Procedure : 2017/2699(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0434/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 04/07/2017 - 11
CRE 04/07/2017 - 11

Votes :

PV 05/07/2017 - 8.9
CRE 05/07/2017 - 8.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0434/2017

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 2018 (2017/2699(RSP))

József Szájer on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the Commission Work Programme 2018 (2017/2699(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Commission Work Programme 2017 – Delivering a Europe that protects, empowers and defends’ (COM(2016)0710) and Annexes 1 to 5 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 Member States in accordance with the subsidiarity and proportionality principles can and must have a real influence on responding to crises and on 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;

D.  whereas the EU is facing various and complex forms of threats which create instability, leading to a feeling of insecurity for European citizens;


1.  Is confident that European solutions anchored in a responsible and fully democratic process through a united and solidary EU with Member States standing together are essential in order to face the major challenges and improve the citizens’ confidence;

2.  Notes that the current crises, including their financial, economic, social and migratory consequences, have led to increased dissatisfaction among European citizens, expressed in the rise of populist parties and nationalist movements; believes these significant challenges cannot be handled by individual Member States alone, but, rather, require a joint response from the EU;   

3.   Believes that populism exploits people’s anxieties because it is based on and is fed by fears, thrives on those same fears and is a cause of terror, suggesting demagogic, unrealistic and hazardous methods which give rise to false hopes in the very short term but have damaging consequences leading to more divisions, instability and conflicts in European society;

4.   Welcomes the unity and clarity shown by the 27 Member States on the upcoming Brexit negotiations; emphasises that the fragmentation of the discussion into various formats or groups of Member States would be counter-productive; encourages the Commission to stick firmly to the principles jointly defined and shared by the 27 and by Parliament;

5.   Takes the view that time has come to reshape what membership of the Union really means; stresses that a clear framework is required for the future for the EU’s relationships with non-members in its neighbourhood (the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, etc);

6.   Considers that a highly competitive social market economy is a cornerstone of European society, upon which European policies have been built which directly benefit citizens in their day-to-day life; is committed to supporting the Commission’s efforts to further improve the work-life balance;

7.   Calls on the Commission to determine key priority actions aimed at strengthening the EU’s industrial competitiveness by enabling companies to compete in domestic and global markets and reinforcing the capacity of the EU and its Member States to support the development of businesses, paying special attention to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); believes that European industrial modernisation must be wide-ranging and should include the marketing of innovative products and services, technologies and business models that are based on research and innovation investments converted into improved goods, services and processes for the market;

8.  Emphasises that a comprehensive approach is needed to realise the full benefits of the single currency while ensuring the sustainability and resilience of the EMU and achieving the goals of growth and full employment;

9.  Considers that further development of the EMU must be based on, and build on, existing legislation and its implementation; stresses that the completion of the EMU is urgently needed, together with efforts to render its institutional structure more legitimate and democratically accountable;

10.  Recognises the significant legislative steps achieved towards a common EU-level immigration and asylum policy, and stresses that the EU has successfully embarked on a process of articulating its immigration and asylum policy at a time when real crises requiring urgent attention have put serious pressure on the borders of Europe;

11.   Recalls the importance of tackling the root causes of migration by upgrading the EU’s development and cooperation policy with Africa, as well as its role in the resolution of conflicts in its neighbouring countries;

12.  Stresses that a successful European policy on migration requires a fairer mechanism for the distribution of asylum seekers in which every single Member State must participate; welcomes the recent achievements in strengthening the management and effective control of our external borders, as a precondition for the Member States to regain a critical level of mutual trust;

13.   Stresses that only by enhancing the Common Foreign and Security Policy can the EU provide credible answers to the new security threats and challenges, and thus fight terrorism and bring peace, stability and order to its neighbourhood;

14.  Underlines that free trade has significantly improved living standards and reduced poverty in the EU and around the world, creating economic growth and jobs and strengthening political and economic relations with third countries; considers that the EU must continue to counter protectionist tendencies worldwide, and therefore asks the Commission to swiftly bring forward and finalise both planned and ongoing negotiations and to continuously explore possibilities for new free trade agreements;

15.   Urges the Commission to launch, in cooperation with the other institutions, a wide public debate on the future of the Union, taking into consideration the positions of each of the institutions, and notably the resolutions adopted by Parliament on the future evolution of the Union, the Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe and the Declaration of Rome;

16.  Highlights that the EU is still facing substantial challenges when it comes to the implementation of agreed or adopted legislation, and therefore calls on the Commission to focus on the enforcement of EU law in all Member States;


