Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 15 November 2007 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Quarterly statistics on Community job vacancies ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Full application of the Schengen acquis *
 Recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean *
 Succeeding in the age of globalisation
 Application of Directive 2004/38/EC
 Full application of the Schengen acquis
 Pakistan
 Bali Conference on Climate Change
 Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy
 Trade and economic relations with Ukraine
 Situations of fragility
 Social reality stocktaking
 Christian Communities
 Uzbekistan
 Somalia

Quarterly statistics on Community job vacancies ***I
DOC 64k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 November 2007 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on quarterly statistics on Community job vacancies (COM(2007)0076 – C6-0090/2007 – 2007/0033(COD) )
P6_TA(2007)0530 A6-0335/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0076 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0090/2007 ),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0335/2007 ),

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 15 November 2007 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quarterly statistics on Community job vacancies

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0033


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EC) No 453/2008.)


Full application of the Schengen acquis *
DOC 37k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 November 2007 on the draft Council decision on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, 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 (11722/2007 – C6-0244/2007 – 2007/0810(CNS) )
P6_TA(2007)0531 A6-0441/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the draft Council decision (11722/2007),

–   having regard to Article 3(2) of the 2003 Act of Accession(1) pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0244/2007 ),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0441/2007 ),

1.   Approves the draft Council decision as amended;

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 text submitted for consultation substantially;

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

Text proposed by the Council   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 4
(4)   On X XXXXXX 2007, the Council concluded that the conditions in each of the areas mentioned had been fulfilled by the Member States concerned.
(4)   On X XXXXXX 2007, the Council concluded that the conditions in each of the areas mentioned had been fulfilled by the Member States concerned. Each Member State concerned should inform the Council and the European Parliament in writing in the course of the next six months on the follow-up it decides to give to the recommendations contained in the report and mentioned in the follow-up which are still to be implemented.

(1) OJ L 236, 23.9.2003, p.33.


Recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean *
DOC 51k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 November 2007 on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a multi-annual recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (COM(2007)0169 – C6-0110/2007 – 2007/0058(CNS) )
P6_TA(2007)0532 A6-0408/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2007)0169 ),

–   having regard to Article 37 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0110/2007 ),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A6-0408/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

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

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

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

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Article 3 a (new)
Article 3a
At least one month before the list of vessels and traps which is referred to in Articles 12 and 13 is sent to the Commission, the Member States shall submit electronically to the Commission a fisheries plan indicating the number of vessels and traps for which fishing licences are to be requested, accompanied by information concerning the expected fishing effort.
Each Member State shall ensure that the number of vessels and traps included in the fisheries plan is proportionate to the bluefin-tuna quota allocated to it.
Amendment 2
Article 4, paragraph 1
1.   Each Member State may allocate its bluefin tuna quota to fishing vessels flying its flag and traps registered by it which are authorised to fish actively for bluefin tuna.
1.   Each Member State may allocate its bluefin tuna quota to fishing vessels flying its flag and traps registered by it which are authorised to fish actively for bluefin tuna and which are included in the fisheries plan referred to in Article 3a .
Amendment 3
Article 4, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.    Each Member State shall take the necessary action to ensure that its fattening and farming capacity is consistent with the bluefin-tuna TACs in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
Amendment 4
Article 5, paragraph 1
1.   Bluefin tuna fishing by large-scale pelagic longline vessels over 24 m shall be prohibited in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean, with the exception of the area delimited by West of 10°W and North of 42° N, during the period from 1 June to 31 December.
1.   Bluefin tuna fishing by large-scale pelagic longline vessels over 24 m shall be prohibited in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean during the period from 1 June to 31 December.
Amendment 5
Article 5, paragraph 4 a (new)
4a . Financial compensation from the European Fisheries Fund shall be paid to fishermen (both to crews and to shipowners) during the closed season, in accordance with the aims of the recovery plans referred to in Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002.
Amendment 6
Article 7, paragraph 2
2.    By derogation from paragraph 1 and without prejudice to Article 10, a minimum size for bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) of 8 kg shall apply for the following bluefin tunas:
deleted
(a) bluefin tuna caught in the Eastern Atlantic by bait boats, trolling boats and pelagic trawlers;
(b) bluefin tuna caught in the Adriatic Sea for farming purposes.
Amendment 7
Article 12, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1 a (new)
The number of vessels on the list shall reflect the terms and conditions and the calculation of the fishing effort referred to in the fisheries plan provided for in Article 3a.
Amendment 8
Article 13, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1 a (new)
The number of traps on the list shall reflect the terms and conditions and the calculation of the fishing effort referred to in the fisheries plan provided for in Article 3a.
Amendment 9
Article 17, paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.    The Commission shall ensure that bluefin tuna fishery operations are immediately shut down in those Member States which do not meet the deadline for supplying information referred to in paragraph 5.
Amendment 10
Article 21, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.    On the basis of the catch data provided by the traps and as an important source of information for monitoring bluefin tuna, the Commission in conjunction with the ICCAT secretariat shall draw up a plan to reactivate traps in the Atlantic and to recover traps which are no longer active in the Mediterranean.
Amendment 11
Article 24, paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.    Member States shall cooperate amongst themselves in order to harmonise their laws on implementation measures in respect of vessels flying their flag which are found to be in contravention of the requirements deriving from this Regulation.

Succeeding in the age of globalisation
DOC 55k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on the European interest: succeeding in the age of globalisation
P6_TA(2007)0533 B6-0435 , 0441 , 0442 and 0447/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 February 2007 on the Situation of the European economies: preparatory report on the broad economic policy guidelines for 2007(1) ,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'the European Interest: Succeeding in the age of globalisation' (COM(2007)0581 ),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'Time to move up a gear: the new partnership for growth and jobs' (COM(2006)0030 ),

–   having regard to the Council Decisions of 4 October 2004, 12 July 2005, 18 July 2006 and 10 July 2007 on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the Spring European Council of 8 and 9 March 2007, which set out the EU approach to energy and climate change,

–   having regard to its position of 15 February 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision on the Guidelines for the Employment Policies of the Member States(2) ,

–   having regard to the European Youth Pact adopted by the European Council on 22 and 23 March 2005,

–   having regard to the European Pact for Gender Equality adopted by the European Council on 23 and 24 March 2006,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'Education and Training 2010: the success of the Lisbon Strategy hinges on urgent reforms' (COM(2003)0685 ),

–   having regard to its resolution of 30 November 2006 on the situation of people with disabilities in the enlarged European Union: the European Action Plan 2006-2007(3) ,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the informal meeting of Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs in Guimarães on '12 key points to face the challenges ahead' on 5 and 6 July 2007,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas whether public policies do or do not, in fact, foster growth depends on the sources of, and impediments to, growth prevailing in the economy and the wider constellation of constraints and opportunities posed by the global economic setting,

B.   whereas the current period of financial instability is creating uncertainty and could aggravate a slowdown in growth and whereas the slight revision of the autumn forecasts by the Commission could also mark a turning point in the economic cycle unless market transparency and appropriate action by policy-makers restore consumer confidence,

C.   whereas the enlarged EU is a unique mixture of advanced economies and converging low-cost economies, making it possible to cut costs, employ internal and external economies of scale and resist deflationary and inflationary pressures from developing economies,

D.   whereas the rising profile and attractiveness of the EU single market encourages economic immigration, demand for political and financial assistance in solving problems all around the world and inflows of funds from private investors and from sovereign wealth funds,

E.   whereas the EU's performance in exporting to both developed and emerging economies is too often negatively affected by a lack of reciprocity in market access conditions, non-tariff barriers and unfair trade practices,

F.   whereas the enlarged EU and its impact on the economy as well as the political and socio-cultural development of its Member States require reforms and improved cooperation within the system for the purposes of political decision-making,

G.   whereas interdependence within the euro area is stronger than in the EU as a whole, and whereas this does not yet translate into effective and coherent policy processes - in particular regarding the link between sound public finances, high-quality spending and investment in productivity growth strategies,

H.   whereas, when defining the EU's broad economic policy guidelines, policy-makers must identify, clearly state and address the common challenges which EU economies are facing and will face in the years ahead,

I.   whereas awareness on the part of, and active support by, EU citizens are preconditions for the successful implementation of economic policy measures,

J.   whereas the European Employment Strategy (EES) requires more visibility, monitoring capacity and participatory impetus under the renewed Lisbon Strategy, in particular in the National Reform Programmes (NRP) and the NRP implementation reports,

K.   whereas there is a strong interrelationship between economic growth, employment, the fight against poverty and social inclusion; whereas working poverty is increasingly highlighted as a key challenge in both employment and social inclusion policies; whereas it is therefore essential that the Integrated Guidelines should deliver on their social and environmental targets and consider the synergies between the different areas,

L.   whereas the abovementioned informal meeting of Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs in Guimarães concluded that social inclusion is a fundamental dimension of sustainable development strategies in Europe as it provides the tools to create opportunities for all and has positive effects on employment, skills and human development,

External Lisbon dimension

1.   Notes that globalisation of the economy creates new opportunities for EU economies that are bound to play a more important role in the decades to come and gain additional benefits from the exploitation of economies of scale, capacity, urbanisation, networks and a positive reputation;

2.   Stresses that the EU can only attain its Lisbon objectives internally by being active and united on the global stage; welcomes therefore the intention to develop a coherent external dimension to the Lisbon Strategy; considers that a comprehensive external policy approach, focusing on regulatory cooperation, convergence of standards and equivalence of rules, must promote both fair competition and trade; warns in this context, however, against underestimating the importance of further improvements in internal cooperation and reform processes;

3.   Emphasises the importance of the EU as a global player and one of the major beneficiaries of an open global economy, considers that, as such, it has a considerable responsibility for addressing global issues and creating common external economic policy tools in order to adequately manage the external impact of the EU single market;

4.   Points out, that without appropriate coordination in creating the EU supervisory framework and vigorous enforcement of EU competition rules, the advantages of the single market and the economies of scale which are achieved as a result of EU participation in a global market as a single entity could potentially be diminished;

5.   Welcomes the Commission's intention further to develop regulatory cooperation, convergence of standards and equivalence of rules in its discussions with third countries; calls on the Commission to promote decent work and the quality of working life, combat social dumping, include a chapter on sustainable development in its trade and cooperation agreements with third countries, requiring ratification and enforcement of core International Labour Organisation standards and decent work principles, and to systematically apply social values and principles when concluding agreements with third countries;

Internal policies
Bridge between Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion and Integrated Guidelines

6.   Welcomes the Commission's statement that more attention will be paid to active inclusion and equal opportunities, that adequate social protection should be promoted and the fight against poverty reinforced and that more effective means of ensuring citizens' existing rights of access to employment, education, social services, health care and other forms of social protection are needed across Europe;

7.   Stresses the need to ensure and improve the integration and visibility of the social dimension in the next cycle of the Lisbon Strategy, and, in particular, in the Integrated Guidelines; considers that there is an urgent need to overcome perceived weaknesses in the Employment Guidelines, which fail to give sufficient weight to certain basic social objectives, such as those that aim at reducing the number of working poor and increasing access to high-quality employment, education, health care and other forms of social protection for all; calls on the Commission to adapt the Integrated Guidelines in order to face up to the new challenges and overcome those shortcomings;

8.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to adopt a systematic approach ensuring a high level of coherence between the NRP process geared to growth and more and better jobs on the one hand and the social protection and social inclusion process on the other;

Implementation of Employment Guidelines

9.   Calls on the Commission to address the wide divergence among the Member States as regards the implementation and effectiveness of the Employment Guidelines by ensuring that Member States more comprehensively apply the EES indicators and targets, lifelong learning instruments and measures set out in the European Youth Pact, the European Pact for Gender Equality and the EU Disability Action Plan 2006-2007; calls for all those commitments, targets and benchmarks to be fully incorporated in the Integrated Guidelines in order to improve the coherence and efficiency of the EES;

10.   Stresses the great importance of enhancing the strategic capacities of employment policies; calls on the Commission and the Member States to pay particular attention in their coordination processes to the quality of jobs, the reconciliation of work, family and personal life, the quality and availability of education and training for all, the implementation of anti-discrimination legislation, the strengthening of equal opportunities policies for women and men, and immigration issues;

11.   Supports the adoption of a balanced set of common principles regarding flexicurity, combining flexibility and security for employees and employers on the labour market; encourages the Member States to mainstream those common principles in their NRP consultation with the social partners and highlights the central role of training and retraining, active labour market policies, adequate social protection and the breakdown of labour market segmentation by ensuring employment rights for all workers;

Economic policies

12.   Takes note of the proposal in the Commission's interim report to bring the different EU policy initiatives together in the interests of responding coherently to internal and external challenges; calls in this context for the development of an 'EU smart green growth initiative' bringing together all the main existing EU economic instruments; urges the Commission not to disconnect environmental policies from economic and employment policies; takes the view that the fight against climate change must constitute the backbone of the EU's review of the 'three-year Lisbon cycle';

13.   Believes that sound economic policies would help to strengthen confidence and reduce uncertainty in the context of the current period of financial volatility; points out that one of the fundamental problems facing the European economy in some Member States in recent years has been insufficient domestic demand; stresses in this context that improved coordination of both sound fiscal policies and high-quality public finances, including essential 'Lisbon investments', is of crucial importance;

14.   Is of the opinion that financial market transparency, effective competition rules and appropriate regulation and supervision will continue to be crucial, bearing in mind the globalisation of financial markets and the need to safeguard consumer rights; calls therefore on the Commission to elaborate the financial market issues into respective Europe-wide initiatives within the framework of the Community Lisbon Programme;

15.   Stresses that the slowdown in productivity growth is a matter of concern in terms of economic policy and differs throughout the EU, which, however, has an overall common pattern reflecting weaknesses in markets, distribution and financial services;

16.   Points out that structural rigidities prevent the efficient use of new technologies and impede accessibility to networks in industries which are lagging behind; believes that economic policy guidelines should include supply-side actionsin order to create a favourable environment for cross-border operations by business and to speed up the emergence of a single financial market;

17.   Acknowledges that, within the EU, innovation must be more swiftly translated into new products and services; supports therefore the Commission's demand for a 'knowledge triangle' made up of research, education and innovation; expects more effective investments in new skills, lifelong learning and modern education/training systems;

18.   Advocates support for a restructuring of the economy driven by innovation in managerial processes, procedures and organisational structures; is of the opinion that new companies in this field need better access to capital and need to be more creative and that they offer numerous opportunities for small businesses and the younger generation;

19.   Notes that competition policy should be complementary to structural policies, prevent the emergence of cartels and ensure that market conditions do not make it possible to crowd out small business;

20.   Notes that EU citizens often equate globalisation with falling European output and job losses; calls on the Commission and Member States to better inform European citizens on all aspects of globalisation and the need for a policy at EU level to face the challenges of a globalised economy;

21.   Reiterates that the Lisbon Strategy goals can be fully achieved only by further efforts to establish a common energy policy;

22.   Recognises that small, medium-sized and large enterprises all play a part in a dynamic and integrated innovation strategy, and that access to resources for smaller enterprises and individuals is therefore crucial to raising R&D levels and developing new technologies; points out that both early-stage funding and ongoing finance within a sufficiently long time-scale, in order to allow products to be placed on the market, must be fostered;

23.   Welcomes the proposed Commission consultation with SMEs and their representatives and the subsequent design of 'The Small Businesses Act' for Europe; urges that the voice of small businesses should be heard in the social dialogue and that the principle of 'think small first' should be fully integrated into policy-making;

24.   24 Defends the independence of the ECB in setting monetary policy and in managing the effects of volatility in global financial markets; emphasises that the appreciation of the euro exchange rate is the result of mounting imbalances in third countries and sluggish demand in the euro area; is concerned at the extent to which growth in the EU will be strong enough to offset the volatility in global financial markets and exchange rates;

25.   Is of the opinion that the surge in demand for natural resources, basic products and services driven by the growth of developing economies may bring about inflationary pressure on the EU Member States" economies, which until now has been offset by their contribution to the increase in global supply; considers that anti-inflationary economic policy tools with strategies for technological growth and a framework for possible macroeconomic adjustment and improved coordination should be prepared by the EU Member States in order to address this problem;

Global governance

26.   Recognises that supranational action is needed most urgently to develop policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and internationally organised crime and sees the need for supranational institutions in meeting supranational challenges;

27.   Considers that the development of global rules and standards is essential in order to achieve regulatory convergence; encourages the Commission to actively participate in the work of all relevant international agencies and standard-setting bodies in order to bring about greater consistency between EU rules and practices and those of the EU's main trading partners;

28.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that EU bilateral trade agreements and WTO multilateral trade agreements are concluded in keeping with the provisions of the Agreement establishing the WTO; calls on the Commission to continue to work towards an ambitious outcome of the Doha Ministerial Declaration;

29.   Considers that the transatlantic market could be an appropriate instrument to ensure the efficiency of EU trade defence, sustainable competitiveness and innovation;

30.   Calls on the Commission to ensure that reciprocity in market access conditions is ensured; reiterates its call for a new EU-US Partnership Agreement aimed at eliminating or significantly reducing all remaining barriers to trade and investment while respecting European standards;

31.   Believes that the pursuit of further trade liberalisation makes it all the more necessary for the EU to preserve its ability to protect itself against unfair trading practices; regards Trade Defence Instruments, therefore, as an indispensable component of the EU's strategy;

Migration

32.   Stresses that the EU urgently needs to have a common border and immigration policy encompassing not only integrated border controls but harmonised strategies, criteria and procedures for economic migration, while leaving it to individual Member States to decide on numbers to be admitted; stresses also that greater efforts must be madein seeking ways, through exchanges of experience, of making inward migration for all parties a success, from both a social and economic point of view;

Institutional arrangements

33.   Is of the opinion that the influence of the economic setting on long-term growth is not an automatic one and that the development of institutions responsive to markets determines whether or not the economy is able to realise its structural growth potential; urges the Commission therefore to present genuinely updated Integrated Guidelines for 2008-2010;

34.   Regrets that a clear plan and code of practice has still not been agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission which would guarantee appropriate cooperation and the full involvement of the three Community institutions concerned in the appropriate further handling of globalisation issues; calls in this connection on the Council and the Commission to submit forthwith proposals for close cooperation between the three Community institutions with a view to the impending revision of the Lisbon Strategy;

Stakeholder involvement

35.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States, within the framework of the Lisbon Strategy and, in particular, within the NRP process, to promote ownership and enhance the involvement of national parliaments, regional and local authorities, the social partners and civil society;

o
o   o

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

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0051 .
(2) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0048 .
(3) OJ C 316 E, 22.12.2006, p. 370.


Application of Directive 2004/38/EC
DOC 44k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on application of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of EU citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States
P6_TA(2007)0534 B6-0462 and 0464/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Articles 2, 6, 13, and 29 of the Treaty on European Union,

–   having regard to Articles 61, 62, and 64 of the Treaty establishing the European Community,

–   having regard to Articles 6, 19, and 45 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter of Fundamental Rights),

–   having regard to Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States(1) ,

–   having regard to the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities,

–   having regard to its resolutions on the free movement of persons and the fight against discrimination in all its forms and, in particular, to its resolution of 28 April 2005 on the situation of the Roma in the European Union(2) ,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the free movement of persons is an inalienable fundamental freedom accorded to Union citizens by the Treaties and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and whereas it constitutes a linchpin of European citizenship,

B.   whereas for that reason Directive 2004/38/EC on the free movement of Union citizens and their families, while allowing a Member State to expel a Union citizen, circumscribes that possibility within clearly defined limits intended to safeguard fundamental freedoms,

C.   considering that security and freedom are fundamental rights and that the Union is seeking to ensure a high level of security for its citizens in an area of freedom, security and justice,

D.   whereas organised crime and trafficking in human beings pose challenges on a trans-national scale and whereas free movement within the European space also depends on closer Europe-wide judicial and police cooperation for the purposes of investigation and prosecution, aided by Eurojust and Europol,

E.   whereas respect for the laws of every Member State is a sine qua non for coexistence and social inclusion in the Union; whereas all individuals are obliged to comply with the law of the Union and the laws in force in the Member State in which they find themselves; whereas criminal liability is always personal; whereas, in addition to enjoying the rights and freedoms granted to them by the Treaty, Union citizens must comply with the requirements attached to the exercise of those rights, as set out, in particular, in EC law and the law of the host Member State,

F.   whereas all national legislation must comply with the principles and provisions laid down in Directive 2004/38/EC;

G.   whereas combating racism and xenophobia of every kind, as well as all forms of discrimination, is one of the fundamental principles on which the Union is built,

H.   whereas in accordance with the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of nationality, all Union citizens and the members of their families who reside freely and lawfully in a Member State should enjoy, in that State, equality of treatment with national citizens,

I.   whereas the Roma are continuing to suffer discrimination and abuse on Union territory and whereas, regrettably, the objectives of integration, social inclusion, and protection of that minority have not yet been achieved,

J.   having regard to the brutal attack on, and the murder of, a woman in Rome, the accused party being a Romanian national,

K.   whereas Romanian citizens have been subject to racist attacks following this murder,

L.   whereas public personalities are expected to refrain from statements that might be understood as encouraging the stigmatisation of groups of people,

M.   having regard to the joint initiative by the Romanian Prime Minister and the President of the Italian Council, and their joint letter to the President of the Commission on the subject of the Roma minority,

1.   Expresses its deep regret at the murder of Ms. Giovanna Reggiani in Rome on 31 October 2007, and sends its sincere condolences to her family;

2.   Reaffirms the value of the free movement of persons as a fundamental principle of the Union, a constituent part of European citizenship, and a key element of the internal market;

3.   Reaffirms the objective of making the Union and its communities an area in which each inhabitant is guaranteed a high level of security, freedom and justice;

4.  Notes that Directive 2004/38/EC circumscribes the possibility of expelling a Union citizen within very clearly defined limits and that, specifically,

   under Article 27, Member States may not restrict freedom of movement and residence other than on grounds of public policy, public security or public health, and those grounds may not be invoked to serve economic ends; any measures taken must accord with the principle of proportionality and be based solely on the personal conduct of the individual concerned and on no account on considerations of general prevention;
   under Article 28, any expulsion decision must be preceded by an assessment designed to allow for the personal circumstances of the individual concerned, taking into account, for example, the duration of his/her residence, his/her age, his/her state of health, and family and economic situation, and the extent to which he/she has integrated in the host Member State;
   under Article 30, the persons concerned must be notified in writing of expulsion decisions and in such a way that they are able to comprehend their contents and implications, and must be informed precisely and in full of the grounds of the decision, of the court or administrative authority and time-limits for appeal and, if appropriate, of the time allowed for them to leave the country, which must not be less than one month from notification;
   under Article 31, the persons concerned must have access to judicial and administrative redress procedures to appeal against the expulsion decision in the host Member State, and have a right to apply for an interim order to suspend the enforcement of the decision, which must be granted, except in specific cases;
   under Article 36, sanctions laid down by Member States must be effective and proportionate;
   under recital 16 and Article 14, a citizen may be expelled if he/she imposes an unreasonable burden on the host Member State's social assistance system, subject to the proviso, however, that each individual case must be thoroughly examined and that the above condition cannot, under any circumstances, be considered sufficient in itself to justify automatic expulsion;

5.   Maintains that national legislation must, in every instance, conform exactly to these limits and safeguards, including the possibility of legal appeal against expulsion and the exercise of the right to a defence, and that any exception laid down in Directive 2004/38/EC must be interpreted restrictively; points out that mass expulsions are prohibited by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

6.   Welcomes the Romanian Prime Minister's visit to Italy and the joint statement issued by Romano Prodi and Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu; supports the call by the President of the Italian Council and the Romanian Prime Minister for the Union to commit itself to the social integration of the most underprivileged populations and to cooperation among the Member States as regards management of their population movements, making use of the development and social aid programmes provided for under the Structural Funds;

7.   Calls on the Commission, without delay, to submit a detailed assessment of the steps taken by Member States to implement Directive 2004/38/EC and of the correctness of its transposition by the Member States, together with any necessary proposals, acting pursuant to Article 39 of that Directive;

8.   Without encroaching on the remit of the Commission, instructs its appropriate committee, in collaboration with the national parliaments, to complete an assessment by 1 June 2008 of the problems entailed in transposition of the Directive, highlighting best practice and those measures that might lead to forms of discrimination among European citizens;

9.   Calls on the Member States to cease all hesitation and move more rapidly to strengthen the means available for Europe-wide police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters so as to make for effective action to fight the trans-national phenomena of organised crime and trafficking in human beings, while providing a uniform framework of procedural safeguards;

10.   Rejects the principle of collective responsibility and emphatically reaffirms the need to combat every form of racism and xenophobia and all forms of discrimination and stigmatisation based on nationality and ethnic origin, as required by the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

11.   Reminds the Commission that it is imperative to submit a proposal for a horizontal directive to combat all the forms of discrimination referred to in Article 13 of the EC Treaty, as provided for in the Commission's 2008 legislative and work programme;

12.   Considers that protection of the rights of the Roma, and the integration of that minority, pose a challenge to the Union as a whole and calls on the Commission to act without delay by pursuing an overall strategy for social inclusion of the Roma and, not least, making use of the available budget lines and the Structural Funds to support national, regional, and local authorities in their efforts to bring about the social inclusion of the Roma;

13.   Advocates the establishment of a network of organisations dealing with the social inclusion of the Roma as well as the promotion of awareness-raising instruments regarding the rights and duties of the Roma community, including exchange of best practices; considers intensive and structured cooperation with the Council of Europe to be extremely important for this purpose;

14.   Believes that the recent statements to the Italian press by Franco Frattini, Commission Vice-President, in connection with the serious incidents in Rome were contrary to the spirit and the letter of Directive 2004/38/EC, a Directive with which he is called upon to comply in full;

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

(1) OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 77.
(2) OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2006, p. 129.


Full application of the Schengen acquis
DOC 41k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, 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
P6_TA(2007)0535 B6-0448/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the draft Council decision on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, 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 (11722/2007),

–   having regard to its position of 15 November 2007 on the above-mentioned draft Council decision(1) ,

–   having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the creation of the Schengen area was one of the greatest achievements, characterised by the removal of all controls at the common borders between all the participant States and the introduction of freedom of movement within the territory of the EU,

B.   whereas in parallel with the removal of controls at the internal borders, some compensatory measures were implemented, including the establishment of efficient controls at the external borders, the reinforcement of cooperation between the administrative, customs, police and judicial authorities of the Member States, a common visa policy and the creation of the Schengen Information System (SIS),

C.   whereas, according to Article 3(2) of the 2003 Act of Accession(2) , the provisions of the Schengen acquis other than those mentioned in Annex I to that Act only apply in a new Member State within the meaning of that Act pursuant to a Council Decision to that effect after verification that the necessary conditions for the application of that acquis have been met,

D.   whereas the Schengen acquis was incorporated into the European Union framework by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 in which it was decided that its application would be obligatory for any subsequent new Member State;

E.   whereas it is necessary to conduct a verification through evaluation procedures in order to check whether the necessary conditions for the application of all parts of the acquis concerned (data protection, air borders, land borders, police cooperation, the SIS, sea borders and visas) have been met by the new Member States; whereas this is a precondition for the Council to take decisions on the full application of the Schengen acquis, including the abolition of checks at internal borders with and between those Member States,

F.   whereas the extension of the Schengen area is therefore another step towards the full integration of the new Member States into the European Union;

G.   whereas the evaluations for these new Member States started, following a request (in 2006) from each Member State (declaration of readiness); whereas they were conducted, new Member State by new Member State, under the responsibility of the Schengen Evaluation Working Party; whereas they started with a questionnaire to the Member State concerning all parts of the Schengen acquis and were followed by evaluation visits; whereas teams of experts were sent to the borders, consulates, SIS, etc. and prepared exhaustive reports containing factual descriptions, assessments, and recommendations which can require additional measures and follow-up visits; whereas the final report should establish whether the new Member State concerned, after being subject to a full evaluation procedure, fulfils all the preconditions for the practical application,

H.   whereas the Portuguese Government should be congratulated for putting forward a proposal providing a technical transitional solution - SISone4all - which would allow the new Member States to be connected to the SIS in 2007 while waiting for the implementation of new SIS II by the Commission,

I.   whereas the creation of the SIS II continues to be a priority for Parliament because it was necessary not only as a means of allowing the new Member States to be connected to the system, but also, within the Community framework, to build a more robust and flexible tool, able to cope with rapidly changing requirements; whereas it should make it possible to boost security and allow more efficient use of data, introduce new functionalities and take advantage of technological developments,

J.   whereas Council Decision 2007/471/EC of 12 June 2007(3) on the application of the provisions of Schengen acquis relating to the SIS in nine of the new Member States entered into force on 7 July 2007 and the evaluation of the correct application of the SIS in the Member States concerned could only be finalised at the end of September 2007,

K.   whereas when a Member State joins the European Union it has to accept the Schengen acquis and, at the same time, has a legitimate expectation that it will be able to enjoy the same rights as the other Member States and that its citizens will also be able to move freely inside their territories,

L.   whereas in order to maintain a uniform level of security within the Community area it is imperative that Member States strictly and efficiently meet the Schengen area's requirements; whereas, if this objective is overlooked, it jeopardises the security of the entire Schengen area,

M.   whereas it is considered that the speed of the entire evaluation process did not compromise the rigorous and effective manner in which these procedures should be carried out,

N.   whereas it is to be regretted that, at the beginning of this procedure, when the Council proceeded to consult Parliament, the Council refused, initially, to provide Parliament with access to the evaluation reports of the experts, for security reasons,

O.   whereas it should be borne in mind that Parliament, and in particular the members of its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, must have access to the evaluation concerning the application of all Schengen domains, before giving a reasoned and motivated opinion on the abolition of internal borders,

P.   whereas all the efforts and goodwill shown by the Portuguese Presidency to ensure that Parliament, and in particular its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, was informed step by step of the state of play of the evaluation procedures carried out in the Member States concerned should be acknowledged,

1.   Welcomes the new Member States entering the Schengen area, stresses the symbolic and historic importance of this event with a view to ending the former divisions in Europe and congratulates those Member States on the tremendous efforts that some of them have made in order to be ready and to respect all the Schengen requirements in such a short period of time;

2.   Reminds the new Member States of the need to maintain a high level of security and to strictly and efficiently meet the Schengen area's requirements at all times;

3.   Congratulates the Portuguese Presidency on having created the necessary instruments to extend the Schengen area to the new Member States in 2007;

4.   Stresses the urgent need to speed up preparations for the start-up of a fully functioning SIS II;

5.   Reminds the Member States that they should put in place as soon as possible all the necessary measures to remedy the remaining shortcomings , but notes that, although some issues are still outstanding and will require follow-up in the future, they do not constitute an obstacle to applying the full Schengen acquis to the new Member States concerned;

6.   Urges the Council to ensure that Parliament is kept informed, in writing, in the course of the next six months on the follow-up it decides to give to the recommendations contained in the Schengen evaluation report and mentioned in the follow-up for each Member State concerned;

7.   Recalls the need to proceed to a global evaluation, over the next two years, regarding the way in which the system has been implemented and is working in every country participating in the Schengen area, focussing in particular on the achievements of, the consequences of, and the problems arising from the implementation of the system;

8.   Fully expects the Council to ensure that Parliament in all legislative procedures is provided with all the information required and available to be able to take a proper decision and to exercise the necessary democratic scrutiny;

9.   Encourages the Council and the Commission to use the experiences, innovation and best practice acquired during the recent evaluation process for new Member States and promote them among all Member States;

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

(1) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2007)0531 .
(2) OJ L 236, 23.09.2003, p.33
(3) OJ L 179, 7.7.2007, p. 46.


Pakistan
DOC 41k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on Pakistan
P6_TA(2007)0536 B6-0472 , 0473 , 0474 , 0477 , 0478 and 0479/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Partnership and Development which was signed on 24 November 2001 and entered into force in 2004 (also referred to as the Third Generation Cooperation Agreement), in particular Article 1 of this Agreement, which stipulates that 'respect for human rights and democratic principles ... constitutes an essential element of this Agreement';

–   having regard to the EU-Pakistan Joint Declaration of 8 February 2007 with regard to the aforementioned Cooperation Agreement, in which both sides undertook to develop a broad formalised political dialogue whose subjects would include counterterrorism, non-proliferation, human rights and good governance,

–   having regard to the Council Declaration of 8 November 2007 on the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan, as well as to the statements by EU High Representative Solana of 4 November 2007 and by the EU Heads of Mission in Islamabad of 4 November 2007,

–   having regard to the statement by the UN Secretary General of 5 November 2007 on the detention in Pakistan of human rights and opposition activists, including the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief,

–   having regard to the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers' announcement on 12 November 2007 that they would suspend Pakistan from the Commonwealth if President Musharraf did not return it to constitutional order by 22 November 2007,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on human rights and democracy in Pakistan, in particular those of 12 July(1) and 25 October 2007(2) ,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas on 3 November 2007 President Musharraf issued a "Provisional Constitutional Order" (PCO), suspending the Constitution and the rule of lawand replacing them by the State of Emergency, de facto martial law;

B.   whereas this move came shortly before the expected ruling of the Supreme Court on the legality of the President's third term of office while he remains head of the armed forces; whereas, in reaction, numerous lawyers and other concerned citizens took to the streets in protest, several thousands of whom were brutally beaten and arrested,

C.   whereas the recent actions of President Musharraf could lead to greater instability in the country, thus encouraging violence and extremism; whereas it is extremely concerned about the threats to peace and stability in Pakistan's neighbourhood and the whole region,

D.   whereas the Supreme Court of Pakistan has yet to hand down its ruling on the question of whether the election of President Musharraf is in conformity with the Constitution,

E.   whereas freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression and assembly and freedom of political activity, which are the hallmarks of a civilised political system, have been overturned,

1.   Demands unequivocally that an end be put to the state of emergency and that the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan be reimplemented with immediate effect;

2.   Expresses its solidarity with the legitimate protests by thousands of lawyers, civil society representatives and human rights activists and eminent political leaders; condemns the violence of the police against the protesters and the large-scale arrests without charge or under terrorism charges without any factual basis;

3.   Is particularly concerned about the arrest of more than 3 000 citizens, including leaders of political parties, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and representatives of civil society; demands that the house arrest of Benazir Bhutto, leader of the PPP, of Asma Jahangir, Chair of the independent Human Rights Commission and UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, and of I.A. Rehman, the founder of that organisation, be put to an immediate end; is alarmed that a detention order remains in place against Hina Jilani, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders;

4.   Demands that judicial independence be restored by reinstating the judiciary; demands the immediate release of all representatives of the bar associations who have been arrested after peaceful street protests; denounces in particular the unlawful house arrest of Chief Justice Chaudhry and the imprisonment of Aitzaz Ahsan, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association;

5.   Reiterates its call on President Musharraf to respect the verdict of the Supreme Court − once it is reinstated − on the constitutionality of his election as President; calls on President Musharraf to renounce his position as head of the army before taking his oath for a new presidential term and before the parliamentary dispensation for him to hold both civil and military office expires on 15 November 2007;

6.   Recalls that, due to the suspension of the Supreme Court, the hearings on the hundreds of enforced disappearances originally scheduled for 13 November 2007 have been put on hold and insists that the inquiry into the whereabouts of the disappeared continue and all those believed to be in secret state detention be produced before the courts;

7.   Demands that all restrictions on the media be lifted and that ordinances restricting the free coverage of political events be withdrawn;

8.   Calls on the Government of Pakistan to implement the necessary conditions to guarantee the holding of free, fair and transparent elections as scheduled; notes in this context the announcement made by President Musharraf on 11 November 2007 that elections to the provincial assemblies and the national assembly would be completed by 9 January 2008;

9.   Demands that a completely neutral caretaker government be formed, in line with the Constitution and in consultation with all opposition parties, to oversee the polls, and that the election commission be reconstituted; calls for leaders of all political parties to be allowed to contest these elections, including former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who should be allowed to return to Pakistan and to participate actively in the election process;

10.   Recalls that the credibility of the election process will depend on the release of all political prisoners, including those in the unlawful custody of intelligence agencies, and on an end being put to the disappearance of political opponents, in accordance with the Supreme Court's directive; considers that freedom of speech, movement, association and assembly must be fully implemented and all restrictions on law-abiding political parties be removed;

11.   Stresses that the deployment of a European Parliament observer delegation to observe the parliamentary elections in Pakistan, in the framework of an EU observer mission, depends on the fulfilment of basic preconditions for the holding of free and fair elections by the Pakistani authorities; underlines, in this context, that elections prepared and held under the state of emergency would be a clear signal of an undemocratic process;

12.   Calls on the Commission to carefully consider the sending of a further exploratory mission, in the event that the state of emergency is lifted, in order to evaluate the viability of the deployment of a long-term EU election observation mission;

13.   Fully supports the clear benchmarks set in the Council Declaration of 8 November 2007, by which the return to constitutional order in Pakistan is to be judged;

14.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to insist that the Government of Pakistan uphold all the principles enshrined in the Cooperation Agreement, in particular the democracy and human rights clause; calls on the Commission to present a report on the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement;

15.   Calls on the Commission − in this context − to consider expanding aid to Pakistan for education, poverty reduction, health care and relief work, channelling funds through secular NGOs;

16.   Calls on the Member States fully to respect the EU code of conduct on arms exports;

17.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the UN Secretary-General.

(1) Texts adopted P6_TA(2007)0351 .
(2) Texts adopted P6_TA(2007)0489 .


Bali Conference on Climate Change
DOC 56k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on limiting global climate change to 2 degrees Celsius – the way ahead for the Bali Conference on Climate Change and beyond (COP 13 and COP/MOP 3)
P6_TA(2007)0537 B6-0432/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission entitled 'Limiting Global Climate Change to 2 Degrees Celsius - The way ahead for 2020 and beyond' (COM(2007)0002 ),

–   having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC and the procedures for its implementation,

–   having regard to the United Nations Security Council's debate of 17 April 2007 on the impact of climate change on peace and security,

–   having regard to the forthcoming thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UNFCCC and the third Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 3) to be held in Bali, Indonesia, from 3 to 14 December 2007,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions regarding climate change, and in particular those of 16 November 2005 on winning the battle against global climate change(1) , of 18 January 2006 on climate change(2) , dealing with the outcome of the Montreal Conference (COP 11-COP/MOP 1), of 4 July 2006 on reducing the climate change impact of aviation(3) , and of 14 February 2007 on climate change(4) ,

–   having regard to Oral Questions B6-0379/2007 and B6-0380/2007 by the Temporary Committee on Climate Change tabled pursuant to Rule 108 of its Rules of Procedure and to the statements by the Council and the Commission,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 8-9 March 2007,

–   having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas climate change is a major challenge for our societies in the 21st century, with significant negative global environmental, economic, social and geopolitical effects, and might also threaten international peace and security,

B.   whereas its adverse consequences are distributed unequally, and in addition to being an environmental catastrophe, climate change also raises human rights and global equity issues,

C.   whereas one cannot deny the right of the poor to a decent life,

D.   whereas the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) affirms that the accelerating pace of climate change is the result of human activity and is already causing severe global effects,

E.   whereas many areas in the world have already been affected by the effects of an increase in global average temperatures, and whereas the latest scientific evidence suggests that the EU's agreed long-term goal of limiting warming to +2°C compared to pre-industrial levels might not be sufficient to avoid significant negative effects of climate change,

F.   whereas population groups have already been displaced by the adverse effects of climate change, such as in Tuvalu, Bangladesh an the Sahel region of Africa,

G.   whereas the abovementioned IPCC 4th Assessment Report states that the global mean temperature has risen by 0,74 °C over the last 100 years and will continue to increase by about 0,7 °C due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions already emitted; whereas the report also estimates a further increase in the global mean temperature of between 1,8 and 4 °C during this century, depending on the development of society,

H.   whereas this year, according to the latest satellite data of the European Space Agency (ESA), summer melting of ice at the North Pole assumed such proportions as to permit ships to travel through the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific for the first time, and whereas this is a further indication of rapid climate change in the Arctic,

I.   whereas climate change is a long-term problem and whereas short-term measures alone will not suffice to bring about positive effects on climate,

J.   whereas industrialised countries have a major responsibility for the accumulation of GHG emissions in the atmosphere; whereas the poorest countries and populations will be hit hardest by a more unstable climate,

K.   whereas the 25 biggest polluter countries account for 83% of global GHG emissions, and the emissions per capita in developed countries are many times higher than those of developing countries,

L.   whereas the economic, social and health costs of inaction were estimated in the Stern Review to correspond to 5-20% of global GDP per year; whereas according to the UNFCCC and the European Commission the cost of sound climate policy would reduce annual global GDP growth by only a fraction of the expected growth, at between 0,12 and 0,19%, without taking into account the ancillary environmental and health benefits or improvements in energy security,

M.   whereas both the IPCC and Stern reports confirm that developing countries are particularly threatened by climate change because of their higher exposure and vulnerability; whereas human-induced climate change will result in harmful impacts on farming and hydrological systems, forests, fisheries, health and economic infrastructure and whereas such impacts will exacerbate poverty and pose a serious threat to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,

N.   whereas the World Bank estimates that USD 10-40 billion will be required annually in order to 'climate proof' development in the poorest countries and whereas contributions to dedicated adaptation funds so far are only projected to amount to between USD 150 and USD 300 million per year,

O.   whereas binding emission reduction targets need to be mapped out to provide necessary incentives for rapid investment in the further development and deployment of energy-saving, resource-efficient, renewable and low-emission technologies,

P.   whereas a broad international agreement on long-term targets for emission reductions is absolutely essential to provide investment certainty for low GHG-emitting technologies as well as energy efficiency, and to avoid investments in incompatible energy infrastructure,

1.   Urges the EU to confirm its leading role and to strive for concrete cooperation at the forthcoming Bali Climate Conference and beyond, and for that meeting to agree the necessary negotiating mandate to establish a realistic framework for an international post-2012 climate agreement which is consistent with the objective of limiting climate change to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels; considers that the EU can assert its leading role by sending a number of heads of governments to Bali, which would at the same time make it clear that climate change is a many-sided problem which should be debated not only by environment ministers

2.  Considers that a future regime should build on key principles and mechanisms of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities; deems that the Bali mandate should be based on the following elements:

   a long-term goal of limiting average global temperature increase to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, which means reducing global GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to the 1990 level,
   binding targets for all industrialised countries,
   broader participation in reduction efforts, in particular by emerging economies through fair and proportionate targets,
   a global 'cap and trade' system,
   strengthened financial mechanisms for adaptation, with special attention to water resources,
   effective incentives, including market-based instruments if appropriate, to avoid deforestation and land-use emissions, including promoting sustainable agricultural practices,
   financial and other instruments for clean development and technology transfer and deployment,
   agreement by 2009 at the latest;

3.   Emphasises that targets for a sustainable use of resources and emission cuts must be based on the long-term goal; considers that, in the light of current knowledge, it is imperative that global emissions should peak within the next ten years, that the CO2-eq concentration in the atmosphere be maintained below 450 ppm, and that GHG emissions continue to decline to a level which can be sustained by the absorption capacity of natural sinks;

4.   Calls for due account to be taken of the warnings of the scientific community to the effect that the already difficult task of limiting global warming to 2°C does not in itself constitute a safety standard, since it still entails extremely serious effects and consequences;

5.   Recalls that industrialised countries, including those that have not yet ratified the Kyoto Protocol, must play a leading role in tackling climate change at world level and commit themselves to reducing their emissions by at least 30% by 2020 and 60-80% by 2050 compared to 1990; believes that the future regime should foresee a pathway up to 2050 in line with the long-term goal, with compliance at five-year intervals with intermediate targets, where binding targets should be set and reviewed on the basis of the latest scientific knowledge;

6.   Welcomes in this connection the EU target adopted at the abovementioned European Council of 8-9 March 2007 of a 30% reduction of GHG emissions from their 1990 level by 2020 provided that other developed countries commit themselves to similar emission reductions and that more economically advanced developing countries make a contribution commensurate with their responsibilities and respective capacities, and acknowledges the obligation accepted by the EU – irrespective of the conclusion of a global agreement for the period after 2012 – to reduce GHG emissions by at least 20% from their 1990 level by 2020;

7.   Emphasises that an appreciable reduction in CO2 can only be achieved on an international scale by including major emitters in the industrialised countries, and also by securing the participation of newly industrialised countries;

8.   Considers that emerging countries should accept limits on their emissions in accordance with their development stage, their per capita emissions, their emission reduction potential and their technical and financial capacities;

9.   Considers that the EU and other industrialised countries should assist developing countries in the deployment of sustainable and efficient technologies by means of co-financing, including Official Development Assistance (ODA), and capacity-building measures in order for the more economically advanced among them to be able to begin emission or carbon intensity reductions as soon as their development permits, at the latest by 2020;

10.   Recalls that the IPCC in its recent report for policy makers acknowledges the role of nuclear energy as an option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; believes that, where reasonable, energy needs should be met from all available carbon-free sources or low-emission technologies, including nuclear energy;

11.   Emphasises the importance of respecting and adhering to the principles of sound environmental policy in all EU projects of development aid to third countries;

12.   Considers that it is also necessary to encourage solutions making it possible to attain the objective of reducing GHG emissions by 30% by 2020;

13.   Is concerned about the pace of tropical deforestation accounting for some 20% of global GHG emissions and the negative impact on the global absorption capacity of natural sinks and biodiversity as well as on the livelihoods of poor communities, and calls, therefore, for more intensive incorporation of such incentives in the allocation of development aid by donors in Europe and worldwide;

14.   Considers that it will be vital to create a strategic partnership with the countries most concerned by tropical deforestation; strongly believes that performance-based incentives for avoidance of deforestation need to be part of the future climate regime;

15.   Considers that such incentives would need to be in reference to country specific baselines (taking into account early action) and be accompanied by ecological criteria, rules on sustainability and guarantees of good governance; maintains that the temporary nature of sink credits means countries must carry liability for their permanence when they are used for compliance with binding targets;

16.   Considers that the main UN policies on bio-diversity, desertification and climate change and the related international ongoing Conferences of Parties need effective coordination in order to achieve common goals; stresses the need, therefore, to avoid any contradiction in implementing the proposed mitigation and adaptation measures in order to ensure coordination and efficiency among them;

17.   Regards an international framework agreement and a certification system for biofuels as necessary, with the aim of preventing adverse effects on the environment and excessively high CO2 emissions, stemming, for example, from deforestation and the burning of peat bogs; in this connection, considers research, development and promotion of second-generation biofuels to be necessary;

18.   Emphasises the moral obligation on industrialised countries to provide increased financial and capacity-building support for risk reduction and adaptation to climate change in low-income vulnerable countries in a predictable and coherent manner; calls, in particular, for the strengthening of existing funds under the UNFCCC such as the Adaptation Fund, the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and the GEF's Strategic Priority on Adaptation (SPA);

19.   Reconfirms its support for the continuing use of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as a means of promoting climate-friendly technologies; emphasises that conditions should be created as soon as possible for the continuation and further development of the CDM beyond 2012; highlights the need to improve effectiveness through stricter sustainability criteria, improved governance, simplified administrative procedures and the possible movement towards sectoral CDM; emphasises however that, as an offset mechanism, it is only a temporary solution and the goal should remain to establish a global carbon cap based on a fair and proportionate allocation of quotas; maintains the principle agreed under the Kyoto Protocol that the use of flexible mechanisms must be supplemental to domestic reductions;

20.   Calls on the Commission, when revising the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS), in order to improve the CDM, to initiate a change of course in the assessment of emission credits for afforestation and reforestation projects and sustainable forest management projects;

21.   21, Reiterates its call for aviation and maritime transport emissions to be included in international GHG reduction commitments for the post-2012;

22.   Regrets that the ICAO has not been prepared to find any kind of legal instrument to limit greenhouse gas emissions from aviation even though this task was already given to the ICAO more than 10 years ago;

23.   Is concerned that a growing proportion of the earth's resources are used for livestock raising; recalls the report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of November 2006 entitled 'Livestock's Long Shadow', which estimates that the meat industry and livestock raising account for 18% of the world's total GHG emissions; stresses the need for an international post-2012 climate agreement to include a framework for sustainable livestock production;

24.   Proposes reviewing the extent to which rubbish dumps, which emit up to 60 million tons of methane per year worldwide, can be decommissioned and used to produce energy in order to reduce the greenhouse effect and dangers to human beings;

25.   Recognises the possibilities that combating climate change brings by forcing technological development and the creation of more sustainable societies; considers that policies to decarbonise the economy will offer significant business opportunities in many technology areas, such as energy efficiency, renewables, sharing technology, carbon capture and storage (CCS) etc.; calls for further efforts by Member States to boost such investment and provide fiscal incentives to encourage research into clean technologies;

26.   Considers that the market entry of clean technologies is hampered by barriers, such as subsidies for fossil fuels, import tariffs and lack of a knowledge base; calls for conclusive efforts under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol to remove such barriers and to put in place positive incentives for investments in sustainable technologies and greater use of entrepreneurial incentive models, in particular exceptionally strong and comprehensive partnership between industrialised countries and emerging economies;

27.   Maintains that reducing global emissions must not lead to other threats such as nuclear proliferation or terrorism; believes, therefore, that nuclear power should remain excluded from the CDM and Joint Implementation (JI) or other mechanisms aimed at rewarding emission reductions in developing countries;

28.   Recognises that Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) licensing fees in the area of clean technologies may constitute a barrier to the transfer of such technology to developing countries; stresses that a post-2012 agreement must entail a framework for IPR partnerships between industrialised and developing countries, providing alternative means of compensation for IPR holders, in order to ensure respect for property rights while at the same time facilitating technology flows;

29.   Recognises that price differences resulting from divergent national commitments in relation to climate change may become a source of distortion of competition, including for small and medium-sized enterprises; calls on the Commission to seriously address this issue, namely through the development of instruments conducive to a higher level of coherence between environmental objectives and World Trade Organization's rules; recognises that binding international benchmarks and commitments covering all sectors that are vulnerable to competition would be preferable to the possible adoption of border adjustment measures to offset distortions among trading partners;

30.   Supports, in the absence of an effective global carbon 'cap and trade' system, sectoral targets for energy-intensive industries in countries without binding emission reduction commitments as a supplement to binding emission targets for industrialised countries in combination with commitments to transfer technology; considers that such targets and/or benchmarks are especially important for energy-intensive sectors that compete globally (steel, paper and cement) and could be a first step to offsetting distortions among trading partners;

31.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU contracting parties and observers to the Convention.

(1) OJ C 280E, 18.11.2006, p. 120.
(2) OJ C 287E, 24.11.2006, p. 182.
(3) OJ C 303E, 13.12.2006, p. 119.
(4) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2007)0038 .


Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy
DOC 74k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy (2007/2088(INI) )
P6_TA(2007)0538 A6-0414/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) since 2004, and in particular to the Commission Progress reports on implementation of the ENP of 4 December 2006 (SEC(2006)1504 /2, SEC(2006)1505 /2, SEC(2006)1506 /2, SEC(2006)1507 /2, SEC(2006)1508 /2, SEC(2006)1509 /2, SEC(2006)1510 /2, SEC(2006)1511 /2, SEC(2006)1512 /2),

–   having regard to the Action Plans adopted jointly with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority and Tunisia,

–   having regard to the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), closely linked to the implementation of the jointly adopted Action Plans, which replaces technical assistance hitherto provided by TACIS and MEDA,

–   having regard to the Commission Non-Paper entitled "What the EU could bring to Belarus" of 21 November 2006,

–   having regard to the European Security Strategy entitled "A Secure Europe in a Better World", approved by the European Council on 12 December 2003,

–   having regard to the Commission's Communication to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 December 2006 on strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy (COM(2006)0726 ),

   having regard to the Commission's communication to the Council and the European Parliament of 11 April 2007, entitled "Black Sea Synergy – A New Regional Cooperation Initiative" (COM(2007)0160 ),

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Councils of 14-15 December 2006 and 21-22 June 2007, and to the German Presidency Progress Report entitled "Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy" of 15 June 2007,

–   having regard to its resolutions on Wider Europe and on the ENP, in particular its resolution of 19 January 2006 on the European Neighbourhood Policy(1) ,

–   having regard to its earlier resolutions on the countries and regions neighbouring the EU,

–   having regard to its resolutions on the ENP and the EU's enlargement strategy,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions of 16 November 2005 on the future of the Northern Dimension(2) and of 16 November 2006 on a Baltic Sea Strategy for the Northern Dimension(3) ,

   taking into account the findings contained in the United Nations Development Programme's Arab Human Development Reports,

   having regard to the Conference on the ENP, organised by the Commission and held on 3 September 2007,

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0414/2007 ),

A.   whereas consolidation of security, democratic stability and prosperity, and the promotion of good governance and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights in the EU neighbourhood, are crucial for the stability and prosperity of the whole European continent,

B.   whereas the ENP remains a core priority of EU foreign policy,

C.   whereas the ENP should remain distinct from the process of enlargement; whereas participation in the ENP does not preclude, for the eastern neighbours which are clearly identifiable as European countries, any perspective related to possible EU membership in the long term; whereas the ENP is, for all countries involved, an opportunity to integrate closer with the EU,

D.   whereas, despite the successful launch of reform agendas in several neighbouring countries, the ENP has not yet fully met expectations as regards triggering and strengthening the commitment of the governments of the ENP countries to political and economic reforms,

