Index 
Texts adopted
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - StrasbourgFinal edition
European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) – application EGF/2011/020 ES/Comunidad Valenciana – Footwear, Spain
  Resolution
  Annex
 Draft Amending Budget No 2/ 2012: EU Solidarity Fund appropriations to address flooding in Italy (Liguria and Tuscany) in 2011
 Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund - floods in Liguria and Tuscany
  Resolution
  Annex
 Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: EGF/2012/000 TA 2012 - Request for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission
  Resolution
  Annex
 Development cooperation with Latin America
 Cross-border voluntary activities in the EU
 Critical information infrastructure protection: towards global cyber-security
 Energy policy cooperation with partners beyond our borders

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) – application EGF/2011/020 ES/Comunidad Valenciana – Footwear, Spain
PDF 101k   DOC 45k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2012 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2011/020 ES/Comunidad Valenciana footwear from Spain) (COM(2012)0204 – C7-0112/2012 – 2012/2089(BUD) )
P7_TA(2012)0231 A7-0189/2012

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2012)0204 – C7-0112/2012 ),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1) (IIA of 17 May 2006), and in particular point 28 thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund(2) (EGF Regulation),

–   having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 28 of the IIA of 17 May 2006,

–   having regard to the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0189/2012 ),

A.   whereas the European Union has set up the appropriate legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns and to assist their reintegration into the labour market,

B.   whereas the scope of the EGF was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis,

C.   whereas the Union's financial assistance to workers made redundant should be dynamic and made available as quickly and efficiently as possible, in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission adopted during the conciliation meeting on 17 July 2008, and having due regard for the IIA of 17 May 2006 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the EGF,

D.   whereas Spain has requested assistance for 876 redundancies, all targeted for assistance, in 146 enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 15 (‘Manufacture of leather and related products’)(3) in the NUTS II region of Comunidad Valenciana (ES52) in Spain,

E.   whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria laid down by the EGF Regulation,

1.   Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in Article 2(b) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Spain is entitled to a financial contribution under that Regulation;

2.   Notes that the Spanish authorities submitted the application for EGF financial contribution on 28 December 2011 and that its assessment was made available by the Commission on 4 May 2012; welcomes the fact that the evaluation process and submission of additional information by the Member State were speedy and accurate;

3.   Notes that the footwear sector represented 26 % of the total employment in the region of Comunidad Valenciana and therefore was an important contributor to local economy, which is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises in traditional sectors like textile, shoes and ceramics;

4.   Notes that the region of Comunidad Valenciana has been hit in the past by four mass dismissals and welcomes the fact that the region decided to use the EGF support to address those redundancies: EGF/2009/014 ES/Valencia - Ceramic industry, EGF/2010/005 ES/Valencia - Stone marble, EGF/2010/009 ES/Valencia - Textile sector, EGF/2011/006 ES/Comunidad Valenciana - Construction sector; welcomes the fact that the region is building on the experience with the EGF and has quickly assisted workers in several sectors;

5.   Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Spanish authorities decided to start the implementation of the measures ahead of the final decision on granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

6.   Recalls the importance of improving the employability of such workers by means of tailored training and recognition of skills and competences gained throughout the professional career; expects the training on offer in the coordinated package to be tailored to the level and needs of the dismissed workers;

7.   Notes that the training measures target high-added value jobs in the footwear sector, which according to the Spanish authorities are unlikely to relocate, as well as jobs in sectors which offer prospects for growth in the short or medium-term;

8.   Welcomes the fact that the social partners were consulted on the content of the coordinated package, allocation of roles and distribution and scheduling of tasks;

9.   Highlights the fact that lessons should be learned from the preparation and implementation of this and other applications addressing mass dismissals in a high number of SMEs in one sector, in particular in terms of the eligibility of self-employed persons and owners of the SMEs for EGF support in the future regulation and in terms of the arrangements used by the regions and the Member States to come up quickly with sectoral applications covering a large number of enterprises;

10.   Requests the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural and budgetary arrangements in order to accelerate the mobilisation of the EGF; appreciates the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following Parliament's request for accelerating the release of grants, aimed at presenting to the budgetary authority the Commission's assessment on the eligibility of an EGF application together with the proposal to mobilise the EGF; hopes that further improvements in the procedure will be integrated in the new Regulation on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014–2020) and that greater efficiency, transparency and visibility of the EGF will be achieved;

11.   Recalls the institutions' commitment to ensuring a smooth and rapid procedure for the adoption of the decisions on the mobilisation of the EGF, providing one-off, time-limited individual support geared to helping workers who have been made redundant as a result of globalisation and the financial and economic crisis; emphasises the role that the EGF can play in the reintegration of workers made redundant into the labour market;

12.   Stresses that, in accordance with Article 6 of the EGF Regulation, it should be ensured that the EGF supports the reintegration of individual redundant workers into employment; further stresses that the EGF assistance can co-finance only active labour market measures which lead to long-term employment; reiterates that assistance from the EGF must not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies by virtue of national law or collective agreements, nor measures restructuring companies or sectors; deplores the fact that the EGF might provide an incentive for companies to replace their contractual workforce with a more flexible and short-term one;

13.   Notes that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the EGF includes information on the complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds; reiterates its call to the Commission to present a comparative evaluation of those data in its annual reports in order to ensure full respect of the existing regulations and that no duplication of Union-funded services can occur;

14.   Welcomes the fact that following repeated requests from Parliament, the 2012 budget shows payment appropriations of EUR 50 000 000 on the EGF budget line 04 05 01; recalls that the EGF was created as a separate specific instrument with its own objectives and deadlines and that it therefore deserves a dedicated allocation, which will avoid there being transfers from other budget lines, as happened in the past, which could be detrimental to the achievement of the policy objectives of the EGF;

15.   Regrets the decision of the Council to block the extension of the ‘crisis derogation’, which allows provision of financial assistance to workers made redundant as a result of the current financial and economic crisis in addition to those losing their job because of changes in global trade patterns, and which allows an increase in the rate of Union co-financing to 65 % of the programme costs, for applications submitted after the 31 December 2011 deadline, and calls on the Council to reintroduce this measure without delay;

16.   Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

17.   Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union ;

18.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2011/020 ES/Comunidad Valenciana footwear from Spain)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2012/354/EU.)

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 406, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(3) Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 establishing the statistical classification of economic activities NACE Revision 2 and amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 as well as certain EC regulations on specific statistical domains (OJ L 393, 30.12.2006, p. 1).


Draft Amending Budget No 2/ 2012: EU Solidarity Fund appropriations to address flooding in Italy (Liguria and Tuscany) in 2011
PDF 72k   DOC 36k
European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2012 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 2/2012 of the European Union for the financial year 2012, Section III – European Commission (09916/2012 – C7-0123/2012 – 2012/2057(BUD) )
P7_TA(2012)0232 A7-0181/2012

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in particular Article 314 thereof and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Article 106a thereof,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(1) , and in particular Articles 37 and 38 thereof,

–   having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, as definitively adopted on 1 December 2011(2) ,

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

–   having regard to Draft amending budget No 2/2012 of the European Union for the financial year 2012, which the Commission presented on 16 March 2012 (COM(2012)0125 ),

–   having regard to the position adopted by the Council on 15 May 2012 on Draft amending budget No 2/2012 (09916/2012 – C7-0123/2012 ),

–   having regard to Rules 75b and 75e of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0181/2012 ),

A.   whereas Draft amending budget No 2/2012 relates to the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) for an amount of EUR 18 061 682 in commitment and payment appropriations to mitigate the effects of flooding in Italy (Liguria and Tuscany) in October 2011,

B.   whereas the purpose of Draft amending budget No 2/2012 is to formally enter this budgetary adjustment into the 2012 budget,

C.   whereas Draft amending budget No 2/2012, as presented by the Commission, proposed an increase in the level of payment appropriations, in the absence of any source of possible redeployment of the required payment appropriations at this early stage in the year,

D.   whereas Council amended Commission's proposal following the identification by the latter of possible sources for redeployments for the required amount, as presented in its transfer request DEC 9/2012,

1.   Takes note of Draft amending budget No 2/2012, as presented by the Commission, and of the Council position thereon;

2.   Considers of great importance the quick release of financial assistance through the EUSF for those affected by natural catastrophes, and therefore greatly deplores, for the specific case addressed by Draft amending budget No 2/2012, that the other branch of the budgetary authority has waited 8 weeks before adopting its position, sticking to its interpretation of Protocol 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (deadline for national parliaments' information);

3.   Calls on all involved parties in the Member States, both at local and regional level, and national authorities to improve assessment of needs and the coordination for future potential applications to mobilise the EUSF with a view to accelerating, as much as possible, that mobilisation;

4.   Approves the Council position on Draft amending budget No 2/2012;

5.   Instructs its President to declare that Amending budget No 2/2012 has been definitively adopted and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

6.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 56, 29.2.2012.
(3) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund - floods in Liguria and Tuscany
PDF 73k   DOC 35k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2012 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with point 26 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (COM(2012)0126 – C7-0078/2012 – 2012/2051(BUD) )
P7_TA(2012)0233 A7-0182/2012

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2012)0126 – C7-0078/2012 ),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1) , and in particular point 26 thereof,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund(2) ,

–   having regard to the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, adopted during the conciliation meeting on 17 July 2008 on the Solidarity Fund,

–   having regard to the letter of the Committee on Regional Development,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0182/2012 ),

1.   Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2.   Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

3.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with point 26 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2012/366/EU.)

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: EGF/2012/000 TA 2012 - Request for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission
PDF 91k   DOC 43k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2012 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (EGF/2012/000 TA 2012 - Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission) (COM(2012)0160 – C7-0091/2012 – 2012/2058(BUD) )
P7_TA(2012)0234 A7-0187/2012

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2012)0160 – C7-0091/2012 ),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1) (IIA of 17 May 2006), and in particular point 28 thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund(2) (EGF Regulation),

–   having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 28 of the IIA of 17 May 2006,

–   having regard to the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0187/2012 ),

A.   whereas the European Union has set up the appropriate legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns and to assist their reintegration into the labour market,

B.   whereas the Commission implements the Fund in accordance with the general rules laid down by Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(3) and the implementing rules applicable to this form of implementation of the budget,

C.   whereas the Union's financial assistance to workers made redundant should be dynamic and made available as quickly and efficiently as possible, in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission adopted during the conciliation meeting on 17 July 2008, and having due regard for the IIA of 17 May 2006 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the EGF,

D.   whereas up to 0,35% of the annual EGF amount can be made available each year for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission, in order to finance monitoring, information, administrative and technical support, as well as audit, control and evaluation activities necessary to implement the EGF Regulation, as stipulated in Article 8(1) of that Regulation, including the provision of information and guidance for the Member States in using, monitoring and evaluating the EGF and providing information on using the EGF to the European and national social partners (Article 8(4) of the EGF Regulation),

E.   whereas, in accordance with Article 9(2), ‘Information and publicity ’, of the EGF Regulation, the Commission is obliged to set up an internet site, available in all Union languages, to provide and disseminate information on applications, highlighting the role of the budgetary authority,

F.   whereas, on the basis of those articles, the Commission requested that the EGF be mobilised in order to monitor applications received and paid and measures proposed and implemented, to expand the website, produce publications and audio-visual tools, to create a knowledge base, to provide administrative and technical support to Member States, and to prepare for the final evaluation of the EGF,

G.   whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria laid down by the EGF Regulation,

1.   Agrees with the measures proposed by the Commission to be financed as technical assistance in accordance with Article 8(1) and (4) as well as with Article 9(2) of the EGF Regulation;

2.   Notes that the Commission will start to prepare the final evaluation of the EGF; regrets, however, that the results will arrive too late to feed into the discussion on the new regulation for the EGF in 2014-2020, especially regarding the effectiveness of the use of the crisis derogation criterion, since the concerned EGF cases were not analysed in the EGF mid-term evaluation report;

3.   Believes that other savings could be made with regard to the administrative and technical support requested by the Commission;

4.   Interrogates the Commission on the impact and efficiency of the information tools funded by technical assistance in previous years; asks for reliable data on the use of those tools;

5.   Notes that the Commission will continue to work on the standardised procedures for simplified applications, faster processing of the applications and better reporting; asks the Commission to present the progress made following the use of technical assistance in 2011; recalls the need to shorten the application procedures;

6.   Recalls the importance of networking and exchange of information on the EGF; supports, therefore, the funding of the Expert Group of Contact Persons of the EGF; underlines further the importance to liaise all those involved in EGF applications, including the social partners, to create as many synergies as possible;

7.   Encourages the Member States to profit from the exchange of best practices and to learn particularly from those Member States that have already put in place national information networks on the EGF involving the social partners and stakeholders at local level with a view to having a good structure for assistance in place once mass redundancies might occur;

8.   Requests the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural and budgetary arrangements in order to accelerate the mobilisation of the EGF; appreciates, in this sense, the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following Parliament's request to accelerate the release of grants, aimed at presenting to the budgetary authority the Commission's assessment on the eligibility of an EGF application together with the proposal to mobilise the EGF; hopes that further improvements in the procedure will be made within the framework of the upcoming review of the EGF and that greater efficiency, transparency and visibility of the EGF will be achieved;

9.   Welcomes the fact that following repeated requests from Parliament, the 2012 budget shows payment appropriations of EUR 50 000 000 on the EGF budget line 04 05 01; recalls that the EGF was created as a separate specific instrument with its own objectives and deadlines and that it therefore deserves a dedicated allocation, which will avoid there being transfers from other budget lines, as happened in the past, which could be detrimental to the achievement of the policy objectives of the EGF;

10.   Regrets the decision of the Council to block the extension of the ‘crisis derogation’, which allows provision of financial assistance to workers made redundant as a result of the current financial and economic crisis in addition to those losing their job because of changes in global trade patterns, and which allows an increase in the rate of Union co-financing to 65% of the programme costs, for applications submitted after the 31 December 2011 deadline, and calls on the Council to reintroduce this measure without delay;

11.   Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

12.   Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

13.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (EGF/2012/000 TA 2012 - Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2012/408/EU.)

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 406, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.


