Index 
 Previous 
 Next 
 Full text 
Procedure : 2011/2072(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Select a document: :

Texts tabled :

A7-0290/2011

Debates :

PV 12/09/2011 - 26
CRE 12/09/2011 - 26

Votes :

PV 13/09/2011 - 5.25
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0366

Debates
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

8. Explanations of vote
Video of the speeches
PV
MPphoto
 

  President. – The next item is the explanations of vote. As there are quite a lot, I am going to stick to the minute that speakers are allowed, and then I will cut off the microphone.

 
  
  

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Simon Busuttil (A7-0278/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, the revision of the Frontex Regulation, which is the legal act regulating the surveillance of our external borders, is particularly important. Our common external borders are under pressure. In the spring, we saw our external borders in southern Europe come under extreme pressure.

It is important to remember that Europe’s borders are common to us all. For that very reason, during the electoral campaign two years ago, we in the Danish Liberal Party emphasised strongly that it is important for all Member States to contribute to the surveillance of our common borders. Therefore, we are obviously happy that we have now succeeded in ensuring that this will actually happen in future, not simply because it is important to keep an electoral promise, but also, of course, because our external borders are what create the framework around the community that we are all a part of. It is therefore not merely a practical issue, but actually has a very strong symbolic significance as well.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Clemente Mastella (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, one of the attributes of a common EU area of freedom, security and justice is that of the removal of borders within the Schengen area. This, however, has rendered the external borders of EU Member States a matter of common concern and has made the need for an integrated management of external borders through a coordinated approach ever more compelling.

For this reason, the adoption and implementation of common rules, increased cooperation between Member States, more combined effort and more pooling of resources are vital. Crucially, cooperation must be based on solidarity among Member States, especially with frontier Member States that, owing to their geographic or demographic situation, face severe migratory pressures, with one such example being Italy.

We therefore welcome the adoption of this report because, following lengthy negotiations, we have managed to obtain some excellent results and improvements in the functioning of the agency responsible, Frontex, and provided for more resources and instruments to optimise its work.

 
  
  

Report: Antonio Masip Hidalgo (A7-0200/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, this own-initiative report welcomes the Commission’s Green Paper on audit policy.

The financial crisis has shown us that auditors can actually play a key role in enhancing supervision, particularly when it comes to the financial institutions. I am therefore pleased that we have sent a very clear message today that there is a need to increase the transparency and quality of the work of audit firms. That is absolutely crucial in order to improve both the quality of the financial market and access to finance.

We call on the Commission to put forward proposals with a view to ensuring the independence of the auditors while, naturally, at the same time, maintaining the quality, accuracy and meticulousness of the auditors.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Mr President, on the role of auditors, Ireland has certainly had some difficult experience. I quote the chairman of our National Asset Management Agency, Frank Ryan, who controversially questioned the auditing role of accountants in the run-up to the collapse of banks which were transferring billions of bad and doubtful loans to an asset management agency. He said that it was hardly credible for auditors to say that it is not their responsibility to draw attention to significant risks that may become evident in the course of audits, such as, for instance, the extraordinary concentration of risk that developed at a number of Irish financial institutions between 2004 and 2007.

We certainly need to examine very carefully the role and the work of auditors and we will need to change the rules. I compliment Commissioner Barnier on his observations last night on the concentration of power in the hands of a very few audit companies.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, the very definition of insanity is to repeat the same action in the hope of different outcomes. In their response to the recent financial crisis, the EU’s leaders remind me of nothing so much as that scene in the Simpsons where Homer carries on electrocuting himself by repeatedly trying to snatch back his beer can from some electric cables.

The problem of the euro was excessive integration, trying to push countries with different needs into the same currency. So we have responded with more integration: fiscal and economic union. The problem was excessive debt, so we have given them more debt – forcing these loans on to people who cannot pay their existing liabilities. The problem was a bloated state at national level, so we have bloated the state further at European level, shovelling more and more of the medicine into the mouth of the patient who was sickened by it in the first place. In the process, we have sold our future to some pretty unpleasant autocracies around the world.

Talking of an earlier run on the banks, my countryman Jonathan Swift wrote: ‘A baited banker thus desponds, from his own hand foresees his fall, they have his soul who have his bonds; ’tis like the writing on the wall’. I look at who holds Europe’s bonds now, Mr President, and I tremble.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, first of all, the title of this proposal perhaps gives the impression that the crisis is over: ‘Lessons from the Crisis’. Unfortunately, at this point in time, we do not know whether we are at the beginning of the crisis, in the middle of it, or at the end. Obviously, the sooner it finishes the better, and there are, of course, lessons to be learned, in particular, in relation to the topic of auditing. My colleague, Mrs McGuinness, outlined the Irish view on that, and I concur with it.

On the broader front, I want to welcome the speech by the Polish President, and I think we need more of that type of positive outlook so that – as he said – not only can we get over the crisis but we must also ensure permanent stability. That is what we have to aim for. An awful lot of work has to be done to ensure that we get out of this crisis and stay out of it for ever.

 
  
  

Report: Edit Bauer (A7-0291/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, older women are certainly at greater risk of poverty than men, and they are perhaps also more likely to be unemployed and have lower pension savings than men – as things stand, in any case, because everything indicates that women currently gain more education than men. It is therefore not certain that this situation will persist for much longer. As women live longer, there is probably also some truth in the claim that they are at greater risk of being on their own.

These are indeed very real problems, but I simply do not understand why on earth the EU should get involved in them.

The solution is not special arrangements for women, but providing general conditions on the labour market for everyone, so that everyone will find it easier to combine family and work and have the opportunity and incentive to work, and so that everyone will be required to save for their pension, thereby creating equal opportunities and equality. In reality, this is about equal opportunities.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Mr President, this report is useful as it sets out very clearly the situation of women approaching retirement age, but it does so in a way which may ghettoise the subject and therefore fail to bring it into the wider public discussion.

I very much welcome the idea that next year will be designated ‘The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations’. This issue is a problem for younger women, and indeed younger men, because we will need to have someone to look after us as we grow old, as will they when they grow old. For that very reason, if this report highlights the matter, it will have done a good job.

I do not think that there are easy solutions. Society needs to have a very careful conversation about what we regard as our entitlements as we grow old and what society is willing to pay to allow us to have those entitlements. As we deal with austerity, that may be a very difficult debate, but this report will at least begin it.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mario Pirillo (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome the attention paid by Parliament to the situation of women approaching retirement age: active ageing must play a key role in EU policies on account of our ever longer life expectancy.

Today’s vote is a first step. I agree with the call for Member States to reflect on the role of women as care-givers. This role, if legally recognised, could create forms of official employment that make it easier for women over 50 to work.

As for the pension system, I repeat the call for the Commission to introduce forms of protection to reduce the pension gap between women, who have often had to interrupt their careers in order to care for and look after their family, and men.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE). – Mr President, a lot of the figures in this report are well known, for example, the average gender pay gap being 17.5%, but I must say I was absolutely astonished to read that in the 50-59 age group – which is my own – the average earnings of women were just 67.5% that of men – approximately two-thirds of what men earn. I found this a frightening figure because not only does it mean that women in this age group are significantly less well off than men; it has huge implications for their pensions. In other words, it means that they are more likely to suffer poverty in old age.

The report also talks about interruptions to the careers of women for caring duties, etc., and I would not like to think that I live in a society that acquiesces in the fact that when women take time off to care where it is needed, they are more likely to suffer poverty in old age. I have to say I respectfully disagree with my colleague, Mr Rohde, who talks about equal opportunities. If it was as simple as that, I do not think we would have the problem we have now.

 
  
  

Report: Arlene McCarthy (A7-0275/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, in 2008, we adopted a directive on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters and which the Member States have now implemented in their national legislation. We are already seeing very good results from the Mediation Directive. In several Member States, the legislation has made mediation a realistic, cheap and quick alternative to judicial proceedings.

Nevertheless, we need a greater awareness of mediation, and that is why we are now asking the Commission to identify good mediation practice in the Member States and to take further steps to ensure the continued expansion and increase in awareness of mediation.

 
  
  

Report: Britta Reimers (A7-0203/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Diane Dodds (NI). – Mr President, in my experience within Northern Ireland, voluntary modulation has been very divisive for farmers. It can be used to take money from farmers and then redistribute it to a small number of farmers with limited selection criteria. We have recently seen this in my region in Northern Ireland.

Depending on the scheme put in place, it can also lead to some farmers being put at an unfair competitive disadvantage. Many farmers view this system as unfair and would rather voluntary modulation did not exist. Direct payments are vitally important for farmers in Northern Ireland and also for the economy. Within the CAP post-2013, they should be made very simple to administer and fair to all farmers.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, we began today’s vote with a vote on repealing obsolete directives. The more I think about that, the more I realise how wide the scope of such a report is. Think of how much we could be repealing: starting with the common agricultural policy referred to in this report, the wonderful mid-20th century notion that you can manage agriculture through price support and price fixing; or the common fisheries policy, based on the Marxist principle of equal access to a common resource; or the wonderful ideas of export credits and regulated working hours; or indeed the idea that the European Union can be run by a 27-strong technocracy of unelected officials governing through a series of 5-year plans.

Look around you and you will see these anachronistic accoutrements of an earlier age, reflecting still the planning and statist assumptions of the EU’s earliest years. The very notion that big is beautiful has gone. If it were true, China would be wealthier than Hong Kong, Indonesia would be wealthier than Singapore, France would be wealthier than Monaco, and the EU would be wealthier than Switzerland. The truth is, my friends, that the project has been overtaken by technological change.

 
  
  

Report: Yannick Jadot (A7-0364/2010)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Gianluca Susta (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, any initiative that aims to promote our real economy at a time of serious crisis like the present must be thoroughly welcomed, especially when its goal is to make our businesses more competitive on the global market.

I am grateful to the rapporteur, Mr Jadot, and to the other shadow rapporteurs for having delivered a report that singles out support for investment and makes it more transparent without increasing the already substantial number of administrative requirements imposed on SMEs.

I hope that this agreement that we are adopting today, and which was concluded within the OECD, will be signed by other countries that are trade partners of ours in order to guarantee a genuinely level playing field for operators and to ensure that Europe does not suffer competitive disadvantages in a sector that accounts for 10% of world trade and which is therefore crucial to the overall growth of the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, around half of all CO2 emission-intensive industrial projects in developing countries have some form of export credit agency support. These projects usually present a high environmental and social risk.

Moreover, it is difficult, if not impossible, to assess the scale of this phenomenon, since the agencies themselves have no data or rules on transparency of information. This situation is completely at odds with our environmental policy. I wonder whether it would not be worth looking at the scale of this phenomenon in more depth.

Mandatory risk calculations are a first step. However, even clearer rules are needed in order to direct these forms of financial support towards the carbon reduction target that we have set ourselves.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, imagine if a business operated on the model of paying its best customers. Such a business, I put it to you, would not be tremendously successful, yet we are rather quaintly pursuing the idea on a pan-continental level through this policy of export credits. Well, colleagues, the bad news is that it is not working terribly well.

In the mid-1970s, the EU as it then stood – or Western Europe – accounted for 36% of world GDP; today it is 25%; in 2020, it will be 15%. What could we do if we wanted our economy to grow? Well, the clue comes from the Commission’s own figures. When he was the Internal Market Commissioner, Günter Verheugen commissioned a study on the cost of complying with EU regulation, and he discovered that across the EU as a whole, it came to EUR 600 billion a year. Yet on the figures of the same European Commission, the advantages of the single market are worth EUR 120 billion a year. So, on the Commission’s own figures – and they should know if anybody does – the single market is five times as expensive in compliance costs as it is in benefits.

Countries do not trade with countries. Businesses trade with businesses. The best thing that governments can do for them is to get out of the way.

 
  
  

Report: Reinhard Bütikofer (A7-0288/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, the shortage of raw materials and, in particular, of rare earth elements, is a major challenge for our economy. The shortage of raw materials is, in itself, a major challenge. However, the problem is also that many of the large deposits in the countries around us are not managed according to the same rules as in the EU. There are also a lot of protectionist tendencies around the world. There is the question of conflict minerals.

Therefore, the solution is not for the EU to establish a purchase mechanism. We have, in fact, tried that before and it was proven not to work. Through the World Trade Organisation, the G20 and bilateral connections, the EU and our External Action Service must put pressure on the countries concerned, with the aim of obtaining transparent and equal access. Once we have achieved that, we must ensure that it is the markets that decide – that we leave the rest to the markets. That is a far better solution than creating a purchase mechanism.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Francesco De Angelis (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that the key to establishing a sophisticated approach to the issue, one that does not relate exclusively to internal production factors, is to link trade policies to development policies: in other words, human rights clauses, labour standards and corporate social responsibility must become part of every agreement.

Europe’s trump card in this respect are innovation policies aimed at guaranteeing supplies through a wide range of measures, the identification and extraction of raw materials in Europe, investment in new technologies for recycling and reusing materials, and compliance with fair and responsible agreements with non-EU suppliers. The framework programme is, moreover, one of the tools for reviving innovation policies, which are an important, indeed crucial element with regard to development and also with regard to work and employment.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Adam Bielan (ECR).(PL) Mr President, effective management of raw materials policy is a key requirement for competitiveness. The scarcity of resources, and particularly of rare ones, is a challenge for the European economy which requires a consistent and long-term policy. I agree, therefore, with the need to improve coordination of action with regard to exploration for and the extraction and distribution of raw materials. The question of recycling also continues to be important, as does the question of resource efficiency. There also appears to be an essential need for the development of more transparent and predictable framework conditions when giving regulatory approval for setting up new mines. The future of an industry-based European economy depends on broad access to both energy and non-energy raw materials. Therefore, there will be huge significance in the development of an innovative, focused action plan for raw materials governance which guarantees security of supply and increases the competitiveness of EU businesses. In endorsing the report, I am hoping for a reinvigoration of industrial strength and also for a growth in Europe’s science and research potential.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Caspary (PPE).(DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I voted in favour of Mr Bütikofer’s report because I believe that its content is a move in the right direction. However, there is one thing that I feel is missing from this report: we have not said enough about the checks that we, the European Parliament, would like to carry out to see how the Commission is implementing our objectives, our wishes and our ideas. I see that as a major shortcoming. It is something that we are seeing in nearly all policy areas.

I would be very grateful if we, as the European Parliament, were to give some real thought over the coming months to how we deal with this whole area of the legitimate demands that Parliament may make of the Commission, and particularly as regards a better approach to the matter of checking implementation. What do we want the European Commission to do, and how can we – as Parliament – then check whether the Commission is actually implementing our objectives? I regret to say that this is not addressed in this report. We should give greater consideration to this in the future.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome the report by Mr Bütikofer. The EU needs a strong industrial base on which to grow, and this cannot be achieved without an adequate supply of raw materials.

Once again, we are being penalised because there is no common aim at international level. How can we dream of asserting our interests when dealing with countries such as China without a cohesive European Union? I am convinced that European raw materials diplomacy is the right solution to the supply crisis. I hope that the adopted proposals will be acted on and that the role of the European External Action Service will gradually be strengthened in the near future.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE). (LT) Mr President, whilst debating the European Union raw materials strategy and trying to address the raw materials problem in Europe, we must first of all begin at home. It is generally recognised that waste is the most accessible source of raw materials. Unfortunately, although the average waste recycling rate in the European Union is growing steadily, in many Member States, a significant proportion of waste continues to go to landfill. Therefore, countries which, for many years, formed part of a planned economy zone and whose economies continue to rely primarily on manufacturing, processing or recycling, as opposed to innovations, might view this as a great opportunity. A greater focus on waste recycling and obtaining raw materials from waste would not only help address the EU raw materials problem, but would yield significant benefits for Member States’ economies. I therefore call on both the Commission and the Member States to take more vigorous action as regards obtaining raw materials from waste.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Mr President, this is a useful and important report because our businesses need raw materials, but I would suggest that one of the key raw materials that has not been discussed in this report is land. This does not just concern our food security needs, but also energy and climate issues.

One of the growing concerns globally is the issue of land grabbing, where major global powers buy land in the developing world, which perhaps has negative consequences for those who are living there and their dependants. I think the issue of land availability and land use is crucial within the European Union, but it is also crucial for the developing world and for Europe’s development aid policy. It is part of the issue of raw materials because in many cases, the land holds the raw materials we need, and the issue of land ownership and control will become ever more important as we realise that we are not making any more of it.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mario Pirillo (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, in a global market characterised by high price volatility and the ever greater impact of finance on the markets, I can only welcome the creation of a European strategic framework for raw materials.

I welcome the fact that, with today’s vote, we have identified the need for more transparency in the financial markets with regard to raw materials and, at the same time, that we have paid a great deal of attention to the supply problems faced by small and medium-sized enterprises and to measures in this area that can help increase their competitiveness.

I think it is crucially important that emphasis has been placed on the requirement for trade agreements with non-EU countries to include explicit clauses on the protection of human rights and corporate social responsibility.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, I voted against the report on the raw materials strategy. Fundamentally, the EU strategy is one of resource-grabbing for the interests of European big business. They want to get access to raw materials at any cost, regardless of the devastating consequences which their extraction activities can have on indigenous communities, on the environment and on working class people. When I was in Kazakhstan, I saw the impact of mining multinational ArcelorMittal, which is guilty of grossly exploiting its workers and giving them no basic rights. The call for raw materials diplomacy is a very blatant appeal to use the European External Action Service in the service of these big business interests.

The debate also revealed the role of big business and big business influence within this institution, where a number of the MEPs who are behind this very aggressive report have direct links to the industry and clearly represent its interests. Instead of raw materials going to serve the interests of big business and line the pockets of already super-rich multinationals, they should be taken into democratic public ownership and those resources – the vast resources that exist – should be used to raise the living standards of all.

 
  
  

Report: Iliana Malinova Iotova (A7-0236/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Guido Milana (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I support the adoption of this report because it has the effect of ensuring that the conditions applied to the Black Sea are proposed in other European areas, too.

Regulating fishing in an area in which only two of the six countries bordering the basin are European is an important development. It is very similar to the situation in the Adriatic, for example, where different countries – EU, non-EU and candidate countries – with totally different rules exist side by side.

The second reason is that I believe that the establishment of a European coastguard should be highlighted and viewed as a genuinely important development: it could actually be one of the first areas for discussion when planning how to protect the sea, fishermen and consumers.

 
  
  

Report: Vicky Ford (A7-0290/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, Deepwater Horizon was a natural disaster of historic proportions, and therefore it is obviously entirely appropriate for us in the EU to examine our legislation in this area. Some of the amendments currently being implemented by the US have already been implemented in the European Community. However, it goes without saying that the gaps that exist must be closed. This is, without doubt, primarily the responsibility of the Member States, but we need to have better coordination, and we would like to see the excellent regional cooperation in the North Sea extended to other regions in the EU. It needs to be made crystal clear that it is always the polluter that pays, and we must ensure that we always use independent experts to verify our safety measures.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE). (LT) Mr President, as the global demand for oil and oil products grows, so too does the desire to extract more. Unfortunately, oil and gas in traditional oil wells is depleting. Consequently, we are prospecting in areas where there are significant amounts of oil and gas, but where extraction is more expensive and more dangerous – the deep sea. The disaster last year in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrated that special care must be taken when planning, using and shutting down such wells. Therefore, this European Parliament document, laying down more stringent requirements for well operators and giving supervisory authorities more powers, is very timely. I am delighted that the report also reflects the amendments I submitted. There are a few points that we should focus on. First of all, pollution is of a trans-frontier nature. It is therefore important to apply equally strict requirements to projects in third countries (particularly those neighbouring the European Union), and to companies registered in third countries. We must also reach an agreement with third countries on compensation for environmental damage in the event of an accident within the jurisdiction of those third countries. Secondly, the environment is at risk not only when extracting resources, but also when transporting them and using transportation infrastructure, be it tankers or pipelines.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mario Pirillo (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, with today’s vote we have certainly moved towards an improvement in the safety and inspection of offshore oil and gas activities, in order to prevent a repeat of incidents such as the one which occurred in 2010 on the platform in the Gulf of Mexico, claiming 11 lives and causing very severe environmental damage.

I welcome the proposal to coordinate our civil protection forces instead of creating supranational bodies. Better still, I hope that cooperation will be strengthened between the inspection bodies in order to establish common and independent standards at European level. I think that the proposal to establish a Mediterranean Offshore Authorities Forum is a positive one.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Adam Bielan (ECR).(PL) Mr President, the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has made us aware of the need for action on raising the level of safety in the offshore industry. In view of the huge number of active installations in Europe, most of which are in the North Sea Basin and where dangerous incidents have also taken place, it is essential to establish consistent principles and legal frameworks to ensure that all offshore activity is both safe and sustainable.

Development of a high level of safety in the offshore industry with a focus on protecting people and the environment will increase the confidence of society and will also help increase the Union’s position in efforts to strengthen existing legislation on a global scale. It is in the Union’s interest, too, to step up cooperation with neighbouring countries which also exploit marine deposits, in particular with Mediterranean countries as part of our neighbourhood policy, but also with Norway, Russia and the United States.

Establishing common and transparent rules of operation will result in both mutual economic benefits and an increase in safety, and this is why I support the resolution.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paolo Bartolozzi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the disaster that struck the Gulf of Mexico more than a year ago has prompted the European Commission to reflect on legislation relating to offshore oil activities.

The European Parliament, too, wished to express its position on the matter, with this report. It has adopted a text that calls for the sector’s operators to have adequate technical and financial capacity and which aims to establish high safety standards so as to confirm the European Parliament’s leading role in promoting the safety of offshore activities.

The new measures requested of the Commission in this regard will have to focus on international coordination and on a realistic approach that combines all of the quality procedures that exist in the sector and prevents the creation of new bodies or additional red tape, which could well delay the achievement of specific final objectives.

In concrete terms, the report demands an improvement in communication and information and knowledge sharing mechanisms, in addition to greater accountability on the part of companies operating in the sector, and calls for the role and powers of the European Maritime Safety Agency to be strengthened and expanded.

For all these reasons, I believe that the result achieved thanks to the negotiations on this text, for which we voted, is a positive one.

 
  
  

Report: Marina Yannakoudakis (A7-0207/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Clemente Mastella (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it is vital to recognise women’s abilities in the workplace and to offer them special assistance by means of effective, practical tools that encourage them to participate and ensure that they move on to a level playing field where there is no room for gender discrimination in the workplace.

We endorsed this report because it recognises the value of women entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises, points out the different problems they face, and highlights the contribution that women in employment can make to both the community and the economy of the EU.

Member States have so far each taken different approaches to supporting and promoting women in decision making and in the boardroom. The problems faced by women vary from nation to nation. Some States offer more support than others, and the cultural differences in a woman’s role also influence the chances she will have to set up a business.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, we can at least say that it is difficult not to agree with the main concept of this report, namely that women can also be entrepreneurs. Of course they can. In fact, I know many female entrepreneurs, and they are very capable to boot. It is also hard not to agree that the Member States should adopt measures that make it easier to combine family life and work, and that the Member States, the Commission and we, too, here in Parliament, must improve the framework conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises.

However, why should that benefit female entrepreneurs in particular? Instead of indulging in a victim mentality, could we not simply say that we must ensure good framework conditions for everyone who wants to start their own business? Thus, each individual man and each individual woman can decide for themselves whether or not they want to be an entrepreneur.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Mr President, I am still here. Thank you for calling me. Can I use the opportunity to say, while we are focusing on the issue of women in enterprise, that the biggest problem for men and women in enterprise at the moment is credit availability. We have in Ireland the Credit Review Office, which is suggesting that while there is a problem with credit supply, there is also a problem with demand from enterprises, which are fearful of actually taking on extra debt.

We need to analyse more deeply what is happening. When businesses look for credit, they are not being refused, but the process is taking so long, and there are so many delays and so much bureaucracy involved in applying for loans, that very many of them literally do not push through the loan application. While, therefore, there is no official recognition that they have been refused credit, in effect, the process itself within the banks makes this a credit refusal, so I would require that we do further analysis of it, because if we do not have credit, neither men nor women can be entrepreneurs.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE). – Mr President, if the recommendations in this report to promote female entrepreneurship are acted upon, it will be beneficial both for women and for our economies, because the numbers tell us that only one in ten women are entrepreneurs compared to one in four men.

I would like to highlight two particular issues. Firstly, the issue of social security: in my own country, and indeed many others, I am aware that if you are an entrepreneur and you go out of business, you do not have any social security entitlements, whereas those you have employed do. So it is no wonder that women, in particular, are cautious about setting up their own business. While I recognise and understand that this is a matter for Member States to deal with, I nonetheless think they need to look at this issue.

I also want to mention the Progress Microfinance Facility, which is also mentioned in the report. That can provide micro-credit of up to EUR 25 000 for SMEs and those who would not normally have access to credit from the banks. My own country has not accessed this fund, and I would call on this country, Ireland – and indeed all Member States – to make use of this fund to help struggling SMEs, both in starting up and in becoming sustainable.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Seán Kelly (PPE). (GA) Mr President, first of all, I would like to join with you in welcoming the delegates from Canada here today. As regards this report, I welcome it.

One thing that would be interesting would be a survey to look at the banks and companies that went bust in the crisis and see how many women were in senior positions in those businesses. I would say few, if any.

There is certainly no physical or psychological reason why more women should not be involved in business and entrepreneurship, whereas there might be such a reason in the case of other careers. It is quite obvious, as has been pointed out, that opportunities and encouragement must be provided to ensure this happens. Certainly one could say that, had Lehman Brothers been ‘Lehwoman Sisters’, we might not be in the situation we are in. So we have a lot to do: the resource is there; let women have the opportunity to contribute to entrepreneurship, SMEs, etc.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Christa Klaß (PPE).(DE) Mr President, I voted against paragraph 46 of the report not on account of its substance, but because it contains legal irregularities. I am a great advocate of ensuring legal certainty in all matters. Small and medium-sized enterprises do not generally have management boards, nor do they have Member States as shareholders. We therefore need to be correct here. I am all in favour of the balanced representation of women in such bodies, but these bodies do actually have to exist.

I welcome the report overall. Self-employment among women is not an emergency solution; it is part of the economy and is an important economic factor. Women do indeed need particular support – especially when it comes to starting up a business – because they tend to approach things differently. They like to do things one step at a time and they want financing to be manageable. It is indeed a problem that when a person becomes self-employed, they then have to shoulder the full burden of their social security provision. In my view, therefore, we need to have an option which allows responsibility for one’s social security provision to be phased in; in other words, a way for people to take on responsibility for their own social security provision in stages. This would undoubtedly be another helpful step for women moving into self-employment.

 
  
  

Written explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Tadeusz Zwiefka (A7-0267/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the request for waiver of the immunity of our fellow Member, Mr Martin, as announced by the President of the European Parliament on 12 May 2011, following a letter from the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office, forwarded by the Permanent Representation of Austria to the European Union. Mr Martin is accused, by the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office, of having violated the Austrian Law on Political Parties during the 2009 European elections, by using State funding inappropriately to meet private expenditure and to settle inflated invoices. Mr Martin is also accused of having misled the auditors responsible for scrutinising the use of funds by submitting ‘fictitious documents’. If this is true, such behaviour is unworthy of a Member of this House. In view of this, and taking into account the recommendation of the Committee on Legal Affairs, which recommends waiving the parliamentary immunity of Mr Martin, I am voting in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) At the plenary meeting on 12 May 2001, the President, in accordance with Article 6(2) of the Rules of Procedure, reported that he had received a letter from the prosecutor’s office in Vienna, forwarded to him on 29 April 2011 by the Permanent Representation of Austria to the European Union, containing a request for parliamentary immunity to be lifted from the MEP Hans-Peter Martin. The Vienna prosecutor intends to bring proceedings against him on the basis of a charge that he used State funds inappropriately to finance private expenditure and to settle inflated invoices presented to him by friends and business partners. The charges relate to the period of the election campaign for the European Parliament in 2008 and 2009. The MEP is also charged with misleading the auditors responsible for checking the use of funding.

During a hearing in the Committee on Legal Affairs, Mr Martin stated that the prosecution was the result of attempts by another fellow Member and his assistant to take his seat in the European Parliament. These include the illegal seizure of documents from the buildings of the European Parliament and interference with his e-mails. This was also the subject of a Member’s complaint to President Buzek. In my opinion, it is right to agree to the request from the Vienna prosecutor’s office to strip Mr Martin of his parliamentary immunity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office intends to institute proceedings against Mr Hans-Peter Martin, Member of the European Parliament, on the basis of allegations that he has breached the provisions of Section 2b of the Austrian Law on Political Parties by using State funding inappropriately to meet private expenditure and to settle inflated invoices submitted to him by friends or business associates. The allegations relate to the period of the European election campaign, between 2008 and 2009.

In addition, Mr Martin is accused of having misled the auditors responsible for scrutinising the use of funds by submitting ‘fictitious documents’ to justify the lawfulness of the accounting and/or the legal basis for the use of funds.

In the course of the preliminary investigation, the Vienna Prosecutor’s Office intends to order searches, in particular on the premises used by the staff of the ‘Martin list’ and to obtain the release of information concerning bank accounts and bank transactions in both Austria and Germany. On the basis of the foregoing, and in accordance with Article 2(4) of the Rules of Procedure, I agree with the recommendation of the Committee on Legal Affairs, following an examination of the arguments for and against stripping the MEP of his immunity, that the European Parliament should strip Hans-Peter Martin of his parliamentary immunity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted to waive the immunity of Hans-Peter Martin.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) Defending the independence of the mandate of Members of this House is the responsibility of Parliament, and that independence cannot be jeopardised. In the case in question, the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office has requested the waiver of the immunity of our fellow Member, Mr Martin, in order to enable the Austrian authorities to conduct the necessary investigations and to take legal action against Mr Martin, to call for a search of his house or offices, to seize documents and to carry out computer checks or any other electronic searches that may be necessary and to initiate criminal proceedings against Mr Martin on the grounds of misappropriation of party funding or any other legal description that might be given to the alleged offences before the criminal courts having jurisdiction. Given that the waiver of immunity of Mr Martin concerns alleged offences related to misappropriation of party funding, covered by Section 2b of the Law on Political Parties, we have to proceed with the waiver of Mr Martin’s immunity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The Committee on Legal Affairs unanimously adopted the report recommending waiving Hans-Peter Martin’s immunity in order to enable the Austrian authorities to conduct investigations for alleged misappropriation of party funding. I did not support this initiative since I think that if there is immunity, it should be waived only after a Member’s mandate has expired.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) I am delighted that today, the European Parliament has resolved by such a great majority to waive the immunity of Hans-Peter Martin, an Austrian Member of the European Parliament. The institution of various proceedings against Mr Martin confirms the suspicions that have been floating around for a long time, yet which seem to have been deliberately covered up. For years now, we non-attached Members have been tabling parliamentary questions in an attempt to get to the bottom of the suspicions that Mr Martin has been negligent in his management of taxpayers’ money. However, we have had to wait for the ‘sorcerer’s apprentice’ – Martin Ehrenhauser, Mr Martin’s former assistant and now a Member of Parliament himself – to betray his former boss and bring these intrigues into the open. The extent to which he himself is tangled up in the matters requiring investigation also has yet to be established.

