Index 
The Week
22-06-2005(b)
Remembering the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states
European Council and Luxembourg Presidency
Tony Blair: "a moment of decision for Europe"
Resolution on Council Meeting postponed
European Parliament strongly supports the Statute for MEPs
One frontier for the EU - A new regulation on border controls
Freezing funds for weapon dealers in Sudan and Congo
Access to Community external assistance
Lloyd's of London Names - MEPs pile further pressure on European Commission
Reform of the Stability Pact gets go-ahead
More reliable statistics on government borrowing
Dangerous substances - update of directive
Relations with industrial countries - 17 million euros towards greater understanding
Salary adjustment for EU staff
More cooperation in tackling fraud
Rebuilding stocks of Greenland halibut
MEPs to welcome boost for EU security research
World Summit on Information Society (WSIS)

Plenary Session
22-23 June 2005
Brussels

Tony Blair launches UK Presidency - a moment
of decision for Europe

June European Council and Luxembourg Presidency

Lloyd's of London - MEPs pile pressure on Commission

Codes for parliamentary procedures

A series

Reports and recommendations

B series

Resolutions and oral questions

C series

Documents of other institutions

*

Consultation procedure

**I

Cooperation procedure (1st reading)

**II

Cooperation procedure (2nd reading)

***

Assent procedure

***I

Codecision procedure (1st reading)

***II

Codecision procedure (2nd reading)

***III

Codecision procedure (3rd reading)

Abbreviations

- Political groups: see next page

BE

Belgium

IT

Italy

PL

Poland

CZ

Czech Republic

CY

Cyprus

PT

Portugal

DK

Denmark

LV

Latvia

SI

Slovenia

DE

Germany

LT

Lithuania

SK

Slovakia

EE

Estonia

LU

Luxembourg

FI

Finland

EL

Greece

HU

Hungary

SE

Sweden

ES

Spain

MT

Malta

UK

United Kingdom

FR

France

NL

Netherlands

   

IE

Ireland

AT

Austria

   

Conversion rates 

1 euro = £ sterling 0.67 as at 24.06.2005

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Editor:

Richard Freedman

Secretariat:

Sarah Donohoe

       
     
   

Brussels:

Strasbourg:

PHS 00A027

IPE3 F02/001

B-1047 Brussels

BP1024, F-67070 Strasbourg

Tel. (32-2) 28 41448

Tel. (33) 3 88 1 74751/73785

Fax (32-2) 28 46515

Fax (33) 3 88 1 79355

 

e-mail: presse-en@europarl.eu.int

Internet: http://www.europarl.eu.int/press/index_publi_en.htm

 

Close: 24 June 2005


Political groups in the European Parliament
Situation as at: 24.06.2005

 

EPP-ED

PES

ALDE

Greens / EFA

GUE / NGL

IND / DEM

UEN

NA

Total

BE

6

7

6

2

     

3

24

CZ

14

2

   

6

1

 

1

24

DK

1

5

4

1

1

1

1

 

14

DE

49

23

7

13

7

     

99

EE

1

3

2

         

6

EL

11

8

   

4

1

   

24

ES

24

24

2

3

1

     

54

FR

17

31

11

6

3

3

 

7

78

IE

5

1

1

 

1

1

4

 

13

IT

24

15

12

2

7

4

9

5

78

CY

3

 

1

 

2

     

6

LV

3

 

1

1

   

4

 

9

LT

2

2

7

     

2

 

13

LU

3

1

1

1

       

6

HU

13

9

2

         

24

MT

2

3

           

5

NL

7

7

5

4

2

2

   

27

AT

6

7

1

2

     

2

18

PL

19

10

4

   

10

7

4

54

PT

9

12

   

3

     

24

SI

4

1

2

         

7

SK

8

3

         

3

14

FI

4

3

5

1

1

     

14

SE

5

5

3

1

2

3

   

19

UK

27

19

12

5

1

10

 

4

78

Total

267

201

89

42

41

36

27

29

732

Ottaviano DEL TURCO (PES, IT) - 01.05.2005

Theresa VILLIERS (EPP-ED, UK) - 10.05.2005
Christopher HUHNE (ALDE, UK) - 10.05.2005
Antonio DE POLI (EPP-ED, IT) - 15.05.2005
Mercedes BRESSO (PES, IT) - 24.05.2005
Brice HORTEFEUX (EPP-ED, FR) - 02.06.2005

Syed Salah KAMALL (EPP-ED, UK) - 12.05.2005
Sharon Margaret BOWLES (ALDE, UK) - 12.05.2005
Vincenzo LAVARRA (PES, IT) - 24.05.2005
Giiovanni RIVERA (ALDE, IT) - 25.05.2005
Jean-Pierre AUDY (EPP-ED, FR) - 11.06.2005

Political groups

EPP-ED

Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats (includes the British Conservatives, the one Ulster Unionist MEP and Fine Gael from Ireland)

PES

Socialist Group in the European Parliament (includes the British Labour MEPs and the one Irish Labour Party MEP)

ALDE

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (includes the British Liberal Democrats and one independent MEP from Ireland)

GREENS/EFA

Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (includes the British Greens, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru)

GUE/NGL

Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (includes the two Sinn Fein MEPs)

IND/DEM

Independence and Democracy Group (includes 10 UKIP MEPs and one independent MEP from Ireland)

UEN

Union for Europe of the Nations Group (includes the Irish Fianna Fail Members)

NA

Non-attached MEPs

Statements

Remembering the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states
 
22.06.2005

Opening the session, President Josep BORRELL said it was 65 years from the occasion in June 1940 when three present Member States of the EU, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, lost their independence as a result of occupation by the Soviet Union.

"For half a century, they lost their human rights and suffered terror and deportations. In these difficult times for the EU, we should recall the accession of the Baltic states to the EU, convinced this would help build their freedom and prosperity. We should now proceed to work together in building a united Europe based on shared values. This must be based on respect for human rights and it requires constant vigilance. Those who forget history risk repeating it."


European Council

European Council and Luxembourg Presidency
European Council report and Commission statement - European Council Meeting (16-17 June 2005)
Council statement - work of the Luxembourg presidency
Debate : 22.06.2005

Rising to prolonged applause from MEPs, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude JUNCKER said that it was time to take stock of the work done under the Luxembourg presidency. He recalled the agreement on reform of the Stability Pact, which had ended a long period of uncertainty. The new version respected both stability and growth, he said, improving the preventive aspect, and adding a more economic sense to the Pact, without making it over-flexible. He spoke of the new impetus given to the Lisbon strategy, pointing out that the June European Council had agreed on a new body of guidelines, the basis for national reform plans to be adopted with greater commitment at national level. This, he said, was an important event: "Those who call for modernisation of the EU while giving the impression that others are blind to the challenges ahead should read their own decisions and apply them rather than constantly calling for new ones." He also referred to the commitment of all the Member States to increase official development assistance to 0.56 per cent of GDP by 2010 as a staging post to 0.7 per cent by 2015.

Mr Juncker said he was proud of having brought Europeans and Americans closer together, noting the successful joint organisation by the EU and US of a conference on Iraq, something that would have been hard to imagine a year earlier. Significant progress had been made too in relations with Russia.

Turning to the Financial Perspective, Mr Juncker quoted his own words from his speech to Parliament in January: "'We will do all in our power to reach an agreement, but we have no illusions. Member States have taken entrenched positions from which it will be hard to break out.' I was right!" he said. "Those responsible for the failure are saying there is no crisis, but there is, and it is not just a financial crisis." He said he was sure any future compromise would change only marginally from the size of budget put forward in the final presidency compromise.

Emphasising the many hours of individual meetings and general debate between EU leaders, he stressed that no-one had called for the retention of the UK rebate as it stands today. "Our final compromise stuck to the principle of the rebate, without a freeze. It would have continued as before, but with the UK co-financing cohesion policy for the new Member States with the exclusion of the CAP. This would have been equivalent to a rebate of 5.5 billion per year, more than the average for 1984-2005." This final proposal made it impossible to provide the easing of the burden on the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden previously proposed, but the UK had not been prepared to accept it, he said.