Development cooperation with Latin America
PDF 176k   DOC 92k
European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2012 on defining a new development cooperation with Latin America (2011/2286(INI) )
P7_TA(2012)0235 A7-0159/2012

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the declarations of the six Summits of Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean and the EU that were held in Rio de Janeiro (28 and 29 June 1999), Madrid (17 and 18 May 2002), Guadalajara (28 and 29 May 2004), Vienna (12 and 13 May 2006), Lima (16 and 17 May 2008) and Madrid (17 and 18 May 2010),

–   having regard to the declaration adopted at the 21st Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Asunción (Paraguay) on 28 and 29 October 2011,

–   having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the results of the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, held in Copenhagen, the 16th Conference held in Cancun and the 17th Conference held in Durban;

–   having regard to the Monterrey Consensus (2002), the Conference on Financing for Development in Doha (2008), the Paris Declaration (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Change (2008),

–   having regard to the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations of 8 September 2000, which set the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the criteria jointly agreed by the international community for the eradication of poverty,

–   having regard to the Declaration and Action Plan adopted at the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in December 2011,

–   having regard to the preparatory process for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20),

–   having regard to the joint statement of the 14th ministerial meeting of the Rio Group and the EU held in Prague on 13 and 14 May 2009,

–   having regard to Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which stipulates that ‘Union development cooperation policy shall have as its primary objective the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty. The Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries’,

–   having regard to the European Consensus on Development(1) , in particular point 61 thereof, which recognises the importance of Middle-Income Countries in achieving the MDGs and shows the difficulties that these countries, as well as Middle-Upper Income Countries, face,

–   having regard to the Code of Conduct on Complementarity and Division of Labour of 2007,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the Council of the European Union of 8 December 2009 regarding EU-Latin America relations,

–   having regard to the Madrid Action Plan approved at the EU–LAC Summit of May 2010 and its 6 key areas: 1- Science, research, innovation and technology; 2- Sustainable development; environment; climate change; biodiversity; energy; 3- Regional integration and interconnectivity to promote social inclusion and cohesion; 4- Migration; 5- Education and employment; 6- Drugs,

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

–   having regard to the Commission document on regional programming for Latin America (2007-2013) of 12 July 2007 (E/2007/1417), and the mid-term review,

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission of 30 September 2009 entitled ‘The European Union and Latin America: Global Players in Partnership’ (COM(2009)0495 ),

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission of 15 September 2009 entitled ‘Policy Coherence for Development – Establishing the policy framework for a whole-of-the-Union approach’ (COM(2009)0458 ) and the conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 17 November 2009 regarding policy coherence for development (PCD), as well as the operational framework on aid effectiveness,

–   having regard to the Commission Green Paper of 10 November 2010 entitled ‘EU development policy in support of inclusive growth and sustainable development – Increasing the impact of EU development policy’ (COM(2010)0629 ),

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission of 13 October 2011 entitled ‘Increasing the impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change’ (COM(2011)0637 ),

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 20 August 2009 entitled ‘GDP and beyond. Measuring progress in a changing world’ (COM(2009)0433 ),

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Preparation of the multi-annual financial framework regarding the financing of EU cooperation for African, Caribbean and Pacific States and Overseas Countries and Territories for the 2014-2020 period’ (COM(2011)0837 , SEC(2011)1459 , SEC(2011)1460 ),

–   having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Partnership Instrument for cooperation with third countries (COM(2011)0843 , SEC(2011)1475 , SEC(2011)1476 ),

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission of 29 June 2011 entitled ‘A Budget for Europe 2020’ (COM(2011)0500 ) and the Commission working paper of the same date, entitled ‘A Budget for Europe 2020: the current system of funding, the challenges ahead, the results of stakeholders consultation and different options on the main horizontal and sectoral issues’ (SEC(2011)0868 ),

–   having regard to the joint communication from the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Global Europe: a new approach to financing EU external action’ (COM(2011)0865 ),

–   having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (COM(2011)0840 , SEC(2011)1469 , SEC(2011)1470 ),

–   having regard to the resolutions of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat), and specifically the resolutions adopted at the Fifth Ordinary Plenary Session held on 18 and 19 May 2011 in Montevideo, Uruguay, on the prospects for trade relations between the European Union and Latin America, and on employment protection and creation strategies, especially for women and young people, and on relations between the European Union and Latin America as regards security and defence,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 15 November 2001 on a global partnership and a common strategy for relations between the EU and Latin America(3) , of 27 April 2006 on a stronger partnership between the EU and Latin America(4) , and of 24 April 2008 on the fifth EU-Latin America and Caribbean Summit held in Lima(5) ,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 5 May 2010 on the EU strategy for relations with Latin America(6) , on EU-Latin America trade relations of 21 October 2010(7) , and on increasing the impact of EU development policy of 5 July 2011(8) ,

–   having regard to the study on a new EU development cooperation policy for Latin America: emphasis on social cohesion, regional integration and South-South cooperation (December 2011),

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0159/2012 ),

A.   whereas, as defined in the Treaty of Lisbon, the overall objective of development cooperation is to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable economic and social development, including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015;

B.   whereas the region is part of the group of middle-income countries that have achieved notable successes in reducing poverty ‐ from 44 % to 33 % in a single decade ‐ and inequality through economic growth and political and social reforms, but nevertheless, one in three Latin Americans still lives below the poverty line – 180 million people, of whom 52 million live on less than EUR 2 a day – and 10 countries in the region remain among the 15 most unequal countries in the world(9) ; whereas some countries have malnutrition rates above 20 % and 28 million citizens do not know how to read or write, with 44 million people outside the welfare systems;

C.   whereas the IMF estimated an average level of GDP growth of 4,5 % for Latin America in 2011, and at present there are some prospects of a global economic slowdown in 2012, with a high degree of uncertainty continuing to persist with regard to the impact in the region of the global economic and financial crisis;

D.   whereas middle-income countries are a driving force for development and regional integration, and a crisis in these countries hinders the progress of low-income countries in their regions;

E.   whereas the slowdown in the countries of the region is unequal, and in Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Suriname external aid continues to be one of the most important funding streams for development, along with the contributions of migrants' remittances, which comprise between 6 % and 25 % of the GDP of those countries;

F.   whereas the definition of a new cooperation policy must take account of the specific priorities and needs of each country and the EU must collaborate with all Latin American countries, and especially with the MICs, when leading the South-South Cooperation and the fight against poverty and for development at the regional and global level;

G.   whereas social cohesion has been a main objective of the Strategic Partnership since its launch at the Guadalajara Summit in 2004, because of the importance to the region of achieving a better redistribution of income and wealth, by means of appropriate policies that promote sustainable development and greater justice and social cohesion;

H.   whereas human rights, democracy and good governance are of particular relevance in the Agenda for Change; whereas Latin America is a continent where democracy is generally established, with which Europe shares democratic values and principles, and where it is necessary to support the governance and institutional structure of the state, which is threatened by violence and insecurity;

I.   whereas in MICs it will be more appropriate to redirect aid to increasing institutional and regulatory capacities, public policy design, support for social partners, and the mobilisation of resources in addition to ODA;

J.   whereas Latin America and the EU have formed a Bi-regional Strategic Partnership based on common values and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; whereas two of the EU's nine strategic partners in the world are in Latin America (Brazil and Mexico); whereas the EU is the principal investor and the second largest trade partner, as well as the principal donor of development aid, providing 53 % of the total Official Development Assistance (ODA) that the region receives;

K.   whereas most of the people in poverty around the world live in these Middle-Income Countries; whereas these countries often face significant inequalities and weak governance that endangers the sustainability of their own development process; whereas many middle-income countries play an important role in global policy, security and trade issues, producing and protecting global public goods, and acting as ‘anchor countries’ at the regional level; and whereas, beyond periods of economic prosperity, they remain vulnerable to global risks of an economic, environmental or security nature;

L.   whereas some countries of Latin America have begun to get involved in development cooperation efforts by means of regional cooperation and South–South cooperation (SSC) mechanisms;

M.   whereas Latin America cannot cease to be a priority for the EU, as is reflected in EU–Latin American bi-regional relations, where there have been considerable advances in recent years, such as the Association Agreements with Central America, Chile and Mexico, the multi-party trade agreement with Colombia and Peru, the negotiations with Mercosur, the Madrid Action Plan and the launch of the EU–LAC Foundation;

N.   whereas according to the European Consensus on Development, support for middle-income countries remains important in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals;

O.   whereas the EU, by means of the agreements made with partners in the region, including the Association Agreements and its development aid, should continue to provide significant support for the development and stabilisation process in the region; whereas the possibility that it may no longer do so when the results of this process are consolidated is a cause for serious concern;

P.   whereas the Commission's current proposal on DCI provides for the reduction of bilateral aid from the EU to the middle-income countries in Latin America, and basic services have disappeared from the list of priorities for the region;

Q.   whereas the budget allocation of the current Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) for Latin America reflects that it is the most financially neglected region in the structure of chapter IV of the EU budget in relation to other areas that receive European aid;

R.   whereas social cohesion has a broad dimension that involves combating poverty, reducing inequality, ensuring universal access to basic services such as health care, education, pensions and housing, the recognition and protection of social dialogue and labour rights; whereas there is a need for a fiscal compact that guarantees fairly the best distribution of resources;

S.   whereas China has become the third largest investor in Latin America and the main or even the only export market for certain products; whereas, therefore, the EU should play a more active role in order to strengthen its trade and investment relations with Latin American countries within the WTO system;

T.   whereas, regardless of the connotations that accompany the concept of social cohesion at European level or in Latin America, in both regions it can be understood as a guiding principle of public policies that permits development strategies to be oriented towards achieving the well-being of the entire population, thus avoiding polarisation, disaffection and loss of trust in democratic institutions;

U.   whereas the main challenges facing the donors in the region include policy coherence, as well as greater coordination and complementarity within the framework of a better division of labour, entailing greater concentration and predictability of aid;

V.   whereas wealth creation and the fight against poverty, inequality, exclusion and discrimination, especially against women, young people and minority ethnic groups, as well as the promotion of social cohesion and human rights, continue to be a key priority of the EU-Latin America strategic partnership;

W.   whereas the region offers disconcerting indicators in the fight against child and maternal mortality, and whereas gender equality and the political and economic empowerment of women are essential factors in order to reduce poverty;

X.   whereas the EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is a key instrument to enable developing countries to take a greater part in global trade and thereby generate additional export revenue to support economic growth and the implementation of development and poverty reduction policy strategies;

Y.   whereas the GDP index is inadequate as the sole indicator for measuring inequality and for making decisions on the allocation of EU development assistance with the main objective of eradicating poverty;

Z.   whereas Latin American countries export much less to their neighbours than do their counterparts in other continents; whereas the relatively low trade exchange is due to long distances, high tariffs, customs, separate trade agreements and inadequate infrastructure networks;

AA.   whereas education and training, as well as universal access to public health services, are of vital importance in the fight against poverty and the promotion of social cohesion;

AB.   whereas environmental degradation has a direct impact on the development of poverty; whereas Latin America is the planet's great environmental reserve, with Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Colombia among the world's most biodiverse countries, but at the same time is a continent particularly vulnerable to climate change;

AC.   whereas the improvement of tax collection is fundamental in order to build a competent state capable of supplying its people with basic services such as health, public sanitation and education;

AD.   whereas the most devastating effects of climate change and global warming affect Latin America and the Caribbean to a large extent, with the countries of the region being among the most vulnerable in the world; whereas natural disasters have caused a loss of 54 % of the regional GDP in Central America;

AE.   whereas the private sector is referred to explicitly as a key actor in the generation of sustainable development and the contribution to the social cohesion included in the Agenda for Change;

AF.   whereas the structured bi-regional and global dialogue on migration between the EU and Latin America is important, and it is important for the migration policies and practices of both regions to ensure respect for the fundamental rights of all migrants;

AG.   whereas some of the countries in Latin America are among the most violent in the world, and criminality associated with phenomena such as drug trafficking and organised crime, money-laundering, arms-trafficking and corruption, continues to be a serious problem in the region, posing a threat to its development;

AH.   whereas the Commission's proposal for the Partnership Instrument centres on the implementation of the EU 2020 Strategy in the region; whereas this proposal concentrates preferentially on its strategic partners and on emerging economies, while also having a global focus centred on global challenges and threats;

AI.   whereas the corruption linked to criminal networks that are specially dedicated to the distribution and trafficking of narcotics – and that penetrate institutions, distribute among themselves zones of territorial influence, and cause collateral damage – poses a threat to the democratic systems and the collective security of Latin America, giving rise to serious problems of instability and political governance;

1.   Recalls that, although the effects of the global economic and financial crisis on Latin America have been less severe than in other regions, inequality indices and poverty rates continue to be very high, and insufficient progress has been made towards achieving six of the MDGs;

2.   Stresses the need to enhance coordination between the European Union and Latin America in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly the actions aiming at combating poverty, at job creation and at the social inclusion of marginalised groups; stresses that the MDG aiming at a global partnership for development (MDG 8) should be at the centre of the EU's cooperation policy with Latin America, with areas being selected in which to implement the new strategy of ‘inclusive growth’ in these countries; emphasises that the EU-Latin America and Caribbean Foundation can play a significant role in achieving these objectives;

3.   Considers that economic and technological advances in some Latin American countries make it necessary to rethink the EU's bilateral development cooperation objectives; calls for cooperation to be redirected where it is needed the most to address poverty reduction; stresses that we face common challenges that we must tackle by strengthening multilateralism; underlines that the links between growth, trade, development and poverty reduction are neither simple nor automatic; in light of this, encourages the Commission in the context of the debate on the EU's future development cooperation policy to undertake a broad and deep reflection on the current development model, and to draw lessons from the past decades, with the aim of alleviating poverty and inequality effectively without reducing and limiting policy space;

4.   Believes that the EU's cooperation and development policy should be defined in close consultation with Latin America in order to achieve a sustainable, fair and well-balanced development policy towards the region;

5.   Points out that although aid can act as a leverage for Latin American countries, it is not enough to guarantee sustainable and lasting development; therefore calls on Latin American countries to strengthen and mobilise their domestic resources, set up transparent taxation systems and a form of fiscal governance that is exempt from corruption and fraud, involve the private sector, local governments and civil society effectively in the EU-Latin America agenda particularly through cooperation, technical assistance and the establishment of legal and fiscal training near local administrations, and boost their ownership of projects;

6.   Considers that the strong Asian investment especially in the deposits of raw materials, hydrocarbons and agricultural resources of many Latin American countries should persuade the European Union to rapidly and effectively reinforce its sustainable development aid in the region;

7.   Takes the view, given the need to balance the development policy between Latin America and the EU, that Latin America must make a special effort to promote its regional political, economic and trade integration;

8.   Stresses the need to tie progress in relations with Latin America to a coherent development policy; therefore considers it necessary to draw up cooperation instruments and objectives for each country, concentrating resources on the most vulnerable countries and improving PCD;

9.   Calls on the Commission and Council to maintain the volume of DCI cooperation for Latin America at one third of the total geographical amount for the period 2014-2020;

10.   Welcomes the principle of differentiation and concentration of aid proposed by the Commission; stresses that differentiation must be carried out gradually in the programming phase, as regards both the beneficiary countries and the actual tools of cooperation, developing other forms of cooperation more suited to MICs; recommends that the criteria for application of the principle of differentiation be objective and common to all countries;

11.   Notes that the differentiation approach should not result in a drastic decline in the region's importance in the outreach of the EU, which is and should behave like a global actor, being an active member of international society and not just the principal global donor; considers that otherwise the EU may condemn itself to irrelevance in entire regions, leaving a space open to the intervention of other global actors;

12.   Stresses that any possible reallocation of funds must benefit the geographical programmes for the eradication of poverty in the same region's LICs and LMICs;

The importance of MICs – the need for a differentiated approach

13.   Expresses its concern about the lack of rigour in the implementation of the established eligibility criteria contained in the Commission proposal on the DCI, which withdraws access to bilateral programmes from eleven LAC MICs; recalls that some countries of Latin America are among the most unequal in the world in terms of per capita income and that persistent inequality occurs in a context of low socio-economic mobility; stresses that they are a group of very heterogeneous countries and that differentiated cooperation should therefore be maintained, based on coordination and political dialogue;

