Procedure : 2017/2069(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0385/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0385/2017

Debates :

PV 11/12/2017 - 19
CRE 11/12/2017 - 19

Votes :

PV 12/12/2017 - 5.14

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0487

REPORT     
PDF 871kWORD 121k
30 November 2017
PE 606.039v03-00 A8-0385/2017

on the EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change

(2017/2069(INI))

Committee on Petitions

Rapporteur: Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea

Rapporteur for the opinion (*):

Csaba Sógor, Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

(*) Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 ANNEX: LIST OF ENTITIES OR PERSONS FROM WHOM THE RAPPORTEUR HAS RECEIVED INPUT
 OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change

(2017/2069(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission report of 24 January 2017 entitled ‘Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change – EU Citizenship Report 2017’ (COM(2017)0030),

–  having regard to the report drawn up pursuant to Article 25 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on progress towards effective EU citizenship 2013-2016,

–  having regard to the results of the 2015 public consultation on EU citizenship conducted by the Commission, and to the results of the 2015 Eurobarometer surveys on electoral rights and on citizenship,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to Articles 2, 6 and 9-12 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), to Articles 18-25 of the TFEU and to Articles 11, 21 and 39 to 46 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to respect for the rule of law, as enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU,

–  having regard to Article 3(2) of the TEU enshrining the right of freedom of movement of persons,

–  having regard to the right of petition enshrined in Article 44 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to Article 165 of the TEU,

–  having regard to the right of petition enshrined in Article 227 of the TFEU,

–  having regard to Protocol No 1 to the TFEU on the role of national parliaments in the European Union,

–  having regard to Protocol No 2 to the TFEU on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 29 February 2016 on the single market strategy(1) and especially to the document on the outcome of the informal meeting of SOLVIT Centres held in Lisbon on 18 September 2015(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2014 on ‘The EU Citizenship Report 2013. EU citizens: your rights, your future(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2016 on ‘Learning EU at school’(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 October 2016 on ‘Monitoring the application of Union law: 2014 Annual Report’(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2017 with recommendations to the Commission on cross border aspects of adoptions(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 March 2017 on the implementation of the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme(7),

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, and on international child abduction (recast) (COM(2016)0411),

–  having regard to its report on the activities of its Working Group on Child Welfare Issues, and particularly its conclusions(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2016 on the activities of the Committee on Petitions 2015(9),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Petitions of 23 February 2017(10) and to the opinion of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of 1 June 2017(11) on the report from the European Commission monitoring the application of EU law 2015,

–  having regard to the hearings organised by the Committee on Petitions in 2016 and 2017, and especially to: the joint public hearing of 11 May 2017 co-organised by LIBE, PETI and EMPL entitled ‘The situation and rights of EU Citizens in the UK’; the public hearing of 11 October 2016 entitled ‘Obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the Internal Market’; the public hearing of 4 May 2017 entitled ‘Fighting against discrimination and protecting minorities’; the joint public hearing of 15 March 2016 organised by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers and the European Parliament’s LIBE, PETI, AFCO and JURI committees entitled ‘Union Citizenship in practice’; and the joint hearing on statelessness organised by the LIBE and PETI committees on 29 June 2017,

–  having regard to the PETI hearing of 22 February 2016 entitled ‘Broadening the scope of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 51)?’, the hearing of 21 June 2016 on ‘Transparency and freedom of information within the EU institutions’ and that one of 22 June 2017 on ‘Restoring citizens’ confidence and trust in the European Project’, together with the previous hearings held in this legislative term on the ‘Right to Petition’ (23 June 2015) and on ‘The European Citizens’ Initiative’ (26 February 2015),

–  having regard to the studies commissioned in 2016 and 2017 by Policy Department C of the European Parliament at the request of the Committee on Petitions, entitled ‘Obstacles to the right of free movement and residence for EU citizens and their families’, ‘Discrimination(s) as emerging from the petitions received’, ‘The impact of Brexit in relation to the right to petition and on the competences, responsibilities and activities of the Committee on Petitions’ and ‘The protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions and the opinions of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, the Committee on Culture and Education, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A8-0385/2017),

A.  whereas EU citizenship and its related rights were initially introduced in 1992 by the Treaty of Maastricht and were further enhanced by the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force in December 2009, as well as by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

B.  whereas the exercise of citizenship calls for a prior guarantee and enjoyment of all human rights, and especially economic, social and cultural rights;

C.  whereas a holistic approach designed to pursue the objectives laid down in the EU Treaties, such as full employment and social progress, is vital in order to permit the genuine enjoyment of the rights and freedoms arising from EU citizenship;

D.  whereas access to EU citizenship is gained through nationality of a Member State, which is regulated by national laws; whereas at the same time, rights and duties emerge from this institution which are laid down by EU law and do not depend on the Member States; whereas for the above reason it is equally true that these rights and obligations cannot be limited in an unjustified manner by the Member States, including by their sub-state authorities; whereas in the context of access to national citizenship, Member States should be governed by the principles of EU law, such as those of proportionality and non-discrimination, which are both well elaborated in the case law of the ECJ; whereas according to the Treaties every EU citizen must receive equal attention from the EU institutions;

E.  whereas EU citizens trust in the Member States, including their sub-state authorities, to apply both Community law and their national laws, this being a precondition for the effective exercise of rights deriving from the EU citizenship which they hold;

F.  whereas efforts to promote EU citizenship are linked to improvements in the quality of democracy within the Union, to the practical enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms, and to the opportunity for every citizen to participate in the democratic life of the Union;

G.  whereas any unilateral change in the borders of a Member State constitutes, at the very least, a violation of Articles 2, 3.2 and 4.2 of the Treaty on European Union, as well as jeopardising enjoyment of all the rights deriving from EU citizenship;

H.  whereas the Treaty of Lisbon consolidated the inalienable rights and guarantees of EU citizenship, including, inter alia, the freedom to travel, work and study in another Member State, to participate in European political life, to promote equality and respect for diversity and to be protected from discrimination, especially that practised on the basis of nationality; whereas the ever-increasing exercise of the right to freely move within the EU in the course of the past decades has had as a consequence the emergence of mixed families with different nationalities, often including children; whereas while this is a positive trend for the consolidation of EU citizenship as an institution in itself, it also entails specific needs and poses challenges in different areas, including legal aspects;

I.  whereas the prospect of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (Brexit) has highlighted the importance of EU citizenship rights and their crucial role in the everyday lives of millions of EU citizens, and has raised awareness in the EU about the potential loss of rights entailed by Brexit on both sides, with special regard to the 3 million EU citizens resident in the UK and the 1.2 million UK citizens resident in the EU;

J.  whereas on the heels of events in the United Kingdom, the refugee humanitarian crisis, the devastating social and economic impact of austerity policies, the high levels of unemployment and poverty, and the rise in xenophobia and racism in the EU have undermined confidence in the EU system and the European project as a whole;

K.  whereas the right to freedom of movement and its exercise are central to EU citizenship and complement the other freedoms of the EU internal market; whereas young Europeans are particularly attached to freedom of movement, which is ranked among EU citizens, in terms of recognition and popularity, as the EU’s most positive achievement after ensuring peace;

L.  whereas freedom of movement and the exercising thereof have been violated by various Member States which have expelled EU citizens from their territory or threatened to do so, as reported in a number of petitions;

M.  whereas, as petitions and complaints addressed to the Commission and to SOLVIT have shown, EU citizens face notable difficulties in exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms, owing to serious economic and employment problems, aggravated by the adoption of austerity measures at EU level and by the Member States, and by administrative burdens and bureaucracy in Member States, and to misinformation and/or lack of cooperation on the part of Member State authorities;

N.  whereas the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation, as enshrined in Article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, is the primary expression of EU citizenship; whereas it is also crucial for the successful exercise of freedom of movement, as evidenced in petitions;

O.  whereas respect for the rights of persons belonging to minorities is one of the EU’s founding values as enshrined in the Treaties; whereas approximately 8 % of EU citizens belong to a national minority and approximately 10 % speak a regional or minority language; whereas the effective protection of minorities needs to be strengthened;

P.  whereas strengthening citizens’ rights and democratic institutions includes combating discrimination and gender inequality, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals;

Q.  whereas women’s under-representation in decision-making positions, especially in the political sphere and in business at board level, hinders capability development and weakens women’s participation in the democratic life of the EU;

R.  whereas women’s participation and leadership in political decision-making is still affected by various obstacles, such as the persistence of gender-based stereotypes and the consequences of the recent economic crisis together with its negative repercussions on gender equality issues;

S.  whereas significant gaps remain in terms of protecting victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence across the EU in cases of cross-border family disputes;

T.  whereas discrimination faced by women across the EU is an obstacle to equality; whereas women remain under-represented as voters as well as in leading positions, whether in elected office, the civil service, academia, the media or the private sector; whereas the widespread multiple discrimination faced by women and the disproportionate number of women facing poverty and social exclusion are obstacles to the full exercise of their citizenship rights;

U.  whereas the right to petition the European Parliament, as laid down in Articles 20 and 227 of the TFEU and in Article 44 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, is one of the pillars of EU citizenship, ranks as the second best-known of EU citizenship rights, and must create an interface between citizens and the European institutions through a process that must be open, democratic and transparent;

V.  whereas the fundamental rights of EU citizens could be guaranteed by means of a new approach regarding the interpretation of Article 51 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

W.  whereas European citizens are directly represented in the European Parliament and have the democratic right to stand and vote in European elections, even when residing in another Member State; whereas the right of European citizens who have exercised their right of freedom of movement to vote in European and local elections is not facilitated and promoted equally in all Member States; whereas various petitions have pointed out the existence of bureaucratic hurdles and of shortcomings of an administrative or other nature regarding the exercise of the right to vote in national or regional elections of their home Member State for those who reside in another Member State; whereas some citizens are being hindered in the exercise of this democratic right, such as persons with disabilities in Member States which have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) but have not complied with their obligation to reform their electoral laws to enable persons with disabilities to exercise their right to vote;

X.  whereas citizens have the right to organise or support, together with other EU citizens from all Member States, a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which should enable them to help set the EU’s legislative agenda; whereas the ECI is an important instrument of direct democracy enabling citizens to become actively involved in the framing of EU policies and legislation; whereas it should be transparent and effective; whereas the exercise of this right has not been satisfactory thus far;

Y.  whereas the creation of the Schengen area and the integration of the Schengen acquis into the EU framework have greatly enhanced freedom of movement within the EU and constitute one of the greatest achievements of the European integration process; whereas the Council of the European Union, in its conclusions Nos. 9166/3/11 and 9167/3/11 of 9 June 2011, confirmed the successful conclusion of the evaluation process and the technical readiness of Bulgaria and Romania to accede to the Schengen area;

