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понеделник, 16 юни 2008 г. - Страсбург Редактирана версия

22. 1-ви юли 2008 г. - 40 години митнически съюз

  Przewodniczący. − Kolejnym punktem porządku dziennego jest oświadczenie Komisji w sprawie obchodów czterdziestolecia Unii celnej dnia 1 lipca 2008 r.


  László Kovács, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, whenever we speak about international trade or European integration, we have to think of customs, which is responsible, at the EU external borders, for the correct administration of all the measures designed to tackle the dual challenge which customs is facing today: to facilitate trade while also protecting European citizens and the environment.

During the last 40 years, European customs has done its best to work efficiently together like one single administration. It has often been the avant-garde in European integration. It is truly remarkable that a policy which does not very often hit the front pages has nevertheless managed to play a pioneering role in opening new paths both for the economic development and the integration of the Community.

Today the role of customs remains important, difficult and, regrettably, not as highly valued by the public as it should be. However, the correct work of customs forms the basis for the success of our single market and the free movement of goods, persons, capital and services. Customs action touches the very core of Community work and impacts on the daily life of our citizens, often without people realising it.

In order to raise our citizens’ awareness about the crucial role of customs, I have launched an EU-wide communication campaign on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Customs Union. Member States’ customs authorities have backed this idea.

Last week I visited three main points of entry for goods at the EU’s external borders – the Port of Rotterdam, Frankfurt Airport and the Röszke crossing point at the Hungarian-Serbian border – with a view to highlighting the everyday work and the high motivation of our customs officials. This is the subject of a news package now available to the media in order to inform the public in the coming months.

Coming back to the core issues, customs today have to meet five strategic objectives:

The first is to protect the financial interests of the Community and its members. In 2007 the total amount of custom duties transferred to the EU budget amounted to EUR 16.6 billion, which represents 16% of the Community budget.

The second is to facilitate legitimate trade and to support the competitiveness of European companies: the modernisation of the Community Customs Code and the introduction of eCustoms are two instruments to this end. The most recent concrete achievement was the introduction of the Authorised Economic Operator concept as of 1 January 2008.

The third is to protect the safety of our citizens against terrorists, drugs and counterfeited and pirated goods that can even endanger their health and life, by controlling the supply chains used for the international movement of goods.

The fourth is to maintain, develop and enhance cooperation between the customs authorities of the Member States, between customs and other government law enforcement agencies and, furthermore, between customs and the business community.

The fifth is the cooperation between the European Union and third countries – cooperation with other target countries for fake goods and terrorist devices, like the US.

Our approach is based on exchange of information, cooperation on risk analysis and risk management, the mutual recognition of security standards, findings of security controls and the Customs-Trade Partnership; but also on cooperation with countries of origin of counterfeited and pirated goods, like China, where 60% of the fake goods come from. In 2005, we signed a customs cooperation agreement and established a Joint Customs Cooperation Committee which meets annually. Last year we launched a pilot project on Smart and Secure Tradelanes between European and Chinese ports and recently we have started to develop a programme of action to be signed at the December EU-China Summit. We need to establish similar cooperation with other countries like India, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and others.

Since 1993, once a consignment is cleared by a national customs authority, it is free to circulate amongst all the other Member States. This means that customs have one single opportunity to control goods and seize any illegal traffic. The result is that the Customs Union is as strong as its weakest link. By this I mean that it would be very easy for traders to spot the point where controls are less accurate or less strong and divert the illegal consignments to these points. It underlines the responsibility of the customs authorities of Member States with external borders.

In view of the ever-increasing international trade and this responsibility to combat counterfeiting, customs activity remains high. I will give you some figures to illustrate the workload in 2007: 183 million customs declarations were processed, which means around 5.5 customs declarations every second; 1 545 million tonnes of seaborne cargo and 3 million tonnes of airborne cargo were handled; 43 cases of fake goods were found and seized, which amounted to 79 million counterfeited and pirated articles, and the trend is upwards.

We will only be able to meet the dual challenge that customs are facing if we rethink our working methods. This means, for example, moving from the current transaction-based approach of customs formalities and controls to a system-based approach focusing on the internal control systems and supply chain of the economic operators.

Of course this does not mean abandoning the control of individual shipments but basing these controls on risk analysis. Such a new approach implies new working and control methods and a common risk management strategy for all EU customs services. It will also offer a platform for working with the Member States on the most appropriate operational structure to be put in place in future for an efficient functioning of the Customs Union.