It is a matter of great concern, however, that the members of the Austrian political and media landscape have apparently been deliberately deceiving 18% of the Austrian electorate for years now by failing to discuss these dubious goings-on, with the sole intention of damaging the Freedom Party of Austria. I hope that handing over Mr Martin to face Austrian justice will now shed light on the tangle of funding surrounding this self-proclaimed Mr Clean, which is why I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the waiver of parliamentary immunity, in view of the arguments of the Committee on Legal Affairs that are set out in the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. This is a request to waive the parliamentary immunity of Hans-Peter Martin. The case concerns the inappropriate use of State funding to meet private expenditure.

 
  
  

Report: Simon Busuttil (A7-0278/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report because I believe that one of the attributes of a common area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union is the removal of internal borders, particularly within the Schengen area. On the other hand, the Union’s external borders will become an issue of joint responsibility, so there is an increasingly urgent need for their integrated management.

This report aims for a coordinated approach to the security of external borders, as it is imperative to establish integrated and uniform management that ensures a high level of control and surveillance. Consequently, there is a need to go ahead with adopting and applying common rules, as well as to step up cooperation between Member States as regards securing their external borders. More combined effort is needed as is more pooling of resources. It is in the light of this need for more coordination and solidarity that the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) plays an important role. Parliament has supported Frontex unequivocally, notably through significant budget increases to support its operations, as well as through demanding improvements in the legislation governing it, in order to address its shortcomings and improve its efficiency.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution on the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex). The creation of the Schengen area in the EU and the removal of internal border controls have encouraged the EU Member States to address the issue of external border protection together, and the need for integrated border management is becoming increasingly important. In this area, it is crucial to ensure that the Frontex Agency, responsible for the protection of external borders, functions efficiently. Frontex should be the European external border agency that coordinates common EU action in relation to the external borders of EU Member States. In particular, Frontex should be ready to assist Member States in circumstances requiring increased technical and operational assistance at external borders, especially those Member States facing specific and disproportionate pressures. I therefore welcome the amendments to the Frontex Regulation proposed in the resolution, and believe that they will strengthen the work of this agency, will help it function and meet its objectives more efficiently, and that, at the same time, the EU’s external borders will be better protected.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing.(IT) A forward-looking European migration policy requires the integrated management of operational cooperation at the external borders of the Member States of the European Union, precisely in order to cope with the constant threats and demands at our borders resulting from cross-border crime. The future of the European Frontex Agency depends on a high level of trust and mutual cooperation among Member States but, above all, on the availability of the tools and instruments that it needs in order to perform its duties, particularly in emergencies, in a timely and efficient manner, in full compliance with the provisions on fundamental rights.

I therefore support the proposal to amend the 2004 Frontex Regulation, since the security and management of our external borders must not remain an ambition, but must be guaranteed in practice by a body that performs its duties in close cooperation with other European agencies, specifically Europol and Eurojust, with the European Asylum Support Office and with the Fundamental Rights Agency. Nevertheless, I believe that the assessments to be carried out on the effectiveness of Frontex should in no way compromise the current smooth operation of Schengen.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Antonello Antinoro (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of amending the Council regulation because I believe that it is necessary to establish a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union. The recent historic events and the migratory flows that have followed them have made this requirement all the more obvious.

Following numerous negotiations with the Council and six trialogues, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) has finally agreed to the European Parliament’s final request relating to the principles of necessity and proportionality. The report significantly enhances the future regulation, and four fundamental results have been achieved: (1) the agency has been made more efficient; (2) the agency’s visibility has been increased through the introduction of ‘European border guards’ who are named in a clearly identifiable way; (3) a package of measures relating to the monitoring and protection of fundamental human rights has been introduced; and (4) the agency is subject to democratic scrutiny by the European Parliament. I congratulate Mr Busuttil on the success of his report, and hope that all this will lend real legitimacy to the agency, so that we have an increasing number of institutions representing the EU.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. – I strongly support this report as Europe can no longer look powerless in emergency situations because it is unable to muster resources or pool assets. Frontex must be ready to assist Member States in circumstances requiring increased technical and operational assistance at external borders, especially at external Union borders which are vulnerable or require concerted action.

Thanks to the amendments tabled by my group on this text, the operational capacities of the agency will be strengthened. We also obtained that rescue at sea be added to the tasks of Frontex. This report is also important because it clearly underlines that Frontex has the obligation to respect fundamental rights, respect international conventions and assure international protection, in particular, the principle of non-refoulement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) At a time when Europeans sometimes doubt the quality of border controls at the European Union’s external borders, I voted in favour of the report by my colleague, Mr Busuttil, because it sets out to strengthen in a balanced way the European agency responsible for this matter. Indeed, Frontex will have at its disposal increased material and financial resources to carry out its tasks. Nonetheless, respect for fundamental rights will be, more than ever, at the heart of these commitments. Finally, Frontex will have at its disposal ‘European border guard teams’ to ensure the security of the external borders and, hence, of the European Union as a whole.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) was created in 2004 and became operational in 2005. Frontex reinforces security at the borders by ensuring the coordination of Member State action in applying Union measures relating to management of the external borders. The abolition of internal borders has facilitated the freedom of movement of citizens, requiring a coordinated approach to securing the external borders, which must remain closed to cross-border crime and other illicit activities. Therefore, there is a need to adopt and apply common rules, and to step up cooperation among Member States as regards the external borders. As such, this report, for which I voted, provides for the creation of ‘European border guard teams’, to be deployed during joint operations, rapid interventions and pilot projects. I would also stress the stepping up of Frontex’s obligations regarding fundamental rights, the establishment of an effective mechanism for monitoring respect for these rights in all its activities, the nomination of a fundamental rights officer and the creation of a consultative forum on this issue.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Gerard Batten (EFD), in writing. – I voted against the Frontex report because it is nation states and not EU agencies which should control and patrol national borders. Frontex is an affront to British freedom. This latest move is simply a power grab by the EU to give Frontex more money, personnel, equipment and powers. This vote gives the wrong powers to the wrong people. This proposal is another way of increasing the power and dominion of the European Union over its Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of this report because the amendment will enable EU rules to be applied effectively, thereby enhancing coordination and cooperation between Member States. Reinforcing the role of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) will bring about integrated policy management.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing.(IT) I voted resolutely against the report in question, since it includes provisions aimed at weakening the Frontex Agency and rendering it incapable of accomplishing the tasks for which it was created. The text gives priority, in fact, to the principle of non-refoulement and includes clauses aimed at prohibiting the repatriation of illegal immigrants. Furthermore, it replaces the word ‘illegal’ with the word ‘irregular’.

There is no logical explanation, let alone legal justification, for such a change, the aim of which appears to be to intentionally promote the legal status of illegal immigrants in order to prevent their repatriation and facilitate their regularisation. The Lega Nord believes that the Frontex Agency should not lend support to illicit activities such as illegal immigration, but should be obliged to stop them instead. That is why I voted against.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) is a very important element in the mechanism for managing EU migration, and I believe that the potential of this agency has yet to be fully exploited. The importance of Frontex became particularly apparent in recent months when refugees from North Africa flooded into Europe. I therefore believe that the adoption of this amended regulation is very timely, although the amendments provided for in it were drawn up on the basis of the 2008 Commission report and the recommendations of the Management Board.

The objectives of the current proposal are to strengthen the agency’s operational capabilities, by preparing, coordinating and implementing action, with special regard to the sharing of tasks with EU Member States, both in terms of the deployment of human resources and technical equipment, and enhancing Frontex’s internal and external mandate and powers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vito Bonsignore (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the Busuttil report because I agree that the Frontex Agency should be given a new mandate and equipped with more resources and instruments in order to make it more effective. Frontex plays a fundamental role in the coordination of our external borders. In the light of the recent, ever changing and constantly evolving migratory flows, conditions are emerging that are crucial to the smooth operation of the agency, namely integrated management that guarantees a high, uniform level of control and surveillance, but also common rules and greater cooperation among Member States. I agree with the point emphasised by the rapporteur, namely that Frontex should be ready to assist Member States in specific circumstances, with a special focus on those States that face specific or disproportionate pressures on their respective national asylum systems. Close cooperation with other European agencies such as Europol and Eurojust in the fight against cross-border crime is therefore key to ensuring this.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. – I voted against because this report aims to create an EU Border Guard, and is another attempt to create new EU controlled institutions which enlarge the scope of EU competences. Although the UK is not in Frontex, the UK contributes towards any new EU formation – in this instance, part of a budget of EUR 88 million in 2011 – money that will allow the agency to purchase cars, helicopters and other border monitoring equipment instead of relying on the Member States to police their own. The agency will also appoint an inspector to ensure cases are in line with their stipulations on human rights. It enables the EU to determine who is allowed inside Europe, thus controlling immigrants who may then seek forward travel to the UK. Matters of citizenship and immigration should remain the privilege of sovereign determination.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Antonio Cancian (PPE), in writing.(IT) Mr Busuttil has presented us with a report that we can declare a success for the European Parliament. Indeed, today we have adopted a report that is the fruit of lengthy negotiations, at the end of which the Council agreed to Parliament’s requests. I voted in favour of the report because I believe that it significantly improves the future regulation on the management of Frontex. The agency was set up in 2004, but five years on from the start of its work, improvements need to be made to the way in which it operates. I think that, thanks to this report, Parliament has achieved its four main objectives: firstly, to make the agency more efficient; secondly, to increase the agency’s visibility through the establishment of ‘European border guards’ who are named in a clearly identifiable way; thirdly, to draft a package of measures relating to the monitoring and protection of fundamental human rights; and lastly, to subject the agency to democratic scrutiny by the European Parliament.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Union policy concerning the external borders aims to institute integrated management of the borders, which ensures a high level of surveillance and control. This is indispensable to the freedom of movement of citizens within the Union and is a crucial element of the area of freedom, security and justice. It is crucial to strengthen the role of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) as regards developing a policy with a view to gradually introducing the concept of integrated management of the external borders. Now that Frontex has been operating for six years, there is a clear need to review its operations. This law grants Frontex a renewed mandate with more resources and tools at its disposal.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I am voting for the Busuttil report on the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) because I recognise that the agency’s role in the integrated and uniform management of the external borders, which ensures a high and uniform level of surveillance and control, is a sine qua non for the existence of a true area of freedom, security and justice where the free movement of people is guaranteed. Increasing migration pressures, involving new threats and risks, and the enlargement of the Schengen area, mean there is a need to strengthen its role, to furnish it with more resources and tools, and to make it more efficient. I especially welcome the strengthening of provisions on fundamental rights; increased effectiveness, with the possibility of seconding Frontex experts for periods of at least six months; the creation of teams of border guards; the processing of personal data for risk analyses, while retaining the data for limited periods only and establishing an obligation for it to be depersonalised; and the acquisition of operational resources. Frontex shall be able to go ahead with acquiring resources in partnership with the Member States where there is an emergency or a lack of resources, which will give it greater room for manoeuvre in operational terms.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marielle De Sarnez (ALDE), in writing. (FR) With some 214 million migrants in the world, the management of migratory flows is one of the major challenges that we face. However, EU migration policy lacks ambition. Firstly, we must improve Frontex’s operations and increase the resources available to the agency for managing the EU’s external borders by ensuring that full European solidarity is shown. We need to increase its visibility by deploying European border guard teams. The European Union must also improve its methods of monitoring respect for fundamental rights. This mechanism aside, if we genuinely want to help countries – particularly the countries of the South – then we must move towards harmonising the right to asylum, review the Dublin Convention and, even more importantly, finally draw up a proper immigration policy. This is the only calm and responsible way of addressing the issue of migration.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this proposal to amend the mandate of the European Agency for the protection of the external borders of the European Union, Frontex, which should make it possible to strengthen the work of this European Agency in a context of strong migratory pressure at our borders. An increase in European cooperation, as proposed in this act, will help improve the fight against illegal immigration on European soil. This new mandate is fully in line with the approach established by the European Pact on Asylum and Immigration signed by the European leaders under the French Presidency of the European Union in September 2008.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the report on the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, which introduces some new rules. Since 2005, Frontex has been responsible for coordinating law enforcement at the external borders of the EU. The time had come to assess the first six years in order to strengthen it and make it more effective. I am delighted that the agency will no longer have to depend on funding from the Member States in order to purchase or lease equipment (vehicles, helicopters and so on). Furthermore, Member States are legally obliged to honour their commitments to provide the agency with human resources or equipment on an annual basis. I welcome the introduction of arrangements to ensure that migrants’ fundamental rights are respected, in particular, through the appointment of a fundamental rights officer and the development of a code of conduct. In accordance with international law, no migrant shall be disembarked in, or otherwise handed over to, the authorities of a country in which his or her life or freedoms are threatened. That may seem obvious but it sometimes bears repeating.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ioan Enciu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report as I regard the reform of Frontex as being of paramount importance, not only with a view to remedying the shortcomings in its operation identified so far, but also to granting it new powers and resources.

One of the key aspects of this new regulation is the improvement in the agency’s protection of immigrants’ fundamental rights. From this perspective, the key aspects derive from the introduction of specific training courses for agents, the introduction of a code of conduct, as well as from the obligation on Frontex agents to comply with European regulations when conducting operations outside EU territory.

I also regard the fact that Frontex will be tasked with carrying out risk analyses at external borders as an extremely important step forward, since these risk analyses will allow an objective evaluation to be made of the real problems prevalent in the Schengen states. Finally, I consider that the next logical step in Frontex’s development will have to be to create an EU border guard system, a measure which ought to be implemented without delay.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) In a Europe increasingly aiming to free itself of obstacles to internal freedom of movement, the external borders face the challenge of not becoming a fortress, whilst simultaneously contributing to guaranteeing the security of its citizens and controlling the flow of illegal immigrants.

Surveillance and control at the external borders of the European Union fall within the competence, not just of the boundary states, but of all the Member States of the EU. The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) is taking on a crucial role in coordinating and assisting Member States. The Commission’s proposal, with the amendments that were introduced at the committee stage, aims to clarify the mandate of Frontex and equip it with new powers in relation to its mandate. I hope that the new legislative framework will enable the agency not just to pursue its important mission, but also to improve its performance as regards Member State sovereignty and human rights.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 of the Council, which created the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex). The Schengen Agreement, which made the free movement of people (500 million) and goods throughout the European Union possible by abolishing checks at the internal borders of signatory countries, was concluded on 14 June 1985. Control of the EU’s external borders has come to be a matter of common interest and to require integrated management. While freedom of movement is positive for citizens of good faith, it is also an opportunity for unwelcome individuals to enter Member States: for example, refugees, terrorists, criminals, fugitives from justice, stateless persons, etc. I welcome and am voting for this report aiming to strengthen Frontex by making it more efficient, by increasing its visibility through applying the name ‘European border guards’ to its employees, by binding the Member States to compliance with these rules, and by submitting it to more effective checks by Parliament.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report introduces amendments on the management of the EU’s external borders, stepping up controls on them, notably through the creation of teams of European border guards. It also establishes that Member States are obliged to contribute personnel and material resources. As we know, the European Union’s external borders will become an issue of joint responsibility, especially in the Schengen area. The Commission and Parliament are, therefore, justifying the measures proposed in this report with the need created for their integrated and uniform management, ensuring ‘a high level of control and surveillance’. This constitutes new steps towards the consolidation of a repressive immigration policy and stepping up resources, thus giving more power to the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex).

It should be remembered that European Union policy in this area criminalises immigrants and their families – above all, since the adoption of the so-called Return Directive, or Shame Directive – and disguises the fact that they are, in general, either fleeing wars that the European Union itself has been feeding, such as the recent and shameful case of Libya, or simply seeking better living conditions. We voted against this report because we disagree with this repressive, imperialist and federalist vision of the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report introduces amendments on the management of the EU’s external borders, stepping up controls on them, notably through the creation of teams of European border guards. It also establishes that Member States are obliged to contribute personnel and material resources.

As we know, the Union’s external borders will become an issue of joint responsibility, especially in the Schengen area. The Commission and Parliament are, therefore, justifying the measures proposed in this report with the need created for their integrated and uniform management, ensuring ‘a high level of control and surveillance’.

We believe these amendments aim to give the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) more power so as to make immigration policy worse through more repressive measures. It should be remembered that European Union policy in this area criminalises immigrants and their families – especially since the Return Directive, or Shame Directive – whilst disguising the fact that they are, in general, either fleeing wars fed by the European Union itself or simply seeking better living conditions. We voted against because we disagree with this repressive, imperialist and federalist vision of the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Schengen area of free movement brings together 25 countries (including three non-EU Member States), enabling free movement within the area for almost half a billion people across the continent. The removal of internal borders facilitates freedom of movement for citizens in a clearly positive way. It is, however, essential to coordinate the approach to securing external borders. The proper functioning of this system requires integrated management, ensuring a uniform and high level of checks and supervision. It requires the adoption and implementation of common rules and also greater cooperation between Member States in securing the external borders. The cooperation must, in principle, rest on solidarity between Member States, and particularly with the Member States on the borders, which, for geographical and demographic reasons, are exposed to substantial migration flows on their borders.

It is here that the Frontex Agency plays an important role, responding to fast moving events in the area of migration flows on the external borders of the Union, and active in all common land, air and sea operations. It has not, however, reached the expected level of effectiveness. I firmly believe that the agency should embody European solidarity and that the resources collected from the various Member States should be combined in support of Member States in difficulty or in specific locations on the external borders of the Union that are sensitive or that require joint action.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), in writing.(FR) In an ideal world, each Member State would have ultimate responsibility for controlling its own borders and would take a sovereign decision on who is eligible to enter and reside on its territory, and under what conditions. This would not, moreover, preclude cooperation of any kind. However, Schengen and the European Union have been through that; they have done away with all checks at the EU’s internal borders and thus sent an extremely powerful message to would-be illegal immigrants. These people all know, in fact, that no matter where they enter the EU, they will easily be able to reach the country of their choice, particularly since the country of arrival will be swamped and its authorities overstretched. This is exactly what we have been experiencing since the beginning of the year, with the ‘Arab revolutions’ that, oddly enough, have offloaded onto the Italian and Maltese coasts tens of thousands of so-called refugees, whose primary duty is ostensibly to participate in the rebirth of their country. From that perspective, strengthening Frontex, the agency that is supposed to embody European solidarity in the event of a huge influx of migrants, seems logical. What is less so is the unhealthy preoccupation with considerations that, on the pretext of defending human rights, are liable to undo these efforts.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Estelle Grelier (S&D), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the review of the Regulation on the Frontex Agency because it was vital to clarify its role and responsibilities while ensuring that it respects migrants’ fundamental rights when carrying out its operations. The need for this review has become even more obvious in the light of the Arab revolutions and the migratory movements that have followed. I therefore welcome several of the proposed amendments, such as the establishment of a consultative forum, which will exercise greater control over Frontex’s activities, and the requirement for the agency to undertake rescue at sea during humanitarian emergencies, or face the suspension of its operations. The possibility that the agency will not have to depend any more on the Member States, by acquiring its equipment itself, together with the increased information given to Parliament, are amendments that will help to clarify the link between Frontex and political decisions. One aspect that has particularly caught my attention is the creation, thanks to this regulation, of the status of European border guards. This development, which is only terminological at present, is an innovation that may, we hope, have a bearing on other groups of professionals requiring the same coordination, such as the coastguards of the various Member States, for example.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Françoise Grossetête (PPE), in writing. (FR) The agency responsible for securing the external borders of the Schengen area, within which the citizens of 25 countries, including 22 Member States of the EU, may circulate freely, has often been criticised for its lack of resources. It has to monitor some 42 672 kilometres of external sea borders and 8 826 kilometres of land borders. This week, the European Parliament adopted new rules on Frontex by 431 votes to 49, with 48 abstentions. This is the most significant reform of the law that established Frontex in 2004. Our assessment of the first six years of the agency’s activities shows that it needs to be strengthened and made more effective. From now on, the agency will purchase or lease its own equipment, such as vehicles or helicopters, and will therefore no longer be reliant on funding from the Member States. Personnel appointed by the Member States will help make up the European border guard teams. The existing ‘joint support teams’ and the ‘rapid border intervention teams’ will be merged under the name of ‘European border guards’. The agency’s budget has increased from EUR 6 million to EUR 88 million between 2005 and 2011.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Brice Hortefeux (PPE), in writing. (FR) Today, Tuesday 13 September, Parliament has given its strong support to the reform of the Frontex Agency by adopting, by a large majority, the report by Mr Busuttil (PPE Group, MT). This report calls for a stronger mandate for the agency, an increase in its resources and increased cooperation between the European Union and the Member States. The need for a European agency that is responsible for the effective surveillance of the EU’s external borders is now plain to see. We are experiencing strong migratory pressure. Given the recent developments in the Mediterranean basin, there was an urgent need to review Frontex’s operating procedures and working methods in order to give it the means to become fully operational. I am convinced that the appropriate response to phenomena on such a scale is a European response that respects the specific circumstances and needs of individual countries. That is why I welcome the creation of a European border guard team, which testifies, once again, to the will to achieve a strong and integrated Europe.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because one of the attributes of a common EU area of freedom, security and justice is that of the removal of internal borders, especially within the Schengen area. In turn, this has rendered the external borders of EU Member States a matter of common concern and has made the need for an integrated management of external borders ever more compelling. We must learn from the first five years of the agency (Frontex – European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union) and give it a renewed mandate with more resources and more tools to become more effective. A recurring problem has been that Frontex is too dependent on Member States for the deployment of personnel and equipment in missions coordinated by the agency. Participation on the part of the Member States had been patchy, and pledges for equipment have been low. These shortcomings have seriously hampered the efficiency of the agency. Another problem has been the lack of cooperation with third countries. I believe that removing these shortcomings and this document will contribute to improving the work of this agency.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Cătălin Sorin Ivan (S&D), in writing. (RO) The new regulations governing Frontex, the European border protection agency, are necessary against the new backdrop of the Arab Spring, with the current increasingly serious problem of immigration. As in the case of any other measure concerning external actions, we decided in the European Parliament that respect for human rights, one of the EU’s basic principles, is crucial. This is why we have listed the conditions relating to the violation of this principle.

Efficiency is also an issue which has had an important role to play in our negotiations. Therefore, according to the new regulations, Frontex must have its own logistical resources which it can lease or purchase, without being dependent on Member States’ involvement.

I regard the revision of Frontex’s mandate not only as an important step in protecting the Union’s borders, but also as a guarantee that our actions will be subject to respect for human rights.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE), in writing. (FI) The control of the European Union’s external borders and issues of migration have been hotly debated in recent years. The European border control culture will be strengthened by the new Frontex rules. The change is a significant one. There will be an essential improvement in how Frontex operates. The effectiveness of joint operations will be greater. Opportunities for acquiring one’s own equipment and for recruiting one’s own operational personnel will help supplement the resources allocated by the Member States. The reform will boost Frontex’s ability to respond to sudden, unexpected situations, such as those that were witnessed in the spring and the summer.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Constance Le Grip (PPE) , in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the report by my colleague, Mr Busuttil, on the proposal for a regulation aimed at strengthening the role of the European Frontex Agency in the EU external borders surveillance system. Thanks to this review, the agency will have more financial and human resources at its disposal to cope with the tasks assigned to it. In particular, the agency will be able to purchase or lease its own equipment, such as vehicles or helicopters, and will therefore no longer be reliant on funding from the Member States, as it was previously. An EU border guard system will also be created and will consist of a pool of national border guards that can be tapped by the agency for the purposes of its various border surveillance operations from the end of 2011. This review of the Frontex Regulation will mean that the Member States receive more support from the agency in the task of managing the EU’s external borders. At a time when the migratory pressures at the borders of the European Union are increasing, strengthening the role of Frontex is vital. This was, moreover, an objective laid down in the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, adopted in 2008 under the French Presidency of the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The European Parliament has made a considerable contribution through the amendments it has tabled, as it has successfully created the position of a fundamental rights officer and a consultative forum for fundamental rights. This contribution is especially important as, according to the new rules, Frontex missions can be suspended in the event of human rights violations.

In this context, Frontex will draw up codes of good conduct to guarantee respect for human rights in every operation coordinated by the agency, including those where persons are repatriated/returned.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) One of the attributes of a common EU area of freedom, security and justice is that of the removal of internal borders, especially within the Schengen area. In turn, this has rendered the external borders of EU Member States a matter of common concern and has made the need for an integrated management of external borders ever more compelling.

With 42 672 km of external sea borders and 8 826 km of land borders, the Schengen free-movement area comprises 25 countries (including three non-EU states) enabling free internal travel for nearly half a billion people across the continent. The abolition of internal borders has facilitated freedom of movement for citizens in an unprecedented manner.

However, this calls for a coordinated approach in securing external borders. Whereas external borders remain open and efficient for bona fide travellers and for people who need protection, they must be closed for cross-border crime and for other illicit activities.

Integrated management ensuring a uniform and high level of control and surveillance is therefore necessary. This calls for the adoption and implementation of common rules, as well as increased cooperation between Member States in securing their external borders. A more combined effort is needed, along with greater pooling of resources.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this report on the basis that, with 42 672 km of external sea borders and 8 826 km of land borders, the Schengen free movement area comprises 25 countries (including three non-EU states) and enables free internal travel for nearly half a billion people across the continent. The abolition of internal borders has facilitated freedom of movement for citizens in an unprecedented manner. But this calls for a coordinated approach in securing external borders. And, whereas external borders remain open and efficient for bona fide travellers and for people who need protection, they must be closed for cross-border crime and for other illicit activities.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of Mr Busuttil’s report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, better known as Frontex. The adoption of this regulation will, above all, enable better protection for those countries subject to specific or disproportionate pressures.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Kyriakos Mavronikolas (S&D), in writing. (EL) The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) is to develop its own code of conduct in order to safeguard full respect for human rights on all missions, including repatriation operations. At the same time, it is to appoint a special officer to ensure that fundamental rights are respected when action is taken. This is the most important reform of the legislation governing Frontex, which needs to be strengthened further and to become more effective. The fact that the agency’s duties will include the provision of assistance to the Member States in humanitarian emergencies and rescue operations at sea is also extremely important.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This report is in favour of Frontex becoming independent and being able to send its patrols to combat illegal immigration as far away as in third countries. That takes the biscuit! A consultative forum will not overturn the policy of security at all costs, which is endorsed and taken further here. I want no part of it. I voted against.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) coordinates operational coordination among Member States in the area of managing the external borders; it assists Member States in training national border guards, including establishing common training standards; it carries out risk analyses; it follows developments in research relevant to control and monitoring of the external borders; it supports Member States in circumstances requiring increased operational and technical assistance at the external borders; and it provides Member States with the necessary support as regards organising joint return operations. Frontex reinforces security at the borders by ensuring the coordination of Member State action in applying Union measures relating to management of the external borders. According to the revised regulation, Frontex should promote solidarity between Member States, particularly those facing ‘specific and disproportionate pressures’. EU Member States, which used to contribute personnel and technical equipment to Frontex on a voluntary basis, are now obliged to do so. The agency should, however, also be provided with the means for acquiring or leasing its own equipment. The revision of Frontex’s mandate aims to make the agency work better, in the light of experience acquired since its creation in 2004.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing.(ES) I voted against the Busuttil report because it goes even further with the current, incorrect approach taken by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex), an approach that is based on the notion of ‘Fortress Europe’ without taking into account its harmful, inhumane consequences. We can find an example of this in the more than 2 000 people who have died this year while trying to escape the dramatic situation they were forced to endure in their countries, seeking refuge in Europe as a last resort to survive hunger, poverty, misery, wars, climate disasters or political persecution. This report explores the construction of ‘Fortress Europe’ without taking into account the fact that, in many cases, people trying to enter EU territory are fleeing situations brought about by the European Union itself, without addressing the main causes of migration, including the EU’s harmful neighbourhood policy and unsustainable neoliberal trade policy, and without ensuring that the human rights of all migrants are protected by means of a migration and asylum policy based on solidarity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The new Frontex rules that were adopted today will help make the agency more visible and more effective. This is a significant reform of this agency since it was first set up. National border guards appointed by the Member States to take part in operations will strengthen the European border guard teams. The agency will also be able to purchase or lease its own equipment. The introduction of mechanisms to guarantee respect for fundamental rights is an important achievement in this matter. Hence, the appointment of a fundamental rights officer and the creation of a consultative forum will mean that respect for fundamental rights can be monitored in all Frontex activities. It should also be emphasised that Frontex will have to develop codes of conduct in order to guarantee respect for human rights in all operations, and specifically return operations, with particular focus on unaccompanied minors and vulnerable persons.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE), in writing. (SK) The free movement of people within the European Union and its area of freedom, security and justice is one of the cornerstones of the EU, enabling free movement within the area for almost half a billion people in the continent of Europe. The EU must therefore include among its priorities the establishment of a comprehensive European migration policy based on security, responsibility, solidarity and, of course, human rights. In my opinion, a high level of border control and surveillance must be implemented consistently in the interests of protecting EU citizens, and I therefore agree that the Frontex Agency’s mandate should be adjusted in order to boost its operational capacities, and for measures to be adopted that are adequate, effective and respectful of fundamental rights.

I firmly believe that, for the purpose of effective protection of EU citizens and their values against cross-border crime and other illegal activities, the Frontex Agency should enhance its cooperation with Europol and Eurojust, particularly in the area of cross-border crime. I would like to conclude by emphasising that cooperation between Member States must be based on the principle of solidarity with the Member States on the borders, which, for geographical and demographic reasons, are exposed to substantial and disproportionate migration flows on their borders.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – I have taken into account the rapporteur’s suggestions to (1) strengthen the provisions on fundamental human rights; (2) merge the articles providing for the setting up of Frontex joint support teams and rapid border intervention teams into one article providing for an EU border guard system which will consist of a pool of national border guards that can be tapped by the agency for the purposes of its joint operations, rapid border intervention missions and pilot projects; this will streamline the provisions of the regulation, increase transparency, avoid duplication and confusion of roles and, most importantly, give a clearer European identity to the agency’s missions; (3) support the Commission’s proposal to require Member State to participate in the EU border guard system; (4) tighten the timeframes within which rapid border intervention missions should be deployed; and (5) grant the agency the power to process personal data in order to enable it to play a greater role in combating cross-border crime and irregular migration. I agree with the rapporteur and I voted ‘in favour’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Claudio Morganti (EFD), in writing.(IT) I decided to abstain in the assessment of this report. The text clearly aims to remedy the self-evident failure of Frontex, and several of the proposed measures are on the right track. However, I wonder how these measures can be implemented when the Member States – and the Council, which represents them – continue to oppose, de facto, the common management of European borders.

The cuts made by the Council in the next budget that we shall have to approve are the latest in a long list of evidence to this effect: the fund for external borders is to be cut by EUR 15 million, while there will be EUR 10 million less for repatriations and another dozen million stripped from Frontex itself. I therefore hope that Parliament proves to be less hypocritical than the Council and gets its points across forcefully, including when it comes to providing Frontex with the resources it requires.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I would like to thank Mr Busuttil for a well balanced report, and for helping us reach a consensus on how to strengthen the Frontex Agency. The principle of solidarity among countries has been consolidated, the European Parliament has become more involved and the dimension of respect for fundamental rights has been strengthened. This is important for obtaining public support and giving them confidence in this European institution. However, Frontex is not becoming a supranational institution – responsibility for border management and control lies with the Member States. Therefore, when carrying out operations, particularly in areas where the greatest problems arise, Frontex should involve national forces so that, following operations, the latter’s skills would be enhanced and they would continue to apply good practice. Before concluding working arrangements with third countries, it is important for there to be negotiations with EU institutions and those of the Member States in question which are responsible for external relations. Experience shows that undemocratic regimes may abuse judicial cooperation for political purposes. The EU must also pay attention to other dimensions of immigration. Undesirables should not cross the EU’s external borders. Of particular concern is the case where a Schengen visa was issued to a person suspected of war crimes, who possibly visited the EU several times. When he was arrested at Vienna airport under a European arrest warrant, the European arrest procedure was not followed and he was released. We must do everything to ensure that such a situation is not repeated.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mariya Nedelcheva (PPE), in writing. (BG) I strongly support Mr Busuttil’s report. The adoption of this regulation will enlighten the general public further about the functions and missions carried out by Frontex. The introduction of the ‘European border guard team’ concept enhances the European aspect of the missions and highlights the readiness for shared responsibility and integrated management of common borders.

This will help achieve European solidarity, highlighted in the Treaties, through the binding connection with Member States’ legal obligations and with sufficient finances and human resources. The enhancement and clarification of the role of the agency and Member States will help ensure the smooth coordination of the actions taken and provide a clear distribution of responsibilities and an ability to meet the challenges which some countries are facing.

In this way, we are allowing Frontex to carry out the human mission which it performs. When carrying out its responsibilities, Frontex must set an example not only in Europe, but also at a global level.

Migration is a phenomenon linked with people. Therefore, every action and every new operating mechanism must comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In this respect, I welcome all the proposals submitted to this effect – the consultative forum, human rights experts and the training activities envisaged for Frontex officers on fundamental rights issues.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) The immigration crisis resulting from the unrest in the Arab Maghreb has shown just how much Europe’s Mediterranean countries need a European agency like Frontex to solve problems at their borders. I voted in favour of the amendment of the regulation in order to enable the strengthening of Frontex, making it an agency that is ready to help a Member State deal with urgent problems on request. Frontex has already shown that with greater autonomy and funding, it can play a truly decisive role in resolving disputes that would otherwise persist for too long if they were dealt with exclusively by European policy.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. – (PT) I voted in favour of the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the European Union (Frontex). The removal of internal borders, especially in the Schengen area, one of the objectives of a common area of freedom, security and justice within the EU, requires that Member States assume shared responsibility for the Union’s external borders. In this respect, it is vital to strengthen the integrated management of said borders; indeed, external borders must be secured by keeping them closed to cross-border crime and other illicit activities. Thus, the powers of Frontex must be reshaped and reinforced. I would like to highlight, with regard to the amendments made, the reinforcement of fundamental human rights provisions; the creation of an EU border guard system; support for Member States whose asylum systems are under particular pressure; the new role in assisting with voluntary returns; and the extension of democratic scrutiny on the part of the agency by giving Parliament a more important role in monitoring the work performed by the agency, including its working arrangements with third countries.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Phil Prendergast (S&D), in writing. – The abolition of internal borders has created an even greater need to monitor and adopt a coordinated approach to secure our external borders. The security of Europe’s borders has relevance even for those Member States who are not in the Schengen area. Europe must be protected against cross-border crime and other illegal activities, including the alarming problem of human trafficking facing the EU. A balance must be struck between ensuring borders remain open and efficient for citizens, legitimate travellers and people in need of protection and in ensuring that they remain closed to criminal elements. While it is important for Europe to have a common migration policy, it is equally important that we avoid the ‘easy’ rhetoric surrounding migration. Some Member States have been calling for the right to re-impose border controls in times of trouble. Such calls should be resisted, and the Schengen Agreement should be strengthened to ensure the continuation of the right to freedom of movement within Europe.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The objective of Frontex, created in 2004, is to manage cooperation among the various Member States in relation to external borders. This is a field that, with regard to the Schengen area, requires close cooperation as the nature of borders is two-sided: whilst they delimit the territorial area of a State, they also represent the outermost limit of a common area with an external border of 42 672 km, in which more than half a billion individuals move freely. It is with this key principle in mind – that the Member States must take joint action – that we should view the amendment to the regulation establishing Frontex: the aim is to endow it with effective means of action that enable it to provide timely assistance to Member States that need support through being the primary gateways to the European Union. Finally, the further strengthening of cooperation between Frontex and other Union agencies that share common goals is also justified, with a view to improving resource rationalisation and action efficiency.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mitro Repo (S&D), in writing. (FI) This resolution and the enhancement of Frontex’s external mandate and powers, as well as its greater independence, are a step towards an ever more integrated system of border control and European migration policy. High-level, independent and integrated border management would allow free movement within the European Union.

With the expansion of Frontex’s powers, however, we need to ensure that its present safeguards, especially those concerning human rights, are improved. I am especially pleased that Frontex will be more fully involved in obligations relating to human and fundamental rights. Of particular importance are the references to the principle of non-refoulement and the right of everyone to leave any country, including their own. Obviously, the EU agencies have to comply with Union law and fundamental rights when active both within the EU and outside it. At the same time, there should also be more training in human rights for officers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing. (FR) I voted for the report on amending the regulation on Frontex, the European Agency for the Management of the External Borders of the EU, created in 2004. Its aim is to more clearly define the agency’s mandate and to improve its effectiveness. How?

Firstly, by addressing a recurring problem: the fact that Frontex is too dependent on Member States for the deployment of personnel and equipment. From now on, the agency will have the means to purchase or lease its own equipment, and Member States will be required to honour their commitments with regard to providing national border guards. This is about establishing a proper EU border guard system that can be tapped by the agency for all its operations.

Secondly, by reducing the time needed to deploy rapid intervention teams to the borders, in order to be truly able to face emergency situations.

Finally, and this is crucial, by strengthening the provisions relating to Frontex respecting and defending fundamental rights in all areas for which it is responsible. This is one of Parliament’s main victories in this text, which, we hope, will soon have direct and tangible results on the ground, in the difficult areas located at the external borders of the Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Abstention. Like all other EU agencies and bodies, Frontex has a duty to observe and uphold fundamental rights in all realms of its affairs. The rapporteur welcomes the numerous elements in the Commission proposal which underline the importance of fundamental rights and which strengthen the ability and obligation of Frontex to ensure that respect for such rights is an integral part of border management. However, we understand that not enough guarantees are provided to fulfil all these obligations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this report because I think that it has become increasingly important to manage the European Union’s external borders in a coordinated and integrated way, particularly following the abolition of its internal borders. The dramatic immigrant landings in Lampedusa recently show that we can wait no longer: patrol operations must ensure a high and uniform standard of control and surveillance.

This means that common rules need to be adopted and implemented, alongside greater cooperation between Member States, in order to make our external borders more secure. In the light of this need for greater coordination and solidarity, Frontex is required to carry out an increasingly important role, providing it with a fresh mandate and more resources and instruments to make it increasingly effective.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Oreste Rossi (EFD), in writing.(IT) On the basis of the impact assessment carried out over recent years, the European Commission has realised that the instruments and tasks allocated to Frontex are not up to the job of combating illegal immigration and human trafficking. The new regulation gives Frontex the chance to work more effectively with Member States by providing funds and manpower to those that take part in joint operations. In addition, Frontex will also be able to provide itself with border guards by using personnel made available by Member States.

Clearly, if incompatible ideological policy positions had not been added to the text, we could have voted in favour. Instead, the principle of non-refoulement and the creation of a human rights supervisory office were added to the text, while the term ‘illegal’ was replaced by ‘irregular’. As it stands, we are voting against it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marco Scurria (PPE), in writing.(IT) The amendment to the Frontex Regulation was a necessity given ever increasing illegal immigration within the borders of the European Union. In this light, setting up teams of European border guards particularly helps a number of Member States to manage huge and sudden migratory flows, such as those that took place following the Arab revolts. At the same time, the procedures for the most vulnerable categories – above all, unaccompanied minors – represent the other side of this measure, where respect for the law and solidarity intersect to guarantee both human rights and the security of the Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Joanna Senyszyn (S&D), in writing.(PL) I endorsed the resolution on amending the regulation on the EU’s Frontex Agency. Amendment of the regulation is essential in order to strengthen the agency in carrying out its operations in support of Member States in crisis situations which require increased technical and operational assistance at external borders. For Frontex to operate effectively, it also needs greater resources, inter alia, for the purchase of its own equipment, because the Member States have not been giving the agency a sufficient degree of financial support.

I also support the greater role for the agency in upholding fundamental rights. In fulfilling this role, Frontex must work more closely with other European agencies: the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Europol, Eurojust and the European Asylum Support Office. I hope the Polish Presidency will be successful in its endeavours to bring work on amending the Frontex Regulation to completion.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. – (PT) The events on the island of Lampedusa and the resultant border closure by the French State have made the reshaping of Frontex unavoidable. Integrated management of operational cooperation at the external borders of the Member States of the EU guarantees an area of freedom, security and justice for European citizens. The goal of the proposals submitted is to strengthen the role of Frontex and provide greater autonomy from the Member States with regard to the human resources and instruments it can use. The creation of a reserve European border guard system and budget reinforcement will provide the agency with the means to acquire its own equipment and provide immediate assistance when necessary, where timeframes for action and consent are limited. Another important factor is the greater emphasis on respect for human rights, through the creation of a consultative forum, and the new powers regarding handling personal data to fight cross-border crime and illegal migration. I am voting in favour of this report as I believe the EU must urgently establish a migration policy based on the principles of solidarity and responsibility whilst respecting international and EU law, giving special attention to the most vulnerable individuals.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rafał Trzaskowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) The overwhelming majority of votes with which Simon Busuttil’s report was adopted is proof of the fact that Parliament supports a strong border guard agency which is capable of action. The decision to create European border guard teams was undoubtedly important in this regard.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Derek Vaughan (S&D), in writing. – I voted in favour of this report to strengthen the powers and increase the resources that are available to Frontex to allow them to better protect the borders of the EU. A larger budget will allow Frontex to acquire equipment that will enable the agency to deal with an emergency. The report is clear that Frontex will continue to act as a coordinating agency, with the responsibility of day-to-day border controls remaining a responsibility of individual Member States. In response to Parliament’s concerns about the fundamental rights of immigrants, Frontex will appoint a special fundamental rights officer to ensure respect for human rights for immigrants.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Dominique Vlasto (PPE), in writing. (FR) I was keen to support this text, since it sanctions my political group’s vision regarding the principle of integrated management of our external borders. Indeed, given that freedom of movement is one of the greatest Community acquis, it must have as a corollary a high and uniform level of monitoring and control of these same EU borders. However, recent events have shown the need to review Frontex’s operating rules, in order to be able to cope either with a State’s failure to control its borders, or with exceptional circumstances. To my mind, sharing an internal market and an area of freedom, security and justice requires common rules. The survival of the Schengen area is therefore closely linked to the success of Frontex’s missions. Indeed, if the external borders of the Union become permeable, each State could well be exposed to threats. The fact is, any State that saw its fundamental interests or its security threatened would consequently have the right to take steps to maintain public order within its territory. I believe that European solidarity should be exemplary in this area.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) Frontex was established as an agency in 2004. As various new countries have joined the EU, so its external borders have changed. The changes to the agency contained in the Commission’s proposal should allow it to function effectively, thereby securing for the EU’s 500 million citizens a high degree of freedom to travel and, in particular, providing the countries situated at the external borders of the EU with appropriate protection from cross-border crime and illegal immigration. To this end, the Member States should be required to ensure that the agency receives adequate resources and equipment. A further important point is that the timeframes for reacting to emergency situations must be reduced. Before Frontex’s legal basis can be changed in this way, however, we need to have an extensive debate on its work to date and its future accountability.

 
  
  

Report: Vital Moreira (A7-0256/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of the report on the amendment of Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. Its aim is to oblige the Commission and Member-States to establish a secure system for collection, transmission and storage of notifications and to oblige the Commission to inform the European Parliament regarding the system’s functioning. I believe that it is crucial to oblige the Commission to present a report on the implementation and application of the regulation, in addition to providing a thorough assessment of its impact.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document. In the European Union, there are licences for dual-use items (these are defined as items, including software and technology, which can be used for both civil and military purposes, and include all goods which can be used for assisting in any way in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices). The regulation lays down a list of dual-use items, and it is regularly updated to reflect the Member States’ international commitments and rapid technological development. The updating of this list, which we voted for, will enable us to guarantee the application of the commitments made throughout the entire EU and will give EU exporters legal certainty as regards which items require an export licence.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  George Becali (NI), in writing. (RO) This report is fairly technical and specific to an area relating to commercial operations involving products which can be used for civil and military purposes. Although Parliament’s room for manoeuvre is limited, we can oblige the Commission to inform Parliament at regular intervals about the system’s operation and to submit reports assessing the impact of the new regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sergio Berlato (PPE), in writing.(IT) The economy has changed radically over the last few years. Global trade has undergone genuine growth thanks to the World Trade Organisation and numerous multilateral and bilateral initiatives. From the 1990s onwards, a growing number of developing countries and emerging economies have become involved in world trade and developed into the driving forces behind the global economy. In the EU, 18% of jobs depend on foreign trade and, according to forecasts, in 2015, some 90% of world economic growth will be generated outside the European Union. To me, it therefore seems fundamentally important to set out and implement a long-term strategy for foreign trade that bears in mind the changing role of the EU in the world economy.

It is also worth noting that the trend of population growth in the EU is reversing, while the population of developing countries continues to increase rapidly. This will have inevitable consequences on the economies of these countries. Lastly, I would like to point out to the Commission how worthwhile it would be to make forecasts that incorporate both the current situation as well as probable future scenarios into the global and EU economy. This could form the basis for the development of a long-term strategy designed to respond to the needs of European citizens.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of this initiative because I believe there is a need to improve EU coordination and the role of the EU in the international control regimes, and to ensure that it speaks with a single voice. Furthermore, Parliament, in its capacity as a colegislative body, should give strong parliamentary backing on all issues which come under exclusive EU competence. This would enable greater control and more transparency in the system’s functioning.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing.(IT) The subject in question, namely exports of dual-use items, is very delicate, and must be subjected to some kind of democratic control. It is right to amend the regulations that govern the EU legislative activities on the subject so as to bring Parliament into the decision-making processes and allow – in contrast to the current situation – for the representatives of the citizens of Europe to be suitably informed about updates to the list of dual-use items. I therefore voted in favour of the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because with it, the European Parliament aims to oblige the Commission and the Member States to set up a secure regime for controlling the transit of dual-use items, establishing a reliable system for the collection, transmission and storage of notifications. It is crucial to tighten controls on the export of chemical and biological weapons, and to strengthen and tighten up the global issuing of arms export licences, in order to guarantee human security. The granting of authorisation for the export of dual-use items is decided on the basis of the international export control regime in countries divided into four main groups: the Australia Group, which endeavours to prevent the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which aims to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons and controls exports, the Missile Technology Control Regime, which aims to curb the spread of unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons and the Wassenaar Arrangement, focusing on the transparency of national export control regimes. All of the countries of the export control regimes endeavour to maintain good relations with each other, to cooperate and to guarantee security.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Dual-use items and technologies are considered to be those that can serve both civil and military purposes. The Community regime for the control of exports is governed by a regulation containing an annex of controlled dual-use items. The current proposal introduces various new general Community export authorisations aimed at levelling the field for exporters within the EU and is intended to facilitate exports in specific risk situations. I fully support the agreement reached in the trialogue, as I believe it is a balanced document representing the interests of exporters, whilst maintaining strong guarantees of transparency in this sensitive dual-use item and technology industry.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Dual-use items, which can be used for both civil and military purposes, such as, for example, chemicals that can be used as fertilisers or to prepare bombs, and information technology for computers that can also be used to guide missiles, currently constitute a highly sensitive issue. European-level export controls for dual-use products and technologies aim to ensure that the international commitments of the EU and its Member States as regards the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the proliferation of conventional weapons are respected. Examples include the Nuclear Suppliers Group, against the proliferation of nuclear items and technology, and the Australia Group, against the proliferation of chemical and biological items and technology. In practice, these extremely important controls, which make it possible to prevent the proliferation of weapons using the preventative measures laid down in Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 of 5 May 2009, do not permit Parliament to take any real action. I am therefore voting for this report because I believe there is a need to update the list of items in Annex I, but I would like to stress that Parliament should have a stronger voice and a more prominent role in future amendments to the regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Dual-use items are those items, software and technologies that can be used for both civil and military purposes. The type of goods in question warrants special requirements and care regarding the way they are traded and used. Additionally, they must fully comply with the applicable international conventions and the list of items classified as such must be regularly updated. In light of the recent amendments to international export control regimes, the goal of this proposal is precisely to update the list of dual-use items, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, for which reason it merits my support.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Vital Moreira, proposes the amendment of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. Exports of dual-use items (listed in Annex I), pursuant to the abovementioned regulation, are dependent on international control regimes such as the Australia Group (AG), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA). The role of the European Parliament in this matter has been very limited, for which reason I am voting in favour of this report, which recommends the adoption of the Commission’s proposal at first reading, since it fulfils the requirements of the Treaty of Lisbon and obliges the Commission and the Member States to set up a secure system for the collection, transmission and storage of notifications, and to inform Parliament about the system’s functioning – something that currently does not occur – by means of an annual report to be presented by the dual-use coordination group.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Dual-use item export control has been subject to measures at EU level. Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 is the principal Community instrument for controlling exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. International export control regimes are responsible for making decisions that modify or update current control lists. These decisions are taken without the participation of national parliaments, the European Parliament or the EU. This regulation aims to change this situation, by creating a common list of EU dual-use items and technologies. The Commission and the Member States will be obliged to inform Parliament about any amendments to this list. Thus, the commitments previously made by EU Member States under international regimes are guaranteed to be applied in a uniform and coordinated fashion throughout the EU. Member States must play a central role in the creation of these control lists – a proposal that runs counter to the centralisation of powers in the Commission in this field, namely through the dual-use coordination group, presided over by the Commission, which decides those countries with whom dual-use items may be traded.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Export controls on dual-use items have been the subject of EU-level measures. Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 of 5 May 2009 is the main EU instrument for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use products.

Making decisions to change or update their control lists is the responsibility of the international export control regimes, since the national parliaments, the European Parliament and the European Union are not involved in these decisions.

With the amendment of Annex I to this regulation, a list of common dual-use items and technology is included. This means that all the commitments previously made by EU Member States within the framework of international regimes are guaranteed to be applied in a uniform and coordinated way throughout the EU.

However, although we consider increased democratic controls and greater transparency to be necessary, we believe it should fall to each individual Member State to decide on their control lists, so we do not agree that it should be the dual-use coordination group, chaired by the Commission, that decides in which countries the sale of dual-use products is permitted, thereby withdrawing this competence from the Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Within the framework of the EU system for controlling exports of dual-use items set out in Regulation No 428/2009, a permit is required for the export of the items listed in the Annex to the regulation. Annex I to the regulation was last updated on 5 May 2009, when Regulation No 428/2009 was adopted. Since then, all international regimes for controlling exports have taken the decision to amend and update their own control lists. I therefore share the view that we must make the necessary changes to the Annex. By now, Annex I to the regulation has, in principle, been transposed automatically into EU legislation and the European Parliament or national parliaments have not interfered in this process. The large Member States of the Union had a decidedly leading role within the EU in coordinating the representation of the Union in international control regimes.

At present, however, none of the EU institutions have managed to guarantee the cohesion of EU policy in respect of international control regimes or within the framework of these regimes. The fact of the matter is that Parliament has very little room for manoeuvre. It has no real possibility of acting as an institution implementing changes and improvements in relation to this document. I firmly believe that we must improve coordination in the EU and in relation to its role in international control regimes, ensuring that it acts in a unified way, with strong support from Parliament in relation to all the issues falling within the exclusive competence of the Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome the substantial amendments to Article 1 of the regulation that aim to oblige the Commission and the Member States to set up a secure system for the collection, transmission, and storage of notifications, and to oblige the Commission to inform the European Parliament about the system’s functioning. Furthermore, Parliament wants to establish an obligation for the dual-use coordination group to report to the European Parliament annually. Parliament could thus fulfil its control function vis-à-vis the European Commission. Finally, Parliament seeks to oblige the Commission to report on the implementation and application of this regulation, and also to provide a comprehensive impact assessment for it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jarosław Kalinowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) Dual-use items are the product of achievements in science and technology, fruits of the advance of civilisation. The idea behind the origin of such items is usually the aspiration to improve our quality of life, as is the case with chemical and medical products, or also, for example, to make everyday work and communication easier, as in the case of information technologies. However, if they are put to the wrong use, they can be a huge danger to health and life. Therefore, the control of exports of dual-use items from the European Union should be as thorough as possible, and the standards for maintaining this control should be equally high and rigorous in all Member States. Failure to carry out precise inspections and a lack of information on the final recipients and the final use of these items may result in a catastrophe.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D), in writing.(PL) Voting has taken place on the proposal for a regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items.

I opted for the idea which was tabled as I believe that these products should be monitored so that we do not contribute to the proliferation of biological, chemical and, above all, nuclear weapons. I believe that the European Union should speak with one voice, and its position should be supported by the European Parliament. In addition, we should streamline coordination at EU level and its role on the international stage.

In order to achieve these aims, we need to ensure that Member States and the Commission create a system for the collection, transmission and storage of notifications. The Commission should also be obliged to inform the European Parliament on the workings of the system, and also request that the coordination group provides an annual report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) Parliament has no real possibility to act as an amending institution in this file, as it is required to do in its capacity as a colegislative body. In view of future amendments to this regulation, there is a need to improve EU coordination and its role in the international control regimes, and to ensure that the EU speaks with a single voice and with strong parliamentary backing on all issues within exclusive EU competence.

The abovementioned regulation will be reformed according to the Lisbon Treaty’s requirements for more transparent and democratic decision making in the area of the Union’s dual-use framework. I have therefore supported it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – The system for regulating the export of dual-use items (civil and possible military use) has been unsatisfactory. Here, Parliament has approved substantial amendments to Article 1 of the regulation that aim to oblige the Commission and the Member States to set up a secure system for the collection, transmission and storage of notifications, and to oblige the Commission to inform Parliament about the system’s functioning. Until now, this system has only been an option, as introduced in the 2009 regulation.

The system would be designed to have online access to a database containing, for example, denials of export authorisations. Parliament also wants to establish an obligation for the dual-use coordination group to annually report to Parliament in order to fulfil its supervisory function where the European Commission is concerned. Finally, Parliament seeks to introduce an obligation on the Commission to report on the implementation and application as well as to provide a comprehensive impact assessment of the regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL), in writing. (CS) Advanced technological development and the emergence of improved means of production and technologically sophisticated products opens up possibilities not only for their use but also for misuse, involving purposes other than those for which they were intended. The monitoring of this type of good and its categorisation into items under international control regimes is not only a commercially sensitive topic, but also a topic that is, in essence, related to security matters. In my opinion, it would be useful to support effective and transparent control regimes enabling the monitoring of international trade in technologies that can be misused for military purposes, and particularly for developing and producing weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, however, I would like to add that this should be based on transparency, sound planning and practicality.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The report amending Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 sets up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. Henceforth, the Commission and Member States will be equipped with a secure system for the collection, transmission and storage of notifications that reinforces the conformity of exports of civil goods that could be used for military purposes. Until now, this record keeping was optional and was largely dependent on the consensual decisions of international export control regimes, such as the Australia Group (AG) for chemical and biological items, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for civil nuclear items, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) for conventional arms and dual-use items and technologies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Lisbon Treaty clarified EU competences in international trade, and thus represents a good opportunity to reaffirm the role of the EU in this field and the competences and responsibilities of the European Parliament in the institutional framework of the EU in relation to decision making. The Community regime for dual-use items must be organised more transparently and democratically. The full participation of the European Parliament, through the application of obligations set out by the Lisbon Treaty, and the adoption of a joint interpretation by the European Parliament and the European Commission within a new framework agreement, will be crucial in order to fulfil this objective.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – Technological progress in today’s world means that there is a need to update regularly the list of controlled items. The last update of Annex I of the regulation occurred on the occasion of the adoption of the regulation on 5 May 2009. I absolutely agree with that, but I think that there should be defined measures taken and an organised mechanism for control over updates established and made more transparent.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) The rapporteur, Vital Moreira, has revealed the lack of democratic parliamentary control and the difficulties for the European Parliament to fulfil its capacity as a colegislative body in this field. The report reveals the prevailing practice whereby issues regarding the control of exports of dual-use items remain a closed area of intergovernmental policy, not even fully coordinated between the EU Member States, and the Commission only plays an intermediary role, while national parliaments and the European Parliament are excluded. I would like to stress that this area is part of the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), which requires at least a minimum exchange of information between Member States. The issue of the timely exchange of information also covers the area of dual-use items and trade in military equipment. I remember a case, not long ago, when one of the big EU Member States concluded an agreement on the sale of naval transport, and recently equipment, to a third country. Other EU Member States were not informed of this in advance via the appropriate working bodies. Some countries have concerns that this technology may be used in an area of tension. I believe that the EU Member States must develop a clearer, responsible and principled policy on the export of military equipment and dual-use items. Consequently, there really is a need for a more in-depth review of related EU legislation, as proposed by the rapporteur, in order to strengthen CFSP coordination, the exchange of information, the development of a common EU position and its representation under international control regimes, and to increase the European Parliament’s role in terms of scrutiny under the Treaty of Lisbon.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because the control of exports, transfer and transit of dual-use items, which can be used for both civil and military purposes, is one of the keys to preventing weapons proliferation globally. Furthermore, this sector has a crucial role to play in developing innovations and promoting competitiveness. Consequently, we must make every effort to ensure that we create a more favourable environment for legitimate trade in these items and that we prevent their illegal use for military purposes or proliferation programmes. To achieve these goals, the list of dual-use items must be updated, taking into account advances in modern technology and the duties and obligations of Member States under international non-proliferation regimes, export control agreements and international treaties. As for European Union dual-use items, we must guarantee a more transparent and more democratic decision-making process. Parliament must be given more powers by tabling amendments to this regulation in order to enable it to fulfil its control function vis-à-vis the European Commission. The Commission must make every effort to ensure that secure systems for the collection, transmission and storage of notifications begin to work properly and it must regularly inform the European Parliament about the functioning of these systems. It is also very important for the dual-use coordination group to report to the European Parliament on an annual basis.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) In procedures for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items, Parliament currently has no real possibility to act as an amending institution. In line with its capacity of colegislative body, however, following the Treaty of Lisbon, this should not be the case. In view of future amendments, there is a need to ensure that the EU speaks with a single voice with strong parliamentary backing on all issues within exclusive EU competence. To remedy this situation, in the context of the Union regime for the control of exports of dual-use items and technology, Parliament has ensured that the Commission will be obliged to inform it about the workings of the system. Parliament also wishes to establish an obligation for the dual-use coordination group to annually report to Parliament in order to fulfil its control function in relation to the European Commission. The aforementioned powers of Parliament, introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, should be reflected individually in all EU legislation. On the basis of this principle, I voted for this report, which puts forward a decision-making process that is more transparent and democratic, and which involves Parliament.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) To date, Annex I to the regulation has been quasi-automatically transposed into EU legislation without any participation on the part of the European Parliament or the national parliaments of the European Union. EU coordination and representation in the international control regimes were characterised by a leading role being assumed by the major EU Member States, with decision and policy making undertaken behind closed doors under the conceptual – intergovernmental – framework of the common foreign and security policy.

All EU Member States are members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and of the Australia Group (AG), but Cyprus is not party to the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), and Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia and Romania are not members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Moreover, the European Commission is a founding member of the AG, and an observer of the NSG, but does not have any role in the WA and MTCR. Accordingly, the consistency of the EU’s policy towards and within the international control regimes cannot currently be guaranteed by any EU institution. Parliament is confronted with a Commission proposal, subject to amendments. It should be noted, however, that Parliament’s room for manoeuvre is rather limited.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Miguel Portas (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The report amending Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 of the Council establishes an EU scheme for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. From now on, the Commission and Member States have a secure system for the collection, transmission and storage of notifications, which reinforces the conformity of the export of goods that are civilian but carry the risk of potential military use. Until now, this system was optional and largely dependent on decisions taken by consensus in international export control regimes: for example, the Australian Group for chemical and biological items; the Nuclear Suppliers Group for civil nuclear products; and the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Wassenaar Arrangement for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Abstention. The EU dual-use export control system, as set out in Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, requires an authorisation for the export of dual-use items listed in the Annex to the regulation. Annex I of this regulation largely depends on decisions that are taken by consensus in international export control regimes like the Australia Group (AG) for biological and chemical items, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for civil nuclear items, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. Article 15 of the basic Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 specifies that ‘the list of dual-use items set out in Annex I shall be updated in conformity with the relevant obligations and commitments, and any modification thereof, that Member States have accepted as members of the international non-proliferation regimes and export control arrangements, or by ratification of relevant international treaties’.

The current practice in the EU is, to say the least, too vague.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) The current EU dual-use export control system requires these technologies to be authorised for export, which is a particularly sensitive issue in terms of their possible applications in relation to war. It is essential in this context to increase the transparency of national systems for controlling exports.

In the complex procedure to reform these mechanisms, Parliament – in its capacity as colegislator – does not currently have many options for making amendments. It would therefore be worth improving coordination and the role of the EU in international control regimes, thereby ensuring that the EU speaks with a single voice and with strong parliamentary backing on all issues for which the EU is exclusively responsible.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Oreste Rossi (EFD), in writing.(IT) I am in favour of the report since controlling dual-use products is essential for preventing weapons proliferation and it is carried out through preventive measures such as mandatory export authorisations and customs registration procedures. In light of the EU’s new competences in the area of international trade, which were obtained following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, this could be a significant step forward towards regulating the market for exporting dual-use items and making it more transparent and democratic.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Laurence J. A. J. Stassen (NI), in writing. (NL) Given that there are a number of civilian products and technologies that could also be used for military or terrorist purposes, supervision of the export of such products is a necessity. In order to be able to carry out this supervision effectively, a common list of products for which an export licence is required has been produced. The list predominantly contains chemical products and construction materials. The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) voted in favour of this proposal because, at the moment, different lists are used in different European countries.

A common framework prevents potential buyers from exploiting loopholes between different Member States and from ‘shopping around’ the various countries in order to obtain these products. Having a common framework also has the side benefit of clarity for exporting companies from the Netherlands, along with fair competition thanks to identical rules for exporting businesses from the various countries of Europe.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Inese Vaidere (PPE), in writing. (LV) As things stand in the European Union, there is no truly common export and transit control system for dual-use items such as nuclear material or chemical and conventional weapons. Decisions on these questions are taken behind closed doors at the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU without open debates, common criteria or the participation of Parliament, which is a legislative body of the EU.

It is the case that not even all EU Member States are represented in the organisations that control the export of such dangerous items. The Baltic States, as well as Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania, for example, are not members of the Missile Technology Control Regime.

As a result, decisions taken on trade grounds by one EU Member State may endanger another Member State’s security interests, as we have already experienced.

This report supports amendments to European Union legislation in order to create a common EU system for the collection, transmission and storage of authorisations and to oblige the Commission to inform the European Parliament about authorisations which have been issued.

On such fundamentally important issues such as foreign and security policy, unambiguous solidarity between EU Member States must be the order of the day. The amendments proposed by the report will introduce an improved, common and transparent system for regulating the export of weapons, nuclear material, missiles and other similar technologies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) Dual-use items are items that are intended for civil purposes, but which have characteristics that mean they can also be used for military purposes. A list of such items was drawn up as part of international export control regimes (Annex I), these items then requiring special approval. The reasons behind the Union regulation that has now been tabled are increased transparency and greater responsibility for such types of items and technologies. These are objectives that I support, which is why I voted in favour.

 
  
  

Report: Paolo De Castro (A7-0252/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this resolution on the repeal of a number of legal acts that have become obsolete because they have exhausted their effects over the last few decades, but which remain technically in force. For example, several measures relating to the accession of new Member States established temporary measures, which were to be applied immediately following their accession, but have since become obsolete.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) Far from the myth of rampant bureaucracy, the European Union carries out regular reviews of European legislation in order to remove outdated texts, thus making the applicable law clearer. I consider this approach to be essential, both for citizens and for businesses, and that is why I endorsed this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document. Many acts adopted in recent decades no longer have any effect, but officially remain in force. Some of them are obsolete because they were temporary or their content has been duplicated in subsequent legislation. Other legislation contained transitional measures which applied to the new Member States prior to their accession to the European Union and which expired once they became EU Member States. Although technically, these acts are still in force, they no longer have any real practical effect. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied, thus giving the acquis communautaire and all parties concerned greater clarity, transparency and simplicity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  George Becali (NI), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report because it relates to certain regulations which were mainly aimed at transitional measures linked to the Union’s enlargement process. This means that we are updating, simplifying and condensing current European legislation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of the report because it is necessary to adopt the various regulations in order to adapt them to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to improve the transparency of EU law, a fundamental element of the ‘Better law making’ strategy.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing.(IT) The proposal for a regulation to repeal European Union legislative acts that have now become useless responds to the needs for legislative simplification and a reduction in the acts that no longer have any purpose within the EU’s already ample legislative corpus. Since the effects of the regulations we are preparing to repeal on other pieces of legislation are protected, and given that the effects of each of these acts on EU legislation at the time of their introduction is thereby preserved, it is worthwhile and sensible to get rid of the regulations which now only have a formal or numerical value, so to speak. I have therefore voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because a large number of legal acts have been adopted in the last ten years or so in the field of the common agricultural policy, which technically remain in force, but which have actually expired. The majority of such documents are obsolete because the same area has been regulated by subsequent EU documents, while some of them were generally temporary in nature. The majority of such documents were applied for a limited period, such as documents intended to help the new Member States prepare for accession to the EU. These documents are therefore suspended on the basis of the interinstitutional agreement 2003C321/1 on better law making. It is necessary to reduce the number of EU legal acts and other documents or amend them with more condensed legislation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The obsolete nature of all or part of some legislative instruments is inevitable in any legal system. The temporary nature of certain acts, the occurrence of conditions that modify or resolve them, the expiry of programmes or the adoption of new legislation can, inter alia, contribute to this. It falls to the legislator to detect them and, where justified, repeal them so as to make it easier to interpret and apply the legislation actually in force. The specific irrelevance of the obsolete acts can, even so, cause unnecessary difficulties of interpretation and prevent compliance with the interinstitutional agreement on better law making. As I am a lawyer by profession, I particularly understand the need for this repeal.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Over the course of almost six decades of existence, the European Union’s name has changed: European Economic Community, European Community and European Union. As the name has changed, many adopted regulations and directives have become dated, especially taking into account the breakneck scientific and technological changes we have witnessed over the last few decades. This report, drafted by our fellow Member, Mr de Castro, tables a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on repealing certain obsolete Council acts in the area of the common agricultural policy: temporary acts that have exhausted their effects, temporary measures resulting from the accession of new Member States, linguistic and content-related errors, etc. I therefore welcome this proposal, which aims to ‘clean up’ certain European laws that are out of step with reality and is in fulfilment of the interinstitutional agreement 2003C321/1 on better law making.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the repeal of a number of legal acts that have become obsolete, resulting from regulations adopted over the last few decades, which have exhausted their effects because of their temporary nature or because their content has been taken up by successive acts. A number of regulations relating to the common agricultural policy are now repealed, such as, inter alia, Community financing, systems of premiums, restrictions and suspensions of aid, establishment of common market organisations, Community compensation, common intervention prices, direct support measures for producers’ incomes and improvement of Community production. Having observed the indirect implications that many of these, now obsolete, regulations have had in our country, we must remind you that the majority of them were, over time, associated with the deterioration of the farming sector in Portugal, the exacerbation of the country’s agro-food production deficit and the increase in its foreign dependence. In this way, more problems were created for small and medium-sized farmers without the conditions necessary for their adaptation, development and modernisation having been created.

At a time when we are experiencing a profound crisis in the rural world, too, it is regrettable that the Commission has not gone against the general framework described and acted differently in some cases, specifically by extending certain beneficial regulations that are necessary for the survival of production in some countries, like Portugal, particularly as regards small and medium-sized farming.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the repeal of a number of legal acts that have become obsolete, resulting from regulations adopted over the last few decades, which have exhausted their effects because of their temporary nature or because their content has been taken up by successive acts.

A number of regulations relating to the common agricultural policy are now repealed, such as, inter alia, Community financing, systems of premiums, restrictions and suspensions of aid, establishment of common market organisations, Community compensation, common intervention prices, measures of direct support of producers’ incomes, and improvement of Community production.

Having observed the indirect implications that many of these, now obsolete, regulations have had in our country, we must remind you that the majority of them were, over time, associated with the deterioration of the farming sector in Portugal, the exacerbation of the country’s agro-food production deficit and the increase in its foreign dependence.

In many cases, they served to create more problems for small and medium-sized farmers without the conditions necessary for their adaptation, development and modernisation having been created. At a time when we are experiencing a profound crisis in the rural world, too, it is regrettable that the Commission has not acted differently in some cases, specifically by extending certain beneficial regulations that are necessary for the survival of production in some countries, like Portugal, particularly as regards small and medium-sized farming.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Many acts passed in recent decades have exhausted all of their legal effects, but in spite of this, they remain effective from a technical perspective. They have become obsolete due to their temporary nature or because their content has been taken over in subsequent acts. In some measures relating to the accession of new Member States, transitional measures were laid down directly after their accession and they have now become obsolete. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied. Acts which have no continuing relevance should be removed from the acquis communautaire in order to improve the transparency and certainty of Union law.

Improving the transparency of Union law is an essential component of the strategy for better law making being implemented by EU institutions. In this context, I firmly believe that it is right to remove acts that are no longer genuinely effective from the legislation currently in force. This mainly involves regulations related to the common agricultural policy. They have become obsolete even though they are formally still in force. In the interests of legal certainty and clarity, I therefore believe that these obsolete regulations should be repealed.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed the document because improving the transparency of Union law is an essential element of the better law making strategy that Union institutions are implementing. In that context, it is appropriate to remove from active legislation those acts which no longer have real effect. For reasons of legal certainty and clarity, those obsolete regulations should be repealed.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing.(IT) Simplification through better law making is a diktat that applies equally to the agricultural sector, where the volume of legislation is notably large. Mr De Castro’s resolution aims to repeal a number of acts that have now become obsolete, since they are no longer effective despite remaining technically in force. I therefore voted in favour of this resolution because the 20-plus regulations on various agricultural sectors – from dairy to fruit and vegetables, from tobacco to flowers – have become obsolete as subsequent acts have been drawn up to respond to the needs of a continually evolving agricultural sector in the EU 27. I consider this an effective step towards simplifying procedures by eliminating the surplus from the past in order to be able to build anew a better, simplified and effective system for European agriculture – which is much required.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) This resolution on the repealing of certain legal acts that have become obsolete concerns a number of acts adopted over the last decades that have exhausted all their effects. Technically, however, they remain in force. They have become obsolete because of their temporary character or because their content has been taken up by successive acts. Several measures linked to the accession of new Member States provided for transitory measures directly following the time of their accession and these have now become obsolete.

A number of legal acts are repealed with the current proposal, which is based on the interinstitutional agreement on better law making. This agreement targets the simplification and reduction in the volume of legislation. According to the agreement, legislation will be updated and condensed, inter alia, through the repeal of acts which are no longer applied and through the codification or recasting of other acts.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution on repealing of certain legal acts that have become obsolete. It concerns a number of acts which were adopted over the last decades, have exhausted all their effects, but remain technically in force. They have become obsolete because of their temporary character or because their content has been taken up by successive acts. Several measures linked to the accession of new Member States provided for transitory measures directly following the time of their accession, and by now have become obsolete. A number of legal acts are repealed with the current proposal, which is based on interinstitutional agreement 2003C321/1 on better law making. This agreement targets the simplifying and reducing of the volume of legislation (point 35). According to the agreement, legislation will be updated and condensed, inter alia, through the repeal of acts which are no longer applied and through the codification or recasting of other acts.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Transparent legislation is essential in order to make the EU more democratic and to provide equality of access for all citizens. As such, in order to remove legal mazes and to increase the clarity and security of European legislation, obsolete regulations should be repealed. This report repeals regulations relating to the common agricultural policy that have remained formally in force, despite having become obsolete and ineffective, notably because they relate to temporary measures, because their content has been repeated in later acts or because new measures have been introduced. It is entirely appropriate to remove acts that no longer have any real effect from the legislation in force, so I voted for this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The simplification of the legislation in force is always welcome, so I am voting for this Commission proposal to repeal a number of legal acts, tabled by Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure. This proposal appears in the context of the European Union’s commitment to improving its legislative policy and to simplifying the legislation in force, with a view to creating greater clarity in the legislative process in the area of common agricultural policy.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on repealing certain obsolete Council acts in the field of the common agricultural policy. It is high time we have these measures and I even would suggest making some additions to this report. Disproportional quotas and requirements do not stimulate the production of agricultural products. I voted ‘in favour’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution, providing for the repeal of certain obsolete Council acts in the field of the common agricultural policy, because European Union legislation must be transparent and function effectively. Attention should be drawn to the fact that many regulations in the field of the common agricultural policy are still in force, although they have become obsolete and do not reflect the realities of current political and social relations. They were of a temporary nature or their content has been duplicated in subsequent legal acts. Consequently, it is appropriate to remove from active legislation those acts which no longer have any real effect. I believe that we must make every effort to ensure clarity, legal certainty and an improved legal framework at EU level.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) The constant changes in regulatory requirements in European agriculture have made it necessary to simplify the existing legislation on the subject since many obsolete acts remain in force. There are some 25 regulations on various agricultural sectors that need to be updated or repealed as they have been replaced by new rules that meet current requirements. In line with the principle of legislative simplification adopted by the EU, I think we need to repeal these outdated rules that are no longer actually effective and only represent a legal burden for agricultural markets.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The purpose of this report is to repeal a number of obsolete legal acts, with a view to improving the quality of the legislation in force and simplifying it, thereby creating a better and clearer legislative environment. I voted for this report, since the lawyer linguists of the Council and Parliament have approved these amendments by mutual agreement, and proposed that all the amendments be voted on together as part of a single vote.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) This resolution on the repealing of certain legal acts that have become obsolete concerns a number of acts which were adopted over the last decades and have exhausted all their effects, but remain technically in force. They have become obsolete because of their temporary character or because their content has been taken up by successive acts. Several measures linked to the accession of new Member States provided for transitory measures for the period directly after the time of their accession; these have now become obsolete. I fully agree on all of this and congratulate Mr De Castro on his work.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Improving the transparency of Union law is an essential element of the better law making strategy that Union institutions are implementing and it is, in this context, necessary to repeal those acts that no longer have any real effect. That is the purpose of this proposal, which aims to repeal a number of regulations relating to the common agricultural policy that have become obsolete, even though they are still in force.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. This resolution on the repeal of certain legal acts that have become obsolete concerns a number of acts which were adopted over the last decades, have exhausted all their effects, but remain technically in force. They have become obsolete because of their temporary character or because their content has been taken up by successive acts. Several measures linked to the accession of new Member States provided for transitory measures immediately after their accession and have become obsolete by now. A number of legal acts are repealed under the current proposal, which is based on the interinstitutional agreement on better law making (OJ C 321 of 31.12.2003). This agreement targets the simplification and reduction of the volume of legislation (point 35). According to the agreement, ‘legislation will be updated and condensed, inter alia, through the repeal of acts which are no longer applied and through the codification or recasting of other acts’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the proposal to repeal these acts because it is motivated by the European Union’s political commitment to improve the quality of its legislative activity and to simplify existing legislation. Indeed, this is the only way to create a clearer, better legislative environment for businesses.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) As the rapporteur establishes, a number of regulations in the area of the common agricultural policy still remain formally in force, despite the fact that they are now outdated. The purpose of this regulation is to rescind these. Bearing in mind that efforts to reform the common agricultural policy have been under way for many years now, this step is already long overdue.

 
  
  

Report: Vital Moreira (A7-0257/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the repeal of certain obsolete Council acts in the area of EU common commercial policy adopted over recent decades, which remain technically in force, despite having exhausted their effects. These acts have become obsolete because of their temporary nature, because their content has been taken up by successive acts or resulted from an international agreement which was subsequently replaced by another agreement, or because they were meant as an interim instrument for the period prior to the entry into force of an international agreement, which had taken place in the meantime. The main purpose of this type of repeal of certain legal acts is improving the quality of the legislation in force and simplifying it, with a view to creating a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document. Many acts adopted in recent decades no longer have any effect but officially remain in force. Some of them are obsolete because they were temporary or their content has been duplicated in other legislation. Other legal acts contained transitional measures which applied to the new Member States prior to their accession to the European Union. Although technically these acts are still in force, they no longer have any real practical effect. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied, thus giving the acquis communautaire and all parties concerned greater clarity, transparency and simplicity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of adopting this draft legislative resolution because of the need to adapt and repeal certain Council acts made obsolete under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing.(IT) The Commission’s proposal to repeal obsolete legislative acts on international trade responds to the need to clarify and simplify legislation. Indeed, such acts have now lost all real legal significance since they are either provisional acts that have already exceeded their temporal scope, acts that have been superseded over time by other rules, or even acts governing agreements with third countries that have joined the EU in the meantime. I therefore voted in favour of the proposal to repeal these acts so that the job of simplifying and clarifying the huge corpus of EU legislation can continue and so that the European legislative environment, little by little, can respond increasingly well to the requirement for clarity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Like several Member States, including my own, the European Union has legislated a lot, which does not always mean the same as legislated well. This fact is now unanimously accepted by the institutions participating in the legislative process, and has even been the motivation for an interinstitutional agreement intended to promote the adoption of better legislation. Despite this effort, it is clear that some adopted legislative acts are now obsolete – such as some of those relating to the common commercial policy – and this fully justifies their removal from the legal system, so as to simplify and clarify it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Over the course of almost six decades of existence, the European Union’s name has changed: European Economic Community, European Community and European Union. In the same way as the name has changed, many adopted regulations and directives have become dated, especially taking into account the breakneck scientific and technological changes we have witnessed over the last few decades. This report, drafted by our fellow Member, Mr Moreira, tables a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on repealing certain obsolete Council acts: temporary acts that have exhausted their effects, content that has been taken up by successive acts or resulted from a subsequently repealed international agreement, interim instruments, measures linked to the accession of new Member States, etc. I therefore welcome this proposal, which aims to ‘clean up’ certain European laws that are out of step with reality and is in fulfilment of the interinstitutional agreement on better law making, which, in the name of transparency and the certainty of Union law, recommends their repeal, with a view to ‘more clarity and legal certainty for the Union’s citizens and institutions’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Commission proposal to repeal a number of acts stems from the political commitment of the EU to improve the quality of law making and to simplify the legislation currently in force, in order to create a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses. Many acts adopted in previous decades in the area of the common commercial policy of the Union have lost all of their effect but are formally still effective. These acts have become obsolete due to their temporary nature, because their content has been taken over by subsequent acts, or because their content arose from an international agreement later replaced by another agreement, or they were intended to be temporary instruments for a period prior to the entry into force of an international agreement, which has taken place in the meantime.

Moreover, after the accession of new Member States, many measures relating to accession became obsolete. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied. Acts which have no continued relevance should be removed from the acquis communautaire in order to improve the transparency and certainty of Union law. I firmly believe that the purpose and aim of the submitted amendments must be to achieve a greater level of clarity and legal certainty for the citizens of the Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The Commission’s proposal to repeal a number of legal acts, as presented to the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure, is driven by the European Union’s policy commitment to improve the quality of law making, and to simplify the legislation in force in order to create a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses. Many legal acts in the area of the Union’s common commercial policy adopted in recent decades no longer have any impact but officially remain in force. These acts have become obsolete. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied. Acts that are no longer relevant should be removed from the acquis communautaire in order to improve the transparency and certainty of Union law. I welcomed the document because the proposed amendments are intended to ensure more clarity and legal certainty for the Union’s citizens and institutions.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Commission proposal to repeal a number of acts, as presented to the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure, stems from the political commitment of the EU to improve the quality of law making and to simplify the legislation currently in force, in order to create a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses.

Many acts adopted in previous decades in the area of the common commercial policy of the Union have lost all of their effect but are formally still effective. These acts became obsolete:

- due to their transitory nature

- because their content has been taken up by successive acts

- because they were based on an international agreement subsequently replaced by another agreement

- because they were intended as a transitory instrument for the period prior to the entry into force of an international agreement that has become law in the meantime.

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied. Acts which have no continued relevance should be removed from the acquis communautaire in order to improve the transparency and certainty of Union law.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution supporting a Commission proposal to repeal a number of legal acts, as presented to the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure. The proposal is driven by the European Union’s policy commitment to improve the quality of law making, and to simplify the legislation in force with a view to creating a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The simplification of the legislation in force is always welcome, so I am voting for this Commission proposal to repeal a number of legal acts, tabled by Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure. This proposal appears in the context of the European Union’s commitment to improving its legislative policy, so as to simplify the legislation in force, with a view to creating greater clarity in the legislative process for businesses.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – A number of acts which were adopted over the last decades have exhausted all their effects, but remain technically in force. They have become obsolete because of their temporary character or because their content has been incorporated in successive acts. Well, finally, functionaries from the European Commission have woken up. How long did it take to ask them to work? Moreira did a great job! I voted ‘in favour’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The purpose of this report is to repeal a number of obsolete acts, with a view to improving and simplifying the legislation in force, thereby creating a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses.

Indeed, certain legal acts of the Union’s common commercial policy adopted over recent decades have completely exhausted their effects but remain technically in force. These acts have become obsolete because of their temporary nature, because their content has been taken up by successive acts or resulted from an international agreement which was subsequently replaced by another agreement, or simply because they were an interim instrument for the period prior to the entry into force of an international agreement, which has taken place in the meantime. In addition, various measures linked to the accession of new Member States became obsolete following that particular expansion process. On the basis of the principles enshrined in the interinstitutional agreement on better law making, for which I also voted, I voted for this report, which promotes the repeal of acts that are no longer applied, with a view to improving the transparency and certainty of Union law.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Improving the transparency of Union law is an essential element of the ‘better law making’ strategy that Union institutions are implementing and it is, in this context, necessary to repeal those acts that no longer have any real effect. That is the purpose of this proposal, which aims to repeal a number of regulations relating to the common commercial policy that have become obsolete, even though they are still in force.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The Commission’s proposal to repeal a number of legal acts, as presented to the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure, is driven by the European Union’s policy commitment to improve the quality of law making and simplify the legislation in force with a view to creating a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses. Many legal acts in the area of the common commercial policy which were adopted in the last decades have exhausted all their effects, but remain technically into force.

These acts have become obsolete because of their temporary character (Council Regulation (EEC) No 478/92, Council Regulation (EEC) No 3125/92, Council Regulation (EC) No 2798/1999, Council Regulation (EC) No 215/2000, Council Decision 2004/910/EC, Council Regulation (EC) No 1923/2004), or because their content has been taken up by successive acts (Council Regulation (EEC) No 1471/88, Council Decision 2007/317/EC) or resulted from an international agreement which was subsequently replaced by another agreement (Council Regulation (EC) No 2184/96, Council Regulation (EC) No 2398/96), or because they were meant as an interim instrument for the period prior to the entry into force of an international agreement which took place in the meantime (Council Regulation (EC) No 1722/1999).

 
  
  

Report: Vital Moreira (A7-0250/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the repeal of Regulation (EEC) No 429/73 and Regulation (EC) No 215/2000, which were rendered obsolete by Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the customs union, which eliminated customs duties for goods originating in Turkey. Parliament, the Council and the Commission established in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Union law should be updated and condensed through the repeal of acts that are no longer applied. Therefore, acts that are no longer relevant should be withdrawn from the acquis communautaire, so as to improve transparency, and establish greater clarity and legal certainty for EU citizens and institutions.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document. Many acts adopted in recent decades no longer have any effect, but officially remain in force. Some of them are no longer relevant because they were temporary or their content was duplicated in other legal acts. Other legal acts contained transitional measures to be applied to the new Member States prior to becoming EU Members. Although technically these are still in force, they no longer have a practical effect. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied, thus giving the acquis communautaire and all parties concerned greater clarity, transparency and simplicity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I gave my support to the initiative due to the consequences of Parliament’s commitment to improve and simplify the quality of legislation for the benefit of companies. Therefore, what we have done is repeal obsolete legislation in order to improve transparency and legal certainty for EU citizens.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The regulations in question concerning processed agricultural products have become obsolete like other legislative instruments, so justifying their repeal. In the first case, EU-Turkey trade relations have changed so much that the constant standards of that legal instrument no longer make sense. In the second, concessions were established in the form of Community tariff quotas in 1995, and their effects have naturally expired.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Commission has decided to repeal a number of legal acts, such as the provisions relating to customs duties for goods originating in Turkey, since it believes that many regulations and directives adopted in recent decades are now out-of-date, especially taking into account the breakneck scientific and technological changes we have witnessed over the last few decades.

This report, drafted by our fellow Member, Mr Moreira, tables a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council repealing Regulation (EEC) No 429/73 making special provisions for imports into the Community of certain goods coming under Regulation (EEC) No 1059/69 and originating in Turkey, and Regulation (EC) No 215/2000 renewing for 2000 the measures laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1416/95 establishing certain concessions in the form of Community tariff quotas in 1995 for certain processed agricultural products.

I therefore welcome this proposal, which aims to ‘clean up’ certain obsolete European laws that are out of step with reality and is in fulfilment of the interinstitutional agreement on better law making, which, in the name of transparency and the certainty of Union law, recommends their repeal, with a view to ‘more clarity and legal certainty for the Union’s citizens and institutions’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Commission has got rid of obsolete legislation on several occasions, mainly by declaring the relevant acts of the Commission obsolete. The Commission recently declared almost 250 agricultural legal acts obsolete, and in the near future, some other agricultural legal acts and about 60 legal acts from the field of trading in processed agricultural products will be declared obsolete. In the interests of legal certainty, the Commission is proposing that the legal acts listed in this motion be repealed by the Council, since this is not within the competence or rights of the Commission. The motion concerns the repeal of Council Regulation (EEC) No 429/73, which specifies a reduced fixed component of import duty for processed agricultural products originating in Turkey. The provisions of the regulation have become obsolete, since Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the customs union removed import duties on goods originating in Turkey.

The motion also relates to the repeal of Council Regulation (EEC) No 215/2000, the legal effect of which has become exhausted. The motion is analogous to a similar motion for obsolete agricultural legal acts, which is referred to in the continuing programme of simplification adopted within the framework of the recently updated Commission strategy for simplifying the regulatory environment. In the interests of legal certainty and clarity, I fully agree with the Council’s view that Regulations (EEC) No 429/73 and 215/2000 should be repealed.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) Regulation (EEC) No 429/73 of the Council was adopted in order to determine the reduced fixed component of import duties for processed agricultural products originating in Turkey and imported within the framework of the Additional Protocol to the 1970 Agreement establishing an Association between the European Economic Community and Turkey. Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the customs union lays down the rules for determining the customs duties for processed agricultural products originating in Turkey and imported into the European Union. Regulation (EEC) No 429/73 has become obsolete. I therefore welcomed the repeal of this document.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The proposal to repeal this act stems from the political commitment of the EU to improve the quality of law making and to simplify the legislation currently in force in order to create a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses.

The provisions of the regulation became obsolete because Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the customs union has eliminated customs duties for goods originating in Turkey.

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied. Acts which have no continued relevance should be removed from the acquis communautaire in order to improve the transparency and certainty of Union law.

I agree with the Commission proposal, which clearly states that the Commission does not have the authority to declare obsolete acts adopted by the Council or by the European Parliament and the Council. It is in the interests of legal certainty for the EU’s law-making body to consent to the repeal of legislation.

The purpose of the amendments submitted is to achieve a greater level of clarity and legal certainty for the citizens and institutions of the Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this report as a straightforward common sense measure.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this resolution, which supports the Commission’s proposal to repeal a number of legal acts, as tabled by Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure. This proposal is driven by the European Union’s commitment to simplifying and improving the quality of the legislation in force, with a view to creating a better and clearer legislative environment as regards implementing the final phase of the customs union that has eliminated customs duties for goods originating in Turkey.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution, which proposes repealing the regulation making special provisions for imports into the Community of certain goods originating in Turkey. Attention should be drawn to the fact that Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the customs union has eliminated customs duties for goods originating in Turkey. Given this, and in order to improve the transparency and certainty of Union law, acts that are no longer relevant should be immediately removed from the acquis communautaire. I also believe that a positive business environment must be created, both for large business entities and small and medium-sized companies, and a better, clearer and effectively functioning legal framework must be established. For this reason, we must make every effort to ensure that the quality of law making is improved and legislation in force is simplified, in order to guarantee greater clarity and legal certainty for citizens, business entities and institutions.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The purposes of this report are the same as for report A-0257/2011, for which I voted. It concerns the repeal of acts that are no longer relevant, so as to improve transparency and legal certainty in the Union. It is not, in fact, within the Commission’s powers to declare obsolete acts which were adopted by the Council or the European Parliament and the Council. That is why, in the interests of legal certainty, the repeal of legal acts must be authorised by the Union’s legislator. As such, and as the proposed amendments are intended to establish more clarity and legal certainty for the Union’s citizens and institutions, I voted for this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Improving the transparency of Union law is an essential element of the ‘better law making’ strategy that Union institutions are implementing and it is, in this context, necessary to repeal those acts that no longer have any real effect. That is the purpose of this proposal, which aims to repeal Regulation (EEC) No 429/73 making special provisions for imports into the Community of certain goods coming under Regulation (EEC) No 1059/69 and originating in Turkey, and Regulation (EC) No 215/2000 renewing for 2000 the measures laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1416/95 establishing certain concessions in the form of Community tariff quotas in 1995 for certain processed agricultural products.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – I voted in favour. The Commission’s proposal to repeal this legal act, as presented to Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure, is driven by the European Union’s policy commitment to improve the quality of law making, and to simplify the legislation in force in view of creating a better and clearer legislative environment for businesses. Its provisions became obsolete because Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the customs union has eliminated customs duties for goods originating in Turkey.

Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed in their interinstitutional agreement on better law making that Community law should be updated and condensed by repealing acts which are no longer applied. Acts which have no continued relevance should be removed from the acquis communautaire in order to improve the transparency and certainty of Union law. The proposed amendments are intended to establish more clarity and legal certainty for the Union’s citizens and institutions.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) I voted in favour of the report since this legal act is intended to simplify the provisions in force, thereby directly making the framework conditions for European enterprises clearer. Indirectly, it also brings about legal certainty for the citizens of Europe.

 
  
  

Report: Sajjad Karim (A7-0272/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The European Union’s environmental policy is based on the precautionary principle and preventive action, as well as on the principle of rectification, mainly at source, of the damage caused to the environment, and on the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

The environmental impact must be taken into account as early as possible in every process involving technical planning and making decisions. I think that public and private projects which may have a significant environmental impact should only be authorised after a preliminary assessment has been carried out of the possible effects these projects could have on the environment.

This assessment should be carried out on the basis of suitable information supplied by the initiator of the project, which can be supplemented by authorities and people who might be involved in the relevant project. Certain types of projects have a significant environmental impact and they should be subject, in general, to systematic assessments. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) The European Parliament and the Commission have agreed to ensure that Union law is simpler, clearer, more comprehensible and accessible to citizens, so that they can properly make use of the rights granted to them. EU law making is a complicated process. Many provisions are often amended in part or in spirit, and they are scattered across various documents. Therefore, codification is used as the basis for merging legislation without changing its content. I welcomed this amendment to the directive on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, which will merge all of the provisions in force in this area into one document.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of this initiative, which does not make substantial amendments but, rather, is a codification of existing laws in accordance with what has been established by the consultative group of the European Parliament’s legal services.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this resolution, which is a straightforward codification of the existing texts, without any change in their substance. However, consent should only be given to public and private projects that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment once an assessment of the likely significant environmental effects of those projects has been carried out. This assessment should be carried out on the basis of adequate information provided by the developer, which may be supplemented by the authorities and by the public likely to be concerned by the project in question.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) A sustainable and consistent environmental policy that does not harm competitiveness is required for green growth, thereby necessitating the uniform assessment of the impact of both public and private projects on the environment. I am therefore voting for the Commission proposal for codification of legislation relating to the assessment of certain public and private projects on the environment.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) In this sitting, following the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (codified text), Parliament has adopted the report tabled by Mr Karim. The European Commission ascribes great importance to the simplification and clarification of Union legislation, in order to make it more legible and accessible for citizens, so that they are increasingly enabled to use the specific rights conferred on them.

