Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 29 March 2007 - BrusselsFinal edition
Mediation in civil and commercial matters ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Community participation in the capital increase of the European Investment Fund *
 Request for defence of the immunity of Giuseppe Gargani
 Review of the medical device directives ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Structural business statistics ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Compliance with the obligations of flag States ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Civil liability and financial guarantees of shipowners ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Organic production and labelling of organic products *
 Security at football matches *
 The future of Kosovo and the role of the EU
 The future of the European Union's own resources
  Resolution
  Annex
 Guidelines for the 2008 budget procedure - Sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX
 Future of professional football in Europe
 The integration of new Member States in the CAP
 Hepatitis C

Mediation in civil and commercial matters ***I
DOC 79k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 March 2007 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters (COM(2004)0718 – C6-0154/2004 – 2004/0251(COD) )
P6_TA(2007)0088 A6-0074/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2004)0718 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 61(c) and 67(5) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0154/2004 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0074/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 29 Mars 2007 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2007/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters

P6_TC1-COD(2004)0251


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 61(c) and the second indent of Article 67(5) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission ,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(2) ,

Whereas:

(1)   The Community has set itself the objective of maintaining and developing an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons is ensured. To that end, the Community is to adopt, inter alia, measures in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters that are necessary for the proper functioning of the internal market.

(2)   The principle of access to justice is fundamental and, with a view to securing better access to justice, the European Council meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999 called for alternative, extrajudicial procedures to be created by the Member States.

(3)   The Council adopted conclusions on alternative methods of settling disputes under civil and commercial law in 2000, stating that the establishment of basic principles in this area is an essential step towards enabling the appropriate development and operation of extrajudicial procedures for the settlement of disputes in civil and commercial matters so as to simplify and improve access to justice.

(4)   The European Commission presented a Green Paper in 2002, taking stock of the existing situation as concerns alternative dispute resolution methods in Europe and initiating widespread consultations with Member States and interested parties on possible measures to promote the use of mediation.

(5)   The objective of ensuring better access to justice, as part of the policy of the European Union to establish an area of freedom, security and justice should encompass access to judicial as well as extrajudicial dispute resolution methods. This Directive should contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market, in particular as concerns the provision and receipt of mediation services.

(6)    This Directive also applies to consumer mediation. Therefore, it should take into account the particularities of consumer mediation. In particular, it should incorporate the principles set out in Commission Recommendation 2001/310/EC of 4 April 2001 on the principles for out-of-court bodies involved in the consensual resolution of consumer disputes (3) .

(7)    Mediation can provide a cost-efficient and quick extrajudicial resolution of disputes in civil and commercial matters through processes tailored to the needs of the parties. Agreements resulting from mediation are more likely to be enforced voluntarily and are more likely to preserve an amicable and sustainable relationship between the parties. These benefits become even more pronounced in situations displaying cross-border elements.

(8)    Framework legislation, addressing key aspects of civil procedure in particular, is therefore necessary to promote the further use of mediation and to ensure that parties having recourse to mediation can rely on a predictable legal framework.

(9)    Member States are encouraged to apply the provisions of this Directive also to internal cases, notably with a view to facilitating the proper functioning of the internal market. Moreover, the fact that the provisions of this Directive are expressed as being limited to cases having cross-border implications should not have the effect of limiting rules of national law that currently provide for the enforceability of agreements resulting from mediation, the confidentiality of mediation or the effect of mediation on limitation and prescription periods also in cases not covered by this Directive.

(10)    This Directive should cover processes where two or more parties to a cross-border dispute are assisted by a mediator to reach an amicable agreement on the settlement of the dispute, but should exclude processes such as pre-contractual negotiations or processes of an adjudicatory nature such as arbitration, judicial conciliation schemes, ombudsman schemes, consumer complaint schemes, expert determination or processes administered by bodies issuing a formal recommendation, be it legally binding or not, as to the resolution of the dispute. Cases where a court refers parties to mediation or in which national law prescribes mediation should also be covered, although the principle remains that mediation is a voluntary process and national legislation making the use of mediation compulsory or subject to incentives or sanctions should not prevent parties from exercising their right of access to the judicial system. Furthermore, mediation conducted by a judge who is not responsible for any judicial proceedings relating to the matter or matters in dispute should also come within the scope of this Directive. Nevertheless, this Directive should not extend to attempts made by the court or judge seised to settle a dispute in the context of judicial proceedings concerning that dispute or to cases in which the court or judge seised requests assistance or advice from a competent person.

(11)    Given the importance of confidentiality in the mediation process, a minimum degree of compatibility of civil procedural rules is necessary with regard to how the confidentiality of the mediation is protected in any subsequent civil and commercial, judicial or arbitration proceedings. The possibility for the court to draw the parties' attention to mediation should also be covered, while retaining the principle that mediation is a voluntary process. It is also necessary to provide for a minimum degree of compatibility of civil procedural rules with regard to the effect of mediation on limitation and prescription periods.

(12)    Mediation should not be regarded as a poorer alternative to judicial proceedings in the sense that agreements resulting from mediation are dependent on the goodwill of the parties for their enforcement. It is therefore necessary to ensure that parties to a written agreement resulting from mediation may request that its content be made enforceable in so far as enforceability of such content is possible under the law of the Member State in which the request for enforcement is made. The content of such an agreement may be rendered enforceable in a judgment or decision or by an authentic act by a court or by another competent authority in accordance with the law of the Member State where the request is made .

(13)    The content of an agreement resulting from mediation which is rendered enforceable in a Member State will be recognised and declared enforceable in the other Member States in accordance with applicable Community or national law, for example on the basis of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (4) or Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility (5) .

(14)    Although this Directive covers mediation in family law matters, it extends only to the rights available to the parties under the law of the Member State in which mediation takes place. Moreover, if the content of an agreement resulting from mediation in family matters is not enforceable in the Member State where it was concluded and where its enforcement is sought, this Directive does not enable the parties to circumvent the law of that Member State by having the agreement rendered enforceable in another Member State, given that Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 specifically provides that such agreement must be enforceable in the Member State in which it was concluded.

(15)    To ensure the necessary trust between the Member States in the respect of confidentiality, suspension of limitation periods, and recognition and enforcement of agreements resulting from mediation , effective quality control mechanisms must be put in place concerning the provision of mediation services and training of mediators.

(16)    These mechanisms and measures, which should be defined by the Member States and may include having recourse to market-based solutions, should aim at preserving the flexibility of the mediation process and the private autonomy of the parties. The Commission should encourage self-regulatory measures at Community level. For their part, the Member States should encourage and promote the application of the European Code of Conduct for Mediators, which the Commission should publish in the C Series of the Official Journal of the European Union, while ensuring that the quality of mediation is guaranteed by the criteria listed and defined in Commission Recommendation 98/257/EC of 30 March 1998 on the principles applicable to the bodies responsible for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes (6) and in Recommendation 2001/310/EC: impartiality, transparency, efficiency, fairness, representation, independence, adversarial procedure, legality and freedom. Likewise, in business-to-consumer mediation, the Member States should promote the application of the principles set out in Recommendation 2001/310/EC. Furthermore, the Member States should encourage the development of a system of certification of national bodies offering training courses in mediation.

(17)    It is advisable that any mediators or organisation concerned by Recommendation 2001/310/EC respect its principles. In order to ensure the dissemination of information concerning these bodies, the Commission is setting up a database of out-of-court schemes that Member States consider as respecting the principles of the recommendation.

(18)    This Directive respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In particular, it seeks to ensure full respect for the right to a fair trial as recognised in Article 47 of the Charter.

(19)    Since the objectives of this Directive cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale of effects of the action, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(20)    In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, the United Kingdom and Ireland have notified their wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Directive .

(21)    In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark does not take part in the adoption of this Directive, and is therefore not bound by it or subject to its application,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Article 1

Objective

1.   The objective of this Directive is to facilitate access to dispute resolution and to promote the amicable settlement of disputes by encouraging the use of mediation and ensuring a balanced relationship between mediation and judicial proceedings.

2.   This Directive shall apply in civil and commercial matters. It shall not extend, in particular, to revenue, customs or administrative matters or to the liability of the State for acts and omissions in the exercise of State authority (acta iure imperii).

3.   In this Directive , "Member State" shall mean all Member States with the exception of Denmark.

Article 2

Scope

1.    This Directive shall apply if, as at the date on which the parties agree to mediate, at least one of them is domiciled or habitually resident in a Member State other than the Member State of any other party.

2.    Notwithstanding paragraph 1, Articles 6 and 7 shall apply in relation to judicial proceedings following a mediation if, as at the date on which the parties agree to mediate, the court that would be seised in the event of any subsequent judicial proceedings would be in a Member State other than a Member State in which at least one of the parties is domiciled or habitually resident.

3.    For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2, the Member State in which a party is domiciled or habitually resident shall be determined in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 or Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003.

Article 3

Definitions

For the purposes of this Directive the following definitions shall apply:

(a)   "Mediation" means a structured process of a voluntary nature , however named or referred to, where two or more parties to a dispute attempt themselves to reach an agreement on the settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a mediator. This process may be initiated by the parties or suggested or ordered by a court or prescribed by the law of a Member State, provided that the voluntary nature of mediation is respected .

It includes mediation conducted by a judge who is not responsible for any judicial proceedings in that dispute. However, it does not include attempts made by the court or judge seised to settle a dispute within the course of judicial proceedings concerning that dispute.

(b)   "Mediator" means any third person who is appointed in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable expectation that the mediation will be conducted in a professional, impartial and competent way , regardless of the denomination or profession of that third person in the Member State concerned and of the way the third person has been appointed or requested to conduct the mediation.

Article 4

Quality of mediation

1.    Member States shall, by any means which they consider to be appropriate, encourage the development of and adherence to voluntary codes of conduct by mediators and organisations providing mediation services as well as other effective quality-control mechanisms concerning the provision of mediation services.

2.    Member States shall encourage the initial and further training of mediators in order to ensure that the conduct of mediation is fair, effective, impartial and competent in relation to the parties and that the procedures are suited to the circumstances of the dispute.

3.    Member States shall encourage the development of a system of certification of national bodies offering training courses in mediation.

Article 5

Referral to mediation

1.   A court before which an action is brought may, when appropriate and having regard to all circumstances of the case, invite the parties to use mediation in order to settle the dispute. The court may also invite the parties to attend an information session on the use of mediation if such sessions are held and are easily available .

2.   This Directive is without prejudice to national legislation making the use of mediation compulsory or subject to incentives or sanctions, whether before or after judicial proceedings have started, provided that such legislation does not prevent parties from exercising their right of access to the judicial system .

3.    Mediation shall be a voluntary process.

Article 6

Enforcement of agreements resulting from mediation

1.   Member States shall ensure that it is possible for the parties, or one of them with the explicit consent of the others, to request that the content of a written agreement resulting from mediation be made enforceable to the extent that enforceability of the content of the agreement is possible under and not contrary to the law of the Member State where the request is made.

2.    The content of the agreement may be made enforceable in a judgment or a decision or by an authentic act by a court or other competent authority in accordance with the law of the Member State where the request is made.

3 .   Member States shall inform the Commission of the courts or other authorities that are competent to receive a request in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 .

4.    Nothing in this Article shall affect the rules applicable to the recognition and enforcement in another Member State of agreements resulting from mediation which have been made enforceable in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2.

Article 7

Confidentiality of mediation

1.   Given that mediation is intended to take place in a manner which respects confidentiality, Member States shall ensure that, unless the parties agree otherwise, neither mediators nor parties nor those involved in the administration of the mediation process are entitled or compelled to disclose to third parties, or to give evidence in civil and commercial judicial proceedings or arbitration regarding information arising out of or in connection with a mediation except:

   a) for overriding considerations of public policy or other substantial reasons, in particular where necessary in order to ensure the protection of the best interests of children or to prevent harm to the physical or mental integrity of a person; or
   b) where disclosure is necessary in order to implement or enforce the agreement resulting from mediation.

2.    Nothing in paragraph 1 shall preclude Member States from enacting stricter measures to protect the confidentiality of mediation.

Article 8

Suspension of limitation and prescription periods

1.  In order to ensure that parties who choose mediation with a view to resolving a dispute are not prevented from subsequently initiating judicial proceedings in relation to that dispute by the expiry of periods of limitation or prescription, Member States shall ensure that any such period does not expire between:

   a) the date when the parties agree in writing, after the dispute has arisen, to have recourse to mediation or, in the absence of such written agreement, the date on which they attend the first mediation meeting, or the date on which an obligation to resort to mediation arises under national law; and
   b) the date of an agreement resulting from mediation, the date on which at least one of the parties informs the others in writing that mediation is terminated or, in the absence of such written notification, the date on which the mediator declares on his or her own initiative or at the request of at least one of the parties that mediation is terminated.

2.   Paragraph 1 shall be without prejudice to provisions on periods of limitation or prescription in international agreements to which Member States are parties which are not compatible with this Article.

Article 9

Information for citizens

1.    Member States shall ensure that information is available to citizens, in particular on Internet sites, on how to contact mediation providers and mediators.

2.    Member States shall encourage legal practitioners to inform their clients about the possibility of mediation.

Article 10

The European Code of Conduct for Mediators

The Commission shall publish the European Code of Conduct for Mediators in the C Series of the Official Journal of the European Union as a notice without legal effects.

Article 11

Implementing provisions

By 1 September 2009, the Commission shall publish information on the competent courts and authorities communicated by the Member States pursuant to Article 6(3) .

Article 12

Report

By ... (7) , the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee a report on the application of this Directive. If necessary, the report shall be accompanied by proposals to adapt this Directive. In particular, the report shall consider the impact of this Directive with regard to the development of mediation in both cross-border and internal cases. It shall further consider whether a proposal for an instrument for the further harmonisation of limitation and prescription periods is necessary to facilitate the proper functioning of the internal market.

Article 13

Transposition

1.   By 1 September 2008, Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative measures necessary to comply with this Directive, or, adopting all the precautions necessary to guarantee that the requirements laid down in this Directive are met, ensure that the parties to mediation introduce the requisite measures through voluntary agreements. Member States shall forthwith inform the Commission of those measures .

2.   When Member States adopt those provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made.

Article 14

Entry into force

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

Article 15

Addressees

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at ...,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) OJ C 286, 17.11.2005, p. 1.
(2) Position of the European Parliament of 29 March 2007.
(3) OJ L 109, 19.4.2001, p. 56.
(4) OJ L 12, 16.1.2001, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006 (OJ L 363, 20.12.2006, p. 1).
(5) OJ L 338, 23.12.2003, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 2116/2004 (OJ L 367, 14.12.2004, p. 1).
(6) OJ L 115, 17.4.1998, p. 31.
(7)* ...


Community participation in the capital increase of the European Investment Fund *
DOC 32k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 March 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision on the Community participation in the capital increase of the European Investment Fund (COM(2006)0621 – C6-0426/2006 – 2006/0203(CNS) )
P6_TA(2007)0089 A6-0065/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2006)0621 )(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 3 of Council Decision 94/375/EC of 6 June 1994 on Community membership of the European Investment Fund(2) , pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0426/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0065/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal;

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

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

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

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ L 173, 7.7.1994, p. 12.


Request for defence of the immunity of Giuseppe Gargani
DOC 31k
European Parliament decision of 29 March 2007 on the request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Giuseppe Gargani (2006/2300(IMM) )
P6_TA(2007)0090 A6-0071/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the request by Giuseppe Gargani for defence of his immunity in connection with civil proceedings pending before an Italian court, of 30 November 2006, announced in plenary sitting on 11 December 2006,

–   having heard Giuseppe Gargani in accordance with Rule 7(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to Articles 9 and 10 of the Protocol of 8 April 1965 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–   having regard to the judgments of 12 May 1964 and 10 July 1986(1) of the Court of Justice of the European Communities,

–   having regard to Rules 6(3) and 7 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0071/2007 ),

1.   Decides to defend the immunity and privileges of Giuseppe Gargani;

2.   Instructs its President to forward this decision, and the report of the committee responsible, immediately to the appropriate authorities of the Italian Republic.

(1) Case 101/63 Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier [1964] ECR 195 and Case 149/85 Wybot v Faure and others [1986] ECR 2391.


Review of the medical device directives ***I
DOC 71k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 March 2007 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directives 90/385/EEC and 93/42/EEC and Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the review of the medical device directives (COM(2005)0681 – C6-0006/2006 – 2005/0263(COD) )
P6_TA(2007)0091 A6-0332/2006

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0681 )(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0006/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A6-0332/2006 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 29 March 2007 with a view to the adoption of Directive No .../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 90/385/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to active implantable medical devices, Council Directive 93/42/EEC concerning medical devices and Directive 98/8/EC concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market

P6_TC1-COD(2005)0263


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive 2007/47/EC.)

(1) Not yet published in the OJ.


Structural business statistics ***I
DOC 73k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 March 2007 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning structural business statistics (COM(2006)0066 – C6-0063/2006 – 2006/0020(COD) )
P6_TA(2007)0092 A6-0062/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0066 )(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0063/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A6-0062/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 29 March 2007 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No ... /2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning structural business statistics (recast)

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0020


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EC) No .../2007.)

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0020


(1) Not yet published in the OJ.


Compliance with the obligations of flag States ***I
DOC 221k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 March 2007 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on compliance with flag State requirements (COM(2005)0586 – C6-0062/2006 – 2005/0236(COD) )
P6_TA(2007)0093 A6-0058/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0586 )(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 80(2) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0062/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0058/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 29 March 2007 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2007/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on compliance with flag State requirements

P6_TC1-COD(2005)0236


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 80(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission ,

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

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(3) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(4) ,

Whereas:

(1)   The safety of Community shipping and of citizens using it, and of operators providing shipping services, and the protection of the environment should be ensured at all times.

(2)   In respect of international shipping, a comprehensive framework enhancing maritime safety and the protection of the environment with regard to pollution from ships has been set up through the adoption of a number of conventions for which the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the depository.

(3)   Under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) and of the conventions for which the IMO is the depository, the States which are party to those instruments are responsible for promulgating laws and regulations and for taking all other steps which may be necessary to give those instruments full and complete effect so as to ensure that, from the point of view of the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment, a ship is fit for the service for which it is intended and is manned with competent maritime personnel.

(4)   All Member State representatives in the International Labour Organization (ILO) supported the adoption of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006, which consolidates the existing body of maritime labour instruments into a single instrument. That Convention also addresses flag State-related obligations and should be incorporated into this Directive once this Directive has entered into force .

(5)   To ensure the effectiveness of the IMO Conventions in the Community, given that all Member States have to be party to the IMO Conventions and have to discharge the obligations laid down in those conventions with respect to the ships flying their flag, the mandatory provisions of those conventions should be incorporated into Community legislation.

(6)   Those mandatory provisions have to be implemented together with the relevant Community legislation concerning the safety of ships and their crew, passengers and cargo, and the prevention of pollution from ships and seafarers" working time.

(7)   A few Member States have not yet completed the process of becoming a contracting party to some of the IMO Conventions, such as the 1988 SOLAS and Load Line Protocols, MARPOL Annexes IV and VI, or to specific IMO Conventions explicitly quoted in Community legislation, and should be encouraged to finalise this process.

(8)   Under Directive 2007/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations(5) , Member States have to act in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Annex and the Appendix to IMO Resolution A.847(20) on guidelines to assist flag States in the implementation of IMO instruments in order to ensure that their competent administrations are able to ensure the appropriate enforcement of the provisions of the international conventions, in particular with regard to the inspection and survey of ships and the issue of statutory certificates and exemption certificates.

(9)   IMO Resolution A.847(20) has been revoked by IMO Resolution A.973(24) on the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments, which contains the mandatory provisions to be implemented by flag States.

(10)   Member States have to discharge their obligations as flag States effectively and consistently in accordance with the IMO Conventions and taking account of IMO Resolution A.973(24) .

(11)   The IMO Conventions give flag States the right to exempt ships from the application of basic flag State rules laid down in the IMO Conventions and to apply equivalent provisions and have left an important number of requirements to the discretion of administrations . Without prejudice to the fact that specific measures need to be implemented with a degree of flexibility, leaving this possibility to the sole and entire discretion of the individual administration could result in different levels of safety being achieved in different Member States and might possibly distort competition between flag States.

(12)   The Community has committed itself to initiating harmonised interpretations of technical safety standards with regard to passenger ships engaged on international voyages in Article 12 of Council Directive 98/18/EC of 17 March 1998 on safety rules and standards for passenger ships(6) . The same approach should be followed, if necessary, adopting appropriate solutions on a case-by-case basis and acting at the request of the parties concerned, and without prejudice to the adoption of harmonised interpretations by the IMO, with regard to similar provisions related to other types of ships to which the IMO Conventions apply.

(13)   The maritime administrations of the Member States should be able to rely on appropriate resources for the implementation of their flag State obligations, which are commensurate with the size and nature of their fleet and based upon the relevant IMO requirements.

(14)   Minimum criteria related to those resources should be established on the basis of the practical experience of Member States.

(15)   Mandatory implementation of the procedures recommended by the IMO in MSC/Circ.1140/ MEPC/Circ.424 of 20 December 2004 on the transfer of ships between States should strengthen the provisions relating to a change of flag in the IMO Conventions and in Community maritime safety legislation and should increase transparency in the relationship between flag States in the interests of maritime safety.

(16)   Member States should apply harmonised requirements for certification and survey by the flag State to the ships flying their flag as laid down in the relevant procedures and guidelines annexed to IMO Resolution A.948(23) on survey guidelines under the harmonised system of survey and certification.

(17)   Strict and thorough monitoring of the recognised organisations performing flag State duties on behalf of Member States commensurate with the size and nature of Member States" fleets should improve the overall performance of ships flying the flag of a Member State.

(18)   The fulfilment of minimum criteria by flag State surveyors should ensure a level playing field between maritime administrations and contribute to the performance of ships flying the flag of a Member State.

(19)   Member States have an obligation as flag States with regard to the investigation of casualties and incidents involving their ships.

(20)   Specific rules to be followed by the Member States for the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector are laid down in Directive 2007/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector and amending Directives 1999/35/EC and 2002/59/EC (7) .

(21)   Mandatory implementation of the IMO principles of safe manning should contribute to the performance of ships flying the flag of a Member State.

(22)   The development of a database providing essential information on ships flying the flag of a Member State, as well as on ships which have left a register of a Member State, should improve the transparency of performance of a high quality fleet and contribute to better monitoring of flag State obligations and to ensuring a level playing field between maritime administrations.

(23)   An evaluation and review of the performance of flag States and, where necessary, corrective measures, should ensure that all Member States appear on the white list of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Port State Control.

(24)   The Member States have committed themselves to demonstrating their compliance with the mandatory IMO instruments, as requested by IMO Resolution A.974(24) on the framework and procedures for the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme of 1 December 2005.

(25)   The Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme follows the standard quality management approach, which includes principles, criteria, audit areas, audit process and procedures which are suitable for determining to what extent Member States are implementing and enforcing the flag State obligations and responsibilities contained in the mandatory IMO conventions to which they are parties. This auditing process could therefore be introduced into Community maritime safety law.

(26)   A quality certification of administrative procedures in accordance with ISO or equivalent standards should further ensure a level playing field between maritime administrations.

(27)   To ensure a level playing field between shipowners operating ships under the flag of a Member State and those operating ships under other flags, synergies should be established between flag States which commit themselves to implementing in a mandatory way the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments adopted by the IMO in Resolution A.973(24) of 1 December 2005 and which agree to be audited in accordance with the provisions of IMO Resolution A.974(24) .

(28)   The establishment of a Flag State Memorandum of understanding under the conditions referred to in IMO Resolutions A.973(24) and A.974(24) with a view to increasing flag State synergies should be promoted by the Commission and should provide incentives to register vessels in the registers of Member States . If third countries were allowed, subject to guarantees regarding the necessary quality and survey systems, to conclude agreements with the Community enabling them to benefit from the good reputation of Community standards and from simpler administrative formalities, this could help, at a time when national registers and maritime administrations are engaged in global competition, to raise the overall degree of compliance with the IMO Conventions and eliminate international dumping .

(29)   The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) established by Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(8) should provide the necessary support to ensure the implementation of this Directive.

(30)   The measures necessary for the implementation of this Directive 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(9) .

(31)   Since the objectives of this Directive , namely the introduction and implementation of appropriate measures in the field of maritime transport policy, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of its scale, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Article 1

Subject-matter

1.  The purpose of this Directive is:

   a) to ensure that Member States effectively and consistently discharge their obligations as flag States in accordance with the IMO Conventions and the relevant ILO instruments ;
   b) to enhance safety and prevent pollution from ships flying the flag of a Member State ;
   c) to provide a mechanism for harmonised interpretations of the measures laid down in the IMO Conventions which have been left to the discretion of the contracting parties to those conventions .

2.   This Directive is without prejudice to Community maritime legislation, as listed in Article 2(2) of Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10) , and to Council Directive 1999/63/EC(11) .

Article 2

Definitions

1.  For the purpose of this Directive, the following definitions shall apply:

  (a) "IMO Conventions" means the following conventions , together with the protocols and amendments thereto and related codes of mandatory status adopted in the framework of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), in their up-to-date version:
   i) the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 74);
   ii) the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (LL 66);
   iii) the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (Tonnage 69);
   iv) the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) ;
   v) the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 1978);
   vi) the Convention on International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREG 72);
   vii) the 1991 Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes;
   viii) the 1965 Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code);
   b) "specific IMO Conventions" means the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol relating to the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels 1977, and the 2001 International Convention on the control of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships;

c)   "flag State Code (FSC)" means parts 1 and 2 of the "Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments", adopted by the IMO in Resolution A.973(24) ;

   d) "ships" means ships and crafts to which one or more of the IMO Conventions is applicable;
   e) "administration " means the competent maritime authorities of the Member State whose flag a ship or craft is entitled to fly;
   f) "qualified flag State surveyor" means a public-sector employee or other person duly authorised by the competent authority of a Member State to carry out surveys and inspections related to the certificates and fulfilling the criteria of qualification and independence specified in Annex II;
   g) "recognised organisation" means an organisation recognised in accordance with Directive 2007/…/EC [on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations];
   h) "certificates" means statutory certificates related to the IMO Conventions.

2.   Measures to amend the definitions in points (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph 1 in the light of new conventions or provisions may be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

Article 3

Implementation of the international framework

1.   Member States shall become party to the IMO Conventions and to the specific IMO Conventions. However, this obligation only refers to those conventions in their versions as at the date of the entry into force of this Directive.

2.   Member States which at the date of entry into force of this Directive are not yet party to all the IMO Conventions and the specific IMO Conventions shall start the procedures for the ratification thereof or accession thereto , in accordance with their national law. They shall notify the Commission within 90 days of the entry into force of this Directive of the expected date on which they will deposit the instrument of ratification or accession to those conventions with the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization.

3.   Member States shall clearly assign within their administrations the tasks related to the setting-up and development of policies to implement the flag State related obligations contained in the IMO Conventions, and ensure that their administrations are able properly to contribute to the adoption of national legislation and to provide guidance for the implementation and enforcement thereof .

4.   In particular, in respect of international shipping, Member States shall apply in full the mandatory flag State-related provisions laid down in the IMO Conventions in accordance with the conditions and in respect of the ships referred to therein and shall take due account of the provisions of the Flag State Code (FSC) set out in Annex I to this Directive.

5.   Member States shall continually improve the adequacy of the measures which are taken to give effect to the IMO Conventions. Improvement shall be made through rigorous and effective application and enforcement of national legislation, as appropriate, and continuous monitoring of compliance.

6.  In accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2), either at the initiative of the Commission or at the request of one or more of the administrations or operators concerned, measures may be adopted to :

   a) develop harmonised procedures for the application of exemptions and equivalents applied in accordance with the IMO Conventions;
   b) establish harmonised interpretations of issues left to the discretion of the administrations in the IMO Conventions;
   c) standardise the interpretation and application of provisions laid down in the Conventions.

Article 4

Resources and processes for administering safety and pollution prevention requirements

1.  Member States shall ensure that their administrations have available appropriate resources commensurate with the size and nature of their fleet. These resources shall:

   a) ensure compliance with the requirements of the IMO Conventions and specific conventions, the FSC and the relevant ILO instruments ;
   b) ensure the conduct of investigations into casualties for all ships under its flag and ensure that adequate and timely measures are taken to remedy identified deficiencies ;
   c) ensure the development, documentation and provision of guidance concerning those requirements that are, to the satisfaction of the States as contracting parties , found in the relevant IMO Conventions;
   d) comprise an appropriate number of qualified personnel to implement and enforce national legislation implementing the IMO Conventions, including qualified flag State surveyors to carry out investigations, audits, inspections and surveys;
   e) comprise a sufficient number of qualified flag State personnel to investigate incidents where ships entitled to fly the flag of the Member State concerned have been detained by port States; and
   f) comprise a sufficient number of qualified flag State personnel to investigate incidents where the validity of a certificate or endorsement or competence of individuals holding certificates or endorsements issued under the authority of the Member State concerned is questioned by port States.

2.   Member States shall ensure the training of flag State surveyors and the oversight of flag State surveyors and investigators and, in the event of accidents or deficiencies, the coastal State, as well as of the activities of recognised organisations, should it delegate authority to such organisations pursuant to Article 7 .

3.   Member States shall develop or maintain a capability for reviewing, approving and authorising ship construction and equipment designs, and a technical decision-making capability commensurate with the size and nature of their fleet.

4.   Minimum requirements for the implementation of the obligations set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be established in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

Article 5

Registration of a ship under a the flag of a Member State

1.   Prior to registration of any ship, the Member State concerned shall verify the identity of the ship, including the IMO Ship Identification Number, where appropriate, and other records of the ship, so that the ship does not fly the flags of two or more States simultaneously. Evidence shall be obtained that a ship previously registered under another State's flag has been deleted from that State's register, or that consent to the transfer of the ship has been obtained from that State's register.

2.   As a precondition for registration of a ship in its register for the first time the Member State concerned shall endeavour to ascertain whether the ship in question complies with the applicable international rules and regulations and ensure that this is confirmed by documentary evidence in its possession . If necessary, but in every case if the ship is not newly built, it shall liaise with the previous flag State and request it to pass on the necessary documents and data .

3.    If the request is made by a Member State to another Member State, the previous flag State shall be obliged to communicate the documents and the data in question, as provided for by Regulation (EC) No 789/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the Community (12) .

