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Debates
Thursday, 14 April 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

19. Explanations of vote
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  President. – All the explanations of vote are in writing.

(The sitting was suspended at 12.45 p.m. and resumed at 3 p.m.)

Report: Morillon (A6-0050/2005)

 
  
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  Carlshamre and Malmström (ALDE), in writing. (SV) Despite some good efforts, current fisheries policy still involves the EU buying the right to misuse the natural resources of the poor. It is a modern form of colonialism. Genuine reform of fisheries policy is required, together with a totally changed view of our relationship with poor countries. We have therefore chosen to vote against the above-mentioned report in its entirety.

 
  
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  Goudin and Lundgren (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) Mr Kuhne’s report deals with the European Security Strategy, and Mr Brok’s report deals with the Common Foreign and Security Policy. We are voting against both these resolutions in their entirety because they are aimed at further militarising EU cooperation and turning the EU into a major power speaking with a single voice in international contexts. This development would lead to the EU being given substantial resources that could be made better use of by other organisations.

We believe that the OSCE and the Council of Europe should be given priority in conflict prevention work at European level. On a global scale, the UN - with its importance, experience and legitimacy - is best suited to this work. The UN should also have the main responsibility for global disarmament and for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The UN should also be guaranteed resources for military crisis management.

There are no reasons for lifting the arms embargo against China, because demands regarding human rights are not being complied with. Encouragement should be given to the strict control of Sweden’s export of munitions.

We are opposed to Mr Brok’s call for the immediate implementation of the proposals in the EU Constitution designed to strengthen the EU’s defence and security policy, despite the Constitution not having been approved in all the countries and thus not having formally come into force. It shows amazing arrogance towards Europe’s voters.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) As we have repeatedly stated, the need to preserve fish stocks must be compatible with the needs of the populations whose livelihoods depend on fishing and the needs of industries associated with fishing. As well as this clear need for compatibility, the medium and long-term sustainability of fisheries must be guaranteed. Yet it must also be guaranteed in the short term.

Whilst this particular issue will not affect Portugal directly, it does have parallels with similar situations in which Portugal’s interests are at stake. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
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  Wijkman (PPE-DE), in writing. (SV) The Commission’s proposal is aimed at getting to grips with unduly high fishing mortality rates and the problems of obtaining adequate reproduction in these areas. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea showed, for example, in its report that fishing mortality rates had led to the quantities of mature Southern hake and Norway lobster in the Cantabrian Sea and Iberian peninsula being so low that stocks were no longer being replenished through reproduction and were now threatened with collapse. There is no reason for doing what the Committee on Fisheries has successfully done and voting in favour of watering down the Commission’s proposal at a time when the Commission is no doubt taking measures to get on top of the problems. Genuine reform of fisheries policy is required, together with a totally different view of our relationship with poor countries and of what constitutes a sustainable use of our natural resources. I have therefore chosen to vote against the two above-mentioned reports.

 
  
  

Report: Krahmer (A6-0004/2005)

 
  
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  Estrela (PSE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Krahmer on the proposal for a directive on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their re-usability, recyclability and recoverability, for the following reasons:

Firstly, the directive attaches importance to the environment. According to the proposal, at least 85% by mass of any vehicle should be re-usable and/or recyclable, and at least 95% by mass of any vehicle should be re-usable and/or recoverable. Otherwise, the model in question cannot be placed on the market.

Secondly, the directive provides constructors and the type-approval authorities with a reasonable amount of time to carry out compliance checks on the 600 or so types on the market, a period that takes into account the car industry’s normal production cycles.

 
  
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  Marques (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) I wish to congratulate Mr Krahmer on his important report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their re-usability, recyclability and recoverability and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC. I support the report, in particular the guarantees provided by car manufacturers as regards the ‘re-usability’, ‘recyclability’ and ‘recoverability’ of their cars.

Following the Lisbon Strategy, the EU must not overlook environmental policy. In this regard, one must agree that the manufacturer has a duty to prove that the vehicle concerned is environmentally friendly and to provide disposal firms with a detailed description of a recycling strategy. Measures such as Member States appointing type-approval authorities to check whether cars are environmentally friendly, and the provision of a longer period in which to implement this directive, 54 months, will ensure that this directive will be properly transposed and that the car industry will be prepared for the entry into force of this Community initiative.

