Index 
Debates
PDF 627k
Quinta-feira, 5 de Fevereiro de 2009 - Estrasburgo Edição revista
1. Abertura do período de sessões
 2. Entrega de documentos: ver Acta
 3. Colocação no mercado e utilização de alimentos para animais (debate)
 4. Acções de informação e promoção a favor de produtos agrícolas (debate)
 5. Período de votação
  5.1. Acções de informação e promoção a favor de produtos agrícolas (A6-0004/2009, Constantin Dumitriu) (votação)
  5.2. Aplicação da Directiva 2003/9/CE sobre o acolhimento de requerentes de asilo: visitas da Comissão LIBE de 2005 a 2008 (A6-0024/2009, Martine Roure) (votação)
  5.3. PME europeias no comércio internacional (A6-0001/2009, Cristiana Muscardini) (votação)
  5.4. Comércio internacional e Internet (A6-0020/2009, Georgios Papastamkos) (votação)
  5.5. Colocação no mercado e utilização de alimentos para animais (A6-0407/2008, Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf) (votação)
  5.6. Impacto dos Acordos de Parceria Económica no desenvolvimento (A6-0513/2008, Jürgen Schröder) (votação)
  5.7. null (votação)
  5.8. Relações comerciais e económicas com a China (A6-0021/2009, Corien Wortmann-Kool) (votação)
 6. Declarações de voto
 7. Correcções e intenções de voto: ver Acta
 8. Aprovação da acta da sessão anterior: Ver Acta
 9. Pedido de levantamento da imunidade parlamentar: Ver Acta
 10. Composição das comissões e delegações : Ver Acta
 11. Debate sobre casos de violação dos direitos humanos, da democracia e do Estado de direito (debate)
  11.1. Situação no Sri Lanka
  11.2. Situação dos refugiados birmaneses na Tailândia
  11.3. Recusa de extradição do Brasil de Cesare Battisti
 12. Período de votação
  12.1. Situação no Sri Lanka (votação)
  12.2. Situação dos refugiados birmaneses na Tailândia (votação)
  12.3. Recusa de extradição do Brasil de Cesare Battisti (votação)
 13. Correcções e intenções de voto: ver Acta
 14. Seguimento dado às posições e resoluções do Parlamento: ver Acta
 15. Decisões sobre determinados documentos: ver acta
 16. Transmissão dos textos aprovados durante a presente sessão: ver Acta
 17. Declarações escritas inscritas no registo (artigo 116º do Regimento): ver acta.
 18. Calendário das próximas sessões : Ver Acta
 19. Interrupção da Sessão
 ANEXO (Respostas escritas)


  

PRESIDE: ALEJO VIDAL-QUADRAS
Vicepresidente

 
1. Abertura do período de sessões
Vídeo das intervenções
  

(Se abre la sesión a las 10.00 horas)

 

2. Entrega de documentos: ver Acta

3. Colocação no mercado e utilização de alimentos para animais (debate)
Vídeo das intervenções
MPphoto
 
 

  El Presidente. − El siguiente punto es el informe de Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, en nombre de la Comisión de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, sobre la propuesta de Reglamento del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo sobre la comercialización y la utilización de los piensos (COM(2008)0124 - C6-0128/2008 - 2008/0050(COD)) (A6-0407/2008).

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, Berichterstatter. − Herr Präsident, verehrte Frau Kommissarin! Wir diskutieren heute über die so genannte offene Deklaration. Es geht um Transparenz bei Futtermitteln als Basis für gesunde Lebensmittel für die Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher, und es geht darum, dass die Kunden von Mischfuttermitteln eine Übersicht darüber haben, was ihnen geliefert wird.

Wenn wir heute diese Verordnung verabschieden, hoffe ich, dass wir nach einem langen Weg zu einem guten Abschluss kommen, und ich möchte mich bei der Kommission bedanken, die uns durch konstruktive Sacharbeit sehr geholfen hat. Sie traf auf den unbedingten politischen Willen des Parlaments, diese offene Deklaration durchzusetzen, und sie traf auch auf eine hartnäckige, aber faire Auseinandersetzung mit dem Rat. Das Ergebnis kann sich sehen lassen.

Gehen wir noch kurz auf in die Geschichte ein. Wir hatten die BSE-Krise, und 1997 gab es einen Abschlussbericht des Untersuchungsausschusses, in dem das Parlament diese offene Deklaration forderte. Die Kommission legte einen Vorschlag vor, der dann in die Richtlinie 2002/2/EG mündete, in der in einem Kompromiss mit dem Rat – es lief damals durch alle Instanzen – die offene Deklaration durchgesetzt wurde, nämlich dass mit +/- 15 % die Angabe auf dem Etikett erfolgen und die exakte Zusammensetzung bei Nachfrage kundgetan werden musste.

Dies war damals eine Richtlinie und keine Verordnung, und die Länder setzten sie nur sehr zögernd oder gar nicht um. Die Futtermittelindustrie klagte vor dem EuGH und wir bekamen damals eine Bestätigung erster Klasse: Bis auf die exakte Auskunft war die Rechtmäßigkeit dieser Richtlinie nicht strittig. Wir haben dann diesem Urteil mit einem weiteren Verfahren im Parlament Rechnung getragen und sind jetzt mit dieser Verordnung zu einem Abschluss gekommen. Ich hatte die Ehre, jedes Mal Berichterstatter zu sein, und in diesem langen Zeitraum hat es mit der Kommission eine äußerst intensive und vertrauensvolle Zusammenarbeit gegeben.

Heute haben wir ein Ergebnis vorliegen, das hart, aber fair erstritten worden ist. Es kann sich sehen lassen. Es zeigt sich auch, dass es von der Mehrheit des Hohen Hauses und von den Fraktionen getragen wird. Es gibt keine Änderungsanträge, woraus ich schließe, dass wir diese Verordnung auch mit großer Mehrheit verabschieden werden. Wir haben dann eine gute Verordnung, die eine offene Deklaration in drei Schritten – Sie kennen sie – gewährleistet: erstens die Komponenten in absteigender Reihenfolge ihrer prozentualen Anteile, zweitens die Auskunft mit +/- 15 % bei den Futtermittelfirmen – hier haben wir keinen geistigen Eigentumsvorbehalt in diesem Gesetz festgeschrieben, sondern auf die allgemeine Gesetzgebung verwiesen – und drittens die exakte Auskunft bei den Behörden.

Ich möchte noch darauf hinweisen, dass wir ein Register angelegt haben. Es wird in der Europäischen Union keine Verfütterung und keine Beimischung von Komponenten mehr geben, ohne dass diese veröffentlicht werden, denn sie müssen in das Register aufgenommen werden. Das ist einmal für die Kontrollbehörden wichtig, es ist aber auch für die Öffentlichkeit und für die Kunden wichtig. Ich kann also sagen, dass ich als Berichterstatter insgesamt mit diesem Ergebnis sehr zufrieden bin.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, first of all I would like to thank the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development for its work on this dossier, and especially the rapporteur, Mr Graefe zu Baringdorf, as well as all the shadow rapporteurs, who all played an important role.

Mr Graefe zu Baringdorf has managed to steer discussions during the negotiations with great skill, and we are very grateful to him.

The compromise package maintains the high level of feed safety achieved in the EU. It strikes the right balance between consumer protection and intellectual property rights. It removes the burden of the pre-market authorisation procedure for bio-proteins, modernises the labelling of feed through proper information for the customer and places co-regulation at the heart of legislative procedures. It improves market transparency through the notification system for new feed materials, facilitates innovation and competitiveness in the EU feed business and marks a concrete step against the misleading of feed users – be they farmers or pet owners.

The result of the negotiations is the compromise package submitted for your vote, which amounts to simplification and modernisation of the current legal framework. The provisions concerning the so-called ‘open declaration’ allow for a more modern type of labelling. Feed materials incorporated into compound feed for food-producing animals will have to be labelled by weight, in descending order.

On top of this, the exact percentage of weight has to be indicated for highlighted feed materials, and in the case of voluntary labelling.

Furthermore, the provision that certain information concerning compound feed can be transferred from the competent authorities to the purchasers on grounds of urgency improves the appropriate information to the user in cases such as feed contamination incidents.

In this context, the Commission makes the following declarations. First, in order to adapt Annex III on the tolerances for the compositional labelling of feed materials and compound feed to scientific and technical development, the Commission and its services envisage taking up examination of that Annex. In this context, the Commission will also consider certain feed materials with moisture content greater than 50%.

Second, with regard to the labelling of additives, the Commission will study whether the principles of information through labelling of feed could also apply to the additives and premixtures authorised under the Regulation on additives for use in animal nutrition.

Finally, the Commission understands that any urgencies relating to human and animal health and the environment may include urgencies generated, among other things, by negligence, international fraud or criminal acts.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Albert Deß, im Namen der PPE-DE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich möchte mich auch für die EVP-Fraktion recht herzlich bei unserem Berichterstatter, Graefe zu Baringdorf, bedanken. Ich glaube, die Vorgehensweise bei diesem Bericht ist ein Musterbeispiel für die parlamentarische Arbeit hier.

Wir werden heute in der Abstimmung keine Änderungsanträge haben, weil hier sachlich eine sehr fundierte Arbeit über die Fraktionen hinweg stattgefunden hat. Ich bin überzeugt, dass sich dieses Resultat sehen lassen kann. Wir haben ein ausgewogenes Ergebnis erreicht, das die Interessen der Landwirte als Anwender der Futtermittel, der Futtermittelhersteller und aller weiteren Beteiligten an der Lebensmittelkette sicherstellt.

Die Transparenz wird verbessert, und gerade meine Fraktion hat auch großen Wert darauf gelegt, dass ein Register angelegt wird, in dem Rohstoffe, die in Futtermittel eingemischt werden, entsprechend gemeldet werden müssen. Wir haben immer wieder Lebensmittelskandale. Das wird auch das neue Recht nicht verhindern, weil keine europäische Vorschrift geeignet ist, kriminelle Energie zu verhindern. Aber die Vorschriften werden mit dazu beitragen, dass, wenn es zu Skandalen kommt, schneller sichergestellt werden kann, welche Stoffe beigemischt wurden.

Ich finde es auch gut, dass die Futtermittelhersteller freiwillig weitere Angaben machen dürfen. Wenn sie weitere Angaben machen, muss das wissenschaftlich bewiesen sein, auch dies finde ich einen hervorragenden Vorschlag. Ich bin der Meinung, dass durch dieses neue Futtermittelrecht der Schutz wesentlich verbessert wird, und dass die Landwirte dadurch, dass sie durch die absteigende Reihenfolge wissen, in welcher Größenordnung hier Komponenten eingemischt worden sind und was für ihre Tiere das beste Futter ist, entsprechend auswählen können.

Ich bedanke mich nochmals bei allen Beteiligten, die mitgewirkt haben, dass dieser gute Bericht so zustande gekommen ist.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Rosa Miguélez Ramos, en nombre del Grupo PSE. – Señor Presidente, señora Comisaria, como ya hice en la reunión de la Comisión de Agricultura, quiero, en primer lugar, felicitar al ponente, a los ponentes alternativos de los otros grupos políticos y, también, al Consejo, por el trabajo realizado.

El trabajo que nos ha permitido llegar a un acuerdo en primera lectura y que ha sido, además, un excelente rodaje en el procedimiento de codecisión, que será, en un futuro próximo, el habitual en nuestra comisión.

En la actualidad, señorías, la legislación sobre circulación de materias primas para piensos y de piensos compuestos para animales, incluidos los animales de compañía, —un sector que representa a nivel comunitario una cifra de negocios de unos cincuenta mil millones de euros— está regulada por muchas directivas y por unos 50 actos modificativos o de ejecución.

La simplificación de la normativa y una aplicación armonizada de la misma son los principales objetivos, que, sin duda, se van a materializar con este reglamento.

En 2006, la Comisión de Agricultura de este Parlamento ya había debatido sobre la comercialización de los piensos. En aquel momento, todos lo recordarán, solicitamos por unanimidad a la Comisión Europea que, en la futura revisión, fuera capaz de encontrar el justo equilibrio entre el interés de los agricultores por disponer de una información detallada de los ingredientes y el interés de la industria por obtener una protección suficiente para su saber hacer.

El compromiso alcanzado sobre los principales puntos sensibles de la propuesta de la Comisión, la declaración abierta de materias primas y la creación del catálogo comunitario de materias primas reflejan bien, a mi modo de ver, ese equilibrio. Prueba de ello es la buena acogida que ha tenido el compromiso por todas las partes implicadas.

Efectivamente, el compromiso permite, en la declaración abierta, preservar el derecho de los compradores a estar informados y el de los fabricantes a la propiedad de su saber hacer, al indicar que la información deberá ser proporcionada sin perjuicio de la Directiva 2004 sobre los derechos de propiedad intelectual.

No cabe duda, señorías, de que en una relación de confianza entre proveedor y usuario las fórmulas se conocen, pero no sería lógico estar obligado a dar la receta al primer cliente que aparezca por la puerta. Muchos de nosotros llevamos años bebiendo Coca-Cola, no conocemos la receta y, sin embargo, no ponemos en duda que se respetan las características y que se respeta lo establecido a nivel sanitario.

La sentencia del Tribunal de Justicia que ya ha sido mencionada establece de modo taxativo que la obligación de informar a los clientes que lo soliciten de la composición exacta de sus piensos no está justificada por el objetivo de protección de la salud que se persigue.

Dicho esto, quiero recordar que la autoridad competente podrá tener, en todo momento, acceso a la composición exacta y que, tal y como se establece en el compromiso alcanzado, cualquier urgencia relacionada con la salud humana o con la salud animal o con el medio ambiente, permitirá que se facilite al comprador la información exacta acerca de la composición de los alimentos concernidos, tras sopesar los intereses legítimos tanto de fabricantes como de compradores.

En cuanto al catálogo de buenas prácticas de etiquetado, se mantiene el carácter voluntario de este instrumento al servicio de los profesionales del sector sin que en ningún momento se convierta en una lista positiva de las materias primas para la fabricación de los piensos compuestos, porque esto es algo que no se nos había pedido.

La normativa sí incluirá, a petición del Parlamento Europeo, un nuevo anexo con una lista de materias primas cuya comercialización o utilización para la alimentación animal esté prohibida o restringida, catálogo —o anexo o lista— que la Comisión podrá ir actualizando.

El Grupo de los Socialistas Europeos, mi Grupo, al que represento, señorías, apoya el compromiso alcanzado y no ha presentado enmiendas al Pleno. Estamos totalmente de acuerdo con la posición, tal y como se presenta hoy aquí en esta Cámara, y votaremos, por tanto, a favor de la misma.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jan Mulder, namens de ALDE-Fractie. – Ook ik zou willen beginnen met mijn complimenten uit te spreken aan de rapporteur, de heer Graefe zu Baringdorf. Ook de Liberale Fractie is van mening dat het bereikte compromis een goed compromis is en wij kunnen er dus later vandaag vóór stemmen.

Het belangrijkste is dat de intellectuele eigendom van de veevoederfabrikanten gewaarborgd is. Als wij in de sector vernieuwing willen hebben - gisteren hebben wij gestemd over een klimaatverslag - dan kan ook op het stuk van veevoeder nog een heleboel verbeterd worden, zodat de uitstoot van allerlei gassen door de veestapel daalt. Nu, die uitdaging moeten wij aangaan. Als veevoederfabrikanten zich dan vernieuwen, mag dat niet belemmerd worden door al te stringente regelgeving inzake openbaarmaking. Deze openbaarmaking is in mijn ogen gewaarborgd, anderen hebben dat ook al gezegd. Zij zou op verzoek van de overheid, dan wel van een bepaalde klant kunnen gebeuren. Niets houdt de veevoederfabrikanten tegen om dit op basis van vrijwilligheid te doen.

Het is niet het belangrijkste om te weten welke de ingrediënten als zodanig zijn. Veel belangrijker is de precieze voedingswaarde van veevoeder. Deze moet correct worden aangegeven. Alles wat op het etiket staat, energie, eiwit etc., is belangrijk. Kortom, de Liberale Fractie zal zich achter dit compromis scharen. Wij zullen ook tegen de veevoederfabrikanten zeggen dat, als zij hun productieprocessen en hun veevoedersamenstelling etc. willen vernieuwen, dit compromis een goed compromis is waarmee dit wordt aangemoedigd.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Andrzej Tomasz Zapałowski, w imieniu grupy UEN. – Panie Przewodniczący! Rynek pasz i ich stosowanie przy produkcji zwierzęcej jest niezwykle ważny, gdyż dotyczy on zdrowia setek milionów obywateli państw Unii Europejskiej.

Przykre doświadczenia z przeszłości w postaci chorób zwierząt wywołanych przez nieodpowiednie pasze spowodowały ogromne koszty materialne i społeczne w krajach Wspólnoty. Dlatego też określenie składu pasz jest niezwykle ważne, aby ograniczyć użycie niedobrych pasz. Ważne jest także skuteczne egzekwowanie tych przepisów zawartych w rozporządzeniu, aby nie były one tylko pustymi deklaracjami.

Obecnie miliony osób, a nawet całe kraje w Europie przeciwne spożywaniu żywności wyprodukowanej na bazie pasz, w których stosuje się modyfikowane genetycznie rośliny, mają prawo o tym wiedzieć. Tak więc o tym, co zawiera pasza, powinno się informować nie tylko farmerów, ale zakłady przetwarzające żywność powinny informować o tym także klientów na etykietach. A tego się nie robi.

Przed kilkoma miesiącami debatowaliśmy na tej sali o zwiększającej się w Europie ilości otyłych osób. Przecież ten problem dotyczy w dużym stopniu właśnie składników pasz, gdyż to one decydują znacząco o jakości mięsa. Bardzo dobrze się stało, iż w projekcie rozporządzenia zwrócono dużą uwagę na higienę produkcji pasz oraz problem dodawania w trakcie ich produkcji zanieczyszczonych materiałów. Taka praktyka była niekiedy stosowana w wielu koncernach.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alyn Smith, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, I will be no exception in offering my congratulations to my group colleague, Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, who has worked very hard on what must be one of the more technical dossiers we have dealt with. He has also displayed the wisdom of Solomon in striking a balance between the needs of the consumers and the very legitimate needs of manufacturers for the protection of their product and their intellectual property.

This is what I would call back home one of the more classic European Parliament dossiers. Looking at our guests in the visitors’ gallery, it is pretty safe to say that animal feed labelling is probably not one of the most glamorous subjects they could have heard us talking about today, but it is crucially important and it is a real example of where this Parliament adds value, and where we can ensure our consumers’, our citizens’ and our voters’ faith in the food chain of the food they eat.

It is important to remember where this issue came from. The BSE crisis proved that what we feed our animals needs to be regulated. This Regulation needs to be transparent, and there needs to be a balance struck between consumers’ needs and the needs of the manufacturers, but it can go wrong. It has gone wrong and we must ensure it does not go wrong again. This report is crucial in taking that forward.

I have had numerous meetings with the industry in Scotland, and with consumer groups and the farmers themselves, and there has been pretty well universal support and approval for the way that the Commission and Parliament have taken this forward and particularly for our rapporteur.

This dossier does add value. It is a good example of Parliament working. We often say that there has been good cooperation between the Commission and Parliament. On this one there really has been, and the fact that there are so few amendments being tabled to this report demonstrates that it will go through with a big majority. The Parliament has had a good day today.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Witold Tomczak, w imieniu grupy IND/DEM. – Panie Przewodniczący! Osiągnięty kompromis dotyczący pasz ma pewne zalety: harmonizuje i upraszcza unijne prawodawstwo, ale ma też zasadnicze wady: nie gwarantuje w wystarczający sposób bezpieczeństwa pasz i żywności, słabo chroni interesy 5 mln rolników prowadzących chów i hodowlę zwierząt oraz nie chroni dostatecznie naszego zdrowia.

Dostęp użytkowników pasz do informacji o ich składzie będzie nadal ograniczony z powodu ochrony prawa własności intelektualnej. Jeśli producent pasz użyje niebezpiecznego składnika, to nadal będziemy bezbronni. Problem pasz to kolejny dowód na błędny kierunek polityki rolnej, która wbrew deklaracjom wspiera przede wszystkim rolnictwo uprzemysłowione, a w takim rolnictwie rolnik nie musi mieć własnych pasz i może prowadzić chów zwierząt w oparciu o pasze wyspecjalizowanych przedsiębiorstw. Te kierują się przecież zyskiem i zawsze znajdą sposób na obniżenie kosztów, niekoniecznie uwzględniając bezpieczeństwo zwierząt i nasze zdrowie. W konsekwencji musimy mnożyć szczegółowe przepisy i zwiększać kontrole, doprowadzając je do absurdu.

Czy nie czas na odwrócenie tych tendencji i powrót do zrównoważonego rozwoju rolnictwa, w którym rolnik będzie miał własne pasze bez narażania się na straty wywołane dioksynami czy BSE? Postęp w rolnictwie nie musi oznaczać koncentracji produkcji, w tym koncentracji produkcji pasz. Pamiętajmy, że obecnie w Unii mamy 15 mln gospodarstw, z których aż 95% to gospodarstwa małe i średnie. Większość tych gospodarstw może realizować zrównoważony model rolnictwa dla dobra rolników, środowiska i nas wszystkich. Należy tylko radykalnie zmienić podejście do rolnictwa, a tym samym do realizowanej obecnie wspólnej polityki rolnej.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jean-Claude Martinez (NI). - Monsieur le Président, ce qu'il y a de bien avec les animaux, c'est que les années passent et les problèmes restent les mêmes. Par exemple, pour les animaux sauvages, il s'agit toujours des pièges à mâchoires, et pour les animaux d'élevage, il y a toujours la question du transport, de l'élevage et des aliments. L'alimentation des animaux est un grand classique, un fourre-tout, une poubelle. On met des antibiotiques, du clenbuterol, des hormones de croissance, voire des restes d'autres animaux, et c'est toute l'affaire des farines anglaises contaminées de la décennie 1990.

Mais on nous dit aujourd'hui que l'ère des aliments-poubelle est terminée. Il y a eu une directive de 2002, un arrêt de la Cour de justice de 2005 et, maintenant, il y a le souci de concilier le marché, le profit – qu'on appelle la propriété intellectuelle – et la sécurité du consommateur.

Aujourd'hui, nous voilà donc avec un règlement. Avec l'outil classique de l'étiquette, on va y mettre tous les composants, par ordre décroissant en poids, une déclaration ouverte, une annexe III, une tolérance de plus ou moins 15 % et, pour les plus curieux, ils pourront même demander la composition exacte.

Seulement, restent deux grandes questions. D'abord celle des animaux importés qui, eux, n'ont pas eu d'étiquette. Le président Parish est là, il s'est beaucoup occupé des animaux qui arrivent du Brésil, qui ne sont pas marqués, qui sont au clenbuterol. Là, la sécurité, on ne sait pas trop.

Et puis reste la grande question des aliments importés. C'est-à-dire des matières premières qui arrivent du continent américain depuis les années 60! On appelait ça, dans les années 60, le corn gluten feed, les mélasses, les résidus d'oléagineux et, aujourd'hui, ça s'appelle les sojas transgéniques d'Argentine, du Paraguay, du Brésil, les maïs transgéniques du Canada ou des États-Unis. Parce qu'on est contre les OGM locaux, mais pas contre les OGM immigrés, si j'ose dire.

Or, il s'agit des deux tiers de l'alimentation de nos troupeaux, et ça c'est une vraie question sanitaire. L'arbre de la sécurité sanitaire européenne cache la forêt des dangers sanitaires mondiaux du fait de l'accord de l'Uruguay Round, de l'accord de Blair House, qui font qu'on importe nos oléagineux pour nourrir les deux tiers de nos troupeaux.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Neil Parish (PPE-DE). - Mr President, I should like to congratulate the Commissioner and Mr Graefe zu Baringdorf on their excellent work and the good cooperation we have had.

Let me say to the last two speakers and to the guests we have in the gallery: please eat your food safely this afternoon when you have your lunch, because, if we are to believe the last two speakers, there is nothing safe to eat anywhere as far as I can see!

The whole idea of this legislation is to bring safety to the food we eat, and, of course, what our animals eat is essential because we eat those animals. I know it is a very simplistic approach to take, but that is exactly why we are here.

Yes, we have made mistakes over the years, and I would be the first to admit that the feeding of meat and bone meal back to cattle caused the BSE problem – which was not anybody’s finest hour – and that is why we are bringing this legislation forward.

The whole argument now is not about whether we should have transparency and have the ingredients on the label, because that is precisely what will be there. The manufacturers’ argument was to ask whether they had to put the precise percentages, because somebody could then turn round and copy that feed and make exactly the same feed.

That is where the compromise and the work that Mr Graefe zu Baringdorf, the Commission and Council have done is so good, because we have reached a situation now where we can really trust our feed. If you have looked recently at the problems that we have had in Europe – and we have had problems in various countries with animal feed – this is not because the labelling system and the processes have been wrong, but because companies have broken the law.

Therefore, we must ensure not only that we get this law right but also that the Commission and Member States monitor this law and inspect the feed companies to make sure that they are not breaking the rules, because, again, people and consumers must have confidence in our food.

I would say to you that European food is as safe as we can get it, but we must never let up, to make sure that our consumers are absolutely satisfied that what they are eating is safe. I would say to our guests: please go and have a good lunch and be assured that it should be safe!

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Bogdan Golik (PSE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Serdeczne gratulacje dla posła Graefe zu Baringdorfa za koleje dobre sprawozdanie.

Dążenie do uproszczenia obowiązującego obecnie prawodawstwa w zakresie wprowadzania do obrotu i stosowania pasz oraz z zakresu obowiązkowych i dodatkowych informacji umieszczanych na opakowaniach i dokumentach przewozowych jest słusznym posunięciem.

Z pewnością uproszczenia w zakresie przepisów technicznych oraz wzrost rozbudowanych przepisów stricte administracyjnych wpłyną pozytywnie na wzrost konkurencyjności sektora paszowego Wspólnoty i bezpieczeństwa żywności, o czym mówił poseł Parish. Jestem przekonany, że już samo to założenie jest słuszne.

Jednak w tym miejscu pragnąłbym zwrócić uwagę na pewną kwestię, która może okazać się problemowa. Uważam, że nałożenie obowiązku umieszczania na oznakowaniu bezpłatnego numeru telefonu w przypadku małych i średnich producentów mieszanek paszowych przeznaczonych dla zwierząt domowych jest zbyteczne. Wprowadzenie tego przepisu w życie może spowodować zbyt duże obciążenia finansowe właśnie dla tych małych i średnich producentów, których jest najwięcej, jeżeli chodzi o producentów pasz.

Podsumowując, chciałbym podkreślić, że musimy dążyć do uproszczenia całego systemu prawodawstwa w zakresie wprowadzania na rynek i stosowania pasz. Należy przy tym dbać o bezpieczeństwo. Niemniej jednak wprowadzenie kontrowersyjnych i zbyt kosztotwórczych przepisów może odbić się negatywnie właśnie na tych małych przedsiębiorstwach, które produkują na rynki lokalne.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Samuli Pohjamo (ALDE). - Arvoisa puhemies, arvoisa komissaari, hyvät kuulijat, minäkin haluan ensiksi kiittää esittelijä zu Baringdorfia tästä perusteellisesta asian valmistelusta.

EU:n elintarviketurvallisuutta ovat ravistelleet viime vuosina monet kriisit, kuten BSE ja useat dioksiniskandaalit, joista viimeisin taisi olla viime syksynä. Kriisien syyt ovat usein löytyneet saastuneista rehuista, joiden taustalla on ollut leväperäinen tai jopa rikollinen toiminta. Tämä lainsäädäntöä yksinkertaistava ja selventävä asetus on paikallaan. Asetuksen tulee vahvistaa kuluttajien luottamusta koko eurooppalaiseen elintarvikeketjuun. Kuluttajia on suojeltava ja heillä on oltava mahdollisuus jäljittää, mistä ja miten tuotettuja elintarvikkeita he ostavat.

Toisena tavoitteena on viljelijän oikeusturva. Viljelijät joutuvat pakkausmerkintöjen perusteella tekemään valintoja, ja heidän on voitava luottaa rehujen moitteettomaan laatuun. Myös rehun tuottajien valmistajanoikeudet on turvattava, kuten Mulder aikaisemmin totesi.

Monissa jäsenvaltioissa asiat ovat hyvin hallinnassa, mutta nyt käsittelyssä oleva pakkausmerkintöjä selkeyttävää ja rehun alkuperän jäljittämistä helpottavaa asetusta tarvitaan, jotta asia saadaan kuntoon koko EU:n alueella ja jotta tulkintaerimielisyyksistä päästään eroon.

Haluan kuitenkin korostaa, että niin tämän kuin muidenkin asetusten kohdalla toimeenpanosta ja valvonnasta huolehtiminen ovat avainasemassa. Selkeät ja tarkat määräyksetkään eivät auta ellei niitä noudateta käytännössä. Rehun valvonnalla on varmistettava, että rehut ovat turvallisia, käyttötarkoitukseen soveltuvia ja lainsäädännön vaatimukset täyttäviä. Näin voidaan parantaa koko elintarvikeketjun turvallisuutta ja suojella kuluttajia.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Giovanni Robusti (UEN). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, alcuni anni fa in Italia si pretese di considerare mangimi gli alimenti miscelati in stalla dagli allevatori e, quindi, mangimifici le stalle. I produttori agricoli non sarebbero mai stati in grado di adeguarsi a normative sanitarie complesse, HACCP, tracciabilità, e quindi sarebbero stati costretti ad acquistare dai veri mangimifici alimenti che da secoli sono sempre realizzati in azienda. All'epoca riuscimmo a sventare l'agguato.

La relazione che stiamo discutendo oggi definisce i mangimi ma non i mangimifici. Per non scaricare ancora una volta la colpa sull'Europa, deve essere ben chiaro che gli alimenti per il bestiame miscelati all'interno dell'impresa zootecnica non sono mangimi, ma semplicemente miscelazione estemporanea di alimenti e di materie prime di produzione diretta dei campi, e l'azienda agricola non è un mangimificio. Forse è una posizione prevenuta, ma la prudenza non è mai troppa quando le interpretazioni hanno un elevato significato economico.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jim Allister (NI). - Mr President, in the aftermath of the dioxin contamination in the Republic of Ireland which visited such losses on innocent producers and processors in Northern Ireland, we discussed new measures on the labelling of feedstuffs.

The obvious question for me is: would any of these proposals have saved my producers from their present losses? Sadly, the answer is ‘no’. They will of course impose greater transparency, which is of itself all to the good, but only in respect of EU feedstuffs fed to animals within the EU, not in respect of feed fed to animals whose meat we then import into the EU.

Providing maximum detail on the precise composition of feedstuffs is right and understandable, but we must not so undermine intellectual property rights as to make them meaningless. In that respect I have some residual fears on aspects of these proposals. Compound mixes are trade secrets built up over years of research and trial. They must be adequately protected.

I trust that the 15% margin in description precision will be enough. I, for one, do not want to see feed mills in my constituency, which have worked hard and invested heavily in producing premium product, being gazumped and their intellectual property rights raided by manufacturers operating in cheaper production areas, either within or outside the EU.

I trust this regulation will not be either misused or abused in that regard. Yes, farmers are entitled to maximum information on compound contents, but within the confines of preserving the viability and the future of the mills from which they buy.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Esther De Lange (PPE-DE). - Ik zou mij willen aansluiten bij alle complimenten die al zijn geuit aan het adres van onze rapporteur. Bij de wetgeving op het gebied van diervoeders dient natuurlijk de gezondheid van mens en dier centraal te staan. Dat betekent duidelijke regels over het gebruik en de etikettering van de grondstoffen. Het geheel moet natuurlijk wel werkbaar blijven en niet leiden tot meer administratieve lasten of het in gevaar brengen - het is al gezegd - van intellectueel eigendom van de producenten. Wij zullen dat kritisch blijven volgen, maar het lijkt erop dat de nieuwe verordening aan deze eisen voldoet.

Ik maak daar wel een kanttekening bij en dat is op het gebied van de controle. Opnieuw geldt dat deze wetgeving valt of staat bij goede controle en sancties om het kaf van het koren te scheiden. De verordening stelt dat de straffen die de lidstaten zelf mogen toepassen doeltreffend, evenredig en afschrikkend moeten zijn. Ik roep de Europese Commissie op om de komende tijd kritisch te bekijken of dat in alle landen van de Europese Unie het geval is. Het kan immers niet zo zijn dat het ene land daar strenger mee omgaat dan het andere. Een mooie eerste casus vormen wat mij betreft de voorwaardelijke straffen die deze week, tien jaar na dato, werden uitgesproken in het Belgische dioxineschandaal.

En tot slot een onderwerp dat hier natuurlijk niet onaangeroerd kan blijven: het diermeel. Na het emotionele betoog van de eerste spreker van de Niet-ingeschrevenen zal ik mij beperken tot de feiten. Diermeel in diervoeding is sinds de BSE-crisis verboden. In het geval van bijvoorbeeld kippen leidt dat echter tot een tekort aan dierlijk eiwit in het voer, los van de terechte kritiek op het vernietigen van waardevolle eiwitten. Daarbij komt ook nog eens dat diervoeding voor de vijf miljoen veehouders in de Europese Unie, die het toch al niet gemakkelijk hebben, de grootste kostenpost is.

Natuurlijk willen wij niet terug naar een situatie waarin soorteigen dierlijke eiwitten in het voer terechtkomen. Kannibalisme, dat nooit meer! Om daar goed mee om te gaan zijn echter tests nodig. De Europese Commissie heeft aangegeven dat die tests in 2009 beschikbaar zouden kunnen zijn, zodat diermeel in het voer van bijvoorbeeld kippen of varkens weer op een veilige manier mogelijk zal worden. Ik zou graag van de Europese Commissie weten hoe het daarmee staat en welke stappen wij het komende jaar op dat terrein kunnen verwachten.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Wiesław Stefan Kuc (UEN). - Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Jakość produktów spożywczych pochodzenia zwierzęcego (mięsa, jaj, mleka) i ochrona konsumentów przed złą ich jakością od lat stanowi przedmiot zainteresowania Unii Europejskiej.