New working methods also imply that all national customs authorities are well equipped with skills, competences and resources that can maintain and increase their efficiency and effectiveness.

To reach these objectives, the Commission proposed, in its communication on a strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union, the development of a strategic plan. This long-term planning should allow national authorities to forecast their needs for resources, training and equipment so as to permit the developments to be made in a synchronised and harmonised way throughout the 27 Member States. This permanent channel of communication will also help us to ensure a simultaneous implementation of the new measures.

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Customs Union, I am asking for your political support for the Commission’s initiative for a strategy on the evolution of the Customs Union. I am glad that the text of the resolution to be voted on Thursday takes into account most of the Commission’s ideas about the major axes of evolution of the Customs Union on closer cooperation, addressing security and enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness and delivery of customs for the benefit of the internal market.

I would not like to conclude this statement without thanking the European Parliament for all the support it has given to customs throughout the years.


  Malcolm Harbour, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group. – Mr President, on behalf of my group I would like first of all to congratulate the Commissioner on his leadership of the customs function within the Commission. I should also like to say that we have a very important opportunity this evening not only to recognise, as he says, the considerable achievements of the Commission and indeed all the customs authorities across the Member States on this 40th anniversary, but also to look forward. I just want to reassure him that from our side of the House we will certainly give full support to the strategy that he is talking about. You will see from the resolution that we have also called upon Member States in particular to declare their support for it and to put the necessary resources behind that very important project.

As he said in his speech, the customs forces are the authorities whose services are very much the unsung heroes of the internal market, but they are certainly not forgotten in the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. As he will know, we have taken particular interest in the dossiers, but not only that: just as he has done over the last week, on our missions around the European Union and now further afield, particularly in China recently, we have also regularly been to visit customs authorities to get a sense of their priorities and the problems they are facing on the ground; so we are much engaged with that.

I just want to make a couple of points today about the things that we need to do. It seems to me that one of the tasks we need to engage in together is to get businesses to cooperate much more with customs in dealing with counterfeit and illegal products. Customs need information to be able to stop shipments. They need intelligence. I think businesses are not sufficiently aware of the importance of that, of giving that information.

Secondly, given the increasing scale of trade, particularly from countries like China, we really have to ask Member States to look seriously at whether they have the resources to deal with very large inflows of goods that are coming in and to inspect and deal with counterfeits and products that are trying to evade the customs system. But thank you very much indeed, Commissioner, for all that you are doing in this field.


  Evelyne Gebhardt, im Namen der PSE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Da wir heute merken, dass die Bürgerinnen und Bürger der Europäischen Union immer skeptischer gegenüberstehen, ist es besonders wichtig, dass wir solche Tage feiern, die symbolhaft sind. Und gerade diese 40 Jahre Zollunion sind ja ein bemerkenswertes Datum. Sie haben es ja selbst gesagt, Herr Kommissar: bemerkenswert, weil tatsächlich schon vor vierzig Jahren die Schritte zur Integration, zur Grundlage für den Binnenmarkt und für die freie Bewegung von Menschen, Waren und Dienstleistungen auf den Weg gebracht worden sind. Ich denke, es ist wichtig, dass wir das den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern immer wieder sagen, ihnen klar machen, was sie von der Europäischen Union haben, was wir damals in diesem Zusammenhang erreicht haben.

Deswegen möchte ich auch noch einmal ganz positiv darüber reden, was da geschehen ist, weil das wirklich etwas Gutes ist. Die Arbeit, die Sie auch mit China und Staaten der Europäischen Union machen, die Sie erwähnt haben, das sind wichtige Schritte für unsere Wirtschaft, aber auch für unsere Verbraucher und Verbraucherinnen in der Europäischen Union. Denn wir wollen ja sichere Produkte und sichere Dienstleistungen haben, die wir voranbringen können. Und das ist von großer Wichtigkeit. Wir haben jetzt in unseren letzten Richtlinien die wir für die Zollunion gestaltet haben, auch die Moderne eingebracht, indem wir den elektronischen Zoll eingeführt haben. Ich denke, das ist auch zukunftsweisend. Wenn es uns gelingt, solche positiven Aspekte der Politik in der Europäischen Union nach außen zu tragen, den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern klar zu machen, was sie von der Europäischen Union haben, dann werden wir sie auch wieder hin zur Europäischen Union führen können. Das ist das, was wir gemeinsam machen sollten. Herr Kommissar, ich bedanke mich recht herzlich für die Arbeit, die Sie in diesem Zusammenhang in der Europäischen Kommission leisten!


