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Document selected : B8-0038/2015

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PV 15/01/2015 - 11.9

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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 37(3) of the Rules of Procedure and the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the Commission

on the Commission Work Programme 2015 (2014/2829(RSP))

David Borrelli, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Dario Tamburrano, Valentinas Mazuronis, Rolandas Paksas, on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on the Commission Work Programme 2015 (2014/2829(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Commission communication on the Commission Work Programme 2015 (COM(2014)0910),

–       having regard to the framework agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the Commission, in particular Annex IV thereto,

–       having regard to Rule 37(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the EU is facing the worst economic, social and political crisis since its foundation;

B.     whereas the economic and debt crises have emphasised the need for a new approach, whereby Member States have the possibility to implement their own fiscal and economic policies;

C.     whereas it is absolutely necessary to create an exit strategy from the eurozone giving Member States a choice to decide;

D.     whereas the global crisis has led to stagnation and recession, which has resulted in a huge negative impact on employment;

E.     whereas new procedures to avoid an uncontrolled EU Budget, paying particular attention to making savings wherever possible are essential;

F.     whereas the reduction of the EU’s administrative costs is important in a period of economic constraint;

G.     whereas EU policies as regards the establishment and development of trans‑European networks in the transport infrastructure sector have proved to be ineffective, excessively expensive and sometimes even detrimental;

H.     whereas there should be more focus on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are the main source of employment in Europe;

I.      whereas the level of unemployment and, in particular, youth unemployment in many Member States is blocking the strengthening of their economic potential, worsening social justice and overall social cohesion;

J.      whereas EU-imposed austerity policies have proved to be fruitless and damaging;

K.     whereas it is important to guarantee equal work for equal salary;

L.     whereas a form of direct democracy in which citizens make direct decisions would give legitimacy to and increase participation in the decision‑making process,

M.    whereas any new treaties or modifications to the existing treaties are to be submitted to the peoples’ vote through free and fair national referenda in the Member States;

Key priorities

1.      Urges for a review of economic governance to move from austerity policies to a new, greater freedom for action for Member States; believes that all the economic and statistical indicators show a dangerous and widespread recessionary trend in the European Union, due to the economic restrictions imposed at EU level; points out that it is absolutely necessary completely to change the current approach, giving Member States the possibility to implement their own fiscal and economic policies without constraints;

2.      Notes that Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union stipulates that a Member State can leave the Union, but makes no provision with regard to the possibility of abandoning the single European currency; emphasises, therefore, the importance of giving Member States this option, also taking into account the opt-out option guaranteed to the UK and Denmark;

3.      Insists that a better use of taxpayers’ money is fundamental; stresses the importance of reducing the EU’s administrative costs in a period of economic constraints; points out that it is unacceptable to have an EU Budget out of control and insists on the need for savings to be made wherever possible, starting with the excessive costs of EU bureaucracy;

4.      Demands much greater control and auditing of the EU budget; calls on the Commission, as a mandatory requirement, to obtain a positive statement of assurance (DAS) from the Court of Auditors within two years; stresses the importance of greater accountability for EU spending by calling on each Commissioner to give a mandatory signature to the annual activity report of the corresponding DGs for which they are competent;

5.      Believes that, in the area of migration and home affairs, it is important that there be constant monitoring and analysis of how EU home affairs funds are spent, also taking into account emergency funds devoted to actions in the field of migration and asylum, border control, and the fight against smuggling and trafficking in order to oversee their effectiveness and prevent possible abuses and mismanagement; calls for this analysis to be coupled with an evaluation of funds relating to EU foreign and development policy aimed at addressing the root causes of migration;

6.      Notes that the European policies on the establishment and development of trans‑European networks in the transport infrastructure sector have proved to be ineffective, excessively expensive and sometimes even detrimental; considers that more and more passengers are choosing air transport when travelling long distances; points out that it is necessary to rethink and review current planned projects, putting aside the idea of supporting big projects with a major environmental and financial impact; urges for transport systems to be based on environmentally friendly grounds and for intermodality to be used as a tool to cut costs and pollution and at the same time strengthen interconnections among different modes of transport, in line with the individual wishes of each Member State;

7.      Stresses that the EU’s current energy policy is not working and needs a different approach; notes that new alternative energy sources and innovative technologies make it possible to rethink the current set of European policies on climate and energy, identifying new action plans for sustainable and efficient systems; points out that it is necessary to abandon the EU’s current strategy and adopt different forms;

8.      Strongly regrets that the new Commission’s approach towards the legislative and non-legislative acts to be adopted in 2015, especially in some key policy areas such as environment, health and transport, has led to the withdrawal of many ongoing or already adopted proposals, thus leading to high degrees of legal and regulatory uncertainty and a lack of confidence; highlights that this is one of the major problems to be addressed by the Commission itself in order to bridge the investment gap in Europe;