Aby produkty pochodzenia zwierzęcego były dobrej jakości, konieczne są dobrej jakości pasze – to jest najważniejszy czynnik – ale i odpowiednie warunki chowu. Większość składników pasz produkuje samo rolnictwo, ale dodatki paszowe do nich są najczęściej produktami chemicznymi. To one budzą najwięcej kontrowersji. Dlatego mimo wszystko powinniśmy walczyć o podawanie dokładnego składu pasz przemysłowych. Nie ma to nic wspólnego z prawem własności intelektualnej i jej ochroną. Jeśli znajdzie się urząd patentowy, który wyda świadectwo ochrony, to wtedy dopiero produkt będzie chroniony.

Nowości w dodatkach paszowych, gdy nie są dostatecznie zbadane, mogą być szkodliwe dla naszego zdrowia, choć będą zapewniały lepsze przyrosty czy wygląd produktu. Rolnik nie ma możliwości zbadania pasz i może tylko polegać na informacjach podawanych przez producenta. Pamiętajmy o chorobie BSE i skutkach dodawania do pasz mączki mięsno-kostnej. Dla zysku przemysł zrobi wszystko. Dlatego popieram w całej rozciągłości sprawozdanie pana Graefe zu Baringdorfa.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE-DE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Mam nadzieję, że propozycje zawarte w pakiecie kompromisowym, nad którym dzisiaj debatujemy, przyczynią się do uproszczenia przepisów w zakresie obrotu paszami i tym samym wpłyną na wzrost konkurencyjności sektora paszowego w Unii Europejskiej. Mam także nadzieję, że nowe zapisy nie spowodują wzrostu kosztów dla małych i średnich producentów mieszanek paszowych dla zwierząt.

Dyskutując na temat etykietowania należy pamiętać, że często problemem nie jest brak informacji na etykiecie danego produktu, ale brak jej zrozumienia przez zwykłego konsumenta. Zbyt wiele informacji na etykiecie może wręcz utrudnić dokonanie wyboru przez kupującego. Z jednej strony musimy zapewnić dostęp naszych obywateli do informacji, z drugiej zaś strony zabezpieczyć prawa własności intelektualnej producentów.

Popieram pomysł stworzenia listy składników, których nie można używać w żywieniu zwierząt. Jedno jest pewne – nie możemy dopuścić do powtórzenia się skandali związanych z żywnością. Pochodząca z Irlandii skażona dioksynami wieprzowina czy melanina w mleku z Chin są przykładem incydentów, które nie powinny były się zdarzyć. Możemy zadać pytanie: dlaczego system kontroli nie zadziałał odpowiednio i doszło do skażenia?

System kontroli wymaga więc większego nadzoru. Procedury musza być przejrzyste i jednoznaczne. Kary za nieprzestrzeganie czy naruszenie systemu kontroli powinny być wysokie, bo są związane ze zdrowiem człowieka. Pomimo tego incydentu w Irlandii chciałbym zapewnić, że w Europie rolnicy i producenci przestrzegają najwyższych standardów na świecie. Nasza żywność cechuje się uznaną renomą i jakością. Żywność w Europie jest bezpieczna.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Elisabeth Jeggle (PPE-DE). - Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin! Lassen Sie mich zuallererst unserem Berichterstatter, Graefe zu Baringdorf, ganz herzlich danken. Er hat nicht nur jetzt bei diesem Bericht, sondern auch in der Vergangenheit über viele Jahre eine klare Linie verfolgt, die immer das Ziel hatte, das, was wir heute erreicht haben – und zwar für die Landwirte im Bereich Inverkehrbringen und Verwendung – Klarheit zu schaffen, aber auch klare Forderungen an das Inverkehrbringen und an die Verwendung zu stellen.

Wir reden heute über den zweiten Schritt, und das ist auch gerade immer wieder deutlich geworden. Frau Kommissarin, wir haben gestern Abend, heute Nacht über den ersten Schritt geredet, das ist die Produktion. Ich möchte noch einmal darauf zurückkommen: Die Art der Produktion, die Art der Kontrollen in der Produktion, das ist die wichtigste Grundvoraussetzung für diesen Bericht, damit wir dann am Ende gesunde, sichere Futtermittel haben, um daraus gesunde und sichere Lebensmittel produzieren zu können.

Ich möchte noch einmal darauf hinweisen, dass ich der Überzeugung bin, dass Betriebe, die auch Lebensmittel zu Futtermitteln verarbeiten, in ihrer Zulassung besser betrachtet werden müssen, dass das HACCP-Konzept als Grundlage – möglicherweise als Grundlage der Zulassung in ganz Europa – gefordert wird, denn das ist auch ein Problem unserer beiden Debatten gestern und heute. Wir brauchen gleiche Kontrollen bei gleichen Risiken in der gesamten Europäischen Union. Wir werden niemals ausschließen können, dass Menschen missbräuchlich handeln, wir haben aber mit diesem Bericht und auch mit der gestrigen Debatte gute Grundlagen dafür gelegt, dass wir Sicherheit geben, die nicht übertrieben ist. Auch das ist ja ein Punkt unseres Berichts heute, dass wir aus der Entwicklung nach der BSE-Krise gelernt haben, dass wir heute wissen, manche Dinge kann man auch wieder anders machen, und dass wir das tun sollten und tun müssen.

Mein Dank gilt noch einmal unserem Berichterstatter, der in allen Verhandlungen hier heute einen guten Bericht abgeliefert hat. Ich wünsche ihm aus diesem Haus eine hundertprozentige Zustimmung!

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Véronique Mathieu (PPE-DE). - Monsieur le Président, l'excellent rapport de notre collègue, que je félicite, que nous allons voter aujourd'hui, est important car le secteur européen de l'alimentation animale constitue l'un des principaux secteurs de l'agriculture, tant en termes de production, puisqu'il représente la moitié de la production agricole dans l'Union européenne – 120 millions de tonnes –, que de chiffre d'affaires – environ 50 milliards d'euros. L'Union européenne compte, en effet, 5 millions d'éleveurs et 60 millions de foyers possédant des animaux de compagnie.

Dans le passé, l'Union européenne a digéré un certain nombre de crises sanitaires, ce qui fait qu'aujourd'hui nous devons être plus vigilants sur la transparence, pour répondre aux attentes des éleveurs, mais également des consommateurs. Les dispositions prévues dans ce rapport ont l'avantage de représenter un coût minime pour les industries et un grand bénéfice pour les consommateurs, qui sont de plus en attentifs à la qualité des produits qu'ils achètent. L'adoption de ce rapport permettra de limiter les risques en garantissant une meilleure qualité des produits, un meilleur contrôle, une meilleure traçabilité, une meilleure information de l'éleveur et donc, au final, du consommateur.

Aujourd'hui, avec l'accroissement des échanges internationaux, il est plus qu'impératif de renforcer tout dispositif de prévention pour que les crises alimentaires que nous avons connues dans le passé ne se reproduisent plus.

Ce rapport parvient à concilier le droit à l'information, tout en définissant strictement les éléments nutritionnels qui doivent obligatoirement figurer sur les étiquettes et le droit à la propriété intellectuelle, si important pour préserver la compétitivité de nos industries.

Je pense qu'effectivement les fabricants doivent avoir l'obligation de notifier immédiatement l'utilisation de toute nouvelle matière première entrant dans la composition des aliments pour animaux, en vue de garantir la transparence et faciliter le contrôle effectué par les autorités compétentes. Le fait d'inclure une procédure d'urgence qui permet d'introduire une nouvelle substance dangereuse dans la liste des matières interdites me semble tout à fait indispensable.

De même, donner à l'éleveur la possibilité d'interroger l'autorité nationale compétente ou la Commission européenne en cas de doute sur une allégation déloyale, permet de mieux verrouiller le système et de protéger le client, tout en préservant la loyauté des transactions commerciales.

Je souhaite donc apporter tout mon soutien à cet excellent rapport, car l'expérience montre qu'une réglementation sur l'étiquetage des aliments pour animaux privilégiant la qualité et la transparence, la traçabilité et le contrôle est le meilleur garant pour prévenir de nouvelles crises sanitaires en Europe.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE-DE). - Mr President, I would like to thank the rapporteur for this report, which is a very technical one and answers the Court’s question about protecting the rights of farmers and the rights of those who produce the animal feed they purchase.

I support the idea that intellectual property rights are worth protecting. We cannot have formulations being copied by operators who come in and out of the marketplace, so the report is successful from that point of view.

The issue of rogue operators has been brought up in the debate here this morning. The truth is that we will only keep a check on the industry if we check those who do not comply. That can only be done by regular monitoring, inspection and control at every point along the way. We debated that very vigorously last night in this Parliament and I was glad to hear that improvements will be made.

Lastly, a bigger point on the volatility of commodity prices. The Agriculture Commissioner is joining us. This is a big issue for the feed industry and for farmers, and it is one that we need to address.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  James Nicholson (PPE-DE). - Mr President, firstly, I welcome this report and wish to congratulate the rapporteur, who is to be commended for his report and hard work.

We do indeed need transparency, and have to know what is in compound feed – there is no doubt about that. I have no problem with a company keeping its intellectual property rights confidential. However, recent events in the Republic of Ireland, with the dioxin problem, bring home very clearly to all of us the need for control. Farmers can have the highest possible standards of livestock husbandry and do everything right, but, as we have witnessed, all can be lost when events way beyond their control destroy all their good and hard work.

This is a good day for Parliament, and it shows what we can achieve through cooperation. Maybe it also shows what we can actually achieve within agriculture for a better future for farmers throughout the European Union.

I am pleased that Commissioner Fischer Boel is here with Commissioner Vassiliou this morning, because it is very important that we make the point of the serious danger of farmers in Northern Ireland – eight farmers at this moment in time – losing everything because the local Assembly has not been prepared to support them.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Agnes Schierhuber (PPE-DE). - Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Mein Dank gilt zuerst unserem Berichterstatter, Herrn Graefe zu Baringdorf, denn es ist ihm gelungen, in der ersten Lesung einen wirklich gangbaren Kompromiss zu finden. Es ist auch gelungen, Konsumentenschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit mit dem notwendigen Schutz des geistigen Eigentums zu vereinbaren.

Die Bauern müssen darauf vertrauen können, dass die Futtermittel, die sie verfüttern, das enthalten, was auf dem Etikett angegeben ist. Schwarze Schafe in der Futtermittelindustrie haben großen wirtschaftlichen Schaden in der Landwirtschaft und weit darüber hinaus verursacht. Nochmals vielen Dank, Herr Graefe.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Avril Doyle (PPE-DE). - Mr President, I should like to make two quick points.

Firstly, yes, consumers and farmers depend on clear and transparent labelling, and I support the rapporteur’s amendment to allow the manufacturer to refuse to disclose information if he or she is able to prove that intellectual property rights could be infringed on any ingredient which constitutes less than two per cent of the ration. We urgently need more investment in research, especially into ruminant feed to reduce the methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

Secondly, is it not long past the time for reference points for action or RPAs for dealing with the adventitious presence of minuscule levels of GMO in feed, rather than the present zero-tolerance regime, which results in criminally disproportionate waste of feed and cereal shipments and criminally disproportionate sanctions? I refer, of course, to the presence of previously authorised GMs by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), so that they are fully risk-assessed by definition, or perhaps a GMO that is fully authorised in another jurisdiction.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Lutz Goepel (PPE-DE). - Herr Präsident, liebe Kommissarinnen! Ich will zum Inhalt eigentlich gar nichts mehr sagen, der ist genügend ausgeführt worden. Ich möchte mich bedanken bei dem Berichterstatter, der im Trilog ein gutes Stehvermögen bewiesen hat.

Es war ein langer Weg mit diesem Bericht. Wir wissen, es gab ein Urteil des Europäischen Gerichtshofs, es ist sauber und fair diskutiert worden. Wir hatten lange die Gelegenheit, darüber zu sprechen, und Graefe hat als Berichterstatter gezeigt, dass man auch in einem first reading agreement eine saubere Lösung in kurzer Zeit erreichen kann. Wir haben seit 1994 manches Mal die Klinge gekreuzt, aber es war immer ein faires Miteinander, und ich möchte mich hier noch einmal für seine Arbeit bedanken.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Albert Deß (PPE-DE). - Herr Präsident! Mir ist die Redezeit davon gelaufen, und deshalb möchte ich noch etwas Neues hinzufügen: Wenn wir jetzt hier im Parlament mit wahrscheinlich großer Mehrheit ein neues europäisches Futtermittelrecht beschließen und der Rat dieses Recht übernimmt, dann haben wir einen neuen, großen Qualitätsstandard in Europa erreicht.

Ich bitte die beiden anwesenden Kommissarinnen, in Zukunft bei Futtermittelimporten und bei Importen von Lebensmitteln diese europäischen Standards auch einzufordern. Wir können in diesem globalen Wettbewerb in Europa nur bestehen, wenn bei Importen die gleichen Standards eingefordert werden. Deshalb muss die Kommission auch bei den Verhandlungen mit der WTO darauf drängen, dass unsere europäischen Standards Eingang in die WTO-Verhandlungen finden und weltweit zum Standard werden. Dann brauchen wir vor dieser weltweiten Konkurrenz keine Angst zu haben.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, I would like to thank everyone for their remarks, and shall now reply to some of those remarks. First of all, on the question of safety, safety of feed is guaranteed by the negative list of feed materials which cannot be used in feeds. The proposal contains the list of feed materials which are forbidden. The Commission will extend that list every time it is convinced that it is necessary to add to that negative list.

On the other hand, I wish to remind you that there is a large list of maximum levels of contaminants, such as dangerous micro-toxins, heavy metals and dioxins, which has been in force, under the Directive on undesirable substances, since 2002.

I would agree with all those who said, as I confirmed, that European food is safe. However, as I also indicated last night during our discussions, laws and regulations are as good as we make them, and we therefore have to remain vigilant and see to it that Member States, feed dealers and, indeed, the Commission ensure that everybody sticks to their obligations in ensuring that laws really are enforced and that they are good laws.

The recent Irish meat incident highlights the need for stringent enforcement and controls on legal requirements, and my services will continue to examine how that can be improved. I am confident that, once the new rules come into force, regulation of the feed market will be significantly improved, in the interests of both feed manufacturers and users.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the rapporteur once again for his excellent contribution, and all Members for their constructive and positive role in reaching an agreement on this important initiative.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, Berichterstatter. − Herr Präsident, verehrte Kommissarinnen! Ich bedanke mich für die vielen freundlichen Worte. Ich glaube, es ist ein guter Bericht.

Wenn davon gesprochen wird, ob kriminelle Energie verhindert werden kann: natürlich nicht durch diesen Bericht. Durch die größere Kontrolldichte, die dieser Bericht gibt, wird kriminelle Energie aber möglicherweise abgeschreckt. Kriminelle Energie geht immer dahin, wo sie sich etwas verspricht, wo sie Lücken sieht, und die haben wir jetzt in einigen Bereichen schließen können. Ich hoffe auf das Verständnis – Herr Nicholson hat es gesagt – sowohl der Futtermittelindustrie als auch der Bauern dafür, dass hier etwas verteidigt werden soll, dass man hier eine Gemeinschaft bildet gegen das, was hier versucht wird, nämlich toxische Stoffe über Futtermittel zu entsorgen. Dann bin ich ziemlich sicher, dass wir auch die kriminelle Energie zurückdrängen werden.

Ich möchte nochmals deutlich machen, dass wir hier keine eigene Linie für geistiges Eigentum geschaffen haben, sondern dass wir uns auf die Gesetzgebung beziehen, die gilt, und die gilt auch hier. Wir wollten verhindern, dass sich hinter diesem geistigen Eigentum die Auskunftspflicht verstecken kann. Von daher ist das auch eine gute Regelung.

Lassen Sie mich zum Schluss noch den SchattenberichterstatterInnen danken. Auch hier hat es ja Auseinandersetzungen gegeben. Wir haben nun einmal unterschiedliche Meinungen hier im Parlament. Aber das, was wir dann geschaffen haben, wird, glaube ich, jetzt von allen getragen. Lassen Sie mich auch noch der Administration unseres Ausschusses danken, in diesem Falle war es Herr Emmes. Das war eine hervorragende Zuarbeit. Wir ParlamentarierInnen sind ja zwar im politischen Bereich immer führend, aber in der Administration müssen wir schon auf diese Zuarbeit zurückgreifen können. Das ist auch hier gut gelungen.

Ich möchte noch sagen, dass, wenn wir die Mitentscheidung haben, Parlamentarismus Spaß macht. Es wurde immer gesagt: Wenn die Mitentscheidung im Agrarbereich kommt, wird alles viel komplizierter, dauert alles viel länger. Nein, wir sehen, wenn man gut arbeitet, wenn man die Sache versteht, wenn man gute Zuarbeit hat und politisch gute Gegner, dann kann man das auch sehr schnell über die Bühne bringen. Ich finde, dies ist ein Beweis dafür, dass der Sachverstand des Europäischen Parlaments dazu dienen kann und hilfreich sein kann, eine gute Gesetzgebung in Gang zu setzen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  El Presidente. − Se cierra el debate.

La votación tendrá lugar hoy a las 12.00 horas.

 

4. Acções de informação e promoção a favor de produtos agrícolas (debate)
Vídeo das intervenções
MPphoto
 
 

  El Presidente. − El siguiente punto es el informe de Constantin Dumitriu, en nombre de la Comisión de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, sobre la propuesta de Reglamento del Consejo que modifica el Reglamento (CE) nº 3/2008 sobre acciones de información y de promoción de los productos agrícolas en el mercado interior y en terceros países (COM(2008)0431 - C6-0313/2008 - 2008/0131(CNS)) (A6-0004/2009).

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Constantin Dumitriu (PPE-DE), Raportor. – Mă bucur că avem oportunitatea de a dezbate, în sesiune plenară, o componentă importantă nu doar pentru sectorul agricol la nivel comunitar, ci pentru competitivitatea per ansamblu a economiei europene.

Într-un moment în care economiile ţărilor noastre au de suferit ca urmare a crizei globale şi în care creşterea cererii de produse agricole este o necesitate, modificarea Regulamentului 3/2008 referitor la acţiunile de informare şi promovare pentru produsele agricole pe piaţa internă şi în ţările terţe ne oferă pârghii suplimentare pentru a sprijini producătorii agricoli şi, implicit, economia comunitară.

Regulamentul Consiliului European 3/2008, reunind într-un text unic regulamentele 2702/1999 şi 2826/2000, a venit în întâmpinarea noii abordări politice a Comisiei Europene privind simplificarea legislaţiei şi corespunde obiectivului de facilitare a procedurilor administrative în cadrul instituţiilor europene. În temeiul acestui regulament, comunitatea poate desfăşura activităţi de informare pe piaţa internă şi pe pieţele din ţări terţe pentru un anumit număr de produse agricole, reţinând în acelaşi timp caracterul specific al acţiunilor în funcţie de piaţa de desfăşurare.

Această politică răspunde unei nevoi reale a statelor membre de a promova imaginea produselor lor agricole, mai ales avantajele în ceea ce priveşte calitatea, valoarea nutritivă, normele de siguranţă alimentară, atât în rândul consumatorilor europeni, cât şi al celor din alte ţări. În plus, ea contribuie la deschiderea unei noi pieţe de desfacere şi are un efect de multiplicare a iniţiativelor naţionale şi private.

Modificările iniţiate de Comisia Europeană vizează să se permită statelor membre interesate să conceapă un program pertinent, în cazul în care organizaţiile care formulează propuneri nu doresc să prezinte programe de realizat în ţările terţe. Astfel, statele membre vor avea posibilitatea să extindă domeniul de aplicare al acţiunilor vizate de aceste programe şi să solicite, de asemenea, ajutorul organizaţiilor internaţionale pentru punerea în aplicare a acestor acţiuni. Propunerea de raport pe care o dezbatem prevede unele adăugiri şi adaptări ale propunerii Comisiei, necesare pentru a clarifica şi completa raţionamentul regulamentului.

În primul rând, propunem introducerea consultărilor cu asociaţiile/organizaţiile profesionale active din sectoarele vizate din statele membre în procesul elaborării programelor de informare cu privire la produsele agricole, atât pe piaţa internă, cât şi în terţe ţări. Având în vedere expertiza şi rolul important pe care aceste asociaţii/organizaţii îl au în asigurarea şi controlul calităţii, consultarea lor este absolut necesară. Susţinem, în acelaşi timp, elaborarea acestor programe în baza unei evaluări a necesităţii şi oportunităţii lor, astfel încât să avem siguranţă că fondurile sunt cheltuite eficient în programe care răspund obiectivului de a contribui la promovarea produselor comunitare.

De asemenea, propunem extinderea domeniilor unde organizaţiile internaţionale pot fi însărcinate cu implementarea programelor de informare pentru ţări terţe. Acţiunile de promovare şi publicitate sunt relevante şi pentru sectorul vinului, atât pe piaţa internă a Uniunii Europene, cât şi în ţări terţe. Şi în sectorul vinului, ca şi în sectorul uleiului de măsline şi al măslinelor de masă, există organisme internaţionale, precum Organizaţia internaţională de vie şi vin, care pot asigura punerea în aplicare a programelor propuse de statele membre în ţări terţe, făcând astfel cunoscute caracteristicile şi avantajele vinurilor cu denumire de origine protejată şi cele cu indicaţie geografică protejată.

O altă modificare pe care v-o propunem vizează creşterea procentului de cofinanţare din partea Uniunii Europene de la 60% la 70%, în condiţiile în care accesul la finanţare, în particular pentru micii producători, este din ce în ce mai dificil, datorită crizei financiare. Fără un sprijin financiar, aceştia riscă să ajungă în stare de faliment, fiind lipsiţi de pârghii pentru a-şi promova produsele şi confruntându-se cu o scădere a cererii pieţei.

Scopul final al acestor propuneri este să conducă la o cerere mai mare pe piaţă pentru a creşte producţia şi a sprijini economia europeană per ansamblu. Atingerea acestui scop ne va ajuta să depăşim aceste momente dificile pe care le traversăm. Calitatea produselor agricole şi alimentare din Uniunea Europeană este un avantaj pe care trebuie să-l valorificăm pentru a asigura competitivitatea economiei europene şi a asigura venituri mai mari pentru producători.

Sper că recomandările pe care le vom adopta vor fi cât mai curând preluate de către Comisia Europeană şi statele membre, pentru că nu ne putem permite să pierdem timpul în astfel de momente când cetăţenii europeni sunt loviţi de efectele unei crize economice extrem de grave. Bineînţeles că măsurile propuse nu vor soluţiona toate problemele legate de comercializarea şi promovarea produselor agroalimentare comunitare.

Simplificarea procedurilor birocratice referitoare la înregistrarea produselor tradiţionale, instituirea unei mărci „Produs în Uniunea Europeană”, soluţionarea problemei produselor importate din ţări terţe cu standarde inferioare de calitate şi siguranţă sunt, toate, teme pe care trebuie să le avem în vedere pentru a creşte cota de piaţă a produselor comunitare. Vă mulţumesc şi aştept observaţiile şi întrebările dumneavoastră.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. LUIGI COCILOVO
Vicepresidente

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mariann Fischer Boel, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, firstly I would like to thank the rapporteur, Mr Dumitriu, and the members of the Agriculture Committee, for an excellent report on the Commission proposal on information and promotion measures for agricultural products on the internal and external markets.

I would like to stress the importance of the issues addressed in this report. I think we all agree that the promotion of European agricultural products is of huge importance, both internally and externally. I am convinced that trade in agricultural products will continue to grow in the future – even if we have to admit that we face a setback at the present time owing to the economic crisis. However, there will be huge opportunities for our European products in third-country markets, and our promotion campaign should help European producers explore those new markets.

Before going into the content of the report, I would like to put it into perspective. In 2008, the Commission adopted 42 programmes on the internal market and on third countries, representing a budget of EUR 128 million over three years. According to the rules, half of that amount was then to be financed by the Community.

The aim of the Commission proposal is to make it possible for Member States to launch programmes cofinanced by the European Union in third countries – as described by the rapporteur – because today this possibility only exists for the internal market. It should also be possible for those programmes to be implemented by international organisations.

The three most important amendments from the rapporteur and his colleagues are as follows: firstly, to make it compulsory for Member States to consult trade associations about the proposed programmes; secondly, to specify that implementation by international organisations is not only a possibility reserved for the International Olive Oil Council, but a general possibility, for example – as mentioned here today – also in the wine sector; and, on the budget side, to increase the cofinancing rate.

With regard to those amendments, I would emphasise that Member States do, in fact, already consult trade associations in order to make sure that they have the support of producers. I would prefer that partnership approach to continue on a voluntary basis.

My mentioning of the International Olive Oil Council is only meant as an example, because of the discussions that have recently taken place on the whole olive oil sector. It certainly does not exclude other international organisations, such as the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

Regarding the funding of the budget, there is of course ongoing discussion on the level of cofinancing by the Community, but we discussed this issue when merging the two regulations dealing with promotion and information in 2008, so I do not think we should re-open the discussion on this issue.

Could I just take the opportunity to say that, when we agreed the wine reform, we did recognise the importance of promoting our products on third-country markets. Therefore, in the interests of spending the budget for wine in a smarter and more intelligent way, we proposed the earmarking of EUR 120 million each year for the promotion of our wine products on third country markets, as a special budget line. However, since Member States – and especially the new Member States – did not want to be in a position where that money was earmarked in such a way that, if it was not spent, then it was lost, we included the EUR 120 million in the national envelopes, so that Member States can decide for themselves. In any case, this gives a clear signal that the Community does care and does recognise the importance of strong promotion of our European products. I look forward to the discussion here today.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Петя Ставрева, от името на групата PPE-DE. – Уважаеми г-н Председател, уважаема г-жо Комисар, уважаеми колеги, бих искала да поздравя докладчика, г-н Dumitriu, за неговия обективен доклад, който отразява реалните нужди на сектора в Общността за насърчаване на европейските производители.

В доклада са заложени мерки, които ще допринесат за разкриването на нови пазари и за реализиране на селскостопанската продукция на нашите фермери. Тази политика отговаря на действителните потребности на държавите-членки, които желаят да популяризират своето земеделско производство, както сред потребителите в Общността, така и сред тези в трети държави.

Много добра възможност е да се постави акцентът върху качеството, хранителната стойност, методите на производство и безопасността на произведените храни. Подкрепям предложението на докладчика да се даде възможност на заинтересованите държави да предложат програми за информиране за трети страни, ако те са лишени от тази възможност.

Това изменение ще позволи на европейските страни да разширят приложното поле на действията, предвидени от тези програми, и да поискат помощ от международни организации за прилагането им. Смятам, че в процеса на изработване на тези програми следва да се отчита важната роля на асоциациите и браншовите организации в отделните страни, които имат обективен поглед върху случващото се в отделните браншове.

Трябва да отбележим и значението на някои международни организации в насърчаването на спецификата и предимствата в хранителните продукти, специфични за определени райони в Европейския съюз. Подкрепям предложението на докладчика процентът на финансовото участие на Общността да бъде увеличен, за да се предостави допълнителна помощ за проектите, подбрани от държавите-членки. Призовавам Ви да подкрепите доклада на г-н Dumitriu.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Bogdan Golik, w imieniu grupy PSE. – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Serdeczne gratulacje dla posła Dumitriu za dobre sprawozdanie – kontynuację tych sprawozdań, które opracowano wcześniej i w których mówiliśmy o promocji i sumach pieniędzy przeznaczonych na promocję Unii Europejskiej w krajach trzecich.

Działania informacyjne i promocyjne dotyczące produktów rolnych na rynku wewnętrznym i w krajach trzecich odgrywają olbrzymią rolę w tworzeniu pozytywnego wizerunku marki made in Europe. Podkreślam to od dawna, a od kilku lat aktywnie działam na rzecz uproszczenia całego systemu promocyjno-informacyjnego. Wielokrotnie w swoich wystąpieniach podkreślałem konieczność promowania marki made in Europe właśnie na rynkach krajów trzecich. Jest to szczególnie zasadne w dzisiejszych uwarunkowaniach formalno-prawnych.

Zgodnie z treścią deklaracji 6. Konferencji Ministerialnej WTO w Hong Kongu, stosowanie wszelkich form subsydiowania eksportu, w tym refundacji wywozowych, zostanie zaniechane w 2013 roku. Ze względu na poziom komplikacji przy organizacji kampanii promocyjnych na rynkach krajów trzecich oraz wyższe kwoty prowadzenia działań na znaczną odległość, szczególnie w Azji czy Ameryce, mechanizm wsparcia działań promocyjnych nie cieszył się dużym zainteresowaniem ze strony organizacji branżowych.

Propozycja Komisji Europejskiej pozwala na pobudzenie ich aktywności. Programy promocji realizowane przez kraj członkowski dają szansę na włączenie we współpracę podmiotów, które same nie zdołały poprowadzić i sfinansować tych działań. Niemniej jednak należy w dalszym ciągu dążyć do zwiększenia procentowego udziału Wspólnoty w finansowaniu tego typu projektów. Za przykład podam Stany Zjednoczone Ameryki, gdzie wydaje się kilkakrotnie więcej na działania promocyjne niż suma wszystkich pieniędzy przeznaczonych i na wino i na działania w zakresie innych promocyjnych produktów w całej Unii Europejskiej.

W obliczu liberalizacji przepływów handlowych towarów rolnych instrument wspierający promocję produkcji wspólnotowej na rynkach państw trzecich może okazać się jedynym dostępnym narzędziem pozostającym w zgodności z wytyczonymi ramami porozumienia w sprawie rolnictwa WTO w ramach rundy DDA WTO. Promocja marki made in Europe jest szansą na utrzymanie konkurencyjności, a w dłuższej perspektywie czasowej nawet wzmocnienia atrakcyjności europejskich produktów rolno-spożywczych i rozszerzenia dla nich rynku zbytu.

Chciałbym podziękować Komisji za te działania, o których wielokrotnie mówiliśmy w Parlamencie Europejskim, a które zostały uwzględnione, a szczególnie za zmniejszenie kwot dla organizacji branżowych z 20% do 10% i zwiększenie puli środków na działania promocyjne.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Seán Ó Neachtain, thar ceann an Ghrúpa UEN. – A Uachtaráin, cuirim fáilte mhór roimh thuarascáil an Uasail Dumitriu agus ba mhaith comhghairdeachas a dhéanamh leis as ucht a chuid oibre.

Tugann an buiséad seo deis iontach do na Ballstáit margaí a aimsiú ní hamháin san Eoraip féin ach taobh amuigh. Ba mhaith liom, ag teacht as Éirinn, a rá go dtugann sé an-chabhair dúinne in Éirinn, an táirge bia folláin úr atá againn a dhíol ar mhargaí an domhain go háirithe san Áise.

Ach cosúil le mo chomhghleacaithe ba mhaith liom a rá go bhfeicim anseo deis níos fearr simpliú a dhéanamh ar na rialacha a bhaineann leis an mbuiséad seo sa chaoi gur féidir teacht ar an soláthar airgid le haghaidh margáintíochta níos éasca ná mar atá sé faoi láthair agus, ar ndóigh, ní mór freisin an buiséad a mhéadú mar atá ráite. Tá sé seo fíorthábhachtach ní hamháin do na Ballstát ach don Eoraip trí chéile.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin! Werbung ist wichtig, da stimme ich Ihnen zu. Nur, Werbung geschieht nicht nur, wenn man sie offensiv und professionell betreibt, sondern sie erfolgt auch durch Vorkommnisse, die in dem Gebiet stattfinden, aus dem die Nahrungsmittel kommen.

Wenn wir in der Welt mit mad cows, also mit Rinderwahnsinn, in Verbindung gebracht werden, wenn also unser Wappentier durch uns verrückt gemacht worden ist oder wenn wie jetzt durch die Dioxin-Problematik – die natürlich auch um die Welt geht – Rückholaktionen in den Ländern stattfinden, wenn in unseren Nachrichten im Fernsehen weltweit Millionen von abgeschlachteten kranken Kühen gezeigt werden, dann ist das auch eine Werbung, nur, diese ist negativ.

Wir müssen aufpassen, dass wir hier nicht in einen Widerspruch geraten. Auf der einen Seite sprechen wir von guten Produkten, auf der anderen Seite stehen die negativen Meldungen. Aber wir arbeiten daran. Das haben wir ja eben in der Debatte und mit dem, was wir zum Abschluss gebracht haben, gesehen.

Wenn wir Werbung nach außen betreiben wollen – ja, richtig, wir haben auch allen Grund dazu, wir haben gute Produkte – dann möchte ich nicht, dass eine generelle Werbung betrieben wird, sondern dass die Vielfalt Europas auch in dieser Werbung sichtbar wird. Sie wissen, dass wir in Deutschland eine Situation haben, in der das Bundesverfassungsgericht eine Werbung, eine Art Zwangswerbung mit einer Zwangsabgabe gestrichen hat. Es hat darauf hingewiesen, dass eine Werbung, die nicht zwischen den einzelnen Qualitäten differenziert, eben nicht den Absatz erhöht, sondern dass es wichtig ist, dass die einzelnen Erzeuger/Erzeugerinnen für ihre spezifischen Produkte Werbung machen können.

Es kommt auch immer mehr darauf an – nicht nur innerhalb Europas, sondern auch nach außen –, nicht nur die Endqualität eines Produktes zu beschreiben, sondern die Prozessqualität. Was ist mit dem Tierschutz, was ist mit der Umwelt, mit den Inhaltsstoffen, mit der Struktur der Landwirtschaft, was ist mit dem fairen Handel? Das alles sind Kriterien, die nicht unbedingt die Endqualität bestimmen, die aber für die Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher immer wichtiger werden. Also müssen wir auch dieses in die Werbung einbauen und müssen sehen, dass damit der Ruf Europas in der Welt weiterhin gestärkt wird.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ilda Figueiredo, em nome do Grupo GUE/NGL. – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, neste debate importa ter em conta que é importante melhorar as condições e os apoios a acções de informação e promoção a favor dos produtos agrícolas, seja na União Europeia, seja nos países terceiros, alargando o âmbito das propostas que a Comissão Europeia apresentou.

