-specific recommendations (CSRs) and welcomes the stronger focus on investment; notes that almost one third of the CSRs issued until 2018 have not been implemented; notes that progress as regards the implementation of the CSRs concerning legislation governing labour relations and employment protection has been considerable; regrets however that implementation of the CSRs on health and long-term care has been particularly slow and progress on the 2018 CSRs is worse than performance in previous years, and urges the Commission to put the necessary pressure on Member States, regardless of their membership of the euro area, to implement the recommendations; believes that the implementation of future-oriented reforms is crucial to strengthening the growth potential of the EU economy, fostering social inclusion and improving social rights and the well-being of all residents in the Union;

3.  Calls on Member States to follow recommendations to shift taxation away from labour to other factors that are less detrimental to sustainable growth;

4.  Notes that considerable divergences in employment persist between countries, regions and population groups, which creates countries, regions and population groups whose main or even only competitive advantage on the EU labour market is low income and/or indecent labour conditions; stresses that the Member States and the Commission should ensure the implementation of specific employment policies to address the constraints and difficulties experienced by regions at a demographic disadvantage, such as depopulated or sparsely populated regions, with a special focus on the agricultural sector, with the aim of fostering their capacity to create employment and added value in rural areas; considers it necessary to increase employment rates and income and promote decent job creation in order to achieve the Europe 2020 goal of an employment rate of at least 75 %;

5.  Deplores the fact that in many Member States the per capita gross disposable household income is still below the 2008 pre-crisis level; urges the Member States to do more to reduce inequalities;

6.  Underlines the need for well-designed labour market policies and reforms that create quality employment by adopting measures to ensure adequate minimum wages and fair remuneration, protect and promote the health and wellbeing of employees, prioritise the reintegration of the unemployed, promote equal opportunities and the equal treatment and rights of workers, including in the public sector, facilitate equal access to the labour market, social protection for all and labour mobility, take rural and isolated regions into account, and tackle inequalities and gender imbalances;

7.  Notes with great concern the high level of youth unemployment in a number of Member States and the vulnerability of young newly employed workers; calls on the Member States and the Commission to make the fight against youth unemployment a priority and to make full use of financial instruments such as the Youth Guarantee, EU programmes such as Erasmus+ and tailored measures for tackling youth unemployment and fostering youth employability; strongly regrets that many Europeans are working part-time involuntarily; notes that this has detrimental consequences for their social protection;

8.  Notes that participation of women in the labour market continues to grow, but is concerned that the gender gap in employment remains almost unchanged since 2013 and that gender inequalities in terms of employment and pay persist at a high level; notes with concern that women are overrepresented in lower-paid sectors and work more frequently in jobs that they are over-qualified for; notes that few Member States have taken action to tackle the gender pay gap; urges all Member States to strengthen their efforts to reduce the gender pay gap, the gender pension gap and disincentives to work; calls on the Commission to propose a directive on pay transparency in order to quickly close the gender pay gap;

9.  Strongly regrets that the Barcelona target of 90 % childcare availability for children from age three until mandatory school age will not be met; urges all Member States to strengthen their efforts to improve work-life balance and provide access to affordable childcare, early childcare and long-term care facilities; calls on Member States to improve training and working conditions in these services (including health services); calls on the Member States to fully and quickly implement the recently adopted directive on work-life balance for parents and carers and to encourage more men to take up paid family leave;

10.  Takes note of the CSRs dedicated to the creation of an open, competitive and dynamic single market, which is key to stimulating productivity, facilitating growth and providing employment opportunities; underlines the importance of the fair distribution of increases in prosperity in this context; calls on the Commission and the Member States to stimulate productivity through reforms which remove unnecessary regulation; highlights the fact that investments in occupational health and safety do not only improve job quality and the wellbeing of workers, but also have a positive effect on the productivity and competitiveness of the European economy;

11.  Points out the need to fight ageism in labour markets, for example by bridging the gap between young and older generations, raising awareness of the Employment Equality Directive(30), including in the public sector, securing access to lifelong learning opportunities through customised courses and training, combating the pension gap, and fostering mobility and skills exchange programmes among senior EU residents; notes that older and less-skilled workers are much less likely to participate in lifelong learning programmes; calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up efforts to change this trend; is of the opinion that more attention needs to be paid to older workers and to policies that will increase support for and enable a lifelong active society, in particular by targeting workers over 50 years of age;