 
  
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  Martin, David (PSE), in writing. I welcome the aim of these proposals to help reduce waste and provide information for consumers. These proposals reinforce good practice already established in the UK where around 75% of the two million cars and vans reaching the end of their lives are traditionally recovered or re-used. However, I have some reservations about the benefits of applying the design standard to existing vehicle types, in which case the economic and administrative burden may outweigh the environmental gain.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) There is concern about the damage to the environment caused by the inexorable rise in personal car use. This has given rise to initiatives such as the one before us, aimed at reducing adverse effects by improving conditions for recyclability, re-usability and recoverability.

Given the adoption of amendments intended to make this proposal for a directive more workable, regarding the date of its entry into force, for example, I voted in favour.

 
  
  

Report: Miguélez Ramos (A6-0051/2005)

 
  
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  Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We are disappointed that our amendments to the regulation before us were rejected, the purpose of which was to safeguard the present and future of fishermen, of fisheries and of this sector’s vital role in our diet, particularly in Portugal.

We are compelled to condemn as an act of hypocrisy the fact that Parliament has accepted the inclusion of socio-economic measures aimed at ‘mitigating’ the socio-economic effects of these plans, while there is no legal guarantee of Community funding and the recovery plans are not dependent on the existence of these socio-economic measures.

This was precisely the thrust of our amendments: to implement socio-economic measures that would fully compensate the fishermen’s loss of income, so that fishing would have a future.

Unlike those who see the scrapping of vessels as a way of making easy money in the short term, without a view to guaranteeing the sector’s future and disregarding the fact that many fishermen will lose their livelihoods, we are seeking to guarantee the future of fishing.

Given the problem of sustaining certain stocks of Southern hake and the need for their recovery, the fishermen affected must be fully compensated for the loss of income following the paralysis of their fleets. In that way, we will meet the prime objective, which is the future of fisheries.

This is why we do not support the report before us.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) I support the report before us in the form in which Parliament received it, because it strikes the balance sought by Portugal and jeopardised by the initial proposal, which laid down a range of measures that would have been damaging to national interests, especially in the short term, without sufficient justification.

Now that that balance has been struck, I voted in favour.

 
  
  

- Balkans (B6-0094/2005)

 
  
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  Goudin and Lundgren (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) We are in favour of Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Albania being more closely associated with the EU. Once these countries fully comply with the Copenhagen criteria, they should become members. That would be a natural development of the enlargement of the EU begun with the ten new members in May 2004. We are opposed, however, to strengthening the EU’s foreign policy, which is in many respects the aim of the resolution.

 
  
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  Howitt (PSE), in writing. The European Parliamentary Labour Party strongly supports the work being carried out tirelessly by Lord Ashdown, the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course, we would wish that the functions of the office of the High Representative are gradually incorporated into sovereign domestic institutions. However, in the interim period, It is vital that the High Representative retains the right to use the powers expressed in his mandate when the circumstances require it.

 
  
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  Meijer (GUE/NGL), in writing.(NL) Ever since the early 90s, there has been an issue surrounding the name of Greece’s northerly neighbour. Three northern Greek provinces bear names with Macedonia in them, and it also plays a role in Greece’s ancient history. In the neighbouring country, the resistance movement against the Ottoman Empire before 1912 also used the name Macedonia, and that also became the name of Yugoslavia’s southern federal state between 1945 and 1991. It would be obvious to use this self-selected constitutional name ‘Republic of Macedonia’ generally.

Although every state chooses its own name without interference from other states or international bodies, attempts are still being made here from the outside to impose a different name in which only the last letter is indicative of the real name. If we were to condone this, then Luxembourg would no longer be allowed to be called Luxembourg, because there is the south-eastern Belgian province of the same name. Meanwhile, Macedonia has been recognised under its real name not only by the US, Russia and China, but also by Slovenia, which is an EU Member State, and by Bulgaria, which will one day be one. If the EU were to continue to refer to Macedonia by a different name, that would amount to unfair and discriminatory treatment meted out to what may one day be one of its Member States.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) In its neighbourhood policy, the EU must pay close attention to the Balkans, because we must monitor closely the development of countries moving towards various integration processes, and because experience of the recent past has taught us that peace cannot always be taken for granted in Europe.

Now that a number of years have gone by since the conflict was at its worst, the Balkan countries are slowly but surely following a path that should give us cause for satisfaction, albeit tempered by the knowledge that much remains to be done. Let us emphasise, however, that, looking back at the past, we must feel pleased and that, happily, looking into the future, we can feel hopeful.