Por isso, apoiamos as propostas do relator e da Comissão da Agricultura, designadamente as que visam uma maior intervenção e reforço do papel das associações e organizações profissionais que operam no sector, em função das suas competências e da sua importância no que respeita à garantia e controlo de qualidade, incluindo das associações e organizações do Estado-Membro que elaborar o programa, bem como o aumento da percentagem da participação financeira da Comunidade. É importante que haja uma ajuda adicional, sobretudo aos projectos seleccionados pelos Estados-Membros.

De igual modo, consideramos que as acções de promoção e de publicidade em países terceiros devem poder beneficiar outras produções importantes além do azeite e da azeitona, com destaque para os vinhos com denominação de origem ou indicação geográfica protegida. E a este propósito, recordo aqui o papel importante de associações de agricultores, com destaque para as adegas cooperativas e outras associações de pequenos e médios agricultores cuja existência é fundamental para assegurar o escoamento da produção de agricultores que, sozinhos, não têm condições de sobrevivência.

E mais uma vez, apelo a que haja apoios reforçados para estas organizações de agricultores cumprirem cabalmente o seu papel na defesa da agricultura familiar e na promoção dos produtos agrícolas de boa qualidade que produzem e que são indispensáveis para garantir uma alimentação saudável à população dos nossos países.

Assim, iremos votar favoravelmente este relatório.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Witold Tomczak, w imieniu grupy IND/DEM. – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Unia Europejska jest znaczącym eksporterem wielu produktów rolniczych, ale o przyszłości rolnictwa unijnego zdecyduje konsumpcja na rynku wewnętrznym. Jej pobudzenie może dać korzyści rolnikom, konsumentom i całym gospodarkom.

W wielu państwach członkowskich spożycie produktów spożywczych niezbędnych dla dobrego zdrowia jest niewielkie, a jego wzrost, poprzez dobrą informację i promocję, jest jak najbardziej wskazany. Ważne jest jednak, by z omawianych programów skorzystali unijni rolnicy, a szczególnie drobne i średnie gospodarstwa, które stanowią aż 95% wszystkich gospodarstw.

Programy te winny wzbogacać wiedzę konsumentów o zdrowym odżywianiu i jednocześnie pozostawiać im możliwość wyboru. Dlatego warto podjąć następujące działania: organizowanie konsultacji ze specjalistami do spraw żywienia, szkolenie sprzedawców, którzy powinni być także doradcami konsumentów w sprawach żywności. Konieczna jest dobra prezentacja informacji o zaletach zdrowotnych promowanych produktów i sposobach ich produkcji. Informacja na etykietach jest niewystarczająca.

Zagrożeniem dla tego programu może być promocja żywności produkowanej masowo przez duże koncerny spożywcze, które mogą napisać efektowne programy, mając do dyspozycji najlepszych specjalistów. Tylko czy wtedy promocja żywności o wysokiej jakości nie zostanie skompromitowana?

Bardzo ważna jest także czytelność dat ważności na produktach oraz wzrost świadomości konsumentów o znaczeniu wszystkich informacji znajdujących się na etykietach produktów.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Maria Petre (PPE-DE). - Îl felicit mai întâi pe colegul nostru pentru eforturile pe care le-a depus ca raportor, în sensul unei simplificări a legislaţiei comunitare în vederea reducerii poverii administrative de care avem atâta nevoie.

Activităţile de informare desfăşurate de Uniunea Europeană răspund unei nevoi reale a statelor membre de a promova imaginea produselor lor agricole, atât în rândul consumatorilor europeni, cât şi a celor din alte ţări, îndeosebi în ceea ce priveşte calitatea, valoarea nutritivă şi siguranţa alimentelor şi a metodelor de producţie. Ca raportor pe tema calităţii, ţin foarte mult la acest avantaj competitiv al produselor noastre europene.

Modificarea legislativă va oferi posibilitatea statelor membre interesate să propună programe de informare şi în cazul absenţei unor programe propuse pentru ţările terţe. Ca urmare a acestei modificări, statele membre vor avea posibilitatea să extindă domeniul de aplicare a acţiunilor vizate de aceste programe şi să solicite, de asemenea, ajutorul organizaţiilor internaţionale pentru punerea în aplicare a acestor acţiuni. Procentul de participare financiară a Uniunii Europene trebuie sporit, pentru a acorda un sprijin suplimentar proiectelor selectate de statele membre, în contextul înăspririi generale a condiţiilor de obţinere a necesarului pentru cofinanţare de către organizaţii şi autorităţi naţionale.

Susţin ideea că organismul însărcinat cu punerea în aplicare a programului selectat să fie o organizaţie internaţională, în special în cazul în care programul vizează promovarea sectorului uleiului de măsline şi al măslinelor de masă, dar şi al vinurilor cu denumire de origine protejată şi al celor cu indicaţie geografică protejată în ţările terţe.

Totodată, trebuie avut în vedere rolul important pe care asociaţiile/organizaţiile profesionale active din sectoarele vizate din statele membre îl au în procesul elaborării programelor de informare cu privire la produsele agricole. În încheiere, aş vrea să-i mulţumesc încă o dată raportorului şi în mod special doamnei comisar pentru că a acceptat toate propunerile pe care noi le-am făcut în conţinutul raportului.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alessandro Battilocchio (PSE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, abbiamo assistito negli ultimi mesi, soprattutto in questa legislatura, ad una progressiva riduzione del sostegno diretto ai nostri agricoltori e delle regole che proteggevano le nostre produzioni dalle importazioni da paesi extraeuropei, più a buon mercato, per liberare le risorse necessarie ad affrontare le nuove sfide nel nostro Millennio – ambientale, economica e sociale – e per rispettare gli accordi di commercio internazionale.

Come membro della commissione AGRI e soprattutto della delegazione di un paese che ha fatto della qualità dei suoi prodotti agricoli – e penso all'olio di oliva, al vino e ai formaggi, un marchio riconosciuto e rispettato a livello globale – non posso che approvare qualunque azione la Commissione proponga per salvaguardare la produzione di prodotti europei di alta qualità e favorirne, ove possibile, la commercializzazione sia sul mercato interno che all'estero.

Questo programma di informazione infatti è particolarmente importante, in quanto dovrebbe rendere chiaro ai consumatori europei e non come i nostri prodotti non siano in concorrenza con quelli, magari meno cari, provenienti da altri paesi, ma rappresentino al contrario un'alternativa che punta sulla qualità e sul modello di produzione rispettoso dell'ambiente e delle norme sociali, del benessere animale, che si ripercuote naturalmente sulla salute umana.

Le norme che votiamo in quest'Aula quotidianamente possono avere un prezzo da pagare soprattutto per i nostri produttori. E' per questo che dobbiamo offrire loro tutto l'aiuto possibile, affinché la ricchezza e la qualità dei nostri prodotti non si perda e non si appiattisca in un mercato globale sempre più omogeneo. Per questo approvo gli emendamenti del relatore che mirano ad aumentare il cofinanziamento della Commissione, le azioni finanziabili e soprattutto la partecipazione di associazioni di produttori, che meglio di chiunque possono difendere le prerogative qualitative dei loro prodotti di fronte a consumatori sempre più esigenti.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alexandru Nazare (PPE-DE). - Discutăm astăzi un raport extrem de important pentru agricultura europeană. Aşa cum sublinia şi raportorul, calitatea şi siguranţa produselor europene sunt un avantaj competitiv încă insuficient exploatat.

Acţiunile de informare şi promovare a acestor produse, a calităţii lor, a normelor de siguranţă alimentară pe care le respectă pot genera o reacţie în lanţ prin creşterea cererii, creşterea producţiei şi a profiturilor agricultorilor, crearea de noi locuri de muncă şi, implicit, creşterea economică. Aceste acţiuni trebuie direcţionate în egală măsură către consumatorii de pe piaţa internă şi cei din ţări terţe.

Să nu uităm că pe piaţa internă ne confruntăm cu o competiţie din partea unor producători din alte state, cu produse uneori mai ieftine, dar şi, de multe ori, cu standarde calitative şi de siguranţă mult mai joase. Consumatorii trebuie să recunoască produsele comunitare, să ştie de ce sunt mai sănătoase decât altele şi, nu în ultimul rând, să ştie că, achiziţionându-le, sprijină fermierii şi producătorii agroalimentari europeni, adică economia europeană.

Apreciez în mod deosebit iniţiativa raportorului de a recunoaşte rolul important pe care îl au asociaţiile şi organizaţiile profesionale pentru că, de cele mai multe ori, acestea au o expertiză pe care instituţiile statului nu o au şi cunosc mai bine realităţile şi nevoile de pe piaţă. În acelaşi timp, cred că propunerea de a creşte procentul de cofinanţare este una absolut necesară în contextul actualei crize a creditelor şi am convingerea că, astfel, va creşte rata de utilizări a acestor fonduri.

În final, aş vrea să-l felicit pe domnul Dumitriu, pe raportor, pentru munca depusă şi propunerile sale şi cred că toţi colegii mei sunt de aceeaşi părere.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (PSE). - Doresc să-l felicit pe domnul raportor, domnul Dumitriu. Sectorul agricol este important pentru economia statelor membre pentru că asigură atât hrana populaţiei, exportul de produse agricole, dar şi un important număr de locuri de muncă. Uniunea Europeană trebuie să fie capabilă să asigure hrana populaţiei în cantităţi suficiente şi la preţuri accesibile.

Evident, pe o piaţă competitivă, acţiunile de informare şi promovare pentru produsele agricole pe piaţa internă şi în ţările terţe devin tot mai importante. În definirea programelor de promovare a produselor agricole asociaţiile sau organizaţiile profesionale trebuie să fie consultate. Consider că acest regulament va sprijini agricultorii europeni să-şi promoveze produsele agricole.

România are foarte multe produse agroalimentare pe care, din păcate, nu le regăsim pe pieţele europene, deşi multe dintre acestea sunt ecologice. O campanie de promovare a acestora va aduce beneficii atât cumpărătorilor europeni, cât şi producătorilor agricoli români. Evident, mai ales în situaţii de criză economică, sectorul agricol rămâne unul dintre sectoarele care trebuie să se bucure de o atenţie specială, de programe şi finanţări adecvate.

În situaţie de criză, statele membre sunt obligate să-şi stabilească cu mai mare atenţie priorităţile. De aceea, consider că agricultura trebuie să rămână un domeniu care să fie sprijinit pentru că este important pentru economia europeană.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nicodim Bulzesc (PPE-DE). - În primul rând, doresc să-l felicit pe raportor pentru munca depusă pe acest raport care ridică o problemă foarte importantă. Există o nevoie reală a statelor membre de a promova imaginea produselor lor agricole, atât în rândul consumatorilor din Comunitatea Europeană, cât şi a celor din alte ţări.

Doresc să scot în evidenţă două propuneri enunţate în acest raport. Se cere ca procentul de participare financiară a Comunităţii Europene să fie sporit pentru a acorda un sprijin suplimentar proiectelor selectate de statele membre, în contextul înăspririi generale a condiţiilor de obţinere a necesarului pentru cofinanţare de către organizaţii şi autorităţi naţionale.

Paragraful al doilea din acest amendament cere ca participarea financiară a Comunităţii Europene să fie de 70% în cazul măsurilor de promovare a fructelor şi legumelor destinate copiilor din şcoli. Consider aceste amendamente oportune şi sper ca această iniţiativă să fie susţinută de un număr cât mai mare de europarlamentari.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Iosif Matula (PPE-DE). - Îl felicit pe raportor pentru efortul depus şi pentru contribuţia sa în ceea ce priveşte lărgirea ariei de aplicabilitate a programelor de informare şi promovare a produselor agricole pe piaţa internă şi în ţările terţe.

Una dintre cele mai importante modificări pe care le aduce acest raport este creşterea cu 10% atât a cofinanţării europene pentru programele de promovare a produselor agricole europene, cât şi a alocărilor bugetare pentru promovarea consumului produselor lactate, a fructelor şi legumelor în şcoli.

Pe de o parte, Europa va beneficia de o promovare mai activă pentru un număr mai mare de produse agricole, iar, pe de altă parte, cei mai importanţi beneficiari ai ajutorului comunitar vor fi copiii şi elevii.

Consider că măsurile propuse sunt foarte importante, deoarece, acum mai mult ca oricând, avem nevoie de investiţii în domeniile ce se dezvoltă rapid şi pot duce la relansarea economiei. Agricultura este un astfel de domeniu, iar Uniunea Europeană poate contribui semnificativ la promovarea lui.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE-DE). - Mr President, the major food manufacturers around the globe spend billions promoting themselves – maybe using EU-produced food, but concentrating not on its origin but on their own brands. We have celebrity TV chefs promoting their particular version of food production, with access to the airwaves and budgets of millions. And here we are talking about a relatively small amount of money to promote all of Europe’s food, both throughout the world and internally. It is a big ask! It is a very good report, which I fully support, and I endorse the comments of our Commissioner here to day.

I am particularly interested in the idea that we need to promote outside our borders, and I would agree wholeheartedly with that, but we also have to be realistic about how we are going to compete, and whether we are competitive on a global market. Perhaps the Commissioner would take that up in her responses. The question of our standards has got to be acknowledged and recognised. Is that being acknowledged and recognised at the WTO?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jim Allister (NI). - Mr President, I very strongly support promotion of our high-quality food. In today’s difficult market the quality product is the best refuge, but it does need fulsome promotion. Sixty per cent cofinancing would be good if it can be obtained, and I regret that the Commissioner was unable to be as forthcoming as we hoped she would be in that regard.

In respect of my own region I would very emphatically call upon the regional government – not one blessed with much initiative or with funds given how much it wastes on its top-heavy administration and needless cross-border bodies – to exert itself to draw down this EU funding, and thereby give our excellent local produce the best chance in the marketplace. Along with what I hope will be 70% support from Europe to promote food and vegetables to our schools, I trust this opportunity will not be lost by a lackadaisical local department.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Avril Doyle (PPE-DE). - Mr President, I wish to begin by thanking the Commission for the recent approval of 50% funding for An Bord Bia’s proposal on information provision for meat in Asia over the next three years, which is much appreciated.

While I am very supportive of this proposal, could I be allowed two commercial caveats. Firstly, some countries, such as Ireland, may be unlikely to draw up information programmes if the trade does not show an interest. Secondly, while the proposed increase in funding to 60%, and to 70% for fruit and vegetable promotion, would be very welcome in the current economic environment, realistically the incentive to expand generic promotion may be limited as contributors and non-contributors alike will benefit from the programmes.

I would like to thank the rapporteur.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Călin Cătălin Chiriţă (PPE-DE). - Îmi exprim susţinerea pentru raportul prezentat de domnul Dimitriu privind acţiunile de informare şi promovare pentru produsele agricole pe piaţa internă. Consider că este necesară creşterea procentului de participare financiară a Comunităţii Europene pentru a se acorda un sprijin suplimentar proiectelor selectate de statele membre.

În special, este esenţială creşterea contribuţiei financiare a Comunităţii Europene la 70% din costul real al noului program de promovare a fructelor şi legumelor destinate copiilor din şcolile Uniunii Europene. Această măsură va contribui substanţial la implementarea programului de promovare a fructelor şi legumelor în şcoli, iar acest efort trebuie făcut pentru sănătatea copiilor noştri.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Neil Parish (PPE-DE). - Mr President, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur on a very good report.

Commissioner, I would like to endorse what you said. I believe the future of European agriculture policy is very much with the market. We have got to go out there and promote our high-quality products. You mentioned the wine reform – previously we were taking a lot of low-quality wine out of the market, buying it into intervention and then making it into biofuel, which was absolutely the wrong way to go. What we should be doing is promoting quality food. We have got a great diversity of wines, cheeses, meats, olive oil, fruits, vegetables – you name it. Europe is rich in all these and we must go out and market them in the future.

I think, as we move beyond the Health Check into the new agriculture policy in 2013 and beyond, we have got to make sure that we use more money to promote our products and to link into the marketplace, because that is where the future lies.

As one last comment, can I say to the Commissioner that perhaps he should go to America and convince President Obama that Roquefort cheese is extremely good and that perhaps he can reduce the tariff that President Bush put on it before he left office.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE-DE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Konsumenci europejscy i z krajów trzecich otrzymują zbyt mało informacji o jakości i standardach europejskiej żywności. Wymogi, które stawiamy producentom europejskim są wyjątkowo wysokie. Konsument powinien mieć tego świadomość, gdyż będzie to wpływało na jego decyzje o wyborze odpowiednich towarów.

Jestem za promocją i informacją, choć częściej mówię o informacji jako o bardziej obiektywnej formie przekazu. Musimy także stawiać określone wymogi i standardy co do jakości informacji i sposobu prowadzenia promocji. Wreszcie popieram, aby Unia, a także budżety krajowe wspierały programy informacyjne i promocyjne w zakresie żywności. W okresie kryzysu ważna jest promocja i informacja, która będzie przeciwdziałała zmniejszaniu popytu, konsumpcji, w tym spożycia żywności.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mariann Fischer Boel, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, my thanks for all the contributions. It is great to hear such enthusiasm and interest in this important issue. I think that all the comments here are to a certain extent very much in line with the Commission’s view on the proposal.

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to some of the questions or issues raised here. First of all on the financing – this has been raised by quite a few of you – to increase the cofinancing rate. I think, though, that we have to be very cautious and careful when we try to monitor the benefit of the Community financing because I fear that if we increase the cofinancing, the bottom line will be that there will be less promotion. That would be a bad outcome and that is the reason why we have maintained our proposal.

Quality has been mentioned quite a few times today and I agree with you. I think we have a golden opportunity to discuss this quality issue that is also linked to how we promote our products in the Third World, how we explain to consumers what they get when they buy European.

Last October we presented a Green Paper on quality and we have had lots of contributions; there are more than 1 000 contributions on the website from all over Europe. We are now digesting all these different ideas and we will present a communication in May. We should take this opportunity when the discussion takes place here in Parliament on communication to make a link – how do we improve our possibilities to make it visible and make it understandable. Here the labelling issue, which is both difficult and important, comes into the discussions so I am looking forward to having a discussion with you on this issue in the autumn.

Finally, regarding the school fruit scheme which has been raised here today – it is not part of the proposal, but just to keep you updated – we introduced a school fruit scheme with a cofinancing rate of 70% to the increase awareness of young people and to take the opportunity to underline the importance of good eating habits among school children.

Once again my thanks to the rapporteur, Mr Dumitriu, for a very good report. I think it is very well mirrored here today by the dynamic discussion that we have had.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Constantin Dumitriu, Raportor. − O să-mi cer scuze dacă o să întârzii câteva secunde peste cele două minute acordate. Vă mulţumesc pentru observaţiile şi aprecierile extrem de pertinente pe care le-aţi avut pe marginea acestui raport. Am încredere că şi restul colegilor vor considera oportune noile reglementări propuse şi vom avea un vot favorabil.

Doresc să informez colegii că voi spijini sugestiile lor, în special în vederea unei promovări a diversităţii europene, a etichetării calităţii europene şi a unui sprijin financiar comunitar mai consistent. La întrebarea: de ce vinul, alături de uleiul de măsline printre organizaţiile internaţionale care pot implementa proiecte de promovare, aş vrea să vă răspund cu o altă întrebare: de ce uleiul de măsline? Răspunsul meu este favorabil pentru ambele. Sunt produse de export ale statelor Uniunii Europene cu mare succes. Au organizaţii internaţionale puternice şi cu experienţă, care au dovedit deja capacitatea lor de a gestiona programe complexe, iar prevederile raportului nu exclud alte domenii. La a doua întrebare, de ce 70% cofinanţare, procentul iniţial era de 60% şi am considerat necesar ca, în actualul context economic, să-l mărim.

Aşa cum arată experienţa absorţiei fondurilor europene de până acum, una din marile probleme rămâne obţinerea cofinanţării, iar acum ne confruntăm suplimentar şi cu o criză a creditelor. Aşadar, se impune o creştere a acestui procent, altfel riscăm să rămânem cu fondurile neutilizate. Doamna comisar Fischer Boel, doresc să vă mulţumesc pentru importanţa pe care aţi dat-o acestui raport, dar şi pentru aprecierile făcute. Deşi acesta este un raport de consultare, sper şi doresc ca aceste amendamente să fie incluse în noua propunere a Comisiei.

Concluzionând şi sintetizând, exită două motive pentru care acest raport este necesar. Statele membre vor avea posibilitatea să extindă domeniul de aplicare a acţiunilor vizate de aceste programe şi să solicite ajutorul organizaţiilor internaţionale pentru punerea în aplicare a acestor acţiuni. Acordă un rol mai mare organizaţiilor şi asociaţiilor profesionale în elaborarea şi implementarea programelor de informare şi promovare a produselor şi, nu în ultimul rând, intră în logica propunerilor de adaptare a legislaţiei europene, astfel încât să facă mai accesibilă utilizarea fondurilor europene prin mărirea procentului de cofinanţare într-o perioadă în care accesul la creditare este extrem de dificil. Pentru a avea o recomandare suplimentară, menţionez că raportul a fost adoptat în unanimitate de către membrii Comisiei pentru agricultură şi dezvoltare rurală.

Doresc să mulţumesc pe această cale colegilor din Comisie pentru sprijinul acordat, doresc să-i mulţumesc personal domnului Neil Parish pentru susţinerea dată şi, nu în ultimul rând, domnului Lutz Goepel pentru încrederea pe care mi-a dat-o atunci când mi-a încredinţat acest raport.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. − La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà oggi.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: HANS-GERT PÖTTERING
Präsident

 

5. Período de votação
Vídeo das intervenções
MPphoto
 
 

  Der Präsident. − Als nächster Punkt folgt die Abstimmungsstunde.

 

5.1. Acções de informação e promoção a favor de produtos agrícolas (A6-0004/2009, Constantin Dumitriu) (votação)

5.2. Aplicação da Directiva 2003/9/CE sobre o acolhimento de requerentes de asilo: visitas da Comissão LIBE de 2005 a 2008 (A6-0024/2009, Martine Roure) (votação)
  

– Vor der Abstimmung:

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Martine Roure, rapporteure. − Monsieur le Président, nous n'avons pas pu avoir de débat en plénière sur ce rapport si important, c'est pourquoi il nous semble nécessaire, au nom de la commission, de prendre la parole devant vous aujourd'hui.

Nous avons travaillé tous ensemble, et je salue le formidable travail des rapporteurs fictifs. Nous avons visité pas moins de 26 centres de rétention en Europe, dans dix États membres, et nous avons relevé plusieurs points essentiels. Nous avons constaté, dans certains centres, un état de délabrement et un manque d'hygiène évidents, et nous avons dénoncé le non-respect de la dignité humaine. Nous avons constaté que l'accès aux soins de santé n'était pas toujours possible et que le droit à l'éducation pour les mineurs n'était pas toujours respecté.

Nous demandons le respect de procédures d'asile claires, justes, effectives et proportionnelles, et nous demandons la mise en place d'un système de visites et d'inspections permanent des centres de rétention. Nous devons témoigner de la réalité de terrain, défendre un droit de regard sur ces centres, ce que permet ce type de visites, et ce afin d'agir pour que les choses changent.

La question de savoir pourquoi nous n'avons cité aucun pays dans ce rapport de synthèse m'a été posée par la presse. J'ai répondu que là était mon choix, que là était notre choix, car nous avons une responsabilité collective à l'égard de ce qui se passe dans les centres de rétention en Europe, et ce rapport n'est pas là pour classer les États membres.

Nous ne cessons, en effet, de demander une solidarité européenne en ce qui concerne l'asile. Nous ne pouvons pas laisser les États membres, aux frontières de l'Europe, seuls face à des flux migratoires importants. Je le répète encore, nous avons une responsabilité collective.

(Applaudissements)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Der Präsident. − Vielen Dank, Frau Roure! Ich sehe selbst bei den Top-Juristen hier im Plenum oder bei denen, die sich dafür halten, dass sie nicht wissen, dass die Berichterstatterin das Recht hat, zwei Minuten eine Erklärung abzugeben, wenn über diesen Bericht im Plenum nicht diskutiert wurde. Deswegen hat die Kollegin Roure dieses Recht. Das hat sie wahrgenommen, und jeder sollte das auch akzeptieren, weil unsere Geschäftsordnung das so vorsieht.

(Beifall)

 

5.3. PME europeias no comércio internacional (A6-0001/2009, Cristiana Muscardini) (votação)
  

– Vor der Abstimmung:

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Cristiana Muscardini, relatrice. − Signor Presidente, chiedo scusa ai colleghi e li ringrazio per la loro pazienza.

Ricordiamoci che il Parlamento europeo da molti anni voleva esprimersi sulle piccole e medie imprese che costituiscono il 99% del totale delle imprese europee e 75 milioni di posti di lavoro, mentre oggi queste piccole e medie imprese che accedono al mercato estero, esterno, sono del 3% e sono dell'8% all'interno dell'Unione.

Per questo chiediamo al Consiglio e alla Commissione di occuparsi di questa realtà nei negoziati multilaterali, in quelli bilaterali, nell'accesso sui mercati esteri, nella lotta alla contraffazione, nell'utilizzo degli strumenti di difesa commerciale e nelle gare di appalto. Gli scambi determinano maggiore prosperità.

Voglio ringraziare i colleghi della commissione INTA e soprattutto i relatori ombra dei due maggiori gruppi, l'on. Saïfi e l'on. Locatelli, ed un ringraziamento sentito anche al segretariato e in particolare al dott. Bendini. Credo che con il lavoro di tutti noi offriamo oggi alla Commissione europea riflessioni e proposte condivise su un argomento che sappiamo caro al Commissario Ashton, come ha ricordato nella sua audizione di investitura, e che dobbiamo affrontare subito se vogliamo risolvere, in parte almeno, la grande crisi economica e finanziaria che attanaglia i nostri lavoratori e cittadini.

 

5.4. Comércio internacional e Internet (A6-0020/2009, Georgios Papastamkos) (votação)

5.5. Colocação no mercado e utilização de alimentos para animais (A6-0407/2008, Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf) (votação)

5.6. Impacto dos Acordos de Parceria Económica no desenvolvimento (A6-0513/2008, Jürgen Schröder) (votação)

5.7. null (votação)
  

– Vor der Abstimmung über Änderungsantrag 2:

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Johannes Lebech (ALDE). - Mr President, we found that it would not be fair to mention just one of the parties, so we would like to take out the reference to the Kosovo authorities. The amendment would then read: ‘Underlines the importance of full regional economic cooperation and the obligation to comply with and fully implement the provisions of the CEFTA Agreement’.

 
  
 

(Der mündliche Änderungsantrag wird übernommen.)

 

5.8. Relações comerciais e económicas com a China (A6-0021/2009, Corien Wortmann-Kool) (votação)
  

– Vor der Abstimmung (betrifftAnderungsantrag 1):

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Corien Wortmann-Kool, rapporteur. − Mr President, I would like to move an oral amendment in the form of an addition to paragraph 64a. That addition reads as follows: ‘where this does not require statehood, for instance in the ILO’.

So the last part of paragraph 64a will read as follows: ‘supports Taiwan’s participation as an observer in relevant international organisations where this does not require statehood, for instance in the ILO;’.

I would ask colleagues not to oppose this oral amendment, because it is important for the Socialists to give their support to this resolution, and broad support is very important in order to send a strong signal to the Commission and to China.

 
  
 

(Der mündliche Änderungsantrag wird übernommen.)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. MARIO MAURO
Vicepresidente

 

6. Declarações de voto
Vídeo das intervenções
  

Dichiarazioni di voto orali

 
  
  

- Relazione: Constantin Dumitriu (A6-0004/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Zuzana Roithová (PPE-DE). - Pane předsedo, ráda jsem podpořila zprávu, která umožní administrativní a právní zjednodušení, které zvýší informovanost spotřebitelů v Evropě i ve třetích zemích o kvalitě a nutriční hodnotě potravin, a také to, že spotřebitelé budou mít jasno, že byly použity bezpečné výrobní metody. Nesouhlasila jsem s upřednostňováním sektoru olivového oleje či oliv a věřím, že Komise zařadí mezi specifické programy také sektor vína, který tak bude moci lépe šířit informace o kvalitních vínech vyráběných v různých regionech Evropské unie.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE-DE). - Mr President, I just wish to say that I supported this report. I was interested to hear during the debate that the Commission confirmed 70% funding cofinancing for the school fruit scheme, which will be hugely significant in the uptake of this scheme, and I clearly welcome it.

 
  
  

- Relazione: Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf (A6-0407/2008)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE-DE). - Mr President, thank you again for giving me the floor. I supported this report because it makes good sense that we should have a regulation that protects farmers’ interests and the interests of those who produce their feed. I think what we now need is to communicate with the stakeholders what it means for them, as either feed operators or as users of animal feed, because it will not be enough that we have this regulation in place until there is good communication between all stakeholders.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ewa Tomaszewska (UEN). - Panie Przewodniczący! Poparłam sprawozdanie dotyczące wprowadzenia na rynek i stosowania pasz, ponieważ reprezentuje ono interesy zarówno rolników i producentów, jak i bezpieczeństwo zdrowotne zwierząt hodowlanych, a tym samym bezpieczeństwo zdrowotne późniejszych konsumentów mięsa – ludzi.

Wyraźne określenie składu pasz i ich rejestr ułatwi rolnikom podejmowanie odpowiedzialnych decyzji o wyborze właściwego gatunku paszy. Jest to krok we właściwym kierunku. Pozwolę sobie jednak zwrócić uwagę, że ochrona tajemnicy handlowej producentów nie może usprawiedliwiać braku niezbędnej informacji, nie może doprowadzać do sytuacji takich jak epidemia „choroby wściekłych krów” lub pojawienie się dioksyn w paszach.

 
  
  

- Relazione: Jürgen Schröder (A6-0513/2008)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Syed Kamall (PPE-DE). - Mr President, in November 2007 I visited Uganda to meet with local entrepreneurs and local NGOs. As we were leaving Kampala on a dusty road, the driver drew my attention to some booths selling pre-paid telephone cards. He turned to me and said: ‘Those telephone companies, those private companies, have done more to take people out of poverty in this country than any of your white, Western NGOs’. I thought that was a little unfair at the time, but it highlights the feeling that so many entrepreneurs have towards European Union development policies.

In fact, entrepreneurs in many poor countries have told me that they believe our aid programmes and our NGOs actually have an interest in keeping them poor. I still think that is a little unfair, but it highlights the fact that we need to show that we are supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries, and one of the best ways to do that is through encouraging open markets globally.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nirj Deva (PPE-DE). - Mr President, I am delighted to be able to rise in support of Mr Schröder’s excellent report on this issue. Economic Partnership Agreements are very key as a development instrument. It is trade, not aid, which is going to uplift poor countries from poverty.

We are now in a global economic condition with the global recession where there are the beginnings of the whiff of protectionism coming from the developed world, especially from the United States, and I hope not from the European Union. If we create a protectionist climate, then the whole question of trade, not aid, to help alleviate poverty will be blown off course and thrown out of the window. We do not wish the developing countries which do want to trade with us to be stopped by our own selfish needs which are misguided to protect our own markets. In the long term that would be a disaster for our economies.

 
  
  

- Proposta di Risoluzione: Kosovo (B6-0063/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Philip Claeys (NI). - Ik heb tegen de resolutie over Kosovo gestemd om twee redenen. Eerst en vooral is er een passage die stelt dat de lidstaten die de onafhankelijkheid van Kosovo nog niet hebben erkend, dit alsnog zouden moeten doen. Welnu, zulk een passage is in strijd met het subsidiariteitsbeginsel. Het is aan de lidstaten zelf om daarover te beslissen en hierover moet geen druk van buitenaf worden uitgeoefend, geen druk vanuit de Europese Commissie, de Raad of het Parlement.

De tweede reden waarom ik tegen de resolutie heb gestemd heeft te maken met de passage die stelt dat Kosovo een duidelijk uitzicht moet hebben op lidmaatschap van de Europese Unie, evenals de voor gehele regio. Ik denk dat het verkeerd is om dit soort beloftes vanuit het Parlement te doen. Op dit moment zijn er heel wat problemen met de uitbreiding, met een aantal nieuwe lidstaten ook, en zou het helemaal verkeerd zijn om nu al beloftes te doen aan landen als Kosovo dat zij ooit te tot de Europese Unie kunnen toetreden.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Daniel Hannan (NI). - Mr President, whence comes our obsession with preserving multi-ethnic states regardless of the wishes of their inhabitants?

Kosovo had an unquestioned right to self-determination: it was expressed in a referendum with a participation rate and a turnout of more than 90%. However, by an extension of that logic, so, surely, have those Kosovans of Serb extraction, who are clustered conveniently close to the border with Serbia proper. Why not allow them also to enjoy self-government? We do it de facto, so why do we not do it de jure?

The answer is because we would rather keep Kosovo as a European protectorate – as a satrapy, such as it was in Ottoman times. We forced on them a version of our 12-star flag and a version of our national anthem. We have a Kosovan Parliament and institutions subject to the overriding decisions of an appointed European commissar.

We should allow the people of Kosovo to have referendums on partition – if that is what they want – and on ethnic self-determination, and we should allow that same right to the subject peoples of the European Union. Pactio Olisipiensis Censenda Est!

 
  
  

- Relazione: Corien Wortmann-Kool (A6-0021/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Kathy Sinnott (IND/DEM). - Mr President, China is a very important trade partner for the European Union, as is Taiwan. I wanted to draw attention to a very positive development in the Committee on Foreign Affairs. They voted an opinion which calls on China to respect women and children’s rights by ending forced abortion and forced sterilisation. It also calls on China to end political persecution and other human rights abuses.

