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 Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 6 July 2000 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Flax and hemp for fibre *
  Text
  Resolution
 Flax and hemp for fibre *
  Text
  Resolution
 Structural Funds - Innovative measures (procedure without debate)
 Draft SAB 1/2000
 Draft SAB 1/2000
 Draft SAB 2/2000
 General budget (1998 discharge)
 General budget (1998 discharge)
 General budget (1998 discharge)
 EDF (1998 discharge)
 EDF (1998 discharge)
 EDF (1998 discharge)
 EP/European Ombudsman Annex (1998 discharge)
 Beef and beef products ***II
 EMAS ***II
 Air pollution: benzene and carbon monoxide ***II
 Environmental inspections ***II
 European Council meeting of 19-20 June 2000 at Santa Maria da Feira
 Elections in Zimbabwe
 Trafficking in human beings
  Fiji and the Solomon Islands
 Tibet
 Human rights: Child soldiers in Uganda
 Human rights: The Moluccas
  Human rights: Death penalty in the USA
  Human rights: Hooliganism
  Human rights: Iraq
  Venezuela
  European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia
  Restrictions on marketing and use of dangerous substances (Phthalates and toy safety) ***I
  Text
  Resolution
  Protection of forests ***I
  Text
  Resolution
  Protection of forests ***I
  Text
  Resolution
  MEDIA/MEDIA Plus ***I/*
  Text
  Resolution
  MEDIA/MEDIA Plus ***I/*
  Text
  Resolution
  Quality evaluation in school education ***I
  Text
  Resolution
  Liberalisation of energy markets
 ECB Annual report
  Implementation of EMU
  Committee on Petitions
  European Ombudsman
  Single European sky
  Health and safety of pregnant workers

Flax and hemp for fibre *
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1251/1999 establishing a support system for producers of certain arable crops to include flax and hemp grown for fibre (COM(1999) 576 - C5-0280/1999 - 1999/0236(CNS) )
A5-0124/2000

The proposal was approved with the amendments adopted on 16 May 2000(1) and the following compromise amendments:

Text proposed by the Commission(2)   Amendments by Parliament
(Compromise amendment 39)
Recital 4a (new)
(4a) It is expected that processing aid will result in higher purchase prices for flax and hemp and so help make it economically more viable for producers to grow them.
(Compromise amendment 40)
ARTICLE 1(3)
Article 5a(1) and (2) (Regulation (EC) No 1251/1999)
'Article 5a
   1. For flax grown for fibre, the area payment shall be made only where sales of straw are covered by contracts concluded with authorised primary processors.
'Article 5a
   1. For flax grown for fibre, the area payment shall be made only where sales of straw are covered by contracts concluded with authorised primary processors; where appropriate, the sales contract may be replaced by an undertaking by the producer to carry out processing or by a job-processing contract .
   2. For hemp grown for fibre, the area payment shall be made only where:
   2. For hemp grown for fibre, the area payment shall be made only where:
   - the varieties used have a tetrahydrocannabinol content not exceeding 0.2%. However, that limit shall be set at 0.3% for the 2000/01 marketing year,
   - the varieties used have a tetrahydrocannabinol content not exceeding 0.2%. However, that limit shall be set at 0.3% for the 2000/01 marketing year,
   - the entire crop is sold under contract to authorised primary processors for uses other than human nutrition.
   - the entire crop is sold under contract to authorised primary processors for uses other than human nutrition; where appropriate, the sales contract may be replaced by an undertaking by the producer to carry out processing or by a job-processing contract .
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1251/1999 establishing a support system for producers of certain arable crops to include flax and hemp grown for fibre (COM(1999) 576 - C5-0280/1999 - 1999/0236(CNS) )
A5-0124/2000

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(1999) 576 )(3) ,

-   having regard to Article 36 of the EC Treaty,

-   having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Article 37 of the EC Treaty (C5-0280/1999 ),

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A5-0124/2000 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

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

4.   Calls for the conciliation procedure to be initiated should the Council intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

5.   Asks to be consulted again should the Council intend to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

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

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 4.
(2) OJ C 56 E, 29.2.2000, p. 17.
(3) OJ C 56 E, 29.2.2000, p. 17.


Flax and hemp for fibre *
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a Council regulation on the common organisation of the market in flax and hemp grown for fibre (COM(1999) 576 - C5-0281/1999 - 1999/0237(CNS) )
A5-0124/2000

The proposal was amended with the amendments adopted on 16 May 2000(1) and the following compromise amendments:

Text proposed by the Commission(2)   Amendments by Parliament
(Compromise amendment 41)
Recital 16a (new)
(16a) In 2003 and 2005, the Commission shall submit evaluation reports to the Council and to the European Parliament concerning national guaranteed quantities and the impact of processing aid on producers and markets in the light of this reform.
(Compromise amendment 42)
Article 2(1), 2nd subparagraph
The aid shall be granted to authorised primary processors on the basis of the quantity of fibre actually obtained from straw purchased under a contract concluded with a farmer.
The aid shall be granted to authorised primary processors on the basis of the quantity of fibre actually obtained from straw purchased under a contract concluded with a farmer. The aid shall also be granted where the producer and primary processor are one and the same person, and hence there is no sales contract, or where the farmer retains ownership of the straw and contracts the processing of the fibre out to service providers and has proved that the processed fibre has been marketed.
This compromise amendment replaces amendments 24, 27 and 33, adopted on 16 May 2000
(Compromise amendment 43)
Article 2(2)(a) and (b)
   (a) for long flax fibre:
   - EUR 60 for the 2000/01 marketing year,
   (a) for long flax fibre:
   - EUR 120 for the 2001/02 marketing year,
   - EUR 90 for the 2001/02 marketing year,
   - EUR 180 for the 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2004/05 marketing years,
   - EUR 150 for the 2002/03 to 2005/06 marketing years,
   - EUR 200 from the 2005/06 marketing year onwards,
   - EUR 200 from the 2006/07 marketing year onwards,
   (b) for short flax fibre and hemp fibre containing not more than 5% impurities and shives: EUR 40 for the 2000/01 to 2004/05 marketing years.
   (b) for short flax fibre and hemp fibre containing not more than 7.5% impurities and shives: EUR 80 for the 2001/02 to 2005/06 marketing years.
This compromise amendment replaces amendments 9, 10 and 26, adopted on 16 May 2000
(Compromise amendment 44)
Article 2(3), 1st subparagraph
The quantities of fibre eligible for aid shall be restricted on the basis of the areas for which a straw purchase contract has been concluded.
The quantities of fibre eligible for aid shall be restricted on the basis of the areas for which a straw purchase contract has been concluded, where the producer and primary processor are one and the same person or where the farmer retains ownership of the straw and contracts the processing of the fibre out to service providers and has proved that the processed fibre has been marketed.
(Compromise amendment 45)
Article 3(2)
   2. A maximum guaranteed quantity of 119 250 tonnes per marketing year shall be established for short flax fibre and hemp fibre containing not more than 5% impurities and shives. That quantity shall be apportioned as follows among the Member States as national guaranteed quantities:
   - 10 350 tonnes for Belgium,
   - 100 tonnes for Denmark,
   - 6 300 tonnes for Germany,
   - 18 700 tonnes for Spain,
   - 61 350 tonnes for France,
   - 100 tonnes for Italy,
   - 5 550 tonnes for the Netherlands,
   - 1 750 tonnes for Austria,
   - 650 tonnes for Portugal,
   - 1 000 tonnes for Finland,
   - 1 150 tonnes for Sweden,
   - 12 100 tonnes for the United Kingdom,
   - 50 tonnes for each of the other Member States.
The national guaranteed quantities for short flax fibre and hemp fibre, reduced where applicable in accordance with paragraph 3, shall cease to apply from the 2005/06 marketing year.
   2. A maximum guaranteed quantity of 119 250 tonnes per marketing year shall be established for short flax fibre and hemp fibre containing not more than 7.5% impurities and shives. That quantity shall be apportioned as follows among the Member States as national guaranteed quantities:
   - 10 350 tonnes for Belgium,
   - 100 tonnes for Denmark,
   - 6 300 tonnes for Germany,
   - 18 700 tonnes for Spain,
   - 61 350 tonnes for France,
   - 100 tonnes for Italy,
   - 5 550 tonnes for the Netherlands,
   - 1 750 tonnes for Austria,
   - 650 tonnes for Portugal,
   - 1 000 tonnes for Finland,
   - 1 150 tonnes for Sweden,
   - 12 100 tonnes for the United Kingdom,
   - 50 tonnes for each of the other Member States.
The national guaranteed quantities for short flax fibre and hemp fibre, reduced where applicable in accordance with paragraph 3, shall cease to apply from the 2006/07 marketing year.
This compromise amendment replaces amendments 26 and 30, adopted on 16 May 2000.
(Compromise amendment 46)
Article 3(3), subparagraphs 3a and 3b (new)
The Member States may exchange with each other part of the national guaranteed quantities set out in paragraph 1 (long fibres) and paragraph 2 (short fibres and hemp).
These national guaranteed quantities relate to processing aid, but not to aid per hectare.
(Compromise amendment 47)
Article 8, 2nd indent
   - the conditions to be met by approved primary processors as regards straw purchase contracts,
   - the conditions to be met by approved primary processors as regards straw purchase contracts where farmers process the fibre themselves or processing is contracted out to service-providers ,
This amendment replaces amendment 33 adopted on 16 May 2000.
(Compromise amendment 48)
Article 8, 3rd indent
   - the criteria to be met, firstly by long flax fibre and, secondly, by short flax fibre and hemp fibre containing not more than 5% impurities and shives,
   - the criteria to be met, firstly by long flax fibre and, secondly, by short flax fibre and hemp fibre containing not more than 7.5% impurities and shives,
This amendment replaces amendment 34, adopted on 16 May 2000.
(Compromise amendment 49)
Article 12a(1) (new)
Article 12a
   1. In 2003, the Commission shall submit to the Council and the European Parliament a progress report on production trends in individual Member States. The report shall, where appropriate, form the basis for re-allocation measures, which may also lead to an increase in the national guaranteed quantities.
This amendment replaces amendments 27, 28, 29 and 30, adopted on 16 May 2000.
(Compromise amendment 50)
Article 12a(2) and (3)(new)
   2. In 2005, the Commission shall submit to the Council and the European Parliament a report on processing aid for short flax fibre and hemp fibre and long flax fibre, containing an assessment of the impact of processing aid in particular on
   - the situation of producers as regards areas under cultivation and producer prices,
   - trends in the markets for textile fibres and the development of innovative products and
   - the processing industry.
The report will indicate, in the light of alternative production, whether the industry is capable of functioning in accordance with the guidelines laid down, together with proposals, if appropriate.
   3. The report on flax and hemp to be presented by the Commission in 2005 shall include the extension of processing aid for short fibres.
(Compromise amendment 51)
Article 12a(4)(new)
   4. In 2002 the Commission shall submit to the Council and Parliament a report on the impact of the present reform on the income of producers, with new proposals on guaranteeing their income if appropriate.
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council regulation on the common organisation of the market in flax and hemp grown for fibre (COM(1999) 576 - C5-0281/1999 - 1999/0237(CNS) )
A5-0124/2000

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(1999) 576 )(3) ,

-   having regard to Article 36 of the EC Treaty,

-   having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Article 37 of the EC Treaty (C5-0281/1999 ),

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A5-0124/2000 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

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

4.   Calls for the conciliation procedure to be initiated should the Council intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

5.   Asks to be consulted again should the Council intend to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

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

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 4.
(2) OJ C 56 E, 29.2.2000, p. 19.
(3) OJ C 56 E, 29.2.2000, p. 19.


Structural Funds - Innovative measures (procedure without debate)
European Parliament resolution on the draft Guidelines for the various types of innovative measures in the context of Article 22 of the General Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 - Innovative Measures under Article 6 of the ESF Regulation (C5-0235/2000 - 2000/2127(COS) )
A5-0182/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the draft Guidelines (C5-0235/2000 ),

-   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999(1) laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds and, in particular, to Article 22 thereof,

-   having regard to European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999(2) on the European Social Fund and, in particular, to Article 6 thereof,

-   having regard to the decisions of the Berlin European Council of 24 and 25 March 1999 on the financial endowment of the Structural Funds for the period 2000-2006,

-   having regard to the Code of conduct on the implementation of structural policies by the Commission dated 6 May 1999(3) ,

-   having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A5-0182/2000 ),

A.   whereas innovative measures play an important role in the Structural Funds system by seeking to identify examples of best practice which may subsequently be further circulated under other Structural Fund interventions and under the European Employment Strategy,

B.   whereas regular evaluation of the results of the measures financed is a precondition for achieving the greatest possible multiplier effect as regards innovative measures,

C.   whereas, compared with those allocated for the previous programming period, the resources allocated to innovative measures for the 2000-2006 programming period have been severely cut back, and whereas the appropriations allocated must be used to maximum effect,

D.   whereas, in the relevant provisions of the Structural Fund Regulations, the concept of innovation is inadequately defined, and whereas, therefore, the primary objective of the guidelines must be to define more closely the concept of "innovative measures" in the context of the Structural Funds,

1.   Takes the view that the text submitted by the Commission falls woefully short of fulfilling the criteria set out in the Guidelines and calls on the Commission, therefore, to clarify its text with regard to the substantive definition of innovation, as well as administrative procedures, evaluation of measures carried out and the strategy for circulating results;

2.   Takes the view that the search for innovative approaches in the field of labour market policy requires consultation or the broadest possible spectrum of all involved; therefore opposes the practice of restricted calls for proposals and calls on the Commission, instead, to publish calls for proposals in the Official Journal of the European Communities as part of a more substantial and wider-ranging information policy seeking to mobilise the broadest possible pool of potential participants;

3.   Calls on the Commission, when fixing support priorities and selecting projects, to take into account the following criteria:

   -
relevance for the European Employment Strategy,
   -
innovative features as regards the objective and implementation of the measure,
   -
quality and permanence of the measure,
   -
transferability of the results under the ESF;

4.   Calls on the Commission, pursuant to the second and third indents of point 1.3. of the Code of conduct on the implementation of structural policies by the Commission, to forward to it information concerning the pilot projects and studies undertaken, together with:

   -
an evaluation report on the implementation of the innovative measures undertaken during the 1994-1999 programming period, including the new jobs created and the quality of these jobs,
   -
an evaluation of the measures undertaken in the current programming period in connection with each individual call for proposals;

5.   Calls on the Commission to inform it on an annual basis - for example by means of a presentation to the appropriate committee by the relevant Commissioner - of the Commission's support priorities; reserves the right to submit to the Commission proposals for support priorities in its resolution on the budgetary guidelines;

6.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission.

(1) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 213, 13.8.1999, p. 5.
(3) OJ C 279, 1.10.1999, p. 488.


Draft SAB 1/2000
Draft supplementary and amending budget No 1 for the financial year 2000
C5-0314/2000

Amendment 0001*

SECTION III - COMMISSION - Part B (Operating appropriations)

B5-312 Subsidy for the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products

2000 budget

DSAB

Amendment

New amounts

B5-312 - Subsidy for the European Agency for the Evaluation of medicinal Products

13 200 000

13 200 000

1 000 000

1 000 000

14 200 000

14 200 000

NOMENCLATURE: Unchanged

REMARKS: Amend as follows:

At the start of the paragraph, add:

Revenue:

Title 1 Special contribution, orphan medicinal products1 000 000

SCHEDULE: Unchanged

   -
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Amendment 0002*

SECTION III - COMMISSION - Part B (Operating appropriations)

B7-547 Transitory civil administrations

2000 budget

DSAB

Amendment

New amounts

B7-547

0

0

10 000 000

   10.000
000

10 000 000

10 000 000

0

0

1 000 000

1 000 000

1 000 000

1 000 000

B7-872 - Promotion of Community investment in developing countries of Asia, Latin America, the Mediterranean and in South Africa by economic cooperation and trade agreements

   -
11 000 000

-

6 795 000

-

17 795 000

26 780 480

NOMENCLATURE: Unchanged

REMARKS: Insert the following:

Council Regulation (EC) No 1080/2000 of 22 May 2000 on support for the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (OHR) (OJ L 122, 24.5.2000, p.27).

The adoption of a specific legal basis warrants an appropriate additional budget allocation.

SCHEDULE: Automated schedule

   -
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Amendment 0003*

SECTION III - COMMISSION - Part B (Operating appropriations)

B7-532 Macroeconomic assistance for the countries of the western Balkans

2000 budget

DSAB

Amendment

New amounts

B7-532 - Macroeconomic assistance for the countries of the western Balkans

15 000 000

15 000 000

20 000 000

20 000 000

35 000 000

35 000 000

NOMENCLATURE: Unchanged

REMARKS:

Add the following after the third paragraph:

Council Decision 2000/355/EC of 22 May 2000 providing exceptional financial assistance for Montenegro (OJ L 127, 27.5.2000, p. 56).

Add after the fourth paragraph:

This appropriation is also intended to finance exceptional assistance for Montenegro in order to consolidate the democratic process underway and prevent a further serious crisis in the region. Before the second tranche is paid, the Commission must give the budgetary authority a progress report on the contributions by the other donors.

SCHEDULE: Automated schedule

   -
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Amendment 0004*

SECTION III - COMMISSION - Part B (Operating appropriations)

B7-671 N Rapid Reaction Facility

2000 Budget

DSAB

Amendment

New Amounts

B7-671 N

-

-

-

-

pm

pm

pm

pm

NOMENCLATURE: Create a new heading as follows :

B7-671 N Rapid Reaction Facility

REMARKS: Reinstate PDB

SCHEDULE: Automated schedule

   -
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Draft SAB 1/2000
European Parliament resolution on draft supplementary and amending budget No 1 for the financial year 2000 (C5-0314/2000 )
A5-0183/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 272 thereof,

-   having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Article 234 thereof,

-   having regard to the Financial Regulation of 21 December 1977 applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, as last amended by Regulation (EC, ECSC, Euratom) No 2673/1999(1) , and in particular Articles 15 and 32 thereof,

-   having regard to the general budget of the European Communities for the financial year 2000, adopted on 16 December 1999(2) ,

-   having regard to preliminary draft supplementary and amending budget No 1 for the financial year 2000, submitted by the Commission (SEC(2000) 757 ),

-   having regard to draft supplementary and amending budget No 1 for the financial year 2000, established by the Council (9257/2000 - C5-0314/2000 ),

-   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999(3) ,

-   having regard to its position of 4 May 2000 on the proposal for a Council regulation on support to bodies set up by the international community after conflicts either to take charge of the interim civilian administration of certain regions or to implement peace agreements (COM(2000) 95 - C5-0118/2000 -2000/0042(CNS) )(4) ,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A5-0183/2000 ),

A.   whereas draft supplementary and amending budget No 1 for the financial year 2000 deals, on the revenue side, with the balances from the budget for the financial year 1999, with a revision concerning customs duties, VAT and GNP, as well as with the correction of the budgetary imbalance for the UK and other opting-out decisions,

B.   whereas it also introduces minor changes to the nomenclature in Subsection B1 and provides for transfers of appropriations within headings 3 and 4 of the financial perspective on the expenditure side,

C.   whereas it has undertaken to carry out redeployment in order to cover additional requirements for Kosovo in 2000,

1.   Notes the new statement of revenue resulting from draft supplementary and amending budget No 1 for the financial year 2000;

2.   Takes note of the amendments made to the nomenclature in Subsections B1 and B2 pursuant to the rules in force;

3.   Decides to amend draft supplementary and amending budget No 1 for the financial year 2000;

4.   Calls on the Council to accept all its amendments as soon as possible, given the urgency of the requirements to be financed;

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

(1) OJ L 326, 18.12.1999, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 40, 14.2.2000.
(3) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1.
(4) Texts Adopted, Item 6.


Draft SAB 2/2000
European Parliament resolution on draft supplementary and amending budget No 2 for the 2000 financial year (C5-0342/2000 )
A5-0192/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 272 thereof,

-   having regard to the Financial Regulation of 21 December 1977 applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, as last amended by Regulation (EC, ECSC, EURATOM) No 2673/1999(1) and in particular Article 15 thereof,

-   having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the 2000 financial year, finally adopted on 16 December 1999(2) ,

-   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999(3) ,

-   having regard to preliminary draft supplementary and amending budget No 2/2000 drawn up by the Commission (SEC(2000) 1095 ),

-   having regard to draft supplementary and amending budget No 2/2000, established by the Council (9779/2000 - C5-0342/2000 ),

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A5-0192/2000 ),

A.   whereas the margin in heading 5 of the financial perspective for the financial year 2000 is EUR 90.7 million,

B.   whereas draft supplementary and amending budget No 2/2000 deals with the Council's requirements arising from the conclusions of the Helsinki European Council on 10 and 11 December 1999, and notably will strengthen the common European security and defence policy,

C.   whereas draft supplementary and amending budget No 2/2000 deals also with Parliament's buildings needs in Brussels;

1.   Accepts the Council's draft supplementary and amending budget No 2/2000 without amendment;

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

(1) OJ L 326, 18.12.1999, p.1.
(2) OJ L 40, 14.2.2000.
(3) OJ C 172, 18.06.1999, p.1.


General budget (1998 discharge)
European Parliament Decision giving discharge to the Commission in respect of implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the 1998 financial year (SEC(1999) 412 - C5-0006/1999 - 1999/2050(DEC))
A5-0190/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the revenue and expenditure account, the analysis of financial management and the balance sheet of the European Union for the financial year 1998 (SEC(1999) 412 - C5-0006/1999 , SEC(1999) 413 - C5-0007/1999 , SEC(1999) 415 - C5-0009/1999 , SEC(1999) 1473 - C5-0204/1999 ),

-   having regard to the annual report concerning the 1998 financial year (C5-0266/1999 ) and the special reports of the Court of Auditors and the Institutions' replies (1) ,

-   having regard to the statement of assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors pursuant to Article 248 of the EC Treaty (C5-0266/1999 ),

-   having regard to the Council recommendation of 13 March 2000 (C5-0154/2000 ),

-   having regard to its resolution of 13 April 2000 on the postponement of discharge to the Commission in respect of implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 1998(2) and the Commission's replies,

-   having regard to the ECSC Treaty and in particular Article 78g thereof,

-   having regard to the EC Treaty and in particular Article 276 thereof,

-   having regard to the EAEC Treaty and in particular Article 180b thereof,

-   having regard to Rule 93 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A5-0190/2000 ),

A.   whereas, pursuant to Article 274 of the EC Treaty, the Commission bears responsibility for implementing the budget in accordance with the principles of sound financial management,

B.   whereas the Commission must, in so doing, ensure the legality and regularity of revenue and expenditure,

C.   whereas, pursuant to Article 276 of the EC Treaty, Parliament is required to give a discharge to the Commission in respect of implementation of the budget and thereby assumes responsibility for ensuring that the Commission meets its Treaty obligations in full,

D.   whereas Parliament is thus accountable to the citizens of the Union for ensuring that their money is spent as economically and efficiently as possible and that the institutions of the Union do everything in their power to secure maximum protection against fraud, corruption and organised crime and to reduce the number of errors in the implementation of the budget as far as possible,

E.   whereas Parliament has postponed discharge for the 1998 financial year in order to ensure that the Commission actually makes all the necessary efforts to improve the implementation of the budget as far as possible and that the Commission pursues a policy of zero tolerance in dealing with cases of fraud, corruption or mismanagement,

F.   whereas the Commission has satisfied most of the requirements set out in its above-mentioned resolution of 13 April 2000 on the postponement of the discharge:

   (a)
The Commission is prepared to take action to cut drastically the errors in implementation of the budget.
   (b)
Against the background of the Fléchard case, the Commission has clarified its procedure for the forfeiture of claims and has announced that in revising the Financial Regulation it will propose a clear allocation of responsibilities for all areas of implementation of the budget, including the charging of costs.
   (c)
The Commission has agreed to answer further questions on the Fléchard case.
   (d)
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has renewed its search for the minutes of the meeting of 7 January 1994 in the private office of the then Commission President relating to the Fléchard case.
   (e)
The Commission will issue new rules for the electronic registration, archiving and management of documents by the end of 2000.
   (f)
The Commission has stated its readiness to reopen disciplinary proceedings in connection with the Echo affair if new evidence comes to light.
   (g)
OLAF is examining whether the full dossier has been submitted to the competent judicial authorities in Belgium, France and Italy in the MED affair.
   (h)
The Commission is prepared to consider the opening of disciplinary proceedings in the light of the outcome of the investigations conducted by the national judicial authorities in the MED affair.
   (i)
The Commission has reported the findings of its investigation into visiting scientists' contracts for the 1998 financial year to Parliament, started disciplinary proceedings in connection with the case of a visiting scientist employed at the instigation of a former Commissioner and forwarded the relevant OLAF report to the Belgian judicial authorities.
   (j)
The Member of the Commission responsible for financial control has launched an administrative investigation in connection with the withheld warning of serious deficiencies at the Joint Research Centre (particularly with the handling of nuclear materials).
   (k)
The Commission has submitted a report by the Financial Controller on the number of correcting communications and postponements/withholdings of approvals in 1998, including an analysis of the most frequent types of errors.
   (l)
The Commission has submitted a report on action taken with regard to Member States which have not yet implemented the integrated administration and control system for agricultural expenditure. Parliament in its above-mentioned resolution of 13 April 2000 called for the system to be fully implemented by April 2002 at the latest.
   (m)
The Commission has submitted a report on the measures that it has taken in response to the recommendations of Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into the Community Transit System.
   (n)
The Commission has submitted a report on the number and outcome of disciplinary proceedings carried out since 1998 in all cases in which the Community's financial interests are affected,

G.   whereas the Fléchard case cannot be considered closed until the problems it has revealed, and in particular the questions relating to the monitoring and control of export operations, the proportionality of penalties and the structure of administrative and judicial penalties, have been satisfactorily resolved,

H.   whereas the Commission and Parliament have concluded an interinstitutional agreement to address the fundamental principles set out in particular in paragraph 26 of its resolution of 19 January 2000 on the discharge for the 1997 financial year(3) on Parliament's access to information within the framework of Article 276 of the EC Treaty; deploring, however, that the Commission is not yet prepared to afford Parliament at least the same access to its documents as the Court of Auditors,

I.   whereas the Commission has also not said that it will introduce an independent external element in its disciplinary procedure but that it will do no more than ensure that the various institutions are represented on the disciplinary board in future,

J.   whereas the current practice of administrative investigations and disciplinary proceedings within the Commission should be evaluated by an independent external body, including a study of best practice within public administration,

K.   whereas the new director of OLAF has submitted a revealing list of cases of suspected fraud or corruption,

L.   whereas the Commission has brought forward a comprehensive package of proposals in the White Paper on administrative reform,

1.   Gives the Commission discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the 1998 financial year;

2.   Records its comments in the attached resolution;

3.   Instructs its President to forward this decision and the resolution containing its comments to the Commission, the Council, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank and to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (L series).

(1) OJ C 349, 3.12.1999.
(2) Texts Adopted, Item 1.
(3) Texts Adopted, Item 2.


General budget (1998 discharge)
European Parliament Decision closing the accounts relating to the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the 1998 financial year (SEC(1999) 412 - C5-0006/1999 - 1999/2050(DEC))
A5-0190/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the budget of the European Union for the 1998 financial year,

-   having regard to the consolidated revenue and expenditure account and balance sheet for the 1998 financial year(1) ,

-   having regard to the annual report concerning the financial year 1998 (C5-0266/1999 )(2) and the special reports of the Court of Auditors and the Institutions' replies,

-   having regard to the Statement of Assurance as to the reliability of the accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions provided by the Court of Auditors pursuant to Article 248 of the EC Treaty (C5-0266/1999 )(3) ,

-   having regard to the Council recommendation of 13 March 2000 (C5-0154/2000 ),

-   having regard to its resolution of 13 April 2000 on the postponement of discharge to the Commission in respect of implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 1998(4) ,

-   having regard to the ECSC Treaty and in particular Article 78g thereof,

-   having regard to the EC Treaty and in particular Article 276 thereof,

-   having regard to the EAEC Treaty and in particular Article 180b thereof,

-   having regard to Rule 93 of and Annex V to its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A5-0190/2000 ),

A.   whereas pursuant to Article 275 of the EC Treaty responsibility for drawing up the revenue and expenditure account lies with the Commission,

1.   Notes that the estimated revenue for the 1998 financial year and the resources finally approved for payments amounted to:

ECU m

   (a)
Revenue

83 652.2

   (b)
Appropriations for payments

83 833.7

2.   Notes the following amounts relating to commitments:

   (a)
Appropriations available

91 257.2

   (b)
Commitments entered into

88 340.1

3.   Notes the following consolidated revenue and expenditure account for the 1998 financial year drawn up by the Commission:

   (a)
Revenue

84 529.688

   (b)
Expenditure

81 637.410

Outturn for the financial year

2 892.278

Appropriations carried over

from previous year which lapsed

139.888

Exchange differences

   -
9.069

   (c)
Balance for the 1998 financial year

3 023.097

This balance reflects the accounting

situation only and does not include

expenditure actually incurred during

the financial year.

4.   Notes the following consolidated balance sheet drawn up by the Commission:

ASSETS

(ECU)

31.12.1998

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.

Initial costs
Intangible fixed assets
Tangible fixed assets
Investments
Long-term assets
Stocks
Short-term assets
Cash investments
Disposable assets
Transitional accounts

0.00
5 845 764.72
3 310 191 517.32
1 759 379 676.18
5 220 957 624.15
115 403 333.57
3 398 243 672.09
28 133 056.11
10 369 743 197.83
297 899 722.12

TOTAL

24 505 797 564.09

LIABILITIES

(ECU)

31.12.1998

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.

Own capital
Provisions for risks and liabilities
Long-term liabilities
Short-term liabilities
Transitional accounts

9 739 965 069.34
1 281 955 805.29
5 445 277 097.45
7 588 124 501.33
450 475 090.68

TOTAL

24 505 797 564.09

5.   Recalls that, according to the statements made by the Court of Auditors in the context of its above-mentioned Statement of Assurance, the figures presented in the consolidated revenue and expenditure account are marred by a number of errors and weaknesses:

   (a)
the understatement of fixed assets, essentially buildings, by around ECU 540 m ,
   (b)
a net overstatement of debtors in the region of ECU 1000 m principally resulting from the overstatement of sums likely to be recovered for unpaid customs duties and agricultural levies,
   (c)
an understatement of cash and debtors amounting to at least ECU 600 m because some amounts held on bank accounts, or paid as advances to third parties which act as agents for the Commission, have been omitted from the balance sheet,
   (d)
the inaccurate and inadequate presentation of information on advances and payments on account at 31 December 1998,
   (e)
the overstatement of commitments still to be settled by some ECU 660 m ,
   (f)
the omission of certain commitments (ECU 352.7 m) and potential liabilities (at least ECU 2 794 m);

6.   Approves the closure of the accounts for the implementation of the general budget for the financial year 1998;

7.   Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Commission, the Council, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank and to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (L series).

(1) OJ C 350, 3.12.1999, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 349, 3.12.1999.
(3) OJ C 349, 3.12.1999, pp. 168-169.
(4) Texts Adopted, Item 1.


