Procedure : 2015/2729(RSP)
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Document selected : B8-0663/2015

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PV 09/07/2015 - 12.5
CRE 09/07/2015 - 12.5
PV 16/09/2015 - 13.1
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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-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 European Parliament’s priorities for the Commission Work Programme 2016 (2015/2729(RSP))

Enrique Guerrero Salom on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the European Parliament’s priorities for the Commission Work Programme 2016 (2015/2729(RSP))  

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 high unemployment, inequality, poverty and low social standards are still the main problems faced by European citizens;

B.     whereas the Europe 2020 strategy remains a valid basis for building smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe and its targets are expected to be confirmed before the end of 2015, but its delivery instruments need updating and strengthening;

C.     whereas future Commission Work Programmes should tackle the defining challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, energy independence, resource efficiency, the transition towards a digital society, global competition, gender equality and rising inequality, while taking into account the cost of non-Europe;

D.     whereas the European Union as a political concept is at a turning point in its history and whereas the economic and financial crisis has plunged the EU into a political crisis, with the rise of extremism in almost all Member States;

1.      Urges the Commission, given that the main challenge facing the EU remains that of regaining the trust and confidence of its citizens and should be seen as a source of hope and an engine for sustainable growth, jobs and increased social cohesion, to use all its powers to act as a leading force in deepening European integration and drawing up an agenda to ensure that Europe strengthens its economic recovery in a fairer and inclusive single market, with greater creation of quality jobs and reduction in social inequalities;

Social and economic convergence within the EU, supporting the creation of sustainable growth and jobs

2.      Underlines the fact that the level of unemployment remains unduly high, particularly for young people and women and that the EU’s economic recovery is still fragile; welcomes the outcome of the negotiations on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and urges its full implementation; expects the EIB and the Member States to do their utmost to approve as soon as possible a range of riskier investment projects that contribute to a genuine, robust recovery and balanced and sustainable growth, which will foster economic convergence and single market integration, employment and social cohesion and gender equality throughout the EU; stresses its requests, in particular as regards transparency, democratic accountability and compliance with the investment guidelines; calls on the Commission to address, in particular, the impact of the EFSI on social and regional convergence in the EU and the conditions, under the constraints of the six-pack and two-pack, for the countries more in need of investment to accede to this instrument; calls on the Commission to closely monitor the budgetary impact of the EFSI after its adoption;

3.      Strongly advocates a rebalancing of the European Semester process in 2016 to ensure that it is fully used to implement the Europe 2020 strategy; calls on the Commission to propose a new social pact, including more effective application of key employment and social indicators when formulating country-specific recommendations, a set of minimum social standards helping to foster structural convergence, and the relaunch of tripartite exchanges of views on wage developments; calls for the Commission to reintroduce the single market integration report, which should be based on sector specific indicators, to introduce a specific pillar for equality between women and men and to insert a gender dimension in the country-specific recommendations;

4.      Reiterates its call for a concrete timeframe and action plan to be established with a view to enhancing the conciliation of professional and private lives, with legislative and non-legislative measures such as a directive on paternity leave of at least 10 days, the review of the 2010 Parental Leave Directive and non-legislative measures to promote working time arrangements; deplores the fact that the proposed directive on maternity leave may be withdrawn and. should this ultimately be the case, asks for a legislative initiative aimed at revising Council Directive 92/85EEC; calls also on the Commission to adopt a new separate strategy on women’s rights and gender equality in Europe for 2015-2020, aimed, among other priorities, at creating equal opportunities, eliminating discrimination, creating jobs, reducing the gender pay, poverty and pension gaps, combating violence against women by ratifying the Istanbul Convention, and promoting female participation in decision making and entrepreneurship;

5.      Urges the Commission to follow up on the ‘five presidents’ report’ and to submit an ambitious blueprint putting forward all the measures required to make the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) more resilient and turn it into a framework for better coordination, structural convergence and solidarity, capable of achieving the objectives set out in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), including an EMU-level fiscal capacity and completion of the Banking Union; calls for rapid implementation of its resolution on economic governance, starting with the streamlining of the European Semester and the negotiation of an interinstitutional agreement; welcomes, in this connection, recent initiatives to complete and rebalance the EMU; calls for the adoption of the Community method in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the substitution of the ‘Troika’ with a Community-based monitoring structure, the management of sovereign debt following the approval of the two-pack, and the deepening of the concept of structural reform, the means of financing such measures and their integration in the Semester; calls also for a debate on the dynamics that are fuelling the north-south divide in the EU and, in particular, in the monetary union, as well as the impediments to economic growth in Europe;

