Procedure : 2017/2699(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0456/2017

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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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))

Rosa D’Amato, Laura Agea, Marco Valli, Isabella Adinolfi, Dario Tamburrano, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group

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

The European Parliament,

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

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making(2),

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration of 13 December 2016 on the EU’s legislative priorities for 2017,

–  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 duly take into account when drafting and adopting its Work Programme for 2018,

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

A.  whereas the EU is still facing the worst economic, social and political crisis since its foundation;

B.  whereas Member States are struggling with recession, deflation and unemployment;

C.  whereas the solutions proposed by the EU institutions are further exacerbating the economic, democratic and social crisis in the EU;

D.  whereas sustainable economic growth and the creation of socially sustainable, well-paid, quality jobs could be the core priorities of the EU budget, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity;

E.  whereas, at a time of austerity for all citizens, not only is reducing the EU’s administrative costs imperative, but it is also necessary, in view of the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), to cut programmes that have not demonstrated any added value;

F.  whereas the error and fraud rate affecting the EU budget remains at a high level without any significant reduction, and for 22 years in a row payments have been materially affected by errors due to the partial effectiveness of the supervisory and control systems;

G.  whereas the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is an instrument that is far from efficient, has not been fully implemented, and the rules for its functioning are neither clear nor transparent, as evidenced by the recent ruling of the General Court concerning the ECI ‘STOP TTIP’;

H.  whereas the Council Legal Service opinion No 5151/17 of 11 January 2017 on the Commission proposal for an interinstitutional agreement on a mandatory transparency register states that the institutions cannot have recourse to an interinstitutional agreement (IIA) in order to regulate subject matter for which the Treaties have conferred legislative powers on the institutions by providing an explicit material legal basis, and that IIAs are only binding on the participating institutions and cannot create obligations for third parties;

I.  whereas the protection of persons who report or publically reveal criminal and fraudulent activities inside public institutions or companies is of the utmost importance in the fight against corruption and ‘white collar’ crimes;

J.  whereas recent studies from the Commission show that Directive 2004/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage(3) (the Environmental Liability Directive) has been implemented very differently across the Member States and that problems persist in relation to the application of the directive to large-scale accidents and insolvency among liable economic operators;

K.  whereas the EU limit values for some air pollutants are less stringent than those suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO);

L.  whereas the citizens living in the vicinity of the largest European area of legal and illegal dumpsites, the Land of Fires (Naples), and the ILVA industrial site of Taranto are exposed to very high levels of carcinogenic risk;

M.  whereas the Commission itself stated that Council Directive 89/105/EC of 21 December 1988 relating to the transparency of measures regulating the prices of medicinal products for human use and their inclusion in the scope of national health insurance systems(4) no longer reflects the increased complexity of the pricing and reimbursement procedures for medicinal products in the Member States;

N.  whereas the Commission continues to authorise the marketing of genetically modified food and feed despite the lack of consensus among Member States;

O.  whereas not all of the energy sources which are considered to be renewables under the current legislative framework have a better environmental, health and social impact than equivalent fossil sources;

P.  whereas more efforts are needed to achieve an inclusive digital society which is capable of seizing the opportunities and addressing the challenges of digitalisation both for citizens and for business;

Q.  whereas the digitisation of industries could help to increase the resilience, energy and resource efficiency and innovation sustainability of our economies; whereas the EU is facing several challenges brought by trade, globalisation and technology innovation;

R.  whereas the Court of Justice of the European Union ruling in Opinion procedure 2/15(5) of 21 December 2016 clarifies the EU’s competences in trade negotiations;

S.  whereas greater importance should be given to the right to petition, as it represents a cornerstone of participatory democracy, in which every citizen should enjoy the right to play a direct role in the democratic life of the Union; whereas genuine democratic and participatory governance should ensure the effective protection of fundamental rights, full transparency and the direct involvement of all citizens in the decision-making processes;

T.  whereas petitioners are citizens engaged in safeguarding fundamental rights and in the improvement of the current and future well-being of our societies; whereas the processing of petitions is extremely important in terms of citizens’ perception of the EU institutions and respect for the right to petition enshrined in EU law;

U.  whereas, in order to promote good governance and ensure the participation of civil society, the Union’s institutions, bodies, offices and agencies must conduct their work in a manner implementing the highest levels of transparency and democracy;

V.  whereas it is necessary to safeguard the ownership and effective control by Member States and/or nationals of Member States in European undertakings;

W.  whereas local airports face many economic difficulties, and it is necessary to guarantee proper connections for all European citizens, in particular to and from the remote and isolated locations of the outermost regions;

