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Procedure : 2011/0156(COD)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts tabled :

A7-0059/2012

Debates :

PV 14/06/2012 - 6
CRE 14/06/2012 - 6

Votes :

PV 14/06/2012 - 11.3
CRE 14/06/2012 - 11.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Debates
Thursday, 14 June 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

12. Explanations of vote
Video of the speeches
PV
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  President. − The next item is the explanations of vote.

 
  
  

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Struan Stevenson (A7-0145/2012)

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the Council regulation on the multiannual plan for the herring stock was adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty and therefore an alignment is needed. This regulation, the first in the fisheries sector to be aligned to the Treaty, is therefore of great importance as the solution adopted in this case could affect the decision-making procedure that will be applicable to other multiannual plans. On these grounds, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament has two dimensions. The first is substantive. There can be no objection to the substantive dimension. Of course it is important to monitor herring stocks too and to take appropriate measures if these become overfished.

The other dimension is just as important, however, which is why I have given my full support to this committee report. The question once again is when to work with delegated acts and when to initiate regular legislative procedures. I expressly support the rapporteur’s view when he says that the delegation of powers to the Commission must be temporary because, in the final analysis, the issue at stake is where the real political power lies, with Parliament or with the Commission. I still consider that Parliament should not blithely devolve rights to the Commission.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President, I have listened to the entire debate on the Stevenson report here this morning, and I must say that I am disappointed to hear that the Council is not acknowledging the Treaty of Lisbon and the resulting new powers conferred on Parliament.

When one considers that experts like Mr Stevenson, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Mr Cadec, Mr Kuhn, Mr Davies and others are doing their best to solve the problems being faced by the fishermen, and are not getting fair treatment or cooperation from the Council, that is not right and we should not put up with it.

A huge majority have just now voted in favour of this report: 593 in favour out of a total of 610 who voted. I hope this will encourage Mr Stevenson to continue with the good work.

 
  
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  Syed Kamall (ECR). - Mr President, thank you for giving me this opportunity to explain our views on this particular issue. I would like to congratulate Mr Stevenson, my ECR colleague, on getting this vote through and for the support he obtained. But actually, when you look at the common fisheries policy overall, it is quite clear it has been a failure. It has been an exercise in central planning: it might as well be called a Communist fisheries policy because it has led to unsustainable seas with not enough fish stocks.

Surely the lesson we should be learning as we go forward with any fisheries policy is that in the best ones – the ones that have worked, the ones from Iceland, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands and other areas – you have a fisheries policy based on property rights which can be traded on, which families can inherit, trade on or sell on. That way there is an incentive to maintain the stocks in a sustainable way, rather than this sort of Communist, centrally-controlled fisheries policy, which has actually led to the depletion of our fish stocks and to disaster. It is time we moved towards a market-based approach.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). - Mr President, I voted in favour of this report on the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland. I fully support the proposal in the report that scientific organisations should be playing a more fundamental role in the modification of the multiannual plan. In my view, the Commission should be required to seek advice and to consult bodies such as the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries before it makes any changes to the multiannual plan as suggested.

It is vital that we preserve these fish stocks, and any advice that can be gained on mortality rates and associated spawning stock biomass levels from the experts will surely help the Commission in reaching an evidence-based decision and more suitable regulations ensuring that these vital marine stocks are managed effectively.

 
  
  

Report: János Áder (A7-0339/2011)

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, from Seveso to Bhopal to Toulouse, numerous environmental disasters have struck Europe in recent years and put the health of European citizens at risk. Mr Áder’s text deals with the revision of the Seveso II Directive, which seeks to contain the effects of these incidents involving substantial amounts of dangerous and highly polluting substances released into the environment. The revised rules, which will come into force from June 2015, are intended to protect the environment and above all to limit tragic consequences for the health of citizens, and therefore I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE). (IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, if we look back at some of the serious environmental disasters we are all familiar with, we can see that there have been numerous cases where disastrous environmental consequences have followed industrial accidents. These cases also show that at times the impact of accidents can extend beyond national borders.

I have voted in favour of my fellow Member’s proposal since I believe Directive 96/82/EC must be replaced so that the existing protection levels are not only maintained, but strengthened. I also think that the new provisions should be clearer, consistent and easily understandable, in order to contribute to the streamlining of administrative procedures. Finally, I would argue it is necessary to keep a certain amount of flexibility to be able to amend Annex I to deal with any unwanted effects of the alignment to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 and any subsequent adjustments to that regulation that could have an impact on the classification of dangerous substances.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). - (FI) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report, because it is very important to inform the public about major disasters when accidents happen. Nor should the public be left in the dark about the causes and consequences of major accidents. If we allow the risk of accidents to be underestimated, we endanger people’s safety and health.

It is therefore only right to tighten legislation. Operators will now have more responsibility for providing information. Public awareness will also increase as a result of the assessment and monitoring process to take place every four years.

The report contributes to greater public safety in Europe, and that is why it is very welcome.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE). (DE) Mr President, the accident that occurred in Seveso, costing the lives of many people, showed how important it is to take preventive action against industrial accidents too: the primary aim is to prevent such things from happening, while the secondary aim is to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place if accidents do occur. This is also the reason why these directives were named for Seveso. We have had Seveso I and Seveso II, and now we have Seveso III. This places an obligation on operators and the authorities in Member States to avoid accidents. According to the regulations, operators are required to put a multi-level strategy in place that is more stringent the more hazardous the materials. Precise plans are required for production facilities and must cover toxic substances, evacuation plans and employee training. The current directive covers about 10 000 businesses. This number alone is an indication of the importance of the issue. It is for that reason that I have always supported this report.

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). - Mr President, it does seem odd given what is happening outside this chamber – the bank runs, the economic crisis – that we are spending time talking about major accident hazards involving dangerous substances, but then it occurred to me that there is a certainly grisly aptness in this report. The most dangerous substance of all turned out to be the euro!

I do not mean that in a literal sense – while I understand that some people did have an allergic reaction to the particular kind of alloy used in the coins, even I am not going to try and turn that into an argument against the single currency. What happened was that our leaders, so taken with their dream of political union, disregarded all of the economic danger signs with the calamitous consequences that we can see around us today: poverty, preventable deflation, emigration, despair and the prospect of endless tax rises, all because we were so in love with this dream of ever-closer union.

Outside the European Parliament in Brussels there is that statue of a female figure holding aloft the euro sign as a symbol to the greatness of the currency. Years from now, when there is tumbleweed blowing through that part of town and the European Parliament is in ruins, archaeologists will find its vast and trunkless legs of stone and see the inscription on the pedestal: ‘Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair’.

 
  
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  President. – Thank you, Mr Hannan. We have received your message, even though you did not deal with the matter in hand. We have other formats for this purpose.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for this report as the likelihood of serious accidents needs to be reduced. Such accidents, like the pink sludge spill in Hungary in 2010, must be prevented in order to contain the adverse consequences for man and the environment. Although the directive seems to work well, it needs to be revised to improve its enforcement and reduce the administrative burden involved.

The most important amendments are aimed at access to information and public involvement in the decision-making process. A high level of protection is required, and reviewing the directive should be aimed at achieving this. In this context, I should stress how important access to justice is. Informing the general public is also vital because it will lead to establishing a climate of trust. As long as the public receives clear, accurate information, it will be able to take the appropriate measures in the event of major accidents.

 
  
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  Syed Kamall (ECR). - Mr President, it is important that we consider all sorts of hazardous and toxic materials. I am very pleased that we have actually looked at this issue, but in the context of the wider economic situation it is also important that we look at some toxic and hazardous substances there.

We should look at the issue of toxic debt and why governments have been spending more money than they had coming in and therefore got themselves into a difficult situation. We should be looking at the issue of moral hazard, where we are now trying to encourage banks or governments to build up lots of money in case a bank fails. That just creates a moral hazard, because why would you act responsibly if you know there is a pot of money there waiting for you?

We should also look at the danger of the euro for countries that are not competitive. Look at what is happening in Greece and Spain; they cannot maintain this, and it is hazardous for their citizens. We should be looking at all hazardous substances, including substances that make countries poor.

 
  
  

Report: Frédérique Ries (A7-0059/2012)

 
  
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  Alfredo Antoniozzi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, Directive 2009/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses establishes general provisions regarding the composition and manufacture of said foods.

This directive’s provisions mostly date back to 1977 and no longer meet the needs of today's consumers. Therefore an in-depth revision of the directive was needed and for this reason I voted in favour of Ms Ries’s proposal. I would still argue that it is absolutely necessary to protect consumers more, simplify regulations and tackle the difficulties that Member States and operators encounter in interpreting the various existing pieces of food legislation. This would mean similar products could be treated in the same way throughout the Union, creating a level playing field for all internal market operators and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises and end-consumers.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). - (FI) Mr President, I tried to vote for this report, but my machine would not work. One essential aspect of the report is the issue of consumer information.

Something else that is important is the target group in the report, those growing children who are very vulnerable consumers, on account of their age. Obesity in children is endemic and a serious cause for concern throughout Europe. Studies have incontestably shown that advertising and the content of advertising targeted at children shape their consumer behaviour.

It is gratifying that the report calls for truthfulness when it comes to food labelling and proposes that consumers should only be given scientific and factual information. I am in favour of these views, because we all know that the role of company advertising is primarily to promote sales, and not to provide consumers with information. Amid fierce competition, many companies will stop at nothing to boost profits. Most foods marketed to children also contain a good deal of fat, sugar and salt.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, in June 2011, the EU Commission presented a proposal for the revision of food law according to which specific regulations will only exist in future for foods intended for infants and small children and foods for special medical purposes. Something that might sound very good at first – and I am all in favour of simplification – turns out to be more problematic in practice. Various people need to adhere to specific diets and require specific information. I am genuinely very grateful to our Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety for having resolved this conflict. On the one hand we do not want misleading advertising, while on the other we require sufficient information. Thirdly, of course, we do not need excessive information. Once again, thank you to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, which has asserted itself and come up with a solution that can work in practice. Otherwise, the principle still applies: it will, of course, be possible to review whether the report is going in the right direction. Thank you once again, I found myself able to vote in favour of the report as a result.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE).(RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report, which I think is one of the most important votes held on a report today. It was not only the case that directives dating from before 1974 needed to be amended and adapted, but the fact that this report is aimed at one category of vulnerable consumers is totally relevant. These consumers are frequently victims of inaccurate advertising and labelling. This is why a number of conditions are developing which are much more difficult to fight.

I welcome the provisions targeting gluten intolerance because this intolerance has led to the development of a condition which, unfortunately, is prevalent in a very large number of European states at an alarming rate. I am talking about coeliac disease. This report also deals with this condition, attempting to suggest measures to combat the relevant condition.

However, I think that this report must be followed up by other measures for implementing it and monitoring how it is put into practice.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR). - Mr President, our supermarket shelves are stacked high with food claiming to cater for specific needs. There is specialised food and drink for infants and old people; there are products for those trying to lose weight as well as those trying to gain weight. Customers deserve a choice, but they also need to understand what they are buying and consuming.

This report calls for clearer and simpler rules for the labelling of so-called diet products. I hope that when Member States implement this legislation it will lead to a reduction rather than an increase in red tape. The new legislation should also facilitate – rather than prevent – small and medium-sized companies from accessing the market. Consumers need clear information and companies need simple rules to allow them to compete effectively. For these reasons, I support the report.

 
  
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  Hannu Takkula (ALDE). - (FI) Mr President, I voted in favour of the report by Ms Ries. We must thank her for an excellent report, and it is very important, when we talk about infant formulae and food for children, that all the relevant information is truthful, accurate and scientifically proven. Furthermore, it is very important to ensure that we do not engage in any kind of image advertising.

Otherwise, I would say with regard to this report that, as far as coeliac foods are concerned, coeliac products could have been dealt with separately in their own report, although in this context they obviously fit in, as the legislation obviously now needs to be updated in this respect.

On the whole, this represents an excellent improvement. Altogether, 35 years have passed since the previous legislation was enacted, and, for that reason, it was high time we brought in new, up-to-date legislation.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Marian Harkin (ALDE). - Mr President, I support the rapporteur on what I believe is quite a proportionate document that improves the current situation. It is also important to say that current EU legislation recognises that breastfeeding is best for infants and that from six months infants need a diversified and safe diet.

However, I voted against Amendment 86, which seeks to severely restrict advertising of infant formula and follow-on infant formula to specialist baby care magazines and/or scientific publications. This is going much too far. It restricts consumer choice – not many consumers purchase specialist magazines or scientific publications. It would also ban television advertising, and this is neither proportionate nor reasonable. I agree there should be a clear distinction between infant formula and follow-on formula, but not a virtual ban on advertising. While Member States may decide to further restrict advertising, an EU-wide ban on advertising infant formula and follow-on formula, with the exception of the magazines I mentioned, is not proportionate.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE). – (SK) Mr President, the rules on the labelling of the contents of baby milk and foodstuffs for people with special health problems should be tighter and better defined in order to protect consumers. It should be noted that, with this type of food, misleading labelling can harm the health of consumers. Stricter regulation is therefore appropriate. Its task is not to deprive a person of choice, but to ensure that his choice is based on clear, comprehensible and accurate information. I therefore think that advertising for these foods should meet the higher ethical standards. Stringent controls of compliance with them should be in the natural interest of the producers themselves. I welcome this report and applaud the professional approach of the rapporteur, Ms Ries.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for this report because I support the review of the legislation on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses. I welcome the regulations aimed at updating, streamlining and clarifying EU standards on labelling and the content of dietetic products. This will guarantee a high level of protection for certain vulnerable population groups.

This sector should also benefit from greater legal certainty. A simplified framework is required to avoid an increase in the administrative burden and encourage innovation. I also think that similar products should receive equal treatment throughout the EU to ensure a level competitive playing field. Consumers must enjoy greater safety and clearer rules in order to ensure that the internal market functions properly.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0306/2012

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR).(PL) Mr President, linguistic diversity within the European Union may pose problems with regard to both information and public administration activities. Guaranteeing citizens’ rights to public consultation and official measures in a national language is invaluable and necessary for proper co-existence within the European family. Put simply, it will lead to the elements of direct democracy being strengthened in the Member States of the European Union. Wider participation and the involvement of citizens in the public consultation process may serve as an outside sign of constructive social dialogue and political involvement as well as the building of trust towards European politics. In view of the fact that next year has been designated the European Year of Citizens, it is important to raise people’s awareness of the benefits and rights resulting from European citizenship. I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution in the hope of consultations being carried out more widely on the basis of measures taken by non-governmental organisations, and of citizens being guaranteed the right to receive communications from the EU in their native languages.

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). - Mr President, the right of every citizen to deal with Brussels institutions in his own language is one of the few remaining signs that this is an association of nations rather than a single polity.

I have very little patience with the argument which one hears very often, even in my constituency, that the EU as a whole – or at least the European Parliament – should adopt just English, or just English and French, or just English, French and German. If you remove the requirement for the EU to produce everything in every national language, you simultaneously remove the biggest obstacle to a superstate.

That said, we are adopting, if not in the literal sense, something of a common language in the way in which we debate these matters in this Chamber. We use phrases which one never hears anywhere except here: ‘respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality’, ‘bringing Europe closer to the people’, ‘the answer is more Europe, not less Europe’, ‘the people are demanding that we do more’. These are phrases that you only ever hear from Eurocrats and MEPs.

It is difficult not to think of the appendix to George Orwell’s 1984, where he talks about ‘Duckspeak’: the engagement of the larynx without the engagement of the higher brain centres at all. When you talk in clichés you are almost certainly thinking in clichés, and that is why we are in the mess we are in.

 
  
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  Hannu Takkula (ALDE). - (FI) Mr President, I think that this is a very important motion for a resolution, and I voted in favour of it, because this concerns public consultations and their availability in all the languages of the EU.

If the European Union wants to be credible in the eyes of its citizens, it also has to provide all essential information in the language that those citizens speak. Only in this way can we win people’s trust, and I think that this is one area where we must make far more effort to ensure that people receive information in language that is easily comprehensible on the European Union’s role and that of its various institutions. People should be able to have access to all documents and all hearings in their own language.

This lies at the heart of what we need from the EU, and, for that reason, Parliament, as a democratic body, must stand up for the right of the people to have access to all public documents in their own language, and that goes for all hearings and consultations as well.

 
  
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  Marian Harkin (ALDE). - Mr President, to add another cliché to the long list, sometimes in this Parliament we talk about the ‘democratic deficit’. Well, this is one of the ways of dealing with the democratic deficit. I often say to citizens, you do not just vote for your MEPs: there are other ways and mechanisms whereby you can influence what happens in this Parliament, and one is by being involved in consultation processes.

I regularly update citizens and interested groups on the ongoing consultation processes because I believe they are a very useful tool. But it is really important that citizens can communicate in their own language. For example, it is very important that Irish speakers can communicate with the Commission in their own native language. Language is not necessarily the only barrier, however, and it is equally important for persons with a disability to be able to communicate in an accessible format.

Finally, I believe the timeline needs to be looked at. If you are big lobby group or a big NGO, a short space of time is enough to get involved in a consultation, but for ordinary people who do not have the same resources at their disposal, consultation periods need to be longer.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE). – (SK) Mr President, at a time when citizens and politicians are focusing on finding solutions to the financial and budgetary crisis, it may seem that calls for the consistent application of multilingualism are a secondary matter. These two issues are closely related, however. A European identity, which is a prerequisite for mutual solidarity between the Member States, cannot exist without a sense of belonging. If the citizens of some Member States start to feel that Europe does not speak their language, it will not be their Europe. They will cease caring about its fate, the fate of the single currency, and the common future. Therefore, it is today more important than ever that the EU communicates with citizens in all the official languages.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for this motion for a resolution because a large proportion of the public consultations touch on vitally important subjects, but the level of participation is generally low. They should be organised involving NGOs, trade unions and the mass media, and should be accessible to everyone. Public participation is a fundamental aspect of democratic governance and should be encouraged. This is why it is vital to provide translation in all the official languages.

Sustained efforts are required to get all European citizens actively involved. At present, consultations are not organised well enough. I should emphasise how important it is to increase the level of awareness about the benefits and rights granted through EU citizenship. The Commission must also take measures to bridge the information and communication gap between the EU and its citizens.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). - Mr President, I abstained on the vote on this statement on public consultations and their availability in all EU languages. Of course, it is important that each and every citizen of our Union should have a right to address the institutions in any of the EU official languages, and that must be respected. It is also important that all consultations are given the same treatment so that they are all accessible to the same degree, but I do not support the multilingual system in our institutions, both for MEPs and officials, as this is too expensive and inefficient. I have no love for the EU Tower of Babel and I believe that three working languages would suffice – namely English, French and German. The UN, with 186 member countries, only has six working languages, and the Council of Europe, with 47 member countries – including all the EU Member States – has only two, and yet the EU, at a time of austerity and cuts, still insists on all 23.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: RC-B7-0312/2012

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). - Mr President, well if I may continue briefly with my 1984 analogy, we are all familiar in politics with the concept of doublethink: the ability to hold two contradictory views simultaneously in your mind. It comes out in all sorts of ways. For example, a lot of people will be aggressively in favour of the rights of indigenous communities in poor parts of the world to be left undisturbed and yet will be aggressively in favour of immigration and multiculturalism in other parts of the world. That is human nature and I suppose we all do that. But Tibet is a particularly egregious example of it.

In this Chamber we like to pat ourselves on the back for being on the side of democracy, freedom and self-determination, but when we try to apply that same logic to the European Union, the doublethink kicks in. If Tibetans are better off living under their own laws and their own people, then why are not Portuguese or Germans or British people or any other democratic community in Europe? How extraordinary that having developed this idea of national self-determination and exported it around the world, we have turned out backs on it here in the continent it came from.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE).(DE) Mr President, I voted against this motion for a resolution because I consider it a regrettable provocation that runs counter to Europe’s One China policy. This represents a serious disservice to the issue of human rights. Parliament has allowed itself to be seduced into following a small Tibetan separatist lobby that aims to disrupt European-Chinese relations.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). - Mr President, I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on Tibet.

The situation in Tibet is still very alarming, with the whereabouts of many of the Buddhist-monk victims of self-immolation largely unknown. It is important that the PRC authorities reveal this information as soon as possible. I back the repeated calls for even greater efforts to address the poor human rights situation in Tibet within the framework of the EU-China human rights dialogue.

It is vital that the Chinese authorities continue and intensify their discussions with representatives of the Dalai Lama on the situation in Tibet, as a lasting solution can only be found if it is a solution which respects the cultural autonomy and maximum political devolution of Tibet within China. Moving ever more Han Chinese people into Tibet will only exacerbate this situation.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0300/2012

 
  
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  Ewald Stadler (NI). (DE) Mr President, I already stated yesterday that I would vote against this placebo-type resolution. We have heard more arguments today. Following Christine Lagarde’s earlier declaration that the euro would be history in three months’ time, today we read that Alan Greenspan has quite literally stated: the euro has failed.

Now the European Union’s internal market policy is threatened with failure because of the scandalous unemployment figures for which the Union is responsible. How do we respond? We produce a placebo-type resolution about the further development of the internal market and demand a greater depth of regulation, making it even harder for small and medium-sized enterprises to survive and therefore to secure jobs. That is not the right way to go. Our businesses are being stifled by bureaucracy that at best replaces national bureaucracy, but mostly simply adds to it. This will not create jobs. You cannot have economic growth by political decree. Growth needs to be facilitated by removing excessive regulation, not by adding more regulations. That is precisely what this placebo-style resolution seeks to do. It is for this reason that I have voted against it.

 
  
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  Erminia Mazzoni (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I do not share the opinion of the Member who has just spoken. I would argue that this Parliament has properly exercised its powers by adopting the resolution we voted on, because it is clear to all that we urgently need to complete the single market not by adding new laws but just by implementing the regulatory package we already have.

The objective of single market growth must take account of four fundamental elements in this resolution, namely the size of the market operators: over 90% of our market belongs to small and very small businesses; the social value of businesses: the rules must be rethought based on people and work as well as profit; the multi-faceted nature of the market: in order to grow, an integrated view of investment is needed; and ultimately, the multiplier effect: the market is becoming a driver for the economy and a multiplier for national economies if it does not eliminate the basis for their existence. Allow me to make an observation on this point: I am extremely satisfied with the adoption of the amendment …

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE).(RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report, which I think is an important report on the future of the single market. Not only does it develop a vision, but it also offers solutions and I am among those who believe that the single market is the main cohesion element of our European project.

This report addresses EU bureaucracy, which is something I wish to emphasise, because the request to reduce EU bureaucracy by 25% by 2015 is essential. Both the Commission and the Member States must proceed effectively to implement this reduction, in order to facilitate the access of citizens – companies and individuals – to a much more fluid and coherent administration.

Moreover, I would like to emphasise the issue regarding the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. As regards Article 59 of the Directive, I think this recognition is a step towards streamlining access to the labour market within the European Union and has a beneficial impact.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President, I was happy to vote with the Group in all the votes relating to this important paper, with one exception. The exception is Amendment 8 regarding section 42(a), where ‘to coordinate taxation policies’ appears.

We have doubts about this policy and, until there is clarification of what it involves, we are reluctant to vote in favour of it. That is why we abstained; we were not completely against it.

That said, there are many good suggestions here; and the sooner we can complete the single market the better. Because it would enable us to escape from the economic crisis, and promote growth and development in Europe.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this resolution because the single market is one of the EU’s greatest achievements and its consolidation is essential. It has to face many challenges and its growth potential is not yet fully used. The Single Market Act helps boost the economy and create new jobs.

In this context, I think Member States should support the single market more vigorously. We must move towards a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and we need concrete measures in this respect. We need a greater mobility of skilled workers, which would allow the European economy to become more competitive. This is why I want to stress the importance of removing the restrictions that are still imposed on Romanian workers in the labour market.

 
  
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  Syed Kamall (ECR). - Mr President, one of the sad things about the reaction of many politicians here in the EU to the financial crisis is that, while they complain about austerity, there is actually no alternative plan.

Austerity is very important to make sure that never again do we fall into the trap of spending more money than we have coming in but, at the same time, it is important that we look at measures that boost growth and make sure that we can create the jobs for people right across the EU. There can probably be no better tool available, whether you are sceptical or a believer in the European project, than a single market. We really need to continue to boost the single market and welcome the proposal for a Single Market Act II, which would reduce more barriers between Member States and actually tackle some of those professions and industries which have been allowed to hide behind protectionism.

Let us give our businesses and companies a larger marketplace, give them a platform for the global stage; otherwise they will seek not to trade with Europe but to trade with emerging markets, elsewhere.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). - Mr President, I voted in favour of the motion on the future of the single market.

The single market has been one of the few triumphs of the European Union, bringing huge benefits to all its citizens and many new opportunities for European businesses, as well as driving economic growth and employment.

In the current poor economic climate, however, we must be cautious that any measures the eurozone takes for a banking and fiscal union do not freeze out the UK financial services sector from continental Europe.

I am proud to represent the City of London, so this is very important to the interests of my region.

It should now be our focus to implement key legislation on growth, quickly – for instance, we could actually enhance the effectiveness of the Services Directive – and to cut the red tape and other remaining obstacles to free movement of goods, capital, services and workers.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0299/2012

 
  
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  Erminia Mazzoni (PPE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I voted in favour of this resolution because I believe it gives the Commission an important outline of how it should follow up the public consultation on the future of European company law. As shown by the data from the attached studies, more and more companies and businesses operate within the single market on a cross-border level and therefore it is important to standardise company models. I believe that the main merit of this resolution is that it has given the Commission the key words to use, which are above all simplification, transparency, standardisation of accounting systems – particularly bearing in mind the needs of small and medium-sized businesses – and promotion of mobility. I hope that the Commission’s response will arrive within the specified timescale and above all that Parliament’s judgment is taken on board.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR).(PL) Mr President, all measures aimed at increasing transparency and harmonising legislation in the area of economic and trade affairs have benefited enterprises, enabling them to compete more effectively in the market. The same applies to company law, since there are often barriers in terms of different interpretations of regulations or simply the sheer number of regulations which stand in the way of establishing and running companies, especially in certain Member States. I voted in favour of adopting the resolution, as it highlights the need to undertake initiatives aimed at simplifying procedures in respect of the business environment, and reducing unnecessary administrative burdens. Moreover, I propose that a set of common rules needs to be developed, for example in terms of the protection of subsidiaries and stakeholders, and greater transparency created as regards legal and ownership structures. I also believe that it is necessary to step up efforts to prepare the Private Company Statute (SPE), which is in the interest of small and medium-sized enterprises.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this resolution, because I think company law contributes to the smooth functioning of the single market. It is a key factor that helps protect the rights of shareholders and guarantee legal certainty. The EU needs a regulatory framework adapted to the current needs of companies and which reflects the trends of the European economic environment. I believe we need to harmonise basic regulations and adapt company law for the benefit of both shareholders and customers.

Moreover, I wish to draw attention to the extremely important role of businesses in terms of growth and innovation. We should focus greater attention on corporate governance standards and corporate social responsibility. The EU regulatory framework for company law should be more user-friendly for all stakeholders.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0275/2012

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE).(RO) Mr President, I believe the analysis of the Commission Communication on the recovery of jobs presented in this report is important in the current context. I would like to emphasise the realistic approach adopted by the rapporteur in assessing the status of the labour market in the European Union, and highlight two issues.

The report mentions that there is no correlation between the products of universities and vocational training factors, and the labour market reality. We are short of engineers, we are short of trade workers, and we are short of technicians. I think it will be necessary to try and focus the professional system, or at least the continuous vocational training system, on skills that better match the demands of the labour market, both at Member State and European level. For this reason, I also welcome the decision to reduce the tax wedge on labour, which is currently excessive in a large number of Member States and makes employment unattractive to public and private employers.

I believe this report is an important one; it is an analytical report that will certainly have to be taken into account and considered by Member States in the near future.

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). - Mr President, ‘towards a job-rich recovery’ is a report title that could really have come straight out of the Ministry of Truth – and I promise that is going to be my last Orwellian reference of the day. We have had all these promises of job-rich recoveries before. We had one when I was a new MEP – it was the Lisbon Agenda, do you remember that? It was going to give Europe the most successful, competitive, knowledge-based economy in the world by the year 2010.

Well 2010 has come and gone and, as Sarah Palin might ask, how’s that working out for you all? Then it was the euro. We have forgotten that this was one of the great arguments we were given in favour of monetary union – that it would boost employment throughout the eurozone. Again, how’s that working out?

Now we are on to our latest conceit, our latest bit of hubris. The truth is we politicians cannot create jobs; we cannot legislate them into effect. Even if I employ somebody in my office I am doing so with taxpayers’ money which is being taken out of the private sector where it would have been used more efficiently. One thing we could do is stop destroying jobs with pointless, intrusive, pettifogging regulation, to allow the entrepreneurs, who are the real drivers of the economy, to create jobs and employment.

 
  
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  Marian Harkin (ALDE). - Mr President, I agree with Mr Hannan. It certainly is an inspiring title for the report. The truth is that if we use an inspiring title like that then we have to make sure that we deliver, that it is real. In that context it is very important that this morning we voted to back an investment package which is to create sustainable jobs, because I believe this sends a clear message to citizens that we are now seriously attempting to rebalance the current austerity approach with a Europe-wide pact for investment and jobs. I hope the Council is listening and takes action. I also know that when Irish citizens voted for the fiscal compact that they were expecting such an investment pact as part of the overall package.

Of course, the tools at the disposal of the European institutions to boost employment are limited. I believe that the call in this resolution to upskill workers and retrain them is one where there is European added value, and in this context I would strongly call on the Council to remove the blocking minority as far as the continuation of the European Globalisation Fund is concerned and to leave that instrument there to upskill redundant workers.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President, I made one small mistake in the votes here. I wanted to vote with the Group in every vote; but in number one, the first roll-call, I pushed the wrong button. I wrote to the services about it.

Under our 2020 strategy we have a target of creating 75 % employment for those of employable age by 2020. At the moment there is about 68 to 69 %, and while 6 or 7 % might not seem a whole pile, when you actually transfer it into numbers it is about 17.6 million jobs.

Certainly a job-rich recovery is required and while, as Mr Hannan and others mentioned, politicians cannot create jobs per se, we can create the conditions. It was encouraging yesterday to hear the points mentioned by Commissioner Barnier in that regard – standardisation, completing the single market, growth of e-commerce etc., and particularly the European Patent. All these taken together can help. Hopefully, by 2020, we will be in the situation of having reached our target of 75 % of people of working age being employed.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution because I agree that the economic recovery of the EU depends on its capacity to create jobs. There have been numerous discussions regarding the measures needed; the Commission has made proposals, and the Council has taken decisions. It is time to implement them through concrete and effective actions.

The Commission should submit a clear report on the EUR 82 billion that were to be directed towards SMEs and youth job creation. We also need specific EU-wide programmes to support young entrepreneurs. I should point out that I also submitted a written question on this matter to the Commission. At the same time, I support the establishment of the Youth Guarantee and I hope that it will be adopted by the end of this year. This would facilitate in a concrete and efficient manner the transition from school to the first job, thereby reducing youth unemployment.

 
  
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  Syed Kamall (ECR). - Mr President, this debate on ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’ actually highlights the philosophical difference between the state interventionists on the left and those on the right who believe in markets and a more liberal approach to economics.

Those on the left believe that they simply use more taxpayers’ money to create artificial jobs with the state, but they also want as many people on welfare as possible so, when it comes to elections, they can knock on people’s doors and say ‘if you vote for the parties of the right not only will you lose your job but you will also lose your welfare’.

