Procedure : 2006/0167(COD)
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Document selected : A7-0364/2010

Texts tabled :

A7-0364/2010

Debates :

Votes :

PV 05/04/2011 - 4.7
CRE 05/04/2011 - 4.7
Explanations of votes
PV 13/09/2011 - 5.21
CRE 13/09/2011 - 5.21
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0126
P7_TA(2011)0363

REPORT     ***I
PDF 614kWORD 388k
9.12.2010
PE 452.514v03-00 A7-0364/2010

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the application of certain guidelines in the field of officially supported export credits

(COM(2006)0456 – C7‑0050/2010 – 2006/0167(COD))

Committee on International Trade

Rapporteur: Yannick Jadot

AMENDMENTS
DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the application of certain guidelines in the field of officially supported export credits

(COM(2006)0456 – C7‑0050/2010 – 2006/0167(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0456),

–   having regard to Article 133 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication to Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Consequences of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon for ongoing interinstitutional decision-making procedures’ (COM(2009)0665),

–   having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 207(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7‑0050/2010),

–   having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade and the opinions of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A7-0364/2010),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment 1

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2a) The Arrangement has contributed to lessening the impact of the current economic and financial crisis, through creating jobs by supporting trade and investment of companies which would otherwise not be granted credit in the private sector.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2b) The export credit agencies should take into account and respect the objectives and policies of the Union. When supporting Union companies, these agencies should comply with and promote the Union's principles and standards in such areas as consolidating democracy, respect for human rights and policy coherence for development.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2c) However, Member States' export credit agencies should carefully examine the applications received taking into account that the official support provided as export credit could potentially in the medium and long term contribute to their Member State's public deficit, in particular considering the increased risk of default due to the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2d) Export credit agencies should carefully examine applications received in order to maximise the benefits of the official support provided taking into account the fact that well-targeted export credit will contribute to new market access opportunities for Union companies, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), while fostering open and fair trade and mutually beneficial growth in the aftermath of the crisis.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 e (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2e) The OECD requires the disclosure of information on export credits from its Members in order to prevent them from behaviour which is protectionist or market distorting. Within the Union, transparency should be ensured in order to guarantee a level playing field for the Member States.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 f (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2f) Export credit agencies have become the largest source of official financing for developing countries. Hence, export credit-related debt constitutes the largest component of developing-country official debt. A significant proportion of export credit project financing in developing countries is concentrated in sectors such as transport, oil, gas and mining and large-scale infrastructure, such as large dams.

