Motion for a resolution - B7-0098/2011Motion for a resolution
B7-0098/2011

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the Europe 2020 Strategy

    9.2.2011

    to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and the Commission
    pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

    Joseph Daul, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Othmar Karas, Richard Seeber, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Andreas Schwab, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Albert Deß, Sławomir Witold Nitras, Artur Zasada on behalf of the PPE Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0097/2011

    Procedure : 2010/3013(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    B7-0098/2011

    B7‑0098/2011

    European Parliament resolution on the Europe 2020 Strategy

    The European Parliament,

    –   having regard to statements by the Council and Commission on the EU2020 strategy – flagship initiatives,

    –   having regard to the informal European Council of 11 February 2010,

     

    –   having regard to the public consultation on EU 2020 launched by the Commission, and its outcome (SEC(2010)116),

     

    –   having regard to the Commission's evaluation of the Lisbon Strategy (SEC(2010)114),

     

    –   having regard to the European Council document entitled ‘Seven steps to deliver on the European strategy for growth and jobs’,

     

    –   having to the European Parliament resolution of June 2010 on EU 2020 Flagships

    –   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

     

    A. whereas Europe needs to give priority to measures that stimulate growth and jobs,

    B.  whereas any long-term strategy must be combined with concrete action to respond to the immediate concerns and fears of European citizens, and whereas the EU 2020 Strategy should serve our main goal which is economic growth and jobs,

    C. whereas the Lisbon strategy has only partly been successful due to weak governance structure and lack of accountability of the Member States,

    D.  whereas the completion of the Single Market is not only a means to achieve the strategy's goals but an objective itself and whereas the Single Market Act is the way to achieve this objective,

    E.  whereas cross-border commerce of services, but also of goods, is today hindered by fragmented national markets and rules, due to the low level of harmonisation, and whereas freeing up the potential of EU's 500 million consumer market is a crucial need,

     

     

    Governance of the EU 2020 Strategy

     

    1.   Strongly urges the Council to stick to the Community method and calls on the Council to strengthen the governance of the economic governance package and the Europe 2020 Strategy in this sense;

     

    2.   Views with concern the relatively weak governance of the Europe 2020 Strategy; calls therefore to strengthen the community method and for the European Semester to be part of the legislative governance package; is afraid that otherwise the Strategy could suffer the same fate as the 'Lisbon Strategy', i.e. as regards the Headline Targets;

     

    3.   Calls on the Council and the Commission to better ensure the democratic legitimacy of the Europe 2020 strategy and to involve - next to the European Parliament - the national Parliaments, the social partners, regional and local authorities to support the policies aiming at restoring employment and growth; deplores in this respect that the limited progress and the communication policy regarding the draft national reform programmes;

     

    4.   Calls on the Commission to clarify the budgetary dimension of the Flagship Initiatives as these priority action plans cut across all policies funded through the EU budget; takes the view that the new MFF offers the opportunity to give a decisive impulse for the priorities identified in the Europe 2020 Strategy;

     

    5.   Takes the view that the improved economic governance framework should rely on several inter-linked policies for sustainable growth and jobs, which need to be coherent with each other; believes that the Stability and Growth Pact and the complete economic governance framework should support and be compatible with EU 2020 Strategy;

     

    6.   Considers that the Single Market is a cornerstone of the European project and believes that its re-launch should play a key role in achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy;

     

    7.   Considers that a strong and well-financed cohesion policy embracing all European regions must be a key complementary element of the EU2020 Strategy; takes the view that this policy, with its horizontal approach, is a pre-condition for a successful delivery of the EU2020 goals, as well as for achieving social, economic and territorial cohesion;

    8.   Is convinced that with the right policy framework and adequate budgetary resources, agriculture and forestry can play an important role in an overall European strategy designed to secure economic recovery, while at the same time contributing to EU and global food security, preserving the rural landscape which accounts for 90% of the EU's territory, securing environmental benefits and making an important contribution to the search for alternative energy sources;

    9.   Proposes to Member States the establishment of a 'Territorial Pact of Local and Regional Authorities for Europe 2020' as a part of the governance of the strategy, aiming at stimulating regions and cities to properly contribute to the success of its objectives and create ownership, while involving the European Parliament in this process;

     