General budget (1998 discharge)
European Parliament resolution containing the comments which form an integral part of the decision giving discharge to the Commission for the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the 1998 financial year (SEC(1999) 412 - C5-0006/1999 - 1999/2050(DEC))
A5-0190/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to Article 276 of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Article 89(7) of the Financial Regulation, pursuant to which each Community institution is required to take all appropriate steps to act on the comments appearing in the decisions giving discharge,

-   whereas pursuant to paragraph 8 of the same article the institutions are also required to report, at the request of the European Parliament, on the measures taken in the light of these comments and particularly on the instructions given to those of their departments which are responsible for the implementation of the budget,

-   having regard to the annual report concerning the financial year 1998 (C5-0266/1999 )(1) and the special reports of the Court of Auditors and the Institutions' replies,

-   having regard to the Council recommendation of 13 March 2000 (C5-0154/2000 ),

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A5-0190/2000 ),

A.   whereas Commission President Prodi took office with the ambition of transforming the European Commission into an efficient and transparent public service conscious of its responsibilities and, in the process, of combating mismanagement, fraud and corruption at all levels,

B.   whereas although the new Commission may not be directly responsible for these cases, it is responsible for the extent to which it succeeds in drawing the requisite conclusions,

C.   whereas the European Parliament has stressed the need for zero tolerance in cases of fraud and other irregularities which cause damage to the financial interests of the Union, while at the same time underlining the need for objective, transparent disciplinary proceedings conducted in accordance with the rules of due process and respect for the rights of the defence,

D.   whereas the discharge postponed on 13 April 2000 can therefore now be granted although Parliament expects the Commission to take further measures, which are outlined below,

Statement of Assurance

1.   Points out that in 1998 for the fifth consecutive time the Court of Auditors declined to provide an assurance that the transactions underlying the payments for the financial year were, taken as a whole, legal and regular(2) ;

2.   Points out that against this background the Council failed for the first time to make its recommendation unanimously;

3.   Points out that the figures provided by the Court of Auditors do not indicate a positive trend, that the number of substantive errors is still high and that the expenditure managed directly by the Commission is no less affected than Community expenditure effected by the Member States;

4.   Concludes that the SEM 2000 reform of financial management introduced in 1995 by the then Commission has so far failed to produce any tangible results whatsoever in 1998; notes, with a view to future discharge procedures, that in the Court of Auditors' estimation the potential benefits are unlikely to be felt until after the end of the current programme planning period in 2000;

5.   Warns of the risk that the current reform could suffer a similar fate and confirms the call made in its resolution of 13 April 2000(3) on the postponement of the 1998 discharge for the Commission to arrive at a positive statement of assurance for the 2003 financial year at the latest;

6.   Underlines the need to set verifiable intermediate objectives for this process; calls on the Commission to formulate such objectives by the end of the year;

Own resources

7.   Calls on the Commission to initiate a policy to assess the extent of conformity of national VAT legislation and to submit an initial report shortly, limited if necessary to a sectoral investigation;

8.   Calls on the Commission to submit to Parliament and the Council a report analysing the Member States" VAT revenue since the transitional VAT system was set up, with evaluations and details of the type of the various frauds which have been detected;

Common agricultural policy

9.   Calls on the Commission to ensure that the principle of budgetary universality is respected, in such a way that the sums recovered by the Commission in respect of Member State expenditure are entered as revenue in the Community budget, and that corrections made by Member States concerning an earlier declaration no longer give rise to any offsettings against expenditure for the month concerned;

10.   Calls on the Commission to propose suitable amendments to the Financial Regulation and the regulation concerned, to ensure respect for the principle of annuality and allow expenditure to be entered in the accounts for the financial year to which it belongs;

11.   Calls on the Commission, in the context of clearance of the EAGGF accounts, in future to continue to assess claims for repayments by Member States on the basis of proven loss to the Union budget and to carry out flat-rate financial corrections only in cases where no precise figure can be put on the loss;

12.   Concludes in the specific case of export of butter to the former USSR that in 1994 the Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture after initial in-house resistance from other Commission departments ultimately suggested to the Irish authorities that the penalty deposit be reduced from ECU 17.6 million to ECU 3 million although, according to the Court of Auditors, there was no specific statutory basis for doing so; furthermore concludes that the handling of this and similar cases by the Commission has been contested by the Court of Auditors;

13.   Welcomes the fact that OLAF has opened an investigation to determine why the minutes of the crucial meeting of 7 January 1994 in the private office of the then Commission President are apparently nowhere to be found; calls on OLAF to forward the report of its investigation to Parliament as soon as possible and also to report on whether the firm concerned has since been the subject of investigations by Commission departments or the competent national investigative authorities;

14.   Makes clear that consideration of the case and the issue of possible consequences cannot be concluded until

   -
the results of the OLAF investigation have been assessed and
   -
it has been established that the Commission has forwarded to Parliament all available documents relating to the case;

15.   Calls upon its Committee responsible to follow-up on the general issues brought up by this case, notably:

   (a)
the retroactive application of Community law
   (b)
the criteria that determine the proportionality of the reduction of financial corrections
   (c)
the circumstances under which a significant amount of debt (ECU 135 million) is waived annually by the Commission under Article 29 of the Financial Regulation
   (d)
the extent to which similar cases to the butter exports to the former USSR exist
   (e)
the question of who holds ultimate responsibility if individual judgments involve potential losses up to a set amount

and to report on its findings in the context of the 1999 discharge;

16.   Expects the Commission to cooperate constructively in the clarification of these matters;

Structural measures

17.   Considers that the responsibility for implementing the Structural Funds should more clearly delineate the role of the Commission (if necessary by amending the implementing regulations), and should give it power to impose penalties which would make it possible genuinely to mitigate any shortcomings;

18.   Calls for monitoring of the Structural Funds to be more effective and for mid-term evaluation to be a genuine instrument of sound management;

19.   Considers that the Commission must unambiguously clarify what expenditure is eligible for support, particularly with regard to the actual implementation of the Structural Funds as a whole in the Objective 1 and 2 regions for which they are intended under the regulations, and welcomes the development of new data sheets on eligibility;

20.   Insists that it be kept informed by the Commission about the effectiveness of the controls by the Member States on the basis of Article 39(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999;

21.   Insists it be informed about general problems in contacts with the Member States relating to the application of Article 39(2) of that Regulation;

22.   Considers that an improvement in the advance estimation of the payment appropriations which will be required could prevent the substantial differences between budget allocations and budget implementation in the case of structural measures; regards the persistent attempts by the Council to cut payment appropriations for the Structural Funds as causing unnecessary liquidity shortfalls, as well as problems in their application in regions suffering from both the highest rates of unemployment and the lowest levels of per capita income;

23.   Deplores the persistently large number of irregularities identified by the Court of Auditors, particularly with regard to expenditure certificates; calls on the Member States, therefore, to bring their administrative systems into line with the requirements of the Structural Fund regulations in order to ensure efficient administration of structural measures in the new programme planning period, 2000-2006;

24.   Observes with some surprise that even at the end of this programming period measures from before 1989 have still not been concluded, and calls on the Commission to close the 1989-1993 programming period more rapidly, making use of the option to cancel commitments automatically;

25.   Notes that, despite having been called upon to do so in the past, the Commission still has not ensured that the payment appropriations of the European Social Fund are brought into line with actual needs;

26.   Observes that it was not possible for the Commission to implement satisfactorily the allocation for integrated measures through multifund projects, entered in the context of the Community initiatives; now expects cooperation with other Community programmes at the directorates-general responsible to proceed more efficiently once each Community initiative is financed from a single fund;

27.   Draws attention to the criticism by the Court of Auditors that the impact of Structural Fund measures on employment cannot be sufficiently ascertained, and calls on the Council and Commission to comply with Parliament's reiterated call for the adoption of appropriate indicators and improved evaluation;

28.   Expects the Commission, in the negotiations on the programme planning period 2000-2006, to insist on a better thematic balance in national plans for European Social Fund measures;

29.   Hopes that the Commission will adopt more effective measures to eliminate the errors in payments (eligible expenditure) identified by the Court of Auditors in its Annual Report;

Internal policies

30.   Stresses that it is of great importance that key policy and financial management tasks are carried out by officials who are fully answerable to the institution for their work and that excessive reliance on external contractors is to be avoided;

31.   Recognises that the budgetary authority will have to take full account of the human and financial resource requirements of, and the need for redeployment due to, new initiatives requested of the Commission, respecting the Treaty and interinstitutional limits agreed by the institutions and the Member States in the agreement of 6 May 1999;

32.   Calls upon the Commission to establish indicators that will enable programme effectiveness and efficiency to be assessed, taking into consideration the relative significance of administrative costs;

33.   Draws the Commission's attention to the fact that Parliament's committees have begun to establish monitoring mechanisms and recalls its demand that they should be provided with the necessary information on a regular basis;

Research

34.   Deplores the significant incidence of substantive errors in approximately one third of the payments where the Commission had paid too much, mostly due to ineligible costs having been claimed by the beneficiaries and, in addition, the formal errors which occurred in almost one fifth of the payments;

35.   Deplores the errors and inaccuracies, including deliberate overcharging, in almost two thirds of the payments based upon cost declarations, due to misinterpretations, insufficient control by Commission services and the absence of contractually defined penalties in cases of overcharging;

36.   Calls on the Commission rapidly to ensure the clarification and simplification of its standard contracts and give precise and unambiguous definitions of "eligible costs” in order to reduce the risk of overcharging;

37.   Calls on the Commission to eliminate defects inherent in the system by revising the legislation and to improve the legality and regularity of payments by improving and intensifying its control of cost claims submitted by beneficiaries;

38.   Asks the Court of Auditors for an in-depth examination of the legality and regularity of payments, in particular in the research area, which accounts for almost two thirds of the internal policy budget;

39.   Believes that improved management and coordination across the participating directorates-general is essential to ensure the effectiveness of research programmes and that progress should be closely monitored with regular reporting to the committee responsible;

40.   Requests from the Commission an in-depth assessment of the Performance Audit of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of 28 April 1998 and a report on the lessons learnt;

41.   Calls on the Commission, when submitting new legislative proposals, to pay closer attention to the following:

   (a)
transparency, simplicity and clarity;
   (b)
optimum opportunities for auditing;
   (c)
penalties for violations of the rules and deliberately inaccurate statements of costs to apply to all involved who have made errors in that connection;

External aid

42.   Notes that the situation with regard to invitations to tender under the TACIS and PHARE programmes has not changed despite the comments by the Commission Financial Controller and the European Court of Auditors on the 1997 and 1998 financial years;

43.   Notes that this situation presents a potential risk of harming the financial interests of the EU in the recipient countries and continues to be harmful to its image with these countries;

44.   Repeats its calls to the Commission in its resolution of 4 May 1999(4) when the 1997 budget discharge was postponed, and now expects rigorous measures and a clear response from the Commission;

45.   Once more calls on the European Court of Auditors to carry out an audit of the procedures for invitations to tender and on record-keeping in the context of the PHARE and TACIS programmes;

46.   Points out that in the selection and supervision of the firm that was responsible for the transportation of humanitarian aid in connection with 'Echo Flight', there were serious omissions;

47.   In the case of lessons to be learnt from the ECHO affair, notes that the Commission has stated its readiness to reopen disciplinary proceedings if new evidence comes to light, but is not satisfied that the Commission has not yet made a commitment to introduce an external element in its disciplinary procedure;

Reform of disciplinary procedures

48.   Considers that the disciplinary cases raised by the 1998 discharge procedure reinforce its call, made in its resolution of 19 January 2000 on the second report of the Committee of Independent Experts(5) (paragraph 37) for the long-standing provisions in the Financial Regulation and the Staff Regulations concerning officials' financial liability for the damage their actions cause no longer to be left to internal Commission bodies, but that instead this task should be entrusted to a chamber for disciplinary procedures for budgetary irregularities in the Court of Auditors or the Court of Justice;

Functioning of control systems

49.   Notes with concern that in 1998 the already small number of checks by Commission services in the area of the Structural Funds was significantly reduced;

50.   Regards it as a sign of the weakness of the Commission's financial control that despite the high error rate found by the Court of Auditors in 1998, in not a single case did Financial Control withhold approval;

51.   Reaffirms its call for the Commission, made in its above-mentioned resolution of 19 January 2000 (paragraphs 10 and 11(f)) to strengthen on a lasting basis the role of the financial controller in line with the Court of Auditors' recommendations through the following measures:

   (a)
instead of across-the-board prior checks targeted prior checks carried out on the basis of risk analyses or at the request of the authorising officer concerned
   (b)
financial control staff must not be subordinate to the directors-general monitored but independent financial control must be retained and decentralised in accordance with Article 24 of the Financial Regulation;

Parliament's access to information

52.   Recalls that the Commission is required, pursuant to Article 276 of the EC Treaty, to submit any necessary information to Parliament at the latter's request in connection with the discharge procedure;

53.   Reaffirms the fundamental principles set out in particular in paragraph 26 of its resolution of 19 January 2000(6) on the discharge for the 1997 financial year on Parliament's access to information;

54.   Notes that the Commission and the European Parliament have concluded an interinstitutional agreement concerning Parliament's access to information; underlines its determination to follow closely the implementation of this agreement, in particular to ensure that the rights of individual Members will not be infringed;

55.   Regrets that in the 1998 discharge procedure the Commission has refused to submit reports and minutes concerning administrative investigations that it submitted to the Court of Auditors;

56.   Points out that Parliament, as the discharge authority, expects the Commission:

   (a)
to inform the competent judicial authorities fully of cases where there is a suspicion of fraud;
   (b)
to fulfil its obligation under Articles 73 and 74 of the Financial Regulation;

and that Parliament must be granted access to the relevant documents in order to establish to its satisfaction that the Commission is fulfilling its obligations;

57.   Recalls that the transmission of confidential information must comply with the provisions governing judicial and disciplinary proceedings;

58.   Calls on the Commission therefore to reconsider its position and, as guardian of the treaties, to ensure that Parliament is able to comply fully with its supervisory obligations within the framework of the discharge procedure.

(1) OJ C 349, 3.12.1999.
(2) OJ C 349, 3.12.1999, pp. 168-169.
(3) Texts Adopted, Item 1.
(4) OJ C 279, 1.10.1999, p. 119.
(5) Texts Adopted, Item 3.
(6) Texts Adopted, Item 2.


EDF (1998 discharge)
European Parliament decision giving discharge to the Commission in respect of the financial management of the sixth, seventh and eighth European Development Funds for the 1998 financial year (COM(1999) 227 - C5-0003/1999 - 1999/2004(DEC))
A5-0167/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the balance sheets and accounts of the sixth, seventh and eighth EDF for the financial year 1998 (COM(1999) 227 - C5-0003/1999 ),

-   having regard to the Convention signed in Lomé on 31 October 1979 (sixth EDF, Lomé II)(1) ,

-   having regard to the Convention signed in Lomé on 8 December 1984 (seventh EDF, Lomé III)(2) ,

-   having regard to the Convention signed in Lomé on 15 December 1989 (eighth EDF, Lomé IV)(3) ,

-   having regard to the Convention signed in Mauritius on 4 November 1995 (eighth EDF, Lomé IV bis)(4) ,

-   having regard to the Annual report of the Court of Auditors for the 1998 financial year, and the replies of the institutions (C5-0266/1999 )(5) ,

-   having regard to the recommendation of the Council of 13 March 2000 (C5-0154/2000 ),

-   having regard to Article 276 of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Rule 93 and Annex V of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A5-0167/2000 ),

1.   Gives the Commission discharge in respect of the implementation of the sixth, seventh and eighth EDF for the 1998 financial year;

2.   Records its comments in the resolution which forms part of this decision;

3.   Instructs its President to forward this decision and the resolution containing its comments to the Commission, the Council, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Investment Bank and to each of the other relevant Community bodies and to have them published in the Official Journal (L series).

(1)OJ L 347, 22.12.1980, p. 1.
(2)OJ L 86, 31.3.1986, p. 1.
(3)OJ L 229, 17.8.1991, p. 1.
(4)OJ L 156, 29.5.1998, p. 1.
(5)OJ C 349, 3.12.1999, p. 1.


EDF (1998 discharge)
European Parliament decision closing the accounts of the sixth, seventh and eighth European Development Funds for the 1998 financial year (COM(1999) 227 - C5-0003/1999 - 1999/2004(DEC))
A5-0167/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to Article 276 of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Article 89 of the Financial Regulation, under which each Community Institution is required to take all appropriate steps to take action on the comments appearing in the decisions giving discharge,

-   whereas under the same article the institutions are also required to report, at Parliament's request, on the measures taken in the light of these comments and, in particular, on the instructions given to those of their departments which are responsible for the implementation of the budget,

-   having regard to the recommendation of the Council of 13 March 2000 (C5-0154/2000 ),

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A5-0167/2000 ),

1.   Notes that the authorised revenue and expenditure for the 1998 financial year amounted to EUR 1 469 million;

2.   Notes that the balance sheets and use of resources for the sixth, seventh and eighth EDF at 31 December 1998 were as follows:

BALANCE SHEET OF 6TH EDF AT 31 DECEMBER 1998 (€ "000)

ASSETS

SITUATION AS AT

   31.12.1998

LONG-TERM

Initial allocation

   7.500.000
,00

EIB special contribution

   60.000
,00

CURRENT

Stabex debts to be recovered from MS

   669.144
,99

Interest for late payment of EDF contributions

   1.856
,86

Treasury advance to 7th EDF

   451.135
,52

Advances

   26.654
,88

Cash at bank

   714.103
,51

Total assets

   1.862.895
,76

LIABILITIES

FUND CAPITAL

Initial allocation

   7.500.500
,00

EIB special contribution

   60.000
,00

Other resources

   322.613
,75

EXPENDITURE PAID

Expenditure already booked

   6.931.513
,53

Expenditure to be regularised

   12.706
,38

CREDITORS

Revenue to be regularised

-

Total liabilities

   1.862.895
,76

USE OF RESOURCES - 6th EDF AT 31.12.1998

BREAKDOWN OF FUNDS

INITIAL APPROPRIATION

RESOURCES OR DEDUCTIONS AT 31.12.1997

RESOURCES OR DEDUCTIONS DURING 1998

NEW SITUATION

TOTAL ACP

   7.400.000.000
,00

   418.087.485
,12

   39.000.384
,57

   7.779.087.100
,55

TOTAL OCT

   100.000.000
,00

   3.526.646
,39

0,00

   103.526.646
,39

TOTAL

   7.500.000.000
,00

   421.614.131
,51

   39.000.384
,57

   7.882.613.746
,94

BALANCE SHEET OF 7th EDF AT 31 DECEMBER 1998 (€ "000)

ASSETS

SITUATION AS AT

   31.12.1998

LONG-TERM

Initial allocation

   10.940.000
,00

Contributions received

   6.300.000
,00

CURRENT

Debtors

0,00

Cash at bank

0,00

Total assets

   4.640.000
,00

LIABILITIES

FUND CAPITAL

Initial allocation

   10.940.000
,00

Other resources

   642.984
,64

EXPENDITURE PAID

Expenditure already booked

   7.394.120
,16

CREDITORS

Treasury advance from 6th EDF

   451.135
,52

Total liabilities

   4.640.000
,00

USE OF RESOURCES - 7th EDF AT 31.12.1998

BREAKDOWN OF FUNDS

INITIAL APPROPRIATION

RESOURCES OR DEDUCTIONS AT 31.12.1997

RESOURCES OR DEDUCTIONS DURING 1998

NEW SITUATION

TOTAL ACP

   10.800.000.000
,00

   819.417.031
,44

   205.063.426
,07

   11.414.353.605
,37

TOTAL OCT

   140.000.000
,00

   14.800.964
,10

0,00

   154.800.964
,10

SUNDRY REVENUE

0,00

   51.070.499
,79

   37.240.430
,95

   13.830.068
,84

TOTAL

   10.940.000.000
,00

   885.288.495
,33

   242.303.857
,02

   11.582.984.638
,31

BALANCE SHEET OF 8TH EDF AT 31 DECEMBER 1998 (€ "000)

ASSETS

SITUATION AS AT

   31.12.1998

LONG-TERM

Initial allocation

   12.840.000
,00

Contributions called upon

   1.080.000
,00

Contributions still to be called upon

   11.760.000
,00

Total assets

   11.760.000
,00

LIABILITIES

FUND CAPITAL

Initial allocation

   12.840.000
,00

Other resources

   311.117
,78

EXPENDITURE PAID

Expenditure already booked

   466.620
,75

Treasury advances from 6th EDF

   924.497
,03

Total liabilities

   11.760.000
,00

USE OF RESOURCES - 8th EDF AT 31.12.1998

BREAKDOWN OF FUNDS

INITIAL APPROPRIATION

RESOURCES OR DEDUCTIONS AT 31.12.1997

RESOURCES OR DEDUCTIONS DURING 1998

NEW SITUATION

TOTAL ACP

   12.967.000.000
,00

   19.117.785
,43

   12.986.117.785
,43

TOTAL OCT

   165.000.000
,00

0,00

   165.000.000
,00

TOTAL

   13.132.000.000
,00

   19.117.785
,43

   13.151.117.785
,43

3.   Closes the accounts relating to the implementation of the sixth, seventh and eighth EDF for the 1998 financial year;

4.   Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Commission, the Council, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Investment Bank and to each of the other relevant Community bodies, and to have them published in the Official Journal (L series).


EDF (1998 discharge)
European Parliament resolution containing its comments accompanying the European Parliament decision giving discharge to the Commission in respect of the sixth, seventh and eighth European Development Funds for the 1998 financial year (COM(1999) 227 - C5-0003/1999 - 1999/2004(DEC))
A5-0167/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the balance sheets and accounts of the sixth, seventh and eighth EDF for the 1998 financial year (COM(1999) 227 - C5-0003/1999 ),

-   having regard to the Convention signed in Lomé on 31 October 1979 (sixth EDF, Lomé II)(1) ,

-   having regard to the Convention signed in Lomé on 8 December 1984 (seventh EDF, Lomé III)(2) ,

-   having regard to the Convention signed in Lomé on 15 December 1989 (eighth EDF, Lomé IV)(3) ,

-   having regard to the Convention signed in Mauritius on 4 November 1995 (eighth EDF, Lomé IV bis)(4) ,

-   having regard to the report of the Court of Auditors for the 1998 financial year, and the replies of the institutions (C5-0266/1999 )(5) ,

-   having regard to the recommendation of the Council of 13 March 2000 (C5-0154/2000 ),

-   having regard to its resolution of 13 April 2000 on postponement of the decision concerning discharge to the Commission in respect of the financial management of the sixth, seventh and eighth European Development Funds for the financial year 1998 (COM(1999) 227 - C5-0003/1999 -2004)(6) , pending a commitment to enact a series of recommendations in an Action Plan before 15 May 2000;

-   having regard to the Commission's Action Plan responding to each of the points raised by Parliament adopted formally by the Commission on 10 May 2000 and duly transmitted to the Committee on Budgetary Control;

-   having regard to Article 276 of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Rule 93 and Annex V of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A5-0167/2000 ),

A.   whereas external pressure from Parliament has helped the Commission to deal rapidly with a number of cases of negligence and irregularity within its management of the European Development Fund,

B.   whereas in the past Parliament, the Anti-Fraud Office and the Court of Auditors were not systematically informed by the Commission of alleged or prima facie cases of fraud or negligence in development aid programmes, leaving Parliament on a number of occasions to uncover irregularities and alert the other two bodies,

C.   whereas the Commission has announced that in future it will inform Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control, the Anti-Fraud Office and the Court of Auditors of its audit and evaluation work programmes, detected irregularities and corrective measures taken or planned,

D.   whereas general weaknesses in the use of aid were illustrated in the implementation of Structural Adjustment Support programmes in a number of countries whereby the use of counterpart funds suffered at times from inadequate management, poor supervision and insufficient evaluation,

E.   whereas the Commission intends in future to draw up Memoranda of Understanding with beneficiary governments setting out their obligations, including corrective measures, the first such Memorandum of Understanding having been signed in Côte d'Ivoire on 7 September 1999,

F.   whereas the Commission has undertaken to inform Parliament of the recovery of ineligible expenditure for six other countries as soon as final audit reports have been completed,

G.   whereas when mismanaged funds are recovered from beneficiary country authorities, the Commission should try to ensure equivalent supplementary financing to NGOs operating in this country,

H.   whereas some Commission delegation staff appear, in a number of instances, to have failed to act as an effective first line of control against misuse of funds; whereas the Commission is carrying out a substantial reform which also affects staff and the duties of its delegations,

I.   whereas the Commission is looking to make radical improvements in the speed, quality and impact of external aid programmes by overhauling its approach to assistance and reunifying the project cycle in the hands of a single external body, Europe Aid, which will replace the Joint Relex Service created in July 1998, and by devolving greater power to the delegations,

J.   whereas following Parliament's insistence on zerotolerance of fraud the Commission has promised to recover embezzled funds and launch administrative enquiries into the role of delegation staff in irregularities and has made a commitment to open disciplinary proceedings on the basis of evidence of involvement in or cover-up of the fraudulent use of Community funds,

K.   whereas the central Internal Audit Service created on 1 May 2000 will not be fully staffed before the end of 2000,

L.   whereas the Commission will improve the flow of information to ensure that feedback from often expensive and time-consuming evaluation reports is systematically used in the design of programmes and projects,

M.   whereas the Court of Auditors, in its annual report for 1995(7) , reminded the Commission that supervision is primarily the task of the delegation in each country concerned and called explicitly for improvements in monitoring by delegations and strengthening of controls in national administrations through the systematic supply of technical assistants,

N.   whereas, in a follow-up enquiry in 1999, the Court of Auditors found that a number of problems flagged earlier were still persisting, with a general failure by the Commission to appraise service providers, to analyse costs or to evaluate technical cooperation,

O.   whereas on 4 May 1999 Parliament gave discharge in respect of the sixth and seventh European Development Funds for the 1997 financial year(8) based on firm commitments that the Joint Relex Service would show a more robust and systematic approach for tendering, executing, audit and evaluations, that delegation staff would carry out more rather than fewer checks, evaluations would measure the quality of impact rather than the quantity of inputs, that a decentralised accounting system would be introduced to ensure a tighter grip on financial controls, and that technical assistance to National Authorising Officers would be reinforced,

P.   whereas the Commission has assured Parliament that it will continually strive to learn from best practice on audit and evaluation systems of Member States in response to the call for a benchmarking exercise,

Q.   whereas its Committee on Budgetary Control and the Committee on Development and Cooperation have worked in close cooperation during the 1998 EDF discharge procedure so that budgetary control and development policy aspects were taken into account during the appraisal of the Commission's performance in 1998, as well as its Action Plan,

Adoption of Action Plan

1.   Acknowledges that the Commission has taken a first step in the process of reforming external relations, both at its headquarters and in its delegations, by seeking to address problems in the delivery of external aid and expects, therefore, that this reform will result in the effective management of funds by both the Commission and local authorities and will help final beneficiaries towards the goal of sustainable development;

2.   Welcomes the Commission's adoption of an Action Plan and looks forward to receiving a clear timetable on measures initiated by the Commission and, as far as possible, information on steps taken by beneficiary countries;

Ongoing monitoring of Action Plan

3.   Welcomes the commitments made by the Commission and asks to be informed every six months about progress achieved as regards implementation of the Action Plan as of October 2000:

An output-oriented approach

   (a)
An output-oriented approach should be adopted, in which clear and disaggregated targets are set for specific results expected from the aid programme; reporting on EU development co-operation must evolve further towards DAC/OECD standards and shift gradually from input orientation towards results - with OECD standards adopted for reporting by 2001;
   (b)
More attention should be devoted to actual disbursement levels and mechanisms should be put into place to increase the rate of disbursement, as this would bring about a real improvement in getting aid to the poor;

Independent administrative and disciplinary procedure

   (c)
The Commission is rightly committed to launching administrative and, if necessary, disciplinary proceedings and these should be conducted in a professional and transparent manner, with information provided to Parliament on a case-by-case basis;

Delegations

   (d)
As the number of properly qualified staff in certain delegations is not always commensurate with the amount of funds managed in the beneficiary countries, a reallocation of human, administrative and financial resources should be made to ensure that the size of delegations is proportional to the risks involved, with more use being made of locally hired staff, particularly to ensure appropriate levels of qualified professionals;
   (e)
A culture of accountability and sense of financial responsibility in delegation staff should be fostered by spelling out clearly the role of officials, local agents and other categories of staff, with particular emphasis on the management powers of heads of delegation and ensuring that delegation staff have a greater degree of autonomy in taking financial decisions;
   (f)
As the Commission agrees that decentralisation of responsibilities to delegations will need to be accompanied by a reinforcement of officials with appropriate expertise (e.g. in health, education, gender) and project management abilities, staff with suitable experience should be assigned and provided with induction training during the handover period between outgoing and incoming staff;
   (g)
Greater emphasis should be placed on measuring the performance of delegation staff and in particular their management of development aid projects and programmes;

Relations between headquarters and delegations

   (h)
Communication between the centre and periphery would be improved markedly with more systematic use of IT tools;
   (i)
The operation of the EDF Committee should be refocused on the programming stage of the project cycle, concentrating on issues of policy and strategy rather than on an examination of individual projects; the Committee should only deal with major projects over a certain size;

Evaluations

   (j)
Positive and negative lessons drawn from evaluations in the field should be fed back to both headquarters and other delegations to improve planning and implementation of future operations;

Capacity building in beneficiary countries

   (k)
The sustainability of aid should be strengthened by promoting ownership of aid projects and programmes by local beneficiaries and by encouraging the participation of local administrations, consultants and NGOs;
   (l)
The capacity of local administrations to monitor and control expenditure in a proper fashion should be supported by the European Union along with other donors in order to make assessments of public finances that go beyond a simple analysis of the budget, and include:
   (i)
legislation on the budget preparation, expenditure and reporting,
   (ii)
quality of the procedures on the same aspects,
   (iii)
quality of budgetary control at both governmental and parliamentary level;

Improved coordination

   (m)
To reduce any possible overlap and improve added value, the Commission must improve coordination with other actors, including officials of Member States in the countries concerned, the European Investment Bank and bilateral and multilateral donors;

Anti-Fraud Office

4.   Invites the Anti-Fraud Office to report promptly on cases of alleged fraud or corruption relating to the management of the EDF;

Court of Auditors

5.   Invites the Court of Auditors to investigate the audit and control systems used by delegations to monitor Structural Adjustment Support and to make recommendations for improvements to the EDF management before 15 March 2001 and to report on the effectiveness of the EU in implementing international targets on poverty reduction;

Follow-up

6.   Informs the Commission that it intends to examine closely in the next discharge procedure progress made on overhauling the management of development aid.

(1)OJ L 347, 22.12.1980, p. 1.
(2)OJ L 86, 31.3.1986, p. 1.
(3)OJ L 229, 17.8.1991, p. 1.
(4)OJ L 156, 29.5.1998, p. 1.
(5)OJ C 349, 3.12.1999, p. 1.
(6) Texts Adopted, Item 8.
(7)OJ C 340, 12.11.1996, p. 1.
(8)OJ C 279, 1.10.1999, p. 132.


EP/European Ombudsman Annex (1998 discharge)
European Parliament decision giving discharge in respect of implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 1998 - Section I - European Parliament/Ombudsman Annex (SEC(1999) 414 - C5-0008/1999 - 1999/2051(DEC))
A5-0189/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its Rules of Procedure, and in particular Rule 184(3) thereof,

-   having regard to Article 77 of the Financial Regulation and Article 13 of the Internal Rules for the implementation of the European Parliament's budget,

-   having regard to its resolution of 13 April 2000 postponing the decision on giving discharge in respect of implementation of the general budget for the financial year 1998 - Section I - European Parliament/Ombudsman Annex (SEC(1999) 414 - C5-0008/1999 - 1999/2051(DEC))(1) ,

-   having regard to the information provided by its Secretary General in response to the specific instructions contained in paragraph 33 of the aforementioned decision,

-   having regard to the fact that the giving of discharge has been linked to the issue of financing of the political groups and parties, which goes beyond the administrative remit of the Secretary General,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A5-0189/2000 ),

1.   Recalls that:

   (a)
the figures closing the accounts of the institution for the financial year 1998 were adopted in the context of the abovementioned resolution of 13 April 2000;
   (b)
the abovementioned resolution instructed the Secretary General to take a number of steps, aimed at improving financial and administrative management in Parliament; including the following, with deadlines:
   -
by 1 June 2000, proposal of concrete measures to reverse the increase in use of the exceptional direct treaty procedure, for which calls for tenders should be substituted, including measures to train and improve the qualifications of Parliament's staff involved in the awarding of contracts;
   -
by 1 June 2000, the Committee on Budgetary Control to be informed of progress made in introducing the new inventory system;
   -
by 30 June 2000, a report to be submitted on the conclusions from the current reform process in the Commission relating to staffing policy;
   -
by 1 July 2000, the Bureau to submit options for an accurate action and financing plan, particularly for the Louise Weiss Building in Strasbourg, including a legal assessment taking account of the state of the negotiations;
   -
in good time before the first reading of the 2001 budget, submission of a report assessing whether it is advisable to assign the European Parliament sole responsibility for the management of its freelance interpreting needs;
   (c)
it called on the Court of Auditors:
   -
to deliver an opinion in the very near future on whether the procedure adopted for funding the Altiero Spinelli Building is applicable to future projects in the light of the amendments which have now been made to the Financial Regulation and the rules on awarding public service contracts;
   -
to submit a special report on the practice of awarding contracts for security services for EP buildings, including an examination of whether it is economically feasible;
   (d)
paragraph 33 of the abovementioned resolution called for the following additional information and action before the discharge was given:
   -
that an action plan be presented to reduce dramatically the number of restricted tenders and direct agreements;
   -
that the 1998 inventory be completed and presented;
   -
that the appropriate bodies be informed about the progress of current disciplinary procedures, especially those linked to cases lost in the Court of Justice;
   -
that a long-term buildings policy be presented, including financing, new investments and expected total costs, as well as an action plan to avoid contractual obligations limiting the European Parliament's possibilities for open tendering;
   -
that a timetable be presented for the administrative reform of Parliament;
   -
that the new contracts authorised for the security and guarding of the buildings in Strasbourg be in full accordance with the rules, especially on calls for tender;
   -
that, in the light of the final report of the Court of Auditors on the expenditure of political groups, the latter take specific measures to rectify the disclosed shortcomings within two months of receiving the report;

2.   Takes note of the information put at the disposal of the Committee on Budgetary Control outlining the action taken and the undertakings made, which should allow for a more efficient use of appropriations earmarked for the institution; considers its judgment to have been confirmed that postponing the discharge for 1998 had a constructive effect and spurred Parliament's administration on to greater efforts to use taxpayers" money more efficiently;

3.   Instructs its Committee on Budgetary Control, when considering the discharge for 1999, to return to the central topics broached in connection with the postponement of the discharge for 1998: shortcomings in tendering, buildings policy, staff policy and the inventory;

Competitive tendering - Awarding Contracts

4.   Notes the action plan to facilitate competitive tendering under the terms laid down by the current rules; asks for the optimal planning of awards of contracts and expects a strict monitoring of that planning as well as the introduction of administrative measures which will make this possible; recalls that free competition among providers of goods and services is one of the fundamental principles of Community law, that Parliament must set a good example in this field and that therefore contracts may be awarded by private treaty only in exceptional cases, as indeed the Financial Regulation expressly stipulates; calls for a report on the state of implementation and a first evaluation by 31 January 2001;

5.   Strongly supports the notion of inter-institutional co-operation with regard to the awarding of contracts, whenever possible; approves the expressed intention on the part of the Secretary General to take the necessary steps to that effect in co-operation with his counterparts; expects precise information to be provided as part of the Revenue and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet, including comparable statistical data from the various institutions and advisory bodies, in the interest of increased competition and of the protection of the Union's financial interests;

Inventory

6.   Instructs its competent committee to continue to monitor closely the taking of the inventory and to ascertain whether the new system for the management of Parliament's property (ELS) is being operated properly and effectively; asks that, as a part of the Revenue and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet for every financial year, a detailed account is made of the physical permanent inventory; expects in particular that the Revenue and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet for 2000 will indicate the completion of measures which are still pending; expects measures to ensure implementation in accordance with the new system;

7.   Instructs its Secretary General to take the initiative with his counterparts for the adoption of rules governing inventory management on an inter-institutional basis, including common rules on depreciation;

Lost court cases relating to senior appointments

8.   Notes the Secretary-General's statement that at present no disciplinary proceedings are pending within Parliament's administration; welcomes the fact that on 1 December 1999, i.e. even before the deliberations on the discharge for 1998, the Bureau, at the proposal of the Secretary-General, started an administrative inquiry; notes the Bureau decision of 13 June 2000, in connection with the Frederiksen case, not to seek redress as provided for by Article 22 of the Staff Regulations; notes that this decision is based on the consideration that the administrative inquiry did not reveal evidence of "serious misconduct" by individuals as referred to in Article 22 of the Staff Regulations; points out, however, that the administrative inquiry revealed both problems with internal decision-making procedures and a tendency to neglect risks associated with court cases in relation to alleged considerations of "principle"; concludes from the course of events that it would have been appropriate to review the case and reappraise the risks associated with legal proceedings at a considerably earlier stage; recalls paragraph 23 of its above-mentioned resolution of 13 April 2000, calling on the Legal Service to inform the Bureau about the risks of court cases before the Bureau takes its decisions, particularly in the light of previous judgements on staff matters; welcomes the Bureau decision of 13 June 2000 instructing Vice-Presidents Lienemann and Provan to examine whether further internal administrative reforms are needed in order to avoid similar outcomes; instructs its Bureau to inform the competent committees about its conclusions on this matter;

Buildings" Policy

9.   Regrets the geographical dispersion of Parliament's working places, as well as that of its services, for which the institution itself bears no direct responsibility, as it is a consequence of the Treaty between the governments of the Member States; emphasises the need to minimise further logistical inconveniences in the context of the institution's future building needs in view of the upcoming enlargement; consequently insists that any future decision in the area of buildings" policy be guided by the principle of functionality, particularly as regards the regrouping of Parliament's services in each working place, and the optimal use of financial resources;

10.   Expects those countries hosting Parliament's buildings to each make contributions of a comparable value toward the acquisition of immovable property;

11.   Reiterates its principled position that the method of financing to be used in future acquisitions, including that of the Louise Weiss building in Strasbourg, be that of direct financing in order to ensure the maximum degree of transparency possible as well as obtaining the best value for the European taxpayers" money; strongly urges the Council to reconsider its position in this matter;

Administrative Reform

12.   Welcomes the submitted timetable; instructs its Bureau and Secretary General to keep its competent committees informed of progress in the implementation of the internal administrative reform; emphasises the need for active involvement of staff in this procedure;

13.   Reiterates its call for a common buildings budget and common buildings management for the institutions and advisory bodies of the European Union;

Security

14.   Notes the Bureau's overruling of the Financial Controller's withholding of Approval No 00/05, in its capacity as the superior authority; regrets that no attempt was made to award the contract for guarding its buildings in Strasbourg for a shorter, transitional period and to make use of this time to rerun the award procedure in full accordance with Community regulations on the award of public contracts;

Financing of the Political Groups and Parties

15.   Takes explicit note of the fact that only the political groups themselves have any responsibility for the use of appropriations made available to them under Chapter 37;

16.   Notes with satisfaction the answers of the Bureau to the preliminary observations of the Court of Auditors and expects that measures aimed at radically reforming the relevant legal framework be completed without delay in conformity with financial regulations and the principle of transparency;

17.   Welcomes the fact that all five political groups currently active in Parliament who had also been active during the previous legislative period have provided their specific responses to the preliminary observations of the Court of Auditors;

18.   Regrets the unwillingness of the Court of Auditors explicitly to name those groups whose questionable financial practices are specifically mentioned within the body of the report;

19.   Acknowledges the findings of the Court and as a result of these findings:

   -
welcomes the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 26 February 1999 to enact guidelines for the purposes of defining those information activities which are characteristic of election campaigning and are thus to be excluded from being financed by funds derived from the information campaign budget of the political groups;
   -
demands that internal bookkeeping procedures be transparent and that these procedures be followed by all groups, and supplemented by specific group financial regulations, which, as the Court points out, is not the case;
   -
demands that transparency be achieved with regard to the financial operations and internal audit systems of the national delegations of the political groups;
   -
criticises the failure on the part of certain groups to provide the Office of the President of the Parliament with the certification of their accounts by an external auditor, even if this was not a mandatory provision at the time;
   -
demands that measures be taken to avoid the possibility that financial assistance could be provided to national political parties or other similar organisations as a result of joint actions undertaken between them and the political groups;
   -
regrets that one group has only now, in the context of the annual report, informed the President of Parliament of the accumulated capital of a public foundation created under Luxembourg law to which it has allocated funds;
   -
stresses the need for clarity in regard to work contracts;

The Case relating to the Members" Cash Office

20.   Expects the competent authorities, in the light of the judgement dated 29 March 2000 of the Luxembourg Court of Appeal in the case brought by Parliament against Royale Belge S.A., to initiate the procedure provided for in Article 22 of the Staff Regulations with a view towards defining responsibilities in connection with the discrepancy of 4 136 125 BEF between the actual cash situation and their corresponding accounts in 1982;

o
o   o

21.   Gives its Secretary General discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget for the financial year 1998;

22.   Authorises the giving of discharge to the accounting officer for the financial year 1998;

23.   Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Commission, the Council, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Ombudsman.

