Index 
Viták
2004. december 16., Csütörtök - Strasbourg Lektorált változat
1. Az ülés megnyitása
 2. Bizottságok és küldöttségek elnevezése: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 3. A bizottságok és a küldöttségek tagjai: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 4. Parlamenti mentelmi jog felfüggesztésére irányuló kérelem: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 5. Élőállatok szállítása
 6. Mélytengeri korallzátonyok védelme az Atlanti-óceánban
 7. Köszöntések
 8. Szavazások órája
 9. Szavazáshoz fűzött indokolások
 10. Köszöntések
 11. Az előző ülés jegyzőkönyvének elfogadása
 12. Viták az emberi jogok, a demokrácia és a jogállamiság megsértését érintő ügyekről (az Eljárási Szabályzat 115. cikke)
 13. Szavazások órája
 14. Bizonyos okiratokat érintő határozatok: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 15. A Tanács közös álláspontjainak közlése: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 16. Dokumentumok benyújtása: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 17. Írásbeli nyilatkozatok (116. cikk): lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 18. A jelen ülésen elfogadott szövegek továbbítása: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 19. A következő ülések időpontjai: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet
 20. Ülésszak elnapolása
 MELLÉKLET


  

PRÉSIDENCE DE M. MOSCOVICI
Vice-président

 
1. Az ülés megnyitása
  

(La séance est ouverte à 10 heures)

 

2. Bizottságok és küldöttségek elnevezése: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

3. A bizottságok és a küldöttségek tagjai: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

4. Parlamenti mentelmi jog felfüggesztésére irányuló kérelem: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

5. Élőállatok szállítása
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  Le Président. – L'ordre du jour appelle la déclaration de la Commission sur le transport des animaux.

 
  
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  Κυπριανού, Επιτροπή. Κύριε Πρόεδρε, αξιότιμοι βουλευτές, θα ήθελα κατ' αρχήν να εκφράσω την ευγνωμοσύνη μου για την ευκαιρία που έχω σήμερα να σας μεταφέρω τις απόψεις της Επιτροπής σε ένα τόσο σημαντικό και συναισθηματικό θέμα. Αντιλαμβάνομαι και συμμερίζομαι τις ανησυχίες και το ενδιαφέρον του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου για ένα τόσο σημαντικό ζήτημα.

Επιτρέψτε μου να σας διαβεβαιώσω ότι γνωρίζω πολύ καλά τη μεγάλη σημασία που έχει αυτό το θέμα όχι μόνο για το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, όχι μόνο για την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, αλλά και για εκατομμύρια πολιτών μας, όπως βεβαίως και για τους αγρότες, αλλά και για όλους τους εμπλεκόμενους φορείς. Δεν έχω καμία αμφιβολία ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Κοινότητα έχει έναν πολύ σημαντικό ρόλο να διαδραματίσει στη βελτίωση των συνθηκών κάτω από τις οποίες τα ζώα θα μπορούν να τρέφονται, να μεταφέρονται και να σφαγιάζονται.

 
  
  

The need to ensure that animal welfare is improved during transport as a matter of day-to-day reality and not just on the statute book is an important objective for me. I have long been aware of the unsatisfactory way that the current legislation on transport is being applied and of the apparent lack of priority given to this area of legislation by national authorities.

The correct and full enforcement of animal welfare legislation is essential, as is the immediate improvement of the conditions of animal transport. This is why the Commission, despite its desire to do more to restrict transport-by-road times and reduce stock intensity on vehicles, accepts the presidency's step-by-step initiative in the Council.

We felt it was important to make the significant progress that was already within our grasp, rather than to defer the whole dossier to a later indefinite date. This, as I will point out later, is without prejudice – and I would like to emphasise this – to any improved future solution. In doing this, we have opted for much stricter rules, significantly improving current conditions, to be applied as soon as possible. They will cover matters such as long-distance transport or new, substantially upgraded standards for vehicles. These will be enforced in the shortest possible time within EU standards.

I wish to point out that the vast majority of Parliament's amendments have been integrated and incorporated into the final text and I thank Parliament for its important contribution.

I have no problem in admitting that it is unfortunate that there was no agreement on the issue of restrictions on the travel time and the transport density. There was no chance – and I have to be frank about this – of such provisions being supported in the Council, and the failure to reach agreement at the April 2004 Agricultural Council was a clear warning. But failure to reach agreement at the last Council would have meant an indefinite continuation of the existing unacceptable conditions and a significant delay in their improvement. This does not mean, however, that the Commission does not believe that all possibilities for reinforcing the provisions on travel time should and will be exploited in the future.

Firstly – and this is not the only possibility – the final text provides for the Commission to report back to the Council within – not after – four years of the date of implementation on the issue of travel time and loading densities and possibly to modify its approach on the basis of the experience acquired from the application of the new rules. However, in addition – and this is important – regardless of what the regulation provides, the Commission will carefully analyse the situation, including the prevailing political conditions, and will avail itself of its power of initiative. I explicitly retained this right when giving our consent to the compromise.

Let me briefly list some of the improvements that this new regulation will introduce in the near future. I have a list of four pages and I will not read them all. Before I do so, I want to remind honourable Members that the regulation states that Member States have the right to adopt and implement stricter rules within their territory than those provided for in the regulation. Therefore, this is a challenge for the Member States, and it is a challenge for you. If enough Member States adopt stricter rules then the political pressure – the peer pressure – on the rest would be much more evident and effective. However, we need the improvements in the existing regulation.

Firstly, a satellite-navigation system will be used on road vehicles from 2007. There will be forced ventilation and temperature monitoring inside the trucks, with improvements in water facilities and drinking facilities, individual stalls for the transport of horses and other conditions in relation to horses. There will be stricter conditions for the training of drivers and a ban on transporting pregnant, sick and wounded animals. There will also be administrative provisions to ensure consistency between checks by officials in different Member States. This will apply to all journeys.

As you will be aware, the use of satellite navigation systems was promoted by the European Parliament last month and supported by the Commission. This represents an innovative and promising tool to monitor animal transport, and the Commission is ready to invest immediately in this. The proper use of this technology will contribute to the promotion of a more transparent and high-quality approach to animal transport in Europe, in tune with the wishes of our citizens but also enabling better enforcement. This is extremely important. It is not enough to regulate or adopt rules, we must have the means to enforce them and to supervise their enforcement. European citizens have pointed out on innumerable occasions and in many ways that the lack of effective enforcement has been an appreciable weakness of the current system. I fully agree with that. I am determined and committed to ensuring better enforcement of animal welfare rules and to insisting that Member States report precisely on the state of play of the controls carried out. We will continue to press Member States for this information and I am pleased that the new legislation will allow us to do so in a more efficient way.

To sum up, we stated in the Council that the Commission reserves the right to respond in accordance with the rules of the Treaty, with due regard to the welfare requirements of animals. Therefore, the Commission will continue to be vigilant and will closely monitor the situation on animal transport in Member States. We are prepared to take a legislative initiative at any time in the future should animal welfare conditions need further improvement.

I would like to comment on two more issues. First, the improvement of animal welfare is a continuous process. It is not just a regulation, we are already working on other improvements on poultry and on microclimates within the transport vehicles. Therefore it is not the end, it is just the beginning.

At the same time, I have looked at what the options were at the last Council meeting. They were not between the optimum maximum and the compromise, they were between the compromise and continuing indefinitely with the present situation, with all the unacceptable conditions that prevail at this point. I am certain you will understand that if one has the responsibility of taking a decision, one has to weigh the pros and cons and decide in which direction to go. I can assure you that the Commission's only concern on this issue was the welfare of the animals and how to make practical improvements as soon as possible. It was not just to insist on a principle which eventually would harm the animals, because it would not enable us to improve the existing conditions in any way.

I repeat, the present compromise significantly improves the present situation without depriving the Commission of the right to come back to these very important issues. Believe me, it was a Commission proposal. We would have been much happier if these provisions were included and accepted in the compromise. But, unfortunately, there was no possibility of such an agreement. If I may, I suggest talking to the various NGOs. They were not happy but they accepted this compromise because they realised that it is a significant step forward.

Finally – and I would be interested to hear your comments as I feel that Parliament will be a significant ally of the Commission in this matter – I can assure you that my intention is, before the end of this Commission's term and definitely before the end of this Parliament's term, to come back with a new proposal and have a new discussion. The Commission is committed to this. But, the big question and the big challenge will be to convince the Member States to accept this new proposal when it comes.

 
  
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  Maat (PPE-DE), namens de fractie. Voorzitter, ik wil Commissaris Kyprianou heel hartelijk danken voor de open manier waarop hij dit onderwerp opnieuw aan de orde heeft gesteld. U bent net met uw taak begonnen en ik vind dat uw houding in ieder geval perspectieven biedt voor een heel goede toekomstige samenwerking tussen het Parlement en de Commissie, ook op dit vlak. Ik zeg dit niet voor niets. U sloeg namelijk meteen de spijker op de kop toen u stelde dat het grootste probleem van het dierentransport in Europa is dat het voor de nationale regeringen nauwelijks een prioriteit is. Daar zitten we vast en als we dat kunnen verbeteren, is dat een geweldige stap voorwaarts.

Ik zal dat illustreren met een voorbeeld. Ik constateer dat op dit moment met name de Oostenrijkse regering haar werk goed doet, dat ze goed controleert. Dat leidt ertoe dat veel internationaal transport van slachtvee ineens niet meer via Oostenrijk, maar via andere wegen naar Italië gaat. Zulke situaties ontstaan als een aantal andere lidstaten hun taken niet vervullen. Wat dat betreft, zou het Oostenrijkse model het Europese model moeten worden, met een goede wetgeving en een goede handhaving. Zo kom je van al die ellendige discussies af.

De Raad heeft toch een akkoord bereikt en is daarvoor tot een aanpassing gekomen zonder voorafgaande kennisgeving aan het Parlement, wat ik zeer pijnlijk vind en wat ik de Raad ook verwijt. Anderzijds moet ik daaaraan toevoegen dat we zonder dit initiatief verder van huis waren geweest, want we kunnen niet ontkennen dat dit akkoord ook een verbetering van de bestaande wetgeving is. U weet hoe in dit Parlement wordt gedacht. Ik was zelf als rapporteur voor een maximale transportduur voor slachtvee. Dit, zo blijkt nu, was niet haalbaar in de Raad. Tegelijkertijd constateer ik dat de invoering van het volgsysteem met satellieten in ieder geval een feit is en dat er een betere handhaving van bestaande regels komt. Op dat punt wil ik graag van de Commissie horen hoe ze dit bij de lidstaten wil afdwingen? Zijn daarvoor, ook vanuit dit Parlement, andere instrumenten nodig? Voorts wil ik in verband met de verbetering van de opleiding graag weten hoe de Commissie denkt dit te ondersteunen. Tot slot merk ik op dat het boer-boertransport verruimd is. Wij hadden graag 100 kilometer gezien. Dat was blijkbaar niet haalbaar in de Raad, maar wij zijn toch een stapje vooruit.

Nog een tweetal andere punten. Om te beginnen is er nog steeds veel kritiek op de wijze waarop het transport van fokvee is geregeld en de rusttijden die in verband daarmee worden genoemd. Het transporteren van dieren moet zo snel mogelijk gebeuren en het zou een stap voorwaarts zijn als we ook bij het transport van fokvee, dat over het algemeen onder zeer goede omstandigheden gebeurt, onderweg zo weinig mogelijk rusttijden inlassen. Dat betekent dat dieren ook over middellange afstanden mogen worden vervoerd. Hetzelfde geldt voor het roll-on/roll-off-systeem op veerboten. Het zou veel helpen als wij ook klip en klaar tegen lidstaten zouden zeggen dat dit gewoon rusttijd is. Dat zou nog een aantal stappen voorwaarts betekenen in de kwaliteitsverbetering van het dierentransport.

Als oud-rapporteur ben ik enigszins teleurgesteld dat er geen maximale transportduur voor slachtvee is afgesproken. Toch kan ik constateren dat dit hele pakket een echte stap voorwaarts is. Ik ben erg nieuwsgierig van de Commissaris te horen welke voorstellen hij nog vóór 2009 zal doen om tot een goede samenwerking met het Parlement te komen, maar met name ook om de lidstaten te dwingen de Europese regels na te leven.

 
  
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  Berman (PSE), namens de fractie. Voorzitter, ik dank de Commissaris voor zijn woorden en deel zijn teleurstelling over het compromis van de Raad. Daarin is niets verbeterd aan de rijtijden voor dierentransport, niets aan de rusttijden en niets aan de maximale beladingsgraad, en dat kan nog jaren voortduren.

Ik wens de Raad veel succes toe bij zijn poging om dit aan de Europese publieke opinie uit te leggen. Het is buitengewoon slecht, ook voor het imago van de hele sector, en het is onaanvaardbaar voor het welzijn van dieren. Ik steun daarom het voorstel van mijn collega's om de maximale rijtijd tot acht uur te beperken. Alleen een dergelijk besluit zou laten zien dat Europa werkelijk ernst wil maken met duurzame landbouw, waarin dierenwelzijn een van de prioriteiten moet zijn.

Europa wordt met kleine stapjes gebouwd, dat weten we allemaal en dat is ook heel goed, het is zelfs vaak het beste. Terwijl de EU hier te kleine stapjes zet voor de verbetering van het dierenwelzijn, worden de dieren in Europa duizenden kilometers heen en weer gesleept in erbarmelijke omstandigheden. Het zal voor hen een prettig en geruststellend besef zijn dat zij daarbij worden gadegeslagen door satellieten.

 
  
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  Harkin (ALDE), on behalf of the Group. Mr President, I agree with the Commissioner's statement. This is a very important issue. I also agree that the EU has played an important role in regard to the way that animals are fed, transported and slaughtered. As the Commissioner stated, the EU has ensured many improvements in animal welfare during transportation. Some of them have been mentioned already: proposals for satellite tracking systems, ventilation and temperature monitoring, stricter conditions for driver training and a greater number of official inspections in different countries. Progress has been made.

I also want to nail my colours to the mast because I am an MEP who represents a constituency that is both rural and urban. Agriculture continues to play a very important economic role in the north and west of Ireland. Indeed, the agriculture business has for many years been well supported by the EU.

Live animal exports are a hugely important, legitimate business for Ireland. We export 90% of our animals and about 10% of those, or 200 000 live cattle, are exported every year to markets in France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. This trade is worth over EUR 150 million annually. Therefore, a vibrant export trade is essential for Irish agriculture and for the entire livestock sector. I believe we must have access to the single market. There is an important market for Irish weanlings in Europe and I believe this market should not be hindered. Surely, free access to the market is one of the cornerstones of EU policy. We also need to balance animal welfare with market access and support for agriculture, not just in Ireland, but also in the EU as a whole.

Again, I agree with the Commissioner. We need enforcement and no one has a problem with that – consumers or farmers, it is in all our interests. Another issue regarding live export is that the trade provides competition in Ireland. This is another cornerstone of EU policy. I believe we have made progress; there is probably further to go, but the Commission is doing useful work.

 
  
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  Schlyter (Verts/ALE), för gruppen. Herr talman! Jag tog initiativ till denna extra debatt efter rådets beslut i november. Några tekniska förbättringar kom till priset av upp till sex års blockering av frågan om att skydda våra djur. Det skulle innebära att varken parlamentet eller kommissionen under hela mandatperioden skulle få en chans att förbättra djurens villkor, vilket är helt orimligt.

Rådets beslut avvek så fullständigt från förslaget att jag till och med betvivlar legaliteten i det. Markos Kyprianou, jag hoppas att ni gör verklighet av ambitionen att återkomma med densitet och transporttider så snart som möjligt. Jag hoppas också att ni då använder er av fördragets artiklar om transport, konsumentfrågor eller hälsa som rättslig grund, så att parlamentet kan få delta genom medbeslutandeförfarandet. Då kan vi tillsammans bryta rådets motstånd mot att ge djuren rimliga villkor. Rådet lyssnar tyvärr mer på lobbyister än på opinionen.

Ett samhälles mognad visas i hur de försvarslösa behandlas. Om djurtransportreglerna visar Europas mognad, är vi tyvärr fortfarande barbarer. Jag inbjuder alla ministrar att tillsammans med mig åka på djurtransportvillkor mellan Stockholm och Bryssel. Då kanske de förstår vad de har gjort.

Om vi betraktas som 75­kilos får, skall vi vara tio stycken på en yta stor som en dubbelsäng. Om vi betraktas som kycklingar, får vi uppleva hur avföring från dem ovanför trillar ner på dem under. Om vi betraktas som grisar, skall vi i enlighet med rådets beslut bara få elchocker om vi vägrar att flytta på oss. Vi skall dessutom få vatten efter 14 timmar, innan vi fortsätter 14 timmar till. Man skall även försöka se till att temperaturen enligt rådets regler håller sig över 5 grader under resan.

 
  
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  Markov (GUE/NGL), im Namen der Fraktion. Herr Präsident! Herr Kommissar! Wenn man den Worten des Rates Glauben schenken darf, dass wir in der Europäischen Union eine nachhaltige Entwicklung fördern wollen, und wenn man sich dann in der Realität, da wo man es machen könnte, anschaut, wie er es selber umsetzt, so sieht man, dass die Mitgliedstaaten den Willen tatsächlich nicht aufbringen.

Beim Abwägen zwischen dem Sichern weiteren Profits für die Mastunternehmen und dem Tierschutz ist letzterer wieder auf der Strecke geblieben. Das heißt nicht, dass ich der Kommission nicht zugestehe, dass sie sich bemüht hat, und es sind ja auch tatsächlich einige positive Veränderungen vonstatten gegangen. Das will ich nicht verhehlen, aber das Grundprinzip ist nach wie vor das gleiche geblieben.

Ich bin hundertprozentig davon überzeugt, dass jeder von Ihnen, die im Rat darüber entschieden haben, dass es keine Begrenzung für die Tiertransportzeiten gibt und dass es keine Festlegung gibt, wie hoch die Dichte sein kann, wenn man Ihre Haustiere so befördern würde, einmal hin und her quer durch Europa, ganz schnell andere Regeln einführen würde. Wenn wir das Recht auf Leben, das Recht der Tiere schützen wollen, dann brauchen wir eine andere Herangehensweise.

Natürlich bringt die Einführung von GSP etwas. Man kann bessere Kontrollen durchführen. Das ist unbestritten. Und natürlich, wenn die Versorgung der Tiere mit Wasser, mit besserer Ventilation, mit Luft gewährleistet wird, so ist das ein kleines Schrittchen vorwärts, aber das löst doch das Problem nicht. Wer regionale Entwicklung haben will, der kann sie hier wirklich demonstrieren, der kann die Tieraufzucht, die Mast, die Verarbeitung vor Ort in einem absehbaren Umkreis ansiedeln, und muss nicht diese Transporte quer durch die ganze Europäische Union organisieren.

Ich kann Herrn Maat überhaupt nicht verstehen. Er hat gesagt, es sei ein großer Schritt nach vorne. Ich habe diesen großen Schritt nach vorne nicht gesehen. Es ist ein Pflasterkleben, ohne die Hauptschwierigkeiten und die Hauptursachen dieser Quälerei der Tiere zu beseitigen.

 
  
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  Wise (IND/DEM), on behalf of the Group. Mr President, I am a severe critic of the damage the EU has done to Britain and a passionate advocate of Britain's withdrawal from it. The European Union destroys jobs – as Tony Blair said in his 1983 election address. It has also passed legislation that has led to the closure of hundreds of local abattoirs. However, this toothless Parliament passes resolutions that are then ignored by both the Council and the Commission.

The decisions made by this Parliament on the transportation of animals have been repeatedly ignored and horrendous suffering continues. Over 3 million animals every year endure journeys lasting 30 hours or more in unacceptable conditions and many die in transit.

Were this not bad enough, even more suffering is now being planned by the European Union under the REACH Directive, and we will see millions more animals moved around for live testing. To those in the outside world – the real world – who are as appalled as I am by all this, I have a simple message. I wish the European Union would interfere and legislate less, for if the European Union is the answer it must surely have been a very stupid question.

 
  
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  Herranz García (PPE-DE). Señor Presidente, el bienestar de los animales durante el transporte es para este Parlamento un tema recurrente desde hace unos años, incluso más que la situación de millones de niños que mueren de hambre en esta Europa nuestra o que viven en malas condiciones, también en esta Europa nuestra.

Si las organizaciones humanitarias en defensa de estas personas hubieran demostrado la misma fuerza que las organizaciones en defensa de los animales, probablemente se se hubiera podido hacer algo por estos niños europeos que mueren todos los días.

El Parlamento -centrándome más en el tema- ha emitido en tres años dos dictámenes sobre el bienestar del ganado durante el transporte. En mi opinión, no deberíamos insistir más en este asunto, que ya quedó afortunadamente zanjado el pasado mes de noviembre tras el acuerdo alcanzado por el Consejo de Ministros de la Unión Europea.

Aunque la propuesta de compromiso que presentó la Presidencia irlandesa era - para mí- más satisfactoria porque limitaba la duración del transporte a un período razonable, tanto desde el punto de vista del bienestar del ganado, como desde la óptica de la libertad de circulación de mercancías dentro de la Unión Europea -recordemos que son 9 horas de viaje más 12 de descanso y otras 9 de trayecto-, el acuerdo que se ha alcanzado ahora, bajo Presidencia neerlandesa, no modifica en nada la reglamentación vigente en lo que se refiere a la duración de los viajes, dejando para dentro de unos seis años la decisión sobre este punto crucial del debate.

El aplazamiento, que -recordémoslo- es fruto de las divergencias que existen todavía entre los Estados miembros, ha quedado en tablas. No obstante, yo quisiera aclarar aquí algo que estoy segura muchas de las personas que escuchan estos debates no tienen en cuenta y que creo que habría que dejar bien claro para el conocimiento de la población: la reglamentación actual ya limita a un máximo de 8 horas el transporte de animales realizado en vehículos que no cumplan con los estándares de bienestar del ganado exigidos por la normativa, estándares que además han sido reforzados por el reciente acuerdo alcanzado por el Consejo de Ministros.

 
  
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  McAvan (PSE). Mr President, I can understand why the Commission has gone along with this solution, because it is a pragmatic one. The Council was not going to agree to anything more at this stage. However, it is extremely disappointing – as everyone has said – that we could not get something on journey times, one of the key issues; or on stocking densities. Member States can adopt tougher legislation. We in this Parliament want a bigger say on these issues, but at the moment we do not have it. I will certainly press my own government to go further on this.

I am pleased, Commissioner, that you mentioned enforcement. That is one area where this legislation has fallen down in the past. You will be aware of the NGOs that have given us video evidence of how this legislation has been by-passed and ignored. You said that in four years you are going to come back with more legislation. I hope that you do. I hope you will keep Parliament informed of what happens in the interim. We want to hear about what is happening with regard to reinforced monitoring. I can guarantee that Parliament will back you when you bring forward your legislation. We already have a written declaration on journey times. I am sure that our commitment will remain the same.

 
  
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  Auken (Verts/ALE). Hr. formand. Dyreværn bør aldeles omgående flyttes fra landbruget og flyttes fra artikel 37. Dyreværn kunne jo overføres til sundhed og forbrugerbeskyttelse, eftersom det er kommissær Kyprianou, der har sagen, hvilket lyder mere betryggende.

I Danmark er det justitsministeriet, der er ansvarligt. Vi betragter dyreværn som retsbeskyttelse, men artikel 37 drejer sig udelukkende om at øge produktion og indtjening. De arme dyr må lide under hvad som helst af mishandling, når selv beskyttelsen er underlagt grådigheden. Det er endda så grotesk, at der betales eksportstøtte, når heste, køer og får sendes ud af EU. Dyr, der skal slagtes, bør kun køres til det nærmeste slagteri og højst otte timer. Det har vi flertal for i Danmark. Dyr, der skal leve videre, må kun transporteres otte timer uden hvil, luft og mad, og pladsforholdene skal være i orden. Det har vi også flertal for i Danmark.

Det sagde det forrige Parlament jo også, og man må spørge, hvorfor Kommissionen ikke over for Rådet har insisteret på, at de vilkår skulle respekteres. Når vi får den nye forfatning, skal Parlamentet være medbestemmende, og hvis dyreværn var befriet fra artikel 37, havde Parlamentet allerede nu været medbestemmende.

Vores ombudsmand har i en anden sag - nemlig en sag om åbenhed - udtrykkeligt sagt, at man godt kan bruge den nye forfatnings bestemmelser, når der er så stor opbakning til det, så der er en dobbelt mulighed for allerede nu at inddrage Parlamentet i forløbet her. Man har altså valgt en strategi, hvor man har hastegennemført en beslutning, som om det nærmest gjaldt om at holde både folk og Parlament væk fra den i de næste seks år. Vi har mærket os, og jeg har mærket mig, at landene må gennemføre beslutninger, der går videre ...

(Formanden fratog taleren ordet)

 
  
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  Meijer (GUE/NGL). Voorzitter, het gaat om een grensoverschrijdend probleem dat we niet kunnen oplossen met alleen nationale wetgeving. Daarom ligt hier een taak voor de Europese Commissie en het Europees Parlement. Het Parlement wordt al jaren overstroomd met petities van mensen die terecht aandacht vragen voor misstanden in het transport van dieren. Dat geldt in het bijzonder voor paarden die in het oosten zijn afgedankt en ertoe bestemd zijn om in het zuiden te worden geslacht en opgegeten. Veel dieren zijn zeer lang onderweg in vrachtwagens, krijgen weinig water en voedsel, vervuilen, raken in paniek en lopen verwondingen op. De enige manier om dat te voorkomen is het sterk verkorten van de afstand en de tijd waarover levend vee mag worden getransporteerd. Begin dit jaar ging de strijd in dit Parlement tussen 8 uur of 9 uur aaneengesloten vervoer en tussen beperkte goedkope beschermingsmaatregelen of verdergaande duurdere maatregelen. Het Parlement heeft toen een zeer gematigde keuze gemaakt, maar zelfs die ging de regeringen van een aantal lidstaten nog te ver. Het gevolg is dat nog steeds ruimte wordt geboden om die misstanden te laten voortduren.

De kernvraag is, of we dit onnodige lijden van dieren aanvaarden, omdat wordt verwacht dat dit lijden de kosten van de veehandel en de wegtransportbedrijven verlaagt, of dat we dit lijden volstrekt in strijd achten met onze beschaving en de verantwoordelijkheid voor het welzijn van onze medeschepselen. Ik kies nadrukkelijk voor beschaving en verantwoordelijkheid. Wat de Commissaris nu meedeelt, is het falen van de besluitvorming in de Europese Unie. We blijken niet bij machte om te doen wat dringend nodig is. Nationale economische belangen gaan boven onze gezamenlijke beschaving en verantwoordelijkheid.

Als ik het betoog van Commissaris Kyprianou hoor, twijfel ik niet aan zijn goede bedoelingen. Zijn aankondiging van nieuwe initiatieven van de Europese Commissie heeft mijn steun. Ik ben het ook met hem eens dat we beter snel kunnen starten met een veel te klein resultaat dan met helemaal niets. Satellietcontrole is voor het dier een schrale troost. Laten we niet alleen maar vertrouwen op nieuwe technieken, maar bouwen aan de politieke wil om deze misstand echt de wereld uit te helpen. Daar gaat het om. Ik hoop dat wij voor het einde van de zittingsperiode van dit Parlement en deze Commissie tot echte resultaten kunnen komen, want wat nu gebeurt is eigenlijk schandelijk.

 
  
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  Goudin (IND/DEM). Herr talman! Det har vid flera tillfällen framkommit att djurtransporterna inom unionen och från EU till länder utanför unionen har varit under all kritik. Senast fick vi information om under vilka ovärdiga förhållanden djur har exporterats från EU till Libanon. Detta bekymrar oss. Kommer kommissionen att prioritera detta problem? Vi hoppas det, men är inte helt övertygade.

En annan sak som är oroväckande är de rapporter om ekonomiskt bedrägeri som kommer från OLAF med jämna mellanrum. Nyligen var det anklagelser om ekonomiskt bedrägeri i samband med djurtransporter till Libanon. Rent ekonomiskt uppgår bidragen för export av djur från EU till tredje land till cirka 60–100 miljoner kronor per år. Är detta väl använda skattemedel?

Vår förhoppning är att kommissionen tar djurskyddet på allvar och att vi slipper läsa nya rapporter om exportstöd som missbrukas.

 
  
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  McGuinness (PPE-DE). Mr President, I thank the Commission for raising this important issue for animals and humans.

There is a failure of implementation, not a failure of regulation. In fact, in many cases we have over-regulation but also non-implementation. This has led to problems for farmers and those engaged in what is a very legitimate trade. One of my Irish colleagues has mentioned the importance of this trade for Irish farmers. The new agriculture support system urges farmers to opt for market-led farming. There is a legitimate market in mainland Europe for young cattle from Irish farms. Are we going to tell farmers that they cannot engage in this legitimate trade? I do not think we can, because it is vital for the success of Irish farmers. However, animal welfare must of course also be a priority.

One colleague raised concerns about Lebanon. Irish cattle go to Lebanon. Again, it is a case of implementing the regulations that are there. If we stop that trade, animals will still move to Lebanon, perhaps from Australia and other areas. If our concerns are for animals, we must have concerns for animals across the world and not just European animals.

As for reducing journey times and stocking densities, I urge that we be guided by science and not emotion, because this debate has been too much guided by emotion.

I wish to refer you to independent research carried out in Ireland on the transport of animals from Ireland to Spain. I shall read one paragraph from the report: 'The study concluded that transport had no adverse effect on animal welfare based on the physiological, immunological and haematological measurements made'.

Finally, I would just support Mrs Herranz Garcia, who spoke of human welfare concerns in this House last night. I raised the issue of over half a million people in the Sudan who are starving. The issues are not linked, but we need to put our priorities right.

 
  
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  Miguélez Ramos (PSE). Señor Presidente, yo también quiero saludar de forma muy positiva el acuerdo político que se someterá a aprobación formal la semana próxima en el Consejo de Agricultura porque, a mi juicio, tiene una gran virtud: dejar a un lado –hasta el año 2011– las cuestiones más polémicas, que fueron, precisamente, las que hicieron fracasar las negociaciones el pasado mes de abril –duración máxima de los trayectos y densidades de carga de los vehículos–. En el debate que mantuvimos la legislatura pasada con el señor Maat, y que algunos de los que estamos aquí recordamos, quedó patente que las propuestas –como acaba de decir la señora McGuinness– sobre estas dos cuestiones, que son la distancia y las densidades, carecían de una base científica sólida y, además, penalizaban seriamente a los Estados grandes y a los Estados periféricos. Todo este trasfondo económico se disfrazó de bienestar animal, como si los diputados de los países grandes y de los países periféricos no estuviésemos preocupados por el bienestar de los animales.

En mi opinión, el acuerdo político, señor Comisario, mejora sustancialmente los déficits detectados en la actual legislación. Ése es el aspecto más positivo: mejora los sistemas de control, introduce elementos tecnológicos que facilitan el control, establece un sistema de registro claro y transparente y mejora los sistemas de cooperación entre Estados miembros y, además, establece la obligación de implantar sistemas de formación que también van a mejorar el transporte de los animales. Saludo muy especialmente la redacción del artículo 32, porque establece claramente en qué elementos deberán basarse las futuras revisiones de esta normativa.

Por estas razones, no puedo más que felicitar al Consejo por desbloquear esta cuestión y esperar una feliz aplicación del nuevo texto.

 
  
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  Graefe zu Baringdorf (Verts/ALE). Herr Präsident! Herr Kommissar, Sie haben von Emotionen hier im Parlament gesprochen. Das liegt sicherlich einmal am Thema, es liegt aber auch an dieser unendlichen Geschichte, mit der wir es hier zu tun haben. Es ist nicht das erste, nicht das zweite und auch nicht dritte Mal, sondern es ist vielleicht schon das dutzendste Mal, dass wir uns damit haben beschäftigen müssen. Seit weit über zehn Jahren wollen wir hier zu Verbesserungen kommen, und immer wird von Fortschritten gesprochen, aber die entscheidenden Fortschritte sind nicht gekommen. Ich glaube, dass wir erst zu einem wirklichen Durchbruch gelangen, wenn das Europäische Parlament in Landwirtschaftsfragen auch die Mitentscheidung hat. Ich glaube, dass diese eher kommen wird, als das Satellitennavigationssystem. Also, ich setze da mehr auf unsere Durchsetzungskraft.

Zur Sache möchte ich sagen, dass es natürlich auch eine Frage der Transportzeiten ist, aber es ist doch wesentlich, ob die Bedingungen stimmen, nämlich ob Tiere verschleppt werden als gequälte Kreaturen oder ob sie reisen als unsere Mitgeschöpfe. Wenn im Nahen Osten ein Araberhengst für die Zucht gekauft wird, muss man keine Sorge haben, dass er hier in schlechtem Zustand ankommt. Oder wenn unsere Tiere zu den Olympischen Spielen reisen, werden sie dort auch vernünftig ankommen. Es kommt also auf die Bedingungen an.

Ich denke, es kommt auch darauf an, dass wir mit den Verbraucherinnen und Verbrauchern zu einer Übereinstimmung kommen. Wir haben in der Bundesrepublik Programme für Qualitätsfleisch aufgelegt, wo auch die Transportzeit ein Qualitätskriterium ist. Oder nehmen wir den biologischen Landbau: Dort wird eben der nächste Schlachthof genommen. Wo das ein Qualitätskriterium ist, setzt sich das auch in der Praxis durch.

 
  
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  Wojciechowski (PPE-DE). Panie Przewodniczący, Wysoka Izbo, w transporcie zwierząt dzieją się rzeczy straszne. Zwierzęta cierpią z powodu ludzkiej bezduszności i bezmyślności. Poprawa ich losu jest wyzwaniem dla naszego człowieczeństwa. Wymaga tego nie tylko wrażliwość na krzywdę zwierząt, ale także świadomość, że od okrucieństwa wobec zwierząt jest tylko mały krok do okrucieństwa wobec ludzi.

Omawiane rozporządzenie zmierza w dobrym kierunku. Wprowadza wyższe, choć nadal niewystarczające, standardy ochrony zwierząt w transporcie. Jest nadzieja, że zwierzęta będą mniej cierpieć. Cieszę się z tego jako poseł wybrany między innym głosami rolników z Polski. W polskich, przeważnie niewielkich, gospodarstwach rodzinnych do zwierząt podchodzi się z troską, traktując je wręcz osobowo. Rolnikom jest przykro, gdy pielęgnowane przez nich zwierzęta są po sprzedaży traktowane brutalnie.

Omawiane rozporządzenie wprowadza postęp, ale nie rozwiązuje problemu. Regulacjom prawnym musi towarzyszyć skuteczna egzekucja, a z tym jest kłopot. Polska, kraj rozległy i tranzytowy, ma na przykład problem z transportem koni. Standardy prawne są zapewnione, ale organy kontrolne, policja czy inspekcja weterynaryjna, często stają bezradne wobec problemu, co zrobić z transportem nieprawidłowym, w którym są na przykład zwierzęta poranione. Brak jest sieci punktów postojowych, gdzie można by transportowane zwierzęta nakarmić, napoić, czy poddać niezbędnej opiece weterynaryjnej, a w drastycznych przypadkach poddać uboju z konieczności. Unia Europejska powinna wesprzeć finansowo tworzenie sieci takich punktów; w każdym razie Polska takiej pomocy potrzebuje.

Panie i Panowie, prawdziwym przełomem w dziedzinie transportu zwierząt będzie dopiero pełna likwidacja transportów długodystansowych. Zwierzęta powinny być ubijane w pobliżu miejsca ich hodowli. Wymagają tego nie tylko względy humanitarne, ale i sanitarne, bo, jak dowiódł niedawny raport Trybunału Obrachunkowego, nad zwierzętami przemieszczanymi za granicę praktycznie tracona jest kontrola. Szanowni Państwo ...

(Przewodniczący odebrał przemawiającemu głos)

 
  
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  Jørgensen (PSE). Hr. formand. Der er ingen tvivl om, at det her er et område, som påvirker Europas befolkning meget. I Danmark samlede en dyreværnsorganisation - sidste år alene - 500 000 underskrifter. Altså en halv million underskrifter i et land, der kun har lidt over 5 millioner indbyggere. Så meget desto mere grund er der til at kritisere den måde, dette forslag er blevet hastet igennem på. Jeg kunne som EU-parlamentariker ikke få adgang til forslaget, før få timer før det rent faktisk blev vedtaget. Det kunne jo faktisk godt være, hr. kommissær, at hvis man havde haft lidt mere tid til at debattere dette spørgsmål, og hvis der havde været en offentlig debat rundt omkring i de enkelte lande i Europa, så havde ministrene været lidt mere medgørlige. Jeg synes faktisk, at De skal sætte alvor bag de udtalelser, De har fremsat her i dag. Jeg synes, at De skal få sagen bragt på dagsordenen så hurtigt som muligt igen, så vi kan få en offentlig debat, og politikerne og ministrene kan blive sat under pres.

Det store problem her er, at vi tænker for meget på det indre marked. Det indre marked er jo selvfølgelig en fin og en god ting, men en gang imellem må vi også stoppe op og tage nogle etiske hensyn. Vi behandler i dag dyr, som om de var varer. Dyr er ikke varer. Dyr er levende væsner og skal - selvfølgelig - behandles som levende væsner.

Jeg vil også sætte spørgsmålstegn ved, om det forslag, der nu desværre er blevet til lovgivning, overhovedet holder rent juridisk. Kan det overhovedet rent juridisk forsvares, at man sætter Parlamentet uden for indflydelse, som man har gjort? Når denne lovgivning skal revideres, altså når man skal se på den igen, kan det ske uden om Parlamentet. Det alene er for mig at se en god nok grund til at undersøge, om dette her overhovedet holder juridisk.

 
  
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  Lichtenberger (Verts/ALE). Herr Präsident, meine Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Mein Vorredner hat über den Binnenmarkt gesprochen. Der Binnenmarkt muss sich daran messen lassen, wie human er stattfindet, und welche Folgen er nicht nur für Menschen, sondern auch für Lebewesen hat.

