Procedure : 2016/2773(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0885/2016

Texts tabled :

B8-0885/2016

Debates :

PV 06/07/2016 - 5
CRE 06/07/2016 - 5

Votes :

PV 06/07/2016 - 6.12
CRE 06/07/2016 - 6.12
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0312

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 312kWORD 105k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0885/2016
4.7.2016
PE585.324v01-00
 
B8-0885/2016

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 Parliament’s priorities for the Commission Work Programme 2017 (2016/2773(RSP))


Sophia in ‘t Veld on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the Parliament’s priorities for the Commission Work Programme 2017 (2016/2773(RSP))  
B8‑0885/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission(1), in particular Annex IV thereto,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016,

–  having regard to the Conference of Committee Chairs’ Summary Report, which provides complementary input to this resolution from the point of view of parliamentary committees and which the Commission should take duly into account when drafting and adopting its Work Programme for 2017,

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

A.  whereas the role of the Commission is to promote the general interest of the Union, to take appropriate initiatives to that end, to ensure the application of the Treaties, to oversee the implementation and enforcement of EU law, to be committed to apply the rule of law which is based on the core European values and is the basis of Europeans living together in peace, to exercise coordinating, executive and management functions, and to initiate legislation;

B.  whereas the EU has endured a lengthy economic crisis, with low growth and a lack of job creation and investment, which will not be overcome without significant further deepening of European integration wherever justified, in particular in the internal market and in the context of economic and monetary union, with reinforced democratic control and accountability;

C.  whereas sustainability and economic growth are compatible and can be mutually reinforcing, and whereas the Commission is urged to make sustainability a cornerstone of its jobs and growth agenda;

PART 1: Horizontal

1.  Welcomes the negotiated Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making, notably the institutions’ commitments on improved impact assessments, the use of regulations rather than directives and the inclusion of sunset clauses to ensure that EU laws are periodically reviewed; therefore looks forward to the Commission’s report on the application of Union legislation, and specifically its assessment of the transposition of directives into national, law including the obligation on Member States to make any additional elements (‘gold-plating’) clearly identifiable through EU scoreboards, and to more actively tackle cases of improperly transposed directives and thoroughly follow up the enforcement and implementation of existing legislation;

2.  Calls for the REFIT of existing legislation, emphasising that legislation needs to be digitally fit for purpose;

PART 2: Sector specific

A European policy on asylum and migration and border management

3.  Calls for a standalone proposal on humanitarian visas for the Schengen area;

4.  Calls for a proper EU economic migration policy that will build on the existing instruments for students and researchers and for highly skilled workers by creating a Schengen work and residence permit for low and unskilled third-country national workers;

5.  Calls for implementation and monitoring reports on the functioning of the European Border and Coast Guard and of the Schengen area;

An area of justice, security and fundamental rights

Justice

6.  Calls once again on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal on EU administrative law which will guarantee an open, efficient and independent European administration, and to take due account of Parliament’s proposal for an EU regulation in this regard;

7.  Welcomes the upcoming proposal for the review of the Brussels IIA Regulation, and calls on the Commission to respect the set timeline; highlights the utmost importance of this legislation as regards conflict-of-law issues in family law between Member States, in particular in the framework of child custody and international child abduction;

8.  Calls on the Commission to propose a European legislative framework for the protection of vulnerable adults in order to harmonise the different national measures for physical persons unable to manage their personal affairs or property; regrets, in this respect, that Parliament’s recommendation of 2008(2) for the cross-border legal protection of vulnerable adults did not lead to any concrete action;

9.  Urges the Commission to look into the possibilities of harmonising whistleblower protection at EU level;

Security

10.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the efficient and coordinated implementation of the European Agenda on Security for the 2015-2020 period and its priorities in the fields of counter-terrorism and cross-border organised crime and cybercrime, focusing on effective security outcomes; reiterates its call for an in-depth evaluation focused on the operational effectiveness of relevant existing EU instruments and on the remaining gaps in this field, prior to the presentation of new legislative proposals as part of the European Agenda on Security; deplores, in this regard, the systematic absence of impact assessment for several proposals presented as part of that agenda;