The Presidency, he said, had proposed asking the Commission to review the whole of the EU budget in greater detail, including the CAP, to take a new decision, which could change the Financial Perspective by the end of 2008. He stressed that his existing proposal would have reduced CAP spending by 17 per cent for the EU15 or 5 per cent for the EU25. In 1985, agriculture amounted to more than 46 per cent of Community spending; by 2013 it would have been 37 per cent. "This is a long way to move - it is obstinacy not to realise this," he said, pointing out that increases had been planned for financing the Lisbon objectives and justice and home affairs matters, notably tackling cross-border crime.

On the comparison between CAP spending and EU funding for research, he said, "People talk all sorts of rubbish. You have to compare like with like." Since research spending was primarily on a national basis with support from the EU, while agriculture was wholly financed from the EU budget, the correct comparison was the EU budget for agriculture over the 2007-13, which was €305 billion, with the total of EU research spending plus national research spending, which was €524 billion at present rates. If Member States lived up to their Lisbon commitments, this would reach €785 billion by 2013, more than double CAP spending, he said.

"In summary, there is a disagreement, which we need to resolve to enable us to embark on our policy for the new Member States in 2007. We need a new formula which does not disappoint them - they have behaved remarkably well. I now look forward to concentrating on the future, without bitterness or any spirit of revenge."

On the Constitution, he said he believed the treaty was the answer to the concerns of European citizens, but in a situation where ten Member States had ratified the treaty and two had rejected it, the Council had agreed on the need for a longer period of reflection and debate in all the Member States. This debate was vital, and needed to include participation from the EU institutions, especially the Commission, he said.

Overall, he said, there were two emerging visions of Europe: "One vision concentrates on the virtues of the market, but is incapable of producing solidarity while the other looks for a politically integrated union. There is a debate to be held between those who think things have already gone too far and those, like me, who think we have not gone far enough. We must reconcile the two camps and the European institutions should be the bridge." He expressed confidence that those who wanted Europe to be a mere free trade zone would come to see that they needed the sort of political union described in the Constitution.

Mr Juncker praised both the Commission and Parliament for their cooperation during the last six months. He said he would miss his regular contact with Parliament - the EP had come of age and was a mature institution, he said, though it did need to work on ensuring greater attendance in the chamber.

Finally, Mr Juncker said he was pleased twenty out of twenty five Member States had been able to agree on the Financial Perspective, and proud to see the new Member States giving the others a lesson in ambition. "Those unable to speak that language should be ashamed of what they did," he said. "I was shaken in my convictions, but the support I have received since the summit makes me more determined than ever. Our generation does not have the right to unpick the achievements of its predecessors. Forthcoming generations will need a political Europe, we need solidarity and a social Europe. Old Europeans, convinced Europeans, let's get to work! Good luck!"
* * *
MEPs gave the Luxembourg Prime Minister a standing ovation.
* * *

Commission President

Commission President José Manuel BARROSO began by warning against being pessimistic in the face of Europe's current problems. "More than ever, we have to show our determination. We have to face up to these serious problems and be capable of solutions". He praised the "major achievements" under the Luxembourg Presidency and mentioned, in particular, the renewal of the Lisbon Strategy, a reinvigorated Stability and Growth Pact, and improved foreign relations. On the future of Europe after the referendums, he said that the Council had given the Commission a mandate to foster a period of "debate, dialogue and democracy". He said, "it is vital to build a new consensus on, and in, Europe. I hope at the end, we will be able to present all Europeans with our strategic vision for Europe. We must have this debate with no taboo subjects - expectations and objectives, the European Social model and its modernisation, the balance between Community legislation and red tape, and the issues relating to enlargement".

On the EU budget, he said that the key issue in the failure to reach an agreement, apart from the fundamental divergence of opinions and "clear national interests", had been the two "no" votes. This had meant that not all parties showed a true spirit of compromise and solidarity. But he remained optimistic about getting an agreement, in the light of the "very constructive approach" of the new Member States.

Touching briefly on enlargement, he conceded that an enlarged Union poses greater challenges, but, he insisted, the new Member States were not the cause of Europe's current problems. "We cannot go backwards. We must build on the outgoing Presidency's achievements to get a just budget agreement as soon as possible".

Regarding the British Presidency, he said he looked forward to the UK taking things forward. He was against any downgrading of the Parliament and Commission proposals and warned that growth, jobs, competitiveness, education, innovation and research would all suffer. He criticised the "1% club" for its role in the failure to reach an agreement on the budget. "We need conditions for 'yes' and not for 'no'".

On the Commission's role, he recalled that he had proposed a review clause for the Financial Perspective. This would allow an agreement to be reached that can then be adapted later to changing realities and priorities. He said he wanted to avoid paralysis and assured the House that important decisions were still being taken. In the light of Europe's problems, he urged all not to overlook the achievements, particularly those of the outgoing Council.

Finally, he referred to Europe's future and asked, "Is the glass half empty or half full?" A deal was closer than people thought. And he called on the EU to seize the opportunity that exists. "I call on everyone to reflect on the consequences of deadlock, to show less national rhetoric and engage in a truly European solution. There is still a lot of work to do, but together we will be able to convince Europe of our capacity to do business and not just business as usual". He concluded by thanking outgoing President Jean-Claude JUNCKER for his achievements, and warned that he would not do the same with the incoming President unless he expresses through his work "the same determination, dedication, and enthusiasm for our European Union".

Political group speakers

The leader of the EPP-ED group, Hans-Gert POETTERING (EPP-ED, DE), thanked Mr Juncker for his commitment, passion and conviction. Europe, he said, was now in a crisis, but we should work to prevent it being left rudderless. "We believe in Europe," he said, "and we need to create the political will to push Europe into a good future" There was a crisis of confidence, he said, both between the players of the European Council debate, and between the EU and its citizens, many of whom felt things had moved too fast. "Our goal is a strong, efficient, enabled EU, and we will fight against those who just want a free trade zone," he said. Mr Poettering rejected the idea of new "axes" between France and Germany or the UK and Germany if the leadership in the latter changed. He said we should take advantage of the pause to think through how parts one and two of the treaty could be implemented. "We need the Financial Perspective, especially for the central European countries who joined the EU in 2004. They built their plans on the basis of assured solidarity. We owe it to them and will display this solidarity."

For the Socialist group, Martin SCHULZ (DE) praised what he called Mr Juncker's extraordinary speech: "Never before have we heard such a frank presentation of a European Council meeting." He said the disagreement was a defeat for Europe but not a defeat for the presidency - Jean-Claude Juncker might in future be in the gallery of great Europeans. The failure was due to the Heads of State or Government who thought it was enough to think only of themselves. Two of the three institutions, Parliament and Commission, had done their homework on the Financial Perspective, while the Council had not, he said. It was impossible to reach and agreement if all the leaders were insisting they were right. Domestic politics had prevented the necessary compromises being made: "This behaviour is driving Europe into the wall." Mr Schulz said many of the 'no' votes on the Constitution had been based on a fear of destroying social security. This needed to be tackled by making major measures like the services directive into social rather than anti-social legislation, which was a challenge for the Commission, he said.

Speaking for the ALDE group, Graham WATSON (UK) applauded Mr Juncker's hard work to reach an agreement, but said the summit had been doomed to fail from the moment of the French 'no' vote. "The socialist cheerleaders for a 'no' vote in France have helped move towards the changes they most fear," he said, comparing the situation to a Greek tragedy. Mr Juncker had been unable to stand back and perceive that "the ailing dinosaurs, Britain and France, would be unable to agree. Britain wants a British Europe rather than a European Britain, while France is just as insular, without the excuse of being an island," he said. "There can only be one Europe." He said those who wanted a 1 per cent of GNI limit on the budget were preventing action to meet the Lisbon goals - and no agreement was better than an agreement at any cost. It was time, he said, to move on from the post-war concepts of the EU as a system for reconciliation and security of food supply. He called on Mr Juncker to go and win his own referendum, and then work to prevent the destruction of what had already been built. Quoting Aristotle, he concluded: "We may not always achieve our goals, but our pursuit of them changes the course of history."

Monica FRASSONI (IT), speaking on behalf of the Greens/EFA group, regretted that an "effective, charismatic and credible" President-in-Office had not been enough to avoid Europe's current crisis. The European Council meeting had merely confirmed that governments were divided and, to some extent, not holding "true European ambitions". It was a shame, she said, that Mr Juncker had concluded his Presidency with an unacceptable budget proposal, with unsustainable cuts to development policy and rural development policy. She regretted that, of the two visions of Europe - "major supermarket and political union - the economic Europe had been strengthened by the failure to reach agreement on the budget.

