Procedure : 2011/0322(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0177/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0177/2012

Debates :

Votes :

PV 21/11/2012 - 5.8
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0439

RECOMMENDATION     ***
PDF 142kWORD 65k
1 June 2012
PE 486.173v02-00 A7-0177/2012

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Russian Federation relating to the administration of tariff-rate quotas applying to exports of wood from the Russian Federation to the European Union and the Protocol between the European Union and the Government of the Russian Federation on technical modalities pursuant to that Agreement

(16775/2011 – C7-0515/2011 – 2011/0322(NLE))

Committee on International Trade

Rapporteur: Inese Vaidere

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Russian Federation relating to the administration of tariff-rate quotas applying to exports of wood from the Russian Federation to the European Union and the Protocol between the European Union and the Government of the Russian Federation on technical modalities pursuant to that Agreement

(16775/2011 – C7-0515/2011 – 2011/0322(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the draft Council decision (16775/2011),

–   having regard to the draft Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Russian Federation relating to the administration of tariff-rate quotas applying to exports of wood from the Russian Federation to the European Union (16776/2011),

–   having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4), first subparagraph and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0515/2011),

–   having regard to Rules 81 and 90(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0177/2012),

1.  Consents to conclusion of the Agreement and of the Protocol;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Russian Federation.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

This bilateral agreement with the Russian Federation was negotiated in the framework of their accession process to the World Trade Organization. The European Parliament has been seized for consent, which is a prerequisite for the Council to officially conclude the agreement.

In the context of the process of its accession to the WTO, the Russian Federation has agreed to reduce its currently applied export duty rates on raw materials, including wood products. For certain types of wood, namely some coniferous wood species, Russia has introduced tariff-rate quotas. Lower duties on exports from Russia are applied for quantities exported inside quotas, and higher - let alone prohibitive - duties for products falling outside the quotas.

A specific share of the quotas has been allocated to the EU (as specified in Russia's Schedule of Concessions and Commitments on Goods). The quotas have been set at a level that is relatively large for the EU, at least in consideration of expected demand in the short term. This bilateral agreement defines the general provisions on the implementation of the share of the tariff-rate quotas.

While the EU will manage the quota authorisations, the Russian Federation will keep the power to issue export licences based on the relevant import documentation issued by the EU.

In addition, a Protocol between the EU and Russia foresees the detailed technical modalities of this shared management of the tariff-rate quotas. It represents a set of guidelines which the EU and Russia agree to follow when achieving their respective part of the quota management and to cooperate if necessary. Procedures for consultations and dispute settlement are provided for as well.

The protocol on administration of the tariff-rate quotas is an important asset for the stability and reliability of the trade relations.

It must be noted that, it is an unprecedented case for the EU to be managing a third country's export quota. No precedent in legislation exists for such a case. It is therefore not clear how the system will function in practice.

In this regard, the rapporteur points out that, in its draft decision on the conclusion of this agreement, the Council empowers the Commission to adopt provisions for the management of the quantities of the tariff-rate quotas by means of an implementing act. This goes beyond the procedures and measures provided for in Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. If a Council Decision concluding international agreements contains provisions, which should be subject to a co-decided act, the Parliament is being deprived of its co-decision powers. Considering the recurrent use of such provisions and to avoid further incorrect precedents, the rapporteur recommends for the Parliament to raise this issue with the Commission, ensuring that such provisions no longer appear in proposals for Council Decisions concluding agreements.

However, considering all of the above, the EU has a strong offensive interest in this agreement as it provides for significant improvement in the supply of wood from Russia.

It is paramount to avoid recurrence of the consecutive increases of wood export duties applied by Russia since 2007 which affected many EU producers. The agreement brings more predictability and better trade conditions.

In conclusion, the rapporteur recommends giving consent to the conclusion of this agreement.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

30.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

0

2

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Daniel Caspary, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, Christofer Fjellner, Yannick Jadot, Metin Kazak, Franziska Keller, Vital Moreira, Niccolò Rinaldi, Helmut Scholz, Robert Sturdy, Gianluca Susta, Jan Zahradil, Paweł Zalewski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Josefa Andrés Barea, George Sabin Cutaş, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Elisabeth Köstinger, Emma McClarkin, Miloslav Ransdorf, Tokia Saïfi, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

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

Zuzana Roithová

Last updated: 12 November 2012Legal notice