Procedure : 2015/2104(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0308/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0308/2015

Debates :

PV 23/11/2015 - 17
CRE 23/11/2015 - 17

Votes :

PV 24/11/2015 - 5.8
CRE 24/11/2015 - 5.8

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0403

REPORT     
PDF 469kWORD 201k
21 October 2015
PE 560.600v03-00 A8-0308/2015

on the role of the EU within the UN - how to better achieve EU foreign policy goals

(2015/2104(INI))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Paavo Väyrynen

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the role of the EU within the UN - how to better achieve EU foreign policy goals

(2015/2104(INI))

The European Parliament,

  having regard to the Treaty on European Union,

  having regard to its previous resolutions on the EU and the UN, in particular its recommendation to the Council of 2 April 2014 on the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly(1) and its resolution of 11 May 2011 on ‘the EU as a global actor: its role in multilateral organisations’(2),

  having regard to the Council conclusions of 22 June 2015 on the EU priorities for the 70th UN General Assembly,

  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

  having regard to the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations(3), which grants the EU the right to intervene in the UN General Assembly, to present proposals and amendments orally which will be put to a vote at the request of a Member State, and to exercise the right to reply,

  having regard to the first-ever statement, made on 14 February 2014, by the President of the Security Council on the role the EU has played in maintaining international peace and security(4),

  having regard to the declaration of the Durban World Conference of 2001 against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance,

  having regard to the study published in March 2015 by the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for External Policies, ‘Reforming the United Nations: State of Play, Ways Forward’,

–  having regard to Rule 52 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 International Trade, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A8-0308/2015),

The goals and global strengths of the EU

A.  whereas the future of the European Union is linked with global peace, security, development and human rights; whereas the challenges the EU faces need global solutions, and global issues need European action;

B.  whereas the principles and goals of the EU’s external policy are enshrined in Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union, and are closely interlinked with those of the UN; whereas Article 21 TEU expressly calls for respect for the principles of the UN Charter and international law;

C.  whereas the EU has a unique potential to mobilise resources across the full range of diplomatic, security, defence, economic, development and humanitarian instruments, in full compliance with the provisions of the UN charter; whereas using these instruments on the basis of a comprehensive approach allows the EU a unique flexibility in terms of effectively addressing the most challenging security goals;

D.  whereas the EU actively participates, under UN auspices, in the promotion of peace, security and progress, through its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP);

E.  whereas the EU safeguards its values, fundamental interests, security, independence and integrity and acts in order to preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security, in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, and with the aims of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe adopted in 1990; whereas the EU is part of the collective UN security system, also as one of the regional arrangements foreseen under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter;

F.  whereas the EU fosters the sustainable economic, social and environmental progress of developing countries, with the primary aims of eradicating poverty, promoting long-term peace and stability and combating social inequalities, and provides humanitarian assistance to populations, countries and regions that are confronted with all types of crises, whether natural or human-made;

G.  whereas the EU is a leading actor in different interrelated policy areas: trade, development, humanitarian relief, the environment and human rights;

H.  whereas the EU works for environmental sustainability by promoting international measures and actions to preserve and improve the quality of the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources;

I.  whereas the EU also plays a leading role in environmental policies, notably in the fight against climate change, not only by being in the vanguard and setting itself ambitious targets, but also by unfailingly exercising advocacy in global negotiations for binding agreements and concrete and measurable actions;

J.  whereas the EU strengthens the foundation of social sustainability and good governance by consolidating, supporting and promoting democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principles of international law;

K.  whereas, in accordance with its treaties, the EU promotes an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and good global governance, and is committed to an effective multilateralism having the UN at its core; whereas this commitment is rooted in the conviction that, if it is to respond successfully to global crises, challenges and threats, the international community needs an efficient multilateral system founded on universal rights and values;

L.   whereas the main emphasis of the EU’s external policy has been on bilateral relations and on cooperation and partnerships with countries, groups of countries and other regional and international organisations all over the world; whereas special attention has been paid over the last decades to the geopolitical goals and concerns in the EU’s Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods; whereas the EU also maintains special relationships with, and, in its actions, devotes particular attention to, the challenges in African countries;

M.  whereas in a context of growing global interdependence the EU must strengthen its role both in bilateral relationships and in multilateral forums;

N.  whereas the EU has been involved in, and plays an important role in, international negotiations and mediation, in particular in the cases of the E3/EU3+3 and Iran negotiations and the Middle East Peace Process;

O.  whereas, as the largest trading bloc in the world, the EU plays a strong role in bilateral and multilateral trade arrangements, and has developed active trade policy measures for promoting economic growth, poverty reduction and protection of the environment and of natural resources;

P.  whereas the EU and its Member States are the largest financial contributor to the UN general budget, as well as to its humanitarian assistance, Official Development Assistance (ODA) and peacekeeping operations; whereas EU development policies are of great importance owing to their active promotion of poverty reduction and of economic, social and environmental sustainability, thus strengthening peace and security; whereas the EU is party to more than 50 UN multilateral agreements and conventions, as the only non-state participant;

Q.  whereas the EU is one of the most dedicated defenders and promoters of human rights, fundamental freedoms, cultural values and diversity, democracy and the rule of law; whereas provisions relating to those principles are included in all its bilateral partnerships and have a central position in its multilateral policy; whereas the EU has always been a very strong supporter of international justice;

R.  whereas the EU plays an important role in supporting UN operations in areas of mutual concern, in particular in the protection of civilians and especially of women and children affected by armed conflict;

S.  whereas equality between women and men is a basic value of the EU that is recognised in its Treaties and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights; whereas the EU has assumed the responsibility of integrating gender equality in all its activities and policy areas, including in external and development cooperation policies;

T.  whereas humankind has common values and interests; whereas there should be fair sharing of the burden and the benefits when solving common problems and promoting common goals and values;

The United Nations system

U.  whereas the UN system is the main global forum for improving global governance, and as such represents the best forum in which to promote the EU’s values and interests;

V.  whereas the main goal after World War II was maintaining peace and security; whereas the promotion of economic and social development and human rights had a central place in the Charter; whereas environmental concerns have emerged on the agenda of the UN since the early 1970’s; whereas in 1987 the Brundtland report ‘Our Common Future’ defined the concept of sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs; whereas at the Rio Conference (UNCED) in 1992 development and environmental policies were merged into a combination of effective poverty reduction and promotion of sustainable development all over the world;

W.  whereas the UN system covers all areas of cooperation, with the Security Council at its core being primarily responsible for maintaining international peace and security, assisted by subsidiary and advisory bodies;

X.  whereas the UN system is made up of 19 specialised agencies, among them the FAO, the IFAD, the ILO, the IMF, UNESCO, UNIDO, the WHO and the World Bank Group, together with 11 funds and programmes, among them UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women and the WFP,(5) as well as 9 functional commissions, 5 regional commissions and a number of other similar bodies; whereas organisations like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are also linked to the UN system;

Y.  whereas most of the above agencies, funds, programmes, commissions and committees work under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council and of the General Assembly, to which some of them report;

Z.  whereas the EU and its Member States have a crucial role in promoting the principles and goals of the UN and solving the common problems of humanity; whereas, on the other hand, Europe needs global partners for solving its own problems in areas such as security, the protection of the environment, human rights, migration, safeguard of the right to asylum, and financial instability;

AA.  whereas the EU has a special responsibility for peacekeeping, development and human rights where its neighbourhood is concerned;