E.   whereas more incentives need to be developed to motivate partners to advance on the path of reforms; whereas the ENP needs to be substantially strengthened to facilitate this process, inter alia by being allocated sufficient financial resources to meet its stated ambitions and objectives,

F.   whereas open and frozen conflicts still represent a major obstacle to the fulfilment of the ENP´s key purposes; whereas stability can only be achieved through comprehensive and lasting settlements of the existing conflicts,

G.   whereas the specific aspects of EU policy towards the South Caucasus states, and of the EU's Black Sea regional approach, are being dealt with in separate reports prepared by Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs,

1.   Fully supports the principal objectives of the ENP, which is aimed at consolidating a ring of prosperity, stability and security, to develop close ties with and between our neighbouring states and to commit them to pursue reforms towards democracy based on respect for human rights, the rule of law, better governance and sustainable economic and social development; underlines the need for special attention to be paid to the promotion of equal rights, in particular the improvement of women's rights, but also as regards minorities and the ability of the neighbouring countries to overcome ethnic, religious or social conflicts by peaceful means;

2.   Expresses doubts about the meaningfulness of the ENP´s geographic scope, as it involves countries which geographically are European together with Mediterranean non-European countries; notes however that it does not currently seem realistic to fundamentally change this overarching policy framework; stresses, therefore, the need for a greater effort to define the multilateral objectives and instruments of this policy so as to enable the EU and its neighbouring states to face shared challenges, and at the same time to respect the different conditions and specific characteristics of the regions and countries involved;

3.   Strongly advocates, therefore, that the entire implementation of the policy take as much account as possible of the differing identities of all the countries covered by the ENP, in order to develop the most appropriate and tangible middle- and long-term incentives for reform and to strengthen the commitment of these societies to the process of modernisation and cooperation and integration with the EU;

4.   Notes that the conditionality enshrined in the ENP approach draws on the positive experience of enlargement; considers that conditionality can constitute an appropriate incentive for acceleration of reform processes in the ENP countries towards their convergence with the EU if conceived positively and differentiated according to the specific needs and capacities of the country concerned, and accompanied by the development of a vision shared with the partners in its political, institutional and economic aspects;

5.   Strongly underlines that respect for universal human rights and fundamental freedoms is the core principle of EU policy; stresses that, regardless of the degree of willingness of partner countries' governments to cooperate and to share in these values, civil society in all ENP countries must be strongly supported and its participation and core role in the reform and democratisation process encouraged, and the development of free and independent media supported; calls on the Commission to negotiate the setting-up of subcommittees on human rights with all ENP countries so as to ensure an effective political dialogue on this matter;

6.   Underlines the importance for the EU of increasing its contacts with the parliaments, political parties, local authorities and other stakeholders in the ENP countries, with a view to their involvement in the development and implementation of the Action Plans; therefore urges that partnership fora be held on a periodic basis;

7.   Stresses the utmost importance of a broad civil society dialogue and intensified people-to-people contacts, which contribute to a better understanding between the societies of the EU and the ENP countries and demonstrate the benefits of cooperation to both sides; considers that particular attention should be paid to student, cultural and research exchanges; welcomes in this respect the initiative of the Commission to open Community agencies and programmes to the ENP countries, and supports in particular further involvement of all ENP countries in the Erasmus Mundus programme;

8.   Encourages the Commission and national, regional and local authorities to set up city and region-twinning programmes, and to provide adequate support for such programmes, in order to reinforce local and regional administrative capacity in neighbouring countries, as well as to promote exchange programmes for civil society and micro-project initiatives;

9.   Stresses the need for strong political commitment on the part of the EU and the Member States in order to make the ENP a sustainable success; urges EU Member States to align their own policies in ENP countries as much as possible with the priorities set out in the ENP's Country Strategy Papers, in order to guarantee policy compatibility, coherence and complementarity;

10.   Advocates the deepening of regular political dialogue between the EU and the ENP countries; welcomes the fact that Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia align themselves with most of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) declarations and positions, and supports the decision to involve in the same way Azerbaijan; is convinced that such alignment with EU foreign policy should be open to all other ENP countries;

11.   Welcomes the longer-term aim of establishing a neighbourhood-wide free trade area, as developed in the Commission's above-mentioned communication of 4 December 2006; supports the negotiation of bilateral deep free trade agreements between the EU and the respective ENP country, which should, in line with the implementation of regulatory reforms, go beyond tariffs and encompass services and the protection of investments; stresses that social and environmental impact assessments must be taken into account when these agreements are negotiated; regrets that the EU has not hitherto considered it possible to open up its market to products which the ENP countries are in a particularly good position to supply at competitive prices and which are of a quality that meets EU standards;

12.   Supports the development of multilateral cooperation between the EU and its partners on sectoral themes, to be built on existing regional and cross-border ties in areas such as the environment, energy security, culture, transport and border and migration management; supports, wherever possible, the negotiation of legally binding sectoral agreements which facilitate the integration of common policies; stresses in particular the need to leverage investments in extending the trans-European energy and transport networks to the ENP countries;

13.   Stresses the need to use existing multilateral organisations to strengthen interaction between the European Union and the ENP countries; underlines in particular the role of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in monitoring the implementation of human rights, democracy and the rule of law;

14.   Advocates that visa facilitation and readmission agreements be negotiated with all ENP countries; stresses the need to improve the capacity of ENP countries to manage migration flows, effectively combat illegal migration and ensure that international human rights obligations are respected; calls on the Member States, the EU and all ENP countries to intensify their cooperation in the fight against trans-national organised crime, terrorism, trafficking in human beings and drug trafficking; supports the neighbours´ involvement in the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) and the European Police Office (Europol); stresses the need to ensure that the implementation of such readmission agreements fully respects the principle of non-refoulement, and to ensure access to a fair asylum procedure; urges the Commission to organise effective monitoring of the treatment of persons returned under readmission agreements concluded with ENP countries, in particular with regard to possible 'chain refoulement';

15.   Recalls that the ENP provides an excellent framework for regional and sub-regional cooperation; calls for enhanced regional cooperation in the areas of freedom, security and justice, and in particular in border management, migration and asylum, the fight against organised crime, trafficking in human beings, illegal immigration, terrorism, money laundering and drugs trafficking as well as police and judicial cooperation; considers that regional cooperation and networking on such issues could build on the experience gained, inter alia , within the framework of the 'Söderköping Process', which includes Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine and, on the EU side, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden;

16.   Urgently asks the Member States to improve the processing of visas in order to facilitate mobility and to make legitimate travel to the EU less burdensome and less costly, particularly for groups such as students, scientists, businessmen and representatives of civil society; calls on the Member States to deal effectively with problems experienced at their consular services; encourages the establishment of common Schengen visa application centres in the ENP countries;

17.   Encourages Member States where appropriate to enter into negotiations with a view to the conclusion of bilateral agreements with ENP countries for the purpose of implementing the local border traffic regime established by Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 laying down rules on local border traffic at the external land borders of the Member States and amending the provisions of the Schengen Convention(4) ;

18.   Welcomes with interest the Commission's proposal to draw up a viability study on a possible 'Neighbourhood Energy Agreement', and to that end encourages the ENP partner countries to respect international law and the commitments entered into on the world markets;

19.   Advocates better dialogue and coordination and more joint actions between the EU and the United States in advancing common goals such as the promotion of democracy, the enhancement of energy security and the strengthening of regional security in the EU's neighbourhood;

20.   Underlines the need to involve and work together with the EEA countries, (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) and Switzerland and to make full use of their experience of working with the European Union;

21.   Stresses the need for appropriate levels of funding and close coordination with other financial institutions in order to make the ENP successful, and is of the view that advantage should be taken of the review of the 2007-2013 financial perspective planned for 2008-2009 to increase the budget of the ENPI; welcomes the introduction of the Neighbourhood Investment Facility, which will help to mobilise funds for ENP partners; strongly underlines the need to maintain an overall balance between the eastern and the southern parts of the ENP, reflecting the EU's ambitions and objectives in the regions, the effectiveness of previous assistance and the size of the population concerned;

22.   Calls on the Commission to coordinate its financial resources and policy analysis capabilities with those of the international financial institutions (European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, World Bank), so as to generate synergies in conditioning and stimulating reforms along the lines of the ENP action plans;

23.   Welcomes the motivating concept of the Governance Facility to provide additional financial support to best-performing countries; insists that it should reward real progress made in terms of objectives related to human rights and democratic governance, be based on transparent allocation criteria, and be used to further support the reform process;

24.   Recommends close and constant vigilance in the fight against corruption in the countries themselves, the results of which should be used as the basis for determining levels of assistance;

Eastern European Neighbourhood

25.   Notes that democratic neighbours which are clearly identifiable as European countries and which respect the rule of law may in principle apply, pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, for membership of the EU, and that the pace and depth of a common European process should correspond as closely as possible to the abilities to implement the appropriate reforms and meet conditions (Copenhagen criteria) in the partner countries and in the EU;

26.   Reiterates, with this in mind, the view stated in Parliament's recommendation of 12 July 2007 to the Council on a negotiation mandate for a new enhanced agreement between the European Community and its Member States of the one part and Ukraine of the other part(5) that the current negotiations with Ukraine should result in the conclusion of an association agreement which contributes efficiently and credibly to Ukraine's prospects in Europe and initiates the corresponding process, including the possibility of EU membership; is of the view that a corresponding approach should be taken in relations to Moldova, given that the initial period of ten years in force of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with that country is due to expire in June 2008;

27.   Takes note of the initiative of the Commission to invite Belarus to attend as an observer at the ENP Conference held on 3 September 2007; is seriously concerned, however, by the lack of a positive response on the part of the government of Belarus to the conditional cooperation offer formulated by the Commission in its above-mentioned non-paper of 21 November 2006; condemns the continued executions carried out in Belarus, the only country in Europe still imposing the death penalty, and other violations by Belarusian authorities of fundamental human rights and freedoms, and calls upon them to release all political prisoners and to stop any oppression of democratic forces, in order to enable the Belarusian people to benefit from freedom, democracy and prosperity and from all the opportunities which stem from closer integration with the EU; underlines that the EU should urgently provide more effective support for civil society, free media and political parties committed to democracy, the rule of law and respect for universal human rights and fundamental freedoms; strongly urges Belarus to apply a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards the abolition of capital punishment, and to ratify the second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its relevant protocols; encourages the Commission to make more effective use of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), and to ensure that the means provided by the EU financial instruments cannot be misused by the Belarusian government against Belarusian citizens and civil society;

28.   Calls on the Commission to promote people-to-people contacts by reducing the current cost of visas for Belarusians, especially for students, scholars and representatives of civil society, with a view to bringing such costs into line with those charged in other ENP countries, such as Ukraine, and in Russia;

29.   Considers that Belarus has the same European vocation and perspectives as Ukraine and Moldova, once it embraces democracy, respects fundamental human rights and freedoms and enhances the rule of law;

30.   Is convinced that a motivating framework with medium-term implementation targets should be established, based on a new generation of association agreements to be negotiated with ENP countries which respect fundamental European values, are willing to integrate more closely with the EU and demonstrate objective performance in terms of ENP action plan implementation;

31.   Is of the view that those agreements should envisage the development of the bilateral relationship with the EU in progressive stages, negotiating concrete conditions and timetables to be met, including binding performance benchmarks to be specified in the jointly adopted action plans, and accompanied by a regular monitoring process; reiterates its earlier proposal to develop with those countries clearly identifiable as European deep free trade agreements in the context of a possible 'European Economic Area Plus';

32.   Commends the conclusion of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Ukraine, as well as the initiation of such a process with Moldova, and urges that similar agreements be negotiated with the South Caucasus countries; is convinced that the prospect of a visa-free regime should be envisaged in the long term, with the steps necessary to achieve it being laid down; stresses that in the case of Georgia the progress of reforms and the unintended negative impact of the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia on the settlement of conflicts in the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia necessitate a speedy conclusion of the visa facilitation agreement between Georgia and the EU; urges that efficient monitoring mechanisms be put in place, in particular with regard to respect for the fundamental human rights of persons subject to readmission agreements; stresses the importance of having adequate guarantees of access to a fair asylum procedure for those in need of international protection, in particular when applying 'accelerated readmission procedures' to persons intercepted in border regions, as provided for in the readmission agreement with Ukraine and the proposal for a readmission agreement with Moldova;

33.   Stresses the need for intensified implementation of the existing EU-supported transport projects in the region, in particular the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRASECA), fully utilising the transit potential of the countries involved;

34.   Believes that the gradual integration of the EU's eastern neighbours into the European Energy Community should be pursued, and urges that reforms of energy sectors be implemented as a matter of priority, enforcing the principles of an open market economy and transparency, in particular as far as prices, network access and energy efficiency are concerned; welcomes the efforts made to include external energy security in line with the CSFP as one of the cornerstones of the ENP;

35.   Underlines the importance of the political dimension of the ENP; advocates stronger EU support for regional political cooperation projects such as the Community of Democratic Choice, GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in order to promote democracy, confidence, multilateral cooperation and sustainable development within the region more efficiently;

36.   Underlines the need for a stronger involvement on the part of the EU in the resolution of so-called frozen conflicts, inter alia through confidence-building programmes, conflict management and projects on education, culture and civil society building in breakaway territories; commends the work of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM); calls on the Council and the Commission to make it clear that participation in the ENP commits the countries concerned to good neighbourly relations and that, in order that the potential of the ENP may be fully exploited, it binds the countries concerned to make renewed, fresh and genuine efforts to find lasting and sustainable settlements to the conflicts in the region and to refrain from belligerent statements, threats and actions that could further deteriorate the situation and undermine the efforts of the international community;

37.   Encourages Ukraine, within the framework of its alignment with the EU´s CFSP declarations and positions, to join in the restrictive measures taken by the EU against the leadership of the Transnistrian region of Moldova, thereby making a further significant contribution to the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict;

38.   Welcomes the assistance afforded under the ENPI to confidence-building measures in Georgia and its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; asks the Commission to explore the possibility of providing assistance, in the form of local confidence-building and local economic rehabilitation projects, to Nagorno Karabakh, with a view to helping to resolve the conflict there;

39.   Calls on Turkey to establish normal diplomatic relations and to re-open its land border with its neighbour Armenia as part of the confidence-building measures necessary for lasting peace and economic integration in the region; asks Turkey and Armenia to commence a frank discussion on all outstanding issues;

40.   Underlines the importance of elaborating a more sophisticated policy for the Black Sea area, complementing the ENP, and emphasises the importance of having Turkey and Russia as partners in the development of a viable strategy for that region;

41.   Considers it important to enhance the parliamentary dimension of the political partnership between the European Parliament and the countries involved in the eastern part of the ENP; suggests, therefore, the setting-up of an EU-Neighbourhood-East Parliamentary Assembly (EURO-NEST), following the example of the multilateral parliamentary assemblies already established with the participation of the European Parliament, and involving the Parliaments of Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as pro-democracy observers from Belarus;

42.   With a view to reinforcing the parliamentary dimension, encourages the Council, the Commission and the Member States to develop, in cooperation with the governments of countries involved in the eastern part of the ENP, a platform for regional multilateral cooperation at ministerial level, strengthening further the political dimension of the ENP in the East of Europe;

43.   Is convinced that such an assembly and ministerial cooperation would usefully contribute to the implementation of the strengthened ENP and would bring added value to the work of bilateral inter-parliamentary delegations, allowing all the parties concerned to reinforce cooperation, solidarity and mutual confidence, to contribute to the settlement of frozen conflicts, and to strengthen regular multilateral dialogue on subjects of common interest with a clear regional dimension such as energy, the environment, the fight against terrorism, migration management, human rights, etc.;

44.   Stresses the need to use the strategic partnership between the EU and Russia to insist that fundamental human rights and freedoms, international law, democratic choice and the rule of law be respected as principles governing the approach of both partners to the shared neighbourhood; calls on the Russian authorities to assume their responsibility to help restore the territorial integrity of ENP countries, to comply with Russia's obligation to protect minorities in areas where it is involved in peace-keeping operations, and not to oppose possible European involvement in civilian and military peace-keeping operations in the frozen conflict areas, as requested by some of the parties concerned; regrets the use of energy resources as a tool for the realisation of political objectives; invites Russia to enter into a constructive dialogue with the EU and our common neighbours about possibilities for deepening multilateral cooperation in the Black Sea area;

45.   Welcomes the initiative to strategically reinforce relations with neighbours of the Eastern ENP countries, in particular the countries of Central Asia; welcomes, in this regard, the recently adopted Central Asia Strategy; considers, in this framework that distinctive and far-reaching cooperation should be developed between the European Union and the countries of Central Asia; stresses that, given Kazakhstan's key political, economic and energy role in this region, as well as its distinctive and successful secular multi-ethnic structures, this country could be the first example of a reinforced relationship between the countries of Central Asia and the European Union, subject however to Kazakhstan's undertaking extensive political reforms, with special attention being paid to the respecting of human rights and democratic principles;

46.   Insists that implementing the ENP should continue to be a common political task for all EU Member States; suggests to the Commission that account should be taken of the unique transition-related reform experiences of those Member States which joined the EU in the 21st century, so as to further develop and refine the new mechanisms currently in operation, which may be beneficial to the ENP countries;

Southern Mediterranean Neighbourhood

47.   Emphasises the strong and long-lasting links between the EU and the southern Mediterranean countries, and stresses that close cooperation is in the interests of both sides;

48.   Recalls that the European Union should actively support and encourage the reform processes in the southern ENP countries, as the potential benefits of far-reaching political, economic and social reforms amply exceed their cost; recalls also that this is a gradual process, which depends partly on the commitment of the partner countries to facilitating the reforms;