Justification

ECAs have become the largest source of official financing for developing but their loans are still at higher interest rates than those from the World Bank or the IMF. ECAs have become, thus, these countries' largest official creditors, with ECA related debt constituting the largest component of developing-country official debt: according to some studies, between 30-40% of the total official public sector debt.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 g (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2g) The Participants to the Arrangement are involved in a continuous process intended to minimise market distortion and to establish a level playing field in which the premiums charged by the officially supported export credit agencies of OECD Members are risk-based and cover their operating costs and losses over the long term. In order to advance this goal, transparency and reporting by officially supported export credit agencies is required.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 h (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2h) In support of the continuing process within the OECD towards higher transparency and reporting standards for officially supported export credit agencies of OECD Members and beyond, the Union should apply additional measures of transparency and reporting for officially supported export credit agencies based in the Union as set out in Annex 1a to this Decision.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 i (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2i) Developing and consolidating democracy and respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms as stipulated in Article 21 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and referred to in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as environmental principles and general principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), supplemented by other examples of international good practice, should be used as a guide for all projects financed by officially supported export credit agencies based in the Union, and include a social and environmental impact assessment, which includes human rights and the standards incorporated in the body of Union environmental and social legislation relevant to the sectors and projects financed by export credit agencies. The OECD "Common Approaches" in their present wording already contain an explicit option to use European Community standards on bribery, sustainable lending and the environment as a benchmark in undertaking project reviews. Use of this provision should be further encouraged, taking into account that project sponsors, exporters, financial institutions and export credit agencies have different roles, responsibilities and leverage with regard to projects benefiting from official support.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 j (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2j) The climate objectives of the European Union and its Member States in terms of their Union and international commitments should guide all projects financed by officially supported export credit agencies based in the Union. These include: the final declaration by the heads of State and Government at the G20 Pittsburgh Summit on 24 and 25 September 2009 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies; the Union objectives to reduce its GHG emissions by 30% compared to 1990 levels, to increase energy efficiency by 20% and to have 20% of its energy consumption coming from renewable sources by 2020; and the Union objective to reduce its GHG emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050. The removal of fossil fuel subsidies should be accompanied by measures to ensure that the living standards of workers and the poor are not adversely affected.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 k (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2k) The principles underpinning CSR, which are fully recognised at international level, whether by the OECD, the International Labour Organization (ILO) or the United Nations, concern the responsible behaviour expected of undertakings, and presuppose, first of all, compliance with the legislation in force, in particular in the areas of employment, labour relations, human rights, the environment, consumer interests and transparency vis-à-vis consumers, the fight against corruption and taxation. Moreover the specific situation and capabilities of SMEs have to be taken into consideration.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 l (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2l) In view of the intensified competitive situation on world markets and in order to avoid competitive disadvantages for Union companies, the Commission and Member States should strengthen the efforts of the OECD in reaching out to non-Participants to the Arrangement and should use bilateral and multilateral negotiations in order to establish global standards for officially supported export credits. Global standards in this field are a prerequisite for a level playing field in world trade.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 m (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2m) Although OECD countries are guided by the Arrangement, non- OECD countries and in particular, emerging countries do not take part in the Arrangement with the result that this could lead to an unfair advantage for exporters of these countries. These countries should therefore be encouraged to join the OECD and participate in the Arrangement.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 n (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2n) In view of the EU's Better Regulation policy aimed at simplifying and improving existing regulation the Commission and Member States, in future reviews of the Arrangement, should focus on reducing administrative burdens on businesses and national administrations, including export credit agencies.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 o (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2o) The improvements in the Arrangement should ensure full coherence with Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in order to contribute to the realisation of the general objective of developing and consolidating democracy and the rule of law, and respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. Additional measures should therefore be applied in the Union when transposing the OECD Arrangement into Union law in order to guarantee compatibility between the OECD Arrangement and Union law.

Justification

The revision opens the opportunity to apply Article 208 TFEU, which states that the reduction and eradication of poverty is the primary objective of the Union’s development cooperation policy. This goal must be respected when the Union implements policies likely to affect developing countries.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 p (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2p) Social and environmental impact assessment methodology that ensures compliance with export credit requirements should be fully consistent with the principles of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, the Cotonou Agreement and the European Consensus on Development and should reflect the Union's commitment and obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) as well as the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the social, labour and environmental standards as embodied in international agreements.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a decision

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) Decision 2001/76/EC should therefore be repealed and replaced by this Decision with the consolidated and revised text of the Arrangement attached thereto as an Annex, and Decision 2001/77/EC should be repealed.

(4) Decision 2001/76/EC should therefore be repealed and replaced by this Decision with the consolidated and revised text of the Arrangement attached thereto as Annex 1, and Decision 2001/77/EC should be repealed.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 - subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The guidelines contained in the Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits shall apply in the Community.

The guidelines contained in the Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits shall apply in the Union.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1a

The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a proposal for a new decision to repeal and replace this Decision as soon as possible once a new version of the Arrangement has been agreed among the OECD Participants and no later than two months after it has entered into force.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1b

 

The additional measures on transparency and reporting to be applied in the Union are set out in Annex 1a to this Decision.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1c

The Council shall report annually to the European Parliament and to the Commission on the implementation by each Member State of the Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1d

The balance-sheet of the export credit agency of any Member State shall provide a full overview of the agency's assets and liabilities. The use of off-balance-sheet vehicles by export credit agencies shall be made fully transparent.

 

Companies, other than SMEs, benefiting from export credits shall publish annual country-by-country financial accounts.

Amendment              23

Proposal for a decision

Annex 1a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Annex 1a

 

1) Without prejudice to the prerogatives of the Member States' institutions exercising the supervision of the national export credit programs, each Member State shall provide an Annual Activity Report to the European Parliament and the Commission.

