Index 
Texts adopted
Tuesday, 15 January 2008 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Partnerships in the framework of the stabilisation and association process *
 Amendment of Directive 95/50/EC (implementing powers conferred on the Commission) ***I
 Abolition of discrimination in transport rates and conditions ***I
 Airport charges ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Export and import of dangerous chemicals ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
  Annex
 Application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 CARS 21: A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework
 Tax treatment of losses in cross-border situations
 Community strategy 2007-2012 on health and safety at work

Partnerships in the framework of the stabilisation and association process *
PDF 66k   DOC 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 January 2008 on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 533/2004 on the establishment of partnerships in the framework of the stabilisation and association process (COM(2007)0662 – C6-0471/2007 – 2007/0239(CNS) )
P6_TA(2008)0001 A6-0517/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2007)0662 ),

–   having regard to the first sentence of Article 181a(2) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0471/2007 ),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0517/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal;

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

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

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


Amendment of Directive 95/50/EC (implementing powers conferred on the Commission) ***I
PDF 63k   DOC 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 January 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 95/50/EC as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission (COM(2007)0509 – C6-0278/2007 – 2007/0184(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0002 A6-0506/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0509 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 71 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0278/2007 ),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0506/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal;

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

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


Abolition of discrimination in transport rates and conditions ***I
PDF 95k   DOC 47k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 January 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation No 11 concerning the abolition of discrimination in transport rates and conditions, in implementation of Article 79(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community and Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs - transport aspects (COM(2007)0090 – C6-0086/2007 – 2007/0037A(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0003 A6-0513/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0090 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 75(3), 95 and 152(4)(b) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0086/2007 ),

–   having regard to the decision by the Conference of Presidents on 5 July 2007 to authorise the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Transport and Tourism to draw up one legislative report each on the basis of the above-mentioned Commission proposal,

–   having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs on the proposed legal basis,

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 35 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0513/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

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

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
TITLE
Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation No 11 concerning the abolition of discrimination in transport rates and conditions, in implementation of Article 79(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community and Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs
Council Regulation amending Regulation No 11 concerning the abolition of discrimination in transport rates and conditions, in implementation of Article 79(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community
Amendment 2
CITATION 1
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 75(3), Article 95 and Article 152(4)(b) thereof,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 75(3) thereof,
Amendment 3
CITATION 5
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty,
deleted
Amendment 4
RECITAL 3
(3)    Article 5(1) of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 requires that all food business operators put in place, implement and maintain a procedure based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.
deleted
Amendment 5
RECITAL 4
(4)    Experience has shown that in certain food businesses, food hygiene can be ensured by the correct implementation of the food hygiene requirements laid down in Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 without having recourse to the HACCP system. The businesses concerned are in particular small businesses predominantly selling their products directly to the final consumer, such as bakeries, butchers, grocery shops, market stalls, restaurants, and bars, which are micro-enterprises within the meaning of Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
deleted
Amendment 6
RECITAL 5
(5)    It is appropriate therefore to provide an exemption to those businesses from the requirement of Article 5(1) of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004, it being understood that they must comply with all the other requirements of that Regulation.
deleted
Amendment 7
RECITAL 6
(6)    As the amendment of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 and that of Regulation No 11 have the common aim of reducing administrative burdens on businesses, without changing the underlying purpose of those Regulations, it is appropriate to combine these amendments in a single Regulation
deleted
Amendment 8
ARTICLE 2
Article 5(3) (Regulation (EC) No 852/2004)
Article 2
deleted
In Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004, the following sentence is added:
"Without prejudice to the other requirements of this Regulation, paragraph 1 shall not apply to businesses which are micro-enterprises within the meaning of Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 and the activities of which consist predominantly in the direct sale of food to the final consumer."

Airport charges ***I
PDF 164k   DOC 107k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 January 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on airport charges (COM(2006)0820 – C6-0056/2007 – 2007/0013(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0004 A6-0497/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0820 ),

–   having regard to Articles 251(2) and 80(2) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0056/2007 ),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0497/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

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

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 15 January 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on airport charges

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0013


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

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

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission║,

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

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3) ,

Whereas:

(1)   The main task and commercial activity of airports is to ensure the handling of aircraft, from landing to take-off, and of passengers and cargo, so as to enable air carriers to provide air transport services. For this purpose, airports offer a number of facilities and services related to the operation of aircraft and the processing of passengers and cargo, the cost of which they generally recover through airport charges. Facilities and services for which charges are levied should be provided on a cost-efficient basis.

(2)   It is necessary to establish a common framework regulating the essential features of airport charges and the way they are set, as in the absence of such a framework, basic requirements in the relationship between airport managing bodies and airport users may not be respected.

(3)   This Directive should apply to airports located within the Community that are above a minimum size, as the management and the funding of small airports do not call for the application of a Community framework.

(4)   The collection of charges with respect to the provision of air navigation services and groundhandling services has already been addressed by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1794/2006(4) ║and Council Directive 96/67/EC(5) ║ respectively.

(5)   Airport charges should be non-discriminatory. A compulsory procedure for regular consultation between airport managing bodies and airport users should be put in place with the possibility for either party to have recourse to an independent regulatory authority whenever a decision on airport charges or the modification of the charging system is contested by airport users.

(6)   One independent regulatory authority should be nominated or established in every Member State so as to ensure the impartiality of its decisions and the proper and effective application of this Directive. The authority should be in possession of all the necessary resources in terms of staffing, expertise and the financial means for the performance of its tasks, so as to ensure that airports provide their services and facilities on a cost-efficient basis .

(7)   It is vital for airport users to obtain from the airport managing body, on a regular basis, information on how and on what basis airport charges are calculated. Such transparency will provide air carriers with an insight into the costs incurred by the airport and the productivity of an airport's investments. To allow an airport managing body to properly assess requirements with regard to future investments, airport users should be required to share all their operational forecasts, development projects and specific demands and wishes with the airport managing body on a timely basis.

(8)   Airports should inform airport users about major infrastructure projects as these have a significant impact on the level of airport charges. Such information shall be provided in order to make monitoring of infrastructure costs possible and with a view to providing suitable and cost-effective facilities at the airport concerned.

(9)   Given the emergence of air carriers operating air services at low cost , airports served by these carriers should be enabled to apply charges corresponding to the infrastructure and/or the level of service provided, as air carriers have a legitimate interest in requiring services from an airport that correspond to the price/quality ratio. However, access to such a different level of infrastructure or services should be open to all carriers that wish to avail themselves of them on a non-discriminatory basis. If demand exceeds supply, access must be determined on the basis of objective and non-discriminatory criteria to be developed by an airport managing body. Any differentiation and/or increase in charges should be transparent, objective and based on clear criteria. Differentiation might be considered an incentive for the opening up of new routes and thus aid development in regions which suffer from geographical and natural handicaps, including the outermost regions .

(10)   As the methods for establishing and levying the amounts due for the coverage of security costs differ across the Community, the harmonisation of the basis for charging security costs at Community airports where the costs of security are reflected in the airport charges is necessary. At these airports the charge should be related to the actual cost of providing security, with accurate management of any public financing and State aid granted to meet security costs, and the service should be provided at cost price, as a result of which no profits are made . The revenue obtained from airport charges introduced to cover security costs should be used exclusively for implementing security measures .

(11)   Airport users should be entitled to a fixed level of service in return for the charges they pay. To ensure this, the service level should be the subject of agreement between the airport managing body and the association or associations representing the airport users at the airport, to be concluded at regular intervals.

(12)   This Directive is without prejudice to the application of the provisions of the Treaty, in particular Articles 81 to 89 thereof.

(13)   Since the objectives of this Directive cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States as airport charges systems cannot be put in place at national level in a uniform way throughout the Community, and can therefore, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Article 1

Subject matter

1.   This Directive sets common principles for the levying of airport charges at Community airports. This is without prejudice to the freedom of airport managing bodies to opt for the single or dual till system or for a combined system .

2.   This Directive applies to any airport located in a territory subject to the provisions of the Treaty and open to commercial traffic whose annual traffic is over 5 million passenger movements or which accounts annually for more than 15 % of the passenger movements in the Member State in which it is located .

Member States may, after a thorough investigation by the national competition authority, also apply this Directive to other airports, if this proves necessary.

This Directive also applies to airport networks and all airports organised into networks in any territory subject to the provisions of the Treaty.

Member States shall publish a list of the airports on their territory to which this Directive applies. This list shall be based on data from EUROSTAT and shall be updated annually.

This Directive shall not apply to charges collected for the remuneration of en-route and terminal air navigation services in accordance with ║Regulation (EC) No 1794/2006 ║ or to charges collected for the remuneration of groundhandling services referred to in the Annex to ║Directive 96/67/EC ║ or to charges levied for the funding of assistance to disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility referred to in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air (6) .

This Directive is without prejudice to the right of each Member State to apply additional regulatory measures that are not incompatible with this Directive or other relevant provisions of Community law with regard to any airport managing body established in its territory. This may include in particular the approval of charging systems and/or the level of charges based on competition law.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Directive

   a) "airport" means any land area specifically adapted for the landing, taking-off and manoeuvring of aircraft, including the ancillary installations which these operations may involve for the requirements of aircraft traffic and services, including the installations needed to assist commercial air services;
   b) "airport managing body" means a body which, in conjunction with other activities or not as the case may be, has as its objective under national laws or regulations the administration and management of the airport or airport network infrastructures and the co-ordination and control of the activities of the different operators present in the airports or airport network concerned;
   c) "airport user" means any natural or legal person responsible for the carriage of passengers, mail and/or freight by air to or from the airport concerned;
   d) "airport charge" means a levy collected for the benefit of the airport managing body and paid by the airport users and/or air passengers for the use of facilities and services which are exclusively provided by the airport managing body and which are related to the landing, take-off, lighting and parking of aircraft, and processing of passengers and freight;
   e) "security charge" means a levy which is specifically designed to recover all or part of the cost of minimum security measures intended to protect civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference, as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 establishing common rules in the field of civil aviation security (7) ;
   f) "airport network" means a number of airports in a Member State that are operated by an airport managing body designated by the competent national authority.

Article 3

Non-discrimination

Member States shall ensure that airport charges do not discriminate among airport users or air passengers.