49.   Calls on the Commission to further explore the various options for the next generation of broad-scope agreements with the southern ENP countries; stresses that those agreements must include provision for arrangements to implement the human rights clause; notes that those bilateral agreements should not be at the expense of furthering multilateral cooperation in the region, and in particular the pursuit of the Barcelona Process goals, including the creation of a free trade area; calls on the Member States to reflect on possible ways of strengthening cooperation, including by means of increased flexibility in opening agricultural and labour markets in the future, in ways compatible with social protection and equity; calls on the Southern ENP countries to redouble their efforts to open economic systems to a greater extent and to harmonise their economic rules with the relevant parts of the EU acquis ; stresses the need to grant Mediterranean countries the right to control the pace at which their markets are opened up and their national economic and social development strategies; considers that more effective use of the ENPI for regional projects would make it possible to improve the situation so as to promote a genuinely integrated regional economic area;

50.   Reiterates that universal human rights are at the core of EU values; regrets that, although, since the beginning of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), substantial progress has been achieved as regards democracy and human rights, this progress has not been sufficient, and urges the Commission to continue working with governments, regional and local authorities and civil society actors in the countries concerned; stresses the importance of freedom of expression in building a democratic culture and strengthening civil society; urges the Commission to establish genuine dialogues in this field and to actively develop joint education policies and programmes to promote mutual understanding, tolerance and women's rights, particularly among the new generations; considers that, to this end, the southern partners should display greater transparency and openness to the contribution of civil society; is convinced, however, that the human rights dialogue should not prevent the EU from indulging in public criticism and taking other measures in the event of serious infringements of fundamental rights;

51.   Acknowledges the different circumstances, interests and priorities of each of the southern countries, which are taken into account in the negotiation and implementation of action plans; stresses the utmost importance of an increase in regional cooperation within the EMP framework; underlines that the ENP in no way replaces or competes with the EMP, but that the two policies are complementary, making it possible to combine the multilateral approach of the Barcelona Process with the bilateral perspective; calls on the Commission to strengthen its communication efforts in order to clarify the link between the two policies, both to the partner countries and to the European public;

52.   Reiterates the need for stronger political will on the part of the EU institutions and the Member States to engage actively in conflict resolution in the region, whilst preventing the conflicts from standing in the way of the development of the ENP; stresses that the ENP will not reach its full potential without resolving conflicts which make regional cooperation difficult or impossible; reiterates that ENP activities conducive to conflict prevention should be strengthened and focused on confidence-building measures, such as border management, support for reconciliation processes at national, regional and local levels and support for civil society organisations; stresses the important role of the governance facility instrument in preventing and resolving conflicts; emphasises, in this regard, the need for coherence and complementarity between the ENP and other instruments and policy matters, and the need for structured conflict analysis and conflict sensitivity in the design, implementation and monitoring of programmes;

53.   Reiterates that the ENP, together with the EMP, constitutes the framework for all fields of cooperation; is of the opinion that enhanced cooperation between interested parties should be possible and indeed facilitated; observes that the consideration of new initiatives to step up cooperation in the Mediterranean should, at all events, involve imparting fresh impetus to the EMP, which necessitates serious thinking about the limits and difficulties encountered in recent years; insists that the Mediterranean should continue to be a common political concern for all Member States; recalls the importance of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly; stresses its hope that it will be possible for that institution to be involved in assessing the development of Euro-Mediterranean policies;

54.   Considers it important to establish closer relations, even through new relationships, with the countries which are neighbours of our neighbours, such as the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council;

The role of the European Parliament

55.   Reiterates its commitment to continue to scrutinise the implementation of the ENP, in particular by making use of its powers, including, as a last resort, its budgetary powers, and by continuing the dialogue with the Commission concerning the application of the ENPI and the EIDHR, a dialogue which started in 2007 and which is to be continued with a view to the review planned for 2009; intends to examine regularly the ENP progress reports; regrets, however, the fact that it has not been consulted on the ENP Action Plans, the assessment of their implementation or progress in the discussions within the human rights subcommittees;

56.   Is aware of its role as a significant opinion-former and as a forum for public debate, and intends to strengthen its cooperation with parliaments and civil societies in the ENP countries; undertakes, therefore, to make more effective use of its delegations to interparliamentary bodies; stresses, in this respect, the importance of the non-governmental dimension, namely the Euro-Mediterranean civil society platform, in strengthening the political dynamic in the southern partner countries;

o
o   o

57.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, to the governments and parliaments of the Member States and to the governments and parliaments of all ENP countries and of Turkey and the Russian Federation.

(1) OJ C 287 E, 24.11.2006, p. 312.
(2) OJ C 280 E, 18.11.2006, p. 113.
(3) OJ C 314 E, 21.12.2006, p. 330.
(4) OJ L 405, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(5) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2007)0355 .


Trade and economic relations with Ukraine
DOC 72k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on trade and economic relations with Ukraine (2007/2022(INI) )
P6_TA(2007)0539 A6-0396/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument(1) ,

–   having regard to the Ferrero-Waldner/Solana ten-point plan for Ukraine, which the Council confirmed on 21 February 2005,

–   having regard to the Communication to the Commission from Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner of 22 November 2005 entitled "Implementing and promoting the European Neighbourhood Policy" (SEC(2005)1521 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy (COM(2006)0726 ),

–   having regard to the Commission's Country strategy paper for 2007-2013 and to the National Indicative Programme 2007-2010 for Ukraine,

–   having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation in the field of energy between the European Union and Ukraine, signed on 1 December 2005,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission entitled "Developing a Common Aviation Area with Ukraine" (COM(2005)0451 ),

–   having regard the Communication from the Commission entitled "European Neighbourhood Policy - Strategy Paper" (COM(2004)0373 ),

–   having regard to the "Commission staff working document accompanying the communication from the commission to the Council and the European Parliament on strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy: ENP Progress Report, Ukraine. (COM(2006)0726 )" (SEC(2006)1505 ),

–   having regard to the "Agreement between Ukraine and the European Community on Trade in Textile Products", signed on 5 May 1993 and extended and amended on 9 March 2005,

–   having regard to the "Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, and Ukraine"(2) , signed on 14 June 1994 and extended and amended on 30 March 2004 and on 27 March 2007,

–   having regard to the "Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Ukraine on trade in certain steel products"(3) , signed on 22 November 2004,

–   having regard to the "Cooperation Agreement on a civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) between the European Community and its Member States and Ukraine" and the "Agreement between the European Community and Ukraine on certain aspects of air services", both signed on 1 December 2005,

–   having regard to the results of recent EU-Ukraine Summits, including the ones held in Helsinki on 27 October 2006 and in Kiev on 14 September 2007,

–   having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2006 on the "European Neighbourhood Policy"(4) (ENP),

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 May 2007 on "Global Europe - external aspects of competitiveness"(5) ,

–   having regard to its recommendation of 12 July 2007 to the Council on "a negotiation mandate for a new enhanced agreement between the European Community and its Member States of the one part and Ukraine of the other part"(6) ,

–   having regard to the activities of the European Parliament's Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Co-operation Committee,

–   having regard to the Council Conclusions of 22 January 2007 on the negotiations of a New Enhanced Agreement (NEA),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A6-0396/2007 ),

A.   whereas Ukraine is a neighbour of strategic importance to the EU and the natural "bridge" connecting the EU with Russia and Central Asia; whereas its size, the resources of its territory and population and its geographical location give Ukraine a distinctive position in Europe and make it a determinant regional actor,

B.   whereas, after the 2004 enlargement, the EU became the biggest trade partner of Ukraine; whereas the accession to the EU of countries having a common border with Ukraine has strengthened its commercial links with the EU and opened up new opportunities for regional trade, industrial cooperation and economic growth,

C.   whereas one of Parliament's main objectives as far as foreign policy is concerned is to enhance and foster the ENP, which aims at supporting the development of democracy and the market economy in the EU's neighbouring countries and the strengthening of their political and economic relations with the EU and its Members States,

D.   whereas, in order to develop an effective neighbourhood policy, priority must be given to multilateralism, and therefore the future free-trade agreement (FTA) will be a core element of the NEA on which negotiations started on 5 March 2007,

E.   whereas the accession of Ukraine to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and its ratification by Ukraine's Parliament, is the necessary precondition for enabling the country to start negotiations on a free-trade area with the EU within the framework of the NEA with a view to aligning Ukraine's economy as close as possible to that of the EU and more generally to enhance Ukraine's commercial and economic performance,

F.   whereas, in the field of trade, the EU and Ukraine share convergent interests and both could benefit from the further integration of their respective markets; whereas, in this context, the gradual adoption by Ukraine of the Community's acquis would constitute a significant step towards Ukraine's objective of gradual economic integration and deepening of political cooperation with the EU,

G.   whereas the proposed FTA between Ukraine and the European Community may initially have negative effects which would mainly affect the economically and socially most vulnerable groups; whereas it is necessary to create transitional mechanisms, by boosting economic aid to population groups, which will permit gradual and balanced integration, thereby contributing to the sustainable development of the country,

H.   whereas the EU's efforts must not focus only on Ukraine's economic integration but must also create the foundations for social support, for example by allowing fairer and more egalitarian access to retirement pensions, grants for the poorest people, large families and the rural population, and setting up financing mechanisms and other facilities for the integration of minorities; whereas such measures will promote the social and political stability necessary for the success of Ukraine's economic integration into the WTO and a closer partnership with the EU,

I.   whereas the EU and Ukraine are determined to advance rapidly towards achieving the objective of creating a common free trade area, as was confirmed during recent high-level meetings and summits, once Ukraine has completed its WTO accession process and once the Ukraine Parliament has ratified it,

J.   whereas Ukraine must be given space and time in order to allow it to consolidate its capacity to respond to the challenges of globalisation; whereas there needs to be a gradual opening up of the Ukrainian market, with a degree of flexibility in order to avoid imposing an economic vision, taking account of the strengths and the weaknesses in the country's economy and its internal characteristics and regional positions,

K.   whereas the EU and Ukraine face common trade and economic policy challenges related to globalisation and the emergence of new and strong economic actors; whereas enhanced economic cooperation with the EU could boost the necessary reforms and, together with an improved investment climate, attract foreign direct investments from both international financial institutions (IFI) and the private sector, benefiting Ukraine's national economy,

L.   whereas increased economic cooperation with Ukraine also offers positive prospects of growth for the economies of the Member States and enhances their deeper integration into the EU single market,

M.   whereas the new political, economic and social issues in Eastern Europe constitute common challenges calling for a coordinated global response,

WTO Accession

1.   Supports the successful conclusion of negotiations on accession to the WTO; calls on Ukraine to remove all the residual obstacles, both of a legislative and technical nature, which contribute to the difficulties surrounding its admission to the WTO;

2.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to offer further political and diplomatic support to Ukraine's WTO accession and to provide Ukraine with continued assistance in meeting the necessary requirements; calls on the Commission to support Ukraine in making full use of transitional periods granted for meeting the often demanding requirements pertaining to its WTO membership;

3.   Welcomes the EU's decisions to grant market economy status to Ukraine, recognising the major efforts made by the Government of Ukraine to establish a well-functioning market economy in the country; calls on the Government of Ukraine to consolidate these achievements by ensuring that serious market distortions are properly addressed;

Creation of an EU/Ukraine Free Trade Area

4.   Welcomes the fact that the ongoing Trade Sustainable Impact Assessment carried out under the auspices of the Commission will be completed by the time the official negotiations on the FTA start, once Ukraine has completed its WTO accession process and the Ukraine parliament has ratified the result; calls on the Commission and the Government of Ukraine to carefully take into consideration the results of the sustainable impact assessment study (SIA) when finalising the content of the FTA;

5.   Calls on the contracting parties to carefully consider the establishment of a sound and efficient institutional framework, providing for the setting-up and the bestowal of power on supervisory Joint Committees authorised to make recommendations which further improve mutual trade and economic relations and give impetus to the creation of a functioning dispute settlement mechanism;

6.   Calls on the Commission and the Government of the Ukraine to establish a Sustainable Development Forum, open to representatives of civil society, with a strong climate change component, even before the conclusion of the negotiations on a FTA;

7.   Notes that a free-trade area with Ukraine will certainly have positive effects in the long term, but might also give rise to negative short- and medium-term repercussions on the EU's Eastern Member States which need to be addressed ;

8.   Calls on Ukraine to further draw up and implement customs legislation that is in conformity with international and EU standards and to improve the functioning of the customs service by simplifying and modernising customs procedures both at borders and inland; calls on the Commission to support Ukraine's efforts in this area by providing additional technical assistance and dedicated financial support;

9.   Notes that, notwithstanding the fact that the most competitive products imported from Ukraine into the EU are not part of the EU's generalised system of preferences (GSP), this system has been extremely helpful to Ukrainian producers wishing to enter Community markets; calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider further liberalisation vis-à-vis Ukraine by granting eligibility status to special preferential arrangements under the so-called "labour rights" clause (grating preferential treatment to countries such as Ukraine which have implemented International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions on core labour rights);

Industrial policy

10.   Urges Ukraine to make additional domestic reforms enabling sustainable integration in the world's global markets and value chains; points out that export diversification must primarily complement the strengthening of the domestic market in order that exports become a reliable source of future economic growth in Ukraine;

11.   Calls on Ukraine to promote the efficient operation of public services and better quality access for all citizens to these services and to pay more attention to market liberalisation by guaranteeing the successful achievement of the privatisation process, the dismantling of monopolies and the independence of Ukraine's national bank;

12.   Considers it important to distinguish between commercial services and public services, whereby the latter should not be affected by the liberalisation process, in order to safeguard the basic needs of the population and good access to essential public goods such as healthcare, education, drinking water and energy;

13.   Calls on Ukraine to balance increased shareholders' and investors' rights emanating from WTO membership by improving access for all its citizens to corporate information, ensuring the strict application of social, economic and human rights, and moving towards international standards in corporate social responsibility (CSR), accounting and auditing; insists on the need for Ukraine's civil and commercial courts to play an increasing role in dissuading discrimination and abuses;

14.   Urges Ukraine to set up a coherent and effective tax system that conforms to EU legislation and practice; recalls that sound and effective financial services are a necessary precondition of any further economic growth in Ukraine; stresses the need to update and extend anti money-laundering and tax evasion regulations; urges Ukraine to immediately terminate any discriminatory fiscal practices against foreign operators;

15.   Notes with concern that, despite the efforts of the Government of Ukraine, corruption is still widely practised in the country and plays a major role in stifling economic growth and impeding access as regards foreign capital; urges the Government of Ukraine to take the appropriate initiatives to fight against corruption, particularly addressing the underlying causes of it;

16.   Notes that the cast iron and steel sector represents the bulk of Ukrainian manufacturing exports and the biggest source of trade revenue for the country; welcomes the conclusion of the steel agreement signed in the margins of the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council on 18 June 2007, which allowed a substantial increase in the quotas of Ukrainian steel products admitted into the Community and facilitated a more effective though gradual liberalisation of trade in goods between Ukraine and the EU; believes that this agreement will contribute significantly to promoting the objectives of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and will pave the way for better integrated markets, in accordance with WTO provisions, once quantitative restrictions have been lifted;

17.   Calls on Ukraine to eliminate distortions of competition, which are the source of unfair trade, and so help to establish harmonious trade relations; similarly, calls on the Commission to ensure that Trade Defence Instruments (TDIs) are only applied where trade distortions have led to injurious dumping or subsidisation;

18.   Calls on the Government of Ukraine to refrain from granting illegal subsidies to Ukraine's exporting companies in violation of the WTO rules and to avoid any market distortions;

19.   Notes that Ukraine's current trade patterns, which have significantly grown and continue to do so, could be unsustainable in the longer term because of their heavy dependence on temporary and cyclical factors, such as the dramatic surge in the world's steel consumption and prices;

20.   Encourages the approximation and convergence of standards in the agricultural, industry and services sectors and calls on the Commission to provide the necessary financial and technical assistance in order to ensure their conformity with Community standards;

21.   Expresses concern at the working conditions and low wages of miners and at the growing number of mining accidents in Ukraine; urges the Government of Ukraine to guarantee that workers' fundamental rights concerning safety and minimum pay are duly implemented;

Energy and transit-related matters

22.   Calls for the reinforcement of high-level dialogue between Ukraine and the EU in the energy sector in order to fully implement the Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation in the field of energy between the EU and Ukraine;

23.   Considers, in light of the need for more sustainable trade patterns in order to combat climate change, that access to energy resources is a matter of multilateral rule-setting which must not be undermined by bilateral trade agreements that compete for the most favourable access conditions;

24.   Calls on Ukraine to develop a consistent approach towards energy aimed at ensuring the diversification and the security of energy supplies running through the Ukrainian territory, nuclear safety, a reform of its domestic energy market, the development and modernisation of energy sector infrastructures (including pipelines), an efficient utilisation of energy and a better exploitation of renewable energy sources;

25.   Stresses the importance of ensuring a safe, transparent and reliable transit system of energy between Ukraine and the EU;

26.   Strongly supports the gradual inclusion of Ukraine in the trans-European transport networks; considers it a key factor for the successful functioning of the FTA between the EU and Ukraine;

Intellectual Property Rights

27.   Urges the Ukrainian authorities, within the framework of the WTO accession process and its relevant bilateral agreements with the EU, to align its intellectual property legislation and law enforcement with the acquis communautaire , WTO rules, particularly trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPs), and other relevant international standards and ensure full, consistent and sustained implementation so that counterfeiting and piracy can be effectively combated; urges the Ukrainian legislator to consult with the EU and the relevant stakeholders, in particular rights holder representatives, at an early stage in the drafting process prior to adopting any changes to the Copyright Act, especially where it concerns the introduction or amendment of digital rights, regulation of collective management of rights and enforcement provisions;

28.   Encourages the Ukrainian authorities to implement all necessary and effective measures to neutralise the sources of illegal activity, such as optical disc plants manufacturing infringing copies of copyright products and Internet sites containing illegal copyright materials, and to eradicate piracy from markets, such as the Petrovka market in Kiev; notes that those measures should include repeated and unannounced inspections with the cooperation of rights holders;

29.   Emphasises the need to adapt the current court system in order to effectively protect intellectual property rights (IPRs) and ensure more speedy prosecutions and sentencing of all persons involved in the illegal trade, i.e. both manufacturers and sellers; notes that the Ukrainian judiciary and courts should be instructed to confiscate and destroy obviously pirated and counterfeit materials as a rule;

