Procedure : 2013/0201(CNS)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0466/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0466/2013

Debates :

Votes :

PV 04/02/2014 - 6.2

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2014)0048

REPORT     *
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19 December 2013
PE 521.827v02-00 A7-0466/2013

on the proposal for a Council decision laying down rules and procedures to enable the participation of Greenland in the Kimberley Process certification scheme

(COM(2013)0429 – C7-0232/2013 – 2013/0201(CNS))

Committee on International Trade

Rapporteur: Vital Moreira

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a Council decision laying down rules and procedures to enable the participation of Greenland in the Kimberley Process certification scheme

(COM(2013)0429 – C7-0232/2013 – 2013/0201(CNS))

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2013)0429),

–   having regard to Article 203 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C7-0232/2013),

–   having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0466/2013),

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.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

This proposal for the Council decision laying down rules and procedures to enable the participation of Greenland in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (COM (2013) 0429) is closely connected to the proposal for a regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2368/2002 as regards the inclusion of Greenland in implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme.

Together these proposals aim at enabling Greenland to participate in the Kimberley Process certification scheme (KPCS) on rough diamonds through its cooperation with the European Union. The scheme set out in the proposal would allow for the import and export of rough diamonds from Greenland to the Union as well as to other participants of the certification scheme, provided that all imports and exports of rough diamonds are verified and, for exports, certified by Union authorities pursuant to the rules set out in Regulation (EC) No 2368/2002 implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds.

The Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process (KP) is a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds – rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments.

In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the landmark Resolution A/RES/55/56, supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds and this was followed by support from the United Nations Security Council in its Resolution 1459 passed in January 2003. Every year since, the General Assembly has renewed its support for the KP.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is a voluntary government-led initiative to stop the trade of rough diamonds that fuel conflict, guaranteed by the governments’ control over implementation, which is operational since 2003. The KP has 54 members, representing 81 countries. Participants of the Kimberley Process undertake to only import/export diamonds from other Kimberley Process participants. This is proven by an accompanying Kimberley Process Certificate that is issued by a KP Participant.

The European Union is a single participant to the scheme, comprising all the 28 EU Member States. The EU implements the KP through the six authorities of the Union. Any rough diamond shipment imported/exported to any EU member state will be sent to either one of the Union authorities for verification, and only after will it be sent back to its destination and introduced in free EU circulation. On export, one of these authorities will issue an EU certificate, provided that the rough diamonds were previously lawfully imported to the EU and that they are in tamper resistant containers.

Approximately 99.8% of the world’s rough diamonds are produced by Kimberley Process Participants. Meaning that it is an essential first step for any country with diamond potential to become party to the process, otherwise it cannot legally export rough diamonds. Greenland is not a country so it cannot become a participant of the Kimberley Process.

Greenland

After acquiring home rule status from Denmark in 1979, the 2009 Self-Government Act substantially increased its powers, including the management of its substantial untapped natural resources. Although Greenland and its majority Inuit population are still heavily dependent on external funding (including an annual grant for its administration from Denmark, an EU large partnership agreement and a fisheries protocol), the territory will probably become self-sustainable in the medium term.

Greenland is the only territory to have withdrawn from the European Union, which it did in 1985. Greenland is not part of the Union territory but it is included in the list of overseas countries and territories (OCT) set out in Annex II to the Treaties. In accordance with Article 198 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the purpose of the association of the overseas countries and territories with the Union is to promote the economic and social development of the overseas countries and territories and to establish close economic relations between them and the Union as a whole.

For the moment, 88% of Greenland’s GDP comes from fisheries, and 0.8% from minerals. However, Greenland fishery sector due to the limited stocks, quotas and climate change is becoming less reliable, thus the importance of Greenland to diversify its economy and to look at its rich mining potential. Since receiving autonomy over its mining sector in 2011, Greenland has already managed to put in place legislation to ensure that the Greenland people directly benefit from the mineral revenues, using a public fund to build infrastructure.

Since Greenland is not a country and cannot therefore become a participant of the Kimberley Process, not being able to issue a KP certificate and thus export rough diamonds is in fact stopping Greenland’s ability to attract potential investors to its mining sector. Its own resources alone are insufficient to start any meaningful extraction.

In order to find a solution for this problem, Greenland asked whether its OCT status could help it being associated with the EU for the purposes of making use of the EU certification system. This would definitely promote the economic development of Greenland, which is the purpose of such association under the treaties.

The two Commission proposals

As for the concrete proposals, there are notably two legal acts proposed.

This proposal for a Council Decision based on Article 203 TFEU establishes a specific regime for movement of rough diamonds between Greenland and the EU. It also sets out the necessity that any trade with rough diamonds between a third country and Greenland needs to previously go through an EU authority. Since Greenland is not part of the EU customs territory, a credible solution needed to be found for establishing a procedure whereby EU customs could accept or release shipments of rough diamonds [mined in or destined to Greenland] on the basis of an attesting document issued by a Greenland authority [or a copy of a KP certificate authenticated by one of the Union authorities]. Further requirements for shipments coming from and going to Greenland, such as the tamper resistant container, mirror the requirements of Regulation 2368/2002.

Article 203 TFEU requires the Council to take decisions by unanimity on the basis of a proposal of the Commission. The Parliament is only consulted.

In parallel, the second proposal, [Proposal for a regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2368/2002 as regards the inclusion of Greenland in implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme (COM (2013) 0427)] based on Article 207 TFEU concerns certain amendments to Regulation 2368/2002 which are needed to enable Greenland to be part of the EU certification system. The thrust of these amendments set out that the territory of the Union and that of Greenland shall be considered as one entity without internal borders for the purposes of the certification scheme (Article 1). A reference to Greenland needed to be added to a few other Articles, and an alternative condition for certification in case of diamonds mined in Greenland was introduced.

Art 207 TFEU concerns the Common Commercial Policy, which is voted by ordinary legislative Procedure (co-decision).

The Council Decision can only enter into force when the amendment of the Regulation No 2368/2002 to provide for the inclusion of Greenland in the certification scheme has been approved.

Assessment by your rapporteur

The Kimberley Process is an important innovative instrument to stem the flow of conflict diamonds – rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. The European Union is an active participant in it and wants to play a positive role to make it work even more effectively.

Your rapporteur also wants to draw attention to the involvement of civil society and industry which is a good start (but of course no guarantee) for making the process inclusive, cooperative and effective. The Kimberley Process has been successful. As much as 15% of the world's $10 billion (7.7 billion euros) annual rough diamond production in the mid and late 1990s fell into the category of conflict diamonds. Since then, the proportion has fallen to less than 1% of a rough diamond industry now worth some $13 billion (9.5 billion Euros), in part thanks to the negotiation and implementation of the KP.

Every country that is willing to join and accept to respect and effectively implement the rules should be welcomed. Therefore your rapporteur welcomes the creative solution the Commission has found linking Greenland to the EU Certification System through the association of Greenland as an Overseas Country and Territory.

Your rapporteur wants the Parliament to facilitate a rapid solution to this problem. These specific changes proposed by the Commission do just that. Your rapporteur therefore wants to support these proposals without proposing amendments.


PROCEDURE

Title

Participation of Greenland in the Kimberley Process certification scheme

References

COM(2013)0429 – C7-0232/2013 – 2013/0201(CNS)

Date of consulting Parliament

24.7.2013

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

INTA

10.10.2013

 

 

 

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

AFET

10.10.2013

DEVE

10.10.2013

 

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

AFET

9.7.2013

DEVE

9.7.2013

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Vital Moreira

10.7.2013

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

16.9.2013

27.11.2013

 

 

Date adopted

17.12.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

0

0

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Nora Berra, Daniel Caspary, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, Andrea Cozzolino, George Sabin Cutaş, Marielle de Sarnez, Christofer Fjellner, Yannick Jadot, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Vital Moreira, Paul Murphy, Cristiana Muscardini, Helmut Scholz, Peter Šťastný, Robert Sturdy, Iuliu Winkler

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Catherine Bearder, Derk Jan Eppink, Béla Glattfelder, Peter Skinner, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa

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

Reimer Böge

Date tabled

19.12.2013

Last updated: 6 January 2014Legal notice