Index 
 Previous 
 Next 
 Full text 
Procedure : 2011/2723(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Select a document: :

Texts tabled :

B7-0475/2011

Debates :

PV 13/09/2011 - 19
CRE 13/09/2011 - 19

Votes :

PV 14/09/2011 - 7.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0383

Debates
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

8. Explanations of vote
Video of the speeches
PV
  

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (A7-0273/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, energy is a commodity that is traded in line with all manner of other commodities. Nevertheless, the energy market has a few peculiar characteristics that we need to take into account. We are still in the process of developing a competitive internal market for energy. There are obscure and unreasonable trading practices and this damages competition and causes violent price fluctuations to the detriment of undertakings and consumers.

It is therefore good that we have today adopted the Chatzimarkakis report, but I would like to say that this is not the end of the matter. We need to create a well-functioning, transparent internal market for energy services that will enable consumers to obtain the benefits of not only having the most energy-friendly, but also the most price-friendly energy distributed to their households.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Roberta Angelilli (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, firstly I would like to congratulate my colleague on the work he has carried out. It is important to draw up a legislative framework to regulate the wholesale electricity and gas market. The European Union is based on the principle of a free, transparent and unimpeded market that is wholly designed to safeguard consumers and micro-enterprises as final beneficiaries.

It is well known that unfair behaviour has an adverse effect on prices, and for this reason it is right to prohibit market abuse in the form of insider trading or market manipulation.

I also commend the proposal to create an agency for the cooperation of national regulatory authorities as a fundamental instrument for monitoring market transactions, and the intention to establish a European register of market participants.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marek Józef Gróbarczyk (ECR).(PL) Mr President, I decided to support the report as it has a significant impact on the level of energy prices, in particular on the budget of individual consumers. However, it should be stressed that the best remedy as far as pricing is concerned is healthy competition, above all competition between suppliers of the raw materials needed for energy production. A lack of diversification in the supply of raw materials, particularly supplies of gas, restricts and limits the control of energy producers and the possibility of influencing prices. This is the case in post-communist countries where gas supplies are still dominated by Russia. Construction of the Northern Gas Pipeline will only exacerbate the situation. If proper diversification does not take place, the monitoring agency will have no alternative but to serve the interests of Gazprom.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Sergej Kozlík (ALDE). - (SK) Mr President, almost 10 years since the piecemeal liberalisation of the energy and gas markets it has become clear that the energy exchanges that were set up and the agreements on OTC markets, which have become ubiquitous, are not protected against attempts to manipulate the markets or insider trading. Liberalisation of the energy markets was held up as a necessary measure to reduce the cost of electricity and gas to consumers. In reality prices have risen and energy poverty has become a permanent feature of the liberalisation process. The proposal for special regulation of energy markets acknowledges the special nature of these markets and proposes applying the same rules on abusing the market and insider trading which are used on the financial markets. That is why I supported this draft regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Adam Bielan (ECR).(PL) Mr President, dishonest practices in the energy markets are contributing significantly to high energy prices and the resulting financial situation of end-users, which means our citizens and businesses. At the same time, they are reducing the confidence of potential investors. In my opinion, the provisions of the regulation should mitigate abuses and manipulation in the wholesale trade of energy products. I agree with the need to prohibit the exploitation of inside information for the purposes of trading on one’s own account. I am also very much in favour of the standardisation of sanctions in the context of price manipulation.

Under the leadership of the recently constituted Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, transactions relating to the sale of energy products are gaining greater transparency. The system of cooperation between the Agency and national regulatory organs set forth in the regulation makes the process of detecting and eradicating violations of EU law or financial irregularities more efficient. I am expecting the new regulations to improve the stability of wholesale energy markets, so I support this draft resolution.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alajos Mészáros (PPE). (HU) Mr President, the regulation on energy market integrity and transparency creates an EU legal framework to prevent market abuses and manipulations in the wholesale energy market. The purpose of the liberalisation thus introduced was to create the conditions for the internal market by 2014. Liberalisation, however, has not achieved its purpose, energy prices have not become standardised, prices have increased, and their variability has increased, too.

In my opinion, we can achieve the stabilisation and standardisation of energy market prices by suppressing unfair practices, thereby improving on the current situation of end users. Wholesale contracts, however, are easy to purchase and sell on, and therefore are more vulnerable to market manipulations.

This is another reason why we need more effective market control. We must create an EU register of market players from the national registers, and also provide the relevant authorities access to it. For this reason I too voted in favour of this proposal.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). - Mr President, I support this regulation aimed at avoiding market manipulation and insider trading. If it works it would be good for consumers in terms of energy prices, but the energy challenge for Europe is great. We are significant importers of energy.

I would like to draw attention to a problem which has arisen in my own Member State about agreeing a REFIT tariff (Renewable Energy Feed in Tariffs) for the renewable energy sector. We are losing significant investment internally in the country due to the absence of an agreement on this issue, which the Commission is aware of and the Member State is pursuing. I hope it is resolved to the benefit of the sector very shortly.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mario Pirillo (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the gas and electricity market is an instrument for driving economic growth and job creation, crucial factors in restoring the Union’s competitive edge and enabling it to overcome the crisis without delay. We must therefore prevent abuse and manipulation of the market, where monitoring and the application of penalties, along with the prohibition of insider trading, are a national responsibility.

The recent introduction of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) enables market transactions to be monitored, and the national and European registers of market participants make it possible to register transactions in wholesale energy products, thereby promoting transparency. Today’s vote, which is the result of close cooperation between the Polish Presidency, the Commission and Parliament, has laid the foundations for a more transparent market that safeguards consumer interests.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE). - (LT) Mr President, the regulation on energy market integrity and transparency is particularly important for the European Union given the process of the liberalisation of the gas and electricity markets. In this context it is important to focus on one aspect. In order to ensure that a single and transparent energy market can function in the European Union, we must make sure that the rules we adopt are applied to all EU energy market operators uniformly and without exception, regardless of their true origin. Market surveillance authorities should ensure that we establish the identity of the end-entities behind transactions and make them subject to EU legislation. Unfortunately, until now there have been situations in which in some Member States entities from third countries, above all Gazprom, enjoy a dominant position or even a monopoly, but because they not only do this directly but also through companies they control, they are not subject to the rules that ensure market transparency. Therefore while welcoming this report, I call on the Commission to further improve the rules regulating the European Union’s energy market.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Seán Kelly (PPE). - Mr President, like my colleagues I was pleased to vote in favour of this regulation but because the regulation was voted on as a single vote we were unable to express our concerns regarding Article 13 which could lead to a constitutional issue for Ireland because there is a potential dilution there of the separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary. For that reason, Ireland would probably insert a declaration with the text of Recital 23 which refers to the application of penalties in accordance with national law. That is very important.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Hannan (ECR). - Mr President, ‘This is the midnight – let no star Delude us – dawn is very far. This is the tempest long foretold, Slow to make head but sure to hold’. The markets are now pricing in a 98% likelihood of a massive default in Greece and we have spent this morning in the House jamming our fingers in our ears and humming Beethoven’s Ninth. The assumptions on which European integration has rested are crumbling. Big is not beautiful. National differences cannot be eradicated. Harmonisation does not lead to prosperity.

It is not just the European assumptions that are crumbling: it is the whole Keynesian edifice on which they rest. All those men who think of themselves as practical, but are in fact slaves to some long-defunct economist, are now finding that their elite system is in ruins. You cannot spend your way to growth. You cannot increase consumption without producing anything, at least not in the long term. You cannot debase a currency without consequences, and you cannot keep borrowing forever. And if you try to do those things, what happens? You are about to find out!

 
  
  

Report: Eva Lichtenberger (A7-0249/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, I am proud to be able to say that I come from a country with a history of implementing the directives adopted at European Union level as quickly as possible. That is a distinct objective in Denmark. However, it creates a huge problem in relation to competition, particularly for Danish agriculture, where we can see that numerous countries in our Union choose the protectionist path and decide to implement the directives a long time after they have been adopted.

A community cannot operate on such terms. It is therefore good that we have taken this step today with Ms Lichtenberger’s report. We call on the Commission to propose a clear procedural law which requires the Commission to lay down binding time-limits for compliance with the rulings of the European Court of Justice by the Member States and to give EU citizens a response in connection with infringement procedures as soon as possible and in an appropriate manner.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Roberta Angelilli (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it is the duty of the public authorities to legislate in the interests of citizens in order to achieve a number of objectives: to ensure a fair and competitive market, to safeguard health, to provide security, to stimulate innovation and to protect the environment.

It is the duty of the Member States to transpose EU legislation swiftly and accurately, for the benefit of citizens; however, there are still a large number of infringements, especially in relation to the recognition of professional qualifications, services and public tenders, resulting in the submission of many petitions reporting non-observance of EU rules.

That is why the ‘EU pilot’ project launched in 2008 is useful: it has reduced the time taken to examine infringements, and thus enabled those countries that have shown a willingness to cooperate and take part in this project to avoid having to resort to infringement proceedings and financial penalties.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David Campbell Bannerman (ECR). - Mr President, many people have no idea how much national legislation emanates from the European Union. In the UK, it is estimated that there are now 100 000 laws, regulations, directives and decisions which come from the EU and have been imposed on the country. It is estimated that this collective legal burden, known as corpus juris, costs between 4% and 10% of annual wealth in Britain. It is also estimated that the cost of such over-regulation is EUR 600 billion a year across the EU, and GBP 118 billion within the UK. Surely it is time to turn off this legislative sausage machine.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Hannan (ECR). - Mr President, let me remind the House one more time of Article 125 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which states that the Union shall not be liable or assume responsibility for the debts of a Member State or a public body within a Member State. Neither shall any other Member State.

We all seem to have forgotten that and yet, until a couple of months ago, nobody was seriously trying to argue that this policy of massive bail-outs was legal. Now not only have the EU institutions themselves connived in this flagrant disregard for what the dots and commas of the Treaty specify, but our national legal systems are also being made to collude in the deceit. Like the ancient mariner’s crewmates, they are making themselves accomplices in the crime.

When a political system departs from the rule of law it de-legitimises itself. A polity that is ruling arbitrarily, that is not following the rule book, forfeits the allegiance of its citizens.

 
  
  

Report: Judith Sargentini (A7-0245/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Clemente Mastella (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we welcome the adoption of this report, which seeks to implement one of the fundamental objectives of the Treaty of Lisbon: the creation of a new institutional framework to ensure transparency within the European institutions.

With a view to creating an open, efficient and independent European administration, it is vital to guarantee European citizens a firm right of access to documents of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of all kinds. Indeed, we regard transparency as an essential part of participatory democracy, being complementary to representative democracy, on which the functioning of the Union is based, allowing citizens to participate in decision-making and to exert public scrutiny, and thus ensuring the legitimacy of a democratic political system. We cannot remain insensitive to our citizens’ calls for more democracy, transparency, openness of institutions and of political actors, and for a stronger, more targeted fight against corruption.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, even though we (most of us) have a common European cause to fight for and even though our EU institutions are also an expression of the fight for a common European cause, politics is to a large extent a question of power struggles. When we have these power struggles it is very important – if it is to be possible for them to be conducted on an equal basis and on equal terms – that we have the same access to documents.

I am therefore pleased that we have adopted this report today, and I am particularly pleased that the report focuses on establishing common rules for the classification of documents. After all, ensuring transparency and providing access to documents and access to information is the only way that we can ensure that we have a proper democratic process and that the natural political struggles for power are conducted on equal terms.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (PPE). - Mr President, I supported the report that calls for enhanced access to documents because enhanced transparency is crucial to enable citizen participation in, and democratic scrutiny of, the European decision-making process. I am glad that there was a broad consensus in the European Parliament that much more needs to be done to increase transparency in the legislative process while ensuring data protection.

With the Stockholm Programme we committed ourselves to creating a real area of freedom and rights for our citizens. Transparency and accountability represent a good step in that direction. Now we should really move forward speedily with a new regulation. It is about time we got to work on it.

The new legislation should be simple, user-friendly and easy to understand for all citizens. It is important to focus on public access to information and not just on sharing information between European institutions. We should not ‘protect’ citizens from too much information or confusing information. They should choose when, if and what they want to know.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Salvatore Iacolino (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt that the measure we have endorsed and approved today is a decisive step towards making institutional acts more accessible, and represents one more reason not only to ensure their transparency, but also to establish an appropriate equilibrium between the right of access to these very acts, and privacy, which in any case must be guaranteed with regard to facts and situations that bear no relation to the need for due participation in institutional decision-making.

We can better scrutinise the use of EU funds by being more informed than we were in the past, and any refusals must always be justified. This must be accompanied by a step forward in the training of officials and accessibility of acts that also provides an element of justice for European citizens.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D).(PL) Mr President, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak. I also supported the report on public access to documents, as I think did most of my colleagues. This is one of those rights of European Union citizens which directly follows from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

However, I would like to stress that the classification of documents as public, confidential or secret has a very substantial effect on the practical application of the right of access to these documents. The Member States are very often overcautious in assigning a classification. This is why I would like to ask the Commission and the Council to investigate common principles for the classification of documents in the EU, as in my opinion this will have a significant impact on whether it will be a law solely on paper or whether citizens will be able to apply it in real life. Thank you.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Adam Bielan (ECR).(PL) Mr President, my group, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, supports greater transparency of European institutions and the ability to access as many documents as possible. Transparency is a general principle and one of the fundamental rights of citizens of the EU. In association with the right to proper administration, it is also an excellent method for its control. Documents relating to international agreements should also be available for public access. Therefore, I agree with the call for EU institutions to draw up clear rules governing freedom of information, based on current jurisprudence and treaties. Internet broadcasts of the work of Parliament at plenary level as well as committee meetings are good practice. Any restriction in access to documents in the process of being drawn up may be treated as a manifestation of blocking public access to information. As citizens’ representatives we should play a leading part in activities relating to the openness of our work and public access to it. That is why I support the resolution.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE). - (FI) Mr President, keynote addresses always stress the importance of transparency in the work of the EU. Unfortunately, the everyday reality is often different.

The EU regulation on the transparency of documents lays down strict deadlines for handling documents. It is bewildering that not even the Commission keeps to these deadlines, which is evident, for example, from the Porsche case.

In many cases, delays have resulted in the Court of Justice of the European Union starting to hear a case, and when a reply has been received from the Commission, the case has been abandoned, although it has cost money and people have gone to a lot of trouble over it.

The EU’s regulation on transparency is being amended, but, unfortunately, this proposal by the Commission will take us in the opposite direction. Hopefully, there will be more transparency, because it is an important component of democracy.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Hannan (ECR). - Mr President, yesterday I quoted my countryman Jonathan Swift on the subject of bank runs, but I think the condition of EU documentation and lawmaking would have defied the parodic powers even of Jonathan Swift. You may remember that when Gulliver goes to Lilliput it is explained to him by one of the Lilliputians that it is a rule there that no law should be so long or so complicated that a common man cannot understand it.

What, I wonder, would he have made of a typical day’s voting in this House? All of us know, although we do not like to admit it in front of our constituents, that you cannot possibly be on top of more than two or three of the documents that we vote on in any given session. There simply is not the time available in the day. In fact, we have elevated this scrambling of documentation into a ruling doctrine. When we turned the Constitution into the Treaty of Lisbon its chief author, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, cheerfully admitted that lawyers had gone through the text with the sole purpose of rendering it ‘illisible’: unreadable.

What does it tell you about a political system when it dare not express its purposes? How can it expect loyalty from its citizens when it will not express itself clearly?

 
  
  

Report: Andrew Duff (A7-0240/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, it is rather splendid that we are laying down some new procedures for the hearings of Commissioners here in Parliament. However, this will not solve the real problem faced by Europe, namely that the Commission is far too weak in relation the Member States. I think that the debates that have been held on the subject of Schengen, border control and the situation with regard to the debt crises in many of the European Member States on account of their inability to comply with the Stability Pact, are evidence that we have a Commission that is far too weak.

It would therefore have been much more logical if today we had taken up the debate as to whether the President of the Commission should not be appointed by the European Parliament so that he or she would always be held accountable for the European idea instead of being accountable to some strong and some less strong Heads of State or Government in the individual Member States, because what we need in this crisis situation in which we find ourselves right now is not less EU, but more EU.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Seán Kelly (PPE). - Mr President, I also welcome these proposals because it is good that we look at what we are doing and try and improve it. Certainly there is an element of this here.

I attended as many as I could of the hearings for the Commissioners last year. I think most of them were quite satisfactory, but one in particular was very unfair to the lady in question. The questions were repetitive, personal and certainly not in accordance with giving fair play to the person involved. She did not become a Commissioner subsequently.

It is important that we get the best possible Commissioners. In that light, I just want to refer briefly to a suggestion made by Commissioner Oettinger about flying flags at half mast for countries with excessive deficits. This was ill-thought and ill-judged, and I would entreat him to withdraw those remarks with all possible haste.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Hannan (ECR). - Mr President, thank you for your kind words.

It is sometimes said that the European Commission is undemocratic in that none of its members is elected, but actually I find that it is rather more than that. Uniquely in the western world we have contrived a system which is anti-democratic, in the sense that you generally have to have lost an election before you are appointed to the European Commission.

If I think of the British appointees over the years – Chris Patten, Neil Kinnock, Peter Mandelson – it was only when they had been expressly rejected by their constituents that they were invited to come and legislate for them at European level.

I think of the career of our current UK Commissioner, Baroness Ashton, who has never once in her entire life taken the trouble to present herself to her fellow countrymen and ask for their support in an election. She is a product of the British quango state, having flitted from bureaucracy to bureaucracy, becoming an appointed peer and then arriving here.

Is it any wonder that a system based around this insulation from public opinion should be so contemptuous of democracy when, for example, a referendum goes the wrong way?

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution - B7-0478/2011

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Roberta Angelilli (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the European Union has always defended and encouraged multilateralism, especially within the WTO which is a guarantor of economic governance and the regulated liberalisation of the global market.

I hope that the difficulties encountered this year, the differences which emerged over the content of the package to be tabled in December, can be resolved, or at least that a consensus can be reached on the specific topics it contains. There are important issues such as services, the protection of intellectual property and, in particular, greater protection of geographical indications, trade facilitation and non-tariff barriers.

I hope in any case that the Doha Development Agenda negotiations will not be wound up hastily, thereby sacrificing all those aspirations which over the years have not achieved consensus. We need to have stronger and more dynamic multilateralism than is currently the case.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Gianluca Susta (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, almost 10 years have passed since the Doha Round began. In two months’ time we will be marking its 10-year anniversary, but it has still not achieved any results. The global setting has changed profoundly. Countries which were considered to be developing countries have now become emerging countries, and today those countries are emerging even to the point where they are able to put themselves forward as saviours of the European Union or of certain Member States.

The rules of global trade need to be rewritten. Trade still has extraordinary potential to promote growth, better distribute wealth around the world and rebalance the North and South of the world. Within the multilateral framework, all of this has remained unchanged, but we need the chance to renew reciprocity between countries too, and we also need to launch and contribute a new process to strengthen democracy within the World Trade Organisation which is unable to function properly in its current form.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). - Mr President, I would like in particular to refer to paragraph 13 of the Doha resolution, which specifically deals with a relatively new problem the world faces, namely food security. Certainly it is now on the political agenda whereas perhaps ten years ago, at the outset of Doha, it was not. We need our multilateral agreements, should they ever prevail, to take account of the issue of food security. There are many in this House who have concerns about the inclusion of agriculture in the Doha Round in the context of the world trade system.

However, we would also have concerns about the proliferation of bilateral trade agreements. Here I refer to paragraph 12 of the resolution, which urges us to look again at the situation of the BRIC countries. Their fortunes have changed and their place in the world is different from what it used to be; this may indeed – as the resolution suggests – render the original objectives of the Doha Round impossible to attain.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Cristiana Muscardini (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, with regard to Doha, not only is there no agreement, but it is now obsolete and a failure. We call on Europe to adopt a strong position – something Parliament called for during the last parliamentary term – and for structural changes to be made to the WTO. The economic crisis, which is global, cannot wait any longer for a Doha agreement which has sorely tested us for 10 years and which we know will never be supported by many countries.

This is why we are calling on Parliament, the Commission and the Council to be more resolute with regard to the request to follow up on Parliament’s position during the last parliamentary term: a new method of functioning for the WTO, structural reform, a real step forwards in order to allow for the internationalisation of SMEs and the recovery of the economy.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). - Mr President, we are now three months away from the next round of negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda and it is already very clear that no substantial progress will be made.

Let us recall that ten years ago at the launch of these negotiations we were told that these would be win-win negotiations. That whole idea, that win-win scenario, has been a lie from the start in my view. The deadlock in the negotiations underlines the fact that development and poverty eradication are not compatible with the interests of the major players in the global economy, particularly in the case of this deep economic crisis. The WTO has never been, and will not become, an organisation that facilitates trade in the interests of workers and small farmers. It is an undemocratic institution that primarily represents the interests of the major corporations. Its policies have resulted in privatisation, lower labour standards and an increase in exploitation.

The WTO has failed the test of the Doha Development Agenda. It should be abolished and replaced by a system based on genuine global solidarity and cooperation between peoples. That means tackling the dictatorship of the markets and planning the economy on people’s needs.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Syed Kamall (ECR). - Mr President, one of the best ways to help development and to help those in poorer countries is to help the entrepreneurs in those countries who create wealth for their local communities; and one of the ways to help them is to make sure that we have open markets so that entrepreneurs from the poorer countries can compete and have access to world markets as well as access to the goods and services that we currently enjoy.

Why should it only be we in the West, or in the Northern hemisphere, who enjoy the very best goods and services? It is a shame that our progress in this area keeps getting stuck, and most of the lack of movement tends to be on agriculture. It is a pity that we seem to be in a situation where we have to unlock agriculture before we unlock manufacturing before we unlock services, although services account for a very large percentage of GDP. It is also a shame that we seem to be focusing mostly on bilateral agreements – which may not necessarily undermine the multilateral process, but I think it is important that we continue to move towards multilateralism.

If this does not work, we should bear in mind the work of Professor Razeen Sally who said that 50 countries, or 25 if one counts the EU as one trade block, account for 80% of world trade and a greater share of FDI. Maybe we should be looking for those countries to go for a plurilateral agreement.

 
  
  

Report: Sajjad Karim (A7-0251/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, when it comes to reducing the administrative burden for our enterprises it is a bit like the weather: everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it.

Politicians like us have a tendency to think we know what a good life is and we think we know how best to run a business. In the current crisis situation in Europe there is also a discussion going on in many Member States to the effect that we should implement a ‘pick the winner’ strategy, in other words that it should be us politicians who define what the right type of production is.

That is absolutely not the way forward. The best thing that we can do to reduce the burden on enterprises is to focus in a targeted manner on getting the internal market to function properly in areas where this is not happening, so that our enterprises have one large market, because our greatest challenge in Europe is that we perhaps have the world’s largest economy, but our market is far too small.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the Treaty of Lisbon introduced countless innovations, including one which in my view deserves greater attention: the Protocol on the role of national parliaments. In the Protocol, national parliaments are called upon to actively uphold the principle of subsidiarity during the legislative process.

I voted in favour of this report. Nevertheless, I wish to stress that, so far, very little has been done. Applying this Protocol would meet our citizens’ need, albeit only in part, for democratic legitimacy, and overcome that feeling of remoteness which surrounds the European institutions. I think that a need felt so keenly by our citizens deserves greater attention. I therefore hope that further measures are adopted as soon as possible.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, I voted in favour of the report on better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation with great pleasure, because it puts a key concern of citizens, businesses and, ultimately, also the administrations in the Member States back on the agenda.

What is this committee report about? The central themes of the report are the reduction of administrative costs by 25% and ensuring proper implementation. It is about active cooperation between the Commission and the Member States. It also contains a proposal for equivalent cost offsets, that is to say if additional administrative costs arise in businesses as a result of legislation, these are to be offset. That is a lofty desire. I am also very pleased to have read that this smart regulation will continue to be the task of the European institutions in the Member States. A progress report is scheduled for 2012.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David Campbell Bannerman (ECR). - Mr President, I commend my colleague, Sajjad Karim, on a sensible report that takes us back in the right direction. The emphasis on subsidiarity is correct. 90% of the British economy has nothing to do with trade with the EU, and 80% of that economy is trade within the UK, but we have to apply all of these EU laws – 100 000 of them.

On better legislation, the Agency Workers Directive, which will shortly be coming into force, is a disaster for Britain because, in the UK, we have a far more flexible workforce, which is vital to our prosperity and to our recovery. The question is why, when 80% of agency workers are in the UK, the EU should have any role in this legislation at all. The same is true of the dreadful Fund Managers Directive, where again 80% of fund managers are only in the UK. The lesson is this: overregulation destroys jobs, and we need less regulation now.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Guido Milana (S&D).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the single market, the freedom of movement and the Treaty of Lisbon are all elements which came about irrespective of changes to our method – either the European method or the national method – of lawmaking. We need to act on the commitments made in the light of these opportunities. In particular, we need to truly initiate a phase to simplify the legislative system, a simplification phase which must lead to a different kind of dialogue between Europe and the individual States.

I would start precisely with our documents, and I would take this opportunity to suggest a kind of clarity test for our documents. When we draw up a white paper or a green paper, everything should be more understandable, and I would say that, in order to truly launch this virtuous phase of introducing legislation, the real, perhaps strategic proposal for our Europe, is to give particular responsibility to a European Commissioner who would have the specific task of clarifying legislation and relations between the States and Europe itself.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Anna Záborská (PPE). - (SK) Mr President, I supported the report, but allow me to point out one important fact. The Treaty of Lisbon confers greater powers on national parliaments. This element of subsidiarity must be more effectively used. That is why I am in favour of evaluating the form this collaboration will take. If it turns out to bring little benefit, it should be re-evaluated. Above all, the present timescales within which national parliaments can exercise their right to reply and protest against breaches of the principle of subsidiarity need to be changed. Because the flip side of subsidiarity is centralisation, and one effect of centralisation is that effective democracy, people’s ability to influence how the issues affecting them directly are resolved, is lost. To a certain extent our discussion earlier today on the financial crisis and the future of the euro was inconsistent with the principle of subsidiarity. The majority of our colleagues, including the President of the European Commission, were in favour of community-wide decision making, rather than decision making by the European Council.

 
  
  

Report: Willy Meyer (A7-0232/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Clemente Mastella (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon confirmed the right to petition the European Parliament as one of the cornerstones of European citizenship. This fundamental tool allows citizens to bring before Parliament their concerns over the impact of various EU policies and legislation on their everyday lives.

However, an analysis of the various statistics shows that, for those petitions declared inadmissible, this is mainly because petitioners continue to confuse the European and national competences. This shows that efforts must be stepped up to better inform citizens of what the right of petition is all about.

Furthermore, we intend to stress once again the need to create a Europe-wide one-stop shop to provide advice for citizens who consider that their rights have been infringed. This remains, in our view, a very important objective which we need to achieve extremely quickly.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, this year it is exactly 25 years since the adoption of the EC package on the internal market. It was an EC package that was intended to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons.

In Denmark where I come from there is currently an election campaign going on, and the election is tomorrow. If the socialist opposition comes to power, the government will introduce a requirement for young people who choose to leave Denmark to train after completing their education to pay back their educational grant. In other words, they will create a new Berlin Wall, where they not only want to control whether people come in across the border, but they clearly also want to prevent people going out into the wider world.

I hope that these young people will use our Committee on Petitions to ensure that their freedom of movement will also be ensured in the European Union in the future.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I can only endorse the text of this report. Mr Meyer has rightly highlighted the need to create a European one-stop shop. The creation of such facilities remains the main goal yet to be achieved.

However, the statistics in the report clearly show that there is a significant lack of information at European level, not only with regard to the public’s right of petition, but also in terms of the so-called informal mechanisms. For example, SOLVIT has shown that it works properly, swiftly and effectively, but this has not changed the fact that our fellow citizens only marginally avail themselves of this service.

I wonder whether it would not be more appropriate to organise a media campaign at European level on these topics instead of merely improving the Parliament website, which is an important communication tool, but which does not reach every citizen at the moment.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, as coordinator for the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), I have, of course, voted in favour of this report, but on the other hand I have also followed with interest the points of criticism raised in the debate in Parliament. There are essentially two points of criticism. The first is that the influence of the Charter of Fundamental Rights on the work of the Committee on Petitions is still not duly recognised in this report. The second is that the question of ownership rights or free access to property in the European Union for EU citizens has not yet been optimally or satisfactorily clarified and the competence of the committee is still not clear.

I can at this point only give my assurance that we intend to deal with precisely these two issues this year in the Committee on Petitions. I would ask my fellow Members to have a little patience. The next annual report will then contain something about both of these matters.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). - Mr President, I would just pick up on this and thank Peter Jahr for those clarifying comments on two very important issues on which the Committee on Petitions has worked but has not reached a conclusion. I would suggest that where there is a specific large problem affecting many citizens, perhaps we could look at setting up a special temporary committee of inquiry. It worked with Equitable Life – it took a long time to get results but at least it did have an effect.

Can I also say that the first port of call for many citizens when they have a problem with the European Union or indeed back home, is their MEP, and some MEPs are more accessible than others. We would direct where appropriate our citizens to the Committee on Petitions. There also is the Pilot projects initiative which works between the Commission and the Member State. While I have had some good experience where this works effectively, I do not think it is open or transparent enough because I have had another experience where nothing happened and we had to go to the Ombudsman. So, much good work has been done, but there is more to do.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jim Higgins (PPE). - Mr President, I welcome the report in that it is a long overdue forensic analysis of the scope, powers and relevance of the Committee on Petitions. One of the problems that we constantly refer to is the perception that Europe and the EU project are remote from our 500 million citizens, and one vital instrument in addressing that particular deficit and bridging the gap is the Petitions Committee, where individuals or communities can come before the Committee, have their grievances heard and hopefully redressed.

The statistics speak for themselves. In 2010, 1 655 petitions were received. I welcome in particular recital F. I have had tremendous success thanks to the Committee in highlighting neglect by two local authorities in Ireland – one in respect of flooding, the other in respect of road surfaces which led to deaths – and getting action.

Secondly, I welcome recital L which highlights the lack of action on the part of Member States. We have to make citizens more aware of the Committee on Petitions. It is a very useful instrument.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Seán Kelly (PPE). (GA) Mr President, as my colleagues said, this committee is without doubt one of the best committees in Parliament and does a lot of work. I saw that myself. They listen very well to people and they make good decisions.

As an example of that, Mr Higgins – as he referred to a few minutes ago – was involved in dealing with a petition relating to some roadside accidents that led to mortalities. They could not get any movement in Ireland and came here basically as a last port of call because of bureaucratic regulations, intransigent State agencies and so forth. They came here and they got some semblance of justice.

The same applied to the Haulbowline toxic dump site. Nothing was happening in Ireland. It was passed from Billy to Jack for a number of years. The Committee on Petitions heard it and there was progress within 30 days, so certainly we should celebrate what is good.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution - B7-0475/2011

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Roberta Angelilli (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the right to decent housing is enshrined in numerous international treaties on human rights, including Article 34 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

I believe that a lack of housing is a direct infringement of a person’s physical and moral integrity, because the right to housing is a person’s fundamental right, as well as the foundation on which to enjoy all other social rights.

On this basis, I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on an EU homelessness strategy, a goal which is, moreover, included in the EU 2020 strategy, which provides for the use of the European Regional Development Fund to finance social-housing construction. Last but not least, it is important to promote quality services and to develop voluntary services to support homeless people.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Sergej Kozlík (ALDE). - (SK) Mr President, the main aim of the EU 2020 strategy is to protect at least 20 million people from the threat of povery and social exclusion. It has given new impetus to the struggle against all forms of poverty and social exclusion, including homelessness. That is why I am in favour of Member States proceeding with the measure to eliminate street sleeping by 2015, including the proposal to draw up an ambitious integrated EU strategy based on national and regional strategies which aim to eliminate homelessness over the long term within the framework of broader social inclusion. I also support the European Commission’s call to set up a working group for an EU homelessness strategy.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution - B7-0474/2011

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Rohde (ALDE).(DA) Mr President, combating climate change is, fortunately, always high on the political agenda, even though we have an economic crisis, and that is a good thing. I also believe that here in the European Parliament we can be rather proud of the fact that, with a very broad majority, we have been able to produce some very ambitious plans in connection with our energy strategy and, for that matter, also in the area of energy efficiency, which is one of the best ways of achieving lower CO2 emissions. So, that is all well and good.

Having said that, we also have to admit that there has been a drawback to us having focused so much on CO2. This drawback is the fact that we have perhaps forgotten to direct our attention at other greenhouse gases that also affect the climate. It is therefore good that we ourselves are now recognising that we need a broader focus and it is also good that we are now calling on the Commission to integrate other greenhouse gases into climate policy, so that we take a broad and effective approach.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marek Józef Gróbarczyk (ECR).(PL) Mr President, it is difficult to agree with all the proposals presented in the report which could have a destructive influence on EU enterprises at a time of economic crisis. According to the Kyoto Protocol, individual nations have committed themselves to a reduction in greenhouse gases other than CO2 and this is in process. However, in many countries there are enterprises emitting above-average amounts of toxic gases which are extremely harmful to health. Under the guise of reducing CO2 emissions they are producing gases which are dangerous to humans and animals. Combatting these practices should be a priority of the European Union and this action should be supported.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). - Mr President, I will be brief. I supported this resolution because I think it is important that we raise awareness of not just concentrating on carbon and reducing CO2 emissions. Just to mention that when it comes to energy efficiency as a way of reducing CO2 emissions – which we all believe is the right way to go – we are failing to reach our targets and we really need to redouble our efforts in that respect.

The issue of non-CO2 emissions is significant because it may indeed be a less costly way of tackling climate change. I concur absolutely with paragraph 11 which calls for rigorous global implementation of air pollution regulations. We need global agreement and global implementation.

 
  
  

Written explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Barbara Matera (A7-0279/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report as it rightly supports the workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the 167 redundancies that took place in a multinational enterprise, AT&S, specialising in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs) for mobile telephones during the last quarter of 2009. Of the workers made redundant, 74 will benefit from tailored measures supported by funding from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to a total value of EUR 1.22 million. The fund is there for precisely this purpose: to attend to the most pressing social issues.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of allocating financial assistance to Austria. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been created in order to provide additional assistance to workers suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns. In Austria redundancies have been caused by globalisation and major structural changes in the production of mobile phones and devices, which has been relocated to Asia. Austria indicates that European printed circuit board (PCB) production fell by almost 11% in 2008, compared to decreases of 5.4% in China and 4.8% worldwide. Consequently, in November 2008 AT&S decided to move all of PCB mass production from Leoben to Shanghai, causing 603 redundancies in Leoben between November 2008 and December 2009, and another 200 redundancies following the closure of the AT&S Fohnsdorf site, 50 km from Leoben. We must provide these former employees with assistance.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 in order to provide additional support for workers affected by the consequences of significant changes in the structure of international trade, and to assist with their reintegration into the labour market. Since 1 May 2009, the remit of the EGF has been expanded to include support for workers made redundant as a direct consequence of the economic, financial and social crisis. At this time of severe crisis, one of the principal consequences of which is an increase in unemployment, the EU needs to use all of the means at its disposal to respond, particularly with regard to providing support to those who find themselves without a job from one day to the next. I therefore voted in favour of this report on the mobilisation of the EGF in favour of Austria, with the aim of supporting the workers made redundant from the company AT&S, specialising in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs) in the district of Leoben in the region of Eastern Upper Styria.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of Austria to support the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant due to the global financial and economic crisis. This concerns 167 redundancies (of which 74 targeted for assistance) in the enterprise AT&S specialised in the manufacture of printed circuit boards in the region of Eastern Upper Styria.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this report on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. The provisions contained in the document propose protecting workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the mechanisms employed in the international markets by the phenomenon of globalisation, and are therefore entirely worthy of support. Hence my vote was a positive one.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that Austria has requested assistance for 167 cases of redundancy, 74 of which are potential beneficiaries of assistance, at the company AT&S, specialising in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs), in the district of Leoben, I voted for the resolution, as I agree with the Commission’s proposal and the respective amendments introduced by Parliament. I also agree that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) should include information on complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds, and I would reiterate Parliament’s call for the Commission to also present a comparative evaluation of these data in its annual reports.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Unfortunately, there have been many cases of recourse to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), showing both the impact that this has had on the European economy, and the economic and financial crisis which is plaguing part of the Union. This case concerns an Austrian company manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCBs), which found itself in difficulties, leading to the redundancies of 167 workers. I hope that the funds will be made available to the workers entitled to them as quickly as possible.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The low wage policy practised in some regions, particularly Asia, and specifically China, has not only caused many EU companies to relocate, but has also caused others to go out of business. This situation has come about in Austria, in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs). This report concerns a proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and the Council on the mobilisation of EUR 1 221 128 from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), with the aim of supporting the reintegration of Austrian workers made redundant as a result of the current economic and financial crisis. This application, the seventh to be examined within the framework of the 2011 EU budget, was submitted by Austria on 11 March 2010, and concerns 167 redundancies from the company AT&S, which specialises in the manufacture of PCBs. Given that this involves a specific budgetary instrument, and that the amount requested is legally acceptable and complies with the proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for Austria, I am voting for this proposal, and hope that it contributes to alleviating the economic difficulties of the region’s inhabitants, and to revitalising the local economy.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) In almost all of Parliament’s part-sessions requests for the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) have been adopted. This is a clear sign of the consequences of the prevalent EU policies, but not so much as to provoke a change in them.

This report supports the mobilisation of the EGF in favour of Austria, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This is the seventh application to be examined under the 2011 budget and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 1 221 128 from the EGF for Austria. It concerns 167 redundancies, 74 of which are targeted for assistance, from the company AT&S, which specialises in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs), in the region of Eastern Upper Styria, during the four-month reference period from 1 September to 31 December 2009.

While it is true that the effects of the capitalist crisis have been focused particularly severely on outlying countries, which stems from the capitalist nature of the process of integration and its inherently uneven development, it is also the case, and we should not forget it, that workers are not shielded from these effects in any country.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund was set up to provide additional help for workers who have felt the impact of the big structural changes that the world economy has undergone. Under point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management and Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006, the Fund cannot exceed a maximum of EUR 500 million. On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new draft resolution on mobilising the EGF for Austria to assist workers who have lost their jobs due to the impact of the world financial and economic crisis on the labour market. This is the seventh application that will be considered during the 2011 budget, and it concerns mobilising a total of EUR 1 221 128 from the EGF for Austria.

The measure is for 167 workers (the assistance applies to 74 of them) who were made redundant by AT&S, a specialist in integrated circuit boards located in the east of Upper Styria, for a four month reference period from 1 September 2009 to 31 December 2009. In the view of the Commission their application meets the justification criteria under the EGF Directive and the Commission has recommended that the budgetary authority approve the application.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) I should like to explain my vote in favour of the report. As already emphasised, I share the rapporteur’s pleasure in noting that, for the first time, in the 2011 budget, separate funds have been set aside for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, and that it is not dependent, therefore, on unused funds from other areas. As regards the application relating to the Austrian undertaking, no critical issues have come to light.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE), in writing. I voted for this report because I believe that redundant workers need to be assisted with a package of personalised measures in order to allow them access to retraining and upskilling. This will help to facilitate their re-entry into the labour market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation and to assist them with their reintegration into the labour market. The scope of the EGF was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis. The Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 allows the mobilisation of the EGF within the annual ceiling of EUR 500 million. On 11 March 2010, Austria submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in the enterprise AT&S, which specialises in manufacturing printed circuit boards, in the district of Leoben located in the region of Eastern Upper Styria. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, as laid down in Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006. I therefore welcomed the Commission’s proposal to mobilise an amount of EUR 1 221 128.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted for the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of Austria because I consider that instrument to be a valuable resource for the support of workers in difficulty on account of the economic crisis. At a time of economic crisis like the present, the EGF can be a valuable means of support, and not just for workers in difficulty. Today’s vote concerned an application submitted by Austria in respect of 167 redundancies (of which 74 were targeted for assistance from the Fund) at the enterprise AT&S, which specialises in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards and is located in the district of Leoben, in the region of Eastern Upper Styria. A total of EUR 1 221 128 has been mobilised.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The draft decision to mobilise the EGF for Austria supports the return to the labour market of workers made redundant due to the global financial and economic crisis.

The nature of the dismissals was unforeseeable. It was a result of the poor financial and economic situation in 2008 and 2009, the increasing pressure on purchase prices, the weak US dollar compared with the euro, and rising wages in European factories.

We should remember that the financial contributions from the EGF are not a substitute for measures which are the responsibility of society on the basis of internal legislation or collective agreements; the measures give support to individual workers and do not go towards restructuring society or the industry; aid received from other EU financial instruments do not go towards funding the measures described.

I would like to point out that, with due consideration for interinstitutional agreement, it is important to ensure that a quick decision is taken to mobilise the fund.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (PPE), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour, because I believe that Austria’s application qualifies for funding of EUR 1 221 128 under the criteria contained in the regulation on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. In this context, the events at AT&S directly mirror the global trend of transferring mass production to economies which can guarantee lower manufacturing costs, such as Asian countries, so I believe that Austria’s application is fully justified.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I welcome this mobilisation of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund to assist workers made redundant by AT/AT&S from Austria. The redundancies concern the Land of Steiermark at NUTS II level and Östliche Obersteiermark at NUTS III level, and more specifically the district of Leoben. This is an industry-dominated area, economically dependent on a few large enterprises such as AT&S. Moreover, as AT&S was the region's largest employer up until December 2008, the 167 redundancies in the present case would put the labour market under serious pressure.

The co-ordinated package of personalised services to be funded, including its compatibility with actions funded by the structural funds, includes measures for the reintegration of the 74 targeted workers into employment, such as information and admission to the labour foundation, occupational orientation, active job search, individual training, training and job search allowance.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) I am abstaining out of consideration for the Austrian workers who have been sacrificed on the altar of globalisation. Given the situation into which they have been plunged as a result of the neoliberal policies advocated by the European Union and the derisory amount of this handout, a ‘no’ vote is almost preferable. However, the little that is being given may help to ease their suffering. This does not make the principles behind the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund any less intolerable.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU is an area of solidarity and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is a part of that. This support is essential for helping the unemployed and victims of company relocations that occur within a globalised context. More and more companies are relocating, taking advantage of lower labour costs in a number of countries, particularly China and India, with a damaging effect on those countries that respect workers’ rights. The EGF aims to help workers who are victims of the relocation of companies, and it is essential for facilitating access to new employment. The EGF has been used by other EU countries in the past, so now it is appropriate to grant this aid to Austria, which has applied for assistance with regard to 167 cases of redundancy, of which 74 are targeted for assistance, at the company AT&S, specialising in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs), in the district of Leoben, in the region of Eastern Upper Styria.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. The report covers the Austrian application of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund which relates to 167 redundancies that occurred in AT&S, a leading multinational company, specialised in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards for mobile phones, during the last quarter of 2009. Seventy-four redundant workers will benefit from personalised measures supported by EGAF funding for a total of EUR 1.22 million.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I supported Barbara Matera’s report on the implementation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in supporting business activities in both Austria and the Netherlands. I did not concur with the view of several governments of Member States on the council, which oppose the extension of the fund’s activities to the year 2013, especially in light of the economic crisis.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created to provide additional support to workers affected by the consequences of major structural changes in the patterns of world trade. On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new draft decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for Austria, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This is the seventh application to be examined within the framework of the 2011 budget, and relates to the mobilisation of the total sum of EUR 1 221 128 for 167 redundancies, of which 74 are targeted for assistance, from the enterprise AT&S, specialising in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs), in the region of Eastern Upper Styria, in Austria, during the four-month reference period between 1 September and 31 December 2009. Following an analysis of the process by all of the stakeholders, including the Commission, and given that the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the EGF Working Group approve of the mobilisation of the Fund in favour of Austria, I voted for this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) I fully support the text presented by Ms Matera.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) A seventh application for assistance from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) has been made within the framework of the implementation of the budget for 2011. This application was submitted by Austria, based on Article 2(c) of the EGF regulation and relating to 167 redundancies, 74 of which are targeted for assistance, from the enterprise AT&S, specialising in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs), in the region of Eastern Upper Styria, over the four-month reference period from 1 September to 31 December 2009. According to the assessment that was carried out, these redundancies were unforeseen and will have a significant impact on the district and the surrounding area. As all of the conditions are met for the mobilisation of the EGF, I voted in favour, in the hope that the assistance will be made available to the redundant workers swiftly and efficiently.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of Austria, in order to assist the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant on account of the global economic and financial crisis. The application in question, the seventh in the framework of the 2011 budget, relates to the mobilisation of the EGF to the tune of EUR 1 221 128. It concerns 167 redundancies, 74 of which are targeted for assistance, at AT&S, which specialises in the production of printed circuit boards (PCB) and is located in Eastern Upper Styria, during the four-month reference period from 1 September 2009 to 31 December 2009. Following its assessment, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs has issued a positive opinion, while also confirming the importance of ensuring a rapid procedure with due regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement for the adoption of decisions on the mobilisation of the Fund.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of Parliament and the Council of 20 December 2006 established the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) with the aim of supporting workers who lose their jobs due to structural changes in the context of the global economy. The Austrian enterprise AT&S specialises in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs), and relocated its manufacturing due to the growing pressure on purchasing prices, the weakening of the dollar against the euro and increased wages in the European plants. In view of this, Austria has submitted a request to the Commission to mobilise EUR 1 221 128 in order to address the 167 redundancies between 1 September and 31 December 2009 in the company, which is located in the region of Eastern Upper Styria. I would like to stress the fact that the EGF should not be a substitute for the legal and financial responsibilities of AT&S, but rather an additional support granted by the EU in order to alleviate the social difficulties that these workers will face.

 
  
  

Report: Barbara Matera (A7-0277/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report as it rightly supports the workers who lost their jobs as a result of 1 180 redundancies that took place in various enterprises specialising in the manufacture of basic metals in two regions of Austria in 2009. Of the workers, 356 who were made redundant will be assisted with tailored measures supported by funding from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to a total amount of EUR 8.28 million.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of allocating financial assistance to Austria. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) has been created in order to provide additional assistance to workers suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns. On 9 March 2010, Austria submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in 54 enterprises involved in the manufacture of basic metals. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, and I therefore welcome the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 8 284 908.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 in order to provide additional assistance to workers affected by the consequences of significant changes in the structure of international trade and to assist in their reintegration into the labour market. Since 1 May 2009, the remit of the EGF has been expanded to include support for workers made redundant as a direct consequence of the economic, financial and social crisis. At this time of severe crisis, one of the principal consequences of which is an increase in unemployment, the EU needs to use all of the means at its disposal to respond, particularly with regard to providing support to those who find themselves without a job from one day to the next. It is for this reason that I voted for this report on the mobilisation of the EGF for Austria, with the aim of supporting workers made redundant from 54 enterprises operating in basic metals industries in the regions of Styria and Lower Austria.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of Austria to support the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant due to the global financial and economic crisis. This particular case concerns 1 180 redundancies – of which 356 were targeted for assistance – that have taken place in 54 enterprises within the sector manufacturing base metals, and iron, steel and ferro-alloy products in the Austrian provinces of Styria and Lower Austria.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) With regard to this report, the responsible Commission services have approved the request to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, a European instrument for assisting people who have lost their jobs as a result of the competition created by the distorting effects of globalisation. Indeed, there are no stumbling blocks or examples of non-compliance in the application submitted to the European Commission, and the criteria required in order to launch the procedure for mobilising the Fund have been met. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Austria has requested assistance in respect 1 180 redundancies, of which 356 are targeted for assistance, in 54 enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 24 (‘Manufacture of basic metals’) in the NUTS II regions of Styria (AT22) and Lower Austria (AT12). I voted for the resolution because I agree with the Commission’s proposal as amended by Parliament. I also agree that the EGF was created as a separate specific instrument with its own objectives and deadlines, and that it therefore deserves a dedicated allocation. This will avoid transfers from other budget headings, as happened in the past, which could be detrimental to achieving the objectives of the various policies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) In the past, the basic metals industries thrived in Europe, but today they too are facing a severe crisis. That is the case for the enterprises operating in the regions of Styria and Lower Austria, which had to dismiss 1 180 workers, 356 of whom meet the requirements for being targeted for assistance. I hope that the affected regions, and in particular the workers made redundant, will be able to become productive once again and succeed in recovering after this unfortunate period.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Having seen the severe social impact of the current economic and financial crisis, the European Union created the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to provide additional assistance to workers affected by changes in the structure of global trade. This report concerns the proposal for a decision of Parliament and the Council on the mobilisation of the EGF in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2010/007 AT/Steiermark and Niederösterreich from Austria). In June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for Austria in order to support the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant due to the global financial and economic crisis, following the application referred to above, which was submitted on 9 March 2010. This is the sixth proposal for the mobilisation of the Fund submitted under the 2011 EU budget, mobilising EUR 8 284 908, and the aim is to mitigate the social impact of the dismissal of 1 180 workers from 54 metals enterprises in the regions of Styria and Lower Austria. I am voting for this assistance in the hope that the Austrian metal industry will recover quickly.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund was set up to provide additional help for workers who have felt the impact of the major structural changes that the world economy has undergone. Under point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management and Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006, the Fund cannot exceed a maximum of EUR 500 million. On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new draft resolution on mobilising the EGF on behalf of Austria to support workers who been made redundant as a result of the world financial and economic crisis. This request, EGF 2010/007/AT/Steiermark and Niederösterreich, was submitted to the Commission on 9 March 2010 and supplemented with additional information on 27 January 2011.

One criterion which the Commission used in making its decision was to assess the relation between the job losses and major structural changes in world trade and the financial crisis, which in this particular case was related to a fall in world demand for metals, and which had an extraordinary impact on Austrian metals exports. In the Commission’s view the request meets the eligibility criteria of the EGF Regulation and the Commission recommends that the budgetary body approve the request.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE), in writing. I voted in favour in order to ensure that assistance from the European Globalisation Fund is available to the workers made redundant in Austria following a global drop in demand for metal that hit the Austrian metal industry. The measures proposed in the application by the Austrian Government will, I believe, facilitate the re-entry of the redundant workers back into the labour market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation and to assist them with their reintegration into the labour market. The scope of the EGF was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis. The Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 allows the mobilisation of the EGF within the annual ceiling of EUR 500 million. On 9 March 2010, Austria submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in 54 enterprises in NACE Rev. 2, Division 24 (manufacture of basic metals), in the contiguous NUTS II regions of Steiermark (Styria, AT22) and Niederösterreich (Lower Austria, AT12) in Austria. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, as laid down in Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006. I therefore welcomed the Commission’s proposal to mobilise an amount of EUR 8 284 908.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) On 9 March 2010, Austria submitted an application to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in respect of redundancies in 54 enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 24 (manufacture of basic metals) in the two contiguous NUTS II regions of Styria (Steiermark, AT22) and Lower Austria (Niederösterreich, AT12). In response to further information, we have made provision today for the mobilisation of the EGF to the tune of EUR 8 284 908. As has been mentioned on a number of occasions in this House, since 2006 the EGF has provided practical support to European workers made redundant either for reasons associated with the relocation of their companies or, following the 2009 amendment, on account of the economic crisis, in order to assist their reintegration into the labour market. I consider this an example of practical and indispensable support at a time of crisis such as the present, when Europe cannot and must not fail to provide support to workers made redundant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The request is for the mobilisation of a total of EUR 8 824 908 from the EGF for Austria. It relates to 1 180 workers who lost their jobs at 54 enterprises whose activities fall under the NACE Revision 2 classification, division 24 ('Manufacture of basic metals'), affecting the regions of Steiermark and Niederösterreich over the nine-month reference period from 1 April 2009 to 31 December 2009.

The link between the redundancies and major structural changes in world trade or the financial crisis was evaluated, which in this particular case related to the drop in world demand for metals as a result of the crisis, and which had a particularly marked impact on the export of metals from Austria. According to Eurostat and the Austrian statistics office, in 2009 metals exports were down 38.6% compared with the previous year.

Although the metals industry is generally subject to cyclical fluctuations, the speed and intensity of the drop resulting from the crisis could not be foreseen and came as a surprise for the industry as a real growth in GDP had been predicted.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (PPE), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour, because the decision to make over 1 000 people redundant over a period of less than nine months was unforeseen and is directly related to the global crisis which has brought about a sudden fall in demand for metals, which has affected Austrian exports of these products in particular. Therefore I believe Austria’s application is fully justified.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I welcome this proposal. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund was created in order to provide additional assistance to workers suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns. This application fits the criteria perfectly.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) I am abstaining out of consideration for the Austrian workers who have been sacrificed on the altar of globalisation. Given the situation into which they have been plunged as a result of the neoliberal policies advocated by the European Union and the derisory amount of this handout, a ‘no’ vote is almost preferable. However, the little that is being given may help to ease their suffering. This does not make the principles behind the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund any less intolerable.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU is an area of solidarity and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is a part of that. This support is essential for helping the unemployed and victims of company relocations that occur within a globalised context. More and more companies are relocating, taking advantage of lower labour costs in a number of countries, particularly China and India, with a damaging effect on those countries that respect workers’ rights. The EGF aims to help workers who are victims of the relocation of companies, and it is essential for facilitating access to new employment. The EGF has been used by other EU countries in the past, so now it is appropriate to grant this aid to Austria, which has applied for assistance with regard to 1 180 cases of redundancy, 356 of which are potential beneficiaries of assistance, at 54 companies within division 24 (manufacture of basic metals) of NACE Revision 2, in the NUTS II regions of Styria (AT 22) and Lower Austria (AT 12), in Austria.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. The report covers the Austrian application of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund which relates to 1180 redundancies that occurred in different undertakings specialised in the manufacturing of basic metals in two Austrian regions in 2009. Three hundred and fifty-six redundant workers will benefit from personalised measures supported by EGAF funding for a total of EUR 8.28 million. The application is not transparent and I abstained.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report also relates to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), which was created to provide additional support for workers affected by the consequences of major structural changes in the patterns of world trade. On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new draft decision on the mobilisation of the EGF in favour of Austria, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This was the sixth application to be examined within the framework of the 2011 budget, and relates to the mobilisation of the total sum of EUR 8 284 908 from the EGF for 1 180 workers made redundant, 356 of whom are potential beneficiaries of assistance, from 54 enterprises operating in Division 24 (Manufacture of basic metals) in the regions of Styria and Lower Austria, during the nine-month reference period from 1 April 2009 to 31 December 2009. There being agreement between all of the stakeholders as to the application being taken further, I voted for this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The application submitted by Austria for the intervention of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) relates to 1 180 cases of redundancy, 356 of which are targeted for assistance, at 54 enterprises within Division 24 (Manufacture of basic metals) in the regions of Styria and Lower Austria. According to the Commission’s assessment, this application meets all of the legally defined eligibility criteria. Under Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 of Parliament and Council of 18 June 2009, which amended Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of Parliament and Council of 20 December 2006 establishing the EGF, the scope of application of the EGF has been temporarily extended to cover its intervention in situations like this, in which, as a direct result of the global economic and financial crisis, there are ‘at least 500 redundancies over a period of nine months, particularly in small or medium-sized enterprises, in a NACE 2 division in one region or two contiguous regions at NUTS II level’. I therefore voted for this resolution, in the hope that the assistance will be made available to the workers who have been made redundant swiftly and efficiently.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of Austria. The application in question, the sixth in the framework of the 2011 budget, relates to the mobilisation of the EGF to the tune of EUR 8 284 908 for Austria. The application relates to 1 180 redundancies from 54 enterprises. Following its assessment, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs has issued a positive opinion, while also confirming the importance of ensuring a rapid procedure with due regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement for the adoption of decisions on the mobilisation of the Fund.

 
  
  

Reports: Barbara Matera (A7-0279/2011) - (A7-0277/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report advocates the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of Austria, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis.

This is the seventh application to be examined under the 2011 budget and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 1 221 128 from the EGF for Austria. It concerns 167 redundancies, 74 of which are targeted for assistance, from the company AT&S, which specialises in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs) in the region of Eastern Upper Styria, during the four-month reference period from 1 September to 31 December 2009.

The application, case EGF/2010/008 AT/AT&S from Austria, was submitted to the Commission on 11 March 2010 and supplemented by additional information up to 22 February 2011. It was based on the intervention criterion of Article 2(c) of the EGF Regulation, which enables the waiver of the requirements of Articles 2(a) and 2(b) in small labour markets or under exceptional circumstances, when the redundancies have a serious impact on employment and the local economy. In this case, the Austrian authorities specified that the application seeks to derogate from Article 2(a), where the normal threshold is at least 500 redundancies over a four-month period.

 
  
  

Report: Barbara Matera (A7-0270/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, as it gives the green light to the mobilisation of EUR 610 000 to cover various activities to be undertaken by the services of the Commission in 2011, such as the provision of information and seminars on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), the evaluation and monitoring of the EGF, and the creation of standardised procedures for its implementation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) The European Union has set up the appropriate legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns and to assist their reintegration into the labour market. Up to 0.35% of the annual EGF amount can be made available each year for technical assistance at the initiative at the Commission, in order to finance monitoring, information, administrative and technical assistance, audit, control and evaluation activities necessary to implement the EGF Regulation, including the provision of information and guidance for the Member States in using, monitoring and evaluating the EGF and providing information on using the EGF to European and national social partners. I welcome the Commission’s request to mobilise an amount of EUR 610 000 in 2011.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 in order to provide additional assistance to workers affected by the consequences of significant changes in the structure of international trade and to assist in their reintegration into the labour market. Since 1 May 2009, the remit of the EGF has been expanded to include support for workers made redundant as a direct consequence of the economic, financial and social crisis. Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 also provides that 0.35% of the maximum amount of the EGF can be made available each year for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission. I therefore voted for this report on the Commission’s request that the EGF be mobilised in order to cover its administrative needs for monitoring and information on its implementation, the creation of a knowledge base, which would allow applications and their processing to be speeded up, administrative and technical support, the exchange of successful practices among the Member States and the mid-term evaluation of the EGF.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) On 22 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). This proposal concerns the mobilisation of EUR 610 000 from the Fund to cover EC technical assistance and to achieve objectives such as monitoring, information, creating a data base, administrative and technical support, and exchanging best practices with other Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted against this report. While, on the one hand, the aim of the document is certainly a worthy one, on the other, the approximation to which the accounting data has been exposed is unacceptable, as the data ends up being inaccurate. For this reason I believe that the document itself should not be adopted in its current state. I therefore voted against it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I agree with the Commission’s proposal that it is necessary to improve the collection, organisation and dissemination of information on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) and the support it provides by establishing a new knowledge base. By presenting this proposal, the Commission expects that when funds from the EGF are mobilised in this way the fund will be managed more efficiently, and this in turn will help improve the functioning of the market. It must be stated that this is not the first time that the Commission has presented such a proposal to the budgetary authority this year and that, under the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006, it was decided that the maximum budget available for this objective should be EUR 500 million. The money would mostly be allocated to monitoring, information, administrative and technical assistance, the creation of a knowledge base, the exchange of best practices with Member States and evaluation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Commission has requested that the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) be mobilised in order to cover its administrative needs for monitoring and information on the use of the EGF, the creation of a knowledge base, which would allow applications and their processing to be speeded up, administrative and technical support, the exchange of successful practice among the Member States and the mid-term evaluation of the EGF. I voted for the resolution because I agree with the Commission’s proposal, as the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set out in the EGF Regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given the increasing uptake of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), the Commission has requested that it be mobilised to meet its needs, particularly in terms of monitoring and information on its implementation, and the provision of technical support. I agree with this mobilisation, but I hope that the ultimate goal of this will be not be forgotten, namely by avoiding the temptation for the administrative system to acquire more powers, which would bring it more funds and more employees, and thus avoid this vicious circle.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Having seen the severe social impact of the current economic and financial crisis, the European Union created the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to provide additional assistance to workers affected by changes in the structure of global trade. In June 2011, the Commission adopted a new draft decision on the mobilisation of EUR 610 000 of the EGF to cover the Commission’s technical assistance expenses, under the terms of Article 8(1) of the legal basis, which is aimed at funding the following activities: collection of data on the applications received and funded, maintenance and updating of the EGF website, creation of a knowledge base, administrative and technical support, exchange of best practices between the Member States, and mid-term evaluation of the EGF as laid down in Article 17(1a) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006. As this is a properly substantiated proposal in legal terms, and it is necessary to cover the financial needs of the fund’s implementation, there is nothing that stands in the way of its adoption, as far as I am concerned.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report aims to respond to an application by the Commission for the mobilisation of EUR 610 000 from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to cover the cost of technical assistance for the Commission.

According to the Commission, this amount is intended to cover the following activities:

- Monitoring: it aims to collect data on applications received and paid, and the measures proposed and implemented, and it will update and publish the statistical profile of the EGF.

- Information: the EGF website will be regularly updated and expanded, and translated into all official EU languages. Press folders will be published and the annual report of the EGF will be produced, translated, printed and distributed.

- Creation of a knowledge base: this aims to set up standardised procedures for EGF applications and their processing, which will allow access to reports for the various needs to be simplified.

- Administrative and technical support: the Expert Group of Contact Persons of the EGF, with 27 members, one from each Member State, will hold two meetings.

- Exchange of best practices between the Member States.

This is a sad and unfortunate list of activities, if we bear in mind that these are parts of a bureaucratic machine that deals with cases of redundancies in the EU; a machine that has been running constantly.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report aims to respond to an application by the Commission for the mobilisation of EUR 610 000 from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to cover the cost of technical assistance for the Commission.

According to the Commission, this amount is intended to cover the following activities:

- Monitoring: it aims to collect data on applications received and paid, and the measures proposed and implemented, and it will update and publish the statistical portrait of the EGF.

- Information: the EGF website will be regularly updated and expanded, and translated into all official EU languages. Press folders will be published and the annual report of the EGF will be produced, translated, printed and distributed.

- Creation of a knowledge base: this aims to set up standardised procedures for EGF applications and their processing, which will allow access to reports for the various needs to be simplified.

- Administrative and technical support: the Expert Group of Contact Persons of the EGF, with 27 members, one from each Member State, will hold two meetings.

- Exchange of best practices between the Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund was set up to provide additional help for workers who have felt the impact of the major structural changes that the world economy has undergone. Under point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management and Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006, the Fund cannot exceed a maximum of EUR 500 million. The sum in question can only be included in the budget as a provisional appropriation if there are sufficient reserves and/or decommitments. If a positive decision is taken, the Commission submits a proposal to the budgetary authority to mobilise the funds together with an application to transfer the funds. A trialogue may also be opened on the use of the funds requested. On 22 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new draft resolution on mobilising the EGF. The sum in question is EUR 610 000, and covers technical assistance for the Commission.

The sum is allocated to cover the costs of activities such as monitoring, information, creating a knowledge base, administrative and technical support,he exchange of best practice among Member States, and assessment. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, in a joint announcement adopted within the framework of an arbitration decision of 17 July 2008 confirmed that with due consideration of the Interinstitutional Agreement, the fast-track procedure for deciding on the mobilisation of the fund should be used.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) In principle, we have always been in favour of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. However, in this report I found that the accounting data was too vague and the estimated figure for technical assistance too exaggerated. That is why I will vote against the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 provides that 0.35% of the annual maximum amount may be made available each year for technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission. I therefore welcomed the Commission’s proposal to mobilise an amount of EUR 610 000. According to Commission’s proposal, this amount is intended to cover the following activities: monitoring - the Commission will collect data on applications received and paid, and the measures proposed and implemented and it will update and print the Statistical Portrait of the EGF; information - the EGF website will be regularly updated and expanded, and translated into all the official EU languages. Press folders will be printed, and the annual report of the EGF will be produced, translated, printed and distributed. General awareness of the EGF and its visibility will be enhanced; creation of a knowledge base - the Commission will set up standardised procedures for EGF applications and their processing. This will allow applications to be simplified, their processing to be speeded up and reports to be more easily extracted for varying needs; administrative and technical support - the Expert Group of Contact Persons of the EGF, with 27 members, one from each Member State, will be holding two meetings; exchange of best practices with Member States; evaluation - activities for the mid-term evaluation of the EGF, as laid down in Article 17(1)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006, have been contracted out with the resources of the 2010 budget. The final evaluation of the EGF will not begin until 2012.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The proposal relates to the mobilisation of funds of EUR 610 000 and covers technical assistance for the Commission. Under Article 8(1) of the legal basis, the maximum sum that the EGF can provide for technical assistance at the proposal of the Commission each year is 0.35%. The maximum amount that can be allocated for these purposes from the fund each year is EUR 1.75 million.