X.  whereas there have been several difficulties in the enforcement of the EU legislation on cabotage, thereby worsening the phenomenon of social dumping in the Member States; whereas it is necessary to ensure fair competition in the road haulage market, safeguarding the rights of workers;

Y  whereas some of the largest platforms pay trifling amounts of taxes in Europe compared with their profits;

Z.  whereas the current fragmentation in customs control procedures, which differ vastly between Member States, as well as differing sanctions creates important market disparities for economic operators and orients trade flows towards the easiest point of entry;

AA.  whereas on 25 October 2016 Parliament adopted, by a large majority, a resolution on corporate liability for serious human rights abuses in third countries(6) calling on the Commission to carry out several actions, and is still waiting for follow‑up from the same Commission; whereas on 11 April 2017 the Rapporteur of the original report addressed an Oral Question to the Commission, in the framework of the meeting of the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), in order to ascertain whether such follow‑up might have been delivered to Parliament and he did not receive a satisfactory answer; whereas, on the same day, he addressed an identical question to Commissioner Mimica, in the framework of the structured dialogue with the Committee on Development (DEVE), and also in this case did not receive a satisfactory answer;

Key priorities

1.  Stresses that the single currency has an asymmetric and destructive impact on weaker economies, which are forced to undertake a painful adjustment of internal devaluation as a result of a currency that is overvalued with respect to their economies, while letting multinational companies in stronger euro-area Member States exploit an unfair competitive advantage due to an undervalued currency relative to their competitors in other Member States, thereby generating disparities and macroeconomic imbalances within the EU;

2.  Calls on the Member States to decide democratically on the transposition into national law of the Fiscal Compact in order to avoid the disruptive effects of austerity measures on real economies;

3.  Emphasises the urgent need to return financial responsibility for their actions to the Member States so that they can make full use of their own monetary and fiscal policy tools in order to effectively support economic recovery and ensure the democratic and political legitimacy of fundamental economic decisions;

4.  Emphasises the urgent need for planning for an orderly break-up of the monetary union and for immediately providing democratic mechanisms for the voluntary withdrawal of a country from the euro area;

5.  Calls for impetus to be given to the negotiations on the structural reform of the banking sector, built on a clear and mandatory separation of investment and commercial activities, which is essential to protecting depositors and savers, preventing the build-up of systemic risk and preserving financial stability;

6.  Believes that austerity measures must be ended and Member States’ responsibility for financial matters be restored, in order to respond adequately and efficiently to multiple crises simultaneously; asks for an exhaustive revision of current programmes in order to cut those which are not offering real added value; points out that, in some cases, programmes can be better funded and implemented at national level, in line with the subsidiarity principle;

7.  Stresses that EU funding must not be used to finance controversial or wasteful projects;

8.  Reiterates the need to make better use of taxpayers’ money; stresses the importance of reducing the EU’s administrative costs, especially in a period of persistent crisis; asks for substantial weighted cuts to eliminate money being wasted and to make savings without affecting legislative work;

9.  Calls for better control and auditing of the EU budget; reiterates its request that a positive statement of assurance (DAS) be obtained from the Court of Auditors; regrets the error and fraud rate affecting the EU budget, with particular reference to public procurement and insists on a strong need to fight corruption and organised crime at transnational level; stresses the importance of greater transparency in EU spending and calls for all information on the expenditure of European funds to be published and made available;

10.  Urges that action be taken to tackle poverty and inequalities; reiterates its call for a further assessment of inequalities and how they are hampering economic recovery;

11.  Condemns all EU legislation that imposes unnecessary administrative burdens on SMEs – a major source of jobs and growth – and that subjects them to further bureaucratic obstacles; stresses that more support must be given to SMEs, while ensuring adequate social protection;

12.  Calls for improvements to workers’ occupational health and safety, and for appropriate ways to address any shortcomings to be considered, as well as for the third batch of substances under the revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive to be presented without delay and for limit values on reprotoxic substances, based on scientific and technical data, to be included, as well as for an impact assessment, to ensure proper parliamentary scrutiny;

13.  Underlines the fact that, in order for citizens to be able to benefit from their rights in their everyday lives, legislation must be designed to consistently and effectively combat precariousness, unemployment, economic and social inequalities, discrimination, and poverty, thus ensuring the highest levels of social justice; calls for all decision-making processes at EU level to be fully transparent, impartial and independent;

14.  Calls on the Commission to deal in a timely manner with the proper implementation of the provisions established by Directive 1999/70/EC on fixed-term work, in line with the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, with the aim of providing full and effective legal protection of workers’ rights, and adequately tackling all abuse, discrimination, shortcomings and loopholes;

15.  Opposes macro-economic conditionalities, and underlines that the suspension of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) triggered by non-compliance with economic governance requirements is a double punishment for EU regions, counteracts economic and social recovery efforts, and should therefore be abolished, also in view of the fact that the sanctions provided for in the current regulation would not only disrupt financial planning at the programme level, but could also lead to projects being stopped on the ground;

16.  Calls on the Commission to review the investment clause to enable regional and national investments co-financed through the ESI Funds to be excluded from the calculation of national deficits in the framework of the European Semester;

17.  Opposes all EU programmes aimed at supporting structural reforms, especially if financed via the ESI Funds;

18.  Asks that any further proposals for the ESI Funds be submitted as soon as possible to ensure appropriate time for parliamentary scrutiny;

19.  Considers that it is not possible to delay any further a proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 on the European citizens’ initiative, (ECI) since this tool is in urgent need of reform;

20.  Considers it necessary to revise Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 on the ECI in timely fashion, with the view to resolving all of its deficiencies by proposing effective solutions to ensure that the procedures and conditions required for the ECI are genuinely clear, simple, easily applicable and proportionate;

21.  Calls for a mandatory transparency register, since the proposed interinstitutional agreement on this issue would, according to the Treaties and the opinion of the Council’s Legal Service, only have a limited effect, and would not be able to create obligations for third parties, irrespective of whether they are other institutions, Member States or individuals;

22.  Stresses that measures must be adopted to greatly improve the democratic functioning of the EU, granting every citizen a general right to participate in democratic life, as also recently reaffirmed by the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union in its judgment of 10 May 2017, concerning the European citizens’ initiative ‘Stop TTIP’(7);

23.  Emphasises the urgent need for stronger measures for the protection of ‘whistle-blowers’ in order to grant these persons, and in particular their families, proper protection against retaliation;

24.  Expresses concern over the implementation of the Environmental Liability Directive (2004/35/EC), which fails to cover all types of damage harmful to human beings and to the natural environment;

25.  Calls on the Commission to clarify what actions it intends to take regarding the digital single market; stresses the need to promote fair competition in this market to ensure that there is no abuse of power by multinational companies;

26.  Highlights that Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 on public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents(8) builds on the principle of ‘widest possible access’; believes that full transparency and access to documents held by the EU institutions must be the rule in order to ensure that citizens can fully exercise their democratic rights; regrets that the revision of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 has been stalled; believes that progress has to be achieved without further delay, as this regulation no longer reflects the current legal situation or institutional practices;

27.  Expresses deep concern about the lack of corporate liability of European transnational corporations for human rights abuses linked to their operations in developing countries; notes that this can lead to a lack of protection, access to justice and redress for the victims of such abuses;

28.  Expresses deep concern about the fact that the various calls to the Commission expressed in its resolution on corporate liability for serious human rights abuses in third countries(9) has not been followed up on by the Commission and deplores its inactivity in this domain during the last eight months; urges that comprehensive follow‑up be given;

29.  Notes with concern how the existing voluntary initiatives to promote the sustainability of the garment sector’s global supply chain have fallen short of effectively addressing human rights and labour rights-related issues in the sector;

30.  Considers that the current Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is not fit for purpose and needs urgent revision;

31.  Points to the WHO report on the need to align the limit values for air pollutants with stricter concentrations;

32.  Criticises, and calls for a revision of, EU policies that are the root cause of deforestation as a result of the demand for biofuels in Europe;

33.  Calls for a public inventory of the different types, uses and degree of market penetration of nanomaterials on the European market in line with Parliament’s resolution of 24 April 2009(10), and to address nanomaterials within the REACH Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006)(11);

34.  Calls for a European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) investigation to evaluate whether European funds aimed at cleaning up the Land of Fires and the ILVA Taranto industrial site have been spent in accordance with the law; calls, in addition, for an internal audit to check whether the funded projects have delivered the expected results;

35.  Calls for greater transparency in the measures regulating the pricing of medicinal products for human use and their inclusion in the scope of national health insurance systems, in order to replace Council Directive 89/105/EEC(12) with the aim of ensuring effective controls and full transparency concerning the procedures used to determine the prices and the reimbursement of medicinal products in all Member States;

36.  Calls for a comprehensive policy framework to address Lyme disease, taking account of the different specific challenges and policies of each Member State;

37.  Stresses the crucial importance of ensuring the interoperability of databases for tackling terrorism and crime more generally; calls for the benefits of existing information systems to be maximised in order to ensure that the Member States cooperate to tackle terrorism and serious crime;