Z.  whereas security is one of EU citizens’ greatest concerns; whereas the EU should make its citizens feel that their freedom is protected and their security ensured across its territory while ensuring that their freedoms and rights are equally respected and protected; whereas terrorism is a global threat that needs to be dealt with effectively at local, national and EU level in order to ensure the security of European citizens;

AA.  whereas, according to the Commission’s impact assessment accompanying Council Directive (EU) 2015/637 of 20 April 2015 on the coordination and cooperation measures to facilitate consular protection for unrepresented citizens of the Union in third countries(12), almost seven million EU citizens travel to or live in places outside the EU where their own country does not have an embassy or consulate; whereas the number of unrepresented EU citizens is expected to increase to at least ten million by 2020; whereas EU citizens resident in the territory of a non-EU country where their Member State of origin does not have representation are entitled to the protection of the diplomatic and consular authorities of any other Member State on the same conditions as that state’s nationals;

1.  Takes note of the Commission’s 2017 EU Citizenship Report, which contains an enumeration of new priorities by field of activity for the years ahead; recalls that the correct application of EU law is a shared responsibility of the Member States and the EU institutions; underlines in that respect the crucial role the Commission plays as the guardian of the Treaties in the implementation of Articles 258 to 260 of the TFEU; expresses the need for priorities to effectively answer citizens’ concerns and for well-defined, concrete commitments and actions for the next three years; urges the Commission to speed up its EU law enforcement policy by using all available tools and mechanisms;

2.  Notes that the rights to petition, to refer cases to the European Ombudsman and to access documents and registers are fundamental, tangible elements of EU citizenship and increase the transparency of decision-making; expresses, therefore, its wish that these rights be promoted and highlighted as key elements of the Commission’s EU Citizenship Report and properly reflected there;

3.  Highlights the fact that the effective exercise of the right to petition has been facilitated thanks to the improved processing of petitions in the European Parliament and the launch in late 2014 of the Committee on Petitions portal, which allows petitions to be submitted in an uncomplicated fashion and managed more efficiently, as illustrated elsewhere by the respective Annual Reports of the Committee on Petitions; calls for the conclusion without delay of the implementation of the next steps of the project as foreseen, since this will allow a far more interactive follow-up of the petition process by petitioners and supporters;

4.  Underlines that the successful exercise of citizenship rights presupposes that all rights and freedoms enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights are upheld by Member States; highlights the fact that the adoption of democratic and participatory governance, the greatest possible level of transparency and the direct involvement of all citizens in decision-making processes ultimately reinforce EU citizenship; calls on the Member States to better inform EU citizens as to their rights and duties and to facilitate equal access to and equal respect for these rights both in their country of origin and in other Member States; highlights existing opt-outs from parts of the EU Treaties by some Member States which lead to de facto differences in citizens’ rights;

5.  Expresses strong regret that for almost a decade now no significant progress has been made in the adoption of the EU-wide Anti-Discrimination Directive; calls on all EU institutions and the Member States to relaunch the relevant negotiations as a matter of the utmost priority; notes the Commission’s undertaking to actively support the conclusion of these negotiations;

6.  Regrets the longstanding lack of progress on the 2008 proposal for a directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation; reiterates its call on the Council to adopt the proposal as soon as possible;

7.  Is of the view that the effectiveness of EU policies in the field of anti-discrimination should be increased and remaining obstacles removed; recommends that the Commission update the first two anti-discrimination directives, namely Council Directive 2000/43/EC and Council Directive 2000/78/EC, to bring them into line with the current version of the Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

8.  Calls for the adoption of an effective legislative framework and coordination measures at EU and Member State level to ensure high levels of social protection and stable, properly paid jobs; considers this approach to be vital in order to strengthen the fundamental rights and freedoms arising from EU citizenship;

9.  Stresses that the austerity measures adopted at EU and Member State level have aggravated economic and social inequalities, thus severely limiting the practical exercise of the fundamental rights and freedoms arising from EU citizenship;

10.  Recalls its resolution and the Commission’s proposal on a comprehensive directive on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States as regards the accessibility requirements for products and services, including different modes of transportation; recommends that legislators expedite their activities with regard to the adoption of a European Accessibility Act; welcomes the interinstitutional agreement reached on the implementation of the Marrakech Treaty on EU copyright law, which has been advocated by the Committee on Petitions since 2011, and reiterates its call for the swift ratification of the Marrakech Treaty by the EU and its Member States; calls on all Member States to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and to sign the Protocol thereto; supports the widening of the use of the mutually recognised EU disability card to as many Member States as possible; encourages them to facilitate the mobility of persons with disabilities and functional limitations in the EU; stresses the need to improve the accessibility of EU websites for persons with disabilities;

11.  Invites the Commission to take more active steps to fight discrimination against LGBTI persons and to combat homophobia by defining concrete action to be taken at national and European level; calls at the same time for the EU institutions to monitor LGBTI rights closely and to promote the recognition of cross-border rights for LGBTI persons and their families in the EU;

12.  Recalls that the principle of equality between women and men can only be implemented through strategic gender mainstreaming in all EU policies, including through its Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019; calls on the Commission to facilitate full access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services in all Member States; calls on the Commission to take meaningful measures to eliminate discrimination and combat discriminatory statements that are directed against women in the EU and which encourage gender stereotypes; reiterates the need for investment in citizenship and civic education and education on gender equality throughout Europe; draws attention to the gender pay and pension gaps in the EU, which undermine the possibility of genuine economic autonomy for millions of women; highlights the importance of the political participation of young people, particularly of women and girls, and calls for more action on the part of the Commission and the Member States in encouraging their participation.

13.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal for the EU to sign and conclude its accession to the Istanbul Convention; regrets, however, that the limitation to two areas – matters relating to judicial cooperation in criminal cases, and asylum and non-refoulement – raises legal uncertainties as to the scope of the EU’s accession; urges the Member States to speed up negotiations on the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention; calls on the Member States which have not yet done so to swiftly ratify this Convention, and on the Commission to propose a directive on combating violence against women; welcomes the submission by the Commission of the work-life balance package, and calls on all institutions to deliver on these measures as soon as possible; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote women’s entry into and representation in leadership positions and to take specific action to address the needs of vulnerable citizens facing intersectional multiple discrimination, so that such citizens are able to exercise their citizenship rights, for example through appropriate strategies; calls on the Council to step up its efforts to unblock the Directive on Women on Boards; reaffirms its call on the Commission to adopt its Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 as a communication;

14.  Recalls that traditional minorities have coexisted for centuries with majority cultures on the continent of Europe; underlines the need for the EU institutions to play a more active role in the protection of minorities, for instance by promoting awareness-raising meetings, seminars and resolutions as well as concrete administrative steps within the EU institutions; believes that the EU should set high standards for the protection of minorities, beginning with standards codified in international law instruments, such as those of the Council of Europe, and that these standards should be strongly embedded in a legal framework guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights throughout the EU; encourages all Member States to fully ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages without further delay, and to implement the Treaties in good faith; recalls, furthermore, the need to implement the principles developed in the framework of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); deplores any rhetoric that incites discrimination on the grounds of nationality; encourages national governments to find durable solutions and to promote a culture of linguistic diversity in all Member States and the EU as a whole, beyond the confines of the official EU languages, as both the Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights contain references to the protection of national minorities and to discrimination practised on the grounds of language;

15.  Expresses its deep concern at the numbers of Roma in Europe who are victims of discriminatory birth registration and therefore have no identity documents and are denied access to essential basic services in their countries of residence and, consequently, are also denied enjoyment of any of their rights in the EU; calls on the Member States to take immediate corrective measures in this regard in order to safeguard the enjoyment of their fundamental human rights and of all the rights conferred by EU citizenship; calls on the Commission to assess and monitor the situation in the Member States and to initiate legally binding legislation for the identification and protection of persons whose citizenship has not been recognised and who have no access to identity documents;

16.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to propose specific measures for removing obstacles to free movement, in line with Parliament’s resolutions of 15 March 2017 on obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the internal market(13) and of 28 April 2016 on safeguarding the best interests of the child across the EU on the basis of petitions addressed to the European Parliament(14);

17.  Calls on the Commission to regularly monitor the application of Directive 2004/38/EC in the Member States and to take appropriate measures to remove potential obstacles to freedom of movement; welcomes the e-learning tool on the right of free movement of Union citizens, which helps local authorities come to a better understanding of the rights and obligations that come with free movement;

18.  Acknowledges the Commission’s efforts to make multiple information and assistance outlets about the EU and the rights it confers on its citizens, such as the Europe Direct network, the Your Europe portal and the e-justice portal, available and more accessible, in order to better inform individuals exercising their rights as EU citizens; acknowledges the Commission’s proposal for a Single Digital Gateway to give citizens easy, online access to information, assistance and problem-solving services regarding the exercise of rights within the single market;

19.  Calls on the Commission to reinforce the SOLVIT network by improving the interaction between its services and national centres with a view to ensuring better follow-up of unresolved and repetitive cases and closer articulation between the different EU law enforcement tools such as EU PILOT and CHAP; invites the Member States, at the same time, to promote the SOLVIT network and its services, as well as other redress and citizen participation mechanisms, among EU citizens, both at Union level (e.g. via Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, the European Ombudsman or the European Citizens’ Initiative) and at national level (e.g. via regional or local ombudsmen, petitions committees or popular legislative initiatives);

20.  Supports the Commission’s commitment in the EU Citizenship Report 2017 to organise an EU-wide information and awareness-raising campaign on EU citizenship rights in order to help citizens better understand their rights; points out that citizens should have access to all information necessary for the genuine strengthening of European citizenship, and that such information should be presented in a clear and comprehensible way in order to enable them to make informed decisions on the exercise of their Treaty rights and rights guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; regrets, in this connection, the opacity and lack of transparency in negotiations on agreements that, like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), affect basic aspects relating to the exercise of citizenship; recommends the promotion of transparency and proactive consular support as the most appropriate tools to that end, as well as suitable publication of the information necessary to facilitate establishment for newcomers;

21.  Recalls that access to health services, coordination of social security schemes and recognition of professional qualifications in other Member States are areas in which EU citizens often face difficulties, and calls for vigorous enforcement by the Commission with a view to redressing such situations;

22.  Expresses its concern at the increase in political disaffection among the public resulting from austerity policies and curbs on rights and freedoms; stresses the need to prioritise the fight against xenophobia, racism, discrimination and hate speech, the growth of which is a consequence of, among other things, precisely those austerity policies and curbs on rights and freedoms;

23.  Acknowledges that action to enhance voter turnout in European elections is a shared responsibility of the EU and Member States; encourages the latter to promote democratic participation by better informing citizens of their right to stand and vote in local and European elections, through multiple channels and in accessible language, and by removing all barriers to their participation, such as economic, social or language discrimination, unfair practices or corruption; urges the Member States to remove accessibility obstacles for citizens with disabilities and to facilitate voting in all elections for citizens residing, working, or studying away from their usual voting location, for instance by embracing electronic identification and voting solutions;

24.  Believes that the reform of the Electoral Act could be an opportunity for the Union to become more democratic; highlights the fact that thousands of Europeans share this view; recalls the need to promote participation in European elections by increasing the visibility of political parties at the European level and that strengthening the European character of the elections to the European Parliament is a shared responsibility of the EU and its Member States; encourages the Council to include gender-mainstreamed and gender-balanced lists in the revision of the abovementioned act; asks the Commission to act on complaints regarding the exercise of the right to vote in European and municipal elections, to devise a concrete action plan for the introduction of electronic voting in the European Parliament elections starting at the earliest feasible date, and to make that system more widely available to all EU citizens; urges the Member States to do all they can to encourage persons who do not possess the citizenship of any state and who reside permanently in the EU Member States to adopt the citizenship of the host Member State so that they can enjoy full EU citizenship rights; considers that EU citizens who move to and reside in another Member State should have the possibility to exercise their right to vote in the national elections of their country of origin; calls on Member States that disenfranchise nationals who choose to live for an extended period of time in another Member State to ease the conditions for these nationals and preserve their right to vote in national elections; urges the Commission to take the necessary steps to enable persons with disabilities to exercise their right to vote without any form of discrimination; supports the possibility of introducing a European identity card in addition to national identification documents;

25.  Calls on European political parties to effectively tackle the problem of falling voter turnout and the widening gap between citizens and the EU institutions; suggests that the introduction of transnational lists to fill a proportion of the seats in the European Parliament would be a positive contribution to fostering the notion of EU citizenship; urges the Commission to devise a concrete action plan for the introduction of electronic voting with a view to the 2019 European Parliament elections; considers the nomination of Europe-wide candidates for the post of Commission President by European political parties to be an important step towards building a genuine European public space, but is convinced that the objective of a Europeanisation of the election campaign can only be achieved via pan-European activities and networks linking local and national media, especially public media (radio, television, seminars, the internet);

26.  Notes the Commission’s latest communication (COM(2017)0482) on the European Citizens’ Initiative containing a proposal for the revision of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 of 16 February 2011, with a view to improving its functioning; is hopeful that the revision of the regulation will result in an ECI instrument that is more transparent, effective and user-friendly, while ensuring democratic and broader participation of citizens in the European debate and agenda-setting; stresses the significant legislative role Parliament will play and the importance of good cooperation with the Commission during the revision of the regulation; calls on the Commission to include provisions aimed at revising the conditions for legal admissibility, the registration requirements and the examination procedures for an ECI;

27.  Takes the view that in the interests of Union citizenship action by the Commission is needed to strengthen the European cultural dimension; encourages the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme to finance more innovative projects with the potential for having a systemic impact; suggests developing the ‘Getting to Know Europe’ programme in parallel with and as a complement to ‘Europe for Citizens’;

28.  Proposes, with the aim of strengthening Union citizenship and the exercise of that citizenship, that the Commission should encourage local authorities to designate councillors responsible for European affairs, since this is the level that is closest to the citizens;

29.  Recommends that the Commission introduce an entry register at all of its headquarters, including the representation offices in the Member States, to enable citizens to address any EU institution in writing or face to face with the proper guarantees;

30.  Recommends that the Commission introduce, in cooperation with universal postal service providers, a messaging system with certification of content, date and sender, so that citizens can address the European institutions remotely in writing with the proper guarantees;

31.  Expresses its conviction that the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, enshrined in Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, free media and access to a plurality of voices in society and the media are indispensable parts of a healthy democracy and are therefore a constitutional foundation of EU membership as enshrined in Articles 2 and 6 of the TEU; underlines the need for a clearly-defined EU policy to tackle anti-European propaganda and false information, and to foster the independence of public media from governments; proposes that a minimum time in public broadcast media in all Member States be dedicated to content related to EU affairs; proposes that EU institutions proceed with the creation of European television channels broadcasting in all Member States and all EU official languages, and with educating citizens on media literacy from an early age; supports dissemination of press and multimedia productions in all official EU languages; underlines in this regard the need for further awareness-raising among European journalists;

32.  Maintains that linguistic diversity and transparency are key tools for bringing citizens closer to the EU and involving them in its activities; notes that access to documents represents 30 % of the investigations completed by the European Ombudsman in 2016, and therefore recommends the promotion of the right to access documents and the translation of as many documents as possible into all official EU languages; supports the intensification of dialogue with citizens and encourages public debates in order to improve citizens’ understanding of the impact of the EU on their daily lives and to allow them to take part in exchanges of views, through slots in television programmes for targeted audiences; calls for an horizontal directive on whistle-blowing which sets out appropriate channels and procedures for reporting cases;

33.  Supports the promotion of a culture of public service among EU and national institutions, and considers that the EU should lead by example through the highest administrative and transparency standards, in accordance with Article 41 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; proposes that local EU offices in the Member States be transformed into ‘one-stop shops’, offering comprehensive services for EU citizens, so as to reduce bureaucracy and the obstacles it poses to the exercise of EU citizenship rights; highlights the importance of the ‘once only’ project, which eliminates unnecessary burdens for European businesses that are asked to present the same data and documents repeatedly in their operations across borders;

34.  Underlines that accessible education plays a vital role in informing future EU citizens about their rights; emphasises the importance of promoting the development of transferable skills that enhance intercultural understanding and active participation in diverse societies through the Erasmus+ programme; encourages the Member States to give more space to civic education focused in particular on EU citizenship and also on EU affairs in their school curricula, and to adapt teacher training accordingly; recalls the need to support teachers and education practitioners in integrating information about EU rights and citizenship into their teaching; stresses, in this context, the need to further promote and develop online platforms, in order for education professionals to be able to access innovative multilingual teaching materials which help them to inspire and motivate students in learning about the EU; urges the Commission to launch an Education for European Citizenship strategy incorporating proposed guidelines to develop a curriculum that could include school visits to EU institutions;

35.  Recalls that, according to EU law as it stands, withdrawal of a Member State from the Union equates to the loss of European citizenship for its citizens; regrets that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will be the first instance in history of citizens being deprived of rights attributed to them through the EU Treaties; underlines that this loss of rights is expected to have a serious impact on their everyday lives; stresses that any agreement should be based on the principles of equity, symmetry, fair treatment, reciprocity and non-discrimination, as well as on full respect for the integrity of EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and its enforcement framework; urges both negotiating parties to give priority to all citizens affected and to safeguard their rights; calls on the negotiating parties to maintain all derivative social, economic and family rights, and in particular healthcare rights, to the fullest extent possible following the UK’s withdrawal;

36.  Proposes establishing a European public holiday on 9 May in order to reinforce a European feeling of belonging to the European family;

37.  Urges the Member States to guarantee that their national legislation is sufficiently clear and detailed to ensure that the right of free movement of citizens and their families is respected, to proceed with the proper training of the competent national authorities in this respect and to disseminate accurate information to interested parties in a precise manner, and to foster good cooperation and a swift exchange of information with other national administrations, especially where cross-border insurance and retirement pensions are concerned; calls for better cooperation between host Member States and the relevant consulates which will ensure a proper network of assistance and fair treatment in cross-border cases, particularly where custody of children is involved; urges the Commission to submit a legislative proposal on the cross-border recognition of adoption orders;

38.  Calls on the Council of the European Union and the European Council to allow all countries that fulfil the necessary technical criteria to become members of the Schengen area, thereby allowing all EU citizens to enjoy freedom of movement unhindered by border checks;

39.  Recalls that the EU legislation on security should be up-to-date, effective and efficient in preventing, detecting and reacting to evolving security threats; calls for the urgent implementation of the European Agenda on Security, better enforcement of existing EU legal instruments in this field, and more efficient information exchange and coordination among Member States and with EU agencies; welcomes the Commission’s initiatives to strengthen security cooperation between Member States; stresses the importance of fully respecting fundamental rights in the fight against terrorism; emphasises that harmonisation of internal and external EU action in the field of security is essential for the effective protection of EU citizens;

40.  Calls on the EU institutions and the Member States to intensify efforts to develop an effective and genuine security union that addresses all dimensions of the terrorist threat;

41.  Considers deradicalisation and the prevention of radicalisation to be an absolute priority for the EU, and strongly advocates the strengthening of specific cross-sectoral programmes targeting education, voluntary and cultural activities and youth work, as well as deradicalisation programmes in institutions, local communities, civil society, religious communities and regional administrations; believes that a comprehensive policy in this field should be accompanied by long-term proactive deradicalisation processes in the judicial sphere; stresses the need to develop strategies on social inclusion and policies tackling discrimination; calls on the Member States to address radicalisation holistically and to take advantage of the expertise of the Radicalisation Awareness Network set up on the initiative of the Commission; underlines that the prevention of radicalisation can also be supported through actions funded by EU programmes such as the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and Europe for Citizens;

42.  Calls for the full and effective implementation of Directive (EU) 2015/637 in order to ensure consular protection for EU citizens in third countries where their Member States are not represented;

43.  Calls on the Commission to make a proposal for a new, more secure format for an EU emergency travel document for unrepresented EU citizens outside the EU whose passport has been stolen, lost, destroyed or is temporarily unavailable, in order to guarantee that they can return home safely;

44.  Stresses that the victims of crime and terrorism must be guaranteed an appropriate level of rights without discrimination across the EU, and that they should be treated with respect and dignity and receive appropriate support in accordance with their individual needs and the needs of their families; underlines that a growing number of European citizens have suffered terrorist attacks in a country that is not their own, and therefore urgently calls for the establishment of protocols in Member States to help non-national Europeans in the event of a terrorist attack, in line with the proposal for a directive 2015/0281/EU on combating terrorism; stresses the need for a specific directive on the protection of victims of terrorism;

45.  Regrets the existence of cross-border obstacles in civil or social matters, such as family law or pensions, that prevent many citizens from the full enjoyment of their EU citizenship;

46.  Regrets that the options for redress open to parents and children in the event of separation or divorce are not the same in each Member State, with the result that hundreds of parents in Europe have contacted the Committee on Petitions to urge it to be more active despite it having very limited competences in this area;

47.  Calls for reinforced cooperation between the Member States in order to ensure the protection of victims of gender-based violence and that the best interests of the child are taken into account in cases of cross-border family disputes;

48.  Welcomes the launch of the EU Solidarity Corps for young European citizens, and calls for this initiative to be properly funded so that quality jobs are not replaced by unpaid volunteering;

49.  Calls on the Member States to put in place coordination and cooperation measures in order to effectively tackle the issues of double taxation and tax discrimination in any cross-border context and to take better account of the realities of cross-border worker mobility; considers that double taxation issues are currently insufficiently addressed insofar as they are handled via existing bilateral tax conventions or unilateral action by a Member State, and that they require concerted and timely action at EU level;

50.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the European Ombudsman and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

Council document 6622/16.

(2)

Council document 14268/15.

(3)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0233.

(4)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0106.

(5)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0385.

(6)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0013.

(7)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0063.

(8)

PE 601.177v04-00.

(9)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0512.

(10)

PE 597.698v03-00.

(11)

PE 603.107v02-00.

(12)

OJ L 106, 24.4.2015, p. 1.

(13)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0083.

(14)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0142.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Published with a delay of a few months, the third Commission report on EU Citizenship comes on the 25th Anniversary of the concept of EU citizenship’s enshrinement, in the EU Maastricht Treaty in 1992. It also comes in an unprecedented challenge: following the referendum held in the UK on 23 June 2016, a Member State withdrawal implications on EU citizenship rights. These two milestones remind the EU that it is time for a thorough assessment of the key achievements and the pending challenges. It is the time to identify the areas where more work remains to be done, and to agree upon a daily, actual and factual meaning of EU Citizenship, in order for citizens to fully enjoy the rights and privileges that come with it: complementary to their national citizenship and sometimes overlapping with rights safeguarded by national provisions.

The EU Citizenship Report 2017(1) is a future-looking document setting out Commission priorities for 2017-2019, and follows the 2010 and 2013 reports prepared by the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament in response to the corresponding Commission reports. In preparation for this report, the Commission consulted civil society by organising a dedicated consultation and two surveys on EU citizenship, and several events with key stakeholders, among which a joint public hearing with the PETI, AFCO and JURI Committees of the European Parliament on March 15, 2016 .

The ultimate goal of EU citizenship policies is for all EU citizens to feel at home wherever they are in the EU and to enjoy their status as European citizens, also when staying in their country (according to an ECAS study, only approximately 20% of Europeans profit from cross-border travel within the EU and enjoyment of such rights). This means enhancing EU citizens’ rights and making sure that EU citizens can effectively appreciate them in their everyday life. It also means fostering EU common values: equality and non-discrimination, and citizens’ participation in the democratic life of the EU, as well as a European public space of security, peace and durable prosperity, where they can express their concerns and ideas about the development of the EU.

The present draft report scrutinises the actions proposed by the European Commission from the perspective of petitions received by the Committee on Petitions during the reference period 2014-2016. Petitions provide first-hand feedback from citizens on the implementation of different policies. They are a reliable barometer measuring the degree of satisfaction with the European Union and are therefore used by the Commission when monitoring the application of EU law in Member States.

According to Commission findings, over the last years the awareness of EU citizens’ of their citizenship rights has risen. The right to petition, a right enshrined in the Lisbon treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, is one of these rights and it appears from the results of the surveys conducted to be one of the more known ones, along with the right to free movement of persons. 

- Instances of discrimination of all kinds has been a recurring subject in petitions: discriminations due to sex, nationality, sexual orientation, age, language, ethnic origin. One must highlight here the topics of gender equality and protection of minority rights (loss of citizenship, education, language, exercise of their electoral rights). Another matter are the issues raised by LGBTI couples when travelling between Member States, as it still up to the Member States to decide whether they will provide legal recognition to same-sex relationships in their territory (and, in particular, whether they will open marriage and/or registered partnerships to same-sex couples), as well as to determine the (financial and other) consequences that ensue from such relationships, especially when it comes to parenthood. The Committee on Petitions has received numerous petitions that deal with discrimination related to the difficulties that people with a disability are faced with in every aspect of everyday life. at workplace, mobility issues (among others accessibility of means of transport and buildings, passenger rights), health care, access to education, de-institutionalisation, status recognition, pensions, parking permits, the European Disability Card (which currently is only in a pilot stage), social benefits, electoral rights, access to employment, and finally matters related to the enforcement of the Marrakech Treaty in the EU. The stagnating Anti Discrimination Horizontal Directive appears as a resounding claim all across the EU. Equally, the revision of article 51 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, needs to be revised in order to guarantee the accurate treatment of FR petitions at the Committee.

- Especially with regard to minorities, the EU has a lot more to do to ensure the effective protection of these values in the case of minorities. For example, in the particular area of national autochthonous minorities the EU has not been able to sanction or prevent discriminative practices having a negative impact on the languages and cultures of persons belonging to such groups. Although the rights of such minorities should be primarily guaranteed by Member States, EU citizens expect more to be done on a European level, a fact attested, among others, by several petitions submitted to the European Parliament in this regard.

- Keeping in mind that, according to EU law as it stands, withdrawal equals loss of European citizenship, and parts of the United Kingdom cannot negotiate separately their remain in the EU, as negotiations will concern the entirety of a Member State, it only becomes more poignant that Brexit is a tremendous challenge for citizens’ rights. The EU institutions will have to tackle this challenge through the Brexit negotiations in a manner that is most beneficial to the EU citizens. The Committee on Petitions has received a large number of petitions about Brexit (147 petitions between January 2016 and June 2017), encompassing constellations of EU citizens in the UK, UK citizens in the EU and to UK citizens in the UK who would like to retain Treaty rights. The vast majority of these petitions refers to EU citizenship: lamenting the possible involuntary loss of rights, expressing the concern for the practical repercussions of Brexit on families residing in the UK or in the EU, and on pensioners and even proposing the retention of EU citizenship and its rights for UK citizens after withdrawal, or a special regime in the EU for these citizens.

- The participation in the EU democratic life and the enjoyment of electoral rights by EU citizens living abroad in another Member State has been frequently the subject of petitions, not least because it is an area where a joint effort by the EU and local authorities for the enforcement of such rights is required. At the same time, the issues reported through petitions are instances of discrimination due to nationality; difficulties with the procedure followed by Member States to allow their citizens to vote abroad; the complexity of local legislation in host Member States, which impose additional formalities or conditions for EU nationals to vote in local elections. The issue of disenfranchisement of citizens by several Member States has been repeatedly discussed in meetings of the Committee on Petitions and raised with other Committees, which are making efforts the direction of the revision of the Electoral Law in Member States where European elections are concerned. The ECI, a key instrument enshrined by the EU to let citizens actively participate in the European institutional life, has repeatedly been mistreated and after a series of to ECJ resolutions is currently under review by the European Commission.

The case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union has given increasing substance to European citizenship and placed free movement at the forefront, as the basic right that gives rise to a wide array of other essential rights. Free movement is one of the EU’s most cherished achievements, one of the most popular and well-known rights, as it provides EU citizens with opportunities to travel, study, do business, work and live in other EU countries. Over the last years, an increasing number of petitions have been registered with respect to problems encountered by EU citizens who exercise their right to free movement. Statistics show that issues related to free movement account for approximately 25% of the total number of petitions received. The main areas of concern raised in petitions cover social rights and extension of liability of employees within the EU; consumer rights in Digital Internal Market, where European consumers still encounter difficulties to shop online cross-border in the EU related to the deliveries, fraud, warranties; the recognition of professional qualifications; the portability of welfare and social rights of workers within the EU- theory and practice; and obstacles to accessing social benefits as a EU citizen (subsidies, accumulated allowances, right to cross-border healthcare). Europeans still find it difficult to move or live in another EU country, mostly due to lengthy or unclear administrative procedures, lack of information and difficulties in getting access to private services. Citizens also encounter difficulties planning cross border travel, which combines more than one mode of transport (multimodal travel), to contact public authorities and to access cross-border healthcare.

- In view of the above, one cannot stress enough the importance of finding solutions to these problems as soon as possible, as it is not a matter of mere exercise of rights safeguarded in the Treaties and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, but they are directly linked to the image of the EU, its popularity and its acceptance by the citizens, as it touches upon the core of their interest and very often, the core of their everyday lives. It is ultimately a way to restore their confidence and trust in the European project, a feeling that seemed to wane in the last years, as reflected in electoral results throughout the continent.

As a conclusion, the report contains a long list of issues dealt with by the European Commission, but a substantial lack of realistic diagnosis and of concrete and balanced goals, to be achieved with well-defined commitments for the next three years. As much as one can be appreciative of the achievements and hopeful about the future steps, one also has to note that the text of the report leaves a taste of willingness to act regardless of the will of the EU citizens through the enumeration of past, present and future projects and policy priorities. It may be more conducive to the achievement of the aimed results to replace this enumeration through efficient and effective concrete actions.

(1)

‘EU Citizenship Report 2017 – Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change’, COM(2017) 30 final/2.


ANNEX: LIST OF ENTITIES OR PERSONS FROM WHOM THE RAPPORTEUR HAS RECEIVED INPUT

Entity and/or person

European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)

 

European Parliamentary Research Service

 

 


OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (9.11.2017)

for the Committee on Petitions

on EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change

(2017/2069(INI))

Rapporteur (*): Csaba Sógor

(*)  Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Petitions, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 31 January 2017 entitled ‘Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change – EU Citizenship Report 2017’ (COM(2017)0030),

–  having regard to the Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education,

–  having regard to the results of the 2015 public consultation on EU citizenship conducted by the Commission, as well as to the results of the 2015 Euro barometer surveys on electoral rights and on citizenship,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (‘the Charter’),

–  having regard to EU Regulation No. 1381/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme for the period 2014 to 2020,

  having regard to the Copenhagen criteria, and the body of Union rules that a candidate country must fulfil if it wishes to join the Union (the acquis),

–  having regard to the hearings organised by the Committee on Petitions in 2016 and 2017, namely the joint public hearing co-organised with the LIBE and EMPL committees on ‘The situation and rights of EU Citizens in the UK’ held on 11 May 2017, the public hearing on ‘Obstacles to EU citizen’s freedom to move and work in the Internal Market’ held on 11 October 11 2016, the public hearing on ‘Fighting against discrimination and protecting minorities’ held on 4 May 4 2017, and the joint public hearing co-organised with the Commission (DGs Justice and Consumers) and the LIBE, AFCO and JURI committees on ‘Union citizenship in practice: our common values, rights and democratic participation’ held on 15 March 2016,

–  having regard to Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States,

–  having regard to the studies commissioned by Parliament’s Policy Department C in 2016 and 2017, at the request of the LIBE and PETI committees, entitled ‘Obstacles to the right of free movement and residence for European Union citizens and their families’,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Council of the European Union Nos. 9166/3/11 and 9167/3/11 of 9 June 2011 on the conclusion of the evaluation process and the technical readiness of Bulgaria and Romania to accede to the Schengen area,

–  having regard to the notification given by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the European Council on 29 March 2017 in accordance with Article 50(2) TEU,

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 April 2017 on negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union(1),

–  having regard to the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages,

–  having regard to the study commissioned by Parliament’s Policy Department at the request of the LIBE committees in 2016 entitled ‘Towards a Comprehensive EU Protection System for Minorities’,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention),

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was adopted in New York on 13 December 2006 and ratified by the EU on 23 December 2010,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 15 November 2010 entitled ‘European Disability Strategy 2010-2020: A renewed commitment to a barrier-free Europe’ (COM(2010)0636),