This Annual Activity Report shall contain the following information:

      An audit of all national instruments and programs to which the Arrangement is applicable and of their compliance with the Arrangement, in particular its requirement that premiums are risk-based and cover long-term operating costs;

      An overview of major operational developments during the reporting period and their compliance with the Arrangement (listing new commitments, exposure, premium charges, claims paid and recoveries, and mechanisms for costing environmental risk);

      Presentation of the Member State's policies for ensuring that Union development objectives and policies guide activities in the fields of export credits relating to environmental and social issues, human rights, sustainable lending and anti-bribery.

2) The Commission shall provide its analysis of the Annual Activity Report, assessing Member States’ coherence with Union development policies, and commenting on general developments in the policy field to the European Parliament.

3) The Commission shall provide to the European Parliament an annual report on efforts undertaken in the various forums of international cooperation, including the OECD and the G-20, and in bilateral meetings with third countries, including Summits and negotiations on Partnership and Cooperation Agreements and Free Trade Agreements, to have third countries, especially the emerging economies, introduce guidelines regarding the transparency of their export credit agencies at a level at least matching the OECD common approaches.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Most industrialized countries, including all EU Member States and most emerging countries have at least one officially supported Export Credit Agency (ECA), which is usually an official or quasi-official branch of their government. ECAs collectively account for the world's largest source of official financing for private-sector projects. ECAs' underwriting of large industrial and infrastructure projects in developing countries topples several times the combined annual funding of all Multilateral Development Banks. The collective magnitude of the export credit guarantees provided in the period 2004-2009 by the ECAs of the EU Member States was in the range of € 468 billion.

ECAs facilitate legitimate trade where the private capital market fails. They have a much higher risk-absorbing capacity than private actors, since they do not have to pay taxes and make profit, and hence have more lee-way to break even on an extended credit than private banks. However, for the same reason ECAs are also potentially a massive distortion of trade, if their financing operations are not disciplined by common rules.

The "Arrangement on officially supported export credits" negotiated within the Export Credit Group of the OECD (the "Arrangement") provides for the most important set of common rules. Under the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) - the legally binding international framework for regulating government subsidies - export credit support to private corporations is not considered a subsidy, if the support is done in compliance with this OECD Arrangement. The basis of compliance is that export credits are subject to repayment requirements within a certain time limit and that a Minimum Premium Rate (MPR) is charged to cover the risk of non-payment of export credits (credit risk), which shall be risk based and adequate to cover long-term operating costs and losses.

Export Credit Agencies and transparency shortcomings

Your Rapporteur fully recognizes that ECAs are an important instrument to support trade and investments of European companies. In light of public deficit situations in most EU Member States, it seems however of utmost importance that their operations are financially sound. It would undermine the public support for ECAs, if it would appear that they need to turn to the tax payer for re-financing their operations.

However, it proves impossible to find out what ECAs finance or have financed in the past. There are only scant data available. Some national ECAs do not even report the overall balance of their annual operations regularly. Many others do not report disaggregated data of their sectoral lending or the geographical distribution. This is in spite of transparency requirements in the OECD Arrangement of 2005 which all EU Member States adhere to and which shall now be transferred into EU law.

The lack of transparency facilitates huge cost and time overruns in disrespect of the break-even disciplines contained in the OECD Arrangement. It also facilitates bribery and corruption.

Your Rapporteur deems the reporting requirements in the OECD Arrangement as insufficient to monitor the soundness of the financial operations of the European ECAs. He is moreover concerned about the very real prospect of an increased number of defaults in the future, particularly in the wake of the financial and economic crisis. As for the financing sector in general, the current financial crisis should make legislators aware that more detailed reporting disciplines are needed than are actually contained in the OECD Arrangement.

The OECD Arrangement does not contain the requirements needed to guarantee the fair pricing of premiums since it entails no disciplines with regard to transparency and minimum standards in the application of social and environmental risk calculations. The OECD Arrangement foresees only the voluntary notification of such calculations. This must be seen in the context that most ECA-backed projects are so risky that the private capital market opts out. Failure to set minimum standards in the calculation of social or environmental risk factors in credit or guarantee costs promotes a race, even among the ECAs of EU Member States, for the cheapest credit costs, thus promoting disguised protectionism.

Your Rapporteur suggests to tidy up transparency requirements on risk calculations and the disclosure of off-balance sheet vehicles and to make the notification of social and environmental risk calculations mandatory. Concretely, your Rapporteur suggests establishing a requirement for the EU Member States to annually report to the Commission on the activities of their ECAs in these regards.