I think this raises the issue that we cannot separate trade from other factors. I made this point in the Gaza speech about our trade with Israel – if we do not bring up issues of human rights abuse, we are in danger of having our money used to encourage human rights abuse. So I want to congratulate the Committee on Foreign Affairs for recognising the coercive nature of China’s one-child policy and bringing this into the trade issue.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Zuzana Roithová (PPE-DE). - Vážení kolegové, pane předsedo, Čína vstupem do WTO v roce 2001 získala obrovské výhody. Otevřeli jsme jí své trhy, ale sama nedodržuje obchodní podmínky, ke kterým se zavázala, a my k tomu několik let v podstatě jenom přihlížíme. Já velice podporuji uzavřít strategické partnerství s tímto významným ekonomickým subjektem. Ale to strategické partnerství musí být opřeno o povinnost ze strany Číny dodržovat lidská práva, protože my potřebujeme mít partnerství s takovými zeměmi, které jsou demokratické, a nikoliv totalitní. Máme s tím, nové členské státy, své vlastní zkušenosti.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Philip Claeys (NI). - Ik heb voor het amendement van de EVP-Fractie gestemd, omdat daarin tenminste rekening wordt gehouden met het feit dat Taiwan een belangrijke economische handelsentiteit is en de deelneming van Taiwan als waarnemer aan de desbetreffende internationale organisaties wordt gesteund. Eigenlijk is dit amendement nog veel te beperkend. Aangezien Taiwan een democratisch land is dat de facto nationale soevereiniteit geniet, is het eigenlijk een schande dat Taiwan niet als volwaardige lidstaat wordt erkend in alle verschillende internationale instellingen. Het amendement spreekt over de deelneming van Taiwan als waarnemer aan deze instellingen. Welnu, ik ben van mening dat Taiwan daaraan als een volwaardige lidstaat zou moeten kunnen deelnemen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Syed Kamall (PPE-DE). - Mr President, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to explain my vote on the EU-China report. Overall it was a very balanced report and I am very pleased that the rapporteur, on the whole, was able to stick to the issue – which was trade – rather than focus on a number of other issues that I know a number of colleagues wanted her to focus on.

However, I did have one major concern about this report, which was the reference to trade defence instruments. We have to recognise that consumers in my country – Britain – and in many other countries across the European Union have benefited from open trade with China. It helped us at the time to fight perils such as inflation. However, protecting uncompetitive EU producers, at the expense of other parties who benefit, is something that we should tackle with care. We should make sure that we get the right balance and do not ignore the benefits of trade with China for consumers, companies with globalised supply chains and the retail sector. On the whole, trade with China is to be welcomed. Eventually that will lead to all the other issues being tackled, such as better human rights and labour issues.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nirj Deva (PPE-DE). - Mr President, China is one of our most important trading partners. It also contains one quarter of the world’s population.

For many years we have treated China as though it were some sort of small child that needed to be chided and argued about, as though we were some superior institution. We must not forget that China’s history exceeds ours by thousands of years. China has maintained her cultural traditions and her values.

We want to have China as a part of our international community, but China is very important for the EU as a trading partner and the way we should treat China is as an equal partner with respect.

If we do that, then China will not only listen to us, but will trade more with us, we will be able to invest more in China and China invest more with us. At the moment China has an enormous amount of money which will have to be invested outside China. The European Union should be the place where they invest it.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Tunne Kelam (PPE-DE). - Mr President, I supported Mrs Wortmann-Kool’s amendment to consider Taiwan as an economic and commercial entity, because Taiwan has been a democracy for a long time and is a viable free market economy. We must make at least political and moral efforts to support the status of Taiwan, and also to provide it with international access to organisations which are not connected with statehood.

 
  
  

Dichiarazioni di voto scritte

 
  
  

- Relazione: Constantin Dumitriu (A6-0004/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nicodim Bulzesc (PPE-DE), în scris. − Am votat acest raport deoarece activităţile de informare desfăşurate de Comunitate răspund unei nevoi reale a statelor membre de a promova imaginea produselor lor agricole atât în rândul consumatorilor din Comunitate, cât şi a celor din alte ţări, îndeosebi în ceea ce priveşte calitatea, valoarea nutritivă şi siguranţa alimentelor şi a metodelor de producţie. În plus, ea contribuie la deschiderea unor noi pieţe de desfacere şi are un efect de multiplicare a iniţiativelor naţionale şi private.

Modificarea legislativă va oferi posibilitatea statelor membre interesate să propună programe de informare şi în cazul absenţei unor programe propuse pentru ţări terţe. Ca urmare a acestei modificări, statele membre vor avea posibilitatea să extindă domeniul de aplicare a acţiunilor vizate de aceste programe şi să solicite de asemenea ajutorul organizaţiilor internaţionale pentru punerea în aplicare a acestor acţiuni.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Avril Doyle (PPE-DE), in writing. − This proposal aims to extend the reach of Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 3/2008 which enables Member States, in the absence of proposals from industry, to propose information and promotion campaigns in third country territories without the requirement of funding from industry. The present requirements necessitate a 20% industry contribution to funding when the EU provides a maximum of 50% of funding.

This latitude would provide Member States with the ability to self-start promotional and information campaigns without the financial participation of industry. The potential for this proposal for impetus in the fruit and vegetable industry is considerable and also desirable given the current economic conditions. I am accordingly pleased to support this proposal.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Duarte Freitas (PPE-DE), por escrito. Os Estados-Membros têm necessidade de promover a imagem dos seus produtos agrícolas, tanto entre os consumidores comunitários, como junto dos consumidores de países terceiros, nomeadamente no que diz respeito à qualidade e informação nutricional, à segurança alimentar e aos métodos de produção seguros.

Concordo que, na ausência de programas propostos pelas organizações do sector agro-alimentar, os Estados-Membros devem poder estabelecer programas e seleccionar, mediante adjudicação, um organismo que implemente o programa.

A proposta da Comissão, na medida em que permite aos Estados-Membros delinearem programas nacionais, melhorará a legislação existente.

Aprovo o relatório Dumitriu e saliento pela positiva a inserção do sector do vinho no âmbito desta proposta.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nils Lundgren (IND/DEM), skriftlig. − Junilistan anser att den gemensamma jordbrukspolitiken (GJP) ska avskaffas och att jordbruksprodukter ska säljas på en fri marknad utan att EU satsar ekonomiska resurser på informationskampanjer och säljfrämjande åtgärder för dessa produkter. Särskilt allvarligt är det att EU ska finansiera säljfrämjande åtgärder i tredjeland, vilket innebär en illojal konkurrens mot icke-EU-länders jordbruksproducenter.

Vad håller EU på med? Är det verkligen rimligt att EU ska använda de europeiska skattebetalarnas pengar i reklamkampanjer för att övertyga samma medborgare om att de ska köpa de varor som de redan har subventionerat? Naturligtvis inte. Det stinker dold protektionism om hela förslaget.

I januari 2009 inleddes en ny reklamkampanj i Sverige, Finland och Danmark, där svenskarna uppmanas att köpa mer tulpaner. EU satsar, enligt tidskriften Resumé, totalt 14 miljoner kronor i tre år på tulpankampanjen i nämnda tre länder. Sådant uppenbart slöseri med EU:s pengar måste få ett slut.

Jag är starkt emot detta betänkande. Jag konstaterar än en gång att det är tur att inte Europaparlamentet har medbeslutande i EU:s jordbrukspolitik, ty då skulle unionen hamna i en fälla av protektionism och tunga subventioner till samtliga grupper inom jordbruksnäringen.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (PSE), in writing. − I support this proposal which seeks to simplify and enhance information programmes on agricultural products. I support this proposal because it will provide funding to third country markets to provide and improve the information on the quality, nutritional value and safety of foodstuffs and the methods of production.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luca Romagnoli (NI), per iscritto. − Esprimo il mio voto favorevole in merito alla relazione presentata dal collega Dumitriu sulle azioni di informazione e di promozione dei prodotti agricoli sul mercato interno e nei paesi terzi. Ritengo che, come espresso più volte dalla Commissione, sia necessario semplificare le procedure amministrative nel quadro istituzionale europeo.

Questo regolamento, infatti, consente alla Comunità di realizzare azioni di informazione sul mercato interno e sui mercati dei paesi terzi per un certo numero di prodotti agricoli, conservando tuttavia le specificità delle azioni in funzione del luogo di realizzazione.

Concordo con il taglio politico che è stato dato, che rispetta le esigenze degli Stati membri, desiderosi di promuovere un’immagine dei loro prodotti agricoli presso i consumatori all’interno della Comunità e nei paesi terzi che sia imperniata soprattutto sulla qualità, sulle caratteristiche nutrizionali, sulla sicurezza dei prodotti alimentari e sui metodi di produzione.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Flaviu Călin Rus (PPE-DE), în scris. − Am votat rezoluţia legislativă a Parlamentului European referitoare la propunerea de regulament al Consiliului de modificare a Regulamentului (CE) nr. 3/2008 privind acţiunile de informare şi promovare pentru produsele agricole pe piaţa internă şi în ţările terţe (COM(2008)0431 – C6-0313/2008 – 2008/0131(CNS)), deoarece consider că populaţia trebuie informată corect despre produsele agricole pe care le consumă. De asemenea, consider că o bună promovare a oricărui produs poate oferi informaţii utile cumpărătorilor.

 
  
  

- Relazione: Martine Roure (A6-0024/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Avril Doyle (PPE-DE), in writing. − The status of refugee is that accorded to a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, due to such fear, is unwilling to avail him- or herself of the protection of their own state. This is a 1951 UN definition.

This review of the 2003 ‘Reception Conditions Directive’ which laid down minimum standards for the reception of people seeking asylum in Europe, aims to enforce the implementation of these rules, such as access to information, education, health care, and standards regarding reception facilities. The Directive allows Member States to determine the length of time during which an applicant cannot have access to the labour market.

Ireland unfortunately did not opt into the 2003 Directive, and operates a ‘direct provision’ system, providing accommodation, food and EUR 19.10 per week per adult, designed to discourage asylum seekers from choosing Ireland, and keeping them out of the official labour market for the entirety of their application procedure. Legislation currently before the Oireachtas – the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008 – seeks to extend this prohibition, despite grave concerns about the impact of such decisions. Other measures in the Irish legislation include criminalising ‘spurious’ appeals and the prospect of fines to legal representatives who take on such cases.

As Ireland is not party to the 2003 Directive, I felt obliged to abstain, but commend the aims of the report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), par écrit. – Monsieur le Président, mes chers collègues,

Madame Roure demande des conditions d'accueil particulièrement engageantes pour les demandeurs d'asile : lieux d'hébergement conviviaux, ouverts - c'est plus facile pour disparaître dans la nature -, large accès aux soins y compris psychiatriques, à une assistance juridique, à des traducteurs ou des interprètes, à une formation et même à un emploi !

Elle semble oublier l'abus fait par les immigrants eux-mêmes des demandes de protection internationale pour contourner les lois nationales sur l'entrée et le séjour des étrangers dans nos pays, alors que leurs véritables motivations sont sociales et économiques. Elle « oublie » aussi qu'ils peuvent mentir sur leur origine, leur langue, détruire leurs papiers, etc... pour ne pas être expulsés.

Elle semble également « oublier » que ce qu'elle réclame pour ces étrangers n'est souvent pas accessible à nos propres concitoyens, à commencer par un logement décent, un travail et un accès à des services publics de qualité, notamment dans des zones où, comme à Mayotte, la submersion migratoire crée d'énormes problèmes économiques et sociaux aux habitants.

Je peux comprendre la détresse et les rêves des migrants. Mais nous n'avons ni la vocation, et encore moins les moyens, d'accueillir toute la misère du monde. Ce rapport est néfaste, et ses effets seront pervers.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), por escrito. A maioria do PE já nos habituou a que aprova resoluções sem consequências legislativas, com um conteúdo contrário às resoluções legislativas que adopta. Uma propensão tanto maior, quanto mais perto se encontram as eleições para o PE.

Estamos perante um exemplo dessas "duas caras", a verdadeira e sua máscara, tratando-se, neste caso, desta última.

Sem dúvida que - e há muito e coerentemente o defendemos - é necessário garantir os direitos dos requerentes de asilo, relativamente ao acolhimento, ao acesso à informação e direito à interpretação, à assistência jurídica gratuita, à saúde, ao emprego.

Sem dúvida que é importante denunciar o aumento do número de pessoas detidas no âmbito do Sistema de Dublin, com o recurso, quase sistemático, a medidas privativas de liberdade e a limitações no acesso às normas de acolhimento.

No entanto, é igualmente necessário exigir o fim dos centros de detenção e rejeitar uma política comunitária que estabelece, pelo mínimo denominador comum, normas de acolhimento e o procedimento de concessão de asilo.

Se o PE está realmente preocupado com o respeito dos direitos dos imigrantes e dos requerentes de asilo, então não deveria ter aprovado as directivas "retorno" (que criminaliza os imigrantes e os expulsa), "cartão azul" (que os selecciona) e "sanções aos empregadores" (que pune igualmente os trabalhadores), directivas essas que o PCP rejeitou.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Carl Lang (NI), par écrit. – En ce qui concerne les droits accordés aux migrants sur le territoire de l'Union européenne, la règle est décidément celle du toujours plus. C'est à se demander si la surenchère au sein des institutions européennes n'est pas de mise.

Ce rapport n'est qu'une longue litanie de propositions et de recommandations à l'intention des États membres afin qu'ils accordent aux centaines de milliers de personnes qui, chaque année, pénètrent sur leur territoire de façon légale ou illégale des droits non seulement égaux à leurs nationaux, mais aussi plus nombreux et effectifs.

En effet, il est par exemple demandé aux États membres de l'Union de supprimer les obstacles à l'accès au marché du travail pour ces immigrants et d'encourager lesdits États à adopter des législations nationales favorisant de surcroît cet accès.

Doit-on en conclure que les nationaux devront désormais s'effacer devant la légitime souffrance de personnes fuyant leur pays d'origine, que cela soit pour des raisons économiques, politiques, climatiques ou familiales? Oui, et c'est tout le sens de l'immigration choisie que prône sans réserve le président Sarkozy.

Bien au contraire, nous croyons, et tout particulièrement en temps de crise, que les emplois, en Europe, doivent être réservés aux Européens et, en France, aux Français. Le redressement national des nations européennes y est conditionné.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nils Lundgren (IND/DEM), skriftlig. − Detta betänkande innehåller flera punkter som jag stödjer fullt ut, såsom att asylsökande ska behandlas värdigt och att de mänskliga rättigheterna alltid ska garanteras. Den kritik som riktas mot en rad så kallade asylcentra är befogad. Flera europeiska länder brister när det gäller att ta emot asylsökande och flyktingar på ett värdigt sätt.

Betänkandet innehåller dock några punkter som jag inte kan stödja. Andemeningen är att EU ska ha en gemensam invandrings- och asylpolitik. Bland annat står att läsa att övriga medlemsstater ska stödja de EU-länder som ”mest konfronteras med invandringens utmaningar”. Junilistan anser att asyl- och invandringspolitik är en fråga för medlemsländerna, förutsatt att internationella konventioner och överenskommelser respekteras. En gemensam invandrings- och asylpolitik riskerar att leda till en "Fästning Europa", något vi redan i dag ser tydliga tecken på.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE-DE), in writing. − I abstained in the vote on this report as Ireland did not participate in the adoption of the 2003 Directive.

The principal reason for this position relates to access to the labour market for asylum seekers.

The prohibition on asylum seekers entering the labour market is to be re-enacted in a bill currently before the Dáil.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Αθανάσιος Παφίλης (GUE/NGL), γραπτώς. – H Έκθεση δεν αποδίδει την πραγματική έκταση της αθλιότητας των συνθηκών των προσφύγων και μεταναστών στα κέντρα υποδοχής και κράτησής τους στα κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ. Περιορίζεται στη διαπίστωση των τραγικών συνθηκών διαβίωσής τους, τις αποδίδει όμως στην ελλιπή εφαρμογή των οδηγιών της ΕΕ.

Έτσι από τη μία στηρίζει τη συνολική αντιμεταναστευτική νομοθεσία και πολιτική της ΕΕ και των κυβερνήσεων, όπως καθορίζεται από το Σύμφωνο Mετανάστευσης, και το Σύστημα του Δουβλίνου για το άσυλο και από την άλλη διαμαρτύρεται για τα απάνθρωπα αποτελέσματά της! Aποτελεί τουλάχιστον πρόκληση, οι πολιτικές δυνάμεις του "ευρωμονόδρομου", που ψήφισαν στο Ευρωπαϊκό Kοινοβούλιο την Oδηγία με την οποία προβλέπεται, εκτός των άλλων, η κράτηση των "παράνομων" μεταναστών για 18 ολόκληρους μήνες, να εκφράζουν με τη συγκεκριμένη έκθεση, τη λύπη τους δήθεν για τις απάνθρωπες συνθήκες κράτησής τους και να ζητάνε να μην κρατούνται !

Tα "κροκοδείλια δάκρυα" του Ευρωκοινοβουλίου δεν μπορούν να αθωώσουν την απάνθρωπη, εκμεταλλευτική πολιτική της ΕΕ. Aκόμη και τα πιο στοιχειώδη μέτρα, πολύ περισσότερο μέτρα ουσιαστικής στήριξης των μεταναστών και των προσφύγων και κατοχύρωσης των δικαιωμάτων τους, δεν μπορούν υλοποιηθούν παρά μόνο στη κατεύθυνση της σύγκρουσης και της ρήξης με την πολιτική της ΕΕ και το ίδιο το οικοδόμημά της.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης (GUE/NGL), γραπτώς. – Τα κράτη μέλη, ανάμεσά τους και η Ελλάδα, οφείλουν να κάνουν περισσότερα, αξιοποιώντας τις διεκδικήσεις και τις προτάσεις του Ευρωκοινοβουλίου. Το Ευρωκοινοβούλιο επικρίνει τη στάση των κυβερνήσεων απέναντι στους εξαθλιωμένους μετανάστες που περνάνε τις πύλες της ΕΕ καθημερινά, με κίνδυνο της ζωής τους.

Χώρες, όπως η Ελλάδα, που βρίσκονται στα εξωτερικά σύνορα της ΕΕ, οφείλουν να εκμεταλλευθούν τις δυνατότητες αρωγής που προσφέρει η ΕΕ και, επί τη βάσει του σεβασμού των δικαιωμάτων των προσφύγων και αιτούντων άσυλο, να προσπαθήσουν να εξασφαλίσουν ανθρώπινες συνθήκες υποδοχής τους.

Ακόμη και με τις απαράδεκτες "εκπτώσεις" που τελευταία κάνουν η Κομισιόν και το Συμβούλιο σε ό,τι αφορά τα δικαιώματα των μεταναστών και συνεχίζουν την πορεία προς μια "Ευρώπη-φρούριο", η Ελλάδα βρίσκεται πολύ κάτω από τα κοινοτικά στάνταρντ προστασίας των θεμελιωδών δικαιωμάτων.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. A concessão de asilo é o gesto último de um Estado, e de toda uma comunidade, assumindo a incapacidade para defender os direitos humanos globalmente e a vontade de, ainda assim, agir de acordo com essa escala de valores.

O seu regime deve, pois, ser claramente distinto da imigração. Quanto mais se procurar alargar o conceito, incluído o que a ele não pertence, menor será o seu valor, e a confusão só pode prejudicar os legítimos requerentes de asilo. Importa, pois, que as regras sejam claras, os procedimentos céleres, o tratamento digno em todas as circunstâncias. Ainda que haja necessidade de coordenar acções e opções, o asilo, em números, em dimensão e conceptualmente, não coloca as mesmas questões que a imigração, mesmo num espaço sem fronteiras. Os Estados-Membros têm tradições próprias no que ao asilo diz respeito e esta diferença não deve ser ignorada no quadro da invocada coordenação.

Quanto aos requerentes a quem o asilo é ou deva ser recusado, esta concepção, tributária de uma ideia generosa mas estrita de asilo, não pode produzir qualquer menor humanidade no acolhimento e no tratamento de pessoas que estarão sempre fragilizadas pela sua condição.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luca Romagnoli (NI), per iscritto. − Esprimo il mio voto negativo relativamente al rapporto presentato dalla collega Roure sull'attuazione nell'UE della direttiva 2003/9/CE sulle condizioni di accoglienza dei richiedenti asilo e rifugiati. Infatti, nonostante deplori il fatto che alcune visite effettuate abbiano dimostrato che le direttive vigenti erano ancora male applicate o non erano applicate da alcuni Stati membri, non sono d'accordo con la relatrice quando dice che esistono varie carenze relative al livello delle condizioni di accoglienza.

Inoltre, non concordo sul fatto che la capacità dei centri di prima accoglienza aperti da taluni Stati membri sia scarsa e non sembri soddisfare i bisogni dei migranti. Infine, non sono d'accordo con la richiesta secondo la quale l'accoglienza dei richiedenti asilo sia effettuata in via prioritaria in centri di accoglienza aperti piuttosto che in unità chiuse.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Michel Teychenné (PSE), par écrit. – Grâce à ce rapport, le Parlement européen réaffirme son attachement aux droits fondamentaux, tel que le droit à la dignité. Il n'est pas acceptable qu'au sein même de l'Union Européenne, les conditions d'accueil des migrants et demandeurs d'asile ne soient pas exemplaires.

Les visites de centres de rétention par des eurodéputés entre 2005 et 2008 ont permis la rédaction, sous la houlette de Mme Martine Roure, de ce rapport. Il dévoile l'étendue des irrégularités du système de rétention des migrants en Europe, pointant du doigt les problèmes d'aide juridique et médicale, d'hygiène, de promiscuité, ou encore d'information.

C'est donc une sonnette d'alarme que tire aujourd'hui le Parlement européen. Les États membres doivent en prendre acte et, le cas échéant, appliquer les directives existantes au plus vite - "accueil" et "procédure" - ou progresser dans leur mise en œuvre.

 
  
  

- Relazione: Christina Muscardini (A6-0001/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Glyn Ford (PSE), in writing. − The European Parliamentary Labour Party abstained on this report not because we are opposed to enhancing the role of European SMEs in international trade, but because Mrs Muscardini has produced a Trojan horse that contains within it unacceptable positions on Trade Defence Instruments.

We are disappointed that the Commission has shelved the review because of difficulties in securing a consensus on the way forward. Our view remains that there is an urgent need to amend the Community’s trade defence regime so that it takes better account of developments in the global economy. Lack of reform means that our industry is badly placed to take advantage of the benefits of globalisation. While we welcome the Czech presidency’s inclusion in the work programme of improving the transparency of Trade Defence Instruments, this is not enough.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), par écrit. – Nous avons voté le rapport de Mme Muscardini sur les PME, qui est une critique sévère de la politique commerciale de l'Union européenne, même s'il est rédigé dans le langage édulcoré et technocratique cher à cette maison.

Tout y passe: politiques focalisées sur les besoins des grandes entreprises, faiblesse des actions en faveur de l'accès aux marchés étrangers et de la défense de l'application de la réciprocité par les pays tiers, difficultés d'accès aux instruments de défense commerciale pour les petites entreprises, mollesse de la protection contre les contrefaçons et l'usage illégitime ou frauduleux des indications d'origine géographiques...

Il est temps en effet que l'Union européenne cesse de pratiquer l'immolation de ses entreprises et de ses travailleurs sur l'autel d'une concurrence et d'une ouverture des marchés qu'elle est seule au monde à pratiquer. Il est temps de soutenir les PME à l'exportation, de les défendre vraiment contre la concurrence déloyale, de protéger raisonnablement nos marchés.

Or, en restant attaché à l'internationalisation des entreprises comme une fin en soi, le rapporteur continue de promouvoir un système fondé sur la liberté absolue de circulation des biens, des services, des capitaux et des hommes, un système qui nous a menés à une profonde crise économique, financière et sociale, un système avec lequel l'Union européenne doit rompre absolument.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), por escrito. Não por acaso, com o aproximar das eleições para o PE, surgem resoluções de intenções em que se procuram escamotear as responsabilidades das políticas adoptadas pela UE (designadamente, nos últimos 5 anos) quanto à gravíssima situação em que se encontram a generalidade das micro, pequenas e médias empresas, nomeadamente em Portugal.

As PME, e não as grandes transnacionais, são as vítimas da liberalização dos mercados promovida pela UE (como se um quadro onde impera a "lei do mais forte" pudesse favorecê-las...). Muitas são as PME que "participam" no "comércio internacional" em virtude da sua dependência face às grandes transnacionais, para as quais produzem a preços que, muitas vezes, não correspondem aos custos de produção.

Sem dúvida que é necessário assegurar (e aplicar) os instrumentos de defesa comercial, os direitos da propriedade intelectual, a designação de origem, as indicações geográficas dos produtos agrícolas e apoiar a internacionalização das PME.

Então, porque é que a maioria das forças políticas representadas no PE, que correspondem à maioria representada na Comissão e no Conselho da UE: não adoptam o regulamento "fabricado em"? ; não aplicam aos produtos importados os mesmos requisitos de segurança e de protecção que são exigidos aos produtos produzidos na UE?; não utilizam o quadro financeiro 2007-2013 para defender a produção e o emprego, apoiando as PME?

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Małgorzata Handzlik (PPE-DE), na piśmie. − Jestem bardzo zadowolona, iż Parlament Europejski przyjął sprawozdanie pani Muscardini, nad którym ja, jako poseł opiniodawca w Komisji Rynku Wewnętrznego i Ochrony Konsumenta, miałam okazję pracować. Bardzo dużo mówi się obecnie o poprawie warunków dla małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw na rynku wewnętrznym Unii Europejskiej, zwłaszcza w kontekście propozycji Small Business Act.

Małe i średnie przedsiębiorstwa to ponad 99% wszystkich przedsiębiorstw europejskich. Jednak podejmowanie działalności wykraczającej poza granice narodowe jest już bardziej domeną dużych firm. Zaledwie 8% małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw eksportuje poza swoje granice narodowe. Jeśli zaś chodzi o podejmowanie działalności poza granicami Unii Europejskiej, to decyduje się na nią zaledwie 3% przedsiębiorstw.

Nie powinniśmy zapominać, iż umiędzynarodowione przedsiębiorstwa wykazują dużą zdolność do innowacji. A innowacyjność jest kluczem do konkurencyjności i wzrostu europejskiej gospodarki. Dlatego mam nadzieję, iż polityki rynku wewnętrznego będą oferowały MŚP pełnię korzyści, jakie niesie ze sobą wspólny rynek, a w przypadku gdy okaże się to możliwe, będą budowały podstawy dla umiędzynarodowienia ich działalności. Małe i średnie przedsiębiorstwa powinny uzyskać także większe wsparcie ze strony państw członkowskich i Komisji Europejskiej, w zakresie m.in. promocji eksportu czy wyszukiwania potencjalnych partnerów handlowych, zwłaszcza jeśli chodzi o produkty i usługi wiodące na rynkach oraz nowe technologie.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Mieczysław Edmund Janowski (UEN), na piśmie. − Sprawozdanie, które przedstawiła pani poseł Cristiana Muscardini dotyczy ważnej kwestii ekonomicznej i społecznej. Jest to istotne szczególnie teraz, w obliczu załamania gospodarczego. Liczba MŚP (do 250 zatrudnionych; obrót ≤ 50 mln EUR) w Unii sięga 23 milionów, co stanowi ok. 99% wszystkich firm działających na naszym rynku. Pracuje w nich ponad 75 milionów ludzi.

Słuszne są zatem wezwania kierowane do Komisji, państw członkowskich oraz władz regionalnych i lokalnych o skuteczne wspieranie tych podmiotów, także poprzez nieutrudniony dostęp do kredytów. Potrzebne są nadto ułatwienia w handlu i zniesienie biurokratycznych barier przy eksporcie bądź imporcie.

W odniesieniu do zamówień publicznych, których zawiłe i nie zawsze jednoznaczne procedury hamują dostęp MŚP, należy doprowadzić do większej otwartości tego rynku, tak wewnątrz UE, jak i w krajach trzecich. Jak to wykazywałem w moim sprawozdaniu dotyczącym polityki innowacyjnej, w tym sektorze rola MŚP jest trudna do przecenienia. Są one bowiem coraz bardziej elastyczne i otwarte na nowoczesne rozwiązania technologiczne oraz organizacyjne.

Szczególnego potraktowania wymagają MŚP z sektora rolno-spożywczego, gdzie należy zadbać o ochronę nazw pochodzenia produktów oraz przeciwdziałać podróbkom szkodzącym zdrowiu konsumentów. Popieram też ideę zorganizowania Europejskiego Tygodnia MŚP w maju 2009 r. Powinna to być dobra sposobność do szerokiej informacji na ten temat w całej Unii.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Syed Kamall (PPE-DE), in writing. − While we all acknowledge and support the role that SMEs play in international trade, it is a real shame that a large part of this report was dedicated to defending so-called Trade Defence Instruments. In reality, TDIs are being used by inefficient producers as a form of naked protectionism to shelter them from competition, not only from non-EU competitors but also from more efficient competitors across the EU that have taken advantage of globalisation and established global supply chains.

TDIs punish retailers and consumers who are forced to pay higher prices for goods that they could obtain at better value elsewhere. They also punish the most efficient and innovative SMEs. We all know of many SMEs in our constituencies that are punished by the very same TDIs that this report seeks to praise. It is for this reason that Conservatives reluctantly voted against this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rovana Plumb (PSE), în scris. − IMM-urile din Uniunea Europeană reprezintă 23 de milioane de întreprinderi (99% din total) şi 75 de milioane de locuri de muncă (70%) în cadrul Uniunii.

Am votat raportul doamnei Muscardini deoarece surprinde strategia esenţială pentru supravieţuirea acestora într-o perioadă economică dificilă: sprijin politic şi financiar pentru stimularea inovării produselor şi a proceselor, facilitarea accesului la informaţiile financiare şi fiscale, internaţionalizarea acestora, adoptarea unei poziţii ferme în negocierile privind procedurile de facilitare a comerţului, pentru a diminua costurile procedurilor vamale care însumează până la 15% din valoarea bunurilor comercializate, înregistrarea eficientă a originii bunurilor şi controale vamale actualizate.

Pentru România, internaţionalizarea IMM-urilor reprezintă o soluţie în contextul crizei economice, contribuind decisiv la supravieţuirea şi dezvoltarea activităţii acestora, esenţiale pentru crearea de noi locuri de muncă.

Salut organizarea „Săptămânii europene a IMM-urilor“ în mai 2009 şi cu principalul scop de a furniza informaţii către IMM-uri privind internaţionalizarea acestora.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. No momento em que o mundo procura uma reposta à crise económica global, e em que as tendências proteccionistas se avolumam, como foi o caso recente da discussão sobre a cláusula “buy american”, no Congresso dos Estados Unidos, é dever dos governos e das instituições comunitárias zelar pelos interesses e garantir o respeito das regras aplicáveis no que diz respeito às PME e ao comércio internacional.

O valor da acessibilidade aos mercados internacionais para as pequenas e médias empresas europeias é evidente. Como revelam os estudos, quando estas empresas actuam no mercado extracomunitário tendem a ganhar boas práticas, a inovar e a ser mais competitivas. Sem prejuízo de sabermos que algumas não resistem, nem resistirão à concorrência.

Ora, tendo presente este valor, e sabendo que as maiores empresas estão mais amparadas nestes momentos de proteccionismo, é necessário que as autoridades actuem em defesa destas empresas, fiscalizando e impondo o cumprimento dos acordos internacionais.

Simultaneamente, esta alegação há-de ser válida no que aos países terceiros diz respeito. O comércio internacional só será justo se o for para ambas as partes.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luca Romagnoli (NI), per iscritto. − Voto favorevolmente la relazione presentata dalla collega Muscardini, concernente il rafforzamento del ruolo delle PMI europee nel commercio internazionale. Per l'Unione Europea, realtà caratterizzata per lo più da piccole e medie imprese, la presenza internazionale delle PMI è determinante. Attualmente, soltanto l'8% delle PMI ha una dimensione internazionale e la maggior parte delle esportazioni rimane all'interno dell'Unione europea.

Le poche PMI che esportano al di fuori dell'Unione europea tendono inoltre a concentrarsi su mercati evoluti e tendenzialmente saturi come gli Stati Uniti, il Canada e la Svizzera, mentre la presenza delle PMI nei paesi emergenti è scarsa. Nonostante, quindi, le buone intenzioni della Comunità Europea (come il progetto SBA), è altrettanto vero che molto resta ancora da fare per permettere a tutte le imprese europee di acquisire una dimensione realmente internazionale.

 
  
  

- Relazione: Georgios Papastamkos (A6-0020/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vasco Graça Moura (PPE-DE), por escrito. O comércio electrónico é uma óptima janela comercial para as Pequenas e Médias Empresas e para jovens empresários. Permite ultrapassar barreiras não técnicas clássicas ao possibilitar o acesso a mercados, de outra forma, inacessíveis.

Por identidade de razão, este tipo de comércio garante ainda uma maior participação de Países Menos Desenvolvidos nos circuitos comerciais internacionais. Todavia, a inclusão destes parceiros depende da criação de infra-estrutura básica para a qual nós deveríamos contribuir incondicionalmente.

Atentemos ainda que a pirataria, a contrafacção ou a violação de dados não são intrínsecas a este tipo de comércio, são antes adaptações de práticas antigas. Com as devidas adaptações, devemos garantir todas as certezas do comércio tradicional.

A teia legal em torno do comércio electrónico prende-se com aspectos dispersos, proibindo um olhar de prisma redutor: veja-se o governo da Internet, ainda não submetido a uma estrutura idónea internacionalmente respeitada, bem como questões de direito internacional privado ou de fiscalidade.

No plano da OMC, tudo se confunde para o comércio electrónico, e apesar de vários pedidos e insistências, as negociações sobre este tipo de comércio continuam a desenhar-se em perigosos compartimentos bilaterais.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), por escrito. A Internet tem assumido um papel cada vez mais importante nas relações comerciais e igualmente no comércio internacional. Persistem, no entanto, graves falhas quanto à protecção dos utilizadores e consumidores, no que diz respeito à protecção dos seus dados pessoais e à garantia de qualidade do serviço prestado ou produto adquirido.

O presente relatório, apesar de referir tais factos, não avança com propostas que permitam reforçar a protecção dos utilizadores e a qualidade do serviço prestado, a partir da utilização de um serviço de cariz iminentemente público, como são as comunicações.

Integrando alguns aspectos parcelares que consideramos positivamente, o seu objectivo central é a promoção do desenvolvimento e da utilização do comércio electrónico como facilitador do comércio internacional e como instrumento que contribua para ultrapassar as dificuldades actualmente existentes quanto a uma maior abertura dos mercados. Ou seja, a sua preocupação primordial é facilitar e promover o comércio electrónico, isto é, a produção, promoção, venda e distribuição de produtos através de redes de telecomunicações, em prol da liberalização do comércio mundial.