Bei den Tiertransporten ist es eine klare Sache. Wem nützen Ferntransporte? Sie nützen der Massentierhaltung, eine Form der Tierhaltung, die Europa nicht vorwärts bringen wird. Wir brauchen nicht nur gute Maßnahmen, sondern strenge Kontrollen, und hier muss man die Haltung der Mitgliedstaaten zu diesem Thema offen als eine echte Schande bezeichnen. Und für diese Kontrollen benötigen wir eine Infrastruktur, und diese Infrastruktur beinhaltet auch Ruhepunkte, die wir vorsehen müssen, Ladestationen, die verpflichtend angefahren werden müssen, wenn ein Verstoß gegen die Tiertransportschutzbestimmungen stattfindet. Das muss erzwungen werden! Und wir, das Parlament und die Kommission, müssen gemeinsam die Mitgliedstaaten darauf verpflichten, endlich auch in der Praxis eine neue Strategie für die Landwirtschaft anzuwenden.

 
  
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  Lucas (Verts/ALE). Mr President, I think Commissioner Kyprianou has a difficult task in front of him in trying to persuade us that the November Council compromise is a genuinely positive step forward when it comes to live animal exports. We know it is not, and I think you know it is not, Commissioner.

It is a great shame that the Council is not here to be held to account. I have to say as well that I am disappointed that my own government voted in favour of this shabby deal; because a few technical improvements are now completely overshadowed by the failure to make any progress on journey times and stocking density. As a result, it seems this shockingly cruel practice will continue for many years to come.

I notice, however, that you explicitly reserve the right to bring forward better proposals. I welcome that, and strongly urge you to do it as soon as possible, and in particular to introduce a maximum eight-hour journey time for both slaughter and further fattening animals. You can be sure that Parliament will be an ally on this, even more so if we have codecision. It is crucial that we send out a strong signal to all Member State governments that support for live exports is unacceptable in a civilised society.

 
  
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  Kyprianou, Commission. Mr President, I have noted with great interest the views expressed by Members. I share most of your concerns and most of your views. However, as I have already said, the Commission felt that there was a need for immediate action. Some of you said that this compromise has been rushed through. But at the same time, some of you said that this has been pending for more than ten years. I believe, therefore, that we had an obligation to find a solution as soon as possible, without just saying that we would not continue these efforts for improvement.

It is true that Member States can do more. They can adopt stricter rules, not just for animals originating from their territory but also for transit animals. So there could be, through this, a possibility of stricter regulations covering a much wider area and affecting much more transport.

As far as the subsidies are concerned I must remind Parliament that even though we do not have the right – because of various international agreements – to legislate on movement of animals outside the territory, nevertheless the European Union has linked the export subsidies to animal welfare requirements during transport. Therefore to link the two is a substantial step as it brings compliance to a great extent, even though not through immediate legislation.

I agree that implementation is very important. We will put greater emphasis on the issue of travel times, including all the other improvements that need to be made. We will gather enough scientific evidence to be able to convince even those who are reluctant at this stage. Therefore we will continue to monitor the situation and get this evidence that can be used in a future proposal.

On the staging point, this regulation has increased both the welfare situation and the bio-security situation. Even though I understand and share the disappointment of many of you with regard to this regulation, at the same time, we must not, through this emotional approach, disregard significant improvements that have been made to the regulation. Travel times are very important – that is why they were included in the Commission proposal; but conditions during travel are just as important. They are being improved and dealt with in the regulation.

The Commission examined the legal problems referred to in the way in which the decision was taken. I can assure you that we checked with the legal services and everything was done in a proper legal way.

While I share your concerns, we feel that this was a good compromise. It has gone the right way. Some of us might have wanted to go one step further, or take one step less, but it is nevertheless going in the right direction. The Commission will continue to monitor and follow the implementation. Implementation is in the hands of the Member States. Agreement on any future proposal coming from the Commission will again, in the final analysis, be in the hands of the Member States. Therefore it is something on which Parliament and the Commission have to work together.

 
  
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  Le Président. – Le débat est clos.

 

6. Mélytengeri korallzátonyok védelme az Atlanti-óceánban
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  Le Président. – L'ordre du jour appelle le rapport de Sergio Ribeiro (A6-0037/2004), au nom de la commission de la pêche, sur la proposition de règlement du Conseil modifiant le règlement (CE) n° 850/98 en ce qui concerne la protection des récifs coralliens en eau profonde contre les effets du chalutage dans certaines zones de l'océan Atlantique (COM (2004) 0058 - C5 - 0074/2004 - 2004/0020 (CNS)).

 
  
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  Borg, Commission. Mr President, I thank Mr Ribeiro for his report on the proposal to protect deep-water coral reefs from the effects of trawling in certain areas of the Atlantic Ocean. This is the first time I have addressed the plenary of this Parliament and it is satisfying that the first proposal that I am dealing with is focused upon the protection of deep-water coral reefs – an issue of great importance to us all. Doubtless, we will have many an occasion in future, both within this plenary and within the Committee on Fisheries, to discuss issues not only relating to conservation and the preservation of fish stocks but also relating to issues such as deep-water coral reefs.

Having studied the scientific evidence and considering the irreversible damage that certain fishing gear can cause to these unique habitats, we propose in this regulation to ban the use of bottom trawls and similar trawl gear in the areas concerned. With this proposal, we fulfil the commitment given at the Fisheries Council of 23 October 2003, when the new 'western waters' regulation was approved to ensure protection for these habitats. I am happy to note that the rapporteur recommends that Parliament approve these measures, as does the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in its opinion.

The Commission welcomes the adoption of measures to minimise the impact of fishing on marine ecosystems. They show our determination to work for the integration of environmental concerns in the common fisheries policy, as envisaged in the reform of 2002, and as repeatedly called for by public opinion.

I turn briefly to the amendments proposed in the report before us. I can accept Amendments 1, 2 and 3. However, I have difficulty in accepting Amendment 4, since it is not in line with the legislation on the mandate that is given to regional advisory councils. These councils are to be consulted on the development of proposals for legislation, but consultation of them is not envisaged on the implementation of such legislation. As for Amendment 5, the Commission has difficulty accepting the substance of this amendment as it is currently worded. The Commission is bound to review all proposals in the light of new scientific evidence. Hence, obliging the Commission to do so in a specific timeframe could also work against the spirit and purpose of the proposal.

Furthermore, we need to be conscious of the fact that the production of scientific evidence is very much dependent on the Member States and, therefore, the Commission is not in a position to guarantee its availability as prescribed in the amendment, that is, within a specified timeframe.

On Amendment 6, the Commission notes that while it could find such an amendment acceptable, it is not really necessary since the geographical application of the regulation is well known and already established.

As for Amendment 7, in accordance with scientific advice, the main threat to the very fragile deep-water habitats is bottom trawling. Damage caused by other gear, in particular specific gear such as gillnets and longlines, may be real, but is very minor compared to the erosion effects of trawls.

Furthermore, extending the prohibition on trawling throughout the European economic zone would appear to be excessive, i.e. would appear not to be proportionate since the majority of this area does not have submarine features threatened by fishing. In these circumstances, the Commission is not in a position to accept Amendment 7.

Finally, the Commission has difficulty accepting Amendment 8, because it would create a duplication of effort. Comprehensive revisions of the status of deep-water features are currently being carried out by the International Council for the Exploitation of the Sea, ICES. This is considered to be sufficient.

 
  
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  Ribeiro (GUE/NGL), relator. Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, caros Colegas. A elaboração, discussão e votação em comissão deste relatório foi um processo quase surpreendente de aprendizagem, ilustrando que se está sempre em tempo de aprender, de aprender sempre.

Uma actividade que apenas conhecia superficialmente, confrontei e sobretudo enriqueci tudo o que, em teoria, os papéis e o estudo poderiam facultar-nos. Contactando e informando-me com quem está ligado à actividade, com quem dela faz o seu difícil ganha-pão, com quem a estuda em profundidade e seriedade, com quem nela tem responsabilidades, muito aprendi, e sei que muito ficou por aprender.

Com o ponto que partia da necessidade de proteger o ambiente que estava a sofrer agressões e em risco de as ver acrescidas, foram-se-me levantando três questões: que actividades predadoras a moderar ou a proibir? Em que limites? Sob que jurisdição? Depois de muito ouvir e de muito ponderar, convenci-me de que a proibição da pesca de arrasto pelo fundo seria insuficiente para proteger os recifes de coral e outras formações onde relevo as fontes térmicas. Foi-me comprovado que a arte de emalhar no fundo é igualmente predadora ou até mais. Por isso a incluí explicitamente. Porquê a resistência a esta inclusão? Porque interesses poderosos a utilizam? Porque, argumenta a Comissão, não haverá fundamentação científica bastante para provar os malefícios desta arte. No entanto, se assim fosse, que se utilizasse o princípio da precaução. A delimitação das áreas a proteger é, na proposta da Comissão, definida pelo critério de graus de longitude e de latitude. Considero esta opção como sendo política e não técnica, pelo menos não só técnica e com um forte significado político.

A não utilização do critério das milhas a contar da costa serve para desprezar ou menorizar a ligação às zonas económicas exclusivas nacionais como algo a esquecer. Depois da negociação da substituição regulamentar após o período que terminou em Novembro de 2003, das 200 para as 12, depois para as 50 para chegar às 100 milhas, a não consideração na proposta da Comissão da situação criada na zona entre as 100 e as 200 milhas é, a meu ver, grave, e deve ser corrigida.

O que nos traz à questão-chave da jurisdição. A começar pela simples omissão das jurisdições nacionais de Espanha e de Portugal, o que não foi omitido nem na proposta anterior quando se tratou da jurisdição do Reino Unido sobre a formação dos recifes de Darwin Mounds nas costas da Escócia. Quererá isto dizer que se atribui ao Reino Unido uma jurisdição que se nega ou que se esquece, ou se esconde, para a Espanha e para Portugal? Assim se chega a questões verdadeiramente delicadas e de fundo das que a vida impõe quando se confronta o concreto.

Antes da ratificação do Tratado Constitucional consuma-se nesta proposta o princípio da competência exclusiva da União Europeia para a conservação dos recursos biológicos marinhos. É muito discutível esta decisão e para nós inaceitável, pelo que representa de substituição da competência nacional e regional sobre parte do território nacional ainda que submerso pela competência comunitária e com estatuto de exclusividade.

O que está evidentemente em questão é: 1) o equilíbrio entre o aproveitamento de recursos e a sua conservação; 2) este equilíbrio que foi conseguido onde e quando a pesca não era industrial e predadora e a conservação dos recursos biológicos marinhos estava sob jurisdição nacional e regional, de proximidade, pelo que a sua substituição não tem o fundamento de corrigir práticas incorrectas ou laxistas; 3) haver dois tipos de pesca, a pesca costeira e, mais ou menos, ou ainda e quase artesanal e a pesca industrial, sendo a primeira penalizada, com graves consequências sociais e nas economias regionais, pelo carácter predador da segunda, que, pelo seu poder económico e político prosseguirá com mais à vontade a sua actividade; 4) no mesmo sentido a negociação que está a iniciar-se sobre TAC e quotas é a denúncia do tratamento igual para o que é diferente e é contrariar estratégias que a pretexto de defender o ambiente ajudam a que os "peixes grandes" vão comendo os "peixes pequenos" podendo substituir-se o vocábulo "peixes" por outros, como barcos, como frotas, como interesses, como países.

O meu relatório e as propostas de emenda que apresentei em plenário para o reafirmar têm a intenção que procurei tornar clara neste intervenção, esperando o voto deste plenário. Agradeço esse voto e agradeço muito toda a ajuda e colaboração que tive para apresentar este relatório.

 
  
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  Schlyter (Verts/ALE), föredragande av yttrande från utskottet för miljö, folkhälsa och livsmedelssäkerhet. Herr talman! Jag skall presentera miljöutskottets yttrande å Satu Hassis vägnar.

När vi diskuterar denna fråga måste vi föreställa oss hur det skulle vara om den förödelse som sker på havets botten i stället skedde på land. Tänk er att skogar rivs upp, alla deras djur dör och fåglarna tystnar. Detta skulle ge upphov till en folkstorm. Vi skulle alla drunkna i brev från oroliga medborgare med krav på skydd för skogarna.

Nu sker detta på havets botten; havets skogar är korallrev på havets botten, bland fiskar som inte har möjlighet att skrika. Därför måste vi här i parlamentet tala för dessa biosystem, ekosystem utan röst.

Miljöutskottet har försökt att uttrycka denna röst i form av ändringsförslag. Jag vill därför betona att kammaren bör stödja ändringsförslag 8, som antogs av miljöutskottet men som tyvärr förkastades i fiskeriutskottet. Vi måste utreda vilka andra känsliga djuphavshabitat som måste skyddas, så att vi kan få en fullständig lista på dessa. Naturligtvis i samarbete med ICES, för att undvika dubbeljobb, men vi måste ta ansvar för att denna lista finns.

Jag vill också tala för ändringsförslag 7, som tar upp den viktiga aspekten att det finns andra redskap än trålar som kan skada botten. Därför bör naturligtvis reglerna omfatta alla redskap som kan skada botten, och det är klokt att använda försiktighetsprincipen i dessa känsliga områden.

Däremot tycker jag att vi skall behålla kommissionens förslag till zoner och därmed rösta emot andra halvan av ändringsförslaget. Zonerna bygger på vetenskaplig grund, som vi kan acceptera.

 
  
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  Freitas (PPE-DE), em nome do Grupo. Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, caros Colegas, esta proposta que mereceu a opinião positiva da Comissão das Pescas deste Parlamento pretende impedir a utilização de uma arte de pesca altamente prejudicial para com sistemas marinhos muito frágeis, como são os corais de profundidade que, para além da sua riqueza específica para a biodiversidade, são também importantes nichos ecológicos para vários organismos em várias fases da sua vida.

Esta protecção, segundo a Comissão, abrange as boxes em torno da Madeira, dos Açores e das Canárias, arquipélagos ultraperiféricos onde se tem praticado, até agora, uma pesca artesanal ao longo dos séculos que tem permitido não só a preservação das espécies como a manutenção de importantes comunidades piscatórias.

Numa altura em que se assiste a uma preocupação crescente em relação à manutenção dos recursos haliêuticos e em que se iniciam vários planos de recuperação em zonas devastadas pela sobrepesca, a pesca sustentada, que se pratica nestes arquipélagos deve merecer de todos nós um incentivo e uma posição de apoio e salvaguarda. Acresce que estamos a falar de áreas onde não existe plataforma continental e, como tal, os locais em que a pesca pode ser exercida resumem-se a pequenos montes submarinos geralmente associados a estes corais de profundidade.

Pode dizer-se que ao largo destes arquipélagos existe muita água mas não existe muito peixe ou muitas zonas de pesca. É, pois, essencial que estes espaços sejam salvaguardados e protegidos das actividades de pesca industrial com características erosivas, fortemente erosivas. As medidas de emergência postas em prática já ajudam mas temos de ter soluções duradouras e, por isso, é de enaltecer esta proposta da Comissão.

Contudo, as propostas de alteração que pretendem alargar a proibição de redes às redes de emalhar em profundidade para mim fazem todo o sentido. Pelo seu fundeamento e risco de perca podem causar o ghost fishing e a erosão também dos fundos, pondo em causa o equilíbrio ecológico dos corais de profundidade.

Entendo, pois, que se deveria alargar a proposta de proibição às redes de emalhar e também incluir as zonas de 200 milhas pois esta proposta radica-se na manutenção daquilo que até há bem pouco existia. Posso garantir, com conhecimento da realidade, que aprovando estas propostas estamos a contribuir para a defesa do meio ambiente e daquela pesca sustentada que pretendemos que se deve basear mais na precaução do que na recuperação a posteriori.

 
  
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  Casaca (PSE), em nome do Grupo. Senhor Presidente, permita-me que dirija uma saudação especial ao Senhor Comissário nesta sua primeira intervenção e desejar­lhe os melhores votos de desempenho das funções extremamente importantes e difíceis que ele tem a seu cargo. Mas permita-me também que lhe diga que nesta proposta é de facto, para mim, incompreensível que, depois de se ter feito o erro de liberalizar o arrasto do fundo e as redes de emalhar de fundo há um ano no Regulamento 1954, não se corrija esse erro no que respeita às redes de emalhar de fundo. Basta nós lermos os documentos produzidos pela Comissão Europeia que são absolutamente taxativos indicando que a rede de emalhar de fundo é extraordinariamente perniciosa e depredadora do meio ambiente para nós não compreendermos como é que a Comissão Europeia quer impor esta prática na Região Autónoma dos Açores onde ela nunca foi permitida. Trata-se de uma regressão na conservação da natureza imposta pela Comissão Europeia, pelas Instituições Europeias que não tem qualquer sentido, que não tem qualquer aceitação. Senhor Comissário, peço-lhe que reflicta sobre este assunto mais profundamente.

 
  
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  Attwooll (ALDE), on behalf of the group Mr President, Mr Ribeiro's excellent report is on the second Commission proposal seeking to protect deep-water coral reefs from the effects of trawling. The first concerned reefs off the north-west coast of Scotland, the Darwin Mounds, for which I was fortunate enough to be rapporteur. As with that report, it is essential to appreciate just how important deep-water coral reefs are for the marine ecosystem.

They can maintain hundreds of different species of wildlife, including many species of deep-sea fish, and they are a vital focus for fish reproductive cycles. In the case of deep-sea fish, gestation periods are extremely long and thus any negative impacts on the habitats will have serious effects on stocks, both in the short and the long term.

We are still gathering research on the full impact of trawling on deep-sea coral reefs, but it certainly appears that in the short span of time since deep-sea trawling began, hundreds or possibly thousands of seamounts and coral reef systems may have been devastated.

The ALDE Group therefore fully supports the proposal and the amendments adopted in committee, particularly Amendment 4 emphasising the role of regional advisory councils. We commend to you the other amendments as adopted in committee. We endorse plenary Amendment 8 as well, since it is important to examine what other areas of deep-sea coral within the EU should be closed to harmful fishing methods.

We can also support Amendment 6 and the first part of Amendment 7, since that fits with the precautionary approach. After considerable thought, we cannot support the second part of that amendment because it could have the effect of leaving some of the coral unprotected. That is with real regret, since the motivation of the whole of that amendment is essentially one of conservation.

We hope very much that the Commission and the Council will both appreciate the seriousness of the concerns being expressed.

 
  
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  Romagnoli (NI). Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'ottima relazione dell'onorevole Ribeiro sulla proposta di regolamento del Consiglio relativa alla protezione delle scogliere coralline di acque profonde dagli effetti dalla pesca demersale, più generalmente definita "a strascico", è puntuale e suffragata da numerosi studi di settore.

L'impatto su questi ambienti - come del resto avviene per tutti i tipi di ambiente marino interessati da tecniche di prelievo indifferenziato - incide, come è noto, non solo sulle specie pelagiche e sessili edibili, ma anche su forme sessili non edibili e, più in generale, arreca grave danno ad ambienti fondamentali per la riproduzione. Ciò provoca il dapapeuramento della risorsa e di conseguenza della potenzialità economica, con ripercussioni negative maggiori sulle comunità locali, in particolare sulle piccole imprese artigianali della pesca.

La protezione di detti ambienti, oltre a quanto riconosciuto dalle convenzioni internazionali citate nella relazione, costituisce pertanto un'importante misura di garanzia non solo della protezione dell'ambiente, ma anche della continuità delle prospettive sociali ed economiche per le comunità umane che insistono nelle regioni in oggetto. Questo vale generalmente per tutte le regioni in cui la pesca è una risorsa tradizionale che, come tale, va garantita, non solo limitando il prelievo di tipo industriale da parte di flotte di altri paesi, ma anche assicurando la continuità degli habitat riproduttivi.

A tal fine è fondamentale il coinvolgimento delle comunità locali, in particolare degli addetti del settore. Ritengo pertanto auspicabile che le istituzioni, gli enti locali e le associazioni di settore, con l'ausilio delle Istituzioni comunitarie, curino, oltre alla vigilanza sulle aree protette, il periodico monitoraggio scientifico degli habitat, nonché l'informazione ecocompatibile e la professionalità degli addetti.

Sarebbe certamente opportuno incentivare anche la potenzialità delle piccole imprese artigiane, dotandole di moderni strumenti di ricerca, individuazione e prelievo della risorsa, in modo tale da favorire la maggiore selettività del prelievo dall'ambiente marino e da consentire a tali imprese di sopravvivere alla concorrenza delle flotte da pesca industriale, in particolare giapponesi e americane.

 
  
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  Fraga Estévez (PPE-DE). Señor Presidente, en primer lugar, quiero mostrar mi sorpresa porque un ponente, el señor Ribeiro, se haya dedicado a defender unas enmiendas que han sido rechazadas mayoritariamente por la Comisión de Pesca. Dicho lo cual, tengo que decir que nuestro Grupo va a apoyar la propuesta de la Comisión, el informe Ribeiro, tal y como se aprobó en la Comisión de Pesca, y va a votar en contra de las enmiendas presentadas. Y quiero explicar por qué.

No queremos la inclusión de las redes de enmalle de fondo porque, como todo el mundo sabe, éstas son redes estáticas que, por su propia configuración, no erosionan los fondos marinos. El desastre biológico que se pretende evocar mediante esta enmienda podría, en todo caso, estar relacionado con la pérdida de estas artes y su acción posterior de pesca fantasma. Como ha dicho el señor Comisario, este efecto no ha sido científicamente cuantificado, ni por zonas ni por especies. Por eso me parece una frivolidad y un mal precedente prohibir o intentar prohibir estas artes en estas zonas, ya que, con estos mismos argumentos, tendríamos que prohibirlas en todas las aguas comunitarias y veríamos entonces si todos los que lo defienden en este caso lo defenderían también en el resto.

En cuanto a la segunda enmienda, que, basándose en criterios de biología y geología marinas, pretende sustituir las áreas protegidas que propone la Comisión por el criterio político de las 200 millas -criterio que en materia de gestión pesquera ya no existe en la legislación comunitaria, guste o no-, vuelvo a insistir en que los corales no se distribuyen en un radio coincidente con las 200 millas de Canarias, Madeira y Azores. Está científicamente asumido que los corales se distribuyen normalmente en torno a una línea batrimétrica de los mil metros. Por eso, la Comisión, con arreglo al criterio de precaución, ha aumentado hasta la línea batimétrica de 1 500 metros, líneas que, obviamente, no siguen divisiones políticas y administrativas. Pero, es más, en este caso, además, las zonas que ha marcado la Comisión Europea van más allá, en algunos casos, de las 200 millas, llegando incluso a aguas internacionales.

Por todos estos motivos, señor Presidente, nuestro Grupo no va a apoyar las enmiendas presentadas.

 
  
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  Miguélez Ramos (PSE). Señor Presidente, yo –que saludé en su momento este Informe Ribeiro y el trabajo del ponente porque, como a todos nosotros, me parece importante proteger los arrecifes de coral de aguas profundas– tengo que significar –en la línea en que lo acaba de hacer mi colega, la señora Fraga– que espero no ver algún día encima de la mesa del señor Ribeiro unas banderitas –como las que veo por aquella parte de allí– porque, hasta cierto punto, algunas de las manifestaciones que he escuchado de la boca del ponente me han dejado muy sorprendida.

Quisiera decir, desde luego, que no estamos de acuerdo con la enmienda 7 –ni con su primera ni con su segunda parte. Sí estamos de acuerdo con la propuesta de la Comisión pero no podemos estar de acuerdo con que se añada "redes de enmalle" sin otro criterio científico a la propuesta de la Comisión, que habla de "redes de arrastre de fondo" o "artes de arrastre semejantes". Creemos que añadir "redes de enmalle" sin mayores precisiones puede causar graves perjuicios a determinadas flotas y, además, introducir un peligroso precedente.

Con la segunda parte tampoco estamos de acuerdo porque pretende sustituir las coordenadas marítimas establecidas por la Comisión, basándose en criterios científicos, por los términos "aguas bajo jurisdicción" de los Estados miembros.

 
  
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  Stihler (PSE). Mr President, deep-water coral reefs are a resource which deserves our protection. According to the United Nations, deep-water coral reefs are a vulnerable habitat which require special attention. ICES advises that the only way to protect cold-water habitats from fishing damage is to map the habitats precisely and to close those areas to the forms of fishing that cause damage. The only way to protect deep-water coral reefs is to prohibit the use of bottom trawls and similar gears.

It was early this year that this House recognised deep-water coral reefs, when the Darwin Mounds, off the north-west coast of Scotland, were given special status as an area of conservation. Now we turn to the other deep-water coral reefs off the Canary Islands and around Madeira and the Azores, and I hope there will be continuation of protection to those areas on a permanent basis. Deep-water coral reefs should not be destroyed by bottom trawling, but should be protected for future generations to enjoy.

 
  
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  Capoulas Santos (PSE). Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, também eu quero expressar no essencial o meu apoio ao relatório do Deputado Ribeiro e às propostas nele contidas.

Garantir a sustentabilidade dos recursos biológicos marinhos é também a melhor forma de proteger a mais ameaçada de todas as espécies nalgumas zonas da União, o próprio Homem. Muitas das comunidades piscatórias de algumas zonas costeiras da União, como é o caso dos Açores ou da Madeira, não têm sequer quaisquer outras alternativas para a sua manutenção ou sobrevivência. Neste caso, é a própria Comissão Europeia que reconhece que estamos perante ecossistemas muito sensíveis, que se encontram altamente ameaçados e que é urgente proteger, tanto mais que sobre eles existe ainda um considerável défice de informação.

A simples constatação destes factos é razão mais do que suficiente para que se adoptem todas as medidas preventivas tendentes a evitar a destruição destes habitats. As propostas apresentadas pelo relator vão nesse sentido. Merecem, por isso, o meu voto favorável e apelo à Câmara que assim proceda também.

 
  
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  Borg, Commission. Mr President, I welcome the generally positive comments on the proposal, and will respond very briefly to some of the criticisms made.

On the possible damage by fishing other than trawls: according to the ICES 2003 report, trawls are the main cause of damage to deep-water coral reefs. There is little evidence of passive gear damaging coral reefs, although ICES mentions some of these effects. The Commission is ready to amend its proposal if there is new scientific evidence or if the Member States agree on such an amendment.

With regard to the point concerning the extension of the protective zone to the whole EEZ, I would underline that the proposal delimited an area that includes most of the submarine mountains that have been kept in good condition. Extending the zone of prohibition would add insignificant protection and would therefore run c ounter to the principle of proportionality.

Having said that, I would also refer to the question of the exclusive competence of the Commission with regard to marine resources, which is found in the Constitution and to which reference has been made. This is a principle which was already established by European Court of Justice case law, and all the Constitution does is to codify it. However, the Commission does not deny the rights of Spain and Portugal over their European Economic Zone. It is just that there is no need to mention these rights of jurisdiction since the area of prohibition is delimited by topography and by geographical features.

On the point made by Mrs Attwooll concerning the role of the regional advisory councils, there would be a legal problem and in order to accept that amendment the regulation on RACs would itself have to be amended.

On another point made by Mrs Attwooll, the Commission has recently tabled a proposal on conditions for deep-water fishing, which will lend protection to these important resources.

 
  
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  Le Président. – Le débat est clos.

Le vote aura lieu à 11 h 30.

 

7. Köszöntések
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  Le Président. – Je voudrais saluer la présence à la tribune officielle d'une délégation de l'assemblée de Serbie­et­Monténégro, qui est venue à Strasbourg afin de participer à la première réunion interparlementaire entre le Parlement européen et le Parlement de Serbie­et­Monténégro.

La délégation est dirigée par son président, M. Zoran Sami. Je souhaite que cet événement marque le commencement d'une coopération fructueuse entre nos deux institutions.

 
  
  

PRESIDENCIA DEL SR. BORRELL FONTELLES
Presidente

 

8. Szavazások órája
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  El Presidente. De conformidad con el orden del día, se procede a la votación.

Informe (A6-0069/2004) de Reimer Böge sobre la propuesta de Decisión del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo relativa a la utilización del instrumento de flexibilidad de conformidad con lo dispuesto en el apartado 24 del Acuerdo interinstitucional de 6 de mayo de 1999 (COM(2004)0402 - C6-0213/2004 - 2004/2087(ACI))

(El Parlamento aprueba la propuesta de resolución y la propuesta de decisión)

(De conformidad con el artículo 6 del Anexo IV del Reglamento del PE)

Propuesta de resolución (B6-0204/2004/rev.)(1) sobre el rechazo global del proyecto de presupuesto general de la Unión Europea para el ejercicio 2005

(El Parlamento rechaza la propuesta de resolución)

Proyecto de presupuesto general para 2005, modificado por el Consejo

Antes de la votación:

 
  
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  Garriga Polledo (PPE-DE), ponente. Señor Presidente, quisiera, antes de que comience la votación, anunciar algunas correcciones técnicas, para las cuales me dio mandato la Comisión de Presupuestos.

Me refiero a la línea presupuestaria Línea presupuestaria 15 03 01 02 – Programa Leonardo da Vinci, en la cual hay que modificar el importe que figura en los compromisos, que debería ser de 205 366 880 euros.

A continuación también quisiera introducir en la línea presupuestaria 19 09 03 – Ayuda a la población desarraigada en los países de América Latina, el importe correspondiente, procedente de la reserva, es decir, 54 500 euros menos que el importe presentado en el Documento 12.

Espero que el Parlamento pueda dar su consentimiento a estas modificaciones.

 
  
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  El Presidente. Si no hay oposición, quedan aceptadas las modificaciones técnicas aportadas por el señor Garriga Polledo.

(El Parlamento acepta las modificaciones orales del ponente)

 
  
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  Schulz (PSE), im Namen der Fraktion. Herr Präsident! Auf der Grundlage von Artikel 157 gebe ich jetzt keine geheime, sondern eine offene Erklärung ab.

Wir haben bei der Summe, die unter Punkt 3 zu bewilligen ist, in unserer Fraktion eine Diskussion gehabt. Es geht dabei um ein großes Treffen im Rheinland, in meiner Heimat, wo unter anderem die Katholische Kirche, aber auch andere Organisationen, ein großes Jugendtreffen organisieren. Ich kenne dieses Treffen selbst, da ich schon einmal in einer anderen Funktion daran habe teilnehmen können. Das ist eine gute Sache. Im Rahmen dieses Treffens soll ein Staatsbesuch des Papstes stattfinden.

(Unruhe im Saal)

Seine Heiligkeit wird sich zu diesem Treffen begeben, und wir möchten Folgendes festgehalten wissen: Die Organisatoren dieses Treffens mögen bitte den Institutionen der EU gegenüber nachweisen, dass der Staatsbesuch des Papstes auf keinen Fall aus diesen Mitteln finanziert wird. Das muss der Vatikan schon selbst bezahlen.

(Beifall und Protest)

 
  
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  Pęk (IND/DEM). Tak jest, Panie Przewodniczący, sprawa porządkowa na podstawie tego samego punktu, na podstawie którego zezwolił Pan na przemawianie panu Schulzowi. Otóż chciałbym stwierdzić, że jest to ewidentne łamanie Regulaminu, a także zasad dobrego smaku. Pan Schulz nie rozumie, że oprócz prawa istnieje jeszcze duch i zasady etyczno-moralne. Chciałem Panu o tym przypomnieć.

(Oklaski)

 
  
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  El Presidente. Queda, pues, aprobado el presupuesto.

Vamos a preguntar al Consejo si tiene alguna observación que hacer o manifiesta su conformidad con la aprobación efectuada por el Parlamento.

 
  
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  Balkenende, Council. Mr President, you have proceeded to your second reading on the 2005 budget – the first full budgetary year of the European Union of 25 Member States and of the implementation of the new Staff Regulations. I am pleased to note that the agreement reached between our two institutions during the conciliation meeting on 25 November 2004 has now been included in the 2005 budget.

It is very important that for the first year of the new term of this Parliament the two arms of the budgetary authority were able to reach global agreement last November. It is a positive signal for the future, both for interinstitutional cooperation and for a good budget for the European Union.

That is why I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman of the Committee on Budgets, Mr Lewandowski, and the two rapporteurs, Mr Garriga Polledo and Mrs Jensen. I would also like to thank the Commissioner, Mrs Grybauskaitė, whose role I have appreciated very much.

The Council can accept the maximum rate of increase resulting from your second reading.

(Applause)

 
  
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  El Presidente. Muchas gracias, señor ministro.

(Tras invitar al Presidente en ejercicio del Consejo, Jan Peter Balkenende, a la representante de la Comisión, Dalia Grybauskaite, al Presidente de la Comisión de Presupuestos, Janusz Lewandowski, a los ponentes, Salvador Garriga Polledo y Anne Elisabet Jensen, a que le acompañen, el Presidente del Parlamento, junto con el Presidente en ejercicio del Consejo, proceden a firmar el instrumento de flexibilidad y el presupuesto)

(Aplausos)

 
  
  

PRÉSIDENCE DE M. ONESTA
Vice-président

 
  
  

Rapport (A6­0068/2004) de Salvador Gariga Polledo (Section III - Commission) et Anne Elisabet Jensen (Autres sections), au nom de la commission des budgets, sur le projet de budget général de l'Union européenne pour l'exercice 2005 tel que modifié par le Conseil (toutes sections) (11445/2004 – C6­0123/2004 – 2004/2001(BUD)2004/2002(BUD)) et les lettres rectificatives n os 1/2005 (15180/2004 – C6­0216/2004), 2/2005 (15181/2004 ­ C6­0217/2004) et 3/2005 (15182/2004 – C6­0218/2004) au projet de budget général de l'Union européenne pour l'exercice 2005

Section I – Parlement européen

Section II – Conseil

Section III – Commission

Section IV – Cour de justice

Section V – Cour des comptes

Section VI – Comité économique et social européen

Section VII – Comité des régions

Section VIII(A) – Médiateur européen

Section VIII(B) – Contrôleur européen de la protection des données

­ Avant le début du vote

 
  
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  Garriga Polledo (PPE-DE), ponente. Señor Presidente, muy brevemente –in tempo allegro vivace– quiero proponer al Pleno una enmienda oral referente al considerando A, que consiste en la introducción de los importes correspondientes. Leo en español:

"A. Considerando que el presupuesto para el ejercicio 2005 aprobado por el Parlamento asciende a 116 554 135 698 de euros en compromisos, lo que representa un incremento del 6,1 % con respecto al presupuesto 2004, y a 106 300 000 000 de euros en pagos, lo que representa un incremento del 4,4 % con respecto al presupuesto 2004; que el nivel de pagos representa un 1,004 % de la RNB estimada para 2005, frente al 1,08 % fijado por las perspectivas financieras, lo que supone una diferencia de 7 935 millones de euros,"

 
  
  

(L'Assemblée marque son accord)

 
  
  

(Le Parlement adopte la résolution)

­ Procédure simplifiée

Rapport (A6­0040/2004) de Philippe Morillon, au nom de la commission de la pêche, sur la proposition de réglement du Conseil relatif à la conclusion de l'accord sous forme d'échange de lettres relatif à la prorogation, pour la période allant du 28 février 2004 au 31 décembre 2004, du protocole fixant les possibilités de pêche et la contrepartie financière prévues dans l'accord entre le Communauté économique européenne et la République fédérale islamique des Comores concernant la pêche au large des Comores (COM(2004)0540 – C6­0115/2004 – 2004/0185(CNS))

(Le Parlement adopte la résolution législative)

Saryusz-Wolski (PPE-DE). Monsieur le Président, pourriez­vous ralentir le rythme, parce que les traductions qui passent par un relais nous parviennent au moment du vote suivant? Tenez compte des traductions destinées aux nouveaux pays membres, qui ne se font pas aussi vite que pour les anciens pays membres.

(Applaudissements)

Rapport (A6­0072/2004) de Jean­Louis Bourlanges, au nom de la commission des libertés civiles, de la justice et des affaires intérieures, sur le projet de décision du Conseil visant à rendre la procédure définie à l'article 251 du traité instituant la Communauté européenne applicable à certains domaines couverts par le titre IV de la troisième partie dudit traité (15130/2004 – C6­0208/2004 – 2004/0816(CNS))

(Le Parlement adopte la résolution législative)

Rapport (A6­0041/2004) de Edward H.C. McMillan­Scott, au nom de la commission des affaires étrangères, sur la proposition de règlement du Conseil portant modification du réglement (CE) n° 976/1999 fixant les exigences pour la mise en oeuvre des actions communautaires qui, dans le cadre de la politique de coopération communautaire, contribuent à l'objectif général du développement et de la consolidation de la démocratie et de l'État de droit ainsi qu'à celui du respect des droits de l'homme et des libertés fondamentales dans les pays tiers (COM(2003)0639 – 6018/2004 –C6­0078/2004 – 2004/0807(CNS))

(Le Parlement adopte la résolution législative)

Rapport (A6­0050/2004) de Dimitrios Papadimoulis, au nom de la commission de l'environnement, de la santé publique et de la sécurité alimentaire, sur la proposition de décision du Conseil portant modification de la décision 1999/847/CE en ce qui concerne l'extension du programme d'action communautaire en faveur de la protection civile (COM(2004)0512 – C6­0111/2004 – 2004/0162(CNS))

(Le Parlement adopte la résolution législative)

Rapport (A6­0037/2004) de Sérgio Ribeiro, au nom de la commission de la pêche, sur la proposition de règlement du Conseil modifiant le règlement (CE) n° 850/98 en ce qui concerne la protection des récifs coralliens en eau profonde contre les effets du chalutage dans certaines zones de l'océan Atlantique (COM(2004)0058 – C5­0074/2004 – 2004/0020(CNS))

 
  
  

(Le Président adopte la résolution législative)

Proposition de résolution commune(2) sur les orientations politiques stratégiques de la Commission Barroso

­ Avant le début du vote

 
  
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  Schulz (PSE). Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Ich möchte ganz kurz begründen, warum unsere Fraktion die Unterschrift unter diesem gemeinsamen Entschließungsantrag zurückgezogen hat. Die Sozialistische Fraktion war prinzipiell gegen dieses Verfahren, weil wir der Meinung sind, dass die Kommission zunächst ihr Programm vorlegen sollte und danach das Parlament dazu Stellung nehmen sollte. Wir sind in der Konferenz der Präsidenten unterlegen und dieses Verfahren ist eingeleitet worden. Der Entschließungstext, der vorliegt, wurde von uns bis zu einem bestimmten Punkt mitgetragen. Es sind auch viele Punkte in diesem Text enthalten, mit denen wir gut leben und die wir akzeptieren können.