Anticipating the upcoming Presidency, she said that she expected "honeyed words and serious spin from Mr Blair, advocating a more intergovernmental and stronger Europe. The only plan B is the Blair plan". She expressed her support for a pause for reflection but said the ratification process should continue. She recommended reopening discussions on the CAP, Structural Funds, Life and Natura 2000 while strengthening a "marginalised" environmental policy, which would all help in the ratification process. Finally, she laid the blame with the Parliament. Addressing President Borrell, she said: "I want Parliament to do more than just a talking shop. I want you to make sure Parliament is at the centre of the debate on the future of Europe".

Francis WURTZ (FR), for the GUE/NGL group, described the European Council report as "honest, transparent and enlightening". He said that people had voted 'yes' to Europe, including an enlarged Europe, but 'no' to a shift to purely liberal values. Assessing the Council, he said "It has been a caricature of a selfish, trade-based Europe" and blamed the "club of six" - the six net contributors. He recommended three conditions for the debate on Europe to succeed: it must be free from pressure, open to the people of Europe, and capable of leading to a truly acceptable Constitution. Finally, he stressed the need to ensure that decisions reflect a willingness to listen and a determination to incorporate all feedback into decisions. The new President would have to look to the future of Europe.
Representing the IND/DEM group, Jens-Peter BONDE (DK) criticised the decision to continue the ratification procedure. "The constitution is dead and should be buried. Even you [President Juncker] cannot breathe life into a corpse". He called for a new convention to represent the views of the people, one that was practical, easy to understand and which could be voted on within two days across the EU.

For the UEN group, Guntars KRASTS (LT) said that the blame lay with Europe's politicians, who were too quick to claim credit for Europe's successes but attribute any failings to Brussels. The two visions for Europe - a political union or a free trade area - were, in fact, two sides of the same coin because there needed to be the right social and economic conditions for people to understand issues of integration. Finally, he said the Lisbon agreement proved the Council is a genuine partner, for unity and cohesion policy in particular.

Non-attached Member Koenraad DILLEN (BE) saw the key issue as being not how much money is available but rather, how money is spent in order to face Europe's challenges. He called for the subsidiarity principle to be fully respected. "Unbridled enlargement" was a mistake, he said, and the process of Turkish accession was "undemocratic" in the context of the two 'no' votes. Finally, he said of the failed EU budget talks, "It was a complete failure but not a total collapse".

British and Irish speakers

Struan STEVENSON (EPP-ED, UK) stated that he agreed with Tony Blair that it would be right to reform the CAP. The CAP, he said, represented 42 per cent of the EU's budget, but less than 4 per cent of the EU's workforce. He felt it was unfair that one country received 23.4 per cent of the total CAP budget. Mr Stevenson also said that while the Parliament's Environment Committee was introducing legislation on the sale of tobacco, the Agriculture Committee was granting €1 billion subsidies for tobacco. He said the EU had "lost touch" with its electorate. "Brave words were not matched with brave deeds", and, he said, the Parliament had practically "abandoned the services directive" and voted to end the opt-out on the working time directive. The Commission, he said, was planning to introduce a further 900 directives and he questioned whether this would make Europe more competitive. It was time, he concluded, for the EU "to wake up and smell the coffee".

Graham BOOTH (IND/DEM, UK) recalled that outgoing President Jean-Claude Juncker had spoken of a "window of opportunity" to agree the EU budget. He wondered whether this had been "naive or arrogant". He said that Mr Juncker had been determined to discuss the British rebate and therefore he blamed him for the failure to reach a budget agreement and for the wider crisis faced by Europe. He criticised Mr Juncker further for his response to the French and Dutch 'no' votes and concluded: "It is abundantly clear that if you wish to see your country retain its independence, you have to vote 'no'".

James ALLISTER (NA, UK) said the European Council meeting had been a "stunning failure", and the budget "an unmitigated shambles". However, he suggested that some good might come out of it. It could jolt EU leaders into making root and branch changes, re-establishing the primacy of the nation-state and repatriating a whole host of powers. Europe, he said, should be a union that trades and cooperates for Member States' mutual benefit. "This present union cannot work".

Timothy KIRKHOPE (EPP-ED, UK) said the events of the previous week had shown it could not be business as usual for the EU. The decision to "pause for reflection" showed the lack of direction. What, he asked, was the logic of continuing to ratify a treaty already rejected by two countries with no chance of votes being repeated? It would have been better to accept the voters' will and move on. "We agree with the British government that Europe needs to face profound questions. Integration is now at its high water mark. To say the 'no' votes do not represent a rejection of the treaty is to damage the relationship between people and politicians. It is time for a Europe which goes with the grain of public opinion not against it, focussing on the real priorities of jobs, growth and prosperity."

Proinsias DE ROSSA (PES, IE) reminded MEPs that 28 nations had participated in the Convention: "Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria must be included in the debate about the future. They have the right to help decide the sort of Europe they will join." He congratulated Mr Juncker and the whole Luxembourg administration for the quality of their presidency. Mr Juncker's speech, he said, had set a new standard of transparency, to which future presidencies and indeed Commissioners should be held by Parliament. He concluded: "We should not leave the people of Europe to the Mr Bondes of this world. That would be a betrayal of the sweat and indeed blood shed by our parents and grandparents."

Neena GILL (PES, UK) stated that she did not believe the EU was meeting the expectations of its citizens and the EU would not be able to act as a global player with its current budget. She characterised the EU's budget as "antiquated" and stated the only EU "flagship policy" was the CAP. There were huge anomalies within the CAP, she said, and pointed out that Luxembourg, despite being the richest EU Member State, was also the greatest net beneficiary from the EU budget. She called for an EU budget that would lead to increased growth and stability and stated that this would not be achieved by reducing spending on research and development. Finally, Mrs Gill called for the Council to meet in public and ended by saying "roll-on the British Presidency".

James ELLES (EPP-ED, UK) congratulated Mr Juncker on his efforts to reach a budget agreement. He agreed with Mr Schulz that the Council had not properly thought through the Financial Perspective so that a two-week-period in which to reach agreement had thus been unrealistic. He said "no deal is better than a bad deal". He outlined several key points for the future of Europe, including the need for a real debate on Europe' priorities, namely an economic reform agenda, and a five-year instead of a seven-year Financial Perspective. He welcomed the suspension of ratification, and on the question of enlargement, added "Europe must focus on what is really essential before moving onto enlargement".

Malcolm HARBOUR (EPP-ED, UK) congratulated the Luxembourg Presidency for its engagement on internal market dossiers including the completion of the directive on unfair commercial practices. He welcomed the steps forward taken on the services directive and Mr Harbour stated a conclusion could be reached during the UK Presidency. He disagreed with Prime Minister Juncker's argument that the EU had to choose between a free market and a stronger political union. Mr Harbour stated that the EU was now an internal market but the citizens of the EU questioned which direction the EU should follow. The EU, he said, should concentrate on strengthening the internal market.

Nicolas SCHMIT responded to the debate for the Council by declaring: "Europe has serious problems". But, he said, the current crisis could actually help the Union to reform, by throwing open the debate and triggering a dialogue with the citizens. If the social concerns of the citizens had been the reason for the 'no' votes, then let such concerns be a part of the debate, he said. He emphasised that Luxembourg would stick to its 10 July referendum date and said he was confident that it "would produce a clear message in favour of the Constitution". He spoke of "handing over the baton" and urged the Parliament not to let Europe become paralysed. On the Financial Perspective, he warned against reform becoming an excuse and an alibi for putting off key decisions. And on the CAP, he stressed its positive impact in the Union, and while calling for a discussion on the CAP, he urged all parties not to forget the importance of solidarity.

Commissioner Margot WALLSTRÖM, in her response to the debate, congratulated Prime Minister Juncker for his "sense of Europe" and welcomed the openness and transparency demonstrated by the Luxembourg Presidency. The debate in the European Parliament, she said, had focussed on the present "European crisis" rather than the whole six month Luxembourg Presidency. People, she said, were now asking very basic questions including: "what will happen without the Constitution, will the Constitution ever be ratified, what will happen to the budget and will poorer regions receive structural funds?" Mrs Wallström said the EU was about "more than the market", it was about implementing policies that would improve the quality of life of citizens. The EU, she said, needed sufficient resources in order to implement policies that would "bridge the gap" between Europeans' expectations and reality. The budget also had to be acceptable to the European Parliament and the new Member States. Mrs Wallström outlined her "Plan D" for debate, dialogue and democracy. The Commission would take on its responsibilities. Mrs Wallström ended by rallying support and said "Courage les européens!"