6.      Welcomes the publication of a new tax policy package and asks the Commission to put forward an ambitious package of legislative proposals seeking to ensure a fair taxation system, based on the principle that taxes are to be paid in the country where profits are generated, avoiding internal market distortion and unfair competition; considers that such an agenda should include legislative proposals for compulsory country-by-country reporting by multinational companies, a European Tax Identification Number (TIN), the definition of tax havens and the establishment of an EU blacklist with the aim of eradicating them, and proposals needed to move towards legislative agreement on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base; considers that the EU’s development and cooperation agenda should also be adapted and conditionality upgraded to effectively fight tax evasion and tax avoidance; calls on the Commission to follow up the recommendations made by Parliament in its legislative initiative report and the TAXE committee’s own-initiative report to ensure tax justice;

7.      Reiterates its call for a proposal for a 14th Company Law Directive on the cross-border transfer of company seats, which should ensure that taxes are paid in the Member State where profits are generated and that employees’ participation rights are preserved;

8.      Calls on the Commission to reassess and strengthen the mechanisms and resources of competition policy and state aid in fields such as the Banking Union, taxation policy in the EU and regional policy;

9.      Supports the development of a capital markets union, while pointing to the need to ensure that systemic financial risks do not increase and to frame it with the necessary infrastructure in order to boost non-banking credit and promote long-term investment in support for the real economy, particularly in those Member States where it is most needed; urges the Commission to provide greater support for the implementation of the Financial Transaction Tax undertaken under enhanced cooperation; calls for reinforcement of the European Supervisory Authorities, including the means at their disposal, which should be commensurate with their growing tasks; awaits the Commission’s report on the appropriateness, and possibility of supporting, a European credit rating agency; expects legislative measures to improve the transparency of over-the-counter derivatives;

10.    Expects the Commission to launch a substantial and comprehensive revision of the multiannual financial framework 2014 -2020 in early 2016 and to implement the payment plan, still under negotiation, in order to address the current and recurrent problems of the backlog of outstanding unpaid bills; encourages the Commission to draw the most ambitious lessons from the expected conclusions of the High-Level Group on Own Resources, which is due to complete its work at the beginning of 2016, and to make concrete proposals during its term;

11.    Expects the Commission to conduct a review of the tobacco agreements; is of the view that the proposal for a Controller of Procedural Guarantees for the anti-fraud office, OLAF (2014/00173) should be maintained as it can be seen as one of the building blocks in preparation for the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor;

12.    Reiterates its call for a comprehensive revision of the Posting of Workers Directive; believes, moreover, that the fight against precarious employment must be a top priority; urges the Commission to work on directives on atypical work and restructuring; strongly underlines the deterioration of working conditions within the transport sector, particularly in the road and aviation sector, and asks the Commission to address them without delay; hopes that the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, including support from the Youth Employment Initiative, will start to bear fruit and expresses its willingness to support any initiative, including any financial initiative, to strengthen this EU programme; calls on the Commission to come forward with a ‘Child Guarantee’ scheme (similar to the Youth Guarantee) to ensure that no child is left behind and that every child in poverty has access to free healthcare, free education, decent housing and adequate nutrition; calls on the Commission also to develop a proposal for Social Protection Floors, ensuring a decent level of social protection throughout a person’s life, notably through basic income schemes, access to education and affordable housing, universal access to adequate health care and universal access to affordable good-quality child care; insists on the need to revise the existing directive on maternity leave;

13.    Calls on the Commission to ensure that education and training remains at the top of its priorities, focusing on access and equality, modernisation and promotion of high-quality EU education and training systems, with an emphasis on the most pressing issues, such as implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy targets and flagship initiatives, a rethinking of the skills needed for the current and future labour market, promotion of vocational education and training and dual education, support for quality traineeships and internships, the Erasmus+ Programme, life-long learning and media literacy for all;

14.    Calls on the Commission to continue promoting cultural and creative industries and to support and promote the establishment of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, and expects the Commission to put forward the long-expected revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive;

15.    Calls on the Commission to put forward concrete proposals with a view to establishing an Energy Union which will bring about an energy transition that will boost growth and job creation and secure a sustainable future for Europe; emphasises that the Energy Union should be based on the promotion of energy efficiency, renewable energies and smart infrastructure, which will enable the Union to reduce energy dependency on expensive fossil fuel imports, increase our geopolitical independence, and in the long run provide a cheaper option in terms of offering affordable energy prices for households and industry; considers that the citizen should be at the heart of the Energy Union and expects a Commission communication on energy poverty to be accompanied by an action plan;

16.    Calls on the Commission to build a genuine digital single market and to propose an innovative and inclusive Digital Union; asks the Commission to put forward clear priorities and synergies within the integrated strategy, with clear legislative recommendations and financial ways and means, aiming to create a digital economy where Europe can lead the world, businesses can operate across borders, the rights of consumers and citizens are protected and public administration can be driven towards modernisation, efficiency and inclusiveness; emphasises the need to support the development of the digital sector, which will guarantee that every European has access to a fast internet connection, manage the digital transition in the industrial sector and provide digital skills to take advantage of it; asks the Commission, moreover, to review EU copyright laws and promote the security of electronic communications and networks technology, especially for SMEs and micro businesses; strongly reminds the Commission that an ambitious Digital Union will not be possible without a proper mechanism to trigger investments on the ground;

17.    Calls on the Commission to put forward proposals and measures to reinforce the EU internal market, inter alia: a new internal market strategy for goods and services; the implementation of the Services Directive, the Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive and the Public Procurement package; analysis, assessment and eventually, a legislative proposal in relation to digital platforms in the single market; the completion of the digital single market, including legislative proposals on cross-border B2C contracts and the sharing economy; enforcement of consumer rights, including a review of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and the Misleading Advertisement Directive; urges the Commission to consistently develop the external dimension of the single market within the UE trade policies, with a view to enhancing EU competitiveness and consumer protection while avoiding unfair competition from goods and products that do not comply with EU safety, environmental and social standards;

18.    Expects a follow-up of the Commission Green Paper on the possible extension of EU geographical indication protection to non-agricultural products;

19.    Calls for an ambitious EU industrial policy, enabling the development of new goods and services and the restructuring of industrial processes through innovation, with a view to modernising EU industry and making the transition to a knowledge-based, digital and low carbon resource-efficient economy;

20.    Underlines the need for an ambitious proposal on the revision of the EU emissions trading system (ETS 2021/30) with the aim of fixing the carbon price at an appropriate level, and the need to come forward with a legislative proposal to implement the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework in sectors not covered by the ETS, and calls for an ambitious package of proposals on renewable energy;

21.    Calls on the Commission to propose measures to improve urban mobility and sustainable transport with technological innovation and alternative fuels, with a view to ensuring accessibility to efficient public transport, developing smart and innovative solutions and mobilising financial resources for clean urban transport system infrastructures;

22.    Expects the Commission to reflect on current challenges in the environment and health fields, where the state of the environment adversely affects human health, and to put forward proposals on the planned strategies, in particular scientifically based horizontal criteria for endocrine disruptors, referred to in the 7th Environment Action Programme, thus meeting the Commission’s overdue legal obligations without further delay;

23.    Invites the Commission to complete the review of the regulation on CO2 emissions from cars and to bring forward an ambitious proposal containing a post-2020 target; expects, moreover, a review of the Fuel Quality Directive with a view to decarbonising transport fuels in the period after 2020, including proposals for sustainability criteria relating to biomass for energy;

24.    Urges the Commission to monitor and implement the Operational Programmes (OPs) and to review the EU 2020 strategy; takes the view that steps should be taken to make use of synergies between the EFSI and other funds and that the European Structural and Investment Funds and EFSI could be streamlined by mutually reinforcing, and not undermining, each other as they target similar objectives; calls for synergies to be explored between European Structural and Investments funds (ESIF) and Horizon 2020;

25.    Asks the Commission to reinforce the risk management tools in various agriculture sectors (e.g. milk) and to put forward a proposal to combat food waste; calls also for closer links between research, farmers and industry;

26.    Calls on the Commission, in the context of the common fisheries policy, to propose a new framework for technical measures and multiannual fisheries management plans, and to put forward a proposal for revision of the Control Regulation;

A holistic approach to migration and asylum

27.    Welcomes the recent Commission proposals aimed at establishing solidarity and burden-sharing mechanisms in order to respond adequately to urgent humanitarian challenges, and strongly supports giving in-depth consideration to medium-term and long-term challenges;

28.    Calls on the Commission to continue to work on legislative proposals for a resettlement mechanism and a permanent relocation mechanism in order to achieve a fairer distribution of those in clear need of international protection within the EU; emphasises the importance of abiding by human rights and return policies; expects, therefore, an evaluation and a possible revision of the Dublin III Regulation;

29.    Supports the Commission in its ambitious and global vision on legal migration through a roadmap that addresses the Union’s economic and demographic challenges, and the existing labour market and skills gaps; calls for a roadmap along the same lines as for the agenda on migration, including new legislative proposals on sectoral labour migration, such as on domestic workers; calls for the revision of the Blue Card Directive;

