Rezolūcijas priekšlikums - B6-0637/2006/REV1Rezolūcijas priekšlikums
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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Francis Wurtz
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
on the Commission Legislative and Work Programme 2007

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European Parliament resolution on the Commission Legislative and Work Programme 2007

The European Parliament,

– having regard to the Commission Legislative and Work Programme 2007 (COM(2006) 629),

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

A. whereas the Commission’s programme fails to take issues such as poverty, social inequality, lack of democracy, gender equality, international solidarity and environmental sustainability into account,

B. whereas the Lisbon Strategy has been the main instrument within the EU to promote the liberalisation of public utilities, the deterioration of workers’ rights, the flexibility and adaptability of labour markets, wage moderation and the opening-up to private interests of the bulk of social security provision, including pensions and health,

C.  whereas there are once again no legislative proposals for improving social policy in the Commission's programme,

D. whereas the Commission makes reference to migration only as a source of selected highly skilled labour, completely neglecting the necessity for a migration policy caring for the needs of migrants from developing countries, who contribute significantly to incomes in their countries of origin,

E.  whereas development policy is given minimal attention in the programme and is limited to the negotiation of economic partnership agreements,

F.  whereas the Commission is still trying to keep alive the Constitutional Treaty, which has already been clearly rejected in the referenda in France and the Netherlands,

Modernising the European economy

1.  Stresses that the EU needs a strong commitment to working-time reduction, without lowering wages, to create new employment and increase productivity; calls on the Commission to withdraw its proposal for a revision of the working time directive; calls on the Commission to initiate infringement procedures against those Member States which are not complying with the existing working time directive and the ECJ judgements on on-call time; expects the Commission to present a new revision proposal aiming at phasing out the opt-out and establishing concrete obligations for employers to implement working time arrangements which promote the reconciliation of employment and private life;

2.  Warns the Commission to revert to its proposals originally contained in the draft directive on services in the internal market concerning health services and mobility for patients; expects the Community framework for safe and efficient health services not to promote the liberalisation of health services, but to strengthen its principles of solidarity and public service;

3.  Stresses that the ongoing process of liberalising markets and privatising public utilities has not brought any visible gains in terms of prices, service quality or a reduction in public expenditure; underlines the importance of the revision of the Single Market and the clear identification of actions and measures in order to ensure benefits for citizens, social cohesion and consumer protection; insists on an immediate stop to the on-going liberalisation of public services and public utilities; calls on the Commission to provide a thorough study of the impact of liberalisations so far on prices, quality of services and jobs;

4.  Recognises the importance of the services sector for economic growth and job creation, but takes the view that the liberalisation of services promotes labour deregulation and social and environmental dumping and jeopardises public services, jobs and social and consumer rights; stresses that governments are losing their regulatory and monitoring role with regard to service provision by foreign enterprises in their territory, contributing to further deregulation of the market; rejects the artificial division between economic and non-economic services of general interest and stresses that this is a way to bring public services within the scope of the directive;

5.  With regard to the internal market in services and the proposed legislative measures (Directive on the coordination of procedures for the award of concessions, Directive on cross-border transfer of the registered office of a limited liability company), points out the importance of monitoring to prevent fraud and attempts to evade Community law (such as suspicious registered office transfers in order to avoid national laws, especially in the field of labour law);

6.  Points out that the European Strategy on social services of general interest must aim at high-quality social services open to all; stresses that public goods, public services, services of general interest and the social economy are not subject to the rules on competition, public aid and the internal market, but form a sector which is guided solely by public-service requirements and the public interest and which is organised according to the principle of subsidiarity, with sole power to ensure their proper functioning assigned to the Member States and their respective regional and local authorities;

7.  Notes that growth promotion policies that do not take environmental requirements into account could well undermine the very fundamentals of the European economy in the shorter or longer term; emphasises that sustainable development should become the lead objective of the EU's economic and social policies, thereby ensuring that such objectives preserve and maintain EU and global natural resources, and that a long-term vision must combine sustainable use of natural resources with economic development, sustainable production and new models of consumption;

