Procedure : 2013/0267B(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0265/2014

Texts tabled :

A7-0265/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 16/04/2014 - 7.6

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2014)0402

RECOMMENDATION     ***
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3 April 2014
PE 529.768v02-00 A7-0265/2014

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Framework Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, on the one part, and the Republic of Korea, on the other part, with the exception of matters related to readmission

(05287/2014 – C7-0044/2014 – 2013/0267B(NLE))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Norica Nicolai

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Framework Agreement

between the European Union and its Member States, on the one part, and the Republic of Korea, on the other part, with the exception of matters related to readmission

(05287/2014 – C7-0044/2014 – 2013/0267B(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the draft Council decision (05287/2014),

–       having regard to the Framework Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Korea, of the other part (06151/2010),

–       having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Articles 91, 100, 191(4), 207, 212 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0044/2014),

–       having regard to Rule 81(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 81(2), and Rule 90(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0265/2014),

1.      Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

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 Republic of Korea.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

1. Role of the European Parliament in the process

Relations between the EU and the Republic of Korea are currently based on the Framework Agreement for Trade and Cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Republic of Korea, on the other, which entered into force in 2001.

The European Commission negotiated a new Framework Agreement with the Republic of Korea, after mandate was approved by the Council on 7 May 2008.

Negotiations with Korea were concluded and the text of the draft agreement was initialled on 14 October 2009. The Agreement was co-signed on 10 May 2010 in Seoul and the decision to provisionally apply the Agreement was approved by the Council on the same day.

The Commission tabled its proposal for a Council decision to conclude the Agreement, with the consent of the European Parliament on 25 July 2013.

The rapporteur notes that the Council decided on 10 February 2014 to split the conclusion of the agreement into two decisions and add legal bases, thus also splitting the consent procedure in the European Parliament into two parts: main part, excluding readmission matters and another one purely on readmission matters, falling in the view of the Council within the scope of Title V of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The separate draft Decision relates to Article 33(2) of the Agreement and is therefore subject of a separate consent procedure.

The Council referred the two draft decisions to the EP on 12 February this year.

The rapporteur welcomes the fact that the ratification procedures at the level of Member States have all been completed by February 2014.

The rapporteur deplores the fact that it took almost four years since the signature to consult this House, leaving no time before the end of the current term-in-office of the EP for a fully-fledged accompanying resolution on EU-Korea relations, as is a good tradition in case of international agreements. The rapporteur advises Parliament to consider a follow-up resolution in its next term in order to fully outline its evaluation of the Framework Agreement´s implementation, including recommendations to the Council and the EEAS.

While respecting the prerogatives of the Member States in the ratification process, the rapporteur regrets that the Council continues to exercise its practice of delaying consultation of the European Parliament, in cases of mixed agreements, such as the EU-Korea Framework Agreement, until the moment when almost all Member States´ parliaments have ratified it, despite the lack of any treaty provisions or other legal basis for such a delay.

The rapporteur recalls that in accordance with Article 218 (6) TFEU, the European Parliament gives its consent to international agreements after their signing and before the Council adopts a decision on their conclusion. Parliament may proceed with a consent procedure only after the Union negotiator (the Commission or the High Representative) submits to the Council a proposal to conclude the agreement, and the Council subsequently sends the corresponding request to the Parliament. In practice, the submission of these proposals and requests is often delayed for protracted periods, which can make the position of the Union towards third countries seem unclear, and may weaken the legitimacy of the Union´s external action. It is important to emphasise that Parliament's consent is independent of the ratification by the Member States and must not be subordinated to it.

2. Brief assessment of the EU-Korea Framework Agreement

In general, the rapporteur expresses satisfaction with the strategic partnership since 2010 and the significant political and economic, as well as increasing cultural cooperation between the EU and Korea, demonstrated at the Seventh EU-Korea summit in November 2013, organised on the occasion of 50 years of diplomatic relations.

The importance of relations is underlined by the fact that South Korea was the first Asian country to sign the Framework and Free Trade Agreements with the EU.

The EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement, complementary to the Framework Agreement, was signed in 2010 and entered into force provisionally in 2011. The rapporteur shares the view that its provisional implementation was a remarkable success.

The new Framework Agreement is based on shared principles such as equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, as well as the respect for democracy, rule of law and human rights.

The Agreement is the over-arching agreement enhancing political, economic and sectoral cooperation in the following policy areas:

•   peace and security, conflict prevention, and crisis management,

•   trade,

•   environment,

•   energy, science and technology,

•   good governance,

•   tourism and culture,

•   migration,

•   counter-terrorism and the fight against corruption and organised crime.

It will further enhance cooperation on responding to global challenges, where both Korea and the EU are playing an increasingly important role, such as in the G20.

The rapporteur welcomes the chapter on cyber threats, where the cooperation established by the Framework Agreement will prove vital for a secure future development of cyberspace.

A strengthened regular political dialogue will be established under the terms of the Agreement, including continued exchanges of delegations between the European Parliament and the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea.

The new Framework Agreement will allow the EU to assume greater responsibility and influence in the Korean Peninsula. In this context, the rapporteur would like to highlight the enhanced cooperation in bringing peace and security to the peninsula, including in the area of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The rapporteur also welcomes a separate forthcoming agreement between Korea and the EU allowing it to participate in EU crisis management operations, the first Asian country to do so.

In the light of the above-mentioned facts and arguments, the rapporteur recommends that Parliament gives its consent to the Council to conclude the Agreement on behalf of the EU.


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (27.1.2014)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the Framework Agreement between the EU and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Korea, of the other part

(COM(2013)0551 – C7-0000/2014 – 2013/0267(NLE))

Rapporteur: Robert Sturdy

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The new 'Framework Agreement' for Trade and Cooperation between the EU and its Member States and the Republic of Korea (hereinafter referred to as 'Korea') was signed on 10 May 2010 in Seoul. The agreement should be ratified at the EU and national level, and implemented thoroughly without delay;

This Framework Agreement further strengthens bilateral relations between the EU and Korea beyond the scope of the EU-Korea FTA that entered into force on 1 July 2011, and it is expected to enhance the overall quality of the business climate with a view to fostering mutually advantageous trade and investment flows;

The EU and Korea have eliminated with the FTA unjustified non-tariff barriers to trade and investment, and they should continue cooperating in preventing them. Both Parties should remain actively engaged in frequent regulatory dialogue to ensure a level playing field based on internationally agreed standards, thus reducing compliance costs for businesses and protecting the purchasing power of their citizens;

Improving the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is one of the key factors of their internationalisation, and a viable way to achieve sustainable growth and jobs creation on both sides. Therefore joint efforts should be continued in curtailing anti-competitive activities and other unfair trade practices contradicting the shared goal of open and fair trade in the service of sustainable development.

Synergies between the EU and Korea should be fostered in line with Article 8 of the Framework Agreement. In the context of on-going plurilateral and multilateral negotiations such as, but not exclusively, those on the Plurilateral agreement in services (TiSA) and the WTO's Information Technology Agreement (ITA), this may inspire viable compromises between developed economies to the overall benefit of the multilateral trade system;

Increasing foreign direct investments is important in building and modernising trade-related infrastructure, promoting environmental technologies, products and services, including environmental management systems and environmental labelling, so that open and fair trade contributes to responsible management of natural resources and biological diversity;

Both Parties should facilitate registration and protection of intellectual property rights such as geographical indications, and to step up their efforts in fighting counterfeiting and illegal transactions. Conclusion of a bilateral agreement on trade in drug precursors would also contribute to this aim.

******

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to propose that Parliament give its consent.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

21.1.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

26

0

3

Members present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Maria Badia i Cutchet, David Campbell Bannerman, Daniel Caspary, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, Christofer Fjellner, Yannick Jadot, Metin Kazak, Franziska Keller, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Vital Moreira, Paul Murphy, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Niccolò Rinaldi, Helmut Scholz, Peter Šťastný, Robert Sturdy, Henri Weber, Jan Zahradil, Paweł Zalewski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Catherine Bearder, Béla Glattfelder, Syed Kamall, Elisabeth Köstinger, Katarína Neveďalová, Tokia Saïfi, Peter Skinner, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa

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

Sophie Auconie


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

31.3.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Hiltrud Breyer, Arnaud Danjean, Mark Demesmaeker, Marietta Giannakou, Ana Gomes, Anna Ibrisagic, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Tunne Kelam, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Krzysztof Lisek, Francisco José Millán Mon, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Norica Nicolai, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Alojz Peterle, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Nikolaos Salavrakos, György Schöpflin, Marek Siwiec, Davor Ivo Stier, Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Nikola Vuljanić, Sir Graham Watson

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Janusz Władysław Zemke

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

Pilar Ayuso, Christa Klaß, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Vittorio Prodi, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Luis de Grandes Pascual

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