Export Credit Agencies and EU policy coherence

ECAs are potentially well placed public policy instruments to contribute to the financing of international objectives to which the EU committed to, regarding especially climate change and poverty alleviation. With the Lisbon Treaty comes a strengthened coherence requirement for the entire field of external action of the EU. ECAs surely need to be judged against these objectives.

However, ECAs are estimated to support twice the amount of oil, gas and mining projects as do all Multilateral Development Banks together. Half of all Co2-emission-intensive industrial projects in developing countries have some form of ECA support. Partly this is because most of these projects are high risk due to their environmental, political, social and cultural impacts, and would not come to life without the support and financial backing of ECAs.

Hence, ECAs are strategic development linchpins that play an enormous part in the environmentally harmful impacts of corporate activity. As government-backed institutions, ECAs should and could instead play an important role in promoting the transition to a low carbon economy in coherence with their national government climate commitments.

Notwithstanding the new situation under the Lisbon TFEU and the evidence that a large majority of ECA credits and guarantees promotes oil, mining and extractive activities which according to the World Bank are least contributing to poverty alleviation, the Commission in its proposal for the legislative chapeau of the dossier perceives no need to review the OECD Arrangement for its coherence with EU policies and objectives (Recital 1) or to provide for an impact assessment (Recital 2).

Your Rapporteur suggests including horizontal requirements which could effectively guide European Member State ECAs to contribute to EU policies and objectives.


OPINION of the Committee on Development (27.10.2010)

for the Committee on International Trade

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the application of certain guidelines in the field of officially supported export credits

(COM(2006)0456 – C7‑0050/2010 – 2006/0167(COD))

Rapporteur: Bart Staes

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Commission and Council are currently reviewing the legislative framework (called the "Arrangement on officially supported export credits" and negotiated within the Export Credit Group of the OECD) to transfer it into EU law. The purpose is to provide additional legal certainty to the Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) of the Member States that their operations will not be challenged in front of the WTO Dispute Mechanism. This revision opens the opportunity to apply Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which states that the reduction and eradication of poverty is the primary objective of the Union’s development cooperation policy. This goal must be respected when the Union implements policies likely to affect developing countries. In this context, ECAs are potentially well placed public policy instruments to contribute to the external goals of the Union (notably poverty alleviation and climate change) while adhering to the requirement of coherence for the entire field of external action of the EU. For that reason, these actors need to be judged against these objectives.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a decision

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) A set of social and environmental benchmarks has been progressively developed by multilateral financial institutions and the European Investment Bank, covering a wide range of areas, from the Equator Principles (2006), the leading voluntary standard for managing social and environmental risks in projects, to World Bank safeguard policies, including sectoral activities such as the World Bank's Extractive Industries Review's recommendations and the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams. These social and environmental standards, that are reflected in the "Common Approaches" of the Arrangement, are part of a continuous review and update process.

Justification

The inclusion of social and environmental benchmarks helps promoting coherence between policies regarding officially supported export credits and policies for the protection of the environment, including relevant international agreements and conventions, thereby contributing towards sustainable development.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a decision

Recital 3 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3b) Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) have become the largest source of official financing for developing countries. Hence, ECA-related debt constitutes the largest component of developing-country official debt. A significant proportion of ECA project financing in developing countries is concentrated in sectors such as transport, oil, gas and mining and large-scale infrastructure, such as large dams.

Justification

ECAs have become the largest source of official financing for developing but their loans are still at higher interest rates than those from the World Bank or the IMF. ECAs have become, thus, these countries' largest official creditors, with ECA related debt constituting the largest component of developing-country official debt: according to some studies, between 30-40% of the total official public sector debt.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a decision

Recital 3 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3c) At the Pittsburgh Summit of 24 - 25 September 2009, the G-20 Leaders committed to rationalising and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term. Such commitment was reaffirmed by the G-20 Leaders at the Toronto Summit of 26 - 27 June 2010.

Justification

The proposal must ensure that the OECD's guidelines reflect the EU's policies towards global climate change adopted in the context of G-20 and summits.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a decision

Recital 3 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3d) The improvements in the Arrangement should ensure full coherence with Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in order to contribute to the realisation of the general objective of developing and consolidating democracy and the rule of law, and respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. Additional measures should therefore be applied in the Union when transposing the OECD Arrangement into Union law in order to guarantee compatibility between the OECD Arrangement and Union law.