14.   Considers that the message that the EU is sending to the region is very troubling, since, in practical terms, it is a declaration that it does not give it the importance that it deserves, in spite of the multiple political and trade commitments made and shared global interests;

15.   Underlines the need, as expressed in paragraph 66 of the European Consensus on Development, to give appropriate attention to MICs, especially to lower middle-income countries, many of which face problems similar to those of low-income countries;

16.   Calls on the Commission and Council to carry out an objective and transparent analysis within the framework of the differentiation principle with the aim of revising and broadening the indicators used to assess development, going beyond the income factor and interpreting the economic criteria in the light of other factors such as the poverty, vulnerability and ECHO crisis index, and the Gini and inequality coefficients; warns that the classification of countries according to level of income is based on calculations that conceal inequality and poverty;

17.   Stresses, taking account of those indicators, that the EU should continue bilateral cooperation under the future DCI, at least with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru;

18.   Asks the Commission to present a coherent strategy for gradual withdrawal of bilateral aid to MICs, which would permit them to strengthen their position as ‘graduates’ from aid, thus following the principle of predictability of aid recognised at the Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan;

19.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that this gradual withdrawal of bilateral aid, commencing when the new DCI enters into force, incorporates the following criteria:

   an explicit link between the objectives and the sectoral concentration of bilateral aid in order to strengthen social cohesion, especially through the co-financing of active policies and programmes to reduce inequality in terms of income and opportunities, as well as other more advanced programmes supporting competitiveness and promoting sustainable development, including the promotion of technological and scientific cooperation and innovation, as well as technical assistance, preferential access to regional and sub-regional thematic programmes, and to the Partnership Instrument that includes a guaranteed minimum amount; moves towards reimbursable aid and scholarship programmes;
   the definition of priorities through bilateral and bi-regional dialogue with national authorities and civil society;
   the continuation of bilateral cooperation during a transitional period adapted to the aid allocation indicators and the situation in each country, for a maximum transition period of four years;

20.   Stresses the need to boost the Partnership Instrument by over EUR 1 billion to foster the new shape of cooperation with MICs and upper MICs, ensuring that funds can be planned, quantified and scrutinised; stresses the need to ensure that it is an instrument that intensifies the EU's response to global challenges such as the fight against inequality, climate change, security, and the fight against drug trafficking;

Social cohesion and the fight against poverty

21.   Considers that the high levels of inequality and the lack of an effective social protection mechanism are the greatest obstacle to the consolidation of democracy and to fair and sustainable economic growth in the region, and therefore calls for greater attention to the link between democratic governability and social cohesion;

22.   Takes the view that the EU-LAC partnership's objective of social cohesion will be achievable only insofar as it generates a high level of development and fairness of income and wealth distribution, and that this objective requires ensuring the eradication of poverty through more just and progressive fiscal policies, strengthening tax-paying capacity and the fight against fraud and tax evasion;

23.   Stresses the importance of development aid through trade; notes that Latin America-EU trade exchanges are a crucial factor in alleviating poverty and ensuring wealth creation in both continents; warns against protectionist tendencies resulting from the current economic and financial crisis;

24.   Emphasises the importance of maintaining the 20 % target for education and health programmes and insists on the need to integrate gender equality into the labour market and into society in general; reiterates that education and investment in human capital are the foundation of social cohesion and socio-economic development; calls for the implementation of effective policies and adequate funding to fight illiteracy, the rate of which remains high in some countries in the region, in particular among girls and women, and for the promotion of access to non-fee-paying public education (at primary and secondary levels), which is often restricted owing to a lack of the necessary budgetary resources in some countries; in this context, supports the project drawn up by the Organisation of Ibero-American States (OEI), ‘Educational goals 2021: the education we want for the generation of the bicentenaries’;

25.   Underlines that, although coverage and spending on education in Latin America have improved in a sustained way during recent decades, the quality remains low and access unequal; points out the work done by the European Union through the Erasmus, Alban and Alfa programmes and asks the Commission to maintain the budgetary appropriation made to date;

26.   Stresses that the large differences in terms of academic performance in Latin America have continued to increase in recent years if comparisons are made based on rural and urban areas, the type of school (public or private), gender or socio-economic status, thus worsening the problem of lack of social cohesion;

27.   Stresses that social cohesion is closely linked to other policies such as trade, investment and finance; considers that the DCI must integrate social cohesion objectives more efficiently in its thematic, national and regional programming, mainly by supporting fairer fiscal, tax and social policies which promote equality, access to public services, decent work and the reform of the judicial system;

28.   Notes the importance of such programmes as EuroSocial, URB-AL and AL-INVEST; COPOLAD, as well as programmes to further dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Latin America for the establishment of management models on migration and development policies; notes that in the new DCI these programmes should be strengthened, exploring their potential in terms of triangular cooperation;

29.   Notes the need for the European Union, through the DCI, to provide the resources necessary for children to have better living conditions and to be able to fully develop their capacities and potential, primarily within nuclear families;

30.   Reiterates the importance of the EU–Latin America forum on social cohesion and asks that it be strengthened as a space for bi-regional political dialogue on social cohesion, through the promotion of more ambitious mechanisms and mechanisms for the coordination of cooperation in this field, and that social cohesion be encouraged on the agendas of the main international forums;

31.   Notes that the EU–LAC Foundation may play a relevant role in coordinating and supporting the actions and debates of civil society on the role of international cooperation in fostering social cohesion in the region;

Development policy coherence

32.   Recalls the importance of development cooperation policy, laid down in Article 208 of the TFEU, for the eradication of poverty, the promotion of economic and social rights, protection of the environment, good governance, and sustainable and inclusive development;

33.   Calls on the Commission to enhance the visibility of its projects conducted in the Latin American countries and make them more understandable to their citizens demonstrating the added value of cooperation with the EU;

34.   Points out that the EU's Association/Free Trade Agreements must not conflict with the objective of Policy Coherence for Development; accordingly, urges the Commission to ensure that development needs and concerns are properly reflected in trade-related chapters such as financial services, government procurement and intellectual property rights, and ensure through a strong mechanism the fulfilment of common standards on social, labour and environmental rights in any ongoing negotiation process or at the time of its revision;

35.   Regrets that the Commission's proposal for a regulation on a scheme of generalised tariff preferences ignores the strategic nature of relations with Latin America in that it deprives a large number of countries in the region of this instrument, essential though it is for the region's development;

36.   Asks the EEAS and the Commission to consolidate their efforts to pave the way towards a future, fully-fledged Association Agreement with the Andean Community, in the interest of the economic growth and social development of its constituent member states, and in line with the values, principles and objectives of the EU, which have always promoted Latin American integration;

37.   Calls on the EU to ensure that resources earmarked for development are not diverted;

38.   Considers that the conclusion of an EU Association Agreement with MERCOSUR could foster and increase cooperation and development between Latin America and the European Union, provided that it is based on the fair trade principle and the respect of international labour and environmental standards and the legal certainty principle for investments, and provided that partners also behave in a trustful way;

39.   Emphasises that the new DCI should foster the regional integration process; in this respect, recalls that the Association and the Multiparty Trade Agreements, if correctly focused taking into account asymmetries, may be a powerful incentive in its development and regional integration, but argues that the lack of coherence between policies jeopardises this process; urges the EU to ensure that any agreements concluded bilaterally do not undermine Latin America's integration process; notes also that while interregional relations have decreased to the benefit of bilateral relations, this shift towards bilateralism tends to increase the fragmentation and rivalry within Latin America's regional blocs;

40.   Stresses the need to establish within EU delegations focal points for PCD and the development of monitoring mechanisms in this field;

41.   Emphasises the importance for the European Union of developing a commercial policy that is more coherent with its development policies in order to ensure that trade will also be a vector for promoting fair and equitable social standards, particularly by including social clauses respecting human rights in Partnership Agreements;

42.   Underlines the importance of greater coherence in ODA and notes that the presence of the EU and of three Latin American countries in the G20 should contribute to a reconciling of positions that may make it possible for PCD to be implemented jointly;

43.   Recalls the obligation to respect the principle contained in Article 208 on PCD and avoid negative effects on the region that would arise from the exclusion of 11 countries from the EU's bilateral cooperation and the elimination of the trade preferences based on the SPG Plus regime;

44.   Recalls that civil society plays an important role in the consolidation of democracy and the shaping, implementation and scrutiny of development policies in Latin America; deplores the scant importance given to civil society in current cooperation programmes and the low level of resources allocated;

45.   Emphasises that, in keeping with the concept of democratic ownership, parliaments, local and regional authorities and civil society should be supported in their efforts to play their proper role in defining development strategies, holding governments to account, monitoring and assessing past performance and achieved results; underlines especially the importance of empowering Latin American parliamentarians by enhancing their role in decision making processes;

46.   Is therefore appalled that, in the newly negotiated Association Agreement and FTA with Latin American countries, civil society consultation is explicitly limited to issues related to the Sustainable Development chapter;

47.   Notes that support for civil society should continue to be one of the priorities of the next DCI; underlines that this support should be included in its country strategies and in the regional programmes, thus highlighting its decisive role in the fight against inequality, corruption and the scrutiny of the use of financial resources;

48.   Calls on the Commission to provide enhanced financial, technical and expertise support to the national parliaments' administrations of the Latin America countries within the regional strategy programmes in order to strengthen their efficiency, transparency and accountability, which is crucial if the parliaments are to play their proper role in the democratic decision making processes;

49.   Recalls that the European Consensus on Development notes, in paragraph 18, that ‘The EU will enhance its support for building capacity of non-state actors in order to strengthen their voice in the development process and to advance political, social and economic dialogue’; deplores the fact that the Green Paper on increasing the impact of EU development policy largely fails to explain how civil society will participate and be empowered in the EU's future development cooperation policy;

50.   Calls on the Vice-President / High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European External Action Service to ensure the unity, consistency and effectiveness of the EU's external action vis-à-vis Latin America, as stated in the Treaty of Lisbon;

Violence and crime

51.   Expresses its concern at the social impact of the high levels of crime and violence in the region, in particular feminicide; considers it necessary to define a new, more efficient strategy that will tackle this phenomenon as well as its economic, social and political causes;

52.   Asks the Commission to strongly support consultation processes of the local communities concerned by extractive projects; reiterates also, in this context, the importance of ensuring country-by-country reporting of extractive industries, as provided in the proposal for a directive on accounting and transparency, as a tool to clamp down on corruption, bribery and tax evasion;

53.   Recalls that criminality and insecurity have a large impact on the trust that citizens have in public and democratic institutions, as well as on the safeguarding of human rights;

54.   Recalls that one of the priority objectives of the European Union's external action is to encourage the strengthening of democratic systems and the defence of human rights around the world, and consequently in Latin America;

55.   Is concerned about the marked impact of the gender-based violence that occurs in the region;

56.   Asks the Commission to make the fight against impunity a priority of its development policy with Latin America, and to present by the end of 2012 a communication on that topic with chapters on judicial cooperation, on financial cooperation and information exchange, and on victims' protection;

57.   Expresses its concern about increased violence against women; asks the Commission to establish clear responsibilities within the EEAS and coordinate relevant actions of EU delegations with those of Member States' embassies in the countries at stake to convert the Declaration of June 2010 by the High Representative Catherine Ashton on feminicide into concrete policies allocated with sufficient resources;

58.   Asks the Commission to provide political and financial support to the work of the Inter-American System of Human Rights on the issue of feminicide and contribute to the implementation of its sentences;

59.   Urges the Vice-President / High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to consult with and debrief the European Parliament on the existing human rights dialogues, and to cooperate, in the context of the bi-regional partnership, in the search for remedies to eliminate feminicide and other forms of violence against women;

60.   Invites the Commission to actively take part in and regularly raise the topic within political dialogues, and in particular the existing human rights dialogues, and offer cooperation in the search for remedies to eliminate violence against women and feminicide in the context of the bi-regional partnership;

Climate change

61.   Expresses concern at the impact of climate change on sustainable development, protection of biodiversity, deforestation and agricultural production in Latin America;

62.   Insists that the EU should not promote or support large scale agrofuel production through its development cooperation, due to its negative impacts on food security, deforestation, access to land and the environment;

63.   Calls on local authorities of Latin American countries to pay special attention to the growing investments which can hinder the sustainable development and ecosystems of a country, especially in the framework of the negative impact of climate change;

64.   Recalls that climate change represents an additional burden for Latin America and that there is an urgent need to finance actions to combat, mitigate and adapt to climate change;

65.   Asks that the exchange of experience and information between the EU and Latin America be promoted within the framework of the EuroClima programme and of South-South cooperation, as agreed in the Madrid Action Plan; recalls the importance of education to environmental sustainability;

66.   Notes that although it has 30 % of the planet's water resources, the distribution of water in Latin America is very irregular and unequal; urges the Commission to maintain its assistance to partner countries in support of a better management of the supply and sanitation of water resources;

67.   Recalls the EU's commitment to contribute to increasing the role of sustainable energy as one of the vectors of sustainable development;

Private sector and infrastructure

68.   Notes that mechanisms such as the Latin American Investment Facility are meant to become increasingly important in EU development cooperation, the priorities of which are energy efficiency, renewable energy, transport, protection of biodiversity and support for SMEs, and underlines the potential importance of its role in promoting regional integration and the region's international competitiveness agendas; highlights the fact that civil society has a central and proper role to play in the scrutiny of development policies, but notes that there is no mechanism foreseen within the LAIF structure to ensure civil society representation and participation; accordingly, calls on the Commission to ensure that representation and participation by parliaments and civil society is guaranteed in order to ensure effective monitoring and follow-up of EU development cooperation funds;

69.   Emphasises the need to study further experiences with LAIF and insists that future projects must be subject, for their implementation, to clearly established and transparent monitoring mechanisms and to social and environmental impact studies;

70.   Points out in particular the importance of support for small and medium-sized enterprises because of their contribution to development, to the region's economic growth and to social and economic consolidation; underlines that SMEs are the main sources of job generation; expects that advancement of the corporate social responsibility activities of its European partners will also be necessary in order to further the objectives of the EU's inclusive growth policy;

71.   Underlines the urgent need to foster the construction of infrastructure in Latin America in order to sustain the current high rates of growth and encourage social inclusion; recommends the use of instruments such as the LAIF to support transportation, energy and telecommunications infrastructure projects, since the current investment by Latin American countries in these areas is very far below what is necessary; recalls that the use of ODA for these projects must be justified based on their contribution to reducing poverty, fostering social cohesion and the provision of high-quality public services for the population;

72.   Insists that the Commission needs to develop clear guidelines on a transparent decision-making process on the selection of projects and ensure coherence with the European Consensus on Development, the principle of country ownership and the EU's commitment to untie its aid;

73.   Insists on the need to focus grant and loan blending facilities on areas such as small scale and local energy and agriculture production and in favour of SMEs and private sector micro-enterprises in developing countries;

Differentiated cooperation: scientific and technological research

74.   Calls for cooperation with some MICs to be strengthened in the area of science, technology and innovation within the Horizon 2020 programme;

75.   Hopes that opening a rigorous dialogue on science, higher education and training, technology and innovation will boost the creation of a Euro-Latin American area of innovation and knowledge and help to boost competitiveness;

76.   Takes the view that temporary mobility of researchers and support for universities and research centres in such areas as health, food security, marine and maritime research, renewable energies and the fight against and adaptation to climate change should be promoted;

77.   Recalls that the European Union should better consider and exploit the major advantage represented by the geostrategic position of certain outermost regions of the Union located close to Latin America;

78.   Notes that enhancing the current work of research institutes on agriculture practices is fundamental for the development of the continent;

Promotion of Regional Cooperation, South-South Cooperation (SSC) and Triangular Cooperation

79.   Calls on the Commission to give more in-depth consideration to incorporating SSC into cooperation policy;

80.   Recalls that Latin America is the most dynamic region of the world as regards SSC, thus showing the important role of MICs as promoters of regional integration and international development objectives;

81.   Recalls that the EU does not have at present a clear strategic definition of SSC(10) that permits it to develop a more active policy in this field; underlines the need to establish indicators that show the social and economic impact of the various SSC and triangular models;

82.   Reiterates the importance of intra-regional trade exchanges and triangular cooperation and its key role in the achievement of the MDGs, the eradication of poverty, the promotion of employment and of gender equality, education, social cohesion, agriculture and sustainable development;

83.   Takes the view that bi-regional, SSC and triangular cooperation initiatives should be expanded in such sectors as science and research, sustainable development, the environment, climate change, energy, social cohesion, education and employment;

84.   Stresses the need to widen the EU-Latin America political dialogue at different levels, such as the Summits of Heads of States and the EUROLAT Parliamentary Assembly, as important tools for the development of political consensus; calls for measures to ensure that the political commitments undertaken at EU-Latin America Summits are accompanied by the allocation of the necessary financial resources;

85.   Recommends to the Eurolat Assembly and the EU–LAC Foundation that they grant SSC and triangular cooperation their due strategic importance in their work agenda;

86.   Considers that SSC and triangular cooperation should be one of the central themes of the 7th EU-LAC Summit in Chile, giving a clear response to the final conclusions of the Summit in Madrid;

o
o   o

87.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to the Council and the Commission, and to the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States and of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, the EU–LAC Foundation, the Euro–Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Latin American Parliament, the Central American Parliament, the Andean Parliament and the Mercosur Parliament.

(1) OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 41.
(3) OJ C 140 E, 16.3.2002, p. 569.
(4) OJ C 296 E, 6.12.2006, p.123.
(5) OJ C 259 E, 29.10.2009, p.64.
(6) OJ C 81 E, 15.3.2011, p. 54.
(7) OJ C 70 E, 8.3.2012, p. 79.
(8) Texts adopted P7_TA(2011)0320 .
(9) Data from ECLAC and OECD.
(10) Recalls that guidelines exist on this topic in relation to emerging economies, but it is a somewhat fragmented approach.


Cross-border voluntary activities in the EU
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European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2012 on recognising and promoting cross-border voluntary activities in the EU (2011/2293(INI) )
P7_TA(2012)0236 A7-0166/2012

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to Articles 165, 166 and 214 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–   having regard to Decision No 1719/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing the ‘Youth in Action’ programme for the period 2007 to 2013(1) ,

–   having regard to Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning(2) ,

–   having regard to Decision No 1904/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 establishing for the period 2007 to 2013 the programme ‘Europe for Citizens’ to promote active European citizenship(3) ,

–   having regard to Council Decision 2010/37/EC of 27 November 2009 on the European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship (2011)(4) ,

–   having regard to the Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 24 April 2006, on the recognition of the value of non-formal and informal learning within the European youth field (5) ,

–   having regard to the Council Resolution of 27 November 2007 on voluntary activities of young people (14427/1/2007),

–   having regard to the Resolution of the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 16 May 2007, on implementing the common objectives for voluntary activities of young people(6) ,

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 20 November 2008 on the mobility of young volunteers across the European Union(7) ,

–   having regard to Recommendation 2006/961/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on transnational mobility within the Community for education and training purposes: European Quality Charter for Mobility(8) ,

–   having regard to its declaration of 10 March 2011 on establishing European statutes for mutual societies, associations and foundations(9) ,

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 3 October 2011 on the role of voluntary activities in social policy (14552/2011),

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 29 November 2011 on the role of voluntary activities in sport in promoting active citizenship(10) ,

–   having regard to the Commission's EU citizenship report 2010 of 27 October 2010 entitled ‘Dismantling the obstacles to EU citizens’ rights' (COM(2010)0603 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 5 September 2007 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Promoting young people's full participation in education, employment and society’ (COM(2007)0498 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 27 April 2009 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘An EU Strategy for Youth: Investing and Empowering – A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities’ (COM(2009)0200 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020 – A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 15 September 2010 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Youth on the Move – An initiative to unleash the potential of young people to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the European Union’ (COM(2010)0477 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 20 September 2011 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on EU Policies and Volunteering: Recognising and Promoting Cross-border Voluntary Activities in the EU (COM(2011)0568 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 23 November 2010 to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps' (COM(2010)0683 ),

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 April 2008 on the role of volunteering in contributing to economic and social cohesion(11) ,

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A7-0166/2012 ),

A.   whereas ‘volunteering’ means activities, including formal, non-formal, informal and vocational training and learning, which are undertaken voluntarily on the basis of a person's own free choice and motivation, and without concern for financial gain and for a non-profit cause, which benefit volunteers, those receiving services from a volunteer association, communities and society as a whole;

B.   whereas the success of the European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship (2011) at national, regional, local and European levels has positive effects in terms of increased public visibility and awareness-raising and should influence the drafting of public policy;

C.   whereas volunteering is an informal learning experience suitable for persons of all ages; whereas it offers benefits in terms of personal development, community management, strengthening of democracy, civic values, social solidarity and participation in democratic life, intercultural learning and the acquisition of social and professional skills as well as contributing to the aims of European Union policies on social inclusion and combating discrimination, and on employment, education, culture, development of skills and citizenship;

D.   whereas volunteering is an important factor in creating social capital and development and in promoting socio-economic cohesion, given the potential of non-formal learning opportunities to help volunteers gain skills that will make them more employable and thus contribute to the Europe 2020 growth strategy;

E.   whereas a growing number of EU citizens of all ages are participating in volunteering in the fields of education, culture, youth policies, sport, the environment, sustainable development, health, immigration, rights advocacy, corporate social responsibility and the EU's relations with third countries;

F.   whereas there is a huge variety of cultures, traditions, legal systems and organisational methods for volunteering in the Member States but persistent obstacles to its practice, since volunteering is not recognised or not adequately recognised in many national Member State legal systems, and whereas it must not replace tasks which could potentially create paid jobs;

G.   whereas the economic crisis and fiscal consolidation are endangering the financial sustainability of many NGOs and volunteering providers working every day on increasing active citizenship, solidarity and social inclusion all over Europe;

H.   whereas the economic crisis and political and economic factors have an impact on sustainable funding and fundraising for voluntary activities;

I.   whereas many volunteer-led projects and organisations do not have the resources to access and secure funding under existing EU programmes due to excessive red tape and bureaucracy;

J.   whereas EU action has an added value in promoting cooperation between the Member States and the exchange of information and good practice concerning volunteering, while respecting the subsidiarity principle;

1.   Calls on those Member States who do not have a clear or adequate legal framework for volunteers to put one in place and to draw up national strategies to promote the growth of volunteering activities, including the recognition of the rights of volunteers, and to ensure quality, protection and equal access for everyone, without discrimination, particularly in terms of adequate access to health and social protection;

2.   Invites those Member States that have not made substantial progress in the area of volunteering to devote more attention to this sector in their future policy-making, programmes and financing;

3.   Calls on the Member States to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of volunteers are recognised and respected and that volunteers themselves are aware of them; suggests that, in this regard, Member States use the European Charter on the Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers, drawn up by the stakeholder conference at the 2nd Youth Convention on Volunteering in 2011 as a reference for policy-making and national legislation in this field;

4.   Asks the national, regional and local authorities and the EU to pay particular attention to disadvantaged young people and young people with fewer opportunities (especially people with disabilities), so that they may participate in volunteering activities and, to that end, benefit from adequate educational and financial support;

5.   Points out that volunteering reduces the risk of social exclusion and that it is essential to attract all social groups to such activities, especially people with disabilities; draws attention to the need to ensure that volunteering becomes more widely recognised and less hampered by barriers of all kinds;

6.   Reiterates the need to make volunteering accessible to immigrants and minorities as an essential element in encouraging their integration and social inclusion;

7.   Notes the benefits arising from cooperation between volunteers from the European Union's Member States and third countries and points out that such cooperation is particularly important in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy; notes, too, that, in addition to the primary benefits associated with volunteering, it can also help to promote democracy and the rule of law in third countries;

8.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to continue to make progress in the negotiations towards easier visa regimes for non-EU citizens wishing to enter the EU for the purpose of volunteering, provided they fulfil the criteria to perform volunteering activities;

9.   Calls on the Member States to implement the provisions of Council Directive 2004/114/EC(12) on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service and to simplify the procedures for the granting of visas for those wishing to undertake voluntary activities as part of the EU neighbourhood policy;

10.   Notes that volunteering involves citizens in economically, socially and ecologically sustainable local and cross-border development and can often ensure the swift provision of aid when disasters occur; points out that it also plays a role in fostering solidarity, active citizenship and inter-cultural learning, providing volunteers with the opportunity to learn the language and culture of the country in which they work, thereby strengthening social cohesion and participative democracy;

11.   Encourages the Member States to recognise the benefits of participating in cross-border volunteer activities to provide citizens with new skills, contributing to their employability and mobility and strengthening the development of social inclusion, and to support cooperation between organisers of voluntary activities in EU countries in order to promote the mobility of volunteers of all ages across Europe, with the aim of fostering mutual intercultural enrichment;

12.   Calls on the Commission to improve the facilities of volunteering organisations and volunteer centres for providing information and training and for coordinating activities between volunteers and volunteering organisations;

13.   Calls on the Commission to publish a report identifying the obstacles to cross-border volunteering, for example age limits in insurance policies, and, where appropriate, legislative proposals;

14.   Highlights the need to ensure that high-quality volunteering is developed, both nationally and at cross-border level, through a structured framework of comprehensive information and appropriate training for volunteers which includes current best practice, the development of hosting capacities for providers and organisations at local and national level, a recognition of the rights of volunteers to reconcile their voluntary work with their personal lives, and by creating the necessary infrastructure at all levels;

15.   Highlights the importance of developing activities that can bring together and channel the motivations of potential volunteers, capitalising on every individual's personal assets and increasing the quality of volunteering in every entity and partnership and in every Member State, and with a particular focus on cross-border volunteering;

16.   Calls on the Member States to promote the use of volunteer time as matching funding for European projects, particularly in cross-border initiatives;

17.   Urges the Member States to develop international volunteering initiatives and programmes that extend beyond EU borders and draws attention to the successful examples and practices already implemented in certain Member States for this purpose;

18.   Calls on the Member States to promote training programmes and develop guides and materials on the management of volunteers and schemes to motivate people to engage in cross-border volunteering activities;

19.   Calls on the Commission and the national, regional and local authorities and the various civil society organisations to improve information networks in order to make everyone aware of volunteering opportunities, tackle barriers to participation, enhance access to volunteering best practice and promote cooperation across borders;

20.   Proposes, therefore, that a centralised EU portal be created, in cooperation with organisations and associations working in this sector and in particular their European networks, to include a best practice volunteer resources bank and a section on cross-border volunteering, with information on the programmes available, their costs and the conditions for participation, allowing for an exchange of information on administrative burdens, the legal and fiscal aspects of volunteering, barriers encountered in accessing programmes and the best ways to tackle them;

21.   Encourages the Member States to adopt the use of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work and the United Nations Handbook on Non-Profit Organisations with a view to making available comparable statistics and data providing a clear picture of the significant contribution made by volunteering and of the needs of volunteers and providers throughout the European Union;

22.   Calls on the Commission to encourage the Member States to adopt the ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work in order to ensure robust comparable data which can help improve monitoring and policy-making;

23.   Notes that older people who engage in volunteering find it easier to make the transition from work to retirement, i.e. gradually to leave active work;

24.   Stresses the importance of providing information, adequate funding and support for senior citizens wishing to volunteer in another EU country, encouraging active ageing as a rich source of wisdom and experience for society;

25.   Notes that volunteering contributes to integration, social inclusion and social innovation, and can also contribute to poverty reduction, thus helping to achieve economic and social cohesion; points out that volunteering also promotes solidarity between generations by encouraging cooperation between young people and senior citizens, and that it contributes to active ageing and social involvement in all phases of life, as well as helping to improve environmental protection;

26.   Notes that volunteering increases people's tolerance, creates human and social capital and plays a vital role in the empowerment of socially excluded groups; emphasises the need to provide access to as wide a range of volunteering opportunities as possible and encourages the Commission to make European programmes more inclusive and open to all age groups;

27.   Encourages the Member States to set national targets for volunteering and to establish official reporting, monitoring and evaluation of volunteering actions;

28.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to give a high profile to volunteering in sport, particularly at the grassroots level, to acknowledge the important role played by volunteer-led sporting organisations in strengthening culture, promoting social inclusion and enhancing communities and to reduce the barriers to sports volunteering across the EU;

29.   Urges the national, regional and local authorities and the EU to recognise the important contribution also made by volunteering to protecting the environment, and to support volunteering activities in environmental education, prevention and crisis management, and in defending artistic and cultural heritage;

30.   Encourages businesses in the European Union actively to support their employees and retired staff in becoming involved in volunteering activities;

31.   Supports the Commission's proposal to establish a ‘European Skills Passport’, so that the skills acquired through volunteering may be officially recognised, both for professional and learning purposes, which is a vital element in motivating potential volunteers and in creating a link between non-formal learning and formal education;

32.   Emphasises that the European Skills Passport should not be a series of new separate certificates but, rather, a comprehensive document listing all practical experience, training and soft and vocational skills acquired through life-long learning, including those gained through volunteering, if desired by the volunteer;

33.   Suggests therefore including the skills acquired through volunteering in the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) for students;

34.   Calls on the Commission to consider developing a similar calculation and recognition system for skills acquired through volunteering for adults who are not at university;

35.   Calls on the Commission to make the European Skills Passport a reality as soon as possible; emphasises that the skills acquired during volunteering work are also of considerable significance in working life and provide added value to a CV, and notes that volunteering can help young people in their choice of a career;

36.   Stresses that recognition of competences and skills gained through volunteering as non-formal and informal learning and work experience is essential;

37.   Notes that voluntary work helps volunteers to broaden their horizons and develop their personalities, and highlights the fact that volunteering also brings economic benefits to Member States, as people who engage in voluntary activities contribute to the generation of GDP;