8. Calls for European space policy to be geared purely to civilian and peaceful purposes;

9. Considers cause for concern the principles announced by the Commission regarding the reform of the wine, fruit and vegetables sectors, which it views as being based exclusively on budget cuts and the prospect of the WTO negotiations, while providing yet more encouragement for the cessation of production and failing to correct the existing injustices in the distribution of aid among countries, crops and producers; expresses its concern at the rise in unemployment and the exodus from the countryside which may result from these proposals and all the social and environmental consequences they could have;

Addressing the challenges of European society

10. Regrets that the Commission has completely neglected the social agenda, namely the social inclusion strategy and the fight against poverty and social exclusion;

11. Rejects the concept of ‘flexicurity’ introduced by the Commission as part of the Lisbon Strategy and taken up by the Green Paper on Labour Law and the Council's discussion on principles for flexicurity, which all define flexicurity as combining sufficiently flexible work contracts with coupled labour market polices that support switches from one job to another, with the public employment services of the Member States assuming the costs of labour recycling and rotation; considers that this concept is in parallel with the ‘employability’ concept, which assigns responsibility for getting a job to the worker; stresses that both concepts promote labour market deregulation and the liberalisation of lay-offs, jeopardising social cohesion and the quality of work;

12. Stresses that there is a contradiction between promoting a flexible labour market and precarious jobs and the need to promote the quality of work in all its aspects; notes that the labour market reforms have been followed by a decline in productivity growth; calls on the Commission to produce a communication on the links between the quality of work and productivity;

13. Welcomes the Commission's initiative on social reality stocktaking and expects the delivery of a high-quality comprehensive assessment; strongly criticises, however, the fact that the Commission again does not propose any legislative initiatives with a view to improving social policy as called for by Parliament in its resolution on the Social Agenda 2005 - 2010; expects the Commission to remedy this situation when drawing up the mid-term review of the Social Agenda;

14. Draws attention to the struggle and resistance of workers, consumers and public-service users against the ongoing process of liberalisation and labour and social security reforms, and calls on the Commission to take this into account and to incorporate the proposals being put forward by trade unions, consumers’ organisations and public-service users’ associations;

Better management of migration flows

15. Expects the EU rules on labour migration to take full account of social criteria and of the need to improve the social situation of migrants, instead of focusing single-mindedly on economic benefits for business; points out that the proposal for a directive on the conditions of entry and residence of highly skilled workers can only be part of a wider approach and must help to avoid a brain drain from poorer countries;

16. Considers that the proposal for a directive on minimum sanctions for employers of illegally resident migrant workers can be effective and just only if it also entails the granting of a residence permit to any worker who reports this exploitative situation; calls on the Commission to take account of this option in the proposal for a directive and in the proposal for a framework decision on protecting witnesses and individuals who cooperate with the judicial process;

17. Welcomes the Green Paper on the second phase of the Common European Asylum System and calls on the Commission to act as quickly as possible in order to be able to complete the common policy well before 2010, as the position of asylum-seekers in the EU is critical;

Secure, competitive and sustainable energy

18. Rejects the process of the liberalisation of the energy market envisioned for July 2007 and calls on the Commission to focus its strategic analysis of the EU's energy policy on the adverse impact of the liberalisation of the energy market in terms of substantial price rises (over and above rises in the prices of raw materials) and on guarantees of electricity distribution, as demonstrated recently by the blackout which threatened to paralyse the continent;

19. Calls on the Commission, with a view to the revision of the Emissions Trading Scheme, to increase the effort to develop renewable energy industries and improve energy efficiency, in order both to increase employment and to accelerate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions;

20. Considers that the Member States and the EU must make bold efforts to end their dependency on fossil fuels and reverse the current unsustainable trend; stresses that ecological and social sustainability must be at the heart of EU and Member State public investment programmes; notes that investments should be geared towards promoting renewable energies, decoupling economic growth from energy growth and resource use, improving energy efficiency and promoting energy savings via the reduction of the overall levels of energy consumption;

21. Considers that carbon capture and geological storage should be regarded as only one of several existing and emerging technology options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that priority should still be given to other measures, in particular the use of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and technical and structural measures in the transport sector;

22. Welcomes the conclusions of the recent COP 12 COP/MOP 2 UN Conference on climate change in Nairobi in which, although discussions on the review of the Kyoto Protocol will not begin before 2008, a clear commitment was given to avoid any gap before the follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol after 2012; calls on the Commission to take a leading initiatory role at global level towards continuing the negotiations for the second Kyoto Protocol period (post-2012);