To increase the efficiency of administrative procedures, the Commission decided, in April 1987, to codify all acts no later than after 10 amendments, and stressed that this was a minimum requirement and that the services should make every effort to codify the texts for which they are responsible at shorter intervals, where possible.

Given that the proposal is intended as a straightforward codification of Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, I am voting for this proposal in the knowledge that it will result in a significant improvement in administrative procedures.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Within the Europe of Citizens framework, the Commission is attaching great importance to simplifying and clarifying EU law, with the aim of making it more comprehensible and more accessible to citizens, giving them new opportunities and a chance to exercise the specific rights it provides them with in a more effective way. The achievement of this aim will not be possible, however, as long as a situation persists where there are numerous scattered provisions, repeated and often amended in terms of their essential scope, and in many legal acts, from the original legal act up to its most recent amendment, all of which requires an exhaustive search and the comparison of many legal acts in order to identify the positive law. The clarity and transparency of law therefore requires the frequent codification of amended legal acts. Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment was repeatedly amended in a fundamental way.

In the interests of clarity and transparency, this directive should be codified. I personally believe that the impacts of the project on the environment should be assessed with regard to the interest in protecting human health, enhancing the environment, contributing to quality of life, ensuring the maintenance of species diversity and conserving the reproductive capacity of the environment as the basic source of life.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed the document because it highlights the huge importance of simple and clear laws which are accessible and easily understood. We must ensure that the principle of the transparency of Union law is followed and that the law is implemented more effectively. We must also aim to ensure that it is simpler for EU citizens to exercise their rights. When drafting proposals, the European institutions must respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. When putting forward legislative proposals, the form of regulations should be used more often, so that fewer but better legal acts are adopted. I welcome the European Citizens’ Initiative, as a new form of public participation in the drafting of European Union policy. The Commission absolutely must ensure that citizens are aware of the rules and regulations applied, so that they can use this instrument effectively.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) Having regard to the interinstitutional agreement of 20 December 1994 on an accelerated working method for official codification of legislative texts, and particularly point 4 of the agreement, the Commission proposal has been examined. It was examined by a consultative working group composed of the relevant legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

The subject of the proposal is merely the clear and simple codification of texts currently in force, with no substantial amendments, and I have therefore voted in favour of it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution, which – according to the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission – is a straightforward codification of the existing texts without any change in their substance.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) According to the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the purpose of this report is the straightforward codification of existing texts, without any change in their substance, which is why I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The directive was based on the principle of preventive actions. Environmental protection measures should be taken in advance and should be aimed at elimination of the source. Any economic project, either public or private, which may affect the environment, for example, the construction of roads or the beginning of the functioning of a metal production shop, should respectively undergo ecological assessment. In the document, serious attention is paid to distribution of ecologically important information and the opinion of all stakeholders should be taken into account. In general, the report is useful and reasonable.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) We approved without discussion the codified text of the legal act regulating certain aspects of the environmental impact assessment procedure. On the one hand, we have thus given the public and businesses legal certainty by officially placing all of the provisions in one document. On the other hand, cases are constantly emerging (from the Nord Stream pipeline to projects of local importance in the Member States) which demonstrate that, in future, we will seriously have to discuss certain key aspects of the environmental impact assessment process, such as guaranteeing that the process is independent from those who ordered it and the extension of the concept of the public concerned. The European Commission, as the guardian of EU law, could also play a more active (and, above all, impartial) role in this process, particularly in cases where a project has a cross-border aspect. I therefore call on the Commission to take these comments into account when revising the key provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Consultative Working Party established by the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission met to assess the proposal in this report on 19 April and 18 May 2011. After analysing the text, the Consultative Working Party concluded, without dissent, that the proposal is a straightforward codification of existing texts, without any change in their substance. On the basis of that opinion, I voted for this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) The proposal in question is merely a codification of the existing texts, without any substantive amendments.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that the purpose of this directive is the codification of various earlier texts, with benefits in terms of the accessibility and comprehensibility of the legislation, without any changes to their substance, I voted for this resolution.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – I voted in favour. As this is a codified text, the resolution simply reads: ‘A. whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the proposal in question contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts without any change in their substance, 1. Adopts its position at first reading, taking over the Commission proposal as adapted to the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission; 2. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) Article 191(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union mentions that ‘Union policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection’ and that its action must be based ‘on the precautionary principle and […] that preventive action should be taken’. I am voting for this proposal for a directive because I agree with the harmonisation of the general principles of assessment of certain public and private projects in the area of the environment. I believe projects can only be officially approved by the competent authorities following ex ante evaluation of their real effects.

The Member States should also be given the freedom to set thresholds and criteria allowing projects without a significant environmental impact to be exempt from evaluation. In line with Article 6 of the Aarhus Convention, I consider it extremely positive for the public to be involved in the decision-making processes of projects that affect the environment, by increasing the involvement of local communities and their resulting accountability. However, it is important to create rules and procedures for their active participation, and it is also important to establish an environmental culture that reconciles the development of the regions with the protection of nature.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Dominique Vlasto (PPE), in writing.(FR) The priority given by local authorities to major local development projects raises the issue of addressing their impact on the environment. This is even more the case when these projects are implemented through public/private partnerships, either because of their technical complexity or because of the diminishing public funds available to them. I am therefore delighted that our Parliament has taken up this issue and is reaffirming the ‘polluter pays’ principle at this time. I feel that it is no longer possible to compromise when it comes to protecting our environment, our quality of life or our health. However, some of these projects are likely to have a real impact on the population, biodiversity and our living environment, and it is up to us to emphasise the precautionary principle and set up a suitable liability and compensation system. To my mind, this method should be used from development right up to implementation; public consultations should be organised, and risks, alternatives and ways of eliminating any risks to the environment and to the population should be taken into account.

 
  
  

Report: Norbert Glante (A7-0260/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the public regulated service (PRS) offered by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme because I believe that the PRS is one of the essential services offered by Galileo, which ensures and guarantees security even in serious crisis situations. The PRS is one of the five services made available by the European satellite navigation system, Galileo: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service (PRS).

This proposal concerns the PRS, whose use is restricted exclusively to users authorised by governments for sensitive applications, such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security, and emergency services. I consider it important to establish common standards applicable to the use, management and supervision of access to the PRS. The mechanism proposed in this report intended to ensure security strikes the requisite balance between the definition of common minimum standards and enforcement of the rules at EU level, on the one hand, and decentralisation of the supervision currently provided by the Member States, on the other.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution on the rules for access to the public regulated service offered by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme. The public regulated service (PRS) is one of five services provided by the European satellite navigation programme Galileo. PRS is restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications (such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services). The PRS is not due to become operational until 2014, but it is important that the requisite legal framework should be established in advance so that the Member States and other actors have sufficient time to establish the various monitoring mechanisms and meet the mandatory security standards. I therefore welcome the Commission’s proposal contained in the resolution to create a detailed legal framework governing access to the PRS and the administration and supervision of users, the aim being to guarantee the security of the system and the protection of information. A high level of security is essential because certain PRS-related applications may be politically and strategically sensitive.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) The Galileo programme is a European initiative aimed at setting up a global satellite navigation system at the cutting edge of technology, providing a global positioning service that is extremely reliable and precise, under civilian control. The public regulated service (PRS) is among the three initial services that Galileo could offer from 2014. It is exclusively reserved to governments and authorised users; it will provide a high-level continued service, linked to very robust encrypted signals for certain sensitive applications. The use of the PRS should make it possible to protect critical infrastructure that depends on satellite navigation and which could be used in a crisis situation. I supported this proposal, which lays down the rules on restricted access to the PRS and establishes a framework for properly implementing these access conditions. As far as I am concerned, Galileo is one of the symbolic projects of European integration, and I hope that the initial teething troubles are now behind us.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document. The Commission’s proposal covers the public regulated service (PRS) offered by the European satellite navigation programme, Galileo, which is restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications (such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services). These applications call for a high level of precision and reliability, and this proposal therefore creates a detailed legal framework governing access to the PRS and the administration and supervision of users.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Gerard Batten (EFD), in writing. – I voted against the Galileo programme as an expensive, useless and void EU project which alleges to replace the GPS system and, for example, enhance border security, but, in fact, is an ambitious project which merely seeks to promote the EU brand globally. Taxpayers’ money must be spent on more reasonable projects than sending into space EU-labelled satellites in order to compete with the USA. The purpose of Galileo is to further the EU’s plans for one military force to which I am totally opposed.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sergio Berlato (PPE), in writing. (IT) The public regulated service (PRS) provided under Galileo, the European satellite navigation programme, is restricted exclusively to government-authorised users. It is only to be used for sensitive applications such as, for example, critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services, which require a high level of precision and reliability. The report under debate regulates one of the first services that Galileo could start to provide to Member States from 2014 onwards: a system that will enable the protection of critical infrastructures that depend on satellite navigation, thereby guaranteeing a high level of service continuity. I share Mr Glante’s belief that the proposed arrangements designed to guarantee this security strike the requisite balance between the enforcement of rules at EU level, on the one hand, and decentralisation of the supervision currently provided by the Member States, on the other. Although, for the moment, it is necessary to restrict the manufacture of PRS receivers to EU territory, we need to consider the eventuality that production might also be extended to other countries in future. Therefore, I take the view that from now on, it would be a good idea to set up security agreements laying down the conditions governing such authorisation, with a view to guaranteeing compliance with the common minimum standards.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of this report because the public regulated service (PRS) is one of the vital services offered by Galileo. The proposal creates a detailed legal framework governing access to the PRS and the administration and supervision of users in order to guarantee the security of the system and the protection of information. Bearing in mind that it will be operational in 2014, it is important to adopt that framework in advance so that the Member States and other actors have sufficient time to establish the various monitoring mechanisms and meet the mandatory security standards.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I agree that it is important to establish our own European satellite navigation system, and the document that we voted in favour of today concerns one of the five main services of the Galileo programme due to be established. The document which the European Parliament voted for today is intended to establish the necessary legal framework for the Galileo programme, which will become operational in 2014 and which has as its principal objective the provision of a satellite navigation public regulated service. This service would be restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications (such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services).

These applications call for a high level of precision and reliability, for which reason powerful, encrypted signals will be used in this project. The programmes used to provide this service may, of course, be a very sensitive issue for Member States from a political or strategic point of view, and it is therefore necessary to ensure the highest level of security. That is why the legal framework for such a programme is being established now.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. (CS) I welcome the establishment of the public regulated service (PRS) which is to be under the Galileo European satellite navigation programme, and the continuous service of which should be guaranteed, even in serious crisis situations. Since a failure to observe security rules can also have an impact on other participants and users (for example, unauthorised and hostile use of the PRS can result in security-related shortcomings), the use, management and control of access to the PRS should operate on the basis of common standards. In my opinion, the proposed arrangements designed to guarantee security strike the requisite balance between the definition of common minimum standards and enforcement of the rules at EU level, on the one hand, and decentralisation of the supervision currently provided by the Member States, on the other. In view of the fact that participation in the PRS is voluntary for all Member States, and that Member States also decide for themselves on the type of PRS use and on whether users should pay for the service (while taking account of the fact that the GPS signal is free of charge), it would only be fair, in my opinion, for the national operating costs to be met only by those Member States that are participating in the PRS.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. – I voted against the Galileo programme as an expensive and vain EU project which alleges that it makes air travel safer, cuts time spent in traffic jams and enhances border security, but, in fact, it is an ambitious project which merely seeks to promote the EU brand internationally. Taxpayers’ money must be spent on more meaningful projects than sending into space 30 satellites, simply in order to compete with the USA.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Antonio Cancian (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of Mr Glante’s report on access to the public regulated service (PRS) offered by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme because I think the initiative to establish a legal framework on the subject is worthy of support. The PRS is restricted exclusively to government-authorised users for sensitive applications that require a high level of precision and reliability, such as infrastructure, transport, internal and external security, and emergency services. Clear rules are required for the management and supervision of the system, as well as for the protection of sensitive data and information security. The appointment of national authorities that will provide this supervision and guarantee compliance with these rules represents a critically important step forward in this area. I also appreciate the Commission’s desire to work with the Member States to establish a shared legal basis to underpin this matter, thereby enshrining the necessary Europe-wide uniformity and consistency, as well as the due attention to the individual circumstances and characteristics of each State.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Galileo is of strategic importance for the independence of the Union regarding satellite navigation, positioning and timing services, and will offer an important contribution to the implementation of the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy, as well as to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Use and management of the public regulated service (PRS) is therefore the joint responsibility of Member States in order to protect the security of the Union and their own security. Consequently, access to the PRS must be strictly limited to certain categories of user, which are subject to continuous monitoring.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lara Comi (PPE), in writing.(IT) Galileo is one of the crowning glories of Europe’s industrial and research system. I voted in favour of this report because, following convoluted negotiations with the Council, Mr Glante has managed to obtain a number of significant victories for the citizens of the European Union. I am referring, in particular, to the respect for privacy and data protection. At the same time, I am also referring to the desire to sell this technology’s marketable aspects in order to derive suitable benefit from the excellent work carried out each and every day by researchers, engineers and specialists in Europe, which has an ever increasing need for top-quality new technologies. With regard to the uses that this proposal deals with, I also particularly appreciated Mr Glante’s emphasis on security. This is of enormous importance and the European Union cannot tolerate missteps if we want to make further progress in developing high-quality technology.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I endorsed this proposal on the Galileo programme because, following this vote, the parties authorised by the Member States’ governments will be able, from 2014, to use data from the satellite navigation system in order to carry out emergency, defence and security operations. We can be pleased that the European governments will be less reliant on the US GPS system. European space policy is crucial to ensuring that Europe holds a strong position on the world stage. The European Union should therefore increase its commitment in this area, in particular, by providing European funding for flagship programmes such as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Earth observation programme.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ioan Enciu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the report on the detailed rules for access to the public regulated service (PRS) offered by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme, as I think that a detailed legal framework is required for regulations governing access to the PRS and for the administration and supervision of users, with the aim of guaranteeing the system’s security and protecting information. The PRS is one of the key features of the Galileo programme and will guarantee continuity of service and security, even in serious times of crisis.

I also agree that the arrangements proposed by the Commission, designed to guarantee security, strike the requisite balance between the definition of common minimum standards and verification of compliance with the rules at EU level, on the one hand, and decentralisation of the supervision currently provided by Member States, on the other.

Last but not least, I support the introduction of a clear procedure to cover cases where a competent PRS authority fails to comply with the common minimum standards. I think that the ultimate purpose of this procedure should be to guarantee compliance with these standards throughout the EU.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The aim of this report is to set out the ways in which the Member States, the Council, the Commission, Union agencies and international organisations can access the public regulated service (PRS) offered by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme. The PRS is a restricted service, to which the general public will not have access, and its use must be controlled for security reasons. The security objectives linked to PRS use are directly linked to the security of the Union and its Member States, and have an impact on the Union’s foreign policy. It is, therefore, essential to supervise users through means like the establishment of an authorisation procedure, the use of encryptions, the authorisation of receivers, etc. Furthermore, this is a service that uses some applications that could be very politically and strategically sensitive. All in all, the characteristics of the PRS necessitate a precise legislative definition of the detailed rules for access, which is exactly what is achieved with this proposal.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by our fellow Member, Mr Glante, concerns the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the detailed rules for access to the public regulated service (PRS) offered by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme. The PRS is one of the services made available by the European satellite navigation system, Galileo. It is a service similar to the traditional Global Positioning System, but about ten times more accurate. The Member States, the Council, the Commission and, subject to certain conditions, EU agencies, international organisations and non-member countries have access to it.

The Commission proposal under consideration puts forward a detailed regulatory framework for access to the PRS, and the administration and supervision of users, given the need to guarantee the security of its operations for political and strategic reasons. Given the specific nature of this service, I agree with the rapporteur’s position that there is a need to create a mechanism – Competent PRS Authority – that will prevent the violation of security standards. I am voting for this report, and I hope that it will be another instrument at the service of Europeans and that it will contribute to improving their quality of life.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) As the rapporteur says, ‘the European satellite navigation programme Galileo provides five services: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service. The proposal under consideration here concerns the public regulated service (PRS), which is restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications (such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services)’. The Commission proposal introduces a detailed regulatory framework for access to the PRS, and the administration and supervision of users, so as to guarantee the security of the system and the protection of information.

However, Parliament has introduced some proposed amendments to the report, which we are very doubtful and even seriously concerned about, specifically its attempts to provide data obtained by Galileo to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and her external missions. Moreover, these provisions end up being contradictory, as it is repeatedly stated that the system is exclusively intended for applications of a civilian nature. That is why we abstained.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) As the report’s explanatory statement says, ‘the European satellite navigation programme Galileo provides five services: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service. The proposal under consideration here concerns the public regulated service (PRS), which is restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications (such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services). These applications call for a high level of precision and reliability, for which reason the PRS uses powerful, encrypted signals’.

However, the Commission proposal introduces a detailed regulatory framework for access to the PRS, and the administration and supervision of users, so as to guarantee the security of the system and the protection of information.

Nevertheless, Parliament has introduced some proposed amendments to the report that has been voted on, which we are very doubtful and even seriously concerned about, specifically, its attempts to supply data obtained by Galileo to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and her external missions.

That is why we abstained.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European satellite navigation system, Galileo, will provide five different services: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service (PRS). The proposal under consideration here concerns the PRS, which is restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications (such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services). These applications call for a high level of precision and reliability, for which reason the PRS uses powerful, encrypted signals. In creating the legal framework proposed by the Commission, we must proceed cautiously, since some applications of this service may be politically and strategically sensitive. Although the PRS is not due to become operational until 2014, it is important that the requisite legal framework should be established in advance, so that the Member States and other actors have sufficient time to establish the various monitoring mechanisms and meet the mandatory security standards.

Since non-compliance with the security provisions can also have implications for other participants and users, I firmly believe that it is vital for the use and management of, and supervision of access to, the PRS to be based on common standards, and the ultimate purpose of this procedure should be to guarantee that the standards are met throughout the EU.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Elisabetta Gardini (PPE), in writing. (IT) The report on rules for access to the new services offered by the Galileo programme is an important part of ensuring service continuity and the security of the information provided by the satellite navigation system. We need to establish common criteria to regulate the usage, management and supervision of the information provided by the Galileo programme. The EU institutions must see the space policy as a priority, since it can play a vital part in cementing the European Union’s role as a leader in foreign and industrial policy. To further emphasise the importance of this sector, we need only recall a few figures: EUR 5.5 billion annual turnover, 2 000 enterprises and around 30 000 jobs. I therefore consider funding for space programmes such as Galileo to be absolutely essential, but here I should also like to emphasise that I am somewhat baffled over the exclusion from the EU budget 2014-2020 of the Global Monitoring Programme for Environment and Security.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Roberto Gualtieri (S&D), in writing. (IT) Parliament’s vote on the report by Mr Glante opens the way to the development of a European satellite navigation system. The establishment within the Galileo programme of a public regulated service (PRS) – an encrypted, maximum security network to be used by operators authorised by governments, such as the police or the armed forces – will provide an extremely useful service for European citizens by helping to ensure that security forces can respond to crises or emergencies without delay.

Other than providing benefits for citizens, the Galileo programme also represents an opportunity for European industry in the new technologies markets by helping to create high-level jobs in the satellite navigation sector. Parliament now awaits the position of the Council, in order to make the PRS service available and operative from 2014 onwards.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. (GA) I welcome this report as a good start to implementing the Galileo system, so that the EU would have greater independence in terms of the GPS system and so forth.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – My group voted against the Glante report. There remain concerns relating to privacy and data protection as well as regarding the possible military uses of Galileo. Accordingly, we could not support the report as it currently stands.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the further implementation of the European satellite navigation programmes (EGNOS and Galileo) stipulates in its annex that the specific objectives of the Galileo programme are to ensure that the signals emitted by the system can be used to offer a public regulated service (hereinafter PRS), restricted to government-authorised users, for sensitive applications which require effective access control and a high level of service continuity. The Member States, the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) have the right to unlimited and uninterrupted access to the PRS worldwide. I welcomed the document because each Member State which uses the PRS shall decide independently which categories of natural persons residing on its territory or performing official duties abroad on behalf of that Member State, as well as legal persons established on its territory, are authorised to be PRS users, as well as on the uses to which it may be put. Such uses may include security-related uses.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European satellite navigation programme, Galileo, provides five services: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service. The proposal under consideration here concerns the public regulated service (PRS), which is restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications (such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services). These applications call for a high level of precision and reliability, for which reason the PRS uses powerful, encrypted signals.

The Commission proposal creates a detailed legal framework governing access to the PRS and the administration and supervision of users, the aim being to guarantee the security of the system and the protection of information. Since certain PRS-related applications may be politically and strategically sensitive, and with a view to ensuring the requisite high degree of security, great care needs to be taken when establishing this legal framework. It includes a joint, harmonised procedure for user authorisation by the participants. Although the PRS is not due to become operational until 2014, it is important that the requisite legal framework should be established in advance, so that the Member States and other actors have sufficient time to establish the various monitoring mechanisms and meet the mandatory security standards.

The ultimate purpose of this procedure should be to guarantee that the standards are met throughout the EU.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted in favour of this report. The European satellite navigation programme, Galileo, provides five services: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service. The proposal under consideration here concerns the public regulated service (PRS), which is restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications (such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security and emergency services). These applications call for a high level of precision and reliability, for which reason the PRS uses powerful, encrypted signals. The Commission proposal creates a detailed legal framework governing access to the PRS and the administration and supervision of users, the aim being to guarantee the security of the system and the protection of information. Since certain PRS-related applications may be politically and strategically sensitive, and with a view to ensuring the requisite high degree of security, great care needs to be taken when establishing this legal framework, which includes a joint, harmonised procedure for user authorisation by the participants.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the European satellite navigation system, Galileo, which will offer a total of five services: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service (PRS). This proposal concerns the PRS, whose use is restricted exclusively to government-authorised users for sensitive applications, such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security, and emergency services. These applications call for a high level of precision and reliability, which is why the PRS uses powerful, encrypted signals.

The Commission’s proposal lays down procedures whereby PRS participants – the Member States on an optional basis, the Council, the Commission and, subject to certain conditions, EU agencies, third countries and international organisations – can authorise users to possess or use a PRS receiver. I decided to abstain because there are proposals that are a little controversial, notably as regards the information obtained by Galileo that can be provided to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Iosif Matula (PPE), in writing. (RO) There is a steady increase in the use of satellite navigation applications both by individuals and in the business or public sector. However, the services offered extend beyond the well-known scope of guiding cars. They are used in police work, by the emergency services, in transport, to supply electricity, to name but a few areas.

The EU must undoubtedly have an independent satellite navigation infrastructure to ensure the continued, secure provision of such services. Of the five services offered by the European satellite navigation system, the public regulated service (PRS) is the key one. It requires a high level of accuracy and reliability.

Therefore, it is advisable for us to prepare the framework for the PRS to become operational in 2014 by putting some supervisory mechanisms in place in good time, which will ensure compliance with the specific security standards applicable in some sensitive areas. Apart from the matter of compliance with security regulations, Member States also need to resolve another issue, specifically whether users should pay or not to use the PRS, at a time when Member States will be bearing the operational costs for the PRS.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European satellite navigation system, Galileo, will offer a total of five services: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service (PRS). This proposal concerns the PRS, whose use is restricted exclusively to users authorised by governments for sensitive applications, such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security, and emergency services.

It introduces a detailed regulatory framework for access to the PRS, and the administration and supervision of users, so as to guarantee the security of the system and the protection of information. Since certain PRS-related applications may be politically and strategically sensitive, and with a view to ensuring the requisite high degree of security, great care needs to be taken when establishing this legal framework, not least by introducing a joint, harmonised procedure for user authorisation by the participants. Although the PRS is not due to become operational until 2014, it is important that the requisite legal framework be established in advance, so that the Member States and other actors have sufficient time to establish the various monitoring mechanisms and meet the mandatory security standards.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing.(ES) I voted against this report, in keeping with my rejection of the European Galileo programme, on account of its having a standpoint and aims that are clearly military. I do not support the fact that the EU spends enormous amounts of its citizens’ money on developing complex programmes and systems that are solely, or in most cases, used for military purposes. My dedication to what real, committed pacifism involves and, above all, to the necessary demilitarisation of the EU, makes it impossible for me to support any programme, mechanism or tool that, like the satellite resulting from the Galileo programme, is largely intended to make progress in the militarisation of human relations and the technological arms race. In recent years, the Galileo programme has been of no use, or very little use, to development, innovation and progress made in civil, not military, matters. Even so, huge amounts have been spent on developing it, even though it has not resulted in a higher quality of life for the majority of European citizens.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – This report deals with the legal framework for one of the five services that will be offered by the Galileo system, public regulated services (PRS) restricted to government-authorised users, for sensitive applications which require a high level of service continuity. It defines the modalities according to which Member States and other participants will have access to the PRS provided by Galileo. I hope this service will be affordable to the population of the EU in the matter of price. I voted ‘in favour’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (PPE), in writing. (FR) Like most of my colleagues, I voted in favour of this report laying down the rules on right of access to encrypted signals and the conditions applied to the development and marketing, by businesses, of software applications and navigation systems. This report will make it possible, from 2014, for the European satellite navigation system, Galileo, to offer a GPS signal that is restricted to authorised users, such as the police, the army and the security services, in addition to signals intended for navigation in general. Parliament has approved specific rules governing the future ‘public regulated service’, Galileo, which should be in place by mid-October 2011. Galileo will provide five different services: the open service, the commercial service, the safety-of-life service, the search and rescue service and the public regulated service (PRS). The PRS, one of the three services that could be provided from 2014, will be restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications such as critical infrastructure, transport, defence, security and emergency services. These applications will call for a high level of precision and reliability, which is why the PRS will use powerful, encrypted signals.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution on the rules for access to the public regulated service offered by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme. I believe that it is appropriate to give certain government-authorised users the right to use the services of the European satellite navigation programmes for sensitive or security-related applications. The Member States, the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service must be granted discretionary, unlimited and uninterrupted access worldwide. It should be noted that the Galileo programme is strategically important, particularly in the field of precise object detection. Furthermore, it facilitates the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy. Consequently, it is necessary to promote the use and development of Galileo applications and services. However, we must always ensure a high level of protection of classified information. A control mechanism that functions effectively needs to be established, along with strict conditions of use.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of Mr Glante’s report on PRS, the public regulated service for satellite navigation, because I believe that a technological system to provide logistical assistance and infrastructure protection for businesses and citizens could be of great importance. For security purposes, it is just as important to thoroughly and comprehensively regulate the rules for accessing the system. The text also regulates the first public service that Galileo will provide to Member States in the coming years.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) The Galileo European satellite navigation programme is, without doubt, ambitious and important. However, the provision of sensitive government services to users, even if they are strictly authorised, requires a strong legal framework and a particularly high level of security. Given that certain services may be politically and strategically sensitive, any concessions will incite particular interest on the part of Greece. It is imperative that information should be provided by the Member States on a voluntary basis, subject to strict rules and supervision. The Commission proposal and this report by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy have stayed within those limits, which is why I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the detailed rules for access to the public regulated service (PRS) offered by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme. Access to the PRS is restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications, such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security, and emergency services. These applications call for a high level of precision and reliability, which is why the PRS uses powerful, encrypted signals.

The Commission is introducing a detailed regulatory framework for access to the PRS, and the administration and supervision of users, so as to guarantee the security of the system and the protection of information. The PRS is one of the key services offered by Galileo, one which will guarantee continuity of service and security even at times of serious crisis. It is important to establish common standards applicable to the use, management and supervision of access to the PRS. The report concludes that the proposed mechanism guarantees the security of the system, so I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Within the framework of the European satellite navigation programme, Galileo, the public regulated service (PRS) will be made available for use by government-authorised entities for sensitive applications, such as critical infrastructure, transport, internal and external security, and emergency services. It is important to establish common standards applicable to the use, management and supervision of access to the PRS, precisely because the applications in question could be sensitive from a political and strategic point of view, as security breaches, when using this service, could have serious repercussions. That is the purpose of this Commission proposal, for which I voted.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zuzana Roithová (PPE) , in writing. (CS) I was the shadow rapporteur of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) for this legislation in the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, and I am pleased that the Council and the European Parliament have reached agreement on the operational details of the public regulated service of the Galileo project. I am delighted that, despite the opposition of some Member States, it has been possible to push through my proposal for a guarantee regarding compliance with human rights, including religious freedoms, from third country parties wishing to use this service. No totalitarian or authoritarian states should therefore be able to participate in the project. At the same time, however, I would like to warn of the risk that certain frequencies used by Galileo might be disrupted by the Chinese navigation system, Compass, and I would like to ask the European Commission to address this issue in bilateral talks with China. I also applaud the high level of data and privacy protection, and also the security standards that the European Parliament has managed to push through in opposition to the European Commission proposal.

Unfortunately, the issue of funding has not been resolved, and the European Commission will have to draw up specific proposals in the future for the collection of fees for using the service. On the other hand, it is good that European producers will retain an exclusive position over the production of security modules. As a doctor, I welcome the possibilities this service will bring to the integrated rescue system, including a reduction in the response times of rapid medical assistance health workers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Starting in 2014, the future satellite navigation system, Galileo, will provide several services, including the public regulated service (PRS). The PRS will consist of an extremely secure GPS signal that is restricted to certain users. Permitting as it does the location of critical infrastructure and the identification of all forms of trafficking, the PRS will be used, in particular, in the context of police, border control and civil protection operations. In other words, it will be a channel through which to transmit highly strategic information with the aim of ensuring the internal and external security of the Member States. Before it is implemented, then, it is essential to lay down rules concerning its use. With this report, Parliament is stipulating, among other things, that Member States, the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service will have unlimited access to the PRS worldwide, whereas third countries, European agencies and international organisations, for their part, will be able to access it only if they have received due authorisation. The report also anticipates that each Member State will appoint a PRS Authority responsible for managing and supervising all authorised users. I welcome its adoption.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Against. Apart from the above issue of balance of power between the national and Community approach to setting security standards, several points were not satisfactory for the Greens. These include, for instance, the fact that until now, the EC and Council have firmly stated that military applications were not the main purpose of the PRS system. However, a survey carried out by the Commission in 2006, and finally published as background to the adoption of this decision, shows that Member States intend to make extensive use of PRS in the defence sector (except for Germany and the UK) – whereby more than 60% of the PRS receivers are expected to be attributed to the defence sector. It is finally clear today, and no longer contradicted, that the main use and purpose of PRS is defence.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) The European satellite navigation programme, Galileo, will be able to offer a number of services, among which the public regulated service (PRS) must be regarded as an extremely important one. This service will be restricted to government-authorised users for sensitive applications – such as transport, internal security and emergency services – which require a high level of precision and reliability.