38.   Calls on the Commission to address in the ‘European Skills Passport’ the need for a cohesive and transferable approach to proper screening and vetting of volunteers who work with children and/or vulnerable members of society;

39.   Urges the Member States to develop mechanisms for validating non-formal and formal learning outcomes, which will improve the value and transferability of the skills acquired outside formal education, facilitating in particular the acquisition of additional ECTS credits at university thanks to volunteering, and a standardised mechanism for recognising the skills acquired through volunteering in the ECTS, and also to explore ways of eliminating the tax obstacles that volunteers encounter when participating in cross-border activities;

40.   Proposes that a training and qualifications framework for volunteer coaches be established and incorporated into the European Qualifications Framework in order to improve the mobility of volunteer coaches and enhance the transferability of skills and competences developed through volunteering;

41.   Calls on the Member States to support employee volunteering and employer-supported volunteering also in the context of corporate social responsibility;

42.   Supports the Commission's proposal to create a ‘European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps’, which will increase the participation of volunteers in solidarity actions in the context of the EU's humanitarian aid policy;

43.   Calls on the Commission also to take existing structures into consideration and actively to incorporate these from the outset when establishing this voluntary corps; emphasises, too, that the duplication of organisations in the area of civil protection is not desirable and should be avoided;

44.   Urges the national, regional and local authorities and the EU to ensure adequate and stable funding and to simplify administrative procedures, including tax incentives, for the organisations involved in volunteering work, including all the relevant associations and networks, particularly for small associations with limited resources, with a view to enhancing their roles, activities and achievements for the benefit of society;

45.   Calls, therefore, for the concept of grants to associations to be clarified so that association funding is not confused with state aid, which could hinder competition in the financial sector;

46.   Calls on the Commission to propose a mechanism to allow Member States wishing to strengthen civil society to exempt from VAT all or most of the activities and transactions carried out by voluntary non-profit-making organisations; stresses that at least the smaller non-profit-making organisations should be covered by such a mechanism;

47.   Calls on the Member States to ensure legal certainty for volunteers, not least with regard to insurance issues, so that the various regimes in the different Member States encourage cross-border volunteering, and also to ensure better provision of information to volunteers in connection with their rights and the regulatory and institutional arrangements pertaining in the various Member States;

48.   Calls on the Commission to assist with the process of dismantling existing barriers;

49.   Calls on the Member States to review their cross-border tax and social security arrangements in connection with cross-border volunteering, so as to ensure that they do not create additional barriers to such activity and that cross-border volunteers are able to receive the social security benefits to which they are entitled under Regulation (EC) No 883/2004;

50.   Stresses that, although it is an important resource in our economy and society, volunteering must not be an alternative to or a substitute for regular, paid work and must not, under any circumstances, constitute a reason for governments failing to fulfil their social obligations;

51.   Considers that this aspect should be particularly emphasised in the care sector, where the amount of volunteering is continuing to grow; points out, furthermore, that promoting volunteering as a means of acquiring, developing or maintaining skills should not result in volunteering becoming a mandatory requirement, as this would undermine its fundamental nature;

52.   Calls on the national, regional and local authorities and the EU in particular to communicate existing European programmes to the actors and partners involved in volunteering, especially those with ‘European territorial cooperation’ objectives under the cohesion policy, and to facilitate access to them so that they can take advantage of them more effectively in their projects and cross-border activities;

53.   Calls on the Member States to promote and implement national schemes for cross-border volunteering in order to contribute to its development across the EU;

54.   Calls on the Commission, in particular, as part of the creation of new multiannual programmes and considering the important experience gained from the European Year of Volunteering 2011, to ensure that funding is guaranteed for volunteering projects and for the structures organised by voluntary activities and to develop and encourage efficient inter-institutional coordination in order to promote the role of volunteering in EU policies;

55.   Calls on the Commission to ensure that information on available funding and the relevant programmes is freely available to volunteer-led projects and that the application procedures are not made inaccessible due to excessive red tape;

56.   Asks the Commission to ensure that adequate funding is provided for programmes in various policy areas to support cross-border volunteering activities; calls on the Member States to actively implement schemes for fostering national and cross-border volunteering; asks for particular attention to be paid to financial support for volunteering infrastructure; maintains that public subsidies for volunteering should be allocated without discrimination against any organisation;

57.   Proposes that a cross-border network of voluntary organisations in the various Member States should be set up by coordinating the existing voluntary organisations while facilitating the exchange of good practice and experience, and takes the view that new contact points should be opened only in Member States that do not already have such structures;

58.   Calls on the Commission to propose a European Statute for Associations to give them the legal framework within which to operate, reduce the administrative costs associated with cross-border volunteering activities and establish voluntary structures at a European level which encourage mobility of volunteers in the EU;

59.   Emphasises the role that volunteer work can play in promoting EU policies;

60.   Calls on the Commission to give due recognition to and promote volunteering in the relevant EU policies, taking account of the cross-cutting nature of such activities and ensuring that the policies themselves promote the development of volunteering and foster the involvement of all sections of society;

61.   Calls on the Commission to give due recognition in EU programmes and projects to the genuine contribution that the work performed by volunteers makes to the community;

62.   Calls on the Commission to allocate adequate resources to the creation of a European Volunteer Centre Development Fund aimed at developing infrastructure to support volunteering;

63.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to allow volunteer time to be included as co-funding in all EU-funded programmes on the basis of a contribution in-kind with a financial value;

64.   Recommends that the Commission and the Member States maintain a continuity between 2011 and future years by strongly integrating the volunteering dimension, which is an expression of active citizenship that promotes social integration, including that of older citizens, within both the European Year for Active Ageing (2012) and the proposed European Year of Citizens (2013);

65.   Draws attention to the need to promote volunteering, in particular during the European Year of Citizens in 2013, and calls on the Commission to include volunteering support in international development assistance policies, not least with a view to meeting all the targets laid down in the Millennium Development Goals;

66.   Supports a formal examination of the ‘Solidarité proposal’ for an inter-institutional human resources programme in the EU institutions to facilitate the involvement of the institutions' staff and trainees in volunteering, humanitarian and social activities, both as part of staff training and volunteering in their own time;

67.   Highlights the fact that the proposed programme is cost saving and highly value-adding and would help to implement EU policies and programmes;

68.   Recommends that the Commission maintain the useful contact points set up both with ‘EYV 2011 Alliance’ and the successor Volunteer Platform, which include many civil society volunteering and networking organisations, and with the national coordinating bodies, strategic partners and national government spokespersons in this sector, given the large variety of bodies responsible for volunteering in the EU, and encourages these contact points to engage with the proposed centralised EU portal, as a pan-European platform, to facilitate further coordination and increased cross-border activity;

69.   Stresses the importance of contact networks and the exchange of good practices to distribute information about existing EU procedures which can help and support cross-border volunteering;

70.   Calls on the Commission to act, where it deems appropriate, on the Policy Agenda on Volunteering in Europe (PAVE), which was drawn up by the volunteering organisations involved in the EYV 2011 Alliance;

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

(1) OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p. 30.
(2) OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p. 45.
(3) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 32.
(4) OJ L 17, 22.1.2010, p. 43.
(5) OJ C 168, 20.7.2006, p. 1.
(6) OJ C 241, 20.9.2008, p. 1.
(7) OJ C 319, 13.12.2008, p. 8.
(8) OJ L 394, 30.12.2006, p. 5.
(9) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0101 .
(10) OJ C 372, 20.12.2011, p. 24.
(11) OJ C 259 E, 29.10.2009, p. 9.
(12) OJ L 375, 23.12.2004, p. 12.


Critical information infrastructure protection: towards global cyber-security
PDF 123k   DOC 56k
European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2012 on critical information infrastructure protection – achievements and next steps: towards global cyber-security (2011/2284(INI) )
P7_TA(2012)0237 A7-0167/2012

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 5 May 2010 entitled ‘A new Digital Agenda for Europe: 2015.eu’(1) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 June 2010 entitled ‘Internet governance: the next steps’(2) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2011 entitled ‘European broadband investing in digitally driven growth’(3) ,

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A7-0167/2012 ),

A.   whereas information and communication technologies (ICTs) are able to deploy their full capacity for advancing the economy and society only if users have trust and confidence in their security and resilience, and if existing legislation on matters such as data privacy and intellectual property rights is enforced effectively in the internet environment;

B.   whereas impact of the internet and ICT on various aspects of citizens' lives is increasing rapidly, and whereas they are crucial drivers for social interaction, cultural enrichment and economic growth;

C.   whereas ICT and internet security is a comprehensive concept with a global impact on economic, social, technological and military aspects, demanding a clear definition and differentiation of responsibilities as well as a robust international cooperation mechanism;

D.   whereas the aim of the EU Digital Agenda flagship is to boost Europe's competitiveness, based on strengthening ICT, and to create conditions for high and robust growth and technology-based jobs;

E.   whereas the private sector remains the primary investor in, and owner and manager of, information security products, services, applications and infrastructure, with billions of euros invested over the last decade; whereas this involvement should be strengthened by appropriate policy strategies for promoting the resilience of public, private or public-privately owned or operated infrastructures;

F.   whereas developing a high level of security and resilience in ICT networks, services and technologies should increase the competitiveness of the EU economy, both by improving cyber risk assessment and management and by providing the EU economy at large with more robust information infrastructures to support innovation and growth, creating new opportunities for enterprises to become more productive;

G.   whereas available law enforcement data for cybercrimes (covering cyber-attacks, but also other types of online crime) suggest major increases in various European countries; whereas, however, statistically representative data concerning cyber attacks from both law enforcement and the CERT (computer emergency response team) community remains scarce and will need to be better aggregated in future, which will enable stronger responses from law enforcement across the EU and better informed legislative responses to ever-evolving cyber threats;

H.   whereas a proper level of information security is critical for robust expansion of internet based services;

I.   whereas recent cyber-incidents, disruptions and attacks against the information infrastructure of EU institutions, industry and Member States demonstrate the need to establish a robust, innovative and effective system of critical information infrastructure protection (CIIP), based on full international cooperation and minimum resilience standards among the Member States;

J.   whereas the rapid development of new avenues of ICT such as cloud computing require a strong focus on security in order to make it possible to fully reap the benefits of the technological achievements;

K.   whereas the European Parliament has repeatedly insisted on applying high standards for data privacy and data protection, net neutrality and intellectual property rights protection;

Measures to reinforce CIIP at national and Union level

1.   Welcomes the Member States' implementation of the European Programme for CIIP, including the setting-up of the Critical Infrastructure Warning Information Network (CIWIN);

2.   Considers that the CIIP efforts will not only enhance the overall security of citizens but also improve citizens' perception of security and their trust in measures adopted by government to protect them;

3.   Acknowledges that the Commission is considering revising Council Directive 2008/114/EC(4) and calls for evidence to be provided of the effectiveness and impact of the directive before further steps are taken; calls for consideration to be given to expanding its scope, notably by including the ICT sector and financial services; calls, furthermore, for consideration to be given to areas such as health, food and water supply systems, nuclear research and industry (where these are not covered by specific provisions); takes the view that these sectors should also benefit from the cross-sectoral approach adopted in CIWIN (consisting of cooperation, an alert system and the exchange of best practices);

4.   Emphasises the importance of establishing and ensuring durable integration of European research to maintain and enhance European excellence in the area of CIIP;

5.   Calls, in view of the inter-connected and highly interdependent, sensitive, strategic and vulnerable nature of national and European critical information infrastructures, for the regular updating of minimum resilience standards for preparedness and reaction against disruptions, incidents, destruction attempts or attacks, such as those resulting from insufficiently robust infrastructure or insufficiently secured end-terminals;

6.   Emphasises the importance of information security standards and protocols and welcomes the 2011 mandating of CEN, Cenelec and ETSI to establish security standards;

7.   Expects owners and operators of critical information infrastructure to enable and, if necessary, assist users to utilise appropriate means for protecting themselves from malicious attacks and/or disruptions, through both human and automated supervision, where needed;

8.   Supports cooperation between public and private stakeholders at Union level, and encourages their efforts to develop and implement standards for security and resilience for civilian (whether public, private or public-private) national and European critical information infrastructure;

9.   Emphasises the importance of pan-European exercises in preparation for large-scale network security incidents, and the definition of a single set of standards for threat assessment;

10.   Calls on the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, to assess the implementation of the CIIP action plan; urges the Member States to establish well-functioning national/governmental CERTs, develop national cyber security strategies, organise regular national and pan-European cyber incident exercises, develop national cyber incident contingency plans and contribute to the development of a European cyber incident contingency plan by the end of 2012;

11.   Recommends that operator security plans or equivalent measures be put in place for all European critical information infrastructures, and that security liaison officers be appointed;

12.   Welcomes the current review of Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA(5) on attacks against information systems; notes the need to coordinate EU efforts in countering large-scale cyber-attacks by including ENISA, Member State CERTs and the future European CERT's competences;

13.   Considers that ENISA can play a key role at European level in the protection of critical information infrastructure by providing technical expertise to Member States and European Union institutions and bodies, as well as through reports and analyses concerning information system security at European and global level;

Further EU activities for robust internet security

14.   Urges ENISA to coordinate and implement annual EU Internet Security Awareness Months, so that issues relating to cyber-security become a special focus for the Member States and EU citizens;

15.   Supports ENISA, in line with the Digital Agenda goals, in exercising its duties with regard to network information security, and in particular by providing guidance and advising Member States on how to meet baseline capabilities for their CERTs, as well as supporting the exchange of best practices by developing an environment of trust; calls on the agency to consult relevant stakeholders with a view to defining similar cyber-security measures for owners and operators of private networks and infrastructure, as well as to assist the Commission and Member States in contributing to the development and uptake of information security certification schemes, norms of behaviour and cooperation practices among national and European CERTs and owners and operators of infrastructure as and where needed through the definition of technologically neutral common minimum requirements;

16.   Welcomes the current proposal for review of ENISA's mandate, in particular its extension, and for the expansion of the tasks of the agency; believes that, along with its assistance to Member States by providing expertise and analysis, ENISA should be entitled to manage a number of executive tasks at EU level, and, in cooperation with US counterparts, tasks related to the prevention and detection of network and information security incidents and enhancing cooperation among the Member States; points out that, under the ENISA Regulation, the agency might also be assigned additional responsibilities related to the response to internet attacks, to the extent that it clearly adds value to existing national response mechanisms;

17.   Welcomes the results of the 2010 and 2011 pan-European cyber security exercises conducted across the Union and monitored by ENISA, whose goal was to assist Member States in designing, maintaining and testing a pan-European contingency plan; calls on ENISA to keep such exercises on its agenda and progressively involve relevant private operators as appropriate in order to increase Europe's overall internet security capacities; looks forward to a further international expansion with like-minded partners;

18.   Calls on the Member States to set up national cyber incident contingency plans and to include key elements such as relevant contact points, provisions of assistance, containment and repair in the event of cyber disruptions or attacks with regional, national or cross-border relevance; notes that the Member States should also put in place appropriate coordinating mechanisms and structures at national level, which would help to ensure better coordination among competent national authorities and make their actions more coherent;