(1)Texts Adopted, Item 4.


Beef and beef products ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council regulation establishing a system for the identification and registration of bovine animals and regarding the labelling of beef and beef products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 820/97 (8251/1/2000 - C5-0270/2000 - 1999/0204(COD) )
A5-0193/2000

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Council common position (8251/1/2000 - C5-0270/2000 ),

-   having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(1999) 487 )(2) ,

-   having regard to the Commission's amended proposal (COM(2000) 301 ),

-   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Rule 80 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy (A5-0193/2000 ),

1.   Amends the common position as follows;

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

Common position of the Council   Parliament"s amendments
(Amendment 1)
Recital 24
   (24) A compulsory beef labelling system should be introduced which is obligatory in all Member States. Under this compulsory system, operators and organisations marketing beef should indicate on the label information about certain characteristics of the beef and the point of slaughter of the animal or animals from which that beef was derived.
   (24) A compulsory beef labelling system should be introduced which is obligatory in all Member States. Under this compulsory system, operators and organisations marketing beef should indicate on the label information about the beef and the point of slaughter of the animal or animals from which that beef was derived.
(Amendment 2)
Recital 25a (new)
(25a) Information additional to the information concerning where the animal or animals from which the beef was derived were born, fattened and slaughtered may be provided under the voluntary beef labelling system.
(Amendment 3)
Article 13(2)(d)
   (d) the category of animal or animals from which the beef was derived .
Deleted
(Amendment 4)
Article 14, 1st paragraph
By way of derogation from Article 13(2)(b) and (c) and (d) and from Article 13(5)(a) (i) and (ii), an operator or organisation preparing minced beef shall indicate on the label the words "prepared (name of the Member State or third country)", depending on where the meat was prepared.
By way of derogation from Article 13(2)(b) and (c) and (d) and from Article 13(5)(a)(i) and (ii), an operator or organisation preparing minced beef shall indicate on the label the words "prepared (name of the Member State or third country)", depending on where the meat was prepared, and "origin” where the state or states involved are not the state of preparation.
(Amendment 5)
Article 19(d)
   (d) definition of the categories of animals referred to in Article 13(2)(d);
Deleted

(1) Texts Adopted of 12.4.2000, Item 8.
(2) OJ C 376 E, 28.12.1999, p. 42.


EMAS ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council regulation allowing voluntary participation by organisations in a Community Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) (10677/2/1999 - C5-0098/2000 - 1998/0303(COD) )
A5-0165/2000

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Council common position (10677/2/1999 - C5-0098/2000 )(1) ,

-   having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(1998) 622 )(3) ,

-   having regard to the Commission's amended proposal (COM(1999) 313 ),

-   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Rule 80 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy (A5-0165/2000 ),

1.   Amends the common position as follows;

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

Council common position   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Recital 13
   (13) It is therefore necessary to ensure the competence of the environmental verifiers by providing for an independent and neutral accreditation system and an appropriate supervision of their activities in order to ensure the overall credibility of EMAS; close cooperation between the national accreditation bodies should accordingly be set up;
   (13) It is therefore necessary to ensure and steadily improve the competence of the environmental verifiers by providing for an independent and neutral accreditation system, retraining and an appropriate supervision of their activities in order to ensure the overall credibility of EMAS; close cooperation between the national accreditation bodies should accordingly be set up;
(Amendment 2)
Recital 14a (new)
(14a) The Member States could create incentives to encourage organisations to participate in EMAS;
(Amendment 3)
Recital 14b (new)
(14b) The Commission should help the accession candidate countries to provide the necessary structures for the application of EMAS;
(Amendment 49)
Article 1(2)(a)(b)
   (a) the establishment and implementation of environmental management systems by organisations;
   (a) the definition and implementation of an environmental policy as described in Annex I, Section A, point 2, and the establishment and implementation of environmental management systems by organisations;
   (b) the systematic, objective and periodic evaluationof the performance of such systems;
   (b) the systematic, objective and periodic evaluation of the environmental policy as described in Annex I, Section A, point 2 and of the performance of such systems;
(Amendment 41)
Article 1(2)(d)
   (d) the active involvement, including appropriate training, of employees.
   (d) the active involvement of employees and their representatives in the organisation and appropriate initial and advanced training that makes active participation in the tasks referred to under (a) possible.
(Amendment 9)
Article 2(s), 2nd subparagraph
The entity to be registered as an organisation under EMAS shall be agreed with the environmental verifier, taking account of Commission guidance, established in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14, but shall not exceed the boundaries of one member state. The smallest entity to be considered shall be a site. Under exceptional circumstances identified by the Commission in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14, the entity to be considered for registration under EMAS may be smaller than a site.
The entity to be registered as an organisation under EMAS shall be agreed with the environmental verifier and the competent bodies , taking account of Commission guidance, established in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14, but shall not exceed the boundaries of one member state. The smallest entity to be considered shall be a site.
(Amendment 11)
Article 3(2)(c)
   (c) prepare, in accordance with Annex III, point 3.2, an environmental statement. The statement shall pay particular attention to the performance of an organisation against its environmental objectives and targets;
   (c) prepare, in accordance with Annex III, point 3.2, an environmental statement. The statement shall pay particular attention to the results achieved by an organisation against its environmental objectives and targets and the requirement of continuing to improve its protection of the environment, and shall consider the information needs of relevant interested parties;
(Amendment 12)
Article 3(2), 2nd subparagraph (new)
The sites or activities reviewed may be registered under EMAS only if they comply with the relevant environmental legislation.
(Amendment 13)
Article 3(3)(b)
   (b) forward the yearly validated updates of its environmental statement to the competent body and make them publicly available. Deviations from the frequency with which updates shall be performed can be made under circumstances laid down in Commission guidance adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14(2).
   (b) forward the regularly validated updates of its environmental statement, in accordance with the requirements of Annex V, point 5.6, to the competent body and make them publicly available.
(Amendment 38 and 46)
Article 3(3a)(new)
3a. The environmental statement shall be validated annually. Exceptions permitting a validation frequency of up to three years shall be approved by the environmental verifier where the following requirements are satisfied:
   - long experience of environmental management systems,
   - limited environmental impact of the organisation,
   - the organisation is a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME),
   - the nature, scale and complexity of the activities permit a longer interval,
   - no changes in the management system or environmental impact are expected.
(Amendment 15)
Article 4(5)
   5. Environmental verifiers accredited in one Member State may perform verification activities in any other Member State in accordance with the requirements laid down in Annex V.
   5. Environmental verifiers accredited in one Member State may perform verification activities in any other Member State in accordance with the requirements laid down in Annex V. The start of the verification activity shall be notified to the Member State in which it is being performed and the activity shall be subject to supervision by the latter's accreditation system.
(Amendment 16)
Article 7(2)
   2. The competent bodies shall establish and maintain a list of registered organisations in their Member State and update this list on a monthly basis. The competent bodies shall directly, or via the national authorities as decided by the Member State concerned, communicate changes in this list each month to the Commission.
   2. The competent bodies shall establish and maintain a list of registered organisations in their Member State and update this list on a monthly basis. The competent bodies shall directly, or via the national authorities as decided by the
Member State concerned, communicate changes in this list each month to the Commission and may organise a system of data exchanges by economic sector and area of competence in the network of delegated local bodies .
(Amendment 18)
Article 10(2), 2nd subparagraph
Member States shall inform the Commission of the measures taken in this regard.
Member States shall inform the Commission of the measures taken in this regard. The Commission shall submit such information to the European Parliament in a report two years after the entry into force of this Regulation.
(Amendment 19)
Article 11(1), indents and 2nd subparagraph
   - facilitating the access to information, existing support funds and public institutions ,
   - facilitating the access to information, support funds, public structures and public contracts ,
   - establishing or promoting technical assistance measures, especially in conjunction with initiatives from appropriate professional or local points of contact (e.g. local authorities, chambers of commerce, trade or craft associations).
   - establishing or promoting technical assistance measures, especially in conjunction with initiatives from appropriate professional or local points of contact (e.g. local authorities, chambers of commerce, trade or craft associations),
   - ensuring that reasonable registration fees encourage higher participation.
In order to promote participation of SMEs, including those concentrated in well defined geographical areas, local authorities, in participation with industrial associations, chambers of commerce and interested parties may provide assistance in the identification of significant
environmental impacts. SMEs may then use this in defining their environmental programme and setting the objectives and targets of their EMAS management system. In addition, programmes designed to encourage the participation of SMEs, such as a step by step approach which will eventually lead to EMAS registration, may be developed at regional or national level.
In order to promote participation of SMEs, including those concentrated in well defined geographical areas, local authorities, in participation with industrial associations, chambers of commerce and interested parties may provide assistance in the identification of significant
environmental impacts. SMEs may then use this in defining their environmental programme and setting the objectives and targets of their EMAS management system. In addition, programmes designed to encourage the participation of SMEs, such as a step by step approach which will eventually lead to EMAS registration, may be developed at regional or national level. The system shall operate so as to reduce the administrative burden for businesses in general and small businesses in particular.
(Amendment 20)
Article 11(3)
   3. Member States shall inform the Commission of the measures taken under this Article.
   3. Member States shall inform the Commission of the measures taken under this Article. The Commission shall submit such information to the European Parliament in a report two years after the entry into force of this Regulation.
(Amendment 21)
Article 12(1), 2nd subparagraph
Member States shall in particular use professional publications, local journals, promotion campaigns or any other functional means to promote general awareness of EMAS.
Member States shall, in cooperation with industrial associations, consumer organisations, trade unions and local institutions, in particular use professional publications, local journals, promotion campaigns or any other functional means to promote general awareness of EMAS.
(Amendment 23)
Article 13, 2nd paragraph (new)
The Commission shall encourage the Member States to draw up a protocol of intent on common guidelines on penalties.
(Amendment 24)
Article 14(2)
   2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.
   2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.
The period referred to in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at three months.
The period referred to in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be three months.
(Amendment 25)
Annex I(A)
The environmental management system shall be implemented according to Section 4 of the EN/ISO 14001:1996 European standard for environmental management systems(1 )
____________
(1 ) The full text of the standard EN/ISO 14001:1996 will be inserted in this Annex as soon as the copyright agreement has been signed between the Commission and CEN. The translations of the text of the standard will be those provided by CEN.
The environmental management system shall be implemented according to the requirements given below (section 4 of EN ISO 14001:1996)*:
____________
* The use of the text of the national standard reproduced in this annex is made with the permission of CEN. The full text of the national standard can be purchased from the national standard bodies the list of which is given in this Annex.
Environmental Management System Requirements
   1. General requirements
The organisation shall establish and maintain an environmental management system, the requirements of which are described in this annex.
   2. Environmental policy
Top management shall define the organisation's environmental policy and ensure that it
   a) is appropriate to the nature, scale and environmental impacts of its activities, products and services;
   b) includes a commitment to continual improvement and prevention of pollution;
   c) includes a commitment to comply with relevant environmental legislation and regulations, and with other requirements to which the organisation subscribes;
   d) provides the framework for setting and reviewing environmental objectives and targets;
   e) is documented, implemented and maintained and communicated to all employees;
   f) is available to the public.
   3. Planning
   3.1. Environmental aspects
The organisation shall establish and maintain (a) procedure(s) to identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products or services that it can control and over which it can be expected to have an influence, in order to determine those which have or can have significant impacts on the environment. The organisation shall ensure that the aspects related to these significant impacts are considered in setting its environmental objectives.
The organisation shall keep this information up-to-date.
   3.2. Legal and other requirements
The organisation shall establish and maintain a procedure to identify and have access to legal and other requirements to which the organisation subscribes, that are applicable to the environmental aspects of its activities, products or services.
   3.3. Objectives and targets
The organisation shall establish and maintain documented environmental objectives and targets, at each relevant function and level within the organisation.
When establishing and reviewing its objectives, an organisation shall consider the legal and other requirements, its significant environmental aspects, its technological options and its financial, operational and business requirements, and the views of interested parties.
The objectives and targets shall be consistent with the environmental policy, including the commitment to prevention of pollution.
   3.4. Environmental management programme(s)
The organisation shall establish and maintain (a) programme(s) for achieving its objectives and targets. It shall include
   a) designation of responsibility for achieving objectives and targets at each relevant function and level of the organisation;
   b) the means and timeframe by which they are to be achieved.
If a project relates to new developments and new or modified activities, products or services, programme(s) shall be amended where relevant to ensure that environmental management applies to such projects.
   4. Implementation and operation
   4.1. Structure and responsibility
Roles, responsibility and authorities shall be defined, documented and communicated in order to facilitate effective environmental management.
Management shall provide resources essential to the implementation and control of the environmental management system. Resources include human resources and specialized skills, technology and financial resources.
The organisation's top management shall appoint (a) specific management representative(s) who, irrespective of other responsibilities, shall have defined roles, responsibilities and authority for
   a) ensuring that environmental management system requirements are established, implemented and maintained in accordance with this International Standard;
   b) reporting on the performance of the environmental management system to top management for review and as a basis for improvement of the environmental management system.
   4.2. Training, awareness and competence
The organisation shall identify training needs. It shall require that all personnel whose work may create a significant impact upon the environment, have received appropriate training.
It shall establish and maintain procedures to make its employees or members at each relevant function and level aware of
   a) the importance of conformance with the environmental policy and procedures and with the requirements of the environmental management system;
   b) the significant environmental impacts, actual or potential, of their work activities and the environmental benefits of improved personal performance;
   c) their roles and responsibilities in achieving conformance with the environmental policy and procedures and with the requirements of the environmental management system, including emergency preparedness and response requirements;
   d) the potential consequences of departure from specified operating procedures.
Personnel performing the tasks which can cause significant environmental impacts shall be competent on the basis of appropriate education, training and/or experience.
   4.3. Communication
With regard to its environmental aspects and environmental management system, the organisation shall establish and maintain procedures for
   a) internal communication between the various levels and functions of the organisation;
   b) receiving, documenting and responding to relevant communication from external interested parties.
The organisation shall consider processes for external communication on its significant environmental aspects and record its decision.
   4.4. Environmental management system documentation
The organisation shall establish and maintain information, in paper or electronic form, to
   a) describe the core elements of the management system and their interaction;
   b) provide direction to related documentation.
   4.5. Document control
The organisation shall establish and maintain procedures for controlling all documents required by this International Standard to ensure that
   a) they can be located;
   b) they are periodically reviewed, revised as necessary and approved for adequacy by authorised personnel;
   c) the current versions of relevant documents are available at all locations where operations essential to the effective functioning of the environmental management system are performed;
   d) obsolete documents are promptly removed from all points of issue and points of use, or otherwise assured against unintended use;
   e) any obsolete documents retained for legal and/or knowledge preservation purposes are suitably identified.
Documentation shall be legible, dated (with dates of revision) and readily identifiable, maintained in an orderly manner and retained for a specified period. Procedures and responsibilities shall be established and maintained concerning the creation and modification of the various types of document.
   4.6. Operational control
The organisation shall identify those operations and activities that are associated with the identified significant environmental aspects in line with its policy, objectives and targets. The organisation shall plan these activities, including maintenance, in order to ensure that they are carried out under specified conditions by
   a) establishing and maintaining documented procedures to cover situations where their absence could lead to deviations from the environmental policy and the objectives and targets;
   b) stipulating operating criteria in the procedures;
   c) establishing and maintaining procedures related to the identifiable significant environmental aspects of goods and services used by the organisation and communicating relevant procedures and requirements to suppliers and contractors.
   4.7. Emergency preparedness and response
The organisation shall establish and maintain procedures to identify potential for and respond to accidents and emergency situations, and for preventing and mitigating the environmental impacts that may be associated with them.
The organisation shall review and revise, where necessary, its emergency preparedness and response procedures, in particular, after the occurrence of accidents or emergency situations.
The organisation shall also periodically test such procedures where practicable.
   5. Checking and Corrective action
   5.1. Monitoring and measurement
The organisation shall establish and maintain documented procedures to monitor and measure, on a regular basis, the key characteristics of its operations and activities that can have a significant impact on the environment. This shall include the recording of information to track performance, relevant operational controls and conformance with the organisation's environmental objectives and targets.
Monitoring equipment shall be calibrated and maintained and records of this process shall be retained according to the organisation's procedures.
The organisation shall establish and maintain a documented procedure for periodically evaluating compliance with relevant environmental legislation and regulations.
   5.2. Nonconformance and corrective and preventive action
The organisation shall establish and maintain procedures for defining responsibility and authority for handling and investigating nonconformance, taking action to mitigate any impacts caused and for initiating and completing corrective and preventive action.
Any corrective or preventive action taken to eliminate the causes of actual and potential non-conformances shall be appropriate to the magnitude of problems and commensurate with the environmental impact encountered.
The organisation shall implement and record any changes in the documented procedures resulting from corrective and preventive action.
   5.3. Records
The organisation shall establish and maintain procedures for the identification, maintenance and disposition of environmental records. These records shall include training records and the results of audits and reviews.
Environmental records shall be legible, identifiable and traceable to the activity, product or service involved. Environmental records shall be stored and maintained in such a way that they are readily retrievable and protected against damage, deterioration or loss. Their retention times shall be established and recorded.
Records shall be maintained, as appropriate to the system and to the organisation, to demonstrate conformance to the requirements of this International Standard.
   5.4. Environmental management system audit
The organisation shall establish and maintain (a) programme(s) and procedures for periodic environmental management system audits to be carried out, in order to
   a) determine whether or not the environmental management system
   1) conforms to planned arrangements for environmental management including the requirements of this International Standard; and
   2) has been properly implemented and maintained; and
   b) provide information on the results of audits to management
The organisation's audit programme, including any schedule, shall be based on the environmental importance of the activity concerned and the results of previous audits. In order to be comprehensive, the audit procedures shall cover the audit scope, frequency and methodologies, as well as the responsibilities and requirements for conducting audits and reporting results.
   6. Management review
The organisation's top management shall, at intervals that it determines, review the environmental management system, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. The management review process shall ensure that the necessary information is collected to allow management to carry out this evaluation. This review shall be documented.
The management review shall address the possible need for changes to policy, objectives and other elements of the environmental management system, in the light of environmental management system audit results, changing circumstances and the commitment to continual improvement.
List of national standard bodies
B: IBN/BIN (Institut Belge de Normalisation/Belgisch Instituut voor Normalisatie)
DK:DS (Dansk Standard)
D:DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V.)
EL:ELOT (Hellenic Organisation for Standardization)
E:AENOR (Asociación Espanola de Normalización y Certificación)
F:AFNOR (Association Francaise de Normalisation)
IRL:NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland)
I:UNI (Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione)
L:SEE (Service de l'Energie de l'Etat) (Luxembourg)
NL:NEN (Nederlands Normalisatie-Instituut)
A:ON (Österreichisches Normunginstitut)
P:IPQ (Instituto Português da Qualidade)
FIN:SFS (Suomen Standardisoimisliitto r.y.)
S:SIS (Standardiseringen I Sverige)
UK:BSI (British Standards Institution)
(Amendment 27)
Annex I(B)(4)
In addition to the requirements in Annex I - Section A employees shall be involved in the process aimed at continually improving the organisation's environmental performance. Appropriate forms of participation such as the suggestion-book system or project-based group works or environmental committees could be used for this purpose. Organisations shall take note of Commission guidance on best practice in this field.
In addition to the requirements in Annex I - Section A employees and their representatives shall be involved in the process aimed at continually improving the organisation's environmental performance. Appropriate forms of participation such as the suggestion-book system or project-based group works or environmental committees should be used for this purpose. Organisations shall take note of Commission guidance on best practice in this field.
(Amendment 29)
Annex II(2.6)(f)
   (f) reporting audit findings and conclusions.
   (f) reporting audit findings and conclusions in cooperation with employees and their representatives .
(Amendment 30)
Annex III(3.1), 1st subparagraph
The aim of the environmental statement is to provide environmental information to the public and other interested parties regarding the environmental impact and performance of the organisation. It is also a vehicle to address the stakeholder requirements identified as a result of Annex I - Section B.3 and considered as significant by the organisation (Annex VI, point 6.4(d)). Environmental information shall be presented in a clear and coherent manner in printed form for those who have no other means of obtaining this information. Upon its first registration and every three years thereafter, the organisation is required to make available the information detailed under point 3.2 in a consolidated printed version .
The aim of the environmental statement is to provide environmental information to the public and other interested parties regarding the environmental impact and performance and the continuing improvement of environmental protection of the organisation. It is also a vehicle to address the concerns of interested parties identified as a result of Annex I - Section B.3 and considered as significant by the organisation (Annex VI, point 6.4(d)).
(Amendment 32)
Annex III(3.3), introduction
The raw data generated by an environmental management system will be used in a number of different ways to show the environmental performance of an organisation. Organisations are encouraged to use environmental performance indicators where appropriate. If an organisation uses environmental performance indicators, (e.g. energy usage per tonne of product), it shall ensure that any performance indicators it selects :
The raw data generated by an environmental management system will be used in a number of different ways to show the environmental performance of an organisation. For this purpose organisations shall use the existing environmental performance indicators, making sure that the indicators chosen :
(Amendment 33)
Annex III(3.6)
The information generated in point 3.2(a) to (g) which forms the environmental statement for an organisation and the updated information specified in point 3.4 shall be available to the public and other interested parties. To this end, organisations are encouraged to use all methods available (electronic publication, libraries etc.) The organisation shall be able to demonstrate to the environmental verifier that anybody interested in the organisations environmental performance can easily and freely gain access to the information required in point 3.2(a) to (g) and point 3.4.
The information generated in point 3.2(a) to (g) which forms the environmental statement for an organisation and the updated information specified in point 3.4 shall be available to the public and other interested parties. The environmental statement shall be laid before the public. To this end, organisations are encouraged to use all methods available (electronic publication, libraries etc.) The organisation shall be able to demonstrate to the environmental verifier that anybody interested in the organisation's environmental performance can easily and freely be guaranteed access to the information required in point 3.2(a) to (g) and point 3.4.
(Amendment 35)
Annex V(5.2.1)(b), (c) and (d)
   (b) Knowledge and understanding of the legislative and regulatory requirements relevant to the activity subject to verification;
   (b) Knowledge and understanding of the legislative, regulatory and other categories of requirements relevant to the activity subject to verification;
   (c) Knowledge and understanding of environmental issues;
   (c) Knowledge and understanding of environmental issues, and of the environmental implications for sustainable development;
   (d) Knowledge and understanding of the technical aspects, relevant to environmental issues, of the activity subject to verification;
   (d) Knowledge and understanding of the technical aspects of the activity subject to verification;
   (da) Knowledge and understanding of industrial implications;
   (db) Appropriate proof of all the verifier's knowledge. Such proof also includes the admission requirements for persons entrusted with the statutory audit of accounting records within the scope of eighth Council Directive 84/253/EEC based on Article 54(3)(g) of the Treaty on the approval of persons responsible for carrying out the statutory audits of accounting documents(1 );
   (dc) Completion of at least three environmental audits under the supervision of a verifier with at least three years" experience.
___________________
(1 ) OJ L 126, 12.5.1984, p. 20.
(Amendment 36)
Annex V(5.6)
In consultation with the organisation the environmental verifier shall design a programme to ensure that all elements required for registration with EMAS are verified in a period not exceeding 36 months . In addition the environmental verifier shall at intervals not exceeding 12 months validate any updated information in the environmental statement. Deviations from the frequency with which updates shall be performed may be made under circumstances laid down in Commission guidance adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14(2).
In consultation with the organisation the environmental verifier shall design a programme to ensure that all elements required for registration with EMAS are verified at intervals of between 12 and 36 months, depending on the results of the previous statement. In addition the environmental verifier shall at intervals not exceeding 12 months validate any updated information in the environmental statement. Deviations from the frequency with which updates shall be performed may be made under circumstances laid down in Commission guidance adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14(2).
(Amendment 37)
Annex VI(6.1), 1st paragraph
An organisation shall consider all environmental aspects of its activities, products and services and decide on the basis of criteria, defined by the organisation , which of its environmental aspects have a significant impact, as a basis for setting its environmental objectives and targets. These criteria shall be publicly available.
An organisation shall consider all environmental aspects of its activities, products and services and decide, on the basis of criteria that are in line with current environmental legislation, environmental programmes, quality objectives, the Community's environmental action programme and international environment programmes, which of its environmental aspects have a significant impact, as a basis for setting its environmental objectives and targets. These criteria shall be publicly available.

(1) OJ C 128, 8.5.2000, p. 1.
(2)OJ C 219, 30.7.1999, p. 385.
(3)OJ C 400, 22.12.1998, p. 7.


Air pollution: benzene and carbon monoxide ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution on the common position adopted by the Council with a view to adopting a European Parliament and Council directive relating to limit values for benzene and carbon monoxide in ambient air (5860/1/2000 - C5-0182/2000 - 1998/0333(COD) )
A5-0166/2000

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the common position of the Council (5860/1/2000 - C5-0182/2000 ),

-   having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(1998) 591 )(2) ,

-   having regard to the amended Commission proposal (COM(2000) 223 ),

-   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Rule 80 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy (A5-0166/2000 ),

1.   Amends the common position as follows;

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

Council common position   Amendment by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Recital 10
   (10) In order to facilitate the review of this Directive in 2004, the Commission and the Member States should consider encouraging research into the effects of benzene and carbon monoxide.
   (10) In order to facilitate the review of this Directive in 2004, the Commission and the Member States should consider encouraging research into the effects of benzene and carbon monoxide, taking air pollution in enclosed spaces into account as well as that in outside air .!EMPHASBIU; !EEMPHASBIU;

(1) Texts Adopted of 2.12.1999, Item 6.
(2) OJ C 53, 24.2.1999, p. 8.


Environmental inspections ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council Recommendation providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States (5684/1/2000 - C5-0181/2000 - 1998/0358(COD) )
A5-0164/2000

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Council common position 5684/1/2000 - C5-0181/2000 )(1) ,

-   having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(1998) 772 ),

-   having regard to the Commission's amended proposal (COM(1999) 652 ),

-   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Rule 80 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy (A5-0164/2000 ),

1.   Amends the common position as follows;

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

Council common position   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Title
Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States
European Parliament and Council Directive providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States
(This amendment to apply throughout the text, together with the appropriate technical adjustments)
(Amendment 2)
Recital 5a (new)
(5a) The European Environment Agency can advise the Member States on developing, setting up and extending their systems for monitoring environmental provisions and the European Environment Agency can assist the Commission and the Member States in monitoring environmental provisions by giving support in respect of the reporting process, so that reporting is coordinated.
(Amendment 3)
Recital 8
   (8) It is necessary, therefore, to provide, at this stage, guidelines in the form of minimum criteria to be applied as a common basis for the performance of environmental inspection tasks within the Member States.
   (8) It is necessary, therefore, to provide minimum criteria to be applied as a common basis for the performance of environmental inspection tasks within the Member States.
(Amendment 4)
Recital 8a (new)
(8a) The urgency of ensuring the even application of Community environmental legislation makes the option of a non-binding recommendation unsatisfactory, and a directive establishing minimum criteria for inspections is therefore preferred.
(Amendment 5)
Recital 8b (new)
(8b) A precise timetable should be drawn up for the Member States to develop a format for authorisation systems, jointly and with support from the Commission, so that a distinction can be made between Community provisions and national provisions with which the Controlled Installations must comply.
(Amendment 6)
Recital 16
   (16) Member States should assist each other administratively in operating this Recommendation ; the establishment by Member States in cooperation with IMPEL of voluntary reporting and advice schemes relating to inspectorates and inspection procedures would help to promote best practice across the Community.
   (16) Member States should assist each other administratively in operating this Directive ; the establishment by Member States in cooperation with IMPEL of reporting and advice schemes relating to inspectorates and inspection procedures would help to promote best practice across the Community.
(Amendment 7)
Recital 20
   (20) In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty, and given the differences in inspection systems and mechanisms in the Member States, the objectives of the proposed action can best be achieved by guidance set out at Community level.
   (20) In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty, and given the differences in inspection systems and mechanisms in the Member States, the objectives of the proposed action can best be achieved by a directive setting out minimum criteria to be operated at Community level.
(Amendment 8)
Recital 21
   (21) In the light of the experience gained in the operation of this Recommendation and taking account of IMPEL's further work, as well as of the results of any voluntary schemes provided for in this Recommendation , the Commission should give consideration to developing the minimum criteria in terms of their scope and substance and to making further proposals which might include a proposal for a directive, if appropriate ,
   (21) In the light of the experience gained in the operation of this Directive and taking account of IMPEL's further work, as well as of the results of any voluntary schemes provided for in this Directive , the Commission should give consideration to developing the minimum criteria in terms of their scope and substance and to making further proposals to amend this Directive ,
(Amendment 9)
Introductory line for points
RECOMMENDS THAT:
HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
(Amendment 10)
Point III(2)
   2. Member States should assist each other administratively in carrying out the guidelines of this Recommendation by the exchange of relevant information and, where appropriate, inspecting officials.
   2. Member States shall assist each other administratively in the operation of this Directive by the exchange of relevant information and, where appropriate, inspecting officials.
2a. To prevent illegal cross-border environmental practices, the Member States shall, in cooperation with IMPEL and the Commission, encourage the coordination of inspections and inspection services between the Member States.
(Amendment 11)
Point III(3)
   3. In order to promote best practice across the Community, Member States may , in cooperation with IMPEL, consider the establishment of a voluntary scheme, under which Member States report and offer advice on inspectorates and inspection procedures in Member States, paying due regard to the different systems and contexts in which they operate, and report to the Member States concerned on their findings.
   3. In order to promote best practice across the Community, Member States shall , in cooperation with IMPEL, establish a scheme under which Member States report and offer advice on inspectorates and inspection procedures in Member States, paying due regard to the different systems and contexts in which they operate, and report to the Member States concerned on their findings.
(Amendment 12)
Point VI(1)
   1. Member States should ensure that the inspecting authorities draw up a report after every site visit containing their findings as to compliance with EC legal requirements, an evaluation thereof and a conclusion on whether any further action should follow, such as enforcement proceedings, including sanctions, the issuing of a new or revised authorisation, permit or licence or follow-up inspection activities, including further site visits. Reports should be finalised as soon as possible.
   1. Member States shall ensure that after every site visit the inspecting authorities process or store, in identifiable form and in data files, the inspection data and their findings as to compliance with EC legal requirements, an evaluation thereof and a conclusion on whether any further action should follow, such as enforcement proceedings, including sanctions, the issuing of a new or revised authorisation, permit or licence or follow-up inspection activities, including further site visits. Reports shall be finalised as soon as possible.
(Amendment 13)
Point VI(2)
   2. Member States should ensure that such reports are properly recorded in writing and maintained in a readily accessible database, are communicated to the operator of the Controlled Installation in question and are available to the public according to the provisions of Directive 90/313/EEC on the freedom of access to information on the environment.
   2. Member States shall ensure that such reports are properly recorded in writing and maintained in a readily accessible database, are communicated to the operator of the Controlled Installation in question and are available to the public according to the provisions of Directive 90/313/EEC on the freedom of access to information on the environment. Reports shall be publicly available within two months of the inspection taking place.
(Amendment 14)
Point VIII(2)(d)
   (d) the degree of compliance by Controlled Installations with EC legal requirements as appears from inspections carried out and from any other information the competent authority may have ;
   (d) brief data on the degree of compliance by Controlled Installations with EC legal requirements as appears from inspections carried out;
(Amendment 15)
Point IX
IX
Review and development of the Recommendation
   1. The Commission should review the operation and effectiveness of this Recommendation , as soon as possible after receipt of the Member States' reports mentioned in Point VIII above, with the intention of developing the minimum criteria further in terms of their scope in the light of the experience gained from their application, and taking into account any further contributions from interested parties, including IMPEL.
Article 9
Review of operation and effectiveness of this Directive
   1. The Commission shall review the operation and effectiveness of this Directive , as soon as possible after receipt of the Member States' reports mentioned in Article 8 above, with the intention of developing the minimum criteria further in terms of their scope in the light of the experience gained from their application, and taking into account any further contributions from interested parties, including IMPEL and the European Environment Agency .
   2. IMPEL is invited to draw up, as quickly as possible, in cooperation with the Commission and other interested parties, a working paper on best practices concerning the qualifications of environmental inspectors who are authorised to carry out inspections for or under the authority or supervision of inspecting authorities.
   2. The Commission shall draw up, as quickly as possible, in cooperation with IMPEL, the European Environment Agency and other interested parties, minimum criteria concerning the qualifications of environmental inspectors who are authorised to carry out inspections for or under the authority or supervision of inspecting authorities.
   3. Member States should , as quickly as possible, in cooperation with IMPEL, the Commission and other interested parties, develop best practices concerning training programmes in order to meet the demand for qualified environmental inspectors.
   3. Member States shall , as quickly as possible, in cooperation with IMPEL, the Commission and other interested parties, develop training programmes in order to meet the demand for qualified environmental inspectors.
(Amendment 16)
Article 9a (new)
Article 9a
Implementation
   1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive no later than 18 months after its entry into force. They shall immediately inform the Commission thereof.
When Member States adopt these measures, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or shall be accompanied by such reference on the occasion of their official publication. The methods of making such reference shall be laid down by Member States.
   2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.
(Amendment 17)
Point X
X
Article 10
Implementation
Entry into force
Member States should inform the Commission of the implementation of this Recommendation together with details of environmental inspection mechanisms already existing or foreseen not later than twelve months after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
(Amendment 18)
Article 10a (new)
Article 10a
Addressees
This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

(1) OJ C 137, 16.5.2000, p. 1.
(2) OJ C54, 25.2.2000, p. 89.