  Janelly Fourtou, au nom du groupe ALDE. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, au moment où l'Europe traverse des difficultés, où s'insinue le doute et où faiblit l'enthousiasme, nous allons célébrer une réussite indéniable, les 40 ans de l'union douanière.

De 1968 à 2008, les douanes ont été un exemple de réactivité et d'adaptation. Souvenez-vous de la fermeture des postes aux frontières entre les États membres en 1993. Les douanes ont su redéployer leurs forces et ceci dans la modernité. Leur rôle est complexe puisqu'elles doivent répondre à des défis mondiaux. Tout en veillant à la sécurité de l'Union européenne et de ses citoyens, tout en sécurisant la chaîne logistique, les douanes doivent maintenir un juste équilibre entre les contrôles et la facilitation du commerce légitime dans le but évident d'améliorer la compétitivité européenne.

Pour réussir leur mission, les douanes ont su se renouveler en profondeur grâce à un nouveau code des douanes tout à la fois allégé et enrichi grâce aux nouvelles technologies qui assureront un environnement administratif sans support papier, grâce enfin à la coopération. Cette coopération, maître mot de l'union douanière, se fait autant avec les autorités internationales comme l'OMC ou l'OMD, qu'avec les nouvelles administrations et les industriels.

Les résultats de cette coopération se sont fait sentir d'une manière remarquable notamment dans les saisies de contrefaçons. La coopération internationale a malheureusement des limites et, actuellement, on ne peut que déplorer la décision unilatérale du Congrès américain sur le 100% scanning des conteneurs dans les ports de l'Union.

Les douanes ont besoin de notre appui pour des discussions réalistes. Les initiatives annoncées dans la stratégie pour l'avenir de l'union douanière doivent nous trouver tous à l'écoute et prêts à soutenir toute initiative pour rendre les douanes encore plus performantes, notamment dans la lutte contre la contrefaçon et le crime organisé.

(Le Président retire la parole à l'orateur.)


  Andreas Schwab (PPE-DE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, meine Damen und Herren! Vierzig Jahre Zollunion, Frau Gebhardt hat es angesprochen, sind ein Element, das den Bürgern klarmacht, dass die Europäische Union ein Stück von dem eingelöst hat, was sie vor vierzig Jahren versprochen hat. Sie hat in diesen Jahren, und meine Fraktion, Herr Kommissar, hat es in den vergangenen Monaten bei allen Gesetzgebungsvorschlägen, die Sie ins Europäische Parlament eingebracht haben, unterstützt, die finanziellen Interessen der Europäischen Union und ihre Mitgliedstaaten erheblich besser geschützt als die Mitgliedstaaten dies alleine hätten tun können. Sie hat Investitionen von einem in den anderen Mitgliedstaat erleichtert, wie es die Mitgliedstaaten allein nicht hinbekommen hätten. Wir haben über die Modernisierung des Zollkodex und den elektronischen Zoll, den Sie angesprochen haben, hier erheblich dazu beitragen können, dass diese Investitionstätigkeit in Zukunft noch stärker vereinfacht wird. Hinzugesagt werden muss allerdings, dass die Kosten für diese Umstellung unerfreulicherweise bei den Unternehmen geblieben sind. Der Zoll, so meine ich, hat in den nächsten Jahren erhebliche Herausforderungen vor sich. Deswegen, lieber Herr Kommissar, glaube ich, dass es wichtig ist, dass Ihre Strategie diese neuen Herausforderungen effizient und effektiv ansteuert und Antworten gibt.

In meinen Wahlkreis, – Sie wissen das – gibt es ein Problem mit der Verzollung an der Grenze zur Schweiz. Ich hoffe, dass wir die vielen kleinen Detailfragen, die sich da Tag für Tag für die Unternehmen stellen, auch in Zukunft so konstruktiv lösen können, wie wir das in der Vergangenheit haben tun können.