11.  Calls on the Commission to propose a horizontal legislative instrument to improve the exchange of law enforcement information and increase operational cooperation between Member States and with EU agencies, building upon its communication on a stronger and smarter information systems for borders and security and with a view to ensuring mandatory exchange of information for the purpose of combating serious transnational crime; urges the Commission, in this regard, to present a legislative proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 on the establishment, operation and use of the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) with a view to harmonising the alert criteria and making it compulsory to issue alerts regarding people convicted or suspected of terrorism or other serious transnational crimes;

12.  Calls on the Commission to present without undue delay an amendment to the new Europol founding regulation, in order to develop a genuine European investigation capacity, equip the Agency with a legal capacity to request the initiation of a criminal investigation, and foster the sharing and pooling of information at EU level;

13.  Calls on the Commission to mobilise expertise and technical and financial resources in order to ensure EU-level coordination and exchanges of best practices in the fight against violent extremism and terrorist propaganda, radical networks and recruitment by terrorist organisations through offline and online means, with a particular focus on prevention, integration and reintegration strategies together with accurate gender mainstreaming;

14.  Stresses that any proposed law enforcement measure restricting the online distribution, or otherwise making available, of a message to the public, or aiming at intercepting personal communications, must be limited to what is necessary and proportionate and applicable on the basis of a prior judicial authorisation; calls on the Commission to continue and step up its efforts to improve procedures for identifying cyberpredators and protecting children against them;

15.  Welcomes the adoption of the EU data protection package, and calls on the Commission to ensure a swift and harmonised implementation of this new EU legislative framework for the protection of personal data; welcomes the drawing-up of a comprehensive EU-US data protection umbrella agreement, but is concerned that it does not comply with EU primary and secondary law and calls for an opinion of the EU Court of Justice before the conclusion of the agreement; welcomes the proposals for the Privacy Shield, replacing the Safe Harbour, but believes that the Privacy Shield is not yet fully ‘Schrems-proof’ and that further steps are necessary for full compliance with EU law and case law;

Fundamental rights

16.  Invites the Commission to put forward proposals for a Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Pact, along the lines which will be set out by Parliament in its forthcoming legislative initiative report;

17.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to make every effort to unblock the proposal for a horizontal anti-discrimination directive; invites it to upgrade its List of Actions on LGBTI equality to a full European response to the fundamental rights problems faced by LGBTI people, in the shape of an EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;

18.  Encourages the Commission to continue to progress towards EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHT), taking into account the Court of Justice opinion on the matter and addressing the remaining legal challenges; urges the Commission to urgently seek solutions for the two most problematic issues relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), namely mutual trust and judicial review;

19.  Calls for a strong standalone strategy for women’s rights and gender equality, to replace the 2010-2015 strategy for equality between men and women; welcomes the Commission’s proposal on EU ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention), aimed at ensuring the proper and effective application of the Convention and obliging Member States to collect and share the data needed to develop effective policies and awareness-raising campaigns;

Economic and monetary union, growth and investment

20.  Welcomes the Commission’s initiative to enhance cooperation with Parliament in the field of competition; calls on the Commission to continue and strengthen that practice and to consider codecision powers for Parliament on competition policy, particularly where fundamental principles and binding guidelines are concerned;

21.  Calls on the Commission to come up very rapidly with concrete proposals in the field of retail financial services, noting that retail finance in the EU should work in the interests of citizens and provide better products and more choice on the market;

22.  Calls on the Commission to take effective measures within the framework of the European Semester to ensure that Member States implement the country-specific recommendations and structural reforms in order to modernise their economies, increase competitiveness and tackle inequalities and imbalances;

23.  Calls for the establishment of a European debt redemption fund based on conditionality;

24.  Calls on the Commission, in accordance with the resolution of Parliament of 12 April 2016 on the EU role in the framework of international financial, monetary and regulatory institutions and bodies(3), to streamline and codify the EU’s representation in multilateral organisations and bodies with a view to increasing the transparency, integrity and accountability of the Union’s involvement in those bodies, its influence, and the promotion of the legislation it has adopted through a democratic process;