AB.  whereas it is crucial that actions undertaken in the framework of the UN respect international law; whereas crimes perpetrated under a UN mandate are extremely harmful to the organisation’s credibility and should not enjoy impunity;

AC.  whereas countries are divided into geographical areas, which often leads to countries voting as a bloc; whereas states which are members of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) are often systematic violators of human rights themselves, thereby undermining the effectiveness and credibility of the UNHRC as a whole;

AD.  whereas the profits from looting and smuggling activities related to cultural and religious sites and objects in Iraq and Syria on the part of ISIS/Da’esh are being used to help fund ISIS/Da’esh terrorist activities; whereas UNESCO and its Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property have a central role to play in ensuring emergency protection of the Syrian and Iraqi cultural heritage;

AE.  whereas the EU and the UN engage in close cooperation in the most delicate crisis scenarios, in particular in the Middle East and North Africa; whereas their effort must be further enhanced with a view to finding peaceful political solutions to such crises;

AF.  whereas the discussion and decision on the renewal of the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) are scheduled for 2015 at the UN General Assembly; whereas Parliament has called on the Assembly to renew the IGF’s mandate and to strengthen both its resources and the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance;

The EU within the UN system

1.  Recalls that the EU and its Member States share the values and principles of the UN Charter as stated in Article 21(1) TEU and have a crucial role in promoting those principles as well as the goals of the UN, through the external action of the Union; considers that the EU needs global partners if it is to succeed in achieving its foreign policy goals, notably in the fields of peace and security, terrorism, organised crime, regional conflicts, state failures and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;

2.  Considers the security environment of the EU to be increasingly unstable and volatile owing to the large number of longstanding or newly emerging security challenges; regards the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and the rise of the ISIS terrorist organisation, the Libyan crisis and the terrorist threat in Africa (in particular in the Sahel, Libya and the Horn of Africa) as serious global threats requiring global responses; considers that the EU cannot deal with those threats on its own but needs the support of international partners;

3.  Welcomes the fact that the EU and its Member States play an active part and contribute to the work of the UN system in different ways and formats, which should be more visible;

4.  Welcomes as well the EU’s major contribution to development and humanitarian relief around the world; recalls that the EU and its Member States are, taken together, the world’s biggest contributor to development and humanitarian aid;

5.  Recalls that the EU has become a real international actor and accordingly has ‘enhanced observer’ status at the UN, with the right to speak at UN General Assembly meetings in debates among representatives of major groups and before individual states, the right to submit proposals and amendments, the right of reply, and the right to raise points of order and circulate documents;

6.  Recalls, in addition, that within the UN the EU is represented by a multiplicity of actors: the President of the European Council, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European Commission and the EU delegations, as well as by its 28 Member States, two of which (France and the United Kingdom) are permanent veto-holding members of the UN Security Council (UNSC); insists on the fact that according to the Treaty the EU Member States are obliged to coordinate their action in all international forums;

How to better achieve EU foreign policy goals within the UN

7.  Is of the conviction that, in order to better achieve its foreign policy goals as enshrined in the Treaty, the EU should strive to strengthen global governance inside the UN system and to increase its own and its Member States’ influence within that system; recalls the EU’s commitment to actively support a comprehensive reform of the UN system in order to strengthen its legitimacy, its regional representation, and its transparency, accountability and effectiveness in responding to the complex, multi-faceted challenges of today; stresses in particular the importance of revitalising the work of the General Assembly;

8.  Emphasises that, within the General Assembly, the EU should play an enhanced role that implies sufficient visibility and policy leverage, enabling it to better execute its international obligations, in line with the General Assembly resolution of 3 May 2011(6);

9.  Reiterates its support for the role of parliaments and regional assemblies in the UN system;

10.  Calls on the Security Council members to review and revise, in close cooperation with the General Assembly, the opaque process of selection of the UN Secretary-General, and to ensure equitable opportunities as between men and women candidates for this post; calls on all UN bodies, and notably the Security Council, to dedicate sufficient attention to gender mainstreaming within the UN, and on EU Member States to be in the forefront of this effort by encouraging and promoting women candidates; expresses its wish that a woman be elected as the next UN Secretary-General; calls on the EU to support UN Women in taking into account discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression;

11.  Stresses the EU’s current priorities, set for the 70th UN General Assembly session, which reiterate the Union’s long-standing demand that the UN should streamline its structures, budget and working methods, without shying away from difficult topics such as the reform of the Security Council;

12.  Stresses that the General Assembly, which represents the governments of all member countries, must have ways and means to give direction to the UN system and coordinate all its activities;

13.  Is convinced that the Security Council must be reformed in order to better reflect the new world reality and to more effectively meet present and future security challenges; encourages countries having the right of veto on the UN Security Council to refrain from exercising their veto in situations of genocide and crimes against humanity;

14.  Recalls, considering the contribution of the EU to peace and security architecture in the world and the Lisbon Treaty’s objective of enhancing the European foreign policy, the long-term goal of the EU having a seat on an enlarged Security Council, and reiterates its call for a Europe-wide debate on its reform; reiterates its call on the Vice-President / High Representative (VP/HR) to seek common EU positions on issues within the remit of the Security Council, and to improve the existing cooperation mechanisms aimed at ensuring that EU Member States sitting on the Security Council defend common EU positions in that forum; recalls that, according to Article 34 TEU, EU members of the UNSC shall keep other Member States and the High Representative informed, and defend the positions and interests of the EU; further recalls that where the EU has a defined position on a UNSC agenda item, those states shall request that the High Representative be invited to present the Union’s position;

15.  Recalls that Chapter VIII of the UN Charter furthers an enhanced role for regional and sub-regional organisations within the UN, and calls on the EU and the OSCE to aim for their and other regional organisations’ greater involvement in global governance;

16.  Considers that, through further cooperation with the UN, the EU should take greater advantage of partnerships with the UN’s specialised agencies, funds, programmes, commissions and committees; calls for a strengthening of EU coordination on the boards of these bodies to ensure that the EU speaks with a single voice;

17.  Stresses that, besides these necessary reforms to be carried out within the UN, a better achievement of the EU’s foreign policy goals, including the promotion of fundamental values, presupposes a more effective coordination of the various dimensions of all of its external policy, both bilateral and multilateral; reiterates its call for stronger visibility of EU action and assistance in all multilateral forums and on the ground;

18.  Calls on the EU to more effectively coordinate its work in the field of humanitarian aid, e.g. through ECHO, with the respective UN agencies, in order to create optimal efficiency with limited resources and avoid unnecessary overlap;

19.  Calls on the relevant EU and UN institutions to fully respect and implement the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA); asks the Commission to report to Parliament on the implementation of FAFA and the related guidelines, and to identify areas needing improvement and make relevant proposals in this regard;

20.  Stresses the importance of EU-UNDP cooperation on aid effectiveness; underlines the commitment of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and encourages all states, as well as private sector actors, to commit to it;

21.  Believes that the European Court of Human Rights has contributed very successfully to the progress Europe has made in terms of respect for human rights and can serve as an example for other regions;

22.  Calls for the improvement of preventive and early warning tools and enhanced UN mediation capabilities, with coherent and achievable mandates for peace-building and peace-keeping operations that include a human rights component and clear exit strategies; encourages EU Member States to provide more substantial support to peace-building and peace-keeping operations, and calls on the EU to strengthen its mediation efforts in conflict resolution; bearing in mind the recent atrocities and human rights violations perpetrated by some extremist and terrorist groups, as well as ongoing sexual violence in conflict, including rape as a weapon of war; urges the Security Council, in line with the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine, to define an ambitious set of tools and means in order to ensure effective prevention of these atrocities and uphold the rule of law and of international humanitarian law, and to prompt UN Member States to combat human trafficking and clamp down on recruitment to and funding for terrorist groups by preventing and suppressing the recruiting, organising, transporting, and equipping of terrorist fighters and the financing of their travel and activities;