9.      Urges the Commission to maintain all the specific proposals in the circular economy package, especially that on waste, as adopted by the Commission on 2 July 2014, and all the proposals contained in the clean air package as adopted on 18 December 2013, given their high potential for job creation, improvements to resource security, environmental protection and greater regulatory certainty;

10.    Point out that culture and tourism could help the European economy to overcome the current crisis, stimulating SMEs that work in these sectors; notes that although culture and tourism do not fall into the competence areas of the European Union outside of a basic coordination and support system for Member States, it is necessary to foster the development of important cultural, natural and touristic heritage, with greater and better support for the creation of a solid enterprise system capable of ensuring economic growth and new quality jobs; points out that it is necessary to take into account the individual characteristics of each Member State, such as differences in the gastronomy sector; highlights, similarly, the fact that special attention should be paid to cultural heritage and religious tourism, in order to foster growth thereof;

11.    Expresses regret that the Bank Guarantee Fund included in the Creative Europe Framework programme has undergone a heavy delay and its operational starting has been postponed to 2016, although cultural and creative industries and, in particular, SMEs have been suffering for a long time the credit crunch problem, in particular due to the huge requests by banks for financial guarantees; calls for an increase in economic resources that enhance formative, operational and financial guarantee tools to effectively support the cultural and creative sector;

12.    Points out that European cultural statistics which offer data on enterprises in cultural sectors, unemployment in cultural sectors, external trade in cultural goods, cultural participation and other cultural statistics are not hitherto available, thereby seriously affecting the design and implementation of tailored strategies which address the massive challenges associated with diversified European cultural;

13.    Notes that the social dumping phenomenon has turned out to be widespread and problematic, especially in light of the current liberalisation process and the free movement of people and goods across the EU area; notes that the outsourcing of production to countries where labour laws are less strict or where labour costs are lower is an important problem which leads to distortions in the labour market; points out that it is therefore necessary to eliminate the social dumping phenomenon;

14.    Highlights the fact that the free movement of goods and people has determined a significant level of internationalisation of transport activities by companies in different Member States; notes that illegal cabotage allows companies to operate in a situation of unfair competition as they provide the same services in a Member State, while taking advantage of different social and labour costs in their country of origin; stresses that it is necessary to combat this phenomenon;

15.    Expresses concern at the fact that women risk facing discrimination in the job market, both in terms of access to employment and carrying out personal activities; notes that it is necessary to oppose any discrimination in the work place and, in particular, against any ‘glass ceilings’ that may prevent women from advancing their careers; stresses, furthermore, that it is necessary to fight against illegal labour among women and their exploitation in ‘invisible’ or ‘dummy corporation’ positions, without real involvement in work activities;

16.    Is deeply concerned by the alarming rate of unemployment and considers it fundamental to combat the high unemployment rates, especially for young people; condemns any EU legislation that imposes administrative burdens and further bureaucratic obstacles on SMEs, which are the major source of jobs and growth creation; stresses that there should be more focus on supporting SMEs, which are the main source of employment in Europe;

17.    Underlines the necessity for adequate minimum income schemes to bring about greater social convergence between the Member States and contribute to poverty reduction;

18.    Believes that the best way to promote growth and boost employment is to reduce the cost of labour taxes; Strongly opposes EU‑imposed austerity on Member States, which is putting pressure on salaries and labour;

19.    Is concerned by the skills mismatch that cuts young people off from their futures, while leading to thousands of unfilled positions across the continent due to a chronic skills gap; believes that a new approach must be considered which focuses more on teaching the trades and skills that the economy of each Member State requires;

20.    Highlights the fact that the financial crisis has had a dramatic effect on public investment; notes that it generally reduced it by 20 % in real terms between 2008 and 2013 and by 60 % in the most affected Member States; expresses serious concern about the issue of the EU’s unpaid bills (for 2011-2012 were EUR 11 billion, for 2012‑2013 EUR 16 billion, and for 2013-2014 as high as EUR 23.4 billion) and over the delays in the implementation of operational programmes, and believes that this uncertain situation may create problems for citizens and individual companies; is worried about the remarkable inconsistency between the Commission’s supposed goal of raising the performance of the European Structural and Investment Funds with more visible results and the current situation;

21.    Asks the Commission to enhance transparency in trade negotiations that have a direct effect on citizens and public services; welcomes the decision to declassify Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) documents, and notes that the same procedure should be followed for other plurilateral and bilateral agreements, such as the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) or the investment agreements with Japan, Vietnam and China;

22.    Believes that a form of direct democracy in which citizens make direct decisions concerning the Community should be implemented in order to increase their participation; reiterates its view that such measures are absolutely necessary in a democratic society, allowing for the preservation of justice, freedom and participation;

23.    Highlights the importance of submitting to a vote by the people, through free and fair national referenda in the Member States, new treaties or any modifications to the existing treaties;

24.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

Last updated: 13 January 2015Legal notice