European Council meeting of 19-20 June 2000 at Santa Maria da Feira
European Parliament resolution on the conclusions of the European Council meeting in Feira on 19 and 20 June 2000
B5-0587 , 0588 and 0590/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its resolution of 15 June 2000 on the preparation of the European Council meeting in Feira on 19 and 20 June 2000(1) ,

-   having regard to the Presidency report to the European Council on the Intergovernmental Conference (CONFER 4750/00),

-   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council meeting at Santa Maria da Feira on 19-20 June 2000,

-   having regard to its resolution of 12 March 1999 on the Commission Communication on EU-India Enhanced Partnership(2) and the results of the EU/India summit of 28 June 2000,

A.   whereas the European Council has reaffirmed the priority for the Union of the enlargement process and has reiterated the commitment of the Union to maintaining the momentum of the accession process, which must result in an early enlargement of the Union, thus extending the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights to a wider Europe,

The IGC and Charter of Fundamental Rights

1.   Regrets that the European Council failed to give a new political impetus to the IGC to enable the European Union to prepare fully for the early accession of new Member States;

2.   Underlines the absolute necessity of successful negotiations in the IGC on a substantial extension of qualified-majority voting in the Council plus codecision with Parliament, which are the key to preparing the European Union for enlargement;

3.   Deplores the fact that the Heads of State and Government have not placed on the agenda the other points proposed by the Parliament, Commission and certain Member States which are, nonetheless, essential in order to enable the IGC to achieve a result which is important for an ambitious institutional reform, which is required with a view to the forthcoming enlargement, including better demarcation of the powers of the Union;

4.   Notes that the European Council considers that the provisions on closer cooperation should form part of the future work of the Conference, which has been called for in several of its resolutions; but warns against using either closer cooperation or the prospect of a further IGC as a pretext for not making progress on the widening and deepening of the Union;

5.   Welcomes the call, contained in the Presidency Conclusions, for the Convention entrusted with drawing up a Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to present a draft document in advance of the Biarritz European Council in October 2000; recalls its commitment to the indivisibility of rights and their incorporation in the Treaties;

Common European Security and Defence Policy

6.   Welcomes the European Council's decisions concerning the future development of the CFSP, particularly with regard to the civil and military instruments necessary for crisis management; urges the adoption of far-reaching headline goals in the field of civil action with appropriate financial arrangements and in cooperation with civil society;

7.   Expresses its concern at the increasingly complex interinstitutional relations with regard to foreign and security policy, where the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the Council Secretary-General - High Representative interact with each other and with Parliament, which might undermine common EU competencies established in the Treaty;

8.   In any case, urges the Council to involve Parliament fully in defining the priorities regarding the external action of the European Union, and reaffirms its proposals set out in its abovementioned resolution of 15 June 2000;

9.   Notes with satisfaction that the commitment to build a Common European Security and Defence Policy capable of reinforcing the Union's external action through the development of a military crisis management capability assumes the functions of WEU with regard to the Petersberg Tasks; stresses that due account must be taken of the corresponding budgetary implications; emphasises the need for a positive outcome of the Capabilities Commitment Conference on 20 November 2000;

10.   Welcomes the decision to coordinate closely the building up of an independent European defence capability with NATO and the agreement to invite European member states of NATO that are not EU members to participate in EU-led operations, as well as non-members of NATO, such as Ukraine and Russia;

Taxation

11.   Welcomes the agreement on the savings tax and the progress report on the Commission's tax package as an encouraging step towards necessary tax coordination in Europe; regrets that the timetable for the implementation of the savings tax agreement does not reflect the urgency of the matter, and insists on the necessity of finding a workable solution with third countries; requests the Council to adopt concrete measures to counter damaging tax competition on the basis of the Code of Conduct report;

Lisbon follow-up

12.   Welcomes the broad consensus on the Lisbon strategy for economic reform and social cohesion which has been achieved across the European Union's institutions and bodies, and with the social partners, as well as the continued momentum of the single market reforms;

13.   Emphasises the crucial coordinating role of the broad economic policy guidelines in implementing an effective macroeconomic policy mix with a view to sustainable growth, competitiveness, investment, employment and social cohesion; insists that the position of the European Parliament is respected in these matters via an Interinstitutional Agreement;

14.   Welcomes the European Charter for Small Enterprises, but calls for a real commitment to reducing red tape, reforming labour markets and introducing tax systems which reward success; emphasises, however, that easing the burden for such firms must not put at risk workers" rights;

15.   Supports the Council's recognition of the importance of public services of general interest and calls for strong services of general interest to be maintained and strengthened by improved Treaty provision; endorses the Council's request for a rapid updating of the 1996 Commission Communication;

16.   Reaffirms its commitment to combat poverty by developing a substantive European Social Agenda that supports employment creation, modernises social protection and promotes social inclusion;

17.   Underlines the importance of increasing both public and private investment in Europe in order to achieve a higher rate of growth that is environmentally sustainable in accordance with the Kyoto commitments, including investment in human resources directed towards developing a knowledge-based society;

18.   Calls on the Commission to strengthen measures to develop consumer confidence in e-Europe, including improving access to justice for the consumer;

19.   Welcomes Greece's accession to the euro as from 1 January 2001;

Food Safety

20.   Welcomes the importance attached by the Council to the issue of food safety, and the progress made towards establishing a European Food Authority by the end of the year 2000; would remind the Council, however, that it must wait for the opinion of the European Parliament before drawing up detailed plans and timetables, particularly as far as this new Authority is concerned;

Foreign affairs
India

21.   Recalls its initial proposal to establish a regular EU-India dialogue at the highest level; warmly welcomes the first EU-India Summit as a milestone in enhancing their relations, based upon democratic values and respect for the rule of law;

22.   Supports the decision to hold further regular summits and notes the adoption of a comprehensive "Agenda for Action", including a dialogue on security matters; welcomes India's call for nuclear disarmament but reiterates its request that India sign and ratify the comprehensive test ban treaty;

23.   Urges the Council to work towards the inclusion of India in the ongoing ASEM process;

Western Balkans

24.   Welcomes the agreement to intensify cooperation with the states of the Western Balkans and to reconfirm that all the countries concerned are potential candidates for EU membership; supports the conclusion of regional trade agreements; considers that unclear decision-making procedures and duplication of tasks should be avoided at an administrative level as well as in the implementation of all assistance and reconstruction activities in the Balkans;

25.   Calls on the Council to begin negotiations immediately with Croatia on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement as a positive signal to the whole region;

Mediterranean

26.   Congratulates the Portuguese Presidency on its contribution to the European Union Common Strategy for the Mediterranean Region; considers that adoption of this strategy constitutes a decisive step forward in strengthening both the European Union's Mediterranean policy and the Barcelona Declaration; expects to be fully involved in this strategy in all respects; intends to continue to play an active role with regard to the Middle East peace process;

27.   Calls on the French Presidency to carry out a critical, in-depth review of five years of partnership with a view to making Euro-Mediterranean policy and its instruments more effective;

Northern Dimension

28.   Welcomes the European Council's endorsement of the Action Plan for the Northern Dimension and its invitation to the Commission to take the leading role in implementing it and presenting appropriate follow-up proposals; looks forward to the Swedish Presidency's full report on Northern Dimension policies, both external and internal, in preparation for the Gothenburg European Council in June 2001;

Russia

29.   Welcomes the European Council's call for a strong and healthy partnership between the Union and Russia based on common values, particularly respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;

30.   Regrets that there has been no change in the attitude of the Russian authorities towards Chechnya, where a peace strategy is still lacking; reaffirms its conviction that a peaceful solution to the conflict is absolutely necessary; supports the activities of the Council and Member States towards this goal developed in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the OSCE and humanitarian organisations;

o
o   o

31.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States, the Governments of the applicant states and the President of the Charter Convention.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 4.
(2) OJ C 175, 21.6.1999, p. 442.


Elections in Zimbabwe
European Parliament resolution on the parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe
B5-0599 , 0602 , 0604 and 0605/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2000 on the situation in Zimbabwe(1) ,

-   having regard to the Council decision of 22 May 2000 to send an observer mission to monitor the elections in Zimbabwe, headed by Pierre Schori, MEP, and its own decision to send a delegation of Members to help in this task,

A.   whereas parliamentary elections took place in Zimbabwe on 24-25 June 2000 in the presence of some 190 EU observers, as well as other observers and monitors from organisations such as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth and several thousand local Zimbabwean monitors,

B.   whereas although polling was generally calm and well organised, there were serious problems concerning the electoral registers and obstacles placed in the way of domestic monitors and international observers, notably with regard to accreditation,

C.   whereas the pre-election period and the election campaign were marred by high levels of violence, intimidation and coercion, for which the leadership of the governing Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) should be held principally responsible, and at least 30 people were killed, most of them opposition supporters,

D.   whereas this contributed significantly to the climate of fear so evident during the election campaign,

E.   whereas in many rural areas the levels of intimidation by ZANU-PF were so intense as to make it virtually impossible for the opposition to campaign,

F.   whereas the government-controlled media, especially radio and television, were used to spread ruling party policies and at the same time prevented opposition views from being fairly presented; whereas, nevertheless, Zimbabwe has a vigorous press which has been able to put forward the opposition's point of view,

G.   whereas the overall conduct of the government failed to uphold the rule of law and undermined law enforcement agencies, particularly in the lead-up to the elections,

H.   whereas the seizure of commercial farms is a further violation of the rule of law in Zimbabwe and whereas the important issue of fair land distribution can only be resolved by a democratic and non-violent process based on the rule of law and ensuring that land will go to the rural poor,

I.   whereas, regrettably, violence and intimidation have continued in the post-election period,

1.   Commends the impressive turnout by which the people of Zimbabwe have shown their democratic maturity and determination to influence their own destiny;

2.   Considers nevertheless that the elections cannot be described as free and fair owing to the high level of violence and intimidation which preceded the polling days;

3.   Commends the work of the EU Observer Mission, which helped to curb violence and ensure that elections, though flawed, could take place in an organised manner;

4.   Welcomes Mr Schori's final report and its conclusions, delivered in the European Parliament on 4 July 2000;

5.   Firmly condemns the violence and intimidation during the pre-election period and even to some extent on the polling days as well as the deliberate government policy of polarising race relations through seizures of white-owned farms;

6.   Calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to re- enforce law and order and guarantee respect for human rights and democratic principles; in this context calls for a thorough and independent investigation of all cases of human rights abuses associated with the electoral process;

7.   Deplores irregularities, in particular the inadequacy of the electoral registers, and the lack of clear instructions on polling day which prevented a significant percentage of the eligible population from voting;

8.   Calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to address as a matter of urgency the serious defects in the electoral process and not to try to block any opposition appeals to the High Court;

9.   Calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to comply with the High Court order to end the illegal occupation of farm land, and to proceed to land resettlement within the rule of law and on the basis of the principles and conclusions of the 1998 Land Conference;

10.   Calls on the President of Zimbabwe to consider his strong personal responsibility to actively pursue a policy of national reconciliation and to use his considerable authority to this end;

11.   Considers that, despite the very serious irregularities during the election period, including sometimes lethal violence, the results, whilst certainly not accurately reflecting the will of the people, nevertheless mean that there is now a significant opposition force represented in the parliament, which gives hope for the emergence of a genuine multi-party democratic system;

12.   Notes that the immediate post-election period has not been free of violence and therefore calls on the Government of Zimbabwe, and in particular on its President, to ensure that perpetrators of violence are prosecuted in the courts, to respect court decisions regarding complaints about the conduct of the elections and in particular any court decisions to revise election results or hold new elections in certain constituencies, and to pursue its policies, particularly that on land reform, in a consensual manner;

13.   Stresses the need for persecution of MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) supporters to cease immediately, and condemns in particular death threats made against individuals including Archbishop Pius A. Ncube of Bulawayo,

14.   Considers it vital that the Commission and Council pursue an active dialogue with the government, the opposition and civil society in Zimbabwe,

15.   Resolves to monitor developments in Zimbabwe over the coming months, and makes it clear that a failure to pursue the above-mentioned policies of reconciliation may lead to a refusal to release the second tranche (of EUR 30 million) from the 8th EDF when this is considered on 20 September 2000, and also to the application of the consultation procedure under Article 366a of the Lomé Convention, which could suspend all Lomé-derived benefits for Zimbabwe;

16.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments of the applicant countries for EU membership, the ACP/EU Joint Assembly, the OAU and the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 9.


Trafficking in human beings
European Parliament resolution on illegal immigration and the discovery of the bodies of 58 illegal immigrants in Dover
B5-0596 , 0598 , 0603 and 0606/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

-   having regard to the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, as modified by the New York protocol of 31 January 1967,

-   having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November 1950,

-   having regard to its resolution of 8 October 1998(1) on cooperation with Mediterranean countries in the area of immigration,

-   having regard to Title IV, Article 61 et seq of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Articles 2 and 6 of the EU Treaty,

-   having regard to its resolution on the Commission working document 'Towards common standards in asylum procedures', adopted on 15 June 2000(2) ,

A.   appalled by the terrible tragedy of the death of the fifty-eight people whose bodies were discovered in Dover on the morning of Monday, 19 June 2000,

B.   whereas similar incidents occur daily at the Union's frontiers, with countless immigrants and refugees losing their lives while attempting to enter the countries of the Union illegally; having regard also to the hundreds of people who have perished in the course of their journey from Africa to the coasts of Europe, victims, for the most part, of smugglers and traffickers in human beings,

C.   revolted by the practice of trafficking in human beings, which exploits the despair of people in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia in order to profit from illegal immigration networks, with a total disregard for the dignity of human life,

D.   concerned by the resurgence of illegal immigration in Europe, as demonstrated by the number of victims of the odious and unacceptable crime of trafficking in human beings,

E.   whereas immigrants, whether legally resident in Member States for many years or recently arrived, have contributed significantly to the European economy and its social development,

F.   whereas the criminals engaged in smuggling illegal immigrants into the EU have the technical and economic means to enable them easily to avoid surveillance at its external borders; and whereas, therefore, this issue must be resolved using whatever preventative and defensive means are necessary,

G.   whereas the inefficiency of asylum legislation and the relevant administrative procedures increase levels of illegal immigration and the involvement of organised crime,

H.   whereas, as a result of these barriers to immigration, refugees often fall victim to organised gangs of smugglers who demand substantial sums for their services,

I.   whereas, according to the International Organisation for Migration, the international trade in human beings has become a fast-growing, well organised and highly profitable business,

1.   Expresses its dismay at the events in Dover and its sympathy with the victims" families;

2.   Expresses its grief for all the victims at this intolerable human tragedy;

3.   Regrets that a genuine European policy on asylum and immigration, which should include a European strategy on migration, has yet to be implemented;

4.   Urges the Council to take measures to regulate migration and, in particular, to combat the criminal organisations which traffic in human beings despite the fact that Article 63 of the EC Treaty provides for a period of five years within which the Union is to adopt common legislation in the area of immigration;

5.   Reminds the Council of the commitments made at the European Council in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999 concerning the duty of the European Union to develop common asylum and immigration policies, whilst taking account of the need to exercise coherent and effective controls at its external frontiers in order to stop illegal immigration; calls on the French Presidency to include this issue in its work programme as a matter of urgency;

6.   Urges all bodies involved to enhance cooperation between Europol and the national authorities, in particular as regards the rapid exchange of information, and to ensure that Europol has all the financial and human resources required to combat trafficking in human beings;

7.   Recalls that the definition of Community law on asylum and immigration cannot be disconnected from the setting up of an area of freedom, security and justice in the Union, capable also of promoting democratic values and the rule of law beyond its frontiers;

8.   Recalls the conclusions of the recent European Council in Feira and reiterates the essential need to make progress in the field of cooperation between Member States in order to combat more effectively the odious practice of trafficking in human beings;

9.   Stresses the considerable responsibility of embassies in the countries of origin in taking initial decisions on visa requests, calls for more consultation between the European ambassadors in those countries from which large numbers of illegal immigrants come, and urges those embassies to set up information campaigns warning people about the dangers of the trade in human beings;

10.   Calls on the Member States to tighten their laws so as to make employers liable to more severe punishment, as a means of combating the employment of illegal immigrants;

11.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to formulate specific proposals in order to improve the integration of legal immigrants in the EU on the basis of the best practices in the Member States;

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

(1) OJ C 328, 26.10.1998, p. 184.
(2) Texts Adopted, Item 12.


Fiji and the Solomon Islands
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Fiji and the Solomon Islands
B5-0616 , 0620 , 0629 , 0636 , 0640 and 0644/2000

The European Parliament,

A.   gravely concerned about the political crisis in Fiji after a coup on 19 May 2000, which led to the suspension of Parliament, the abrogation of the Constitution, the resignation of the democratically elected Prime Minister and of the President, and the imposition of martial law on 29 May 2000 by the Fijian Army,

B.   whereas on 3 July 2000 an Interim Civilian Administration was formed in Fiji under the new Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, with the military retaining executive authority,

C.   deeply worried about the plight of 27 hostages, including the deposed Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and other cabinet ministers, who are still held in the parliamentary complex as the army declared a military exclusive zone on 2 July 2000 and repeated threats to their life are made by coup leader George Speight,

D.   gravely concerned about the heightening tensions between indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians and amongst the indigenous Fijians themselves, and about the anti-Fijian-Indian rhetoric of coup leader George Speight which has already caused mobs to destroy Fijian-Indian shops and troops to rebel on Fiji's second largest island, Vanua Levu,

E.   recalling that Fiji was earlier the scene of a coup d'etat which was led in 1987 by Colonel Rabuka for similar reasons and which caused the country's expulsion from the Commonwealth for 10 years and led to the departure of thousands of Fijian-Indians,

F.   noting that the multi-racial constitution of 1997 was designed to solve the ethnic problems on the islands, including the land issue, and that this constitution was unanimously approved by an ethnic Fijian-dominated Parliament and blessed by the Great Council of Chiefs,

G.   whereas the Solomon Islands also faced an attempted coup in Guadalcanal on 5 June 2000, which led to the resignation of the democratically elected Prime Minister and the collapse of law and order,

H.   whereas on 30 June 2000, by 23 votes to 21, the Solomon Islands" Parliament elected the opposition leader Mannasseh Sogavare as the new Prime Minister, and whereas Sogavare must fulfil his pledge to create national unity and reconciliation,

I.   drawing attention to the key role played by the ACP-EU Joint Assembly's mission to the Solomon Islands which included two MEPs who mediated between the warring factions and helped reduce the level of tension,

J.   whereas the ongoing conflict in the Solomon Islands between the Malaita Eagle Forces and Guadalcanal's Isatabu Freedom Movement is also rooted in ethnic tension and has spread beyond Honiara with renewed fighting breaking out on 2 July 2000 and resulting in a number of deaths,

K.   noting that, since independence from Britain in 1978, the Solomon Islands have tried to create a parliamentary system to bring together a country of over 1000 islands and 70 different languages,

L.   whereas both Fiji and the Solomon Islands are the latest examples of ethnic tensions that are occurring across the South Pacific,

M.   having regard to the measures adopted by the Commonwealth during the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Meeting in London on 6 June 2000,

1.   Strongly condemns the coup by George Speight and the dismantling of all democratic institutions, including the 1997 Constitution, the Government and Parliament in Fiji;

2.   Urges the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by coup leader George Speight in Fiji;

3.   Calls for those involved in the hostage-taking to be brought to justice in accordance with international standards;

4.   Strongly condemns the stirring up of ethnic tensions and the destruction of Fijian-Indian property, noting that Fijian Indians make up 44% of Fiji's population of 800 000;

5.   Calls on all parties involved in the constitutional and political crisis to ensure the safety and human rights of the civilian population, in particular the ethnic Fijian Indians and indigenous Fijians refusing to support the coup, and for all sides in the Solomon Islands to respect any amnesty or cease-fire agreed;

6.   Welcomes the initiative of the National Council of Women in Fiji, in particular their call for unity and for a peaceful resolution of the crisis;

7.   Notes the appointment of an Interim Civilian Administration by the military in Fiji and expresses concern about the constitutional and democratic status of such an arrangement;

8.   Urges the Interim Civilian Administration and Fiji's new Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase to work towards returning Fiji to full democracy and towards an end to the current crisis which is crippling Fiji's economy: delaying sugar production, dramatically reducing activities in the tourism sector and putting thousands out of work after recent trade bans;

9.   Calls on the Commission to start appropriate procedures to suspend development co-operation with Fiji if there is no return to democracy within a set time frame, even after the release of the hostages;

10.   Strongly condemns the attempted coup by the Malaita Eagle Forces in the Solomon Islands and the recent escalation in violence;

11.   Supports all efforts including those by the new Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Mannasseh Sogavare to create national unity and reconciliation;

12.   Strongly condemns the ethnic tensions and destruction of property in the Solomon Islands and calls for the swift restoration of law and order;

13.   Urges the Commission to keep a close watch on moves towards democracy in the Solomon Islands, particularly in view of the crucial role played by EU funds (which amounted to €60 million last year) in the Solomons, and warns that EU aid may be suspended if there is not a rapid return to democracy, peace and stability;

14.   Urges all parties in both countries to observe and respect democratic norms and constitutional procedures;

15.   Urges the Commission to monitor developments closely, not only in Fiji and the Solomon Islands but across the South Pacific region in view of the increase in religious and ethnic tensions in the area;

16.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and the parliaments of the Member States and applicant states, and to the constitutional authorities of both Fiji and the Solomon Islands.


Tibet
European Parliament resolution on the Western China Poverty Reduction Project and the future of Tibet
B5-0608 , 0610 , 0617 , 0621 and 0641/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its previous resolutions on Tibet,

A.   considering the lack of progress in the EU-China human rights dialogue,

B.   whereas on 7 July 2000 the World Bank is expected to take a final decision on its support for the Western China Poverty Reduction Project,

C.   recalling that Tibet was invaded and occupied in 1949 and 1950 by the Chinese armed forces,

D.   recalling that, whilst the 'seventeen-point agreement' signed in Beijing under duress by the Tibetan authorities sanctioned the annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China, it also guaranteed Tibet's full autonomy and, in particular, the continuity of its political system and full respect for religious freedom,

E.   recalling the Lhasa uprising against the Beijing regime on 10 March 1959, which resulted in the deaths and imprisonment of thousands of Tibetans and the exile of the Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of other Tibetans,

F.   recalling the establishment in 1965 of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) by the Beijing authorities and considering that no genuine autonomy has existed there since China occupied the country,

G.   recalling the repeated attempts at restarting the dialogue with the Beijing authorities made by the Dalai Lama, notably through the 'five-point plan' presented to the US Congress in 1987 and the 'Strasbourg proposal' presented to the European Parliament in 1988,

H.   concerned that China has shown no readiness to take part in a dialogue to negotiate the future of Tibet,

I.   recalling the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 to the Dalai Lama and his appeal to the international community to encourage a peaceful settlement of the Tibetan question,

J.   recalling Tibet's designation in 1992 as a 'Special Economic Zone' and the resulting large-scale transfer of Chinese settlers to Tibet which, in the space of a few years, has made the Tibetans a minority in their own country,

K.   whereas the proposed Western China Poverty Reduction Project may lead to a further relocation of ethnic Chinese into the Tibetan areas and may violate the World Bank's own policies regarding indigenous peoples, involuntary resettlement and the environment,

1.   Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to do all they can to start up negotiations between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Dalai Lama on a new status for Tibet which guarantees full Tibetan autonomy in all areas of political, economic, social and cultural life, the only exceptions being defence and foreign policy;

2.   Calls on the governments of the Member States to give serious consideration to the possibility of recognising the Tibetan Government in exile as the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people if, within three years, the Beijing authorities and the Tibetan government in exile have not, through negotiations organised under the aegis of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, signed an agreement on a new Statute for Tibet;

3.   Asks the Commission and the Council to urge the World Bank to suspend its decision on the Western China Poverty Reduction Project and to examine all the effects this project could have on Tibet's ethnic, cultural and social balance;

4.   Urges the World Bank to publish the Inspection Panel report and Recommendation on the Western China Poverty Reduction Project before the vote of the World Bank Board;

5.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the governments and parliaments of the applicant countries, the President and Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government and parliament in exile.


Human rights: Child soldiers in Uganda
European Parliament resolution on the abduction of children by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
B5-0611 , 0622 , 0630 , 0637 and 0646/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocols, the 1999 ILO Convention concerning the prohibition and immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions,

-   having regard to its previous resolutions on child soldiers,

A.   whereas an armed rebellion has been raging in northern Uganda since 1986, currently under the name of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA),

B.   whereas the LRA is armed by the Sudanese Government army, which also provides it with food and logistical support, as a counter to the support of the Ugandan Government for the SPLA,

C.   whereas, according to UNICEF, the LRA has abducted at least 14 000 children, as young as seven years old, in northern Uganda, particularly in the districts of Gulu and Kitgum; whereas about 5000 children have since returned or escaped and thousands remain unaccounted for, of whom not more than 2000 are reported to be still alive,

D.   whereas these children are taken to camps in southern Sudan from where they are sent to fight both the Ugandan Government army in Ugandan territory and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in southern Sudan,

E.   whereas the children abducted by the LRA are subjected to extremes of brutality and are forced to conduct a reign of terror against their own people - the Acholi population - by killing innocent people or by cutting off limbs, ears and lips; whereas the total number of deaths is estimated at over 100 000 and the total number of displaced people currently at over 300 000,

F.   whereas girls are often submitted to sexual abuse and brutality by the LRA commanders, the best documented case being that of the girls from Aboke,

G.   whereas thousands of children have already died in captivity, from hunger and disease, during the fighting, or by being beaten and stabbed to death as punishment for those who tried to escape,

H.   whereas a Peace Accord between Uganda and Sudan was signed in Nairobi on 8 December 1999 which included a commitment by the Sudanese Government to stop its support for the LRA and guarantee the safe return of the abducted Ugandan children held in rebel camps in Sudan,

I.   whereas the political will to implement the Peace Accord has been lacking on both sides, both countries have continued to support each other's armed rebels, and very few abducted children have been returned by Sudan,

J.   whereas despite the Nairobi Peace Accord some 300 children have again been abducted by LRA rebels since the beginning of this year, according to UNICEF, 143 of whom have escaped,

K.   whereas an amnesty law was approved by the Ugandan Parliament on 6 December 1999, but its implementation is being seriously delayed; whereas LRA leader Joseph Kony has already rejected the amnesty but some of his soldiers have applied for it,

L.   whereas LRA representatives are allowed to collect funds, make public statements and operate freely on European Union territory, and have been travelling unhindered within the European Union and between the European Union and Sudan,

1.   Strongly condemns the continuing abduction of children in northern Uganda by the LRA and the subsequent use of these children in armed combat, which is a flagrant violation of several UN Conventions and international humanitarian law;

2.   Calls on the Government of Sudan to stop supporting the Lord's Resistance Army and to cooperate in the immediate and unconditional release of all the abducted children, as stipulated in the Nairobi Peace Accord;

3.   Condemns the fact that, in Sudan, the use of child soldiers and the enslavement of children continues, and supports the action plan put forward by UNICEF to eradicate these practices;

4.   Calls on the Government of Sudan to consider the issue of the abducted children as a humanitarian issue and to separate it from the wider political issues in the region;

5.   Calls on the Government of Sudan to allow free and full access by humanitarian organisations such as the ICRC and UNICEF to the LRA camps to ascertain the identities of the abducted children and ensure their safe return to their home communities;

6.   Calls on the Government of Uganda to continue efforts to find a peaceful solution for the conflict in northern Uganda and to speed up the implementation of the Amnesty Act, despite its rejection by the LRA leader Joseph Kony;

7.   Calls on all parties involved in the conflict in Sudan to resume talks to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in southern Sudan;

8.   Calls on international oil companies working in Sudan, such as Talisman Energy Inc. of Canada, to halt their operations as long as abductions of children and slavery continue and a peaceful solution has not been found to the conflict; calls on EU companies to refrain from oil investments in Sudan and urges the EU Member States to exert their influence to this effect;

9.   Calls on the Council to assume a more active role in urging the implementation of the Nairobi Peace Accord;

10.   Calls on the Commission to support all efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returning children and to support the affected communities in northern Uganda;

11.   Calls on the Council to support initiatives that prohibit the use of child soldiers and urges the ratification of the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child setting 18 as the minimum age for the recruitment of soldiers;

12.   Calls on individual EU Member States to ban LRA operations and travel by LRA representatives within the European Union and between EU Member States and non-EU countries;

13.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, UNICEF, international oil companies working in Sudan, and the Governments of Uganda and Sudan.


Human rights: The Moluccas
European Parliament resolution on the Moluccan Islands
B5-0609 , 0612 , 0623 and 0647/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its earlier resolutions on Indonesia and on the situation on the Moluccan Islands,

A.   whereas on 19 June 2000 more than 100 people were killed and several hundred injured in a massacre by Muslim extremists in the Christian-inhabited village of Duma on the Island of Halmahera,

B.   whereas a boat with 500 refugees on board, over half of them from the ravaged village of Duma, sank on its way to Manado on 30 June 2000,

C.   whereas the current Indonesian Government has courageously promoted the democratisation process, but is facing strong opposition,

D.   whereas negative forces from within the old regime seem to be trying to destabilise the Wahid/Sukarnoputri Government,

E.   whereas the Moluccan Islands have for long been considered a positive example of the peaceful coexistence of Christians and Muslims,

F.   whereas thousands of Islamic Jihad fighters have moved to the Moluccans, have been armed there and have caused provocations not seen before, which have led to a bloody conflict between the Muslim and Christian population,

G.   whereas the behaviour of these militias and the ambiguous behaviour of the army and police in the region seem to resemble the patterns recorded in East Timor,

H.   whereas in the last few weeks again many people, for instance in Ambon, have been killed or wounded, bringing the total number of those killed on the Moluccans in the last 18 months to over 3 000 and the number of refugees and displaced persons to over 100 000,

I.   whereas the militias have provoked a situation of terror including violent incidents, rape, murder, arson and large-scale damaging of property,

J.   whereas the Government of Indonesia is still hesitating to accept the aid and intervention of international organisations,

1.   Asks the Commission and Council to support the process of re-establishing democracy in Indonesia and to support the present government and its honest efforts to establish democracy and respect for human rights;

2.   Asks the Commission and Council to warn the forces which are trying to destabilise the present government that the international community will not accept a relapse in Indonesia;

3.   Asks the Commission and Council to call on the Indonesian Government to do all within its power to put an end to the violence on the Moluccan Islands in order to re-establish peaceful co-existence between the Muslim and Christian population, as has proved possible for many years;

4.   Asks the Commission and Council to call on the Indonesian authorities to open humanitarian aid corridors so that assistance can reach people displaced by the fighting and others in need of relief, and to stress in their contacts with the Indonesian Government the importance of strict requirements in ports and airports of the Moluccans, including thorough checks for weapons coming into and out of the Moluccans;

5.   Asks the Commission and Council to urge ECHO to increase support for relief efforts, considering the recent deterioration of conditions on the Moluccan Islands;

6.   Asks the Commission and Council to examine ways in which the international community can help to restore calm to the Islands, for instance by sending international observers;

7.   Asks the Commission and Council to call on the Indonesian Government to suspend from duty members of the security forces suspected of directly or indirectly taking sides in the conflict and to judge and punish all those guilty of these provocations and violence, if necessary by establishing a special national or international court;

8.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and Council, the governments of the applicant states and the Indonesian Government.


Human rights: Death penalty in the USA
European Parliament resolution on the death penalty in the United States
B5-0613 , 0619 , 0624 , 0631 and 0638/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its earlier resolutions to protest against the death penalty in the US and elsewhere, in particular its resolutions of 8 October 1998(1) , 18 November 1999(2) and 13 April 2000(3) ,

A.   whereas the decision of the General Affairs Council of 29 June 1998 aimed at strengthening the international activities of the European Union in opposition to the death penalty 'as an integral part of its human rights policy' with the universal abolition of capital punishment as a fundamental goal,

B.   dismayed at the execution by lethal injection of Gary Graham in Huntsville, Texas, on 22 June 2000,

C.   noting with dismay that there have been 131 executions in Texas during the past five years,

D.   having regard to the Union's reiterated commitment to seek the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of a resolution instituting a universal moratorium on capital punishment as a first step towards the permanent universal abolition of the death penalty; deploring the fact, however, that the lack of coordination within the Union and among the Member States contributed to the failure of an initiative to this end during the last United Nations General Assembly,

E.   reiterating its serious concern about the sad record which the State of Texas has built up ever since the US reinstated the death penalty in 1976 and since when Texas has executed 7 more juvenile offenders, more than any other American State,

F.   whereas Derek Rocco Barnabei, sentenced to death in the State of Virginia, USA, in 1993, for the murder of a young woman, is scheduled to be executed in August 2000,

G.   whereas judicial errors often occur, as was recently recognised in the case of Joaquin José Martinez, who was allowed a new trial after waiting for several months for the death sentence to be carried out,

H.   whereas it appears that the investigations failed to furnish clear evidence of his guilt and that Mr Barnabei's defence was flawed and insufficient,

I.   whereas in the opinion of leading US legal authorities a grave judicial error has been made in this case,

J.   noting that for the first time a wide-ranging national debate on the death penalty has been launched during the election campaign in the United States and welcoming the decision by the Governor of Illinois to enact a moratorium on all executions,

1.   Reiterates its deep belief that the abolition of capital punishment constitutes a fundamental step towards enhancing human dignity, ongoing developing of human rights and increasing respect for those rights and calls on the Council to renew its efforts to secure a worldwide moratorium on all executions;

2.   Reiterates its call for the abolition of capital punishment and the immediate imposition of a moratorium in countries where capital punishment still exists;

3.   Is dismayed at the execution of Gary Graham, who was sentenced for having shot a man dead in Houston 19 years ago although there were still doubts about the conviction; points out, furthermore, that in more cases serious doubts have arisen with regard to capital convictions after execution has taken place, implying that innocent people may have been put to death;

4.   Calls on the Government of the State of Virginia to suspend the execution order against Mr Barnabei and, given the large amount of evidence that could influence the sentence handed down, calls on the judicial authorities responsible to grant Mr Barnabei the possibility of a retrial, since the interests of justice will best be served by seeking out the truth and making sure that innocent men are not convicted;

5.   Calls on the Presidential candidate to follow the example of the Governor of Illinois, George Ryan, and to introduce a moratorium on executions in his State, in the light of the various judicial errors committed, and reminds the United States Supreme Court of the need to meet its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and abolish the death penalty;

6.   Urges the US Government again to comply with the request made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on 27 January 2000 that executions should not proceed until the Commission has examined and ruled on the case;

7.   Calls on the Governor of Virginia, the Rt Hon. James Gilmore, to suspend the execution of Derek Rocco Barnabei and to commute his sentence;

8.   Asks the relevant courts to grant Derek Rocco Barnabei a retrial in order to examine new evidence that could prove his innocence;

9.   Accordingly, calls on the Council to step up substantially the political dialogue with the US leadership on the abolition of the death penalty on American territory and invites the French Presidency to come forward with urgent clear initiatives on this matter;

10.   Decides to include the issue of the death penalty as one of the fixed items on the agenda of each meeting of the EU/USA parliamentary delegation;

11.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and to the governments of the Member States, the Government of the US and the Governors of Texas and Virginia, as well as all governments mentioned in this resolution.

(1) OJ C 328, 26.10.1998, p. 193.
(2) Texts Adopted, Item 8.
(3) Texts Adopted, Item 13.