38.  Recalls that the Member States should transpose and implement the instruments available at international level in the fight against terrorism, organised crime, corruption and money laundering;

39.  Points to the serious ongoing migration crisis that affects all Member States in Europe; considers, in particular, that Greece and Italy are being disproportionately affected by this crisis; calls for better international cooperation to help alleviate the situation;

40.  Stresses the need to monitor and provide greater transparency on the disbursement of resources from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Internal Security Fund, and to strictly monitor and regularly evaluate the use of EU funding given to Turkey within the framework of the EU-Turkey deal, and all the so‑called ‘Migration Compacts’ with third countries;

41.  Considers it crucial, with regard to Italy, to address specific cases of geothermal energy heat and power plants, where CO2 equivalent emissions are higher than those from a gas-fired power station of equal capacity, and where other extremely harmful pollutant emissions, such as hydrogen sulphide, arsenic and mercury, among others, are higher than those from a coal-fired power station of equal capacity; invites the Commission, in this context, to devise concrete solutions to define emissions standards for geothermal power plants, and the relative sustainability criteria for considering geothermal energy as a renewable source, while minimising the impact on the environment and human health in Italy;

42.  Reaffirms that digitalisation opportunities should translate, above all, into benefits for citizens and that further efforts are needed to address digital and connectivity gaps between regions, to improve access to wireless connectivity and to promote digital literacy; urges, in this context, that efforts in the research and implementation of 5G technologies be stepped up, while promoting effective competition for the benefit of end-users and business development;

43.  Considers it a priority to create a business-friendly environment to help start-ups and small, medium and micro enterprises to develop and make full use of innovation and digitalisation opportunities; calls, to this end, for dedicated, adequate and easily accessible support for these actors with relevant EU instruments;

44.  Believes there is a need for a balanced, effective, fair, transparent and proportionate reform of the trade defence instruments in order to protect European producers, importers and consumers;

45.  Urges action on reciprocity in trade practices with a commitment to advance discussions, and calls for effective solutions on how to regulate the procurement markets and investments with European trading partners; stresses, in this regard, the need to revise the proposal for a regulation on international procurement instruments (COM(2012)0124) and to launch a mechanism for the screening of foreign investments in strategic sectors with the direct involvement of civil society; reiterates that a balance needs to be struck in order to avoid protectionism, but strengthen reciprocity at the same time;

46.  Calls for better monitoring of the evolution of foreign direct investments, especially those directed towards strategic or high-technology assets and companies in Europe, in order to find common ground for the implementation of different national practices, the exchange of information and better coordination, to avoid unfair competition or a distorted approach to the acquisition of companies and businesses with strategic national or international security relevance;

47.  Reiterates its deep concern about the possibility of resuming any EU-US trade talks without changing the current mandate; calls on the Commission to take into account the most recent ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union in Opinion procedure 2/15, and to maintain all agreements as mixed, in order to avoid specific mandates on investment chapters and the inclusion of the international investment court within any free trade negotiations;

48.  Asks to extend the list of geographical indications (GIs) negotiated with China in order to protect local and regional agricultural products and wines; stresses the need to work with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in order to define and recognise a non-agricultural list of GIs to be added to future trade agreements;

49.  Reiterates its concerns about a data flow chapter in free trade agreements; stresses the importance of both guaranteeing consumers’ privacy and creating fair digital platforms aimed at boosting the development and trade activities of European SMEs; takes note that a balanced proposal on digital trade strategy could be a tool to reduce unfair practices and cyber-terrorism, and to combat trade in illegal and counterfeit goods on the internet;

50.  Reiterates the importance and value of protein crops in crop rotation, their effects on soil fertility, reduced nutrient use and weed infestation, and on micronutrients; underlines the need to increase productivity and protein content in the EU through an ad hoc strategy;

51.  Calls for more support to be given to beekeepers to guarantee the sector’s sustainability, as well as to younger farmers’ activities in the sector; expresses its concern about the rise in counterfeit products, containing only a small percentage of honey, on the market;

52.  Recalls the importance of pushing ahead with the discussion on the cloning regulation approved by Parliament by a large majority; underlines the need to protect consumers and producers in a globalised economy and to guarantee fair competition with EU partners;

53.  Asks the Commission to pursue a trade agenda that provides export opportunities for European producers; calls on the Commission to provide appropriate support for producers of the most sensitive agricultural products in the framework of the current free trade negotiations with Mercosur;

54.  Reiterates that risk management should be further enhanced in a future common agricultural policy (CAP) in order to deal not only with climate-related but also with market and biosecurity risks;