Justification

The revision opens the opportunity to apply Article 208 TFEU, which states that the reduction and eradication of poverty is the primary objective of the Union’s development cooperation policy. This goal must be respected when the Union implements policies likely to affect developing countries.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a decision

Recital 3 e (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3e) EU principles and standards, derived from EU policy and law, and supplemented by other examples of international good practice, should be the guide for all projects financed by ECAs, and include a social and environmental impact assessment, which includes human rights and the standards incorporated in the body of Union environmental and social legislation relevant to the sectors and projects financed by ECAs.

Justification

These principles reflect the general objectives of the European Union as enshrined in the TFEU. Hence, they constitute the base of the European Investment Bank lending practise, as stipulated in the EIB Statement on Environmental and Social Principles and Standards (2009) and the Environmental and Social Practices handbook (2010). In this context, these overriding principles need to be reasserted in view of ensuring a level playing field among European financial institutions.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a decision

Recital 3 f (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3f) ECAs should apply social and environmental impact assessment methodology throughout the project cycle to ensure the sustainability of all the projects they finance. Social and environmental risk calculation should be included in the assessments.

Justification

The Common Approaches should recommend that ECA-backed projects are assessed against international human rights standards, with a clear view to preventing projects from causing or contributing to human rights abuses. Each ECA should have in place a clear policy on prevention of harm to the environment and human rights and the exercise of due diligence to this end.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a decision

Recital 3 g (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3g) Social and environmental impact assessment methodology that ensures compliance with ECA requirements should be fully consistent with the principles of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, the Cotonou Agreement and the European Consensus on Development and should reflect the Union's commitment and obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as well as the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the social, labour and environmental standards as embodied in international agreements.

Justification

In full consistency and coherence with the provisions of Article 208 TFEU, Official support shall only be provided:

· when ECAs comply with human and social rights, based on international treaties and conventions, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the ILO Conventions;

· when the officially supported export credits contribute to the financing of international objectives to which the EU is committed to, especially regarding climate change and poverty alleviation;

· when Environmental and Social Impact Assessments are implemented, prior to the project approval, taking dully into account the interests of affected or interested communities;

· the officially supported export credits are consistent with and do not undermine development objectives, as identified through project appraisal;

when ECAs do not contravene obligations under international treaties and agreements related to environmental protection, human rights and sustainable development.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a decision

Article 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 2a

 

The additional measures to be applied in the Union in order to contribute to the full realisation of Article 208 TFEU are attached as Annex Ia to this Decision.

Justification

The annex tries to resolve the problem of ambiguity regarding the commitments of ECAs towards social and environmental standards by giving a clear framework of what it is expected of ECAs in order to contribute to Article 208 TFEU.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a decision

(new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Annex Ia

 

COHERENCE AND TRANSPARENCY

 

PART A) Consultation, Transparency, and Public Access to Information

 

The Commission undertakes to share information with the European Parliament on the implementation of the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits. It shall therefore provide an annual 'transparency report' on the implementation of the Arrangement. This transparency report shall provide a list of each individual transaction approved, per country that provides the support, with regard to the following:

 

• Name of country that provides the official support ;• Name of the ECA;

• Destination of goods; location of services ;

• Date of transaction approved by the ECA;

• Name of exporter or provider of services;

• Type of the transaction: supply of goods or equipment; performance of research or design; performance of works; provision of services;

• Name of intervening bank;

• Name of debtor ;

• Name of guarantor;

•Type of official support (OECD Arrangement's classification): 1) Export credit guarantee or insurance (pure cover); 2) Official financing support: (a) direct credit/financing and refinancing, or (b) interest rate support.

 

 

Additional information shall be provided on the coherence with Union policies on development cooperation. The Union provides a strong legal basis for development cooperation in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In accordance with Article 208(1) TFEU, the Union “shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries.” The Union and the Member States, as laid down in Árticle 208(2) TFEU, “shall comply with the commitments and take account of the objectives they have approved in the context of the United Nations and other competent international organisations.” Additional information on each individual transaction shall include:

 

In the case of transactions in Heavily Indebted Poor Countries: ECAs shall report on the number and value of projects to IDA countries and provide the methodology for applying the country-specific debt sustainability framework and for ensuring that expenditure is for productive purposes only. This shall include a client's statement that no illegal payments related to a contract were made. Any contravention of the ban on illegal payment should entail cancellation of the state's obligation to pay.

 

In the case of tied aid credits: ECAs shall report on the number and value of tied aid projects using the classification in the OECD Arrangement and on the methodology used to ensure compliance with the arrangements;

 

In the case of implementation of projects: ECAs shall provide information on the measures taken by the applicant to respect the applicable environmental, social and human rights legislation in the host country and international best practices, including EU principles and standards, as derived from EU policy and law. This shall include a client's statement that it will respect the applicable law of the host country and international best practices;

 

ECAs shall provide information on clients' respect for international and national criminal law. This shall include a client's statement that it will respect international and national criminal law;

 

In the case of dam projects: ECAs shall provide information on clients' compliance with the Guidelines of the World Commission on Dams;

 

In the case of extractive Industries projects: ECAs shall provide information on clients' compliance with the World Bank's extractive Industries Review's recommendations.

 

ECAs shall make project assessment information readily available to affected communities, NGOs and other interested parties in advance of an application being approved. This information shall include environmental and social impact assessment for all projects, and the names of the companies involved.

 

Furthermore, public disclosure of sustainable development impact assessments shall be done before ECA support is granted.

 

PART B) Climate change

 

ECAs will contribute to the Union's commitment and obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in line with Article 208 TFEU.

 

The integration of European climate policies in ECAs operations where applicable, may include:

 

• Annual detailed reporting regarding the full carbon footprint of ECA supported projects, or the localised and regional effects of individual projects;

 

• An analysis of the carbon footprint to be included in the environmental assessment procedure to determine whether project proposals maximise energy-efficiency improvements;

 

• The introduction of an exclusion list of types of projects/technologies ECAs will not support, including the phasing out of financial transactions for fossil fuel projects;

 

• The definition of clear CO2 emission reduction targets for both the long term and the short term and an annual emissions cap;

 

• The definition of appraisal procedures to take account of the needs of developing countries in relation to climate change and development, as identified in UNFCCC National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs), and EU Regional and Country Strategy Papers (RSPs/CSPs);

 

• The definition of objectives on renewable energy, in line with the regional/country strategy plans.

Justification

The annex includes a wide range of issues aimed at complying with Article 208 TFEU and plug important gaps such as the absence of any reference to human rights standards within the Common Approaches. The annex also seeks to establish an arrangement by which the EU should provide an annual report on transactions by or on behalf of a government for export of goods and/or services within the scope of the Arrangement. Also, the scope of the Common Approaches must be widened to ensure that all official support provided by ECAs is covered, not only transactions with a repayment term of two years or more. Finally, the part devoted to climate change highlights the EU's international commitments on climate change in order to phase out fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term and provide targeted support to enable the poorest countries adapt to climate change.

PROCEDURE

Title

Application of certain guidelines in the field of officially supported export credits

References

COM(2006)0456 – C7-0050/2010 – 2006/0167(COD)

Committee responsible

INTA

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

DEVE

9.9.2010

 

 

 

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Bart Staes

3.6.2010

 

 

Discussed in committee

30.8.2010

 

 

 

Date adopted

26.10.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Michael Cashman, Véronique De Keyser, Nirj Deva, Charles Goerens, Catherine Grèze, Enrique Guerrero Salom, András Gyürk, Eva Joly, Filip Kaczmarek, Franziska Keller, Gay Mitchell, Norbert Neuser, Bill Newton Dunn, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Horst Schnellhardt, Bart Staes

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

Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Anna Ibrisagic, Miroslav Mikolášik


OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (24.11.2010)

for the Committee on International Trade

on the proposal for a Council decision on the application of certain guidelines in the field of officially supported exports credits

(COM(2006)0456 – C7‑0050/2010 – 2006/0167(COD))

Rapporteur: Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Rapporteur considers that export credits are an important instrument for supporting EU enterprises. In light of the increased demand for officially supported export credits, it is of utmost importance that the newest OECD regulation of this instrument is introduced in Member States as soon as possible.

Support for medium and long-term export credits is a powerful tool which is not yet fully exploited in all Member States and needs to be encouraged. Export credits can help to create jobs by securing financing for projects which otherwise would have more restricted access to capital due to their non-market character.

The Rapporteur notes that any new legislation in this field must avoid the creation of any new red tape or bureaucracy which would add to already existing costs. European level supervision of export credits should be introduced as an exception when a distortion of competition within the internal market occurs. The principle of subsidiarity must be upheld.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment   1

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2a) The Arrangement has contributed to lessening the impact of the current economic and financial crisis, through creating jobs by supporting trade and investment of companies which would otherwise not be granted credit in the private sector.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2b) The export credit agencies should take into account and respect objectives and policies of the Union. When supporting Union companies, these agencies should comply with and promote the Union's principles and standards in such areas as consolidating democracy, respect for human rights and policy coherence for development.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2c) However, Member States' export credit agencies should carefully examine the applications received taking into account that the official support provided as export credit could potentially in the medium and long term contribute to their Member State's public deficit, in particular considering the increased risk of default due to the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2d) Export credit agencies should carefully examine applications received in order to maximise the benefits of the official support provided taking into account the fact that well-targeted export credit will contribute to new market access opportunities for Union companies, especially SMEs, while fostering open, and fair trade and mutually beneficial growth in the aftermath of the crisis.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a decision

Recital 2 e (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2e) The OECD requires the disclosure of information on export credits from its member countries in order to prevent them from behaviour which is protectionist or market distorting. Within the Union, transparency should be ensured in order to guarantee a level playing field for the Member States.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1a

The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a proposal for a new decision to repeal and replace this decision as soon as possible once a new version of the Arrangement has been agreed among the OECD Participants and no later than two months after it has entered into force.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1b

The Council shall report annually to the European Parliament and to the Commission on the implementation by each Member State of the Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a decision

Article 1 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1c

The balance-sheet of the export credit agency of any Member State shall provide a full overview of the agency's assets and liabilities. The use of off-balance-sheet vehicles by export credit agencies shall be made fully transparent.

 

Companies, other than SMEs, benefiting from export credits shall publish annual country-by-country financial accounts.

PROCEDURE

Title

Application of certain guidelines in the field of officially supported export credits

References

COM(2006)0456 – C7-0050/2010 – 2006/0167(COD)

Committee responsible

INTA

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

ECON

6.7.2010

 

 

 

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš

6.7.2010

 

 

Discussed in committee

18.10.2010

9.11.2010

 

 

Date adopted

22.11.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

39

0

3

Members present for the final vote

Burkhard Balz, Udo Bullmann, Pascal Canfin, Nikolaos Chountis, George Sabin Cutaş, Derk Jan Eppink, Diogo Feio, Markus Ferber, Elisa Ferreira, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Othmar Karas, Wolf Klinz, Jürgen Klute, Philippe Lamberts, Werner Langen, Hans-Peter Martin, Arlene McCarthy, Ivari Padar, Alfredo Pallone, Anni Podimata, Olle Schmidt, Peter Simon, Peter Skinner, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Ivo Strejček, Kay Swinburne, Marianne Thyssen, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Corien Wortmann-Kool

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Herbert Dorfmann, Sari Essayah, Ashley Fox, Robert Goebbels, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Gay Mitchell, Gianni Pittella


PROCEDURE

Title

Application of certain guidelines in the field of officially supported export credits

References

COM(2006)0456 – C7-0050/2010 – 2006/0167(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

1.3.2010

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

INTA

6.7.2010

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

DEVE

9.9.2010

ECON

6.7.2010

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Yannick Jadot

19.4.2010

 

 

Discussed in committee

1.6.2010

13.7.2010

9.11.2010

 

Date adopted

1.12.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

4

0

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, David Campbell Bannerman, Harlem Désir, Christofer Fjellner, Joe Higgins, Yannick Jadot, Metin Kazak, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Vital Moreira, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Tokia Saïfi, Helmut Scholz, Peter Šťastný, Robert Sturdy, Keith Taylor, Paweł Zalewski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

George Sabin Cutaş, Małgorzata Handzlik, Salvatore Iacolino, Syed Kamall, Maria Eleni Koppa, Jörg Leichtfried, Michael Theurer, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa

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

Markus Pieper, Giommaria Uggias

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