Tony Blair: "a moment of decision for Europe"
Council statement - Programme of the British Presidency
Debate : 23.06.2005

Tony BLAIR told MEPs that whatever they disagreed on, everyone agreed that a profound debate about the future of Europe was underway. He said this could not be resolved by trading insults or in terms of personalities, but only by an open and frank exchange of ideas.

"The issue is not between a 'free market' Europe and a social Europe, between those who want to retreat to a common market and those who believe in Europe as a political project. This is not just a misrepresentation. It is to intimidate those who want change in Europe by representing the desire for change as a betrayal of the European ideal, to try to shut off serious debate about Europe's future by claiming that the very insistence on debate is to embrace the anti-Europe... Ideals survive through change. They die through inertia in the face of challenge."

Mr Blair said he was, and always had been, a passionate pro-European: "This is a union of values, of solidarity between nations and people, of not just a common market in which we trade but a common political space in which we live as citizens. It always will be. I believe in Europe as a political project. I believe in a Europe with a strong and caring social dimension. I would never accept a Europe that was simply an economic market."

He said the purpose of political leadership was to get the policies right for today's world. He praised the success of the EU in achieving fifty years of peace, prosperity and progress, but he said it was now time to renew - to "remarry the European ideals we believe in with the modern world we live in. " Defaulting to euro-scepticism or huddling together hoping to avoid globalisation would risk failure on a grand, strategic scale.

The debate, he said, was not about how to abandon Europe, but how to make it do what it was set up to do - improve the lives of people. "And right now, they aren't convinced... the reality is that in most Member States it would be hard today to secure a 'yes' for it in a referendum." Mr Blair said he believed the 'no' majority in France and the Netherlands was because the Constitution has become the vehicle for the people to register a wider and deeper discontent with the state of affairs in Europe.

"It is time to give ourselves a reality check. To receive the wake up call. The people are blowing the trumpets round the city walls. Are we listening? Have we the political will to go out and meet them so that they regard our collective leadership as part of the solution, not the problem?"

The budget debate, he said, should be seen in this context. The budget should be part of the answer to the problem, not abstracted from the debate about Europe's crisis. "I am the only British leader that has ever said I would put the rebate on the table. I never said we should end the CAP now or renegotiate it overnight. Such a position would be absurd." However, he said it would be wrong to agree a new financial perspective that does not at least set out a process leading to a more rational budget, and this must shape the budget in the second half of the period to 2013. "Of course Britain will pay its fair share of enlargement. I might point out that one any basis we would remain the second highest net contributor to the EU, having in this perspective paid billions more than similar sized countries."

Mr Blair called for the modernisation of the European social model: "What type of social model is it that has allowed 20 million unemployed in Europe, productivity rates falling below those of the USA, allowing more science graduates to be produced by India than by Europe and that on any relative index of a modern economy is going down not up?" Mr Blair called for Europe to follow the path set out by the Kok report from 2004, implement the Lisbon Agenda, and to develop a budget along the lines set out by the Sapir report of 2003.
The UK Prime Minister said he wanted to demolish the caricature that Britain was in the grip of some extreme Anglo-Saxon market philosophy that tramples on the poor and disadvantaged. He highlighted his government's record on the new deal for the unemployed, which had seen long-term youth unemployment virtually abolished, major increases in public service spending, the minimum wage, and lifting children out of poverty.

Turning to crime, security and immigration, he called for a relevant justice and home affairs agenda which would implement the EU action plan on counter-terrorism, develop proposals to hit hard people traffickers and drug traffickers and get return agreements for failed asylum seekers from neighbouring countries and others. He called for an enhanced European defence capability, to be able to intervene quickly and effectively in support of conflict resolution. He said the EU should be proud of being world leaders in development - but should be leading the way on promoting a multilateral trade agreement to increase trade for all, especially the poorest nations.

"Such a Europe - its economy in the process of being modernised, its security enhanced by clear action within our borders and beyond - would be a confident Europe... confident enough to see enlargement not as a threat...but an extraordinary, historic opportunity to build a greater and more powerful union. Because be under no illusion: if we stop enlargement or shut out its natural consequences, it wouldn't in the end, save one job, keep one firm in business or prevent one delocalisation."

Mr Blair said the British Presidency would try to take forward the budget deal, resolve some of the hard dossiers like the Services and Working Times Directives and to carry out the Union's obligations to Turkey and Croatia.

"Don't lets kid ourselves that this debate is unnecessary, that if only we assume 'business as usual', people will sooner or later relent and acquiesce in Europe as it is, not as they want it to be. In my time as Prime Minister, I have found that the hard part is not taking the decision, it is spotting when it has to be taken. It is understanding the difference between the challenges that have to be managed and those that have to be confronted and overcome. This is such a moment of decision in Europe. The people of Europe are speaking to us. They are posing the questions. They are wanting our leadership. It is time we gave it to them."

Commission President

Commission President José Manuel BARROSO began by placing the UK Presidency in context. "We are in a turbulent period. The UK Presidency takes place at a decisive moment and following a difficult Council summit". He said he had high expectations of the impact that UK pragmatism and its results-driven approach might have for the Union.

"You are a statesman of enormous experience and conviction and you confirm today your commitment to Europe as a political project. I therefore have every confidence that you will work towards building a new consensus for Europe". He recognised the importance of listening and sharing ideas in order to overcome the current crisis in Europe but warned against being excessively introspective. "It is by actions, not words, that we will win back public trust and confidence. Day-to-day business continues but we must also address the core issues."

Mr Barroso went on to outline several priorities for Europe: the Lisbon agenda, agreement on the EU budget, Africa, and climate change. Regarding Lisbon, he said that economic renewal and reform remained the cornerstone of the Commission. With the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy now over, it was now the time for action, and the Commission would present its Community Reform Programme in support of Lisbon over the summer. He also said that, in so far as better regulation was a core aspect of Lisbon, pending legislation would be examined for compatibility with Lisbon. On the Financial Perspective, Mr Barroso criticised the 1% countries for reducing Europe's ambitions. He said that there was now a "real urgency" if paralysis was to be avoided post-2006. The new Member States needed concrete signals of solidarity, not just words. The review clause he had proposed would serve this purpose by allowing a deal on the budget to be struck now, with an opportunity for it to be adapted later. "The responsibility lies now with the UK Presidency", he said.

He congratulated Mr Blair on making Africa a priority and hoped this would give a boost to EU efforts, which will include an EU Strategy for Africa. He expressed satisfaction with the UK's position on climate change and called for all parties to begin a dialogue for post-2012 measures. The WTO Ministerial Conference due to take place in Hong Kong later this year was crucially important and "the key to greater prosperity for all". He concluded, "We need time to reflect and build a new consensus but we must also look outwards to our global challenges and responsibilities. The Europe we want is one of economic and political integration. I hope you (Mr Blair) will make an important contribution to forging a political and a dynamic Europe".

Political group speakers

Hans-Gert POETTERING (EPP-ED, DE) welcomed the two "very significant speeches" from Prime Minister Juncker and Prime Minister Blair. He recalled that he was first elected in 1979, and now was the time that Europe was holding its most intense debate on the future of Europe, calling it a victory for democracy and parliamentarianism. "People can and are participating in the debate". He stated that the failure to reach an agreement on the financial perspective was not "tragic" in itself, but combined with the two "no" votes, Europe was in a crisis. He called for the Council to stop meeting "behind closed doors." He stated that Europe should not retreat to a free-trade zone, but affront the Europeans' "crisis of confidence." He called for Prime Minister Blair to examine the Parliament's position on the financial perspective and use it as a guide. He recalled that John Major in 1992 had successfully negotiated a financial perspective. Finally, he called for a debate on the limits and borders of Europe.