55.  Condemns EU policies that have had a detrimental effect on animal welfare; points to examples, such as the REACH programme, which has created one of the largest animal testing regimes in the world; points, furthermore, to detrimental EU rules that permit the live export of animals, which can lead to animals being transported across Europe for periods of up to eight hours or more in poor conditions; calls for a drastic revision of these policies and this legislation;

56.  Believes that the opinions of European citizens expressed by petitioning Parliament are of fundamental importance and should be addressed by the EU legislators as a matter of priority; recalls that the principle of democracy is one of the fundamental values of the Member States and that any legal act seeking to modify the legal order of the EU must be subject to an inclusive and participatory debate in the context of improved governance able to guarantee full transparency and the direct involvement of all citizens;

57.  Acknowledges that petitions are a source of information of paramount importance not only about violations and deficiencies in the application of EU law in the Member States, but also about possible breaches of citizens’ fundamental rights; highlights that the appropriate treatment of petitions must be accompanied by an enhanced capacity to react to and resolve problems related to the proper safeguarding of citizens’ fundamental rights;

58.  Calls for the timely publication of the names of all officials involved in ‘revolving doors’ cases and for the guarantee of full transparency on all related information; firmly believes that all European institutions and agencies must follow suit; calls for proactive publication and full transparency in relation to the post-term-of-office occupations of former Commissioners, and all related information; regrets deeply that former Commission President Mr Barroso was appointed as an adviser and non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International; stresses that the Barroso case increased citizens’ mistrust towards the Commission regarding its credibility and independence from private financial interests;

59.  Stresses that the current legislation addressing unfair practices and state aid is neither adequate nor effective; calls, therefore, for further revision of the existing rules; takes note of the interpretative guidelines on Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008(13), stressing the need to keep the ceiling of 49 % for third countries and their nationals in EU undertakings, ensuring ownership and effective control by the Member States and their nationals;

60.  Calls for greater support for the economic, financial and operational sustainability of regional airports, through adequate and transparent procedures, respecting fair competition between all air transport companies, with identical and open opportunities for all carriers;

61.  Takes note of the Mobility Package adopted by the Commission; considers it necessary to explore further all the best solutions to tackle irregular cabotage, bearing in mind that effective controls could be carried out using modern tools such as global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to track heavy vehicles for commercial purposes;

62.  Stresses the need to revise the social rules applicable to the road transport sector, with the aim of striking a proper balance between the social protection of road transport workers and the freedom to provide cross‑border services for transport operators;

63.  Calls for an assessment and clarification of the application of the national laws on the minimum wage for drivers in Germany and France;

64.  Strongly believes that the Council Decision of 14 April 2014 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled(14) should be adopted without delay;

65.  Calls for the necessary measures to be adopted to ensure the full application of web accessibility standards to the websites of all EU institutions and to offer information in sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, and other accessible means, modes and formats of communication for persons with disabilities, including easy-to-read formats, in official interactions; stresses the need for the European Union to make progress towards the adoption of the proposal for a directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites(15);

66.  Believes that greater support should be provided for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the cultural and creative sector; notes that the problems faced by these enterprises have been exacerbated by EU austerity policies; regrets that all measures adopted so far by the European Union have failed to achieve the goal of significantly improving conditions for the cultural and creative sector and takes the view that the current EU financial mechanisms are still not effective in responding to the sector’s needs;

67.  Is firmly convinced that EU austerity policies have led to the continuing deterioration of the education and cultural sectors; highlights that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is extremely detrimental to the education sector;

68.  Expresses concern about the non-implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights; recalls that, under Article 46(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the high contracting parties have, without qualification, undertaken a solemn and binding obligation under the rule of law to ‘abide by the final judgement of the Court in any case to which they are parties’; deplores the delays in implementation and the lack of political will in certain circumstances to implement certain judgments of the Court;

69.  Calls on the Member States to meet their international obligations and ensure that civil and political rights are not be violated; urges the Commission to ensure that human rights, civil and political freedoms and the principles of democracy are upheld in countries where these values are ignored;


°  °

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


OJ L 304, 20.11.2013, p. 47.


OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.


OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 56.


OJ L 40, 11.2.1989, p. 8.




Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0405.


Judgement of the General Court of 10 May 2017, Efler and Others v Commission, T-754/14, ECLI:EU:T:2017:323.


OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0405.


OJ C 184 E, 8.7.2010, p. 82.


OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p.1.


OJ L 40, 11.2.1989, p. 8.


OJ L 293, 31.10.2008, p. 3.


OJ L 115, 17.4.2014, p. 1.



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