    10.  Supports the line as taken by the Commission in its Annual Growth Survey; considers that structural reforms will be key to restoring the competitiveness in those Member States that are presently lagging behind; welcomes the dedication to achieve balanced budgets and to reduce the overall indebtedness to less than 60% of GDP; supports the efforts to provide those Member States with an impaired access to the capital markets to be provided with liquidity whilst they are undergoing structural reforms; urges structural imbalances to be corrected;

     

    11. Welcomes the importance the Commission attributes to the single market in this respect; underlines the necessity to create an environment conducive to sustainable growth in order to overcome the economic crisis, especially for SMEs and microenterprises; asks that the Spring European Council holds a discussion on the state of the re-launch of the single market, backed by a monitoring process through which to assess the performance of interim targets and the single market performance and challenges in terms of growth and jobs creation;

     

    12. Notes that the Annual Growth Survey and the framework of the European Semester should allow synergies with the existing tools while respecting the rights provided to the European Parliament by the Treaty, in particular the broad economic policy guidelines and the guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States;

     

    13. Voices its disappointment at the communication strategy with regard to the draft National Reform Programmes, which makes it rather difficult to assess any progress on the Headline Targets;

     

     

    Flagship Initiatives

     

    14. Welcomes that all Flagship Communications have now been presented by the Commission but urges the Commission to define the concrete legislative proposals the Flagships will comprise;

     

     

    Innovation Flagship

     

    15. Welcomes the strategic approach taken by the Commission on the 'Innovation Union' to address the major societal challenges like energy and food security, climate change, health and an ageing population; stresses, however, that progress on concrete dossiers is crucial to remove obstacles to innovation and to stimulate private sector commitment;

    16. Reminds the Commission and Member States that innovation can only be stimulated if the regulatory framework is right and if bureaucratic costs at a minimum, particularly for SMEs; welcomes therefore the Commission's intention to improve framework conditions for business to innovate, in particular with respect to intellectual property rights, and in this context calls on the Commission to: (i) present, immediately after the authorisation of the enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection, proposals necessary for its implementation; and (ii) bring forward legislative proposals necessary to modernise the existing copyright framework, in particular in the area of collective management of rights and orphan works;

     

    17. Is of the opinion that the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) is insufficient in volume and too narrow as regards the coverage; calls on the Commission and the Member States to allow for a broader scope and a better funding of the CIP within the next multiannual framework;

    18. Stresses the need to enhance, stimulate and secure the financing of research, innovation and development in the EU via a significant increase in research expenditure post 2013; insists that better access of SMEs to the FP8 and CIP must be ensured through re-designing and simplifying these programmes accordingly; calls for a revised Financial Regulation to facilitate SME's applications; emphasises the important contribution the FP makes in fighting climate change;

    19. Stresses the need for innovative enterprises, in particular SMEs, to have better access to equity and quasi-equity financial instruments, which are not yet provided by the market; asks the Commission for the next generation of programmes to put a stronger emphasis on mezzanine financial instruments and to support them with risk sharing funds and facilities;

    20. Reminds that the 3% target is composed of a 2 % (private) and 1 % (public expenditure) share; notes that there are still particular shortcomings in the field of private research spending; notes that this and Europe's unexploited innovation potential can only be overcome by adapting the regulatory environment for companies;

    21. Stresses the leveraging potential of the EU budget which should be further exploited to support EU R&D; points to the important contribution structural funds are making in the stimulation or research, development and innovation at national and regional level; stresses the need to create synergies between structural funding and FP funding;

    22. Welcomes the Commission planned review of the trademark system in the EU, recalls its resolution of 22 September 2010 on enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market (2009/2178(INI)) and calls on the Commission to put forward measures allowing for effective enforcement of such rights and present a comprehensive strategy in that area;

     

    'Youth on the Move' Flagship

     

    23. Underlines the important contribution multiannual programmes such as Lifelong Learning have made to the creation of a European identity and to training young Europeans for the challenges of a modern labour market;

     

    24. Calls on the Commission not to divert funding from the existing mobility and youth programmes such as Lifelong Learning (Erasmus, Leonardo, Comenius, Grundtwig), Youth in Action and Marie Curie to the 'Youth on the Move' key actions, but rather to strengthen the existing programme by a better funding; believes that this would make an important contribution in the fight against youth unemployment and to reach a 75% employment rate;

     

     

    25. Calls on the Member States to cooperate to achieve higher comparability of school and University curricula and more standardisation of European education in order to facilitate the competitiveness and better mobility in the EU and points to the importance of a better recognition of degrees and diplomas in Europe;

