Procedure : 2011/2157(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0400/2011

Texts tabled :

A7-0400/2011

Debates :

PV 13/12/2011 - 14
CRE 13/12/2011 - 14

Votes :

PV 14/12/2011 - 9.1
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0576

REPORT     
PDF 426kWORD 271k
24 November 2011
PE 469.805v02-00 A7-0400/2011

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteurs: Marek Siwiec and Mário David

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

The European Parliament,

   having regard to the Joint Communications of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 25 May 2011 on A new response to a changing Neighbourhood (COM(2011)0303) and of 8 March 2011 on A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean (COM(2011)0200),

–   having regard to the Commission Communications of 11 March 2003 on Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours (COM(2003)0104), of 12 May 2004 on European Neighbourhood Policy - Strategy Paper (COM(2004)0373), of 4 December 2006 on Strengthening the ENP (COM(2006)0726), of 5 December 2007 on A Strong European Neighbourhood Policy (COM(2007)0774), of 3 December 2008 on Eastern Partnership (COM(2008)0823), of 20 May 2008 on The Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean (COM(2008)0319), of 12 May 2010 on Taking Stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) (COM(2010)0207) and of 24 May 2011 on ‘A dialogue for migration, mobility and security with the southern Mediterranean countries’ (COM(2011)0292),

   having regard to the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) since 2004, and in particular to the Commission’s progress reports on its implementation,

   having regard to the Action Plans adopted jointly with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority and Tunisia, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova, and to the Association Agenda with Ukraine,

–   having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on ENP of 26 July 2010 and 20 June 2011 and to the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) conclusions of 26 September 2011,

   having regard to the conclusions of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Foreign Ministers’ meeting of 13 December 2010,

–   having regard to the Joint Declarations of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit of 7 May 2009 and of the Warsaw Eastern Partnership summit of 29-30 September 2011,

   having regard to the Barcelona Declaration establishing a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs held on 27 and 28 November 1995,

   having regard to the approval of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) by the Brussels European Council of 13 and 14 March 2008,

   having regard to the Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, held in Paris on 13 July 2008,

   having regard to the conclusions of the EU-Morocco Association Council of 13 October 2008, which granted advanced status to Morocco,

   having regard to the conclusions of the EU-Jordan Association Council of 26 October 2010, which granted advanced status to Jordan,

   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)(1),

   having regard to its Written Declaration No 15/2011 of 27 September 2011 on the establishment of Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programmes,

   having regard to the European Court of Auditors Special Report No 13/2010, entitled ‘Is the new European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument successfully launched and achieving results in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia)?’,

   having regard to Council Decision 2011/424/CFSP of 18 July 2011 appointing a European Union Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean region(2) and Council Decision 2011/518/CFSP of 25 August 2011 appointing the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia(3),

   having regard to its resolutions on Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy – Eastern Dimension and on Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy – Southern Dimension of 7 April 2011 (B7-0198/2011 and B7-0199/2011),

   having regard to its resolutions of 19 January 2006 on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)(4), of 15 November 2007 on strengthening the ENP(5), of 6 July 2006 on the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument(6), of 5 June 2008 on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP(7), of 19 February 2009 on the review of the ENPI(8), of 19 February 2009 on the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean(9), of 17 January 2008 on a Black Sea Regional Policy Approach(10), of 20 January 2011 on an EU Strategy for the Black Sea(11), of 20 May 2010 on the Union for the Mediterranean(12), of 20 May 2010 on the Need for an EU Strategy for the South Caucasus(13), of 9 September 2010 on the situation of the Jordan River, with special regard to the Lower Jordan River area(14),of 3 February 2011 on the situation in Tunisia(15), of 17 February 2011 on the situation in Egypt(16), of 10 March 2011 on the Southern Neighbourhood, and Libya in particular, including humanitarian aspects(17) and of 7 July 2011 on Syria, Yemen and Bahrain in the context of the situation in the Arab World and North Africa, of 15 September 2011 and of 20 January 2011 on the situation in Belarus and all its previous resolutions on Belarus, and of 15 September 2011 on the situation in Libya(18) and the situation in Syria(19),

   having regard to the recommendations adopted by the committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM) at its seventh plenary session, held in Rome on 3 and 4 March 2011,

–   having regard to the Constituent Act of the EU-Neighbourhood East Parliamentary Assembly (EURONEST) of 3 May 2011,

   having regard to the conclusions of the inaugural meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) held in Barcelona on 21 January 2010,

   having regard to its resolution on the Cultural dimensions of the EU’s external actions (2010/2161(INI))(20),

   having regard to the European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World (COM(2007)0242),

   having regard to Articles 8 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union,

   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Culture and Education, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0400/2011),

A. whereas respect for and promotion of democracy and human rights – particularly women’s, children’s and minority rights – justice and the rule of law, fundamental freedoms – including freedom of speech, conscience, religion or belief, sexual orientation, association and the media, including unrestricted access to information, communication and internet – strengthening of civil society, security – including peaceful conflict resolution and good neighbourly relations -, democratic stability, prosperity, the fair distribution of income, wealth and opportunities, social cohesion, the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance and sustainable development are founding principles and aims of the EU which must constitute common values at the core of the ENP review;

B.  whereas it is in the highest interest of the EU to be ambitious in economic cooperation and adopt a mutually beneficial, responsible and flexible strategy based on support for democratic transitions and defence of human rights, learning from the failures and the mistakes of EU and Member States’ policy with regard, in particular, to the complacent approach towards the authoritarian regimes of the Southern neighbourhood, from which the lesson has been learnt that the overall EU-ENP should be value-based;

C. whereas, in this new context, relations with these countries should be given fresh impetus, based on cooperation focusing on democracy and prosperity on both shores of the Mediterranean, and not only security and migration control;

D. whereas the Union for the Mediterranean was established with the ambitious objective of being a permanent instrument for strengthening relations with the Southern neighbourhood countries, replacing the former Barcelona Process with the intention of reinforcing and raising the profile of its work;

E.  whereas the cooperation in the framework of the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly aims at bringing positive effects by serving as a platform to exchange views, find common positions on global challenges of our times with respect to democracy, politics, economics, energy security, and social affairs, as well as strengthen ties between the countries of the region and with the EU;

F.  whereas Article 49 of the TFEU stipulates that any European State which respects the values the EU is based upon, namely democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and is committed to promoting them, may apply to become a member of the Union;

G. whereas strengthened relations require a clear and proven commitment towards reform with the aim of making tangible progress in fulfilment of predefined benchmarks;

H. whereas the EU should provide itself with flexible and properly funded instruments in order to match its ambitions and events in the regions, emphasising optimum use of existing financial instruments;

I.   whereas the effects of the economic and financial crisis have come on top of the existing political and social challenges in the partner countries, particularly in relation to the problem of unemployment; whereas it is in the common interest of these countries and the EU to bring down unemployment rates in the region and to offer its people, particularly women, young people and the rural population, hope for the future;

J.   whereas the European Parliament gives its support for the establishment of Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programmes through Written Declaration 15/2011 of 27 September 2011;

1.  Welcomes the Joint Communications of the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on ‘A new response to a changing Neighbourhood’ and ‘A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean’ and the approach presented therein, in particular regarding the principles of mutual accountability and shared commitment to universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as well as conditionality, a tailor-made approach towards the partner countries, the advancing of multilateral and sub-regional cooperation, and the principle of further involving societies within the ENP policy;

2.  Acknowledges the European aspirations and the European choice of some partners and their commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy and stresses the necessity of setting a new and distinct relationship between the EU and EaP countries, supporting their work to consolidate sustainable democracies and market-economies;

3.  Insists, however, that tangible and credible incentives should be given to the neighbourhood countries to engage in the common goal of building deep democracy, and that differentiation based on each country’s political, economic and social realities, performance and achievements should be predicated on clearly defined criteria and assessable and regularly monitored benchmarks for each individual partner country; calls in this regard on the Commission and the EEAS to consider the benchmarks laid down in the Joint Communication as objectives to be achieved and that, for assessing the progress made, these objectives require more specific, measurable, achievable, time bound benchmarks, the departing point of which is different for the Southern and Eastern neighbourhood; is of the opinion that a result-oriented policy needs a clearer methodology of benchmarking and underlines, in this context, the importance of setting up appropriate follow-up mechanisms to assess the progress of ENP countries; stresses that this approach has to be reflected in the structure of the ENP Action Plans and in the corresponding annual progress reports;

4.  Believes that the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy creates an opportunity for the EU to effectively meet its objectives and respect its values as laid down in Articles 2, 3, 6, 8 and 21 of the TEU;

5.  Stresses that while EU policy in the field of development cooperation falls within the framework of the principles and objectives of its external action – and therefore, in this case, of the European Neighbourhood Policy – the EU nevertheless has a constitutional obligation, enshrined in the second subparagraph of Article 208(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, to take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the EEAS never to lose sight of these objectives, which are the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty, in their implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy, both in the eastern neighbourhood partner countries and in those in the southern neighbourhood;

6.  Supports the consolidation in the ENP of previously separated strands of foreign and assistance policy; looks for a strengthened network of institutional arrangements which is stable, economical and purposefully dedicated to developing closer economic integration and political association among all those involved, including the alignment of values within all international fora – especially the United Nations – with those of the European Union;

Deep democracy and partnership with societies

7.  Although the EU does not seek to impose a model or a ready-made recipe for political reforms, underlines that the ENP is based on shared values, joint ownership, mutual accountability and respect and the commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the fight against corruption, the market economy and good governance;

8.   Underlines the importance of active and independent civil society organisations, including the social partners, for democracy; emphasises the importance of dialogue with, and proper European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) funding for, the civil society organisations, stresses that the partnership between the EU and the ENP countries and their respective civil societies should be strengthened in order to help build functioning democracies, foster reforms and sustainable economical growth; emphasises that these partnerships with civil society must be inclusive, including in particular representatives of women’s organisations and minority groups; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to support parliaments, local and regional authorities, and civil society in their efforts to play their proper role in defining ENP strategies, holding governments to account, monitoring and assessing past performance and achieved results;

9.   Stresses the importance of building a partnership with civil societies as a means to promote change and democratisation; in this context, takes note of the allocation of EUR 22 million to the Civil Society Facility (CSF) for the period 2011-2013 and looks forward to the Facility being more substantially funded in the next Multiannual Financial Framework; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to better explain the scope and objectives of a potential CSF and calls for a greater clarification of the CSF in terms of complementarities with the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the ENPI; notes that instruments should also be identified to concretely support religious and ethnic minorities in the areas covered by the initiative; recommends that this Facility be used to improve the work of the Civil Society Forum within the Eastern Partnership and to potentially build up such a forum also for the Southern partners;

10. Welcomes the proposal for a European Endowment for Democracy (EED), which is a timely response to the clamour for democracy by the populations of our neighbouring countries; underlines that it should be a flexible, fast and targeted mechanism for support and should complement already existing EU instruments and the exemplary work of longstanding European political or non-political foundations and civil society organisations, bearing in mind that tangible results should be an objective of this initiative; stresses that the Endowment should not hinder or duplicate the action already being taken by these foundations, or as part of existing European programmes, such as the EIDHR; stresses that its scope and organisation should be clearly defined and that its structures and procedures should be light and straightforward; calls upon the EEAS, the Commission and the (Polish) Presidency to present a clear demarcation of the competences of a future EED in relation to these instruments and frameworks; insists on a right of scrutiny and the involvement of the European Parliament in its governance structure, to help determine the annual objectives, priorities, expected results, and financial allocations in broad terms and to be part in the monitoring of activities; expresses some concerns about the fact that this future fund could be financed, fully or in part, outside of the EU budget and reaffirms the right of the budget authority to monitor and scrutinise the implementation of this fund; requests therefore, a clarification from the Commission and the Council on the issue;