 
  
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  Toussas (GUE/NGL), in writing. – (EL) The European Parliament resolution on the western Balkans expresses the more general move of the USA and the EU towards new border changes, the competition between them to divide up the area and the EU's attempts to annex it to Euro-transatlantic structures. The push for the independence of Kosovo, the discussion of the revision of the Dayton accords and the reference to functional problems in Serbia-Montenegro confirm the new cycle of border changes. However, setting such developments in motion will create a serious situation in the Balkans, which may turn into an explosive situation as a result of the more intense fight between the imperialists to control and divide up the area. The Balkan people have already paid with death and destruction for border changes as a result of imperialist interventions and wars by the USA, NATO and the EU. Consequently, Greece as a country, its people, and the other peoples are not safeguarded under any Euro-transatlantic agreements. There is an immediate and urgent need to strengthen the common fight of the peoples against the ΕU, the USA and ΝΑΤΟ which, among other things, are the main parties responsible for the tragic situation which the Balkan people are experiencing.

 
  
  

Report: Brok (A6-0062/2005)

 
  
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  Fotyga (UEN), in writing. The majority of this brilliant text is related to provisions of the Constitutional Treaty. I consider this step premature and undermining the sole competence of the Member States in pushing still undecided adoption of the Treaty. Therefore I vote against the report.

 
  
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  Howitt (PSE), in writing. The European Parliamentary Labour Party fully supports reform of the UN Security Council, in order that it better reflects today's world, and also supports improvements in the way that the EU speaks at the UN. However, it is inappropriate to talk of an EU seat, as the UN Charter does not allow for organisations such as the EU to become members. We would not wish to prejudge the outcome of the Intergovernmental Conference.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) When we adopt this report, among the various ideas of major importance, we must not overlook the importance of combating terrorism as one of the central planks of the EU’s common foreign and security policy. Dialogue with third countries, international cooperation and the implementation of the 2004 EU/US Declaration are crucial factors in this regard. Against this backdrop, it is essential that we share with our Atlantic allies an awareness of the serious nature of the threats hanging over the free world.

 
  
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  Wijkman (PPE-DE), in writing. (SV) In general, I support the development of the common foreign and security policy. In certain crisis situations, it is natural to use both military and civil resources. At the same time, it is important that humanitarian principles should not be watered down and that humanitarian operations should not be used for military purposes (something that has unfortunately happened in Iraq and Afghanistan).

It is also important to ensure that resources intended for long-term development cooperation are not used for other purposes. For these reasons, I have chosen to abstain because the wordings of both paragraphs 45 and 46 can offer scope for arbitrariness regarding these aspects.

 
  
  

Report: Kuhne (A6-0072/2005)

 
  
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  Marques (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this report on the European Security Strategy (ESS), which for the first time provides a detailed definition of the concept of security. The ESS sees security as a prerequisite for development and focuses on factors that had not thus far been considered fundamental to security. In this regard, among the main threats to global security, it highlights the destructive power of poverty, malnutrition and disease.

The ESS lays down three strategic objectives. The EU must be capable of, firstly, identifying threats and taking swift action by military as well as non-military means; secondly, promoting security within its immediate border areas, but also those of the future; and, lastly, strengthening the international order.

I should like to emphasise, however, that the EU has serious shortcomings in terms of military means that may hinder its ability to carry out high-intensity humanitarian missions. The EU must be equipped with the technological wherewithal to assess potential threats.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) Whilst I welcome the fact that this report raises issues that are of immediate importance, it does not dispel my objections to the original document on which it is based.

By contrast with what one might expect from a document of this nature, the time spent on identifying threats is kept brief and questions requiring thorough analysis are summed up in short paragraphs, whereas the document devotes much attention to the ways in which to press the European Security Strategy into service. Either the EU knows very well why it wants these resources – and the reason is not mentioned here – or it does not know why it wants them, but knows that without those resources it has no clout.

Either way, we must express our concern at the lack of depth and substance, by contrast with similar documents drawn up by our allies.

 
  
  

– Doping in sport (B6-0215/2005)

 
  
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  Goudin and Lundgren (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) We see the fight against doping in sport as a very important issue. It is so important that, in each and every one of the Member States, it needs to be handled by the national parliament. We do not view sport and athletics as issues for the EU.

We demand, however, that each Member State should have effective control of the EU’s external borders and combat the trade in illegal substances.

Citation E of the motion for a resolution states that the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe provides an appropriate legal basis for drawing up and implementing Community action in the field of sport.

One of the reasons for opposing the draft Constitution for Europe is precisely that, absurdly, it regulates matters that the Member States themselves should decide about.

We are therefore voting against this resolution.

 
  
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  Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) ‘Doping’ in sport is a multifaceted public health issue that concerns everyone, especially those directly involved – sportsmen and sportswomen.

The need to reach certain levels and achieve certain results, imposed by economic – sometimes colossal sums of money are involved – and political interests and mechanisms, which fly in the face of what ought to be the true values and aims of sport, fosters the use of a whole range of illicit substances that are often harmful to the health of sportsmen and women.

Sport should be seen not as a highly profitable money-making scheme for the benefit of a few, but as an educational, cultural and social activity that plays a key role in every aspect of a person’s physical, psychological and social makeup.

Among other measures, an educational and preventative policy must be introduced intended to encourage the healthy physical exercise of playing sport, starting during childhood and continuing throughout a person’s life.

 
  
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  Mann, Thomas (PPE-DE), in writing. (DE) I fully endorse the motion for a resolution on ‘Doping in Sport’. Over a decade ago, I was myself an active weightlifter, although I never, unfortunately, managed to achieve that bodybuilder’s dream figure that was so much in favour with women. Today, I am glad that I took only lots of protein, and never clenbuterol or anabolic steroids.

Both amateurs and professionals who dope themselves in the hope of finding sponsors, or financial support, and thereby perhaps fame, pay a high price for it. So often, what was then a star body is now not something you would want to look at.

The IOC’s World Anti-Doping-Agency, which organises intensive research and the monitoring and listing of prohibited substances has acted late in the day, but not too late. Last year, Germany’s national anti-doping agency carried out 8 000 inspections of training camps and competitions. In future, doping tests are going to be carried out at 20% of all UEFA competitions.

We need common international standards if monitored athletes are not to be put at a disadvantage in comparison to those who have not been adequately tested. What is needed is for those who manipulate the winning of their medals and prizes for the sake of profit or fame to be socially stigmatised for it. Only if sport is doping-free does it deserve recognition, and only if they are clean are sportsmen real examples to others.

 
  
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  Martin, David (PSE), in writing. I welcome this resolution drawing attention to the problem of doping in sport. The number of doping incidents over the 2004 Olympic Games again demonstrates the need to combat this very real problem.

The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe provides an appropriate legal basis to draw up and implement Community action in the field of sport. Therefore we have the legal means to protect not only increasingly pressurised sport professionals, but also the countless minors and amateurs vulnerable to doping in sport.

I particularly welcome the call for the Commission to support a sustained information campaign in order to establish an effective prevention policy. It is also important for Member States and the Commission to co-operate closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Council of Europe and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a way which enables the European Union to act effectively with regard to the prevention and control of doping.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) By voting in favour of this resolution I am sharing the concerns as regards the use of drugs in sport, because it debases everything that sporting competition should stand for and because of the public health issues. Without prejudice to the rules on subsidiarity, it is clear that there is a level of intervention at which it would make sense for the Union to take action that, most importantly, might prove effective.

 
  
  

– Cultural diversity (B6-0216/2005)

 
  
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  Goudin and Lundgren (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) We see this as an issue between the Member States and Unesco, even though the Council of Ministers has authorised the Commission to negotiate on the EU’s behalf regarding those parts of Unesco’s draft document that come within the EU’s competence. We do not believe that these issues should be for the EU to deal with.

It is patently absurd that the EU should speak with one voice for 25 Member States on issues concerning the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions.

We have therefore voted against this resolution in the final vote.

 
  
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  Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We acknowledge the importance of this Committee on Culture and Education initiative on the convention on protecting the diversity of cultural goods and artistic expression, given the importance of preserving and promoting cultural diversity and on the current negotiations at Unesco, particularly during the current fresh round of talks at the World Trade Organisation, which, under pressure from the large financial and economic groups, would prefer to liberalise all markets and put almost everything up for sale.

The creation of an international instrument in this area will help to consolidate the sovereign and cultural rights of people and countries and foster the development of public policies on international cooperation, and will ensure that cultural products will not be considered merchandise and put at the mercy of free trade and that the citizens have a fundamental right to access to a wide range of cultural goods.

Against this backdrop, it is essential to highlight the crucial role played by the public services in safeguarding, supporting and developing cultural identity and diversity, in guaranteeing pluralism and in ensuring that all citizens have access to content and knowledge.

Consequently, we must also acknowledge the importance of public funding and the determination on the part of the Member States to provide such funding.

 
  
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  Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) If there are areas in which subsidiarity makes perfect sense, one of those areas, as I have said on many occasions, is culture. This is without prejudice to all efforts aimed at, inter alia, cooperation, co-production experiments and Community programming, and without prejudice to international efforts, which should be channelled into ensuring effective diversity in cultural content and artistic expression. In so doing, we must always ensure that creative freedom, one of the prerequisites of such diversity, is not undermined.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: MR VIDAL-QUADRAS ROCA
Vice-President

 
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