Under Article 12(6) of the EGF Directive more than 25% of the maximum annual sum allocated to the EGF is available to cover requirements that arose during the last four months of 2011.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (PPE), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour because I believe that permanent technical assistance will enable action to be taken to expedite and rationalise the implementation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in every Member State. Constant planning, monitoring and control of newly-created aid instruments and the flow of funds is essential. The application at the initiative of the Commission to allocate funds for technical assistance is fully justified.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution, which requests the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural and budgetary arrangements in order to accelerate the mobilisation of the EGF; appreciates, in this sense, the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following Parliament's request to accelerate the release of grants, aimed at presenting to the budgetary authority the Commission's assessment on the eligibility of an EGF application together with the proposal to mobilise the Fund; and hopes that further improvements in the procedure will be reached in the framework of the upcoming reviews of the EGF and that greater efficiency, transparency and visibility of the Fund will be achieved.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Iosif Matula (PPE), in writing. – (RO) I voted for Ms Matera’s reports on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) as I think that we need to focus our attention on the problems caused by globalisation and the economic crisis, while, at the same time, expressing our solidarity with the affected regions. The fact that more than 21 million people are currently unemployed in the European Union highlights the need to take specific measures across all Member States, which will encourage access to the EGF.

This will enable us to take a step towards stabilising the labour market and reducing unemployment, thereby contributing to sustainable economic growth. In this regard, a legislative framework must be adopted which will also permit access to the EGF for Member States that have encountered obstacles, as has also happened in the case of the country I come from. I believe and maintain that Romania too could benefit from such aid in the future as a result of company relocations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was set up to provide additional assistance to workers affected by the consequences of major structural changes in international trade patterns. On 22 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF. This report concerns the mobilisation of EUR 610 000 from the EGF to cover the cost of technical assistance for the Commission. According to Article 8(1) of the legal basis, 0.35% of the annual maximum amount of the EGF can be made available each year for technical assistance expenses at the initiative of the Commission. A maximum of EUR 1.75 million can be used each year in order to cover the needs that are specified for the implementation of the EGF.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. I disagree that the green light is given for the mobilisation of EUR 0.61 million to cover various activities to be carried out by the EC services in 2011, such as information campaign and seminars on the European Globalisation Fund, evaluation and monitoring of the European Globalisation Fund, setting up of standardised procedures for European Globalisation Fund applications. I voted against, because I think it is not proper to spend such significant means on officials.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) On 22 June 2011 the Commission adopted a new draft decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), relating to the mobilisation of EUR 610 000 to cover the Commission’s technical assistance costs. According to Article 8(1) of the legal basis, 0.35% of the annual maximum amount of the EGF can be made available each year for technical assistance expenses at the initiative of the Commission. A maximum of EUR 1.75 million can be used each year in order to cover the needs that are specified for the implementation of the EGF. The Commission justifies the transfer of these funds on the basis of the need to cover the activities of monitoring applications that have been received and funded, providing information through the maintenance of the EGF website and its translation into all the official EU languages, creating a knowledge base, obtaining administrative and technical support, exchanging best practices between the Member States, and carrying out evaluations. In the light of the favourable opinion in the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the approval of the Committee on Budgets, I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I consider the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to be a very important supporting measure for Member States in overcoming the difficulties caused by the global economic crisis. Unfortunately several Member States, including my home country Estonia, have not made use of the opportunities offered by the fund, although they are greatly in need of it. I believe that the provision of the commission’s technical assistance to Member States would help promote use of the fund.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of Parliament and the Council of 20 December 2006 established the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) with the aim of supporting workers who lose their jobs due to structural changes in the context of the global economy. With a ceiling of EUR 500 million for 2011, the EGF has been an important instrument of support for the workers of many Member States, justifying the creation of networks that enhance the exchange of information and strategic synergies between economic and social partners on this funding mechanism. According to Article 8 of the EGF Regulation, 0.35% of the annual EGF amount can be made available each year in order to finance technical assistance, including the provision of information and technical guidance to the Member States in the processes of analysing, evaluating and monitoring the EGF. I am voting for this report, and would like to highlight the fact that the Commission has only asked for the use of EUR 610 000 of the total of EUR 1.75 million which was allowed for it in the annual budget.

 
  
  

Report: Barbara Matera (A7-0303/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of allocating financial assistance to the Netherlands. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been created in order to provide additional assistance to workers suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns. The Netherlands has requested assistance in respect of 800 workers made redundant from 52 enterprises involved in the printing and reproduction of recorded media. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, and I therefore welcome the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 2 649 148.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 in order to provide additional assistance to workers affected by the consequences of significant changes in the structure of international trade and to assist in their reintegration into the labour market. Since 1 May 2009, the remit of the EGF has been expanded to include support for workers made redundant as a direct consequence of the economic, financial and social crisis. At this time of severe crisis, one of the principal consequences of which is an increase in unemployment, the EU needs to use all of the means at its disposal to respond, particularly with regard to providing support to those who find themselves without a job from one day to the next. It is for this reason that I supported this report on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the objective of supporting workers made redundant from 52 enterprises operating in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the regions of Zuid-Holland and Utrecht.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of the Netherlands to support the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant due to the global financial and economic crisis. It concerns 800 redundancies in 52 companies from the sector of graphic arts and reproduction of recorded media in the regions of Zuid-Holland and Utrecht.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) With regard to this report, the responsible Commission services have approved the request to mobilise the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, a European instrument for assisting people who have lost their jobs as a result of the competition created by the distorting effects of globalisation. The application submitted concerns the workers of more than 50 enterprises in South Holland, of whom a total of 800 have been made redundant. The criteria to be met in order to mobilise the Fund have been verified and approved by the Commission. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that the Netherlands has requested assistance in respect of 800 cases of redundancy that have occurred in 52 companies operating within Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II regions of Zuid-Holland (NL33) and Utrecht (NL31), I voted in favour of the resolution because I agree with the Commission’s proposal and with the amendments to it tabled by Parliament. I also agree that following repeated requests by Parliament, for the first time the 2011 budget should show payment appropriations of EUR 47 608 950 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) budget line (04 05 01).

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The 800 redundancies in the Dutch regions of Zuid-Holland and Utrecht in the ‘Printing and reproduction of recorded media’ industry, on top of the many other redundancies in the same country and sector, constitute a worrying sign of the effects of globalisation and the present economic financial crisis. I hope that the mobilisation of the fund will enable the rapid reintegration of workers into the labour market and that Dutch society, which is traditionally dynamic, creative and enterprising, will regain some of the brilliance of its commercial history and be able to rebuild its productive fabric.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2010/029 NL/Zuid-Holland and Utrecht Division 18 from the Netherlands). In June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration of workers made redundant due to the global crisis. This is the 11th application submitted under the EU budget for 2011, submitted to the Commission on 20 December 2010, on the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 1 849 086, aimed at mitigating the social impact of the dismissal of 551 workers from 26 enterprises in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the NUTS II regions of Zuid-Holland (NL33) and Utrecht (NL31). I am voting for this proposal, as it consolidates the objectives which led the EU to create the EGF, and I hope that the economy of these regions will recover rapidly.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Another case of workers made redundant in the Netherlands, another request for mobilisation from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant in the graphic media industry.

This is the 11th application to be examined under the 2011 budget and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 2 649 148 from the EGF. This application relates to 800 redundancies, all of them potential beneficiaries of the assistance, in 52 companies. It was based on the criteria set out in Article 2(b) of the EGF Regulation, which makes intervention subject to there being at least 500 redundancies over a nine-month period in enterprises operating in the same division of NACE Revision 2, in one region or two contiguous regions at NUTS II level in a Member State. According to the Dutch authorities, the economic and financial crisis and its impact on the sector could not have been foreseen.

Once again, we recognise the need to provide support for these workers. We would also like to make clear our protest that these redundancies, like many others, have not been avoided.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This is another case of assistance for workers made redundant in the Netherlands. On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant in the graphic media industry.

This is the 11th application to be examined within the framework of the 2011 budget, and relates to the mobilisation of a total sum of EUR 2 649 148 from the EGF for the Netherlands, relating to 800 cases of redundancy, all of them potential beneficiaries of intervention, at 52 enterprises.

It was based on the criteria set out in Article 2(b) of the EGF Regulation, which makes intervention subject to there being at least 500 redundancies over a nine-month period in enterprises operating in the same division of NACE Revision 2, in one region or two contiguous regions at NUTS II level in a Member State.

Moreover, according to the Dutch authorities, the economic and financial crisis and its impact on the sector could not have been foreseen.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Under point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management a maximum of EUR 500 million can be allocated from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) via the flexibility instrument per annum over and above the relevant rounds of the financial framework. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted request EGF/2010/029 NL/NL/Zuid-Holland and Utrecht under Division 18 for financial contributions from the EGF fund as a result of redundancies in 52 enterprises.

This application was part of a set of four interrelated applications relating to redundancies in six different NUTS II regions in the Netherlands active in the field of printing and reproduction of recorded media. After careful consideration of this request, the Commission came to the conclusion under Article 10 of Regulation (EC) 1927/2006 that the conditions for allowing the financial assistance had been met. The budgetary authority should therefore approve this application.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) I should like to explain my vote in favour of the report. I share the rapporteur’s pleasure in noting that, for the first time, in the 2011 budget, separate funds have been set aside for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, and that it is not dependent, therefore, on unused funds from other areas. No critical issues have come to light with regard to the specific matter of the Dutch employees.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE), in writing. I support this report which targets 800 workers who lost their jobs in the printing industry and the graphic sector in the Netherlands. This package is part of four interrelated applications and it is hoped that all four will benefit the redundant workers with training and upskilling opportunities and job search initiatives

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation and to assist them with their reintegration into the labour market. The scope of the EGF was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis. The Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 allows the mobilisation of the EGF within the annual ceiling of EUR 500 million. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in 52 enterprises in NACE Rev. 2, Division 18 (printing and reproduction of recorded media), in the NUTS II regions of Zuid-Holland (NL33) and Utrecht (NL31) in the Netherlands. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, as laid down in Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006. I therefore welcomed the Commission’s proposal to mobilise an amount of EUR 2 649 148.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) because I consider that instrument to be a valuable resource for the support of workers in difficulty on account of the economic crisis. The application submitted by the Netherlands is aimed at the mobilisation of the EGF in respect of redundancies in 52 enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 18 (‘Printing and reproduction of recorded media’) in the NUTS II regions of Zuid-Holland (NL33) and Utrecht (NL31), amounting to a sum of EUR 2 649 148. In this case too, Europe is helping workers made redundant on account of the crisis, in order to assist their reintegration into the labour market. Today’s vote shows that it can be effective in helping us combat unemployment caused by globalisation and the economic crisis.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The draft decision relates to the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands to support the re-entry on to the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global financial and economic crisis.

Eight hundred workers were dismissed from 52 enterprises in NACE Revision 2 division 18 activities ('Printing and reproduction of recording media') in the regions of Zuid-Holland (NL33) and Utrecht (NL31) at NTS II level, for the nine-month reference period between 16 January and 16 October 2010.

Furthermore, it was not possible to foresee the financial and economic crisis and its effect on the industry in question.

According to the Dutch authorities, the provinces of Zuid-Holland and Utrecht are part of the Randstadt region, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the country. The economic situation in both provinces deteriorated in 2009 and its economic growth was negative compared with the previous year (-3.2%).

The request meets the eligibility criteria under the EGF Regulation, and therefore we in the budgetary committee recommend that Parliament approve the request.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I support this proposal to mobilise funds under the Globalisation Adjustment Fund. This is the 11th application to be examined under the 2011 budget and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 2 649 148 from the EGF for the Netherlands. It concerns 800 redundancies, all targeted for assistance, in 52 enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 18 (‘Printing and reproduction of recorded media’) in the NUTS II regions of Zuid-Holland (NL33) and Utrecht (NL31) in the Netherlands, during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU is an area of solidarity and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is a part of this. This support is essential for helping the unemployed and victims of company relocations that occur within a globalised context. More and more companies are relocating, taking advantage of lower labour costs in a number of countries, particularly China and India, with a damaging effect on those countries that respect workers’ rights. The EGF aims to help workers who are victims of the relocation of companies, and it is essential for facilitating access to new employment. The EGF has been used in the past by other EU countries, so it is appropriate to provide aid to the Netherlands, which has submitted a request for assistance in respect of cases concerning 800 redundancies in 52 companies operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II regions of Zuid-Holland (NL33) and Utrecht (NL31) in the Netherlands.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) On 28 June 2011 the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This is the 11th application to be examined within the framework of the 2011 budget, and relates to the mobilisation of the total sum of EUR 2 649 148 from the EGF for 800 redundancies, all of which are targeted for assistance, from 52 companies operating in NACE Revision 2 Division 18 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II regions of Zuid-Holland (NL33) and Utrecht (NL31) in the Netherlands, during the nine-month reference period between 16 January and 16 October 2009. Following an analysis of the process by all of the stakeholders, including the Commission, and given that the Committee on Employment and the EGF Working Group approve of the mobilisation of the Fund in favour of the Netherlands, I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The request submitted by the Netherlands for the intervention of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) relates to 800 cases of redundancy, all of which are targeted for assistance, at 52 enterprises within NACE Revision 2 Division 18 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II regions of Zuid-Holland and Utrecht. According to the Commission’s assessment, this application meets all of the legally established eligibility criteria. Indeed, under the EGF Regulation, the scope of application of the EGF was temporarily expanded to cover its intervention in situations like this, in which, as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis, there are ‘at least 500 redundancies over a period of nine months, particularly in small or medium-sized enterprises, in a NACE 2 division in one region or two contiguous regions at NUTS II level’. I therefore voted in favour of this resolution, in the hope that the assistance will be made available to the workers who have been made redundant swiftly and efficiently.

 
  
  

Report: Barbara Matera (A7-0304/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of allocating financial assistance to the Netherlands. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been created in order to provide additional assistance to workers suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns. The Netherlands has requested assistance in respect of 199 workers made redundant from 14 enterprises involved in the printing and reproduction of recorded media. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, and I therefore welcome the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 667 823.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 in order to provide additional assistance to workers affected by the consequences of significant changes in the structure of international trade and to assist in their reintegration into the labour market. Since 1 May 2009, the remit of the EGF has been expanded to include support for workers made redundant as a direct consequence of the economic, financial and social crisis. At this time of severe crisis, one of the principal consequences of which is an increase in unemployment, the EU needs to use all of the means at its disposal to respond, particularly with regard to providing support to those who find themselves without a job from one day to the next. That is why I voted for this report on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting workers made redundant from 14 enterprises operating in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the region of Noord-Brabant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of the Netherlands to support the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant due to the global financial and economic crisis. It concerns 199 redundancies in 14 companies in the region of Noord-Brabant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) With regard to this report, the responsible Commission services have approved the request to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, a European instrument for assisting people who have lost their jobs as a result of the competition created by the distorting effects of globalisation. The application submitted concerns the workers of more than 14 enterprises in the Dutch region of Noord-Brabant, of whom a total of 199 have been made redundant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that the Netherlands has requested assistance in respect of cases concerning 199 redundancies, all of them potential beneficiaries of intervention, in 14 companies operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41), I voted for the resolution because I agree with the Commission’s proposal and with the amendments to it tabled by Parliament. I also agree that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the EGF should include information on the complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds, and reiterate Parliament’s call for the Commission to submit a comparative evaluation of these data in its annual reports as well.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Dutch ‘Printing and reproduction of recorded media’ industry has been experiencing problems, leading the Netherlands to request assistance for 199 workers made redundant in the Noord-Brabant region. The volume of requests and the need for a rapid response from the European Union is indicative of the difficulties the European economy is going through and causes concern that others may follow suit. Given that in the opinion of the Commission and the rapporteur the request for assistance satisfies all the eligibility criteria, I cannot see any reason not to support this request.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Ms Matera, concerns the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2010/027 NL/Noord-Brabant Division 18 from the Netherlands). In June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF in favour of the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration of workers made redundant due to the global crisis. This is the ninth application submitted under the 2011 EU budget, submitted to the Commission on 20 December 2010, on the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 667 823, aimed at mitigating the social impact of the redundancies of 199 workers from 14 enterprises in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41). I am voting for this proposal, as it consolidates the objectives which led the EU to create the EGF, and I hope that the economy of this region will have a rapid recovery.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) A total of 199 operators and other workers in the industry of ‘Printing and reproduction of recorded media’ in the Netherlands have become victims of the crisis of capitalism, and we are now called on to support them. This support is indispensable, but it does not silence the revolt and the demands to prioritise prevention instead of the introduction of stop-gap measures, as we have so often maintained. This would require serious changes to existing policy, which the leaders of the European Union do not seem willing to do; quite the contrary.

This report concerns yet another mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted this new proposal for a decision for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant. This is the ninth application to be examined under the 2011 budget and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 667 823. The application relates to redundancies, all of them targeted for assistance, which occurred in 14 enterprises operating in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41), during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report concerns yet another mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant.

This is the ninth application to be examined under the 2011 budget and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 667 823 from the EGF for the Netherlands. This application relates to 199 redundancies, all of them targeted for intervention, that have occurred within 14 companies operating within Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41), during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010.

The application, relating to case EGF/2010/027 NL/Noord-Brabant Division 18 from the Netherlands, was submitted to the Commission on 20 December 2010 and supplemented by additional information up to 7 March 2011. It was based on the intervention criterion set out in Article 2(c) of the EGF Regulation, which authorises the Member States to submit a request for assistance from the EGF, in the case of small labour markets or in exceptional circumstances.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Under point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management a maximum of EUR 500 million can be allocated from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) via the flexibility instrument per year over and above the relevant rounds of the financial framework. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted application EGF/2010/028 NL/Noord-Brabant Division 18 on financial contributions from the EGF as a result of redundancies in 14 enterprises whose activities come within division 18 of NACE Revision 2 ('Printing and reproduction of recorded media') in the Dutch region of Noord-Brabant (NL41), NUTS II level.

The application was part of a package of four interrelated requests relating to redundancies in six NUTS II regions in the Netherlands in enterprises active in printing and the reproduction of recorded media. After careful consideration of this request, the Commission has concluded that the request meets the requirements for the provision of a financial contribution under the regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE), in writing. I voted in favour of this report and it is worth noting that this application was based on Article 2c of the regulation, on the flexibility of the EGF and how it can respond to different situations, but always with the redundant workers in mind.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation and to assist them with their reintegration into the labour market. The scope of the EGF was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis. The Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 allows the mobilisation of the EGF within the annual ceiling of EUR 500 million. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in 14 enterprises in NACE Rev. 2, Division 18 (printing and reproduction of recorded media), in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41) in the Netherlands and supplemented it by additional information up to 7 March 2011. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, as laid down in Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006. I therefore welcomed the Commission’s proposal to mobilise an amount of EUR 667 823.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this request to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) because I consider that instrument to be a valuable resource for the support of workers in difficulty on account of the economic crisis. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in 14 enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 18 (printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41) in the Netherlands. Today’s vote has given the green light to the mobilisation of the sum of EUR 667 823. To conclude, I would mention that, with this important instrument, we are today able to provide some concrete responses and to help workers made redundant on account of globalisation and the economic crisis, not only by trying to compensate for the hardships suffered, but also by reintegrating them into the labour market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The application is for the sum of EUR 667 823 from the EGF for the Netherlands. The redundancies affected 199 workers in 14 enterprises whose activities come under NACE Revision 2 division 18 ('Printing and reproduction of recording media') in the region of Noord-Brabant (NL41) at NUTS II level, for the 9-month reference period between 16 January 2010 and 16 October 2010.

These redundancies had a severe impact on employment in the local economy. The severe economic situation and the market situation in Noord-Brabant as well as further dismissals at NUTS II level in the Netherlands for the same reasons, during the same period and in the same division of NACE Revision II, together meet the criteria of Article 2(c) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. This is the ninth application to be examined under the 2011 budget and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 667 823 from the EGF for the Netherlands. It concerns 199 redundancies, all targeted for assistance, in 14 enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 18 ('Printing and reproduction of recorded media') in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41), during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010. I voted for it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU is an area of solidarity and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is a part of that. This support is essential for helping the unemployed and victims of company relocations that occur within a globalised context. More and more companies are relocating, taking advantage of lower labour costs in a number of countries, particularly China and India, with a damaging effect on those countries that respect workers’ rights. The EGF aims to help workers who are victims of the relocation of companies, and it is essential for facilitating access to new employment. The EGF has been used in the past by other EU countries, so it is now appropriate to provide aid to the Netherlands, which has submitted a request for assistance in respect of 199 redundancies, all of them targeted for intervention, in 14 companies operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41) in the Netherlands.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This was the ninth application to be examined within the framework of the 2011 budget, and relates to the mobilisation of a total sum of EUR 667 823 for 199 cases of redundancy, all of which are targeted for intervention, which took place at 14 enterprises operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Noord-Brabant (NL41), during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010. Given that an examination of the case has been carried out by all the stakeholders, especially the Commission, and that the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and its Working Group on the EGF are in favour of the mobilisation of the fund in favour of the Netherlands, I voted for this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) For some time I have consistently abstained from the vote on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). As I support the idea behind the EGF, I cannot simply reject any of the applications. However, during the course of my work in the Committee on Budgets, I have come across applications that give me reason to suspect that the regulations governing the EGF are too relaxed. I have therefore spoken out in favour of revising these regulations many times and have set this revision as a condition for my voting in favour of new applications in the future. For the first time, this report includes such a call within the text. More specifically, the Commission is called on to present a comparative evaluation of these data in its annual reports. Nevertheless, I have once again abstained from the vote today until the corresponding evaluation is available.

 
  
  

Report: Barbara Matera (A7-0305/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of allocating financial assistance to the Netherlands. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been created in order to provide additional assistance to workers suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns. The Netherlands has requested assistance in respect of 214 workers made redundant from nine enterprises involved in the printing and reproduction of recorded media. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, and I therefore welcome the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 718 140.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 in order to provide additional assistance to workers affected by the consequences of significant changes in the structure of international trade and to assist in their reintegration into the labour market. Since 1 May 2009, the remit of the EGF has been expanded to include support for workers made redundant as a direct consequence of the economic, financial and social crisis. At this time of severe crisis, one of the principal consequences of which is an increase in unemployment, the EU needs to use all of the means at its disposal to respond, particularly with regard to providing support to those who find themselves without a job from one day to the next. For this reason I voted for this report on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, which has the aim of supporting workers made redundant from nine enterprises operating in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the region of Overijssel.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) On 10 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of the Netherlands to support the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant due to the global financial and economic crisis. It concerns 214 redundancies in nine companies from the sector of graphic arts and reproduction of recorded media in the province of Overijssel.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) With regard to this report, the responsible Commission services have approved the request to mobilise the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, a European instrument for assisting people who have lost their jobs as a result of the competition created by the distorting effects of globalisation. There are no critical issues in the dossier received by the European authorities concerning over 200 redundancies in nine enterprises in the Dutch region of Overijssel, and so I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that the Netherlands has requested assistance in respect of cases concerning 214 redundancies, all of them targeted for assistance, in nine companies operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Overijssel (NL21), I voted for the resolution because I agree with the Commission’s proposal and with the amendments to it tabled by Parliament. I also agree with the institutions’ commitment to ensuring a smooth and rapid procedure for the adoption of the decisions on the mobilisation of the EGF, by providing one-off, time-limited individual support geared to workers who have suffered redundancy as a result of globalisation and the financial and economic crisis, emphasising the role that the EGF can play in the reintegration into the labour market of workers who have been made redundant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given the worrying signs that seem to be coming from various European economies, and the way in which the stability of the euro area and the very survival of the single currency are being called into question, the requests for the mobilisation of additional assistance for workers made redundant are completely understandable, whether this is due to major changes in the structure of world trade patterns or whether they were made redundant as a direct result of the global economic and financial crisis. As in other Dutch regions, in Overijssel the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector has also made employees redundant, and they meet the requirements for benefitting from assistance from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The number of requests for the mobilisation of the EGF should continue to be a matter of concern for policy makers, and should motivate them to seek solutions for the problems that are directly affecting the lives of European workers and European economies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Ms Matera, concerns the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2010/028 NL/Overijssel Division 18 from the Netherlands). In June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration of workers made redundant due to the global crisis. This is the 10th application under the EU budget for 2011, submitted to the Commission on 20 December 2010. It relates to the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 718 140, aimed at mitigating the social impact of the redundancy of 214 workers from nine enterprises in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the NUTS II region of Overijssel (NL21) in the Netherlands. I am voting for this proposal, as it realises the objectives which led the EU to create the EGF, and I hope that the economy of this region will have a rapid recovery.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This is yet another application for the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), with yet more workers having been made redundant. This time, the request concerns the mobilisation of a total sum of EUR 718 140 for the Netherlands. At issue is the dismissal of 214 workers, all of whom are targeted for intervention, from nine enterprises operating in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the Netherlands, during the nine-month period from 16 January to 16 October 2010.

The application was based on the criterion that, where there is a small labour market or under exceptional circumstances, allows the Member States to submit a request for EGF assistance, even when the conditions set out in Article 2(a) and (b) are not fully met, provided that the redundancies have a serious impact on employment and the local economy.

As on other occasions, we have voted for this request because we believe it essential to support workers who have been made redundant. However, as on those other occasions, we would like to reiterate here that this is another stage in the trail of destruction that the crisis of capitalism has been leaving in the EU, which is itself a process of capitalist integration and thus, undeniably, a factor in the crisis, with the policies it has been promoting over the years.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report relates to the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), and this is the 10th application to be examined under the 2011 budget. It relates to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 718 140 from the EGF for the Netherlands. It concerns 214 workers who have been made redundant, all of them potential beneficiaries of the intervention, from nine enterprises operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Overijssel, in the Netherlands, during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010.

The application was based on the intervention criterion provided for in Article 2(c) of the EGF Regulation that allows the Member States, where there is a small labour market or under exceptional circumstances, to submit a request for EGF assistance, even when the conditions set out in Article 2(a) and (b) are not fully met, provided that the redundancies have a serious impact on employment and the local economy.

On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted this new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers who have been made redundant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Under point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management a maximum of EUR 500 million can be allocated from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) via the flexibility instrument per year over and above the relevant rounds of the financial framework. The rules covering contributions from the EGF are set out in Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted application EGF/2010/028 NL/Overijssel Division 18 on financial contributions from the EGF as a result of redundancies in nine enterprises whose activities are under division 18 of NACE Revision 2 ('Printing and reproduction of recorded media') in the region of Overijssel (NL21), NUTS II level.

The application was part of a package of four interrelated requests relating to redundancies in six NUTS II regions in the Netherlands in enterprises operating in printing and the reproduction of recorded media. After careful consideration of this request, in accordance with Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1928/2006, the Commission has concluded that the request meets the requirements for the provision of a financial contribution.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE), in writing. − I support this EGF application which like some others is based on Article 2c of the EGF Regulation. The Dutch Government also established a link between the financial and economic crisis and the decrease in demand for the graphic media industry. This indicates that the need for the crisis derogation must continue, and I would urge the Dutch and indeed all other Governments to support this derogation up to the end of 2012.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation and to assist them with their reintegration into the labour market. The scope of the EGF was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis. The Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 allows the mobilisation of the EGF within the annual ceiling of EUR 500 million. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in nine enterprises in NACE Rev. 2, Division 18 (printing and reproduction of recorded media), in the NUTS II region of Overijssel (NL21) in the Netherlands and supplemented it by additional information, most recently up to 7 March 2011. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, as laid down in Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006. I therefore welcomed the Commission’s proposal to mobilise an amount of EUR 718 140.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing.(IT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was set up in 2006 to provide practical support to workers made redundant either for reasons associated with the relocation of their companies or, following the 2009 amendment, on account of the economic crisis, in order to assist their reintegration into the labour market. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in nine enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 18 (‘Printing and reproduction of recorded media’) in the NUTS II region of Overijssel (NL21) and supplemented it with additional information up to 7 March 2011. With today’s vote, we have authorised the allocation of EUR 718 140.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The application is for the sum of EUR 718 140 from the EGF for the Netherlands. The redundancies affected 214 workers from nine enterprises whose activities come under NACE Revision 2 Division 18 ('Printing and reproduction of recording media') in the region of Overijssel (NL41) at NUTS II level, for the 9-month reference period between 16 January 2010 and 16 October 2010.

It was not possible to foresee the financial and economic crisis and its impact on the industry in question. The financial contribution will be managed and supervised by the same authorities who are responsible for managing and supervising funding from the European Social Fund in the Netherlands. The Agency of Social Affairs and Employment will be the intermediary body for the managing authority. The request meets the eligibility criteria under the EGF Regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this, which is the tenth application to be examined under the 2011 budget and refers to the mobilisation of a total amount of EUR 718 140 from the EGF for the Netherlands. It concerns 214 redundancies, all targeted for assistance, in nine enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 18 ('Printing and reproduction of recorded media') in the NUTS II region of Overijssel (NL21) in the Netherlands during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU is an area of solidarity and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is a part of that. This support is essential for helping the unemployed and victims of company relocations that occur within a globalised context. More and more companies are relocating, taking advantage of lower labour costs in a number of countries, particularly China and India, with a damaging effect on those countries that respect workers’ rights. The EGF aims to help workers who are victims of the relocation of companies, and it is essential for facilitating access to new employment. The EGF has been used in the past by other EU countries, so it is now appropriate to provide aid to the Netherlands, which has submitted a request for assistance in respect of 214 redundancies, all of them potential beneficiaries of assistance, in nine companies operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Overijssel (NL21) in the Netherlands.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This was the 10th application to be examined within the framework of the 2011 budget, and relates to the mobilisation of a total sum of EUR 718 140 for 214 workers, all of them targeted for intervention, who have been made redundant from nine enterprises operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the NUTS II region of Overijssel (NL21), in the Netherlands, during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010. Given that an examination of the case has been carried out by all the stakeholders, especially the Commission, and that the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and its Working Group on the EGF are in favour of the mobilisation of the EGF in favour of the Netherlands, I voted for this report.

 
  
  

Report: Barbara Matera (A7-0306/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of allocating financial assistance to the Netherlands. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund has been created in order to provide additional assistance to workers suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns. The Netherlands has requested assistance in respect of 551 workers made redundant from 26 enterprises involved in the printing and reproduction of recorded media. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, and I therefore welcome the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 1 849 086.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 in order to provide additional assistance for workers affected by the consequences of significant changes in the structure of international trade and to assist in their reintegration into the labour market. Since 1 May 2009, the remit of the EGF has been expanded to include support for workers made redundant as a direct consequence of the economic, financial and social crisis. At this time of severe crisis, one of the principal consequences of which is an increase in unemployment, the EU needs to use all the means at its disposal to respond, particularly with regard to providing support for those who find themselves without a job from one day to the next. That is why I voted for this report on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting workers made redundant from 26 enterprises operating in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the regions of Noord-Holland and Flevoland.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of the Netherlands. The application concerns 551 redundancies in 26 companies. I support this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that the Netherlands has requested assistance in respect of cases concerning 551 redundancies, all of them targeted for assistance, in 26 companies operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the two NUTS II regions of Noord-Holland (NL32) and Flevoland (NL23), I voted in favour of the resolution because I agree with the Commission’s proposal and with the amendments to it tabled by Parliament. I also agree that, in line with Article 6 of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) Regulation, it should be ensured that the EGF supports the individual reintegration of workers who have been made redundant into active life. I would also reiterate that EGF assistance should not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies by virtue of national law or collective agreements, nor measures for restructuring companies or sectors. Measures financed by the EGF should be aimed at creating long-term employment.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Several printing and reproduction of recorded media industries in the Netherlands have submitted applications for assistance. In this case, 551 workers were made redundant in the regions of Noord-Holland and Flevoland. In the light of other resolutions adopted today, this is not a unique case. Unfortunately, many enterprises in the same sector have had to lay off workers, leading to situations of social emergency which the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) then seeks to mitigate. In this case and the previous ones, I hope that the mobilisation of the EGF will actually contribute to the reintegration of the workers in difficulty and will promote the creation of more sustainable employment.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2010/030 NL/ Noord-Holland and Flevoland Division 18 from the Netherlands). In June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the EGF for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration of workers made redundant due to the global crisis. This is the 12th application submitted under the 2011 EU budget, submitted to the Commission on 20 December 2010, on the mobilisation of an amount of EUR 1 849 086, aimed at mitigating the social impact of the redundancies of 551 workers from 26 enterprises in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector in the NUTS II regions of Noord-Holland (NL32) and Flevoland (NL23). I am voting for this proposal, as it realises the objectives which led the EU to create the EGF, and I hope that the economy of these regions will recover quickly.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), in relation to an application by the Netherlands, adopted by the Commission on 28 June 2011.