11. Calls on the EEAS and the Commission, under their new ‘more for more’ performance-based approach, to continue to encourage all types of political reform, taking into account the needs and level of economic growth and social development of each partner country; calls on them to provide a clear and adequate methodology and detailed benchmarks to assess the record of the ENP countries concerning respect for and promotion of democracy and human rights (including in particular freedom of speech, conscience, religion, association and the media) and to deliver regular sufficiently detailed reports, which should be the basis for the allocation of funds under the new performance-based approach ‘more for more’; asks for these evaluations to be included in the ENP progress reports and to be presented annually to its Committee on Foreign Affairs; insists on the need to systematically include civil-society organisations at all stages of the review process; takes the view that this performance-based approach also means ‘less for less’ and reiterates its call for effective implementation of the Human Rights and Democracy Clause in EU agreements with third countries;

12. Invites the EEAS and the Commission to provide more information on the way to implement the principle of mutual accountability;

13. Considers that human rights situations should be continuously monitored – with particular regard to the rights of children, women and minorities – and human rights dialogues conducted with all partner countries and that an annual assessment of the situation as well as the outcomes of the dialogues should be included in the annex to the annual progress report of each partner country with a clear mechanism to reconsider and progressively limit bilateral cooperation if human rights violations are confirmed; underlines that the approach towards various partner countries regarding the human rights situation has to be credible;

14. Calls on the EU and the Member States to focus their cooperation within the ENP on twinning EU democratic actors such as trade unions, NGOs, relevant employers’ organisations, farmers, women, participants in religious dialogue, consumers, youth, journalists, teachers, local government bodies, universities, students, climate change actors and their emerging counterparts in ENP countries;

15. Stresses that freedom of expression and media independence and pluralism are cornerstones of a solid and sustainable democracy and of common values; underlines the importance of independent, sustainable and accountable public media services, to provide quality, pluralistic and diverse content, recalling that free and independent public media always play a crucial role in deepening democracy, in maximising the involvement of civil society in public affairs and in empowering citizens on the path to democracy;

16. Strongly supports and calls for the free flow of information, for conditions to be ensured that allow journalists to work effectively and freely without political, economic or other pressure, and for the construction of infrastructure which will make it possible to develop modern electronic technology; welcomes the declaration of access to the internet as a human right by the UN on 6 June 2011; in this regard urges the EEAS and the Commission to create special tools for assisting civil societies, organisations and individuals in the ENP countries to have unhindered access to the internet and other forms of electronic communications technologies;

17. Underlines that in the ongoing processes of democratic transitions in the Arab Spring countries, the participation of women, young people and civil society and the functioning of free and independent media will be crucial and urges the EU to increase support to train and organise those actors, including by inviting them to observe elections and the functioning of democratic institutions within the EU;

18. Considers that full and effective respect for the freedom of religion (at individual, collective, public, private and institutional level) should be identified as a priority, particularly for all religious minorities present in the region, together with the need to provide specific assistance for these groups;

19. Stresses, in particular, the importance of promoting the rights of the child and ensuring child protection, as enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty;

20. Urges support for the development of democratically oriented political parties in those neighbourhood countries which are still striving towards democracy, as well as creation of NGOs and civil society organisations;

21. Underlines the importance of women being well-represented in parliament, ministries, top government posts, in decision-making positions in the public and local administration and in the management of public companies; encourages the ENP partner countries to adopt and mainstream gender equality policies and to adopt action plans for gender equality;

22. Welcomes the work of the High-Level EU Advisory Group to the Republic of Armenia and the launch of a similar group in Moldova; encourages the VP/HR and the Commission to offer such assistance to all Eastern Partners making sure, as in the case of Armenia, that the parliamentary dimension is covered; requests the upgrade of this EU instrument and recommends the EEAS to be directly in charge of the recruitment as well as management of advisors in order to guarantee the most adequate transfer of EU knowledge to the Eastern Partnership countries;

23. Calls on the EC to enhance the visibility of the EaP and UfM projects in the partner countries and make them more understandable to their citizens, demonstrating the added value of cooperation with the EU;

24. Recalls that the EU’s engagement with its neighbours should be conditional on their democratic progress and respect for human rights; therefore calls on the international community to freeze its financial assistance, as well as that of the International Financial Institutions to which its members belong, to the Belarusian regime until all detained and arrested opposition leaders, journalists, presidential candidates and their supporters are released and cleared of charges and rehabilitated;

25. Endorses the current EU official approach of sanctioning the Belarusian authorities, while striving to strengthen ties with civil society and the people in Belarus; in this respect urges the European Union to reorient towards society and increase its assistance to Belarus in order to address the needs of the population, strengthen financial and technical support to democratic opposition, human rights defenders and civil society organisations including those that are unregistered, as well as to students and free media;

Sustainable economic and social development

26. Stresses that sustainable democracy, functioning and de-bureaucratised institutions, the rule of law and quality education not only promote political stability, social welfare and cohesion but also stimulate economic growth by improving the business environment and attracting investment, allowing new SMEs to emerge and fostering trade, the green economy and tourism, all of which generate new jobs and new opportunities; underlines the need to create an environment conducive to investment, with stability, legal security and the fight against corruption at its core; calls, therefore, on the EU to encourage structural reforms in the economic, social and legal arenas as part of its support for democratic transitions noting emphatically the close interweaving of democratic and socio-economic development; welcomes the Commission’s flagship initiatives on SMEs and on regional energy markets and energy efficiency; believes that these efforts should be reflected in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF);

27. Stresses that immediate measures, such as cofinancing of already identified flagship or pilot projects or other concrete economic projects of strategic importance, which can be implemented on the ground rapidly, with unquestionable tangible results, should be promptly undertaken to alleviate the situation of the countries currently facing significant socioeconomic crises, with special regard to partner countries where democratic transition aggravates economic difficulties; underlines that such EU-financed measures can only be taken if all parties involved commit themselves to verifiable compliance in each specific case with the social, environmental and labour standards applicable internationally and in the EU and if these measures bring an immediate improvement to the social situation of citizens in the ENP countries;

28. Strongly supports the promotion of sub-regional cooperation and cross-border projects and stresses the importance of developing complementary partner-to-partner bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation, which would bring tangible benefits for citizens and improve the political climate in the region; emphasises that such sub-regional economic cooperation must be part of a wider integration plan encouraging the development of sub-regional projects in the areas of mobility, social and environmental protection, culture and education; places particular emphasis on the importance of encouraging the development of ‘South-South’ and ‘East-East’ trade and economic integration among the countries concerned; considers that improvements in such cooperation among the partners would be a signal of commitment towards the European values of good neighbourhood relations and mutually beneficial partnerships;

29. Urges the Commission to support administrative capacity building in employment and social affairs, paying special attention to building capacity in legal services, which will ensure better preparation for leading the reforms;

30. Emphasizes the importance of trade unions and social dialogue as part of the democratic development of the ENP partner countries; encourages them to strengthen labour and trade union rights; points out the important role social dialogue can have in regard to the socio-economic challenges in the regions;

31. Recalls the necessity of ensuring that the minimum wage according to national practices provides an adequate standard of living for workers and their families and that deductions from wages should not deprive employees and their dependants of their very means of subsistence;

32. Notes that adequate time should be foreseen for notices of termination of employment, taking into account the employee’s length of service;

33. Emphasises that the Union must afford special importance to decentralised cooperation at local level, by means of small-scale projects providing immediate and tangible improvements to the quality of life of citizens in neighbouring countries, thereby helping consolidate the progress made towards democracy across the entire territory of these countries;

34. Calls on the Commission to embrace the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) as the guiding policy framework for medium-term pro-poor economic growth and the equitable distribution of wealth according to the needs of the country;

Association agreements

35. Underlines the opportunity that negotiations on Association Agreements provide to boost reforms; stresses that all the components should be linked in order for the EU to deepen its relationship in a comprehensive and coherent manner; believes that they should therefore include concrete conditions, timetables and performance benchmarks which should be regularly monitored; stresses the need to include in these agreements real and tangible incentives for the partners to make the reform path more attractive;

36. States that differentiation should be applied to trade in good and services, invites ENP partner countries to move forward on creating the conditions that will allow the establishment of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) and calls on the EU to assist them in their reform efforts and to open its internal market, subject to the necessary alignment of safety and quality specifications, to European standards, and to engage with them in a mutually beneficial process of gradual, balanced opening of their markets; underlines that the EU should also assess the political, social and environmental circumstances of each country with reference to their participation in the future DCFTA and eventually define gradual steps in its implementation, ensuring that international conventions on labour laws and child labour are monitored; stresses that trade ties, especially DCFTAs, should be, through their requirements, viewed as a means to enhance the commitment towards democratic values of the ENP countries, as part of the conditionality principle; supports, in parallel, full membership of the WTO for all Eastern Partnership States;

37. Notes that a European perspective, including Article 8 of the Treaty on European Union and the membership aspirations of Eastern Partnership countries pursuant to article 49 of the TEU, constitutes a driving force for reforms in these countries and further strengthens their commitment to shared values and principles such as democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and good governance; believes that the conclusion of Association Agreements can be an important step towards further political engagement and a stronger relationship with Europe, through the exchange of good practices and consolidated political and economic dialogue;

38. Reaffirms that, for the Southern partnership, the aim is to bring the two shores of the Mediterranean closer together with a view to establishing an area of peace, democracy, security and prosperity for their 800 million inhabitants, and to provide the EU and its partners with an effective bilateral and multilateral framework enabling them to overcome democratic, social and economic challenges, to promote regional integration, in particular in relation to trade, and to ensure their co-development for the benefit of all, and to assist the partners in building democratic, pluralistic and secular states, namely through institutional capacity building programmes, as well as to develop mutually beneficial balanced and ambitious arrangements for trade in goods and services, preceded by the relevant impact assessments, that can lead to DCFTAs, which will surely represent the first step towards a big ‘Euro-Mediterranean Economic Space’, which could also help to alleviate the economic problems of our neighbouring partners in the South and facilitate South-South integration; calls on the Commission and the Council to facilitate the implementation of the six packages of measures outlined in the Commission document of 30 March 2011 concerning the monitoring of trade and investment initiatives for the benefit of partners on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean;

39. Wishes that objective, binding criteria for granting ‘advanced status’ be defined; stresses the need to clarify the rights and duties arising from this bilateral commitment, both for partner countries and for the EU;

40. Stresses that the contractual relations with all ENP countries contain arrangements for a regular forum to address human rights issues, in the form of subcommittees on human rights; calls on the EEAS to make full use of these arrangements and involve existing subcommittees in any negotiations;

Sectoral cooperation

41. Stresses that the EU should foster synergies between European external and internal policies, particularly through the approximation of legislation aimed at job creation, poverty reduction, modernisation of labour policies, energy security and efficiency, development of renewable sources and environmental sustainability, improvement of social protection, wealth creation and justice, and facilitating trade in line with the principle of diversification;

42. Believes that sharing a common area means sharing responsibilities fairly, and calls for closer cooperation, in particular with regard to all policies and issues entailing a cross-border dimension; calls, therefore, for the regional and cross-border dimensions of sectoral cooperation to be strengthened;

43. Welcomes the increased interaction of partner countries in EU agencies in various areas; calls on the Commission to present a clear and comprehensive list of relevant agencies and programmes in which neighbouring countries could participate, together with an overview of the form, financial contribution and method of such differentiated participation;

44. Supports further cooperation in sectors such as industry, SMEs, research, development and innovation, ICT including security of IT systems, space, and tourism and stresses the benefits of joint research programming initiatives by the EU and its neighbours; welcomes the Commission’s proposals concerning the development of a common knowledge and innovation space and of a digital economy based on ICT, and calls on the Member States and neighbouring countries to reaffirm their commitment to progress towards this development; reiterates the importance of effective trade and investment facilitation mechanisms between the EU and its neighbouring countries in order to reinforce trade partnerships and allow economic operators, especially SMEs, to access adequate, reliable information on trade and investment conditions in partner countries;

45. Welcomes the reinforcement of the energy cooperation dimension of the ENP; underlines the importance of sharing the EU experience on energy sector reforms with neighbouring countries; considers it necessary to step up energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy; calls for security of energy supply through the diversification of sources and demand management, deeper engagement with main suppliers and transit states and coordination on nuclear safety measures, particularly in regions that are prone to high seismic activity, together with increased transparency so as to ensure that full compliance with environmental and international nuclear safety agreements remains an EU energy policy priority and that both Eastern and Southern neighbours remain a key focus of the coordinated EU external energy policy; calls for effective measures to ensure that the principle of solidarity is applied in the field of energy;

46. Welcomes the proposal for the creation of a European Energy Community and believes that it could be an important step towards cooperation with our neighbours; stresses the importance of the role played by the Southern neighbourhood countries in supplying energy to various Member States; highlights the need to foster Euro-Mediterranean interconnections in the gas and electricity sectors; emphasises the strategic significance of the Nabucco project and of its swift implementation, as well as of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation under the AGRI project; calls on the Commission to encourage, including through investment, the construction, upgrading and development of smart energy networks and infrastructure interconnections with EU neighbours;

47. Draws attention, furthermore, to the supporting role which the EU could play in tackling environmental problems in neighbouring countries, particularly in eliminating large stocks of ‘obsolete pesticides’, which can cause large-scale chemical pollution;

48. Supports further cooperation in the transport sector, including by linking the infrastructure network of EU and partner countries more tightly in order to facilitate exchanges of people and goods, which can be achieved through closer market integration and improved infrastructure links;

49. Considers international, regional and interregional cultural cooperation based on a genuine dialogue between cultures and including all sectors of society (cultural authorities, institutions, organisations and associations) to be essential; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to coordinate strategic deployment of the cultural aspects of external policy, seeking complementarities with the Member States’ external cultural policies;

50. Strongly reaffirms the connection between, on the one hand, exchange and cooperation between the EU and ENP countries in the fields of culture, education and sport and, on the other hand, the building and strengthening of an open civil society, democracy, the rule of law and the spread of fundamental freedoms and human rights; stresses that mutual cooperation in these areas constitutes an added value for both EU and ENP countries;

51. Believes that fostering participation in EU cultural programmes can benefit material and non-material development in ENP countries, and stresses, therefore, the importance of programmes such as Media Mundus and of projects run under the auspices of the Union for the Mediterranean and of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme; points out, furthermore, that cultural programmes and programmes to promote mobility should also focus on the mobility of artists and those pursuing artistic studies; advocates the establishment of a cultural visa for artists and other culture professionals from ENP countries; calls also on the Commission to propose a short-stay visa initiative with the aim of eliminating obstacles to mobility in the cultural sector;

52. Stresses the importance of strengthening, within the ENP framework, cooperation for the development of sport in the countries concerned, in view of the educational value of sporting activities; calls on the European institutions and the Member States to work for the free movement of athletes worldwide, beginning with those from the ENP countries;

53. Urges an assessment of existing programmes with a view to ensuring efficient use of resources in order to meet the EU’s goals and objectives; supports streamlining internal operations within the Commission in relation to the different existing programmes and projects dealing with culture and education;

54. Stresses the added value of the Tempus IV programme in promoting cooperation and seeking to modernise the education systems of the countries adjoining the EU, and calls on the Commission to provide support for the programme with a view to the next MFF;

55. Hopes that partner countries will become more actively involved in the work of the European Training Foundation and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency;

56. Notes that strengthening the Youth dimension of the Eastern Partnership and Union for Mediterranean is an important investment in the future of EU - ENP relations with great potential for years to come and in the democratisation of those partners and harmonisation of their legislation with European standards; reiterates that additional funding allocated to the Erasmus Mundus and Youth in Action for 2012 within the EU Budget for 2012 should foster cooperation between higher education institutions, improve exchanges of academic staff and students, and build networks enhancing the capacity of NGOs in the field of youth in Europe and European Neighbourhood Policy countries;

57. Believes that the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) provides a unique platform and opportunity for strengthening cooperation in the area of higher education and student mobility with our Southern neighbours, at a time when it is of particularly vital importance to deepen the relations with the Southern partnership countries, especially with their younger generations; underlines, in this respect, that the EMUNI’s potential should be developed as much as possible;

58. Calls on the Commission to take over Parliament’s proposal, produced in the wake of the Arab Spring, to establish a Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus programme, an initiative which – assuming that it were successful – would be suitable to extend to the neighbourhood as a whole; at this stage deplores the inadequacy of the Commission proposals, which, notwithstanding the Commission’s statements on 27 September 2011, in reality provide only for a very modest increase in the number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships;

59. Calls on the Commission to take over Parliament’s proposal, produced in the wake of the Arab Spring, to establish a Euro-Mediterranean Leonardo da Vinci programme aimed at encouraging the mobility of young people wishing to acquire vocational training abroad, the object being to help combat the youth unemployment endemic to the Southern Mediterranean;

60. Reaffirms its great support for the EU-funded project of ENP scholarships to the university graduates from the ENP and the EU at the College of Europe; believes that this will allow the preparation of future European and neighbouring countries’ interlocutors who are fully and professionally acquainted with the substance and spirit of EU policies, law and institutions, for EU-ENP-related jobs; calls on partner countries whose citizens were granted such a scholarship to use their knowledge and experience by engaging them in the national administration and proposing them adequate working conditions;

61. Stresses the important role played by local authorities in the democratic development of our partner countries; therefore calls on the Commission to strengthen and increase the TAIEX(21) and twinning programmes with the local authorities in EU and partner countries;

Mobility

62. Recalls that the EU should improve the management and maximise the mutual benefits of migration for development, inter alia by providing better conditions for the establishment of legal migrants in the EU and dealing with the root causes of irregular migration in the partner countries; considers that the EU needs to favour legal labour migration by concluding mobility partnerships, which take account of the demographic, sociological and occupational balance on both sides, and encouraging exchanges of specialists between the EU and third countries; calls upon the Member States to view the mobility debate as an important element of the Neighbourhood Policy that should not be steered primarily by security concerns; stresses the importance of combating illegal immigration and bringing organisations guilty of people-trafficking to justice;

63. Believes that the EU should advance its work on visa facilitation and readmission agreements on a parallel basis in the utmost transparency with a view to moving – gradually and on a case-by-case basis, once all conditions are met – to a visa-free regime; also calls for the material conditions for the issue and renewal of visas to be more respectful of human rights; stresses in this respect that youth and student mobility should be treated as a priority; stresses also that the Eastern Partnership countries should benefit from a privileged EU offer on visa liberalisation in terms of calendar and substance; underlines that the provisions on asylum must be fully in line with international obligations and commitments and EU standards, especially in the human rights field;

64. Recalls, in this connection, that the Member States must uphold the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ and make every effort to facilitate the development of an accessible, fair and protective EU asylum system;

65. Calls on the Member States and the EU to ratify the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; considers that the review of the ENP should facilitate the adoption of specific measures in these fields; agrees with the Commission’s observations concerning the situation with regard to migration for family reasons, and welcomes its forthcoming Green Paper on the subject;

66. Underlines the importance of paying particular attention to young people, and emphasises the need to enhance synergies between Youth on the Move and ENP; stresses that the EU should increase cooperation in the field of academic education and vocational training, immediately broadening and increasing scholarship programmes and mobility of students, graduates, teachers and academics by promoting exchanges between higher education and training institutions, along with public-private partnerships in the field of research and enterprises; considers it essential to develop more flexible, accelerated procedures for issuing visas to participants in such programmes; emphasises the need to advance the work on mutual recognition of qualifications and education systems with ENP partner countries especially on the approximation of Higher Education Diplomas and standards to the European Higher Education Area; stresses the strong need for a structured information policy towards the citizens of the ENP partners concerning the possibility of participation in EU programmes;

67. Calls on the Council and the Commission to set up a structured dialogue with third country authorities in order to develop a win-win approach to mobility, to ease visa formalities, to make greater use of the opportunities offered by the EU Visa Code while improving and harmonising its application in order to guarantee equal and fair conditions for applicants in all Member States, focusing in particular on the effects of the interdependence between development aid, security, regular migration and irregular migration as defined in the Global Approach to Migration; calls for special attention to be paid to ensuring that partner countries do not suffer from a ‘brain drain’;

68. Calls on the EU to enhance the accessibility and channelling of EU funds into projects aimed at informing migrants of their rights and responsibilities and at protecting their rights, with particular reference to the rights of unaccompanied minors, women and other vulnerable groups; asks the Commission therefore to provide Parliament with a detailed report on the use of EU funds earmarked for neighbouring countries, including under the Commission’s thematic programme for cooperation with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum;

Regional dimension

69. Reiterates its firmly held view that the European Neighbourhood Policy will not be wholly effective unless synergy is created between its bilateral and multilateral dimensions; considers it essential, therefore, to strengthen the multilateral component of the ENP, to which a more substantial proportion of funding should be allocated under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument;

70. Welcomes the proposal to use the multilateral framework more strategically in order to advance bilateral relations between the partners and expects concrete measures aimed at putting this proposal into practice; looks forward in this regard with great interest to the roadmap with objectives, instruments and actions announced by the HR/VP and the Commission by the end of the year;

71. Believes that the multilateral dimension of the EaP should be further strengthened and developed, including the Civil Society Forum; notes the importance of establishing a constructive dialogue with Turkey and Russia on regional issues of common interest and particularly as far as security issues are concerned;

72. Points out that the role of regions is crucial to ensure the success of long-term social and economic reforms and guarantee sustainable development; underlines that the ENP should be considered broadly in order to fuel the economic development of bordering areas; considers that the territorial cooperation principles apply also to external borders and are a key tool to improve EU economic development as well as the EU’s overall ENP political goals; is of the opinion that the new ENP approach must allow the EU’s macro-regional strategies and that the potential of the EU macroregions which include EU neighbouring countries should be fully used for better coordination of priorities and projects of common interest to the EU and the ENP countries in order to achieve mutually positive results and to optimise invested resources;

73. Stresses the outstanding role of Euroregions for the achievement of the cohesion policy goals and encourages the Commission to promote and help their development, particularly in border regions, in order to boost Euroregions’ role within the ENP policy;

74. Stresses the high potential of European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs) involving regions beyond the external borders; encourages specific agreements with neighbouring third countries with regard to the introduction of national laws allowing EGTC structures under their national laws and inter-state agreements enabling local and regional authorities of third countries to participate in EGTCs;

75. Considers that the future ENP should take into account the role of the outermost regions in the EU external relations policy; notes that they represent a real opportunity to influence EU external policy since they allow the EU on the one hand to have closer relations with a large number of third countries and on the other hand to tackle complex issues like irregular migration; calls on the Commission to provide greater flexibility as regards innovative funding opportunities for selected cohesion policy projects so as to enable these to become established in, and benefit, both European regions and those in non-member countries;

76. Emphasises the importance of a wider geographical and strategic approach when looking at the ENP with a view to the future, recalling that, following the European Parliament’s Resolution of 19 January 2006 on the ENP, the EU established in November 2007 specific policies on Atlantic island countries neighbouring EU outermost regions adjacent to the European continent, where special questions of geographical proximity, cultural and historical affinity and mutual security were found to be relevant; welcomes the high level of results achieved and the dynamism of the specific policies already implemented, namely the EU-Cape Verde Special Partnership; and calls on the EU to further strengthen its dialogue and policy convergence with these countries and to support their efforts to consolidate political, social and economic reforms;

77. Understands that the Commission’s DG Regional Development possesses vast experience of the management of the ERDF and is convinced that it would be in the interest of ENPI goals to draw on DG Regio’s advice regarding the management of funds; therefore believes that the management of these financial tools in relation to CBC programmes should be returned to DG Regio, which was responsible for it in the past;

78. Welcomes the Joint Declaration of the Warsaw Eastern Partnership Summit of 30 September 2011, as well as the Declaration on the situation in Belarus, in particular regarding the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the commitment to deeper bilateral engagement, both economic and political, including the willingness to progress in the Association Agreement negotiations, the strengthening of the multilateral co-operation among partners and the facilitation of mobility and the commitment to stepping up its implementation with clear benefits to the societies of partner countries;

79. Believes that the strengthening of the Eastern Partnership will be central for the development of EU border regions; stresses that the Eastern Partnership and regional development must work hand in hand and should encourage bi- and multilateral cooperation, such as free trade agreements, as well as properly funded joint projects, such as cultural and civil society exchanges;

80. Stresses the importance of further fostering regional cooperation in the Black Sea space and developing further the EU Black Sea Strategy; highlights the complementarity between EU Black Sea policies and the Eastern Partnership; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to make positive use of the differing approaches of the two initiatives and to clarify, at all levels, how this substantial degree of complementarity is to be put to good use;

81. Stresses the importance of the Union for the Mediterranean as a permanent forum for dialogue and cooperation and an instrument for the promotion of democracy; urges the (upcoming) co-presidency of Union for the Mediterranean to remain committed to the ambitious objectives initially set up and to contribute to the effective implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the Mediterranean region; takes the view that the UfM should promote sound economic, social and democratic development and create a strong and common basis for a close regional cooperation between the EU and its Southern neighbours; welcomes the opportunity offered by the UfM to strengthen complementarity between bilateral policies and regional policies, in order to achieve more effectively the goals of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, based on the mutual recognition of common values and on the establishment of an area of peace, security, and prosperity; welcomes in particular the commitment of the new Secretary General of the Union to work and bring forward UfM projects in the areas of democracy and civil society; regarding the current state of play, welcomes the increase in the overall budget of the Neighbourhood Investment Facility;

82. Notes that the multilateral component of the ENP should serve to aid the early, effective launch of tangible UfM projects to pave the way for a shared process of development and integration, not least by cofinancing feasibility studies and supporting the wider use of concessional loans;

83. Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to explore opportunities for an institutional interlink between the ENP and the neighbourhood policies of key regional players, above all Turkey; recalls Ankara’s ambition to inspire and assist democratic transitions and socio-economic reforms in the Southern neighbourhood; notes that participation of Turkish institutions and non-governmental organizations in ENP instruments would generate unique synergy effects, especially in areas such as institution-building and civil society development; believes that practical cooperation ought to be complemented by a structured dialogue between the EU and Turkey in order to coordinate their respective neighbourhood policies; recommends that a similar offer of cooperation in the ENP framework should, in principle, be extended to Russia and other relevant stakeholders;

The EU and conflict resolution

84. Recalls that peaceful resolution of regional military conflicts, including so called frozen ones, is the essential precondition for democracy consolidation, respect for human rights, prosperity and economic growth, and thus should be of the highest interest to the EU;

85. Recalls that the EU should get more involved and play a more active, coherent and constructive role in the resolution of regional conflicts, inter alia via the EEAS, by developing more confidence-building measures, reconciliation and mediation, considering new pragmatic and innovative approaches, including launching public communication strategies in partner countries, promoting a European civilian peace corps and local mediation actions, supporting civic culture - especially children’s and young people’s training, education and participation - and inter and intra-community dialogue, involving civil society organisations, developing cross-border projects, and strengthening good-neighbourly relations; points to the vital importance of intensifying political cooperation for the purposes of security and combating terrorism and individual forms of extremism;

86. Believes that intercultural and inter-religious dialogue is crucial to enhancing mutual understanding, respect, solidarity and tolerance with and among the neighbourhood partner countries; calls for the proposed new ENP instruments to give particular consideration to their promotion;

87. In the context of the aftermath of the revolutions in the North of Africa, stresses the importance of providing support to transitional justice and urges all partner countries to cooperate with international justice, namely the ICC;

88. Insists on the need to keep a regional approach and welcomes the decision both to appoint an EUSR for the South Caucasus and for the Southern Mediterranean Region and to establish a task force for the Southern Mediterranean; takes the view that a similar task force for the South Caucasus should be considered; stresses the need to ensure that the proactive role of the EU in the 5+2 talks on Transnistria is adequately resourced, especially since the termination of the mandate of the EU Special Representative;

89. Maintains that regional conflicts cannot be understood unless their cultural context is taken into account; calls for a coherent strategy to be implemented along the lines of the Blue Shield strategy, which gives culture a role in conflict prevention and the restoration of peace;

90. Welcomes the work that international organisations, particularly the OSCE and UN agencies, carry out on the ground in conflict and post-conflict situations and in promoting sustainable development throughout the neighbourhood, notably the long-standing commitment of UNRWA to Palestinian refugees;

91. Supports the EU’s humanitarian action and action for development and peace in the eastern neighbourhood partner countries, and in particular its important contribution to UNRWA; regrets, however, that this action is not yet accompanied by a strengthening of the EU as a leading political actor in the Middle East; urges the EEAS and the Commission to do their utmost to give the EU’s presence and action in the region a political weight which matches its decisive commitment to humanitarian aid and development aid;

Parliamentary dimension

92. Stresses that the European Parliament plays an important role, through its parliamentary delegations and its delegations to parliamentary assemblies, in strengthening political dialogue and promoting fully-fledged freedoms, democratic reforms and the rule of law in its neighbouring partner countries and underlines that these contacts could also be a way to assess the fulfilment of the forthcoming criteria and to make the necessary adjustments to bilateral and multilateral cooperation arrangements in the light of events and the progress achieved;

93. Reaffirms that the multilateral parliamentary assemblies, such as EURONEST and the PA-UfM, are crucial vectors of confidence- and coherence-building between the EU and the partner countries and among the partner countries themselves, and therefore greatly contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Eastern Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to associate EURONEST members to the maximum extent possible with the multilateral structures and platforms of the EaP; insists on the need to recognise the PA-UfM as a legitimate parliamentary institution of the UfM; emphasises that a fully-fledged secretariat will impart increased coherence to EURONEST’s and PA-UfM’s work and consistency with the ENP programmes planned for the Eastern and Southern regional dimension;

94. Calls on the EC to provide enhanced financial, technical and expert support to the EaP countries’ national parliaments’ administrations within the Comprehensive Institution Building programme in order to strengthen their efficiency, transparency and accountability, which is crucial if the parliaments are to play their proper role in the democratic decision making processes;

95. Confirms its openness to welcome representatives of the Belarusian Parliament in EURONEST as soon as parliamentary elections in Belarus are considered democratic by the international community, including the OSCE;

Funding

96. Welcomes the proposal for the new European Neighbourhood Instrument and the increase of funding for the ENP, as requested in its previous resolutions; considers that the distribution of funds should be flexible and adequate for both regions while keeping the regional balance, with an approach that is driven by performance and centred on commitments and progress as regards reforms in partner countries, as well as on their needs and capacities; notes that more flexibility and simplification should respect the right of democratic scrutiny and be accompanied by increased supervision of the spending;

97. Considers that maintaining a reasonable balance between East and South components is important, especially since Eastern neighbouring countries are in the process of implementing Eastern Partnership related programmes and reforms and have an EU perspective; believes, however, that this balance cannot be considered permanently fixed; fully supports the principle of differentiated and performance-driven flexible financial assistance, based on real needs, absorption capacity and targets attained;

98. Considers that the review of the ENI must be consistent with, and be conducted in the context of, the current evaluation of the 2007-2013 MFF and the negotiations on the post-2013 period, with the aim of not reopening negotiations on the financing of neighbourhood policy during 2012 and 2013;

99. Demands a sizeable increase in the Heading 4 ceiling of the EU budget for the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument, given that over the last years despite some progress in promoting enhanced cooperation and progressive economic integration between the European Union and the partner countries, more needs to be done as new challenges and areas for cooperation emerge;

100.  Underlines that the reallocation of appropriations needed for the increased funding for the ENP should be based on clear priorities and should therefore not be to the detriment of the Union’s only crisis response and peace-building tool, the Instrument for Stability, as proposed by the Commission; emphasises that the funding of the ENP should not be affected by the current sovereign debt crisis;

101. Regrets that a high percentage of the ENP funds available are spent on consultancy instead of going to projects and programmes and calls, in this respect, for a quick rebalance in their use under the new instrument;

102. Highlights the importance, in cases where the EU has mobilised humanitarian aid, of ensuring a suitable transition between rehabilitation, reconstruction and development in order to remedy some of the destructive consequences of the revolutions;

103. Considers that the CSF could be envisaged as an integral part of ENI; suggests considering the idea of redirecting the management of the ENI funds to the CSF if states fail to meet the conditions for financing due to unsatisfactory performance;

104. Emphasises the critical role of the ENI in supporting EU macro-regional strategies, such as the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, by providing funding for the external dimension of these strategies, most importantly activities which involve neighbouring countries;

105. Emphasises that the allocation of resources should be based on a limited number of clearly defined priorities and measurable objectives, in agreement with partner countries, taking into account their needs and based on clear conditionality and on the progress already achieved; underlines that budget support should be used only where there are guarantees for sound budgetary management and that the full range of available tools should be used to better reflect the priorities; outlines, in this context, the need for enhanced public procurement legislation and public finances management of the ENP countries;

106. Underlines the need for a consistent approach in the assistance provided to neighbouring countries by each individual EU Member State and the EU within the ENP framework; favours every mechanism that would help to coordinate and streamline the action of the different EU donors in the ENP countries, without adding unnecessary bureaucratic layers;

107. Points out that although aid can act as a leverage for ENP countries, it is not enough to guarantee sustainable and lasting development; therefore calls on ENP countries to strengthen and mobilise their domestic resources, set up transparent taxation systems, involve the private sector, local governments and civil society effectively in the ENP agenda and aim for their greater ownership of ENP projects;

108. Welcomes the decision of the G8 member countries to increase loan facilities for Southern partnership countries which have embarked on a democratic transition; considers that the commitments entered into in the ‘Deauville Partnership’ on 27 May 2011 are likely to encourage financial mobilisation in support of democracy and development in the EU’s partner countries;

109. Calls, in the light of the Arab Spring as well as the retreat from democracy in some of the Eastern partnership countries, for a specific self-critical evaluation of the financial instruments used in the past within the ENPI, with regard to their functioning in the fields of democracy, human rights, governance, fighting corruption, institution-building and support to civil society; believes that the EU must assume a newer approach enhancing cooperation for conflict prevention;

110. Is of the firm conviction that financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA must also be examined in the context of this review and be subject to long-term programming, as an integral part of the Neighbourhood Policy; does not consider the argument valid that the political instability in the region and the specificities of the peace process only allow provisional programming and case-by-case reinforcement;

111. Calls, given the current pressing needs, especially in the Southern neighbourhood, for a swift agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the proposal for reinforcing the Neighbourhood Instrument over the period 2012 to 2013; calls furthermore on Member States to promptly fulfil their bilateral pledges to the Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Partnership;

112. Insists that the Council should adopt without further delay the legislative proposal to amend Article 23 of the ENPI Regulation presented by the Commission in May 2008 and adopted by Parliament on 8 July 2008, which would make it possible to reinvest funds returned following past operations; recalls that this measure is already considered as a given and is reflected in the proposal for financing the review of the ENP in the 2011-2013 budget; calls on the Commission to consider alternative ways to ensure additional risk capital funds to be immediately made available through the EIB, for both the Southern and the Eastern dimensions;

113. Welcomes the work carried out by the European Investment Bank, in particular through the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and underlines the importance of and the need for more synergies with other national and international financial institutions also active in these countries; supports the modification of the EBRD’s statutes in order for the Southern neighbourhood partners also to be eligible for its assistance and wishes to ensure that the EIB and the EBRD, whose capital is for the most part, in both cases, of European origin, are brought into a fruitful relationship based on cooperation, not driven by competition;

*

*    *

114. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, the EEAS, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the ENP countries and the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean.