Daí a nossa abstenção.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Małgorzata Handzlik (PPE-DE), na piśmie. − Internet stworzył nowe możliwości jeśli chodzi o handel towarami i usługami. Dotyczy to także transakcji o charakterze transgranicznym. Wzrost w ostatnich latach ilości transakcji zawieranych za pośrednictwem Internetu napawa optymizmem jeśli chodzi o poziom zaufania, jakim konsumenci darzą Internet.

Nadal istnieją jednak bariery, jak chociażby język, które trudno będzie wyeliminować. Poważnym zagrożeniem dla handlu międzynarodowego w Internecie jest także brak pewności prawnej i ochrony konsumentów. Mam nadzieję, iż propozycja dyrektywy w sprawie praw konsumenta wyeliminuje część z nich i będzie stanowiła dodatkowy impuls do rozwoju handlu w sieci.

Warto zauważyć, że dla małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw Internet daje możliwości uczestnictwa w rynkach międzynarodowych po bardzo niskich kosztach w porównaniu z tradycyjnymi metodami, oferując im niedostępne wcześniej możliwości rozwoju swojej działalności.

Ale handel w Internecie rodzi także pytania, zwłaszcza jeśli chodzi o sprzedaż podróbek towarów chronionych prawami własności intelektualnej. Podróbki stanowią poważny problem dla handlu w sieci. Zwłaszcza iż ściganie osób sprzedających podrabiane towary w przypadku handlu o charakterze międzynarodowym jest utrudnione. Korzystający z Internetu konsumenci są także niejednokrotnie ofiarami oszustw, jak chociażby kradzież pieniędzy drogą elektroniczną. Wszystkie te zjawiska podważają zaufanie użytkowników do handlu internetowego, spowalniając rozwój handlu międzynarodowego w Internecie.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Syed Kamall (PPE-DE), in writing. − I commend this report as a wide-ranging and well-balanced report that effectively deals with the influence that the internet has had on cross-border trading. The internet has allowed even the smallest companies access to a global market previously unthinkable only a few years ago, boosting trade and allowing the positive aspects of globalisation to come to light. It has opened up new markets and broken down barriers to trade.

The report has rightly pointed out that, although there has been a rise in fraud and counterfeiting, this should not be attributed to the internet itself, but rather regarded as an issue that existed before and that needs tackling in new and innovative ways, as long as this does not impinge on our civil liberties. It also points out that it should be viewed as an opportunity for cultural diversity rather than a threat. Finally, it recognises that liberalisation of services connected to the internet, such as telecoms, has led to a boom in infrastructure investment, so I believe we should be cautious about applying further regulation on such industries, as the Commission seems intent on doing at the moment.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (PSE), in writing. − I welcome this report which highlights the new opportunities and new markets created by the nature and the technological development of the internet. It acknowledges the role which the internet could play for bridging the trade gap between North and >South, open up new channels connecting developing countries with advanced commercial systems, and increase their trade flows. The report states that this should facilitate the harmonious incorporation of developing countries into the world trading system, which I support.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexandru Nazare (PPE-DE), în scris. − Consider binevenit raportul colegului meu privind rolul internetului în stimularea comerţului. Folosirea internetului de către un număr cât mai mare de utilizatori în Uniunea Europeană impune o mai bună reglementare a acestui domeniu în expansiune. Politicile europene trebuie să stimuleze comerţul online, ca alternativă eficientă la cel clasic, şi ca modalitate de a stimula schimburile comerciale transfrontaliere în interiorul Uniunii.

Este nevoie, la nivel comunitar, de o serie de măsuri care să elimine potenţialele piedici în calea unei mai bune utilizări a internetului în scopuri comerciale. Este vorba aici de măsuri menite a descuraja şi a preveni fraudele, precum şi furtul de date personale. Măsurile comunitare trebuie să sprijine o mai mare încredere a utilizatorilor în mediul online.

Totodată, este nevoie de o standardizare la nivel comunitar privitoare la schimburile comerciale online. UE trebuie să faciliteze implementarea acestor standarde, oferind astfel comercianţilor online posibilitatea de a fi recunoscuţi ca furnizori de încredere.

Datorită naturii globale a internetului şi a posibilităţii de realizare de schimburi comerciale avantajoase şi cu state terţe, îmi exprim speranţa că vom vedea progrese şi în cadrul OMC, în sensul promovării comerţului online la nivel global.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Rovana Plumb (PSE), în scris. − Am votat acest raport deoarece urmăreşte să evidenţieze domeniile comerţului internaţional în care internetul a acţionat ca un catalizator, creând noi condiţii pentru dezvoltarea schimburilor comerciale la nivel mondial.

De asemenea, se recunoaşte necesitatea unor standarde deschise şi importanţa lor pentru inovare, concurenţă şi pentru posibilitatea efectivă de alegere a consumatorului. Raportorul propune ca acordurile comerciale semnate de CE să promoveze utilizarea deschisă şi extinsă a internetului în scopul comerţului electronic, cu condiţia ca accesul consumatorilor la serviciile şi produsele digitale, precum şi utilizarea acestora, să nu fie îngrădite, exceptând cazul în care acestea sunt interzise de legislaţia naţională.

Susţin raportorul în solicitarea adresată Comisiei să elaboreze o strategie completă care să permită eliminarea obstacolelor care încă există pentru IMM-uri în ceea ce priveşte utilizarea comerţului electronic, precum şi crearea unei baze de date concepută pentru a oferi sprijin informaţional şi consiliere în domeniul gestionării noilor participanţi fără experienţă în comerţul on line.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luca Romagnoli (NI), per iscritto. − Comunico il mio voto favorevole riguardo alla relazione del collega Papastamkos sul commercio internazionale ed Internet. Concordo, difatti, con l'obiettivo del relatore, che è quello di mettere in luce i settori del commercio internazionale nei quali Internet ha agito da catalizzatore, creando nuove condizioni per lo sviluppo del commercio a livello mondiale.

Questo è evidente, poiché il commercio internazionale e Internet si influenzano reciprocamente e in modo molto evidente. Inoltre, sono fermamente convinto che lo sviluppo del commercio in rete sia di notevole vantaggio per i consumatori. I vantaggi principali sia a livello nazionale ed europeo che mondiale, sono la scelta molto vasta di beni e servizi, i prezzi competitivi, un costo della vita inferiore e una migliore qualità della vita.

Ora i consumatori hanno la possibilità di confrontare meglio prodotti e servizi, grazie alla disponibilità di maggiori informazioni. L'accesso è possibile 24 ore su 24, da casa o dal luogo di lavoro.

 
  
  

- Relazione: Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf (A6-0407/2008)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Duarte Freitas (PPE-DE), por escrito. Voto favoravelmente o compromisso obtido e considero muito positivo o novo Regulamento, pois este possibilitará a harmonização das condições de colocação no mercado e utilização de alimentos para animais e assegurará que informação adequada é fornecida tanto aos produtores de gado, como aos consumidores de carne, garantindo, por fim, o bom funcionamento do mercado interno.

Destaco a importância da "declaração aberta", uma lista das substâncias utilizadas na mistura alimentar, por ordem decrescente do seu peso relativo, que ajudará a manter um nível elevado de confiança por parte dos agricultores e consumidores.

Por outro lado, as empresas produtoras terão agora regras mais claras para a colocação no mercado dos alimentos para animais, sendo possível evitar mais facilmente eventuais práticas criminosas.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Nils Lundgren (IND/DEM), skriftlig. − Det finns ändringsförslag som är bra i Europaparlamentets betänkande, som till exempel märkning av att kött- och benmjöl ingår i vissa foderblandningar för icke-idisslande djur.

Dock, betänkandets ändringsförslag innehåller också detaljer som bör handläggas av tjänstemän på myndighetsnivå och inte av politiker. Till exempel skrivningarna om citat: ”oral näringstillförsel: fodertillförsel via munnen till djurets gastrointestinaltrakt i syfte att täcka djurets näringsbehov och/eller att upprätthålla produktiviteten hos friska djur” eller om ”slickhinkar som innehåller mineraler” eller om "träck, urin samt separerat mag- och tarminnehåll efter tömning eller avlägsnande av matsmältningskanalen, oavsett eventuell behandling eller inblandning”.

Detta är säkert viktiga frågor i relation till livsmedelssäkerhet, men bör överlåtas till sakkunniga på nationella myndigheter att tillse.

Jag har röstat ja till betänkandet då det innehåller en del principiellt viktiga förslag, men det innebär inte att jag stöder dess upplägg i form av petande i detaljer.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Adrian Manole (PPE-DE), în scris. − Raportul Baringdorf privind introducerea pe piaţă şi utilizarea furajelor este de mare importanţă pentru agricultură şi piaţa alimentară, în contextul recentelor scandaluri privind hrana animalelor, bolile declanşate animalelor şi din motivul necunoaşterii ingredientelor conţinute de hrana cu care au fost furajate, scandalul dioxina, boala vacii nebune etc.

Se va conferi o mai mare libertate şi responsabilitate operatorilor din sectorul furajelor, însă acest lucru înseamnă că, dacă apare o problemă gravă de contaminare cu substanţe otrăvitoare sau furaje dăunătoare, acest lucru va afecta în mod major dezvoltarea animalelor sau mediul. Dacă producătorul are resurse financiare insuficiente pentru a rezolva problema, pot apărea probleme chiar şi mai grave.

Consider că este necesar, şi de aceea am susţinut votul favorabil, ca fermierii, agricultorii în general, să fie informaţi exact în privinţa conţinutului hranei pentru animale, însă să fie şi protejaţi în mod adecvat de pierderile financiare, sociale şi economice în caz de dezastru.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zdzisław Zbigniew Podkański (UEN), na piśmie. − Serdecznie dziękuję posłowi sprawozdawcy za zajęcie się tak trudnym i kontrowersyjnym tematem. Etykietowanie pasz i koordynacja tego zagadnienia na poziomie wspólnotowym wymaga pogodzenia interesów konsumentów, którzy mają prawo wiedzieć jaki produkt kupują, czy jest bezpieczny i z czego się składa oraz producentów broniących prawa do ochrony swojej własności intelektualnej.

Samo zaskarżenie przez przedsiębiorstwa i kraje członkowskie przepisu o zamieszczaniu na etykiecie paszy „dokładnej informacji na żądanie” pokazuje podstawowy konflikt interesów zainteresowanych grup.

Procedura kompromisowa, wypracowana przy wsparciu Europejskiego Trybunału Sprawiedliwości wydaje się rozsądna na pierwszy rzut oka, ale jest ona jednak oderwana od rzeczywistości. Trudno wyobrazić sobie bowiem dociekliwego rolnika, który pracując w zasadzie całą dobę traci czas i pieniądze na skomplikowane procedury odwoławcze.

Szczegółowa informacja na temat składu paszy powinna być dostępna na etykiecie, nie tylko ze względu na niezbywalne prawo konsumenta, ale przede wszystkim na zasadniczy cel dyrektywy, którym jest ochrona zdrowia. Jeżeli nie producent, to kto w takim razie zagwarantuje, że pasza nie jest na przykład genetycznie modyfikowana. Ochrona własności intelektualnej nie może sprzyjać nadużyciom.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luca Romagnoli (NI), per iscritto. − Manifesto il mio voto favorevole alla relazione presentata da Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, relativa all'immissione sul mercato e l'uso dei mangimi. Sono d'accordo con la proposta, che prevede un radicale riassetto della legislazione europea relativa agli alimenti per animali che comporti non solo la semplificazione delle norme vigenti, ma anche l'adattamento di tale legislazione alle disposizioni applicabili agli alimenti.

Tra gli aspetti principali, sono assolutamente a favore dell'indicazione delle materie prime presenti nei mangimi composti e della loro esatta quantità (la cosiddetta "dichiarazione aperta"), che è stata una delle principali richieste avanzate dal Parlamento europeo in seguito alla crisi dell'encefalopatia spongiforme bovina (ESB). Infine, concordo con il relatore per quanto riguarda la protezione del diritto all'informazione dei consumatori e l'etichetta dei suddetti mangimi.

 
  
  

- Relazione: Jürgen Schröder (A6-0513/2008)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marie-Arlette Carlotti (PSE), par écrit. – La Commission fait des APE l'alpha et l'oméga de sa stratégie de développement. Le rapport Schröder et la droite européenne aussi.

Aux côtés des pays concernés, les socialistes européens ne partagent pas cette approche. Pour nous, ces APE sont un marché de dupes... Il est encore temps de promouvoir une autre logique, pour faire des APE de vrais instruments de développement, en soutenant la réouverture des négociations sur les points les plus conflictuels, comme M. Barroso et Mme Ashton s'y sont engagés, en jouant la carte d'une régionalisation choisie et conduite par les ACP eux-mêmes, en tenant nos engagements sur l'aide au commerce promise en 2005 plutôt qu'en poursuivant le "pillage" du FED, en garantissant un réel contrôle parlementaire du processus, avec les parlements ACP en première ligne, et l'implication des sociétés civiles au sud, en rejetant la "stratégie du bulldozer" qui vise à élargir les négociations sur les services ou les questions dites "de Singapour", lorsque les pays ACP ne sont pas disposés à le faire.

Ce n'est pas là la "feuille de route" décrite dans le rapport Schröder. C'est pourquoi je voterai contre.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), por escrito. Uma vez mais, nomeadamente devido à resistência de diversos países da África, das Caraíbas e do Pacífico (ACP), apesar de ser obrigada a utilizar uma linguagem "politicamente correcta", a maioria do PE não consegue esconder a verdadeira matriz e as reais intenções dos Acordos de Parceria Económica (APE) entre a UE e os países ACP.

Se o n.º 1 do artigo 36. ° do Acordo de Cotonu consagra a conclusão de "convénios comerciais compatíveis com as regras da OMC, eliminando progressivamente os obstáculos às trocas comerciais e reforçando a cooperação em todos os domínios relacionados com o comércio", o que a UE pretende é ir para além do que actualmente está estabelecido e alcançar o que até à data ainda não conseguiu na OMC, nem que seja instrumentalizado para esse fim o 10.° Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento quando, ao mesmo tempo, diminui a ajuda Pública ao Desenvolvimento. Ou seja, tentar entrar pela janela, depois de não ter conseguido entrar pela porta.

A UE pretende a liberalização do comércio, a partir da qual os seus grandes grupos financeiros e económicos procuram assegurar a abertura dos mercados, vender mercadorias e serviços, explorar matérias-primas e impor um modelo de produção dirigido à exportação, segundo os seus interesses.

É necessária outra política que promova uma efectiva independência, soberania, cooperação, solidariedade, desenvolvimento e justiça social.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luca Romagnoli (NI), per iscritto. − Esprimo il mio voto favorevole riguardo alla relazione presentata dal collega Schröder sull'impatto degli accordi di partenariato economico (APE) sullo sviluppo.

Gli accordi di lancio finora siglati sono solamente l'inizio di una lunga e proficua collaborazione con questi paesi extra-europei. Nel caso degli APE, un processo di liberalizzazione della durata di 15 anni è stato ritenuto accettabile sia dall'UE che dai paesi ACP. Inoltre, il requisito minimo riguardante praticamente tutti i settori del commercio da liberalizzare non dovrebbe essere inferiore all'80% degli scambi commerciali tra i partner. Sono convinto, infine, che lo sviluppo di ulteriori accordi potrà solo migliorare la situazione economica di entrambi le parti contraenti.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bart Staes (Verts/ALE), schriftelijk. − Het initiatiefverslag over de invloed van EPO's op de ontwikkelingssamenwerking bevat enkele goede aspecten. Hierin wordt gevraagd om meer regeringshulp (ACS-landen worden immers het hardst getroffen door de financiële crisis) en opnieuw beklemtoond dat EPO's een ontwikkelingsinstrument zijn die de regionale integratie in het Zuiden niet mogen verstoren. Toch sluit ik me aan bij de alternatieve resolutie van de Groene Fractie. Het zou immers logischer zijn, dat het Parlement pas zijn instemming met de EPO's betoont, nadat de respectieve parlementen van de betrokken ACS-landen hun positie hebben bepaald. Volgens mij moet ook het parlementaire orgaan dat toezicht houdt op de EPO's de Paritaire Parlementaire Vergadering ACS-EU zijn en geen apart in het leven te roepen orgaan. Dat leidt alleen maar tot verdeeldheid en verzwakking van de positie van de landen in het Zuiden, die niet over de financiële of personele middelen beschikken om op al deze vergaderingen aanwezig te zijn. Een apart orgaan is trouwens ondoorzichtig en verhindert een holistische aanpak van ontwikkelingsgerelateerde onderwerpen.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Michel Teychenné (PSE), par écrit. – Alors que les accords de partenariat économique (APE) structurent très largement les relations de l'UE avec les pays d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP), le Parlement européen envoie un très mauvais signal en adoptant ce rapport.

L'Europe doit absolument inverser sa manière de dialoguer et de commercer avec les pays ACP, au risque d'être complice de leur ruine. Ce rapport valide un système basé sur une supposée égalité entre les parties ; alors que l'UE est en réalité la première puissance économique du globe, et les ACP ont un immense retard à rattraper. Il est désormais urgent d'adopter une approche asymétrique et consensuelle, qui donnerait enfin une chance à ces Etats dans la compétition mondialisée.

Mes collègues du PSE et moi-même avons voté contre. L'adoption de ce rapport par le Parlement est bien la preuve que l'Europe est gouvernée par la droite, et que cela doit changer !

 
  
  

- Proposta di risoluzione: Kosovo (B6-0063/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Martin Callanan (PPE-DE), in writing. − The recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign state by many countries has probably created more problems than it will solve. I am sceptical as to whether Kosovo was ready for independence. The fact that some EU Member States will not recognize Kosovo’s independence for fear of setting precedents within their own borders has further complicated Kosovo’s future.

The EU has now taken on primary responsibility for assisting Kosovo internally. This commitment should not be open-ended either in terms of time or financial resources. Genuine concerns exist about Kosovo’s political stability, the extent of corruption, the influence internally and externally of organized crime and the treatment of minorities including Serbs.

It is vital that the EU institutions remain vigilant and ready to intervene if Kosovo fails to live up to the high standards that must inevitably accompany sovereign statehood.

Notwithstanding my concerns, I gave my support to this resolution.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), par écrit. – Il n'y a pas de quoi se réjouir de la situation du Kosovo ni du rôle qu'y joue l'Union européenne.

L'EULEX, la mission de l'Union au Kosovo, n'est, en l'espèce, que le bras "armé" de l'ONU chargé d'assurer la mise en place d'un gouvernement et d'une administration kosovars pérennes, en violation de la résolution 1244 de l'ONU, qui reconnaît la souveraineté de la Serbie sur cette province.

Les bons sentiments exprimés dans cette assemblée, les conseils et les demandes ont du mal à cacher une réalité tragique: l'oppression des minorités, notamment de la minorité serbe, dans un territoire livré désormais, par la faute de la communauté internationale, et notamment européenne, à la corruption, à la criminalité organisée, aux mafias albanaises et peut-être même à des groupes terroristes islamistes.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), por escrito. O objectivo da presente resolução é branquear o apoio da UE à ilegal declaração unilateral de independência da província sérvia do Kosovo.

De forma inaceitável, o PE pretende "legitimar" a criação de um protectorado criado e imposto, através da agressão e ocupação militar, pelos EUA, a NATO e a UE, garantindo o seu domínio político, económico e militar desta importantíssima região da Europa. A existência de um "pseudo-Estado" sob "soberania vigiada", tutelado pela UE/NATO através, nomeadamente, da sua missão "EULEX" e dos seus "vice-reis", o "representante civil internacional" e o "representante especial da UE", que detêm o poder judicial, policial e aduaneiro e "responsabilidades de natureza executiva" e de fiscalização, constituem inaceitáveis actos de natureza neocolonial.

Com esta resolução, ficamos a saber que "a mais importante missão da Política Europeia de Segurança e Defesa (da UE) até à data" é uma flagrante violação da Carta das Nações Unidas e um perigoso precedente no plano do direito internacional, com imprevisíveis consequências na estabilidade das fronteiras, nomeadamente no continente europeu.

Alguns dos que clamaram pelo respeito do direito internacional, da integridade territorial, soberania e independência da Geórgia são, afinal, os mesmos que promoveram e apoiaram a agressão à Jugoslávia.

Esta resolução representa, tão-só, mais um exercício de hipocrisia e cinismo da maioria do PE.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL), schriftelijk. − Bijna 20 jaar lang was dit Parlement toeschouwer en commentator bij het langzaam voortschrijdende afscheid dat de inwoners van Kosovo namen van Servië. Discussies over Kosovo gaan hier meestal niet over Kosovo zelf, maar vooral over de gevolgen voor de buitenwereld. De voor- en tegenstanders van de onafhankelijkheid hadden het vooral over de 'precedentwerking' van elke beslissing voor andere gebieden en over de manier waarop de Europese Unie zichzelf daardoor belangrijker kan maken.

Ik pleit al een jaar of 30, buiten en binnen dit Parlement, voor het tegendeel. Democratie vereist dat we vooral kijken naar de behoeften en verlangens van de inwoners zelf. Zij willen na eeuwen Turks bestuur en de laatste eeuw Servisch bestuur niet langer dwang van buiten. Als ze zich niet bij Albanië mogen aansluiten, willen ze echte onafhankelijkheid.

Ik ben hier de afgelopen 10 jaar opgekomen voor een politiek van onderop, gezien vanuit de armen, de achtergestelden, de mensen die lijden onder een gebrek aan democratie en publieke voorzieningen, de slachtoffers van milieurampen of oorlogen, kortom alle mensen die worden benadeeld door een gebrek aan gelijkwaardigheid voor alle mensen. Ik stem tegen het EULEX-project omdat dit niet uitgaat van oplossingen in het belang van de gewone Kosovaarse mensen.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Αθανάσιος Παφίλης (GUE/NGL), γραπτώς. – Tο Ευρωκοινοβούλιο με το ψήφισμά του όχι μόνο αναγνωρίζει ως ξεχωριστό κράτος το Kοσσυφοπέδιο, αλλά και παροτρύνει προκλητικά όσα κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ δεν έχουν ακόμη αναγνωρίσει την ανεξαρτησία του, να προχωρήσουν σε αυτήν, παραβιάζοντας κατάφωρα το διεθνές δίκαιο και το ίδιο το ψήφισμα 1244 του ΣA του OHΕ.

Στην κατεύθυνση αυτή προωθεί τη συγκρότηση της Δύναμης Aσφαλείας του Kοσσυφοπεδίου (KFR), δηλαδή χωριστού στρατού, ο οποίος βέβαια θα λειτουργεί υπό την αιγίδα της κατοχικής NATOικής δύναμης KFOR.

Mε την εγκατάσταση και ανάπτυξη της αστυνομικο-δικαστικής δύναμης καταστολής EULEX στο Kοσσυφοπέδιο και τις μεταρρυθμίσεις που προωθεί, όπως οι ιδιωτικοποιήσεις κλπ., επιδιώκεται η επιβολή των συμφερόντων της ΕΕ και η επιτάχυνση της ενσωμάτωσής τoυ στις ευρωενωσιακές δομές. Έτσι, ολοκληρώνεται η μετατροπή του Kοσσυφοπέδιου σε ένα ευρωνατοικό προτεκτοράτο.

O πρώτος αιματηρός κύκλος διαμελισμού της Γιουγκοσλαβίας και η επαναχάραξη νέων συνόρων κλείνει, ανοίγοντας νέες πληγές σε βαλκανικό και παγκόσμιο επίπεδο με τον ιμπεριαλιστικό νόμο του διαίρει και βασίλευε, που θα προκαλέσει νέες εντάσεις και επεμβάσεις.

Tο KKΕ καταψήφισε το απαράδεκτο ψήφισμα, επισημαίνοντας την ανάγκη έντασης του αντιιμπεριαλιστικού αγώνα και τη σύγκρουση με την ΕΕ και την πολιτική της, προβάλλοντας την απαίτηση για αποχώρηση των ελληνικών και όλων των ευρωνατοικών κατοχικών στρατευμάτων από το Kοσσυφοπέδιο και όλα τα Bαλκάνια.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Maria Petre (PPE-DE), în scris. − Am votat împotriva acestei rezoluţii deoarece România nu recunoaşte independenţa provinciei Kosovo.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luca Romagnoli (NI), per iscritto. − Esprimo il mio voto contrario in merito alla proposta di risoluzione sul Kosovo. Non mi trovo d'accordo, infatti, con diversi punti della risoluzione.

Personalmente, non ritengo che la creazione di un programma di protezione dei testimoni funzionante sia essenziale per un'efficace azione legale nei confronti di criminali di alto livello nel Kosovo, in particolare per quanto riguarda i crimini di guerra. Inoltre, non penso che sia di primaria importanza per il Kosovo promuovere i progetti miranti, ad esempio, al recupero dei cimiteri vandalizzati con il coinvolgimento diretto degli attori locali: non avrebbero in alcun modo un valore concreto per le comunità kosovare e non contribuirebbero a migliorare il clima interetnico, nella realtà dei fatti.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Brian Simpson (PSE), in writing. − Members of this House will be well aware of my views in the past with regard not only to Kosovo, but to the whole Balkan region.

The issue of Kosovo in my opinion can only be solved through a consensual approach involving not only Serbia primarily, but also neighbouring countries.

There is a lot in this report that I can ally myself with, but the insistence that every EU Member State should recognise an independent Kosovo is not an area that I can support.

Independence for Kosovo is something that can only be achieved by consensus and agreement with Serbia. Failure to recognise this is merely, in my view, harbouring problems for the future and raising an anti-Serbian attitude in this Parliament.

Therefore the passing of Amendment 3 renders this resolution partisan and seriously undermines the rest of the text. This means that sadly I cannot support it.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Anna Záborská (PPE-DE), písomne. − Za najdôležitejšie hlasovanie považujem hlasovanie o pozmeňovacom návrhu č. 3 a záverečné hlasovanie. V oboch prípadoch som hlasovala proti. EP v pozmeňovacom návrhu č. 3 žiada štáty EÚ, aby uznali nezávislosť Kosova. Celý proces nezávislosti považujem za unáhlený a nie dobre premyslený. Uvedomujem si, že rokovania medzi Kosovom a Srbskom aj za účasti medzinárodných osobností a organizácii boli dlhé a viacerí nevideli už žiadnu šancu na vyriešenie aj budú pokračovať. Preto bol väčšinou štátou EÚ a USA akceptovaný Aktisariho plán. Napriek tomu si myslím, že každé jednostranné vyhlásenie nezávislosti je len zdrojom ďalších problémov a možných konfliktov. Čas od vyhlásenia samostatnosti Kosova to len potvrdzuje. Ak máme zachovať mier v našom regióne žiaden čas využitý na rokovanie nie je ani dlhý ani zbytočný.

 
  
  

- Relazione: Corien Wortmann-Kool (A6-0021/2009)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Martin Callanan (PPE-DE), in writing. − This report reflects China’s growing power as a trading nation. It also draws attention to trade between China and Taiwan, which looks set to grow following the signature of cross-Straits commercial agreements.

Closer economic ties between China and Taiwan have the potential to facilitate a more positive approach to the wider issue of cross-Straits relations. However, this détente makes little sense unless it is accompanied by Taiwan’s integration into international organizations, especially those related to trade like the World Health Assembly and the International Maritime Organization.

The Parliament should voice strong support for the Council’s declared policy of supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations. The Parliament should also press China on its continued reluctance to permit Taiwan a voice on the international stage. The prosperity and health of the 23 million citizens of Taiwan should not be held hostage for political purposes.

Given my support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Călin Cătălin Chiriţă (PPE-DE), în scris. − Am votat în favoarea raportului Wortmann-Kool, deoarece susţin dezvoltarea relaţiilor economice dintre UE şi China. Această ţară a cunoscut o creştere economică formidabilă, devenind unul dintre cei mai mari actori economici pe plan mondial. Relaţiile comerciale dintre UE şi China au sporit enorm în ultimii ani, Europa fiind din 2006 cel mai mare partener comercial al Chinei, iar China s-a situat pe locul 2 în topul partenerilor comerciali ai UE în 2007.

Astăzi este necesară o cooperare fără precedent între UE şi China pentru a soluţiona criza financiară şi economică actuală. Consider că China, fiind unul dintre motoarele dezvoltării mondiale, ar trebui să îşi asume pe deplin responsabilitatea de a garanta dezvoltarea durabilă şi echilibrată a economiei mondiale. Relaţiile comerciale ale UE cu China ar trebui să se bazeze pe principiile reciprocităţii, dezvoltării durabile, protecţiei mediului, prevenirii schimbărilor climatice, concurenţei loiale, respectării reglementărilor Organizaţiei Mondiale a Comerţului, fără a uita drepturile omului.

UE trebuie să insiste asupra respectării normelor privind protecţia consumatorului, pentru ca cetăţeanul european să nu mai rişte să cumpere produse periculoase pentru sănătate, mărfuri cu vicii ascunse sau contrafăcute.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bruno Gollnisch (NI), par écrit. – Chaque année, ce Parlement adopte un texte sur les relations commerciales et économiques avec la Chine, et chaque année le constat qu'il établit s'aggrave: violation des droits de l'homme, pratiques commerciales déloyales, dumping, non-respect des engagements internationaux de la Chine, que ce soit à l'OMC ou à l'OIT (l'Organisation internationale du travail), contrefaçons, politique des brevets s'assimilant quasiment à du vol... La liste s'allonge et est effrayante.

Plus effrayante encore est la croyance infinie du rapporteur dans le mythe du "changement démocratique par le commerce", dont la situation actuelle en Chine est le plus cinglant démenti. Ce mythe sert d'alibi à tous ceux qui font passer les intérêts mercantiles de quelques-uns avant le respect des valeurs dont ils se revendiquent, pour ne surtout pas avoir à prendre les décisions qui s'imposent: la mise en œuvre d'instruments de défense et de sanctions commerciales.

Vous pensez sans doute que la Chine doit devenir l'atelier du monde, produisant à moindre coût des produits de plus ou moins – surtout moins – bonne qualité.

Nous préférons, nous, une politique qui consiste à produire en Europe, avec des Européens, les produits que nous consommons, à retrouver une indépendance industrielle dans un marché européen enfin protégé.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vasco Graça Moura (PPE-DE), por escrito. − A UE é, desde 2006, o primeiro parceiro comercial da China, e esta constitui, desde 2007, o segundo mais importante parceiro comercial da Europa. A China detém, neste momento, 6% do comércio mundial.

A RPC fez uma grande caminhada desde o relatório que, em 2002, tive a honra de apresentar nesta câmara. Todavia, parece que persistem muitos dos aspectos que então mereciam reparos, ainda que de alguma maneira colmatados por progressos assinaláveis.

Em matérias de impacto social e ambiental, a carência de preparação da indústria chinesa é nítida, no que deveria haver maior incentivo europeu.

A China e a UE estão a negociar um Acordo de Parceria e Cooperação desde Outubro de 2007, de resultados a averiguar. Visto o apoio europeu em muitos aspectos do comércio internacional, a China não deveria incumprir compromissos assumidos no seio da OMC. Têm sido introduzidos obstáculos sob forma de regras e regulamentos, que restringem o acesso de empresas europeias em sectores estratégicos.

Em Novembro, a RPC declarou a sua intenção de abandonar o sistema de duplo controlo das importações de têxtil e calçado, de 2007. As estatísticas disponíveis não facilitam a discussão, mas podemos estar perante uma controvérsia comercial.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pedro Guerreiro (GUE/NGL), por escrito. Sendo impossível uma apreciação das múltiplas questões que esta resolução suscita, consideramos essencial sublinhar que defendemos o aprofundamento de reais e efectivas relações de cooperação entre os países que integram a UE e a China, baseadas na resposta às necessidades dos diferentes povos, mutuamente vantajosas e que contribuam para o desenvolvimento recíproco, respeitando o princípio da não ingerência e o respeito pelas soberanias nacionais.

Com base nestes princípios, apesar de a resolução conter alguns aspectos que partilhamos, claramente a rejeitamos por assumir como sua a matriz neoliberal, nomeadamente pugnando pela prossecução da liberalização do comércio, neste caso, com a China.

A resolução, escamoteando as gravíssimas consequências da liberalização do comércio mundial, incentiva ao prosseguimento da abertura de mercados entre a UE e a China, insiste nos esforços de aceleração das negociações no quadro da OMC e "salienta que o novo Acordo de Parceria e Cooperação UE-China deve visar o estabelecimento de um comércio livre e equitativo".

Tal como é evidenciado noutras resoluções análogas do PE, o que se pretende é dar resposta às necessidades de expansão dos grandes grupos económicos e financeiros da UE, o que é contraditório com a resposta às necessidades dos trabalhadores e das Pequenas e Médias Empresas dos diferentes países da UE, designadamente de Portugal.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  David Martin (PSE), in writing. − I support the recommendations in this report on improving market access to China, lifting barriers to trade by increasing accessibility of foreign companies in China and focuses on creating a level economic playing field.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Alexandru Nazare (PPE-DE), în scris. − În contextul crizei economice şi financiare globale, relaţiile dintre UE şi principalii săi parteneri economici externi capătă o importanţă mult mai mare decât în trecut. Stabilitatea economică şi sustenabilitatea fluxurilor comerciale care implică Uniunea devin tot mai relevante pentru siguranţa noastră viitoare. Am votat în favoarea raportului doamnei Wortmann-Kool privind relaţiile economice şi comerciale cu China deoarece consider că acesta constituie un pas înainte spre o mai bună formulare a relaţiilor comerciale dintre Uniunea Europeană şi un partener crucial la nivel global.

Necesitatea acestui raport este relevată de realitatea dură a deficitului comercial de 160 de miliarde de euro. Însă cele mai multe dintre elementele acestui raport nu sunt doar doleanţe ale Uniunii Europene în raport cu unele aspecte ale politicii economice şi comerciale ale Beijingului, ci şi sugestii a căror implementare va aduce beneficii Chinei la nivel intern, precum şi în perspectiva evoluţiei sale viitoare. Mai buna reglementare şi protejare a proprietăţii intelectuale, diminuarea impactului social şi asupra mediului al formidabilei creşteri economice a partenerului nostru asiatic, reducerea contrafacerii şi piratării de mărfuri sunt direcţii de acţiune în care Beijingul a făcut deja progrese notabile, şi a căror susţinere în viitor nu va face decât să potenţeze dezvoltarea Chinei.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Zita Pleštinská (PPE-DE), písomne. − Aj na základe svojich skúseností, ktoré som získala počas výjazdového zasadnutia delegácie Výboru pre vnútorný trh a ochranu spotrebiteľa 16. – 21. marca 2008 v Číne, som hlasovala za správu Corien Wortmann-Kool o obchodných a hospodárskych vzťahoch s Čínou.