19.   Suggests that the Commission propose binding measures via the EU cyber incident contingency plan for better coordination at EU level of the technical and steering functions of the national and governmental CERTs;

20.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary measures in order to protect critical infrastructure from cyber attacks and to provide ways of hermetically cutting off access to a critical infrastructure if a direct cyber attack poses a severe threat to its proper functioning;

21.   Looks forward for the full implementation of CERT-EU, which will be a key factor in the prevention, detection, response and recovery from intentional and malicious cyber-attacks targeting the EU institutions;

22.   Recommends that the Commission propose binding measures designed to impose minimum standards on security and resilience and improve coordination among national CERTs;

23.   Calls on the Member States and the EU institutions to assure the existence of well-functioning CERTs, featuring minimum security and resilience capabilities based on agreed best practices; points out that national CERTs should be part of an effective network in which relevant information is exchanged in accordance with the necessary standards of confidentiality; calls for the establishment of a 24/7 continuity of CIIP service for each Member State, as well as the setting-up of a common European emergency protocol to be applicable between the national contact points;

24.   Emphasises that building trust and promoting cooperation between Member States is crucial for protecting data and national networks and infrastructures; calls on the Commission to suggest a common procedure for identification and designation of a common approach to tackle cross-border ICT threats, with the Member States being expected to provide the Commission with generic information concerning the risks and threats to, and the vulnerabilities of, their critical information infrastructure;

25.   Welcomes the Commission's initiative of developing a European Information Sharing and Alert System by 2013;

26.   Welcomes the various stakeholder consultations on internet security and CIIP initiated by the Commission, such as the European Public-Private Partnership for Resilience; acknowledges the already significant involvement and commitment of ICT vendors in such efforts, encourages the Commission to make further efforts to encourage academia and ICT users' associations to play a more active role and to foster constructive, multi-stakeholder dialogue on cyber-security issues; supports further development of the Digital Assembly as a framework for CIIP governance;

27.   Welcomes the work accomplished so far by the European Forum of Member States in terms of setting sector-specific criteria to identify European critical infrastructures with a focus on fixed and mobile communications, as well as discussing the EU principles and guidelines for the resilience and stability of the internet; looks forward to continued consensus-building among the Member States, and in this context encourages the Forum to complement the current approach focused on physical assets with efforts to also encompass logical infrastructure assets which, as virtualisation and cloud technologies develop, will become increasingly relevant to the effectiveness of CIIP;

28.   Suggests that the Commission launch a public pan-European education initiative, geared towards educating and raising awareness among both private and business end-users about potential threats on the internet and fixed and mobile ICT devices at every level of the utility chain and towards promoting safer individual online behaviours; recalls, in this regard, the risks associated with outdated IT equipment and software;

29.   Calls on the Member States, with support from the Commission, to strengthen the information security training and education programmes aimed at the national law enforcement and judicial authorities and the relevant EU agencies;

30.   Supports the creation of an EU curriculum for academic experts in the field of information security, as this would have a positive impact on the expertise and preparedness of the EU with regard to the constantly evolving cyberspace and the threats to it;

31.   Advocates promoting cyber-security education (PhD student internships, university courses, workshops, training for students, etc.) and specialised training exercises in CIIP;

32.   Calls on the Commission to propose, by the end of 2012, a comprehensive internet security strategy for the Union, based on clear terminology; takes the view that the internet security strategy should aim at creating a cyberspace (supported by a secure and resilient infrastructure and open standards) which is conducive to innovation and prosperity through the free flow of information, while ensuring robust protection of privacy and other civil liberties; maintains that the strategy should detail the principles, goals, methods, instruments and policies (both internal and external) necessary in order to streamline national and EU efforts, and to establish minimum resilience standards among the Member States to ensure a safe, continuous, robust and resilient service, whether in connection with critical infrastructure or general internet use;

33.   Emphasises that the Commission's upcoming internet security strategy should take the work on CIIP as a central point of reference and aim for a holistic and systematic approach towards cyber security by including both proactive measures, such as the introduction of minimum standards for security measures or the education of individual users, businesses and public institutions, and reactive measures, such as criminal-law, civil-law and administrative sanctions;

34.   Urges the Commission to propose a robust mechanism to coordinate the implementation and regular updating of the internet security strategy; takes the view that this mechanism should be supported by sufficient administrative, expert and financial resources and that its remit should include facilitating the establishment of EU positions in relations with both internal and international stakeholders on internet security related issues;

35.   Calls on the Commission to propose an EU framework for the notification of security breaches in critical sectors such as energy, transport, water and food supply, as well as in the ICT and financial services sectors, to ensure that relevant Member State authorities and users are notified of cyber incidents, attacks or disruptions;

36.   Urges the Commission to improve the availability of statistically representative data on the costs of cyber attacks in the EU, the Member States and industry (in particular the financial services and ICT sectors) by enhancing the data-gathering capabilities of the planned European Cybercrime Centre (due to be set up by 2013), the CERTs and other Commission initiatives such as the European Information Sharing and Alert System, so as to ensure systematic reporting and sharing of data on cyber-attacks and other forms of cybercrime afflicting European industry and Member States, and to strengthen law enforcement;

37.   Advocates a close relationship and interaction between national private sectors and ENISA to interface the National/Governmental CERTs with the development of the European Information Sharing and Alert System (EISAS);

38.   Points out that the primary driving force behind the development and use of technologies designed to increase internet security is the ICT industry; recalls that EU policies must avoid impeding the growth of the European internet economy and include the necessary incentives in order to exploit the potential of business and public-private partnerships to the full; recommends the investigation of further incentives for the industry to develop more robust operator security plans in line with Directive 2008/114/EC;

39.   Calls on the Commission to present a legislative proposal for further criminalising cyber attacks (i.e. spear-phishing, online fraud, etc.);

International Cooperation

40.   Recalls that international cooperation is the core instrument for introducing effective cyber-security measures; recognises that, at present, the EU is not actively involved on an ongoing basis in international cooperation processes and dialogues relating to cyber-security; calls on the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to start a constructive dialogue with all like-minded countries with a view to developing a common understanding and policies with the aim of increasing the resilience of the internet and of critical infrastructure; maintains that, at the same time, the EU should, on a permanent basis, include internet security issues in the scope of its external relations, inter alia when designing various financing instruments or when committing to international agreements which involve the exchange and storage of sensitive data;

41.   Takes note of the positive achievements of the 2001 Council of Europe Budapest Convention on cybercrime; points out, however, that while encouraging more countries to sign and ratify the Convention, the EEAS should also build bilateral and multilateral agreements on internet security and resilience with like-minded international partners;

42.   Points out that the vast number of ongoing activities performed by various international and EU institutions, bodies and agencies as well as Member States requires coordination in order to avoid duplication, for which purpose it is worth considering designating an official responsible for coordination, possibly through the appointment of an EU cyber-security coordinator;

43.   Emphasises that a structured dialogue between the main CIIP players and legislators in the EU and the US is particularly important with a view to establishing a common understanding and common interpretations and positions regarding legal and governance frameworks;

44.   Welcomes the creation, at the November 2010 EU-US Summit, of the EU-US Working Group on Cyber-security and Cyber-crime, and supports its efforts to include internet security issues in the transatlantic policy dialogue; welcomes the joint establishment, by the Commission and the US Government, under the umbrella of the EU-US Working Group, of a common programme and a roadmap towards joint/synchronised trans-continental cyber-exercises in 2012/2013;

45.   Suggests establishing a structured dialogue between EU and US legislators in order to discuss internet-related issues as part of a search for common understanding, interpretation and positions;

46.   Urges the EEAS and the Commission, on the basis of the work done by the European Forum of Member States, to secure an active position within the relevant international forums, inter alia by coordinating the positions of the Member States with a view to promoting the EU's core values, goals and policies in the field of internet security and resilience; notes that such forums include NATO, the UN (in particular through the International Telecommunication Union and the Internet Governance Forum), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the OSCE, the OECD and the World Bank;

47.   Encourages the Commission and ENISA to participate in the main stakeholder dialogues to define technical and legal norms in cyberspace at an international level;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ C 81 E, 15.3.2011, p.45.
(2) OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 33.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0322 .
(4) OJ L 345, 23.12.2008, p. 75.
(5) OJ L 69, 16.3.2005, p. 67.


Energy policy cooperation with partners beyond our borders
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European Parliament resolution of 12 June 2012 on Engaging in energy policy cooperation with partners beyond our borders: A strategic approach to secure, sustainable and competitive energy supply (2012/2029(INI) )
P7_TA(2012)0238 A7-0168/2012

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on security of energy supply and international cooperation: ‘The EU Energy Policy: Engaging with Partners beyond our Borders’ (COM(2011)0539 ),

–   having regard to the Commission proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and the Council setting up an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements between Member States and third countries in the field of energy (COM(2011)0540 ),

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 24 November 2011 on security of energy supply and international cooperation – ‘The EU Energy Policy: Engaging with Partners beyond our Borders’,

–   having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2010 entitled ‘Towards a new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020’(1) ,

–   having regard to Rule 48 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 Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Development and the Committee on International Trade (A7-0168/2012 ),

A.   whereas the current common global energy challenges and implementation of the EU's ambitious energy and climate change objectives require common, effective and equitable action by the European Union on the international stage, in particular by strengthening the external dimension of its energy policy and taking a unified stance in order to increase diversification of energy sources and routes, enhance security of supply and support sustainable production and consumption;

B.   whereas with current trends global population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, global energy demand will increase by 40 % by 2030, mainly in non-OECD countries, and global competition for fossil fuel resources from emerging economies will intensify;

C.   whereas the EU's dependence on energy imports is likely to increase over the next decade as its fossil fuel resources are depleted, despite increasing input from renewables, energy efficiency and research on energy technologies;

D.   whereas energy efficiency is key to reducing the EU's reliance on foreign energy and increasing its geopolitical independence and energy security, as the EU is spending more than EUR 400 billion a year on energy imports; whereas achieving the minimum 20 % energy savings target will not only enhance our energy security but also reduce by at least EUR 50 billion a year the wealth transfer from EU economies to energy-producing countries;

E.   whereas it is important for the EU to give priority to securing and developing internal fossil fuel sources, especially the significant reserves recently discovered in the Mediterranean Sea, which would reduce European dependence on energy imports; whereas there are substantial opportunities for co-development and co-exploitation of fossil fuel sources with countries neighbouring the EU;

F.   whereas the EU today, as a digital economy and society, is far more dependent on a continuous and reliable supply of electricity than it has ever been;

G.   whereas the EU is already a major importer of fossil fuels and is becoming increasingly dependent on imports and vulnerable to external suppliers and transit countries; whereas, on the other hand, this gives the EU considerable power as a major purchaser on global energy markets;

H.   whereas population increase and rising living standards could push global energy demand up by 40 % by 2030; whereas the EU's high and increasing import dependence calls for policies that reflect and address these potential developments;

I.   whereas a common external energy policy, based on solidarity, diversification and strategic cooperation, including with the major energy-consuming countries, as well as on the promotion of indigenous renewable energy sources, would create synergies helping to ensure security of supply for the European Union and enhance the EU's capacity for foreign policy action and its credibility as a global actor, including in the field of climate change;

J.   whereas companies from third countries benefit from the opening of the EU energy market, but whereas opaque trading and hostile takeover moves by such companies represent a threat which requires the strict application of EU competition rules and other relevant legislation in order to ensure a properly functioning internal market with diversified energy supply and prevent future crude oil and gas supply disruption and crises;

K.   whereas Member States are becoming increasingly interconnected and whereas efforts to ensure security of supply exclusively at national level have therefore proved to be insufficient and unable to safeguard the long-term interests of all Member States;

L.   whereas although the need for energy infrastructure development has been largely recognised by the EU the necessary investment is still lacking;

M.   whereas only a fully integrated European energy market functioning on the principle of solidarity can sufficiently address the challenges of security of energy supply stemming from the differences in composition and share of energy imports in the various Member States;

N.   whereas ensuring consistency and coherence in the EU's external energy relations with key producer, transit and consumer countries is of critical importance, and whereas strategic and political coordination among Member States in negotiations with powerful energy suppliers in third countries is essential;

O.   whereas relations in the field of energy require predictability, stability and long-term investment;

P.   whereas the challenge of energy security is to alleviate uncertainties that give rise to tensions between countries and to reduce market inefficiencies that counteract the benefits of trade, both for suppliers and consumers;

Q.   whereas the Arctic region contains an estimated one-third of the mean estimate of the world's undiscovered gas and 13 % of undiscovered oil;

Internal energy market – better coordination at EU level

1.   Stresses the need to ensure that cross-border energy infrastructure within the Union is fully developed; stresses, too, the need for strong coordination between Member States' policies and for joint action and solidarity in the field of external energy policy and energy security, recognising the importance of transparency and full implementation of the internal energy market, in line with the EU's long-term energy and climate change objectives;

2.   Considers that energy policy must be an integrated and prominent part of the common foreign policy and should be elaborated and implemented in synergy with other policies that have an external dimension;

3.   Stresses that, taking into account both current economic conditions and the aim of achieving a truly single EU energy market, the EU should give priority to investments in energy infrastructure which allow for a gradual increase in capacities at marginal investment costs, allowing the single market to benefit from the optimised use of energy infrastructure while ensuring and promoting security of supply, competitiveness and sustainability in a cost-effective way;

4.   Recalls Parliament's request that plans be prepared for a European Energy Community involving strong cooperation on energy networks and European funding of new energy technologies in order to overcome the fragmentation of European energy policy and give the Union a strong international voice in its energy relations;

5.   Urges the Commission to bring forward a proposal to establish an Energy Observatory with the objectives of improving intelligence on energy import markets and enhancing analysis of export markets;

6.   Believes that a fully functioning, interconnected and integrated European internal energy market can significantly enhance supply security even in the short term and that it is an essential element for a successful European external energy policy; believes, too, that the European energy regulatory framework is key to the process of building the internal energy market and should be promoted in partner countries by raising awareness of its purpose, advantages and benefits; the overall goal being to ensure that the EU's external energy policy and the Member States' bilateral agreements fully comply with EU legislation;

7.   Stresses that the Commission and the EEAS must ensure that all the EU's multilateral and bilateral agreements, especially partnership and cooperation agreements, fully comply with EU internal market rules; stresses that such agreements should ensure reciprocity, a level playing field and transparency in order to provide a secure legal environment for EU investors in energy supply countries and transit countries;

8.   Calls on the EU and the Member States to ensure a connected internal energy market that can withstand external pressures and attempts to use energy supply and prices as a tool of foreign policy pressure; stresses, therefore, the need to increase resources for projects interlinking energy markets in the EU and to complete the European gas and electricity infrastructure networks by the end of 2015, in particular the Baltic interconnection plan, as set out in the EU's Third Energy Package;

9.   Stresses that the proper functioning of the internal market requires that the energy imported into the Union, once on EU territory, is fully governed by internal energy market rules; emphasises, therefore, that the EU should aim for regulatory convergence with neighbouring countries willing to embrace its internal energy market rules; stresses the importance and role of the Energy Community in this regard;