Aber es gibt einige wesentliche Elemente dieses Textes, die nach einer langen Debatte in unserer Fraktion gestern Abend dazu geführt haben, dass wir zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt der Meinung sind, dass sich das Parlament zu diesen Punkten jetzt nicht äußern sollte, sondern zunächst die Kommission. Deshalb wollen wir, dass das Verfahren, das in jedem Mitgliedstaat normal ist, angewandt wird und die Regierung zunächst ihr Programm vorlegt und dann das Parlament Stellung nimmt. Das sollte auch diesmal durchgeführt werden, deshalb erwarten wir jetzt, dass die Kommission ihr Programm vorstellt. Wir nehmen an dieser Abstimmung nicht teil.

 
  
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  Ek (ALDE). Mr President, if the Socialist Group has been able to say what it thinks about this procedure under Rule 152, then other groups should also be allowed to do so. We are very disappointed that the PSE Group has withdrawn its name from the joint text, even though it was negotiated by two of their vice-chairmen. We also hope that the PSE Group realises that by voting against the compromise it is taking the risk that Parliament will not have a position on the new Commission's strategic policy objectives. Does the PSE Group really want this to happen and spoil the reputation of the European Parliament?

(Applause)

 
  
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  Le Président. – Je considère que l'Assemblée a été éclairée par les positions exprimées par M. Schulz et Mme Ek.

 
  
  

(Le Parlement adopte la résolution)

Rapport (A6-0065/2004) de Geoffrey Van Orden, au nom de la commission des affaires étrangères, sur les progrès réalisés par la Bulgarie sur la voie de l'adhésion (COM(2004)0657 - C6-0150/2004 - 2004/2183(INI)

(Le Parlement adopte la résolution)

Rapport (A6-0061/2004) de Pierre Moscovici, au nom de la commission des affaires étrangères, sur les progrès réalisés par la Roumanie sur la voie de l'adhésion (COM(2004)0657 ­ C6-0151/2004 - 2004/2184(INI)

(Le Parlement adopte la résolution)

 
  

(1) presentada por el señor Wurtz y otros diputados
(2) déposée par les députés Hans­Gert Poettering, József Szájer et Othmar Karas, au nom du groupe PPE­DE, Alexander Nuno Alvaro et autres, au nom du groupe ALDE, et Brian Crowley et Cristiana Muscardini, au nom du groupe UEN, en remplacement des propositions de résolution B6­0205/2004, B6–0214/2004 et B6­0215/2004


9. Szavazáshoz fűzött indokolások
  

- Rapport : Böge (A6-0069/2004)

 
  
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  Goudin, Lundgren och Wohlin (IND/DEM), skriftlig. Vi stödjer tanken på ett flexibilitetsinstrument i EU:s budget för att få en budgeteringsmarginal för enbart oförutsedda utgifter. Ändamålen får sedan behandlas i särskild ordning. De kan i sig vara av helt olika slag.

Peace II-programmet är till exempel något som har sitt berättigande som en intern angelägenhet för EU medan vi motsätter oss att EU som organisation ska vara med och finansiera återuppbyggnaden av Irak. Sådana insatser skall länderna besluta om själva efter demokratiska beslut i respektive land.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. Como é sabido, o instrumento de flexibilidade, num limite máximo de 200 milhões de euros, destina-se a permitir, num exercício orçamental determinado, o financiamento de despesas especificamente identificadas que não pudessem ser financiadas dentro dos limites máximos disponíveis de uma ou várias das outras rubricas. Trata-se de um mecanismo que assume uma elevada importância para solucionar necessidades emergentes.

Ora, no caso concreto deste ano, considero também fundamental que a União, mediante a mobilização do instrumento de flexibilidade, patrocine o seu envolvimento na reabilitação, reconstrução e estabilização do Iraque, tal como prometido na Conferência Ministerial de Madrid; e, bem assim, que apoie o processo de consolidação da paz na República da Irlanda, que tem vindo a sentir crescente instabilidade.

Já quanto à questão das agências descentralizadas, julgo chegado o momento de encontrar uma solução estrutural para o volume sempre crescente de financiamento de que necessitam, conciliando o seu financiamento com as necessidades reclamadas pelas políticas internas.

No globo, votei a favor.

 
  
  

- Proposition de résolution : (B6-0204/2004)

 
  
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  Ribeiro (GUE/NGL), por escrito. Esta proposta de rejeição do orçamento 2005 apresentada pelo nosso grupo, para a qual contribuímos significativamente, é não só oportuna como coerente.

Ajuda a clarificar responsabilidades das forças políticas que, partilhando críticas, não são consequentes na acção. Por isso, lamentamos a rejeição da rejeição.

Oportuna, porque este é o primeiro ano completo de uma UE alargada, com exigências suplementares de coesão, e um ano­chave do debate das Perspectivas Financeiras para 2007-2013. É, por isso, inaceitável um orçamento comunitário para 2005 que só ultrapassa 1% do RNB comunitário (em milésimas de percentagem!) por motivações psicológicas, escondendo a clara consonância com os objectivos dos signatários da "Carta dos Seis", seguindo orçamento de 2004, o mais baixo desde 1987, em termos relativos.

Coerente, porque já apresentáramos uma rejeição ao orçamento de 2000, no começo do actual quadro financeiro, e cinco anos depois confirmam-se as nossas críticas: insuficiência dos meios para a coesão económica e social; subfinanciamento e falta de programas adequados no domínio do emprego, do social, do ambiente e da cooperação; problemas da execução e falta de transparência; sobretudo, um orçamento subjugado aos ditames do Pacto de Estabilidade, e às "poupanças" para financiar alargamentos com os mesmos recursos financeiros e outras prioridades, como guerra e propaganda.

 
  
  

Projet de budget général 2005

 
  
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  Protasiewicz (PPE-DE). Dziękuję bardzo, Panie Przewodniczący. Ja chciałbym wyjaśnić, iż w poprawce 127 w trzeciej części, dotyczącej dofinansowania Międzynarodowego Dnia Młodzieży, głosowałem za, ponieważ to nie jest część oficjalnej wizyty państwowej, tylko spotkanie europejskiej młodzieży chrześcijańskiej w jak najbardziej szczytnym celu. Tylko zacietrzewienie ideologiczne pana Schulza nie pozwala dostrzec, jak wiele korzyści ze spotkania młodzieży z Ojcem Świętym potrafi wnieść do Europy i tylko zacietrzewienie ideologiczne i niechęć spojrzenia w sposób uczciwy i rzetelny na tę kwestię nakazało mieszać to z oficjalną wizytą głowy państwa, jaką jest papież w Republice Federalnej Niemiec.

(Oklaski)

 
  
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  Silva Peneda (PPE-DE), por escrito. Participei de forma empenhada nas reuniões da conciliação que alcançou um acordo sobre do Orçamento da UE para 2005.

Trata-se de um motivo de orgulho e satisfação. Um fracasso das negociações sobre o primeiro orçamento da UE alargada teria sido um péssimo sinal político transmitido aos cidadãos europeus. Seria um sinal de incapacidade de governar a 25.

Todas as políticas comunitárias serão devidamente financiadas em 2005, de acordo com as prioridades estabelecidas. Comparado a 2004, este orçamento terá um aumento de 6.5%, ultrapassando o valor simbólico de 1% do RNB.

O Conselho, o PE, e a Comissão acordaram numa declaração segundo a qual se irá analisar a meio do ano de 2005 o ritmo de pagamentos e, se for caso disso, as linhas orçamentais em causa serão reforçadas.

As prioridades de Portugal estão financeiramente contempladas em 2005. A política regional e de coesão sai reforçada, assim como a Política Agrícola Comum com os seus projectos-piloto, bem como o aumento das verbas para a conclusão de acordos na área das pescas.

Um orçamento é a prova da credibilidade dos objectivos definidos.

Não nos serve de nada fazer grandes declarações políticas sem prever o financiamento que concretize essas intenções.

O Orçamento para 2005 é, por isso, um instrumento credível.

 
  
  

- Rapport : Garriga Polledo, Jensen (A6-0068/2004)

 
  
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  Andersson (PSE), skriftlig. I budgetresolutionen anges att Europaparlamentet beklagar rådets övergripande nedskärning av betalningarna på jordbruksområdet. Vi, Jan Andersson, Anna Hedh, Ewa Hedkvist Petersen, Inger Segelström och Åsa Westlund, håller inte med om detta. Vi anser inte att de finns någon anledning att på jordbruksområdet vilja öka på betalningarna ytterligare i förhållande till rådets förslag.

 
  
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  Cederschiöld, Fjellner, Hökmark och Ibrisagic (PPE-DE), skriftlig. Den moderata delegationen har idag lagt ned sina röster i slutvoteringen om resolutionen.

Resolutionen innehåller mycket som vi anser vara lovvärt men eftersom vi i omröstningen om budgetens siffror röstade emot flera av de föreslagna utgiftsökningarna var det omöjligt för oss att fullt ut stödja resolutionens slutsatser.

Vi håller inte med om den generella kritik som riktas mot rådet för att de har minskat budgetens storlek. Detta gäller särskilt jordbruksstödet där vi gläds åt att rådet tar steg i rätt riktning genom att minska stöden. Vi anser emellertid att jordbrukspolitiken är i behov av en radikal reform och skulle därför ha föredragit om ytterligare minskningar av jordbruksstödet hade ägt rum.

 
  
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  Christensen (PSE), skriftlig. Vi valgte at stemme for Garriga Polledo og Jensens betænkning til trods for paragraf 2, som beklager Rådets reduktion af betalingerne til landbruget. Dette punkt kan vi ikke støtte.

 
  
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  De Keyser (PSE), par écrit. – Il est inacceptable qu'on trouve dans la même ligne budgétaire deux financements aussi distincts que la célébration des 60 de la fin du fascisme et la venue du Pape à Cologne. J'ose espérer que cette étrange collusion n'est pas le fruit d'un honteux marchandage. Le rassemblement des jeunes que cette dernière manifestation attirerait ne doit pas être financé par le budget européen, mais bien par l'église catholique dont elle sert la promotion.

Je vote donc contre cette dépense, alors que tant d'autres initiatives spontanées de jeunes ne parviennent pas à bénéficier de crédits européens. Requests to make explanations of vote must be made before the start of the first

 
  
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  Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), por escrito. A nossa posição é clara e bem conhecida: somos contra a guerra e a ocupação americano-britânica no Iraque e exigimos a retirada imediata das forças ocupantes deste país. É esta posição que justifica a rejeição de que a União Europeia financie a reconstrução do Iraque a partir do seu orçamento comunitário.

Obviamente, que apoiamos o reforço da ajuda humanitária e alimentar à população iraquiana, mas não podemos aceitar que, através da ajuda, se legitime o que se passou e se beneficie o agressor.

Para além de posições de princípio, não é aceitável que esta ajuda seja financiada em detrimento da política de cooperação e desenvolvimento da União Europeia, ou seja, à custa dos países menos desenvolvidos, assim como não é aceitável que não exista um enquadramento multi-anual, como aconteceu no caso das Balcãs.

Sabemos que este relatório trata do tipo de financiamento a adoptar, ou seja, da forma de mobilizar 185 milhões de euros adicionais, que, de outro modo, teriam de ser encontrados através de re-afectação de outros capítulos orçamentais. Sabemos, também, que os montantes adicionais servirão para financiar o programa PEACE e as agências descentralizadas e que os montantes acordados são inferiores ao necessário não resolvendo as necessidades de financiamento.

 
  
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  Goudin, Lundgren och Wohlin (IND/DEM), skriftlig. Junilistan underkänner parlamentets förslag till budget för 2005. Parlamentets förslag innebär att EU:s åtagande skulle stiga till 1,24 % av EU-ländernas förväntade BNI. Vi anser att åtagande 2005 absolut inte får överstiga kommissionens förslag på 1.14%.

Även om betalningarna ännu inte överstiger en procent av BNI kommer dessa så småningom att stiga till nivån för åtaganden i 2005 års budget. Denna bildar utgångspunkt för den långsiktiga finansiella ramen. Därför är det viktigt att redan 2005 komma ner till en lägre nivå. Målet bör vara att komma ner under utgiftstaket på en procent av BNI.

Här följer ett urval av förslag till nedskärningar:

* Vi anser att EU redan 2005 bör inleda en nedskärning av jordbruksstödet

* Bidrage ttill politiska EU-partier bör slopas helt.

* Bidraget till tobaksodling bör slopas Det får ankomma på de enskilda länderna att klara omställningen för de berörda odlarna.

* Bidraget till informationsinsatser kan sänkas eftersom vi anser det politiskt svårt att ge en objektiv information inför folkomröstningar om konstitutionen. Vi anser att det ankommer på de enskilda länderna och de politiska partierna i dessa att sköta denna information. EU-bör undvika att blanda sig i den demokratiska processen i medlemsländerna.

 
  
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  Jensen (ALDE), skriftlig. Venstres medlemmer af parlamentet - Karin Riis-Jørgensen, Niels Busk og Anne E. Jensen - stemte imod ændringsforslag nr. 3 fremsat af IND-DEM-gruppen. Venstre er tilhænger af en reform af rejsegodtgørelserne, så alle rimelige og nødvendige rejseomkostninger refunderes. Det vil dette ændringsforslag ikke sikre.

 
  
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  Ribeiro (GUE/NGL), por escrito. Em coerência com a nossa proposta de rejeição do orçamento comunitário para 2005, votámos contra este relatório, que espelha o grau de hipocrisia e branqueamento que percorreu o processo orçamental que agora finda. O Parlamento crítica o Conselho, lamentando que este reduza os pagamentos na agricultura, não aceite as suas propostas, que se mostre indisponível para avaliar as necessidades das agências europeias e o tenha obrigado a efectuar cortes face à primeira leitura. Razões de sobra para a rejeição.

Apesar deste "cenário", o Parlamento acolhe favoravelmente o acordo obtido com o Conselho na conciliação de 25 de Novembro e branqueia o processo ao afirmar que, devido aos seus esforços "evitaram-se reduções drásticas" e mantiveram-se as suas prioridades tradicionais, o que é manifestamente falso. Infelizmente, esta tem sido a história de todos os processos orçamentais desde 2000, onde o instrumento de flexibilidade foi utilizado cinco anos consecutivamente, mostrando justeza da proposta do PCP de revisão das actuais Perspectivas Financeiras.

Todos os anos, em nome do sacrossanto Pacto de Estabilidade, o Parlamento aceita termos que metem em causa até os seus poderes orçamentais O que nos leva a perguntar então porquê reforçá-los se não os exerce?

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. Reitero observações já feitas aquando da primeira leitura, lamentando que este projecto de Orçamento para o exercício de 2005 seja, no total, igual a apenas 1,004% do Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) dos 25 Estados-Membros da UE. Gostaria de o ver já mais ambicioso, como é indispensável após a adesão de dez novos Estados-Membros e para dar sentido aos discursos dos que dizem querer fazer avançar a Europa institucional, em novas políticas e áreas de responsabilidade.

Mas, atendendo ao globo da negociação e às reais dificuldades económico-financeiras da conjuntura actual, relevo alguns resultados obtidos no duro processo da conciliação e reputo importante ter-se ultrapassado, ainda que minimamente, o limiar psicológico dos 1% impostos na “carta dos seis”.

Retenho alguns progressos positivos, em particular, nomeadamente quanto à segurança marítima (com destaque para a poluição) e a manutenção do quadro das políticas estruturais e políticas externas, em especial, na ajuda ao desenvolvimento, entrando em linha de conta também com as relações especiais com os países ACP.

As observações do relator são realistas e denunciam alguma inconsistência no anunciado projecto contido na proposta da Comissão Europeia, de que este seria o orçamento da “competitividade e da coesão”. Espero bem melhor das Perspectivas Financeiras 2007-2013.

 
  
  

- Rapport : Morillon (A6-0040/2004)

 
  
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  Goudin, Lundgren och Wohlin (IND/DEM), skriftlig. Vi anser att den Europeiska unionens fiskeavtalspolitik måste omprövas. Överexploatering av fiskevattnen driver folket in i än större fattigdom samt berövar den marina miljön en vital länk i näringskedjan. Det vore bättre om de länder som unionen skriver fiskeavtal med i stället ges assistans så att de själva kan utveckla det egna fisket.

Vi accepterar inte ändringsförslag som innebär att kommissionen ges en oberoende inkomstkälla. Vi anser att om unionen sluter ett fiskeavtal med tredje land skall det totala beloppet för den ekonomiska kompensationen till detta tredje land finansieras av de medlemsländer i unionen vars fiskefartyg nyttjar avtalets möjligheter i fråga. Medlemsländerna skall betala i proportion till hur stor fångst de tar upp. Dessa medlemsländer får sedan själva var för sig avgöra om de i sin tur skall finansiera denna utgift genom att ta ut avgifter från sina respektive fiskefartyg.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. Votei favoravelmente este relatório pela importância que a matéria das pescas tem para Portugal, designadamente tratando-se de acordos internacionais de pescas nos quais a pesca portuguesa tem interesse directo. Ainda em apoio do meu voto milita a circunstância de que está em causa uma prorrogação do protocolo existente e as alterações sugeridas em nada prejudicam os interesses nacionais.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. Trata-se de fazer face ao período que medeia entre o fim da vigência do Protocolo anexo ao Acordo de pesca entre a Comunidade Europeia e a República Federal Islâmica das Comores e a data em que a Comissão entende ter realizado as avaliações necessários à renegociação do Acordo. A solução proposta passa, dada a importante actividade da frota comunitária naquela zona marítima (40 atuneiros cercadores e 25 palangreiros de superfície) por prorrogar o acordo anterior até à conclusão de um novo Protocolo de pesca.

A prorrogação não implica qualquer alteração dos termos e restrições do Protocolo anterior, mantendo-se a compensação financeira e as possibilidades de pesca disponíveis para os EM.

Tendo em conta que a frota portuguesa mantém naquela zona possibilidades de pesca para 5 palangreiros de superfície, é importante para Portugal apoiar esta prorrogação e velar por uma renegociação favorável do acordo.

Votei a favor.

 
  
  

- Rapport : Bourlanges (A6-0072/2004)

 
  
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  Coelho (PPE-DE), por escrito. Regozijo-me com a decisão de se poder vir a aplicar plenamente o artº 67 do Tratado, de forma a poderem votar-se por maioria qualificada e em processo de co-decisão matérias do título IV, como a imigração, o asilo, a passagem de fronteiras, etc.

Ganhamos eficiência, reforçamos o papel deste Parlamento, garantindo, o princípio da legitimidade democrática, fundamental para a adopção de normas em matérias tão sensíveis como a política de asilo e imigração e outras que implicam os direitos fundamentais dos cidadãos.

Apoio o Relatório do Senhor Bourlanges, bem como as duas propostas concretas que nos faz, pois:

- a co-decisão e a maioria qualificada , em matéria de imigração legal, são essenciais para a gestão da política migratória da União. Com a assinatura da Constituição, em 29.10.2004, ficou salvaguardado que as medidas previstas em matéria de imigração legal não devem afectar o direito que assiste aos Estados Membros de determinar os volumes de admissão de nacionais de países terceiros, no respectivo território, para aí procurarem trabalho.

- as limitações à competência do Tribunal no título IV, introduzidas em Amesterdão por se recear uma sobrecarga de trabalho e uma excessiva morosidade, também não fazem sentido, uma vez que foi introduzido em Nice o artº225-A...

(Declaração de voto encurtada nos termos do nº 1 do artigo 163º do Regimento)

 
  
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  Kaufmann (GUE/NGL), schriftlich. Seit Jahren gibt es im Bereich der Asyl- und Einwanderungspolitik eine zutiefst undemokratische Gesetzgebung. Einerseits wurde mit dem Vertrag von Amsterdam die Gesetzgebungskompetenz von den Mitgliedstaaten auf die EG übertragen und damit den nationalen Parlamenten entzogen. Andererseits jedoch wurde sie allein dem Rat und damit der versammelten nationalen Exekutive zugewiesen. Das Europäische Parlament ist nur über Stellungnahmen beteiligt. Gerade in einem so hochgradig grundrechtsrelevanten Bereich ist dieser Zustand exekutiver Gesetzgebung unhaltbar.

Der vorliegende Entwurf eines Ratsbeschlusses zum Übergang in das Mitentscheidungsverfahren ist deshalb ein seit Langem überfälliger Schritt in Richtung Parlamentarisierung der Gesetzgebung. Allerdings plant der Rat dabei, erneut einige Bereiche allein der Exekutive vorzubehalten. Genau dies wird mit dem Bourlanges-Bericht kritisiert, und deshalb findet dieser Bericht auch meine Zustimmung.

Problematisch an diesem Bericht ist für mich jedoch, dass er auf einer Verfassungsbestimmung besteht, wonach die Mitgliedstaaten einseitig Drittstaatsangehörigen den Zugang zum Arbeitsmarkt verbieten können. Diese von der deutschen Bundesregierung in die Verfassung eingebrachte Regelung habe ich schon als Mitglied des Verfassungskonvents kritisiert. Hierin widerspiegeln sich nicht nur nationale Egoismen. Viel schwerwiegender ist, dass sie dem Prinzip der Freizügigkeit von Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmern im gemeinsamen Europa widerspricht. Meines Erachtens ist diese Bestimmung eine der ersten Fragen, die nach Inkrafttreten der Verfassung auf den Prüfstand gehören.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. O relator quis propor que o Tribunal de Justiça veja alargada a sua competência com a revogação do artigo 68.º TCE - um acrescento à proposta de Decisão do Conselho no sentido de vários domínios do Título IV, Parte III do TCE (vistos, asilo, imigração e outras políticas respeitantes à livre circulação de pessoas) passarem a ser regidos pelo artigo 251.º TCE.

Como já tenho defendido noutras ocasiões, penso ser melhor que a União vá sedimentando progressivamente competências e práticas, em vez de procurar alimentar uma gula competencial contínua. Toda a proposta versa sobre matéria sensível e o aditamento do relatório enferma do maximalismo próprio de uma Europa centrípeta, sem que a esse caminho corresponda adesão popular.

Não estou seguro que a revogação proposta reforce minimamente a protecção jurídica dos cidadãos europeus e dos países terceiros, conforme afirma o colega Bourlanges. Estou, antes, em crer exactamente no contrário. E penso que melhor iria o Parlamento Europeu se se limitasse a apoiar a proposta de Decisão como foi apresentada - representando, já de si, um importante e ambicioso avanço no Espaço de Liberdade, Segurança e Justiça - e soubesse resistir a embarcar nesta doentia sofreguidão do “mais além”.

 
  
  

- Rapport : McMillan-Scott (A6-0041/2004)

 
  
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  Goudin, Lundgren och Wohlin (IND/DEM), skriftlig. De åtgärder som föreslås i betänkandet - att stärka demokrati, mänskliga rättigheter och rättsstatens funktion i tredje land - är välbehövliga och ofta nödvändiga. Vi frågar oss dock om detta ska genomföras av EU. FN är med sin långa erfarenhet och globala räckvidd bättre på att genomföra dessa åtgärder.

Vi vänder oss också mot den stora summa pengar som anslås för 2005-2006 för dessa insatser, omkring 225 miljoner euro. Målsättningarna och insatserna inte är klart definierade eller avgränsade och erfarenheterna av EU:s förmåga att använda sådan pengar är inte goda.

Med anledning av dessa skäl väljer vi att rösta nej till betänkandet.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. A matéria em causa na proposta da Comissão, que o relator subscreve, visando manter, até ao final de 2006, uma base jurídica e um enquadramento financeiro para as operações de defesa e promoção dos direitos humanos e dos princípios democráticos nos países em desenvolvimento e noutros países terceiros mereceu o meu voto favorável por considerar que tal manutenção, quando estão em causa questões de grande relevo em termos de política externa da comunidade, é de toda a utilidade e está plenamente justificada.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. O financiamento comunitário ao abrigo do presente Regulamento assume a forma de subvenções ou contratos, que a Comissão Europeia propõe sejam também estendidos, em casos devidamente justificados, a pessoas colectivas, o que merece também a minha concordância. A participação da sociedade civil deve ser apoiada, independentemente do carácter institucionalizada que esteja, em cada caso, na sua base. É imperativo que a União prossiga, melhore e intensifique o caminho enunciado na Comunicação da Comissão de 8 de Maio de 2001 intitulada "O papel da União Europeia na promoção dos direitos humanos e da democratização nos países terceiros".

A União Europeia é, aos olhos de muitos, a derradeira janela de esperança. Deve, como demonstrou a comissão AFET (com apenas uma abstenção) dotar-se, por isso, de todos os instrumentos possíveis, a Iniciativa Europeia para a Democracia e os Direitos do Homem (IEDDH) nas suas aspirações, concentrando-nos prioritariamente no apoio à democratização, à boa governação e ao Estado de Direito.

No mais, remeto para a intervenção que fiz, ontem, no debate em plenário.

Votei naturalmente a favor.

 
  
  

– Rapport Papadimoulis (A6-0050/2004)

 
  
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  Ebner (PPE-DE). Herr Präsident! Ich werde mich sehr kurz fassen. Ich wollte mitteilen, dass ich für den Bericht gestimmt habe, und hoffe, dass wir in diesem Bereich in Zukunft erhebliche Fortschritte machen können.

In diesem Zusammenhang habe ich auch eine Anfrage an die neue Kommission gerichtet mit der Anregung, dass man einen Zivildienst für die jungen Menschen in der Europäischen Union - sei es männlichen oder weiblichen Geschlechts - einführen sollte, um vor allem in solchen Situationen entsprechende Voraussetzungen zu schaffen, damit in Katastrophenfällen, aber auch im Solidardienst, mehr Verantwortung und mehr Bewusstsein in der Bevölkerung innerhalb der Europäischen Union entsteht.

Insgesamt bin ich, wie gesagt, für diesen Bericht und ich freue mich, dass in diesem Sinne auch weitergearbeitet wird.

 
  
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  Blokland (IND/DEM), schriftelijk. Ik heb vandaag tegen het verslag Papadimoulis gestemd. Als men kijkt naar mijn stemgedrag in het verleden, is dat ook consistent. Het communautair actieprogramma is namelijk iets wat in mijn ogen de subsidiariteitstoets niet kan doorstaan.

De lidstaten beschikken allemaal over eigen programma’s om de burger te beschermen en eigen coördinatie-, trainings- en bijstandsprogramma’s. Enige Europese samenwerking is op zijn plaats, maar een apart Europees centrum met eigen bevoegdheden en 24-uurs bewaking is niet nodig. Daarnaast is de financiële onderbouwing van het voorstel niet in orde, wat voor mij een tweede reden is om dit voorstel niet te steunen.

 
  
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  Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), por escrito. Catástrofes naturais como as inundações, vagas de calor, incêndios florestais, sismos, catástrofes ecológicas provocadas por resíduos tóxicos, acidentes industriais tóxicos, acidentes industriais graves e ainda ataques terroristas, têm um carácter de grande imprevisibilidade, provocando, por esse mesmo motivo, inúmeras vítimas e danos económicos consideráveis. Importa, conhecer e trocar experiências, racionalizar meios, investigar e procurar soluções técnicas que minimizem os impactos provocados, mas, sobretudo, deve apostar-se numa política de investimento em prevenção e pedagogia, envolvendo instituições políticas comunitárias, nacionais, regionais e locais e todas as organizações da sociedade civil, numa parceria solidária, responsável e diferenciada.

Diz o povo, na sua imensa sabedoria, "prevenir é melhor do que remediar", o que se aplica perfeitamente ao caso dos incêndios florestais que assolaram Portugal nos verões de 2003 e 2004 e o caso do derrame de fuelóleo pelos petroleiros Prestige e Erika.

Consideramos positivo o prolongamento do programa de acção comunitária no domínio da protecção civil e o seu reforço orçamental, mas consideramos igualmente que esta é uma matéria em que não deve existir uma limitação temporal devido ao seu carácter permanente.

A intervenção na protecção civil passa também pela definição de uma política transversal: assente em novos modelos de agricultura e de planeamento do território que humanize o crescimento urbanístico e industrial...

(Declaração de voto encurtada nos termos do nº 1 do artigo 163º do Regimento)

 
  
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  Goudin, Lundgren och Wohlin (IND/DEM), skriftlig. Risken är betydande att de ekonomiska resurser som tillförs går till administration och att effektiviteten i samordnandet av resurserna därmed inte blir tillfredställande.

Vi är däremot mycket positivt inställda till solidaritet mellan olika länder då katastrofsituationer uppstår. Vi anser dock inte att detta primärt är en fråga för EU, utan att medlemsstaternas respektive nationella parlament skall besluta om vilka ekonomiska resurser som skall tillföras då en allvarlig olycka inträffar i ett annat medlemsland.

 
  
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  Μανωλάκου (GUE/NGL), γραπτώς. – Θα θέλαμε να παρατηρήσουμε ότι χρηματοδότηση των δράσεων για φυσικές και τεχνολογικές καταστροφές είναι τόσο περιορισμένη που ουσιαστικά ακυρώνει οποιαδήποτε δυνατότητα ουσιαστικής παρέμβασης και αποτελεσματικότητας.

Για μας σημαντικότερη από την αποκατάσταση ζημιών είναι η πρόληψη, δηλαδή η στήριξη εκείνων των πολιτικών, των δράσεων και των υποδομών περιορισμού ζημιών και απωλειών σε περίπτωση καταστροφών.

Όμως, πως μπορεί να συμβεί κάτι τέτοιο όταν τα πάντα κρίνονται με στυγνά οικονομικά κριτήρια και από τα συμφέροντα του κεφαλαίου; Όταν μία σειρά από δημόσιες αρμοδιότητες εκχωρούνται στους ιδιώτες, πως μπορεί κανείς να μιλάει σοβαρά για την καθιέρωση μιας ουσιαστικής πολιτικής προστασίας έναντι των οποιονδήποτε καταστροφών.

Όταν δεν διατίθενται κονδύλια για αντιπλημμυρικά έργα, όταν δεν τηρούνται αντισεισμικές προδιαγραφές, όταν τα δάση αφήνονται στο έλεος των εμπρηστών και των οικοπεδοφάγων, όταν οι εφοπλιστές μένουν ασύδοτοι και ατιμώρητοι μετά από τεράστιες οικολογικές καταστροφές για ποια προστασία μπορούμε να μιλάμε; Πως είναι δυνατόν να οργανωθεί αποτελεσματική πολιτική προστασία όταν δημόσια αγαθά και υπηρεσίες, απαραίτητες σε κρίσιμες καταστάσεις εκχωρούνται σε ιδιώτες ή μετατρέπονται σε κατασταλτικούς μηχανισμούς (βλέπε πυροσβεστική);

Και από την άλλη, ακόμα κι αυτά τα ψιχία της λεγόμενης "αποκατάστασης" πως αξιοποιούνται; Αν θέλετε μια αποστομωτική απάντηση ρωτήστε τους σεισμόπληκτους του 1999 στην Ελλάδα που μένουν ακόμη σε κοντέινερς !

 
  
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  Marques (PPE-DE), por escrito. Felicito o colega Papadimoulis pelo excelente Relatório produzido sobre a proposta de decisão do Conselho que altera a Decisão 1999/847/CE no que respeita ao prolongamento, por um período de dois anos, do programa de acção comunitária no domínio da protecção civil.

O objectivo é de assegurar continuidade nesta área até a data de entrada em vigor de um novo instrumento jurídico.

Este programa visa reforçar a protecção dos cidadãos, do ambiente e dos bens em caso de catástrofes naturais ou tecnológicas em todo o território da Comunidade, disponibilizando ajuda suplementar pelos outros países participantes quando a capacidade de resposta não é suficiente a nível nacional. Desde a adopção deste programa, foi possível verificar a sua eficácia e a necessidade de uma acção a nível europeu, nomeadamente durante o naufrágio do Prestige e os incêndios do Verão de 2003.

São ainda salientados sete domínios em que o programa poderia ser melhorado, nomeadamente no que toca à cooperação, à troca de informações e ao aumento dos recursos.

Manifesto ainda o meu apoio à necessidade de aumentar o orçamento anual deste programa para 2,4 milhões de euros anuais (em 2005 e 2006).

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. Considerando que o programa de protecção civil da Comunidade actualmente em vigor termina a 31 de Dezembro deste ano, e que é de toda a utilidade que entre este termo e o início do próximo instrumento legal, ocorra um vazio, considero vantajoso o prolongamento do programa em vigor por dois anos, embora lamente que o programa vá ser prolongado sem que se tenham realizado as necessárias avaliações do período 2000/2004.

Por outro lado, o reforço financeiro que a Comissão solicita é realista e tem, no caso de Portugal, particular importância. Pelas razões expostas, o meu voto é favorável.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. Diversos acontecimentos, como o acidente do Prestige, os incêndios florestais – em especial no meu país – e as inundações no Sul de França evidenciaram a necessidade de acções a nível europeu. A dimensão de determinadas catástrofes excede, frequentemente, a capacidade de resposta nacional, justificando-se cada vez mais a previsão de mecanismos como o criado pelo actual Programa a nível europeu. A proposta vai nesse sentido, prevendo um aumento de 1,5 milhões de euros (em 2004) para 2,4 milhões de euros anuais (em 2005 e 2006).

Apoio este desenvolvimento, que se inscreve no reforço da cooperação em matéria de protecção civil, a que a União Europeia começou a dar resposta no Primeiro Programa de Acção Comunitária no domínio da Protecção Civil, adoptado em 1997, e que teve como outro ponto alto, para as grandes catástrofes, a criação do Fundo de Solidariedade, em Novembro 2002.

Quanto ao Centro Europeu de Informação e Vigilância, é muito importante, permitindo que os Estados-Membros ou países terceiros tenham para onde enviar pedidos de assistência. Polariza-se, assim, uma rede permanente de contactos, na esfera da Comissão, com vista a garantir ligações ininterruptas entre os centros de protecção civil dos Estados participantes e a promover a partilha de informações.

 
  
  

- Rapport : Ribeiro (A6-0037/2004)

 
  
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  Estrela (PSE), por escrito. A proposta da Comissão prevê a proibição da utilização de redes de arrasto de fundo em determinadas zonas que incluem os montes submarinos mais sensíveis do ponto de vista do seu habitat nas 200 milhas da RAA, da RAM e das Canárias. Restrições idênticas existem já numa zona a noroeste da Escócia.

1.1.

Considero que se deveria ir mais longe, no sentido da proibição, também, do uso de redes de emalhar fixas de fundo.

Efectivamente, este tipo de redes também provoca o surgimento de graves problemas nos ecossistemas, agravados na ZEE dos Açores devido à natureza vulcânica e rochosa dos seus fundos.

Há diversos estudos que confirmam a sensibilidade dos habitats de profundidade, tais como os recifes de coral de profundidade, fontes hidrotermais e pesqueiros de bancos e montes submarinos.

 
  
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  Marques (PPE-DE), por escrito. Dou o meu total apoio à proposta da Comissão Europeia que altera o Regulamento (CE) n.º 850/98, de 30.03, no que respeita à protecção dos recifes de coral de profundidade dos efeitos do arrasto em determinadas zonas do Oceano Atlântico (COM(2004)58 F).

Saúdo a Comissão Europeia pela apresentação da proposta em causa, pois desta forma a Comissão cumpre a promessa de propor uma alteração às medidas técnicas em vigor na Comunidade no sentido de proibir a pesca com artes de arrasto até, pelo menos, às 200 milhas em redor das regiões ultraperiféricas dos Açores, da Madeira e de Canárias, com o objectivo de proteger os ecossistemas de algumas zonas mais sensíveis situadas nos “montes submarinos” fora das 100 milhas.

Os habitats de profundidade focados na proposta da Comissão foram até há pouco tempo preservados das actividades de arrasto (utilização de redes de arrasto pelo fundo ou redes rebocadas similares que operam em contacto com o fundo do mar) graças ao regime especial de acesso decorrente das negociações de adesão. Este regime deixou, no entanto, de ser aplicável em Agosto de 2004 pelo que era essencial garantir a continuidade da protecção destas zonas no âmbito da legislação comunitária.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. A protecção dos recifes de coral de profundidade do Oceano atlântico tem, evidentemente, especial interesse para Portugal.

Está em causa proibir o recurso às redes de arrasto nas águas dos Açores e Madeira (e também Canárias) com o objectivo de proteger os recifes de coral de profundidade, que têm uma enorme importância em termos de preservação da biodiversidade. Estima-se que 65% das espécies piscícolas destas zonas, em algum momento da sua vida, dependem destes recifes.

Perante esta necessidade de eficaz protecção, é de defender a extensão da proibição à arte da rede de emalhar de fundo por também ela provocar graves problemas a estes ecossistemas devido às perdas de redes (ghost fishing).

Neste contexto, e embora insatisfeito com o resultado final da votação das emendas, considero muito positivo o resultado alcançado com este relatório, pelo que o votei favoravelmente.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. A proposta de regulamento apresentada prevê a proibição da utilização de redes de arrasto de fundo nas zonas ambientais mais sensíveis nas primeiras duzentas milhas marítimas dos Açores, da Madeira e das Canárias.

Apoio globalmente as medidas propostas e considero ainda fundamental que as especificidades de cada zona sejam devidamente contempladas. Assim, apoiei também as propostas de emenda para que igualmente as redes de emalhar fixas de fundo sejam abrangidas pelas proibições estabelecidas, lamentando profundamente que esta medida não tenha constado logo na versão final da comissão especializada, contra a recomendação do relator. Por isso me empenhei junto de vários colegas, no sentido da sua retoma e aprovação pelo plenário. Na verdade, é conhecido que este tipo de redes é altamente prejudicial para os ecossistemas, sobretudo pela enorme probabilidade das situações de perdas de rede. E, no caso específico dos Açores, acresce o facto de esse risco ser altamente potenciado pela natureza vulcânica dos fundos. Não fazia, portanto, sentido deixar a protecção a meio.

 
  
  

- Proposition de résolution : (RC B6-0205/2004)

 
  
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  Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), por escrito. Mais uma resolução onde os Grupos parlamentares do PS, PSD e CDS-PP, utilizando uma linguagem polvilhada de mistificações e por vezes omissa, reafirmam - em conjunto! -, as suas opções e os eixos fundamentais da União Europeia - o neoliberalismo, o federalismo e o militarismo.