(1)

     OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 1.

(2)

     OJ L 188, 19.7.2011.

(3)

     OJ L 211, 27.8.2011.

(4)

     OJ C 287 E, 19.1.2006, p. 312.

(5)

     OJ C 282 E, 6.11.2008, p. 443.

(6)

     OJ C 303 E, 13.12.2006, p. 760.

(7)

     OJ C 285 E, 26.11.2009, p. 11.

(8)

     OJ C 76 E, 25.3.2010, p. 83.

(9)

     OJ C 76 E, 25.3.2010, p. 76.

(10)

   OJ C 41 E, 19.2.2009, p. 64.

(11)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0025.

(12)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0192.

(13)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0193.

(14)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0314.

(15)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0038.

(16)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0064.

(17)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0095.

(18)

  Text adopted, P7_TA(2011)0386.

(19)

  Text adopted, P7_TA(2011)0387.

(20)

  Text adopted, P7_TA(2011)0239.

(21)

Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument.


OPINION of the Committee on Development (8.11.2011)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Rapporteur: Michèle Striffler

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Stresses that while EU policy in the field of development cooperation falls within the framework of the principles and objectives of its external action – and therefore, in this case, of the European Neighbourhood Policy – the EU nevertheless has a constitutional obligation, enshrined in the second subparagraph of Article 208(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, to take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the EEAS never to lose sight of these objectives, which are the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty, in their implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy, both in the eastern neighbourhood partner countries and in those in the southern neighbourhood;

2.  Supports the EU’s humanitarian action and action for development and peace in the eastern neighbourhood partner countries, and in particular its important contribution to UNRWA; regrets, however, that this action is not yet accompanied by a strengthening of the EU as a leading political actor in the Middle East; urges the EEAS and the Commission to do their utmost to give the EU’s presence and action in the region a political weight which matches its decisive commitment to humanitarian aid and development aid;

3.  Calls for the mandate of the EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean to be utilised in development-related matters, as it believes that he can play a fundamental role in ensuring that democratic progress goes hand in hand with the consolidation of advances in the development field, and specifically in improving social and economic conditions in the countries in question;

4.  Highlights the need for continuing funding for the European Neighbourhood Policy despite the current economic crisis, but points out that under no circumstances can the EU’s development aid and humanitarian aid budgets be reallocated to finance the European Neighbourhood Policy, which is financed through a specific instrument;

5.  Highlights the importance, in cases where the EU has mobilised humanitarian aid, of ensuring a suitable transition between rehabilitation, reconstruction and development in order to remedy some of the destructive consequences of the revolutions;

6.  Notes that, taking advantage of the winds of freedom blowing across the southern shore of the Mediterranean during the Arab Spring, local civil societies sought to free themselves from the excessive control exercised by those in power; advocates tighter sub-regional cooperation and supports this desire for freedom, provided it is accompanied by real democratic progress which enables common values (democracy and human rights, particularly women’s rights, justice and the rule of law, fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech, conscience, religion, association and the media, security, democratic stability, prosperity, a fair distribution of income, wealth and opportunities, good governance and the fight against corruption) to be upheld; with that in mind, also supports the building of local democracy through the decentralisation and institutional reinforcement of local authorities;

7.  Stresses that fulfilment of basic human rights, including social and economic rights, should be the corner-stone of the neighbourhood policy; invites also the EU to elaborate a policy to address the issue of child labour with respect to the ILO Conventions on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, namely the age of 15, and on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, to eliminate the worst forms of child labour; emphasises that access to basic education and vocational training should be guaranteed in line with the MDGs;

8.  Emphasises the particular need for EU development and human rights programmes to support civil society, which is a front line player in these processes, and especially women’s and youth organisations; points out that, following the elections to be held in the coming months, work should also be intensified to strengthen the national parliaments that emerge from the polls, in order to enable them to develop their powers of oversight and scrutiny;

9.  Insists that the democratisation process should aim to reinforce the rule of law and build democratic institutions, including a functioning parliament representing political pluralism; stresses the vital role of civil society in this process and calls for a clear and transparent mechanism to be put in place that enables the active participation of civil society;

10. Stresses that migration relations between the EU and neighbouring countries are not solely a matter of the EU’s security priorities; calls on the EEAS and the Commission also to pay attention, in their future policies, to human rights protection for migrants and refugees, as well as to the link between migration and development in the southern and eastern partner countries.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

7.11.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

21

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Leonidas Donskis, Charles Goerens, András Gyürk, Eva Joly, Franziska Keller, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Norbert Neuser, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Michèle Striffler, Alf Svensson, Patrice Tirolien, Ivo Vajgl, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Fiona Hall, Krzysztof Lisek, Isabella Lövin, Horst Schnellhardt, Giancarlo Scottà, Jan Zahradil

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

João Ferreira


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (8.11.2011)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Rapporteur: Göran Färm

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Considers that a constructive long-term neighbourhood policy is of vital importance for the partnership countries in order to promote progress towards peace, democracy, stability and prosperity, but also strategically important for the European Union considering the importance of the partner countries in the East as well as the South for our common security, environment and economic development;

2.  Stresses that the review of the ENP must develop a well-structured and long-term, forward-looking ENI instrument, especially in a constrained budgetary environment, in order to avoid exaggerated fluctuations of financing and any potential overlapping with existing instruments; regrets, in that regard, the conclusion of the Foreign Affairs Council on 20 June 2011 that ‘significantly increased financial support [...] will be decided [...] without prejudice notably to the MFF’;

3.  Calls, in the light of the Arab Spring as well as the retreat from democracy in some of the Eastern partnership countries, for a specific self-critical evaluation of the financial instruments used in the past within the ENPI, with regard to their functioning in the fields of democracy, human rights, governance, fighting corruption, institution-building and support to civil society; believes that the EU must assume a newer approach enhancing cooperation for conflict prevention;

4.  Considers that the review of the ENI must be consistent with, and be conducted in the context of, the current evaluation of the 2007-2013 MFF and the negotiations on the post-2013 period, with the aim of not reopening negotiations on the financing of neighbourhood policy during 2012 and 2013;

5.  Considers that financial assistance under the neighbourhood policy must also take into account immigration and asylum and should support actions in order to mitigate the brain drain, promote information campaigns on the possibilities for legal migration, give structural help for reception of asylum-seekers and refugees, promote training of third countries’ officials in the field of asylum and human rights and facilitate reintegration of returnees; considers it necessary that the revised ENI does not neglect this dimension and is able to swiftly support and work in coherence with other financial instruments related to refugees, such as the European Refugee Fund, the European Return Fund and the External Borders Fund;

6.  Agrees on the necessary improved interaction between the ENI and other instruments such as the EIB and EBRD to maximise EU added value, avoid duplication of efforts and resources and optimise the impact of assistance; believes in this regard that a comprehensive framework for this interaction should be considered;

7.  Is of the firm conviction that financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA must also be examined in the context of this review and be subject to long-term programming, as an integral part of the neighbourhood policy; does not consider the argument valid that the political instability in the region and the specificities of the peace process only allow provisional programming and case-by-case reinforcement;

8.  Considers that maintaining a reasonable balance between East and South components is important, especially since Eastern neighbouring countries are in the process of implementing Eastern Partnership related programmes and reforms and have an EU perspective; believes, however, that this balance cannot be considered permanently fixed; fully supports the principle of differentiated and performance-driven flexible financial assistance, based on real needs, absorption capacity and targets attained;

9.  Emphasises the critical role of the ENI in supporting EU macro-regional strategies, such as the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, by providing funding for the external dimension of these strategies, most importantly activities which involve neighbouring countries;

10. Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to reinvigorate the participation of neighbouring countries in the work of some EU agencies and the EU programmes opened to third countries; calls on the Commission to present a clear and comprehensive list of relevant agencies and programmes in which neighbouring countries could participate, together with an overview of the form, financial contribution and method of such differentiated participation;

11. Insists on the necessity of clearly defined priorities and goals in order to avoid excessive dissipation, causing very slender results by spreading financial assistance too thinly; considers such a self-imposed limitation of priorities an essential tool also for conditionality and enhanced monitoring of assistance; reaffirms therefore that neighbouring countries and EU institutions must be politically and legally prepared to swiftly reconsider financial assistance if the conditions imposed are not met;

12. Notes that the reuse of EIB reflows represents almost 20 % of the overall financial envelope for the review; reiterates its call on the Council to rapidly adopt the legislative proposal to amend the ENPI Regulation so as to enable such a reuse; insists that no alternative has been put forward for the programmed amount of EUR 244 million, should the Council still be unable to find a majority on this issue after 3 years; considers that the EUR 1.24 billion envelope represents a minimum; believes that the only alternative to compensate for the non-reuse of EIB reflows would be the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument provided for by the IIA;

13. Stresses that enhanced coordination amongst Member States and between Member States and the EU when providing assistance to neighbouring countries is an absolute prerequisite for efficient and coherent European assistance; calls on all Member States to show real willingness to accommodate their national interests with the European Neighbourhood Policy, for the benefit of partner countries;

14. Calls, given the current pressing needs, especially in the Southern Neighbourhood, for a swift agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the proposal for reinforcing the Neighbourhood Instrument over the period 2012 to 2013; calls furthermore on Member States to promptly fulfil their bilateral pledges to the Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Partnership;

15. Takes note of the proposal to set up a European Endowment for Democracy fund; notes that its framework, detailed outlines and financing are still to be defined, and warns that it should not lead to overlapping and duplication with existing instruments; expresses some concerns about the fact that this future fund could be financed, fully or in part, outside of the EU budget and reaffirms the right of the budgetary authority to monitor and scrutinise the implementation of this fund; requests, therefore, a clarification from the Commission and the Council on the issue;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

7.11.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Francesca Balzani, Reimer Böge, Lajos Bokros, Isabelle Durant, James Elles, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Carl Haglund, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Ivailo Kalfin, Jan Kozłowski, Alain Lamassoure, Vladimír Maňka, Barbara Matera, Nadezhda Neynsky, Dominique Riquet, László Surján, Derek Vaughan

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Frédéric Daerden, Jürgen Klute, Georgios Stavrakakis