This is the 12th application to be examined under the 2011 budget, and is another proposal for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This mobilisation is of a total sum of EUR 1 849 086 from the EGF, relating to 551 cases of redundancy, all of them potential beneficiaries of assistance, at 26 enterprises in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector.

The application was submitted to the Commission on 20 December 2010 and supplemented by additional information up to 3 March 2011. It was based on the criteria set out in the EGF Regulation, which make intervention subject to the occurrence of at least 500 redundancies in enterprises in one region or in two contiguous NUTS II regions of a Member State.

As ever, we believe that it would have been better to have intervened prior to the companies going out of business. We voted for the proposal to mobilise the necessary support for the workers made redundant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in relation to an application by the Netherlands which was adopted by the Commission on 28 June 2011. This is another proposal for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis, and it is the 12th application to be examined under the 2011 budget.

It concerns the mobilisation of a total sum of EUR 1 849 086 from the EGF, relating to 551 cases of redundancy, all of them targeted for assistance, at 26 enterprises in the printing and reproduction of recorded media sector.

The application was submitted to the Commission on 20 December 2010 and supplemented by additional information up to 3 March 2011. It was based on the criteria set out in the EGF Regulation, which make intervention subject to the occurrence of at least 500 redundancies in enterprises in one region or in two contiguous NUTS II regions of a Member State.

Although we believe that it would have been preferable to have intervened prior to the companies going out of business, we voted for the proposal to support the workers made redundant.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Under point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management a maximum of EUR 500 million can be allocated from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) via the flexibility instrument per year over and above the relevant rounds of the financial framework. The rules covering contributions from the EGF are set out in Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. On 20 December 2010, the Netherlands submitted application EGF/2010/030 NL/Noord-Holland and Flevoland Division 18 on financial contributions from the EGF as a result of redundancies in 26 enterprises whose activities are under Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 ('Printing and reproduction of recorded media') in the Dutch region of Noord-Holland (NL 32) and Flevoland (NL23), NUTS II level.

The application was part of a package of four interrelated requests relating to redundancies in six different NUTS II regions in the Netherlands in enterprises operating in printing and the reproduction of recorded media. After careful consideration of this request, in accordance with Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1928/2006, the Commission has concluded that the request meets the requirements for the provision of a financial contribution and therefore believes that the budgetary authority should comply with the request.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE), in writing. I support the report, as I support the EGF application for the 551 Dutch workers who were made redundant in the graphic media industry. This industry suffered a drop of nearly 9% in turnover and the Dutch Government was able to establish a link between the financial and economic crisis and the redundancies. As in other EGF applications, we voted on today it is crucial that all EU governments recognise the need to extend the crisis derogation to the end of 2012.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established to provide additional support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation and to assist them with their reintegration into the labour market. The scope of the EGF was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis. The Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 allows the mobilisation of the EGF within the annual ceiling of EUR 500 million. On 20 December 2010 the Netherlands submitted an application to mobilise the EGF in respect of redundancies in 26 enterprises in NACE Rev. 2, Division 18 (printing and reproduction of recorded media), in the NUTS II regions of Noord-Holland (NL 32) and Flevoland (NL 23) in the Netherlands and supplemented it by additional information, most recently on 3 March 2010. This application complies with the requirements for determining financial contributions, as laid down in Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006. I therefore welcomed the Commission’s proposal to mobilise an amount of EUR 1 849 086.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted for the report on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of the Netherlands. As my fellow Members have mentioned, this Fund has been in active operation since 2006 and has helped, since then, to provide practical support to workers made redundant for reasons associated with globalisation and the economic crisis, in order to assist their reintegration into the labour market. Today’s vote concerned an application for support in respect of redundancies in 26 enterprises operating in Division 18 (‘Printing and reproduction of recorded media’). The application has been deemed to comply with the requirements for determining such financial contributions, and so I am in favour of the Fund being mobilised to the tune of EUR 1 849 086.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The application is for the sum of EUR 1 849 086 from the EGF for the Netherlands. Redundancies affected 551 workers from 26 enterprises whose activities come under NACE Revision 2 Division 18 ('Printing and reproduction of recording media') in the region of Noord-Holland (NL32) and Flevoland (NL 23) at NUTS II level, for the 9-month reference period between 16 January 2010 and 16 October 2010.

The request meets the eligibility criteria of the EGF Regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this proposal, which means Parliament has voted to approve aid totalling EUR 9 506 036 from the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for redundant workers in Austria, plus EUR 5 884 197 for redundant Dutch workers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU is an area of solidarity and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) is a part of that. This support is essential for helping the unemployed and victims of company relocations that occur within a globalised context. More and more companies are relocating, taking advantage of lower labour costs in a number of countries, particularly China and India, with a damaging effect on those countries that respect workers’ rights. The EGF aims to help workers who are victims of the relocation of companies, and it is essential for facilitating access to new employment. The EGF has been used in the past by other EU countries, so it is now appropriate to provide aid to the Netherlands, which has submitted a request for assistance in respect of 551 redundancies, all of them targeted for assistance, in 26 companies operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the two NUTS II regions of Noord-Holland (NL32) and Flevoland (NL23) in the Netherlands.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) On 28 June 2011, the Commission adopted a new proposal for a decision on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) for the Netherlands, with the aim of supporting the reintegration into the labour market of workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This is the 12th application to be examined within the framework of the 2011 budget, and relates to the mobilisation of a total sum of EUR 1 849 086 from the EGF in favour of 551 cases of redundancy, all of which are potential beneficiaries of assistance, at 26 enterprises operating in Division 18 of NACE Revision 2 (Printing and reproduction of recorded media) in the two NUTS II regions of Noord-Holland (NL32) and Flevoland (NL23), during the nine-month reference period from 16 January to 16 October 2010. Given that an examination of the case has been carried out by all the stakeholders, especially the Commission, and that the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and its Working Group on the EGF are in favour of the mobilisation of the EGF in favour of the Netherlands, I voted for this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rovana Plumb (S&D), in writing. – (RO) In December 2010, the European Parliament adopted a written declaration on an EU homelessness strategy to support Member States in developing effective national strategies, in line with the 2010 Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion and as part of the Europe 2020 strategy. This joint report makes it clear that Member States should adopt integrated homelessness strategies focusing on key targets such as the prevention of homelessness and a reduction in its duration, especially in severe cases, an improvement in the quality of services for homeless people and the provision of affordable housing.

The EU strategy which needs to be developed by the European Commission and national strategies must focus on common definitions, causes, actions and on impact. The European Commission must draft a communication on the problem of homelessness as an absolute necessity, and European policies and strategies must be devised in collaboration with homeless people and the associations which they belong to. The European Commission must support the creation of structural funds (the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)) aimed in particular at analysing the problem of homelessness and at the social inclusion of homeless people in the European Union through building permanent social housing

 
  
  

Reports: Barbara Matera (A7-0303/2011, A7-0305/2011, A7-0306/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this document, as the application submitted fulfils the established criteria, and because it should be of particular assistance to workers made redundant as a direct result of the economic crisis. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) should therefore give additional support to workers made redundant due to major structural changes in the patterns of international or regional trade as a result of globalisation, and in order to help them reintegrate into the labour market, which I would like to emphasise in this context. Finally, it is crucial that this assistance be provided as quickly as possible.

 
  
  

Reports: Barbara Matera (A7-0279/2011, A7-0277/2011, A7-0270/2011, A7-0303/2011, A7-0304/2011, A7-0305/2011, A7-0306/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lena Ek, Marit Paulsen, Olle Schmidt and Cecilia Wikström (ALDE), in writing. (SV) Once again we have chosen to support the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund – this time to help people who have lost their jobs in Austria and the Netherlands – because Europe is still suffering the effects of the economic crisis and exceptional times require exceptional measures.

However, we believe that in future we should instead use instruments that already exist – in particular the European Social Fund – in order to increase the employability of those who have been given notice or have been made redundant. There should be no need for a Globalisation Adjustment Fund in the next budgetary period, and it should be made clear that social policy is primarily the responsibility of the Member States.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. The EP requests the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural and budgetary arrangements in order to accelerate the mobilisation of the EGF; appreciates, in this sense, the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following Parliament's request to accelerate the release of grants, aimed at presenting to the budgetary authority the Commission's assessment on the eligibility of an EGF application together with the proposal to mobilise the Fund; hopes that further improvements in the procedure will be reached in the framework of the upcoming reviews of the EGF and that greater efficiency, transparency and visibility of the Fund will be achieved.

 
  
  

Reports: Barbara Matera (A7-0303/2011, A7-0304/2011, A7-0305/2011, A7-0306/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. Although I have great sympathy for redundant workers wherever they are in the world, I believe that UK taxpayers’ money, which provides a significant contribution to the EU and thus Global Adjustment Fund budget, is better concentrated on providing jobs for unemployed workers in the UK. Unemployment in the UK continues to rise to unexpected levels. Many of our heavy industries have shut down and our workforce is inundated with EU migrants. It is a slap in the face to hardworking Brits who have lost their jobs in industries that have relocated to other EU countries under EU law to then find that their contributions as taxpayers are being spent by the EU in assisting unemployed people in the Netherlands. Increasingly the UK is becoming a hub for people who have fled their own EU Member States to try to earn more money or claim benefits in the UK, which they often send large proportions of back home rather than inject it into the local economy. As unemployment continues to rise in the UK, particularly blighting some of the former mining towns in Wales, I cannot justify assenting to aid newly unemployed workers abroad when long-term unemployed people continue to suffer in communities in my constituency.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) I am abstaining out of consideration for the Dutch workers who have been sacrificed on the altar of globalisation. Given the situation into which they have been plunged as a result of the neoliberal policies advocated by the European Union and the derisory amount of this handout, a ‘no’ vote is almost preferable. However, the little that is being given may help to ease their suffering. This does not make the principles behind the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund any less intolerable.

 
  
  

Report: Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (A7-0273/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, as it aims to prohibit the manipulation of the EU energy markets, defines them, and puts in place control mechanisms and sanctions to discourage market abuses. As is set out in this report, the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) must be given an important role in supervising the markets, monitoring and helping to enforce the regulation of national regulatory authorities, introducing a system of registration for market participants and guaranteeing that penalties take into account the harm caused to consumers by market abuses. To this end, ACER must have sufficient resources so as to take into account the additional functions assigned to it. It is also important for sanctions to be harmonised across all the Member States and, as such, the Commission should consider the call for proposals to harmonise minimum penalty standards.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) Energy is central to human activity. It is vital that it should be accessible at a reasonable cost, and that there should be no market abuse. I therefore voted in favour of this draft regulation, as it will ensure greater transparency in the wholesale energy market, and hence greater price stability, which will benefit end users.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this important document. The Commission proposal for a regulation (REMIT – Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency) establishes an EU-wide legal framework to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the energy sector (gas and electricity). Unfair practices on wholesale energy markets affect price levels. Such practices can cause high price volatility, lead to increased energy prices for end consumers (both citizens and companies) and undermine the confidence of potential investors in energy infrastructure projects. Transparency of energy markets is a prerequisite for further integration of the EU energy market, which is expected to bring important benefits to consumers. The regulation prohibits market abuse in the form of insider trading and market manipulation in wholesale energy products (electricity and gas). I agree that market manipulation should be sanctioned equally throughout the EU in order to prevent companies which infringe the REMIT provisions from setting up in Member States with the least severe penalties. I welcome the call for the Commission to present proposals by the end of 2012 to further harmonise penalties and set up minimum requirements for penalties at EU level.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) Transparency in energy markets is an essential condition for greater integration of the EU energy market, and should bring consumers considerable benefits. Unfair practices in the wholesale market can provoke higher price volatility, lead to price increases for end consumers and undermine the confidence of potential investors in energy infrastructure projects. This report, for which I voted, welcomes the Commission’s proposal while also proposing other improvements. These are: that the present regulation should also cover the CO2 markets under the EU Emissions Trading System; that the regulation should not apply to very small market participants and, hence, to transactions below a certain volume, so as not to hamper greater energy market liberalisation; and finally, that the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) be provided with the appropriate financial and human resources, and have the opportunity to set up liaison offices situated close to the major trading exchanges.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  George Becali (NI), in writing. (RO) I voted for our colleague’s report. We need regulations on the energy market which will ban abusive practices and we should define exactly every detail covered by the new regulation. We also need to monitor energy transaction activities with the help of both national supervisory authorities and of the relevant European agency. Other measures which are just as important are collecting and reporting data, registering market participants and exchanging information between the agency and other authorities. Lastly, mechanisms are required for applying bans relating to market abuse.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sergio Berlato (PPE), in writing. (IT) The report we are discussing today is particularly important because it relates to the creation of an EU-wide legal framework establishing new rules for the prevention of abusive practices – such as the use of inside information – and market manipulation in the gas and electricity sectors. I support the objective of strengthening the regulatory framework which governs the European market in energy products, with a view to progressing towards regulatory harmonisation aimed at the establishment of an internal energy market. However, a legislative measure of this kind must not serve to introduce an excessively burdensome administrative regime in terms of the systematic reporting of commercial transactions. While I consider both the structure of the proposal for a regulation and the suggested mechanisms for its enforcement to be satisfactory, I agree with the rapporteur that the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators should be provided with adequate financial and human resources so that it can set up liaison offices close to the major trading exchanges.

I would also like to see effective coordination between this European Agency and the national regulatory authorities guaranteed, so as to ensure a proper balance of powers. Lastly, I welcome the increased protection of commercially sensitive information which is regularly submitted to the competent authorities.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I support this report, which aims to establish an EU-wide legal framework to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the energy sector. It demands a sector-specific approach, which I agree with.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this proposal on the prevention of market abuse and manipulation in the energy sector. The document acknowledges that consumers and small enterprises are the most vulnerable to any manipulation of prices of products such as gas and energy, and proposes to protect the interests of such sectors directly through the establishment of a specific framework for monitoring the market and penalising any violations. Given the proposal’s focus on the protection of consumers and small enterprises, I cannot but endorse it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because it is necessary to stop the withholding of energy production assets and to strive to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the energy sector. Preventing abuse is also very important because this would increase long-term confidence in the electricity and gas markets. Abuse in the gas and electricity markets in one European Union Member State affects not only wholesale prices in other countries, but also retail prices for consumers and micro-enterprises. Thus, when addressing this issue, it is very important to seek a joint solution for the whole of the EU and not just individual Member States. Otherwise high price volatility might arise, energy prices for end consumers would increase, and there would also be a decline in investment in energy infrastructure. Currently, in some energy markets, behaviour that undermines integrity is not totally banned, and strong measures therefore need to be taken on this issue.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. – (CS) I applaud the Commission proposal, which aims to prevent abuse of the energy market. In my view, however, the failure to include markets in CO2 within the framework of EU emissions trading is a mistake. The major participants in the carbon markets, especially the electricity companies, also participate in the electricity and gas wholesale markets. The gas and electricity markets are also interlinked with the oil and coal market, the evolution of which has an impact on them. Nevertheless, these markets have a global dimension and cannot be adequately regulated at EU level. Market participants in these sectors should be invited to provide information, without being subject to the control and enforcement mechanism. The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators must be provided with sufficient financial and human resources to be able to set up liaison offices close to the places where major deals are concluded. Furthermore, it could be envisaged that the Agency serves in the future as a trade repository for energy-specific financial transactions. This would facilitate the operations of energy traders, as they would avoid having to report to the trade repository for the financial sector created under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. I believe that increasing integrity and transparency in wholesale energy markets should seek to foster open and fair competition that will benefit consumers. Energy prices need to be contained or lowered and not harmed by market manipulation, thus I fundamentally disagree with creating an EU regulation that serves only to promote the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), which requires all EU energy traders to register. The cost of red tape will trickle down to households and businesses that already struggle with rising costs of fuel. This is merely another attempt by the EU to harmonise policy across the Union and seize control of energy security regardless of the impact such legislation is likely to have.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Cristian Silviu Buşoi (ALDE), in writing. (RO) At the time I voted for this regulation, I had consumer protection foremost in my thoughts. The introduction of a regulation governing energy market integrity and transparency will ensure that wholesale energy trading is conducted fairly. It is our duty to protect consumers and ensure that the final price they are going to pay is fair.

However, we cannot talk about consumer protection without having a more transparent internal market. Energy market transactions should not be conducted on the basis of insider trading or creating monopolies. Therefore, I agree with the introduction of penalties to reflect the harm caused to consumers, as well as with setting up a European register to monitor transactions closely. I welcome the adoption of this regulation and I firmly believe that it will bring us closer to creating an internal energy market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alain Cadec (PPE), in writing.(FR) The draft regulation on energy market integrity and transparency is intended to prevent market abuse by placing an obligation on operators to inform the regulators of their inside information. This regulation constitutes a major step forward in regulating and increasing the transparency of energy markets. It has the dual advantage that it only applies to wholesale energy markets, and that it acts as a tool against price volatility, which will give consumers greater financial stability.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Antonio Cancian (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the Chatzimarkakis report on energy market integrity and transparency because I believe that these are the fundamental principles of any liberal economy which seeks to take due account of its operators’ interests. With this in mind, it is important for prices to reflect a fair interaction between supply and demand. Markets are becoming increasingly interconnected and abuses committed in one Member State could affect wholesale electricity and gas prices even across national borders. I agree with the decision to prohibit the use of inside information to perform manipulated transactions which artificially inflate prices to a level which is not justified by actual availability and production costs. I believe that the monitoring carried out by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, the national energy and financial industry regulatory authorities and the competition authorities will prove a suitable and effective means of combating abuses and infringements and that the sanctions to be introduced by the Member States will also be appropriate.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Transparency is a prerequisite for the increased integration of the EU energy market. This integration brings consumers clear benefits. The regulation adopted today is a step towards completing the internal energy market by 2014. The regulation establishes a database of transactions in the wholesale energy market and creates a European register of market participants, so preventing unfair practices. Unfair practices in the wholesale energy market affect price levels and harm consumers. Lack of transparency can lead to increased prices for end consumers and can undermine the confidence of potential investors in energy infrastructure projects. This regulation is thus crucial for the correct functioning of the internal market, and for consumers and investors.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lara Comi (PPE), in writing. (IT) I fully support the objectives laid down by the regulation. Talking about integrity and transparency means establishing a necessary, though not entirely sufficient, requirement to improve our collective well-being. This is an issue on which we cannot improvise. The reference to the ban on market abuse on the wholesale electricity and electricity products markets, for example, shows the importance of organising ourselves and following the approach that we adopted when we chose our policies for the energy sector. At the same time, we need to ensure that checks are not hampered by events beyond our control or by unexpected inefficiencies during monitoring exercises. That is why I also welcomed the approval of the priorities identified by the Commission and the reference to the introduction of mechanisms enabling other relevant authorities to access information received on transactions on the wholesale energy markets, because I believe they are crucial to optimising the market. Given the long-term strategic importance of this matter, the decision to have other European bodies support the Agency in order to monitor economic operators more efficiently and hence pursue our general interests is crucial.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) This framework is geared to the energy markets, supplementing the already existing regulations for financial markets. Unfair practices on energy markets affect the level of prices to such an extent that the markets are unable to fulfil their role of sending clear signals to power plants, individual consumers and businesses about optimal energy use, provide guidance on reasonable investments in the energy infrastructure and promote efficient energy use. Transparency in energy markets is a prerequisite for smoother integration of the EU energy market, which should provide significant benefits for consumers. This is why the Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) functions as a key tool for achieving the goal set by the European Council, which is to create the internal market by 2014.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, as I consider the effective monitoring of European energy markets to be absolutely essential. Transparency and efficiency will be brought to the markets through the strengthening of the role of the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), headquartered in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in particular as regards truly effective coordination of the Member States’ network of regulators, as well as through the application of the legal framework in force. This will also bring objective economic gains. I would also stress the strengthening of ACER’s role in the areas of research and application of the legal framework in force, which seems extremely important as a way of discouraging competitive and practices detrimental to the interests of the Member States, the EU and consumers. I now hope that the final agreement with the Council will be reached quickly following the informal agreement of 23 June with the Hungarian Presidency, and that this regulation will come into force rapidly.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this report, which will guarantee greater transparency in transactions on the energy markets within the European Union. These new rules for the wholesale electricity and gas markets should increase trust between the various operators and the EU Member States, by establishing an EU-wide supervisory framework.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ioan Enciu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report as the regulation on energy market integrity and transparency is a key tool for achieving the internal energy market by 2014. It will create a framework which defines consistent regulations, adapted to the specific requirements of the energy markets and designed to identify and discourage market abuse.

We need to bear in mind that the market abuses which occur in one particular Member State are not confined to it, but can have repercussions across the whole EU. We must not forget either that the basic purpose of the European energy market is to offer consumers lower prices by stimulating competition.

The regulation gives national authorities the leading role when it comes to the investigation procedures in the case of suspected abuses. I think that Member States must grant them the powers required to investigate market abuses and establish suitable regulations on the penalties which can be applied.

Last but not least, I maintain that the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) must play a key role in preventing market abuses and manipulation, which push up prices for consumers. The national regulatory authorities must accept communication and cooperation with ACER because this is the only way that the Agency will be able to fulfil the role that it has been assigned.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on energy market integrity and transparency, because it tables important proposals to prevent and punish any attempts at energy sector market abuse and speculation, with a view to protecting the interests and rights of consumers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The proposal for a regulation on energy market integrity and transparency establishes an EU-wide legal framework to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the energy – gas and electricity – sector. Given the strategic importance of the energy market and the tendency towards abuses, the Commission’s proposal and its sector-specific approach, with a view to preventing market abuse, is welcome. The structure of the proposal and the mechanisms proposed for applying the regulation are, as the rapporteur says, appropriate for regulating a market of growing importance, the intention for which is that it will head towards integration of national energy markets into a single European market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Mr Chatzimarkakis, concerns a proposal for a regulation of Parliament and the Council on the integrity and transparency of energy markets. The Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) will be applied to contracts relating to the production, supply and transportation of natural gas and electricity, and aims to prevent abuses in the wholesale energy markets, thus protecting consumers. The recently created Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), in partnership with the regulatory authorities of the Member States, will carry out a fundamental role once monitoring of these markets is in place, and will present a report to the Commission annually. Energy costs constitute a substantial share of outgoings, for both individuals and the corporate sector. It will therefore be necessary to prevent unfair practices, which lead to price increases and undermine the confidence of potential investors. I voted for this proposal, as it represents a significant advance in the defence of consumer rights in one of the most important sectors of the global economy.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) First they liberalised the energy sector. The consequences of this are well known: the formation of private monopolies, high prices, little attention to consumers and huge profits.

Now Parliament, which supports this option, wants to adopt new rules to prevent abuses in the wholesale energy market and, supposedly, to protect consumers. Under the Commission’s proposal, the monitoring of these markets will take place at EU level so as to ‘enable Member States to prevent and punish anti-competitive behaviour’. They forget that they contributed to this by facilitating privatisation and monopolistic concentration in this area. In the name of their god, the market, they promoted deregulation processes, with disastrous consequences, as attested by several studies.

This Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) will be applied to the trade of wholesale energy products, and particularly to contracts and derivatives related to the production, supply and transport of natural gas and electricity.

Now they are saying that ‘energy must remain affordable for everyone as it is the key to the economy’. However, they are concealing the fact that price liberalisation brought serious problems, that energy poverty is increasingly the unfortunate reality for consumers, and that small and medium-sized enterprises have seen their production costs grow significantly; there are still no responses to this situation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Having liberalised the energy sector, with all its well known consequences, namely the formation of private monopolies, high prices and little attention to consumers, Parliament is now adopting new rules to prevent abuses in the wholesale energy market and protect consumers, which everyone now acknowledges is necessary.

Under the Commission’s proposal, the monitoring of these markets will take place at EU level so as to ‘enable Member States to prevent and punish anti-competitive behaviour’. They forget that they contributed to this by facilitating privatisation and the concentration of capital in this area.

This Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) will be applied to the trade of wholesale energy products, and particularly to contracts and derivatives related to the production, supply and transport of natural gas and electricity.

Of course, they are now saying that ‘energy must remain affordable for everyone as it is the key to the economy’. However, they cannot hide the fact that price liberalisation has led to a serious problem, that energy poverty is increasingly the unfortunate reality for consumers, or that micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises have seen their production costs grow significantly; there are still no responses to this situation. That is why we voted against.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) An EU framework is needed for the integration of national energy markets into a single market. Unfair practices on the wholesale energy markets affect price levels so that they are unable to do their job of sending a clear signal to power stations, households and enterprises regarding the optimum use of energy. Instead these practices may result in great price fluctuations, leading to higher energy prices for the end-consumer (individuals and businesses) and weaken the confidence of potential investors in energy infrastructure products. Transparency on the energy markets is a necessary prerequisite if the EU energy market is to be further integrated. For this reason, REMIT operates as a key instrument for achieving the European Council’s target of completing the internal energy market by 2014. In order to prevent further liberalisation of the energy markets, this regulation should not apply to very small market operators.

This will help new operators avoid excessive obstacles when entering the market. Market manipulation should also be sanctioned uniformly throughout the EU. I believe that after some of the changes proposed during the legislative process have been implemented, the directive should be capable of fulfilling its task and increasing transparency, integrity and stability on the wholesale energy market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Adam Gierek (S&D), in writing.(PL) The basic aim of the regulation under discussion is to organise the European energy market in such a way that its resulting integrity and transparency will preclude large energy corporations from exhibiting monopolistic or oligopolistic tendencies.They prevent the development of innovative, energy-saving solutions, which may in fact have an adverse effect on the situation of the end-user. The aim is to prevent speculation and to avoid risks which include those resulting from abuses, especially on the derivatives market. Speculative notifications of demand for energy should be restricted in cases when they cannot be accepted and transmitted immediately, as should be cases where there is no financial possibility of carrying out the transaction. Transparency of the energy market also requires comprehensive information on actual prices, being a sine qua non of fair play.

The regulation does not include trading in new forms of energy, for example, not the energy itself but the power available over a certain period of time (capacity payment), which would curb speculation. When setting energy prices, transmission costs are not taken into account (nodal pricing), which means that the total costs are incorrect. Selected scientific institutes should also have access to data, even data classified as sensitive, in order to be able to carry out independent analyses. For the above reasons, and being of the opinion that this regulation requires additional work, I abstained from voting.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Louis Grech (S&D), in writing. I believe that the report on Energy market integrity and transparency sets out important principles for the protection of consumers from market abuse and speculation in the wholesale energy market. It is important to ensure that consumers pay a fair price for electricity and gas throughout the European Economic Area. This would increase consumer confidence in the electricity and gas markets in the long term and ensure affordable, accessible and available energy for all citizens. Action to ensure the integrity of markets cannot be a matter for individual Member States only. Strong cross-border market monitoring is essential for the completion of a fully functioning, interconnected and integrated internal energy market. Therefore proper monitoring and transparency of the energy market is dependent on close cooperation and enhanced coordination between various European agencies and national authorities.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Estelle Grelier (S&D), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy market integrity and transparency. The regulation lays down new rules that are designed to stop abusive practices in the wholesale energy markets, among other means by giving more powers to monitor and impose penalties to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), which was set up in 2009. Considering that at present one of the main objectives of EU energy policy is to complete the establishment of the internal gas and electricity market, and that research and investment are concentrating on developing trans-European energy networks, it is extremely important for this new market to be governed by rules that will protect consumers. We can also expect energy trading between Member States to increase over the next few years. The research currently being done in the North Sea on creating a network capable of transporting offshore wind energy is just one example of what is needed for the future. It will therefore be beneficial to provide an appropriate legislative framework for this new market, so that it can develop properly and expand within a clearly defined legal framework.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because it is aimed at preventing market abuse and manipulation in the energy sector (gas and electricity). The regulation prohibits market abuse in the form of insider trading (Article 1(1) & Article 3) and market manipulation ( Article 2(2) & Article 4) in wholesale energy products (electricity & gas). It requires market participants to disclose inside information (Article 4(4)). The key actor in monitoring the transactions in the market is the recently established Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). Article 7 of the regulation requires market participants to provide the Agency with a record of their transactions in wholesale energy products. The Agency monitors this data and reports annually to the European Commission (Article 6). The Agency shares the information it collects with other bodies, in particular national regulatory authorities and financial and competition authorities in Member States (Article 8). Market manipulation should be sanctioned equally throughout the EU in order to prevent companies which infringe the REMIT provisions from setting up in Member States with the least severe penalties. The Commission should therefore present proposals by end 2012 to further harmonise penalties and lay down minimum requirements for penalties at EU level.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jarosław Kalinowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) We are all fully aware nowadays of the importance of energy security, of the importance of constant, ideally independent and reliable access to energy. Crude oil, coal and gas markets are connected with the electricity market and are open to abuses and manipulation. Legislative changes should regulate these matters, which are raising major uncertainties today, they should solve problems which are interfering with equal competition in this sector in the single European market, and they should also remove obstacles standing in the way of new entities, small businesses just entering the market, and not saddle them with excessive licensing requirements. We should keep watch over the energy sector and its associated markets to ensure that it is characterised by transparency and integrity, which the report we are discussing is striving to do.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Tunne Kelam (PPE), in writing. Transparency and integrity are the core principles to be fully implemented in the European energy market. Energy deals and projects should be closely monitored and details made available to national and European energy authorities. This should apply for EU internal deals, and especially for deals with third countries. I very much welcome the recent statement by Commissioner Oettinger with the aim of increasing the role of the European Commission in assessing energy deals, including ongoing projects.

This would both serve the aim of speaking with one voice, and also ensure that energy deals which mainly have an impact on the whole of Europe are fully in line with EU principles and laws. Europe is highly dependent on external energy resources, and the only way to guarantee that EU law and EU security-of-supply aims are respected and followed is to ensure greater coherence, transparency and data-sharing on all levels.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D), in writing.(PL) On 14 September 2011, a vote was held on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy market integrity and transparency, which I supported. In my opinion, we need a sectoral approach to the energy market, which requires various regulatory objectives, and at the same time we need to uphold principles which accord with financial market regulations. I think wholesale energy markets should be more transparent as a result of the introduction of a register for market participants. Dishonest practices affect the level of energy prices. Market participants should transfer data on wholesale transactions to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators. In addition, national regulators should work together with the Agency.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) Unfair practices on the wholesale energy markets affect price levels so that they are unable to do their job of sending a clear signal to power stations, households and enterprises regarding the optimum use of energy, allowing sensible investments in the energy infrastructure and promoting efficient use of energy. Instead these practices can lead to excessive price volatility and energy price increases for end-users and weaken investor confidence in energy infrastructure projects. Transparency on the energy markets is a necessary prerequisite if the EU energy market, which is expected to be a major contribution for consumers, is to be further integrated. For this reason, REMIT operates as a key instrument for achieving the European Council’s target of completing the internal energy market by 2014.