30.   Urges the Ukrainian authorities to review the hologram system for copyright products in close consultation with rights holders;

31.   Urges the Ukrainian customs authorities to substantially step up their actions against imports of Russian-made pirate discs and improve their cooperation with the private sector;

Scientific and educational cooperation

32.   Urges Ukraine to give greater priority to the development of an economic model based on the knowledge economy and to substantially increase the proportion of GDP allocated to scientific research and academic exchanges; calls on the Commission to provide financial and technical support;

33.   Stresses that cooperation in the fields of science, research and technology is of crucial importance to the development of the national economy and the creation of a climate favourable to investment and innovation; takes the view that, to this end, both EU Member States" bilateral relations with, and the EU's common policy towards, Ukraine need to be further developed;

34.   Calls on the Commission and the Government of Ukraine to enhance cooperation in the field of science, technology, education, training and educational and scientific learning programmes, such as Erasmus Mundus and the Jean Monnet Programme; supports the establishment of stricter cross-border cultural links and cooperation among universities and research centres;

35.   Stresses that the EU must support the Ukrainian education system through the setting up of support programmes and financial incentives for the development of scientific and technological research, which will contribute to higher and more sustainable economic growth and the country's cultural and scientific development;

Agriculture and environmental matters

36.   Welcomes the recent signature of a Memorandum of Understanding on a structured dialogue on agricultural issues in October 2006; stresses that the agricultural sector fulfils important functions with regard to environmental preservation, food sovereignty and social balancing as regards discrepancies between rural and urban development, which can justify sectoral tariffs that are higher than tariffs on non-agricultural goods;

37.   Insists that the farming and rural population be supported by improving its economic and health situation and developing rural areas; stresses that such support should take the form of financial and infrastructure support, facilitating access to loans for small producers, introducing a weighting system for aid that favours small enterprises and young entrepreneurs, and setting up vocational training programmes; stresses the need also to create a network for the regional interconnection of rural and urban areas and improve access to information in rural areas;

38.   Calls on the Commission to start discussions with the aim of working towards regulatory cooperation in the sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) field; calls on the Commission to start negotiations with Ukraine on the protection of geographical indications and integrate the results of these negotiations in the future FTA;

39.   Urges Ukraine to remove forthwith restrictive export quotas on wheat set in October 2006 and which have not only caused serious damage to Ukraine's own agricultural sector but also risk, with its non-transparent system based on licences, creating opportunities for corruption;

40.   Stresses the importance of Ukraine developing environmental programmes, following on from the adoption of the "national strategy for the environment" (1998-2008) and the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, in order to guarantee the region's environmental security, including nuclear energy, the drinking water distribution network and action to prevent the deterioration of the Black Sea, among others;

41.   Stresses the need, alongside Ukraine's integration into the EU free-market area, to adopt rules on the certification of importers, exporters and transport and to tighten up sanitary and phyto-sanitary rules in order to bring about the approximation of these rules with the corresponding rules in force in the EU;

Economic relations with neighbouring partners (including Russia)

42.   Takes note of Ukraine's conditional adhesion to the Single Economic Space (SES) with Russia and other former Soviet Union Republics; recalls that certain provisions included in the SES agreement, if fully implemented, might be in conflict with the establishment of a functioning FTA with the EU; calls on Ukraine to develop its economic relations with the Russian Federation in a way which does not hamper the progressive and deeper integration of the country into the Community's Single Market;

43.   Calls on the Commission to promote a three-way dialogue between Ukraine, Russia and the EU so as to foster a climate of security and peace in the region, a dialogue which should enable Ukraine to strengthen its own independent identity without becoming isolated; stresses the need to encourage dialogue on common interests, in particular with regard to security and defence, energy and the development of a quantitatively and qualitatively more efficient transport network, among other topics on the international agenda;

Final considerations (including ENP)

44.   Took note with favour of the statement adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament on 27 February 2007 on the opening of negotiations between Ukraine and EU with a view to concluding a new PCA with the EU;

45.   Welcomes the participation of Ukraine in the stabilisation of its region and encourages the strengthening of its role in the establishment of economic cooperation agreements, in particular with the Black Sea neighbouring countries;

46.   Emphasises the importance of rapid enforcement and implementation of the visa facilitation and readmission agreement with Ukraine;

47.   Supports international, especially cross-border and interregional, cooperation in economic and other areas, such as the organisation of the 2012 European Football Championship, with Poland;

48.   Calls on Ukraine to support and create a favourable environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to promote entrepreneurial spirit and personal responsibility;

49.   Calls on the Commission and the Government of Ukraine to further implement monitoring measures (defined according to the results of proper evaluation) in relation to the influence that the recent EU enlargement has had on EU-Ukraine trade patterns; stresses the importance of establishing a dialogue evaluating the influence that the 2007 enlargement has had on the development of trade and economic relations, allowing the drawing up of appropriate measures to reduce possible losses;

50.   Stresses the strategic importance of Ukraine and urges the Commission and the Member States to give future bilateral relations a new and more coherent dimension, based on comprehensive cooperation and solidarity, respectful of the privileged nature of the links forged by neighbourhood and history, particularly with regard to Russia;

51.   Is concerned by the lack of clear definitions and perspectives of the ENP and of a long-term strategic vision for development and stabilisation in Eastern Europe; stresses the need for the process of Ukraine's integration to become a real political priority on the EU agenda;

52.   Recalls its consistent demand that the Council systematically apply the Human Rights and Democracy Clause in relations with all participants in the ENP; calls on the Council to explain how it intends to apply this clause to the negotiations of a NEA with Ukraine;

o
o   o

53.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Government and Parliament of Ukraine.

(1) OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p.1.
(2) OJ L 49, 19.2.1998, p. 3.
(3) OJ L 384, 28.12.2004, p. 23.
(4) OJ C 287 E, 24.11.2006, p. 312.
(5) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0196 .
(6) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0355 .


Situations of fragility
DOC 45k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on the EU response to situations of fragility in developing countries
P6_TA(2007)0540 B6-0476/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions of 25 October 2007 entitled "Towards an EU response to situations of fragility – engaging in difficult environments for sustainable development, stability and peace" (COM(2007)0643 ) and the Commission staff working paper annexed thereto (SEC(2007)1417 ),

–   having regard to the Joint statement by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union Development Policy: "The European Consensus", signed on 20 December 2005(1) ,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation(2) (Development Cooperation Instrument),

–   having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000(3) , as amended by the Agreement amending the Partnership Agreement, signed in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005(4) ('the Cotonou Agreement'),

–   having regard to the African Union (AU) Policy Framework on Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD), endorsed by AU Member States at the Banjul Summit of 25 June - 2 July 2006,

–   having regard to the ten principles for good international engagement in fragile states and situations supported by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Fragile States Group and endorsed at the High-Level Meeting of the DAC on 3-4 April 2007 in Paris,

–   having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 60/1 of 24 October 2005 on the 2005 World Summit Outcome, and in particular paragraphs 138-140 thereof on the responsibility to protect,

–   having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas, since the 1990s, states that lack the capacity to fulfil their "traditional" functions and to drive development forward, and whose institutions are weak, have been classed "fragile states" by the World Bank (WB) and the international development community,

B.   whereas state fragility is more an empirical concept than a normative one, and is a dependent variable and not an original condition; whereas a situation of fragility may exist either before a crisis or after one; whereas the responsibility for determining when states are no longer "fragile" should be that of their citizens,

C.   whereas, despite the fact that there is no unambiguous working definition of the concept, it is possible to identify states undergoing situations of fragility, and the number of states judged by the WB to be "fragile" almost doubled from 14 to 26 between 2000 and 2006, of which 14 are in Sub-Saharan Africa,

D.   whereas it is essential to understand the external and internal factors which contribute to fragility in order to provide assistance and empowerment to such states for the direct benefit of their citizens and for the sake of regional and global peace and prosperity,

E.   whereas different kinds of fragility (for instance the state of being conflict-prone, the so-called "resource curse", bad governance, the state of being landlocked) require different kinds of intervention; whereas a given country might experience different types of fragility, thus rendering categorisation and specific action difficult,

F.   whereas addressing situations of fragility is a long-term process and requires a sustained and long-term commitment both from the countries affected and from the international community,

G.   whereas the AU recognises that reconstruction is primarily a political rather than a technical matter; whereas there is a need, therefore, for legitimate state authority, for consensus-based governance, for affirmative action for vulnerable groups, and for local capacity-building within the framework of an equitable distribution of power and mutual accountability as underlined by AU Policy Framework on PCRD,

H.   whereas situations of fragility are often rooted in poverty and bad living conditions, leading in extreme cases to state-collapse and permanent insecurity; whereas the lack of protection and of rights for the citizens of the countries affected requires - and must be at the centre of - action from the EU and the international community,

I.   whereas there is still not enough sharing of state-building experience between countries and between donors, thus hindering the learning process,

J.   whereas there is a need for a double mechanism of accountability: between the donors and the recipient countries, and between the latter and their populations,

K.   whereas the existence of multiple funding instruments leads to the risk of duplication or of poor resource allocation, and makes accountability and participation more difficult for societies that are already weakened,

1.   Considers that fragility is a complex development challenge and stresses the need for a well-defined and coherent fragility agenda based on the principle of "doing no harm", i.e. adapted to the situation, taking long-term considerations into account and coordinating the multiple aims and approaches of the different stakeholders in light of the main and overarching objective of reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals;

2.   Welcomes the preparation of an EU response to fragility and stresses the need to involve parliaments in all phases of this strategy;

3.   Affirms that a stable and democratic political system, which is conducive to development, the rule of law, the protection of human rights, good governance and peaceful conflict prevention, is the best way to end situations of fragility and to move towards functioning open institutions and efficient and equitable policy-making;

4.   Points out that programming and action in situations of fragility need to be comprehensive and coherent, and have at its core the sustainable development of the countries affected as well as the populations of those countries; considers that a fragility-sensitive approach must be made mainstream in existing instruments and mechanisms and fully agrees that the potential of Country Strategy Papers and thematic programmes, prepared in partnership, to prevent fragility needs to be enhanced;

5.   Stresses that the main components of the fragility agenda should be three-fold, with an emphasis on poverty and prevention: promoting the security of people, improving development, and ensuring peace; stresses also the need to implement such components with consistency in the field;

6.   Considers that long-term strategic planning needs to be coordinated with the implementation of programmes on the ground that have to remain flexible and adaptable, and needs to be responsive to the situation in the country in question; calls on the Commission, therefore, to promote long-term development, and also to provide basic services such as health and education in the short term;

7.   Stresses that development programmes in fragility situations should observe the same underlying principles as development programming in any situation, that is, ownership, partnership, mutual accountability and sustainability;

8.   Calls on the Commission to support all-inclusive peace and political dialogue and reconciliation processes, and to enhance the participation of communities and civil society in all aspects of the recovery cycle and the development strategies;

9.   Stresses that sustainable peace can only be achieved if justice is done, and seen to be done, in particular with regard to war crimes and crimes against humanity; calls on the Commission, in this context, to support the strengthening of the legal and judicial systems of fragile states in order to ensure that perpetrators of serious crimes against humanity are brought to justice, and also to allow for the parallel advancement of justice and reconciliation initiatives;

10.   Calls for the strengthening of individual legal rights, including those relating to land holdings of the poorest, and calls on the Commission to support efforts made in developing countries to diversify their agricultural production so as to allow them to get out of situations of highly vulnerable single-crop economies and thus avoid fragile situations resulting from economic collapse;

11.   Reiterates the need for EU development and humanitarian action to put a stronger emphasis on preventive measures, early warning systems and risk analyses to avoid both man-made and natural disasters that result in fragile situations;

12.   Affirms that a comprehensive model on fragility and development needs to take into account existing local, regional and continental initiatives such as the recent AU Policy Framework on PCRD, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the African Peer Review Mechanism and the Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in Africa; calls on the Commission, therefore, to support efforts to strengthen South-South cooperation in this field;

13.   Calls also on the Commission to ensure not only that domestic stakeholders are fully involved in the efforts to overcome situations of fragility, but also that their own notion and definition of state-building and their state model is considered and that local expertise is used;

14.   Stresses the crucial role which women and vulnerable groups play in promoting development and peace, and asks the Commission to promote their empowerment by taking into account their specific needs and situation in fragility environments;

15.   Welcomes the fact that, under the framework of the joint EU-Africa Strategy, the EU and Africa will hold a dialogue on the concept of 'situations of fragility' with the aim of reaching a common understanding and of agreeing on steps that could be taken, and that this dialogue is already provided for in the Action Plan;

16.   Recalls that each individual state has the responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and that the EU strongly supports such responsibility to protect in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 60/1 of 24 October 2005; stresses that the responsibility to protect includes the application of sustained diplomatic, economic and legal pressure, and that threats and coercive military intervention constitute the last resort and need to be strictly controlled;

17.   Emphasises that addressing situations of fragility is complex and requires significant financial and human resources as well as long-term commitments; calls on the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to ensure that such resources are made available in a sufficient, adequate and predictable way and that there is coherence between donor agencies;

18.   Stresses that the use of budget support is not appropriate in fragility situations, where audit and monitoring capacities are weak or non-existent; calls on the Commission, therefore, to use other forms of funding in such situations, unless it can provide detailed information on how the money is being spent;

19.   Asks the Commission to provide Parliament with a mapping of donors and international actors and the type of work they are doing, in order to allow monitoring, as well as the optimal use, of available tools and resources;

20.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the African Union.

(1) OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 41.
(3) OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.
(4) OJ L 209, 11.8.2005, p. 27.


Social reality stocktaking
DOC 86k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on social reality stocktaking (2007/2104(INI) )
P6_TA(2007)0541 A6-0400/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled "Proposal for the Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion" (COM(2007)0013 ), and the Joint Report as adopted by the EPSCO Council on 22 February 2007,

–   having regard to the Commission communication on social reality stocktaking - Interim report to the 2007 Spring European Council (COM(2007)0063 ),

–   having regard to the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951,

–   having regard to the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966,

–   having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989,

–   having regard to the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families 1990,

–   having regard to the UN International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002,

–   having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings 2005,

–   having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 and its Optional Protocol,

–   having regard to Articles 34, 35 and 36 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union(1) , which specifically define the right to social and housing assistance, a high level of human health protection and access to services of general economic interest,

–   having regard to the Commission communication on Strengthening the social dimension of the Lisbon strategy: Streamlining open coordination in the field of social protection (COM(2003)0261 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication on modernising social protection for the development of high-quality, accessible and sustainable health care and long-term care: support for the national strategies using the "open method of coordination" (COM(2004)0304 ),

–   having regard to the Commission Green Paper on Confronting demographic change: a new solidarity between the generations (COM(2005)0094 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication concerning a consultation on action at EU level to promote the active inclusion of the people furthest from the labour market (COM(2006)0044 ) and the Synthesis Report on the outcomes of that consultation,

-   having regard to the Commission White Paper on A Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and obesity related health issues (COM(2007)0279 ) (White Paper on Nutrition),

-   having regard to the Commission communication on an EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm (COM(2006)0625 ),

-   having regard to the Commission Green Paper entitled, "Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level" (COM(2007)0027 ),

-   having regard to the Commission's proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council providing for sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals (COM(2007)0249 ),

–   having regard to the point of view expressed in the Sixth Environmental Action Programme of the European Community 2002-2012, namely that a clean and healthy environment is a precondition for human well-being;

–   having regard to Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin(2) and Parliament's resolution of 28 April 2005 on the situation of the Roma in the European Union(3) ,

-   having regard to Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation(4) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 11 June 2002 on the communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Draft Joint Report on social inclusion(5) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 5 June 2003 on the application of the open method of coordination(6) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 24 September 2003 on the Joint Report by the Commission and the Council on adequate and sustainable pensions(7) ,

-   having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2005 on the Commission's legislative and work programme for 2006(8) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 March 2006 on demographic challenges and solidarity between the generations(9) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 September 2006 on improving the mental health of the population. Towards a strategy on mental health for the European Union(10) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 30 November 2006 on the situation of people with disabilities in the Enlarged European Union: the European Action Plan 2006-2007(11) ,

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0400/2007 ),

A.   Whereas in the conclusions of the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000 it was agreed to strengthen social cohesion and combat social exclusion,

B.   Whereas at the Nice European Council of 7 to 9 December 2000 the Member States undertook to show a significant and measurable reduction in poverty and social exclusion by the year 2010 and whereas progress towards that objective has been insufficient,

C.   Whereas social inclusion and social protection are basic values of the European Union and fundamental rights for all individuals, regardless of ethnic origin, age, gender, disability, sexual preference or religion,

D.   Whereas over 50 million people or around 16 % of the European Union's total working population are disabled and the rate of unemployment among them is twice as high as among the able bodied,

E.   Whereas 78 million European citizens continue to live in poverty and 8 % of the European Union suffers from in-work poverty and the gap between rich and poor in many Member States is increasing,

F.   Whereas Europe today is a multi-ethnic, multi-faith society and Member Sates must ensure that their laws reflect that diversity, protecting all individuals from violence, discrimination and harassment,

G.   Whereas the effects of inequality, poverty, social exclusion and lack of opportunity are interlinked, requiring a coherent strategy at Member State level focusing not only on income and wealth, but also on issues such as access to employment, education, health services, the information society, culture, transport and opportunities of future generations,

H.   Whereas poverty and unemployment have been linked to poor health and poor access to health care due to factors such as poor diet, inferior living conditions in disadvantaged areas, inadequate housing, and stress,

I.   Whereas in most Member States children are at a greater risk of poverty and social exclusion than adults,

J.   Whereas poverty and inequality disproportionately affects women; whereas the average income of women is just 55 % that of men, and older women have more difficulties in accessing the labour market,

K.   Whereas poverty disproportionately affects poorly educated persons, whereas the Commission and Member States should propose joint action to improve access and the right to lifelong education and training,