MFF revision

25.  Whereas, after only two years of implementation, the multiannual financial framework (MFF) has reached its limits; whereas without a comprehensive mid-term revision of the MFF the Union budget will be able neither to further address additional financial needs and new political priorities, nor to avoid the resurgence of a payment crisis;

26.  Calls on the Commission, given its legal obligation, to present a review of the functioning of the MFF by the end of 2016; urges it to accompany this budgetary review with a legislative proposal for the revision of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1311/2013 laying down the MFF for 2014-2020, in order to avoid the resurgence of a new payment crisis and mobilise additional financial resources so as to enable the Union to face the new challenges, both internal and external;

27.  Considers that the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) is essential to tackle youth unemployment, which remains at its highest rates ever in the EU; recalls that no new commitments have been allocated for the YEI in the EU budget for 2016, while the absorption capacity is full; calls on the Commission to include a prolongation of this programme in the EU budget for 2017;

28.  Notes the considerable long-term impact of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) on the EU budget, including the significant cuts in financing for Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF); calls on the Commission to ensure that EFSI-funded projects place a stronger focus on SMEs, involve higher risk and are of greater strategic interest; is concerned at the low project success rate under Horizon 2020 and the CEF resulting from insufficient funding, and calls on the Commission to restore their level of financing;

29.  Insists that the additional financial needs resulting from the migration and refugee crisis, (headings 3 and 4) should not be funded at the expense of existing programmes, and calls for the new emergency support instrument at EU level to be perpetuated in the form of a new MFF flexibility mechanism; expects the Commission to come forward with appropriate proposals in this regard;

Cohesion policy

30.  Calls on the Commission to maintain the allocation of cohesion policy funds and European Structural and Investment Funds at the level decided in the MFF in 2013; considers, therefore, that technical adjustment should avoid any decrease in the budget for the cohesion policy, given its importance for creating growth and jobs, ensuring cohesion within the EU, and, in particular supporting, SMEs and innovation and research, as well as a low-carbon economy and urban policies;

31.  Calls on the Commission to coordinate the EU Urban Agenda and thus ensure the coherent and integrated policy solutions that cities need at European level, as well as to guarantee the link with the Better Regulation agenda; calls on the Commission to strengthen its internal coordination of issues relevant to urban areas and, for example, expand the instrument of impact assessments so as to include the urban dimension more systematically;

32.  Calls on the Commission to develop and implement actions which will genuinely remove the bottlenecks preventing progress towards addressing today’s key urban challenges; believes that a genuine cross-cutting anchoring of the urban dimension in the EU decision-making process (‘urban mainstreaming’) is required, to be applied to all relevant European policies and legislation via a bottom-up approach;

Jobs creation and a safe and healthy work environment

33.  Calls on the Commission to monitor Member States’ spending of funds to boost youth employment and job creation, in order to ensure efficiency, in particular in regions with high unemployment levels through investment under the YEI and EFSI and the application of EIB-financed programmes; calls for specific measures to promote basic training for those not in education, employment or training (NEETs); furthermore calls on the Commission to allocate sufficient funds to encourage the mobility of apprentices and VET (vocational education and training) students, and to come forward with proposals to facilitate the employment of people aged over 50;

34.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with a Green Paper on inequality and how it is hampering economic recovery; encourages it to analyse and assess this issue as a first step to proposing political solutions, and to take immediate action to reverse this trend;

35.  Calls on the Commission to capitalise on the positive achievements of Member States so far and to continue its work towards a possible European model for Employee Financial Participation, as a means to prevent unemployment and encourage entrepreneurship;

36.  Calls on the Commission to further the social inclusion of refugees and their integration into the labour market, in particular through language learning and a mechanism for recognising equivalences in qualifications and skills; considers that these measures should also be extended to regular migrants in Member States;

37.  Calls on the Commission to take further steps in the framework of the New Skills Agenda, such as mandatory work-based learning and coordinated dialogue between the Member States and labour market stakeholders, particularly the business and education sectors, so as to ensure that emphasis is placed on anticipating future needs as regards skills and matching skills and jobs in the EU labour market;

38.  Urges the Commission to put in place all suitable mechanisms for greater mobility among young people, apprenticeships included, as a way to address skill mismatches in the labour market and improve access to employment opportunities;

39.  Calls on the Commission to monitor the initial progress made by the Member States in implementing the enforcement directive on posting of workers;

A strategy to address the impact of demographic change

40.  Calls for a structured, long-term EU strategy to address the challenges posed by demographic change, as all the Member States are now faced with an increasingly ageing population; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to look extensively into future shortages and mismatches in the EU labour market, and to examine in depth how such problems can be addressed across the EU, inter alia through targeted anticipation of future skills needs, and by better matching skills with the jobs available in the labour market and further strengthening labour mobility;

A connected digital single market

41.  Welcomes the Commission proposal on ensuring cross-border portability of online services in the internal market, as a first and important step for citizens to have access to legally acquired online content wherever they are in Europe;

42.  Welcomes efforts to develop and modernise the EU’s intellectual property laws, in particular in the area of copyright, in order to render them fit for the digital age and facilitate cross-border access to creative content, thereby creating legal certainty while protecting authors’ and performers’ rights; calls on the Commission to base any legislative initiative to modernise copyright on independent evidence as to the impact on growth and jobs, particularly as regards SMEs in this sector, access to knowledge and culture, and potential costs and benefits, as well as ensuring adequate remuneration and tackling digital piracy in relation to value and employment in the creative and cultural sectors; considers that copyright should maintain its primary function, which is to allow creators to gain rewards for their efforts through others making use of their work; stresses that the important contribution of traditional methods of promoting regional and European culture should not be hampered by modernisation of reform proposals;

43.  Welcomes the Commission proposal on contracts on digital content and online and other distance sales of goods; looks forward to the results of the REFIT exercise, particularly for the sales and guarantees directive, and underlines its intention to align the rules governing online and offline sales;

44.  Reiterates its calls for proposals to develop the potential of the cultural and creative sector as a source of jobs and growth; stresses, in this connection, the importance of enforcing intellectual property rights (IPR), and urges the Commission to follow up on its action plan to combat IPR infringements, including a review of the IPR Enforcement Directive, which is out of step with the digital age and inadequate to combat online infringements, and also to follow up on the Green Paper on chargeback and related schemes in the context of a potential EU-wide right to retrieve money unwittingly used to purchase counterfeit goods; calls on the Commission to further strengthen the remit of the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, and welcomes its creation of a group of experts on IPR enforcement;

45.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the preservation of the internet as an open, neutral, secured and inclusive platform for communication, production, participation and creation, and as a provider of cultural diversity and innovation; recalls that this is in the interests of all EU citizens and consumers and will contribute to the success of European companies globally; emphasises the need to ensure the rigorous application of the net neutrality principle as adopted in the ‘Connected Continent package’;

46.  Urges the Commission not to regulate the sharing economy unnecessarily; recalls that ex post remedies are often more efficient than ex ante regulation in the context of the sharing economy; therefore asks the Commission to protect the openness of the internet, fundamental rights, legal certainty and innovation, to maintain the existing legal regime of limited liability of intermediaries, and to promote public-private cooperation in order to address the existing barriers in the sharing economy;

47.  Recalls the commitments made in the e-government Action Plan to implement in its own work the ‘digital by default’ and ‘once-only’ principles; calls, in addition to the pilot project on the ‘Once only principle’ for business, for the presentation of an initiative for citizens in this respect in a cross-border context;

48.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the proposal for a single digital gateway (due in 2017) and the proposed initiative to facilitate the use of digital solutions throughout a company’s lifecycle have at their core the use of e-ID and e-signatures in a form that is interoperable and cross-border by default;

The single market

49.  Calls on the Commission to publish an annual Report on Single Market Integration and Competitiveness as part of the European Semester, and to issue recommendations focused on removing single market barriers in the Country-Specific Recommendations;

50.  Calls on the Commission to facilitate cross-border access to digital content, revise the Mutual Recognition Regulation, and update the Small Business Act;

51.  Underlines the need to reduce the number of regulated professions in the internal market by removing unnecessary professional qualification requirements; calls on the Commission to present a proposal for a Services Passport;

52.  Calls on the Commission to improve the notification procedure under the Services Directive, and also to improve the existing Product Contact Points and Single Points of Contact and streamline with the proposed Single Digital Gateway;

53.  Calls on the Commission to ensure full and fast implementation of the Services Directive, the Public Procurement Directive and the Late Payments Directive;

Horizon 2020

54.  Calls on the Commission to carry out a meaningful mid-term evaluation of the Horizon 2020 research programme; believes this evaluation should take into consideration Parliament’s recommendations and political priorities, report on the wider impact of EU-funded research, and consider synergies with other EU funding instruments, such as cohesion policy funds, the programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) and the Horizon 2020 programme; considers that long-term investment in large infrastructure should entail job creation;

Energy Union, climate change policy and the environment

55.  Reiterates the importance of fully implementing the legally binding 7th Environmental Action Programme (EAP) 2014-2020, and expects the Commission to ensure that the 2017 work programme reflects the objectives of the EAP by putting sustainability at the core of economic policy and including a specific heading dedicated to the implementation of the EAP; calls on the Commission to bring forward proposals for incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals into EU policies;

56.  Believes that the legally binding Paris agreement, concluded in December 2015, sets an internationally agreed long-term goal to limit global warming that will steer global investment towards a clean energy transition and which, if accompanied by effective measures, will provide significant opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth in Europe;

57.  Calls on the Commission to propose Union-wide measures complimentary to the EU’s commitment to a 40 % cut in domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in view of the global stocktaking of 2018 under the Paris Agreement; also urges the Commission to prepare a mid-century zero emissions strategy consistent with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, including intermediate milestones to ensure cost-efficient delivery of the EU’s climate ambitions; further calls on the Commission to evaluate the consistency of current EU policies in relation to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, including the EU budget and the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies; calls on the Commission to propose measures for an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy in order to mitigate the systematic economic risks associated with high-carbon financial assets;

58.  Expresses its strong support for the circular economy agenda, and urges the Commission to move forward without any delay with the initiatives listed in the Action Plan, taking into account the important economic and environmental benefits to be achieved through decisive and well-coordinated actions in this area; urges the Commission to put in place a solid framework for monitoring and review of progress in delivering the Action Plan and moving towards a circular economy in the Member States, including in particular in the framework of the EU semester;

59.  Calls on the Commission to urgently follow up on the conclusions of the mid-term review of the EU’s 2020 biodiversity strategy, and to address the shortcomings of current policies as highlighted in the review in order to avoid the strategy failing, taking into account the different situations in Member States and the need to support better and more comprehensive implementation at Member State level;

60.  Calls on the Commission, following the adoption of various Energy Union, energy efficiency, market design, renewable energy and other energy-related legislative proposals and communications, to focus its attention on ensuring that Member States fully implement these; considers that in cases where legal obligations are clearly not being met, the Commission should launch infringement procedures, the aim being to build a genuine Energy Union;

61.  Calls on the Commission to carry out a meaningful mid-term evaluation of the Horizon 2020 research programme, taking into consideration Parliament’s recommendations and political priorities, to report on the wider impact of EU-funded research, and to consider synergies with other EU funding instruments;

62.  Calls on the Commission to comply immediately with the judgement of the European Court of Justice in Case T-521/14 regarding the identification of endocrine disrupters, in line with adopted EU legislation;

An integrated and efficient transport sector

Aviation

63.  Calls on the Commission to swiftly engage in and conclude the ongoing negotiations for new air transport agreements with third countries, so as to avoid blocking the European aviation sector and create a level playing field; calls on the Commission to work closely with the Council in order to make progress on the numerous files still blocked in Council (passenger rights, Single European Sky, airport slots);

Rail

64.  Calls on the Commission to take further action to ensure better and proper implementation of existing and new EU legislation on rail transport, in order to overcome the continued market fragmentation which is greatly slowing down progress towards a proper and effective single European railway area;

Road

65.  Calls for a functioning internal market in road transport to be ensured through a revision of the Eurovignette Directive and the associated framework in order to promote a European electronic toll regime and fair and efficient pricing; insists as well on the revision of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 on rest and driving times for truck and bus drivers, so as to adapt the current rules and harmonise the enforcement of this regulation in the different Member States;

Multimodal

66.  Calls on the Commission to further encourage the development of digitalisation and automation in all transport modes, in order to make more efficient use of existing infrastructure, increase safety of operation, reduce administrative burdens (e.g. Blue Belt, e-CMR) and contribute to the decarbonisation of transport, including through the development of alternative propulsion systems, on the basis of higher fuel efficiency standards and the promotion of electric vehicles and sustainable advanced biofuels, taking into account real GHG emission savings;

Financing of transport

67.  Calls, in the light of the MFF review, for a reflection on the financing of transport infrastructures and on the future of the CEF in relation to other sources of funding, such as EFSI and the European Structural and Investment Funds; insists that it is of paramount importance to ensure that the means allocated to the various EU transport agencies through the annual budget procedure are consistent with the competences allocated by the legislator;

Agriculture and fisheries policies

68.  Stresses the important role that sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors play in ensuring food security in the EU, providing jobs and improving environmental standards, and equally underlines the potential of European agriculture in contributing to climate change policies; calls on the Commission to simplify the implementation of the CAP and to cut red tape in order to increase its efficiency, alleviate the administrative burden on agricultural entrepreneurs, and make room for innovations that are indispensable for a forward-looking, competitive European agriculture sector; asks the Commission to come forward with concrete proposals on how the future CAP could provide more regulatory and financial incentives for innovation in agriculture in line with the principles of better regulation, so as to ensure timely, efficient and effective decision-making procedures which would encourage technological development in the EU;

69.  Reiterates the importance of opening up new markets for European agriculture, and invites the Commission in this respect to continue its efforts to alleviate the agricultural crisis by providing more opportunities for European farmers’ exports;

70.  Stresses the urgency and importance of taking action against the growing threat of increased antimicrobial resistance, since this can have an enormous impact on citizens’ health and productivity as well as on the Member States’ health budgets;

71.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with a proposal for an EU action plan on how to implement in the Union the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance;

72.  Reiterates that, in order to ensure the timely and proper implementation of the common fisheries policy adopted in 2013, the Commission must continue to come forward with legislative proposals for the adoption of renewed multiannual management plans for fish stocks;

73.  Highlights the importance of the strong control system laid down in the Control Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009), which modernised the EU’s approach to fisheries control in line with the measures adopted to combat illegal fishing; reminds the Commission of its legal obligation to present an evaluation of that regulation in order to assess its implementation and determine whether the control measures are effective and suitable for achieving the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy; calls on the Commission to undertake a comprehensive follow-up and to propose, if necessary, their revision with a view to addressing shortcomings and ensuring proper implementation;

74.  Considers that illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a form of organised crime on the seas, with disastrous worldwide environmental and socio-economic impacts; calls on the Commission to take all necessary action against non-cooperating countries and all organisations contributing to IUU fishing;

Free trade

75.  Emphasises its support for an ambitious and values-based trade agenda which will strengthen the global rules-based system and contribute towards jobs and growth in Europe; welcomes in this regard, the Commission’s efforts to push ahead with ongoing negotiations, as well as aiming to commence new ones with, for example, Australia and New Zealand and trying to unblock other negotiations, such as those with Mercosur and India;

76.  Calls on the Commission to reinvigorate the post-Nairobi WTO discussion, since multilateral trade negotiations must remain a priority matter for the EU even when they prove difficult; considers that it would also be worthwhile to look into new areas and issues within the WTO framework, such as digital trade and investment;

77.  Stresses that modernising and strengthening the Union’s trade defence instruments as a matter of urgency is of the utmost importance;

78.  Reiterates that an update of the dual-use export control legislation is urgently needed, and urges the Commission to avoid any further delays in moving ahead with such a proposal;

79.  Urges the Commission to look for ways in which European citizens can be more closely involved in EU trade policy, including by furthering transparency in cooperation with negotiating partners and with the Member States who formulate the negotiating directives for the Commission and can play a role in engaging their own populations;

80.  Calls on the Commission to keep up the focus on small and medium-sized enterprises in all ongoing negotiations, as well as those yet to be launched, since SMEs often lack the means to access third-country markets;

A stronger global actor

81.  Urges the Commission to show proof of ambition in its updated EU Global Strategy and to better position the EU in a rapidly changing world; also asks it to communicate regarding the plan for implementation, monitoring, follow-up and incorporation of the 2030 Agenda into the EU’s internal and external policy;

82.  Calls on the Commission to give an active and effective impulse to the EU’s external policy; stresses that the EU should be a major actor that provides efficient responses to the challenges that Europe is facing;

83.  Recalls the need to review the Humanitarian Aid Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996) in order to make humanitarian assistance more efficient and ensure a sustainable future for the millions of people affected by conflicts or by natural or man-made disasters;

84.  Calls on the Commission to step up its engagement with the countries of the Western Balkans and with the eastern and southern neighbourhood countries, with a view to long-term political stability and addressing the root causes of current conflicts;

85.  Commends the Commission for its emphasis on the Neighbourhood Policy, but underlines that this policy must acquire a more political content, notably through a combination of increased financial assistance, reinforced democracy support, market access and improved mobility;

86.  Stresses that the promotion of, and respect for, human rights, international law and fundamental freedoms must be a central common denominator across EU policies; calls on the Commission not to neglect the importance of protecting human rights in the context of counter-terrorism measures; urges the Commission to actively continue pushing for human rights to be implemented effectively through all agreements, in particular the trade, political dialogue and cooperation and association agreements subscribed to by the EU, in particular the so-called ‘democracy clause’ and Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement;

87.  Stresses that the continuous and increasing security threats along the Union’s borders can only be successfully tackled by enhanced security cooperation between Member States, including cooperation in the NATO framework;

88.  Calls on the Commission to put in place the necessary measures to allow for a genuine, strong and non-complex European market in defence equipment, in order to better enable Member States to achieve defence and security budget maximisation and commence concrete work for the creation of a European Defence Union;

89.  Urges the Commission to present its communication on the plan for implementation, monitoring, follow-up and incorporation of the 2030 Agenda into the EU’s internal and external policy;

90.  Urges the Commission to present ambitious proposals regarding the revision of the European Consensus on Development;

91.  Urges the Commission to launch the Programme for Action on Global Health, taking account of epidemics such as Ebola; asks the Commission, furthermore, to take initiatives to improve access to medicines for least-developed countries;

A Union of citizenship, democratic involvement and inclusion

92.  Stresses that many citizens of the European Union feel that they are not being heard by the institutions; calls on the Commission to take citizen participation seriously by adequately responding to the requests of petitioners;

93.  Draws attention to a rising level of citizen participation through petitions, European citizens’ initiatives (ECIs) and referendums on European issues; suggests that the Commission should evaluate the impact of and need for citizen participation;

94.  Underlines that on 30 April 2014 the EU signed the Treaty of Marrakesh, which makes copyright-protected works available for visually impaired persons; stresses that nonetheless the EU has not yet ratified it; calls on the Commission to motivate Member States to sign this treaty;

Culture and better communication

95.  Urges the Commission to fully implement and finance the Creative Europe and the Europe for Citizens programmes, which have been lagging behind in terms of the commitments set by the MFF;

96.  Urges the Commission to bring the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive up to a level that endorses digital solutions to be put into effect to close the technological gaps in this area;

97.  Calls the Commission to facilitate cooperation between Member States in the area of education and training, in order to better address the educational needs raised by the current refugee and humanitarian crises; notes that this requires developing, together with relevant stakeholders, the qualification recognition mechanism for refugees in order to allow them to start contributing to the job market and society as soon as possible after their arrival in the EU, as well as teacher training programmes that can guarantee access to multicultural, non-discriminatory and inclusive education systems;

_____________________

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

(1)

OJ L 304, 20.11.2010, p. 47.

(2)

2008/2123(INI).

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0108.

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