REPORT on the EU and the defence of multilateralism

    8.6.2022 - (2020/2114(INI))

    Committee on Foreign Affairs
    Rapporteur: Javi López
    Rapporteur for the opinion (*):
    Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Committee on International Trade
    (*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure


    Procedure : 2020/2114(INI)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    A9-0172/2022


    PR_INI

    CONTENTS

    Page

    MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

    OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE

    INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

    FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

     



     

    MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

    on the EU and the defence of multilateralism

    (2020/2114(INI))

    The European Parliament,

     having regard to the document entitled ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe – A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy’ presented by former Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) Federica Mogherini on 28 June 2016,

     having regard to the joint communication by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on strengthening the EU’s contribution to rules-based multilateralism (JOIN(2021)0003),

     having regard to the joint communication by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council entitled ‘A new EU-US agenda for global change’ (JOIN(2020)0022),

     having regard to the Council conclusions of 12 July 2021 on EU priorities at the UN during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly,

     having regard to the joint communication by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission of 25 March 2020 on the 2020-2024 EU action plan on human rights and democracy (JOIN(2020)0005), in particular its dedicated chapter 3 on promoting a global system for human rights and democracy and its sub-chapter 3.1 on multilateral cooperation, which operationalises the EU’s commitment to a strong multilateral human rights system,

     having regard to the revised text of the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom as agreed at negotiators’ level on 17 October 2019,

     having regard to the EU action plan on women, peace and security (WPS) 2019-2024, and the EU gender action plan III (GAP III) of 25 November 2020,

     having regard to the Council conclusions of 22 February 2021 on EU priorities in UN human rights fora in 2021,

     having regard to the 2021 report by the UN Secretary-General entitled ‘Our Common Agenda’,

     having regard to its resolution of 13 June 2013 on the role of the EU in promoting a broader Transatlantic Partnership[1],

     having regard to its resolution of 17 April 2020 on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences[2],

     having regard to its recommendation of 9 June 2021 to the Council on the 75th and 76th sessions of the UN General Assembly[3],

     having regard to the EU Strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction of 10 December 2003 and the Council conclusions on the new lines for action by the European Union in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems of 17 December 2008,

     having regard to its recommendation of 21 October 2021 to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on EU-Taiwan political relations and cooperation[4],

     having regard to the Council conclusions of 24 January 2022 on the UN-EU strategic partnership on peace operations and crisis management to the next level: Priorities for 2022-2024,

     having regard to the Paris Agreement to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted on 12 December 2015,

     having regard to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

     having regard to the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in September 1995, the Declaration and Platform for Action for the empowerment of women adopted in Beijing, and the subsequent outcome documents of the UN Beijing +5, +10, +15 and +20 special sessions on new actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted on 9 June 2000, 11 March 2005, 2 March 2010 and 9 March 2015 respectively,

     having regard to the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by the General Assembly in September 2006, which will soon be updated,

     having regard to the UN Resolution 1325 (2000) adopted by the UN Security Council on 31 October 2000,

     having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 65/276 adopted on 3 May 2011 on the participation of the EU in the work of the UN,

     having regard to the four joint statements by the EU and the UN at the UN General Assembly in September 2018,

     having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2018 on Autonomous Weapons Systems[5],

     having regard to the framework agreement of 29 September 2020 between the European Union and the United Nations for the Provision of Mutual Support in the context of their respective missions and operations in the field,

     having regard to the its resolution of 1 March 2022 on the Russian aggression against Ukraine[6],

     having regard to its resolution of 7 April 2022 on the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 24-25 March 2022, including the latest developments of the war against Ukraine and the EU sanctions against Russia and their implementation[7],

     having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

     having regard to the opinion of the Committee on International Trade,

     having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0172/2022),

    A. whereas the global order is increasingly unstable, polarised and marred by competing agendas and policy stances and by the growing risk of regulatory fragmentation and competition on regulatory standards; whereas democracy, human rights and the rule of law are coming under increasing threat in different regions of the world; whereas human rights defenders and civil society activists are facing increasing threats and risks for their legitimate work;

    B. whereas the multilateral order was built to face and tackle the challenges of our time, such as hunger and extreme poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, economic shocks and the prevention of conflicts; whereas important advances have been made, but in the last decade we have observed backsliding in a number of areas;

    C. whereas there is a need to renew the social contract and rebuild trust;

    D. whereas in September 2015 all countries committed to an ambitious agenda on how to tackle global challenges together, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

    E. whereas, while multilateralism remains the best organisational system for solving global challenges, it must be recognised that it is struggling to find the path to effective implementation;

    F. whereas the world has entered a new multipolar era with a great potential for turbulence, confrontation and instability characterised by great geopolitical competition involving non-traditional threats and conflicts, such as hybrid and cyber-attacks, hybrid warfare and disinformation, which often happen away from the public eye, but have significant implications for EU and global security, and which we do not have proper tools to counter and react to; whereas there is a risk of a gap between current global challenges and the current multilateral system’s capacity to deliver effective and inclusive solutions;

    G. whereas at the same time the global order is increasingly confronted with policy issues and challenges that require action at international level, including effective global policy dialogue, cooperation and convergence of positions, in order to devise sustainable solutions that can deliver results, coordinated action and common standards within a rules-based order that can deliver effectively in the interests of all and promote human rights and the rule of law; whereas these standards should contribute to international peace, stability and sustainable development; whereas the EU stands behind international laws and norms;

    H. whereas the world has become more interconnected, rendering actors on the international stage more interdependent and challenges more complex; whereas the resulting multi-level problems require collective action, flexible structures and the inclusion of all stakeholders;

    I. whereas the present multilateral order stems from the post-1945 global order, not necessarily fully reflecting today’s world, given that not all current global actors were properly taken into account in the design of the multilateral architecture;

    J. whereas global arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation policies and norms are being abandoned and weakened at a time when conventional arms sales are rising, the level of autonomy of weapon systems is increasing, and investments in new weapons of mass destruction are being made;

    K. whereas multilateralism, as a peaceful means of organising relations among sovereign states, is increasingly being challenged, in part because of changes in the international system, such as the emergence of new actors on the global stage and hybrid threats emanating from them, the tensions derived from the nature of multilateral institutions and the need to overhaul decades-old institutions, the growing gap between public opinion and institutions, the rise of anti-globalisation sentiments, the decline of traditionally dominant geopolitical powers and the subsequent decline of global freedoms and democracy; whereas the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact on the international community have both reinforced and accelerated these changes; whereas we are on the cusp of a new era that threatens to undermine more than 70 years of progress and relative peace and consolidate an era of strongman politics striving to undermine the international rules-based order based on international law and the rule of law, responsibility, democracy and human rights, gender equality and diversity; whereas the combination of national populist impulses, divergent and changing objectives and a lack of implementation and accountability methods is forcing the multilateral system to face three connected crises: a crisis of power, of relevance and of legitimacy, which are a result of a lack of political will and coordination, mostly in the West;

    L. whereas the crisis of multilateralism can be an opportunity to rebuild consensus on an international order based on multilateralism and the rule of law through efficient cooperation, solidarity and coordination; whereas the EU should support initiatives aimed at incorporating the views of civil society in the decision-making processes in multilateral fora such as the UN; whereas the EU should advocate for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) within the UN system in order to increase the democratic character, democratic accountability and transparency of global governance;

    M. whereas multilateralism is in need of swift revitalisation in order to tackle this multidimensional and multifaceted crisis; whereas threats to peace and security, fundamental freedoms and democracy, climate change, biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, disaster risk management, global public health challenges, increasing protectionism, disinformation, foreign interference, gender equality, sustainable development and the deepening of poverty and inequalities at the global level are some of the pressing challenges that the world is facing right now; whereas only through a reinforced multilateral order and political leadership will the international community be able to find lasting and sustainable answers to these and future challenges;

    N. whereas in order to revitalise and defend multilateralism, the EU must help to keep multilateral institutions and international organisations alive and functioning, while seeking deeper cooperation with like-minded partners in order to fight for its values and interests; whereas these coalitions will change on the basis of issues and should not undermine existing institutions; whereas the EU should strive to build open coalitions rather than exclusive clubs; whereas the EU needs to find new ways to engage with countries from the Global South and to do this on an equal footing with them, as equal partners;

