Full text 
Procedure : 2005/2085(INI)
Document stages in plenary
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Debates :

PV 17/01/2006 - 6
CRE 17/01/2006 - 6

Votes :

PV 17/01/2006 - 7.8
CRE 17/01/2006 - 7.8
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Verbatim report of proceedings
Tuesday, 17 January 2006 - Strasbourg OJ edition

8. Explanations of vote

- Brok report (A6-0002/2006)


  Roberta Angelilli (UEN), in writing. – (IT) The Alleanza Nazionale delegation to the European Parliament abstained on the Brok report because it considers the following points to be indispensable prerequisites for Croatia’s accession to the European Union:

1. To call for the suspension of EU accession negotiations for so long as the Croatian authorities maintain their ban preventing Community citizens of Italian nationality from having access to the property market, in clear contradiction of the principles of the acquis communautaire;

2. To call for full compensation for the property confiscated from the thousands of citizens of Italian origin expelled from Croatian territory since 1946, as a condition for Croatia’s accession;

3. To call on the Croatian authorities to accept their responsibility, now historically proven and documented, for the deportations, atrocities, massacres and ethnic cleansing perpetrated against thousands of people of Italian origin by the Communist regime since 1946.


- Barón Crespo report (A6-0398/2005)


  Glyn Ford (PSE), in writing. As the rapporteur in the last Parliament on the issue of relations with the Republic of Korea in the field of science and technology, I recognise the importance for Europe of relations with this growing economic power in Asia. I therefore welcome this report and I support it extending as it does our framework trade and cooperation agreement to the new Member States of the Union. We now have the mechanism in place for a growing partnership between the EU and the Republic of Korea. The important thing now is to use it.


- Seppänen report (A6-0407/2005)


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this report before us, in view of the issues it raises, namely the true financial extent of the difficulties facing the Maldives following the tragedy of just over a year ago, quite apart from all of the country’s previous problems, and Parliament’s responsibility in this area, in technical terms, which differs from that of the financial institutions.


  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE), in writing. It is clear, and I hope uncontroversial, that the Maldives should be included in the list of countries eligible for aid in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster of 2004. I was glad to support this move and hope that we can move as quickly as possible to provide useful practical aid to the country.


- Catania report (A6-0411/2005)


  Frank Vanhecke (NI). – (NL) Mr President, the Catania report on citizenship of the Union, which we voted out a moment ago, can claim to be one of the most undoubtedly incoherent and ill-considered texts that this House has ever produced, which is saying something. The long and short of it was that it granted the general right to vote for all elections to everyone who happens to be on our territory more or less legally. Willingness to integrate did not come into it, any more than did language command or conditions of nationality. In short, the aliens were accorded all rights, but no duties.

This was indeed madness. This was the work of a handful of blinded ideologists who refused to recognise the reality of the totally failed multi-cultural model. Moreover, the sovereignty of our Member States was fundamentally damaged in this report. State citizenship and all associated rights, including the right to vote, must remain an exclusive competence of the Member States. Europe should not interfere in this. We had every right, and reason, to reject this idiotic report.


  Luciana Sbarbati (ALDE).(IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to express my extreme bitterness at the fact that the Catania report has not been adopted by Parliament. Sometimes progressive trends can be seen in Parliament, while at other times decidedly conservative trends prevail.

My deepest regret is that my own group was divided on the vote on this report, which should have been accepted in the most genuine spirit of liberalism. It is true that European citizenship is ‘work in progress’ and is additional to citizenship of one of the Member States, but it is a goal that we should be striving to attain through political actions. In doing so, Europe must endow itself with the dignity it deserves, and it must attempt to interpret as well as it can the new needs and rights of citizenship, which emerge in any case even before the law can take account of them.

While explaining my regret at the rejection of the report, I should also like to express, therefore, my total solidarity with Mr Catania, as I have collaborated with him and support him on the amendments as well.


  Agnes Schierhuber (PPE-DE). – (DE) Mr President, I have a declaration of vote to make on behalf of the delegation of the Austrian People’s Party.