This provision shall not stand in the way of the introduction of adjustments to charges for objective, transparent reasons of general interest.

Article 4

Airport network

In order to ensure that access is provided to the airports in an airport network at a cost commensurate with the number of air passengers, Member States may permit the operators of airport networks to introduce a uniform and transparent system of airport charges for all the airports belonging to the network. Permission may only be granted on condition that competition between the airports in different Member States is not distorted, for example as regards tourism. In the event of a dispute, the complainant may apply to the Commission on the basis of the relevant EC competition rules.

Article 5

Consultation and remedy

1.   Member States shall ensure that at each airport to which this Directive applies a compulsory ▌procedure for consultation between the airport managing body and airport users or representatives of airport users is established with respect to the operation of the system of airport charges and the level of such charges, including the level of service quality to be provided by the airport managing body in return for the airport charge . Member States shall ensure that such consultation takes place in advance of airport managing bodies or airport users wishing to introduce or to make significant changes to the structure or level of airport charges. Where there is a multi-annual agreement between the airport managing body and the airport users or representatives of airport users, consultation shall take place in accordance with the provisions of that agreement.

2.   Member States shall ensure that, wherever possible, changes to the airport charges system or to the level of charges are made in agreement between the airport managing body and the airport users. To that end, the airport managing body shall submit any proposal to modify the airport charges system or the level of airport charges to the airport users no later than six months before they enter into force, together with the reasons for the proposed changes. At the request of any airport user, the airport managing body shall hold consultations on the proposed changes with the airport users and take their views into account before the final decision is taken. The airport managing body shall publish its final decision within a reasonable time prior to it entering into force. The airport managing body shall justify its decision with regard to the views of the airport users in the event that no agreement on the proposed changes is reached between the airport managing body and the airport users.

3.   Member States shall ensure that in the event of a definitive disagreement over a decision on airport charges, the airport managing body or the airport users, as long as they represent at least two unrelated airlines or at least 10 % of the annual aircraft movements or the annual passenger numbers at the relevant airport, may seek the intervention of the independent regulatory authority which shall examine the justifications for the modification of the airport charges system or the level of airport charges.

The independent regulatory authority nominated or established in accordance with Article 12 shall:

   a) establish a procedure for resolving disagreements between the airport managing body and the airport users or their representatives on changes to the level or structure of airport charges, including changes relating to quality of service;
   b) determine the conditions under which a disagreement can be brought before it for resolution;
   c) determine the criteria against which disagreements will be assessed.

These conditions and criteria shall be non-discriminatory, transparent and in line with the principles of EC competition law and this Directive.

The examination of a change to the airport charges system or the level of airport charges shall not have a suspensory effect.

4.    The airport user shall provide prima facie evidence that the airport in question has taken measures that infringe EC competition law.

5 .   This shall be without prejudice to any existing dispute resolution or statutory appeal process .

Article 6

Transparency

1.  Member States shall ensure that the airport managing body provides each airport user, or the representatives or associations of airport users, once a year with information on the components serving as a basis for determining the level of all charges levied at the airport. This information shall include at least :

   a) a list of the various services and infrastructure provided in return for the charge levied;
   b) the methodology used to establish charges, stating whether a single or a dual till system or a combined system has been used ;
   c) the overall cost structure of the airport related to the facilities and services which the airport charges are intended to cover, to the extent that it is relevant for calculating airport charges and is required to be included in the annual business report ;
   d) the revenue and cost of each category of charge collected at the airport;
   e) airport revenue from State aid, subsidies and other monetary support in relation to the revenue from charges;
   (f) State and regional aid granted to the airport and the amount of resources derived from public financing in connection with public service obligations;
   ( g ) the total number of staff deployed to services which give rise to the collection of the charges;
   ( h ) forecasts of the situation at the airport as regards ▌traffic growth and any major proposed investments;
   ( i ) the actual use of airport infrastructure and equipment over a given period;
   ( j ) the predicted output of any major proposed investments in terms of their effects on ▌airport capacity and service quality .

2.  Member States shall ensure that airport users submit information to the management body, prior to any expected changes in the level of airport charges or the airport charges system or prior to the introduction of new charges, concerning in particular:

   a) forecasts as regards traffic;
   b) forecasts as to the composition and envisaged use of their fleet;
   c) their development projects at the airport concerned;
   d) their requirements at the airport concerned.

3.   The information provided pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be considered to be confidential, and handled accordingly. It shall be subject to national legislation on the confidentiality of data. In the case of airports that are publicly listed, stock exchange regulations in particular must be complied with .

4.    Within a framework of appropriate rules on confidentiality, the independent regulatory authority shall have access to all the information that it requires in connection with its activities.

Article 7

New infrastructure

Member States shall ensure that the airport managing body consults with airport users before plans for new infrastructure projects are finalised. Within a maximum of five years before the investment becomes operational, the airport managing body may assert its interests by way of pre-financing when airport charges are set.

The airport managing body may pre-finance new infrastructure projects by increasing airport charges accordingly, on condition that :

   a) airport users are provided with transparent information on the extent and duration of airport charge increases;
   b) all additional revenue is used solely for the construction of the planned infrastructure;
   c) all official authorisations have been obtained.

Article 8

Quality standards

1.   In order to ensure smooth and efficient operations at an airport, Member States shall ensure that the airport managing body and the association or associations representing airport users at the airport enter into negotiations with a view to concluding agreements on each service level, in accordance with the provisions on differentiation of charges provided for in Article 9, with regard to the quality of service provided at the airport terminal or terminals, and the exactitude and timeliness of information provided by airport users on their projected operations as referred to in Article 6(2) , so as to allow the airport managing body to fulfil its obligations. Such agreement shall be concluded at least once every two years and shall be notified to the independent regulatory authority of each Member State.

2.   Member States shall ensure that, in the event that no agreement on service levels is reached, either party may seek the intervention of the independent regulatory authority.

Article 9

Differences in charges

1.   Member States shall take the necessary measures to allow the airport managing body to vary the quality and scope of particular airport services, terminals or parts of terminals, with the aim of providing tailored services or a dedicated terminal or part of a terminal. The level of airport charges may be differentiated according to the quality and scope of such services, but may also be differentiated according to environmental performance, noise pollution or other public interests on the condition that it is determined on the basis of relevant, objective and transparent criteria .

Member States shall also ensure that airports levy the same charge for the same service. The airport managing body may grant airport user concessions on charges based on the quality of a service used, provided that the concession in question is available to all users of the airport under publicised, transparent and objective conditions. It may grant a concession to users which open new routes, provided that the concession is similarly granted in a public and non-discriminatory manner and is made available to all airport users in the same way, in accordance with EC competition law.

2.   Member States shall ensure that any airport user wishing to use the tailored services or dedicated terminal or part of a terminal shall have access to those services and terminal or part of a terminal.

Where more users wish to have access to the tailored services or dedicated terminal or part of a terminal than is possible due to capacity constraints, access shall be determined on the basis of relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria.

Article 10

Security charges

Security charges shall be used exclusively to meet security costs and shall not exceed those costs . No profit may be made on security charges. These costs shall be determined using the principles of economic and operational efficiency and of accounting and evaluation generally accepted in each of the Member States. Member States shall ensure that the costs are distributed fairly among the various user groups at each airport. However, Member States shall ensure that particular account is taken of:

   the cost of financing the facilities and installations dedicated to security operations, including fair depreciation in the value of these facilities and installations;
   the expenditure on security staff and security operations, excluding the cost of short-term heightened security measures ; such measures, imposed under national legislation on special risk assessments and resulting in extra expenditure, shall not be subject to the provisions of this Directive;
   the grants and subsidies allocated by the authorities for security purposes.

The proceeds from security charges levied at a particular airport may be used only to cover airport security expenditure incurred in the place in which the charges were levied. In the case of airport networks, the proceeds from security charges may be used only to cover security expenditure arising at airports belonging to the network.

Article 11

More stringent security costs

The costs of implementing security measures which are more stringent than the minimum security measures laid down in Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 shall be borne by the Member States.

Article 12

Independent regulatory authority

1.   Member States shall nominate or establish an independent body as their national independent regulatory authority in order to ensure the correct application of the measures taken to comply with this Directive and to ensure that the tasks assigned under Articles 5 and 8 are carried out . Such body may be the same as the entity entrusted by a Member State with the application of the additional regulatory measures referred to in Article 1(2), including the approval of the charging system and/or the level of charges, provided that it meets the requirements of paragraph 3 of this Article .

2.    The national independent regulatory authority may delegate, under its supervision, the implementation of the provisions, or parts of the provisions, of this Directive to regional independent regulatory authorities, provided that the implementation takes place in accordance with the same standards. The national independent regulatory authority shall continue to bear responsibility for ensuring the correct application of the provisions of this Directive. The provisions of paragraph 3 shall also apply to regional independent regulatory authorities .

3 .   Member States shall guarantee the independence of the independent regulatory authority by ensuring that it is legally distinct from and functionally independent of any airport managing body and air carrier. Member States that retain ownership or control of airports, airport managing bodies or air carriers shall ensure the effective structural separation of the regulatory function from activities associated with ownership or control. Member States shall ensure that the independent regulatory authority exercises its powers impartially and transparently.

4 .   Member States shall notify to the Commission the name and address of the independent regulatory authority, its assigned tasks and responsibilities, and the measures taken to ensure compliance with paragraph 3 .

5 .   When carrying out an investigation into the justification for changing the level or structure of airport charges, as provided for in Article 5, the independent regulatory authority shall be able to request the necessary information from the parties concerned and shall be required to consult those parties and any other affected parties in order to reach its decision. It shall reach its decision as soon as practicable and within three months of the receipt of a complaint and shall be required to publish the decision and the reasons for it. The decision shall have binding effect.

6 .   The independent regulatory authority shall publish an annual report on its activities.

Article 13

Report and revision

1.   The Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the operation of this Directive, assessing progress made in attaining its objectives, no later than ...(8) , as well as, where appropriate, suitable proposals .

2.   Member States and the Commission shall cooperate in the application of this Directive, particularly as regards the collection of information for the purposes of the report referred to in paragraph 1.

Article 14

Implementation

1.   Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by... (9) *. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.