Strengthening the EUs voice in the world

30.    Recalls its view that, in order to deliver results, the Commission should put in place a revised neighbourhood policy, with a comprehensive and consistent approach between external action and internal policies; underlines, in this connection, the fact that immigration policy is not merely a border control issue but also concerns development cooperation, security and human rights, given that social inequalities and poverty are often the root causes of conflicts and illegal migration;

31.    Is convinced that EU enlargement should be kept on the agenda by prioritising and objectively monitoring reforms in candidate countries, with a view to maintaining their motivation and the capacity of the EU to spread its values;

32.    Highlights the fact that, in the European Year for Development, the Commission must deliver tangible results in Africa, and calls on the Commission to develop and deliver a follow-up action plan to the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid with a view to ensuring coherence and continued joint implementation of its commitment to the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence; calls for the adoption of a revised Gender Action Plan in Development;

33.    Highlights the importance of the EU’s position at the forefront of international climate negotiations for nearly two decades and the need for the EU to take a strong lead in the forthcoming negotiations, ahead of the COP21 in Paris and create momentum towards a robust, universal, fair and legally binding agreement; calls on the Commission to ensure a proper follow-up of the Paris meeting and to put forward legislative proposals ensuring timely ratification of the agreement;

34.    Recalls its view that balanced trade agreements can provide rules for globalisation; calls on the Commission, therefore, to ensure that European standards are not put at risk and stresses that trade must play its part in fighting poverty and enhancing development abroad;

35.    Expects that the Commission will take due account of Parliament’s position on the TTIP; calls on the Commission to anticipate the revision of the regulation on transitional arrangements for bilateral investment treaties scheduled for 2020 in order to create the necessary instruments for additional steps to be taken in the elaboration of the EU’s investment policy, on the basis of the concept paper ‘Investment, TTIP and beyond’;

36.    Highlights the importance of reviewing the Dual Use Regulation, in particular to account for the export of surveillance technologies which in the past have aided human rights repression, and to unblock the reform of trade defence instruments and the international procurement instrument;

A more democratic, open and accountable EU

37.    Calls on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal setting up an EU scoreboard on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in order to assess on a yearly basis the situation of fundamental rights and compliance with the EU values enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU in every Member State;

38.    Calls on the Commission to put forward a proposal for a reform of the European Arrest Warrant, including a proportionality check, a standardised consultation procedure, better definitions of criminal offences, obligatory grounds for non-enforcement, effective legal remedies and respect for procedural safeguards;

39.    Expects the Commission to put forward initiatives to strengthen the fight against discrimination on grounds of gender, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or identity, religion or belief, disability or age; asks the Commission, in particular, to bring pressure to bear on the Council in order to unblock the anti-discrimination directive, as repeatedly called for; calls on the Commission to submit a roadmap on LGBTI rights and to bring forward a new legislative proposal on anti-discrimination and integration of Roma in the Member States;

40.    Recalls that the data protection reform must be based on a package approach, asks the Commission and the Council to continue to work on the agreement relating to both the directive and the regulation, and reiterates its call to repeal the Safe Harbour Agreement;

41.    Notes the publication of the Commission’s new agenda for security but requests that, before any new security measures are put into place, a comprehensive evaluation be made of the use and value of the existing ones;

42.    Urges the Commission to adhere to its plans and put forward a proposal on the recognition of the content of public documents in order to promote the free movement of European citizens and, as announced on previous occasions, to include same-sex marriages;

43.    Calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to ensure EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights while taking into account the legal arguments recently raised by the European Court of Justice;

44.    Welcomes the Commission proposal on better regulation, which is an important tool for timely and sound policy decisions; shares the view that better lawmaking can help to ensure that measures are evidence-based and well designed, that they deliver tangible and sustainable benefits for citizens, businesses and society as a whole, and that the objectives relating to competitiveness, growth and jobs are met; expects the Commission to treat the two branches of the legislative authority equally in terms of the information and documentation that it provides throughout legislative procedures;

45.    Recalls its view that better regulation should not be seen as a tool for deregulating or deprioritising areas such as social and environmental protection and fundamental rights, and that it should not lead to the creation of cumbersome mechanisms or allow technical assessments to prevail over political choices;

46.    Welcomes the Commission’s recognition of the right of social partners to enter into conventions (contractual relations and agreements), as laid down in the Article 155 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which should not be subject to further stakeholder consultations or impact assessments;

47.    Calls on the Commission to fulfil its pledge to respond to requests for information, with regard to petitions, within a period of three months, or to provide reasons where the deadline cannot be met, and to look into ways of assisting Parliament’s Committee on Petition’s when dealing with national authorities, so that Member States respond more promptly and appropriately to petitions; expects the Commission to take measures to promote the instrument of the European Citizens’ Initiative with a view to making it a valuable tool for political dialogue;

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


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