We believe that the Catania report on the Commission’s fourth report on citizenship of the Union completely missed the point. At a time when the vast mass of the population take a sceptical view of much of what goes on in the EU, the issue of citizenship of it needs to be addressed with some seriousness. It is lamentable that this report does no more than discuss the situation of immigrants and has nothing to say about the needs of Europe’s citizens. Let me make it quite plain that those who want to enter the European Union from third countries, namely as immigrants or asylum seekers, deserve to be taken far more seriously and treated with much more respect than they are by this report, and it is for that reason that we have voted against it.


  Bairbre de Brún (GUE/NGL), in writing. My party strongly supports measures which assist the upward harmonisation of human and civil rights for all citizens of Member States. I strongly endorse those elements of the Catania report which sought to raise the issue of migrant workers' rights, particularly their civil and political rights to citizenship and electoral participation.

Sinn Féin strongly believes that migrant workers should have full access to civil and human rights and that Member States should have a fair and equality-focused process of naturalisation for those migrant workers who choose to avail themselves of such mechanisms.

I abstained in the final vote on Giusto Catania's report on the Commission's Fourth report on Citizenship of the Union (A6-0411/2005) on the basis that Sinn Féin policy regards issues of citizenship, elections and political participation as matters whose primary location should be within the governing institutions of the Member State.


  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), in writing.(FR) Nothing in Mr Catania’s report on European citizenship was worthy of support. However, two proposals were particularly shocking. Firstly, the demand for a form of European citizenship that includes the right of all residents of a country, irrespective of their nationality, to vote and stand for election, in local, national and European elections. Secondly, the demand for citizenship rights in the Member States to be harmonised, on the pretext that the differences between these rights bring about discrimination against non-Europeans who wish to acquire European citizenship as currently defined in the Treaties.

Where will this madness end? The only possible way of acquiring citizenship of a country is by having the nationality of that country. It is exclusively for the sovereign Member States to determine the conditions to be fulfilled before nationality can be conferred. Granting foreigners the right to vote, irrespective of their nationality, comes down to granting them a dual right: the one that they can continue to exercise in their country of origin plus the one that they can exercise in their country of residence. In reality, therefore, this is an unfair measure. Being someone’s guest does not give you the right to interfere in their business.

For all of these reasons, it is a good thing that this report has been rejected.


  Hélène Goudin and Lars Wohlin (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) The report is aimed at strengthening citizenship of the Union by making it independent of national citizenship and by requiring harmonised rules for the granting of national citizenship. We, for our part, believe, however, that citizenship is one of the cornerstones of the sovereignty of nation states and that each Member State must be free to make its own decisions about granting citizenship.

Of course, there may be arguments in favour of reforming the rules concerning the acquisition of national citizenship following a fairly long period of continuous residence in a country and concerning the opportunity to vote and eligibility to be a candidate in local, regional and national elections.

The issue of citizenship of the Member States is, however, exclusively an issue for the countries concerned, applying their own legislation. It is up to each Member State to establish the conditions under which citizenship is acquired or forfeited, as well as the effect citizenship is to have. The European Union has no powers in this respect. Citizenship of the Union is, then, subject to national citizenship and is thus to be defined by national laws on citizenship.

Moreover, the report contains a number of wordings concerning the introduction of an EU tax, uniform European party lists for elections to the European Parliament, the significance of a European Constitution in strengthening European solidarity and common bases for incorporating the European dimension into the curriculum of every school.


  Carl Lang (NI), in writing.(FR) The concept of ‘citizenship of the Union’, which is not even qualified by the word ‘European’, is a device designed to destroy our national rights to identity and sovereignty. Mr Catania’s report is proof of that, insofar as its aim is to impose one huge group in which the French, the Poles, the Spanish, the Italians, the Germans and the British will have disappeared, only to be replaced by ‘citizens of the Union’ who benefit, in particular, from the same political rights.

Thus, Article 17 of the report, which calls on the Member States to grant the right to vote, and stand for election, in national elections to any resident who is a ‘citizen of the Union’, ‘irrespective of nationality’, would enable a Czech living in France to take part in the election of the President of the Republic.