In order to prevent further liberalisation of the energy markets, this regulation should not apply to very small market operators, that is, to transactions below a certain volume. This would mean new market players would not face excessive obstacles when entering the energy market. Market players who have resources below a certain level would not be required to notify their transactions or have to meet the licensing requirements (de minimis rule).

The directive would increase transparency, integrity and stability on the wholesale energy market.

Citizens have the right to know how public funds are allocated and spent, and to what effect. For this reason the EU institutions must apply these rules to the way institutions and policies are operated and how they are funded at all levels.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I welcome this report and the Commission proposal and its sector-specific approach to focus on the energy sector, in order to prevent market abuse. The structure of the proposal and the mechanisms proposed for applying the regulation are very good, nevertheless several improvements can be made and they are reflected in the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the regulation on energy market integrity and transparency, in order to combat market abuse in the energy sector. Wholesale trade in energy products will now be regulated independently throughout the whole of the European Union. To achieve this, the draft regulation stipulates that the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators will oversee the electricity and gas markets, in cooperation with the national regulatory bodies. The regulation will prohibit the unlawful use of inside information and practices that manipulate the markets. As regards penalties, we were keen to take the ‘damage caused to consumers’ into consideration. We also advocated creating a European register of energy market participants.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) This report is aimed at establishing an internal energy market based entirely on free, undistorted competition. It subjugates energy resources to the laws of profit-making. Once again, it is citizens who will pay the bill and the ecosystem that will suffer. What Europe needs is a public body for energy.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) This proposal for a regulation – the Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) – establishes an EU-wide legal framework to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the gas and electricity sector. With the adoption of this report we are concerned with consumer protection in the energy market, introducing a regulation for the integrity of the energy market and transparency to guarantee correct behaviour in the wholesale energy market. It is our duty to protect consumers and ensure that the final price they pay is fair. We cannot talk about consumer protection without a more transparent internal market. The energy market cannot be based on inside information or dominated by monopolies. As such, I agree with the introduction of penalties for possible harm caused to consumers. I therefore welcome the adoption of this regulation, which will contribute to the creation of an internal energy market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. The regulation aims to prohibit market manipulation and insider trading in the EU’s energy markets and defines them and puts in place monitoring mechanisms and penalties to dissuade such forms of market abuse. ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of European Energy Regulators) is given a strong role to play. In Latvia strong violations related to distribution of quotes on wind generators have led to a full stop in implementing such projects. The European Commissioner from Latvia had the straightest relation to the machination. I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I supported this report because transparency in the energy market, which would prevent the use of disreputable methods in wholesale energy markets, is in the interests of European economic development and all consumers. The unjustifiably high prices in the energy market naturally have a negative effect on the European economy and consumers, whose incomes have fallen significantly since the economic crisis. The existence of a sector-based legislative framework covering the entire EU in the energy sector is extremely important from the point of view of preventing misuse and manipulation of the market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Justas Vincas Paleckis (S&D), in writing. (LT) Energy is a very topical subject in the EU, particularly for the energy island, of which Lithuania forms a part. This document calls for the establishment of a single EU market for electricity and gas, which would be run by Brussels. Increasing involvement by the EU in the management of energy markets should protect EU populations from sudden price hikes, and ensure greater stability in the supply of energy resources for consumers. In the document we also call for countries’ energy laws to be harmonised, thus facilitating trade in this sector. Once these proposals have been realised, Lithuania and all of the Baltic countries would be included in a single EU energy network, and their vulnerability to energy blackmail would be reduced. All of this would also promote internal competition among energy suppliers, which should have a positive impact on the price of electricity and gas in the market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) Energy market integrity and transparency: the title of the proposal for a regulation already indicates what it is about, a regulation that summarises and consolidates all the existing legislation on the trade in energy commodities in any given market. I voted in favour of the proposal for a regulation in the hope that energy speculation on the stock markets and the lack of transparency in the trade in energy commodities may be prevented by the entry into force of specific rules contained in the regulation in question. We need to ensure that the markets and the monitoring bodies are transparent and efficient.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) The proposal for a regulation on energy market integrity and transparency, which I supported, is the first step towards creating a European framework, with a view to integrating the national energy markets into a single European market. The proposal relates to the wholesale energy markets and aims to regulate their shortcomings, such as withholding energy production capacity. By default, the European energy framework being formulated is extremely important and will be the subject of discussion in Greece, especially in light of the country’s debate on energy policy and in light of the integrated exploitation of alternative energy sources (such as solar energy) offered by new technologies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) This proposal for a regulation – the Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) – establishes an EU-wide legal framework to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the gas and electricity sector. There was a broad consensus in favour of this report in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. Indeed, the Commission proposal and its sector-specific approach to focusing on the energy sector, in order to prevent market abuse, have been well received in Parliament. I also agree with the structure of the proposal and the mechanisms proposed for applying the regulation, as well as the various improvements tabled by Parliament, which are reflected in the draft report, particularly the reinforcement of the role of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), which has a key role in the application of this regulation, and must therefore be provided with the appropriate financial and human resources to be able to set up liaison offices situated close to the major trading exchanges. I voted in favour of this report for these reasons.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rovana Plumb (S&D), in writing. The regulation aims to prohibit market manipulation and insider trading in the EU’s energy markets and defines them and puts in place monitoring mechanisms and penalties to dissuade from such forms of market abuse. ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of European Energy Regulators) is given a strong role to play: to monitor and help enforce the regulation with national regulatory authorities, a registration scheme for market participants (with the possibility for a licensing scheme should this not prove sufficient), ensuring that penalties take into account the consumer damage caused by market abuse, that ACER will be allocated sufficient funds in a review in order to take into account the extra tasks assigned to it. The Commission should consider presenting a proposal to harmonise minimum standards for penalties and Member States have to work to harmonise sanctions, so as to avoid competition or loopholes. Voting this report we act to curtail market abuse and speculation in the wholesale energy markets, to protect the consumer, as it is ultimately consumers who pay more for their electricity and gas when these abuses occur.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The proposal for a regulation under discussion here deals with the wholesale energy market. This is an area which deserves particular attention from the Union institutions, since any faults in the functioning of the market will have repercussions for companies, the public and families. This proposal aims to combat unfair practices which distort the normal functioning of the market. It is a particularly sensitive issue, and one in which EU involvement is justified.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing.(IT) I congratulate Mr Chatzimarkakis on the excellent work he has done. Today we have approved new rules to prevent market abuse in the wholesale energy sector and hence to protect end consumers. Europe’s wholesale energy market will be monitored by an independent agency so as to enable national governments to prevent or penalise behaviour which undermines free competition. Energy must remain within everyone’s reach. We want prices to be transparent for consumers, but unfortunately there are many hidden costs in the excessive prices that consumers ultimately pay, and this has a very negative impact on growth and employment.

Europe needs a more transparent energy market, a market protected from abuse: that is the purpose of this regulation. I therefore welcome these new measures, which guarantee transparency and help prevent market abuse in the wholesale energy sector, thereby ensuring fair prices and free competition.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. I voted in favour. The Commission proposal for a regulation (‘REMIT’ – Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency) establishes an EU-wide legal framework to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the energy sector (gas and electricity). This framework must be specific to the wholesale energy markets, in addition to the already existing regulations for financial markets. The inherent characteristics of energy products, misconduct specific to the energy market (such as withholding energy production assets), as well as the different regulatory objectives require a sector-specific approach, while maintaining principles compatible and coherent with financial market regulations. In the context of the integration of national energy markets into a single European market, an EU framework is necessary.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this text because I believe that it is a step in the right direction insofar as it establishes an EU-wide legal framework to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the energy sector, particularly with regard to gas and electricity. What we need, in fact, is a specific approach for this sector that will prevent unfair practices on wholesale energy markets from being able to manipulate price levels, making them extremely volatile and undermining potential investors’ confidence in energy infrastructure projects.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Oreste Rossi (EFD), in writing. (IT) I am in favour of the regulation establishing an EU-wide legal framework to prevent market abuse and manipulation in the energy sector. We must ensure that the prices set on wholesale energy markets reflect a fair and competitive interaction between supply and demand and that it is not possible to benefit from market abuse, which often affects not only wholesale prices for electricity and gas across national borders, but also retail prices for consumers and micro-enterprises. The concern to ensure proper monitoring and transparency of energy markets is one of the goals alongside which the idea, which President Buzek too supports, of creating a single energy market designed to penalise countries which do not observe the rules of transparency and compete unfairly, should be developed and put into practice.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) I support the proposal for a regulation on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency. The topic is a very sensitive one, given that wholesale market prices also determine energy costs for households and businesses. Citizens, businesses and authorities must have confidence in the transparency of the wholesale energy markets. The objective is to reinforce the legislative framework regulating the energy product market in Europe ahead of regulatory harmonisation aimed at creating an internal energy market. Businesses in particular are relying on this new regulation to allow them to respond to changes in market conditions with greater flexibility, and to support the new generation and infrastructure investments necessary for transforming the supply of energy in Europe. If this fails, it could discourage investment and increase the volatility of energy prices. For example in Italy, my own country, energy market liberalisation is a two-speed process. It is effective in the electricity market, which is already successfully open to competition, but it is encountering resistance and difficulties in the gas market, which is penalised by a lack of competition. Therefore, to conclude, I believe it is necessary to ensure effective coordination between national regulatory authorities and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bogusław Sonik (PPE), in writing.(PL) The new EU regulation on energy market integrity and transparency, which provides for inter alia the monitoring of wholesale trade, the protection of end-users and the levying of financial penalties on entities violating the regulations, is an important step on the path to establishing an EU energy market. The provisions which have been adopted are good news for the whole of the EU and each individual Member State in particular, as this regulation signifies the legal sanctioning of greater transparency in the functioning of the EU market. This procedure forms part of the process guaranteeing energy security not only for Poland but for all Member States. It is essential in so far as regular supplies of energy provided in conditions of transparency and freedom from corruption on the European market are particularly significant for our economy, which could not function correctly without adequate energy supplies. The added value of this document is in the potential benefit for ordinary consumers: new principles of market participation mean greater competition between energy suppliers, which in turn should translate into lower purchase costs.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The electricity and gas market, particularly the wholesale market, must have a legal framework suited to energy matters. That is the only way to prevent abuses and manipulation of the energy sector, allowing end consumers fair, competitive, transparent prices. This regulation imposes rules regarding the abuse of inside information, market manipulation and the publishing of inside information. The recently established Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) has the role of monitoring information provided by the Member States, and later reporting it to the Commission. It also aims to provide ACER with the human and financial resources necessary for it to function, so that in the future it will be able to draft delegated acts. A licensing scheme for energy traders, valid throughout the EU and required for traders carrying out transactions above a certain threshold, which could be removed in case of breaches of this regulation, is an essential factor in this measure’s success. This report, which is specific to the wholesale electricity and gas sector, is crucial to the implementation of a common energy policy across the 27 Member States. There is an urgent need to create a sustainable and competitive market and, at the same time, reduce the EU’s foreign dependency.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rafał Trzaskowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) Clear rules of play in the energy market ensure greater competitiveness and lower prices, which is good news for consumers. Removal of barriers and regulatory differences, in brief, strengthening the single EU market, including the energy market, is the answer to today’s crisis. This is the position of the European Parliament it is also part of the programme of the Polish Presidency. This is also good news for Poland, as the regulation means greater transparency in the EU market which, as we know, has been infiltrated to a considerable degree by Russian firms such as Gazprom, for example. They too will have to conform to the new rules.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Dominique Vlasto (PPE), in writing. (FR) It is essential that competition should be free and fair. This rule, which is an absolute pillar of EU law, not only leads to rivalry between private operators, thus guaranteeing innovation and productivity, but also acts as a safeguard to protect consumers against potential price-fixing and abuse of market power. All markets should obey this fundamental rule. I naturally voted in favour of this regulation, therefore, as it is designed to stop abusive practices in the wholesale energy markets, from which consumers lose out. Among the measures it adopts, the report’s strong condemnation of insider trading struck me in particular: the unlawful use of inside information and practices aimed at manipulating the markets must be punished by the national authorities with penalties that reflect the harm suffered by consumers. I welcome the fact that trade in wholesale energy products will now be monitored independently throughout the whole of the European Union, and I hope that the Commission will give the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) adequate resources with which to fulfil its function of monitoring and investigating breaches of the regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) The report concerns the Commission proposal for a regulation, which is intended to lay down, at EU level, the legislative framework to combat market abuse and market manipulation – in the form of insider trading – in the gas and electricity energy sectors. Like the rapporteur, I support the chosen sector-based approach in order to be able to tailor the provisions to sector-specific conditions and thereby increase the prospects of success accordingly. I also support the amendments proposed by the rapporteur with regard to the content of the regulation, in particular a harmonised – and therefore effective – system of penalties.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Hermann Winkler (PPE), in writing. (DE) I would like to thank the rapporteur for his important work to promote greater transparency and integrity in the wholesale energy markets. I voted in favour of this report and I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise how important I believe it to be that the approach taken allows the Agency in Ljubljana to forge strong links with the most important wholesale energy markets in order to receive their support. Efficient market monitoring requires reliable and regular as well as rapid contact with the most important trading markets. I would even have liked to see Parliament go further and call for specific contact offices, as Mr Chatzimarkakis had originally considered doing. Such additional monitoring structures would surely have been appropriate and helpful for the Agency in Ljubljana and not counterproductive as some fellow Members obviously feared. However, I hope that use will indeed by made of this option. In this regard, I am thinking in particular of the four major cross-border trading exchanges, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Leipzig.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) The definition of a common energy market to guarantee greater transparency, prevent dominant players from abusing their position, and consequently stop damaging speculation on the European market is the aim of the Chatzimarkakis report on energy market integrity and transparency, which I supported. The final text is the result of lengthy negotiations and aims especially to prevent potential market ‘manipulation’, increasing the penalties for those who breach the regulations. In addition the emphasis on the role of the European Agency for the Coordination of Regulators in terms of market monitoring and control is a positive factor.

 
  
  

Report: Eva Lichtenberger (A7-0249/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report as it deals principally with a document concerning the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which introduced a number of new legal bases intended to facilitate the implementation, application and enforcement of EU law.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) The Treaty of Lisbon brought in several new legal bases for facilitating the implementation, application and enforcement of European Union law. This report focuses on the fundamental role played by the European Commission in bringing infringement proceedings against Member States that have breached one of their obligations under the Treaty. It calls on the Commission to draft a procedural law on the subject, and deplores the lack of transparency that currently prevails. The report emphasises the need for concordance tables to be drawn up and published, which would give the Commission an overview of the transposition measures introduced in all Member States. I support these demands, and therefore voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) The Treaty of Lisbon entered into force on 1 December 2009 and introduced a number of new legal bases intended to facilitate the implementation, application and enforcement of EU law. Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union defines the fundamental role of the Commission as that of guardian of the Treaties. In this context, the Commission has powers and a duty to bring infringement proceedings against a Member State that has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties, including obligations in relation to fundamental rights of citizens. This twenty-seventh annual report on monitoring the application of EU law shows that, despite a fall in the number of infringement cases opened by the Commission, it was still dealing with around 2 900 complaints and infringement files at the end of 2009, and that Member States were still behind schedule with their transposition of directives in more than half of cases. I feel that such a situation is far from satisfactory, and the Commission should therefore bring more transparency into ongoing infringement procedures and inform EU citizens as soon as possible and in an appropriate manner of the action taken on their requests. I agree that the Commission should propose a benchmark for Member States’ compliance with Court of Justice rulings.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I support this report, which evaluates the Commission’s monitoring of the application of European Union law in 2009. It focuses on the fundamental role of the Commission as ‘Guardian of the Treaty’. It reiterates that the infringement procedure consists of two phases: the administrative (investigation) stage and the judicial stage before the Court of Justice.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because in it the European Parliament evaluates the Commission’s role as guardian of the Treaties. This is the 27th annual report prepared by the European Parliament on the role played by the Commission in monitoring the Member States. The first phase of the infringement proceedings is one of the areas of direct interaction between Europe and EU citizens, where citizens turn to the Commission and Parliament for help in order to access their European rights. It is therefore vital that complainants are treated according to principles of good administration. Thus, the report indicates that, although infringement proceedings fell in 2009, the situation is still unsatisfactory and this is above all down to Member States being behind schedule in the transposition of rules of law. The European Parliament also calls on the Commission to ensure greater transparency in infringement procedures and asks the Commission to propose a benchmark for Member States’ compliance with Court of Justice rulings.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. The EU Commission’s emphasis on improving the prevention of infringements while ensuring sufficient means are made available, especially preserving consistency in the application of EU law by the Member States and ensuring the role of the Court of Justice, is not at all welcome. I strongly oppose the idea of the EU Commission investigating and initiating infringement proceedings when a petition or complaint is directed against jurisdiction by a national court. It implies not only a disregard for domestic rule of law and but absolute disrespect for judicial impartiality.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report assesses the monitoring of European Union law by the Commission in 2009. It focuses on the fundamental role of the Commission as ‘guardian of the Treaties’ and describes its power and duty to bring infringement proceedings against the Member State that has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties. The report calls on the Commission to propose a ‘procedural law’ in the form of a regulation, under the new legal basis of Article 298 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in order to reinforce citizens’ rights and ensure transparency. The procedural law will not in any way limit the discretional power of the Commission but would only guarantee that when exercising its power the Commission respects the principles of ‘an open, efficient and independent European administration’ as referred to in Article 298 of the TFEU and in Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The means of implementing, applying and enforcing EU law have for a long time worried both European legislators and lawyers. The more the volume and complexity of EU law increase, the more its intelligibility and applicability are jeopardised. To deal with these concerns, the Treaty of Lisbon introduced several legal bases aiming to improve the way in which EU law is made and applied. The resolution before us concerns the fundamental role of the Commission as a promoter of infringement proceedings against a Member State that has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties, focusing on its two stages: the administrative stage and the judicial stage. The broad discretion of the Commission in this type of process has merited specialists’ reflection, nonetheless the rapporteur has come down on the side of the need to adopt a procedural law which does not limit it. This is only one of the existing problems, and it demonstrates the obvious tension in legal and jurisdiction terms between the European institutions and the Member States. Such problems heighten the urgency of monitoring the adoption and application of EU law, and of seeking to improve either its wording or its systematic coherence.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Ms Lichtenberger, focuses on the 27th annual report on monitoring the application of European Union law by the Commission in 2009. The Commission, as ‘guardian of the Treaties’, must ensure Member States’ compliance, and is responsible for penalising those that fail to fulfil an obligation to which they are bound, by virtue of having concluded the Treaties. A more efficient Europe implies the careful participation of the public, who must be made aware that complaints can be submitted when the Treaties are not respected, particularly in the areas of the environment and of all violations of fundamental rights, so as to avoid harmful consequences for the public. However, there should be more transparency in the processes of handling complaints by providing continuous information on their progress. An increasingly strong EU means each Member State being responsible both for itself and for the whole. I therefore welcome this report and I call on all the Member States to scrupulously respect the Treaties they have concluded. Only in this way will we achieve a stronger and better Europe.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The importance of the rule of law to a democratic society and for the legitimacy of any government cannot be disputed. Although the EU is undoubtedly one of the places in the world where objectivity, transparency and applicability of the law is at the highest level, this case draws attention to a number of failings that cannot be overlooked. In order to resolve the issues of applying the legislation of the European Union in an improved and more targeted way, the Commission launched the EU pilot project. However, this was not fully satisfactory and it would therefore be more suitable to set up an alternative type of mediation where citizens could complain to those who initiate the cases. There have often been cases where implementation of EU law has resulted in misunderstandings, for example, many petitions refer to the Charter of Fundamental Rights even where the charter does not apply to the legal acts of the Member State in question.

Citizens feel they have been misinformed as far as the real scope of the charter is concerned. I therefore believe it necessary that the Commission together with the Member States do everything in their power to explain the scope of the powers and applicability of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) This report evaluates the Commission’s monitoring of the application of European Union law in 2009. It focuses on the fundamental role of the Commission as guardian of the Treaty and the Commission’s powers and duty to bring infringement proceedings against a Member State that has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaty. It reiterates that the infringement procedure consists of two phases: the administrative (investigation) stage and the judicial stage before the Court of Justice. In the administrative phase, the role of citizens (complainants) in ensuring compliance with Union law on the ground is of paramount importance. Bringing Europe closer to its citizens and embracing techniques of good governance are intrinsically linked. One of the areas of direct interaction between Europe and EU citizens is precisely the administrative phase of Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), where citizens turn to the Commission and Parliament for help in order to access their European rights. It is therefore vital that complainants are treated according to principles of good administration. The rapporteur therefore calls on the Commission to propose procedural law in the form of a regulation under the new legal basis of Article 298 TFEU, in order to reinforce citizens’ rights and guarantee transparency. This procedural law would not in any way limit the discretional power of the Commission but merely guarantee that, when exercising its power, the Commission respects the principles of an open, efficient and independent European administration, as referred to in Article 298 and in Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The report focuses on the fundamental role of the Commission as the guardian of the Treaty and its authority and obligation to initiate proceedings regarding infringements of the regulations by a Member State which has failed to honour particular obligations thereunder. There are two phases to infringement cases: an administrative (investigatory) phase and a judicial phase at the European Court of Justice. The administrative phase plays a key role for citizens (complainants) by making on-the-spot compliance with Union law possible. Bringing Europe closer to its citizens and accepting good administrative practice are areas which are fundamentally intertwined. One of the areas of direct interaction between 'Europe' and its citizens is the administrative phase of TFEU Article 258, under which citizens may apply to the Commission and Parliament for assistance in accessing their European rights. It is therefore extremely important that complainants are treated according to the principles of good public administrative practice. The Commission should propose 'procedural legal provisions' in the form of a directive based on the new legal basis of TFEU Article 298 to strengthen the rights of citizens and to ensure transparency.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I welcome this report, which evaluates the Commission’s monitoring of the application of European Union law in 2009. It focuses on the fundamental role of the Commission as ‘Guardian of the Treaty’ and the Commission’s power and duty to bring infringement proceedings against a Member State that has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaty. It reiterates that the infringement procedure consists of two phases: the administrative (investigation) stage and the judicial stage before the Court of Justice. In the administrative phase, the role of citizens (complainants) in ensuring compliance with Union law on the ground is of paramount importance. Bringing Europe closer to its citizens and embracing techniques of good governance are intrinsically linked.

One of the areas of direct interaction between ‘Europe’ and the EU citizens is precisely the administrative phase of Article 258 TFEU, where citizens turn to the Commission and Parliament for help in order to access their European rights. As such, it is vital that complainants are treated according to principles of good administration.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The purpose of this report is to assess the Member States’ application of legislation adopted at EU level and the need for infringement proceedings to be brought against a Member State that fails to fulfil the Treaties’ provisions. According to the text, the Commission is therefore called on to propose a procedural law in the form of a regulation, in order to assure greater respect for European citizens’ rights. At the same time, it calls for greater cooperation between EU institutions and national parliaments, especially in the application of EU law.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE), in writing. (SK) The Treaty of Lisbon which came into effect on 1 December 2009 introduced several new legal principles to facilitate the implementation and transposition of EU law, thereby significantly changing the legal and regulatory environment at European level. As in any democratic state with rule of law, the European Union must have legal standards in force which conform with the principles of transparency and the objectivity of decisions so that EU citizens and all economic entities can exercise their legal rights calmly and effectively. This makes it paramount that EU law is as transparent, comprehensible and accessible as possible. I believe that much more needs to be done as regards transparency and strengthening good public administration at European level, which to citizens continues to be something distant and unachievable. I therefore support the recommendations in the annual report on monitoring the application of European law and the appeals to the Commission to draft new legislation to strengthen the rights of citizens and promote transparency and am voting in favour of it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. The European Commission deals with an important number of infringement cases. To better address the citizens’ and businesses’ questions concerning the application of EU law, the Commission launched the EU pilot project. I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) This report shows that out of roughly 2900 complaints and cases of violations, in more than half of cases Member States were behind with the transposition of directives, and primary responsibility for this lies with Member States’ government agencies. Monitoring shows that Member States are not making a sufficient effort to transpose necessary directives, and our common objectives are largely only on paper, and are not functioning in reality. Transposition naturally takes time, but the transposition of important directives cannot take forever, and the European Union must act decisively to ensure that our common objectives are realised.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, which assesses the monitoring of European Union law by the Commission in 2009. The Commission has a fundamental role as ‘guardian of the Treaties’, and in this capacity it can and should bring infringement proceedings against Member States that have failed to fulfil their obligations under the Treaties. This report reiterates that the infringement procedure consists of two phases: the administrative, or investigation, stage and the judicial stage before the Court of Justice. The role of citizens – complainants – in the administrative phase, in ensuring compliance with European Union law on the ground, is of paramount importance. Indeed, I believe that the aims of bringing Europe closer to its citizens and embracing techniques of good governance are intrinsically linked. I support the call made in the report to propose a ‘procedural law’ reinforcing the rights of the public and ensuring greater transparency. This will no doubt contribute to strengthening ‘an open, efficient and independent European administration’ as referred to in Article 298 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and in Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. – (PT) When discussing the monitoring of the application of EU law, the first thing to note is the important role of the Commission as ‘guardian of the Treaties’. Potential problems and their possible solutions must be considered from this standpoint. As such, an active stance on the part of the Commission is key to avoiding failures to comply with EU law by the Member States. As far as cases of non-compliance are concerned, it is important to stress the need for proper regulation, so as to reinforce the procedural legitimacy of the Commission’s actions and safeguard the public’s expectations relating to the correct application of EU law. It is also worth stressing the need to link the EU institutions with the Member States and their courts, as well as the European public itself, which has at its disposal the possibility of directly petitioning Parliament. These are all methods worth considering so as to achieve better European integration.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) Today we voted in plenary on the twenty-seventh annual report on monitoring the application of European Union law. The report by Ms Lichtenberger calls on the Commission to propose a procedural law, in the form of a regulation under the new legal basis of Article 298 TFEU, in order to reinforce citizens’ rights and guarantee transparency. This procedural law will not in any way limit the Commission’s discretionary power, but will only guarantee that when exercising its power the Commission will respect the principles of an ‘open, efficient and independent European administration’, as referred to in Article 298 TFEU and Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing. (FR) I supported Eva Lichtenberger’s report on monitoring the application of European Union law. Without proper transposition, EU law clearly cannot operate effectively. Yet in 2009, nearly 3 000 complaints and cases of infringement were recorded, and Member States were late in transposing directives in over half of all instances. I am also concerned by the high number of infringements in the areas of recognition of professional qualifications, services and public procurement. Having said this, I am not one of the people who continuously accuse Member States of acting in bad faith in this area. Instead, I see in these poor results a need to spell out the legal framework that applies in these fields more clearly, in order to help national authorities understand the framework and the implementation process. I would like to take this opportunity to remind people of the importance of the SOLVIT network and of the benefits of initiatives such as the ‘EU Pilot’ project and the ‘Your Europe’ web portal, which provide practical information on applying EU law in the single market.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. I voted in favour. This report evaluates the Commission’s monitoring of the application of European Union law in 2009. It focuses on the fundamental role of the Commission as ‘Guardian of the Treaties’ and the Commission’s power and duty to bring infringement proceedings against a Member State that has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties. It reiterates that the infringement procedure consists of two phases: the administrative (investigation) stage, and the judicial stage before the Court of Justice. In the administrative phase, the role of citizens (complainants) in ensuring compliance with Union law on the ground is of paramount importance. Bringing Europe closer to its citizens and embracing techniques of good governance are intrinsically linked. One of the areas of direct interaction between ‘Europe’ and EU citizens is precisely the administrative phase described in Article 258 TFEU, where citizens turn to the Commission and Parliament for help in order to benefit from their European rights. As such, it is vital that complainants are treated according to the principles of good administration. The report therefore calls on the Commission to propose a ‘procedural law’ system in the form of a regulation with the new legal basis of Article 298 TFEU in order to reinforce citizens’ rights and guarantee transparency.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted for this report because I believe it is exhaustive in its evaluation of the effectiveness of the Commission’s monitoring of the application of European Union law in 2009. Europe can only be brought closer to its citizens by adopting techniques of good governance, but also through suitable infringement procedures. One of the areas of direct interaction between Europe and its citizens is precisely the administrative phase of Article 258 TFEU, where citizens apply directly to the Commission and Parliament for help in order to access their European rights.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) I naturally voted in favour of this report. As a member of the Committee on Petitions, I have a great deal of experience with citizens’ difficult battle with the national authorities. The committee has also repeatedly called for more transparency in relation to developments in pending infringement procedures. The demands of this report, which primarily concern the first phase of the infringement procedure, the administrative phase, and call for a separate procedural law in order to establish in law the participation of citizens and transparency, can only be supported.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted for the report by Ms Lichtenberger, which evaluates the European Commission’s monitoring of the application of European Union law and its consequent power and duty to bring infringement proceedings against a Member State that has failed to respect the Treaty. The text therefore calls on the Commission to propose a procedural law in order to reinforce citizens’ rights. At the same time it is hoped that there will be greater cooperation between EU institutions and national parliaments, especially during the EU legislation implementation process.

 
  
  

Report: Judith Sargentini (A7-0245/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report. I am particularly satisfied with the reference to a constitutional framework on EU transparency instituted by the Treaty of Lisbon. Transparency has become a fundamental and legally binding right for the public. I agree on common rules for the classification of documents, as well as an appropriate balance between transparency and data protection.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this important resolution on public access to documents for the years 2009-2010. Currently, citizens are calling for more democracy, transparency, openness of institutions and of political actors and a stronger fight against corruption, therefore the opportunity to access documents and information is one of the ways to make sure citizens can be involved in the democratic process and that corruption is prevented and fought. It is important to highlight that, in order to guarantee the accountability and legitimacy of a democratic political system, citizens have a right to know how their representatives act once elected or appointed to public bodies or when representing the Member States at European or international level, how the decision-making process works (including documents, amendments, timetables, players involved, votes cast, and so on), and how public money is allocated and spent, and with what results. I therefore welcome this resolution and believe that the EU should stand at the forefront, providing a model of institutional transparency and modern democracy for the Member States as well as for third countries.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. I voted in favour of this Resolution because I am convinced that transparency is the best way to prevent corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and mismanagement. For this reason, the EU must provide a model of institutional transparency and modern democracy for the Member States as well as for third countries.

It is important to bear in mind that with the Treaty of Lisbon transparency became a legally binding fundamental right of the citizen, and that the need for transparency is not limited to legislative procedures, but also covers the non-legislative work of EU bodies, offices and agencies. The first step is for the EU institutions to make as many categories of document as possible publicly accessible by default on their Internet sites, including budgets and lists of public procurement contracts awarded over the last three years.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) The right to access documents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission is laid down in Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The European Transparency Initiative, the adoption of a parliamentary resolution in April 2006 and the adoption of the Aarhus Convention (concerning access to documents containing information on environmental matters) have all obliged the Commission to table an amendment to the current regulation on the subject, so as to extend its scope to other EU bodies. In my view, access for citizens to the work of the EU institutions and bodies is not a side issue. It is fundamental to the Union’s democratic legitimacy. I therefore supported this report, which expands on the Commission’s initial proposals.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document. The Treaty of Lisbon introduced a new constitutional framework of EU institutional transparency, with a view to an open, efficient and independent European administration, by establishing a firm fundamental right of access to documents of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. This right is afforded by the Treaty not only to EU citizens but also to any natural or legal person residing in a Member State, and should be exercised in compliance with the general principles and limits (set with a view to protecting certain public or private interests) laid down by the regulations adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. Transparency is a legally binding fundamental right of the citizen, and any decisions denying access to documents must therefore be based on clearly and strictly defined exceptions founded on sound arguments and reasonably explained so that citizens can understand why they are being denied access and can use the legal remedies available to them effectively.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) Transparency is one of the fundamental pillars of participatory democracy, being complementary to representative democracy, as access to documents and information is one of the ways to ensure public participation in the democratic process, as well as a way of preventing and combating corruption. The Treaty of Lisbon introduced a new constitutional framework of EU institutional transparency, with a view to an open, efficient and independent European administration, by establishing a firm fundamental right of access to documents of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. This means that any decisions denying access to documents must be based on clearly and strictly defined exceptions founded on sound arguments and reasonably explained. This report advocates the need to revise Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 in order to define precisely and narrow its exceptions and ensure that these exceptions do not undermine the transparency granted by the Treaties and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Human Rights. This revision should strengthen the right of access to documents. It also advocates the need to establish an appropriate balance between transparency and data protection. I voted for this report for the above reasons.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I supported this report, because transparency is the general rule, and under the Treaty of Lisbon access to documents became one of the legally-binding, fundamental rights of citizens. Refusing access to documents must be based on clear exceptions and underpinned by solid arguments. The EU must provide a transparent model of reference.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because access to documents and information is one of the ways to make sure citizens can be involved in the democratic process and that corruption can be prevented and fought. The Treaty of Lisbon introduced a new constitutional framework of EU institutional transparency in order to ensure that the European administration would be open, efficient and independent by establishing a firm fundamental right of access to the documents of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. Thus the European Parliament stresses the current lack of coherent administrative law for EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, such as rules regarding the delivery of administrative decisions that can be appealed against, and therefore calls on the EU institutions to urgently define a common EU administrative law. Furthermore, the European Union should stand at the forefront, providing a model of institutional transparency and modern democracy for Member States as well as for third countries. Since the principle of transparency has already become a legally binding fundamental right of the citizen, transparency at EU level should be mirrored by Member States when transposing EU legislation into national law.