     

    Digital Agenda Flagship

     

    26. Welcomes the Commission's proposal for a decision establishing the first radio spectrum policy programme; considers it a necessary step in order to achieve an internal market for electronic communications and foster a more efficient management of spectrum throughout Europe that will allow us to achieve the 2020 objectives; calls upon all parties to make the first radio spectrum policy a reality as soon as possible;

    27. Stresses the need to continue to focus our efforts in completing an open and competitive digital single market in Europe; notes however, that the free movement of digital services is today still severely hindered by fragmented rules at national level and consequently urges all parties to effectively implement the new regulatory framework, boost the digital services market and develop the free circulation of content and knowledge, the 'Fifth freedom';

    28. Takes the view that with a view to the increasingly ageing population and the mounting pressure to the public finances and private productivity the European Union should adopt in its long-term strategy the policy of firm promotion of the principle of prevention (in terms of medical practices as well as in terms of encouraging healthier lifestyles) and the introduction of services such as E-health;

     

    Flagship on an Industrial Policy for the Globalised Era

    29. Welcomes the Commission's communication on a Industrial Policy for the Globalised Era; believes that a comprehensive EU industrial policy should seek to maintain and develop a strong, competitive and diversified industrial base in Europe; takes the view that such a policy should cover the industrial sector in its entirety and should have the main objective to set the right framework conditions whereas the choice among different technology options should remain with the companies; stresses that a competitive industry in Europe requires competition and free trade that enables European companies to become world leaders;

     

    30. Welcomes in particular the Commission's announcement to undertake an explicit and thorough 'competitiveness proofing' of new legislation and urges Member States to do the same on the national level; requests that the Commission starts the 'Fitness Checks' evaluating ex post the cumulated impact of legal acts;; reaffirms that these are essential parts of smart regulation that should be implemented as quickly as possible;

     

    31. Expresses its disappointment that two years after the adoption of the Small Business Act the Commission is lacking in concrete actions and initiatives; urges the Commission and the Council to promote a more SME-friendly regulatory environment by strictly applying the SME test; systematic and independent assessments of the impact of all policy proposals should be a requirement at all political levels;

     

    32. Points to the overriding importance of infrastructure for an industrial economy; therefore asks to allocate substantially adequate financial resources during the next MFF period to the Trans-European Networks (TEN), in particular in the fields of transport and energy in support of projects with a European added value which cannot be financed by the market; asks in this respect to explore the opportunities offered by Project Bonds for major European infrastructure projects fully involving the European Investment Bank; points to the high importance of Galileo as an important European infrastructure project;

    33. Calls for an effective European Raw Materials Strategy to trigger concrete initiatives ensuring optimal utilisation of and improved access to raw materials in and outside the EU, in particular critical raw materials, through fair trade agreements and strategic partnerships; welcomes the Commission's plans to target speculation in commodity derivatives; warns that a broad approach to a EU raw materials strategy must not dilute its individual pillars;

    Resource efficient Europe Flagship

     

    34. Underlines the urgent need to modernize and to upgrade the European energy infrastructure, to develop smart grids and to build interconnections, which are necessary for realizing the internal energy market, enhancing security of supply and to meet our energy and climate targets; believes that the biggest obstacle to new infrastructure, especially grids, is not only financing but long authorisation processes and calls on the Commission and the Member States to take immediate action and accelerate authorisation procedures; welcomes in this regard the proposals submitted within Commission's energy infrastructure package;

    35. Calls for a shift towards a resource efficient, low-carbon economy and an economic growth that is being decoupled from resource and energy use with less CO2 emissions, higher energy security and reduced resource intensity; proposes that this shift be complemented by an industrial policy which makes European business more competitive, cuts down the over-dependency on fossil fuels and enables EU companies to keep their lead in the necessary technologies including more innovation as well as research and development;

     

    36. Calls on the Commission to push ahead with proceedings against those Member States that still have not implemented the second energy liberalisation package and to ask for high fines for those Member states; reminds Member States that the third package is to be implemented by the end of March 2011;

     

    37. Calls on the Commission to come forward with realistic visions for the energy mix 2050 and beyond, taking into account the potential of nuclear fusion; believes that adequate financing needs to be secured to live up to EU's international agreements;