4 .   Whenever another flag State requests information concerning a ship which has left the register of a Member State, that Member State shall promptly provide details of deficiencies, non-conformities with the applicable timescales and any other safety related information to the other flag State.

5 .   Paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 shall apply without prejudice to Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 789/2004 .

Article 6

Ensuring the safety of ships flying the flag of a Member State

1.   Member States shall take all necessary measures to secure compliance with international rules and standards by ships entitled to fly their flag. These measures shall in particular include the following:

   a) prohibiting ships from sailing until such ships can proceed to sea in compliance with international rules and standards;
   b) ensuring the periodic inspection of ships to verify that the actual condition of the ship and its crew is in conformity with the certificates it carries;
   c) ensuring that, during the periodic inspection referred to in point (b), the surveyor checks, by the appropriate methods and the necessary means, that seafarers assigned to the ships are familiar with their specific duties and ship arrangements, installations, equipment and procedures;
   d) ensuring that the ship's complement, as a whole, has the capability and resources necessary effectively to co-ordinate their activities in an emergency situation and in performing functions vital to safety or to the prevention or mitigation of pollution;
   e) providing, in national laws and regulations, for penalties of adequate severity to discourage violation of international rules and standards by ships;
   f) instituting proceedings, after an investigation has been conducted, against ships which have violated international rules and standards, irrespective of where the violation has occurred;
   g) providing, in national laws and regulations, for penalties of adequate severity to discourage violations of international rules and standards by individuals issued with certificates or endorsements under their authority; and
   h) instituting proceedings, after an investigation has been conducted, against individuals holding certificates or endorsements who have violated international rules and standards, irrespective of where the violation has occurred.

2.   As laid down in Directive 2002/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a Community vessel traffic monitoring and information system (13) , Member States shall develop and implement an appropriate control and monitoring programme for ships flying their flag in order to be able to provide, not least by using the Community SafeSeaNet data exchange system, for a timely and comprehensive response to requests for information and clarification submitted by port or coastal States in the event of accidents or deficiencies .

3.   Member States, or recognised organisations acting on their behalf, shall only issue or endorse certificates to a ship after they have determined that the ship meets all applicable requirements.

4.   Member States shall only issue an international certificate of competency or endorsement to a person after it has determined that the person meets all applicable requirements.

5.   Member States shall ensure that their ships have been surveyed in accordance with the relevant procedures and guidelines under the harmonised system of survey and certification as annexed to IMO Resolution A.948(23) , in its up-to-date version.

6.   When a ship flying the flag of a Member State is detained by a port State, the flag State shall take action in accordance with the guidance set out in Annex III.

7.   Annex III may be amended in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2) in order to improve the guidance in the light of the experience gained in the implementation of the existing arrangements.

Article 7

Delegation of authority for statutory tasks

1.   Without prejudice to Directive 94/57/EC or Directive 2007/…/EC [on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations], Member States relying upon recognised organisations for the inspection and certification of their ships shall develop or maintain a capability, commensurate with the size and nature of their fleet, to continuously monitor and oversee the survey and certification process of the recognised organisations acting on their behalf.

They shall ensure that a direct internet communication link is established between the administration and the recognised organisations and that the staff involved in the monitoring of the recognised organisations have a good knowledge of the rules of those organisations and of the flag State and are available to carry out effective field oversight of the recognised organisations.

2.   Member States to which paragraph 1 applies shall provide for the possibility of conducting supplementary investigations concerning ships flying their flag in order to ensure that they comply with the IMO Conventions and national requirements.

3.  The supplementary investigations referred to in paragraph 2 shall be required at intervals not exceeding 12 months for ships which:

   a) have been in the Member State's register for less than two years; and
   b) have been detained pursuant to Council Directive 95/21/EC of 19 June 1995 concerning the enforcement, in respect of shipping using Community ports and sailing in the waters under the jurisdiction of the Member States, of international standards for ship safety, pollution protection and shipboard living and working conditions (14) or to Directive 2007/…/ EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... [on port State control](15) at some point in the last 12 months.

4.   Once detailed rules of inspection adopted under Article 5(2) of Directive 2007/…/EC [on port State control ] have entered into force, the supplementary investigations referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 shall not be necessary in any event for ships to which a low risk profile has been assigned under that Directive at the most recent inspection.

5.  Member States to which paragraph 1 applies shall further:

   a) issue to their recognised organisations specific instructions detailing actions to be taken in the event that a ship is found unfit to proceed to sea without danger to the ship or persons on board, or is found to present an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment; and,
   b) provide their recognised organisations with all appropriate instruments of national law and interpretations thereof giving effect to the provisions of the IMO conventions or specify whether the administration's standards go beyond convention requirements in any respect.

6.   Guidelines necessary to establish investigation procedures and systems of oversight for supplementary investigations and minimum criteria for surveyors and inspectors performing supplementary investigations shall be established in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

Article 8

Flag State surveyors

1.   Member States shall define and document the responsibilities, authority and interrelation of all flag State personnel who manage, perform and verify work relating to and affecting safety and pollution prevention.

2.   Member States shall ensure that the personnel responsible for or performing surveys, inspections and audits on ships and companies comply with the minimum criteria laid down in Annex II.

3.   Member States shall ensure that the personnel, other than that referred to in paragraph 2, assisting in the performance of flag State obligations have the education, training and supervision commensurate with the tasks they are authorised to perform.

4.   Member States shall ensure, by the appropriate methods and the necessary means, the implementation of a documented system for ongoing skills development for the personnel referred to in paragraphs 1 to 3 and continuous updating of their knowledge as appropriate to the tasks they are appointed or authorised to undertake.

5.   The flag State shall issue identification documents attesting to the authority it has conferred on them to surveyors carrying out tasks on its behalf on board or on the hull of ships, and, if necessary, to the other personnel referred to in paragraph 3 .

6.    To improve the guidelines in the light of experience acquired in implementing the provisions in force, Annex II may be amended by the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

7 .   Minimum qualification requirements for the personnel referred to in paragraph 3 may be established in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

Article 9

Flag State investigations

Member States shall carry out an investigation following a marine casualty or pollution incident involving a ship flying their flag, observing responsibilities and obligations under the Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents, adopted by the IMO in Resolution A.849(20), as annexed to IMO Resolution A.884(21), in its up-to-date version . Such casualty investigations shall be conducted by suitably qualified investigators, competent in matters relating to the casualty, who shall be provided by the Member States , irrespective of the location of the casualty or incident.

Article 10

Safe manning

Member States shall ensure that the ships flying their flags are adequately manned from the point of view of safety of life at sea and observe the principles of safe manning, as laid down in IMO Resolution A.890(21) on principles of safe manning, in its up-to-date version, taking into account the relevant guidelines attached to that Resolution.

Article 11

Accompanying measures

1.   Member States shall develop or maintain a fleet database for their ships, with the main technical details of each ship and the information listed in paragraph 2, or ensure that they have direct access to a database providing similar information. Member States shall grant the Commission the right to enjoy or share access, as necessary, to the database for their ships, while having the possibility of extracting and exchanging data with them.

2.  The following information shall be included in the database of each Member State :

   a) individual information, for each ship registered:
   i) particulars of the ship (name , IMO number, etc.), date of registration and, if appropriate, of removal from the register,
   ii) identification of the recognised organisations involved in the certification and classification of the ship on the instructions of the flag State,
   iii) dates and outcome (deficiencies: yes or no, description, repairs performed or pending; detentions: yes or no, and duration) of the surveys, including additional and supplementary surveys, if any, and audits performed either directly by the flag State or by recognised organisations to which that State has delegated authority,
   iv) identification of the body which has inspected the ship under Port State control provisions and dates of the inspections,
   v) outcome of the port State control inspections (deficiencies : yes or no, description, repairs performed or pending; detentions : yes or no, and duration ),
   vi) information on casualties,
   vii) information on infringements under IMO Conventions, in particular MARPOL and under Directive 2005/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements(16) ,
  b) general information concerning all ships in its register:
   i) record and identification of the ships which have left the register during the previous 12 months; during this period all information collected in the database over the period in which they remained in the register must be maintained,
   ii) number of annual inspections of all types carried out by or on behalf of the flag State, broken down by procedure.

3.   The list of information in paragraph 2 may be amended in the light of developments related to new databases in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

Harmonised formats for the provision of data may be established in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

4.    The information referred to in paragraph 2 shall be immediately forwarded in full to the new flag State if a ship leaves the register and is transferred to another register.

Article 12

Evaluation and review of the performance of flag States

1.   Member States shall annually evaluate their performance with respect to the provisions of this Directive.

2.   Measures to evaluate the performance of the flag States shall include, inter alia , port State control detention rates, flag State inspection results, casualty statistics, communication and information processes, annual loss statistics, excluding constructive total losses, and other performance indicators as may be appropriate, to determine whether staffing, resources and administrative procedures are adequate to meet the flag State obligations.

3.   A common methodology for evaluating flag State performance shall be established in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

4.   Member States which on 1 July of any calendar year appear on the black or grey list as published in the annual report of the Paris MOU on Port State Control, shall provide the Commission before 1 September of the same year with an extensive report on their lack of performance as flag State. That report shall identify and analyse the main reasons for the lack of performance and identify the categories of ships leading to that result. The report shall also comprise a plan for remedial action, including supplementary surveys when appropriate, that will be implemented at the earliest opportunity.

Article 13

Flag State auditing process

1.   Each Member State shall ensure that an independent audit of its compliance with this Directive is carried out within three years of the entry into force of this Directive, and at regular intervals thereafter.

2.   The framework and the procedures for the audit referred to in paragraph 1 shall be established in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

However, audits conducted in accordance with the provisions of IMO Resolution A.974(24) shall be accepted as the audit referred to in paragraph 1, if the conditions laid down in paragraph 3 have been fulfilled. The acceptance is without prejudice to any additional inspection undertaken by the Commission or at its request in order to check compliance with Community maritime legislation.

3.  Member States shall ensure:

   a) that compliance with the provisions of this Directive will also be audited;
   b) that the Commission is given the possibility to participate as an observer, in the IMO auditing process;
   c) that the report and the information on subsequent action taken is immediately made available to the Commission.

4.  In accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2):

   a) a timetable shall be established for the performance of the audits referred to in paragraph 1;
   b) the conditions for the publicity to be given to audit results shall be determined .

5.   If necessary, the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall develop recommendations and make proposals to improve the procedures and outcomes of the IMO auditing system in the case referred to in paragraph 2.

Article 14

Quality certification

1.   Each Member State shall develop, implement and maintain a quality management system for its Administration. Such quality management system shall be certified in accordance with the ISO 9001:2000 standards or an equivalent standard fulfilling at least all aspects of ISO 9001:2000, and it shall be audited in accordance with the guidelines of the ISO 19011:2002 or equivalent standard fulfilling all aspects of ISO 19011:2002. Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(17) shall be complied with in relation to the said equivalent standards.

2.   The quality management system shall be set up within a period of three years from the entry into force of this Directive.

3.   The quality management system shall be certified within a period of four years from the entry into force of this Directive.

4.   . The references in paragraph 1 to ISO standards may be updated in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

Article 15

Co-operation agreements

The Commission shall, before the end of [2007], submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the feasibility of establishing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Community, Member States and third countries on flag State control obligations which aims at ensuring equal competitive conditions as with Member States for those third countries which have committed themselves to implement in a mandatory way the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments through IMO Resolution A.973(24) and agreed to be audited in accordance with the provisions of IMO Resolution A.974(24) .

Article 16

Sending of information and notices

1.   Member States shall communicate to the IMO and the Commission the information required by the IMO Conventions.

2.  Each year the Member States shall inform the Commission as to :

   a) the number of inspections and audits they have carried out as flag States;
   b) the resources allocated to the tasks referred to in Article 4(1) and (2) as well as in Article 7(1);
   c) the measures taken to comply with Articles 6 to 11, Article 12(1) and Article 15.

3.   A harmonised specimen form for the information obligations referred to in paragraph 2 may be established in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2).

4.   The Commission shall, after having received the information from Member States, prepare a consolidated report concerning the implementation of this Directive. This report shall be addressed to the European Parliament and the Council.

Article 17

Amendments

In addition to the amendments provided for in Article 2(2), Article 6(7) and Article 11(3), this Directive may be amended in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 18(2) in order to take account of new flag State related provisions and commitments developed at international level, in particular, in the IMO and the ILO.

The amendments to the IMO Conventions and to the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments may be excluded from the scope of this Directive pursuant to Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002.

Article 18

Committee

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) established by Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002.

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.

The period laid down in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at two months.

Article 19

Transposition

1.   Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by […] at the latest. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions and a correlation table between those provisions and this Directive.

When Member States adopt those provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such reference on the occasion of their official publication. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made.

2.   Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.

Article 20

Entry into force

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

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX I

FLAG STATE CODE (FSC)

PARTS 1 AND 2 OF THE CODE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MANDATORY IMO INSTRUMENTS

PART 1 – COMMON AREAS

Objective

1.   The objective of this Code is to enhance global maritime safety and protection of the marine environment.

2.   Different Administrations will view this Code according to their own circumstances and will be bound only for the implementation of those instruments referred to in paragraph 6 to which they are Contracting Governments or Parties. By virtue of geography and circumstance some Administrations may have a greater role as a flag State than as a port State or as a coastal State, whilst others may have a greater role as a coastal State or port State than as a flag State. Such imbalances do not diminish, in any way, their duties as a flag, port or coastal State.

Strategy

3.  In order for a State to meet the objective of this Code a strategy should be developed, covering the following issues:

   1) implementation and enforcement of relevant international mandatory instruments;
   2) adherence to international recommendations, as appropriate;
   3) continuous review and verification of the effectiveness of the State in respect of meeting its international obligations; and
   4) the achievement, maintenance and improvement of overall organisational performance and capability.

In implementing the aforementioned strategy, the guidance given in this Code should be adhered to.

General

4.   Under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) and of IMO conventions, Administrations are responsible for promulgating laws and regulations and for taking all other steps which may be necessary to give these instruments full and complete effect so as to ensure that, from the point of view of safety of life at sea and protection of the marine environment, a ship is fit for the service for which it is intended and is manned with competent maritime personnel.

5.   In taking measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment, States shall act so as not to transfer, directly or indirectly, damage or hazards from one area to another or transform one type of pollution into another (UNCLOS, Article 195).

Scope

6.   The mandatory IMO instruments addressed in this Code are:

1)   the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS 74);

2)   the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974, as amended (SOLAS PROT 1978);

3)   the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS PROT 1988);

4)   the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78);

5)   the Protocol of 1997 to amend the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL PROT 1997);

6)   the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW);

7)   the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (LL 66);

8)   the Protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (LL PROT 1988);

9)   the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (Tonnage 69); and

10)   the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended (COLREG 72);

as well as all instruments made mandatory through these conventions and protocols. Non-exhaustive lists of obligations under the above mandatory instruments are found in Annexes 1 to 4. A list of the relevant instruments is given in Annex 5 and a summary of amendments to mandatory instruments reflected in the Code is given in Annex 6(18) .

Initial actions

7.  When a new or amended IMO mandatory instrument enters into force for a State, the Government of that State must be in a position to implement and enforce its provisions through appropriate national legislation and to provide the necessary implementation and enforcement infrastructure. This means that a Government of the State must have:

   1) the ability to promulgate laws which permit effective jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over ships flying its flag and, in particular, provide the legal basis for general requirements for registries, the inspection of ships, safety and pollution-prevention laws applying to such ships and the making of associated regulations;
   2) a legal basis for the enforcement of its national laws and regulations, including the associated investigative and penal processes; and
   3) the availability of sufficient personnel with maritime expertise to assist in the promulgation of the necessary national laws and to discharge all the responsibilities of the State, including reporting as required by the respective conventions.

8.   A possible framework for national legislation to give effect to the provisions of relevant IMO instruments can be found in "Guidelines for Maritime Legislation", a United Nations publication(19) .

Communication of information

9.   The State should communicate its strategy, as referred to in paragraph 3, including information on its national legislation to all concerned.

Records

10.   Records, as appropriate, should be established and maintained to provide evidence of conformity to requirements and of the effective operation of the State. Records should remain legible, readily identifiable and retrievable. A documented procedure should be established to define the controls needed for the identification, storage, protection, retrieval, retention time and disposition of records.

Improvement

11.   States should continually improve the adequacy of the measures which are taken to give effect to those conventions and protocols which they have accepted. Improvement should be made through rigorous and effective application and enforcement of national legislation, as appropriate, and monitoring of compliance.

12.   The State should stimulate a culture which provides opportunities to people for improvement of performance in maritime safety and environmental protection activities.

13.  Further, the State should take action to identify and eliminate the cause of any non-conformities in order to prevent recurrence, including:

   1) review and analysis of non-conformities;
   2) implementation of necessary corrective action; and
   3) review of the corrective action taken.

14.   The State should determine action to eliminate the causes of potential non-conformities in order to prevent their occurrence.

PART 2 – FLAG STATES

Implementation

15.  In order to effectively discharge their responsibilities and obligations, flag States should:

   1) implement policies through the issuance of national legislation and guidance which will assist in the implementation and enforcement of the requirements of all safety and pollution prevention conventions and protocols they are party to; and
   2) assign responsibilities within their Administration to update and revise any relevant policies adopted, as necessary.

16.  Flag States should establish resources and processes capable of administering a safety and environmental protection program which, as a minimum, should consist of the following:

   1) administrative instructions to implement applicable international rules and regulations as well as develop and disseminate any interpretative national regulations that may be needed;
   2) resources to ensure compliance with the requirements of the mandatory IMO instruments listed in paragraph 6 using an audit and inspection programme independent of any administrative bodies issuing the required certificates and relevant documentation and/or of any entity which has been delegated authority by the flag States to issue the required certificates and relevant documentation;
  3) resources to ensure compliance with the requirements of the 1978 STCW Convention, as amended. This includes resources to ensure, inter alia , that:
   3. 1 training, assessment of competence and certification of seafarers are in accordance with the provisions of the Convention;
   3.2 STCW certificates and endorsements accurately reflect the competencies of the seafarers, using the appropriate STCW terminology as well as terms which are identical to those used in any safe manning document issued to the ship;
   3. 3 impartial investigation can be held of any reported failure, whether by act or omission, that may pose a direct threat to safety of life or property at sea or to the marine environment, by the holders of certificates or endorsements issued by that Party;
   3. 4 certificates or endorsements issued by the flag State can be effectively withdrawn, suspended or cancelled when warranted, and when necessary to prevent fraud; and
   3. 5 administrative arrangements, including those involving training, assessment and certification activities conducted under the purview of another State, are such that the flag State accepts its responsibility for ensuring the competence of masters, officers and other seafarers serving on ships entitled to fly its flag(20) ;
   4) resources to ensure the conduct of investigations into casualties and adequate and timely handling of cases of ships with identified deficiencies; and
   5) the development, documentation and provision of guidance concerning those requirements that are to the satisfaction of the Administration, found in relevant mandatory IMO instruments.

17.   Flag States shall ensure that ships entitled to fly their flag are sufficiently and efficiently manned, taking into account the Principles of Safe Manning adopted by IMO.

Delegation of authority

18.  Flag States authorising recognised organisations to act on their behalf in conducting the surveys, inspections, the issue of certificates and documents, the marking of ships and other statutory work required under the IMO conventions must regulate such authorisation in accordance with SOLAS regulation XI-1/1 to:

   1) determine that the recognised organisation has adequate resources in terms of technical, managerial and research capabilities to accomplish the tasks being assigned, in accordance with the Minimum standards for recognised organisations acting on behalf of the Administration set out in the relevant IMO resolution(21) ;
   2) have as its basis a formal written agreement between the Administration and the recognised organisation which, as a minimum, includes the elements set out in the relevant IMO resolution(22) , or equivalent legal arrangements, and which may be based on the model agreement for the authorisation of recognised organisations acting on behalf of the Administration(23) ;
   3) issue specific instructions detailing actions to be followed in the event that a ship is found unfit to proceed to sea without danger to the ship or persons on board, or is found to present an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment;
   4) provide the recognised organisation with all appropriate instruments of national law and interpretations thereof giving effect to the provisions of the conventions or specify whether the Administration's standards go beyond convention requirements in any respect; and
   5) require that the recognised organisation must maintain records which will provide the Administration with data to assist in interpretation of convention regulations.

19.   Flag States nominating surveyors for the purpose of carrying out surveys and inspections on their behalf should regulate such nominations, as appropriate, in accordance with the guidance provided in paragraph 18, in particular points (3) and (4) thereof .

20.  The flag State should establish or participate in an oversight programme with adequate resources for monitoring of, and communication with, its recognised organisations in order to ensure that its international obligations are fully met, by:

   1) exercising its authority to conduct supplementary surveys to ensure that ships entitled to fly its flag in fact comply with mandatory IMO instruments;
   2) conducting supplementary surveys as it deems necessary to ensure that ships entitled to fly its flag comply with national requirements which supplement the IMO convention requirements; and
   3) providing staff who have a good knowledge of the rules and regulations of the flag State and the recognised organisations and who are available to carry out effective field oversight of the recognised organisations.

Enforcement

21.  Flag States should take all necessary measures to secure observance of international rules and standards by ships entitled to fly their flag and by entities and persons under their jurisdiction so as to ensure compliance with their international obligations. Such measure should, inter alia , include:

   1) prohibiting ships entitled to fly their flag from sailing until such ships can proceed to sea in compliance with the requirements of international rules and standards;
   2) the periodic inspection of ships entitled to fly their flag to verify that the actual condition of the ship and its crew is in conformity with the certificates it carries;
  3) the surveyor ensuring, during the periodic inspection referred to in subparagraph 2, that seafarers assigned to the ships are familiar with:
   3. 1 their specific duties; and
   3. 2 ship arrangements, installations, equipments and procedures;
   4) ensuring that the ship's complement, as a whole, can effectively co-ordinate their activities in an emergency situation and in performing functions vital to safety or to the prevention or mitigation of pollution;
   5) providing in national laws and regulations for penalties of adequate severity to discourage violation of international rules and standards by ships entitled to fly their flag;
   6) instituting proceedings – after an investigation has been conducted - against ships entitled to fly their flag which have violated international rules and standards, irrespective of where the violation has occurred;
   7) providing in national laws and regulations for penalties of adequate severity to discourage violations of international rules and standards by individuals issued with certificates or endorsements under their authority; and
   8) instituting proceedings – after an investigation has been conducted – against individuals holding certificates or endorsements who have violated international rules and standards, irrespective of where the violation has occurred.

22.  A flag State should consider developing and implementing a control and monitoring programme, as appropriate, in order to:

   1) provide for prompt and thorough casualty investigations, with reporting to IMO as appropriate;
   2) provide for the collection of statistical data, so that trend analyses can be conducted to identify problem areas; and
   3) provide for a timely response to deficiencies and alleged pollution incidents reported by port or coastal States.

23.  Furthermore, the flag State should:

   1) ensure compliance with applicable IMO instruments through national legislation;
   2) provide an appropriate number of qualified personnel to implement and enforce the national legislation referred to in subparagraph 15.1, including personnel for performing investigations and surveys;
   3) provide a sufficient number of qualified flag State personnel to investigate incidents where ships entitled to fly its flag have been detained by port States;
   4) provide a sufficient number of qualified flag State personnel to investigate incidents where the validity of a certificate or endorsement or competence of individuals holding certificates or endorsements issued under its authority are questioned by port States; and
   5) ensure the training and oversight of the activities of flag State surveyors and investigators.

24.   When a State is informed that a ship entitled to fly its flag has been detained by a port State, the flag State should oversee that appropriate corrective measures to bring the ship in question into immediate compliance with the applicable international conventions are taken.

25.   A flag State, or a recognised organisation acting on its behalf, should only issue or endorse an international certificate to a ship after it has determined that the ship meets all applicable requirements.

26.   A flag State should only issue an international certificate of competency or endorsement to a person after it has determined that the person meets all applicable requirements.

Flag State surveyors

27.   The flag State should define and document the responsibilities, authority and interrelation of all personnel who manage, perform and verify work relating to and affecting safety and pollution prevention.

28.  Personnel responsible for, or performing, surveys, inspections and audits on ships and companies covered by the relevant IMO mandatory instruments should have as a minimum the following:

   1) appropriate qualifications from a marine or nautical institution and relevant sea-going experience as a certificated ship officer holding or having held a valid STCW II/2 or III/2 certificate of competency and have maintained their technical knowledge of ships and their operation since gaining their certificate of competency; or
   2) a degree or equivalent from a tertiary institution within a relevant field of engineering or science recognised by the State.

29.   Personnel qualified under 28(1) should have served for a period of not less than three years at sea as officer in the deck or engine department.

30.   Personnel qualified under 28(2) should have worked in a relevant capacity for at least three years.

31.   In addition such personnel should have appropriate practical and theoretical knowledge of ships, their operation and the provisions of the relevant national and international instruments necessary to perform their duties as flag State surveyors obtained through documented training programmes.

32.   Other personnel assisting in the performance of such work should have education, training and supervision commensurate with the tasks they are authorised to perform.

33.   Previous relevant experience in the field of expertise should be considered an advantage; in case of no previous experience the Administration should provide appropriate field training.

34.   Flag States may accredit surveyors through a formalised, detailed training programme that leads to the same standard of knowledge and ability as that required in paragraphs 29 to 32.

35.   The flag State should have implemented a documented system for qualification of personnel and continuous updating of their knowledge as appropriate to the tasks they are authorised to undertake.

36.  Depending on the function(s) to be performed the qualifications should encompass:

   1) knowledge of applicable international and national rules and regulations for ships, their companies, their crew, their cargo and their operation;
   2) knowledge of the procedures to be applied in survey, certification, control, investigative and oversight functions;
   3) understanding of the goals and objectives of the international and national instruments dealing with maritime safety and protection of the marine environment, and of related programmes;
   4) understanding of the processes both on board and ashore, internal as well as external;
   5) possession of professional competency necessary to perform the given tasks effectively and efficiently;
   6) full safety awareness in all circumstances, also for one's own safety; and
   7) training or experience in the various tasks to be performed and, preferably, also in the functions to be assessed.

37.   The flag State should issue an identification document for the surveyor to carry when performing his/her tasks.

Flag State investigations

38.   Investigations should be carried out following a marine casualty or pollution incident. Casualty investigations should be conducted by suitably qualified investigators, competent in matters relating to the casualty. The flag State should be prepared to provide qualified investigators for this purpose, irrespective of the location of the casualty or incident.

39.   The flag State should ensure that individual investigators have working knowledge and practical experience in those subject areas pertaining to their normal duties. Additionally, to assist individual investigators in performing duties outside their normal assignments, the flag State should ensure ready access to expertise in the following areas, as necessary:

   1) navigation and the Collision Regulations;
   2) flag State regulations on certificates of competency;
   3) causes of marine pollution;
   4) interviewing techniques;
   5) evidence gathering; and
   6) evaluation of the effects of the human element.

40.   Any accidents involving personal injury necessitating absence from duty of three days or more and any deaths resulting from occupational accidents and casualties to ships of the flag State should be investigated, and the results of such investigations made public.

41.   Ship casualties should be investigated and reported upon in accordance with relevant IMO conventions, and the guidelines developed by IMO(24) . The report on the investigation should be forwarded to IMO together with the flag State's observations, in accordance with the guidelines referred to above.

Evaluation and review

42.   The flag States should, on a periodic basis, evaluate their performances with respect to the implementation of administrative processes, procedures and resources necessary to meet their obligations as required by the conventions to which they are party.

43.   Measures to evaluate the performance of the flag States may include, inter alia, port State control detention rates, flag State inspection results, casualty statistics, communication and information processes, annual loss statistics (excluding constructive total losses (CTLs)), and other performance indicators as may be appropriate, to determine whether staffing, resources and administrative procedures are adequate to meet their flag State obligations.

44.  Measures may include a regular review of:

   1) fleet loss and accident ratios to identify trends over selected time periods;
   2) the number of verified cases of detained ships in relation to the size of the fleet;
   3) the number of verified cases of incompetence or wrongdoing by individuals holding certificates or endorsements issued under its authority;
   4) responses to port State deficiency reports or interventions;
   5) investigations into serious casualties and lessons learned there from;
   6) financial, technical and other resources committed;
   7) results of inspections, surveys and controls of the ships in the fleet;
   8) investigation of occupational accidents;
   9) the number of incidents and violations under MARPOL 73/78, as amended; and
   10) the number of suspensions or withdrawals of certificates, endorsements, approvals, etc.

ANNEX II

MINIMUM CRITERIA FOR FLAG STATE SURVEYORS

(as referred to in Article 8)

1.   Surveyors must be authorised to carry out the surveys referred to in this Directive by the competent authority of the relevant Member State.

2.   Surveyors must have appropriate theoretical knowledge and practical experience of ships, their operation and of the provisions of the relevant national and international requirements. This knowledge and experience must be acquired through documented training programmes.

3.  Surveyors must, as a minimum, either :

   1) hold the diploma required by law to serve as an officer on the deck or in the engine department of a ship, obtained from a marine or nautical institution, providing evidence of a minimum of three years" experience as an officer at sea, or, alternatively, of one year at sea plus another two years" service with the competent authority of a Member State in a position as a trainee Flag State Surveyor, or hold or have held a valid STCW II/2 or III/2 certificate of competency;
   2) have passed an examination recognised by the competent Authority as a naval architect, mechanical engineer or an engineer related to the maritime fields and worked in that capacity for at least three years; or have so worked for a period of one year, and also have served a period of two years with the competent authority of a Member State as a practising flag State surveyor ; or
   3) hold a relevant university degree or equivalent and have been trained and have qualified at a training institute for surveyors, and have served at least two years with the competent authority of a Member State in a position as a trainee flag State surveyor.

4 .   Surveyors qualified under points 3(1) and 3(2) must have maintained their technical knowledge of ships and their operation since gaining their certificate of competency or qualifications.

5 .   Surveyors qualified under point 3(3) must have the same standard of knowledge and ability as that required for surveyors qualified under points 3(1) and 3(2).

6 .   Surveyors must have the ability to communicate orally and in writing with seafarers in the language most commonly spoken at sea.

7 .   Surveyors must not have a commercial, personal or family interest of any kind in the ship surveyed, its crew, agent, company, owner or charterer, or in any non-governmental organisations which carry out statutory or classification surveys or issue certificates for ships.

8 .   Surveyors not fulfilling the above criteria are also accepted if they were employed by a competent authority for statutory surveys or port State control inspections at the date of adoption of this Directive and the port State concerned has acceded to the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control .