–  having regard to the Commission communications on Roma integration (COM(2010)0133, COM(2012)0226, COM(2013)0454, COM(2015)0299 and COM(2016)0424), including the communication entitled ‘An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020’ (COM(2011)0173),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 April 2016 entitled ‘Delivering on the European Agenda on Security to fight against terrorism and pave the way towards an effective and genuine Security Union’ (COM(2016)0230),

–  having regard to Directive (EU) 2015/637 on the coordination and cooperation measures to facilitate consular protection for unrepresented citizens of the Union in third countries and repealing Decision 95/553/EC,

A.  whereas the Treaty of Lisbon brought great advances for the citizens of the Union by consolidating the rights and safeguards of EU citizenship, endowing the Charter of Fundamental Rights with legal value and bringing the area of freedom, security and justice into the EU’s legislative field;

B.  whereas the Treaty on European Union establishes that the Union should offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice;

C.  whereas, according to Article 21 of the Charter, any discrimination based on any ground, be it sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation, is prohibited;

D.  whereas in defining and implementing its policies and activities, the European Union aims to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation; whereas the principle of non-discrimination is the primary expression of EU citizenship;

E.  whereas the right to equal treatment is one of the founding principles of the European Union and a fundamental right of all people; whereas, when laying down the citizenship of the Union, Article 9 TEU expressly mentions that the Union shall observe the principle of the equality of its citizens, who shall receive equal attention from its institutions, bodies, offices and agencies; whereas approximately 8 % of Union citizens belong to a national minority and approximately 10 % speak a regional or minority language; whereas there is no EU legal framework to guarantee their rights as members of a minority and they can be treated differently, depending on which Member State they live in; whereas there is a difference between the protection of minorities and anti-discrimination policies; whereas equal treatment is a basic right, not a privilege, of all citizens;

F.  whereas, according to the Commission’s 2017 EU Citizenship Report, since 2012 a growing number of people have reported experiencing some form of discrimination;

G.  whereas equality bodies are key to combatting discrimination and ensuring the effective implementation of equal treatment legislation; whereas there is a lack of EU standards for national equality bodies that ensure that they have a sufficiently broad mandate and enjoy the financial and organisational independence needed to perform their tasks;

H.  whereas Union citizenship is additional to and does not replace national citizenship; whereas Article 20 TFEU provides that any person who holds the nationality of a Member State is also a citizen of the Union, with the rights and obligations enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter;

I.  whereas free movement is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU, enshrined in the Treaties as a cornerstone of European integration, and is one of the most valued rights of EU citizens;

J.  whereas the right to free movement and its exercise is central to EU citizenship; whereas EU citizens may still experience a number of persisting or new barriers to exercising their free movement and residence rights, such as excessive documentation requirements, burdensome procedures for obtaining residence rights, difficulties in accessing health services, or lengthy procedures for obtaining access to work or having professional qualifications recognised; whereas some European citizens have been subjected to expulsions or expulsion orders within the EU;

K.  whereas the creation of the Schengen area and the integration of the Schengen acquis into the EU framework greatly enhances freedom of movement within the EU and is one of the greatest achievements of the European integration process; whereas the Council of the European Union, in its conclusions Nos. 9166/3/11 and 9167/3/11 of 9 June 2011, confirmed the successful conclusion of the evaluation process and the technical readiness of Bulgaria and Romania to accede to the Schengen area;

L.  whereas security is one of EU citizens’ greatest concerns; whereas the EU should make its citizens feel that their freedom is protected and their security ensured across its territory while ensuring that their freedoms and rights are equally respected and protected, whereas terrorism is a global threat that needs the to be dealt with effectively at local, national and EU level in order to ensure the security of European citizens;

M.  whereas, according to the Commission’s impact assessment accompanying Directive (EU) 2015/637, almost seven million EU citizens travel or live outside the EU in places where their own country does not have an embassy or consulate; whereas the number of unrepresented EU citizens is expected to increase to at least ten million by 2020; whereas EU citizens resident in the territory of a non-EU country where their Member State of origin does not have representation are entitled to the protection of the diplomatic and consular authorities of any other Member State on the same conditions as that state’s nationals;

N.  whereas the Lisbon Treaty enhanced EU citizenship, including by introducing the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) through which citizens have the possibility to ask for EU action; whereas the use of the ECI so far, while it has presented practical and legal challenges for organisers, has not met expectations as regards legislative impact;

O.  whereas experience shows that pre-accession countries are willing to respect the Copenhagen criteria on democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights and to advance the situation of minorities; whereas at present there is no adequate framework to guarantee the fulfilment of these criteria after accession and thereby protect EU citizens from the effects of breaches of the Copenhagen criteria;

P.  whereas at present the EU has, infringement procedures aside, tools of only limited efficacy for responding to systematic and institutional manifestations of discrimination, racism and xenophobia against minorities across the Member States; whereas infringement proceedings do not cover threats falling outside the scope of EU secondary law;

Q.  whereas Roma citizens of the EU make up the largest and most vulnerable minority group in the EU; whereas the Roma face multi-layered discrimination and social exclusion in Europe; whereas soft law tools, such as the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS), have played only a limited role in ensuring that Member States respect their obligations to comply with fundamental human rights standards on minority protection and addressing institutional manifestations of discrimination;

R.  whereas European citizens with disabilities still face many obstacles in getting access to the labour market, education and training, are at a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion than their peers without disability, and have difficulty in participating fully in society and enjoying their rights;

S.  whereas violence against women still occurs widely in the EU; whereas the EU and its Member States must take all necessary measures to promote and protect the rights of all women;

T.  whereas, according to Article 25 of the Charter, ‘the Union recognises and respects the rights of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life’;

U.  whereas the risk of disenfranchisement of nationals who move from their countries of origin to another Member State may inhibit EU citizens from exercising their right to move to and reside in another Member State;

V.  whereas each state has the sovereign power to decide who its nationals are, within the limits of international law; whereas stateless persons are often at risk of detention and destitution; whereas there is a strong link between citizenship of the EU and statelessness owing to the possibility of access to or loss of EU citizenship by stateless persons who live in Member States, who are granted Member State nationality or whose Member State nationality is withdrawn;

W.  whereas some of the most important consequences of the expected withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union concerns the legal status, rights and duties of UK nationals living in the European Union, and of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom, from the moment the withdrawal takes effect;

X.  whereas millions of citizens who have availed themselves of the right to live, establish a family, work, study and retire in the UK and in the EU 27, and have made defining life choices based on these rights, now face great uncertainties and anxiety regarding their future;

1.  Calls on the Council of the EU and the European Council to allow all countries that fulfil the necessary technical criteria to become members of the Schengen area, thereby allowing all EU citizens to enjoy freedom of movement unhindered by border-checks;

2.  Calls on the Commission to regularly monitor the application of Directive 2004/38/EC in Member States and to take appropriate measures to remove potential obstacles to the freedom of movement; welcomes the e-learning tool on the right of free movement of Union citizens, which helps local authorities come to a better understanding of the rights and obligations that come with free movement;

3.  Recalls that EU legislation on security should be up to date, effective and efficient in preventing, detecting and reacting to evolving security threats; calls for the urgent implementation of the European Agenda on Security, better enforcement of existing EU legal instruments in this field, and more efficient information exchange and coordination among Member States and with EU agencies; welcomes the Commission initiatives to strengthen security cooperation between Member States, and fully supports more efficient information exchange among Member States and with EU agencies; stresses the importance of fully respecting fundamental rights in the fight against terrorism; emphasises that the harmonisation of internal and external EU action in the field of security is essential for the efficient protection of EU citizens;

4.  Calls on the EU institutions and Member States to intensify efforts to develop an effective and genuine security union that addresses all dimensions of the terrorist threat;

5.  Considers de-radicalisation and the prevention of radicalisation to be an absolute priority for the EU and strongly advocates the strengthening of specific cross-sectorial programmes targeting education, voluntary and cultural activities, youth work and de-radicalisation programmes in institutions, local communities, civil society, religious communities and regional administrations; believes that a comprehensive policy in this field should be accompanied by long-term proactive de-radicalisation processes in the judicial sphere; stresses the need to develop strategies on social inclusion and policies tackling discrimination; calls on the Member States to address radicalisation holistically and to take advantage of the expertise of the Radicalisation Awareness Network set up at the initiative of the Commission; underlines that the prevention of radicalisation can also be supported through actions funded by EU programmes such as the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and Europe for Citizens;

6.  Stresses that the protection of fundamental rights is key to enabling EU citizens to fully participate in the democratic life of the Union; recalls its resolution of 25 October 2016 recommending the establishment of a comprehensive Union mechanism for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights(2) as an additional tool able to improve the protection and promotion of human rights –including citizenship’s rights – and to increase citizens’ trust towards the EU institutions;

7.  Notes that EU citizens have a right to address the European Ombudsman, which is one of the main rights conferred by the European citizenship;

8.  Recalls that in the period 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2016 the majority of complaints received by the European Ombudsman concerned an alleged lack of transparency, as highlighted in the Commission’s communication of 24 January 2017 entitled ‘On progress towards effective EU citizenship 2013-2016’ (COM(2017)0032); is convinced that transparency and integrity of the EU institutions is an essential condition to build trust and confidence vis-à-vis EU citizens, to bring citizens closer to the EU and involve them in its activities, and to allow them to fully enjoy and exercise their citizenship rights; points out that citizens should have access to all information necessary in this regard, and that this information should be presented in the most clear and comprehensible way; asks all EU institutions and bodies to address the still existing shortcomings in line with the provisions, amongst others, of Articles 9 and 10(3) TEU, Article15 TFEU and Articles 41-42 of the Charter;

9.  Notes that civic education and intercultural dialogue improves citizens’ understanding of the importance of social and political participation, while human rights education raises their awareness of their rights and teaches them respect for the rights of others; encourages the Member States to include education on democratic citizenship and human rights education in school curricula to equip learners with knowledge, understanding and skills, but also to empower them with the readiness to take action in society in the defence and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law;

10.  Calls for the full and effective implementation of Directive (EU) 2015/637 to ensure consular protection for EU citizens in third countries where their Member States are not represented;

11.  Calls on the Commission to make a proposal for a new, more secure format for EU emergency travel document for unrepresented EU citizens outside the EU whose passport has been stolen, lost, destroyed or is temporarily unavailable, in order to guarantee that they can effectively travel back home;

12.  Stresses that the ECI is an innovative tool for participatory democracy in the European Union through which citizens have the opportunity to articulate their aspirations and shape the development of EU policies; points out, however, that there are significant deficits in the functioning of the ECI that need to be addressed in order to make it more effective; expresses concern over the Commission’s follow up of successful initiatives;

13.  Stresses that victims of crime and terrorism must be guaranteed an appropriate level of rights without discrimination across the EU, and that they should be treated with respect and dignity and receive appropriate support in accordance with their individual needs and with the needs of their families; underlines that a growing number of European citizens have suffered terrorist attacks in a country that are not their own, and therefore urgently asks for the establishment of protocols in Member States to help non-national Europeans in the event of a terrorist attack, in line with Directive 2015/0281/EU on combatting terrorism; stresses the need for a specific directive on the protection of victims of terrorism;

14.  Considers that in order to give substance to the references to minorities and to the equality of all EU citizens made in Articles 2 and 9 TEU, respectively, and in order to better reach the potential of EU citizenship, the EU must step up its efforts to guarantee the protection of the founding values of the EU and of the rights of minorities;

15.  Highlights the fact that national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in Europe have for centuries been living together with or alongside majority cultures; believes that compliance by the EU of the TEU requirement to respect, safeguard and enhance Europe’s cultural and linguistic diversity in the EU, both among and within Member States, would greatly reinforce the links between citizens and the European project; believes that the EU should lay down high standards for minority protection, beginning with standards codified in international law instruments, such as those of the Council of Europe, and that these standards should be strongly embedded in a legal framework guaranteeing democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights across the EU; encourages all Member States to fully ratify the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages without further delay, and to implement the Treaties in good faith; recalls as well the need to implement the principles developed in the framework of the OSCE;

16.  Regrets the longstanding lack of progress on the 2008 proposal for a directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation; reiterates its call to the Council to adopt the proposal as soon as possible;

17.  Notes that the EU Regulation on establishing a Right, Equality and Citizenship Programme for the period 2014 to 2020 declares that, to achieve the objective set out in Article 3(3) TEU, the programme shall promote and protect the rights of the child;

18.  Believes that the systematic discrimination of Roma citizens in their home countries, as well as the evictions and expulsions they suffer when exercising their right to free movement to and residence in another Member State, are contrary to the fundamental right of non-discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin and the right to move to and reside in another Member State, thereby putting the foundations of EU citizenship rights to the test; calls on the Member States to carry out birth registration without discrimination, and to take immediate corrective measures to ensure identification of all their citizens in order to avoid that members of the Roma community are denied access to all the essential basic services; calls on the Member States to take active steps, through their local authorities, to ensure that every child is registered; calls on the Commission to assess and monitor the situation in Member States, share best practices on the identification and protection of people whose citizenship have not been recognised and have no access to identity documents, and to launch awareness-raising campaigns on the importance of birth registration;

19.  Welcomes that the Commission’s 2017 Citizenship Report stresses the need to increase and improve citizen’s participation as a priority; notes with regret, however, that the report makes no reference to the right to petition, the right to refer to the European Ombudsman, the right to access documents or how to strengthen these rights;

20.  Condemns all forms of discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex people (LGBTI); encourages the Commission and the Member States to adopt laws and policies to combat homophobia and transphobia; encourages the Commission to come up with an agenda that ensures equal rights and opportunities on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, while respecting the competences of Member States;

21.  Expresses that free media and free access to an open internet are crucial elements of democracy;

22.  Welcomes the signing on 13 June 2017 of the EU’s accession to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence; regrets, however, that the limitation to two areas – matters relating to judicial cooperation in criminal cases, and asylum and non-refoulement – raises legal uncertainties as to the scope of the EU’s accession; urges the Member States to speed up negotiations on the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention; stresses that, in order to be more effective, measures combating violence against women should be accompanied by actions promoting the financial independence of women; calls on the Commission to further address gender-based economic inequalities and the issue of work-life balance;

23.  Acknowledges that EU equal treatment legislation requires the establishment of national equality bodies; calls on the Commission to propose guidelines to the Member States on how such bodies should operate and how to guarantee them the independence, effectiveness, powers and resources – including EQUINET – they need in order to be able to address discrimination and promote equal treatment; calls on the national equality bodies, as well as EQUINET, to perform their tasks and strengthen their cooperation in terms of tackling discrimination and promoting equal treatment; recalls the importance of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020 to further provide practicable support for anti-discrimination at grassroots level; calls on the Commission to adopt in a communication its strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019; recalls that the EU is based on the principle of equality between women and men, and that such a principle can only be upheld if it is mainstreamed in all EU policies; notes the disproportionate impact of multiple discrimination on women; encourages the Member States to work with regional and local authorities, law enforcement bodies, national equality bodies and civil society organisations to increase monitoring of the intersectionality between different grounds of discrimination;

24.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, as signatories of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to mainstream accessibility, participation, non-discrimination and equality concerns in EU legislation in order for European citizens with disabilities to enjoy their fundamental rights on an equal basis with their peers;

25.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to use all available financial, legislative and supporting tools to promote an age-friendly society and healthy ageing for European citizens, among others through inclusive labour markets, innovative and flexible work schemes, access to training, the availability of quality healthcare and the deployment of e-health products and services;

26.  Take note of the European Solidarity Corps initiative, which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or to work in projects in their own country or abroad, and welcomes the European Aid Volunteers initiative, which enables Europeans to take part in humanitarian assistance programmes worldwide;

27.  Considers that citizens who move to and reside in another Member State should have the possibility to exercise their right to vote in the national elections of their country of origin; calls on Member States that disenfranchise nationals who choose to live for an extended period of time in another Member State to ease the conditions for these nationals and preserve their right to vote in national elections;

28.  Reiterates its position that the safeguarding of the rights and interests of EU-27 citizens living or having lived in the United Kingdom, and of United Kingdom citizens living or having lived in the EU-27, must be treated as an absolute priority in the negotiations on the withdrawal agreement; considers, furthermore, that the obligations for the UK and the EU in this respect should be based on reciprocity, equity, symmetry, non-discrimination, fair treatment, as well as the full respect of the integrity of EU law, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights and its enforcement framework.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

06.11.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

44

6

3

Members present for the final vote

Asim Ahmedov Ademov, Gerard Batten, Monika Beňová, Malin Björk, Michał Boni, Daniel Dalton, Rachida Dati, Raymond Finch, Kinga Gál, Ana Gomes, Sylvie Guillaume, Monika Hohlmeier, Filiz Hyusmenova, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Dietmar Köster, Barbara Kudrycka, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Monica Macovei, Roberta Metsola, Claude Moraes, Péter Niedermüller, Judith Sargentini, Birgit Sippel, Csaba Sógor, Helga Stevens, Traian Ungureanu, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Udo Voigt, Josef Weidenholzer, Cecilia Wikström, Kristina Winberg, Auke Zijlstra

Substitutes present for the final vote

Carlos Coelho, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Pál Csáky, Miriam Dalli, Gérard Deprez, Marek Jurek, Jeroen Lenaers, Elly Schlein, Barbara Spinelli, Axel Voss

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

Max Andersson, André Elissen, György Hölvényi, Karin Kadenbach, Peter Kouroumbashev, Julia Reda, Sofia Ribeiro, Bart Staes, Julie Ward, Wim van de Camp

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

44

+

ALDE

Gérard Deprez, Filiz Hyusmenova, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Cecilia Wikström

ECR

Helga Stevens

GUE/NGL

Malin Björk, Barbara Spinelli, Marie-Christine Vergiat

PPE

Asim Ahmedov Ademov, Michał Boni, Carlos Coelho, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Pál Csáky, Rachida Dati, Kinga Gál, Monika Hohlmeier, György Hölvényi, Barbara Kudrycka, Jeroen Lenaers, Roberta Metsola, Sofia Ribeiro, Csaba Sógor, Traian Ungureanu, Wim van de Camp, Axel Voss

S&D

Monika Beňová, Miriam Dalli, Ana Gomes, Sylvie Guillaume, Karin Kadenbach, Dietmar Köster, Peter Kouroumbashev, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Claude Moraes, Péter Niedermüller, Elly Schlein, Birgit Sippel, Julie Ward, Josef Weidenholzer

VERTS/ALE

Max Andersson, Julia Reda, Judith Sargentini, Bart Staes

6

-

EFDD

Gerard Batten, Raymond Finch, Kristina Winberg

ENF

André Elissen, Auke Zijlstra

NI

Udo Voigt

3

0

ECR

Daniel Dalton, Marek Jurek, Monica Macovei

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0102.

(2)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0409.


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (23.10.2017  )

for the Committee on Petitions

on the EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change

(2017/2069(INI))

Rapporteur: Krystyna Łybacka

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Emphasises the role of education, training, culture and sport in promoting EU citizenship rights, active citizenship and solidarity, as well as in strengthening our common European values, based on  Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 9 of the Treaty on European Union; acknowledges that through transnational and intercultural cooperation and exchange, EU programmes such as Erasmus+, the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, Europe for Citizens and Creative Europe contribute to the above objectives;

2.  Highlights that the Europe for Citizens programme promotes a better understanding of citizens' rights and duties in the EU; recommends therefore that the next generation of the programme should be adopted with a legal base that enables Parliament to be involved as a co-legislator on an equal footing with the Council, and to be equipped with more human and financial resources to increase the number of projects supported;

3.  Emphasises the importance of promoting the development of transferable skills through the Erasmus+ programme that enhance intercultural understanding and active participation in diverse societies;

4.  Recalls that continuous efforts are needed to increase EU citizens’ awareness of their rights and to ensure that those rights are uniformly enforced across the entire EU, highlighting the opportunities that stem from belonging to the EU; underlines the role of educational institutions in raising awareness among young people of their EU rights and in endorsing active citizenship; calls on the Commission, in this context, to provide a common framework for learning about the EU at school and encourages Member States to take appropriate measures to ensure that such a framework is effectively included on school curricula; shares the Commission’s view, moreover, that promoting awareness of EU citizenship rights requires cooperation at European, national, regional and local levels; underlines, to this end, that adequate and specific training should be provided at each level, and particularly at regional and local levels;

5.  Is of the opinion that in order to ensure that all EU citizens are effectively guaranteed equal rights, educational systems should be affordable and inclusive with particular regard to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable categories, and should offer high-quality education which encourages active citizenship and life-long learning that responds to economic and societal demands;

6.  Recalls the need to support teachers and educational practitioners in making information about EU rights and citizenship an integral part of their teaching; stresses, in this context, the need to further promote and develop online platforms such as the School Education Gateway, Teacher Academy and Open Educational Europe so that education professionals can access innovative multilingual teaching materials, including those adapted for students with special needs, which help them to inspire and motivate students in EU learning;

7.  Underlines the role of mobility in the personal development of young people by enhancing learning and cultural exchange, thereby improving understanding of active citizenship and its practice; encourages the Member States to support EU programmes promoting mobility;

8.  Values the importance of culture, art and science as integral aspects of active EU citizenship; stresses their role in strengthening citizens’ shared sense of belonging to our Union, boosting mutual understanding and stimulating intercultural dialogue;

9.  Encourages the raising of awareness about European values and citizens’ rights in the EU among learners of all ages through formal, non-formal and informal education in order to enhance intercultural understanding and solidarity in Europe;

10.  Believes it important to promote an understanding of European culture and values among migrants in order to make it easier for them to integrate, and to foster intercultural dialogue by promoting migrants’ cultures of origin and enhancing their core citizenship skills;

11.  Welcomes the Commission’s intention to enhance citizens’ political engagement in the democratic life of the EU; encourages the promotion of democratic participation by intensifying citizens’ dialogue, enhancing citizens’ understanding of the role of EU legislation in their daily lives, and underlining their active and passive right to vote in local and European elections wherever they live within the EU; invites the Commission to exploit, in this regard, social media and digital tools with a special emphasis on increasing the participation of young people and persons with disabilities; calls for the development and implementation of e-democracy tools, such as online platforms, to involve citizens more directly in EU democratic life, thus fostering their engagement;

12.  Recalls the importance of extending and deepening structured dialogue with citizens concerning their rights, thereby identifying the obstacles citizens encounter in exercising these rights, and improving the monitoring and effectiveness of EU programmes and initiatives in this area;

13.  Stresses the importance of the role played by the media and information society services, and therefore calls on the Commission and the Member States to create a legal framework promoting the plurality and independence of the media and the accessibility of objective information for citizens;

14.  Calls on the Commission to develop specific criteria, with particular regard to educational aspects, to evaluate the implementation and performance of the European programmes promoting active citizenship;

15.  Emphasises the need to ensure that citizens with disabilities and vulnerable citizens can fully enjoy the rights and opportunities granted by EU citizenship; encourages all EU Member States to implement an EU Disability Card in order to facilitate the mobility of persons with disabilities in the EU; stresses the need to improve the accessibility of EU websites for persons with disabilities;

16.  Supports the revision of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI), with a view to improving its accessibility and ease of use; highlights the need to enhance the functioning and public awareness of the ECI in order to maximise its potential to foster citizen participation and democratic debate;

17.  Calls on the Member States to implement the EU Work Plan for Youth 2016-2018 by focusing on the promotion of active citizenship, and on boosting social inclusion and the participation of young people in democratic and civic life in the EU;

18.  Underlines the fact that the high youth unemployment rate and uncertain opportunities for the future remain a source of major concern for Europe’s youth; recalls, in this context, the objectives set out in the Bratislava Declaration and Roadmap to ‘create a promising economic future for all, safeguard our way of life and provide better opportunities for youth’; calls on the Commission to continue its efforts to support young people by providing them with new opportunities in the field of education, training and employment;

19.  Stresses the role of traineeships and apprenticeships in helping students and graduates to acquire practical knowledge and professional experience; supports, in this context, the creation of a single centralised platform for cross-border traineeships and apprenticeships as suggested in public consultation;

20.  Stresses the importance of volunteering as an essential component of programmes which foster active citizenship; encourages the development of curricula encompassing educational content and civic involvement as well as the recognition of volunteering as a credit-bearing activity;

21.  Underlines that volunteering cannot substitute remunerated employment and emphasises the basic idea that remunerated jobs ensure a sense of belonging to a community, involvement and participation in public life and ultimately civic engagement;

22.  Highlights the role of sport, particularly at grassroots level, in contributing to active citizenship by promoting mutual understanding and respect, while fostering EU values and principles; encourages the Commission to continue supporting sporting initiatives which uphold the practice of active citizenship and civic values, and thus develop a common sense of belonging.

23.  Encourages the Commission to continue its support for action and initiatives which promote citizens’ rights and active citizenship; highlights the fact that new initiatives in this field should be complementary to the existing ones and should not affect current programme budgets;

24.  Welcomes the Commission initiative to launch an e-learning tool for the use of local and regional authorities to facilitate a better understanding and appropriate implementation of free movement rules, and to create a ‘Single Digital Gateway’ to provide online information for citizens and businesses in the EU single market; notes that these tools should provide consistent and user-friendly information regarding citizens’ rights in the EU and their practical implementation; points out that these tools should be connected with existing tools in this field such as Europe Direct and Your Europe;

25.  Underlines the importance of exchange and dissemination of best practices to foster knowledge of EU citizens’ rights and citizens’ involvement in civic and political life across the EU;

26.  Underlines the importance of MEPs and other prominent European figures raising awareness about EU citizens’ rights, especially among young people;

27.  Supports the production and dissemination of press and multimedia productions in all official EU languages that focus on enhancing EU citizens’ awareness of their rights and strengthening their ability to enforce these rights effectively;

28.  Identifies with the notion that EU citizenship contributes to creating a more cohesive European society, thereby fostering mutual understanding, intercultural dialogue and transnational cooperation.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

10.10.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Isabella Adinolfi, Dominique Bilde, Andrea Bocskor, Nikolaos Chountis, Silvia Costa, Mircea Diaconu, Damian Drăghici, Angel Dzhambazki, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Curzio Maltese, Rupert Matthews, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Michaela Šojdrová, Helga Trüpel, Sabine Verheyen, Julie Ward, Theodoros Zagorakis, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Krystyna Łybacka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Michel Reimon, Remo Sernagiotto

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

Miltiadis Kyrkos, Jarosław Wałęsa, Patricija Šulin

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

24

+

ALDE

Mircea Diaconu, María Teresa Giménez Barbat

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki, Remo Sernagiotto

EFDD

Isabella Adinolfi

GUE/NGL

Nikolaos Chountis, Curzio Maltese

PPE

Andrea Bocskor, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Michaela Šojdrová, Patricija Šulin, Sabine Verheyen, Jarosław Wałęsa, Theodoros Zagorakis, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski

S&D

Silvia Costa, Damian Drăghici, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Krystyna Łybacka, Luigi Morgano, Momchil Nekov, Julie Ward

Verts/ALE

Michel Reimon, Helga Trüpel

2

-

ECR

Rupert Matthews

ENF

Dominique Bilde

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (16.11.2017)

for the Committee on Petitions

on EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change

(2017/2069(INI))

Rapporteur: Cristian Dan Preda

SUGGESTIONS

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

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s continuous efforts to ensure that EU citizenship rights are upheld, and encourages their further protection through implementation of the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR) and the relevant provisions of the EU Treaties; recalls that under Article 9 TEU and Article 20 TFEU a person having the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the EU; is convinced that EU citizens will only be able to fully exercise their rights if they are aware of them and if the Member States and the EU institutions make a firm commitment to protecting them; calls on the Commission to promote policies and carry out campaigns and activities aimed at raising awareness of citizens’ rights and the tools available to exercise them;

2.  Is committed to enhancing the democratic dimension of the European elections by reforming current European electoral law with a view to increasing citizens’ participation and confidence in the EU democratic system; believes that increased transparency, awareness, effective and non-discriminatory access to information, as well as the renewal of democratic practices, new voting systems, including e-democracy tools, and a decreased digital divide between Member States in terms of digital infrastructure will foster the development of a genuine European public space; is convinced that better and more focused information on European politics and the impact of EU legislation on citizens’ daily lives would improve the turnout in European elections; recalls the need to promote participation in European elections by increasing the visibility of political parties on the European level and that strengthening the European character of the elections to the European Parliament is a shared responsibility between the EU and its Member States;

3.  Warns against possible legal uncertainty over the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and those of UK citizens living in the EU arising as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU; believes that all indivisible rights should be safeguarded as a priority in the UK’s withdrawal agreement and in the agreement on the future relationship between the EU and the UK, and that an agreement on these rights and others such as access to healthcare should be reached promptly; stresses that any agreement should be based on the principle of reciprocity and non-discrimination; recalls in this regard its resolution of 5 April 2017 on negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union;(1)

4.  Recalls that in the period 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2016 the majority of complaints received by the European Ombudsman concerned an alleged lack of transparency, as highlighted by the Commission in its report of 24 January 2017 entitled ‘On progress towards effective EU citizenship 2013-2016‘(2); is convinced that full transparency and integrity on the part of the EU institutions is an essential condition for building trust and confidence vis-à-vis EU citizens and allowing them to fully enjoy and exercise their citizenship rights; calls on all EU institutions and bodies to address the continuing shortcomings in line with the provisions of, inter alia, Articles 9 and 10(3) TEU, 15 TFEU and 41 and 42 CFR;

5.  Takes note of the Commission’s proposal to revise the regulation on the European Citizens’ Initiative with a view to improving its functioning; calls on the Commission, in this regard and besides the necessary technical modifications, to include provisions aimed at revising the conditions of legal admissibility and the requirements for registration of an ECI as well as the procedures for its examination, taking as a starting-point the judgments of the General Court in the cases ‘Minority SafePack‘ (T-646/13) and ‘Stop TTIP‘ (T-754/14); strongly supports this regulation as being an important tool for participatory democracy which, if used to its full potential, could increase citizens’ trust in the EU institutions and contribute to the construction of a more inclusive European Union;

6.  Considers that, given the increasing impact of the online universe and of social media on the lives of citizens, the European institutions should continue to develop new mechanisms and public policies that are designed to protect the fundamental rights of individuals in the digital environment, focusing on their freedom of expression, their right to privacy and the protection of their good name, personal data and personal image, particularly in the case of minors;

7.  Considers that the security of EU citizens and the fight against terrorism should constitute a top priority for the EU; welcomes the steps taken by the EU to reinforce the Security Union; calls for the speedy implementation of the interoperability of EU information systems in the areas of security, migration and border management, which should all comply with EU data protection principles; recalls the need to find an appropriate balance between security and the protection of fundamental rights; emphasises that the coordination of internal and external EU action in the field of security is essential for the efficient protection of EU citizens and their confidence in the EU’s ability to be a security provider; recalls that consular protection is key to ensuring such protection abroad, and believes that, in line with the Commission’s recommendations, further steps should be taken towards the harmonisation and modernisation of the rules on emergency travel documents;

8.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to prelaunch the accession process of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights in line with the obligations deriving from Article 6 TEU, by exploring solutions to address the objections expressed in the opinion of the European Court of Justice of 18 December 2014; believes that EU accession to the Convention would be a significant improvement for the protection of EU citizens’ fundamental rights and would help achieve a coherent system for the protection of human rights in Europe.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

28.9.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

14

5

0

Members present for the final vote

Michał Boni, Mercedes Bresso, Elmar Brok, Pascal Durand, Danuta Maria Hübner, Diane James, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Alain Lamassoure, Morten Messerschmidt, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Markus Pieper, György Schöpflin, Pedro Silva Pereira, Barbara Spinelli, Claudia Țapardel

Substitutes present for the final vote

Gerolf Annemans, Pervenche Berès, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Cristian Dan Preda, Jasenko Selimovic, Rainer Wieland

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

14

+

ALDE

Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jasenko Selimovic

PPE

Michał Boni, Elmar Brok, Danuta Maria Hübner, Alain Lamassoure, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Markus Pieper, Cristian Dan Preda, György Schöpflin

S&D

Mercedes Bresso, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Pedro Silva Pereira, Claudia Țapardel

