Full text 
Procedure : 2006/2021(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Select a document :

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/03/2006 - 20
CRE 14/03/2006 - 20

Votes :

PV 15/03/2006 - 4.10
CRE 15/03/2006 - 4.10
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Wednesday, 15 March 2006 - Strasbourg OJ edition

5. Explanations of vote

Report: Miguélez Ramos (A6-0035/2006)


  Duarte Freitas (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) It is my view that the partnership between the European Community and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) on fishing in the FSM should be concluded in accordance with the proposal for a Council regulation.

The Western Pacific is one of the richest tuna fisheries in the world and scientific studies show that the current state of stocks is such that it can be extended to third countries.

The agreement provides for benefits for both sides, and safeguards a sustainable fisheries policy in the FSM.

Although I lend my backing to this fisheries agreement, I should like to draw attention to the excessive fees for longliner licences, which constitute a prohibitive burden for some shipowners.


  Hélène Goudin, Nils Lundgren and Lars Wohlin (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) We are highly critical of the EU’s destructive fisheries agreements with third countries and thus regret the fact that the EU is choosing to conclude fisheries agreements with new countries.

A series of reports has shed light on the harmful consequences of such agreements for the coastal populations of the countries that conclude the agreements. The agreements lead to over-exploitation of fishing waters, which hits the local populations. Both the Commission and the overwhelming majority of the European Parliament choose, however, consistently to close their eyes to this criticism. According to one of Parliament’s opinions, the fishing agreement at issue may, moreover, have harmful environmental consequences.

At the same time as the EU recommends increased aid efforts, people’s taxes are used to finance fisheries agreements that militate against development. This is neither a consistent nor credible policy.

We believe that the fisheries agreements should be phased out with a view to their eventually being cancelled. Those EU Member States whose vessels operate in third countries’ waters should be liable for the costs of the agreements. Those same Member States should then decide independently whether they are to fund this expenditure by, in turn, levying charges in relation to their own particular fishing vessels.


Report: Braghetto (A6-0037/2006)


  Duarte Freitas (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) In light of the reform of the common fisheries policy, it has become vitally important to update Regulation No 3690/93 of 20 December 1993. Information on fishing vessels must be brought into line with new rules on managing stock conservation, in order to ensure compliance with the key principle of ‘management of fishing effort’.

The amendments that are being proposed, such as the introduction of the Community Fishing Fleet Register number and the staggering of the fishing methods used by the vessel, are important elements not included in the original regulation.

The Commission’s proposal and the amendments tabled by the rapporteur in his report are worthy of my support.


Report: Hazan (A6-0049/2006)


  Charlotte Cederschiöld, Christofer Fjellner, Gunnar Hökmark and Anna Ibrisagic (PPE-DE), in writing. (SV) We Moderates have chosen to vote in favour of the current report, but we regret the fact that the protection of fundamental rights has not been highlighted sufficiently at EU level and believe that the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice should extend to individuals’ fundamental rights in relation also to issues concerning internal security.


  Lena Ek (ALDE), in writing. (SV) Thanks to Mrs Hazan’s own-initiative report on evaluation of the European arrest warrant, we can further increase the legal certainty enjoyed by our citizens. The report points to improvements that have been made. I wish, however, to emphasise the problems mentioned in the report that still constitute obstacles to guaranteeing legal certainty.

It is incredibly important for people arrested in connection with the European arrest warrant to be guaranteed legal aid and help in the form of translation and interpretation. It is the responsibility of each Member State to solve this important problem that at present leads to human rights violations.


  Hélène Goudin, Nils Lundgren and Lars Wohlin (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) This report shows that efforts are clearly being made to obtain increased cooperation within the area of criminal law. The Council is called on to prohibit the Member States from reintroducing systematic verification of double criminality, as well as to integrate the European arrest warrant into the first pillar.

The report reveals major problems in implementing the arrest warrant. The Member States have clearly shown that they wish to retain parts of the traditional extradition system.

Some countries have refused to enforce the arrest warrant against their own citizens, citing discrimination or the infringement of fundamental rights as grounds for not doing so. Others have retained or reintroduced verification of double criminality.

The June List believes that these are clear signs that the Member States are safeguarding their sovereignty in the area of criminal law. Few measures that can be taken against an individual are as far-reaching in their effects as legal proceedings or the requirement to serve a sentence. That is why legal certainty must take precedence over the simplification and efficiency that, according to the report, the European arrest warrant brings about.

The June List rejects increased supranationalism and believes that this is an issue for the individual nations. We have thus chosen to vote against the report.


  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) As we pointed out in 2001, the Commission put forward proposals on the pretext of the fight against terrorism that advocated the supranationalisation of crucial aspects of justice, thereby sidestepping necessary cooperation between Member States and existing legal instruments such as extradition. This was tantamount to an attack on the sovereignty of Member States and their duty to safeguard their citizens’ rights.

We said at the time that the European arrest warrant, which is aimed, inter alia, at removing the principle of double jeopardy, albeit to a limited extent, would be a Trojan horse that would lead us further along the supranational path.

The report before us confirms our criticisms. It looks upon legal sovereignty as an obstacle and refers to the political authorities’ current ‘interference’ in the extradition process, even on the grounds of respect for human rights.

It is significant that the German Constitutional Court has decided to annul the legislation transposing the European arrest warrant and that, in light of that decision, a number of Member States have returned to applying the extradition instruments. The rapporteur criticises these decisions and supports the activation of the ‘passerelle’ referred to in Article 42 of the EU Treaty, thus integrating the European arrest warrant in the first pillar.


  Marine Le Pen (NI), in writing.(FR) Like the European immigration policies, the European arrest warrant is very dangerous and fraught with consequences for everyone. It is concerned, in actual fact, as much with serious offences as with minor offences (terrorism, theft, deliberate damage, insulting behaviour in meetings, remarks considered racist and xenophobic and so on) and, in every instance, people’s rights are less protected than they were with the extradition procedure that previously existed and that, for its part, permitted the political power either to agree to, or refuse to, extradite a person. The arrest warrant has today become an exclusively judicial procedure as a result, on the one hand, of the abolition of the administrative and political phase and, on the other, of the control exercised by the administrative jurisdictions.