E sem qualquer surpresa, reafirmam - todos juntos! - a "promoção de uma competitividade acrescida" como o seu "topo das prioridades" - ou de forma clara, da concorrência capitalista -, o seu apoio à "Estratégia de Lisboa" - seguindo o grande patronato na Europa -, "a melhoria dos mercados de trabalho" - a denominação cínica do ataque aos direitos dos trabalhadores -, a "reforma dos regimes de pensões" - ou seja, a sua progressiva privatização -, a "conclusão do mercado único" - ou melhor, a liberalização da energia, dos transportes, das telecomunicações -, entre muitos outros exemplos...

Um pacote "bem" embrulhado numa linguagem com preocupações sociais e boas intenções, que procura escamotear as contradições e a verdadeira essência da política de direita efectivamente realizada ao nível da UE, assim como as suas gravíssimas consequências.

Podem, PS, PSD e CDS-PP, procurarem iludir ou esconder o seu amplo entendimento, a realidade aí está a denunciá-lo. Não o esqueçamos, em Portugal, no próximo dia 20 de Fevereiro.

 
  
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  Goudin, Lundgren och Wohlin (IND/DEM), skriftlig. Det finns en del förnuftiga synpunkter i resolutionsförslaget. Men också en del förslag som är omöjliga för oss ledamöter från Junilistan att rösta för. Främst motsätter vi oss följande fyra punkter i resolutionsförslaget:

Punkt 20: Europaparlamentet betonar det fortsatta behovet av att stärka EU:s yttre gränser, med stöd av inrättandet av en europeisk gränspolisstyrka.

Punkt 21: Europaparlamentet insisterar på att det inrättas en europeisk byrå för de grundläggande rättigheterna, som på ett effektivt sätt kan kontrollera att dessa rättigheter respekteras.

Sista delen punkt 33: Europaparlamentet efterlyser fortsatt reform även av den gemensamma fiskeripolitiken, bl.a. genom inrättandet av en europeisk fiskefond.

I punkt 40 skrivs det "Parlamentet anser att kommissionen utan dröjsmål bör utforma en lämplig kampanj- och kommunikationsstrategi för hur konstitutionen kan presenteras för EU-medborgarna på ett så tydligt, rättvisande och förståeligt sätt som möjligt."

Vi kan konstatera att det råder olika uppfattningar om vad som är en "lämplig strategi" i detta sammanhang.

Vi kan med anledning av ovanstående absolut inte rösta för detta resolutionsförslag

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. Votei a favor da resolução de compromisso sobre as orientações políticas da Comissão querendo assinalar em particular o pacto sobre as políticas de coesão económica, social e territorial.

Como várias vezes tenho dito, considero que a política de coesão é um Principio guia e uma trave mestra fundamental de toda a União Europeia, sem a qual esta perderia o seu sentido. Sem políticas de coesão, a União não seria mais do que um "hiper-mercado" e um instrumento de subordinação aos grandes e dominantes, em todos os domínios.

O Princípio da Coesão, enquanto princípio fundador da União é, aliás, uma concepção fundamentalmente democrata-cristã. É bem-vinda a adesão da esquerda a este entendimento. Mas não podemos abandonar à esquerda a afirmação e defesa dos princípios que são nossos. Ou seja, o desenvolvimento da competitividade é necessário, mas sem arruinar a coesão, antes para a tornar mais forte.

 
  
  

– Rapport Van Orden (A6-0065/2004)

 
  
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  Martin, David (PSE). Mr President, as a substitute member of the Delegation to EU-Bulgaria Joint Parliamentary Committee, I want to congratulate Mr Van Orden on his report and to note the very positive progress Bulgaria has made towards membership of the European Union. We hope they will be members in a few years' time.

I want to enter one caveat: there is still serious evidence about the lack of professionalism of the Bulgarian judiciary and of its lack of independence. I would urge the Bulgarian Government to address those issues within the next year so that they can become members in 2007.

 
  
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  Figueiredo (GUE/NGL) , por escrito. Como temos vindo a realçar, são evidentes os objectivos económicos/políticos inerentes ao actual alargamento, mais uma vez expressos na resolução agora votada.

A resolução branqueia a aplicação da política neoliberal como critério e pano de fundo da adesão à UE, embora refira a idolatrada "economia de mercado em funcionamento", ou seja, o capitalismo e o domínio e a exploração por parte de grandes grupos financeiros e económicos de uma parcela, cada vez mais significativa, da economia deste país. Como refere o "investimento directo estrangeiro", que para gáudio de alguns, atinge "níveis recorde", significando um cada vez maior domínio da economia búlgara por parte dos grandes grupos financeiros estrangeiros.

Os "aplausos" aos esforços realizados pela Bulgária são contraditórios com os objectivos que se apregoam para a UE. A coesão económica e social não se constrói na base da competição e da deslocação de capitais em função do objectivo da exploração mais desenfreada. Estes, ao mesmo tempo que deixam para trás o rasto do desemprego e da pobreza - de que são exemplo as deslocalizações de empresas de Portugal -, não criam verdadeira riqueza no país para onde se deslocalizam. A própria resolução refere que muitas pessoas não sentem qualquer melhoria na sua situação económica e que a emigração continua.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. Tal como considera a Comissão, e o relatório aqui em causa, a Bulgária tem vindo a fazer os necessários progressos com vista à adesão à União Europeia, designadamente a nível económico mas também judicial, ainda que se deva reconhecer, entre outras questões igualmente importantes, a necessidade de um mais eficaz combate ao crime, à corrupção e ao tráfico de pessoas.

Neste contexto, e considerando que as reformas ainda em curso podem ser desenvolvidas atempadamente, sou favorável à ideia de que a Bulgária deve aceder de acordo com os "critérios de mérito próprio", e por essa razão considero que o Tratado de adesão deverá ser concluído em 2005 por forma a que a adesão se realize em Janeiro de 2007.

Por estas razões o meu voto foi favorável.

 
  
  

Rapport Moscovici (A6-0061/2004)

 
  
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  Martin, David (PSE). Mr President, again I congratulate the rapporteur on his report and note with satisfaction the progress that Romania has made towards membership of the Community. However, I enter a different caveat this time: the situation of orphans and young children. The state of the homes in Romania is still unacceptable. I would again ask the Romanian Government to address this before membership.

Finally, Mr President, I thank you and your excellent staff for all the cooperation through the year, and wish you a Merry Christmas.

 
  
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  Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), por escrito. O relatório apresentado - na sequência dos anteriores -, efectua uma avaliação dos progressos realizados numa perspectiva definidora da natureza capitalista neoliberal dos processos de alargamento.

Faz-se uma apresentação mais ou menos extensa dos critérios a cumprir e dos progressos realizados, apresentam-se críticas e tecem-se elogios para que, no final, estes países definam e estejam cada vez mais próximos na adopção e aplicação de um enquadramento legal/institucional - o denominado "acervo comunitário" - que alicerça o modelo neoliberal da UE.

A ânimo que graça entre os defensores desta política é tão grande que não se coíbem de apresentar propostas numa clara tentativa de acertar contas com a História da luta dos Povos e, assim, lá vêm pela milésima vez a estafada adulação da "economia de mercado", das "reformas estruturais" no quadro da "concorrência" e das "forças de mercado", do "levar a bom termo o processo de privatização" e do "desmantelamento das empresas inviáveis" e da "criação de um ambiente propício às empresas e aos investimentos estrangeiros".

Exigências constantemente reafirmadas, mesmo que acompanhadas da hipócrita lamentação das suas gravosas consequências para os trabalhadores e povos.

 
  
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  Wiersma (PSE), schriftelijk. De Nederlandse delegatie van de sociaal-democratische fractie in het Europees Parlement stemt in met het rapport van MOSCOVICI onder nadrukkelijke verwijzing naar de strikte afspraken die zijn gemaakt betreffende de monitoring van de voortgang van de hervormingen en het in praktijk brengen daarvan, met name waar het de politiek criteria betreft: de mensenrechten, corruptie en de onafhankelijkheid van de rechterlijke macht.

De Nederlandse delegatie van de sociaal-democratische fractie in het Europees Parlement zal niet aarzelen, als de voortgang van Roemenië daar aanleiding toe geeft, de Commissie te vragen de waarborgen die in de toetredingsstrategie zijn geformuleerd, te gebruiken.

De Nederlandse delegatie van de sociaal-democratische fractie in het Europees Parlement behoudt zich het recht voor in het voorjaar bij de definitieve beslissing over de toetreding van Roemenië een andere positie in te nemen, bijvoorbeeld wanneer blijkt de nieuwe regering van Roemenië de gedane toezeggingen niet nakomt. Dat kan betekenen dat de koppeling tussen de toetreding van Roemenië en Bulgarije wordt losgelaten.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. Em Fevereiro de 2004 o Parlamento Europeu aprovou um relatório em que se lamentava que, apesar de alguns progressos, a Roménia ainda não cumpria integralmente os critérios de Copenhaga. Entretanto, chegados ao final deste ano, a opinião generalizada é de que se realizaram já vários progressos na via da adesão, embora seja também reconhecido que ainda há muitos aspectos onde esse objectivo está por atingir plenamente.

Faz, pois, inteiro sentido que se procure negociar os termos do tratado em 2005 e que se deixe uma cláusula de salvaguarda para a eventualidade de ter de atrasar até Janeiro de 2008 a efectiva entrada da Roménia. O que, de resto, parece provável.

Consideradas estas razões, o meu voto foi favorável ao relatório.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), por escrito. Desejo que a Roménia esteja em condições de, o mais rapidamente possível, poder concluir as negociações com vista à assinatura do Tratado de adesão à União Europeia.

Considero muito importantes as recomendações e alertas do relator, compreendendo a importância de as autoridades e o povo romeno estarem cientes das contingências mais graves do processo de adesão. Recordo, em particular, o facto de serem passíveis de aplicação cláusulas de salvaguarda específicas em caso de incumprimentos graves e o risco de poder ser adiada a adesão por um ano se aplicação do acervo e do respeito dos critérios políticos de Copenhaga estiver em causa. Julgo, no entanto, que estes alertas só fazem sentido se servirem para encorajar o mérito e o desempenho e nunca para fixar patamares impossíveis, por demasiado elevados.

Concordo especialmente com a ideia do relator de que a Comissão deve criar um dispositivo contínuo de estreito acompanhamento e assistência susceptível de ajudar a Roménia nesta via e parece-me fundamental que a Comissão continue a informar detalhadamente o Parlamento Europeu sobre a evolução do processo conducente à adesão daquele país.

A aprovação do relatório é particularmente oportuna, depois da forma como, domingo passado, se concluíram as eleições presidenciais na Roménia.

 
  
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  Le Président. – Les explications de vote sont à présent terminées.

 

10. Köszöntések
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  Le Président. – Je voudrais souhaiter la bienvenue à la délégation de l'assemblée du Royaume d'Arabie Saoudite présidée par M. Zaid bin Al-Muhsin Al-Hussein. Il convient de souligner l'importance que nous accordons à cette visite qui est la première au sein du Parlement européen depuis 1995.

(Applaudissements)

Cette visite intervient à un moment très significatif, surtout dans le contexte des élections municipales que l'Arabie Saoudite organisera pour la première fois en février 2005. Cette visite constitue une nouvelle étape dans l'approfondissement des relations entre le peuple saoudien et l'Union européenne.

 
  
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  Frassoni (Verts/ALE). Signor Presidente, noi siamo molto felici per lo svolgimento delle elezioni municipali in Arabia Saudita, ma ci rammarichiamo profondamente della mancata partecipazione delle donne.

(Applausi)

 
  
  

(La séance, suspendue à 12 h 35, est reprise à 15 heures)

 
  
  

PRESIDENCIA DEL SR. VIDAL-QUADRAS ROCA
Vicepresidente

 

11. Az előző ülés jegyzőkönyvének elfogadása
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  El Presidente. Se reanuda la sesión.

Se ha distribuido el acta de la sesión de ayer. ¿Hay alguna observación?

 
  
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  Posselt (PPE-DE). Herr Präsident! Zwei kurze Punkte. Erstens: Betreffend die Türkei-Abstimmung. Ich habe bei der Abstimmung zur Türkei, Bericht Eurlings, dem Änderungsantrag Nr. 16 vom Kollegen Langen zugestimmt. Das ist aber nicht verzeichnet. Vielleicht hat die Maschine nicht funktioniert. Ich bitte Sie, das zu korrigieren.

Zweitens: Wir hatten gestern die Abstimmung zum EU-Russland-Gipfel. Dabei sagten wir, dass wir alle Teile der tschetschenischen Gesellschaft in den Friedensprozess integrieren sollten. Heute erfahre ich, dass die Familie des unter Aufsicht der OSZE gewählten Präsidenten Masradow, darunter alte Geschwister zwischen 69 und 75 Jahren, vom russischen Geheimdienst verschleppt und verhaftet worden sind. Ich bitte Sie, diese Informationen zu prüfen und gegebenenfalls bei den russischen Behörden deswegen zu protestieren.

 
  
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  El Presidente. Tomamos nota de sus observaciones, señor Posselt. Si no hay más observaciones, el acta quedaría aprobada.

(Se aprueba el acta de la sesión anterior)

 

12. Viták az emberi jogok, a demokrácia és a jogállamiság megsértését érintő ügyekről (az Eljárási Szabályzat 115. cikke)
  

Zimbabue

El Presidente. De conformidad con el orden del día, se procede al debate de 7 propuestas de resolución sobre Zimbabue.

 
  
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  Bowis (PPE-DE). Mr President, Zimbabwe is a land of tragedy and a land of tyranny. It is a country rich in natural resources and rich in the resources of its people. Both are being devastated by the political tyranny of the Mugabe regime.

People are suffering from hunger and health problems as a result of food and medical aid being withheld from areas that are covered by the opposition parties. Some 9 million people, 75% of the Zimbabwean population, are now said to be living below the poverty line, but the World Food Programme is only able to provide food for 1.6 million people this December. That is the first reason why this is an urgency.

The second reason is that on 3 March there is supposed to be an election in Zimbabwe. That election, on the present prospects, will be neither free nor fair. It is not up to us to decide who the people of Zimbabwe should elect. That is entirely for them, but they must be free to elect whomsoever they wish.

It is up to the neighbouring countries of Africa and to the African Union to make sure that international standards of democracy pertain throughout Africa and throughout the country of Zimbabwe. It is up to the European Union to make sure that we support the monitoring of those elections, giving technical support and financial support, so that we can play our part in the international observer missions. That is also why it is an urgency today.

The third reason is the intolerable attack on the liberty of Roy Bennett, one of their members of parliament, a man who has suffered, whose family has suffered and whose workers have suffered over the months. Mr Bennett pushed a government minister because he was making racial remarks about Mr Bennett and his family. He was then sent to prison, not by the courts, but by a vote in the parliament based on the political division.

I urge that the AU and the EU act today to bring a semblance of justice to the people of Zimbabwe.

 
  
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  Attard-Montalto (PSE). Mr President, I have just returned from a private visit to Zimbabwe. It is interesting to note that the situation on the ground does not appear desperate. However, according to the statistics, the situation is probably worse in other parts of the country which I did not visit.

When debating such countries as Zimbabwe, where human rights are not even discussed because of fear of repression, we must consider the right attitude to take in order to try to influence the powers that be. We know we are dealing with a regime that is not democratic, that has taken tried to use almost all its powers to take away the democratic and fundamental rights of part of its population. On the other hand, we have seen recently that there is a silver lining. The courts, for instance, are striving from a very difficult position to try to retain some form of impartiality.

Sometimes I wonder whether a carrot-and-stick policy might be more appropriate and more fruitful than just passing motions of condemnation. We may pass this motion but what effect will it have? Very little, I think, with a regime like Mugabe's. We must start to think in different terms if we are to be effective when dealing with a regime of this sort.

 
  
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  Hall (ALDE). Mr President, political oppression in Zimbabwe casts a long shadow; it is a cloud that lies over not only those living in Zimbabwe itself but also those who have left to seek asylum in Europe.

In my constituency in the north-east of England, there are Zimbabweans who fear summary death if they are forced to return to their native land. I hope that Member State governments like my own, which think it is safe for asylum-seekers to be returned to Zimbabwe, will take note of the resolution tabled here this afternoon and revise their position.

The situation in Zimbabwe is getting worse, not better. On 9 December 2004 the Non-Governmental Organisations Act came into force. This Act bans foreign human rights organisations and gives the government powers to intervene in the operations of any NGO in Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, the quality of life for Zimbabweans has plummeted. Life expectancy is now 35 years. Zimbabwe could be self-sufficient in food, but last season it produced only a third of the maize it needs; yet the Mugabe regime is interfering with the international distribution of food.

In the light of this deteriorating situation, it is high time to tighten up targeted sanctions against the regime.

A final point: as we have heard, next March Zimbabwe is due to hold a general election. There are worrying indications that this election may not be held in free and fair conditions. Electoral legislation passed earlier this month did not meet international democratic standards. Good observation of the elections is going to be a vital part of ensuring that they are free and fair. Therefore I hope that we in Parliament, and the Council and the Commission, will provide the maximum possible support for election-observer missions at all levels.

 
  
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  Markov (GUE/NGL). Herr Präsident, Frau Ratspräsidentin! Simbabwe hat immer komplizierte Perioden und tiefgreifende Brüche erlebt, sei es der Kolonialismus, sei es die einseitige sogenannte Unabhängigkeitserklärung 1965 unter Ian Smith und das darauffolgende UN-Embargo, der Befreiungskrieg 1972 bis 1978 und die damals ersten demokratischen Wahlen nach der Unabhängigkeit mit dem Sieg der ZANU unter Robert Mugabe.

Als Ostdeutscher frappiert mich allerdings immer wieder, wie häufig es doch passiert, dass Führer, die mit hehren Ansprüchen angetreten sind, an der Macht sind, und sich dann sozusagen von ihren eigenen ursprünglichen Zielen und Vorstellungen entfernen und, je länger sie die Macht ausüben, immer weniger die Interessen der Bevölkerung berücksichtigen.

Natürlich bestehen in Simbabwe auch heute riesengroße Probleme. Ich glaube das Einzige, was wir heute empfehlen können, ist, dass sich Simbabwe umschauen sollte, wie es die Nachbarländer geschafft haben. Was Südafrika macht, wie Namibia es macht, wie Angola, wie Mosambik versuchen einen Ausgleich zwischen den unterschiedlichsten Interessenlagen in ihren Ländern herbeizuführen. Frieden setzt voraus, dass man versucht, sich zu verständigen, und dass man das mit friedlichen Mitteln macht und dass man die unterschiedlichsten Interessen berücksichtigt.

Eine Landreform in Simbabwe ist notwendig. Aber die kann man auch in anderer Form bewerkstelligen. Die Europäische Union sollte nicht immer sozusagen aus unserer Wertestellung irgendwelche Empfehlungen irgend jemandem geben. Das geht sehr häufig schief. Vielleicht erinnern Sie sich noch alle, wie die Europäische Union einen alkoholkranken russischen Präsidenten Jelzin permanent unterstützt hat.

Wir sollten uns in diesem konkreten Fall darauf verlassen, dass die Entwicklungsgemeinschaft des südlichen Afrikas sehr wohl einen Einfluss hat, und dass sie eine Chance hat, dass die Afrikanische Union Fortschritte erzielen kann mit ihrem Einwirken. Ich bin davon überzeugt, dass wir, wenn wir diese Länder darin unterstützen, auf Simbabwe einzuwirken, dann durchaus auch die Möglichkeit haben, dazu beizutragen, dass die Wahlen, die im März anstehen, vielleicht doch fair und demokratisch verlaufen werden.

 
  
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  Belder (IND/DEM). Voorzitter, het Mugabe-regime zet zijn strategie van politieke gelijkschakeling onverminderd voort. Zo dwongen de Zimbabwaanse autoriteiten in de vorige 18 maanden de sluiting van twee kritische kranten af. Daarnaast maakten en maken Mugabe's medestanders de oppositiepartij Movement for Democratic Change het leven zo zuur mogelijk.

Ongetwijfeld met het oog op de naderende parlementsverkiezingen van maart 2005 verhoogt het Mugabe-bewind de druk op onafhankelijke organisaties, getuige de precies een week geleden in Harare aangenome wet op non-gouvernementele organisaties. In het vervolg mogen deze geen buitenlandse financiële steun meer ontvangen. Wanneer een Zimbabwaanse burger- of mensenrechtenorganisatie ook maar één buitenlandse medewerker telt, heet zij voortaan buitenlands te zijn. Buitenlandse NGO's kunnen krachtens de nieuwe wet niet worden geregistreerd en zullen in de nabije toekomst dus worden verboden.

Het doel van deze nieuwe wetgeving is duidelijk. Talrijke Zimbabwaanse burger- en mensenrechtenorganisaties zijn immers op buitenlandse donoren aangewezen. Op doorzichtige wijze wil de Zimbabwaanse regering hun het zwijgen opleggen. Naar verluidt wensen de getroffen NGO's zich niet neer te leggen bij deze poging tot muilkorving door de staat. Dat is een buitengewoon moedige houding. Voor Raad en Commissie ligt er een mooie taak om hen daarbij met raad en daad terzijde te staan.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), em nome do Grupo. Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, Caros Colegas, o Zimbabué, infelizmente, é dos clientes habituais, dos clientes mais frequentes, destes nossos debates das quintas-feiras sobre as urgências dos direitos humanos. Isso diz duas coisas: diz da gravidade persistente da situação e diz também da ineficácia das medidas que temos adoptado.

Aquilo que temos que condenar, desde logo, é a ruína de um país e de um povo promovido deliberadamente por um regime iníquo e autoritário. Como aqui já foi referido as estatísticas da pobreza são cada vez mais impressionantes e o Zimbabué era um país que não só poderia alimentar todo o seu povo como até ajudar a resolver problemas de fome e de carência no continente africano ou noutras partes do mundo se fosse propriamente gerido.

Mas o regime de Mugabe, apesar das advertências internacionais e da União Europeia, continua a agravar a opressão política e nós olhamos com muita preocupação para as eleições anunciadas para Março. Ou se consegue rapidamente algumas transformações e condições minimamente sérias de debate no país ou essas eleições não serão livres e justas e é duvidoso que valha a pena sequer observá-las. É o caso de Roy Bennette, o caso da perseguição movida a Tsvangirai depois de nos ter aqui visitado, é também - e eu queria chamar-vos a atenção para isso - a influência muito negativa que este regime pode desempenhar na região onde se jogam futuros também de regimes democráticos ou de regressos ao autoritarismo. Por exemplo, eu estive recentemente em Moçambique, que realizou eleições (ainda está a concluir-se o apuramento dos resultados) mas nós tomámos conhecimento de que a campanha eleitoral, que os eleitores moçambicanos votavam no estrangeiro e os partidos da oposição eram reprimidos no Zimbabué, os partidos da oposição à Frelimo. Portanto, há condições. O destino do Zimbabué pode influenciar de uma forma decisiva a consolidação da democracia como esperamos nessa região, seguindo o exemplo da África do Sul, e portanto consolidar aspirações democráticas em Moçambique e em Angola, ou pode, ao contrário, representar um regresso a formas de autoritarismos.

Eu queria apelar a que aumentemos a pressão sobre os países vizinhos e que desenvolvamos mais diálogo com a União Africana, significando a importância da União Africana e de exercer também as suas formas de pressão sobre o regime iníquo de Mugabe.

 
  
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  Van den Berg (PSE), namens de fractie. Voorzitter, de Zimbabwanen zijn een sterk volk en Zimbabwe is een sterk land. Het was na de verzelfstandiging economisch ook een kansrijk land. Het is droevig te constateren dat momenteel circa 60% van de mensen daar in een economische crisis en vaak onder de armoedegrens leeft. Dat zegt natuurlijk iets over hoe dat land is bestuurd en wat er geleidelijk aan is misgegaan. Het droevige is dat de ZANU-partij en Mugabe, vooral de directe kring rond Mugabe, degenen zijn die de daden stellen. Er zijn er veel in de ZANU-partij die zich natuurlijk zeer wel bewust zijn van het feit dat men anderen nodig, dat men een andere economische ontwikkeling nodig heeft om te kunnen overleven.

Wij weten dat er vanuit de buurlanden veel informele contacten zijn en pogingen om de zaak los te trekken. Ik denk dat daar ook precies de mogelijkheden liggen voor ons als Europese Unie. Wij moeten met steun van de Afrikaanse Unie, de NEPAD, Mbeki en al die andere contacten de druk te vergroten, want het is alleen via de Afrikaanse route en onze samenhang daarmee als Europese Unie dat wij een kans maken dat er iets los komt.

De verkiezingen van maart zijn ongetwijfeld al voor een groot deel in de verkeerde handen gevallen en gestructureerd. Het zal zeer moeilijk zijn ze fair en open te laten verlopen. Waarnemen heeft dan weinig zin. Toch ligt in dat democratische proces en in de civil society de kracht. Die kracht is nog steeds groot in Zimbabwe, nog steeds geweldloos en nog steeds op vrede en democratische oplossingen gericht. Ik hoop dat we met de smart sanctions, met de route die we volgen als Europese Unie, in samenspraak met die andere landen, het uiterste zullen doen om die democratische stap daar te zetten. De andere weg, bloedvergieten, is een uitzichtloze.

Ik hoop werkelijk dat we in staat zullen zijn om met al onze diplomatieke middelen de druk zo op te voeren dat er rondom Mugabe mensen zijn die de dominostenen laten vallen. Dat moet daar gebeuren, dan heeft de democratische route een kans op succes. Ik hoop dat wij hier aan Europese zijde alle middelen die we daarvoor in handen hebben ook maximaal zullen inzetten.

 
  
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  Meijer (GUE/NGL), namens de fractie. Voorzitter, als erfenis van de kolonie Zuid-Rhodesië zijn de landbouwgronden in Zimbabwe grotendeels in handen van een kleine groep boeren van Europese afkomst. Mijn fractie ondersteunt het verlangen van de zwarte meerderheid van de bevolking om de grond voor een groot deel aan die zwarte meerderheid terug te geven. Dat verlangen wordt helaas ernstig misbruikt door Robert Mugabe, de man die ooit populair was als de leider van de succesvolle bevrijdingsstrijd tegen de koloniale bezetters en de racistische minderheidsregering van Ian Smith. Pas tegen de tijd dat de kiezers hun vertrouwen in hem verloren, werd de reeds lang beloofde landhervorming voor hem een prioriteit. De onteigening van grote landbouwbedrijven is voor Mugabe nu vooral een instrument om zijn oude aanhang van vrijheidsstrijders na tientallen jaren uitstel eindelijk te belonen. Nog meer is het onderdeel van een campagne om politieke tegenstanders door verdachtmaking, intimidatie en dwang uit te schakelen. Als Europa dit regime isoleert, moet dat niet gebeuren op grond van oude koloniale belangen en een oude koloniale arrogantie, maar omdat we ieder land ter wereld willen helpen bij de bevordering van mensenrechten en democratie. Daar gaat het om.

 
  
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  Παφίλης (GUE/NGL). Κάθε λαός έχει το δικαίωμα και την υπευθυνότητα να λύνει τα πολιτικά του προβλήματα και δεν νομιμοποιείται κανένας, και πολύ περισσότερο η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, η Βρετανία και οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες Αμερικής, να επεμβαίνουν πολιτικά, οικονομικά και στρατιωτικά ούτε στη Ζιμπάμπουε ούτε σε άλλη χώρα. Επειδή ακριβώς ο λαός της Ζιμπάμπουε κατάφερε με μεγάλους και αιματηρούς αγώνες να αποκτήσει την ανεξαρτησία του από τη Βρετανία και επειδή διεκδικεί τη γη του, το πιο πλούσιο κομμάτι της οποίας ακόμη ανήκει στους ξένους και κυρίως στους Βρετανούς, σαν αποτέλεσμα της αποικιοκρατίας, προετοιμάζεται ένα νέο σχέδιο επέμβασης που έχει στόχο τη μετατροπή της σε σύγχρονη αποικία.

Με πρόσχημα τα όποια προβλήματα υπάρχουν και που κυρίως οφείλονται στη μακρόχρονη καθυστέρηση από την αποικιοκρατία, χρηματοδοτείται από τις κυβερνήσεις της Βρετανίας και άλλων χωρών η αντιπολίτευση της οποίας -σημειωτέον- ο ηγέτης κατηγορείται για απόπειρα δολοφονίας του εκλεγμένου προέδρου. Στήνεται ένα δίκτυο ονομαζόμενων "μη κυβερνητικών οργανώσεων" που οι περισσότερες είναι οργανώσεις φαντάσματα και δεν έχουν καμία σχέση με το λαϊκό και κοινωνικό κίνημα αλλά προετοιμάζουν το έδαφος για επεμβάσεις.

Για το Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, το ψήφισμα αυτό είναι απαράδεκτο, αποσύρθηκε ακόμα και η καταγγελία εμπορίου όπλων από Βρετανούς πράκτορες. Να σταματήσουν οι κυρώσεις, συμπαράσταση στον λαό της Ζιμπάμπουε στον αγώνα του να διατηρήσει την ανεξαρτησία του κατά της νεοαποικιοκρατίας.

 
  
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  Grybauskaitė, Commission. Mr President, we in the Commission understand and take a very serious view of the preparations for the elections in March 2005. The Commission reiterates its attachment to the holding of free and fair elections in that country. The recent introduction by the government of Zimbabwe of a set of electoral reforms which are currently under discussion in the Zimbabwean parliament is an important step. It will have to be assessed whether this will lead to a genuine incorporation into domestic electoral legislation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) principles and guidelines governing democratic elections, as unanimously agreed in the SADC Summit in Mauritius last August.

The Commission remains deeply concerned about the current political and human rights situation and the respect for fundamental freedoms which at this stage would hardly allow for free and fair elections.

A specific matter of concern is the approval by the Zimbabwean parliament, on 9 December, of the NGO Bill, which heavily restricts NGOs' room for action and activities. The Commission fully supports the proposed EU démarches in Harare and other SADC capitals as well as the issuing of an EU declaration expressing concerns regarding the implications of the bill.

The Commission is also worried about the risk of politicisation of the distribution of food aid, mainly in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections. In the event of clear verification of partisan use, the Commission, together with its partners, including the WFP, may have to envisage suspending food aid operations.

After the March elections the Commission will reassess the situation. Any lifting or easing of EU measures against Zimbabwe cannot be justified at this stage.

The Commission is aware of the deliberate attempts by the Zimbabwean authorities to undermine the visa ban's credibility by multiplying their travels to Europe and has always advocated a strict application of the exemptions provided for in the Council common position of 19 February 2004.

The Commission will continue to explore all avenues to influence the government of Zimbabwe and to pursue an enhanced political dialogue with neighbouring SADC countries, notably South Africa. Continued international pressure on Zimbabwe and especially regional peer pressure is necessary.

 
  
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  El Presidente. La votación tendrá lugar esta tarde, al término de los debates.

Queda cerrado el debate.

La situación en el Este de la República Democrática del Congo

El Presidente. De conformidad con el orden del día, se procede al debate de 6 propuestas de resolución sobre la situación en el Este de la República Democrática del Congo

 
  
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  Posselt (PPE-DE). Herr Präsident! Die Situation im Kongo lässt sich mit der Deutschlands im Dreißigjährigen Krieg vergleichen. Ein großes Land in der Mitte eines Kontinents ist zerbrochen und die verschiedenen Gruppen verbünden sich mit verschiedenen benachbarten Mächten und auf Jahrzehnte gibt es keinen Frieden. Genau diese Situation herrscht seit Jahrzehnten im Kongo, Millionen von Menschen sterben, ganze Landstriche veröden, die Wirtschaft liegt seit Jahrzehnten darnieder. Und wie nach dem Dreißigjährigen Krieg wird es auch im Kongo keine Lösung geben, wenn nicht dass wie damals die religiösen Gruppen heute im Kongo die ethnischen Gruppen in einen Friedensprozess eingebunden werden, der auch alle Nachbarstaaten umfasst.

Deshalb legen wir Wert darauf, dass massiv Druck auf die Anrainerstaaten des Landes der großen Seen und vor allem auf Ruanda ausgeübt wird, hier endlich stabilisierend zu wirken und nicht aktiv in die Zerstörung des ohnehin schon so leidenden Kongo einzugreifen. Aber das werden wir allein mit Worten nicht schaffen. Deshalb haben der Kollege Langen und ich eine ganzheitliche Strategie zu entwickeln begonnen, die Wirtschaftspolitik, Außenpolitik und Entwicklungspolitik endlich vernetzt. Denn wir können hier nicht allein mit Worten operieren. Europa wird sein Gewicht nur geltend machen können, wenn es seine ökonomischen, politischen und seine diplomatischen Möglichkeiten miteinander strategisch vernetzt und wirklich aktiv an diesem Friedensprozess teilnimmt.

Frau Kommissarin, Sie mögen sich fragen, was diese Debatte am Donnerstag nachmittag in einem nicht sehr vollen Saal bringt? Ich erinnere mich noch an eine Zeit, in der wir hier über die Entkolonisierung Litauens von der sowjetischen Unterdrückung diskutiert haben, heute sitzt eine litauische Kommissarin unter uns. Darüber bin ich glücklich, und ich bin sicher, dass dieses Anliegen - Frieden und Menschenrechte für den Kongo - bei Ihnen in guten Händen ist.

 
  
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  Martin, David (PSE). Mr President, the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most lethal since the Second World War. The International Rescue Committee reckons that 3.8 million people have now been killed and over a million of those are children. Apart from those killed, 3.4 million have been displaced.

Congolese and foreign military groups continue to use violence to conceal the plundering of gold, timber, ivory, tin and other natural resources. Meanwhile, the fragile and ineffectual transitional Congolese government stumbles from political stalemate to military crisis. Both the transitional government and its international partners have failed to deal with the root causes of the conflict. Natural resource exploitation has funded and fuelled the instability in the country and, indeed, has fuelled instability and violence in the Congo for over a hundred years. What should have been a blessing to that country has turned out to be a source of deep sadness and regret and, indeed, a curse. The Congo's natural wealth has been a source of private funding for military and political elites instead of benefiting the vast majority of the Congolese population.

Our resolution rightly calls for a package of measures to tackle this situation. We must take action to ensure respect for the arms embargo; the UN Security Council must impose sanctions, travel restrictions, a ban on financial services, etcetera, on individuals who have participated in the pillaging of Congolese assets; the EU and its Member States must act against companies involved in exploitation; we need a peacekeeping force in the east of the country; and action must be taken to disarm all illegally armed groups.

Only if such measures are taken can we hold out any hope that the elections due next year will make any difference to the tragic situation in that country. The problem in the Congo is neither ethnic nor racial. It is about economics, and only if we tackle economics will we solve the problems.

 
  
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  Hall (ALDE). Mr President, I speak in place of Mr Van Hecke, who has had to leave Strasbourg early as he is travelling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo tomorrow.

The current situation in eastern Congo shows that the Congolese peace process is still very fragile. Indeed, there have been reports of new exchanges of fire yesterday. The ALDE Group warmly welcomed the initiative to draft an urgency resolution on the Congo. Ultimately, however, our group decided not to endorse the compromise resolution. We feel that the compromise text fails to identify the core problem of the continuing instability in the region and of the difficult relationship between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbouring countries, especially Rwanda.

The issue is this: since the end of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 a large group of extremist Hutus have been hiding in a remote area of the Congolese rainforest in the east of the Congo. After all these years they have still not been disarmed. The presence of these heavily armed militias is a constant threat to the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to security in the entire Great Lakes region. The massacre at the Burundian refugee camp of Gatumba last August was only one in a long series of provocative actions. MONUC, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Congo, was supposed to disarm and neutralise the rebels, but has failed to do so.

Although MONUC's mandate has been strengthened and there are extra troops, they are poorly trained and there is a serious lack of information and technical assistance. We feel that the joint resolution does not acknowledge that if Rwanda is crossing the border into the Congo to put an end to the activity of the armed gangs, it is happening in the context of MONUC having failed to do the disarming.

We would suggest that the European Union and the Member States need to get more actively involved in the DRC and the Great Lakes region, focusing very much on rapid disarmament of the rebel forces. Perhaps European troops could be used to strengthen the UK peacekeeping forces. The troops from Pakistan, Nepal, Uruguay and other countries that are in the Congo at the moment simply do not have enough experience with military operations in sub-Saharan Africa. Europe has that experience.

We have to consider all the options in order to make disarmament happen. It is by far the most important prerequisite to get the peace process back on track.

In summary, we feel that although the resolution has many points that we support, it is unbalanced. So, with regret, I will abstain.

 
  
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  Lambert (Verts/ALE). Mr President, my Group welcomes the opportunity to discuss the current situation in the DRC, but like others deeply regrets the need to come back to this. In the report on asylum and sustainable solutions that Parliament adopted yesterday, one of the things we agreed was that the European Union's common foreign policy and common security policy needed to focus on conflict resolution and prevention, paying special attention to long-term conflict situations. This is exactly what we have in the DRC where, as has already been pointed out, the desire to control natural resources plays an absolutely key role in the massive displacements of people and in the massive numbers of deaths.

We stress the need for an effective means of arms control and an effective disarmament programme to be put in place. We would also endorse the call made for the UN to deal with those profiteering from the pillage of natural resources, not least through the freezing of bank accounts and actions against companies. We feel perfectly able to do this in the case of what we believe to be terrorist organisations, but seem totally incapable of doing it with those who cause massive numbers of deaths elsewhere in the world.

We also regret the need but welcome the fact that the UN Department of Peace-Keeping Operations has set up a special investigative team to look at the cases of sexual abuse and exploitation perpetrated by some of its own members in the UN organising mission in the DRC, particularly in Bunia. We know, since this Parliament has discussed it on many occasions, that rape is used as a means to demoralise opponents by demonstrating the people cannot even protect their own families.

This Parliament has recognised on many occasions that victims of rape, child victims of sex abuse, are particularly vulnerable. So we consider it despicable that such crimes are also being committed by those sent to protect an already traumatised population. We look for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, as well as those profiteering from the tragedy in the DRC.