When Member States adopt these measures , they shall contain a reference to this Directive or shall be accompanied by such reference at the time of their official publication.

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

Article 15

Entry into force and addressees

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

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) OJ C 10, 15.1.2008, p. 35.
(2) OJ C 305, 15.12.2007, p. 11.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 15 January 2008.
(4) Commission Regulation (EC) No 1794/2006 of 6 December 2006 laying down a common charging scheme for air navigation services (OJ L 341, 7.12.2006, p. 3).
(5) Council Directive 96/67/EC of 15 October 1996 on access to the groundhandling market at Community airports (OJ L 272, 25.10.1996, p. 36). Directive as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 284, 31.10.2003, p. 1).
(6) OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 355, 30.12.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 849/2004 (OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 1. Corrected version in OJ L 229, 29.6.2004, p. 3).
(8)* 4 years from the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(9)** 18 months from the date of publication of this Directive.


Export and import of dangerous chemicals ***I
PDF 89k   DOC 58k
Resolution
Consolidated text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 January 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the export and import of dangerous chemicals (COM(2006)0745 – C6-0439/2006 – 2006/0246(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0005 A6-0406/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0745 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 175(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0439/2006 ),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A6-0406/2007 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Takes note of the Commission statement annexed hereto;

3.   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;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 15 January 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the export and import of dangerous chemicals

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0246


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EC) No 689/2008.)

Annex

Commission Statement concerning the status of mercury and arsenic under the PIC Regulation

The Commission stresses that, in accordance with Article 22(3) of Regulation (EC) No 304/2003, if metallic arsenic were to be banned or severely restricted in the Community, a proposal would be made to adapt the relevant annex.  It further notes that work is ongoing in the Council and Parliament on a proposal for an export ban on mercury out of the Community, thus going beyond the prior informed consent requirement in  the Rotterdam Convention and the EC Regulation implementing it.


Application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 January 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community (COM(2007)0159 – C6-0104/2007 – 2007/0054(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0006 A6-0515/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0159 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 42 and 308 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0104/2007 ),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0515/2007 ),

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 January 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0054


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EC) No 592/2008.)


CARS 21: A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework
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European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2008 on CARS 21: A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework (2007/2120(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0007 A6-0494/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission entitled "A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century: Commission's position on the CARS 21 High Level Group Final Report − A contribution to the EU's Growth and Jobs Strategy" (COM(2007)0022 ),

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Competitiveness Council of 21 and 22 May 2007,

–   having regard to the final report of the High Level Group entitled "CARS 21 – A Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st century",

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0494/2007 ),

A.   whereas the Commission has responded to the report of the CARS 21 High Level Group, a group which brought together all stakeholders in order to examine the main policy areas having an effect on the automotive industry in the European Union and to make recommendations for a future regulatory framework,

B.   whereas the EU's automotive industry is one of its most important economic sectors, producing 19 million vehicles yearly and providing 2,3 million jobs directly and a further 10 million in ancillary sectors,

C.   whereas the multi-brand market in vehicle spare parts, and the markets for servicing and repairing vehicles, play a vital role in providing affordable mobility, in improving the consumer choices of the EU's 270 million drivers in the after-sale care of their vehicles, in keeping the vehicles on Europe's roads safe and clean and, lastly, by employing 3,5 million people in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in maintaining a sound SME landscape in Europe,

D.   whereas the Commission is promoting an integrated strategy to ensure that companies in the EU continue to be competitive within a growing global environment, and whereas that strategy is laid out in its Communication entitled "Global Europe: Competing in the World – A Contribution to the EU's Growth and Jobs Strategy" (COM(2006)0567 ), in its working document entitled "Global Europe: A stronger Partnership to deliver market access for European Exporters – Impact Assessment" (SEC(2007)0452 ) and in its Communication entitled "Global Europe: Europe's trade defence instruments in a changing global economy – A Green Paper for public consultation" (COM(2006)0763 ),

E.   whereas the strategy set out in those documents is currently being implemented in negotiations relating to several bilateral and regional free trade agreements,

F.   whereas the automotive industry differs significantly from one Member State to the next in terms of strategies, structures and global outreach, and whereas those differences must be taken fully into consideration in developing a new and more globally oriented trade strategy,

G.   whereas in 2006 the automotive industry in the EU exported about 20% of the motor vehicles produced by it and in 2004 exports of motor vehicles and of parts and accessories for motor vehicles accounted for 8,7% and 2,8% respectively of the EU's industrial exports, an indication of how particularly sensitive to export conditions the automotive industry is, and whereas in 2004 the extra-EU trade surplus in respect of transport equipment was valued at EUR 60,2 billion; whereas the EU's global pre-eminence is due, in particular, to the fact that it is the world's largest producer of cars and the second largest producer of lorries, and also to the size and degree of consolidation of the internal market, the growing internationalisation of the motor vehicle sector, the reputation of European brands and the quality of European services, the strong export position which European manufacturers have managed to achieve and their substantial presence on markets with high growth potential,

1.   Welcomes the final report of the CARS 21 High Level Group and the Commission's Communication outlining the direction of future automotive policy;

2.   Hopes that the parliaments of the Member States and their regions will wish to be associated with the outcome of the CARS 21 process; suggests that an inter-parliamentary network for the purpose of considering automotive issues, coordinated by Parliament, would bring real benefits in terms of road safety, environmental protection, innovation and competitiveness;

Completing the internal market for cars

3.   Calls upon Member State authorities to work closely with the Commission in implementing the CARS 21 recommendations; notes, in particular, the need to ensure that new regulations affecting the automotive sector are introduced in a coordinated manner, avoiding distortions in the internal market;

4.   Emphasises the need to perfect the EU system for type-approval, covering all motor vehicles;

5.   Confirms its support for an effective type-approval process, as pointed out in its position adopted at second reading on 10 May 2007 with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles(1) ;

6.   Calls on the Commission to report annually to Parliament on the operation of type-approval procedures and on its monitoring of the comitology process;

7.   Calls on the Commission to ensure the proper implementation of its Regulation (EC) No 1400/2002 of 31 July 2002(2) (the Block Exemption Regulation) with regard to motor vehicle distribution throughout the EU; further believes that when that Regulation is reviewed, the Commission's Directorate-General for Competition should regard itself as being part of the integrated approach to legislation in the sector;

8.   Proposes that, in order to boost the competitiveness of the motor vehicle industry in the European Union, the review of the Block Exemption Regulation should be tied to the mid-term review of CARS 21, thus facilitating cooperation between sector operators, preventing State aid from being misappropriated and promoting competition policy at international level;

9.   Calls on the Commission to propose measures guaranteeing a registration procedure which will allow easier cross-border sales, especially for used cars; endorses the Commission's views on procedures for the registration of motor vehicles(3) and the problems that some national rules present for the functioning of the internal market; notes the impact of these national rules on economic sectors such as vehicle leasing and rental; calls on the Member States to implement the necessary changes to their rules as soon as possible;

A competitive automotive after-market

10.   Draws attention to recently enacted legislative provisions concerning after-market parts that affect safety and environmental performance, and notes that the implementation of those provisions will establish a single market in such parts;

11.   Welcomes the insertion of provisions in Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 of the European Parliament and the Council of 20 June 2007 on type approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair information(4) and in Regulation (EC) No 1400/2002, requiring unrestricted access to appropriate technical repair information, and invites the Commission to continue its efforts to enforce throughout the Community the provisions of competition law that apply to the motor vehicle sector;

12.   Calls upon the Commission to continue promoting effective competition in the automotive after-sales market by addressing consumer choice and effective access for independent market operators to technical information, training, spare parts, multi-brand diagnostic tools and test equipment in its future automotive policy and in any successor legislation to Regulation (EC) No 1400/2002, which will expire on 31 May 2010;

13.   Notes the importance to consumers of in-service reliability and durability information based on comprehensive consumer surveys; notes that public authorities could facilitate these surveys by allowing registration authorities to provide contact details of vehicle owners who agree to participate in them;

14.   Urges the Commission to properly address the issue of the "open reparability" of vehicles in all new legislative initiatives, involving all relevant Directorates-General, in order to ensure consumer choice and competition in the after-sales market; believes that this should also be applied in the forthcoming measures relating to the promotion of new vehicle information and communication technologies and intelligent transport systems;

15.   Urges the Commission to submit proposals for the creation of an internal market for custom and tuning parts, such as special tyres, wheels and other tuning parts and spare parts, as the current diversity of national regulations obstructs the further development of this sector, which consequently would benefit from Community harmonising legislation and appropriate protection of intellectual property;

16.   Calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to combat the import of counterfeit spare parts;

Better lawmaking and internationalising the regulatory environment

17.   Stresses the importance of cutting unnecessary red tape, including the duplication of regulations due to the existence of international conventions;

18.   Emphasises the crucial role played by the better regulation principles (i.e. proper impact assessment, the cost-effectiveness principle, appropriate lead-times, etc.) in creating a competitive regulatory framework for the automotive industry, as endorsed in the CARS 21 process; recalls that the regulatory roadmap is an integral part of the final CARS 21 report and should be respected;

19.   Recognises that better designed, transparent rules that are in line with current social and environmental needs, applied without exceptions and integrated into the international automotive regulatory environment can contribute to greater competitiveness and fair competition in the industry;

20.   Believes that strategic standardisation is an essential driver of competitiveness; therefore requests the Commission to work on having European standards recognised throughout the world;

21.   Welcomes the Commission's plan to replace 38 Community directives with existing UN/ECE Regulations, as well as to introduce the possibility of self- or virtual testing, and calls upon the Commission to continue the process of legislative simplification; insists that its support for these proposals is conditional on it being clearly understood that Parliament reserves the right to call for legislation independently from the UN/ECE system where it believes that this is required to meet EU obligations;

22.   Welcomes the Commission's proposal to submit an annual paper to Parliament on the progress being made at the UN/ECE and in the comitology process;

23.   Welcomes the Commission's wish to introduce a revision and review mechanism, given the technology and development-intensive nature of the motor vehicle industry; also considers, however, that greater use should be made of 'sunset clauses' in legislation, so as to ensure that legislation does not hinder or counteract the technological advances that research and development (R&D) and market forces are constantly bringing about;