The European Parliament thus takes the view that the revision of the regulation on public access to documents should strengthen the right of access to documents without in any way reducing the existing standards for the protection of that right, and take into consideration the case law of the Court of Justice. Furthermore, the revised regulation should be simple and accessible to citizens to enable them to use their right more effectively.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report because I consider access to documents a fundamental right. Transparency is the general rule and with the Treaty of Lisbon it became a legally binding fundamental right of the citizen, so that any decisions denying access to documents must be based on exceptions clearly and strictly defined, founded on sound arguments and explained reasonably, allowing citizens to understand the denial and to use the legal remedies available to them effectively. I believe that transparency is the best way to prevent corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and mismanagement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ioan Enciu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the report on public access to documents for 2009-2010 as I regard transparency as both a general rule and a fundamental right of the citizen, which is legally binding.

I advocate that any decision banning access to documents must be based on clearly and strictly defined exceptions founded on sound arguments and must be reasonably explained, allowing citizens to understand the situation and use other legal remedies available to them. The European Union must provide a model of institutional transparency and modern democracy for Member States as well as for third countries.

At the same time, we need to adopt a proactive approach in terms of information availability and make every effort to provide the public with as many categories of documents as possible via every communication channel.

Last but not least, I think that national information access legislation needs to be harmonised at EU level, and Member States must be encouraged to adopt the most transparent laws possible on accessing documents.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, as I believe that transparency in public access to the documents of the European institutions is an effective way of preventing corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and mismanagement. I believe, however, that in cases where it is justified, any decisions denying access to documents must be based on clearly and strictly defined exceptions, allowing citizens to understand the denial and use effectively other methods available to them to obtain information.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Union is built on the Treaties, composed of states, and is at the service of the people. As such, the participation of Europeans in the process of European integration is absolutely crucial. The Treaty of Lisbon therefore aims to simplify procedures, making the language used in the Treaties more accessible to the public, and to reinforce transparency and public access to the institutions’ documents. These mechanisms are fundamental and constitute the cornerstone of informed and participatory European democracy. In order for these intentions to become a reality and for the European Union to become actually closer to Europeans, more transparent and more accessible, there is a need for genuine access to documents. This will safeguard the public’s right to information, without putting at risk the confidentiality and protection of classified information.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report by Ms Sargentini addresses access to documents (Rule 104(7)) for the years 2009-2010. This document was adopted in June this year by a significant majority. Public access to documents, which is a European prerogative under the Rules of Procedure and following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, is not always as easy as would be desirable. There remains much to be done in order to ensure transparency in this consultation process. Everything must be done so that legislation is respected in all the Member States, as this has already caused several complaints to be submitted to the European Court of Justice. It is clearly necessary to rationalise this access. Not all documents should be available for public access, for instance historical or confidential documents, which should be given special treatment. I therefore agree with the rapporteur’s recommendations for a review of the current legislation in order to facilitate public access to documents and I welcome the Commission’s intention of improving the current legislation

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Treaty of Lisbon introduced a new regulatory framework for institutional transparency in the EU in the interests of open, effective and independent European administration by establishing an inalienable fundamental right of access to the documents of EU institutions, bodies, departments and agencies. The Treaty extends this right not just to EU citizens, but to any legal or natural person resident in a Member State, and it should be applied subject to general principles and limitations (provisions established to protect certain public and private interests) established in the regulations adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council. In particular, the general rule that applies is full access to legislative documents while restricting the exceptions relating to non-legislative documents without these two approaches coming into conflict with one another.

Transparency is basic element of participatory democracy and supplements the representative democracy on which the functioning of the EU is based, as is set out in Articles 9-11 TEU, by enabling citizens to participate in the decision-making process and to exercise public control, thereby guaranteeing the legitimacy of the democratic political system. In the same way, joint document classification rules must be underwritten in law. I also express my full support for freedom of opinion within the scope of entities and institutions as well as a reasonable balance between transparency and data protection.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Louis Grech (S&D), in writing. I am voting in favour of this report which emphasises the need to make the EU institutions more transparent by facilitating public access to Parliament, Council and Commission documents. Currently, the Treaty of Lisbon affords citizens the right to access documents of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies (with limited exceptions for particularly sensitive documents). In practice, however, citizens face a cumbersome procedure with rules that are often unclear. The result is that a significant number of citizen document requests are refused, contributing to the sense the workings of the EU lack accountability and transparency. By addressing these shortcomings, we have an opportunity to reinforce EU efforts against corruption, whilst also encouraging citizens to become better informed about how it works, how public money is spent and how their representatives act.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing. (FR) I supported this report, which emphasises the fact that since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force, the European Parliament, Council and Commission, as well as the European External Action Service (EEAS), must allow access to EU documents. This is in keeping with the increased attention now being focused on relations between citizens and the EU administration, with a view to greater transparency. There is still strong resistance among some Member States, in terms of access to the information and national documents exchanged as part of the legislative process, denying access to documents concerning international agreements, or leaving out the names of Member States from the conclusions of debates. This secrecy is unacceptable. We should draw upon the arguments put forward by the European Court of Justice in the ‘Turco’ judgment, in which it stated that transparency ‘contributes to [...] greater legitimacy, efficiency and accountability of the institutions vis-à-vis citizens in a democratic system’. We have everything to gain from transparency. I therefore uphold the principle of access to documents, whilst denial of access must be done for good reason and as an exception.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because I believe that it is necessary to give citizens as much access to documents as possible, and if these really are confidential, then this must be based on clearly and strictly defined exceptions. European Union decisions must be adopted transparently and openly, and these decisions must be as easy to understand by European citizens as possible. This will strengthen the principles of democracy and respect for fundamental human rights. Furthermore, it is the best way to prevent corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and mismanagement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE), in writing. I voted in favour of the report and in the LIBE committee I contributed amendments to highlight the following: that transparency is the best way to prevent mismanagement, fraud and corruption; according to international standards, the refusal to disclose a document should be based on a strict three-part test – to protect a legitimate aim, prevent a substantial harm, and no overriding public interest for disclosure applies; EU institutions should be proactive, making as many categories of documents as possible publicly accessible by default on their websites; transparency of data on the beneficiaries of EU funds should be strengthened by the publication of the same categories of information, on a single website, in one EU working language.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Treaty of Lisbon introduced a new legal framework for institutional transparency in the EU in favour of open, effective and independent European administration by establishing a basic right of access to the documents of EU institutions, bodies, departments and agencies.

The Treaty extends this right not just to citizens of the EU but to any natural or legal person resident in a Member State. Transparency is the best way of preventing corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and mismanagement.

Citizens have the right to know how public funds are allocated and used, and with what results. It is therefore necessary for the EU institutions to embody this principle with regards to the operations of institutions and policies and the funding allocated to them at all levels.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted in favour of this report, which reiterates that Parliament should be at the forefront of the proactive approach on publicity, transparency, openness and access to documents; highlights in that regard the success of webstreaming of hearings and committee meetings in addition to plenary sittings, and believes that this should become the norm and that the Legislative Observatory should be expanded even further to include all EU official languages and information, both at committee and plenary level, such as amendments, opinions from other committees, Legal Service opinions, voting lists, roll-call votes, present and voting MEPs, interinstitutional letters, names of shadow rapporteurs, a ‘search by word’ function, multilingual search, tabling deadlines, RSS feeds, an explanation of the legislative procedure, links to webstreamed discussions, etc., to ensure a full cycle of information for citizens, giving access to the documents as well to multilingual citizens’ summaries of legislative proposals and summaries of existing EU legislation (SCADPLUS), for which adequate search and browsing facilities as described should be offered as well.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Transparency is an essential element of participatory and representative democracy, since it allows the public to participate in and exert control over decision making. It is known to be the best way of preventing corruption, fraud and mismanagement. In order to ensure such transparency, the fullest possible access by all to the documents of the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies is essential. This rule cannot and should not be limited to documents related to the legislative process, and reasons for denying access to a document must be as limited and clear as possible.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) This report calls for Members of Parliament and citizens to be kept informed about the decisions made at European level. It explains that to achieve this, documents must be available in all the official EU languages and must be easily accessible. If only the same applied to the European Parliament. It also calls on Member States to be transparent in the way in which they transpose European legislation into their national laws. It is pitiful that we should be reduced to making this kind of request in a Union that claims to represent democracy. I am voting in favour of the resolution and I deplore the European Union’s opacity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) I believe that transparency in public access to documents of the European institutions is a good way of preventing corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and mismanagement. However, in cases where not making them available is justified, the reasons for denying access to documents must be based on clearly and strictly defined exceptions, allowing citizens to understand the denial and effectively use other methods available to them to obtain information.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing.(FR) Access to documents and transparency are fundamental principles for institutions and for the proper functioning of democracy. Nonetheless, we must ensure that, in certain circumstances, this transparency does not become an obstacle to ongoing developments in the documents and negotiations, or even become paralysing, or a sort of forced opposition to change. Members of Parliament must be able to work completely independently. I fully agree that transparency and openness should apply to Members of Parliament, in terms of their participation in parliamentary work and their attendance. However, I would like to stress that we must not go too far in the area of Members’ activities, especially with respect to their diaries, the contacts they have had, or the documents and correspondence they have received, written or sent in the course of their duties.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE), in writing. – (SK) The European Union has reached a new phase with the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon, which has introduced a new constitutional framework for EU institutional transparency, with a view to creating an open, efficient and independent European administration. By establishing an incontrovertible fundamental right of access to documents of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, a participatory democracy enabling its citizens to participate in decision-making and to exercise public control, thereby guaranteeing the legitimacy of a democratic political system, is becoming a reality. Citizens may directly participate in the democratic process, monitor how public funds are spent, and also directly combat corruption, which is currently associated with a lack of transparency in mechanisms and secretiveness in institutions. The reality of everyday life remains prosaic, and therefore for the reasons mentioned above I fully support the requirements expressed in the report on access to documents whereby all EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies should act proactively and automatically make the budgets and lists of concluded public procurement contracts, in addition to documents on their activities, available to the general public on their websites. In particular, I would like to highlight the clear need to ensure transparency in the management of European funds, where it appears to be essential to systematically disclose the same categories of information on all beneficiaries of EU funds on a single website. Such behaviour will clearly strengthen public confidence in the actions of the European Union and the proper management of funds.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. I agree that common rules for classification of documents and a broader redefinition of a document must be clarified in the legislative review. I also support the need to ensure a ‘space to think’ without undermining transparency or the encouragement of free thinking within the agencies and the institutions as well as an appropriate equilibrium between transparency and data protection. I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) This particular report aims to increase the degree of accountability of the EU towards its citizens at a critical time. Public access to documents and information is one way – but certainly not the only way – of ensuring that citizens participate in the democratic process and of increasing the transparency of EU policies and actions, as stipulated, moreover, in Articles 9 to 11 of the Treaty. In any event, even if full access is granted to legislative documents, there are exceptions in the case of non-legislative documents, which must be kept to a minimum and must be justified on the basis of strict criteria (such as disproportionate harm to the general interest). The report, which I supported, includes this particular dimension.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) Access to documents is a fundamental right of the European Union following the Treaty of Lisbon. Indeed, transparency is the general rule and with the Treaty of Lisbon – and, accordingly, with the acquisition by the European Charter of Fundamental Rights of binding legal force – it has become a legally binding fundamental right of the citizen, so that any decisions denying access to documents must be based on clearly and strictly defined exceptions, founded on sound arguments and reasonably explained, allowing citizens to understand the denial and to use the legal remedies available to them effectively. I agree with the call for transparency at EU level to be mirrored by Member States when transposing EU legislation into national law, notably by establishing correlation tables, drawing, inter alia, on best practice in terms of e-Parliament and e-government transparency. I voted for this report since I agree with the need to encourage the Commission to maximise the transparency of the standards promoting public access to documents.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Miguel Portas (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Transparency is an essential element of participatory and representative democracy, since it allows the public to participate in and exert control over decision making. It is known to be the best way of preventing corruption, fraud and mismanagement. In order to ensure such transparency, the fullest possible access by all to the documents of the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies is essential. This rule cannot and should not be limited to documents related to the legislative process, and reasons for denying access to a document must be as limited and clear as possible.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Phil Prendergast (S&D), in writing. I welcome this report on public access to documents. It is often said that sunlight is the best disinfectant and this report reaffirms that transparency is not merely a proverbial ideal but rather a fundamental right protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Transparency is essential in order to effectively counteract corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and mismanagement. Moreover, it is a vital structural tool to be used in the promotion of a virtuous cycle in public administration. We should reject any retrospective, backward-looking approach to transparency and, in light of calls from the European Ombudsman for the European Institutions to adopt a proactive approach, we should make as much information as possible openly available to the public. We cannot understate the nexus between open and transparent decision-making and the improvement of civil society’s participation in public life. This, in turn, strengthens the relationship between the Institutions and the European citizen.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) One of the public’s fundamental rights is transparency from public political institutions regarding their activities. For this to be guaranteed, it is necessary for the public to have at its disposal ways of exercising this right. As such, the European public’s right to access EU documents is a right which can be restricted only in specially justified cases. Indeed, this is the only way of ensuring that the public is able to monitor the measures adopted, at the same time as reinforcing the legitimacy of the way in which public bodies act in relation to the electorate. The protection of public access to the documents is thus an issue to which Parliament, as the assembly of the representatives of the European public, must continue to demonstrate a firm commitment.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. I voted in favour. Among other things, the resolution: recalls that transparency is the general rule and that, with the Treaty of Lisbon (and accordingly, with the acquisition of binding legal force for the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights), it became a legally binding fundamental right of the citizen, so that any decisions denying access to documents must be based on clearly and strictly defined exceptions founded on sound arguments and reasonably explained, allowing citizens to understand the denial and to use the legal remedies available to them effectively; considers that the EU should stand at the forefront, providing a model of institutional transparency and modern democracy for the Member States as well as for third countries; and recalls that transparency is the best way to prevent corruption, fraud, conflicts of interest and mismanagement.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Michèle Striffler (PPE), in writing.(FR) Access to documents is guaranteed under Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which states that ‘any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, shall have a right of access to documents of the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union’. Ms Sargentini’s report contains the annual review of how citizens’ right to access European institutional documents has been applied. I voted in favour of the report because it upholds the policy of guaranteeing access to documents and transparency during the legislative process where necessary and in a way that can be understood by the public.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, which is part of the ‘better lawmaking’ debate, aims to create more transparency, publicity, openness and access to the documents of the European institutions and their associated bodies. In order to promote good governance and participation by the European public in EU activities, as expressed in Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and according to the principle of ‘an open, efficient and independent European administration’ (Article 298 TFEU), European institutions are committed to giving current legislative documents so-called ‘space to think’, under certain conditions. Free access to EU documents and information is essential in order to inform the European public about the various processes carried out in the European institutions. There is also mention of institutional openness: that is, openness between the institutions themselves and European agencies, so as to establish a model of institutional transparency. I voted to adopt this report highlighting interinstitutional transparency, since it is essential that Parliament, as the representative of 500 million European citizens, participate, along with the Commission, in the negotiations of international agreements as established in the Treaty of Lisbon, so enabling the public to express its opinions.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Viktor Uspaskich (ALDE), in writing. (LT) I agree with the rapporteur that transparency is necessary for guaranteeing the accountability and legitimacy of a democratic political system. Citizens have the right to know how political decisions are made and why. Lithuania is experiencing a crisis of public confidence due to institutions’ lack of transparency. Courts in both Lithuania and Europe have demonstrated their susceptibility to political manipulation. Public confidence in the courts and local government remains low. According to information from a survey conducted by Vilmorus, only 19% of Lithuanian citizens have confidence in the courts, while a few years ago this rate was 35%. According to information from the Bertelsmann Transformation Index, the level of transparency when decisions are taken at municipal level is not particularly high in Lithuania.

City council legal acts are rarely found online, and people usually only hear about decisions following their adoption. It is important for our legislative and judicial processes to be more transparent, accountable and accessible to the public. This report recalls that the Treaty of Lisbon introduced a new constitutional framework of EU institutional transparency to ensure that decision-making is more open and effective. All we need now is the political will.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and the associated legally binding status of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, transparency has been an important civil right. In order to enforce this right effectively, clearer definitions and declaration obligations for rejection decisions are needed. On account of the previous problems that have accumulated over the years, a statutory regulation was essential. I have voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of Ms Sargentini’s report, which provides an annual review of the application of the regulation regarding public access to documents of EU institutions. This gives EU citizens a greater idea of the kind of work that is carried out by the European Parliament, Commission and Council, and enables them to gain a better understanding of how the institutions work.

 
  
  

Report: Andrew Duff (A7-0240/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this document. The approval of the Commission by Parliament in February 2010 was based on an enhanced process of hearings which ensured that the entire Commission-designate was assessed in an open, fair and consistent manner. However, conclusions can be drawn from the approval process, in collaboration with the Commission, which suggest that further modifications are both necessary and desirable. Nonetheless, there is a need for the Code of Conduct for Commissioners to be revised, and in particular the provisions thereof concerning financial declarations by Commissioners, with a view to achieving the highest standards of governance for the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) This resolution seeks to modify Parliament’s Rules of Procedure to bring them in line with the criteria for hearings for candidates for all posts in the European Commission, thereby giving MEPs as much input as possible. I voted in favour of the report because it emphasises that hearings are an extremely important democratic exercise, which, we must remember, allow the European Parliament at the start of every Parliamentary term to rule out candidates who are not compatible with the European Commission’s mission.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The purpose of this report, for which I voted, is to amend Rules 106 and 192, and Annex XVII of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, covering the hearings of the Commissioners-designate. With these amendments to the Rules of Procedure, Parliament’s power over the selection of new European Commissioners is being increased, specifically by providing for the possibility, where necessary, of a second hearing for the Commissioners-designate, as well as giving the President the chance to request that the President-elect of the Commission inform Parliament about the allocation of portfolios in the College of Commissioners. This amendment will also make the process of selecting new Commissioners more transparent by stipulating that there will be a live audio-visual transmission of the hearings, thus enabling the European public to watch the hearings of the Commissioners-designate live. Finally, I would like to emphasise the recommendation made to the Commission to revise its Code of Conduct for Commissioners, and in particular the provisions thereof concerning declarations of financial interests by the Commissioners, with a view to achieving the highest standards of governance for the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of this report, which aims to clarify the system for hearings of European Commissioners-designate by placing greater emphasis on the coordinators of each committee.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) This proposal for an amendment of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure aims to ensure that Parliament’s assessment of the Commission is properly carried out by means of more effective monitoring procedures. I fully support the statements in the proposal, which specifies that proper assessment of the Commission is vital in order to improve EU governance standards, and I believe that maximum transparency and reciprocal supervision between institutions are essential to this aim. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I believe that it is necessary for the Commission to revise its Code of Conduct for Commissioners, and in particular the provisions thereof concerning financial declarations by Commissioners, with a view to achieving for the European Union the highest standards of governance. I agree with the amendments tabled in the report, as I believe that the approval of the Commission by Parliament in February 2010 was based on an enhanced process of hearings which ensured that the entire Commission-designate was assessed in an open, fair and consistent manner.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) In the light of the experience of the latest hearings of the Commissioners-designate, there is a need to make minor changes to the Rules of Procedure in order to improve the process and make it more transparent. The changes introduced are of a purely technical nature and enable improvements in how the hearings are conducted, without introducing any substantive political changes.

There is provision for the possibility of convening a second and final hearing, if during the hearing it clearly becomes necessary to extend the examination of the Commissioner-designate. It is also intended to increase the level of transparency by providing for live audiovisual broadcasts of the hearings. I also agree there is a need for the Commission to revise the Code of Conduct for Commissioners, so as to ensure greater transparency and the highest standards of governance in the EU.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Over the course of several parliamentary sessions, Mr Duff has been a leading figure because of the way in which he is seeking to study and develop institutional solutions for improving the functioning of the European Union and deepening the integration of its Member States. I do not object to the amendments which he advocates of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, since these aim to strengthen this House’s ability to scrutinise appointments to the College of Commissioners, and levels of transparency and information with regard to the Commissioners-designate. Having said that, we do not want such an amendment to be understood as permission to promote ‘grilling sessions’ in which, instead of rigorous assessments of technical competence, the Commissioners-designate find themselves confronted with crude and inappropriate interrogations about their values, beliefs and personal lives. It is up to Parliament to live up to its proposal.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Every five years, which is the length of the mandate of the Commission, the executive body of the European Union, the appointment of the College of Commissioners takes place. Under the Treaty of Lisbon, the number of Commissioners corresponds to the number of Member States – currently 27 – and they are approved by Parliament in two stages: firstly, it elects the President of the Commission chosen by the Council; secondly, it examines the candidates proposed by the President-elect of the Commission and confirmed by the Council. Parliament’s approval process is governed by the provisions of Annex XVII of the Rules of Procedure and includes the following stages: assessment of curricula vitae and declarations of financial interests; response to a set of written questions; a three-hour public hearing; and assessment by the parliamentary committees and the Conference of Presidents. This report, drafted by Mr Duff, suggests a set of minor amendments to the Rules of Procedure regarding the hearings of Commissioners-designate. I welcome the proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure, since they represent a significant contribution to improving the quality of our Commissioners, so the European public will have a great deal to gain.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Parliament approved the Commission in February 2010 by enhancing the process of hearings by which it was ensured that the entire Commission-designate was assessed in an open, fair and consistent manner. Nevertheless, one can draw conclusions from the approval process that it is necessary and desirable to carry out further adjustments in co-operation with the Commission. The code of conduct for members of the Commission needs to be revised and in particular its provisions relating to the financial statements of the Commissioners, in order to achieve the highest standards of European Union governance.

Some major changes to supplement the rules of procedure are as follows: the President of the Parliament may invite the President-elect of the Commission to inform Parliament on the division of departmental responsibilities in the proposed College of Commissioners in accordance with its political guidelines; the President-elect of the Commission shall present the college of Commissioners and their programme at a sitting of Parliament which the President of the European Council and President of the Council shall be invited to attend; committee co-ordinators are elected by the committee chairs in order to prepare the organisation of the Commission hearings; the hearings are organised by the Conference of Presidents on the recommendation of the Conference of Committee Chairs and the chair and coordinator of each committee is responsible for specific measures; three hours will be reserved for each hearing and if during its course it appears that the hearing of the Commissioners-elect needs to be extended, a second and final hearing may be arranged.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing. (FR) In many areas, the European Parliament is consistently relegated to playing second fiddle. One good example is the appointment of new European Commissioners. This is why, despite the minor role allocated to us in the Treaties, we need to do our utmost as representatives of the European people to assess the quality of the candidates chosen by the Member States and presented as a single package, so as to do more than simply formally approve the College as a whole. These hearings constitute a unique opportunity to vet the quality of the proposed Commissioners. That is why I supported the proposals made on improving the organisation of the hearings and maximising the opportunities for MEPs to verify whether the candidates do really meet the requirements for the portfolio that they would be given. Each political group would then need to have the courage to decide whether or not the candidates had passed the entry exam.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document, because it focuses on the recent revision by the Commission of its Code of Conduct for Commissioners, and in particular the provisions thereof concerning financial declarations by Commissioners. It has been decided that the application of the new Code of Conduct should be kept under review in order to enable the European Union to reach the highest standards of governance.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimir Manka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Code of Conduct for Commissioners should be reviewed. Particularly those provisions relating to the financial statements of the Commissioners, in order to achieve the highest standards of European Union governance.

I therefore supported the amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament in the wording of the changes that were put to the vote.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (PPE), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour, because I believe that a change in the rules on interviewing Commissioners-designate is essential at an organisational as well as at a political level. I believe that the proposed changes are sufficient to improve the procedure and make it more transparent.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I welcome the recommendations contained in this report, which should improve the conduct of hearings for Commissioners-designate.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) Commissioners have legislative powers that ought to belong to the European Parliament. They should be elected after genuine debate and on an individual basis. This report does not include this basic demand. Instead, it restricts the opportunities for debate. I voted against.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Rules of Procedure currently setting out the rules for the hearings of Commissioners seem appropriate, although they are in need of certain adjustments, which are provided for in this amendment. The adjustments are intended to make the procedures more transparent and improve them. The proposed changes are of a purely technical nature and can improve the way in which the hearings are conducted, without introducing any substantive changes at political level. I would like to stress the possibility of convening a second and final hearing, if during the first hearing it becomes clearly necessary to extend the examination of the Commissioner-designate.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. The conclusions that can be drawn from the first approval process, in collaboration with the Commission, suggest that further modifications are both necessary and desirable. Therefore I would like to remind the Commission of the need to revise its Code of Conduct for Commissioners, and in particular the provisions thereof concerning financial declarations by Commissioners, with a view to achieving for the European Union the highest standards of governance. Bringing back the memories of actions taken by the Commissioner from Latvia, Piebalgs, I feel shame for Commission. I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The Duff report on amendment of the Rules of Procedure relating to the hearings of the Commissioners-designate appears very technical, but some of the paragraphs contain considerable restrictions of the rights of the Members of the European Parliament. Thus, in future, following the hearing of the Commissioner-designate concerned, only the coordinators of the political groups will be able to prepare the evaluation on behalf of the committee. Mr Duff also proposes only to invite the President of the European Council and the President of the Council to the hearings in future, rather than all of the members of the Council, as was previously the case. Overall, therefore, this could be said to be an unnecessary and unjustified additional curtailment of the rights of MEPs. Although it may increase efficiency, it will be at the cost of democracy, which is why I voted against the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) This report grants the coordinators an important – almost exclusive – role in the evaluation and appointment of members of the Commission. As a non-attached Member of Parliament and therefore one who is discriminated against and regularly excluded from the coordinators’ meetings (official interpretation of the Rule 192 of the Rules of Procedure), I object to this provision. The appointment and evaluation of members of the Commission are important tasks in terms of the ‘checks and balances’ between the EU institutions. It is unacceptable for a body from which a number of MEPs are unjustifiably excluded to have this key competence. I therefore voted against the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report on the amendment of Rules 106 and 192 of, and Annex XVII to, Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, relating to the hearings of the Commissioners-designate, reflects on the strengthening of Parliament’s powers following the Treaty of Lisbon, in Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. The Commission is the government of the Union, and Parliament cannot stop exercising its power of scrutiny over the composition of this EU government. I agree with the proposed procedure of posing two common questions drafted by the Conference of Committee Chairs to each of the Commissioners-designate, the first relating to issues of general competence, European commitment and personal independence, and the second relating to management of the portfolio and cooperation with Parliament. The committee responsible is entrusted with drafting three other questions; in the case of joint committees, each is given the right to draft two questions. The proposal that the bulk of the speaking time be allotted to the political groups seems appropriate. I voted in favour for these reasons.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. I voted in favour. According to the adopted text, Parliament: reminds the Commission of the need to revise its Code of Conduct for Commissioners, and in particular the provisions thereof concerning financial declarations by Commissioners, with a view to achieving for the European Union the highest standards of governance; decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown; and points out that the amendments will enter into force on the first day of the next part-session.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) The text adopted today aims to modify the current procedure for hearing Commissioners-designate. The report specifically proposes that for each Commissioner-designate there shall be two common questions drafted by the Conference of Committee Chairs, the first relating to the issues of general competence, European commitment and personal independence, and the second relating to the management of the portfolio and cooperation with Parliament. The committee responsible would be called upon to draft three other questions. In the case of joint committees, they would each be given the right to draft two questions. The Chair and coordinators would meet after the hearing to evaluate the individual Commissioners-designate. After these meetings, held in camera, the coordinators would express their opinion on the Commissioners-designate.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution - B7-0478/2011

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this motion for a resolution, as it reiterates its full commitment to the multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the guarantor of a rules-based trade system, and because it reaffirms its full commitment to a balanced and fair conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). At the same time, it insists on the need to resume the debate on the future functioning of the WTO, with a possible reform of the multilateral trading system.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of this report on the need for full commitment to the multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organisation as the guarantor of a rules-based trade system.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this motion for a resolution because the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) was launched in 2001 with the objective of creating new trading opportunities, strengthening multilateral trade rules, addressing current imbalances in the trading system and putting trade at the service of sustainable development. It places particular emphasis on the economic integration of developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), arising from the conviction that a multilateral system based on more just and equitable rules can contribute to fair and free trade at the service of the development of all continents.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) I voted against the motion for a resolution on the state of play of the negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda. The current global trading rules imposed by the WTO serve the interests of countries and large corporate groups that are already rich and, at the same time, increase the divide between them and the poorest countries. Consequently, the inability to implement this agenda stems mainly from the very nature of the World Trade Organisation. Unfortunately, instead of safeguarding the conditions for sustainable global growth, the free trade system being applied at all costs is exacerbating social inequalities, the abuse of natural resources and the increase in environmental pollution. Developing countries are still facing global trade from a disadvantageous position, compared with the big players who make up the rules, one of which is the EU. Finally, this particular motion for a resolution does not promote an alternative fair trading system.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  George Sabin Cutaş (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the motion for a resolution because I think that we must push ahead and conclude the Doha Round negotiations.

The Doha Round was launched in 2001 with the aim of promoting development by offsetting the imbalances in the trading system so as to achieve the economic integration of both the developing and least developed countries. I believe that the industrial countries must assume their responsibility for the development of the poor countries. Unfortunately, after a long period when the negotiations were stalled, they are not expected to be concluded by 2011. If the Doha Round ends in failure, doubt could be cast over the WTO’s credibility as the guarantor of an effective multilateral trading system.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luigi Ciriaco De Mita (PPE), in writing.(IT) Economic cooperation, including trade cooperation, is one of the instruments through which foreign policy is implemented. The European Union is founded, first, on sectoral trade and, second, on the wider single market: a foundation that is still suffering from the lack of a single foreign policy; a wide-ranging, strong and authoritative policy that helps to define strategic positions on economic cooperation with other countries and geopolitical regions, as well. This situation allows each Member State to develop in an independent and uncoordinated fashion, either on its own or in the various international organisations to which it belongs. In order to ensure that the Doha negotiations have a favourable outcome, while also reiterating the usefulness of the World Trade Organisation as a forum for solving the problems of balanced development and cohesion among all the member countries, we need to work on integrating the other countries, too, into long-term policies, firstly by building on their competitive advantages, and secondly by strengthening their ability to shape their own development. I believe that the adopted report makes a contribution, however small, to this prospect.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marielle De Sarnez (ALDE), in writing.(FR) The Doha Round, which was launched in 2001 with a view to creating new trade opportunities and correcting the current imbalances in the trade system, has been at a standstill since 2008. The eighth World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference will take place in December 2011 and will seek to conclude the Doha Round. We very much hope that it will at least make some progress in favour of the least developed countries. The WTO needs to establish international rules to limit food price fluctuations and thereby guarantee greater food security. It must also introduce simpler and more transparent preferential origin rules for imports from the least developed countries. If the WTO member states fail to reach an agreement on how to contribute to ambitious and balanced global development and how to guarantee economic growth and eradicate poverty around the world, then the WTO will have to be completely overhauled. Only through a well-regulated and fair world trade system can trade be used to serve sustainable development.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Harlem Désir (S&D), in writing.(FR) Since its inception in 2001, the World Trade Organisation’s Doha trade negotiation round has had the task of redressing the balance of world trade rules in favour of developing countries. These negotiations have now stalled. Various factors have contributed to the stand-off, for which all parties bear some responsibility, but it is developing countries that will be hit hardest by the failure of the negotiations. Every effort must be made to conclude the negotiations, but also to take into account the concerns raised, not least by developing countries, and particularly the situation in sensitive industries and in agriculture, where food security for citizens must be the priority. Public services should still be governed by each country to reflect the public interest, rather than being liberalised as part of enforced horse-trading with no reference to social needs. Subject to these conditions, the conclusion of the Doha Round is both desirable and necessary. The proliferation of bilateral agreements – like those currently under negotiation – will prevent us from establishing clear and fair rules. Multilateralism is still the best framework for ensuring fair trade that will encourage sustainable development across all continents.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this motion for a resolution, since it considers that the conclusion of the Doha Round negotiations could have an important role in guaranteeing a rules-based trade system, which would contribute to ensuring better management of globalisation through a more equitable distribution of its benefits and respect for well-balanced economic growth.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) I believe that the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), which is aimed at creating new trading opportunities, strengthening multilateral trade rules and addressing current imbalances in the trading system, is crucially important, not only for international trade but also for a more equitable distribution of the benefits of globalisation. It is therefore important that the DDA take this into account and make a real contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As the resolution states, I too hope that the Eighth World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference, to take place in Geneva from 15 to 17 December, focuses its objectives on the issue of development, and I hope that the goals set out in the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration and the commitments made at the 2005 WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in will be fulfilled through support for the least developed countries (LDCs).