12.  Stresses the need to fight discrimination against ethnic groups in the labour market and to combat the ethnic pay and pension gap; calls on the Commission to draw up a long-term planning strategy for the integration of ethnic minorities into the labour market, in order to mitigate the risk of exclusion; calls on the Commission and the Member States to strengthen efforts against discrimination based on ethnicity, membership of a minority or minority language by raising awareness, implementing diversity strategies, and collecting and analysing reliable, disaggregated data on discrimination;

13.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up efforts to ensure the greater labour market inclusion of the groups furthest from the labour market, such as single parents, informal carers, people with long-term illnesses, disabilities, health problems or complex chronic diseases, migrants and refugees, and people from ethnic and religious minorities, and their increased integration into society;

14.  Welcomes the progress made under the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and in particular Directive (EU) 2019/882 on accessibility(31); emphasises that more needs to be done, however; strongly regrets that people with disabilities remain consistently disadvantaged in terms of employment, education and social inclusion; calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue developing specific measures within employment, education and social policies to ensure the effective inclusion of people with disabilities, long-term illnesses and chronic diseases, including those with mental health disorders and psychosocial disabilities; calls on the Commission and the Member States to go beyond supporting measures and create more employment incentives, better accessibility and reasonable accommodation(32), including by taking full advantage of the economic and social inclusion opportunities offered by digitalisation;

15.  Notes the rise in new forms of employment, including the transformation brought about by digitalisation and automation; emphasises that such trends simultaneously provide benefits and challenges; stresses the importance of lifelong learning policies to enable workers to prepare for labour market transitions; underlines the importance of social dialogue, in particular when developing further strategies to address these challenges; notes that this transformation may lead to cases of atypical and precarious employment; notes with concern the inadequacy of and lack of access to social protection systems for atypical workers and the self-employed, including paid leave and paid holiday; emphasises that bogus self-employment is a persisting problem that needs to be addressed; calls on Member States to implement measures to address these issues, notably following the Council recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed agreed on 6 December 2018; welcomes this recommendation as a first step, but stresses that more needs to be done to ensure access to social protection for all;

16.  Notes that online platform work in the EU has increased by more than 25 % over the past two years to up to 5 million workers, and that a third of all platform transactions are performed cross-border; points out that platform workers are often not covered by social protection systems; stresses the need for the Commission and the Member States to collect better and more harmonised data on the number of platform workers, and their employment status, job content and income; calls for a coordinated EU initiative to ensure that platform workers have access to social protection and are guaranteed all their social and labour rights, regardless of their employment status, and to extend collective agreement coverage to platform workers;

17.  Emphasises that new communication technologies and flexibility in work organisation can often lead to longer working hours and an overlap between work, private life and personal time; points out, in particular, the need to establish a right to digitally disconnect and to explore the notions of time poverty and autonomy over working time;

18.  Stresses that a transformation of the education and training systems is necessary in order to make full use of the opportunities offered by digitalisation and the greening of the economy and to develop the skills, including ‘soft’ skills, and competences required to meet the demands of the labour market and to address the economic, social and ecological challenges of today and tomorrow; considers that skills shortages and mismatches can be major investment obstacles; emphasises that in order to acquire adequate skills it is necessary to improve the quality, availability, inclusiveness, affordability and accessibility of education and training, including vocational training, and improve the mutual recognition of qualifications; stresses that it is important to incentivise businesses to increase their investment in training; highlights that investment in education is crucial for social cohesion; stresses the importance of addressing the issue of early school leavers; calls on the Members States to follow a twin strategy of making mainstream education inclusive and providing targeted programmes for the most vulnerable; calls on the Member States to step up and encourage investments in upskilling and reskilling and in comprehensive training in digital, vocational and entrepreneurial skills, taking into account the shift towards the digital economy and to a greener economy and the demand for qualified technical professionals in many countries and regions; underlines that decent working and employment conditions are a crucial factor to attract skilled workers;

19.  Agrees with the Commission that timely efforts are needed to address digitalisation, that the EU as a whole must speed up the process, and that Union, Member State and regional policies should be better aligned, public and private resources should be pooled to increase investment and stronger synergies should be developed in the digital economy and society; stresses the need to ensure the effective and equitable digital transformation of services and that no one is left behind; emphasises that digital literacy programmes should address issues of privacy and data protection;

20.  Believes that the challenges of climate change and the transition to a greener economy demand decisive support for society, workers and businesses in order to help them cope with these crucial transformations, with a particular emphasis on the regions most affected, by improving training and education with a view to adapting skills and creating new jobs in the environment and digital sectors; calls for a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups in society, including people at risk of poverty and/or extreme material deprivation;

21.  Highlights that increasing skills use and development is linked to the creation of added value and competitiveness and should be at the core of EU polices aimed at promoting economic growth through investment in skills; points out that, though a necessary condition for growth, skills alone are not sufficient; calls, therefore, for complementary measures, following investment in initial education and training, to create and design quality jobs in the labour market that make the most of workers’ skills;

22.  Expresses concern about the consistently high number of people in Europe who lack basic numeracy and literacy skills, as these are a fundamental requirement for active participation in society and the labour market; calls on the Member States to take robust measures to enhance basic skills training provisions, particularly for the most marginalised groups in society; underlines the importance of robust arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning in order to guarantee that skills and competences are recognised as widely as possible and to promote flexibility between different education and training paths;

23.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide incentives and maintain technical assistance with a view to increasing opportunities to promote decent work for young people through employment programmes, support for young entrepreneurs via EntreComp, high-quality apprenticeship programmes, and language and vocational training, including through school curricula in the Member States, in close cooperation with the entrepreneur and research community and other relevant stakeholders;

24.  Calls on the Member States to strengthen and modernise public employment services at each territorial level through continuous training of operators, the inclusion of highly specialised counsellors and tutors, and the implementation of targeted policies for each category of the labour market;

25.  Emphasises that the Union’s social and economic goals should have equal priority and secured financial resources within the next budget, and that the European Semester should be enhanced to include a social dimension all throughout its cycle involving the competent bodies of the EU and Member States which deal with social policies; urges the Commission to enhance the CSRs for eurozone members by creating a matrix framework where social policies related to the European Pillar of Social Rights, such as inclusive access to education, health, nutrition, employment and housing, and the preservation of social rights, are analysed by social segment, for example children, young people, older people, minorities, migrants and people with disabilities, thereby creating a much more accurate image of the economic and social health of the Member States, and to examine the possible extension of this new component of the CSRs to non-Eurozone members; points out that CSRs should be coherent with economic, social and environmental EU objectives and should reinforce rather than contradict each other; calls on the Commission and the Member States to define a European sustainability strategy to overcome social, economic and climate challenges; calls on the Commission and the Member States to reinforce social rights by proposing legislation, including financial instruments where appropriate and following review, to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights within the limits of their respective competences as laid down in the Treaties;

26.  Considers it fundamental to define and finalise the social dimension of the European Union; believes it to be essential, to this end, to guarantee the right to decent living conditions, appropriate housing, an efficient and accessible healthcare system, and long-term care;

27.  Highlights that well-functioning social dialogue is a key tool in shaping working conditions, involving a variety of actors at various levels, and that it balances the interests of workers and employers and contributes to both economic competitiveness and social cohesion; calls on Member States to further strengthen social dialogue across Europe in order to balance industrial relations and, where necessary, to strengthen opportunities for collective bargaining;

28.  Deplores the fact that poverty remains unacceptably high; underlines that there is a higher risk of poverty in times of economic slowdown; stresses that while the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE) in the EU continued to decrease in 2017, some 113 million people in the EU and 74 million in the euro area were AROPE in 2017; regrets that the Europe 2020 goal of poverty reduction will most probably not be met; urges the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary steps to reduce poverty, including in-work poverty and poverty experienced by vulnerable groups; underlines the need to eradicate child poverty and calls on the Commission to propose legislation for the implementation of a European Child Guarantee; urges the Commission and the Member States to promote a rights-based anti-poverty strategy based on integrated active inclusion, combining the implementation of fundamental social rights, high-quality services and jobs with fair living wages; calls on Member States to develop actions and strategies in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights to address the social needs of those for whom the labour market is inaccessible;

29.  Emphasises that decent jobs, access to adequate social protection regardless of employment relationship or contract type, wage growth and well-resourced, high-quality public services, including education systems and accessible lifelong learning offers, have a significant impact on reducing inequalities and the risk of poverty and social exclusion and on the improvement of health and wellbeing; welcomes the significant impact of social transfers on poverty reduction; regrets, however, that this is not reflected in the national policies of all Member States; stresses the importance of the transparent evaluation of the Europe 2020 strategy, particularly in the field of poverty reduction, and the development of a social and sustainable strategy post-2020 which prioritises the eradication of poverty and supports the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals through meaningful dialogue processes with civil society and people with direct experience of poverty at EU and national level;

30.  Notes that in 2017 9,4 % of all employed people in the EU were at risk of poverty and that in-work poverty is increasing in many Member States; emphasises that in-work poverty is a fundamental sign of social unfairness and believes that it is essential to increase workers’ purchasing power, strengthen collective bargaining and define a strong and harmonised system of rights and protections for all forms of work; urges Member States to take decisive action to ensure that people can afford a decent life for themselves and their families on their wages; calls on the Commission to put forward a legal instrument to ensure that every worker in the Union has a fair minimum wage, which can be set according to national traditions, or through collective agreements or legal provisions;