Martin SCHULZ (PES, DE) compared the British Presidency to the Tour de France. Britain, he said, had always lagged behind at the end of the field, citing Schengen and the euro. He said that Mr Blair was now at the bottom of a mountain and the challenge was for him to obtain the yellow jersey. He said the debate was equivalent to the prologue. Mr Schulz agreed with Mr Blair that it was time for change calling it a "prerequisite" for an improvement in the standard of living for Europeans. Europe needs more competitiveness and more flexibility, as a basic prerequisite for growth and jobs, he said. But he called for "decent jobs" that offer security and secure wages. As to the debate over research versus agricultural spending, he said "that is like comparing chalk and cheese." He said that 0.48 per cent of the EU's GNI was spent on agriculture whereas a total (EU and Member States spending) 0.86 percent on research development. Finally, Mr Schulz warned that the right of the House wanted to stop Turkey from entering the European Union.

Graham WATSON (UK) for the ALDE group stated that the UK and indeed England had moved on in recent years beyond the "years of suspicion". He called on Mr Blair to ensure that "Britain is of Europe and not just with Europe." He welcomed Mr Blair's "drive for reform" but trusted that it would lead to consensus and not division. Globalisation, he said would lead to new opportunities and challenges. "Third World development climate change and the fight against international crime are the biggest challenges". How, he asked, could all this be achieved with an EU budget of 1 percent of Gross National Income. Mr Watson called for the Council to be more transparent, for parliamentary scrutiny to be stepped up and to engage in a public debate on the future of the EU. He called on Mr Blair to stopping "blaming Brussels" and to "stop referring to Europe as something apart".

Daniel COHN-BENDIT (DE) spoke for the Greens/EFA group. "The gauntlet has been thrown down. You said you want to change Europe. Well, welcome to the club, Mr Blair, welcome to the club". He criticised the incoming President for having an outdated vision of Europe. "You are not the Duke, you are not in the old Europe or the 100 years war. Europe needs leadership and a modern leader must speak the truth". If he wanted to change Europe, was he withdrawing his signature from the 1% club, he questioned. He also criticised Mr Blair for his role in the failed budget talks when his government had signed the 2002 CAP agreement and for the planned sugar subsidies reform. He agreed with Mr Blair that politicians had to meet the public, but, he said, people had said no to Iraq. "Meet the public on that, Mr Blair." He said that modernisation should be environmentally and socially sustainable. He also said that the EU could not work using any single model, be it British, French, Dutch, but had to be based on a combination of different models. He concluded: "You must stop being Prime Minister for the UK for the next six months and you must work for Europe, with a vision for Europe."

Francis WURTZ (FR), for the GUE/NGL group recognised Europe's lack of ability to respond to the expectations of Europe's citizens. There needed to be a closer examination of such issues as solidarity and change. He said that he saw little "social courage" in the UK's ambitions for its Presidency programme and called for reflection on the European social model which had been dismantled in the name of markets. But he stressed, the question was the future direction of this model. On the CAP, he agreed it was right to have an appropriate ceiling on aid but there was a need for proper farming to protect against scourges and to guarantee food standards. On the question of the British rebate, he said "At some point, you will have to give it up. It goes against common sense and exceeds even the entire EU research budget." He called on Mr Blair to shoulder his responsibility for enlargement and make a greater contribution to the future of Europe.

Nigel FARAGE (UK) spoke for the IND/DEM group: "What a change in rhetoric since 1997". He expressed pride in the tough stance taken by Mr Blair during the Council summit but described him as a "Europhile that has been mugged by reality". He questioned whether the 'Third Way' that had characterised the reform of Mr Blair's party would work in the EU. He said he was perhaps the only group leader who had understood the reasons for the 'no' votes and called on him to ensure the will of those voters would be respected. As to the future of the Constitution, he called on Mr Blair to halt the ratification process. "The Constitution is, for the best part, dead". On the question of Africa, he appealed to Mr Blair to stop the EU fisheries deals with Africa. He challenged Mr Blair to make Europe's goals of competitiveness more than just a Christmas wish list. Finally, he said: "You have a real problem. You want Europe to change but the Community acquis has gone too far. If you manage to do it, I may even change my mind and advocate the UK remaining a Member State."

Brian CROWLEY (IE) for the UEN group was pleased with the good words and intentions coming from Mr Blair but concerned about what he was hearing elsewhere. He criticised the plan to get rid of the CAP, on which the budget was predicated. People needed certainty, he said. He mentioned the issue of Europe's lack of delivery on its policies. "Let's get real. It is up to us to create the right atmosphere for industries to thrive and grow. We need an appropriate budget if we want to do more. And we need facts and certainties, not myths and misconceptions being thrown out". He also criticised the plans for sugar subsidies reform. He concluded by saying, "Some say we stand on the dawn of an abyss. I believe we are standing on the dawn of a new future. We need compromise and consensus and we need to bring all of the actors together."

Non-attached member Roger HELMER (UK) congratulated Mr Blair on his tough stand regarding the British rebate and commended what he saw as support for the reform of the EU, but wondered where the detailed plans were if Mr Blair was really serious about reform. On the Constitution, he said there was "nothing to reflect about". The text had been voted against in its entirety and was therefore not salvageable. He advocated a Union of trade and cooperation over a political union and finally, asked, "Do you agree that a radical renegotiation of the treaties, including the Treaty of Rome, is required? And will you make it a priority?"

Timothy KIRKHOPE (UK), leader of the British Conservatives in the European Parliament, welcomed the fundamental debate taking place on the future of the EU. He stated that it was a "wake-up call" and that the two "no" votes in founding Member States of the EU were of "profound significance". He regretted that the European Summit had not declared the Constitution "dead". He called on Mr Blair to explain what he meant when he said "there is more than one view of Europe". He said the British Conservatives had led the debate on deregulation open and accountable budgetary systems. He stated that the EU has to compete with China, India and the US and unless there was reform, the Lisbon Agenda would remain "nothing but an aspiration." Mr Kirkhope stated that the UK rebate was still fully justified and he expressed concern on the recent statement from the Prime Minister on negotiating the rebate. Finally, he stated that Mr Blair's leadership would be judged at the end of the UK Presidency in December.

Gary TITLEY (PES, UK) leader of the Labour delegation in the European Parliament, said that Europe had to face up to the challenges of globalisation. The EU needed a vision based on key principals. He said the EU complimented and did not replace national sovereignty. Mr Titley stated that "jobs and a successful economy are not an Anglo-Saxon conspiracy." The EU, he said, needed an "active labour market policies" and he stated that one-third of the EU's workforce was inactive and he called for an open society where people were free to move in Europe to work.

British and Irish speakers

Caroline LUCAS (Greens/EFA, UK) stated that Prime Minister Blair had claimed that tackling climate change would be a priority for the UK Presidency. Yet, she said, in Mr Blair's opening speech "there were only one and a half sentences in your speech on climate change" and stated this was "not a good start to the British Presidency". The UK, she said, had increased its greenhouse gas emissions and increased its allowances for emissions trading. Mrs Lucas called for mandatory targets for energy efficiency and for renewable energies. She also called on Mr Blair to "rule out nuclear power" as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Andrew DUFF (ALDE, UK) said "regrettably it is coming clearer day by day that the Constitutional Treaty will not be brought into force". He stated that it was a "good first draft and the famous period of reflection" should be an opportunity for a new convention with a fresh mandate to focus on and modernise Part 3 of the Constitution.

Ashley MOTE (NA, UK) said France and Holland had denied power to those they no longer trusted. He said there could now be the worst possible solution: the Constitution was dead, but structures of a unitary state were still in place, including the idea of a President, Foreign Minister, public prosecutor, Charter of Fundamental Rights and a common asylum policy. These could not be brought in against the will of the people. He called for Mr Blair to enforce the rule of law, abandon projects with no legal basis and guarantee no implementation of any part of the Constitution.

Chris DAVIES (ALDE, UK) said there was no need for the Constitution in order for the Council to start taking legislative decisions in public. "This just needs a vote with thirteen Member States in favour, it is an easy task and a quick win. Here is the choice: continue the culture of secrecy or introduce openness and transparency."

Jillian EVANS (Greens/EFA, UK) said Wales had lost out because of the failure to agree on the financial perspective. She said she wanted a Europe in which nations like Wales could play their full part, and called for the British government to press for Welsh to become an official EU language - a demand she repeated in Welsh.

Eoin RYAN (UEN, IE) said he supported Mr Blair's approach of maintaining the European social model through vibrant economies, but he was concerned that the debate on the CAP should not ignore support needed for rural communities which were under threat with half a million people moving from the countryside to urban areas each week.

James ALLISTER (NA, UK) said profound questions had been raised, and that the "over-centralised" EU was not working. Its structures and policies, he said, were fundamentally flawed. It was time to abandon 'ever closer union' and embrace the primacy of the Member States over control from Brussels, he said.

