Procedure : 2011/2948(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0694/2011

Texts tabled :


Debates :

OJ 13/12/2011 - 146

Votes :

PV 14/12/2011 - 7.10

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0693/2011

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels (15 December 2011) (2011/2948(RSP))

Hannes Swoboda, Véronique De Keyser, Knut Fleckenstein, Kristian Vigenin, Boris Zala, Mitro Repo on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels (15 December 2011) (2011/2948(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the Russian Federation, which entered into force in 1997 and has been extended pending its replacement by a new agreement,

–   having regard to the ongoing negotiations for a new agreement providing a new comprehensive framework for EU-Russia relations, as well as to the ‘Partnership for Modernisation’ initiated in 2010,

–   having regard to the objectives of the EU and Russia, set out in the joint statement issued following the 11th EU-Russia Summit held in St Petersburg on 31 May 2003, of setting up a common economic space, a common space of freedom, security and justice, a common space of cooperation in the field of external security and a common space of research and education, including cultural aspects,

–   having regard to the European Parliament’s previous reports and resolutions on Russia and on EU-Russia relations, in particular the one on the EU-Russia Summit in Nizhny Novgorod, adopted in June 2011, and the one on the preparations for the Russian State Duma elections in December, adopted in July 2011,

–   having regard to the joint Final Statement and Recommendations of the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee meeting of 19-20 September 2011 in Warsaw,

–   having regard to the EU-Russia Consultations on Human Rights,

–   having regard to the agenda of the EU-Russia Summit to be held in Brussels on 15 December 2011,

–   having regard to the outcome of the Russian State Duma elections of 4 December 2011,

–   having regard to the Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, on the Duma elections in the Russian Federation of 6 December 2011,

–   having regard to the ‘Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions’ (5 December 2011) - the result of the monitoring activity developed by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE),

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the relations between the EU and Russia are constantly developing over the past decades, in spite of the severe effects of the economic crisis, leading to deep and comprehensive economic integration and interdependency, which is bound to increase even more in the future;

B.  whereas the conclusion of a Strategic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation remains of the utmost importance for the further development and intensification of cooperation between the two partners;

C. whereas the December accession of the Russian Federation to the World Trade Organisation will make a substantial contribution to the further improvement of economic relations between Russia and the European Union and stimulate the investments;

D. whereas security of energy supply is one of the biggest challenges for Europe and one of the major fields of cooperation with Russia; whereas joint efforts must be made to make full and efficient use of the energy and of the energy transportation systems, both those already existing and those to be further developed;

E.  whereas it is important that the EU to speak with one voice, show solidarity and display unity in its relations with the Russian Federation, and base those relations on mutual interests and common values;

F.  whereas there remains concern about developments in the Russian Federation with regard to respect for and the protection of human rights and respect for commonly agreed democratic principles, rules and procedures; whereas the Russian Federation is a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and has therefore committed itself to the principles of democracy and respect for human rights;

G. whereas the EU and Russia could and should together play an active role in establishing peace and stability at global level and on the European continent, in particular in the common neighbourhood (in the South Caucasus and in the Republic of Moldova), in North Africa and in the Middle East, and work together to achieve a peaceful settlement under international law of the protracted conflicts in these regions;

H. whereas political pluralism is a cornerstone of democracy and modern society, and a source of political legitimacy; where the elections should be based on the implementation of election standards set by the Council of Europe and the OSCE;

1.  Reaffirms its belief that Russia remains one of European Union’s most important partners in building strategic cooperation, sharing not only economic and trade interests but also the objective of acting closely together in the common neighbourhood as well as at global level;

2.  Notes that the Summit in Brussels will focus on common challenges facing both the EU and Russia (such as the economic and financial crisis, the Partnership for Modernisation, the implication of Russia’s accession to WTO, energy and energy-security related issues, mobility and visa-free dialogue between EU and Russia, migration, international and regional issues, cooperation in crisis management);

3. Welcomes the conclusion of negotiations for Russia’s accession to the WTO and is looking forward to a unanimous political endorsement of Russia’s WTO accession at the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference on 15-17 December 2011; expresses its conviction that Russia’s membership in the WTO will also prove an important stepping stone for deepening the bilateral economic integration, including through the conclusion of the ongoing negotiation on the New Agreement;

4. Underlines the importance of further deepening the economic and trade cooperation in between the EU and Russia, facilitated by instruments like the G20; notes that the agenda of the last G20 summit in Cannes was dealing with issues relevant for all our economies: social consequences of globalisation, transparency of energy markets, volatility of agricultural prices, development of the poorest countries, fight against corruption, climate change;

5.  Expresses its support for developing the future relations with Russia with maintained focus on concluding the new EU-Russia agreement in due time, and by concentrating on articulate practical cooperation, joint projects and implementation of commitments and agreements made so far; notes the evolution in the previous rounds of talks on the new EU-Russia Agreement and calls on the parties to have an approach based on genuinely shared common values and interests;

6.  Underlines its confidence the Partnership for Modernisation might promote reform and give renewed momentum to the EU-Russia relationship, develop the mutual lucrative cooperation on trade, economy and energy security, while contributing to the global economic recovery; calls on the Russian authorities to adopt a stable and fair legal framework to properly regulate the business activity; stresses the importance of a well-developed judicial system and of the fight against corruption as key elements for the modernisation of the state;

7.  Welcomes the very good progress that has been made in the area of migration and mobility by establishing the EU-Russia Migration Dialogue and identifying the Common Steps in the framework of the visa liberalisation dialogue; reiterates the commitment for the long-term objective of visa free travel between the EU and Russia, based on a step-by-step approach focused on substance and practical progress;

8.  Comments the inauguration of the Nord Stream pipeline and considers that such projects are strengthening the relations between Russia and the EU Member States; underlines the mutual importance of collaboration in the field of energy for Russia and the EU, representing an opportunity for further trade and economic cooperation, in an opened and transparent market, with full understand for the EU need for diversification of channels of transportation and energy providers; stresses that the principles of interdependence and transparency should be the basis of such cooperation, together with equal access to markets, infrastructure and investment; reiterates the EU interest in a balanced trilateral EU-Russia-Ukraine solution on future gas flows to the EU;

9.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that the principles of the Energy Charter Treaty and the Transit Protocol annexed thereto are included in a new Partnership Agreement between the EU and Russia; welcomes the signature in February 2011 of an updated Early Warning Mechanism to further improve the coordination in case of supply or demand emergencies;

10. Calls on discussions on climate change, how to cooperate concretely on measures to reduce greenhouse gases, improve energy efficiency and sustainable energy development; underlines the necessity of consensus on how to move forward the international negotiations process on climate change;

11. Notes with interest that the Presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement for the establishment of a central integration body for the three countries, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) on the 18 November 2011, a step in establishing the Common Economic Space (CES), known as well as the Eurasian Economic Union;

12. Calls upon the Russian authorities to join the international community in tightening the measures against the regime of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, particularly now, after the UN Human Rights Council has strongly condemned “the continued widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights” in Syria, where the government is entering its ninth month of a bloody crackdown on democratic protesters;

13. Calls on the Russian Federation to play a constructive role, in the framework of the United Nations, as part of the global effort to block Iran’s attempts to enrich uranium and other nuclear activities aiming at building nuclear weapons; calls on the Russian authorities to join the international sanctions against Iranian entities in response to the storming of the British Embassy in Teheran;

14. Calls on the Presidency, the Council and the Commission to pursue joint initiatives with the Russian Government aimed at strengthening security and stability in the common neighbourhood, in particular by joint actions aiming to resolve the exceptional issues in South Caucasus, including the implementation of all earlier commitments, and the conflict in the Republic of Moldova, where the negotiations in the 5+2 format (Moldova, Transnistria, Russia, Ukraine and OSCE next to EU and USA as observers) were recently resumed;

15. Underlines the importance of the continuous exchange of views on human rights with Russia within the EU-Russia Human Rights Consultations as a way to consolidate our interoperability in all the fields of cooperation and demands an improvement in the format of these meetings in order to gain effectiveness, with special attention for common action against racism and xenophobia and to open this process to an effective input from the European Parliament, the State Duma and the human rights NGOs, whether the dialogue takes place in Russia or in an EU Member State;

16. Note the outcome of the Duma elections in the Russian Federation and the fact that the elections, as noted by the international observers from OSCE/ODIHR in their preliminary conclusions, were technically well prepared and administered; expresses its serious concerns following the reports of procedural violations, such as lack of media impartiality, lack of separation between party and state, and the harassments of independent monitoring attempts;

17. Notes with concern the information issued by the Golos election watchdog organisation which reported numerous elections violations, while its website, together with other radio and newspapers websites were under cyber-attack; notes with concern the events following the elections: detention of dozens of protesting opposition activists, journalists and harassment of independent NGOs; call for an immediate and full investigation of all reports of fraud and intimidation, and sanction of those found responsible;

18. Encourage the Russian authorities to address with maximum attention the preliminary and, in the months to come, the final reports issued by OSCE/ODIHR, as well as those issued by observers representing the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, together with the findings of the local observers, in order to improve their electoral democratic practices;

19. Calls on the Russian authorities to guarantee, in accordance with the standards assumed as Council of Europe’s and OSCE’s members, a free and fair process in the March 2011 presidential elections in order to ensure that the opposition candidates have the possibility of participating in those elections and the opportunity to conduct a competitive election campaign, whilst fully respecting the principle of freedom of expression; calls on Russia to create the possibility for sufficient and efficient observation of the elections, in accordance with the OSCE/ODIHR and CoE standards;

20. Is of the opinion that the outcome of the Duma elections, and the subsequent display of activism on the part of ordinary citizens, civil society organisations and political parties, marks an important turning point in Russia’s domestic evolution, and testifies to the political maturity and sophistication of its public sphere; believes that the events highlight the need and opportunity for the authorities to embark on a broad-based reform programme to address political, economic and social challenges; recalls the commitment of the EU and its Member States to support such a process, including in the framework of the Partnership for Modernisation;

21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.

Last updated: 13 December 2011Legal notice