This arrest warrant has been hastily created in response to the attacks of 11 September, and, for the sake of protecting their media image rather than of being sensible and responsible, the EU Heads of State or Government have not hesitated to dispense with everyone’s individual freedoms and rights of defence.

The European arrest warrant, which was devised by our Eurocrats ideally as a tool to protect the fundamental rights of the person, today appears in its true colours: as a tool of totalitarian repression, which is potentially dangerous for each and every one of us.


  David Martin (PSE), in writing. I welcome this report which attempts to evaluate the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), its effectiveness and the problems it has encountered since its adoption. The EAW's role in strengthening judicial cooperation and mutual trust is extremely innovative and improves the Member States' ability to fight against organised crime and terrorism.

I agree with the recommendation that the Parliament should be more involved in the evaluation of the EAW and that fundamental rights in the context of the EAW need to be ensured in order to make sure EU citizens from different Member States do not experience any discrimination.


  Athanasios Pafilis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The European Arrest Warrant is yet another link in the chain of measures to complete the institutional network to safeguard the power of capital, within the framework of the Euro-unifying 'area of security and justice'. It allows nationals of the Member States to be extradited and it basically abolishes the principle of double jeopardy and the facility for the political leadership to decide on the extradition of an individual, thereby reversing the basic principles and guarantees of protection of individual rights safeguarded under previous extradition law. It restricts national sovereignty, in that it questions the right of each Member State to exercise criminal jurisdiction over its citizens, while at the same time touching on basic, constitutionally safeguarded personal rights and guarantees.

The report calls for even more reactionary changes to the European Arrest Warrant, by proposing that the abolition of double jeopardy be extended, that all rights of the political leadership to intervene in the extradition of individuals for reasons of national policy and expediency be abolished and that all judicial verification of the compatibility of the warrant with fundamental rights be abolished.

'Terrorism and organised crime' are being used by the European Parliament once again as the necessary pretext, in order to provide a more stable foundation for yet another means of restricting rights and freedoms, to be used against the grass-roots struggle and against all those fighting and contesting imperialism and the exploitative capitalist system.


  Tobias Pflüger (GUE/NGL), in writing. (DE) It is quite incomprehensible that the Hazan report, as adopted by a large majority in this House today, should testify to such enthusiasm for the European Arrest Warrant. What is most objectionable is that it recommends that the judge who is to execute the arrest warrant should ‘not be required to systematically examine its compatibility with fundamental rights’. In other respects, too, it is concerned to do away with control by judges. This decision takes Europe further down a wrong track of opposition to fundamental rights. If decisions, whether or not arrived at by courts, are to be mutually recognised in the absence of uniform standards, then fundamental rights in the European Union will lose out. The fact is that the accused risk being mangled in the machinery of the quite totally different criminal law systems that exist in the European Union.

There is not the least hint in this report of the fact that individual states' – such as Germany’s – attempts to incorporate the European Arrest Warrant into their laws have been rejected by their constitutional courts on the grounds of their plain unconstitutionality. Despite that, the Member States are still being urged to ‘act without delay to take the measures needed to remove constitutional or legal obstacles to the application of the European Arrest Warrant to their own citizens.’ That means no more and no less than that the German legislators are being called upon to violate their own constitution in order to make it possible for the European Arrest Warrant to be enforced.


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) The positive aspect of the analysis of the European arrest warrant is that it addresses one of the most important judicial cooperation mechanisms in the EU, at a time when such cooperation is both increasingly necessary and increasingly more difficult.

Traditionally, the national authorities have not found it easy to share security-related information, and have had difficulty in cooperating on judicial matters. The European arrest warrant goes against this particular grain by seeking to impose cooperation, which is vital, both from the point of view of increased security – it is the most effective way of preventing criminals from benefiting from the advantages of the freedom of movement – and from the point of view of greater legal certainty, which is a similarly fundamental asset.

That being said, it is unfortunate that Member States need reminding that they must take ‘the appropriate measures so as to avoid any constitutional or legal obstacles to the application of the European Arrest Warrant to their nationals’. We also wish to mention, with some pride, that Portugal was one of the first Member States to transpose the framework decision in question.


Report: GräBle (A6-0057/2006)


  Robert Goebbels (PSE), in writing.(FR) I abstained from voting on the Grässle report aimed at reforming the Financial Regulation. I believe that, instead of increasing the responsibility of the administrators, which would have meant having greater flexibility and clearer rules, Parliament is further adding to the complexity and bureaucracy. All of that does not help to make Community action effective and does not result in the Union’s funds being administered better.

I do not know of any other public, and least of all private, entity in which 40% of the workforce is involved in financial management and management control. The Union will soon have more auditors than auditees.


  Jean-Claude Martinez (NI), in writing.(FR) A Financial Regulation is the same thing as a financial constitution. It is therefore important. We must reform this regulation, which is jamming Europe’s bureaucratic machinery, because it is the benchmark or expression of Europe’s pathologically proliferating bureaucracy.

If bulky manuals are needed in order to understand this Regulation, if a ‘helpdesk’ is needed to come to the daily rescue of those officials who are lost in the maze of its procedures and if businesses, institutes, organisations, small farmers and Europeans cannot take advantage of all of the subsidies or participate in all of the markets, then it is quite simply because the Financial Regulation is based on the fundamental philosophical principle running throughout European integration: the smoke and mirrors principle which, in 1905, the Italian financier Puviani called the financial illusions principle and which consists of using complexity to hide the truth – the European truth in this case.


Forced prostitution within the framework of world sports events – (RC-B6-0160/2006)


  Proinsias De Rossa (PSE), in writing. I fully support this resolution and urge the Football Association, and football clubs, to help end human trafficking and forced prostitution and prevent international sports events triggering dramatic increases in this horrific trade.

They must 'Show the red card to forced prostitution'. They should work with the clubs to inform and educate the general public, and especially sports fans and supporters, about the scale of the problem of forced prostitution and trafficking in human being.