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Doha Development Agenda (DDA), begun in 2001, was aimed at creating new trading opportunities, strengthening multilateral trade rules and addressing current imbalances in the trading system, placing it at the service of sustainable development with a view to bringing about fair and free trade that would promote development on all the continents. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial talks to conclude the DDA reached an impasse at the end of July 2008. However, in early 2011 some progress was made, although this has not ensured the conclusion of the negotiations by the end of 2011. Given that from 15 to 17 December 2011 the Eighth WTO Ministerial Conference will take place in Geneva, I believe that Parliament’s representatives should be there representing Parliament's position, and I therefore wish to express my complete agreement with the motion for a resolution tabled by Mr Moreira, on behalf of the Committee on International Trade, following a statement by the Commission pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is one of the most important instruments of capitalist globalisation, and it plays a pivotal role in the affirmation and imposition of one of its pillars: the deregulation and liberalisation of international trade to benefit the big business in the major powers, creating ‘new trading opportunities’ for them, as hinted at by the resolution. However, this also imposes competition between workforces, so making more labour available at a lower cost.

The rhetoric of multilateralism, which is frequently used by advocates of the WTO, cannot hide the fact that this is not a democratic organisation, as it is unrepresentative and is actually contrary to the interests of the people. The fallacy of the ‘more equitable distribution’ of the benefits of globalisation that this organisation could provide collapses in the face of the obvious consequences of free trade: the destruction and relocation of productive activities and jobs, the attack on social and labour rights, and the degradation of the environment and natural resources.

That is the Doha route, and we urgently need to backtrack from it, in the interests of the workers and peoples of Europe and the whole world. The ‘global system of economic governance’ referred to in the resolution is nothing more than the governance of capital, acting at global level to defend its own interests.

Obviously, we voted against.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) It is well known that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is one of the most important instruments of capitalist globalisation, and it plays a pivotal role in the affirmation and imposition of one of its pillars: the deregulation and liberalisation of international trade to benefit the big business in the major powers, creating ‘new trading opportunities’ for them.

However, it also aims to impose competition between workforces, so making more labour available at a lower cost. The rhetoric of multilateralism, to which advocates of the WTO frequently recourse, cannot hide the fact that this is not a democratic organisation, as it is unrepresentative and is actually contrary to the interests of the people.

The obvious consequences of free trade are well known: the destruction and relocation of productive activities and jobs, the attack on social and labour rights, and the degradation of the environment and natural resources. That is the Doha route.

Now, in the interests of the workers and peoples of Europe and the whole world, it is necessary to change this path. The ‘global system of economic governance’ referred to in the resolution is nothing more than the governance of capital, acting at global level to defend its own interests.

We therefore voted against.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) International trade cannot in itself be evaluated positively or negatively. It is an instrument, the results of which are dependent on their application. I am of the view that international trade should not be purely an instrument for achieving profits and a platform for a competitive battle between countries where the stronger one often wins. It should also be a developmental instrument. I therefore believe that it is desirable that at the December Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization this position should be promoted not only by representatives of the so-called developing economies, but also by representatives of the EU. Development must be central to the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

In addition, the draft EP legislative resolution by the Committee on International Trade formulated the requirements for sustainable development. It is important to improve access to environmental goods and technologies, and it will therefore be necessary to reduce or eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services. If international trade is to develop towards equitable and sustainable development it will certainly also have fewer critics.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because it is aimed at creating new trading opportunities, strengthening multilateral trade rules, addressing current imbalances in the trading system and putting trade at the service of sustainable development, with an emphasis on the economic integration of developing countries, especially the least developed countries, on the basis of the conviction that a multilateral system based on more just and equitable rules can contribute to fair and free trade at the service of the development of all continents.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE), in writing. (DA) The Doha Round envisages a general revision of WTO trade provisions: better global governance, sustainable development and better conditions for international trade and investments.

The Doha Development Round, initiated in 2011, is of great immediate interest from the point of view of international trade, and I am therefore pleased that the European Parliament has adopted this proposal.

I have voted in favour of the motion for a resolution, as it emphasises the importance of following up on the WTO members’ commitment to help developing countries in particular to benefit from the WTO’s rules, including by guaranteeing them access to the markets of the industrialised nations. I am pleased that the Chair of Committee on International Trade, Vital Moreira, who is a member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, has focused on ensuring that the positive effects of globalisation also benefit the developing countries.

The difficulties experienced in achieving a conclusion to the Doha Round have been well-known since the negotiations stalled in 2008, and 2011 is considered to be the year in which it will at last be possible to negotiate the conclusion of an agreement at the Eighth WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva in mid-December.

I can only give my full support to the resolution and to the statement that the Ministerial Conference in Geneva must deliver results at least in favour of the least developed countries.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimir Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Doha Round was launched in 2001 with the objectives of creating new trading opportunities, strengthening multilateral trade rules, addressing current imbalances in the trading system and putting trade at the service of sustainable development, with an emphasis on the economic integration of developing countries, especially the least developed countries. A multilateral system, based on more just and equitable rules, can contribute to fair and free trade at the service of the development of all continents.

The WTO has a key role to play in ensuring better management of globalisation, more equitable distribution of its benefits and well balanced economic growth. Due to the persistent deadlock in the original architecture and objectives of the DDA, it is now more necessary than ever to resume the debate on the future functioning of the WTO with a possible reform of the new multilateral trading system. The Commission must consult proactively with Parliament on a shared vision of the architecture of a future global trading system. The WTO must consistently and urgently tackle new global challenges in which trade plays a part, such as food security, energy, sustainable development and Aid for Trade, even if the DDA is not concluded.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. − I voted in favour of this resolution, in which Parliament reiterates its full commitment to the multilateral trading system and the WTO as the guarantor of a rules-based trade system, and reaffirms its full commitment to a balanced and fair conclusion of the DDA.

It also recognises the deadlock in the original architecture and objectives of the DDA and insists on the need to resume the debate on the future functioning of the WTO, with a possible reform on the new multilateral trading system. The S&D Group decided to support this resolution. However, some key amendments were eliminated in the committee vote and up-to-date elements on the negotiations are missing in the resolution.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) This report is an ode to the battle against any form of protectionism. It takes it upon itself to lecture emerging countries and to threaten anyone who dares decide to restrict their exports of natural resources. This is pure heavy-handed imperialism. I voted against.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) was launched in 2001 with the objective of creating new trading opportunities, strengthening multilateral trade rules, addressing current imbalances in the trading system and putting trade at the service of sustainable development. It places particular emphasis on the economic integration of developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), arising from the conviction that a multilateral system based on more just and equitable rules can contribute to fair and free trade at the service of the development of all continents. As such, we must all continue to make efforts so that the negotiations are successful.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) It is almost 10 years since the Doha Round talks began, and we have to acknowledge that they will not be completed during the eighth Ministerial Conference in December. There has been a stalemate since 2008. Nonetheless, the Doha objectives remain very topical: reducing subsidies that encourage overfishing, establishing rules for agricultural subsidies that distort trade, eliminating export subsidies, reducing customs duties on manufactured goods, simplifying customs procedures, improving market access for dynamic service sectors and, above all, ensuring that least developed countries (LDCs) are better integrated into the trade system. As Pascal Lamy has very rightly said, if we want to succeed, we will need to demonstrate political courage and pragmatism. The burning questions for LDCs, such as cotton and rules of origin, need to be addressed without further ado.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. Doha Negotiations are multilateral trade negotiations aimed at decreasing trade restrictions around the world, which will allow countries to increase trade worldwide. I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The negotiations that began in 2001 in Doha (Qatar) remain at a standstill after what has now been 10 years. The last attempt at reaching an agreement took place in 2008 in Geneva. It failed on account of the demands of the economically strengthened emerging nations, China and India. The unwillingness of the United States to compromise made consensus impossible. The motion for a resolution does not take adequate account of the new balance of power in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations, as China and India in particular used these negotiations as a stage for trialling their strength against the industrialised nations. Likewise, China’s export restrictions on raw materials do not receive adequate consideration.

The condemnation by the WTO will not, in all probability, persuade the country to increase its exports of raw materials. There is a danger that the EU will unilaterally liberalise its trade, which would result in a distortion of competition to the advantage of the other members of the WTO. This approach is already evident in this report. In addition, there is no proposal to regulate the problems involved in protecting intellectual property. I therefore voted against the motion for a resolution.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rareş-Lucian Niculescu (PPE), in writing. – (RO) I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution. However, I think that the text ought to have included separate references to the agriculture negotiations, especially given the special nature of this sector and the economic climate in which it has been operating in recent years.

The WTO agriculture negotiations must be analysed separately and given special status, bearing in mind the concessions made so far to our partners, which have not been reciprocated with similar concessions, and the risk of putting European producers at a disadvantage on the global market.

The negotiations must be continued and concluded, but not at any price.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution’s provisions on the state of play of the negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda. I believe that comprehensive and balanced results will only be achieved if negotiations are concluded on all areas that are currently under discussion. The World Trade Organisation (WTO), as part of a global system of economic governance, is vitally important to the world, so we must make every effort to ensure that any WTO reform agenda is examined and analysed on the basis of the principles of transparency and that sufficient time is given for consultations in order to involve all members and other stakeholders. It should be noted that, in order to ensure economic growth and poverty reduction worldwide, it is necessary for all WTO members to continue to contribute to the comprehensive and balanced development of the WTO. It is also crucial to ascertain whether the changed circumstances since the beginning of the Doha Round do not render the original objectives of the Doha Round impossible to attain. I agree with the proposal calling on developed and advanced developing countries to support the capacity of the least developed countries to participate in this negotiation process . I believe that market access is not the only solution for many of the poorer countries because they do not have real opportunities to exploit this access. It is also crucial for the EU to continue to give priority to the multilateral trading system established by the WTO, because bilateral and regional agreements are not the best option.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this motion for a resolution on the state of play of the negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). This is because it maintains the conviction in the timeliness of the 2001 objectives of creating new trading opportunities, strengthening multilateral trade rules, addressing current imbalances in the trading system and putting trade at the service of sustainable development. It places particular emphasis on the economic integration of developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), arising from the conviction that a multilateral system based on more just and equitable rules can contribute to fair and free trade at the service of the development of all continents. The timeliness of these targets is unequivocal to the extent that Parliament’s passing of this resolution is not merely symbolic: it adopts it with the idea of communicating the desires of Europeans to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and with a view to contributing to the Eighth Ministerial Conference in Geneva, which will take place from 15 to 17 December 2011.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. I voted against. The liberalisation of agricultural commodities markets has had a terrible impact on small-scale family farming around the world, including in Europe. A free market has helped ruin millions of families. As most of our key amendments were rejected, we voted against.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this text because I believe that it correctly highlights the full commitment of all the institutions to supporting a multilateral trading system in which the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will act as the guarantor of a trade system regulated by suitable measures. The WTO has a key role in ensuring better management of globalisation, more equitable distribution of its benefits and well-balanced economic growth. A balanced and fair conclusion of the Doha negotiations would be an important sign of political confidence in the future of an equitable global trade system based on shared rules.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution, as it highlights the positive aspects of this round of negotiations, and the way in which it is centred on developing countries in particular. It also puts forward certain ideas that I believe ought to be promoted more within the negotiations: food security; access to green goods and technologies, and extending the EU ‘Everything but Arms’ initiative to other countries. Above all, whilst stressing our commitment to a multilateral approach, it recognises the difficulties that this entails. The Doha round of negotiations is in deadlock and it is now time for members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to begin a ‘post-Doha’ phase. They must reassess the level of development of the countries taking part in the negotiations, and ensure they are given the positions and responsibilities that are genuinely due to them. They must also undertake to put social and environmental rules on the agenda of the talks, as it is on the basis of these that the current dumping is being carried out. A new mandate that draws upon all the useful lessons of the previous one must now be worked out, so that multilateral trade negotiations can resume as quickly as possible.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid (PPE), in writing.(FR) The Eighth World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference will take place in Geneva from 15 to 17 December 2011. Yet the Doha Round, which was launched in 2001 with a view to reviewing the rules on global trade, is at an impasse. We need to look beyond technical agreements and consider the substance. What is the purpose of the WTO? Whose interests does it protect? In this motion for a resolution, Parliament wishes to underline the importance of the WTO and the Doha Round, but above all to recap their aims: improving the way that globalisation is managed, a fairer distribution of its benefits and more balanced economic growth. They should also help to tackle new global challenges with a bearing on trade, such as food security, energy, sustainable development and aid for trade. World trade will be balanced if, and only if, the most developed countries take the necessary action to facilitate the integration of the least developed countries (LDCs). Europe needs to be fair but without being naïve: the crisis has heralded the end of ultraliberalism. We need to go back to an approach that protects our economy and our values while ensuring that others can also enjoy development and prosperity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The Eighth World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference will take place in Geneva in December. What should we expect from these new negotiations? It will be difficult to expect a new effort on the part of developed countries for more concessions in terms of tariff subsidies. EU competitive margins are extremely tight, and therefore require a certain amount of flexibility in the use of export refunds, especially in certain sectors such as cereals, meat, dairy products and wine. Our farmers are competing on a market distorted by subsidies, with low global prices, and extremely stringent European quality standards. Among other things, the Doha Development Agenda negotiations will focus on the attempt to achieve food security – an issue very familiar to those of us on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and regarding which I would like to reiterate the need for consistent action, given its urgent nature. I welcome this new attempt at an agreement, but I am waiting to see tangible results from such negotiations. Therefore I hope that during these new negotiations it will be possible to take into account the difficulties currently faced by our farmers. I would like to conclude by sharing a statement made by the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy, which is that economically more developed countries now expect the leading emerging economies to compete on equal terms.

 
  
  

Report: Sajjad Karim (A7-0251/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, as it highlights the current failings of the political decision-making process and the role of institutional actors. I am also voting for it because it addresses the need for the actual implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon with regard to the principle of equal treatment between Parliament and the Council. What is more, it makes good suggestions on the improved involvement of national parliaments, on necessary technical adjustments for the quick use of European citizens’ initiatives, and on the reduction of administrative burdens, without making services less efficient.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. − (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I believe that the objective of better law-making in the EU is constant and must be implemented continuously. This objective covers many dimensions – a reduced administrative burden for individuals and economic operators, whereby markets would encourage people to work, a clear focus on public consultations, impact assessment and the simplification of legislation in force. In addition to all these dimensions the report assesses the implementation through better law-making of two fundamental principles of the functioning of the European Union – subsidiarity and proportionality. Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, national parliaments have begun to actively participate in monitoring compliance with these principles. However, in the opinion of the Members of the European Parliament, the deadlines within which national parliaments have to carry out their work are often too short, and I therefore believe that the way in which national parliament submissions are integrated into the working practices of the European Parliament still has to be improved.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Cristian Silviu Buşoi (ALDE), in writing. (RO) A vote in favour of this report aimed at simplifying the legislative process which the European Parliament uses to debate and adopt laws is justified by the need to make the whole legislative process more efficient. I think that the plan outlined in this document has a real chance of success because it presents realistically the ways in which we can improve the administrative process. Furthermore, as for the initiative on drafting laws in a language which is accessible to the European Union’s citizens, I unreservedly support it as it protects the principle of legislative transparency and ensures that members of the Union can exercise their rights in full knowledge of the facts. In addition, I think that Parliament should cooperate with the Council during the entire legislative process to support and implement the principle of equality between the two institutions, which derives from the Treaty of Lisbon. Placing the emphasis on the need to keep the general public and commercial companies informed about the laws adopted by Parliament is another provision which I support, although this goal can only be achieved by improving communication about draft laws and the methods of implementation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, as I consider it very important to make simple and clear laws that are accessible and easily understood, with a view to safeguarding the principle of the transparency of European legislation and to guaranteeing more effective implementation thereof, and to ensure that EU citizens are able to exercise their rights more easily.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diane Dodds (NI), in writing. − I welcome the concept of better regulation in the EU and am happy to see key concerns and priorities reflected in this report. I especially welcome the recognition that, in today’s economic climate, it is vitally important that we identify any new EU laws imposed on Member States that may result in driving up business costs. This would be particularly detrimental to small and medium-sized enterprises. In the United Kingdom, small and medium-sized enterprises are already struggling to survive. Therefore any further financial burdens could lead to the downfall of these businesses. At a time when we should be encouraging entrepreneurship and growth in the market it is crucial that the Commission look closely at regulatory burden reduction for SMEs throughout the European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, as it maintains that European institutions should contribute to making simple and clear laws that are accessible and easily understood, so that, firstly, laws may be more efficiently implemented, and, secondly, EU citizens are able to exercise their rights more easily.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) I fully subscribe to the idea that it is necessary to develop legislation that is simple, clear and easily understood by the European public. Despite well-meaning statements, in-depth studies and lucid reports from various institutions, the truth is that European legislation continues to suffer from the evils for which it is frequently criticised: excessive volume, inappropriate complexity, unintelligibility and masses of references. These circumstances not only distance the public from decisions made at European level, but also contribute to feeding a debate, which is not always reasonable or thorough, on European intrusion into matters on which it should not be giving opinions or legislating if the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality were more scrupulously observed.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Our fellow Member, Mr Karim, has submitted a report entitled ‘Better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation’ for Parliament’s consideration. The President of the Commission, Dr Barroso, in his communication ‘Political guidelines for the next Commission’, suggested transforming the Lisbon strategy, revitalised for growth and jobs, into the Europe 2020 strategy, with the objective of promoting competitiveness, and reducing the administrative burden through smart regulation. The objective of this programme, to reduce the administrative burden by 25% by 2012, will be difficult to achieve without increased commitment and action on behalf of all stakeholders, namely the European institutions and Member States. The Treaty of Lisbon introduced some changes, but until now very little has been done to implement genuine smart regulation. We must bear in mind that excess legislation does not create wealth: on the contrary, it destroys jobs. I therefore welcome the proposals made in this report, which I consider to be very sensible and a step in the right direction. I also hope that the measures referred to materialise within a short timeframe, since what we need is less legislation and better legislation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, national parliaments play a bigger role in ensuring respect for the principle of subsidiarity. While a considerable number of contributions and reasoned opinions have been received so far, the exact modalities of this innovation, in particular the scope and content of the contributions, are still being worked out and calibrated. Parliament has thus far received over 300 submissions from national parliaments and it would be proper for it to take this opportunity to pronounce itself on the effective functioning of the systems put in place inside Parliament to accommodate this innovation and to identify any shortcomings and suggest improvements. The necessity of correlation tables accompanying the transposition of directives by Member States must be emphasised and Parliament should be innovative in coming up with incentives to make this happen for every single piece of legislation.

Real political leadership is required from all institutions and the Member States in order to strengthen the smart regulation agenda, but the Commission plays a key role in maintaining this issue high on the political agenda. I think it is appropriate that Parliament should at the same time investigate methods to increase its commitment to smart regulation, for instance by making use of inter-committee meetings.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE), in writing. (GA) It appears that the targets the European Commission set out in 2007 in relation to reducing red tape by 25% by 2012 will not be achieved.

Last year, while the President of the Commission was giving a speech in relation to the State of the Union, Mr Barroso said that the Commission had published proposals in relation to saving EUR 38 billion per year for European companies through reductions in red tape. A committed, active approach must be implemented.

Red tape and pointless regulation have a particularly significant effect on the small and medium-sized business sector. What it boils down to is that the European Commission has a duty to try its best to reduce the red tape that is choking the small business sector in Ireland and in Europe at the moment.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Louis Grech (S&D), in writing. I am voting in favour of the Karim report, which endorses the principles set out in the Smart Regulation Agenda as key to ensuring EU legislation is simpler, less burdensome and more targeted. Currently, the incoherent, fragmented and uneven implementation of EU legislation across the board is largely due to lack of political will on the part of Member States to truly take ownership and implement EU regulations effectively at national, regional and local level. The enhanced role of the European Parliament and national parliaments introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, together with the general principle of subsidiarity, has rendered highly significant the active participation of Member States throughout the entire policy cycle of each piece of EU legislation. Having said that, the Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, must push for the creation of better mechanisms than those we have at present for gauging and reviewing how Single Market rules apply in practice at all levels in the various Member States, and the inevitable implications that these have for citizens, consumers and SMEs. Making legislation clearer, more accessible and user-friendly for our citizens and SMEs is the way forward.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because the current timescales allowed for national parliament engagement are often insufficient, particularly in the case of a subsidiarity check. The form of national parliament responses is also such that they are not classified as reasoned opinions or objections on subsidiarity grounds. Furthermore, it should be noted that frequently these are only made available to the European Parliament in the language used by the national parliament submitting the documents. It is therefore proposed that the Secretary General of the European Parliament should investigate methods of improving the way in which national parliament submissions are integrated into the working practices of the European Parliament.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) Since 2005, a programme aimed at reducing the administrative burdens arising from European Union legislation has been in place. It seeks to reduce those burdens by 25% by 2012, thereby generating a 1.4% increase in GDP. My aim in endorsing the Karim report is to speed up this burden reduction process and simplify administrative procedures but without undermining the quality standards that must characterise a legislative process.

Institutional activities must be simplified, in the same way as we must explain our work to Europe’s citizens, who must have easy access to EU databases and legislative acts. Greater recourse to white papers and exclusive recourse to regulations in legislative proposals are just a few of the basic instruments that could ensure a smaller amount of legislation without its quality being affected.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing, (SK) The smart regulation communication expands on the Presidency Conclusions from the January 2007 European Council on the renewed Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs and the Political Guidelines for the Next Commission in which it was suggested that the Lisbon Strategy be transformed into the EU 2020 strategy The purpose of these documents was to emphasise competitiveness and a lesser administrative burden through smart regulation to make markets work for people, and with a clear focus on public consultations, impact assessments, comitology and simplification of existing legislation.

The target of the programme is to reduce administrative burdens by25 % by 2012.

Member States should be required to justify their decision to introduce higher requirements in their domestic legislation beyond the standards set in the EU legislation being implemented.

The necessity of correlation tables accompanying the transposition of directives by Member States must be emphasised and Parliament should be innovative in coming up with incentives to make this happen for every single piece of legislation.

Existing legislation must be continually evaluated in order to ascertain whether it should be simplified or, as the case may be, abolished.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. − I voted in favour of this resolution. Real political leadership is required from all institutions and the Member States in order to strengthen the smart regulation agenda, but the Commission plays a key role in keeping this issue high on the political agenda. A Commissioner should therefore be entrusted with this issue as the main part of his or her portfolio. Parliament should at the same time investigate ways of increasing its commitment to smart regulation, for instance by making use of inter-committee meetings. The Commission will present a progress report on the smart regulation agenda in the second half of 2012. Parliament must make sure to follow up closely on every aspect in this area.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) I agree with the sentiment expressed in this report, as it argues that the European institutions should contribute to drafting simple and clear laws that are accessible and easily understood. Legislative excellence ensures laws are actually implemented, allowing the EU public to exercise its rights more easily.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. It is very good that the report highlights the current shortcomings of the policy-making process and the role of the institutional actors. Mention is made of the negotiation of the Interinstitutional Agreement on better lawmaking, effective enactment of the Treaty of Lisbon with regard to equal treatment of Parliament and the Council and a proposal for better use of regulations instead of directives. I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The principle of subsidiarity is one of the main pillars of the EU. Unfortunately, this principle in particular is increasingly treated with contempt or thrown out through the back door. On the one hand, disagreeable decisions that, from a political point of view, would not be possible to implement at national level are railroaded in by the EU and, on the other, attempts are constantly being made to interfere in subsidiary rights and national sovereignty. The supposed strengthening of national parliaments is by no means able to offset the actual erosion of subsidiarity that is taking place. The development in this regard is worrying and it is not dealt with in this report. I therefore rejected the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) The law-making system is too complicated, and that is one of the reasons why we are unable to achieve our objective of making the EU more attractive and bringing it closer to citizens. At present, EU citizens unfortunately do not feel that they have any influence on EU law-making: they are unable to implement their law-making right, the relationship between the institutions is too complicated, and the gap between the legislative initiative and the legislation’s entry into force is too long. I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for examining many of these dimensions in his report. However, in order for the citizens of the Member States to feel like citizens of the EU, we not only have to set these proposals forth, we also have to implement them.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rareş-Lucian Niculescu (PPE), in writing. – (RO) I voted for this report, although I regret the omission from its text of a reference, which is currently apt, to establishing the ‘one in, one out’ principle.

However, I should mention that a few extremely important ideas provide an upbeat note. These are the possibility of introducing a ‘clarity test’, the Commission’s intention to submit a legislative proposal on the use of alternative dispute settlement mechanisms, an improvement in the EUR-Lex database, an exemption for SMEs from regulations where provisions would disproportionately affect them and, last but not least, the effective mainstreaming of multilingualism in the administration and publication of the results of public consultations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I supported this report and the principles developed therein of simplifying legislation and reducing bureaucracy, which hinders business development and European competitiveness. It is very important that greater attention be devoted to this problem and that it be dealt with consistently. Despite the fact that today large part of work is done by machines and people do not have enough work, we should avoid the creation of so-called social jobs in public administration. Public administration must be simple and unambiguous.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this motion for a resolution on better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation because the European Union’s law-making process needs to be constantly refined and developed, and the decision-making process must be brought as close to citizens as possible. When drafting legislation, all European institutions must pay greater attention to the implementation of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. Furthermore, it is very important to ensure that all EU citizens are able to use their rights as effectively as possible, so that they can have a greater influence on EU policies defending their interests. Consequently, it is crucial for the public to be properly informed about the implementation of the European Citizens’ Initiative. The proper implementation of this initiative will help the European Union come closer to citizens and suitably implement the principles of direct democracy. Attention should be drawn to the importance of national parliaments to the EU law-making process. National parliaments must become more effective players in the political process, at both national and European levels. We must make every effort to ensure that the problem of democratic deficit is addressed and the administrative burden is reduced by developing cooperation between national parliaments and the European Parliament. It is crucial to stress that only through subsidiarity monitoring can national parliaments have a real influence on the European Parliament. Consequently, I believe that we must set longer timescales, which would enable national parliaments to provide a more detailed analysis on compliance with the principle of subsidiarity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report on better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation because one of the main objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy is precisely to make European legislation more effective and accessible in every European country. This is precisely why the text calls for the national parliaments of the Member States, acting in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, to work together and strive to develop and apply new European legislation while also collaborating with the European institutions. Better legislation means successfully meeting the objectives set, boosting the economy by helping businesses, and accelerating the European market by making it more competitive.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) Smart regulation involves the fast application of legislative acts in the EU, thereby minimising administrative costs and cutting red tape. Nonetheless, it should be remembered that the target of the programme to reduce this administrative burden by 25% by 2012 will be very hard to achieve. Therefore, we need more simplification and fast, ex-post evaluation of Member States’ directive transposition procedures. When simplifying procedures, a key role is played both by the EU institutions and by the Member States. Even though these are relatively technical and administrative procedures, administrative hurdles cause significant difficulties to the functioning of the EU, on the one hand, and to the public, on the other. The problems at issue are identified in the report, which is why I voted in favour of it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this report on ‘better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation’. The smart regulation agenda was introduced as part of the Europe 2020 strategy, which aims to achieve ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ by the year 2020, primarily through the reduction of administrative burdens for businesses by ensuring the improved quality and simplification of existing EU legislation. It is a measure which will, according to studies, mean considerable savings for companies. At a time of economic crisis, it is up to the policy makers to find all possible means to streamline costs and combat waste, without ever compromising on quality. In this context, I agree with Parliament’s intention of remaining vigilant while monitoring the implementation of the agenda for the Commission’s smart regulation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Miguel Portas (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Simple and clear laws that are accessible and easily understood are crucial to guaranteeing that these are effectively implemented and to ensure that the public can exercise its rights. Increased Member State involvement and participation in the legislative process is an important step in this direction, especially in verifying compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. The report points to various factors which must be taken into account to improve the legislation, namely less bureaucracy, better use of consultation processes, better use of legislative instruments, and better assessment of the impact of legislation, so as to comply with those fundamental principles.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Phil Prendergast (S&D), in writing. I welcome Mr Karim’s report on the regulatory environment in operation in Europe at the present time. The report underscores and reaffirms the importance of both smart regulation and the need for the form and function of the Union not to exceed what is required to realise the objectives of the Treaties. It also stresses the need to engage with key stakeholders in relation to specific legislation, particularly SMEs in order to establish the problems they face when trying to increase employment and trade within Europe. It also reiterates the need to connect with civil society in order to gain information about the situation on the ground, which in turn leads to more effective legislation. This report is particularly welcome in light of the current economic environment wherein unemployment and poor growth are prolific. Having regard to this, we, as legislators, must do everything in our power to ensure there are as few unnecessary administrative barriers as possible for entrepreneurs and those seeking to create employment for the many unemployed in Europe.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) Today we voted in plenary on the report on better legislation, subsidiarity and proportionality and smart regulation. The report by Mr Karim expands on the Presidency Conclusions on the Lisbon Strategy, which were to emphasise competitiveness and a reduction in administrative burdens though smart regulation that works for people. The report has a clear focus on public consultations, impact assessments, comitology and simplification of existing legislation.

The main recommendations of the report are as follows. Member States should be made to justify decisions relating to the introduction into their national legislation of requirements that exceed the standards set by the EU legislative acts they are preparing to transpose. Parliament, which has thus far received over 300 submissions from national parliaments, should issue a statement on the effective functioning of the systems put in place within Parliament in order to identify any shortcomings and suggest improvements.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. The smart regulation communication expands on the Presidency Conclusions from the Spring 2007 European Council on the renewed Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs and Commission President Barroso’s Political Guidelines for the Next Commission in which it was suggested to turn the Lisbon Strategy into the ‘EU 2020’ strategy, with emphasis on competitiveness and less administrative burden through smart regulation in order to make markets work for people, and with a clear focus on public consultations, impact assessments, comitology and simplification of existing legislation.

While all of this could be described, on the face of it, as a mere rebranding of the existing better regulation agenda, the placing of these issues higher up on the agenda must nevertheless be welcomed, and Parliament, together with the other European institutions and the Member States, must now do its part to ensure that the momentum thus gained is upheld and that activities are stepped up in all relevant areas.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted for this text because it emphasises the importance of competitiveness and the reduction of administrative burdens through smart regulation that can benefit people, and has a clear focus on public consultations, impact assessments, comitology and simplification of existing legislation.