Human rights: Hooliganism
European Parliament resolution on Euro 2000
B5-0625 , 0632 and 0649/2000

The European Parliament,

A.   whereas the Belgian and Dutch authorities have been able to organise a large-scale football tournament and associated festivities,

B.   whereas the Belgian and Dutch authorities have shown themselves to be fully in control of public order and able to prevent structural disturbances during the Euro 2000 football festivities,

C.   having regard to the joint action by the Belgian and Dutch Ministers of Home Affairs to see if a ban on travelling by condemned hooligans to countries other than their home country is possible,

D.   whereas the vast majority of the soccer fans have through their behaviour supported a peaceful Euro 2000,

E.   whereas hooliganism seems to be a growing problem, involving a high social cost and taking on totally unacceptable proportions and that all forms of hooliganism should be condemned,

F.   whereas the EU and its Member States need to radically fight this phenomenon, which at certain moments turns into a cross-border problem and undermines the European idea and solidarity within the EU,

G.   whereas serious riots took place repeatedly in Brussels during Euro 2000 and on the day of the Germany - England game also in Charleroi, each time involving English supporters,

H.   whereas the British authorities recognised that there were problems with preventing English hooligans travelling to Belgium and that the authorities of other EU Member States did take the necessary preventive measures to keep their "hard core” inside their national borders,

1.   Welcomes the initiatives taken by the Dutch and Belgian Governments which resulted in a successful Euro 2000;

2.   Welcomes the behaviour of the vast majority of the soccer fans and the practical measures taken by UEFA;

3.   Notes that in many cases hooligans engaged in racist, xenophobic and homophobic violence;

4.   Requests all governments associated with football teams represented in European tournaments to act both to foresee and prevent football hooliganism and to cooperate in bringing effective means to bear in order to combat hooliganism once a tournament has commenced;

5.   Requests that the national governments involved take sufficient preventive measures in the future to prevent hooligans who have already been involved in soccer riots from travelling to countries where their national team or club is playing and supports the Dutch-Belgian initiative for a ban on travelling by arrested hooligans to football matches considered to be a potential risk;

6.   Asks the British Government to consider sharing the cost of transporting English hooligans back home by Belgian C 130 planes;

7.   Calls on UEFA and other organisers to take all necessary measures to ensure that all citizens can attend sporting events in a safe and dignified manner;

8.   Deplores the use of force against journalists doing their job and calls on the Dutch authorities to carry out a proper inquiry into the circumstances surrounding these events to determine who was responsible;

9.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States and of the applicant states, and to the President of UEFA.


Human rights: Iraq
European Parliament resolution on Iraq
B5-0618 , 0626 , 0633 and 0650/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its earlier resolutions on Iraq, especially its resolution of 13 April 2000(1) ,

A.   having regard to the Iraqi Government's obligation to continue to accept and encourage UN controls with a view to the destruction of nuclear and chemical weapons, and also to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is responsible for finding and repatriating all those who disappeared in connection with the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq,

B.   having regard to the tragic situation of the Iraqi people arising from the application of the embargo,

C.   whereas these sanctions have contributed to the devastation of an ancient civilisation and of the living standards of 22 million Iraqis,

D.   whereas the intellectual embargo has deprived academic, medical and scientific professionals of advances in technology,

E.   whereas the social fabric of a traditional society has been ripped apart,

F.   whereas a no-fly zone has been imposed upon Iraq in order to prevent the use of the Iraqi Air Force against people of Kurdish origin and those of southern Iraq,

G.   whereas the enforcement of the no-fly zone is giving rise to a series of military actions which cause casualties and suffering to many innocent human beings,

1.   Reiterates its position as expressed in its abovementioned resolution of 13 April 2000 and calls upon the UN Security Council to commence a dialogue with a view to lifting the economic embargo while maintaining a strict arms embargo on Iraq;

2.   Proposes sending parliamentary fact-finding delegations with a view to opening a dialogue to establish how the oil-for-food programme can be extended to improve the living conditions of the Iraqi people;

3.   Expresses its belief that EU diplomacy should try to bring about a lifting of the no-fly zone, together with a formal renunciation by the Iraqi Government of the use of military force in dealing with the demands for autonomy of the Kurdish people;

4.   Reiterates the need for the UN, WHO and Red Cross to continue to monitor the importation and equitable distribution of goods and services, so that the benefits thereof reach the most deprived and vulnerable people in Iraq;

5.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments of the Member States and of the applicant countries, the Secretary-General of the UN and the Government of Iraq.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 8.


Venezuela
European Parliament resolution on reconstruction and rehabilitation of the areas affected by the catastrophic floods of December 1999 in Venezuela
B5-0615 , 0627 , 0634 , 0642 and 0652/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to its resolution of 20 January 2000(1) , calling on the Commission to examine Venezuela's most pressing needs,

A.   having regard to the sheer scale of the disastrous flooding, as witnessed by an ad hoc delegation which visited Venezuela from 25 to 28 February 2000 and carried out an on the spot assessment of the appalling devastation caused by the disaster, above all in the state of Vargas,

B.   whereas the number of lives lost is still unknown but runs into tens of thousands, and whereas great material losses and damage to infrastructure were sustained,

C.   having regard to the housing, health, food and schooling problems facing the hundreds of thousands who lost their homes and possessions in the disaster,

D.   acknowledging the solidarity displayed by the European Union, which responded rapidly with an initial disbursement of EUR 400 000 as immediate emergency aid approved by the Commission on 22 December 1999 and channelled through the German and Spanish Red Cross, and the rapid freeing of funds via ECHO to enable NGOs to provide immediate assistance to the victims,

E.   having regard to the enormous efforts made by the Venezuelan authorities to make good the devastating effects of the disaster, and alleviate the suffering and meet the needs of those affected,

F.   whereas a disaster of this kind not only has a terrible impact on the least-advantaged sectors of the population, but also wipes out fledgling economic development and brings poverty in its wake, thus spelling ruin for the middle class and for small and medium enterprises in the areas affected,

G.   having regard to the efforts which the Venezuelan Government is making, once the basic needs of the population have been met via the emergency aid programmes, to draw up a general plan for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the affected areas,

H.   whereas Venezuela and Europe have strong cultural and historical ties,

I.   whereas the EU played a major role in terms of reconstruction aid after other natural disasters such as the hurricane which hit Central America and the floods which devastated Mozambique,

J.   mindful of the importance of fully consolidating democracy in Venezuela at this time, and mindful that its relations with the European Union are framed by a general cooperation agreement which includes a democratic clause,

1.   Expresses its horror at the tragedy and its solidarity with the Venezuelan authorities and people, and particularly with the families of the flood victims;

2.   Acknowledges the efforts of the Venezuelan authorities to tackle the needs of those affected by the disaster and prevent a "social explosion" and the outbreak of epidemics;

3.   Congratulates the Commission, the Member States and the NGOs on the speed with which they reacted and came immediately to Venezuela's help in the face of the human, material and infrastructure losses caused by this natural disaster;

4.   Urges the Commission, on the basis of the Venezuelan Government's identification and evaluation of what is required, to commit EUR 250 million over a five year period as the European Union's contribution to rehabilitating and reconstructing the country, and as an expression of solidarity with the Venezuelan people;

5.   Calls on the Commission to help the Venezuelan Government in establishing sustainable environmental criteria for reconstruction activities;

6.   Recalls the importance of aiding above all the most-disadvantaged population sectors, who are now utterly destitute, and also the middle classes and small and medium enterprises, which generate employment and wealth and have suffered huge losses and are in a situation of near-poverty; observes that efforts will be made to involve the affected population groups in the measures taken towards reconstruction;

7.   Notes the postponing of the Venezuelan elections because the necessary technical conditions could not be met, and the subsequent mass resignation of the ten members of the National Electoral Council; believes that it is essential that transparent and democratic elections be held, with all necessary guarantees that all political parties will be able to take part under identical conditions;

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

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 13.


European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia
European Parliament resolution on the European Monitoring Centre on racism and xenophobia
B5-0628 , 0635 and 0651/2000

The European Parliament,

A.   concerned by the letter of resignation of Mr Anton Pelinka, the Austrian representative on the Management Board of the European Monitoring Centre on racism and xenophobia, and by the circumstances surrounding it,

1.   Calls on the Austrian Federal Government, the Governments of the Member States and the institutions of the European Union to give their wholehearted support to the activities of the European Monitoring Centre on racism and xenophobia, thereby respecting their initial commitments;

2.   Instructs its Committee on Citizens' Rights and Freedoms, Justice and Home Affairs to follow closely further developments with respect to the European Monitoring Centre on racism and xenophobia;

3.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments of the Member States and the European Monitoring Centre on racism and xenophobia.


Restrictions on marketing and use of dangerous substances (Phthalates and toy safety) ***I
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive amending for the 22nd time Directive 76/769/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (phthalates) and amending Council Directive 88/378/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning the safety of toys (COM(1999) 577 - C5-0276/1999 - 1999/0238(COD) )
A5-0149/2000

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission (1)   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Recital 3
   (3) The presence of phthalates in certain toys and childcare articles made of soft PVC and intended to be placed in the mouth , presents risks related to general toxicity to the health of young children.
   (3) The presence of phthalates in certain toys and childcare articles made of soft PVC presents risks related to general toxicity to the health of children. Toys and childcare articles, especially those intended for children under the age of three, which, although not intended for that purpose, can be put in the mouth, may under certain circumstances present a risk to the health of small children if they are made of, or include parts made of, soft PVC.
(Amendment 18)
Recital 4a (new)
(4a) The CSTEE, after being consulted by the Commission, has stated that the use of certain citrates and adipates as a substitute for phthalates as plasticisers cannot be supported.
(Amendment 2)
Recital 5a (new)
(5a) There is a greater risk that a child will place in its mouth toys and childcare articles made of, or including parts made of, soft PVC to which fragrances have been added, even though such toys and childcare articles are not intended for that purpose.
(Amendment 3)
Recital 7
   (7) It is necessary to provide for adequate labelling for childcare articles made of soft PVC or including parts made of soft PVC intended for children under the age of three , which, although not intended for that purpose, can be put in the mouth. Such labelling also has to be provided for in Directive 88/378/EEC of 3 May 1988 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning the safety of toys for those toys, which fall within the scope of that Directive.
   (7) It is necessary to provide for adequate labelling for childcare articles made of, or including parts made of, soft PVC intended for children between the ages of three and six , which, although not intended for that purpose, can be put in the mouth by children under the age of three . Such labelling also has to be provided for in Directive 88/378/EEC of 3 May 1988 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning the safety of toys for those toys which fall within the scope of that Directive.
(Amendment 4)
Recital 8
   (8) The Commission will review the provisions in this Directive in the light of further scientific knowledge within four years of adoption.
   (8) The Commission will review the provisions in this Directive in the light of further scientific knowledge within two years of adoption. In doing so, it will also take account of children's exposure to phthalates from sources other than toys (particularly from floor coverings and food packaging made of soft PVC and from the ambient air) and will, if appropriate, commission research to ascertain the values in question.
(Amendment 5)
Recital 8a (new)
(8a) The Commission will review other applications of PVC articles which may expose people to risks, especially PVC articles used in health care.
(Amendments 11 and 24)
Recital 8b (new)
(8b) If a method of measuring the migration of phthalates is developed and this technique is approved by the Scientific Committee for practical use, this will provide strong grounds for the Commission to review the provisions of this Directive.
(Amendment 6)
ARTICLE 2
Annex IV(7) (Directive 88/378/EEC )
"7. Toys, made of or including parts of soft PVC containing the phthalates listed in point XX of the Annex to Directive 76/769/EEC , which are intended for children under the age of three and which can be put in the mouth, although not intended for that purpose.
"7. Toys, made of or including parts made of soft PVC containing the phthalates listed in point XX of the Annex to Directive 76/769/EEC , which are intended for children between the ages of three and six and which can be put in the mouth, although not intended for that purpose, by children under the age of three
The following warning shall appear in an easily legible and indelible form on the packaging for the toy.
The following warning shall appear in an easily legible and indelible form on the packaging for the toy.
"Warning - do not put in the mouth for extended periods as could release phthalates dangerous to child health”.
"Warning - do not give to children under the age of three as could release phthalates dangerous to child health”.
The following shorter warning shall appear in an easily legible and indelible form on the toy:
The following shorter warning shall appear in an easily legible and indelible form on the toy:
"Not to be kept in the mouth”."
"Not to be kept in the mouth”."
(Amendment 7)
ANNEX
Annex I(XX), list (Directive 76/769/EEC )
XX Phthalates
Of the following types:
   - di-“isononyl” phthalate (DINP)
CAS No 28553-12-0
EINECS No 249-079-5
   - bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
CAS No 117-81-7
EINECS No 204-211-0
   - dioctyl phthalate (DNOP)
CAS No 117-84-0
EINECS No 204-214-7
   - di-“isodecyl” phthalate (DIDP)
CAS No 26761-40-0
EINECS No 247-977-1
   - benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
CAS No 85-68-7
EINECS No 201-622-7
   - dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
CAS No 84-74-2
EINECS No 201-557-4
XX Phthalates of all kinds
(Amendments 17/rev. and 16)
ANNEX
Annex I(XX)(1) (Directive 76/769/EEC )
   1. May not be used as substances or as constituents of preparations at concentrations of greater than 0.1% in toys and child care articles made of PVC , or including parts of PVC, intended to be put in the mouth by children under the age of three.
   1. May not be used as substances or as constituents of preparations at concentrations of greater than 0.05% in toys and childcare articles made of, or including parts made of, PVC, which can be put in the mouth by children.
(Amendment 8)
ANNEX
Annex I(XX)(3) (Directive 76/769/EEC )
   3. The following warning shall appear in an easily legible and indelible form on the packaging for childcare articles, other than those referred to in point 1 above, made of or including parts of soft PVC containing one or more of these phthalates, and intended for children under the age of three and which can be put in the mouth:
   3. The following warning shall appear in an easily legible and indelible form on the packaging for childcare articles, other than those referred to in point 1 above, made of, or including parts made of, soft PVC containing one or more of these phthalates, and intended for children between the ages of three and six and which can be put in the mouth by children under the age of three :
"Warning - do not put in mouth for extended periods as could release phthalates dangerous to child health”.
"Warning - do not give to children under the age of three as could release phthalates dangerous to child health”.
The following shorter warning shall appear in an easily legible and indelible form on the childcare article:
The following shorter warning shall appear in an easily legible and indelible form on the childcare article:
"Not to be kept in the mouth”.
"Not to be kept in the mouth”.
(Amendment 9)
ANNEX
Annex I(XX)(3a) (new) (Directive 76/769/EEC )
3a. Fragrances may not be added to toys or childcare articles made of, or including parts made of, soft PVC containing one or more of these phthalates and which can be put in the mouth by children.
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive amending for the 22nd time Directive 76/769/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (phthalates) and amending Council Directive 88/378/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning the safety of toys (COM(1999) 577 - C5-0276/1999 - 1999/0238(COD) )
A5-0149/2000

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(1999) 577 (2) ),

-   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5-0276/1999 ),

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (A5-0149/2000 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Asks to be consulted again should the Commission intend to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

(1) OJ C 116 E, 26.4.2000, p. 14.
(2) OJ C 116 E, 26.4.2000, p. 14.


Protection of forests ***I
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86 on the protection of the Community's forests against atmospheric pollution (COM(1999) 379 - C5-0076/1999 - 1999/0159(COD) )
A5-0152/2000

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission (1)   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Recital 3a (new)
(3a) Whereas the Mediterranean forests are of importance to the ecosystems of the countries of the south of the European Union, particularly the regions affected by desertification;
(Amendment 2)
Recital 6a (new)
(6a) Whereas the damage caused to forests by various factors, especially atmospheric pollution and other unfavourable meteorological factors, hampers the development of sustainable agricultural activity and the management of rural areas;
(Amendment 3)
Recital 6b (new)
(6b) Whereas, therefore, the protection of forests against atmospheric pollution and other unfavourable meteorological factors directly contributes to the achievement of the aims set out in Article 33(1)(b) of the Treaty;
(Amendment 4)
Recital 7a (new)
(7a) Whereas the measures to be taken for the implementation of this Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(1 );
______________
(1 ) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(Amendment 5)
ARTICLE -1 (new)
Articles 7 to 10 (Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86)
Article -1
Articles 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86 are replaced by the following:
'Article 7
The Commission shall be assisted by an advisory committee (the Standing Forestry Committee set up by Decision 89/367/EEC (1 )) as referred to in Article 3 of Decision 1999/468/EC, having regard to Articles 7 and 8 thereof.
_____________
(1 ) OJ L 165, 15.6.1989, p. 14.'
(Amendment 6)
ARTICLE 1
Article 11(2) and (3) (Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86)
   2. The financial allocation for the implementation of the scheme shall be EUR 34 million for the period 1997 to 2001.
   2. The financial allocation for the implementation of the scheme shall be EUR 44 million for the period 1997 to 2001.
Annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspective.
Annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspective.
   3. Before expiry of the period referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission shall submit to the Council a report on the application of this Regulation.
   3. Before expiry of the period referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the application of this Regulation and a revision proposal covering in particular the environmental, economic and social aspects (qualitative assessment) and the results of a cost-benefit analysis (quantitative assessment) .
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86 on the protection of the Community's forests against atmospheric pollution (COM(1999) 379 - C5-0076/1999 - 1999/0159(COD) )
A5-0152/2000

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(1999) 379 )(2) ,

-   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 175 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5-0076/1999 ),

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A5-0152/2000 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Asks to be consulted again should the Commission intend to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

(1) OJ C 307 E, 26.10.1999, p. 32.
(2) OJ C 307 E, 26.10.1999, p. 32.


Protection of forests ***I
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 on the protection of the Community's forests against fire (COM(1999) 379 - C5-0077/1999 - 1999/0160(COD) )
A5-0152/2000

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission(1)   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 7)
Recital 3a (new)
(3a) Whereas the Mediterranean forests are of importance to the ecosystems of the countries of the south of the European Union, particularly the regions affected by desertification;
(Amendment 8)
Recital 5
   (5) Whereas the Community and the Member States attach particular importance to the protection of their forest resources and whereas they have given international undertakings on the sustainable development of forests and the protection of forest regions, in particular during the United Nations World Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and at the pan-European Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of European Forests in Strasbourg in 1990 and in Helsinki in 1993; whereas the Community scheme provided for by Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 helps to fulfil those undertakings;
   (5) Whereas the Community and the Member States attach particular importance to the protection of their forest resources and whereas they have given international undertakings on the sustainable development of forests and the protection of forest regions, in particular during the United Nations World Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and at the three pan-European Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of European Forests in Strasbourg in 1990, in Helsinki in 1993 and in Lisbon in 1998 ; whereas the Community scheme provided for by Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 helps to fulfil those undertakings;
(Amendment 9)
Recital 7a (new)
(7a) Whereas, therefore, the protection of forests against fire directly contributes to the achievement of the objectives set out in Article 33(1)(b) of the Treaty;
(Amendment 10)
Recital 9a (new)
(9a) Whereas the measures to be taken for the implementation of this Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(1 ),
______________
(1 ) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(Amendment 11)
ARTICLE -1 (new)
Article 9 (Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92)
Article -1
Article 9 of Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 is replaced by the following:
'Article 9
The Commission shall be assisted by an advisory committee (the Standing Forestry Committee set up by Decision 89/367/EEC (1 )) as referred to in Article 3 of Decision 1999/468/EC, having regard to Articles 7 and 8 thereof.
_____________
(1 ) OJ L 165, 15.6.1989, p. 14.'
(Amendment 12)
ARTICLE 1
Article 10 (Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92)
Article 10(1) and (2) of Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 are replaced by the following:
Article 10 of Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 is replaced by the following:
"1. The scheme shall run for 10 years from 1 January 1992.
"1.The scheme shall run for 10 years from 1 January 1992.
   2. The financial allocation for the implementation of the scheme shall be EUR 50 million for the period 1997 to 2001.
   2. The financial allocation for the implementation of the scheme shall be EUR 77 million for the period 1997 to 2001.
The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspective.'
The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspective.
   3. Before expiry of the period referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and Council a report on the application of this Regulation and a revision proposal covering in particular the environmental, economic and social aspects (qualitative assessment) and the results of a cost-benefit analysis (quantitative assessment)'.
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92 on the protection of the Community's forests against fire (COM(1999) 379 - C5-0077/1999 - 1999/0160(COD) )
A5-0152/2000

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(1999) 379 )(2) ,

-   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 175 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5-0077/1999 ),

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A5-0152/2000 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Asks to be consulted again should the Commission intend to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

(1) OJ C 307 E, 26.10.1999, p. 33.
(2) OJ C 307 E, 26.10.1999, p. 33.


MEDIA/MEDIA Plus ***I/*
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of a training programme for professionals in the European audiovisual programme industry (MEDIA - Training) (2001-2005) (COM(1999) 658 - C5-0059/2000 - 1999/0275(COD) )
A5-0186/2000

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Recital 4a (new)
(4a) The importance of establishing a Guarantee Fund has been acknowledged on several occasions by the European Parliament and the Commission as one of the measures required, together with other means, for the development of an independent audiovisual industry that encourages new talent and develops European cultural content.
(Amendment 2)
Recital 6a (new)
(6a) The digital revolution and the new media are making it possible to create innovative audiovisual works and call for a sure grasp of new technologies. Greater efforts must be made to train professionals in the audiovisual sector in these technologies so that they can retain their global competitiveness.
(Amendment 3)
Recital 8
   (8) The extraordinary European Council on Employment held in Luxembourg on 20 and 21 November 1997 recognised that continuous education and vocational training can make a major contribution to the employment policies of the Member States with a view to improving suitability for employment, adaptability and the spirit of enterprise, and promoting equality of opportunities.
   (8) The extraordinary European Council on Employment held in Luxembourg on 20 and 21 November 1997 recognised that continuous education and vocational training can make a major contribution to the employment policies of the Member States with a view to improving suitability for employment, adaptability and the spirit of enterprise, and promoting equality of opportunities. The Extraordinary European Council meeting held in Lisbon on 24 March 2000 also emphasised the importance of appropriate training, particularly in the new technologies used by the information society.
(Amendment 4)
Recital 9a (new)
(9a) It is appropriate to facilitate the development of investment in the European cinema industry by calling on the Member States to pursue a policy of making sums reinvested for the creation of new jobs tax-deductible.
(Amendment 5)
Recital 13a (new)
(13a) Without prejudice to the possibility of reviewing the financial perspective ceiling to ensure that the MEDIA programme will be in a position to implement its objectives, the Commission should arrange for additional funding to support European audiovisual projects, including funding to cover training programmes for professionals. The sources of such funding include in particular cooperation with the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, and networking with the 5th Research Framework Programme and the "e-Europe" initiative, the Commission's relevant action plan and the Structural and Regional Funds. Information about these possibilities aimed at professionals in the audiovisual sector should be presented in a comprehensive form.
(Amendment 6)
Recital 15a (new)
(15a) Priority should be given to the development of training programmes for professionals specialising in the management and distribution of audiovisual works on the international market, which would mean lending particular support to measures for:
   - specialised training in intellectual property rights for audiovisual works, whatever their format and whatever the medium through which they are disseminated;
   - specialised training in the marketing of audiovisual products, focusing in particular on the new technologies as dissemination and marketing vehicles.
(Amendment 7)
Recital 17
   (17) The initial training for professionals should comprise the essential economic, legal and technological content. The rapid changes in these subjects makes continuous training necessary.
   (17) Training for professionals should comprise the essential economic, legal, technological and business content. The rapid changes in these subjects makes continuous training necessary.
(Amendment 8)
Recital 18
   (18) The networking of vocational training centres should be encouraged in order to facilitate the exchange of know-how,
   (18) In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, the networking of vocational training centres should be encouraged in order to facilitate the exchange of know-how and best practice in an international environment.
(Amendment 9)
Recital 19a (new)
(19a) Given the convergence in the audiovisual sector and the IT and telecommunications sector, it is important to use the measures under the MEDIA Plus programme to ensure proper compliance with new Community rules on intellectual property. This need is all the more evident insofar as it is the Internet, in its various forms, which represents one of the new leading means of disseminating audiovisual works.
(Amendment 10)
Recital 25a (new)
(25a) In accordance with the conclusions of the Lisbon Extraordinary European Council, the Council and Commission are to report by the end of 2000 on the ongoing review of the EIB and EIF financial instruments in order to redirect funding towards business start-ups, high-tech firms and micro-enterprises, as well as other risk capital initiatives proposed by the EIB. In this connection, particular attention should be paid to the audiovisual sector, including training programmes.
(Amendment 11)
Recital 27
   (27) In accordance with Article 2 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999, laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, measures for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted by use of the advisory procedure provided for in Article 3 of that Decision.
   (27) In accordance with Article 2 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999, laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, measures for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted in accordance with the management procedure provided for in Article 4 of that Decision.
(Amendment 12)
Article 1, 2nd paragraph
The programme is intended to give professionals in the audiovisual industry the necessary skills to allow them to take full advantage of the European and international dimension of the market and of the use of new technologies.
The programme is intended to give professionals in the audiovisual sector , through continuous vocational training, the necessary skills to allow them to take full advantage of the European and international dimension of the market and of the use of new technologies.
(Amendment 15)
Article 2(1)(a), 1st subpargraph
   (a) To meet the industry's needs and promote competitiveness by improving the continuous vocational training of professionals in the audiovisual industry , with a view to giving them the know-how and skills needed to take account of the European and other markets, in particular in the field of:
   (a) To meet the industry's needs and promote competitiveness by improving the continuous vocational training of professionals in the audiovisual sector , with a view to giving them the know-how, skills and specialist material needed to create competitive products on the European and other markets, in particular in the field of:
   - application of the new technologies, and in particular digital technologies, for the production of audiovisual programmes with a high commercial and artistic added value;
   - application of the new technologies, and in particular digital technologies, for the production and dissemination of audiovisual programmes with a high commercial and artistic added value;
   - economic, financial and commercial management, including the legal framework and the techniques for the financing, production and distribution of audiovisual programmes;
   - economic, financial and commercial management, including the legal framework and the techniques for the financing, production and distribution of audiovisual programmes;
   - script-writing techniques.
   - script-writing techniques and storytelling.
   - format development techniques extending beyond drama and documentaries.
As regards the use of new script-writing techniques and the formation of teams of script-writers for all types of programme, account should be taken of the problems involved in devising the resulting script where intellectual property (equity claims and moral rights alike) is concerned.
(Amendment 17)
Article 2(1)(a), 3rd subparagraph
Certain initial training measures in which the industrial sector is directly involved, such as masters' degrees, may also be supported if no other Community support is available and in fields for which there are no support measures at national level.
As an exception c ertain initial training measures in which the industrial sector is directly involved, such as masters' degrees or other relevant specialised courses , may also be supported by means of additional funding if no other Community support is available and in fields for which there are no support measures at national level. However, support for such courses should come primarily from the European Social Fund.
(Amendment 18)
Article 2(1)(aa) (new)
   (aa) To foster training, so that Europe can play a leading role in developing competitive production and post-production technologies.
(Amendment 20)
Article 2(1)(b)
   (b) To encourage cooperation and the exchange of know-how through networking between the partners involved in the training, such as training establishments, the professional sector and undertakings, as well as through developing training for the trainers.
   (b) To encourage cooperation and the exchange of know-how and best practice between relevant partners for training, such as training establishments, the professional sector and undertakings.
Particular importance will be attached to encouraging the gradual establishment of networks between the activities and the existing training establishments .
Particular importance will be attached to the establishment of networks in the audiovisual training sector and in continuing training for the trainers.
(Amendment 21)
Article 2(2a) (new)
2a.In selecting supported activities, the Commission shall, in addition to the priorities set out in paragraph 2, take particular account of the following criteria:
   - partnership between training establishments, the professional sector and undertakings;
   - the innovatory nature of the measure;
   - the multiplier effect of the measure (including utilisable results, e.g. manuals)
   - the cost-effectiveness of the measure;
   - availability of other national or Community support measures.
(Amendment 22)
Article 3
In order to achieve maximum coordination, the Commission will ensure that there is collaboration between the training activities and the development projects supported under the MEDIA Plus programme. In this context, information about the support mechanisms provided by the programme shall be given to the professionals taking part in the continuous training activities.
In order to achieve maximum coordination, the Commission will ensure that there is collaboration between the training activities and the development projects supported under the MEDIA Plus programme. In this context, information about the support mechanisms provided by the programme shall be given to the professionals taking part in the continuous training activities. The Commission will also ensure coordination between the programme and the other Community programmes in the field of initial and continuing vocational training, and with the operations of the European Social Fund.
(Amendment 23)
Article 4(3)
   3. The Commission shall ensure that, as far as possible, at least 10% of the funding available each year is reserved for new activities.
   3. The Commission shall ensure that, as far as possible, an appropriate proportion of the funding annually available, to be determined in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 5, is reserved for new activities.
(Amendment 24)
Article 4(5)
   5. The financial framework for implementing this programme for the period set out in Article 1 shall be EUR 50 million.
   5. The financial framework for implementing this programme for the period set out in Article 1 shall be EUR 70 million.
(Amendment 25)
Article 5
The Commission shall be responsible for implementing the programme, in accordance with the procedures referred to in Article 6(2) and with the rules contained in the Annex.
   1. The Commission shall be responsible for implementing the programme, in accordance with the procedures referred to in Article 6(2) and with the rules contained in the Annex.
   2. Technical assistance shall be governed by the provisions adopted pursuant to the Financial Regulation.
(Amendment 26)
Article 6
   1. The Commission shall be assisted by an advisory committee ("the MEDIA Committee”) composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.
   1. In implementing the programme, the Commission shall be assisted by a management committee ("the MEDIA Committee”) composed of one representative per Member State , with proven experience and expertise in the sector, and chaired by the representative of the Commission.
   2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, the advisory procedure laid down in Article 3 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, in compliance with Article 7(3) and Article 8 thereof.
   2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, the management procedure laid down in Article 4 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to Article 7(3) and Article 8 thereof.
(Amendment 27)
Article 7(5)
   5. The programme shall also be open to the participation of other third countries on the basis of supplementary appropriations and the specific arrangement to be established in the agreement between the interested parties. The European third countries referred to in paragraph 3 which do not wish to participate fully in the programme may be eligible for cooperation under the conditions set out in this paragraph.
   5. The programme shall also be open to the participation of other third countries on the basis of supplementary appropriations and the specific arrangement, including cost sharing under agreed procedures, to be established in the agreement between the interested parties. The inclusion of third countries must be encouraged because it makes for a cultural exchange that can serve to disseminate the democratic ideas and the values, traditions, history, and culture which Europe embodies and symbolises. The European third countries referred to in paragraph 3 which do not wish to participate fully in the programme may be eligible for cooperation under the conditions set out in this paragraph.
(Amendment 28)
Article 8(1)
   1. The Commission shall ensure that measures taken under this Decision are subject to prior appraisal, and to subsequent monitoring and evaluation.
   1. The Commission shall ensure that measures taken under this Decision are subject to prior appraisal, and to subsequent monitoring and evaluation, taking care to maximise the accessibility of the programme and the transparency of the criteria used in decision-making.
(Amendment 29)
Article 8(4), 2nd subparagraph a (new)
In addition, the report should include, as an assessment gauge, the number of participants in these training programmes who have succeeded in finding jobs in the sector they have been trained to work in or the number of beneficiaries who have set up their own business, and the extent of the flow of individuals and products between European countries.
(Amendment 30)
Article 8(5)
   5. On completion of the programme, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions a report on the implementation and results of the programme.
   5. On completion of the programme, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions a detailed report on the implementation and results of the programme.
The Commission's report shall, in particular, give an account of the value added created by the Community's financial support, its possible impact on employment, and the coordinating measures referred to in Article 3.
(Amendment 31)
Annex (1)
In support of and in addition to the measures being undertaken by the Member States, the programme aims to permit professionals to adapt to the dimension of the market, and in particular the European market, for audiovisual works, by promoting vocational training in economic, financial and commercial management, including the legal framework, distribution and marketing, as well as in the new technologies (including the conservation and exploitation of the European film and audiovisual heritage) and script-writing techniques.
In support of and in addition to the measures being undertaken by the Member States, the programme aims to permit professionals to adapt to the dimension of the market, and in particular the European market, for audiovisual works, by promoting vocational training in economic, financial and commercial management, including the legal framework, distribution and marketing, as well as in the new technologies (including the conservation and exploitation of the European film and audiovisual heritage), script-writing techniques, and audiovisual format development techniques extending beyond drama and documentaries .
(Amendment 32)
Annex (1.1), 1st subparagraph
This training aims to develop the ability of professionals to use advanced creation techniques, in particular in the fields of animation, computer graphics, multimedia and interactive applications.
This training aims to develop the ability of professionals to use advanced creation techniques, in particular in the fields of animation, computer graphics, multimedia (non-network multimedia and all likely multimedia network transmission applications), radio and interactive applications.
(Amendment 34)
Annex (1.2) 1st subparagraph
This training aims to develop the ability of professionals to appreciate and use the European dimension in the development, production, marketing and distribution/dissemination of audiovisual programmes.
This training aims to develop the ability of professionals to appreciate and use the European dimension in the development, production, marketing and distribution/dissemination of audiovisual programmes, including in the radio and multimedia sectors .
(Amendment 35)
Annex (1.3), 1st paragraph
This training is intended for experienced script-writers with a view to improving their ability to develop techniques based on both conventional and interactive script-writing methods.
This training is intended for experienced script-writers and directors with a view to improving their ability to develop techniques based on both conventional and interactive script-writing and storytelling methods.
(Amendment 36)
Annex (1.3), 1st indent
   - promoting the development and updating of the training modules for identifying target audiences; publication and development of scripts for an international audience; relations between the script-writer, the script editor, the producer and the distributor;
   - promoting the development and updating of the training modules for identifying target audiences; publication and development of scripts for an international audience, while maintaining high standards ; relations between the script-writer, the script editor, the producer and the distributor;
(Amendment 37)
Annex, (1.4a) (new)
   1.4 a.Audiovisual format development techniques extending beyond drama and documentaries
Training in this area is intended to develop and improve the ability of audiovisual professionals to create audiovisual formats extending beyond drama and documentaries.
(Amendment 38)
Annex (2.1)
In implementing the programme, the Commission will work closely with the Member States. It will also consult the partners concerned. It will ensure that the participation of professionals reflects adequately Europe's cultural diversity.
In implementing the programme, the Commission and the Media Committee will work closely with the Member States. They will also consult the partners concerned. They will ensure that the participation of professionals reflects adequately Europe's cultural diversity.
It will encourage designers of training modules to cooperate with institutions, the professional sector and undertakings in their work.
They will encourage designers of training modules to cooperate with institutions, the professional sector and undertakings in their work.
It will facilitate the presence of trainees, particularly from countries and regions with a low production capacity and/or a restricted linguistic and geographical area.
They will facilitate the presence of trainees, particularly from countries and regions with a low production capacity and/or a restricted linguistic and geographical area.
(Amendment 39)
Annex (2.3.1), 1st subparagraph
   2.3.1. The Commission shall implement the programme. To this end, it may call upon consultants and technical assistance offices to be selected, after a call for proposals, on the basis of their expertise in the sector. The technical assistance will be financed by the programme's budget. In accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 6(2), the Commission may also conclude partnerships for ad hoc operations with specialised bodies, such as Audiovisual Eureka, in order to implement joint measures which meet the objectives of the programme in the field of training.
   2.3.1. The Commission shall implement the programme in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 6 . To this end, it shall call upon consultants and technical assistance offices to be selected, after a call for proposals, on the basis of their expertise in the sector. The technical assistance will be financed by the programme's budget. In accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 6(2), the Commission may also conclude partnerships for ad hoc operations with specialised bodies, such as Audiovisual Eureka, in order to implement joint measures which meet the objectives of the programme in the field of training.
(Amendment 40)
Annex (2.3.1), 2nd subparagraph
The Commission shall make the final selection of the beneficiaries of the programme and shall decide on the financial support to be granted, in accordance with Article 5.
The Commission shall make the final selection of the beneficiaries of the programme and shall decide on the financial support to be granted, in accordance with Article 5. The beneficiaries shall take steps to publicise the Community's support.
(Amendment 41)
Annex (2.3.1), 3rd subparagraph a (new)
In order to ensure the independence of the consultants and experts whose services it uses, the Commission shall lay down incompatibility provisions in respect of the participation of these groups of persons in the invitations to submit proposals under the programme.
(Amendment 43)
Annex (2.3.2), indent -1 (new)
   - inform professionals in the audiovisual sector of all support arrangements available under European Union policies which are relevant to their professions;
(Amendment 42)
Annex (2.3.2), 2nd subparagraph a (new)
To that end, the Commission shall also provide via the Internet comprehensive information concerning all support arrangements available under the European Union's policies which are of relevance to the audiovisual sector.
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of a training programme for professionals in the European audiovisual programme industry (MEDIA - Training) (2001-2005) (COM(1999) 658 - C5-0059/2000 - 1999/0275(COD) )
A5-0186/2000

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(1999) 658 ),

-   having regard to Articles 251(2) and 150 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5-0059/2000 ),

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (A5-0186/2000 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Asks to be consulted again should the Commission intend to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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


MEDIA/MEDIA Plus ***I/*
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a decision of the Council on the implementation of a programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works (MEDIA Plus - Development, Distribution and Promotion) (2001-2005) (COM(1999) 658 - C5-0119/2000 - 1999/0276(CNS) )
A5-0186/2000

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 44)
Citation 1
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 157(3) thereof,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 157(3) and Article 151(5) in conjunction with Article 151(2), fourth indent, thereof,
(Amendment 45)
Recital 1
   (1) From 6 to 8 April 1998, the Commission, in collaboration with the United Kingdom presidency, held a European audiovisual conference on "Challenges and opportunities of the digital age”, in Birmingham. This consultation process revealed the need for an enhanced programme of support for the European audiovisual industry , in particular in the area of the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works. In the digital age, activities in the audiovisual field contribute towards the creation of new jobs, particularly in the production and dissemination of audiovisual content;
   (1) From 6 to 8 April 1998, the Commission, in collaboration with the United Kingdom presidency, held a European audiovisual conference on "Challenges and opportunities of the digital age”, in Birmingham. This consultation process revealed the need for an enhanced programme of support for the European audiovisual sector , in particular in the area of the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works and, moreover, in the digital age, activities in the audiovisual field contribute towards the creation of new jobs, particularly in the production and dissemination of audiovisual content;
(Amendment 46)
Recital 4a (new)
(4a) The importance of establishing a Guarantee Fund has been acknowledged on several occasions by the European Parliament and the Commission as one of the measures required, together with other means, for the development of an independent audiovisual industry that encourages new talent and develops European cultural content.
(Amendment 47)
Recital 8a (new)
(8a) In its Green Paper entitled "Strategy options to strengthen the European programme industry in the context of the audiovisual policy of the European Union" (COM(94) 96 ), the Commission launched as far back as 1994 a debate on the establishment of a European guarantee fund, and subsequently, having received positive reactions, submitted it as a formal Commission proposal for a Council decision establishing a European Guarantee Fund to promote cinema and television production (COM(95) 546 ), which was approved by the European Parliament in its Opinion of 22 October 1996(1 ).
_____________
(1 ) OJ C 347, 18.11.1996, p. 33.
(Amendment 49)
Recital 10a (new)
(10a) In its Conclusions on the Commission's mandate for the WTO negotiations in Seattle on 26 October 1999, the Council stated that during the forthcoming WTO negotiations the Union will ensure, as in the Uruguay Round, that the Community and its Member States maintain the possibility to preserve and develop their capacity to define and implement their cultural and audiovisual policies for the purpose of preserving their cultural diversity.
(Amendment 50)
Recital 10b (new)
(10b) The European Parliament, in its resolution of 18 November 1999 on the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the EU approach to the WTO Millennium Round, recognised the European audiovisual sector's special role in sustaining cultural pluralism, a healthy economy and freedom of expression, reaffirmed its commitment to the freedom of action in the sphere of audiovisual policy obtained at the Uruguay Round, and took the view that the GATS rules on cultural services, in particular in the audiovisual sector, should not jeopardise the cultural diversity and autonomy of the WTO contracting parties .
(Amendment 51)
Recital 10c (new)
(10c) In order to increase the added value of the Community measures it is necessary to guarantee complementarity between, on the one hand, the measures taken in the context of this Decision and other relevant Community measures, and on the other hand national forms of support including tax measures, and thus to ensure that there remains sufficient room for these national measures.
(Amendment 52)
Recital 10d (new)
(10d) It is necessary to establish coherence between this Decision and the action of the Commission on national funding for audiovisual development and production, especially in the interests of preserving cultural diversity. The principle of additionality should therefore be respected.
(Amendment 53)
Recital 10e (new)
(10e) The need for coherence between Community cultural, audiovisual and competition policies should be expressed in a regulation pursuant to Article 89 of the Treaty that safeguards cultural diversity by allowing national schemes to foster adequately the potential for production in Member States.
(Amendment 54)
Recital 11
   (11) It is necessary to take into account the cultural aspects of the audiovisual sector, in accordance with Article 151 of the Treaty.
Deleted
(Amendment 55)
Recital 11a (new)
(11a) The governments of the Member States are called upon, at the forthcoming IGC, to incorporate the cultural and audiovisual industries expressly in Article 151 of the Treaty, since they constitute a key instrument for ensuring the cultural diversity of Europe.
(Amendment 56)
Recital 12
   (12) The advent of a European audiovisual market necessitates the development and production of European works originating from Member States as well as works originating from European third countries participating in the MEDIA Plus programme or having a cooperation framework satisfying the conditions set out in Article 6 of Council Directive 89/552/EEC of 3 October 1989 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities, as amended by European Parliament and Council Directive 97/36/EC.
   (12) The advent of a European audiovisual market necessitates active support for the creation and production of European works originating from Member States as well as works originating from European third countries participating in the MEDIA Plus programme or having a cooperation framework satisfying the conditions set out in Article 6 of Council Directive 89/552/EEC of 3 October 1989 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities, as amended by European Parliament and Council Directive 97/36/EC.
(Amendment 57)
Recital 12a (new)
(12a) In the next few years the digital revolution, together with new technologies such as the Internet, pay-per-view, Cyber Cinema etc., will mean that European audiovisual works will become more easily accessible thanks to new ways of transporting audiovisual content, and will become more widely available outside their country of origin.
(Amendment 58)
Recital 12b (new)
(12b) Consideration must be given to the possibility of establishing more precise guidelines for the treatment of public aids to cinema and television programme production as well as a Communication on legal aspects relating to the cinema sector, covering, inter alia, matters such as the definition of European work, as announced by the Commission in its Communication on "Principles and Guidelines for the Community's Audiovisual Policy in the Digital Age” (COM(1999) 657 ).
(Amendment 59)
Recital 13
   (13) The competitiveness of the audiovisual programme industry depends on the use of new technologies at the programme development, production and distribution stages. It is therefore appropriate to ensure suitable and effective coordination with the measures undertaken in the field of new technologies, in particular the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (1998-2002), as adopted by Decision No 182/1999/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.
   (13) The competitiveness of the audiovisual programme industry depends on the use of new technologies at the programme development, production and distribution stages. It is therefore appropriate to ensure suitable and effective coordination with the measures undertaken in the field of new technologies, in particular the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (1998-2002), as adopted by Decision No 182/1999/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, in particular with coordinated efforts to make use of new opportunities for multilingual production, and the future Sixth Framework Programme in order to make for consistency with the measures to be undertaken under that programme, focusing in particular on the needs and potential of small and medium-sized enterprises operating on the audiovisual market.
(Amendment 61)
Recital 13a (new)
(13a) Without prejudice to the possibility of reviewing the financial perspective ceiling to ensure that the Media programme will be in a position to implement its objectives, the Commission should arrange for additional funding to support European audiovisual projects, including funding to cover training programmes for professionals. The sources of such funding include in particular cooperation with the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, and networking with the 5th Research Framework Programme and the "e-Europe" initiative, with the Commission's relevant action plan and with the EU's Structural and Regional Funds. Information about these possibilities aimed at professionals in the audiovisual sector should be presented in an integrated form.
(Amendment 62)
Recital 13b (new)
(13b) The redirection of the European financial instruments must also take into account the chronic under-capitalisation of audiovisual productions in Europe and provide for measures to improve their access to capital markets, in particular to risk capital, and increase their competitiveness.
(Amendment 63)
Recital 13c (new)
(13c) In accordance with the conclusions of the Lisbon Extraordinary European Council, the Council and Commission are to report by the end of 2000 on the ongoing review of EIB and EIF financial instruments in order to redirect funding towards business start-ups, high-tech firms and micro-enterprises, as well as other risk capital initiatives proposed by the EIB. In this connection, particular attention should be paid to the audiovisual sector.
(Amendment 64)
Recital 13d (new)
(13d) If the European audiovisual industry wants to be competitive, the production value of European audiovisual works need to be increased; in that connection it needs to be considered once again whether the establishment of a European Guarantee Fund, as proposed by the Commission on 16 November 1996 (COM(95) 546 ), would contribute to achieving this end.
(Amendment 66)
Recital 16
   (16) There is a need to improve the conditions for distributing European cinematographic works on the European and international markets. Cooperation between international and national distributors, cinema owners and producers should be encouraged and support should be given to concerted action to promote common scheduling measures at European level.
   (16) There is a need to improve the conditions for distributing European cinematographic works on the European and international markets. Cooperation between international and national distributors, cinema owners and producers should be encouraged; close networking by independent distributors, in particular SMEs, should also be encouraged, and support should be given to concerted action to promote common scheduling measures at European level.
(Amendment 67)
Recital 17
   (17) There is a need for improvement in the television broadcasting prospects of European works on the European and international markets. Cooperation between broadcasters, (as defined in Article 2 of Directive 89/552/EEC , international distributors and producers should be encouraged.
   (17) Given the leading role played by broadcasters in disseminating European works across the Member States, there is an urgent need for improvement in the television broadcasting prospects of European works on the European and international markets. Cooperation between broadcasters, (as defined in Article 2 of Directive 89/552/EEC , international distributors and producers should be strongly encouraged, since recent European feature films occupy far too weak a position on European TV channels. In most EU Member States, even films which have been successful at the box-office are only given limited and late access to TV broadcasting schedules outside the main broadcasting times.
(Amendment 68)
Recital 17a (new)
(17a) The European audiovisual production of independent large and small private companies should not be underestimated, but on the contrary turned to account, given that such companies can do much to boost the development of the European audiovisual sector.
(Amendment 69)
Recital 17b (new)
(17b) It is appropriate to facilitate the development of investment in the European cinema industry by calling on the Member States to pursue a policy of making sums reinvested for the creation of new jobs tax-deductible.
(Amendment 70)
Recital 18
   (18) There is a need to facilitate market access for independent European production and distribution companies, and to promote both European works and European companies in the audiovisual sector.
   (18) There is a need to facilitate market access for independent European production and distribution companies, and to promote both European works and European companies in the audiovisual sector, not least by simplifying the official administrative procedures applying to the Programme .
(Amendment 71)
Recital 19a (new)
(19a) Publicly and privately owned European audiovisual companies, be they publishing houses, distributors, or broadcasting organisations, should be encouraged to digitise their archives and network their catalogues.
(Amendment 72)
Recital 19b (new)
(19b) At any rate a high priority must be given to ensuring that financial resources are available to make Europe's cinematic heritage usable for the digital future.
(Amendment 73)
Recital 19c (new)
(19c) The MEDIA Plus programme should create an environment conducive to entrepreneurial skills and investment, so as to guarantee a place for the European audiovisual sector in the global economy and the effective promotion of cultural diversity.
(Amendment 74)
Recital 19d (new)
(19d) Account should be taken of the new issues relating to the new content which has emerged in this sector.
(Amendment 76)
Recital 24
   (24) In accordance with Article 2 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999, laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, measures for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted by use of the advisory procedure provided for in Article 3 of that Decision.
   (24) In accordance with Article 2 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999, laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, measures for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted by use of the management procedure provided for in Article 4 of that Decision.
(Amendment 77)
Article 1(1)
   1. A programme (hereinafter referred to as "the Programme”), is hereby established to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works within and outside the Community, to run from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2005, for the purpose of strengthening the European audiovisual industry.
   1. A programme (hereinafter referred to as "the Programme”), is hereby established to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works within and outside the Community, to run from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2005, for the purpose of strengthening the European audiovisual sector .
(Amendment 78)
Article 1(2)(a)
   (a) an improvement in the competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry on the European and international markets, by supporting the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works, taking due account of the development of new technologies;
   (a) protection and promotion of European cultural diversity through an improvement in the competitiveness of the European audiovisual sector on the European and international markets, by supporting the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works inter alia in the form of coordinated marketing strategies , taking due account of the development of new technologies;
(Amendment 79)
Article 1(2)(b)
   (b) respect for European linguistic and cultural diversity;
   (b) respect for and development of linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe;
(Amendment 80)
Article 1(2)(e)
   (e) building up a production and distribution sector, especially comprising small and medium-sized enterprises.
   (e) building up the production, technological adaptation of products and distribution sectors , especially comprising small and medium-sized enterprises;
   (ea) promoting and encouraging the creation of new content which draws upon new technologies and user interaction through various alternative or additional platforms.
(Amendment 81)
Article 2(a)
   (a) to promote, by providing financial support, the development of production projects (dramas for cinema or television, creative documentaries, animated films for television or cinema, works exploiting the audiovisual and cinematographic heritage) submitted by companies and aimed at the European and international markets;
   (a) to promote, by providing financial support, the development of production projects, in particular ones which use new experimental systems (dramas for cinema or television, creative documentaries, animated films for television or cinema, audiovisual formats, works exploiting the audiovisual and cinematographic heritage) submitted by small and medium-sized companies and aimed at the European and international markets;
(Amendment 82)
Article 3(a)
   (a) to strengthen the European distribution sector in the field of cinema by encouraging distributors to invest in the acquisition and promotion of non-domestic European cinema films;
   (a) to strengthen the European distribution sector in the field of cinema by encouraging distributors to invest in the development, marketing, acquisition and promotion of non-domestic European cinema films;
(Amendment 83)
Article 3(b)
   (b) to foster the wider transnational dissemination of non-domestic European films on the European and international markets through measures to stimulate their distribution and their screening in cinemas;
   (b) to foster the wider transnational dissemination of non-domestic European films on the European and international markets through measures to stimulate their distribution and their screening in cinemas, inter alia through coordinated marketing strategies ensuring, for example, that the same product is publicised simultaneously in all countries ;
(Amendment 84)
Article 3(d)
   (d) to promote the movement, in the Community and outside it, of European television programmes intended for a European and world audience, by encouraging independent European broadcasters and independent distributors and producers to cooperate right from the production stage;
   (d) to promote the movement, in the Community and outside it, of European television programmes produced by independent companies, intended for a European and world audience, by encouraging European broadcasters and distributors and producers to cooperate right from the production stage;
(Amendment 85)
Article 4 (a) and (b)
   (a) facilitate and encourage the promotion and movement of European audiovisual and cinematographic works at trade fairs in Europe and around the globe, as well as at European audiovisual festivals;
   (a) facilitate and encourage the promotion and movement of European audiovisual and cinematographic works at European and international trade fairs in Europe and around the globe, as well as at European and international audiovisual festivals;
   (b) encourage the networking of operators at European level, particularly by supporting joint activities between national promotion organisations.
   (b) encourage the networking of operators at European and international level, particularly by supporting joint activities between national promotion organisations.
(Amendment 86)
Article 5(1)
   1. Beneficiaries of Community support shall provide a significant proportion of the funding. Community funding shall not exceed 50% of the cost of operations. In the cases expressly provided for in the Annex, this percentage may nonetheless reach 60% of the cost of operations.
   1. Beneficiaries of Community support shall provide a significant proportion of the funding. Community funding shall not exceed 50% of the cost of operations. In the cases expressly provided for in the Annex, this percentage may nonetheless reach 60% of the cost of operations. Additionality with national funding has to remain possible, in order to preserve cultural diversity.
(Amendment 87)
Article 5(2)
   2. The financial reference amount for implementation of the Programme for the period referred to in Article 1(1) shall be EUR 350 million. The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspectives.
   2. The financial reference amount for implementation of the Programme for the period referred to in Article 1(1) shall be EUR 480 million. The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspectives.
(Amendment 88)
Article 6, 2nd paragraph (new)
The Commission shall ensure that disbursement and administrative procedures are tightened to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of the Programme, especially to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises.
(Amendment 89)
Article 7
The Commission shall be responsible for the implementation of the Programme, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 8(2) and with the rules laid down in the Annex.
   1. The Commission shall be responsible for the implementation of the Programme, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 8(2) and with the rules laid down in the Annex.
   2. Technical assistance shall be governed by the provisions adopted pursuant to the Financial Regulation.
(Amendment 90)
Article 8(2)
   2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, the advisory procedure laid down in Article 3 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, in compliance with Article 7(3) thereof.
   2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, the management procedure laid down in Article 4 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to Article 7(3) thereof. For specific measures, if needed, the advisory procedure laid down in Article 3 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
(Amendment 91)
Article 9, 1st paragraph
To ensure that the Programme can be flexibly adapted to technological developments, pilot projects shall be implemented in the fields defined in the Annex .
To ensure that the Programme can be flexibly adapted to technological developments the Commission shall implement pilot projects, especially in the following areas:
   - conservation and exploitation of the cinematographic heritage, by encouraging partnerships between operators in the cinematographic sector and public or private bodies;
   - digitisation of audiovisual and radio programme archives of European interest;
   - networking the owners of rights to catalogues of European audiovisual works;
   - scheduling of European audiovisual works on special-interest channels in digital format;
   - creation of a suitable environment for developing and disseminating new advanced on-line distribution services .
No financial support under this scheme shall be granted directly to television channels.
After two years of implementation of the programme the Commission shall verify the results of the pilot projects and propose adjustments to the programme.
(Amendment 92)
Article 9, 2nd paragraph
In this task the Commission may consult Technical Consultation Groups. These shall be composed of professionals from the various sectors of the audiovisual industry , appointed by the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission. The Technical Consultation Groups shall submit their reports to the Commission, which shall take the utmost account of them.
In this task the Commission may consult Technical Consultation Groups. These shall be composed of professionals from the various fields of the audiovisual sector , appointed by the Media Committee and chaired by a representative of the Commission. The Technical Consultation Groups shall work closely together with the Media Committee and submit their reports to the Commission, which shall take the utmost account of them.
(Amendment 93)
Article 10(5)
   5. The Programme shall also be open to cooperation with other third countries on the basis of supplementary appropriations and the specific arrangements to be established in agreements between the interested parties. The European third countries referred to in paragraph 3 which do not wish to benefit from full participation in the Programme may be eligible for cooperation with the Programme under the conditions set out in this paragraph.
   5. The Programme shall also be open to cooperation with other third countries on the basis of supplementary appropriations and the specific arrangements, including cost sharing under agreed procedures, to be established in agreements between the interested parties. The inclusion of third countries must be encouraged because it makes for a cultural exchange that can serve to disseminate the democratic ideas and the values, traditions, history, and culture which Europe embodies and symbolises. The European third countries referred to in paragraph 3 which do not wish to benefit from full participation in the Programme may be eligible for cooperation with the Programme under the conditions set out in this paragraph.
(Amendment 94)
Article 11(1)
   1. The Commission shall ensure that measures taken under this Decision are subject to prior appraisal, and to subsequent monitoring and evaluation.
   1. The Commission shall ensure that measures taken under this Decision are subject to prior appraisal, and to subsequent monitoring and evaluation, taking care to maximise the accessibility of the programme and the transparency of the criteria used in decision-making.
(Amendment 95)
Article 11(4)
   4. On completion of the Programme the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee a report on the implementation and results of the Programme.
   4. On completion of the Programme the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee a detailed report on the implementation and results of the Programme.
(Amendment 97)
Annex (1.1), 1st paragraph a (new)
In establishing this scheme, account will be taken of the diversity of production structures and of the project packages, presented in order to ensure fair access for operators.
(Amendment 96)
Annex (1.1), 2nd subparagraph, indents
   - their contribution towards developing European linguistic and cultural diversity;
   - the interest shown by co-producers in the project;
   - the interest shown by co-producers in the project;
   - the project's transnational exploitation potential (as demonstrated by the expression of interest by distributors, the project's production potential, previous productions by the tendering enterprise or its constituent individuals);
   - the project's transnational exploitation potential (as demonstrated by the expression of interest by distributors, the project's production potential, previous productions by the tendering enterprise or its constituent individuals);
   - the quality and originality of the concept, script or narrative;
   - the quality, originality and marketing potential of the concept, script or narrative;
   - the potential for using new technologies (special effects, computer images, interactivity, etc.).
   - the potential for using new technologies (special effects, computer images, interactivity, etc.);
   - a marketing and distribution assessment .
(Amendment 98)
Annex (1.2.1)(b), indents
   - the production of new non-domestic European films
   - the acquisition of non-domestic European films;
   - the acquisition of exploitation rights for non-domestic European films, in particular by means of minimum guarantees;
   - editing costs (copying, dubbing and subtitling), promotion costs and publicity costs for non-domestic European films.
   - editing costs (copying, dubbing and subtitling), promotion costs and publicity costs for non-domestic European films.
(Amendment 99)
Annex (1.2.1)(c)
   (c) a system to assist European companies specialising in the international distribution of cinema films (sales agents) according to their performance on the market over a given period. This type of assistance may be used by international distributors only for investment in costs arising from the promotion of new European works on the European and international markets.
   (c) a system to assist European companies specialising in the international distribution of cinema films (sales agents) according to their performance on the market over a reference period of at least one year . This type of assistance may be used by international distributors only for investment in costs arising from the promotion of new European works on the European and international markets.
(Amendment 100)
Annex (1.2.1)(d)
   (d) appropriate assistance to encourage operators to screen a significant proportion of non-domestic European films in premiere cinemas for a minimum screening period. The support granted to each cinema will be determined according to the number of cinema seats sold for non-domestic European films during a reference period. Support should, in particular, contribute to measures to educate and raise awareness amongst young cinema-goers. Support will also be granted for the creation and consolidation of networks of European operators running joint schemes to encourage such scheduling.
   (d) appropriate assistance to encourage operators to screen a significant proportion of European, particularly non-domestic, films in premiere cinemas for a minimum screening period. The support must be made conditional on showing a minimum number of European films, to be set on the basis of the number of screens in the cinema. The level of support may take account of the number of seats sold in that particular cinema for non-domestic European films. Support should, in particular, contribute to measures to educate and raise awareness amongst young cinema-goers. Support will also be granted for the creation and consolidation of networks of European operators running joint schemes to encourage such scheduling.
(Amendment 101)
Annex (1.2.2), 2nd paragraph, introduction
Automatic support: a system of automatic support for editors and distributors of European cinematographic works on media intended for private use (e.g. videocassettes, DVD, DVD-Rom) according to market performance over a given period. The support granted may be used by distributors only for investment in the following:
Automatic support: a system of automatic support for editors and distributors of European cinematographic works on media intended for private use (e.g. videocassettes, DVD, DVD-Rom) according to market performance over a reference period of at least one year. The support granted may be used by distributors only for investment in the following:
(Amendment 102)
Annex (1.2.3), 1st paragraph
Encourage independent producers to produce works (feature films , documentaries and animated films) involving at least three broadcasters in several Member States belonging to different language zones.
Encourage independent producers to produce works (fiction , documentaries and animated films) involving in principle at least three broadcasters in different participating countries , belonging to at least two different language zones. Account will be taken of the specific needs of the audiovisual sector in countries with lower audiovisual capacity and/or restricted geographical and linguistic areas.
(Amendment 103)
Annex (1.2.4), 2nd paragraph
Introduction of incentives to digitise works and create promotional and publicity material in digital form, so encouraging European companies (suppliers of on-line access, special-interest channels, etc.) to create catalogues of European works in digital format for exploitation via new media.
Introduction of incentives to digitise works and create promotional and publicity material in digital form, so encouraging European companies (suppliers of on-line access, radio broadcasters , special-interest channels, etc.) to create catalogues of European works in digital format for exploitation via new media.
(Amendment 104)
Annex (1.4)
   1.4 Pilot projects
The Commission will implement pilot projects in the following areas:
Deleted
   - conservation and exploitation of the cinematographic heritage, by encouraging partnerships between operators in the cinematographic sector and public or private bodies;
   - digitisation of European audiovisual programme archives;
   - networking the owners of rights to catalogues of European audiovisual works;
   - scheduling of European audiovisual works on special-interest channels in digital format;
   - creation of a suitable environment for developing and disseminating new advanced on-line distribution services.
Where appropriate, the Commission may approach the technical consultation groups for assistance.
(Amendment 105)
Annex (2.1)
In implementing the programme, the Commission will work closely with the Member States. It will also consult the partners concerned. It will ensure that the participation of professionals reflects adequately Europe's cultural diversity.
In implementing the programme, the Commission and the Media Committee will work closely with the Member States. They will also consult the partners concerned. They will ensure that the participation of professionals reflects adequately Europe's cultural diversity.
(Amendment 106)
Annex (2.3.1), 1st paragraph
   2.3.1 The Commission shall implement the programme. It may, to this end, call upon consultants and technical assistance offices to be selected, after a call for tenders, on the basis of their expertise in the sector. The Technical assistance shall be financed by the programme's budget. The Commission may also conclude, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 8(2), partnerships for ad hoc operations with specialist bodies such as Audiovisual Eureka, in order to implement joint measures that meet the programme objectives in the field of promotion.
   2.3.1 The Commission shall implement the programme. It may, to this end, call upon independent consultants and technical assistance offices to be selected, after a call for tenders, on the basis of their expertise in the sector. The Technical assistance shall be financed by the programme's budget. The Commission may also conclude, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 8(2), partnerships for ad hoc operations with specialist bodies such as Audiovisual Eureka, in order to implement joint measures that meet the programme objectives in the field of promotion.
(Amendment 107)
Annex (2.3.1), 3rd paragraph
In order to execute this programme and, in particular, evaluate the projects benefiting from the programme funding and networking activities, the Commission shall draw on the know-how of recognised audiovisual experts in the fields of development, production, distribution and promotion.
In order to execute this programme and, in particular, evaluate the projects benefiting from the programme funding and networking activities, the Commission shall draw on the know-how of recognised, independent audiovisual experts in the fields of development, production, distribution and promotion.
(Amendment 108)
Annex (2.3.2), indent -1 (new)
   - inform professionals in the audiovisual sector of all support arrangements available under European Union policies which are relevant to their professions;
(Amendment 109)
Annex (2.3.2), 3rd paragraph (new)
To that end, the Commission shall also provide via the Internet comprehensive information concerning all support arrangements available under the European Union's policies which are of relevance to the audiovisual sector.
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council Decision on the implementation of a programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works (MEDIA Plus - Development, Distribution and Promotion) (2001-2005) (COM(1999) 658 - C5-0119/2000 - 1999/0276(CNS) )
A5-0186/2000

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(1999) 658 ),

-   having been consulted pursuant to Article 157(3) of the EC Treaty (C5-0119/2000 ),

-   whereas the legal basis proposed by the Commission is not sufficient and needs to be supplemented by a reference to Article 151(2) and (5) of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market on the legal basis of the Commission proposal,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (A5-0186/2000 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

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

4.   Calls for the conciliation procedure to be initiated should the Council intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

5.   Asks to be consulted again should the Council intend to make substantial changes to the Commission proposal;

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


Quality evaluation in school education ***I
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a European Parliament and Council recommendation on European cooperation in quality evaluation in school education (COM(1999) 709 - C5-0053/2000 - 2000/0022(COD) )
A5-0185/2000

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Recital -1 (new)
(-1) There is a need to promote a European dimension in education as it is an essential objective in building a people's Europe.
(Amendment 2)
Recital 1
   (1) High quality education is an objective for all Member States.
   (1) High quality education is one of the principal objectives of primary and secondary education, including vocational training, for all Member States in the context of the learning society .
(Amendment 3)
Recital 1a (new)
(1a) The quality of school education must be assured at all levels and in all areas of education, regardless of any differences in educational objectives, methods and needs, taking care to rule out the tendency to set up school excellence rankings;
(Amendment 4)
Recital 2
   (2) The resources devoted to education have increased in all industrialised countries during the last decades. Education is seen as the solution to problems of employment and social cohesion. Lifelong learning is the key to controlling one's future on a professional and personal level. High quality education is essential in the light of labour market policies, and the free movement of workers within the European Union.
   (2) The resources devoted to education have increased in all industrialised countries during the last decades. Education is seen not only as a personal enrichment but also as a contribution towards social cohesion, social inclusion and the solving of problems of employment. Lifelong learning is an important means of controlling one's future on a professional and personal level. Quality education is essential in the light of labour market policies, the free movement of workers within the European Union and the recognition of diplomas and teaching qualifications.
(Amendment 5)
Recital 2a (new)
(2a) Educational establishments should always ensure that their syllabuses take account of developments in society.
(Amendment 6)
Recital 2b (new)
(2b) Educational establishments should meet the new educational and social requirements of society in the new millennium and keep pace with the developments arising from them. They should, therefore, endeavour to improve the quality demanded of the services they provide by developing new initiatives geared to ensuring the quality of teaching and encouraging both the movement of persons between countries and the transfer of knowledge.
(Amendment 7)
Recital 3a (new)
   . .
(3a) The promotion of mobility enshrined as an objective of the Community in Articles 149 and 150 of the Treaty cannot fail to be encouraged by high-quality education;
(Amendment 8)
Recital 3b (new)
   . .
(3b) Consensus has emerged in favour of the introduction of effective, acceptable methods of evaluating quality, based on European cooperation and transnational exchanges of experience.
(Amendment 9)
Recital 3c (new)
(3c) Systems designed to ensure quality must remain flexible and be adaptable to the new situation created by changes in the structure and objectives of educational establishments, taking into account the cultural dimension of education.
(Amendment 10)
Recital 3d (new)
   . .
(3d) Systems to ensure quality vary from one Member State and one educational establishment to another, given the diversity in the sizes, structures, financial circumstances, institutional character and educational approach of different establishments.
(Amendment 11)
Recital 3e (new)
(3e) Quality evaluation and school self-evaluation in particular are tools well suited to the aim of combating the number of young people who drop out of the school system early and social exclusion in general.
(Amendment 12)
Recital 4
   (4) In order to achieve the objective of high quality education, a whole range of means are available. Quality evaluation is a method of monitoring and creating learning and improving schools, which are capable of transmitting knowledge and equipping students in the Community with the appropriate skills, qualifications and attitudes which are essential to meet future challenges .
   (4) In order to achieve the objective of high quality education, a whole range of means are available. Quality evaluation is one of them and is a valuable contribution to securing and developing the quality of education within schools including, where appropriate, vocational education. The quality evaluation of education must seek to assess the capacity of schools to take account of the use of the new information technologies which are becoming more widespread.
(Amendment 13)
Recital 4a (new)
(4a) The networking at European level of institutions involved in quality evaluation in school education is of fundamental importance. Existing networks such as the European network of policy makers for the evaluation of education systems set up by the Member States in 1995 can provide invaluable aid to the implementation of this Recommendation.
(Amendment 14)
Recital 8
   (8) The Commission conducted a pilot project during the academic year 1997/1998 in 101 upper and lower secondary schools in the countries participating in the Socrates programme. An Advisory Working Party that brought together Member States" appointed experts on education evaluation assisted the Commission in the implementation of the project.
   (8) The Commission conducted a pilot project during the academic year 1997/1998 in 101 upper and lower secondary schools in the countries participating in the Socrates programme, which raised awareness of quality issues and helped to improve the quality of education in those schools(1 ).
____________
(1 ) At the final conference of the pilot project in Vienna on 20 and 21 November 1998, the participants adopted a declaration on the results of the Pilot Project.
(Amendment 15)
Recital 9
   (9) The participants in the project, including representatives of the 101 schools, decision-makers from national administrations, researchers, and school stakeholders adopted a declaration during a final conference in Vienna on 20 and 21 November 1998. That declaration states that " The Pilot Project has raised the awareness of quality issues in our schools and in almost all our schools, the project has helped to improve the quality of education during the project period "(7 ).
(7 ) At the final Conference of the pilot project in Vienna on 20 and 21 November 1998, the participants adopted a declaration.
Deleted
(Amendment 16)
Recital 10
   (10) All 18 countries (EU Member States and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) taking part in the pilot project have written national reports exploring the impact of and their experiences during the pilot project. Those National Reports are predominantly positive and stress the importance of learning from one another internationally through the exchange of experiences and of good practices.
Deleted
(Amendment 17)
Recital 12a (new)
(12a) The Council Presidency declared in its conclusions at the Extraordinary European Council held in Lisbon on 23 and 24 March 2000 that European education and training systems must adapt both to the needs of the information society and to the need to raise levels of employment and improve its quality;
(Amendment 18)
Recital 12b (new)
(12b) The prospect of enlargement of the Union means that the associated States should be involved in the drafting of procedures to evaluate the quality of education, bearing in mind their particular problems;
(Amendment 19)
Recital 13
   (13) It is necessary to take account of the principle of subsidiarity and Member States' exclusive responsibilities for the organisation and structure of their education systems, as well as the autonomy and independence of their educational institutions ,
   (13) It is necessary to take account of the principle of subsidiarity and Member States' exclusive responsibilities for the organisation and structure of their education systems, so that the particular cultural character and educational traditions of each State can flourish ,
(Amendment 20)
Section I
   I. RECOMMEND:
THAT MEMBER STATES SUPPORT THE IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY IN SCHOOL EDUCATION, BY:..
   I. RECOMMEND:
THAT MEMBER STATES, WITHIN THEIR SPECIFIC ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT, WHILE TAKING DUE ACCOUNT OF THE EUROPEAN DIMENSION, SUPPORT THE IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY EVALUATION IN SCHOOL EDUCATION, BY:
(Amendment 21)
Section I(1), introduction, (a) and (b)
   1. Supporting and, where appropriate, establishing transparent quality systems with the following aims :
   (a) to safeguard the quality of school education as a basis for lifelong learning, within the specific economic, social and cultural context of each Member State while taking due account of the European dimension ,
   1. Supporting and, where appropriate, establishing transparent quality evaluation systems with the following aims :
(-a) to achieve high quality education and improve on it,
   (a) to safeguard the quality of school education as a basis for lifelong learning,
   (aa) to ensure that this initiative includes women and girls and groups that have been excluded in the past;
   (b) to encourage school self-evaluation as a method to create learning and improving schools within a balanced framework between school self-evaluation and any external evaluations,
   (b) to encourage school self-evaluation as a method of creating learning and improving schools within a balanced framework of school self-evaluation and any external evaluations,
(Amendment 22)
Section I(1)(ba)(new)
   (ba) to use techniques aimed at improving quality as a means of adapting more successfully to the requirements of a world in rapid and constant change,
(Amendment 23)
Section I(1)(ca)(new)
   (ca) to develop external evaluation in order to provide methodological support for school self-evaluation and to provide an outside view of the school, taking care that this is not restricted to purely administrative checks and encouraging a process of continuous improvement,
(Amendment 24)
Section I(2)
   2. Supporting and, where appropriate, developing systems of external evaluation with the following aims :
   (a) to monitor and provide methodological support and encouragement for school self-evaluation,
   (b) to provide an outside view of the school ensuring that it is in a process of continuous improvement;
   2. Encouraging and supporting, where appropriate, the involvement of school stakeholders, namely teachers, pupils, management, parents and experts, in the process of external and self- evaluation in schools in order to promote shared responsibility for the improvement of schools.
(Amendment 25)
Section I(3)
   3. Encouraging and supporting the involvement of all school stakeholders in the full process of evaluation in schools with the following aims:
   (a) to add a decisive and creative element to school self-evaluation,
   (b) to ensure shared responsibility for the improvement of schools;
Deleted
(Amendment 26)
Section I(4), introduction
   4. Supporting training in the management and the use of self-evaluation with the following aims:
   4. Supporting training in the management and the use of self-evaluation instruments with the following aims:
(Amendment 27)
Section I(5)(a)
   (a) to identify good practices, efficient tools and benchmarks,
   (a) to identify and disseminate good practices and efficient tools such as indicators and benchmarks in the field of quality evaluation in school education ,
(Amendment 28)
Section I(5)(b)
   (b) to form networks to support each other and provide outside impetus to the evaluation process;
   (b) to form networks between schools, also at a local and regional level, to support each other and provide outside impetus to the evaluation process;
(Amendment 29)
Section I(6), introduction
   6. Encouraging the cooperation between the authorities responsible for quality in school education and promote European networking:
   6. Encouraging the cooperation between all the authorities involved in evaluating quality in school education and promoting European networking between them :
(Amendment 30)
Section I(6)(a)
   (a) the exchange of information and experiences, in particular on methodological developments and examples of good practice,
   (a) the exchange of information and experiences, in particular on methodological developments and examples of good practice, especially by using modern information and communication technologies, and when appropriate by organising European conferences, seminars and workshops,
(Amendment 31)
Section I(6)(b)
   (b) the development of comparable data, indicators and benchmarks on national education systems to compare strength and weaknesses with a view to exchanging good practices,
   (b) the collection of data and the development of tools such as indicators and benchmarks of particular relevance for quality evaluation in schools,
(Amendment 32)
Section I(6)(ba) (new)
   (ba) making use of the results of national and international surveys for the development of quality evaluation in schools;
(Amendment 33)
Section I(6)(c)
   (c) the building of European expertise in the area, which could be made available for authorities in Member States concerned,
   (c) publication of results of school evaluation in accordance with the possibilities of each Member State and its educational establishments, to be made available to authorities in the Member States concerned,
(Amendment 34)
Section I(6)(d)
   (d) promoting contact between experts internationally .
   (d) promoting contact between experts in order to build European expertise in this field .
(Amendment 35)
Section I(6)(da) (new)
   (da) making use of the results of international surveys concerning quality development in individual schools.
(Amendment 36)
Section I(6)(db) (new)
   (db) under the Socrates II programme, assigning to the Eurydice European network the task of coordinating experiments in ensuring quality evaluation in education.
(Amendment 37)
Section II (1)
   1. to encourage, in close cooperation with the Member States, and on the basis of existing programmes, and subject to their objectives and normal, open and transparent procedures, the cooperation referred to in point 6 between the authorities responsible for quality in school education, also involving organisations and associations of school education institutions with a European remit and the necessary experience in quality assessment and quality assurance;
   1. to encourage, in close cooperation with the Member States, and on the basis of existing Community programmes, and subject to their objectives and normal, open and transparent procedures, the cooperation referred to in Section I, points 5 and 6 between the authorities responsible for quality in school education, also involving relevant organisations and associations with the necessary experience in this field ;
(Amendment 38)
Section II (2)
   2. to establish a database for the dissemination of tools and instruments of school self -evaluation. The database should also contain examples of best practice within school evaluation. The database should be accessible on the Internet;
   2. to establish on the basis of existing Community programmes a database for the dissemination of effective tools and instruments of school quality evaluation. The database should also contain examples of good practice and be accessible on the Internet; interactive use thereof should be ensured;
(Amendment 39)
Section II (2a) (new)
2a. to make use of the resources within existing Community programmes, to incorporate the experience already gained into these programmes and to develop the existing networks;
(Amendment 40)
Section II (2b) (new)
2b. to make, as a first step, an inventory of the instruments and strategies for quality evaluation in primary and secondary education already in use in the various Member States. In the light of the results of this inventory, a plan for a follow-up to the activities should be defined in close cooperation with the Member States and on a regular basis, concerning which the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions should be fully informed.
(Amendment 41)
Section II (3)
   3. to present triennial reports to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on progress in the development of quality assurance systems in the various Member States and on cooperation activities at European level including the progress achieved with respect to the objectives referred to above.
   3. to present, on the basis of contributions from the Member States, triennial detailed reports to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions concerning the implementation of this Recommendation.
(Amendment 42)
Section II (3a) (new)
3a. to prepare conclusions and make suggestions on the basis of these reports.
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on European cooperation in quality evaluation in school education (COM(1999) 709 - C5-0053/2000 - 2000/0022(COD) )
A5-0185/2000