5

-

ECR

Morten Messerschmidt

ENF

Gerolf Annemans

GUE/NGL

Barbara Spinelli

NI

Diane James

VERTS/ALE

Pascal Durand

0

0

 

 

Note: Pervenche Berès (S&D) announced that she also voted in favour of the draft opinion

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

26.9.2017

POSITION IN THE FORM OF AMENDMENTSOF THE COMMITTEE

on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

for the Committee on Petitions

on the EU Citizenship Report 2017: Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change

(2017/2069(INI))

Rapporteur: Ángela Vallina

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Petitions, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment    1

Motion for a resolution

Citation 6 a (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

- having regard to the Proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, and on international child abduction (recast) (COM(2016)0411),

Amendment    2

Motion for a resolution

Recital A a (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

A a. whereas strengthening citizens’ rights and democratic institutions includes combating discrimination and gender inequality in line with the Sustainable Development Goals;

Amendment    3

Motion for a resolution

Recital H a (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

H a. whereas women’s underrepresentation in decision-making positions, especially in the political sphere and at business board level, hinders capability development and weakens women’s participation in the democratic life of the EU;

Amendment    4

Motion for a resolution

Recital H b (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

H b. whereas women’s participation and leadership in political decision-making is still affected by various obstacles, such as the persistence of gender-based stereotypes and the consequences of the recent economic crisis together with its negative repercussions on gender equality issues;

Amendment    5

Motion for a resolution

Recital H d (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

H d. whereas significant gaps remain in protecting victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence across the EU in cases of cross-border family disputes;

Amendment    6

Motion for a resolution

Recital J a (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

J a. whereas discrimination faced by women across the EU is an obstacle to equality; whereas women remain underrepresented as voters as well as in leading positions, whether in elected offices, the civil service, academia, the media or the private sector; whereas the widespread multiple discrimination faced by women and the disproportionate number of women facing poverty and social exclusion are obstacles to the full exercise of their citizenship rights;

Amendment    7

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 1

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

1. Takes note of the Commission’s 2017 EU Citizenship Report, which contains an enumeration of priorities by field of activity; expresses its doubt as to whether these priorities will effectively answer citizens’ concerns; regrets the lack of well-defined, concrete commitments for the next three years;

1. Takes note of the Commission’s 2017 EU Citizenship Report, which contains an enumeration of priorities by field of activity; expresses its doubt as to whether these priorities will effectively answer citizens’ concerns; regrets the lack of well-defined, concrete commitments for the next three years; considers that due attention has not been paid to the inclusion of gender equality as a priority, since it only appears as a secondary item within the final theme ‘Strengthening security and promoting equality’;

Amendment    8

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 4

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

4. Expresses regret that for almost a decade now little progress has been made in the adoption of the EU-wide Anti-Discrimination Directive; calls upon all EU institutions to conclude the relevant negotiations as soon as possible;

4. Expresses regret that for almost a decade now little progress has been made in the adoption of the EU-wide Anti-Discrimination Directive; calls upon all EU institutions to conclude the relevant negotiations as soon as possible, paying due attention to the inclusion of the gender dimension;

Amendment    9

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 b (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 b. Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to sign and conclude the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention and reaffirms its support for EU accession to the Istanbul Convention on a broad basis and without reservations; calls for improvement in the collection of disaggregated data on all forms of violence covered by the Convention, in cooperation with the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), in order to devise a common methodology to compare databases and analysis; calls on all Member States which have not yet done so to swiftly ratify the Istanbul Convention; calls on the Commission to propose a directive on violence against women;

Amendment    10

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 c (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 c. Calls on the Council to step up its efforts to unblock the Directive on Women on Boards;

Amendment    11

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 d (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 d. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take specific measures to address the needs of vulnerable citizens facing intersectional multiple discrimination that prevents them from exercising their rights or participating fully in society, such as women with disabilities, ethnic minorities, immigrant and refugee women, or those facing poverty and social exclusion;

Amendment    12

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 e (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 e. Reiterates that ensuring the ability of those facing intersectional multiple discrimination, such as women and girls with disabilities, to exercise their citizenship rights requires a holistic approach involving targeted policies, from intersectional data collection to educational programmes and social inclusion measures; invites the Commission and the Member States to formulate and publish strategies for tackling intersectional discrimination;

Amendment    13

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 f (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 f. Emphasises the need to tackle gender-based violence faced by women and girls and LGBTI people in politics and in the wider public sphere, including online harassment and intimidation;

Amendment    14

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 g (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 g. Reaffirms its call for the Commission to adopt its Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019 as a communication; recalls that the EU is based on the principle of equality between women and men, and that such a principle can only be achieved through strategic mainstreaming in all EU policies;

Amendment    15

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 h (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 h. Welcomes the submission by the Commission of the work-life balance package and calls on all institutions to deliver on these measures as soon as possible;

Amendment    16

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 j (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 j. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote further cooperation in situations where workers receive benefits and pay contributions in different EU Member States, by reinforcing the cross-border exchange of information between the different social security authorities, so that all of the contributions can be duly taken into account in calculating pension rights; draws attention to the persistent gender pay and pension gaps in the EU, which, combined with austerity measures and public sector cuts, undermine the possibility of genuine economic autonomy for millions of women;

Amendment    17

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 k (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 k. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to actively make use of EU funds as tools for enhancing gender equality; calls, in particular, for the application of gender mainstreaming within the CAP and rural cohesion policies;

Amendment    18

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 6 l (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

6 l. Urges the Commission to continue mainstreaming gender in all EU policies by paying particular attention to impact assessments and ex-post assessments of legislation and policies;

Amendment    19

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 9 a (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

9 a. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to constantly promote women’s representation in leadership positions, particularly in political decision-making and at business board level, and to facilitate women’s entry into leadership by eliminating gender stereotypes and encouraging women’s participation in on-the-job training, together with other policy tools such as work-life balance, to enable them to fully exercise their rights of EU citizenship;

Amendment    20

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 9 b (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

9 b. Emphasises that quality citizenship education for all ages, be it formal, informal or non-formal, is crucial for the confident exercise of democratic citizens’ rights and the functioning of a democratic society, and in order to overcome discrimination and prejudice, as well as gender inequality; reiterates the need for investment in citizenship and civic education and education for gender equality across Europe;

Amendment    21

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 9 c (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

9 c. Highlights the importance of the political participation of children and young people, particularly of women and girls; calls for more action on the part of the Commission and the Member States in guaranteeing children’s rights and stimulating their participation;

Amendment    22

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 10 a (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

10 a. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote further measures to ensure women’s fair and equal access to all political, cultural and social spheres as a necessary condition for the effective exercise of citizenship rights in the EU;

Amendment    23

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 11

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

11. Believes that the reform of the Electoral Act on the basis of Parliament’s legislative initiative is an unmissable opportunity for the Union to become more democratic; highlights the fact that thousands of Europeans share this view, as evidenced by the ‘Let me Vote’ European Citizens’ Initiative, which aims to allow citizens to vote in their place of residence; commends the Commission for exploring the possibilities for non-national EU citizens who have exercised their right to free movement to vote in national elections in the country in which they reside; urges the Commission to devise a concrete action plan for the introduction of electronic voting with a view to the 2019 European Parliament elections;

11. Believes that the reform of the Electoral Act on the basis of Parliament’s legislative initiative is an unmissable opportunity for the Union to become more democratic; highlights the fact that thousands of Europeans share this view, as evidenced by the ‘Let me Vote’ European Citizens’ Initiative, which aims to allow citizens to vote in their place of residence; commends the Commission for exploring the possibilities for non-national EU citizens who have exercised their right to free movement to vote in national elections in the country in which they reside; calls on the Council to include gender-balanced lists that alternate female and male candidates in the next revision of the European Electoral Law; urges the Commission to devise a concrete action plan for the introduction of electronic voting with a view to the 2019 European Parliament elections;

Amendment    24

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 12

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

12. Expresses its conviction that free media and access to a plurality of voices in society and in the media are an indispensable part of a healthy democracy; underlines the need for a defined EU policy to tackle anti-European propaganda and false information; proposes that EU institutions proceed with the creation of a European television channel broadcasting in all Member States;

12. Expresses its conviction that free media and access to a plurality of voices in society and in the media are an indispensable part of a healthy democracy and that media literacy is crucial and should be developed at an early age; underlines the need for a defined EU policy to tackle anti-European propaganda and false information; proposes that EU institutions proceed with the creation of a European television channel broadcasting in all Member States;

Amendment    25

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 12 a (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

12 a.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote measures to combat discriminatory statements against women as well as gender stereotypes;

Amendment    26

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 15 a (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

15 a. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop proper gender mainstreaming tools, to closely cooperate with local authorities and communities to prevent and investigate violations and to provide the necessary care and assistance to women who have been sexually exploited, discriminated against and marginalised in the labour market;

Amendment    27

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 15 b (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

15 b. Calls for reinforced cooperation between the Member States in order to ensure the protection of victims of gender-based violence and that the best interests of the child are taken into account in cases of cross-border family disputes;

Amendment    28

Motion for a resolution

Paragraph 15 c (new)

 

Motion for a resolution

Amendment

 

15 c. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to adopt effective measures to increase the opportunities for women and girls to participate in EU programmes involving cross-border mobility as students, teachers and researchers;

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

25.9.2017

 

 

 

(1)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0102.

(2)

COM(2017) 0032.


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

22.11.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

2

4

Members present for the final vote

Marina Albiol Guzmán, Margrete Auken, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Heinz K. Becker, Andrea Cozzolino, Pál Csáky, Eleonora Evi, Peter Jahr, Rikke Karlsson, Jude Kirton-Darling, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Notis Marias, Marlene Mizzi, Cristian Dan Preda, Gabriele Preuß, Laurenţiu Rebega, Virginie Rozière, Yana Toom, Jarosław Wałęsa, Cecilia Wikström, Tatjana Ždanoka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Michela Giuffrida, Demetris Papadakis, Julia Pitera, Sven Schulze, Igor Šoltes, Ángela Vallina

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

Martina Anderson, Inés Ayala Sender


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

23

+

ALDE

ECR

PPE

S&D

VERTS/ALE

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Yana Toom, Cecilia Wikström

Rikke Karlsson

Heinz K. Becker, Pál Csáky, Peter Jahr, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Julia Pitera, Cristian Dan Preda, Sven Schulze, Jarosław Wałęsa

Inés Ayala Sender, Andrea Cozzolino, Michela Giuffrida, Jude Kirton-Darling, Marlene Mizzi, Demetris Papadakis, Gabriele Preuß, Virginie Rozière

Margrete Auken, Igor Šoltes, Tatjana Ždanoka

2

-

ECR

ENF

Notis Marias

Laurenţiu Rebega

4

0

EFDD

GUE/NGL

Eleonora Evi

Marina Albiol Guzmán, Martina Anderson, Ángela Vallina

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 1 December 2017Legal notice