ANNEX III

GUIDANCE ON FOLLOW UP ACTIONS ON SHIPS DETAINED BY A PORT STATE

(as referred to in Article 6)

1.   Detention by a Port State

1.   When the competent authority of a Member State (hereinafter called the flag State) is informed that a ship flying its flag has been detained by another port State it should oversee the appropriate corrective measures to bring the ship into compliance with the applicable regulations and international conventions. The measures listed below are deemed to be appropriate; the list does not prevent the adoption of equivalent or additional measures, so long as they are consistent with the aims of, and the means of action afforded by, this Directive.

2.   Immediate actions

1.   As soon as the flag State is informed of the detention it should make contact with the company (the company for ISM purposes) and the port State to establish, as far as possible, the full circumstances of the detention.

2.   Based on this information the flag State should consider what immediate action is necessary to bring the ship into compliance. It may consider that some deficiencies can be readily rectified and confirmed by the port State (for example a life-raft which needs servicing). In such cases the flag State should seek confirmation from the port State that the deficiencies have been rectified.

3.   For more serious deficiencies, particularly structural ones and others covered by certificates issued by the flag State or by a recognised organisation (RO), the flag State should require a special supplementary inspection by one of its surveyors or appoint a surveyor from the RO to carry one out on its behalf. Initially this inspection should focus on those areas where deficiencies have been recorded by the port State. If deemed necessary by the flag State or RO surveyor it may then be extended to a full re-survey for those areas covered by the relevant statutory certificates.

4.   In cases where the RO has carried out the inspection referred to in paragraph 3, its surveyor should report to the flag State on the actions taken and the condition of the ship following this inspection so that the flag State may determine what further action, if any, is necessary.

5.   If the inspection by the port State has also been suspended in accordance with Article 9(4) of Directive 95/21/EC or Article 13(5) of Directive 2007/…/EC [on port State control] the flag State should arrange for re-survey of the ship for those certificates covering the areas where deficiencies have been recorded by the port State and for any other areas that are subsequently found to be deficient. The flag State should either conduct this survey themselves or require a full report from the surveyor from the RO and, when appropriate, confirmation that a satisfactory survey has been completed and that all deficiencies have been rectified. When satisfied , the flag State should confirm to the port State that the ship complies with the requirements of the relevant regulations and international conventions.

6.   In cases of the most serious non-compliance with regulations and international conventions the flag State should always send its own surveyor, rather than a surveyor from the RO, to conduct or oversee the inspections and surveys referred to in paragraphs 3 to 5 .

7.   Unless paragraph 10 applies, the flag State shall require that corrective measures are taken by the company to bring the ship into compliance with the applicable regulations and international conventions before the ship is allowed to sail from the port of detention (in addition to the corrective action required by the port State). If such corrective action is not taken the relevant certificates should be withdrawn.

8.   The flag State should consider the extent to which the deficiencies recorded by the port State and found following a flag State inspection/survey indicate a failure of the safety management system of the ship and the company. As necessary the flag State should arrange for the re-audit of the ship and/or company and in liaison with the port State, consider whether this re-audit should take place before the ship is allowed to leave the port of detention.

9.   At all times the flag State should liaise and cooperate with the port State to help ensure the rectification of deficiencies found and respond as quickly as possible to any requests for clarification from the port State.

10.   If deficiencies cannot be rectified in the port of detention and the port State, in accordance with Article 11(1) of Directive 95/21/EC or Article 15(1) of Directive 2007/…/EC [on port State control], allows the ship to proceed to a repair yard the flag State should liaise with the port State to determine the conditions under which this voyage may take place and confirm these conditions in writing.

11.   If the ship does not comply with the conditions referred to in paragraph 10 or fails to call at the agreed repair yard the flag State should immediately seek an explanation from the company and consider withdrawing the ship's certificates. In addition the flag State should carry out an additional survey at the first available opportunity.

12.   If from the information available the flag State considers that the detention is unjustified it should make its concerns known to the port State and liaise with the company to consider whether to use the appeal procedure available in the port State.

3.   Subsequent actions

1.   Depending on the seriousness of the deficiencies found and the immediate follow up action taken, the flag State should in addition consider carrying out a additional survey of the ship after it has been released from detention. This additional survey should include an assessment of the effectiveness of the safety management system. As a guide an additional survey of the ship should be carried out by the flag State within [6] weeks of its being informed of the detention. This additional survey should be at the company's expense. If the flag State is scheduled to carry out a statutory survey on the ship within [3] months it may consider delaying the additional survey until that time.

2.   Additionally the flag State should consider whether a re-audit of the company involved should be carried out. The flag State should also review the inspection history of other ships under the responsibility of the same company in order to identifying whether there are any common failings throughout that company's fleet.

3.   If the ship has been justifiably detained more than once in the previous 2 years the follow up action should be more urgent and in any case an additional survey by the flag State should be carried out within [4] weeks of the flag State being informed of the detention.

4.   If the detention also leads to the banning of the ship in accordance with Article 7b of Directive 95/21/EC or Article 10 of Directive 2007/…/EC [on port State control] the flag State must carry out an additional survey and take all the necessary steps to ensure that the company brings the ship into full compliance with all of the relevant conventions and regulations. When content, the flag State should provide to the company a document to this effect.

5.   In all cases the flag State should consider what legal action might be taken against the company , including fines, of sufficient severity to discourage infringement of Community standards and international rules . In the case of a ship which persistently fails to comply with the requirements of Community regulations and the international conventions the flag State should consider what additional sanctions may be necessary including the deletion of the ship from its registry.

6.   When all corrective measures to bring the ship into compliance with the international conventions and Community regulations have been completed, the flag State should send to the IMO and to the Commission a report, drawn up in accordance with SOLAS 74 as amended, Chapter I, Regulation 19(d) and paragraph 5.2 of IMO Resolution A.787(19) as amended, containing additional information relating to Community related provisions with regard to the Commission .

4.   Additional survey

1.   The additional survey as referred to above should include an examination of the following areas to sufficient depth to satisfy the flag State surveyor that the ship, its equipment and its crew comply with all regulations and international conventions applicable to them:

Certificates and documents

Hull Structure and equipment

Conditions of assignment of loadlines

Main machinery and systems

Cleanliness of machinery spaces

Life-saving appliances

Fire safety

Navigation equipment

Cargo handling equipment

Radio equipment

Electrical equipment

Pollution prevention

Living and working conditions

Manning

Crew certification

Passenger safety

Operational requirements including crew communication, drills, training, bridge and engine room operations and security.

2.   It should also include, but not be limited to, the relevant items for an expanded inspection specified in Annex V to Directive 95/21/EC or Part C of Annex VIII to Directive 2007/…/EC [on port State control]. Flag State surveyors should not refrain from including, where deemed necessary, functional tests of items such as survival craft and their launching arrangements, main and auxiliary machinery, hatch covers, main electrical power and bilge systems.

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 318, 23.12.2006, p. 195 .
(3) OJ C 229, 22.9.2006, p. 38 .
(4) Position of the European Parliament of 29 March 2007 .
(5) OJ L ...
(6) OJ L 144, 15.5.1998, p. 1. Directive as last amended by Commission Directive 2003/75/EC (OJ L 190, 30.7.2003, p. 6).
(7) OJ L ...
(8) OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1891/2006 (OJ L 394, 30.12.2006, p. 1) .
(9) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. Decision as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC (OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11).
(10) OJ L 324, 29.11.2002, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 93/2007 (OJ L 22, 31.1.2007, p. 12).
(11) OJ L 167, 2.7.1999, p. 33.
(12) OJ L 138, 30.4.2004, p. 19.
(13) OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p. 10.
(14) OJ L 157, 7.7.1995, p. 1. Directive as last amended by Directive 2002/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 324, 29.11.2002, p. 53).
(15)* OJ: Please insert number.
(16) OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 11.
(17) OJ L 204, 21.7.1998, p. 37. Directive as last amended by the 2003 Act of Accession.
(18) These Annexes will be filled in at the occasion of MSC 80 (May 2005). Only Annexes 1, 2 and 5 are relevant for the flag State obligations.
(19) ST/ESCAP/1076.
(20) Regulations I/2, I/9, I/10 and I/11 of the 1978 STCW Convention, as amended.
(21) Appendix 1 of Resolution A.739(18) "Guidelines for the authorization of organizations acting on behalf of the Administration".
(22) Appendix 2 of Resolution A.739(18) "Guidelines for the authorization of organizations acting on behalf of the Administration".
(23) MSC/Circ.710 – MEPC/Circ.307.
(24) Refer to the Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents, adopted by the Organization by Resolution A.849(20) , as amended by Resolution A. 884(21) .


Civil liability and financial guarantees of shipowners ***I
DOC 94k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 March 2007 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the civil liability and financial guarantees of shipowners (COM(2005)0593 – C6-0039/2006 – 2005/0242(COD) )
P6_TA(2007)0094 A6-0055/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0593 )(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 80(2) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0039/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0055/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 29 March 2007with a view to the adoption of Directive 2007/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the civil liability and financial guarantees of shipowners

P6_TC1-COD(2005)0242


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 80(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission ,

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

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(3) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(4) ,

Whereas:

(1)   One element of Community maritime transport policy is to improve the quality of the merchant navy by making all economic operators act more responsibly.

(2)    The protection of European coasts and European citizens in the face of ecological damage of any kind resulting from maritime accidents is an absolute priority for the EU.

(3)    The protection of European coasts involves the dual aspects of preventing accidents by ensuring that only safe ships sail and of providing for the arrangements required to ensure that victims can, in as short a time as possible, receive compensation fully commensurate with the damage caused by an accident.

(4 )   Dissuasive measures have already been adopted under Directive 2005/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements(5) , supplemented by Council Framework Decision 2005/667/JHA of 12 July 2005 to strengthen the criminal-law framework for the enforcement of the law against ship-source pollution(6) .

(5 )   The international regimes in respect of civil liability and compensation of third parties for damage related to maritime transport should be implemented and improved in order to guarantee that operators in the maritime transport chain ensure that goods are only transported on board ships of the highest standard, to ensure fair compensation of victims who are not party to the maritime transport chain and to encourage operators and their representatives to exercise greater vigilance and professionalism .

(6 )   It is appropriate that the 1996 Protocol to the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (the 1996 Convention) be ratified by all Member States and by a large number of third countries.

(7)    It is also appropriate that the 1996 International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (the HNS Convention), the 2001 International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (the Bunker Oil Convention) and the 2007 Wreck Removal Convention be ratified by all Member States and by a large number of third countries.

(8 )   In order to ensure the full and uniform application of the 1996 Convention throughout the European Union, it is appropriate to incorporate it into Community law. The Community regime of civil liability should enable shipowners to limit their liability to the ceilings laid down in that Convention and in accordance with the provisions thereof.

(9)    It should not be possible to apply the limitation of liability under the 1996 Convention to victims not party to the maritime transport operation, if the owner of the ship responsible for the damage has failed to act in a professional manner and should have been aware of the harmful effects of his act or omission.

(10 )   The obligation to have a financial guarantee should make it possible to ensure better protection of victims. It will also help to eliminate substandard ships and make it possible to re-establish competition between operators. Such an obligation is a necessary complement to the 1996 Convention. In Resolution A.898(21) , the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recommended that States make financial guarantees obligatory. The level of insurance cover should be such as to address situations where the ceilings set by the 1996 Convention are insufficient, without imposing a disproportionate burden on the industry.

(11 )   Special measures should be taken in order to protect seafarers in the event of abandonment, on the basis of IMO Resolution A.930(22) .

(12 )   The establishment of certificates proving the existence of a financial guarantee is a key element of this Directive, as are the notification of these certificates, mutual recognition of certificates between Member States and the accessibility of the financial guarantee to victims seeking compensation.

(13 )   The European Maritime Safety Agency established by Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(7) should provide the necessary assistance for the purpose of implementing this Directive, especially with a view to averting legal inconsistencies between Member States .

(14 )   The measures necessary for the implementation of this Directive 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(8) .

(15 )   Since the objective of the action to be taken, namely the introduction of harmonised rules on liability and financial guarantees for shipowners in order to achieve high quality maritime transport, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective ,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Article 1

Subject-matter

This Directive lays down rules applicable to certain aspects of the obligations on operators in the maritime transport chain as regards civil liability and introduces financial protection for seafarers in case of abandonment.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purpose of this Directive:

   1) "ship" means a seagoing vessel, irrespective of its flag, of any type whatsoever operating in the marine environment and includes hydrofoil boats, air-cushion vehicles, submersibles and floating craft;
   2) "shipowner" means the owner of the ship or any other organisation or person, such as the manager or the agent or bareboat charterer , on whom the shipowner has conferred responsibility for operation of the ship and who, on assuming such responsibility, has agreed to take over all the duties and responsibilities this involves;
   3) "civil liability" for the purposes of the 1996 Convention means the liability by virtue of which a third party to the maritime transport operation responsible for the damage caused is entitled to make a claim subject to limitation under Article 2 of that Convention, with the exception of claims covered by Regulation (EC) No …/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council [on the liability of passenger carriers by sea or by inland waterway in the event of accident](9) ;
   4) "gross negligence" means conduct showing an unusual lack of due care and a consequent disregard of what should in principle have been clear to everyone in a given situation;
   5) 5 ) "financial guarantee" means any financial guarantee, such as insurance or the guarantee of a bank or similar financial institution;
   6) 6 ) "1996 Convention" means the recapitulative text of the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, adopted by the International Maritime Organisation, as amended by the 1996 Protocol and reproduced in Annex I ;
   7) "Bunker Oil Convention" means the 2001 International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage;
   8) "HNS Convention" means the 1996 International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea;
   9 ) "IMO Resolution A.930(22) " means the Resolution of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation and the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation entitled "Guidelines on provision of financial security in case of abandonment of seafarers", reproduced in Annex II .

Article 3

Scope

1.  This Directive shall apply, with the exception of Articles 4 and 5 , to:

   a) maritime areas under the jurisdiction of Member States, in accordance with international law; .
   b) ships having a gross register tonnage of 300 or more, except for the regime of liability laid down in Article 6 which shall apply to all ships.

2 .   This Directive shall not apply to warships, auxiliary warships or other State-owned or operated ships used for a non-commercial public service.

3 .   This Directive shall be without prejudice to the implementation in each Member State of the Bunker Oil Convention, the HNS Convention and the 1992 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage .

Article 4

Civil liability for bunker oil pollution damage

Member States shall become contracting parties to the Bunker Oil Convention as soon as possible and in any case before the date indicated in Article 18(1) of this Directive.

Article 5

Damage caused by the carriage by sea of hazardous and noxious substances

Member States shall become contracting parties to the HNS Convention as soon as possible and in any case before the date indicated in Article 18(1) of this Directive.

Article 6

Regime of liability

1.   Member States shall become contracting parties to the 1996 Convention as soon as possible and in any case before the date indicated in Article 18(1) of this Directive. Member States which are still party to the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims must denounce it.

2.   Member States shall determine the regime of civil liability for shipowners and shall ensure that the right of shipowners to limit their liability is governed by all provisions of the 1996 Convention

3.    For the purposes of applying Article 4 of the 1996 Convention, knowledge of probable damage by the person responsible may in all cases be deduced from the nature and circumstances of the act or omission committed recklessly by that person.

4 .   In accordance with Article 15 of the 1996 Convention, Member States shall ensure that Article 4 of that Convention concerning the barring of limitation for liability does not apply to ships flying the flag of a State which is not a contracting party to it . In such cases, the civil liability regime established by Member States in accordance with this Directive shall provide that the shipowner loses the right to limit his liability if it is proved that the damage resulted from his act or omission committed with the intent to cause such damage or through gross negligence.

Article 7

Financial guarantee for civil liability

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that every owner of a ship flying its flag has a financial guarantee for civil liability. The limit of this guarantee shall not be less than double the ceiling laid down in the 1996 Convention.

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that every owner of a ship flying the flag of a third country has a financial guarantee in accordance with the provisions of the first paragraph as soon as that ship enters its exclusive economic area or equivalent area. The financial guarantee shall be valid for at least three months from the date it is required.

Article 8

Financial guarantee in case of abandonment of seafarers

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that every owner of a ship flying its flag has a financial guarantee to protect the seafarers employed or engaged on board the ship in case of abandonment, in accordance with IMO Resolution A.930(22) , and to cover costs of accommodation, medical care, and repatriation .

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that every owner of a ship flying the flag of a third country has a financial guarantee in accordance with the provisions of the first paragraph, as soon as that ship enters a port or an offshore terminal under its jurisdiction or drops anchor in an area under its jurisdiction.

Member States shall ensure that the system of financial guarantee in case of abandonment of seafarers is accessible, in accordance with IMO Resolution A.930(22) .

Article 9

Financial guarantee certificates

1.   The existence of the financial guarantees referred to in Articles 7 and 8 and the validity thereof shall be proved by one or more certificates, in accordance with the provisions of this Directive, and following the model set out in Annex III .

2.   Certificates shall be issued by the competent authorities of the Member States once they are sure that the shipowner complies with the requirements laid down in this Directive. When issuing certificates, competent authorities shall also consider whether a guarantor has business operations in the EU.

When a ship is registered in a Member State, the certificates shall be issued or certified by the competent authority of the State in which the ship is registered.

When a ship is registered in a third country, the certificates may be issued or certified by the competent authority of any Member State.

3.   The conditions for the issue and the validity of the certificates, in particular the criteria and conditions for issue, as well as the measures concerning the providers of the financial guarantees, shall be determined in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 17(2) .

4.  The certificates shall comply with the model set out in Annex III and shall include the following information:

   a) name of ship and registry port;
   b) owner's name and principal place of business;
   c) type of guarantee;
   d) name and principal place of business of insurer or other person granting the guarantee and, where appropriate, the place of business where the insurance or guarantee is established;
   e) the period of validity of the certificate, which shall not exceed the period of validity of the insurance or guarantee.

5.   The certificates shall be drawn up in the official language(s) of the issuing Member State. If the language used is neither English nor French, the text shall include a translation into one of these languages.

Article 10

Notification of the financial guarantee certificate

1.   The certificate shall be carried on board the ship and a copy shall be deposited with the authority which keeps the record of the ship's registry or, if the ship is not registered in a Member State, with the authority of the State which issued or certified the certificate. The authority concerned shall forward a copy of the certification file to the Community Office provided for in Article 15 so that the latter may include it in the register.

2.   The operator, agent or captain of a ship entering the exclusive economic area or equivalent area of a Member State in the cases set out in Article 7 shall notify the authorities of that Member State that a financial guarantee certificate is being carried on board in accordance with the provisions of Annex IV .

3.   The operator, agent or captain of a ship bound for a port or offshore terminal under the jurisdiction of a Member State or which wishes to drop anchor in an area under the jurisdiction of a Member State in the cases set out in Article 8 shall notify the authorities of that Member State that a financial guarantee certificate is being carried on board in accordance with the provisions of Annex IV .

4.   The competent authorities of the Member States may share the information provided for in paragraph 1 through the SafeSeaNet Community platform for maritime data exchange.

Article 11

Penalties

Member States shall monitor compliance with the rules laid down in this Directive and shall establish penalties for the infringement of these rules. These penalties shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

Article 12

Mutual recognition by Member States of financial guarantee certificates

Member States shall recognise certificates issued or certified by another Member State under Article 9 for all purposes of this Directive and shall consider them as having the same value as certificates which it issued or certified itself, even when the ship is not registered in a Member State.

A Member State may at any time request an exchange of views with the issuing or certifying State should it believe that the insurer or guarantor named on the certificate is not financially capable of meeting the obligations imposed by this Directive.

Article 13

Direct action against the provider of the financial guarantee for civil liability

The provider of the financial guarantee covering the owner's civil liability shall be directly liable for compensation for loss or damage caused by the ship .

The provider of the financial guarantee may rely on any defence which the owner himself would be entitled to raise , with the exception of those based on the owner's bankruptcy or liquidation .

The provider of the financial guarantee may also rely on the fact that the loss or damage was the result of an act or omission of the owner committed intentionally . However, it may not rely on any defence which it could have raised in an action brought against it by the owner.

The provider of the financial guarantee may, in all cases, require the owner to be joined in the proceedings.

Article 14

Solidarity fund to cover damage caused by ships without a financial guarantee

A solidarity fund shall be set up to compensate third parties, whether natural or legal persons, that have suffered damage caused by ships which, notwithstanding the obligations laid down in this Directive, have sailed in EU territorial waters without being in possession of a financial guarantee certificate.

The amount to be allotted to this fund, and the fund's operating rules, shall be determined in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 17(2).

Article 15

Community Office

A Community Office shall be established which shall be responsible for keeping a full register of certificates issued, monitoring and updating their validity, and checking the existence of financial guarantees registered by third countries.

Article 16

Reports

Five years after the date of entry into force of this Directive, the Member States shall report to the Commission on the experience gained in applying it . These reports shall assess in particular the procedures for certification and issuing of certificates by Member States and the need to consider whether this task should be delegated wholly or partly to the Community Office referred to in Article 15. On this basis, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council including proposals for amendments to this Directive which it considers relevant.

Article 17

Committee

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS), established by Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(10) .

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.

The period provided for in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be three months.

Article 18

Transposition

1.   Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by ...(11) . They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions and a correlation table between those provisions and this Directive.

When Member States adopt those measures they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such reference on the occasion of their official publication. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made.

2.   Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.

Article 19

Entry into force

This Directive shall enter into force on the […] day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union .

Article 20

Addressees

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX I

1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, as amended by the 1996 Protocol

(The text of the Convention will be inserted once it is available in all the official languages).

ANNEX II

Resolution of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation and the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation entitled "Guidelines on provision of financial security in case of abandonment of seafarers" (IMO Resolution A.930(22))

(The text of the Resolution will be inserted once it is available in all the official languages).

ANNEX III

Model financial guarantee certificate referred to in Article 9

Name of ship

Distinctive letter or number

Registry port

Name and address of owner

I, the undersigned, certify that the above ship is covered by an insurance policy or other financial guarantee which meets the requirements of Directive 2007/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the civil liability and financial guarantees of shipowners.

Type of guarantee ………………………………………………………………

Duration of the guarantee ……………………………………………………………

Name and address of the insurer(s) and/or guarantor(s)

Name ………………………………………………………………………

Address ………………………………………………………………….

This certificate is valid until …………………………………

Issued or certified by the Government of …………………………………

Done at…………………..on……………

Signature and name of official who issued or certified the certificate

ANNEX IV

List of information to be notified under Article 10

1)   Ship identification (name, call sign, IMO identification number, MMSI number)

2)   Date and time

3)   Position in latitude and longitude or true bearing and distance in nautical miles from a clearly identified landmark

4)   Port of destination

5)   Estimated time of arrival at the port of destination or pilot station, as required by the competent authority, and estimated time of departure from that port

6)   Financial guarantee certificate carried on board

7)   Address from which detailed information on the certificate may be obtained

As far as possible, the information provided for under points 6 and 7 may be communicated with other notifications as long as this complies with the conditions laid down in Article 10(2).

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 318, 23.12.2006, p. 195.
(3) OJ C 229, 22.9.2006, p. 38.
(4) Position of the European Parliament of 29 March 2007 .
(5) OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 11.
(6) OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 164.
(7) OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1891/2006 (OJ L 394 , 30 .12 .2006 , p. 1).
(8) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. Decision as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC (OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11).
(9)+ OJ: Please insert number of this Regulation.
(10) OJ L 324, 29.11.2002, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 93/2007 (OJ L 22, 31.1.2007, p. 12).
(11)* 18 months after the date of entry into force of this Directive.


Organic production and labelling of organic products *
DOC 303k
Proposal for a Council regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products (COM(2005)0671 – C6-0032/2006 – 2005/0278(CNS) )
P6_TA(2007)0095 A6-0061/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The proposal was amended on 29 March 2007 as follows(1) :

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Citation 1
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article  37 thereof,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles  37 and 95 thereof,
Amendment 2
Recital 1
(1)   Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices, a high level of biodiversity, preservation of natural resources, application of high animal welfare standards and production in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes. The organic production method thus plays a dual societal role, where it on the one hand provides for a specific market responding to a consumer demand for organic products, and on the other hand delivers public goods contributing to the protection of the environment and animal welfare, as well as to rural development.
(1)   Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production which focuses on all facets of sustainable production and seeks to strike a balance, combines best environmental practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources and the application of high animal welfare standards and aims to improve soil fertility by natural means and to ensure production in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes. The organic production method thus plays several positive roles: not only does it provide for a specific market responding to a consumer demand for organic products, while delivering public goods not only limited to the food sector, but also and above all it contributes to the protection of the environment and animal welfare, as well as to social rural development.
Amendment 3
Recital 2
(2)   The contribution of the organic agricultural sector is on the increase in most Member States. Growth in consumer demand in recent years is particularly notable. Recent reforms of the common agricultural policy, with its emphasis on market-orientation and the supply of quality products to meet consumer demands, are likely to further stimulate the market in organic produce. Against this background the legislation on organic production plays an increasingly important role in the agricultural policy framework and is closely related to the developments on the agricultural markets.
(2)   Organic farming is fully in line with the sustainable development objectives set by the European Union in the context of the Göteborg agenda, in that it contributes to achieving sustainable development, produces healthy, high-quality products and employs environmentally sustainable production methods. The contribution of the organic agricultural sector is on the increase in most Member States. Growth in consumer demand in recent years is particularly notable. Recent reforms of the common agricultural policy, with its emphasis on market-orientation and the supply of quality products to meet consumer demands, are likely to further stimulate the market in organic produce. Against this background it is necessary for organic production to play an increasingly important role in the agricultural policy framework and to be closely related to the developments on the agricultural markets and linked to the protection and safeguarding of soils assigned to agricultural activities .
Amendment 4
Recital 2 a (new)
(2a)    Each piece of legislation and policy which the Community adopts in this area should contribute to the development of organic farming and organic production as defined in this Regulation. Organic farming plays an important role in the implementation of the Community's sustainable development policy.
Amendment 5
Recital 3
(3)   The Community legal framework governing the sector of organic production should pursue the objective of ensuring fair competition and a proper functioning of the internal market in organic products, and of maintaining and justifying consumer confidence in products labelled as organic. It should further aim at providing conditions under which this sector can progress in line with production and market developments.
(3)    The Community legal framework governing the sector of organic production should pursue the objective of ensuring fair competition and the proper functioning of the internal market in organic products, and of maintaining and justifying consumer confidence in products labelled as organic. It should further aim at providing conditions under which this sector can progress in line with production and market developments and in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Amendments 6 and 157
Recital 7
(7)   A general Community framework of organic production rules should be established with regard to plant and livestock production, including rules on conversion, as well as on the production of processed food and of feed. Competence to determine the details of those general rules and to adopt Community production rules for aquaculture should be conferred on the Commission.
(7)   A general Community framework of organic production rules should be established with regard to plant and livestock production, including rules on conversion, as well as on the production of processed food and of feed. Competence to determine the details and annexes of those general rules should be conferred on the Commission which should consult the European Parliament and the Council.
Amendment 7
Recital 8
(8)   The development of organic production should further be facilitated in particular by fostering the use of new techniques and substances better suited to organic production.
(8)   The development of organic production should further be facilitated, on the basis of established best practices, in particular by fostering soil fertility, crop rotation, local seed conservation, water and energy-saving practices and the use of new techniques and substances better suited to organic production.
Amendment 8
Recital 9
(9)   Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products produced from or by GMOs are incompatible with the concept of organic production and consumers" perception of organic products. They should therefore not be deliberately used in organic farming or in the processing of organic products.
(9)   Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and products produced from or by GMOs are incompatible with the concept of organic production and consumers" perception of organic products. They should therefore not be used in organic farming or in the processing of organic products. The contamination of organic seeds, inputs, feed and food should be precluded by adequate national and Community legislation based on the precautionary principle.
Amendment 187
Recital 9 a (new)
Taking account of growing risks of contamination of organic seeds, feed and food with GMOs and in the absence of national legislation in many Member States on related precautionary measures and liability, the Commission should, before 1 January 2008, publish a proposal for a framework directive on precautionary measures to avoid GMO contamination throughout the food chain, including a legislative framework of liability rules concerning any GMO contamination based on the polluter pays principle.
Amendment 9
Recital 9 b (new)
(9b)    The use of synthetic plant protection products is incompatible with organic production.
Amendment 10
Recital 14
(14)   In order to avoid environmental pollution, in particular of natural resources such as the soil and water, organic production of livestock should in principle provide for a close relationship between such production and the land, suitable multi-annual rotation systems and the feeding of livestock with organic-farming crop products produced on the holding itself or on neighbouring organic holdings.
(14)   In order to avoid environmental pollution and irreversible impairment of the quality and availability of natural resources such as the soil and water, organic production of livestock should in principle provide for a close relationship between such production and the land, suitable multi-annual rotation systems and the feeding of livestock with organic-farming crop products produced on the holding itself or on neighbouring organic holdings.
Amendment 11
Recital 15
(15)   As organic stock farming is a land-related activity, animals should have, where possible, access to open air or grazing areas.
(15)   As organic stock farming is a land-related activity, animals should have access to open air or grazing areas whenever climatic and soil conditions permit .
Amendments 12 and 158
Recital 16
(16)   Organic stock farming should respect high animal welfare standards and meet animals" species–specific behavioural needs and animal-health management should be based on disease prevention. In this respect, particular attention should be paid to housing conditions, husbandry practices and stocking densities. Moreover, the choice of breeds should favour slow- growing strains and take account of their capacity to adapt to local conditions. The implementing rules for livestock production and aquaculture production should ensure compliance with at least the provisions of the European Convention to the Protection of Animals kept for Farming purposes (T-AP) and its subsequent recommendations.
(16)   Organic stock farming should respect high animal welfare standards and meet animals" species-specific behavioural needs and animal-health management should be based on disease prevention. In this respect, particular attention should be paid to housing conditions, husbandry practices and stocking densities. Moreover, the choice of breeds should favour long-living, disease resistant, and slow- growing strains and indigenous local breeds and take account of their capacity to adapt to local conditions. The implementing rules for livestock production should ensure compliance with at least the provisions of the European Convention to the Protection of Animals kept for Farming purposes (T-AP) and its subsequent recommendations.
Amendment 13
Recital 17
(17)   The organic livestock production system should aim at completing the production cycles of the different livestock species with organically reared animals. It shall therefore encourage the increase of the gene pool of organic animals, improve self reliance and thus ensure the development of the sector.
(17)   The organic livestock production system should aim at completing the production cycles of the different livestock species with organically reared animals. It should therefore encourage the increase of the gene pool of organic animals, improve self reliance and thus ensure and encourage the development of the sector.
Amendment 159
Recital 18
(18)    Pending the adoption of Community production rules for aquaculture, Member States should have the possibility to provide for the application of national standards, or in the absence thereof private standards accepted or recognised by the Member States. However, to prevent disturbances on the internal market, Member States should be required to recognise each other's production standards in this field.
deleted
Amendment 14
Recital 22 a (new)
(22a)    Given the current diversity of cultivation and stock farming practices in organic farming, Member States should be allowed the option of applying additional, more stringent rules to organic farming on their territory.
Amendment 15
Recital 25
(25)   In order to create clarity throughout the Community market, a simple standardised reference should be made obligatory for all organic products produced within the Community, at least where such products do not bear the Community organic production logo. The possibility to use this reference should also apply to organic products imported from third countries, but without any obligation to do so.
(25)   In order to create clarity throughout the Community market, a simple standardised reference code should be made obligatory for all organic products produced within the Community, even where such products bear the Community organic production logo. The standardized reference code should also apply to organic products imported from third countries and should clearly indicate the origin of the products and possible differences in the application of organic production rules.
Amendment 170
Recital 27 a (new)
(27a)    Member States should establish the necessary legislative framework, based on the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle, to prevent any risk of the contamination of organic products with GMOs. Operators should take all necessary precautionary measures to prevent adventitious or technically unavoidable contamination with GMOs. The presence of GMOs in organic products should be confined exclusively to adventitious and technically unavoidable quantities not exceeding 0,1 %.
Amendment 17
Recital 32
(32)   The assessment of equivalency with regard to imported products should take into account the international standards laid down in Codex Alimentarius .
(32)   The assessment of equivalency with regard to imported products should take into account production standards which are equivalent to those applied in the Community to organic production .
Amendment 18
Recital 32 a (new)
(32a)    The import rules for organic products should be considered as a model for qualified market access, giving third country producers access to a high value market, provided that they respect the standards of that market.
Amendment 19
Recital 36
(36)   The measures necessary 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. Considering that the legislation on organic production is an important factor in the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy, as it is closely related to the developments on the agricultural markets, it is appropriate to bring it in line with existing legislative procedures used to manage the this policy. The powers conferred on the Commission under this Regulation should therefore be exercised in accordance with the management procedure provided for in Article 4 of Decision 1999/468/EC,
(36)   The measures necessary 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. Considering that the legislation on organic production is an important factor in the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy, as it is closely related to developments on the agricultural markets, it is appropriate to bring it in line with existing legislative procedures used to manage the this policy. The powers conferred on the Commission under this Regulation should therefore be exercised in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC,
Amendment 20
Article 1, paragraph 1, introductory part
1.   This Regulation establishes objectives, principles and rules concerning:
1.   This Regulation provides the basis for the sustainable development of organic production and establishes objectives, principles and rules concerning:
Amendment 21
Article 1, paragraph 1, point (a)
(a) the production, placing on the market, import, export and controls of organic products;
(a) all stages of the production, the production methods, processing, distribution , placing on the market, import, export, inspection and certification of organic products;
Amendment 160
Article 1, paragraph 2, introductory part
This Regulation shall apply to the following products originating from agriculture or aquaculture , where such products are intended to be marketed as organic:
This Regulation shall apply to the following products originating from agriculture, where such products are intended to be marketed as organic:
Amendment 161
Article 1, paragraph 2, point (c)
(c) live or unprocessed products of aquaculture;
deleted
Amendment 162
Article 1, paragraph 2, point (d)
(d) processed products of aquaculture which are intended for human consumption;
deleted
Amendments 179 and 153
Article 1, paragraph 2, point (e a) (new)
(ea) other products such as salt, pet food, wool, textiles, preserved fish, cosmetics, food supplements and essential oils;
Amendment 24
Article 1, paragraph 3, introductory part
3.   This Regulation shall apply within the territory of the European Community to any operator involved in the following activities:
3.   This Regulation shall apply to any operator involved in activities at any stage of the production, preparation and distribution of the products listed in Article 1(2), including:
Amendment 25
Article 1, paragraph 3, point (b)
(b) processing of food and feed;
(b) conditioning, processing and preparation of food and feed;
Amendment 26
Article 1, paragraph 3, point (c)
(c) packaging, labelling and advertising;
(c) conditioning, packaging, storage, labelling and advertising of the products of organic farming ;
Amendment 27
Article 1, paragraph 3, subparagraph 2
However, it shall not apply to catering operations, factory canteens, institutional catering , restaurants or other similar food service operations.
(fa) catering operations, canteens, restaurants or other similar food service operations.
Amendment 28
Article 2, point (a)
(a) "organic production" means the use of organic production methods on the farm holding, as well as activities involved in the further processing, packaging and labelling of a product, in compliance with the objectives, principles and rules established in this Regulation;
(a) "organic production" means the use of organic production methods on the farm holding, as well as activities involved in the further processing, conditioning, packaging, packing, storage and labelling of a product, in compliance with the objectives, principles and rules established in this Regulation;
Amendment 29
Article 2, point (b)
(b) "organic product" means an agricultural product coming from organic production;
(b)"organic product" means a product coming from organic production;
Amendment 30
Article 2, point (b a) (new)
(ba) "operator " means the owner of a business carrying out activities within the scope of this Regulation and subject to the supervision of the authorities or control bodies responsible for organic production;
Amendment 163
Article 2, point (e)
(e) "aquaculture" means the rearing or cultivation of aquatic organisms using techniques designed to increase the production beyond the natural capacity of the environment, where the organisms remain the property of a natural or legal person throughout the rearing or cultivation stage, up to and including harvesting;
deleted
Amendment 31
Article 2, point (f)
(f) "conversion' means the transition from non organic to organic farming;
(f) "conversion" means a period of transition from conventional to organic farming;
Amendment 32
Article 2, point (j)
(j) "competent authority" means the central authority of a Member State competent for the organisation of official controls in the field of organic production or any other authority on which that competence has been conferred and, where appropriate, the corresponding authority of a third country;
(j) "competent authority" means the authority of a Member State competent for the enforcement of the provisions of this Regulation and the detailed rules adopted by the Commission for the application hereof or any other authority to which that competence has been conferred in whole or in part; it shall also include, where appropriate, the corresponding authority of a third country;
Amendment 33
Article 2, point (k)
(k) "control body" means an independent third party to which the competent authority has delegated certain control tasks;
(k) "control body" means the independent body that carries out inspection, certification and traceability procedures in the organic production sector in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation and the detailed rules adopted by the Commission for the application hereof and which has been recognised and checked for this purpose by the competent authority; it also includes, if appropriate, the equivalent body of a third country for whose recognition specific rules are applied ;
Amendment 34
Article 2, point (m)
(m) "mark of conformity" means the assertion of conformity to a particular set of standards or other normative documents in the form of a mark;
(m) "mark of conformity" means the assertion of compliance with the requirements deriving from a particular set of standards or other normative documents in the form of a mark;
Amendment 35
Article 2, point (r)
(r) "products produced by GMOs" means food and feed additives, flavourings, vitamins, enzymes, processing aids, certain products used in animal nutrition (under Directive 82/471/EEC), plant protection products, fertilisers and soil conditioners, produced by nourishing an organism with materials that are in whole or in part GMOs;
(r) "products produced by GMOs" means products derived by using a GMO as the last living organism in the production process, but not containing or consisting of GMOs nor produced from GMOs ;
Amendment 36
Article 2, point (v a) (new)
(va) "green manure " means a crop, which may include spontaneous plants and weeds, which is incorporated into the soil for the purpose of soil improvement;
Amendment 37
Article 2 point (v b) (new)
(vb) "veterinary treatment " means all the preventative and curative measures used to treat a sick animal or group of sick animals for a given disease, in accordance with a prescription and for a limited period;
Amendment 38
Article 2, point (v c) (new)
(vc) "synthetic " refers to products that are manufactured by chemical and industrial processes, including all products not found in nature and simulations of products from natural sources, excluding products extracted from natural raw materials or modified by simple chemical processes.
Amendment 195
Article 2, point (v d) (new)
(vd) 'land-related' means stock farming that complies with the following three obligations:
– ensuring that the animals present on the farm have access to the open air;
– ensuring full or partial spreading of their effluents;
– ensuring all or a significant proportion of their feeding;
Amendment 180
Article 3, paragraph -1 (new)
(-1) The objectives of this Regulation are:
(a) to enhance the sustainable development of organic farming systems and the whole organic food and feed chain;
(b) to ensure the functioning of the internal market for organic products and fair competition between all producers of organic products;
(c) to establish reliable rules for organic production systems, including on inspection, certification and labelling.
Amendment 39
Article 3, introductory part
The organic production system shall pursue the following objectives:
1.    The organic production method shall pursue the following objectives:
Amendment 40
Article 3, point (a), introductory part
(a)   It shall establish, in a practical, economically viable management system for agriculture, a production of a wide variety of products by methods that:
(a)   It shall establish, in a system based on environmentally and socio-economically sustainable production, a production of a wide variety of products by methods that:
Amendment 41
Article 3, point (a), point (i)
(i) minimise the negative effects on the environment;
(i) minimise the negative effects on the environment and climate ;
Amendment 42
Article 3, point (a), point (i a) (new)
(ia) ensure lasting equilibrium between soil, water, plants and animals;
Amendment 43
Article 3, point (a), point (ii)
(ii) maintain and enhance a high level of biological diversity on farms and their surrounding areas;
(ii) maintain and enhance a high level of biological and genetic diversity on farms and consequently in their surrounding areas in a broader sense, devoting particular attention to the conservation of local varieties that have adapted and to indigenous breeds ;
Amendment 44
Article 3, point (a), point (iii)
(iii) preserve as far as possible the natural resources, such as water, soil, organic matter and air;
(iii) exploit in the most rational manner possible natural resources ( water, soil and air) and agricultural input (energy, plant protection agents, nutritional ingredients) ;
Amendment 45
Article 3, point (a), point (iv)
(iv) respect high animal welfare standards and in particular meet animals" species specific behavioural needs.
(iv) respect high animal health and welfare standards and in particular meet animals" species specific behavioural needs;
Amendment 46
Article 3, point (a), point (iv a) (new)
(iva) contribute to the preservation of traditional processes of preparation of quality food products and to the improvement of small family farms and businesses.
Amendment 47
Article 3, point (b)
(b)   It shall establish a production of food and other agricultural products that responds to a consumer demand for goods produced by use of natural processes, or processes that are comparable to natural processes, and naturally occurring substances.
(b)   It shall establish a production of food and other agricultural products that responds to a consumer demand for goods produced by use of natural processes, or physical processes that are comparable to natural processes, and naturally occurring substances.
Amendment 48
Article 4, point (a)
(a) the use of living organisms and mechanical production methods shall be preferred to the use of synthetic materials;
(a) only living organisms and mechanical production methods shall be used, the use of synthetic materials and production methods involving synthetic materials being permitted only in accordance with Article 16 ;
Amendment 49
Article 4, point (a a) (new)
(aa) biological and mechanical production methods shall be preferred to the use of external inputs like synthetic materials;
Amendment 50
Article 4, point (b)
(b) natural substances shall be used in preference to chemically synthesised substances, which may be used only where natural substances are not commercially available;
(b) where external inputs are necessary, natural substances, minerals and organically produced raw materials shall be used; chemically treated or synthesised substances must be strictly limited to exceptional cases, may be used only where natural substances are not commercially available and must be specifically authorized in accordance with Article 11 ;
Amendment 51
Article 4, point (c)
(c)   GMOs and products produced from or by GMOs may not be used, with the exception of veterinary medicinal products;
(c)   GMOs and products produced from or with GMOs shall not be used;
Amendment 52
Article 4, point (c a) (new)
(ca) ionising radiation may not be used;
Amendment 172
Article 4 point (c b) (new)
(cb)    Accidental contamination due to proximity to GMO production areas shall be avoided;
Amendment 53
Article 4, point (d)
(d) rules of organic production shall be adapted to local conditions, stages of development and specific husbandry practices, while maintaining the common concept of organic production.
(d) rules of organic production shall be adapted to local conditions, stages of development and specific husbandry practices, while maintaining the objectives and principles of organic production;
Amendment 54
Article 4, point (d a) (new)
(da) organic production shall safeguard product quality, integrity and traceability throughout the food chain;
Amendment 55
Article 4, point (d b) (new)
(db) organic production shall be a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable activity;
Amendment 56
Article 4, point (d c) (new)
(dc) there shall be no hydroponic crop production nor other form of crop production without soil nor livestock production without soil;
Amendment 182
Article 4, point (d d) (new)
(dd) organic production shall maintain and create employment, enable farmers and consumers to establish a social compact for sustainable practices, quality food production and consumption patterns, including a combination of measures for nature conservation, sustainable production and short-distance marketing.
Amendment 57
Article 5, point (a)
(a) farming shall maintain and enhance soil fertility, prevent and combat soil erosion, and minimise pollution;
(a) farming shall maintain and enhance soil life and fertility, prevent and combat soil erosion, and minimise pollution;
Amendment 58
Article 5, point (a a) (new)
(aa) farming shall preserve and create employment, thus contributing to sustainable rural development;
Amendment 59
Article 5, point (c)
(c) the use of non-renewable resources and off-farm inputs shall be minimized;
(c) the use of non-renewable resources and off-farm inputs shall be minimized; the use of renewable energies shall be promoted;
Amendment 60
Article 5, point (f)
(f) plants shall be primarily fed through the soil ecosystem;
(f) plants shall be primarily fed through the soil ecosystem; good soil management practices shall thus be applied;
Amendment 61
Article 5, point (g)
(g) maintenance of animal and plant health shall be based on preventative techniques including selection of appropriate breeds and varieties;
(g) maintenance of plant health shall be based on preventative techniques including selection of appropriate varieties, crop rotation, mixed cropping, promotion of natural enemies of pests and development of natural resistance against pests and diseases;
Amendment 62
Article 5, point (g a) (new)
(ga) maintenance of animal health shall be based on encouraging the natural immunological defence and constitution of the animal as well as the selection of appropriate breeds, and husbandry practices;
Amendment 63
Article 5, point (h)
(h) feed for livestock shall come primarily from the holding where the animals are kept or shall be produced in cooperation with other organic farms in the same region ;
(h) feed for livestock shall come by preference from the holding where the animals are kept or shall be produced in cooperation with other organic farms, and livestock density shall be limited in order to ensure that stockbreeding management is integrated with crop production ;
Amendment 64
Article 5, point (k)
(k) breeds shall be chosen favouring slow- growing strains and having regard to the capacity of animals to adapt to local conditions, their vitality and their resistance to disease or health problems;
(k) breeds shall be chosen favouring slow- growing, long-living strains and indigenous local breeds and having regard to the capacity of animals to adapt to local conditions, their vitality and their resistance to disease or health problems;
Amendment 65
Article 5, point (l)
(l) organic livestock feed shall be composed essentially of agricultural ingredients from organic farming and of natural non-agricultural substances;
(l) organic livestock feed shall be composed of agricultural ingredients from organic farming and of natural non-agricultural substances and shall offer the specific nutritional requirements of the livestock at the respective stages of their development ; exemptions must be authorized in accordance with Article 11.
Amendment 196
Article 5, point (m)
(m) husbandry practices which enhance the immune system and strengthen the natural defence against diseases shall be used;
(m) husbandry practices which enhance the immune system and strengthen the natural defence against diseases shall be used, in particular through regular exercise and access to the open air and to pasture whenever weather conditions and the state of the ground allow this ;
Amendment 66
Article 5, point (n)
(n) aquaculture production shall minimise the negative effect on the aquatic environment;
(n) aquaculture production shall maintain the biodiversity and quality of the natural aquatic ecosystem and minimise negative effects on the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems;
Amendment 67
Article 6, title
Principles applicable to processing
Principles applicable to processing and preparation
Amendment 68
Article 6, introductory part
In addition to the overall principles set out in Article 4, the following principles shall apply to the production of processed organic feed and food:
In addition to the objectives and the overall principles set out in Article 4, the following principles shall apply to the production and preparation of processed organic feed and food, including the definition and possible changes of the annexes:
Amendment 69
Article 6, point (a)
(a) organic food and feed shall be produced essentially from agricultural ingredients which shall be organic, except where an organic ingredient is not commercially available;
(a) organic food and feed shall be produced from agricultural ingredients which shall be organic, except where an organic ingredient is not commercially available;
Amendment 70
Article 6, point (b)
(b) additives and processing aids shall be used to a minimum extent and only in case of essential technological need;
(b) additives and processing aids shall be used to a minimal extent only in case of essential technological or nutritional need and if they have been authorized in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 15;
Amendment 71
Article 6, point (c a) (new)
(ca) food shall be carefully processed in such a way as to guarantee the integrity of the organic food.
Amendment 72
Article 7, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1
The entire commercial part of a holding shall be managed in compliance with the requirements applicable to organic production or conversion to organic production .
The entire agricultural holding shall be managed in compliance with the requirements applicable to organic production.
Amendment 184
Article 7, paragraph 2, subparagraph 1
2.   Farmers are required not to use GMOs or products produced from GMOs where they should have knowledge of their presence due to information on any label accompanying the product or from any other accompanying document .
2.   Farmers are required not to use GMOs or products produced from or by GMOs.
Amendment 75
Article 7, paragraph 2, subparagraph 2
Where farmers use products purchased from third parties to produce organic food or feedstuffs, they shall require the vendor to confirm that the products supplied have not been produced by GMOs.
Where farmers or any other providers of organic produce use products purchased from third parties to produce organic food or feedstuffs, they must require the vendor to confirm that the products supplied have not been produced from or by GMOs and do not contain or consist of GMOs .
Amendment 76
Article 7, paragraph 2, subparagraph 2 a (new)
In the case of an adventitious or technically unavoidable contamination with GMOs, operators must be in a position to supply evidence that they have taken all necessary steps to avoid such contamination.
Amendment 77
Article 8, paragraph 1, point (b)
(b) fertility and biological activity of the soil shall be maintained and increased by multi-annual crop rotation including green manure, application of manure and organic material from organic farms;
(b) fertility and biological activity of the soil shall be maintained and increased by multi-annual crop rotation including green manure, application of effluent from animal-breeding and organic material from organic farms, preferably composted ;
Amendment 78
Article 8, paragraph 1, point (h)
(h) the use of any approved synthetic substances shall be subject to conditions and limits as regards the crops that they can be applied to, the application method, the dosage, the time limits for use and the contact with crop;
(h) the use of any approved synthetic substances shall be subject to strict conditions and limits as regards the crops that they can be applied to, the application method, the dosage, the time limits for use and the contact with crop;
Amendment 185
Article 8, paragraph 1, point (i)
(i) only organically produced seed and propagating material may be used. To this end, the mother plant in the case of seeds and the parent plant in the case of vegetative propagating material shall have been produced in accordance with the rules laid down in this Regulation for at least one generation, or, in the case of perennial crops, two growing seasons.
(i) only organically produced seed and propagating material which has been proved to be GMO free may be used. To this end, the mother plant in the case of seeds and the parent plant in the case of vegetative propagating material shall have been produced in accordance with the rules laid down in this Regulation for at least one generation, or, in the case of perennial crops, two growing seasons.
In the case of non-availability of organically produced seeds derogations may be made following the rules laid down in Article 11 and Annex [XX] (having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1452/2003), provided that these are in no way contaminated with GMOs.
Amendment 79
Article 9, point (b), point (iii)
(iii) the livestock shall have permanent access to a free-range area , preferably pasture, whenever weather conditions and the state of the ground allow this;
(iii) ) the livestock shall have permanent access to open air areas , preferably pasture, whenever weather conditions and the state of the ground allow this, unless restrictions and obligations relating to the protection of human and animal health are imposed by Community legislation; the Commission and the Member States shall ensure that such restrictions and obligations do not lead to animal suffering or a loss of markets for organic products ;
Amendment 80
Article 9, point (b), point (iv)
(iv) the number of livestock shall be limited with a view to minimising overgrazing, poaching of soil, erosion, or pollution caused by animals or by the spreading of their manure ;
(iv) the number of livestock shall be limited with a view to minimising overgrazing, poaching of soil, erosion, or pollution caused by animals or by the spreading of their effluent ;
Amendment 81
Article 9, point (b), point (v)
(v) organic livestock shall be kept separate or readily separable from other livestock;
(v) organic livestock shall be kept separate from other livestock;
Amendment 186
Article 9, point (b), point (vi)
(vi) tethering or isolation of livestock shall be prohibited, unless for individual animals for a limited period of time and justified for safety, welfare or veterinary reasons;
(vi) tethering or isolation of livestock shall be prohibited, unless for individual animals for a limited period of time and justified for safety, welfare or veterinary reasons; derogations may however be authorised by the authority or body delegated by the competent authority if cattle are tethered in buildings which already existed before 24 August 2000 or in smallholdings where it is not possible to keep them in groups appropriate to their behavioural requirements, provided they have access to pastures at least twice a week, open air runs or exercise areas and rearing takes place in line with animal welfare requirements with comfortable littered areas and as individual management;
Amendment 82
Article 9, point (b), point (x)
(x) hives and materials used in beekeeping must be made of natural materials;
(x) hives and materials used in beekeeping must be made of materials that are proven not to have adverse effects on the surrounding environment ;
Amendment 83
Article 9, point (c), point (i)
(i) reproduction shall not be induced by hormone treatment, unless in order to treat reproduction disorders ;
(i) reproduction should, in principle, be based on natural methods. However, artificial insemination shall be allowed. Other forms of artificial or assisted reproduction (for example the transfer of embryos) shall not be used ;
Amendment 84
Article 9, point (c), point (ii)
(ii) cloning and embryo transfer shall not be used;
(ii) breeding techniques employing genetic engineering, cloning and embryo transfer shall not be used;
Amendment 85
Article 9, point (d), point (i)
(i) livestock shall be fed with organic feed, which may include proportions of feed from farm units which are in conversion to organic farming, that meet the animal's nutritional requirements at the various stages of its development;
(i) livestock shall be fed with organic feed so as to meet the animal's nutritional requirements at the various stages of its development; exemptions may be made as laid down in Annex XX, defining the percentage of feed which can be used from farms in conversion to organic farming;
Amendment 86
Article 9, point (d), point (ii)
(ii) animals shall have permanent access to pasture or roughage;
(ii) animals shall have permanent access to pasture or roughage, unless this is contra-indicated on veterinary grounds, which shall be for the competent authorities or the veterinary surgeon who is attending the animals to judge ;
Amendment 87
Article 9, point (e), point (ii)
(ii) disease outbreaks shall be treated immediately to avoid suffering to the animal; allopathic products including antibiotics may be used where necessary, when the use of phytotherapeutic, homeopathic and other products is inappropriate.
(ii) disease outbreaks shall be treated immediately to avoid suffering to the animal; synthetic chemical allopathic veterinary medicines including antibiotics may be used where necessary and under strict conditions (maximum number of treatments per animal and the withdrawal period being defined) , when the use of phytotherapeutic, homeopathic and other products is inappropriate.
Amendment 165
Article 10
Article 10
Production rules for aquaculture
1.    The Commission shall in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2), and subject to the objectives and principles laid down in Title II, establish production rules, including rules on conversion, applicable to organic aquaculture.
2.    Pending the adoption of the rules referred to in paragraph 1, national rules, or in the absence thereof private standards accepted or recognised by the Member States, shall apply, provided that they pursue the same objectives and principles as those laid down in Title II.
deleted
Amendment 89
Article 11, paragraph 1, introductory part
1.   The Commission shall in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2), and subject to the objectives and principles laid down in Title II, establish specific criteria for the approval of products and substances that may be used in organic farming as follows:
1.   The Commission shall in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2), after consultation with the relevant stakeholders and subject to the objectives and principles laid down in Title II, establish specific criteria for the approval of products and substances that may be used in organic farming as follows:
Amendment 90
Article 11, paragraph 1, point (e)
(e) cleaning materials;
(e) cleaning, hygiene and disinfection materials;
Amendment 91
Article 11, paragraph 1, point (f)
(f) other substances.
(f) other substances such as vitamins, microorganisms and plant boosters .
Amendment 92
Article 11, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.    The Commission shall ensure transparent procedures in relation to applications, documentation, review, evaluation and efficient decision-making. It shall give guidance to applicant Member States and use the expertise of the organic farming and food sector. Stakeholders shall have the opportunity to be involved in the process of evaluating certain products and substances for inclusion in positive lists. Requests for amendment or withdrawal as well as decisions thereon shall be published.
Amendment 93
Article 11, paragraph 2 b (new)
2b.    The following rules shall apply to plant protection products:
(i) their use must be essential for the control of a harmful organism or a particular disease for which other biological, physical or breeding alternatives or cultivation practices or other effective management practices are not yet available;
(ii) products not of plant, animal, microbial or mineral origin and not identical to their natural form may be approved only if the conditions for their use preclude any direct contact with the edible part(s) of a crop;
(iii) their use shall be temporary and the Commission shall specify a date by which their use is to be phased out or renewed;
Amendment 94
Article 11, paragraph 2 c (new)
2c.    Meat and bone meal shall not be fed to food producing animals.
Amendment 95
Article 12, point (c)
(c) milk and milk products from formerly non organic dairy animals may be sold as organic after a period to be defined in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2);
(c) milk and milk products from formerly non organic dairy animals and other products such as meat, eggs and honey may be sold as organic after a period to be defined in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2);
Amendment 96
Article 13, paragraph 3
3.   Hexane and other organic solvents may not be used.
3.   Hexane and chemical solvents may not be used.
Amendment 189
Article 13, paragraph 4, subparagraph 1
Feed manufacturers are required not to use GMOs or products produced from GMOs where they should have knowledge of their presence due to information on any label accompanying the product or from other accompanying documents.
Feed manufacturers are required not to use GMOs or products produced from or by GMOs; operators shall take all appropriate steps to avoid any contamination with GMOs, and shall supply evidence that no contamination has taken place.
Amendment 156
Article 14, paragraph 1, point (a)
(a) at least 95%, by weight, of the ingredients of agricultural origin of the product shall be organic;
(a) at least 95%, by weight, of the ingredients of agricultural origin of the product shall be organic when they are incorporated; however, specific rules shall be laid down for products containing more than 5% fish, seaweed, wine or vinegar;
Amendment 99
Article 14, paragraph 1, point (b)
(b) ingredients of non-agricultural origin and processing aids may be used only if they have been approved under Article 15;
(b) only additives, processing aids, flavourings, water, salt, preparations from micro-organisms and enzymes, minerals, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids and other micronutrients may be used in foodstuffs intended for a specific nutritional use provided that they have been authorised under Article 15;
Amendment 100
Article 14, paragraph 1, point (c)
(c) non-organic agricultural ingredients may be used only if they have been approved under Article 15.
(c) non-organic agricultural ingredients may be used only if they have been authorised under Article 15 or provisionally authorised by a Member State;
Amendment 101
Article 14, paragraph 1, point (c a) (new)
(ca) an organic ingredient may not be present at the same time as the same ingredient from a non-organic source or from a holding in conversion;
Amendment 102
Article 14, paragraph 1, point (c b) (new)
(cb) foods produced from crops harvested on a holding in conversion may contain only one ingredient of agricultural origin.
Amendment 103
Article 14, paragraph 2
2.   The extraction, processing and storage of organic food shall be conducted with care to avoid losing the properties of the ingredients. Substances and techniques that reconstitute these properties or correct the results of negligence in the processing of these products shall not be used.
2.   The extraction, conditioning, transport, processing, storage and marketing of organic food shall be conducted with care to avoid losing the properties of the ingredients and products . Substances and techniques that reconstitute these properties or correct the results of negligence in the processing of these products shall not be used.
Amendment 190
Article 14, paragraph 3, subparagraph 1
3.   Processors are required not to use GMOs or products produced from GMOs where they should have knowledge of their presence due to information on the label accompanying the product or from any other accompanying document.
3.   Processors are required not to use GMOs or products produced from or by GMOs; operators shall take all appropriate steps to avoid any contamination with GMOs, and shall supply evidence that no contamination has taken place.
Amendment 105
Article 14, paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.    The extraction, processing and storage of organic food products shall be carried out with guarantees of separation in space and time from other, non-organic lines of production.
Amendment 106
Article 14, paragraph 3 b (new)
3b.    Member States may maintain or introduce stricter rules for the production of processed food on condition that such rules are in compliance with Community legislation and do not hinder or restrict the free movement of products that comply with this Regulation.
Amendment 107
Article 15, paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.    Member States may maintain or introduce stricter rules for the use of certain products and substances in processing on condition that such rules are in compliance with Community legislation and do not hinder or restrict the free movement of products that comply with this Regulation.
Amendment 108
Article 16, paragraph 2, point (b a) (new)
(ba) where restrictions and obligations relating to the protection of human and animal health are imposed by Community legislation;
Amendment 109
Article 16, paragraph 2, point (h)
(h) where restrictions and obligations related to the protection of human and animal health are imposed on the basis of Community legislation.
deleted
Amendment 110
Article 16, paragraph 2, subparagraph 1 a and 1 b (new)
Exceptions shall be granted where appropriate, for a limited time, and shall be based on a development plan for the region or farm concerned designed to solve the problem in question.
Information on exceptions granted under this Article shall be made accessible to the public and revised at least every three years.
Amendment 111
Article 17, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1 a (new)
In the case of processed products, these terms may only be used where:
(a) in the product designation and labelling at least 95% by weight of the ingredients which are of agricultural origin are produced organically and all essential ingredients are produced organically;
(b) in the list of ingredients, the information about the organic ingredients is imparted in the same way and using the same colour and font size and style as the other information in the list of ingredients. These products shall not bear a logo indicating organic production
Amendment 112
Article 17, paragraph 2
2.   The terms listed in Annex I, their derivatives or diminutives, alone or combined, may not be used anywhere in the Community and in any Community language for the labelling and advertising of a product which has not been produced and controlled, or imported, in accordance with this Regulation, unless these terms clearly cannot be associated with agricultural production.
2.   The terms listed in Annex I, their derivatives or diminutives, alone or combined or implied , may not be used anywhere in the Community and in any Community language for the labelling and advertising of a product which has not been produced or imported, controlled and certified , in accordance with this Regulation, unless these terms clearly cannot be associated with organic agricultural production.
Amendment 171
Article 17, paragraph 3
3.   The terms listed in Annex I, their derivatives or diminutives, alone or combined, may not be used for a product which bears a label indicating that it contains GMOs, consists of GMOs or is produced from GMOs.
3.   The terms listed in Annex I, their derivatives or diminutives, alone or combined, must not be used for a product which bears a label indicating that it contains GMOs, that it consists of GMOs, that it is produced from GMOs or using GMOs, or where it is proven that GMOs have contaminated the product, ingredient or feed used, or to indicate products in which the level of accidental GMO contamination is above the detectable threshold of 0,1 % .
Amendment 114
Article 17, paragraph 4
4.   Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure compliance with this Article.
4.   Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure compliance with this Article, and to prevent fraudulent use of the terms referred to in this Article.
Amendment 115
Article 18, paragraph 1, point (a)
(a) the code number referred to in Article 22(7) of the body competent for the controls to which the operator is subject;
(a) the code number referred to in Article 22(7) of the body or authority competent for the controls, certification and inspection to which the operator is subject;
Amendment 116
Article 18, paragraph 1, point (b)
(b) where the logo referred to in Article 19 is not used, at least one of the indications listed in Annex II in capital lettering.
(b) the logo referred to in Article 19 and at least one of the indications listed in Annex II in capital lettering;
Amendment 117
Article 18, paragraph 1, point (b a) (new)
(ba) an indication of the place of origin of the product or the agricultural raw materials of which the product consists, namely whether the product is of Community or third country origin or a combination. The place of origin shall be supplemented by the name of a country in so far as the product or raw materials from which it is produced comes or come from that specific country.
Amendment 118
Article 19, title
Community organic production logo
Community and national organic production logos
Amendment 119
Article 19
The Commission shall, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2), define a Community logo which may be used in the labelling, presentation and advertising of products produced and controlled, or imported, in accordance with this Regulation.
The Commission shall, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2), define a Community logo which shall be used in the labelling, presentation and advertising of products produced and controlled, or imported, in accordance with this Regulation, and which shall constitute the main identifying symbol for organic products throughout the EU .
Amendment 120
Article 19, paragraph 1 a (new)
The Community logo shall not be used in the case of processed food not complying with Article 14(1) or conversion products.
Amendment 121
Article 21
The Commission shall in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2) establish specific labelling requirements applicable to organic feed and to products originating from holdings in conversion.
The Commission shall in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2) establish specific labelling requirements applicable to organic feed.
Amendment 122
Article 21, paragraph 1 a and 1 b (new)
Crop products may bear indications referring to conversion to organic production in labelling or advertising provided that such products satisfy the requirements of Article 12.
Such indications shall:
a) state 'produced under conversion to organic farming';
b) appear in a colour, size and style of lettering which allows consumers to clearly identify the specific conversion product.
Amendment 123
Article 22, paragraph 4, subparagraph 1
The competent authority may in accordance with Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 delegate certain control tasks to one or more control bodies.
The competent authority may in accordance with Article 4(3) and Article 5(1) of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 delegate certain control tasks to one or more control authorities or bodies.
Amendment 124
Article 22, paragraph 4, subparagraph 2
The control bodies shall fulfil the requirements set out in European Standard EN 45011 or ISO Guide 65 "General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems" of the version as most recently notified by a publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, C series.
The control bodies shall be accredited in line with European Standard EN 45011 or ISO Guide 65 "General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems" of the version as most recently notified by a publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, C series.
Amendment 125
Article 22, paragraph 7
7.   Member States shall attribute a code number to each body competent to carry out controls under this Regulation.
7.   Member States shall attribute a code number to each body or authority competent to carry out controls, inspections and certifications under this Regulation.
Amendment 126
Article 22, paragraph 8 a (new)
8a.    Member States shall in all cases ensure that the system of controls set up allows products to be traced at every stage of production, preparation and distribution, so as to give consumers a guarantee that organic products have been produced in compliance with this Regulation.
Amendment 127
Article 23, paragraph 1, point (a)
(a) notify this activity to a competent authority of the Member State where the activity is carried out;
(a) notify the full scope of this activity to a competent authority of the Member State where the activity is carried out;
Amendment 128
Article 23, paragraph 4
4.   The competent authority shall keep an updated list containing the names and addresses of operators subject to the control system.
The competent authorities and control bodies shall keep an updated list containing the names and addresses of operators subject to the control system. This list shall be made available to interested parties .
Amendment 129
Article 24, paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.    Regular hearings of stakeholders shall be organised in order to recognise and highlight the important role played by organic farmers in the decision-making and certification process.
Amendment 130
Article 25, paragraph 1, point (a)
(a) where an irregularity is found as regards compliance with the requirements laid down in this Regulation, ensure that the indications and the logo provided for in Articles 17, 18 and 19 are not used on the entire lot or production run affected by this irregularity;
(a) where an irregularity is found as regards compliance with the requirements laid down in this Regulation, ensure that the indications and the logo provided for in Articles 17, 18 and 19 are not used on the entire lot or production run affected by this irregularity or are removed therefrom ;
Amendment 131
Article 26
Upon request duly justified by the necessity to guarantee that a product has been produced in accordance with this Regulation, the competent authorities and the control bodies shall exchange with other competent authorities and control bodies relevant information on the results of their controls. They may also exchange such information on their own initiative.
Upon request duly justified by the necessity to guarantee that a product has been produced in accordance with this Regulation, the competent authorities, national and Community stakeholder representatives involved in decision- making and the control bodies shall exchange with other competent authorities and control bodies relevant information on the results of their controls. They may also exchange such information on their own initiative.
Amendment 132
Article 27, paragraph 1
1.   A product imported from a third country may be placed on the Community market labelled as organic where it complies with the provisions set out in Titles II, III and IV of this Regulation.
1.   A product imported from a third country may be placed on the Community market labelled as organic where:
(a) it complies with the provisions set out in this Regulation;
(b) the undertakings responsible for production, importing and marketing are subject to controls equivalent to Community controls, which are carried out by an authority or body officially recognised by the Community;
(c) the undertakings responsible for production, importing and marketing are able at any time to provide proof that the product meets the requirements of this Regulation;
(d) the product is covered by a certificate issued by the competent control authority confirming compliance with this Regulation.
Amendment 133
Article 27, paragraph 2
2.   A third country operator who wishes to place his products labelled as organic on the Community market, under the conditions provided for in paragraph 1, shall submit his activities to any competent authority or control body as referred to in Title V, provided that the authority or body concerned perform controls in the third country of production, or to a control body approved in accordance with paragraph 5.
2.   A third country operator at any stage of the production, processing or distribution of products who wishes to place his products labelled as organic on the Community market, under the conditions provided for in paragraph 1, shall submit his activities to any competent authority or control body as referred to in Title V, provided that the authority or body concerned perform controls in the third country of production, or to a control body approved in accordance with paragraph 5.
Such products shall be protected by a certificate delivered by the control authorities or bodies confirming that they comply with the conditions laid down in this article.
Amendment 134
Article 27, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.    The operator concerned must at any time be able to provide importers or national authorities with documentary evidence issued by the competent authority or control body as referred to in Title V which permits the identification of the operator who carried out the last operation and verification of compliance by this operator with this Regulation.
Amendment 135
Article 27, paragraph 3, point (a)
(a) the product has been produced in accordance with production standards equivalent to those applied to organic production in the Community, or in accordance with the internationally recognised standards set out in the Codex Alimentarius guidelines;
(a) the product has been produced in accordance with production standards equivalent to those applied to organic production in the Community, with account being taken of the Codex Alimentarius guidelines CAC/GL 32;
Amendment 136
Article 27, paragraph 3, point (b)
(b) the producer has been subject to control arrangements which are equivalent to those of the Community control system, or which comply with the Codex Alimentarius guidelines;
(b) the operator has been subject to control arrangements which are equivalent to those of the Community control system, with account being taken of the Codex Alimentarius guidelines CAC/GL 32;
Amendment 137
Article 27, paragraph 3, point (c)
(c) the third country operator who wishes to place his products labelled as organic on the Community market under the conditions of this paragraph has submitted his activities to a control system recognised in accordance with paragraph 4 or a control body recognised in accordance with paragraph 5;
(c) the third country operators at all stages of the production, processing and distribution of products who wish to place their products labelled as organic on the Community market under the conditions of this paragraph have submitted their activities to a control system recognised in accordance with paragraph 4 or one or more control bodies recognised in accordance with paragraph 5;
Amendment 138
Article 27, paragraph 3, point (d)
(d) the product is covered by a certificate issued by the competent authorities or control bodies of a third country recognised in accordance with paragraph 4, or by a control body recognised in accordance with paragraph 5, which confirms that the product satisfies the conditions set out in this paragraph.
(d) the product is covered by a certificate issued by the competent authorities or control bodies of a third country recognised in accordance with paragraph 4, or by a control body recognised in accordance with paragraph 5, which confirms that the product satisfies the conditions set out in this paragraph. The Commission shall, pursuant to the procedure laid down in Article 31(2), establish the conditions governing the certificate and shall lay down implementing rules before the new import regime comes into force.
Amendment 139
Article 27, paragraph 3, point (d a) (new)
(da) the third-country control bodies approved under paragraph 4 or recognised under paragraph 5 satisfy European Standard EN 45011 on general criteria for product certification bodies (ISO/IEC Guide 65) and have before 1 January 2009 been accredited, in line with that standard by any accreditation body which has signed the Multilateral Recognition Agreement.
Amendment 140
Article 27, paragraph 4, subparagraph 1
4.   The Commission shall in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2) recognise the third countries whose production standards and control arrangements are equivalent to those applied in the Community, or are in accordance with the internationally recognised standards set out in the Codex Alimentarius guidelines, and establish a list of these countries.
4.   The Commission shall in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 31(2) recognise the third countries whose production standards and control arrangements are equivalent to those applied in the Community and take account of the Codex Alimentarius guidelines CAC/GL 32 , and establish a list of these countries.
Amendment 141
Article 27, paragraph 4, subparagraph 2 a and 2 b (new)
The recognised control bodies or control authorities shall provide assessment reports issued by the accreditation body or, as appropriate, the competent authority on the regular on-the-spot evaluation, surveillance and multi-annual re-assessment of their activities. These assessment reports shall be published on the Internet .
On the basis of these assessment reports the Commission, assisted by the Member States, shall ensure appropriate supervision of recognised control authorities and control bodies by regularly reviewing their recognition. The nature of the supervision shall be determined on the basis of an assessment of the risk of the occurrence of irregularities or infringements of this Regulation .
Amendment 142
Article 27, paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.    The competent national authorities shall be involved in the process recognising inspection and certification bodies. Importing operators shall send them certificates of all import activities. They shall establish a public Community database on imports.
The competent national and Community authorities may conduct random on-the-spot checks of the inspection and certification bodies.
Amendment 152
Article 28
Member States may not, on grounds relating to the method of production, to labelling or to the presentation of that method, prohibit or restrict the marketing of organic products that meet the requirements of this Regulation.
1.    Competent authorities and control bodies may not, with regard to the method of production, the labelling or the presentation of that method, prohibit or restrict the marketing of organic products that are controlled by a control body of another Member State, provided that these products meet the requirements of this Regulation.
In particular control arrangements or financial burdens other than those mentioned in Part V of this Regulation may not be applied.
2.    The Member States may apply stricter rules on their own territory provided that they are in accordance with Community law and do not prohibit or restrict the marketing of organic products produced outside the Member State in question.
Amendment 144
Article 31, title
Management Committee on organic production
Regulatory Committee with scrutiny on organic production
Amendment 145
Article 31, paragraph 1
1.   The Commission shall be assisted by the Management Committee on organic production (hereinafter "the Committee").
1.   The Commission shall be assisted by the Regulatory Committee with scrutiny on organic production (hereinafter "the Committee").
Amendment 146
Article 31, paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.    The Committee shall ensure regular consultation of and cooperation with organic producer representatives and consumer representatives with a view to consistently meeting the objectives of organic production set out in Article 3, involving them in updating and implementing appropriate techniques consistent with the objectives and principles laid down in Title II.
Amendment 147
Article 31, paragraph 2
2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5a(1) to (4) and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
Amendment 148
Article 31, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.    The Commission shall notify the European Parliament of any planned changes to the Regulation through the comitology procedure, and shall take due account of Parliament's position thereon.
Amendment 149
Article 31, paragraph 4
4.   The Committee shall adopt its rules of procedure.
4.   The Committee shall adopt its rules of procedure pursuant to Article 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC .
Amendment 150
Article 32, point (a)
(a) detailed rules as regards the production rules laid down in Title III, in particular as regards the specific requirements and conditions to be respected by farmers and other producers of organic products;
(a) detailed rules as regards the production rules laid down in Title III, in particular as regards the specific requirements and conditions to be respected by farmers and other producers of organic products, including positive lists concerning crop inputs, additives, processing aids and other ingredients ;
Amendment 151
Annex II
-   EU-ORGANIC
-   ORGANIC

(1) The matter was then referred back to committee pursuant to Rule 53(2) (A6-0061/2007 ).


Security at football matches *
DOC 47k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 March 2007 on the initiative by the Republic of Austria with a view to the adoption of a Council decision amending Decision 2002/348/JHA concerning security in connection with football matches with an international dimension (10543/2006 – C6-0240/2006 – 2006/0806(CNS) )
P6_TA(2007)0096 A6-0052/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the initiative by the Republic of Austria (10543/2006)(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 34(2)(c) of the EU Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 39(1) of the EU Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0240/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rules 93 and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0052/2007 ),

1.   Approves the initiative by the Republic of Austria as amended;

2.   Calls on the Council to amend the text accordingly;

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

4.   Calls on the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the initiative by the Republic of Austria;

5.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the Government of the Republic of Austria.

Text proposed by the Republic of Austria   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
ARTICLE 1, POINT 1, POINT (A)
Article 2, paragraph 2 (Decision 2002/348/JHA)
2.   National football information points shall, in accordance with the domestic and international rules applicable, have access to information involving personal data on high-risk supporters.
2.   National football information points shall, in accordance with the domestic and international laws applicable, have access to information involving personal data on high-risk supporters. Such data shall be handled exclusively in connection with football matches and may not be used for any other activities.
Amendment 2
ARTICLE 1, POINT 1 A (new)
Article 3, paragraph 3 (Decision 2002/348/JHA)
(1a)    Article 3(3) shall be replaced by the following:
3.    Personal data shall be exchanged in accordance with the domestic and international laws applicable, taking account of the principles of Convention No 108 of the Council of Europe of 28 January 1981 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data and - as appropriate - Recommendation No R (87)15 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of 17 September 1987 regulating the use of personal data in the police sector. Such exchanges shall be with a view to preparing and taking the appropriate measures to maintain law and order when a football event takes place. Such exchanges may in particular involve details of individuals actually or potentially posing a threat to law and order and security.

(1) OJ C 164, 15.7.2006, p. 30.


The future of Kosovo and the role of the EU
DOC 76k
European Parliament resolution of 29 March 2007 on the future of Kosovo and the role of the EU (2006/2267(INI) )
P6_TA(2007)0097 A6-0067/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council of 10 June 1999,

–   having regard to the report by the UN Secretary-General's Standards Review Envoy on the Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of Standards, submitted to the UN Security Council on 7 October 2005,

–   having regard to the decision by the UN Security Council, in the Statement by its President of 24 October 2005, to endorse the Secretary-General's proposal to initiate the status talks on Kosovo,

–   having regard to the appointment, on 14 November 2005, of Mr Martti Ahtisaari as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the future status process for Kosovo,

–   having regard to the Statement of the Contact Group (UK, France, Germany, Italy, United States and Russia) of 31 January 2006 underscoring the specific nature of the Kosovo problem – shaped, according to the Statement, by the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the resulting conflicts, ethnic cleansing and the events of 1999, and by the lengthy period of international administration under UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) – and calling for an early negotiated settlement of the issue as the best course to follow,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 14/15 December 2006, which fully support Martti Ahtisaari's efforts towards a solution of the status question and reaffirm the Union's readiness to play a significant role in the implementation of the future status settlement,

–   having regard to the Special Envoy's final report on Kosovo's future status and the Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement of 26 March 2007,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A6-0067/2007 ),

A.   whereas the guiding principles for a settlement of the status of Kosovo adopted by the Contact Group on 7 October 2005 emphasise that a negotiated settlement should be an international priority and that, once started, the negotiation process cannot be blocked and must be brought to a conclusion; whereas those principles stipulate clearly that there cannot be any return to the pre–March 1999 situation, or any partition of Kosovo, or any union of Kosovo with any other country or part of any country,

B.   whereas in the 1990s the population of Kosovo was subject to systematic acts of violence and repression which in 1999 escalated into in a mass expulsion of the civilian population, leading the UN Security Council, in the wake of NATO action, to intervene and to place the territory under international civil and security control; whereas this created an unprecedented situation in international law,

C.   whereas the events of March 2004, which must be condemned, prove the persisting tensions within Kosovo between the Albanian and the Serb communities and the need to find a solution which guarantees the rights of both ethnicities and of other ethnic groups, in line with the publications of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and other organisations with competencies in the field of the protection of minorities,

D.   whereas determining the future status of Kosovo will contribute to its economic development, the emergence of a mature political class and the development of a tolerant, non–segregational society in the province,

E.   whereas despite the numerous rounds of talks unfortunately no negotiated settlement acceptable to both sides could be reached, and taking note of the fact that the UN Special Envoy presented to the Contact Group and to the UN Secretary-General the proposals for the settlement,

F.   whereas the final settlement cannot be dictated by threats of radicalisation in Kosovo or Serbia but must be the result of a solution which takes into account the interests of all parties involved,

G.   whereas further delay in determining the status of Kosovo could have a negative impact on the already fragile and tense situation,

H.   whereas the events of 1999, the long interim international administration and the emergence and gradual consolidation of Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-government have created an exceptional situation that makes the reintegration of Kosovo into Serbia unrealistic,

I.   whereas relations between Kosovo and Serbia, given their close cultural, religious and economic ties, should be further developed in a spirit of partnership and good neighbourliness in the interests of the whole population of Kosovo and Serbia,

J.   whereas the lack of trust between the different ethnic groups, the still volatile situation and the need to further develop and consolidate democratic, multi-ethnic institutions in Kosovo call for a continuous international presence for the foreseeable future,

K.   whereas the international community should continue to invest in education, especially in view of the serious challenges faced by Kosovo's younger generation,

L.   whereas, given Kosovo's strategic position, the European Union must play a central role in monitoring, guaranteeing and facilitating the implementation of the status settlement as well as assisting in the establishment and consolidation of democratic institutions in Kosovo, with Parliament exercising its monitoring responsibilities,

M.   whereas the EU contribution must, however, be conditional on the fulfilment, in the settlement, of certain minimum requirements,

N.   whereas the final status settlement must be EU-compatible, i.e. it should provide for a constitutional framework which is compatible with Kosovo's European prospects and should allow the Union to deploy the full range of instruments it has at its disposal,

1.   Supports the UN-led process to determine the final status of Kosovo and the efforts to establish a viable framework that guarantees stability and protection for all the communities in Kosovo and long-term, self-sustaining economic and social development; endorses Mr Ahtisaari's Comprehensive Proposal for a Kosovo Status Settlement and takes the view that sovereignty supervised by the international community is the best option for securing those objectives; on this basis, expects the UN Security Council to adopt swiftly a new resolution replacing Resolution 1244 (1999);

2.  Takes the view that the only sustainable settlement for Kosovo is one which:

   grants Kosovo access to international financial organisations and thus allows it to start its economic recovery and create the conditions for employment creation;
   envisages an international presence in order to maintain the multi-ethnic character of Kosovo and to safeguard the interests and security of the Serb and Roma populations and of other ethnic communities;
   provides international support in order to secure the development of effective, self-sustaining institutions for the entire population of Kosovo, operating in accordance with the rule of law and the basic ground-rules of democracy;
   allows Kosovo to achieve its desire to be integrated in Europe, which in time will lead to relations of mutual interdependence with its neighbours;

3.   Considers that any settlement regarding the future status of Kosovo must be in accordance with international law;

4.   Expresses the hope that a strong and clearly pro-European government can be formed soon in Serbia, which will be seriously and positively engaged in seeking a solution to the question of the status of Kosovo; emphasises that such a government is also necessary for the purposes of full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and will allow, under these conditions, for the re-opening of the negotiations on, and the final conclusion of, a Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Serbia and the European Union;

5.  Believes that the final settlement should cover inter alia the following aspects:

   a clear definition of the role and mandate of the international civilian and security presence;
   clear provisions on decentralisation which grant substantial autonomy in key areas such as education, health and local security and, in the case of Serb municipalities, allow direct but transparent links with Belgrade; such provisions must be financially sustainable and must not undermine the budgetary, executive and legislative prerogatives of a unitary Kosovo;
   full respect for human rights including the obligation to provide constitutional guarantees for the vital interests of minorities and refugees, and adequate mechanisms for safeguarding such interests;
   the protection of all cultural and religious sites;
   provisions regarding the establishment of a lightly-equipped, multi-ethnic internal Kosovar Security Force with limited scope, capability and functions, under the strict supervision of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR);
   international guarantees for the territorial integrity of all neighbouring states;

6.   Underlines that the solution in Kosovo will set no precedent in international law, as Kosovo has been under UN rule since 1999 and UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) already contained provisions on the need to resolve the question of Kosovo's final status; concludes, therefore, that the situation regarding Kosovo is in no way comparable with the situation in other conflict regions which are not under UN administration;

7.   Emphasises that an agreement on the future of Kosovo must also include specific institutional arrangements for Kosovska Mitrovica which fully guarantee the rights and security of the Serb community without undermining the unity of Kosovo; believes that those arrangements should be directly supervised by the international community, in consultation with Belgrade; reminds Serbia, however, that such involvement in Kosovo is linked with Serbia's cooperation in implementing the final status settlement;

8.   Welcomes, therefore, the fact that the Ahtisaari proposal outlines wide-ranging autonomy for the Serbian and other communities, including a substantial degree of municipal autonomy in line with the European principles of subsidiarity and self-governance;

9.  Is of the opinion that the international community should, as far as possible, gear its presence towards assisting local authorities in:

   implementing the terms of the settlement;
   developing autonomous, ethnically balanced institutional, administrative, judicial and policing capacity;
   achieving progress in complying with UN standards and EU stabilisation and association benchmarks;

10.   Believes, therefore, that, whilst it should be staffed in a manner commensurate with its tasks, the international presence in Kosovo should not result in the establishment of a parallel administration or replicate the existing UN-led administration;

11.  Emphasises that the international community must have direct corrective and, in limited cases, substitution powers in crucial areas such as:

   safeguarding the vital interests of minorities;
   the protection of sensitive sites;
   security;
   the judiciary and the broader rule of law, particularly in the fight against organised crime;

12.   Stresses that additional efforts are needed to support the further return of refugees and displaced persons throughout Kosovo; underlines that the key to sustainable return is work opportunities and that sustainable economic development must now become a priority; underlines that non-Serb and non-Albanian refugees, such as Roma and Ashkali, need special attention, including the Roma internally displaced persons living in the camps in Kosovska Mitrovica;

13.   Supports the need for an inclusive and fair educational system which will provide for Roma and Ashkali pupils to be partially educated in the Roma language, thereby nurturing the identity and culture of those minority communities;

14.   Underlines the important role that the United Nations Security Council has to play for a final decision on the future status of Kosovo; urges the European Union and its Member States, and in particular those Member States which are also members of the UN Security Council, to give their full and active support to a viable solution for the future status of Kosovo;

15.   Considers that the adoption of a new UN Security Council resolution is also crucial for the future engagement of the EU in Kosovo, and that no enhanced EU involvement should be envisaged in the absence of such a resolution;

16.   Is convinced that, in the light of its central role in the implementation of the settlement, the European Union should have a decisive say on the final terms of the settlement;

17.   Believes that Member States should try to reach a single position on the question of Kosovo and therefore calls on the Council to endeavour to adopt a common position on the status issue spelling out the minimum requirements of a sustainable, EU-compatible solution for Kosovo;

18.   Recalls that, in accordance with Article 19 of the Treaty on European Union, Member States represented in the UN Security Council would be expected to uphold that common position and to keep the EU Council regularly informed about negotiations; also calls for Parliament to be kept regularly informed;

19.   Calls on those EU Member States that are members of the Contact Group to share their information with the Council and all other Member States, and to improve coordination and cooperation with them, because the EU as a whole will bear the international responsibility and the financial burden of the final settlement;

20.   Urges Member States in the UN Security Council and, in particular, the Permanent Members to play a constructive role, to strive to ensure that the two parties involved act in a flexible manner and to adopt an unambiguous, sustainable solution for Kosovo, along the lines of the proposals submitted by the Special Envoy, with the agreement of the two parties as far as possible;

21.  Is prepared to make available the additional resources required in order to finance the future EU involvement in Kosovo with a view to implementing the status settlement and supporting Kosovo's EU prospects, provided that:

   the status settlement supported by the UN Security Council takes adequate account of the Union's common position,
   sufficient advance consultation takes place on the scope, objectives, means and modalities of that mission, so that Parliament can be reassured that the resources are commensurate with the tasks;
   those additional financial resources are made available in accordance with the terms of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1) ; and
   an international donors' conference is convened in due time;

22.   Supports the establishment of a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) mission in Kosovo that will contribute to the implementation of the status settlement in the field of the rule of law; considers that the ESDP mission should have all the resources necessary to ensure that it can implement its mandate and assume the heavy responsibility with which it will be entrusted;

23.   Recalls the commitment, given by the Finnish Presidency on behalf of the Council in connection with the adoption of the budget for 2007, to provide Parliament with detailed information on the scope, objectives and likely financial implications of the possible forthcoming operation as the planning of the mission proceeds;

24.   Points out that the European Union is represented in Kosovo both by the Commission's Liaison Office and by bodies under the Council Secretary-General/High Representative; invites the Council to give further consideration to the question whether the organisation of its presence in Kosovo can be further streamlined and simplified;

25.   Is concerned about the way in which the transition from the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to the new International Civilian Office will be managed; reminds UNMIK that it should remain engaged in Kosovo until the new Office is organised and fully operational; invites the UN and the EU to devise means to prevent further loss of international expertise in crucial areas of administration, particularly in view of the fact that Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government will need time and assistance to take over certain legislative and executive powers from UNMIK;

26.   Urges the OSCE to continue to play a major role in Kosovo after the status settlement with regard, in particular, to the monitoring and verification of election processes; calls in this regard on both the Council and the OSCE to enhance their cooperation in the field of the rule of law, with a clear division of tasks as regards the ESDP mission;

27.   Expresses its support for the EU's emphasis on the judiciary and the rule of law in the post-settlement phase, underlining that a smooth transfer of responsibilities will be needed; calls for the establishment for a clear and transparent division of tasks and responsibilities between domestic Kosovo courts and judicial authorities and the planned EU law and order mission; demands full accountability and respect for the rule of law in relation to detentions and other actions by KFOR;

28.  Points out to the Kosovo authorities that the international community expects them

   to focus their efforts on developing the institutional and administrative capacity required in order ultimately to take over the responsibilities hitherto exercised by UNMIK;
   to elaborate a Kosovar concept of citizenship that explicitly builds on the multi-lingual and multi-ethnic character of the region, while making full provision for the various ethnic communities that constitute the population of Kosovo;
   to work seriously and constructively towards the establishment of a multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-faith, tolerant country and society that respects the rights of all ethnic groups;

29.   Underlines in this context that the international presence will remain in Kosovo until the above objectives are truly embedded and realised;

30.   Is deeply concerned about the recent violent demonstrations in Kosovo, which are seriously endangering the smooth continuation of the process of finding a peaceful solution for the future status of Kosovo; calls on both sides to exercise the utmost restraint and to make a peaceful conclusion of the status process possible;

31.   Further reminds the Kosovo authorities that, once the status issue is finally resolved, the people of Kosovo will want their government to address the problems which affect their daily lives, such as those relating to security, economic development, corruption and organised crime, employment, adequate public services and equality for all before the law;

32.   Invites the EU and Kosovo's authorities to work together so as to create conditions for improved economic growth for the benefit of all ethnic communities in Kosovo; reiterates the need for the establishment of a comprehensive and realistic long-term economic development plan as well as for full compliance with the fundamental principles of the rule of law, and a detailed and properly resourced anti-corruption strategy;

33.   Emphasises the need to give more support to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the basis of the European Charter for Small Enterprises, which has been endorsed by Kosovo; calls on the Commission to ensure access to EU Structural Funds, provide better financing for SME-related projects and set up an institutional framework to enhance cooperation between the Community and the private sector in Kosovo;

34.   Urges the leaders of the Serb community in Kosovo to recognise that their interests are better served in a democratic, decentralised and economically viable Kosovo, and to engage in the post-settlement process in order to ensure that those provisions of the agreement which are of direct interest for them are fully implemented;

35.   Calls on the Serbian Government to recognise that the future lies in the development of close, transparent ties with Kosovo, in the context of deepened regional integration and of the shared prospect of future EU membership;

36.   Stresses that finding a solution to the issue of the future status of Kosovo on the basis of Mr Ahtisaari's final proposals is of the greatest importance for the stability and the further development of the entire region; calls in this context on the governments of all neighbouring states to contribute positively to this process and to respect the existing state borders; furthermore, supports the view that, in the long run, the solution regarding the future status of Kosovo lies also in the fact that both Serbia and Kosovo are due to become part of the EU, together with their neighbours, since the future of the Western Balkans lies in the European Union;

37.   Reiterates that anchoring Kosovo firmly within the Stabilisation and Association Process will, inter alia, strengthen Kosovo's economic relations with Member States and their neighbours in the Western Balkans and facilitate the stabilisation process in the region;

38.   Welcomes the signature of the free-trade agreements with Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia; urges Kosovo's authorities to fully implement those agreements and ensure that free trade with Serbia and Montenegro continues;

39.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to proceed towards a visa facilitation agreement for Kosovo, as part of the post-settlement phase and along the lines currently negotiated with its neighbouring countries, taking into consideration the special problems related to Kosovo, namely the lack of consular offices of many Member States and the use, so far, of UNMIK passports;

40.   Calls on the Kosovar and Serbian authorities to fully cooperate with each other and with the ICTY in order to deliver up alleged war criminals;

41.   Believes that the publication of Mr Ahtisaari's report should be accompanied by an outreach campaign aimed at explaining clearly and objectively to the peoples concerned, including Serb citizens, the terms of the proposed settlement, and that a message of peaceful co-existence must be stressed by the European Union in relation to Kosovo; considers that a Kosovo that recognises the rights of the majority and the minority will be stable and prosperous;

42.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, to the Government of Serbia and the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo, to UNMIK, to the Members of the Contact Group, to the United Nations Security Council and to the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the future status process for Kosovo.

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


The future of the European Union's own resources
DOC 120k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 29 March 2007 on the future of the European Union's own resources (2006/2205(INI) )
P6_TA(2007)0098 A6-0066/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 22 November 1990 on the future financing of the European Community(1) and of 21 April 1994 on a new system of own resources for the European Union(2) ,

–   having regard to Council Decision 94/728/EC, Euratom of 31 October 1994 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(3) ,

–   having regard to the document of 7 October 1998 entitled 'Financing the European Union - Commission Report on the Operation of the Own Resources System' (COM(1998)0560 ),

–   having regard to its resolution of 11 March 1999 on the need to modify and reform the European Union's own resources system(4) ,

–   having regard to its position of 17 November 1999 on the proposal for a Council decision on the system of the European Union's own resources(5) ,

–   having regard to Council Decision 2000/597/EC, Euratom of 29 September 2000 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(6) ,

–   having regard to the Commission's Report on the operation of the own resources system (COM(2004)0505 ) and the Commission's proposal for a new Council Decision on own resources, accompanied by a proposal for a Council Regulation on the implementing measures for the correction of budgetary imbalances in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the Council decision of (…) on the system of the European Communities" own resources (COM(2004)0501 ) presented on 14 July 2004,

–   having regard to its resolution of 8 June 2005 on Policy Challenges and Budgetary Means of the enlarged Union 2007-2013(7) ,

–   having regard to the Study for the European Parliament: Own Resources: Evolution of the system in a EU of 25 presented on 30 June 2005(8) ,

–   having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 15-16 December 2005,

–   having regard to the Commission's proposal for a Council Decision on the system of the European Communities' own resources and to the Commission Working Document on calculation, financing, payment and entry in the budget of the correction of budgetary imbalances in favour of the United Kingdom ("the UK correction") in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of Council Decision (...) on the system of the European Communities' own resources (COM(2006)0099 ),

–   having regard to its position of 4 July 2006 on the proposal for a Council decision on the system of the European Communities' own resources(9) ,

–   having regard to the Study for the European Parliament: EU Own Resources - Preliminary assessment of the scope for Member State taxes supporting an EU-wide tax system, presented in January 2007(10) ,

–   having regard to the meetings of the Committee on Budgets with the chairpersons of the national parliaments' committees on budgets which took place on 16 June 2005 and on 21 June 2006,

–   having regard to the replies to the questionnaire on own resources sent by the Committee on Budgets on 30 November 2005 to all committees on budgets of the national parliaments of the Member States,

–   having regard to the formal and informal exchanges of views between the standing rapporteur on own resources and the relevant parliamentary committees, or representative thereof, which took place at the invitation of the national parliaments interested in discussing this matter in the course of 2006 and 2007,

–   having regard to the results achieved in the working groups on the future financing of the European Union of the Joint Parliamentary Meetings of 8-9 May 2006 and 4-5 December 2006,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(11) , in particular point 8 thereof, and Declaration No 3 on the review of the financial framework, annexed to that agreement,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinions of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0066/2007 ),

A.   whereas the first European Community, the European Coal and Steel Community established on 23 July 1952, was financed by a genuine system of own resources, based on a levy raised on each ton of steel produced, to be paid directly by the coal and steel producing companies into the ECSC budget,

B.   whereas, under the Treaty of Rome of 25 March 1957, the European Economic Community was to be financed by national contributions only for a transitional period to be followed by a changeover to a system of own resources,

C.   whereas this changeover finally took place on 21/22 April 1970 when the European Council in Luxembourg agreed on a decision ending national contributions and introducing a new system of financing based on two genuine own resources - agricultural levies and customs duties - complemented by a third resource based on value added tax (VAT),

D.   whereas all Parliament's efforts(12) to use the actual VAT returns to determine the assessment base to be used for the VAT resource ("returns method") instead of the harmonised base calculated by applying an average weighted rate on the total net revenue ("revenue method") were in vain, with the result that the VAT resource changed from a genuine own resource with a strong direct link to European citizens to a purely statistical device for calculating a contribution of a Member State,

E.   whereas the "Fontainebleau Agreement" concluded by the Heads of State and Government on 25/26 June 1984 clearly stated that "expenditure policy is ultimately the essential means of resolving the question of budgetary imbalances"; whereas at the same time however the European Council created the "British rebate", a correction mechanism for the United Kingdom, stipulating that, from 1985 onwards, the UK would receive 66% of the difference between its share of VAT payments and its share of expenditure allocated for the year in question; whereas the cost of this rebate was to be financed by all Member States, with a ceiling being placed on Germany's contribution; whereas this led to the United Kingdom's enjoying a rebate on its annual contributions to the EU budget that has amounted to a yearly average of EUR 5,3 billion in the period 2001-2004,

F.   whereas, at the same summit, the Heads of State and Government also agreed to make eligible for the same type of rebate, in principle and at the appropriate time, "any Member State which should sustain a budgetary burden considered excessive in relation to its relative prosperity",

G.   whereas the European Council in Brussels on 11-13 February 1988 established a ceiling for the Community budget of 1,2% of GNP for payments and 1,3% for commitments and confirmed that Member States could retain 10% of the revenue from traditional own resources to cover their collection cost,

H.   whereas the ceiling of own resources was raised to 1,24% of EU GNI in payment appropriations and 1,31% in commitment appropriations during the period 1993-1999, for an EU of 15 Member States, and has remained unchanged since then despite enlargement,

I.   whereas, most importantly, the 1988 Brussels European Council created a fourth "additional" resource based on GNP which should be drawn upon if and when the amount collected from VAT and from traditional own resources was insufficient to cover the Community's financial commitments,

J.   whereas, over the course of time, this resource has become the key resource of the European Union's budget, accounting for an estimated 70% of revenue for the financial year 2007, while the VAT resource accounts for about 15% so that the share of traditional own resources (customs duties and agricultural levies together) has decreased to only 15% of revenue,

K.   whereas the current Own Resources Decision of 29 September 2000 entered into force on 1 March 2002 and has as its main features: an own resources ceiling of 1,24% of the Union's GNI (equivalent to 1,27% of GDP) for payment appropriations and 1,31% of GNI (equivalent to 1,335% of GDP) for commitment appropriations, an allowance for the Member States for their collection cost of traditional own resources of 25%, a maximum call-in rate of VAT of 0,50%, a value added tax base of the Member States restricted to 50% of their GNP (capping of the VAT base) and a rebate in favour of one Member State with exceptions for some other Member States concerning the financing of this rebate,

L.   whereas the Commission's latest proposal presented in 2006 aims at implementing the decisions of the Brussels European Council of 15/16 December 2005 in the area of own resources which are mainly characterised by adding even more special arrangements for certain net contributing Member States such as reduced rates of call of VAT or gross reductions in annual GNI contributions to the already existing list of exceptions, thereby adding to the complexity and incomprehensibility of the system and further nourishing the short-sighted concept of budgetary imbalances,

M.   whereas the European Council has also renewed the decision taken in 2000 to increase the collection premium to be retained by the Member States from 10% to 25% of traditional own resources, despite the undisputed fact that this percentage bears no relation to the Member States' actual collection costs, favours Member States that collect a large share in custom duties, to the detriment of those who do not, and should thus rather be considered as another form of rebate,

N.   whereas the Commission proposal for a new own resources decision, although in the meantime accepted by Parliament(13) , is still blocked in Council by Member States which were first in favour of it but which are now opposed to applying it themselves,

O.   whereas Parliament considers the comprehensive review of EU revenue and expenditure to take place in 2008/2009, as stipulated in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006, as an opportunity - not to be missed - to return to a genuine but fair system of own resources in the spirit of the founding treaties of the European Communities,

P.   whereas consultations with those national parliaments interested in discussing this matter have been held since the beginning of 2006 in order to make every effort to establish a common parliamentary basis for this forthcoming review process,

Q.   whereas, so far, these consultations have been simple exchanges of personal views among parliamentarians, due to the fact that most national political parties and parliaments have not yet had the opportunity to adopt an official position on the issue of own resources,

R.   whereas, however, these meetings have made it possible to identify, among those participating, several areas of consensus and a widely shared objective of finding a way of working together on the future of EU financing,

S.   whereas, in the meantime, a proposal has been made by the President of the Portuguese national assembly to organise a conference of the Chairpersons of the Committees on Budget and Finance of the national parliaments and the European Parliament, dedicated to the Union's own resources and Financial Framework, during the Portuguese presidency later in 2007,

Shortcomings of the current financing system

1.   Points out that a system in which approximately 70% of the Union's revenue do not originate in own resources but come directly from the national budgets through the GNI resource, and 15% come from a resource such as the percentage of the VAT rate which cannot be regarded (on account of the way in which it is determined) as being in every respect an EU own resource, departs from the provisions and the spirit of the Treaty of Rome; points out that the very existence of the European Union has brought about an increase in intra-Community trade and an increase in the Member States' "wealth", for which reason the EU is fully entitled to equip itself with a system of genuine own resources instead of one fed by national contributions;

2.   Emphasises that it is these "membership fees" that have accentuated the short- sighted net-payer debate that does not do justice to the benefits of the European Union in terms of peace, freedom, prosperity and security, regardless of the fact that the concept of "net budgetary balances" is seriously flawed also in technical terms and does not allow for more than pure approximations; underlines that neither revenue side ("Rotterdam effect") nor expenditure side ("Luxembourg effect") of the net balances fully reflect reality;

3.   Is deeply convinced that the current system of own resources based on Member States' contributions is both unfair to the general public and anti-democratic, and does not help to highlight the commitment to European integration; furthermore, such a system, since it makes the contribution to the European Union be perceived as an additional burden on national budgets, does not provide the Union with sufficient funds for all its policies; is highly critical of the possibilities being created for individual countries to finance officially only the policies in which they have an interest; fears that this might be the beginning of the destruction of the values that have characterised the European Union's success over the past 50 years;

4.   Stresses that the current system, with its four different resources and its several different rebate mechanisms, be they general ones in favour of one Member State such as the British rebate, or special ones such as rebates in financing other rebates, is excessively complex, lacks transparency and is completely incomprehensible to European citizens; underlines that it does nothing towards fulfilling the requirement of establishing a direct link between the Union and its citizens;

5.   Notes that the requirement of unanimity in decisions on "own resources" and "financial frameworks" makes any result of negotiations in these areas dependent on the goodwill and financial possibilities of even the most reluctant Member States, rich or poor; finds it not surprising that the results of this are often disappointing;

6.   Attributes to this faulty system the inadequacies of the European Council agreement on the new Financial Framework 2007 – 2013 made at the Brussels European Summit of 14/15 December 2005; believes that the financial package agreed, with its numerous exceptions on the revenue side and its compensation gifts to certain Member States on the expenditure side, is the clearest proof of the complete failure of the current system; considers it unacceptable that all Member States have agreed on important Community activities, such as Galileo or the Transeuropean Networks, and set ambitious goals, e.g. as regards the Goteborg and Lisbon objectives or the Millennium Goals, and now no-one wants to finance them;

7.   Deplores the fact that the 2005 Brussels European Council, instead of creating a simpler and more transparent system, made it even more complicated and obscure by leaving the UK correction, the "British rebate", in principle intact and adding further derogations and corrections benefiting other Member States;

8.   Points out that, if the Edinburgh Decision of 1992 setting an own resources ceiling of 1,24% of GNI had been fully used, the Community budget would have gained an annual 0,2% of GNI over the last 13 years, equivalent to an increase of approximately EUR 240 billion; considers these funds, which were unanimously adopted by the Member States according to a proposal by the British presidency, necessary in order to enable the European Union to act in line with its growing challenges and powers, in particular as regards its role in the world; the efforts to achieve the Lisbon objectives (innovation, education, research, infrastructure and employment) or as agreed upon in the treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice, let alone in the draft Constitution and for a Union of 27 Member States;

9.   Underlines that, since 1995, the European Budget has increased by only 8,2% in real terms and its share in the GNI has decreased, while at the same time the national budgets have increased by an average of 23%, i.e. nearly three times as much;

First phase of the reform: an improved system of national contributions

10.  Acknowledges the fact that any reform of the own resources system will be a sensitive and difficult exercise, to be conducted with the involvement of the Member States' parliaments; calls therefore for a progressive approach which could be introduced in two stages but which should form part of a single decision on account of the fact that the laborious Community procedure would make it impossible for two decisions to be taken within a relatively short period of time. The provisional and transitional first phase would lead to an improvement of the current system of national contributions, for which the following political principles should be applied:

   equality between Member States
   simplicity of presentation for elected representatives and citizens alike
   solidarity and equal dignity amongst Member States
   establishment of a political link between a reform of revenue and a review of expenditure as it is already correctly included in the Interinstitutional Agreement;

Equality between Member States

11.   Defines "equality between Member States" by the absence of any budgetary privilege for any Member State; admits that it may be difficult for certain Member States to agree to give up a long history of special arrangements on the revenue side and of a certain distribution of expenditure which may justify any reform only being progressively applied ("phasing out" of the old system); refuses, however, to accept the long history of budgetary privileges as an argument in favour of maintaining a system which, once the necessary reforms are on their way, will no longer be justifiable;

Simplicity of presentation

12.   Underlines the importance of the improved system being presented in the simplest possible way so that it is comprehensible and transparent for European citizens; deplores presentations of decisions affecting all European citizens" lives which are completely incomprehensible, such as the presidency conclusions relating to EU finances of the 2005 Brussels European Council;

Solidarity and equal dignity between Member States

13.   Calls for a system safeguarding the principles of solidarity and equal dignity amongst Member States; considers these principles are undermined by the current system of own resources where some benefit from compensations while others can only achieve compensation by bargaining at European Council meetings; recalls that, of the 46 articles in the presidency conclusions of the 2005 Brussels European Council determining expenditure on new Heading 1b – Cohesion for Growth and Employment , a full 20 are "Additional provisions" handing out "Christmas presents" freely to various Member States or regions(14) ;

Political link between reform of revenue and expenditure

14.   Is convinced that the political link between a reform of revenue and a review of expenditure is inevitable and perfectly reasonable, especially as long as the logic of financing Community policies through revenue stemming from national budgets is still the Union's guiding principle;

Provisional and transitional character of the system

15.   Points out that any improved current system as a first stage of the suggested two-step approach has to be considered provisional and transitional because the profound weaknesses of the Member States" contributions system make it politically unsustainable;

16.   Shares, however, the view of the European Court of Auditors(15) that thorough reform of the Communities" system of own resources is very difficult to achieve if the discussion of such a reform is directly combined with negotiations on financial ceilings and amounts to be spent for Community policies under a multiannual financial framework, as has repeatedly been the case in the European Council's discussions in the past;

Recommendations for an improved system of national contributions
Schreyer proposals

17.  Recalls that proposals for improving the current system of financing have already been made, for instance, those submitted by Commissioner Michaele Schreyer in July 2004(16) according to which:

   every Member State, regardless of its wealth, is entitled to a rebate which is triggered when its contribution to the EU budget reaches a threshold of 0,35% of GNI,
   the refund would be in form of a 66% abatement of the Member State's net contribution, and
   the overall maximum refund available for all rebates is capped at EUR 7,5 billion per year;

18.   Admits that some aspects of the Schreyer proposals went in the right direction insofar as they would have made the system slightly more transparent by at least abolishing the "rebate on the rebate" principle or as they would have limited compensations and corrections - with the major positive point being that it was only conceived as a transitional system until 2014;

19.   Is convinced, however, that generalising the rebate even when accompanying it by a ceiling for the net budgetary balances would be a double mistake since it would only strengthen the anti-communitarian character of the system and cement the short-sighted approach of a quantifiable "juste retour"; insists that the only possible solution is the abolition of the net balances system once and for all in parallel with a reform of the pattern of expenditure; emphasises that what sets European spending apart is precisely its added value based on the principle of financial solidarity;

Question of structural and cohesion expenditure

20.   Rejects categorically the idea included in other reform proposals of excluding structural and cohesion expenditure from all computations for the purpose of establishing Member States' contributions or rebates on these contributions since such a step would bring in differentiation between "noble" and "suspicious" expenditure, thus opening the door for a European Union à la carte where policies would ultimately be financed solely by the Member States which have an interest in them;

Conclusion

21.   Notes the proposal put forward by Finland in April 2004 on replacing the current financing system of the European Union, while leaving in place traditional own resources, by a GNI based system, taking GNI shares as the basis for the Member States' contributions towards the Union's own resources, abolishing the VAT resource in its current form, as it is only a mathematical basis for calculating the national contributions, and progressively suppressing the British rebate to zero in 2013;

22.   Underlines the fact that this system would have the advantage of being simple and transparent and of constituting a possible step towards the establishment of a genuine own resources system for the Union and that all Member States contributing to the UK rebate at the moment would benefit, as would the UK itself, through the abolition of the VAT resource in its current form; stresses that this does not prejudice the long-term inclusion of an altered VAT in the financing of the European Union;

23.   Recognises that the GNI resource is less visible for citizens but equitable in relating contributions to the general level of prosperity of Member States and an expression of solidarity between them;

24.   Is aware of the fact that an agreement on a new financing system along the lines of the Finnish proposal is only politically acceptable within the framework of a global negotiation process which also includes expenditure; calls on the Commission to consider the GNI based system described above when making any new proposals on EU revenue following the review process as laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006;

25.   Stresses that the link between revenue and expenditure should form an aspect of the considerations concerning the changeover to a new system; rejects any attempt to renationalise the Common Agricultural Policy;

26.   Recommends that the first phase of the reform could start immediately after the ratification of the agreement to be reached; while keeping the system of national contributions as such, it would become simpler, more transparent and absolutely in proportion with the relative wealth of each Member State; emphasises, however, the temporary nature of such a phase, in that its sole aim would be to prepare the ground for the introduction of a genuinely new own resources system;

Second phase of the reform: a new system of own resources

27.   Confirms the views which it has expressed earlier, to the effect that the aim of the reform of Community revenue must be the creation of a genuine own resource for the European Union to replace the existing mechanisms; recalls that this objective and the proposals to achieve it are not in the least revolutionary but merely seek to revive the letter and spirit of the founding treaties;

28.  Considers the following principles, which have emerged in all contacts with national parliaments, as cornerstones for any future own resources system:

   Full respect for the principle of fiscal sovereignty of the Member States
   Fiscal neutrality
   No changes to the order of magnitude of the EU budget
   Progressive phasing-in of the new system
   Establishment of a clear political link between a reform of revenue and a reform of expenditure;

Full respect for the fiscal sovereignty of the Member States

29.   Considers that, as stated in the Treaties and in the draft Constitution, fiscal sovereignty will remain with the Member States who might, however, authorise the Union, for a limited period to be revoked at any time, to benefit directly from a certain share of a tax as is the case in most Member States with regional or local authorities;

Fiscal neutrality

30.   Is convinced that, all other things being equal, the new system must not increase overall public expenditure nor the tax burden for citizens; concludes that, should a new system directly allocate a tax, visible for all citizens, partly or in full, to the European Union, an equivalent reduction would have to be made elsewhere; suggests that the national courts of auditors and the European Court of Auditors should be invited to check and guarantee compliance with this principle;

31.   Considers that the development of a new system of own resources must take into consideration the efforts of Member States to coordinate their policies in the field of taxation;

No changes to the order of magnitude of the EU budget but securing sufficient EU budget revenue to meet EU political priorities

32.   Sees no need at the moment to alter the ceiling of 1,24% of GNI which already allows for a sizeable margin of manoeuvre; recalls that no budget has ever come close to this ceiling, agreed by the Member States themselves in 1992 under British presidency, with payment appropriations reaching their maximum level in 1993 at 1,18% of GNP; underlines that, although the financial framework foresees a percentage of 1,045% of GNI for the years 2007 – 2013, the first budget of this period was adopted at a level as low as 0,99% of GNI;

Progressive phasing-in of the new system

33.   Calls for a gradual introduction of the new system starting in 2014; is in favour of allowing for a transitional period in order to guarantee a smooth phasing-out of the old financing system with all its historical special arrangements;

Establishment of a clear political link between a reform of revenue and a reform of expenditure

34.   Points out that a reform of the structure of EU revenue and a reform of the structure of EU expenditure have to go hand in hand, as foreseen in Declaration No 3 annexed to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006;

35.   Notes that an own resources system which ensures EU budget revenue evolution following the growth of wealth in the Member States will improve the political climate of budgetary decision-making, enabling decision-makers to concentrate on key priorities with EU added value instead of bargaining on expenditure levels;

36.   Welcomes the initiative launched at the joint meetings of the European Parliament and the Member States' parliaments for the purpose of bringing together a special working party on own resources; considers dialogue with the Member States' parliaments to be essential if any progress is to be made in the reform of own resources;

Possible options for the future

37.   Reiterates that, in contacts with the national parliaments of the Member States, many have considered that the time for a new European tax has not yet come in the short term; underlines, however, that this does not rule out the possibility that, if and when Member States decide to levy new taxes, they could at the same time, or at a later stage, decide to authorise the Union to benefit directly from such new taxes;

38.   Stresses, however, that it will be vital in a second phase to examine the creation of a new system of own resources based on a tax already levied in the Member States, the idea being that this tax, partly or in full, would be fed directly into the EU budget as a genuine own resource, thus establishing a direct link between the Union and European taxpayers; points out that this would also serve to approximate national tax laws; underlines that this kind of solution would only mark a return to the principle laid down by the Treaty of Rome, whereby European expenditure has to be financed by European own resources;

39.  Recalls that the candidate taxes in whole or in part which were taken into consideration for this purpose during the exchanges with the national parliaments or in the Commission's reports on the reform of the own resources system include the following:

   VAT
   excise duties on motor fuel for transport and other energy taxes
   excise duties on tobacco and alcohol
   taxes on corporate profits;

40.  Notes that in the discussions in the European Parliament other possible avenues were also explored such as:

   taxes on dealings in securities
   taxes on transport or telecommunications services
   income tax
   withholding tax on interest
   ECB profits (seigniorage)
   ecotax
   taxes on currency transactions
   taxes on savings
   taxes on financial transactions

41.  Considers that the suitability of a new system of own resources should be judged according to the following criteria:

   - ?Sufficiency: Would the revenues be sufficient to cover the expenditures of the EU in the long run?
   - Stability : Would the system bring about stable revenues for the EU budget?
   - Visibility and simplicity: Would it be visible to EU citizens and would it be understood by them?
   - Low operating costs: Would it be simple to administer and involve low compliance costs?
   - Efficient allocation of resources: Would it lead to an efficient allocation of resources in the EU?
   - Vertical equity: Would it involve income redistribution?
   - Horizontal equity: Would it have an equal impact on equivalent taxpayers across the EU?
   - Fair contributions: Would this resource raise revenues from the Member States in line with their economic strength?

42.   Wishes to pursue the examination of these options in close cooperation with the national parliaments before taking a final position; gives high priority to establishing, possibly during the Portuguese presidency, a common basis for discussion with regard to the coming review of EU revenue; will make every effort to arrive at a position on the future of the Union's own resources which can be supported by a majority of the Member States' parliaments;

43.   Considers this resolution a first but solid basis on which to build further efforts to find a fairer and more transparent, new system of financing the European Union; intends to discuss and adopt its final position on a new system of own resources for the European Union in time for it to be taken into account in the deliberations concerning the comprehensive review of EU revenue and expenditure as agreed in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006;

o
o   o

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

ANNEX

Exceptions introduced by the European Council in December 2005 on the expenditure and income side of the budget, namely:

Earmarked for Projects:

· EUR 865 Mio. for the nuclear power plant Ignalina (LIT) and 375 Mio. for the nuclear power plant Bohunice (SLK)

· 200 Mio. for the peace process in Northern Ireland (UK)

Earmarked for Regions

· 879 Mio. for five Polish Objective 2 regions (EUR 107 per citizen)

· 140 Mio. for a Hungarian region (Közép-Magyarország)

· 200 Mio. for Prague

· "phasing-out" support for a Finnish Region and Madeira, which were originally "phasing-in" regions

· 100 Mio. for the Canary Islands

· 150 Mio. for Austrian border regions

· 75 Mio. for Bavaria

· 50 Mio. for Ceuta and Melilla (ES)

· 225 Mio. for eastern German Länder

· 136 Mio. for the most remote regions (EUR 35 per citizen)

· 150 Mio. for the Swedish regions in Objective "Competitiveness and Employment"

Special Funds for Member States

· absorption rate for Poland raised by 4%

· "phasing-in" support for Cyprus, despite never being Objective 1 region

· 2 000 Mio. for Spain, to be distributed freely among Structural Fund Objectives

· 1 400 Mio. for Italy (predefined distribution)

· 100 Mio. for France (Objective: "Regional Competitiveness and Employment")

· 47 Mio. for Estonia (EUR 35 per citizen)

· 81 Mio. for Lithuania (EUR 35 per citizen)

· additional payments from rural development:

o 1 350 Mio. for Austria

o 20 Mio. for Luxembourg

o 460 Mio. for Finland

o 100 Mio. for France

o 500 Mio. for Ireland

o 820 Mio. for Sweden

o 500 Mio. for Italy

o 320 Mio. for Portugal

Special Conditions

· 50% increased support for the former exterior borders to ROM and BLG, compared to regular support for border regions

· private co-financing can be counted in for Structural Fund supported projects in new Member States (per capita GDP <85% of EU average) and eastern German Länder

· in the new Member States (<85%), VAT can be considered eligible cost for Structural Fund projects

Special Conditions in Legal Bases

· departing from "n+2" rule for new Member States (<85%) in 2007-2010

· building projects are eligible for support in the new Member States (EU10 + ROM, BLG)

· 20% of funds from the first pillar (Agriculture) can be used by each country for rural development, disregarding general rules such as co-financing

· special funds for rural development in Portugal (320 Mio.), without co-financing

Special Conditions for Financing the Budget

· rate-of-call for VAT own resources contribution is reduced by 25% for Austria

· rate-of-call for VAT own resources contribution is reduced by 50% for Germany

· rate-of-call for VAT own resources contribution is reduced by 66% for Sweden and the Netherlands

· the Netherlands get 4 230 Mio. (GNI 'own-resources')

· Sweden gets 1 050 Mio. (GNI 'own resources')

· the rebate for the UK is kept, reduced by certain phased-in payments for the new Member States.

(1) OJ C 324, 24.12.1990, p. 243.
(2) OJ C 128, 9.5.1994, p. 363.
(3) OJ L 293, 12.11.1994, p. 9.
(4) OJ C 175, 21.6.1999, p. 238.
(5) OJ C 189, 7.7.2000, p. 72.
(6) OJ L 253, 7.10.2000, p. 42.
(7) OJ C 124 E, 25.5.2006, p.373.
(8) Study carried out by Study Group for European Policies (SEP), see also Annex: Comments on the revenue adequacy of possible own EU taxes, 30 August 2005.
(9) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0292 .
(10) Study carried out by Deloitte and Touche: Phase II Report - Preliminary draft, 12 January 2007.
(11) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(12) E.g. Cornelissen Report: European Parliament 1985: "Can Parliament tolerate the fact that revenue from VAT is being increasingly watered down to a national financial contribution following the necessary abandonment of the principle of the uniform VAT rate and can it accept that the establishment of the uniform VAT base is ultimately reduced to a statistical calculation? ... Or must every effort be made in connection with the calculation of the VAT base to revive the Communities' own resources system and the financial autonomy of the Community which is dependent thereupon? "
(13) Texts adopted of 4.7.2006, P6_TA(2006)0292 .
(14) See the Annex to this resolution.
(15) See paragraph 18 of opinion No 2/2006 (OJ C 203, 25.8.2006, p. 50).
(16) "Schreyer report": COM(2004)0505 and COM(2004)0501 of 14 July 2004.