23.  Is of the conviction that the EU must demonstrate strong and committed support to the International Criminal Court, notably by strengthening and expanding its relationship with the UN, especially the Security Council, and by ensuring speedy ratification by the EU Member States of the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute which define the crime of aggression; recalls that primary responsibility for bringing offenders to justice lies with states themselves, and supports ICC jurisdiction where national authorities are unable or unwilling to genuinely prosecute the most serious crimes of concern to the international community;

24.  Supports the reinforcement of EU-UN operational cooperation in crisis management, also by the EU working together with the UN on both the sharing of analyses (in order to come to a joint analysis) and the planning of peace and security operations (in order to facilitate the operational aspects);

25.  Considers that more should be done to ensure that UN member states honour their promises to provide humanitarian aid by publishing regular overviews of compliance with obligations;

26.  Welcomes the EU’s commitment to greater responsibility and transparency in the arms trade, and supports the promotion of the universalisation and full implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty as well as the implementation of the outcome of the First Conference of States; requests the EU to continue to promote the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and thus the essential foundation for nuclear disarmament, in accordance with that treaty’s own Article VI; further requests the EU to actively take steps towards global disarmament;

27.  Underlines the importance of the EU continuing to actively promote equality and non-discrimination; welcomes the first-ever UN Security Council meeting on LGBTI rights, held on 24 August 2015, which condemned the attacks on and killings of LGBTI people in the Middle East by ISIS; encourages the Security Council to take further account of violations of LGBTI rights;

28.  Recalls the EU’s position on zero tolerance for the death penalty; underlines the importance of the EU continuing to advance the moratorium on the death penalty;

29.  Is of the conviction that the economic, social, environmental and development dimensions of the UN system must be substantially strengthened by ensuring that the UN bodies take a more political approach and improving cooperation between them, and by securing a more effective and transparent use of available resources; believes that this must be achieved in the first instance by means of a structural and functional reform of the principal organ responsible for this task under the UN Charter, namely the Economic and Social Council; calls on the EU institutions and Member States to consider the possibility of strengthening their role in the Economic and Social Council by developing it into a Sustainable Development Council;

30.  Welcomes the creation of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development, which has the role of providing political leadership, guidance and recommendations on development policy related to the three pillars (social, economic and environmental) of sustainable development; is convinced that the HLPF must become the main decision-making body for all development policy, thus ensuring coordinated and efficient assessment of needs and adoption of necessary roadmaps, decisions and binding measures related to the post-2015 sustainable development framework; insists on the need to effectively implement the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN summit in September 2015;

31.  Is of the conviction, in light of the recurring humanitarian crises linked to refugees and migrants which are causing much human suffering, and considering that the sustainable development of the countries of origin could ultimately provide a solution to the humanitarian crisis, that the work of all agencies related to this concern should be coordinated;

32.  Takes the view that the challenges presented by the humanitarian crisis linked to refugees are issues which need to be managed in a comprehensive fashion, in a spirit of solidarity within the EU and in close cooperation with the UN and its agencies;

33.  Calls on the EU and the UN to step up their joint efforts with a view to reaching an ambitious and legally binding agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015, and to ensuring that the swift implementation of COP21 will follow;

34.  Takes the view that the work of the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation could also be coordinated as parts of the UN system, while maintaining their present decision-making structures, in order to ensure that their respective decisions are taken and actions carried out in an accountable, efficient, coherent and non-redundant fashion; considers that the activities of the G7 and G20 should in principle be integrated into the work of a politically and procedurally stronger, more efficient and better resourced Economic and Social Council;

35.  Supports the goal of establishing, at multilateral level, an investment protection regime, with a new system whereby the jurisdiction of national courts is respected, and calls on the Commission to incorporate this objective into its negotiating agenda for the drafting of agreements on investment; is of the opinion that, should a permanent international court for the settlement of investment disputes be created, it could be located within the UN system, and should be based on the rights and obligations of those subject to the court, with an emphasis on the OECD principles for multinational enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; considers that the UN system provides useful templates for such a system, in particular for questions of financing;

36.  Considers it necessary to bring about the conclusion of the WTO Doha Development round, and believes that the UN can use its unique position to ensure that those talks are a success for developing countries; believes that in this regard the UN could work alongside the WTO, as well as providing advice and guidance for developing countries in terms of promoting a strategy for trade and investment, with the EU as a key player;

37.  Is aware of the need to strengthen and implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; urges the EU to contribute to a successful outcome of the work of the Intergovernmental Working Group on transnational corporations and human rights;

38.  Believes that the UN should enhance all human wellbeing-related matters; is of the view that these include cultural sustainability and the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, through the integration of education, tourism, cultural diplomacy, protection of heritage, the creative sector and scientific research in the policy-making approach;

39.  Recommends ensuring cooperation between the EU and the UN for education in emergency programmes in the event of humanitarian crises, armed conflicts and natural disasters, by continuing to support programmes such as UNICEF’s Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition, the UNHCR’s quality education programme in refugees camps, and the educational work of UNRWA;

40.  Welcomes the organising into clusters of the work of the Commission appointed in 2014, giving the VP/HR the strengthened responsibility of coordinating the external policy of the EU, in close cooperation with other EU institutions; stresses that policies with a global dimension must be at the heart of the work of this specific cluster;

41.  Calls on the VP/HR to include in her/his annual report on the CFSP a comprehensive section on the promotion of the EU’s global foreign policy goals;

42.  Is of the opinion that Parliament must be in a position to address the global challenges in the same deep and comprehensive way as the Commission, and to organise its work accordingly; encourages all committees of Parliament whose remit covers policies having an external and global dimension to forward their opinions on the relevant section of the report of the VP/HR to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which has responsibility for this report;

43.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the United Nations General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

24.9.2015

OPINION of the Committee on Development

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the role of the EU within the UN - how to better achieve EU foreign policy goals

(2015/2104(INI))

Rapporteur: Anna Záborská

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Reiterates that the EU and its Member States should play a leading role in the post-2015 development agenda and work with the UN and with all stakeholders to ensure that ambitious commitments are made towards the achievement of the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); emphasises that in this effort the EU is bound by the values shared by all of its Member States;

2.  Believes that the EU and the UNDP need to step up their joint efforts to promote shared values and support governments, civil society and populations in poorer countries in important policy areas such as capacity development, institutional development, the fight against corruption, equality between men and women, electoral assistance, crisis prevention and recovery, disaster risk reduction and climate change;

3.  Invites the Commission and the UN specialised agencies, funds and programmes to establish a high-level dialogue on the implementation of the SDGs, with a view to coordinating the policies, programmes and operations of the EU and the UN; underlines the importance of disaggregated and accessible data for monitoring progress and evaluating the results of the EU-UN partnership;

4.  Calls for the EU and the UNDP to step up their efforts to ensure that the activities of multinationals in poorer countries are closely monitored, in particular with regard to issues of systemic importance to development such as human rights, workers’ rights and environmental protection;

5.  Stresses the importance of EU-UNDP cooperation on aid effectiveness; underlines the commitment of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and encourages all states as well as private-sector actors to commit to it;

6.  Emphasises how important it is for the development of poorer countries for the UN to adopt binding rules on the activities of multinationals and action to combat tax evasion and avoidance;