Those of us on the right believe that what you need to do is create the right conditions for growth: get governments out of the way of markets; get governments out of the way of entrepreneurs and allow them to create real sustainable jobs – not jobs dependent on governments spending more taxpayers’ money than they have actually got and getting themselves into debt, but the creation of real sustainable jobs in the private sector so that they can then pay their taxes.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: RC-B7-0304/2012

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE).(RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution for two reasons. Unfortunately, another barbaric phenomenon, justified in some cases by religious options, persists in the 21st century. However, these barbaric practices of extreme violence against women affect 140 million women worldwide and more than 500 000 women in Europe. I believe we must put an end to such practices and I welcome the opportunity to discuss this phenomenon in the United Nations General Assembly.

Nevertheless, it is alarming that this phenomenon has expanded and continues to expand in Europe, and, it is certainly unacceptable for countries with civilised human rights and equality standards to tolerate it. This report is a warning sign for the European dimensions of this phenomenon and, therefore, it deserves our full attention.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE). – (SK) Mr President, the World Health Organisation estimates that at least half a million women and girls in the EU are living with female genital mutilation, and that a further 180 000 girls are at risk. This mutilation is not a religious practice, but a cruel, barbaric ritual explained as a tradition. Mutilation causes girls, who are mostly under 15 years of age, unimaginable pain, and leaves permanent consequences for their health for the rest of their lives. Parliament has adopted a second resolution calling on the Commission and Member States to do their utmost to eradicate this inhuman practice. The European Union can do a lot in the fight against violence of this type. It both supports organisations that help victims, and it takes active steps in the planning of development assistance in countries where the practice is still tolerated. We must also fight this act uncompromisingly in the European Union.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). - (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this resolution because female genital mutilation is a barbaric practice that is unacceptable in the 21st century. Its consequences are devastating for the physical and mental health of women and can lead to very serious health problems and even death. Although there are laws that prohibit female genital mutilation, it continues to be practised in many parts of the world, threatening to affect 3 million women annually. And some cases occur within the European Union. Even as we speak, a couple is standing trial in France for having mutilated their four daughters.

I call on the Commission to make the prevention of these practices a priority, as part of an overall strategy for combating violence against women. I hope the United Nations General Assembly will adopt the resolution on this topic. I wish to emphasise the importance of information campaigns on risks and consequences.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). - Mr President, I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on female genital mutilation (FGM). With an estimated 140 million women and girls worldwide living with the terrible consequences of female genital mutilation, and at least half a million of them in Europe –including, sadly, many in my own region of London – this is a huge issue.

Though FGM is a traditional practice in the Horn of Africa, it is not a requirement of any religion. It is a barbaric practice performed for the most part on girls younger than fifteen years old, leaving them with very serious long-term consequences and irreparable injuries. Complications of the procedure such as haemorrhaging, infection, transmission of the HIV virus and complications – even to pregnancy and eventual childbirth – can sometimes be fatal.

I back calls for the UN General Assembly to ban the practice across all its member states, and for our own Member States in the European Union to criminalise the practice at national level. In the United Kingdom we need to see more prosecutions of both parents and surgeons who do this. It is still going on illegally and yet our police, for reasons of cultural sensitivity, are very reluctant to act, sadly.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0302/2012

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE). – (SK) Mr President, the breast implant affair is the result of human irresponsibility, but it is also the result of a lack of legislation. I hope that pressure on the Commission will lead, as soon as possible, to the creation of a legal framework that will guarantee the quality not only of breast implants, but also of medical technology in general. Concrete measures should include strengthening the inspection of products on the market, as well as unannounced inspections throughout the supply chain, increasing accreditation requirements and improving the monitoring of Member States’ authorities. As a doctor, I welcome the fact that it will be mandatory to announce every prohibition, restriction or legal action adopted in respect of implants in another EU Member State. Furthermore, a system for the identification of each individual product and an implants register will be introduced that will enable them to be traced and their safety to be monitored over the long term.

 
  
  

Written explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Struan Stevenson (A7-0145/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, as I consider multiannual plans for the conservation of fisheries a key EU instrument that have been blocked in the Council for more than two years. The solution adopted in the regulation may impact on the decision to be applied to other multiannual fisheries plans.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The regulation in force provides for the adaption of current fishing quotas to scientific data on the maximum fishing mortality rates and associated spawning stock biomass levels following a Council decision. As this procedure is no longer possible, due to the amendment of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the adoption of a legislative solution that will allow for the achievement of the objectives initially set by this document is required. In this respect, the delegation of powers to the European Commission may be the appropriate solution for the institutional problem we are facing. I support the conclusions of the report and I think that, in order to ensure legitimacy and institutional transparency, it is important that the prerogative delegated to the Commission be limited, both in terms of its objectives – revising the above rates – and in terms of its scope. I also support the preservation of the central role of STECF (the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries) and PRAC (the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council) where the scientific assessment of fishing mortality and spawning stock biomass levels is concerned.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the amendment to a 2008 regulation establishing a multiannual plan for the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland. I supported the new provisions, which are adapted to making advances in scientific research. As I am committed to finding a balance between economic necessities and respect for biodiversity within the parliamentary committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, I believe that today we must adapt the fishing mortality rates and spawning stock biomass levels.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report, because I believe it is extremely important to align the regulation to the new framework of the Treaty. This regulation would be the first legislative act in the fisheries sector to be adapted in this way. In this context, I emphasise the importance of safeguarding Parliament’s rights, which were introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. I support the adaption of fishing mortality rates and associated spawning stock biomass levels to scientific findings through delegated acts. Moreover, the other changes regarding the multiannual plan for the stock of herring should follow the ordinary legislative procedure. I welcome the simplification of the evaluation procedure, as well as the intention to keep the Plan applicable regardless of the migration of stock. At the same time, it is extremely important to generate legal certainty, especially where the objective to align future multiannual plans is concerned.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because Council Regulation (EC) No 1300/2008 of 18 December 2008 establishing a multiannual plan for the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock was adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). It contains some provisions, namely Articles 7 and 8, which confer decision-making powers on the Council while this is not possible any longer under the TFEU. This regulation might be the first act in the fisheries sector to be aligned to the TFEU. Furthermore, the solution adopted for this Regulation may have an influence on the decision-making procedure that will be applicable to other multiannual plans. It is therefore particularly important to find a legally well-founded solution safeguarding Parliament’s rights created by the Treaty of Lisbon.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report amending the Commission proposal, because I support the use of delegated acts to adapt fishing mortality rates and associated spawning stock biomass levels to scientific findings, and also because I consider it essential strictly to define the circumstances under which the Commission may adopt delegated acts.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. – (RO) I believe that the current designation of the geographical area that is inhabited by the herring stock should not change, as only part of this area is relevant, not the whole area.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report on the ‘stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland’, as I consider use of delegated acts positive in order to adapt conservation plans to scientific findings, along with use of the ordinary legislative procedure to amend the multiannual plan, thereby bringing it into line with the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The preservation of fisheries resources is a matter of concern for the European institutions, since they are aware of the role these resources play in maintaining biodiversity and their contribution to human nutrition. In 2008 the Council reached an agreement on a Regulation establishing the conditions for fishing certain stocks, including herring stocks. This report, drafted by Mr Stevenson, concerns the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1300/2008 of 18 December 2008 establishing a multiannual plan for the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock. I agree with the rapporteur’s view on streamlining procedures, pursuant to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and provided that the Commission inform the Council and Parliament of the measures taken within the agreed time limits. I voted for this report, as it is vital to have multiannual plans for the recovery and management of fisheries resources. These plans should be based on scientific data and should be linked to viable economic conditions in fishing communities.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) As this regulation is not in line with the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon, with some articles thereof still conferring powers on the Commission, which is no longer possible, the Commission has suggested that it be aligned with the framework laid down in the Treaty of Lisbon. Delegated acts have been established concerning the adaptation of fishing mortality rates and associated spawning stock biomass levels to scientific findings, and legislative acts have been adopted concerning all other changes to be made to the multiannual plan. The rapporteur supports the Commission’s position in general, and is proposing some amendments. He proposes that the delegation be time limited and that references to Article 8 and Article 9 be deleted, as they broaden the scope of the delegated acts. He believes that the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries and the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council should continue to play a central role. The Commission should therefore be obliged to request the opinions of these bodies before adopting delegated acts or tabling amendments to the multiannual plan. He advocates leaving unchanged the current designation of the geographical area inhabited by the herring stock. We voted in favour.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) The objective of the submitted proposal is to amend the Council regulation of December 2008 establishing a multiannual plan for the stock of herring to the west of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock. The core objective of the plan is to ensure the exploitation of the herring stock in the area west of Scotland on the basis of maximum sustainable yield. To attain it, the plan lays down rules for the establishment of the annual fishing opportunities for this stock in terms of total allowable catch. Such rules use certain technical parameters, by reference to which the stock can be considered to be in better or worse conservation status, therefore closer to or further away from the plan’s objectives. These parameters are science-based, not a policy choice. Science may evolve and improve, and the plan needs to contain the necessary provisions to ensure it is kept up to date with the best science available. It is for this reason, among others, that I believe that the plan should be amended accordingly. These changes will enable this plan to work efficiently within the new decisional framework set up by the Treaty of Lisbon.

 
  
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  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) This report’s objective is something I agree with: to align Regulation (EC) No 1300/2008 with the Treaty of Lisbon. Since it is also a proposal which has no impact on the Union’s budget, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the Commission proposed aligning the Regulation to the new treaty framework by replacing the current Council decisions by delegated acts concerning the approximation of fishing mortality rates and associated spawning stock biomass levels to scientific findings, and by legislative acts adopted according to the ordinary legislative procedure concerning all other changes to be made to the Plan. Taking advantage of this alignment, the Commission also suggests some other changes, in particular moving the designation of the geographical area that is inhabited by the herring stock in question from Article 1 (‘Subject matter’) to Article 2 (‘Definitions’). Moreover, the currently complex evaluation procedure (evaluation of the achievement of the targets of the Plan every year on the one hand and evaluation of some specific aspects and of the performance and operation of the Plan every four years on the other hand) is reduced to a simpler evaluation of the operation and performance of the Plan taking place every four years. I voted in favour of this proposal.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) Parliament has, by a large majority, voted in favour of the report establishing a multiannual plan for the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland. It proposes an amendment to the definition of ‘herring stock in the area west of Scotland’. It also provides for the participation of the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council in the multiannual plan. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing.(PL) In common with the rest of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, I voted in favour of the report. It is worth noting that this regulation is probably the first act concerning the fisheries sector which is being brought into line with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It is therefore essential to find a good legal solution that protects the rights granted to Parliament under the Treaty of Lisbon. It is also significant that the solutions adopted in this regulation may influence the decision-making procedure which will be used for other multiannual plans. In this respect, I fully support Mr Stevenson’s position. Let us remember that it is not always straightforward to choose which type of act to use. Delegated and executive acts have an advantage over legislative acts insofar as they provide us with an opportunity to respond swiftly to new situations. The ordinary legislative procedure and delegated acts guarantee Parliament’s participation in the decision-making process. Our voters expect the European Parliament to be involved.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution but would like to point out that, since herring is a migratory species, the specification of the area that the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland currently inhabits should serve to distinguish it from other stocks but should not prevent this plan from applying in the event that that stock changes its mobility patterns.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Council Regulation on the multiannual plan for the stock of herring was adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. With the adoption of this report, the necessary adjustments have been made. This Regulation may be the first act relating to the fisheries sector to be adapted to the new Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It is therefore particularly important to find a good, well-founded legal solution to safeguard the rights conferred on Parliament by the Treaty of Lisbon.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. Fishing process should be regulated. It is essential to strictly define the circumstances under which the Commission may adopt delegated acts and to distinguish this case from the other changes that may be made to the Plan. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) Just as I did in the Committee on Fisheries, I voted for this report essentially because I agree with the legal alignment that it suggests between the Regulation establishing a multiannual plan for the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock, and the framework established by the new Treaty of Lisbon. It is worth noting that the vote on this report will set a precedent for future alignments at this level.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The objective of this proposal is the amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1300/2008, establishing a multiannual plan for the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock. As it was adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), Regulation (EC) No 1300/2008 contains some provisions, namely Articles 7 and 8, which confer decision-making powers on the Commission, which is no longer possible under the TFEU. This regulation may be the first act in the fisheries sector to be adapted to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It is therefore particularly important to find a well-founded legal solution to safeguard the rights conferred on Parliament by the Treaty of Lisbon. Indeed, the solution adopted by this regulation may influence future decision-making processes in relation to other multiannual plans. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. − In favour. The Treaty of Lisbon not only gave the EP co-decision powers, it also changed the comitology procedures. The Commission is in the throes now of ‘Lisbonising’ a number of regulations in the CFP to bring them into conformity with the Treaties and this is one of them. The regulation consists of a management plan for the fishery for herring to the west of Scotland, one of many fisheries for which such plans exist. The plans are, in principle, a good thing since they serve to de-politicise the setting of quotas. Without such plans, the Council is totally free to set quotas as they wish and frequently go far higher than the scientific advice. The plans include a detailed procedure for how to establish a quota, using mathematical rules and based on the status of the stock, and the Council more or less respects those. So that is good.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) Regulation (EC) No 1300/2008 establishing a multiannual plan for the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock, having been adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, contains some provisions (Articles 7 and 8) which grant decision-making powers to the Council, and this is no longer possible under the Treaty. This vote shows I am in favour of aligning the regulation to the new general framework of the Treaty. In addition, the solution adopted for this regulation could have an effect on the decision-making procedure applicable to other multiannual plans.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report seeks to align Regulation (EC) No 1300/2008 on the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock with the entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. As this is the first regulation to be adopted following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, it is vital to substantiate the legal basis, as this will serve as a basis for other amendments. Apart from this technical issue, it is also worth noting the simplification of the procedure for evaluating the plan, every four years, as well as the use of delegated acts and the ordinary legislative procedure to make the necessary changes to the plan. I agree with the rapporteur when he calls for more clarity on the scope of delegated acts, and for the inclusion of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries and the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council in the evaluation, as they offer essential expertise.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. − This report is referring to the establishment of a multiannual plan for the stock of herring distributed to the west of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock. Members proposed one more appropriate definition than the one proposed by the Commission, which would only refer to Scottish waters. Delegated acts are limited as to their scope to the modification of fishing mortality rates and spawning stock biomass levels and may be adopted only if the conditions specified in the text are fulfilled. The adoption of this report will ensure that the Commission should be obliged to use scientific data from the STECF and to consult the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council before taking any decision on adopting delegated acts fixing new values for fishing mortality rates and spawning stock biomass levels. The STECF and the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council should also be mandatorily involved in the process of evaluating the multiannual plan.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The Commission has suggested aligning this regulation in order to make it consistent with the new treaty framework. The rapporteur is proposing some amendments, including the proposal that delegations should be time limited, support for the current powers of the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries and the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council, and the argument that the designation of the geographical area inhabited by the herring stock should be left unchanged. We voted in favour.

 
  
  

Report: János Áder (A7-0339/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, as it is vital that every effort be made to prevent accidents involving chemicals, the consequences of which are hazardous and can affect untold numbers of people. We need to improve the evaluation of accidents and response plans, while also keeping the public well informed. I believe this report marks a step in this direction, as it sets out mandatory elements essential to achieving this objective, in particular with regard to an accident-prevention policy, to tougher infrastructure safety reports and to implementing internal emergency plans. Only concerted efforts will enable us to achieve better results in terms of preventing hazards associated with dangerous substances.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I believe the amendments made by revising the Seveso II Directive will ensure a higher level of public access to information relevant to the public regarding the measures to be taken in case of an accident and will improve public participation in the decision-making process and access to justice, so that citizens benefit from the highest level of protection possible. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) Since 1982, the European Union has encouraged Member States to develop a common policy for the prevention of major industrial hazards. We have voted in favour of more frequent inspections and called for improvements in informing the public. This policy is a great success which we have a duty to update.

 
  
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  Erik Bánki (PPE), in writing. (HU) I voted in favour of the new normative text of the Seveso III Directive on control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances, which will enter into force in 2015, because the new legislation will significantly improve the safety of European chemical plants. The core objective of the directive is to prescribe high safety requirements for chemical plants to allow for the effective prevention of plant accidents, the protection of the health of employees and nearby residents, as well as standardised European official control of safety systems without impairing the competitiveness of the European chemical industry. These European requirements also include uniform provisions on measures to be taken in case of unforeseen industrial disasters.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing.(FR) The consequences of the chemical accidents that have taken place in the past have been disastrous, both for human health and for the environment, sometimes even beyond national borders. Strengthening the prevention and regulation of major industrial accidents involving dangerous substances in the European Union must therefore be a priority. This must be achieved through the revision of the 1996 Seveso II Directive. I welcome the agreement reached with the Council to adopt this regulation, which recommends, rightly, the introduction of clearer and more coherent provisions, some of the most important of which are the implementation of stricter inspection rules for some 10 000 high-risk establishments in Europe, greater frequency and transparency of these controls, and improvements in public access to information on safety and public participation in decision-making. I should like to welcome these measures, which were adopted by a landslide in plenary and which, in my opinion, are a step in the right direction and send out a strong message. I regret, however, that they do not go further, particularly with regard to transparency and communicating information to the public, which is nevertheless essential.

 
  
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  Sergio Berlato (PPE), in writing. (IT) Over the years, the most serious industrial accidents deriving from the loss of control of certain dangerous substances – such as those that occurred in Seveso, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom – have cost many lives and have caused damage worth billions of euros. In order to reduce the probability of similar incidents and limit their consequences, the European Union has adopted the Seveso III Directive applicable to European establishments using dangerous substances (or mixtures) in sufficient quantities to create a major-accident hazard. With the introduction of this directive, the provisions regarding information on safety are reinforced and, more specifically, the managers of all establishments which come within its scope will be required to notify the competent authority and to devise a major accident prevention policy. While welcoming the introduction of new, stricter rules than those in the recent past regarding inspection of facilities, I would argue it is important for us to emphasise how the new environmental regulation as a whole will imply a significant increase in the administrative burdens of European companies.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because we need to align the Seveso Directive with the Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP). The European Union’s CLP Regulation implements the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), but new CLP rules will enter into force on 1 June 2015. There should also be a review of the structure of the directive’s essential provisions, which has not been amended since its adoption. Changes to the directive in force could improve implementation and enforceability and thereby improve the level playing field and reduce the administrative burden for industry.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. (CS) I support the Commission with regard to improving the level and quality of information and public participation in decision making. The public needs to be well informed and to have direct access to information that is important for taking decisions and acting in emergencies. I agree with the adopted proposal to specify a requirement to explain dangerous substances in simple terms on the Internet, and to indicate when an establishment has been inspected. More detailed and specialised information on dangerous substances and on inspections should at least be made available on request. Member States can then decide themselves whether they consider it appropriate to put more detailed technical information on the Internet as well. I agree with the demands to strengthen inspections and harmonise them with the number of inspections under the Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on industrial emissions, where the period between two site visits must not exceed one year for installations posing the highest risks, and three years for installations posing the lowest risks. Coordination or integration between these types of inspections would reduce the administrative burden related to the preparation, presence of inspectors and follow up. I would like to call on the Member States to support this coordination. The proposed provisions on inspections will help towards better implementation, and thus improve the level of protection, while also - on a broader level - securing a level playing field.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, as I believe it is very important to prevent and reduce the likelihood and consequences of major industrial accidents, which kill people, destroy public and private property, and harm the environment.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) I think that major accidents occurring within the EU have serious consequences, as evidenced by accidents like Seveso, Bhopal, Schweizerhalle, Enschede, Toulouse and Buncefield, and their impact can extend beyond national borders. Therefore, I think there is a need that existing high levels of protection are maintained and further improved, if possible.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE) , in writing.(FR) I am pleased with Parliament’s adoption of this measured and realistic report, which highlights the proper functioning of the current system for preventing and managing hazards linked to our industries’ use of dangerous substances. I particularly welcome the provisions aimed at reducing administrative burden for companies: Parliament is aware that high levels of protection for citizens’ health and the environment can be achieved without unnecessary administrative burdens.

 
  
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  Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE), in writing.(FR) Parliament has adopted the third version of the Seveso Directive, named after the Italian village affected by a dioxin cloud following an accident in a chemical factory in 1976. The existing rules in relation to inspections have been strengthened. High-risk establishments will now be inspected at least once a year, and lower-risk sites will be inspected every three years. In order to avoid the domino effects of chemical accidents, public authorities will also have the right to obtain information on neighbouring establishments, even if they are not covered by the Seveso legislation. Lastly, thanks to the integration of the demands of the international Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters, citizens’ rights have been strengthened. They will therefore be able to have direct access, via the Internet, to information on Seveso establishments situated near their homes, accident prevention programmes and the necessary emergency measures. These new requirements will allow us to better prevent and manage accidents involving dangerous chemicals.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing.(FR) I supported the adoption of this text, which maintains, and indeed strengthens, several points with regard to the safety of establishments which handle dangerous substances. As we are sadly aware of the tragic accidents in Seveso (1976), Bhopal (1994) or, closer to home, at the AZF factory in Toulouse in 2001, we must put everything we can in place to protect ourselves as much as possible against the risks of chemical accidents and their consequences. The safety and, indeed, the lives of European citizens depend on it.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on ‘major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances’, as I believe that the compromise reached with the Council will enhance accident prevention, public health protection and the information provided to the public.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Major industrial accidents, such as those that occurred in Seveso (Italy, 1976), Enschede (Netherlands, 2000), Toulouse (France, 2001) and Buncefield (United Kingdom, 2005), have cost countless lives, destroyed public and private property, and harmed the environment, resulting in irreparable damage. In order to reduce the likelihood of such accidents and mitigate their consequences, the EU duly adopted the Seveso I and II Directives. It is now seeking to revise these Directives in order to integrate them with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of dangerous substances and mixtures. This revision is necessary, and the Commission has chosen to maintain the level of protection and avoid substantial changes.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Industrial accidents generally have devastating consequences: human victims, and air and groundwater contamination. This report, by Mr Áder, concerns major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances. There are 2 000 companies that work with such substances in Europe. The report aims to protect human beings and the environment, and to avoid wasting resources. In fact, major industrial accidents have caused damage amounting to billions of euro. In order to reduce the likelihood of such accidents occurring and minimise their consequences, the EU first adopted Directive 82/501/EEC (Seveso I Directive), and later Directive 96/86/EC (Seveso II Directive). Although the latter Directive has been successful, it needs to be revised because of the need to adapt it to the Regulation on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of dangerous substances and mixtures. The new rules increase safety and will apply equally to all companies, in every EU Member State. In addition, the rules for inspections are more detailed and the information provided to the public has been improved. I welcome the set of measures adopted, as these will enable better safety conditions for the Member States, thereby contributing to a higher level of protection for people and the environment.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The new proposal for a Directive seeks to repeal the current Directive 96/82/EC, called the Seveso II Directive, which is aimed at preventing major accidents such as those that occurred in Seveso, Bhopal, Schweizerhalle and other places, involving large quantities of dangerous substances or mixtures. It is also aimed at mitigating the consequences of such accidents for human beings and the environment. The main reason behind the revision of the Seveso II Directive is the need to adapt its Annex I to the Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of dangerous substances and mixtures. Some of the amendments are merely technical, although the proposal also provides for the right to information and prevention and emergency plans, as well as broadening the scope of application. We agree with these aspects.

We voted for this report, but we must highlight the warnings made by our group during the debate, in particular with regard to the need to improve safety, training and working conditions for workers directly or indirectly involved in the production and/or use of dangerous substances. Unfortunately, not all of the proposals were accepted by the majority.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) The directive of December 1996 on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances lays down rules for the prevention of major accidents that might result from certain industrial activities and the limitation of their consequences for human health and the environment. Major accidents often have very serious consequences, as evidenced by accidents like Seveso, Bhopal, Schweizerhalle, Enschede, Toulouse and Buncefield. Their impact can even extend beyond national borders. This underlines the need to adopt appropriate precautionary measures to ensure a high level of protection throughout the EU for citizens, communities and the environment. This directive has helped reduce the likelihood and consequences of such accidents, thereby leading to a better level of protection throughout the EU. A review of the directive has confirmed that the existing provisions are fit for purpose and no major changes are needed. However, the system established by the directive should be adapted to changes to the EU system of classification of hazardous substances to which the directive refers. Likewise, I believe that a number of other provisions should be clarified and updated. At the same time, the new provisions should be clear, coherent and easy to understand to help improve implementation and enforceability without compromising safety.

 
  
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  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) I welcome the strengthening of inspection rules, as well as the introduction of rules for regulating the right to information for both citizens and public authorities, such as the ones the ‘Seveso III’ Directive intends to introduce. Therefore I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Elisabetta Gardini (PPE), in writing. (IT) Since 1967, the year of the tragic chemical disaster which took place in Seveso, Europe has done much to prevent accidents connected with certain hazardous substances and thereby to limit the serious consequences for the environment and for people. Among the new things to be introduced in the new rules, I would particularly like to focus on easier access to information for the public. Prevention and information are two inseparable concepts. Citizens need to be provided with the tools to become more knowledgeable not only about the risks connected with industrial sites in their area, but also about the possibility of mitigating the consequences of a major accident by adopting rules for self-protection and putting in practice the safety measures given in the emergency plans. The information must be understandable, up to date and timely. In addition, in case of an industrial disaster, constant communication with the people affected through use of the Internet can certainly aid the progress of the operations underway. Finally we must not forget that we cannot compromise on safety: more effective prevention also requires rigorous monitoring of high-risk facilities through constant inspections and the proper application of the rules in force.

 
  
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  Mikael Gustafsson (GUE/NGL), in writing. − I voted in favour of the Áder report because of the obligations arising for operators concerning safety, prevention and planning rules, and the right to information and involvement that creates for the citizens. Moreover, the inclusion of additional substances in the newly established category of harmful dermal toxic substances is undoubtedly a step towards improved prevention of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances. More steps definitely need to be taken in terms of safety at work for all the employees of these establishments and the public, so we would like the Commission to come up with stricter safety rules, and we would like to see all the substances included in those rules, and their extension to more establishments, as soon as possible.

 
  
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  Jacky Hénin (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) Given the accidents and natural disasters we have experienced since 1996, progressing towards greater safety for people, the environment and society without pointlessly encumbering industry has become an absolute priority.

Wanting to inform citizens is one thing, but in order to best protect them we must really increase safety by having better trained staff and not victims of insecurity; we must increase public spending rather than reduce it, particularly with regard to the civil servants responsible for enforcing respect for safety; we must sanction countries that are too lax in terms of safety.

This report refuses to do so. If we do not tackle the root cause of these problems, the texts passed by Parliament will at best give a facelift to a law that is suffering from wear and tear.

That is why I abstained.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because changes to the current directive should improve implementation and enforceability and thereby increase the level playing field and where possible reduce the administrative burden for industry. Major industrial accidents, such as the accidents in Seveso (Italy, 1976), Bhopal (India, 1984), Schweizerhalle (Switzerland, 1986), Enschede (Netherlands, 2000), Toulouse (France, 2001) and Buncefield (United Kingdom, 2005), have taken many lives, destroyed public and private properties and damaged the environment, costing billions of euros. To reduce the likelihood and the consequences of such accidents the EU first adopted Directive 82/501/EEC (Seveso I Directive) and later the current Directive 96/82/EC (Seveso II Directive), amended by Directive 2003/105/EC, covering around 10 000 establishments where dangerous substances (or mixtures thereof) are present in sufficiently large quantities to create a major accident hazard. It contains obligations on operators and the Member States’ authorities to prevent accidents and to limit their consequences.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. – (FR) Parliament has voted in favour of the Áder report by a very large majority and I welcome that. This report amends the proposal for a directive by extending its scope to the transport of substances and intermediate short-term temporary storage, which is directly related to transport. In addition, Member States should ensure that up-to-date, reviewed information on prevention is permanently available to the public. Information on how dangerous the product is should be communicated to personnel, who may be at risk. The report also deals with issues related to prohibition of use and inspections of the establishments concerned.

 
  
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  Jarosław Kalinowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) Compliance with the appropriate operational procedures for major accidents involving dangerous substances is extremely important, as otherwise risks may be posed not only to the environment but also to human life. Competent and regular public information campaigns should therefore be conducted in such a way as to prevent an outbreak of panic should a threat occur. Cross-border cooperation and inter-regional coordination of measures must be reliable, and systematic checks should ensure steady and reliable monitoring of potential dangers. Any amendments to Directive 96/82/EC should be preceded by appropriate expert consultations, and we need a guarantee that progress reports will be presented to Parliament and the Council on a cyclical basis before we adopt the European Commission’s proposal to introduce amendments to Annex I of this directive by way of delegated acts.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour of adopting the report on control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances. The European Union has adopted a number of directives in order to reduce the risk of such accidents occurring and to mitigate their consequences. Major industrial accidents, such as Seveso (Italy, 1976), Bhopal (India, 1984), Schweizerhalle (Switzerland, 1986), Enschede (the Netherlands, 2000), Toulouse (France, 2001) and Buncefield (Great Britain, 2005), have caused significant losses of life and environmental damage. I share the view that the proposed revision of the Seveso II Directive is necessary. However, I would like to emphasise that amendments should only be possible via the ordinary legislative procedure, since the European Parliament should be able to take full advantage of its powers in the decision-making process.

 
  
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  Jaromír Kohlíček (GUE/NGL), in writing. – (CS) The Commission’s proposal is actually a slightly modified version of the original Directive 96/82/EC. It is good that, particularly for use in land planning and possible use with an integrated emergency system, we have a directive that unifies the method for securing and mapping the information necessary for addressing industrial accidents involving dangerous substances in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of dangerous substances and mixtures (the CLP Regulation). The ordering of Part One and Two of Annex I has changed compared to the original directive. The first part includes a list of categories of dangerous substances and the second part lists the dangerous substances or groups thereof. The nomenclature has changed and toxic substances are now divided into four groups. The scope of the directive is limited, on the one hand, by the exceptions, while, on the other hand, some new substances are classified. One exception includes the activities of extraction industry plants, including gas storage. In relation to oil rig accidents, rigs for oil and natural gas extraction are excluded from the scope of the directive, and the Commission is tasked with assessing the situation regarding the rules that apply here. All of the plants included must have a serious disaster prevention policy drawn up in writing and updated every five years, and obligations to notify the competent authority. In my opinion, the directive marks progress in this area and will help to further increase safety in the handling of dangerous substances. We have therefore supported it.

 
  
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  Sergej Kozlík (ALDE), in writing. – (SK) Major industrial accidents claim many lives, destroy property and the environment, and cause billions of euros in costs. In order to reduce the extent and mitigate the consequences of these accidents, a series of EU regulations and directives have been adopted. The Commission is revising the Seveso II Directive, which applies to approximately 10 000 businesses that handle hazardous materials. The proposed revision rightly keeps the level of protection and avoids major changes to its scope. It introduces a new, more sophisticated classification system, particularly with regard to the relationship between human contact with hazardous substances and the attendant health risks. It improves the level and quality of information, public participation in decision making, and access to justice. I support the draft directive in the wording of Parliament’s comments.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) Serious industrial incidents linked to the use of certain dangerous substances led over the years to the adoption of the European Seveso Directive, named after the accident which took place in the industrial district of that name, which provided a solution to a problem which, unfortunately, has occurred quite frequently. The principles underlying the report – which I voted for – involve harmonising the directive with the CLP Regulation and, where possible, reducing the administrative burden borne by businesses. Other important points in the report are those regarding access to information, public participation in decision-making processes and access to the courts. The proposals are undoubtedly significant and aim at improving the existing regulatory framework. It is also possible to reduce the number of major accidents connected with use of dangerous substances by improving communications, especially relating to the ‘best practices’ adopted by businesses.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The major industrial accidents involving dangerous substances that have occurred lately and affected deeply the environment and human lives, not to mention the huge costs they have generated, are a warning sign that the measures aimed at preventing such disasters are either not yet sufficiently regulated at European level, or not sufficiently understood to ensure maximum caution on behalf of those involved. Therefore, the revision of these preventive measures is more than encouraged and comes at the right time, when one of the main concerns, both at European Union and international level, involves environmental policies. However, in addition to regulating a rigorous classification of hazardous substances and the corresponding precautionary measures, it is extremely important to also take into consideration severe sanctions against those entities that have caused damages. I believe that a publicly available database of all organisations that have been involved in major chemical accidents should be created as well.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour the ‘Major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances’ report, which, first and foremost, brings the legislation into line with two other texts on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) and on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances (REACH). The text also strengthens provisions on public access to safety information and to justice.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. − (IT) I voted in favour. I agree with the need to adopt appropriate precautionary measures to guarantee a high level of protection for citizens, communities, property and the environment throughout the Union. Existing high protection levels must be maintained and, if possible, improved further.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) Major industrial accidents that have occurred in the past in various places across Europe, with severe consequences, such as loss of life, destruction of public and private property, and serious environmental damage, forced the EU to adopt the Seveso I and Seveso II Directives. This report seeks to revise those Directives in order to integrate them with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of dangerous substances and mixtures.