Der Zoll wird in den nächsten Jahren – und das ist die Herausforderung auf die Ihre Strategie Antwort geben muss – die Sicherheitsinteressen der Europäischen Union noch viel stärker berücksichtigen müssen als in der Vergangenheit. Natürlich zählt dazu auch der Schutz vor gefälschten Produkten und Produktpiraterie, aber es kommt zunehmend auch darauf an, in dieser Frage Aspekte des globalen Terrorismus noch stärker mit den Aufgaben des Zolls zu verknüpfen. Der globale Handel, Frau Fortou hat darauf hingewiesen, wird zunehmend erfordern, dass auch auf der Ebene der WTO darüber verhandelt wird, wie sich der Zoll bei dem Schutz der Außengrenzen effektiv einbringen kann.

Mein letzter Punkt, die Frage des transatlantischen Binnenmarktes lässt aus unserer Sicht ein hundertprozentiges Scanning nicht als sinnvoll erscheinen. Ihnen weiterhin viel Erfolg.


  Arlene McCarthy (PSE). – Mr President, as chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection with responsibility for customs policy, I certainly welcome the opportunity to speak in this debate to mark 40 years of the Customs Union. The IMCO Committee, as has already been said, attaches great importance to our customs work, because it is the pragmatic and practical face of the European Union’s work. Without doubt the Customs Union has helped increase the competitiveness of EU business by simplifying and getting rid of unnecessary rules for business and legitimate traders. 175 million customs declarations are handled annually, with an average customs clearance taking only two minutes.

But there is still more to do. SMEs need more help to minimise the difficulties they face when trading in Europe. Paperless customs, centralised clearance and a single window will facilitate and support our SMEs, but it must of course be rigorously pursued by Member States if we are to reap the benefits.

This is also an opportunity to step up and reinforce our commitment to fighting the influx and flood of pirated and counterfeit goods. Fake goods and fake medicines not only undermine EU business, they are a grave and ever-present threat to our consumers’ health and safety, an issue which the Consumer Protection Committee is deeply concerned about.

So, working with third countries and in particular China, we want to improve the interception of dangerous and illegal goods; but ultimately we need to make our Customs Union work better. Member States are called upon this evening to take their responsibilities more seriously for implementation and enforcement and to back this up with serious resources.

Commissioner, you can continue to rely on us in the IMCO Committee to work with you to improve the Customs Union as a cornerstone of the internal market and of course as a central element for the functioning and success of the EU economy. We must ensure that our 27 Member States work together more closely: that they liaise, share information and make Europe work better and more smoothly for legitimate business; and that we do crack down on the serious and growing problem of counterfeit and pirated goods entering our market.


  Małgorzata Handzlik (PPE-DE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Unia celna jest niezbędnym elementem rynku wewnętrznego Unii Europejskiej, który nie może funkcjonować właściwie bez wspólnych zasad na jej granicach zewnętrznych. Poza oczywistą funkcją w postaci pobierania ceł, unia celna odgrywa bowiem ogromną rolę w ochronie zdrowia i bezpieczeństwa naszych obywateli.

W ostatnich miesiącach sporo czasu w Parlamencie poświęcamy dyskusjom na temat, między innymi bezpieczeństwa produktów, w tym w szczególności zabawek czy zagadnieniom podróbek. Wszystkim nam zależy, aby do naszych rąk trafiały przecież produkty spełniające ustalone kryteria, przede wszystkim niestanowiące zagrożenia dla naszego zdrowia czy życia. Pragnę przypomnieć, iż wbrew powszechnym opiniom podróbki nie dotyczą tylko ekskluzywnych i drogich produktów, ale także części do samochodów, produktów codziennego użytku, jak żywność czy leki.

Wiele takich produktów jest wprowadzanych do obiegu na europejskim rynku wewnętrznym z krajów trzecich. Skalę tego zjawiska obrazują liczby. W 2007 roku służby celne przechwyciły około 128 mln podrobionych produktów. W porównaniu z rokiem 2005 oznacza to wzrost o 70%. Przy czym w przypadku samych leków wyniósł on aż 380%. Oczywiście powody tego wzrostu mogą być różne. Może on wynikać z większego napływu podróbek do Unii, ale także z poprawy w ich wykrywaniu przez służby celne.