24.   Calls on the Commission to begin the process of simplifying Directives 74/297/EEC(5) , 76/115/EEC(6) and 78/932/EEC(7) as well as UN/ECE Regulation No 122 as soon as possible;

Adopting environmental standards for the 21 st century

25.   Notes that Community law regulates a market in which between 17 and 18 million vehicles are sold every year, which is equivalent to the passenger car market in the United States; expects that an ambitious emissions reduction policy will have a positive influence worldwide in terms of reducing transport emissions;

26.   Believes that individual mobility and the automotive sector should be considered in the wider context of sustainable mobility; believes that mobility and environmental protection are not necessarily mutually exclusive and that future car technology will have to contribute to reconciling the two; indeed, believes that the challenge of climate change in particular presents opportunities for technological advances and innovation;

27.   Is conscious of the importance of vehicles for the mobility of elderly people, especially in the countryside, and of disabled people;

28.   Calls on the Commission to create an environment that ensures that road transport is environmentally sustainable, that is favourable to the flexibility of production systems and that raises the skill levels of the EU's workforce;

29.   Believes that pollutant emissions standards have been truly successful and have already led to very clean passenger cars; stresses the importance of achieving this same success with heavy-duty vehicles; believes that the benefits of EU environmental regulation in the automotive sector could spread well beyond the EU market;

30.   Welcomes the rapid introduction of the Euro-5 and Euro-6 standards for the reduction of emissions of pollutants from private cars;

31.   Considers that improved air quality can be achieved only by a speedier renewal of the automobile fleet, in addition to the introduction of less polluting vehicles; considers that financial measures need to be put in place to induce consumers to replace their old cars with less polluting vehicles;

32.   Welcomes the proposal for revision of Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels(8) (the Fuel Quality Directive) to take into account life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of road transport fuels;

33.   In the context of Community legislation, calls on the Commission to begin the process of reassessing and revising emissions testing procedures to better reflect real-life conditions of use, without prejudice to the ongoing discussion on CO2 emissions from cars;

34.   Is very concerned at the non-harmonised implementation of Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on end-of life vehicles(9) ; regards that Directive as insufficiently ambitious;

Reducing CO 2 emissions substantially

35.   Welcomes the Commission's plans to reduce the CO2 emissions of passenger cars; believes an integrated approach, taking into account all possibilities to reduce CO2 emissions, such as infrastructure, driver behaviour, a system of incentives for people to use cleaner cars, bio-fuels and vehicle technology, to be the most appropriate; encourages the Commission to consider developing a common framework for a coordinated application of technology-neutral and possibly harmonised CO2-related fiscal incentives that have a significant CO2 reduction potential, while avoiding distortions of competition; urges the Council to reach an agreement on the Commission proposal to relate taxes on passenger cars to their polluting emissions such as CO2 in order to avoid further internal market fragmentation arising from varying application by Member States;

36.   Urges the Commission to set ambitious but realistic targets, taking into account the real situation in the EU market, where the fleet renewal rate is currently below 10% per annum; therefore emphasises the fact that the affordability of new cars plays a crucial role in achieving the Community target; stresses that the more ambitious the mandatory targets for CO2 emissions are, the more time should be granted to the automotive industry to adapt;

37.   Reminds the Commission that the development of new types of passenger cars takes between five and seven years; believes that mandatory targets should allow sufficient time for the automotive industry to react; therefore requests the Commission not to set any final mandatory targets for CO2 emissions for any date before 2015;

38.   Believes that an average target of 125g/km of CO2 emissions for new passenger cars for 2015 should be achievable; stresses that the Commission should work on more ambitious long-term reduction targets for CO2 emissions in the automotive sector; considers it crucial in this connection that the target values should be graduated according to the weight of the vehicle;

39.   Notes the Commission's plan to set a binding agrofuels target and calls on the Commission to develop a mandatory, comprehensive certification scheme, applicable to agrofuels placed on the EU market; believes that the certification criteria should be designed to ensure a minimum of 50% greenhouse gas savings over the whole life cycle compared to conventional fuels in addition to environmental and social criteria;

40.   Notes that, in order to achieve the aim of increasing the use of bio-fuels and hydrogen to maximise environmental performance, it is vital to promote the necessary local networks to enable citizens to obtain supplies;

41.   Takes the view that measures to reduce CO2 emissions should place greater emphasis on raising driver awareness of economical driving techniques and of how best to make use of new technologies;

42.   Believes that increasing consumer awareness through better labelling of fuel efficiency and better data on polluting emissions will contribute to achieving CO2 reductions; therefore calls for a revision of Directive 1999/94/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1999 relating to the availability of consumer information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions in respect of the marketing of new passenger cars(10) , taking into account best practices currently achieved;

43.   Recalls that the reduction of CO2 emissions from cars can most easily be achieved by restructuring public transport systems;

44.   Recognises the leading role played by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) at the forefront of innovative environmental technology changes that offer potential CO2 reductions and energy-efficiency spin-offs for all new cars;

45.   Urges the FIA to further intensify its efforts to promote innovative road-relevant research designed, inter alia , to improve the energy efficiency of cars;

46.   Recognises the role motor sport can play in changing attitudes and customer behaviour towards environmentally friendly technology; therefore asks the FIA and others involved in Formula 1 motor racing to change their rules accordingly, so that environmentally friendly technologies such as bio-fuels, four-cylinder engines and hybrid power units can be more easily applied;

47.   Calls for a study to be drawn up for the purpose of recording the additional non-technical measures which have been implemented in order to reduce CO2 in the EU;

Making road transport even safer

48.   Welcomes the Commission's efforts to reduce road transport casualties, including important new technologies; urges the Commission to ensure that any vehicle safety equipment requirements be introduced in accordance with the better regulation principles agreed by the CARS 21 High-Level Group; stresses the need for an integrated approach incorporating vehicle technology improvements, infrastructure measures and education, information and enforcement to achieve the road safety objectives in a cost-effective way;

49.   Acknowledges the catalytic role of the premium market in which new technologies are generally first introduced; points out, however, that additional security systems might further increase the weight of passenger cars, thus leading to increased CO2 emissions;

50.   Is concerned at the negative impact on road safety resulting from increases in the speed of vehicles; in this connection, recommends the implementation of recommendations of the Study for Future Options for Roadworthiness Enforcement in the European Union published by the International Motor Vehicle Inspection Committee (CITA) in 2007; recommends support for a campaign for "safe tuning" and moves to phase in electronic stability control systems (ESC) as standard equipment as quickly as possible;

51.   Calls on the Commission to improve the road safety system by requiring Member States to tighten up learner-driver training requirements, expand compulsory training and introduce rules providing for the periodic training of professional drivers;

52.   Calls on the Commission to carry out the announced 2007-2009 assessment of the environment required for measures to reduce the number of road accident victims;

53.   Requests the Commission to develop a system allowing car manufacturers without penalty to produce vehicles that emit extra CO2 if these additional emissions result from legally binding safety measures taken at Community level;

54.   Does not believe that daytime running lights should be obligatory throughout the EU;

55.   Calls on the Commission to improve as a matter of priority the regime for the cross-border inspection of vehicles and the cross-border enforcement of fines imposed for the infringement of traffic rules in a foreign Member State;

Bringing fair play to automotive trade relations

56.   Submits that the EU automotive industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world; believes however that unfair competition and the infringement of intellectual property rights threaten this position;

57.   Stresses the importance of the WTO for the automotive industry in an increasingly global trading environment; considers it highly important that the current negotiations in the Doha Development Round make third-country markets as accessible as possible for automobile manufacturers, especially potentially large, emerging third-country markets;

58.   Stresses the importance of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism in resolving problems relating to exports to third countries; recalls the positive outcome of the disputes brought before the WTO in the cases of Canada, India and Indonesia;

59.   Calls for caution in the Commission's efforts to revise trade defence instruments in principle; recalls that the automotive industry may be subject to anti-competitive practices by third countries and urges the Commission to safeguard the basic philosophy of trade defence instruments in defending EU industry from unfair practices;

60.   Recalls that the successful conclusion of multilateral trade negotiations should remain a priority for the EU; nevertheless, supports the Commission's will to negotiate new bilateral trade agreements, primarily in Asia, in order to improve market access conditions; stresses that free trade agreements (FTAs) should always aim at a high level of access to the market of the partner country; insists that EU policy must safeguard the competitiveness of EU automobile manufacturers operating in the EU and in non-EU countries; is convinced of the importance for the automotive industry of concluding bilateral agreements between the EU and ASEAN, India and Mercosur;

61.   Urges the Commission, in the framework of the current EU-Korea FTA negotiations, to make sure that Korea abolishes all existing tariff and non-tariff barriers and does not create new ones, and that it will implement more UN/ECE regulations; requests that the Commission consider a strategy of phasing out EU import tariffs with safeguards. and,therefore recommends that this phasing-out be connected to the lifting of non-tariff barriers on the Korean side;

62.   Reiterates that Korea has signed and ratified the 1958 UN/ECE Agreement and has thus committed itself to implementing the UN/ECE regulations; urges the Commission to stress this during future negotiations and to insist on rapid implementation; notes that an FTA should in any case clearly require Korea to permit cars imported from the EU that meet UN/ECE standards to be placed on the Korean market;

63.   Calls on the Commission to evaluate the possibility of setting up an Autos Working Group and a special expedited dispute settlement procedure in relation to automobile-related measures, as was introduced in the US-Korea FTA;

64.   Emphasises the importance of a close partnership with China in the development of a regulatory framework offering a level playing-field; states that effective protection of intellectual property rights is a precondition for such a partnership;

65.   Welcomes the Commission's request for the establishment of a WTO panel to resolve outstanding issues relating to the treatment of imported vehicle parts by China, which the Commission argues is inconsistent with several articles of different WTO agreements;

66.   Supports the Commission's efforts in matters relating to the Chinese regulatory environment aimed at ensuring that EU industries operating in this market enjoy fair regulations and legal certainty;

67.   Points to the EU tyre industry as an important contributor to a successful European automotive sector; therefore calls on the Commission to examine closely the issue of unjustified technical trade barriers, such as local technical regulations, which the tyre industry is facing in key Asian emerging markets;

R&D in the automotive sector

68.   Is encouraged by what has already been achieved with the help of Community R&D funding and cooperation under programmes such as the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework programme and i2010; encourages the Commission to gear the work programmes more specifically towards the needs of the automotive sector arising from future legislation or mandatory targets;

69.   Calls on the Commission to adopt before 2012 a strategy to increase significantly and sufficiently the R&D funding for the automotive sector, paying particular attention to supply industries;

70.   Urges the Member States to make any increase in future R&D funding for the automotive sector conditional on the binding nature of the CO2 emission targets;

71.   Emphasises the importance of a shift in car use in cities; considers that, along with more fuel-efficient cars, the introduction of electric city cars is essential; therefore calls for support for R&D in respect of the necessary technologies;

72.   Calls on all the Member States and the EU institutions to give all necessary support to R&D in respect of break-through technologies, such as hydrogen motors, fuel cells or hybrids;

73.   Stresses the potential that information and communication technologies (ICT) offer for avoiding adverse effects on the environment and public health, accidents and waste of energy, when used on an EU-wide basis in intelligent traffic control and management systems designed to ensure the smooth flow of traffic; is of the opinion that, in the interests of ensuring effective vehicle-to-infrastructure communications in all Member States, communication devices should comply with an EU standard;

74.   Is of the opinion that the Intelligent Car Initiative(11) , Galileo and other instruments contributing to an intelligent transport system are of the utmost importance; therefore calls on the Commission to strongly support these developments;

75.   Strongly supports the continuation of R&D in respect of ICT-based innovations; considers that new technological developments could be introduced under the Intelligent Car Initiative in order to help rationalise traffic flows so that, by making it easier for drivers to make the right decision and choose the fastest path to their destination, traffic will become more energy-friendly; calls on all stakeholders, particularly the Member States, to make the necessary provisions for the implementation of eCall;

76.   Regards work on intelligent transport systems as key to a successful motor vehicle industry and to successful efforts to reduce the industry's environmental impact; considers that Galileo should be cited as an example, and therefore finding a solution for the funding of Galileo within a consortium where interested members make their commitments to development of the project must be a priority;

77.   Believes that one of the first Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology should be dedicated to CO2 reduction in vehicle technology;

Restructuring policies and the way forward

78.   Considers it necessary to establish general conditions to make the automotive industry in the EU sustainable and enable it to remain in the forefront of technological, ecological and social innovation with the support of a highly skilled labour force;

79.   Recognises that both manufacturers and suppliers in the automobile industry in the EU have a highly skilled labour force, a factor which has played a large part in the high level of performance of the automobile industry in the EU;

80.   Points to the importance of the car industry for employment, growth, innovation and competitiveness; believes that, although the car industry will have to undergo substantial change, policy adjustments also need to be made in order to ensure that Community regulations do not lead to job losses;

81.   Maintains that Community environmental, road safety, and energy efficiency legislation implies a need for proper education and vocational training for workers to enable them to adapt more easily to changes, both of a technical nature and as regards regulation, and to enjoy the same or better job prospects;

82.   Calls on the Commission to coordinate the efficient use of the Structural Funds and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund where the automotive industry is concerned;

83.   Calls for Community support to be withheld from companies which, having received such aid in a Member State, transfer their production operations to another country without completely fulfilling the agreements entered into with the Member State concerned;

84.   Stresses that, as regards future restructuring processes, the EU and the Member States also need to focus on ways of assisting restructuring and cushioning its effects, and of offering new possibilities for workers;

85.   Considers that the information and consultation channels and machinery available to workers should be strengthened by means of the necessary revision of Council Directive 94/45/EC of 22 September 1994 on the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees(12) ;

86.   Maintains that consultation of workers and their right to information must be strengthened on a Europe-wide basis, so as to enable them to become involved in decision-taking at an earlier stage and hence mitigate the adverse effects of restructuring; points accordingly to the importance of the proposal on the restructuring forum referred to in the above-mentioned Commission communication on the CARS 21 report;

87.   Calls on the social partners to implement appropriate policies for those who are threatened by restructuring in the industry;

88.   Calls for better information for, and consultation with, workers in the process of adapting the industry to the new challenges arising from the design and production of more environmentally friendly vehicles;

89.   Points to the need to review the present relationship between manufacturers and dealers, the impact of which on the competitiveness of the automotive industry in the EU is severely damaging many SMEs in the sector; believes that collaboration in the areas of R&D and industrial strategies needs to be encouraged on a more stable footing; urges the Commission and the Member States, to that end, to adopt the necessary policies or establish the framework required to stabilise the above relationship and overcome the inherent difficulties;

90.   Points to the importance of making more systematic use of the European Investment Bank´s resources in order to support SMEs in the automotive sector and help them gain access to venture capital;

o
o   o

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

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0176 .
(2) OJ L 203, 1.8.2002, p. 30.
(3) Commission interpretative communication on procedures for the registration of motor vehicles originating in another Member State (OJ C 68, 24.3.2007, p. 15).
(4) OJ L 171, 29.6.2007, p. 1.
(5) Council Directive 74/297/EEC of 4 June 1974 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the interior fittings of motor vehicles (the behaviour of the steering mechanism in the event of an impact) (OJ L 165, 20.6.1974, p. 16).
(6) Council Directive 76/115/EEC of 18 December 1975 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to anchorages for motor-vehicle safety belts (OJ L 24, 30.1.1976, p. 6).
(7) Council Directive 78/932/EEC of 16 October 1978 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to head restraints of seats of motor vehicles (OJ L 325, 20.11.1978, p. 1).
(8) OJ L 350, 28.12.1998, p. 58.
(9) OJ L 269, 21.10.2000, p. 34.
(10) OJ L 12, 18.1.2000, p. 16.
(11) COM(2006)0059 .
(12) OJ L 254, 30.9.1994, p. 64.


Tax treatment of losses in cross-border situations
PDF 100k   DOC 53k
European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2008 on Tax Treatment of Losses in Cross-Border Situations (2007/2144(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0008 A6-0481/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission communication on Tax Treatment of Losses in Cross-Border Situations (COM(2006)0824 ),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication on The Contribution of Taxation and Customs Policies to the Lisbon Strategy' (COM(2005)0532 ),

–   having regard to the relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (Court of Justice), notably cases C-250/95 Futura Participations SA and Singer v Administration des contributions (1) and C-141/99 AMID v Belgische Staat (2) , Joined Cases C-397/98 and C-410/98 Metallgesellschaft Ltd and Others v Commissioners of Inland Revenue and HM Attorney General (3) , Case C-446/03 Marks & Spencer plc v David Halsey (HM Inspector of Taxes) (4) , and Case C-231/05 Oy AA (5) ,

–   having regard to Council Directive 94/45/EC of 22 September 1994 on the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees(6) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2005 on taxation of undertakings in the European Union: a common consolidated corporate tax base(7) ,

–   having regard to the Commission communication on Implementing the Community Programme for improved growth and employment and the enhanced competitiveness of EU business: Further Progress during 2006 and next steps towards a proposal on the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) (COM(2007)0223 ),

–   having regard to its resolution of 4 September 2007 on the Single Market Review: Tackling barriers and inefficiencies through better implementation and enforcement(8) ,

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0481/2007 ),

A.   whereas Member States' national tax systems need increasingly to take account of the globalisation of the economy and cope with the rules and functioning of the internal market, with a view to achieving the Lisbon Strategy objectives in terms of growth and competitiveness,

B.   whereas the globalisation of the economy has increased tax competition in such a way as to result in the drastic decrease of average corporate tax rates in industrialised countries in the last 30 years,

C.   whereas that decrease in tax rates has been intensified since the last enlargement of the European Union and whereas there is a clear trend in the Member States to put in place specific tax schemes by which to attract particularly mobile companies,

D.   whereas the existence of 27 different tax systems in the European Union constitutes an impediment to the smooth functioning of the internal market, causes significant additional costs for cross-border trade and business in terms of administration and compliance, hinders corporate restructuring, and leads to cases of double taxation,

E.   whereas the reduction of compliance costs as regards differing national corporate tax laws, the transparency of rules, the removal of tax barriers hampering cross-border activities and the creation of a level playing-field for EU undertakings operating in the internal market may lead to EU-wide economic gains by way of a dynamic corporate environment,

F.   whereas an appropriate EU-level tax coordination that does not attempt to harmonise tax rates can contribute to avoiding distortions of competition and can generatebenefits that can be widely shared between undertakings, their employees and consumers, Member States and citizens,

G.   whereas achieving the Lisbon Strategy objectives necessitates the increasing coordination of Member States' fiscal policy,

H.   whereas Member States have traditionally tried to coordinate their tax regimes through an extensive network of bilateral tax treaties that do not fully cover issues such as cross-border loss relief; whereas, within the European Union, the bilateral approach is less efficient and leads to less consistency than a multilateral and coordinated approach; whereas a common EU approach on a consolidated corporate tax base - such as the CCCTB proposal - is the most appropriate solution for the cross-border offsetting of losses and profits within the internal market and will lead to greater transparency, investment and competitiveness,

I.   whereas Member States implement different rules on granting tax relief for losses incurred by branches, subsidiaries and entities of corporate groups thereby distorting business decisions and investment policies in the internal market with consequences in terms of their appropriate long-term industrial strategies and tax revenues,

J.   whereas virtually all tax systems in the European Union tax profits and losses asymmetrically, in other words, profits are taxed for the year in which they are earned but the tax value of a loss is not refunded automatically to the company at the time when it is incurred; whereas the recent case law of the Court of Justice does not properly analyse that time factor and its importance as regards increasing cross-border investments in the European Union,

K.   whereas the implementation of a cross-border tax-relief regime on losses would be tantamount to waiving corporate tax revenues in certain Member States without certain legal assurances,

L.   whereas losses by domestic branches will automatically be taken into account in the net result of the parent company, but the situation is less clear-cut for losses incurred by foreign branches, as well as domestic and foreign members of a group,

M.   whereas the absence of cross-border loss relief constitutes a barrier to entering some markets, favouring establishment in large Member States where the size of the home market is sufficient to help absorb possible losses,

N.   whereas the situation described puts small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at a disadvantage because they are less able to carry out cross-border investments amid uncertainty over loss relief and frequently incur start-up losses,

1.   Expresses its grave concern over the negative impact that the different treatment of cross-border losses by Member States has on the functioning of the internal market;

2.   Notes that any measure which impedes the freedom of establishment is contrary to Article 43 of the EC Treaty and that its removal ought thus to be the focus of targeted action; recalls that differing company tax regimes create obstacles to entering different national markets and the proper functioning of the internal market, distort competition, and prevent the maintenance of a level playing field for undertakings at EU level and thus merit attention of this kind;

3.   Takes the view that targeted action at EU level in respect of tax deductions of cross-border losses could be of greater benefit to the functioning of the internal market;

4.   Signals its support for the Commission communication on Tax Treatment of Losses in Cross-Border Situations as an important step in addressing the situation and calls for adequate coordination among Member States as regards timing and solutions;

5.   Stresses that any targeted measure to introduce cross-border loss relief should be defined and implemented on the basis of a multilateral, common approach and coordinated action by the Member States in order to guarantee the coherent development of the internal market; recalls that such targeted measures represent an intermediate solution pending the adoption of the CCCTB; considers that the CCCTB constitutes a comprehensive long-term solution for tax obstacles linked to the cross-border offsetting of losses and profits, as well as for transfer pricing and cross-border merger and acquisition and restructuring operations and will complete the achievements of an internal market with fair competition;

6.   Points out that some Member States apply various methods for the elimination of double taxation, either by crediting taxes paid abroad (the credit method) or by exempting foreign income from the tax base (the exemption method); notes that only some of the Member States applying the exemption method do not provide for relief on losses incurred by foreign branches;

7.   Draws attention to the fact that where losses incurred by permanent establishments may not be set off against the profits of a head office there is a difference in treatment in comparison with a purely domestic situation which constitutes an impediment to the freedom of establishment;

8.   Considers that action in favour of groups of companies that conduct business in several Member States should be a priority, as that it is precisely those groups that suffer from different treatment as regards cross-border losses, compared to groups of companies that conduct business in a single Member State;

9.   Takes the view that the distortions arising from the difference in national systems penalise SMEs in particular in comparison with their potential competitors and therefore asks the Commission to adopt specific measures in that area;

10.   Recalls that few overall arrangements exist for loss relief between subsidiaries and parent companies (groups) across borders and that, therefore, within a group of companies, losses are not taken into account automatically in the same way as within a company;

11.   Points out that the majority of Member States provide for domestic loss relief for groups, thereby treating them effectively as one entity, but that few do so as regards cross-border situations; recalls that the lack of cross-border group relief can distort investment decisions regarding both its location and legal form (branch or subsidiary);

12.   Acknowledges that simply extending domestic regimes to cross-border situations is difficult as the tax bases are different;

13.   Urges that the relevance of cross-border loss relief must be acknowledged although it should be pointed out that further in-depth elaboration is necessary as regards the cross-border loss relief scheme; suggests that a decision should be taken as to whether cross-border loss relief should be limited to subsidiaries as regards their parent company or vice versa and that a thorough assessment should therefore be made of the budgetary effects of the scheme whereby the subsidiaries' profits are allowed to set off the parent company's losses;

14.   Regards the judgment of the Court of Justice in the Marks & Spencer case as deferring to Member States' right to maintain their tax systems, especially as regards concerns of tax avoidance;

15.   Notes that the judgment of the Court of Justice in the Oy AA case shows that the different national tax systems vary in their treatment for losses and that it is thus unclear if the losses can be consolidated within a group in all cross-border situations even when the losses are final and thus result in a disproportionate situation as indicated by the Marks & Spencer case;

16.   Believes that corporate groups should be treated as far as possible in the same way whether they are present in several Member States or in a single Member State only; stresses that in situations involving cross-border losses by foreign subsidiaries, double-taxation of the parent company must be avoided, fiscal competence must be fairly distributed between Member States, losses may not be offset twice and tax avoidance must be prevented;

17.   Considers that it would be useful to launch a debate on the definition and characteristics of corporate groups in the European Union, taking into account the existence of common European institutions such as the 'European company' and the 'European cooperative society', without the intention, however, of limiting the scope of cross-border loss relief measures exclusively to such institutions;

18.   Reiterates the importance of defining the concept of 'corporate group' in order to prevent firms from opportunistically distributing profits and losses among Member States; considers that, for the purpose of defining a corporate group, it might be useful to identify specific critical features within the undertaking such as foreseen in the Directive 94/45/EC on the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees;

19.   Welcomes the three options proposed in the Commission communication on Tax Treatment of Losses in Cross-Border Situations; signals its support for targeted measures which would enable the effective and immediate deduction of losses by foreign subsidiaries (on an annual and not simply terminal basis, as in the Marks and Spencer case) which would be recaptured once the subsidiary returns to profit through a corresponding additional tax on the parent company;

20.   Recommends, in order that those proposals can be implemented in such a way as to prevent tax evasion, considering whether it would be appropriate to establish an automatic information exchange system, similar to the VIES for VAT, so that the Member States can check the existence of negative tax bases declared by subsidiary companies in other Member States;

21.   None the less, urges the Commission to investigate further the possibilities of providing companies with a consolidated corporate tax base for their EU-wide activities;

22.   Notes that a further thorough analysis is of great importance with respect to assessing the extent to which the proposed cross-border loss relief scheme could promote the cross-border activity of SMEs;

23.   Points out that any targeted measure concerning the tax treatment of losses in cross-border situations put in place by individual Member States will not, alone, solve the problem of distortion of competition and high compliance costs for EU undertakings operating in the internal market, which derive from the maintenance of 27 different tax systems;

24.   Underlines the need for Member States to proceed in a coordinated manner when introducing targeted measures for the relief of cross-border losses within one company or group; recalls the need for stronger coordination on tax matters between Member States and calls on the Commission to take on a proactive role;

25.   Supports the Commission's efforts to establish a pan-European and uniform CCCTB; notes that the CCCTB will lead to greater transparency and efficiency by enabling companies to operate on the same rules abroad as at home, creating a level playing field and enhancing the competitiveness of EU undertakings, increasing cross-border trade and investment thus creating the conditions to reap the full benefits of the internal market as regards investment and growth, as well as significantly reducing administrative burdens and compliance costs and the possibility of tax evasion and fraud;

26.   Recalls that the CCCTB involves common rules regarding the tax base and does not in any way affect Member States' freedom to continue to set their own tax rates;

27.   Welcomes the Commission's intention to launch the CCCTB even in the framework of enhanced cooperation; points out, however, that this is a second-best solution as, in the absence of a comprehensive EU-wide system, the benefits of transparency and lower administrative costs may be partly mitigated;

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

(1) [1997] ECR I-2471.
(2) [2000] ECR I-11619.
(3) [2001] ECR I-1727.
(4) [2005] ECR I-10837.
(5) Judgment of 18 July 2007.
(6) OJ L 254, 30.9.1994, p. 64.
(7) OJ C 286E, 23.11.2006, p. 229.
(8) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0367 .


Community strategy 2007-2012 on health and safety at work
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European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2008 on the Community strategy 2007–2012 on health and safety at work (2007/2146(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0009 A6-0518/2007

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission communication on Improving quality and productivity at work: Community strategy 2007–2012 on health and safety at work (COM(2007)0062 ) and the accompanying Commission staff working documents (SEC(2007)0214 ), (SEC(2007)0215 ) and (SEC(2007)0216 ),

–   having regard to the EC Treaty, and in particular Articles 2, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 143 and 152 thereof,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union(1) and in particular Articles 27, 31 and 32 thereof,

–   having regard to the ILO conventions and recommendations in the field of health and safety at the workplace,

–   having regard to Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (framework directive)(2) and to its individual directives,

–   having regard to Directive 2000/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work(3) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2007/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 amending Council Directive 89/391/EEC, its individual Directives and Council Directives 83/477/EEC, 91/383/EEC, 92/29/EEC and 94/33/EC with a view to simplifying and rationalising the reports on practical implementation(4) ,

–   having regard to the Presidency conclusions following the meeting of the European Council on 8 to 9 March 2007,

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2002 on the Community strategy on health and safety at work 2002-2006(5) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 24 February 2005 on promoting health and safety at the workplace(6) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2006 with recommendations to the Commission on protecting European healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needlestick injuries(7) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 May 2007 on promoting decent work for all(8) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 November 2007 on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work(9) ,

–   having regard to its declaration of 29 March 2007 on hepatitis C(10) ,

–   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, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0518/2007 ),

A.   whereas there is a positive correlation between the quality of health and safety standards in the workplace and financial performance in terms of overall performance, absenteeism, staff turnover rates, workers' motivation, improved corporate image and productivity,

B.   whereas the most competitive economies have the best occupational health and safety (OHS) records, and that high levels of health and safety protection have a positive effect on public finances in terms of social security savings and higher productivity; whereas health and safety protection contributes not only to the productivity, performance and welfare of workers but also results in savings for the economy and for society as a whole,

C.   whereas more research on long-term effects of some working activities on health is necessary in order to better protect workers, as some illnesses appear only several years after the activity causing it was carried out,

D.   whereas it is worrying that the reduction in the number of cases of occupational accidents and diseases has not been evenly spread as certain categories of workers (e.g. migrants, workers with precarious contracts, women, younger and older workers), certain companies (notably small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises), certain sectors of activity (in particular construction, fisheries, agriculture and transport), and certain Member States present rates of occupational accidents and diseases much higher than the EU average,

E.   whereas OHS protection measures should consistently form a part of business culture, and whereas that culture should go hand in hand with the lifelong training of workers and managers,

F.   whereas a consistently implemented culture of OHS protection in a business can help implement health and safety procedures in an un-bureaucratic way and thus ensure effective health and safety protection,

G.   whereas rest periods are of paramount importance for a high standard of protection of workers' health and safety,

H.   whereas the ILO estimates that approximately 167 000 people died in the EU from work accidents or work-related diseases in 2006, and the Commission, in its communication on improving quality and productivity at work, estimates that each year 300 000 workers suffer permanent disability to differing degrees,

I.   whereas a genuine strategy on health and safety at work should be based on the right mix of the following: sufficient awareness of all, focused education and training, adequate prevention services and campaigns, social dialogue and participation of workers, adequate legislation and implementation, particular focus on specific groups, activity sectors and types of undertakings, efficient inspections and effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties,