Youth and lifelong learning

17.  Calls on the Commission to:

–  invest in inclusive and efficient education systems;

–  reinforce the Erasmus+ funds, which should be used for the primary purposes of the programme (mobility, education and training, youth policies and sport);

–  focus, together with the Member States, first and foremost on educational actions in all age and occupational groups, and invest in a lifelong learning framework, with particular emphasis on digital and entrepreneurial skills and competences as well as media literacy and with a special focus on women;

–  analyse labour markets to determine the right balance between vocational training and university education so that the needs of the labour market are properly taken into account;

–  foster entrepreneurship and further develop and support the right legal environment for SMEs in accordance with the ‘think small first’ principle;

–  come forward with recommendations and proposals on how to keep ageing workers in the workforce for a longer period of time, thus also encouraging the transfer of experience to the younger generations and foster mentoring at the workplace;

–  take further measures, together with the Member States, to enhance the attractiveness and value of skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM subjects) and to encourage more women and girls to take up and pursue STEM subjects, within which ICT in particular may open up new possibilities for them;

Blue Growth and fisheries

18.  Asks the Commission to put forward proposals:

–  for Blue Growth to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole;

–  to fill the gap arising from the absence of multiannual plans under the new CFP to manage all important stocks and fisheries in EU waters;

Financial means and financial framework beyond 2020

19.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the implementation of all EU programmes reaches cruising speed by next year, in order to compensate for the significant delays observed at the beginning of the present programming period; is particularly concerned at the implications of such delays on a possible accumulation of payment claims towards the end of this MFF; considers that every effort should be made to avoid another payment crisis, including reaching a decision on an adequate level of payments in the coming annual budgets;

20.  Urges the Commission to come forward with its legislative proposals on the post-2020 MFF by June 2018 at the latest, in order to allow substantial interinstitutional negotiations to be launched immediately; sets as an objective the successful conclusion of those negotiations by the end of the present parliamentary term;

21.  Calls on the Commission to take due account of Parliament’s position on the future MFF, which will be adopted ahead of the Commission’s legislative proposals; underlines the need to embark on a structured dialogue regarding the overall level, political and budgetary priorities, architecture and flexibility provisions of the future MFF, including reaching a position on the duration of the financial framework;

22.  Urges the Commission to come forward with ambitious legislative proposals on the future reform of the EU’s own resources system, on the basis of the recommendations of the High Level Group on Own Resources; stresses that the Commission should present those legislative proposals together with the proposals on the post-2020 MFF, in order to allow joint negotiations to be conducted on both items; underlines that Parliament will adopt its own position ahead of the presentation of the legislative proposals, and asks the Commission to take due account of Parliament’s position in this regard;

23.  Calls on the Commission to submit:

–  proposals for regulations for EU cohesion policy post-2020, as a consequence of the forthcoming presentation of the next MFF, as early as possible in 2018;

–  a comprehensive review, to be enacted at the beginning of 2018, of the Financial Regulation and the related sectorial legislation, including the Common Provisions Regulation currently in force (the ‘omnibus regulation’); this review should include provisions for the simplification of cohesion policy and better combination of the EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) with the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI);

–  without delay, a proposal for EU-level framework legislation to combat unfair trading practices in the food supply chain, in accordance with the resolution on the subject adopted by Parliament on 7 June 2016 by an overwhelming majority(1);

24.  Commits to enter into constructive dialogue with the Commission on its communication on the future of the CAP after 2020, which is expected before the end of 2017;

25.  Highlights the need to establish a performance framework;

26.  Asks the Commission, in the context of the White Paper debate, to clarify its ambitions for the Framework Programme 9 (FP9), early enough in 2018 for Parliament to formulate a position on that programme and also on Galileo, Copernicus and COSME, so that all measures can be operational from 2021 onwards; expects the FP9 proposal to be based on the Horizon 2020 interim evaluation and Parliament’s implementation report;

Implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy

27.  Asks the Commission to:

–  ensure progress on the completion of the digital single market and also on an environment that supports SMEs;

–  further support the digitalisation of the European transport sector through initiatives on C-ITS, E-CRM and other digital systems;

–  come forward with its planned initiative(s) on cybersecurity, also with respect to the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA); such initiatives should aim at increasing cybersecurity for industry and other civilian ends and should include effective remedies;

–  urgently identify, together with the Member States, the systemic causes of the growing digital gender gap and take action at global level to end the digital exclusion of women;

Implementation of the Energy Union Strategy

28.  Expects the Commission’s continued close cooperation on the ongoing and highly important legislative procedures in the Clean Energy Package, including during the trilogue stage, so as to ensure a successful finalisation of the negotiations as early as possible in 2018;

Implementation of the Single Market Strategy

29.  Calls on the Commission to:

–  improve, together with the Member States, the implementation of the Services Directive, including the removal of the remaining regulatory and administrative barriers in the service sector as well as putting an end to ‘gold-plating’;

–  enforce the existing legislation by, first and foremost, applying the rules in place, thus ensuring a level playing field and making it possible to reap the full benefits of the single market;

30.  Considers as political priorities:

–  development of the potential of the culture and creative industries on the basis of a coherent EU policy, acknowledging that they mainly consist of micro-enterprises and SMEs and are key factors for sustainable growth and quality employment;

–  the improvement and promotion of measures and actions to facilitate cultural tourism, with the full participation of regions and local authorities;

–  the proposal for the review of the IPRED (Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive) by the end of the year;

–  the revision of the General Safety Regulation, which has been postponed once again, deploring the fact that the timeline set out in Directive (EU) 2015/719 of 29 April 2015 has been disregarded(2) and reminding the Commission of the need for clear and decisive action as regards this revision and road safety in general;

–  a timely follow-up, with concrete proposals, to the findings and suggestions to be contained in the upcoming strategic own-initiative report on odometer fraud, recalling that this deals with a major concern of European citizens and bearing in mind that well-working models are already deployed in some Member States;


31.  Calls on the Commission to:

–   take action to tackle the issue of antimicrobial resistance as a priority, in line with Parliament’s resolution of 19 May 2015 on ‘Safer healthcare in Europe: improving patient safety and fighting antimicrobial resistance’(3) and its position of 10 March 2016 on the proposal for a regulation on veterinary medicinal products(4), and including concrete proposals for legislative action;

–   put forward a legislative proposal on packaging leaflets for pharmaceutical products aimed at making them clearer and more patient-friendly (‘drug fact box’);

–   urgently review Directive 2004/23/EC of 31 March 2004 on quality and safety standards for donated human tissues and cells(5) (the Tissues and Cells Directive) to bring it into line with the principle of unpaid donation and with Regulation No 1394/2007 of 13 November 2007 on advanced therapy medicinal products (the Advanced Therapies Regulation)(6), which, furthermore, needs to be made more applicable to SMEs;

Fairer taxation

32.  Asks the Commission:

–   to put forward proposals on a definitive VAT system and on VAT rates;

–   to present clear guidelines on fiscal state aid by Member States;

–   to evaluate the conditions of access to cultural goods and services and to propose solutions to improve them, including looking at the issue of existing variations in VAT on books and e-books;

Financial services

33.  Calls on the Commission to present a proposal to streamline the EU approach and third country-related issues in the field of financial services legislation;

Digitalisation and automation: challenges and opportunities

34.  Underlines the need to face and deal with the changing patterns of work and to find the way for job creation coupled with decent social security for workers, as well as exploring the possibilities for flexible working arrangements in support of work-life balance;

35.  Calls on the Commission to come up with an EU strategy on automation in the labour market, and to accompany it by initiatives on how to organise cooperation between professionals and robots, how automation can help maximise benefits for employers and employees, how to improve productivity, and the effects on work-life balance and on health and safety at work;

Demography and the ageing population

36.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with a holistic approach to the issue of the ageing population in Europe, including recommendations and proposals on how to tackle the problems on the labour market resulting from an ageing population and how to improve demographic indicators in Member States;

37.  Considers it extremely important to work on a recommendation on supportive measures leading to an improvement in the birth rate; stresses that as many Member States are coming up with initiatives, it would be useful to exchange good practices and draw conclusions for the EU as a whole, focusing also on lifetime healthy ageing and preventive health measures through the exchange of information and information campaigns;

Work-life balance

38.  Considers the Commission’s proposals as a good basis which now needs to be discussed with a view to meeting the expectations of European citizens who want to work and enjoy their family life at the same time;


39.  Considers that a balanced trade and investment agreement with the United States is in the interests of the EU, and therefore invites the Commission to continue the negotiations and deliver tangible results;

Area of justice and fundamental rights

40.  Calls on the Commission to promptly take the relevant follow-up action and submit a legislative proposal on common minimum standards of civil procedure;

41.  Insists that the Commission present proposals for the revision of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 of 16 February 2011 on the citizens’ initiative(7) by the end of this year, taking into account the suggestions in this sense already made by Parliament in its resolution on the subject of 7 October 2015(8);

42.  Welcomes the Council’s signature marking the Union’s accession to the Istanbul Convention; regrets, however the limitation of EU accession to two specific areas, and expects the Commission to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the negotiations in Council are swiftly finalised in order to ensure a broad-based accession to the Convention for the Union; asks the Commission to keep Parliament fully informed of the relevant aspects of the negotiations at all stages, in order to ensure that it is able to exercise the rights conferred on it by the Treaties in a proper manner in accordance with Article 218 TFEU;

43.  Reminds the Commission of the vital importance of full implementation of the Directive 2012/29/EU of 25 October 2012(9) (the victims’ rights directive) and Directive 2011/99/EU of 13 December 2011(10) (the European protection order directive);

Progress towards an effective and genuine Security Union

44.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with concrete initiatives to address the challenges related to the fight against cross-border cybercrime, to be identified in the review of the cybersecurity strategy due in autumn 2017;

45.  Considers the fight against corruption to be a political priority;

Implementation of the European Agenda on Migration

46.  Calls on the Commission to make the necessary legislative adaptation on the basis of the conclusions of the dialogue on interoperability, regarding the ways in which existing and future information systems could enhance both external border management and internal security in the EU;

47.  Calls on the Commission to undertake the necessary review of Regulation (EC) No 767/2008 of 9 July 2008(11) (the Visa Information System - VIS - Regulation), following the interoperability dialogue;

Addressing the root causes of migration

48.  Reminds the Commission that a concrete reporting mechanism should be presented to regularly assess the effectiveness of current efforts to tackle the root causes of migration, and that the implementation of the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the future European Fund for Sustainable Development should be closely monitored;

49.  Reiterates its support for innovative ways of financing the current migration crisis, and particularly welcomes the reinforced partnership that they entail with the private sector; believes that engaging with the private sector is key in realising development objectives, and that mobilising private funding is essential for addressing the root causes of irregular migration; insists that parliamentary oversight of trust funds and other blending mechanisms should be guaranteed under all circumstances;

External policies: priorities

50.  Asks the Commission:

–   to bring forward the mid-term review of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI);

–   to foster the transatlantic bond;

–   to confirm the Union’s commitment to the Balkans and the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhoods;

–   to support civil society and the ability to access credible information despite shrinking legal frameworks and constraints, in the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhoods and beyond;

–   to implement the European Defence Action Plan;

–   to strengthen the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief;

–   to develop international cooperation between ombudsmen and partnerships for human rights;

51.  Supports maintaining the legally binding framework agreement based on three pillars (reinforced political dialogue, development cooperation and trade); believes that further regionalisation should be explored with a view to addressing each region according to its needs and specificities, also stressing the need to respond to the new Africa-EU Strategy to be adopted for 2018-2020;

52.  Urges the Commission to work on bilateral fisheries agreements with countries outside the EU that are approaching their expiry date;

Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

53.  Calls on the Commission to:

–   closely monitor the institutional and policy changes needed to effectively implement the 2030 Agenda;

–   implement in parallel the new European Consensus on Development, which is expected to be signed in June 2017;

Security-development nexus

54.  Calls for the creation of a new innovative financing instrument for peace and justice that would take into account the revised ODA (Official Development Assistance) eligibility criteria on peace and security in order to reflect the growing interlinkages between development and security actions, in particular those promoting democracy, good governance and respect for human rights;

A more strategic approach to enforcement of EU law

55.  Calls on the Commission to finally present a legislative proposal on an open, efficient and independent European Union administration (an ‘administrative procedural law’);

56.  Asks the Commission to improve the control systems, notably regarding error rates;

57.  Urges the Commission to enhance the quality, as regards substance and depth, of the replies provided by it to Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, in order to more thoroughly address the concerns of European citizens;

58.  Calls on the Commission to do its utmost to facilitate an agreement in the Council on the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, with a view to achieving the full potential of that treaty without delay;

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


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0250.


OJ L 115, 6.5.2015, p. 1.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0197.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0087.


OJ L 102, 7.4.2004, p. 48.


OJ L 324, 10.12.2007, p. 121.


OJ L 65, 11.3.2011, p. 1.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0382.


OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, p. 57.


OJ L 338, 21.12.2011, p. 2.


OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, p. 60.

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