This vote will lead to the establishment of a detailed legal framework governing access to the programme and the administration and supervision of users. This is essential for guaranteeing the security of the system and the protection of information, which is often politically and strategically sensitive and therefore requires an extremely high level of security.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Oreste Rossi (EFD), in writing.(IT) The report looks at the rules for access to the public regulated service (PRS), which is restricted exclusively to government-authorised users for sensitive applications such as security, emergency services and so on. It aims to define the rules for access to the service offered by the Galileo satellite navigation system under the control of the EU institutions. Particular care is taken to ensure the security of the system and the protection of information. The system will come online in 2014 and it is therefore important that Member States ready the authority responsible for effectively administering and supervising each subject authorised to manufacture, own or use a PRS receiver.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Galileo programme, which plays a crucial role in the EU’s independence from other satellite navigation systems, offers the possibility of five services. This report concerns the public regulated service (PRS), which is intended for specific applications – such as internal and external security, emergency services, and critical infrastructure – for government-authorised users of the Member States. It puts forward a fairly detailed legal framework with regard to access to the PRS and the administration of users, to ensure the security of the system and of information. This regulation will only come into force in 2014. It establishes common minimum standards and security issues to be followed by PRS participants, which can be, in addition to the Member States, the Council, the Commission, and, in specific cases following an international agreement, European agencies, non-member countries and international organisations. I would stress that it is important to set out clear rules in relation to access and to the event of non-compliance, since PRS information is naturally very sensitive at political and strategic level for Member States, and can be used in emergency situations. The inclusion of the directive on data protection and privacy is another point that it is important to stress.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Glante, which sets out the rules for access to the new services offered by the global navigation satellite system. Of particular importance – in my view – is the regulation of one of the services that Galileo could offer to Member States from 2014 onwards, which is service continuity in even the most serious crisis situations.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Vital Moreira (A7-0280/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this agreement on tropical timber since, according to estimates by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, each year, an area of original forest covering the size of Greece is destroyed, with an indisputable effect on irreplaceable biodiversity, threatening it with extinction and increasing the risk of global warming. I would remind you that, although it has been more than 20 years since the first International Tropical Timber Agreement was concluded, over-exploitation and illegal logging remain widespread in Amazonia, in the Congo basin, in South-East Asia and in Russia.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this important resolution on the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA). The current situation facing tropical forests is tragic. Original forest covering an area the size of Greece is lost each year. Consequently, this threatens irreplaceable biodiversity with extinction and increases the risk of global warming. Although it is more than 20 years since the first ITTA was concluded, over-exploitation and illegal logging remain widespread. Almost half of all logging activities in regions such as the Amazon, Congo Basin, South-East Asia and Russia are illegal. I therefore support this ITTA which I believe addresses the most pressing issues of the timber industry. The International Tropical Timber Organisation will continue its work on issues such as deforestation and illegal logging, but more can be done to strengthen forest law enforcement, for instance. The EU should adopt such severe sanctions as fines proportionate to the environmental damage, the value of the timber or timber products concerned and the tax losses and economic detriment resulting from the infringement, seizure of the timber and timber products concerned, or the immediate suspension of authorisation to trade.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of signing this international agreement on tropical timber since it will step up the fight against the illegal trade of certain types of timber. By limiting the profits made from this trade, the European Union will help to reduce deforestation in tropical areas, thus protecting biodiversity and climate. However, because 20% of the producers and importers of products derived from tropical timber are not affected by this agreement, we need to continue the work started so as to ensure that tropical forests are really protected.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document, through which the European Parliament expresses its support for the 2006 International Tropical Timber Agreement, which addresses the most pressing issues of the timber industry. Significant forest loss threatens irreplaceable biodiversity with extinction and increases the risk of global warming. Therefore, the main objective of this agreement is to promote the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber and ensure sustainable forest management by providing an effective framework for consultation, international cooperation and policy development among all members with regard to all relevant aspects of the world timber economy. The agreement also provides for a licensing scheme to ensure that only timber products that are legally produced enter the market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  George Becali (NI), in writing. (RO) Illegal logging is a widespread phenomenon, given that each year, an area of natural forest covering the size of Greece is lost. The European regulation lays down the obligations for operators who place timber and timber products on the market. Suppliers must be able to be identified throughout the whole production or marketing chain and the sanctions imposed by Member States should go as far as seizing the timber or timber products and even suspending the authorisation to trade immediately.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of the recommendation on the International Tropical Timber Agreement calling for the Commission to submit any relevant information regarding action plans and programmes relating to this agreement, as well as a review of its implementation, before negotiations are opened on the renewal of the agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because it is intended to strengthen the European Parliament’s procedural powers under the Treaty of Lisbon when international agreements are being concluded on behalf of the European Union. The issue of signing the International Tropical Timber Agreement on behalf of the EU was first put to the European Parliament in 2007, but Parliament rejected it, because in its opinion, the procedures followed for approving the agreement were inappropriate. The point of the International Tropical Timber Agreement is to protect tropical forests, which are very important for the planet’s biological and climatic balance, from over-exploitation and illegal logging. Such international agreements have been in force for more than 20 years, but the illegal felling of tropical forests and logging are still very widespread.

According to estimates by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), tropical forest covering an area the size of Greece is lost each year. Above all, the objective of this agreement is to establish ways of ensuring a credible licensing scheme – a measure that only allows legally produced timber products to enter the market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vito Bonsignore (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Moreira because I agree that we need to confirm the 2006 international agreement on tropical timber, which has a duration of 10 years, but which is subject to review every five years. The agreement concluded between producers and consumers has the merit of promoting the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests. Moreover, it provides for effective structures for management, international cooperation and policy development with regard to the various relevant aspects of the world timber economy. We must now focus our attention on the sustainable management of tropical forests and the restoration of forest areas that have been degraded, including by involving citizens and Member States through awareness-raising and educational campaigns. Indeed, one need only think that an area of forest the size of Greece disappears each year, threatening irreplaceable biodiversity with extinction. Lastly, the agreement aims to ensure a credible licensing scheme, sets out an Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement and establishes measures designed to create multilateral partnerships.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) For many centuries, tropical timber has been in high demand by those hoping to prosper through the trafficking of this type of material. It is used for its quality and exoticism, but no care is taken to ensure the sustainability of the forest species that are being destroyed. While there has been an enormous reduction in biodiversity, the people of the countries in which this rare timber originates do not benefit in any way from this trade and their lives are frequently jeopardised by the activity of those profiting illegitimately from it. The European Union cannot distance itself from this problem and the conclusion of the international agreement relating to it is opportune. I hope that it will continue with this worldwide effort to put a stop to the over-exploitation and illegal logging of this kind of timber.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by our fellow Member, Mr Moreira, concerns a recommendation on the 2006 International Tropical Timber Agreement, taking into account the Council decision to conclude it on behalf of the European Union. Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development show that every year, an area of forest covering the size of Greece is destroyed, which is a threat to biodiversity and exacerbates the risk of global warming. This is an issue that has been discussed at several international meetings, and has led to the conclusion of agreements and the creation of international bodies, such as the International Tropical Timber Organisation, which are attempting to implement a credible licensing scheme and prevent the illegal logging of trees that are very often hundreds of years old.

As such, I voted for this recommendation because it reflects the concerns of Parliament, in particular, and of all Europeans, in general, as regards the protection and sustainable management of tropical forests, and advocates the restoration of degraded habitats and promotes a policy of education, so as to prevent the excessive deforestation of these regions.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The delay in adopting this agreement results from the 2008 failure to adopt it by Parliament, which is now, in 2011, adopting an international agreement dating from 2006. This was reached during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and was intended to replace an earlier agreement of 1994, which will remain in force until the 2006 agreement comes into force. We would stress the fact that all the EU Member States have expressed their intention of concluding it and of contributing appropriately to its implementation. The goal of the agreement is to promote the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests by creating a framework for consultation, for international cooperation and for all members to jointly devise policies regarding all the relevant aspects of the world timber economy.

There are legitimate concerns as to the compatibility of ‘sustainable management’ and the promotion of the ‘expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber’ also mentioned in the agreement. For this reason, we share the view that the protection of tropical forests and the restoration of forest areas that have been degraded should be placed at the heart of the agreement during the mid-term review of the current text.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This agreement has finally been adopted, albeit after some delay. The delay with adopting this agreement results from the 2008 failure to adopt it by the European Parliament, which is now, in 2011, adopting an international agreement dating from 2006.

This agreement was reached during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and was intended to replace an earlier agreement of 1994, which will remain in force until the 2006 agreement comes into force. We would stress the fact that all the EU Member States have expressed their intention of concluding it and of contributing appropriately to its implementation.

The goal of the agreement is to promote the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests by creating a framework for consultation, for international cooperation and for all members to jointly devise policies regarding all the relevant aspects of the world timber economy.

Naturally, concerns can be raised as to the compatibility of ‘sustainable management’ and the promotion of the ‘expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber’ also mentioned in the agreement. For this reason, we share the view that greater attention should be paid to the protection of tropical forests and the restoration of forest areas during the mid-term review of the current text.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The negotiations of the conference established under the aegis of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 27 January 2006 approved the wording of the International Tropical Timber Agreement of 2006. All EU Member States have expressed their intention to sign, and to contribute as appropriate towards the provisional application of the agreement. The objectives of the agreement are, among others, to promote the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests and to promote the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests by providing an effective framework for consultation, international cooperation and policy development among all members with regard to all relevant aspects of the world timber economy. The agreement identifies ways to ensure a credible licensing scheme as a measure to ensure that only timber products that are legally produced enter the market, and confirms the very existence and operating mechanisms of the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO).

According to OECD estimates, each year, an area of original forest covering the size of Greece is lost, threatening irreplaceable biodiversity with extinction and increasing the risk of global warming. In my opinion, we need to take as many reasonable steps as possible to enforce the law more strictly in the area of forestry. The submitted agreement is therefore welcome, and it would be right for Parliament to approve it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The 2006 agreement, concluded between producers and consumers of timber products, is a 10-year agreement and subject to review every five years. The objectives of the 2006 agreement are, among others, to promote the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests and to promote the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests by providing an effective framework for consultation, international cooperation and policy development among all members with regard to all relevant aspects of the world timber economy. The agreement identifies ways to ensure a credible licensing scheme as a means of guaranteeing that only timber products that are legally produced enter the market, and confirms the very existence and operating mechanisms of the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), established by the 1983 International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA). More than 80% of the producers and importers of tropical timber products are members of the organisation and contracting parties to the ITTA. I welcomed the document because, in my opinion, it addresses the most pressing issues of the timber industry. The ITTO will continue its work on issues such as deforestation and illegal logging, but even more can be done to strengthen forest law enforcement. For instance, the EU could adopt the abovementioned measures.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Elisabeth Köstinger (PPE), in writing. (DE) I support the International Tropical Timber Agreement as I believe that promotion of international trade in legally felled tropical timber as well as the sustainable management of tropical forests should be a fundamental concern of the EU. We need to put an end to over-exploitation and illegal logging in order to preserve not only the extraordinary biodiversity, but also the legal supply chain. To ignore this problem would have consequences that would directly affect us all and we must take steps to counter these consequences from the outset. I would like to express my clear support for sustainable trade relations and thus, my support for the International Tropical Timber Agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The agreement is the outcome of talks between consumers and processors of tropical timber. The aim is to encourage diversification and greater volumes of trade in tropical timber, as well as sustainable management of tropical forests. The Members of the European Parliament have insisted in this case on the correct application of the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon, according to which the consent of the European Parliament is required for all international agreements.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – According to OECD estimates, each year, an area of original forest covering the size of Greece is lost, threatening irreplaceable biodiversity with extinction and increasing the risk of global warming. Although it is more than 20 years since the 1st ITTA was concluded, over-exploitation and illegal logging remain widespread. Almost half of all logging activities in regions such as the Amazon, Congo Basin, South-East Asia and Russia are illegal. The Council of the EU and the EU Commission support the ITTA, 2006, which they believe addresses the most pressing issues of the timber industry. The ITTO will continue its work on issues such as deforestation and illegal logging, but more can be done on strengthening the forest law enforcement, as the abovementioned additional measures adopted by the EU illustrate. In the meantime, I welcome this agreement and am pleased that Parliament has given its consent.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) Deforestation and forest degradation are the main causes of loss of biodiversity. In turn, illegal logging is the major cause of deforestation, currently representing 20-40% of global industrial timber production. As far as this kind of activity is concerned, sanctions are most commonly applied to tropical timber activities. Therefore, with respect to sanctions, the EU Member States must lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this regulation and take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. Sanctions must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, and may take the form of fines proportionate to the environmental damage, the value of the timber or timber products concerned, and the tax losses and economic detriment resulting from the infringement; of the seizure of the timber and timber products concerned; or of the immediate suspension of authorisation to trade.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The adoption of this resolution clearly illustrates our desire to be kept informed of any measure concerning the implementation of this two-faceted – trade and environmental – agreement, given that its main aim is ‘to promote the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests and to promote the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests’. Global warming requires strict measures in order to guarantee environmental governance that respects natural resources and seeks to contribute to the sustainable development of our planet. It is estimated that some 20% of the EU’s timber imports come from illegal sources. None of the major tropical timber regions is immune from this. The information requested by the European Parliament is crucial, since this problem is at the heart of the challenges that the entire world faces, such as global warming, food security, the fight against poverty (1.5 billion people are thought to depend on forests for their survival), and the fight against corruption and organised crime. Lastly, illegal logging undermines the rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – As has become known, the agreement has been negotiated between consumers and producers to promote the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber and to promote the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests. The proposal for a Council decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Community, and provisional application of the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006 (ITTA, 2006) is a re-consultation on a procedure that had already been referred to Parliament in 2007. The Parliament adopted a resolution tabled by the Committee on International Trade that explains why Parliament chose not to adopt the draft report on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the ITTA. The EP was not given the right to give formal consent to this agreement. Therefore, in my opinion, the new referral is the result of Parliament’s insistence and is in line with the new rules of the Lisbon Treaty regarding giving consent to international agreements.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because this agreement covers both international trade and environmental dimensions and creates legal preconditions for countries producing and using tropical timber. The extension of the 2006 International Tropical Timber Agreement will continue to address relevant issues affecting the timber industry. Furthermore, it will create a more favourable environment for businesses, will ensure a properly functioning licensing system, and also prevent timber products from entering the market illegally. It should be noted that, when renewing the agreement, it is very important to pay significant attention to the protection of tropical forests and their sustainable management, as well as the restoration of destroyed forest areas. Furthermore, education and information policy must be used to make the public more aware of the negative consequences of exploiting timber resources in an abusive manner.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) According to estimates by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, each year, an area of original forest covering the size of Greece is lost, threatening irreplaceable biodiversity with extinction and increasing the risk of global warming. Although it is more than 20 years since the first International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) was concluded, over-exploitation and illegal logging remain widespread. Almost half of all logging activities in regions such as the Amazon, Congo Basin, South-East Asia and Russia are illegal. The Council and the Commission support the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), established by the 1983 ITTA, which they believe addresses the most pressing issues of the timber industry. The ITTO will continue its work on issues such as deforestation and illegal logging, but more can be done on strengthening forest law enforcement, as the additional measures adopted by the EU illustrate. As such, I voted for this report on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the 2006 ITTA.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Miguel Portas (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Every year, an area of forest covering the size of Greece is destroyed worldwide, constituting a serious threat to biodiversity, exacerbating global warming and accentuating the planet’s social inequalities. This agreement replaces that of 1994, enabling a credible licensing scheme and ensuring that only legal timber producers have access to the market. This, along with other measures mentioned in the agreement and in other decisions of the European institutions, aims to prevent over-exploitation and illegal logging, which remain widespread and constitute a serious environmental and social problem. I voted for this recommendation for these reasons. Nevertheless, I cannot fail to stress the importance of the need for more measures on really sustainable forest management involving fairer trade rules and trade relations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The 2006 International Tropical Timber Agreement introduces a licensing system with a view to limiting market access to just legally produced goods. In view of Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and the Council, adopted on 20 October 2010, it introduces a series of measures that work towards the goal of common action. In fact, the protection of tropical timber is part of the wider problem of forest protection, to which the EU has committed. This constitutes another step towards combating illegal logging, which has been destroying an area covering the size of Greece every year, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. In line with the European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 September 2008, where the EP considers that when drafting the negotiating mandate for the revision of the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006, the Commission should propose that the current text be revised, placing the protection and sustainable management of tropical forests and the restoration of forest areas that have been degraded at the heart of the agreement, stressing the importance of education and information policy in the countries affected by the problem of deforestation in order to enhance public awareness of the negative consequences of exploiting timber resources in an abusive manner. Trade in tropical timber should only be encouraged to the extent compatible with these prior objectives. In particular, this mandate for the revision of the International Tropical Timber Agreement 2006 should propose a voting mechanism for the International Tropical Timber Council that clearly rewards the conservation and sustainable use of tropical forests.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) In order to address the increasingly serious problem of illegal logging, the European Union introduced in 2003 an action plan for the implementation of laws to combat this phenomenon. This action plan is the cornerstone of the action plan negotiated by the EU with individual countries that export timber. The signatory countries have committed to promoting better governance and traceability mechanisms along the entire supply chain. Thanks to these measures, Europe has prohibited the marketing of timber or any other product that has been obtained illegally.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the adoption of this agreement in plenary because it is entirely consistent with the measures that have already been taken by the European Union on the matter, in particular, the FLEGT agreements (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan). This agreement, although less restrictive than the bilateral FLEGT agreements, does have the advantage of imposing obligations on a larger number of tropical timber producing countries (60 in total, including 33 developing countries), thereby enabling the principles of sustainable development and of the restoration of degraded forest areas to be developed on a wider scale. Furthermore, in 2008, Parliament expressly asked the European Commission for the opportunity to give its consent to this agreement, and not simply to be consulted on it, as the Commission had initially planned. This procedural change entails additional obligations for the Commission, which will have to inform Parliament clearly and without delay of the application of the agreement, including its renegotiation. Having received this information, Parliament will be able to ensure the consistency of measures taken at multilateral level, via this agreement, and at bilateral level, via the FLEGT partnership agreements.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Catherine Stihler (S&D), in writing. – I was pleased to vote in favour of this report which, under the Lisbon Treaty, Parliament had a role to play in. The agreement promotes the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber and promotes the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) The International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) is intended to internationalise the trade in legally harvested tropical timber and thus to encourage sustainability. The 2006 agreement is effective for 10 years and is reviewed every five years. In 2004, the EU adopted an action plan detailing additional measures to counter illegal felling. Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of 20 October 2010 prohibits the placing on the internal market of timber from illegal felling. This regulation is also intended to ensure traceability and ensure that operators have an obligation to exercise diligence. When negotiating amendments to the 2006 International Tropical Timber Agreement, the European Commission should focus on the protection and sustainable management of tropical forests and on cleaning up damaged areas. Appropriate information and awareness measures are a particularly important element of this.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Béla Glattfelder (A7-0247/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this recommendation because I think it is important to establish trade cooperation between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the free exchange of agricultural products but, above all, in order to ensure the mutual recognition of designations of origin and protected geographical indications.

Such protections do not only enable the mutual recognition of quality products between the two countries, thereby benefiting agriculture. They also protect consumers against possible counterfeiting and impede the use of these denominations by unfair competitors. I therefore hope that this agricultural partnership can continue to improve the terms and conditions of these bilateral trading relations bit by bit, thus safeguarding the value of sustainable rural development.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The EU and Switzerland have defined their relations by signing bilateral treaties in various fields. Indeed, Switzerland is the EU’s fourth largest trading partner and the values of exports and imports of agricultural products between both these partners are significant. Although the agreement on agriculture was concluded in 1999 and came into force on 1 June 2002, it has not helped create totally free agricultural trade but only partial liberalisation for some agricultural sectors.

Both parties have agreed to adopt a harmonised procedure for designating and effectively protecting registered origins and geographical indications. Following this common understanding and the convergence of their domestic legislation, both parties have mutually recognised a list of protected agricultural products. This situation is a significant improvement compared with commercial conditions in the past.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) The new agreement with Switzerland seeks to change the previous EC-Switzerland bilateral agreement concerning the geographical indications of agricultural products. The European Union and the Swiss Confederation are aiming towards the mutual recognition of Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) in order to improve bilateral trade conditions, promote quality in the food chain and preserve the value of sustainable rural development. The proposal under consideration is the result of bilateral negotiations held between October 2007 and December 2009. It provides for the reciprocal protection of designations of origin and geographical indications within the respective parties. I fully support this agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I welcomed the conclusion of the agreement between the EU and Switzerland. Switzerland is the European Union’s fourth largest trading partner, and the volume of agricultural products exported and imported between the EU and Switzerland is significant. In 2010, the EU exported EUR 6.3 billion worth of agricultural products to Switzerland, making Switzerland the third biggest export market for the EU’s agricultural products. With this agreement, the two parties (the EU and Switzerland) are seeking to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to preserve the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products, while promoting the quality of the food chain. With the agreement’s entry into force, EU exporters in key areas of agricultural production, such as meat and dairy products, will enjoy a higher level of protection for their designations of origin and geographical indications in one of our closest and biggest export markets.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I supported this report because Switzerland is the European Union’s fourth largest trading partner and the values of exports and imports of agricultural products between the EU and Switzerland are very significant. In 1992, negotiations for commercial agreements were launched in seven sectors, including agricultural products. Thanks to this addition to the agreement, EU exporters in key agricultural productions such as meat and dairy products will now benefit in one of our biggest export markets from a higher protection of their designations of origin and geographical indications.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because with it, the European Parliament consents to the conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs. This agreement is particularly important for the European Union – Switzerland is the third biggest export market for the EU’s agricultural products. Therefore, the conditions and terms of the bilateral commercial relations must constantly be improved and updated. The agreement on trade in agricultural products was concluded in 1999 and has been in force since 2002. It has not created totally free agricultural trade but has only led to a partial liberalisation for some agricultural sectors.

With the signing of this new annex, both contracting parties aim to ensure mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to maintain the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products and, at the same time, improve the quality of the food chain. This agreement is very important and long-awaited because until now, the bilateral agreement with the Swiss Confederation only established protection for the designation of origin of wines and spirits.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lara Comi (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this recommendation because I come from an area that borders Switzerland and I am well aware of the significant trading relations between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation. Lately, I have been looking very closely at how integrated Switzerland is within the European economy and how much it interacts with its neighbouring countries. I have had the opportunity to have first-hand contact with a country that is generally European in its values and approach to the market, even though at times, it tends to trade on much-vaunted differences. Hence, this decision by the Council represents due acknowledgement of a process of integration which, in truth, has been going on for centuries. The problem that I have found is the views held by a section of the population with regard to the free movement of workers, yet I am delighted to say that the EU is doing its part to facilitate commercial exchanges, so Switzerland must respond with conciliatory measures showing its desire to pursue the four freedoms.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The volume of EU-Switzerland trade and the particular fame of the geographical indications and designations of origin of some of the agricultural products and foodstuffs of both parties are cause for reasonable concerns about the possibility of these being used illegitimately and fraudulently by people with no right to them. The trivialisation of their use would reduce their distinctive potential and would tend to lead consumers to make mistakes regarding the origin and properties of the products that they buy. The mutual desire for the protection of these designations to be strengthened and their exclusivity to be respected is, therefore, fully understandable.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This recommendation concerns the Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs. Trade between EU Member States and Switzerland is very significant, with Switzerland being the European Union’s fourth largest trading partner, to which it exports agricultural produce to the value of EUR 6.3 billion each year. Several agreements have been concluded with the Swiss authorities regarding bilateral trade relations. The most recent, dated December 2008 (COM(2008)0509), aiming at the facilitation of agricultural trade, was amended in 2009 and the intention now is to include a new annex on protected geographical indications and designations of origin. This represents another step forward as regards the quality of the service provided to consumers in terms of their right to information, as well as a benefit for EU exporters of key agricultural products like meat or dairy, who will, from now on, enjoy greater protection of their designations of origin and geographical indications. I am not therefore simply voting for this recommendation; I also welcome this advance in EU-Switzerland bilateral trade relations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Switzerland is the fourth largest trading partner of the European Union. In 2010, the EU exported to Switzerland agricultural products to the value of EUR 6.3 billion. It is extremely important for the EU to cooperate continuously with the Swiss authorities on improving the terms of bilateral trade relations. The EU and Switzerland have defined their relations by establishing bilateral treaties in various fields. In December 2008, the EU adopted an agreement aimed at facilitating bilateral trade in agricultural products by eliminating technical barriers. By adding the new Annex 12, both parties – the EU and Switzerland – are seeking to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to preserve the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products while promoting the quality of the food chain. Both sides have agreed to a harmonised approach to labelling, along with effective protection of registered origins and geographical indications.

Following this common understanding and the convergence of their domestic legislation, both parties have mutually recognised a list of registered protected agricultural products. Thanks to this addition to the agreement, EU exporters will benefit in one of our closest and biggest markets from higher protection of their designations of origin and geographical indications, which reflect their know-how and high degree of food quality. I therefore firmly believe that it is right for the European Parliament to approve this agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE), in writing. (GA) As Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Switzerland, Iceland and Norway and to the Joint Parliamentary Committee of the European Economic Area, it is a cause of satisfaction to me that this agreement is being implemented.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Provisions to protect designations of origin and geographical indications are an important part of the EU’s work and help encourage quality produce whilst protecting local and national traditions. The extension of these provisions to Switzerland is good news for that country and good news for EU nations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because both parties have agreed on a harmonised procedure for designating and effectively protecting registered origins and geographical indications. Following this common understanding and the convergence of their domestic legislation, both parties have mutually recognised a list of registered protected agricultural products. The new Annex 12 contains around 800 geographical indications registered in the EU and 22 geographical indications registered in Switzerland. This represents a serious and long-awaited improvement on previous commercial conditions because, until now, the bilateral agreement with the Swiss Confederation only established protection for the designation of origin of wines and spirits.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jarosław Kalinowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) The demands of consumers in the European Union market are constantly rising, not only in terms of the quality of foodstuffs, but also in terms of their variety. The agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation will certainly ensure that the EU’s citizens will have broader access to regional products, and will also contribute to an improvement in the quality of these items.

I think that thanks to this agreement, mutual commercial relations will be strengthened, and the greater protection of geographical indications and designations of origin will bring about an increase in the competitiveness of products – chiefly agricultural products – exported from the European Union. Greater competitiveness and an increase in the quality of exported agricultural products will contribute to the stable and sustainable development of rural areas.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Elisabeth Köstinger (PPE), in writing. (DE) Switzerland is an important trading partner of the European Union. The main products traded are agricultural products that are exported from the EU to Switzerland and vice versa. It is, understandably, in the interests of the trading partners to ensure the mutual protection of designations of origin and geographical indications in order to promote trade in agricultural products as well as to improve the quality of the products. The inclusion of Liechtenstein in the EU-Switzerland agreement entails a considerable improvement in trade relations for this country, too, and is thus very much to be welcomed. I support this agreement, as protected designations of origin and food quality that is guaranteed are very important for all of us.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of Mr Glattfelder’s report because I think it is important to pursue the protection of quality in European agricultural products and foodstuffs through bilateral agreements. According to figures from the Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission, the EU has so far entered into some 200 bilateral agreements – a sign of the desire to strengthen European commercial policy in many areas around the world. In the agriculture and foodstuffs sector, hence, in the case in question, the agreement between the EU and Switzerland together with initiatives to protect origin marking and geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs assumes particular significance.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) Switzerland is the fourth largest trading partner of the European Union. The value of exports and imports of agricultural products between the EU and Switzerland is very significant. In 2010, the EU exported to Switzerland agricultural products to the value of EUR 6.3 billion, which made this country the third biggest export market for the EU's agricultural products. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the European Union works continuously with the Swiss authorities to improve the conditions and the terms of bilateral commercial relations.

The EU and Switzerland have defined their relations by establishing bilateral treaties in various fields. In order to minimise the negative consequences of the rejection of the free trade agreement by Switzerland in 1992, negotiations aimed at concluding commercial agreements were launched in seven sectors, including agricultural products.

Exporters in key agricultural products such as meat and dairy products will, thanks to the aforementioned addition to the agreement, benefit in one of our closest and biggest markets from higher protection of their designations of origin and geographical indications, which reflect their know-how and high degree of food quality.

I therefore voted in favour of granting consent to the agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I support this report. By adding a new annex (Annex 12), the two parties (the EU and Switzerland) seek to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to preserve the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products, while promoting the quality of the food chain.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that Switzerland is the European Union’s fourth largest trading partner, and taking into account the value of exports and imports of agricultural products between the EU and Switzerland, this report is very important. In 2010, the EU exported agricultural products to the value of EUR 6.3 billion to Switzerland, making the country the third largest export market for the Union in this sector. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the European Union work continuously with the Swiss authorities to improve the conditions and terms of bilateral trade relations. The agricultural agreement was concluded in 1999 and has been in force since 1 June 2002. However, it has only led to the partial liberalisation of some agricultural sectors and not to genuine free trade in agricultural products. However, this addition to the agreement means that EU exporters of key agricultural products, such as meat and dairy products, to one of our closest and largest export markets will enjoy greater protection of their designations of origin and geographical indications, thereby reflecting their specialised knowledge and the high quality of their foodstuffs.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The agreement between the European Community and Switzerland on trade in agricultural products entered into force on 1 June 2002. Article 12 of the agricultural agreement provides that the agricultural agreement may be reviewed at the request of either party. A joint declaration on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin of agricultural products and foodstuffs has been attached to the final act of the agricultural agreement covered by this report. I abstained.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because the entry into force of this agreement will strengthen free trade relations between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation. Above all, it will remove the main barriers to trade, thereby providing more opportunities to enter the other party’s market in agricultural products. We should welcome the fact that, following lengthy discussions, it has been possible to agree on a harmonised procedure under which registered origins and geographical indications will be designated and protected. I am glad that both parties have recognised the list of registered, protected agricultural products.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs, amending the Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on trade in agricultural products (16199/2010), since I argue that quality EU products should enjoy a high level of protection, specifically by protecting brand and origin rights through designations of origin and geographical indications. This protection should be a priority for the EU, since the charges for products enjoying these quality marks are enormous and represent a financial burden for producers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The importance of the Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs can be understood in light of the bilateral trade relations between the two communities. Indeed, Switzerland is the European Union’s fourth largest trading partner and represents the third largest export market for EU agricultural products. I voted to conclude this report, whose purpose is the reciprocal recognition of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products, which will enable EU exporters of key agricultural produce, such as meat and dairy products, to one of our closest and largest export markets, to enjoy greater protection of their designations of origin and geographical indications, so reflecting their specialised knowledge and the high quality of their foodstuffs.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. Switzerland is the European Union’s fourth largest trading partner and, in particular, the values of exports and imports of agricultural products between the EU and Switzerland are very significant. In 2010, the EU exported to Switzerland agricultural products to the value of EUR 6.3 bn which made this country the third biggest export market for the EU’s agricultural products. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the European Union continuously works with the Swiss authorities to improve the conditions and terms of bilateral commercial relations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this text because I think it is of the utmost importance that the European Union work continuously with the Swiss authorities to improve the terms and conditions of our bilateral commercial relations. The overarching goal is to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to retain bilateral trading conditions for agricultural products while promoting the quality of the food chain.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) Switzerland is the EU’s fourth largest trade partner. In 2010, the EU exported agricultural products to the value of EUR 6.3 billion to Switzerland, making the country the third largest export market for EU agricultural products. Therefore, it is crucial that the European Union continues to cooperate with the Swiss authorities to improve bilateral trade relations. The agricultural agreement was concluded in 1999 and has been in force since 1 June 2002. However, it has only led to the partial liberalisation of some agricultural sectors and not to genuine free trade in agricultural products. Therefore, by adding a new annex, the EU and the Swiss Confederation are aiming for reciprocal recognition of protected designations of origin and geographical indications, so as to improve conditions for bilateral trade in agricultural products, whilst promoting the quality of the food chain at the same time. EU exporters of key agricultural produce, such as meat and dairy products, to one of our closest and largest export markets, will enjoy greater protection from designations of origin and geographical indications. I voted in favour of the agreement for the above reasons.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) I voted in favour of the report. Alongside important end user information, the mutual protection of designations of origin and geographical indications will optimise conditions for bilateral trade in agricultural products.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Helmut Scholz (A7-0276/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing.(IT) Broadening the liberalisation of agricultural trade, beginning from 1992 under the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), allows Norway to benefit from the internal market of the EU by dismantling the obstacles to any kind of agricultural trade on a two-yearly basis. Currently, around 60% of trade in agricultural products between the European Union and Norway is completely free from any kind of barrier and soon, mutually advantageous tariff reductions will be put in place for even the most sensitive products.

Therefore, I had no qualms in lending my full support to this recommendation on the conclusion of the agreement relating to additional trade preferences for the agricultural products of both countries, which we voted on today. This is particularly the case given a medium and long-term view of agricultural production under the preconditions of the reforms to the common agricultural policy after 2013.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) As a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway benefits from the single market, but agriculture and fisheries are excluded from free movement in the 1992 EEA Agreement. Instead, provision is made for the gradual liberalisation of agricultural production, with the conditions of trade in agricultural products being reviewed every two years. From March 2008 to January 2010, new negotiations took place and resulted in the current draft agreement, which contains new concessions granted by Norway to the EU and vice versa. I support this agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I welcomed the conclusion of this agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway, which reviews the conditions of trade in agricultural products. As a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway benefits from the internal market, but agriculture and fisheries are exempted from free circulation in the 1992 Agreement on the EEA. The agreement provides for progressive liberalisation of agricultural production through a review of the agreement’s provisions every two years. The latest agreement provides for full liberalisation, which will apply to approximately 20% of the EU’s exports to Norway and will represent roughly EUR 250 million. In total, some 60% (in terms of trade value) of agricultural trade between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Union will be completely free.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) As a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway benefits from the internal market, but agriculture and fisheries are exempted from free circulation in the 1992 Agreement on the EEA. Now there is a plan to carry out additional full liberalisation, representing roughly 20% of EU exports to Norway, as well as for Norwegian products in the EU. I therefore voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because with it, the European Parliament consents to the conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway that will progressively liberalise trade in agricultural products between both contracting parties. Trade in agricultural products is an exceptional area of EU-Norway relations, not covered by the European Economic Area Agreement, on the basis of which other products are subject to free circulation between both parties. This agreement is part of the process of liberalisation provided for in the EU-Norway agreement, under which the parties have committed to reviewing the conditions of trade in agricultural products every two years, each time deciding on further action to be taken in order to remove all types of trade barriers in the agricultural sector.

This time it has been agreed that, for more sensitive products such as meat, dairy products, fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants, Norway will grant some tariff quotas or tariff reductions, while the EU will fully liberalise trade in products which Norway has already included in a free-trade regime (cheese, fresh raspberries, potato crisps and pet food).

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) As a member of the European Economic Area, Norway benefits from the internal market. However, under the 1992 agreement, agriculture and fisheries have been excluded from the products that enjoy freedom of circulation, although provision was made for the progressive liberalisation of agricultural production through revision of the conditions of sale of these products. Whereas Norway enjoys a positive total trade balance with the EU, the agricultural trade balance is in favour of the EU. This new amendment provides for greater liberalisation of EU-Norway trade, which is to be welcomed, whilst also taking into account the sensitivity of certain types of products, which limits their sale. Despite the drop in income resulting from lower customs receipts, this agreement is generally considered positive for both parties.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This recommendation, by Mr Scholz, concerns the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway concerning additional trade preferences in agricultural products, which was reached on the basis of Article 19 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). Agriculture and fisheries were excluded from the free circulation of goods in the 1992 Agreement on the EEA, of which Norway is a member. The latest agreement between the EU and Norway came into force in July 2003 and covers some agricultural products and mutual concessions, including tariff quotas. From March 2008 to January 2010, negotiations, on which the present draft agreement was based, took place. The concessions made to the EU by Norway – liberalisation of 20% of exports, new tariff quotas for sensitive products like meat and cheese, and tariff reductions for certain ornamental plants and flowers – and those made to Norway by the EU mean that the agricultural trade balance is in the EU’s favour, so I am voting for this recommendation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Agriculture and fisheries were excluded from freedom of circulation within the internal market in the 1992 Agreement on the European Economic Area, of which Norway is a member. Nevertheless, provision was made for the progressive liberalisation of agricultural production through periodic reviews of the conditions of trade in agricultural products, carried out every two years. The latest agreement between Norway and the European Community came into force in July 2003. This agreement comprised the arrangements for reciprocal trade in cheese and mutual concessions for a variety of agricultural products, including tariff quotas. The current proposal is for further liberalisation of some sensitive products, so as to enable some 60% of agricultural trade between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Union to be completely free. The report mentions the concessions made by Norway and the concessions made by the EU.

However, it does not mention which of these are beneficial and which are harmful, and, on these occasions, these concessions are never distributed homogenously within the EU. We therefore view the liberalisation of sensitive products like meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables with concern, as liberalisation of the markets in these areas has greatly affected Portugal and its producers, particularly small and medium-sized producers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) As we know, agriculture and fisheries were excluded from freedom of circulation within the internal market in the 1992 Agreement on the European Economic Area, of which Norway is a member. Nevertheless, provision was made for the progressive liberalisation of agricultural production through periodic reviews of the conditions of trade in agricultural products, carried out every two years.

The latest agreement between Norway and the European Community came into force in July 2003. This agreement comprised the arrangements for reciprocal trade in cheese and mutual concessions for a variety of agricultural products, including tariff quotas.

The current proposal is for further liberalisation of some sensitive products, so as to enable some 60% of agricultural trade between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Union to be completely free.

The report mentions the concessions made by Norway and the concessions made by the EU. However, it does not mention which of these are potentially beneficial and which are potentially harmful, and, on these occasions, these concessions are never distributed homogenously between the Member States.

We therefore view the liberalisation of sensitive products like meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables with concern, as liberalisation of the markets in these areas has greatly affected Portugal and its producers, particularly small and medium-sized producers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Norway, as a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), uses the internal market, but agriculture and fisheries are excluded from free circulation under the 1992 Agreement on the EEA. The most recent agreement between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Community on the basis of Article 19 of the Agreement on the EEA entered into force in July 2003. It included provisions relating to trade in cheeses and mutual concessions on various agricultural products, including customs quotas. Fresh negotiations took place from March 2008 to January 2010, resulting in the current draft agreement.

The agreement takes account of the sensitivity of certain products of importance for agricultural output, both in the EU and in Norway, and contains relevant provisions on tariff quotas and reduced customs tariffs that must also be applied in the area of agricultural products in the medium and long term, on condition that there will be further reforms of the common agricultural policy after 2013. Despite the fact that there are likely to be consequences for the budget in the form of a loss of customs revenue, I believe it is right for Parliament to adopt the agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this proposal because it provides for additional full liberalisation which will apply to approximately 20% of the EU’s exports to Norway and will represent roughly EUR 250 million. In total, some 60% (in terms of trade value) of agricultural trade between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Union will be completely free. For more sensitive products such as meat, dairy products, fruit, vegetable and ornamental plants, Norway will grant some tariff quotas or tariff reductions. The concessions granted by the EU to Norway also include full liberalisation on products on which Norway offers full liberalisation, and additional tariff quotas for cheese, fresh raspberries, potato crisps and pet food. The agreement takes into account the sensitive nature of certain products important for agricultural production in both the EU as well as Norway and provides for appropriate arrangements on tariff quotas or tariffs reductions; these tariffs will also be important for agricultural production in the medium and long term, given the conditions anticipated under the reforms of the common agricultural policy after 2013. Although Norway enjoys a positive total trade balance with the EU, the agricultural trade balance is in the EU’s favour. Between 2000 and 2007, EU exports of agricultural products doubled and account for EUR 1.6 billion. However, the agreement will have budgetary implications; the loss in customs revenues is estimated at approximately EUR 4.96 million (net amount after deduction of collection costs).

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jarosław Kalinowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) The Agreement on trade preferences with the Kingdom of Norway should be developed to achieve mutual benefits and the progressive reduction of restrictions on the exchange of agricultural goods. The inclusion in the negotiations of products of a special nature which are important for agricultural production, such as meat and dairy products, is a measure which is worthy of full support, as it enables arrangements to be made on quotas and tariffs which are appropriate to conditions prevailing on the market.

Naturally, we cannot foresee today what specific results the agreement will bring several years or several decades from now. However, progressive liberalisation of agricultural trade with Norway has so far brought a growth in the export of products from this sector in the EU, and this allows us to be optimistic in our hopes for the future.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The agreement in question takes account of the sensitive nature of certain products important for agricultural production in both the EU as well as in Norway. It contains relevant provisions on tariff quotas and reduced customs tariffs that must also be applied in the area of agricultural products in the medium and long term, on condition that there will be further reforms of the common agricultural policy after 2013.

Whereas Norway enjoys a positive total trade balance with the EU, the agricultural trade balance is in the EU’s favour. EU exports of agricultural products doubled between 2000 and 2007 to EUR 1.6 billion.

The agreement in question will have budgetary implications; the loss in customs revenues is estimated at approximately EUR 4.96 million (net amount after deduction of collection costs). I voted for the approval of this agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I welcome this proposal that provides for further liberalisation of agricultural trade between Norway and the EU. The new preferences will consist of additional full liberalisation for some sensitive products, thus providing that some 60% of agricultural trade between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Union should be completely free. For more sensitive products such as meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants, tariff quotas or tariff reductions have been agreed upon. Specific provisions are foreseen as regards the management of tariff rate quotas for cheese.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) As a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway benefits from the internal market, but agriculture and fisheries are excluded from free circulation under the 1992 Agreement on the EEA. However, Article 19 provides for progressive liberalisation of agricultural production through reviews carried out at two-yearly intervals of the conditions of trade in agricultural products, which establish further reductions of other types of barriers to trade in the agricultural area on a preferential, bilateral or multilateral, reciprocal and mutually beneficial basis. The latest agreement between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Community based on Article 19 of the Agreement on the EEA came into force in July 2003. It comprised the arrangements for reciprocal trade in cheese and mutual concessions for a variety of agricultural products, including tariff quotas. From March 2008 to January 2010, new negotiations were held, which resulted in the present draft agreement, which will increase EU-Norway trade in agricultural products.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The purpose of this proposal is to approve, on behalf of the European Union, the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway concerning additional trade preferences in agricultural products. No amendments have been submitted in the Committee on International Trade. I think these issues should be discussed more broadly. I abstained.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because, once it has entered into force, the agreement will bring mutual benefits to both the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway. It will be another major push towards achieving the progressive liberalisation of agricultural trade between both parties. It should be noted that, thanks to this agreement, agricultural trade between Norway and the EU will be completely free because the agreement provides for additional full liberalisation for exports. Furthermore, tariff quotas and tariffs will be reduced for certain other important products. Work will therefore continue on removing all types of trade barriers in the agricultural sector.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report on the EU-Norway agreement concerning additional trade preferences in agricultural products. As a member of the European Economic Area, Norway benefits from the internal market, but agriculture and fisheries are excluded from free circulation under the 1992 agreement. From March 2008 to January 2010, new negotiations were held and resulted in the present draft agreement, which includes provisions relating to these areas. The additional full liberalisation is particularly significant, representing around 20% of EU exports to Norway, or EUR 250 million. In total, some 60% of agricultural trade in terms of trade value between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Union will be completely free. However, for more sensitive products, such as meat, dairy products, fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants, Norway will grant some tariff quotas or tariff reductions. The agricultural trade balance is now leaning towards the EU and the agreement is balanced, as it does not favour either candidate.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) The most recent agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the European Union (then European Community) and the Kingdom of Norway, based on Article 19 of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, came into force in July 2003. To that end, the parties should carry out, at two-yearly intervals, reviews of the conditions of these exchanges and decide, within the framework of that agreement, on a preferential, bilateral or multilateral, reciprocal and mutually beneficial basis, on any further reduction of barriers to trade in the agricultural sector. The present proposal, providing for further liberalisation of agricultural trade, is the result of bilateral trade negotiations in agriculture conducted from March 2008 to January 2010.

The new preferences will entail additional full liberalisation for some sensitive products, thus providing that some 60% of agricultural trade between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Union should be completely free. For the most sensitive products such as meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants, tariff quotas or tariff reductions have been agreed upon. Specific provisions are foreseen as regards the management of tariff rate quotas for cheese.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Agreement on the free circulation of goods concluded between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway in 1992 excluded agricultural and fisheries goods from free circulation. However, provision was made for the progressive liberalisation of agricultural production through periodic review agreements, to be carried out every two years. As the latest review agreement came into force in 2003, negotiations for a new review took place between March 2008 and January 2010, culminating in the draft agreement now before Parliament for adoption. This report is based on mutual concessions, and I voted for it because it represents a step towards closer EU-Norway trade relations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. As a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway benefits from the internal market, but agriculture and fisheries are exempted from free circulation in the 1992 Agreement on the EEA. Instead, Article 19 provides for progressive liberalisation of agricultural production through reviews of the conditions of trade in agricultural products, carried out at two-yearly intervals, and decisions on a preferential, bilateral or multilateral, reciprocal and mutually beneficial basis on further steps in that direction to reduce other types of barriers on trade in the agricultural area. The latest agreement between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Community, based on Article 19 of the EEA Agreement, came into force in July 2003. It comprised the arrangements for reciprocal trade in cheese and mutual concessions for a variety of agricultural products, including tariff quotas. From March 2008 to January 2010, new negotiations were held and resulted in the present draft agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this agreement because it takes account of the importance of certain products for agricultural production in both the EU and Norway while providing for the appropriate arrangements on tariff quotas or tariff reductions. These aspects must also be seen as particularly important in a mid- to long-term view of agricultural production, just as they raise the issue of the preconditions for in-depth reform of the common agricultural policy after 2013.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) I voted in favour of the report. As a member of the European Economic Area, Norway benefits from the internal market, but agricultural products and fisheries were exempted from the scope of the agreement in 1992. Article 19 now provides for progressive liberalisation of agricultural markets. This will have a favourable effect on the EU’s agricultural trade balance.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Béla Glattfelder (A7-0248/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) This report concerns the extension to the Principality of Liechtenstein of the Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on trade in agricultural products. Hence, the protection of geographical indications will also apply to Liechtenstein, which I support.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I welcomed the conclusion of this agreement. EU trade relations with Liechtenstein are closely linked to EU trade relations with the Swiss Confederation, which is the European Union’s fourth most important trading partner. The EU and Switzerland have defined their relations by establishing bilateral treaties in various fields. In order to minimise the negative consequences of the rejection of the European Economic Area Agreement by Switzerland in 1992, negotiations for commercial agreements were launched in seven sectors, including agricultural products. The agricultural agreement was concluded in 1999 and has been in force since 1 June 2002. The EC-Switzerland agricultural agreement was subsequently extended to the Principality of Liechtenstein. Pursuant to the additional agreement, Liechtenstein products are deemed to be of Swiss origin. With this renewed agreement, the EU and Switzerland are seeking to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to preserve the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) As with the other reports we have adopted today, I am also in favour of adopting this report on trade relations between the EU and Liechtenstein, which are closely associated with EU trade relations with the Swiss Confederation. This agricultural agreement will improve bilateral agricultural trade.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because with it, the European Parliament consents to the conclusion of another agreement between the European Union and Liechtenstein which is very closely related to the agreement between the EU and Switzerland on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs. The scope of the EU-Switzerland agreements on agricultural products has been extended to include the Principality of Liechtenstein since 2007, and under this particular agreement, Liechtenstein products are deemed to be products of Swiss origin. Meanwhile, two foodstuff names designated under Swiss geographical indications will also cover the territory of Liechtenstein. Under this annex to the agricultural agreement, which is extended to Liechtenstein, the EU and Switzerland are aiming to ensure mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications with a view to maintaining the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products and, at the same time, promoting the quality of the food chain.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This recommendation, drafted by Mr Glattfelder, concerns the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein, amending the additional agreement between the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein, which is extending to the Principality of Liechtenstein the Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on trade in agricultural products. EU trade relations with Liechtenstein cannot be dissociated from EU trade relations with the Swiss Confederation. The EU-Switzerland agricultural agreement has been extended to Liechtenstein and designated the additional agreement, which came into force on 13 October 2007. As Parliament has adopted a recommendation adding a new annex – Annex 12: protection of geographical indications and designations of origin – to the EU-Switzerland agricultural agreement, it is essential to apply these rules to Liechtenstein’s territory. Therefore, and because this amendment of the additional agreement constitutes a positive and, above all, necessary step, I am voting for this recommendation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Commercial relations between the EU and Liechtenstein are closely connected with commercial relations between the EU and Switzerland. In order to minimise the negative consequences of the rejection of the EEA agreement by Switzerland in 1992, negotiations for commercial agreements were launched in seven sectors, including agricultural products. The agricultural agreement was concluded in 1999 and has been in force since 1 June 2002. The agreement between the EC and Switzerland was later extended to cover the Principality of Liechtenstein. This extension (or additional agreement) entered into force on 13 October 2007, and it meant that any amendment to the agreement on trade in agricultural products would also mean an amendment to the agreement between the EU, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. By adding a new annex (Annex 12), the EU and Switzerland are seeking to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to preserve the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products, while promoting the quality of the food chain.

Under the additional agreement, Liechtenstein products are deemed to be of Swiss origin. The agreement between the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and Liechtenstein must therefore also be amended, in order for the protection of geographical indications to apply to Liechtenstein as well. The amendment to the additional agreement is a positive and necessary step and, in my opinion, it is therefore desirable for the European Parliament to consent to it being signed.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) The report by Mr Glattfelder aims to extend the agreements already in place with the Swiss Confederation to the diminutive Principality of Liechtenstein. The Commission’s unanimous vote in favour, and the fact that there are no critical issues in the agreement, have led me to vote in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this proposal because now, by adding a new annex (Annex 12) to the agricultural agreement, the EU and Switzerland are seeking to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to preserve the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products, while promoting the quality of the food chain. Pursuant to the additional agreement, Liechtenstein products are deemed to be of Swiss origin. Therefore, the additional agreement between the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein also needs to be amended so that the protection of geographical indications also applies to Liechtenstein. Two names designated under Swiss geographical indications will also cover the territory of Liechtenstein.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) Under the additional agreement, Liechtenstein products are deemed to be of Swiss origin. The agreement between the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and Liechtenstein must therefore also be amended, in order for the protection of geographical indications to apply to Liechtenstein as well. Two names designated under Swiss geographical indications will also cover the territory of Liechtenstein.

The new Annex 12 to the agricultural agreement will improve bilateral EC-Switzerland agricultural trade. The amendment of the additional agreement is therefore a positive and necessary step.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I welcome this proposal to simplify trade agreements with Switzerland and Liechtenstein. From now on, Liechtenstein products are deemed to be of Swiss origin.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) EU trade relations with Liechtenstein are closely associated with EU trade relations with the Swiss Confederation, which is the European Union’s fourth largest trading partner. The EC-Switzerland agricultural agreement was subsequently extended to the Principality of Liechtenstein. This extension came into force on 13 October 2007, and has implied that any modification to the agricultural agreement modifies the EU-Switzerland-Liechtenstein Agreement. Pursuant to the additional agreement, Liechtenstein products are deemed to be of Swiss origin. Therefore, the additional agreement between the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein also needs to be amended so that the protection of geographical indications also applies to Liechtenstein.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on trade in agricultural products (agricultural agreement) has been extended to the Principality of Liechtenstein. The Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs has amended the agricultural agreement by adding Annex 12. Therefore, the additional agreement between the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein also needs to be amended so that the protection of geographical indications also applies to Liechtenstein. It is clear, but why cannot all reports on agricultural products be united into one? Are additional rapporteurs necessary? I voted ‘against’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because amending the additional agreement is a positive and necessary step for improving bilateral EC-Switzerland agricultural trade. Attention should be drawn to the fact that, following the entry into force of the amendment to the agreement, the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products will be maintained, promoting the quality of the food chain and the sustainable development of a system of designations of origin and geographical indications. Furthermore, it will create favourable opportunities for the EU and Switzerland to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications. It should be noted that the agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on trade in agricultural products will be extended to the Principality of Liechtenstein. The protection of geographical indications will therefore also be extended to Liechtenstein, while Liechtenstein products will be deemed to be of Swiss origin.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) By adding a new annex (Annex 12) to the agricultural agreement, the EU and Switzerland are now seeking to ensure the mutual recognition of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications in order to preserve the conditions of bilateral trade in agricultural products while promoting the quality of the food chain. Indeed, under the additional agreement, Liechtenstein products are deemed to be of Swiss origin.

Therefore, the additional agreement between the European Union, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein also needs to be amended so that the protection of geographical indications also applies to Liechtenstein. Two names designated under Swiss geographical indications will also cover the territory of Liechtenstein. The new Annex 12 to the agricultural agreement will improve bilateral trade in agricultural products between the EU and Switzerland. Therefore, amending the additional agreement is also a positive and necessary step.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) When the Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation was extended to Liechtenstein on 13 October 2007, it was stipulated that any amendment of the agreement would affect this second extension agreement, and that Liechtenstein’s products are to be deemed of Swiss origin, for all intents and purposes. As the EU-Swiss agricultural agreement is going to be amended to ensure the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products, the additional agreement between the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein needs to be amended to ensure that the protection of geographical indications also applies to Liechtenstein.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour of consent. EU trade relations with Liechtenstein are closely associated with EU trade relations with the Swiss Confederation, which is the European Union’s fourth biggest trading partner. The EU and Switzerland have defined their relations by establishing bilateral treaties in various fields. In order to minimise the negative consequences of the rejection of the EEA Agreement by Switzerland in 1992, negotiations for commercial agreements were launched in seven sectors, including agricultural products. The agricultural agreement was concluded in 1999 and has been in force since 1 June 2002. The new Annex 12 to the agricultural agreement will improve bilateral EU-Switzerland agricultural trade. Therefore, amending the additional agreement is also a positive and necessary step.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) This report (A7-0248/2011) extends to the Principality of Liechtenstein the existing provisions as well as the new provisions contained in the report. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Carmen Fraga Estévez (A7-0274/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) In 2009, in Auckland, New Zealand, the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean was adopted and opened for signature for a period of 12 months, from 1 February 2010. The European Union signed it on 26 July 2010. The aim is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the South Pacific. Yet it is regrettable to see the extent to which the majority of countries are still unwilling to accept management measures in line with international law in their waters. It is totally demoralising to find this reluctance exemplified by countries that are supposedly – or so they would have you believe – champions of good fishing practice, such as Australia, New Zealand and Chile, the driving forces behind this new convention. I support our rapporteur when she says that the Union should have a presence within all regional conventions, both to defend its priorities in terms of sustainable fisheries management and to defend the interests of its fishing fleet. Consequently, I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I welcomed the conclusion of this agreement. Fishing activity in the South Pacific has, until now, been managed by the two Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs): the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Convention (IATTC) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Since the objective of both is to manage highly migratory species, the fishing of other types of resources in this vast area has been unregulated, other than in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of coastal states that applied their own rules. To fill this gap, and given that there is fishing activity both in the EEZ and in the high seas, in 2006, the governments of Australia, Chile and New Zealand decided to launch a process of international consultations on the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), with the aim of cooperating to address the gap in the management and conservation of non-highly migratory species and the protection of biodiversity in the high seas areas of the South Pacific, in a manner consistent with international law and following best practice. The EU has taken part in this process from the outset and has made some important achievements, and we must therefore now create the conditions for the EU to ratify the convention and work actively in all fora, both international and bilateral, and call on countries with fishing fleets in the region covered by the convention to sign, ratify and implement it in order to speed up its entry into force.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Gerard Batten (EFD), in writing. – I voted against this report as it reflects yet another example of an EU attempt to grab sovereign prerogatives of the nations in the region of the South Pacific. The EU is usurping the right to decide on matters which should remain in the hands of poor communities perfectly capable of managing their fishing and maritime preservation. Poorer nations from the South Pacific should keep the right to use their fishery resources freely to retain their independence and avoid the risk of massive emigration.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, which calls on the Commission to work actively so that all Member States with fishing fleets in the region covered by the convention may attend all fora, both international and bilateral.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. – I voted against this report as it reflects yet another example of EU encroachment into sovereign prerogatives of the nations in the region. It is also fair to point out that the EU track history with fishing and maritime preservation is not a good one, often usurping waters from poorer nations, over-fishing them, and taking away valuable commodities from struggling communities who depend upon access to their waters to be self sufficient.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alain Cadec (PPE), in writing. (FR) The presence of European vessels in the South Pacific obliges the European Union, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to cooperate with other interested parties in the management and conservation of the area’s fishery resources. The Commission has therefore negotiated a convention on a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) in the South Pacific for fishery resources that are not yet covered by an existing RFMO. The aim of this convention is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable exploitation of the resources in the South Pacific. The European Union must have a presence in all the RFMOs, both to ensure sustainable fisheries management and to defend the interests of its fishing fleet. Having a presence in the RFMOs will also enable the Union to act as a counterweight to ensure that there are no possible attempts to circumvent efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean because I support the conclusion of this convention, which should contribute to protecting biodiversity, specifically through good fishing practices.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Like other regions of the world, the South Pacific Ocean did not have a convention on the conservation and management of its high seas fishery resources. Represented by the Commission, the Union participated in negotiations aiming to change this state of affairs and, since July 2010, it has been a signatory of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean.

Despite the step taken by the European Union and the importance of the issue underlying that instrument of international law, the majority of states involved seem reluctant to definitively commit. The delay in ratifying the convention by important countries, whose good practices and fishing tradition would make it possible to foresee another way, weakens the agreement that has been reached and threatens its actual implementation. I hope that this situation will be reversed and that the convention can come into force, so as to ensure sustainability and proper management of fishery resources in the South Pacific. Like the rapporteur, I believe the Union should be a party to the majority of conventions of this sort, so as to seek to ensure respect for its interests, the defence of the conservation of species and the adoption of best practices by other actors.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This recommendation, drafted by Ms Fraga Estévez, is the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean. Fishing activity in the South Pacific Ocean is managed by two international organisations: the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, whose activities cover highly migratory species. To fill this gap and ensure the protection of biodiversity, the countries of the region – Australia, Chile and New Zealand – are carrying out consultations on the creation of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. Although EU vessels do not make significant catches, the parties need to ratify the convention concluded by the EU on 26 July 2010, in line with the Council decision of 24 July 2010. As the purpose of this draft Council decision is its adoption so that it can be ratified by the EU, I am voting in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Once again, we would stress the importance of multilateral cooperation in the area of promoting the proper preservation and management of marine biological resources, which is the subject of this report. We believe both coordination and cooperation are important in the management of shared bodies of water – seas and oceans – so as to guarantee the sustainability of fishing activity, and the interests of the people and communities dependent on them, whilst ensuring, at the same time, that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is combated. For these reasons, we welcome the creation of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), whose goal is to establish cooperation, at international level, in the areas of conserving and managing fisheries for non-highly migratory species, and of protecting biodiversity in the marine environment in the high seas areas of the South Pacific Ocean, in a manner consistent with international law and best practices.

Given that the fishing fleets of various Member States are currently present in the South Pacific Ocean, the conclusion of the Convention to establish the SPRFMO is positive. Given that other countries have not yet concluded the convention, appropriate efforts need to be made to address their concerns and seek to strengthen multilateral cooperation on the foregoing objectives.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The report is based on the principle that it is important to coordinate on the management of shared seas, so as to guarantee sustainable fisheries management, defend the interests of the fishing fleets and ensure that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is combated.

We welcome the creation of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), whose goal is to establish cooperation, at international level, in the areas of conserving and managing fisheries for non-highly migratory species, and of protecting biodiversity in the marine environment in the high seas areas of the South Pacific Ocean, in a manner consistent with international law and best practices.

It is therefore positive that the European Union, which has fishing interests in the South Pacific Ocean, has concluded this Convention to establish the SPRFMO.

However, we still share the concerns of countries that have not yet signed the convention, as this means that international management measures will be applied in their exclusive economic zones.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Fishing activity in the South Pacific has, until now, been managed by the two Regional Fisheries Management Organisations: the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Convention (IATTC) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Since the objective of both, however, is to manage highly migratory species, the fishing of other types of resources in this vast area was unregulated, other than in the exclusive economic zones of coastal states that applied their own rules. To fill this gap, a decision was taken in 2006 to launch a process of international consultations on the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), with the aim of cooperating in addressing the gap in the management and protection of biodiversity in the high seas areas of the South Pacific. The text of the convention was finally agreed in November 2009 and opened for signature on 1 February 2010.