    38. Welcomes the positive results of the Cancun international climate conference representing an important further step on the road to building a comprehensive and legally binding climate framework in South Africa for the period after 2012; reconfirms its willingness to step up the European efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 if the conditions are right; reminds that the Cancun agreement achieved progress on the negotiation process but not on substance;

    39. Notes that there is not enough progress in a number of Member States to reach the 20 % energy efficiency target by 2020; reminds that the Member States’ full commitment to the self-set targets is crucial for tapping the full potential of energy efficiency policies; urges Member States to step up their ambitions and advocates a stronger role of the Commission by approving the national energy efficiency action plans;

     

    40. Underlines that the transport policy needs to become 'smart, sustainable and inclusive' as adopted by the Parliament on 6 July 2010 in its strategically important resolution on a sustainable future for transport; therefore urges for a research and technology agenda for the transport sector in which priority should be given to decarbonise or at least reduce CO2 emissions for all modes of transport, increase the transparency of the supply chain and transport safety and security, improve traffic management; expects that the transport sector will ensure that the EU market keeps its position as a highly qualified production area;

     

    41. Underlines the strategic importance of a productive agricultural sector and emphasises that food security must be the first priority of the Common Agricultural Policy;

     

    Skills and Jobs Flagship

     

    42. Underlines that it is only through an enhancement of education and skills that unemployment and poverty can be curbed and the employment rate can be increased; points to the decisive role SMEs play in this respect and calls for the creation of an entrepreneur friendly regulatory environment, in particular facilitating the business of SMEs;

     

    43. Reminds the Commission and the Member States that the single market is the guarantor of jobs in Europe and the core project and competence of the European Union;

     

    44. Sees an urgent need for priority actions within the Single Market Act to be adopted before 31st December 2012 – the 20th anniversary of the internal market and transposed in due time;

     

    45. Asks the Member States to extend and fully implement the Services Directive and to launch infringement procedures against Member States that have still not fully implemented the Services Directive and other single market legislation; recommends the revision of the e-commerce Directive in order to facilitate cross-border commerce; urges the Commission to secure, that SMEs can operate all over Europe by granting them access via mutual recognition and reduction of red tape;

     

    46. Stresses the importance of providing quality employment for young people by developing integrated flexicurity policies to enhance both labour market flexibility and secure employment as well as encouraging and facilitating entrepreneurship among young people and developing this through adequate education, training, apprenticeships and mentoring programmes;

     

    47. Calls for the complete market opening in the rail transport sector through the implementation of the Single European Railway Area, with focus on the Rail Core Network, the liberalisation of cabotage transport, efficient co-modality, a common European reservation system and reinforced passenger rights; asks for speeding up the completion of the Single European Sky, improving the air traffic control, increasing aviation safety by better empowering EASA; swiftly implementing the SESAR project by ensuring the necessary conditions for the SESAR Deployment phase;

     

    48. Reiterates its call on the Commission to present a legislative proposal for a 14th Company Law Directive which would lay down measures for coordinating Member States' legislation in order to facilitate cross-border transfers of the registered offices of companies since July 2006; stresses the importance of the simplification of company law in order to promote growth and entrepreneurship in the single market and of the control of the application in Member States of any policy measure put forward in this context;

     

    49. Asks the Commission to step up the promotion of entrepreneurship mobility of young Europeans, e.g. by increasing the Erasmus work placement mobility and by strengthening the 'Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs' initiative; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the better inclusion of entrepreneurship in school curricula;

     

    Flagship 'Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: A European framework for social and territorial cohesion'

     

    50. Expects that the EU and Member States take swift action now to deliver on the commitments made to increase employment levels, raise people's skills, create job opportunities and enhance social inclusion;

     

    51. Welcomes the Commission's effort to strengthen the social innovation by the social fund, but considers that the primary tasks of the social fund, to qualify employees, to spread knowledge economy to all occupational levels and all sectors, must not be neglected;

     

    52. Emphasises that rural areas require special consideration in view of the relatively high rates of rural poverty across the Member States and the lack of economic alternatives in these areas; supports all initiatives aimed at assisting young farmers as a means of combating rural poverty;

     

    53. Stresses that labour-market mobility in the EU will be crucial in the coming years for job creation and economic growth; considers, therefore, that obstacles to internal and cross-border mobility must be removed;

     

    54. Calls on Member States to be committed to tackle child poverty through appropriate measures so that children are not restricted in their personal development and are not underprivileged when entering professional life due to poverty related interferences of their free development;

     

     

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