– having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2012)0061),
– having regard to Article 203 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C7-0054/2012),
– having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the report of the Committee on Development (A7-0169/2012),
1. Approves the Commission proposal;
2. Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;
3. Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;
4. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.
Pursuant to Article 355(6) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) the European Council may, on the initiative of the Member State concerned and acting unanimously after consulting the Commission, adopt a decision amending the status, with regard to the Union, of a Danish, French or Netherlands country or territory referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 355.
By letter of 30 June 2010, the French Republic requested the European Council to adopt such a decision with regard to the island of Saint-Barthélemy, in order to change its status from that of an outermost region to that of a country and territory associated with the European Union.
On 29 October 2010, the European Council adopted Decision 2010/718/EU amending the status of the French collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy, with effect from 1 January 2012.
To give effect to that European Council decision, the Council must, under Article 203 TFEU, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, amend its decision on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union.
It is therefore proposed that Annex IA to Council Decision 2001/822/EC be amended to include a new indent adding Saint-Barthélemy to the list of overseas countries and territories.
Your rapporteur believes that this change in status satisfies the needs and special characteristics of the territory of Saint-Barthélemy without prejudicing the interests of the European Union, and therefore proposes that Parliament approve the Commission proposal.
This would make Saint-Barthélemy the 26th country and territory associated with the European Union. By adopting the status of overseas country and territory, Saint-Barthélemy would enter into a new reciprocal and lasting partnership with the European Union that suits its specific characteristics without prejudicing its membership of the European family. Saint-Barthélemy will keep the euro as its currency and its citizens will remain European citizens. Its bonds with the European Union will therefore remain intact.
This change in status will enable Saint-Barthélemy to consolidate its relations with regional players, including the other overseas countries and territories, ACP countries and outermost regions of the Caribbean, and will thus help to disseminate the European model and European values.
Association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community
Ricardo Cortés Lastra, Véronique De Keyser, Nirj Deva, Catherine Grèze, Eva Joly, Gay Mitchell, Norbert Neuser, Bill Newton Dunn, Maurice Ponga, Michèle Striffler, Alf Svensson, Eleni Theocharous, Ivo Vajgl
Substitute(s) present for the final vote
Kriton Arsenis, Emer Costello, Krzysztof Lisek, Isabella Lövin
Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote