Procedure : 2015/2729(RSP)
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Document selected : B8-0656/2015

Texts tabled :

B8-0656/2015

Debates :

Votes :

PV 09/07/2015 - 12.5
CRE 09/07/2015 - 12.5
PV 16/09/2015 - 13.1
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0323

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0656/2015
1.7.2015
PE559.016v01-00
 
B8-0656/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 37(3) of the Rules of Procedure and the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the Commission


on the Commission Work Programme 2016 (2015/2729(RSP))


József Szájer on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the Commission Work Programme 2016 (2015/2729(RSP))  
B8‑0656/2015

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Commission Work Programme 2015 – A New Start’ (COM(2014)0910) and Annexes 1 to 4 thereto,

–       having regard to Rule 37(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas political priorities should be matched with the available financial resources;

B.     whereas EU policy and action conducted hand in hand with Member States in accordance with the subsidiarity and proportionality principles can and must have a real influence in helping citizens anticipate and react to a rapidly changing society;

C.     whereas Europe must be committed to the model of the social market economy, ensuring sustainable growth in order to provide the next generation with jobs instead of debts;

PART 1

1.      Stresses that a significant reduction in the administrative burden on citizens and companies can only be achieved by reducing the number of legislative proposals and focusing instead on major priorities;

2.      Recalls the EU’s obligation to legislate only where and to the extent necessary, in accordance with Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality; strongly believes, therefore, that efforts must be concentrated on a few key priorities and calls on the Commission to refrain from taking initiatives which are not essential, so that EU action is always focused on major priorities to the direct benefit of its citizens;

3.      Reaffirms the importance it attaches to the ‘Community method’, the transparency of the legislative process, democratic legitimacy, and the role and responsibility of national parliaments;

4.      Supports the change in method aimed at clearing the decks to avoid wasting resources on obsolete or inadequate legislative proposals which can no longer address the priorities and concerns of EU citizens;

5.      Calls, therefore, for the cost of bureaucratic burdens to be reduced by 25 %, and for an external independent regulatory scrutiny body involving independent experts and common to all three institutions to be established for the whole policy cycle to supervise their respective impact assessments in order to measure the administrative burden and related costs of new proposals, including a mandatory SME test, both of these measures helping to remove red tape at all levels – European, national and regional – and for all economic actors and citizens in their day-to-day lives, thereby helping to foster job creation;

6.      Insists on the need to fully, swiftly and effectively implement and apply existing legislation in areas such as the single market, environmental law, the revised common agricultural policy (CAP), common fisheries policy (CFP) and cohesion policy and the financial and banking sectors; calls on the Commission to better monitor the Member States’ progress in implementation;

7.      Considers that any further development of Economic and Monetary Union must be based, and further build, on existing legislation such as the Six Pack, the Two Pack and the Banking Union so that it can be applied fully and coherently by all the Member States, that ownership and democratic legitimacy of economic governance and the European Semester need to be further improved, and that parliamentary control must be exercised at the level where decisions are taken or implemented, with national parliaments scrutinising national governments;

8.      Calls for the adoption of a Convergence Code setting out key structural reform targets over a period of five years, to be adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure, which together with the Annual Growth Survey should form the basis for the country‑specific recommendations;

9.      Believes that the revision of tax policy must be seen as an integral part of the Member States’ structural reforms, and that tax and competition policy should be regarded as two sides of the same coin, for the benefit of all EU consumers and citizens with a view to further contributing to job creation; supports shifting the tax burden away from labour to other forms of sustainable taxation;

10.    Considers EU State aid control to be an important tool for combating tax practices which distort the single market;

11.    Welcomes tax rulings and stresses that, when used for legitimate purposes to facilitate payment of taxes in those Member States where the actual economic activity and value creation takes place, tax rulings are an important tool for ensuring legal certainty for economic actors and businesses, but also stresses that the misuse of tax rulings as a negotiation tool is unacceptable;

12.    Strongly supports measures to fight tax fraud and tax evasion and stresses the need for more efficient use of taxpayers’ money and for further steps to protect the Union’s financial interests, which should be a key priority, in order to ensure the legitimacy of EU spending; takes the view, therefore, that anti-fraud measures should be emphasised in the Commission’s work;

