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Procedure : 2012/2881(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

RC-B7-0498/2012

Debates :

Votes :

PV 22/11/2012 - 13.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0451

Debates
Thursday, 22 November 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

14. Explanations of vote
Video of the speeches
PV
  

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Marek Józef Gróbarczyk (A7-0239/2012)

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE). (DE) Mr President, the decision to vote for the report was a very easy one, for it aims to give much better protection to fish stocks and spawning populations. The most important element of the plan is, after all, to establish objectives and targets. It was also important, from my perspective, that the Member States genuinely commit to complying with these provisions on an ongoing basis.

Although surprising from my perspective, the provisions to include recreational fishing in impact analyses were equally important, for it must be acknowledged that recreational fishing, although its name implies relaxation, is now assuming professional proportions and must therefore be included as well.

I would like to conclude by thanking the Member States who, by releasing salmon into their rivers, have made a contribution to stabilising salmon populations in Europe.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, I share the concerns of my colleagues from the north. In the Baltic Sea Region fish stocks resources are over-exploited. This could lead to salmon disappearing from the region and put at risk the activity of fishermen. Therefore I support the creation of a multinational plan for the management of the fisheries on the salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea. The Commission should introduce more and stricter controls on recreational fishing and evaluate its real impact on the level of Baltic salmon.

 
  
  

Report: Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (A7-0295/2012)

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE). (IT) Mr President, the practice of ‘finning’ is unacceptable from an environmental point of view because it threatens the sustainability of some shark species targeted by this practice, from the social and economic point of view because it involves squandering a source of food with commercial value, and also from the moral point of view because it shows a total disrespect for animal life. Although finning has since 2003 been banned in European waters and by the European fleet, the Commission has decided to present a proposal to end the derogation from the ban on removing shark fins on board EU fishing vessels. This proposal increases the protection necessary for sharks and will allow the EU to make an active contribution to global efforts to eradicating the cruel practice of finning in other parts of world, too.

 
  
  

Report: Jörg Leichtfried (A7-0096/2012)

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, I voted in favour of this report. It will allow the Commission to adopt crucial elements of non-legislative acts. Overall the proposal aims at placing 10 regulations under the legal framework of the Lisbon Treaty. This will enhance common commercial policy. Further economic growth depends on empowering the Commission to adopt non-legislative acts on common commercial policy. Strengthening common commercial policy will enhance economic growth, as the Commission is responsible for making all Member States follow these regulations.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of the report because the common commercial policy has brought significant benefits to both European consumers and producers, and it must be managed in the same efficient manner, including by granting the Commission the power to modify non-essential parts of the regulations through delegated acts.

I support the rapporteur’s opinion that the European Parliament and the Council should be able to oppose delegated acts that affect important aspects of legislation at any time. Nevertheless, in order to keep up with technological development and changes in the field, the delegated acts procedure is the best instrument, provided it includes the consultation of all relevant stakeholders. The current proposal is a good solution to maintaining the global competitiveness of the Union. With the current economic climate, the common commercial policy must bring benefits for the Union and its citizens.

 
  
  

Report: Pat the Cope Gallagher (A7-0342/2012)

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, fish stocks are limited resources. In this respect the technical conservation measures for fishery resources are among the key elements of an approach to fisheries management and we need to regionalise the approach. I take note of the Commission’s proposal extending the rules on technical measures for another transitional period, but additional changes are necessary to complete the update. For instance, there is a need to readjust areas where cod, haddock and whiting fishing is banned. However, I regret that the Commission’s proposal is again on transitional technical measures. The fishermen need clear legal clarity and cannot continue to base their activities on temporary measures. I call on the Commission to submit a permanent solution on technical measures as soon as possible.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). (GA) Mr President, we were here last night until almost midnight, debating all of the proposals on fishing. We had an excellent debate and it heartened me that these proposals were very positive and very practical. In particular, I would like to praise Mr Gallagher, my Irish colleague, for all of the good work that he does. He is like a fishing professor, but it is a pity that we were unable to adopt the proposals, especially for the final vote, because we did not have proper cooperation from the Council, and Mr Gallagher was quite right to cancel the final vote. I hope that we will have some cooperation so that these fine proposals can be implemented.

 
  
  

Report: Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (A7-0295/2012)

 
  
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  Emma McClarkin (ECR). – Mr President, the removal of fins from sharks onboard vessels is a practice which neither I nor my political group can support. Any derogation or loophole in legislation which creates a potential for allowing shark carcasses to be discarded at sea must be stopped immediately. This barbaric practice can lead to sharks either starving, drowning or being eaten by other fish and the process often takes a number of days.

It is shameful that these creatures are treated in such a way and as self-proclaimed proponents and enforcers of animal rights globally it is embarrassing that the European Union is behind many other countries around the world when it comes to enforcing rules on the removal of shark fins. I am fully in support of the Commission’s proposal to remove the ability of Member States to issue special fishing permits, thereby mandating that sharks are landed with their fins naturally attached.

I do not wish to see in any way a continuation of the derogation in this regulation.

 
  
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  Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska (PPE). (PL) I am very perturbed by the brutal practice of removing shark’s fins on board vessels and then throwing the sharks’ bodies into the sea. This practice is exceedingly cruel. It is wasteful and a direct threat to many rare species of shark. That is why I voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposal that strengthens the Union’s ban on removing sharks’ fins on board vessels, allowing no derogations. I also voted against those amendments that would extend the existing loopholes in the ban on removing sharks’ fins and that proposed the implementation of expensive methods that have proved ineffective. The approach of ensuring that fins are naturally attached has been in force and has proved itself over a long period of time in many countries such as the US and Australia, and most Member States of the European Union do not allow sharks’ fins to be removed on board vessels. The EU’s provisions cannot allow any derogations from that ban. Thank you.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE). (DE) Mr President, it was a great pleasure to vote for this report as I myself have campaigned for more than 10 years – for a time, as the animal welfare officer of my parliamentary group in the German Bundestag – for a ban on the removal of fins of sharks. Now, at European level at least, we have a regulation that no longer permits any exemptions.

As we know, any exemption, no matter how well-intentioned, creates loopholes and is not at all in the interests of animal welfare. I have always regarded the exemptions as unethical, which is why I am very pleased that the House has adopted this decision today.

The task now is to implement this decision not only in the European Union’s Member States – in other words, in its actual area of application – but worldwide, for as we know, animal welfare is indivisible. I wish everyone every possible success in taking this initiative forward.

 
  
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  Gesine Meissner (ALDE). (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, as we all know, most people are frightened of sharks. However, sharks have populated the world’s oceans for centuries, and I believe that we should not try to imagine a world without them. In my view, we have spoken for every person in Europe by voting by such a large majority to prohibit shark finning today.

Shark fin soup is a particular delicacy, and shark finning was therefore a common practice in the past as well. After finning, the sharks are dumped back in the sea. This is not only barbaric; it is also a massive waste of resources. The fins are the most valuable part of the shark because they are the ingredients for soup, which is a lucrative business, but this practice cannot be allowed to continue.

With this large majority, we have sent a very clear message today that this practice cannot continue. In fact, a ban has been in place in Europe since 2003, but there were a great many exemptions. We can remove these exemptions if we specify that the sharks must be landed with their fins naturally attached to the body. That is the only way to put a stop to this barbaric practice.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, I support Parliament’s legislative resolution on the proposal to amend Council Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003. The purpose of the amending regulation brought forward by the Council is to ban, without exception, the practice of removing shark fins from captured sharks aboard fishing vessels. The practice of finning, whereby fishermen capture sharks, cut off their fins and dump the rest of the animal into the ocean, cannot be accepted. It is cruel and barbaric and does not make for a balanced environment. It must be banned immediately, everywhere.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, the removal of shark fins on board vessels is a needlessly barbaric and wasteful practice. I support the animal welfare campaigns and the EU regulation now proposed to end the excision of fins from sharks to make shark fin soup and then throwing the animals’ carcasses back into the sea for a slow and painful death.

In Britain we have already made it illegal to practise shark finning on British registered vessels, and it is surely time now for the EU to meet the standards set by many other countries worldwide. There must therefore be no further loopholes and no derogation specifically aimed at Spanish and Portuguese fishermen on this issue. Furthermore, we should also look more closely at the notion of overfishing of certain species of sharks, which threatens to bring about the extinction of these species, which have been alive and well and thriving in our oceans for over a million years. It would be tragic to see an extinction of the shark generally.

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, I voted for this report as it proposes closing the loopholes in the present legislation and ensuring that all sharks caught by EU vessels anywhere in the world are landed with their fins naturally attached, without exception. The inhumane practice of finning should have absolutely no place in modern fishing. It involves the removal shark fins at sea and throwing the shark back into the sea where it generally suffers a cruel and painful death.

Unfortunately, this practice has been increasing due to insatiable thirst for profits of major multinational fishing corporations and has gone largely unmanaged and unmonitored. It is estimated that 100 million sharks are killed for their fins annually. This practice has a devastating impact on shark populations around the world, threatening the stability of marine ecosystems and damaging the fishing industry in many poorer countries. It is vital that this barbaric practice is ended and that the fishing of sharks is regulated internationally.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0497/2012

 
  
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  Cristiana Muscardini (ECR). (IT) Mr President, I support the resolution adopted today on international child abduction and on management of relations with the third countries that have acceded to the Hague Convention. The problem, however, persists within EU countries: not all Member States have accepted or implemented the convention and institutions continue to exist, such as the Jugendamt in Germany, where the rights of minors are subsidiary to those of parents and national rights and where the competences of the EU are non-existent. I hope that this report will focus attention on cases of child abduction between Member States. We must remember that it should be a priority for the EU to encourage Member States to accept and apply the Hague Convention, in order to achieve a just solution for bi-national children and couples. A central EU body should be established to deal with family law.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, international child abduction is a morally reprehensible act that can cause severe psychological damage to children and parents alike. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction gives the legal means to fight this transborder phenomenon. I am aware that the Council is contesting the legal basis on which the Union would approve accession to this Convention for eight new members. This is the reason why my colleagues’ action is so timely. The Parliament cannot allow any delays that might prevent future misconduct. I ask the Commission, along with my colleagues, to clarify in the shortest possible time the Union’s exclusive competence in this matter. We must allow these eight new members to accede to the Convention and call on the appropriate institutions to speed up their cooperation. Every minute and every hour counts in the fight against this illegal practice. We should remember that the children of this world count on us for their protection.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0496/2012

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE). (SK) Mr President, I have not been able to support the motion for a resolution, since it does not take account of the present contribution of Slovakia and other new Member States of the European Union to emission reduction. These countries have met the undertaking arising out of the Kyoto Protocol and thus helped the European Union as a whole to get to the front in the struggle against climate change. It is unacceptable that our countries’ contribution is not being taken into account at all. The ban on the transfer of emission units will cost Slovakia and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe a significant volume of resources and investment in the green economy.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I was unable to vote for this resolution because Romania did not exhaust its emission quotas. It still owns a large number of green certificates, which could not be traded and this could cause great financial losses for the country. A different solution for states owning fewer units must be found so that they can use them even after 2012. This, however, must be done in a responsible way while also protecting the environment.

Romania’s objectives for the Europe 2020 strategy proved its commitment to tackling climate change. However, a ban on emission units trade after 2012 could discriminate against my country and other countries in a similar situation.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: RC-B7-0498/2012

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this resolution because I support the review of the International Telecommunications Regulations at the Conference. It aims to improve the interconnections between global information technologies and services, while ensuring that they are efficient and offer benefits for the public. Free information exchange and equal access to information for all is vital.

I believe that the text of the Regulation must be updated so that it better reflects telecommunications and information technology developments. The Conference offers a better opportunity for collaboration for all countries and can help them to enhance their social and economic development, and their capacity to cope with a fast-changing medium.

 
  
  

Report: Maria Eleni Koppa (A7-0274/2012)

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report because the final text no longer includes the provision to create a new category of membership of the Union, and because I believe that it confirms the Union willingness to continue its enlargement. I hope that this report, which takes a relatively optimistic view of enlargement, will continue to be one of the few successful policies of the European Union. In my view, the initial Copenhagen accession criteria continue to define the Union. I welcome the way in which the rapporteur raised the issue of the new Member States’ ability to withstand the requirements of the Union in order to eliminate the risks of blocking internal mechanisms.

 
  
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  Ewald Stadler (NI). (DE) Mr President, I voted against Ms Koppa’s report, primarily because it expresses Parliament’s strong support for the enlargement process and completely fails to take account of the fact that Turkey, in reality, has no place in the European Union.

Paragraph 28 explicitly states that there are positive developments in Turkey. This report completely overlooks the fact that in Turkey, ethnic and religious minorities, especially Christians, are still being persecuted, and that only a few days ago, Prime Minister Erdogan – yet again – openly called for the death penalty to be reintroduced. How can anyone possibly talk about ‘positive development’ in Turkey? I am aghast!

I voted against this report out of deep conviction. Let me say again: Turkey is not ready for Europe and it will never be part of Europe. I will continue to oppose such a move.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR). (PL) Thank you, Mr President. As things stand at present, the enlargement process is not just an opportunity for Europe’s continued economic development, but perhaps most importantly, it is also an opportunity to enhance the security of European countries, especially in the key Balkan region. The countries of that region are making steady progress, bringing their legislation into line with the Union’s provisions. I trust that the remaining countries will soon follow Croatia and accede to the Union. I should also like to recall the need for further commitment to enlargement policy towards the East. The situation of Ukraine is particularly important for Poland. Ukraine is one of our largest neighbours, and therefore has a significant impact on relations in the area. In addition, it is important to actively encourage the new Georgian Government, to ensure it implements its declared policy of maintaining the country’s pro-European stance. I believe that the support for enlargement contained in the report and the proposed actions aimed at building public confidence in that idea are entirely relevant and fully in line with the interests of the citizens of the Member States.

I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, enlargement policies and criteria must be tailored to the needs of the candidate and potential candidate countries, and also to the needs of their citizens, as well as responding to the criteria and principles of the Union. Therefore, it is important to pay greater attention to the reform of the judiciary and the fight against corruption and fraud at an early stage. This is why I welcome the Commission’s decision to open Chapters 23 and 24 early on in the accession process and to work on the basis of concrete, detailed benchmarks. Also, a lesson learned is that enforcement is the key to fulfilling these conditions. To remain credible, the accession process must be merit-based, tailored, benchmark-driven and transparent.

The High-Level Accession Dialogue with Macedonia is a good initiative, but this does not and should not replace the accession process. We are to judge Macedonia on its merits; the country surely deserves to start the accession negotiations now.

 
  
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  Monika Smolková (S&D). (SK) Mr President, 20 years after the Copenhagen conference, we have an economic crisis.

We have to say what the European Union has brought for the accession countries. The EU is without doubt a successful project. It has achieved great changes in people’s lives, but the crisis facing us imposes new roles. We must talk more about what values a common Europe has brought to people, and also more about the scope of solidarity. We must also talk about the social challenges, since this dimension is of the utmost importance. Many of us would not be here today were it not for enlargement. Enlargement has contributed to peace, stability and prosperity in the EU. Human rights and freedoms are the basis for the rule of law. Enlargement is beneficial for the entire EU, bringing it a better standing in the resolution of global problems and therefore I have supported the resolution and the conditions which should enhance the credibility and effectiveness of enlargement.

The entire accession process should define transparent and fair benchmarks, creating concrete steps towards accession, which would not be called into question, since it would be the consequence of clear, concrete and measurable objectives.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE). (DE) Mr President, Ms Koppa’s report is not a bad report, but it bypasses the real problems. Let me add my voice to others: Macedonia needs high-level talks and I welcome the fact that these have now been initiated, but that should not stop us from doing our utmost to end the Greek blockade against this country, preferably before the end of the year.

As regards Kosovo, I regret that bureaucracy has prevailed and the reference to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 has been retained in a footnote. Kosovo is now an independent European country which has been recognised by the majority of EU Member States, and it is high time that the five countries which have not yet done so finally recognised Kosovo, so that it can move towards visa-free travel and a trade agreement with the European Union.

Let me make one last point, if I may. I am also critical of the highly euphemistic statements made in this report about Turkey. Accepting Turkey as an accession candidate was a mistake. Turkey is not a European country and it does not fulfil the criteria.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0522/2012

 
  
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  Emer Costello (S&D). – Mr President, first of all I want to welcome the ceasefire that was announced in Gaza yesterday, and I call for its full implementation by both sides. This means that there should be no rockets from Gaza into Israel – on the one hand – but it also means that Israel needs to stop its bombardment of Gaza and also ensure that there are no extrajudicial assassinations by Israel.

But we need to ensure that the ceasefire leads to a lasting peace, otherwise we will be here again in a few months or in a few years. That is why I was particularly happy to co-sign and sponsor this motion, which sets out a roadmap for a lasting solution. It calls for an end to the Gaza blockade, and it reiterates EU support for the two-state solution, recognising Palestine’s right to statehood and also acknowledging that Israel has the right to live peacefully within its borders.

I was particularly pleased with the vote today recognising Palestine’s bid for UN membership. I call on all EU Member States to acknowledge the vote in the European Parliament, and to speak with one voice and support the Palestinian bid for observer status in the UN.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR). (PL) Armed conflict is a most undesirable response to any situation. As regards the peace process in the Middle East, we have repeatedly supported the view that Israel and Palestine have the right to coexist as independent states. We have also expressed our firm commitment to security in that unstable region.

In the current context, we must reiterate our appeal for an end to the use of force and a resumption of peace talks. The continuing rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas must be strongly condemned. The same applies to the illegal arming of Palestinians from outside. The Tel Aviv Government was forced into taking measures to counter Palestinian aggression in order to defend its citizens. As I endorse the motion, I declare myself in favour of the existence of two independent and democratic states with Jerusalem as their capital. At the same time, I wish to express my solidarity with the Israeli people who have been the victims of brutal aggression, and to condemn to activities of Palestinian extremists. I do not therefore support the call to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

 
  
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  Ewald Stadler (NI). (DE) Mr President, I voted for this resolution, although it does not go far enough, in my view. I therefore wish to make the following points. Firstly, I believe that we should in future attach conditions to the EUR 600 million that the European Union provides every year as assistance to the region, and that applies to both parties. Everything that has been said applies, of course, to both parties equally.

The second point is this. It should be made clear to Israel that imprisoning millions of people behind barbed wire and walls that are several metres high does not work in the long term. The GDR, which has vanished from the map, is the classic example. It does not work. The only way forward is to engage in talks with the partner, even if the partner concerned is regarded as less than ideal. In my view, there will be no option but to talk to Hamas, for example, sooner or later. Austria has a strong tradition here. I recall that Austria and Bruno Kreisky were criticised when we talked to Arafat and Fatah. With hindsight, however, it proved to be the right move and culminated in the award of the Nobel Peace Prize. The same must surely apply today!

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE). (SK) Mr President, I am very pleased that we have managed to prepare a balanced resolution on the situation in Gaza. Like most of my colleagues and most citizens of the European Union, the agreement on a truce fills me with cautious optimism. I am nevertheless unable to support the proposed Article 5 of the resolution, which deviates sharply from the overall tone of the resolution. If we are talking about seeking a compromise solution, with which both sides in the conflict will be able to live, we cannot also support the claims of one of the sides. This is not a responsible and balanced approach, this is not the way to a peaceful solution. National sovereignty for the territory inhabited by the Palestinians may be the incentive for attempts to live together in peace, not the starting point for negotiations.

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, for eight days the people of Gaza suffered under a horrific Israeli onslaught. It took the lives of almost 150 Palestinians, the majority of whom were civilians, and a number of whom were children. From the Nobel Peace Prize winners – Obama and the EU – we had the usual support for the right-wing Israeli narrative that this was about Israel’s right to protect its population, as a statement of the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU declared. This onslaught had nothing to do with the security of ordinary Israelis and everything to do with the interests of that right-wing Israeli establishment seeking to increase support in advance of January’s general election and seeking to disrupt the attempt to get UN recognition for Palestine.

I welcome the announcement of the ceasefire, which does mean that the people of Gaza could sleep last night without bombardment, but a lasting peace will only be achieved when there is an end to the national oppression of the Palestinian people and fundamental socialist change in the region in the interests of all working-class people. It is the Palestinian masses struggling from below, linking up with Israeli workers and poor, who can achieve that.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE). (LT) Mr President, thank you, I would firstly like to join those who have welcomed the ceasefire. We hope that this will be a long-term agreement, and a push to renew negotiations on long-term peace and a final agreement on the two states in this region. In my opinion, the resolution’s text is balanced.

It deplores the high number of civilian casualties and condemns the attacks against Israel and its civilian population by Hamas and other militias. Israel has the right to defend itself. Any aggression deliberately directed at the civilian population is unacceptable. I voted against paragraph 5, which supports Palestine’s aim to become an observer state of the United Nations. I definitely support Palestinian statehood but unilateral steps and obtaining recognition indirectly does not lead anywhere. An agreement needs to be reached with the neighbour.

Secondly, I do not believe that we want a state that is partly governed by a terrorist organisation and that does not recognise its neighbour’s right to statehood. I hope that political forces will appear which will be able to ensure peace in the region.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE). (DE) Mr President, as pleased as we are about the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the Middle East, we are all aware that this region is a graveyard for ceasefires and therefore also for people. There is therefore an urgent need to work towards a durable and peaceful solution for the region at last. That must be based on recognition of Israel’s right to exist and its security interests, which must continue to be safeguarded and defended without any reductions, and of the rights of the Palestinians to form their own state. In other words, what is needed is a two-state solution.

Although this issue is dealt with very well in paragraph 3 and the resolution itself is very good overall, I voted against paragraph 5. I am in favour of Palestine being integrated progressively into UN structures, but sadly, we have a long way to go before that can happen. I believe that this was quite the wrong signal to send out just as the Hamas-controlled areas launched thousands of rockets over Israel. What we want is a peace settlement first. Palestine’s integration into UN structures can take place after that.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I abstained from voting because, even though I support the Middle East peace process, I do not believe it can continue as long as Hamas chooses violence over peaceful negotiations, and giving Palestine UN non-member observer status would only legitimate Hamas’s actions.

I believe that Israel has the right to defend its territory and citizens against all attacks. In my opinion, Hamas was wrong to attack civilian areas and kill innocent people. The bomb attacks in Tel Aviv are the best illustration of Hamas’s terrorist outlook. I also worry about the risks facing the Romanian community in Israel. I urge Hamas to stop its military aggression and to observe yesterday’s ceasefire so that the situation does not deteriorate any further.

 
  
  

Report: Arnaud Danjean (A7-0357/2012)

 
  
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  Ewald Stadler (NI). (DE) Mr President, I voted against this report because, as the representative of a neutral country, I cannot possibly accept the proposals made in this report. What is being planned here is, quite simply, the further militarisation of the European Union, with more intensive cooperation between the EU and NATO. The report makes no reference to nuclear disarmament, and even proposes to link the provision of development assistance to some countries with military purposes and military cooperation in future. This further waters down the principle of separation between the EU and NATO.

From my perspective, as a representative of a neutral country, this is unacceptable, especially since exemptions are no longer made for neutral countries. I believe that no Member of this House from a neutral country can possibly vote for reports of this nature.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Mr President, I voted in favour of the report of Mr Danjean. I believe that the European Parliament needs to encourage Member States to make full use of their strategic and budgetary capacities to promote the CSDP. This policy has to remain the EU’s crisis management instrument. It also needs to be brought to its full potential, especially when it comes to implementation of the mechanisms introduced under the Lisbon Treaty.

I also want to stress the important role of EU civilian and military missions for the EU’s political credibility. As an example in this context, I want to mention our biggest CSDP mission, which is in Kosovo.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, since 2003 the EU has launched 19 civilian missions and seven military operations. We have the potential to bring positive changes in troubled regions. In the Western Balkans our engagement contributed to peace and security. Today’s Western Balkans still face serious challenges related to the rule of law, the protection of minorities and the fight against organised crime and corruption. The EU must be able to respond to these challenges and to the geopolitical changes taking place on the international scene. This is why we must reassess our security strategy, be more autonomous and show greater unity. More independence does not mean that existing alliances will be put aside. On the contrary, strong transatlantic relations will be further reinforced. The time has come for an ambitious Common Security and Defence Policy with the appropriate means.

 
  
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  Monika Smolková (S&D). (SK) Mr President, I supported the report since I believe that the EU security strategy has in previous years been inadequate and, in view of today’s security challenges, even obsolete.

Despite the fact that this area is governed by inadequate resolve on the part of some Member States, restricted as they are by the current crisis and small defence budgets, the Union must play an important role as security provider for Member States and their citizens. The Union must find a way to confirm its strategic independence through a strong and effective foreign, security and defence policy, making it possible to act independently, if necessary. Defence capabilities have been greatly affected by the economic crisis, but the EU security policy cannot be left to others. There must be the political will here. In order to fulfil this, the Commission and the Council must precisely define the strategic interests of the EU and set them so as not only to maintain current, existing defence alliances and links in a context of changing threats, but above all to create the prerequisites for building up our own capabilities to be able to respond to the development of threats.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, UK Conservatives have grave reservations about the CSDP, in particular that it will result in duplication of the work of NATO, which must remain the anchor to Britain’s national defence at a time of defence cuts. The advantage of NATO is to forge strong transatlantic links with the United States and there are serious concerns that the CSDP could decouple us from our American allies.

Nevertheless, I believe that it is in Britain’s interest to remain pragmatically engaged with CSDP operations when it can bring additional resources to bear. I am the rapporteur for the Horn of Africa and accept that the EU NAVFOR Atalanta mission, which fights piracy in the Indian Ocean, together with the EU training mission in Uganda, are proving useful. I will be watching with interest the mission to Mali with ECOWAS to see what it can do to stabilise the Sahel region, as well as the EULEX mission, which is a civilian mission to Kosovo. That has also proved fairly useful. So I remain, as it were, sceptical of CSDP but watching it with a great deal of interest.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE). (DE) Mr President, last weekend it was 90 years since Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi first formulated the vision of a united Europe in his article ‘Pan-Europa - a proposal’. He was a fervent champion of what was, in effect, a United States of Europe, and being a realistically minded pacifist, what he meant by this was, above all, a common foreign policy, regional arbitration and common defence structures. It is our task to continue this tradition and to work to ensure that Europe remains focused on its core tasks, and that is a Common Foreign and Security Policy!

If I may, I would like to quote two other great Europeans: Otto von Habsburg, who would have been 100 years old this week, and Franz Josef Strauß. They said that NATO only had a future if it was based on two equal pillars: the United States of America, and the United States of Europe. This is the course that we must consistently pursue, and that is what Mr Danjean’s report is doing.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR). (PL) Mr President, I am rather sceptical regarding what one might term shortcuts towards developing a Common Security and Defence Policy. This is because I perceive this as a sort of ritual that is somewhat removed from reality. In recent years we have had to cope with a situation in which the key Member States of the Union adopted differing positions on every vital foreign policy issue. Indeed their positions were often diametrically opposed to each other. This is also true today, which is why I expressed my scepticism by voting against this report. It seems to me that we do not currently need appeals, slogans and mottos concerning a common foreign policy. I am more favourably inclined towards consideration of a common defence policy.

 
  
  

Report: Ioan Mircea Paşcu (A7-0356/2012)

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE). (RO) Mr President, I would like to talk about this important report on the Common Security and Defence Policy, which I support and voted for yesterday. It is the first report to enshrine the concept of, and interpret, the new Treaty of Lisbon clauses: the mutual defence and solidarity clauses. One of the key aspects is the capacity to develop a Common Security and Defence Policy, even though there is no clear will to implement it as yet.

In respect of Article 32 of the Treaty on the mutual defence clause, the report rightly calls for the creation of a permanent EU Operational Headquarters to ensure greater consistency in applying this clause.

In respect of the solidarity clause...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Ewald Stadler (NI). (DE) Mr President, I voted against this report, just as I voted against the reports by Mr Kelam and Mr Tarand, for the same reasons, which have been stated mutatis mutandis in relation to the Danjean report. I wish to elaborate, if I may.

There is an extraordinary lack of clarity on two key points in the report. Firstly, what does the obligation of aid and assistance by ‘all the means in their power’ actually mean? This goes much further than the collective defence commitment within the framework of NATO.

Secondly, there is a lack of precision in the definitions. What is a ‘man-made disaster’? Every war is a man-made disaster. Does a war then trigger a mutual assistance obligation for Member States?

I say it again: for someone who comes from a neutral country, this is unacceptable. The lack of clarity in this report made it impossible for me to support it, even though I would otherwise be in favour of its fundamental objectives, namely to provide mutual aid and assistance in the event of disasters.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, any EU Member State can be stricken by a natural or man-made disaster, or even be a victim of aggression such as a terrorist attack. We must be able to react fast to such instances and provide support to a fellow Member State. This is why Member States and the European Union must develop a policy for the prevention of and response to all major security threats identified. Better safe than sorry.

Creating a voluntary pool of pre-committed civil protection assets would, for example, much improve EU readiness. Another crucial issue is to find a proper balance that would allow for a quick response, involvement of all EU institutions, and enforcement of the principle of accountability for the decisions taken. Accountability is vital.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of the report because I believe that consolidating the common defence policy will help to define European identity. To this end, solidarity among the Member States and adequate financing is essential.

The mutual defence clause is an effective instrument should a Member State be under attack, but at present there are no practical measures for a coherent response should the state in question invoke the clause. For it to be implemented effectively, the Commission must be involved at a technical and political level. Though the risk of an attack against a Member State is very low, we must consider new types of threats such as cyber terrorism and cyber attacks, which should also feature in the rules on the implementation of the mutual defence clause.

 
  
  

Report: Tunne Kelam (A7-0335/2012)

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report, the first and most robust report to deal exclusively with cyber security. None of the other provisions and reports on cyber crime is included here. The report deals with a permanent type of threat, technological attacks, of which there is very little awareness.

It should be noted that only 10 EU Member States have adopted a National Cyber Security Strategies to combat such attacks, which are becoming increasingly politically motivated and which some Member States have experienced. These attacks are very effective and have costly consequences for their targets. The report rightly calls on the High Representative to take these attacks into account when implementing Article 222 of the Treaty.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). (FI) Mr President, I support the report. It is important for the European Union to keep up with the times, and networking is a fact of modern life. The world is more global than ever, and especially thanks to the internet.

It is not only trade and social intercourse that take place on cross-border networks; states also depend on the internet and on the security of data networks. It is therefore important to agree upon the safe use of information technology and digital technology and upon durable, reliable data services and the associated infrastructures, and also to find common operating models at European level. All of the barriers that hamper the defence and security of common data networks at EU level should be eliminated. Young people and children must also be remembered; protecting them in the digital network society is more important than ever.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, in March 2011 the European Parliament faced a cyber attack that targeted its computer network. A week before, the European Commission was the victim of a similar attack.

Cyber threats and attacks against government, administration, military and international bodies are a rapidly growing menace. We must address them and protect our communication structures and infrastructures from any kind of intrusion. Our first step is to update the European Security Strategy in order to identify how to pursue and prosecute individual, network-related and state-supported cyber attackers.

Other conditions, sine qua non, are the development of an EU cyber security strategy with a common definition of cyber security and defence, and the creation of a critical infrastructure warning information network at the European level. I would also like to say that cyber criminality is not limited to cyber attacks: vulnerable populations are also targeted by criminals acting from behind the computer. We must, therefore, also take steps in this direction.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE). (LT) Mr President, thank you, I voted in favour of the resolution on cyber security and defence. We have seen several cases where European Union institutions and individual Member States have suffered cyber attacks, such as Estonia in 2007. All agree that in the immediate future the number of such attacks will only increase and I therefore believe that these measures proposed by the European Parliament are necessary and very timely.

I agree entirely with the need for each Member State to adopt national action plans, but in particular there should be cooperation at various levels throughout the European Union and internationally, with the exchange of experience and sharing of knowledge.

Some countries that do not follow democratic values are inclined to either restrict the tremendous opportunities for communication or to subordinate these to their own interests. We need to take action to prevent the formation of favourable conditions enabling such countries and such policies of theirs to become consolidated.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). - (GA) Mr President, I also voted in favour of this report and I congratulate the rapporteur, Tunne Kelam, on the excellent work he has done on this important, complex and controversial issue.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of the report because the main threats experienced by the Member States are new. The increasing number of cyber attacks is a major threat to the security and stability of the Member States. The Union must develop a cyber security strategy to prevent these attacks.

I propose the creation of a dedicated working group comprising IT and military experts from the Member States. They should collaborate with NATO and US experts in the field. For instance, Romania, in collaboration with its US partners, organises regular working sessions on cyber crime and Romanian experts have global recognition in this field. We have the human resources available and we should use them.

 
  
  

Report: Indrek Tarand (A7-0349/2012)

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report, even though it still contains many controversial issues, such as energy security, which is the most important for the Common Security and Defence Policy. I wish to highlight two particularly relevant aspects of the report: the security component is very important for the Union’s capacity to respond to natural disasters but the focus is primarily on civilian capabilities, and less on military capabilities.

In addition, I would underline environmental best practices and their impact on security, namely the European Defence Agency’s GO GREEN project, which focuses on the importance of energy efficiency.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). (FI) Mr President, climate change has an impact on security, peace and stability in the world. We must thank Mr Tarand for his work.

It is regrettable that climate change remains in the shadow of the financial crisis. The effects of climate change are often dramatic, and primarily target the world’s poorest and often most densely-populated areas. We should prepare for climate change. The communities that are affected by climate change should be helped to prepare and to adapt to changes in their living conditions. The most vulnerable victims of climate change are still women and children who need special care. This report signals to the European External Action Service Parliament’s desire that this important matter be given serious attention in EU policies.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Mr President, climate change and natural disasters have an impact on global security, peace and stability. They have a direct impact on the global economy and are also the source of political instability. Lack of fresh water or food can force populations to migrate to other regions that are not always friendly.

Therefore, we – as the European Union – should take the effects of natural disasters and climate change into consideration in our external action strategies, policies and instruments. However, do we need a special representative for climate security, or do we need a Council working group on climate security, for this purpose? I do not think so. This would create, above all, additional bureaucracy. I believe that climate security can and must be addressed with existing European policies.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of the report because, to date, climate change has only been considered from an environmental and economic perspective, but it also affects our security.

Natural disasters must be taken into account when preparing national and Community security strategies. That is why I am in favour of studies to investigate the potential impact of natural disasters and climate change crises on international and European security. The Union and its members must ensure that they have sufficient capacity to respond to climate-driven natural disasters.

These aspects must also be discussed with our most important partners. The Union’s role as a leader in this area must be consolidated through prevention, which requires a responsible and sustainable environmental policy.

 
  
  

Report: Liisa Jaakonsaari (A7-0355/2012)

 
  
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  Paul Murphy, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, those who consider or claim that the human rights situation in Kazakhstan is improving should take note of the statement issued two days ago by the official representative of the Prosecutor-General. In this statement they accuse the unregistered opposition of extremist actions and say they filed a lawsuit to ban them, together with a host of independent and media outlets such as the newspapers Respublika and Vzglyad, the satellite television station K+ and dozens of associated online news sites. It is clear that the situation in Kazakhstan with regard to human rights has gone from bad to worse. With the effective banning of opposition parties and the media, Kazakhstan is most likely to see another wave of arrests followed by unfair trials and long prison sentences. This is intolerable and unacceptable. In addition, Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the opposition party ALGA who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, lost his appeal three days ago. Human Rights Watch had declared that Kozlov’s conviction is unsound given that the charges against him are vague and overbroad and are fundamentally incompatible with human rights treaties Kazakhstan has signed. In addition, Vadim Kuramshin, the well known human rights defender, faces up to fourteen years in prison.

I make an urgent call here today for the immediate suspension of the negotiations on the enhanced partnership and cooperation agreement unless there is a profound and proven change in the human rights situation in Kazakhstan. This in my view must include an unconditional amnesty for all prisoners convicted on political grounds, including Vladimir Kozlov and Vadim Kuramshin. I call on the international trade union movement and civil society organisations to echo this call and to put pressure on European institutions and on Catherine Ashton, who will visit Kazakhstan next week, to make it crystal clear that there can be no business as usual with the Nazarbayev regime. It is not acceptable that the EU’s economic and strategic interests in Kazakhstan’s energy resources take priority over the deteriorating human rights situation.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR). (PL) Deeper and closer cooperation between the Union and Kazakhstan could be beneficial to both sides, particularly if Kazakhstan’s important role in global energy policy is taken into account. Kazakhstan falls within Russia’s area of economic influence, if only because it is a member of the customs union. It is therefore very much in our interest to take appropriate steps to bring Astana closer to Europe. The partnership and cooperation agreement will facilitate the development of a comprehensive framework for mutual economic development. At the same time, it is also important to encourage the Kazakh authorities to accede to the World Trade Organisation as soon as possible. The partnership must of course encompass issues such as the principles of the rule of law, good governance and democratisation, because these are the mechanisms on which European policy is based. In the context of Kazakhstan, it is also particularly important to regulate the status of the Caspian Sea. This involves cooperation with other Central Asian countries. We should encourage swifter progress towards an appropriate solution. I support the resolution.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). – Madam President, in 2011 Kazakhstan’s scored only 2.7 on Transparency International’s corruption perception index. For 2012, Freedom House describes the Kazakh judicial system as being dependent on the executive and with a lot of corruption. As proof of this, the Zhanaozen trials were rampant with independent accusations of evidence fabrication, torture and intimidation. The progress in the negotiation of the new partnership and cooperation agreement must be linked to the progress of political reform. Enforcing judicial independence and curbing corruption within the judiciary must be set as priorities. Also, the control and management of penitentiaries should be returned to the Ministry of Justice, and political prisoners must be released. We need binding commitments from the Kazakh authorities. I believe that EU financial aid must be conditional upon progress with clear benchmarks, binding deadlines and monitoring mechanisms.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, Kazakhstan is larger than Western Europe and represents a vital player in Central Asia and is an excellent model of Christian-Islamic coexistence in that country. Both its size and massive oil and mineral wealth ensure that it cannot be ignored by the EU, nor should it be, because it offers a bridge between Europe and Asia and the country has much to contribute to both continents.

Certainly it is perfectly able to retain links with Russia, by being part of the Eurasian Economic Committee and, at the same time, seek closer cooperation with the European Union. Such cooperation will bring tangible benefits to both sides, but it must come hand in hand with more democracy and better human rights for its people. We must also focus efforts on helping the Kazakh Government to develop its infrastructure in this vast country. If these goals can be met, the PCA, together with the eventual Kazakh accession to the WTO, will be a good idea and will more closely integrate Kazakhstan into European Union friendship internationally, together with its partners, and also into the multilateral organisations where Kazakhstan rightly belongs. It will also increase the chances of prosperity for its people. Therefore I support the report.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR). (PL) Mr President, Kazakhstan is one of the largest countries of the region. It is a country with huge resources of raw materials. It is an important partner for the European Union as a whole and for individual Member States of the Union. I should like to draw attention to the huge economic progress made by Kazakhstan over the last 20 years. I have visited Kazakhstan seven times, and am well acquainted with it. I believe the country’s progress is worthy of note.

Issues concerning human rights must of course be taken into account. These are important matters and the European Parliament is duty bound to monitor them. We can be quite sure that neither the Council nor the Commission are going to do so on our behalf. I should point out, however, that Kazakhstan currently has many formal economic and political agreements with Russia. It would be worth encouraging closer links between Kazakhstan and Brussels, so that the former does not remain exclusively in the Russian sphere of political and economic influence.

 
  
  

Report: João Ferreira (A7-0291/2012)

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). - (GA) Mr President, this will be my last speech this morning. Once again, I am happy to support these proposals and I see that 474 out of 532 Members voted in favour of them, something which is very interesting and very welcome.

This problem is a most important aspect of fishing because it deals with the small-scale fisheries, and these are the people that need most protection under the CFP. They do need a lot of protecting, particularly in the future, in relation to the way they are being discriminated against, especially by the big factory ships which are engaging in practices such as mincing and in not declaring their real catch when then come to shore. This is discriminating against smaller fishermen, it is obviously depleting stocks and it cannot be tolerated. I certainly look forward to giving the smaller fisheries a better shake into the future.

 
  
  

Report: Isabella Lövin (A7-0290/2012)

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report because the external dimension of the fisheries policy is complex and must protect the Union’s interests. In this context, we should promote sustainable fisheries and the conservation of marine biodiversity. We also need better overall fisheries management and coordination between the external and cooperation policies. The Union should aim to adopt harmonised and sustainable fisheries policies and improve its cooperation with its neighbours.

I wish to draw attention to the important role of the Union in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. A more coherent policy is needed to achieve our development objectives.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0520/2012

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of the resolution because I, too, believe that the European Parliament elections must be more closely linked to the election of the President of the Commission. The Commission must be formed on democratic principles; its President must play a more active role in the European Parliament election campaign. In this way, he or she will be able to convey their vision for the future of the Union, and the citizens will also be able to vote for the parties’ candidate for the Commission Presidency. Choosing the best option for the Commission will require time and we should think about bringing the elections forward by a month in.

The gender balance within the Commission should be considered more carefully, even though the competence criteria should remain paramount. In this way, the Commission could become a true government of the European Union and the European Parliament could monitor its activities more closely.

 
  
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  Nicole Sinclaire (NI). – Mr President, I can say with some certainty that, in times of austerity, my constituents do not want their taxes spent on political campaigns and propaganda. I voted against these proposals that seek to further the use of pan-European parties, with all their expense and their ideology of promoting EU federalism. The majority of people in the UK do not share an EU identity. In successive EU elections, people have used the elections to express their disapproval of the EU. Opinion poll after opinion poll shows dissatisfaction with the EU and a wish for a referendum. My constituents do not wish to hear propaganda, paid for by their taxes, telling them how great the EU is. They feel the reality of cutbacks in public services, whilst the UK pays more and more to the EU – a luxury we cannot afford.

In 2014 the We Demand a Referendum Party will put on the ballot paper those words, ‘We demand a referendum’. This will allow the electorate from the UK to send you, and our government, a message, loud and clear, that we demand an in-out referendum.

 
  
  

Written explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Marek Józef Gróbarczyk (A7-0239/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report because I consider, first of all, that multiannual plans are vital for preserving fishing and are a useful tool available to the European Union. Through the proposed measures, this plan ensures the conservation status of all Baltic salmon stocks, allowing sustainable exploitation. In my opinion, it is also essential to take account of catches by recreational vessels, and this management plan therefore needs to include measures to tackle this problem.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The EU Member States are among the biggest salmon exporters in the world. Fishing is, traditionally and culturally, one of the main activities is the European Union and it is an important sector for the economy. I believe that the exploitation of fishing stocks should take into account the quality of the final product, without intervening unnecessarily in the ecosystem. From this point of view, the present report is clearly a step forward for sustainability in this area. The European Union must focus on competitiveness and productivity in the fishing sector while protecting the European ecosystems and biosphere.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) This report, which I supported, aims to establish a multiannual plan for the management of the fisheries exploiting salmon stock in the Baltic Sea. This fishing must be done in such a way that the conservation status of the whole Baltic stock, including all salmon river stocks, remains favourable, thereby guaranteeing sustainable exploitation.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this proposal on a multiannual plan for the sustainable management of Baltic salmon stocks. Salmon stocks in around 30 Baltic tributaries are threatened by a reduction in genetic diversity. Baltic salmon stocks must be exploited on the basis of the principle of the maximum sustainable yield so that they can replenish themselves in the long term and their diversity must also be protected. I agree that in order to tighten controls on salmon fishing at least 50 % of landings in the Member States should be inspected and greater attention should be devoted to catch declarations and to increasing the number of inspections in ports. I welcome the proposal to establish full controls on all types of recreational fishing and to introduce a reporting requirement for this type of fishing. It is very important for the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) to provide financial assistance for the direct restocking of salmon.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of the report because it tackles a well-known problem that has yet to be solved. I welcome the Commission’s proposal on a multiannual plan and I believe that it would lead to more efficient management of fishing in the Baltic Sea. Extending the scope to all forms of fishing, including recreational fishing, is a welcome move since that recreational fishing is becoming more popular. Greater controls of fishing activities in the Baltic Sea countries is essential for the effective monitoring of all catches. This would ensure greater transparency, benefit the environment and make fishing sustainable.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of Mr Gróbarczyk’s report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a multiannual plan for the Baltic salmon stock and the fisheries exploiting that stock. The report was drawn up only after wide-ranging consultations with stakeholders, including fishermen, non-governmental organisations, anglers and advisory bodies. The report focuses on the lack of specific controls on recreational fishing, endangering at-risk species in particular. This report aims to lay down clear and specific rules to unify the principles applying to the management and control of recreational fishing.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because the multiannual plan for conserving Baltic salmon is a vital part of the management of marine resources in the context of the common fisheries policy (CFP) reform. In order to adequately examine stock levels in the Baltic Sea, wide-ranging consultations have been held with stakeholders. The information obtained through this process highlights the lack of much essential data, which made this report more difficult to compile. Due to the lack of proper controls and information, recreational fishing in ‘service vessels’ was not covered, and has led to the uncontrolled development of recreational fishing and has thus had a significant impact on salmon stock levels in the Baltic Sea. It should be noted that we need to carry out wide-ranging consultation among interested parties in drawing up management plans for fish stocks in the European Union, with a view to identifying compromise solutions which can help to protect the environment and achieve sustainable fisheries development. I therefore welcome tighter controls on catches and believe that it would be useful to inspect at least 50 % of landings in each Member State so that we can ensure that a sufficient level of control has been established and thus contribute to the restoration of salmon stocks.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a multiannual plan for the Baltic salmon stock and the fisheries exploiting that stock. The principle of maximum sustainable yield should guide our actions in the regulation of recreational fishing and the management of the Baltic salmon stock. With this in mind, it is urgent to guarantee sustainable fishing of this species in order to preserve its genetic diversity.

 
  
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  Alain Cadec (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for the Gróbarczyk report, which aims to establish a multiannual plan for the management of fisheries exploiting salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea, so as to guarantee sustainable exploitation of the stock. I support the recommendation to collect more scientific data on the extent of recreational fishing, as well as the impact of predators on the stock.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this report as I consider that the level of smolt production should be set at 80 % of the potential smolt production capacity for the different wild salmon rivers, in accordance with the recommendation made by Helcom (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission). Also, the scope of the Regulation should be expanded to include all forms of recreational fishing. I also support stricter controls on catches, such that at least 50 % of landings in each Member State should be subject to inspection.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE), in writing. (FR) Preserving our fish stocks, and particularly our salmon stocks, is not simply a matter of protecting a species. It is also, most importantly, a matter of protecting our environment, our culture and our fishermen. This report lays down the principle of stricter controls on catches, without adversely affecting small-scale fishermen. We can therefore see that it protects both our resources and our jobs.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The objective of this proposal is to establish a multiannual plan for the management of the fisheries on the salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea to ensure that the conservation status of the entire Baltic stock is favourable and provides for sustainable exploitation. The specific objectives therefore include the need to guarantee that the Baltic salmon stock is exploited sustainably and to safeguard the genetic integrity and diversity of the Baltic salmon stock. As a result, I can only support these measures, which aim to ensure sustainable Baltic salmon stocks.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The sustainable management of fishery resources is an issue that concerns responsible citizens, environmental organisations and all stakeholders in this sector. Unfortunately, and despite its highly laudable objectives, the fact is that the common fisheries policy (CFP) has not had the desired effect, with negative repercussions on both fishing communities and resources. This report by Marek Józef Gróbarczyk concerns the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a multiannual plan for the Baltic salmon stock and the fisheries exploiting that stock. It notes a significant reduction in the salmon stock, which is due, firstly, to the lack of a multiannual plan for sustainable management and, secondly, to increasing unregulated catches by recreational fisheries, which are frequently assuming professional proportions. I voted in favour of this proposal for a regulation because we urgently need measures to protect and safeguard this species by removing predators (responsible for 20 % of catches), protecting resources and creating the conditions for economic exploitation by everyone dependent on this sector.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report is based on the Commission proposal, which aims to establish a multiannual plan for the management of the fisheries on the salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea to ensure that the conservation status of the entire Baltic stock, including all salmon rivers’ stocks, is favourable and provides for sustainable exploitation. The proposal’s main objectives are that the salmon stock is exploited according to the principle of maximum sustainable yield and that the genetic integrity and diversity of the Baltic salmon stock is safeguarded. Most of the report’s amendments aim to further restrict salmon fishing, for example by prohibiting fishing with drift longliners. Bearing in mind the specific characteristics of recreational fishing – which is one of the activities with an important impact on the level of the Baltic salmon stock, although this impact is not properly assessed owing to the lack of adequate controls and the fact that Member States do not carry out their obligation to provide the relevant information – a specific framework to improve control is proposed. We supported this report.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) In 2010, the action plan for salmon came to an end. It had been adopted in 1997 by the International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission. The contracting parties to the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) have urged the EU to draw up a long-term plan to manage the breeding of the common salmon. The objective of Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for European Union action in the field of water policy is to protect, preserve and improve the aquatic environment in which the salmon spends part of its life-cycle. The multiannual plan for the common salmon population in the Baltic Sea should contribute to achieving the objectives of the above mentioned Directive. Essential measures, such as the management of river basins should not be duplicated in this regulation, but it is necessary to coordinate and unify the measures adopted pursuant to this regulation and the measures pursuant to the above mentioned Directive for the protection and improvement of the salmon biotope in inland waters. Scientific recommendations lead one to believe that genetic contamination of the common salmon population may lead to a fall in the survival and incidence of the original population and impairment of the genetic ability to overcome disease and changes in local and environmental conditions. Since protection of the genetic integrity and diversity of the common salmon population plays a vital role in its preservation, I am convinced that it should form part of the multiannual plan as one of its objectives.

 
  
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  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) This report was drawn up only after wide-ranging consultations with stakeholders and aims to lay down clear and specific rules to unify the principles applying to the management and control of recreational fishing. For these reasons, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because the multiannual plan for conserving Baltic salmon is a vital part of the management of marine resources in the context of the common fisheries policy reform. Salmon spawn, or used to spawn, in a great many rivers around the Baltic, each with its own unique genetic population. Over the years, many of these spawning populations have decreased dramatically or even become extinct. Pollution, habitat destruction, hydro-electric dams and other man-made problems have been responsible for declines in population abundance. It is therefore necessary to ensure proper conservation of salmon stocks and fisheries management and to lay down clear rules to unify the principles applying to the management and control of recreational fishing. Only recreational fishing exercised in the proper manner will make a significant contribution to the development of alternative forms of fishery, leading to sustainable growth in regions dependent on fisheries.

 
  
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  Jarosław Kalinowski (PPE), in writing. (PL) As representatives of European society, it is our duty once again to call for rationalisation of fisheries policy. The predictions regarding future stocks are alarming. If we retain the current fishing policy there is a danger that certain fish species will be totally extinct within a few decades. As individuals who value the diversity of nature, who are concerned about the success of Europe’s economy and about the well-being of future generations, as informed consumers who make wise choices in their daily shopping, we must appeal for common sense. Nature’s bounty is not infinite, which is why it is so important to ensure that it is exploited sustainably. Attention should be paid to recreational fishing methods. Such fishing is not controlled and contributes significantly to the reduction of the salmon population. It is also necessary to introduce more detailed and regular checks on landings, because many irregularities occur at that stage too.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing. (FR) The aim of this report is to establish a multiannual plan for the management of fisheries exploiting salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea. This will make it possible to preserve the status of the Baltic stock, as well as that of river salmon, and to ensure sustainable exploitation. The initiative therefore aims specifically to ensure sustainable fishing of Baltic salmon, but also to ensure that the genetic integrity and diversity of the stock are preserved. I voted for this report because I am conscious that fishery management is an important factor in ensuring the sustainability of marine resources.

 
  
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  Isabella Lövin and Carl Schlyter (Verts/ALE), in writing. (SV) I voted in favour of Mr Gróbarczyk’s report on a management plan for salmon in the Baltic Sea, since it contains some very important elements that will improve the situation for wild salmon, for example, phasing out the release of farmed salmon, and reporting requirements for subsistence and recreational fishing too. On the other hand, we failed to garner political support for phasing out all sea fishing of salmon, and to introduce minimum Community dimensions for salmon and salmon trout, which would have reduced the risks of false reporting and cheating. I do, however, feel that Mr Gróbarczyk’s report is a very big step forwards in comparison with the current situation.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. In its proposal for a regulation on the Baltic salmon stock, the Commission delegates to the Member States powers to regulate certain areas which are regarded as falling within the exclusive competence of the Union (conservation of marine resources).

In so doing the Commission gives its support for regionalisation and decentralisation of management in the area of EU fisheries policy. It retains, nevertheless, the right to intervene should a Member State not comply with the requirements laid down in the regulation, which are designed to lead to the re-establishment of the Baltic salmon stock.

Delegated acts should be considered a positive element in the unification of the CFP, which, in the context of this regulation, enables the Commission to improve controls and delegate powers to the relevant Member States more effectively.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour the regulation establishing a multiannual plan for the Baltic salmon stock and the fisheries exploiting that stock. In order to limit exploitation of salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea, a management plan is necessary to promote sustainable exploitation and genetic diversity. Various measures should thus allow us to maintain a sufficient reproduction rate.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. Multiannual plans are a fundamental fisheries conservation tool used by the EU and they have been blocked within the Council for two years. I disagree with the blockage and I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) As we all know very well, the Baltic Sea is one of the most sensitive seas in the EU. This is not only true for the water quality and pollution but also for the protection of biological resources, and specifically salmon stocks. Unfortunately, current management of stocks does not fully guarantee their recovery. I therefore welcome the provision that the EU approach to fishing and fish stock management must be based above all on scientific data on the recovery of stocks and the sustainable exploitation of these.

 
  
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  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) Unfortunately, the Baltic salmon stock continues to decrease despite the set objective of restoring the salmon stock in the area. I agree that the impact of predators on the salmon stock should be studied; however, we should admit that human activity poses a major threat, whether it be environmental damage from hydro-electric dams or illegal fishing where salmon is reported as sea trout in the fishing records. I have always respected the major contribution of Sweden and Finland to the development of environmental protection in the Baltic Sea area and I hope that they can manage the restoration and protection of the Baltic salmon stock just as actively and seriously. I supported this report, which calls for greater monitoring of salmon catches and the implementation of the relevant recommendations by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helcom).

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because we need to lay down clear rules to unify the principles of the management and control of recreational fishing and promote the development of alternative forms of fishery. In all cases, compromise solutions must be adopted for the effective management of Baltic salmon stocks. Furthermore, it is very important for scientific research to be carried out in this field on a constant basis and for a full control mechanism to be established. I believe that the proposal to limit stocking must be assessed very carefully and comprehensive studies must be carried out because its adoption may have negative consequences and reduce salmon stocks even further.

 
  
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  Justas Vincas Paleckis (S&D), in writing. The report on Baltic salmon stock and the fisheries exploiting that stock makes significant changes to the management of salmon fisheries in the Baltic Sea area and it urges the Member States to exploit the stock sustainably and to safeguard its genetic integrity and diversity.

I support this report because it says that ecological recovery of salmon and environmental needs have to be balanced with economical aspects. Necessary management measures should be introduced so that the Baltic salmon fishery continues to provide jobs and income in the fishery’s regions for years to come.

Reduction of catches should be negotiated and agreed with fishers to increase the chances of its successful implementation. In order to achieve ethical and sustainable fisheries, the trust and communication methods between the stakeholders should be improved.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report concerns the multiannual plan to protect Baltic salmon, which is an important element for managing marine resources in the context of the current reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP). The report took a comprehensive approach, by engaging in wide-ranging consultations with stakeholders, including fishermen, anglers, non-governmental organisations, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), regional advisory bodies, the Committee of the Regions, and government and local authority representatives from the various countries involved. Among other issues, this report tackled monitoring of catches, species reproduction and the impact of predators on Baltic salmon stocks. I voted in favour of this report as I consider that it is an important tool for improving the regulation, management, conservation and sustainable exploitation of this fishery resource, which are absolutely essential conditions for the recovery of Baltic salmon stocks.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) This proposal aims to establish a multiannual plan for the management of the fisheries on the salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea to ensure the conservation status of these marine resources in the context of the common fisheries policy. To ensure that this status is favourable, this proposal for a regulation must be adopted as it will guide the Member States towards sustainable exploitation, through obligations to define and implement conservation measures ensuring: (a) that the salmon stock is exploited based on the principle of maximum sustainable yield, and (b) that the genetic integrity and diversity of the stock is safeguarded.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D), in writing. (FI) I voted in favour of this report. The situation with regard to salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea is very worrying. In recent years, salmon stocks have been found to be falling sharply. One of the reasons for falling stocks is over-fishing of salmon. In order for salmon protection to be effective, recreational fishing should also fall within the scope of regulation. The aim of the multiannual management plan is not to prevent fishing but rather to enable fishing in the future too. Preserving fish stocks and sustainable fishing are ultimately the responsibility of all of us.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. Salmon in the Baltic Sea are doing poorly, for many reasons. Salmon is not entirely a competence of the EU, since its spawning areas are the rivers and streams of the MS, but several EU management measures exist - total allowable catches for Sea fishing, minimum landing sizes, closed seasons, etc. There is also a ban on the use of driftnets to catch salmon. The COM has proposed an EU-wide management plan, which by and large we welcomed. Both in ENVI (Carl Schlyter opinion) and in FISH we tried to strengthen the proposal, by phasing out fishing on the Sea, introducing a larger minimum landing size for both salmon and trout (to prevent mis-reporting), increasing the objectives for natural spawning of salmon in wild rivers, etc. A number of our main proposals were accepted (more in ENVI than in FISH, of course) but we lost on the phasing out of fishing on the Sea itself and the common minimum landing size for salmon and trout. We were successful in improving the scope of the plan to include recreational fishing, a major part of the fishing mortality that until now has not been regulated (at EU level).

 
  
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  Kārlis Šadurskis (PPE), in writing. (LV) The European Parliament has endorsed a new regulation establishing a multiannual plan for the protection of Baltic salmon stocks. The Baltic salmon is a species of European interest whose stocks are dwindling rapidly, and thus it is very important to draw up a multiannual plan to provide a sustainable fisheries policy and to guarantee long-term stability for European fishermen.

However, amendments have been tabled to the regulation, such as a ban on carrying out artificial reproduction outside wild salmon rivers, strict rules on and control of recreational fishing, an over-ambitious and unattainable target for fish fry production, and principles which differ from the common fisheries policy. These arguments are sufficiently strong to prevent me from supporting this regulation overall.

 
  
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  Carl Schlyter (Verts/ALE), in writing. (SV) I voted in favour of Mr Gróbarczyk’s report on a management plan for salmon in the Baltic Sea, since it contains some very important elements that will improve the situation for wild salmon, for example phasing out the release of farmed salmon, and reporting requirements for subsistence and recreational fishing too. On the other hand, we failed to garner political support for phasing out all sea fishing of salmon, and to introduce minimum Community dimensions for salmon and salmon trout, which would have reduced the risks of false reporting and cheating. I do, however, feel that Mr Gróbarczyk’s report is a very big step forwards in comparison with the current situation.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) I believe that the proposal for a multiannual plan for the Baltic salmon stock and the fisheries exploiting that stock will bring improved management of Baltic salmon fishing. Amendments are made to strengthen controls, in particular by expanding reporting requirements and imposing a minimum landing size of 65 cm for both salmon and sea trout. These measures are aimed at protecting spawning populations that have decreased dramatically in relative terms. Particular attention must be paid to recreational fishing, which should be adequately controlled in order to reduce the important impact it has on the level of the Baltic salmon stock. I believe that urgent action is required to halt the sharp increase in unreported catches. I voted in favour in order to help to promote the culture of sustainable fishery, based on new, clear and transparent rules.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The objective of this proposal is to establish a multiannual plan for the management of the fisheries on the salmon stocks in the Baltic Sea to ensure the conservation status of the stock and sustainable exploitation in the sector. The proposal therefore contains measures such as the obligation for Member States to define and implement technical conservation measures, and financial assistance from the European Fisheries Fund for direct restocking to achieve the defined objectives. For those reasons, I voted in favour of the document.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the report on the Baltic Sea salmon stocks and fisheries. Based on the latest scientific reports, inadequate stock renewal procedures could have a significant impact on the genetic diversity of the Baltic Sea salmon population. There is a high risk that the large number of farmed fish released annually in the Baltic Sea could affect the genetic integrity of the wild salmon population. I believe that fish stock renewal must be tightly regulated. The conditions governing the sourcing of genetic material for salmon reproduction and the stock renewal procedures could be specified in the multiannual plan so that stock renewal does not have a negative impact on genetic biodiversity. The Commission should ensure that Member States put in place administrative and criminal procedures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. I call on the Member States concerned to provide and publish data accounts of returning female salmon to their rivers.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) The European Parliament has been charged with drafting four reports that strengthen the extent to which sustainable development is taken into consideration in the common fisheries policy. I therefore voted in favour of all four reports, with some qualifications. The Gróbarczyk report notes a general lack of data and therefore of scientific knowledge about the extent of recreational fishing and its impact on Baltic salmon stocks in the different countries. It aims to present clear rules in order to harmonise the management and control principles concerning recreational fishing. This type of fishing, when done properly, can make a major contribution to the development of alternative forms of fishing, leading to sustainable growth in regions that depend on fishing. In particular, it proposes that at least 50 % of landings in each Member State should be subject to inspection.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (ALDE), in writing. (DE) Despite the lack of data in some areas to which the report itself refers, which is clearly problematical, this report provides a very accurate reflection of the situation. Wide-ranging consultations between various agencies and stakeholders/interested parties and the depiction of the consensus that is needed between the Regional Advisory Council and the Commission should be viewed very positively. In order to safeguard sustainable fisheries and protect salmon stocks in the Baltic, it is essential to introduce appropriate measures, such as prior notification, in order to take account of and control recreational fishing as well.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) The multiannual plan to protect the Baltic salmon is an essential instrument for managing fish stocks within the framework of the reform of the common fisheries policy. Mr Gróbarczyk’s report examines various aspects of protection of the Baltic salmon, including reproduction, recreational fishing, artisanal fishing, controls on catches and the impact of predators. In its proposal for a regulation on the Baltic salmon stock, the Commission delegates to the Member States powers to regulate certain areas that are regarded as falling within the exclusive competence of the Union (conservation of marine resources). In so doing, the Commission gives its support for regionalisation and decentralisation of management in the area of EU fisheries policy.

 
  
  

Report: Jörg Leichtfried (A7-0096/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report but I would suggest that the two legislative packages Omnibus I and Omnibus II should have a joint approach. While the first focuses on changing procedures for the implementation of acts, Omnibus II concentrates on the legislation adopted under the regime of delegated acts. In addition, I am in favour of the proposal to limit the delegation of power to a period of five years, with the basic aim being to increase the European Parliament’s powers. In a regime where the Commission still has many powers, I consider it essential to reinforce the European Parliament’s powers, giving it an advantage in negotiations, which it can use to obtain every possible benefit from the Treaty on European Union, given that the latter provides for Parliament’s reinforcement.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this purely procedural text, like the vast majority of my fellow Members of the European Parliament. This report accompanies the ‘Omnibus I’ proposal presented by the Commission on 7 March 2011. Whereas Omnibus I concerns the alignment of implementing measures which are not part of the ‘comitology’ procedure, this proposal, named ‘Omnibus II’, aims to bring all of the other decision-making procedures that exist in trade policy legislation into line with the regime of delegated acts or implementing acts.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I support Mr Leichtfried’s report on a package of 10 existing trade policy regulations that need to be brought into line with primary law provisions on delegated acts and implementing powers. I think that it is important to underline that this report allows increased parliamentary control, limiting the delegation of powers to the Commission to a period of five years, and obliging the Commission to draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later then nine months before the end of this period.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because this proposal is aimed at aligning 10 regulations in the field of trade policy with the new provisions of primary law under the Treaty of Lisbon. More specifically, it is aimed at aligning the regulations with the provisions of Article 290, under which delegated acts are included in European Union law for the first time. This article allows the legislator to delegate to the Commission the power to adopt non-legislative acts of general application to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of a legislative act. In this case, I believe that it is necessary to amend the recitals of the basic acts in order to explain the use of delegated acts and to precisely define the objective, content and scope of the delegation. It would also be useful to ensure that Parliament experts have the opportunity to participate in meetings of experts organised by the Commission before preparing and implementing delegated acts.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for the report on the amendment of certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy as regards the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of certain measures. The aim of this change is to finalise Omnibus II and to bring all of the other decision-making procedures that exist in trade policy legislation into line with the regime of delegated acts or implementing acts.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) The report is based on changes brought about by the Treaty of Lisbon (Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) and aims at enabling the European Parliament, as a directly elected representative of the EU citizens, to bring into full effect its newly acquired powers and to carry out proper parliamentary control of the executive, while at the same time enabling flexible, timely and predictable implementation of the common commercial policy. I voted in favour of this report as I agree with its grounds and direction.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) This proposal accompanies the Omnibus I proposal presented on 7 March 2011 by the Commission. Whereas Omnibus I serves to align those implementing measures not included in the comitology regime, this proposal seeks to adapt all remaining decision-making procedures found in trade policy legislation to the regime for delegated acts. In principle these are procedures based on Council Decision 1999/468/EC. This involves adapting existing legislation to the legal framework resulting from the Treaty of Lisbon.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Mr Leichtfried’s report concerns a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy as regards the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of certain measures. When the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, an important step was taken in terms of increasing the European Parliament’s responsibility, by giving it a codecision role on many subjects, including the European Union’s trade policy. In order to streamline procedures, delegated powers need to be given to the Commission so that the latter can adopt certain measures. This delegation will be for a period of five years, with the Commission being under an obligation to report on the implementation of all of these acts, for which the authorisations may be changed at any time by the delegating authority: the Council or the European Parliament. I voted in favour of this proposal for a regulation as I consider that adopting the acts recommended therein is the best way of streamlining procedures, which will certainly contribute to economic growth and job creation in the European Union.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report follows on from the Trade Omnibus I proposal. The objective is to adapt the remaining regulations on the common commercial policy (CCP) to Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, that is, to the regime for delegated acts. However, we must examine this report in terms of its deeper significance, bearing in mind positions of principle on the Treaty and on its provisions regarding trade policy: namely, the European Union’s exclusive competence. The definition of trade partners and objectives that should guide trade is an important instrument of economic sovereignty. Removing this instrument has resulted, for Portugal, in serious harm to many economic sectors and to the country as a whole. Trade policy has come to be guided by the maximisation of profit for the large economic groups in the EU’s major powers, clearly to the detriment of countries such as Portugal and to weaker economic sectors, which have been exposed to fierce and destructive competition. Free trade has been one of the CCP’s main instruments, which has sent this policy towards a logic of capitalist competition, instead of complementarity and mutual benefit. Our deep disagreement with the CCP is one element that we must take into account when examining this report.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Certain basic regulations relating to the common commercial policy state that decisions are to be taken on the basis of the procedures laid down in Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission. In order to ensure consistency with the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon, it is necessary to carry out a review of the legislation in force, which was not adapted to the regulatory process prior to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. In certain cases, it is appropriate to amend such legislation so as to grant the Commission delegated powers pursuant to Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Trade Omnibus II examines all remaining decision-making procedures found in trade policy legislation in order to adapt them, where appropriate, to the regime for delegated acts set down in Article 290. In principle, these are decision-making procedures based on Council Decision 1999/468/EC. I consider the Commission proposal that certain procedures be converted into delegated acts to be justifiable. It is important to enable the European Parliament, as a directly elected representative of the EU citizens, to bring into full effect its newly acquired powers and to carry out proper parliamentary control of the executive while at the same time enabling flexible, timely and predictable implementation of the common commercial policy.

 
  
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  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) The measures contained in the Trade Omnibus II package need to be brought into line with primary-law provisions on acts delegated to the Commission. Considering that the delegated acts and implementing acts play an important role in trade policy, the solution proposed by the report seems both acceptable and responsible. Limiting the conferral of powers on the Commission to a period of five years allows greater parliamentary control, while tacit extension of the delegation of power streamlines procedures and facilitates the implementation of the common commercial policy. For these reasons I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE), in writing. (HU) The common commercial policy is one of the pillars of the European Union’s foreign relations. The role of the EU in the process of globalisation has developed considerably through its efforts to foster harmonious global trade and promote fair and sustainable behaviour. The Leichtfried report aims at enabling the European Parliament, as the directly elected representative of the EU citizens, to bring into full effect its newly acquired powers and to carry out proper parliamentary control of the executive while at the same time enabling flexible, timely and predictable implementation of the common commercial policy. I voted in favour of this report, as I believe the proposals and conclusions it contains are valid. The rapporteur has done an excellent job.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this proposal. The proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy as regards the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of certain measures (Trade Omnibus II) is intended to bring 10 trade policy regulations into line with the new primary law provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. More specifically, it is aimed at aligning regulations with the provisions of Article 290 under which delegated acts are included in European Union law for the first time. This Article allows the legislator to delegate to the Commission the power to adopt non-legislative acts of general application to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of a legislative act. The legislator retains the power to revoke the delegation at any time and thus take the relevant decision itself. In addition, any decision taken in the form of a delegated act may be vetoed by the legislator. It is sufficient for either the Council or Parliament to object to a draft delegated act proposed by the Commission.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) This proposal amends certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy with regard to the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of the Trade Omnibus II measures. It is intended to bring 10 trade policy regulations into line with the new primary law provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon and for the first time introduces delegated acts into European law. I also agree that the European Parliament should have the role of limiting and defining the delegated acts.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy as regards the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of certain measures (‘Trade Omnibus II’) is intended to bring 10 trade policy regulations in line with the new primary-law provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. More specifically, it serves to align the regulations to Article 290 which for the first time introduces delegated acts into European law. It gives the legislator the possibility to delegate on the Commission the power to adopt non-legislative acts of general application to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of the legislative act. The legislator retains the power to revoke the delegation at any time and thus take the relevant decision itself. In addition, any decision taken in the form of a delegated act may be vetoed by the legislator, it is sufficient for either the Council or Parliament to object to a draft delegated act proposed by the Commission.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for the report amending certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy as regards the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of certain measures. The aim is to bring all of the other decision-making procedures that exist in trade policy legislation into line with the regime of delegated acts or implementing acts.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour. This report allows the European Parliament, as the democratically elected body of the EU, to bring into full effect its newly acquired powers and to carry out proper parliamentary control of the executive, while at the same time enabling flexible, timely and predictable implementation of the common commercial policy.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. Article 290 and 291 of the Lisbon Treaty replace the old comitology procedure with a hybrid system of delegated acts and implementing acts. As existing pieces of legislation related to the EU’s commercial policy need to be aligned to this new system of delegated acts and implementing acts, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because the implementation of the regulation’s provisions will facilitate the implementation of the common commercial policy. I believe that it would be appropriate to convert certain procedures into procedures for the adoption of delegated acts. It should be noted that it is necessary to clearly establish the use of delegated acts and to precisely define the objective, content and scope of the delegation in order to avoid legal loopholes and improper interpretation. I welcome the proposal which, in order to achieve more effective parliamentary control, offers to limit the period when powers are conferred on the Commission.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) This draft European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy as regards the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of certain measures is based on changes brought about by the Treaty of Lisbon (Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), and systematically incorporates those changes into the secondary law in the area of the common commercial policy. This report aims at enabling the European Parliament, as a directly elected representative of the EU citizens, to bring into full effect its newly acquired powers and to carry out proper parliamentary control of the executive, while at the same time enabling flexible, timely and predictable implementation of the common commercial policy.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) This proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council aims to bring 10 trade policy regulations into line with the new primary-law provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon, thereby amending certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy as regards the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of certain measures (Omnibus I). I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. Greens support the unity of the political forces of Parliament, vis-à-vis the reluctance of Council to live up to the Lisbon Treaty. We had differences with regard to the Omnibus-I, relating to the procedures for Anti-Dumping cases that we wanted to be better controlled by Parliament. This made us to abstain in the final vote on Omnibus-I. Regarding Omnibus-II, we are somewhat unhappy with the treatment of GSP as mostly in the reign of Implementing Acts. However, given the need to send a clear sign to Council that we want them to finally deal with the issue, Greens should vote in favour of the Omnibus-II report of Parliament.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) This proposal will allow certain trade policy regulations to be brought into line with the new primary-law provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. In this regard, I believe that the confirmation of the regime for delegated acts provided for in Article 290 is particularly important. It gives the legislator the possibility to delegate to the Commission the power to adopt non-legislative acts of general application to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of the legislative act. The legislator retains the power to revoke the delegation at any time and thus take the relevant decision itself. This is in order to strengthen the role of Parliament as a directly elected representative of the EU citizens. I hope that a new common commercial policy will be implemented and that Parliament will be enabled to bring into full effect its newly-acquired power.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) In June 2011 the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation amending certain regulations relating to the common commercial policy, particularly as regards the granting of delegated powers for the adoption of certain measures. I support this report, which aims to adapt the regulations to the provisions of Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union on the introduction of delegated acts into European law. The report aims at enabling the European Parliament, as a directly elected representative of the EU citizens, to bring into full effect its newly-acquired powers and to carry out proper parliamentary control of the executive.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of the proposal for a regulation concerning the implementation of delegated acts for the common commercial policy. The proposal seeks to adapt a number of trade policy regulations to the new primary law provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. It proposes aligning the regulations with Article 290, which is the first to introduce delegated acts in European law. Pursuant to Article 290, the legislator may delegate to the Commission the task of supplementing or amending certain non-essential parts of regulation acts. The delegation of powers may be revoked by the legislator at any time, and the legislator can then adopt a decision. Moreover, all of the decisions pursuant to a delegated act can be vetoed by the legislator. The Council or the European Parliament may thus oppose any proposed delegated act. The European Parliament’s proposal limits the delegation of powers to the Commission to a period of five years. The Commission must report on the delegation of powers at least nine months before the end of that period.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (ALDE), in writing. (DE) In the interests of productive cooperation and transparency in the working relationship between the Commission and the Council, I support the proposals made by the rapporteur. Precisely defining the objective, content and scope of delegated acts is a sensible measure, as is the possibility for Parliament’s experts to attend expert meetings organised by the Commission. I also support the proposal to impose a limit in time on the conferral of powers on the Commission in order to bring about more parliamentary control while ensuring that the Commission has sufficient time to carry out its work in respect of the Common commercial policy.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) Mr Leichtfried’s report aims to bring regulations regarding trade policy dating from before the Treaty of Lisbon into line with the new regime of the delegated acts or implementing acts. I voted in favour because I consider it to be right that the European Parliament, as the directly elected representative of EU citizens should bring into full effect its newly acquired powers and carry out proper parliamentary control of the executive, while at the same time enabling flexible, timely and predictable implementation of the common commercial policy.

 
  
  

Report: Pat the Cope Gallagher (A7-0342/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report because it avoids a vacuum in this highly sensitive matter. These measures are designed to maintain sustainable fisheries, which is important for both fishermen and the environment. Naturally, these measures will have to be adopted based on full recognition of regional characteristics, which goes against the principles of the new common fisheries policy.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for this text adopted by the European Parliament on the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures. It aims to make permanent the technical measures adopted on a provisional basis. It is essential to ensure better visibility for this sector, with stable, lasting rules. Such is the aim of this text.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this proposal to amend the Regulation concerning the conservation of fishery resources. The proposal aims to extend the validity of the rules on technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms until a regionalised framework for technical measures is adopted in accordance with the common fisheries policy. These measures lay down rules on minimum landing sizes, minimum net mesh sizes, closed seasons, and so on. Even if these measures only expired temporarily, it would be detrimental to the conservation of fish stocks. I welcome the proposals set out on the preparation of measures taking into account scientific recommendations in order to ensure the safety of fishermen and stop unsustainable fishing practices. I agree that the regional approach should be followed when drawing up these measures, that is to say, measures must be prepared for specific cases and zones, not laid down as general rules for all Member States.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing. − (RO) I voted in favour of this report because it is necessary to extend the application of these transitional technical measures in order to adopt a regional technical conservation framework for the common fisheries policy.

I agree with the proposal on transitional technical measures, and I believe that the European Parliament and the Council must reach a political agreement in relation to the complexity of the common fisheries policy. It is important that European fishermen have a clear and detailed legal framework for their field of activity. I welcome the report’s proposal to extend the application of and update the existing technical measures. I believe that the adoption of this report and that a future regional regulatory framework will guarantee sustainable fishing.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) Technical conservation measures are rules that our fishermen throughout the European Union must follow on a daily basis when undertaking a fishing expedition, in order to ensure that how and where fishing activity is carried out is done so in a sustainable manner. These measures relate to minimum landing sizes, minimum net mesh sizes, zones and closed seasons, limiting by-catch, the criteria to use more selective fishing gear, and measures designed to protect the marine environment. They thus have a considerable impact in achieving the objectives of the common fisheries policy (CFP). This report fully recognises the need for these measures, which are designed to ensure that fish stocks are fished in a sustainable manner and that the ecosystems in which they live are maintained. For those reasons, I supported this report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because the technical conservation measures for fishery resources play a major role in the annual decisions on catch possibilities. More specifically, these conservation measures are rules that fishermen must follow on a daily basis when fishing. The measures relate to minimum landing sizes, minimum net mesh sizes, zones and closed seasons, limiting by-catch, the criteria to use more selective fishing gears and measures designed to protect the marine environment and have thus a considerable impact on achieving the objectives of the common fisheries policy (CFP). Besides the extension of validity of the current technical measures, the proposed text contains an update on existing measures on the basis of advice by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries and recommendations by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission as well as measures to reduce discards in the North-east Atlantic as agreed with Norway and the Faroe Islands in 2010 which had not yet been transposed into EU law. It is unfortunate that instead of a permanent solution being found in time, Parliament is being presented with yet another proposal on transitional technical measures. European fishermen need legal clarity and the word ‘temporarily’ should not lead ad absurdum.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) For the European Union, and particularly for a country like Portugal with a maritime history and an extensive fishing and processing industry, it is vital that fishing is maintained as a viable and sustainable economic activity. Portugal needs fishing and, as such, needs the sea to maintain its capacity to give us fish and the reproductive capacity and genetic integrity of species to remain intact. That is why I believe it is vital that every single approach under the common fisheries policy always takes account of the dual need to maintain fishery stocks and to protect economic activities associated with fishing.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Technical measures lay down the rules on fishing zones and fishing gear used, as opposed to quantities (fishing effort) and/or catches (total allowable catches and quotas) authorised. This Commission proposal aims to extend the rules on technical measures for yet another transitional period until a regionalised framework for technical measures in accordance with the common fisheries policy has been adopted. The previous regulation included a measure prohibiting fishing with trammel nets in waters deeper than 200 m, which was highly prejudicial to and discriminated against the Portuguese fleet, which used to fish for anglerfish to a depth of approximately 400 m. This measure lacked any scientific basis. We welcome the rapporteur’s readiness to accept the amendment that we tabled on the use of trammel nets in ICES Subarea IX under certain conditions, in an attempt to end this discrimination. In the end, the rapporteur chose to not vote for the report as amended (but to vote for the amendments only), bearing in mind the objective of putting pressure on the Council to alter its position on the multiannual plans and on the repeated attempts to reduce Parliament’s powers in this area.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) In 2008, the Commission submitted a proposal for a Council regulation for the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures to replace Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 for the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms and provide for a permanent technical measures framework temporarily established in an annual regulation on catch quantities. In view of the fact that no political agreement was reached, however, this proposal was withdrawn in October 2010. The technical measures laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 43/2009 are important for the sustainability of fisheries and they must be maintained. Even a temporary repeal of these measures would have negative consequences as regards the protection of the stocks to which the measures relate and the ecosystem of vulnerable deep-sea biotopes and marine birds. It is also necessary to update the existing measures in Council Regulation (EC) No 43/2009 in accordance with the recommendations adopted by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission and to include certain technical measures to reduce discards of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic as agreed with Norway and the Faroe Islands in 2010, which have yet to be transposed into EU law. I agree that it is appropriate to amend Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 to include the appropriate technical measures.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because I agree that measures are needed to ensure that fish stocks are fished in a sustainable manner and the ecosystems in which they live are maintained. Furthermore, these measures must be formulated and designed with the evolving nature of fisheries management and scientific advice in mind. Poorly conceived or inappropriate technical measures can result in unsustainable fishing practices and in certain circumstances can endanger the lives and safety of fishermen, which is totally unacceptable.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I supported postponing the vote on the draft legislative resolution. It is unfortunate that Parliament is presented with yet another proposal on transitional technical measures rather than a permanent solution being found in due time. The European fishermen need legal clarity and the word ‘temporarily’ should not be lead ad absurdum.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) The common fisheries policy lays down rules designed to promote the conservation of resources, and in particular organisms that have not reached adult size. The positive results observed after the adoption of local technical measures based on scientific advice justify the extension of these rules and their adjustment to reflect realities linked to climate change and changes in certain species. This is what this text proposes. I vote in favour.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) I voted in favour of this report, because it represents progress with regard to the conservation of fishery resources in the European Union. The report seeks to amend existing legislation to include new sea regions previously outside its scope by defining conservation areas and their species in more specific terms. The report extends the crackdown on the fishing of organisms classed as undersized so as not to jeopardise the reproduction of the species. It contains numerous changes with regard to the authorisation of fishing techniques for various species, permitting those methods which do not endanger juvenile marine organisms and do not deplete stocks. I voted in favour of this report, because it supports the introduction of technical improvements that will aid the conservation of fishery resources in Europe.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. This is an urgent and important legislative proposal to be adopted by the plenary in order to avoid a legal vacuum on this highly sensitive issue. Shellfish must be protected, preserved and eaten. I am in favour.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution. It is very important to ensure that fish stocks are fished sustainably and ecosystems are preserved. It should be noted that the CFP will not enter into force until next year. Therefore on the basis of the transition regulation and for legal clarity it is appropriate to extend the validity of the rules on technical measures. It must be stressed that technical measures based on scientific research are a guarantee of sustainable fishing and proper protection for fishermen, therefore their continuous application must be ensured. On the other hand, they cannot be seen as general rules and, on the basis of the regional approach, must only be intended for specific cases and set zones.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) Technical conservation measures for fishery resources define rules on fishing zones and fishing gear and are among the key elements of a regionalised approach to fisheries management. Overall, these measures are very important for achieving the objectives of the common fisheries policy (CFP) and encompass parameters such as zones and closed seasons, minimum net mesh sizes, limiting by-catch, minimum landing sizes, the criteria to use more selective fishing gear, and measures designed to protect the marine environment. Besides the extension of validity of the current technical measures, this report proposes updating existing measures and adopting specific measures to reduce discards. This report also includes the possibility of the Portuguese fleet resuming fishing for anglerfish using trammel nets at depths between 200 and 600 m, which therefore satisfies a request made by Portugal two years ago. Given the importance of these technical measures for conserving fishery resources, and for safeguarding the legitimate interests of the Portuguese fishing sector, I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Technical conservation measures for fishery resources are key elements of a regionalised approach to fisheries management and lay down the rules on fishing zones and fishing gear used, as opposed to quantities (fishing effort) and/or catches (total allowable catches and quotas) authorised. Technical conservation measures ensure that how and where fishing activity is carried out is done so in a sustainable manner. Such measures relate to minimum landing sizes, minimum net mesh sizes, zones and closed seasons, limiting by-catch, the criteria to use more selective fishing gear, and measures designed to protect the marine environment. They thus have a considerable impact in achieving the objectives of the common fisheries policy (CFP). As I consider that the measures proposed in the report contribute to the sustainability of fisheries policy and to the preservation of ecosystems, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) By adopting this report on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council Parliament, Parliament fully recognises the need for these measures, which are designed to ensure that fish stocks are fished in a sustainable manner and that the ecosystems in which they live are maintained. Nonetheless, these measures must be formulated and designed with the evolving nature of fisheries management and scientific advice. The importance of accurate formulation is also evident from the fact that poorly conceived or inappropriate technical measures can result in unsustainable fishing practices and in certain circumstances can endanger the lives and safety of fishermen. Finally, the report underlines that technical measures need to be carefully designed for specific cases and zones and cannot be seen as general rules applicable throughout all Member States in an equal way.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. Against the report. Technical measures are the detailed regulations concerning fishing activities, such things as mesh sizes in the nets, the minimum size of fish that can be brought ashore, closed areas and seasons where fishing is prohibited, etc. Most of them are collected in a few regulations limited to technical measures, but for historical reasons related to the Lisbon Treaty, there is a series of technical measures in a separate regulation that is time-limited and scheduled to expire on 31 December 2012. Since this series of technical measures has already been renewed twice, this time, the COM has decided to incorporate them into the primary regulation on technical measures (Reg. 850/1998). In its proposal, it also took the opportunity to clean up a few obsolete provisions. Unfortunately, the COM produced its proposal very late, requiring that both CSL and the EP work very fast. In favour on postponing the vote on the legislative resolution.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) Sustainable fishing activities should be guaranteed through proper compliance by fishermen with technical measures aimed at conservation throughout the European Union. I believe that urgent action should be taken to extend the validity of the current rules in order to achieve the objectives of the common fisheries policy. I hope that in addition to extending the validity of the technical measures in force, a permanent solution will be found in time that can replace the current temporary regulatory situation that gives rise to repeated infringements. Clear technical measures will ensure that fish stocks are fished in a sustainable manner and the ecosystems in which they live are maintained, as well as ensuring compliance with rules necessary for protecting the lives and safety of fishermen. I am fully aware of the need for an extension and have therefore voted in favour. At the same time I would like to take the opportunity to call for a more detailed and effective regulatory framework.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) Technical conservation measures for fishery resources are key elements of a regionalised approach to fisheries management. These measures are rules which fishermen must follow when undertaking a fishing expedition in order to ensure that how and where fishing activity is carried out is done so in a sustainable manner. This proposal aims to extend the application of the provisions on technical measures for yet another transitional period until a regionalised framework for technical measures in accordance with the common fisheries policy (CFP) has been adopted. As the CFP will not enter into force before the current transitional technical measures expire, the Commission proposes an interim solution by amending the basic legal act without concrete terminability. By adopting the Commission proposal, the 2009 and 2011 regulations will be repealed. Besides the extension of validity of the current technical measures, the proposed text contains an update on existing measures as well as measures to reduce discards in the North-East Atlantic, as agreed with Norway and the Faroe Islands in 2010, which have not yet been transposed into EU law. For those reasons, I voted in favour of the document.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the report on the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms. A new technical conservation measures framework is expected as part of the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP). Given that this new framework will probably not be implemented before the end of 2012, it is appropriate to extend the application of the transitional technical measures. I would underline the importance of continuing to support the conservation and adequate management of biological marine resources. Regulation (EC) No 850/98 of 30 March 1998 must be updated to include the transitional technical.

To ensure the continuing conservation and adequate management of biological marine resources in the Black Sea, it is necessary to set the minimum landing size and the minimum mesh size of nets used to catch turbot.

An equivalent measure must be introduced for the minimum landing size for anchovies in terms of the number of fish per kilo as this would simplify work on board vessels and facilitate control measures ashore.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) The European Parliament has been charged with drafting four reports that strengthen the extent to which sustainable development is taken into consideration in the common fisheries policy. I therefore voted in favour of all four reports, with some qualifications. The Gallagher report proposes the extension of technical measures for the conservation of fishery resources in order to guarantee the way and the place in which fishing takes place is consistent with sustainable development criteria. It therefore pays particular attention to minimum landing sizes, minimum net mesh sizes, zones and closed seasons.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) Technical conservation measures are rules that our fishermen throughout the European Union must follow on a daily basis when undertaking a fishing expedition in order to ensure that, where fishing activity is carried out, it is done so in a sustainable manner. The measures relate, among other things, to minimum landing sizes, minimum net mesh sizes, zones and closed seasons, limiting by-catch, criteria for using more selective fishing gear and measures designed to protect the marine environment. They therefore have a considerable impact in achieving the objectives of the common fisheries policy. Since I believe that the technical conservation measures for fishery resources are among the key elements of a regionalised approach to fisheries management, I voted in favour of Mr Gallagher’s report.

 
  
  

Report: Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (A7-0295/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) The practice of removing the fins from sharks and throwing the rest of the body into the sea is deplorable and, as such, must be absolutely prohibited and controlled, in parallel with the monitoring of endangered species catches. However, there is a clear difference between that practice and the practice of removing the fins from sharks on board vessels, with the carcass being retained on board in order to fully use the animal, and with the separation and freezing of the two parts – carcass and fins – which, as we know, are sent to different end markets and which, if separated after freezing, would seriously reduce the end quality and value of the products. It is clear that this procedure is justifiable only for the freezer vessel fleet and must be subject to strict traceability.

 
  
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  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report by Ms Patrão Neves since it takes a fundamental step towards ensuring better regulation of shark fishing. Unfortunately many species of shark are subject to over-fishing due to increasing demand. In order to oppose the cruel practice of ‘finning’ it is necessary to lay down precise rules to require all fishing boats to land sharks captured intact, with their fins ‘still naturally attached to the body’. Regulating shark fishing is not just a way of protecting the marine ecosystem but also of rendering the European market fair and sustainable and not based exclusively on considerations of profit.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) Although the practice has been prohibited within the European Union since 2003, Spain and Portugal benefited from an exemption that allowed them to remove shark fins aboard fishing vessels. In March 2012, the European Commission asked for this exemption to be withdrawn. The European Parliament has acceded to the Commission’s request and I voted for this practice finally to be completely banned in the European Union.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this proposal on the prohibition of the practice of removing shark fins on board vessels. The practice of finning, often while the sharks are still alive, is unacceptable because not only does it threaten the sustainability of some shark species, but it also squanders a source of food. Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 provides for exemptions from the ban on removing shark fins on board for those vessels that have special fishing permits, which the Commission aims to end. I agree that because there is no data that proves that finning is actually carried out in European waters and by the European fleet, this Commission proposal contradicts the principle of taking action on the basis of scientific data. The aim should be to obtain more accurate information on this issue and I therefore welcome the proposals set out here on the obligation for vessel owners to report the total number and weight of shark species caught and the obligation to always land fins and carcasses together in the same port. I also agree that where local authorities cannot ensure due fisheries control, the vessels’ masters should to hire an independent body to carry out such control.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted against this report because I believe that, in some cases, the exemptions from Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 are acceptable. I wish to draw attention to the fact that there is no evidence to support the existence of the practice of ‘finning’ in European waters and/or by European fleets. That is why I believe that adopting this report is contrary to the Commission’s principle of basing its political actions on scientific advice. Moreover, I believe that a quantitative analysis of the socio-economic impact is necessary in this case and is currently lacking. Consequently, as long as there is no proof that finning takes place in European waters, exemptions from the current Regulation can be allowed.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report by Ms Patrão Neves on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels. With this Regulation the EU will finally ban the barbarous practice of ‘finning’. This was considered to be the only viable option both by the Commission and by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in order to preserve this species and at the same time to protect the ecosystem.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because the practice of finning is unacceptable from an environmental point of view, because it threatens the sustainability of some shark species targeted by this practice, from a social and economic point of view, because it involves squandering a source of food with commercial value, and also from a moral point of view, because it shows a total disrespect for animal life. This finning should therefore be repudiated unequivocally, and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that this practice is effectively banned in European waters and in the Community fleet. In spite of the lack of any evidence of finning being practised by the European fleet, the Commission has decided to present a proposal to end the derogation from the ban on removing shark fins on board Community fishing vessels, a practice which, as noted above, is currently permitted provided that special fishing permits have been issued and subject to rules laid down by the regulation. I believe that the overall proposals put forward in this draft report have the advantage of addressing positively the two concerns of the Commission (to guarantee compliance with the prohibition of finning, and to collect scientific data for good management), and the concerns of the sector (to guarantee legitimate economic and social interests) and of the NGOs (to protect shark stocks).

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the report on the amendment of Council Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels. I strongly condemn the practice of finning, which involves cutting off sharks’ fins on vessels before throwing their bodies back into the sea, and has been officially banned by the European Union since 2003. However, the complex system which permits the removal of fins within a ‘fin-to-carcass’ weight ratio of 5 % makes simple control and enforcement of the legislation impossible. With this in mind, I support the Commission’s proposal to make it mandatory to use a method whereby the fins remain attached to the carcass in order to fight effectively against finning. This will reduce the number of sharks fished and allow us to preserve an increasingly endangered species.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this report as I share the Commission’s concerns about guaranteeing compliance with the ban on finning and collecting scientific data to ensure good management, and also because I consider that the legitimate economic and social interests of the sector and shark stocks must be protected.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for this text, which proposes an end to the exemptions that have until now allowed some fishermen to remove sharks’ fins aboard vessels before throwing their carcasses back into the sea. These barbaric fishing techniques, prohibited in the European Union since 2003, must be banned, since they are cruel for the sharks, which are thrown back into the sea still alive, without their fins.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) I agree that the derogation or exemption from the regulation prohibiting the practice of removing the fins from sharks on board vessels and then throwing the rest of the animal’s body into the sea should be ended. In my opinion, the practice of finning is unacceptable from an environmental point of view, because it threatens the sustainability of some shark species targeted by this practice, from a social and economic point of view, because it involves squandering a source of food with commercial value, and also from a moral point of view, because it shows total disregard for animal life. This practice should therefore be unequivocally repudiated, and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that it is effectively banned in European waters and in the Community fleet, particularly by moving to control the prohibition on finning, in order to wipe out any suspicions.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This is one of those issues where the political decision must be based on solid science. The scientific opinion of the Portuguese marine and environmental institute (Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera – IPMA) was that the existing derogation should be maintained, that is, that it should continue to be possible to remove fins on board vessels, although subject to tighter controls, in accordance with the current legislation. The IPMA believes that adopting the Commission proposal will cause evident economic harm, which is not justifiable given the current conservation status of resources, and it provides reasons connected with the quality of the fished products (avoiding freezing, thawing and re-freezing of the material) and the damage that this proposal will cause – by jeopardising the good and cooperative relationship between researchers and the sector – to the collection of information needed so that scientists can provide the authorities with opinions to ensure effective fisheries management and thus guarantee the conservation of these resources. Our vote was based on that opinion.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Council Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels and the present proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels are both concerned with preventing and combating a practice commonly known as ‘finning’. This practice involves removing the fins from pelagic sharks, with the remaining parts of the animal’s body being thrown back into the sea. Finning is unacceptable from the environmental point of view (it threatens the sustainability of some shark species targeted by this practice), and also from the social and economic point of view (it involves squandering a source of food with commercial value) and from the moral point of view (it shows a total disrespect for animal life). I consider it essential that the practice of shark finning should be repudiated unequivocally, and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that this practice is banned in European waters. It was against this background, with the express aim of preventing this practice, that the European Council adopted Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 on 26 June 2003, which prohibits the removal of shark fins on board vessels, as well as their retention on board and their transhipment or landing. In spite of the lack of any evidence of finning being practised by the European fleet, the Commission intends to ‘eradicate the horrendous practice of shark finning and protect sharks much better’ through appropriate regulations.

 
  
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  Elisabetta Gardini (PPE), in writing. (IT) ‘Finning’, or the common practice of removing the fins of sharks on board vessels, results in the death of between 50 million and 75 million sharks each year. This barbarous practice has continued due to the frequent use of a derogation provided for under EU legislation in 2003. Parliament has today closed this loophole by making it impossible to obtains special fishing permits.

 
  
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  Françoise Grossetête (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for this report because I want it to be impossible to engage in the practice of cutting off sharks’ fins and throwing their bodies back into the sea. The live animal is then condemned to sink to the bottom and die. This practice is problematic environmentally (it threatens the survival of certain species), economically (it causes enormous waste of a potential food source) and morally (it causes unnecessary suffering to animals). There is no economic need for ‘finning’, as there is a market for shark bodies, which are nevertheless thrown back into the sea for lack of space. Yet the current regulations are not working correctly: many infractions have been reported. I think it is important to close the loophole in the European legislation from 2003, which allows some fishermen to continue to use this technique. This practice is difficult to detect, as the sharks’ bodies and fins may be landed separately, at different ports. It is therefore necessary to ensure that sharks are landed whole. We must make the legislation clearer and stricter, so that this practice is no longer possible.

 
  
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  Salvatore Iacolino (PPE), in writing. (IT) ‘Finning’, or the removal the fins of sharks on board vessels, with the remaining parts of the animal’s body being thrown into the sea, has been banned in the EU since 2003. In order to put an end to this practice, it should be made mandatory for sharks to be landed with their fins still naturally attached to their body. Many fishing boats in the Mediterranean Sea practice finning since the sought-after shortfin mako and blue shark are both common, although these species might soon be listed as threatened with extinction.

Illegal fishing is on the rise in the Mediterranean, in part due to the high demand for shark fins and the prices that they command. This type of non-sustainable fishing causes serious damage to the marine ecosystem, especially in recent years in the Mediterranean, where there is evidence that a number of shark populations have been affected by the practice.

Greater cooperation is required in order to combat this illegal practice on board fishing vessels. To this end, the Member States must step up controls both at sea and in port, preventing the bodies of sharks from being thrown into the sea. Finning must be made transparent, controlled and above all regulated, so that it can be considered a sustainable and non-invasive form of fishing.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document. A Regulation officially prohibits in the European Union the harmful practice of finning, which is removing sharks’ fins on board fishing vessels before throwing the sharks’ bodies back into the sea. The Regulation makes provision, however, for recourse to exemptions for which ‘special permits’ can be obtained. These exemptions have become the rule in two Member States, Spain and Portugal. Effective control of this complicated system whereby finning on board is permitted within the limits of the 5 % fin-to-carcass weight ratio has proved impossible. It is extremely difficult to check whether this requirement is being adhered to, especially when fins and carcasses are landed in different ports. I therefore support this proposal, which is based on the naturally attached fins method. This method is the only valid way of restricting finning and ensuring that Members States are able to comply with the regulation in a simple, effective and inexpensive manner.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report by Ms Patrão Neves and deplore this cruel practice against sharks. Lack of regulatory clarity has allowed some to continue the practice of removing fins on board vessels and throwing the body of the shark into the sea. Today’s vote requires sharks captured to be landed with the fins still attached to the body, so as to be able to carry out mandatory controls and discourage, through the application of severe sanctions, this barbarous practice by persons who I refuse to call ‘fishermen’, since they bring discredit on a sector that I regard as law-abiding and respectful of the marine ecosystem.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing. (FR) Shark finning consists in fishing sharks for the specific purpose of cutting off their fins, which are then sold on the Asian market, where they form the basis of a very popular dish. The practice was, for a long time, permitted in the European Union, and Europe accounted for 15 % of Asia’s shark fin imports. Finning was banned in the EU in 2003. However, exemptions were granted to some countries to continue to engage in this activity. The aim of this report was to allow the continuation of exemption measures. I am totally opposed to these practices and therefore voted against the report, like the majority of my colleagues. The fact that this report has not been adopted will mean that in future, sharks must be landed with their fins ‘naturally attached to the body’.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) This barbaric practice of removing the fins of sharks on board vessels and throwing their carcasses back into the water continues on a large scale across the globe and led to the dramatic decrease of the shark population. The 2003 EU Regulation allows certain Member States to issue special fishing permits authorising processing aboard vessels which means that shark fins can be removed within the finning quotas. However, in many cases, fins and carcasses were landed in different ports.

Therefore, I believe it is important that the competent authorities of the European Union increase inspections to ensure the strict application of the regulation and impose sanctions on operators that break it. In addition, I recommend that the regulation apply not only to Member States fishing vessels but also to all vessels in European Union waters.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I warmly welcome this report. The practice of finning is unacceptable from the environmental point of view, because it threatens the sustainability of some shark species targeted by this practice, from the social and economic point of view, because it involves squandering a source of food with commercial value, and also from the moral point of view, because it shows a total disrespect for animal life. The practice of finning should therefore be repudiated unequivocally and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that this practice is effectively banned in European waters and in the Community fleet.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) I was unable to vote in favour of this report, even though it sets out important measures for the conservation of shark populations, as it will mean losses for the fishing sector. It is very important to conserve species such as the shark by means of sustainable fishing practices that restrict fishing activity so as to avoid causing environmental damage. However, the fishing sector has been in serious crisis for many years now, as a result of which the small-scale fishing community is in danger of disappearing in a number of Member States. The requirements this proposal for a regulation imposes will create even more losses in this sector, increasing the risk that this industry will vanish altogether, as only large vessels will be able to afford to carry the whole animal, while small vessels will be unable to meet this requirement. Although the report sets out a series of good practices for ensuring the survival of various shark species, I did not vote in favour of it because of its impact on small-scale fishermen and, consequently, on communities dependent on the fishing industry.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. The S&D Group press for a complete ban on at-sea shark fin removal – all sharks landed must have their fins naturally attached – while stressing that this new rule should have no exceptions. I abstained.

 
  
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  Claudio Morganti (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this report because an amendment has been made that will bring an outright ban on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels, in other words prior to landing. This condition is necessary in order to prevent so-called ‘finning’, or the removal of the fins of sharks when they are captured, with the animal often thrown back into the sea still living, mutilated and certain to die. It is obvious that this is a barbaric practice that does not respect animal life, nature, or the environment and that it must be prevented. I would also like to draw attention to a worrying episode associated with this report, which Ms Angelilli rightly underlined: small shark toys were handed out to the Members to raise awareness on the issue of finning that were made in China did not bear the mandatory EU mark. I believe it is worth reflecting on this episode because all too often rules are introduced to protect and guarantee and are then ignored even inside the European Parliament itself.

 
  
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  Tiziano Motti (PPE), in writing. (IT) I fully agree with this report on the removal of shark fins, and I have also received suggestions from some non-governmental organisations devoted to shark protection. I think that the simultaneous landing of shark parts is an inadequate response to the current problems, because finning could go on unnoticed even were rules on matching fins to shark bodies to be applied rigorously, which would in any case be a difficult, expensive and laborious method. Furthermore I think that the proposal to raise the fin-to-carcass weight ratio to 14 % of processed weight would result in an unprecedented slackening of controls on finning (since this limit is three times higher than that imposed by most countries who use this system). There is another problem: given the high volume of fish landed, counting fins and matching them to carcasses would complicate rather than improve application. Traceability is a much simpler matter if the attached fins rule is applied. ‘Independent’ control systems are costly and could involve the risk of inaccuracies. Claims by industrial fisheries with regard to possible economic losses are hasty and superficial, have not been subject to external checks and appear to be arbitrary and inconsistent.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) The practice of finning, which involves removing the fins from pelagic sharks, with the remaining parts of the animal’s body being thrown into the sea, where it endures a slow death on the sea floor, is causing growing mortality in shark stocks. These practices should be prohibited as a matter of principle and the closure of the legal loophole is long overdue. The time has come to introduce legislation requiring that all sharks landed by EU flagged vessels operating in EU and non-EU waters and by non-EU vessels in maritime waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of Member States be landed with their fins naturally attached. I therefore especially welcome the abolition of the exemptions under the previous EU regulation, which allowed fishermen who held special permits to remove the fins from sharks on board and land the separated fins in port. There is a massive demand for shark fin because such high prices for shark fin soup can be commanded in the Asian market. This economic incentive, sadly, is causing the killing of sharks for their fins alone. Perhaps the vote of the European Parliament will help to curb this barbaric killing of sharks.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because the practice whereby shark fins are removed and the remainder of the body thrown back into the sea is unacceptable and should be prohibited. Consequently it is very important for ‘fins naturally attached’ policies, which would stop this practice of removing fins, to be properly implemented at EU level. Furthermore, a strict control mechanism should be established in order to close legal loopholes and address difficulties associated with the use of a fin to carcass ratio. Above all, we need to narrow the derogation currently applied and ensure compliance with the obligation to land fins and carcasses together in the same port. On the other hand, we have to ensure that the ban on removing fins does not have a significant impact on the profitability of businesses and crew members’ safety.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE), in writing. (FR) How can we remain unmoved by the fate of sharks caught in our European waters and then thrown back into the sea, sometimes still alive, once their fins have been removed? This practice is totally unacceptable and runs counter to the sustainable and responsible management of our ecosystem. The European Commission has finally done the right thing by rejecting any possibility of exemptions in the future. To sanction such exemptions would be a considerable step backwards and would jeopardise all of the progress already made on the subject. The Patrão Neves report aims to limit the ban on shark finning to freezer vessels only, in the knowledge that the vast majority of the 200 Spanish and Portuguese vessels that already hold special permits are freezer vessels. Fortunately, the European Parliament has not yielded to the sirens from the industry and has refused to remove the substance of the Commission’s proposal, which bans all finning without any exceptions.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) Today in plenary we voted on the report by Ms Patrão Neves. Many species of sharks are being very heavily fished. In recent years some have been severely targeted and put under serious threat as a result of the demand for shark products, fins in particular. In 2003 a ban on the removal of shark fins on board vessels was introduced. The resolution approved today removes derogations, in other words the special permits allowing removal of fins at sea on board vessels that could demonstrate they would utilise all of the shark parts. Subsequently, fins and carcasses could be landed at different ports, making exact counting difficult and therefore also preventing detection of those who violated the ban, throwing the finless shark carcasses into the sea.

 
  
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  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing. (FR) While Europeans do not traditionally cook shark, Asians are particularly fond of eating their fins, which can sell at prices in excess of EUR 70 a kilo. The fishing of sharks, which are necessary in the sea to preserve the balance of the marine ecosystem, has been regulated, one of the main goals being the conservation of the species. However, the current rules are too easily circumvented by fishermen and shark stocks are shrinking: according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), more than 25 % of all pelagic shark species, of which over 50 % are large oceanic-pelagic sharks, are threatened. It is therefore urgent to take action to conserve this species by ensuring better compliance with the rules in force, which would also allow the European Union to meet the international commitments it has made on shark protection. This regulation, which I support, is a step in that direction.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour of the amended proposal (which is not the original defended by the rapporteur). An unequivocal EU ban on the odious and wasteful practise of shark finning will finally become reality after today’s vote. MEPs have voted to prohibit the removal of shark’s fins on board, making it mandatory to land sharks with the fins naturally attached. This will allow the EU ban to finally be implemented without exceptions. Despite EU legislation on shark finning existing since 2003, loopholes enabled this barbaric and wasteful practise to continue. Thankfully, a majority of MEPs has voted for an outright ban, and rejected attempts to preserve these loopholes. ‘Every year millions of sharks are caught, their fins hacked off and the bodies simply discarded to meet the demand for shark fin soup in Asia. This is not only a senseless waste, it also puts pressure on threatened shark species. Banning shark finning in European fisheries is an important step but the EU should also advocate for the practise to be outlawed at international level.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) Today’s vote has finally closed the loopholes in rules on the ‘finning’ of sharks that allowed fishermen to hide infringements. This step is particularly important for providing complete protection for this species, which plays an important role in the marine habitat and is currently threatened with extinction.

 
  
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  Antolín Sánchez Presedo (S&D), in writing. (ES) I am in favour of effective controls that will ensure compliance with the ban on shark finning.

I support the general consensus that the fins and bodies of sharks should be landed in the same port. However, I do not think it necessary for the fins to be landed while still attached to the bodies. The latter option, which was rejected at the recent meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, creates needless extra costs when it comes to the storage, handling, processing and prompt sale of catches, which could jeopardise the viability of a considerable segment of the sector.

I am in favour of checks in the port of landing by means of independent certification, based on criteria established by official bodies. This is a reasonable solution and one which the sector would be responsible for implementing. It would set a powerful precedent for the worldwide control of fishing activities. Only if it failed to deliver the desired results would more stringent procedures need to be applied.

On the other hand, I am pleased to note that the Ferreira report on small-scale coastal fishing and artisanal fishing and the Lövin report on the external dimension of the common fisheries policy incorporate many of the amendments I tabled.

 
  
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  Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D), in writing. I welcome the fact that the European Commission responded positively to Parliament’s written declaration on this issue and proposed to close the loophole in the shark finning regulation. The delicate marine eco-system is continually put at risk by overfishing, but the cruel practice of shark finning is particularly damaging because of the additional vulnerability of shark populations. I voted against those attempts by some Members to allow the loophole to remain open. The long term sustainability of the fishing sector – and with it our food security – will be ensured by effective, enforceable regulation, not laws with loopholes.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) I deplore the practice of the removal of the fins of sharks and I think steps must be taken to ensure that this does not happen on board vessels. Removal of fins of sharks, or so-called ‘finning’, is already regulated under EU law, which banned the practice but provided for a derogation allowing finning on board vessels subject to special fishing permits. We should reflect on the gravity of this horrendous practice from an environmental point of view in order to protect certain animal species, but also in economic terms: since finning involves removal the fins of sharks, with the remaining parts of the animal’s body being thrown into the sea, it prevents a source of food from being placed on the market. For these reasons, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI), in writing. (ES) The nature of this matter and the manner in which negotiations were conducted in the Committee on Fisheries make this a difficult vote.

I voted in favour of the Commission proposal, because I am completely opposed to the practice of finning and, therefore, in favour of the full use of the shark. I supported the derogation provided for in Article 4, as I believe it be an adequate solution given the current circumstances of the sector in the Iberian Peninsula. This derogation could be maintained for a while.

Furthermore, the sector in question should produce a detailed study on the overall costs resulting from the new rules. In any case, they need to be accompanied by an effective system of controls in fishing ports that is genuinely enforced, and we must align our practices with international recommendations.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) I voted for this text, which condemns a barbaric practice. In order to guarantee that the scandalous practice of finning by European Union vessels is brought to an end, the Commission and the Council must ensure that the exemptions to the ban on finning are removed. The Member States must also support this action and ensure that requests for the granting or renewal of special permits are carefully studied and only approved when justified, in accordance with the law.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Commission’s proposal advocates deleting the current Article 4, that is ending the derogation from the ban on removing shark fins on board Community fishing vessels, a practice which is currently permitted provided that special fishing permits have been issued and subject to rules laid down by the regulation. The rapporteur tried to maintain the derogation contrary to the Commission’s proposal. As this approach was not accepted in plenary, I voted against the final document, given that this was no longer the original version drafted by the rapporteur.

 
  
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  Isabelle Thomas (S&D), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the ban on removing the fins of sharks on board vessels. This practice has been prohibited in the EU since 2003, but some shipowners benefiting from exemptions in Spain and Portugal are suspected of ‘finning’, which involves cutting off a shark’s fin and throwing its flesh back into the water. The report therefore plans to force all fishermen to wait until their vessels have landed before cutting off sharks’ fins. This debate is a perfect illustration of the need to establish a real European fisheries control policy. The practice of ‘finning’ is unacceptable, but there is no proof that it takes place in Europe. However, in view of the doubt, it was necessary to remove any possibility of the continuation of such practices. Since controls have failed, the European Parliament has been forced to eliminate all exemptions, which will not be without consequences for professionals. The challenge now is to ensure that the issue of European fisheries control is dealt with more effectively. In particular, uniformity of controls must be promoted and the resources allocated to this vital tool for our fisheries policy must be increased.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted against the report on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels. An analysis of shark catch rates indicate that stocks are under serious threat, although the situation is different for some species and even within the same species across different regions.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), more than 25 % of all species of pelagic sharks, most of which are great oceanic pelagic sharks, are under threat. In the last few years, it has been illegal to catch, retain on board, tranship or land an increasing number of shark species, including sharks with high commercial value fins, in accordance with Union legislation or other regional fisheries management regulations.

The blue and mako sharks, classified by the IUCN as ‘under threat of extinction’ and ‘vulnerable to extinction’, respectively, are the most common species caught by European vessels, with the blue shark accounting for 70 % of all sharks landed. However, other species, such as the hammer shark and the tiger shark, caught in internal and external waters of the European Union support the economic viability of the fisheries sector.

 
  
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  Derek Vaughan (S&D), in writing. I wholeheartedly support changes to the current legislation to make sure shark finning on vessels is banned and that no exemptions for EU Member States can be granted. The legislation from 2003 was not strict enough and allowed fishermen to remove sharks’ fins whilst on vessels and then throw them back in the water to die. New legislation will mean that all sharks will have to be landed with their fins naturally attached, rather than carcasses being discarded into the sea. I welcome the move to make sure that, where local authorities are unable to carry out controls in ports, vessel owners will be responsible for hiring an independent body to do the job. This legislation bring the rest of Europe up to speed with measures already in force in the UK which put a stop to this wasteful, cruel practice.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I voted for this resolution, which aims to revise the legislation applicable to the practice of ‘finning’, the removal of sharks’ fins on fishing boats. This practice was already banned by Council Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 of 26 June 2003. However, Article 4 of that Regulation provided for an exception which effectively allowed finning. The new resolution puts an end to this barbaric practice, carried out for the purpose of soup production in Asia. Indeed, as the rest of the shark’s body is of lesser commercial value, the still-live shark is often thrown back into the sea, its fins amputated. Incapable of moving in order to oxygenate its gills, the shark therefore slowly asphyxiates. Today, 73 species of sharks which play a vital role in the ecosystem are endangered, as finning has led to overfishing. I am therefore glad that all of the amendments that aimed to reintroduce exemptions have been rejected, as there is now proof that they have been used to circumvent the legislation. At a time when the legislation on red tuna is demonstrating its effectiveness, it is time for everyone to adopt a responsible approach to species that are in real danger.

 
  
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  Bernadette Vergnaud (S&D), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the strengthening of the rules on the removal of sharks’ fins on board boats. The existing rules permitted exemptions that meant that compliance with the ban on this cruel practice, which involves throwing live sharks back into the sea having removed their fins, could not be guaranteed. While sharks’ fins are the main ingredient in a highly-valued Asian soup, the rest of the meat is less sought-after. There is a great temptation to keep only the valuable part of the shark and to throw the rest of the carcass away, leading to overfishing of an animal of which many species are endangered. However, while the requirement that any fins landed must be attached to the body of the animal should facilitate controls, I remain convinced that the lack of resources allocated to these controls – concerning not only shark finning but also other species – remains the central problem with regard to overfishing, causing harm to the environment and to the overwhelming majority of fishermen, who carry out their work in a responsible and courageous way and face unfair competition that flouts all of the rules.

 
  
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  Glenis Willmott (S&D), in writing. I supported this report, which calls for the abolition of loopholes that allow shark finning to continue. Shark finning – the process whereby a shark’s fin is removed on board a fishing vessel and the rest of the shark discarded back into the sea – is illegal under EU law but is still allowed by vessels that have received a special permit. This proposal calls for all EU vessels, and all vessels fishing in EU waters, to be required to land sharks with their fins still attached and it is hoped that, by doing do, the number of shark catches will be reduced. Many shark species are threatened, some are close to extinction. Shark finning is not only thought to be contributing to the decline in shark numbers, it is also cruel as fins are sometimes removed while the shark is still alive. As the EU ranks second in the world for the number of shark catches, we therefore have an important role to play in helping to protect them. The EU has also legally committed to adopt measures aimed at helping to protect sharks and this proposal should go some way to achieving that.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) ‘Finning’ is unacceptable from an environmental point of view because it threatens the sustainability of some shark species targeted by this practice, from the social and economic point of view because it involves squandering a source of food with commercial value, and also from the moral point of view because it shows a total disrespect for animal life. Although finning has been banned since 2003 in European waters and by the European fleet, the Commission has decided to present a proposal aimed at ending the derogation from the ban on removing shark fins on board EU fishing vessels. The proposal will improve the protection of sharks, allowing the EU to make an active contribution to global efforts to eradicate this cruel practice in other parts of the world too.

 
  
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  Zbigniew Ziobro (EFD), in writing. (PL) I have been receiving information on the cruel practice of the removal of sharks’ fins for a long time now. My office has recently received a great many reports from environmental organisations and private individuals. I support their requests for this practice to cease as soon as possible, and for a ban on trading in these items, especially in South America. I am in favour.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0497/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report as I consider, first of all, that the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is of great importance, as it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside. Furthermore, recalling the role that the European Union has already acquired in terms of exclusive external competence in the field of international child abduction, I am of the opinion that the Council should therefore take steps as quickly as possible to adopt the decisions proposed by the Commission, including by consulting Parliament immediately.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) Child abduction is morally reprehensible and has major consequences for the children and their families. The Hague Convention on the subject provides the legal means to fight this cross-border scourge. This text seeks to allow eight new countries to accede to this convention, and I therefore supported this resolution.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this proposal for a resolution on the accession of eight third countries to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Hague Convention establishes a system allowing states to cooperate in cases of child abductions, it determines which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside, and also provides for the speedy return of abducted children to their country of residence. The Council has decided to delay the consultation of Parliament and the accession of these countries to the Hague Convention on legal grounds. I welcome the recommendations set out that the Council should proceed immediately with the procedure for the accession of the countries mentioned to the Hague Convention and, to that end, should consult Parliament. I agree that while defending the interests of its citizens, the Council should refrain from impeding the proper functioning of the European Union on spurious legal grounds.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because it is very important to establish a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions. It is necessary to determine which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside. Recommendations are currently being put before the Council that it should proceed immediately with the procedure for the adoption of the aforementioned decisions. In the interest of European citizens who would benefit from the adoption of those decisions, it should refrain from impeding the proper functioning of the European Union on spurious legal grounds.

 
  
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  Minodora Cliveti (S&D), in writing. The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is of great importance, because it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside.

We know that the European Union has obtained exclusive external competence in the field of international child abduction. The accession of new states (Gabon, Andorra, the Seychelles, the Russian Federation, Albania, Singapore, Morocco and Armenia) should be accepted by those states which are already members in order for the Convention to apply between them.

Given that the Convention does not allow international organisations to become members, the European Union should empower the Member States to act in its interest when accepting the abovementioned accessions. In the interest of European citizens who would benefit from the adoption of those decisions, it should renounce efforts to impede the proper functioning of the European Union on false legal grounds.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this resolution urging the Member States to sign the declaration, in the interest of the European Union, allowing the accession of eight countries to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Council should proceed immediately with the procedure for the adoption of the aforementioned proposed decisions and, within this procedure, it should consult Parliament on the eight proposed decisions.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is of great importance, as it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside. The Council is therefore urged to proceed with the procedures needed to accept the accession of eight new states to the Convention.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This motion for a resolution, tabled under Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure, further to a question for oral answer put by a group of MEPs on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs, concerns the declaration of acceptance by the Member States, in the interest of the European Union, of the accession of eight third countries to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The growing Europe-wide mobility of citizens is increasing the number of relationships between people from different countries. This is therefore leading to a rise in the number of cases where couples with children are separating, with disagreements about the custody of those children. Court decisions are frequently ignored and children are being abducted by one of their parents. I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution – which has been blocked by the Council for nearly a year – because it is vital that, in such cases, the international community prioritises protecting the interests of the children, and not their parents, which does not always happen with some institutions. In the event of international abductions, external competence therefore passes to the EU.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions. This Convention only applies between countries which have ratified or acceded to it, which is why the acceptance of accessions is therefore of the utmost importance. Bearing in mind that the children’s interests are of paramount importance, and that their protection must prevail over any other interest, we consider that it is vital and urgent to establish the most effective ways of guaranteeing the immediate return of an abducted child to his or her country of habitual residence. We therefore voted in favour of this resolution.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is of great importance, as it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside. The European Union has already exercised its internal competence in the field of international child abductions, in particular by means of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility. However, the Convention does not allow international organisations to become members. For this reason, the European Union should empower the Member States to act in its interest when accepting the aforementioned accessions. The Council should therefore take steps as quickly as possible to adopt the decisions proposed by the Commission, including by consulting Parliament immediately.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing. (FR) In view of the growing number of international child abductions, a phenomenon that goes hand in hand with the growing number of binational marriages, I supported the European Parliament’s request for eight new third countries to be granted accession to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. These accessions are vital if we are to increase the likelihood of rapid positive outcomes in cases of child abduction. The Council should therefore conclude this process without delay.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is of great importance, as it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside. The Convention also provides for the speedy return of abducted children to their proper country of residence. The Convention only applies between countries which have ratified or acceded to it. The accession of new states must be accepted by those states which are already members in order for the Convention to apply between them. The European Union has already exercised its internal competence in the field of international child abductions, in particular by means of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility. The Council should proceed immediately with the procedure for the adoption of the aforementioned proposed decisions. To that end, it should consult Parliament on the eight proposed decisions. In the interest of European citizens who would benefit from the adoption of those decisions, it should refrain from impeding the proper functioning of the European Union on spurious legal grounds.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The serious cases of human trafficking, including minors, demonstrate that prevention measures are slow and inefficient. It is our duty to shed light on this phenomenon again. Every minute wasted because of the lack of communication within the Council had negative consequences in horrible situations involving children. The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 helps to combat trafficking in minors by setting up an efficient system that allows the parties to cooperate on international abductions and quick repatriation. Therefore, the accession to the Convention of the eight third countries is extremely important.

In my opinion, the Council must take immediate action, and it must adopt the Commission’s proposals and stop its feeble excuses. I am in complete agreement with my colleagues who advocate the accession of the eight countries to the Convention in order to put an end to this terrible situation.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I welcome this resolution which calls for the EU to sign the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It is of great importance, as it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is of great importance, as it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions. I therefore support the motion for a resolution and the requests to the Council it contains.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution, because it states, quite rightly, that the Council does not have the power to block any decisions adopted by the Commission in this regard. In all matters concerning international child abduction, the law applicable is the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Commission is attempting to ensure that all Member States comply with this agreement, so that the accession of new states can be accepted, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. The Council is impeding the usual decision-making process in this regard, through which the Commission is seeking to ensure that all Member States comply with the legislation in force and to prevent any country from being denied the right to accede to the Convention. The Council likewise refuses to consult Parliament in order to make progress in this matter, citing opposition on legal grounds. I therefore voted in favour of this motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution. It should be noted that the protection of children’s rights is a public interest and we therefore always need to look for the best solution on the basis on the interests of the child. Very often disputes concerning children acquire an international element and involve the problem of the illegal removal of a child to another country. Consequently we need to ensure the implementation of the provisions of this Convention internationally. The procedure for the accession of new countries cannot be delayed. We have to protect children from the harmful consequences of their illegal removal or retention. Furthermore, we need to ensure the speedy return of children to their country of residence and the proper implementation of the protection of parents’ rights to contact their child.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this European Parliament resolution on the declaration of acceptance by the Member States, in the interest of the European Union, of the accession of eight third countries to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This resolution recommends that the Council proceed immediately with the procedure for the adoption of the aforementioned proposed decisions and that, to that end, it should consult Parliament on the eight proposed decisions, in the interest of European citizens who would benefit from the adoption of those decisions.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is of great importance, as it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside. The Convention thus provides for the speedy return of abducted children to their proper country of residence. The Convention only applies between countries which have ratified or acceded to it. Whereas the accession of new states must be accepted by those states which are already members in order for the Convention to apply between them. The acceptance of accessions is therefore of the utmost importance.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) I think that the judicial situation regarding international child abduction urgently needs to be clarified, determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable based on the place of residence of the minor. A system must be established allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions by acceptance of accession to the Hague Convention of new states, by those states that are already members. In the firm belief that we must make protection of the rights of minors a priority, I voted in favour of the proposal.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) I do, of course, support this resolution, which aims to press the Council to act more quickly to allow participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside. Provision is also made for the speedy return of abducted children to their proper country of residence. In the interests of European citizens, who would benefit from the taking of these decisions, the Council should consult Parliament as soon as possible and stop hindering the proper functioning of the European Union for spurious legal reasons!

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is of great importance, since it establishes a system allowing participating states to cooperate in order to find a solution to international child abductions, by determining which courts are competent and which law is applicable when deciding where the child should reside, the European Parliament has recommended that the Council should proceed immediately with the procedure for the adoption of the proposed decisions presented on this issue by the Commission. To that end, it reminds the Council that it should consult Parliament on the proposed decisions and that, in the interest of European citizens who would benefit from the adoption of those decisions, it should refrain from impeding the proper functioning of the European Union on spurious legal grounds. For those reasons, I supported the adoption of the document.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the report on accepting the accession of eight third countries to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Convention of 25 October 1980 allows signatory countries to cooperate in order to resolve international child abductions by establishing the competent courts and applicable laws to determine the child’s country of residence. The Convention provides for the swift return of abducted children to their country of residence. The European Union already exercises its internal competences for international children abductions through Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility. The accession of the new states must be accepted by the Convention members to ensure mutual application of the Convention, which does not allow international organisations to join. The European Union must empower the Member States to represent its interests once these accessions are accepted.

 
  
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  Derek Vaughan (S&D), in writing. I voted in favour of this resolution, which calls for the accession of eight third countries to the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. The adoption of this resolution will allow Gabon, Andorra, the Seychelles, Russia, Albania, Singapore, Morocco and Armenia to accede to the convention. The accession of these countries is especially important as it will protect both European children with relatives in those states as well as children living in those countries who also have connections with EU states. I welcome the adoption of this resolution, which constitutes an important step in ensuring that abducted children are promptly returned to their parents or guardians should they be wrongfully removed.

 
  
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  Auke Zijlstra (NI), in writing. (NL) It goes without saying that the PVV supports measures to combat and resolve child abduction. It is good therefore that more and more countries are acceding to this convention. The resolution of Parliament is not about child abduction as such, but is about transferring the right to conclude international agreements from the Member States to the European Commission. That is an erosion of national sovereignty which has repercussions for other international agreements. Abducted children must be returned to their homes as quickly as possible. They are not in a treaty text but in a Member State.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0498/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report, which starts by calling on the Council and the Commission to ensure that any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations are compatible with the EU acquis and further the Union’s objective of, and interest in, advancing the internet as a truly public place, where human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of expression and assembly, are respected and where the observance of free market principles, net neutrality and entrepreneurship is ensured. It is also important to protect the development of, and access to, online services for end users, as well as the digital economy as a whole.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) This text is an appeal from the European Parliament to Member States in the context of the revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) at the World Conference on International Telecommunications, which will be held in Dubai from 3 to 14 December 2013. By supporting this text, I am appealing for vigilance with regard to any threat that could jeopardise the open and competitive nature of the internet. The internet should remain a place of freedom and openness and the European Parliament’s vote is a step in that direction.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because it consolidates the European Parliament position that the internet really must be a public place for the exercise of human rights and freedoms. The internet must remain free and open and there cannot be any talk of proposals that might threaten the open and competitive nature of the internet. This report calls on the European Council to coordinate the negotiation of the revision of the International Telecommunications Regulations, on the basis of inclusively gathered input from multiple stakeholders. I believe that internet governance and related regulatory issues in the subsequent telecommunications process should continue to be defined comprehensively and at various levels.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE), in writing. (FR) Telecommunications are central to a number of challenges: not only have they become pivotal to our growth, but they also touch upon sensitive areas such as the protection of our privacy. For these reasons, I support the ambitions set out in this resolution: regulation of telecommunications must be fair and realistic, and that means, in particular, ensuring that they are developed in a way that is open, inclusive and in line with the principle of neutrality.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Questions concerning the management of, and access to, the internet are becoming increasingly central to the debate on international telecommunications. I believe that the joint position of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe provides a prudent and balanced approach to this subject, aiming to ensure that the European position at the forthcoming World Conference defends the freedom of use of and access to this means of communication, human rights and observance of the Community acquis. Unjustified restrictions would be a backward step in terms of the method we use to communicate today, which has helped people to come closer and allowed information and trade to flow more freely. While recognising the need to be alert to crimes that may be committed over the internet, I still consider that the starting point must be freedom of use of and access to the internet, and not its limitation or the introduction of economic barriers to its use. I hope that the Conference conclusions will adopt the same position.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This joint motion for a resolution, tabled pursuant to Rule 110(2) and (4) of the Rules of Procedure, replacing the motions of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, concerns the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-2012) of the International Telecommunications Union, to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 3 to 14 December 2012, during which the possible expansion of the scope of the International Telecommunication Regulations will be discussed. I hope that the participation of the European Union and Member States in this conference will be properly coordinated – given that only the Member States can negotiate on the proposals presented – so that there are no changes that may harm the EU’s interests or limit the development of the EU acquis. In Dubai, Europe must speak with one voice and defend freedom of access to the internet, which some countries would like to restrict. I support the review of the International Telecommunication Regulations at WCIT-2012 because this represents a good opportunity to improve cooperation between countries in order to raise levels of economic and social development.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This resolution aims to ensure that the Council and Commission changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations further the ‘Union’s objective of, and interest in, advancing the internet as a truly public place’, without any reference to the importance of truly universal, democratic and inclusive access. The resolution calls for respect for ‘human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of expression and assembly’. We agree. It also argues for free market principles and entrepreneurship, and defends more competition with the aim of ‘avoiding a new digital divide’. Concern is expressed that the ‘ITU [International Telecommunications Union] reform proposals include the establishment of new profit mechanisms... driving up prices [and] hampering innovation’. This concern falls short of the necessary rejection of such profit mechanisms and a reversal of these policies, given that some of their harmful effects are recognised. As an alternative, we signed a motion for a resolution, which was regrettably not adopted given that it was the only one to argue that ‘telecommunications and the internet are and should remain public goods, as this is the only way to guarantee universal access to, and democratic control over, them’.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), to which the 27 EU Member States are signatories, were adopted by the World Administrative Telegraphy and Telephone Conference in Melbourne in 1988 and have not been revised since. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has called a meeting in Dubai from 3 to 14 December 2012, named the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), to agree to a new text for these ITRs. Some of the ITR reform proposals presented relate to aspects of international telecommunications which clearly fall under the remit of the EU acquis and Union policy, including the relationship between regulatory bodies and independent commercial operators, roaming and personal data protection. In the context of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT), a meeting has been held with the aim of preparing a common European position on ITR reform. The European Commission will inform the International Telecommunications Union of the different competences of the European Union and its Member States in these matters.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution which expresses concern that the ITU reform proposals include the establishment of new profit mechanisms that could seriously threaten the open and competitive nature of the internet, driving up prices, hampering innovation and limiting access. It also recalls that the internet should remain free and open.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The conference is an opportunity to underline the importance of safeguarding a robust best-effort internet, fostering innovation and freedom of expression, ensuring competition and avoiding a new digital divide.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution, as it rightly points out that there are risks in respect of fundamental freedoms. In this motion for a resolution, Parliament calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations are compatible with EU law, in order to guarantee that the internet is a truly public place, where human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of expression and assembly, are respected. It considers that neither the International Telecommunications Union nor any other centralised institution is the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over the internet, and regrets the lack of transparency and inclusiveness surrounding the negotiations for the ITU’s World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012. This text reflects concerns that the various private actors participating in this conference will adopt decisions in an attempt to regulate the freedom of the internet unilaterally and to impose their own conditions on the public. For all of these reasons, I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution. Given the importance of electronic communications policy, an open and stable legal framework should be established and a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder model applied. Any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations should be compatible with EU law. It should be noted that there should be a greater focus on preparations for the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications, taking into account its importance for society. I believe that only by joint efforts can we protect the openness of the internet, the rights of users and properly implement free market principles.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The joint motion for a resolution on the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-2012) of the International Telecommunications Union and on the possible expansion of the scope of the International Telecommunication Regulations aims to express the European Parliament’s concerns on this issue. Among the concerns mentioned, I would highlight the request for the Member States to prevent any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations which would be harmful to the openness of the internet, net neutrality, universal service obligations, online creative content and the participatory governance entrusted to multiple actors, such as governments, supranational institutions, non-governmental organisations, large and small businesses, the technological community and internet users and consumers at large.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. We call on the Council and the Commission to ensure that any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations are compatible with the EU acquis and further the Union’s objective of, and interest in, advancing the internet as a truly public place, where human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of expression and assembly, are respected and the observance of free market principles, net neutrality and entrepreneurship are ensured. We also regret the lack of transparency and inclusiveness surrounding the negotiations for WCIT-12, given that the outcomes of this meeting could substantially affect the public interest.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) were adopted in Melbourne in 1988 and have not been revised since. Recently there have been proposals for a new text for the ITRs in order to bring them into line with a radically different technological, economic and social context. I believe that the process of revising international Regulations requires the broadest possible participation and agreement among all stakeholders: citizens, enterprises, associations and the public administration. Furthermore, when the international regulatory framework for internet and telecommunications is being established, the open, competitive and innovative nature of the internet must be guaranteed for the future, as well as respect for human rights and fundamental liberties, in particular freedom of expression and association.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) I agree with the message of this resolution: I find it damaging – and I choose my words carefully – to have such a lack of transparency surrounding the preparations for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-2012) and the conference itself, given that it should give rise to important outcomes that are in the public interest! May I remind you that some of the proposals for reform of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) submitted by the 193 Member States of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) would have an impact on the internet, its architecture, its operations, its content and its security, on business relations, on governance of the internet and on the free flow of information online. These ITU reform proposals offer cause for concern, as they provide for the introduction of specific interconnection charging mechanisms, which could seriously threaten the open and competitive nature of the internet by driving up prices and hampering innovation. It is urgent to shed some light on this matter!

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) Any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) should be compatible with the European Union acquis and further the Union’s objective of, and interest in, advancing the internet as a truly public place, where human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected. I voted in favour of this resolution as I believe that the internet should remain free and open to citizens, with bottom-up multilateral participation, and that online services and the digital economy should be promoted. Lastly, the internet must remain an open space, guaranteeing respect for free market principles, net neutrality and entrepreneurship.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution on the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and the possible expansion of the scope of International Telecommunication Regulations. It is important to ensure that all amendments to these regulations are compatible with the EU acquis and that they help promote the internet as a true public space where human rights and fundamental liberties, such as the freedoms of opinion and association in particular, are respected. They must also respect the principles of the free market, net neutrality and entrepreneurship. I support the proposals to maintain the current scope of the ITRs and the current mandate of the ITU, and I support the view that ITU, or any other single, centralised international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over either internet governance or internet traffic flows. I call on the Member States to prevent any changes to the ITRs which would be harmful to the openness of the internet, net neutrality, the ‘end-to-end’ principle, universal service obligations, and the participatory governance entrusted to multiple actors.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0496/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report, as I consider that the fight against climate change should remain a priority, both within Europe and internationally. I believe that the fight against climate change, in addition to its inherent objective, also contributes to sustainable growth, additional jobs and decreasing dependency on energy imports. As a result, the European Union should demonstrate leadership at this conference, by speaking with one voice, representing the 27 Member States of the European Union, in the search for progress towards an international agreement.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) This text aims to detail the European Parliament’s position ahead of the Doha Conference, which will end on 7 December. I supported this resolution because it is balanced and reasonable. Particular attention has been paid to risks of carbon leakage, which would hamper the competitiveness of European companies. The European Union is a leader in environmental matters. It must remain so, while enabling its economy to adapt and making sure that its efforts are shared by third countries.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution on the Climate Change Conference in Doha at the end of November. At the Doha Conference there will be negotiations on the legally binding global agreement on climate change issues which should replace the Kyoto Protocol from 2020. I agree that the main goals of the EU delegation should be to establish a more ambitious plan for reducing the greenhouse effect and progress towards a global agreement on climate change issues. I welcome the proposals set out that by 2020 the EU should reduce its CO2 emissions by 30 %, compared to 1990. I agree that a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol should begin on 1 January 2013 and that there should be a transition to a new international regime by 2020. We also need to ensure that the Green Climate Fund for developing countries is brought into operation.

 
  
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  Erik Bánki (PPE), in writing. (HU) I did not support the European Parliament resolution concerning the Climate Change Conference in Doha because it fails to take into account the interests of Hungary and the other Central and Eastern European Member States. I think it is unacceptable that, despite the fact that the EU15 could not have met their Kyoto commitments without the massive emissions reductions achieved by the new Member States, they are now ignoring the legitimate demand of these countries to carry over their Kyoto surplus. Unless we arrive at a compromise that is acceptable to everyone, we will not reach a unified position, and this will jeopardise the chances of asserting the EU’s interests effectively in the international climate negotiations.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Climate change has gradually been purely and simply erased from the political and media agenda over a period of many months. However, with a greater degree of consensus than ever, international experts have merely confirmed their most pessimistic fears about changes in the climate. The objective of preventing a two-degree increase by the end of this century already appears to be obsolete. This can only be a matter of regret. The European Union, which is in the vanguard of the environmental battle, must step up its efforts and its attempts to educate others at international meetings. In this respect, the Doha Conference will be another important event, but let us not be naïve. It seems to me to be vital to put on the table the question of a carbon tax at the borders of our continent in order to prevent any distortion of competition for our European industries, which cannot take on environmental commitments unilaterally.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because the joint resolution recognises that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to humanity and thus has to be addressed at international level by all of the parties. Recent scientific findings suggest that the effects of climate change are more rapid and more pronounced than previously predicted, for instance in the Arctic region, and investments in the energy sector very often have a lifetime of 30 years or more and the planning of new projects and policies takes a long time, a situation which accentuates the worldwide urgency to take new steps in the field of energy. The EU should take a leading role in combating climate change and achieve a legally uniting and binding agreement on equity in long-term global mitigation efforts. It is important to note that after 2012, the last year of fast-start finance (USD 30 billion over three years committed in Copenhagen), there is no certainty as to how much climate finance will be delivered. It is worth stressing that the current economic crisis must not be used as a pretext for inaction or for refusing funding for adaptation measures in developing countries.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) I voted for the resolution on the Climate Change Conference in Doha, because it recognises that climate change represents an urgent and irreversible threat to human societies and the planet, and it proposes a legally binding international agreement based on the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’, and recognises that the scientific information does not leave much margin for postponement. Our primary and crucial task is to continue our efforts at all levels, even in the bleak circumstances surrounding us, to prevent at least part of the geoclimatic disturbance. At Doha, the planet’s leaders must ‘take the bull by the horns’ and reach substantial, workable decisions, as the resolution proposes, and must sacrifice their short-term growth for the benefit of the environment, because already we are all experiencing the dire consequences of climate change. The Doha Conference, however, must not refer the matter to the next international conference, as usually happens; commitments must be made, with a specific schedule for reducing emissions, and there must be more than vague political talk about reducing them. Besides, ecology and economics can coexist. We must not renew the right to cause destruction for the benefit of the few.

 
  
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  Minodora Cliveti (S&D), in writing. (RO) Climate change is no doubt real and represents the biggest threat to the environment the world has ever seen. The European Union strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its Member States and urges other countries to follow its example. There is no miracle solution to stop climate change, which is why I believe we must reach a world consensus on how to best limit carbon emissions. A new international agreement on carbon pollution is necessary.

The EU must take a more active and influential role in the international negotiations on climate change. All of the institutions of the European Union must continue their climate change diplomatic efforts and make the EU’s vision on climate change more clear to all countries, China and the United States in particular, so that the new international agreement protects the interest of all countries.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE), in writing. (FR) By voting on this resolution, we wish to issue a reminder that we still have big ambitions for the Doha Climate Change Conference. The Union must continue to play a leading role on the matter, as urgent action is required. I particularly support the idea that we must develop our climate diplomacy. The European Union must remain a pioneer in the field, but it must not stop there: it must also be a leader, and to do that it must learn to speak with one voice, if it wants that voice to be heard.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Just a few days before the 18th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 18), to be held in Doha from 26 November to 7 December 2012, it is important to know what measures the Council is taking to ensure that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change makes progress and achieves concrete results, particularly as regards the changes required to the Kyoto Protocol, prior to the second commitment period which will start on 1 January 2013. It is also important to lead by example, by respecting the commitments of financing and compliance with the scheduled objectives.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This motion for a resolution, tabled pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure, further to several questions for oral answer, concerns the Climate Change Conference to be held in Doha, Qatar, from 26 November to 7 December 2012. Recent natural disasters, which have affected several countries including Italy, the United States (Hurricane Sandy) and Portugal, and which have resulted in not only tens of victims but also millions of euros in damage, should prompt world leaders to adopt the environmental measures that are vital in order to prevent the average global temperature from continuing to increase, with all too familiar consequences. Although reducing greenhouse gas emissions may have a high cost, this will always be much lower than the consequences of not adopting these measures. I therefore hope that, not only will the Kyoto Protocol be extended, but also that its objectives will be increased, that it will be extended to developing countries, and that it will be ratified by the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, namely the United States, China and India.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This resolution aims to give guidance on the EU mandate at COP 18 (18th United Nations Climate Change Conference). It proposes enhanced action at the start of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, calling for increased ambition between now and 2020 and seeking new sources of financing. It supports the introduction of robust accounting rules on ‘land use’, reallocation of land and forestry, and reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, particularly as regards the technical assessment of forest reference levels. Although we agree with some points, we strongly disagree with others: support for the creation of a global carbon market, with ‘links between the EU emissions trading scheme and other trading schemes’, at a time when the ineffectiveness and perversity of this market-based approach is clearly evident; support for the allocation of an exchange value, by allocating a price to ‘goods and services’ provided by biodiversity, which is halfway towards the commercial exploitation and private appropriation of nature and her resources; and removal, as a result of the vote in plenary, of the reference to patents (meaning that developing countries will not be required to purchase them). These points formed sufficient reason for us to vote against the report.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The decisions encompassing the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (the Durban Package) recognise that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet and thus has to be addressed at international level by all of the Parties. The Durban Package has in principle laid the foundation for a comprehensive, ambitious, legally binding international agreement involving all of the Parties, to be reached by 2015 and implemented by 2020. I am of the view that the Doha Conference (COP 18) must build on the momentum achieved in Durban in order to ensure that such a legally binding global agreement remains on track and will be delivered by 2015. Worldwide innovation in the sustainable energy sector (at both production and user level) creates jobs, stimulates economic growth, increases energy independence, and cares for a cleaner world in which climate change is mitigated and sufficient energy supplies ensured. I think that, in order to demonstrate the seriousness of its efforts, and given its technological and economic capabilities, the EU should take a leading role in climate protection.

 
  
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  Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE), in writing. (HU) In today’s vote I did not support the EP’s resolution on the Climate Change Conference in Doha because it fails to take account of the interests of Hungary and the other Central and Eastern European Member States. The Fidesz (Federation of Young Democrats) delegation in the European Parliament believes that the lack of a unified position could jeopardise our chances of asserting the EU’s interests effectively in the international climate negotiations. I would like to highlight the fact that, at the initiative of my colleague Erik Bánki, five Central and Eastern European Member States have issued a joint press release pointing out that during the climate negotiations in Doha they will continue to stand by the position adopted by their countries. The press release, signed by the Hungarian, Bulgarian, Slovak, Czech and Latvian MEPs in the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), stresses that the Central and Eastern European Member States need to insist on being able to carry over the significant surplus units they gained as a result of exceeding their emissions reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. This is particularly important because this income could be used to invest in developing new, green, energy-efficient sectors.

 
  
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  Robert Goebbels (S&D), in writing. (FR) I abstained in the vote on the resolution concerning the upcoming Doha Conference. This resolution is no more than a collection of observations of failure and pious wishes. Before the Doha Conference, any observer can see that there will be No ’legally binding global agreement’. The European Union is practically alone in still clinging on to the Kyoto agreement, which has been abandoned by the Americans, the Canadians, the Japanese and the Russians, not to mention China, India and other big countries. Nevertheless, Parliament persists in calling for Europe to ‘set an example’, when the EU’s CO2 emissions account for close to 10 % of global emissions. We will not build a better environment by clinging to such illusions.

 
  
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  Françoise Grossetête (PPE), in writing. (FR) I am in favour of this resolution since, after Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban, it is vital that we do not end another conference frustrated and dissatisfied. The European institutions must be more influential in the negotiation processes if we wish to achieve tangible results. This resolution contains several mentions of climate diplomacy and the importance of speaking with one voice. The climate issue should be addressed in a cross-cutting manner, including through industrial policy: the effects on industry and the way in which industry can do its bit are an essential aspect of these negotiations. We cannot take measures unilaterally, to the detriment of our economy, while our main partners continue to pollute. We must ensure that the big polluting countries ratify the second Kyoto commitment period: until we have a legally-binding agreement for all of the major economies, we will not make progress. It is also important to underline the fact that climate finance should be able to come from a variety of sources: a role for the private sector should not be rejected out of hand. We must be able to combine economic growth and climate management.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing. (FR) After Durban, this new Climate Change Conference should be the occasion to act on past commitments and ensure that they are swiftly enforced. Promises are no longer enough: we need to act. This is why I voted for this resolution: to set the bar higher and continue to pursue the objective of reducing greenhouse gases by 30 % by 2020, in the interests of European citizens. It is also essential for the largest industrial countries to reach an agreement to renew the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012. This resolution is also the occasion to remind ourselves of the need to help developing countries, often the first to be hit by natural disasters, so that they too can manage to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, without increasing their structural vulnerability. Finally, from the European point of view, it is in our interests to adopt this approach, given the positive impact that sustainable development can have in terms of new jobs, growth and reducing energy dependence.

 
  
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  Krišjānis Kariņš (PPE), in writing. (LV) In defence of Latvia’s interests, I did not vote for the motion for a resolution on the Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar. The resolution states that it will not be possible to carry over emissions units to the next commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This proposal is unacceptable, since it would significantly increase the costs required for Latvia to meet objectives which it is already achieving to an admirable extent. Data show that Latvia has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 55 % compared with 1990.

A ban on the carry-over of emissions units would make it necessary to purchase more of these units on the market, and this, at a time when the country is on the way to balancing its budget, would only increase budget expenditure. The global targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are to be welcomed, but they must be achieved in a predictable manner, and not by creating an additional burden for national budgets.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The planet’s climate change is a constant threat, causing irreversible changes, as recognised by the Durban Platform. The EU delegation plays a vital role in the international climate change negotiations and we have been entrusted with developing new international agreements on environmental protection. The Doha Conference must produce clear plans on how to combat climate change by 2020, in other words, reducing global emissions by at least 50 %. The situation is dire; recent studies show that climate change is accelerating in the Arctic region and will affect people in poorer countries the most.

I believe that the gradual elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and redirecting of funds towards climate change programmes and R&D investment is an international priority. I recommend that levies on international financial transactions and international maritime and air transport be used for this purpose. I agree with my colleagues that, in order to combat this phenomenon, we need to coordinate Europe’s decision-making powers. The EU must speak with one voice and, alongside the rest of the world, condemn any lack of action and cooperation blamed on the economic crisis.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution and am particularly pleased that amendment 21 was carried. This states that it is in the EU’s own interest to aim for a climate protection target of 30 % by 2020 creating sustainable growth, additional jobs and energy independency.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This resolution favours a binding international agreement on climate change that respects the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’. It calls for this agreement to include ambitious targets, consistent with the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and for mechanisms to be introduced to monitor enforcement of the rules. It insists that the ‘developed’ countries should provide the ‘developing’ countries with the necessary means to adapt to and fight against climate change, in addition to the aid already envisaged. It also advocates the phasing-out of fossil-fuel subsidies. I support all of these recommendations and I am therefore voting in favour of this text, although, as ever, I regret that it has been approached within the framework of an expanded carbon market and not outside of this harmful mechanism, the limits of which are recognised in the text.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution, as it makes clear the extreme importance of the matter and Parliament’s concerns in this regard. Climate change, which was denied by many Members a few years ago, must today be one of the main items on the international community’s political agenda if we are to mitigate the disastrous effects it can have. The motion for a resolution stresses the role Parliament must play in the forthcoming talks in Doha, insisting that Parliament must give its consent to agreements with third countries or international organisations. According to the motion for a resolution, the European Union must continue to play a ‘breakthrough’ role with regard to emission reduction policies and objectives in order to alleviate the effects of climate change. This is why I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) Combating climate change is a relatively new EU policy area. Although we are considering lots of new pieces of legislation in which we aim to reduce the impact of human economic activity on the climate, we cannot boast of great achievements on this issue in the international sphere. I welcome the large majority of the provisions set out in the resolution, but I am convinced that they will simply continue to remain sound bites unless the European Union is able to focus the efforts of all Member States and finally speak with one voice on international climate policy.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution. It should be noted that the foundations of the global agreement on combating climate change in 2015 will be laid at Doha. Consequently, it is very important for the EU to be able to convince its partners throughout the world to take more decisive action to accede to the international agreement. Only if all countries reduce emissions together will we preserve fair competition and avoid changes that devastate all of mankind. In order to address the issue of the negative impact of climate change, we need to find innovative and additional sources of financing. There should be greater financial and technical assistance for developing countries and the poorest and most vulnerable countries. I feel that it is appropriate to include the provisions of the Cancun Agreement in the EU legislation being drawn up.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) Through this resolution, the European Parliament has presented its concerns to be put forward at the 18th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 18) to be held in Doha. Among these concerns, I would highlight the request for equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities to be at the very heart of the decisions, so that the conference can deliver an adequate response to protect the climate.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Let us say it from the outset: with a few days to go until the Doha Conference, the commitments made by the international community to limit global warming to a maximum of 2° C are a long way from being met. The United Nations and the European Union are sounding the alarm: we must act quickly and decisively! Today, like 484 other Members of the European Parliament, I supported a resolution that reminds us that this target is vital for the continued survival of our planet’s inhabitants and ecosystems. The resolution stresses that, in order to be credible, industrialised countries must not only honour their commitments if they wish to help the poorest countries, but also set the bar higher if they want to reduce their carbon footprint by 2020. The hopes of tomorrow rest on a combination of ambitious measures on clean technologies and energy-efficient buildings and transport, and the promotion of green jobs. The European Parliament also underlines the need to create strategic alliances with the key industrialised countries in order to renew the Kyoto Protocol, which expires very shortly, with a view to concluding a new international treaty with quantified targets for 2020.

 
  
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  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing. (FR) As the Doha summit begins, and with the Kyoto Protocol due to expire at the end of 2012, I voted for this resolution, which calls on all states to intensify their efforts to limit global warming. The current promises to fight climate change are not sufficient to meet the target of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2°C. It is crucial for a new international treaty to be ratified with more ambitious objectives, and for all countries to step up their efforts. To this end, we call on the EU to aim for a 30 % reduction in its emissions by 2020, we stress our support for the inclusion of air transport in the European emissions trading system, and we ask that the issue of emissions from the international maritime transport sector be addressed swiftly. Unfortunately, the likelihood is that no new legally-binding international treaty will enter into force before 2020, which would leave a void after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol at the end of 2012. This must be avoided at all costs, and I call upon all signatory states to come to an agreement on a second commitment period for the current protocol.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-18) and the eight Meeting of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (MOP-8) will be held in Doha, Qatar 26.11.-7.12.2012. The Doha meeting is expected to make progress on the Durban Platform of Action, setting work programme towards agreeing a ‘protocol, legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention, applicable to all Parties’ at the latest by 2015. The MOP should also adopt the formal amendments to establish a second commitment period under Kyoto Protocol. The ENVI adopted resolution is mainly a positive one, it calls for/stresses, inter alia: new protocol to ensure mitigation action in line with below 2°C carbon budget, means for the required climate action in developing countries, and robust compliance and clarity and agreement on comparability of effort for non-KP developed Parties.

 
  
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  Kārlis Šadurskis (PPE), in writing. The EP resolution on the forthcoming Climate Change Conference in Doha (COP18) ‘stresses that the carry-over of assigned amount units (AAUs) to the second commitment period would undermine the integrity of the Kyoto Protocol’ and ‘points out that if Member States are allowed to transfer AAUs, the Kyoto Protocol will have no real effect on climate mitigation’.

A group of EPP Members from the Central and Eastern European countries find this position unacceptable as, with the ban on carrying over the AAUs, which are an important national asset, these countries will be deprived of a significant amount of resources to be invested in the green economy. It is not acceptable that the efforts by these countries to reduce CO2 emissions under the current Kyoto Protocol are disregarded, as they have contributed to the average decrease in the EU27’s CO2 emissions and have helped the EU to lead the way in combating climate change. In my view, this fact undermines the credibility of the EU to speak with one voice and therefore I voted against the resolution.

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing. (FR) The 18th United Nations Conference on Climate Change will be held from 26 November to 7 December 2012 in Doha, Qatar. It follows on from two other major international environmental summits: Durban (2011) and Rio+20 (2012). I supported this resolution because it provides a road map for the European Parliament delegation that will take part in the conference, which will have to work to obtain a legally-binding international agreement. In addition, it stresses the fact that the Union must set an example by honouring its commitments and showing an ambitious approach to climate change mitigation and climate finance, and that all EU institutions consequently have a duty to engage in intensive climate diplomacy ahead of the Conference. Furthermore, it underlines the problem of finance, more relevant than ever in this period of crisis, and suggests ideas for resolving it. Finally, it reiterates a principle that seems to me to be essential: we must move towards a sustainable economy, which takes the environment into account throughout the production cycle.

 
  
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  Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D), in writing. If we think back a few years to the Copenhagen conference and the importance which was attached to it, it is quite striking how little media attention the subsequent negotiations in Cancun and Durban have received in comparison. This has obscured the fact that these more recent negotiations have in fact produced constructive – if modest – progress. The developments we have seen on issues such as forestry monitoring and reporting and the Clean Development Mechanism are both encouraging and significant. They might not always be headline news, but they show that international cooperation is working and that meaningful progress can be made. We should continue to build on this progress, especially in the area of forestry and financing. Deforestation is one of the single biggest contributory factors to CO2 increases. Effective international forestry management will not only reduce these emissions, but will also help preserve biodiversity and the invaluable eco-services it provides. We do not have to wait for a finalised international agreement on emissions before we put in place concrete measures which will deliver not only CO2 reduction but also wider environmental, economic and societal benefits in the medium and long term.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) Since the Durban Package provided for measures that are insufficient to deal with the consequences of climate change, I hope that the Doha Conference will serve as a platform for dialogue and lead to the adoption of a legally binding international agreement. The Doha Conference must provide the momentum for achievement of ambitious and sufficient targets and corresponding policy measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. There should be greater awareness of the urgency of the need for concrete actions, taking into account for example the positive results achieved by the sustainable energy sector, which creates jobs, stimulates economic growth and mitigates climate change. The next global agreement will provide the opportunity for agreeing on enhanced action capable of implementing commitments made. For these reasons, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) I am in favour of this resolution. It is simply incredible to see the risks to which too many people are willing to subject future generations. If urgent measures are not taken, the average temperature of the planet will increase by 3 to 5°C over the course of the century. The 2°C target set by the international community is, according to scientists, the level above which the climate could spiral out of control, with effects that would bring about a further rapid acceleration in temperatures.

However, even if the most ambitious promises made by the different states are kept, there will be eight gigatonnes too many, two gigatonnes more than the estimates given in the previous United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report in 2011. The new assessment can be partly explained by the fact that the countries have clarified their promises and the way in which they should be interpreted in practice.

How many verbal and tangible warnings do we need to hear before we act? The 2°C target could still be attained, if swift measures were taken.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The 18th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 18) to be held in Doha must build on the momentum achieved in Durban in order to ensure that a legally binding global agreement will be delivered by 2015. This agreement must be consistent with the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’, but must recognise the need for all major emitters to adopt ambitious and sufficient targets and corresponding policy measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The European Parliament welcomes the establishment of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action and notes that Decision 1/CP.17 requires this group, as a matter of urgency, to start work on the development of a document with legal force under the Convention, applicable to all of the Parties, and to complete that work as early as possible and no later than 2015. For those reasons, I voted in favour of the document.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution on the Doha Climate Change Conference. Climate change represents a constant and possibly irreversible threat to humanity and the planet and requires concerted international action. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), world energy consumption will rise by a third between 2010 and 2035, with the biggest increase in energy consumption and emissions to originate in the developing world. Innovative action to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sector may benefit the EU, which is a global leader in the production of energy goods and services.

I believe that a coherent environmental protection policy is essential for an effective EU strategy to combat and adapt to climate change. I would draw attention to the urgent need to avoid a funding delay after 2012 and identify a way to ensure adequate funding for climate change programmes for 2013-2020.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) Through this resolution, the European Parliament has, on the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP) in Doha, once again set out its view on the stakes of climate change and the renewal of the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of December this year. Parliament is concerned, in particular, about the latest scientific studies, which indicate that global warming could be faster and more pronounced than predicted. Can the European Union set the example, starting by honouring its commitments? How close are we to the adoption of binding commitments and actions to reduce CO2 emissions by all Member States? There is cause for scepticism given that the Commission’s targets are for 2050. I nevertheless voted in favour of this resolution, on the grounds that the measures proposed are at least a step in the right direction. More generally, it is regrettable that the COP is content to wait until 2015 to take the measures necessary to finally commit to fighting climate change.

 
  
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  Zbigniew Ziobro (EFD), in writing. (PL) Member States are not in a position to continue financing unilateral emission reductions. In advance of the next Climate Change Conference there is no indication that the US, China or India are prepared to follow Europe’s lead and introduce significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. According to the analysts, even if Europe did away with all its industrial emissions, the global trend would remain unchanged unless the aforementioned countries took action. Furthermore, there is still no rational indication as to whether this trend is the result of human activity or of natural climate change. Once again, I call on the European Parliament to reconsider its stance. That is why I voted against the resolution debated. Personally, I am amazed that Parliament can be opposed to the exploitation of shale gas, which can lead to a genuine reduction in emissions, whilst it is simultaneously in favour of further unilateral emission reductions, which would have serious consequences for European industry. It is time to consider where this policy is leading us.

 
  
  

Report: Maria Eleni Koppa (A7-0274/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support the report, as I consider that we must reaffirm our support for the European Union’s external policies and recent enlargement processes, while always learning the lessons from all of these processes. I also believe that the social role, which is complementary to the economic role of candidate countries, should be highlighted, and that civil society in the European Union and candidate countries should be given the chance to express their opinions. As a result, I welcome the proposal to include civil society organisations, trade unions and other beneficiaries of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in the enlargement process, as this is vital to better tackle the social problems, labour rights and sensitive historical issues associated with ethnic and religious minorities. All this effort is essential if we want a European Union based on the values on which it was founded. Furthermore, in my opinion the European Parliament should send a clear message that, despite the economic crisis, the EU must pursue its policy of enlargement, which has proven to be a tool for consolidating democracy and stability in candidate countries.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) voted against the report on ‘Enlargement: policies, criteria and the EU’s strategic interests’ (Α7-0274/2012) because it dangerously reinforces the reactionary nature and aggression of the EU against the peoples of its Member States, the states applying for accession and the countries in the wider area. The EU is demanding the right to impose its own imperialist ‘law’ on international relations and cross-border disputes. International disagreements will be turned into bilateral disputes under the arbitration of the EU, which will undertake to settle them on the basis of its own interests. The EU will intervene with ‘all parties to disputes... to refer the matter to the International Court of Justice or to commit themselves to a binding arbitration mechanism…’, calling upon the Commission and the Council to develop an arbitration mechanism aimed at resolving bilateral and multilateral disputes. The integration process is being used by the EU to impose the Europe 2020 strategy in order to serve the interests of the monopolies. The EU is transforming ‘the political, socio-economic and cultural landscape’ of the countries wishing to join the EU, and is financing mechanisms of the bourgeois state, non-governmental organisations and the labour aristocracy of the trade unions to manipulate the workers’ movement.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The enlargement of the EU has been an essential part of its agenda since the outset. The last decade has proved that enlargement is beneficial to the Union overall and makes it more prepared for global challenges. Even though EU enlargement is desirable, all states that wish to join must meet all of the criteria and commitments laid down in EU legislation. This report highlights the fact that EU enlargement must be considered very carefully in the current climate by analysing not only the capacity of a state to comply with European standards but also the capacity of the Union to integrate new states. I believe that states wishing to join the European Union must first and foremost meet the criterion of respect for human rights and the rule of law.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. I support this report because I value positively the new negotiating approach for future enlargements, which prioritises issues related to the judiciary and fundamental rights, as well as to justice and home affairs. Enlargement has been part of the EU agenda since as early as the 1960s and has been a successful process for the EU and Europe as a whole. It contributed to peace, stability and prosperity throughout Europe. It also enhanced conflict prevention, stimulated reforms and consolidated the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. For these reasons, taking into account both the experience of past enlargements and the new realities created by the economic crises, the moment has come for a re-evaluation of the established related procedures and of enlargement policy as a whole, without prejudice to the ongoing negotiations.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for this text, which provides a reminder of the positive aspects of the European Union’s enlargement policy. Since the prospect of accession can provide considerable motivation for third countries to undertake profound reforms, it is important for the enlargement policy to maintain, or even enhance, its clarity. This appeal from the European Parliament should enable the European Commission to think about possible improvements.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this proposal on establishing the strategic interests of EU enlargement policy. EU enlargement policy is one of the most important instruments for spreading democratic values, respect for human rights and freedoms, security and stability throughout the European region. The EU must be able to integrate new Member States in financial, institutional and political terms and assessments of their preparedness should remain objective, fair and based on the progress made by the country in meeting the Copenhagen criteria. Owing to the economic crisis, the popularity of EU enlargement is on the wane, both in the Member States and in the candidate countries. I welcome the proposals set out that the EU needs a new communication strategy which would disseminate information about EU enlargement policy through civil society, unions and non-governmental organisations and bring it closer to EU citizens. The Commission should carry out comprehensive impact assessments whenever it considers requests for countries to join the EU. I agree that we should focus on the creation of an efficient and independent judicial system, which would strengthen citizens’ confidence in the rule of law, and the promotion of an atmosphere of tolerance, neighbourly relations and regional cooperation, and so on.

 
  
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  Erik Bánki (PPE), in writing. (HU) Today the European Parliament voted on the report entitled ‘Enlargement: policies, criteria and the EU’s strategic interests’, which continues to stress the importance of the Copenhagen criteria. Thanks to the amendment tabled by my colleague Kinga Gál, protection of national minorities – one of the Copenhagen criteria – will be given the same weight as the other conditions set out in the report. Traditional national minorities play a key part in the current enlargement package for the Western Balkans, given that these communities are present in significant numbers in the candidate countries. Motions tabled by Members of this House can help the Vojvodina Hungarians in the context of Serbia’s accession, while it will help ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia and Transylvania if the Commission calls upon Member States to improve implementation of the law in this regard. As a result of other amendments proposed by my colleague Kinga Gál the report now also includes the idea first proposed by the Hungarian Presidency-in-Office that mutual understanding and historical reconciliation are essential for candidate countries to set out on the path to EU membership. This is why the teaching and learning of each other’s history, language and cultural heritage both during and after the accession process is important. In accordance with the above, I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because the enlargement process has a significant impact on the EU itself, serving as an opportunity to better define its identity, goals, values and policies, and also as a suitable moment to better communicate these to its citizens. I believe that it is important for the EU and the candidate countries to respect all of their obligations and commitments and create the conditions for ensuring the success of future enlargements, inter alia by assisting the countries concerned in their efforts to meet the criteria for EU accession. I believe that enlargement policy is a credible policy and compliance with the Copenhagen criteria continues to constitute a fundamental basis of EU membership and the Union’s integration capacity must be duly taken into account. I believe that candidate and potential candidate countries need to make improvements in the fields of democracy, human rights, and reconciliation processes, areas which should always be given priority in the enlargement process and reflected in the financial instruments.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for the report on enlargement policies and criteria and the EU’s strategic interests in this area. I consider it essential to use the Copenhagen criteria as the fundamental basis for the enlargement process. In addition, this report calls for better monitoring by the European Commission at all stages of the accession process. I also support the new negotiating approach for future negotiating frameworks, which prioritises issues related to judiciary and fundamental rights, as well as to justice and home affairs.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Enlargement policy must take account of the specific characteristics of the candidate country and scrupulously respect the European Union’s criteria and principles. In order to remain a credible process, access to the Union must be transparent and balanced and must fully respect the candidate country’s merit. It is vital to pay most attention to the reform of the judicial system and the fight against corruption and fraud from the very start of the assessment process. I voted in favour of this report as I consider that the Commission decision is heading in this direction.

 
  
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  Minodora Cliveti (S&D), in writing. (RO) The EU’s enlargement is a successful process that brought peace and prosperity to Europe. The EU continues to attract other states due to its unique combination of economic and social dynamism and I regret that the social dimension is overlooked in the enlargement process. The socially relevant acquis includes the minimum standards for labour rights, gender equality, and health and safety at work. Failure to respect these can be seen as a form of ‘social dumping’, which is detrimental to both European employers and workers, and could effectively prevent a candidate state from joining the single market. We must give more careful consideration to improving implementation mechanisms, such as workplace inspections, worker protection, access to social rights and prevention of exploitation, in particular the exploitation of undocumented workers. Equally important is implementation of the gender equality policy. One of the countries that is suitable to join the European family, as confirmed by the accession negotiations, is the Republic of Moldova, a success story that has made great progress in a short period of time.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) A well-planned enlargement policy could prove to be a strategy for success in terms of the EU’s economic development. Since the first enlargement in 1973, the EU has kept growing. This policy has benefited the European Union as a whole. It has created the conditions for addressing global challenges, preventing conflicts, contributing to stability, stimulating reforms and consolidating peace. Any state which wants to become a member of the EU must commit to the values of freedom, equality, democracy and respect for human rights, as these values form the very foundations of the European Union. The attractive prospect of accession has a significant impact on the political, socioeconomic and cultural landscape of candidate countries. These countries must undergo an assessment process, in which they are judged on their own merits and their compliance with the set criteria. The Union is responsible for the ease of integration and for analysing the European aspirations of candidate candidates. However, we must be careful to ensure that the Union can successfully integrate new countries, which, in a context of economic and financial crisis, is a particularly sensitive issue.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) In a globalised world, the European Union continues to attract candidate countries due to its founding principles and model, which includes the Copenhagen accession criteria. These must remain the foundation of the accession process and they will help accession countries, just as they helped the Member States from Eastern and Central Europe, to adapt to the Union’s requirements and become fully fledged Member States.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) As I consider that the European Union should continue to support the accession process for candidate countries, provided that they are prepared to accept the legacy of the EU acquis and meet the criteria imposed by the accession process, I voted in favour of this report. As I have had the opportunity to argue, in order to overcome the current dramatic crisis, we need MORE Europe. We must aim for a federal solution! One with more economic, monetary, fiscal, social and political harmonisation. We have achieved an important critical mass, with 500 million citizens, a commercial weight that rivals the United States and China, a currency that, in just a decade, has become the second most important in the world (which mostly explains the attacks on the ‘markets’), and a social model that is cause for envy on all of the other continents (which, however, we will have to reform as its sustainability has been compromised). I consider that we still need, as a political entity, a proper common foreign and defence policy. Only through such a policy can we exercise our economic weight.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this text, which clarifies the enlargement criteria and the EU’s strategic interests. The Union must be clear on its enlargement policy, and third countries must understand the rules that must be followed and the requirements for those wishing to become potential candidate countries.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union for its contribution, for over six decades, ‘to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe’. The six founding states have since been joined by a further twenty-one, with more being interested in joining. This report by Maria Eleni Koppa concerns the enlargement of the EU to include other countries, bearing in mind the policies, criteria and strategic interests of the EU. Everyone recognises that countries which join the EU see a significant improvement in their quality of life. However, candidate countries must prove their respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and must not be involved in conflicts. I welcome the adoption of this text, which advocates maintaining and enhancing the EU’s enlargement policy – one of its most successful policies proving the open nature of the European project – based on the Copenhagen criteria. I would prefer there to be no budget reduction in the enlargement chapter, but understand that this is necessitated by the financial situation. We must therefore better utilise the EU’s resources.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The enlargement of the EU to include new countries, if it is to happen, should stem from a sovereign decision of the people and countries in question, and should respect their right to economic and social development. This report does not guarantee that these requirements will be duly observed, which is why we voted against. In addition, the report affronts principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. The ‘new negotiating approach’ advocated by the report is even more interfering, imposing economic and social models and political system and democracy models that conflict with the people’s right to self-determination in accordance with their own interests and aspirations. The majority in Parliament argue that the ‘EU’s overall interests’ should prevail over the people’s interests and over ‘disputes’ between countries that want to join. In the ‘case of not being able to reach a bilateral agreement’, these countries must commit themselves to a ‘binding arbitration mechanism of their choice’ or, in other words, to an attempt to impose the EU’s interest on sovereignty disputes. This specifically means attempting to force Serbia to accept the Kosovo secession defended by the EU and NATO, and Cyprus to accept Turkey’s accession while the latter continues to occupy the northern part of the former.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) In accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, any European state which respects and is committed to promoting the values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, may apply to become a member of the Union. These values are the foundation of the European Union itself and guide its action on the international scene, and must be respected and upheld by all Member States. Enlargement has been part of the EU agenda since as early as the 1960s. Since the first enlargement in 1973, the Union has grown gradually, its membership rising from the six founding members to the current 27 (soon to be 28). Enlargement has been a successful process for the EU and Europe as a whole, in helping to overcome the divisions of the cold war, contributing to peace, stability and prosperity throughout Europe, enhancing conflict prevention, stimulating reforms and consolidating freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, as well as the development of market economies and socially and ecologically sustainable development. Twenty years after the Copenhagen summit, which affirmed the membership prospects of the Central and Eastern European Countries and laid down the accession criteria, I believe that the time has come for a re-evaluation of the established procedures and of enlargement policy as a whole, without prejudice to the ongoing negotiation.

 
  
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  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) Although the report raises some interesting questions, I do not agree with its blanket support for enlargement nor with the items on visa liberalisation and presentation of information to EU citizens to promote the multiple benefits of enlargement for Member States. I therefore abstained.

 
  
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  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), in writing. (FR) This report is very disappointing. If the recommended accession criteria had been adopted, in particular the condition concerning prior resolution of conflicts, then Turkey would never have been invited to open negotiations and Cyprus, which it occupies militarily, would not be a Member State. However, that is almost an incidental point, because, if I understand the sense of this report correctly, enlargement has become a policy in its own right, almost enough in and of itself, which is supposed, in some cases, to compensate for shortcomings in diplomacy or for the political instability of an immediate neighbour. It looks rather like caution is being thrown to the wind, as has always been the case prior to the strengthening of Brussels’ powers by a new treaty. It also looks like a hope on the part of pro-Europeans that there is a critical size above which their utopia would be ‘too big to fall and to fail’. The only idea worthy of the slightest consideration is the proposal of an ‘associate member’ status. However, I fear that in the rapporteur’s mind, this would be a status aimed more at Switzerland and Norway than at Turkey.

 
  
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  Jacky Hénin (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) While we should welcome the emphasis placed on human rights and greater participation by civil society, this report is nevertheless based on compliance with the Copenhagen criteria, namely the establishment of ‘stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities’; ‘a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces in the EU’; and ‘the ability to take on and implement effectively the obligations of membership, including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union’.

To vote for this report would therefore be implicitly or explicitly to support these economic and social policies, which have devastating effects on the people. I voted against this report in order to protect the inalienable right of peoples to decide for themselves.

 
  
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  Salvatore Iacolino (PPE), in writing. (IT) Enlargement represents the future of the European Union in order to ensure cohesion and integration. The recent financial crisis has highlighted the interdependence of national economies, both within and beyond the EU. It is therefore important to consolidate relations, especially in the economic area, with candidate and potential candidate countries. It is essential to create a climate of harmony and conciliation between different nations and peoples, encouraging economic cultural and religious dialogue. The peaceful resolution of conflicts and the establishment of good neighbourly relations between European countries are essential to sustainable peace and stability and contribute substantially to a genuine European integration process. It is important to give adequate priority within enlargement policy to the building of an efficient, independent and impartial judicial system, effectively fighting corruption, money laundering and organised crime. Enlargement must remain a credible policy, based on democracy, human rights and reconciliation.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document. I strongly support the enlargement process and believe that enlargement needs to remain a credible policy, supported by the public both in the EU and in the candidate and potential candidate countries. I would therefore underline the importance for the EU and the candidate and potential candidate countries of fulfilling all obligations, respecting all commitments and creating the conditions for ensuring the success of future enlargements, inter alia by assisting the countries concerned in their efforts to meet the criteria for EU accession. Furthermore, I acknowledge the benefits of the enlargement and accession process, both for the citizens of the candidate and potential candidate countries and for European citizens.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing. I am glad that this report clearly states that any European state that respects the values shared by the EU countries can apply for membership. Judging by the growing economic strength of many Central and Eastern European Member States, it is beyond a doubt that EU enlargement is a story of success. We have to go beyond what is often called enlargement fatigue and see the bigger picture: many of our neighbours have European aspirations and we should make an effort to facilitate their European dream. Let us take Ukraine, for example: it is unfair to take away the perspective of membership from Ukraine, considering that a large majority of its citizens look very favourably on the EU.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) I believe that a streamlined, forward-looking enlargement policy could be a valuable strategic tool for the EU’s and the region’s economic development, and should aim to create budgetary synergies and enhanced coordination between the various measures and types of assistance provided by the EU, the Member States and international financial institutions. The policies and strategic interests of the EU should therefore tend towards ever greater economic and political cohesion. The actions of the European Parliament are important in terms of the signal they send out, but must also be accompanied by efforts by the Member States, who also have their part to play in transmitting the message of cohesion and efficiency nationally, parallel to the activities carried out at EU institutional level.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Lisek (PPE), in writing. (PL) I am delighted to endorse the report by the Greek Member Maria Eleni Koppa. I welcome the support for enlargement contained in the report, and the call for steps to be taken to increase the level of awareness and social support for this process. I should like to take advantage of this opportunity to emphasise also how important it is to bear in mind the Eastern Partnership countries, especially Ukraine and Georgia. Elections have recently been held in both these countries. In this connection, it is essential to make it clear to the new Georgian Government that we are counting on full implementation of the declared pro-European policy. Relations with Ukraine are very important too. I trust that relations between the European Union and Ukraine will improve in the near future.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution which recalls the need for candidate and potential candidate countries to make improvements in the fields of democracy, human rights, and reconciliation processes, areas which should always be given priority in the enlargement process.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the report ‘Enlargement: policies, criteria and the EU’s strategic interests’. It is important to respect the Copenhagen criteria in order to guarantee a credible and effective enlargement strategy. The Commission must continue and intensify its monitoring of the progress of the accession process. The integration capacity of the European Union should be assessed from the start and should be properly reflected in the Commission’s ‘opinion’ on each potential candidate country.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The interdependence of national economies, both within and beyond the EU, underlines the importance of further consolidating economic and financial stability and fostering growth, also in the candidate and potential candidate countries. Adequate and better-targeted pre-accession financial assistance should therefore be provided to candidate and potential candidate countries.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) I was unable to vote in favour of this report, as I disagree with the political agenda the European Union requires candidate countries to follow as part of its enlargement policy. Nevertheless, this report contains some very positive aspects, such as the stipulation, for the very first time, that potential candidate countries must meet various social requirements. According to the report, candidate countries will have to comply with the rules set out in the different European Treaties in force as regards social and employment considerations, as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in order to avoid any form of social dumping. However, at the same time, there is a degree of political vagueness in this report that may cause difficulties with regard to the accession of certain countries. More specifically, in terms of the peaceful resolution of conflicts, the invasion of a territory cannot be classed as a ‘conflict’, meaning that, in the case of Cyprus and Turkey, the European Union’s lack of jurisdiction would become an issue. For that reason, I voted against this report.

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE), in writing. (SK) The attraction of the European Union arises out of its special socio-economic operating model. Over the last decade, we have witnessed two significant enlargements, which have benefited the entire EU, which has become an important world player with a market of almost 500 million. After the outbreak of the economic and financial crisis, however, the Union and its Member States found themselves in an unprecedented situation. The decline in economic growth, increasing national deficits and debt in many Member States became for the EU and its Member States a real test of solidarity and commitment to the basic principles for which the Union stands. In the context of adoption of the budget for 2013 and the financial review for 2014-2020, it therefore annoys me that some countries are abandoning European solidarity among Member States and trying to push through a reduction in the volume of resources for the cohesion policy, which helps to balance inequalities within the EU. Yes, a more effective and prudent enlargement policy might be a valuable strategic instrument for the economic development of the EU and the region, but I am convinced that every effort, including financial resources, must be primarily directed towards the consolidation of economic and financial stability within the EU’s boundaries.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. Despite the economic crisis, the EU should continue its enlargement policy, which has proved to be the most effective tool in consolidating democracy and stability in accession countries. It is necessary to consider the possibility of pre-term agreement with Ukraine. I am in favour.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour. It is important that the European Parliament has expressed its firm position supporting the continuity of EU enlargement policy. Enlargement policy is one of the EU’s main and most effective soft power tools. The ambition of membership encourages internal reforms and contributes to the political, economic and even social transformation of those seeking EU membership. Enlargement undoubtedly opens up new opportunities for the whole of the EU and its citizens. Of course, it is not an easy process and we often face some disappointment. However, the text of the EP resolution quite rightly begins with a reference to Article 49 of the of the Treaty on European Union. It is my belief that the door of the enlargement process must not be closed to any European country which expresses a desire for European integration and shows concrete progress. EU enlargement also has another dimension. It is a process which promotes peace and stability through deepening integration and democratisation and the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the implementation of these ideas.

 
  
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  Katarína Neveďalová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Despite the economic crisis, the EU should continue with the process of enlargement. It is this EU policy which has been found to be a clearly effective instrument in securing democracy and stability in the accession countries. How many conflicts have there been in Europe since the adoption of the Treaty of Rome? None. How many have there been in the Middle East or Africa? However, as is usually the case, not even the enlargement policy can manage without some reforms. In view of the constantly changing internal EU environment, consideration needs to be given to the social and economic indicators and, in the process of enlargement, room must be made for the voice of civil society. I therefore agree that the European Union, as an area of free movement of people, goods, services and capital, should pay the utmost attention to the protection of labour rights, overcome the mistrust of candidate countries arising out of historical events and ensure the unequivocal respect of the rights of ethnic and religious minorities.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) Mr President, the rapporteur seems to be looking at many aspects through rose-tinted spectacles, especially as regards the Copenhagen criteria. I cannot see any positive developments in Turkey, for example. Freedom of expression, press freedom, freedom of religion, women’s rights: these are unresolved issues with no solution in sight. According to the report, candidate and potential candidate countries should have resolved any disputes with their neighbours prior to accession, particularly those concerning territorial issues. My question is this: where is the solution to the Cyprus issue? Indeed, it is the EU that has to foot the bill. This year alone, we paid EUR 860 million to Turkey in so-called pre-accession assistance! The critical situation along the Syrian border highlights the additional dangers associated with Turkish accession. When the European Coal and Steel Community was founded exactly 60 years ago in 1952, its founders’ main aim was to achieve lasting peace in Europe. We simply have to recognise that, as is quite apparent from the present situation, accession by Turkey, which has a border to Syria and is a front-line state in the Middle East conflict, would mean bringing ongoing military conflicts into the heart of the European Union. I therefore voted against the report.

 
  
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  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I supported this resolution, which underlines the importance of further EU enlargement, because enlargement is beneficial to current as well as future Member States. Scary predictions by Eurosceptics of an economic fiasco in Europe ensuing from the accession of further candidate countries are certainly ill-founded. On the contrary, enlargement provides new markets – in other words, income – for the old Member States and ensures new investments for candidate countries, which boosts the entire European economy. This is supported by the experience gained from the accession of eastern European countries. As well as the economic benefits, one should not underestimate the political benefits offered by a single Europe. It goes without saying that the EU should not make any compromises with candidate countries as regards our values and fundamental principles such as respect for human rights and democracy. It is important to pay more attention to the social dimension in the enlargement process, meaning that future Member States should meet the requirements of the acquis in the area of labour law, health and safety at work, and equal treatment of men and women.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because enlargement policy has undoubted benefits and it is therefore necessary to ensure the consistency and stability of this policy. It is very important for any state acceding to the EU to resolve its main outstanding bilateral problems and major disputes, including border disputes. Given the complexity and form of certain disputes, sometimes countries are unable to resolve them independently, constructively and peacefully and the Commission and the Council have a special role to play. I therefore welcome the proposal calling on these institutions to establish an arbitration mechanism aimed at resolving bilateral and multilateral disputes. Furthermore, a fresh dynamic should be created in the reform process, but any form or type of discrimination should continue to be strictly prohibited.

 
  
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  Justas Vincas Paleckis (S&D), in writing. Enlargement and cohesion have always served as a foundation for the future of the European Union.

The enlargement process has brought peace, stability and prosperity to many parts of Europe and has allowed for the diffusion of norms such as human rights, environmental protection and liberal democracy. The EU should continue to support the accession process for candidate countries, provided said countries conform to EU standards on social, economic and political issues.

Despite the current European financial crisis, the EU should continue to support and fund the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), as this mechanism helps to stabilise candidate countries and prepare them for their acceptance into the EU.

I voted in favour of this report because it urges to take a focused approach to integration. The EU’s capacity to integrate and to incorporate each new candidate country should be closely monitored and evaluated by the Commission to avoid impairing the ability of the EU to fulfil its economic, political and social objectives.

 
  
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  Antigoni Papadopoulou (S&D), in writing. Undoubtedly, enlargement has been a successful process for the EU and Europe as a whole, in helping to overcome the divisions of the cold war, contributing to peace, stability and prosperity throughout Europe. It is beneficial for the EU to have important partnerships, especially within areas of security, external affairs and energy policy, as long as there is mutual respect, fulfilment of obligations and commitments, full respect of human rights and dedicated orientation towards common European values. If a candidate country fails to fulfil the above, then it should accept that its EU candidacy will be jeopardised. This is exactly the case of Turkey. The Turkish PM Tayip Erdogan exhibits continually provocative and scandalous behaviour, by not implementing the Protocol of Ankara, not recognising the current presidency of the European Council, threatening the Republic of Cyprus for natural gas excavations in the Cyprus Economic Exclusive Zone. Moreover he is in favour of reinstating the death penalty. Therefore the EU must be very careful with its present enlargement policies and procedures.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European project, as a project promoting peace and economic and social equality between peoples, inherently includes the concept of enlargement. In this context, I support the gradual enlargement of the European Union to other countries and peoples. However, I consider that this enlargement must take account of the European Union’s capacity to integrate new states, while maintaining the standards of respect for human rights and promotion of social justice. In the current situation of economic and social crisis, this is even more vital. In this context, I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera (EFD), in writing. (IT) Enlargement is a very complex question and should be analysed from all points of view, from economic considerations to geopolitical repercussions and potential social impact. Above all at a time of economic crisis I think that it is advisable to be as prudent as possible and to learn from the mistakes of the past. I do not share the rapporteur’s view that the EU should launch a campaign in favour of enlargement in the candidate countries, since I do not believe that enlargement has proved successful in all cases or that visa liberalisation has always proved beneficial. For these reasons I did not vote in favour of the proposal.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Parliament strongly supports the enlargement process. It is important for the EU and the candidate countries to fulfil and respect all commitments, creating the necessary conditions for ensuring the success of future enlargements. Parliament considers that the Copenhagen criteria should continue to constitute a fundamental basis for future enlargements. The Committee on Foreign Affairs proposes a new approach for future negotiating frameworks, which prioritises issues related to the judiciary and fundamental rights, as well as to justice and home affairs. Any acceding state (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) should also resolve its main bilateral problems and major disputes with neighbours, particularly those concerning territorial issues, before it can join the Union. Consideration should therefore be given to the possibility of developing an arbitration mechanism aimed at resolving any disputes between these states and their neighbours.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. In accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, any European state which respects and is committed to promoting the values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, may apply to become a member of the Union; whereas these values are the foundation of the European Union itself and guide its action on the international scene, and must be respected and upheld by all Member States. Enlargement has been part of the EU agenda since as early as the 1960s; whereas since the first enlargement in 1973, the EU has grown gradually, its membership rising from the six founding members to the current 27 (soon to be 28); whereas a number of other countries aspire to EU membership, as a guarantee for a secure, democratic and prosperous future.

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this resolution because it reiterates some simple principles that should continue to guide the Union’s work on enlargement. In particular, I support the definition of integration capacity proposed by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, to which I belong. This concept is the essential counterpart to enlargement, and it is important to take greater account of it. Furthermore, we were anxious to underline the fact that failure to comply with the EU’s common basic social standards constitutes a form of social dumping which is detrimental to European enterprises and workers. This is, in other words, an appeal for the widest possible dissemination of European values and their incorporation in the legal orders of our neighbouring countries. Finally, this resolution highlights a point that I consider essential: the EU must rethink its communication policy on enlargement, which must be more effective and transparent.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD), in writing. (EL) I voted for Ms Koppa’s report because it confirms the European Parliament’s dedication to the policy of enlargement, and introduces innovative approaches in order to improve this policy. New realities such as the economic crisis, and also the international challenges, call for a new approach to enlargement.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The enlargement process requires a constant level of interest and concrete support actions, especially given the effects of the economic crisis. By encouraging reforms in candidate countries, it will be possible to contribute to greater stability and prosperity in Europe. For this process to be successful, certain tangible objectives must be established, such as strengthening of democratic governance in some countries, while focusing on consolidation of economic and financial stability. Success also depends on laying down a new set of accession criteria that take account of social implications. This will provide new momentum for the candidate countries to achieve their objectives. It is also necessary to promote the fact that belonging to the European Union offers the prospect of stability and prosperity, as well as political, socio-economic and cultural benefits. Each candidate country must be able to demonstrate achievement of commitments made, while the EU must take steps to remove obstacles to the success of enlargement policy. In particular, the EU must strive to include among its priorities intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth. I voted in favour in order to support further enlargement and encourage candidate states to undertake reforms.

 
  
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  Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI), in writing. (ES) I voted in favour of this report, but subject to the removal of the current references to Kosovo, as I neither recognise nor agree with its unilateral declaration of independence.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) I fully understand the aim of the text, which is favourable to the enlargement process, as am I. I would stress, however, that the enlargement policy must remain credible and have the support of citizens. I would also stress that candidate countries must meet all of their obligations and commitments. The Union, for its part, should be responsible for improving its integration capacity when examining the legitimate European aspirations of candidate or potential candidate countries.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) It is vitally important for the EU and the candidate country that all obligations and commitments resulting from the accession process are fulfilled by both parties. The accession/enlargement process should be carefully assessed, with account being taken of the socioeconomic effects for both parties. The Union should take into account not only the social implications of accession for the candidate country, but also its own integration capacity. As a result, it is vital that the Union maintains and further intensifies its monitoring and socioeconomic support mechanisms in the accession process. The fact that the new approach to be used in future negotiations will prioritise issues related to justice and home affairs, as well as insisting that acceding states should resolve their territorial disputes or other bilateral problems with their neighbours before they can join the Union, will avoid impasses within the Union itself. I also agree with the rapporteur urging the Commission and the Council to start developing an arbitration mechanism aimed at resolving bilateral and multilateral disputes. For those reasons, I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) Mr President, I voted for the European Parliament’s resolution on ‘Enlargement: policies, criteria and the EU’s strategic interests’. Following the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Parliament’s legislative power increased, including in respect of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). I voted for the paragraphs concerning the failure to respect basic social standards, which constitutes a form of social dumping that negatively affects European employers and workers. I wish to highlight the importance of EU assistance for the candidate states. We call on the Commission to simplify the administrative procedure and reduce the administrative burden associated with IPA financing so as to make the IPA more accessible and to ensure the participation of small non-centralised civil society organisations, labour unions and other such entities. We call for greater assistance for SMEs, which are essential for socio-economic progress in accession countries. We also call for continued attention to be given to high unemployment and the integration of the most vulnerable groups. It is important that candidate countries benefit from the IPA and Neighbourhood Policy investments to implement the macro-regional strategies, such as the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I voted against this report on the EU’s enlargement policies and criteria. The report is based on the Copenhagen criteria, which include the objective of ‘a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces in the EU’. This says all there is to say about the main objective of European integration, and there is no question of my supporting these policies, whose consequences become more visible to us every day. Moreover, I condemn the hypocrisy of this report, which states that enlargement facilitates respect for human rights – the poor relation of the Copenhagen criteria – and particularly their monitoring after accession. If this is the case, how do we explain the impunity enjoyed by Mr Orbán’s Government in Hungary? I deplore the fact that the system for imposing sanctions in the event of a human rights violation, as provided by Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, is totally closed off by the Member States, that its implementation is a matter for the Council alone and that the Council requires unanimity to implement it, which effectively makes the provision entirely unenforceable. To claim to enforce human rights in candidate countries when it is impossible to do so in Member States is intolerable.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0522/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report as I consider that Parliament has repeatedly expressed its support for the two-state solution, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security, and called for the creation of the conditions for the resumption of direct peace talks between the parties. Bearing in mind that the blockade of, and the humanitarian crisis in, the Gaza Strip continues despite numerous calls by the international community for the opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza, as also reiterated in the Council conclusions of 14 May 2012, I express my grave concern about the situation in Gaza and Israel, and consider deeply regrettable the loss of civilian life, including among women and children. All attacks must end immediately as they cause unjustifiable suffering among innocent civilians.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. I voted in favour of this resolution which expresses grave concerns over the situation in Gaza and Israel and commends the cessation of hostilities which cause unjustifiable suffering of innocent civilians. It is of utmost importance that an urgent de-escalation and cessation of hostilities takes place immediately. All sides must fully respect and abide by international humanitarian law. The situation in the region clearly shows that a two-state solution allowing both sides to live side-by-side in peace and security is the only solution in the current situation. The mediating efforts by Egypt to achieve a ceasefire are very much welcome but it is necessary to address also the core of the problem in order to have the ceasefire which would be broad and sustainable as well as to ensure stability in the region.

 
  
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  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing. (IT) The European Parliament has again confirmed the position it has taken on a number of occasions in the past: the only way to put an end to violence and hostility between Palestine and Israel is through a two-state solution. The latest escalation of violence, with innocent victims including many women and children, urgently requires a solution to the conflict without further delay. The EU, by virtue of the Nobel Prize it has been awarded, should step up efforts to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and to remove the causes of this long-lasting conflict. Is it also important that the EU has confirmed its support for Palestine’s bid to become a UN non-member observer.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The European Parliamentary Group of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) condemns the contemptible joint resolution of the People’s Party, Social Democrats, Liberals and Greens on Gaza. At a time when Israel’s criminal war is raging against the Palestinian people, and imperialist intervention by the US, NATO and the EU is in full swing in Syria, the majority in the European Parliament condemns the Palestinians’ attacks on Israel! It does not say a word about Israel’s murderous bombing of Palestinian civilians. It does not call for an end to the criminal excesses of the Israeli occupying forces. On the contrary, it defends Israel’s ‘right to protect its population’, while calling on it to ‘act proportionately’. In other words, it defends Israel’s crimes, and it is enough to be ‘proportionate’! We support the struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation, for an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital; the lifting of any exclusion of Palestinians on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; the immediate release of all Palestinian and other political prisoners in Israeli prisons; the withdrawal of the Israeli army from all the occupied territories of 1967. We demand that the Greek Government should cancel, now, its military collaboration with Israel, and close the Souda military base.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. I support this resolution because we must send a signal to both sides of the conflict. We strongly condemn the new outbreak of violence in and around the Gaza Strip and we ask for an urgent de-escalation and cessation of hostilities. All attacks must end immediately as they cause unjustifiable suffering of innocent civilians. I believe in the urgent need to bring humanitarian assistance to all the people affected by the conflict, and in particular to the deprived population in the Gaza Strip. It must be reiterated again that, in protecting its population from the missile attacks, Israel must act proportionately. Unfortunately this is not what is happening. With this text we support the efforts of Egypt to mediate for a rapid, sustainable ceasefire and welcome the mission of the United Nations Secretary-General to the region. The only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians is through the resumption of direct peace talks between both parties. For this reason I support Palestine’s bid to become an UN non-member observer.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) In view of the pressing nature of the current situation, the European Parliament has called for a cessation of violence between the two parties. I supported this measured text, which unconditionally supports the two-state solution based on 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic and viable State of Palestine living side by side.

 
  
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  Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Every day, pictures from Gaza and from Israel remind us just how bruised that part of the world is, and every day, the despair of the failure to find a solution takes deeper root. Resolving this conflict is therefore of the utmost urgency and a matter of daily concern for the whole world. Israel’s security must be guaranteed, and a Palestinian State must be created. The only possible option, and the one to which the European Union must lend all its weight, is the ‘two-state solution’. The UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as an ‘observer state’ constitutes a first step in this direction, as it may open the way for new prospects, provided that the two parties return to the negotiating table and resume direct peace talks as soon as possible.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) In recent days the Israeli-Palestinian issue has reignited once again. We can only deeply regret the victims of a conflict that threatens never to end until two conditions exist: the security of the State of Israel and the inalienable right to protect its population, and the right of the people of Palestine to build their own state in peace and freedom. Without these two conditions, I fear that everything will stay the same, that the divisions, tensions and desire for vengeance will further deepen and that violence will break out again in the future. Through its Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Portuguese Government has recently stated its readiness, in principle, to recognise Palestine as a United Nations observer so that it has the means, and the country and its inhabitants can develop the desire, to find a political solution to its problems. I welcome this decision and applaud the House for having followed the line that seems most appropriate in my opinion.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This joint motion for a resolution, tabled pursuant to Rule 110(2) and (4) of the Rules of Procedure, replacing the motions by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, and the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, concerns the situation in the Gaza Strip, where the conflict between Palestine and Israel has now dragged on for over a week, resulting in over a hundred deaths and hundreds of injuries, in addition to all of the inherent property damage. I welcome the ceasefire agreed after several failed attempts, and I hope that this will be sustainable and allow an understanding to be reached between the parties to the conflict. The imminent analysis, by the General Assembly of the United Nations, of Palestine’s request to be granted UN observer status may have been at the root of the conflict. However, nothing justifies this violation of human rights. Israel has a right to protect its people, but it also has an obligation to respect its neighbours. I support the Commission’s proposal that the EU should continue helping to find a solution, which will obviously entail the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state. I urge the parties to allow the available assistance (food, water and medicines) to be provided to vulnerable families through the humanitarian corridors.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This resolution is yet another attempt to cover up the violent occupation and oppression of Palestine and its people by Israel. Starting from the principle that there was a ‘conflict’ between two parties, it welcomes the ‘ceasefire’ and obscures what really happened and what is happening in Palestine: continued occupation and aggression, repeated massacres, systematic violation of signed agreements and United Nations resolutions on Palestine and the Palestinian people, and a continued policy of apartheid on the part of the Israeli army and authorities. It also downplays the Israeli aggression and its causes, and condemns the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to resist. It casts a veil over Israel’s responsibility for the death of over 20 people, including civilians, children and political leaders who have been selectively assassinated, and also over the attacks by Israeli missiles against Syrian territory. It glosses over the role of the main imperialist powers, particularly the United States and EU countries and the autocratic monarchies in the region, in destabilising the entire region. The criminal escalation of violence perpetrated by Israel cannot go unpunished. Obviously, we voted against.

 
  
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  Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE), in writing. (FR) I voted for this resolution, since it strikes a good balance in condemning the serious acts of violence between Israel and Hamas. The cessation of rocket attacks is imperative and cannot be up for negotiation. Terror is not a policy and Hamas must understand that. Equally, however, while there can be no question that Israel is entitled to protect itself, Tzahal should be more measured in its retaliation. The blockade on the Gaza Strip has been going on for too long now. Tel-Aviv must loosen its grip on this narrow strip of land. Its actions are counter-productive from a security viewpoint and create an intolerable humanitarian situation for the Palestinians.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing. I voted in favour of this resolution. It is repulsive that Hamas has placed its rocket launchers in areas densely populated by civilians. It does this knowingly and thus places its civilian population at risk of Israeli bombardment. But apart from Hamas, the other perpetrator of violence is Iran. It supplies Hamas with the Fajr-3 and the Fajr-5 missiles that have brought Israel’s major cities within range. It is very telling that a huge billboard hangs on an overpass of the Niayesh highway in Tehran with an illustration of a green missile on a launcher and a text in Persian saying ‘Destination Tel Aviv’. Let us hope that the ceasefire lasts; but let us also remember that Israel has the right to defend itself – both against Hamas and against Iran.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Lisek (PPE), in writing. (PL) I abstained, because I believe that Palestinian membership of the United Nations should come about as a result of negotiation and compromise with Israel, not through a vote.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution. I particularly welcome it supports for Palestine’s bid to become a UN non-member observer, and consider this an important step in making Palestinian claims more visible, stronger and more effective. It also calls on the EU Member States and the international community to find an agreement in this direction.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) We must make all possible efforts to bring about an immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Palestine. The current situation underlines once more the urgent need to move towards a two-state solution allowing both sides to live side-by-side in peace and security. The European Union should continue working with all those with influence in the region in order to bring this about.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I welcome the fact that this joint resolution reaffirms its support for the two-state solution based on 1967 borders and supports the Palestinians’ request to be granted reinforced non-member status by the UN on 29 November. However, this text poses several problems: while it rightly condemns the rocket attacks by Palestinian groups, at no point does it condemn the assassination of Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari or the massive attack carried out by Mr Netanyahu’s government. Worse, it considers that the Palestinians are responsible for the situation and contents itself with calling on Mr Netanyahu to act ‘proportionately’. As for the text’s support for the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, it is contingent upon ‘an effective control mechanism to prevent the smuggling of arms into Gaza’, thus justifying the blockade in the name of Israel’s security. In Israel’s current electoral context, this resolution provides unacceptable support for the criminal policies of the outgoing right-wing government. I abstain in order to encourage the position proposed for the UN meeting on 29 November.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) I was unable to vote in favour of this motion for a resolution, as it condemns the violence committed by Israel and by armed groups in Gaza in equivalent terms. While I condemn the missile attacks on Israel, this country, aside from causing almost 100 times as many deaths, fails to comply with any of the resolutions adopted by the international community and is the main threat to peace in the region. Israel has disregarded all of the United Nations Security Council resolutions, is occupying territories that legitimately belong to the Palestinian State and continually violates the sovereignty and human rights of Palestinians. All of these infringements go unpunished, since no action will be taken in response to these war crimes against civilians. This allows Israel to act unilaterally, without the international community imposing any form of restraint. This situation is unacceptable and it not possible to condemn both sides in the same way as if they were equally responsible for the violence that occurred during the military operation. For that reason, I did not support this motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. Since the European Parliament strongly condemns the rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, which Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza must cease immediately, and stresses that there can be no justification for the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, and that Israel has the right to protect its population from these kinds of attacks, while pointing out that, in doing so, it must act proportionately and ensure the protection of civilians at all times, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I supported the adoption of the resolution. Although more than a thousand missiles a year head from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, the latter has been a patient sufferer over the last few years. The escalation of this armed conflict surprised the world and we cannot ignore the fact that missiles from the Gaza Strip no longer land only in the Negev Desert but are now capable of hitting Tel Aviv. Major civilian casualties have been avoided thanks to Israel’s strong military and technical capabilities. Egypt’s role in the area and its support in putting pressure on Palestinians to return to the roundtable for negotiations is very important. Continuation of the activities of Hamas is destructive also for the Palestinians living in the area. I supported the resolution but could not support paragraph 5. Awarding Palestine a status equal to that of the Vatican, for example, is most questionable. In the long term, creating such a precedent is short-sighted.

 
  
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  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) Last night’s decision on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip is the first step in the de-escalation of hostilities. Through this resolution, Parliament is reiterating its firm position on a two-state solution: the State of Israel and an independent, democratic and viable State of Palestine, which will coexist under conditions of peace and security. I voted for this resolution, which recognises that the long-term continuation of the dispute, which is continually costing the lives of civilians and children, cannot be resolved with condemnations and appeals. The entire international community and the EU, which has a special interest in the security and the peaceful coexistence of the two peoples in the area, must take on a more active political role in the efforts to achieve a fair and viable peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Besides, we should not overlook the fact that at this time, with the situation in Syria showing no signs of improvement, a derailment of the situation in the area as a whole constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this resolution in the hope that measures will be adopted to allow the reconstruction and economic recovery of Gaza.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. In favour. The resolution on the conflict in the Gaza Strip has been adopted with an overwhelming majority (447 + and 113 -). Thus, the EP supports Abbas’s application for UN non-member observer status for Palestine. It is a real success for us since this paragraph was taken from our resolution. Next week the application will be presented at the UN General Assembly.

 
  
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  Vilja Savisaar-Toomast (ALDE), in writing. (ET) It is regrettable that another tense situation has arisen in the Gaza Strip which fortunately has already ended in a ceasefire agreement. I strongly condemn such an escalation of violence, which has resulted in loss of life and unacceptable suffering among the civilian population of both parties involved. I supported the adoption of this joint resolution; however, I could not support the paragraph concerning Palestine’s bid to become a UN non-member observer, as this has nothing to do with the current critical events, and I believe that these two very different issues should not be addressed jointly. This resolution can and should have only one purpose – to end and prevent acts of war between the parties to avoid the suffering of innocent civilians.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The EU calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Grave concern has been expressed about the situation in Gaza and urgent efforts must be made to bring about a situation favouring the resumption of dialogue. I trust in Europe’s ability to act as a mediator and call for the exercise of moderation in all military operations. In recent times old tensions have given rise to a new scenario following the outcome of the Arab Spring. The EU, and not just the individual Member States, should assume greater responsibility. I believe that a long-term and two-state solution is achievable and sustainable. It is however necessary to move gradually in this direction, including all parties and above all providing sufficient guarantees to all those involved.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) The credibility of the United Nations had already been tarnished by the Security Council’s persistent deadlocks on Syria. The international community’s inability to bring an end to the serious escalation of violence in the Middle East appears to have buried it. Despite the death of at least 140 people – 135 Palestinians and 5 Israelis – in a week, the Israeli raids continue, as do the Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel. According to international law, the Gaza Strip is part of a Palestinian State that does not yet exist. This non-status allows Israel, and Egypt, to do what they want with it. That is the first problem. Gaza’s other problem is a political one. Since the legislative elections of 2006, won by Hamas, who took power by force the following year to the detriment of Fatah, the Gaza Strip has been governed by the Islamist movement. Yet, in the eyes of the international community, the Palestinian enclave continues to be administered by the Palestinian Authority, the principal component of which is Fatah. I voted in favour of this text, even though I would have liked to do a lot more to stop the shedding of Israeli and Palestinian blood.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The ceasefire calling a halt to the growing escalation of violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip was agreed on 21 November. I believe that this unjustifiable resurgence in the violence has caused unacceptable losses for the civilian population. I also want to underline my distaste for the continued blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is causing a humanitarian crisis. Of course weapons smuggling must be prevented, but humanitarian aid and the flow of people and goods must not be stopped.

 
  
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  Zbigniew Ziobro (EFD), in writing. (PL) The current situation in Gaza must be viewed in the context of the broader situation of Palestinians across the Middle East. Palestinian society is poor, internally divided and focused on a single aim, namely to attack the State of Israel. It is therefore a useful tool in the hands of Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria, who are prepared to speak of attacking Israel. That is why I am not convinced by the provisions on lifting the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip, and have serious doubts about them, particularly in view of the information regarding preparations for the transport of rockets from Iran.

Furthermore, the provision referring to the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of each is totally unrealistic. This resolution will not change anything. Any change in relations between Israel and Palestine is bound to be painful. Geopolitically and in terms of resources of raw materials, this region is too small for Israel’s ambitions as an independent and sovereign state. It is also too small for the aspirations to independence of a divided Palestine bent on retaliation.

 
  
  

Report: Arnaud Danjean (A7-0357/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report as we must remember that, since the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union has had instruments in this area, which can be used. As a result, I think it is useful to review this policy, particularly bearing in mind the cases of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Middle East, the nuclear proliferation in Iran, the change in strategy of the United States, which is now turning towards the Asia-Pacific region, and, lastly, the economic and financial crisis. All of these factors indicate that the European Union urgently needs to adopt a position, not in terms of becoming more militarised, but as an instrument of collective defence through resource-sharing.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. I voted in favour of the resolution on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy. The Common Security and Defence Policy is not a luxury or an anecdote. On the contrary, it is a strategic necessity for the European Union. I support the rapporteur’s view that, even though NATO still is a cornerstone of our continent’s common defence, even though the transatlantic partnership must be reaffirmed and is irreplaceable, there are cases of crises which affect our security, and in which NATO cannot intervene (the Georgian crisis for example, and African conflicts in general), or in which the United States deem that they do not have to intervene. We must admit that the strategic challenges which we are facing are huge and unprecedented: a structural and lasting decrease of defence budgets in the European countries, a reorientation of US priorities, and volatility and extreme diversity of threats. Therefore, the European countries must make a following choice: either suffer a collective strategic drop, or pull themselves together and fully use the CSDP’s potential, however modest it may be. I urge Member States to choose the latter way.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) voted against the report on the Common Security and Defence Policy because it signals a reinforcement of the EU’s reactionary characteristics and an extension of its imperialist wars throughout the planet, in line with NATO’s new strategic dogma. The report criticises the Community institutions for their failure to make full use of the EU’s complete range of military resources. The imperialist war of the EU, the US and NATO in Libya is being used to promote the ‘pooling and sharing’ of equipment for operations on an even more murderous scale against the people. The report calls for an increase in military operations and their funding by the Instrument for Stability and the European Development Fund; the formation of a permanent EU Army General Staff; immediate use of the EU battlegroups and an upgrade of the European Defence Organisation. It also demands a faster move towards enhanced military cooperation (the Weimar initiative), interventions by ‘coalitions of the willing’ and joint armament programmes which lead to centralisation of the war industry. The EU is stepping up the intervention in Syria and reinforcing Israel’s attacks on the Palestinian people – a bridgehead to the imperialist plans for intervention in Iran and control of wealth-generating resources and exploitation of the people. The EU is an imperialist alliance of monopolies and the enemy of peoples in the Member States and throughout the world.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. I voted against this report because, although I am in favour of the creation of a European defence force, I believe that this can be achieved through a further decrease in the Member States’ national security budgets. This text suggests instead that defence cuts may lead to lack of credibility of the EU. Concerning EU-NATO cooperation, I believe in a clear separation of the EU from NATO. We must consider that NATO is a military-political alliance created to fight a threat, Soviet Communism, which ceased to exist 23 years ago. For this reason, in recent years, NATO has tried to reinvent its role, creating new enemies. I believe that European countries should reduce year by year their share of the NATO budget and refrain from stronger cooperation with it. To conclude, I would value it if a report like this one were to focus also on civil peaceful conflict solutions and not only on EU military interventionism.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I supported this annual report, the aim of which is to express the European Parliament’s views on the implementation of the European security strategy within the context of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The European Parliament calls for a strengthening of this policy so that the European Union can affirm and take on its responsibilities at global level.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The EU undertakes operational missions in third countries on the basis of the CSDP. The goal of these missions is to maintain peace and strengthen international security on the basis of civilian and military means provided by the Member States. We need to strengthen cross-border conflict prevention and civilian and military crisis management capacities and I therefore welcome the measures set out in the proposal. I welcome the calls for the establishment of an EU operational headquarters which would conduct civilian missions and military operations together with the European External Action Service. I agree that the partnership between the public and private sectors in the area of air transport needs to be enhanced, allowing both the delivery of humanitarian aid for disaster relief and the transport of equipment and personnel as part of CSDP missions. I believe that for the European Security and Defence Policy to be implemented more effectively there needs to be greater support for the European Defence Agency, the EU Satellite Centre and the European Security and Defence College.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because the European Union should be a global political player on the international scene in order to promote international peace and security, to protect its interests in the world and to ensure the security of its citizens. Particularly now when significant changes are taking place in the geostrategic context in which the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the CSDP operate, owing in particular to the upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa, the emergence on the international scene of new players with regional or even global ambitions and the reorientation of US defence policy priorities towards the Asia-Pacific area, it is important for the EU to assert its strategic autonomy through a strong and effective foreign, security and defence policy. This strategic autonomy should be built by maintaining the link with NATO and other organisations and establishing a universal common EU position which would ensure consistency, act in a spirit of solidarity and make use of all the means and instruments available to secure peace and security for citizens.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The CSDP is an important crisis management tool for the European Union. This report proposes several innovative solutions for the development of the CSDP in view of the many obstacles hampering its implementation, such as the timidity of Member States when it comes to closer cooperation. In this sense, I support the idea of strengthening the crisis management structures and developing the European Union’s civilian and military capabilities in a more effective way.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Union has the potential to bring peace to turbulent regions. Since 2003 the EU has launched 19 civilian missions and 7 military operations. In the future Europe’s capacity to respond to this type of challenge should continue to be reinforced. I voted in favour of this report as I consider that the EU should develop a more independent and coherent common security and defence strategy, without, however, ignoring its transatlantic relations and alliances.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE), in writing. (FR) In a geopolitical context that has changed significantly over recent years, the EU must seize its opportunity to assert itself as a global political player. Decline is not an option: we must build a strong and ambitious security and defence policy for Europe. This report reminds us, in particular, of the importance of our satellite resources in the defence of the Union. Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Galileo must be seen as critical infrastructures, given their importance for our future and our security.

 
  
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  Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The European Union is currently engaged in 14 civilian and military missions abroad. These are the first signs of Europe becoming a player in security and defence, a long-held ambition for those who believe that Europe, a first-rate economic power, cannot remain a ‘diplomatic dwarf’ for long. However, these initial signs do not yet herald any unequivocal advances, as Europe is, on the big global issues – and conflicts are among them – struggling to find its way and speak with one voice, despite the fact that everything – our economic weight, our democratic tradition, our diplomatic history, our role in promoting balance and dialogue – appears to favour greater EU involvement in these serious matters. It is because these matters are so serious that we have an obligation to press onwards and set ourselves clear defence priorities: the allocation of sufficient material and human resources to allow us to act more quickly and effectively; stronger coordination of Member States’ diplomatic and military resources; and consistency of analysis and action in our relations with international institutions such as NATO. To this end, the drafting of a white paper on the EU’s security and defence policy, which has been requested several times, is more necessary than ever.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I supported the adoption of this text, which calls for the implementation of a real European defence policy. At a time when national defence budgets are being reduced, the pooling and sharing of our capabilities seems to be the best possible response. To do this, Europe must support and strengthen its defence industry, and the European Defence Agency must assert its role in this area. It is time for all European countries to show their willingness to endow the Union with real capabilities in line with the geopolitical challenges that we are facing. NATO is one forum for interventions, the European Union is another. The Union must show its unity, its independence and its responsiveness when deemed necessary by the 27 Member States.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The issues surrounding common security and defence, because they go to the very heart of Member State sovereignty, have been tackled very cautiously, which has sometimes prevented us from responding appropriately to real geostrategic challenges. Given the global threats and the strategic devaluation of the Atlantic space to the benefit of the Asia-Pacific region, it has become clear that we need to respond by improving capacity and coordination of resources and staff and by increasing the potential for force projection. Unfortunately there are sources of tension and instability near to the borders of the Union, which cannot fail to cause apprehension and encourage military vigilance and readiness. In this context, the Union’s efforts not only to equip itself with resources, but also to strengthen the alliance with the US and increasingly share the burden in the joint effort to protect democracy and human rights are particularly important. European society, which has thankfully been mostly free of armed conflicts for some considerable time, has become accustomed to minimising the importance of security and defence. Policy makers must try to reverse this trend and promote the need and respect for armed forces and the military condition.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Union’s enlargement towards the east has brought peace to a large part of Europe that was previously engaged, if not in explicit conflict, then at least in latent conflict. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics stripped military organisations such as NATO of their role. In reality, Europe has never been as prosperous, safe or free as it is now. This report, by Arnaud Danjean, on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), based on the Annual Report from the Council to the European Parliament on the Common Foreign and Security Policy, draws attention to the need to improve our action, bearing in mind the economic crisis facing the Member States and NATO’s attention being focused on another part of the globe (Africa and Asia) rather than Europe. I welcome the adoption of this report, for which I voted and which contains a very positive approach to the CSDP, particularly in times of budgetary austerity, as I agree that the EU cannot leave its defence solely to NATO. The EU must therefore increase cooperation between the Member States and create synergies between the CSDP and other policies.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The majority in Parliament advocate the EU’s military autonomy via increased investment in weapons for the defence and military sectors, ‘sharing’ and ‘pooling’ of resources, permanent structured cooperation between ‘Member States that meet higher military capability criteria’, reinforcement of the European Defence Agency’s role, greater operability of rapid response teams, and closer relations with NATO. These developments are indissociable from the need to access and control the natural and energy resources on which the EU monopolies depend. The majority in Parliament have therefore clearly revealed their ambition: to bring about the destruction of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, through more aggression and belligerence in increasingly militarised international relations, through attacks on sovereignty, and through an evident crusade to occupy countries and regions that are geostrategically important. This policy fits, after all, with the EU’s role as the European pillar of NATO. This is only one position of the European Parliament, but it clearly shows the need for the re-establishment of democracy in the EU, through a process of demilitarisation and disarmament, the dissolution of NATO, and the creation of a system of collective security which respects and ensures the sovereignty of states and the free choice of the people.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Significant changes are taking place in the geostrategic context in which the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operate, owing in particular to the upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa (including revolutions, conflicts and/or regime change in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria), the emergence on the international scene of new players with regional or even global ambitions and the reorientation of United States defence policy priorities towards the Asia-Pacific area. At the same time, threats and challenges to global security are growing because of uncertainties linked to the attitudes of states and non-state actors (such as terrorist organisations) engaged in programmes which dangerously encourage proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons), the escalation of local crises in the EU’s neighbourhood with major regional implications, such as the current Syrian conflict, the vagaries of the transition process in the Arab countries and its security dimension (for instance in Libya and the Sinai Peninsula), the evolution of the Afghan-Pakistan area in the light of the prospective withdrawal of NATO troops, and increased terrorist threats in Africa. I am convinced that the Union must respond to these threats and challenges by speaking with one voice and acting in a spirit of solidarity between Member States and by making use of all the means and instruments at its disposal to secure peace and security for its people.

 
  
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  Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this report on the Common Security and Defence Policy, as it makes a pertinent assessment of the Union’s record on the matter and of the challenges that we must prepare to tackle together. It is important not to allow Europe to enter a strategic decline. The European Union has the tools to pursue a truly ambitious policy in security and defence. As the report indicates, the European Union must preserve its military intervention capability, but also its capacity to intervene by civilian, economic, humanitarian and commercial means to deal with the new situations that are arising in the world, sometimes at the fringes of Europe. I believe that Parliament is making a clear appeal for Member States to make a stronger commitment to the Common Security and Defence Policy, which is the only way of maintaining the strategic weight of a Europe that has fallen prey to budgetary difficulties in a multipolar world.

 
  
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  Ágnes Hankiss (PPE), in writing. (HU) In his comprehensive report, Mr Arnaud Danjean points out convincingly that the European Union needs to become and independent political player in the international arena. It is right that Europe should have an autonomous defence strategy and an effective security and defence policy that would enable it to act alone if necessary to resolve conflicts. For this to happen, however, we need proper civilian and military capabilities. While our alliance with NATO remains a priority and is inviolable, the EU must define its strategic interests in the light of changing threats and the Member States’ security capabilities. We need to carry out a review of the military strengths and weaknesses of the EU Member States. I would like to stress the importance of ensuring that permanent structured cooperation (PSC) does not become an elite club of the largest and strongest countries, relegating weaker countries to the sidelines and thereby distorting cooperation and creating an undesirable two-tier Europe. As I have advocated in previous discussions, one potential solution might be to ensure that countries which are weaker in terms of their military capability are given a remit and role that ties them into overall Common Security and Defence Policy based on their particular capabilities and characteristics. We agree with the rapporteur when he says that revitalisation of the CSDP in the key areas of institutions, operations and capabilities is a crucial task that the European Union needs to address.

 
  
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  Anna Hedh, Olle Ludvigsson, Jens Nilsson and Åsa Westlund (S&D), in writing. (SV) We, the Swedish Social Democrats, support the fact that the EU is strengthening its powers to use the resources of the Member States to contribute to maintaining peace, preventing conflicts and strengthening international security. We do not, however, support the appeal to Member States to increase European cooperation in the area of defence and to develop permanent, structured cooperation in the area of security and defence that could lead to a Community defence force. We feel that the report fails to tackle the reservations held against it. We also feel that it would have been important to have a paper that also deals with the views of Member States on the subject and gives due consideration to the different traditions and attitudes of the Member States in the area of security and defence.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing. I voted in favour of this report. It is reassuring that the EU and NATO, which are united by a strategic partnership reaffirmed at the Chicago summit, are both active in a number of theatres, such as Kosovo, Afghanistan and the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. I would like to draw attention to the fact that external operations in recent years, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or Africa, including Libya, have created a significant financial burden for those states that have participated (or are still participating) in these operations. This is particularly true for Poland and my country’s military’s operations in Afghanistan. For this reason, our common security and objective of securing peace should be met with a common approach, commitment and burden-sharing.

 
  
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  Kent Johansson (ALDE), in writing. (SV) I voted in favour of the report, but against the provisions on future EU-financed civil-military research and procurement under Horizon 2020 and the Commission communication ‘A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery’, and against starting a planning process for a European defence force. I can see a need for own structures for cooperation within the EU, but at the same time I advocate a clear distinction between the EU and NATO.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) A revision or rethinking of the strategic framework for European foreign policy is a very topical issue, especially in view of the recent revolutions over the last 18 months in states bordering the EU. There is a growing need for the EU to adopt a strong and effective foreign policy, with credible civilian and military capabilities. It should however be remembered that security and foreign policy spending, like spending in other policy areas, must take account of the crisis affecting the national economies, as reflected in the current debate about the future of the EU finances.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing. (FR) The purpose of this report, drafted by Arnaud Danjean, is to express the European Parliament’s views on the implementation of European security strategy within the context of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), as well as on the developments of the past year and those envisaged for the years ahead. The report notes the changes in our strategic environment and the obstacles to the positive development of European defence cooperation, but also makes proposals to improve the current system. I strongly believe in the need for a European defence policy, and this is why I, like the majority of my colleagues, voted in favour of this report. A strong Europe requires economic and political coordination, but it also requires coordination in matters of defence.

 
  
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  Sabine Lösing (GUE/NGL), in writing. (DE) I rejected the report because it advocates a further militarisation of the EU and demands military autonomy via increased investment in armament, defence and military sectors despite the financial and economic crisis. It also calls for the expansion of military (training) operations and further strengthens EU-NATO cooperation. It encourages the use of development aid (European Development Fund) to finance security operations, supports and encourages further civil-military cooperation and advocates subordination of policy areas under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and fosters the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). It supports and presses for the ATHENA mechanism and use of battle-groups.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) It is well known that the Common Security and Defence Policy relies on the Member States. The European Union is experiencing austere times as a result of the economic crisis, which translates into defence budget cuts. The situations in Congo and Syria demonstrate that the Common Security and Defence Policy is a strategic necessity for the EU, and it can only be implemented if there is the capacity to deploy territorial defence and strategic missions in its proximity. We must therefore implement coherent, consistent initiatives such as ‘Smart Defence’ and the ‘pooling and sharing’ initiative, and develop coordinated, complementary EU and NATO capabilities.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I voted for this resolution which ‘Stresses that the EU should be a global political player on the international scene in order to promote international peace and security, to protect its interests in the world and to ensure the security of its citizens; believes that the EU should be able to assume its responsibilities when confronted with international threats, crises and conflicts, especially in its neighbourhood; underlines, in this connection, the need for the EU to be consistent in its policies and faster and more efficient in taking up the aforementioned responsibilities’.

 
  
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  Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL), in writing. (CS) I should like to make a small general comment on the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. In recent times, certain events, especially the course of the Arab Spring, have led me to ask whether we should not become more deeply concerned with the relationship between the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and NATO. I believe that the time has come for us to say what rules apply for Member States of the Union. Whether statesmen can, during the day, speak on behalf of the Union about peace, the observance of human rights and the binding nature of international law and, during the night, can the same statesmen decide on behalf of NATO to bomb a state, supply weapons to selected insurgents and break off hitherto unquestioned diplomatic relations. I am deeply convinced that we should start a debate on the boundary of Member States’ licence. Is it possible that some state has recognised Kosovo or an insurgent group in Syria without consulting the other states here and that the European Parliament has remained silent because it is also discussing the violation of human rights in Myanmar? For how long, for example, can Paris breach our agreements on a common policy in the Mediterranean and Africa without any consultation with their Union partners?

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy. The report presents the changes that have occurred in the environment and the conflicts taking place at Europe’s borders, which affect European security. The EU should develop its civilian and military capabilities and implement tangible measures enabling it to react to strategic changes and developments.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour. The EU urgently needs to assert its strategic autonomy through a strong and effective foreign, security and defence policy, enabling it to act alone if necessary. It should be emphasised that this strategic autonomy will remain illusory without credible civilian and military capabilities.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This report is entirely in keeping with the submission to NATO advocated and endorsed by the Treaty of Lisbon. It calls for an increase in military spending and greater liberalisation of public defence procurement and the development of public-private defence partnerships in Europe. The supremacy of the UN Charter is maintained, but that is the only positive point. I vote against this text.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) This report serves to further the European Union’s strategy of militarisation. It seeks to move ahead with the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy, representing a major step towards a global military role for the EU in the interests of maintaining stability and upholding human rights. The report also attempts to encourage the use of funding intended for cooperation for military objectives, by arguing that development cannot exist without stability, as well as to extend civilian-military cooperation to the Common Security and Defence Policy. This report does not explore other avenues for the peaceful conduct of negotiations on and resolution of conflicts; it merely seeks to extend the military option as the EU’s standard response to potential global conflicts, linking military expenditure with political credibility on the world stage. In view of the above, I consider this report to mark a real push ahead with the EU’s strategy of militarisation and therefore voted against it.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. It is a very important report since it looks at the 15 CSDP missions currently deployed, makes recommendations, but also provide some background on the work of the CSDP. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour. In the context of the economic and financial difficulties, the EU Member States are facing problems that limit their defence spending. This is not just a question of NATO commitments, it has an impact, above all, on national capacities, the loss of expertise and the marginalisation of industry, while at the same time having a negative impact on the effectiveness of the European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The international context – the growing crisis in the EU’s close neighbourhood, the militarisation of certain third countries – prevents us from relaxing and resting on laurels of relative security. Given the limited resources available we need to strive for the pooling and sharing of capacities. However, the CSDP should not be some sort of duplication of NATO’s functions.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU should be a global political player on the international scene, promoting peace and international security. In the context of this responsibility, which includes the security of its citizens, I voted in favour of this report, which defines a new strategic framework for the Common Security and Defence Policy as a result of significant changes in the geostrategic context.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The significant changes which are taking place in the geostrategic context in which the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operate, owing in particular to the upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa (including revolutions, conflicts and/or regime change in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria), the emergence on the international scene of new players with regional or even global ambitions, and the reorientation of United States defence policy priorities towards the Asia-Pacific area mean that the EU must develop its civilian and military capabilities, by implementing practical measures allowing it to respond adequately to these new challenges. In essence, the aim is for the EU to assert itself as a global political player on the international scene, able to assume its responsibilities when confronted with international threats, crises and conflicts, especially in its neighbourhood. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. Abstention. We tabled amendments contesting the following issues: Strategic Autonomy, Defence Budgets, Need for more military action, Extension of ATALANTA, EUTM Somalia, Military action in North Mali and alternatives, EU border control mission in Libya, Procurement of drones, European Buying Act for arms, Defence Research, EU budget and Defence Agency, Military and civilian chains of command and HQ. Almost none of them were adopted.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The European Union, as a global political player, should do more to protect its interests in the world and to ensure the security of its citizens in order to gain more importance on the international scene. The EU needs to be equipped with appropriate means in order to promote international peace and security and acquire greater strategic autonomy. This strategic autonomy can only be asserted through a stronger and more effective foreign, security and defence policy. I believe it is essential to take account of the changing threats in the world. EU security strategy must allow Europe to contribute meaningfully to peacekeeping operations around the globe. Only by mobilising the full range of political, economic, development and humanitarian instruments at its disposal will the Union be able to respond to specific risks. Hoping that renewed political credibility and visibility will be lent to the Union’s actions, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) The last text on European security strategy was dated 2008. It should be noted that the situation is no longer the same: there has been upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa (in particular the revolutions in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria), new players with regional or even global ambitions have emerged on the international scene, and the US’s defence priorities have been refocused on the Asia-Pacific region. There are also local crises in the countries neighbouring the Union, with major regional repercussions: the uncertainties about the transition processes in the Arab countries and their scale, the changes in the Pakistan/Afghanistan area in light of the upcoming withdrawal of NATO’s military forces, and growing terrorist threats in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Nigeria. The European Union should be a global political player on the international scene, so as to promote international peace and security, protect its interests in the world and guarantee the security of its own citizens. We have an important role to play as a provider of security services for Member States and their citizens.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The geostrategic context and the challenges facing the European Union require the institutions, particularly the Council, to rethink the Common Security and Defence Policy. It is a fact that the EU’s main partner – the United States – is increasingly placing more importance on the Pacific to the detriment of Europe. I agree with the rapporteur when he states that the European External Action Service needs to be reinforced in the area of crisis management and that greater cooperation between the Member States needs to be encouraged with regard to the common defence policy. Greater cooperation in terms of defence, particularly as regards technology, military industry and intelligence-sharing, should be promoted. Such measures should be adopted within a previously defined strategy, as only in this way can the Treaty of Lisbon be properly implemented. In other words, we need permanent structured cooperation, application of the mutual defence and solidarity clauses, and a more active role for the European Defence Agency.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy. The geostrategic context of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is undergoing major changes, especially in light of the recent troubles in the Middle East and North Africa and the rise of new actors with regional and global ambitions. Climate change compounds the threats to global security, peace and stability. I believe that the European Union must respond to these threats and challenges by adopting a common position and coherent action in the spirit of solidarity with other Member States in order to secure the safety and security of its citizens. I am in favour of a White Paper on the security and defence of the EU, which will define the EU’s strategic interests in a context of changing threats, in the light of the Member States’ security capabilities and the capacity of EU institutions to act effectively in security and defence policy.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR), in writing. There are some aspects of EU external action which are useful. These include humanitarian and development assistance and certain aspects of foreign policy engagement. However, there is no acceptable justification for EU involvement in military matters. The promotion of EU military structures under the guise of a Common Security and Defence policy (CSDP) with a largely civil component is of course, a sleight of hand. The Danjean report is merely another chapter in the extensive litany of reports advancing European political integration. It wants the EU to develop its autonomous capability to intervene in ‘high-intensity conflicts’ (paragraph 21); calls for an increase in the numbers of EEAS staff dealing with crisis management and CSDP missions (paragraph 62); and regrets that no new EU military operations have been launched. It also calls for the creation of a permanent EU Operational Headquarters ‘if necessary, through Permanent Structured cooperation’ - a mechanism to bypass our national vetoes(paragraph 102). The ECR could not, therefore, support this report.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (ALDE), in writing. (DE) This report is extremely pro-military in tone. Many passages contain well-researched and nuanced statements. Safeguarding the EU’s capacity to act effectively in security and defence policy, understood as an instrument of crisis management, is extremely important. The country-specific statements, in particular, emphasise the importance of the EU’s civil-military operations in achieving and maintaining peace and in establishing functioning governments and the parameters needed to facilitate local people’s independent livelihoods in various regions. The report also calls for the involvement of Parliament in the planned global approach to the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the drafting of a White Paper on the establishment of an appropriate strategic framework.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) The significant changes taking place in the geostrategic context in which the Common Foreign and Security Policy operates, owing in particular to the upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa and the emergence on the international scene of new players with regional or even global ambitions, require that Europe develop its own military and civilian capabilities. The EU has the full range of political, economic and humanitarian instruments at its disposal to assume its responsibilities effectively in the area of security and defence. We must therefore strengthen and implement these instruments.

 
  
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  Zbigniew Ziobro (EFD), in writing. (PL) The debate on the Common Security and Defence Policy, and more specifically on whether such a policy can be justified, has been ongoing for many years. At a time of crisis, is it still necessary to strengthen this policy and develop it further? Would it not be better to devote those resources, for example, to developing the EU’s energy security by diversifying its sources of supply? The fact that European Union Member States are already members of NATO is particularly relevant here. NATO is an effective and well-proven alliance. What links are envisaged between NATO’s policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy? I could not find any information on this in the resolution debated and therefore abstained from voting.

 
  
  

Report: Ioan Mircea Paşcu (A7-0356/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report because it does not propose creating a new instrument, but rather bringing together and better coordinating various instruments to ensure an effective response, so that proper solidarity can be demonstrated when a Member State’s capabilities are exhausted. I also consider that, at a time of financial crisis, it is essential to identify solutions for common investment and joint development by the Member States. A rapid response combined with a contribution by each country within a flexible framework could successfully meet many needs in the area of defence within the European Union.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The report fully confirms the positions taken by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) when it warned that the solidarity and mutual defence clauses in the anti-popular Treaty of Lisbon deepen the militarisation and reactionary characteristics of the EU and strengthen the mechanisms for arming the dictatorship of the monopolies. The clauses promote military and civil interventions by the EU in Member States on the pretexts of ‘terrorism’, ‘natural or man-made disasters’, ‘cyber attacks’ and even ‘pandemics’ or ‘energy shortages’. The report describes the actions and mobilisations of the popular movement as ‘a threat to democratic institutions’. The report demands that Member States and the EU as a whole should be required to respond with ‘all the means’ in their power, in close collaboration with NATO, and calls upon the EU to adopt NATO’s new strategic approach, so that the EU and NATO can act together as global policeman and terroriser of the peoples. The report calls for a ‘permanent operational headquarters’ and a ‘permanent EU… crisis management… system’, training exercises for ‘crisis management’, and the development of ‘rapid response’ military capabilities and forces. The KKE votes against this reactionary and anti-popular report, and thus helps to strengthen the popular alliance and the anti-monopoly struggle of the working class and their allies for disengagement from the EU and for people’s power.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. I abstained from voting on this report because I disagree with the aim of the mutual defence clause itself. In practice this instrument, which makes obligatory mutual assistance within the EU by all possible means in the event of an attack on an EU Member State, transforms the EU into a military alliance. Moreover, in this report the solidarity clause is also applied to unarmed attacks, without clearly defining the latter, thus leading to possible dangerous interpretations.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this report, which aims to assess current use of the mutual defence and solidarity clauses among EU countries. These provisions define relations between Member States from a defence point of view, while also establishing the conditions for solidarity in exceptional circumstances. The European Parliament calls for clarification of several aspects, in particular the relationship between these clauses and the North Atlantic Treaty.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this proposal on the development of the EU’s mutual defence and solidarity policy. A stronger and more capable European defence is essential for ensuring that all Union citizens have the same security guarantees. A mutual defence and solidarity clause was provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon. Under this clause the Member States have an obligation to assist one another in the event of a terrorist attack or a natural or man-made disaster. I welcome the proposal to establish practical arrangements and guidelines for ensuring an effective response in the event of a Member State being attacked, as well as an analysis of the role of the EU institutions. Both the EU and the Member States must perform regular joint threat and risk assessments, based on the analysis of intelligence. In order to avoid a duplication of effort and waste of resources closer political collaboration between the EU High Representative and the Secretary General of NATO needs to be ensured.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Paşcu, which draws the attention of the institutions to the ‘mutual defence clause’ (Article 42(7)) of the Treaty on European Union and the ‘solidarity clause’ (Article 222) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which aimed to fight threats to the EU Member States. However, almost three years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon there are still no implementation arrangements to bring these clauses to life. We cannot tolerate this sort of legislative void. Were a country to request aid, there is currently no way for the EU to implement these two clauses. The Commission should draw up a proposal and the Council should issue a decision on how these principles should be applied.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because the EU recognises an international order founded on effective multilateralism on the basis of international law, and this is an expression of Europeans’ conviction that no nation can face the new threats on its own. It is important to mention that combating international terrorism still remains a priority for the EU in the areas of defence and security, and it is therefore necessary to ensure that all Member States have drawn up a common strategy and response. Although each Member State retains primary responsibility for the management of crises within its territory, this report generally promotes and progressively develops a common defence policy which would reinforce the European identity and the EU’s strategic advantage. It is important to mention that the security of EU Member States is indivisible and all European citizens should have the same security guarantees and an equal level of protection against both traditional and non-conventional threats.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the ‘report on the EU’s mutual defence and solidarity clauses: political and operational dimensions’. I support this report which, as well as making a distinction between mutual defence and mutual assistance, indicates that Member States are under an obligation to provide aid and assistance by all the means in their power if a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory. I also support the flexible approach to the triggering of the clause recommended by this report, and call upon the Member States to optimise coordination and prevention in security and defence matters.

 
  
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  Alain Cadec (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the Paşcu report. Following the innovations introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, it seems to me to be necessary to stimulate the debate on European defence policy. I note that the report indicates that Member States have an obligation to provide aid and assistance by all the means in their power if a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory. I welcome the emphasis placed on flexibility and synergies and the importance accorded to all of the new types of threats, such as cyber attacks.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this report as I believe that the EU should develop a prevention and rapid response policy to deal with any identified threat aimed at the Union or any Member State.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE), in writing. (FR) The European Union is a union founded on solidarity. It is vital that this solidarity should manifest itself when our partners are in crisis or the victims of aggression. I therefore welcome the adoption of this text, which clearly sets out that ambition. The Member States have an obligation to provide aid and assistance to any other Member State that is the victim of armed aggression on its territory. This text calls for the establishment of a permanent crisis response structure based on the existing instruments and covering all types of threat (cyber, energy, pandemics, and so on).

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The mutual defence and solidarity clauses are two mechanisms based on one idea of union and solidarity between the Member States at times of particular adversity, such as military interventions, terrorist attacks or natural disasters. The use of appropriate and available resources to help a state facing this kind of crisis is a natural progression from the idea that, in a united Europe, one country’s problem must be everyone’s problem and that, where this problem cannot be solved individually, a collective response must be offered. As I have written, in order to be united in diversity, the Union must remain united in adversity. Clarifying the scope of these clauses and indicating the resources allowing them to be rapidly and flexibly implemented, where necessary, must be borne in mind by the main policy makers, who must encourage synergies, cooperation and information exchange. The idea that the European Union must cooperate actively with NATO, and that the latter now involves aspects going far beyond its merely military component, increase the potential sources of solidarity in crises, but also require serious commitment on the part of all.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Union, as an area of free movement of persons and goods with the goal of the increasingly successful operation of a single market, must position itself as a body capable of creating and galvanising an ever stronger feeling of territorial cohesion. We need more and better Europe, and not just on paper, but particularly in practice. The Treaty of Lisbon clauses reinforce this aspect: we need a genuine Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), which protects European citizens and reinforces solidarity between the Member States. Sometimes we have the means to act, but lack motivation on the part of certain institutions. In order to reinforce solidarity, with the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund being a prime example, we need to provide the financial resources so that we can respond more efficiently to natural disasters. I voted in favour of the report by Ioan Mircea Paşcu. I welcome the Commission’s increased technical and political commitment, and hope that we can soon bring the EU headquarters into operation so that we have improved intervention capability.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The ‘mutual defence clause’ in the Treaty of Lisbon turns the EU into an alliance with stronger military ties; the ‘solidarity clause’ paves the way for military interventions within the EU. The explicit ‘obligation’ to react ‘by all means’ in case of aggression against a Member State even goes beyond NATO’s mutual assistance clause, since non-armed attacks are also covered. Under the solidarity clause, military support is also demanded in case of terror attacks and natural or man-made disasters (the scope of this clause is not clearly defined: does it cover social unrest resulting from strikes or protests?), which implies military operations within the EU. Cyber attacks, pandemics and energy shortages can also lead to activation of the solidarity clause. This report is inseparable from the crisis in the EU, the pillage of countries such as Portugal, the exploitation of workers and the general public, the clawback of rights, loss of sovereignty, and backward steps in terms of political and democratic freedoms. However, at the same time, it is inseparable from the increasing struggle, and fear, of the capitalist monopolies, and the political forces that serve them, with regard to the rise in popular emancipation processes.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The security of EU Member States is indivisible and all European citizens should have the same security guarantees and an equal level of protection against both traditional and non-conventional threats. The defence of peace, security, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom in Europe, which are indispensable for the wellbeing of our citizens, must remain a key goal and responsibility of European countries and of the Union. The current security challenges include numerous complex and changing dangers, such as international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, states in disintegration, frozen and unending conflicts, organised crime, cyber threats, the scarcity of energy sources, environmental deterioration and associated security risks, natural and man-made disasters, pandemics and many others. Security and combating international terrorism are considered as one of the Union’s priorities. Therefore, a joint response and a common strategy are needed from all Member States. I think that the progressive framing of a common defence policy which aims at a common defence is reinforcing the European identity and the strategic autonomy of the European Union.

 
  
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  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) Almost three years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon there are still no implementation arrangements for the ‘mutual defence clause’ (Article 42(7)) of the Treaty on European Union and the ‘solidarity clause’ (Article 222) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This means that if any Member State were currently to ask for aid under the said provisions, the EU would be unable to implement them. I consider it essential that the Commission draw up a proposal on how these principles should be applied. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
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  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), in writing. (FR) The Treaty of Lisbon contains solidarity clauses which make provision for situations such as an attack on a Member State or the destabilisation of a State. At first sight, these clauses appear attractive, but let us imagine a country where the situation has become catastrophic: the government would be forced by international organisations into policies that would lead the people into poverty. Exasperated by unemployment, wage decreases and a high tax burden, the citizens would hold an increasing number of protests and strikes. Some would be tempted by withdrawal from the Union, others by partition of their country. The government would not be able to maintain order due to lack of resources, having made swingeing cuts to its budget. In order to remain in power and be able to continue to pursue policy dictated elsewhere, it would make use of one of the clauses in the Treaty. European law enforcement forces would then be deployed, with the power to replace the local police forces entirely. Is this really so far-fetched? I believe that some countries in the Union are not far from this kind of situation. The nucleus of the European law enforcement force already exists: it is called Eurogendfor. I will not lend my support to the introduction of legal texts that allow the European technocracy to oppress and repress peoples.

 
  
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  Anna Hedh, Olle Ludvigsson, Jens Nilsson and Åsa Westlund (S&D), in writing. (SV) We, the Swedish Social Democrats, support the EU solidarity clause and the clause on mutual defence. We must emphasise, however, that this should not affect military non-alignment of Member States. We would have liked to see a text that included the wording of Article 42(7) of the Treaty, to the effect that the EU solidarity clause and the clause on mutual defence should not affect the special nature of some Member States’ security and defence policies. We do not support the wording concerning the gradual development of a Community defence policy aiming for a Community defence force to reinforce European identity and the EU’s strategic autonomy and to harmonise the EU’s defence policy.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because I agree with the idea that the security of EU Member States is indivisible and all European citizens should have the same security guarantees and an equal level of protection against both traditional and non-conventional threats. I believe that the defence of peace, security, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom in Europe, which are indispensable for the wellbeing of our peoples, must remain a core goal and responsibility of European countries and of the Union. The current security challenges include numerous complex and changing risks, such as international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), states in disintegration, frozen and unending conflicts, organised crime, cyber threats, the scarcity of energy sources, environmental deterioration and associated security risks, natural and man-made disasters, pandemics and various others. Furthermore, security and combating international terrorism are considered as a priority for the EU and a joint response and a common strategy are therefore needed from all Member States.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR), in writing. I voted in favour of this report because I believe that mutual defence and solidarity in case of aggression is the foundation of lasting peace in Europe. I believe that NATO is the ‘keystone in the arch’ in this regard, but the EU also has its role to play. Twenty-one EU Member States are also members of NATO. But we also need to be prepared for situations involving non-NATO EU Member States or EU Member States’ territories that are outside the North Atlantic area and are therefore not covered by the Washington Treaty, or situations where no agreement on collective action has been reached within NATO. I am glad that in the report, we have reminded Member States of their unequivocal obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power if a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory. The definition of ‘aggression’ is also changing and I strongly agree with the statement that non-armed attacks, for instance cyber attacks against critical infrastructure that are launched with the aim of causing severe damage and disruption to a Member State and are identified as coming from an external entity, could fall under this category.

 
  
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  Sabine Lösing (GUE/NGL), in writing. (DE) I reject this report because the mutual defence clause (Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union) turns the EU into a military alliance, and the solidarity clause (Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) paves the way for military interventions within the EU. The explicit ‘obligation’ to react ‘by all means’ in case of armed aggression against a Member State goes beyond NATO’s mutual assistance clause since non-armed attacks are also covered. Within the solidarity clause, military support is also demanded in case of terror attacks, natural or man-made disasters, which implies military operations within the EU. Cyber attacks, pandemics and energy shortages can also lead to activation of the solidarity clause. I voted against the report since there is no clear definition of what falls under the solidarity clause and whether social unrest/strikes are also considered ‘man-made disasters’. Furthermore, the report prefers military to civil measures outside and inside the EU, and focuses only on EU defence and military solutions.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) I congratulate Mr Paşcu on his ambitious and realistic report. Personally, I do not believe that we need a new European instrument, but greater coordination of our existing instruments. Let us not forget the mechanisms already at our disposal: EU Emergency and Crisis Coordination Arrangements, European Civil Protection, EEAS Crisis Response and Operational Coordination, EU Intelligence Analysis Centre, the Commission’s Strategic Analysis and Response Capability, Europol’s First Response Network, the Action plan on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security, Atlas Network, ARGUS, and agencies such as Frontex. We must work towards coordinating, adapting or strengthening these instruments. I hope that next month the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will define the situations in which the solidarity clause, and the mechanisms for implementing it in practice, would apply.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. I abstained on this resolution because in my opinion it goes too far at the present time in calling for a permanent EU Operational HQ.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the report on the Union’s mutual defence and solidarity clauses, which distinguishes between the mutual defence clause and the mutual assistance clause. In particular, the report reminds us that Member States have an obligation to provide aid and assistance to a Member State that is the victim of armed aggression on its territory.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) In order to consolidate their cooperation, both NATO and the EU should concentrate on strengthening their basic capabilities, improving interoperability, and coordinating their doctrines, planning, technologies, equipment and training methods. I support the reiterated call for the systematic harmonisation of military requirements.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I welcome the fact that this report reaffirms the supremacy of the United Nations Charter, stressing that the Union or its Member States can only resort to force if it is legally justified under the United Nations Charter. This is the report’s only positive point. The rest is all about falling into line with NATO, with calls for specialisation within that organisation and for higher military spending by Member States, in accordance with the Treaty of Lisbon. This text on the EU’s defence and solidarity clauses sanctions the Union’s subordination of the defence of its citizens to the interests of the United States of America. I vote against.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL), in writing. (ES) I voted against this report, as it serves to further the European Union’s strategy of militarisation. The report is based on an analysis of the implications of the mutual defence and solidarity clauses. By the text’s reasoning, the situation could arise in which an attack on Cyprus by Turkey would result in a conflict between the mutual defence obligation that exists among the EU Member States and that in force among the members of NATO. This analysis of both clauses covers non-armed attacks, such as cyber attacks, and does not rule out intervention in the event of internal disturbances that threaten a government. The report seeks to extend NATO’s military competences, as well as those of the EU Member States. The increase in military competences can only lead to greater risks for Europe’s civilian population. Only by means of demilitarisation can we guarantee more security for the people of Europe. I consider this report to mark a real push ahead with the EU’s strategy of militarisation and therefore voted against it.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. The report calls on the need to strike a very fine balance between solidarity and granting enough liberty to the Member States to choose how and if they want to support another fellow state. I am in favour.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) Given that the security of EU Member States is indivisible and that all European citizens should have the same security guarantees and an equal level of protection against both traditional and non-conventional threats, I voted in favour of this report on the EU’s mutual defence and solidarity clauses: political and operational dimensions.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. Abstention. In general we supported the idea of a report addressing the issue of these two clauses. The problem with the rapporteur and also the EPP group was that they have no clear objectives and strategies. As a result, the report is extremely vague and ambiguous. For Greens there were two issues which were particularly problematic: 1) In our view there is a misunderstanding regarding the existing structures and capabilities of CSDP. The rapporteur, supported by EPP and ALDE argued that CSDP can be one instrument for the implementing both clauses. and (2) More problematic is the link to NATO and the vagueness regarding European military capabilities. The report does not clarify how NATO Art. 5 and the Mutual Assistance/Defence clause should be linked or not linked politically and militarily. In our view we cannot (mis-)use the EU Assistance clause for (indirectly) integrating countries like Ireland, Austria, Sweden, etc. into NATO and its nuclear weapons arrangements. In addition, the vagueness regarding European military capabilities is unacceptable because it does not include or exclude integrating French and British nuclear weapons into the implementation toolbox for both clauses.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) I voted for this report and fully support the possibilities offered by all the relevant provisions of the Treaty, in particular the mutual defence clause and the solidarity clause, in providing European citizens with the same guarantees of security from conventional and non-conventional threats. It is also important to remind Member States of their unequivocal obligation to provide aid and assistance by all the means in their power to a Member State that is the victim of armed aggression on its territory.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Common Security and Defence Policy has two important underlying principles: the solidarity clause and the mutual defence clause. These two clauses have different implications when ‘activated’. However, they both require not only greater cooperation on the part of the Member States, but also the development of their military capabilities. An integrated response to attacks and/or disasters that may affect the European Union as a whole must be developed by creating a system for coordinating means of response to the widest possible range of crises. Only in this way can the Union take advantage of the full potential offered by the Treaty clauses. For those reasons, I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution on ‘EU mutual defence and solidarity clauses: political and operational dimensions’ given that the security of the EU and of the Member States is indivisible and all European citizens must enjoy the same levels of security and protection against conventional and non-conventional threats. Protecting peace, security, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom in Europe is crucial for the welfare of our nations and must remain a primary objective and responsibility of the Union and its Member States. I believe that European Members States must have reliable military capabilities and I encourage them to intensify their collaboration to develop such capabilities, for example, through the complementary EU and NATO ‘pooling and sharing’ and ‘Smart Defence’ initiatives, which offer a vital solution at a time of defence budget cuts. If a Member State is targeted by a terrorist attack or suffers a man-made or natural disaster, the Union and the Member States must act together, in the spirit of solidarity, and provide assistance at the request of that Member State’s authorities.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR), in writing. This report examines the current scope, and future potential, of two clauses of the Treaty of Lisbon – Article 42(7) TEU otherwise known as the ‘mutual assistance clause’, and Article 222 TFEU, or ‘mutual solidarity clause’. The first is a duplication of Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, creating an illusion that the EU has capabilities which it does not possess. This is misleadingly dangerous and we oppose it. However, the mutual solidarity clause does have some merit – for example if one Member State is overwhelmed by a natural disaster. It is essentially a civil mutual assistance contingency. Of course, such assistance would normally be provided on an urgent bilateral basis by neighbouring countries and there is no reason to set up yet more EU structures. For these reasons, the ECR abstained in the final vote on this report.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) Under the cloak of so-called mutual defence and ‘solidarity’ clauses, the European Parliament is asking the EU to commit further to a European defence policy. The mutual defence clause (Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union) provides for an ‘obligation’ for Member States to react ‘by all the means in their power’ in the event of armed aggression against a fellow Member State, which goes further than NATO’s mutual assistance clause, given that unarmed attacks will also be concerned. The solidarity clause (Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) paves the way for military interventions within the European Union, in particular in the event of a terrorist attack, or a natural or man-made disaster. Can social unrest and strikes be considered as ‘man-made disasters’? This report prefers military approaches to initiatives for peace and even to civil defence measures both inside and outside the Union. In particular, it presses for greater militarisation and armament of the EU. Such encouragement is ill-timed, to say the least, when we consider the warmongering tendencies of some Member States and when, in the height of irony, the EU has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

 
  
  

Report: Tunne Kelam (A7-0335/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I support this report, which draws attention to the need for greater cooperation and consistency in terms of cyber security and defence. Only in this way can we better tackle these challenges, which, in my opinion, require the Member States to develop their cyber security and defence plans in parallel with the European Union’s own comprehensive approach to this issue. I believe that the European Union should take action by starting to negotiate directly with the private sector on more rapid exchange of information, while always respecting the anonymity of partnerships in the private sector, and guaranteeing a balance between security measures and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. In particular, the European Union should invest in its transatlantic relations with the United States in order to strengthen cooperation in this area.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. I voted in favour of this resolution which urges Member States to complete without further delay their national cyber security and defence strategies and national contingency plans, and also to include cyber crisis management in crisis management plans and risk analyses. I support the rapporteur that the EU is currently missing an exhaustive overview of the existing cyber security challenges and is also lacking common definitions, standards and a united approach to these threats. Politically-motivated cyber attacks are targeting not only the information systems but also critical infrastructures of the Member States which are seeking to implement a crucial task in creating mutual trust between the state and private sector actors by developing frameworks for rapid information exchanges while guaranteeing anonymity of the private sector partners. One of ways to strengthen cyber security and defence is to enhance the role of the European Defence Agency and the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) in assisting Member States, in helping to pool and share experience and in developing good practices.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. I voted against this report because, once again, this Parliament adopted a text based on a clear example of threat exaggeration. Cyber-terrorism is something that many experts of terrorism do not consider a serious threat. I believe that introducing the concept that cyber-terrorism could be faced from the European Union by military means is completely wrong and instrumental to a distortion of the EU’s approach to the subject of the fight against new forms of criminality.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this report, the main objective of which is to introduce comprehensive cyber security at all levels of the European Union and, if the need arises, a cyber security and defence strategy. Threats to cyber security are by their nature cross-border threats, and therefore call for a response at European level, with the support of Member States.

 
  
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  Erik Bánki (PPE), in writing. (HU) Cyber crime has now reached an unprecedented and global scale and for this reason we can only combat it by changing tack and adopting a global strategy. We can only defend ourselves effectively and successfully against cyber attacks if we take a concerted approach based on close cooperation between the institutions of the European Union, the Member States, NATO, international stakeholders, and civilian and military defence forces. The specialist knowledge which has been building up in the private sector will be very useful in this regard. Accordingly, I cast my vote in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this proposal on cyber security and defence in the EU. In today’s globalised world, cyber threats and attacks are growing and there is a threat to countries’ security and stability and it is therefore very important to develop a more stringent policy in the European Union for a high level of EU network and information security. A broad EU cyber security strategy needs to be developed, providing a definition of cyber security and defence and of a cyber attack. The development of a strategy should take into account good practices in those Member States which already have national cyber security strategies. I welcome the proposal to strengthen the efforts of the EU Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and national CERTs and to develop national contingency plans which could be used in the event of a cyber attack. An EU Cyber Coordination post needs to be established. I welcome the calls on the European Defence Agency (EDA) to deepen its cooperation with NATO, the European Cybercrime Centre at Europol and the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) and to concentrate on capacity building, training and the exchange of information.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) I support Mr Kelam’s report on cyber security and defence. Europe is facing a problem that is at once new and bound up in the ordinary life of every citizen. The report outlines and places in context all aspects of this problem, stating clearly the challenges facing the individual Member States and the EU, and pointing out that there are numerous obstacles of a political, legislative and organisational nature in the EU and its Member States to the development of a comprehensive and unified approach to cyber defence and cyber security. Sharing and coordination between Member States and the EU is still insufficient, while clear definitions of ‘cyber security’ and ‘cyber defence’ are lacking. A clear balance has to be established between security measures and citizens’ rights, such as the right to privacy, data protection and freedom of expression. Europe must respond to these challenges as swiftly as possible with an approach that is coordinated within the EU institutions, and with and between Member States, as well as with public and private partners.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because all countries throughout the world, not only those in the EU, are heavily dependent on information and communication technologies. With nearly two billion users worldwide, cyberspace has become a powerful tool for advancing democratic ideas and rallying people as they seek to realise their aspirations for freedom and to fight against dictatorships. It is worth noting that the majority of perpetrators of high level cyber attacks that threaten national or international security and defence are never identified and prosecuted. There is also no internationally agreed form of response to a state-backed cyber attack against another state, nor an understanding of whether this could be considered a casus belli. Given that cyber challenges, threats and attacks have recently been growing at a dramatic pace, an agreement on a system of in-depth protection needs to be adopted which at the same time would leave cyberspace open to the free flow of ideas.

 
  
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  Sebastian Valentin Bodu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The last few years have seen the creation in the public and private sectors of emergency rapid intervention teams comprising IT experts capable of quickly and efficiently tackling IT security attacks and cyber threats. These are a key component in the defence strategy aimed at preventing, detecting and remedying security breaches. These teams advise their clients about their systems’ weaknesses and tell them how to reduce their security risks.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the report on cyber security and defence because it proposes what I consider to be important initiatives, such as the creation of an EU cyber coordination post or the possibility of invoking the solidarity clause in the event of a serious cyber attack against a Member State. In 2007, Estonia was the first country in the world to fall victim to such an attack, perpetrated by Russia.

 
  
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  Alain Cadec (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted for the Kelam report, which rightly underlines the need for a comprehensive and consistent approach to cyber security issues. In the current context of globalisation, the European Union and its Member States have indeed developed a vital dependency on the security of cyberspace. I welcome the rapporteur’s proposal to create an EU cyber coordination post. I also support the possibility of invoking the solidarity clause in the event of a serious cyber attack against a Member State.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Cyber security is a colossal challenge for the European Union. Cyber attacks constitute an indisputable threat to the defence, stability and competitiveness of the European area. The rapporteur states that the digital environment is witnessing increasing attacks, and underlines that a majority of the attacks in this area are currently politically motivated. I voted in favour of this report as the EU must take steps to guarantee the secure use of information and digital technologies, and equip itself with reliable services and associated infrastructures ensuring cyber security and defence.

 
  
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  Birgit Collin-Langen (PPE), in writing. In the context of the constantly globalised world, the cyber security constitutes one of the most ambitious challenges. In that order, further intensification of relations at the EU level should be guarantied by the safe and secure use of information and digital technologies as well as provided with the reliable information cervices and related infrastructures. The Kelam report on cyber security and defence recalls growing aggressiveness of the digital sphere, underlying that currently large majority of the treats in this field are of a politically motivated nature. I agree with the rapporteur’s opinion that cyber attack is one of the indisputable threat for the defence, stability and competitiveness and have its negative impact in both EU and globally. I welcome EU initiatives in the framework of the cyber security, especially the establishment of the European Cybercrime Centre. Although, on my opinion, it is essential to elaborate the concrete and accorded plan of the security and defence and develop the cyber security structures and units. Additionally I think that deeper and constructive dialogue with private partners can enforce the inclusive cooperation of different actors and ensure the better use of information system.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) I believe that critical IT infrastructure protection must be part of the EU internal security strategy so as to increase security levels for citizens and businesses.