Obchodná výmena medzi EÚ a Čínou sa od roku 2000 dramaticky zvýšila, pričom EÚ je najväčším obchodným partnerom Číny a Čína druhým najväčším obchodným partnerom EÚ.

Z členstva vo WTO čerpá Čína veľké výhody, naproti tomu európske firmy pri snahe dostať sa na čínsky trh musia prekonávať veľké prekážky, ktorými sú predovšetkým porušovanie patentových práv a nejednoznačný systém noriem. Vítam zámer spustiť program „Brána do Číny“ zameraný osobitne na vytvorenie školiaceho programu pre vedúcich pracovníkov v Číne s cieľom podporiť prístup európskych MSP na čínsky trh do roku 2010.

Správa prináša odporúčania pre zlepšenie obchodných vzťahov Európy s Čínou, ktoré musia byť založené na zásadách reciprocity, trvalo udržateľného rozvoja, rešpektovania ekologických obmedzení, prispievania k celosvetovým cieľom v oblasti boja proti zmene klímy, spravodlivej hospodárskej súťaže a obchodu v súlade s našimi spoločnými hodnotami a pravidlami WTO. Privítala som pozmeňujúci návrh, v ktorom EÚ považuje Taiwan za hospodársky a obchodný subjekt a podporuje účasť Taiwanu ako pozorovateľa v príslušných medzinárodných organizáciách.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luís Queiró (PPE-DE), por escrito. O debate sobre as relações comerciais com a China remete-nos sempre para a questão dos direitos humanos naquele país. É compreensível. As objecções que o relacionamento com a China provoca compreendem-se à luz de várias valorações, na maior parte dos casos atendíveis.

A percepção de que o crescimento económico chinês não tem um paralelo no respeito pelos direitos humanos e pela democracia naquele país, nem na sua actuação a nível internacional, a exploração da mão-de-obra, um quadro normativo laboral incomparavelmente menos exigente, a desconsideração por questões ambientais e pelas regras relativas ao direito da propriedade intelectual e pelas patentes, todos este factores são entraves a uma relação comercial aberta e marcada pelo respeito das boas regras internacionais. No entanto, este comércio está aí, é crescente. O papel da China na economia mundial contemporânea é inegável e a sua participação para a superação da actual crise é indispensável.

É, pois, necessário pressionar o respeito pelas regras e princípios do comércio internacional, pelo igual acesso aos mercados e pela defesa da democracia e dos direitos humanos, sem recusar a realidade e a crescente interdependência. Pelo contrário, há que tirar o melhor partido dessa circunstância, até para melhor influenciar este grande país.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Bogusław Rogalski (UEN), na piśmie. − W głosowaniu nad sprawozdaniem w sprawie stosunków handlowych i gospodarczych z Chinami zagłosowałem za wprowadzeniem go w życie.

Chiny są drugim największym partnerem handlowym UE, a od 2006 r. UE jest największym partnerem handlowym Chin. Jest to kraj będący jednym z motorów światowego wzrostu. Bardzo istotne jest, aby stosunki handlowe krajów europejskich z Chinami były przede wszystkim oparte na zasadzie wzajemności, zrównoważonym rozwoju, przestrzeganiu wartości granicznych odnoszących się do ochrony środowiska naturalnego oraz uczciwej konkurencji.

Z rozwojem stosunków handlowych powinien iść w parze dialog polityczny obejmujący temat praw człowieka. Chiny powinny zwiększyć wysiłki dotyczące egzekwowania praw własności intelektualnej oraz zająć się problemem związanym z produkcją podrabianych i pirackich produktów na swoim obszarze.

Niepokojący jest również wysoki poziom zanieczyszczeń wytwarzanych przez przemysł chiński oraz związane z nim rosnące zużycie zasobów naturalnych.

Cieniem na relacjach z Chinami kładzie się zerwanie negocjacji z wysłannikami Dalaj Lamy. Chiny powinny zaprzestać wszelkich form prześladowania ludności tybetańskiej.

Aby zagwarantować odpowiedni poziom stosunków handlowych z Chinami, muszą być one oparte na zaangażowaniu i strategicznym partnerstwie z uwzględnieniem zasad wzajemności, uczciwej konkurencji i handlu, zgodnie z wyznawanymi przez wszystkich wartościami oraz zasadami WTO.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Luca Romagnoli (NI), per iscritto. − Accolgo negativamente la proposta presentata dalla collega Wortmann-Kool, relativa alle relazioni economiche e commerciali con la Cina. Non sono d'accordo su diversi punti del rapporto presentato.

Ad esempio, per quanto concerne le azioni future che l'Unione Europea porrà in essere, non mi trovo d'accordo sul fatto che sia necessario prevenire i problemi attraverso un dialogo bilaterale. Infatti, avvicinando i responsabili politici della Cina alla loro controparte europea in seno alla Commissione, non si possono affrontare adeguatamente le questioni di interesse reciproco, in particolare nell’ambito degli investimenti, dell’accesso al mercato e della protezione dei diritti di proprietà intellettuale, oltre ad altre questioni strategiche correlate al mercato. Ciò è dovuto a un deficit, da parte del governo cinese, nel rispetto degli accordi economici posti in essere con l'Unione Europea.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Charles Tannock (PPE-DE), in writing. − This report mentions China’s growing trade with Taiwan, which I welcome. Under President Ma, Taiwan has made great strides towards normalizing its trade relations with China and trying to end the obstructionist attitude that Beijing’s communist rulers have previously taken towards commercial relations with Taiwan.

However, if Taiwan is ever to be fully integrated with the regional economies of south-east Asia it needs to be accepted into international organizations, regardless of whether or not it is recognized as an independent sovereign state.

Given various health scares in East Asia in recent years related to the movement of goods and people – such as SARS, avian influenza and the melamine milk scandal – it is essential that Taiwan is given the status of observer at the World Health Assembly. Such a move would strengthen cross-straits trade, drive up quality standards in the region and elevate Taiwan on the international stage.

The way that China has used its disagreements with Taiwan to play politics with matters of public health is to be deprecated. So too is the shameful silence that so many people in Europe keep in the face of China’s pressure.

I voted in favour of this report.

 

7. Correcções e intenções de voto: ver Acta
 

(La seduta, sospesa alle 12.35, è ripresa alle 15.00)

 
  
  

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ: ΡΟΔΗ ΚΡΑΤΣΑ-ΤΣΑΓΚΑΡΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ
Αντιπρόεδρος

 

8. Aprovação da acta da sessão anterior: Ver Acta
Vídeo das intervenções

9. Pedido de levantamento da imunidade parlamentar: Ver Acta
Vídeo das intervenções

10. Composição das comissões e delegações : Ver Acta
Vídeo das intervenções

11. Debate sobre casos de violação dos direitos humanos, da democracia e do Estado de direito (debate)

11.1. Situação no Sri Lanka
Vídeo das intervenções
MPphoto
 
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Το επόμενο σημείο είναι η συζήτηση επί τεσσάρων προτάσεων ψηφίσματος σχετικά με την κατάσταση στη Σρι Λάνκα.(1)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Tobias Pflüger, Verfasser. − Frau Präsidentin! Im Norden Sri Lankas findet derzeit eine humanitäre Katastrophe statt, die relativ wenig beachtet wird. Durch die Armee von Sri Lanka finden Angriffe statt, Angriffe auf die Zivilbevölkerung, ja Massaker an der Zivilbevölkerung. Es wurde selbst eine Klinik beschossen, und insgesamt ist die Situation nach Angaben von humanitären Organisationen katastrophal. Das Rote Kreuz hat einen Alarmruf herausgegeben.

Die Situation in Sri Lanka ist eskaliert, und die Europäische Union ist daran nicht unschuldig. Die Europäische Union hat nämlich die Verhandlungen, die unter der Leitung Norwegens stattgefunden haben, dadurch torpediert, dass sie damals die LTTE auf die EU-Terrorliste gesetzt hat. Damit waren Verhandlungen innerhalb der Europäischen Union nicht mehr möglich.

In Sri Lanka selbst gibt es keine Pressefreiheit mehr. Ein Journalist wurde vor kurzem umgebracht. Der deutsche Botschafter, der auf der Beerdigung gesprochen hat, wurde vom Präsidenten als jemand bezeichnet, der aus dem Land verschwinden müsse. Er hatte die Situation einfach nur korrekt dargestellt.

Im Norden ist die Rede von Tausenden von Flüchtlingen, und ich muss sehr klar sagen, was hier insgesamt stattfindet, ist eine Situation, die wir sehr viel mehr im Blickfeld haben müssen. Die Europäische Union sollte sich sehr viel deutlicher gegen das wenden, was die Regierung von Sri Lanka im Moment tut. Sowohl die Angriffe der Armee von Sri Lanka als auch jene der LTTE sind nicht in Ordnung. Allerdings ist es offensichtlich, dass hier vor allem Zivilisten getroffen werden.

Es ist notwendig, den eingeschlossenen Menschen im Norden zu helfen und einen sofortigen Waffenstillstand zu erreichen, denn es ist völlig klar, dass hier sehr viele Zivilisten umgebracht werden. Das darf nicht sein, und die Europäische Union hat dann eine Mitschuld, wenn sie nicht sehr viel klarer sagt: Ende der Unterstützung für die Regierung von Sri Lanka.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war seems finally to be coming to a conclusion. The LTTE, which has been blacklisted by the EU as a terrorist organisation, must now surely lay down its arms and surrender. The EU and other Co-chairs have urged the LTTE to do so. The LTTE’s response will show us whether it really has the best interests of Tamils at heart.

The LTTE is using its front organisations in Europe to maximum propaganda effect and raising money by extortion internationally. Some LTTE militants may even try to seek asylum within the European Union.

Throughout this ferocious 26-year civil war, the LTTE has pioneered atrocious terrorist tactics, such as suicide bombings, that are now used in many other parts of the world – regrettably. The Sri Lankan army has had, therefore, to deploy all the means at its disposal to counteract this brutal insurgency. However, it is clear that the casualty figures claimed by the LTTE have been exaggerated. Some have now been withdrawn – for instance the Agence Presse story of 300 civilians killed, after the supposed author denied authorship. Nevertheless, the death of civilians in a war zone is tragic whenever and wherever it occurs.

Clearly the Sri Lankan armed forces cannot claim an unblemished record either, but they have not sought to deliberately exploit civilians and put them in harm’s way, like the LTTE has allegedly done.

If the war really is soon to be over, it is essential that Sri Lanka turn its attention now to post-conflict disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. The marginalisation of Tamils, at the expense of the majority Sinhalese, needs to be addressed in an urgent and permanent manner in order to ensure a stable and sustainable multiethnic society with regional devolution.

The EU should also ensure resources are put at Sri Lanka’s disposal to support post-conflict development. Although we should support the Government’s offer of amnesty for the majority of the LTTE, it is vital that no one responsible for the most serious war crimes is allowed to get away with impunity.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marios Matsakis, author. − Madam President, Sri Lanka has been afflicted by internal fighting for decades. This tragic situation came about as a result of the armed conflict mainly between separatist insurgent forces in the north and the Sri Lankan army. During this fighting, thousands of innocent people were killed and injured and much destruction to property, infrastructure and the environment has been caused.

This sorry state of affairs has been exacerbated in recent months mainly due to the Government’s large-scale military offensive against the Tamil Tigers. Reports coming out of Sri Lanka indicate that the situation in certain areas has in recent weeks deteriorated tragically, with hundreds of civilians being displaced and being caught up in the fighting. According to Amnesty International, there have been violations of international conventions and human rights by both Government and Tamil Tiger forces.

Admittedly, it is very difficult in such circumstance to be absolutely sure as to who is to be blamed for some of the tragic events in Sri Lanka, but we must call on both sides to exercise restraint and to pay utmost attention and respect to innocent civilians, and to observe the conventions of war.

Since the Sri Lankan Government has the upper hand in the situation and is the internationally-recognised authority in the country, our call must by necessity and logic go mostly to them. At the same time we must call on the Tamil Tiger leaders to abide by the calls of the international community, take advantage of the Government’s offer of amnesty, renounce violence and seek to achieve their aims through political dialogue.

We must also once again advise emphatically that fighting solves no problems, and that lasting peace and stability can only be achieved at the negotiating table, which will inevitably happen sooner or later. In these negotiations, compromises will have to be made by both sides and a solution found which will be for the benefit of the citizens of this beautiful country. We hope that through this resolution we will help to lessen the suffering of the Sri Lankan people and to bring about much-needed peace in that country.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Robert Evans, author. − Madam President, the Socialist Group in this Parliament is formally refusing to take part in this vote on Sri Lanka. Last month, Parliament held a full debate, with Council and Commission statements, on the situation in Gaza. On this side of the House, we attach the same importance to Sri Lanka and believe it deserved equal and proper discussion, but I regret that not one other group supported us in this stand.

A short debate this afternoon with a handful of people on a Thursday is an insult to the thousands of people under attack and dying in the north of Sri Lanka. We wanted to call, as in the joint USA and UK declaration from Washington earlier this week, for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire by both sides, but the PPE refused to include that in the text.

We wanted to condemn, unreservedly, the bombing of hospitals and aid workers, but Mr Van Orden, negotiating for the PPE, refused to condemn it. That is why it is not in the resolution before you. To him – and presumably to Dr Tannock as well – everything the Government of Sri Lanka says is a fact and just about every aid organisation on the ground, from the Red Cross to the UN, can be dismissed. Amnesty International today suggests the Sri Lankan army could be guilty of war crimes for its use of cluster bombs on a hospital – a 16-hour bombardment, according to Amnesty International.

The PSE also wanted to condemn the murders of journalists and other media workers by government agents. Paragraph 4 of the resolution asks the Government – the very same Sri Lankan Government – to investigate their own serious human rights violations.

Colleagues, some of you may want to associate yourselves and your groups with those kinds of sentiments, but we do not. Vote for this text and you are condoning attacks on hospitals and ignoring allegations of war crimes. I note that Mr Van Orden has not even had the courage to stand here and defend his bloody handiwork, but I am hardly surprised. In our negotiations, he just dismissed and laughed off as propaganda allegations of rape by Sri Lankan soldiers, so what you can expect?

In the Middle East, millions of people – including many Jews – were outraged at what Israel did to Gaza, but that did not make them supporters of Hamas. Sadly, anyone who does not support the Sri Lankan Government is labelled an apologist for terrorism and a supporter of the LTTE.

But our motion was critical of the LTTE and their tactics. We do condemn their attacks and we do want them, the Tamil Tigers, to sit round the negotiation table, but this war must be stopped immediately. The Government must end its military campaign that has brought – as others have said – humanitarian disaster to hundreds of thousands of ordinary people in the north of the island.

Sadly, this resolution does not call for an immediate end to the fighting, so we will not endorse that approach by taking part in today’s vote. We dissociate ourselves, President and colleagues, from this motion and I urge anyone else with the same views to do likewise.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda, Autor. − Quisiera empezar diciendo que la resolución acordada finalmente no es, en absoluto, la que yo hubiera redactado. Creo que peca, en cualquier caso, de un exceso de complacencia con relación al Gobierno de Colombo. Es otro caso, me temo, de simplificación, criminalización y persecución continuada de un grupo, simplemente argumentando que se trata de un grupo terrorista. Las cosas son bastante más complejas que eso.

Sin embargo, la situación actual merece, creo, que el Parlamento mande también algunos mensajes claros con relación a algunos aspectos. Por ejemplo, uno de los puntos clave que me parece importante destacar es el llamado de Tokio en relación con la necesidad de que ambas partes, es decir, el TLET (Tigres de Liberación del Eelam Tamil), pero también el Gobierno, entiendan que hay que acordar un alto el fuego para poder dar entrada a la ayuda humanitaria y salida a los heridos y enfermos.

En segundo lugar, creo que es fundamental recordar que no puede haber solución militar, señor Tannock. No puede haberla, es simplemente imposible.

Es el momento, por tanto, de negociar los términos del cese de la violencia, de la desmovilización y del desarme. Pero para ello el Gobierno tiene que cesar en su empeño de buscar una victoria militar que no hace sino alargar el sufrimiento de tanta gente.

Un gesto de buena voluntad sería, por ejemplo, permitir la entrada en el norte de personal informativo y humanitario independiente.

Asimismo, con relación al Sistema Generalizado de Preferencias Plus, el SGP Plus, soy de los que piensa que nunca debería habérsele concedido a un país como Sri Lanka, dadas las graves y constantes violaciones de derechos humanos y fundamentales que existen en el país, muchas de ellas instigadas por las propias autoridades gubernamentales. Creo que deberíamos considerar seriamente abrir un debate de fondo sobre la pertinencia de aplicar dicho marco preferencial y, sobre todo, sobre las consecuencias que ello tiene con relación a la situación de muchos colectivos, entre ellos los trabajadores.

Apelo, pues, a la Comisión Europea a que lleve a cabo una verdadera investigación in situ para comprobar los efectos de dicha medida y revisarla, si éste es el caso.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ewa Tomaszewska, autorka. − Pani Przewodnicząca! Od 25 lat w Sri Lance trwa wojna domowa. Zginęło w niej ponad 70 tysięcy ludzi. Dziś pomiędzy armią rządową Sri Lanki a oddziałami Tamilskich Tygrysów, na terenie około 300 km2 około 250 tysięcy cywilów ponosi drastyczne koszty tej wojny. Na obszarze walk od połowy stycznia zginęły setki bezbronnych ludzi. W ostrzelanym przez artylerię szpitalu w chwili ataku przebywało około 500 osób.

Według informacji Międzynarodowego Czerwonego Krzyża pociski uderzyły w oddział pediatryczny. Przerażeni ludzie boją się uciekać mimo ogłoszenia przez rząd czterdziestoośmiogodzinnego rozejmu. Obawiają się śmierci lub okaleczenia. Obie strony konfliktu zwracają uwagę na łamanie praw człowieka przez stronę przeciwną i obie te prawa łamią. Rząd zapowiada bliskie zwycięstwo nad Tamilami. Ludność w potrzasku między obydwiema armiami może nie doczekać się zakończenia walk.

Wzywamy obie strony konfliktu do minimalizacji strat wśród ludności cywilnej i rozpoczęcia negocjacji pokojowych.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Thomas Mann, im Namen der PPE-DE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Als Mitglied der SAARC-Delegation konnte ich Sri Lanka einige Male besuchen. Vor Ort erlebte ich mit, wie sehr die Bevölkerung unter dem Bürgerkrieg leidet, der seit 25 Jahren andauert und 70 000 Menschenleben gekostet hat. Die Kämpfe zwischen Regierungstruppen und LTTE sind weiter eskaliert. Große Teile des Nordens wurden unter Kontrolle gebracht und Hochburgen der tamilischen Rebellen eingenommen.

Die damalige Aussage, die mir Menschenrechtsorganisationen sowohl in Colombo als auch in Jaffna machten, wird leider immer wieder bestätigt: War is an institution. Die humanitäre Lage ist alarmierend. Tausende sind auf der Flucht. Es fehlt an medizinischer Versorgung und Nahrungsmitteln. Den Hilfsorganisationen muss es möglich sein, in einer zu vereinbarenden Feuerpause ungehindert Zugang zur Zivilbevölkerung zu haben. Die Regierung ließ Korridore einrichten, um die Evakuierung der Zivilisten aus den Kampfzonen zu erleichtern – unfassbar, dass die Tamil Tigers diesen Sicherheitsbereich nicht respektieren, das Feuer fortsetzen und Menschen als Schutzschilder missbrauchen.

Die Tokio-Gruppe, bestehend aus Japan, USA, Norwegen und der Europäischen Union, forderte die LTTE-Führung auf, mit der Regierung von Sri Lanka endlich über Einzelheiten eines Waffenstillstandes zu verhandeln. Es ist im Interesse aller – auch der Tamilen –, wenn der Friedensprozess angestoßen wird. Ich begrüße ausdrücklich die Entscheidung der Regierung, den 13. Zusatzartikel der Verfassung einzuhalten und den zuständigen Provinzrat an die gewählten Repräsentanten des Nordens und des Ostens zu übergeben. Wir erwarten auch die Einhaltung einer Garantie, dass die Menschenrechtsverletzungen, über die wir gerade gesprochen haben, und die Verstöße gegen die Pressefreiheit sorgfältig und neutral untersucht werden. Sicherheit und Stabilität dürfen für Sri Lanka keine Zukunftsträume bleiben.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marie Anne Isler Béguin, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, que savons-nous et que voyons-nous par rapport au Sri Lanka? Sur quels témoignages se baser, quand toutes les ONG, à l'exception de la Croix-Rouge, ont été évacuées du pays depuis septembre? Qui croire? Le gouvernement du Sri Lanka ou des témoins anonymes?

Un fait est certain. La situation prend une tournure d'assaut final, d'hallali pour un gouvernement décidé à en finir par la force avec une rébellion qui dure depuis trop longtemps à son goût. Une fois encore, qui paie les pots cassés, chers collègues? Tous les civils, femmes, enfants, vieillards, bien entendu, pris entre le marteau et l'enclume et qui subissent une violence insupportable. Cela doit cesser. Il est plus que temps que la communauté internationale fasse réellement pression sur le gouvernement sri-lankais pour qu'il stoppe cette escalade de la violence et de la mort.

L'Union européenne doit se positionner très clairement et ne pas faire des civils tamouls les oubliés de l'histoire et les martyrs de l'indifférence. Notre Parlement européen ne doit pas en rester à cette résolution commune. Nous devons exiger un cessez-le-feu immédiat et inconditionnel, qui sera le début d'un engagement plus fort en faveur du règlement pacifique de ce conflit, dans le respect des droits de l'homme et des identités culturelles.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Bernd Posselt (PPE-DE). - Frau Präsidentin! Die dramatischen Bilder aus Sri Lanka zeigen uns, dass ein jahrzehntelanger brutaler Bürgerkrieg sich seinem Höhepunkt nähert. Wir alle wissen, dass man unter Umständen mit Waffen einen Krieg beenden kann, man kann mit Waffen aber keinen dauerhaften Frieden schaffen. Und man kann mit Waffen vor allem nicht Terrorismus wirksam und dauerhaft bekämpften, weil Terrorismus immer seine Wege findet. Deshalb ist es wichtig, an die Ursachen zu gehen.

Der nächste Schritt muss sein, eine Friedenslösung herbeizuführen, die auf folgenden Grundelementen beruht: erstens, klares Machtmonopol auf Seiten des gemeinsamen Staates. Kein Staat kann es zulassen, dass sich ethnische Gruppen oder Teile der Bürger bewaffnen und einen bewaffneten Kampf führen. Das heißt aber auch, dass es notwendig ist, dass dieser Staat demokratische, rechtsstaatliche Regeln einhält und aktiv eine politische Lösung im Sinne einer Autonomie sucht, die endlich die Nationalitätenprobleme Sri Lankas löst, die ein altes historisches Erbe sind, die auch ein Erbe der Kolonialzeit sind und die dringend angepackt werden müssen.

Deshalb möchte ich ganz klar an die Europäische Union und an alle Staaten der Erde appellieren, hier beim Aufbau von Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit Hilfe zu leisten, bei der Stärkung von Autonomie und Minderheitenrechten und natürlich auch bei der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung eines Landes, das unter dem Terror dieses Bürgerkriegs entsetzlich ausgeblutet ist.

Das heißt, wenn die Waffen endlich schweigen sollten – und so weit sind wir leider noch nicht –, dann ist das nicht das Ende der Entwicklung, sondern dann kann das erst der Anfang einer Entwicklung sein hin zu einem rechtsstaatlichen Frieden, der auf Freiheit, auf Menschenrechten, auf Minderheitenrechten und auf nationaler Autonomie gegründet ist.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Zuzana Roithová (PPE-DE). - Tokijská konference vydala signál, že krize na Srí Lance může skončit a že je naděje na mír. Ovšem čtvrt milionu civilistů uvězněných v oblasti konfliktu potřebují bezpečný průchod a je nutné zajistit jim humanitární pomoc. Je potřeba, aby zahraniční pozorovatelé měli přístup do oblasti, mohli vyhodnotit humanitární potřeby. Ovšem nedávné útoky na novináře nejsou zárukou bezpečí pro humanitární organizace. Vláda sice slibuje vyšetření útoku na novináře, ale není to cesta. Musíme také přimět vládu Srí Lanky, aby přistoupila k ottawské úmluvě a odstranila nášlapné miny. Je mi líto, že poslanci socialistické frakce dali přednost odjezdu domů, místo aby se účastnili dnešní debaty, a tudíž zde obhájili své odlišné názory na řešení problematiky Srí Lanky.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Catherine Stihler (PSE). - Madam President, I just want to add my support to the approach that Robert Evans has taken. I think it was Mr Posselt who described the conflict as a civil war and, sadly, the people who tabled this joint motion for resolution refused, according to my colleague, to term it a civil war.

I want to add support to what previous speakers have said about an immediate ceasefire. The recent upsurge in fighting between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka forces has worsened the situation, and an estimated 230 000 internally displaced persons are trapped in the Wanni region as we speak. Atrocities, such as the shelling of a PTK hospital, make the situation on the ground much worse and more perilous.

It is a very sad day, but we cannot support this, and I hope in the next part-session we will see a greater debate with more people participating on this very serious situation in Sri Lanka.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Leopold Józef Rutowicz (UEN). - Pani Przewodnicząca! Scenariusz tragicznych wydarzeń na Sri Lance jest podobny do innych takich przypadków. Mówiąc o tragedii biednych ludzi zapominamy, że przyczyną jej są również ludzie, nie biedni, wywodzący się z tego samego środowiska. Wykorzystują oni różnice religijne, plemienne, etniczne, nieporozumienia historyczne i inne dostępne środki, by poróżnić między sobą części społeczności zamieszkującej w danym państwie w celu osiągnięcia władzy. Prowadzi to do niszczenia przeważnie bardzo słabo zakorzenionych elementów demokracji, do wojny domowej wraz ze wszelkimi okrucieństwami, nieliczeniem się z prawami człowieka, informacją, totalnym niszczeniem przeciwnika.

Popieram rezolucję jako wyraz dezaprobaty wobec tych, którzy wskrzeszają wojny domowe i którzy dają im wsparcie materialne i polityczne. Pewnym ostrzeżeniem dla twórców tych nieludzkich scenariuszy mogłaby być świadomość, że zostaną schwytani na przykład przez specjalne siły międzynarodowe i skazani na dożywotnie odosobnienie.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nirj Deva (PPE-DE). - Madam President, Mr Evans makes a speciality of getting his facts wrong and so it has impelled me to stand and correct him. No hospital has been bombed. The press agency that filed the report withdrew that story saying it was erroneous. There are not 230 000 civilians trapped: there are 113 000 who are being used as a human shield by the LTTE. If they really cared about the Tamil people they would not use Tamil people as a human shield to protect themselves. What bravery is this?

Sri Lanka has suffered 25 years of civil war. We need to help that country to remain what it has always been: one of the oldest democracies in the world. It has a longer history of democracy than 22 of the 27 Member States of the EU. It has had 16 general elections, five presidential elections and has conducted itself as a member of the family of nations of democracy. It is a democracy that fought against a terrorist campaign. And it has won.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL). - Ik wil eraan herinneren dat wij hier enkele jaren geleden een debat hebben gevoerd over Sri Lanka en dat onder die omstandigheden de Sri Lankaanse regering bezig was om de ruimte te scheppen om zoveel mogelijk handelingsvrijheid te krijgen, ook van de zijde van de Europese Unie, het standpunt van niet-inmenging in plaats van bemiddeling om tot een oplossing te komen.

Ik constateer dat alle dingen die ik toen in het debat al heb ingebracht uit vrees voor wat er in de toekomst zou gebeuren, vandaag gebeurd zijn. Ik denk dus dat wij echt zouden moeten terugkeren naar de positie van bemiddelen en streven naar autonomie binnen Sri Lanka voor de Tamil-bevolkingsgroep in het noordoosten. Als wij dat niet doen is ook Europa medeverantwoordelijk voor het verschrikkelijke bloedbad dat nu plaatsvindt.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mariann Fischer Boel, Member of the Commission. − Madam President, as one of the Tokyo Co-Chairs of the Sri Lanka peace process, the European Commission is closely following developments in Sri Lanka. We are deeply concerned by the current situation and the tragic humanitarian consequences of the conflict as expressed in the statement issued locally by the Co-Chairs on 3 February 2009.

We look with concern at the difficult situation of thousands of internally displaced persons trapped by fighting in northern Sri Lanka. Both Commissioners Ferrero-Waldner and Michel have already communicated publicly their preoccupation about the consequences of the hostilities on the civilian population and have called on both parties, the LTTE and the Sri Lankan authorities, to protect the civil population, as required under international humanitarian law, and to allow the safe and voluntary movement of people away from the combat zone.

The Commission is concerned about the information it has received concerning the conditions in which internally displaced people are living in the so-called ‘welfare centres’ once they have escaped from the territory controlled by the Tamil Tigers into Government-controlled areas. It is also important that international standards be respected in these temporary camps. UN agencies, the Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations should have full access to these centres in line with international humanitarian law.

The Commission continues to be alarmed about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, against a background of reports of extrajudicial killings, abductions and serious intimidation of the media. It is very important that the Government follows up to the most prominent high-profile cases. In her recent meeting with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner called upon the Government of Sri Lanka to take decisive action to tackle human rights abuses, including action against the perpetrators, and to guarantee press freedom.

The Commission continues to be convinced that there can be no military solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. An inclusive dialogue is required to agree on a political settlement so that lasting peace and reconciliation can be achieved by addressing the concerns which led to the insurgency in the first place and to provide adequate space for all communities.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Η συζήτηση έληξε.

Η ψηφοφορία θα διεξαχθεί στο τέλος των συζητήσεων.

 
  

(1)Βλ. Συνοπτικά Πρακτικά


11.2. Situação dos refugiados birmaneses na Tailândia
Vídeo das intervenções
MPphoto
 
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Το επόμενο σημείο είναι η συζήτηση επί έξι προτάσεων ψηφίσματος σχετικά με την κατάσταση των Βιρμανών προσφύγων στην Ταϋλάνδη.(1)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Erik Meijer, Auteur. − Voorzitter, Birma staat bekend als een gewelddadige militaire dictatuur, waarin een kaste van profiteurs langdurig de macht in handen kan houden. Onderdrukking en armoede leiden ertoe dat veel mensen het land hebben verlaten of alsnog willen verlaten.

Die dictatuur wordt zowel gerechtvaardigd als verscherpt door de etnische verscheidenheid binnen het land. In grote gebieden zijn minderheidsvolkeren in de meerderheid. Zij streven naar autonomie en organiseren verzet tegen de centrale dictatuur. De militaire leiders vinden hun dictatuur nodig om het land duurzaam bijeen te kunnen houden en de opstandige volkeren te onderwerpen. Zij zijn meer geïnteresseerd in het grondgebied dan in de mensen die daarop wonen. Door grote ontginningsconcessies af te geven aan buitenlandse bedrijven verdwijnen belangrijke bestaansbronnen van de inheemse bevolking en worden natuur en milieu ernstig beschadigd.

Doordat met de regionale meerderheidsvolkeren geen rekening wordt gehouden, wordt de noodzaak om het land te ontvluchten verder versterkt. Het regime wil lastige groepen graag kwijt door ze te vermoorden of het land uit te jagen. Velen vluchten de zee op in wrakke bootjes met een grote kans om te verdrinken. Buurland Thailand heeft al heel wat vluchtelingen over de grens zien komen. Volgens sommige schattingen zijn het er in de afgelopen 25 jaar al twee miljoen geworden. Tienduizenden die zijn geweigerd, verblijven dakloos in het niemandsland langs de grens.

Medelijden of solidariteit met vluchtelingen is in Zuidoost-Azië helaas nóg minder sterk ontwikkeld dan in Europa. Het komt vaak voor dat de vluchtelingen worden weggestuurd, zelfs als dat hun wisse dood betekent. De publieke opinie is er te weinig in geïnteresseerd, zelfs als het vluchtelingen betreft met wie men de godsdienst gemeen heeft, zoals de islamitische bootvluchtelingen die uit Birma in Indonesië terechtkwamen.

Daarnaast zien wij dat de regeringen voorrang geven aan goede betrekkingen met hun collega's in dictatuurstaten, in plaats van druk uit te oefenen om de toestand daar te verbeteren. Sommigen in Europa neigen naar eenzelfde soort houding en in Azië kunnen wij zien tot welke verschrikkingen dat leidt. Ook daarom is het goed dat wij de Aziatische landen oproepen om een oplossing te vinden.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, this case highlights the plight of a minority in a country where minorities are at best marginalised and at worst brutalised. The Rohingya people have suffered double discrimination for years. As Muslims they are being denied the right to practise their faith freely, a right that we in the EU recognise as fundamental, and their mosques have been damaged and desecrated. As an ethnic minority, the Rohingya people are systematically denied civil rights that most of the rest of the world take for granted: the right to marry, the right to move freely, the right to citizenship of the country they live in, and the right to a proper education.

In praising our own progressive achievements in the field of human rights, we in the EU can tend to lose sight of the fact that many people in the world lack even these basic entitlements. We in this House are well aware of the plight of the people of Burma generally, but since the riots by Buddhist monks of 2007 that country has rather faded somewhat from the public consciousness.

The appalling fate of the little-known-about Rohingya people, especially those fleeing by boat as refugees that are the subject of this resolution, has renewed our attention on the despotic regime in Burma, a country so rich in human potential otherwise. The brutality of the military junta stands in stark contrast to the action of Thailand, which has only partially, in my view, discharged its responsibility for the Rohingya refugees as it unfortunately alleges that most of them are purely economic refugees which I believe to be highly unlikely, and tried sending them back. Thailand must take more seriously its growing role as a force for stability and humanity in the region.