Making Europe a better place to live

23. Underlines the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources for attaining the goal of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010; considers that the Commission, besides implementing Natura 2000, needs to look at urban sprawl, fragmentation of habitats and the impact of agriculture and rural development in order to achieve that goal; calls on the Commission to set targets and propose measures to address the uses of natural resources that contribute most to negative environmental and social impacts; considers that the focus should be on improving resource efficiency and reducing negative impacts, especially in sectors such as housing, transport and food;

24. Is aware of the growing impact of air transport on climate change and the need for urgent action; proposes the introduction of a separate scheme for aviation emissions, recognising that due to the lack of binding commitments for international aviation emissions under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, the aviation sector would at present be unable to make its contribution within the ETS even by means of a temporary separate scheme;

Europe as a world partner

25. Deplores the fact that the Commission's Legislative and Work Programme ignores the situation in the Middle East region; reiterates its view that new political initiatives - such as an international peace conference on the Middle East on a regional peace agreement - are urgent; calls on the Commission to present to the Council and Parliament a communication on a European strategy to promote peace, security, economic and social development and respect for human rights in the Middle East;

26. Reiterates its call for the resumption of the EU's financial cooperation with the Palestinian National Authority and calls on the Commission to play a proactive role to this end;

27. Insists that the new action plan for cooperation with Israel should be geared to a political solution of the Middle East problems, the key being the creation of a viable Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital; calls on the Commission to make it clear in its proposals for the new action plan that the EU will not recognise any change to the pre-1967 borders other than those arrived at by agreement between the parties, and insists on the dismantling of the ‘separation wall’ between Israel and Palestine;

28. Welcomes the Commission's Communication on the Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006–2007; expresses its preoccupation about the stagnation of the reform process in Turkey; recalls that in the first phase of the negotiations priority should be given to the full application of the political criteria and that lack of progress in this regard will have serious implications for the negotiation process; underlines that the ratification and full implementation by Turkey of the Additional Protocol extending the EC–Turkey Association Agreement to the ten new Member States, signed by Turkey in July 2005, are basic conditions for the successful continuation of the accession negations with Turkey;

29. Takes note of the Communication from the Commission of 4 December 2006 on Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy (COM(2006) 726); welcomes the increase of financial resources by 32%, the proposed establishment of an investment fund, the intended facilitation of visa requirements and the promotion of regional cooperation; deplores the fact that the ENP does not address the social consequences of transition in the neighbouring countries and does not propose supportive measures to cope with them; insists that relations with the neighbouring countries should be developed on the basis of real partnership; deplores the fact that the Commission has not made any proposal for the development of the frozen relations with Belarus, Syria, Libya and Algeria;

30. Deplores the Commission's move away from initiatives to help prevent the proliferation of arms towards promoting arms production; rejects the proposals by the Commission concerning a European Defence industry; insists on the exclusively peaceful character of any activities in outer space; underlines the urgency of new initiatives to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear arms; reiterates its support for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East and also considers that it is of fundamental importance to establish a European nuclear-weapons-free zone which can help to bring about a world without nuclear weapons;

31. Deplores the fact that the Commission does not include in its priorities for 2007 any specific action to further work towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including a coherent development policy that will help limit economic migration and the consequent brain drain from developing countries;

Connecting Europe to citizens

32. Reminds the Commission of the fact that no Plan D or communication strategy can increase citizens' trust in the EU if the Union does not change its real policies; considers that, as long as the focus of EU policies is solely on liberalisation, deregulation and militarisation, the people will not support it;

Better regulation

33. Stresses that the proposed impact assessments must evaluate the economic, social and ecological impacts of possible regulation on an equal footing; points out that economic, social and ecological impact assessments must also provide key guidance for the Commission's proposed initiatives on better regulation, instead of focusing on the measurement of the administrative costs and of the effects of legislation on 'competitiveness' and promoting deregulation of markets; insists that the screening of pending proposals and the simplification, revision and codification programme must not lead to an erosion of existing labour, social, environmental and consumer rights;

34. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission.