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Resolutsiooni ettepanek - B6-0412/2005Resolutsiooni ettepanek
B6-0412/2005
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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

4.7.2005

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure, by
on speeding up implementation of the EU action plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)

Menetlus : 2005/2586(RSP)
Menetluse etapid istungitel
Dokumendi valik :  
B6-0412/2005
Esitatud tekstid :
B6-0412/2005
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Vastuvõetud tekstid :

B6‑0412/2005

European Parliament resolution on speeding up implementation of the EU action plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT)

The European Parliament,

– having regard to Decision No 1600/2002/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 22 July 2002, establishing the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme,

– having regard to the EU action plan on FLEGT ('Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) - Proposal for an EU Action Plan') of 21 May 2003, which was endorsed by the Agriculture Council conclusions of 13 October 2003 on FLEGT[1],

– having regard to the Agriculture Council conclusions of 21 and 22 December 2004 on FLEGT,

– having regard to the Environment Council conclusions of 28 June 2004 on halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010,

– having regard to the opinion in letter form of 19 January 2004 of Parliament's Committee on Industry, Trade, Research and Energy (ITRE) on the Commission Communication on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), Proposal for an Action Plan (B5-0397/2003),

– having regard to the proposal for a Council Regulation concerning the establishment of a voluntary FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community[2],

– having regard to Opinion C-2/00 of 6 December 2001 of the European Court of Justice regarding Regulation (EC) No 1946/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2003 on transboundary movements of genetically modified organisms,

– having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas illegal logging contributes to deforestation, loss of biodiversity and impacts on climate change; fuels civil wars and threatens international security through bribery, organised crime and human rights abuses,

B. whereas the European Union, as one of the major importers of timber and timber products, has a particular responsibility with regard to the international community and developing countries,

C. whereas cheap imports of illegal timber and forest products, together with non-compliance by some industry players with basic social and environmental standards, destabilises international markets, cuts tax revenue of producer countries and threatens jobs in importing and exporting countries,

D. whereas unfair competition based on widespread illegal practices harms those European companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, which behave responsibly and respect the existing legal provisions,

E. whereas the EU is committed to tackling illegal logging and the trade in illegal timber in accordance with the commitments it has made in various international and regional forums concerning the fight against the illegal exploitation and trading in forest resources and support for the human and institutional capacity related to forest law enforcement in those areas,

F. whereas one of the objectives of the European Community’s policy on the environment is the promotion of measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems (Article 174 of the EC Treaty); whereas such issues at international level include the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity,

G. whereas the sustainable economic and social development of the developing countries and the campaign against poverty in the developing countries is one of the objectives of the Community’s development and cooperation policy (Article 177 of the EC Treaty); whereas the World Bank 2002 Forestry Strategy outlined that forests support the livelihood of 90% of the 1.2 billion people in the developing world that live in extreme poverty,

H. whereas environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the planning and implementation of EC development policy (Article 6 of the EC Treaty),

I. whereas the FLEGT action plan provided for the following priority actions: to implement a voluntary licensing scheme which will be implemented through partnership agreements between the EU and timber-producing countries; to review the feasibility of further legislation to control imports of illegally harvested timber by mid-2004; to support the goals of the action plan with existing legislative instruments, such as money-laundering legislation; to implement environmental procurement policy; and to provide support to timber-producing countries and private initiatives;

J. whereas the Agriculture Council conclusions of 13 October 2003

  • -recognised that the Action Plan on FLEGT proposed by the Commission 'forms part of the firm commitment made by the EU to actively contribute to international processes such as the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), the expanded work programme of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) with regard to forest biological diversity, the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)';
  • -acknowledged the fact that 'forest law enforcement, governance and trade needs to be addressed within the framework of sustainable development, sustainable forest management and poverty reduction, as well as social equity and national sovereignty';

K. whereas the Commission presented in July 2004 a proposal for a Council regulation concerning the establishment of a voluntary FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community, which should be implemented through bilateral, regional or inter-regional FLEGT partnership agreements, and which was in conformity with the FLEGT action plan that had quoted as the overall objective for such agreements 'the contribution to sustainable development, in line with the overarching goal to promote sustainable development agreed by the EU and it’s third country partners in the WSSD';

L. whereas in its conclusions of 21 and 22 December 2004 the Agriculture Council encouraged the Commission to come forward with further legislative options to control imports of illegally harvested timber,

1. Is disappointed by the extraordinarily slow progress in implementing the different commitments set out in the FLEGT action plan;

2. Is disappointed that the Commission has so far failed to fulfil its commitment to deliver a study on legislative options which was, as set out in its action plan, to be submitted for mid-2004 and had been requested by both the Environment and Agriculture Councils;

3. Is disappointed that the Commission has so far failed to draft comprehensive legislation that will prohibit the import of all illegal timber and timber products, regardless of the country of origin, and to promote sustainable forest management worldwide, as requested for June 2004 by the members of the Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy;

4. Is disappointed that the Member States failed to provide the Commission with relevant information regarding national legislation which could be applied to address the illegal logging issue, and that no network has been established to facilitate the exchange of information;

5. Is deeply concerned that the proposal for a regulation concerning the implementation of a voluntary licensing scheme and the negotiation of FLEGT partnership agreements with timber-producing countries, which is one of the cornerstones of the FLEGT action plan, is being developed under the legal basis of Article 133 of the EC Treaty;

6. Urges therefore the Commission and the Member States to comply without further delay with their commitments under the FLEGT action plan and their international commitments on biodiversity, poverty alleviation, sustainable forest management and climate mitigation;

7. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to make strong and rapid progress on the implementation of the FLEGT action plan, including;

  • -the submission, without further delay, by the Commission of a comprehensive legislative proposal that will prohibit the import of all illegally sourced timber and forest products into the EU, regardless of the country of origin, and the promotion of socially and ecologically responsible forest management worldwide as the final objective;
  • -the review of existing national legislation and further legislative options which could be applied with a view to addressing the illegal logging issue and related trade issues;
  • -the establishment of an EU network to facilitate the exchange of information on illegal trading in timber, for customs, administrative and judicial authorities;

8. Calls on the Commission and the Council to change the legal basis of the proposal for a regulation concerning a voluntary licensing scheme and the negotiation of FLEGT partnership agreements, from Article 133 to Article 175 and/or Article 179 of the EC Treaty;

9. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that the voluntary partnership agreements incorporate partnership principles committing producer countries to a time-bound action programme and involving measures to tackle the weaknesses in forest-sector governance, contribute to socially and ecologically responsible forest management and an end to biodiversity loss, and promote social equity and poverty alleviation;

10. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure stronger, effective and meaningful participation of civil society and democratically elected representatives in the negotiation and implementation of FLEGT partnership agreements, as well as in the process of reviewing the partner country’s forest-related laws to identify weaknesses and social and environmental injustices and, where necessary, the drafting of proposals for change;

11. Insists that Parliament be fully involved and informed of the progress made at every stage of negotiations on FLEGT partnership agreements;

12. Insists that the Commission and the Member States integrate forest law enforcement, governance and trade into the planning and implementation of the next round of Country Strategy Papers (CSPs), in particular in regions and countries with significant forest resources, and provide adequate funds from geographic budget lines in order to build capacity and support implementation of key reforms;

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