31.  Considers that the proliferation of interim or precarious jobs risks having dangerous effects in terms of pension adequacy, in particular for the younger generations who often experience gaps in their career pathway and therefore their contributions, and the stability of social security systems;

32.  Notes the worrying developments in overstretched housing markets in several Member States and their detrimental consequences on people with low income and in certain regions in particular; calls on Member States to step up efforts to follow the Commission recommendations (to reduce supply bottlenecks, remove distortions and reduce biases created by the tax system) and to take action in line with recommendation 19 of the European Pillar of Social Rights;

33.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to make better use of the European Semester to monitor and support progress on housing affordability and homelessness; calls on the Commission to propose a European Framework for Social and Affordable housing for the efficient coordination of Member State policies;

34.  Notes that social and healthcare services are essential in supporting the fight against poverty and social exclusion; notes with concern that a majority of Member States have received CSRs to improve the effectiveness, accessibility and sustainability of their public healthcare systems; calls on the Member States to step up their efforts to ensure the accessibility, availability, affordability, quality and cost-effectiveness of their healthcare systems; stresses the importance of prevention and health promotion campaigns, targeted in particular at young people from disadvantaged populations; calls on the Member States to invest in making prevention a priority in their health policies; calls for the active pursuit of health promotion campaigns for both physical and mental health; recalls the importance of facilitating the reintegration of people of working age recovering from illness into the labour market; calls on the Member States to invest in care services for people at every stage of their lives, to continue to pursue, with the aim of achieving, the 2002 Barcelona childcare targets and to develop care targets for elderly and dependent people;

35.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop specific measures to follow up on the European Framework for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing and the EU-Compass for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing; believes that these measures should include mental health promotion and prevention measures and be coherent with other policy instruments, with the aim of reducing the underlying social determinants of mental health;

36.  Stresses the importance of closely monitoring and, where necessary, reviewing Union funds in order to ensure effective funding in line with EU objectives; calls on the Commission and the Member States to tackle any misuse, fraud and corruption relating to Union funds;

37.  Stresses the importance of complying with the recommendations of EU auditors;

38.  Believes that in order to maintain and increase global competitiveness, the labour market regulatory framework in the Member States needs to be clear, simple and flexible while maintaining high labour standards;

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

(1) OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
(2) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/5-presidents-report_en.pdf
(3) OJ C 179, 25.5.2018, p. 1.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0337.
(5) OJ L 307, 18.11.2008, p. 11.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0181.
(7) OJ L 188, 12.7.2019, p. 79.
(8) OJ C 155, 25.5.2011, p. 10.
(9) OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 93.
(10) OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 100.
(11) OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 109.
(12) OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 141.
(13) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0202.
(14) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0485.
(15) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0432.
(16) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0325.
(17) OJ C 356, 4.10.2018, p. 89.
(18) OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 156.
(19) OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 135.
(20) OJ C 242, 10.7.2018, p. 24.
(21) OJ C 76, 28.2.2018, p. 93.
(22) OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 157.
(23) OJ C 366, 27.10.2017, p. 117.
(24) https://ec.europa.eu/health/state/glance_en
(25) https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/state/docs/2018_healthatglance_rep_en.pdf
(26) https://www.coe.int/en/web/turin-european-social-charter/turin-process
(27) OJ C 199E, 7.7.2012, p. 25.
(28) OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 23.
(29) OJ L 186, 11.7.2019, p. 105.
(30) Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16).
(31) Directive (EU) 2019/882 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on the accessibility requirements for products and services (OJ L 151, 7.6.2019, p. 70).
(32) The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) states: ‘Reasonable accommodation’ means ‘necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms’ (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/ConventionRightsPersonsWithDisabilities.aspx); Article 5 of the Employment Equality Directive states: ‘In order to guarantee compliance with the principle of equal treatment in relation to persons with disabilities, reasonable accommodation shall be provided. This means that employers shall take appropriate measures, where needed in a particular case, to enable a person with a disability to have access to, participate in, or advance in employment, or to undergo training, unless such measures would impose a disproportionate burden on the employer. This burden shall not be disproportionate when it is sufficiently remedied by measures existing within the framework of the disability policy of the Member State concerned’ (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32000L0078&from=EN); The Commission’s website states: ‘Reasonable accommodation is any change to a job or a work environment that is needed to enable a person with a disability to apply, to perform and to advance in job functions, or undertake training’ (https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=147).

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