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Marisa Matias


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (9.11.2011)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Rapporteur: Sylvana Rapti

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas a holistic approach favouring employment and social protection is required for sustainable economic growth;

B.  whereas the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is essential for the stability of the neighbouring countries of the EU and contributes to the security and progress of all and whereas there is a shared interest in a democratic, stable, prosperous and peaceful wider area around Europe;

C. whereas the EU serves globally as a model of social development and can offer valuable expertise on responsible growth;

D. whereas the new ENP is and must continue to be reassessed in accordance with progress made in the neighbouring countries but also with regard to issues of mutual interest, and should be remodelled and conditioned accordingly to address developments in historical challenges and give priority to urgent situations;

E.  whereas the efforts to initiate democratic changes in North Africa were brought about by people, mainly the younger generation, living in societies with unequal wealth distribution, high unemployment, insufficient social security, a lack of education and social prospects or even living below the poverty line and surviving thanks to the informal economy;

F.  whereas the region around the southern partner countries has one of the lowest activity rates in the world and the events of early 2011 in a number of partner countries offer new opportunities to address the challenges of job creation;

G. whereas the European Neighbourhood Policy has to address equally the problems of the eastern and southern dimensions with respect to democracy and economic and social matters;

H. whereas demographic trends in different regions of the European Neighbourhood Policy differ significantly;

I.   whereas the immediate geo-proximity with the eastern and southern borders is of strategic importance, influxes of migrant workers, linked to cultural similarities and historical past, and potential future developments regarding enlargement are to be assessed as a priority;

1.  Stresses that the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) should support sustainable structural economic, social and educational reforms, undertaken within a secure and fair legal framework and in line with International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions, targeting job creation and social protection, and the appropriate modernisation of labour policies including training and educational programmes, with labour standards as pre-requisites for financial support. These reforms should encourage social and economic growth preventing social exclusion and social dumping while improving the business environment and support for small and medium-sized enterprises;

2.  Urges the ENP partners to ratify all ILO core labour conventions and align national legislation with them;

3.  Stresses that the ENP should support ENP countries in their own efforts to tackle urgent labour-market issues and provide long-term responses to labour market challenges, such as supply-demand mismatches, informal employment, bad working conditions, alarmingly high youth unemployment, illegal child labour, gender-based inequality and exclusion of vulnerable social groups, drawing on the expertise and collaboration of the EU, especially the European Training Foundation, and the international organisations that deal with reforming labour markets and developing social policies; calls for the establishment of an exchange mechanism for best practices regarding labour reforms and employment policies as well as for the provision of necessary technical support to the ENP countries;

4.  Stresses the importance of creating quality jobs, adapted to economic and labour market needs, in order to provide options to stay in the home country; reiterates that the development and close involvement of the private sector, notably small and medium-sized enterprises, are key levers for job creation; recalls at the same time the crucial need to cope effectively with irregular migration of vulnerable migrants who might be forced into or exposed to the risk of engaging in illegal behaviour or illegal situations on EU territory; recalls in this respect the importance of improving the living conditions of all migrants;

5.  Stresses that the ENP should form the basis for effective cooperation in tackling illegal immigration, since the partner countries are both countries of origin and countries of transit for illegal immigrants, managing effectively the borders, fighting organised crime and, consequently, protecting human rights;

6.  Recalls the necessity of ensuring that the minimum wage according to national practices provides an adequate standard of living for workers and their families and that deductions from wages should not deprive employees and their dependants of their very means of subsistence;

7.  Notes that adequate time should be foreseen for notices of termination of employment, taking into account the employee’s length of service;

8.  Stresses the usefulness of controlled circular mobility for both non-EU countries and the EU, and asks for measures to avoid a potential brain drain; stresses the need for the dialogue on support for access to the EU labour market to continue, and the need for better dissemination of information on the existing legal possibilities as regards mobility and migration, and on the opportunities for using the competences available necessary for the labour market; recalls that the right of a national from a non-EU country to reside and search for work on the territory of a Member State is regulated via directives at European level; states that adverse effects, such as family alienation, should be correctly assessed; stresses the positive impact of economic migration in achieving sustainable labour markets;

9.  Considers that cross-border projects and financial support for educational programmes such as Erasmus should be the main focus in assisting these countries in their transition towards a social market economy and in controlling the negative effects on their labour markets;

10. Welcomes student and vocational-training exchange initiatives such as the recently adopted Written Declaration on the establishment of Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programmes;

11. Insists on the empowerment of people, communities and the civil society, and on strengthening social dialogue;

12. Urges the Commission to promote social partners that are fully independent in terms of their creation and their development through various instruments, including financial and technical support, training, creation of networks and capacity-building measures, since social partners are indispensable for the establishment of social policies;

13. Believes that those Member States that share borders with the ENP countries are of crucial importance in assisting and sharing knowledge with those countries, especially with regard to labour and employment reforms; calls therefore on the Commission to actively engage in dialogue and actions together with the national authorities and the social partners in the neighbouring countries, in order to assist the ENP countries in creating networks and to provide technical assistance for capacity and institutional building;

14. Recalls the importance of the right of everyone to form trade unions and the right of trade unions to establish national federations or confederations and urges that this be facilitated and respected in practice; recalls that the right to strike is a recognised fundamental right and may not be refused solely on the ground of working in an area that is essential for a community, without differentiation between specific functions; urges that the right to be informed and consulted be promoted as being applicable to all areas of mutual concern, guaranteed by sanctions, and not excluded solely on the ground of working in the civil service;

15. Urges the Commission to support administrative capacity building in employment and social affairs, paying special attention to building capacity in legal services, which will ensure better preparation for leading the reforms;

16. Stresses the importance of coordinated policies between the EU and the Member States for better results in the areas of mutual concern but equally in setting conditionality standards;

17. Calls on the Commission to embrace the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) as the guiding policy framework for medium-term pro-poor economic growth and the equitable distribution of wealth according to the needs of the country;

18. Requires the Commission to effectively monitor and evaluate on an annual basis the results of its actions and financing, with respect to employment policies in particular, in conjunction with the provisions of ILO conventions and build the monitoring results into its future actions;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

7.11.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, Pervenche Berès, Philippe Boulland, Milan Cabrnoch, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Frédéric Daerden, Karima Delli, Frank Engel, Richard Falbr, Marian Harkin, Roger Helmer, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Ádám Kósa, Veronica Lope Fontagné, Elizabeth Lynne, Thomas Mann, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Siiri Oviir, Konstantinos Poupakis, Sylvana Rapti, Elisabeth Schroedter, Jutta Steinruck, Traian Ungureanu, Andrea Zanoni

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Georges Bach, Raffaele Baldassarre, Edite Estrela, Julie Girling, Richard Howitt, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Emilie Turunen

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Catherine Bearder


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (21.10.2011)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Rapporteur: Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the reinforcement of the energy cooperation dimension of the ENP; recalls that security of energy supply through the diversification of sources and demand management, and deeper engagement with main suppliers and transit states remains an EU energy policy priority and that both eastern and southern neighbours remain a key focus of the coordinated EU external energy policy, as well as calls for effective measures to ensure that the principle of solidarity is applied in the field of energy; welcomes, in this regard, the Commission’s communication on external energy policy and its proposal for a Decision on sharing information on intergovernmental agreements;

2.  Draws attention to the importance of the eastern partnership in terms of ensuring the EU’s energy supplies; in the light of the creation of new interconnections and pipelines in the gas sector, new interconnections and networks in the electricity sector, new infrastructures and terminals for LNG and new electrical power stations (using fossil fuels or renewable energy sources or based on nuclear projects), stresses the need to establish market rules and transparent and fair conditions for energy transit and trading, so as to ensure a stable future for investment; emphasises that such rules and conditions should promote high standards of environmental protection, democratic participation and health and safety;

3.  Welcomes the proposal for the creation of a European Energy Community and believes that it could be an important step towards cooperation with our neighbours;

4.  Welcomes the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the Treaty establishing the Energy Community, in view of its potentially vital role in terms of ensuring the achievement of the EU’s energy security objectives and contributing to security for those countries;

5.  Welcomes all efforts towards strengthening of the Eastern Partnership, especially the Commission’s flagship initiatives on SMEs and on regional energy markets and energy efficiency; believes that these efforts should be reflected in the multiannual financial framework;

6.  Calls on the Commission to encourage, including through investment, the construction, upgrading and development of smart energy networks and infrastructure interconnections with EU neighbours; emphasises the importance of prioritising projects of EU interest in order to accelerate their development and implementation; notes in particular the importance of the construction and development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure;

7.  Calls on the Commission to further develop the EU Black Sea Strategy, as it represents an important component of the EU’s external energy strategy, given its geostrategic role, which offers a significant potential for energy security and supply diversification;

8.  Recalls the importance of conventional energy (oil and gas), renewables and energy efficiency as one of the drivers for the economic development of both the eastern and the southern neighbouring countries of the EU by becoming a source of new income and employment, generating new local energy sources, reinforcing the grid infrastructures and allowing for a new industrial component-manufacturing sector to be created; recognises that increased use of renewables is often impeded by a lack of incentives and by the current restricted capacity of grids in terms of receiving and distributing renewables-generated power; asks the Commission to encourage the development and promotion of local expertise in these fields, the transfer of know-how and the rapid roll-out of smart technology, as well as the fostering of joint research projects through support for training programmes targeting engineering faculties, renewable energy research centres and regulatory bodies;

9.  Stresses the need for cross-border cooperation in the Danube region, given the region’s status as the European gateway to the western Balkans, the role of the EU’s Danube strategy in improving neighbourhood relations in central and south-eastern Europe, and the fact that the strategy represents a significant added value to EU policy for eastern Europe, thus constituting an excellent means for the whole Union to boost political and economic cooperation in the Balkans and to extend and consolidate the process of European integration in the region;

10. Underlines the importance of sharing the EU experience on energy sector reforms with neighbouring countries, such as Ukraine, in order to contribute to the modernisation of their gas transit system and to promote transparent market rules, protection of environment and fair conditions for energy trade;

11. Notes that nuclear security and safety should be key priorities of the EU’s dialogue with its neighbours, particularly in regions that are prone to high seismic activity; considers that the EU should advocate international legally binding nuclear safety standards in multilateral discussions, including under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and should aim at extending nuclear safety assessments to EU neighbouring countries; highlights the need to encourage information sharing in nuclear research and the exchange of technological and scientific expertise in this field;

12. Welcomes the Commission’s intention to accelerate the energy market integration and liberalisation process by encouraging further convergence of regulatory frameworks, building on the basis of the work of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy regulators (ACER); the merits of the Energy Community Treaty’s due attention to risk of carbon leakage notwithstanding, deems the expansion and the deepening of the Energy Community to be necessary in order to ensure proper market performance and legal certainty for investments; encourages common regulatory projects such as MEDREG and the promotion of harmonised, transparent and non-discriminatory market rules and the exchange of know-how and experience;

13. Stresses the need to consolidate multilateral energy cooperation in the Black Sea region on the basis of the guiding principles laid down by the WTO and the Treaty on the Energy Charter; advocates full integration of the markets and the regulatory framework on the basis of EU energy and environmental legislation, and encourages the countries of the wider Black Sea region to adhere to the Treaty on the Energy Charter, while also favouring the provision of assistance by the EU, the EIB and the EBRD for the modernisation of energy infrastructure in the ENP countries;

14. Reminds the members of the Energy Charter of their duties under the treaty and its amendments and protocols; stresses that any dispute settlements must be fully respected and applied; encourages accession to full membership by the current observer countries of North Africa;

15. Takes the view that the EU should encourage better cooperation on energy matters with ENP countries in order to ensure the security of energy supply and to promote the EU’s internal market rules;

16. Supports further cooperation in sectors such as industry, SMEs, research, development and innovation, ICT including security of IT systems, space, and tourism; welcomes the Commission’s proposals concerning the development of a common knowledge and innovation space and of a digital economy based on ICT, and calls on the Member States and neighbouring countries to reaffirm their commitment to progress towards this development; reiterates the importance of effective trade and investment facilitation mechanisms between the EU and its neighbouring countries in order to reinforce trade partnerships and allow economic operators, especially SMEs, to access adequate, reliable information on trade and investment conditions in partner countries;

17. Stresses the benefits of joint research programming initiatives by the EU and its neighbours; encourages in consequence the further development of coordination, cooperation and synergies among all the programmes and research activities at national level funded by the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, with a view to enhancing the overall coherence and effectiveness of environmental research actions in the region, taking as an example the joint research programme for the Baltic (BONUS 169);

18. Is aware of the achievements of the BSI (Black Sea Interconnection) project in terms of the creation of a regional research and education network in the wider Black Sea region, as well as its links with GEANT, and calls on the Commission to continue its support for research projects in the Black Sea region such as HP-SEE, SEE-GRID, SCENE, CAREN and BSRN;

19. Looks forward to the Commission’s proposals on the new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), welcomes the Commission’s ‘more for more’ benchmark and encourages further differentiation, flexibility and conditionality in granting assistance; encourages the implementation of a ‘country-oriented logic’, which could take the form of ‘differentiated partnership contracts’ within the ENP; notes that, while EU financial rules must be fully observed, EU assistance should be easily accessible and mainly focused on support for concrete projects and less consultancy, and the pursuit of excellence should not be hampered by a rigid framework;

20. Believes it is important to strike an equitable balance between the eastern and southern neighbourhoods; calls on the Commission to accelerate the finalisation and implementation of Association Agreements, including DCFTAs;

21. Highlights the need to think of the ENP in terms of macro-regional strategy, with regional-level coordination of Union and Member State actions; at the Euro-Mediterranean level, a synergy could be ensured between such a strategy and the multilateral projects launched in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean, such as the Mediterranean Solar Plan, civilian security, the ‘marine highways’ or the action to fight pollution in the Mediterranean;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

20.10.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

35

0

4

Members present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ivo Belet, Bendt Bendtsen, Jan Březina, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, Jacky Hénin, Edit Herczog, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Krišjānis Kariņš, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Béla Kovács, Philippe Lamberts, Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Judith A. Merkies, Jaroslav Paška, Herbert Reul, Jens Rohde, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Konrad Szymański, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Claude Turmes, Niki Tzavela, Vladimir Urutchev, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Alejo Vidal-Quadras

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Maria Badia i Cutchet, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Sajjad Karim, Bernd Lange, Markus Pieper, Hannu Takkula, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Catherine Trautmann, Hermann Winkler

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Judith Sargentini


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (19.10.2011)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Rapporteur: Kolarska-Bobińska

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Considers that the territorial cooperation principles apply also to external borders and are a key tool to improve EU economic development as well as the EU’s overall ENP political goals, including the promotion of democracy; takes the view that these targets can only be achieved with the cooperation of both civil society and regional and local authorities, in order both to find practical ways of meeting citizens’ needs on the ground and to take into account the diversity of territorial situations within the ENP countries while promoting the principles of subsidiarity and multi-level governance; underlines that the Commission should extend its integrated approach in order to clearly support the local and regional authorities as one of the pillars of the ENP and guarantors of the general interest;

2.  Considers that the ENP, in order to reduce the development gap and tensions between cross-border communities, should support practical projects by cross-border local and regional authorities towards sustainable mutual development, social and economic cohesion and a strong business regulatory framework, free of corruption; believes that cross-border local and regional authorities should learn to better coordinate and exchange their best practices in order to exploit shared development opportunities;

3.  Stresses the high potential of European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs) involving regions beyond the external borders; encourages specific agreements with neighbouring third countries with regard to the introduction of national laws allowing EGTC structures under their national laws and interstate agreements enabling local and regional authorities of third countries to participate in EGTCs;

4.  Stresses the outstanding role of Euroregions for the achievement of the cohesion policy goals and encourages the Commission to promote and help their development, particularly in border regions, in order to boost Euroregions’ role within the ENP policy;

5.  Considers that the future ENP should take into account the role of the outermost regions in the EU external relations policy; notes that they represent a real opportunity to influence EU external policy since they allow the EU on the one hand to have closer relations with a large number of third countries and on the other hand to tackle complex issues like irregular migration; calls on the Commission to provide greater flexibility as regards innovative funding opportunities for selected cohesion policy projects so as to enable these to become established in, and benefit, both European regions and those in non-member countries;

6.  Is of the opinion that the new ENP approach must allow the EU’s macro-regional strategies and that the potential of the EU macroregions which include EU neighbouring countries should be fully used for better coordination of priorities and projects of common interest to the EU and the ENP countries in order to achieve mutually positive results and to optimise invested resources;

7.  Underlines that the ENP should be considered broadly in order to fuel the economic development of bordering areas; stresses the positive impact of relaxing visa requirements for the implementation of cross-border cooperation (CBC) projects, local border traffic and the development of regional markets, particularly regarding such groups as students, researchers, businesspeople, artists or journalists; in this respect, calls on the Commission to adjust the definition of ‘border area’ according to territorial needs in order – where such action would be desirable – to increase the number of holders of local border travel rights, allowing them to move freely in the whole border region;

8.  Understands that the Commission's DG Regional Development possesses vast experience of the management of the ERDF and is convinced that it would be in the interest of ENPI goals to draw on DG Regio’s advice regarding the management of funds; therefore believes that the management of these financial tools in relation to CBC programmes should be returned to DG Regio, which was responsible for it in the past;

9.  Points out that the role of regions is crucial to ensure the success of long-term social and economic reforms and guarantee sustainable development; considers, therefore, that partner countries should actively mobilise domestic resources and involve civil society and business community representatives in project implementation, broadening their responsibilities with a view to achieving favourable results;

10. Believes that the strengthening of the Eastern Partnership will be central for the development of EU border regions; stresses that the Eastern Partnership and regional development must work hand in hand and should encourage bi- and multilateral cooperation, such as free trade agreements, as well as properly funded joint projects, such as cultural and civil society exchanges;

11. Stresses that the Barcelona Process and the Mediterranean Union should be revitalised in relation to regional development, encouraging appropriate bi- and multilateral cooperation, such as free trade agreements or cultural and civil society exchanges, especially in the light of the recent encouraging events in North Africa;

12. Stresses that both the Eastern Partnership and Mediterranean Union are vital to regional development; underlines that, important political events notwithstanding, these policies should be treated in an even-handed manner, so as to ensure a properly balanced approach, especially in the financial and institutional sense;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.10.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

40

2

1

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Luís Paulo Alves, Charalampos Angourakis, Catherine Bearder, Jean-Paul Besset, Victor Boştinaru, Philip Bradbourn, Zuzana Brzobohatá, John Bufton, Alain Cadec, Salvatore Caronna, Tamás Deutsch, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Brice Hortefeux, Danuta Maria Hübner, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Juozas Imbrasas, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Mojca Kleva, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Riikka Manner, Iosif Matula, Erminia Mazzoni, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Jan Olbrycht, Monika Smolková, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, Michail Tremopoulos, Viktor Uspaskich, Oldřich Vlasák, Kerstin Westphal, Joachim Zeller

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jens Geier, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Maurice Ponga, Elisabeth Schroedter, Patrice Tirolien, Giommaria Uggias, Derek Vaughan, Sabine Verheyen


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (7.10.2011)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Rapporteur: Marek Henryk Migalski

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Calls for an equitable distribution and alignment of the ENP financial programmes’ existing funding for mobility and support of civil society, so that the Eastern and Southern arenas benefit from EU external cooperation in a balanced way which reflects the challenges they face;

2.  Strongly reaffirms the connection between, on the one hand, exchange and cooperation between the EU and ENP countries in the fields of culture, education and sport and, on the other hand, the building and strengthening of an open civil society, democracy, the rule of law and the spread of fundamental freedoms and human rights; stresses that mutual cooperation in these areas constitutes an added value for both EU and ENP countries;

3.  Appreciates existing EU mobility programmes and regional projects, and affirms that, in particular, the EU programmes aimed at young people have had a significant impact in terms of enhancing education and training opportunities for youth; underlines that cultural and educational exchanges or cooperation can strengthen civil society, foster democratisation and promote mutual understanding between peoples; calls, therefore, on the Member States, as far as possible, to enable the best students from ENP countries to gain access to education or training and to receive grants to study in the EU;

4.  Calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States to open up the next generation of mobility, education and youth programmes (from 2014) to the EU’s neighbouring countries, thereby enabling these countries to participate in such programmes; invites the Commission to broaden the range of mobility programmes, inter alia by including an exchange programme for civil society and social enterprise professionals; calls on the Member States to promote training (including programmes for learning the languages of neighbouring countries) and twinning initiatives for civil servants;

5.  Recalls the importance of making exchange programmes reciprocal, so that young people from the EU also have the opportunity to receive education in countries participating in the ENP;

6.  Stresses the added value of the Tempus IV programme in promoting cooperation and seeking to modernise the education systems of the countries adjoining the EU, and calls on the Commission to provide support for the programme with a view to the next multiannual financial framework;

7.  Appreciates the impact of the Euro-Mediterranean University and indicates that this success should be publicised and that a similar initiative should be launched for the Eastern Partnership region;

8.  Stresses that advantage should be taken of the educational experiences of those Member States already implementing the concept of the European Neighbourhood Policy, including initiatives such as the Centre for East European Studies in Warsaw; reminds the EU and the Member States, in this connection, of the importance of removing obstacles to the free movement of persons, and emphasises the need to liberalise the visa regime for students and young people in Eastern Partnership countries who are eager to study in EU countries; encourages the Member States to introduce free visas for students from ENP countries;

9.  Emphasises the need to enhance synergies between Youth on the Move and the ENP, in order to ensure that student mobility between the EU and neighbourhood countries can benefit from more opportunities, in the interests both of the EU and of young people from those countries, and stresses that this must go hand in hand with the promotion of such projects by the media in EU neighbourhood countries;

10. Calls on the Commission to conclude more partnership agreements with neighbouring countries in the area of mobility; points out, in this connection, that the disparity in income between inhabitants of the EU and those of the ENP countries should be taken into account, and consideration given to providing better scholarship opportunities;

11. Urges the Commission, therefore, to pay particular attention to the mobility of students, academics, researchers and businesspeople by providing sufficient resources and by enhancing and extending existing grants and implementing structured cooperation in the areas of higher education and research, promotion of inter-university exchanges and public-private research partnerships;

12. Stresses the importance of strengthening, within the ENP framework, cooperation for the development of sport in the countries concerned, in view of the educational value of sporting activities; calls on the European institutions and the Member States to work for the free movement of athletes worldwide, beginning with those from the ENP countries;

13. Considers international, regional and interregional cultural cooperation based on a genuine dialogue between cultures and including all sectors of society (cultural authorities, institutions, organisations and associations) to be essential; calls, in this regard, on the ENP countries to sign and ratify the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions;

14. Believes that fostering participation in EU cultural programmes can benefit material and non-material development in ENP countries, and that culture also plays an important role in promoting innovation, democracy, human rights, entrepreneurship and creativity; stresses, therefore, the importance of programmes such as Media Mundus and of projects run under the auspices of the Union for the Mediterranean and of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme; endorses the Commission’s intention of following up on its Special Action Culture Programme, and supports the opening-up of the next Culture Programme (2014-2020) to ENP countries;