Sajjad KARIM (ALDE, UK) said the UK's "control order regime" removed the presumption of innocence and brought in "draconian measures" and confused and disenfranchised those accused. The regime, he said, "flies in the face of the separation of powers" as it was all "decided by a politician". He stated that the UN Commissioner on Human Rights had criticised the regime and he condemned the UK government for its decision to suspend Article 5 of the Charter on Human Rights.

Baroness Emma NICHOLSON OF WINTERBOURNE (ALDE, UK) welcomed the Prime Minister's "historic speech" and said it bodes well for a successful UK Presidency. She called for special attention to be paid to Turkey and the decision to be made in October in order to encourage reform. Baroness Nicholson called for support for Romanian and Bulgarian accession to the EU on 1 January 2007. She also called on Mr Blair to build on the recent conference on Iraq and work together with the Iraqi government to build democracy in the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf and the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Bill NEWTON DUNN (ALDE, UK) noted that neither Blair nor Chirac had majority support in their respective counties. Mr Blair, he said, was only in office because of a distortion in the UK election system and he called on him to "please start to make positive speeches explaining the EU, and the country you and I know best".

Avril DOYLE (EPP-ED, IE) spoke about the failed budget talks. "Where was the Blair of the Good Friday Agreement, a man of understanding and good will, able to bring sides together, a man of singular courage?" She recalled the 100 years war and warned that the UK had, at that time, "come out with less than it had when it went in". Now, Tony Blair was prepared to sacrifice the budget for the sake of being on side with the British press. "We are in a real crisis", she said. "There is a lack of political leadership. Yes, we should modernise on the basis of a strong economy and not at the expense of it. But splitting hairs on the budget has put the 7th Framework Programme for doubling research on ice".

Charles TANNOCK (EPP-ED, UK) agreed that the EU was in crisis. He said the UK had been right to question the budget proposals and described the CAP as distorted and wasteful. "We will never give up the rebate unless the CAP is reformed". He recommended a number of priorities for the British Presidency, including the Middle East Road Map, nuclear proliferation, human rights violations, particularly in Burma and Zimbabwe where the UK has an influence, the China arms embargo and Russia's relations with its satellite states. Finally, he rejected the vision of a multi-polar world with China and the EU operating as a counterweight to the US.

Response to the debate

Responding to the debate, Tony BLAIR said that it had produced enormous interest, both inside the Chamber and in the world outside. On the question of a review clause for the budget, he told Mr Barroso this would need to be very clear cut and unambiguous, but that he looked forward to working with him on the issue. He said he agreed the time would come to look again at the rules needed to govern an EU of 25 Member States, but that to get support for a Constitution would first require a clear political direction to be set. He told Mr Watson there was a strong case for introducing more transparency to the Council's legislative meetings, and that this would be considered under the British presidency. He repeated that the UK would pay its fair share of the cost of enlargement, but that this must be worked out in a way that was fair for all.

He spoke of his sense of urgency about economic reform: "In Europe, we often don't realise the scale of the competitive economic challenge we face - it is serious and urgent... we need constantly to adapt or the very social model which we believe in, which I believe in, will be at risk."

On the Constitution debate, he said he worries about the tendency for leaders to go back into institutional questions when the issue was really the policy direction. He said that like other leaders, he was sometimes guilty of blaming an EU institution rather than aiming to reshape an inappropriate EU policy.

"We should keep our minds focussed on the daily concerns of the people we represent: jobs, security, crime and immigration. We need clear, tough policies to deal with these concerns. If we can get that, people will understand the political context, and then they would accept a Constitution."

Finally, he called for MEPs and EU leaders, himself included, to go out and replicate this debate in Parliament in their own communities. This sort of reaching out would help reinvigorate the European project.

In his response to the debate, Commission President José Manuel BARROSO stated that the debate had been "interesting". Business as usual would not be possible. There had to be a frank debate on the future of Europe. Leaders should seek consensus but not avoid difficult issues or simplifications such as a debate on social versus liberal policies or on economic versus political union. There was a risk he said, of populism from the left and/or right rising in Europe. He called on European leaders "not to give in to tabloid politics". The way forward for the EU, would be a future based on solidarity and cohesion.


Resolution on Council Meeting postponed

The vote on the resolution following the Summit (16-17 June) was postponed after a request from Johannes SWOBODA (PES, AT)
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Members' Immunity and Statute

European Parliament strongly supports the Statute for MEPs
Giuseppe GARGANI (EPP-ED, IT)
Report on amending the decision of 4 June 2003 on the adoption of the Statute for Members of the European Parliament
(2005/2124(INI))
Doc.: A6- 0189/2005
Debate : 22.06.2005
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament approved by 403 votes in favour, 89 against and 92 abstentions, a resolution by Giuseppe GARGANI (EPP-ED, IT) on the Statute for Members of the European Parliament. The text supports the compromise proposed by the Council, thus giving national governments the opportunity to back up the text under the current Luxembourg Presidency.

Under the proposed agreement, the monthly salary for all MEPs would be fixed at €7,000, ending the pay disparities between Members, who currently receive the same salaries as members of their national parliaments. Under the new system, MEPs' salaries would be paid by the EU. They would pay income tax to the EU budget, though Member States also retain the option to apply in addition taxation up to the level of national rates.

The agreement provides for a transition period during which each Member State may continue to apply, for the Members elected by its citizens, rules different from the provisions of the Statute.

Upon introduction of the Statute, travel expenses would no longer be refunded on a flat-rate basis. Instead, all MEPs would have their expenses reimbursed on the basis of actual costs incurred, thus improving transparency. Members would enter a common pension scheme, with contributions paid by Parliament.

MEPs also rejected recital 12, which would have allowed Member States to adopt additional measures on Members' salary in order to place it on an equal footing with members of the national parliaments.

The first draft Statute was adopted by the European Parliament in 1998 and established the principle of independence and equality of treatment between its Members. Differences of opinion between the Parliament and the Council on several issues, including the salaries and the rules for refunding expenses, prevented an agreement in 2001. In 2003, Parliament tried to wind up the procedure for the adoption of the Statute by adopting a resolution calling on the Council to accept the proposed compromise. The Council failed to back the text in January 2004, as there was not then a qualified majority for the main part of the proposals.

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Justice and Home Affairs

One frontier for the EU - A new regulation on border controls
Michael CASHMAN (PES, UK)
Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders
(COM(2004)0391 – C6 0080/2004 – 2004/0127(COD))
Doc.: A6-0188/2005
Procedure : Codecision (1st reading)
Debate : 22.06.2005
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament gave the green light for new EU rules on border controls. Prior to this vote, MEPs had pushed successfully in negotiations with the Council for a better balance between stricter controls and the rights of individuals. Since the Council, Commission and Parliament's political groups are now in agreement, the legislation has been adopted at first reading..

Safeguarding individual rights

The aim of the new regulation is to ensure that Member States eliminate internal borders while strengthening controls at external borders. But the members of the Civil Liberties Committee had a clear goal during the talks with the Council: they supported the total abolition of internal borders but stressed the need for a non-discriminatory approach to non-EU nationals in external border controls.

A major achievement by Parliament is the introduction of an article on the "conduct of checks" recalling the obligation to respect the human dignity and not to discriminate on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. This should alter the current tendency to control "foreign-looking persons" much more than others, explained Michael CASHMAN (PSE, UK), who is steering the legislation through Parliament.

MEPs also managed to strengthen the rights of individuals on a number of other points. Member States will have to give "precise" and "justified" reasons to refuse the entry of a third country national, using a written standard form. All persons refused entry will have the right to appeal. Each country will have to collect statistics on the number of persons refused entry and the grounds for refusal, and transmit this information to the Commission once a year. Finally, Member States are required to provide more information to third country nationals on what documents they must provide.

Stricter controls

The regulation includes several rules to ensure stricter and more effective controls at external borders (art. 6). All individuals - EU citizens and third country nationals - will undergo minimum checks of their identity and their documents. "On a non-systematic basis", border guards may consult national and European databases to "ensure that a person does not represent a real (...) danger to internal security."

Third-country nationals will be subject to thorough checks to verify their entry and exit stamps (which now become mandatory), their points of departure and destination and whether they have sufficient means of subsistence during their stay.