Pamiętajmy jednak, iż same standardy nie wystarczą, jeżeli brak będzie skutecznej kontroli na naszych granicach, a zwłaszcza kontroli prowadzonej w jednakowy sposób na każdym odcinku naszej granicy zewnętrznej. Skuteczna walka z podróbkami napływającymi do Unii wymaga wzmocnienia współpracy władz celnych i organów nadzorów państw członkowskich Unii, ale także współpracy z organami celnymi państw trzecich. Wzmocnienie to musi nadążać za technologicznymi zmianami. Dlatego tak ważne jest, aby służby celne w całej Unii Europejskiej dysponowały odpowiednim sprzętem pozwalającym na skuteczne wykonywanie powierzonych zadań.


  Zuzana Roithová (PPE-DE). – Před čtyřiceti lety byla celní unie klíčem k evropské prosperitě, protože umožnila jednotný vnitřní trh. Dnes čelíme novým problémům díky globalizovanému obchodu. Víme, že jen půl procenta z obrovského objemu zboží ze zámoří lze vůbec zkontrolovat v evropských přístavech a každý třetí kontejner obsahuje padělky. A další hrozbou je zboží, které nesplňuje naše technické a bezpečnostní normy.

Chci zdůraznit, že musíme lépe chránit evropské spotřebitele před tímto zbožím. A zefektivnění koordinace bude záležet na důsledné implementaci nové moderní legislativy, která je naším nebo byla naším dobrým dárkem k výročí celní unie. Také jsme do naší legislativy zakotvili právo likvidovat nebezpečné zboží stejně jako padělky. Celníci budou mít tedy plno práce. To je dobrý dárek pro ně, ale je tady samozřejmě mnoho dalších cest: větší spolupráce s podniky, efektivnější koordinace mezi členskými státy díky elektronickému celnictví a také nově spolupráce se třetími zeměmi. A chci jenom upozornit, že se nám také podařilo snad trochu zlepšit podmínky pro malé a střední podnikatele.


  Andrzej Jan Szejna (PSE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Utworzona 1 lipca 1968 roku unia celna była pierwszym krokiem ku pogłębieniu integracji gospodarczej wówczas sześciu krajów członkowskich. Możemy ją uznać za sukces w historii integracji europejskiej. Obchodząc 40stą już rocznicę istnienia unii celnej należy także zauważyć, że jest to doskonały przykład, że można efektywnie współpracować w gronie 27 krajów członkowskich, bo przecież nie istnieje tylko jedna służba celna Unii Europejskiej, jest 20 krajowych służb celnych o różnych kompetencjach i różnych formach organizacji, które współpracują ze sobą opierając się na wspólnej polityce europejskiej i wspólnych ramach prawnych określających obowiązujące przepisy i procedury. Administracje celne 27 państw członkowskich muszą działać jak jedna administracja.

Przed 40 laty unia celna miała na celu zniesienie ceł na granicach wewnętrznych między państwami członkowskimi i urzeczywistnienie idei wspólnego rynku. Aktualnie urzędy celne wspólnie chronią zewnętrzne granice Unii Europejskiej oraz podejmują działania mające na celu zwalczanie przemytu, zajmowanie niebezpiecznych podrobionych towarów, i inne zadania, które również, gratulując panu komisarzowi, zostały uwzględnione w strategii do spraw rozwoju unii celnej Komisji Europejskiej przedstawionej w kwietniu 2008 roku.


  Marios Matsakis (ALDE). – Mr President, the Customs Union is a wonderful thing but it would be even more wonderful if it was adhered to by all countries concerned. I am of course referring to Turkey, which, despite much pressure put upon it by the EU, continues not to implement or ratify the Ankara Protocol with respect to Cyprus, thus effectively imposing an embargo on all shipping and air transport with Cyprus.

I ask you, why is the EU letting Turkey make a mockery of our rules and regulations? Why is Turkey allowed to get away with such unacceptable behaviour? Why does the Commission not force Turkey either to implement the Customs Union fully or be excluded from it altogether? How long must we put up with such disrespect and ridicule from a candidate Member State that wants to think that it is European?


  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE-DE). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, mes premiers mots seront pour saluer votre travail et celui de votre administration dans ce dossier qui honore l'Union européenne. Je remercie également mes collègues et mon groupe politique de soutenir un amendement que j'ai déposé au sujet de l'attention qu'il faut accorder aux petites et moyennes entreprises, qui placent les difficultés d'application des procédures d'importation et d'exportation parmi les principales barrières non tarifaires au commerce.

Mais je crois qu'il faut aller plus loin que la coopération qui est proposée dans la résolution. Au moment où le traité de Lisbonne propose que la protection des citoyens figure parmi les objectifs de l'Union et où l'OMC est en difficulté majeure, il faut aller plus loin car, je vous cite, Monsieur le Commissaire, vous dites: "Les statistiques douanières sont alarmantes. La contrefaçon continue de menacer notre santé et notre sécurité, notre économie". Le moment est venu d'aller plus loin et d'étudier l'unification des administrations douanières bien au-delà de la coopération actuelle dont on voit aujourd'hui les limites.


  László Kovács, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, first of all allow me to express my thanks for the very interesting debate that has just taken place. I have carefully noted the comments made, since they are extremely useful for me and the Commission – and the customs services – in taking into account the political priorities expressed by the European Parliament.

I was very much impressed by the explicit expression of appreciation and support for the work of the Customs Union; I can assure you that it will continue. What are the guarantees? The guarantees are that we have the instruments, we have the strategy, and we have the legal basis, the modernised Community Customs Code with rules and procedures that guarantee the facilitation of legitimate trade and also the protection of the internal market, the safety, the health and the life of our citizens.

We have the ID technology in the framework of eCustoms, and we have a very wide cooperation network: cooperation among the customs authorities of the Member States, cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, cooperation with business – and referring to the contribution of Mr Harbour, I should like to say that in Frankfurt last week I had the chance to get information on the MediFake project, which is about counterfeit medicines, and if any distinction may be drawn between the different kinds of fake products, certainly pharmaceuticals are the most dangerous.

I am happy to tell you that just a couple of days ago in the country I know best, in Hungary, there was an agreement between the customs authorities and the Association of Pharmaceutical Factories in Hungary on how to prevent fake pharmaceuticals from getting onto the market.

We also have cooperation with international organisations, with third countries like China, and I must say that, in what are now more than three years of dealing with this portfolio and holding regular meetings with the Chinese authorities, I have certainly witnessed some improvement in the Chinese attitude. They are more concrete; they are speaking more to the point; they are more cooperative, more constructive.

Probably the reason is that for them it is more and more a question of political prestige. China, which is playing a more and more important role, not only in world trade but also in world politics, cannot afford to be labelled as the main source, as the main country of origin of those fake products that endanger the safety, the health and even the life of the citizens of other countries.

Another reason is that, as much evidence has proved, China is becoming more and more a target country and not merely a country of origin.

At least two speakers mentioned the 100% scanning initiative of the US Congress: I want to tell you that we are really trying to exert pressure on the US Administration, and indirectly even on US legislation, because we are absolutely certain – and we keep saying it – that this initiative would result in the disruption of international trade in maritime shipping, it would create a false sense of security and it would just divert attention and resources from the real issues. We hope that finally we will be successful.

So with your support, with the support of Parliament, with the support of committees like the IMCO and INTA Committees which have been very actively supporting the Customs Union, I am sure that the successful activities of the Customs Union in the next, fourth year will be guaranteed.

Thank you very much for your contributions and support.


  Przewodniczący. − Otrzymałem jeden projekt rezolucji(1) złożony zgodnie z art. 103 ust. 2 Regulaminu.

Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w czwartek, 19 czerwca 2008 r.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 142)


  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE-DE) , in writing. – There are many reasons to mark the 40th anniversary of the Customs Union. The far-reaching abolishment of customs among the Member States of the European Union is without a doubt one of the most important achievements of the Union. It has been of great benefit to both businesses and European consumers.

A lot of responsibility is placed in the hands of the customs control officials on the external borders of the Union. Counterfeit products, illegal trade in drugs and other harmful substances and smuggling of endangered species or products are challenges met by the single market with ever fewer internal border controls. Europe has one of the world's largest markets of counterfeit products. The existence and the trade volume of these products seriously violate intellectual property rights. More decisive measures to correct the situation should be identified and put into action.

Answering these challenges is above all a question of more harmonised and determined cooperation among the customs authorities of different Member States. However, all in all, the development of the European single market has been an undeniable success and deserves to be celebrated as one of the key factors contributing to the wealth of the whole of the EU.


(1)Patrz protokół

Последно осъвременяване: 10 октомври 2008 г.Правна информация