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE), in writing. – (SK) Since it is extremely important not only to maintain but also to improve the high level of protection of human health, the environment and property, I consider it necessary to make appropriate adjustments to the directive to reflect scientific and technical progress. I welcome the Commission’s proposals concerning access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice, in particular making existing inspections stricter. The public has a right to be adequately and appropriately informed of potential hazards and how to protect against them. With regard to the obligations of operators, I believe that the Commission’s proposal could be bolder. Apart from the obligation of taking all necessary measures to prevent accidents and the obligation of making good the possible consequences at their own expense, they should be obliged to provide notification of the presence of hazardous substances above a specified threshold and to submit proof of their ability to handle a possible accident, and a prevention and emergency management plan. It is not desirable to burden the public finances of either the state or of regions, cities and municipalities. In addition, a precise definition of rights and responsibilities will lead to legal certainty.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. − Prevent chemical accidents, strengthen assessment of hazards and response plans and keep the public well informed. Nothing new but efficient for imitation of work. I am in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Serious industrial accidents continue to claim human lives, destroy public and private property and cause major environmental damage. It is important to do all that is humanly possible to reduce the likelihood of such accidents and to minimise their impact. In particular, there is a need for well-conceived safety management systems and emergency plans, so that major damage can be averted as and when necessary. In this context in particular it is essential that the relevant materials should be classified, identified and packaged in a uniform way. I voted in favour of the report because the safety level of the current directive is to be maintained.

 
  
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  Justas Vincas Paleckis (S&D), in writing. I voted in favour of this report, because I think that the EU needs to align its legal framework with the technical progress and to manage risks together with Member States and other stakeholders. Open information for public, risk analysis, inspections of potentially dangerous sites are necessary steps to ensure security of people and prevent disasters damaging the nature. The challenge for the Regulation is unsatisfactory implementation by the Member States. It puts in danger European citizens and our environment, information and awareness would not help them in case of accident caused by malfunctioning implementation. The “major accident prevention system” should be complemented with “implementation management system”.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The proposed revision of the Seveso II Directive, on major industrial accidents, is necessary, and the Commission has correctly chosen to maintain the level of protection and to avoid substantial changes in its scope. I voted for this proposal and would highlight the rapporteur’s view that amendments should only be authorised through the ordinary legislative procedure, as the addition of new substances could lead to substantial changes in its scope, with potentially major economic impact. Parliament should be able to exercise its full powers in the decision-making process relating to such additions.

 
  
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  Pavel Poc (S&D), in writing. - (CS) Although I support the proposed Directive 2012/18/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances (the Seveso III Directive), and above all the stricter assessment of possible risks, greater consistency in the preparation of disaster plans and more information for the public on potential dangers, I very much regret the fact that offshore mineral extraction, including hydrocarbons, was not included within the scope of the directive. Unless stricter rules are introduced and strict regulations applied in the area of offshore extraction, I believe there will be more accidents like the one in the Gulf of Mexico or the Jebel al-Zayt drilling platform in Egypt. Since 2010, when media attention was focused on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform disaster, there have been significant oil spills in a further 20 places around the world. The scope of the Seveso III Directive should be extended to oil platforms and oil or gas pipelines on the sea bed or beneath it, and to all phases of oil and gas exploration until after the decommissioning of a well. The inclusion of offshore extraction within the scope of the Seveso III Directive would not only help to prevent serious disasters which threaten biodiversity in rivers, seas and oceans, but would also clearly stipulate that in such a situation the principle applies under which responsibility for a disaster rests with the polluter, who also has an obligation to bear the costs of the necessary preventive and corrective measures.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report provides for a broader revision of the Seveso II Directive by adapting the Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, which applies the UN’s globally harmonised system for classifying and labelling chemical products to the EU. A differentiated approach to the obligations of operators has therefore been adopted, whereby the rules become more stringent depending on the quantity of the substance. Moreover, in order to ensure an increasingly high level of protection, the report proposes greater access to information, greater public participation in decision-making and greater ease of access to the courts. I therefore voted for this report, as I believe that it marks an important step towards ensuring that, in the future, we might avoid accidents such as those that have occurred in Italy, France and the Netherlands, which caused major loss of life, destroyed public and private property, and harmed the environment, causing damage amounting to billions of euro.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) Industrial accidents often have devastating consequences, with billions of euros worth of damage and often hundreds of victims. That is why it is necessary to update the current countermeasures with a new regulation that is able to provide more detailed and efficient monitoring rules, and to impose action plans that are binding on all potentially dangerous establishments. It is also necessary to provide greater protection of citizens’ rights. They must be given easier access to information relating to monitoring and to participation in regional planning projects. From now on, should this not be done, it will be possible for citizens to appeal to the courts, allowing individuals to apply pressure directly on the competent authorities.

 
  
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  Horst Schnellhardt (PPE), in writing. (DE) I welcome the planned amendment to the Seveso II Directive, which is necessary because of changes to the EU system for classifying hazardous chemicals. We intend to maintain our stringent European standards going forward and will not cut corners when it comes to protecting public health. Businesses that use large amounts of hazardous materials will still be required to take all the necessary steps to prevent serious accidents and to minimise the impact on the public and the environment. At the same time, we need to ensure that we minimise red tape in businesses wherever possible and establish well-balanced competitive conditions in our Member States by improving the implementation and penetration of the directive. I believe it is particularly important to provide the public with all the necessary information that could be of relevance in the event of a serious accident. For reasons of security and fair competition, it is also necessary to ensure that highly sensitive data remain confidential. I believe that the agreement reached in the trialogue is a success from Parliament’s perspective. Changes to the list of relevant harmful substances can have a major safety-related and economic impact. For this reason, the Commission cannot be allowed to make decisions on its own. Parliament, as the representative of the citizens of Europe, must play a part in any decision relating to the protection of public health.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The most serious industrial accidents in the Member States of the European Union have cost many lives, destroyed possessions and seriously harmed the environment, causing billions of euros worth of damage. With this vote in favour we will try to reduce the probability of similar incidents occurring in the future. We need to increase and better regulate the obligations borne by operators and Member State authorities in order to prevent accidents and limit their consequences. The different levels of obligation imposed on operators reflect a progressive approach on the basis that the larger the quantities of substances, the stricter the rules are. All operators of facilities that fall within the scope of the directive will be required to notify the competent authorities and to devise a major accident prevention policy. In addition, operators of ‘upper-tier establishments’ will be forced to draw up a report on safety, a safety-management system and an emergency plan.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) In order to reduce the likelihood and the consequences, at all levels, of industrial accidents, in 1985 the EU adopted the Seveso I Directive, which was replaced in 1996 by the Seveso II Directive. The latter was amended in 2003 to include, not only a list of establishments where dangerous substances or mixtures thereof are present in sufficiently large quantities to pose a risk, but also a set of obligations for operators and the Member States’ authorities, and a policy for preventing major accidents. This report seeks to validate the adaptation of this Directive to the Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, which applies the United Nations’ globally harmonised system of classification and labelling for chemical products, in order to bring it into line with the Aarhus Convention and enhance the criteria for inspections. I agree with the rapporteur in opposing the Commission’s use of delegated acts to amend Annex I, application of the Directive: the ordinary legislative procedure should be used, whereby Parliament will have a say in the addition of new substances. Finally, I support the implementation of access to information and public participation in decision-making processes and access to the courts in relation to environmental matters.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) Given the industrial accidents we have experienced since 1976, with the explosion of the chemical factory in Seveso in Italy, progressing towards greater safety for people, the environment and society without pointlessly encumbering industry has become an absolute priority. Information for citizens is essential.

However, this report is timid to say the least because in order to really protect citizens, we also need to increase safety by having better trained staff and not victims of insecurity, as safety is all too often entrusted to subcontractors and temporary workers; increase public spending rather than reduce it, particularly with regard to safety controls; sanction countries that are too lax in terms of safety. This report refuses to do so.

If we do not tackle the root cause of these problems, the texts passed by Parliament will remain just good intentions. That is why I abstained.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. − The proposal for a directive on control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances is currently being discussed by the European Parliament. due to changes in the EU system of classification of dangerous substances to which the directive refers to. The transport of dangerous substances in pipelines or by road, rail, internal waterways, sea or air is still outside of the scope. Heavy fuel oil has been included in the entry for petroleum products.

 
  
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  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D), in writing. (PL) Major industrial accidents cost many human lives and cause significant environmental losses and damage. No substantial changes are needed to the proposed directive on control of major-accident hazards. In my opinion, however, there are three areas which require more emphasis. Firstly, the key to prevention is ensuring that inspections of industrial installations are carried out regularly and reliably. Secondly, in my opinion, natural risks which also lead to major industrial disasters are underestimated. Thirdly, the safe transport of dangerous substances should be covered in the directive.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The new proposal for a directive seeks to repeal the current Directive 96/82/EC, called the Seveso II Directive, which is aimed at preventing major accidents such as those that occurred in Seveso, Bhopal, Schweizerhalle and other places, involving large quantities of dangerous substances. It is also aimed at mitigating the consequences of such accidents for human beings and the environment. The main reason behind the revision of the Seveso II Directive is the need to adapt its Annex I to the Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of dangerous substances and mixtures. We believe that the Council’s agreement to add at least three of the most toxic substances from the ‘acute toxicity’ category in Annex I is a positive step. The proposal also supports the public’s right to knowledge of procedures relating to their participation in decision-making, information on how to use this right, access to information and, finally, access to the courts in environmental matters.

 
  
  

Report: Frédérique Ries (A7-0059/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, as I believe that food for special nutritional purposes is different to food for normal consumption, and that it is manufactured to satisfy specific nutritional requirements. The Framework Directive on Dietetic Foods remains unimplemented to a very large extent, which has been hindering the implementation of this Directive and resulting in marked distortions. Labelling which gives consumers all the information they need is necessary, so that we can ensure the same level of protection for consumers throughout the EU and prevent a situation in which consumers are poorly informed by ambiguous labelling.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) As a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, I voted in favour of the adoption of new rules on the labelling and composition of food for infants and vulnerable people so as to better protect consumers and increase the transparency of food products. The food sector must be clearer in order to better protect consumers. As a member of the French National Conference on Sport (CNS), I think that we still need to regulate products specifically intended for sportspersons.

 
  
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  Paolo Bartolozzi (PPE), in writing. (IT) The proposal for a regulation in question, updating Directive 2009/39/EC in line with legal and market developments, has raised questions over the classification of many products as ‘dietetic’, establishing general provisions for only a limited number of food categories considered essential for certain vulnerable population groups – foods aimed at infants, children and patients under medical supervision. At the same time it has shifted protection for other groups (coeliacs and people who are lactose-intolerant) to other EU legislation and mechanisms.

The positive vote on Ms Ries’s report – the outcome of the vote in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety – is a clear sign and a positive starting point for the coming negotiations. On one hand, it expresses the shared wish to simplify the regulations; on the other it draws attention to the need to reintroduce in the future regulation complete protection for the specific nutritional needs of all the most vulnerable groups of consumers.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) In June 2011, the Commission tabled this proposal for a regulation on food intended for infants and young children and on food for special medical purposes. The revision of the legislation is aimed at simplifying the establishment of a single list of substances that can be added to the foods covered by the proposal. The idea is to bring very low-calorie diet products within this Regulation’s scope by including them in the definition of food for special medical purposes. It is essential that the notification procedure, which is faster and less costly, remain the standard procedure, with marketing authorisations granted at national level and an obligation to supplement this procedure with additional rules on labelling and composition. This simplified but more protective legal framework must apply to imported and exported foods alike, and facilitates the application of the precautionary principle. The proper functioning of the internal market depends on this. I voted for this report for those reasons.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing.(FR) It has to be said that, today, it has become extremely difficult for consumers to find their way through the jungle of food products and to distinguish between foodstuffs for normal consumption and those intended for specific population groups. For reasons relating to public health and consumer information, we must urgently put an end to this confusing situation. That is the objective of the thorough overhaul of the existing directive, the provisions of which are now obsolete. We should also adopt, as quickly as possible, stricter and clearer rules on the labelling and composition of foods for particular nutritional uses intended for the most vulnerable groups, such as infants, young children and people with specific medical needs, who are clearly not ordinary consumers and who therefore require special attention and common rules within the EU. It is also essential to ensure that labelling reflects reality and does not include pictures which may idealise the use of a product. In this respect, I fully support this report, and I hope that the negotiations with the Council will reach a rapid conclusion.

 
  
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  Sergio Berlato (PPE), in writing. (IT) I would argue that the European Union must pay particular attention to certain patients for whom a specific diet is of vital importance – including infants and children under the age of three. Therefore, I support the Commission’s decision to carry out a thorough review of the legislation regarding food products intended for a particular diet, but on condition that industry is afforded greater legal certainty. I am happy with the amendment of the regulation under review, which now also covers food products suitable for people who are gluten-intolerant in order to give them a proper legal framework. I would argue that it is essential for the notification procedure (which is faster and less costly) to continue to be the standard procedure, with marketing authorisations being granted at national level and there being an option to supplement this procedure with additional rules on labelling. I agree with the rapporteur that stricter rules than those applying under the prior authorisation procedure based on an opinion delivered by the European Food Standards Authority ought to be maintained for claims relating to foods for infants and children between the ages of one and three.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because both consumers and controlling authorities are finding it hard to distinguish between foodstuffs for normal consumption and foodstuffs intended for specific population groups. There are a number of reasons for this confusing situation: disparities in the interpretation and implementation of the framework directive in the Member States, administrative constraints, compositional and labelling changes, innovation, competitiveness, price and consumer protection and information. There is therefore a need for the legislation on foodstuffs intended for specific population groups to be recast. If we are to expect the internal market to work properly, we cannot afford to disregard the health of the more vulnerable members of society.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. (CS) I do not agree with the adopted proposal that food labelling should not include images of infants or other images or text that may idealise the use of the product. This amounts to pointless bureaucratic interference, which makes life difficult for producers and is completely unnecessary. It is based on the assumption that the consumer is stupid, susceptible to manipulation and incapable independent and responsible decision-making. In my opinion, this assumption is wrong. The average consumer does not make purchases only on the basis of the image on the product, but seeks further information. In my view, rather than prohibiting this or that image on food packaging, we should focus instead on the ingredients and ensure that they do not contain any undesirable chemical substances. This is an area in which legislative intervention at EU level really is necessary.

 
  
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  Alain Cadec (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the Ries report on the proposal for a regulation on food intended for infants and young children and on food for special medical purposes. This regulation deals with the revision and simplification of the framework directive on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses. This new report clarifies and simplifies European labelling while moving towards greater protection for consumers, and particularly for the most vulnerable groups, such as infants or persons who need a strict diet. I also note that this text was passed unanimously in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), which bodes well for the negotiations with the Council.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, as I agree with the in-depth review of the legislation on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses, abandoning the concept of dietetic food, which in most cases means very little from a nutritional point of view, and also because I believe that it is vital to increase legal certainty for industry and for vulnerable groups of people in terms of food.

 
  
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  Françoise Castex (S&D), in writing.(FR) Today, Parliament has adopted a proposal for a regulation on food intended for infants and young children and on food for special medical purposes. We socialists are delighted to have achieved a strengthening of the provisions on food intended for vulnerable people, stricter rules on composition and labelling and a framework for food being placed on the market. Another important advancement we have achieved is the creation of a single list at EU level specifying the vitamins and minerals that may be added to foods. My only reservation is that the draft legislation excluded ‘growing milks’ used for children aged one to three. For the socialists, it is important that dairy products intended for young children are also covered by this legislation.

 
  
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  Minodora Cliveti (S&D), in writing. (RO) The report pays special attention to the nutritional needs of infants and young children, as well as of those who need a special diet to treat certain medical conditions. I support the proposal of the rapporteur to include in this proposal for a regulation the following key aspects: special attention to food intended for people suffering from diabetes due to the alarming incidence of this disease, the abolition of the concept of ‘dietetic food’ since such foodstuffs have no nutritional benefits, facilitating access by SMEs to the market of food for special nutritional purposes, where there is a limited number of industry players, and, last but not least, guaranteeing the nutritional quality of food intended for infants and children under the age of three to avoid contamination with toxic substances. I believe it is vital that the rules on the definition, composition and labelling of foodstuffs for infants, children under the age of three years and people with certain medical conditions, both imported and exported, be checked regularly and applied strictly to ensure adequate protection and food safety to vulnerable groups, such as children under the age of three and patients with special nutritional needs.

 
  
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  Lara Comi (PPE ), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this report because I think Ms Ries has succeeded in finding an excellent compromise between the specific needs this regulation aims to satisfy and the needs of all those people who could be excluded. In this regard, I am sorry to see that the position of many of my fellow Members has made it impossible for the amendments I presented together with other Italian Members to be accepted in their entirety. I am referring to the protection which, in my opinion, coeliacs deserve as consumers who have less choice regarding what they can eat and who therefore should not be lumped together with other groups of more fortunate consumers. However, I accept the result of the democratic dialogue and appreciate all the more the work carried out by the rapporteur, as long as it translates into a coherent body of law protecting those who need it and encouraging transparency and fairness. I believe that this text is an excellent starting point for the work which will be carried out at second reading.

 
  
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  Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (PPE), in writing. (SV) I voted in favour of this report, as it represents a simplification and a clear improvement compared with the existing legislation. There was concern that people who are gluten intolerant or suffer from allergies would not have the same protection, since the original proposal was for this aspect to be removed from this legislation. I feel secure in the knowledge that it is absolutely certain that the protection for these groups will not diminish. It is important that we have harmonised legislation throughout the EU in this area and a common list of what the products that are covered by the legislation are permitted to contain. One issue that aroused debate was the use of pesticides in the production of these foods. The Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance wanted to prohibit the use of these pesticides and even the presence of traces of these substances. I believe this is impossible to monitor, and it would also create other risks. Pesticides are used to ensure that our food is safe, and it goes without saying that we should use as little of them as possible. There is a reason for their use, however. I am pleased that we won this battle and that we will retain and clarify the rules that we currently have in place.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. – (RO) Food safety, especially where food intended for vulnerable groups, such as infants, young children and people with special diseases is involved, is an essential prerequisite for free movement and the proper functioning of the internal market within the European Union. Therefore, I think there is a need for a European solidarity policy at EU level comprising legislative measures to remove these differences between national laws as regards foodstuffs intended for special nutritional use, thereby allowing their free movement and creating a level playing field for competition.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE) , in writing.(FR) This report aims in particular to clarify the distinction between normal foods and special foods, and to better protect certain vulnerable population groups. The text makes great contributions for these groups and I therefore voted in favour of it. I particularly welcome the choice made by Parliament to emphasise the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by encouraging them to develop in this sector.

 
  
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  Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE), in writing.(FR) The food safety of ‘vulnerable’ population groups such as infants and people who require a special diet on medical grounds must be reinforced. The rules on the composition and labelling of milks for infants under the age of one will be clearer from now on. Eventually, the packaging for such products will no longer be allowed to include any pictures of infants or any pictures which may ‘idealise the use’ of these milk-based formulae. Furthermore, the Commission will have to look into ‘growing milks’ intended for children between 12 and 36 months, and more specifically into the complex legal situation of these products. Gluten labelling will also be affected. Food products for people intolerant to gluten should contain less than 100 mg/kg of gluten, and the labelling and packaging should therefore state: ‘very low gluten content’. Products containing less than 20 mg/kg will be labelled ‘gluten free’. We want greater coherence and clarity in the legislation: some measures which are currently in force date back to 1977 and were adopted without Parliament.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing.(FR) I supported the adoption of this report which improves protection for European consumers with regard to dietary products. The composition and marketing of these products will from now on be subject to simpler and clearer rules, which will guarantee food quality and reliable information for consumers. The European Union is therefore committed to ensuring a higher level of protection in the face of a levelling down in the quality of products which would threaten the health of our infants and our sick people and which would affect our industry in France, the European leader in quality dietary products.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing.(FR) I am pleased with the adoption of this report by a very large majority who hope to provide for stricter labelling for milks for infants and food for special medical purposes. The text adopted will represent Parliament’s position in its coming negotiations with the Council of Ministers. The changes were proposed because of problems faced by both consumers and the authorities. For example, for Parliament, labelling for all milk-based formulae for infants up to the age of 12 months should not include pictures of infants or pictures which may ‘idealise the use’ of the product. The Commission should also review the current complex legal situation for milks intended for children between 12 and 36 months and propose new rules on the matter, if necessary. Furthermore, the Members have also decided that special rules on gluten labelling should also be included in the legislation. We have also recommended that the Commission prepare a study to tackle the lack of specific rules on lactose intolerance.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on ‘food intended for infants and young children and on food intended for special medical purposes’, as it includes measures that contribute to ensuring a high level of protection for EU consumers, including provisions on food for gluten-intolerant people and on the use of pesticides.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) It is essential to promote adequate regulation of labelling for foodstuffs. We cannot pass laws forcing people to eat healthily, but we should ensure that consumers have the information they need to make a conscious choice. This is particularly important in nutrition for infants and children, and for people with special medical needs. This proposal sets out clearer and tougher rules on labelling, presentation and advertising. These rules cover not only baby formulae and foods, but also cases of food intolerance and low-calorie diets. The labelling, presentation and advertising of these foods should be clear and easy for consumers to understand.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The issue of food for people with special nutritional needs is a crucial area of EU legislation in order to ensure a safe and healthy food supply. The niche market of these foods has grown significantly over recent years, resulting in a lack of clarity when trying to distinguish between foodstuffs for normal consumption and foodstuffs intended for specific population groups. The Commission is therefore proposing to review the framework directive by abolishing the general rules on dietetic foods, but to maintain some of the rules for specific foods adopted under the directive. I agree that it would be best to confine the scope of this Regulation to a limited number of foods for particular nutritional uses. It is obvious that infants, children under three years of age and people for whom a special diet is vital clearly require special attention and uniform treatment within the EU. I therefore welcome the adoption of this report, for which I voted, as infants and children need to be well protected. However, it is also imperative to proceed with a proposal for a directive on so-called ‘growing milks’, as these were not included in this package.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report confirms that the scope of the regulation will be confined to a limited number of foods for particular nutritional uses, with particular emphasis on foods for infants, children under three years of age and people for whom a special diet is vital. Despite excluding from its scope substitute meals replacing all or part of a person’s daily food intake and foodstuffs intended for sportspeople and for intense muscular effort, the Regulation does cover low-calorie diet products, including them in the definition of food for special medical purposes, intended for obese patients, with proper medical authorisation and supervision. In terms of the reference to allergens, the report amends the Commission proposal, as the latter does not provide a suitable legal framework for gluten- or lactose-intolerant people, or those with other forms of food intolerance, as it does not include the nutritional profiles of foodstuffs, which are key to determining whether or not a given foodstuff may be used. We voted for this report, although we regret that the votes of the right have blocked it from going further on issues such as advocating greater restrictions on the use of pesticides and tougher requirements or restrictions on the advertising of certain products, which would ensure better and more comprehensive information for consumers.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing. (IT) It is currently difficult for the consumer as well as supervisory bodies to distinguish between normal food products and those designed for specific groups. The reasons for this ambiguity could be differences in the interpretation and application of rules by Member States. That is why I voted in favour of Ms Ries’s report: we need a legislative reorganisation, with uniform laws that guarantee innovation, competitiveness of businesses and protection of information for citizens. The European Union must commit to achieving uniform treatment in the area of food so as to provide greater legal, economic and social certainty, covering not just the goods consumed and produced within the European Union but also those which are exported and imported. In this sense the regulatory provisions on gluten and lactose are of paramount importance as they are aimed at protecting an ever-growing section of the population. Figures show that food-related conditions are becoming more and more common, causing an increase in depression, stress and general poor health: let us help make these people’s complicated lives easier.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) The free movement of safe and wholesome foodstuffs is an essential aspect of the internal market and contributes significantly to the health and well-being of citizens, and to their social and economic interests. The Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 2009 on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses lays down general rules on the composition and preparation of such foodstuffs that are specially designed to meet the particular nutritional requirements of the persons for whom they are intended. However, experience shows that certain rules contained in the directive in question or adopted on the basis of the directive are no longer effective in ensuring the functioning of the internal market. I believe that the concept of ‘foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses’ should be abandoned, and the directive replaced by a legal act in the form of a regulation in order to simplify its application and guarantee that is consistent in all Member States. At the same time, I consider it essential to establish procedures for the adoption of emergency measures in cases where foodstuffs covered by this regulation pose a serious risk to human health. In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of these emergency measures, the implementing powers should be transferred to the Commission. The Commission should then adopt applicable implementing acts relating to the emergency measures in duly justified cases relating to public health that require serious and compelling reasons.

 
  
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  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) The current regulatory framework on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses needs to be updated as there is a lack of harmonisation in this area and some difficulties for consumers and supervisory bodies in distinguishing these foods from foods for common consumption. In my opinion, this text is more than satisfactory: it provides for new rules for clearer and more effective labelling as well as appropriate rules on foods for coeliacs and those who need special diets. On these grounds, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because the legislation on foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses needs to be thoroughly overhauled and the concept of dietetic food, which in most cases means very little from a nutritional point of view, should be done away with, in order to afford industry and the vulnerable population groups that are the subject of this regulation greater legal certainty. There must be regular democratic scrutiny by Parliament of the definitions of foods intended for infants, children under the age of three and people with certain medical conditions, for whom a special diet is of vital importance, and of the rules governing the composition of such foods. This simplified but more protective legal framework must apply to imported and exported foods alike and should make it easier for the precautionary principle to be applied. If we are to expect the internal market to work properly, we cannot afford to disregard the health of the more vulnerable members of society.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) The rules on the labelling and composition of milks for infants and food for people with special medical needs must be stricter. Generally speaking, the food sector must be clearer so as to better protect consumers, particularly the most vulnerable groups. That is the message that MEPs have sent by adopting this report by 603 votes. I am pleased with this majority. The rules should, in particular, cover gluten intolerance and certain low calorie diets.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing.(PL) In my opinion, it is our duty to show concern for the health of the most vulnerable, such as children and infants. I therefore think that we should ensure at European level that products for infants and young children which are placed on the market are free from pesticides and other toxic substances. Certain pesticides pollute the environment and their residues may unfortunately be present in products intended for very young children. This is not acceptable. I share the rapporteur’s opinion that children, for whom a special diet is essential, deserve particular attention and equal treatment across the entire European Union.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) Foodstuffs have been the subject of various EU laws. In particular it must be kept in mind that these products, with their particular nutritional characteristics, meet specific needs for different types of consumers. For infants, these characteristics must be at the focus of our attention. Therefore I fully support the proposal to adopt communication criteria for the introduction of detailed information designed to counter widespread phenomena such as obesity and diabetes. In addition, there is an unprecedentedly urgent need to classify categories of food for infants and children in a manner more in keeping with the recent results of scientific studies. The aim is not only to allow them healthy growth but also to provide parents and professionals with the correct information on these products more easily, particularly regarding products for special medical purposes, such as gluten-free foods designed for coeliacs.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. In voting for this proposal I backed amendment 86 which calls for restrictions on advertising infant food and follow-on food.

 
  
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  Clemente Mastella (PPE), in writing. (IT) We agree with the Commission that the legislation on foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses needs to be thoroughly overhauled and that the concept of ‘dietetic food’, which in most cases means very little from a nutritional point of view, should be done away with. We believe that industry and the vulnerable population groups involved should be afforded greater legal certainty. This must necessarily involve regular democratic scrutiny by Parliament of the definitions of foods for infants, children under the age of three and people with certain medical conditions, for whom a special diet is of vital importance, and of the rules governing the composition of such foods. This simplified but more protective legal framework must apply to imported and exported foods alike, and makes it easier for the precautionary principle to be applied. If we are to expect the internal market to work properly, we cannot afford to disregard the health of the more vulnerable members of society in Europe.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The safety of food, especially when it is intended for vulnerable groups, such as infants, children and persons with special diseases, is an essential prerequisite for the free movement of such persons and the proper functioning of the internal market. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. The proposed Regulation is intended to update, harmonise, and simplify EU rules on specialised food products, namely dietetic foods and foods for particular nutritional uses. The proposal abolishes the concept of dietetic foods and provides for a new framework establishing general provisions only for a limited number of well-established and defined categories of food that are considered as essential for certain vulnerable groups of the population, i.e. food intended for infants and young children. The proposal also aims to create a single legal measure that regulates lists of substances such as vitamins, minerals and other substances that may be added to the categories of food covered by this proposal. I support the calls in this report for the regulation of gluten-free products under the existing Food Information to Consumers Regulation.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) It is essential to promote adequate regulation of labelling for foodstuffs. It is vital that consumers have the information they need to make a conscious choice. These concerns are all the more pressing in the case of nutrition for infants and children, and for people with special medical needs. This Regulation introduces clearer and more stringent rules on labelling, presentation and advertising. The labelling, presentation and advertising of these foods should be clear and easy for all consumers to understand.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. General rules on composition and labelling would be established only for three specific categories of foods: - infant formulae and follow-on formulae; - processed cereal-based food and baby food for infants and young children; - food for special medical purposes Detailed rules would be adopted by delegated acts. A list of substances (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.) which may be added to the above categories would be adopted by implementing acts. Foods not included in the PARNUTS legislation would be regulated under general food legislation, e.g. on nutrition and health claims and on information to consumers.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Because the digestive tract of new-borns is only capable of killing off germs ingested in food after two or three months, the requirements in relation to the hygiene and quality of baby food must be particularly stringent. It is important that the EU should ban all advertising that aims to discourage mothers from breastfeeding. In some EU Member States it is expressly forbidden to portray ready-made products as being equal in value, or even superior, to breast milk. In practice, the wording used on packaging, in television advertisements and on websites often makes this very suggestion and therefore contravenes EU law and national laws. We need to take a stronger stance here. It is also necessary to ensure that no poor quality baby foods can be imported from other countries. For this reason I have voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Claudio Morganti (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this report, which serves to provide better protection to certain categories of consumer who are particularly vulnerable, such as infants, children and people with food-related disorders. In particular, I am pleased that we were able to retain specific rules to protect people with coeliac disease, despite a very incomplete and penalising initial proposal from the European Commission in this regard. Coeliac disease is one of the most serious and widespread food-related disorders. In Europe, it is estimated that one person in every hundred is affected by it, and therefore it is easy to see that retaining a specific regulation for people who are gluten-intolerant proves necessary. Therefore we must pay the utmost attention when dealing with these matters, seeking to better inform consumers, especially those most vulnerable, and thereby better protect them.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I welcome this report updating another piece of legislation guaranteeing food safety. At the same time, I would like to draw my colleagues’ attention to the fact that there are many such pieces of legislation on food safety and their updating is a continuous job for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. What unites them is the fact that we want to protect consumers by giving them as much information as possible about products used. Nevertheless, the fact that provisions are scattered across various legal acts causes a certain amount of confusion. I would therefore urge the Commission to consider the possibilities of codifying all food safety legislation as a matter of urgency and drafting a single food safety code covering all existing EU legislation regulating the safety of various foodstuffs.