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(1999) 709 ),

-   having regard to Article 251(2), Article 149(4) and Article 150 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5-0053/2000 ),

-   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs A5-0185/2000 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Asks to be consulted again should the Commission intend to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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


Liberalisation of energy markets
European Parliament resolution on the Commission's second report to the Council and the European Parliament on the state of liberalisation of the energy markets (COM(1999) 198 - COM(1999) 164 - COM(1999) 612 - COM(2000) 297 - C5-0163/2000 - 2000/2097(COS) )
A5-0180/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the second Commission report on the state of liberalisation of the energy markets (COM(1999) 198 ), the second Commission report on harmonisation requirements for the internal market in electricity (COM(1999) 164 ), the Commission report on harmonisation requirements for the internal market for natural gas (COM(1999) 612 ) and the Commision communication on recent progress with building the internal electricity market (COM(2000) 297 - C5-0163/2000 ),

-   having regard to the titles on competition and the environment in the EC Treaty as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, and Article 6 of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Directive 96/92/EC on common rules for the internal market in electricity and Directive 98/30/EC on common rules for the internal market in natural gas,

-   having regard to its resolution of 30 March 2000 on electricity from renewable energy sources and the internal electricity market(1) ,

-   having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (A5-0180/2000 ),

A.   whereas in the electricity market competition relates to generation, transmission and distribution, and in the natural gas market to supply, transmission, storage and distribution,

B.   whereas competition is having a substantial effect on economies and consumers as a whole, such as reducing energy prices, reducing production costs, increased opportunities for new employment and is having a positive medium-term impact on the labour market in general economic terms,

C.   whereas suppliers are beginning to adapt their structures to the European internal market and are consequently prepared to step up their operations on the world energy market,

D.   whereas undertakings which have not adapted to competition in good time are to some extent encountering particular employment problems,

E.   whereas competition is also improving the efficiency of energy production and pricing and tariff systems help to husband resources,

F.   whereas competition does not prevent Member States from imposing public service obligations in the general interest on the parties involved (related to environmental considerations, security, regularity and quality of supply and pricing), whereas there is, however, no uniform definition of these obligations in the Member States,

G.   whereas

   -
efficient and non-discriminatory access to networks is the central requirement for competition to operate,
   -
according to past experience this is best achieved if network owners" interests are strictly separated from the interests of other undertakings involved,

H.   whereas, failing the complete separation of branches of undertakings under company and property law,

   -
separate management and accounting of electricity networks also improves the opportunities for selling decentrally generated electricity (from renewable energy sources, combined heat and power and fuel cells),
   -
the lack of separate management for gas networks could become a considerable obstacle to competition,

I.   whereas the EU internal market in network-based gas and electricity depends on the transposition and application of the requirements of the EC directives concerned in accordance with EC law and in a way that encourages competition,

J.   whereas an EU-wide internal market in network-based energy can be completed only if transmission bottlenecks and discriminatory transfer and transport prices between Member States and network monopolies are eliminated,

K.   whereas in the natural gas market changes of supplier and competition between network-owning and other gas undertakings present no problems when the product is natural gas compatible in terms of safety, utilisation and pricing characteristics (in respect of calorific value),

L.   whereas consumer choice from among various natural gas suppliers is possible even in the case of gas which is incompatible in respect of calorific value where the gas undertaking owning the network is able to mix various qualities of gas (therefore most probably import undertakings), where network separation can be undertaken if appropriate, or where measurements of calorific value may be carried out in various sections of the grid,

M.   whereas the Commission's approach to balancing liberalisation with environment, as now required by Article 6 of the EC Treaty, is in need of clarification,

N.   whereas the Member States should ensure that cooperation between the national authorities and the existing regulators and operators is optimised,

1.   Considers that the correct transposition and practical implementation of the directives is an onerous task for the Member States and the Commission;

2.   Looks to the Commission, when dealing with requests for exemptions from competition in the internal market for energy for limited periods,

   -
to keep the internal market approach of the directives in balance with the environmental aspects of the Treaties, and
   -
to keep the fact that the directives concerned must also seek to ensure that the general service obligations are maintained and developed in accordance with Article 16 of the Treaty firmly in mind,

3.   Believes that delays in implementing internal market directives in some Member States are damaging the entire EU market and are therefore unacceptable; this should also apply to candidate countries which are already exporting electricity to the Member States but keeping their own markets closed;

4.   Regrets that some countries only intend to carry out the minimum liberalisation possible and expresses the hope that they will be more ambitious in the future;

5.   Believes that the candidate countries need additional help if the internal market directive is to be implemented on time, since transitional periods are to be avoided during implementation, primarily because of the accelerated liberalisation of markets for which the European Council called in Lisbon this year;

6.   Appeals to the Commission to adopt a detailed timetable for the achievement of accurately defined objectives with a view to gradually but completely liberalising the energy markets;

7.   Calls on the Member States to manage in a balanced way the opening up of markets so as to enhance EU citizens' right to freedom of establishment, freedom to provide services and freedom of movement of goods, as well as energy efficiency, security of supply and environmental protection;

8.   Stresses that the liberalisation of markets should be seen as a first step towards the creation of an internal energy market and, consequently, calls on the Commission to submit specific proposals geared to overcoming all the existing barriers to intra-Community trade, and to take action specifically against those Member States failing to implement the Directives;

9.   Points out that the amalgamation of national markets in network-based energy must be based on the principles of sustainability, non-discrimination, competition and network interoperability, and that this also applies to cross-border trade;

10.   Welcomes the conclusions of the Presidency of the Lisbon European Council of 24 March 2000, which 'considers it essential that, in the framework of the internal market and of a knowledge-based economy, full account is taken of the Treaty provisions relating to services of general economic interest, and to the undertakings entrusted with operating such services';

11.   Notes the Presidency conclusions stating the intention to speed up liberalisation in the electricity and gas fields and to seek to achieve a fully operational internal market in these areas;

12.   Emphasises at the same time that a fully successful liberalisation of these markets will require a harmonisation of the energy policy frameworks within the Member States;

13.   Calls for the systematic pursuit and implementation of the process of internalising the external costs of energy production, i.e. ascribing the pollution and damage inflicted on the community or the environment by individual conversion processes and uses to the energy sources responsible in order to achieve fairer competition between the various energy sources;

14.   Calls, in order to protect consumers, for the development of new supplier monopolies and anti-competitive state aid to be systematically prevented , i.e. national and EU competition law to be strictly applied and, in particular, the placing of legal obstacles in the way of access for new market participants to be avoided;

15.   Notes that small consumers can most effectively take part in competition if regulators in the Member States have ensured that, where there is a change of supplier, the necessary technical processes and contracts are standardised so that customers can provide any supplier with the essential information about their domestic meters from an individual supply number;

16.   Calls for consumers to be able not only to change their energy supplier but also, through the provision of information on the energy source, to purchase electricity on the basis of its original source;

17.   Notes that the price reductions achieved through competition erode the profits made by former monopolies to the benefit of consumers, but do not remove the original price differences for the use of different energy sources;

18.   Stresses that the Member States must ensure that competition is not achieved at the expense of security of supply;

19.   Calls on the Commission to consider whether the low prices at which electricity is supplied to the EU from the eastern European countries do not arouse a suspicion of dumping;

20.   Calls on the Commission to submit proposals for Community legislation to speed up this process; further calls on the Commission to include in those proposals mechanisms to stimulate start-ups in new energy services and to provide consumers with the necessary information, certification and labelling systems in the Internal Electricity Market;

21.   Points out that the creation of the internal energy market must be combined with increased penetration of renewable energies in our societies and must ensure equal conditions for undertakings from the various Member States in the future European energy market;

22.   Welcomes the intentions announced by the Commission in its communication COM(2000) 297 and especially

   -
the preparation of a communication before the European Council's meeting in Stockholm in March 2001, describing measures taken by the Member States to protect consumers where public services are concerned,
   -
the preparation of a study on the effects of liberalisation on employment,
   -
the development of indicators to enable the degree of true competition in the national and Community markets to be assessed,
   -
the preparation of a study before the European Council's meeting in Stockholm on the Member States" pricing systems for network access;

23.   Calls on the Commission to inform the committee how energy imports from candidate and other third countries are to be evaluated (WTO, Energy Charter Treaty, prospect of accession) and how this is to be treated in market economy terms;

24.   Welcomes the fact that the Commission has been asked to revise its 1996 communication on services of general economic interest to bring it in line with the Treaty;

25.   Calls for measures to ensure that the existing systems of public service obligations in the Member States continue to operate in the competitive context, while being applied to all competitors on a transparent and public basis in accordance with the internal market directives on electricity and gas;

26.   Notes that European-level energy network utilisation (in the case of natural gas including all other plant required for auxiliary services: storage facilities, mixing, compensation buffer arrangements and "Linepack') is the main instrument for launching competition between energy suppliers;

27.   Calls therefore for:

   -
terms for network use to be non-discriminatory for all, not only on a national basis,
   -
but that network access must in general be possible for all suppliers and consumers without discrimination across Member States' borders and across traditional catchment areas, where any exceptions are transitionary and well justified on either social or environmental grounds;

28.   Notes that non-discriminatory conditions governing network access are most likely to be achieved if in vertically integrated undertakings transport is not only unbundled from production and distribution in the accounts but, where appropriate, acts independently in company law and even property law terms;

29.   Calls therefore for the conditions for using networks in the Member States not to hamper cross-border trade in electricity and gas, and stresses the important role and great responsibility of network operators in promoting this cross-border trade;

30.   Calls for special attention to be paid to the interconnectors between continental Europe and Scandinavia and continental Europe and the United Kingdom in order to create a single European electricity market and to avoid distortion of cross-border trade;

31.   Calls on the Commission, where no exception has been justified, to prohibit under competition law any remaining national tariff and pricing systems which are barriers to trade or to propose that the Council and Parliament adopt Community legislation to that effect (directive);

32.   In this context believes that transitionary arrangements are necessary in the new Directive for the development of renewables, given the existing market distortions caused by the non-internalisation of external costs, where an appropriate tax mechanism is required, as well as the extensive direct and indirect subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear power, which need to be made transparent for the purposes of re-examining them; furthermore, given the growing disincentive caused by liberalisation, believes that mechanisms need to be incorporated into these markets to oblige Member States to ensure that energy efficiency and saving meet defined targets;

33.   Calls on the Commission to oblige all Member States to establish fully independent National Regulatory Authorities with the appropriate powers to enforce full competition and promote the interests of consumers in a liberalised energy market;

34.   Welcomes the fact that:

   -
the Member States, the national regulators, the independent transmission system operators (TSOs) and representatives of the various parties in the market and the Commission are pressing on with their work for a genuine internal market in electricity (the Florence process),
   -
the national TSOs have formed a European association (ETSO),
   -
under the Florence process solutions have been reached on the principles of cross-border pricing and tariffs and bottleneck management for the trade in electricity,
   -
the Member States" regulators are also involved in the Florence process;

35.   Recommends the trial and, where appropriate, improvement of these Florence decisions in the light of experience; calls on the Commission and Council to provide greater price transparency, to formulate structures to enable regulators in the Member States to exchange information and access data and harmonise their activities; also calls for a role in the Florence process for the European Parliament;

36.   Calls on the Commission to come forward with proposals as a matter of urgency to regulate third country access to the Internal Electricity and Gas Markets, so as to avoid energy 'dumping'; in particular, insists that those proposals should specify that any importation of electricity into the Internal Market must be subject to production and transmission standards similar to those in the EU, in particular as far as social and environmental criteria are concerned;

37.   Considers that there is no point in laying down rules for pricing and tariffs for the cross-border use of networks by Community legislation (directive) if practical solutions are devised under the Florence process;

38.   Calls on the Commission to encourage, together with the Member States and the operators of transmission networks, studies to evaluate innovative technical solutions that can significantly increase the capacity of existing transfrontier electricity lines;

39.   Calls for the mandatory adaption of the capacity of transmission networks and the technical requirements for them to be framed so that there are no obstacles to the internal European market in energy in that respect;

40.   Asks the Commission to come forward with proposals for increasing the capacity of sub-sea connectors for electricity and gas so that fully free movement of these energy resources can be available also to/from those Member States separated by sea crossings from the rest of the EU;

41.   Welcomes the fact that in Madrid the Member States, the national regulators, the gas undertakings owning networks and representatives of various parties in the market are working with the Commission to establish the internal market in gas (Madrid process);

42.   Expects that under the Madrid process practical and non-discriminatory solutions in respect of cross-border pricing and tariffs, bottleneck management, access to other auxiliary services and interoperability will be devised for the internal market in gas; believes this should be followed by implementing legislation, which would also remove the discrimination against CHP in the Internal Gas Market, as well as facilitating fair and transparent network access for CHP;

43.   Recommends that an association of European gas network system operators be set up;

44.   Calls on the Commission to publish a six-monthly report on final electricity and gas prices in the European Union in order to have a direct measure of the impact on the consumer of the liberalisation of energy markets; calls also for guidelines to be drawn up for the harmonisation of criteria for compiling price surveys and processing the data collected so as to ensure that comparisons between the situations in the various Member States are as meaningful as possible;

45.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the Parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 8.


ECB Annual report
European Parliament resolution on the 1999 Annual Report of the European Central Bank (C5-0195/2000 - 2000/2118(COS) )
A5-0169/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the 1999 Annual Report of the European Central Bank (C5-0195/2000 ),

-   having regard to Article 113 of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to Article 15 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank,

-   having regard to Rule 40 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to its resolution of 2 April 1998 on democratic accountability in the third stage of EMU(1) ,

-   having regard to its resolution of 27 October 1999 on the 1998 Annual Report of the European Central Bank(2) ,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A5-0169/2000 ),

A.   whereas the Annual Report submitted by the European Central Bank is the first to cover the period after the introduction of the euro and at the same time the first full calendar year after the establishment of the European Central Bank,

B.   whereas the mean annual rate of inflation in 1999 was just over 1% and thus fell well below the upper limit of 2% which the ECB regards as compatible with the objective of stability,

C.   whereas the single currency has brought about a lasting improvement in transparency of pricing and convergence of prices in the participating Member States,

D.   whereas pursuant to the EC Treaty the ESCB enjoys political independence in pursuing its task of maintaining stability and whereas the ECB and national central banks may be given no instructions on this subject,

E.   whereas independence is not to be equated with inadequate accountability but instead presupposes ample information and a high degree of transparency,

F.   whereas freedom from instruction is justified on the grounds that the ECB has a clear task to carry out, namely that of maintaining monetary stability,

G.   whereas both the rise in oil prices and the fall in the value of the euro pose increasing risks to price stability,

H.   whereas the ECB's contribution to promoting growth and employment lies primarily in adopting credible and lasting measures to ensure price stability and whereas the EU's arrangements for coordinating economic policy must not result in any blurring of political responsibilities,

I.   whereas an important reason for the creation of the euro was to insulate the euro area economy from the effects of volatile exchange rates, and noting that the trading range for the euro's predecessor currencies has been as low as USD 0.69 in 1985 and as high as USD 1.70 in 1979,

J.   whereas pursuant to the EC Treaty the ESCB bears special responsibility for the stability of the financial system, which is closely linked to its task of maintaining price stability,

K.   whereas supervision of individual financial institutions, which remains a national responsibility, is increasingly relevant to certain aspects of the system's stability,

L.   whereas the EC Treaty provides for the possibility of conferring on the ECB "specific tasks concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and other financial institutions with the exception of insurance undertakings", and whereas the ECB could usefully play a greater role in coordinating prudential supervision,

M.   whereas the increasing use of electronic money must not jeopardise the maintenance of price stability and whereas banks of issue must therefore have a measure of control over issuers of electronic money, including those which are not banks,

N.   whereas the Commission and the European Parliament are in favour of Greece's participation in monetary union as of 1 January 2001,

O.   whereas a recently established institution such as the ECB particularly needs the public to trust it to pursue a consistent stability policy and whereas winning the public's trust is a decisive precondition for both the internal and external stability of the euro,

P.   whereas the ECB's accountability to the European Parliament is particularly valuable because, among the institutions referred to in the EC Treaty, Parliament is the only one which possesses direct democratic legitimacy,

Q.   whereas the monetary dialogue between the President of the ECB and the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has developed into one of the cornerstones of the ECB's accountability and thus provides a democratic guarantee of the Bank's independence,

1.   Congratulates the ECB on its convincing stability policy, as a result of which in the first year of its existence the rate of inflation in the euro area has already fallen to an all-time low;

2.   Notes that the success of the ECB's policy in meeting its objective of price stability and establishing market credibility is demonstrated by the continued low interest rate at which euro area governments are able to borrow money over a ten-year period, a rate which has consistently been a full percentage point below the rate required by the financial markets from the US Government;

3.   Welcomes the fact that the ECB does not interpret its responsibility for stability policy one-sidedly but that, in addition to inflation, it also monitors any deflationary tendencies;

4.   Welcomes the improvement in information policy through the publication of discussion documents and reports on selected topics;

5.   Welcomes the commitment made by the ECB both to publish economic forecasts, including an inflation forecast, on a regular basis, and to publish details of its econometric model or models of the euro area economy, and urges the ECB to proceed quickly to meet these commitments;

6.   Urges the ECB to adopt the two further transparency measures supported by the European Parliament: the publication of minutes as soon as possible after each meeting giving arguments for and against monetary policy action (although not covering votes), and the publication of a regular report on the economic situation (including productivity growth and sustainable earnings increases) in each euro area Member State;

7.   Considers it desirable to step up the direct dialogue with the public in order to foster a tradition of stability throughout Europe;

8.   Calls on the ECB to continue to strive for stability in order to avert the risks of inflation;

9.   Calls on the euro area Member States, in accordance with their obligations arising from the Stability and Growth Pact, to use the cyclical upturn to reduce budget deficits consistently and to accelerate the reduction of debt and to support the ECB's stability policy by speeding up structural reforms in the markets for goods, services and capital, labour markets and social insurance systems;

10.   Calls on the euro area Member States, in this connection, to take the opportunity afforded by the currently favourable revenue situation to achieve balanced budgets or surpluses in the coming year, i.e. earlier than originally planned;

11.   Is concerned not so much about the fall in the value of the euro in itself, but about the reasons for the weak euro, such as structural problems within the euro area economy; attributes the weakening of the euro to structural problems and a lack of dynamism within the EMU economy; stresses moreover that the competitiveness of the euro area must be increased;

12.   Welcomes the so far moderate wages policy within the euro area and calls on the two sides of industry to continue on the same course in order to use the current growth phase to create new jobs and to prevent a wages/prices spiral from being triggered;

13.   Welcomes the progress that Member States within the euro area have made in reducing their short-term indebtedness and hence their vulnerability to any financial shock and urges those countries with high levels of short-term debt to continue to reduce it to the low levels of most euro area Member States;

14.   Calls on the ECB to keep a careful eye on possible risks to stability, such as trends in energy prices, the euro exchange rate and share and real estate prices, while at the same time, taking account of a possible easing of pressure as a result of increased efficiency in the field of the "new economy" and improvements in price transparency and market liberalisation (particularly in energy, transport and telecommunications);

15.   Calls on the ECB, in order to promote public acceptance of the euro, to work actively to improve international mass and retail payment transactions, if no lasting progress is achieved by the end of the year, and reiterates its call for regular progress reports to be submitted;

16.   Points out, in conjunction with EU enlargement, that joining EMU is a three-stage process, comprising in turn EU membership, participation in the exchange rate mechanism and full participation in monetary union, and that progress from one stage to another is not automatic but depends entirely on compliance with the convergence criteria laid down in the EC Treaty in the same spirit in which transition to the third stage of EMU took place in 1998;

17.   Stresses, in connection with EMU enlargement, the desirability of a high level of convergence in the real economy in order to limit the strain involved, both for the Community and for the applicant countries;

18.   Welcomes the precautions taken by the euro system to deal with crises of liquidity in the euro area, and endorses the ECB's view that, in view of the risk of moral hazard, temporary injections of liquidity by the central bank to overcome a short-term liquidity squeeze should be granted only in exceptional cases and after case-by-case examination;

19.   Observes that various international bodies constantly work to improve exchanges of information through multilateral cooperation; considers, nonetheless, that a further stepping-up of multilateral cooperation is called for, particularly with reference to the increasingly important issue of stability of the system;

20.   Welcomes the reports by the ESCB's Banking Supervisory Committee, which make clear the links between the microprudential and macroprudential aspects of banking supervision, and calls on the ECB to extend its work in accordance with the mandate pursuant to the EC Treaty in the field of macroprudential analysis in order to contribute to the stability of the financial system;

21.   Considers that there is a need to further intensify cooperation between the supervisors and central banks of all EU States - including the ECB - in order to be able to exploit mutual synergies on the one hand between the operations of the central bank as the body responsible for stability of the system as an observer of the market and supervisor of payment transaction systems and on the other hand the work of supervisors of banking systems; considers it necessary for the ECB to be assigned a role in coordinating prudential policies at European level;

22.   Calls on the ECB to advocate vis-à-vis the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision that the new version of the Capital Accord should take account of the heterogeneous structure of the European banking system, that neutrality from the point of view of competition should continue to be assured both for banks in different countries and for smaller institutions operating locally and regionally, and that the planned new rules should not result in a deterioration of financing conditions for small and medium-sized businesses;

23.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Central Bank, the Commission and the Council.

(1) OJ C 138, 4.5.1998, p. 177.
(2) OJ C 154, 4.6.2000, p. 60.


Implementation of EMU
European Parliament resolution on the Commission communication to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on communications strategy in the last phases of the completion of EMU (COM(2000) 57 - C5-0104/2000 - 2000/2019(COS) )
A5-0170/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission communication (COM(2000) 57 - C5-0104/2000 ),

-   having regard to its resolution of 13 January 1998 on the euro and the consumer,(1)

-   having regard to its resolution of 10 March 1998 on practical aspects of the introduction of the euro and the Commission working paper entitled "Preparations for the changeover of public administrations to the euro",(2)

-   having regard to its resolution of 16 December 1998 on information strategy on the euro,(3)

-   having regard to its resolution of 2 December 1999 on the length of the transitional period for the introduction of the euro,(4)

-   having regard to its opinion of 17 February 2000 on the draft Council framework on increasing protection by penal sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro,(5)

-   having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2000 on the annual assessment of the implementation of the stability and convergence programmes,(6)

-   having regard to its opinion of 18 May 2000 on the proposal for a Council decision in accordance with Article 122(2) of the Treaty for the adoption by Greece of the single currency on 1 January 2001,(7)

-   having regard to Commission Recommendation 98/287/EC concerning dual display of prices and other monetary amounts,(8)

-   having regard to the agreements on information about the introduction of the euro entered into by 13 Member States, the Commission and the European Parliament,

-   having regard to the hearings on the practical aspects of the introduction of the euro and on information policy held by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on 22 February, 3 April, 17 April and 5 June 2000,

-   having regard to the information campaign carried out by the European Central Bank,

-   having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport for their opinions (A5-0170/2000 ),

A.   whereas the European single currency is an essential, identity-building factor in the process of European integration,

B.   whereas since the introduction of the euro on 1 January 1999 there have been demonstrable positive effects on the European single market, price and currency stability, and growth and employment,

C.   whereas since its introduction the euro has also proved its worth as a stabilising factor in a number of international monetary crises,

D.   whereas every EU citizen, including those living in countries not taking part in monetary union, will be significantly affected by the introduction of the euro banknotes and coins, as will people in the applicant countries,

E.   whereas the exchange rate of the euro against the dollar has psychological effects on the public's confidence in the single currency,

F.   whereas many EU citizens are still insufficiently informed about the implications of the introduction of euro banknotes and coins,

G.   whereas the euro is still being underused by businesses and private individuals,

H.   whereas the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not yet made the necessary technical adjustments to the euro, and are often still unaware of the need to adjust in time and whereas they underestimate the strategic challenges of the euro,

I.   whereas the aim of the European Union's information campaign is to raise public confidence in the euro and ensure the smooth introduction of the euro coins and banknotes with effect from 1 January 2002,

J.   whereas certain categories of the population with particular difficulties of access to information such as the elderly, blind people or people with impaired sight or hearing, people with a mental disability or illiterates and the socially disadvantaged must continue to be targeted in special ways by the information campaign,

K.   whereas young people, and schoolchildren in particular, are an important target group because of their great capacity for learning and absorbing information, and their role as channels of information and enthusiasm,

L.   whereas the information campaign will be conducted at national level through agreements between the Commission and Member States, in order to respond to national and cultural features,

M.   whereas application of the subsidiarity principle will ensure that there is effective cooperation with regional and local operators and channels of information such as business and consumer groups and trade unions, and organisations working with those categories of the population with particular difficulties of access to information,

N.   whereas use of the euro by public administrations in most Member States is progressing only slowly, and preparations for thorough information and communication are also lagging behind,

O.   whereas with the approach of the introduction of euro banknotes and coins interest in practical aspects of the euro will increase enormously,

P.   whereas the applicant countries are also affected by the single currency - although they cannot join the EMU at the same time as they join the EU - and there is consequently a great need for information,

Q.   whereas even after the introduction of the euro notes and coins many people will continue to be in great need of information and whereas the information campaign must therefore be continued until mid-2002,

R.   whereas the euro campaign creates an opportunity for Parliament to forge closer ties with the public by making sure that citizens" questions are adequately answered and their concerns addressed,

S.   whereas the interinstitutional working group that includes Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission will be coordinating the information campaign in its concluding stages,

T.   whereas the final phase of the euro information campaign by Parliament, the Commission and the Member States will run in parallel with the European Central Bank's information campaign, the aim of which is to familiarise the public with the euro notes and coins and to guard against risks of counterfeiting,

U.   whereas to ensure that the messages of the two campaigns are consistent, and for reasons of cost-effectiveness, timely coordination is necessary,

V.   whereas the number of staff made available in the Commission for a campaign of this significance does not appear to be sufficient to guarantee professional, well-coordinated organisation or the necessary controls on its financing and content,

W.   whereas in view of the importance of the euro for Europe's identity and the successful continuation of the process of integration, the campaign's budget for 2001 and 2002 must be increased appropriately,

1.   Welcomes the Commission communication, with its aim of stepping up the euro information campaign in the final stage of changeover to the euro;

2.   Welcomes the work carried out hitherto by the Commission, Parliament and the Member States through the Prince programme on informing the public and preparing them for the euro;

3.   Welcomes the proposed objective of placing emphasis on increasing awareness of the euro in small businesses (SMEs) and the general public;

4.   Supports the sequencing of the campaign, the emphasis of which will be SMEs in 2000, because of their longer preparatory time, all target groups in 2001 and, specifically, the general public after September 2001;

5.   Welcomes the fact that the EU's information strategy also addresses those Member States not taking part in monetary union and the applicant countries, since they will also be affected by the introduction of the common currency and will, therefore, require access to adequate, factual information;

6.   Stresses that the campaign should also include information on the economic and monetary policy of the Union;

7.   Calls for special attention to continue to be devoted to preparing for the euro certain categories of the population with particular difficulties of access to information such as the elderly, blind people, people with impaired sight or hearing, people with a mental disability, illiterates and the socially disadvantaged, since these categories require a form of education rather than mere information; recommends stepping up, with immediate effect, the training of trainers; and providing them and the manufacturers of coin-operated machines, from the last three months of 2001, with the appropriate sample sets of euro notes and coins, in accordance with the relevant security measures;

8.   Underlines in this context the importance of informing women, as another specific target group, through women's organisations and women's magazines, as they are the ones who still have serious concerns about the euro's introduction;

9.   Calls on the Member States to ensure in the information campaigns they conduct that they take account of these groups of people, along the lines of the work done by the Commission throughout the process;

10.   Calls, in this respect, for the Commission programme "The euro made easy" to be continued and for both organisations active in the fields of social affairs and health and NGOs and foundations to be involved in the campaign;

11.   Calls for greater efforts to be made this year to promote in SMEs the requisite technical changeover, and consideration of the strategic implications of the euro for specific industries;

12.   Recommends that the main channels for informing and supporting businesses should be professional associations such as industrial, trade and economic associations and accountants and auditors, since they are best acquainted with the needs of businesses;

13.   Suggests that regular events take place for the exchange of information and experience, between opinion-formers from different countries, and between businesses that have already completed the euro changeover and those in which the changeover is still to come;

14.   Considers that the abovementioned sectors should be extended to include organisations representing cultural, youth and sports associations, which play a very important role in acting as multipliers and disseminating information;

15.   Stresses the important role which children and young people can have in disseminating information; recommends therefore that in the 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 academic years there should be activities in all schools in the in-countries geared to the introduction of the euro, that it should be an integral part of teaching and syllabuses and that, in particular, no later than the commencement of the 2001/2002 academic year all school books should be brought in line with the new currency;

16.   Recommends that in the academic years in question competitions on the euro should be organised in schools, for example essay-writing, public speaking, painting and drawing competitions, at local, national and ultimately EU level so that as many pupils as possible apply themselves to the subject of "changing to the euro"; prizes should be awarded publicly at the different levels with, ultimately, a prize at European level;

17.   Recommends reviving the working group for euro training, with the aim of devising a comprehensive strategy for the euro campaign in the education sector. Teachers" associations and organisations, as important communicators, should be involved in this process;

18.   Broadly welcomes the Commission's specific measures to prepare the tourism sector for the changeover to the euro, but believes it is just as necessary for the hotel and catering trade to be thoroughly prepared for the euro since such businesses will be the first to be confronted directly with the new currency;

19.   Recommends, in the context of the world savings week introduced by the banks, the introduction of a "euro savings day" when comprehensive information on the euro would be provided, together with encouragement for opening a euro savings account; savings accounts could also be given automatically to all children born in the year 2001;

20.   Recommends, in order to relieve the pressure of an increased volume of conversion transactions in the first few days of 2002, efforts to ensure that members of the public wind up their cash deposits by paying them into a euro savings account from Autumn 2001 or by purchasing euro starter kits with effect from 15 December;

21.   Recommends, with a view to reassuring the public, giving them guidance and encouraging familiarity, that in the year the euro is introduced all mail order and marketing chains draw up and distribute a summary table of prices in euros and the national currency of the 50 most important items of food, drink and consumer goods;

22.   Welcomes the fact that the Commission's information campaign also takes account of the need for the public to be confident that they are not cheated when prices are converted; calls on the Commission to table specific proposals based on best practices and to encourage national, regional and local authorities to establish local reporting centres where anyone can report any abuse such as unwarranted price increases;

23.   Notes indications that price levels in the Euro area are lower than in other European countries due to increased competition and asks the Commission to draw up a study of this phenomenon;

24.   Asks the Commission to accelerate its action with a view to preventing high bank charges for cross-border financial transfers and high conversion costs in the Euro area and improving their transparency and in particular to publish in full the findings of the study it has commissioned on bank charges for cross-border transactions, to highlight the serious differences that exist, and to repeat the study in 2001;

25.   Stresses the pioneering role to be played by public administrations in using the euro, and calls for appropriate initiatives to guarantee this at both national and local level;

26.   Recommends, in view of the broadening debate on the external value of the euro, that the campaign should with immediate effect put across, in tangible and clear terms, the demonstrable effects of the common currency on the European internal market, on price and currency stability and growth and employment;

27.   Calls on the Commission to react appropriately and rapidly in its information campaign to topical developments, such as major exchange-rate fluctuations in order to maintain public confidence in the euro;

28.   Recommends that particularly the EMU Member States bordering on applicant countries should enter into cooperation partnerships with those countries;

29.   Reminds the Commission and the authorities of the Member States that because of their democratic legitimation Members of the European Parliament can play an important role in transmitting information on the euro, for example to visitor groups in the places where the European Parliament meets;

30.   Recommends to the Commission and the national authorities that all public office holders at national and regional level should also be involved in the campaign; to this end all public office holders should be provided with the latest information on the euro campaign via e-mail, so that they can pass on this information directly to the people in their constituencies; this means that all public office holders should have an e-mail address stored in the national parliaments and the European Parliament;

31.   Calls for expansion of the present euro home page on the Internet into a detailed, up-to-date and compelling information instrument, in the spirit of efficient use of the new technologies;

32.   Calls for a telephone service to be established in all Parliament's offices throughout the Union, which the public would be invited to call and put their questions to; recommends that the answers to the most frequently asked questions are communicated to a wider public;

33.   Underlines that, according to paragraph 37(b) of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999, information policy is an autonomous action which needs no legal basis;

34.   Recalls that the Prince programme was initiated by the Parliament through budgetary intervention in 1996 with the clear aim of financing information campaigns on priority issues for the EU and has given support to four such measures since then; recalls also that each year, the decision on the breakdown of appropriation and the guidelines for implementation including joint actions, are taken on the basis of the opinion given by the interinstitutional working group referred to in the budgetary remarks of heading B3-306 ;

35.   Calls for funding for the euro information campaign in the year 2001 to be at least EUR 38 million;

36.   Calls for part of the available funds to be used for information events organised jointly by the European Parliament and the Commission;

37.   Calls, in the light of the Ecofin Council's decision to shorten the period of parallel currency to two months, for the information campaign to be extended to mid-2002 and for it to have a budget of at least EUR 20 million in that year;

38.   Calls for every directorate-general of the Commission which is affected, in particular the Directorate-General for Education and Culture, to have sufficient numbers of staff capable of coping with the forthcoming tasks;

39.   Calls for close coordination of the information campaigns of Parliament, the Commission and the Member States with the ECB's campaign to achieve a clear, cost-effective division of labour and to avoid any contradictory messages being put across at the same time;

40.   Recommends, in particular in the last six months before the introduction of the euro, joint action in cooperation between Parliament, the Commission and the ECB, in particular by coordinating the measures for vulnerable groups in the context of the "Euro made easy" programme;

41.   Calls on the Commission to take firm and immediate action to stop the double charging of customers and to bring down the high bank charges for cross-border transfers in the euro area;

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

(1) OJ C 34, 2.2.1998, p. 38.
(2) OJ C 104, 6.4.1998, p. 69.
(3) OJ C 98, 9.4.1999, p. 167.
(4) Texts Adopted, Item 14.
(5) Texts Adopted, Item 4.
(6) Texts Adopted, Item 4.
(7) Texts Adopted, Item 5.
(8) OJ L 130, 1.5.1998, p. 26.


