Motion for a resolution - B6-0231/2008Motion for a resolution
B6-0231/2008

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

    14.5.2008

    to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
    pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
    by André Brie, Gabriele Zimmer and Esko Seppänen
    on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
    on the EU-Russia Summit

    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    B6-0231/2008
    Texts tabled :
    B6-0231/2008
    Texts adopted :

    B6‑0231/2008

    European Parliament resolution on the EU-Russia Summit

    The European Parliament,

    –  having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Russian Federation, of the other part, which was negotiated in the early 1990s and expired in 2007,

    –   having regard to the objective of the EU and Russia, set out in the joint statement issued following the St Petersburg Summit held on 31 May 2003, to set up a common economic space, a common space of freedom, security and justice, a common space of cooperation in the field of external security and a common space of research and education, including cultural aspects,

    –   having regard to the EU-Russia human rights consultations, and in particular to the most recent consultations which took place on 17 April 2008,

    –  having regard to its previous resolutions on relations between the EU and Russia,

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

    A.  whereas economic relations between the EU and Russia have been steadily developing over the past decade, leading to deep and comprehensive economic cooperation and interdependency, which is bound to increase even more in the near future,

    B.  whereas Russia is an important neighbour of the EU and a powerful political and economic factor in the region and in the international arena,

    C.  whereas both the EU and Russia bear high responsibility for the stability, security and prosperity of the whole of Europe; whereas they face the challenge of overcoming mistrust and establishing constructive relations,

    D.  whereas the conclusion of a Strategic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation remains of the utmost importance for the further development and intensification of the cooperation between the two partners; whereas the negotiations on such a new Strategic Partnership Agreement should be started as soon as possible this year,

    E.  whereas during the recent Duma and presidential elections, which did not meet all OSCE democratic standards, the people of Russia voted for the stability and continuity associated with President Putin and the presidential candidate promoted by him; whereas the new President Medvedev has a solid mandate given to him by the majority of Russians,

    F.  whereas further dialogue between the partners is needed to agree on genuine ‘common values’,

    G.  whereas there are continuing concerns over the respect for and protection of human rights, the State control of the media, the worsening climate for non-governmental organisations, political control of the judiciary and difficulties impeding the ability of the political opposition to operate; whereas the Russian Federation is a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and has therefore committed itself to the principles of democracy and respect for basic human rights,

    H.  whereas the new Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, confirmed in his inauguration speech his commitment to the establishment of a mature and effective legal system as an essential condition for economic and social development in Russia,

    I.  whereas there is worrying competition between the EU and Russia on creating spheres of influence in the common neighbourhood; whereas this competition prevents the solution of frozen conflicts and there is a risk that it will create new ones; whereas the European Union and the Russian Federation could and should play together an active role in establishing peace and stability in the common neighbourhood,

    J.  whereas energy supply is one of the major fields of cooperation between the EU and Russia; whereas nearly 40% of the EU’s gas imports depend on Gazprom; whereas vice versa over 60% of Russian oil and gas exports flow to the EU; whereas this interdependency allows for a win-win situation,

    K.  whereas in the course of history the relations between Russia and the various Member States of the EU developed differently; whereas this historical experience is one of the factors in the EU’s failure to formulate an effective policy towards Russia; whereas this situation is counterproductive,

    1.  Reconfirms its conviction that Russia remains an important partner for the purpose of building strategic cooperation, with which the EU shares not only economic and trade interests but also the objective of cooperating closely in the international arena as well as in the common neighbourhood;

    2.  Calls on the EU Member States to overcome their differences, to give priority to the benefits of a joint position and to elaborate a realistic approach towards Russia based on common interests and facts; deplores the delay by the EU in formulating a mandate for the negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and calls on the Council to find an agreement before the EU-Russia Summit of 26-27 June 2008 in Khanty-Mansiisk;

    3.  Welcomes the choice of place for the EU-Russia-Summit as the home region of one of the Finno-Ugric minorities;

    4.  Urges the Commission, the Council and the Member States of the European Union to use – together with the Government of the Russian Federation – the 21st EU-Russia Summit in Khanty-Mansiisk as a real new starting point for the further intensification of EU-Russia relations by making a start with the negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and by thus creating the basis for further concrete results in the near future;

    5.  Shares with the Russian people the serious concern about the US plans to establish an anti-missile system in EU Member States; takes the view that new anti-missile systems risk leading to a new arms race making Europe a target for military attack and creating new political divisions between EU Member States, as well as between Russia and the EU; calls on the US to withdraw these plans which have alarmed European public opinion; calls on the Governments and Parliaments of the Czech Republic and Poland not to accept anti-missile systems on their territory;

    6.  Rejects foreign policies aimed at creating spheres of influence; stresses the need to fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States, including the right of every State to seek to develop its relations with other States and organisations on the basis of its own definition of its interests without outside interference; calls on the EU and Russia to act accordingly;

    7.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to pursue joint initiatives with the Russian Government aimed at strengthening security and stability in the common neighbourhood by means of enhanced dialogue on the settlement of the frozen conflicts;

    8.  Notes the continuous exchange of views on human rights in Russia as part of the EU-Russia human rights consultations; emphasises that the current situation in Russia gives rise to serious concern in terms of respect for human rights, democracy, freedom of expression and the rights of civil society and individuals to challenge authorities and hold them accountable for their actions; underlines the importance of NGOs’ independence from national governments for the development of civil society; takes note of the concerns raised by Russia on human rights violations within the EU, notably with regard to the Russian-speaking minorities in the Baltic States;

    9.  Takes note of the recent visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia, but stresses that there is a need for more ambitious visa facilitation also covering ordinary bona fide travellers not belonging to any pre-set categories, and liberalisation in the long term;

    10.  Notes the enhanced EU-Russia cooperation in civil and criminal justice, in the fight against illegal immigration and in tackling drugs and human trafficking; insists that this cooperation fully respects civil liberties and human rights;

    11.  Welcomes the intensified EU-Russia dialogue on energy issues; stresses that further cooperation in this field must be based on the principles of interdependence and transparency as well as the importance of reciprocity; calls for more emphasis on energy efficiency, energy saving and renewable energy;

    12.  Welcomes the new Russian law introducing key elements of the Bologna Process into the Russian education system; calls for improved opportunities for Russian students and academics to make use of the EU exchange programmes; supports the idea of associating Russia with the Seventh Framework Programme on Research;

    13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States and of the Russian Federation, the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.