Up to 800 000 women are victims of trafficking every year, 100 000 of them in the European Union. This is one of the most serious abuses of human rights in the world today. Organised criminals are now preparing to exploit the World Cup. Thousands of poor women will be lured to Germany by false promises of work, only to be forced into prostitution and a life of misery.

We need Europe-wide action and the involvement not just of the police and politicians but also of the Football Association, clubs, and the fans themselves. I urge all fans attending the World Cup to be alert to this scandal and to report any suspicions of trafficking that they might have.


  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We voted in favour of this resolution on forced prostitution, which recognises the reality of the situation in Germany and the need to take the opportunity presented by the World Cup to condemn the trafficking of human beings and prostitution. We have always maintained, however, that forced prostitution is not the right term to use, as it suggests that there is such a thing as voluntary prostitution.

Of course, the fight against forced prostitution and the trafficking of human beings is very important, but it must not be forgotten that all prostitution is forced, even when there is no trafficking. It is the result of poverty, social exclusion, unemployment, precarious and poorly paid employment, and the psychological pressure of the consumer society. Prostitution is therefore always an attack on human rights, an attack on women’s dignity and is tantamount to slavery. It is appalling that attempts are made to market everything, including the female body.

Hence our struggle for social inclusion and for the rights of all women to dignity. We also condemn all forms of trafficking of human beings and call for effective measures to guarantee all women and all human beings a dignified life.


  Diamanto Manolakou (GUE/NGL), in writing. – (EL) The distinction between legal and forced prostitution is an artificial distinction. It is also hypocritical to condemn forced prostitution, because it stabilises and extends legal prostitution.

Whether prostitution is legal or forced, what is being sold is the human body, as a commodity subject to all the rules of the market. The legislative framework regulating the rules of hygiene which must be complied with by registered prostitutes basically recognises prostitution as a profession and manages the problem. Thus, in the face of this spiralling social phenomenon, prostitution is being legalised as a profession; in other words, it is being uncoupled from the social causes which produce and reproduce prostitution (unemployment, poverty, impoverishment and lack of social benefits). In other words, the rot in the exploitative system is being concealed and exonerated, and it is rejecting its responsibilities and referring the problem to the individual sphere.

Prostitution cannot be called a profession or a free choice, because it is incompatible with the value and dignity of the human being, it is the most extreme form of attack on human rights. Prostitution, when called a profession, goes on to the career guidance list, as an alternative to the unemployment which affects young women with such barbarity. At the same time, it legalises investments in companies on the prostitution market, establishing the porn culture, and promotes the prostitution of young women. We say no to all forms of prostitution.


  David Martin (PSE), in writing. I welcome this resolution, which, in preparation for the World Cup, attempts to put a stop to the dramatic increase in the demand for sexual services by protecting trafficked women who are the victims of organised crime.

The resolution stresses the need for an integrated Europe-wide campaign and therefore calls on Member States to launch and promote the ‘Red card’ campaign in close cooperation with NGOs, the police, law enforcement agencies, churches and medical services.

As well as seeking to inform the general public, the resolution calls on the International Olympic Committee and sports associations, including FIFA, UEFA, the German Football Association and others, as well as sportsmen and sportswomen, to support the ‘Red card’ campaign and roundly condemn trafficking in human beings and forced prostitution.


  Claude Moraes (PSE), in writing. In voting for this resolution I am concerned that, in particular, the FIFA World Cup is producing a major and unacceptable increase in the trafficking of women. In tackling those incidents, and in general, the Commission and others should ensure that the priority must be to tackle the gangs which force women into these situations, rather than 'softer options' of targeting often vulnerable women forced into sexual slavery.


  Jonas Sjöstedt and Eva-Britt Svensson (GUE/NGL), in writing. (SV) We support the resolution because we think it important to focus on measures to reduce the number of victims of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual slavery. However, we take the view that the resolution should extend to include all prostitution. The term ‘forced prostitution’ might be interpreted as implying the existence of its opposite, so-called voluntary prostitution. We believe that all prostitution is forced, for no woman chooses voluntarily to prostitute herself. She is forced to do so for one or more of a variety of reasons, for example poverty and unemployment. Above all, however, there are clear links between a woman choosing to prostitute herself and previous physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse.


Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City (16-22 March 2006) (RC-B6-0149/2006)


  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE-DE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the joint motion for a resolution on the Fourth World Water Forum to be held in Mexico City from 16 to 22 March 2006 because I believe that water is one of the key elements of our fellow citizens’ well being and of world peace. The European Union must rise to this global challenge, which consists of giving human beings access to this precious natural resource that is water. We have a collective responsibility to monitor this issue, which affects the fundamental rights of human beings, animals and plants. At the same time, I wonder whether the time has not come to examine whether the Union should reflect on an extensive European water policy in order to guarantee EU citizens, wherever they find themselves on EU territory, a sustainable and renewable supply of sufficient quality and quantity. I believe that the Commission should anticipate submitting to the European Parliament and the European Council the report provided for in Article 18(1) of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.


  Diamanto Manolakou (GUE/NGL), in writing. – (EL) Nature provides water free of charge; water belongs to everyone and everyone must have access to it. It cannot be a commodity for the profitability of capital, because access to water is a fundamental right, closely connected with health, environmental protection, development and the quality of life.

The management of water resources must be the sole responsibility of the state, so there can be a universal supply of good quality water at an affordable price.

The Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico will basically take place under the aegis of the World Bank and its class policy; in other words, its policy of privatising water supply systems, which means a lack of drinking water for the poor, grass-roots classes and new profits for capital.

The ΕU is promoting the policy of liberalising services within the framework of the Lisbon Strategy. It agreed on services (GATS) with the other imperialist centres during WTO negotiations.

The privatisation and destruction of forests and mountain massifs, which are important water storage areas, comes within the philosophy of profitability, which holds basic human needs in contempt.

We MEPs of the Kommounistiko Komma Elladas express our opposition to the Fourth World Water Forum because, in the face of profit, basic human needs are being held in contempt. We call on the working class and the grass roots to fight to overturn the barbaric, anti-grass roots plans of their exploiters.


Report: Cottigny (A6-0031/2006)


  Andreas Mölzer (NI).(DE) Mr President, in times when dividends and profits are rising, and managers’ salaries with them, the jobs available are doing the opposite and decreasing in number. Looking at Europe as a whole, as many jobs are hit by restructuring as by insolvency. In Austria alone in recent years, between 15 000 and 20 000 jobs are estimated to have been lost to the new Member States. Restructuring is a panacea enabling today’s businesses to depict themselves to the world as success stories, on paper at any rate. There has been even more restructuring in the public services than in the private sector, not least in response to guidelines from the EU.

It is now coming to be realised that there is often a high price to be paid for economy measures, in the shape of lost quality, know-how, competence, staff motivation and strategic potential. Despite the great risk of failure if restructuring is used as a substitute for a clear strategy, this is a trend that the EU’s privatisation guidelines and preferential treatment for subsidy tourism has positively encouraged. It is high time that it faced up to its responsibility and desisted from further enlargements, to which these developments are in part attributable, and got back to being more concerned about social justice.


  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE-DE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the report on restructuring and employment because we must continually prove to our fellow citizens that the European Union is the source of solutions with regard to today’s profound economic and social changes, and not the cause of problems.

The seriousness of the economic and social issues linked to restructuring, and particularly industrial restructuring, requires a strong European policy aimed at reconciling the necessary changes with the Union’s competitiveness. I welcome the proposal to set up a European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. There was a growing need to be able to reconcile, on the one hand, the inevitable industrial restructuring processes linked to the economic changes with, on the other hand, the protection of the main victims that are the redundant workers and the economic activities that depend on the restructured sectors, foremost among which are sub-contractors. Finally, I totally support the idea of having the European Union step in to help those regions that, after having gone through restructuring processes, must move into new economic areas.


  Jean Louis Cottigny (PSE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on restructuring and employment, which proposes financial resources, an enhanced role for the social partners and tools for analysing and anticipating restructuring.

Businesses are restructured for various reasons, sometimes for the purpose of defending them and sometimes in order to make them more combative, but the process always has the same effects on employees, who are the adjustment variable where the strategies of industrial groups are concerned.

It is commendable and necessary that the European Union should be looking into this problem with the aim of anticipating the consequences of restructuring for employees, but it is the EU’s duty to establish an economic and industrial policy that is dynamic and concerned with preserving and creating jobs for Europeans, as well as social and territorial cohesion.

I regret, therefore, that the EU itself encourages competition among the Member States by allowing social and fiscal dumping to prevail.


  Brigitte Douay (PSE), in writing.(FR) Industrial restructuring is a long-standing and permanent phenomenon, which results from technical progress and improved productivity. Restructuring often cannot be avoided if competitiveness, and hence long-term employment, is to be maintained. It always has a high social cost, particularly in regions housing traditional industries in which employees who are poorly qualified and not particularly mobile have difficulty in changing occupation. The social consequences of restructuring must therefore be alleviated.

That is why I voted very firmly in favour of the Cottigny report on restructuring and employment. I sincerely hope that its proposals are taken up by the Council and the Commission and that they result in practical measures. The European Union should adapt its responses, enhance the role of both sides of industry and put in place tools designed more successfully to anticipate restructuring.

Increased attention to SMEs, the creation of a globalisation adjustment fund, the right to lifelong learning and so on are all measures that should enable us to show the people that the European Union is aware of their concerns and that it is as anxious as they are to obtain genuine social cohesion.


  Lena Ek and Cecilia Malmström (ALDE), in writing. (SV) In the report on restructuring and employment, the rapporteur, Mr Cottigny, adopts the same unfortunate attitude also present in the report on relocation in the context of regional development, which we voted on yesterday. We voted against such economic protectionism yesterday and are doing the same today. Once again, it is our firm view that it really is not for the state or the EU to tell companies how to engage in restructuring. That being said, we obviously must not put our heads in the sand and pretend that the restructuring and relocation of companies does not in some cases affect people and basic social conditions in the area affected. We support the demand for closer dialogue between the social partners where these issues are concerned, but we can counter the harmful effects of restructuring and relocation in ways other than that of preventing the private sector from developing. Instead, we should invest our energies in improving the basic conditions in which a greater number of long-term jobs might be created by more companies.


  Anne Ferreira (PSE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on restructuring and employment, which proposes financial resources and an enhanced role for the social partners, as well as tools for analysing and anticipating restructuring.

Businesses are restructured for various reasons, sometimes for the purpose of defending them and sometimes in order to make them more combative, but the process always has the same effects on employees, namely that they become the adjustment variable where the strategies of industrial groups are concerned.

It is commendable and necessary that the European Union should be looking into this problem with the aim of anticipating the consequences of restructuring for employees, but it is the European Union’s duty to establish an economic and industrial policy that is dynamic and concerned with preserving and creating jobs for Europeans, as well as social and territorial cohesion.

I regret, therefore, that the European Union itself encourages competition among the Member States by leaving the path clear for social and fiscal dumping.


  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), in writing.(FR) This afternoon, I will be in the town of Le Syndicat in the department of Vosges. An event is taking place there that symbolises the consequences of the policies laid down in Brussels.

The SEB group is going to close a production unit in the town, since competition from low-price Chinese imports has become intolerable. More than 400 employees are out of a job, and that is without mentioning the subcontractors who are losing one of their main customers and who will also have to lay people off. This is a labour market area that is devastated by unemployment. Nevertheless, the SEB group is doing well. Its profits are growing. It is setting up overseas and buying up brands and so on, but it is closing down factories in France. That is because, caught between bureaucratic and financial constraints – stemming directly or indirectly from Europe - and the unfettered global competition negotiated by the EU, it has no other option. It is not SEB that has established the rules of the game; it is Brussels.

In an attempt to curb the logical outcome of European competition policies (restructuring, relocation and so on), the Cottigny report now proposes a list of bureaucratic measures that will not solve the problem, but rather will accentuate it and cause it to develop more quickly. The entire rationale must be changed, starting with the cult of ‘free’ competition coupled with the proliferation of regulatory and fiscal constraints. The job market would gain from this being done.


  Hélène Goudin, Nils Lundgren and Lars Wohlin (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) The EU has for a long time taken political measures to cope with restructuring within different sectors. This report contains some constructive proposed changes to these measures whereby, for example, resources paid out from Community funds would be monitored more efficiently and such funds not used for relocation within the EU.

The June List’s basic attitude is that the consequences of relocation and restructuring are a matter for the individual nations. We do not believe that the EU should take measures to ensure that companies accept liability for such consequences. Important issues of this kind must be decided on in the Member States.

The European Parliament wishes, among other things:

– to establish criteria governing the conditions under which it shall be permitted to carry out restructuring (in order to save jobs and increase competitiveness and not purely, for example, for the purpose of making a profit);

– to set up a special ‘growth adjustment’ fund;

– to have the EU accept responsibility for the ‘hidden effects’ of restructuring, such as the consequences for workers’ health, psychological problems among workers and increased mortality among those who are dismissed;

– to bring about equity participation by employees so that they might then participate in decisions concerning restructuring;

– and to take a dim view of Member States’ requiring workers to take early retirement as a consequence of restructuring.

No matter what political views are taken in relation to the aforesaid issues, they are issues to be dealt with by the individual nations. We have thus chosen to vote against this report.


  Carl Lang (NI), in writing.(FR) The Lisbon ‘strategy’, which is supposed to offer us a brilliant future, will be a bitter failure, and a few extra funds by way of support are not going to save the casualties of an industrial sector that, in my region of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, has seen its jobs destroyed for nothing. This is a sacrifice that will not have enabled economic and social prosperity to be exported elsewhere in the world.

Not only do we not need charity, but we do not need yet another interventionist report designed to correct the bad habits of the European Commission. The destruction of jobs in France and in an enlarged Europe will continue, despite our churning out tonnes of paper, which only express our powerlessness and our submission to the rules of unfettered globalisation and of the ultraliberal approach of zealous Europhiles. Europe is also suffering from a kind of neo-Marxism favouring more state interventionism, thus adding European bureaucracy to our national bureaucracy, which is already characterised by its administrative red tape and overwhelming emphasis on taxation.

The driving forces of our economy are fleeing, only to be replaced by immigration on a huge scale, the negative contribution of which is an unbearable economic and social burden. We need economic nationalism, the re-establishment of customs and tariff barriers, Community preference in Europe and protection and national preference in France.


  Thomas Mann (PPE-DE), in writing. – (DE) I have voted in favour of the Cottigny report following the achievement of a sufficient majority for amendments tabled by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, which incorporated proposals I had made in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. The restructuring of businesses needs to be seen in a nuanced light.

On the one hand, the relocation of businesses to cheaper sites abroad results in a collision between different enterprise cultures, with the loss of the synergy effects that this is often said to bring about and workers – including those at management level – losing out. On the other, restructuring is necessary whenever businesses need to respond to the demands of new markets, the proximity of customers and the need to become more competitive.

In order that workers in the EU may be better prepared to be as mobile as they will need to be, they need adequate support in further training and retraining and to be involved in lifelong learning programmes. It is SMEs that should benefit most from restructuring aid, which must be in line with the Lisbon objectives. For the purpose of determining whether or not subsidies are lawful, it must become easier to trace funds back to their source and thereby facilitate the recovery of wrongly-obtained funding.

Since the structural funds we have at present are inadequate, I welcome the creation, as an expression of our solidarity, of a special fund, amounting to EUR 500 million per annum, for retraining and help with switching jobs. There remains, however, the need for discussion of its criteria, since it is envisaged that it will operate only in the case of relocations to non-EU states and where a given business makes more than 1 000 workers redundant. Administering it must not result in the creation of new bureaucracy within the European Commission or in the authorities at national level.


  David Martin (PSE), in writing. I welcome the report written in response to the Commission’s communication on restructuring and employment. The report agrees that restructuring is not necessarily synonymous with social decline provided that such measures are correctly anticipated and managed through good collaboration between the affected firms and trade unions, plus a suitable training policy for workers.

It calls for support to be given to SMEs and proposes that the financial programmes under discussion for 2007-2013 should be geared more closely to anticipating and managing restructuring. To prevent ‘subsidy tourism’, the report argues that firms subsidised from EU funds should not receive any further Community aid for a given period of time if they relocate part or all of their activities within the EU.


  Claude Moraes (PSE), in writing. I voted for the Cottigny report on restructuring and employment. I voted for paragraph 9, part 2, on the endowment of the globalisation and adjustment fund by businesses as this is a voluntary donation.


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) Globalisation is not simply a process of drawing closer together, reducing distances and maximising scale; it is also a process of speeding up. These days, everything is about movement and everything moves faster. It is therefore understandable that some people are apprehensive about the high-speed nature of modern times. The end of a cycle, the dismantling of a model, a break with the past; this is always a time of crisis. It is clearly unlikely that the victims of these processes would believe in the virtues of 'creative destruction'. This, however, is as real as destruction itself.

I make these remarks in response to the Cottigny report on restructuring and employment, which falls down precisely because it is out of tune with reality. Social structures, especially public ones, must be ready for the impact of the transformations that this time of economic revolution is set to bring. After all, we cannot turn our backs on those who have been excluded from progress. Then again, nor does it strike me as desirable to reverse the process entirely. Our objective should consist of endeavouring to make the most of this time for our economies and for our citizens, and this is the project on which our efforts should be concentrated.


  Carl Schlyter (Verts/ALE), in writing. (SV) The report is constructive in the main and sheds light on many of the problems entailed in an economy geared to short-term speculation. I am therefore voting in favour of it. However, the report refers in positive terms to the fund that the Commission wishes to set up. This fund would involve direct payments to individuals and be the start of a process whereby the EU would assume power over social policy, which would be an unfortunate development.

If this fund were to be introduced, it would however be helpful if private capital were used to finance a fair share of it. I am voting against new EU directives on labour legislation in relation to restructuring because this would undermine the Swedish model of collective agreements between the social partners.


Report: Bauer (A6-0028/2006)


  Carlo Fatuzzo (PPE-DE). – (IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I voted in favour of Mrs Bauer’s report on social protection and social inclusion and I should like to ask a question to the European Council – that is, to the 25 Heads of State or Government – to which I hope they will reply: why are pensions constantly falling in value and increasingly proving inadequate for subsistence?

The reforms that the 25 Heads of State or Government are pushing through are designed to pay ever smaller pensions to our retired population. In Italy alone, by 2050, young people will receive a pension of only one third of their final salary.

I want to send this DVD recording of my voice to the 27 Heads of State or Government, who I hope will clearly say what they intend to do. Perhaps abolish the status of retired citizens or provide for the survival of those who have worked in the past but are now too old to do so.


  Hélène Goudin, Nils Lundgren and Lars Wohlin (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) This report contains a long list of exhortations to the Member States concerning the action they should take to deal with relative poverty in the individual Member States. There are obviously good reasons for the Member States to cooperate on issues of this type by, for example, voluntarily sharing experiences and best practice.

Social integration and poverty are, however, issues that must be dealt with nationally or through voluntary cooperation between the governments of the Member States. It is difficult to see what added value or specific competence the European Parliament is contributing by churning out opinions on these and similar issues.

The report contains proposals to the effect that:

– the Member States should increase the opportunities for lifelong learning (paragraph 11);

– the Member States should provide access to affordable, good quality care services for children (paragraph 24);

– the Member States’ pensions systems should be reformed so as to guarantee social justice to the greatest possible extent (paragraph 44);

– reforms of public pension systems in the Member States should not lead to an increase in the total tax burden on labour (paragraph 45);

The June List recommends that important issues such as those referred to above be resolved by means of broad national debates, whereupon the Member States should, either independently or by cooperating voluntarily with other relevant players, use the ordinary democratic channels to decide on suitable legislation and other appropriate measures. We have thus voted against this report.


  Sérgio Marques (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) The Commission’s report on social protection and social inclusion confirms that Member States are stepping up their efforts to combat poverty and to ensure that pension schemes remain capable of delivering adequate incomes for pensioners. The report points out, however, that more than 68 million or 15% of the EU population were living at risk of poverty in 2002.

In spite of significant structural improvements in the labour market in the EU, employment and participation remain inadequate. Unemployment remains high in a number of Member States, particularly among the young, older workers and women. Labour market exclusion has a national but also a local and regional dimension, according to the report.

I wholeheartedly back the Bauer report, which commends the measures put forward by the Commission aimed at helping the Member States to recognise the difficulties facing people at a disadvantage and to support the integration of such people, to boost job creation, training and career development, the reconciliation of professional and family life and the right to equal access to healthcare and decent accommodation, and to ensure the sustainability of social protection systems.


  David Martin (PSE), in writing. I welcome this report which focuses on a number of key policy priorities including: increasing labour market participation; modernising social protection systems; tackling disadvantages in education and training; eliminating child poverty; ensuring decent accommodation; improving housing standards and addressing the lack of social housing for vulnerable groups; improving access to quality services such as health and long-term care services, social services and transport; and overcoming discrimination and increasing the integration of ethnic minorities and immigrants.


Report: Grech (A6-0058/2006)


  Charlotte Cederschiöld, Christofer Fjellner, Gunnar Hökmark and Anna Ibrisagic (PPE-DE), in writing. (SV) In the final vote, we have chosen to vote in favour of the guidelines for the 2007 budget procedure, in spite of our having serious objections where two points are concerned.

We are opposed to the devising of a statute for Members’ assistants, who would then be in danger of living under quite different conditions than the people with whom they have to work closely in the constituencies. There would also be a significant risk of the profession of Member’s assistant becoming a distinctive lifelong career.

We are also opposed to setting up a Centre of European Houses in Brussels for the purpose of conducting a policy for providing information about the EU.


  Gérard Deprez (ALDE), in writing. – (FR) I supported Mr Grech’s report, which is far from being politically trivial. Hence, for example, in the field of information policy, if we apply the general principle laid down in paragraphs 17, 28 and 62 (reduction of activities not providing any added value), I believe that serious changes must be made! Every day we receive information brochures written by ‘specialists’. I am convinced that, in order to inspire confidence amongst the European citizens, it would be better to inform them by means of the media that normally reaches them on the ground than to design expensive brochures that they will not read and that they will not understand.

Another sector in which the principles of the report should be applied is the ‘session auxiliaries’. With regard to employment, our rapporteur argues that long-term personnel should be employed rather than using agents on fixed term contracts. If we support this principle – as I do – what status is going to be proposed at the end of this year for the 300 session auxiliaries whose contract will not be able to be renewed in its current form, following the disappearance of the legal basis laid down in Article 78 of the ‘conditions of employment of other servants’?


  Astrid Lulling (PPE-DE), in writing.(FR) I voted against the Grech report, because I do not agree with questioning the establishment of the European Parliament’s headquarters in Strasbourg and the establishment of Luxembourg as a place of work.


  Claude Moraes (PSE), in writing. I am voting for the Grech report. I voted for both parts of Article 47, because I believe there should be a statute for Members’ assistants by 2009.


Report: Ó Neachtain (A6-0019/2006)


  Hélène Goudin, Nils Lundgren and Lars Wohlin (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) We welcome the introduction of more environmentally friendly fishing methods. We are not, however, in favour of the proposal that the EU should introduce a system of support and compensation for professional fishermen affected for the worse by such methods. The report makes no mention of any particular sum by way of compensation. Nor does it state from which budget item such compensation should be taken.

We are in favour of fishermen and their representative associations being involved in determining measures to protect the marine environment and rebuild depleted stocks (Amendment 1). We are not, however, in favour of the proposal that the suggested compensation measures for fishermen be funded by the Community (Amendment 2).

We disapprove of further budgetary expenditure within the EU and have chosen to vote against this report in its entirety.


  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Following the previous debate, we welcome the support of the Commissioner for Fisheries, Mr Borg, for the amendment that we tabled, which stated that decentralisation and co-management are two principles that are fundamental both in guaranteeing the involvement of fishermen and their representative associations in measures to protect the marine environment and rebuild depleted fish stocks, but also in guaranteeing the effectiveness of such measures, bearing in mind that it is the fishermen and their associations who will be applying such measures, who have first-hand knowledge of the state of resources and who are most concerned to ensure their preservation.

We also note his openness to considering our proposed amendment, which calls on the Commission to propose socio-economic compensation measures, with the guaranteed Community funding, for plans to rebuild depleted fish stocks.

The majority in Parliament has inexplicably rejected these proposals, which is something we regret.


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) A sustainable fisheries sector based on the very latest scientific and technological research is crucial if we are to meet one of the EU’s main objectives, namely an exploitation of living marine resources that provides sustainable economic, environmental and social conditions.

This Commission communication is a step in the right direction, playing a stronger role in promoting the ecologically sustainable management of fisheries.

I should like to reiterate the importance of these measures for fishermen; making any economic activity more environmentally-friendly is in their interest because it would guarantee healthy fish stocks to them. Given that these measures could have a significant socio-economic impact in the short term, the interested parties should be involved in the planned reforms and we should look into ways of compensating fishermen adversely affected, in the short and medium term, by environmentally-friendly fishing.

In light of the points I have mentioned, I feel that the content of the communication before us makes a relevant and significant contribution towards building a positive future, for those whose livelihoods depend on fisheries and for environmental protection.


  Frédérique Ries (ALDE), in writing.(FR) I naturally voted in favour of this report, which encourages fishing methods that are more respectful of the environment.

The priority today is to achieve a reduction in the intensity of fishing activity in order to allow stocks to replenish. This is a sensitive subject, we know, but it is urgent. 46% of the 28 000 species of fish surveyed in the world are threatened. Furthermore, the United Nations programme for the assessment of ecosystems stresses that 25% of commercial species are over-exploited.

We must clearly take account of socio-economic imperatives and not penalise the fishing sector, which is already subject to excessive constraints. Reducing fishing activity is acceptable if it is linked to compensations. However, other measures may provide significant results, such as strengthening the fight against pollution from ships or promoting sustainable fishing methods.

The sustainability of fisheries resources is an essential objective, and that is the principle upon which my opinion report on the Commission’s communication on a Community approach towards the eco-labelling of fisheries products is based.


Preparations for the European Council / Lisbon Strategy (RC - B6-0161/2006)


  Brian Crowley (UEN), in writing. I support the goal of modernising the European economy through the Lisbon partnership for growth and employment. I accept that this strategy also has to be seen in the wider context of sustainable development requirements - that our current needs have to be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Undoubtedly Europe has the resources to sustain our high living standards, but we need to take action to unlock them.

I would like it to be on the record that while I support the overall objective of Parliament's resolution on the Spring Summit 2006, I do not support amendments which state that nuclear energy is a viable alternative to Europe's current energy dependency. Ireland in no way supports the use of nuclear energy.


  Emanuel Jardim Fernandes (PSE), in writing. (PT) Almost a year has passed since the relaunch of the Lisbon Strategy, agreed by the Spring European Council last March.

In its Annual Interim Report on the Lisbon Strategy published on 25 January ahead of the next Spring European Council, the Commission says that although it recognises the significant progress made since then, the priority is now to produce results and the time has come to speed up the reforms.

Accordingly, it has identified four priority areas for action, whereby EU Heads of State or Government must commit themselves to taking the following specific additional measures, at national and European level: greater investment in education and innovation; unlocking business potential, especially SMEs; responding to the challenges of globalisation and the ageing of the population; and setting the wheels of an affective, integrated European energy policy in motion.

The motion for a resolution before us offers comments and suggestions on the four priority action areas, which I wholeheartedly support. I therefore voted in favour.


  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Although I am disappointed that the resolution that we tabled was rejected, it is worth pointing out that some 100 Members of the House either voted in favour (79) or abstained (20), which is more than double the number of members of our group and indeed more than the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left and the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance put together. It was similarly significant that an even bigger number refused to vote for the joint resolution, which was nevertheless adopted by the majority.

Experience has taught us that the open coordination method provided for in the Lisbon Strategy has not reduced poverty. As a result of the Lisbon Strategy, the priorities have been liberalisation and privatisation of public sectors and services.

Given that poverty is a violation of human rights, greater attention must be paid to its causes. Accordingly, the necessary measures must be taken to promote social inclusion, as viewed from a multidisciplinary perspective.

We therefore advocate replacing the Stability and Growth Pact with a genuine development and progress pact, and the Lisbon Strategy with a proper economic and social cohesion strategy. In turn, we believe that the accent should not be placed on the proposal for a directive on the creation of the internal market for services.


  Glyn Ford (PSE), in writing. I will be supporting this resolution, along with my colleagues in the Socialist Group and the Labour delegation, but nevertheless I must point out a key omission in the section on energy policy, namely tidal power.

Global warming pushes us away from conventional power, while safety and security concerns threaten nuclear power. The gap can be filled with renewables only with great difficulty, whether solar, wind or biofuels. The one opportunity that is being neglected is tidal power. The French built the power station across La Ranche estuary demonstrating the technology; in the UK both the Mersey, on a small scale, and the Severn, on a massive scale, are suitable sites. The Severn scheme alone could supply nearly 10% of Britain's energy needs. Why are we neglecting 'big' renewables in favour of covering our hillsides with windmills and our roofs with solar panels?


  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), in writing. – (FR) As a general rule, this Parliament’s resolutions on the preparations for European Councils consist of a litany of desiderata to the governments and the Commission. What they have in common is that they never point out that the difficulties being experienced by our countries are caused by European integration, and always call for more interference by Brussels in the policies of the Member States. Salvation cannot come from the Europe of Brussels, because the majority of the problems mentioned in this text come from there.