Internal borders

One of Mr Cashman's main concerns was that the EU should be able to monitor the implementation of border controls by its Member States. However, while Member States will have to report some key measures to the EU institutions, Mr Cashman's proposal to give the EU Court of Justice the power to rule on all parts of the border code was not accepted by the Council and was dropped from the text before the vote took place.

Since the Treaty of Amsterdam incorporated the Schengen acquis into EU law in 1999 there was a clear need for the EU to provide a clear legal basis on the management of internal and external borders. This regulation will enter into force 6 months after its publication in the Official Journal and will affect Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and all Member States except UK and Ireland, as it constitutes a development of the Schengen acquis. Denmark must ratify the legislation in the 6 months following its adoption. As for the ten new Member States, the regulation will automatically apply to them, although they will only be effectively incorporated into the Schengen area by 2007.

This regulation has a symbolic importance for the European Parliament, since it is the first time that MEPs can exercise co-decision powers over this field. Following a decision by the European Council at Hague summit in November 2004, since January 2005 the Parliament has the power of co-decision over border controls, visa and illegal immigration policy.

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Freezing funds for weapon dealers in Sudan and Congo
Jean-Marie CAVADA (ALDE, FR)
1. Report on the proposal for a Council regulation imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons impeding the peace process and breaking international law in the conflict in the Darfur region in Sudan
(COM(2005)0180 – C6 0138/2005 – 2005/0068(CNS))
Doc.: A6-0186/2005
Procedure : Consultation
2. Report on the proposal for a Council regulation imposing certain specific restrictive measures directed against persons acting in violation of the arms embargo with regard to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(COM(2005)0227 – C6 0185/2005 – 2005/01012005/0101(CNS))
Doc. : A6-0194/2006
Procedure : Consultation
Vote : 23.06.2005

The European Parliament adopted two proposals for Council regulations imposing restrictive measures against persons impeding the peace processes in Darfur region in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In view of recent developments in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo the Security Council of the United Nations decided on 29 March and 18 April 2005 respectively to enlarge the scope of restrictive measures in force against Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These measures include inter alia the freezing of funds and economic resources of persons and entities designed by the United Nations as impeding the peace process, constituting a threat to stability and committing either violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or atrocities or violating the arms embargo.

As the Security Council was acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Community and the Member states are under an obligation to implement this measure. A list of the individuals and entities subject to this measure will be drawn up confidentially by a Sanctions Committee so as to prevent, as far as possible, the transfer of funds and economic resources which are to be frozen. The Civil Liberties Committee endorsed the proposal to impose sanctions which target leaders without penalising the population.

The list of persons and entities concerned, figuring as annex 1 to the proposal, is as yet empty as the Council is still to establish the procedure for the creation of this list. During the debate the Commission representative stressed that the Commission cannot deviate from the list to be established by the Council. The Civil Liberties Committee however expressed its conviction in the last debate that it was not acceptable for Parliament to be consulted on a regulation which does not yet contain the list. It is therefore proposed that the Committee on Civil Liberties and the Committee on Development should be informed on a confidential basis before the list is published.

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Development & Cooperation

Access to Community external assistance
Michael GAHLER (EPP-ED, DE)
Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the access to Community External Assistance
(COM(2004)0313 – C6 0032/2004 – 2004/0099(COD))
Doc.: A6-0182/2005
Procedure Codecision (1st reading)
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted the report by Michael GAHLER (EPP-ED, DE) amending the regulation on access to Community external assistance. The Commission proposal, supported by the Parliament, aims to extend access to development aid so that businesses in developing countries can also take part in the programme.

In order to avoid social dumping, MEPs want developing countries to have access to the programme, but not transition countries as proposed by the Commission. In summary, those eligible to take part will be European Union Member States, developing countries or countries of the region targeted and developed countries or those in transition which allow Community nationals to participate in their assistance programmes.

To promote the development of local markets, MEPs want special attention to be paid to bids from businesses in developing countries. Similarly, to be in conformity with EU values, those benefiting from contracts will have to respect international, social and environmental standards.

On April 29 last year, the Council informed Parliament of its wish to split in two the initial Commission proposal modifying 26 current Community external assistance instruments. This codecision procedure thus concerns 16 instruments, and a new report by Mr Gahler is set to be adopted after the summer for the remaining 10 instruments adopted in consultation.

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Petitions

Lloyd's of London Names - MEPs pile further pressure on European Commission
Oral question by Marcin LIBICKI (UEN, PL) to Commission on Lloyd's Names Petitioners: Implementation of the First Non-Life Insurance Directive
Doc.: B6-0245/2005
Debate: 22.06.2005
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the Commission to provide a specific response to the questions raised in its report of September 2003 (Perry report) either in this debate or within two months in writing and resolves to initiate proceedings pursuant to Article 232 of the Treaty against the Commission should the Commission fail to respond. MEPs recall that they reserve the right to initiate further investigatory measures should they be required, bearing in mind three new petitions which have been tabled in 2005 concerning the same Directive by other Lloyd’s Names.

Parliament adopted a resolution of 25 September 2003 concerning the Lloyd’s Names petitions, which was approved by 358 in favour and 0 against, with 35 abstentions, and in spite of the demands made in this resolution, the petitioners have still not obtained an adequate response from Parliament, and especially from the European Commission, concerning the way in which the First Non-life Insurance Directive was transposed and implemented by the UK authorities between the years 1978 and 2001 in particular as regards the regulatory regime and the solvency requirements.
Press enquiries:
Federico Rossetto
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 40955
e-mail :  peti-press@europarl.eu.int


Economic & Monetary Affairs

Reform of the Stability Pact gets go-ahead
Othmar KARAS (EPP-ED, AT)
Report on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 on the strengthening of the surveillance of budgetary positions and the surveillance and coordination of economic policies
Doc.: A6-0204/2005
Procedure : Cooperation (2nd reading)
Debate : 22.06.2006
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament voted to allow reform of the preventive arm of the Stability Pact to go ahead in the form agreed by the Council, even though this did not respect Parliament's position from the first reading.

MEPs rejected the advice of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, voting by 257 votes in favour to 309 against with one abstention not to reinstate amendments which had aimed at ensuring a stricter application of the preventive arm of the pact, notably by putting emphasis on the overall government debt ratio.

The Council's common position was therefore declared adopted without amendment.

Press enquiries:
Ralph Pine
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 42941
Mobile: (32) 0498.983.587
e-mail :  econ-press@europarl.eu.int


More reliable statistics on government borrowing
Jean-Claude GAUZES (EPP-ED, FR)
Report on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 3605/93 as regards the quality of statistical data in the context of the excessive deficit procedure
(COM(2005)0071 – C6 0108/2005 – 2005/0013(CNS))
Doc.: A6-0181/2005
Procedure : Consultation
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on the quality of statistical data in the context of the excessive deficit procedure.

Press enquiries:
Ralph Pine
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 42941
Mobile: (32) 0498.983.587
e-mail :  econ-press@europarl.eu.int


Environment

Dangerous substances - update of directive
Karl-Heinz FLORENZ (EPP-ED, DE)
Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending, for the twenty-ninth time, Council Directive 76/769/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (substances classified as carcinogen, mutagen or toxic to reproduction - c/m/r)
(COM(2004)0638 – C6 0136/2004 – 2004/0225(COD))
Doc.: A6-0163/2005
Procedure : Codecision (1st reading)
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted a legislative resolution on the regulation of dangerous substances.

Press enquiries:
André Riche
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 40992
Mobile:  (32) 0498.983.585
e-mail :  envi-press@europarl.eu.int


Trade

Relations with industrial countries - 17 million euros towards greater understanding
David MARTIN (PES, UK)
Report on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 382/2001 as regards its expiry date and certain provisions related to the execution of the Budget
(COM(2004)0840 – C6 0044/2005 – 2004/0288(CNS))
Doc.: A6-0154/2005
Procedure : Consultation
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on Community aid to industrialised countries.

Press enquiries:
Armelle Douaud
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 43806
Mobile: (32) 0498.983.588
e-mail :  inta-press@europarl.eu.int


Budget

Salary adjustment for EU staff
Salvador GARRIGA POLLEDO (EPP-ED, ES) & Anne JENSEN (ALDE, DK)
Report on Draft amending budget No 2/2005 of the European Union for the financial year 2005 - Salary adjustment
(09491/2005 - C6-0172/2005 - 2005/2045(BUD))
Section I – European Parliament
Section II – Council
Section III – Commission
Section IV – Court of Justice
Section V – Court of Auditors
Section VI – European Economic and Social Committee
Section VII – Committee of the Regions
Section VIII (A) – European Ombudsman
Section VIII (B) – European Data Protection Supervisor
Doc.: A6-0190/2005
Procedure : Budgetary
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on salary adjustment for EU staff.