This right to vote would even be extended to non-European immigrants insofar as Article 18 proposes extending the rights of citizens of the Union to third-country nationals residing in the European Union.

The nations of Europe, under threat of being flooded by immigration on a global scale, do not need European citizenship. Rather, they need to have their national rights reaffirmed. An increasing number of French people, in particular, are demanding that the nationality code be reformed on the basis of the principle ‘you either inherit French nationality or you earn it’.


  Marine Le Pen (NI), in writing. – (FR) Even though Europe is experiencing a crisis both of representation, seen particularly in the French and Dutch rejections of the European Constitution, and of democratic participation, with growing numbers of people staying away from European elections, year after year since the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht it has not ceased trying to force us to swallow the pill of European citizenship.

Once again, what we have here is a machine for crushing nations and national identities so that they can ultimately be replaced by a European identity. This new ‘package’, which comes straight from the upper echelons of Euro-federalist bureaucracy, is an integral part of the submersion and immigration/invasion process desired by the Commission. The right of every citizen to move and to reside freely on the territory of the Member States is intended as the central right of European citizenship. It is therefore easy to understand why Brussels is trying to simplify and relax the rules for entering and residing in European territory because it is on them that the acquisition of this new citizenship depends.

The mindless dictatorship is systematically destroying national values and identities. It takes real courage today to display and defend a national awareness.


  Kartika Tamara Liotard, Esko Seppänen and Jonas Sjöstedt (GUE/NGL), in writing. We have voted for the report, keeping in mind that some elements of the text were not appropriate to be considered in this report, including some elements of EU citizenship, the positive stance on the constitution of the EU, election of some MEPs on the basis of transnational lists, the proposal on the European tax, etc.

We voted against these elements of the text, but finally voted for the report in pursuing the better course of the migrant people in Europe. We kept in mind that this was only an own-initiative report without legal consequences.


  David Martin (PSE), in writing. I welcome the report regarding citizenship of the EU with relation to third country nationals. The report's key issue is that EU citizens should be able to vote in national elections in Member States other than their own, provided they are resident there.

I regret that the report was rejected as it was a worthy report. However, I abstained on the amendments to paragraphs 11, parts one and 2, paragraph 12, parts 1 and 2 and paragraphs 13, 21 and 28 as I felt that, at this stage, they went too far.


  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) It is apparent from the falling turnout at elections, the negative messages received from referenda and increasing frustration with the EU that the European citizenry are not going to be won over by sharing in an anthem or a banner. Far from being interested in how the EU presents itself – by way, for example, of the draft constitution – they are much more concerned about what it does or does not accomplish.

Making more of citizenship of the Union will do nothing to turn EU-sceptics into the enthusiasts some might like them to be; it will certainly do no such thing for as long as we lack EU-wide minimum standards for the grant of citizenship and fail to do away with abuses of the asylum system. The attacks in London, the murder of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and the street battles in France are evidence of the fact that we must, in future, carefully examine those who seek citizenship as to their capacity for integration into the majority culture. The failure of Europe’s Moslems to accept the European legal and cultural order is a fact, and it is one that the EU can no longer gloss over on the pretext of ‘multiculturalism’.

The practice of mass legalisations, too, whereby millions of illegal immigrants have been turned into ‘Europeans’, must be stopped, and the Schengen information system must in future be able to give indications of when there are embassies with a mass-production approach to handing out entry visas.

For as long as the Schengen Agreement is ineffective and we fail to get a grip on the problem of parallel societies, for as long as we are unable to guarantee the protection of our indigenous European peoples – for as long as these things are going on, the dream of EU citizenship is one that we can do without.


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) The issues raised by this report are highly interesting and worthy of far-reaching discussion. I should like to point out, however, that it does not fall within Parliament’s scope – or that of any other European institution, for that matter – to hold this debate in the first place. Acquiring citizenship is an exclusively national issue, a keystone of each Member State’s sovereignty and, in my view, non-negotiable. I disagree with a great many of the premises and conclusions in this report, and accordingly voted against it. I therefore welcome the rejection of the report.


  Carl Schlyter (Verts/ALE), in writing. (SV) It is a human right to be able to participate actively in the democratic process, and we are vigorously endeavouring to bring about a situation in which everyone has this right. It is not, however, defensible for the EU to use this as a lever for developing its ambitions to take control of the Member States' democratic structures and so increase its powers.


  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE), in writing. This report deals with citizenship, a very controversial subject, and I would generally be of the view that such matters should be purely matters for Member States, and that any EU rights flow from Member State citizenship. However, this report, which is non-binding, attempts to explore ways in which each Member State can be encouraged to raise standards of equity and fairness, as there are instances of EU countries treating minorities poorly. The eventual rejection of this report does I think reflect a mature decision on the part of Parliament, much as I still believe that these issues need to be examined and will return to the house before long.


  Georgios Toussas (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) ‘European citizenship’ is an ideological construct of no practical value, given that citizenship is granted by the Member States. The role which the report attempts to ascribe to 'European' citizenship has purely ideological characteristics, creating the false impression of a non-existent 'European citizen' on a single 'political and cultural territory', so that it looks as if there is no going back from an imperialist and reactionary EU.

Basically, the report attempts to introduce through the back door aspects of the reactionary European Constitution rejected by the peoples of the ΕU, such as the taxation of European citizens directly by the ΕU, the strengthening of European parties, supranational ballot papers and so forth. The Euro-lust dominating the report is such that it goes as far – and this is unprecedented anywhere in the world – as establishing the right to acquire non-existent 'European' citizenship of persons who have been residents 'over a long period of time' and who will, however, be deprived of citizenship and rights in the countries in which they reside.

We unreservedly support and are fighting with immigrants for the safeguarding and broadening of full political and social rights, such as the right to vote and stand for election, full employment, wage, insurance and pension rights, the granting of citizenship to persons who have been resident over a long period of time and so forth. However, the acquisition of these rights has nothing to do with the misleading ideology of ‘European citizenship’; it is the fighting ground of the mass grass-roots movement in each Member State and at European level.


- Prets report (A6-0400/2005)


  Hiltrud Breyer (Verts/ALE). – (DE) We have, of course, wholeheartedly endorsed this report by Mrs Prets, and we are also very glad of the considerable improvements that the amendments have made to it.

It was a matter of particular concern to us in the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance that it should be made clear that prostitutes’ clients should also have cause to fear punishment if they are aware of forced prostitution. Our intention in this is that it should be spelled out that forced prostitution must not only be fought against by means of the law, but must also be treated as repugnant by society at large, and we are particularly pleased that this House has taken note of our 8 March initiative against forced prostitution during the football World Cup, which is being played in Germany this year. Our intention is to make it clear that forced prostitution must be shown the red card, and fair play must mean our making every effort to get rid of it.

I hope that this House will thereby send out a clear message about sporting events, for we can combat forced prostitution only by sending out such clear messages to every stratum of society, and not only by means of legal initiatives, and the boom in forced prostitution really must prompt us to get stuck into fighting it.


  Andreas Mölzer (NI). – (DE) Mr President, the trade in human goods, which is even more lucrative than that in weapons and drugs, has done well out of the disintegration of state structures in a multicultural society, the transition to a market economy in states of Eastern Europe, the consequent encouragement of corrupt and criminal organisations, and the mass immigration brought about by the opening of borders. As the victims are too ashamed or afraid to testify and half the trafficked women and children who return home end up back in circulation, the perpetrators generally get away scot-free and so the sort of preventive action that is needed involves educating potential victims at as early a stage as possible and the fostering of popular awareness of the problem.

Not only that, but there must also, at long last, be tough punishments for paedophilia throughout the EU and even tougher ones for the organised trafficking in human beings.


  Gerard Batten (IND/DEM), in writing. The UK Independence Party voted against the Prets Report on the trafficking of women and children due to the nature of articles contained within the report. We are strongly against the trafficking of all people and slavery, but we do not feel that it is the competence of the EU to interfere in domestic issues, and in particular we do not feel that the EU should be creating a policy regarding prostitution.

All the items mentioned in the report have already been covered by UK legislation, and it is these laws which should be utilised fully rather than to create yet more EU legislation, which would have resulted in negative consequences.


  Godfrey Bloom (IND/DEM), in writing. The UK Independence Party voted against the Prets Report on the trafficking of women and children due to the nature of articles contained within the report. We are strongly against the trafficking of all people and slavery, but we do not feel that it is the competence of the EU to interfere in domestic issues, and in particular we do not feel that the EU should be creating a policy regarding prostitution.

All the items mentioned in the report have already been covered by UK legislation, and it is these laws which should be utilised fully rather than to create yet more EU legislation, which would have resulted in negative consequences.


  Maria Carlshamre (ALDE), in writing. I voted against the ALDE Group on paragraph 46 concerning criminalizing the clients who deliberately exploit persons in a situation of coercion. Whereas the ALDE Group line was to vote ‘No’ to this I believe that people that deliberately buy women/girls who are forced into prostitution should be seen as committing a crime similar to the crime of buying stolen goods – that is, fencing. And I think even the Member States that today are against criminalizing the buying of sex could introduce this as a criminal offence.


  Charlotte Cederschiöld, Christofer Fjellner, Gunnar Hökmark and Anna Ibrisagic (PPE-DE), in writing. (SV) We have voted in favour of the report on the trafficking of women and children. We believe that people’s safety is best ensured through common efforts to combat cross-border crime, particularly crime that violates people’s basic freedoms and rights and their human dignity. With a view to giving legal effect to the demands being made and so raising the profile of the issue, the Swedish Conservative delegation also wishes to emphasise that the issue of trafficking should be dealt with in the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs rather than in its Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.

We are, however, opposed to proposals in the report that interfere in the Member States’ areas of competence, for example that of how the police are organised.


  Hélène Goudin and Lars Wohlin (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) The own-initiative report concerns important issues, and the June List supports many of the basic ideas that permeate the report. Sexual exploitation and human trafficking must be combated. Nor can the serious crime that is often a consequence of cross-border human trafficking be overlooked. It is therefore extremely important to make it easier to cooperate and to exchange information within the EU.

The June List believes, however, that, on these issues too, each Member State must itself be permitted to choose its method and way of working. The June List therefore chooses to vote against the own-initiative report.


  Timothy Kirkhope (PPE-DE), in writing. I and my British Conservative colleagues applaud the recognition in this resolution that tackling trafficking is a key component of the fight against organised crime. Consequently, any measures taken in this regard should be consistent with the overall strategy against organised crime. Therefore, this should not be used as a pretext for pursuing the objective of full communitarisation in this area. Rather, we support effective national policies and strong inter-governmental co-operation to stamp out this evil trade.


  Fernand Le Rachinel (NI), in writing. – (FR) Trafficking in women and the sexual exploitation of children are increasingly forming a sizeable parallel economy in Europe. According to the United Nations, nearly 4 million women and children are being abused or sexually assaulted. Inevitably, we are also seeing the methods of trafficking in human beings becoming more diversified.

The growth in sex tourism and in demand for children for economic exploitation (as beggars, pickpockets, dealers, moonlighters, and so forth.), are all forms of crime and exploitation which in most cases are in the hands of organised criminal gangs. The dangerous Schengen Agreements, which abolished all controls at the European Union’s borders, allow them to be used as drug smugglers or robbers. Moreover, because they are minors, they cannot be prosecuted if they are arrested by the authorities.

If we want to prevent all forms of human trafficking, we must tackle these mafias, these illegal trades that are constantly growing in a Europe that is wide open.

Additional Community programmes and pious hopes from the many NGOs will achieve nothing. Only if people and our elites wake up to the ultraliberal pro-immigration policy being pursued by Brussels can we hope to eventually feel safe in Europe.


  David Martin (PSE), in writing. I welcome the report emphasising the importance of introducing and promoting gender mainstreaming and child-sensitive approaches in all EU policies. Trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation is a violation of human rights and between 600 000 and 800 000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80% of those cases are women and girls and 50% are minors.