Guidelines for the 2008 budget procedure - Sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX
DOC 69k
European Parliament resolution of 29 March 2007 on the guidelines for the 2008 budget procedure - Sections II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX - and on the European Parliament's preliminary draft estimates (Section I) for the 2008 budget procedure (2007/2013(BUD) )
P6_TA(2007)0099 A6-0069/2007

The European Parliament ,

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

–   having regard to Council Decision 2000/597/EC, Euratom of 29 September 2000 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(1) ,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2) ,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(3) ,

–   having regard to the fifth report by the Secretaries-General of the Institutions of May 2006 on trends in heading 5 of the financial perspective,

–   having regard to the annual report of the Court of Auditors for the 2005 financial year on the implementation of the budget, together with the institutions' replies(4) ,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0069/2007 ),

A.   whereas the 2007 budget for heading 5 was set at EUR 7 115 000 000, with the European Parliament's budget amounting to EUR 1 397 460 174, representing 19,65% of heading 5,

B.   B whereas the 2008 budget marks the first year in which no major challenge such as enlargement or the introduction of new languages nor any other event with major administrative effect is foreseen,

C.   whereas the institutions have to consolidate the last two enlargements,

D.   whereas at this stage of the annual procedure, the European Parliament is awaiting the other institutions' estimates and its own Bureau's proposals for the 2008 Budget,

General Framework

1.   Notes that the ceiling of heading 5 in 2008 is EUR 7 457 000 000 which represents an increase of 4,8% compared to 2007;

2.   Notes that, mainly as a result of enlargement, the budget of the institutions has increased by nearly 18% in the last four years; considers that for the year 2008 all of them have reached a fully functional stage and have been provided with the means to ensure their administrative functions; calls on the institutions to adopt a prudent budgetary approach when setting up their 2008 Estimates;

3.   Considers that the European Parliament is accountable to citizens and that efficient use of taxpayers' money can contribute to boosting their confidence in EU institutions; is of the opinion that the institutions' 2008 budget should in principle remain close to the level of the previous year's budget since no major events (enlargements or new languages) justifying an increase are foreseen; considers that any new initiative should be financed, in the first instance, within the ceiling of the current budget, unless there are specific grounds to the contrary;

4.   Acknowledges that interinstitutional cooperation can be beneficial in terms of economies of scale and in terms of efficiency but can also undermine an institution's independence or identity; considers that the correct balance should be sought among all the institutions for the above elements; asks the Secretaries-General to report on their mutual collaboration; expects to receive, by 1 July 2007, information on the quality, efficiency and financial aspects, as well as the possible advantages and disadvantages of the interinstitutional cooperation among the institutions, including the quality and the efficiency of the services provided by the offices and bodies set up within the framework of the cooperation;

5.   Recalls that a number of regular reports have been requested in its resolutions during the previous years concerning the progress of recruitment of staff from EU-10 and EU-2 and the status of recruited staff; therefore calls on the institutions to continue this screening exercise as foreseen in the joint declaration on recruitment in relation with the 2004 and 2007 enlargements adopted with its resolution of 14 December 2006 on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007 providing information on a global level as well as on each institution(5) ;

European Parliament
Political priorities
Provide efficient services to Members to enable better law-making

6.   Considers that, as a co-legislator, optimal working conditions should be provided to its Members in order to facilitate the accomplishment of their role and enhance the quality of EU legislation; is of the opinion that the assistance to Members can be improved by providing the adequate specialised or technical information within short time frames; insists that MEPs should be better informed and aware of all the resources and materials available to them on the basis of the work undertaken by different services within Parliament (studies, technical and background documents);

7.   Wishes to ensure that the best possible linguistic services are provided to all Members, including the new ones, above all at official meetings of Parliament bodies; is willing to consider reasonable proposals for a more personal level of service to Members, under transparent and clearly defined conditions, within their tasks, and will examine the cost-efficiency of such proposals;

8.   Wishes to explore the possibility of having meetings rooms available to all Members for talks with experts in relatively small groups (8-20 people) especially in view of the new D4-D5 buildings; considers that, in order to take account of the unpredictable needs arising from Parliament's work, it ought to be possible to reserve such rooms at sufficiently short notice and with a minimum of bureaucracy; expects a report by 1 July 2007 on any such existing facilities and the possibilities for developing them further;

9.   Notes that achieving the best assistance to Members for the performance of their duties requires further development of the working and administrative structures and the strengthening of existing services; requests that the administration examine possibilities for the extension of the facilities provided to Members by the Library by its providing research support and an extensive single document and information repository of all existing texts and expertise (Knowledge Management System); expects relevant proposals with cost estimations, which also include the possibility of publishing the answers to such queries on the Parliament's Intranet, to be presented by 1 July 2007;

10.   Deplores the geographical dispersion of its administration among the three places of work and the additional costs that this implies in terms of running costs and in particular when travelling from one place to another; considers that the administration should provide Members with all kinds of facilities which offer new technologies in order to limit the negative impact of the European Parliament's geographical layout such as the synchronisation of computers with mobile phones or the use of video conference rooms;

11.   Observes that despite the substantial budget allocated to information technology, some problems remain such as the slowing down of the network in Strasbourg or the time needed to implement any new IT projects; invites therefore the Secretary-General to include, in the preliminary draft report on estimates, a specific section, under Annex IV, dedicated to IT projects launched in the past five years with indications regarding the provisional costs, the starting and provisional delivery dates, the delivery dates and the final costs;

12.   Calls on the Secretary-General to make proposals concerning the structure and capacity of the committee secretariats, in order to improve the follow-up to legislation and to the budget procedure; asks for relevant proposals by the administration to be presented by 1 July 2007;

Enhance the effectiveness of the communication tools of Parliament and its political groups

13.   Is of the opinion that the European Parliament's communication is made up of a mosaic of different channels, which are complementary and share a common goal, that is to inform effectively the EU citizen on its activities and contribution to European construction;

14.   Considers that the European Parliament's communication is two-fold, being composed of, firstly, the institutional communication made by the administration involving "factual" information and, secondly, more politically oriented information reflecting the different views, positions and activities of the political groups and Members;

15.   Considers that improvements in communication and information policy can be achieved in a more coherent way within a global concept of communication for EU citizens where the added value of each tool is identified as expressed in paragraph 21 of its resolution of 26 October 2006 on the draft general budget for 2007 (Sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII)(6) ;

16.   Wishes to improve the tools used to raise European citizens' awareness of the role of the European Parliament in the legislative and decision-making process, of its activities in the field of European policy as well as the activities of the Members and political groups of the European Parliament, and to address the shortcomings related to the image of the European Union, especially in view of the 2009 elections; considers that the existing channels of communication do not respond adequately to this need;

17.   Believes, in particular, that greater involvement of the local and regional media would be highly profitable for the European project; invites therefore the administration to provide an action plan for communication oriented to the local and regional media and to explore new tools, in particular in order to prepare the next European elections, which will allow Members to communicate to local media; recalls that a special budget was allocated for a public awareness campaign in the year preceding the previous European electoral year;

18.   Points out that both the existing tools of communication and those under development have to be shaped in the most efficient way to improve public awareness of our institution among EU citizens; believes that both the administration and the political groups should be involved in the shaping and assessment of these tools;

19.   Calls for an inventory, by 1 July 2007, of the actions on communication set up by external offices and in partnership with the Commission in the Houses of Europe and an assessment of their effectiveness and impact;

20.   Recalls that a new policy on the visitors' groups of Members was launched in July 2006 which represents an improvement compared to the former situation; is of the opinion that further improvements are possible, in particular in terms of flexibility, and that after the new Visitors' Centre is completed the minimum obligatory number of visitors and the reimbursement can be reconsidered, taking into account visitors" particularities in order to cover the real cost; therefore expects to receive by 1 July 2007 a new proposal which will take Members' concerns into account and be implemented as soon as possible;

21.   Acknowledges the progress being registered on the visitors' programme in recent years; underlines however that further improvement could be made in areas where visitors are exposed to the real life of Parliament and expects answers to precise questions relating to the possibility of visits to the Plenary Chamber and the availability of more meeting rooms(7) ; asks for relevant proposals by the administration to be presented by 1 July 2007;

Improve the budget allocation

22.   Recalls that budgeting for the last two years has been done on the basis of justified needs for the efficient functioning of the institution; underlines that the European Parliament budget should be set at the level which allows the most effective work to be provided by the institution within a rational level of financial resources; considers that the budgetary level for 2008 including increases relating to adjustment on current prices should aim at remaining at the budgetary level of 2007 and should not in any event be more than 20% of heading 5 which should constitute the upper limit of the budget; invites therefore the Bureau to consider the European Parliament's accountability to EU citizens when deciding on the level of Parliament's estimates;

23.   Notes that 2008 will be the last full year before the election of the Members of the European Parliament and the implementation of the Members' Statute in 2009; considers that the necessary measures to accommodate the latest enlargement have been taken; apart from the fine-tuning of the budgetary needs for accommodating the new Member States, no major developments with financial consequences are expected;

24.   Takes notes that one of Bureau's priorities is to make Parliament a more visible actor in external policy whilst underlining the importance of fostering dialogue between cultures and the promotion of democracy; points out that the European Parliament has set up a number of delegations and Assemblies with national parliaments from third countries which are not clearly identified in the European Parliament's budget; invites therefore the administration to present a report by 1 July 2007 on the existing entities and the ones under development in this area of expenditure including a financial assessment of the needs for the forthcoming years;

25.   Regrets the limited flow of information on issues that are of joint competence with other decision-making bodies of the European Parliament and especially as regards decisions that have a financial impact on the European Parliament's budget; considers that mutual efforts should be deployed to enhance the exchange of information at an early stage of decision making;

26.   Notes that the ex ante budget estimations for the overall cost of the development of projects are not always reliable; regrets this approach and considers that for major projects in cases of an important deviation from the initial cost foreseen, they should be substantiated and the projects should be re-submitted to the competent bodies for re-evaluation and approval;

27.   Notes that several budget lines are regularly under-financed or, on the contrary, over-financed; recalls that transfer requests throughout the implementation year should be limited to extraordinary cases and only to issues that could not have been foreseen; calls on the administration to estimate the necessary appropriations for each budget line more accurately and to forecast them on a more realistic level;

Other issues
Buildings

28.   Recognises the savings achieved due to the advance payments made over the last ten years on buildings; underlines that the European Parliament is now the owner of most of its buildings in the three places of work and will start to focus its investment on external offices; intends to re-examine the principle of co-sharing the external offices with the Commission on the basis of the report requested for March 2007 in paragraph 47 of its aforementioned resolution of 26 October 2006; calls, to that end, for the establishment of a common report, from the Commission and the European Parliament, on the modalities of co-sharing offices in terms of staff, logistics, running costs and the different time schedules of co-financing the purchase of joint offices; notes that this has been made possible, until now, due to the availability of appropriations in Parliament's budget;

29.   Encourages the effort made by the administration to improve the security system in the Houses of Europe; urges the administration and the Commission to undertake, jointly and proportionally, the cost thereof;

Staff

30.   Is of the opinion that, after the recent increase of the establishment plan (21% over a period of four years) linked mainly to the two enlargements and to the increase in the number of official languages, the institution should have the human resources necessary for its functioning and should take the time to integrate them efficiently; will therefore consider any request for new posts after the administration has presented a report with its short and medium term strategy regarding redeployment possibilities which includes training and development programmes related to redeployment; will examine the demands on the basis of this detailed information;

31.   Encourages addressing the shortcomings impeding the availability and best quality of interpretation services, while maintaining a proper balance between quality and cost, thereby ensuring value for money;

32.   Considers that the redeployment policy started in 2006 should be pursued in order to consolidate the last two enlargements and to reinforce the efficiency of the administration while respecting political priorities; invites its Secretary-General to present in detail its strategy for 2008 in the estimates;

33.   Is particularly attentive to the costs related to geographical dispersion and will examine the possibilities to rationalise them better; will, in particular, focus on the number of missions undertaken by staff within the three places of work; points out that the cost of these missions amounted to EUR 12 799 988 in 2005 and 71 369 days, excluding mission costs related to the staff of the political groups; considers that efforts could be made in this area to increase efficiency; invites the Secretary-General to present a report, by 1 July 2007, on staff missions per Directorate-General in the three places of work and the respective cost;

34.   Expresses its concern about the uncertainties relating to the European School system; recalls that staff are entitled to benefit from a well-functioning and attractive schooling system and therefore undertakes to ensure that such a system is maintained;

35.   Notes plenary's decision to fully support the adoption of a real and meaningful statute for Members´ assistants; expects the Council to take a final decision on this issue by the beginning of September 2007 in order to permit the allocation of the necessary funds for it; calls on its Bureau to push forward the issue of the statute for Members' assistants vis-à-vis the Council; is convinced that such a statute will contribute to improving the quality of Members' activities;

Security

36.   Acknowledges the financial impact of the necessity to have the best security conditions possible for Members and staff in the three places of work; encourages the administration to implement the new badge system as quickly as possible which would ease the Members' day-to-day work, in particular the use of electronic signatures, by giving them a more secure environment; underlines that data protection provisions need to be respected at all times;

37.   Considers that EU institutions should serve as an example in implementing environmentally friendly policies and improved energy efficiency; reminds that the European Parliament has committed in applying the EMAS regulation and of the request (report on 2006 other institutions budget) to the Bureau to study ways to reduce the rise in energy costs, including the option of reducing air-conditioning in the summer time; calls for more efficient use of paper and reduced distribution of printed material, making printed versions of many Parliament's official documents available on an opt-in basis; expects to receive from the administration, by 1 July 2007, a report on the actions already foreseen and proposals in the indicated areas accompanied by the needs in terms of staff and financial cost estimations;

Other institutions

38.   Invites the institutions to present a budget which reflects their real needs; considers that after two major enlargements and the introduction of 12 languages, 2008 should be a year of mobilisation of the means available (human, technological and logistical) in the most efficient way; recalls that transfer requests and adaptation of the establishment plan in the course of the financial year do not constitute the proper way of managing the budget and should be exceptional; expects the institutions to pay attention to these elements when presenting their estimates;

39.   Encourages the institutions to reinforce their interinstitutional cooperation even in fields where at first glance they do not see any potential for rationalisation and for improving efficiency, given that the budget of the institutions will not grow in the future at the same rhythm as in the past;

40.   Notes that the institutions have substantially increased their building expenditure over the last years and will further increase it in the next four years; considers that it is time to suspend the further growth of their real estate; therefore invites the institutions to examine carefully all other possibilities before foreseeing any further extension of buildings; moreover calls on the institutions, in the context of the interinstitutional cooperation, to be ready to share the remaining amount available in their budgets at the end of the year, to absorb their building expenses as quickly as possible;

41.   Recalls that harmonisation in the presentation of the estimates of the institutions would make the different budgets easier to understand and increase transparency for EU citizens;

42.   Would appreciate if the estimates were to include a chapter where the institutions set out their particularities and the improvements made over the year; this would allow the budgetary authority to better evaluate and understand the specific needs of each institution;

43.   Asks the institutions to monitor the level of recruitment of staff related to the last two enlargements closely and to provide the budgetary authority with information at least twice a year;

Council

44.   Takes note of the limited increase of the Council's budget in 2007; will be attentive to its future evolution and to the changes made in its nomenclature, in particular under Title 3; acknowledges the fact that the Council is providing relevant information on the topics of Parliament's interest;

Court of Justice

45.   Is of the opinion that, after the establishment of the Civil Service Tribunal and two major enlargements, the Court should rationalise its working methods and keep the level of its budget stable;

Court of Auditors

46.   Takes note of the development of appropriate training programmes for junior auditors and the modernisation of the informatics sector initiated last year and expects to have more information on the result achieved until now of these initiatives;

European Economic and Social Committee & Committee of the Regions

47.   Expects to receive a clear signal on the nature of the future collaboration between the two Committees from 2008 onwards, by the time of the presentation of the estimates; is of the opinion that it would not be sufficient reason to increase the overall level of their respective budgets;

Ombudsman

48.   Has taken note of the efforts made by the Ombudsman to stabilise the growth of its budget and in particular of the establishment plan in 2007; expects this stability to be maintained in 2008;

European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

49.   Notes that 2008 will be the fourth full year of activity for the EDPS which will soon reach cruising speed; encourages therefore the EDPS to submit a medium-term plan of activities which will include its needs and a deadline regarding the implementation of the new nomenclature as initiated by the other institutions since 2005;

50.   Consequently is of the opinion that 2008 will be the last year of important growth of the budget and in particular of the establishment plan; recalls that modification of the establishment plan, as well as any expenditure, needs to be justified;

o
o   o

51.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

(1) OJ L 253, 7.10.2000, p. 42.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(3) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 263, 31.10.2006, p. 1.
(5) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0570 .
(6) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0452 .
(7) Texts adopted of 26.10.2006, P6_TA(2006)0452 , paragraph 26.


Future of professional football in Europe
DOC 93k
European Parliament resolution of 29 March 2007 on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130(INI) )
P6_TA(2007)0100 A6-0036/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Helsinki Report of 10 December 1999(1) and to the Nice Declaration of 8 December 2000(2) on the specific characteristics of sport and its social function in Europe,

–   having regard to Articles 17 and III-282 of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (the Constitutional Treaty),

–   having regard to the UK Presidency initiative on European football, which resulted in the "Independent European Sport Review 2006",

–   having regard to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (the Court of Justice), the Court of First Instance and the Commission's decisions in sports-related matters,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0036/2007 ),

A.   whereas the Commission has underlined in the Helsinki Report the need for a partnership between football's governing bodies and public authorities for the good governance of the game, which fully respects the self-regulatory nature of professional sport,

B.   whereas European sport, and football in particular, is an inalienable part of European identity, European culture and citizenship, and the European Football Model, characterised by open sports competitions within a pyramid structure in which several hundred thousand amateur clubs and millions of volunteers and players form the base for the top professional clubs, is the result of longstanding democratic tradition and grass-roots support in the community as a whole;

C.   whereas football plays an important social and educational role, and is an effective instrument for social inclusion and multicultural dialogue, and needs to play an active part in counteracting discrimination, intolerance, racism and violence, as many of such incidents are still taking place in and around stadiums, and whereas professional football clubs and leagues also play a vital social and cultural role in their local and national communities;

D.   whereas professional football has both an economic and a non-economic dimension,

E.   whereas the economic aspects of professional football are subject to Community law, and the case-law recognises the specificity of sport and the social and educational role played by football in Europe,

F.   whereas it is thus the responsibility of the national and European political and sports authorities to ensure that, when Community law is applied to professional football, it does not compromise its social and cultural purposes, by developing an appropriate legal framework, which fully respects the fundamental principles of specificity of professional football, autonomy of its bodies and subsidiarity,

G.   whereas it was decided, in view of the growing importance of sport in the European Union's various policies (freedom of movement, recognition of qualifications, competition, health and audiovisual policies), to include sport in the Constitutional Treaty as an area of EU competence (under Articles 17 and III-282); and whereas the Constitutional Treaty has not been ratified by all of the Member States, and the Nice Declaration on sport in the EU alone is not sufficient to deal with the current problems, which go beyond national dimensions and accordingly call for European solutions,

H.   whereas the greater professionalisation and commercialisation of sport in general and football in particular has made EC law much more relevant in this area, a fact reflected in the growing number of cases pending before the Court of Justice and the Commission,

   this has greatly exacerbated the problem of legal uncertainty and the sectors concerned increasingly see an approach based solely on treating cases individually as inadequate, a view also documented in the study commissioned by a number of sports ministers in the EU Member States and recently published under the title 'Independent European Sport Review 2006',
   it is not clear, for example, whether the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) rule stipulating that teams must contain a minimum number of home-grown players, a provision which is extremely important for youth development, would, if it were reviewed by the Court of Justice, prove to be consistent with Article 12 of the EC Treaty,
   I. whereas as a result of this legal uncertainty, it is not clear either how much autonomy self-regulating bodies, such as UEFA, national associations and national leagues, enjoy and to what extent they are bound, when exercising their right to self-regulation and performing their regulatory function, by certain principles of Community law such as free movement, non-discrimination and competition rules,

J.   whereas this legal uncertainty is not only problematic in economic terms, but in particular in terms of the social, cultural and educational functions of football, and at the same time reduces the interest of fans and efforts to improve support, and undermines the principle of fair play,

K.   whereas a decision has been taken to include sport in the Constitutional Treaty as a matter of EU competence (Articles 17 and III-282) in order to give the EU powers to develop its European dimension,

L.   whereas professional football does not function like a typical sector of the economy and whereas professional football clubs cannot operate under the same market conditions as other economic sectors, because of the interdependence between sports opponents and the competitive balance needed to preserve the uncertainty of results, and whereas its various actors, including supporters, players, clubs, leagues and associations, do not operate as normal consumers or enterprises,

M.   whereas the future of professional football in Europe is threatened by the growing concentration of economic wealth and sports power,

N.   whereas the growing importance of revenues from the sale of broadcasting rights may undermine the competitive balance between clubs from different countries, as such revenues are largely determined by the size of national broadcasting markets,

O.   whereas for many decades professional football has increasingly been chara cterised by an international dimension and has equally been affected by different international regulatory and legislative regimes,

P.   whereas diverging national legislation and licensing criteria in Europe cause an uneven playing field, economically and legally, and this situation seriously hampers fair sports competition between teams in European leagues, and hence also between national teams,

Q.   whereas the participation of women in sport in general is still far below the level of men, whereas women are still under-represented in the sports decision-making bodies and whereas there are still cases of gender-discrimination in the remuneration of sports professionals,

R.   whereas, despite the fact that the Bosman ruling in 1995 had a positive effect on players" contracts and players' mobility - though a lot of employment-related and social problems remain to be solved - it also had several negative consequences for the sport, including an increased ability on the part of the richest clubs to sign up the best players, a stronger link between financial power and sporting success, an inflationary spiral in players" salaries, reduced opportunities for locally-trained players to express their talent at the highest level and reduced solidarity between professional and amateur sport,

S.   whereas many criminal activities (match fixing, corruption, etc.) are the result of the spiral of spending, salary inflation and the subsequent financial crises faced by many clubs,

T.   whereas the Commission has confirmed in formal decisions the compatibility of the collective selling of media rights with EC competition law,

General context

1.   Stresses its attachment to the European Football Model, with its symbiotic relationship between amateur and professional football;

2.   Points out the importance of the inter-linked national pyramid structures of European football, which nurture grassroots talent and competition because national leagues and competitions are also the route to European competitions, and a proper balance needs to be struck between the national foundation of the game and the European level to enable football leagues and associations to co-operate efficiently;

3.   Recognises the need for a joint effort by football governing bodies and political authorities at several levels to counter certain negative developments, such as excessive commercialisation and unfair competition, in order to ensure a positive future for professional football with exciting competitions, a high degree of identification of supporters with their clubs and wide public access to competitions by means of, among others, special ticket prices for young people and families, especially for major international matches;

4.   Welcomes the work of the above-mentioned Independent European Sport Review 2006 and of the study commissioned by the European Parliament on "Professional Sport in the Internal Market", and calls on the Member States, European and national football governing bodies and the Commission in its forthcoming White Paper on Sport to continue the efforts initiated by the UK Presidency to assess the need for policy measures with due respect for the principle of subsidiarity by considering the principles and main recommendations of that Review;

5.   Expresses its desire to avoid the future of professional football in Europe being solely determined on a case-by-case basis and to enhance legal certainty;

6.   Agrees with the basic principle that the economic aspects of professional sport do fall within the scope of the EC Treaty, taking into account the specificity of sport as set out in the Nice Declaration; and considers that in this respect the consequential restrictive effects of a sporting rule are compatible with EU law, provided that the rule pursues a legitimate objective related to the nature and purpose of sport and that its restrictive effects are inherent in the pursuit of that objective and proportionate to it;

7.   Calls on the Commission to develop guidance on how to apply this principle, and to start a consultation process with the European and national football authorities with the aim of setting up a formal framework agreement between the EU and the European and national football governing bodies;

8.   Asks the Commission, in partnership with Parliament, the Member States and the European and national football governing bodies and other stakeholders, to include the principles and recommendations contained in this resolution in its forthcoming White Paper, and to establish an action plan for European sport in general and football in particular which sets out the issues for the Commission to deal with and the instruments to be used in order to enhance legal certainty and a level playing-field;

9.   Asks the Commission to continue a structured dialogue with the football governing bodies, including national associations and leagues, and other stakeholders in order to overcome the problem of legal uncertainty;

10.   Welcomes the success of and great interest in women's football in Europe and draws attention to its growing social significance;

Governance

11.   Calls on all football governing bodies to better define and coordinate their competences, responsibilities, functions and decision-making procedures in order to increase their democracy, transparency and legitimacy, for the benefit of the entire football sector; invites the Commission to provide guidance on which legitimate and adequate self-regulation is supported, with due regard to national legislation and financial support for federations and associations which aims at developing and cultivating young footballers and the national team;

12.   Calls on UEFA to involve representation organisations representing players, clubs and leagues in the decision-making process;

13.   Believes that improved governance leading to more concerted self-regulation at national and European level will reduce the tendency to have recourse to the Commission and the Court of Justice;

14.   Recognises the expertise and legitimacy of sporting tribunals insofar as they address citizens' right to a fair hearing, as laid down in Article 47(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

15.   Takes the view that applying to the civil courts, even when not justified in sports terms, cannot be penalised by disciplinary regulations; and condemns the arbitrary decisions by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) in this respect;

16.   Asks UEFA and FIFA to accept in their statutes the right of recourse to ordinary courts, but recognises however that the principle of self-regulation implies and justifies the structures of the European sports model and the fundamental principles governing the organisation of sporting competitions, including anti-doping regulations and disciplinary sanctions;

17.   Insists that the principle of proportionality is essential to all football governing bodies when exercising their self-regulatory power; and asks the Commission to ensure that this principle is applied in legal cases concerning sport;

18.   Calls on FIFA to increase its internal democracy and the transparency of its structures;

19.   Believes that the Charleroi case currently before the Court of Justice could seriously undermine the ability of small and medium-sized national football associations to take part in international competitions and threaten the vital investment in grassroots football made by national associations; in this respect, believes that clubs should release their players for national team duty without entitlement to compensation; encourages UEFA and FIFA, together with the European clubs and leagues, to reach an agreement on the conditions applicable to players who are injured while representing their countries and on a system of collective insurance being put into place;

20.   Supports the UEFA club licensing system, which aims at ensuring a level playing-field between clubs and contributing to their financial stability, and calls on UEFA to further develop this licensing system in compliance with Community law in order to guarantee financial transparency and proper management;

21.    Recommends a vigorous campaign by the national and European political and sports authorities to establish greater transparency and good governance in European professional football;

22.   Supports efforts to protect the integrity of the game by ruling out conflicts of interests of major stakeholders in clubs or governing bodies;

23.   Calls on the Commission to reflect, in consultation with football governing bodies, leagues and clubs, on the introduction of a European legal status for sports companies to take account of the economic activities of major football clubs whilst preserving their specific sports-related characteristics; such a status would make it possible to establish rules for monitoring the economic and financial activities of such companies and for the involvement of supporters and community participation;

24.   Asks Member States and football governing bodies to actively promote the social and democratic role of football fans who support the principles of fair play, by supporting the creation and development of Supporters' Trusts (in recognition of their responsibility) which could then be involved in the ownership and management of clubs, through the appointment of a football ombudsman and specifically through extending the model of Supporters Direct at European level;

25.   Asks UEFA to examine how supporters' organisations could be involved as important stakeholders when they are organised at European level and to examine the feasibility of a European Supporters Direct body;

26.   Considers that professional footballers, their trade-union representatives and the clubs and leagues should be more closely involved in the governance of football through a better social dialogue;

Fight against criminal activities

27.   Supports the efforts of the European and national football governing bodies to introduce greater transparency in the ownership structures of clubs and asks the Council to develop and adopt measures for the fight against the criminal activities that haunt professional football, including money laundering, illegal betting, doping and match fixing, and enforced prostitution on the sidelines of major football events;

28.   Emphasises the need to ensure full compliance with transparency and money-laundering legislation by entities involved in the football sector;

29.   Calls on Member States to introduce mechanisms fostering cooperation between clubs, the police and supporters' organisations, with a view to combating violence and hooliganism and other forms of delinquent behaviour before, during and after football matches and to exchange best practices;

30.   Asks the Council to strengthen the coordination of preventive measures and sanctions concerning hooligans, also in relation to national games; calls in this respect on the Council to implement its Decision 2002/348/JHA concerning security in connection with football matches with an international dimension and if necessary to approve additional measures following recent violent incidents in and outside football stadiums;

31.   Calls on Member States, Europe's footballing authorities and associations and leagues to conduct a major European-wide campaign to raise awareness among supporters, with a view to curbing violence inside and outside football grounds;

Social, cultural and educational role of football

32.   Highlights the importance of education through sport and the potential of football to help get socially vulnerable youngsters back on track and asks Member States, national associations, leagues and clubs to exchange best practices in this regard;

33.   Calls on the Commission and Member States also to support social inclusion projects by football clubs;

34.   Expresses its clear support for the UEFA measures to encourage the education of young players by requiring a minimum number of home-grown players in a professional club's squad and by placing a limit on the size of the squads; believes that such incentive measures are proportionate and calls on professional clubs to strictly implement this rule;

35.   Is convinced that additional arrangements are necessary to ensure that the home-grown players initiative does not lead to child trafficking, with some clubs giving contracts to very young children (below 16 years of age);

36.   Points out that young players must be given the opportunity for a general education and vocational training, in parallel with their club and training activities and that the clubs should ensure that young players from third countries return safely home if their career does not take off in Europe;

37.   Insists that immigration law must always be respected in relation to the recruitment of young foreign talent and calls on the Commission to tackle the problem of child trafficking in the context of Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA of 19 July 2002 on combating trafficking in human beings(3) and / or in the context of the implementation of Council Directive 94/33/EC of 22 June 1994 on the protection of young people at work(4) ; points out that young players must be given the opportunity for a general education and vocational training in parallel with their club and training activity, so that they do not depend entirely on the clubs; calls for action to prevent the social exclusion of young people who are ultimately not selected;

38.  Calls on the football governing bodies and the clubs to engage in the fight against human trafficking by

   - subscribing to a European charter for solidarity in football, that commits subscribers to respect good practices concerning the discovery, recruitment and reception of young foreign football players;
   - the creation of a Solidarity Fund that would finance prevention programmes in countries most affected by human trafficking;
   - reviewing Article 19 of the FIFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players in relation to the protection of minors;

39.   Underlines the important social and educational role of training centres and the vital role which they play in both the well-being of clubs and the future development of football talent, supports financial incentives for clubs with a training centre, provided such incentives are compatible with the Treaty rules on State aid, and asks the Commission to recognise this crucial role when developing guidelines on State aid;

40.   Stresses the need for an environment to be created in which young players can develop and be brought up in a spirit of honesty and fair play;

41.   Urges the Member States to introduce a gender perspective in all aspects of sports policies, with the aim of further reducing the continuing difference between men and women both in representation on sports bodies and in remuneration, as well as in actual participation in sport, thus equalising the personal and social benefits flowing from sport;

Employment and social issues

42.   Regrets the differences in social and fiscal legislation between Member States, which cause imbalances between clubs, and the lack of willingness of Member States to solve this at European level;

43.   Emphasises the importance of the mutual recognition of professional qualifications gained in another Member State in allowing the free movement of workers;

44.   Believes that the current economic reality surrounding players' agents requires that football governing bodies at all levels, in consultation with the Commission, improve the rules governing players' agents; in this respect calls on the Commission to support UEFA's efforts to regulate players" agents, if necessary by presenting a proposal for a directive concerning players' agents which would include: strict standards and examination criteria before anyone could operate as a football players' agent; transparency in agents' transactions; minimum harmonised standards for agents' contracts; an efficient monitoring and disciplinary system by the European governing bodies; the introduction of an "agents' licensing system" and agents' register; and ending "dual representation" and payment of agents by the player;

45.   Calls on UEFA and the Commission to intensify their efforts to strengthen the social dialogue at European level on issues such as the duration of contracts, the definition of the transfer window, possibilities for terminating a contract early and compensation for trainer clubs, as it can prevent and overcome tensions between players and employers;

46.   Welcomes the move by FIFPro, UEFA and the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) to further players' rights by ensuring that players always are given written contracts with certain minimum requirements;

47.   Acknowledges the need to implement employment legislation more effectively in all Member States to ensure that professional players are granted the rights they are entitled to and fulfil the obligations they comply with as employees;

48.   Asks the Commission actively to support initiatives and campaigns to fight child labour in football-related industries and examine all political and legal possibilities to ensure that the rights of all workers, including children, are respected;

Fight against violence, racism, other forms of discrimination

49.   Asks the Commission, the Member States and all those involved in professional football to accept , since the legal entitlement to a workplace free of racism and other forms of discrimination also applies to footballers, their responsibility for continuing and intensifying the fight against racism and xenophobia by condemning all forms of discrimination inside and outside the stadium; asks for stricter sanctions against any kind of discriminatory acts in football; asks UEFA and the national associations and leagues to apply disciplinary rules in a coherent, firm and coordinated manner, without neglecting the financial situation of clubs;

50.   Also calls in this connection on the Commission, UEFA and other interested parties to take action on Parliament's Declaration of 14 March 2006 on tackling racism in football(5) ; compliments UEFA and FIFA on the tougher sanctions being incorporated in their statutes and for the measures being taken, and looks forward to further action by all the parties concerned in the football sector;

51.   Calls on the Commission, UEFA and other interested parties not to allow other forms of discrimination, such as discrimination on grounds of sex, origin, sexual orientation or otherwise, to go unpunished inside and outside the football stadium;

52.   Condemns all forms of violent behaviour in football stadiums, encourages Member States to apply the strictest measures at their disposal in order to reduce and eliminate all forms of violence on the sports field and expresses its support for the UEFA measures seeking to eradicate it;

Competition law and the internal market

53.   Strongly believes that the introduction of a modulated cost-control system could be a way of enhancing financial stability and the competitive balance between teams, for instance when integrated into an updated club licensing system;

54.   Considers that football must ensure the interdependence of competitors and the need to guarantee the uncertainty of results of competitions, which could serve as a justification for sports organisations to implement a specific framework on the market for the production and the sale of sport events; however, considers that such specific features do not warrant an automatic exemption from the Community competition rules for any economic activities generated by professional football, owing to the increasing economic weight of such activities;

55.   Asks the Commission to draw up clear guidelines on the application of the State aid rules, indicating what kind of public support is acceptable and legitimate in order to fulfil the social, cultural and educational role played by football, such as financial or other support granted by public authorities for the provision or updating of football stadiums or facilities;

56.   Asks the Commission and the Member States to work closely with the international, European and national football governing bodies to reflect on the consequences of a possible liberalisation of the betting market and on mechanisms to secure the financing of sport in general and football in particular, and to look into measures which would protect the integrity of national and European football competitions;

57.   Recognises the importance of trade marks in the sports industry except where they are used to impede the free movement of goods;

58.   Notes that there is often a mismatch between the supply of, and demand for, tickets for major football events, which is beneficial to sponsors but detrimental to consumers; stresses that the interests of consumers should be fully taken into account when it comes to the distribution of tickets and that non-discriminatory and fair ticket sales should be guaranteed at all levels; acknowledges however that the distribution of tickets may, where appropriate, be restricted to members of supporters clubs, travel clubs or similar schemes, membership of which is available on a non-discriminatory basis;

Selling of television rights and competition law

59.   Maintains that collective selling in all competitions is fundamental to protecting the financial solidarity model of European football; welcomes a public debate on and further investigation by the Commission into whether this model should be adopted across Europe for both pan-European and domestic competitions, as suggested by the Independent Sport Review 2006; in this respect, calls on the Commission to provide a detailed evaluation of the economic and sports impact of its relevant media rights decisions and the extent to which they have or have not worked;

60.   Stresses that the sale of media rights vested in the European national football leagues should always comply with EC competition law, taking into account the specificity of sport, and be negotiated and completed in a transparent manner; but with that proviso believes that football broadcasts should be accessible to the widest possible range of people including through free-to-air channels;

61.   Stresses that the merit of Article 3a of the current "Television without Frontiers Directive" 97/36/EC(6) can hardly be overestimated;

62.   Points out that it is vital for professional football that the revenues from television rights be distributed in a fair way that ensures solidarity between the professional and amateur games, and between competing clubs in all competitions; notes that the current distribution of television revenues in the UEFA Champions League to a significant degree reflects the size of the clubs' national television markets; notes that this favours big countries, thereby diminishing the power of clubs from smaller countries;

63.   Therefore invites UEFA together with the Commission to continue to examine mechanisms to create a more competitive balance in this field by increased redistribution;

64.   Points out that the televised broadcasting of sports competitions is increasingly taking place on encrypted and pay TV channels, and that such competitions are thus becoming inaccessible to a number of consumers;

Doping

65.   Recommends that the prevention of and fight against doping should constitute an important concern for the Member States; calls for a policy aimed at preventing and combating doping and stresses the need to fight irregularities through checks, research, testing, long-term monitoring by independent doctors and through education and, at the same time, prevention and training; calls on professional clubs to adopt a pledge to combat doping and to monitor compliance through internal checks;

o
o   o

66.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and the parliaments of the Member States, UEFA, FIFA, EPFL, European Club Forum and FIFPro.

