Procedure : 2016/2773(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0892/2016

Texts tabled :


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 :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-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 European Commission

on the Commission Work Programme 2017 (2016/2773(RSP))

József Szájer on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the Commission Work Programme 2017 (2016/2773(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 27 October 2015 entitled ‘Commission Work Programme 2016 – No time for business as usual’ (COM(2015)0610) and Annexes I to VI thereto,

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

A.  whereas political priorities should correspond to the available financial resources;

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

C.  whereas the EU must be committed to regaining competitiveness in the face of fierce global competition, thus preserving the model of the social market economy and ensuring sustainable growth in order to provide the next generation of young citizens with jobs instead of debts;

European solutions to European crises

1.  Stresses that the current crises facing the EU require European solutions strongly anchored in a responsible and fully democratic process that is based on the Community method and fully involves the European Parliament, with the close involvement of the national parliaments;

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, which concerns the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality; strongly believes, therefore, that efforts must single out key priorities only, and calls on the Commission to refrain from taking initiatives which are not essential, so that EU action always focuses on major priorities to the direct benefit of its citizens;

3.  Points out that administrative obstacles increase costs for businesses, in particular SMEs and start-ups, and hinder innovation and job creation; asks the Commission, therefore, to take due account of citizens’ and companies’ expectation of an efficient public administration as a key factor of competitiveness;

4.  Highlights the unprecedented intensity of the hybrid threats faced by the EU, and calls on the Commission to focus on actionable activities to counter hybrid threats and foster the resilience of the EU and its Member States, and of the EU’s partners, in particular in its neighbourhood;

5.  Reaffirms the importance of the Community method, the transparency of the legislative process, democratic legitimacy and the role and responsibility of national parliaments;

Economic recovery

6.  Recalls that employment remains the top priority and that the EU needs targeted investments to boost the transition to an innovative, resource-efficient digital economy in order to re-industrialise Europe and re-shore jobs, and strongly reaffirms that EU competition policy is instrumental for the functioning of Europe’s social market economy;

7.  Calls on the Commission to put forward the necessary measures to foster R&D, innovation and creativity as the central engines of job creation;

8.  Urges the Commission to facilitate access to capital for companies and SMEs, which is vital in order to encourage the development and production of new products and services, coupled with efficient protection of intellectual property rights;

9.  Considers that a globally competitive, innovative and citizen-oriented Digital Single Market is the only possible solution to tackle the challenges of the 21st century; asks the Commission, therefore, to exploit the full potential of the single market, to integrate further, especially in the digital area, and to create an environment that supports, inter alia, SMEs;

10.  Believes in consolidating means by, first and foremost, applying the rules in place, ensuring a level playing field and reaping the full benefits of the single market;

11.  Emphasises that the EU’s core economic and social agenda must include measures aimed at reducing inequality and promoting jobs, especially for young people and the long-term unemployed, while stepping up investment in the education system, lifelong learning and skills development;

12.  Calls on the Commission to monitor closely the correct transposition and full implementation of all financial services and taxation legislation, and stresses that risk reduction measures must coincide with risk-sharing strategies with a view to the completion of the Banking Union;

13.  Asks the Commission to continue its consistent and strict monitoring of debts and deficits and macroeconomic imbalances in a way that enforces the Stability and Growth Pact and encourages economic growth and job creation;

14.  Believes that closer economic policy coordination needs to be promoted in order to address Europe’s investment gaps and to sustain demand, and that it is of the utmost importance to respect the requirements of EU law regarding democratic accountability for decisions in the context of European economic governance;

15.  Supports the Commission in the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance, which represents potential income of up to EUR 1 trillion for national budgets, as well as its intention to put forward a proposal for a mandatory Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base;

Responding to climate change and ensuring energy security

16.  Calls on the Commission to take further steps to achieve the Energy Union, thus guaranteeing energy security and affordable and sustainable energy for all citizens and businesses;

17.  Urges the EU to continue to tackle the root causes of climate change while ensuring the competitiveness of our industry, with a strategy for energy and climate diplomacy that addresses these global concerns in line with the Paris COP 21 Agreement;

Tackling migration and the refugee crisis

18.  Urges the Commission to address the root causes of the refugee crisis by strengthening cooperation with transit countries and countries of origin in the context of migration flows, by using all available policies and instruments to ensure the stabilisation, rehabilitation and development of those countries;

19.  Stresses the importance of setting up systematic and enforceable programmes for the direct resettlement and relocation of asylum seekers;

20.  Takes the view that, in cooperation with the Member States, the Commission should pursue humanitarian assistance and ensure liveable conditions in refugee camps, combined with longer-term development programmes;

21.  Recalls that conditions for the efficient reception of asylum seekers, which ensure humane treatment and safety and sufficient resources inside Europe, must be guaranteed with a view to the labour market integration and social inclusion of refugees;

22.  Stresses that international migration is a global phenomenon that is growing in scope, complexity and impact, and that for this reason increasing responsibility for protecting refugees should be taken not only by the EU as a whole, but equally by the international community, as the responsibility is currently shared unevenly at the global level; recalls that this is a shared responsibility of the international community that will only be adequately and sustainably addressed by means of a concerted and determined approach on the part of all international actors; calls on the Commission, in that context, to initiate, in close cooperation with relevant international actors, a reflection on pathways for the revision of the international legal framework, including the 1951 Geneva Convention, with the aim of adjusting it to the unprecedented global migration and refugee challenges currently facing the EU and the world;

Stability and security for EU citizens

23.  Strongly believes that the EU, in cooperation with the Member States, should be able to jointly manage a secure external European border with a view to safeguarding the EU and the Schengen Area;

24.  Takes the view that, in order to address the threats of terrorism and radicalisation, the Commission must monitor closely the transposition and implementation of measures aimed at addressing the various dimensions of terrorism, ranging from effective police and judicial cooperation to the sharing of information between national authorities and via Europol and Eurojust, including proposals to tackle emerging trends in terrorism financing;

25.  Takes the view that the Commission should focus on the implementation of the legislative proposals already adopted, with specific attention to the implementation of the security package; considers that the security agenda should be updated regularly to take account of any genuine measure needed in order to face the evolving and serious terrorism threat to the security of EU citizens;

26.  Notes that the boundaries between internal and external security are becoming increasingly blurred, meaning that the Commission must play its part in reviving the common security and defence policy, which can no longer be the weakest link in the EU integration process;

Deploying an ambitious external action agenda vis-à-vis the neighbourhood and the global system

27.  Takes the view that the EU must reinvigorate its ambition as a global player, and asks the Commission, therefore, to mobilise all instruments of the EU’s external action in order to achieve both improved global governance and broad convergence on better standards;

28.  Believes that the security environment requires European defence to become a fully fledged policy that provides equal security for, and shows equal concern for the vital security preoccupations of, all Member States; considers that existing structures, mechanisms and tools need to become an operational reality;

29.  Asks the Commission to continue:

–  to promote stability and prosperity in the EU’s neighbourhood through initiatives that foster development, democracy, good governance and the rule of law;

–  to drive the enlargement negotiation process by strengthening social, political and economic stability and democracy in the candidate countries;

–  to make development cooperation policy more effective and better coordinated, and coherent with other instruments of the EU’s external action;

–  to integrate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) into the EU’s external and internal policies;

–  to ensure coherence and consistency between development and security policies, as they are interlinked, interdependent and mutually reinforcing;

–  to foster the partnership with Africa in order to cope with all the current challenges, in particular through an ambitious post-Cotonou agreement;

–  to promote trade as a key instrument to foster growth and jobs while boosting competitiveness and upholding EU standards, human rights and sustainable development; to modernise the Union’s trade defence instruments;

Getting the means for our actions

30.  Takes the view that the EU must reform its financing in order to mobilise adequate resources swiftly; believes that, to this end, the Commission should consider the introduction of additional genuine own resources in order to make the EU budget more stable, sustainable and predictable while improving transparency for citizens and respecting the principle of universality;

31.  Considers it essential to revise the ceilings of the multiannual financial framework upward and to expand its flexibility to respond to circumstances not foreseen in 2013; believes that the Commission must move forward decisively in this respect;

32.  Emphasises that the EU budgetary instruments need to be managed with close attention to performance and cost-effectiveness while ensuring compliance and the protection of the EU’s financial interests;

33.  Takes the view that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) must be implemented in order to enable all Member States to undertake high levels of strategic investment;

34.  Considers that the EU should take steps to gather resources in order to respond to the challenges of high youth unemployment and the internal and external dimensions of the refugee emergency;

35.  Takes the view that the Commission should start preparing for a modern post-2020 cohesion policy, respecting its true nature as an investment tool for all regions in the EU; considers that synergies between the European Structural and Investment Funds, EFSI and other EU funding instruments should be strengthened with a view to accelerating smart, green, inclusive growth that is based on developing a sustainable balance between grants and financial instruments;

Strengthening democracy

36.  Strongly affirms that, in the face of the current challenges, it is vital to uphold the EU’s common values of democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law, and to further develop the cooperation among the EU institutions and the Member States;

37.  Takes the view that the EU should deploy common actions to inform EU citizens about their rights and duties and encourage their active participation in political life, particularly in respect of the youngest generation;

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

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