 
  
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  Ribeiro e Castro (PPE-DE), em nome do Grupo. Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária e caros Colegas, a situação nos Grandes Lagos e, em particular, na República Democrática do Congo, é uma chaga, um vulcão, no coração de África sempre prestes, infelizmente, a explodir. Depois de um conflito que causou, ao longo de seis anos, três milhões de mortos mas que, continua ainda a causar, segundo informa o "International Rescue Commitee", 31.000 mortos por cada mês, há sinais de que a situação continua instável e infelizmente extremamente errática.

Recentemente reuniu em Haia a Assembleia Parlamentar Paritária dos Países ACP e, curiosamente, essa nossa reunião abriu com uma boa notícia - a notícia da Conferência em Dar-es-Salam e do compromisso aí tomado por todos os Chefes de Estado de que tinham acabado os conflitos - mas, na quinta-feira, quando encerrámos a reunião, a nossa co-Presidente Glenys Kinnock dava-nos a triste notícia: o exército ruandês tinha atravessado as fronteiras e entrado na República Democrática do Congo. Portanto, nós precisamos de ser mais efectivos neste domínio para estabilizar a região. Eu apreciei a imagem do colega Posselt comparando com a situação da Guerra dos Trinta Anos e tenho esperança de que tenha razão porque isso significa que este conflito vai terminar e que estas regiões do continente africano vão ser prósperas, estáveis e modernas como é hoje a Alemanha. É isso que nos anima. E estabilizar o continente africano em sociedades abertas e democráticas.

Aqui o que é que temos que fazer? Temos que reconhecer que não agimos suficientemente quanto a milícias do antigo poder ruandês e que são um pólo de instabilidade e um pretexto de instabilidade permanente no Leste da República Democrática do Congo e temos que agir mais energicamente para a desarmar. Temos que tornar claro que é inaceitável qualquer invasão e que o respeito das fronteiras dos países é um princípio que tem que ser respeitado por todos os Estados da região. Temos que concluir a transição democrática na República Democrática do Congo e consolidar a estabilização do país, incluindo a necessidade de reunificar o exército do Congo. Temos que reforçar os meios da missão das Nações Unidas para conseguir, de facto, assegurar a paz e a estabilidade no Leste da RDC e conseguir criar condições no terreno que não nos façam voltar para trás, isto é, que levem todos a honrar os acordos de paz de 2003, que levem todos a honrar os compromissos assumidos na Tanzânia no passado dia 20 de Novembro e que levem todos a cumprir pontualmente as resoluções do Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas.

 
  
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  Krupa (IND/DEM), w imieniu grupy politycznej. Spośród różnych przypadków łamania praw człowieka i zasad demokracji w Afryce szczególnie udział dzieci w konfliktach zbrojnych stanowi ogromnie ważny problem. Chciałam zapytać, czy jakakolwiek debata, nawet w Parlamencie Europejskim, potrafi przeciwdziałać biedzie w krajach trzeciego świata, gdzie ponad 5 miliardów ludzi żyje za jednego lub dwa dolary dziennie, a w Kongo trwa krwawa wojna dzieci, które w liczbie ponad 300 tysięcy są wykorzystywane w interwencjach zbrojnych, gdzie ostatnio zginęło ponad 3 miliony ludzi. Czy zabieranie dzieciństwa poprzez zmuszanie do pracy, wojskowej rekrutacji, albo przez wykorzystywanie seksualne nie świadczy o braku odpowiedzialności i klęsce różnych humanitarnych i międzynarodowych organizacji?

Aby przeciwdziałać tego rodzaju dramatom, trzeba poznać przyczyny, spośród których podstawową jest wieloletnia i wszechstronna eksploatacja krajów trzeciego świata przez niektóre mocarstwa, także europejskie, czyniące siebie bogatszymi, a ograbione kolonie biedniejszymi. Zdewastowane Kongo jest ofiarą eksploatatorów, dla których bogate naturalne zasoby tego kraju są ważniejsze niż życie ludzkie. Myślę, że miarą rozwoju cywilizacyjnego człowieka, w tym również rządzących, powinien być odpowiedzialny stosunek do najsłabszych, którym jednak też nie można tylko pozornie pomagać poprzez wprowadzanie moralnej dewastacji, antykoncepcji, aborcji, ale należy otoczyć ich opieką, umożliwić rozwój i leczyć malarię, gruźlicę, AIDS, które szaleje tam, a także pomagać rodzinie w jej zdrowym rozwoju. Myślę też, że zamiast wysyłać wojska i instruktorów do Iraku, należałoby podjąć działania, aby wreszcie w Kongo zagościł pokój.

 
  
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  Grybauskaitė, Commission. Mr President, the European Commission shares the concerns of Parliament about the increasing tensions between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and their consequences for the human rights situation in the region.

Indeed, we are very concerned by the threats of Rwanda to use force against the territorial integrity of the Congo in order to neutralise the ex-FAR and Interahamwe troops, and by the multiple reports of military operations by the Rwandan army in the eastern Congo. The humanitarian crisis that these actions generate is an additional reason for our concern.

It is essential to the stability of the region that Rwanda withdraws without delay any forces it may have in the territory of the DRC, and refrain from any action or statement that contravenes international law.

The European Commission is deeply convinced that until the problem of the presence of ex-FAR elements in the eastern DRC is definitively solved, it will undermine peace and security in the region, be a source of instability and a threat to civilian populations.

In this context, the European Commission is convinced that the local government should make use of existing mechanisms, including the Joint Verification Mechanism and the Tripartite Commission, to find a peaceful solution. Furthermore, the Congo should implement without delay its plan, established with the support of the United Nations Organisation’s Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), aimed at accelerating the disarmament and demobilisation of foreign armed groups. It should also speed up the integration and the training of its national army in order to effectively disarm the ex-FAR militias.

Indeed, the establishment of peace and security in the region through bringing together the countries is our priority. In this context, we see the resolution of the ex-FAR issue as essential and inescapable.

The Community is actively supporting the Congolese authorities in the reconstruction of the country through development projects for an overall amount of EUR 0.5 billion.

The European Union is and remains the largest humanitarian aid donor in Congo and will continue its assistance.

 
  
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  El Presidente. Gracias, señora Comisaria.

La votación tendrá lugar al término de los debates.

Queda cerrado el debate.

Bhopal

El Presidente. - De conformidad con el orden del día, se procede al debate de 6 propuestas de resolución sobre Bhopal

 
  
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  Libicki (UEN). Panie Przewodniczący, Proszę Państwa, dzisiaj mówimy w tej debacie o rzeczach innych niż zwykle. Na ogół debatujemy w sprawach ważnych, ale w sprawach, które dotyczą perspektyw finansowych, rozwiązań komunikacyjnych, spraw gospodarczych - bardzo ważnych, ale nie tragicznych.

Dzisiejsze trzy punkty naszej popołudniowej debaty, ale szczególnie ten trzeci punkt o Bhopalu mówi o jednej z największych tragedii, która zdarzyła się w ostatnich kilkudziesięciu latach. Mówi o tragedii, kiedy wybuch gazu doprowadził do skutków, które natychmiast spowodowały tragedię kilkudziesięciu tysięcy ludzi i do skutków, które trwają niestety po dziś dzień z winy instytucji i osób, które będziemy za chwilę wymieniać.

Proszę Państwa, te organizacje, które były winne temu, co się wówczas stało, przyznały się, bo zapłaciły odszkodowania za 15 248 zgonów. Zapłaciły odszkodowania, starając się zapłacić jak najmniejszej ilości ludzi, za 554 895 przypadków chorób lub kalectwa. Proszę Państwa, według ogólnych ocen osób, które ucierpiały w wyniku wybuchu gazu w Bhopalu przed dwudziestu pięciu laty, jest ponad 100 tysięcy, a tych, którzy cierpią po dziś dzień na skutek zatrutego środowiska są miliony. I co się stało później? Proszę Państwa, w wyniku porozumienia, w wyniku różnych wyroków sądowych winny - Union Carbide Corporation India - zapłacił 470 milionów dolarów odszkodowania. Wydawałoby się kwota całkiem duża, ale ofiary tego wybuchu otrzymały z tego niecałe 10%. Kto wziął resztę pieniędzy? Resztę pieniędzy wzięli prawnicy (warto tak na marginesie powiedzieć: przed stu pięćdziesięciu laty Dickens lubił opisywać drapieżnych prawników, ale nawet w powieściach Dickensa sprzed stu pięćdziesięciu lat nie znajdziemy przypadku, gdy ofiara nie dostaje właściwie nic). Proszę Państwa, kwota znikła. Poza prawnikami koszty były rzekomo duże, bo trzeba było zapłacić skorumpowanym urzędnikom.

Sytuacja, w której na tej tragedii zarabiają wszyscy, tylko nie jej ofiary, jest nie do przyjęcia. Proszę Państwa, jesteśmy świadkami pewnej zmowy i to musi być naprawione i nasza rezolucja, którą dzisiaj mamy uchwalić, właśnie ma temu służyć. Proszę Państwa, musimy starać się, aby na nowo oceniono szkody, aby wypłacono odszkodowania tym, którym się te odszkodowania należą. Musimy doprowadzić do powołania takich ciał, które ten problem rozwiążą w sposób sprawiedliwy.

 
  
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  Gill (PSE). Mr President, today we remember one of the worst industrial disasters in history. As we have heard, in the dead of night on 2 December 1984, a deadly 40 tonnes of known and unknown poisons leaked into the air. The people of Bhopal tried to escape the poisonous cloud. Their efforts were, however, futile and nearly 4 000 people died instantaneously; to date 25 000 innocent people have died.

These are the bare brutal facts and today the people of Bhopal are still suffering from this horrifying legacy. That is why we cannot just remember, but must act as a community to help another. We need to ask why after 20 years the pursuit of justice has been so difficult for the survivors. We need to ask why the transnational corporation involved denies any continuing liability, either for the state of the Bhopal site or the victims' health.

We need to ask why the site has not been cleaned of toxic waste and continues to pollute the water the surrounding communities rely on. We need to know just how Dow Chemicals can close the door on what was one of the worst industrial disasters in this century.

We also need to ask why so many people are still awaiting adequate compensation. I appreciate the issue of compensation is mired in endless arguments as to the calculations, but this is not a sufficient reason for the people of Bhopal to have to relive the experience day after day.

Whilst I support the major part of the resolution and the sentiment behind it, I do not believe the proposed amendments add anything constructive to this resolution. It is vital when we talk about disasters such as Bhopal that we do not descend into polemics and irrationality. The allocation of blame is all too often misplaced and we often condemn all agents without establishing all the facts.

As chair of Parliament's South-Asia SAARC delegation, I would urge you to keep all these matters in perspective, and the budget of each country is particularly relevant. We must recognise the limitation of certain countries, which may not yet have developed the technologies or know-how to deal with such disasters as quickly and as safely as we have come to expect in our own countries. We must also attempt to see each angle of an issue such as the Bhopal disaster, and we should acknowledge the work that has already been done by the Indian Government and the Madhya Pradesh Government with regard to medical care, economic and social assistance, environmental clean-up, and finally financial compensation.

This short list goes to prove that a lot of work has already been done. I feel it would be unproductive to vilify a government that has made efforts to remedy and address the plethora of problems stemming from Bhopal. Rather, we need to employ all our diplomatic efforts to keep the pressure on the Indian Government to maintain its current efforts in providing compensation and working on detoxification of the area. Nevertheless, if we demand that action is taken and money is spent, we should also be prepared to help in any way we can, including offering technical and financial support.

We must not condemn without first examining what we, as a community, can do to help. We should continue to be constructive and offer the humanitarian, ecological and medical expertise we have to the Government of Madhya Pradesh. This is a role for the Commission, Member States and governments alike. I would urge you, therefore, to pressure all those who can bring any relief to those who have already suffered in Bhopal.

 
  
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  Lynne (ALDE). Mr President, while Dow Chemicals and the Indian Government argue over who is to blame for the Bhopal disaster, the people continue to suffer and die from their two-decade legacy. More than 7 000 people died within days, but inaction has seen 15 000 further deaths which could have been avoided. Even today, 20 years on, neither side seems to care about the suffering, only about their reputations. As many as 100 000 people are suffering chronic and debilitating illnesses, with 10 to 15 people a month continuing to die.

The survivors still wait for justice: compensation and medical assistance in many cases. The plant site, which continues to pollute, will cost an estimated GBP 15 million to decommission, compared with Dow's yearly sales of GBP 16 billion and India's GDP of GBP 320 billion. The Indian Government has also yet to spend USD 330 million of the original compensation given to them by Union Carbide. The pollution in the water supply in nearby slums is also 500 times above the maximum recommended WHO levels.

How can the international community, a multinational company and one of the world's main countries, stand by and watch this happen? Just now it should not be about who is to blame, but who is going to stop the suffering. Bhopal resident, Abdul Jabbar Khan, who runs the Bhopal Women Gas Victims' Industrial Association, said in the Guardian newspaper in the UK: 'In New York after 9/11 there was compensation, punishment and clean-up in just a few months. In Bhopal, after 20 years, we have nothing.'

 
  
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  Meijer (GUE/NGL). Voorzitter, sinds de koloniale tijd leveren de landen van de Derde Wereld goedkope producten van landbouw, mijnbouw en kleine ambachtelijke nijverheid aan de rijke landen. Zij zijn voor de import van dure producten die berusten op een nieuwe industriële technologie afhankelijk van de rijke landen in het noorden. Dat maakt deze landen in extreme mate afhankelijk van import en export en heeft een voor hen zeer ongunstige handelsbalans tot gevolg. Deze verdeling leidt voor de Derde Wereld, net als in de tijd toen Europese landen met militaire dwang de bestuursmacht uitoefenden, nog steeds tot permanente armoede en achterstand.

Het is dan ook heel goed te begrijpen dat de regeringen in die landen dachten dat elke nieuwe industrie in hun voordeel was, in het bijzonder grootschalige industrie op het gebied van metaal en chemie. Voor dit soort industrie waren deze landen in het verleden niet aantrekkelijk, niet alleen omdat de werknemers nog onvoldoende geschoold waren, maar vooral omdat de afnemers zich voornamelijk in rijkere delen van de wereld bevonden en transport van een gereed eindproduct duur was. De enige industrie die ontstond, kwam voort uit staatsbedrijven of bediende uitsluitend de lokale markt en de toeristen.

De behoefte in die landen aan een sterkere industrie werd en wordt misbruikt door industriële bedrijven uit het rijke noorden, want deze bedrijven willen wel expansie, maar als afzetgebied zijn de zuidelijke landen nog steeds niet erg belangrijk zolang de koopkracht er gering is. Investeringen in het zuiden worden voor hen echter wel aantrekkelijk als de lonen laag zijn en vooral als de milieu- en veiligheidseisen er beneden de maat zijn of zeer slecht worden gecontroleerd. Dat maakt het mogelijk dat er rampen ontstaan waarbij veel mensen ongeneeslijk ziek worden of het leven verliezen. Dat gevaar bedreigt niet alleen de werknemers in die bedrijven, maar ook de omwonenden. Als er rampen gebeuren, willen bedrijven daar niet de kosten van dragen. De gasexplosie van twintig jaar geleden in Bhopal en de afhandeling daarvan heeft daar alles mee te maken.

Union Carbide, Dow Chemical en de Indiase regering willen niet voldoende betalen voor ruim de 20.000 doden, voor de meer dan 100.000 levenslang beschadigde mensen en voor het opruimen van de verontreiniging van bodem en grondwater. Dat moet worden opgelost, en een dergelijke ramp mag nooit opnieuw plaatsvinden. Laten wij in Europa onze verantwoordelijkheid nemen, indien nodig meebetalen en vooral regelen dat bedrijven vanuit Europa dit soort fouten niet herhalen.

 
  
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  Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE). Señor Presidente, veinte años después de la fuga de gas tóxico en una planta de fertilizantes de Union Carbide Corporation, en Bhopal, los efectos nocivos y la contaminación medioambiental continúan hoy afectando la vida de miles de personas.

En la noche del 2 al 3 de diciembre de 1984, más de 7 000 personas murieron debido a esta fuga de gas, pero los efectos del accidente han causado desde entonces la muerte de otras 15 000 personas y siguen causando enfermedades crónicas a más de 100 000 personas.

Ni el Gobierno de la India, ni las empresas Union Carbide o Dow Chemical, la actual empresa propietaria de la planta de fertilizantes, se han responsabilizado del impacto del accidente en la vida de miles de personas y del medio ambiente.

Es preciso, tal y como recoge la resolución que hoy votamos, que se lleve a cabo una investigación independiente sobre la situación actual de Bhopal, que podría efectuarse bajo los auspicios de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, con la intervención de expertos, para examinar, en visitas a la India, las consecuencias de las actividades de Union Carbide y del desastre de Bhopal para la contaminación de las aguas subterráneas y el medio ambiente, y, por consiguiente, para los derechos humanos de las zonas y de las comunidades afectadas.

Pero, además, el triste caso de Bhopal pone de manifiesto cómo, en un contexto de globalización económica, urge exigir a las empresas que cumplan con las mismas responsabilidades que los Estados, que sean sujeto de los tratados y convenios internacionales y que se evalúe su impacto, tanto en el respeto de los derechos humanos como en situaciones de conflicto armado y de tensión.

En este sentido van las enmiendas que hemos presentado el grupo de los Verdes. Les pido por favor que las lean con cuidado para poder valorar su votación afirmativa o no, haciéndome eco además de la propuesta de la Escuela de Cultura de Paz de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, quiero desde aquí instar a la Cámara -y también a la Unión Europea- a promover el día 3 de diciembre como día internacional de la responsabilidad empresarial y los derechos humanos para que las empresas se comprometan con la promoción y la protección de los derechos humanos en todo el mundo.

Esta fecha conmemorativa debería servir para que todos los actores internacionales - Estados, organismos internacionales y sociedad civil, pero especialmente las empresas- reflexionen sobre la responsabilidad común que tienen para construir un mundo más justo y más sostenible.

 
  
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  Bowis (PPE-DE). Mr President, if you go to Bhopal today – not 20 years ago, but today – you will see thousands of tonnes of toxic waste in piles, pools of mercury, skips of poisoned waste and bags of chemicals lying in the open air, seeping, whenever the rains come, into the puddles, streams and groundwater; and you will see people suffering because they drink that water. They suffer from pains in the stomach, headaches, anaemia and gynaecological problems because they have no alternative but to drink from those wells.

That is the problem we are facing in Bhopal today, and we are facing it 20 years after that catastrophe, when so many people died. The figures range from 3 000 to 7 000 on one night; 15 000 later on and 100 000 people still suffering from debilitating diseases. We are talking about 15 years after the settlement which gave US$500 million to the Indian Government to disburse for compensation and rectification of that landscape. It is still a picture of desolation and danger for those people.

We in this Parliament do not do well when we seek to be judge and jury in these cases. That is why I cannot accept the Green amendments that have been referred to. The motion itself stands well because it calls on the European Union to work with the Government of India to use the money that is available to make sure that there is a clean-up of those sites, treatment of affected people and compensation to those affected; and now, not in another 20 years. That is our message to all those affected: to the European Union; to the Indian Government; by all means, to Dow Chemicals and its responsibilities and to the courts which will be looking at that. But today we seek justice for those people and renovation of the environment in that part of the world and the health of its people.

 
  
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  Mann, Thomas (PPE-DE), im Namen der Fraktion. Herr Präsident! Ich freue mich, direkt nach John Bowis reden zu können, der auf eindrucksvolle Art gezeigt hat, wo wir uns befinden 20 Jahre nach dem 3. Dezember 1984 mit den 35 Tonnen hochgiftigen Gasgemisches, den 7.000 Menschen, die an Atemlähmung und Herzstillstand starben. Und heute sind es etwa 25.000, die als Opfer des größten Chemieunfalls in der Geschichte beklagt werden. Rund 500.000 Menschen leiden dauerhaft an diesen Behinderungen.

Was aber wurde getan für die Betroffenen? Die Recherchen haben deutlich ergeben, vor 15 Jahren gab es einen Schadensersatz von 470 Millionen US-Dollar, ausgehandelt zwischen Union Carbide und der indischen Regierung. Bisher haben die 100.000 offiziell registrierten Leidtragenden jeweils 300 Dollar bekommen. Es gibt 2.500 Häuser für Witwen, es gibt sieben Krankenhäuser, es gibt viele Einrichtungen, die gebaut wurden. Aber was ist geschehen mit den anderen ungefähr 400 Millionen US-Dollar? Frau Gill, da muss man wirklich die Frage nach der Schuld stellen. Der Boden ist immer noch kontaminiert. Das Grundwasser ist verseucht, nachhaltig verseucht mit Quecksilber. Giftige Rückstände werden offen gelagert. Kein Wunder, dass Situationen, wie sie schon John Bowis geschildert hat, entstehen: chronische Leiden, Hirnschäden, Missgeburten. Der indische Premierminister Singh muss sich dafür einsetzen, dass die medizinische Versorgung der Betroffenen wesentlich verbessert wird. Und die Regierung sollte dem Urteil des obersten Gerichtshofes folgen, endlich den Fonds freizugeben, damit Entschädigungsgelder restlos ausgezahlt werden können. Noch immer produzieren viele chemische Unternehmen in Indien und auch in anderen Teilen der Welt mit Arbeitsstandards und Umweltstandards weit unter dem, die in der Europäischen Union oder in den USA gelten.

Ich bin Berichterstatter für das Programm REACH im Ausschuss für Beschäftigung und soziale Angelegenheiten und ich kann nur die Forderung aus dem Arbeitspapier wiederholen: Wir brauchen eine Regelung der Europäischen Union, aber genauso eine Regelung auf der Ebene der WTO-Standards, damit wir Vergleichbarkeit erreichen können. Wer nur nach Profitsteigerung giert und deshalb ausnahmslos niedrigste Umweltauflagen zulässt, der nimmt billigend in Kauf, dass uns eines Tages ein zweites Bhopal droht, und das kann sich keiner leisten.

 
  
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  Μπεγλίτης (PSE), εξ ονόματος της ομάδας. Κύριε Πρόεδρε, συμπληρώνονται είκοσι χρόνια από την τραγωδία του Μποπάλ στην Ινδία με τις τεράστιες ανθρωπιστικές και οικολογικές συνέπειες και πιστεύω ότι είναι ιδιαίτερα σημαντική η πρωτοβουλία των πολιτικών ομάδων για τη υιοθέτηση ψηφίσματος από την ολομέλεια του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου.

Όμως, κύριε Πρόεδρε, δεν αρκεί μόνο η ενεργοποίηση της μνήμης, δεν αρκεί μόνο η καταγγελία της ασύδοτης πολλές φορές λειτουργίας των πολυεθνικών εταιριών στις αναπτυσσόμενες χώρες, δεν αρκεί μόνο η εκδήλωση της ανθρωπιστικής μας ευαισθησίας με λόγια. Μια τέτοια τραγωδία μπορεί να τη ζήσουν και πάλι οι άνθρωποι σε κάποιο άλλο μέρος του κόσμου εάν δεν υπάρξει διεθνής κινητοποίηση για τη διαμόρφωση διεθνών μηχανισμών ελέγχου της λειτουργίας των πολυεθνικών εταιριών, για την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος, για την προστασία των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και των δικαιωμάτων των εργαζομένων.

Και εδώ, ο ρόλος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στο πλαίσιο του ΟΗΕ και στο πλαίσιο των άλλων διεθνών οργανισμών μπορεί να είναι περισσότερο αποτελεσματικός. Το σχέδιο ψηφίσματος, κύριε Πρόεδρε, καταγράφει τα προβλήματα που συνεχίζουν να υφίστανται και πολλοί συνάδελφοι μίλησαν γι' αυτά στην ευρύτερη περιοχή του Μποπάλ. Κατά τη γνώμη μου όμως, δεν αποτυπώνει με πληρότητα τις προσπάθειες που έχουν καταβάλει οι ομοσπονδιακές και οι περιφερειακές αρχές της Ινδίας όλα αυτά τα τελευταία χρόνια στους τομείς της ιατρικής, της οικονομικής, της κοινωνικής και της περιβαλλοντικής αποκατάστασης. Και έχουν υλοποιηθεί σημαντικές πολιτικές τις οποίες δεν πρέπει να παραγνωρίζουμε.

Τελειώνοντας, κύριε Πρόεδρε, θεωρώ ότι ο καλύτερος τρόπος να εκφράσουμε τη συμπάθειά μας στα θύματα και στις οικογένειές τους, είναι να αναλάβει πρωτοβουλίες η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή σε συνεργασία με τον Παγκόσμιο Οργανισμό Υγείας για την υλοποίηση προγραμμάτων ιατρικής και περιβαλλοντικής αποκατάστασης.

 
  
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  Czarnecki, Ryszard (NI). Panie Przewodniczący, Pani Komisarz, Panie i Panowie, gratuluję Pani Komisarz objęcia stanowiska i życzę powodzenia.

Ernest Hemingway radził „Nie pytaj komu bije dzwon, bije on tobie”. To dobrze, że Parlament Europejski zajmuje się tymi regionami świata, które są odległe od Europy i robi to niezależnie od wymogów interesu politycznego. Bowiem z jednej strony Unia Europejska deklaruje strategiczne partnerstwo z Indiami, a z drugiej strony w rezolucji naszego Parlamentu stwierdza, że - cytuję - „rząd indyjski niewiele uczynił dla ochrony ludności w kontekście skutków katastrofy w Bhopal”. Mówimy słusznie o zaniedbaniach władzy w Indiach, ale powiedzmy też mocno o odpowiedzialności amerykańskiego koncernu, który zaprezentował dziki dziewiętnastowieczny kapitalizm, nie przestrzegając nawet części warunków bezpieczeństwa, które były dogmatem w USA. Przypomnijmy liczby: 7 tysięcy zabitych bezpośrednio po katastrofie, w ciągu 20 lat po niej zmarło do 30 tysięcy ludzi, ponad 100 tysięcy choruje do tej pory. Statystyka oczywiście nie oddaje ludzkiego cierpienia, liczby tylko przesłaniają ból i łzy.

Bhopal musi być przestrogą: dla rządów, aby tworzyły systemy ratownicze i nie zostawiały ludzi samych, dla międzynarodowych koncernów, aby chęć zysku nie zastępowała bezpieczeństwa, dla struktur i organizacji międzynarodowych, aby wspierać regiony dotknięte katastrofami. I kończąc, Panie Przewodniczący, także dla nas, by rozliczać z tej pomocy tych, którzy ją od nas lub kogokolwiek przyjmują.

 
  
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  Grybauskaitė, Commission. Mr President, the Commission welcomes Parliament's initiative to launch an urgent debate on this issue. It is an important opportunity for us to reflect on the way in which we can offer help to the victims and how to prevent that set of disasters from occurring in future. Let me assure Parliament that the Commission has been ready to support India in dealing with this tragedy and will do so in the future.

Through our decentralised cooperation budget line, we have supported local non-governmental organisations in Bhopal with rehabilitation and skills training for victims of the disaster, as well as giving support to women’s self-help groups.

Through our Health and Family Welfare Programme, we have supported the Bhopal District Hospital, as well as patient welfare societies of district hospitals and community centres in the region. Special assistance was given to the Municipal Corporation of Bhopal for the preparation of an urban reproductive and child health plan.

In addition, the Commission has provided a grant of EUR 10 million for the funding of the Government of India's National Disaster Risk Management Programme.

At the recent EU-India summit held in The Hague, India reconfirmed its interest in pursuing an environment dialogue with the European Union and proposed the organisation of an EU-India environment forum. This forum will be a first step in tackling the enormous environmental problems that threaten both India and the European Union.

Let me finish by expressing our deepest sympathy for all the victims and our firm hope that such a catastrophe will never occur again.

 
  
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  El Presidente. Gracias, señora Comisaria.

Procedemos a la votación de estas propuestas de resolución.

Queda cerrado el debate.

 

13. Szavazások órája
  

Propuesta de resolución común sobre Zimbabue (RC - B6-0212/2004)

(Se aprueba la resolución común)

Propuesta de resolución común sobre la situación en el Este de la República Democrática del Congo (RC - B6-0218/2004)

(Se aprueba la resolución común)

Propuesta de resolución común sobre Bhopal (RC - B6-0216/2004)

antes de la votación:

 
  
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  Martínez Martínez (PSE). Señor Presidente, sólo quiero indicar que hay un error en la lista de voto que se ha repartido al Grupo Socialista y que, respecto a las enmiendas de Bhopal, votamos en contra de la primera y a favor de las otras tres.

 
  
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  Roithová (PPE-DE). Já bych chtěla říci, že moje karta stále není přihlášená a zlobí, ale byla jsem pro.

 
  
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  El Presidente. Tomamos nota de su circunstancia.

(Se aprueba la resolución común)

 
  
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  Rübig (PPE-DE). Herr Präsident! Ich hätte noch eine Anmerkung zur Geschäftsordnung: Wir haben gestern bis 14.00 Uhr abgestimmt. Es war in diesem Haus eigentlich immer üblich, dass wir von 12.00 bis 13.30 Uhr abstimmen, weil wir natürlich auch zu Mittag sehr viele Verpflichtungen haben, und unsere Gäste dann warten. Ich möchte darum bitten, im Präsidium diesbezüglich eine Regelung zu treffen, wie wir sie in der letzten Legislaturperiode hatten, dass die Abstimmungen um 13.30 Uhr enden.

Ich möchte außerdem die Gelegenheit wahrnehmen, allen hier im Raum frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes Neues Jahr zu wünschen.

 
  
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  El Presidente. Muchas gracias señor Rübig por su observación.

 

14. Bizonyos okiratokat érintő határozatok: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

15. A Tanács közös álláspontjainak közlése: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

16. Dokumentumok benyújtása: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

17. Írásbeli nyilatkozatok (116. cikk): lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

18. A jelen ülésen elfogadott szövegek továbbítása: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

19. A következő ülések időpontjai: lásd a jegyzőkönyvet

20. Ülésszak elnapolása
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  El Presidente. Declaro interrumpido el período de sesiones del Parlamento Europeo. Que tengan todos unas felices navidades y un próspero año 2005.

(Se levanta la sesión a las 16.20 horas)

 

MELLÉKLET
QUESTIONS AU CONSEIL
Ερώτηση αρ. 12 του κ. Κυριάκου Τριανταφυλλίδη (H-0444/04)
 Θέμα: Τουρκικό εμπάργκο σε πλοία υπό κυπριακή σημαία
 

Από το 1987, και μέχρι σήμερα, οι τουρκικές αρχές εφαρμόζουν την απαγόρευση προσέγγισης πλοίων υπό κυπριακή σημαία σε τουρκικά λιμάνια. Δεδομένου ότι η Τουρκία, διαπραγματεύεται αυτήν την στιγμή την μελλοντική της είσοδο στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, ερωτάται λοιπόν το Συμβούλιο εάν έχει επίγνωση του θέματος. Σε θετική περίπτωση, προτίθεται να πράξει όπως αρθεί το εμπάργκο έναντι ενός κράτους μέλους της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, το συντομότερο δυνατόν;

 
  
 

The Council is aware of the issue referred to by the Honourable Parliamentarian.

According to the Commission's 2004 Regular Report, no developments can be reported concerning the elimination of existing restrictions applied to Cyprus-flagged vessels and vessels serving the Cyprus trade.

The Council is closely following the developments on this issue which is related to the problem of Turkey's relations with the Member State Cyprus. In this context, the Union has already raised and will continue to raise this issue with Turkey within the framework of the Association Agreement bodies and of the political dialogue as well as at any other appropriate occasion.

 

Question no 13 by Sarah Ludford (H-0446/04)
 Subject: Althea Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina
 

Can the Council give assurances that safeguards are in place to ensure that EUFOR personnel part of the Althea mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina fully comply with international human rights standards in the course of their duties, and avoid the criticisms levelled at SFOR?

Specifically, what guarantees will the Council give that EUFOR personnel will be sanctioned for sexual abuse and exploitation, prohibited from sexual use of women and girls trafficked into forced prostitution and punished for infringement; that there will be no arbitrary arrests or detention of suspects, or improper treatment of detainees; and that the Bosnia and Herzegovina Human Rights Ombudsman will be given jurisdiction over the activities of EUFOR personnel?

 
  
 

The Council has decided to launch the EU military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 2 December 2004. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1575, adopted on 22 November 2004, provides the mandate for Operation ALTHEA. This mandate refers to the implementation of the military aspects of Annex 1A and 2 of General Framework Agreement of Peace.

The execution of EUFOR tasks is based upon the Operation Plan approved by the Council. The Operation plan details the rights and obligations of EUFOR. It also provides guidance with regard to all legal aspects of the EUFOR mission, including aspects relating to the implementation of internationally recognised standards of human rights and professional standards of behaviour. Member States and non-EU participating third States have the responsibility to train the forces to respect and abide by general international law, conventions and treaties applicable to the military operation.

Implementation of the guidance laid down in the Operation Plan is the responsibility of the EUFOR Commander. Exercise of jurisdiction is regulated through the status of forces agreements relating to EUFOR. As in any international military operation, the responsibility for investigation and, if required, prosecution of allegations of misconduct is the responsibility of contingent commanders and the competent authorities of the sending State.

 

Fråga nr 14 från Hélène Goudin (H-0448/04)
 Angående: Drogpolitik
 

Sveriges justitieminister Thomas Bodström har i svenska media framfört att EU:s nya narkotikastrategi innebär att Nederländernas coffee-shops kommer att tvingas stängas inom fem år.

Vilken är det nederländska ordförandeskapets uppfattning i denna fråga? Delar ordförandeskapet den svenske ministern Bodströms uppfattning att försäljningen av droger i coffee-shops kommer att tvingas upphöra i Nederländerna och i hela unionen inom fem år?

 
  
 

The Council has underlined during the negotiations on the “Framework decision laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug traffick” the importance of taking a strong stance against drug trafficking at all levels and emphasised the need for a transnational and coherent approach in combating drug trafficking. Nevertheless, it is the Presidency's view that recently agreed pertinent texts on drugs such as the Framework Decision laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking and the EU Drugs Strategy, don't provide or imply that coffee shops in the Netherlands will be forced to close down within five years.

In the EU Drugs Strategy to be endorsed by the European Council (tomorrow) it is affirmed that the evaluation of the functioning of the above mentioned Framework Decision including its effect on international judicial co-operation in the field of illicit drug trafficking, will form an integral part of the strategy. In the strategy, it is also provided that the Member States will make efforts towards consistency of the standards of the prosecution practices in the Member States.

 

Anfrage Nr. 15 von Bernd Posselt (H-0451/04)
 Betrifft: Status des Kosovo
 

Wie bewertet der Rat die Lage im Kosovo nach den dortigen Wahlen, und welche Beiträge gedenkt er zu der für nächstes Jahr angekündigten Debatte über den Status des Kosovo zu leisten?

 
  
 

The Council exchanged views prior to the Kosovo Assembly elections on 23 October 2004 and

looked forward to the elections being conducted in a peaceful and democratic environment and in a

free and fair manner, with the widest participation of all communities. In fact, international observers agreed that the elections were conducted in line with international standards and in a calm and peaceful atmosphere. However, the very low turnout of Kosovo Serbs was disappointing. The Council had stressed the importance of the early formation of a functioning Government, fully committed to the Standards implementation which will be reviewed in mid-2005. Kosovo has established a new coalition government which received approval by the Parliament. The EU will look to the newly elected and now established bodies of the Provisional Institutions for Self-Government (PISG) for the effective implementation of the Kosovo Standards and full co-operation with the SRSG and other representatives of the international community.

Regarding the future of Kosovo, the Council, in the context of the Assembly elections, reiterated its commitment to a multi-ethnic Kosovo, ensuring full protection of minorities, contributing to the stability of the region and consistent with EU values and standards. The UN Security Council Resolution 1244 remains the basis of the international community's engagement in Kosovo and the lead and overall responsibility in Kosovo lies with the UN. The EU continues to fully support the efforts of the SRSG for the implementation of UNSC1244. It is clear that people of a multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo will have their place in Europe and that the EU will be called upon to assume an increasingly greater role. The EU, therefore, intends to continue being actively engaged in the international debate about the future of Kosovo.

 

Zapytanie nr 16 skierowane przez Ryszard Czarnecki (H-0453/04)
 Dotyczy: Pomocy Unii dla krajów AKP i obciążenia z tego tytułu nowych krajów członkowskich
 

Istotnym wątkiem Zgromadzenia Parlamentarnego Unia Europejska, Afryka, Karaiby, Pacyfik była kwestia utrzymania dotychczasowego systemu pomocy finansowej Unii dla krajów rozwijających się. Jak sprawę te postrzega Rada, zwłaszcza w kontekście udziału w tej pomocy nowych, słabszych ekonomicznie członków Unii?

 
  
 

The Council invites the Honourable Parliamentarian to refer to its conclusions adopted on the occasion of its meeting, held on 22/23 November 2004 on the Effectiveness of EU external action, on the pursuing of the Millenium Development Goal, as well as the review over the ongoing negotiation process related to the EU financial framework for the period 2007-2013.

 

Question no 17 by Bill Newton Dunn (H-0455/04)
 Subject: Achieving integrity in JHA matters
 

The Dutch Council Presidency reportedly made 'integrity' its priority in Justice and Home Affairs matters. To what extent does the Presidency feel that it has succeeded in establishing 'integrity', and how much remains to be achieved ?

 
  
 

The Council recalls that building upon the outcome of an expert meeting held in The Hague in June, Council conclusions regarding Police Professional Standards concerning International Police Co-operation were set out and approved by the Council on 2 December 2004. These conclusions establish the issue of "integrity" as an on-going action point as they provide that a working programme will be drawn up with the aim of developing shared values and police professional standards for international police co-operation.

The Presidency considers the agreement on these conclusions as a first and very important step in developing the standards for police integrity.

To take the work forward, another expert meeting has been held on 2 December, in which delegations from police services of Member States participated. The results of this meeting have to date not yet been evaluated.

 

Question no 18 by Bernat Joan i Marí (H-0456/04)
 Subject: Compensation to be paid to citizens of Hungarian origin by the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic
 

The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic have satisfied the political criteria for accession to the EU, including respect for and protection of human and minority rights and the principle of non­discrimination.