15. Points out, also, that the procedures for submitting projects and for their evaluation and financing must be simplified to enable civil society in ENP countries clearly to identify opportunities and to seize them in complete transparency;

16. Points out, furthermore, that cultural programmes and programmes to promote mobility should also focus on the mobility of artists and those pursuing artistic studies, thereby facilitating creative and cultural enrichment and exchange;

17. Advocates the establishment of a cultural visa for artists and other culture professionals from ENP countries; calls also on the Commission to propose a short-stay visa initiative with the aim of eliminating obstacles to mobility in the cultural sector;

18. Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to coordinate strategic deployment of the cultural aspects of external policy, incorporating culture consistently and systematically into the EU’s external relations and seeking complementarities with the Member States’ external cultural policies;

19. Urges an assessment of existing programmes with a view to ensuring efficient use of resources in order to meet the EU’s goals and objectives; supports streamlining internal operations within the Commission in relation to the different existing programmes and projects dealing with culture and education;

20. Stresses the importance of networks of local authorities (particularly town twinnings), EU public actors and ENP beneficiary states for increasing political, economic and cultural exchange with these countries; recommends, to that end, better provision of information and better assistance for project organisers and beneficiaries of ENPI funds; encourages the creation of European platforms for the exchange of information and good practice;

21. Stresses that fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression and freedom of the press, along with the right to connect and communicate (online and offline), are important preconditions for cultural expression, exchanges and dialogue; urges the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to respect and promote these freedoms, including internet freedom, within and outside Europe;

22. Calls on the EEAS to promote constructive exchange with the authorities of ENP countries and with representatives of civil society, including cultural actors, in order to strengthen dialogue on human rights and fundamental freedoms and, in particular, to ensure respect for media freedom and, more generally, freedom of speech and access to information;

23. Calls on the EEAS to support politically and financially the efforts of civil society, independent media and non-governmental organisations to introduce a democratic system and the rule of law in all those countries of the ENP where fundamental freedoms and human rights are being violated;

24. Calls on the EEAS, furthermore, to condemn the increasing censorship and monitoring of the internet by repressive regimes; recognises with concern, and condemns, the process of restriction of freedom of speech and harassment of opposition in, for example, Belarus; calls on the Commission to insist consistently on the release of detained journalists from prison;

25. Emphasises the need to initiate, run and support cultural and educational programmes aimed at disseminating and promoting the basic values of participative democracy, including respect for human rights and minority rights, and notes that these programmes should be accessible to individuals as well as to cultural and educational institutions in ENP countries;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.10.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

26

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Magdi Cristiano Allam, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Malika Benarab-Attou, Lothar Bisky, Jean-Marie Cavada, Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Mary Honeyball, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Petra Kammerevert, Morten Løkkegaard, Marek Henryk Migalski, Katarína Neveďalová, Doris Pack, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Marietje Schaake, Marco Scurria, Hannu Takkula, Sampo Terho, László Tőkés, Helga Trüpel, Sabine Verheyen, Milan Zver

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Heinz K. Becker, Ivo Belet, Luigi Berlinguer, Nessa Childers, Seán Kelly, Iosif Matula, Georgios Papanikolaou

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Jacky Hénin


OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (18.10.2011)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Rapporteur: Hélène Flautre

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Considers it essential that the EU fully support, through its revised neighbourhood policy, the aspirations of those who fight for democracy, the rule of law, social justice and human rights, and stresses that mobility is a key component of the new neighbourhood strategy; calls, in this connection, for the EU to fully support the democratisation process by providing not only humanitarian support but also assistance for political, social, economic and cultural reforms;

2.  Recalls, in this connection, that the Member States must uphold the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ and make every effort to facilitate the development of an accessible, fair and protective EU asylum system;

3.  Believes that the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) creates an opportunity for the EU to effectively meet its objectives and respect its values as laid down in Articles 2, 3, 6, 8 and 21 of the TEU;

4.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to set up a structured dialogue with third country authorities in order to develop a win-win approach to mobility, to ease visa formalities, to make greater use of the opportunities offered by the EU Visa Code and progress towards visa liberalisation and to evaluate the existing mobility partnerships, focusing in particular on the effects of the interdependence between development aid, security, regular migration and irregular migration as defined in the Global Approach to Migration; calls for special attention to be paid to ensuring that partner countries do not suffer from a ‘brain drain’;

5.  Calls on the Member States and the EU to ratify the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; considers that the review of the ENP should facilitate the adoption of specific measures in these fields; agrees with the Commission’s observations concerning the situation with regard to migration for family reasons, and welcomes its forthcoming Green Paper on the subject;

6.  Takes the view that it is essential, as part of a coherent long-term strategy, to analyse the deep-rooted causes of migration flows in order to arrive at more appropriate responses in relation to the right to mobility;

7.  Calls on the EU to enhance the accessibility and channelling of EU funds into projects aimed at informing migrants of their rights and responsibilities and at protecting their rights, with particular reference to the rights of unaccompanied minors, women and other vulnerable groups; asks the Commission therefore to provide Parliament with a detailed report on the use of EU funds earmarked for neighbouring countries, including under the Commission’s thematic programme for cooperation with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum;

8.  Strongly supports the partnership with societies approach and thus calls on the Commission and the Vice-President/High Representative to develop mechanisms to ensure its full application, in particular by setting up a mechanism involving civil society in the definition of objectives and benchmarks and in the implementation and monitoring of all agreements with partners, by maintaining a transparent dialogue on JHA matters with democratically elected authorities and national parliaments, and by enhancing Parliament’s democratic scrutiny of all mechanisms, dialogues and agreements on migration;

9.  Calls on the Commission and the Council urgently to address the refugee crisis by conducting an enquiry into the shipwrecks of boat people and related cases of failure to lend assistance at sea, in cooperation with the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, by asking the EU Members States to make public the agreements concluded with third countries, by providing support to the countries concerned, and, in particular, by exploring the possibility of setting up humanitarian corridors and unblocking without delay the negotiations on the Joint EU Resettlement Programme; calls on the Member States, in partnership with the UNHCR, to resettle refugees having fled Libya who are still stuck in camps on the Tunisian and Egyptian borders and whose lives would be endangered by a return to Libya on account of the abuses being committed against sub-Saharan peoples; calls on the Commission to clarify the precise circumstances in which Member States subject to a ‘disproportionate influx of displaced persons’ could avail themselves of the provisions of Directive 2001/55/EC on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons; calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that there is a follow-up to the Commission communication entitled ‘Evaluation of EU Readmission Agreements’, in particular as regards respect for fundamental rights in the implementation of such agreements.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

17.10.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

35

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Rita Borsellino, Simon Busuttil, Philip Claeys, Carlos Coelho, Tanja Fajon, Hélène Flautre, Kinga Gál, Kinga Göncz, Ágnes Hankiss, Anna Hedh, Salvatore Iacolino, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Monica Luisa Macovei, Véronique Mathieu, Claude Moraes, Jan Mulder, Georgios Papanikolaou, Carmen Romero López, Judith Sargentini, Birgit Sippel, Csaba Sógor, Rui Tavares, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Axel Voss, Auke Zijlstra

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Dimitrios Droutsas, Ana Gomes

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Albert Deß, Mikael Gustafsson, Gabriele Zimmer


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (25.10.2011)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

(2011/2157(INI))

Rapporteur: Andrew Duff

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Supports the consolidation in the ENP of previously separated strands of foreign and assistance policy; looks for a strengthened network of institutional arrangements which is stable, economical and purposefully dedicated to developing closer economic integration and political association among all those involved, including the alignment of values within all international fora – especially the United Nations – with those of the European Union;

2.  Stresses the need to decentralise the ENP with a view to involving more fully the societies of the countries concerned; welcomes, in this respect, the Commission’s commitment to building partnerships with societies through instruments such as the Civil Society Facility;

3.  Welcomes the Commission’s intention to avoid duplication, to concentrate on strategic issues within the multilateral fora of the ENP and to use subregional and bilateral contacts for specific investment projects and cooperation programmes; calls for more effective use to be made of existing financial instruments so as to ensure that maximum benefit is derived from them; stresses the importance of building effective subregional partnerships within the wider Mediterranean region and continuing with similar efforts within the Eastern Partnership;

4.  Recognises the challenges facing the project of the Union for the Mediterranean and acknowledges that it has not yet fulfilled its task and has not been instrumental in enhancing cooperation in the wider Mediterranean region; supports the current process of relaunching the Union for the Mediterranean, and, at the same time, emphasises that it should play a major role in the democratisation process which has commenced on the southern shore of the Mediterranean; takes the view that the process needs more attention and commitment from the Union, including steps to promote regional cooperation; therefore calls for a re-examination of the existing structures for regional cooperation and their adaptation to the needs arising as from the new situation, harnessing the full potential of the EEAS; insists in particular on the full incorporation of the European side of the partnership into the conventional EU framework under the auspices of the High Representative/Vice-President and the European External Action Service;

5.  Stresses that, despite its challenges, the parliamentary dimension remains a very important component of the ENP, since it facilitates the exchange of experience as well as views, both of which are equally important to parliamentarism in the countries concerned; recommends that, in order to ensure the proper functioning of this dimension, a systematic assessment of the practical arrangements for EuroNest and the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly be undertaken with a view to improving them wherever possible;

6.  Welcomes the ENP’s new focus on Comprehensive Institution Building; would welcome more clarity on the content and relevance to differentiation between ENP states of the category of ‘enhanced status’;

7.  Recommends a clear separation between the respective intergovernmental and nongovernmental functions of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and the European Endowment for Democracy, which should complement one another; notes the need for quick and flexible methods of EU sponsorship for the support of pluralistic civil society – including democratic political parties – contributing to the development of deep, stable, secular democracy.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.10.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Andrew Henry William Brons, Carlo Casini, Andrew Duff, Roberto Gualtieri, Zita Gurmai, Stanimir Ilchev, Constance Le Grip, David Martin, Paulo Rangel, György Schöpflin, József Szájer, Rafał Trzaskowski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Sandrine Bélier, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Marietta Giannakou, Helmut Scholz, Alexandra Thein


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

17.11.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

57

0

5

Members present for the final vote

Gabriele Albertini, Pino Arlacchi, Bastiaan Belder, Elmar Brok, Arnaud Danjean, Mário David, Michael Gahler, Ana Gomes, Andrzej Grzyb, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Anna Ibrisagic, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Jelko Kacin, Othmar Karas, Ioannis Kasoulides, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Maria Eleni Koppa, Andrey Kovatchev, Eduard Kukan, Vytautas Landsbergis, Krzysztof Lisek, Sabine Lösing, Ulrike Lunacek, Mario Mauro, Kyriakos Mavronikolas, Francisco José Millán Mon, Alexander Mirsky, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Norica Nicolai, Raimon Obiols, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Alojz Peterle, Bernd Posselt, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Cristian Dan Preda, Fiorello Provera, Tokia Saïfi, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Nikolaos Salavrakos, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Werner Schulz, Marek Siwiec, Hannes Swoboda, Kristian Vigenin, Boris Zala

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Charalampos Angourakis, Véronique De Keyser, Andrew Duff, Göran Färm, Hélène Flautre, Roberto Gualtieri, Doris Pack, Helmut Scholz, György Schöpflin, Alf Svensson, Traian Ungureanu, Ivo Vajgl

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Marije Cornelissen, Rui Tavares, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells

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