In contrast we can expect very little from the brutal Burmese military leaders, impervious as they have been to our many pleas for years. I hope that the junta generals’ contempt for civilised opinion one day comes back to haunt them, possibly in an international criminal tribunal, when Burma is finally freed of tyranny.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marios Matsakis, author. − Madam President, the brutal regime governing Burma has, for some time now, been causing thousands of civilians to leave that country in search of a more secure future and a better standard of living in neighbouring Thailand or, via Thailand, in other South-East Asian countries.

Amongst these destitute people are the indigenous Rohingya community of Western Burma, who in recent years have been the victims of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Burmese Government. Unfortunately, the Thai authorities have not provided those refugees with the humanitarian assistance they so clearly deserve. Instead, it is reported that these people have been fiercely persecuted. We call on the Thai Government to respect the human rights of Burmese refugees and treat them with respect, compassion, dignity and humanity.

This resolution also gives me the opportunity to deal with the issue of the 41-year-old Australian writer of Cypriot origin, Harry Nicolaides, who was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in Thailand for allegedly insulting the country’s Royal Family in a novel he wrote in 2005. Mr Nicolaides was teaching English at a Thai university at the time, and in his novel he only makes an anonymous reference to a member of the Thai Royal Family, and the incriminated work is clearly fictitious.

During his trial, Mr Nicolaides was paraded in front of the international media in chains and told reporters that he had endured unspeakable suffering. Mr Nicolaides has apologised to the Thai Royal Family and has made an appeal for royal grace.

We believe that Mr Nicolaides has been subjected to enough punishment and ill-treatment by the Thai authorities, who have handled this case most insensitively and inappropriately, and we call on them, as well as the Royal Family, to effect Mr Nicolaides’ immediate release and return to his home in Australia. Not to do so would be most unwise, pitiful and damaging to Thailand.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marcin Libicki, autor. − Pani Przewodnicząca! Dzisiaj mówimy o Sri Lance, Birmie i Tajlandii. W czasie innych sesji mówiliśmy o innych państwach. Zawsze jednak o niekończących się wojnach domowych, o morderstwach, o gwałceniu podstawowych praw ludzkich.

Nigdy nie zatrzymamy tych fatalnych zbrodni, jeżeli nie rozpoznamy, jakie siły polityczne i jakie niegodziwe interesy zewnętrzne stoją za tymi wojnami. Te wojny nie mogłyby trwać w nieskończoność w biednych krajach, których nie stać by nawet na nie było, gdyby nie stały za tym interesy zewnętrzne.

Dlatego musimy zrobić dwie rzeczy, żeby ten proces powstrzymać. Po pierwsze, rozpoznać jakie to są interesy, jakie to są siły polityczne i powiedzieć im stop metodami politycznymi. Po drugie, powołać korpus ekspedycyjny, policyjny i wojskowy, który będzie przeciwdziałał tam, gdzie środki polityczne nie dadzą rady. Na to stać Unię Europejską.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Catherine Stihler, author. − Madam President, the treatment and discrimination of the Rohingya people appals us all. As a Muslim minority in Buddhist Burma, they are not recognised as one of Burma’s ethnic minorities. They have few legal rights and, as Amendment 3 tabled by Glenys Kinnock highlights, they face deliberate impoverishment, denial of citizenship, denial of freedom of movement, arbitrary taxation, land confiscation and the denial of permission to marry.

It is no wonder that many attempt to leave Burma as they have no other option. The shocking reports that a thousand Rohingya boat people over a 12-day period, who, instead of being brought to safety by the Thai authorities who discovered them, were instead towed into international waters without navigational equipment, food and water and left to fend for themselves, sickens anyone with an iota of human decency.

Only yesterday, an article in The Guardian highlighted other incidents. The latest case involved 220 men, who were discovered in an open craft by fishermen. These refugees claimed they were detained by Thai authorities on a remote island for two months, and that they were beaten before being forced onto boats and left to their fate.

The abuse and lack of international coordinated action to help the Rohingya must be addressed. Thailand must also take responsibility. The Thai Prime Minister must act. The problems of abuse at the hands of Thai officials must be seriously addressed. The Thai Government must sign the 1951 UN Convention relating to the status of refugees and the 1967 Protocol. As Joel Chamy, Vice-President of Washington-based Refugees International, said, the Rohingya need protection and asylum.

Thailand has said it is unwilling to grant that, but that is a problem that will not go away. There are ongoing reports of the treatment of Burmese refugees who enter Malaysia. Many of these people are sold as slaves, the women and children are forced into sexual slavery and the men are sold as forced labour onto fishing vessels. Some of this fish may even enter the EU market. I hope that today we can highlight the plight of Burmese refugees and particularly the plight of the Rohingya.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda, Autor. − Hace dos semanas tuve ocasión de visitar, precisamente, la población birmana y la frontera tailando-birmana. Y allí constaté con mis propios ojos la injusticia con la que política y mediáticamente tratamos a algunas partes del mundo.

Y es que demasiado a menudo nos movemos a golpe de titular. Y lo que vivimos en Birmania, que hoy no es portada, es un drama que no es muy diferente al que nos moviliza en muchos otros casos.

Tenemos ejemplos clarísimos de persecución, de tortura, de detenciones ilegales, de violaciones y otras atrocidades cometidas por parte de la Junta Militar birmana. Una de las acciones más vergonzantes, recientemente, ha sido la adopción de una supuesta constitución que vulnera los principios democráticos más fundamentales y que garantiza una impunidad casi total para todos estos actos mencionados.

Es más que comprensible, por tanto, que la población huya de esta situación, como lleva haciendo desde hace años la población karen o, como precisamente denunciamos hoy en la resolución, hacían también los rohingya interceptados en Tailandia.

En ese sentido, constaté también durante mi visita que, tanto Tailandia como la comunidad internacional, están entrando en una preocupante dinámica de sumisión ante la Junta. Por ejemplo, muchas organizaciones de abogados, partidos de oposición, refugiados y prisioneros políticos nos alertaron de las terribles consecuencias que tendría para la población birmana que la comunidad internacional y, en concreto, la Unión Europea, apoyaran y avalaran la farsa de elecciones convocadas por el SPDC para 2010. Ello, nos advirtieron, daría carta blanca a la Junta para seguir cometiendo impunemente toda clase de crímenes.

Los grupos políticos y étnicos opositores a la Junta se encuentran perfectamente organizados y han redactado una constitución alternativa mucho más acorde con los principios que decimos defender en la Unión Europea. Sería un error, por tanto, que ahora los abandonásemos a su suerte y nos hiciéramos cómplices, por activa o por pasiva, de la dictadura birmana.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Giovanna Corda, au nom du groupe PSE. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, chers collègues, hier j'ai vu des images de réfugiés birmans rohingyas. C'est la détresse humaine sur ces bateaux de fortune.

Après une brève détention, la marine thaïlandaise les a conduits hors de leurs eaux territoriales et les a laissés démunis de tout. Et pourtant, la Thaïlande souhaite se montrer accueillante par rapport aux réfugiés et aux demandeurs d'asile. De plus, la Thaïlande, en tant que voisine directe de la Birmanie, est bien consciente des conditions de vie inhumaines créées par la junte, qui poussent de nombreux Birmans à émigrer, tout en risquant leur vie lors de traversées que je qualifierai de traversées vers la mort.

Nous demandons à la Thaïlande et aux autres pays de l'ANASE de rechercher une solution durable pour les réfugiés, et principalement les Rohingyas, dont il est question aujourd'hui.

Nous voudrions également appeler la Thaïlande à ratifier la convention des Nations unies sur les réfugiés de 1951 et le protocole de 1967.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Urszula Krupa, w imieniu grupy IND/DEM. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Problem łamania praw człowieka w Birmie był już kilkakrotnie omawiany podczas obecnej kadencji Parlamentu Europejskiego.

Birma znana ze wspaniałych, opływających złotem buddyjskich świątyń jest także więzieniem dla tysięcy Birmańczyków żyjących w jednym z największych reżimów politycznych na świecie, z którego próbują uciekać – do USA, Australii, Kanady, krajów europejskich i sąsiednich. Po rezolucjach wzywających do uwolnienia tysięcy więźniów politycznych, wśród których jest wielu opozycyjnych liderów z laureatką Nagrody Nobla na czele, protestach organizacji międzynarodowych przeciwko wcielaniu w Birmie dzieci do wojska, zmuszaniu do pracy, pozbawianiu opieki, omawiamy dzisiaj problem łamania praw człowieka.

Podczas ucieczki z birmańskiego piekła, tysiąc osób – przedstawicieli mniejszości muzułmańskiej – płynąc łodziami, zostało przechwyconych na tajwańskich wodach terytorialnych, odholowanych na międzynarodowe wody bez sprzętu nawigacyjnego ani zapasów żywności, a także więzionych.

Etniczna muzułmańska mniejszość jest także prześladowana przez panujący w Birmie reżim wojskowy. Towarzyszą temu takie zjawiska jak odmowa praw obywatelskich, więzienie, ograniczanie możliwości edukacji, małżeństwa, przemieszczania się, niszczenie meczetów, kościołów i innych miejsc kultu. Chociaż należy docenić pozwolenie władz Tajlandii na tymczasowy pobyt uchodźców w tym kraju, wraz z oświadczeniem premiera tego kraju, w którym zapowiada on przeprowadzenie śledztwa, to jednak ostatnie wydarzenia są ewidentnym przykładem łamania praw człowieka przez Tajlandczyków.

Oczywiście popieramy rezolucje, które jednak nie zmieniają ludzkich tragedii w tym regionie, gdzie podłożem konfliktów jest nie tylko nieludzki, wojskowy reżim i konflikty na tle religijnym, ale też interesy różnych sił. Należałoby więc w bardziej skuteczny sposób przeciwstawić się zarówno wojskowej juncie, jak też separatystycznym zapędom grup prześladujących ludzi wyznających inną wiarę.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (PSE). - Pani Przewodnicząca! W ostatnich latach tysiące Birmańczyków opuściło kraj z obawy przed represjami ze strony rządzącego reżimu wojskowego oraz szerzącym się głodem, szukając schronienia w Tajlandii lub sąsiednich krajach południowo-wschodniej Azji. Problem ten dotyczy głównie mniejszości etnicznej Rohinja zamieszkującej zachodnią część kraju, której systematycznie odmawia się nadania obywatelstwa, ogranicza wolność słowa i swobodę poruszania się oraz inne podstawowe prawa człowieka.

Problem birmańskich uchodźców ma wymiar regionalny i państwa sąsiedzkie, takie jak Indie, Bangladesz czy Indonezja, muszą podjąć ściślejszą współpracę na rzecz jego rozwiązania oraz zapewnienia Birmańczykom odpowiedniej opieki i schronienia. Międzynarodowe agencje informują o przypadkach nieludzkiego traktowania birmańskich uchodźców oraz ich brutalnego wydalania, co jest jednoznaczne ze skazaniem ich na pewną śmierć. Wypchnięcie przez tajską marynarkę przybrzeżną na pełne morze łódki z tysiącem uchodźców na pokładzie, pozbawionych zapasów żywności, było aktem nieludzkim i doprowadziło do śmierci wielu z nich.

Ponadto należy zdecydowanie potępić działania birmańskiego reżimu wojskowego i akty przemocy wobec mniejszości Rohinja, nawołując do przywrócenia im pełni praw obywatelskich.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Justas Vincas Paleckis (PSE). - Yra dvi šių tragiškų įvykių Birmos ir Tailando pasienyje pusės. Tenka apgailestauti, kad Tailando valdžia ėmėsi nepateisinamų veiksmų, tuo labiau kad Tailandas yra žinomas kaip valstybė, kuri yra linkusi atsižvelgti į žmogaus teises, kuri priima nemažai pabėgėlių. Tikėsimės, kad premjero pareiškimas apie tai, kad šie įvykiai bus ištirti, kad bus nubausti tie, kurie su pabėgėliais iš Birmos, atplaukusiais valtimis, vis dėlto elgėsi nederamai, kad tie pažadai bus įvykdyti. Antra vertus, ne pirmą kartą šitoje salėje kalbame apie įžūlų ir neleistiną Birmos režimo elgesį. Aš manau, kad Europos Sąjunga turėtų imtis griežtesnių priemonių ir, aišku, laukiame ne tik žodžių, bet ir veiksmų iš didžiųjų valstybių pusės. Ypač Kinija turi spausti Birmą, kad ten būtų gerbiamos opozicijos ir mažumų teisės.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Tunne Kelam (PPE-DE). - Madam President, today this House adopted a report on minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers. This must also be relevant to countries like Burma or Thailand. It is to the credit of representatives of the European Parliament that we are standing up today in defence of the rights of a Muslim minority in Burma.

The situation has become shocking and alarming, with Thai soldiers forcing these Burmese refugees out into the ocean in boats without engines; at least 500 are believed to have died. For Thailand, the survivors’ accounts are damning, to say the least. Sending refugees back to danger is bad enough, but casting them adrift to die is much worse. Others have been left to work as slave labour in Thailand.

The Prime Minister, to his credit, has promised a full investigation, but we need to support him in acting independently of his army and following the international norms of human behaviour.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ewa Tomaszewska (UEN). - Pani Przewodnicząca! Mówiliśmy już wielokrotnie na tej sali o sytuacji w Birmie. Dlatego nikogo chyba nie dziwi, że zagrożona birmańska ludność podejmuje drastyczne próby ucieczki przez morze Andamańskie.

Ci, którzy docierają do wybrzeży Tajlandii, są często traktowani w nieludzki sposób. Ze związanymi rękami, w łodziach bez silników są odsyłani w morze. 46 przedstawicieli mniejszości Rohingya po dotarciu do wyspy Phrathong zostało przejętych przez komendę bezpieczeństwa wewnętrznego. Nie mają pomocy prawnej, ani kontaktu z prawnikami do spraw uchodźców. Potrzebna jest natychmiastowa pomoc humanitarna dla uchodźców birmańskich potrzebujących azylu.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mariann Fischer Boel, Member of the Commission. − Madam President, the European Commission, as a matter of priority, is following the situation in Myanmar and Thailand, including the recent incidents where refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar were stranded in Thailand.

Thailand hosts approximately 140 000 refugees in nine camps along the border. More than one million Myanmar citizens constitute an important part of the workforce in Thailand in the agricultural sector, in textiles and in the tourism sector. The Rohingya boat people trapped in Thailand are part of the multi-faceted, forced or voluntary emigration from Myanmar. Moreover, Thailand has other refugee issues to settle as well, such as the Hmong people from Laos.

The complexity of these issues requires a comprehensive political, humanitarian, economic and social solution. The Commission is conducting an intensive debate with the international community and the Thai Government, in a search for possible solutions.

Recent political uncertainties in Thailand interrupted the dialogue with the Government on this issue, but that is temporary. Thus, the Commission expects that the EU’s initiative vis-à-vis the Government will result in a constructive approach.

On 29 January 2009, the EU Troika, at ambassador level in Bangkok, expressed its concerns to the Thai authorities. It welcomed the Thai Government’s intention to investigate the incidents fully, and to share its findings, and urged the Thai Government to treat boat people arriving in Thai waters according to international humanitarian and human rights standards.

The Commission welcomes the Government’s intention to allow the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees access to the boat people.

The Commission encourages the Thai Government to seek regional cooperation, involving also the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as the Rohingya issue and the other displacement issues mentioned earlier need a comprehensive response.

In conclusion, a sustainable solution cannot be the result of short-term security considerations, but must take into account long-term humanitarian, political and socioeconomic concerns.

Despite the fact that Thailand is not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, the Royal Thai Government has in the past displayed a measure of humanitarian concern. The Commission will continue to remind the Thai authorities to strictly adhere to international human rights standards as a prerequisite for any solution.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Η συζήτηση έληξε.

Η ψηφοφορία θα διεξαχθεί στο τέλος των συζητήσεων.

 
  

(1)Βλ. Συνοπτικά Πρακτικά


11.3. Recusa de extradição do Brasil de Cesare Battisti
Vídeo das intervenções
MPphoto
 
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Το επόμενο σημείο είναι η συζήτηση επί έξι προτάσεων ψηφίσματος σχετικά με την άρνηση έκδοσης του Cesare Battisti από τη Βραζιλία.(1)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mario Mauro, Autore. − Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Antonio Santoro, maresciallo della polizia penitenziaria, Lino Sabadin, macellaio, Pierluigi Torregiani, gioielliere, Andrea Campagna, agente della polizia di Stato: questi sono i nomi di quattro cittadini che, insieme a molti altri, hanno perso la vita tra il 6 giugno 1978 e il 19 aprile 1979, uccisi dalla follia omicida di organizzazioni terroristiche che hanno tentato di sovvertire l'ordine democratico in Italia. E il nome di uno degli assassini è quello di Cesare Battisti.

Vorrei innanzitutto condividere il rammarico del Presidente della Repubblica italiana Napolitano per la decisione del Presidente brasiliano Lula di concedere lo status di rifugiato politico al terrorista italiano Cesare Battisti, che è stato condannato all'ergastolo con sentenze passate in giudicato per aver commesso i quattro omicidi sopracitati durante i cosiddetti "Anni di piombo".

Mi permetto di ricordare che Battisti è stato riconosciuto colpevole non solo dalla magistratura italiana, ma anche da quella francese e dalla Corte europea dei diritti dell'uomo. Siamo di fronte a un atto inspiegabile e gravissimo che non può e non deve passare inosservato nelle istituzioni europee. E' un dovere nei confronti dei parenti delle vittime di Battisti, ma è un dovere anche e soprattutto perché l'Unione europea ha da molti anni definito una strategia contro il terrorismo per garantire la sicurezza dei cittadini e per salvaguardare le istituzioni democratiche. Restare a guardare sarebbe quindi vanificare gli sforzi prodotti in questi anni per combattere insieme una minaccia sempre presente.

Anche il Partito popolare europeo auspica un ripensamento e una riflessione approfondita da parte brasiliana rispetto a una richiesta molto delicata ma assolutamente doverosa e legittima. Il Brasile è un grande paese democratico, da sempre in ottimi rapporti con l'Europa e con l'Italia. Ed è proprio per questo che questa porta sbattuta in faccia ci coglie di sorpresa. Proprio per l'amicizia e il rispetto che lega i nostri paesi, per l'amicizia e gli accordi di cooperazione e di partenariato che legano Brasile e Unione europea, sia dal punto di vista politico sia da quello economico, la reazione deve essere decisa ed efficace da parte di tutti.

L'Europa deve essere solidale con l'azione del governo italiano, che sta utilizzando ogni forma legittima di pressione politica e diplomatica e di ricorso legale affinché si faccia giustizia. La decisione presa dai brasiliani contrasta in maniera deprecabile con l'immagine dell'Unione europea, perché sembra presumere che all'interno di uno Stato membro dell'Unione si pratichi la persecuzione politica e la tortura. Siamo di fronte, insomma, ad un fatto inaccettabile che oltretutto non ha alcun fondamento nella realtà.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Manuel Medina Ortega, Autor. − Señora Presidenta, yo creo que el señor Mauro ha expuesto perfectamente los hechos. Nos encontramos con un asesino: cuatro asesinatos. Y, además, otros actos por los cuales ha sido declarado culpable por los tribunales italianos, como es pertenencia a grupo armado, tenencia de armas de fuego —en la mayor parte de los países europeos es delito grave— y actos de violencia.

Este señor ha sido condenado por un tribunal italiano. Y nos encontramos con que, el 17 de diciembre, el Gobierno brasileño —un Gobierno democrático— le reconoce el estatuto de refugiado político.

Como ha dicho el señor Mauro, la Unión Europea tiene que expresar su solidaridad con el Gobierno italiano y manifestar a este país democrático y amigo, como es Brasil, que ha sido un error la situación actual.

Las autoridades brasileñas nos comunican que el tema está todavía pendiente de un recurso ante el Tribunal Supremo Federal, pero es lamentable que se haya procedido en estos términos.

Hay que recordar también que el Tribunal Europeo de Derecho Humanos rechazó la petición de protección que pedía el señor Battisti y que en este momento la Unión Europea basa su acción en el respeto de los derechos humanos fundamentales, que es un elemento constitucional fundamental de la Constitución europea.

Por tanto, teniendo en cuenta la existencia de lazos de amistad entre la Unión Europea y Brasil, es conveniente recordar a las autoridades brasileñas que aquí tienen un buen aliado y un buen amigo, pero esperamos también que, en correspondencia, no actúen de esta forma, como lo han hecho en el pasado.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Carl Schlyter, författare. − Jag önskar att vi i stället hade diskuterat Filippinerna där EU hade kunnat göra en verklig insats för att rädda många människors liv. Nu diskuterar vi ett enskilt rättsfall i en pågående domstolsprocess, där vi har mage att säga att vi ska stå upp för rättsstatens principer. Där jag kommer ifrån är en av de absolut mest grundläggande av rättsstatens principer att ett parlament inte lägger sig i enskilda fall i en domstolsprocess.

Både jag och min grupp tycker att det är helt fel att ta upp en enskild pågående domstolsprocess i ett parlament. Det är tyvärr inte ens första eller sista gången, för vi kommer snart att rösta om Medinabetänkandet och där gör man precis samma sak. I en pågående domstolsprocess i en svensk domstol mot Pirate Bay i ett upphovsrättsärende uttalar sig parlamentet i skuldfrågan under pågående domstolsprocess. Jag hoppas verkligen att det här inte blir någon vana för då är det vi här i Europa som bestrider och bekämpar våra egna rättsstatsprinciper och det vore väldigt olyckligt. Tack!

Ursäkta, jag glömde en viktig sak.

Om vi är missnöjda med hur Brasilien och Europa hanterar utlämningar och om vi är missnöjda med hur våra lagar tolkas i en nationell domstol ska vi ändra lagarna så att de är lika för alla. Vi går inte in och försöker påverka ett enskilt fall. Det är domarnas, åklagarnas och försvararnas uppgift, inte parlamentets uppgift. Vi stiftar lagar, och rättsstatens principer säger att det är domstolarna som sedan tolkar dem.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Cristiana Muscardini, Autore. − Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, è veramente deplorevole che un deputato venga in Aula a parlare senza neanche avere letto il testo di una risoluzione scritta e firmata da tutti i maggiori gruppi, per cui dica delle cose false. I processi sono chiusi da moltissimi anni.

Torno al nostro problema. Le farneticazioni di un terrorista e pluriomicida, condannato più volte, non possono trovare sponda nel governo di un paese amico con il quale collaboriamo. Sottolineiamo la necessità, già espressa con una lettera al Presidente dell'Unione, di un dibattito interno al Consiglio che, partendo da questa incredibile vicenda e tenendo conto del nuovo terrorismo internazionalizzato, affronti e decida una regola condivisa per l'estradizione sia all'interno dei 27 paesi dell'Unione che tra l'Unione ed i paesi terzi.

Nessuno può consentire a chi ha ucciso persone inermi e si è sottratto con ogni mezzo al confronto con la giustizia e con i parenti delle vittime di atteggiarsi a perseguitato e di creare pericolosi precedenti a danno del diritto e della comunità dei cittadini.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marios Matsakis, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, those who are found guilty by our courts of law must face the consequences and not be given refuge by any country in the world.

Cesare Battisti is a convicted murderer in Italy, and the stance taken by the Brazilian authorities to protect him from the reach of EU justice is not only unacceptable but also condemnable and deplorable in the strongest possible terms and we, and any other authority and any other body in the EU, have every right to say so. I hope that the Brazilian Government will come to its senses and in re-examining this case will do what is expected of it and extradite Mr Battisti to Italy as soon as possible and before this affair begins to have serious consequences for the otherwise good EU-Brazil relations. Brazil must not become a safe haven for convicted criminals and the EU must never allow murderers to escape punishment.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Roberta Angelilli, a nome del gruppo UEN. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, con questa proposta di risoluzione comune questo Parlamento farà sentire la sua voce autorevole, a livello internazionale, per il riesame dell'estradizione di Cesare Battisti e soprattutto renderà omaggio alla memoria delle vittime e farà sentire la sua vicinanza ai loro familiari che, da più di vent'anni, aspettano che il loro diritto fondamentale alla giustizia, così a lungo calpestato, possa finalmente essere affermato. Altre parole sarebbero superflue. Ecco perché, signora Presidente e cari colleghi, chiedo di dedicare il tempo, i pochi secondi che mi rimangono del mio intervento per osservare qualche momento di silenzioso raccoglimento.

 
  
 

(Το Σώμα τηρεί ενός λεπτού σιγή)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mario Borghezio (UEN). - Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, grazie onorevole Angelilli per questo gesto importante che segna un atteggiamento diverso di questo Parlamento rispetto all'Unione europea, che ipocritamente se ne lava le mani, secondo la nota "dottrina Ponzio Pilato", quando invece in questo caso sono coinvolti due paesi: l'Italia, che ha pagato un prezzo altissimo per il terrorismo con le sue vittime e anni durissimi, e la Francia, che vi è coinvolta fino al collo grazie all'interessamento penoso della nota lobby della sinistra "caviar", che già si è distinta nel caso Petrella e probabilmente anche nel ruolo dei servizi segreti.

Così facendo l'Europa contraddice le sue direttive antiterrorismo e perde ogni autorevolezza nella strategia mondiale di contrasto al terrorismo. Vorrei vedere se sarebbe capitata la stessa cosa se magari si trattasse di un terrorista tedesco della RAF. L'Europa dica invece al Brasile che non estradando un delinquente comune, e tra l'altro comunista, come Battisti, che oggi persino in carcere osa sbeffeggiare le sue vittime, si autodeclasserebbe a paese rifugio dei peggiori criminali e terroristi.

Con un simile comportamento c'è da rivedere ogni accordo sul partenariato ed io penso anche la partecipazione al G8. Bisogna ribadire molto chiaramente che con i terroristi non si viene a patti. I terroristi, condannati secondo processi regolari – perché il nostro paese è di grande civiltà giuridica, nel quale non si tortura nessuno e i processi sono regolari – poi scontano la pena fino all'ultimo giorno. Terroristi, assassini e comunisti!

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Albert Deß (PPE-DE). - Frau Präsidentin! Ich habe mich gemeldet, weil ich im Deutschen Bundestag zehn Jahre Vorsitzender der deutsch-brasilianischen Parlamentariergruppe war und das Land Brasilien sehr gut kenne. Ich bin schon überrascht, dass die Regierung Lula diesen verurteilten Mörder nicht an ein europäisches Mitgliedsland ausliefert. Ich hoffe, dass das Verfahren in Brasilien sehr schnell abgeschlossen wird.

Die Regierung Lula hat sich insbesondere den Menschenrechten verpflichtet. Zu den Menschenrechten gehört auch, dass verurteilte Mörder ihrer gerechten Strafe zugeführt werden. Deshalb hoffe ich, dass dieser Entschließungsantrag große Unterstützung findet. Ich persönlich werde meine Kontakte zu brasilianischen Parlamentariern nützen, damit auch dort auf die Regierung eingewirkt wird, diesem Auslieferungsantrag stattzugeben.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Janusz Onyszkiewicz (ALDE). - Pani Przewodnicząca! Po zakończeniu drugiej wojny światowej w Europie wielu przestępców nazistowskich uciekło przed wymiarem sprawiedliwości do Ameryki Południowej. Próby przywołania ich z powrotem i postawienia przed sądem okazywały się szalenie trudne. To prowadziło zresztą to tak desperackich kroków, jak działania izraelskich służb, które po prostu porwały Eichmanna z Ameryki Południowej po to, żeby go postawić przed sądem.

Widać, że tradycja ucieczek do Ameryki Południowej w przekonaniu, że tam znajdzie się azyl i będzie można bezkarnie dożywać spokojnie swoich dni pomimo popełnianych przestępstw, wcale nie zanika. Działania tego rodzaju, jak te rządu brazylijskiego, przekonanie takie podtrzymują i sprawiają, że poczucie bezkarności może niestety bardzo się rozprzestrzenić. Dlatego jest rzeczą niesłychanie istotną, ażeby ten wniosek ekstradycyjny został przyjęty pozytywnie.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mariann Fischer Boel, Member of the Commission. − Madam President, the Commission is aware of the Brazilian Justice Minister’s recent decision to grant political asylum to an Italian citizen, Cesare Battisti, condemned in absentia to a life sentence by the Italian judiciary.

We have carefully considered the Commission’s role in this situation, especially after Italy’s European Affairs Minister, Andrea Ronchi, called on Vice-President Barrot last week for the EU to support Italy’s extradition request to the Brazilian Government.

As was also explained to the Italian Government, there is no scope for an involvement of the Commission in this case. The EU Treaty is very clear on this matter: the European Union’s and Commission’s legal powers in the field of cooperation in criminal matters are restricted to the legal space of the EU-27. The European Union can facilitate extradition between Member States, but has no competences regarding Member States’ relations with third countries on criminal cooperation matters. Italy’s bilateral relations with Brazil on this matter are governed by a bilateral agreement signed in 1989.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Η συζήτησε έληξε.

Περνάμε τώρα στις ψηφοφορίες.

 
  

(1)Βλ. Συνοπτικά Πρακτικά


12. Período de votação
Vídeo das intervenções
MPphoto
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Το επόμενο σημείο είναι οι ψηφοφορίες.

(Για τα αποτελέσματα και λοιπές πληροφορίες επί της ψηφοφορίας: βλ. Συνοπτικά Πρακτικά)

- Πριν από τις ψηφοφορίες

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Martine Roure (PSE). - Madame la Présidente, vous allez trouver que je fais preuve de mauvaise humeur, mais je trouve que des rapports aussi importants, des résolutions aussi importantes votées par aussi peu de députés – et ce ne sont pas ceux qui sont là, bien sûr, qui sont coupables –, franchement, je trouve que c'est désolant et vraiment je me demande quelle crédibilité nous avons.

Donc, moi personnellement, je ne pourrai pas accepter encore longtemps que nous soyons aussi peu et il va bien falloir à un moment donné que l'on pose la question du quorum. Je sais bien qu'il faut être 40 pour demander le quorum. Comme on est à peine plus de 40, c'est difficile, mais enfin quand même, Je pense qu'il faudra faire quelque chose.

(Applaudissements)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Εφόσον δεν υπάρχουν 40 βουλευτές που θέτουν το θέμα, περνάμε στις ψηφοφορίες.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marios Matsakis (ALDE). - Madam President, this has happened for the last five years. It is not just today that it has happened. It is a little bit too late to note it today.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Zuzana Roithová (PPE-DE). - Já bych chtěla jenom zdůraznit, že ten problém se týká socialistů a případně dalších frakcí, nikoliv Evropské lidové strany, která si je vědoma odpovědnosti za tato důležitá témata a je zde přítomna v podstatně větším počtu než ostatní.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Gérard Onesta (Verts/ALE). - Madame la Présidente, vous avez parfaitement raison. La procédure de quorum ne peut être appliquée qu'à la demande de 40 collègues, ou par la présidente de séance. Donc, si vous le souhaitez, si vous estimez, comme l'a dit notre collègue Roure, que c'est un débat trop important pour être tranché maintenant, vous pouvez, vous-même, maintenant, demander le quorum et faire tomber ce vote, si vous le pensez utile.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Mario Mauro, Autore. − Signora Presidente, ringrazio il collega Onesta ma penso sia sprecato l'ennesimo tentativo di salvare in extremis un terrorista pluricondannato.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Bernd Posselt (PPE-DE). - Frau Präsidentin! Ich möchte nur sagen, dass gerade am Donnerstagnachmittag die wichtigsten Themen behandelt werden, und dass wir deshalb diese wichtigen Themen, weil sie dringlich sind, auch am Donnerstagnachmittag erledigen müssen. Schuld sind nur diejenigen, die am Donnerstag fehlen. Das sind Schwänzer, und sie sollen sich überlegen, ob sie noch einmal für das Europäische Parlament kandidieren.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Πρόεδρος. - Το θέμα έχει μία ευρύτερη πολιτική διάσταση. Οι υπεύθυνοι είναι πολλοί: οι πολιτικές ομάδες αλλά και ο κάθε βουλευτής. Δεν μπορώ να ανακινήσω τη διαδικασία κ. Onesta. Ο κανονισμός λέει ότι μπορώ να απαντήσω στο αίτημα 40 βουλευτών, κάτι το οποίο όμως αυτή τη στιγμή δεν υπάρχει.

 

12.1. Situação no Sri Lanka (votação)
  

- Πριν από την ψηφοφορία επί της παραγράφου 2

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Manuel Medina Ortega, Autor. − Estoy presente en esta reunión pero, en virtud de un acuerdo adoptado por el Grupo socialista, no participo en la votación, pero estoy presente.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, I am asking for a last-minute change to the wording of the oral amendment – if the House will allow – because we have now managed to establish what the confusion was in the joint resolution.

The wording originally said ‘non-fire period’, and that did not make any sense to us, so we changed it to ‘ceasefire’. It now transpires that the official text from the Declaration of the Co-Chairs, which includes the European Union, uses the wording – which is strange, but nevertheless they use it in writing – ‘no-fire’ period. So, could we change the ‘non-fire’ to ‘no-fire’ rather than the word ‘ceasefire’, as this would reflect the official text of the Co-Chairs?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marios Matsakis (ALDE). - Madam President, I think there is something else further down the line and I think Mr Tannock should tell us about that as well before we vote. There is another small change.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock (PPE-DE), author. – Madam President, including the word ‘humanitarian’ aid, which is just to make it clear what kind of aid we are talking about.

But the important thing is to declare a ‘no-fire period’, which is the wording in the Co-Chairs’ declaration.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Raül Romeva i Rueda, Autor. − Sí, hay algo ?pero no sé si es un problema de comprensión o no?. Teóricamente, la versión que tenemos de la enmienda oral es que el texto que debería quedar es «cease fire», no «non fire». ¿Es así o es una mala interpretación por mi parte?

El texto que tiene que quedar es «cease fire»

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, I have just realised that, owing to the order in which the amendments have been printed on the voting list, I was actually reading out the oral amendment to recital K. I apologise for the confusion, but in fact we are now amending paragraph 2. That may explain why there was some confusion. Could we switch the voting list around? I do apologise, but I have things down in the wrong order on my list. I was actually reading out the change I wanted to make to recital K, rather than to paragraph 2, so that is the one we will be voting on next. I do apologise for the confusion.

The amendment to paragraph 2, which should have been the one we took last time, is: ‘Believes that a military victory over the LTTE, as envisaged by the Government of Sri Lanka, will not obviate the need to find a political solution in order to ensure a lasting peace’. That is as it is on the voting list.