It is a well-known fact that, in 1946-1947, people of Hungarian origin were deported en masse from their homes to areas of the country which now belong to the Czech Republic to work as forced labour and in inhuman conditions. On various occasions, entire families, small children, elderly people and pregnant women were sent to work as forced labour, often in harsh conditions which clearly breached all relevant regulations. Many of them are, today, citizens of the Czech Republic and of the Slovak Republic, but they have never received any compensation, either from Czechoslovakia or from the new democratic Czech or Slovak Republics, for the injustices that they suffered. Claims for compensation with regard to crimes against humanity can never lapse.

Does the Council think that the Czech and Slovak Republics should consider enacting legislation so that those who suffered injustices in that period may receive compensation?

 
  
 

The Council is not competent to answer this question. It suggests the Honourable Parliamentarian to address it directly to the competent national authorities.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 19 της κ. Ρόδης Κράτσα-Τσαγκαροπούλου (H-0459/04)
 Θέμα: Νέες πρωτοβουλίες για την πολιτική υπέρ της δημογραφίας
 

Βάσει των τελευταίων στοιχείων της Eurostat (2004), τις τελευταίες τρεις δεκαετίες παρατηρείται δημογραφική στασιμότητα με οριακή αύξηση, μόλις 0.3%, ενώ το ποσοστό των νέων μειώνεται σημαντικά (από 18% το 1992 στο 16.8% το 2002). Ο δε, αριθμός των γάμων μειώνεται (5 γάμοι ανά 1000 κατοίκους το 2002, ενώ το 1970 ο αριθμός των γάμων ανερχόταν σε 8 ανά 1000 κατοίκους). Πρόσφατα, ο γάλλος Πρόεδρος Chirac, ο γερμανός καγκελάριος Schröder και οι πρωθυπουργοί Zapatero και Persson της Ισπανίας και Σουηδίας αντίστοιχα, απηύθυναν κοινή επιστολή στην Ολλανδική Προεδρία για την ενίσχυση της ευρωπαϊκής νεολαίας και την ανάγκη νέων δράσεων υπέρ της ευρωπαϊκής δημογραφίας, με επιμέρους στόχους τη συμφιλίωση της επαγγελματικής και οικογενειακής ζωής και την παροχή κινήτρων στα νέα ζευγάρια ώστε να μπορούν να αποκτήσουν όσα παιδιά επιθυμούν.

Ποιά είναι η γνώμη του Συμβουλίου επί του θέματος; Με βάση αυτά τα δεδομένα, σκοπεύει να αναλάβει συγκεκριμένες πρωτοβουλίες και μέτρα για την προώθηση των πιο πάνω στόχων; Σκοπεύει να καλέσει την Επιτροπή να μελετήσει και να προωθήσει μία σφαιρική και ολοκληρωμένη πολιτική για την αντιμετώπιση του δημογραφικού προβλήματος, που θα παρουσιαστεί στο Εαρινό Συμβούλιο Κορυφής του 2005;

 
  
 

The Council informs the Honourable Parliamentarian that the implications of the current demographic trends for future economic and social policy goals are one of the issues being addressed by the Member States and the Council, and that the matter has recently been discussed during the European Council of 4/5 November in the context of the preparation of the Lisbon Strategy mid-term review. The European Council not only confirmed the validity and relevance of the Lisbon process, which identified the demographic challenge in the context of the EU medium term policy approach for economic growth and social cohesion, but also stressed the importance of the Mid-Term Review to be undertaken at the Spring European Council in 2005. In particular, the European Council took note of the letter of the Heads of State or Government of France, Germany, Spain and Sweden pointing out the importance of demographic factors in shaping the future economic and social development of Europe and calling for the elaboration of a “European Pact for Youth”.

This matter was also discussed later by the Council (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs) on 7 December in the context of a policy debate on a new Social Policy Agenda from 2006 – 2010, on the basis of a Dutch Presidency's note based on the outcome of a series of events and conferences, in particular, the closing conference, “Social Policy in Europe : let’s deliver” held in Rotterdam on 8/9 November. The Presidency paper identifies six priority areas, or building blocks, for future action in the new Social Policy Agenda, which were broadly supported by all delegations. Member States are invited to develop comprehensive active ageing strategies by 2006, aiming at a radical policy and cultural shift away from early retirement towards longer working lives, and aiming at the participation of all. The Presidency also identified the need to activate Europe’s unused labour potential and the need for greater efforts by governments, social partners and individual employers and employees to achieve better possibilities for the reconciliation of work and family life.

In this context, the initiative for a European Youth Pact suggested by the French, German, Spanish and Swedish governments, was particularly welcomed, and the need to reconcile professional and family life stressed, as better care facilities and infrastructures for children and the elderly would improve participation in economic life.

 

Question no 20 by Paul van Buitenen (H-0462/04)
 Subject: Guarantees from the Belgian Government that it will respect the freedom of the press
 

In the light of the case of the journalist Hans-Martin Tillack, will the Council seek guarantees from the Belgian Government that it will respect the freedom of the press, including the right to protect its sources when dealing with the European institutions?

 
  
 

The Council recalls the Honourable Parliamentarian that it cannot take position regarding judicial procedures in course in the Member States.

 

Pregunta nº 21 formulada por Manuel Medina Ortega (H-0464/04):
 Asunto: Plaga de langostas africana
 

Teniendo en cuenta la importancia que ha adquirido la plaga de langostas que desde hace más de un año se extiende por el Sahel y el norte de África y que afecta ya al territorio de la Unión Europea, ¿qué medidas ha adoptado o piensa adoptar el Consejo para impulsar una acción internacional que permita erradicar esta plaga?

 
  
 

The Council informs the Honourable Parliamentarian that in September 2004, the European Development Fund Committee decided the allocation of 23.5 M € from the European Development Fund and an additional 2 M € from the Food Security budget lines to support the fight against the locust invasion in the Sahelian countries.

This funding will be used to support several interventions such as the detection of the contaminated areas, the purchase of pesticides and the treatments of the contaminated areas.

These funds were made available through the FAO which ensures the overall coordination of actions at the regional level in close coordination with national plant protection offices and technical ministries concerned.

The EU is convinced of the importance of a coordinated prevention programme against this recurrent plague, which should be launched in the framework of national and regional food security strategies.

 

Question no 22 by Gay Mitchell (H-0469/04)
 Subject: EU involvement in battlegroups
 

What plans does the Council have to propose EU involvement in battlegroups sent to assist international humanitarian aid?

 
  
 

The Council would remind the Honourable Member that Article 17(2) of the Treaty on European Union lays down the tasks which the European Union may perform under the European security and defence policy. Those tasks include humanitarian operations. Any use of battle groups will come within the framework of that article and they may therefore, if appropriate, be used for humanitarian operations.

 

Question no 23 by Proinsias De Rossa (H-0471/04)
 Subject: Council conclusions on osteoporosis
 

In 1998, the Commission published eight recommendations in the 'Report on Osteoporosis in the European Community — Action for prevention'. Two audits carried out by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) since then reveal that little progress has been made by the Member States on the Commission's recommendations.

What is the Council's response to the recent call by the IOF for Council conclusions on the prevention of osteoporosis and related fractures? When might the Council come forward with such conclusions?

 
  
 

The Council addressed this topic on the occasion of its meeting on 2 June 2004 and was informed that the Commission was reviewing the situation in light of the Foundation's Report and Action Plan on the subject. The results of this review will be examined with interest and will form the basis of any further action by the Council on this topic.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 24 του κ. Γεωργίου Τούσσα (H-0473/04)
 Θέμα: Παραβίαση της αρχής "ίση αμοιβή για ίση εργασία" στους ναυτεργάτες
 

Η άνιση αμοιβή για ίση εργασία επεκτείνεται στους εργαζόμενους της ΕΕ με πολιορκητικό κριό την αξίωση των πλοιοκτητών – εφοπλιστών να συναφθούν διμερείς συμφωνίες μεταξύ της Ολλανδίας και Λιθουανίας, ώστε η κοινωνική ασφάλιση των λιθουανών ναυτεργατών σε πλοία με ολλανδική σημαία να μη γίνεται στο κράτος στο οποίο ανήκει το πλοίο, αλλά σύμφωνα με τη νομοθεσία της Λιθουανίας.

Η Ένωση εφοπλιστών Ολλανδίας πιέζει να συναφθεί παρόμοια συμφωνία μεταξύ της Πολωνίας και της Ολλανδίας, ενώ παρόμοιες αιτήσεις έχουν υποβληθεί ή αναμένεται να υποβληθούν και από άλλα κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ με πρόσχημα την αντιμετώπιση της ανεργίας, με ουσιαστική επιδίωξη την μείωση του εργατικού κόστους και την αύξηση των κερδών των πλοιοκτητών-εφοπλιστών.

Τι μέτρα προτίθεται να πάρει το Συμβούλιο ώστε να διασφαλισθεί το δικαίωμα στη δουλειά, και το δικαίωμα για ίση αμοιβή για ίση εργασία των ναυτεργατών και γενικότερα των εργαζομένων;

 
  
 

As the Honourable Parliamentarian is certainly aware, in the field of social security each Member State remains responsible for its own social security legislation including the benefits provided, the conditions for eligibility and the value of these benefits. However, Regulation (EEC) No. 1408/71 provides for Community provisions for the co-ordination of these systems . Such coordination ensures that migrant workers and members of their families do not lose their social security protection when moving within the Community.

A major principle of Reg. 1408/71 is that a person shall be subject to the legislation of only one Member State. In this respect, the Regulation provides for the application of the legislation of the Member State where the person is employed. A seaman employed on a vessel is subject to the legislation of the Member State whose flag the vessel is flying. Furthermore, Reg. 1408/71 requires that the basic principles of equality of treatment and non-discrimination are respected. Consequently, a seaman resident in one Member State but employed on board of a vessel sailing under the flag of another Member State is subject to the legislation and will be entitled to social security coverage of this latter on the same footing of any of its nationals employed on board of the same vessel.

Article 17 of this Regulation provides for the possibility to derogate from the principle of lex loci laboris as two Member States may conclude a bilateral agreement in situations where the standard rule may create - as pointed out by the ECJ in the Brusse judgment (case C-101/83) - administrative complications for workers, as well as for employers and social security authorities, thus creating obstacles to the freedom of movement for workers. However, it must be stressed that such agreements, which can be concluded for certain persons or categories of persons, must be in the interests of these persons.

In this context, it is for the Member States to ensure that any bilateral agreements derogating to the lex loci laboris principle are in the interest of the worker, such decisions being obviously open to challenge before the European Court of Justice.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 25 της κ. Διαμάντως Μανωλάκου (H-0477/04)
 Θέμα: Εισβολή κινέζικων προϊόντων στην αγορά
 

Από 1.1.2005 απελευθερώνεται η εισαγωγή στην ελληνική αγορά προϊόντων από την Κίνα με σημαντικές αρνητικές επιπτώσεις στην παραγωγή πολλών προϊόντων, ειδικότερα της κλωστοϋφαντουργίας καθώς και στο χονδρικό και λιανικό εμπόριο. Σύμφωνα με εκπροσώπους των ενδιαφερομένων κλάδων πολλές μικρές και μικρομεσαίες επιχειρήσεις κινδυνεύουν να οδηγηθούν σε χρεοκοπία με συνέπεια την απώλεια σημαντικού αριθμού θέσεων εργασίας.

Τι μέτρα σκοπεύει να πάρει το Συμβούλιο για να προστατεύσει την ελληνική κλωστοϋφαντουργία που είναι ένας από τους παραδοσιακούς κλάδους της ελληνικής βιομηχανίας, να προστατεύσει τους καταναλωτές από αμφίβολης ποιότητας προϊόντα και να αποτρέψει την απώλεια σημαντικού αριθμού θέσεων εργασίας στη παραγωγή και το εμπόριο;

 
  
 

The Council has continuously followed the situation of the European Textiles and Clothing industry over the last years as it developed in the wake of the dismantling of quotas for the imports of Textiles and Clothing products from WTO Members.

The establishment and the expiry of the ATC (Agreement on Textiles and Clothing) are part and parcel of the results of the Uruguay Round, concluded in 1994. Since then, it was clear that "as from 1 January 2005, the textiles and clothing sector shall be fully integrated into GATT 1994" (ATC, Article 9).

China is a member of the WTO since 2001, and as such has benefited from the last step of liberalisation, the so-called third stage, and will fully share the benefits of the abolition of quotas. Nevertheless, at the moment of accession of China to the WTO, a protocol was agreed as well. Under this protocol, a specific safeguard for textiles can be activated until 31 December 2008.

It is before this background among others that the Council has quite recently again discussed the situation of the European Textiles and Clothing industry and has adopted, on 25/26 November 2004, a set of conclusions on this subject, in which, inter alia:

it stresses the important role of SMEs in the textile sector. There is a need to improve access of these enterprises to finance by using Community financial instruments to provide European leverage and support for SME financing, including their access to support for research and innovation;

it invites the Commission to regularly inform the Council on the developments in the EU textiles and clothing sector in the aftermath of the dismantling of import quotas from 1 January 2005 and in the light of the implementation of the proposed initiatives; it also invites the Commission to report on the outcome of the further discussions of the High Level Group; and

notes the Commission's readiness to use the available trade defence instruments, if the legal conditions are met and if and when they are effectively needed.

The Council on 13/14 December 2004 has adopted a regulation adopting EU provisions on imports of certain textile products in order to take account of the WTO Agreement and Clothing expiry on 31 December 2004. Among others, the new rules foresee:

the introduction of a time limited ex ante monitoring system for certain imports from China and a customs-based ex post monitoring system for certain imports;

an end-of-year shipment regime for products shipped before the expiry of the ATC but released for free circulation in the Community after that date.

The Council will follow closely the results of this monitoring.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 26 του κ. Αθανασίου Παφίλη (H-0480/04)
 Θέμα: Προσπάθειες αναβίωσης του φασισμού στη Λετονία
 

Ο Υπουργός Άμυνας της Λετονίας, Άτις Σλακτέρις, εξέφρασε το “βαθύ πένθος των ενόπλων δυνάμεων” για το θάνατο του Ν. Ρομανόφσκις, προέδρου των βετεράνων Λετονών Ναζί των “Waffen SS”. Η ενέργεια αυτή έρχεται να προστεθεί στην ανέγερση μνημείου για τις φασιστικές λεγεώνες στη περιοχή Λεστενε ενώ συνεργάτες των Ναζί απολαμβάνουν κοινωνικών προνομίων ως “πολιτικά διωκόμενοι” τη στιγμή που βετεράνοι του αντιφασιστικού αγώνα χάνουν τα δικαιώματα τους.

Ερωτάται το Συμβούλιο αν σκοπεύει να καταδικάσει αυτές ή άλλες παρόμοιες ενέργειες σε άλλες χώρες και να σταματήσει να κρατάει μία στάση ένοχης σιωπής και ανοχής απέναντι στην προσπάθεια αναβίωσης της ηθικής αποκατάστασης του φασισμού.

 
  
 

The Council recalls that Article 6(1) TEU provides that "the Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States."

The Council has not discussed the events referred to by the Honourable Parliamentarian. The Council has constantly underlined that Nazism and fascism are incompatible with the principles enshrined in the Treaty reflecting also the basic values of our society. The development of those ideologies in our societies must be closely monitored by the competent authorities and, when necessary, met with counter-measures.

 

Fråga nr 27 från Lena Ek (H-0483/04)
 Angående: Medborgarnas rättssäkerhet
 

Den fria rörligheten inom unionen förutsätter att människor känner rättstrygghet när de lämnar sitt hemland för semester, studier eller arbete i ett annat medlemsland. Kan rådet svara för att alla 25 medlemsländerna lever upp till en viss miniminivå av rättssäkerhet? Vad svarar rådet en medborgare som utlämnas till ett annat medlemsland, enligt europeiska arresteringsordern, men som inte upplever att landet som han utlämnas till kan garantera honom rättssäkerhet? Anser rådet att man tillräckligt undersökte och fastställde att EU:s 25 medlemsländer uppfyller miniminivåer i process- och straffrätt innan man beslutade om ett ömsesidigt erkännande av varandras rättssystem genom införlivandet av den europeiska arresteringsordern? Slutligen, vad gör rådet för att övervaka att medlemsländerna följer och har en samstämmig syn på unionens stadga om de grundläggande rättigheterna i sin nationella rättstillämpning?

 
  
 

The Council, in response to the question of the Honourable Parliamentarian which addresses the guarantees for the respect for fundamental rights in relation to the application of the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), intends to stress that fundamental rights were very much in focus when the Framework Decision was negotiated in the Council, and building on preexisting national experiences with extradition, found expression in the final agreed text.

Indeed, the Framework Decision is based on the principle of mutual recognition, which involves a high degree of trust between the EU Member States, based on their common sharing of democratic values and on their participation to the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) provides that fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the 1950 Convention and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to Member States, are general principles of Community law. These principles have been reflected notably in Article 1(3) of the Framework Decision, which provides that the Framework Decision shall not have the effect of modifying the obligation to respect fundamental rights and fundamental legal principles as enshrined in Article 6 of the TEU. Recital 12 of the Framework Decision also addresses the issue of fundamental rights, specifying for example, that the Framework Decision does not prevent a Member States from applying its constitutional rules relating to due process, freedom of association, freedom of the press and freedom of expression in other media. The same care not to hamper the full respect for and exercise of fundamental rights was also very much in the focus when negotiating the grounds for refusing to execute an arrest warrant. Difficulties concerning human rights in the practical application of the Framework Decision have not been reported.

 

Vraag nr. 28 van Lambert van Nistelrooij (H-0484/04)
 Betreft: Regio's en innovatie : Lissabonagenda en financiële perspectieven
 

De rol van de regio's en steden in de zogenaamde "high-growth knowledge based regions" moet ondersteund worden. Om meer coherentie tussen de beleidsvelden te verkrijgen is niet alleen de betrokkenheid van de nationale parlementen of "civil society" van belang, maar tevens die van de Europese regio's en provincies. De nieuwe uitdagingen vragen om investeringen en alleen een integrale benadering voor onderzoek en innovatie biedt mogelijkheden. Om de burgers meer te betrekken bij de besluitvorming is een "bottum-up"-benadering een van de belangrijkste voorwaarden. Dit geldt niet alleen voor het parlementaire niveau en binnen het spectrum van de "civil society" maar juist de "steden en regio's" moeten worden betrokken in het Lissabonproces. In verschillende federale landen en ook Nederland worden regio's aangemoedigd om economische potenties te benutten en om te investeren in regionaal economische sterkten. Voorts wordt gepleit voor de volgende periode voor een meer flexibele inzet van de fondsen omdat de omslag naar een intensieve kenniseconomie inspanningen voor markt- en productinnovaties vereist. Het rapport-Kok legt het accent primair op de nationale actieplannen. Het mag niet zo zijn dat het structurele en democratische fundament van de Unie, nl. "subsidiariteit", aan de uitvoering van de "nieuwe Lissabon agenda" en nieuwe financiële middelen voorbijgaat.

 
  
 

The Council invites the Honourable Parliamentarian to refer to the content of the proposals presented by the Commission which are currently under discussion in the Council preparatory bodies.

The Council is not in position to comment the Honourable Parliamentarian's assessment as its discussions are not finalised yet.

 

Anfrage Nr. 29 von Hans-Peter Martin (H-0493/04)
 Betrifft: Bilanz bei Effizienzsteigerung und Sparsamkeit
 

Die EU-Ratspräsidentschaft der Niederlande steht kurz vor ihrem Ende. Es kann Bilanz gezogen werden.

In welchen Bereichen kann die niederländische Ratspräsidentschaft Effizienzsteigerung in der Arbeit der EU-Institutionen während ihrer Präsidentschaft ausmachen?

In welchen Bereichen ist es zu mehr Sparsamkeit in der Verwaltung gekommen?

Welche Empfehlungen gibt die niederländische Präsidentschaft in Bezug auf die wachsenden Versorgungsansprüche der EU-Beamten und EU-Bediensteten und teilt sie die Einschätzung, dass viele der in Zukunft fällig werdenden und bereits bestehenden Rentenansprüche im EU-Haushalt nicht gedeckt sind?

 
  
 

The Council would inform the Honourable Member that, in response to the ways in which the European Union has developed since the Maastricht Treaty, resulting in a wider range of activities, in extension and strengthening of the role of the Secretary­General/High Representative for the CFSP and in an unprecedented increase in the number of Member States, the Council has embarked upon an ongoing adjustment and modernisation process, so as to be efficient and flexible enough to discharge its new tasks and responsibilities.

In doing so, the Council has come up against a number of administrative, technical, budgetary and even staffing constraints, with the entry into force of the new Staff Regulations on 1 May 2004, not to mention the institutional constraints imposed by successive amendments to the Treaties over that time. Such constraints, set to continue for the years ahead, have nevertheless marked out this six­month term as one of transition, which in any case makes it particularly difficult, premature though this be at present, to assess the results achieved. The Presidency can, however, already be seen to have made extensive use of the resources available to it, in all areas of EU action, in order to conduct Council business as efficiently as possible.

Institutionally speaking, the Council would remind the Honourable Member that, following the European Council meeting on 16 and 17 December 2004, the Presidency will be reporting to the European Parliament on the results of its six­month term, on 21 December 2004, before the Conference of Presidents of political groups, meeting in open session. To do so before then would be jumping the gun.

As regards the pension scheme for EU officials, on 22 March 2004 the Council adopted Regulation No 723/2004 (OJ L 124, 27.4.2004) amending the Staff Regulations of officials and other staff of the European Communities. The 28th, 29th and 30th recitals in that Regulation set out very clearly the reasons for a thorough overhaul of the Staff Regulations, particularly on pensions. Given the recent agreement on the Statute in March 2004, further reform in this area was not as such on the agenda of the Dutch Presidency.

With more specific regard to the scheme's actuarial balance, the Commission has recently, on 3 November 2004, proposed adjusting the level of contributions from officials and other staff, which will rise from 9,25% to 9,75%, with retroactive effect from 1 July 2004, in accordance with Article 83a(3) of the Staff Regulations and the implementing rules laid down in Annex XII to them.

 

Zapytanie nr 30 skierowane przez Leopold Józef Rutowicz (H-0494/04)
 Dotyczy: Zmiany polityki w zakresie produkcji cukru
 

Dotychczasowa polityka reglamentacji spowodowała ograniczenia w produkcji cukru np. cukrownie w Polsce nie uzyskały pełnych limitów produkcyjnych zezwalających na pokrycie potrzeb krajowego rynku. W tym samym czasie ceny cukru wzrosły o 64%. W odczuciu społecznym polityka ta nie sprzyja postępowi technicznemu w branży i jej konkurencyjności na rynku UE a tym samym na rynkach światowych. Podnosi ona koszty utrzymania najbiedniejszych grup społecznych. Podnosi koszty społeczne, a w dłuższym okresie czasu generuje cały system dopłat subwencjonowanych przez UE i protekcjonalizm. Sytuacja jest chora. Chcemy konkurować w eksporcie dopłatami a nie opłacalną produkcją, która wymaga unowocześnienia technologii i lepszej organizacji. Jakie Rada UE zamierza podjąć środki by przeciwdziałać niekorzystnym z punktu ekonomicznego i społecznego zjawiskom?

 
  
 

Dès octobre 2003, le Conseil a entamé un débat sur la réforme de l'OCM du sucre sur la base de la Communication que la Commission lui a transmise en date du 23 septembre 2003, visant notamment à ouvrir la discussion sur les objectifs du régime communautaire du sucre dans le contexte de la nouvelle PAC, en se basant sur les informations contenues dans l'évaluation d'impact approfondie du secteur européen du sucre et en analysant différentes options de réforme.

Le Conseil a poursuivi ce débat dans le cadre de l'examen de la Communication de la Commission "Élaborer un modèle agricole durable pour l'Europe grâce à la nouvelle PAC - Réforme du secteur du sucre", présentée le 15 juillet 2004. Au cours du débat d'orientation tenu lors du Conseil "Agriculture/Pêche" du 22 novembre 2004, les délégations des États membres ont, dans leur ensemble, convenu de la nécessité de réformer le secteur sucrier mais se sont montrées divisées quant à l'étendue d'une telle réforme, et quant à l'approche qui sous-tend la Communication de la Commission. La question même de l'opportunité d'une telle réforme s'est posée, un report de celle-ci après 2006 pouvant le cas échéant permettre de tenir compte des incertitudes qui existent au plan international (position des pays ACP, position des PMA dans le cadre de l'initiative "Tout sauf les armes", issue des travaux du groupe spécial de l'OMC et du cycle de négociations de Doha).

Le Conseil sera amené à poursuivre ces discussions lorsque la Commission présentera sa proposition législative au cours du premier semestre de l'année prochaine. Il est donc prématuré de préjuger à l'heure actuelle de l'issue des travaux et discussions qui seront menés au sein du Conseil en temps utile.

Néanmoins, le Conseil ne manquera pas de porter une attention particulière sur les incidences à la fois économiques et sociales de la réforme. Le Conseil, avec la Commission, et après avoir pris en considération l'avis du Parlement européen dans le cadre de la procédure de consultation, mettra tout en œuvre en vue de trouver une solution équilibrée par rapport aux différents intérêts en présence.

 

Question no 31 by Richard Howitt (H-0495/04)
 Subject: Security during the Palestinian presidential elections
 

Following recent meetings with Israeli and Palestinian government officials, could the Council comment on the progress being made towards a simultaneous ceasefire prior to the Palestinian presidential elections? What assistance will the Council be offering to the Palestinian Authority to enable free and fair elections to be held and to guarantee security, thereby enabling everyone who is entitled to vote to vote unhindered?

 
  
 

Regarding the question of a ceasefire on which the Honourable Parliamentarian touches upon, the Council in the past repeatedly urged the assumption of a ceasefire embracing all parties and groups.

With respect to the upcoming Palestinian presidential elections, the Council invites the Honourable Parliamentarian to refer to the decision of the Commission to deploy an EU Election Observer Mission (EOM) to observe these elections in the West Bank and Gaza, scheduled for 9 January 2005. This mission will be led by Michel Rocard, Member of the European Parliament. The presence of the EOM and the reporting of its observers should help to increase transparency and build confidence in the elections process.

 

QUESTIONS A LA COMMISSION
Question n° 48 de Kader Arif (H-0445/04)
 Objet: Révision de l'Accord de Cotonou
 

Une révision de l’Accord de Cotonou est prévue pour fin 2004 – début 2005. La Commission propose d’intégrer dans l'accord de partenariat avec les pays ACP une référence spécifique à la déclaration sur les Objectifs du Millénaire (ODM). Pourtant, la proposition n'est pas claire sur ce point alors qu'en matière de lutte contre le terrorisme et les armes de destruction massive, les clauses proposées sont déjà très avancées et apparaissent ainsi revêtir un caractère prioritaire. Or, l’expérience nous démontre que l’Union européenne n'est pas arrivée à traduire en pratique son discours politique sur les ODM. Les objectifs de cette déclaration ne se reflètent ni dans les priorités politiques de développement de l'Union, ni dans le budget qu'elle y attribue.

Comment la Commission traduira­t­elle concrètement l'inscription des ODM dans l’accord de Cotonou? Comment compte­t­elle mesurer les efforts de l’UE pour atteindre les ODM mais également renforcer la capacité des États partenaires pour y parvenir? Quelle part du budget compte­t­elle y allouer et comment évaluera­t­elle l’impact de ces aides?

 
  
 

Les négociateurs des deux cotés se sont rapidement mis d’accord pour ajouter une référence aux objectifs du Millénaire (ODM) pour le développement dans le préambule de l’accord de Cotonou. Cette question n’est pas controversée, il s’agit du remplacement et de l’extension de l’objectif de réduction de la pauvreté mentionné dans la version actuelle de l’accord de Cotonou. Cette révision doit être vue comme une simple mise à jour pour adapter l’accord de Cotonou au processus ODM.

L’accord de Cotonou n’est pas le bon instrument pour discuter des modalités de mise en oeuvre des engagements spécifiques en faveur des ODM dans la coopération avec les pays ACP. En tant que cadre légal pluriannuel, l’accord de Cotonou pose les paramètres généraux de la coopération, qui sont parfaitement en conformité avec les objectifs du Millénaire. Mais les actions et les engagements précis sont pris dans le contexte des Documents de Stratégies Pays et Régionaux.

De plus, il convient de rappeler que de possibles engagements supplémentaires des donateurs pour la réalisation des objectifs du Millénaire seront discutés pendant les 9 prochains mois, en tant qu’élément des préparations pour l’événement à haut niveau sur le suivi du Sommet du Millénaire qui aura lieu à New York en septembre prochain. Dans ce contexte, la Commission a proposé de focaliser les nouvelles actions possibles de l’UE sur trois lignes d’action : (1) le financement, (2) la cohérence des politiques et (3) l’Afrique.

 

Anfrage Nr. 49 von Bernd Posselt (H-0452/04)
 Betrifft: Tschetschenien-Hilfe
 

Welche Schritte plant die Kommission, um Tschetschenien und insbesondere dem vertriebenen Teil des tschetschenischen Volkes endlich auf effiziente Weise humanitäre Hilfe zu leisten?

 
  
 

La Commission rappelle qu’elle est, à travers son service d'Aide Humanitaire, ECHO, le principal bailleur de fonds humanitaire en faveur des victimes de la crise engendrée par le second conflit en Tchétchénie. Depuis le début de ce conflit à l'automne 1999, ECHO a fourni presque 146 millions d’euros d’aide par le biais d’organisations non gouvernementales, des agences des Nations Unies et du Comité International de la Croix-Rouge.

Cette aide est largement reconnue comme étant efficace et appropriée. Tous les acteurs humanitaires concernés ont fortement approuvé le rôle proéminent qu’ECHO a joué en répondant aux besoins humanitaires urgents des victimes de cette crise, qui tend malheureusement à être oubliée par d'autres bailleurs de fonds humanitaires.

ECHO finance la distribution d’aide alimentaire de base et complémentaire pour environ 300.000 personnes, ce qui constitue une ressource essentielle pour les familles vulnérables, particulièrement dans les régions les plus retirées de Tchétchénie. ECHO finance également l’approvisionnement en eau potable des résidents de Grozny par camions-citernes et le fonctionnement des stations de pompage. ECHO est également très actif dans le secteur médical, où il fournit les principaux hôpitaux en équipements, médicaments et formation et où il finance des réhabilitations de base. ECHO finance également, entre autres, la distribution de produits non alimentaires (vêtements pour enfants, matelas, etc.) et soutient activement les programmes d’éducation primaire et les programmes de soutien psycho-social pour les enfants, ainsi que les programmes de formation professionnelle pour les jeunes sortis du système scolaire.

Fournir une aide humanitaire en Tchétchénie n’est pas une tâche facile, sachant qu’il s’agit d’un des contextes les plus difficiles et dangereux au monde où les conditions de travail pour les organisations humanitaires sont les plus mauvaises, tant en termes de sécurité qu’en termes de monitoring. Les risques, notamment d'attaques, de menaces, de harcèlement et surtout d’enlèvement, sont tels pour le personnel humanitaire qu’aucun expatrié ne peut être basé en Tchétchénie même. Les opérations sont donc mises en oeuvre par le biais d’un système de contrôle à distance, le personnel national travaillant en Tchétchénie et le personnel expatrié effectuant des visites à l’intérieur de la république aussi souvent que possible. S’ajoute à cela la question récurrente de conditions d’accès à la Tchétchénie et aux bénéficiaires pour les organisations humanitaires. Les autorités continuent à restreindre le libre accès des ONG en imposant des permis et autres procédures bureaucratiques lourdes et aléatoires. Elles refusent toujours, également, d'accorder aux organisations humanitaires l'accès aux radios VHF. C'est pourquoi la Commission continue, lors de chaque réunion avec les autorités russes, d’aborder cette question et de demander une attitude moins réfractaire, sans aucun résultat jusqu’à présent.

ECHO fournit non seulement une aide aux personnes en Tchétchénie mais également aux personnes déplacées vivant en Ingouchie et au Daghestan. Depuis la fermeture de tous les camps de tentes, ECHO continue de fournir une assistance aux déplacés qui vivent dans des regroupements spontanés ou dans des logements privés. De concert avec ses partenaires, notamment le HCR et le CICR, ECHO assure également la protection de ces personnes pour leur permettre de rester là où elles sont et d'éviter leur retour involontaire ou forcé.

Enfin, ECHO a annoncé sa volonté de répondre à tout autre besoin qui pourrait résulter de nouveaux développements dans le Nord Caucase, notamment au lendemain du récent débordement du conflit à d'autres républiques et de la prise d’otages tragique de Beslan.

Au sommet UE/Russie de La Haye, la Commission a réitéré son offre à la Russie d’étudier comment, au-delà de l'aide humanitaire d'ECHO, elle pouvait participer à la remise en état et à la reconstruction de la Tchétchénie, une fois que la sécurité serait garantie. La première étape serait d'organiser une mission d'évaluation des besoins dans le Nord Caucase, ce que la Commission espère mettre en oeuvre bientôt.

 

Pregunta nº 50 formulada por Manuel Medina Ortega (H-0465/04):
 Asunto: Plaga de langostas africana
 

Teniendo en cuenta la importancia que ha adquirido la plaga de langostas que desde hace más de un año se extiende por el Sahel y el norte de África y que afecta ya al territorio de la Unión Europea, ¿qué medidas ha adoptado o piensa adoptar la Comisión para impulsar un acción internacional que permita erradicar esta plaga?

 
  
 

Suite aux appels de la FAO et des pays affectés par l’invasion massive de criquets pèlerins, la Commission a décidé de soutenir la lutte contre ce fléau à concurrence de 23,5 millions d'euros émanant du Fonds européen pour le développement, auxquels 2 millions d'euros ont été ajoutés au titre des lignes budgétaires pour la sécurité alimentaire. Ces fonds, en plus des aides allouées directement aux états concernés, ont permis d’atteindre un montant d’environ 50 millions d’euros pour la lutte anti-acridienne dans les pays sahéliens, depuis début 2004.

Le financement alloué à la FAO était destiné à soutenir diverses interventions telles que l'identification des zones contaminées, l'achat de pesticides et le traitement des zones contaminées. Les traitements avec des épandages de pesticides ont continué jusqu’au début décembre. Le froid et la remontée des essaims, selon leur cycle de migration naturel, permettent un allègement de la pression sur les pays du Sahel.

Les bonnes pluies dans la plupart des zones affectées par l’invasion de criquets, si d’une part elles ont permis une reproduction rapide des insectes, d’autre part elles ont favorisé la production agricole et compensé une partie des pertes. Ceci dit, il existe des zones dans les pays affectés où les dégâts provoqués par les criquets sont considérables, surtout en Mauritanie et pays voisins, où la sécurité alimentaire des populations est en danger.

La Commission continue de suivre l’évolution de la situation.

La Commission souligne une fois de plus la nécessité de mettre en place un programme coordonné de prévention contre ce fléau récurrent. Ce programme devrait être lancé dans le cadre de stratégies nationales et régionales en matière de sécurité alimentaire.

 

Vraag nr. 51 van Johan Van Hecke (H-0466/04)
 Betreft: Europees engagement in de strijd voor de volledige integriteit en het effectief functioneren van het Internationaal Strafhof
 

Nu het duidelijk wordt dat het Nethercutt-amendement op een nieuwe wet over de buitenlandse betrekkingen binnenkort door het Amerikaanse Congres zal worden goedgekeurd, bevinden het internationale strafrecht en het Strafhof zich in een kritieke fase. Immers, als gevolg van dit amendement zullen landen die weigeren om de bilaterale straffeloosheidsakkoorden met de Verenigde Staten te tekenen, geen aanspraak meer kunnen maken op economische steun.

De Parlementaire Vergadering ACS-EU stelde aan de Europese Commissie voor om na te gaan hoe compenserende steun zou kunnen verleend worden aan landen die weigeren om deze akkoorden te ondertekenen. Welke initiatieven heeft de Commissie terzake reeds ondernomen?

 
  
 

La Commission connaît cette résolution de l’Assemblée Paritaire et elle avait à l’époque pris clairement position à ce sujet. La Commission maintient la position qu’il ne faut pas élargir des programmes de coopération dans le cadre du Fond Européen de Développement (FED) pour prévoir une compensation directe pour la suspension de l'assistance militaire par un autre partenaire.

Une approche globale de cette question est nécessaire pour promouvoir l'efficacité complète de la Cour et d'encourager l'acceptation du statut d'une manière qui soit entièrement compatible avec la lettre et l'esprit de cet instrument. La Commission entend maintenir cette question à l'ordre du jour du dialogue politique régulier entre les partenaires, au niveau des pays ainsi que dans le cadre du Conseil des ministres ACP/CE.

La Commission européenne prend en considération la complexité de cette question politiquement très sensible et s’efforce de réaliser les objectifs et les priorités définies par le Conseil en juin 2003.

La révision de l'accord de Cotonou fournit une bonne opportunité pour aborder cette question avec les partenaires ACP. L’UE a proposé d’introduire, dans le préambule et dans le texte de l’Accord, des références à l’engagement des parties vis-à-vis de la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI) et de la ratification du Statut de Rome.

 

Question no 52 by John Bowis (H-0476/04)
 Subject: Third World Debt
 

What initiatives will the Commission take to alleviate the burden of debt in low-income countries?

 
  
 

La Commission souhaiterait d’abord rappeler qu’elle s’est fortement impliquée dans l’initiative internationale pour l’allègement de la dette en faveur des pays pauvres très endettés (PPTE), et ce depuis son lancement en 1996. La contribution communautaire à ce mécanisme s’élève à plus de €1,6 milliard.

La Commission s’est en outre engagée dans des initiatives complémentaires pour s’adapter toujours davantage aux besoins spécifiques de certains pays pauvres. Elle a procédé, en complément de l’initiative PPTE, à l’annulation totale des prêts spéciaux du Fond Européen de Développement (FED) consentis aux pays les moins avancés. Elle a aussi aidé certains pays comme la République Démocratique du Congo, le Burundi et la République du Congo ayant d’importants retards de paiement vis-à-vis des institutions internationales, à régulariser leur situation financière, ce qui leur a permis d’avoir un accès complet à l’initiative PPTE.

La Commission se félicite de la récente prolongation de l’initiative internationale jusqu'à 2006, car cela permettra à davantage de pays d’avoir accès à cet instrument. Elle confirme d’ailleurs la poursuite de sa collaboration avec les institutions financières internationales dans ce contexte.

Enfin la Commission veut aussi avoir une approche innovante tournée vers l’avenir. A cet effet, elle se préoccupe de la situation de certains pays sortant de conflit, et qui de fait ne sont pas en mesure de se qualifier. Avec la communauté internationale, la Commission participe à la recherche de solutions adaptées aux problèmes spécifiques de ces pays.

La Commission suit enfin avec intérêt la mise en place, par la Banque Mondiale et le Fonds Monétaire International (FMI), d’un mécanisme de soutenabilité de la dette pour les pays à faibles revenus. Ce mécanisme, lorsqu’il sera pleinement opérationnel, vise à permettre aux pays pauvres de ne plus retomber dans une situation d’endettement excessif, car l’attribution de prêts serait alors remplacée par des dons.

La Commission milite à cet effet pour obtenir, dans la transparence et l’indépendance, la participation des gouvernements, de la société civile et de tous les partenaires au développement pour la fixation des modalités pratiques de ce mécanisme.

 

Pregunta nº 53 formulada por Teresa Riera Madurell (H-0412/04):
 Asunto: Revista IPTS
 

La revista The IPTS Report, editada por el Instituto de Prospectiva Tecnológica (Comisión Europea, Centro Común de Investigación), ha alcanzado un elevado nivel de impacto y difusión, convirtiéndose en una de las revistas de mayor profesionalidad y rigor analítico en el campo de la política científica-tecnológica y la prospectiva, campos estratégicos para la Unión Europea. Sorprendentemente, con una difusión de más de 6 000 ejemplares y más de 80 000 visitas en su versión en Internet, fue ‘suspendida’ para revisar temas de eficacia y eficiencia, tal y como manifestó en esta cámara el Comisario Busquin.

¿Puede indicarnos en qué situación se encuentra en la actualidad? ¿Cuál es la postura de la Comisión al respecto?

 
  
 

The publication of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Report (IPTS) was indeed stopped in July 2004. In view of the need to set priorities for the allocation of resources it was considered that the publication of such a journal no longer fits with the mission of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The JRC is still considering the possibility of publishing a series of thematic publications, including one on techno-economic issues. The final decision will depend on an assessment of the added value that such a publications may bring in relation to their cost in public money and human resources. The Commission takes this opportunity to inform the Honourable Member that the full text of IPTS themantic reports continues to be available on the Internet at the address:

 

Question no 54 by Elly de Groen-Kouwenhoven (H-0414/04)
 Subject: Social protection and social inclusion project in Bulgaria
 

Which written definitions, rules and procedures are adopted by the European Commission with regard to demonstration projects for social protection?

 
  
 

At the end of 1994, the Essen European Council defined a Pre-Accession Strategy to prepare the countries of Central and Eastern Europe for EU membership. Pre-accession instruments have been and are being financed by the European Community to assist the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe with their pre-accession preparations. The Commission supports promotion of social inclusion and social protection in Bulgaria notably through Phare (reference document: Phare regulation 3906/89). As part of the pre-accession strategy, Bulgaria also participates in some Community programmes related to social inclusion and social protection.

Phare programmes and their financing are decided on the basis of Financing Memoranda agreed between the Commission and the authorities of each candidate country. They provide the legal basis for programme implementation and are accompanied by project fiches that list the detailed projects. Documents such as Road Maps and Accession Partnerships set the framework for each Candidate Country, establishing the overall priorities the country must address to prepare for accession and the resources available to help them do so.

Regarding social inclusion, the Commission and Bulgaria are finalising the Joint Memorandum on Social Inclusion (JIM) to identify key challenges and relevant policy responses to promote social inclusion. The JIM will represent an important step to prepare Bulgaria for the open method of coordination in the area of social inclusion.

Also in the area of social protection, there are no legal obligations to implement precise policy measures but a very important general obligation to co-ordinate the respective policies in order to develop a homogenous social framework in line with the principle and rules of the EU Treaty. For the EU an evolving co-operation to promote an effective system of social protection is an important component of the wider employment and social situation in the EU. While the organisation of social protection systems remain the responsibility of individual Member States, the EU requires that these systems have the capacity to develop and operate sustainable and universally applicable social protection systems in line with the Treaty objectives. The systems of the candidate countries, including Bulgaria, must also be capable of co-ordinating with those systems currently operating in the EU which are themselves developing in a very dynamic way and undergoing significant reform. In June 2004 a seminar has taken place in Sofia between the Commission, the Bulgarian authorities and stakeholders in order to prepare Bulgaria for the participation in the Open method of coordination in the field of pensions, a joint effort to promote reforms in the Member States that will guarantee both the future adequacy and financial sustainability of pension systems.

 

Question no 55 by Glenys Kinnock (H-0415/04)
 Subject: EPAs
 

Since the Economic Partnership Agreements are intended to contribute to the alleviation of poverty and to the promotion of sustainable economic growth and development in the ACP, how will the Commission ensure that it is these fundamental objectives that actually guide the conduct and performance of its negotiators rather than simply the creation of reciprocal free-trade agreements?

 
 

Question no 56 by Claude Moraes (H-0433/04)
 Subject: Economic Partnership Agreements with developing countries
 

It has come to my attention that the proposed Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and former colonies could be extremely damaging to the economies of the poor countries involved, as they will limit government protection of producers and industries in these countries and force cheaper imports on them.

Can the Commission clarify its view on the effect that EPAs would have on the development of the economies of poor countries?

 
  
 

The “raison d’être” of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) is to help the ACP countries to deal with the challenges of globalisation by developing strong regional economies. The Commission has therefore emphasised the need to place market opening in the context of national, regional and international policies. The EPA approach aims at developing regional markets with a common set of border measures, tariff and non-tariff, as an incentive for more local economic activity. Only in a second phase will a regional access for EU goods or services be discussed that will be consistent with the needs and constraints of ACP economies. Therefore such access does not need to match that offered by the EU neither in terms of product coverage nor of the calendar for tariff dismantlement. In other words, ACP may negotiate a slower liberalisation and even permanently exclude sensitive products. Current WTO rules provide sufficient flexibility for this asymmetric approach. Moreover EPAs will be accompanied by appropriate development support measures to help ACP business operators seize the opportunities provided by market opening (both in the EC and at the regional and international level). Therefore, while EPAs themselves will be mainly trade agreements, what could be called the “EPA process” will be broader and cover issues linked to development policy and support within the Cotonou framework.

Market opening of ACP regions toward the EU will be flexible and asymmetric. ACP countries can protect all sensitive sectors during a transition period that will be negotiated. Even beyond this timeframe, a substantial part of ACP imports could still be protected under safeguard provisions. In the EC view, this should be more than sufficient to cover for example infant industries and sensitive agricultural products. The alternative – lasting and indiscriminate protectionism – would only lead to further marginalisation and provide benefits for a few while incurring high costs for most in the developing countries concerned.

 

Zapytanie nr 57 skierowane przez Witold Tomczak (H-0417/04)
 Dotyczy: Ochrona rynku europejskiego przed napływem produktów rolnych z Azji
 

Chińscy producenci warzyw i owoców zasypują światowy rynek swoimi produktami. Obecnie Chiny stały się największym producentem koncentratu jabłkowego i przecieru pomidorowego. Większość soków jabłkowych i nektarów produkowanych w Unii Europejskiej wytwarzanych jest na bazie koncentratu jabłkowego z Chin i nieodzownej dawki koncentratu z polskich jabłek, nadającego finalnym wyrobom swoisty smak.

Jakie przedsięwzięcia planuje podjąć Komisja Europejska, aby uchronić europejskich konsumentów przed nadmiernym napływem niskiej jakości warzyw i owoców z Chin i wzmocnić konkurencyjność koncentratów otrzymywanych z europejskich, w tym polskich jabłek?

 
  
 

La Commission suit avec attention l’évolution des relations économiques et politiques entre l’UE et la Chine. Ces relations ouvrent des opportunités à l’économie européenne et lancent des défis.

Après l’intégration de la Chine à l’Organisation Mondiale du Commerce (OMC), il faut s’attendre à une augmentation encore plus forte de la concurrence chinoise, surtout sur les produits de base (commodities), comme c’est le cas pour le concentré de pommes et le coulis de tomate.

La réponse à cette situation consiste plutôt à approfondir les objectifs de l’Organisation Commune de Marché (OCM) fruits et légumes. Il s’agit d’améliorer la qualité des produits communautaires à plus forte valeur ajoutée ainsi que des produits de deuxième transformation, et de renforcer la segmentation stratégique (appellations d’origine, produits traditionnels) et le développement de la traçabilité.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 58 του κ. Δημητρίου Παπαδημούλη (H-0418/04)
 Θέμα: Επιχειρησιακό Πρόγραμμα "Κοινωνία της Πληροφορίας"
 

Τα έργα που έχουν ενταχθεί στο επιχειρησιακό πρόγραμμα “Κοινωνία της Πληροφορίας” του Γ' Κοινοτικού Πλαισίου Στήριξης της Ελλάδας, εμφανίζεται ότι έχουν πολύ μικρή απορροφητικότητα. Εξ' αιτίας αυτού του γεγονότος και του “κανόνα ν2”, εκφράζονται ανησυχίες ότι θα υπάρξουν σημαντικές απώλειες κονδυλίων κυρίως σε βάρος σημαντικών έργων του Δημοσίου που έχουν ενταχθεί στο εν λόγω επιχειρησιακό πρόγραμμα.

Έχοντας υπόψη τα ανωτέρω, ποια είναι τα τελευταία στοιχεία που έχει στη διάθεσή της η Επιτροπή για τις δαπάνες του επιχειρησιακού προγράμματος; Σε τι ποσοστό των δεσμεύσεων αντιστοιχεί;

Ποια είναι τα κυριότερα έργα που παρουσιάζουν προβλήματα; Τι μέτρα προτίθεται να λάβει η Επιτροπή σε συνεργασία με την ελληνική κυβέρνηση για την επιτάχυνση της υλοποίησης των έργων;

 
  
 

According to the latest information available at the level of the Commission, the total expenditure under the Operational Programme “Information Society” (O.P.I.S) amounts to 17 percent of the total budget (14,2% for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), 22% for European Social Fund (ESF)).

While the ESF n+2 target for 2004 (having spent on the ground at the end of 2004 at least the amounts committed during the year 2002) has been reached (102,5%), the ERDF n+2 target has as yet not been achieved (67,7% in November 2004). In particular some major projects of Priority 2, such as Syzefxis (Government on line), display delays in the implementation. Regarding the Priority Axis 4, the biggest project of O.P.I.S., which is the creation of the broadband local loops in the regions, has not yet started.

The Commission follows this programme with particular attention. Since 2002 it has drawn the attention of the Managing Authority to the implementation problems, and their possible effects on the n+2 rule (cancellation of the amounts committed in 2002 and still not spent at the end of 2004). The Management Authority has set up a system for a stricter monitoring of the implementation rhythm of the programme and tries currently to speed up certain of its actions.

 

Pregunta nº 59 formulada por Antonio López-Istúriz White (H-0421/04):
 Asunto: Relación UE y Eurorregión Pirineos-Mediterráneo
 

El pasado día 29 de octubre, se constituyó la Eurorregión Pirineos-Mediterráneo (Cataluña, Aragón, Islas Baleares, Midi Pyrénees y Languedoc-Rosellón) como espacio de cooperación entre regiones, especialmente en infraestructuras ferroviarias, aeronáuticas, logísticas, innovación e investigación, y con la voluntad de abrir sus puertas a nuevas regiones.

La eurorregión no tiene ni tendrá contenido político alguno, ya que éste es ajeno al propio concepto de la nueva figura jurídica creada, destinándose sus esfuerzos a la cooperación ya citada.

En este sentido, ¿cuál será el papel que la Unión Europea va a reconocer a dicha Eurorregión? Más concretamente, qué participación se otorgará a la misma en el diseño de las políticas comunitarias y qué capacidad de gestión y de control se le otorgará con respecto a los fondos comunitarios destinados y que se habrán de destinar a la promoción y desarrollo regional, en particular a la Eurorregión Pirineos-Mediterráneo?

 
  
 

Les Eurorégions actuellement établies en Europe ont pour objectif principal la coopération transfrontalière. Elles ont été constituées à la propre initiative des régions et/ou d’autres entités locales appartenant à plusieurs Etats Membres.

Le programme d’initiative communautaire INTERREG III A visant à financer par le Fonds Européen de Développement Régional des activités de coopération transfrontalière pendant la période de programmation 2000/2006 des Fonds structurels communautaires s’applique à des zones de coopération couvrant des régions NUTS III définies à un niveau communautaire. Ces zones peuvent coïncider, ou non, avec des Eurorégions. Dans le respect du principe de la subsidiarité, il appartient aux Etats membres de décider si les Eurorégions existant dans les zones couvertes par des programmes INTERREG III A doivent être impliquées dans la mise en œuvre de ces programmes.

Certaines Eurorégions sont impliquées en tant qu’autorités de gestion ou de paiement ou secrétariats techniques communs de programmes INTERREG III A. D’autres sont impliquées en tant que gestionnaires de sous-programmes ou de mesures d’un programme INTERREG III A ou comme simples points d’information. D’autres enfin servent à l’évaluation de projets.

Dans ce contexte, la nouvelle Eurorégion Pyrénées-Méditerranée pourrait être impliquée, le cas échéant, dans la mise en oeuvre de projets ou de programmes transeuropéens tel que le programme INTERREG III A Espagne-France ou encore d’autres programmes INTERREG III considérés comme géographiquement pertinents.

Pour la prochaine période de programmation 2007-2013, les propositions de la Commission continuent à donner une place essentielle aux principes de partenariat et de subsidiarité. Les États membres, les régions et les autorités locales auront un rôle essentiel dans la définition des priorités stratégiques lors de la programmation et exerceront une responsabilité accrue en ce qui concerne la gestion, le contrôle et l’évaluation des interventions cofinancées par les Fonds structurels. Cette évolution vers une décentralisation accrue se réalisera dans le respect scrupuleux des structures politiques et administratives de chaque État membre.

En ce qui concerne plus spécifiquement la coopération transfrontalière, la Commission a proposé de créer un nouvel objectif d’intervention des Fonds structurels dénommé « Coopération territoriale européenne », destiné à donner un nouvel essor à la coopération transfrontalière, transnationale et interrégionale. La Commission a également proposé la création d’un instrument permettant d’établir, sur le territoire de la Communauté, des groupements de coopération dotés de personnalité juridique. Le recours à ces groupements, qui serait facultatif, permettrait de déléguer des tâches et des compétences spécifiques visant à la mise en œuvre des programmes de coopération transfrontalière cofinancés par la Communauté, notamment au titre des Fonds structurels, ainsi qu’à la réalisation d’actions de coopération transfrontalière à l’initiative des États membres et de leurs régions et collectivités locales, sans intervention financière de la Communauté.

La responsabilité financière des collectivités régionales et locales ainsi que celle des États membres ne serait pas affectée par la constitution de ces groupements, ni en ce qui concerne la gestion des fonds communautaires ni à l’égard des fonds nationaux.

 

Question no 60 by Mairead McGuinness (H-0423/04)
 Subject: Impact of sugar reform on developing countries
 

Does the Commission intend to assess the impact of the proposed EU sugar reform on developing countries which produce sugar, specifically in a country such as Brazil, where a minority group of sugar barons will benefit from the current proposed EU reforms while the majority landless and poor will be further exploited as a consequence of our reform in the EU?

 
  
 

Les différentes options de réforme du secteur sucre présentées dans la Communication de 2003 « parvenir à un modèle agricole durable pour l’Europe par la PAC réformée – les secteurs du tabac, de l’huile d’olive, du coton et du sucre » ont fait l’objet d’une analyse d’impact approfondie élaborée par la Commission, incluant entre autres les impacts possibles sur les pays en développement.

Selon cette analyse, l’option retenue dans la Communication de 2004 « élaborer un modèle agricole durable pour l’Europe grâce à la nouvelle politique agricole commune (PAC) – Réforme du secteur du sucre » comportera certains ajustements dans le secteur du sucre des pays en développement. C’est pour cette raison que la Commission s’est engagée à entamer un dialogue structuré avec les pays ACP signataires du Protocole Sucre sur la base d’un plan d’action qui sera élaboré par la Commission avec des mesures d’accompagnement appropriées dans le domaine des échanges et du développement. Les pays moins avancés dont certains ACP bénéficieront en outre d’un accès illimité au marché communautaire en vertu de l’initiative « Tous sauf les armes ».

 

Pregunta nº 61 formulada por Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra (H-0485/04):
 Asunto: Reforma del sector del azúcar
 

El pasado mes de noviembre, la Comisión Europea anunció su intención de presentar su propuesta de reforma del sector del azúcar en la próxima primavera, después de conocer los resultados del contencioso mantenido ante la OMC con Brasil, Tailandia y Australia. La Comisión anunció también que los Estados miembros podrían tomar una decisión a finales del próximo año.

¿No cree la Comisión que debería esperar el final de las negociaciones en curso de la Organización Mundial del Comercio, antes de tener un cuadro completo de cuál será la situación futura del mercado internacional del azúcar, teniendo en cuenta además el hecho de que la liberalización completa de las importaciones de los países que se benefician del acuerdo "Todo menos armas" no se producirá hasta el 2008? ¿No cree demasiado prematuro proceder a una reforma de ese sector, sabiendo además que las capacidades de exportación de los países más pobres del planeta (PMA) son todavía muy limitadas?

 
  
 

Les différentes analyses effectuées par la Commission depuis 2003 montrent l’urgence d’une réforme en profondeur du secteur du sucre. Il existe d’ailleurs un consensus large sur l’idée qu’il n’est pas possible de maintenir le régime de soutien dans sa forme actuelle en raison du risque certain d’accroissement des importations et donc des excédents structurels au sein de l’Union. Une réforme urgente du secteur s’impose.

Certes, des incertitudes importantes pour l’avenir du secteur du sucre découlent des négociations dans le cadre de l’Organisation Mondiale du Commerce. Aussi il parait opportun d’attendre le résultat définitif du panel sucre qui est en cours pour présenter au Conseil et au Parlement des propositions règlementaires. De plus, la Commission a proposé le réexamen en 2008 des niveaux de prix et de quotas qui figurent dans sa proposition de réforme, afin de tenir compte des développements qui seront constatés d’ici là.

 

Pregunta nº 62 formulada por María del Pilar Ayuso González (H-0491/04):
 Asunto: Reforma del sector del azúcar
 

La Comisión Europea es partidaria la transferencia de cuotas de azúcar en el marco de la reforma de ese sector, lo que constituye una innovación sin precedentes en el ámbito agrícola, con consecuencias que podrían ser nefastas para las regiones menos competitivas de la UE.

¿Qué razones concretas han movido a la Comisión Europea para hacer esta propuesta? ¿Tiene intención el Ejecutivo comunitario de extender esa medida a otros sectores agrícolas regidos por sistemas de cuotas o incluso al sector pesquero? ¿Tiene intención la Comisión de tener en cuenta, dentro de la propuesta de reforma legislativa que presentará en la próxima primavera, el consumo interno de cada país a la hora de proceder al recorte de los cupos de producción, teniendo en cuenta que algunos países como España son deficitarios?

 
  
 

L’adaptation du secteur communautaire aux changements qui interviendront sur le marché du sucre dans un futur immédiat exigera certainement un effort très important de restructuration. Face à cette situation fort particulière du secteur sucre, la possibilité de transfert des quotas entre les Etats membres vise à accompagner ce processus, de façon à permettre la réaffectation de la production sucrière vers les régions les plus compétitives.

En ce qui concerne la distribution de la réduction des quotas entre les Etats membres producteurs, la Commission n’a pas encore pris de position. Celle-ci figurera dans le projet de proposition législative qui sera soumis au Conseil et au Parlement Européen en 2005.

 

Question no 63 by Liam Aylward (H-0425/04)
 Subject: Drug abuse
 

A recent report published by the EU Statistical Office shows that 30% of young people in Europe have been offered drugs other than cannabis. The report also indicates that 10% of young people in Europe who were offered drugs other than cannabis accepted this offer.

Will the European Commission indicate clearly what measures it is seeking to bring forward so as to coordinate the efforts of the EU Member States to tackle increased drug abuse in Europe?

Will the European Commission clearly indicate the budgetary appropriations that are available to it for its efforts to tackle drug abuse in the European Union?

 
  
 

The EU’s first aim is to contribute to a high level of health protection and social cohesion by complementing the Member States’ action in preventing and reducing drug use, dependence, and drug-related harm to health and society. The EU aims also to ensure a high level of security for the general public by taking action against drugs production, cross-border trafficking in drugs and diversion of precursors, and by intensifying preventive action against drug-related crime through effective cooperation embedded in a joint approach.

A Eurobarometer opinion poll carried out in 2002 and 2004 at the Commission’s request on young people (15 to 24 years) in fifteen countries of the European Union, indicates an increase in the facility of obtaining drugs (in particular, in recreational settings) and a small increase in the early consumption of cannabis (29 % in 2002 and 33% in 2004), but a stabilization in the pattern of drug abuse of other substances.

On the basis of the results of the final evaluation of the EU Drugs Action Plan 2000-2004, the Commission will bring forward a Communication on a new EU Drugs Action Plan (2005-2008) early in 2005. The new Action Plan will set out specific interventions and actions to be carried out by the Member States, the Commission, the EMCDDA and EUROPOL. It will cover demand reduction, supply reduction, coordination, information, evaluation and research, and international cooperation.

The Commission Communication on coordination on drugs in the European Union(1) adopted last year stresses that isolated national responses will not suffice in tackling the drugs phenomenon and its impact on collective and individual health and safety. Given that this is a complex, multifaceted problem involving a large number of actors, effective coordination of all involved is necessary. Coordination both within and between EU institutions and the Member States must be improved in order to respond adequately to the social, economic, security-related and health-related problems posed by drug consumption.

One of the key points in any policy is the cost-effectiveness ratio. But it is very difficult to count the expenditure in drugs-related matters. There is no precise definition of what is included, and there are many different types of drug-related expenditure on aspects such as prevention, rehabilitation and health-care, measures against trafficking, organised crime, etc. Expenditure on drugs issues is almost entirely embedded in programmes and budget lines that cover a multitude of subjects and geographical areas. Much of the funding is allocated under different or indirect headings (e.g. the Public Health Programme, Research and Development programme, regional development, the AGIS Programme for police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters etc.).

Reinforcement of coordination within Member States and in the EU could help to produce an estimate at national and European level of public drug-related expenditure, to measure the impact of the initiatives that are taken, and to give the public a clear view of the situation.

 
 

(1) COM(2003)681 final

 

Question no 64 by Brian Crowley (H-0427/04)
 Subject: How the EU takes decisions
 

Mrs Margot Wallström has been appointed as the new Commissioner with special responsibility for bringing forward strategies to explain how EU institutions take decisions and to explain the importance of these decisions.

Can the European Commission indicate clearly what funding is available for this European communication initiative, and can it indicate the practical measures that will be implemented so as to ensure that this initiative is a success in the next few months?

 
  
 

The Commission confirms to the Honourable Member that within the new Commission Mrs Wallström is in charge of communicating strategy. However, this responsibility is not a special one in the sense set out by the Honourable Member. Nevertheless, the fact that Mrs Wallström is at the same time responsible for institutional relations and for constitutional affairs as well as first vice-president of the Commission is a clear signal of the importance the Barroso Commission is placing on communication.

The Commission will prepare its new communication strategy in close cooperation with the Parliament with the aim of submitting it to the European Council of June 2005, as foreseen in the conclusions of the European Council of 4 and 5 November 2004. The funding available will be decided by the Commission in the framework of this new strategy, taking into consideration on the one hand the appropriations available and on the other the nature of the practical measures foreseen.

 

Question no 65 by Seán Ó Neachtain (H-0429/04)
 Subject: The International Fund for Ireland
 

Can the European Commission indicate the amount of aid that the European Union has given to the peace process in Northern Ireland since 1994 via the operations of the International Fund for Ireland, the Interreg Cross-border Initiatives and the European Peace and Reconciliation Fund?

 
  
 

The contribution accorded by the European Union to the peace process of Northern Ireland via the operations of the International Fund for Ireland, the INTERREG Cross Border Initiatives and the European Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE) Programme is as follows:

International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

The European Community has been contributing to the IFI since 1989 with a total contribution of €259 million.

PEACE Programmes

With regard to PEACE Programmes, the Programme's total expenditure for the period 1994-99 was €692 million of which the four Structural Funds contributed to €503 million. For the period 2000-2004 total expenditure is estimated at €708 million, of which the four Structural Funds contribute €531 million.

INTERREG programmes

In what concerns the INTERREG programmes, the situation is as follows:

For the Community Initiative INTERREG II Ireland-Northern Ireland, the programme's total expenditure for the period 1994-99 was €283 million of which the four Structural Funds contributed to €164.5 million.

For the INTERREG IIIA Programme Ireland/Northern Ireland, the EU contribution as far as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is concerned amounts to 134,411,001 euros (programmed for a total budget of 179,214,605 euros (total eligible cost). There is no European Social Fund (ESF) contribution to this programme. The Commission has paid 10,209,962.97 euros to the INTERREG Cross Border Initiative up to 23 November 2004.

 

Interrogazione n. 66 dell'on. Sepp Kusstatscher (H-0434/04)
 Oggetto: Air Alps - aiuti finanziari e effetti distorsivi della concorrenza
 

La compagnia aerea Air Alps Aviation, per le gravi difficoltà finanziarie in cui versa, ha presentato un piano di salvataggio che prevede una ricapitalizzazione con l’aiuto degli enti pubblici territoriali locali: la Regione Trentino Alto Adige ha deliberato la partecipazione al capitale con 1,5 Mil di Euro, la STA s.p.a. (proprietà: Provincia di Bolzano con il 98,48%) dovrebbe partecipare nella misura di ulteriori 3 Mil di Euro. I soci privati (riuniti nell’Alpen Air GmbH) parteciperebbero alla ricapitalizzazione con 1,5 Mil di Euro che - a causa della già deliberata riduzione del capitale a seguito di perdite - porterebbe la loro partecipazione al capitale sociale da un originario 90% al 50%.

Può dire la Commissione se gli interventi finanziari da parte della Regione e della Provincia, attraverso la controllata STA, a favore della compagnia aerea non violino la normativa comunitaria e se possa essere violata la normativa comunitaria anche per gli effetti distorsivi della concorrenza nel settore aereo, visto che Air Alps è presente in diversi altri aeroporti sia nazionali sia di altri Stati membri?

 
  
 

La Commission est informée des graves difficultés financières de la compagnie aérienne Air Alps GmbH. Elle a reçu des indications sur le plan de recapitalisation et le dossier fait actuellement l’objet d’un examen par ses services à la lumière des règles applicables en matière d’aides d’Etat.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 67 του κ. Νικόλαου Βακάλη (H-0442/04)
 Θέμα: Εξαίρεση δημόσιων δαπανών για την έρευνα από το ανώτατο επιτρεπόμενο όριο δημοσιονομικού ελλείμματος
 

Η φιλοδοξία της ΕΕ να μετατραπεί στην πιο ανταγωνιστική οικονομία του κόσμου (Ατζέντα της Λισσαβόνας) επιβάλλει σημαντική αύξηση των κονδυλίων για την ευρωπαϊκή πολιτική έρευνας. Οι δαπάνες για την έρευνα είναι στρατηγικές για την ΕΕ, υπό την έννοια ότι αποτελούν επενδύσεις για την επιβίωσή της σε ένα έντονα ανταγωνιστικό διεθνές περιβάλλον. Όμως, οι διακηρύξεις περί φιλόδοξης ευρωπαϊκής πολιτικής έρευνας δύσκολα συμβιβάζονται με τους περιορισμούς του Συμφώνου Σταθερότητας και Ανάπτυξης (ΣΣΑ), το οποίο απαγορεύει στα κράτη μέλη δημόσιες δαπάνες που να αυξάνουν το δημοσιονομικό έλλειμμα άνω του 3% του ΑΕγχΠ.

Για να υπάρξουν κίνητρα στα κράτη μέλη να διαθέσουν το ποσόν του 1% επί του ΑΕγχΠ ως δημόσια χρηματοδότηση για την πολιτική έρευνας, θα έπρεπε, κατά τη γνώμη μου, το ποσοστό αυτό να μη συνυπολογίζεται στο όριο του 3% επί του ΑΕγχΠ που προβλέπεται από το ΣΣΑ. Συμφωνείτε ότι οι δημόσιες δαπάνες για την έρευνα αποτελούν στρατηγικές δαπάνες υψίστης προτεραιότητας για την ΕΕ και ότι ως τέτοιες δικαιολογείται να εξαιρεθούν από τα κριτήρια του Συμφώνου; Το επιχείρημα ότι μία τέτοια απόφαση θα ανοίξει το δρόμο για σωρεία άλλων εξαιρέσεων (πχ. στρατιωτικές δαπάνες) καταρρίπτεται, δεδομένου ότι η ενίσχυση της έρευνας είναι ένας καταγεγραμμένος ευρωπαϊκός στρατηγικός στόχος, χωρίς καμία αναλογία με άλλους εθνικούς ή ευρωπαϊκούς στόχους.

 
  
 

Enhancing the contribution of fiscal policy to long-term growth is a priority both in the EU fiscal framework and the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs). In this respect, a comprehensive survey by the Commission in the report ‘Public Finances in EMU 2004’ shows that fiscal policy can make its best contribution to growth by (i) avoiding protracted budget deficits and (ii) by redirecting public expenditure towards growth-enhancing items.

In the context of the latter debate there have been calls to exclude public investment (a so-called golden rule), Research and Development (R&D), education, health care and defence from the deficit reference value as specified in the EU Treaty. The Commission, however, considers that a golden rule for investment, or the exclusion of other expenditure items from the deficit calculation, would be inappropriate. First, leaving certain categories of expenditure out of the definition of deficits would, de facto, raise the 3%-deficit ceiling, thus leading to more public debt and higher interest rates in the long run. Sustainability would be more difficult to reach and the objectives of the EU fiscal framework - including its contribution to long-term growth - may be jeopardized. Second, it could be hard to achieve consensus of which expenditures should be left out from the definition of deficits, given that Member States may have very different expenditure needs and given large uncertainties in empirical estimates of growth-enhancing impact. Third, excluding particular items such as public investment or R&D may create an incentive to reclassify public expenditure into those items and does not guarantee that all expenditure labelled as such is growth-enhancing; the wrong investment may be favoured. Finally, from a legal viewpoint, re-defining the concept of deficits to be used in the EU fiscal framework may involve a very complex procedure, since it may require changing either the Treaty Protocol (where the reference value for budget deficits is defined) or the system of national accounts (ESA95).

 

Pregunta nº 68 formulada por María Isabel Salinas García (H-0449/04):
 Asunto: Informe OMC sobre coexistencia de denominaciones de origen (DO)
 

El pasado 18 de Noviembre, la Comisión Europea recibió un Informe de la OMC donde se indicaba que las DO europeas pueden coexistir con marcas registradas de productos elaborados en países extracomunitarios y comercializados con nombres iguales o similares a la DO europea. Si este extremo se confirmara, muchos productos europeos, como es el caso del vino de Jerez y el vino de Málaga, sufrirían una competencia desleal por parte de «productos copia» que, además de incidir negativamente en el mercado europeo, supondría una perdida de poder competitivo para los productos genuinos cuyo atractivo reside precisamente en su elaboración tradicional en origen.

¿Podría realizar la Comisión una valoración sobre el contenido del Informe de la OMC respecto a las DO? ¿Qué posicionamiento está tomando la Comisión en el contencioso mantenido en la OMC por países como Australia y Estados Unidos contra la Unión Europea? ¿Qué medidas concretas va a emprender la nueva Comisión para la defensa de los productos autóctonos europeos y sus indicaciones geográficas?

 
  
 

On 16 November 2004, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel issued its interim reports in a dispute brought by the United States and Australia against EC Regulation 2081/92 on the protection of geographical indications (GI) and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs.

The Commission is currently examining the interim reports, but as they are confidential under WTO rules, it is not possible to comment on their content.

All parties to the dispute have made comments to the panel on the interim reports and the panel is scheduled to issue the final reports confidentially to the parties on 21 December 2004.

The Commission is ready to answer to questions from the Member of the European Parliament once the final reports have been made public, which it is expected to be at the beginning of 2005.

It needs to be recalled that, following incorrect media reports based on leaks, the Commission press services rectified certain elements in order to provide a correct information to the public.

The interim panel reports largely vindicate the EC’s view that the system of GI protection is compatible with WTO rules.

Two key issues were at stake.

First, the US and Australia argued that the EC GI regime discriminates contrary to WTO rules, because it allows registration of GIs relating to areas outside the EU only under certain conditions (notably the conditions of reciprocity and equivalence) which do not apply to registration of GIs relating to areas inside the EC. Throughout this dispute, the EC has made clear that Regulation 2081/92 does not require the condition of reciprocity and equivalence for the protection of geographical indications originating in WTO members. The EU has also repeatedly stated that it would welcome applications for registration in the EC for foreign GIs.

Secondly, the complainants had challenged the EC discipline on the relationship between GI rights and prior trademark rights. The EC has always considered that the coexistence of GIs with prior trademarks as provided for by the Regulation is in conformity with WTO rules.

Despite what could be considered an attempt by the United States and Australia to use the dispute settlement system to divert attention from the need to enhance protection for geographical indications through negotiations, the EC will continue to pursue in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) an agenda for the establishment of a multilateral register for wines and spirits, extended protection to other products and the end of current usurpation of GI names in third countries.

 

Vraag nr. 69 van Anne Van Lancker (H-0450/04)
 Betreft: "Women on waves" (weigering van de Portugese autoriteiten om het "Women on Waves"-schip "Borndiep" toegang te verlenen tot de Portugese territoriale wateren)
 

Hoe ver staat de Commissie in de analyse van de brief van 21 september 2004 waarmee "Women on Waves" officieel een klacht bij haar indiende?

Hoe staat de Commissie tegenover de beschuldigingen van "Women on Waves" dat de Portugese beslissing van 16 september 2004 in strijd is met de VN-Zeerechtconventie, het vrij verkeer van personen (Richtlijn 2004/83/EG(1) art. 27), en het VN-Verdrag inzake burgerrechten en politieke rechten uit 1966 (art. 19(2), 21 en 22)?

Is de Commissie van mening dat de Portugese autoriteiten bij de weigering van toegang tot hun grondgebied uit hoofde van openbare orde, openbare veiligheid en volksgezondheid de algemene principes van de Gemeenschapswetgeving en meer bepaald het evenredigheidsbeginsel en de fundamentele rechten zoals het recht op informatie hebben gerespecteerd?

Wat is het antwoord van de Portugese autoriteiten op de brief van 14 oktober 2004 van de Commissie met het verzoek om meer gedetailleerde informatie over de omstandigheden waarin de Portugese autoriteiten de toegang hebben geweigerd? Welke acties zal de Commissie verder ondernemen?

 
  
 

1. The letter of 21 September 2004 sent to the Commission by ‘Women on Waves’ on the refusal of the Portuguese authorities to permit the Women on Waves ship, the Borndiep, to enter Portuguese territorial waters has been registered as a complaint by the Commission. A first reply on substance was sent to the complainant on 10 November 2004.

As announced by the Commission to the Parliament in its plenary session of 16 September 2004 in Strasbourg, during an oral debate on two parliamentary questions on this incident, a letter was sent to the Portuguese authorities on 14 October 2004 to request further information and their reply has been received on 23 November 2004.

2. The Commission recalls that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 10 December 1982 and in particular Articles 17, 18 and 19 any party to this Convention is entitled to require that a vessel entering its waters limits itself to exercise its right of innocent passage as defined in Articles 18 and 19. According to Article 19 of this Convention, passage by a foreign ship is not considered “innocent” if such ship engages in any activity not having a direct bearing on passage (Art.19(2)(l)). Having said that, it should be emphasised that, even though the European Community is a party to the UNCLOS convention, the matter involved in the present case (measures relating to the exercise of jurisdiction over vessels) falls within those which are left to the competence of the Member States in their quality of parties to the same Convention. In this context, therefore, the Commission would not be entitled to intervene. Any action for alleged violations of the Convention were to be brought before the Portuguese law-courts and would be submitted to the rules and conditions provided for under Portuguese law.

In relation to the alleged violation of the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 and in particular of Article 19.2 on freedom of expression, Article 21 on the right to peaceful assembly and Article 22 on the right of freedom of association thereof, the Commission is not in a position to make an assessment on this point. It falls to international bodies charged with monitoring compliance with international human rights instruments - such as that established by the Covenant - to assess the lawfulness of action carried out by States with respect to such instruments. The same reasoning applies to the alleged violation of international documents concerning reproductive health that have been signed by Portugal.

3. In the letter to the Portuguese authorities the Commission recalled the principles of Community law in connection with free movement of persons. In particular it indicated that Member States can restrict this fundamental right solely where it is justified on grounds of public policy, public security and public health and that where a Member State adopts a measure refusing entry to its territory based on one of these grounds, it must respect the general principles of Community law and in particular the proportionality principle, and fundamental rights, including the right to freedom of information and expression. Member States must also respect the provisions of Council Directive 64/221/EEC of 25 February 1964 on the coordination of special measures concerning the movement and residence of foreign nationals which are justified on grounds of public policy, public security and public health as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Communities. Council Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, referred to by the Honourable Member replaces, among other texts, Directive 62/221. However, Member States have until 30 April 2006 to transpose it into national law. In any event this new Directive does not change Directive 64/221 substantially.

4. The Portuguese authorities have justified their decision on the UNCLOS and on the need to protect public health, safeguard the legal order and prevent abuse of rights. They esteem that the decision was not contrary to Community law on free movement of persons since the members of Women on Waves were allowed to go ashore and Portuguese citizens were permitted access to the vessel. They put forward that if it were to be considered as a restriction of free movement it would still be justified on grounds of public policy and proportionate.

5. On the basis of the above and of the Portuguese authorities reply, the Commission will decide on the follow-up to this official complaint in its next meeting on infringements.

 
 

(1) PB L 304 van 30.9.2004, blz. 12.