7.  Highlights the importance of EU-UN relations in the field of peacekeeping, de-escalation and mediation, and welcomes the strengthening of ties in the last few years between the EEAS and the UN’s Department of Political Affairs (DPA); calls for increased EU support, including to the Mediation Support Unit; regrets the ongoing trend among Member States of reducing their personnel contributions to UN missions;

8.  Calls for further EU-UN cooperation in the areas of health, HIV/AIDS, education, food and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection, gender equality, social inclusion, climate action, humanitarian aid, migration, human rights, non-discrimination in all forms, good governance and democracy-building, notably in order to fight corruption, tax evasion and illicit financial flows and support conflict prevention measures;

9.  Welcomes the partnership established in 2012 between the EU and UN Women to enhance gender equality and women’s rights worldwide; calls for an evaluation of this partnership in view of a possible reinforcement of these ties;

10.  Calls for stronger EU-UN cooperation to facilitate civil society participation in the political process, with special attention to women, who continue to be largely marginalised from the political sphere;

11.  Underlines the importance of the EU-UN partnership for improving the lives of future generations, and stresses the special vulnerability of children, as well as their pivotal role in achieving sustainable and equitable development for all; acknowledges the longstanding cooperation between the EU and UNICEF as crucial to protect children in emergencies and achieve all child-related SDGs;

12.  Reiterates that the EU must be in the forefront of the fight against climate change and must cooperate further with the UN in this area, taking into account the particular situation of developing countries and notably ahead of the adoption of the SDGs and the COP21 Paris agreement;

13.  Points out the importance of the EU-UN partnership in addressing the root causes and consequences of global refugee crises and humanitarian emergencies; reiterates the fundamental importance of transparent use of development aid and coordinated action by all international actors, at the same time as providing technical assistance and mobilising adequate resources, in order to protect the most vulnerable groups, including children, and to ensure that the right of migrants to international protection is upheld; calls, therefore, for further cooperation and dialogue in the preparation of the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

22.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

2

2

Members present for the final vote

Louis Aliot, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ignazio Corrao, Nirj Deva, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Nathan Gill, Charles Goerens, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Heidi Hautala, Maria Heubuch, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Maurice Ponga, Cristian Dan Preda, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Elly Schlein, Davor Ivo Stier, Paavo Väyrynen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Rainer Wieland, Anna Záborská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Eleni Theocharous

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Liliana Rodrigues, Estefanía Torres Martínez

22.9.2015

OPINION of the Committee on International Trade

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the role of the EU within the UN – how to better achieve EU foreign policy goals

(2015/2104(INI))

Rapporteur: Ska Keller

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Stresses the view that free and fair trade in itself is the most useful tool in helping developing countries to help themselves; points out the major impact that trade and investment can have on the sustainable development of least advanced poor countries and on fighting poverty and combating human rights violations where it is tailored accordingly, carried out with long-term objectives, clearly targeted, framed within clear performance rules, and connected with counterbalancing measures for transition periods, for instance through specific programmes for trade preferences, trade sanctions, regulation of trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, and certification systems regulating trade in conflict minerals; calls, therefore, for the EU to develop ambitious, efficient and active trade policy measures for promoting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); believes, with regard to the conclusion of the Doha Development Round, that the UN can use its unique position in the multilateral agenda to ensure that those talks are a success for developing countries; considers that, in this regard, the UN should work alongside the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as well as providing advice and guidance for developing countries, so as to promote a strategy for liberalising trade and investment with the EU involved as a key player;

2.  Stresses the need for an ambitious sustainable development agenda on the part of the UN, and, in line with Article 21(2)(d) TEU, is of the opinion that the EU’s trade policy needs to be further coordinated and implemented in a coherent fashion in order to revitalise and promote the global partnership for economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development; calls for reinforcing international efforts aimed at implementing comprehensive impact assessments of the impact of world trade on quality of life and equal opportunities for the world’s population, as well as on the environment; calls for the promotion of spaces for dialogue between public and private entities, including enterprises, trade unions and civil society, in order to promote the exchange of good practices and synergies leading to sustainable development;

3.  Understands that trade policy has a role to play in reducing CO2 emissions, and therefore urges the EU to ensure that its trade policy decisions are in line with the commitments made by the G7 leaders meeting in Schloss Elmau (Germany) in the first weekend of June 2015 to ‘decarbonise the global economy in the course of this century’ and to limit global temperature increases to a maximum of 2°C, in line with the objectives of the upcoming Agreement to be finalised at the COP21 in Paris; urges the EU and its Member States to ratify the Doha Amendment covering the period up to 2020;

4.  Urges the EU, as the world’s largest trading bloc, to play a central role in the growing international discussions on purely global issues, and inter alia to participate prominently in the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, as well as to enhance a strong commitment to the issue of migrants and refugees within the framework of the UN, while also developing ambitious, efficient and active trade policy measures for promoting sustainable growth, poverty reduction and protection of the environment and of natural resources, in line with the relevant UN Conventions;

5.  Urges the EU and its Member States to ensure the implementation of the Right to Food, including in trade agreements as outlined in the UN resolution of 2011 on the right to food (A/66/158); acknowledges the key role played by the EU in addressing the global challenges of food security;

6.   Continues to support the conclusions of the UNCTAD report of 2011 on foreign direct investment (FDI) in less developed countries (LDCs) recommending a plan of action calling for increased investment through careful liberalisation of infrastructure sectors, promotion of public-private partnerships (PPPs) with foreign investors, encouragement of SME lending, increased provision of sound standards of treatment and protection of investments, and further efforts to tackle issues of poor governance and respect for legal frameworks;

7.  Shares the view expressed in UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2015 that the regulatory policy environment for investment must be reformed and that practices of tax fraud, tax avoidance, and aggressive tax planning as defined by the OECD report of 2011, ‘Corporate Loss Utilisation through Aggressive Tax Planning’, on the part of multinational enterprises must be ended in order to support domestic resource mobilisation for the SDGs, and that the full potential of investment, reduction of barriers to trade, and liberalisation of our economies have the potential to bring about sustainable economic development, especially in the least developed countries, when carried out with long-term objectives, in a clearly targeted way, framed in clear performance rules, and connected with counterbalancing measures for transition periods; considers that the effective implementation of a financial transaction tax (FTT) on the world stage, for which the EU plays a trail-blazing role, would be an additional means for many countries to fulfil these objectives; calls on the EU to lead the global fight against tax havens, which hinder the eradication of illicit trade with devastating effects on development and human rights; invites the EU, in this regard, to tackle tax avoidance and base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) by multinational enterprises (MNEs), via adequate provisions in its trade agreements with third countries, in EIB rules, in the Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF) and other investment facilitation programmes, etc;

8.   Recalls the need to combine and strengthen efforts to eradicate labour exploitation, particularly of women and children, to put an end to social dumping practices that undermine human development, and to improve working conditions across the global value chain by involving buyers as well as producers, as implemented recently in Bangladesh and Myanmar; recalls the need for the Commission to maintain the highest level of cooperation with the ILO, not least in the context of the September 2015 UN Sustainable Development Summit; calls for the EU to promote on the global stage the integration into trade policy of the objectives of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, as endorsed by the ILO member states in the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation, unanimously approved in 2008; also calls for the EU to make full use of the expertise provided by all ILO bodies, in particular the Committee of Experts and the Committee on Application of Standards; urges the EU to include an ambitious and effective sustainable development chapter in all trade policy agreements; also recalls in this context the vital role that trade agreements concluded by the EU as well as other instruments, such as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, can play in fostering the implementation of ILO standards and thus in encouraging decent working conditions globally;