For example, we are now at a point where the problems resulting from the liberalisation of the internal energy market – which Brussels wanted and which was based upon the sole and sacrosanct principle of competition – are prompting Members of Parliament to call for a common energy policy, even a single policy. This field of action is not provided for in the Treaties, however, and there is good for reason for that: the opposition of the governments, which are aware of the strategic importance of this sector and of their diverging interests.

The general impression is that European integration, as it stands today, is an end in itself and that it feeds off the negative consequences of its own mistakes. We must put an end to this vicious circle.


  Hélène Goudin, Nils Lundgren and Lars Wohlin (IND/DEM), in writing. (SV) In this resolution, the European Parliament enters into areas that it is for the parliaments of the Member States to attend to in order to achieve the agreed European targets concerning increased growth and employment. The basis of the Lisbon Strategy is that the Member States should implement what has been agreed on.

The Lisbon Strategy must not be used as an argument for constantly demanding increased appropriations to the EU’s budget. The June List believes instead that the respective Member States’ budgets must make provision for the Lisbon Strategy. Paragraph 3 of the resolution states that the EU’s budget must be increased if the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy are to be achieved. For that reason, we are choosing to vote against the resolution.

The resolution contains many positive proposals but is based on the EU having a financial perspective that we do not support. Responsibility for implementing the Lisbon Strategy lies with the Member States, which is why it is important for their contributions to the EU not to be increased. Rather, they should have scope themselves for taking care of what is required by the Lisbon Strategy.

We have therefore voted against the motion for a resolution tabled by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, the Socialist Group in the European Parliament and the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.


  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) What will take place on 16 and 17 March could be termed the employers’ general assembly, and it is no coincidence that it has been scheduled for shortly before the European Council. It will be attended by the Austrian Chancellor and President-in-Office of the Council, the President of the Commission and the Commissioners, along with the big guns from business, industry, the environment, research and the media, not to mention government representatives from the so-called national reform programmes.

The captains of industry will set out their wish list calling for the implementation of the so-called structural reforms, which is a euphemism for the politics of the Right, the true meaning of which is well known to the workers: that is, more precarious work, lower salaries, longer working life and working hours, later pensionable age, the dismantling and subsequent liberalisation and privatisation of public services, with the accent on energy and communications, social security, health and education, and research, with exploitation, unemployment and poverty following in its wake.

The majority in Parliament has joined forces to adopt this agenda, although we voted against.


  Timothy Kirkhope (PPE-DE), in writing. I and my British Conservative colleagues fully support all measures within the Lisbon Strategy which genuinely enhance the competitiveness of European economies. This requires real economic reform that delivers more growth, flexible labour markets and higher employment throughout the EU.

While we are fully supportive of the efforts of the President of the Commission and some Member States to reduce burdens on business and impediments to job creation, we are concerned that some of the measures outlined in the resolution could lead to higher costs on business and detract from the over-riding priority of making Europe more competitive in the global market place and thus significantly reducing unemployment levels.

We cannot support those suggestions in the resolution that would lead to a Financial Perspective higher than agreed at the European Council in December 2005.

On these and other grounds, we have decided to abstain on the resolution.


  Athanasios Pafilis (GUE/NGL), in writing. – (EL) The joint motion for a resolution signed and being promoted in the European Parliament by the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, the Socialist Group in the European Parliament and the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe on the Lisbon Strategy aims to speed up capitalist restructurings even more, by drawing up national programmes. The attack by Euro-unifying capital is being extended and embraces all the basic links, with the invasion of capital in and the commercialisation of health, education and energy, the dismantling of labour relations and the sweeping away of any rights acquired by the working classes, with the new attack on its insurance and pension rights.

The Lisbon Strategy is also based on the Maastricht Treaty and the four freedoms (of capital, of trade, of workers, of services) voted on jointly in our country by Nea Dimokratia, the Panellinio Socialistiko Kinima and Synaspismos.

The Kommounistiko Komma Elladas has given the working class and the people timely warning of the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy. It calls on the working class to step up its fight against the barbaric attack by capital, to make its fight an anti-monopoly, anti-imperialist fight and to build up its alliance for grass-roots power and prosperity.


  Tobias Pflüger (GUE/NGL), in writing. (DE) It is scandalous that, even 20 years after the Chernobyl disaster, two-thirds of MEPs should endorse the continued use of nuclear energy by voting in favour of the resolution on the Lisbon Strategy. Nuclear power remains a high-risk technology with incalculable consequences.

The spiralling use of nuclear power violates fundamental rights and irreparably worsens the living conditions of future generations. The extraction of uranium entails the massive over-exploitation of nature and the radioactive pollution of groundwater. Uranium can also be enriched, which is a means of producing material capable of being used in atomic weapons. It is in fact not really possible to absolutely separate ‘civil’ from military use of nuclear energy. Even the normal operation of nuclear reactors involves a permanent state of risk through such things as low-level radiation and the risk of contamination of the rivers used for cooling them.

There are recurrent instances of reprocessing plants causing the radioactive pollution over wide expanses of land and sea. To date, nobody has been able to solve the problem of how to manage and store highly radioactive waste, more of which is being produced on a daily basis and which will continue to emit radiation for another 10 000 years at least. The EUR 3.1 billion allocated to nuclear research by the EU’s seventh research framework programme (2007-2011) is double the amount allocated by its predecessor. Instead of investing in nuclear technologies, the EU should do more to develop renewable forms of energy. Decentralised supplies from renewable energy sources are the only way to guarantee long-term security of energy supply.


  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of the European Parliament resolution on the input to the Spring 2006 European Council in relation to the Lisbon Strategy, as I accept most of the points it raises and the proposals it makes. I particularly welcome the proposals relating to a demanding, competitive and innovative approach to the European economy, which sets out a roadmap for European economic reform marked by the completion of the internal market, investment in research and development, and solidarity between communities and generations.

There are some points that I feel need to be clarified.

In my opinion, it is regrettable that one year on from the 2005 Spring Council, we remain more or less exactly where we were, in many areas, namely freedom to provide services, freedom of installation for citizens from the new Member States, the deepening of the internal market and reform of budgetary priorities. These points have certainly not led me to vote against the resolution, but they do reinforce my disappointment at the lack of commitment to EU reforms.

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