 
  
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  Tiziano Motti (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this resolution because I believe that breast milk is the essential and most natural food for infants during weaning. However, not all mothers have this opportunity, whether for physical reasons or because they do not have the time required. In this case therefore they rely on formula, which certainly has considerable nutritive value, but not enough to be advertised in such a way as to give consumers the idea that formula can replace breast milk entirely. I think it is right, therefore, to ask for stricter and better-defined European rules on labelling of milk for children and of foods for people who need special diets, such as coeliacs, so as to protect consumers and provide clarity for the food industry. The non-medical quality of foods and the difference between foods for infants and follow-on foods must be made immediately obvious to consumers, who are often bombarded with ‘idealised’ images on packaging. I also agree that Member States should have the right to implement even stricter measures, if necessary.

 
  
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  Katarína Neveďalová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) Foodstuffs for people with special dietary needs – the so-called Parnuts foods – occupy an area that European Union regulations have covered for a long time. This sector has experienced a significant growth in recent years, as evidenced in particular by a clear increase in demand for the supply of safe and wholesome food. Despite previous attempts at harmonisation, there are still big differences between the national laws relating to Parnuts foods. These differences are an obstacle to the free movement of goods, create unnecessary regulatory burdens on companies operating in the food sector, and ultimately impede the functioning of the internal market. Last but not least, I welcome the efforts of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy to highlight in the text the need to include additional groups of products in the draft, specifically milk drinks intended for young children and food for people allergic to gluten.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, which proposes a simplified legal framework for rules on food intended for infants and young children, and on food for special medical purposes. This simplified but more protective legal framework, which applies the precautionary principle, should apply to imported and exported foods alike. The proper functioning of the internal market, which cannot ignore the health of the most vulnerable, depends on this.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report follows a proposal for a regulation tabled by the Commission in June 2011 on food intended for infants and young children and on food for special medical purposes. The primary objectives of this report include bringing very low-calorie diet products within the scope of this Regulation by including them in the definition of food for special medical purposes, bringing people intolerant to certain types of food within the legal framework, and ensuring that products free from pesticides and any other type of toxic substance are available on the market for newborns and children. The aim is essentially to simplify the current legal framework, which should be applied to imported and exported foods alike, thus making it easier to apply the precautionary principle. The proper functioning of the internal market, which cannot neglect to protect the health of the most vulnerable, depends on this.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. There are many key points in the report by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. It supports the Commission approach of abolishing the concept of ‘dietetic foods’, but reintroduces the category of foods for use in low-calorie diets and invites the Commission to assess the need for a specific ‘sports food’ category. It asks the Commission to produce a report assessing the need for special provisions on so-called ‘children’s milks’ and strengthens rules on labelling and advertising. It calls for post-market monitoring and requires delegated acts for updating the list of permitted substances. It provides for special requirements for nanomaterials and more or less maintains current ‘gluten-free’ rules while inviting the Commission to present a report on ‘lactose-free’. It stipulates that the use of pesticides should be ‘restricted as far as possible’ and asks the Commission to update regularly the lists on limitations of certain pesticides, paying particular attention to the very dangerous substances. As the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, we agree with the general approach to abolishing the concept of dietetic foods and are opposed to the (re-)introduction of more categories. We have fought for stricter rules on pesticide use, for a ban on advertising/labelling milks as ‘children’s’ (or ‘growing-up’) milks, for specific rules on the use of nanomaterials, and for stricter labelling/advertising rules. We would prefer to have ‘gluten-free’ regulated under the general regulation on food information to consumers.

 
  
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  Matteo Salvini (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this report. This is a big step forward in protecting people with coeliac disease. The Commission’s proposal has been improved by the Members’ amendments, especially those by Italian Members. There is profound ignorance about coeliac disease in various Member States: it is neither a fad, nor an allergy. Coeliac disease is an illness and the words ‘gluten free’ on food products cannot be trivialised as a simple claim or allergen. Coeliacs cannot eat any gluten whatsoever. It will be important if the excellent rapporteur is able to defend the improvements made to the text and oppose any deleterious proposals made by the Council.

 
  
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  Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid (PPE), in writing.(FR) We can no longer let commercial industries mislead European consumers. Whether it is mothers and fathers buying baby milk or people suffering from coeliac disease (gluten intolerance), we have a duty to protect them from any misleading advertising. It is with this in mind that I voted for this proposal for a regulation. This project is in line with our protection and prevention efforts: in the future, labelling for all milk-based formulae for infants up to the age of 12 months, including ‘follow-on’ formulae, should not include pictures of infants or pictures which may ‘idealise the use’ of the product. What is more, food products intended for people intolerant to gluten should contain less than 100 mg/kg of gluten and be labelled ‘very low gluten content’, while food containing less than 20 mg/kg of gluten may be labelled ‘gluten free’. We have created a Europe of free and unfettered competition between economic actors; we are working even harder towards a Europe that protects consumers from the failings of this competition.

 
  
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  Amalia Sartori (PPE), in writing. (IT) This proposal for a regulation is intended to overhaul the provisions on foodstuffs for specific nutritional uses, contained in the Framework Directive on Dietetic Products, which makes substantial reference to the 1979 standard.

The proposal intends to abolish the concept of dietetic foods and set out a new framework containing general provisions for a limited number of well-defined categories of foods judged essential for some particularly vulnerable sections of the population, for example foods aimed at infants and children and foods to be used under medical supervision. Vulnerable people need greater protection than the rest of the population and must be able to benefit from a high level of legal certainty.

The proposal also suggests creating a single legal act that regulates the list of substances that can be added to the food categories that are the subject of this proposal. The differences in how Member States implement the existing legislation are currently too large, causing market distortions and administrative burdens.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The dietetic foods that appeared in European legislation in 1977, which were later considered ‘foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses’ in a framework directive adopted in 2009, are difficult to identify and associate with the right target groups, both for the end-consumer and for supervisory bodies. This situation’s lack of transparency clearly calls for an overhaul of the legislation on foodstuffs for specific population groups, starting with infants and children under the age of three for whom a specific diet is of vital importance and who merit particular attention and uniform treatment throughout the European Union. With this vote in favour I express the need for legislative order on this matter to safeguard the health of individuals in the Union based on proper nutrition from birth, therefore guaranteeing that there are no pesticides or any type of toxic substance in foods intended for children and infants or for special medical purposes.

 
  
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  Bogusław Sonik (PPE), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour of adopting the report on food intended for infants and young children and food for special medical purposes. I think that the report adopted will mean that consumers are better protected and better informed. They will be able to distinguish easily between ‘regular’ food and food intended for a specific group of recipients. From now on, producers of infant formula, for example, will be obliged to provide better and more reliable information on the composition of their milk and ensure that products placed on the market are free from pesticides. The new regulations will help to make the European population healthier, as well as reducing administrative burdens and facilitating fair competition.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing.(FR) I welcomed the proposal for a resolution, however, I have some reservations about this report. Firstly, I would like to highlight the obligation to provide full and objective information on food products. One very sensitive case is the question of the advertising of formulae for infants of 0 to six months and formulae for infants of six months to two years. The facts show that advertising practices tend to concern parents by using marketing strategies rather than providing them with information of a scientific and factual nature, allowing consumers to make a clear distinction in order to avoid any risk of confusion. The health of our children is at risk. Lastly, I think that the Ries report should provide for more effective evaluation mechanisms. This evaluation should not be carried out a priori, only taking into consideration the consumers the products are aimed at, but on the basis of a careful and comprehensive evaluation of all the ingredients of the product in question. The regulation that Parliament will adopt should take greater account of consumer protection and health, and the marketing strategies put in place by the food industry.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) This proposal seeks to establish specific legislation for infants, children under three years old and vulnerable population groups, who thus require a high level of protection in terms of imported and exported foods. The Commission proposal sets out a single list of substances that may be added, while excluding certain foodstuffs, including foods for sportspeople and the concept of dietetic food. Moreover, it is aimed at simplifying the labelling on products so that it is clear and easily understood by consumers. I therefore agree with the rapporteur’s position that this Regulation should include information about whether products contain gluten, or whether they are aimed at a low-calorie diet. I am voting for this proposal, as I consider it yet another step that safeguards European consumers.

 
  
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  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE), in writing. As a father and EU citizen I believe that we should push forward all policies to protect the most vulnerable citizens of the EU, in this case food for infants and young children. It is my belief that all public or private actions to accomplish this objective must be backed, step by step, and, of course, with all the actors being implicated. Nonetheless, sometimes big steps are needed to better achieve our goals.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) Repealing various directives on food intended for specific population groups in order to include them in a more general piece of legislation is part of the effort to simplify and extend the regulation, which should, in future, favour health transparency and therefore the health of the groups that this proposal is aimed at. The particular nutritional needs (Parnuts) food sector has grown strongly in recent years, critically blurring the distinction between food intended for specific population groups and food for normal consumption. This proposal should enable us to establish a clear distinction for consumers and controlling authorities alike. I regret, nonetheless, that, as the rapporteur highlighted, this proposal for a regulation leaves a loophole with regard to the possibility of adding vitamins, minerals and other substances to food intended for these vulnerable groups. In spite of this, I voted in favour of this resolution, as the measures that it proposes contribute to the good health of the young generations and population groups whose health is particularly at risk.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) This proposal for a regulation aims to review the provisions on foodstuffs intended for particular dietary requirements contained in Directive 2009/39/EC. Among its various objectives the new proposal for a regulation suggests creating a single legal act to regulate the list of vitamins and minerals that can be added to the food categories that are the subject of this proposal.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report expresses agreement with the Commission’s position on confining the scope of the Regulation to a limited number of foods for particular nutritional uses, with particular emphasis on foods for infants, children under three years of age and people for whom a special diet is vital. Despite excluding from its scope substitute meals replacing all or part of a person’s daily food intake and foodstuffs intended for sportspeople and for intense muscular effort, the Regulation does cover low-calorie diet products, including them in the definition of food for special medical purposes, intended for obese patients, with proper medical authorisation and supervision. In terms of the reference to allergens, the report amends the Commission proposal, as the latter does not provide a suitable legal framework for gluten- or lactose-intolerant people, or those with other forms of food intolerance, as it does not include the nutritional profiles of foodstuffs, which are key to determining whether or not a given foodstuff may be used. Finally, it expresses concern with ensuring that products for newborns and young children, among other vulnerable population groups, are free of pesticides or any other toxic substances. We voted in favour, as we support these controls.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0306/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting in favour because this resolution defends European citizenship. In this case, promoting access to EU documentation in every EU language will stimulate more active participation in the EU’s decision-making processes. The EU brings us rights and benefits, and this is certainly one of them.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) Public consultations are an important democratic tool that allows the citizens and other stakeholders to fully participate in this process and to advance the European Union’s policy of transparency. However, as is often the case, the European Union is not communicating sufficiently. I thought that more information should be given to citizens and that it should be accessible in all 23 of the European Union’s official languages.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) Public involvement is a key element of democratic governance, and well designed, structured and communicated public consultations are an important tool for the transparency of the EU, enabling European citizens to take on an increasingly active role in the European integration process. The Commission should therefore take advantage of all of the technological resources at its disposal actively to communicate with citizens through public consultations. It should guarantee every EU citizen’s right to address the EU institutions in any official EU language, and ensure that there is no language-based discrimination between consultations. Finally, the consultations should be comprehensible and carried out over a sufficiently long period to enable the maximum possible public participation. I voted for this resolution for those reasons.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this European Parliament resolution because the involvement of the public is a fundamental component of democratic governance. Well designed and communicated public consultations are one of the main tools giving substance to the European Union’s policy of transparency. To date their potential for bridging the communication and information gap between citizens and the EU has not been fully exploited. Every European Union citizen’s right to address the European Union institutions in any of the EU official languages must be fully respected and implemented. Public consultations must be available in all EU official languages and must be treated equally without any language-based discrimination between consultations. All consultations must also be understandable to citizens and be carried out over a sufficiently long period of time to allow for increased participation.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) The European Union represents all of its citizens; therefore, any of them has the right to have access to all information regarding EU activity and the decision-making process affecting them in any official EU language. On the other hand, whenever public consultations on matters of public interest are launched, it is important that all interested citizens are able to participate and there is no language-based discrimination.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) It has never been more important to stress the vital and urgent need to bring the EU closer to the public, and to make the institutions’ decision-making process more immediate, more transparent and more readily scrutinised. To this end, all citizens need to be able to address the EU institutions in any official EU language. This is particularly important for public consultation processes. These should be available in all official EU languages, and all the responses should be treated equally, without any language-based discrimination.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this motion for a resolution tabled by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament following a Commission statement on public consultations and their availability in all EU languages, for a number of reasons. First, Members represent the people of the 27 Member States, who express themselves differently but all have the same rights of access to the documents handled in the EU institutions. Second, public consultations represent an excellent opportunity to share ideas in Europe, and should be moments when the public can participate and truly exercise their EU citizenship. Third, although multilingualism is very expensive, an effort should be made to provide upcoming budgets with the resources to enable public consultations in all official EU languages. Fourth, particular attention is given to citizens with disabilities, and it is advocated that they be consulted through the use of accessible formats. Finally, I welcome the fact that the Commission has proposed designating 2013 the European Year of Citizens in order to raise public awareness of the benefits and rights afforded by EU citizenship.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We voted for this motion for a resolution because all EU documents should be easily accessible and available in all official EU languages. For a long time we have been repeatedly denouncing, in detail, the abuses of multilingualism by the EU institutions. In order for there to be democracy in an EU with 23 official languages, they must all be respected and treated equally. That is not the case at present. The work carried out by Parliament is one example. It is regrettable that the same political groups now acknowledging the importance of ensuring respect for multilingualism in public consultation processes have approved cuts to Parliament’s translation and interpretation services, thereby compromising this very respect for the various languages of the EU. We included this criticism in our resolution. Troubling statements are being made by the Commission and some representatives from the most populous countries, particularly the United Kingdom, saying openly that multilingualism should be respected insofar as ‘budgetary constraints’ allow. We will remain vigilant in this regard in the future, fighting any and every limitation or attack on democracy, in particular by the EU institutions.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) The Commission has proposed designating 2013 as the European Year of Citizens in order to raise people’s awareness of the benefits and rights afforded by EU citizenship and stimulate their active participation in EU policy-making. The involvement of the public is a fundamental component of democratic governance. Well designed and communicated public consultations are one of the main instruments forming the core of the EU’s policy of transparency, but to date their potential for bridging the communication and information gap between citizens and the EU has not been fully exploited. I consider it essential that the Commission strives to ensure that every EU citizen’s right to address the EU institutions in any of the EU official languages is fully respected and implemented by ensuring that public consultations are available in all EU official languages, that all consultations are treated equally and that there is no language-based discrimination between consultations. It is important that all consultations are understandable to ordinary citizens and are carried out over a sufficiently long period of time to allow for increased participation. At the same time, I consider it equally important that the Commission guarantees the right of people with disabilities to participate in consultations via accessible formats that facilitate their communication.

 
  
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  Catherine Grèze (Verts/ALE), in writing. (FR) I signed this resolution calling for all public consultations to be translated into all of the languages recognised by the countries of the European Union. There is a European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages that calls for resolute action to be taken to promote these languages, to prohibit any form of discrimination against them and even to facilitate and encourage their use in public life. This resolution responds precisely to this last point. Such a measure would encourage citizens to address the European Union.

 
  
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  Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE), in writing. (FR) In accordance with European legislation, the Commission has a duty to translate European law and the related documents into all EU official languages to allow citizens, economic operators, NGOs and other interested parties to exercise their rights. However, in reality, many documents are only available in English. These include public consultations, even though they address citizens directly and are a fundamental component of drawing up transparent EU policies. Our resolution therefore urges the Commission to ensure that every EU citizen’s right to address the EU institutions in any of the EU official languages is fully respected and implemented. Respect for multilingualism is a principle, a right which is very important to me and we must defend it.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour because the Commission has proposed designating 2013 as the European Year of Citizens in order to raise people’s awareness of the benefits and rights afforded by EU citizenship and stimulate their active participation in Union policy-making. The involvement of the public is a fundamental component of democratic governance and well designed and communicated public consultations are one of the main tools giving substance to the EU’s policy of transparency. To date their potential for bridging the communication and information gap between citizens and the EU has not been fully exploited. The Commission must actively seek communication with ordinary citizens by making full use of existing communication channels to disseminate consultations and conduct them in conjunction with NGOs and other stakeholders.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) Citizen involvement and participation are fundamental components of democratic governance. Public consultations are one of the main tools giving substance to the EU’s policies and ensuring their transparency. However, their potential for bridging the communication and information gap between citizens and the EU has not been fully exploited. For this reason, Parliament is urging the Commission to ensure that every EU citizen’s right to address the EU institutions in all of the official EU languages is respected. The Commission must also ensure that public consultations are available in all EU official languages, that all consultations are treated equally and that there is no language-based discrimination between consultations. I supported this resolution, which was adopted by a large majority in plenary.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing.(PL) Properly publicised public consultations are among the best instruments of the EU’s transparency policy. European Union citizens frequently complain that the Union is incomprehensible to them, that it is too complicated and remote. I therefore endorse the appeal for the European Commission to respect the right of every EU citizen to address the EU institutions in any of the EU languages by ensuring that public consultations are available in all official EU languages. In this way, we can encourage the residents of Europe to become active participants in the shaping of EU policy, while also combating the ‘democratic deficit’, an accusation very often levelled against European institutions with good reason, I regret to say.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The proposal to designate 2013 as the European Year of Citizens bodes well, just like all efforts to encourage free communication with all EU citizens and their active involvement in drawing up EU policies aimed at and affecting us all. Unfortunately, however, making available the content of public consultations in all official EU languages comes at a bad time, when huge efforts are being made to reduce costs by eliminating items that are not necessarily vital to the smooth functioning of the EU. The translation of all documents intended for the public, carried out by the EU institutions into all official languages, represents in this case an example of expenses that can be reduced without dramatically affecting the smooth running of things. I believe that information should rather be disseminated by making full use of existing means, so that it reaches the citizens who wish to participate in the European decision-making process.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution and support its call to the Commission to ensure that every EU citizen’s right to address the EU institutions in any of the EU’s official languages is fully respected and implemented by ensuring that public consultations are available in all EU official languages, that all consultations are treated equally and that there is no language-based discrimination between consultations.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the resolution on public consultations and their availability in all EU languages which, for me, is a key issue. Indeed, if we wish to keep written consultations as a basic tool for the Commission’s legislative proposals, then we must guarantee that they uphold the principles of democracy, transparency and fairness for all citizens. Consequently, if the Commission chooses to use written consultations, it must take responsibility and provide the necessary resources for multilingualism and the translation of questionnaires.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) I fully agree that the Commission must ensure that each EU citizen can address the EU institutions in any of the EU official languages. In addition public consultations should be available in all the EU official languages, and consultations should all be treated equally with no language-based discrimination. I am voting in favour.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) Public consultation of documents and their availability in all of the EU languages is vital if citizens are to feel that they are fully integrated into the EU. Therefore there should be no concerns whatsoever about this objective becoming a reality. That is why I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) To ensure that European citizens have a better understanding and greater participation, the principle of multilingualism within the European institutions must be maintained, despite the costs this might entail. This resolution will ensure that every EU citizen has the right to address the institutions in the EU official language of his or her choice. It is important that public consultations are carried out without any language-based discrimination.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. European Parliament calls on the Commission to actively seek communication with ordinary citizens by making full use of existing communication channels to disseminate consultations and conduct them in conjunction with NGOs and other stakeholders; urges the Commission to ensure that every EU citizen’s right to address the EU institutions in any of the EU official languages is fully respected and implemented by ensuring that public consultations are available in all EU official languages, that all consultations are treated equally and that there is no language-based discrimination between consultations; Asks the Commission to ensure that all consultations are understandable to ordinary citizens and are carried out over a sufficiently long period of time to allow for increased participation. I would add languages of national minorities in EU. But it is another stage of development.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) In order to be informed about what goes on within the EU, it is useful for the citizens of every Member State to have access to documents in their national language because, in particular, specialist terminology in foreign languages can regularly lead to misunderstandings. Above all, public consultations should be easily understandable and accessible for everyone because their ultimate aim is to bring together as many opinions as possible from public and private interest groups and individuals. I voted in favour of this resolution because I believe that, in the interest of democracy, every citizen must be allowed the opportunity to get involved in on-going processes. In the long run it cannot be good only to present the electorate with faits accomplis. Voters must also be able to express criticism.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) The Citizens’ Initiative platform, which came into force a few months ago, and its popularity show that it really is an essential instrument for the expression of direct democracy in the European Union. However, the technical barriers that sometimes hamper this instrument still have to be addressed. A similar result – consulting with as many interest groups as possible – is also sought for public consultations. I agree that these consultations must be accessible to as many Europeans as possible. Only then will we ensure that the legislation we adopt reflects not just business structures but the will of our voters.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this resolution because, amongst other things, it calls on the Commission to guarantee the right of people with disabilities to be consulted using accessible formats.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) This motion for a resolution is aimed at enhancing the role of public consultations within the EU, as these are one of the main tools giving substance to the EU’s policy of transparency. In order to bridge the communication and information gap between citizens and the EU, it seeks to make full use of existing communication channels to disseminate consultations and conduct them in conjunction with NGOs and other stakeholders, as necessary. Moreover, it aims to ensure that every EU citizen’s right to address the EU institutions in any of the EU official languages is fully respected and implemented, by ensuring that all public consultations are treated equally and that there is no language-based discrimination between consultations. I voted for this resolution, as I believe that public participation is an essential element of good democratic governance.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. Abstention. The rejection of our amendment seeking consideration for all languages that are official within the EU, and not only those which are official in the EU institutions, was rather disappointing for me. So unfortunately I was unable to vote in favour.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) It is essential for each EU citizen to have the right to address the EU institutions and for them to be able to do so in any of the official European Union languages. In particular people with disabilities need more accessible communication methods, as they need to be in a position to enjoy the same ability to address the institutions directly. Well-designed public consultations are one of the main tools of democratic governance; they give substance to the EU’s policy of transparency and must be treated equally, without any language-based discrimination.

 
  
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  Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid (PPE), in writing.(FR) The year 2013 will be the European Year of Citizens. I welcome this initiative from the Commission, which aims to return citizens to the heart of European political life, putting them back in their rightful place. However, the current context is not favourable to European enthusiasm. The crisis in the euro area, the difficulties facing Greece; neither of these factors encourage citizens to turn to the Union. Will they wish to participate in a public consultation issued by the Commission if they have to be able to use English or one of the other languages that is deemed ‘important’? As I understand it, all of the official languages in the Member States are ‘important’, not just the 23 EU official languages. Let us be consistent. If we want committed European citizens, we must give them the resources to make this commitment. If we wish to introduce a truly European political area, let us allow all of our fellow citizens to participate in European political life.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) At the centre of democratic governance and its legitimacy lies public participation. Public consultations are in this respect one of the main tools giving substance to the European Union’s policy of transparency through communication and dialogue with EU citizens. Therefore we must protect every citizen’s right to address the EU institutions in any language they wish, provided, of course, it is recognised as an official Union language. I am therefore voting in favour so that all consultations may be treated equally without any language-based discrimination, given the right to equality which was sanctioned and perpetuated by our founding fathers.

 
  
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  Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI), in writing. − (ES) With regard to Amendment 4: this is a delicate issue in some Member States, as is the case with Spain, and requires a general regulation as part of an appropriate legal instrument.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The participation of the public and citizens is a vital component in the functioning of democratic European governance. Communication with ordinary citizens should therefore use effective means of communication, in particular by promoting public consultations, in order to ensure that everyone can participate and have access to documents in any of the official EU languages. Moreover, Parliament is also demanding that all public consultations be comprehensible by the ordinary citizen and carried out over a sufficiently long period to enable effective participation.

 
  
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  Hermann Winkler (PPE), in writing. (DE) I fully support this resolution. I am also convinced that our citizens must be allowed to participate in the framing of EU legislation. The Commission holds consultations to obtain the views of interest groups and EU citizens about planned legislation. However, such consultations are often only accessible in English. For example, small businesses or voluntary institutions have neither the time nor the financial resources to engage translators. I believe nonetheless that it is important for them to understand the Commission’s surveys and to be able to give their response in their own language. Until now it has been possible to make all submissions in any of the 23 official languages. The fact is, however, that if I find it difficult or impossible to understand what is being asked or proposed, then this is of little help to me. Of course the professional groups with representation in Brussels try to assist their clients. Nonetheless, this cannot replace the direct contact with the public that is urgently needed if laws are not to be framed in an ivory tower. Of course, publicising and explaining legislation and the processes behind it all come at a price. This is worth paying in the interest of better public participation.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The European institutions regularly declaim the importance of citizen involvement in EU policies. While political and economic decisions are increasingly being made at super-state level, this is clearly not the best way of bringing the people closer to decision-making hubs. However, it is also clear that there are basic measures aimed at addressing citizens’ essential right to information; in this case, information about EU documents. We have always been uncompromising in our defence of the principle of multilingualism in the EU institutions, and argued that everyone involved and those who wish to access information should be treated equally. It is clear that the principle of no language-based discrimination can only be guaranteed by safeguarding the technical and human resources for it and, therefore, by ensuring sufficient funding for interpretation and translation. Many of those now supporting this resolution did not advocate this safeguard during discussions on Parliament’s budget. This issue can never be seen in terms of the technical and administrative functioning of the EU institutions, but should rather be considered a fundamental political decision to ensure a modicum of formal equality between EU stakeholders and citizens.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: RC-B7-0312/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this joint resolution, as it takes the view that respect for human rights and freedom of culture, identity, religion and association are the founding principles of the EU and its external policy. It is clear today that EU-China dialogue on human rights has not led to significant improvement in the human rights situation of the Tibetan people, so this resolution comes at an opportune moment. In this regard, I would like to emphasise that EU-China partnerships should always take into account the values and principles that the EU advocates in its external policy, and efforts should be redoubled to address the human rights situation in China.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) Last week, the latest developments in Tibet were raised with Baroness Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, who stated, ‘The EU is concerned by the deterioration of the situation as illustrated by the wave of self-immolations’. We have called for the appointment of a special coordinator to promote human rights in Tibet. We need to keep a close watch on what is happening there and have regular reports on the situation in the country.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing. (FR) In a resolution adopted on 14 June, I, along with my fellow MEPs, called on the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to appoint a special coordinator with a mandate to report regularly on Tibet in order to ‘advance respect for the human rights of the Tibetan people’, including ‘their right to preserve and develop their distinctive identity and its religious, cultural and linguistic manifestations’. I think it is important that this coordinator should also support constructive dialogue in the negotiations between the Chinese Government and the envoys of the Dalai Lama and provide assistance to Tibetan refugees, in particular in Nepal and India. I would therefore urge Baroness Ashton to raise the human rights situation in Tibet at the EU-China meetings. In this resolution, we also call on the Chinese authorities to grant genuine autonomy to the historical territory of Tibet and we ‘insist’ that they respect the freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of belief of the Tibetans, as well as their linguistic and cultural freedoms.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Parliament’s concern for human rights is recognised all over the world, and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is a pillar of this concern. Human rights violations in Tibet have been the subject of debate in and condemnation by Parliament. The fact is that the EU institutions cannot silence the abuses of the fundamental rights of Tibetans, who are seeing their freedoms and fundamental guarantees hampered. China cannot curtail Tibetan freedom, language and culture, and neither can it resort to building dams to annihilate a people and their ancient culture. A whole people is suffering, and they are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of their identity and freedom, as has happened with the self-immolation of monks. China must open Tibet’s borders so that it can be freely visited, in particular by UN observers. It must also take a seat at the negotiating table with the Dalai Lama. I voted for this joint motion for a resolution, as the EU must promote the protection of human rights throughout the world and denounce situations where human rights are being violated, even when such violations are perpetrated by major powers such as China.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) In the absence of objective or current data, this resolution goes back to arguments that have been made in the past and makes new ones in order to pursue a confrontational and interfering approach that is an affront to international law. The resolution makes points that we cannot support and is based on assumptions that do not strictly correspond with reality. The majority in Parliament implicitly continue to refer to Tibet as a territory occupied by China, when the powers instigating and supporting separatist movements in this autonomous region are undermining the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China. It is worth remembering that Tibet has been united, to varying degrees, with China since the 13th century, and that at the time of the Chinese Revolution in 1949, Tibet was ruled by a feudal regime in which the majority of the population consisted of serfs and slaves, based heavily on the land and subsistence farming. Moreover, in 1959 a separatist group led by the Dalai Lama launched an armed rebellion to defend this obscure and backward feudal serfdom.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing. (IT) In the Treaty on European Union, the Member States pledged to safeguard the principles of democracy and respect for human rights. Clearly all candidate countries must have satisfied these conditions before negotiations begin, but this does not imply indifference to conditions outside the EU. The last few years have been extremely dramatic for Tibet and the people of this nation have given a strong and succinct message: after 50 years of Chinese occupation, Tibetans are calling on the world for real change – a change that includes dialogue with the Chinese leadership, not an intensification of violence. The strategic partnership between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China should be based on common principles and values: the latter’s great economic dependence on exports ‘Made in China’ and the importance China attaches to its international reputation can influence such a change, if we make the effort. To guarantee respect for the fundamental rights of citizens, freedom of speech and association and the release of political prisoners, we need to take concrete action.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) Respect for human rights, and freedom of identity, culture, religion and association are founding principles of the EU and of its foreign policy. Unfortunately, the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue has not resulted in any significant improvements in the human rights situation of the Tibetans. The managing authorities of the People’s Republic of China used disproportionate force while dealing with the protests of 2008 in Tibet and have, ever since, imposed restrictive security measures that curtail freedom of expression, association and belief. Torture, including beating, use of electroshock weapons, long-term solitary confinement, starvation and other similar measures are reportedly used to extract confessions in the prisons of Tibet by the authorities of the People’s Republic of China. I deplore the continuing crackdown by the Chinese authorities in Tibet’s monasteries and, in this context, it is essential for the Chinese Government to guarantee freedom of religion for the Tibetan people and all its citizens. The Strategic Partnership between the EU and the People’s Republic of China should be based on shared principles and values. In my opinion, it is reasonable to appoint a special representative of the EU for Tibet in order to advance respect for the human rights of the Tibetan people, including their right to preserve and develop their distinct identity and its religious, cultural and linguistic manifestations.