10.   Calls on the Commission to support the establishment of a comprehensive EU system of gas indexation based on gas market prices, so as to enable all EU gas trading companies to trade with external gas suppliers in a more fair and predictable manner, independently of oil prices, and to further foster competition in the EU's internal gas market;

11.   Emphasises that the strength resulting from integration of the internal energy market and infrastructure should be fully exploited by combining the means, expertise and capabilities of Member States and the EU; calls, therefore, for increased transparency and more EU involvement in negotiations on agreements between Member States and third countries, as these agreements could also impact on the functioning of the EU internal energy market; supports the Commission in its moves towards greater transparency and sharing of information between Member States and calls for increased use of existing competition measures to ensure EU law is not circumvented;

12.   Stresses Parliament's additional responsibilities in the field of energy under Article 194 of the TFEU and insists on Parliament being appropriately involved in all information and consultation processes relating to external energy policy; stresses, in this respect, that data sharing on collective actions, programmes and projects undertaken by the EU, its financial institutions or other EU entities should include Parliament;

13.   Welcomes the accession of the Republic of Moldova and of Ukraine to the Energy Community, as well as Armenia's and Georgia's observer status, which will contribute to improving regional energy cooperation through a better regulatory framework for future partnerships between the EU and those partner countries;

14.   Renews Parliament's call for international energy projects to be governed by transparent intergovernmental agreements at Member State or Union level; stresses that basing energy projects solely on commercial agreements risks both investor protection and full compliance with internal market rules;

15.   Calls for greater synergy between EU trade and energy policies in line with strategic documents on energy policy cooperation with non-EU partners, including the Energy 2020 strategy and the Commission communication on the security of energy supply and international cooperation;

16.   Emphasises that strengthening the external dimension of the EU's energy policy is of key importance in terms both of increasing the EU's energy security and improving its trade relations with third countries; emphasises the need to build a stable framework for energy and raw materials cooperation with our strategic trading partners which complies fully with the regulations governing the internal energy market;

17.   Believes that improved coordination between Member States themselves and between Member States and the Commission should enable Member States to fully benefit from the political and economic weight of the Union; welcomes, in this context, the Commission proposal for a decision setting up an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements between Member States and third countries in the field of energy; underlines the added value of a Commission opinion and assistance during the negotiation process in order to ensure that IGAs are compatible with internal energy market legislation, in line with the EU's long-term energy and climate change objectives;

18.   Emphasises that creating an information exchange mechanism for intergovernmental agreements between EU Member States and third countries on energy policy would greatly enhance policy transparency, coordination and efficiency in the EU as a whole;

19.   Calls for closer coordination between the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service so that they may speak and act jointly on issues concerning a common foreign policy on energy; stresses the need to establish an energy policy desk within the EEAS and to involve EU delegations in the conduct of energy diplomacy on the ground;

20.   Supports the use of instruments such as the Early Warning Mechanism in relations with energy suppliers and transit countries; is convinced that further promotion of the idea of common purchasing of energy raw materials by Member States is needed in the context of growing competition for resources and existing producer monopolies;

21.   Calls on the Member States and the Commission to identify trade and investment barriers in the energy field in relations with third countries and to take action, where appropriate, to eliminate them, both bilaterally and through the World Trade Organisation;

22.   Supports the Council proposal to analyse the functioning of the Energy Community Treaty as well as the establishment of a roadmap allowing the accelerated modernisation of energy sectors; calls for more emphasis to be placed on the implementation of reforms and technologies such as smart grids to boost the integration of renewable energy and increase energy efficiency; hence supports ideas to give new impetus to the Energy Charter Treaty and proposes the introduction of strategic partnerships to this end; reiterates that the social dimension of the treaty must be developed to tackle problems such as energy poverty and corruption effectively;

23.   Calls on the Commission to underline the importance of the Energy Charter Conference and the need to support it, in order to make better use of the Energy Charter's potential in key areas such as trade, transit, investment and dispute resolution, including, inter alia, by extending the Energy Charter Treaty to countries which have not yet signed and/or ratified it;

24.   Considers that every Member State should publish and submit to Eurostat its average bilateral import price for natural gas, at least on a quarterly basis, with a time lag of not more than two quarters;

25.   Considers that implementation of a consistent and coherent EU external energy policy requires regular coordination between Member States and the Commission; calls on the Commission to hold regular exchanges with Member States, notably through the proposed Strategic Group for International Energy Cooperation, on the priorities and activities of the EU and Member States in the field of external energy strategy at both political and expert levels; calls for independent energy regulators to participate as experts in the Strategic Group for International Energy Cooperation, given their experience and in-depth knowledge of the functioning of cross-border electricity and gas markets;

26.   Considers that the measures proposed by the Commission could be made more effective by prioritising them, by establishing time-frames and action plans, and by providing an indication of the progress achieved and the deadlines;

27.   Considers that ensuring coherence between the horizontal objectives set out in the Lisbon Treaty is crucial for the EU's external energy policy; calls for Parliament to be informed about the EU's priority projects in a timely manner;

28.   Calls on the Member States not to conclude contracts on energy or energy-related technology supply with third countries which violate the interests of another Member State of the Union;

29.   Takes the view that regular discussions should be held on the challenges facing the EU's external energy policy during formal and informal meetings of energy ministers in the Council, with the involvement and strong support of the High Representative, the Energy Commissioner and their relevant services; such meetings should also be used to coordinate a common and consistent European position ahead of high-level meetings in international organisations such as the IEA, UN, IRENA, IPEEC and IAEA, where it is important that the EU plays a more active and influential role; Parliament should be regularly informed and consulted on all relevant issues;

30.   Believes that where an infrastructure project of strategic importance affects the security of energy supply for the EU as a whole, the Council should consider granting the Commission a mandate to conduct the negotiations, and that such a mandate should also be considered in the case of other intergovernmental agreements considered to have a significant impact on the EU's long-term energy policy objectives, in particular its energy independence; calls, in this regard, for proper consultation and communication with Parliament;

31.   Calls on the Commission to develop an information sharing tool to collect and make available relevant data on the Member States' and EU administrative and financial institutions' energy programmes and projects in third countries; calls on Member States to provide the relevant data to the Commission in this context;

32.   Calls on the Commission to monitor global energy markets and cooperate in this regard with Member States and international organisations such as the IEA; calls on the Commission to present a legal instrument for this purpose before the end of 2012;

33.   Stresses that, given the Union's high dependence on energy imports, increased diversification of supply sources – including new sources of energy – and transit routes and the development of EU sources of renewable energy are urgent and essential elements supporting the Union's external security policy, strategic role and foreign policy independence, coherence, credibility and effectiveness;

34.   Calls for a coordinated, unified EU policy strategy for new energy suppliers to be developed, with particular attention on enhancement of conditions for competition in the EU so as to open up opportunities for new suppliers to enter the EU market;

35.   Calls for greater synergies between the EU's trade and energy policies, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy; underlines the need to promote global governance structures for raw materials in order to decrease international tensions in this area, and commends the example of the International Energy Forum (IEF) in this regard; considers the conclusion with our strategic trade partners of long-term energy and raw materials supply contracts at fair prices to be one of the top priorities; calls, therefore, for the EU to adopt a coherent strategy with regard to energy supply contracts with these partners;

Diversification – enhanced security of European energy supply

36.   Stress that the EU Treaty calls for solidarity between Member States, which should be part of both the daily work and crisis management of internal and external energy policy; calls on the Commission to provide a clear definition of ‘energy solidarity’ in order to ensure that it can be respected by all Member States;

37.   Points out that the EU's increasing dependence on imported fossil fuels will undermine its political leverage and may have significant effects on the independence of its decision-making in other policy areas, and that only a full transition to environmentally sound energy supply and energy efficiency and interconnection, interdependence and solidarity among Member States can counterbalance this unfavourable situation;

38.   Stresses that the EU's common energy policy and strategic goals should be appropriately reflected in its external relations and regional and European Neighbourhood policies;

39.   Calls on the Commission also to support research and development in the field of own-fuel resources, and to support the establishment of fuel supplies from diversified suppliers, sources of supply and fuel transmission lines to individual EU regions in order to ensure a minimum of two different sources of supply for each region, in accordance with the Commission communication on Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond – A Blueprint for an integrated European energy network (COM(2010)0677 );

40.   Stresses that the EU's external energy policy should contribute to ensuring safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy, consistent with the overall objectives of EU energy policy of competitiveness, security of supply and sustainability, as well as with the EU 2050 energy and climate objectives;

41.   Stresses that action to diversify suppliers, routes and sources of energy supply to the EU should be accelerated, taking into account the priority energy infrastructure corridors, especially those aimed at creating a real competitive market for gas, creating new transit corridors (Southern Corridor and the Mediterranean Basin), reinforcing existing corridors (Eastern Corridor) and creating real competition among sources of gas supply by increasing the EU's share of LNG and by reaching new and remote suppliers (Australia, Canada, United States, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, etc.);

42.   Stresses, also, the importance of improving the interconnection of energy grids and completing the Euro-Mediterranean and Euro-Atlantic electricity and gas infrastructure rings and the Baltic energy market interconnection plan, while also modernising and upgrading the existing fleet of electricity and gas power plants and infrastructure (interconnections, grids, pipelines, transmission networks, storage and LNG terminals); these measures should ensure that no Member State remains an energy island and that energy can flow freely throughout the EU; in this respect, welcomes the proposed Connecting Europe Facility;

43.   Calls on the Commission to support the so-called ‘energy security clause’ to be included in trade, association and partnership and cooperation agreements with producer and transit countries, which would lay down a code of conduct and explicitly outline measures to be taken in the event of any unilateral change in terms by one of the partners;

44.   Welcomes the Commission communication entitled ‘On security of energy supply and international cooperation; the EU Energy Policy: Engaging with Partners beyond our Borders’ (COM(2011)0539 ); believes, however, that further instruments based on solidarity between EU Member States are needed in order to provide the EU with the ability to protect its energy security interests and in negotiating with its external partners, in particular in crisis situations;

45.   Calls on the Commission to draw up a comprehensive set of short-, medium- and long-term energy policy priorities in relations with its neighbours with a view to establishing a common legal area based on the acquis-related principles and norms of the internal market; stresses the importance of further extending the European Energy Community and setting up legal control mechanisms to deal with deficient acquis implementation;

46.   Supports political and economic dialogue with the EU's neighbouring countries on the use of new energy sources;

47.   Calls for the implementation of existing mechanisms, and the creation of new ones, within the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Black Sea Synergy in order to strengthen cooperation with a view to achieving greater transparency and stability of supply and transit;

48.   Is in favour of a political dialogue with Norway and Russia over the exploration of new energy sources in the Barents Sea, based on the prerequisite of protection of the vulnerable environment of the Arctic region, and of cooperation with Norway on the import of hydroelectric electricity via long-distance submarine power cables; calls for the swifter formulation of an EU strategy towards the Arctic region;

49.   Regards external political dialogue as essential to decoupling global economic growth from the use of energy resources, and to promoting more predictable energy markets, as well as being beneficial to political relations; stresses the importance of dialogue with emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, in addition to other key consumer countries such as the United States and Japan;

50.   Takes the view that the EU should promote the development and deepening of energy policy cooperation with third countries which share the same values and are willing to engage in democratic reforms and the promotion of the values upon which the EU is founded;

51.   Welcomes the Commission's recommendations on enhanced political cooperation with the Eastern neighbours and deems it essential for Turkey's accession to the Energy Community Treaty and the opening of the energy chapter in EU accession negotiations to be treated with the utmost urgency; furthermore, welcomes the initiative for a tripartite dialogue (EU-Ukraine-Russia) and emphasises the need to ensure thorough political and administrative cooperation with both partners;

52.   Stresses that action to increase internal production of renewable energy is critical to reducing the EU's dependence on imports of hydrocarbons; maintains that the EU's energy production and distribution structure should be reassessed in accordance with its long-term energy and climate objectives;

53.   Recalls the significant contribution of LNG to EU energy supply and calls for a strengthening of cooperation with the main suppliers and current and future consumers;

54.   Emphasises that diversification should mean new non-Russian sources of oil, gas and electricity for those Member States which are overly dependent on this single supplier; stresses that while Russian gas accounts for only 24 % of gas consumed EU-wide, it accounts for between 48 % and 100 % in 12 of the 27 Member States, and therefore has a direct impact on the Union's energy security;

55.   Takes the view that with the development of new, unconventional energy technologies (oil sands and shale gas from Canada, the United States, Australia, Qatar, Brazil and Argentina, energy exploration in the Arctic region, and further exploitations in Iraq, Venezuela and Africa), new actors, partners and regions are emerging as possible future suppliers, and the EU should therefore also concentrate on taking full advantage of this new situation and develop new energy partnerships in order to diversify its suppliers;

56.   While appreciating the importance of the transition to a low-carbon economy, underlines the need to maintain its competitiveness and innovativeness, inter alia by using appropriate trade policy instruments; the transition to a low-carbon economy must be adapted to the potential of the geographical area in question, the specific nature of the energy system and energy mix of the particular Member State and its geological structure; believes that this approach will make it possible to maintain the highest level of energy security and economic competitiveness while at the same time respecting the autonomy of each Member State, as enshrined in the Treaties, to set the conditions for use of its energy resources, to choose between different energy sources and to determine the general structure of its energy supply;

57.   Recognises the importance of EU foreign direct investment in the construction and modernisation of energy infrastructure in developing countries; at the same time, underlines the need for appropriate legal protection for such investment, which may be achieved by extending the acquis communautaire to third countries (inter alia by strengthening and extending the area of application of the Energy Community Treaty);

58.   Notes the importance of broad cooperation in the Arctic region, particularly among countries in the Euro-Atlantic sphere;

Sustainability – strengthened partnership with supplier countries and international organisations

59.   Believes that the world's increasing demand for energy and the high concentration of fossil fuel reserves in largely unstable and undemocratic countries makes the EU vulnerable and deeply undermines the development of credible, effective and consistent common European policies;

60.   Believes that EU energy partnerships and EU participation in global forums such as the G20 must be used to promote more sustainable energy policies in third countries, while enhancing market transparency, reducing volatility in international markets and contributing to the building of a global energy market that is less vulnerable to shocks and supply interruptions;

61.   Emphasises the need to expand the links between the European energy network and neighbouring countries (the Western Balkans, Eastern neighbours, Caspian countries, North Africa and the Middle East) by building new interconnectors and promoting a wider regulatory area, extending EU environmental and safety standards as far as possible, in order to ensure that all types of power plants in the vicinity of the EU's borders comply with the highest standards of nuclear safety;

62.   Stresses the importance of pursuing common-interest infrastructure projects, as defined in the Commission's proposal for a Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure and its Communication on Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond; given the strategic importance of these projects, regards it as essential that the resulting agreements with external partners are appropriately prioritised, sustainably developed and swiftly concluded, within a rules-based market system;