13.    Eagerly awaits the results of the work of the High Level Group on Own Resources, which are due to be presented at an interinstitutional conference in 2016; emphasises that the Commission has undertaken to assess, on the basis of these results, whether new own resources are appropriate, and that this assessment should be carried out in parallel with the review or revision of the multiannual financial framework in 2016; reiterates its commitment to a reform of the EU own resources system before the launch of the next MFF in order to make the system simpler, fairer and more transparent;

14.    Highlights the need to settle definitely and unequivocally the recurrent problem of unpaid bills at year-end, which has undermined the EU’s credibility; expects such bills to be reduced to a sustainable level by the end of 2016, thanks to the implementation of the 2015-2016 payment plan; calls on the Commission to monitor closely the implementation of this payment plan and to propose amending budgets without delay, should the level of authorised payments in 2016 not be sufficient;

15.    Reminds the Commission of its commitment to tackling the growing pressure at the EU’s external borders, including firm measures against irregular migration and people trafficking and smuggling, and points out that improving the management of migration means better linking the EU’s migration policy with its external policy;

16.    Supports the revision of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-making and the proposed joint programming with the Commission and the Council with a view to improving the efficiency of the legislative process;

17.    Recalls that by the end of 2016 at the latest the Commission is to present a review of the functioning of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, accompanied by a legislative proposal to amend the MFF Regulation; stresses that a compulsory legislative revision of the MFF was one of Parliament’s main demands in the MFF negotiations; attaches, therefore, the utmost importance to this process and expresses its readiness to work constructively towards finding solutions to a number of pending issues, including those relating to the financing of the European Fund for Strategic Investments guarantee fund;

PART 2

A new boost for jobs, growth and investment

18.    Urges the Commission to finalise the labour mobility package and to take action to promote the integration and employability of European workers and address the problems of the long-term unemployed; rejects any initiatives which would go against the principle of subsidiarity, such as European unemployment benefit schemes, binding social indicators for Member States and a European minimum wage or income;

19.    Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to link the new boost for jobs with growth and investment; recalls that a proper balance between flexibility and security for employers, on the one hand, and employees, on the other, should be guaranteed in any new legislative proposal;

20.    Demands concrete action to eliminate persisting discrimination in the labour market, especially with regard to elderly workers, women, workers with disabilities and young people;

21.    Asks the Commission to consolidate and improve the quality, effectiveness and accessibility of EU education and training systems; takes the view that particular attention should be paid to lifelong learning, dual systems, the recognition of diplomas and support for measures to reduce early school-leaving rates in order to ensure that students acquire basic literacy skills, as defined by the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA);

22.    Asks the Commission, as part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, to continue its efforts to create jobs by applying the concept of a circular economy and establishing synergies in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole (blue growth);

23.    Urges the Commission to put forward multiannual management plans, which are one of the main tools for the implementation of the reformed CFP with a view to the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources, as well as the legislative framework on technical measures, which is already expected in 2015, under the ordinary legislative procedure;

24.    Stresses that the objective of a single European ecolabel for fishery and aquaculture products, provided for in the Common Organisation of the Markets, must be pursued through a report and a proposal by the Commission;

25.    Recalls the Commission’s commitment to use all available tools, including the EU budget, to drive jobs and growth through smart investment in closer partnership with the Member States, national parliaments, regions and cities in order to bring about better implementation of existing policies and improve the effectiveness of action on the ground, specifically in the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds; stresses that the new programming period for cohesion policy, which is firmly anchored in the European Semester and the economic governance process, remains the main source of such public investment;

26.    Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to ‘Better Regulation’ and the proposed fitness check and evaluation of the CAP with a view to cutting red tape and removing regulatory burdens; asks for a proposal that facilitates the implementation of the reform in order to guarantee that the administrative burden for farmers and Member States’ authorities is kept to an absolute minimum, and that the CAP’s vital role in ensuring food security is preserved;

27.    Calls for effective use of the EU budget through concentration on better implementation of existing controls, the evaluation of controls, measures to lighten the bureaucratic burden where possible and ways to ensure performance and added value in the use of EU taxpayers’ money, and stresses that performance needs to be valued over maximising the use of budgeted appropriations;

28.    Supports the Commission’s efforts in all ongoing bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations with a view to reaching a positive outcome in respect of comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreements in 2016, which would significantly enhance EU trade prospects and opportunities for EU companies worldwide; considers, nevertheless, that sustained EU efforts are needed in order to take advantage of the process opened in 2013 through the Bali Package agreed as part of the multilateral negotiations of the Doha Round, which should pave the way for global economic stability;

29.    Considers that the elimination of trade and investment barriers worldwide remains a key priority of the EU trade strategy; notes, in this connection, that the Commission’s 2014 Trade and Investment Barriers Report identifies significant and unjustified barriers in the EU’s commercial relations with major third countries; reiterates, therefore, its call on the Commission to pursue this agenda and to combat unjustified protectionist measures;

A connected digital single market

30.    Stresses that the new Commission proposal replacing the proposal for a common European sales law – as announced in the Digital Single Market Communication – has to be based on the Parliament’s position at first reading;

31.    Asks the Commission to take account of ongoing technology convergence in the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive by making appropriate recommendations to adjust and future-proof the regulatory framework;

32.    Counts on an ambitious review of the Universal Service Directive to bring end-user rights up to date;

A resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy

33.    Demands the timely revision of the Security of Gas Supply Regulation and of the decision setting up an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements in the field of energy;

34.    Calls on the Commission to present a number of legislative and non-legislative initiatives in order to establish an ambitious climate and energy framework for 2030 as the EU’s contribution to the conclusion of a global climate agreement ahead of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in Paris;

35.    Calls on the Commission to involve Parliament fully in common efforts to fight global warming, ensuring that climate action is taken into account in all EU policies by adapting them to the realities of climate change, and asks for legislative proposals to implement the 2030 climate and energy package under the ordinary legislative procedure;

36.    Calls for a comprehensive post-2020 structural reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), which should include tangible and harmonised measures in respect of carbon leakage in order to safeguard EU industry by ensuring that the best performers do not incur direct or indirect ETS costs and taking into account changing production levels;

37.    Asks for a legislative proposal on the distribution of 2030 greenhouse gas emissions targets in the non-ETS sector, and for a review of the legislative framework for energy efficiency, including the energy performance of buildings, the Energy Efficiency Directive and other governance-related aspects of the 2030 framework, and for a revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, in order to establish an EU support system for renewable energy sources to remedy the current situation characterised by numerous national support schemes, which have proven costly and ineffective in terms of an internal energy market;

38.    Demands fair and efficient pricing for sustainable transport through the revision of the Eurovignette Directive and the framework to promote European electronic tolling, and the drawing-up of a master plan for the deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems;

39.    Demands a review of the Directive on the Promotion of Clean and Energy Efficient Road Transport Vehicles and a review of market access rules for road transport with a view to improving its energy efficiency;

40.    Welcomes the Commission’s proposal on the Air Quality Package and the ongoing implementation of the REACH Regulation;

41.    Calls for a more careful and balanced approach to eco-design measures, which in the past have contributed to growing public scepticism towards regulation at European level, and takes the view that this approach should be based on the energy-saving potential and market relevance of such measures, without interfering with citizens’ behavioural habits; strongly supports clear energy labelling with a view to giving consumers a choice, and presses for a new proposal concerning the Circular Economy Package;

42.    Stresses the need for an urgent review of the Tissues and Cells Directive to bring it in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in particular as regards the principle of unpaid donation; takes the view that the same applies to the Advanced Therapies Regulation, which also needs to be made more applicable to SMEs; stresses to the Commission the need to come forward with a proposal for a more common approach to health technology assessment (HTA) for pharmaceuticals that does not create an extra layer of administrative burden, but instead unburdens companies and Member States’ authorities by requiring them to carry out such assessment only once, at the European level, rather than in the 28 Member States; expects the timely adoption of secondary legislation provided for under the Tobacco Products Directive; stresses that the Commission should make the fight against antimicrobial resistance a priority, and asks for concrete legislative proposals to tackle these serious problems, in addition to the existing proposals in the veterinary field; calls also for greater attention to be focused on human medicine, for example in the form of an instrument governing antibiotics for human use similar to that already proposed for antibiotics in the veterinary field;

43.    Calls on the Commission, in view of the serious and persistent problems which arise in the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods, including problems involving distortion of competition, to review the scientific basis for this regulation and, if appropriate, to eliminate the concept of nutrient profiles or to repeal the regulation in its entirety; considers that the aims of this regulation, such as ensuring that the information provided about foods is true and that specific indications are given about fat, sugar and salt content, have now been achieved by Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers;

44.    Expects the final adoption of the legislative proposals on animal health, plant health, official controls, novel food, cloning, veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed;

A deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base

45.    Demands an in-depth analysis of the markets, including current developments, with a view to ascertaining whether, and in what form, these services may need to be addressed, or whether the application and reinterpretation of existing law (including the Services Directive and the Concessions Directive) are in fact proportionate;

46.    Demands a review of the Prospectus Directive, a proposal on high-quality securitisation and a proposal on the recovery and resolution of financial market infrastructures;

A reasonable and balanced free trade agreement with the USA

47.    Stresses the geopolitical and strategic importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is the most significant recent US-EU project and which, if successfully concluded, will, beyond its trade aspects, reinvigorate the transatlantic partnership as a whole, allowing it to become the benchmark for institutionalising stronger partnership in the world by establishing global trade rules for the future relaunch of an effective multilateral liberalisation process; supports, in this context, the efforts of the EU negotiator for an ambitious win-win agreement which will substantially reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers while fully respecting the EU’s social, consumer safety and environmental standards;

An area of justice and fundamental rights based on mutual trust

48.    Stresses the need for a Commission proposal on common minimum standards for civil procedures and on a revision of the Brussels II Regulation, with a particular focus on cross-border parental responsibility;

49.    Notes, in this connection, the considerable number of petitions alleging breaches of the Brussels II Regulation; urges the Commission, therefore, to prevent ‘child abductions’ via a mediation scheme and to promote specific training for mediators and judges dealing with transnational proceedings involving children, and encourages the Member States to centralise child abduction cases in specialised courts;

50.    Demands that the European Accessibility Act be finalised;

51.    Reiterates that the Commission should ensure full implementation of EU legislation within the transposition deadlines, and calls on the Commission to take appropriate measures against those Member States which have failed to properly transpose the directive on child sexual abuse; calls on the Commission to take further legislative steps regarding child sexual abuse online;

52.    Urges the Commission to continue to ensure the proper implementation of EU legislation in the area of justice and to work more systematically on judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters and the further development of the European area of justice;

53.    Calls on the Commission to tackle both the remaining gender pay gap and the rising gender pension gap, which reached an EU average of 39 % in 2014;

54.    Expects the Commission to make 2017 the year for the elimination of violence against women and to step up its efforts to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings and protect victims of such trafficking; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to initiate the procedure for the EU’s accession to the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention);

55.    Insists on the need to further address gender balance in terms of commitment within the economic decision-making process; invites the Commission to address the factors that discourage women from engaging in entrepreneurship, to promote access to funding, training, and support services for women’s entrepreneurship, and to encourage and assist the Council with a view to the adoption of a common position on the proposal for a so-called ‘women on boards directive’;

Towards a new policy on migration

56.    Reiterates its call on the Commission to introduce a new legislative proposal on a smart borders package as soon as the pilot project has been completed, with the aim of speeding up, facilitating and reinforcing border check procedures for foreigners travelling to the EU; stresses that the EU needs to move towards more modern and efficient border management by using state-of-the-art technology, while providing adequate safeguards for citizens;

57.    Underlines the need for further strengthening of European action as regards the recent tragedies in the Mediterranean, including stronger measures to prevent the loss of lives at sea, to support those seeking international protection, to secure the protection of EU borders, to target human traffickers and to enhance cooperation with third countries;

A stronger global actor

58.    Asks for a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, in which the following points should be addressed:

(a)  a clear distinction between enlargement and neighbourhood policies,

(b)  differentiation and ‘more for more’,

(c)  engagement beyond the neighbourhood,

(d)  support for democracy, justice reform, the rule of law and institutional capacity‑building,

(e)  a diversified offer: priority sectors,

(f)   the security dimension,

(g)  fostering regional integration;

59.    Highlights the importance of underpinning the common security and defence policy (CSDP) with a genuine internal market for defence and security, deepened cooperation among European defence industries, a competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base and a more collaborative approach to security and defence R&D and procurement; highlights the need for the Commission to come up with a proposal to establish a Europe-wide security-of-supply regime, which is essential for developing, sustaining and transferring critical defence capabilities as well as being an expression of solidarity and confidence between Member States; expresses full support for the launch of the preparatory action for CSDP-related defence research and the pilot project proposed by Parliament;

60.    Asks the Commission to ensure the proper implementation of the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2015-2019) entitled ‘Keeping human rights at the heart of the EU agenda’;

61.    Calls for stronger emphasis on the interreligious dialogue aimed at analysing and understanding religious developments in order to promote tolerance and active engagement within EU foreign policy against violent and extremist radicalisation;

62.    Highlights the importance of guaranteeing that support for democracy, the rule of law and respect for the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms are actively promoted through all the EU Delegations, while remaining mindful of the country-specific human rights strategies;

63.    Emphasises that, as regards the aviation package, a competitiveness strategy, a revision of Regulation (EC) No 868/2004, which concerns unfair pricing in aviation, and a revision of the European Aviation Safety Agency Regulation ((EC) No 216/2008) are key priorities;

64.    Stresses that the regulation on the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) has been a success and should continue to be implemented in 2016; calls on the Commission to ensure the coherence of all EU policies, including the CFP and trade policy;

65.    Notes that illicit capital flows from developing countries amount to USD 1 trillion per year, which is almost 10 times the total Official Development Assistance granted; takes the view that development aid must consequently be focused on efforts to promote good governance, to establish the rule of law, to fight corruption and to increase transparency and the accountability of all stakeholders, including the national governments of developing countries and the private sector; asks the Commission, therefore, to develop a comprehensive strategy and action plan to tackle this issue in developing countries;

66.    Asks the Commission to conduct the first assessment of the rights-based toolbox in development cooperation, including its implementation, the concrete action taken in this area, and the impact of the use of the rights-based approach; recalls that the aim of this approach is to integrate all human rights principles into EU operational activities for development, covering arrangements both at headquarters and in the field for the synchronisation of human rights and development cooperation activities, and the use of human rights dialogues and conditionality as leverage, be it positive or negative (incentive or disincentive), for encouraging compliance with human rights principles and standards by linking the provision of aid to such compliance;

67.    Deplores the fact that education, which is a means of child protection in emergencies and crisis situations, including natural disasters, remains the most underfunded sector, in spite of the estimated 101 million children of primary school age who do not attend primary school, nearly 60 million of whom live in the 33 countries currently affected by armed conflict; demands, therefore, that the need for better coherence of EU policies be addressed, together with the need to bridge the gaps between humanitarian and development assistance, by linking relief, rehabilitation and development;

68.    Draws attention to the fact that SMEs are the driving force for job and wealth creation in developing countries, generating about 90 % of jobs; encourages measures to relieve SMEs in developing countries of their excessive regulatory burden, to promote entrepreneurial and innovative spirit in this context, and to further strengthen access to micro-credit and micro-financing;

69.    Favours the inclusion of disability in development cooperation, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) taking account of the fact that a disproportionate number of people with disabilities live in developing countries, many of whom are marginalised, live in extreme poverty and are unable to enjoy the full range of human rights, and stresses that the European Year for Development is a once‑in-a generation opportunity to champion the rights and needs of all people, including the most vulnerable and marginalised, and in particular of people with disabilities, including children, young people and women with disabilities;

A Union of democratic change

70.    Urges the Commission to align the legislation of all pending pre-Lisbon files (under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny) to the Lisbon Treaty as regards delegated and implementing acts;

71.    Reiterates its request to the Commission to submit, on the basis of Article 298 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a proposal for a regulation on a European law of administrative procedure;

72.    Calls on the Commission to evaluate the low percentage of successful European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs), which has a negative impact on citizens’ acceptance of this instrument of transnational participatory democracy, and to ensure that decisions on the admissibility of ECIs correspond to the EU’s legal competence, and expects the Commission to give proper follow-up to each successful ECI when it has committed to doing so, and more generally to address the weaknesses and limitations of this instrument through a prompt revision of the ECI Regulation with the aim of transforming it into a credible agenda-setting tool;

73.    Calls on the Commission to analyse more thoroughly alleged breaches of EU law notified by petitions, while reinforcing the common scrutiny power of Parliament and the Commission as regards Member States’ transposition and implementation of EU law, to collaborate closely and in a timely manner on relevant investigations, and if deemed necessary, to trigger infringement procedures while collaborating with Parliament in full transparency; considers moreover, that the Interinstitutional Agreement should place an obligation on public authorities to respond thoroughly and responsibly, within three months, to Parliament investigations regarding petitions from EU citizens;

74.    Asks the Commission, in the context of the Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme, to present an ambitious list of legislation and proposals to be reviewed or repealed where their appropriateness or EU added value no longer seems to be a given;

75.    Notes that the political commitment of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to working closely with Parliament, and in particular its Committee on Foreign Affairs (e.g. before and after Foreign Affairs Council meetings), is being operationalised;

76.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission.

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