 
  
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  Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE), in writing. (FR) As Vice-Chair of the Tibet Intergroup, it is with much conviction that I co-signed and voted for this resolution on the human rights situation in Tibet. Our Parliament works tirelessly to protect the Tibetan people from the attacks and violence that they have been suffering for many years. In this sitting, we have adopted a new text which calls for the appointment of a special coordinator for respect for human rights in Tibet, which calls for constructive dialogue between China and the Central Tibetan Administration and which also calls on China to grant Tibetans their autonomy and to respect the fundamental rights (freedom of expression, freedom of belief, freedom of association, and so on) of the Tibetan people. Finally, the resolution strongly condemns the Chinese attitude towards Tibetans: the repression, prison sentences, and so on.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because respect for human rights, freedom of identity, culture, religion and association are founding principles of the EU and of its foreign policy. The authorities of the People’s Republic of China used disproportionate force while dealing with the protests of 2008 in Tibet and have, ever since, imposed restrictive security measures that curtail freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of association and freedom of belief. There is a genuine threat to Tibetan identity, language, culture and religion, the heritage of a historically rich civilisation. The authorities of the People’s Republic of China should grant meaningful autonomy to the historical territory of Tibet. However, since January 2010, the Government of the People’s Republic of China has been unwilling to continue the dialogue with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Chinese authorities must engage in a meaningful discussion with the representatives of the Central Tibetan Administration on the future of Tibet and must also allow an independent international investigation to be conducted into the 2008 protests and their aftermath, and release political prisoners. The document condemns the Chinese authorities’ continued crackdown on Tibetan monasteries, and calls on the Chinese Government to guarantee freedom of religion both for the people of Tibet and for all of its citizens. It must uphold the linguistic, cultural, religious and other fundamental freedoms of Tibetans and refrain from settlement policies in favour of the Han people and to the disadvantage of the Tibetans in historical territories of Tibet, as well as from forcing Tibetan nomads to abandon their traditional lifestyle.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) The situation in Tibet is critical. The Tibetans are harshly repressed by the Chinese authorities when they demonstrate peacefully to ask for independence. Faced with the growing number of self-immolations and protests by the Tibetan people, Parliament has adopted a resolution, which I supported. In this resolution, Parliament first of all reminds us that the strategic partnership between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China must be based on common principles and values. It also urges the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to appoint a special coordinator with a mandate to report regularly on the situation in Tibet. The objective is to advance respect for the human rights of the Tibetan people, including their right to preserve and develop their distinctive identity and its religious, cultural and linguistic manifestations. The European Union wishes, moreover, to support constructive dialogue and negotiations with the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The People’s Republic of China is being asked to grant genuine autonomy to the historical territory of Tibet.

 
  
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  Filip Kaczmarek (PPE) , in writing. – (PL) I voted in favour of the resolution on the situation in Tibet. I am a co-author of the motion for a resolution by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), and I am pleased that we have been able to agree on a joint text. It is a pity that the socialists do not wish to acknowledge the need to support the Tibetans. The Tibetans need our constant support. We must not lose hope or faith that their peaceful struggle will ultimately lead to an improvement of the situation. I am reminded of the African proverb, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ Undoubtedly, it would be preferable if the tragic situation of the Tibetans could be changed quickly. Yet at the same time, the changes should be far-reaching. I am convinced that if the EU Member States showed more commitment to the Tibetan issue than they have done to date, the results would be more satisfactory. We have to believe that this is possible. No government, no political or social system is permanent or eternal. China too can and should change. We want to help them do so.

 
  
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  Eija-Riitta Korhola (PPE), in writing. (FI) I have on previous occasions spoken up for Tibetan nuns and monks in response to the shocking way in which they have committed suicide, by setting themselves on fire. However, this is not the only problem in the region. China has instigated many measures that threaten the Tibetan language, culture, religion, heritage and environment. Last December, Tibet’s leaders asked the EU High Representative to send EU diplomats to Tibet to investigate the situation for themselves. China blocked these moves. In my opinion, the European External Action Service should adopt a bolder stance with regard to the matter, as this concerns the dire human rights situation of countless numbers of people. Tibetan leaders have even said that if nothing is done soon, not even China can prevent an Arab Spring-type situation from happening. The EU should also raise the matter with the UN Human Rights Council. I therefore voted in favour of the motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution and its call for the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU to increase and intensify efforts to address the human rights situation of the Tibetans in the framework of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing.(FR) The situation in Tibet is worrying. The frequent self-immolations of Tibetan monks pose questions, especially as the whereabouts of their bodies remains unknown. It is not normal for the media and human rights observers to be denied access to Tibet. It is essential for Baroness Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to take up this issue and raise the situation with the representatives of the People’s Republic of China.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The unwillingness of the Chinese authorities to hold this dialogue every two years is unacceptable, as is their position on the modalities and frequency of the meetings, in particular with regard to the strengthening of the civil society segment and the involvement of civil society in the dialogue. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy must make every effort to ensure that the human rights dialogue is more effective and result-oriented. I am voting in favour.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The situation in Tibet is incomprehensible, and the international community, in particular the EU, cannot remain indifferent to what is happening there. Any attack on the rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens should be condemned the world over. The EU must send a clear message to China that it cannot continue to undermine the rights of Tibetans without suffering the necessary consequences.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. − European Parliament insists that the authorities of the People’s Republic of China respect the freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of belief of the Tibetans.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) To begin with, it must be stated that respect for human rights and the right to free expression of one’s identity and culture, as well as respect for religious freedom and freedom of association, are the fundamental principles of the European Union and its foreign policy. This makes it all the more tragic that the authorities in the People’s Republic of China are allegedly guilty of torture in Tibetan prisons, using beating and electric shock as methods for extracting confessions. Such things should not be allowed to happen in this day and age. It is important that the strategic partnership between the EU and China should be based, among other things, on common principles and values. One possible measure would be that the EU should let it be known during discussions with China that it rejects the continued harsh treatment of Tibetan monasteries by the Chinese state authorities and should press the Chinese Government to guarantee the religious freedom of the people of Tibet and all of its citizens. Another step would be to ask the Chinese state authorities to lift all restrictions and to allow independent media, journalists and human rights observers unimpeded access and freedom of movement throughout Tibet. It would also be important to give the Tibet region autonomy. I have voted in favour of the motion for a resolution, because it clearly supports the rights of Tibetans.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution because, in my opinion, the situation in Tibet is getting worse and the current dialogue between the EU and China on human rights is not effective, in spite of the fact that both the European Parliament and the High Representative have on more than one occasion expressed concern over the Chinese authorities’ restrictions on freedom, religion and the right of assembly, deportations, arbitrary detentions, the growing number of self-immolation cases and other human rights violations. However, a formal exchange of opinions on its own is not enough; therefore I agree entirely that one of the main tasks of the future EU Special Representative for Human Rights must be to ensure that the EU pays constant attention to the situation in Tibet and to inform the institutions of the situation. I also welcome the appointment of an EU coordinator on Tibet. China is not only one of the EU’s strategic partners, but is also a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and is accordingly obliged to develop the values contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both globally and in internal policies. In order to become a modern power the authorities of Communist China must learn to deal with their internal fears and recognise Tibetans as equal Chinese citizens, whom the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China guarantees rights of autonomy. The culture and religion of Tibet that have been developing for thousands of years must be protected as a unique cultural heritage of humanity and its unhindered continuity must be guaranteed.

 
  
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  Kristiina Ojuland (ALDE), in writing. I voted in favour of the resolution on the situation in Tibet. During the three years of this mandate we have adopted three urgency resolutions relating to the human rights situation in Tibet, yet the debate on Tuesday was the first debate with a statement by the High Representative. I consider it a step forward in addressing the human rights crisis in Tibet that we have been witnessing over decades and decades. I also urge the High Representative to appoint a special coordinator on Tibet as outlined in the resolution. The policies of the Peoples' Republic of China impact the economy, environment, society, demographics, culture and religion in Tibet, while also bearing consequences to the neighbouring countries. By appointing a special coordination on Tibet the EU would be better able to give the region the attention that it deserves. I am very disappointed that the High Representative disregarded the main points of the resolution in her statement, which was simply feeble in comparison with the position of the European Parliament.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) This resolution on the human rights situation in Tibet follows the dialogue which took place between EU and China on 29 May 2012. This dialogue has not resulted in any significant improvement in the human rights situation in that territory, as the Chinese authorities continue to impose restrictive security measures that curtail freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of belief. The aim is therefore to increase and step up efforts to tackle the human rights situation of the Tibetan people. Moreover, the EU is to ask the Chinese authorities to grant genuine autonomy to the territory for historical and cultural reasons. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The protest at Ngaba on 16 March 2008 reminds us of the death of more than 200 Tibetans and the thousands injured and arrested by the Chinese authorities, who by means of violent repression stifled the voices of Tibetan protestors calling for Tibetan independence. In light of these events and so that these violations of human rights are not repeated, I support the call to confirm that the Strategic Partnership between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China should be based on shared principles and values, as well as the call to intensify efforts to address the Tibetan people’s human rights situation in the framework of the EU-China human rights dialogue. I also support the rightful governance begun by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and transferred to the current democratically elected Kalon Tripa of the Central Tibetan Administration, which aims at full autonomy for the Tibetan people within the People’s Republic of China and within the framework of the Chinese Constitution.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The situation in Tibet is continuing to deteriorate due to the total lack of respect for freedom of identity, culture, religion and association. The EU-China Human Rights Dialogue has not yet proven fruitful, as democratic abuses are continuing in Tibet. Together with the international community, the EU should continue its efforts to reach a consensus that protects the Tibetan people. One of the main goals of the future EU Special Representative for Human Rights should be the political resolution of the Tibetan question and the implementation of the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy. I categorically condemn the actions of the People’s Republic of China and the constant violation of human rights in Tibet.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. The EP Resolution calls for respect of human rights in Tibet where repression from the Republic of China is still going on since the 2008 protest. China has been applying since then restrictive security measures that curtail freedom of expression, religion and belief; the number of detained people and political prisoners is still rising as well as the use of torture methods to obtain confessions from prisoners. The EP highlights that the Strategic Partnership EU-China should be based on common shared principles and values and calls on the authorities of China to grant autonomy to the historical territory of Tibet, respecting their own culture and human rights. The EP welcomes the democratisation process in Tibet.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This motion for a resolution makes points with which we disagree and is based on assumptions that do not strictly correspond with reality. The majority in Parliament implicitly continue to refer to Tibet as a territory occupied by China, when the powers instigating and supporting separatist movements in this autonomous region are undermining the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China. It is worth remembering that Tibet has been united, to varying degrees, with China since the 13th century, and that at the time of the Chinese Revolution in 1949, Tibet was ruled by a feudal regime in which the majority of the population consisted of serfs and slaves, based heavily on the land and subsistence farming. Moreover, in 1959 a separatist group led by the Dalai Lama launched an armed rebellion to defend this backward feudal serfdom. In the absence of objective or more current data, this resolution goes back to arguments that have been made in the past and makes new ones in order to continue with its confrontational and interfering approach to China’s domestic affairs, which is an affront to international law. All of this is a pretext for the majority of Parliament to interfere in China’s domestic affairs. Everything is a pretext to try to encourage destabilisation and impose the geostrategic and economic interests of the EU and its major powers.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0300/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, given that the Single Market Act seeks to reignite the debate on the current state of implementing the 12 key actions to encourage growth and confidence in the single market, and contains 50 proposals set out by the Commission. This resolution concerns the governance of the single market, and the Commission should issue a communication on this matter. This resolution is intended to act as a counterweight for the single market, which is the cornerstone of the success of the EU’s growth strategy. I believe that the completion of the single market can only be successful in driving forward the EU’s growth strategy if it ensures the balanced development of the economy and social, economic and environmental issues.

 
  
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  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL), in writing. With regard to the resolution on the future of the Single Market Act, I abstained on amendment 8 of this report because, while I recognise the very real need to combat tax evasion, I also think that all taxation issues, with regard to both personal and corporation tax, should remain exclusively within the competencies of the individual countries.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The 12 key actions of the Single Market Act have the potential to contribute to the deepening of the single market, thereby leading to the revitalisation of the European economy. Therefore, I think it is necessary to adopt these 12 key actions without delay, and use them as the basis for the next steps towards growth, as recommended in the resolution. I voted in favour of this resolution.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) As Michel Barnier, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services has quite rightly stressed, ‘the 20th anniversary of the single market should be a chance to breathe new life into our single market and to intensify a dialogue with all Europeans on these topics’. It is particularly an issue of reviving growth. We should be careful, though. We are not talking here of ‘growth’ as the French socialists understand it, an empty shell that will only mean ‘public spending’ and that will drag us into a spiral of debt. We want growth based on the deepening of the internal market, innovation and the competitiveness of our companies.

 
  
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  Liam Aylward and Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE), in writing. (GA) We voted in favour of this report and what it says about stimulating economic growth and employment in the European Union. In addition, we strongly support the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance on both national and European levels, but nonetheless we voted against amendment 8 because of what it says about coordinating taxation policies. Taxation is a national competence and the European Commission and the European Parliament must respect that.

A common consolidated corporate tax system would not do anything for the functioning of the single market and could even adversely affect small open economies like Ireland.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The single market is the driving force behind economic growth and employment in the European Union. However, European citizens are still not reaping the full benefit of the single market’s potential. Two objectives should be at the heart of the EU’s growth agenda: strengthening the single market and underpinning it with the right economic governance. Thus this report reiterates the need to reduce the transposition deficit of single market Directives to 0.5% by the end of 2012. It underlines the need to use quickly unspent EU funds on measures to tackle high youth unemployment efficiently. It calls on the Commission to look upon developing the digital single market as a priority, so that consumers have full access to more competitive offers of goods and services. It also stresses the need to foster the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the single market by ensuring access to credit and finance, and advocating the improvement of framework conditions for industry and SMEs, in particular by enhancing the European Investment Bank’s actions to support access to finance. I voted for this report for those reasons.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution because the single market is a key driver for economic growth and employment in the European Union. It has brought tremendous benefits to the citizens of Europe, whilst opening up new opportunities for European businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. In spite of this, Europeans have not yet fully benefited from the potential of the single market in many areas and new incentives are therefore needed, in particular to ensure effective labour mobility across Europe, together with adequate social cohesion, and to facilitate selling and buying across borders. The single market is needed more than ever as a means to revitalise the European economy, by providing a concrete response to the current long-standing crisis, and to ensure the viability of the European project in the long term. Strengthening the single market and underpinning it with the right economic governance should be at the core of the European Union’s growth agenda. The Member States and the European Union institutions should therefore focus on adopting and swiftly implementing the key pieces of legislation on growth, giving priority to tackling youth unemployment and cutting red tape.

 
  
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  Antonio Cancian (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report on the Internal Market Scoreboard because I agree a coordinated and cooperative approach should be promoted in order to boost the functioning of the single market through prompt and complete transposition of EU legislation by Member States. Complete transposition would strengthen the single market and enable it to function more efficiently. I welcome the creation – as suggested by Mr Busuttil – of a body guided by an internal market prosecutor who can operate free from political pressure, tackling and resolving possible infringements. I also agree with the reference to the Internal Market Problem Solving Network (SOLVIT), a very useful tool which allows Member States to work together to resolve issues regarding misuse of internal market rules and I would argue that, for this, we must ensure a good level of financing by Member States in order for it to function as well as possible. Finally, I hope the new tools increase transparency and allow us to understand the reasons for partial or non-transposition by those Member States who do not promptly transpose EU legislation.

 
  
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  Françoise Castex (S&D), in writing.(FR) Parliament has expressed its view on the implementation of the proposals contained in the Single Market Act. By way of a reminder, in April 2011, the Commission presented 50 actions to be carried out by 2014 to build a single market focused on the citizens. In line with the socialists’ amendments to the resolution, I condemn the tenor of the Commission’s recent legislative proposals and communications: a very liberal vision is revealed in the Commission’s proposals, which focus on facilitating business to the detriment of measures aimed at jobs and the citizens. I welcome the fact that Parliament has supported the priorities held by the socialists, such as the rejection of social dumping, the promotion of quality jobs, defence of the social protection model, the fight against tax evasion, but also an ambitious growth initiative based on the social market economy.

 
  
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  Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (PPE), in writing. (SV) I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution, as it focuses on the real economy and the single market as driving forces for growth and jobs. In times of crisis, in particular, we need strong leadership, better implementation of legislation, increased transparency and fewer administrative obstacles. It is important that the Single Market Act’s 12 priority actions are implemented before the end of the year, and I welcome the fact that the Commission is to follow this Act with a Single Market Act II in the autumn. Most importantly, the Services Directive needs to be implemented correctly and we need to make use of the untapped potential for growth within e-commerce and the digital single market. I would also advocate greater flexibility with regard to the recognition of professional qualifications, and I am committed to simplified, flexible and clear rules for public procurement. I also welcome the fact that the Commission attaches a great deal of importance to the retail trade and is following my report on a more efficient and fairer retail market with an action plan as early as this autumn (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-2011-0307&language=EN). I voted against a 28th regime of social security systems at European level, however.

 
  
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  Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Slightly over a year after the adoption of the Single Market Act, the European Union must implement an action programme aimed at improving the functioning of the internal market, along with measures to complete the liberalisation of services. The idea is to rebuild the foundations for growth on the basis of the smoother functioning of the single market. The European Union has much to gain if all of the opportunities of the single market are used effectively in the fields of energy, transport, retail, research and development, labour mobility and financial services. Correct, timely implementation of the existing legislation and measures, alongside the reduction of administrative burdens and useless laws, would boost economic growth. It is therefore a question of making what we already have work properly.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) In 2012, the single market will be 20 years old, and several tools and instruments have been developed as steps towards its completion over that time. It is also undeniable today that the single market is a driving force behind economic growth and employment in the European Union. Especially in this time of serious economic and financial crisis, the internal market is the best tool we have to restore growth to the EU’s economies; it should be put to use properly, effectively and decisively. It is essential to put the internal market at the service of Europe’s people and businesses, so as to boost the European economy, create jobs and improve competitiveness.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The present economic and financial crisis is obliging us to be diligent and seek out any means and resources that may help us reach our goal. To this end, we need a strategy that will lead to a stronger Europe with more solidarity, constructing not only a monetary and economic union, but also a banking union, as advocated by the President of the Commission. The existence of a single internal market underpins the creation of the European Union, and we must take the necessary steps to make it work better. It is not enough to say that the internal market is part of the EU; we must be able to harness its potential for growth. It is therefore imperative that the Member States be able to make use of the adopted Directives and transpose them into national law. Legislation that is not enforced is not only useless but harmful, as it deprives the citizens of their rights. I welcome the 12 measures for growth and employment presented here, along with all the efforts made to put the internal market at the service of Europe’s businesses and people. I also welcome the agreement reached on this matter, as it has enabled the tabling of a joint resolution by all of the political groups, for which I voted.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This resolution, by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, features the usual spiel about the virtues of the single market. As usual, it adds that the Member States should promote, develop and improve the application of single market legislation. It advocates that the Commission should swiftly and severely penalise Member States in breach of single market legislation. It then goes on to advocate an end to ‘protectionist economic attitudes in Member States’, the complete implementation of the Services Directive, the application of new legislation on public procurement, the implementation of the Single European Sky II and the privatisation of rail transport. That is, it calls for the doors to be opened to the colonisation of new and promising markets by big business in Europe, including and in particular, at present, the services sector. We agree on one point: that free competition in the single market is a cornerstone of this integration process. In the treaties and in practice, this sacrosanct principle outweighs any other, including social rights. We are therefore opposed to this process, and have, naturally, voted against this report.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) The single market is one of the key drivers of economic growth and employment in the European Union. However, in many areas, Europeans have not yet fully benefited from its potential. For this reason among others, new incentives are needed, in particular to ensure effective labour mobility across Europe, together with adequate social cohesion, and to facilitate selling and buying across borders. The current economic downturn and the re-emergence of protectionist economic attitudes in Member States have threatened some of the most visible successes of the European integration process. At present, the Single Market is needed more than ever as a means to revitalise the European economy. The Single Market Act itself is the result of a broad inter-institutional and stakeholder consultation process. I think that the immediate priority should be the adoption of the 12 key actions of the Single Market Act, especially those which will facilitate completion of the digital single market, wherever possible, by the end of 2012. I believe that it is important to maintain the momentum achieved with the Single Market Act. It should be a rolling programme to be updated and reviewed annually, and it should also address the EU’s socio-economic problems and work towards a market that is at the service of citizens.

 
  
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  Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE), in writing. (HU) In order for us to be able to effectively boost EU economic growth by creating the necessary political and economic conditions, we must support the single market. This is necessary to ensure that the single market can develop appropriately and can meet the changing conditions and challenges of the global economy. The internal market currently comprises 27 Member States, and therefore paints a far more diverse picture than when it was created. It should therefore be transformed from a system of EU internal projects into an effective tool, allowing the EU to become more competitive compared to the rest of the world. This is the way to strengthen territorial, economic and social cohesion and implement the goals set out in the Lisbon strategy. In my opinion the European Commission and the Member States should draw up targets related to qualifications and increased employment for the future single market. Besides achieving a higher degree of independence and accountability for regions, programmes aimed at increasing professional qualification will thus be better able to adapt to the demands of both regional and local labour markets, enabling the regions themselves to deal with specific challenges more easily. The motion for a resolution incorporates these goals, and I therefore voted for it.

 
  
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  Brice Hortefeux (PPE), in writing.(FR) European citizens are at the heart of our institutions’ concerns. The completion of the single market should make their daily lives easier. It was with this objective in mind that Commissioner Barnier proposed the Single Market Act in 2010, which was complemented in 2011 with 12 levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence in Europe. On Wednesday 13 June, Commissioner Barnier presented the Commission’s intentions with regard to the Single Market Act to MEPs during a plenary sitting of the European Parliament. A second Single Market Act will be presented in September this year. Within the framework of the preparation of this new document, Parliament has made the following observations, which I fully support: cut administrative burdens and modernise our administrations, put the sectors which have a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens and consumers back at the centre of our actions, give priority to tackling youth unemployment and promote SMEs and their essential contribution to economic growth.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because the European single market has brought tremendous benefits to the citizens of Europe, whilst opening up new opportunities for European businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. This market is a key driver for economic growth and employment in the European Union. We must ensure effective labour mobility across Europe, together with adequate social cohesion, and facilitate selling and buying across borders. The single market must not be seen in isolation from policy areas like health, social and consumer protection, labour law, the environment, sustainable development and external policies, as well as the implementation of the EU 2020 strategy. The current economic downturn in Member States has threatened some of the most visible achievements of the European integration process, which means that it is necessary to achieve the objectives originally set by the Services Directive, in the meantime avoiding damage to traditional economical sectors. The single market is needed more than ever as a means to revitalise the European economy, by providing a concrete response to the current long-standing crisis, and to ensure the viability of the European project. The Member States and the EU institutions should agree on a binding calendar, and on the concrete measures needed to enforce the single market legislation and to abolish all remaining unjustified obstacles to the free circulation of goods, services and workers. The Member States and the EU institutions should focus on adopting and swiftly implementing the key pieces of legislation on growth, giving priority to tackling youth unemployment and cutting red tape.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the resolution on the Single Market Act: The Next Steps to Growth. This resolution is essential as it invites the Commission to propose a ‘Growth initiative’, which is needed to open up the single market more and to free up growth in the European Union. The resolution also calls on the Commission to adopt, by the end of 2012, the levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence in Europe.

 
  
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  Sandra Kalniete (PPE), in writing. (LV) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution, as I believe it is necessary for the Commission and the Member States to clearly demonstrate once more Parliament’s priorities and the significant role that will be played in restoring growth in Europe by concrete steps for the consolidation of a truly single market. The single market has given huge benefits to all Europeans and has opened up new growth possibilities for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises and enterprises from the small Member States. Therefore the consolidation of the single market facilitates not only economic growth, but also balanced development in Europe, and allows for a faster increase in the standard of living in those European countries that were still unfree even relatively recently. The current crisis and the instincts of protectionism that it spurs threaten the European project. That is why the single market is needed more than ever before, as it will allow us to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project of a united Europe.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing. – (PL) In common with the rest of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, I voted for this motion for a resolution. The European Single Market has brought tremendous benefits to the citizens of Europe whilst opening up new opportunities for European businesses. In a time of economic crisis, the EU’s priority should be to abolish all of the unjustified obstacles there still are to the free flow of goods, services and workers. I also believe there is a need to act rapidly to use any EU funds available to reduce youth unemployment. It is very important to step up the European Investment Bank’s actions to support access to finance. It is also important to foster research and innovation and to make better use of available EU funds to support projects which stimulate economic growth.

 
  
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  Jan Kozłowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on the future of the Single Market Act, in view of the following aspects in particular: further deepening of the Single Market is needed to increase the competitiveness of European markets and to implement the EU 2020 strategy. I am convinced that regulations supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly significant in this regard. This sector plays a key role in the economic development of Europe, it accounts for 67% of total employment, and it has a significant impact on the growth of competitiveness and innovation. The incomplete implementation of the Small Business Act means, however, that these enterprises still face significant bureaucratic burdens, problems in accessing sources of finance and barriers to market entry. Yet it is worth underlining the progress made in the Member States’ implementation of relevant legislation, and the resulting gradual improvement in the situation.

I hope that the proposals in the Single Market Act II will succeed once and for all in removing barriers to the operation of small and medium-sized enterprises, and accordingly I have decided to vote in favour of the resolution.

 
  
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  Edvard Kožušník (ECR), in writing. (CS) I would like to begin by congratulating you, Commissioner, on your strategy for improving the administration of the single market. In my opinion, this strategy, together with the Single Market Act and Mario Monti's strategy on the internal market, is the best thing to happen to the EU since the approval of the Single Europe Act in the 1980s. I am well known for my opposition to deeper political integration being prescribed from on high by European politicians. It is no secret that I prefer gradual and natural integration based on a voluntary deepening of economic ties, the removal of discriminatory legislation and bureaucratic obstacles, a broader spectrum in respect of the free movement of services, a digital market without borders, freedom to relocate company head offices and consistent enforcement of the application of European law underpinning the free market. All of this is based on the measures that you have presented to us, Commissioner. They may be an effective cure for some of the Union’s current ills. I would like, however, to ask one question: Why is it only now that the Commission has agreed to rigorous enforcement of the legislation? For example, Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market has been in force since 2009. We could have avoided many problems.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The single market is, undoubtedly, a main asset of our international competitiveness. The progress of the single market and further development of the regions are complementary and jointly create a powerful Europe characterised by cohesion and competitiveness. In this respect, I wish to highlight the particularly important role played by regional policy in the integration of the single market. I think that increased accessibility for every single region in the European Union is an absolute prerequisite for a dynamic and powerful single market. I would like to highlight above all the situation of the new Member States, where the level of accessibility is still low. Support for infrastructure investments and upgrades will help boost the competitiveness of regions lagging behind and ensure a smooth functioning of the internal market. This will significantly improve the overall competitiveness of the whole European Union.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution which believes that the external dimension of the single market needs to be reinforced, in particular by enhancing cooperation in the field of international standardisation, and that synergies achievable between the Union’s internal and external economic policies, namely between the single market and trade, should be pursued.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing. (FR) By removing the obstacles to the free movement of goods and capital, the single market underpins European economic growth. It is essential that all of the measures to open up the single market be implemented and applied correctly. Similarly, administrative burdens must be limited in order to boost growth: we have set Member States the objective of cutting administrative burdens by 25% by 2015. Finally, I support the use of unspent EU funds to tackle youth unemployment.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution. However, I abstained on Amendment 8. Whilst I support measures to assist in the fight against the evasion and avoidance of tax at national and European level, I do not support references to a harmonised EU taxation policy since taxation policy matters are a Member State competence.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) A market of 500 million people needs to be tapped. The single market has undergone massive change over the years, and has been perfecting itself. It is undeniably one of the main tools for helping Europe out of this crisis, which has been going on for too long. If this tool is put to good use, we will be able to take another major step towards overcoming this long crisis.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. Since the completion of the Single Market, based on a balanced development of the economic, social and environmental dimensions, represents a formidable drive for a successful growth strategy for the EU, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The European market, known as the internal market, was founded on the four fundamental freedoms – freedom of movement for persons, goods, services and capital – and has been extended through the consolidation of economic integration, the introduction of a common currency, and the implementation of cohesion policy. The undeniable benefits of the internal market are of vital importance for Europe’s economic growth, which is why further expansion is both desirable and necessary. After all, there are 20 million enterprises throughout the EU, accounting for 175 million jobs and supplying 500 million consumers in the EU alone. I am voting against the motion for a resolution because, although economic growth is undoubtedly important in rescuing Europe from the economic doldrums, a confederation of allied European states as already largely set down in the Treaty of Maastricht would be quite sufficient for this. In addition, national interests are being sacrificed to the mania for European centralisation, subjecting the public to a policy of merciless austerity.

 
  
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  Claudio Morganti (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted against this motion for a resolution because I cannot accept that the single market can be depicted as Europe’s finest achievement, which should only have brought about benefits for all. The reality is unfortunately very different, and the single market has often only helped large multinational companies expand their turnovers; conversely, for other sectors such as goods and services the rules imposed by Brussels have brought about few advantages and many problems. I refer in particular to the hundreds of very small businesses – often run by families – working in the sector of seaside establishments who are still under threat due to implementation of the infamous ‘Services Directive’, which we alone have opposed ever since it was adopted. Other groups, such as itinerant market traders, have had the same problems. All that leads me to say that the single market may perhaps have created some benefits, but there are still many critical issues and problems to be resolved.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this motion for a resolution and would highlight the request made to the Commission and the Member States to coordinate their fiscal policies properly as part of the fight against fraud and tax evasion at national and European level, in order to prevent disruption to the functioning of the single market, ensure a level playing field for competition between businesses and citizens, and ensure sound public finances.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The single market is the driving force behind economic growth and employment in the European Union. However, Europeans have not reaped the full benefits of the single market’s potential in many areas, so new incentives are needed, in particular to ensure effective labour mobility across Europe, together with adequate social cohesion, and to facilitate buying and selling across borders. The Single Market Act should therefore consider the EU’s socioeconomic problems and should work towards a market that is at the service of citizens, benefiting both consumers and businesses. It should also make its priorities the development of the digital single market, so that consumers have full access to more competitive offers of goods and services, and foster the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the single market by ensuring access to credit and financing, in particular by enhancing the European Investment Bank’s actions in this area. I therefore voted for this resolution.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) The Single European Model must find a concrete outlet: Europe must aim for an inclusive, competitive and safe market, all of which is good for its citizens. Real, sustainable and lasting growth must take into account the rights of producers, workers and investors as well as citizens and consumers.

 
  
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  Matteo Salvini (EFD), in writing. (IT) The motion for a resolution, which is the result of the work carried out by the members of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, is very interesting and contains references which I believe will be useful in helping the Commission understand possible future single market scenarios. However I voted against the resolution because I believe there are premises in the text that are wrong. Rating the single market too highly as a solution to the crisis or claiming that its completion would automatically lead to growth throughout the Union means saying things that are not true. Our companies need the single market, but the reasons for the crisis are to be found elsewhere and are much more deep-seated and serious.