9.  Supports the goal of establishing, at multilateral level, an investment protection regime, with a new system whereby the jurisdiction of national courts is respected, and calls on the Commission to incorporate this objective into its negotiating agenda for the drafting of agreements on investment; is of the opinion that, should a permanent international court for the settlement of investment disputes be created, it could be located within the UN system, and should be based on the rights and obligations of those subject to the court, with an emphasis on the OECD principles for multinational enterprises and the UN principles on business and human rights; considers that the UN system provides useful templates for such a system, in particular for questions of financing;

10.  Recalls that the Doha Mandate, approved by all participating states at the 13th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (XIII UNCTAD - Doha, 21 to 26 April 2012), insists on the links between gender equality and inclusive development, asks UNCTAD to ‘strengthen its work on the links between gender equality, women’s empowerment, and trade and development’, and includes gender equality and women’s empowerment issues within the list of essential objectives for all countries; calls for the EU to intensify its own efforts and to play a leading role in integrating gender perspectives within trade policies; calls for the systematic integration of the findings and recommendations on Gender Equality and Trade Policy of UN Women that refer to the existence of conclusive evidence that economic development and social equality go hand in hand, in addition to noting the strong correlation between gender equality and competitiveness and GDP per capita; calls, therefore, for gender inequality to continue to be used as a sustainability indicator in the revision of the EU Handbook on Sustainability Impact Assessments;

11.  Calls for the EU to foster and support the subscription of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles of the UN Global Compact; asks the EU to promote in UN forums the adoption of trade policies that effectively incentivise respect for those principles, e.g. through establishing conditions for public procurement;

12.  Is aware of the need to strengthen and implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs); urges the EU to contribute to a successful outcome of the work of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with respect to Human Rights aiming to create a legally binding instrument for business and human rights, acknowledging the joint responsibility of businesses and governments in supporting these principles;

13.  Calls on the EU to strengthen its role and participation in the regulatory working parties of the UN bodies, such as the WP.29 group operating under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and to encourage other UN member states to take similar action; stresses the need to work towards creating global technical standards which foster free trade and economic growth while being compatible with the European single market;

14.  Acknowledges that trade agreements and access to health are closely related, especially in developing countries; notes that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working on creating tools aimed at evaluating this relationship objectively; urges the EU to support the WHO’s initiative and to take into account the conclusions of its work.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

22.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

8

2

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Maria Arena, Tiziana Beghin, David Campbell Bannerman, Salvatore Cicu, Marielle de Sarnez, Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, Eleonora Forenza, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Ska Keller, Jude Kirton-Darling, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Bernd Lange, Emmanuel Maurel, Anne-Marie Mineur, Sorin Moisă, Franck Proust, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Viviane Reding, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Tokia Saïfi, Matteo Salvini, Marietje Schaake, Helmut Scholz, Joachim Schuster, Joachim Starbatty, Adam Szejnfeld, Iuliu Winkler, Jan Zahradil

Substitutes present for the final vote

Klaus Buchner, Dita Charanzová, Edouard Ferrand, Agnes Jongerius, Sander Loones, Gabriel Mato, Fernando Ruas, Jarosław Wałęsa

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Marco Affronte, Andrejs Mamikins

24.9.2015

OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the role of the EU within the UN - how to better achieve EU foreign policy goals

(2015/2104(INI))

Rapporteur: Ryszard Czarnecki

SUGGESTIONS

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

–  having regard to the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA) between the European Union and the United Nations (2003) and its Addendum No 1 (2014),

A.  whereas 2015 is a challenging year for redefining the way global actors and institutions work together, by defining new forms of momentum and modus operandi, in particular so as to better deliver results on commitments related to EU external policies;

B.  whereas the EU has a strong record of international cooperation in tackling global challenges and providing development support and humanitarian aid to many parts of the world;

C.  whereas the EU’s defence budget is important, and its financial contributions to UN peace missions are considerable;

D.  whereas the EU’s external interventions are channelled through international organisations which either implement EU funds or cofinance projects together with the EU, including challenges in terms of oversight and governance;

1.  Emphasises the need to improve the UN’s efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency, especially in relation to the use of EU resources and performance in implementing internationally agreed strategic orientations and development goals;

2.  Calls on the relevant EU and UN institutions to fully respect and implement the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA); asks the Commission to report to Parliament on the implementation of FAFA and the related guidelines, and to identify areas needing improvement and make relevant proposals in this regard;

3.  Believes that the approximation of the respective governance systems should focus on the definition and continuous exchange of good practices in order to establish similar and sustainable core principles of assurance in compliance with the EU Financial Regulation; calls in this regard for openness on both sides, so that European auditors can obtain access in detail to UN accounts;

4.  Recalls that the European Union and its Member States are collectively the largest financial donor to the UN budget; insists, therefore, in the spirit of the ‘Delivering as One’ initiative (one leader, one budget, one programme, one office), on the need to ensure a higher degree of visibility of EU funding channelled through the UN, as well as an efficient use of these funds; demands that the UN and the Commission keep the European Parliament fully informed the UN’s implementation of EU contributions;

5.  Encourages the UN and relevant UN institutions to continue deepening their cooperation with the EU, in order to continuously bring closer the two governance mechanisms, through, inter alia, the continuous development of exhaustive and sound monitoring, reporting and control systems; recalls that structured cooperation between the EU and the UN is the only efficient means to prevent ineffective use of funds and overlapping of activities;

6.  Takes the view that, as part of the interinstitutional partnership, the UN and the EU should improve their risk management methods, overall financial oversight and management framework, and that audit functions should compare their data, methodologies and outcomes;

7.  Believes that innovative approaches to financing offer an important way of maximising the availability and impact of development finance, by identifying new financing sources, mechanisms and financial engineering instruments; considers, in particular, that innovative approaches to financing can use public financing to help generate new financing flows and catalyse private investment and market financing, as well as maximising the impact of existing public and private funds;

8.  Appreciates the fact that channelling Union aid through the UN enables the EU to reach regions of the world which it might not be able to reach on its own; is aware of the high inherent risk involved when delivering aid in conflict-affected regions; regrets, however, that reporting to the Commission by its partner organisations entrusted with implementing the Union budget under indirect management is often delayed, incomplete or insufficiently results-oriented, thus preventing the Commission from properly exercising its monitoring function;

9.  Welcomes, in this context, the recent agreement of the co-legislators on an amendment to the Financial Regulation, which obliges the UN and other such partner organisations to notify the Commission of any detected case of irregularity or fraud affecting the Union budget; considers, however, that the Commission’s possibilities to directly assess the correctness, efficiency and sustainability of Union funding channelled via the UN should be strengthened;

10.  Insists on the need to achieve the highest level of transparency and institutional accountability at all levels by ensuring access to exhaustive and sound budgetary information and financial data related to projects with EU funding, in order to allow Parliament’s scrutiny; calls for an enhanced UN disclosure policy regarding intents, beneficiaries and funding, in particular for UN audit and evaluation reports, with a view to achieving a better stewardship of EU money;

11.  Considers it fundamental to ensure the Union’s visibility, especially in cofinanced and multi-donor initiatives where EU funding is at stake; takes the view that regular information needs to be swiftly provided on the pooling of funds (including trust funds), as the fungibility and traceability of EU funds are major issues;

12.  Insist that the future cooperation and framework should encourage and incentivise the further exploration and implementation of innovative sources, mechanisms and instruments by all relevant stakeholders, in close cooperation with multilateral banks and other donors, and ensure that these new financing sources fully comply with the principles of transparency, accountability and effectiveness;