The EU signed on 26 July 2010 in accordance with the Council decision thereon of 24 July 2010. The convention is now in the process of ratification by the parties and the purpose of this legislative act is to allow ratification by the EU through a draft Council decision. In my opinion, the European Union should be present in all regional organisations for managing fisheries also in order to ensure that there is no let-up in its effort to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE), in writing. (GA) Ireland does not have any fishing interests in the South Pacific Ocean. As a member of the Committee on Fisheries, however, I support this proposal.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – I voted in favour of Ms Fraga’s report. Fisheries management should primarily be the responsibility of fishing nations, cooperating internationally through conventions such as this one. These conventions are important tools for maintaining sustainable fisheries – and there is no reason why similar tools could not be applied to the waters and resources of Europe’s fishing nations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this legislation. Since the objective of both organisations is to manage highly migratory species, the fishing of other types of resources in this vast area was unregulated, other than in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of coastal states that applied their own rules. To fill this gap, and given that there is fishing activity both in the EEZ and in the high seas, in 2006, the governments of Australia, Chile and New Zealand decided to launch international consultations on the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), with the aim of cooperating to address the gap in the management and conservation of non-highly migratory species and the protection of biodiversity in the high seas areas of the South Pacific, in a manner consistent with international law and following best practice. The convention is now in the process of ratification by the parties, and the purpose of this legislative act is to allow ratification by the EU through a draft Council decision.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The points in favour of the convention outweigh those against. The EU should have a presence within all regional fisheries management organisations, both to defend its priorities concerning its views on what sustainable fisheries management should entail, and to defend the interests of its fishing fleet, acting, if necessary, as a counterweight. It will thus ensure that there are no possible attempts to circumvent efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I welcome this report. Fishing activity in the South Pacific has, until now, been managed by the two regional fisheries management organisations: the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Convention and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Since the objective of both, however, is to manage highly migratory species, the fishing of other types of resources in this vast area was unregulated, other than in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of coastal states that applied their own rules.

To fill this gap, and given that there is fishing activity both in the EEZ and in the high seas, in 2006, the governments of Australia, Chile and New Zealand decided to launch a process of international consultations on the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation, with the aim of cooperating to address the gap in the management and conservation of non-highly migratory species and the protection of biodiversity in the high seas areas of the South Pacific, in a manner consistent with international law.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) All fishing activity in the South Pacific region has been managed by the two Regional Fisheries Management Organisations: the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Since the objective of both, however, is to manage highly migratory species, the fishing of other types of resources in this vast area was unregulated. To fill this gap, and given that there is fishing activity both in exclusive economic zones and on the high seas, in 2006, the governments of Australia, Chile and New Zealand decided to launch a process of international consultations on the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation, with the aim of cooperating on addressing the gap in the management and conservation of non-highly migratory species and the protection of biodiversity in the high seas areas of the South Pacific. Although there are not many European Union vessels fishing in the region, their presence does oblige the EU, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to cooperate with other interested parties in the management and conservation of the region’s resources, and the EU has taken part in this process from the outset.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The Convention will establish the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), whose mission will be to manage and conserve non-highly migratory species and to protect biodiversity in the high seas areas of the South Pacific, in a manner consistent with international law. If it becomes a useful paper ratified only by three countries. I voted ‘in favour’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because it is appropriate and undoubtedly necessary for the EU to ratify the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, given that the EU has fishing interests in the South Pacific. Furthermore, under the terms of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the EU is obliged to cooperate with other interested parties in the management and conservation of the region’s resources. Attention should be drawn to the fact that we must make every effort to ensure that the majority of coastal states in this part of the world accept management measures in line with international law in their waters and do not oppose their implementation. We should welcome the fact that, following lengthy discussions, it has been possible to agree that the convention should guarantee access for the vessels of one contracting party to the ports of other states that are party to the convention. This provision would open up access to Chile’s ports for the Community pelagic fleet.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) Fishing activity in the South Pacific has, until now, been managed by the two Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs): the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Fishing of other types of resources was unregulated, other than in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of coastal states. To fill this gap, and given that there is fishing activity both in the EEZs and on the high seas, the governments of Australia, Chile and New Zealand have decided to launch a process of international consultations on the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. The purpose of this legislative act is to allow ratification of the text of the convention concluded in 2010 by the EU through a draft Council decision. I believe that the EU should have a presence within all RFMOs, both to defend its priorities concerning sustainable fisheries management and to defend the interests of its fishing fleet, so I think this document should be adopted by Parliament.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) When negotiating the text, the EU also managed to obtain additional guarantees regarding the objection procedure. Unlike in other Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), it is not enough for a party simply to object to a measure in order to circumvent its application. The objection procedure in this case is much more stringent, limiting the reasons that may give rise to an objection and, more importantly, obliging the State presenting an objection to adopt alternative measures that are equivalent in effect to the decision to which it has objected.

In the end, the text also seems to guarantee access for the vessels of one contracting party to the ports of other States that are party to the convention, which would at least open up access to Chile’s ports for the EU pelagic fleet. Finally, given the huge resistance by coastal states in this part of the world to applying international management measures inside their exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Ms Fraga Estévez considers that the points in favour of the convention outweigh those against. In any case, she stands by her position that the EU should have a presence within all RFMOs.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. Fishing activity in the South Pacific has, until now, been managed by the two Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs): the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Convention (IATTC) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Since the objective of both, however, is to manage highly migratory species, the fishing of other types of resources in this vast area has been unregulated, other than in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of coastal states that applied their own rules. To fill this gap, and given that there is fishing activity both in the EEZs and on the high seas, in 2006, the governments of Australia, Chile and New Zealand decided to launch a process of international consultation on the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), with the aim of cooperating in addressing the gap in the management and conservation of non-highly migratory species and the protection of biodiversity in the high seas areas of the South Pacific, in a manner consistent with international law.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this text because I think it lays the foundations for an excellent partnership that will be capable of addressing the gaps in the management and conservation of non-highly migratory species and the protection of biodiversity in the high seas areas of the South Pacific. Even though there are not many European Union vessels fishing in the region, we need to continue to cooperate with the other parties interested in the management and conservation of the area.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (A7-0259/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) This report refers to the signing of an agreement between the European Union and Brazil on civil aviation safety. The agreement was signed on behalf of the European Union on 14 July 2010 and is not provisionally applied. Parliament’s enhanced role under the Treaty of Lisbon implies a corresponding responsibility to monitor the conduct of negotiations more closely. In this regard, European and Brazilian businesses should benefit significantly from the application of the agreement thanks to shorter and simpler, and hence less costly, product approval procedures and mutual acceptance of certification findings. In addition, the agreement constitutes a net benefit for the European Union, given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States. I therefore agree with our rapporteur’s proposal that we should approve this agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of the conclusion of this agreement. The Commission will firstly negotiate an agreement on the reciprocal acceptance of findings, focusing on the certification of aeronautical products, parts and appliances. Brazil is the tenth largest economy in the world, and also the EU’s tenth largest trading partner. EU and Brazilian companies will benefit greatly from this agreement thanks to shorter, simpler, and hence less costly, product approval procedures and mutual acceptance of certification findings.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, the number of cases in which Parliament’s consent is necessary for the conclusion of international agreements has increased and these include agreements on air services. This regulation follows the structure of the existing bilateral aviation safety agreements between Member States and third countries. The aim of the agreement is to facilitate trade in the goods and services covered by it, to limit, as much as possible, the duplication of assessments, tests and controls to significant regulatory differences, and to rely on the certification system of either party to check conformity with the requirements of the other party. Product approval procedures will be shorter and simpler, and hence less costly. There will be mutual acceptance of certification findings, which will benefit EU and Brazilian companies. Europe will also benefit from mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States. I voted for this recommendation for these reasons.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of this agreement between the EU and Brazil which aims to facilitate trade in goods and services, to limit as much as possible the duplication of assessments, and to rely on the certification system of either party and mutual acceptance of certification findings. The agreement follows the structure of the existing bilateral aviation safety agreements between Member States and Canada.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because with it, the European Parliament consents to the conclusion of an agreement, on behalf of the European Union, with Brazil in the field of civil aviation safety. This agreement is intended to increase mutual confidence between the parties with regard to trading in aeronautical products by harmonising product certification systems while minimising the duplication of assessments, tests and controls. Approximating these systems would enable the importing authority to issue its own certificate for the aeronautical product, part or appliance without duplicating all the assessments done by the exporting authority. The European Union aeronautical product certification system is fully taken into account in the text of the draft agreement between the EU and Brazil that has been drawn up, in which aeronautical product and part certification tasks are clearly separated from the activities of organisations involved in the design and manufacture of these products and their parts. The text of the agreement also affords the parties the necessary flexibility to react immediately to safety problems or to establish a higher level of protection they consider appropriate for safety.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. – I voted against as this is yet another example of an EU attempt to seize control over what should be the prerogative of nation states to act as a subject of Law of the Treaties. It is up to the UK to decide whether it wishes to sign agreements or not on such important matters as aviation safety with a third territory. Any agreements on that issue should be made via bilateral agreements between the UK and the other state concerned.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Antonio Cancian (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of Ms Ticặu’s recommendation on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Union and Brazil on civil aviation safety. Even though the agreement was signed on 14 July 2010, the part concerning the removal of technical barriers to trade in goods by the Union has not yet been applied. A Council decision on the subject is therefore necessary. I think that both European and Brazilian businesses will be able to draw major benefits from the application of the rules set out in the agreement, which will provide for leaner and faster procedures for the mutual recognition of certifications and product approval. The benefits in the aviation sector will be seen at both a national and international level.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) There is no doubt that the EU as a whole will benefit substantially from this agreement, since it will mean that the six existing bilateral agreements will come to an end and, by contrast, will establish reciprocal acceptance of the findings of the certification process in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States. I believe it is essential that all Member States come under the umbrella of an agreement of this sort, particularly if we take into account that Brazil is the EU’s tenth largest trading partner. I am voting for this agreement, which should contribute decisively to facilitating trade in goods and services in this area, and to seeking to avoid duplication of assessments, tests and controls, thereby promoting reciprocal trust in each party’s certification system. Thanks to this agreement, both Brazilian and European companies will be able to benefit from simpler, shorter and less expensive approval procedures.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) The deepening of trade relations and mutual trust between the EU and Brazil seem obvious to me, and is emerging as a logical consequence of the interaction of economic actors, which is expressed through the fact that Brazil is the EU’s tenth largest trading partner. Today, we are debating an agreement on civil aviation safety, to which we are giving our consent, in line with the new competences gained from the Treaty of Lisbon. By doing so, in this specific case, we are also celebrating our Union and one of our greatest achievements: the elimination of technical barriers among the Member States and between the Member States and third countries or economic blocs, with which we are establishing relationships of mutual trust and reciprocity. Our businesses and our fellow citizens gain from this, simply because they have access to a more comprehensive and rational legislative framework that has a single basis for the whole of Europe. I welcome the increasingly close ties with Brazil and hope that this House will be able to give its assent to other agreements of this sort in the near future.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this agreement, signed between the European Union and Brazil, because it is important to harmonise standards and processes relating to civil aviation safety. This should therefore increase the safety of aircraft while benefiting businesses in both Brazil and the EU, which will be spared lengthy and onerous inspection procedures, assessments and technical checks as a result.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this recommendation because I believe the implementation of this Agreement on civil aviation safety will benefit EU and Brazilian companies, thanks to standardised, shorter and simpler, and hence less costly, product approval procedures.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) This resolution concerns the EU-Brazil Agreement on civil aviation safety, concluded on 14 July 2010. I hope that the European Union and the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world will be able to benefit from simplified procedures for product approval and acceptance of certifications in all areas of aeronautics. As such, I hope Parliament will give its assent to the conclusion of the agreement and that it will be able to come into force quickly. I believe Parliament should closely monitor the implementation of the agreement and contribute to improving it, whenever necessary.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This recommendation, drafted by Ms Ţicău, concerns a draft Council decision on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Union and the government of the Federative Republic of Brazil on civil aviation safety. The Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, substantially changed the powers of several European institutions, particularly Parliament, which, in the new setup, is called upon to rule on matters which were not previously under its jurisdiction, as in this case of an international agreement between the EU and the Federative Republic of Brazil on air services. The objectives of the agreement are to facilitate trade in goods and to simplify procedures without endangering safety, particularly with respect to the system for certification of aircraft. In view of this, I am voting for this recommendation, conscious that EU and Brazilian companies will benefit from it, given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The agreement deals with the draft Council decision on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and Brazil on civil aviation safety. As the removal of technical barriers to trade in goods comes within the exclusive competence of the Union, the agreement can be concluded by means of a Council decision. Only six Member States currently have bilateral agreements with Brazil covering product certification. Those bilateral agreements will be terminated from the date of entry into force of the agreement, which constitutes a net benefit for the European Union given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States. The primary objectives of the agreement are to facilitate trade in goods and services covered by the agreement, to limit as much as possible the duplication of assessments, tests and controls to significant regulatory differences, and to rely on the certification system of either party to check conformity with the requirements of the other party. It is based on mutual trust in the systems of the other party, and on a comparison of regulatory differences. The agreement is of great benefit to both European and Brazilian companies, as it will save millions of euro a year thanks to less costly product approval procedures and the mutual recognition of certification findings. I therefore firmly believe that it is desirable (assuming that Parliament grants consent to the conclusion of this agreement) for the Council not to delay completion of the relevant procedures.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) The new, exclusive competences acquired by the European Union in the area of foreign policy include the relationships that govern air transport agreements. I voted in favour of the agreement because it contributes to simplifying and streamlining the red tape surrounding the procedures. It will also help avoid the duplication of tasks between EU Member States and third countries.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Brazil is one of the world’s most important emerging economies and Scotland alone exported some GBP 180 million of goods to the country last year. I voted in favour of this report, which will facilitate good links between the EU and Brazil.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because EU and Brazilian companies will significantly benefit from the application of this agreement thanks to shorter, simpler, and hence less costly, product approval procedures and mutual acceptance of certification findings. Furthermore, the agreement constitutes a net benefit for the European Union given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States. The primary objectives of the agreement are to facilitate trade in goods and services covered by the agreement, to limit as much as possible the duplication of assessments, tests and controls to significant regulatory differences, and to rely on the certification system of either party when checking conformity with the requirements of the other party.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The agreement constitutes a net benefit for the European Union, given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States.

The enhanced role for Parliament under the Treaty of Lisbon implies a corresponding responsibility to monitor the conduct of negotiations more closely.

EU and Brazilian companies will significantly benefit thanks to shorter, simpler and hence less costly product approval procedures, and mutual acceptance of certification findings. The agreement also constitutes a net benefit for the European Union, given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this agreement to improve and simplify cooperation between Brazil and the EU in the field of aviation. EU and Brazilian companies will significantly benefit from the application of the agreement thanks to shorter and simpler, hence less costly, product approval procedures and mutual acceptance of certification findings. Furthermore, the agreement constitutes a net benefit for the European Union, given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU-Brazil aviation agreement is very important for the future of relations between both sides. As such, and following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, Parliament needs to be fully informed and consulted about the work carried out by the joint committee and the entities involved.

Any agreement that is to be concluded must be adopted by Parliament, which will therefore need to be kept up to date with all negotiations, and it will even be important in the future for regular meetings to be held between members of this House and members of the Brazilian Congress in order to debate all questions relating to aviation policy between the EU and Brazil. This agreement is therefore an important step towards opening up the market to airlines from the EU and Brazil, without any discrimination. This opening up of the market will contribute to improving the services provided to passengers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – This agreement follows on from the main achievement of a ‘horizontal’ Air Services agreement (adopted in plenary in February 2011) removing nationality restrictions in the existing bilateral agreements between Member States and Brazil, benefiting the whole EU airline industry. It is very important for Brazil and, if the EU will not put in order its own air transportation, for example, the hazardous Latvian company AirBaltic, then this report is above price. I am ‘in favour’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Brazil is one of the EU’s largest and most important trading partners. With good reason, therefore, an agreement between the EU and this Latin American country on civil aviation safety has already been signed; however, this has yet to enter into force. We are still awaiting a Council decision on this. Should the agreement finally enter into force, this would bring considerable benefits for all EU Member States since it would introduce mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness.

This would, in turn, result in a clear facilitation of trade in goods and services since there would be practically no need for duplication of assessments, tests and controls. Moreover, the agreement would benefit both European and Brazilian enterprises inasmuch as that costly product approval procedures would no longer be required. I voted in favour of the report because I agree with the rapporteur’s emphatic statement that the Council should not delay finalising this any longer.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because it is another great push towards gradually opening up markets and ensuring a high level of regulatory cooperation. It should be noted that the entry into force of the agreement will create more favourable conditions for trade. Furthermore, it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness and maintenance for all Member States. I am glad that the agreement provides for shorter, simpler and cheaper product approval procedures, which will improve relations between EU and Brazilian companies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of Ms Ţicău’s recommendation on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Union and Brazil on civil aviation safety because the adoption of this agreement is in line with all the other international agreements that the EU is putting in place to improve and ensure the safety of its citizens during air transport. Air traffic management is constantly changing and, given the high number of citizens who travel outside EU countries, I think it is worth regulating all possible situations in order to guarantee the highest possible level of safety.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) Even though it was executed on 14 July 2010, the agreement between the EU and Brazil has yet to be applied, mainly for technical reasons, despite the fact that it is considered important and provides a series of advantages, especially in the commercial sector. As the tenth largest economy in the world and as one of the EU’s most important trading partners, Brazil is an important destination for exports of European goods and services. The mutual agreement to accept certification findings is therefore a move in the right direction; it will pave the way for developing trade and will potentially stimulate exports from the Member States. Action to speed up its application is therefore welcome, which is why I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Union and the government of the Federative Republic of Brazil on civil aviation safety, since the report concludes that EU and Brazilian companies will benefit significantly from the application of the agreement thanks to shorter and simpler, and hence less costly, product approval procedures and mutual acceptance of certification findings. Furthermore, the draft agreement represents a net benefit for the EU given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States.

I share the rapporteur’s hope that, once Parliament has taken its decision, the Council does not delay in finalising the procedures.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) The primary objectives of the agreement is to facilitate trade in goods and services covered by the agreement itself, to limit as much as possible the duplication of assessments, tests and controls to significant regulatory differences, and to rely on the certification system of either party to check conformity with the requirements of the other party. EU and Brazilian companies will significantly benefit from the application of the agreement thanks to shorter and simpler, and hence less costly, product approval procedures and mutual acceptance of certification findings.

Furthermore, the agreement constitutes a net benefit for the European Union given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States. In the light of the above remarks, Ms Ţicău proposes that Parliament gives its consent to the conclusion of the agreement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the conclusion of this agreement because I believe EU and Brazilian companies will benefit significantly from its adoption, thanks to shorter and simpler, and hence less costly, product approval procedures and mutual acceptance of certification findings. Furthermore, this agreement represents a net benefit for the EU given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. This recommendation concerns a draft Council decision on the conclusion of an Agreement between the EU and Brazil on civil aviation safety (‘the agreement’). The agreement was signed on behalf of the European Union on 14 July 2010 and is not provisionally applied. As the removal of technical barriers to trade in goods comes within the exclusive competence of the Union, the agreement can be concluded by means of a Council decision. Only six Member States currently have bilateral agreements with Brazil covering product certification. Those bilateral agreements will be terminated from the date of entry into force of the agreement. The agreement constitutes a net benefit for the European Union, given that it will establish mutual acceptance of certification findings in all areas of airworthiness for all Member States. It should be noted that Brazil is not only the tenth largest economy in the world, but also the EU’s tenth largest trade partner.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the text of this agreement because I think it will facilitate exchanges in goods and services between the European Union and Brazil while limiting the administrative burden of civil aviation safety as much as possible.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The agreement between the EU and the Federative Republic of Brazil on civil aviation safety was concluded on 14 July 2010 and, pursuant to Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, it was awaiting adoption by the European Parliament. The text of the agreement aims to facilitate trade in goods and services by limiting, as much as possible, the duplication of assessments, tests and controls to significant regulatory differences, and by relying on the certification system of either party to check conformity with the requirements of the other party.

EU and Brazilian companies will benefit significantly from mutual acceptance of certification findings. The draft agreement also represents a net benefit for the European Union, because it establishes mutual acceptance of certification findings for all Member States. The enhanced role for Parliament implies closer monitoring of how negotiation of international agreements is conducted.

As shadow rapporteur of this document, it seems essential to stress the need for Parliament to be kept regularly informed on the negotiations and notified of any concerns that might call into question its adoption, without waiting until after negotiations have been concluded.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) I voted in favour of the report because the faster approval procedure which it aims to achieve could considerably reduce costs and because the mutual acceptance of certification bodies which it introduces for all EU Member States represents a simplified procedure.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing.(IT) The European Union has worked to conclude a series of agreements with third countries in order to establish common air traffic management procedures. Hence, I voted in favour of the report by Ms Ţicău on the agreement with Brazil on civil aviation safety, which aims to facilitate trade in goods and services covered by the agreement and to limit as much as possible the duplication of assessments, tests and controls to significant regulatory differences.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Rui Tavares (A7-0268/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) This report concerns the Agreement between the European Union and Norway on the surrender procedure between the Member States of the European Union and Iceland and Norway. It is aimed at improving the surrender procedure for the purpose of the prosecution or execution of sentence, by making an arrest warrant compulsory. An arrest warrant may be issued for acts punishable by the law of the issuing State by a custodial sentence or a detention order for a maximum period of at least 12 months or, where a sentence has been passed or a detention order has been made, for sentences of at least four months. Our rapporteur is asking us to support this agreement. I agree with him, in the sense that this is about extending to the Kingdom of Norway and to the Republic of Iceland – at these two countries’ request – provisions that already exist among the Member States of the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of the conclusion of this agreement, aimed at improving the surrender procedure between the Member States and Norway and Iceland for the purpose of prosecution or execution of sentence. This agreement merely extends provisions that are already in place among EU Member States, and the contracting parties will ensure that the extradition system will be based on a mechanism of surrender pursuant to an arrest warrant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) In July 2001, the Council authorised the start of negotiations with Norway and Iceland concerning mutual legal assistance and extradition agreements, with the goal of applying to Iceland and Norway the provisions of the 1996 EU Convention on Extradition. The mission statement was updated in 2002 after it was agreed that extradition within the EU would be replaced by a surrender procedure under the European arrest warrant.

In turn, the Council adopted a general approach to the surrender agreement in 2006, which has not yet been formally concluded and to which the new procedure provided for by Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union now has to be applied, meaning that the Council can only conclude the agreement after obtaining the consent of Parliament. I voted for the conclusion of this agreement, which is aimed at improving the surrender procedure between the Member States and Norway and Iceland, for the purposes of prosecution or execution of sentences; in other words, extending the provisions in force between EU Member States to these two Schengen countries.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) This agreement is aimed at improving the surrender procedure between the Member States and Norway and Iceland for the purpose of the prosecution or execution of sentence, by taking account of the terms of the Convention of 27 September 1996 relating to extradition between the Member States of the EU as minimum standards.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted against this report. The agreement between the European Union, Iceland and Norway on the establishment of a surrender mechanism following the issue of an arrest warrant is necessarily linked to the matter of the European arrest warrant, which Lega Nord has strongly opposed in light of the potential for abusing civil liberties that such a warrant could imply. With this in mind, I have no choice but to vote against this text.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because with it, the European Parliament consents to the conclusion of mutual legal assistance and extradition agreements between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Iceland. This agreement is aimed at improving the surrender procedure between the Member States and Norway and Iceland for the purposes of prosecution or execution of sentence. In accordance with the provisions of the agreement, the contracting parties will ensure that the extradition system will be based on a mechanism of surrender pursuant to an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant may be issued for acts punishable under the law of the issuing state by a custodial sentence or a detention order for a maximum period of at least 12 months or, where a sentence has been passed or a detention order has been made, for sentences of at least four months. The procedure for concluding this agreement began in 2001, but for various reasons, including the many changes that have occurred in related policy areas and in the structure of the European Union itself, it is only now possible to complete the procedure for the conclusion of the agreement following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I support the conclusion of this agreement, which aims to improve the surrender procedure between the Member States of the European Union and Norway and Iceland, for the purpose of the prosecution or execution of sentence. It should, therefore, ensure that the extradition system among the contracting parties is founded on a mechanism of surrender pursuant to an arrest warrant, which must be issued for acts punishable under the law of the issuing Member State by a custodial sentence or a detention order for a maximum period of at least 12 months or, where a sentence has been passed or a detention order has been made, for sentences of at least four months. In short, with this agreement, the provisions already in place among Member States are only being expanded to these two countries, which seems very positive to me, given the privileged relationships that both countries, who are members of Schengen, have with the European Union. I fully share the concerns expressed by the rapporteur, Mr Tavares, regarding the possibility that there could be a partial waiver on dual criminality.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this recommendation as I believe the agreement will contribute to improving the surrender procedure between the Member States of the European Union and Norway and Iceland, for the purposes of prosecution or execution of sentence. As Norway and Iceland already transpose a significant proportion of European legislation, there was no sense in preventing these countries from acceding to provisions that are already in place among EU Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The draft Council decision is aimed at concluding, on behalf of the European Union, an agreement with Norway on the surrender procedures between the Member States of the Union and Iceland and Norway, which was signed on 28 June 2006 but has not yet been formally concluded. This agreement is aimed at improving the surrender procedure for the purposes of prosecution or execution of a sentence, under the terms of the Convention on Extradition of 27 September 1996. Under the terms of the agreement, the contracting parties must ensure that the extradition mechanism operates on the basis of a prior arrest warrant. Given that the agreement under consideration merely extends to Norway and Iceland – at the request of these two countries – provisions that are already in place among the EU Member States, there are no significant reasons to object.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The recommendation under consideration, by Mr Tavares, concerns the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway on the surrender procedure between the Member States of the European Union and Iceland and Norway. In the context of the European arrest warrant, the extradition process within the EU has been replaced by a surrender procedure, as the Council has decided to extend this process to the Schengen countries. Subsequently, the Presidency of the Council has negotiated agreements with Norway and Iceland on judicial cooperation in criminal matters and surrender procedures.

Pursuant to Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, this agreement can only be concluded once it has been adopted by Parliament. As such, and considering that the agreement only extends to the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway the provisions in force in the Member States, I agree with the rapporteur’s proposals.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) In July 2001, the Council authorised the Council Presidency, assisted by the European Commission, to start negotiating agreements on mutual legal assistance and the surrender procedure with Norway and Iceland. The mission statement was updated in 2002 after it was agreed that extradition within the EU would be replaced by a surrender procedure under the European arrest warrant. Despite the decision not to link the European arrest warrant to Schengen, the Council agreed that it would be useful to apply the surrender procedure model to the Schengen countries, given their privileged partnership with the EU Member States. The Council may adopt a decision concluding the agreement only after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament. This agreement is aimed at improving the surrender procedure between the Member States and Norway and Iceland for the purpose of the prosecution or execution of sentence. In accordance with the provisions of the agreement, the contracting parties will ensure that the extradition system will be based on a mechanism of surrender pursuant to the European arrest warrant. Insofar as this agreement merely extends to Norway and Iceland – at the request of these two countries – provisions that are already in place among EU Member States, there is, in my opinion, no reason for concern. It is, however, necessary and essential to go further in the area of procedural rights, in order to provide citizens with a robust array of rights to go together with the use of the European arrest warrant, thus providing guarantees of civil liberties and public trust in this instrument.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Both Norway and Iceland are close neighbours of my own country, Scotland, and there are strong economic and cultural ties between our countries. Strong judicial ties between our countries are important and I accordingly voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I consented because the agreement is aimed at improving the surrender procedure between the Member States and Norway and Iceland for the purpose of prosecution or execution of sentence, taking account of the terms of the Convention of 27 September 1996 relating to extradition between the Member States of the EU as minimum standards. In accordance with the provisions of the agreement, the contracting parties will ensure that the extradition system will be based on a mechanism of surrender pursuant to an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant may be issued for acts punishable by the law of the issuing state by a custodial sentence or detention order for a maximum period of at least 12 months or, where a sentence has been passed or a detention order has been made, for sentences of at least four months.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) This agreement is aimed at improving the surrender procedure between the Member States and Norway and Iceland for the purpose of the prosecution or execution of sentence, by taking account of the terms of the Convention of 27 September 1996 relating to extradition between the Member States of the EU as minimum standards.

In accordance with the provisions of the agreement, the contracting parties will ensure that the extradition system will be based on a mechanism of surrender pursuant to the European arrest warrant. An arrest warrant may be issued for acts punishable by the law of the issuing state by a custodial sentence or a detention order for a maximum period of at least 12 months or, where a sentence has been passed or a detention order has been made, for sentences of at least four months.

It is necessary to go further in the area of procedural rights in order to provide citizens with a robust array of rights to go together with the use of the European arrest warrant, thus providing guarantees to civil liberties and public trust in this instrument.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I had some doubts about this proposal but, in the end, voted for it. Insofar as this agreement merely extends to Norway and Iceland – at the request of these two countries – provisions that are already in place among EU Member States, I see no reason to object. However, I am of the opinion that the European arrest warrant must be the object of an evaluation in order to respond to public concerns on possible abuses or defects of this instrument. In particular, I have concerns that the partial waiver on dual criminality may lead to problems.

This waiver, as framed by Article 3(4) of the agreement, creates the possibility of arrest and surrender for practices that do not constitute a crime in both countries concerned. A case in point is the possibility of waiving double-verification of criminality concerning ‘facilitation of unauthorised entry and residence’. I am of the opinion that the parties concerned should exercise restraint on such waivers of double-criminality verification in order to avoid arrests and surrenders for minor offences.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) This agreement is very important, since it is aimed at improving the surrender procedure between the Member States and Norway and Iceland for the purpose of the prosecution or execution of sentence, taking account of the terms of the Convention of 27 September 1996 relating to extradition between the Member States of the EU as minimum standards. In accordance with the provisions of the agreement, the contracting parties will ensure that the extradition system is based on a mechanism of surrender pursuant to an arrest warrant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – It has become known that the report intends to recommend the consent of the EP – according to the Lisbon Treaty – to the conclusion of the agreement between the EU, Iceland and Norway on procedures for the surrender of persons. The agreement applies the surrender procedure defined in the European arrest warrant to Iceland and Norway, thus simplifying extradition procedures between the EU and these two third countries that have acceded to part of the Schengen acquis. I voted ‘in favour’.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I am glad that, following lengthy negotiations, it has been possible to reach an agreement with Norway and Iceland on judicial cooperation in criminal matters and surrender procedures. The parties concluding this agreement have expressed their mutual confidence in the structure and functioning of their legal systems and in the ability to guarantee a fair trial. I welcome this resolution because, once it has entered into force, the agreement will improve the surrender procedure for the purpose of prosecution or execution of sentence. In accordance with the provisions of the agreement, the extradition system will be based on a mechanism of surrender pursuant to an arrest warrant. I believe that this agreement will improve judicial cooperation in criminal matters without prejudice to the rules protecting individual freedom, and that an environment will be created for closer cooperation in combating crime.

 
  
MPphoto