J.   whereas ageing workers should maintain their health, work ability and employability for as long as possible and that measures should be adopted accordingly,

K.   whereas inspections play an important role in enforcing the existing legislation and therefore in preventing exploitation at the workplace, thus helping to promote the concept of decent work; considering that the inspectors must be supported by closer cooperation and exchange of information between inspectors in the Member States,

L.   whereas risk assessment at a business level cannot be considered as a one-off activity, but has to be carried out periodically and adapted to new circumstances and/or risks; whereas the failure to undertake risk assessments or the failure to undertake them in an appropriate manner is against the law and is one of the main causes for occupational accidents and diseases,

M.   whereas there are no statistics available regarding the negative effects of fires on health and safety at work,

N.   whereas healthcare workers are at risk of contracting more than 20 life-threatening viruses, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV/Aids,

O.   whereas one of the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy is an overall employment rate of 70 % as well as an employment rate of 60 % among women and 50 % among older workers by 2010, and whereas workers with chronic diseases or long-term illnesses often do not return to work although they are deemed fit to do so, and those who return to work are often faced with multiple discrimination, such as, for example, reduced income, and whereas this is particularly true for cancer patients as most recent studies show that one-fifth of former breast cancer patients do not return to work although they would be able to do so,

P.   whereas more women than men are employed in the 'black' labour market, without insurance, a fact which inevitably has significant consequences as regards the health and safety conditions under which they are employed,

Q.   whereas women and men do not constitute a homogenous group and therefore strategies and measures to improve OHS must be specifically adapted to particular work places, taking into account the fact that some factors might affect women and men differently,

1.   Welcomes the Commission's ambitious target of an average of a 25 % reduction in workplace accidents across the EU; recognises that the figure may vary from country to country due to differing points of departure, but considers that it is still important to have clear and well-targeted measures together with a timetable and financial commitments which can then be evaluated and assessed; in the absence of such measures, timetable and commitment, calls on the Commission to report to Parliament on progress at the half-way stage of its 2007-2012 strategy;

2.   Calls on the Commission and Member States to take due account of inequalities not just between Member States but also within individual Member States, and to commit to reducing them;

3.   Notes the Commission's proposals to use non-binding instruments where binding laws are not feasible or appropriate, allowing Member States the flexibility to find solutions that deliver the best health and safety outcomes in their particular circumstances;

4.   Welcomes the Commission's greater emphasis on regulatory simplification and reduction of administrative burdens, and points out that while simplification provides enhanced benefits to citizens, it helps employers and employees to focus on the practical management of health and safety to secure better outcomes; considers it to be of paramount importance that such simplification in no way undermines the level of protection offered to workers;

5.   Calls on the Commission to give priority in its strategy to those activities and/or industries which involve particular risks, such as metal-working, construction, electricity or forestry;

6.   Calls on the Commission to involve the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work (OSHA) more closely in this process, and, in particular, to ask it to submit an assessment of which industries have the highest risk of industrial accidents and occupational diseases and how such a risk can be effectively counteracted;

7.   Considers the Commission's strong focus on assisting SMEs to meet their health and safety obligations to be excellent and fully supports its approach;

8.   Regrets that the Commission's communication is silent on targets for the reduction of occupational diseases but understands the difficulty in measuring occupational diseases; therefore calls on the Commission to review the use and implementation of existing statistical procedures in order correctly to identify and measure occupational diseases, and, in particular, occupational cancers with a view to setting targets for their reduction; suggests that the Commission considers the option of replacing Commission recommendation 2003/670/EC concerning the European schedule of occupational diseases(11) with a directive;

9.   Emphasises the need to mainstream gender when dealing with issues concerning health and safety at work and welcomes the Commission's initiative to call for the preparation of unique methods of impact assessment in OHS with regard to gender specificity; criticises the Commission, however, for failing to take adequate account of gender mainstreaming in its communication or in either its "Objectives of the Community Strategy 2007-2012" or in its "Impact Assessments";

10.   Calls on the Commission to assess the availability of gender-disaggregated statistics at Community level on work-related fatal and non-fatal diseases;

11.   Urges the Member States to implement existing OHS directives in a more gender-sensitive way and to implement gender impact assessment of those directives;

12.   Stresses that the rehabilitation and reintegration of workers after ill health or an accident at work is vital and applauds the special focus on rehabilitation and reintegration called for in the national strategies; considers that it is important for governments to ensure in their health and safety strategies the obligation of job retention (through training, reallocation of tasks, etc) for people who have experienced physical or mental illness during their working lives;

13.   Calls on the Commission to collect more figures and data on workers with chronic diseases and to analyse their working conditions and to draw up a charter for the protection of the rights of cancer patients and people with other chronic diseases in the workplace and, with a view to requiring companies to make it possible for patients to continue in employment during their treatment and to return to the employment market after it has finished;

14.   Expresses deep concern regarding the excessively high rate of accidents among temporary, short-term and low-qualified workers, which in some Member States is at least double that of other workers, while recognising the correlation between those employment categories and their employment in higher risk industries such as construction; points out that Council Directive 91/383/EEC of 25 June 1991 supplementing the measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of workers with a fixed-duration employment relationship or a temporary employment relationship(12) establishes as a general rule that temporary workers have the same occupational health rights as those with a permanent contract but fails to establish specific mechanisms to make this principle workable in practice; calls on the Commission to address those shortcomings as a matter of urgency;

15.   Also notes the increasing number of atypical employment contracts and stresses that their conditions must not pose risks to the health and safety of employees and contractors;

16.   Asks for measures to observe the safety and health rights for women in atypical workplaces such as those who care for sick people at home;

17.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States fully to take account of the implications of demographic change on OHS; invites the Commission and the Member States in particular to reinforce preventive measures and to adopt measures intended to compensate physical decline, notably through ergonomics and workplace design, and through measures and incentives designed to maintain the motivation, capacities and health of ageing workers;

18.   Notes the scientifically proven link between growing stress at the workplace and the diseases it gives rise to, particularly chronic illnesses, cardiovascular diseases and musculoskeletal disorders;

19.  Considers that it is of the utmost importance to ensure better application of the existing legal instruments on OHS and therefore calls on the Commission and the Member States to use all available means in order to achieve this; measures to be considered should include:

   a) minimum requirements for the quality of preventive services and work inspection,
   b) tougher sanctions,
   c) a better assessment of legislative implementation,
   d) the exchange of best practices,
   e) a stronger culture of prevention and early warning systems including broadened access of society to information for OHS conditions at the work place,
   f) greater involvement of employees in the workplace,
   g) the stimulation of employers to fulfil their engagements in the field of OHS,
   h) a stronger use of social dialogue agreements;

20.   Considers that the Commission is severely lacking in resources in order properly to check the effective transposition and implementation of OHS directives; considers that the Commission should make use of all available means at its disposal, including a more widespread use of infringement proceedings;

21.   Notes that OHS protection should apply equally to all workers in the European Union, that such protection is ultimately founded on the fundamental right to physical integrity, and that opt-outs from OHS protection legislation jeopardise the health of workers and equal opportunities and may trigger a downward trend in such protection;

22.   Calls on the Commission to give the same commitment to impact assessments on health and safety at work as to those on the environment;

23.   Considers labour inspections to be an essential part of implementing health and safety legislation;

  a) therefore calls on the Commission to:
   i) provide the Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC) with the necessary resources to ensure that it can perform effectively, following an examination of how it can be best effective and provide the best value;
   ii) further develop knowledge sharing systems to ensure an effective response to requests for information and cooperation;
   iii) initiate evaluation research on the efficiency and impact of inspection activities proposed by the SLIC with a view to putting into place common quantitative and qualitative inspection objectives, thereby encouraging the use of inspectorates as facilitators in creating an efficient and effective health and safety culture throughout the workforce;
   iv) introduce ways of evaluating national inspection systems, notably by establishing scoreboards;
  b) and calls on the Member States to:
   i) provide adequate staff and financial resources for their national inspectorates,
   ii) increase the density of labour inspectors, to ensure at the very least a ratio of 1 to 10 000 workers, in line with ILO recommendations,
   iii) increase the quality of labour inspectors through providing more multi-disciplinary training in areas such as psychology, ergonomics, hygiene, environmental risks and toxicology,
   iv) focus inspections on priority areas, sectors and undertakings with high risks of accidents and with high levels of vulnerable groups such as migrant workers, temporary agency workers, low-skilled, young and ageing workers and workers with disabilities;

24.  Recognises that prevention is of central importance and calls upon the Commission, in its strategy, to:

   a) ensure that employers recognise and fulfil their responsibilities in providing appropriate preventive services in all workplaces, while acknowledging that a responsible attitude from employees to their own health and safety is also important;
   b) encourage prevention services to be fully multidisciplinary and reflect the hierarchy of measures provided for in Directive 89/391/EEC;
   c) stress that risk assessment should be a continuous ongoing process and not a one-off obligation, with full involvement of the employee;
   d) ensure that as far as possible preventive activities are carried out in-house;
   e) ensure that health surveillance goes hand in hand with prevention;
   f) adapt its health and safety at work legislation on a regular basis to reflect technological advances;

25.   Underlines the importance of Member States ensuring that access to technical documents and norms concerning health and safety at the work place at a national level is free of charge;

26.   Congratulates the Commission on its proposals on education and training contained in its Communication and considers this to be a key factor in developing a preventive culture and that furthermore it should be a continuous and ongoing process adapted to the new technological situation at the workplace, which also applies to those workers that return to the workforce after illness or career breaks due to family care responsibilities;

27.   Considers that tailored vocational training and retraining in the field of health and safety at work must be offered to employees and health and safety representatives with specific attention paid to sub-contracting, temporary work, part-time work, women, and migrant workers; considers that national and EU funds must continue to be used in this respect;

28.   Considers that employers should be obliged to facilitate medical examinations for day workers and people with part-time employment contracts;

29.   Calls on the Commission fully to use the existing Community funds (notably the European Social Fund) on issues related to health and safety (prevention and development of a prevention culture, awareness raising, vocational training, lifelong learning, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers having suffered from an occupational accident or disease) and addressed in particular to SMEs; calls on the Commission to allocate other Community funds (for example funds from the 7th Framework Programme on Research) and national funds to research on occupational diseases;