13.  Recalls that the UN must take appropriate measures to publicise the fact that actions have received EU funding, in order to secure visibility and recognition comparable to those of other international donors, whilst also disseminating Union values shared between the EU and the UN such as promoting human rights and the rule of law, raising environmental and social standards, and overall support for sustainable development and inclusive economic growth in all UN interventions;

14.  Emphasises that all cofinanced activities must accurately follow and be consistent with the EU’s general strategy and priority areas, on the basis of political preferences as well as economic and financial efficiency criteria, which should be reflected in the management performance;

15.  Underlines that the EU supports the notion that the UN must be ‘fit for purpose’ as well as increasingly more effective and efficient; believes that emerging and growing challenges impel new functions for the UN, which will in turn require a rethink of governance and funding modalities; considers that it should continue to be an EU priority to ensure the sound management of UN financial resources and staff, including in the negotiations for the next UN regular budget and UN peacekeeping budgets;

16.  Calls on both the EU and the UN to engage in the best possible operational coordination in terms of complementarity, in order to systematically research the best opportunities, optimal leverages and synergies in support and implementation of EU policy objectives, notably between EU development policies and other areas of external action such as human rights, migration and refugees, security, stability and conflict prevention;

17.  Encourages the EU and the UN to strengthen, at the earliest possible stage, their expertise and strategic and programming approaches in the various fields of intervention, and, in particular, their cooperation on risk management instruments (financial, operational or country risks), in order to better target aid where it is most needed; calls for the appropriate application of stringent conditionalities, in particular the presence or development of good governance indicators in the public sector in partner countries;

18.  Recalls that the principle of added value also applies to EU’s funding for UN activities, and calls on the Commission to report systematically and in detail on what added value any such funding brings compared with direct funding from Member States and with the EU and/or Member States taking the activities concerned upon themselves;

19.  Believes that the results-oriented approach, in light of the focus on the performance of Union aid, has to be improved through the introduction of a results accountability and measurement framework enabling the assessment of the soundness of projects in terms of economic and social sustainability and the evaluation of projects in terms of effectiveness and efficiency;

20.  Supports a permanent dialogue on the quality and sustainability of results achieved within the UN-EU partnership, also linked to the general question of the consistency and coherence of interventions; considers that results indicators and their convergence should be further developed in order to increase the effectiveness of projects, ensure real added value and achieve a higher developmental impact;

21.  Underlines, as a core principle, the importance for the EU of the zero tolerance policy against fraud and corruption and the reinforcement of integrity and ethical rules; encourages the deepening of the relationship of the UN institutions and bodies with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) through the adoption of OLAF’s guidelines on the exchange of information and strategies.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

22.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

26

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Louis Aliot, Inés Ayala Sender, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ryszard Czarnecki, Dennis de Jong, Tamás Deutsch, Martina Dlabajová, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Rina Ronja Kari, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Monica Macovei, Dan Nica, Georgi Pirinski, Petri Sarvamaa, Claudia Schmidt, Igor Šoltes, Bart Staes, Marco Valli, Derek Vaughan, Anders Primdahl Vistisen

Substitutes present for the final vote

Richard Ashworth, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Karin Kadenbach, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Markus Pieper, Julia Pitera, Miroslav Poche, Patricija Šulin

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Raymond Finch

17.9.2015

OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the role of the EU within the UN – how to better achieve EU foreign policy goals

(2015/2104(INI))

Rapporteur: Fernando Maura Barandiarán

SUGGESTIONS

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

Cultural dimension of the EU foreign policy

1.  Stresses that culture, together with intercultural and interreligious dialogue, is a powerful instrument for European external relations that fosters political dialogue with third countries, cohesion, peace and security, while promoting people-to-people contacts, participative dialogue with cultural actors in different fields and empowerment of citizens and civil society; emphasises nonetheless that it is first and foremost an autotelic value and as such should be supported;

2.  Underlines the fact that cultural policies are based on EU core values, mutual understanding, cooperation and the idea of global cultural citizenship, and that they should therefore be incorporated consistently and strategically into the EU’s external action – including into its neighbourhood policy – as tools for promoting European values and fundamental rights, fully respecting other cultures and values;

3.  Encourages the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commission – especially its Directorate (DG) for Education and Culture and its DG for International Cooperation and Development – to give culture a more strategic role in the EU’s relations with third countries;

4.  Calls for a more integrated approach and a fruitful cooperation between the Commission, the EEAS, Parliament and the UN in areas such as promotion of culture, preservation of cultural heritage at risk and combating illicit trade in cultural property (including inside the EU), conflict prevention, reconciliation processes, peacebuilding and post-conflict mitigation, rapid relief instruments in crisis situations, the development of creative industries, the mobility of culture professionals, cultural goods and services, education and development, student exchange programmes, capacity building, education and training in emergencies and access to culture and education;

5.  Emphasises the need for cultural exchanges and forums with the aim of mutual understanding and cooperation at bilateral and multilateral level and to strengthen a common core of universal values: draws attention, in this regard, to the projects organised by the EEAS and by DG EAC on cultural diplomacy and calls for a joint communication promoting mutual learning and understanding – taking into account projects supported by the Member States – and the development of networks of cultural organisations and NGOs;

6.  Points out that education and training have a role to play in emergencies caused by conflict and are thus one aspect that should be included under the broader heading of reception, support, and empowerment activities;

7.  Highlights the importance of cultural diplomacy and the fact that a common European cultural foreign policy would significantly increase the visibility of the EU in international organisations such as the UN; therefore asks the Commission to devote a separate chapter to cultural diplomacy in its global EU foreign and security policy being drawn up for the June 2016 European Council summit;

8.  Notes that education plays an important role in human, social and economic development and is a crucial tool in achieving goals that are central to EU foreign policy, such as peacebuilding and stability in the world, long-lasting development, intercultural dialogue and combating poverty, both within its borders and at the global level; stresses the importance of effective cooperation between the EU and the UN aimed at supporting Education for All, improving access and quality education, and strengthening educational systems worldwide;

9.  Acknowledges that culture is at the heart of human development, playing an important role in the building of society, the promotion of democracy and social inclusion and in the promotion of human rights and fundamental liberties; calls for the EU, in accordance with its powers and responsibilities, to incorporate cultural diversity and the promotion of human rights as one of the central elements of its international relations and in the common European development cooperation in particular and also to ensure that any person who alleges that their cultural rights have been infringed has effective access to remedy;

10.  Stresses that interculturality and mutual understanding are key to successful development policies and therefore encourages the EU and Member States to promote development education and awareness raising policies that include this dimension;

11.  Encourages the EU and the Member States to promote common interests together with third countries, through an equality-based partnership focused on mutual exchange and intercultural cooperation; recommends the development of a dynamic role for culture on the international stage as a ‘soft power’ that can benefit the EU and its Member States in their relations with the wider world;

12.  Stresses the potential that greater Member State cooperation has for increasing the impact of EU cultural diplomacy, notably through better coordination between cultural attachés at EU delegations and Member State representations, or by cultural bodies in Member States pooling their resources in non-EU countries;

13.  Welcomes, in this regard, the preparatory action on culture in EU external relations as an important instrument in enhancing the role of culture as a strategic factor for human, social and economic development contributing to external policy objectives;

14.  Calls on the VP/HR to appoint a culture professional in each EU representation in third partner countries (as in the EU-China Delegation) and to provide EEAS staff with training on the cultural dimension of external policy;