I agree that data on trafficking is lacking and that there is a need for a more harmonised approach between Member States on how data should be collated and, equally, that data on children should be kept separate from the data on men and women.

It is essential that prevention strategies address both victims and traffickers. The most vulnerable groups should be focused on, first by improving education and employment opportunities, fighting the problem of the feminisation of poverty, discrimination and inequality. Furthermore, more campaigns should be introduced, with a common EU logo and international help lines, and more information on legal rights to health services for victims in other countries must be provided.

Finally, I agree that law enforcement must prosecute and strictly punish traffickers and fight corruption.


  Claude Moraes (PSE), in writing. The Prets Report on combating the trafficking of women and children is an important contribution to the tackling of one of the most distressing and accelerating problems facing vulnerable women and children who face modern slavery, particularly in the sex industry in Europe.

The problem must be tackled with maximum consideration for the victims of trafficking so that they do not suffer a 'double punishment' in the justice systems of EU countries.


  Sebastiano (Nello) Musumeci (UEN), in writing. – (IT) The sexual exploitation of women and children is a scourge of humankind that is becoming an ever-greater problem as time goes on. I fully agree with the idea of providing for severe punishment for the clients of sex slaves. That is not enough, however. A common, effective strategy is also needed.

Trafficking in human beings, which is controlled by a real Mafia-like multinational of organised crime, feeds on the desperation and poverty of men and women who flee their own countries of origin in search of jobs and a better life in the rich countries of the world.

Although trafficking in women and children is mainly directed towards sexual exploitation, it is also, unfortunately, used for other purposes that are equally despicable and degrading for a human being: forced labour, slavery and – something I find even more ignominious – the export of organs.

Sexual exploitation is known to be part of a larger complex of criminal activity that includes sex tourism, drug trafficking and the smuggling of arms and radioactive waste. In order to help fight the Mafia and similar criminal networks, I again propose – as I did in March 2004 – that a European observatory should be set up to monitor organised crime and to propose ways of harmonising the laws on punishing it across the European Union.


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) I do not need to repeat the arguments, which are so clearly set out in the report before us. That being said, I feel it is worthwhile pointing out that we should condemn in the strongest terms the trafficking of human beings (not only of women and children, even though they are the most vulnerable groups), be it for the purposes of sexual or any other form of exploitation. It is not enough to be firm in protest, however; we must also be resolute and proactive in deed. As is abundantly clear from so many parliamentary reports and so many journalistic reportages, the fight against trafficking of human beings will have little chance of success without cooperation at Member State level. I therefore feel that greater cooperation, improved coordination and stronger determination are required.


  Lydia Schenardi (NI), in writing. – (FR) Estimates of the number of women and children who fall victim to trafficking across the world vary from 700 000 to 4 million a year. According to the United Nations, 1.2 million are children.

My colleague’s report takes as its starting point the tragic fact that despite the measures so far taken by the Member States and by the European Union itself, trafficking in human beings is today considered the fastest-growing criminal activity in comparison to other forms of organised crime. Sadly, this global phenomenon will not be stopped by piling up Community texts, resolutions or countless NGO reports on the subject.

Indeed, while the causes have been identified: poverty, social exclusion, unemployment, the lack of border controls allowing the development of underground networks of all kinds of organised crime, violence against women, education, the explosion of pornography or the disappearance of moral reference points, the solutions proposed in this report are very vague, general and incomplete.

If we are to combat all this organised human trafficking effectively, the first thing we must do is restore controls at the Member States’ internal borders. Their abolition with the Schengen Agreements was one of the main reasons for the development of this entire sex industry in Europe.


  Carl Schlyter (Verts/ALE), in writing. (SV) There is a link between combating, on the one hand, human trafficking and, on the other hand, the demand for related services from those who buy sex. Criminalising this type of crime at EU level might, however, lead to penalties not adapted to the national systems’ internal logic and might also lead to a ban on criminalising those who buy sex.


  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE), in writing. Nobody can deny that organised trafficking of women and children is a pressing issue facing the countries of the EU, and coordinated action across the EU is necessary to fight it. This report demonstrates how cooperation will lead to better results than the individual Member States acting alone, and I am pleased to support it. While I have reservations about some of the sentiments contained in the report, I am of the view that the EU itself must take action to combat this problem, in conjunction with the Member States themselves.


  Thomas Wise (IND/DEM), in writing. The UK Independence Party voted against the Prets report on the trafficking of women and children due to the nature of articles contained within the report. We are strongly against the trafficking of all people and slavery, but we do not feel that it is the competence of the EU to interfere in domestic issues, and in particular we do not feel that the EU should be creating a policy regarding prostitution.

All the items mentioned in the report have already been covered by UK legislation, and it is these laws which should be utilised fully rather than creating yet more EU legislation, which would have resulted in negative consequences.


- El Khadraoui report (A6-0403/2005)


  Jaromír Kohlíček (GUE/NGL).  – (CS) There is no denying the fact that the future of air transport is currently at a crossroads. Last year’s steep rise in oil prices led to major problems for a number of airlines. Several of them will be faced with significant losses, and some in the US are even receiving government assistance again. Low-cost airlines are a second problem that we face, and we must ask ourselves to what extent these carriers, which are based in developed countries, meet International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Labour Organisation standards and the OECD guidelines for multinational companies. The key question is whether we are capable of ensuring that they comply with the requirements of the EC directives referred to in paragraphs 24 and 25 of the report on developing the agenda for the Community’s external aviation policy, and whether we are capable of monitoring this compliance effectively

In the same vein, I am aware of the problems posed by negotiations, in particular those with our largest partners, or in other words Russia and China. This is a subject covered in the report on relations with the Russian Federation and China in the field of air transport. The situation is probably most complex when it comes to negotiations with the United States, where relations constantly border on unfair competition. Yet in spite of the major problems that the Community faces when negotiating with its external partners, I should like to stress that such negotiations are urgently needed and of key importance, and that air transport will not develop any further without them. This means that particular importance should be attached to the closing comment of the El Khadraoui report. The place where a person is deemed to work when carrying out cabotage operations in an EU Member State is the Member State in question, which means that working conditions should be of an appropriate standard. Furthermore, cabotage in the field of air transport should be regarded as employment within the European Union.

I should like to take this opportunity to emphasise that this approach of extending the scope to cover an entire service sector should be supplemented by best-practice methods. It would then be possible, both in this and other sectors, to start negotiations on the opening up of the market and on the liberalisation of cabotage. This approach could also open up fresh opportunities for negotiations on the directive on services, including services of public interest. Adopting these two reports therefore provides us with a fresh opportunity for negotiations on both air transport and other matters. What is more, the opportunities for applying new principles to which I have referred may represent a real breakthrough, and they are very much welcomed by the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left.


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) I believe that the establishment of a coherent development strategy for the Union’s external aviation policy is of significant importance.

This common external policy can be set up either by adapting the existing bilateral agreements to Community law, or by concluding new agreements between the Community and third countries.

It has become clear in the various discussions in committee, however, that this strategy cannot develop without agreements with the USA, the Russian Federation and China.

In view of the new realities facing the global market and in the context of the various initiatives implemented by the Commission and the Committee on Transport and Tourism, this report is worthy of my support.


- Zile report (A6-0375/2005)


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) The Union is pursuing its general strategy for the creation of a common aviation area with its neighbours.

The vote on the report by Mr Zīle on relations with China and Russia in the field of air transport forms part of this context. These countries share high levels of growth in the aviation sector and face challenges relating to consolidation, liberalisation and modernisation.

We never lose sight of the specific nature of these two countries and raises issues such as the abolition of overflight charges, and the need to extend the scope of the mandate to cover questions concerning airport and air safety infrastructures. I therefore feel that this report is a highly significant step in ensuring legal clarity through a transitional process that does not undermine the economic stability of the sector.

I voted in favour of this report, which forms part of the broader question of the development of the EU’s external relations concerning aviation policy.

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