Press enquiries:
Jean-Yves Loog
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 44652
Mobile: (32) 0498.983.589
e-mail :  budg-press@europarl.eu.int


Budgetary Control

More cooperation in tackling fraud
Petr DUCHOŇ (EPP-ED, CZ)
Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on mutual administrative assistance for the protection of the financial interests of the Community against fraud and any other illegal activities
(COM(2004)0509 – C6 0125/2004 – 2004/0172(COD))
Doc.: A6-0156/2005
Procedure : Codecision (1st reading)
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted a legislative resolution on mutual administrative assistance for the protection of the financial interests of the Community against fraud and any other illegal activities.

Press enquiries:
Jens Jensen
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 42530
e-mail :  cont-press@europarl.eu.int


Fisheries

Rebuilding stocks of Greenland halibut
Henrik Dam KRISTENSEN (PES, DK)
Report on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a rebuilding plan for Greenland halibut in the framework of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation
(COM(2004)0640 – C6 0197/2004 – 2004/0229(CNS))
Doc.: A6-0116/2005
Procedure : Consultation
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution, by 540 votes in favour to 12 against with 12 abstentions, on establishing a rebuilding plan for Greenland halibut in the framework of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation.

Press enquiries:
Nikos Salliarelis
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 32017
e-mail :  fish-press@europarl.eu.int


External Relations

MEPs to welcome boost for EU security research
Bogdan Adam KLICH (EPP-ED, PL)
Report on Security Research – The Next Steps
(2004/2171(INI))
Doc.: A6-0103/2005
Procedure : Own-initiative
Debate : 22.06.2005
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on Security Research - The Next Steps.

Press enquiries:
Marjory van den Broeke
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 44304
Mobile: (32) 0498.983.586
e-mail :  foreign-press@europarl.eu.int


nformation and communication

World Summit on Information Society (WSIS)
 
Catherine TRAUTMANN (PES, FR)
Report on the information society
(2004/2204(INI))
Doc.: A6-0172/2005
Procedure : Own-initiative
Debate : 22.06.2005
Vote : 23.06.2005

Parliament adopted an own-initiative report on the World Summit on Information Society.
Press enquiries:
Constanze Beckerhoff
(Strasbourg) tel.(33-3) 881 73780
(Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 44302
(32) 0498.983.550
e-mail :  indu-press@europarl.eu.int

Draft Agenda of plenary session Strasbourg4-7 July 2005

Monday, 4 July 2005 (5-10pm)

5-10pm

            Opening of the session and order of business
            Report by Kurt Joachim LAUK (EPP-ED, DE) on the 2004 ECB Annual
            Report
            (Mr Trichet, President of the ECB, will take part in the debate)

            Report by Jules MAATEN (ALDE, NL) on communication strategy on the
            euro

      Joint debate - Protection of children's health
***II  - Report by Antonios TRAKATELLIS (EPP-ED, EL) on Phthalates in
                  toys and childcare articles
***I  - Report by Françoise GROSSETÊTE (EPP-ED, FR) on paediatric
                  medicines

*  Report by Karl-Heinz FLORENZ (EPP-ED, DE) on African-Eurasian
            migratory waterbirds
            Report by Riitta MYLLER (PES, FI) on EU ecotechnologies action plan
***I  Report by Giles Bryan CHICHESTER (EPP-ED, UK) on security
            of electricity supply and infrastructure investment

Tuesday, 5 July 2005 (9am-midnight)

9-11.30am, 9-midnight

            Joint debate - Structural Funds
            - Report by Konstantinos HATZIDAKIS (EPP-ED, EL) on ERDF, ESF
                  and Cohesion Fund
            - Report by Alfonso ANDRIA (ALDE, IT) on Cohesion Fund
***I  - Report by Giovvani (Claudio) FAVA (PES, IT) on ERDF
***I  - Report by Jan Marian OLBRYCHT (EPP-ED, PL) on European grouping
                  of cross-border cooperation
***I  - Report by José Albino SILVA PENEDA (EPP-ED, PT) on ESF
*  - Report by David CASA (EPP-ED, MT) on European Fisheries Fund

            Report by Emine BOZKURT (PES, NL) on the role of women in Turkey
***I  Report by Karin JÖNS (PES, DE) on PROGRESS
***I  Report by Angelika NIEBLER (EPP-ED, DE) on equal opportunities
            employment and work
            Report by Giovanni (Gianni) PITTELLA (PES, IT) on conciliation procedure
             (2006 budget)
            Report by Salvador GARRIGA POLLEDO (EPP-ED, ES) on draft amending
            budget 3/2005 (Tsunami)
            Report by Reimer BÖGE (EPP-ED, DE) on mobilisation of the flexibility
            instrument (Tsunami)

11.30am-12noon

            Votes
            Pursuant to Rule 43(1)
*  - Report by Paolo COSTA (ALDE, IT) on Protocol to Agreement on Maritime
                  Transport with China
*  - Report by Joseph DAUL (EPP-ED, FR) on control of potato cyst nematodes

            Pursuant to Rule 131
***I  - Report by Johannes BLOKLAND (IND/DEM, NL) on European
                   Pollutant Release and Transfer Register
*  - Report by Johannes BLOKLAND (IND/DEM, NL) on conclusion of
                  UN-ECE Protocol
*  - Report by Niels BUSK (ALDE, DK) on exceptional market support
                   measures
            - Texts on which debate is closed

12 noon - 12.30pm

            Formal Sitting - Italy
            Address by Mr Carlo AZEGLIO CIAMPI, President of the Republic of Italy

12.30pm-1pm

            Continuation of votes

3-5.30pm

***II  Report by Michel ROCARD (PES, FR) on patentability of computer
            implemented inventions

5.30-7pm

            Question Time to the Commission

Wednesday, 6 July 2005 (9am-midnight)

9am-12noon

            Report by Giorgos DIMITRAKOPOULOS (EPP-ED, EL) on EU/Iraq - a
             framework for engagement

            Joint debate - Africa, globalisation and poverty
            - Council and Commission statments - Africa and the challenges of
                   globalisation
            - Oral questions to the Council and Commission by
                  Luisa MORGANTINI (GUE/NGL, IT)- Global Call to Action Against
                  Poverty - Making Poverty History

12noon - 1pm

            - Votes on texts on which debate is closed

3-5.30pm, 9pm-midnight

            Council and Commission statements - The Balkans - 10 years after
             Zrebrenica
            Council and Commission statements - Relations between the EU, China and
             Taiwan
*  Report by Timothy KIRKHOPE (EPP-ED, UK) on EC-Switzerland Agreement
            (Asylum requests) and EU and EC-Switzerland Agreement (Schengen)
            Report by Emmanouil MAVROMMATIS (EPP-ED, EL) on exploitation and
            child labour in developing countries
            Report by Gabriele ZIMMER (GUE/NGL, DE) on impact of lending by the
            EC in developing countries
***I  Report by Diana WALLIS (ALDE, UK) on the law applicable to
            non-contractual obligations ('Rome II')
            Report by Piia-Noora KAUPPI (EPP-ED, FI) on clearing and settlement in
            the EU
            (possibly) Reports under Rule 134

5.30-7pm

            Question Time to the Council

Thursday, 7 July 2005 (10am-12noon, 3-4.30pm)

***I  Report by Marie Anne ISLER BÉGUIN (Greens/EFA, FR) on Financial
            Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+)
            Report by Tokia SAÏFI (EPP-ED, FR) on textiles and clothing after 2005  Report by Duarte FREITAS (EPP-ED, PT) on agriculture in the outermost
            regions of the Union

12noon - 1pm

            Votes on texts on which debate is closed

4.30-5.30pm (at the end of the debates or 4.30pm at the latest)

                  Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
            (one hour maximum) (Rule 115)

5.30pm (or at the end of the preceding debates)

            Votes
            - Motions for resolutions concerning debates on cases of breaches of human
                   rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 115)
            - Texts on which debate is closed


Last updated: 27 June 2005Legal notice