 

Zapytanie nr 70 skierowane przez Ryszard Czarnecki (H-0454/04)
 Dotyczy: Korupcji w nowych krajach członkowskich UE
 

Społeczeństwa nowych krajów członkowskich Unii spodziewały się przed akcesją, że obecność w strukturach europejskich automatycznie znacząco zmniejszy korupcję w tych krajach. Czy Komisja dostrzega istotne postępy w walce z korupcją w poszczególnych krajach członkowskich? Chodzi zarówno o prawo antykorupcyjne, jak i jego realną implementację.

 
  
 

The Commission has expressed its commitment to the prevention of, and fight against, corruption in its Communication to the Council, the Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee, “On a Comprehensive EU Policy against Corruption” which it issued in May 2003(1). The Parliament endorsed this Communication in its Resolution of 4 December 2003. Furthermore, the commitment of Member States is evident from the explicit inclusion of organised crime and corruption in the Den Haag Programme, agreed at the European Council of 4-5 November 2004.

As part of the process of accession, the incoming Member States were required to ratify and implement EU anti-corruption instruments(2) and to also implement other existing acquis(3) in this field. This process was closely monitored, and it was clear that significant progress was made in this regard. Further progress is underway, often supported by EU funding and expertise e.g. through the development of twinning projects. At the same time, the efforts of national authorities are augmented by OLAF’s presence and close cooperation with these authorities.

The Commission does not at present have available to it a formal mechanism specifically to monitor general progress in the prevention of, and fight against, corruption in Member States. The Commission’s Communication emphasised the necessity of monitoring and evaluation and highlighted the absence of a genuine monitoring mechanism at EU level, applicable to all Member States. Work to develop a viable option, whether in the form of a separate EU mechanism, participation in the Council of Europe Group of Countries against Corruption (GRECO) mechanism, or a mechanism to evaluate and monitor both EU instruments and the UN Convention against Corruption, is continuing. In the meantime, the Corruption Perception Index published annually by Transparency International, a leading non governmental organisation in this field, is a useful reference point, as are the evaluation reports published by the Council of Europe’s GRECO Group, as part of its monitoring process.

 
 

(1) COM(2003) 317 final of 28.5.2003
(2) Protocol to the EU Convention on the protection of the EC’s financial interests (JO C 313 of 23.10.1996, referred to as “Corruption-protocol”) entered into force on 17/10/2002, to date signed and ratified by all of the 15 old Member States and by three of the new Member States: Lithuania, Latvia and Slovakia.
EU Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union (JO C 195 of 25.06.1997) signed but not yet in force, to date signed by all of the 15 Member States except Luxembourg, and ratified by five new Member States: Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia.
(3) Such as the Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA of 22 July 2003 on combating corruption in the private sector (OJ L 192 of 31.07.2003).

 

Interrogazione n. 71 dell'on. Francesco Enrico Speroni (H-0457/04)
 Oggetto: Uso delle lingue da parte del Presidente Barroso
 

Nei suoi interventi di fronte al Parlamento europeo, così come in occasione della firma del trattato che istituisce una costituzione per l’Europa, l’attuale Presidente della Commissione si è espresso prevalentemente, anziché nella lingua dello Stato membro di cui è cittadino, in francese ed in inglese.

Quali sono le ragioni di tale comportamento discriminatorio nei confronti delle altre lingue ufficiali dell’Unione?

 
  
 

The choice of language by the President of the European Commission when addressing the European Parliament follows entirely practical considerations.

As the President masters both English and French and as these languages are understood by the largest number of the Members of the European Parliament, the President’s use of these language reflects his wish to be understood directly without the help of interpreters.

This should be seen as a pragmatic and polite gesture towards the Members of the European Parliament and not as a discrimination of any of the official languages.

 

Question no 72 by Bill Newton Dunn (H-0458/04)
 Subject: New Director of Europol
 

It is disgraceful - although not to the public, which is blissfully unaware of the situation, because the media are uninterested - that there is currently no Director of Europol, at a time when organised crime is flourishing merrily across our continent, because of a dispute between several Member States about what nationality the new Director should hold.

What is the Commission doing to have an appointment made as soon as possible ?

 
  
 

The Commission first would like to recall that neither the Europol Convention nor the Council Act of 19th of December 2002 amending the Europol Staff regulations foresee any specific role for the Commission in the process of designation of the Europol’s director. This is in the hands of the Europol Management Board where the Commission sits as an observer and in the ones of the JAI Council where the decision has to be taken under unanimity.

After its failure, during the first half of 2004 to agree unanimously on one candidate, the JAI Council of 19th July 2004 has tasked the Management Board of Europol to submit a new opinion to the Council. On the 6th of August the Management Board, through a written procedure, decided to relaunch a new selection procedure. As prescribed in Article 4 (1) of Council Act of 19 December 2002 amending the Staff Regulations applicable to Europol Employees, the advertisement for this post has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU 2004/C 210 A/1 of 20th August 2004) and in other media, including national newspapers and specialised periodicals, to ensure maximum exposure in all the Member States. The deadline for applications was 18th of October (60 days after the publication in the OJEU,as foreseen in the Council Act of 19th of December 2002). The selection committee was set up by the Management Board during its meeting of mid September. A short list of candidates has been prepared by this selection committee that will be submitted to the Management Board in its meeting of 14th and 15th of December 2004. If an agreement is reached there among the members of the Management Board of Europol on a proposal to be made to the Council, a decision could be made by the nearest JAI Council. The Commission considers that this new selection procedure has been organized in the shortest delays that the legal provisions allow.

It has to be mentioned nevertheless that after the departure of M. Jürgen Storbeck, on the 1st of July 2004, the direction of Europol has been assumed by one of the three deputy directors, M. Mariano Simancas, so that Europol has never been left without any direction.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 73 της κ. Ρόδης Κράτσα-Τσαγκαροπούλου (H-0460/04)
 Θέμα: Το μέλλον της ευρωπαϊκής ναυτιλιακής πολιτικής
 

Στα πλαίσια της ακρόασης του κ. Joe Borg, ορισθέντος Επιτρόπου για την αλιεία και τα ναυτιλιακά θέματα, στις 5 Οκτωβρίου 2004, στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, ο νέος Επίτροπος δεσμεύθηκε για την εκπόνηση Πράσινης Βίβλου και για την εγκαινίαση ευρείας διαβούλευσης για το μέλλον της ναυτιλιακής πολιτικής της Ένωσης.

Με βάση τις εν λόγω δεσμεύσεις, έχει καταρτίσει η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή χρονοδιάγραμμα για την επεξεργασία και τη δημοσίευση της Πράσινης Βίβλου; Μια τέτοια διαβούλευση θα συμπεριλάβει, πέραν της συμμετοχής εθνικών κυβερνήσεων, εκπροσώπους των πλοιοκτητών και των εργαζομένων σε όλους τους κλάδους της ναυτιλίας; Αναφορικά με τις μελλοντικές κατευθύνσεις και προτεραιότητες της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής για τη ναυτιλία, ο νέος Επίτροπος θα προβεί σε αποτίμηση της εφαρμογής της υπάρχουσας νομοθεσίας (κοινοτικής και διεθνών συμβάσεων) από τα κράτη μέλη; Πιστεύει ότι προτεραιότητα έχει η άρτια και ορθή εφαρμογή της υπάρχουσας νομοθεσίας που έχει εκπονηθεί από τα κράτη μέλη ή η περαιτέρω λήψη νέων μέτρων όσον αφορά την ασφάλεια και προστασία τόσο του θαλασσίου περιβάλλοντος όσο και των ιδίων των ναυτικών;

 
  
 

The Commission will take all the necessary measures to begin work on the Green Paper early in the coming year. In this context, the Commission confirms that a work programme will be established. It will include the timetable and the modalities for consultation of interested Parties. The Green Paper itself will be the basis for a wide consultation of stakeholders. The Commission will keep the Parliament informed.

 

Question no 74 by Jonas Sjöstedt (H-0461/04)
 Subject: Political responsibility of Commissioners
 

The question of how to define political responsibility was brought to light by the Eurostat affair, especially the distinction between political and managerial responsibility. The former Commissioner for Eurostat did not want to take political responsibility for actions carried out by his staff. At the time, the Commissioner acted contrary to the Code of Conduct of Commissioners and to the report from the ‘Committee of Independent Experts’ which stated clearly that a Commissioner's political responsibility covers ‘persons carrying out tasks which fall within the legal competence of a Commissioner’.

The Commission has subsequently changed the Code of Conduct in order to stress that a Commissioner does not have political responsibility for management. Commissioner Siim Kallas stressed in the written answers for his hearing that he prefers a clear accountability chain, with a Commissioner being fully accountable for the actions of his staff.

Will Siim Kallas, as new Commissioner for Administration, Audit and Anti-Fraud, now take measures to change the Code of Conduct so that Commissioners assume full political responsibility? If not, why not?

 
  
 

In February 2004 the Commission made a series of amendments to the Code of Conduct specifically aimed at reinforcing the rules governing the information flow between the technical and the political level. The objective was, in particular, to identify the precise responsibilities of the respective levels. With regard to managerial issues, these can be summarised as follows: Director-Generals are responsible for routine financial management decisions whilst Commissioners supervise the management of his/her Director-General or Head of Service.

These principles and rules form also an integral part of the Code of Conduct for Commissioners that the new Commission agreed and formally adopted at its session on 24 November 2004 (Document (SEC) 2004 1487).

Against this backdrop, the Commission does not intend to take any initiative to change the Code of Conduct currently in force, because the Commission is of the opinion that the latter already ensures that Commissioners assume full political responsibility.

 

Vraag nr. 75 van Dorette Corbey (H-0467/04)
 Betreft: Controle van schepen met giftige stoffen
 

Op 21 december 2003 heeft het Ethiopische motorschip Andinet onderweg van Antwerpen naar Bremen in een zeer zware storm ten noordwesten van het Nederlandse eiland Texel drie containers en 63 losse vaten gevaarlijke stoffen verloren. De eindverantwoordelijkheid (de Antwerpse haven, de kapitein of de Commissie) voor het overboord slaan van de vaten en de aansprakelijkheid voor eventuele milieuschade is onduidelijk. Welke actie wil de Commissie ondernemen om te verzekeren dat schepen met gevaarlijke stoffen altijd gecontroleerd moeten worden?

 
  
 

On the basis of the information provided by the Honourable Member, the incident, when in December last year a vessel lost dangerous cargoes off the Dutch coast, would not appear to have been due to inadequate safety standards of the vessel itself.

The Commission, through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) established by Council Decision 2001/792/EC Euratom, has been regularly informed by the Dutch authorities on the consequences of the accident, which happened under bad weather conditions.

The stowing of goods, as part of the transport operation of dangerous goods by sea, falls under international rules of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) of the International maritime Organisation (IMO) to which Member States, but not the European Community, are signatories. Equally, the European Community has not incorporated the IMDG Code into the body of Community legislation, although this is not being excluded at some future point.

In view of the above, national rules, based or not on the IMDG Code, apply to the transport of dangerous goods by sea.

Moreover, the monitoring of vessels carrying dangerous substances is covered by Directive 2002/59/EC establishing a Community vessel traffic monitoring and information system which entered into force in February 2004. This text reinforces the obligation for the vessels carrying dangerous goods to report to the competent authorities and foresees the creation of a network for data exchange between the maritime administrations of the Member States.

This network, the so-called SafeSeaNet system, has been developed by the Commission and is now under the responsibility of the European Maritime Safety Agency for its operational implementation. In the case of the vessel Andinet, the European Safety Agency did not signal any problem or dangerous situation as foreseen in the EU legislation.

 

Question no 76 by Caroline Jackson (H-0468/04)
 Subject: The Birds Directive and the decline in famland bird populations
 

Recent scientific evidence (BirdLife International, 2004 Birds in the European Union: a status assessment) shows that populations of farmland birds such as skylarks and lapwings have significantly declined in recent decades. How does the Commission propose to ensure that the objectives of the Birds Directive 79/409/EEC(1) are fully integrated into other policies, in particular the CAP, in order to reverse such decline?

 
  
 

The Commission is aware of the new report of BirdLife International on the status of birds in the EU, having financially supported its production. This latest scientific information has been the subject of detailed discussions at the recent conference on 25 years of the Birds Directive(2) which took place in Bergen-op-Zoom, the Netherlands, in November 2004. The conclusions of this conference highlight the need for further integration of bird conservation concerns into the implementation of EU common policies, including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The Commission has already been working with the Member States and stakeholders on finding better and more effective ways to achieve this objective. In this regard, the introduction of cross-compliance in the 1999 CAP reform followed by its strengthening in the 2003 reform as environmental protection requirements with regard to the market pillar of the CAP, has provided increasing possibilities for Member States to link support payments to the respect of the environment. Cross-compliance has been made a central and obligatory part of the direct support system in the 2003 CAP reform to apply from 2005. The Birds and Habitats(3) Directives are among the legislation to be respected by farmers in receipt of such support. Cross compliance also includes the requirement to maintain land in good agricultural and environmental condition which, if fully used by Member States whose responsibility it is to define this in practice, should also contribute to reversing the decline in farmland birds.

In addition, in keeping with the growing understanding that farming has a wider role than food production, the CAP has been broadened, notably since 1992, to aid the delivery of environmental goals notably in this instance through agri-environment and since 2000 to a broader and planned approach to rural development. Agri-environment support is specifically given for actions going beyond good farm practice. In the Commission’s current proposals for rural development, there are several measures under the axis ‘Land Management’ which provide support for biodiversity both in the context of agri-environment and within the context of NATURA 2000 implementation.

It will be primarily for the Member States to apply these integration measures foreseen under the CAP. The Commission will continue to work closely with the Member States as well as farmers and other stakeholder groups to help achieve this objective. This will include strengthening ways to improve communication and dialogue with farmers and other land managers and owners, authorities and stakeholders in order to promote bird conservation within the new framework of Rural Development and in the context of the European model of multifunctional farming.

 
 

(1) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979
(3) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992

 

Question no 77 by Gay Mitchell (H-0470/04)
 Subject: Common defence policy
 

Will the Commission comment on the work carried out to date by the Commission in preparation for a common defence policy as proposed by the new Constitutional Treaty and anticipated by previous treaties?

 
  
 

The Commission is not in a position to provide an answer to the question raised by the Honourable Member. Indeed, ESDP (European Security and Defence Policy) is managed by the Council in the 2nd Pillar in an intergovernmental mode, and the Commission does not play any active part in it. So, the Commission would suggest that the Honourable Member might put his question to the Council.

 

Question no 78 by Proinsias De Rossa (H-0472/04)
 Subject: Osteoporosis
 

In 1998, the Commission published eight recommendations in the 'Report on Osteoporosis in the European Community — Action for prevention'. Two audits carried out by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) since then reveal that little progress has been made by the Member States on the Commission's recommendations.

What role will the Commission play in response to the IOF's recent call for Council conclusions on the prevention of osteoporosis and related fractures?

 
  
 

The question refers to the role which the Commission will play in response to the call for Council Conclusions on preventing osteoporosis and related fractures that was recently issued by the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

It has to be clarified that the Council decides itself on the issues on which it wants to have conclusions, and that it is not for the Commission to make suggestions here. However, the Commission will support the Council – as well as Member States – in any initiative aimed at preventing this disease, which has a major impact on peoples’ health and quality of life, and furthermore places a heavy burden on healthcare and social systems in Europe.

The Commission is very much aware that osteoporosis is one of the least recognized chronic diseases, despite the fact that one in three women, and one in eight men, will suffer at least one osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime. The promotion of lifestyles which can contribute to prevent osteoporosis – such as physical activity and a balanced nutrition – is amongst my main priorities for the coming years, and a series of activities in this area are under way or about to be launched.

Amongst other actions, the Commission funded a major project coordinated by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, which also involved Members of the European Parliament. Finally, the 2005 Work Plan of the Public health Action Programme will again provide scope for the development of guidelines and best practice recommendations for osteoporosis prevention.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 79 του κ. Γεωργίου Τούσσα (H-0474/04)
 Θέμα: Κίνδυνος ασφάλειας των πτήσεων από ανεξέλεγκτες επιθεωρήσεις πριν από την πτήση
 

Αυξημένος κίνδυνος στην ασφάλεια των πτήσεων προκύπτει από την πρακτική αεροπορικών εταιρειών που, για να μειώσουν το λειτουργικό κόστος συντήρησης και ελέγχου των αεροσκαφών και να αυξήσουν τα κέρδη τους, ανέθεσαν, μετά την απελευθέρωση της αγοράς, σε πιλότους και ανειδίκευτους υπάλληλους τις επιθεωρήσεις των αεροπλάνων πριν από την πτήση (PFI) που απαιτούνται από τον κατασκευαστή.

Παρά τις υποσχέσεις της πρώην Επιτρόπου κ. Loyola de Palacio για τη λήψη μέτρων μετά το ατύχημα της 'Flash Air' στην Αίγυπτο με 143 θύματα, η σημερινή κατάσταση των επιθεωρήσεων είναι ακόμα πιο ανεξέλεγκτη.

Τι μέτρα πρόκειται να πάρει η Επιτροπή για την εξασφάλιση της ασφάλειας των πτήσεων, τον ουσιαστικό έλεγχο των αεροπλάνων πριν από την πτήση από ειδικευμένους μηχανικούς και, γενικότερα, το δικαίωμα στη δουλειά των εργαζομένων στο τομέα των αερομεταφορών;

 
  
 

Les dispositions en vigueur imposent aux compagnies aériennes communautaires le respect de normes de sécurité très strictes. Pour l’instant, les règles opérationnelles en vigueur sont celles établies par les Joint Aviation Authorities. Ces règles prévoient que : l’exploitant doit s’assurer que l’ensemble du personnel affecté à, ou directement impliqué dans, des opérations au sol et en vol a reçu une formation appropriée, démontré ses capacités à assumer les tâches spécifiques qui lui sont assignée, et est conscient de ses responsabilités et du rapport existant entre ces tâches et l’exploitation dans son ensemble.

La Commission a proposé de modifier le règlement (CEE) n° 3922/91 du Conseil relatif à l’harmonisation de règles techniques et de procédures administratives dans le domaine de l’aviation civile(1), afin de renforcer ces mesures et de les rendre obligatoires dans toute l’UE, avec la possibilité d’ouvrir des infractions contre les Etats qui ne les appliqueraient pas. Cette proposition est actuellement en discussion au Conseil et au Parlement et tient d’ailleurs largement compte des amendements adoptés par le Parlement en première lecture.

En ce qui concerne la question plus générale des conditions de travail des travailleurs du secteur des transports aériens, les partenaires sociaux (représentant les employeurs et les employés) disposent, au niveau européen, de l’outil du comité de dialogue sectoriel « aviation civile », enceinte au sein de laquelle ils peuvent discuter et prendre des initiatives conjointes sur les conditions de travail dans le secteur.

 
 

(1) COM(2004)0073/final du 10.2.2004

 

Question no 80 by Mary Lou McDonald (H-0475/04)
 Subject: Human rights abuse involving EU citizens in Colombia
 

Three Irishmen and EU citizens, Niall Connolly, Martin McAuley and James Monaghan, were detained in Colombian jails from August 2001 to April 2004. During that time, their rights were systematically denied, and their lives were in constant danger. President Uribe, the head of the armed forces, and the Attorney-General made prejudicial comments during the detention. In April 2004, Judge Acosta found the three EU citizens innocent of charges of training the FARC. The men have been denied the right to leave the country because the Attorney-General, Luis Camilo Osario – whose human rights record has been documented by international human rights organisations – has appealed against the decision. This is in flagrant violation of the rights of these EU citizens.

What is the Commission's view of the breaches of the rights of these EU citizens, and what is it doing to uphold the rights of these three EU citizens?

 
  
 

As the Honourable Member knows, diplomatic and consular protection is a competence of the EU Member States, and not of the European Community. Article 20 of the EC Treaty only establishes the right to protection by the diplomatic and consular authorities of any Member State, on the same conditions as the nationals of that State, in the territory of a third country where the Member State of which the citizen is a national is not represented.

The Commission therefore invites the Honourable Member to refer this issue to the EU Member State of which these three persons are nationals.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 81 της κ. Διαμάντως Μανωλάκου (H-0478/04)
 Θέμα: Σε κίνδυνο η δημόσια υγεία από διοξίνες στα τρόφιμα
 

Για άλλη μια φορά κινδυνεύει άμεσα η δημόσια υγεία από τα ζώα που εκτρέφονται κοντά σε χωματερές και τα οποία όχι μόνο μολύνονται από μικρόβια και παράσιτα που αναπτύσσονται σε αυτούς τους χώρους αλλά και από τοξικές ουσίες που απελευθερώνονται από τον ενταφιασμό χημιοθεραπευτικών προϊόντων και άλλων τοξικών ουσιών. Το πιο ανησυχητικό όμως είναι ότι αυτές οι διοξίνες εισχωρούν στον ανθρώπινο οργανισμό μέσα από τα τρόφιμα και προκαλούν καρκίνο, αθροίζονται στο μητρικό γάλα των γυναικών που εργάζονται σε βιομηχανικές περιοχές και μεταβιβάζονται στα βρέφη, όπως αναφέρουν επιστημονικές έρευνες που έχουν δημοσιευτεί.

Σκοπεύει η Επιτροπή να πάρει τα απαραίτητα μέτρα για την προστασία της δημόσιας υγείας και του πληθυσμού από τις τοξικές ουσίες τόσο στους χώρους εργασίας όσο και στις περιοχές που βρίσκονται χωματερές;

 
  
 

This recent contamination incident has shown that the European Community has already in place the necessary comprehensive legislation to adequately manage such contamination incident.

Monitoring programs on dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in feed and food have been put in place across the EU. These programs have enabled the Dutch authorities to identify the contamination and to take the appropriate measures to eliminate its source.

Tracing and tracking systems are in place to identify potentially affected companies and farms. The necessary restrictive measures as regards these establishments have been taken to avoid that potentially contaminated feed and food could enter the food chain.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed acted with great efficiency in exchanging the information between competent authorities.

The established EU maximum levels on dioxins played a key role for the management of this contamination incident. Indeed they are a legal tool for taking decisions ensuring protection of public health.

It is in the Commission’s opinion unfortunately not possible through legislation to exclude completely any possibility of contamination of the food chain.

However, it is of major importance for the protection of public health that through monitoring any contamination is detected at a very early stage and that provisions are in place to remove and avoid further contamination of the food chain. Existing EU legislation provides already for this.

Nevertheless, this contamination incident has shown that it is necessary to assess the safety of not only the ingredients of feed and food but also of all products used directly or indirectly in processing of feed and food.

The Food Law lays down that feed and food business operators are responsible for the safety of their products. The Commission will continue to stress this issue with the operators and will monitor the controls carried out under the responsibility of the competent Member States to ensure compliance.

As regards the grazing of animals near landfills, Community legislation has been enacted to ensure that landfills are designed and operated in a way that does not endanger human health or the environment. The Commission is taking all appropriate measures to ensure correct application of this legislation.

 

Question no 82 by Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis (H-0481/04)
 Subject: Proposed reduction of the CFSP budget in 2005
 

The Commission's initial proposals for the CFSP 2005 budget envisage a reduction of EUR 7 million compared with 2004. Does not such an approach by the Commission create confusion, given the EU's stated need to strengthen its CFSP?

Conflict prevention, crisis-management, possible operations in Iraq, Sudan and Congo, the fight against terrorism and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are amongst the declared political goals of the EU. In order to fulfil the EU's political commitments, will not adequate financial resources become necessary next year and not at some time in the future?

Does the Commission consider that the amount of the 2005 budget allocated for CFSP development and peace-keeping operations is sufficient?

 
  
 

Budget 2004 for CFSP (Common Foreign Security Policy)

The CFSP budget for 2004 of €51.5 million proposed by the Commission was slightly above the Financial Programming which provided for an amount of € 50 million. Following meetings between both arms of the budgetary authority (Parliament and Council) an agreement was reached on a CFSP budget of €62.5 million for 2004.

Budget 2005 for CFSP

For 2005 the Commission proposal of € 55 million for the CFSP budget respected the Financial Programming. In other areas of the External relations budget, few reductions from the programming were needed in view of the proposals to finance the reconstruction of Iraq at the tune of € 200 million.

Since these reductions could not provide the full amount to finance Iraq Reconstruction, the Commission also proposed the mobilization of the Flexibility Instrument at the level of €115 million to finance for Iraq reconstruction. Against this background there was no scope to increase the CFSP budget beyond the Financial Programming.

In short, although the CFSP amount proposed by the Commission for 2005 decreased compared to the 2004 CFSP budget agreed by the Budgetary Authority, it respected the Commission’s Financial Programming which foresaw an increase from €50 million in 2004 to €55 million in 2005, while taking into account the tight situation in the external relations budget.

However, in the budgetary procedure for 2005, Parliament and Council have agreed to an amount for CFSP of €62.5 million which this House is asked to confirm in this week’s vote on the budget.

Possible flexibility in 2005 within the CFSP budget

Significant frontloading at the level of €10.5 million is foreseen in connection with certain Joint Actions to take effect from 2005. This is to ensure continuity of operations from 1 January of the following year and to cover the running expenditure of the first months of the year.

An additional increase of the CFSP budget might derive from potential recoveries from previous years CFSP budget.

With the additional budget agreed by the Budgetary authority as well as the front loading operations for 2005 and finally the amounts which might be recovered from previous years budget, the Commission is of the view that there is potentially more flexibility within the CFSP budget for 2005 than may appear at first glance.

In the present circumstances the Commission is therefore of the view that the 2005 budget for the CFSP should be adequately financed to fulfill the EU’s political commitments for 2005 to which the Honourable Member refers.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 83 του κ. Αθανασίου Παφίλη (H-0486/04)
 Θέμα: Άμεση ανάγκη λήψης μέτρων για την προστασία του θαλάσσιου περιβάλλοντος από τη ρύπανση
 

Ο διαρκώς αυξανόμενος αριθμός πλοίων και ο όγκος μεταφερόμενων φορτίων πολλαπλασιάζει τους κινδύνους για τη ρύπανση του θαλάσσιου περιβάλλοντος. Είναι διαπιστωμένη η κραυγαλέα ανεπάρκεια των προληπτικών και κατασταλτικών μέτρων για τους πλοιοκτήτες, τους εφοπλιστές και τους εκπροσώπους τους για την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος. Έχει αποδειχθεί ότι η πολιτική που υπηρετεί τα συμφέροντα του κεφαλαίου και χρησιμοποιεί ως εξιλαστήρια θύματα τους ναυτεργάτες είναι άκρως επικίνδυνη και για το περιβάλλον. Η βελτίωση της ποιότητας των καυσίμων λειτουργίας και πρόωσης των πλοίων, η εγκατάσταση σύγχρονων μηχανημάτων επεξεργασίας, καθώς και η αύξηση του όγκου των δεξαμενών αποθήκευσης των πετρελαιοειδών καταλοίπων που προέρχονται και από τον καθαρισμό των δεξαμενών θα συμβάλλουν στη μείωση των καταλοίπων που ρυπαίνουν το θαλάσσιο περιβάλλον.

Σκοπεύει η Επιτροπή να εισηγηθεί τη βελτίωση της ποιότητας των καυσίμων, την αύξηση του όγκου των δεξαμενών πετρελαιοειδών καταλοίπων στα πλοία, τον καθορισμό λιμένων καταφυγής και τη διασφάλιση χερσαίων υποδομών για την παραλαβή και επεξεργασία των καταλοίπων προκειμένου να προστατευθεί το θαλάσσιο περιβάλλον από τη ρύπανση;

 
  
 

Depuis dix ans, et notamment en réponse aux drames de l’Erika et du Prestige, l’Union a engagé un combat de fond contre la navigation de complaisance et les navires sous normes avec les paquets « Erika I » (mars 2000) et « Erika II » (décembre 2000), complétés par les mesures qui ont fait suite à l’accident du Prestige.

En ce qui concerne la qualité des combustibles la Commission a proposé une directive du PE et du Conseil modifiant la directive 1999/32/CE qui vise à réduire la teneur en souffre des combustibles marins. Cette proposition est également au Parlement pour deuxième lecture et la Commission souhaite que celui-ci puisse prendre une décision sur ce texte le plus rapidement possible.

Afin de réduire les rejets en mer, la Directive 2000/59/CE(1) du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 27 novembre 2000 sur les installations de réception portuaires pour les déchets d’exploitation des navires et les résidus de cargaison, en vigueur depuis le 28 décembre 2002, vise à l’amélioration de la disponibilité et l’utilisation des installations de réception dans la Communauté. La Commission a entrepris, avec l’assistance de l’Agence européenne pour la sécurité maritime (AESM), une évaluation des plans de réception et de traitement des déchets d’un certain nombre de ports de la Communauté. La Commission tirera de cette évaluation les conclusions appropriées en vue de renforcer si nécessaire la disponibilité et l’efficacité des installations de réception portuaires.

L’établissement de plans visant à accueillir des navires en détresse dans des lieux de refuge est prévu par la directive 2002/59/CE(2). La Commission, assistée par l’Agence européenne de sécurité maritime, a suivi la mise en place de ces plans par les Etats membres en organisant notamment des réunions d’experts et une campagne d’évaluation in situ. Sur la base des résultats obtenus, la Commission évalue la nécessité de proposer en 2005 dans le cadre du troisième paquet « sécurité maritime », le renforcement des dispositions cette directive concernant les lieux de refuge.

 
 

(1) JO L 332 du 28.12.2000
(2) JO L 208 du 5.8.2002, p. 10.

 

Question no 84 by Geoffrey Van Orden (H-0488/04)
 Subject: Information campaign with regard to the European Constitution
 

The Commission did not provide a full answer to my Written Question E-2226/04 concerning the amount of funding being provided to promote knowledge of and support for the European Constitution. In particular, given the fact that opinion about the Constitution is divided in so many Member States, what action is being taken to ensure a balance in the funding allocated to the various participants in the public debate? This is not necessarily a party political matter since members of particular political parties frequently have different views on the issue.

What is the amount of funding provided from the EU budget for the promotion of the European Constitution (including books and pamphlets, videos, information notices, seminars for journalists, information days for schools such as 'A Spring for Europe', etc.)?

 
  
 

The Commission is pleased to detail further the intended use of the 4,5 M€ allocated to the "PRINCE-Future of the Union" budget line in 2004 for information products and initiatives concerning the Constitution al Treaty.

According to the latest estimates, the breakdown of this expenditure is as follows:

Printing and distribution of Constitutional Treaty copies and brochures 2.140.000 €

Information panels 460.000 €

Vidéo 150.000 €

Site Web 275.000 €

Miscellanous 135.000 €

Initiative Spring of Europe 605.000 €

Seminars for journalists 620.000 €

Seminar with civil society 100.000 €

TOTAL 4.485.000,00 €

The above mentioned credits are therefore spent on products and services developed by the European Institutions as part of a joint effort to provide citizens with factual information or an access to initiatives of a pluralistic nature. As these initiatives are open to anyone, the Commission does not, therefore have to select or determine who will participate in the activities.

 

Pregunta nº 85 formulada por María Esther Herranz García (H-0489/04):
 Asunto: Reforma del Desarrollo Rural
 

La propuesta de la Comisión Europea sobre la introducción de un fondo único de financiación del desarrollo rural de cara a las próximas perspectivas financieras discrimina claramente el eje dedicado a la competitividad frente al resto de los objetivos del nuevo reglamento que regirá el funcionamiento del segundo pilar de la PAC. La limitación a las pequeñas y micro-empresas de las ayudas para la mejora de las explotaciones, la comercialización y la transformación no sólo mengua considerablemente el apoyo de la Unión Europea al aumento de la competitividad de las empresas agrícolas, sino que pone en riesgo su capacidad futura para hacer frente a la apertura de los mercados. La propuesta excluye de dichas ayudas a las cooperativas, que ya juegan un papel aglutinador de la oferta fundamental en sectores como frutas y hortalizas.

¿Puede explicar la Comisión Europea la razón por la cual excluye en especial a la mediana empresa del beneficio de esas ayudas? ¿Existe algún otro motivo distinto de la búsqueda de un ahorro para el presupuesto comunitario?

 
  
 

The Commission believes that the proposal for a Council Regulation on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (COM[2004]490 final) is balanced and does not discriminate against the axis relating to the agricultural competitiveness.

The proposed rate of 15% for this axis within the total EU funding for the programme represents a minimum. Member States can programme up to 60% of their total EAFRD allocation per rural development programme for the competitiveness axis, while still respecting the minimum rates for the other two axes.

As for the limitation of support to micro and small enterprises in the processing and marketing sector, the evaluations of support to processing and marketing show that bigger enterprises, which were granted investment aid, would have made these investments in many cases also without support. Focusing the support on the smaller enterprises, which often have less easy access to the capital market can reduce this “deadweight” effect.

 

Question no 86 by Karin Riis-Jørgensen (H-0490/04)
 Subject: Postal services
 

The Commission's recent decision to initiate an infringement procedure against Germany with regard to its postal legislation is a welcome effort to challenge the scope of postal monopolies in Europe.

The EU Postal Directive (Directive 2002/39/EC(1) of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 97/67/EC(2) with regard to the further opening to competition of Community postal services) clearly states that postal services may be reserved to the 'extent necessary to maintain the universal service obligation'. As the Commission found, German national legislation seems to go beyond that objective, enabling Deutsche Post to abuse its dominant position and thereby prevent other providers from entering the market.

What specific action can the Commission take to curtail the dominant position of national postal operators like Deutsche Post which results from a monopoly larger than what is deemed necessary, limit Deutsche Post's acquisitions spree and require it to reallocate its funds to the genuine provision of public postal services?

 
  
 

The question of the Honourable Member raises two issues. The first concerns the extent of the postal monopoly in Member States, in light of the provisions of Directive 97/67, as amended.

The application of the provision of the Postal Directive referred to in the question should be seen in the context of other provisions of this Directive, in particular, of the harmonised timetable for a gradual and controlled opening up of the letters market to competition that the Council and the Parliament set forth therein.

Any decision regarding the extent of reservation required for ensuring the maintenance of the universal service involves an appraisal of economic facts and conditions which are both complex and liable to change. Member States enjoy for these reasons an important degree of discretion in regulating this matter.

In this context, the extent of the actual reservation of the different Member States compared to the Directive’s requirements should also be taken into account. In particular, the reserved area for certain postal items by weight in Germany has been, and still is, smaller than the maximum area allowed for in the Postal Directive and full opening of the market is set in advance of the proposed Community timetable.

In this respect the recent Commission Decision mentioned by the Honourable Member (Decision of 20.10.2004 on the German postal legislation relating to mail preparation services) was aimed at preventing the abuse of the dominant position by the German universal service provider which was incited by the German legislation, as applied by the German authorities, as well as to ensure the respect of the reserved area as set in Directive 97/67/EC, as amended.

The second issue raised by the Honourable Member’s question concerns the possible use of revenues originated in the reserved area for a purpose other than the financing of the universal postal service. In this respect the Commission will apply competition rules in cases of apparent abuses of dominant positions resulting from cross-subsidisation of activities in separate markets and, more generally, in cases in which universal service providers abusively leverage their market power into markets open to competition.

National competition authorities, which are under an obligation to apply EC competition rules to abusive behaviour contrary to Article 82 EC, are also active in monitoring and, if need be, bringing to an end dominant operator’s behaviour. The Commission works in close contact with National Competition Authorities within the context of the procedures laid down in Council Regulation N° 1/2004 concerning the European Competition Network.

Furthermore, national authorities in the postal field are required by Directive 97/67, as amended, to ensure that a proper internal cost accounting system has been introduced to monitor and prevent the existence of cross-subsidies between the reserved area and activities under competition which may result in competitive distortions.

 
 

(1) OJ L 176, 5.7.2002, p. 21.
(2) OJ L 15, 21.1.1998, p. 14.

 

Interrogazione n. 87 dell'on. Marta Vincenzi (H-0492/04)
 Oggetto: 60° anniversario fine Seconda Guerra Mondiale
 

Nel corso del 2005 ricorre il 60° anniversario della fine della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, evento di portata internazionale che ha segnato in maniera indelebile la storia dei paesi europei. In quegli anni, nei singoli stati, sorsero movimenti di liberazione che lottavano contro l’invasione nazifascista. I valori di democrazia, di libertà, di rispetto per l’individuo alla base di quei movimenti sono oggi i valori fondanti dell’Unione Europea.

Considerato che l’Unione Europea promuove il dialogo, la comprensione e la collaborazione all’interno dell’Unione e considerato che l’Unione Europea promuove lo sviluppo di progetti interculturali a livello regionale, come pensa la Commissione di cogliere l’opportunità offerta dal sessantesimo anniversario per favorire, in materia di audiovisivi, progetti provenienti dalla collaborazione di diversi territori volti a rinnovare la memoria comune di quel periodo?

 
  
 

L'honorable parlementaire demande à la Commission de quelle façon elle compte soutenir, à l'occasion du soixantième anniversaire de la fin de la Seconde guerre mondiale, des projets audiovisuels visant à raviver le souvenir de cette période de l’histoire européenne.

Dans le domaine spécifique du soutien aux projets audiovisuels, la Commission compte lancer, au premier trimestre 2005, un appel à propositions, dans les 25 États membres, visant à subventionner des programmes radiodiffusés et télédiffusés ayant un contenu européen. Dans ce cadre, il sera loisible aux candidats ­ et groupements de candidats, notamment trans-régionaux ­ de soumettre des projets portant sur cette commémoration.

Par ailleurs, un autre appel à propositions, visant à "commémorer et préserver la mémoire des victimes des camps de concentration et d'extermination et autres lieux de martyre de civils à grande échelle", à "faire mieux comprendre aux générations actuelles et futures le pourquoi et le comment de ce qui s’est passé dans les camps" et à "améliorer la connaissance et la diffusion de l’histoire des peuples européens pendant cette période", est en cours de finalisation(1).

 
 

(1) Décision 792/2004/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 21 avril 2004 –"Soutien aux organismes culturels - Volet 3 - de la " protection et commémoration des principaux sites et archives ayant un lien avec les déportations, que symbolisent les mémoriaux érigés sur les sites des anciens camps et autres lieux de martyre et d'extermination à grande échelle de civils, ainsi que la conservation du souvenir des victimes sur ces sites".

 
Jogi nyilatkozat - Adatvédelmi szabályzat