L.   Whereas social phenomena such as trafficking in human beings, organised crime, gender discrimination and prostitution are closely linked,

M.   Whereas unemployment levels among disabled people, which include people with mental health problems, older people and ethnic minorities across the European Union, remains unacceptably high,

N.   Whereas carers, the largest unpaid workforce in the European Union, deserve recognition for the central role they play in community care,

O.   Whereas services are increasingly becoming inaccessible to poorer sections of society,

P.   Whereas income inequality is on the increase in most Member States,

General points

1.   Calls on the Member States to make optimal use of the potential offered by the Open Method of Coordination;

2.   Calls on the Member States to exchange best practices and to follow good examples in the area of social protection and social integration;

3.   Believes that poverty and social exclusion can be tackled only by guaranteeing the social and economic rights of all;

4.   Stresses that strengthening social cohesion, the eradication of poverty, and social exclusion must become a political priority for the European Union; welcomes in this regard the forthcoming proposal from the Commission to make 2010 the European Year of Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion; calls on the Commission and Member States to specify and pursue an ambitious objective of reducing poverty, especially among working people, in Europe;

5.   Welcomes the conclusions of the Brussels European Councils on 23 and 24 March 2006 and 8 and 9 March 2007, to the effect that Member States should take measures rapidly and significantly to reduce child poverty, providing all children with equal opportunities, regardless of their social background;

6.   Urges the Commission to facilitate the exchange of best practices among Member States in the area of combating discrimination on the labour market, including in the area of traineeships;

7.   Emphasises that employment guaranteeing fair and decent wages and working conditions must be viewed, together with education and effective and efficient social security systems, as one of the most potent safeguards against poverty and social inclusion, - bearing in mind that it is not, however, sufficient to ensure the inclusion of certain social groups that are typically the most disadvantaged; calls on the Commission and Member States, therefore, to implement effectively Directive 2000/78/EC; welcomes the Commission's ongoing examination of the transposition of that Directive and encourages the Commission to take necessary action in cases where transposition has not been properly effected; calls on the Commission to address issues relating to "quality of work" in its report resulting from the consultation launched in its communication on social reality stocktaking;

8.   Stresses the need for support to be provided for manufacturing, micro-businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), small agricultural businesses, family farms and the social economy, in view of the important role that they play in creating jobs and well-being;

9.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take measures to guarantee the full enjoyment of human, social and political rights by all individuals working in another Member State;

10.   Stresses that access to goods and services should be a right for every EU citizen and therefore calls on the Commission to propose specific directives relating to all areas not already covered by instruments adopted on the basis of Article 13 of the Treaty in order to combat discrimination in access to goods and services including disability, age, religion or belief or sexual orientation;

11.   Stresses that corporate social responsibility is not limited to generating and sustaining employment opportunities but also encompasses, for example, quality of employment, equal remuneration and the promotion of lifelong learning;

12.   Stresses that discrimination on all grounds should be given equal attention;

13.   Emphasises the major role played by public services in promoting social cohesion, which is recognised by the Treaty, and the resulting need to provide public services with a high level of security and accessibility, equal treatment and the promotion of universal access and users' rights;

14.   Encourages the Commission to make full use of the European dimension to promote, inter alia, the exchange of best practices among Member States, subsidies, information campaigns on diet and physical activity tailored to the needs of specific target groups, in particular children, those being the objectives that the Commission set itself in its White Paper on Nutrition, and those being the issues that disproportionately affect the least privileged population groups;

15.   Calls on Member States to implement more effectively existing Community legislation in the employment and social policy field, giving special attention to gender equality requirements; urges the Council and the Commission to examine in the Joint Employment Report 2007-2008 how Europe can provide a social level playing field to eradicate unfair competition in the internal market;

16.   Regrets that in its communication on social reality stocktaking, the Commission gives the impression that many social policy initiatives are outdated and stresses instead that social security and social policy are forces favouring productivity and innovation and essential as a basis on which to build a successful and broad knowledge economy;

17.   Welcomes the contribution made to protecting public health in Europe by, inter alia, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European early-warning and rapid-response system for threats to public health (EWRS) in applying international health regulations;

18.   Stresses the importance that the Member States and European institutions must place on compliance with the legislation in force and calls on the Commission to ensure that Community legislation is properly applied, not only on water, air and soil quality and on noise pollution reduction, the application of REACH and reinforced surveillance of chemical products and food manufacture, but also on misleading advertising and advertisements on food products for children and adults;

19.   Stresses that people as well as organisations need to be equipped with education, lifelong learning and lifelong training, including vocational training in order to adapt to labour market changes and the challenges of globalisation;

20.   Stresses that the disappearance of traditional industrial jobs must be tackled by a series of additional measures including support for the development of new industries, support for SMEs and the development of the social economy;

21.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to focus on a "win-win" approach in which existing workers" rights are complemented and extended by new rights such as the right of access to training and lifelong learning and the right to work-family compatible working arrangements;

22.   Urges the Member States to enforce legislation which reconciles work and family life, helping parents to remain in the labour market or to re-enter it easily;

23.   Urges the Commission and the Member States to give maximum priority to women's social integration and rights, by altering their respective policies, including that on income distribution policy, accordingly;

Social inclusion

24.   Considers that efforts to combat poverty and social exclusion must be sustained and extended to improve the situation of those people most at risk of poverty and exclusion;

25.   Calls on the Commission to incorporate equality and disability issues more closely in all relevant policy areas;

26.   Considers that the meaningful participation of those experiencing poverty in the development of policies and practical measures addressing the situation is essential in order to ensure more effective outcomes;

27.   Takes the view that special attention should be paid to single parents and single older women, who are a particularly vulnerable group and are often the first to fall into poverty when there is an economic downturn;

28.   Recognises that in many Member States individuals are provided with a safety net guaranteeing a decent minimum income and believes that by exchanging best practices Member States that do not have such a safety net should be encouraged to establish one;

29.   Recognises that where there is provision of social assistance Member States have a duty to ensure that citizens understand and are able to access their entitlements;

30.   Stresses that no-one receiving social assistance should be left with an income deemed to be below the poverty level for that Member State;

31.   Calls on all Member States to ensure full gender equality in all state pension schemes;

32.   Firmly believes that a decent living minimum wage should be established at Member State level in cooperation with the social partners where applicable, in order to make work financially viable; but recognises that in many Member States the minimum wage is set very low or at below subsistence level; at the same time, rejects the argument that setting a minimum wage discourages employers from creating jobs; considers it vital that workers are paid a living wage;

33.   Considers that Member States should aim to adapt their social security systems to help provide a transition between periods of paid work or training and unemployment, in order to avoid the so-called 'poverty trap' but also to reflect the changing nature of employment;

34.   Considers it vital that for Member States to help people back into work by ensuring that they receive personalised, targeted assistance and support in order to build their confidence and teach them new skills;

35.   Believes that it is vital for Member States to help those who become disabled whilst in employment to retain their jobs;

36.   Calls on Member States to tackle multiple discrimination, which has a serious and often overlooked impact on social inclusion;

37.   Points to the importance of collaboration among the various layers of government – local, regional, national and European – in fighting discrimination;

38.   Believes that high quality, community-based health and social care, developed where possible in cooperation with users and patients, can play an important role in the fight against poverty and social exclusion;

39.   Notes that there is a strong and complex link between poverty and crime, that extreme poverty and social exclusion may lead to criminal activities, and that imprisonment without adequate rehabilitation and education often leads to further social exclusion and unemployment;

40.   Stresses the need to provide education, training and employment within correctional institutions, offering prisoners activities which raise their morale, assist them psychologically and provide them with useful skills for their future return to the employment market;

41.   Considers that the European Union and the Member States should place greater emphasis on problems related to addiction to gambling; points out that families in which one or more members are compulsive gamblers are highly likely to experience reduced living standards, social exclusion and poverty, which frequently affect children the most; calls upon the Member States, therefore, to help disseminate information concerning the dangers, the indications and the impact of compulsive gambling; also calls upon the Commission to ensure that its report on social reality stocktaking includes the problem of compulsive gambling and its effects on social exclusion and poverty;

42.   Calls on the Member States to pay attention to growing indebtedness that leads to a higher risk of poverty;

43.   Believes that a lack of decent and affordable accommodation in all Member States is an important contributing factor to driving people into poverty and trapping them there; calls on the Commission to respect the prerogative of Member States to define and finance social housing, given the vital role played by the latter in social inclusion policies;

44.   Calls on all Member States to sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol;

45.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States, in cooperation with those representing disabled persons' organisations, to develop national, regional and local initiatives to promote feasible employment opportunities for disabled persons; calls on the Commission and the Member States, in this connection, to improve methods of collecting reliable and comparable statistics concerning the situation of disabled persons on the employment market;

46.   Calls on all Member States to comply with their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

47.   Calls on the Member States to encourage the use of new communication and information technologies, which are of key importance to ensuring equal opportunities for the disabled, facilitating their access to education and employment, while reducing their dependence on third parties and promoting self-reliance;

48.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to encourage the planning and development of innovative forms of aid and equipment, facilitating access for the disabled and the elderly to goods and services;·

49.   Welcomes the deinstitutionalisation of disabled people but notes that this requires a sufficient level of community-based services favouring independent living, the right to personal assistance, the right to economic independence and full participation in society within Member States;

50.   Considers that it remains inexcusable for new infrastructure to be built using the resources of the European Regional Development Fund or other Structural Funds, which is inaccessible to people with disabilities and older people;

51.   Calls on the Member States, particularly in light of the ageing population, to address issues faced by carers, including the right to choose freely whether they want to be a carer and the extent of the care that they provide, the possibility of combining caring with paid work and employment as well as access to social security schemes and old age pensions, in order to avoid impoverishment as a consequence of caring;

52.   Calls on the Member States to examine means of providing recognition for atypical qualifications acquired in providing care for children and dependent adults as a form of previous training and work experience, thereby facilitating employment market access for those concerned;

53.   Calls on Member States to encourage public sector employers to aim to create workplaces that are more representative of the communities that they serve, while at the same time considering all job candidates, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation;

54.   Stresses the importance of active involvement of employers in combating discrimination and the positive effects of diversity policies for the workplace;

55.   Takes the view that discrimination against transgendered persons in the employment market and in the area of social security remains an insufficiently exposed problem, and calls on the Member States also to address this form of discrimination; calls on the Commission to launch a study on this issue;

56.   Highlights the need for Member States to promote the development and implementation of comprehensive local, regional and national ageing strategies;

57.   Calls on the Commission and Member States to provide adequate resources to facilitate access to lifelong learning programmes as a means of limiting the exclusion of elderly people, among others, from employment and to foster their continuous participation in social, cultural and civic life;

58.   Urges Member States, if they have not done so, to move towards the provision of high quality and affordable personal care for elderly people and people with disabilities;

59.   Calls on the Member States to exchange best practices relating to encouraging pupils not to drop out of school without gaining the necessary skills to join either the labour market or vocational and higher education institutions and to ease the transition from school to work;

60.   Stresses that educational institutions should show greater flexibility regarding the early abandonment of education by young people and should provide assistance for those who, in addition to their studies, have family responsibilities;

61.   Urges Member States to ensure that its citizens are literate and have the skills and knowledge to gain useful employment and to participate fully in society;

62.   Regrets that despite welcome moves towards greater participation in higher education, people from less wealthy backgrounds are seriously underrepresented; notes that Member States should be encouraged to introduce, maintain, strengthen, and invest in vocational training, work-based apprenticeships and other applied training;

63.   Urges the Commission and the Member States to reject the misleading blurring of economic migration with asylum-seeking, and of economic migration and asylum-seeking with illegal immigration;

Social protection

64.   Believes that more action should be taken to tackle domestic violence and the abuse of children and elderly people;

65.   Notes with great concern that gender-based violence increases women's social and political exclusion, thereby preventing them from enjoying their human rights; calls on the Member States to reinforce legislation and share good practices in this field;

66.   Urges Member States to consider the adequacy and sustainability of their pension systems;

67.   Calls on Member States to provide clearer guidelines and advice on pensions in order to ensure that people receive the information they need to plan their retirement and that national reforms are conducted on the basis of the broadest possible consensus;

68.   Notes that inequalities in health outcomes, both between and within Member States, remain wide and urges Member States to tackle those inequalities, notably by ensuring effective access to healthcare for all;

69.   Calls on Member States to provide more effective child protection systems which include early intervention services to respond to the needs of vulnerable children and the provision of therapeutic services to help maltreated children overcome the effects of abuse;

70.   Calls on Member States to develop a more constructive approach to drugs policy with an emphasis on prevention, education and treatment for addiction rather than on criminal sanctions;

71.   Calls for a better exchange of best practices across the European Union in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses;

72.   Notes that there is a lack of comparable methods and data regarding long-term care and considers it important, therefore, to reinforce the targeted exchange of experience among the Member States in this area, in order to increase awareness of how high-quality care can best be organised, guaranteed and delivered at a reasonable cost and what methods are best suited to ensuring that older people, including the increasing number of those suffering from dementia, can lead a dignified life;

73.   Calls on Member States to prioritise public health measures which seek to tackle head-on the inequality that exists in health and access to health care; calls on Member States further to adopt specific measures targeting the needs of ethnic minorities;

74.   Notes that in all Member States, alcohol and drug abuse can lead to crime, unemployment and social exclusion; notes further that poverty and social exclusion can lead to alcohol and drug abuse; considers it to be unacceptable that the only access to treatment and advice for many people is through the prison system and calls on the Member States to exchange best practices in order to enhance programmes to combat and treat that phenomenon;

75.   Stresses that people may have many forms of disability, including those relating to mobility, vision, hearing, mental health, chronic illness and learning disabilities; highlights the fact that people with multiple disabilities have exceptional problems, as do people subjected to multiple discrimination;

76.   Calls for the de-stigmatisation of people with mental health problems and learning disabilities, the promotion of mental health and well-being, the prevention of mental disorders and increased resources for treatment and care;

77.   Welcomes the Commission's plan to publish various studies about the needs of disabled people and children with special learning requirements, which will be relevant to many aspects of life, including education and training;

78.   Calls on Member States actively to pursue policies to reduce ill health caused by alcohol, tobacco and other legal as well as illegal drugs;

79.   Is aware that policies on alcohol, smoking, and the abuse of drugs and prescription medicines, are primarily matters for the Member States, but encourages the Commission to play a proactive role in collecting and passing on the experiences of the individual Member States, as proposed in its communication on an EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm and to initiate a consultation process and a public debate on the best way of continuing the fight against passive smoking, as proposed in its Green Paper entitled, "Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level";

80.   Reiterates the points made in its above-mentioned resolution of 15 December 2005, particularly as regards threats to public health such as cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, mental illnesses and HIV/AIDS, and on the high pollution levels in towns and conurbations;

81.   Stresses the importance of exercise for people's overall well-being and for preventing various diseases which are threats to public health; urges Member States to invest in improvements in facilities to enable people to take exercise and to promote the creation of residential environments which make it easier for people to lead an active and independent life;

82.   Recognises that alcohol misuse and drug consumption can lead to social exclusion, trap children and families in poverty and expose children to a higher risk of abuse;

83.   Welcomes the fact that child poverty and social exclusion have become a more important political priority across Member States in recent years; calls on the Commission and the Member States, however, to agree quantifiable targets towards the goal of eradicating the complex phenomenon of child poverty and allocating adequate resources in order to meet that target in order to prevent poverty and social exclusion from being passed down from one generation to the next, giving special consideration to abandoned children, street children and children in institutions;

84.   Believes that high-quality education, health and social services, supporting children and their families, including affordable childcare and access to affordable housing are crucial for the prevention and reduction of child poverty, social exclusion and discrimination and to prevent poverty being carried on from one generation to the next;

85.   Calls on the Member States to pay special attention to the social protection of lone-parent families, which are at higher risk of poverty;

86.   Calls on the Member States to ensure that children have access to the services and opportunities that will ensure their present and future well-being and enable them to reach their full potential; also calls on Member States, therefore, to include basic financial education in school curricula;

87.   Calls on the Member States to ensure the collection of data on child poverty and to analyse the situation of children at risk of poverty, in particular as regards those at high risk such as children with disabilities, Roma children, children in institutions, migrant children and street children, and to monitor and evaluate their policies in that field and ensure the systematic assessment of the impact of those policies;

88.   Calls on the Commission to develop further indicators which can be combined with existing income poverty indicators to give a deeper understanding of child poverty;

89.   Stresses the fundamental role played by health care services and general social services in the European social model; calls on the Commission to recognise that role when applying internal market and competition law; emphasises the inadequate funding of those services, especially in certain eastern European Member States;

90.   Considers that the liberalisation of health services could lead to greater inequality of access to high-quality health care;

91.   Calls on Member States to increase the profile of credit unions to help offer individuals a safe and regulated environment in which to save and borrow money and to counter the increasingly problematic phenomenon of personal debt; calls on the Member States to ensure that individuals have the right to open an affordable bank account, which is an essential means by which to participate in economic activities and society;

92.   Recognises that human trafficking results in immense suffering and calls on Member States to enforce anti-trafficking and anti-discrimination legislation, reintegrate the victims of trafficking into society, enhance cross-border cooperation, and, in particular, to sign, ratify and implement the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings; urges Member States to prioritise the protection of victims of trafficking in particular child victims and the implementation of their fundamental human rights;

93.   Welcomes the Commission's proposal for a directive providing for sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals and calls on Member States to bring forward legislation and better implement existing European legislation to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable workers by gangmasters and to sign and ratify, if they have not yet done so, the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families;

94.   Urges all Member States to safeguard human rights based asylum policy in accordance with the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and other relevant human rights law, whilst working to end asylum seekers" dependence on benefits by allowing them to work and consider the development of more legal immigration routes; criticises strongly the ongoing breaches by Member States of that convention and other human rights law;

95.   Calls on the Member States to pay more attention to homeless people, in particular as regards their access to housing, health, education and employment;

96.   Calls on Member States to eliminate the deficiencies in the provisions made for social groups which cannot be integrated into the job market and in the services targeting them, and to ensure that those provisions and services are equitable, universally accessible and sustainable;

o
o   o

97.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Social Protection Committee, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and candidate countries.

