Propunere de rezoluţie - B6-0214/2008Propunere de rezoluţie
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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 Caroline Lucas
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
on the Transatlantic Economic Council

Procedură : 2008/2527(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the Transatlantic Economic Council

The European Parliament,

–  having regard in particular to its resolution of 25 April 2007 on transatlantic relations and its resolutions of 1 June 2006 on EU-US economic relations and on the EU-US Transatlantic Partnership Agreement,

–  having regard to the outcome of the EU-US Summit held on 30 April 2007 in Washington, DC and its ‘Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration between the European Union and the United States of America’ establishing the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC),

–  having regard to the Joint Statement and progress report adopted at the first TEC meeting on 9 November 2007,

–  having regard to its resolutions on climate change, in particular those of 16 November 2005, 26 October 2006 and 14 February 2007,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 September 2007 on the safety of products and particularly toys,

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

A.  whereas peace, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, international law, sustainable economies and sustainable development are shared common values which constitute the basis for the Transatlantic Partnership, which is a cornerstone of the EU’s external policy and its global economic policy,

B.  whereas, given their dominant economic role in the world, the transatlantic partners share responsibility for the state of global economic governance and for finding solutions to global economic challenges, in particular relating to the ongoing crises in key financial markets, growing imbalances in currency alignments and trade relations, the ongoing or re-emerging debt crisis in some of the world’s poorest countries, and ever more obscene wealth gaps between and within countries,

C.  whereas a strong and functioning partnership between the EU and the US is vital for shaping global development in keeping with common values and on the basis of effective multilateralism and international law; whereas strong and consistent political leadership is required to enable the partners to reach this goal,

D.  whereas stronger transatlantic economic bonds will have global reverberations and due account must therefore be taken of the interests of other economic players, countries and peoples in order to share prosperity more equally and to successfully address global challenges in the inter-related fields of security, global economic governance, environment and poverty reduction,

E.  whereas short-sighted and overly assertive US and EU trade policies have contributed decisively to the looming failure of the Doha Round of WTO trade negotiations and have thus weakened global support for a multilateral approach to the setting of fair and equitable trade rules,

1.  Notes the project of strengthening transatlantic economic integration started at the 2007 EU-US Summit by the adoption of the ‘Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration between the European Union and the United States of America’ and by the establishment of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), which is to oversee and speed up the efforts outlined in the Framework;

2.  Recalls the decades of rather arduous and unsuccessful transatlantic efforts to strengthen economic integration and urges the TEC to accept the existence of widely differing approaches to the social welfare function of economic policy and to base its approach on small and precise steps towards removing unnecessary obstacles to transatlantic cooperation;

3.  Notes the establishment of a Group of Advisers to the TEC, consisting of representatives of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue and the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue;

4.  Calls for the Transatlantic Labour Dialogue and the Transatlantic Environmental Dialogue be revitalised and integrated into the Group of Advisers to the TEC in order to provide transatlantic regulatory cooperation with ‘best practices’ to advance social and health concerns, safety and environmental protection, thus facilitating a more sustainable transatlantic marketplace;

5.  Underlines that the goal of creating uniform standards for trade and investment, as discussed at the November 2007 meeting of the TEC in connection with a roadmap for securing mutual recognition of EU-US trade partnership agreements in 2009, must not lead to a downward harmonisation of social, environmental and health standards;

6.  Reiterates that a variety of so-called non-tariff barriers to trade and investment are rooted in deliberate activities of legislative bodies designed to foster social, health-related, cultural or environmental objectives, and hence must not be removed without a corresponding legislative act; in this respect, points to the crucial role played by national parliaments, the European Parliament and the US Congress in monitoring the process of standards alignment and the removal of barriers to trade and investment;

7.  Calls, therefore, on the EU and US leadership and the co-chairs of the TEC to take into account this crucial part played by legislators in the long-term success of the process, and urges them to involve the representatives of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue fully and directly in the work of the TEC;

8.  Points out that the agreement which the TEC - with the input of Brazil - is trying to reach in 2008 regarding common standards for agro-fuels will remain unacceptable and inadequate if it does not refer to the highest standards for the environmental sustainability of agro-fuel crop production;

9.  Calls on the TEC to support a moratorium on agro-fuel production from food crops until its impact on global food security has been thoroughly assessed;

10.  Regards the comparative trade advantages accruing to the US through its refusal to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol as a form of ecological dumping which the EU must redress through corrective measures, such as border tax adjustments;

11.  Calls on the US Administration to refrain from any further challenges to EU legislation and EU practice with regard to the import licensing, labelling and traceability of genetically modified food and feed products;

12.  Urges the Canadian Government and the US Administration to abandon their retaliatory measures on EU imports in response to the EU’s ban on hormone-treated beef and to accept mounting scientifical evidence showing that the hormones used in beef production - such as Oestradiol 17 beta - are carcinogenic and genotoxic, and thus pose unacceptable risks; urges the European Commission to appeal against the ruling handed down by the WTO in this case on 30 March 2008, which allows the US and Canada to force hormone-fed beef on Europe;

13.  Calls on the Commission and Council to strengthen cooperation between EU and US customs and market surveillance authorities, in order to ensure that controls at external borders are adequate to prevent dangerous products, in particular dangerous toys, from reaching consumers; calls on the US and the Member States to ensure strict enforcement of product, and particularly toy, safety laws and introduce more stringent national inspections;

14.  Remains unconvinced about the draft version of a Joint EU-US Open Investment Agreement of 3 April 2008 promoting unconstrained investment freedom at a time of looming financial breakdowns and utmost concern about the lack of transparency and accountability in a number of financial and investment products, and points out in particular that investments by sovereign wealth funds must be the subject of political decisions;

15.  Calls on the TEC to actively support the Doha declaration on the TRIPS agreement facilitating access to life-saving medicines for those countries which have no production capacity for pharmaceutical products; vigorously opposes the US proposal to include in all bilateral agreements negotiated with developing countries clauses by which those countries renounce the right to invoke the provision of the Doha Agreement on TRIPS that allows them to produce and import generic drugs that are needed to tackle major public health problems (AIDS, tuberculosis, etc);

16.  Regards it as the most important task for the European side in the TEC to convince the EU’s transatlantic partners of the need to come to a far-reaching, ambitious and legally binding post-Kyoto regime on greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 and to design a grand transatlantic project for investment and technology exchange in the area of safe and non-polluting energy production;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States and the President and Congress of the United States of America.