    O. whereas climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the global importance and policy primacy of global public goods, such as, inter alia, access to health, clean air and water, food and other resources, education, technology and cyberspace in an inclusive, secure and reliable fashion; whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of an obvious fact: in the face of a pandemic, our health safety chain is only as strong as the weakest health system; whereas COVID-19 anywhere is a threat to people and economies everywhere; whereas access to global public goods and policy responses seeking to standardise and expand such access across countries and communities requires global cooperation on objectives, minimum common standards and active support for the most vulnerable countries and communities; whereas this requires an effective multilateral agenda focused on global public goods and governance structures that reinforce access to such goods; whereas effective policy dialogue, cooperation and delivery on access to global public goods cannot and must not be decoupled under any circumstances from the promotion and protection of fundamental rights and dignity, as well as the empowerment of all people, in particular the most vulnerable; whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of the work of the WHO and the WHO’s capacity to manage the response to the pandemic rapidly and effectively, while also bringing to light concerns such as attempted interference and manipulation of its actions to this end;

    P. whereas terrorism continues to be one of the most serious threats to peace and international security;

    Q. whereas the growing assertiveness of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes and illiberal governments in multilateral fora and international organisations, including through attempts to weaken and rewrite international norms, and their strong involvement in the management and decision-making processes of relevant international organisations and multilateral fora can lead to asymmetric, less effective and biased policy responses, eliminate the level playing field for all members of the international community, and to much weaker international community commitment to the defence and advancement of universal values and universal rights; whereas individual agendas, unilateral actions and a lack of engagement and support for multilateral solutions can further undermine multilateralism as an essential organising principle for tackling transnational challenges; whereas, in this context, it is essential to reaffirm the value of rules-based governance, international cooperation, a commitment to fundamental rights and a true level playing field for all members of the international community; whereas relevant international organisations and multilateral fora will be key to achieving these objectives; whereas these objectives will not only allow a more effective positive policy impact on global challenges, but will also curb and prevent the risk of conflict;

    R. whereas the EU should more than ever invest in strengthening multilateral organisations as one of the priorities of its common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and common security and defence policy (CSDP); whereas the EU Strategic Compass attaches great importance to international and multilateral partnerships as one of the basic pillars of its CSDP;

    S. whereas multilateral cooperation among like-minded partners in dealing with malicious foreign interference is needed;

    T. whereas the UN Secretary-General’s report entitled ‘Our Common Agenda’, which was presented to the UN General Assembly in September 2021 and welcomed by the General Assembly in November 2021 and drafted through a wide-ranging consultation process including UN member states, thought leaders, young people, civil society, relevant stakeholders and citizens, as well as the UN system and its many partners, attests to the need for a more effective, inclusive rules-based and networked multilateralism for the future; whereas this will be essential for the UN system and other multilateral fora in order to continue being an effective forum for global consultation and decision-making; whereas, in this context, the EU is uniquely positioned to support the UN and other relevant international organisations in pursuing a process of reform and in revitalising their delivery capacity and their ability to connect to relevant stakeholders, such as young people or the communities most impacted by climate change, including at local and regional level; whereas in doing so the EU should seize the opportunity to engage constructively and effectively with rival powers, while maintaining a firm stance on fundamental rights and freedoms, promote a social and political model rooted in universal values and pursue closer cooperation and coordination with like-minded countries to reinforce the primacy of universal values and fundamental rights and to advance effective solutions to global challenges; whereas parliamentary diplomacy will be a key component of reinforcing rules-based, inclusive, networked and effective multilateralism;

    U. whereas the EU and its Member States remain fully committed to multilateralism, global governance, the promotion of UN core values as an integral part of the EU’s external policy, and the three pillars of the UN system: human rights, peace and security, and development;

    V. whereas the EU and the UN continue to work closely in over 170 countries to improve the protection of human rights for all, reduce hunger and malnutrition, prevent and overcome crises, build democratic and inclusive societies, deliver essential services, promote green growth and decent jobs, and ensure the sustainable management of natural resources;

    W. whereas Parliament's role and tools in the area of parliamentary diplomacy, mediation and dialogue can contribute actively to strengthening multilateralism;

    X. whereas the new ‘Global Europe – Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument’ (Global Europe financial instrument), combined with the ‘Team Europe’ approach and the Global Gateway Strategy, confers on the EU and its Member States an ability to pool resources in a synergic way and to better coordinate assistance and create positive impacts in the external action of the EU, also through multilateral fora, taking into account the needs of partner countries, including through continued and strengthened cooperation with the UN on the ground; whereas the EU should give priority to providing aid to countries with a record of good governance and commitment to democratic principles and human rights; whereas the new Global Europe financial instrument provides for high-level political dialogue between the Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and Parliament on programming priorities with the opportunity for Parliament to reconnect this policy and programming dialogue to its political outreach and consultations with third countries, thus reinforcing the ability of the EU to assist and positively impact relevant third countries through its parliamentary diplomacy activities and outreach;

    Y. whereas if the EU is to speak with one voice, substantial changes must be made to the decision-making process for foreign affairs; whereas unanimous decision-making only hinders the EU’s ability to engage as a strong player on the international stage, whereas the EEAS and the Member States should agree to qualified majority voting on foreign policy matters, as it is a more effective form of decision-making;

    Rebuilding a multilateralism enshrined in core EU values

    1. Welcomes the joint communication by the Commission and the VP/HR to Parliament and the Council on strengthening the EU’s contribution to rules-based multilateralism; considers that this communication contributes very directly to and further advances the reflection on the direction of the EU’s foreign policy from its important, but more general commitment to effective multilateralism as defined in the 2003 European security strategy to the realisation of the need to combine the value and objective of effective multilateralism with principled pragmatism and the need to promote and preserve the EU’s interests and values, as laid out in the 2016 global strategy for the EU’s foreign and security policy; recalls that the best strategy for defending multilateralism is to rebuild it by making it more relevant, resilient, and effective;

    2. Supports the joint communication’s statement that ‘the Council needs to use Treaty provisions that allow for constructive abstention and for the adoption of decisions by qualified majority voting in Common Foreign and Security Policy’; stresses the need to anchor qualified majority voting in foreign policy matters in future EU treaty changes, which would allow the EU to become a more effective global actor;

    3. Concurs with the Commission and the VP/HR on the need for the EU to be more assertive in pursuing its interests and in advancing the universal values on which it is founded and, therefore, concurs on the need for the EU to defend and strengthen these values, the rules-based order and multilateralism as means to ensuring a level playing field for the international community, providing a platform for inclusive policy dialogue, cooperation and convergence and achieving policy responses supported by the international community at large and which can truly deliver;

    4. Highlights that it is of paramount importance for the EU to strengthen its external action and diplomacy toolbox with its own autonomous instruments, increasing its capacity to be a global actor and ‘speak with one voice’ in order to better defend multilateralism, which should include the creation of a European Diplomatic Academy as recently called for by Parliament; reiterates its call to include the ‘New European Bauhaus’ as a new instrument in the EU’s external action toolbox and as a useful cultural and public diplomatic tool, which is fundamental for promoting a values-based multilateral order and the strengthening of international partnerships;

    5. Points to the EU’s ability to devise very efficient and inclusive regulatory standards for its single market and takes the view that the EU should also seek to promote such standards in the framework of its external action as a paradigm and contribution to the discussion on effective global regulatory standards; recalls Article 24 of the Treaty on the Union (TEU), which states that the ‘Member States shall support the Union’s external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity’, and that they ‘shall refrain from any action which is contrary to the interests of the Union or likely to impair its effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations’; is concerned by the activities of some Member States, such as undertaking bilateral diplomatic initiatives with third countries, which may run counter to the provisions of Article 24 of the TEU;

    6. Believes that the EU must continue to act as a staunch and key defender of multilateralism in the world and avoid actions that undermine these objectives; concludes, however, that the EU must respond to global forces, such as increased fragmentation, the weaponisation of trade and protectionism, in order to preserve its competitive advantages;

    7. Takes the views that the EU should use the efforts to find solutions for global problems, such as climate change, or to promote stability and peace, as an entry point for more broader diplomatic relations with third countries with which dialogue and cooperation on other policy items may not always be immediately feasible;

    8. Calls on the EU to become more assertive and strategic in dealing with rising global threats; underlines that in the context of a rapidly shifting geopolitical landscape, the world is at a crossroads and multilateral institutions are in danger of becoming dominated by non-democratic regimes; calls for a strong, action-based, commitment to protecting democracy and fundamental rights in multilateral fora;

    9. Recalls that the EU is merely an observer to almost all international organisations and multilateral fora, and that this situation reflects neither the extent of the EU’s competences nor the growing importance of supranational regional organisations in global decision-making; believes that the EU’s effectiveness on the global stage is closely interlinked with its status in multilateral fora and organisations; therefore calls on the Member States to muster the political will to strengthen the EU’s position in multilateral organisations and fora, and to garner support from third countries for such a status change, so that the EU can truly live up to its commitment to defend multilateralism in an effective way;

    Strengthening the United Nations and the European Union’s participation in its system

    10. Reiterates its strongest support for the programme of reforms introduced by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and points to the need for further progress, especially regarding the inclusion of women, young people and persons in a vulnerable situation, as well as on raising awareness on intersectionality in UN structures; stresses the importance of a UN system that can continue to deliver effectively; points to the value of the ‘One UN’ vision of the UN Secretary-General for the UN system, where the various agencies and components of the UN can truly be interlinked and function together on the basis of a single budgetary and managerial structure and can reinforce the attainment of the UN’s objectives; points, in particular, to the enhanced role of the UN Resident Coordinators provided for by the reform of the UN development system and considers that these UN Resident Coordinators, currently operating in more than 130 countries, should not only take the lead in coordinating the implementation of UN programmes on the ground to reinforce the unity of UN action, but should also liaise and consult closely with EU delegations in the relevant UN member state to pursue synergies and mutual reinforcement with the EU’s thematic and geographic programmes for that country;

    11. Reaffirms that the EU and the UN should work closely at headquarters level and in the regions and countries where they deliver assistance to exchange analyses, and align policy and programmatic planning in order to maximise their impact on the wellbeing of the people and the planet; recalls that the EU can greatly reinforce the outreach and impact of UN programmes in third countries and can define its own programming and assistance in a synergic way that also reinforces their impact in line with the objectives of the UN; stresses, therefore, the value of close EU-UN consultation and cooperation, and invites the Commission, the EEAS and EU delegations in third countries to actively reach out and consult with the UN on UN policy and programming activities for 2021-2027 and beyond; invites the UN to regularly consult the EU at UN headquarters, but also on the ground in third countries;

    12. Takes the view that the EU and the UN should hold annual summits with the possibility for the UN Secretary-General to confer with Council, Commission, EEAS and Parliament; calls on the UN to ensure a steady presence of high-level UN interlocutors in Parliament to further a structured and consistent policy dialogue and give enhanced visibility to UN efforts; highlights the need to improve the political functioning of the UN, calling for a stronger interface between UN and regional organisations as underlined by UN Secretary-General Guterres; highlights the need to strengthen the coordination of UN Agencies with international financial institutions through the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); supports UN Secretary-General Guterres’s proposals to give young people and civil society stronger voices within the UN system;

    13. Highlights that in order for the EU to become a more effective global partner able to defend the multilateral order, the EU’s ability to act robustly and promptly as a reliable security provider must be enhanced; calls, therefore, on the Council and the Commission to thoroughly assess, explore and develop options for setting up standing multinational military units, which would be permanently stationed and train together;

    14. Calls on the UN Secretary-General to intensify his efforts in the implementation of the UN Strategy on Gender Parity as an essential tool to ensure the equal representation of women in the UN system at all hierarchical levels; recalls that since the creation of the UN in 1945, no woman has been appointed UN Secretary-General; points to the general need for equitable representation of women and marginalised groups, as well as for increased diversity within international organisations; strongly supports the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda and its objective of giving youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels;

    15. Takes the view that the EU should identify the UN bodies and other multilateral organisations that are key to promoting policy dialogue, convergence and policy solutions to global challenges and standard-setting; and should define clear objectives and clear priorities for dialogue with and support, including budgetary support, to such bodies and organisations; recalls, in this regard, that the EU and its Member States are already the leading financial contributors to the UN and many of its agencies and programmes, but that this commitment to and support for the UN does not always translate into a stronger impact by the EU, its Member States and like-minded partners in key UN agency positions or in multilateral fora, which is particularly worrying at a time of growing assertiveness of non-democratic regimes, such as Russia, in such fora;

    16. Points to the increased geopolitical importance of standards, especially in technology, and urges the EU to act strategically in order to become a standard-setting superpower in multilateral fora;

    17. Calls on the EU and its Member States as well as like-minded partners to further improve their coordination when it comes to establishing joint support for candidacies for leadership positions in multilateral fora; points to the need to coordinate with like-minded partners in other world regions and in the light of the importance of the principle of the equitable geographical distribution of leadership positions keep a strong focus on democratic values;

    18. Emphasises in this regard the key role that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)is playing as a pillar of European security and calls for the comprehensive security approach of the organisation to be further strengthened;

    19. Calls on the EU to work with and within the UN, regional organisations, international fora such as the G7 and G20 and ad hoc coalitions to tackle the global challenges we face now and in the future;

    20. Calls on the Commission and VP/HR to further develop their strategy on multilateralism, including through regularly updated guidelines on how to proceed in different fora, covering issues such as the reform of the UN system and a more central role or formal representation of the EU, and a vision for a new global order that would shape it in a way that could revitalise multilateralism; believes that the EU will need to build alliances with like-minded partners in order to develop multilateral cooperation across a wide range of fora, but that these alliances will not always involve the same actors, while the objective must always be to uphold an effective, rules-based system of global governance;

    21. Reiterates its positions on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine expressed in previous resolutions;

    22. Condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as the involvement of Belarus in this war, and demands that Russia immediately terminates all military activities in Ukraine and unconditionally withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire internationally recognised territory of Ukraine; underlines that this military aggression and invasion constitute a serious violation of international law; considers the Russian invasion of Ukraine an attack not only against a sovereign country, but also against the principles and cooperation and security mechanisms in Europe and the rules-based international order, as established by the UN Charter;

    23. Welcomes the suspension of Russia from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC); welcomes the decisions by international organisations, including in the area of culture and sports, to suspend Russian participation; calls on EU leaders and the leaders of other states to exclude Russia from the G20 and other multilateral cooperative organisations, such as the World Trade Organization, UNESCO and others, which would be an important sign that the international community will not return to business as usual with this aggressor state;

    24. Underlines that the full and effective implementation of existing sanctions throughout the EU and by the EU’s international allies must be a priority now; calls on the EU to use multilateral fora to ensure the effectiveness of these sanctions;

    25. Calls for an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas, for Nordstream 1 and 2 to be completely abandoned, and for a plan to continue ensuring the EU’s security of energy supply in the short-term to be presented; calls for the EU to ensure support through multilateral fora to third countries that wish to enact an embargo on Russian energy imports;

    26. Welcomes the ability of the EU and its Member States to work in a coordinated fashion and to present unified positions in the UN system, with particular regard to the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and UN HRC; praises, in this regard, the valuable coordination efforts by the EU delegations to the UN in New York and Geneva; believes that this unified, synergic approach should be replicated in every UN body, agency or other international organisation, so that the EU can act and deliver as one across the board in multilateral fora; laments that the Security Council is consistently unable to take decisions and consequently not effective in responding to crises like those in Ukraine, Syria, Ethiopia and Sudan, as it has been in other crises in the past, and that this has had a negative impact on preventing, managing and resolving these crises due to the extensive use of veto rights; emphasises that is indefensible that one state can stop efforts when genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes are committed;

    27. Urges the UN to appoint its special envoy to Libya, as the position has been vacant since November 2021 and the democratic process in Libya remains at a turning point;

    28. Regrets the fact that in 2022, only two EU Member States will sit on the Security Council; considers that the EU and the Member States should promote reflection on the terms of a reform of the Security Council that can restore its ability to address crises in a timely and effective manner, thoroughly limit the right to veto and change the composition of the Security Council to reflect today’s world better;

    29. Reiterates its view, in this regard, that the EU and its Member States should work towards finding a broad consensus on reforming the Security Council, inter alia, through the provision of a permanent seat for the EU, in addition to the seats already currently held by EU Member States; encourages EU Member States not to compete against each other when it comes to securing a seat on the Security Council;

    30. Expresses concern at the erosion of the current arms control and disarmament system and its legal instruments; supports all efforts to put the arms control and disarmament agenda back on the international agenda, including by reviving the Conference on Disarmament; ;calls on the EU and its Member States to review and update the EU Strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to take account of the recent geopolitical, technological and legal developments and provide an up-to-date and ambitious basis for the EU’s multilateral engagement for non-proliferation and disarmament;  expresses concern at the development of new military technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), outer space weaponry, biotechnologies and hypersonic weapons, and actively supports efforts and new initiatives to stop related ongoing armament programmes by some UN member states; supports the work of the UN Disarmament Commission’s Outer Space Working Group on the practical implementation of transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities;

    31. Supports the UN Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative based on updating the EU-UN partnership on crisis management and peace operations and exploring opportunities for new partnerships, including EU-UN-African Union and cooperation with other regional organisations; reiterates the crucial role that women play in conflict mediation and peacekeeping missions and recalls their underrepresentation at all levels within the UN, EU and other multilateral organisations and missions;

    32. Calls on the EU and its Member States to improve their ability to share information, consult and coordinate on strategies, policies and positions, including in the governing bodies and boards of multilateral bodies where the EU is not directly represented, starting from the UN Security Council; shares the view of the VP/HR and the Commission that the EU should establish coordination mechanisms in all international institutions, including financial institutions; believes that the same coordination ability should be expanded to the boards of all UN bodies;

    33. Believes that the new Global Europe financial instrument and the ‘Team Europe’ approach to geographic and thematic assistance and programming, as well as the Global Gateway Strategy on connecting infrastructure development, provide a unique opportunity to define a common inter-institutional agenda that duly reflects and values the contributions of the EU Member States in a way that adds value to the multilateral approach to challenges and crises in the world and reinforces the leveraging ability of the EU and its Member States, including in multilateral fora; reaffirms its commitment to a balanced and priority-driven geographical approach in EU’s actions, assistance and programmes launched beyond EU borders;

    34. Warns that attempts by illiberal governments or authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, such as China, to attain and consolidate leverage by financing international organisations raises the issue of financial antagonism in multilateral fora and prompts the need for a reflection both at global and EU level on how to secure the independence and effectiveness of relevant international organisations and multilateral fora by using the full range of tools at the disposal of the EU institutions, including, when necessary and relevant, adequate and sustainable EU funding, as well as financing from other sources; recalls that delays in the payment of assessed contributions by several Member States have extremely negative effects on the work of international organisations, and are thus unacceptable;

    35. Recalls that EU humanitarian aid and development assistance to third countries is very often channelled through the UN system; supports this partnership between the EU and the UN, but calls on the EU to ensure greater visibility of its specific role and contributions within the UN; underlines, in this regard, the importance of carrying out at EU level an in-depth evaluation of both current and planned EU-UN partnerships in order to assess whether there is adequate visibility for the EU’s contribution, value for taxpayers’ money in line with the EU’s values and whether the leadership roles conferred on the EU and its Member States are commensurate with the EU’s strong commitment and dedication to the UN system; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to carry out this review and to confer with Parliament on their findings and on the way forward to ensure that adequate recognition is given to the EU’s contribution, financial apportionment, commitment and dedication to the UN system;

    36. Stresses that the EU’s support to international organisations and presence in multilateral fora should be visible for the citizens in the EU Member States; calls on the VP/HR to launch an EU-wide information campaign on the EU support given to international organisations and its presence, objectives and activities in multilateral fora; calls equally on the Commission, EEAS and the Member States to promote the EU’s active role in multilateral fora and to provide more information about EU contributions and achievements in international organisations, including through common narratives, positions and statements on UN resolutions;

    37. Stresses the need for EU Member States to intensify coordination on UN Funds and Programmes, identifying key objectives and a joint approach for the orientation of Executive Boards; emphasises the importance of ensuring transparency and accountability in the financing and spending of multilateral organisations;

    38. Commends the work of the ‘Alliance for Multilateralism’ as an informal network of countries united in their conviction that a rules-based multilateral order is the only reliable guarantee for international stability and peace, and that our common challenges can only be solved through cooperation;

    Rebuilding multilateralism through enhanced global partnerships to pursue common goals

    39. Stresses the need to work towards an effective, results-oriented, values-based and inclusive multilateralism, where governments, civil society, religious actors, the private sector, academia and other relevant stakeholders can effectively work together to serve global values and interests and achieve global goals ; acknowledges the importance of reconciling the two critical EU goals of enhancing the EU’s visibility and leverage as a global actor and supporting the role of multilateral fora; recalls the need to address and manage these tensions and to articulate a principled and assertive position between these two goals, in line with the EU’s core values, ideas and interests; points out that despite the apparent tensions between these two critical European goals, they also provide new opportunities, as enhanced EU strategic autonomy can allow the EU to make alliances with its bilateral partners within multilateral negotiations, and also promote and defend multilateral commitments during bilateral negotiations; calls on the EU and Member States to consistently and actively defend multilateralism and relevant multilateral institutions every time they are undermined in any way or form;

    40. Underlines the importance of continued multilateral cooperation on matters of security and defence; highlights the work of the EU-NATO partnership and EU-OSCE cooperation built on common support for the shared core values of democracy, freedom, respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law and the promotion of peace and international cooperation while protecting the rules-based international order; calls on the EU Member States and NATO members that have not already done so to join European security and defence initiatives in order to further complement and strengthen joint cooperation;

    41. Emphasises that multilateralism and any reform of the current system should also focus on increased transparency and accountability, as well as engagement with non-state actors, in order to help restore people’s trust in these institutions and to give them greater legitimacy; stresses the need to address the challenges of preventing and combating illicit financial flows and strengthening international cooperation and good practices on assets return and recovery, including by more effective measures to implement existing obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; stresses the need to implement effective, inclusive and sustainable measures to prevent and combat corruption within the framework of the 2030 Agenda; stresses that the combating of illicit financial flows must be streamlined at a global level;

    42. Stresses the importance of continuing to reach out to allies and like-minded partners in international organisations and multilateral fora to consolidate a coalition of like-minded countries committed to common values and objectives and to policy dialogue and effective cooperation globally; underlines the need for an agreement on EU-UK foreign policy and security cooperation to be added as an annex to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which would allow both sides to be able to better confront common global security and foreign policy challenges; stresses that such an agreement would also serve to facilitate cooperation in multilateral organisations, in particular the UN, bearing in mind both sides’ many shared values and interests;

    43. Points to the particular relevance, not only of traditional transatlantic or European partners such as the US and Canada, as well as the UK, the Western Balkans and other countries of the Southern and Eastern Neighbourhood, but also of other like-minded democratic allies in Latin America, the Indo-Pacific, and Africa that can create in partnership a broader area of common values and standards and a commitment to promoting global responses to global challenges as well as a broader international coalition of like-minded partners; underlines, in this regard, the importance of increased dialogue and cooperation with like-minded African countries, and of supporting them in building a future for Africa premised on democracy, inclusion and prosperity, while being mindful of the need to tackle challenges and security threats stemming from climate change, terrorism and organised crime;

    44. Highlights that EU relations with the African Union (AU) and Latin America and the Caribbean have an intrinsic value in themselves and are of crucial importance for a renewed multilateralism; recalls that in their joint statement entitled ‘Africa and Europe: two continents with a joint vision for 2030’, the EU and AU have committed to work together to promote effective multilateralism within the rules-based international order, with the UN at its core, and pledged to work towards more converging positions in multilateral fora to reduce global inequalities, strengthen solidarity, fight climate change and improve delivery on ‘global public goods’, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU Agenda 2063;

    45. Supports, therefore, efforts by the VP/HR, the Council and the Commission to further strengthen the EU’s partnership with the AU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States; points to the importance of furthering convergence of positions at the UN and other multilateral fora between the EU and both accession and partner countries; calls on the EU to expand its ability to assist partner and like-minded countries, including through capacity building, knowledge-sharing, training and twinning, so that they can engage more effectively in the multilateral system, as well as to exchange best practices with them in order to also learn from their experiences; reiterates the importance of reinforcing the existing multilateral fora with like-minded partners, especially the EU-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summits;

    46. Stresses the need for cooperation between the EU and ASEAN as a means to confront mutual challenges in the Asia-Pacific region; stresses the need to boost the role of regional organisations in the UN system by proposing a yearly summit of heads of regional organisations;

    47. Urges the Commission and the EEAS to suggest new initiatives in order to respond to climate-related security risks while promoting the European Green Deal in international fora; believes that the EU should support ambitious CO2 reduction targets in third countries and stresses the need for climate diplomacy to be put at the core of its external action in order to promote global peace and security;

    48. Supports the EU’s tireless advocacy for and defence of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, its staunch support for the universalisation of international human rights law, its active support to and use of UN human rights fora to address pressing human rights issues, its steadfast support for strengthening accountability and international justice mechanisms, its fight against impunity and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states; underlines, in this regard, the EU’s support for established and recognised international borders and rejects any attempts to forcefully change them;

    49. Supports the VP/HR and the Commission in their quest to ensure that the UNHRC acts more efficiently, swiftly addresses all human rights issues and country situations effectively, credibly and without bias, and ensures synergies with other multilateral human rights fora;

    50. Calls for human rights bodies to be as impartial as possible and for those bodies to be protected from any interference by states known to have committed human rights violations; insists, therefore, on the need to define clear standards on the respect of human rights, the rule of law and fundamental rights to be met in order to be accepted as a member of the UNHRC, and takes the view that the EU should be more proactive in this regard and support a comprehensive reform of the UNHRC;

    51. Pays tribute to the work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and takes the view that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights provides unique opportunities to engage in effective dialogue and cooperation on how to streamline and reinforce the delivery capacity of the UN human rights system, including through increased public scrutiny of UNHRC membership, responsibilities and mandatory pledging events at the UN General Assembly with candidates to the UNHRC, as proposed by the VP/HR and the Commission in their joint communication; welcomes the launch on 12 October 2021 of an annual strategic dialogue with the UN;

    52. Notes that the financial resources allocated to the work of the UN Human Rights Commissioner are notably insufficient, with many countries seeking to reduce them, while it has been a long-standing demand of the EU to increase financing for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; welcomes the EU’s initiatives and activities on human rights in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee and the UN Security Council, as well as the cooperation between the EU and the UN on multiple thematic and country-based human rights issues;

    53. Calls for creating more synergies between recommendations by the Universal Public Review (UPR) mechanism and Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) undertaken in the framework of the SDGs, and to link these to the programming of dedicated EU human rights projects; encourages the EU and its Member States to intensify their efforts against authoritarian countries’ attempts to create a counter-narrative in order to change the understanding of human rights by emphasising collective rights over individual rights; calls on the EU to support the work of NGOs and human rights defenders at the UNHRC who are being increasingly pressured and threatened by authoritarian states;

    54. Deplores the abuse of the UNHRC by authoritarian and totalitarian regimes who continue to abuse it for their own ends, in particular, to undermine its functioning and erode the human rights norms regime; calls for the EU and its Member States to support a comprehensive reform of the UNHRC;

    55. Emphasises the urgent need to fully implement and systematically integrate gender mainstreaming and the EU gender action plan III (GAP III) in all the EU’s external action; calls for the EU and the Member States to exercise leadership in the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security; underlines that women play a key role in the prevention of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peace keeping, humanitarian response and post-conflict reconstruction; stresses, therefore, the need for the EU to ensure women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to maintain peace and security while including a gender perspective in all its external action;

    Improved involvement of the European Parliament

    56. Recalls that for rules-based, effective, results-oriented and networked multilateralism to flourish, it is important to involve democratically elected parliaments, to ensure broader access to a wide range of stakeholders and expand dialogue and cooperation to non-state entities such as regional governments, municipalities, academia, civil society and the economic sector; supports international initiatives calling for Taiwan´s meaningful participation as an observer in meetings, mechanisms and activities of multilateral bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); recalls that democratically elected parliaments can give visibility to and empower the voices supporting multilateralism as an avenue for effective policy responses for the benefit of all humankind, and can further secure the necessary link between international organisations and multilateral decision-making fora and citizens;

    57. Takes the view that the EU should advocate for the establishment of a body within the UN system in order to increase the democratic character, democratic accountability and transparency of global governance;

    58. Points to the synergic role that Parliament can play in its regular political and policy outreach to the parliaments of the EU Member States and third countries, as this outreach can reinforce and further expand the coalition of like-minded countries in international organisations and multilateral fora and increase its ability to make positive impacts; considers that there should be reflection on the possibility of creating a Parliament delegation to the United Nations, with particular focus on the UN General Assembly and other parliamentary dimensions of international organisations and multilateral fora in order to reinforce parliamentary links and dialogue with the UN system and other relevant multilateral fora and ensure democratic dialogue and strategic discussion at the EU inter-institutional level;

    59. Stresses that the EU should support initiatives aimed at better incorporating the views of civil society in the UN decision-making process; calls for the establishment of new fora within the UN system which would enable civil society to engage in policy dialogue with the UN and for those already existing to be used effectively;

    60. Believes that Parliament’s offices in cities with UN bodies or international organisations that are relevant for the external action of the EU should reach out to and cover the activities of these bodies and organisations with a view to establishing a closer link with the efforts, commitments and visions related to multilateralism of the EU and Parliament; takes the view that there should be reflection on how Parliament can maximise the synergies between inter-parliamentary delegations, committees and Parliament’s services devoted to election observation and democracy support in order to further reinforce the external action of the EU through the activities of these parliamentary bodies; emphasises the importance of the work of the Interparliamentary Union (IPU);

    61. Expresses its support for Parliament’s role in both strengthening parliamentary, capacity building activities, global democracy support and its special role in parliamentary mediation and dialogue through the Jean Monnet Dialogue. among others; underlines the added value of the special role Parliament plays in fostering dialogue and sharing best practices and democratic standards;

    62. Recalls Parliament’s key role as a democratic, convening institution that can provide a unique public forum and a unique perspective to promoting multilateralism; considers that Parliament should continue to regularly invite high-level leaders from relevant international organisations to discuss shared interests and priorities; believes that to reinforce the parliamentary dimension of multilateral fora, Parliament should on an annual basis host on its premises a conference of speakers from G7 and G20 countries; calls for the reinforcement of structured dialogue between Parliament and the UN system; stresses, in this regard, the importance of holding regular meetings to exchange views between the Committee on Foreign Affairs and other relevant committees and the heads of the EU delegations to the UN in New York and Geneva and between these committees and the heads of mission of the EU Member States that are either permanent or rotating members of the UN Security Council; highlights the positive contributions of the annual delegations from the Committee on Foreign Affairs and its subcommittees to the UN headquarters in New York; calls for the formalisation of some of the informal sessions between the EU and the UN Security Council; encourages the setting up of a formal association between Parliament and the UN General Assembly;

    Multilateralism as a driver to address urgent global challenges

    63. Highlights the crucial contribution of the multilateral system to addressing climate change; calls for the further enhancement, reinforcement and institutionalisation of current multilateral frameworks that seek to combat climate change, such as the UNFCCC, which has 197 parties including all United Nations member states and, therefore, has almost universal membership, through the establishment of accountability mechanisms and concrete principles to ensure the effectiveness of their mandates; stresses the need to reinforce global action against climate change, as only through collective, immediate and ambitious global action can the world limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels;

    64. Believes that in the fight against global warming industrialised countries should support developing countries in the shift from fossil fuels to green energy by transferring not only funding but also expertise and technology;

    65. Recalls the importance of focusing on implementation at the national level by adopting and implementing nationally determined contributions (NDCs), while at the same time ensuring that the international community is collectively on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement at the multilateral level; calls on governments to set ambitious NDCs, without which the 1.5 degree objective will not be met, and calls on them encourage each other to stay on track;

    66. Recalls the importance of working closely with major emitters, climate-vulnerable countries and transatlantic partners to deliver progress on the 2030 target at the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference; calls for continuing multilateral efforts to mobilise finance for the SDGs and climate, including dedicating 50 % of climate finance to adaptation; welcomes efforts by the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to establish definitions for disinformation linked to climate change;

    67. Recalls that violations of environmental rights have a profound impact on a wide variety of human rights, including the rights to life, self-determination, food, water, health, cultural, civil and political rights; stresses that biodiversity and human rights are interlinked and interdependent and recalls the human rights obligations of states to protect biodiversity on which those rights depend, including by providing for the participation of citizens in biodiversity-related decisions and providing access to effective remedies in cases of biodiversity loss and degradation; expresses its support to the nascent normative efforts at international level on environmental crimes; encourages, in this regard, the EU and the Member States to promote the recognition of ecocide as an international crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC);

    68. Recalls the key role of multilateral fora in addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and highlights this as an example of their importance in promoting and protecting global public health and universal health coverage; celebrates the development of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative, which constitutes an unprecedented exercise in international solidarity, and thanks its donors and contributors, while stressing the need to continue donating and increasing resources, as well as capacity building on vaccine production and distribution, in order to make vaccines and treatments available for free to all countries in away that can actually reach all countries in a timely manner;

    69. Commends the work of the WHO in combating the pandemic through its decisions based on scientific knowledge and evidence, while ensuring independent scrutiny and accountability of the WHO’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic; stresses the need to enhance its mandate and executive capacity, especially with regard to data sharing and resource mobilisation, as well as reform the decision-making process of its Emergency Committee and establish enforcement mechanisms for its decisions and deliberations;

    70. Welcomes the start of work on a new international treaty on pandemics, following the adoption of a decision on 31 May 2021 by all 194 WHO members; urges the EU to work within the framework of multilateral organisations in order to improve global mechanisms to prevent and combat pandemics, drawing on experience gained from the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic;

    71. Calls for strengthened legislative and regulatory frameworks and calls for the promotion of policy coherence for the achievement of effective access to health services, including by enacting legislation and implementing policies that provide greater access to health services, products and vaccines, especially for the most underprivileged;

    72. Calls for international cooperation on mainstreaming a gender perspective on a systems-wide basis when designing, implementing and monitoring health policies, taking into account the specific needs of all women and girls, with a view to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in health policies and health systems delivery;

    73. Urges the EU to promote efforts in the UN to combat terrorism by implementing and updating the four pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy approved by the General Assembly in September 2006;

    74. Calls for specific measures to protect children whose vulnerability might be particularly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including with regard to their access to health, education, affordable food, clean water, sanitation facilities and adequate housing; reiterates the negative impact of climate change and environmental harm on the exercise of children’s rights;

    75. Stresses the need for further multilateral action in economic governance, especially with regard to taxation; welcomes the direction indicated in the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and its latest proposal for establishing a minimum corporate tax rate of 15 % and the future pillar allowing for a fairer reallocation of taxation rights; takes note of the Commission’s proposal for an own resource equivalent to 15 % of the share of the residual profits of the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises that would reallocated to EU Member States under this agreement; encourages the international community to strive for further integration in this area in order to avoid unfair practices and abuses; calls for the broader implementation of international standards and norms in this policy area; recalls the key importance of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in regulating and facilitating world trade;

    76. Notes the need for the EU to work closely with like-minded partners on modernising and equipping the WTO with tools to address the trade challenges of the 21st century, including the digital revolution and the green, fair and sustainable transition; calls on the EU to engage with all WTO members to bring forward a positive agenda for reform and a concrete work plan at the 12th Ministerial Conference; recognises that EU-US cooperation has been the driving force for progress within multilateral trade negotiations;

    77. Stresses the importance of undertaking and supporting initiatives to counter tax evasion, money laundering and corruption; supporting work at UN level on tax issues in order to ensure a voice for developing countries in tax matters; work to accelerate the negotiations on an effective code of conduct to combat international tax evasion through the use of Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs);

    78. Notes the importance of multilateralism in addressing new challenges and realities such as the loss of biodiversity, cybersecurity, biotechnology, digitalisation, geopolitical activities and governance in the polar regions, AI and emerging threats, such as the technology-enabled spread of fake news, fake science and disinformation; argues that experts, scientists and relevant civil society representatives should be party to multilateral, multi-stakeholder arrangements;

    79. Welcomes the launch of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC);

    80. Recalls the importance of mainstreaming the principle and objective of gender equality across all policy areas;

    81. Welcomes the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to enhance and coordinate the digitalisation of the United Nations, so that the internet serves the pillars of the UN: peace and security, human rights and development;

    82. Highlights that a renewed multilateralism can have a positive impact in pushing forward the digital transformation, not only as powerful leverage to implement the SDGs, but also because of the urgent need to set basic standards and norms and address its risks and challenges;

    83. Recalls that in the face of an increasingly ambitious, assertive and aggressive China, the EU and its democratic like-minded partners should coordinate in multilateral fora as part of an alliance of tech democracies in order to uphold the rules-based international system, to counter authoritarian coordination aimed at hijacking international fora, and to ensure through standard-setting and global rules that new technologies remain human-centric;

    84. Points out that the digital world should also be treated as a very important new source of taxation;

    85. Insists on the centrality of multilateralism for the effective maintenance of order in outer space and on the need to deepen current initiatives, and launch new ones, to preserve the peaceful uses of outer space; stresses that the use of outer space should be governed by an improved set of international rules and standards and by a system aimed at guaranteeing the long-term, sustainable, responsible and peaceful use of space;

    86. Calls on the EU to pursue a more active role developing international framework for human-centric and trustworthy AI technologies, especially in regards to autonomous weapons systems;

    87. Highlights the importance of a multilateral cooperation between like-minded partners to fight malign and manipulative disinformation spread by state and non-state actors; underlines the importance of the EU taking the global lead in establishing international definitions, norms and principles for tackling these issues, including on foreign interference in elections;

    88. Stresses Parliament’s important role in closely monitoring and supporting the implementation process of the SDG goals and the goals of the Paris Agreement through the preservation of biodiversity, the natural environment and its resources, including by looking not only to monitor progress, but equally to enhance resource allocation and suggest improvements or concrete proposals; highlights the two key-strategic ideas of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ ‘Our Common Agenda’ proposal, namely the need for a Global New Deal and a New Social Contract; points out that these could be translated into very concrete measures such as a stronger Global Green Fund and a financial support mechanism for highly-indebted countries, provided they implement the SDGs and act against poverty;

    89. Urges the Union to ensure the protection, conservation and defence of Europe's cultural and historical heritage in all multilateral fora such as UNESCO;

    90. Stresses the vital need to tackle gender equality and fight for non-discrimination against and fundamental rights for women, girls and marginalised groups at the global level, including sexual and reproductive health and rights; expects the Commission, the Member States and the EEAS to systematically integrate the EU’s GAP III in all external action, including their engagement at multilateral level and to closely cooperate with partner governments, civil society, the private sector and other key stakeholders; calls on the Commission and EEAS to strengthen synergies with partners to jointly advance gender mainstreaming and successfully reach international gender equality targets; emphasises that the EU should lead the way among the international community in stepping up efforts to eradicate the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon in armed conflict;

    91. Calls for the universal ratification and effective implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; urgently calls for the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination by all appropriate means, including legislation; recognises the paramount role of education and culture in promoting human rights and intersectionally combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, especially in promoting the principles of tolerance, inclusion and respect for ethnic, religious and cultural diversity, and preventing the spread of extremist racist and xenophobic movements and ideas; reaffirms the need to ensure equal protection of the law and equality before the courts, empowerment and full and effective participation in decision-making processes and in political, economic, social and cultural life for indigenous people, including women and girls; calls for strengthened protection of persons with disabilities and attention to those facing intersectional discrimination, especially women and indigenous persons with disabilities;

    92. Asks the EU to increase multilateral cooperation on international justice given the growing number of violations against international human rights and humanitarian law; calls on the EU and its partners to develop and use the tools available in international bodies, such as the UNHRC, UN Special Procedures, UN Special Rapporteurs, OSCE mechanisms, the Council of Europe or international courts, to enhance state and non-state actor compliance with international law and promote the principle of universal jurisdiction to be applied in domestic legal systems; calls on the EU to strengthen the role of the ICC and increase its staffing by providing it with strong diplomatic, political and financial support; asks the Commission, VP/HR and Member States to call on all member states of multilateral institutions who have not yet ratified the Rome Statute to do so;

    93. Calls on the Commission to swiftly conclude the drafting of the corporate diligence framework and work with like-minded partners to tackle gross human rights abuses by authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, and thus secure sustainable and resilient global supply chains in the face of malign influence of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes;

    94. Calls for an international policy to provide protection and support for human rights defenders at risk; condemns the retaliatory measures taken by some governments against civil society organisations, activists and human rights defenders in response to their legitimate interaction with international bodies and calls on the Council and the VP/HR to systematically and vocally respond to every occurrence of this; calls on the EU to support the call for a UN standing investigatory mechanism on crimes against journalists and the adoption of targeted sanctions against those responsible for threatening or ordering acts of violence against journalists in order to end impunity, prevent violence against journalists and promote measures to enhance their safety;

    95. Reiterates its call on the EU to push for stronger multilateral commitments to find sustainable political solutions to current conflicts and ensure that human rights are at the core of conflict prevention and mediation policies; recalls the importance of international peacekeeping and conflict resolution, as well as EU support to relevant missions; stresses the need for clear objectives, a clear capacity of delivery, and effective mechanisms, including the perspectives of women in line with UN Security Council resolution 1325 and all subsequent resolutions; calls for the reform of relevant structures in a way to end impunity of personnel guilty of abuse and sexual violence perpetrated while serving in military operations and civilian missions, as well as of staff in other multilateral agencies, offices and organs, and to establish functioning and transparent oversight and accountability mechanisms;

    96. Stresses that the success of multilateral organisations plays a crucial role in rebuilding public trust in democracy, liberalism, and the importance of rules-based world order;

    97. Underlines that an open, inclusive, rules-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system must be a key driver of global trade liberalisation and must lead to advanced economic growth, competitiveness and innovation, job creation, the improvement of living standards, income growth, the promotion of sustainable economic development and the fight against climate change, thereby strengthening prosperity, peace and security in line with SDGs; notes furthermore the role of a multilateral trading system in fostering a predictable trade environment through the development of reciprocal, more transparent and fair trade rules and regulations implemented in a consistent, enforceable and coherent manner; recalls the findings of the report entitled ‘EU exports to the world: effects on employment’ of November 2021, which found that over 38 million jobs in the EU are supported by exports; calls on the Commission to continue its work in communicating these findings and to raise awareness of the benefits and positive aspects of international trade; believes, however, that there is a need to rebuild trust in multilateral institutions in the face of global challenges, in particular as regards the implementation of common initiatives for the provision of global public goods, in a context of shifting world power dynamics; reiterates the role the EU has within this process;

    98. Regrets the growing tendencies towards protectionism and using trade as a tool of coercion that have developed in parts of the global economy, leading to disruptions and geopolitical tensions; recalls that nationalist economic policies that involve violations of established international trade law rules and spur retaliation by trading partners are the antithesis of our globalised trading system; calls for the further strengthening of the EU’s trade enforcement efforts and the development of a toolbox of autonomous trade instruments, such as the anti-coercion instrument, the distortive subsidies instrument and the international procurement instrument, as well as the creation of the post of the Chief Trade Enforcement Officer (CTEO), to respond to these emerging challenges; notes the aim to achieve a reformed and properly functioning multilateral rulebook with an effective and functioning dispute settlement system at its core within the WTO; stresses the need, however, to remain fully engaged in efforts to reform the WTO with a view to increasing its effectiveness, inclusiveness, transparency and legitimacy as the cornerstone of an open, fair and sustainable global economy based on rules, and to deal with the challenges and risks posed by non-market economies; welcomes in this regard the February 2021 Annex to the Trade Policy Review that outlines a comprehensive approach for the modernisation of the WTO; stresses that for the advancement of rules-based global trade, the effective engagement of the EU must be based on a forward-looking approach to trade;

    99. Stresses that democratic, legitimate, accountable and transparent global governance should feature greater participation of parliamentary bodies, as directly elected parliamentarians can function as a crucial link between citizens and the multilateral system; emphasises the importance of horizontal and coherent multilateralism, as well as of the work of the joint European Parliament and Inter-Parliamentary Union parliamentary conference on the WTO for this purpose; underlines the need to ensure that parliamentarians have better access to trade negotiations and are involved in the formulation of mandates and the implementation of WTO decisions, as well as in negotiations on trade-related matters within other multilateral bodies and institutions; reiterates the need for the EU and all WTO members to enhance their exchanges with stakeholders, including civil society, business organisations and the broader business community; calls on the Commission to deepen its cooperation with all relevant international organisations such as the International Labour Organization, the UN system, the G7, the OECD, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and underlines their role in advancing an open, rules-based trading system;

    100. Welcomes the WTO’s close collaboration with the WHO and other international organisations with the aim of ensuring that trade plays a positive role in addressing the pandemic and the subsequent crisis, and in supporting the recovery of the global economy; stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that our international institutions have shortcomings; calls on the Commission to explore the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and to engage with global partners to address these lessons in the agenda for reform; calls for an ambitious initiative in the area of trade and health to be concluded; takes note of the WTO’s ambitions to broaden its mandate in order to acquire greater relevance in the public sphere by means of its increased engagement on issues such as health, sustainability, wealth inequality, gender and women’s empowerment, in line with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement; believes that these will be important steps as part of its reform process, alongside its core functions of establishing multilateral trade rules, reducing trade barriers and providing a means for regulated trade dispute settlement between its members;

    101. Calls on the Council to be bolder in its efforts to conclude free trade agreements with third countries; notes that free trade agreements increase economic interactions and dependencies between countries, and can therefore serve as the precursor to more active and ambitious engagement at multilateral level;

    102. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the VP/HR to take due consideration of this report in defining the EU’s priorities for the 77th UN General Assembly, as well as in other international organisations and multilateral fora;

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    103. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission and, for information, to the United Nations General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.


    OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE (2.3.2022)

    for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

    on the EU and the defence of multilateralism

    (2020/2114(INI))

    Rapporteur for opinion (*): Anna‑Michelle Asimakopoulou

     (*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

     

     

     

     

    SUGGESTIONS

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

    1. Underlines that an open, inclusive, rules-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system must be a key driver of global trade liberalisation, and must lead to advanced economic growth, competitiveness and innovation, job creation, the improvement of living standards, income growth, the promotion of sustainable economic development and the fight against climate change, thereby strengthening prosperity, peace and security, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); notes furthermore its role in fostering a predictable trade environment through the development of reciprocal, more transparent and fair trade rules and regulations, in a consistent, enforceable and coherent manner; recalls the findings of the report entitled ‘EU exports to the world: effects on employment’ of November 2021, which found that over 38 million jobs in the EU are supported by exports; calls on the Commission to continue its work in communicating these findings and to raise awareness of the benefits and positive aspects of international trade; believes, however, that there is a need to rebuild trust in multilateral institutions in the face of global challenges, in particular as regards the implementation of common initiatives for the provision of global public goods, and in a context of shifting world power dynamics; reiterates the role the EU has within this process;

    2. Regrets the growing tendencies towards protectionism and using trade as a tool of coercion that have developed in parts of the global economy, leading to disruptions and geopolitical tensions; recalls that nationalist economic policies that involve violations of established international trade law rules and spur retaliation by trading partners are the antithesis of our globalised trading system; calls for the further strengthening of the EU’s trade enforcement efforts and the development of a toolbox of autonomous trade instruments, such as the anti-coercion instrument, the distortive subsidies instrument and the international procurement instrument, as well as the creation of the post of the Chief Trade Enforcement Officer (CTEO), to respond to these emerging challenges; notes the aim to achieve a reformed and properly functioning multilateral rulebook with an effective and functioning dispute settlement system at its core in the World Trade Organization (WTO); stresses the need, however, to remain fully engaged in efforts to reform the WTO with a view to increasing its effectiveness, inclusiveness, transparency and legitimacy as the cornerstone of an open, fair and sustainable global economy based on rules, and to deal with the challenges and risks posed by non-market economies; welcomes in this regard the February 2021 Annex to the Trade Policy Review that outlines a comprehensive approach for the modernisation of the WTO; stresses that for the advancement of rules-based global trade, the effective engagement of the EU must be based on a forward-looking approach to trade;

    3. Notes the need for the EU to work closely with like-minded partners, to modernise and equip the WTO with tools to address the trade challenges of the 21st century, including the digital revolution, and the green, fair and sustainable transition, and to engage with all members of the WTO to bring forward a positive agenda for reform and a concrete work plan by the 12th Ministerial Conference; recognises that EU-US cooperation has been the driving force for progress within multilateral trade negotiations; welcomes, therefore, the statements on WTO reform made by the current US administration, but encourages the United States to present a more detailed policy platform for the organisation’s reform and to engage with the EU at the highest levels to find consensus, which could provide a basis for renewed engagement on actionable outcomes; supports a forward-looking transatlantic agenda based on common interests and shared values, aiming to actively contribute to achieving meaningful WTO reform, including its monitoring, negotiating and dispute settlement functions; regrets the stalemate at the WTO Appellate Body, which is depriving the global trading system of an enforceable dispute settlement system; urges all WTO members to engage in finding solutions to restore a fully functioning and independent Appellate Body; welcomes the engagement by the EU with its strategic partners in Latin America, the Indo-Pacific region and Africa as a necessary condition to promote and reform the global trading system; calls on the Commission to take developing countries and making progress towards incorporating their economies into the global trading system into account, while also redefining developing country status;