(1). OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, p. 22.
(3) OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2006, p. 129.
(4) OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16.
(5) OJ C 261 E, 30.10.2003, p. 136.
(6) OJ C 68 E, 18.3.2004, p. 604.
(7) OJ C 77 E, 26.3.2004, p. 251.
(8) OJ C 286 E, 23.11.2006, p. 487.
(9) OJ C 292 E, 1.12.2006, p. 131.
(10) OJ C 305 E, 14.12.2006, p. 148.
(11) OJ C 316 E, 22.12.2006, p. 370.


Christian Communities
DOC 47k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on serious events which compromise Christian communities' existence and those of other religious communities
P6_TA(2007)0542 B6-0449 , 0450 , 0455 , 0459 and 0467/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948,

–   having regard to Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) of 1950,

–   having regard to Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

–   having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief of 1981,

–   having regard to the reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and in particular her reports of 8 March 2007, 20 July 2007 and 20 August 2007,

–   having regard to its annual reports on the situation of human rights in the world and its previous resolutions on religious minorities in the world,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 25 October 2007 on Pakistan(1) and Iran(2) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 28 April 2005 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2004 and the EU's policy on the matter(3) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2005 on the European Union and Iraq – A framework for engagement(4) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 April 2006 on Iraq: the Assyrian community; the situation in Iraqi prisons(5) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 10 May 2007 on reforms in the Arab world: what strategy should the European Union adopt?(6) ,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas in its relations with the rest of the world, the European Union affirms and promotes its values and contributes to peace, mutual respect between peoples and the protection of human rights,

B.   whereas it has on several occasions expressed itself in favour of the rights of religious communities and the protection of their identity all over the world and in favour of the recognition and protection of religious minorities, without any distinction,

C.   extremely concerned, in this connection, about the proliferation of episodes of intolerance and repression directed against Christian communities, particularly in the countries of Africa, Asia and the Middle East,

D.   recalling its commitment to the principles of freedom of thought, conscience and religion and freedom of religious observance everywhere in the world, and to the principle that the State and its public institutions should be secular; stressing that, everywhere in the world, these authorities have a duty to guarantee these freedoms, including the freedom to change religion,

E.   having regard to the importance of dialogue between religions to promote peace and understanding between peoples,

F.   whereas political and religious leaders have a duty at all levels to combat extremism and promote mutual respect,

G.   whereas, according to international human rights law and particularly Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance,

H.   whereas the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief highlights worrying situations where the freedom to adopt, change or renounce a religion or belief has been infringed and reports numerous cases of inter-religious discrimination and violence, killings and arbitrary detention for reasons of religion or belief,

I.   whereas other groups of people such as refugees, internally displaced persons, asylum-seekers, migrants, persons deprived of their liberty, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and children of believers also face a growing number of violations of their right to freedom of religion or belief; recalling, in this respect, the principle of non-refoulement, according to Article 33 of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees,

J.   concerned at the recent violent events in Iraq, including the kidnapping of two Catholic priests, Fathers Pius Afas and Mazen Ishoa, on 14 October 2007 in Mosul, the assassination of two Assyrian Christian members of the organisation National Union of Bet-Nahrin, Zuhair Youssef Astavo Kermles and Luay Solomon Numan, on 28 June 2007 in Mosul, the murder of a Chaldean priest, P. Ragheed Ganni, and of three deacons who were his assistants, on 3 June 2007 in Mosul,

K.   deploring the situation of Assyrian villages in Turkish border areas such as the village of Kani Masi,

L.   concerned at the recent violent events in Pakistan, including the attack on a Christian church on 10 October 2007 in Godwinh on the outskirts of Lahore, the bombing on 15 September 2007 which seriously damaged the Saint John Bosco Model School, a school run by Mill Hill missionaries in the district of Bannu and the assassination of the Protestant Bishop Arif Khan and his wife on 29 August 2007 in Islamabad,

M.   deploring the murder in Gaza of Rami Khader Ayyad, owner of a Christian library, on 7 October 2007,

N.   saddened by the murder of two young Copts, Wasfi Sadek Ishaq and Karam Klieb Endarawis, on 3 October 2007 in Awlad Toq Garb in Egypt,

O.   horrified by the attacks on the Christian publishing house Zirve on 18 April 2007 in Malatya (Turkey) during which three Christians, Tilmann Geske, Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, were murdered; recalling its resolution of 24 October 2007 on EU-Turkey relations(7) and its strong condemnation of the murders of Hrant Dink and the Catholic priest Andrea Santoro,

P.   deploring the kidnapping of the Catholic priest Giancarlo Bossi in the Philippines,

Q.   stressing in particular the seriousness of the situation of Christian communities in Sudan, where the Khartoum authorities continue to repress its members,

R.   whereas in recent years hundreds of Assyrian Christian families living in the Dora neighbourhood in the south of Baghdad have left the city as a result of intimidation, threats and violence,

S.   whereas the exodus of Christians from Iraq is cause for serious concern, as is underlined by the fact that, in 2006, of a total of 38 000 Iraqis registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Syria, about 24% were Christian and whereas more than two million people have been internally displaced within Iraq, the vast majority of them belonging to Christian minorities, and are mainly moving to the Nineveh plains,

T.   having regard to the seriousness of the situation regarding religious freedom in the People's Republic of China, where the authorities continue to repress any religious expression, particularly by the Catholic Church, many of whose members and bishops have been imprisoned for a number of years and some of whom have died in prison,

U.   whereas in Vietnam too, the activities of the Catholic Church and of other religious communities have been severely repressed, as is demonstrated by the serious situation facing the communities of Vietnamese 'montagnards',

V.   whereas in some cases the situation facing Christian communities is such as to endanger their future existence, and if they were to disappear, this would entail the loss of a significant part of the religious heritage of these countries,

1.   Strongly condemns all acts of violence against Christian communities, wherever they happen, and urges the governments concerned to bring to justice the perpetrators of these crimes;

2.   Strongly condemns all kinds of discrimination and intolerance based on religion and belief and acts of violence against all religious communities; urges the countries concerned to ensure that their constitutional and legislative systems provide adequate and effective guarantees of freedom of religion or belief as well as effective legal remedies for victims where the right to freedom of religion or belief is violated;

3.   Points out that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental human right which is guaranteed by various international legal instruments; recalls, at the same time, its commitment to the fundamental concept of the interdependency of human rights;

4.   Strongly supports any initiative to promote dialogue and mutual respect between religions; calls on all religious authorities to promote tolerance and to take initiatives against hatred and violent and extremist radicalisation;

5.   Urges the governments of the countries concerned to improve the security situation of the Christian communities; stresses therefore that the public authorities have a duty to protect all religious communities, including Christian communities, from discrimination and repression;

6.   Calls on the Commission and the Council to raise the subject of the situation of the Christian communities in the framework of the political dialogue with the countries where they are threatened, through the promotion of a strategic commitment from the countries concerned on the basis of the international treaties on human rights;

7.   Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to make further contributions to the strengthening of human rights and the rule of law using all the EU's foreign policy instruments;

8.   Calls on the Commission and the Council to devote particular attention to the situation of religious communities, including Christian communities, in those countries where they are threatened, when drafting and implementing development cooperation and aid programmes with those same countries;

9.   Calls on the European Union and the Member States to earmark more funds for the activities of the UNHCR and for humanitarian aid managed by that organisation;

10.   Recommends that its relevant committees consider the situation of Christian communities, notably in the Middle East;

11.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General and the UN Human Rights Council.

(1) Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2007)0489 .
(2) Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2007)0488 .
(3) OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2006, p. 107.
(4) OJ C 157 E, 6.7.2006, p. 390.
(5) OJ C 293 E, 2.12.2006, p. 322.
(6) Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2007)0179 .
(7) Texts Adopted , P6_TA(2007)0472 .


Uzbekistan
DOC 35k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on Uzbekistan
P6_TA(2007)0543 B6-0452 and 0453/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its previous resolution on Uzbekistan of 26 October 2006(1) ,

–   having regard to the Commission's Strategy Paper for Central Asia (2007-2012),

–   having regard to the conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 15-16 October 2007,

–   having regard to the letters of 15 May 2007 and 3 July 2007 sent by its President, Hans-Gert Pöttering, to the Uzbek Minister for Foreign Affairs,

–   having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Uzbekistan, of the other part(2) , which entered into force on 1 July 1999,

–   having regard to the human rights clauses in the above agreement,

–   having regard to the Council Presidency statements on the human rights situation in Uzbekistan in 2005 and 2006,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the General Affairs and External Relations Council imposed and extended sanctions on Uzbekistan following the events of May 2005 in Andijan,

B.   whereas the Uzbek Government has not addressed all the conditions which the Council set out when sanctions were applied,

C.   whereas the General Affairs and External Relations Council, at its meeting of 15-16 October 2007, renewed for a 12-month period the arms embargo set out in Council Common Position 2006/787/CFSP(3) and the visa restrictions for individuals listed in the annex to Council Common Position 2007/338/CFSP(4) ,

D.   whereas the Council, on the same occasion, lifted for six months the visa ban on Uzbek officials as set out in the annex to Council Common Position 2007/338/CFSP in order to encourage the Uzbek authorities to take further positive steps to improve the human rights situation,

E.   whereas in the course of 2007 the Uzbek authorities have shown their willingness to engage in dialogue with the EU by holding two rounds of experts" talks on the events in Andijan, as well as the first round of the human rights dialogue between the EU and Uzbekistan,

1.   Reaffirms its serious concerns about the human rights situation in Uzbekistan;

2.   Reiterates the importance of EU-Uzbekistan relations and acknowledges Uzbekistan's crucial role in the Central Asia region, but stresses that those relations must be based on mutual respect for the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, as is clearly laid down in the EU-Uzbekistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement;

3.   Points out that the policy of targeted sanctions has not produced positive results so far; considers it justified, therefore, to encourage the Uzbek authorities by lifting for six months the visa ban on Uzbek officials as set out in the annex to Council Common Position 2007/338/CFSP;

4.   Invites the European Council to monitor and clearly evaluate after six months the effects of this measure on EU-Uzbekistan relations and, possibly, to draw the relevant conclusions on the basis of this evaluation;

5.   Welcomes the general progress in EU-Uzbekistan relations which has taken place in the course of 2007;

6.   Notes in particular the willingness shown by the Uzbek authorities to engage in dialogue with the EU by holding two rounds of experts" talks on the events in Andijan, as well as the first round of the human rights dialogue between the EU and Uzbekistan;

7.   Encourages the Uzbek authorities to make further progress in the area of human rights;

8.   Urges the Uzbek authorities to implement fully their international commitments to fundamental freedoms, freedom of the press and media, and the rule of law;

9.   Expresses its concern at the refusal by the Ministry of Justice in Uzbekistan to recognise officially the Human Rights Watch office, and calls on the Uzbek authorities to reconsider this decision in order to show their commitment to the development of civil society in their country;

10.   Urges the Uzbek Government to release the fifteen Uzbek human rights defenders, given that the EU has made the protection of human rights defenders a central concern of its external policies, in particular through the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders adopted on 14 June 2004;

11.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, the Government and Parliament of Uzbekistan, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

(1) OJ C 313 E, 20.12.2006, p. 466.
(2) OJ L 229, 31.8.1999, p. 3.
(3) Council Common Position 2006/787/CFSP of 13 November 2006 renewing certain restrictive measures against Uzbekistan (OJ L 318, 17.11.2006, p. 43).
(4) Council Common Position 2007/338/CFSP of 14 May 2007 renewing certain restrictive measures against Uzbekistan (OJ L 128, 16.5.2007, p. 50).


Somalia
DOC 41k
European Parliament resolution of 15 November 2007 on Somalia
P6_TA(2007)0544 B6-0454 , 0457 , 0460 , 0468 and 0469/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Somalia,

–   having regard to the previous statements made by the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, Javier Solana, and by Commissioner Louis Michel,

–   having regard to the Statement of Concern regarding the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia, signed by 40 international and national NGOs,

–   having regard to the plan for national reconciliation put forward in Resolution 1744 (2007), adopted by the UN Security Council on 20 February 2007, in the aftermath of Ethiopia's victory over the Union of Islamic Courts,

–   having regard to the forthcoming EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon on 8 and 9 December 2007,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas at least 80 people have been killed in the recent fighting between the insurgents of the Union of Islamic Courts and allied Ethiopian and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops,

B.   whereas Somalia has not had a functioning government since the overthrow of the Said Barre regime in 1991, and whereas since then the political situation has been one of anarchy, marked by inter-clan fighting and banditry,

C.   whereas the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that at least 100 000 people have been displaced as a result of recent fighting between the Union of Islamic Courts and allied Ethiopian and TFG troops; whereas this fighting has resulted in the death of numerous civilians; whereas the safety of the remaining population is a matter of grave concern,

D.   whereas the worsening security situation in the capital of Somalia, namely Mogadishu, has prevented national and international NGOs from coping with an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe and responding to emergencies,

E.   whereas, according to the Food Security Analysis Unit, approximately 38 000 children under the age of five among the rural population are estimated to be acutely malnourished and 10 000 are estimated to be severely malnourished and at risk of death if they do not receive appropriate care,

F.   whereas cases of cholera have been confirmed in the region; whereas, therefore, urgent measures to provide safe water and sanitation facilities for internally displaced persons must be taken in order to contain the spread of the disease,

G.   whereas according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – Somalia, about 450 000 people have been displaced as a result of fighting in 2007, bringing the total number of displaced persons in Somalia to more than 850 000, including about 400 000 displaced persons since the civil war began in the 1990s,

H.   whereas out of a population of 10 million inhabitants, approximately 1.5 million Somalis are in need of international aid,

I.   concerned by the prolonged civil war in Somalia and its implications for the peace and reconciliation process in that country as well as for the security and stability of the Horn of Africa as a whole,

J.   whereas Ali Mohamed Gedi, the Somali Prime Minister, has resigned after a feud with the President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed; whereas this has aggravated the political impasse in the country,

K.   whereas the insurgents of the Union of Islamic Courts boycotted a reconciliation meeting sponsored by the transitional government last month; whereas the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, has said that Ethiopian troops will withdraw once African Union peacekeepers arrive in Mogadishu,

L.   whereas insurgents of the Union of Islamic Courts have ruled out all political contact with the TFG for as long as the Ethiopian army is present in Somalia; whereas prolongation of Ethiopia's intervention is further complicating the situation in the region, as is other countries' alleged support for the Union of Islamic Courts – with specific reference to Eritrea,

M.   whereas the perpetrators of most of the killings of individual journalists in 2007 remain unknown and whereas, to date, Somali Government officials have consistently failed to condemn the killings, much less investigate, arrest, or prosecute anyone in connection with them,

1.   Strongly condemns the serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law committed by all parties to the conflict in Somalia; calls for an immediate end to hostilities; demands that all warring factions refrain from indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and calls for an independent panel to investigate war crimes and human rights violations;

2.   Recalls that the international community and all parties to the present conflict have a responsibility to protect civilians, to allow delivery of aid and to respect humanitarian space and the safety of humanitarian workers; demands therefore that the right conditions be immediately created for an adequate response to the humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia;

3.   Warns that, unless strong measures are quickly taken by the international community to stabilise and gradually improve the situation, there is a clear risk of the Somalia conflict growing into a regional war affecting the entire Horn of Africa;

4.   Calls on the international community to step up and sustain diplomatic efforts to end the ongoing violence and propose a standing mechanism for the purposes of negotiating and monitoring an immediate ceasefire;

5.   Calls on the TFG to engage with key Somali stakeholders in a consultative process leading to the appointment of a new Prime Minister; urges all Somali stakeholders to renew their efforts towards political dialogue and to remain focused on resuming the process outlined by the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic of 2004; stresses that successful dialogue and reconciliation is critical to ensuring free and fair elections in 2009 and establishing lasting peace and stability in Somalia;

6.   Calls for an end to all foreign military intervention in Somalia;

7.   Calls for a strengthening of the role of civil society – particularly women – in the process of national reconciliation;

8.   Welcomes efforts by the African Union to assemble a peacekeeping force to help with the process of national reconciliation but deplores the fact that so far only 1600 soldiers out of the 8 000 that the African Union had agreed to send have actually been deployed; calls therefore on the African Union to encourage its member states to honour their commitments to contribute to the peacekeeping force; calls in this connection on the EU to increase its efforts to provide the requisite political, financial and logistical support to the deployment of the African Union peacekeeping troops, as well as to take all other steps conducive to the facilitation of the peace process;

9.   Calls on the international community to strengthen diplomatic efforts towards peace and stability in Somalia and to avoid simplistic perceptions of the terrorist threats in the Horn of Africa, at times used to divert attention from internal problems and pave the way for foreign military intervention;

10.   Reiterates its call on the International Somalia Contact Group, consisting of the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Tanzania and others, to encourage positive political developments and engagement with actors inside Somalia, with a view to supporting the implementation of the Transitional Federal Charter and Institutions, establishing effective governance and stability and addressing the international community's concerns regarding terrorism;

11.   Calls on the international community, and the EU in particular, to increase the provision of humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons and people in need;

12.   Urges strict and renewed application and monitoring of the arms embargo against Somalia imposed by the UN in 1992, for which scant respect is paid; calls for the violators of the Somalia arms embargo to start being held accountable;

13.   Stresses in particular the urgent need for journalists to be protected and condemns the TFG's systematic harassment of journalists, its closure of media outlets and its failure to investigate the killing of journalists, all of which have deeply damaged independent reporting in Somalia; calls on the TFG to investigate these attacks as well as to cease its own harassment of the media;

14.   Calls on the EU-Africa Summit to give urgent consideration to the grave situation prevailing in Somalia;

15.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Secretaries-General of the African Union, the UN and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the President of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the Government of Ethiopia and the Pan-African Parliament.

Last updated: 28 August 2008Legal notice