Procedure : 2015/2995(DEA)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0044/2016

Texts tabled :

B8-0044/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 20/01/2016 - 7.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 266kWORD 72k
13.1.2016
PE575.945v01-00
 
B8-0044/2016

pursuant to Rule 105(4) of the Rules of Procedure


on the Commission delegated regulation of 25 November 2015 amending Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council applying a scheme of generalised tariff preferences  (C(2015)08213 – 2015/2995(DEA))


Helmut Scholz, Kostas Chrysogonos, Stelios Kouloglou, Eleonora Forenza, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Tania González Peñas, Xabier Benito Ziluaga, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Estefanía Torres Martínez on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the Commission delegated regulation of 25 November 2015 amending Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council applying a scheme of generalised tariff preferences (C(2015)08213 – 2015/2995(DEA))  
B8‑0044/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission delegated regulation (C(2015)8213),

–  having regard to Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 applying a scheme of generalised tariff preferences and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 732/2008(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2015 on Kyrgyzstan, homosexual propaganda bill(2),

–  having regard to Rule 105(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Article 290 TFEU stipulates that the purpose of delegated acts is to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of legislative acts;

B.  whereas Article 10(4) of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 empowers the Commission to adopt delegated acts in order to establish or to amend Annex III thereof in order to grant a requesting country the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance by adding that country to the list of GSP+ beneficiary countries;

C.  whereas the GSP consists of a general arrangement and two special arrangements, including the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+), whereby no duties are levied on imports of more than 6 000 tariff lines from beneficiary countries;

D.  whereas Article 9(1) of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 lays down the conditions which an applicant country needs to fulfil in order to become a GSP+ beneficiary country, and whereas this status is not conferred automatically and requires a case-by-case assessment to be made regarding the fulfilment of the requisite conditions; whereas a GSP beneficiary country may benefit from the tariff preferences provided for under the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance referred to in Article 1(2)(b) of the regulation if it has ratified all the conventions listed in Annex VIII thereto (the ‘relevant conventions’) and if the most recent available conclusions of the monitoring bodies under those conventions (the ‘relevant monitoring bodies’) do not identify a serious failure to implement any of those conventions effectively;

E.  whereas reservations are not considered to be incompatible with the objectives and purpose of a convention providing that the GSP beneficiary country:

–  gives a binding undertaking to maintain ratification of the relevant conventions and to ensure the effective implementation thereof;

–  accepts without reservation the reporting requirements imposed by each convention and gives a binding undertaking to accept regular monitoring and review of its implementation record in accordance with the provisions of the relevant conventions;

F.  whereas in its report to the 2015 International Labour Conference, the International Labour Organisation Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS) listed the Kyrgyz Republic among the countries still concerned by a failure to submit the instruments adopted by the Conference to the competent authorities; whereas the CAS also noted that no information had yet been received from the country regarding most of the observations and direct requests of the Committee of Experts, to which replies had been requested for the period ending 2014; whereas the CAS decided to mention the cases in the corresponding paragraph of the General Report; whereas, moreover, the CAS regretted that the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic had failed to take part in the discussions concerning its country and the fulfilment of its reporting and other standards-related obligations;

G.  whereas in its report of 20 December 2013, the Committee against Torture (CAT) found the following salient shortcomings:

–  the ongoing and widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, in particular while in police custody to extract confessions, and a substantial gap between the legislative framework and its practical implementation;

–  a persistent pattern of failure to conduct prompt, impartial and full investigations into the many allegations of torture and to prosecute perpetrators;

–  the failure to afford to all persons deprived of their liberty, especially those held in pre-trial detention, all fundamental legal safeguards, an example being the case of Azimjan Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek human rights defender prosecuted on criminal charges in connection with the death of a police officer in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010;

–  detainees are frequently denied access to an independent lawyer of their choice, police officers forcibly extract confessions before formal detention or arrest, and in practice lawyers need to secure special permission from investigators to have access to their clients;

–  reports that corruption in the judiciary significantly contributes to a climate of impunity;

–  heavy reliance on coerced confessions within the criminal justice system;

–  reports of intimidation, reprisals and threats against human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers;

–  reports of deaths in custody or immediately after release;

H.  whereas in its report of 19 April 2013, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) identified the following salient shortcomings:

–  repeated ethnic conflicts and clashes between the majority of the population and some ethnic groups;

–  reports of biased attitudes based on ethnicity in the investigation, prosecution and condemnation of, and the sanctions imposed on, those charged and convicted in relation to the June 2010 events, who were mostly of Uzbek origin;

–  since the June 2010 events, many schools in Osh and Jalal-Abad have changed the language of education from minority languages to Kyrgyz, and some of them no longer benefit from state funding enabling them to provide classes in minority languages;

–  the disappearance of some Uzbek-language media impedes the right of those belonging to the Uzbek minority to disseminate and receive information in their language;

I.  whereas, regarding the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in its report of 7 July 2014 the Committee on the Rights of the Child found the following salient shortcomings:

–  cases of torture and ill-treatment of children by the representatives of law enforcement in detention facilities and closed institutions, including the imposition of solitary confinement for up to seven days;

–  a growing number of cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of children; a culture of covering up such problems; mishandling of cases by law enforcement agencies; the inability of children to lodge complaints directly with the authorities;

–  the continuing widespread practice of bride-kidnapping of underage girls, with cases often remaining unreported by the victims owing to social stigma and pressure;

–  working children, especially those living in care institutions, are often subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse;

J.  whereas the parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic has ignored the European Parliament’s resolution of 15 January 2015 on the country’s homosexual propaganda bill, and moved the bill forward to pass its second reading; whereas this draft legislation violates the important principle that sexual orientation and gender identity are matters falling within the sphere of the individual right to privacy, as guaranteed by international human rights law, according to which equality and non-discrimination are to be protected and freedom of expression is to be guaranteed;

1.  Notes that the monitoring bodies of the relevant conventions have detected salient shortcomings in connection to a number of the GSP+-relevant conventions, and considers the abovementioned shortcomings to constitute a serious failure to implement effectively the relevant conventions listed in Annex VIII to the GSP Regulation;

2.  Objects to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No C(2015)08213 of 25 November 2015 amending Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 applying a scheme of generalised tariff preferences (C(2013)9133);

3.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and to notify it that the delegated regulation cannot enter into force;

4.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

OJ L 303, 31.10.2012, p. 1.

(2)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0008.

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