    4. Welcomes the launch of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in June 2021 and the first TTC meeting held in November 2021; considers the TTC to be a crucial opportunity for the EU and the US to cooperate on key global trade, economic and technology issues; believes that transatlantic cooperation, as well as collaboration with international partners, could contribute to keeping the multilateral vision alive, to tackling the current challenges of the multilateral system jointly and to driving forward a common agenda for shared prosperity;

    5. Stresses that democratic, legitimate, accountable and transparent global governance should feature greater participation of parliamentary bodies, as directly elected parliamentarians can function as a crucial link between citizens and the multilateral system; emphasises the importance of horizontal and coherent multilateralism, as well as of the work of the joint European Parliament and Inter-Parliamentary Union parliamentary conference on the WTO for this purpose; underlines the need to ensure that parliamentarians have better access to trade negotiations and are involved in the formulation of the mandates and the implementation of WTO decisions, as well as in negotiations on trade-related matters within other multilateral bodies and institutions; reiterates the need for the EU and all WTO members to enhance their exchanges with stakeholders, including civil society, business organisations and the broader business community; calls on the Commission to deepen its cooperation with all relevant international organisations such as the International Labour Organization, the UN system, the G7, the OECD, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and underlines their role in advancing an open, rules-based trading system;

    6. Welcomes the WTO’s close collaboration with the World Health Organization and other international organisations ensuring that trade plays a positive role in addressing the pandemic and the subsequent crisis, and in supporting the recovery of the global economy; stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that our international institutions have shortcomings; calls on the Commission to explore the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and to engage with global partners to address these lessons in the agenda for reform; urges that an ambitious initiative in the area of trade and health be concluded; takes note of the WTO’s ambitions to broaden its mandate in order to acquire greater relevance in the public sphere by means of its increased engagement in issues such as health, sustainability, wealth inequality, gender and women’s empowerment, in line with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement; believes that these will be important steps as part of its reform process, alongside its core functions of establishing multilateral trade rules, reducing trade barriers and providing a means for regulated trade dispute settlement between its members;

    7. Calls on the Council to be bolder in its efforts to conclude free trade agreements with third countries; notes that free trade agreements increase economic interactions and dependencies between countries, and can therefore serve as the precursor to more active and ambitious engagement at multilateral level;

    8. Stresses that increasing trade tensions have progressively and profoundly reshaped the international and regional trade architecture; believes that the EU must continue to act as a staunch and key defender of multilateralism in the world and avoid actions that undermine these objectives; concludes, however, that the EU must respond to global forces, such as increased fragmentation, trade weaponisation and protectionism, in order to preserve its competitive advantages.

     

     

     


    INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

    Date adopted

    28.2.2022

     

     

     

    Result of final vote

    +:

    –:

    0:

    37

    2

    3

    Members present for the final vote

    Barry Andrews, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Tiziana Beghin, Geert Bourgeois, Saskia Bricmont, Jordi Cañas, Daniel Caspary, Arnaud Danjean, Paolo De Castro, Emmanouil Fragkos, Markéta Gregorová, Christophe Hansen, Danuta Maria Hübner, Herve Juvin, Karin Karlsbro, Maximilian Krah, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Bernd Lange, Margarida Marques, Gabriel Mato, Emmanuel Maurel, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Samira Rafaela, Catharina Rinzema, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Massimiliano Salini, Ernő Schaller-Baross, Helmut Scholz, Sven Simon, Dominik Tarczyński, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler, Jan Zahradil, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

    Substitutes present for the final vote

    Markus Buchheit, Claudiu Manda, Javier Moreno Sánchez, Manuela Ripa, Joachim Schuster

     


     

    FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

    37

    +

    ECR

    Geert Bourgeois, Emmanouil Fragkos, Dominik Tarczyński, Jan Zahradil

    ID

    Markus Buchheit, Herve Juvin, Maximilian Krah, Danilo Oscar Lancini

    NI

    Tiziana Beghin, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Ernő Schaller-Baross

    PPE

    Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Daniel Caspary, Arnaud Danjean, Christophe Hansen, Danuta Maria Hübner, Gabriel Mato, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Simon, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

    Renew

    Barry Andrews, Jordi Cañas, Karin Karlsbro, Samira Rafaela, Catharina Rinzema, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne

    S&D

    Paolo De Castro, Bernd Lange, Claudiu Manda, Margarida Marques, Javier Moreno Sánchez, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Joachim Schuster, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt

     

    2

    -

    The Left

    Emmanuel Maurel, Helmut Scholz

     

    3

    0

    Verts/ALE

    Saskia Bricmont, Markéta Gregorová, Manuela Ripa

     

    Key to symbols:

    + : in favour

    - : against

    0 : abstention

     

     

    INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

    Date adopted

    2.6.2022

     

     

     

    Result of final vote

    +:

    –:

    0:

    55

    13

    7

    Members present for the final vote

    Alviina Alametsä, Alexander Alexandrov Yordanov, François Alfonsi, Maria Arena, Petras Auštrevičius, Traian Băsescu, Anna Bonfrisco, Reinhard Bütikofer, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Susanna Ceccardi, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Katalin Cseh, Anna Fotyga, Michael Gahler, Giorgos Georgiou, Sunčana Glavak, Raphaël Glucksmann, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Márton Gyöngyösi, Sandra Kalniete, Karol Karski, Peter Kofod, Dietmar Köster, Andrius Kubilius, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, David Lega, Miriam Lexmann, Nathalie Loiseau, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Claudiu Manda, Lukas Mandl, Thierry Mariani, Pedro Marques, David McAllister, Vangelis Meimarakis, Sven Mikser, Francisco José Millán Mon, Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor, Urmas Paet, Demetris Papadakis, Kostas Papadakis, Tonino Picula, Manu Pineda, Giuliano Pisapia, Thijs Reuten, Nacho Sánchez Amor, Isabel Santos, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Andreas Schieder, Radosław Sikorski, Jordi Solé, Sergei Stanishev, Tineke Strik, Hermann Tertsch, Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans, Harald Vilimsky, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, Thomas Waitz, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Charlie Weimers, Isabel Wiseler-Lima, Bernhard Zimniok, Željana Zovko

    Substitutes present for the final vote

    Vladimír Bilčík, Marc Botenga, Corina Crețu, Assita Kanko, Andrey Kovatchev, Georgios Kyrtsos, Marisa Matias, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

     


     

    FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

    55

    +

    NI

    Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Márton Gyöngyösi

    PPE

    Alexander Alexandrov Yordanov, Traian Băsescu, Vladimír Bilčík, Michael Gahler, Sunčana Glavak, Sandra Kalniete, Andrey Kovatchev, Andrius Kubilius, David Lega, Miriam Lexmann, Antonio López-Istúriz White, David McAllister, Lukas Mandl, Vangelis Meimarakis, Francisco José Millán Mon, Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor, Radosław Sikorski, Isabel Wiseler-Lima, Željana Zovko

    Renew

    Petras Auštrevičius, Katalin Cseh, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Georgios Kyrtsos, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Nathalie Loiseau, Urmas Paet, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans

    S&D

    Maria Arena, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Corina Crețu, Raphaël Glucksmann, Dietmar Köster, Claudiu Manda, Pedro Marques, Sven Mikser, Demetris Papadakis, Tonino Picula, Giuliano Pisapia, Thijs Reuten, Nacho Sánchez Amor, Isabel Santos, Andreas Schieder, Sergei Stanishev

    Verts/ALE

    Alviina Alametsä, François Alfonsi, Reinhard Bütikofer, Jordi Solé, Tineke Strik, Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, Thomas Waitz

     

    13

    -

    ECR

    Anna Fotyga, Assita Kanko, Karol Karski, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Hermann Tertsch, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Charlie Weimers

    ID

    Peter Kofod, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, Thierry Mariani, Harald Vilimsky, Bernhard Zimniok

    NI

    Kostas Papadakis

     

    7

    0

    ID

    Anna Bonfrisco, Susanna Ceccardi

    The Left

    Marc Botenga, Giorgos Georgiou, Marisa Matias, Manu Pineda, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz

     

    Key to symbols:

    + : in favour

    - : against

    0 : abstention

     

     

    Last updated: 22 June 2022
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