Committee on Petitions
European Parliament resolution on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during the parliamentary year 1999-2000
A5-0162/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to Rule 175(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to its previous resolutions on petitions, most recently that of 15 April 1999 on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during the parliamentary year 1998-1999(1) ,

-   having regard to Articles 21 and 194 of the EC Treaty,

-   having regard to the annual report of the European Ombudsman for 1999 (C5-0303/2000 ),

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions (A5-0162/2000 ),

A.   whereas the right of petition is a fundamental right closely bound up with EU citizenship (see Articles 17, 21 and 194 of the EC Treaty,

B.   whereas the right of petition enables the European Parliament to exercise a control on serious failures by EU or Member State administrations to comply with primary or secondary Community law,

C.   whereas both the quality and the quantity of the petitions received illustrates the right of EU residents to be involved in the implementation of Community law, but at the same time means the European Parliament must deal with petitions effectively,

D.   whereas the healthy relationship that has developed between the European Ombudsman and the European Parliament remains a prerequisite for ensuring citizens enjoy full access to the fundamental rights conferred by Union citizenship,

E.   whereas close and effective cooperation with the other Community institutions, in particular the Commission, the Council, the specialised agencies and the various administrations of the Member States, proves to be necessary to ensure that petitions are dealt with expediently,

F.   whereas the Permanent Representations of the Member States to the European Union and the Presidency-in-Office of the European Union do have a particular duty to guarantee to the citizens that secondary Community law, established through the legislative work of the European institutions elected for this purpose, is respected by the national, regional and local administrations,

1.   Reaffirms that the Committee on Petitions is, alongside the European Ombudsman, one of the most important bodies within the European Parliament for exercising parliamentary scrutiny over the EU institutions, as well as national, regional, local and social administrations, guaranteeing transparency in the implementation of Community law in individual cases;

2.   Underlines that the petitions submitted to the European Parliament offer an insight into the difficulties faced by citizens with European and national administrations, illustrating quite often inappropriate use of discretionary powers in decision taking, and bureaucratic behaviour which alienates citizens;

3.   Recalls that many petitions show the inadequacies in legislation and the shortcomings in the link between European integration and the involvement of European citizens in an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe;

4.   Notes that when petitions uncover infringements of the principles and rules of Community law by the administrative bodies of the Member States, the Commission is obliged to initiate proceedings against the Member State in question for violation of Community law pursuant to Article 226 of the EC Treaty;

5.   Underlines the constructive role played by the Commission in the consideration of petitions and regards cooperation with the Commission as broadly satisfactory; asks the Commission to indicate in its annual report on the application of Community law those cases where infringement procedures have been initiated through petitions submitted by European citizens;

6.   Acknowledges that the five hundred or so admissible petitions dealt with in 1999-2000, of which some led to proceedings for infringement of Community law, bear witness to the fact that the right of petition is an important link in the relationship between Union citizens and the legislative as well as administrative activities of the European Union and the Member States;

7.   Underlines that in order to deal with petitions efficiently in a manner accessible and understandable to the citizens, the effective cooperation between the European Parliament, the other EU institutions and agencies and the competent authorities in the Member States remains one of the most important preconditions for correctly applying Community law;

8.   Underlines that, in dealing with petitions, the presence of a representative of the Council of Ministers or the Permanent Representation in question is essential at the committee's meetings, particularly when the petition concerns areas in which secondary law is closely bound up with a given Member State's national law or linked to politically sensitive subjects for the Member State;

9.   Considers that it is essential to find at Community level new ways and means of examining and processing the ever increasing number of petitions so as to reduce the time taken to deal with them;

10.   Recalls that the lack of speedy replies from Member State institutions or administrations to questions raised on behalf of the Committee on Petitions by the Commission - which within a broadly satisfying relatinship examines the aspects of Community law raised by the petition - continues to be a problem and lengthens the whole response process for individual petitions;

11.   Acknowledges that as petitions reflect specific concerns of citizens relating to their real rights and their expectations as regards European integration, it is all the more important - as the abovementioned resolution of 15 April 1999 recognised - to introduce within the responsible Directorate General of the European Parliament a modernised database as well as the use of Internet, open to European citizens, and to initiate an information campaign regarding the right of petition;

12.   Recommends holding a seminar to review cooperation between Parliament and the other EU institutions, especially the Commission and the Council, on the basis of the revised Interinstitutional Agreement of 12 April 1989(2) ;

13.   Welcomes a European network of the parliamentary Committees on Petitions to examine complaints with a view to exchanging information on petitions received in the Member States and at Community level concerning the application of EU legislation;

14.   Underlines the usefulness of regular meetings by a delegation of its Committee on Petitions with their national or regional counterparts, which in April 2000 took place in Berlin with the Petitions Committees of the Bundestag and the autonomous regions of Berlin and Brandenburg, influencing the paragraphs of this resolution concerning the improvement of working methods;

15.   Insists on the useful cooperation established thanks to the guidelines adopted on 14 July 1998(3) on the treatment of petitions by the standing committees to which the Committee on Petitions forwards certain petitions for: information, further action and/or opinion; recommends that standing committees, when drawing up specific legislation in their sphere of responsibility, ask the Committee on Petitions for its opinion;

16.   Favours a meeting twice a year between the Committee on Petitions and the corresponding committees of the Member States, especially at the beginning of a new Presidency of the Council of Ministers, to deal with specific questions raised by petitions from this Member State - to which the Commissioner responsible for relations with Parliament, the representative of the Council Presidency and the European Ombudsman should be invited;

17.   Calls on the Committee on Petitions to maintain regular working contacts at its meetings whenever appropriate with the Members of the European Commission responsible for: relations with the European Parliament; Citizens" Europe; the Environment; and Security and Justice, who were questioned by a delegation of the Committee on Petitions when the Prodi Commission came into office;

18.   Approves the suggestion that each year in cooperation with the parliamentary committees concerned two initiative reports should be drawn up by the Committee on Petitions on the main areas that are the subject of petitions, namely social security, environmental and consumer protection, freedom of movement, recognition of diplomas and other relevant subjects of Community law;

19.   Supports the Committee on Petitions" policy of apointing, for its main fields of activities, general rapporteurs, who should also act as spokespersons of the Committee on Petitions in their main committees, taking advantage of their membership of different parliamentary committees;

20.   Shares the idea that the petitioner should be present if the Bureau and the coordinators of the Committee on Petitions so decide and that the necessary travel expenses may be reimbursed;

21.   Instructs its services to:

   (a)
make sure that the dates for the meetings of the Committee on Petitions, which is a non-legislative committee, do not clash with those of other committees working in related fields, such as social affairs, the environment, culture or legal and home affairs;
   (b)
create a user-friendly database for citizens, MEPs, political groups, committee secretariats and the European Ombudsman, including in particular the draft agenda and the communications to Members concerning the petitions for the forthcoming meeting of the Committee on Petitions;

22.   Thanks the Parliament's mediator for transnationally abducted children for the efficiency of her work;

23.   Asks its services, especially DG I - Presidency, DG II - Committees and Delegations, DG III - Information and DG VII - Translation and General Services, to report to the Committee on Petitions at its meeting of February 2001 on the follow-up to this resolution;

24.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the report of its Committee to the Commission, the Council, the governments of the Member States, the European Ombudsman and the parliaments of the Member States, their petitions committees or other appropriate bodies and their ombudsmen.

(1) OJ C 219, 30.7.1999, p. 458.
(2) OJ C 120, 16.5.1989, p. 90.
(3) PE 225.233/fin.


European Ombudsman
European Parliament resolution on the activities of the European Ombudsman in 1999 (C5-0303/2000 )
A5-0181/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Annual Report of the European Ombudsman for 1999 (C5-0303/2000 ),

-   having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community and especially Articles 21 and 195 thereof,

-   having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community and, in particular, Article 20d thereof,

-   having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Committee and, in particular, Article 107d thereof,

-   having regard to its resolution of 17 November 1993, particularly the section dealing with the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the European Ombudsman's duties(1) ,

-   having regard to its resolution of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the European Ombudsman's duties and, in particular, Article 3(8) thereof(2) ,

-   having regard to its resolution of 14 July 1995 on the role of the European Ombudsman(3) ,

-   having regard to its resolution of 15 July 1997 on the Annual Report for 1996 of the European Ombudsman(4) ,

-   having regard to its previous resolutions on petitions, particularly that adopted on 16 July 1998 on the basis of the Annual Report on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during the parliamentary year 1997-1998(5) ,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions (A5-0181/2000 ),

A.   whereas, pursuant to the Treaty establishing the European Community, the duties of the European Ombudsman are to conduct enquiries for which he finds grounds concerning instances of maladministration in the activities of the Community institutions or bodies, on the basis of complaints submitted by him or on his own initiative, with the exception of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance acting in their judicial role,

B.   whereas citizens will only see European integration as justified if they are given rights enabling them to take an active part in the European Union's civil and political dialogue, such empowerment must include the right to information and access to documents, and that opinions expressed by the citizens are seriously taken into account and registered,

C.   whereas the increase in the number of complaints to the European Ombudsman shows the public's concern for more effective and transparent administration,

D.   whereas the independence of the European Ombudsman is an extremely important principle,

E.   whereas the European Ombudsman's independence implies the right to publish his views on the manner in which the European Union is administered and in which its policies are developed, as his main duty is to promote citizens' rights; whereas close cooperation is needed between the European Parliament, the Commission and the European Ombudsman with regard to the rights of European citizens, as guaranteed by the Treaties,

F.   whereas the European Parliament, while respecting the European Ombudsman's independence, is of the opinion that the amicable settlements, remarks and draft recommendations put forward by the Ombudsman have been extremely useful in developing the principles of good administration in the European Union,

G.   whereas the drafting of a European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights should provide rules giving citizens the right to good administration,

H.   whereas the European Ombudsman should play an important role in applying any future charter of fundamental rights in the institutions, bodies and decentralised agencies,

1.   Congratulates the European Ombudsman on his clear, systematic and detailed Annual Report for 1999;

2.   Acknowledges that although his office has been in existence for a relatively short period of time, the European Ombudsman's work has proved extremely useful and effective, especially for citizens and organisations;

3.   Endorses the European Ombudsman's efforts to achieve greater transparency and openness;

4.   Stresses the importance of providing the European Ombudsman's service with the necessary resources to deal with the steadily growing number of complaints;

5.   Reiterates its determination, already expressed in its previous resolutions on this matter, to introduce amendments to Article 3(2) of the Regulations and General Conditions governing the Performance of the Ombudsman's Duties so as to enable the European Ombudsman to have access to all the relevant documents which may need to be consulted in the course of inquiries, and to obtain freely given and hierarchically untrammeled replies from persons whose evidence is necessary to his just and proper assessment of the complaints submitted to him;

6.   Stresses that the interpretation of Community law, as applied by the institutions, forms part of the European Ombudsman's mandate and that the European Ombudsman has a duty to conduct inquiries into cases of maladministration, within the accepted meaning of the term, which is that 'maladministration occurs when a public body fails to act in accordance with a rule or principle which is binding upon it';

7.   Calls on the Commission to follow and apply the definition of maladministration, as accepted by Mrs Gradin, on behalf of the Commission, on 14 July 1998, and as confirmed by the Secretary-General of the Commission in his letter of 15 July 1999;

8.   Stresses the urgent need to draw up a code of good administrative behavior applicable to relations between European Union officials and the general public;

9.   Endorses the principle formulated by the European Ombudsman that good adminstration requires European institutions to explain the reasons for any decision affecting a particular citizen;

10.   Supports the efforts of the European Ombudsman to persuade all Community institutions and bodies always to provide complainants with all the documents required for examination of the cases to be investigated;

11.   Calls on the Commission to include in its annual report on Community law a section considering those petitions and complaints submitted to the Commission, the Parliament and the Ombudsman that have led to the infringement procedure against Member States;

12.   Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Ombudsman to cooperate with the Parliament on a new inter-institutional agreement leading to a more efficient and rapid treatment of petitions and complaints submitted by European citizens;

13.   Stresses the need to amend the Regulations and General Conditions governing the Performance of the Ombudsman's Duties to make public access to documents relating to complaints received by the European Ombudsman the general rule and ensure that confidentiality only applies to cases where the protection of complainants so requires;

14.   Congratulates the Ombudsman for having developed a good and fruitful cooperation with Ombudsmen and similar bodies both in the Member states and in the applicant countries.

15.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the report of the Committee on Petitions to the European Ombudsman and to all the institutions and bodies of the European Union, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the national Ombudsmen or analogous bodies and the national parliamentary committees responsible for petitions or analogous bodies in the Member States.

(1) OJ C 329, 6.12.1993, p. 132.
(2) OJ L 113, 4.5.1994, p. 15.
(3) OJ C 249, 25.9.1995, p. 226.
(4) OJ C 286, 22.9.1997, p. 41.
(5) OJ C 292, 21.9.1998, p. 167.


Single European sky
European Parliament resolution on the Commission communication to the Council and the European Parliament - The creation of the single European sky (COM(1999) 614 - C5-0085/2000 - 2000/2053(COS) )
A5-0141/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission's communication (COM(1999) 614 - C5-0085/2000 ),

-   having regard to its resolutions of 17 January 1997 on air traffic management - freeing Europe's airspace(1) , 16 November 1995 on congestion and crisis in air traffic(2) , 27 September 1994 on air traffic control in Europe(3) and 18 September 1992 on saturation of airspace and air traffic control(4) ,

-   having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (A5-0141/2000 ),

A.   whereas transport safety is of foremost and paramount importance and whereas many factors such as airport capacity, flight operation procedures, increased airspace usage and air traffic control restrictions could threaten safety standards,

B.   whereas the EC Treaty states that improving transport safety is one of the main objectives of the common transport policy,

C.   noting that over 80% of air accidents take place during take off or landing phases and stressing the increasing importance of action to improve safety in and around airports as air traffic increases,

D.   noting the relative importance of air traffic management (ATM) as one of the causes of air traffic delays while regretting the lack of investigation into the reason for these delays,

E.   whereas successive processes of liberalising air transport have not been accompanied by the requisite changes in the way in which European air space is organised;

F.   considering that the Community should address the causes of air transport delay as a whole, thus including the development of airport and runway capacity, airline planning, passenger and airline behaviour, airport infrastructure,

G.   having regard to the fact that the percentage of 15 minute + delays in European airspace has risen from 12.7% in 1991 to 30.3% in 1999 and is set on a rising scale for the foreseeable future,

H.   considering the current estimated shortage of some 1,000 Air Traffic Controllers in the European Union and the lack of investment in ATC systems,

I.   whereas the ever-increasing demand for transportation by air, expected to double over the next decade, will place unprecedented pressure on air traffic management,

J.   having regard to the mobility of, and economic, financial and social costs caused to, EU citizens by aircraft movement delays,

K.   having regard to the detrimental extra costs to tourism, business and commerce, and the environment caused by airspace congestion,

L.   having regard to the effects on employment and job satisfaction within the aviation industry,

M.   having regard to the fact that Eurocontrol is unable to manage the improvements and changes required to remedy this state of affairs,

N.   having regard to the fact that the military claims vast areas of air space for its own use,

O.   having regard to the proposals enunciated in “ATM (Air Traffic Management) Strategy for 2000+”(5) being insufficient to improve the position beyond the levels of 1997/98,

P.   whereas the Commissioner responsible for this issue has instituted a High Level Group to develop and advise the Commission on necessary policy changes,

1.   Welcomes the Commission's Communication as a major contribution to dealing with the saturation of airspace;

2.   Believes however that the creation of the single European sky on the basis of appropriate common rules and a separation of functions should not stand in the way of the public service duties of air traffic control and should leave Member States the choice of status for the operators providing it;

3.   Urges the Council to take the political decision that the Commission should develop a single sky over a single market to provide the optimum use of European airspace, whilst maintaining the principle of subsidiarity, as well as equal access to the airspace for all users;

4.   Emphasises the request in its resolutions of 18 November 1999(6) and 13 April 2000(7) on the Intergovernmental Conference for the Treaty of Amsterdam to include provisions for the creation of a single European Air Traffic Control;

5.   Makes it clear that this request calls for the transfer to the European Union only of regulatory powers in respect of air traffic control and that the European Air Traffic Control of the European Union should be open to participation by other European States in the European Economic Area;

6.   Considers that air transport has to be seen as a linked system of operators, airports and air traffic management services, in which all components are directly interdependent and that only by analysing the whole chain can the airspace capacity problems be dealt with;

7.   Considers that the Commission, should represent the interests of EU Member States on the Council of Eurocontrol and should work in conjunction with all Eurocontrol Member States to reform and re-establish Eurocontrol as a regulatory and technical authority;

8.   Believes that Eurocontrol should therefore be divested of its obligation to service provision and that immediate steps be taken to liberalise the provision of air traffic services by inviting the aviation industry to participate in and tender for such provisions and calls therefore on the Member States to:

   -
pool regulative competences for air traffic control within the framework of this reformed Eurocontrol,
   -
develop progressively a liberalised and fully operational internal market in the provision of air traffic services throughout the European Union's airspace and that of neighbouring European States;

9.   Considers that urgent consideration should be given to renewing and renovating the technical infrastructure to support the necessary improvements in ATM methodology and that high priority be given to the interoperability of new technology, and to the launching of European-scale research and technological development initiatives with the support of the Commission and European industry to develop smart airtransport systems relating to flow, information and communications management, such as Galileo;

10.   Considers that the capacity problems in ATM should be addressed with priority;

11.   Considers that the body that creates the regulations should be separate from the body that applies or enforces such regulations and that there should be provision for appeal against the latter by those affected;

12.   Considers that there should be objective and independent criteria by which improvements and success are judged and incentives offered for the achievers but there should be no reduction in maintenance or operational safety standards;

13.   Considers that there should be a scale of penalties without a downgrade in safety, to ensure proper enforcement and effective sanctions against airlines and service providers who break the rules; and that there should be a mandatory system of confidential and voluntary incident and accident reporting system and database with the aim of improving the situation rather than incurring extra costs;

14.   Considers that passengers should be compensated for unjust delays and that their rights in these cases should be clear and known;

15.   Calls on the Commission to urge national governments, who currently allow domestic industrial disputes to disrupt air traffic, to address this issue as a matter of urgency;

16.   Calls on the Council to take the necessary measures to ensure that air traffic control decisions are actually applied by all Member States signatory to the Eurocontrol Convention;

17.   Considers that the Council should urge the Commission to utilise Paragraph 2.1.1. of Annex 11 of the Chicago Convention - which specifies that any state, by mutual agreement and under Article 28, may invite another state to manage air traffic in part or the whole of its airspace - to maximise the efficient use of European airspace;

18.   Urges the Council to commit itself to an urgent review of the delineation, protection and use of military airspace, with a view to achieving smooth cooperation of civil and military air traffic services, and to demand the adoption of civil air transport practices by military transport, wherever possible, and whenever use is made of civil air corridors;

19.   Considers that a plan of emergency action should be developed and refined for immediate use in the event of an international crisis (such as the Balkan conflict );

20.   Calls on the Commission to oblige national governments to take seriously the grave concerns of the aviation industry with regard to radio frequencies, which are in short supply. Without these frequencies no technological progress to cope with predicted growth in air transport is possible. Most technologies capable of improving ATM problems in Europe depend in one way or another on the electronic transmission of data. Modern navigation by satellites, communication between the flight deck and the ground (via satellite), air to air collision avoidance systems, automatic landing systems all need undisturbed and reliable radio frequencies;

21.   Calls on the Commission to evaluate the possible short term measures that are available to alleviate the cause of delays;

22.   Considers that all these proposals should be developed and implemented by December 2000, if not sooner;

23.   Urges the Council of Transport Ministers to act upon the above proposals at their meeting on 16 June 2000;

24.   Considers that such proposals for ATM should be properly developed in conjunction with those for a European Aviation Safety Authority to ensure that the very highest standards of aviation safety are maintained;

25.   Calls on the Commission to oblige national governments to take the issue of light aircraft safety seriously;

26.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments of the Member States, the European Civil Aviation Conference and Eurocontrol.

(1) OJ C 33, 3.2.1997, p. 124.
(2) OJ C 323, 4.12.1995, p. 92.
(3) OJ C 305, 31.10.1994, p. 24.
(4) OJ C 284, 2.11.1992, p. 170.
(5) Eurocontrol, November 1998.
(6) Texts Adopted, Item 4.
(7) Texts Adopted, Item 7.


Health and safety of pregnant workers
European Parliament resolution on the Commission report on the implementation of Council Directive 92/85/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the health and safety at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding (COM(1999) 100 - C5-0158/1999 - 1999/2151(COS) )
A5-0155/2000

The European Parliament,

-   having regard to the Commission report (COM(1999) 100 - C5-0158/1999 ),

-   having regard to Council Directive 89/391/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work(1) , the so-called framework directive,

-   having regard to Council Directive 92/85/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the health and safety at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding(2) ,

-   having regard to ILO Convention No 103 on maternity protection,

-   having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities (A5-0155/2000 ),

A.   whereas publication of the Commission's report was long overdue by reference to the timetable laid down in Article 14 of Directive 92/85/EEC ,

B.   whereas Article 14.6 of the Directive had been specifically formulated with a view to the Directive being reviewed after five years, that is by October 1997,

C.   whereas the report from the Commission only deals with a technical, factual summary of legal transposition in the Member States, rather than assessing the Directive's effectiveness on the ground in achieving the aim of improving the safety and health of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding; whereas, therefore, the Commission's report is an insufficient basis on which to carry out a review of the Directive,

D.   whereas the Commission services in the Employment and Social Affairs Directorate General divided responsibility for monitoring the Directive between the Brussels-based unit responsible for equal opportunities between women and men and the Luxembourg-based unit on health, safety and hygiene at work,

E.   whereas Directive 92/85/EEC was one of the first directives in the field of occupational health and safety to include a non-regression clause with minimum requirements to be achieved,

F.   whereas the wording of several articles in the Directive is insufficiently clear, leading to different interpretations in Member States" transposition and subsequent rulings from the European Court of Justice which still leave considerable scope for misinterpretation of the Directive's provisions,

G.   whereas pregnancy and motherhood are not an illness, but social assets and a natural state for women in their role as mothers that must be respected and fostered and protected by society,

H.   whereas in practice many pregnant women are forced to take leave earlier than they may wish in order to protect their safety or health because the adaptations of the workplace and/or work organisation in accordance with Article 5 of the Directive are not properly enforced,

I.   whereas pregnancy and motherhood must not be used as an excuse to remove women from the labour market or discriminate directly or indirectly against women workers,

J.   whereas it should be expressly understood that the fact that a pregnant woman may be prohibited by law from working on account of her pregnancy, and hence unable to do a given job from the outset, should not debar her recruitment, since this would be contrary to equal treatment of women and men,

K.   whereas maternity policies have to be consistent with policies to increase the birth rate and family policies and whereas, in view of the European population ageing crisis, policies in the Member States in all the above areas should be strengthened,

L.   whereas the most dangerous period for the foetus and for the health of the pregnant woman is often in the first weeks of pregnancy, and therefore possibly before the woman herself knows she is pregnant,

M.   whereas, unlike other directives in the field of occupational health and safety, there is no requirement to consult workers" representatives on preventive measures, with the risk, therefore, that protection of pregnant workers" health and safety can be considered as a matter for individuals in an anomalous situation rather than a collective matter for the whole workforce,

N.   whereas, as far as workers in general are concerned, the Directive does not take account of new risks related to the organisation of work, greater intensification of work and reduced job security, but whereas the above factors have a direct and more significant bearing on the health and safety of pregnant women and workers who have recently given birth or who are breastfeeding,

O.   whereas ILO Convention No 103 is currently being revised and whereas the current drafting of the Convention is more favourable to workers than Directive 92/85/EEC in some respects (burden of proof in cases of dismissal during maternity leave; work breaks for breastfeeding) but discussions within the ILO have revealed pressure to relax many provisions of the Convention,

P.   whereas research has shown that children who are breastfed have increased immunity to disease in later life and whereas therefore breastfeeding should be seen as an investment in the future,

1.   Regrets the delay in the publication of the Commission's report, especially in the light of the clear timetable laid down in Article 14 of the Directive;

2.   Believes that the Commission's report, by addressing only the legal and technical transposition of the Directive in the Member States, is inadequate in carrying out the necessary assessment of the Directive's practical implementation and effectiveness which was to form the basis of a re-examination of the Directive by Council;

3.   Expresses its dismay that by submitting this report the Commission has, in spite of the facts at its disposal on the need for improvements, instead of submitting an amending proposal delayed the urgently needed legislative process to amend the Directive;

4.   Urges the Commission to complement the report already submitted by publishing a further report by the end of the year 2000, making the proper detailed assessment of implementation and the effectiveness of the Directive so as to ensure that problems which may have arisen in practice on account of the imperfections and inadequacies of the Directive can be accurately identified;

5.   Notes that the Directive contains only very modest provisions intended to prevent standards from declining and therefore maintains that the many Member States which have evolved bodies of legislation particularly suitable to deal with the question of motherhood must serve as a benchmark to enable the less advanced countries to promote legislation of the same kind;

6.   Notes that because of the Directive's unclear definitions and the flawed application of national law, the aim of Community-wide harmonisation of protection for the group of people concerned has been only very inadequately served;

7.   Considers that any specific measure aimed at protecting pregnant workers, workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding cannot be seen as an infringement of the principle of equality between men and women, given that motherhood is a function which only women can carry out;

8.   Highlights the great importance of the period since the adoption of the Directive for women's access to employment as well as the growing importance of this legislation in view of the new active employment policies for women; points out, in this context, that the shortcomings and deficiencies of this legislation may have a negative impact on the low birth rate in Europe and may discourage young women from becoming mothers;

9.   Realises that the need to protect this group of persons must lead neither to discrimination against them nor to a reduction in their access to the workplace;

10.   Calls on the Commission to submit a proposal for a revision of Directive 92/85/EEC by the end of the year 2000, given the many shortcomings in its practical implementation;

11.   Calls on the Commission to include in its proposal the following improvements in the measures aimed at protecting the health and safety of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding:

   -
an increase in maternity leave entitlement to 20 weeks, with a mandatory 8 week post-natal recovery period, where provisions to that effect are not already laid down by national laws; statutory maternity leave shall be extended in the case of multiple births;
   -
an increase in the duration of maternity leave to cover the full period required where pregnancy entails particular risks, as attested by a medical certificate and examination, without prejudice to the mandatory minimum 8-week post-natal recovery period;
   -
a clearer definition of adequate allowance during maternity leave which should be at least 80% of the previous salary and be taken into account for the purposes of acquiring pension entitlements;
   -
a strict prohibition on dismissal during pregnancy and maternity leave and the requirement to reinstate a woman in her job or an equivalent job at the end of her period of maternity leave, with more effective penalties in the case of infringements and paying particular heed to the circumstances of workers on fixed-term or atypical employment contracts;
   -
as regards career advancement and improvement of working conditions, in particular the conversion of temporary contracts into permanent contracts, or admission to more senior positions, safeguards to ensure that pregnancy and motherhood do not give rise to any form of discrimination, not least in cases where a woman, on account of her pregnancy or maternity, cannot take up a new post as soon as her new contractual status has entered into force;
   -
a revised hierarchy of options in the event of a woman becoming pregnant, whereby the priority should be on job rotation if necessary in the interests of the health and safety of the woman and the foetus, followed by shorter working hours if the first option is not possible and only if neither are feasible for the woman to be obliged to take leave;
   -
a genuinely binding entitlement to work interruptions for breastfeeding, with the provision of appropriate means to ensure compatibility with working conditions, and with a hierarchy of other options only if this is not feasible in a particular workplace; account should be taken of the circumstances of one-parent families, that is to say, unmarried motherhood, separation, divorce or widowhood;
   -
stricter controls on night work for pregnant women with no obligation to work nights for 16 weeks before or after childbirth and at least 8 weeks before the expected birthdate; it should be possible to suspend night work without having to submit a medical certificate.
   -
specific additional protection for self-employed women workers, especially as regards entitlement to a period of paid leave, linked to cover to be provided by means of national industry-wide contribution-based funds;
   -
worker protection should be assured not only in the event of notice being given by the employer but also in respect of deadlines set without objective justification;

12.   Calls on the Commission to provide Parliament with up-to-date data, in particular on the conditions and extent of payments under Article 11 to prepare the ground for the proposal for amending Directive 92/85/EEC ;

13.   Reminds the Commission of the timetable for revision, evaluation and reporting on implementation of all directives already adopted in the field of occupational health and safety many of which have not been adhered to;

14.   Calls on the Commission to place greater emphasis on the Member States' use and provision of resources for inspectors responsible for monitoring the practical implementation of the health and safety directives on the ground in the Member States;

15.   Calls on the Commission, with reference in particular to Directive 92/85/EEC , to ensure greater coordination between the relevant services so as to achieve the highest level of monitoring of the Directive and, where necessary, the optimum level of synergy between different categories of legislation;

16.   Stresses that the provisions of Framework Directive 89/391/EEC are intended to encourage improvements in the safety and health of all workers and that therefore the employers" obligations to carry out risk assessment must apply to pregnant workers;

17.   Points out that some Member States, in implementing Directive 92/85/EEC , appear not to have obliged the employer to take any preventive measures until informed of the worker's pregnancy, in apparent contravention of the Framework Directive;

18.   Calls on the Commission to publish without further delay, and to make immediately available to Member States, the guidelines on risk assessment for workers covered by this Directive, as these guidelines will be an essential tool for employers uncertain about how to implement the Directive;

19.   Regrets that Member States have not spoken with a common EU voice in discussions and votes in the ILO on a revision of Convention No. 103 and regrets further that not all Member States voted at the recent session of the General Assembly to maintain at least the level of protection afforded under Directive 92/85/EEC ;

20.   Calls on the Commission and the social partners, in discussing future legislation covering atypical work, in particular telework and homeworking, to pay special attention to the additional risks faced in those sectors by pregnant women and women who have recently given birth; notes, however, that provided they are employees, atypical workers are already covered by Directive 92/85/EEC ;

21.   Calls on the Commission, in its future evaluation reports on health and safety legisation, to take into account the recommendations of the European Committee for Standardisation (ECS/CENELEC) particularly as these have a bearing on ergonomic measures at workstations which can help to improve protection of the safety and health of pregnant women and of the foetus;

22.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider possible action to reduce workplace risks which may cause sterility or infertility in both women and men as well as miscarriages and premature births;

23.   Points out that, with regard to the applicant countries for membership of the Union, formal transposition of the provisions of the Directive will easily be achieved, but that assessment also needs to take place in the candidate countries on the practical implementation of the Directive;

24.   Calls for detailed studies to be undertaken under the heading of 'Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources' forming part of the Fifth Framework Programme of Research and Technological Development in order to determine the potential long-term benefits of breastfeeding for health and immune defences; notes that the World Health Organisation recommends that babies be breastfed for at least the first six months of their lives, primarily to improve the ability of the immune system to protect against many diseases and also to encourage mother and child bonding and boost cognitive development; points out further that breastfeeding also benefits the mother's health because it corresponds to a physiological stage in the reproductive cycle;

25.   Calls on the Commission to make a commitment in the forthcoming Social Policy Agenda to come forward with a proposal for revision of Directive 92/85/EEC and calls for further assessment under the forthcoming Fifth Action Programme on Equal Opportunities between Women and Men of the rights of pregnant women as defined by this Directive and Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions(3) and for the scope of the measures to be proposed to be extended to cover fostering prior to adoption, adoption, and permanent foster care;

26.   Urges the Commission, proceeding in line with the revision of the Directive, to draw up a programme to make employers in particular and the community at large more aware of the dignity of pregnant women and women as mothers and of the importance of specific social provisions for their welfare, and to launch a general information campaign on the main measures adopted in this area at Community level;

27.   Calls for the special needs of SMEs to be recognised when implementing health and safety legislation;

28.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the social partners, the ILO and the governments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 348, 28.11.1992, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 39, 14.2.1976, p. 40.

Last updated: 4 June 2004Legal notice