 
  
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  Christel Schaldemose (S&D), in writing. (DA) On behalf of the four Danish Social Democrats in the European Parliament (Dan Jørgensen, Christel Schaldemose, Britta Thomsen and Ole Christensen). We voted in favour of the resolution on the single market of the future. The resolution contains important proposals on the modernisation and development of the single market. We gave our backing to a long list of amendments, but not to the amendment concerning tax. Obviously, we support the prevention of tax evasion and tax havens, but we would like to stress that we do not see increased harmonisation as a viable way forward. Tax remains a matter for the Member States.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The end of 2012 will mark the 20th anniversary of the birth of the single market. The creation of the single market with the opening of our borders has been one of Europe’s main engines of growth throughout the last two decades. The globalisation and technological evolution of recent years have, however, generated new challenges for the European Union. Reducing the bureaucratic burden is one of the goals that the Union has always pursued but has not been done sufficiently to date. Europe needs an accelerated procedure to remedy this well-known problem. In that respect I also think that another single market agreement would be useful, like the one proposed by the Commission, which would streamline the international cooperation and exchange procedures aimed at pursuing shared growth.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) It was important for the Single Market Act to include a programme dealing with social and consumer protection that results in the inclusion of a social clause in all legislative acts related to the internal market, legislation on services of general economic interest and a legislative programme aimed at strengthening workers’ rights. This is a resolution that can still be improved, being the result of tough negotiations. This is just one stage and there is still a long way to go, but it is encouraging.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The single European market is immensely beneficial for EU citizens and allows the creation of new business opportunities, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises. It is essential for economic growth and the promotion of employment within Europe, and should not, therefore, be considered in isolation from other European policies. Now more than ever, the completion of the single market is necessary to stimulate the European economy and thus provide a concrete and adequate response to the current crisis. The Single Market Act is strategically important in this respect, since it is imperative, as Parliament states in this document, that the Commission make detailed and relevant proposals by spring 2013 on the 12 levers contained in the Act.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the motion for a resolution on ‘Single Market Act: The Next Steps to Growth’. I voted for Amendment 2 which stresses that a balanced EU system of economic governance should be based on complementing legislation on both fiscal discipline and growth and public investment. A ‘Growth Regulation’, laying down rules and procedures for the monitoring and surveillance of national public investment spending, should complement existing fiscal rules regulating public deficit and debt. I voted for Amendment 7 which urges the Commission to take legislative measures to protect consumers’ economic interests and provide redress in the field of retail financial services, with the aim of safeguarding small investors and allowing private savings to be safely invested for the benefit of consumers and the European economy at large. I voted for Amendment 8 which stresses the importance of combating tax fraud and tax evasion at national and European level. We call on the Commission and the Member States to coordinate taxation policies adequately in order to avoid distortion in the functioning of the single market, ensure sound public finances, and guarantee a level playing field for businesses and citizens.

 
  
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  Rafał Trzaskowski (PPE), in writing. – (PL) Deepening the single market by improving the implementation of existing laws and removing the remaining barriers, as well as by harnessing the digital market which holds enormous potential for the EU, is one of the most obvious and effective responses to the economic crisis.

 
  
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  Derek Vaughan (S&D), in writing. I support Parliament’s call in this resolution for existing laws and measures on the single market to be implemented properly. Single-market opportunities, when used effectively in areas such as energy, transport, retail, research and development, and labour mobility could have a positive impact on economic growth as well as bringing significant benefits to consumers. The resolution, which has my backing, calls for a yearly report that will show where consumers and businesses can benefit from the single market and where barriers still exist that stop consumers from buying what they want, for example, while Internet shopping.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. The European Commission stated that the single market implementation continues to face hurdles. In 2011, the EC published the Single Market Act in order to complete the single market and with the clear view of boosting growth and confidence in the internal market and creating jobs in the current crisis context. The Commission proposed 12 measures to address some of the remaining obstacles to the free circulation of goods, services, capital and people. Although the Council welcomed the proposal of the EC, some questions remain uncertain. The EP welcomed the Commission's initiatve and called for stricter action to reduce the target deficit for transposition and compliance in national legislation.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This whole motion for a resolution lauds the virtues of the single market, stressing that the Member States should promote, develop and improve the implementation of single market legislation. The resolution also advocates that the Commission move ‘swiftly and vigorously’ to impose penalties on Member States in breach of single market legislation. The resolution calls for an end to ‘protectionist economic attitudes in Member States’, the strengthening of the single market, for it to be underpinned by ‘the right economic governance’, the complete implementation of the Services Directive, the implementation of new legislation on public procurement, the implementation of the Single European Sky II and the privatisation of rail transport. While the resolution also sets out ‘the need to quickly use unspent EU funds for measures tackling efficiently high youth unemployment’, it completely ignores the fact that it was the very growth and implementation of the single market and the colonisation of more vulnerable economies that has constituted a major cause of the rise in unemployment. We voted against.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0299/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this motion for a resolution, although I believe that it should have contained an explicit reference to the need to involve employees in corporate governance if there is a real desire to develop the model of these companies. It is therefore necessary at the very outset to clarify and make transparent the legal ownership of company structures.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) Our single market is an area of free movement for our companies. However, this large market is, above all, made up of small and medium-sized enterprises. Following the consultation on company law, we have identified the main points that we need to consider. We must facilitate companies’ cross-border operations and improve the transnational merger system and the measures on cross-border divisions. The issue regarding the codification of company law is also on the table. We have to create a European corporate governance model that reflects our values.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU regulatory framework for company law and corporate governance should reflect the growing trend for European companies to operate across borders within the EU and the continuing integration of European markets. The overall objective is to enable businesses in Europe to compete more effectively and to achieve greater success in a highly competitive global environment, while ensuring appropriate protection of the interests of creditors, shareholders, members and employees. In order to serve the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, this motion for a resolution calls upon the Commission to make further efforts towards the adoption of the Private Company Statute, which could take full account of the interests of all stakeholders. It reiterates its request that the Commission table a legislative proposal laying down measures designed to facilitate cross-border mobility for European companies. It urges the Commission to present an action plan indicating the way forward after the consultation, which should outline short-, medium- and long-term initiatives to improve the regulatory framework for EU company law. I voted for this report for those reasons.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this European Parliament resolution because the main objective of the resolution on the future of European company law is to enable businesses in Europe to compete more effectively and to achieve greater success in a highly competitive global environment, while ensuring appropriate protection of the interests of creditors, shareholders, members and employees. However, the financial crisis has demonstrated the need for a clearer corporate governance framework, which focuses more strongly on stakeholder participation. There is untapped potential in company legal forms at European level that should be further explored, developed and promoted. Cross-border mobility for companies should also be facilitated. Future initiatives should be compatible with national corporate governance systems and national laws on worker involvement. Any legislative proposal put forward should be based on an impact assessment taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, including investors, owners, creditors and employees, in full compliance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. (CS) I would like to note that, under the programme of better regulation adopted by the Commission, legislation should be clearer and more accessible, and the Commission should therefore codify EU company law with the aim of providing a user-friendly group of rules and ensuring the cohesion of EU law. Within the framework of company law, however, it is necessary to take account of the issues of conflicts of law, and the proposal in this area should serve as a springboard for further work on the rules regulating conflicts of law in the case of cross-border business operations. The Commission must submit an action plant which would outline the short-term, medium-term and long-term initiatives leading to a better regulatory framework for EU company law. The short-term initiatives should include a fourteenth directive on company law and measures to improve the EU framework for administering and managing businesses, while the medium-term initiatives should include a ninth directive on company law, for example, and the long-term initiatives should include codification of EU company law.

 
  
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  Andrea Češková (ECR), in writing. (CS) I voted in favour, since I take the view that, for the single market to function, it is important to prepare conditions for companies that will be adapted to current developments in cross-border trade and changes in the business environment. I support measures that will make it easy for firms to operate on foreign markets, and which will enable them to operate on the territory of a Member State other than their home state. I am also in favour of the measures facilitating a system for cross-border operations. At the same time, I would like to point out that space should be left for retaining specific differences in the domestic legislation of individual Member States.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) In the current European context characterised by a rapid and continuous evolution, the growing trend of European companies to operate across borders within the EU and the further integration of European markets should be encouraged and supported. We should not forget that the EU’s objective is to enable companies in the EU to compete in the global environment, while ensuring appropriate protection of the interests of their creditors, shareholders, members and employees.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The smooth functioning of the internal market largely depends on European company law. For that very reason, the recent public consultation on the future of European company law launched by the Commission is to be welcomed, as it should indicate the way forward through initiatives to simplify the business environment for companies in the area of company law. The objectives to pursue should be reducing unnecessary administrative burdens, enabling companies to operate effectively within the single market, and ensuring appropriate protection of the interests of creditors, shareholders, members and employees.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This motion for a resolution, tabled further to a question for oral answer asked by Mr Lehne on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs, concerns the future of European company law. We are all aware that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a vital role in helping us to overcome the crisis. Everything that we can do to revitalise, strengthen and promote the growth of these companies should be done. I therefore welcome the proposal to draw up an action plan on European company law, drafted with the involvement of employees, who I am sure will make an essential contribution towards the construction and consolidation of the single market. By regulating and facilitating companies’ cross-border operations, we are promoting growth and competitiveness in the business sector. As many as 21 million SMEs will benefit from these measures, and we will all reap the rewards. I voted for this motion, and I would urge the Commission to move forward with other measures such as codifying EU company law, using the Internet and putting a stop to bureaucracy, and European private company law.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This motion for a resolution is based on, inter alia, the Single Market Act and the resolution on aspects of private and business law, etc, which are covered in the Stockholm Programme. Its objective is to create an EU regulatory framework which will facilitate cross-border operation for companies, in particular the cross-border transfer of company head offices, and their further integration into the single market and European markets, thereby enabling more effective competition and ensuring the protection of creditors, shareholders, members and, only lastly, employees. We do not underestimate the practical problems being experienced by companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises that operate in more than one country; it is certainly important to find a better solution for them. However, the whole philosophy of this report goes beyond a response to this need, instead pressing ahead with proposals such as the adoption of the Private Company Statute, with which we cannot agree.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) The EU regulatory framework for company law and corporate governance needs to be adapted to reflect the growing trend for European companies to operate across borders within the EU and the continuing integration of European markets. The overall objective is to enable businesses in Europe to compete more effectively and to achieve greater success in a highly competitive global environment, while ensuring appropriate protection of the interests of creditors, shareholders, members and employees. I believe that any future initiatives should be compatible with national corporate governance systems and national laws on worker involvement, while striving for increased flexibility and freedom of choice in respect of company forms, internal distribution of powers and sustainable company strategies. It was the financial crisis that demonstrated the need for a clear corporate governance framework that focuses more strongly on stakeholder participation. I firmly believe that EU company forms supplementing the existing forms available under national law have considerable potential and should be further developed and promoted.

 
  
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  Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE), in writing. (HU) I supported the motion for a resolution because I, too, believe that setting company law right would facilitate the development of enterprises on an EU-wide scale, which is in the interest of both shareholders and consumers. The field of application of company law is changing, and therefore we must also consider how best to adapt the regulatory framework to this change. I believe that at this point our primary objective should be to promote the mobility of European Union companies. The reason behind this is that we must avoid a situation where legislation adopted in the future impedes the functioning of the internal market. I would like to point out that we should further simplify the procedures and requirements applicable to service providers on the internal market, because this would facilitate considerably the elimination of legal and administrative barriers. This is based on my belief that by making it easier to found European companies and facilitating companies’ cross-border activities we are doing a great deal to improve the competitiveness of European economy. Company law has played a fundamental role in the implementation of the single market, but it needs to be further examined and reviewed to determine whether the existing regulatory framework still suits the social needs of the twenty-first century and the changes in the economic environment.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because the EU regulatory framework for company law and corporate governance needs to be adapted to reflect the growing trend for European companies to operate across borders within the EU and the continuing integration of European markets. The overall objective is to enable businesses in Europe to compete more effectively and to achieve greater success in a highly competitive global environment, while ensuring appropriate protection of the interests of creditors, shareholders, members and employees. However, any future initiatives should be compatible with national corporate governance systems and national laws on worker involvement, while striving for increased flexibility and freedom of choice in respect of company forms, internal distribution of powers and sustainable company strategies. There is untapped potential in company legal forms at European level that should be further explored, developed and promoted. The financial crisis has demonstrated the need for a clearer corporate governance framework, which focuses more strongly on stakeholder participation.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) Given the growing trend for European companies to operate across borders, we must urgently adapt our EU regulatory framework for company law and corporate governance. In plenary, Parliament has adopted a resolution urging the Commission to quickly present an action plan. This action plan should outline short-, medium- and long-term initiatives to improve the regulatory framework for European company law.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing. – (PL) In common with the rest of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution because I welcome the public consultation on the future of European company law launched by the Commission. I am very pleased that we have taken as our starting point the statement that our fundamental objective is to enable European businesses to compete more effectively in the global environment. We have also correctly noted that cross-border mobility for companies should be facilitated. As Members of the European Parliament, we are therefore awaiting the results of the Commission’s consultation on the future of European company law.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The initiation of a single EU company law instrument encourages wider business cooperation between these companies and provides a clearer framework for the creation of new companies. As regards the issue of company operation, I believe that, at this point, we need to focus on proposing European accounting and auditing standards that simplify company formation and operation procedures, particularly in the case of SMEs, and apply consistently throughout the EU. It is well known that in some countries company formation procedures are time-consuming and costly, while in other countries they may take only one day and are significantly less expensive. Such discrepancies are unacceptable, given that we are aiming at economic unity at European Union level. At the same time, the simplification of procedures would also entail a reduction in the costs borne by SMEs for the preparation of elaborate financial statements, which, in turn, would be more easily understood and interpreted by stakeholders.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution which suggests that the Commission resume its work on the Ninth Company Law Directive on groups of companies in order to provide a regulatory framework for this common form of business association. It believes that there is no need for fully harmonised European corporate legislation on groups, but rather a need for a set of common rules on, inter alia, the protection of subsidiaries and stakeholders and greater transparency as regards legal and ownership structure.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) Without an effective internal market, the chances of us getting out of the crisis are rapidly reducing. However, the effectiveness of the internal market largely depends on European company law. In view of this, the Commission has done well to hold a public consultation on the future of European company law, which should show the way forward through initiatives to simplify the business environment for companies in the area of company law. Several important ideas came out of the conclusions of that consultation, in particular the attempt to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens, to enable companies to operate effectively within the single market, and to ensure appropriate protection of the interests of creditors, shareholders, members and employees.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. I support the report because any new proposals from the Commission on Company law matters must respect employee participation and ensure greater transparency in the legal and ownership structures of companies.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The European Commission’s action plan on company law mainly aims to guarantee freedom of establishment for businesses throughout the EU, to enhance performance and competitiveness among businesses and to promote cross-border cooperation between businesses in different Member States. The move towards the Europeanisation of accounting and capital market law is closely linked to European company law. Although European accounting law encompasses a range of common principles, allowing various elective rights, it is still far from achieving full harmonisation. I am voting against this resolution because I believe that the transposition of the Company Law Directive is the next step towards joint financial and capital union in which the needs of individual states, as well as economic and social needs and principles, will play a much more subordinate role.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this motion for a resolution, and I would reemphasise that the future of European company law should be based on an impact assessment taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, including investors, owners, creditors and employees, in full compliance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The current EU regulatory framework for company law and corporate governance should be adapted to reflect the growing trend for European companies to operate across borders within the EU and the continuing integration of European markets, so as to enable more effective competition between European companies. In order to serve the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, this report, for which I voted, calls upon the Commission to make further efforts with a view to the adoption of the Private Company Statute, which could take full account of the interests of all stakeholders. I voted in favour because I consider European-level company law to have untapped potential, which should be explored, developed and promoted.

 
  
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  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing. (FR) This motion for a resolution, which I support, follows on from the consultation carried out by the Commission on the future of European company law. We should remember that this is currently incomplete and that it complements the company law of the Member States. Its unfinished nature may dissuade companies from setting up shop in another Member State of the European Union or from carrying out their activities there, thus preventing them from taking full advantage of the internal market. We are therefore urging the Commission to continue its work on the 14th Company Law Directive on the cross-border transfer of company seats in order to facilitate mobility for companies in Europe. However, in this regard, I would stress that the national connecting factors should not be called into question. As regards the regulatory framework for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the European Private Company proposal must be concluded. This proposal, which forms part of the Small Business Act, could encourage the economic development of SMEs and, more broadly, of unlisted companies, by offering them a single statute and uniform organisation that is relatively independent of national legislation. The key will be to strike a balance between the flexibility of the model selected and its degree of harmonisation in order to guarantee its attractiveness whilst avoiding ‘law shopping’ between Member States.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) The single market can only benefit from the prospect of a truly European company law, able to offer an action plan with clear and accessible rules. This must be implemented above all for small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up more than 90% of all European businesses. Europe needs a single market in which companies can move without bureaucratic restrictions in the same way as their employees.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) Company law can act as a driver for development of the single market, which is currently stagnant and succumbing to the obvious crisis that hit Europe in 2008. Today more than ever this area of law needs structural reform. A plan of action is needed where there are clear and accessible rules, where the issues of simplification of bureaucracy are very evident, where company law is at the service of small and medium-sized enterprises, which today make up more than 90% of Europe’s companies. In this respect it is crucial to restore confidence in the Commission’s work to modernise the structure of company law while not losing sight of the continuing changes in global markets.

 
  
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  József Szájer (PPE), in writing. (HU) We must create a company law framework for the European Union that is in line with current trends, but must respect national company forms when doing so. The EU regulatory framework for company law and corporate management must be reformed, given that more and more European companies pursue cross-border activities. With the adoption of this resolution our intention is to put pressure on the Commission to finally put forward long-awaited proposals such as the Fourteenth Company Law Directive on the transfer of the company seat, or the statute of European insurance associations. Our general objective is to enable the European business sector to be more competitive and more successful in a highly competitive global environment.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) European company law is key to completing the internal market and the evolution and growth of cross-border trade and the integration of the markets, business models and the current situation itself mean we need to apply a clear and transparent legal framework for the natural development of the business environment. Company mobility within the single market is a prerequisite for increasing European competitiveness and for our emergence from the profound crisis we are currently experiencing. I would therefore congratulate the Commission on the initiative it has launched on the future of European company law, which seeks to simplify the business environment for companies by reducing unnecessary administrative obstacles and ensuring protection for the interests of creditors, shareholders, Member States, members and employees. I now hope that these initiatives will have the desired practical effect, and that they will act as a further incentive for the internationalisation of companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. Europe needs a company law framework that is adapted to the needs of the society of today and to the evolution of the economic environment. Up to today, the EU company law has played a central part in building the single market. I supported this report because European company law is crucial to ensure legal certainty, to protect stakeholder's rights and makes it easier for business to develop across the EU.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This resolution is based on, inter alia, the Single Market Act and the resolution on aspects of private and business law which are covered in the Stockholm Programme. Its express objective is to create an EU regulatory framework which will facilitate cross-border operation for companies, in particular the cross-border transfer of company head offices, and their further integration into the single market and European markets, thereby enabling more effective competition and ensuring the protection of creditors, shareholders, members and, only lastly, employees. It proposes the adoption of the Private Company Statute, which minimises the role of the workers in company decisions, and also proposes a legislative initiative laying down measures to facilitate cross-border mobility for companies within the EU, which may be profoundly detrimental to the interests of the Member States and workers.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0275/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this motion for a resolution, as I consider the adoption of an employment package extremely important for the recovery of employment levels. I support a framework European employment strategy as a means of identifying opportunities that might help to create jobs and establish EU funds that may be used as a long-term investment in human capital. I am aware of the importance of this European employment framework. However, I consider it pertinent that this plan can only be achieved if it is coordinated with a European investment plan, a consistent European industrial strategy and investment in public services based on new revenue sources, including the new financial transaction tax and Eurobonds. Investment promoting a sustainable economy, quality jobs and social justice must be prioritised, in order to combat inequality.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) Given the alarming rate of unemployment in Europe, I believe the efforts of decision-makers should focus on creating quality jobs for the citizens of the European Union and especially for young people who are encountering difficulties in finding a job. I support the recommendation addressed to Member States to remove the restrictions on free labour market access to workers from Bulgaria and Romania, in order to put an end to the abuse which takes place and eliminate the negative impact of these restrictions on undeclared and irregular employment. In my opinion, the suggestions made in the resolution can lead to a job-rich recovery. I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the text on a job-rich recovery. Today, we need to be aware that economic activities in Europe are undergoing dramatic change and we need to convert our economy. We want sustainable growth, not the illusory growth advocated by the French socialists, who continue to use economic models from times gone by. Job-rich recovery aims to facilitate entrepreneurial activity, to create new companies and to create new jobs.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Several weeks after having adopted a resolution on youth employment in Europe, today I supported the adoption of the resolution ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’, which goes hand in hand with the question that we are putting to the Commission. Given the millions of jobs lost in Europe since the start of the crisis, what does the Commission intend to do to ensure that wages in the Member States allow citizens to protect themselves against poverty and to create jobs? How is the Commission going to use the studies carried out on the structural cause of unemployment, that is the mismatch between skills and labour market requirements? In this resolution, we recall our commitment to social progress and decent work and we repeat our support for the European Youth Guarantee initiative. Finally, we stress once again the absolute necessity for a ‘European investment pact’ which will allow us to shift from a one-sided fiscal austerity approach towards a more balanced one aimed at creating sustainable growth and jobs in key sectors such as the green economy, health and social services and information and communication technologies, which we urgently need.

 
  
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  Phil Bennion (ALDE), in writing. I worked closely with the shadow on this resolution to call for pro-growth reforms to the labour market to tackle unemployment. I was happy to vote in favour of this resolution having achieved some very sensible compromises making it into a progressive positive position for the EP to take with regard to jobs and growth. It highlights the importance of improving the business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are the cornerstone of employment within the EU. It also touches on the need to support entrepreneurs and self starters in developing new businesses and social enterprises which are vital for global competitiveness. I am really pleased that the focus here is on social enterprises and youth entrepreneurship and I will continue to promote these as much a possible within the Employment committee.

I voted against Amendment 11, which had it been passed would have deleted an important call for reform of European employment legislation in order to increase worker mobility and stimulate job creation. It is crucial that member states take decisive action now to liberalise their labour markets in order to build competitive economies that will deliver sustainable growth in the long term. A sustainable and competitive European economy based on real economic performance not endless public borrowing is the only route to creating jobs and reducing our unemployment rates.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’. The measures mentioned are in line with the objectives of full employment and social cohesion which the European Union urgently needs. They encourage Member States to promote measures in favour of job creation and the reform of the European labour market. Encouraging the recruitment of young people, supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), promoting labour mobility and resolving the issue of the skills mismatch are practical policies that should be implemented quickly. To stimulate job-rich growth, we also need to improve the coordination of collective bargaining and maintain the purchasing power of workers. I particularly support the idea that the fight against poverty must be based on the guarantee of wages that allow people to live with dignity and on the guarantee of equal access to quality universal public and social services.

 
  
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  Françoise Castex (S&D), in writing. (FR) At a time when the Council ought to be discussing a growth initiative, along with the other weighty issues, we need to bear in mind Europeans’ main expectation: keeping a job or finding a new one. The social situation is getting more difficult every day. We are facing the threat of a lost generation: 5.6 million young people are unemployed, that is one young European out of every five. We socialists welcome the Commission’s new attitude towards several issues, such as the minimum wage, which, until now, have been taboo. It is a major issue if we wish to solve the problems of poverty and internal imbalances within the European Union.

 
  
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  Ole Christensen (S&D), in writing. (DA) In respect of paragraph 6, we voted in favour of the proposal. We are not against the idea of the EU considering ways for the Member States to use taxes to boost growth in jobs or increase wages, as long as it is the Member States themselves that have complete control over the ultimate shape of their tax systems.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) The level of growth in the unemployment rate is frightening. Since 2008, around 6 million jobs have been lost in Europe and the prospects for 2012 are even worse, and the EU’s GDP is expected to stagnate, with recessions in several Member States. We must find solutions to end the human tragedy that many people are experiencing, without the necessary means to support their families. Likewise, we must find solutions for the desperation experienced by many young people with no prospect of employment.

The high unemployment level among young people requires a particular approach, with specific EU financial support, which may involve mobilising unspent appropriations from the Structural Funds. I support the idea of creating a European investment pact that may help to propel Europe out of the crisis, ensuring a shift from the restrictive approach of fiscal austerity towards a more balanced one, with concrete proposals at national and European level that encourage investment in key areas, providing sustainable growth and job creation. Only determined action to accelerate the job creation and guarantee a job-rich recovery will enable us to succeed in achieving the Europe 2020 strategy objective of creating around 17.6 million new jobs.

 
  
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  Andrea Cozzolino (S&D), in writing. (IT) It is evident that it will be difficult to achieve the Europe 2020 goals on employment rates, and yet, in the serious crisis we are going through, the strong and effective effort needed to reverse this trend is missing from national reform programmes. Commitment to younger generations has shown no sign of a turnaround, and yet in the discussion on future cohesion policy the Union has the opportunity to specify and introduce performance mechanisms into the regulations being examined by Parliament so that every euro spent under the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) is aimed at creating new, good-quality youth employment. A European investment strategy should be launched, centred on infrastructure modernisation, human capital and laying the foundations for a sustainable economy. To finance this initiative, the Union must add additional resources to its budget: these exist and mechanisms must be found to make them available. It is therefore necessary to introduce a tax on financial transactions, to set up an EU-wide strategy to reduce fraud and tax evasion and to allow Eurobonds to be issued. Without these tools, the risk of an irreversible decline and marginalisation of Europe’s economy and policy on the world stage will become more and more real.

 
  
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  George Sabin Cutaş (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of the report on a job-rich recovery. The Commission’s proposals of 19 April go in the right direction, distancing themselves from the logic of austerity; however, more concrete aspects related to political direction should have been added. In order to create quality jobs, the EU needs a joint investment plan, financed through common measures such as Eurobonds or the financial transaction tax.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) The European Union cannot fulfil the objectives set by the Europe 2020 strategy in the absence of support for investment projects that are required in order to create new jobs in various fields, from vocational training and redeployment of persons interested in changing their job, to investments in green economy, health care, social services and the IT and new technologies sector. It is vital that all Member States develop national employment plans as part of their national reform programmes for 2012, which they should subsequently implement under a well-defined schedule with the very aim of achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing. (FR) I welcome the adoption of this non-legislative motion for a resolution which largely sanctions the measures promoted by the Commission to encourage economic growth and create jobs. In keeping with the Employment Package presented by the Commission in mid April, Parliament wanted to encourage investment in the green economy, health and new technologies sectors, whilst welcoming the proposals on the commitment to ‘setting decent minimum wages to fight poverty and social dumping and creating a European Youth Guarantee’. My view is that the measures proposed by the Commission to stimulate employment are heading in the right direction, although I would have liked to see more significant measures adopted, such as the amendments calling for solidarity in the tax systems with a view to safeguarding the financial basis of social protection systems or those encouraging the coordination of collective bargaining at European level or rebalancing taxation.

 
  
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  Ioan Enciu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution because I think that the European Union needs a strategy for growth and recovery from the recession, much more focused on creating new jobs and encouraging mobility on the European labour market, in accordance with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. At the moment, unemployment in EU Member States has reached very high levels, especially among young people, affecting the potential for economic growth. Therefore, the European Union and Member States should direct their efforts towards stimulating job creation and professional retraining programmes. At the same time, it is important for the EU to truly take advantage of the freedom of movement of workers and encourage their mobility so as to increase the growth potential at EU level. In this respect, it is vital that all restrictions applicable to Bulgarian and Romanian citizens on the European labour market be eliminated as soon as possible.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) As a result of the economic crisis, around 6 million jobs have been lost between 2008 and 2012, making unemployment one of the greatest challenges facing European society. However, 17.6 million new jobs will have to be filled in order to meet the objectives set out in the EU 2020 strategy, which calls for 75% of 20- to 64-year-olds to be in employment by 2020. The EU therefore needs to have a strong horizontal policy for combating unemployment – which, in turn, undoubtedly requires strong and cohesive economic governance and integration responsive to the needs of the EU and the Member States – and to staunch the crisis and achieve ambitious goals, such as those proposed in the Europe 2020 strategy.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This motion for a resolution was tabled following a Commission statement pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure, and concerns ‘a job-rich recovery’. The measures taken by the Member States to combat the crisis have led to thousands of job losses and have thrown millions of workers into unemployment. Unemployment rates have never been so high, in particular in countries with financial assistance programmes, and among young people, hitting 50% in Spain. The average unemployment rate in the EU is over 10%. As such, measures to combat this scourge need to be adopted as a matter of urgency, in order to promote growth and employment. I welcome the adoption of this set of measures to stimulate growth, for which I voted. In particular, these are set to facilitate access to financing by small and medium-sized enterprises, increase workers’ mobility, support the integration of young people into the labour market, promote the creation of green jobs and construct a more inclusive society. I hope that these measures will be transposed to the legislation of the Member States so as not to disappoint the European public’s expectations, which have now been raised.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The Commission’s Employment Package advocates reducing the burden of contributions to workers’ social security, as well as cutting the cost of work and decapitalising social security systems, thereby paving the way for their privatisation and the robbery of the workers by these means. The Commission presents the ‘social economy’ and ‘social companies’ replacing the public services that have been shut down as business opportunities. It also advocates setting wages according to ‘productivity’ as a way of putting even greater pressure on salaries and reducing their real value, which has been eroded by inflation. It also advocates flexible working hours, the implementation of hours banks and workers’ mobility. This ‘Employment Package’ might as well have been called the ‘Exploitation Package’. In somewhat flowery language, this resolution supports the Commission’s package. We therefore voted against.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) I have learnt much from the recent financial and economic crisis in Europe. It is now very clear that, in the European Union and even more in the monetary union our economies and our successes and failures are interconnected. Although the EU has a number of instruments for the coordination of economic policy, the crisis has shown that they were not fully exploited and that there are gaps in the current system of governance. The European Union has made efforts to adopt measures that would make it possible to overcome the crisis and to draw lessons from it for the future. The European economic recovery plan implemented in 2008 helped to mitigate the shocks caused by the economic downturn in our economies. Coordinated support was provided to the EU Member States that needed it, and measures were also put in place to protect the stability of the economic and monetary union. Now that the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy has been introduced, a number of initiatives have been proposed that aim to make accessible the EU’s potential in the area of enhancing growth and job creation. I firmly believe that the EU needs a well-defined policy approach that will promote economic recovery, restore the health of public finances and, above all, actively promote sustainable growth and jobs.

 
  
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  Mathieu Grosch (PPE), in writing. − (DE) Many people now recognise that it is not always easy to strike a balance between austerity measures and promoting growth in times of crisis. There are various ways to achieve this. The internal market naturally offers a unique opportunity, provided the Member States work together to achieve growth, rather than just focusing on self-interest. Research, sustainable development and the service sector are just some of the niches where jobs can be created. However, it is clear that this will only work if the necessary resources are available. In this context, the multiannual timeframes for the EU’s budget are extremely important, because they can release the necessary resources to support growth that will promote jobs, for example in cohesion policy, mobility and research.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing. (FR) Through this motion for a resolution, I wished to show my commitment to a growth initiative, at a time when the economic and social situation continues to deteriorate and is hitting many young people very hard. This initiative is crucial on the eve of a European summit which, rather than dealing for the umpteenth time with austerity measures, ought to be finally discussing the issue of growth. I welcome the Commission’s commitment to setting decent minimum wages intended to reduce in-work poverty and social dumping and the plan to create a European Youth Guarantee in order to guarantee young people access to jobs or training after a maximum period of inactivity of four months. In this debate, however, it saddens me that the conservatives are always opposed to the coordination of collective bargaining at European level, to increasing workers’ purchasing power in those countries that can do so and to equal access to public and social services.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because due to persisting structural weaknesses and the economic crisis, unemployment rates rose from 9.5% to 10.2% in 2010 and 2012 respectively, equalling a total of 6 million job losses since 2008. The issues related to employment, social inclusion and combating poverty are increasing while divergences between Member States and regions are widening. Unemployment is particularly high among young people, partly due to mismatches between skills supply and demand but often also due to disregard for their level of education. Reaching a high level of employment is also necessary to implement fiscal consolidation and the recovery of the economy, both by maintaining the level of internal consumption and by making more people contribute to the financing of the welfare state. On their own, the commitments set out in Member States’ national reform programmes are often insufficient to meet most of the EU-level targets stipulated in the EU 2020 Strategy. The EU’s 2012 Annual Growth Survey calls for resolute action to step up job creation and economic recovery. The Member States must adopt or maintain growth-friendly policies, including the prioritisation of spending in the areas of education, life-long learning, research and innovation, despite the austerity measures necessitated by the economic crisis and the need to minimise the burden of public debt, especially in the euro area.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) Since the beginning of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, over 6 million jobs have been lost in the EU. However, if we wish to achieve the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, we have to create 17.6 million jobs. With this resolution, Parliament is calling for investment measures to exploit the potential for job creation in the green economy, health and new technologies sector. I endorsed this report during the vote in plenary. It is particularly necessary to increase investment for SMEs and to resolutely fight against unemployment amongst young workers.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing. – (PL) This motion for a resolution contains many points which I support. I agree that the Commission should support Member States in their fight against unemployment and youth unemployment by using any money remaining under the Structural Funds. I also support the promotion of entrepreneurship, business start-ups and self-employment, in particular since SMEs and microenterprises provide over two thirds of the EU’s private sector jobs. Nevertheless, like my group, I have reservations about the idea behind implementing the European Youth Guarantee, which is to be legally enforceable. I am aware of the enormous problem of youth unemployment, but this provision is too drastic and is another example of the EU interfering in matters which fall under the competence of the Member States.