15.  Encourages enhanced cooperation between cultural institutions and civil society, partnerships between towns, and the creation of European ‘creative hubs’ in non-EU countries;

16.  Calls for a more coherent strategy for the protection and promotion of world heritage and reinforced international cooperation in conflict areas in closer cooperation with the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS);

17.  Recommends the Commission to pro-actively cooperate with the cultural network-based clusters of European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), in cooperation with local institutions, cultural practitioners, civil society, together with Members States’ cultural institutes;

18.  States that cultural projects and cultural diplomacy initiatives have to be monitored and assessed to be sure funds are well used and to ascertain the calibre and impact of the initiatives;

19.  Stresses the need for compiling statistical data on culture and cultural industries aimed at contributing to the cultural policy debate as well as to further emphasise the economic potential of cultural and creative industries and their impact on social well-being;

20.  Stresses the role of culture to foster democratisation, peacebuilding and respect for human rights; underlines the commitment of the EU to supporting artistic freedom and freedom of cultural expression against censorship and the harassment of artists, researchers, journalists, and civil society organisations; encourages defining priorities linked to the cultural dimension within the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR);

21.  Draws attention to the importance of the ‘Declaration on Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education’ adopted in Paris on March 2015 highlighting the need for fostering active dialogue between cultures as well as a global solidarity and mutual respect;

EU-UN cooperation and governance

22.  Welcomes the consolidated cooperation between the EU and UNESCO, based on the adoption of the 2003 Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement between the European Union and the United Nations (FAFA), the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding between the UNESCO and the EU and the EU3s participation in the UN General Assembly following the UN General Assembly resolution adopted in 2011; calls, however, for more effective EU representation within the UN, particularly in the fields of culture, education, citizenship and children and young people’s rights and in line with the Lisbon Treaty; stresses that a genuine EU-UN strategic partnership could be achieved by having EU representatives with voting rights on the boards of UN agencies in the areas of culture, education, citizenship and children and young people’s rights and by taking action jointly with UNESCO – and with UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, UNRWA and UNWOMAN – in the form of financial cooperation and common project management, in agreement with the beneficiary partner countries;

23.  Underlines the fact that in order to strengthen the EU-UNESCO cooperation there is a need to go beyond financial assistance and joint project management by enhancing partnership in the field of education and culture in the long term; calls, therefore, for the establishment of high-level annual strategic dialogue with regard to tackling common challenges in a more sustainable way;

24.  Highlights that culture is a key driver for building sustainable societies and calls for the mainstreaming of the cultural dimension in the UN Post-2015 agenda for sustainable development and therefore in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030, given that culture has a major impact on economic development, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, peace and security;

25.  Recognises that cultural heritage represents the diversity of cultural expressions and therefore plays an important role in the Union’s external relations; calls the for the adoption of harmonised legislation and international agreements to protect cultural heritage and to combat illicit trafficking of cultural goods in close cooperation with UNESCO;

26.  Highlights the impact of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) for local and regional development and calls for the continuation and extension of the EU/UNESCO Expert Facility Projects and for the consideration of UNESCO Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS) as a methodological reference to assess the multidimensional role of culture in development processes;

27.  Underlines the fact that cultural tourism facilitates people-to-people contacts across the world and welcomes joint efforts to strengthen UNESCO heritage-based tourism in cooperation with the EU, which spurs investment in the cultural sector and makes a sustainable and high-quality proposal for the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions;

28.  Underlines the need to remove obstacles and improve mobility for artists and culture professionals through a set of preferential treatments, such as a visa for educational and cultural purposes, to facilitate cultural exchange, research projects, artists’ residencies and grants for creators and performers, in line with Article 16 of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, co-signed by the EU;

29.  Recommends ensuring cooperation between the EU and the UN for education in emergency programmes in case of humanitarian crisis, armed conflicts and natural disasters, by continuing to support programmes such as UNICEF Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition, UNHCR Quality education programme in refugees camps and the educational work of UNRWA;

Legal instruments

30.  Recalls that the EU has ratified the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and calls on the Member States who have not already done so to ratify the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and the 1950 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, which represent important tools for strengthening the protection of global cultural heritage and cultural diversity, as well as the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two protocols, the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage; calls for the harmonisation of legislation and an international agreement on cultural heritage and illicit trafficking;

31.  Calls for the improvement of the communication strategy in the development of cultural cooperation by using and developing digital resources, such as web-based multilingual information platforms and online educational resources, to foster accessibility, disseminate information in local languages and encourage exchanges and networking among artists, cultural practitioners, and civil society organisations;

32.  Emphasises the symbolic significance of cultural heritage, making its protection essential through greater coordination and public awareness now that, as demonstrated by the recent destruction of cultural sites in Syria and Iraq, it has become a political target;

33.  Calls in this respect for efforts to stop the destruction of cultural world heritage to be intensified in collaboration with UNESCO and the other UN Member States.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

15.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

4

2

Members present for the final vote

Isabella Adinolfi, Dominique Bilde, Andrea Bocskor, Silvia Costa, Angel Dzhambazki, Jill Evans, Petra Kammerevert, Rikke Karlsson, Andrew Lewer, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Curzio Maltese, Stefano Maullu, Fernando Maura Barandiarán, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Yana Toom, Helga Trüpel, Julie Ward, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver, Krystyna Łybacka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Sylvie Guillaume, Dietmar Köster, Paul Nuttall, Hermann Winkler

30.9.2015

OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the role of the EU within the UN – how to better achieve EU foreign policy goals

(2015/2104(INI))

Rapporteur: David McAllister

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.  Takes into account both the complex institutional set-up of the United Nations (UN) as an international organisation of states and the specific nature of the European Union (EU) as a supranational union holding enhanced observer status within the UN since 2011, having the right to speak in debates, to submit proposals and amendments, to raise points of order and to circulate documents on the basis of UN Resolution 65/276 on ‘Participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations’ of 3 May 2011; underlines that the actual legal subjects of the UN are sovereign states of the world community, including the EU’s Member States; calls, with a view to increasing effective global cooperation, for a better liaison between both UN players and the different UN structures (agencies, funds, programmes, Commission and committees) by improving overall coordination and coherence; in this context, believes that the EU should behave as a genuine global actor within the UN and should strive further to improve its leverage and visibility on the international stage, in line with the letter and spirit of the Treaty of Lisbon;

2.  Believes that the enhanced status of the EU within the UN should pave the way for closer cohesion and cooperation; calls on the Member States, in order to make it possible to lend greater weight to the role of the Union in foreign policy, positioning the EU as a single international actor so as to improve its internal coordination in that area, to agree in advance on a common position on all relevant issues, and to consider ways to provide all necessary tools for achieving a truly common Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; recalls that the post of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was introduced, pursuant to Article 18 TEU, with the aim of enabling the Union to speak with one voice in international forums, and not least in the UN, and that therefore the High Representative should be given the opportunity to perform her role in full, as the EU’s principal external representative;

3.  Requests that the UN, the Commission and the Council keep Parliament fully informed regarding their coordination, so as to involve Parliament in the definition and revision of the EU’s foreign policy goals;

4.  Supports the UN reform agenda for expressing effective multilateralism, while acknowledging the enhanced status of the EU at the UN General Assembly following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009 and the adoption of UN Resolution 65/276 of 3 May 2011 on ‘Participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations’;

5.  Calls for the necessary negotiations, procedures and reform of the UN Security Council to be carried out to enable the EU to become a permanent member of that body, with one permanent seat and one single vote;

6.  Recalls that the basic principles of the two international entities are common to both, and emphasises that these shared values should be targeted as the main ground for working together; stresses that a solid and stable EU-UN partnership is fundamental to the work of the UN under all three pillars – peace and security, human rights and sustainable development – and is also key to the EU’s role as an active global protagonist; reaffirms the central role of preventing and combating the causes of violent conflicts and of finding solutions to new challenges;

7.  Underlines that a UN Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA), created under Article 22 of the UN Charter, could be a starting point for the democratisation of the UN, in order to enhance the democratic accountability and transparency of global governance and to enable greater public participation in the activities of the UN;

8.  Is committed to making the UN system and its multiple institutions and structures better suited to new global challenges and developments, and to increasing its transparency, accountability and effectiveness by avoiding duplication and using the different UN structures more rationally; suggests that the EU’s experience of transnational decision-making could provide some helpful insights for the reform process of the UN, especially regarding the Security Council;

9.  Calls for women candidates to be supported for the position of UN Secretary-General in the upcoming elections;

10.  Recalls that the EU and its Member States are collectively the biggest financial donor to the UN budget; recalls that the commitment of the EU is reflected not only in the financial amount but also in collaboration with human capital and technical know-how; insists, therefore, in the spirit of the ‘Delivering as One’ initiative (one leader, one budget, one programme, one office), on the need to ensure a higher degree of visibility for EU funding channelled through the UN, as well as an efficient use of the funds concerned; requests that the Commission and the EU Member States press the UN to ensure the consistent implementation of the UN Transparency and Accountability Initiative, and asks them to keep Parliament fully informed in timely fashion regarding the UN’s implementation of EU contributions;

11.  Appreciates the fact that channelling Union aid through the UN enables the EU to support regions of the world which it might not be able to reach on its own; is aware of the high inherent risk involved when delivering aid in conflict-affected regions; regrets, however, that the reporting to the Commission by its partner organisations entrusted with implementing the Union budget under indirect management is often delayed, incomplete or insufficiently results-oriented, thus preventing the Commission from properly exercising its monitoring function;

12.  Considers that EU-UN cooperation on peace support is vital in order to assist political missions and mediation-related activities as well as to streamline planning procedures, and in this respect fully supports the review of UN peace operations;

13.  Recognises the EU’s need to make the UN system better suited to new global power configurations, but considers that its pursuit of reforms has been hampered by the lack of a common position among Member States, particularly when it comes to international peace and security architecture, and has contributed to – or at least not resolved – the current impasse regarding the reform of the Security Council;

14.  Stresses the EU’s current priorities, set for the 69th UN General Assembly session, which reiterate the Union’s long-standing demand that the UN should streamline its structures, budget and working methods, without shying away from difficult topics such as the reform of the Security Council;

15.  Stresses that the General Assembly, which represents the governments of all member countries, must have ways and means to give direction to the UN system and coordinate all its activities;

16.  Recommends to the Council: to actively support a comprehensive reform of the UN system, and especially of the Security Council, in order to strengthen the system’s legitimacy, regional representation, accountability and effectiveness; to work towards the long-term goal of the EU having a seat in an enlarged Security Council; to ensure the coherence and effectiveness of the EU as a global actor, with the aim of acting in a swift and comprehensive manner and delivering a ‘one-voice message’ by improving the coordination of Member States’ positions and cooperation between the EEAS and the Member States; and in this regard to encourage the EEAS, in particular through the EU delegations in New York and Geneva, to work towards greater EU coherence.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

28.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

16

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Elmar Brok, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Pascal Durand, Danuta Maria Hübner, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Constance Le Grip, Jo Leinen, György Schöpflin, Josep-Maria Terricabras, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, Rainer Wieland

Substitutes present for the final vote

Gerolf Annemans, Sylvie Goulard, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, David McAllister, Viviane Reding, Helmut Scholz

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Andrea Bocskor, Mady Delvaux, Ulrike Rodust, Iuliu Winkler

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

13.10.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

48

8

4

Members present for the final vote

Michèle Alliot-Marie, Nikos Androulakis, Francisco Assis, Petras Auštrevičius, Amjad Bashir, Bas Belder, Goffredo Maria Bettini, Mario Borghezio, Elmar Brok, Klaus Buchner, James Carver, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Arnaud Danjean, Mark Demesmaeker, Georgios Epitideios, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Eugen Freund, Michael Gahler, Iveta Grigule, Richard Howitt, Sandra Kalniete, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Tunne Kelam, Andrey Kovatchev, Arne Lietz, Barbara Lochbihler, Sabine Lösing, Andrejs Mamikins, David McAllister, Javier Nart, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Demetris Papadakis, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Alojz Peterle, Tonino Picula, Andrej Plenković, Cristian Dan Preda, Jozo Radoš, Sofia Sakorafa, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Alyn Smith, Jaromír Štětina, Charles Tannock, László Tőkés, Ivo Vajgl, Geoffrey Van Orden, Boris Zala

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marielle de Sarnez, Antonio López-Istúriz White, David Martin, Urmas Paet, Soraya Post, Helmut Scholz, György Schöpflin, Igor Šoltes, Dubravka Šuica, Bodil Valero, Paavo Väyrynen

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Maria Grapini, Pavel Poc

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

48

+

ALDE

Petras Auštrevičius, Iveta Grigule, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Jozo Radoš, Ivo Vajgl, Paavo Väyrynen, Marielle de Sarnez

ECR

Mark Demesmaeker

EFDD

Fabio Massimo Castaldo

PPE

Michèle Alliot-Marie, Elmar Brok, Arnaud Danjean, Michael Gahler, Sandra Kalniete, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Tunne Kelam, Andrey Kovatchev, Antonio López-Istúriz White, David McAllister, Alojz Peterle, Andrej Plenković, Cristian Dan Preda, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, György Schöpflin, László Tőkés, Jaromír Štětina, Dubravka Šuica

S&D

Nikos Androulakis, Francisco Assis, Goffredo Maria Bettini, Eugen Freund, Maria Grapini, Richard Howitt, Arne Lietz, Andrejs Mamikins, David Martin, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Demetris Papadakis, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Tonino Picula, Pavel Poc, Soraya Post, Boris Zala

Verts/ALE

Barbara Lochbihler, Alyn Smith, Bodil Valero, Igor Šoltes

8

-

ECR

Amjad Bashir, Bas Belder, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden

EFDD

James Carver

ENF

Mario Borghezio

NI

Georgios Epitideios

4

0

GUE/NGL

Sabine Lösing, Sofia Sakorafa, Helmut Scholz

Verts/ALE

Klaus Buchner

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

OJ C 100, 26.3.2015, p. 27

(2)

OJ C 377, 7.12.2012, p. 66

(3)

65/276 of 3 May.2011 on participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations

(4)

S/PRST/2014/4 of 14 February 2014 - statement by the President of the Security Council on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organisations in maintaining international peace and security

(5)

FAO: Food and Agriculture Organisation; IFAD: International Fund for Agricultural development; ILO: International Labour Organisation; IMF: International Monetary Fund; UNESCO: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation; UNIDO: UN Industrial Development Organisation; WHO: World Health Organisation; UNCTAD: UN Conference on Trade and Development; UNDP: UN Development Programme; UNEP: UN Environment Programme; UNFPA: UN Population Fund; UNHCR: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; UNICEF: UN Children's Fund; WFP: World Food Programme.

(6)

UN General Assembly Resolution A/65/276 of 3 May 2011 on participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations

Last updated: 11 November 2015Legal notice