Procedure : 2015/0094(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0372/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0372/2015

Debates :

PV 20/01/2016 - 15
CRE 20/01/2016 - 15

Votes :

PV 21/01/2016 - 8.1
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0017

RECOMMENDATION     ***
PDF 373kWORD 81k
21.12.2015
PE 571.603v02-00 A8-0372/2015

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Kosovo, of the other part

(10725/2/2015 – C8‑0328/2015 – 2015/0094(NLE))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Ulrike Lunacek

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Kosovo, of the other part

(10725/2/2015 – C8‑0328/2015 – 2015/0094(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (10725/2/2015),

–  having regard to the draft Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Kosovo, of the other part (10728/1/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 217 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(i), and Article 218 (7) and (8), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0328/2015),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2), and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0372/2015),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of Kosovo.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) was negotiated between October 2013 and May 2014 and it was initialled in July 2014. The Council agreed to its signature on 22 October 2015. It was signed on 27 October in Strasbourg by the Vice President/High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on behalf of the EU, and Prime Minister Isa Mustafa and Minister of European Integration Bekim Çollaku on behalf of the Republic of Kosovo. The National Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo ratified the agreement swiftly, on 2 November 2015. The current consent procedure in the European Parliament, once concluded, will allow for the entry into force of the SAA.

The SAA establishes contractual relations which provides for enhanced political dialogue, closer trade integration and new forms of cooperation. It covers numerous sectors, including the respect for and strengthening of democratic principles and human rights, establishing framework for cooperation on sectors such as education, energy, environment, justice and home affairs. The SAA also includes provisions aiming to promote European standards in areas such as competition, procurement, intellectual property, consumer protection, and it aims to establish a free trade area.

The Agreement is a key document in the stabilisation and association process. It sets rights and obligations, and provides a powerful incentive for the implementation and institutionalisation of reforms. The SAA will create opportunities for investment, growth, business development, strengthening, at the same time, good governance through the application of European standards and approximation to EU laws, including in the framework of the establishment of the free trade area. Furthermore it creates opportunities for enhancing contacts between people and experts, in sectors such as education, environment, combatting crime and trafficking, culture, and foresees further strengthening relations and cooperation with neighbouring countries, thus contributing to stability in the region.

The SAA is a very important first formal step towards the EU accession process and the European integration path on the Republic of Kosovo. The European Parliament looks forward to further strengthening of relations between the Republic of Kosovo and the EU, including by the swift introduction of the visa free regime for Kosovo citizens. The Parliament furthermore calls on the Council to adopt the decision to sign and conclude the framework agreement on Kosovo’s participation in EU programmes, which will strengthen cooperation between Kosovo and the EU in a variety of sectors. These programmes should be focused on specific areas that correspond to the obligations taken up by Kosovo on its European path and should be implemented with transparency and without delay.

Finally, the Parliament encourages the remaining five Member States to proceed with the recognition of Republic of Kosovo, believing that this would further facilitate the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. In the spirit of the SAA, and the establishment of formal contractual relations, the Parliament calls on all EU Member States to do their utmost to facilitate economic, people-to-people contacts, and social and political relations between their citizens and those of the Republic of Kosovo.

10.12.2015

OPINION of the Committee on International Trade

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Kosovo(1)*, of the other part

(10725/2/2015 – C8-0328/2015 – 2015/0094(NLE))

Rapporteur: Adam Szejnfeld

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The proposed Stabilisation and Association agreement ("SAA") with Kosovo is the last SAA to be concluded with Western Balkan countries. The Commission has noted in the Explanatory Memorandum that "The deepening of economic and trade relations is one of the main goals of the agreement." The proposed SAA is an EU-only agreement.

Kosovo has enjoyed a preferential trade regime with the EU since 2000, with duty-free quota-free access to the EU market, with the exception of some agricultural and fishery products. Currently these measures are established under Council Regulation (EC) No 1215/2009(2) which is due to expire on 31/12/2015 but for which a proposal that it be extended until 31/12/2020 is pending. The proposed SAA lays down essentially the same regime - providing unrestricted access for industrialised products and the majority of agricultural products (with the exception of live bovine animals and their meat, sugar products, some wine products, "baby beef" products and some fishery products).

With regard to the EU's exports your rapporteur considers the transitional periods for Kosovo with regard to gradual tariff reductions for industrial, agricultural, processed agricultural and fishery products and wine and spirit drinks to be indispensable for the smooth establishment of the free trade area over the planned period of 10 years, given that the EU's trade surplus with Kosovo is considerable and has slightly increased in the past years.

Your rapporteur welcomes provisions on the establishment and supply of services (Title V), as well as the proposed cooperation policies between the EU and Kosovo in a broad range of areas (Title VII), many of which will contribute to strengthening the establishment of the free trade area, such as economic and trade policy or investment promotion and protection.

******

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to recommend that Parliament give its consent to the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Kosovo(3)*, of the other part.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

10.12.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

32

0

4

Members present for the final vote

Maria Arena, David Borrelli, David Campbell Bannerman, Daniel Caspary, Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Ska Keller, Jude Kirton-Darling, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Bernd Lange, Emmanuel Maurel, Emma McClarkin, Artis Pabriks, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Viviane Reding, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Marietje Schaake, Helmut Scholz, Adam Szejnfeld, Hannu Takkula, Iuliu Winkler

Substitutes present for the final vote

Klaus Buchner, Dita Charanzová, Nicola Danti, Sander Loones, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Marita Ulvskog, Wim van de Camp, Jarosław Wałęsa

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

Edward Czesak, Eleonora Evi, Maurice Ponga, Dario Tamburrano, Derek Vaughan, Flavio Zanonato

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

14.12.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

3

3

Members present for the final vote

Lars Adaktusson, Michèle Alliot-Marie, Nikos Androulakis, Petras Auštrevičius, Goffredo Maria Bettini, Elmar Brok, James Carver, Lorenzo Cesa, Andi Cristea, Georgios Epitideios, Knut Fleckenstein, Eugen Freund, Iveta Grigule, Richard Howitt, Sandra Kalniete, Tunne Kelam, Eduard Kukan, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Arne Lietz, Barbara Lochbihler, Ulrike Lunacek, Andrejs Mamikins, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Javier Nart, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Alojz Peterle, Tonino Picula, Kati Piri, Andrej Plenković, Cristian Dan Preda, Jozo Radoš, Alyn Smith, Charles Tannock, Ivo Vajgl, Bodil Valero

Substitutes present for the final vote

Ana Gomes, Othmar Karas, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Marietje Schaake, Janusz Zemke

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

Davor Ivo Stier, Bogdan Brunon Wenta

(1)

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

(2)

Council Regulation (EC) No 1215/2009 introducing exceptional trade measures for countries and territories participating in or linked to the European Union’s Stabilisation and Association process (OJ L 328, 15.12.2009, p. 1).

(3)

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

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