 
  
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  Sergej Kozlík (ALDE), in writing. – (SK) Due to persisting structural weaknesses and the economic crisis, unemployment rates in the EU have risen from 9.5% to 10.2% in 2010 and 2012, equalling a total of 6 million job losses since 2008. To meet the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, it will be necessary to create 17.6 million new jobs and achieve a 75% employment rate among people aged 20 to 64 years. A reduction of the tax wedge on labour carried out in a budgetary-neutral way should be supported. Shifting tax from labour to capital and consumption may mean an increase in the number of jobs and wages. It is necessary to push forward the European Pact on Investment, address employment in the health and social care sectors, develop a cohesion and rural development policy, and promote the hiring and training of young people. I support the motion for a resolution in this matter.

 
  
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  Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D), in writing. – (PL) This motion for a resolution relates to one of the biggest problems of our time, namely jobs, decent jobs which are decently paid. Like my political group, I voted in favour of the European pro-employment policy, which is to involve an investment pact to create growth and jobs. Tax solidarity is to serve as a social protection system, by reducing tax on labour income, and replacing tax on labour income with tax on capital and consumption. I also voted in favour of a labour market monitoring system on a European scale. The resolution is an expression of Parliament’s sensitivity to important matters concerning citizens’ livelihoods, and is intended to mobilise states, governments and the European Commission. I could not support the resolution as a whole, because fundamentally important amendments were not endorsed.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution and welcome the fact that it stresses how the employment situation of young people is highly dependent on the overall economic situation and how important support, guidance and monitoring is for young people in their move from education to professional life. I also welcome its call for the Commission to align any future policy proposals in this area with the ‘Youth on the Move’ and ‘Youth Opportunities’ initiatives.

 
  
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  Erminia Mazzoni (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted with complete conviction for the motion for a resolution tabled by Ms Berès, even though it is biased from the start in that it does not fully agree with the guidelines currently being issued by European summits on the Union’s priorities for tackling the economic and financial crisis and above all its severe effects on the real economies of individual countries. Work is a right and an obligation that democratic institutions like ours should make every effort to protect. The negative data recorded in the last year call for more incisive action. I therefore agree with the rapporteur’s approach.

 
  
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  Anthea McIntyre (ECR), in writing. My Conservative colleagues and I welcome the Commission’s communication on a job-rich recovery which seeks to complement the employment priorities of Member States. There are many points within this resolution that we agree with. We certainly welcome calls to support and promote entrepreneurship, business start-ups and the self employed. SMEs and micro-enterprises are the backbone of our economy and are a huge source of employment. We do not welcome attempts to use the Commission’s communication as an opportunity to call for greater harmonisation of EU employment legislation. We believe that a one-size-fits-all approach will prevent social inclusion, prevent poverty reduction and will impact hugely on our ability to deliver more jobs and does not adequately address the diversities that exist between Member States. We believe it is unrealistic to call for a stronger role for the EU by introducing new measures such as controls and sanctions. We do not support attempts to use the Commission’s communication as an opportunity to establish minimum wages. For these reasons we have voted against this resolution.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) In certain EU countries, the unemployment figures resulting from the crisis are completely unacceptable. Jobs have been very rapidly abolished and yet we still cannot find an antidote to the crisis. Only sustained economic growth can bring hope in the creation of new jobs, and in order to achieve this growth we must implement growth policies and strong economic integration so that it is possible to achieve this objective. The EU needs common growth policies so that it can grow uniformly rather than unevenly.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing.(FR) While the European Union is seeing record high unemployment rates and the economic forecasts for the coming months are hardly promising, we must restore balance between the current austerity measures and investment in employment. We must stimulate the labour market through structural reforms. Economic and employment policies must focus on putting in place favourable conditions for the creation of jobs and boosting demand for labour. The Employment Package covers essential areas – such as youth employment and unemployment, education, training, skills development, retraining of workers, etc. – which require specific measures aimed at creating the conditions for a competitive European economy based on real performance and not on endless public borrowing. The priorities are therefore to facilitate entrepreneurship and to identify and overcome the obstacles facing potential entrepreneurs.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. I believe that to accelerate job creation, we need proposals towards a European Investment Plan, a coherent European industrial strategy and investment in public services, based on new sources of revenue, including a financial transactions tax and Eurobonds, giving priority to investments that promote a sustainable economy, quality jobs and social justice, while fighting inequalities.

 
  
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  Tiziano Motti (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution because we must not forget our first objective: the Europe 2020 strategy. We must support entrepreneurship, the creation of new companies and self-employment as tools that can create new jobs, particularly in view of the fact that in the Union small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and micro-enterprises provide over two thirds of private sector jobs. This is the path to take, even if it is an uphill one. I therefore welcome the labour market monitoring system and individual tracking scheme for countries that do not comply with country-specific recommendations. We very much hope for a ‘European Investment Pact’ from the Heads of State or Government, which could be an important element in shifting the one-sided fiscal austerity approach towards a more balanced one, and could represent a new impetus to push Europe out of the crisis. One example is the Energy Efficiency Directive, which could create 2 million jobs. Finally we cannot congratulate ourselves on the proposal to reduce the tax wedge on labour in a budgetary-neutral way because the tax wedge between what it costs for an employer to hire an employee and the worker’s real pay is often above 40% in the EU.

 
  
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  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I supported the motion for a resolution ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’, as I think it is important to devote attention to fulfilling the substance of the employment objectives set in the EU 2020 strategy for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. In order to safeguard the sustainability of the European economy, the question of reducing the extremely high unemployment among young people is of key importance. To achieve this, our educational system must be brought into alignment with demand. I am glad that our group has contributed several motions to amend, such as motions to amend 2 and 4, which devote attention to combating youth unemployment and offer good recommendations on how to achieve this. The resolution effectively reflects the present direction of European Union policy – focusing on developing high-quality employment and implementing necessary austerity measures – while noting that the latter does not mean senseless cuts, but the trimming of senseless spending. Taking the above into consideration, I did not support the populist motions to amend made by the left-wingers, in particular motion to amend 12 about section 1, which does not support the implementation of austerity measures at all, and merely criticises existing efforts. The key to reviving the European economy is not black and white, as extremist political forces present it; rather, the issue must be tackled comprehensively, taking different parties into account.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) A job-rich recovery involves support, guidance and monitoring of young people in their transition from studying to professional life. To this end it is vital that the Commission align any future policy proposals in this area with the ‘Youth on the Move’ and ‘Youth opportunities’ initiatives. It is equally important, and I would stress this measure, that the Member States initiate an exchange of best practices in the fight against youth unemployment. As such, I voted for this resolution.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. The text falls far short of what we wanted, but is still useful in many ways. For instance, it urges the Heads of State or Government of the EU to commit to a ‘European Investment Pact’ before the end of 2012. It states that such a pact could be an important element in shifting the one-sided fiscal austerity approach towards a more balanced one, and could represent a new impetus to push Europe out of the crisis if tangible commitments at national and European level are included on investment to create sustainable growth and jobs in key sectors such as resource efficiency and management, renewables, energy efficiency or recycling/reusing. The text points to the Energy Efficiency Directive as a concrete example of EU legislation which could create up to 2 million new jobs.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) The Commission has tabled an important proposal regarding the Employment Package. It is a tough challenge in the context of the current crisis but it is in line with the goals of the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy. To achieve this goal employees must be skilled and able to move in an increasingly dynamic labour market. A European Investment Plan is needed, with a coherent industrial strategy that invests in public services, on the basis of new income sources and giving priority to investments that promote a sustainable economy, high-quality work and social justice. Job creation should be supplemented, from this point of view, by the regularisation of existing but undeclared jobs.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) I welcome the Employment Package presented by the Commission in April. It takes the form of a medium-term agenda for the Union and Member States’ action to sustain employment recovery in this period of crisis. The green economy, health care, and information and communication technology are sectors attracting new job creation. In this regard, support for apprenticeships for young people entering the labour market as well as continuing education and retraining are fundamental, in my opinion, in order to put us on the path towards sustainable growth

 
  
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  Peter Skinner (S&D), in writing. I voted for this report in the understanding that across the EU the lack of depth in governmental reaction to job losses is going to further exacerbate social cohesion.

Many of the ideas contained in the report are self-justified, but I particularly wish to mark out the ‘Youth Guarantee’ which creates real hope for a generation that can be easily broken by failure to act. People are losing their homes, their jobs and their identity in the economic system. This sets a scene for further economic and social breakdown. I therefore commend many points and ideas in this report.

 
  
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  Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI), in writing. − (ES) With regard to Amendment 13: I have voted against it because it cannot be stated that the European Commission ‘has forced’ the closure of hospital infrastructure. With regard to Amendment 14: it cannot be generally stated that the European Commission has demanded a reduction in minimum wages.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing.(FR) Without job creation, there will never be economic recovery. However, the crisis must not serve as a pretext for insecure jobs. Therefore, much though I agree with a great deal of the text, Parliament’s rejection of Amendments 8, 9, 10 and 11 – which were rejected en masse by the right and the conservatives – casts dangerous doubt over its desire to maintain a social protection and employment protection system. This means that I cannot bring myself to validate this motion for a resolution, as I had initially intended to do.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate in the euro area was 11% in April 2012, while across the 27 Member States it was 10.3%, a level clearly exceeded by the youth unemployment rate of 36.6%. At a time of great difficulties in terms of jobs, it is vital that the Member States provide guidance for the application of the Structural Funds to ensure swifter and more effective job creation, as Portugal has done with its Impulso Jovem programme, a strategic plan comprising initiatives for youth employability and support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In view of this, I believe that it is vital to support SMEs in creating jobs, and also to assist social enterprises in their activities, to promote entrepreneurship and the various microfinance instruments, and to adjust skills to the real needs of the labour market. I also consider it important to encourage increased mobility within Europe, which will require mutual recognition of diplomas and professional qualifications, to facilitate the entry into the labour market of many highly qualified young people. I would congratulate the Commission on setting out a new package of measures aimed at creating more job opportunities, as I consider it imperative to debate and then implement the proposed measures.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the motion for a resolution on ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’. The unemployment rate has risen from 9.5% in 2010 to 10.2% in 2012, equalling a total of 6 million job losses since 2008. Austerity measures aimed at fiscal consolidation being pursued in a number of Member States have contributed to significant increases in unemployment, while the Commission forecasts predict a stagnation of the EU GDP in 2012 and recessions in several Member States. I believe that developing entrepreneurship and setting up businesses should be promoted as a means of creating more jobs. Therefore, we call on the Commission and the Member States to increase investment in these areas, in particular through public procurement and access to finance. We also call on the Commission to support the Member States in their fight against unemployment and especially youth unemployment, with unused allocations from the Structural Funds. I think it is important for Member States to make better use of the EURES system, given that it plays a key role in the functioning of the internal market through advising workers and jobseekers on their rights in other Member States.

 
  
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  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE), in writing. At this time of severe economic turmoil that is affecting the eurozone as a whole and particularly some Member States, we have arrived at a turning point. I believe we need to push forward – step by step but firmly – European policies that will favour a better European single market that will boost the economic wealth of the region. That is why I support all those actions which follow this line. Coordinated collective bargaining to be strengthened at the EU level should always benefit the workers and thus the EU-based companies, so as to have a more balanced and competitive and productive EU. That should go hand in hand with greater flexibility for the regions or states in implementing the policies, as the EU is diverse and has different political cultures.

 
  
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  Derek Vaughan (S&D), in writing. This resolution, based on the Commission’s policy paper on a job-rich recovery, has my full support. Throughout the EU many citizens are worried about the job market in their country and in the current economic climate it is vitally important that there is an increased focus on creating jobs and growth. The resolution focuses on the Commission’s paper, which highlights the benefit of setting minimum wages in order to help the working poor and which I am fully in favour of. The European Youth Guarantee scheme to tackle youth unemployment is an important part of the resolution and the resolution also asks the Commission and EU governments to invest in SMEs and microenterprises, which provide over two thirds of private sector jobs in the EU.

 
  
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  Jacek Włosowicz (EFD), in writing. – (PL) The EU 2020 strategy calls for 75% of 20-64 year olds to be in employment by 2020, which in turn should lead to sustainable economic growth in the EU. The same strategy also calls for 17.5 million new jobs by 2020. This is an exceptionally ambitious project considering the current situation in the field of public finances, since unemployment in the Union as a whole, instead of shrinking, has increased from 9.5% in 2010 to 10.2% in 2012. Currently we have 13% unemployment in Poland, and added to this constantly increasing inflation at a level of 4%. The targets that we have adopted are entirely appropriate. However, an analysis shows that our measures are not conducive to and sometimes actually block development. We are running out of money under the current financial perspective, whilst our needs, especially in road infrastructure, continue to be huge. The lack of new undertakings has resulted in increased unemployment month on month to the above-mentioned level of 13%. Yet the European Community was founded in order to equalise differences in the standard of living between countries, and not to deepen them. Let us not forget this. This is why I have decided to vote against the motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Zbigniew Ziobro (EFD), in writing. – (PL) The Europe 2020 strategy calls for 17.5 million new jobs in the European Union by 2020. Having in mind the current proliferation of bureaucracy and the regulation of the market, and in the face of the economic downturn and yet more European taxes, this is an extremely ambitious plan. We need only look at the countries viewed by the European Commission as leaders in economic growth, such as Poland. Despite positive economic indicators, unemployment in my country is over 14% and increasing annually. Imports of cheap products from the East, in particular China and India, increasing energy prices and the collapse of the European markets are key factors causing increased unemployment levels not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but throughout the Union. Unfortunately, flying in the face of expert analysis, European policy makers continue to go the way of economic perdition, pushing through ill-thought-out and unilateral reductions in CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases. Experts say that in Poland alone, the energy and climate package will mean that around 500 000 jobs are lost by 2050. Accordingly, I believe that we should try to encourage a debate as soon as possible on the social consequences of the ‘strategic and long-term projects of the Union’. There was no encouragement for any such discussions in the document put to the vote.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Although this motion for a resolution raises some measures that may be positive for discussion, it is not that different from the Employment Package proposed by the Commission, in particular with regard to its proposals for reducing the burden on companies from workers’ social security contributions; that is, cutting labour costs and decapitalising social security systems, thereby paving the way for their privatisation. Into what does the Commission say that company start-ups should be channelled? Into this new sector of ‘opportunity’ that they call the ‘social economy’ and ‘social enterprises’, which means replacing shut-down public services, thereby transforming the peoples’ rights into business opportunities. This package of measures presents us with other measures, such as the need to introduce flexible working hours and implement hours banks. This resolution supports that position, which we have rejected by voting against.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: RC-B7-0304/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this motion for a resolution as it deals appropriately with a serious attack on human dignity. The scale of the problem is frightening and therefore requires an exceptional response. The EU has been setting an example to the world and should continue its struggle for non-violence and against the violation of fundamental rights. As such, it is vital that the United Nations also take a strong stance on this matter, in line with the exhortations made in this text.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. With this text we call upon the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution at its 67th session with a view to banning female genital mutilation worldwide. It is important to reiterate that any form of female genital mutilation is a harmful traditional practice that is not part of a religion but is an act of violence against women and a violation of their fundamental rights. This practice is an irreparable abuse that intentionally alters female genitals for non-medical reasons. Expert analysis shows that in the word more than 140 million women alive today are living with female genital mutilation and that further three million girls are at risk of undergoing the procedure each year. Only in Europe the women subjected to this practice are around 500 000. For this reason Member States must take a firm action to combat this illegal practice and the Commission should give specific attention to female genital mutilation as part of an overall strategy for combating violence against women.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) I supported Isabelle Durant’s proposal on female genital mutilation, which still today constitutes an irreparable, irreversible abuse, which affects 140 million women and young girls today. We have urged the United Nations, the Commission and any Member State that has not yet done so to make this practice a criminal offence at national level. Such abuse should no longer exist in the 21st century!

 
  
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  Zoltán Bagó (PPE), in writing. (HU) Female genital mutilation – I voted in favour of the European Parliament’s joint motion for a resolution on ending female genital mutilation. I would like to begin my reasoning by pointing out that due to the high number of immigrants settling down in Europe it is erroneous to assume that this destructive custom is a third-world problem! Estimates indicate that there are at least half a million women and girls with mutilated genitalia living in Europe. On the other hand, female genital mutilation constitutes abuse that violates the fundamental rights of the mutilated women, such as their right to the integrity of the person or the right to physical and mental health. Furthermore, since it is generally performed on girls under the age of 15, it also constitutes child abuse. The detrimental short- and long-term effects of the physical and psychological injury caused by the procedure are evident, not to mention that it can have a fatal outcome due to the lack of disinfection. I find it necessary for Member States to set up a regulatory system to assist women and girls in reporting instances of female genital mutilation.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this motion for a resolution on female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is a barbaric act of extreme violence against children, young people and women, and a violation of fundamental rights and the rights of the child that cannot be justified by any tradition or religion. We therefore urge the United Nations Assembly General and the EU Member States to make a commitment to banning all forms of female genital mutilation and imposing effective sanctions on perpetrators. I would also stress the importance of mobilising civil society and national, regional and local authorities, and raising awareness of the risks and consequences of female genital mutilation, in order to eradicate such practices.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this European Parliament resolution because female genital mutilation causes very serious and irreparable injuries in the short and long term to the physical and mental health and rights of the women and girls who undergo it, constituting a grave assault on their person and integrity, and in some cases can even be fatal. Any form of female genital mutilation is a harmful traditional practice that cannot be considered part of a religion, but is an act of violence against women and girls which constitutes a violation of their fundamental rights, particularly the right to personal security and integrity and physical and mental health, and of their sexual and reproductive health, while also constituting child abuse in the case of girls who are minors. Under no circumstances can such violence be justified on grounds of respect for cultural traditions of various kinds or for initiation ceremonies. It is an expression of unequal power relations and a form of violence against women, alongside other serious forms of gender-based violence. It is therefore necessary to embed the fight against female genital mutilation in a general and coherent approach to combating gender-based violence and violence against women.

 
  
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  Minodora Cliveti (S&D), in writing. – (RO) It is important that the European Commission give female genital mutilation specific attention as part of its programme aimed at combating violence against women. At the same time, Member States must take firm action to fight this illegal practice. In this context, I think it is necessary to finance information and education programmes through which women themselves become aware that genital mutilation is not a traditional practice adding to the ethnical and historical specificity of their respective populations, but a form of violence against women. Many women in these regions believe it is an honour and a duty on their part to undergo without questioning such practices that are performed most of the time by women healers or midwives who are valued and looked upon with consideration within that group. At the same time, it is important to finance and organise educational programmes on equality between girls and boys, from the earliest age, in order to avoid gender-based society segregation and gender discrimination manifested in the form of these genital mutilations which are acts of violence against women.

 
  
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  Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (PPE), in writing. Joint Resolution RC-B7-0304/2012 against female genital mutilation - vote on 14/06/2012 I am particularly happy that the European Parliament has adopted so unanimously, with no votes against, the Joint Resolution against female genital mutilation. It is important that the EP stood united and strongly called for a end to FGM. Each year some three millions girls around the world are at risk from FGM, some 180.000 of them in Europe! These figures are scaring for such a barbaric tradition that causes irreparable physical and psychological damages to the girls, without any medical justification. Even if we must respect tradition and cultures, they should never be an excuse for committing violence against women and violating the universally recognised human rights. We need to give a strong message to the United Nations, Member States and the European Commission to do whatever they can to penalise people carrying out FGM and to stop this horrible violence against women.

 
  
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  Emer Costello (S&D), in writing. − I am very encouraged by the strong support for the eradication of FGM in the European Parliament. I hope that the support for this resolution will precede to stronger action throughout the EU. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) causes untold suffering and victims of FGM are scarred for life, both physically and emotionally. There can be no justification for such acts of violence and there can be no tolerance for those who perform or who facilitate the practice of FGM in the EU. The EU has a significant role to play in the eradication of FGM not only throughout Europe but also on a global level. Specifically I will be seeking the implementation of the recommendations of End FGM European Campaign led by Amnesty Ireland. I look forward to further progress in this area.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) Violence against women has reached dramatic and inconceivable rates over the last decade. There are no cultural or religious justifications for such inhuman and irreparable abuses, committed deliberately, and their authors must be identified and punished accordingly. I call on the United Nations to address appropriately the issue of female genital mutilation at the sixty-seventh session of the UN General Assembly. I also call on the European forums, national authorities and the civil society to take steps in order to prevent the repercussions of such abuses by increasing the level of information, awareness and education and, where prevention comes too late, ensure the access of affected women to health care, psychological counselling and, last but not least, justice. The consequences of these serious violations of fundamental rights are irreversible and the measures aimed at combating them are most of the time insufficient. Therefore, we must find more solutions to prevent their perpetration.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) Given that female genital mutilation is a form of violence against women, alongside other serious forms of gender-based violence, I believe the Commission should make it a priority to end violence against women and girls through the allocation of appropriate financial resources and actively support targeted and innovative programmes both within the EU and in third countries.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing.(FR) As a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), I am very proud of the joint motion for a resolution adopted by a vast majority aimed at ending female genital mutilation. This resolution aims to send a strong message on this subject, particularly to the United Nations, but also to the Member States and the Commission. Parliament wants the perpetrators to be sanctioned. Each year, three million girls throughout the world are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation, including 180 000 in Europe. These are unacceptable figures for a traditional practice which, I assure you, has nothing to do with religion. We are therefore calling on the United Nations General Assembly, which will meet shortly, to adopt a resolution with a view to ending female genital mutilation worldwide by harmonising the action taken throughout the world and issuing recommendations and guidelines. The United Nations should also, along with civil society, allocate financial resources to this cause and develop targeted programmes. As for the Member States, I believe they should all ratify international instruments in this regard and implement them.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Today there are 140 million women and girls who have been the victims of genital mutilation, a barbaric practice with irreversible physical and psychological effects, and that is often fatal. This practice, which is justified in countless areas of the world – in particular in Africa – on religious grounds is nothing less than a clear violation of the rights of women and female children that must be combated. I therefore welcome the decision to bring this issue of female genital mutilation before the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, and I would urge it to adopt a general prohibition of this brutal and unjustifiable practice against women and female children.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) According to certain studies, 140 million women worldwide have been victims of female genital mutilation. In Europe, 500 000 women have been the victims of this horrendous practice, and 180 000 are at risk of being affected. This is one of the worst forms of abuse, violating women’s rights, which no culture or religion can possibly defend. This joint motion for a resolution on the need to eliminate female genital mutilation was tabled following a statement by the Vice-President of the Commission, Baroness Ashton, replacing motions for resolutions tabled by various political groups. For decades, this practice was tacitly accepted by some societies, but it is now vital to denounce and eliminate it. I therefore welcome the courage of many women, in particular those from Africa, who have played a role in this cause. These are harmful practices that violate the rights of women and children and jeopardise victims’ health. I voted for this motion for a resolution as it is imperative to put an end to this scourge, which degrades women and is a disgrace to society, and affects 3 million women worldwide, and I would urge the Commission to integrate the rights of women and children across the EU’s external policy.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) According to World Health Organisation figures, between 100 million and 140 million women and girls have been subjected to genital mutilation, and 3 million are at risk every year. In 2008, it was estimated that around 500 000 women living in Europe were daily suffering the consequences of having been mutilated, and around 180 000 were at risk every year. Following previous resolutions by Parliament on the fight against female genital mutilation, appeals and recommendations are once again being made to various institutions, including the United Nations, to put a stop to this practice. Moreover, the motion for a resolution stresses the importance of awareness-raising, mobilisation, and education and training of those directly or indirectly involved in this issue, including the families of the victims and the communities to which they belong. We voted for this resolution.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing. (IT) Gender-based violence and all forms of harassment and exploitation are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, and must be wiped out. Full and equal participation of women in civil, social, cultural, economic and political life, and elimination of any kind of discrimination are the prime objectives of the international community. Protection of women’s rights has received a significant boost thanks to international instruments and commitments from the United Nations and the European Union. I think we are all in agreement that female genital mutilation is a serious form of abuse and torture of children and, I must specify, children from the age of just four. Today too many women are still subjected to these practices, which cause psychological trauma, indescribable physical suffering and repercussions on their health and which cannot be justified by tradition or as a symbol of identity. Ladies and gentlemen, we must all say a loud ‘no’ to female genital mutilation.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) Female genital mutilation is an irreparable abuse that intentionally alters or causes injury to female genitals for non-medical reasons, with irreversible consequences that affect 140 million women and girls alive today. I profoundly believe that this harmful practice can under no circumstances be justified on grounds of respect for cultural traditions of various kinds or for initiation ceremonies. As well as being in itself a violation of human rights, female genital mutilation causes very serious and irreparable injuries in the short and long term to the physical and mental health and rights of the women and girls who undergo it, constituting a grave assault on their person and integrity, and in some cases can even be fatal. I am of the opinion that it is essential to support members of civil society, in particular women’s organisations, working within their communities to end violence against women, including female genital mutilation. Last but not least, it is important that the EU Member States also take firm action to combat this illegal practice.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) Female genital mutilation affects 140 million women and girls and a further three million girls are at risk of undergoing this traumatic procedure each year. In this context, the resolution provides for three main points. Firstly, it calls upon the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a resolution at its 67th session with a view to ending female genital mutilation worldwide. Secondly, it encourages Member States to ratify international conventions in this regard. Lastly, it urges the Commission to give special attention to female genital mutilation as part of an overall strategy for combating violence against women. I supported this motion for a resolution, which was adopted in plenary and I welcome that.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution as there are no circumstances which justify forced female genital mutilation.

 
  
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  Barbara Matera (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted firmly and with conviction in favour of the European Parliament resolution on ending female genital mutilation. Fighting this inhumane practice – which cannot be hidden behind religious justification – means not only opposing a degrading treatment which today affects 140 million women, but also fighting against the severe discrimination that women continue to suffer. The Commission needs to acknowledge the problem in order to allocate financial resources to counter it and to implement a specific programme for third countries. In this way, Member States can take combined action against the continued violence carried out against millions of women.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on ending female genital mutilation, which represents abuse for non-medical reasons on children in the case of girls who are minors. It is therefore necessary to integrate the fight against female genital mutilation in a general and coherent approach to combating violence against women. We therefore hope that the United Nations General Assembly will adopt a resolution at its 67th session with a view to ending female genital mutilation worldwide. Furthermore, since female genital mutilation is often performed on young girls, it constitutes a violation of the rights of the child.

 
  
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  Erminia Mazzoni (PPE), in writing. (IT) Female genital mutilations are acts of violence towards women and as such should be fought against and punished. On this point the joint motion for a resolution was a mandatory act and has produced a valuable result. There can be no political divisions on such a cross-cutting issue. What women – and young girls in particular – are forced to suffer is intrinsically inhuman and can have tragic consequences for their health. Parliament must make its voice heard and proclaim its aversion. I thank my fellow Members who have worked hard to ensure that we do not remain silent.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The number of women and girls subjected to genital mutilation is frankly terrifying. We are talking about 140 million people worldwide who are victims of this practice, which is unjustifiable in the present day. Most of the motives for this practice are religious, and are completely groundless. I therefore agree that this issue should be addressed in earnest at the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly and widely debated there, in the hope that this will result in a resolution banning this barbaric practice.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. European Parliament calls upon the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution at its 67th session with a view to ending female genital mutilation worldwide. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Genital mutilation has been carried out on 140 million women and girls in accordance with traditional practice, and every year a further three million girls are threatened with this painful intervention, which has significant health repercussions. Migration has brought the problem of genital mutilation to Europe. Even second generation migrants living in Europe are often powerless to prevent this intervention. I agree with the motion for a resolution that genital mutilation is an act of violence against women and girls that represents a violation of their fundamental rights, in particular their right to personal safety and integrity and physical and psychological health, and an attack on their sexual and reproductive health and that it constitutes child abuse in the case of under-age girls and cannot be justified by invoking different cultural traditions or initiation rituals.

 
  
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  Claudio Morganti (EFD), in writing. (IT) It is estimated that around 140 million women alive today have suffered genital mutilation, and in Europe alone the figure reaches a substantial half a million individuals. It is therefore well understood that it is a widespread phenomenon, and not far removed from our daily lives. The girls, often young children, who undergo this distressing treatment, can suffer immediate and devastating physical consequences, and no less dangerous mental consequences, which manifest themselves over time. These violations cannot be justified in any way, nor can the grounds of respect for tradition or religious beliefs be used as justification: what is under discussion here is respect for the person and for the dignity of women and human beings. This resolution, which has been unanimously adopted by the European Parliament, must be a further stimulus to continue the fight to wipe out this terrible problem which, far from being extinct, is showing dangerous signs of picking up, even in Europe unfortunately.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I welcome this motion for a resolution and the issue’s inclusion on the agenda of the UN General Assembly. Female genital mutilation affects women’s reproductive health and the high number of women and girls who have suffered this type of violence in the EU and third countries is surprising. It not only constitutes physical mutilation of girls who are minors, but is an expression of power against them, causing physical and spiritual torture. I agree that such practices should be stopped immediately and girls and women affected should be given the opportunity to report violence against them.

 
  
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  Tiziano Motti (PPE), in writing. (IT) I want to publicly express my vote in favour of the joint motion for a resolution on ending female genital mutilation. This barbaric practice cannot be justified on health grounds and does not respond to any religious obligation; it merely constitutes an act of violence against women, a violation of their right to the safety and integrity of the person, as well as to mental, physical, sexual and reproductive health. In addition, as it is often carried out with rudimentary instruments and without antiseptic precautions, it puts women at risk of further harmful effects such as infection, shock and transmission of the AIDS virus. As the majority of mutilated girls are under the age of 15, this practice ultimately constitutes a violation of children's rights. I therefore join with my fellow Members to ask the United Nations General Assembly, which is to meet this October, to adopt a resolution with a view to ending female genital mutilation worldwide, by strengthening regional and international legal instruments to severely and unequivocally punish any violation of the new rules prohibiting it and creating new mechanisms to coordinate, monitor and evaluate law enforcement.

 
  
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  Mariya Nedelcheva (PPE), in writing.(FR) I welcome the vote on the joint motion for a resolution on female genital mutilation. Today, Parliament is making a strong political commitment to the fight against violence against women, and in particular to putting an end to female genital mutilation.

This practice is a violation of all fundamental rights and it cannot be justified by tradition, culture or beliefs. It is the duty of the European Union and of the Member States to promote the implementation of binding legislative measures, both within our borders and in third countries, with a view to banning this practice and protecting and supporting victims and all girls and women who are at risk of undergoing this procedure. The legislation must be accompanied by strong and uncompromising legal instruments so that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice and sanctioned.

I am calling on the Commission, the Member States, the United Nations and all the other members of the international community to show a real commitment to promoting women’s rights and gender equality, combating violence against women and promoting the empowerment of women.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Female genital mutilation is an act of violence against women which intentionally causes damage to the female genitals for non-medical reasons, and is thus a violation of their fundamental rights, in particular their right to personal safety and integrity, and physical and mental health, along with their sexual and reproductive health. This report calls upon the United Nations to adopt a resolution at its 67th session prohibiting female genital mutilation worldwide, aligning the actions of its member states and providing recommendations and guidelines for developing and strengthening regional and international legal instruments and national legislation in this area. Moreover, it urges civil society, through the allocation of appropriate financial resources, to support targeted, innovative programmes and to disseminate best practices that address the needs and priorities of young women in vulnerable situations, including those subjected to female genital mutilation. I voted for this report because I consider female genital mutilation a severe violation of human rights that can under no circumstances be justified by respect for different cultural traditions or initiation rites.

 
  
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  Joanna Senyszyn (S&D), in writing. – (PL) I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on the communication entitled ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’. The resolution is particularly significant for young people. I warmly welcome the European Youth Guarantee initiative. It aims to help graduates at all levels in finding employment, further education or training in the four months after graduation or after a job loss. Youth unemployment costs Europe EUR 100 billion per year. The Guarantee will cost EUR 10 billion, and EU funds which could be used for this purpose have already been identified. I therefore call on the Member States, the Commission and the Council to cooperate closely with social partners on the legal implementation of the European Youth Guarantee. Meeting the employment goals of Europe 2020 requires greater employment of women. Women are the largest unused labour force and constitute the majority of persons living in poverty in the EU.

I call on the Commission to take action to eliminate the differences in the way men and women are treated in the labour market and to work out a strategy to support balance between women’s work and personal lives. In this context the Member States should bring into force the Barcelona childcare targets in order to increase women’s participation in the labour market.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) Female genital mutilation constitutes an irreparable abuse that intentionally alters or causes injury to female genitals for non-medical reasons, with irreversible consequences which affect 140 million women and girls alive today. Moreover it cannot be considered part of any religion. An estimated 180 000 girls are at risk in Europe. Given the seriousness of the issue I support the call for the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a resolution at its 67th session with a view to ending female genital mutilation worldwide, as requested by the African Union Summit of 2 July 2011, by harmonising the action taken by its member states and strengthening regional and international legal instruments and national legislation.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing.(FR) I fully support this motion for a resolution, particularly as a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM). There is nothing in Islam that imposes these practices. These are ancestral, cultural practices rather than religious practices. Apart from sanctions, which are essential if we are to take a zero tolerance stance on these barbaric practices, we must develop proactive education and training strategies at local level, including for mothers who perpetrate on their daughters the abuse they underwent themselves.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The practice of female genital mutilation still affects 140 million women and girls, and more than 3 million young women are subjected to this abuse every year, causing irreparable damage and, in certain cases, leading to the death of hundreds of people. This illegal practice is a violation of the dignity of women and humans, with permanent physical and mental effects, and it is impossible to justify such acts. In international terms, countries must work together to create a legal framework banning all genital mutilation that punishes those responsible. The necessary support should be given to the affected groups, so that this practice can be eliminated and seen as inhumane.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the motion for an EP resolution on ending female genital mutilation, because this practice is an abuse with serious consequences that affects 140 million women and girls today. According to the World Health Organisation, at least 500 000 women and girls in Europe are living with female genital mutilation and an estimated 180 000 girls are at risk. According to experts, these figures are underestimated and do not take into account second-generation or undocumented migrants. Any form of female genital mutilation is an act of violence against women and girls and constitutes a violation of their fundamental rights, particularly the right to personal integrity and security and the right to physical and mental health. I call on Member States to continue to ratify international instruments and implement them through comprehensive legislation that prohibits all forms of female genital mutilation and provides for effective sanctions against the perpetrators of this practice. I call on the Commission to make it a priority to end violence against women and girls and, through the allocation of appropriate financial resources, to actively support targeted and innovative programmes both within the EU and in third countries.

 
  
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  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE), in writing. I am horrorized about how many women are affected for genital mutilation every year all around the world and it is very worrying the amount of young europeans that have the risk of undergoing this procedure every year. Even though we say women, we refer to children when they suffer this injury, and therefore, they have no option to defense themselves. And is not only about a medical reason, is about the integrity, respect, security and physical and mental health of that women. Is the respect for human rights for that women. I will support all the initiatives that this Parliament is taking to stop this irreparabe and violent abuse.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution, as I always support texts which promote steps towards greater equality between men and women. Combating violence against women is unfortunately a key part of this, and female genital mutilation is one of the daily horrors faced by thousands of women, mostly, but not exclusively, in Africa. Although, in theory, female genital mutilation is today legally banned in most countries of the world, the political will and specific actions to combat these practices are still often superficial. This violence against women, just like violence against children, and particularly girls, can only really be reduced through global policies, particularly cooperation policies aimed primarily at combating poverty and all of the inequalities with regard to access to education, health and social rights. In spite of its shortcomings, I cannot but endorse the principles of this report and that is why I voted for this resolution.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. Female genital mutilation has been documented in certain parts of Africa, Asia and Middle East, and it is now being encountered in Europe as well. Most often, girls and women are taken to their countries of origin during school holidays to be mutilated. The European Parliament estimates 500,000 girls and women living in Europe are suffering with the lifelong consequences of female genital mutilation. FGM constitutes a persecution qualifying for being granted refugee status according to the international human rights standards as well as European law. However, because of lack of uniform implementation among all member states of the European Union, women and girls are put at risk of being returned to countries where they could be subjected to FGM.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0302/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting in favour, as this report above all defends public health and calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their cooperation within the existing legal framework, in particular in the fields of market surveillance, vigilance and inspection, and to tighten controls, in order to provide a better guarantee of safety of patients, especially those exposed to high-risk medical devices.

 
  
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  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing. (IT) Thousands of women have received prosthetic implants the contents of which are not suitable for medical use and could be damaging. These women have entrusted their health (and their money) to the company, unaware that industrial silicon had fraudulently been put into the implants. On 3 June 2012 the French agency responsible for medical equipment published data on the statements of problems in women with PIP breast implants (around 30 000 in France). The figures are as follows: - rupture of implants: 2 252, - inflammatory reaction: 1 380 women, - removals: 7 868, of which 5 257 were for preventative reasons. In Italy, from the data supplied by the Ministry for Health, 121 recovery and care units and 48 outpatient units said they had used PIP implants out of a total of 3 911 implant procedures. That an incident like this could occur is a very serious matter. We are talking about the health of our citizens. It must be an absolute priority. We need to subject materials used in medicine to stricter controls, improve quality and safety and restore patient confidence. This can only happen with a clear, certain and strengthened legal framework.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) Following the PIP breast implants scandal, we have voted in favour of establishing a register, stricter controls and traceability for these implants, and pre-market authorisation. I spoke in plenary on this subject. Unfortunately, this situation has had and will have an impact on a European and international scale. Around 40 000 women were affected in the United Kingdom, 30 000 in France and 10 000 in Spain. As legislators, we must learn from this fraud and strengthen the surveillance and vigilance system for medical devices. We must strengthen and harmonise mandatory inspections at EU level. We need to urgently put in place regular, unannounced, annual controls at all stages of the life cycle of a medical device. We must harmonise accreditation conditions for notified bodies and strengthen the traceability, transparency and monitoring of medical devices on the European market. A balance must be found between protecting our European patients and supporting innovation and research. We must combine safety, transparency, coherence and flexibility.

 
  
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  Zoltán Bagó (PPE), in writing. (HU) Defective silicone gel breast implants made by the French company PIP – I supported the motion for a resolution because the investigation launched against French manufacturer PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse) drew attention to the deficient transposition of European legislation on medical devices. Furthermore, the case highlighted the unsatisfactory functioning of the current system of certification of compliance with essential health and safety requirements. I agree that Member States should strengthen their cooperation and tighten controls in respect of medical devices in order to prevent similar cases from occurring. It would be important to know about Member State proceedings against various manufacturers, or whether the national authorities have banned or placed restrictions on their products. An ideal solution would be the creation of a single European database that would bring together information about the medical devices available on the market.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The fraud perpetrated by the Poly Implant Prothèse company has brought to light a lack of cooperation between Member States and the international community in terms of information sharing and notification of adverse effects, and the failure of the current compliance-certification system as regards key health and safety requirements. This motion for a resolution, for which I voted, urgently recommends a revision of the Medical Devices Directive, aimed at introducing a capacity to detect and minimise the risk of fraud. The Member States should carry out rigorous inspections of the devices associated with the greatest risks at least once a year. It calls on the Commission to develop an appropriate legal framework to guarantee the safety of breast implants and of medical technology in general. It advocates improving the functioning of the vigilance system for medical devices, by facilitating and actively encouraging patients, patients’ associations, patient groups and healthcare professionals to report all adverse events and harmful effects to the competent authorities. The Commission and the Member States should step up their cooperation within the existing legal framework, in particular in the fields of market surveillance, vigilance and inspection.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing.(FR) The defective PIP breast implants scandal which broke in December 2011 revealed the lack of cooperation between Member States and the malfunction in the tracking system for medical devices. More than 400 000 breast implants from the French company PIP have been sold worldwide despite the fact that they did not comply with quality criteria. The EU must react and learn from this. A review of the legislation on medical devices is needed. Measures aimed at preventing another health scandal must be taken as quickly as possible. I should therefore like to welcome the adoption of this resolution, which calls explicitly for greater controls and market surveillance for medical devices, as well as greater information sharing between the competent national authorities in order to ensure a better level of protection for patients’ safety. We are also calling for the implementation of a number of concrete provisions such as pre-market authorisation for the most high-risk medical devices, a breast implant register and an implant recipient’s passport – measures which the Commission should now put into action.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because tests conducted by the French authorities on the physical integrity of a sample of silicone breast implants from the French company PIP indicated weaknesses in PIP shells not found in other commercially available implants and this poses a significant danger to women’s health. There is still a lack of both clinical and epidemiological data on the potential risks of PIP breast implants. For third-generation implants there is a rate of rupture within ten years of implantation of 10-15%. The desire to provide swift access to new medical devices for patients must never take precedence over the need to ensure patient safety. Cooperation therefore needs to be strengthened within the existing legal framework, in particular in the fields of market surveillance and inspection, and controls need to be tightened, in order to provide a better guarantee of safety for patients.

 
  
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  Françoise Castex (S&D), in writing.(FR) The PIP breast implants scandal – which broke in March 2010 – has brought to light the serious malfunctions in European health safety. These tragedies are forcing us to carry out an in-depth review of the functioning of the European and national bodies responsible for health matters. Parliament’s reaction is in line with the gravity of the scandal: the resolution, which I voted for, calls for greater cooperation between Member States and greater control measures for medical devices placed on the market. This is an ambitious resolution in my view, as it also calls on the Commission to consider a system of pre-market authorisation for certain categories of medical devices.

 
  
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  Minodora Cliveti (S&D), in writing. According to the findings of the French health authorities, a French manufacturer (Poly Implant Prothèse) is under investigation for the fraudulent use of low-quality material (industrial silicone) different from the material indicated in the documents submitted for conformity assessment. A lack of both clinical and epidemiological data on the potential risks of PIP breast implants was noticed. I voted in favour of: strengthening the controls on medical devices already on the market, including those using samples; improving supervision by national authorities of notified bodies and ensuring consistency across Member States; and improving the functioning of the vigilance system for medical devices, for example by facilitating and actively encouraging patients, patients’ associations, patient groups and healthcare professionals to report all adverse events and harmful effects to the competent authorities and by setting up a centralised procedure for gathering and treating notifications on adverse effects and on the withdrawal of devices from the market. The Medical Devices Directive needs to be revised, with the aim of introducing a capacity to detect and minimise the risk of fraud, and focusing on provisions on market surveillance, vigilance, and the functioning and tasks of notified bodies, so as to avoid a repetition of the PIP case.

 
  
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  Emer Costello (S&D), in writing. That so many women have been put at a considerable risk by defective breast implants is a failure of the regulatory system at EU level. It is encouraging to note that EU legislation in this area is to be revised later this year. Today’s vote is important in ensuring that more stringent safety checks and increased product traceability is introduced in regard to breast implants. Products such as these should not be allowed to retail without such measures in place. In this context, the passing of today’s resolution should help to institute important industrial change.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. I consider that a single European data base for the breast implants should be established to bring together information about medical devices on the market, the registration of economic operations, vigilance and market surveillance, clinical investigations, notified bodies (which check compliance with EU rules) and EC certificates issued.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing.(FR) I am delighted with the adoption of this motion for a resolution as it calls for strengthening controls on medical devices, particularly breast implants, in order to avoid another scandal like that of the PIP implants. These proposals should fuel the debate on the revision of the legislation on medical devices which should take place in the autumn. The PIP scandal has brought to light a malfunction at the European and national levels, notably a lack of cooperation between the authorities concerned and a lack of traceability of raw material used for medical devices. We have therefore called on the Commission to provide for a system of pre-market authorisation for certain products, particularly breast implants, and called for the introduction of an implant recipient’s ‘passport’ specifying the unique product code of the implant, its special characteristics and potential adverse effects, and an inventory of breast implants in each Member State. We have also called for the establishment of a system of collective redress to help consumers obtain compensation. With regard to market surveillance, Parliament is calling for the reinforcement of the information sharing system in order to guarantee better traceability of medical devices.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the motion for a resolution on defective silicone gel breast implants made by the French company PIP, as it includes proposals to develop a legal framework to guarantee the safety of breast implants and of medical technology in general throughout the EU, in particular by banning the advertising of cosmetic implants.

 
  
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  Göran Färm, Anna Hedh, Olle Ludvigsson, Jens Nilsson, Marita Ulvskog and Åsa Westlund (S&D), in writing. (SV) The motion for a resolution on breast implants proposes that breast implant operations should be registered in the EU in the form of a compulsory national register in each Member State. The register is intended to make reporting mandatory for all clinics, while the inclusion of patients’ personal details is to be subject to the patients’ consent. The purpose of the registers is to enable the exchange of information, for example if serious defects are found in the implants.

We Swedish Social Democrats would like to emphasise the voluntary nature of the register. It is therefore up to each individual patient to decide whether or not to be included in the register. On the basis of this premise, we were able to vote in favour of the resolution as a whole.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The PIP-breast implants scandal has brought to light the failure of the EU’s current system of certification of medical devices. Breast implants are classified as active implantable medical devices. In order for these to be placed on the market, in accordance with Directive 2007/47/EC, they have to fulfil three cumulative requirements: they must meet the requirements set by the legislation in force, they must bear the CE marking, and they must be subject to a compliance assessment by a health authority. The CE marking is therefore a prerequisite for placing medical devices on the market, and is also a guarantee of compliance with the applicable legislation, demonstrating that the medical device is safe and fit for purpose. It turns out that this whole process failed in the case of PIP breast implants and may have failed in many others, jeopardising the health of European citizens. It is therefore essential that the next review of the Medical Devices Directive establish a common procedure which first and foremost ensures the safety of medical devices and the absence of risks to the lives and health of patients.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), a French company manufacturing medical devices, has sold more 470 000 breast implants used for women in 71 countries. Some of these implants have caused health problems and had to be removed, causing harm to the patients who agreed for them to be implanted. This motion for a resolution, tabled following the questions for oral answer raised by representatives of all of Parliament’s political groups, concerns the defective silicone gel breast implants made by PIP. I welcome the adoption of a directive on medical acts which prevents misleading advertising and makes companies that produce medical devices accountable. When working with human beings, all stages of the production process, from research during laboratory tests to mass production, should be subject to constant monitoring, because human lives are at stake. Permanent traceability is required in order to increase safety and public confidence. I voted for this motion for a resolution because patient health has to be considered paramount, and we cannot allow any kind of fraud, particularly when it involves medical devices.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Following the scandal that has taken place in France involving silicone gel breast implants produced by the company Poly Implant Prothèse, this resolution states the need to strengthen cooperation between the Member States, as well as improving ‘market surveillance, vigilance and inspection’, in order to ‘provide a better guarantee of safety of patients’ in terms of medium- and high-risk medical devices. It suggests that unannounced inspections of the whole supply chain and certain suppliers be carried out annually, as well as making the shift ‘to a system of pre-market authorisation’, in particular for the aforementioned categories of medical devices. The exchange of information between national authorities on the adverse effects of medical devices and their withdrawal from the market may improve the current framework through rapid response at national level and mitigating the impact on patients. The motion for a resolution also proposes ‘a single European database that brings together information about the medical devices available on the market, registration of economic operations and vigilance and market surveillance initiatives’. This should not be used to favour economic interests instead of ensuring the safety of patients, and neither should it jeopardise data protection, which is essential. We voted for this resolution.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. – (SK) According to the findings of the French health authorities, a French manufacturer (Poly Implant Prothèse) is under investigation for the fraudulent use of low-quality material (industrial silicone) different from the material indicated by the manufacturer in the conformity assessment documents (approved medical-grade silicone). As EU-wide registration of breast implants does not exist, the overall number of women who have received implants is unknown, although it is estimated on the basis of the available data provided by the European Commission that around 400 000 PIP silicone breast implants have been sold worldwide. I firmly believe that patients need to know that implants are not permanent and may need to be replaced or removed. Patients also need to be informed about the quality of implants and the potential risks associated with them. Despite this, however, the transposition of EU legislation on medical devices into national legislation has not prevented this health fraud, which has had, and will continue to have, a serious negative impact on health worldwide. In this context, I consider it justified for the Member States to raise awareness more effectively of the potential risks attached to cosmetic surgery, and to better regulate the advertising of cosmetic surgery in order to ensure that patients are fully aware of the risks as well as the benefits. I also think it is appropriate to develop a suitable legal framework to guarantee the safety of medical technology in general.

 
  
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  Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE), in writing.(FR) The PIP breast implants scandal has brought to light all of the shortcomings in the legislation on breast implants. For years, companies have been able to sell implants with defective gel to thousands of women worldwide without concern. In terms of public health, there should be no half measures. That is the message that I wanted to send by voting for this resolution, which proposes a strict framework so that such mistakes are not made again. We are clearly asking for more safety controls, but also, and above all, for greater traceability and a more restrictive marketing authorisation system.

 
  
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  Marian Harkin (ALDE), in writing. The resolution on PIP is in general a positive one except where Parliament, by a small majority, voted to ask the Commission ‘to shift to a system of pre-market authorisation for medical devices of certain classes’. This makes no sense, as we already have pre-market authorisation in place for these medical devices. The PIP case has nothing – I repeat, nothing – to do with authorisation; it concerns fraud. It shows up a weakness in the process where the competent authorities did not exercise adequate controls. The problem is with market control, not with authorisation. Parliament missed the target on this one, but I was very pleased to hear Commissioner Dalli’s words to the effect that he fully recognised that the PIP case was one where the competent authorities were not consistently vigilant in regard to patient safety, and this case had nothing to do with pre-market authorisation.

 
  
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  Lívia Járóka (PPE), in writing. The scandal of Poly Implant Prothèse using industrial silicone and low-quality breast implants indicates a serious malfunction of communication and data sharing among the national and EU level. During the Commission’s review of the Medical Device Directive (2007/47/EC) by the end of this year, a better system of guaranteeing the safety of medical technology needs to be developed, including reinforced EU-level market surveillance, introducing pre-market authorization for certain medical devices, developing an efficient tracking system for medical devices as well as establishing a single European database pooling information on available medical devices on the market. Raising awareness is also a key element: patients and potential patients need to be informed about the potential risks of cosmetic surgery and that implants are not permanent and eventually they need to be replaced or removed. Furthermore, a better regulation of advertising cosmetic surgery needs to be considered in order to ensure that patients are fully aware of the risks and there is a need for an EU-wide registration for breast implants, so that the endeavour to provide quick access to medical devices and the consequent will to increase profits would not overwrite patient safety.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) The motion for a resolution on defective silicone gel breast implants made by French company PIP, for which I was a specialist on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), was adopted by a large majority in the June part-session. I welcome this move. The main objectives of this resolution were to reinforce and harmonise authorisation criteria and the role of notified bodies, particularly with regard to controls, to improve supervision by competent national authorities of notified bodies, but also to make the public more aware of the health risks associated with the use of medical devices. Furthermore, in this resolution the Members of Parliament, all of the political groups together, are recommending the reinforcement of market surveillance and vigilance. This resolution has enjoyed the general support of all of the political groups. Unfortunately, the paragraphs referring to the implementation of market authorisation for medical devices of class IIb and III have been adopted (paragraphs 7 and 16). My fellow Members in the other political groups have not realised that such a system would be totally inappropriate given the nature and commercial life of medical devices. Medical devices cannot be compared to medicines.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution and welcome its recommendations. A breast implant register, more stringent safety checks, improved product traceability, and a pre-market authorisation system are among the measures proposed.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) I agree with the call for Member States to intensify efforts to raise awareness of the potential risks attached to cosmetic surgery, and to better regulate the advertising of cosmetic surgery in order to ensure that patients are fully aware of the risks as well as the benefits. It is also right to highlight the need for women to be made aware that breast implants need to be replaced after a period of time that varies from person to person, enabling them to assess risks more effectively. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. The revision of the Medical Devices Directive must take on board the lessons learned from the PIP scandal which has affected so many women in the European Union and beyond. PIP was deliberate criminal activity but we have to recognise that the European medical devices industry has been very innovative and has helped patients a great deal, facilitating healthcare innovation and patient access to new technologies. This report calls for improved transparency, tighter control of Notified Bodies, improvements in vigilance, market surveillance and traceability of products - all are welcome. I did not support the inclusion of Paragraph 7 on the introduction of a system of pre-market authorisation. Europe already has in place an effective de-facto pre-market authorisation system and further regulation could stifle innovation. What we are trying to strike here is a balance between what is good for patients and improving the quality of life of those who need medical devices.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The problems experienced with breast implants manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prothèse have brought to light problems with the quality control of medical devices. Although we are talking about public health, all the precautions are insufficient to safeguard citizens. It is therefore essential that the next review of the Medical Devices Directive establish a common procedure which first and foremost ensures the safety of medical devices and the absence of risk to the lives and health of patients.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. European Parliament calls on the Commission and the Member States to strengthen their cooperation within the existing legal framework, in particular in the fields of market surveillance, vigilance and inspection, and to tighten controls, in order to provide a better guarantee of safety of patients, especially those exposed to high-risk medical devices. I agree.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) It is regrettable that there is no clinical or epidemiological data available about the potential risks of PIP breast implants. In addition, random checks on PIP silicone implants have shown that the outer membrane manufactured by PIP has weaknesses that do not occur in other commercially available implants. This is dangerous for women because many PIP implants are made from non-medical grade silicone that contains constituents that attack the outer membrane of the implant and then enter the body’s tissue cells. Some Member States have advised women who have had such implants inserted to consult with their surgeons or to have the PIP implants removed as a precautionary measure. For this reason, it is necessary to set down the immediate introduction and implementation of fundamental, targeted direct measures according to the current legal provisions for medical products. It would make sense to carry out thorough spot checks on medical products that represent the highest risk, so that such situations can be prevented. The Commission should require suitable toxicological assessment for all medical products, and should propose that all carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic substances should be gradually removed from the market. It would be a good idea for the Member States to impose sanctions for noncompliance with the new laws. These are some of the reasons why I voted in favour of this motion.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution on defective breast implants made by the French company PIP. Although the company ceased trading in 2010, there are thousands of patients with defective breast implants filled with industrial silicone in Europe and beyond. I would single out the following problem areas: the absence of an implant register, control mechanism malfunctions, insufficient information and market monitoring. I welcome the idea of introducing an implant recipient’s passport and a common independent register of implants in the EU Member States. Not only would this help to trace the recipient of an implant made by a certain manufacturer but it would speed up the exchange of information between Member States, particularly when faced with defective implants. This case of fraud, which has affected the health of many patients, has revealed problems with the functioning of legislation at national and EU level. There needs to be an emphasis on stronger application of sanctions and control at European level instead of just leaving the Member States to address the issue. A patient not only needs to be given guarantees of the implant’s safety, but sufficient information on quality, risk factors and information about possible implant replacement. For this reason there needs to be effective and good-willed cooperation between all links in the chain: manufacturers, medical bodies and patients. Due to market control and the monitoring of manufacturers I spoke in favour of coordinated action by inspectors in the Member States, the random checking of selected implants and the auditing of manufacturers. Checks must be carried out before implants enter the market or companies are given licences to trade – thus establishing a preventative system, which prevents a repeat of the case of the French company where the industrial silicone used in breast implants leaked into patents’ tissue.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this motion for a resolution, and would stress that it calls on the Commission to develop an appropriate legal framework to guarantee the safety of these products and of medical technology in general.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) This resolution follows the investigation into the French manufacturer Poly Implant Prothèse for the fraudulent use of low-quality materials, namely industrial silicone, different from the material indicated in the documents submitted for conformity assessment, namely approved medical-grade silicone. The fraud has brought to light a flaw at European and national level in terms of the lack of cooperation between the Member States and the international community with regard to information sharing and notification of adverse effects, as well as the lack of traceability of the raw material used for medical devices. It is therefore intended that the Member States step up their cooperation within the existing legal framework, in particular in the fields of market surveillance, vigilance and inspection, and to tighten controls, in order to provide a better guarantee of safety of patients, especially those exposed to high-risk medical devices.

 
  
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  Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid (PPE), in writing.(FR) The PIP breast implants scandal is a disgrace. Almost 90 000 women in the European Union fell victim to this scandal. Parliament had a duty to react and that is why I voted for this resolution on PIP breast implants, which expressly calls for strengthening the quality of controls by certification bodies and improving the traceability of breast implants in order to guarantee safe, regulated operations for women. We have, in Parliament, a duty to protect the interests of European citizens, and the health of those citizens must therefore undeniably be our priority. The health of our fellow citizens should no longer be endangered by a lack of medical controls, or put at the mercy of one man’s greed, a man who is now being accused of ‘aggravated fraud’ and ‘manslaughter’.

 
  
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  Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D), in writing. Although the PIP scandal was a clear case of fraudulent and criminal activity, it has highlighted a number of other practices with regards to the promotion and sale of implants which need to be addressed. There are serious concerns about advertising of breast implants for cosmetic surgery. Advertising typically does not inform the consumer properly, and many women are not even aware that implants need replacing every ten years or so which means many operations over the course of a woman's lifetime. The S&D group was right to table an amendment calling for a ban on the advertising of breast implants for cosmetic purposes, and I regret that it was not adopted. In cases where the implants are needed following surgery, for example because of breast cancer, these adverts are not necessary. In all other cases, we should not be encouraging women to commit to a series of unnecessary operations over their lifetime for cosmetic purposes, with all the associated risk and cost.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) On the basis of available data, it is estimated that around 400 000 silicone breast implants made by PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse) have been sold worldwide and these implants have been widely used in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany and Italy – all EU Member States. In light of what has been learnt, the need to inform patients that in some cases breast implants are not permanent and may need to be replaced or removed is highlighted. Therefore I support the call for pre-market assessment of certain categories of medical devices and the introduction of a passport for implant recipients specifying the special characteristics of the implant, its potential health risks and the post-operative follow-up care measures associated with the implant; the passport would have to be signed by the surgeon and the patient, and would be valid as a consent form for the operation.

 
  
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  Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI), in writing. − (ES) I support the notion that advertising should be restricted to certain types of publications and media but not banned.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing.(FR) One might wonder about the inertia of public authorities on this matter, whether deliberate or not. In a scenario like this, the victims have a right to expect someone to take responsibility and offer them real solutions.

The actions of the follow-up committee put in place by the health authorities are certainly not without reproach. I would also mention that the issue of the extra fees charged by some surgeons who have been asked to remove the defective implants has still not really been addressed, which is not acceptable either.

Need I remind you that 8 000 women have had their implants removed? Yet there are still 22 000 who have not done so. It is disgraceful for the PIP company to illegally use this homemade gel to fill its implants instead of licensed medical gel; it is just as disgraceful to take pride in the fact that 95% of the implants are supposedly danger-free.

Lastly, the health impact of PIP implants does not simply come down to isolated cases of inflammation. Certain pathologies, other than cancer, developed by PIP implant recipients cannot fail to be associated with the products in these implants.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The case of the French company Poly Implant Prothèse has demonstrated that there is a lack of safety controls, surveillance and requirements for placing products on the market, as it has been proven that low-quality material, namely industrial silicone, was fraudulently used for breast implants. It is suspected that more than 40 000 women have these implants. I am therefore voting for this motion for a resolution, as I believe that there is a need to enhance patient protection. I would call on the Commission to develop an appropriate legal framework to ensure the safety of breast implants.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the report on defective silicone gel breast implants made by the French company PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse). The tests conducted by the French authorities on the physical integrity of a PIP silicone breast implant sample indicated weaknesses in PIP breast implant shell, not found in other implants available on the market. Due to the lack of EU-wide registration of breast implants, the total number of women who have received implants is unknown. However, on the basis of the data provided by the European Commission, it is estimated that around 400 000 PIP silicone breast implants have been sold worldwide. Most PIP silicone breast implants were sold in the United Kingdom (40 000), France (30 000), Spain (10 000), Germany (7 500) and Portugal (2 000). The case of PIP implants demonstrated the failure of the current certification system to comply with essential health and safety requirements, deficiencies in the inspections carried out by notified bodies, as well as the lack of surveillance of PIP implants by national competent authorities pursuant to the Medical Devices Directive (2007/47/EC). I recommend that the Medical Devices Directive be revised with a view to introducing the ability to detect and minimise the risk of fraud, focusing in particular on provisions regarding market surveillance, so as to avoid a repetition of the PIP case.

 
  
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  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE), in writing. The problem of the defective silicone gel breast implants made by French company PIP is the opportunity we have to do it better in the future. It has been proved that controls at national and European level have not worked properly, so let’s change them! in order to guarantee better safety controls and avoid fraudulent marketing. I agree that is urgent to revise the Medical Device Directive and that is why I will vote in favour of this motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) Breast surgery is today one of the most common cosmetic surgeries in Europe. The manufacturing by French company PIP of implants made from industrial silicone, a material which is strictly prohibited for use in medical products, has raised a number of concerns, particularly because several patients who have received these implants will have to undergo another operation. Fortunately, these aberrations are rare thanks to stricter health standards at both national and European level. However, they are primarily the result of fierce competition between certain medical operators looking to use the cheapest possible raw materials to the detriment of patients’ health and public health. The text adopted calls for the reinforcement of these standards and notably greater cooperation between Member States with regard to controls on medical devices, and the implementation of a system of pre-market authorisation for certain categories of products by the Commission. Mindful of supporting anything that is a step towards better health protection, I voted in favour of this resolution.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. Since 2003, breast implants are classified in the highest risk class of medical devices and are submitted to the most stringent pre-market review by a notified body to ensure their quality and safety. The adoption of this Motion for resolution will contribute to the immediate adoption of measures under existing legislation to reinforce the system, in particular with regard to unannounced audits, sample testing and better data sharing. The health risk with regard to silicone implants should be as low as possible.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Following the findings by the French health authorities, the French company Poly Implant Prothèse is under investigation for the fraudulent use of industrial silicone, which is different from the material indicated in the documents submitted for conformity assessment, namely approved medical-grade silicone. The motion for a resolution adopted in Parliament today states the need to strengthen cooperation between the Member States, as well as improving ‘market surveillance, vigilance and inspection’, in order to ‘provide a better guarantee of safety of patients’ in terms of medium- and high-risk medical devices. The exchange of information between national authorities on the adverse effects of medical devices and their withdrawal from the market may improve the current framework. The resolution also proposes ‘a single European database that brings together information about the medical devices available on the market, registration of economic operations and vigilance and market surveillance initiatives’. This should not be used to favour economic interests, but rather to ensure the safety of patients, and neither should it jeopardise data protection.

 
Last updated: 18 December 2012Legal notice