63 Emphasises that in the EU-Russia energy dialogue, where the EU should speak with one voice, the specific and dependent situation of the Central and Eastern European Member States should be taken into account as their energy supply security can only be guaranteed through the interconnection of EU-wide infrastructure and the full implementation of internal energy market rules; considers that crucial topics such as access to energy resources, networks and export markets, investment protection, reciprocity, crisis prevention and cooperation, a level playing field and the pricing of energy resources should be taken into account in the dialogue; emphasises that particular attention should be paid to the ‘Druzhba’ issue and that specific steps should be taken at EU level to resume the supply of oil via the closed branch;

64.   Emphasises that as Member States set about connecting and integrating their national markets through investment in infrastructure and the approval of common regulations, efforts should also be made to work together with Russia to identify creative and mutually acceptable measures aimed at reducing discrepancies between the two energy markets;

65.   Stresses the importance of the energy dialogue with Russia and an EU-Russia roadmap as proposed by the Energy Council; highlights the importance of cooperating in areas of mutual benefit, such as common research and technology transfer, particularly on energy efficiency and renewable energy;

66.   Calls for the Energy Charter Treaty to be extended to more countries and for the participants at the Energy Charter Conference to work towards a negotiated settlement leading to the full acceptance of the principles of the Charter and its protocols by Russia;

67.   Calls for the strategic partnership with Russia to be reinforced through the conclusion of a new partnership and cooperation agreement; emphasises that this new agreement should be in full compliance with internal market rules and the regulations of the EU's Third Energy Package and based on mutual respect and reciprocity; emphasises that Russia is already bound by the Energy Charter Treaty pursuant to Article 45 thereof; is convinced that ratification of the ECT by Russia would have mutually beneficial effects on bilateral energy relations;

68.   Highlights the role of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, which will contribute to achieving the goals of the Eastern Partnership and therefore have a positive impact on energy security issues;

69.   Points out that the countries of the European Economic Area are already part of the EU internal market and that their cooperation is key to achieving the 2020 energy targets; welcomes the current initiatives to intensify cooperation with Switzerland, which should also aim for full integration into the EU internal energy market;

70.   Believes that the EU's external energy policy should be based on and promote the principles of solidarity, transparency, subsidiarity, sustainability, cooperation, reciprocity, a rules-based market approach and coordination between the EU, its Member States and partner countries; believes that respect for the horizontal objectives laid down in the Lisbon Treaty is crucial to affirming the role of Europe in the changing regional political context; calls on the Council to give the Commission a mandate to start negotiations on transforming the current Memorandums of Understanding on energy issues with neighbouring states into legally binding texts;

71.   Stresses the importance of further developing the Africa-EU Energy Partnership launched in 2010;

72.   Is convinced that more effective management at a global level would improve cooperation with producer, transit and consumer countries; believes that the EU should therefore play a major role in international management of energy policy with a view to promoting transparent and non-discriminatory principles, pursuing the objective of sustainability, lowering transaction costs and setting incentives for market participants to compete on price and quality;

73.   Welcomes the inclusion of the target of universal energy access by 2030 in the communication on ‘The EU Energy Policy: Engaging with Partners beyond our Borders’, and believes that for developing countries this should focus on decentralised, sustainable and affordable energy, particularly for rural and poor populations; encourages support for innovative payment schemes with private and public involvement aimed at making energy access affordable for end-users;

74.   Stresses that sustainable energy is a key driver of development, and reiterates its call for a specific ‘energy and development’ programme with particular focus on renewable, energy-efficient, small-scale and decentralised energy solutions and the promotion of capacity development and technology transfer in order to ensure local ownership; notes that large-scale renewable energy schemes may be necessary in order to sustainably meet the growing energy demand from urban centres and industry, particularly in emerging countries; calls for such schemes to adhere in all cases to the highest social and environmental criteria;

75.   Calls for respect for the EU's over-riding development objectives and for democracy and human rights when dealing with developing countries on energy matters, in the context of a strategic approach to achieving a secure, sustainable and competitive energy supply which puts the interests of the people living in developing countries at the core;

76.   Emphasises the importance of transparency, democratic oversight and civil society involvement in relations with third countries in the field of energy;

77.   Stresses the importance of continuing to include key trade and investment principles, including those promoting a level playing field for investment in sustainable energy, both in bilateral agreements and in multilateral legal frameworks, such as the Energy Charter Treaty and the WTO, and making them enforceable through effective dispute settlement mechanisms;

78.  Takes the view that while cooperating on the exploitation of, and trade in, energy products, and their transit to the EU, there is also a need to intensify cooperation on other important energy-related issues; calls, therefore, for strategic energy partnerships to be developed between the EU and key third countries, such as the BRICS and countries whose energy consumption is growing rapidly, inter alia, in the following areas:

   R&D cooperation on low-carbon technologies and innovation,
   investment in sustainable energy production,
   safety and security of energy technologies,
   data-sharing on know-how transfer, including in the field of clean and renewable energy sources,
   promotion of energy efficiency and energy savings,
   balancing of systems,
   smart grids,
   energy storage,
   fusion research,
   clean coal technology and carbon capture and storage;

79.   Urges the Commission to require and enforce the highest international safety standards for nuclear power plants in countries neighbouring the EU, using all available instruments and treaties, such as the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the ‘Espoo Convention’) and the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the ‘Aarhus Convention’); calls on countries neighbouring the EU to perform comprehensive EU nuclear safety and risk stress tests and on the Commission to offer EU technical assistance for this purpose;

80.   Urges the Commission to promote the adoption, in all relevant trade agreements, including within the WTO, of the principles of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and international standards on energy markets governance, including a phasing-out of fossil fuel subsidies with quantitative objectives;

81.   Notes that the storage of energy and electricity produced from renewable sources and other advanced energy applications requires a series of raw materials, including rare earth minerals, which are currently hard to obtain; considers that coordinated action by the EU and other leaders in the technology field, including the United States and Japan, is required to advance research into the creation of new raw and substitute materials or a reduction in the use of raw materials that are problematic from the point of view of continuous supply, toxicity or environmental impact;

82.   In order to promote globally secure, safe and environment-conscious energy production, supports the strengthening and promotion of radiological protection and safeguards, nuclear safety standards, stringent requirements for offshore oil and gas operations, the safety of maritime transport of crude oil and oil products and LNG, as well as cooperation on new technologies, on R&D&I and work on international standards;

83.   Takes the view that global climate change challenges cannot be mitigated without the involvement of big emitters and encourages the Commission to set up a common strategy with a view to achieving a global solution involving those countries; recognises that the accrued expertise within the EU, based on our experience with the design and implementation of the ETS, could be of benefit to third countries, and urges the Commission to provide assistance and encouragement to third countries in the setting up and design of their own ETS, with a view to linking such systems to the EU's;

84.   Emphasises Europe's need for a long-term policy perspective comprising new global partnerships and bilateral cooperation instruments allowing the EU to play a key role in global energy agenda-setting by taking the lead in shaping new market standards and heading international efforts in technology research and innovation in the energy field;

85.   Emphasises the need to improve cooperation on R&D&I with third countries with a view to tackling global challenges; believes that the EU should work closely with major third-country exporters of biofuels to ensure that these alternative, clean energy options, which can contribute to diversification of supply, can be truly sustainable, and that indirect land-use change with negative consequences can be avoided; stresses that external sources of biofuels should be subject to the same standards as EU sources, especially environmental and climate standards; believes that the Union should promote the adoption of second- and third-generation biofuel technologies, both internally and externally;

86.   Draws attention to the complex relationship between energy, food supply and security, particularly with regard to biofuels, which may have a negative social and environmental impact on developing countries; believes that the right to food must take precedence over the EU's renewable energy target for biofuels;

87.   Notes that the expansion of agrofuels has relied overwhelmingly on the expansion of large-scale industrial monoculture, thereby extending agricultural practices that are harmful to the environment, biodiversity, soil fertility and water availability; expresses its concern that, by encouraging concentration of land ownership, this expansion of agrofuels may have dramatic consequences in terms of violation of land rights, loss of access to vital natural resources, deforestation and environmental degradation;

88.   Expresses its concern at the absence of any binding sustainability criteria for biomass production within the framework of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED); considers, under these circumstances, that bioenergy could play a negative role in the fight against climate change as well as becoming a major additional driver of land grab, food insecurity, deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; urges the Commission, therefore, to develop legally binding sustainability criteria aimed at preventing negative climate, environmental and social impacts from the production and use of biomass for energy;

89.   Calls on the EU to put in place a policy for sustainable biomass production and its use for energy purposes that meets the requirements of the climate change policy and is also consistent with the Union's development cooperation policy;

90.   Believes that the EU ought to ensure that energy becomes a key component of its external assistance programmes, as energy access, essential for economic development, remains a challenge in developing countries;

91.   Believes that cooperation on the development and deployment of future-oriented energy technologies should be at the centre of the EU's cooperation with industrialised partners and emerging economies;

92.   Takes the view that the EU should place energy matters at the core of European initiatives such as the Eastern Partnership, the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Neighbourhood Policy;

93.   Calls on the Commission to draw up joint energy roadmaps with all the key energy suppliers and strategically important transit countries, and to establish partnerships with countries facing similar energy challenges and sharing similar values, notably with the aim of promoting technological, research and industrial cooperation, and to set common standards for renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, new and unconventional energy technologies and safety of offshore drilling as well as nuclear safety and non-proliferation;

94.   With the aim of ensuring energy access for all and in line with the Millennium Development Goal, reaffirms the importance of increasing EU FDI in the building and modernisation of energy infrastructure and energy efficiency in developing countries through renewable generation capacity and support for the creation of adequate legislative frameworks to help them diversify their energy-mix while enhancing the protection of European investments in those countries through appropriate legal means;

95.   Calls for coordinated action with other technological leaders (e.g. the US and Japan) to address the emerging challenges, such as the shortage of raw materials, including rare earth minerals, that affects the deployment of renewable energy technologies, energy storage and advanced energy applications;

96.   Calls for EU Energy Cooperation Programmes with developing countries to facilitate the establishment of a relevant market structure and rules in order to ensure that domestic consumers benefit from renewable energy at an appropriate cost;

97.   Considers that the strict nuclear security rules in force in the EU must be reflected in EU strategies with external countries, particularly those neighbouring countries where nuclear power plants which may have a major impact on EU security are already in operation or are planned;

98.   Welcomes, in this context, the recent commitment of the Transatlantic Economic Council and the EU-US Energy Council to foster cooperation on energy security, smart grid standards, hydrogen and fuel cell technology, renewables and other clean energy technologies, energy efficiency and effective policies for facilitating trade and bringing clean energy technologies to market; calls for the EU-US Energy Council conclusions to be better transmitted to decision-making structures;

99.   Underlines the need to deepen the dialogue on strategic energy issues of mutual interest, foster cooperation on energy policies and strengthen research collaboration with the United States, in particular in the field of energy-efficient technologies of production and transport; calls for the establishment of an Energy Security Partnership with the United States based on the current cooperation within the US-EU Energy Council;

100.   Stresses the need for the Transatlantic Economic Council to foster cooperation on regulatory regimes, sustainable energy research and energy efficiency, fusion research and nuclear safety, amongst other matters, and calls for regular energy dialogues with Russia and other partners to develop and better enforce international rules for safe, secure and efficient energy generation, transmission, transit, storage and processing, as well as bilateral trade in new energy technologies and products such as biofuels;

101.   Calls on the Commission to increase its cooperation with the International Energy Agency, which provides vital information and data for energy planning; believes the EU and all Member States which are not IEA members should accede to the IEA;

102.   Welcomes the EU's participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project and the Generation IV International Forum (GIF);

103.   Calls on the EU and the Member States to cooperate further with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe on energy security issues and the protection of critical energy infrastructure;

104.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to work with the United States and other allies to protect energy infrastructure from cyber-attacks; stresses that as we move towards a ‘smart’ grid, this risk, which traditional security measures cannot prevent, will become even more important in critical infrastructure protection;

105.   Welcomes the proposed ‘EU-Southern Mediterranean Energy Partnership’; considers that this partnership should focus on the enormous renewable (solar) energy potential of this region and that it should put in place the necessary measures to help meet the significant energy needs of the Southern Mediterranean countries on the basis of sustainable solutions;

106.   Reiterates that external energy policy cooperation must contribute to the promotion, not decline, of the core values of the Union, such as respect for human rights, democracy, good governance, the rule of law, social dialogue, mutual respect, responsible use of natural resources, the fight against climate change and the comprehensive protection of the environment, and must promote peace and be coherent with the Union's foreign policies;

107.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to set up, in cooperation with the European External Action Service, by the end of 2013, a precise roadmap based on the Commission communication ‘On security of energy supply and international cooperation; the EU Energy Policy: Engaging with Partners beyond our Borders’ (COM(2011)0539 ), leading to the formation of an effective foreign energy policy with short-, medium- and long-term objectives, targets and steps and a specific time-frame for their implementation;

108.   Emphasises the importance of the Black Sea region in terms of diversification of sources and routes, renewable energy potential and its geostrategic location as a gateway to the Caspian sea area, the Middle East and central Asia; believes that the Commission and the Member States should provide assistance for multilateral energy cooperation in the areas of integration of markets, regulatory frameworks and infrastructure; highlights, in this respect, the key importance of the Southern Corridor, the Nabucco project and the Trans-Caspian pipeline, as well as other smaller projects;

109.   Recognises the contribution of GMES in the identification, from space, of the solar energy resources from which the Earth benefits; mindful that GMES has identified the fact that desert areas receive in one day a greater quantity of solar energy than that consumed by the whole of mankind in one year, calls on the Commission to form partnerships with countries having large desert areas, especially in Africa, and to develop strategies and technologies for the efficient use of this energy potential, including the use of the mechanisms for cooperation and development provided for by the energy and climate change package;

110.   Calls for the further extension of membership of the Energy Community Treaty (ECT) to more of the EU's neighbouring countries, notably those in the Eastern Partnership and the Central Asian republics; emphasises that the Commission should ensure and enforce the timely and strict implementation of EU energy rules by members of the ECT, in particular by making the availability of EU funds contingent on compliance with Treaty obligations;

111.   Believes that access to sustainable energy is a key driver for development and urges the EU to focus its development activities on assisting developing countries in promoting sustainable energy policies, reform measures, infrastructure development, favourable investment conditions and energy efficiency;

112.   Calls for a special energy dialogue with the countries of the Caspian region, and welcomes the work on a Caspian Development Corporation; asks the Commission to continue working to strengthen the EU's relations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan;

113.   Maintains that the EU's external energy policy priorities should be appropriately reflected in the post-2013 external financial instruments;

114.   Emphasises the importance of cooperation within the Eastern Partnership Energy Security Platform in order to promote the introduction of European standards in energy policy and regulation and support the development of infrastructure and interconnections, energy efficiency and the use of renewables; welcomes the Eastern European Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) initiative, and expects this initiative to shortly involve other Eastern Partnership countries in addition to Ukraine;

115.   Recalls the recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean over the existence of hydrocarbons; points out that energy should be used as a means of promoting peace, cooperation and stability in the region;

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

(1) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 64.

Last updated: 7 November 2013Legal notice