 
  
  

Report: Willy Meyer (A7-0232/2011)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting in favour. It should be noted that since the Treaty of Lisbon has come into force there is more weight attached to the legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights and the institutions have new responsibilities, about which we should remain vigilant. For example, I would stress the ‘European Citizens’ initiative’, which has become a new instrument of participatory democracy, appreciation of which is important.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) The Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament stipulate that the Committee on Petitions must report each year to Parliament on the results of its deliberations and activities. In 2010, the European Parliament received 1 655 petitions, a fall of 14% from the 1 924 petitions in 2009. The environment remains the main preoccupation for petitioners, followed by fundamental rights, the single market and justice. The Germans are still the most active petitioners, then the Spanish and Italians. Increasing numbers of petitions are being submitted online: the figure rose to 63.2 % in 2010. For my part, I am delighted that the Treaty of Lisbon has introduced the possibility of citizens’ initiatives. I continue to follow the work of the Committee on Petitions and have approved its annual activity report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I support the 2010 annual report, which aims to provide an overview of the activities of the Committee on Petitions. I also voted in favour of the new procedure for registering petitions put in place by the Directorate-General for the Presidency and the Directorate-General for Internal Policies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Meyer, whose work has successfully drawn attention to the activities carried out by the Committee on Petitions last year. In highlighting the data on the petitions submitted to Parliament, their number and origin, and the legislative areas covered by citizens’ requests, and in assessing the standard and quality of the interinstitutional relations between Parliament, the Commission and the Council, and with the European Ombudsmen, the report provides a faithful account of the situation regarding the use of this important instrument – petitioning of the European Parliament – which is available to the public.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I am convinced that the participation of citizens in the European Union’s decision-making process is essential, and the opportunity for citizens to submit petitions to the European Parliament is an expression of such participation. In this report, Parliament evaluates the activities of the Committee on Petitions in 2010, indicating that the petitions received last year continued to focus on the environment, fundamental rights, the internal market and justice, and in geographical terms, the largest proportion of petitions referred to specific Member States. In the report, the European Parliament nevertheless finds it regrettable that the Commission has yet to address the Committee on Petitions’ repeated calls to inform the European Parliament of the progress of infringement proceedings relating to open petitions. Parliament also proposes the creation, as a matter of urgency, of a dedicated Web portal for petitions, offering an interactive template for the recording thereof.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) As a full member of the Committee on Petitions, I specifically voted in favour of my committee’s activity report for 2010, which essentially justifies our existence. In 2010, the Committee on Petitions received 1 655 petitions from European citizens. The environment remains one of their main concerns. In addition to the committee’s success, several other important factors should be borne in mind. It is the only committee that organises hearings for European citizens at each of its meetings. Its expertise and legitimacy are undisputed within Parliament because of its direct links to citizens. My colleagues and I have dealt with distressing cases, such as cross-border divorces and compulsory purchases of the properties owned by thousands of people in Spain under the Spanish law on coastal areas. The Committee on Petitions illustrates how Europe should be: willing to listen to citizens’ problems, committed to working together to find solutions and to protect citizens. Unfortunately, we still have limited scope for taking action and exerting pressure. The reason for this is a lack of cooperation from Member States and certain public authorities. It is vital that citizens continue to have confidence in our institution and continue to call on us.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Committee on Petitions has informed Parliament of its activities during 2010, and this information reveals that there were fewer petitions than in the previous year. I hope that the people of the Member States, and particularly those of my country, use this ability to alert Parliament more regularly to the problems they face, so that the European dimension of citizenship and the institutions’ ability to respond to people’s specific problems become increasingly evident. I would acknowledge the work already been done by the Committee on Petitions and by Parliament’s services concerning the reception and due treatment of the issues petitioned, and I hope that this continues to increase in years to come.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Mr Meyer, concerns the activities of the Committee on Petitions during 2010 and aims to provide an overview of the most important events in this area over the year. With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, the European public saw its right to petition Parliament secured, and made a pillar of citizenship and a fundamental right, as enshrined in Article 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). More than just a collection of statistics, this report refers to the relationship of the Committee on Petitions with other European institutions, namely national and regional authorities. It is Parliament’s most dynamic committee, as it is the one that gives the European public a voice. Most of the time, it is the very Members of this House who are spokespersons for the public’s complaints and claims. Many a problem long overdue a solution is brought to a conclusion by this committee. It is no coincidence that the most broached topics concern the environment, fundamental rights, justice and the internal market. I welcome the excellent work of the rapporteur, and I am pleased with the results obtained by this committee.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report on the activity of Parliament’s Committee on Petitions provides an overview of the committee’s activities, and offers an accurate and complete picture of its work, through a series of statistics on the number of petitions received, completed or handled by the committee, or on the countries or issues in question, making this an important quantitative tool in assessing its work.

The annual statistics show that most citizens turn to Parliament for assistance with matters relating to the environment, fundamental rights, justice and the internal market. As the report mentions, other petitioners seek a hearing for suggestions concerning the implementation of Union policy, and others approach Parliament to appeal against decisions made by national authorities and to complain about the judgments of national courts. However, most complain about the incorrect application of EU legislation, either due to the imperfect transposition of that legislation or due to failures to apply, or breaches of, European rules.

Furthermore, the report just tabled and adopted undoubtedly represents a useful element for carrying out parliamentary work in its many forms.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report gives an overview of the activity of the Committee on Petitions and offers an accurate and complete picture of its work, through a series of statistics on the number of petitions received, completed or handled by the committee, or statistics on the countries or issues in question, making this an important quantitative tool in assessing its work.

The annual statistics show that most citizens turn to Parliament for assistance with matters relating to the environment, fundamental rights, justice and the internal market. As the report mentions, other petitioners seek a hearing for suggestions concerning the implementation of Union policies, and others approach Parliament to appeal against decisions made by national authorities and to complain about the judgments of national courts.

However, most complain about the incorrect application of EU legislation, either due to the imperfect transposition of that legislation or due to failures to apply, or breaches of, European rules. According to the statistics, in 2010 Parliament received 1 655 petitions, which represents a 14% decrease against the 1 924 petitions submitted in 2009.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D ) in writing. (SK) The aim of the annual report for 2010 is to provide an overview of the work of the Committee on Petitions, for which the calendar of activities is set by the citizens who exercise their right to petition the European Parliament. It presents a series of statistics on the number of petitions received, closed or dealt with by the Committee, the countries involved and the matters raised. Additional aspects, such as relations with other European institutions and with national and regional authorities or institutional changes with direct impact on the Committee’s activities, complete the picture. It also examines the progress made in implementing each recommendation. Citizens bring before Parliament their concerns about the impact of various EU policies and legislation on their everyday lives. These are mainly matters relating to the environment, fundamental rights, justice and the internal market.

Last but not least, citizens use the petition procedure to appeal against decisions taken by national authorities and to complain about rulings of national courts. The European Commission has made 2013 the European Year of Citizenship in order to drive forward the debate on European citizenship and inform EU citizens of their rights I consider it to be highly positive that the Committee on Petitions wants to support this initiative and offer citizens a direct link to the institutions, guaranteeing that their problems are heard.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document, because a large number of petitioners turn to Parliament for redress on issues that fall outside the EU’s area of competence, such as the enforcement of national courts’ decisions or passivity on the part of various administrations, in the hope that the situation can be resolved by these complaints being forwarded to the competent authorities at national or regional levels. I welcome the new procedure put in place by the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for the Presidency and Directorate-General for Internal Policies with regard to the registration of petitions. We need to bring greater transparency to the management of petitions: internally by giving Members of the European Parliament direct access to petition files via the E-petition system, by simplifying the internal procedure and through close cooperation between the Member States, the Chair and the secretariat of the Committee on Petitions, and externally by establishing an interactive Web portal for petitioners. The petitions process is important and should enable the committee responsible to seek and provide solutions and to defend EU citizens who petition Parliament. It is necessary to increase citizens’ participation in the EU decision-making process, with a view to reinforcing its legitimacy and accountability.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Lena Kolarska-Bobińska (PPE), in writing.(PL) As a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, I am fully aware how many Europeans are wrestling with various problems which they cannot solve at local or national authority level. Therefore they turn to us for help. Not all of the petitions we receive are the responsibility of the European institutions. We are not able to help in every case. However, as a result of our constant contact with petitioners, our committee is the one which has the most contact with ordinary, everyday problems. Whilst working on big ideas and wide-ranging strategies, it is very important that we should not forget what troubles Europeans on a daily basis.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D), in writing. (SK) With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, the Charter of Fundamental Rights became legally binding. Given the petitions received, fundamental rights form the second most important issue raised by petitioners. The incorporation of the Charter into EU primary law under the principle of subsidiarity means that Member States are responsible for compliance with the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. New responsibilities have been created for the decision-making and implementing institutions, as well as for Member States when implementing EU legislation at national level. The Charter’s provisions have thus become directly enforceable by European and national courts.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I welcome this report on the activities of the Petitions Committee in 2010. The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon confirmed the right to petition the European Parliament as one of the cornerstones of European citizenship and as a fundamental right under Article 227 of the new Treaty (ex Article 194 TEC), which provides that citizens or residents of the European Union, whether natural or legal persons, individually or in association with other citizens or persons, have the right to address a petition to the European Parliament on a matter which comes within the Union’s fields of activity and which affects them directly. This tool allows citizens to bring before Parliament their concerns about the impact of various EU policies and legislation on their everyday lives.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the annual report on the activities of the Committee on Petitions. The right of petition is a key democratic instrument that allows any European citizen to go directly to the European Parliament in order to seek a solution to his or her individual problems, to highlight failings in European policies, or to call on the European Union to take action in a specific field. Once again, this report demonstrates that European citizens are particularly interested in environmental issues and that we therefore need to do more for the environment. The report also highlights the lack of transparency surrounding petitions: it is essential that every petition received should be published online unless the petitioner has specifically indicated otherwise, so that every citizen can see the petitions submitted and can support them if he or she so desires. The report also reminds us that the Committee on Petitions is dependent on cooperation from the other institutions: it is vital that the Council cooperate even more with the Committee on Petitions. I am using my vote to support the Committee on Petitions in its work for democracy.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. – (PT) The 2010 annual report aims to present an overview of the activities of the Committee on Petitions, whose business schedule does not revolve around the legislative programme of the European Commission, having instead been established by the public to exercise its right to petition Parliament. The annual activity report is aimed at presenting an accurate and complete picture of the work of the Committee on Petitions, through a series of statistics on the number of petitions received, completed or handled by the committee, or statistics on the countries or issues in question, making this an important quantitative tool in assessing the work of the committee. This overview is complemented by other aspects, such as relations with other European institutions, national and regional authorities, or institutional changes with a direct impact on the activity of the Committee on Petitions. Finally, the report examines the progress made in implementing the previous recommendations, which were aimed at improving the work of this committee.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. The 2010 annual report aims to provide an overview of the activities of the Committee on Petitions, for which the calendar of activities is not fixed around the legislative programme of the European Commission but is set by the citizens who exercise their right to petition the European Parliament. The annual report aims to offer a precise and full view of the work of the Committee on Petitions. This report presents a series of statistics on the number of petitions received, closed or dealt with by the committee, the countries involved and the matters raised. These statistics represent an important quantitative tool for assessing the committee’s work. According to the statistics, in 2010 the European Parliament received 1 655 petitions, which represents a drop of 14% compared to the 1 924 petitions submitted in 2009. This clearly shows a change in trend following the constant rise in the number of petitions in recent years. I voted in favour.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) It is important for the citizens of the Union and for natural or legal persons to have a right of petition in respect of EU activities in order to bring the impact of EU law before Parliament. The main cause of complaint is the incorrect application of EU legislation, but decisions taken by national authorities are also appealed against or assistance sought with matters relating to the environment, fundamental rights, justice and the internal market, in which regard a number of petitions are declared inadmissible because there continues to be a lack of clarity about EU competences. The report stresses that the number of petitions on property restitution has fallen significantly in comparison to previous years. The European Parliament must step up its efforts specifically in respect of the unlawful legislation that is still in place, that is to say the regulations of the Anti-Fascist Council of the People’s Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) and the Beneš decrees. As the report does not mention this, I have abstained from voting.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I became aware of the work of the Committee on Petitions before I was even a Member of the European Parliament, when, during 2007-2008, I represented several tens of thousands of EU citizens who petitioned the European Parliament on the environmental impact of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. On the basis of this petition, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in 2008, and the Committee on Petitions examined the implementation of this resolution quite recently. I therefore welcome the report’s call for the Commission to ensure the correct implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) and the Habitats and Birds Directives by the Member States, based on recommendations from Parliament’s own competent committee. I would, however, like to comment that, unfortunately, the Commission has so far failed to take the European Parliament’s positions into account or take the action required. In future, discussions should therefore be initiated on even closer ties between the European Parliament and the Commission, particularly when Parliament draws the Commission’s attention to violations of EU law.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mariya Nedelcheva (PPE), in writing. (BG) I voted in favour of Mr Meyer’s report. The aim of the Committee on Petitions’ annual activity reports is to review the work carried out based on the available statistics.

These reports are extremely important for improving our Committee’s effectiveness. As MEPs, we all have a duty to defend the rights of Europe’s citizens. However, this applies even more strongly to members of the Committee on Petitions. This is why we need to focus our attention on several important points in the report. The slight drop in the number of petitions submitted, compared with 2009, may be an indication to us that the general public has become better informed about what our Committee does.

However, we must not stop making efforts in this area because we also notice a high number of inadmissible petitions where petitioners are still getting confused between national and European areas of competence. The large number of inadmissible petitions is also indicative of the need for the competent bodies and institutions to take some responsibility. Finally, it is important also to focus attention on the impact of the Treaty of Lisbon’s entry into force on the Committee on Petitions: the legally binding nature of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European citizens’ initiative, the European External Action Service and so on.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) It is vitally important that citizens of the European Union have the right and opportunity to appeal to the European Parliament with their concerns, and in accordance with the enactment of the Treaty of Lisbon, the right to submit petitions is one of the foundations of European citizenship. The report shows that for the second consecutive year, petitioners have most often submitted petitions on environmental topics, which means that this area causes the greatest concern and raises the most questions among citizens of Europe, and this is also a clear signal to the members of the European parliament. The number of inadmissible petitions unfortunately still makes up more than half of the total, since submitters confuse the competencies of Member States and the European Union, as a result of which increased attention should be devoted to raising citizens’ awareness.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. – (PT) I voted for this report on the activities of the Committee on Petitions in 2010. The timetable of activities of the Committee on Petitions is not established on the basis of the European Commission’s legislative programme, but is set by the public in the exercise of its right to petition Parliament. This is the overview provided by the annual report, a complete picture of the work of the Committee on Petitions, through a series of statistics on the number of petitions received, completed or handled by the committee, or statistics on the countries or issues in question, making this an important quantitative tool in assessing the work of the committee. The report also examines the progress made in implementing previous recommendations aimed at improving the work of this committee. I agree with the need for the Committee on Petitions to forge closer working links with similar committees in the national and regional parliaments of the Member States, in order to promote mutual understanding of petitions on European issues, and to gain an insight into the various working methods of national committees on petitions so that the Committee on Petitions of Parliament is in a position to take a conscious and farsighted decision when rejecting a petition on grounds of competence issues.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) I congratulate Mr Meyer on the excellent work he has done. Petitions must be a pillar of European citizenship. Environmental protection and the defence of citizens’ rights were the Committee on Petitions’ main concerns in 2010.

I am disappointed that some Member States have failed to apply and enforce European environmental legislation, and I call on the Commission to monitor more actively the enforcement and implementation of such legislation at all times during the procedure and not just after a definitive decision has been taken. Furthermore, I regret that, despite the large number of petitions concerning the rights contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Commission consistently refuses to take action to prevent flagrant breaches thereof.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing.(FR) The legitimacy of the European project is built on public support. This support can only exist if citizens have an opportunity to air their views, to express their concerns and to ensure that the institutions uphold their rights. I therefore welcome the work done by the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions. The creation of the citizens’ initiative under the Treaty of Lisbon has served to reinforce this fundamental right. It must be supported and promoted, and the Committee on Petitions is in the best position to follow up on the requests made. However, in order for it to be as effective as possible, and to provide the best possible response to citizens, I believe that transparent cooperation between the European Commission, the Member States and Parliament is essential. Last of all, having a clear and accessible procedure is vital if we want participation across the board. To that end, we definitely need to establish a one-stop shop for petitions. I am therefore delighted that this report has been adopted.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. The 2010 annual report aims to provide an overview of the activities of the Committee on Petitions, for which the calendar of activities is not fixed around the legislative programme of the European Commission, but rather is set by the citizens who exercise their right to petition the European Parliament.

The annual report aims to offer a precise and full view of the work of the Committee on Petitions. This report presents a series of statistics on the number of petitions received, closed or dealt with by the Committee, the countries involved and the matters raised. These statistics represent an important quantitative tool for assessing the Committee’s work. Additional aspects, such as relations with other European institutions and with national and regional authorities or institutional changes with direct impact on the Committee’s activities, complete the picture. Last but not least, the report examines the progress made in implementing previous recommendations aimed at improving the work of this Committee.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted for this report because it provides a comprehensive overview of the activities of the Committee on Petitions in 2010. The report offers a precise and full picture of the work of the Committee, presenting a series of statistics on the number of petitions received, closed or dealt with, the countries involved and the matters raised. These statistics represent an important quantitative tool for assessing the Committee’s work.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) I voted in favour of the report – as I have already done in committee. The detailed annual data that are collected make it possible to determine the shortcomings and problems that we need to concentrate on. We now need to work on these problem areas.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted for Mr Meyer’s text on the activities of the Committee on Petitions in 2010. Despite a small drop compared to 2009, the Committee received petitions from European citizens exercising their right to petition on topics of primary importance such as justice, the environment, the internal market and fundamental rights.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution - B7-0475/2011

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this motion for a resolution, as it aims to pressure the Commission to achieve a comprehensive EU strategy on homelessness. Backed up by national and regional strategies, it would have the long-term goal of putting an end to homelessness within the wider context of social inclusion. It is essential that this resolution’s demands be carried out. These are as follows: data on homelessness in the EU must be collected; it must have clear objectives, an integrated approach which encompasses all politically relevant fields, good governance, proper data collection, a proper housing policy; it must recognise the need to take into account the potential changes in homeless people’s profiles and, in particular, to consider the impact of migration; and it must include budgetary appropriations from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution on an EU homelessness strategy. This is a sensitive issue in the EU because homelessness represents one of the most extreme forms of poverty and deprivation, and has increased in recent years in several EU Member States. I welcome the resolution’s call for the Member States to make progress towards the goal of ending street homelessness by 2015. The European Parliament calls in this resolution for the development of an ambitious, integrated EU strategy, underpinned by national and regional strategies, with the long-term aim of ending homelessness within the broader social inclusion framework. It is particularly important for an EU homelessness strategy to go beyond monitoring and reporting and deliver a package of activities to support the development of effective national and regional homelessness strategies and coordinated work by the Member States to reduce homelessness in the EU.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) People living on the street is the most visible and extreme form of poverty and exclusion. These deprived people do not have access to social, medical or educational services, as their needs comprise in particular the need for housing, then the need to find a job and, in general, the need to find a solution to get themselves out of this dire situation and become reintegrated into society and the labour market. During the last decade, EU-level policy coordination on homelessness within the framework of the Open Method of Coordination for Social Protection and Social Inclusion has enhanced and added value to the efforts made at national, regional and local level, with the need to build on this work as part of a more strategic approach. I think that it is vital to develop an ambitious, integrated EU strategy underpinned by national and regional strategies, with the long-term aim of ending homelessness within the broader social inclusion framework. The EU homelessness strategy should be fully compliant with Member States’ social housing policy, which legally enshrines the principle of promoting social diversity and combating social segregation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. I voted in favour of this resolution because I value its aim to find a solution for one of the most extreme forms of poverty and deprivation. Homelessness has increased in recent years in several EU Member States and is an unacceptable violation of human dignity. I believe that it is essential to involve all stakeholders, including national, regional and local policy-makers, in the fight against homelessness.

Considering that the fulfilment of the right to housing is critical for the enjoyment of a full range of other rights, including political and social rights, an important role should also be played by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). This Agency needs to work more on the implications of extreme poverty and social exclusion in terms of access to, and enjoyment of, fundamental rights. Member States must make progress towards the goal of ending street homelessness by 2015.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Liam Aylward (ALDE), in writing. (GA) Homelessness is an extremely severe form of poverty, and the Commission must give extra assistance to the Member States as they grapple with this crisis. To this end, I welcome what is in this report. The objective in relation to putting an end to homelessness by 2015 will not be achieved if an integrated approach is not implemented that covers every relevant policy area, along with the wider issue of social inclusion. It is not enough that the homelessness strategy includes monitoring and reporting, it must include active measures for developing sustainable, effective, national and regional strategies.

The European Regional Development Fund was recently expanded to cover housing for marginalised people. That Fund and the European Social Fund must focus on the programmes for extreme poverty and homelessness. There should be easier access for organisations to the money available from the Commission and from the Member States and red tape must be reduced significantly. Why have social funds and action plans if they do not confer any benefit on the people who need them the most?

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing.(FR) We definitely need to concentrate on stabilising our banks and budgets in these times of financial and budgetary crisis, but that is not enough. It seems to me that we are not maintaining the balance by taking into account the needs of the most vulnerable in our societies, far from it. At a time when we still do not know for certain whether the aid scheme for our most deprived citizens will be maintained in coming years, this motion for a resolution on the European Union homelessness strategy, which has the support of a very large majority in Parliament, reminds us that poverty and social exclusion affect millions of people in Europe and that letting them fall by the wayside is not an option. The resolution specifically calls for a greater emphasis on housing policy in the European Union. Guaranteeing decent housing for all, meeting basic needs and providing access to quality services are daily challenges that urgently need to be addressed.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE), in writing.(ES) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution urging Member States to make progress towards the goal of ending street homelessness by 2015.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted against this motion for a resolution on an EU homelessness strategy because of the many controversial points this document raises, particularly as regards immigration. In particular, the document calls for the allocation of housing to marginalised groups such as immigrants to be made easier and specifies that the right to housing will allow such groups also to enjoy political and social rights. I therefore voted against it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution because homelessness represents one of the most extreme forms of poverty and deprivation, and has increased in recent years in several European Union Member States. The European Parliament thus calls for an EU homelessness strategy to focus on the promotion of quality services for homeless people and urges the Commission to develop a voluntary framework for ensuring the quality of social services, as stipulated in the Communication on the European Poverty Platform. It also calls for the development of strong links between the EU homelessness strategy and EU funding streams, especially from the Structural Funds. The European Commission should promote the use of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) financing facility in order to guarantee homes for representatives of marginalised groups. I would like to stress that it is also crucial for the Commission and the Member States to reach an agreement and establish a framework for monitoring the development of national and regional homelessness strategies as a central element of the EU homelessness strategy. Furthermore, we should ensure that an EU homelessness strategy goes beyond monitoring and reporting and delivers a package of activities to support the development of effective national and regional homelessness strategies.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the resolution on a European strategy to help the homeless. At a time when the Member States are attempting to repair the mistakes of the financial markets, very few initiatives are being taken to prevent citizens from becoming homeless or to bring an end to homelessness. This motion for a resolution is a timely reminder. The Member States must look at the issue of the homeless. They are being asked to collect information on these people so that their needs can be better met and they are being encouraged to exchange ideas in order to arrive at a supportive response. Monitoring at the European level of the progress in each Member State will give us an overall view of the issue so that we can move towards a Europe where every citizen will have a home. A citizen without a home is a citizen without rights. Because a home is absolutely essential to the enjoyment of a full range of other rights, including civil and social rights. The motion for a resolution sets a target of 2015 for bringing an end to the issue of homelessness. This is fine, but the Member States must now find the resources to meet this challenge. As this resolution urges, it is now time to go beyond declarations.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. I have a great deal of sympathy for people who are homeless and have no doubt that as a society we should do our utmost to enable them to rebuild their lives. However I voted against an EU Homelessness Strategy, as I firmly believe we do not require the Commission to develop a voluntary quality framework as stipulated in the communication on the European Poverty Platform. In the proposition of the legislation is the suggestion that the UK needs to rely upon the EU to develop a strategic framework for services where many organisations and charities already work tirelessly to combat homelessness. Instead any regulation by the Commission is likely to add red tape to services and slow them down, also costing substantial amounts of money to enforce and thus redirecting resources away from the people who really need it. This is another attempt to push towards new EU regulation where it is not required.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for a homelessness strategy because this painful reality, which affects people in all EU Member States, is an unacceptable violation of human dignity. Homelessness represents one of the most severe forms of poverty and has increased in recent years in a number of EU Member States. This framework which has been adopted paves the way for enhanced and ambitious action on homelessness at EU level by identifying methods and means for the work the Commission has started on tackling homelessness to continue in the best way, while carrying on the activities from 2010 – the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Proinsias De Rossa (S&D), in writing. I supported this motion for a resolution which seeks to press the Commission to come up with an overarching EU homelessness strategy underpinned by national and regional strategies with the long-term aim of ending homelessness within the broader social inclusion framework. This resolution demands amongst other things that any strategy adopted must ensure the collection of EU homelessness data, must include clear targets, an integrated approach covering all relevant policy fields, proper governance, proper data collection, a strong housing dimension, taking account of changing profiles of the homeless population, and particularly the impact of migration, and, must include budgetary allocations from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution, as it advocates an ambitious strategy on the part of the EU with the purpose of medium-term resolution of the problem of homelessness, within the context of European social inclusion policy. I would remind you that the problem of homelessness remains the reality in all Member States, and that it constitutes an inacceptable violation of human dignity.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Throughout Europe there are people who live in the streets in deplorable conditions, exposed to the elements and to the cruelty of the societies in which we live. The term ‘homeless’ is a euphemistic substitute for other, cruder terms, like ‘beggar’ or ‘vagrant’, as people falling into similar states of destitution used to be called. Rather than designing grand European strategies to put an end to this scourge, I believe that global thinking needs to be linked in with local action. In order for this to happen, there is nothing more effective than the social solidarity institutions already active on the ground, which really know the actual people living in these situations, not just the statistics, and which can identify the best ways for these people to move towards a better life. Without abandoning its programmes, research and measures on this issue, the European Union should aim to always act through the institutions already active on the ground.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The existence of the homeless is not a new phenomenon rooted in the current economic and financial crisis: they have always existed. We are used to seeing people sleeping in railway stations, underneath bridges, in the entrances to buildings, in run-down buildings, and so on. Yet the current crisis has only seen this socially deplorable and degrading situation worsen. Where, several decades ago these used to be people with drug- or alcohol-addiction problems, or bohemian beggars, today, due to worsening economic and financial conditions, especially the high interest rates that prevent many citizens from fulfilling their obligations towards banks, the paradigm has shifted: we now find young people, women and entire families living on the streets. Moreover, faced with this situation, the Member States remain inactive. At best, they move them from city centres to the peripheries so that they are not seen by tourists or near financial centres. We all have an obligation to protect the weakest in society. The Member States, alongside the European Union through the European Social Fund (ESF), have a duty to minimise this violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which enshrines an end to homelessness. In view of this, I unconditionally support this motion for a resolution which aims to implement a strategy for combating homelessness, about whose existence we should be ashamed.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The motion for a resolution proposes a European strategy for homelessness, one of the most serious social problems and most extreme forms of poverty existing in the European Union, which urgently needs to be resolved. The existence of homelessness represents an unacceptable violation of fundamental human rights, of which the EU always boasts of being an ideal role model, lecturing others about it at any opportunity.

It is therefore crucial to prioritise actions promoting social inclusion, so as to ensure that no one sleeps rough and that even the time they potentially spend in temporary lodging is limited strictly to the time needed to provide them with appropriate accommodation: their own housing.

We consider it a positive step that the majority in Parliament has supported this resolution, urging the Commission to draw up an ambitious homelessness strategy and to support the Member States in drafting effective national strategies, including support from Union funds to finance projects for housing marginalised groups.

However, on top of all this, it is crucial to change profoundly the current policies that have led to this situation, in order to guarantee employment with rights, quality public services, living pensions and the minimum conditions needed to pay for decent housing, including water, electricity and sanitation.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We voted for this resolution, which is aimed at achieving a European strategy for homelessness, as this is one of the most serious social problems and most extreme forms of poverty existing in the European Union, which urgently needs to be resolved. The problem of ‘homelessness’ represents an unacceptable violation of fundamental human rights, and it is crucial to prioritise actions that promote social inclusion, so as to ensure that no one sleeps rough and that even the time they potentially spend in temporary lodging is limited strictly to the time needed to provide them with appropriate accommodation: their own housing.

We consider it a positive step that the majority in Parliament has supported this resolution, urging the Commission to draw up an ambitious ‘homelessness’ strategy and to support the Member States in drafting effective national strategies, including support from Union funds to finance projects for housing marginalised groups in the Member States, wherever necessary.

However, on top of all this, it is crucial to change current policy profoundly, especially in the economic, financial and social areas, in order to ensure employment with rights, quality public services, living pensions and the ability to pay for decent housing, including water, electricity, sanitation, etc.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková-Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) In December 2010, the European Parliament adopted a written declaration on an EU homelessness strategy to support Member States in developing effective national strategies in line with the 2010 Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion. The 2010 Joint Report made it clear that the Member States should adopt integrated homelessness strategies focusing on key targets such as the prevention of homelessness and a reduction in its duration, targeting the most severe homelessness, improving the quality of services for homeless people and the supply of affordable housing. The 2010 European Consensus Conference on Homelessness called for an overarching EU homelessness strategy to support, monitor and coordinate the development of homelessness policies in the Member States. Finally, I firmly believe that an integrated approach to addressing this issue should include all important areas with respect to the changing profiles of homeless people and in particular the impact of migration.

Reporting on strategies to combat homelessness could be integrated into the National Strategic Reports submitted under the Open Method of Coordination in the social field. The currently open method of coordination requires statistical data that goes beyond the monetary indicators and these are not even provided by EU-SILC. I therefore believe that it would be appropriate for the Commission to ensure that Eurostat will collect comparable and reliable statistics on homelessness.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE), in writing. (GA) There are people in every corner of the Union who are affected by homelessness. I wholly agree with what is in the report in relation to putting an end to homelessness by the year 2015. One of the goals in the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy is to put an end to poverty. It is an aim of the strategy to save at least 20 million people from poverty by the year 2020. A notable initiative in the strategy is the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE), in writing.(FR) Seventeen per cent of the EU’s population are living below the poverty line; 8% of Europeans are experiencing severe material deprivation; there are 3 million homeless people, amongst whom there is an increasing number of young people, families and children. This situation is unacceptable and intolerable given the values that we defend within the EU and from the viewpoint of fundamental rights, respect for the individual and human dignity. Although last year was designated as ‘European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion’, the phenomenon continues and poverty is increasing to an alarming degree. I have, of course, voted in favour of this resolution, which urges the Member States to take urgent action to make progress and to bring an end to the issue of homelessness by 2015. This resolution must now be followed up by a true commitment: governments must now act. Our resolution also urges a truly European strategy for assisting the homeless, as very few initiatives are currently being taken to prevent citizens from becoming homeless or to bring an end to homelessness. The fact is, the EU can do more, especially and primarily by not reducing the budget of the European food aid scheme for the most deprived persons.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing.(FR) After the European Parliament’s adoption of a written declaration in favour of an EU strategy for the homeless in December 2010, the vote in favour of the motion for a resolution will only reinforce the message of determination and expectation that we are sending to the Commission and to the Member States, in favour of a European strategy on homelessness, the clearest manifestation of poverty and social exclusion. We have a duty to ensure a dignified life for all citizens, whoever they may be. Social policies can no longer be put in the background behind tight budget policies, of which we have an abundance. We must mobilise all of the tools available to the European Union so that, in future, the Stability and Growth Pact does not lead to the indiscriminate cutting of all possible finance for the services that assist these populations. We must also encourage the Member States not to apply the rules of competition to social housing, but rather to finance social housing, so that homelessness is no longer an emergency issue in the future.