30.   Considers it important, bearing in mind the increased risk to which workers are exposed in the mining, metallurgical, steelmaking and shipbuilding sectors, for the Member States and the Commission to allocate the requisite funds for the necessary investments to guarantee health and safety at work;

31.   Asks the Member States and the Commission to ensure a systematic gender-sensitive approach, when developing national and Community OHS strategies and when collecting statistics, conducting surveys and carrying out OHS research; calls on the Member States and the Commission to make use of the funding possibilities provided in this regard by the PROGRESS programme, in particular under the section concerning gender equality;

32.   Invites the Member States to evaluate the adoption of financial incentives to promote health and safety in the work place, notably tax rebates or preference in call for tenders for safe enterprises and health and safety certified businesses, introduction of a 'no-claims discount' system in insurance policies and social security contributions, and financial incentives to replace obsolete or unsafe equipment;

33.   Furthermore, suggests that Member States consider the possibility of incorporating certain health and safety standards when awarding public contracts;

34.   Considering the ongoing social and economic changes, which influence and change also the labour market, calls on the Commission to encourage good employment policies and decent work conditions and to encourage employers to promote healthy lifestyles at the workplace through occupational health promotion campaigns, enforcement of smoking bans at the workplace and schemes to support smoking employees to quit smoking and to ensure responsibility and policy coherence with other areas, especially public health;

35.   Calls on the Commission to initiate a revision of Council Directive 92/85/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the health and safety at work of pregnant workers and women who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding(13) ;

36.   Considers that the health problems related to exposure to asbestos are well known and that the European regulation on asbestos is adequate; underlines the fact that asbestos-initiated diseases in Europe are forecasted to be very high for many years ahead; therefore calls on the Commission to organise a hearing on how to tackle the huge OHS problems related to existing asbestos in buildings and other constructions such as ships, trains and machinery; also calls on Member States to draw up national action plans on phasing out asbestos, including obligations to map asbestos in buildings and provide for the safe removal of asbestos;

37.   Regrets that, despite Parliament's repeated and specific requests, the Commission has yet to propose amending Directive 2000/54/EC with a view to addressing the serious risks to health care workers arising from working with needles and medical sharps; calls on the Commission to expedite the completion of the impact assessment via the Tender (2007/S 139-171103) and calls for an appropriate amendment to be adopted well before the end of the legislature in mid-2009 in line with its abovementioned resolution on protecting European healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needlestick injuries; calls on to the Commission to implement appropriate prevention and screening measures to reduce the risk of contracting blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis C;

38.   Calls on the Commission to take the lead in developing and agreeing an EU code of practice on the prevention of healthcare associated infections;

39.   Calls on the Commission to improve health and safety in healthcare settings, including care homes, by initiating measures to encourage routine screening of healthcare staff to enable early detection and treatment to reduce occupationally acquired or occupationally communicable infections, such as MRSA;

40.   Welcomes the requirement for Member States to draw up national strategies; stresses that these strategies should cover the same period of time and begin on the same year so as to facilitate the comparison of both the national strategies and their results and that they should also set clear and measurable targets and have a special focus on SMEs and on vulnerable groups such as migrant workers, young and ageing workers, women, temporary agency workers and workers with disabilities;

41.   Underlines the fact that it is essential that the workplace be made accessible and safe for workers with disabilities through the provision of reasonable accommodation, the provision of special equipment adapted to individual needs and through the provision of those health services needed by people with disabilities, specifically because of their disability, including services designed to minimise and prevent further disabilities;

42.   Asks both the Commission and the Member States to apply and enforce the framework directive and the existing health and safety provisions fully and irrespective of their legal status to all workers and amend current legislation for certain at-risk professions if it has proven ineffective including those often ignored such as farm workers, healthcare workers, professional drivers, domestic workers, home workers, and the military where appropriate; as well as ensuring the full application and enforcement of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation(14) ; also asks the Commission and the Member States to consider all available options to extend EU health and safety provisions to the self-employed and to sheltered employment services offered to people with disabilities;

43.   Calls on the Member States to give serious consideration to the different risks relating to OHS for female and male employees and to make provision for different social and physical infrastructure to counter those risks;

44.   Stresses that the need to analyse the risks that women and men face and take appropriate measures does not mean the reintroduction of protective policies of exclusion or developing different jobs for women and men;

45.   Considers that while an employer's safety obligation is limited strictly to those he is legally bound to by an employment contract, in order to incorporate health and safety policy into CSR policy employers should be encouraged, where possible, to examine the health and safety policies of their subcontractors and the subcontracting chain;

46.   Awaits the outcome of the second phase of consultation of the social partners on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and asks the Commission to assess the option of proposing a directive given the increasing occurrence of MSDs and that the current legislation appears to be inadequate as it does not address all work situations or cover all risks concerning work-related MSDs; calls for scientific principles to be fully taken into account;

47.   Awaits the outcome of the second phase of consultation of the social partners on the revision of the 2004 carcinogens directive and considers that the preferred option might be to amend that directive to include substances toxic for reproduction and to propose a revision of the binding occupational exposure limit values (BOELVs) for carcinogens and mutagens listed in the directive and to establish new BOELVs for some carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxins not yet included in the directive;

48.   Recalls that threats to health and safety at work are not limited to manual labour; calls for more attention to the causes underlying the development of mental illnesses and to mental health, addiction and psychological hazards at the workplace, such as stress, harassment and mobbing, as well as violence and further calls for greater emphasis to be placed on employer policies for the promotion of good physical and mental health;

49.   Considers it essential for there to be greater coordination with the new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki and for a number of issues arising in connection with the relationship between Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)(15) and the other directives concerning health at work to be clarified;

50.   Calls on the Commission and Member States to take due account of the simultaneous implementation of the Community strategy and the REACH Regulation: the strategy should seek to complement the REACH Regulation on protection against chemical hazards and should take advantage of the opportunity to enhance preventive action against chemical hazards at the workplace in connection with the implementation of REACH;

51.   Welcomes the recent conclusion of the framework agreement between the social partners on harassment and violence in the workplace; regrets, however, that this agreement does not explicitly cover the issue of third-party violence; therefore calls on the social partners to consult on this issue;

52.   Highlights the difficult working conditions for many lorry drivers driving through Europe due to insufficient access to adequate rest facilities: Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, on driving and rest time(16) explicitly recognises the importance of a sufficient number of safe and secured rest facilities for professional drivers along the EU motorway network; therefore urges the Commission to follow up the pilot project for secured parking areas initiated by Parliament taking account of the recommended measures in the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on safe and secure parking places(17) ;

53.   Calls on the Commission to undertake research into the feasibility and benefits both to health and safety at work and to society as a whole of requiring all new buildings intended to be workplaces to install fire sprinklers where it is safe to do so;

54.   Stresses the importance of a continuous dialogue between all interested parties including the public authorities, employers, employees, their representatives and civil society as a key tool in the effective development of high health and safety standards; this dialogue should lead to a better knowledge of the real risks for the health and safety of workers as well of the specific needs and requirements of certain groups of workers at business and sector levels and to an exchange of good practices;

55.   Urges Member States to ensure proper representation of women in decision-making in relation to OHS at all levels;

56.   Considers Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to be one of the effective tools to enhance competitiveness, OHS and the working environment and in this aspect encourages the exchange of good practices at local, national and European level among the Member States and globally at multinational level as well as further applying of CSR on a voluntary basis, but as an integrated part of business strategies for development;

57.   Considers that employee representation is of major importance to any workplace health and safety policy; considers the positive correlation between the existence of health and safety representatives in the workplace and improved performance cannot be underestimated and calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the participative approach and ensure as many workers as possible have access to health and safety representatives;

58.   Considers that excessive working hours/insufficient rest periods are a key factor in increased levels of accidents and illnesses at work and calls for a proper balance of work and family life;

59.   Congratulates the OHSA and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions for the work carried out to date and takes the view that the expertise and powers of these bodies must be fully exploited; considers that those bodies should continue to be used as instruments for awareness-raising, collection, analysis and exchange of information, exchange of good practices and investigation to anticipate new and emerging risks, whether caused by social change or linked to technical innovation;

60.   Considers that it is vital to identify and monitor new and emerging risks – e.g. psychosocial risks; therefore congratulates the OHSA's risk observatory for its work and calls on the Commission to act on its findings and come forward with the necessary proposals when new risks are identified;

61.   Recommends to the Member States that they implement the necessary measures so that work in harsh or dangerous conditions is reflected in the social protection rights of the persons concerned, both while they are working and after retirement;

62.   Recommends that the OHSA conduct specific research into the particular problems and risks facing temporary and agency workers as well as those in subcontracted undertakings in order to facilitate the Commission and the Member States in combating the risks faced and properly implement the existing legislation concerning these groups, while recognising the type of work engaged in by these groups, such as construction, in certain Member States is by its nature more prone to accidents;

63.   Takes the view that in a global environment, it is necessary to cooperate with international organisations such as the WTO, the WHO and the ILO, and to ensure that international conventions and agreements on OHS are adopted and implemented by all parties; considers that this is an important factor in maintaining the EU's competitiveness and avoiding the transfer of EU undertakings to third countries in search for a more permissive health and safety environment; considers, furthermore, that this is a question of protecting human rights and should therefore be addressed when negotiating with third countries;

64.   Therefore calls on Member States to respect international provisions on health and safety and in particular to ratify ILO Convention C-187 and to implement recommendation R-197;

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

(1) OJ C 303, 14.12.2007, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 262, 17.10.2000, p. 21.
(4) OJ L 165, 27.6.2007, p. 21.
(5) OJ C 300 E, 11.12.2003, p. 290.
(6) OJ C 304 E, 1.12.2005, p. 400.
(7) OJ C 303 E, 13.12.2006, p. 754.
(8) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0206 .
(9) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0501 .
(10) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0102 .
(11) OJ L 238, 25.9.2003, p. 28.
(12) OJ L 206, 29.7.1991, p.19.
(13) OJ L 348, 28.11.1992, p. 1.
(14) OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16.
(15) OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(16) OJ L 102, 11.4.2006, p. 1.
(17) OJ C 175, 27.7.2007, p. 88.

Last updated: 15 September 2008Legal notice