(1) COM(1999)0644 .
(2) Presidency Conclusions, Nice European Council Meeting 7-9 December 2000, Annex IV.
(3) OJ L 203, 1.8.2002, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 216, 20.8.1994, p. 12.
(5) OJ C 291 E, 30.11.2006, p. 143.
(6) OJ L 202, 30.7.1997, p. 60.


The integration of new Member States in the CAP
DOC 74k
European Parliament resolution of 29 March 2007 on the integration of the new Member States into the CAP (2006/2042(INI) )
P6_TA(2007)0101 A6-0037/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Article 33 of the Treaty establishing the European Community,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1268/1999 of 21 June 1999 on Community support for pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of central and eastern Europe in the pre-accession period(1) ,

–   having regard to the Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic and the adjustment to the Treaties on which the European Union is founded(2) ,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 of 29 September 2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers(3)

–   having regard to Council Decision 2004/281/EC of the Council of 22 March 2004 adapting the Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic and the adjustment to the Treaties on which the European Union is founded, following the reform of the common agricultural policy(4) ,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 864/2004 of 29 April 2004 amending Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers, and adapting it by reason of the accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia to the European Union(5) ,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 of 21 June 2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy(6) ,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)(7) ,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 318/2006 of 20 February 2006 on the common organisation of the markets in the sugar sector(8) ,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(9) ,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2006 of 19 December 2006 amending and correcting Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers and amending Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)(10) ,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A6-0037/2007 ),

A.   whereas the 2004 enlargement increased substantially the agricultural area (by around 27 %), the number of farms (by around 60 %), and the number of agricultural workers (by around 57 %) in the EU, thereby boosting its production potential and making agriculture more important; whereas higher yields per hectare of food and feed production will release sufficient areas of land for biomass production and this situation has contributed to a further differentiation of the European agricultural and rural fabric; whereas this process has become more marked and has deepened with the accession of Bulgaria and Romania,

B.   whereas agriculture in the majority of the new Member States differs significantly from agriculture in the EU-15 in terms of production levels and structures and the size of farms, and is characterised by lower levels of efficiency, technological development and vertical and horizontal integration than in the old Member States,

C.   whereas agriculture plays a greater economic and social role in the majority of the new Member States than in the EU-15, as the sector's contribution to the gross national income and the proportion of employees working in the sector are above the EU average,

D.   whereas in certain new Member States subsistence and semi-subsistence agriculture are of social, cultural and environmental importance,

E.   whereas the new Member States have been successfully and smoothly integrated into the internal market, contributing to a significant increase of the European agricultural and food trade; whereas the new Member States duly introduced and enforced veterinary, phytosanitary, food safety, common market organisation and other horizontal rules, so that it was not necessary to apply any specific safeguard measures,

F.   whereas the new Member States had to shoulder high social and economic costs in order to adapt to and integrate the common agricultural policy (CAP) rules and to adapt to the competitive environment in the EU; whereas the pre-accession funds only partially covered the costs of the adaptation and integration process before the accession; whereas the accession to the EU revealed the general economic and competitiveness problems of the new Member States; whereas the CAP has failed to contribute to solving these problems entirely,

G.   whereas the CAP triggered considerable development and significant changes in the agriculture of the new Member States, and whereas some problems and tensions have arisen mainly due to the fact that the CAP rules do not support sufficiently the development of a balanced, sustainable agricultural sector, especially as far as animal husbandry, horticulture and up- and downstream integrations are concerned,

H.   whereas the Act of Accession introduced a long phasing-in (nine years), with a low starting level (25 % of the level applicable in the EU) for the direct payments in the new Member States, though internal market and budgetary contribution rules fully apply to them; whereas cost and income levels in the new Member States do not justify this degree of differentiation, which results in unequal conditions for the new Member States" farmers in terms of competition,

I.   whereas the problems which should be tackled in the new Member States are, primarily, those requiring structural changes to strengthen competitiveness; whereas CAP measures supporting incomes and guaranteeing prices significantly contributed to such strengthening,

J.   whereas the Commission and the Council have been late or reluctant in understanding the new Member States" special problems and offering the necessary help (for example problems on the fruit and vegetables market, especially as regards soft fruits, cherries and apples, the unjustified ban on Polish exports by Russia and Ukraine, the modification and proposed abolition of maize intervention rules, honey imports from third countries),

K.   whereas the clear shortage of producer-owners in the food-processing industry in the new Member States and abuse of the dominant position of distribution chains seriously limit the competitiveness of the farmers and their possibilities for cooperation and integration,

L.   whereas 8 out of 10 new Member States chose the single area payment scheme (SAPS) for the direct payments,

M.   whereas the Community budgetary assistance necessary for rural development in the new Member States was significantly higher than the available budgetary allocations for the 2004-2006 period, and at the same time implementation rules of the rural development programmes limited the dynamic utilisation of Community allocations; whereas those factors have considerably narrowed the impact of the CAP second pillar in the new Member States, and may persist also during the new financial framework,

Smooth integration, win-win situation

1.   Welcomes the fact that the agricultural and food sector of the new Member States has been integrated thoroughly and smoothly into the common market of the European Union;

2.   Stresses that, although the 2004 enlargement caused disturbances on the agricultural and food markets of certain new Member States, it contributed significantly to the development of well-established market relations in the 25 Member States as a whole;

3.   Points out that the agriculture and food sector in both the new and old Member States benefited at least partially from the enlargement – stakeholders in the new Member States benefited from the higher level of agricultural support and from the increase of trade possibilities, while the food-processing industry and international trade in the old Member States progressed, and there was a higher level of investment and a rise in turnover in the retail sector, in particular in the run-up to enlargement;

4.   Considers that overall the integration of the new Member States has been successful but that the situation is not always clear cut, as not all farms have seen their incomes rise; points out that the increase in purchase prices and in subsidies were partially offset by the significant rises in production costs (for example rises in the cost of fuel, energy, fertiliser, plant protection products and machinery);

5.   Stresses the fact that enlargement has not increased the risk level as regards food safety and animal and plant health, and notes in this respect that the standards and efficiency of the work of the competent authorities in the new Member States are above the EU average in certain aspects;

6.   Observes that the 2004 enlargement has not imposed an unbearable burden on the CAP budget and has not demanded significant changes as far as the EU budget is concerned but that decisions on freezing the market and direct payment budget and the 2007-2013 financial framework require a sacrifice based on the principle of solidarity from the EU-15 from 2007 onwards; also notes that, further to the European Council's decisions of December 2005, EU-15 producers suffered further cutbacks because of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, over and above the decisions to implement policies, such as voluntary modulation, to strengthen the second pillar;

7.   Laments the fact that higher quotas were not allocated for either the 2004 or 2007 enlargement, if only at the level initially planned;

Application of the CAP in the new Member States

8.   Notes that the considerable differences between the agricultural sectors of the new Member States result in differences in the impact of the application of the CAP and in the scope and vigour of the challenges the new Member States are facing;

9.   Notes that Community rules were not adequately adapted to the new conditions in certain markets (e.g. the markets in soft fruit and in starch) following the enlargement of the EU by 10 countries in 2004;

10.   Notes that adaptation to the conditions and rules of the internal market and the application of the CAP – especially concerning veterinary, phytosanitary, food safety, common market organisation and other horizontal rules – have resulted in considerable efforts being required from farmers and administrations in the new Member States;

11.   Considers that over a period of several months the Commission failed to attach adequate importance to the ban on the export of Polish agricultural products to Ukraine and Russia or to take effective action to bring it to an end;

12.   Notes that, although EU-financed pre-accession programmes contributed to the preparation for the application of the CAP and twinning programmes proved to be useful, the original goals were only partly achieved and the efficiency of the Community measures was limited;

13.   Recalls that the Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD) started with a considerable delay and the scope was also limited, mainly owing to the complicated requirements and lack of due-time decisions of the Commission and of authorities of the new Member States;

14.   Observes that certain new Member States face considerable difficulties in implementing the Community rural development programmes due to the complexity of their rules and the administrative burden of their management;

15.   Reiterates that, as direct payments play a substantial role in the development and adaptation of the agricultural sector of the new Member States, their low level in the first years of the phasing-in period not only hindered the necessary adaptation but created unequal conditions for competition on the internal market as well, which many operators were economically unable to cope with;

16.   Stresses the important role of the rural development programmes both in establishing a new, market-oriented approach for farms – e.g. in processing and marketing their own products or in tourism – and in creating alternative sources of income for those who abandon basic agricultural production for economic reasons;

17.   Notes that the different levels of the direct payments between the EU-10 and EU-15 have not ensured a level playing field, thus in several new Member States the producers lost ground even on their domestic markets, a situation to which, primarily, competition resulting from an increase in imports and exports from third countries due to the changed customs regime also contributed;

18.   Notes that the Commission's reservations towards the new Member States with regard to the alleged surplus of stock on the day of accession to the EU and its threats to impose large financial penalties were unjustified in most cases and based on erroneous calculations; further notes that no disruption of the balance was observed on any of the agricultural markets that could have been the result of this alleged supply surplus;

19.   Emphasises that the new Member States were forced to apply complementary national direct payments (CNDP, 'top-ups'), which can be considered as a form of cofinancing and a quasi-renationalisation of Community direct payments, and that this led to serious political and economic difficulties in various new Member States as they imposed a serious burden on the national budgets and limited the possibility of applying state aid schemes;

20.   Points out that, due to budgetary constraints, contrary to the general objectives and principles of the CAP and contrary to the modulation in the EU-15, the majority of the new Member States were forced to regroup a part of their Community rural development allocations for CNDP purposes, as allowed by the Act of Accession;

21.   Refers to the opinion of some new Member States that fully decoupled, area-based payments do not contribute entirely to the balanced development and sustainability of their agriculture, and that sector preferences and/or optional coupled payments could be necessary at least temporarily in certain Member States until 2013, and should be considered if requested; refers to the successful practice of the fully or partially coupled CNDP and temporary state aid measures in this respect;

22.   Observes that the majority of new Member States would like to continue the application of the single area payment scheme (SAPS) as long as possible, since the switch to the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) means extremely high administrative and technical burdens and the SAPS is completely compatible with a future policy of decoupled payments;

23.   Considers that it is necessary to implement cross-compliance rules and requirements concerning sound agricultural practices and environmental conditions both in the new and the old Member States; proposes to introduce the cross-compliance rules gradually, with full implementation by the end of the phasing-in period; also proposes that the new Member States be given the option of postponing the application of the cross-compliance rules until the end of the phasing-in of the direct payments; proposes further that the requirements concerning good agricultural and environmental conditions remain in force at least during the SAPS period as the majority of the new Member States may have difficulties in achieving conformity with the complex and costly cross-compliance rules;

24.   Welcomes the fact that the Council has adopted the Commission's proposal on the extension of the SAPS until the end of 2010 and on the involvement of new Member States in the energy crop aid scheme;

25.   Calls on the Commission, in the context of simplifying and rationalising the implementation of the CAP, the direct payment schemes and the rural development programmes, to take account of the problems faced primarily by the new Member States and to propose appropriate solutions without departing from the implementing rules for the CAP;

26.   Stresses that the Commission should take the special problems and concerns of the new Member States more into account in its decisions within the framework of the CAP;

27.   Expresses its serious concern regarding the Commission's recent proposal to completely abolish the intervention system in respect of maize from 2007; notes that the way the proposal was presented is contrary to the fundamental principles of the EU given the timing, the lack of a proper evaluation – especially as regards implications for the common organisation of the market in cereals and the area-based direct payments – and the lack of alternatives or transitional periods; is of the opinion that premature abolition of the maize intervention system would probably have serious consequences;

28.   Believes that, in the spirit of the 2003 CAP reform, the introduction of area payments for soft fruit produced for processing should be considered along with the possibility of making them conditional on compulsory membership of food-processing groups or producers" organisations and the requirement to sell products under commercial contracts, which could contribute to increasing competitiveness in the soft fruit sector and improving the situation for growers in Member States, in particular Poland;

29.   Considers that further changes are necessary in the agricultural production and rural fabric of the new Member States and emphasises that CAP rules and Community aid have to assist this procedure; stresses that it is crucial to effect these necessary changes in a cushioned way, as the agriculture-bound rural society and economy of the new Member States could not tolerate too rapid and drastic changes in their production and employment structure;

Future of the CAP in the enlarged EU

30.   Points out that the present CAP is unsuitable to manage a substantial part of agricultural and agriculture-related problems in the enlarged EU; considers that the decoupling of the direct payments, forced by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), increases in general the market orientation of European agriculture but that decoupled direct payments do not contribute fully to the establishment of a sustainable agricultural sector and rural society, either in the new Member States or in a considerable part of the EU-15; points out that either additional measures or tailor-made application of the direct payments are necessary;

31.   Takes the view that, especially in Member States and regions where specialised farms play a decisive role in the agriculture, the present system of direct payments promotes arable cropping too significantly, does not assist properly the establishment of sustainable animal husbandry and does not promote and facilitate the necessary structural changes;

32.   Notes that, in the case of some new Member States, in some sectors, the allocated quota levels led to the freezing or even decline of agricultural production, and that the fact that decoupled payments were linked to the lower level of quotas constituted a further subsidies disadvantage for the new Member States, in addition to the phasing-in; also notes that the problem occurs also in some of the old Member States;

33.   Believes that the achievement of the CAP objectives is also hindered in the new Member States by the insufficient level of rural development financing, by the lack of an efficient risk and crisis management system and by excessively strict Community rules on state aid;

34.   Stresses that the CAP must be kept on the Community level in the framework of a reformed CAP and any renationalisation of the CAP should be avoided; stresses, however, that specific measures based on the principle of subsidiarity have to be applied; takes the view that it is necessary to revise the scope, objectives, goals, and principles of the CAP, including the European agricultural model, taking into consideration the objectives and needs of agriculture, rural areas, farmers, consumers and the entire society in the enlarged EU of 27 countries in order to determine the necessary financial resources and ensure their proper, equitable and fully justified allocation;

35.   Emphasises that all possible factors (e.g. consequences of earlier financial decisions, CAP reforms, experiences of the new Member States, the diversity and variety of European agriculture) have to be duly taken into consideration in the future reform of the CAP, particularly during the CAP "health check" and the mid-term review of the 2007-2013 financial framework in 2008-2009;

36.   Stresses further that it is imperative to avoid decisions forced only by attempts to reduce the level of Community funding or maintain the financial status quo among Member States;

37.   Considers that biomass and bioenergy production will play a strategic role in the future of the agricultural sector in the EU; calls in this respect for appropriate EU funding to promote the production of biomass on land no longer required for growing food and feed; recalls in this respect the high capacities of the new Member States, and the increased overall production potential of the enlarged EU;

38.  Underlines that fulfilment of the specific needs of the Member States and regions, including problems and difficulties in the new Member States, should be maintained on the basis of subsidiarity with the following, tailor-made instruments:

   a) introduction of a revised system of direct payments, including the introduction of new measures such as voluntary recoupling options, to be used only by those Member States which consider this necessary to meet social, employment and sustainability objectives; extension of the payments to new sectors and new beneficiaries (for example soft fruits destined for processing), within the revised system of national financial envelopes and full Community financing,
   b) introduction of additional, optional, regional or temporary market measures with Community financing,
   c) application of the national envelope system from the EU budget in the sectors to be reformed (wine, fruit and vegetables),
   d) improved support to producer organisations, strong encouragement for them and repeal of national legislation which hampers them,
   e) promoting cross-border cooperation between producer organisations,
   f) introduction of an efficient agricultural crisis and risk management system with Community financial assistance, paid from the national envelopes,
   g) strengthening the internal market with common quality standards, marketing, competition, food safety, environmental and animal welfare rules,
   h) reinforcement of the rural development system and its funding,
   i) increase of the flexibility of the state aid rules (e.g. widening the scope of block exemptions and increase of the "de minimis" level);

39.   Considers that WTO compatibility has to be ensured during the Doha Round negotiations as part of the EU offer on reducing trade barriers or in exchange for agreeing with the maintenance of internal support levels of the other WTO members;

40.   Stresses that additional customs duties imposed under the special safeguard clause (SSG) could be a useful means of protecting sensitive sectors of the Community market, including those in the new Member States, from surplus imports or from imports at excessively low prices; calls on the Commission to negotiate in the current WTO round the possibility of making appropriate changes to the scope of the SSG in the EU's list of concessions; points out that some of the new Member States had the opportunity to apply the SSG in sensitive agricultural sectors not on the EU's current list of concessions;

41.   Expects that the future CAP will not only take into consideration the needs of the enlarged EU but that it will also become easier to manage, that it will reduce the administrative burden of farmers and national authorities and will support the market-oriented, environmentally sound production of safe products, while ensuring the future of sustainable agriculture;

42.   Invites the Commission, the Member States and all stakeholders to conduct a lively discussion and submit forward-looking proposals in order to build a sustainable future of the agriculture in the enlarged EU;

43.   Welcomes the Commission's intention to draw up a long-term vision of the future of the CAP after 2013 that: would allow it to benefit from the exceptional opportunity for expansion presented by the forecast that growth in global agri-food trade will be twice as fast as total expected growth in world trade over the coming three decades; would seek to ensure that agriculture development is uniform throughout the EU; and, through the combined efforts of the EU-15 and the new Member States, would enable agriculture to fulfil its role in terms of production and other activities;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999, p. 87.
(2) OJ L 236, 23.9.2003, p.33.
(3) OJ L 270, 21.10.2003, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 2013/2006 (OJ L 384, 29.12.2006, p. 13).
(4) OJ L 93, 30.3.2004, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 161, 30.4.2004, p. 48.
(6) OJ L 209, 11.8.2005, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 320/2006 (OJ L 58, 28.2.2006, p. 42).
(7) OJ L 277, 21.10.2005, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 2012/2006 (OJ L 384, 29.12.2006, p. 8).
(8) OJ L 58, 28.2.2006, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 247/2007 (OJ L 69, 9.3.2007, p. 3).
(9) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 384, 29.12.2006, p. 8.


Hepatitis C
DOC 47k
Declaration of the European Parliament on hepatitis C
P6_TA(2007)0102 P6_DCL(2006)0087

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Rule 116 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas 12 million persons in Europe are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV),

B.   whereas HCV is an urgent issue, being a disease which attacks the liver and leads to chronic hepatitis C causing cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer, thus increasing the need for transplantation,

C.   whereas as a 'silent killer' and 'sniper' disease, HCV is often not detected so that many patients remain undiagnosed while the diagnosed patients frequently suffer from stigmatisation,

1.  Calls on the Commission and Council to:

   recognise hepatitis C as an urgent public health issue and identify priority actions in programmes of future Council presidencies;
   adopt a Council recommendation on hepatitis C screening, ensuring early diagnosis and wider access to treatment and care;
   respond to the recommendations of its resolution of 6 July 2006 on protecting European healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needlestick injuries(1) ;
   facilitate further research on treatment for hepatitis C patients co-infected with HIV and/or hepatitis B under the 7th Research Framework Programme;

2.   Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Council and the Commission.

List of signatories

Adamou, Agnoletto, Aita, Albertini, Ali, Allister, Alvaro, Anastase, Andersson, Andrejevs, Andria, Angelilli, Antoniozzi, Arif, Arnaoutakis, Athanasiu, Attwooll, Audy, Ayala Sender, Aylward, Ayuso González, Badía i Cutchet, Bărbuleţiu, Barón Crespo, Barsi-Pataky, Battilocchio, Bauer, Beaupuy, Beazley, Beglitis, Belet, Belohorská, Bennahmias, van den Berg, Berlato, Berlinguer, Birutis, Bliznashki, Bösch, Bonde, Bono, Bonsignore, Bourlanges, Bourzai, Bowis, Bowles, Bozkurt, Braghetto, Brepoels, Breyer, Brie, Brok, van Buitenen,Bulfon, Bullmann, van den Burg, Buruiană Aprodu, Bushill-Matthews, Busk, Busquin, Buzek, Cabrnoch, Calabuig Rull, Camre, Cappato,Carlotti, Carnero González, Carollo, Cashman, Casini, Castex, Castiglione, del Castillo Vera, Catania, Cavada, Cercas, Chatzimarkakis, Chervenyakov, Chmielewski, Christensen, Christova, Chruszcz, Ciornei,Cocilovo, Coelho, Corbett, Corbey, Cornillet, Correia, Costa, Cottigny, Coveney, Creţu G., Crowley, Czarnecki M., Daul, Davies, de Brún, Degutis, Dehaene, Demetriou,Deprez, De Rossa, Descamps, Dess, Deva, De Veyrac, De Vits, Díaz De Mera García Consuegra, Dičkutė, Didžiokas, Díez González, Dimitrov K., Dimitrov M., Dimitrov P., Dîncu, Dobolyi, Doorn, Douay, Dover, Doyle, Drčar Murko, Duka-Zólyomi, Ek, El Khadraoui, Estrela, Ettl, Evans Jillian, Evans Jonathan, Evans Robert, Falbr, Fatuzzo, Fava, Ferber, Ferreira A., Ferreira E., Figueiredo, Flasarová, Foglietta, Foltyn-Kubicka, Fontaine, Ford, Fraga Estévez, Frassoni, Friedrich, Gahler, Gál, Gaľa, Ganţ, García-Margallo y Marfil, García Pérez, Garriga Polledo, Gaubert, Gauzès, Gawronski, Gentvilas, Geremek, Geringer de Oedenberg, Gibault, Giertych, Gill, Gklavakis, Gollnisch, Gomes, Gomolka, Gottardi,Grabowska, Grabowski, Graça Moura, de Grandes Pascual, Griesbeck, de Groen-Kouwenhoven, Grossetête, Gruber, Guardans Cambó, Guellec, Guerreiro, Guidoni, Gutiérrez-Cortines, Hall, Hamon, Handzlik, Harbour, Harms, Hassi, Hellvig, Henin, Hennicot-Schoepges, Hennis-Plasschaert, Herczog, Herranz García, Holm, Hoppenstedt, Hudacký, Hudghton, Hughes, Husmenova, Iacob Ridzi, Ilchev, Isler Béguin, Jackson, Jäätteenmäki, Janowski, Joan i Marí, Jordan Cizelj, Kaczmarek, Karas, Karim, Kaufmann, Kazak, Kelemen, Kinnock, Kirilov, Klamt, Klinz, Koch, Kohlíček, Konrad, Kónya-Hamar, Kósáné Kovács, Krahmer, Krasts, Kristovskis, Kudrycka, Kusstatscher, Kużmiuk, Lagendijk, Laignel, Lamassoure, Lambert, Lambsdorff, Lang, Langendries, Laperrouze, La Russa, Lauk, Lavarra, Lechner, Lehne, Leichtfried, Le Pen J.-M., Le Pen M., Le Rachinel, Lévai, Lewandowski, Libicki, Lichtenberger, Lienemann, Liese, Liotard, Lipietz, Locatelli, López-Istúriz White, Losco,Lucas, Ludford, Lynne, Lyubcheva,Maaten, McAvan, McDonald, McGuinness, Madeira, Manders, Mann T., Mantovani, Marinescu, Martin D., Martin H.-P., Masiel, Mastenbroek, Mathieu, Mato Adrover, Matsouka, Mauro, Mayer, Meijer, Méndez de Vigo, Menéndez del Valle, Meyer Pleite, Miguélez Ramos, Mihalache, Mikolášik, Millán Mon, Mitchell, Mölzer, Moisuc, Moreno Sánchez, Morgan, Morgantini, Morillon, Mulder, Musacchio, Muscardini, Musotto, Musumeci, Napoletano, Navarro, Newton-Dunn, Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Nicholson, Niebler, van Nistelrooij,Novak, Occhetto,Öger, Özdemir, Olajos, Olbrycht, Ó'Neachtain, Onesta, Oomen-Ruijten, Ortuondo Larrea, Oviir, Pafilis, Paleckis, Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Panzeri, Papadimoulis, Paparizov, Papastamkos, Parish, Parvanova, Patriciello,Petre, Pflüger, Pieper, Pīks, Pinheiro, Pinior, Pirilli, Pirker, Pistelli, Pittella, Pleguezuelos Aguilar, Pleštinská, Podestà, Podgorean, Podkański, Poli Bortone, Pomés Ruiz, Popeangă, Posselt, Prodi, Purvis, Queiró, Ransdorf, Rasmussen, Remek, Resetarits, Reul, Reynaud, Riera Madurell, Ries, Rivera, Rizzo, Rocard, Rogalski, Roithová, Romagnoli, Romeva i Rueda, Roszkowski, Roure, Rudi Ubeda, Rübig, Rühle, Rutowicz, Ryan, Sacconi, Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Salinas García, Samaras, Samuelsen, Sârbu, Sartori, Savi, Sbarbati, Schaldemose,Scheele, Schierhuber, Schmidt F., Schmidt O.,Schnellhardt, Schöpflin, Schröder, Schuth, Schwab, Seeber, Seeberg, Severin, Shouleva, Siekierski, Sifunakis, Silaghi, Simpson,Sinnott, Siwiec, Skinner, Škottová, Smith, Sofianski,Sommer, Sonik, Sornosa Martínez, Spautz, Staes, Stănescu, Staniszewska, Starkevičiūtė, Šťastný, Stauner, Sterckx, Stevenson, Stihler, Stoyanov,Strož, Sudre, Surján, Susta,Svensson, Swoboda, Szabó, Szent-Iványi, Takkula, Tannock, Tarabella, Tatarella, Thyssen, Ticău, Tîrle, Titley, Toubon, Trakatellis, Trautmann, Triantaphyllides, Turmes, Tzampazi, Uca, Ulmer, Vakalis, Van Hecke, Van Lancker, Van Orden, Varela Suanzes-Carpegna, Varvitsiotis, Vaugrenard, Veraldi,Vidal-Quadras Roca, Vigenin, Vincenzi, Virrankoski, Vlasto, Wagenknecht, Weber H., Weisgerber, Wijkman, Willmott, Wojciechowski J.,Wortmann-Kool, Wurtz, Xenogiannakopoulou, Yañez-Barnuevo García, Záborská, Zaleski, Zani, Zapałowski, Zappala', Ždanoka, Zingaretti, Zvěřina

(1) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0305 .

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