 
  
 

(Η προφορική τροπολογία κρατείται)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marios Matsakis (ALDE). - Madam President, in order to be correct I think we have to vote on recital K now.

 
  
 

- Πριν από την ψηφοφορία επί της αιτιολογικής σκέψης ΙΑ

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, I will now repeat it correctly for the sake of Mr Romeva i Rueda.

Recital K, as amended orally, should read now: ‘whereas the Tokyo Co-Chairs have called jointly on the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to declare a no-fire period to allow for evacuation of the sick and wounded and provision of humanitarian aid to civilians,’.

 
  
 

(Η προφορική τροπολογία κρατείται)

 

12.2. Situação dos refugiados birmaneses na Tailândia (votação)
  

- Πριν από την ψηφοφορία επί της παραγράφου 2:

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, I notice once again that the officials have not actually written the oral amendments in the same order as they are actually voted on, so I will be very careful to pick the right order myself this time. For paragraph 2, we want to add the words at the end of the paragraph, ‘as well as deliberate impoverishment, arbitrary taxation and land confiscation’.

 
  
 

(Η προφορική τροπολογία κρατείται)

- Πριν από την ψηφοφορία επί της παραγράφου 5

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, amended orally as follows for paragraph 5: ‘Welcomes the Thai Government’s cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and calls for immediate and full access to all the detained Rohingya boat people in order to define their protection needs; calls at the same time on the Government of Thailand to sign the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto;’.

 
  
 

(Η προφορική τροπολογία κρατείται)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, I will read out the entire text for paragraph 6 as amended orally: ‘Stresses that the boat people issue which affects Thailand and other countries is essentially a regional one; views positively the efforts of the Thai Government to increase cooperation among regional neighbours to address the Rohingya issue; welcomes in this respect the meeting held on 23 January by the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Kasit Piromya, with the Ambassadors of India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Burma; and appeals to the members of ASEAN, and in particular the Thai chair and relevant international organisations, to work on a permanent solution to this long-standing problem;’.

 
  
 

(Η προφορική τροπολογία κρατείται)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Charles Tannock, author. − Madam President, recital E should read as follows: ‘whereas the United Nations refugee agency has voiced its concern about the reports of mistreatment of the Burmese refugees and gained access to some of the 126 Rohingya still kept in custody by the Thai authorities’.

 
  
 

(Η προφορική τροπολογία κρατείται)

 

12.3. Recusa de extradição do Brasil de Cesare Battisti (votação)

13. Correcções e intenções de voto: ver Acta

14. Seguimento dado às posições e resoluções do Parlamento: ver Acta

15. Decisões sobre determinados documentos: ver acta

16. Transmissão dos textos aprovados durante a presente sessão: ver Acta

17. Declarações escritas inscritas no registo (artigo 116º do Regimento): ver acta.

18. Calendário das próximas sessões : Ver Acta
Vídeo das intervenções

19. Interrupção da Sessão
Vídeo das intervenções
  

(Η συνεδρίαση λήγει στις 4.35 μ.μ.)

 

ANEXO (Respostas escritas)
QUESTIONS TO COUNCIL (The Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the European Union bears sole responsibility for these answers)
Question no 6 by Mairead McGuinness (H-1046/08)
 Subject: Food prices
 

Can the Council comment on the Commission Communication on Food Prices in Europe (COM(2008)0821), published last December? Does the Council think the Communication adequately addresses the current market situation where agricultural commodity prices and energy prices have fallen dramatically?

Does the Council have a view on the need for greater market monitoring and intelligence in order to deal with fluctuations in both commodity prices and food prices?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council would like to inform the Honourable Member that the Commission Communication on food prices in Europe was presented to the Council at its session on 19 January 2009. This Communication follows up on a request by the June 2008 European Council to investigate the causes of the sharp increase in food prices following the even stronger rise in commodity prices.

The Communication reviews recent developments in agricultural commodities and food prices. It proposes, in particular, ways of improving the functioning of the food chain in Europe, setting out a work programme to improve its functioning. In addition, a need to balance the global supply and demand for food and to remove barriers in international trade is also, inter alia, noticed.

The Presidency considers that the Council's discussions were useful in giving Members of the Council the opportunity to exchange views on this important issue. During the course of the discussions, a number of views were expressed. Several delegations, for instance, raised the weak position of producers in the face of big retail chains and the need to reflect price decreases throughout the whole food supply chain.

Most delegations agreed on the need to monitor closely the market, and the Commission undertook to report back on this issue by the end of 2009.

 

Question no 7 by Seán Ó Neachtain (H-1048/08)
 Subject: Stability of the Central African Republic
 

In December 2008 the ’Crisis Watch’ of the International Crisis Group declared that the risk of renewed violence in the Central African Republic has never been greater than it is today. Caught between Chad, Sudan and the DRC, the CAR also has internal instability risks. Fears have been expressed that fragile stability in the country will not be maintained, due to a lack of well-trained, experienced and adequately equipped peacekeeping troops and a lack of political will on the part of the international community. What can and will the Council do to ensure that the CAR does not become another Chad or DRC?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council has repeatedly expressed its concern about the continuation of the humanitarian crisis in the North-East of the Central African Republic (CAR). The Council is also aware of the need to create conditions in this area (CAR) which are favourable to the voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons, and to the reconstruction and the economic and social development of the region.

For this reason, the EU provides many different types of support to the Central African Republic, just as it does to Chad. The ESDP operation EUFOR Chad/RCA is one part of this multidimensional response. Action by the Commission in support of development cooperation, as well as the provision of humanitarian aid, offer additional support.

The EU operation EUFOR Chad/RCA had already made a considerable contribution to the stabilisation of the region, together with the UN mission MINURCAT as well as UNAMID in Darfur. EUFOR Chad/RCA in particular provided protection for refugees, displaced persons and humanitarian staff.

EUFOR Chad/RCA is a military bridging operation for twelve months and will end on 15 March 2009. The Council has underlined the importance of full deployment of the United Nations Mission in Chad and CAR (MINURCAT), approved by Resolution 1861 (2009) of the UN Security Council when the EUFOR mandate expires. Full deployment of MINURCAT is key to providing an effective response to the non military threats of banditry and crime.

Against this background, and having consulted the Central African authorities, the Council has insisted that all steps be taken to ensure that arrangements on the follow-up to the EU's operation be put in place, including through a United Nations operation, in accordance with Article 10 of Resolution 1778.

 

Question no 8 by Liam Aylward (H-1051/08)
 Subject: New initiatives to combat child labour
 

What new initiatives is the Council pursuing to combat global child exploitation and child labour?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The fight against child labour is a core element of the European Union's human rights agenda and needs to be tackled at all levels and in different areas of action. The EU is pursuing a comprehensive approach to the elimination of all forms of child labour, covering the political, trade and development governance dimensions and actions with regard to the alleviation of poverty, the labour market, the social dialogue and social protection, with an emphasis on free and universal primary education.

The Czech Presidency intends to initiate discussions on a number of issues related to child protection. The Presidency will focus in particular on active police cooperation in searches for missing children, improved use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) for these purposes and joint action to combat illegal content on the Internet. Furthermore, the Czech Presidency will follow up on the activities of the French Presidency as well as on the conclusions of the Council concerning the Child Alert project. Child protection was the topic of an informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs ministers in Prague on 15/16 January and will also be discussed at the ministerial conferences "Safer Internet for Children" and "Children Friendly Europe", both taking place in April.

As regards child labour, based on the conclusions of the GAERC from May 2008, the European Commission is working on a report aimed at outlining the existing measures available for combating child labour; CZ PRES is awaiting its results.

Moreover, the Commission plans to submit a revision of the Council framework Decision on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography to the Council in March 2009. The Czech Presidency is prepared to launch actively the negotiations of the respective initiative, which aims to create a more effective instrument for fighting against the sexual criminality concerning children. Furthermore, under the Czech Presidency a criminal law conference on “Protection of vulnerable victims and their standing in criminal proceedings” will be held in March 2009 in Prague.

In the Human Rights context, the aim of the Czech Presidency will be to improve the cooperation and partnership of EU institutions with non-governmental organisations and to contribute to the increased effectiveness of the relevant financial tools of the EU. The evaluation of the renewed European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is expected to take place in 2009. EIDHR includes actions aimed at preventing the recruitment of children for armed conflicts and at encouraging their release and reintegration.

 

Question no 9 by Eoin Ryan (H-1053/08)
 Subject: Better regulation and supervision of the global financial services market
 

What initiatives is the Council pursuing with the United States, China and India to ensure better regulation and supervision of the global financial services market?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council Presidency is engaged in regular ministerial meetings and summits at Head of State level, with a range of third countries, including the US, China and India. At these meetings topics of mutual interest, including financial services are discussed and a common understanding is sought, where possible. Nevertheless, in the absence of a proposal from the Commission the Council is not in a position to adopt any legislative act. The current financial crisis makes the meetings with partners on the global level utmost important.

As regards the relation to the US the importance of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) should be stressed. It was established in 2007 to oversee the EU-US framework on transatlantic economic integration, this covers i.a. integration of the financial markets.

In addition, for several years the European Commission has been developing regular dialogues in the area of financial services regulation and, in some cases, macroeconomic dialogues with key economic partners. These started with the EU-US regulatory dialogue in 2002 and the EU-China dialogue followed in 2005 and the EU-India dialogue in 2006.

The Council does not participate in these dialogues, but monitors progress through the Financial Services Committee and the Economic and Financial Committee. Where appropriate the Council is briefed by the Commission on progress and has an informal exchange of views.

Finally, I recall that the G 20, including the US, China and India, held an initial meeting in Washington on November 15, 2008 to meet the serious challenges to the world economy and financial markets posed by the current crisis. The Council was represented in this meeting by the Presidency. The G 20 Heads of State agreed an ambitious action plan for measures to be taken both in the short and medium term to improve international financial regulation. This process will continue - the next meeting is already planned for April 2 this year - and this work will probably set the basis for the most important international platform for better regulation and supervision of the global financial services market.

 

Question no 10 by Brian Crowley (H-1055/08)
 Subject: Common energy policy
 

What initiatives is the Czech Presidency putting in place to ensure that there will be a common energy policy and to ensure that the European Union will be able to act as one when negotiating energy supplies?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The recent Russia-Ukraine gas dispute has underlined the importance of strengthening the Union's energy policy. The CZ PRES has placed energy on the top of its three main political priorities long before the vulnerability of EU in terms of energy dependency was once again highlighted by the disruption of supplies. As Prime Minister Topolánek said clearly two weeks ago in Budapest at the Nabucco summit, the common energy policy for Europe is an ultimate need. It is now the task of the CZ PRES to use the momentum and political will generated by the crisis to bring the most pressing short-, medium- and long-term measures into being to prevent major supply disruptions in the future, and improve our ability to cope with the consequences should the need arise. An Extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council took place on 12 January and identified a set of measures that need to be taken in this respect.

As for long-term strategic measures – diversification of supply routes, suppliers and sources is an answer. Be it Nordstream, Nabucco, Southstream or LNG terminals, diversification is beneficial in terms in lowering our energy dependency and thus strengthening the bargaining position of EU vis-à-vis its partners.

As for medium-term measures, missing energy infrastructure and interconnections should be identified and work on them should be accelerated. European internal energy market will never work unless crossborder transfers are easily possible. The same goes for European solidarity. Problems of energy islands need to be tackled. The precondition for that is to mobilise necessary financial resources, i.e. via EIB or EBRD. The Presidency will strive that priority is given to energy infrastructure projects within the frame of the European economic recovery plan.

Last but not least, short-terms emergency measures should enable us to assist Member States in need. The examples of Slovakia and Bulgaria pointed sharp to the necessity to enhance bilateral and regional solidarity arrangements.

Several other useful measures have been identified, such as improved transparency as regards gas flows, demand and storage volumes both in member states and supply /transit countries followed by the installation of the reliable metering system. The Early Warning Mechanism should be assessed and extended to the transit countries.

The revision of the Directive on the Safeguard of Security of natural gas supply can play important role too. All these measures will strengthen EU and thus enable us to talk with one voice to our energy suppliers.

The Union's energy policy is based on the Action Plan adopted by the European Council in March 2007. Work on implementing this Action Plan is underway. It will be further enhanced in the light of the Commission's Second Strategic Energy Review which was submitted to the Council in November 2008, and which focuses in particular on energy security and the need for solidarity.

The Council will review the situation on 19 February and decide on further concrete measures set out in the Second Strategic Energy Review, as well as follow up on the measures agreed on 12 January. This work will provide the basis for the European Council in March to agree on the responses which are necessary if the Union will pursue the aim of developing a common energy policy and in particular if it is to enhance its energy security.

Another important element of the common energy policy is energy efficiency. In this area, the Council will address the various legislative proposals which the Commission has recently submitted, together with the Second Strategic Energy Review, namely the recast proposal on the energy performance of buildings, the recast proposal on energy efficiency labelling of energy related products, and the proposal on the fuel efficiency labelling of tyres.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 11 της κ. Μαρίας Παναγιωτοπούλου-Κασσιώτου (H-1057/08)
 Θέμα: Επικουρικότητα σε θέματα παιδείας και κοινωνικών υποθέσεων
 

Πώς θα υποστηρίξει το Συμβούλιο την αρχή της επικουρικότητας σε θέματα που αφορούν την παιδεία, τις κοινωνικές υποθέσεις και το ιδιωτικό δίκαιο;

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council is committed to respect fully the principle of subsidiarity. It will continue to ensure, in conformity with Article 5 of the TEC, that any Community action will only be taken if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States.

In considering any proposal for action at the Community level, the Council examines not just the content of the proposal, but also assesses whether the proposal respects the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. The Council will not agree to any proposal where it considers that this is not the case.

This is no different in the areas of education and social affairs and private law highlighted by the Honourable Member. This is moreover the case as, in both these areas, the treaties provide that action by the Community is aimed at supporting and complementing the activities of the Member States. In particular, the Council is vigilant to ensure that Community action in the area of education respects the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the organisation of the educational systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity.

 

Question no 12 by Jim Higgins (H-1059/08)
 Subject: Regional development
 

Could the Council outline its specific objectives in the area of territorial cohesion and what efforts it will be making to address the spatial imbalances that exist in economic, social and environmental development within the Community?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council attaches importance to territorial cohesion as one of key aspects of Cohesion policy aiming at addressing territorial imbalances in economic, social and environmental development within the European Union. It recognises the importance of Cohesion policy for the period 2007-2013 in enabling Member States to take into account the territorial dimension. The Commission’s Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion of 6 October 2008 is currently under the public discussion, so the Council has not yet reached a final position on its content. Preliminary outputs of this public debate will be presented during the informal meeting of Ministers in charge of regional development taking place in Mariánské Lázně (the Czech Republic) in April 2009.

Nevertheless, an interim report was drawn up by the French Presidency and is publicly available(1).

The main findings of this interim report were to confirm broad support for the following broad objectives of:

- a reduction in disparities between regions in terms of development;

- sustainable and balanced development of the whole of EU territory, taking into account the specific characteristics of individual regions so as to ensure fair living conditions throughout the Union;

- promotion of the principle that each territory should have a minimum level of access to major transport infrastructure, new information and communication technologies, and the main services of general interest such as health and education;

- support for the need for both Community and national sectoral policies to take greater account of their varying impact on territories, and for better links with other European policies with a territorial impact.

However, according to the report, some delegations expressed their concerns about particular aspects of the Green Paper.

The Council will continue to follow the issue closely, and in particular as a follow-up of the public debate on the Commission's Green paper. It will be able to adopt a formal position once the Commission comes forward with any proposals in the light of this debate.

 
 

(1) doc. 17580/08

 

Question no 13 by James Nicholson (H-1062/08)
 Subject: Origin of produce / food labelling
 

In light of recent events affecting the pig industry, has the Council had any deliberations regarding the introduction of labelling the origin of all food produce so that traceability and transparency can be achieved?

Does the Council accept that this is the only way to ensure consumer confidence in the food industry?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The question of labelling of origin is currently under discussion in both the Council and European Parliament on the basis of the European Commission's Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision of food information to consumers(1).

In accordance with current Community legislation, origin labelling is required

- in cases where consumers might be misled on the true origin or provenance of the foodstuffs, and

- in application of specific rules such as those for fruit and vegetables, beef, wine, honey, fish, and imported poultry.

With respect to the labelling of the country of origin or place of provenance of a food, the basic requirement in the proposed new legislation remains the same. Labelling would therefore remain voluntary, unless failure to provide such information might mislead the consumer. In this case labelling becomes mandatory. The Commission proposal also aims to clarify the conditions under which Member States may adopt national rules on origin labelling.

This approach is based on the view that food labelling, including indications on origin, is primarily an instrument of consumer information. Origin labelling cannot by itself be regarded as a tool for contributing to food safety, as it does not address the causes of contaminations such as that referred to by the Honourable Member.

All food and feed legally placed on the market in the European Union must be safe, irrespective of where it comes from. In order to safeguard consumer confidence, this basic principle must continue to be the cornerstone of EU food safety policy.

 
 

(1) COM(2008)40 final - 2008/0028 (COD).

 

Question no 14 by Claude Moraes (H-1064/08)
 Subject: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
 

In June 2008 the Council announced that 2008 ‘should mark a turning point in enhancing the collective efforts to eradicate poverty in the context of sustainable development, in order to ensure that by 2015 all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be achieved worldwide’.

What progress can the Council report regarding its efforts to achieve the MDGs, and does the Council feel that 2008 marked such a turning point?

Furthermore, what initiatives is the Council planning to take in the coming year to help ensure that all of the MDGs are met by 2015?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The EU has demonstrated its commitment to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) through the "EU Agenda for Action on MDGs", endorsed by the European Council in June 2008. This Agenda for Action sets a number of milestones which will contribute to this objective, and provides examples of EU action in support of the commitments already made by the EU.

The EU Agenda identifies priority actions in key areas such as education, environment, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, pro-poor growth, infrastructure and gender equality. Action is also needed to enhance the integration of cross-cutting issues in all sectors. The EU has proposed to its partners in development to share this Agenda for Action, which should also be taken into account in the context of the joint Africa-EU Strategy and its different partnerships adopted at the Lisbon Summit. Ownership of the agenda by partner countries will represent a key factor in ensuring its success.

In light of progress made in some countries and areas, the EU is convinced that all the MDGs can still be attained in all regions of the world, provided that concerted and sustained action be taken between now and 2015. However, the EU is seriously concerned about the effects of the trend in many countries and regions, in particular sub-Saharan Africa, in terms of achievement of the MDGs.

New challenges have emerged that may undermine the achievement of the MDGs: global financial crisis, high and volatile food and commodity prices. The emergence of new actors has made the aid architecture more complex. The priority given to combating climate change and to strengthening developing countries’ capacity to adapt has been continuously growing, leading to the new increased collective effort by way of additional aid. A renewed commitment from the international community in support of the Monterrey Consensus and the readiness to take further action are required if these new challenges are to be tackled.

In its Guidelines for the participation in the Doha Conference on Financing for Development, the EU stated that the poorest countries and countries in situation of fragility should not be the victims of the current crisis, which must not undermine the implementation of commitments in support of the Monterrey consensus and the achievement of the MDGs.

Against this background, the EU will maintain its leading role in providing financial support towards achievement of the MDGs including to maintain its ODA commitments and will make every effort to ensure an ambitious action oriented response by the wider international community. The Council will discuss these issues in detail during the GAERC meeting in May 2009.

 

Anfrage Nr. 15 von Bernd Posselt (H-1068/08)
 Betrifft: Menschenrechte in Kuba
 

Wie beurteilt der Rat die Menschenrechtssituation in Kuba und insbesondere die Lage von Ricardo González Alfonso, der seit mehr als fünf Jahren im Gefängnis sitzt und von „Reporter ohne Grenzen“ im Dezember zum Journalisten des Jahres gewählt wurde?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The respect and promotion of human rights and of the freedom of opinion and expression is a core element of the EU's external relations policy.

In its conclusions of 23 June 2008, the Council called upon the Cuban Government to improve the human rights situation by, inter alia, releasing unconditionally all political prisoners, including those who were detained and sentenced in 2003. It also called on the Cuban Government to facilitate access of international humanitarian organizations to Cuban prisons. The Council has also "reaffirmed its determination to pursue a dialogue with the Cuban authorities as well as with representatives of civil society and democratic opposition, in accordance with EU policies, in order to promote respect for human rights and real progress towards a pluralist democracy. The EU will continue to offer to all sectors of society practical support towards peaceful change in Cuba, and will press the Cuban Government to grant freedom of information and expression including access to the Internet.

The dialogue with the Cuban authorities was re-opened at the ministerial meeting of 16 October 2008. It provided an opportunity for the EU to outline to the Cuban Government its views on democracy, universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. At the same time the EU maintains its contacts with the democratic opposition.

The evolution of human rights and of the freedom of opinion in Cuba will be an important element in the evaluation of the EU's relations with Cuba including the effectiveness of the political dialogue process.

As concerns individual cases, the Council follows them closely and raises them with the Cuban authorities at every available opportunity.

 

Question no 16 by Gay Mitchell (H-1070/08)
 Subject: European Parliament elections
 

Despite a steady increase in the power and responsibility of the European Parliament, voter participation in European elections has steadily declined from a Union-wide average of 63% in 1979 to 45.3% in 2004. With fresh elections due in June, how does the Council propose to engage the electorate in each Member State, communicate the importance of the European Parliament and reverse this trend?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The issue of electoral participation is a matter for each individual Member State and information campaigns concerning elections to the European Parliament are organised in each Member State in accordance with national legislation. It would not therefore be appropriate for the Council to take a position on this issue nor to undertake any particular initiatives.

However the European Parliament, Council and Commission in their political declaration of 22 October 2008, entitled "Communicating Europe in Partnership" underlined the utmost importance of improving communication generally on EU issues in order to enable European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union.

The Council, for its part, in its conclusions on “Communicating Europe in Partnership", has pointed out that “occasions such as direct elections to the European Parliament provide good opportunities to enhance communication with citizens on EU issues and to inform and encourage their participation in the political debate”.

In accordance with that declaration, the Council recognises the importance of addressing the communication challenge on EU issues in partnership between Member States and the other institutions to ensure effective communication with, and objective information to, the widest possible audience at the appropriate level.

Under the declaration the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission highlighted the “European Parliament elections” as one of the inter-institutional communication priorities for 2009.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 17 του κ. Δημητρίου Παπαδημούλη (H-0002/09)
 Θέμα: Ανάγκη επιβολής πολιτικών, διπλωματικών και οικονομικών κυρώσεων εναντίον του Ισραήλ
 

Το Συμβούλιο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης (ΕΕ) στις 8.12.2008 υιοθέτησε κείμενο (17041/08) «Συμπεράσματα του Συμβουλίου για την ενδυνάμωση των διμερών σχέσεων της Ε.Ε. με τους μεσογειακούς εταίρους» με το οποίο αναβαθμίζονται οι σχέσεις ΕΕ-Ισραήλ, παρότι το Ισραήλ είχε επιβάλει πολύμηνο αποκλεισμό της λωρίδας της Γάζας και επέκτεινε τους εποικισμούς και τη βία εναντίον των Παλαιστινίων. Το Συμβούλιο, με την απόφαση αυτή, ενθάρρυνε την αδιαλλαξία και την επιθετικότητα του Ισραήλ και εξέθεσε την ΕΕ στον αραβικό κόσμο.

Ενώ συνεχίζεται η εγκληματική ισραηλινή επίθεση στη Γάζα με εκατοντάδες νεκρούς και χιλιάδες τραυματισμένους Παλαιστινίους, στη μεγάλη τους πλειοψηφία αμάχους, προτίθεται το Συμβούλιο να ακυρώσει την απόφαση αναβάθμισης των σχέσεων ΕΕ-Ισραήλ, καθώς και την προηγούμενη συμφωνία αμυντικής συνεργασίας ΕΕ-Ισραήλ (1993); Ποια άλλα πολιτικά, διπλωματικά και οικονομικά μέτρα θα λάβει κατά του Ισραήλ για να σταματήσει την πολιτική γενοκτονίας των Παλαιστινίων;

 
 

Pergunta nº 18 do Pedro Guerreiro (H-0007/09)
 Assunto: Relações entre a EU e Israel
 

A UE decidiu, em Dezembro passado, reafirmar a sua determinação no reforço do nível e da intensidade das suas relações bilaterais com Israel, no contexto da adopção de um novo instrumento que substituirá o actual Plano de Acção a partir de Abril de 2009. Nas linhas directrizes que definem o reforço do diálogo político com Israel, aponta-se: incrementar cimeiras bilaterais a todos os níveis; abrir mais frequentemente a Israel o Comité Político e de Segurança da UE; facilitar a audição de peritos israelitas pelos grupos e comités do Conselho da UE; sistematizar e alargar as consultas estratégicas informais; encorajar o alinhamento de Israel com a Política Externa e de Segurança Comum da UE; permitir a cooperação no terreno em matéria de Política Europeia de Segurança e Defesa da UE; e encorajar a inserção e implicação de Israel em instituições multilaterais, como a ONU. É esta decisão e este processo que o embaixador de Israel junto da UE considera não estarem em causa, afirmando que as posições de Israel e da UE são actualmente convergentes.

Face ao recrudescimento da cruel e injustificada agressão de Israel ao povo palestiniano na Faixa de Gaza, aos hediondos crimes perpetrados pelo exército israelita, ao mais completo desrespeito do direito internacional e dos direitos humanos por parte de Israel nos territórios ocupados palestinianos, porque é que o Conselho não condena Israel e suspende os acordos com Israel e qualquer processo que vise o seu reforço?

 
 

Question no 19 by David Martin (H-0012/09)
 Subject: EU-Israel trade relations
 

In light of the ongoing military action in Gaza, the excessive and disproportionate use of force by Israel and in light of the thousands of civilian casualties and the killing of innocent Palestinian citizens, in what way does the Council plan to reconsider its trading relations with Israel?

 
 

Fråga nr 20 från Jens Holm (H-0014/09)
 Angående: Upphävning av avtal med Israel
 

Under julhelgen inledde Israel operation Gjutet bly. I skrivande stund har över 900 palestinier dödats och tusentals skadats. I artikel två i samarbetsavtalet EU-Israel krävs att mänskliga rättigheter ska respekteras. Det är mer uppenbart än någonsin att Israel har kränkt detta. I oktober 2005 hävde EU samarbetsavtalet med Uzbekistan med hänvisning till artikel 2.

Är rådet berett att se till att sätta kraft bakom kravet på mänskliga rättigheter i handelsavtalet med Israel och häva avtalet? Vilka övriga åtgärder planeras för att Israel ska upphöra med våldet?

 
 

Pregunta nº 21 formulada por Willy Meyer Pleite (H-0018/09):
 Asunto: Congelación Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Israel por incumplimiento artículo 2 sobre derechos humanos
 

La reciente guerra de Gaza ha vuelto a poner de manifiesto que el gobierno de Israel vulnera el Derecho Internacional Penal y Humanitario en relación al conflicto con el pueblo palestino.

El Acuerdo de Asociación UE-Israel contiene una cláusula de condicionamiento del mismo al cumplimiento de los derechos humanos. Los incumplimientos son claros por parte del gobierno de Israel: el uso de fuerza excesiva e indiscriminada por parte de su ejército provocando la muerte de población civil; los daños y destrucción de infraestructuras civiles (hospitales, universidades, puentes, carreteras, suministro eléctrico, alcantarillados); las demoliciones de casas; el cerco y aislamiento a la población de Gaza, las detenciones arbitrarias acompañadas de malos tratos y torturas.

Ante esta situación,

¿Considera el Consejo que debe congelarse el actual Acuerdo UE-Israel en tanto en cuanto no se respete su cláusula de cumplimiento de los derechos humanos?

 
 

Ερώτηση αρ. 22 του κ. Γεωργίου Τούσσα (H-0024/09)
 Θέμα: Απαγόρευση αραβικών πολιτικών κομμάτων από τις εκλογές στο Ισραήλ
 

Στις 12 Ιανουαρίου, η Kεντρική Εκλογική Επιτροπή του Ισραήλ αποφάσισε να απαγορεύσει τη συμμετοχή στις επικείμενες εκλογές του Φεβρουαρίου των δύο αραβικών πολιτικών κομμάτων, τα οποία συμμετέχουν στο ισραηλινό κοινοβούλιο (Kνεσέτ), και συγκεκριμένα της Ενωμένης Aραβικής Λίστας - Ta'al και του Balad. H απόφαση αυτή, που οδηγεί στον αποκλεισμό των ισραηλινών πολιτών αραβικής καταγωγής από την πολιτική ζωή, αναιρεί τα δημοκρατικά πολιτικά δικαιώματα της αραβικής κοινότητας στο Ισραήλ και παραβιάζει βάναυσα τις πολιτικές ελευθερίες και το δικαίωμα της ελευθερίας της έκφρασης. H απαγόρευση αυτή των αραβικών κομμάτων συνδέεται και έρχεται να προστεθεί στον εγκληματικό πόλεμο της ισραηλινής κυβέρνησης ενάντια στον παλαιστινιακό λαό, τη βάρβαρη σφαγή χιλιάδων παλαιστινίων αμάχων στη Λωρίδα της Γάζας, ανάμεσά τους εκατοντάδων παιδιών.

Ενόψει της πολιτικής αυτής του Ισραήλ, που παραβιάζει απροκάλυπτα το διεθνές δίκαιο και τις δημοκρατικές ελευθερίες, καταδικάζει το Συμβούλιο την ενέργεια αυτή του Ισραήλ; Προτίθεται να αναστείλει την εφαρμογή της συμφωνίας σύνδεσης της ΕΕ με το Ισραήλ;

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council fully shares the preoccupations of the Honourable Member on the dire situation of civilians in the Gaza strip.

The European Union deeply deplores the loss of life during this conflict, particularly the civilian casualties. The Council has reminded all parties to the conflict, most recently in the conclusions of its meeting on 26 January, to fully respect human rights and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law. The Council continues to raise its serious human rights concerns with Israel in the framework of all high level meetings, most recently during the EU Foreign Ministers' dinner with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on 21 January 2009.

The issues of the EU-Israel Association agreement and of the upgrading of the relations with Israel, raised by the Honourable Members, were not addressed in the conclusions of the Council meeting of 26 January. In general, the Council considers it vital to keep all channels of diplomatic and political contact open and that positive persuasion and dialogue is the most effective approach for conveying messages from the EU.

Concerning the specific issue of the ban on two Arab parties taking part in elections in Israel, the Council has taken note of a decision of the Supreme Court of the State of Israel which on 21 January 2009 overturned a decision by the Central Elections Committee banning the "National Democratic Assembly - Balad" and the "United Arab List and Arab Movement for Change" political party lists from standing in the upcoming elections to the Israeli parliament (Knesset) scheduled to take place on 10 February 2009.

 

Question no 23 by Linda McAvan (H-0003/09)
 Subject: Teachers in developing countries
 

Efforts to increase attendance at school in the developing world have had considerable success, but the increase in the number of pupils in schools has not been matched by an increase in the number of teachers. In many classrooms in developing countries, the pupil-to-teacher ratio is often 100:1, or even higher. Current International Monetary Fund conditions attached to loans to developing countries place restrictions on public sector spending as a whole, and also impose a ceiling limit for teachers' wages. Millions of school children are not getting the education they need because fiscal rules prevent developing countries from employing enough teachers.

Given that providing children with a decent education is vital to ensuring real, lasting development, will the Council put pressure on the IMF to allow greater fiscal flexibility so that developing countries can provide their children with the teachers they so desperately need?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council fully shares the concerns of the Honourable Member about the low number of teachers – and other key professionals such as doctors or nurses – in many developing countries.

To achieve universal primary education by 2015 is the second of the Millennium Development Goals. In line with this objective, the Union has identified education as one of the multi-dimensional aspects of poverty eradication in the European Consensus on Development. Where circumstances permit, the EU also encourages the use of general or sectoral budget support for education budgets.

The issue of lack of teachers and their low wages is a particular problem for developing countries, where the empowerment of teachers is critical to the provision of education in general. In accordance with the principle of ownership, it is for the partner countries to establish their own development priorities and to allocate the share of the budget to be dedicated to education accordingly. At the same time, teachers' wages should be set at a reasonable level in comparison with the average national wages within the public sector.

As far as the IMF is concerned, the Member States of the Union are just some of the 185 countries which are members. Most of these are developing countries, which of course also have a say on how the IMF operates. In the event that member countries experience difficulties in financing their balance of payments, the IMF is a fund that can be tapped to facilitate recovery. A policy program supported by financing is designed by the national authorities in close cooperation with the IMF, and continued financial support is conditional on the effective implementation of this program.

The IMF also provides low-income countries with loans at a concessional interest rate through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and the Exogenous Shocks Facility (ESF).

 

Question no 24 by Tadeusz Zwiefka (H-0010/09)
 Subject: Broadcast of outlawed TV station al-Manar
 

Recently, Germany banned the operations of al-Manar TV across Germany. The ban order makes it illegal for anyone to cooperate with al-Manar TV. This follows broadcasting bans on al-Manar TV in France, Spain and the Netherlands because of al-Manar TV’s violation of European audiovisual laws.

According to the ban order, issued on 11 November by the German Federal Minister of the Interior, the 'purpose and activity of al-Manar TV is to support, advocate and call for the use of violence as a means to achieving political and religious aims.'The ban order also describes al-Manar TV as disseminating 'calls for ‘martyrdom’ through suicide bombings'and lists al-Manar TV’s use of verses in the Quran to justify and promote violence.

What steps is the Council planning to take in order to stop the broadcasting of al-Manar TV into Europe via Nilesat? Has the EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator made any recommendations on how to prevent the radicalisation of Muslims in Europe through terrorist television stations like al-Manar TV?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council, together as co-legislator with the European Parliament, adopted on 18 December 2007 Directive 2007/65/EC (the "Audiovisual Media Services Directive") which updated the legal framework for television broadcasting and audiovisual media services in the EU(1). Article 3b of this Directive prohibits broadcasts inciting hatred on grounds of race, sex, religion or nationality.

The scope of this Directive, and its predecessor the "Television without Frontiers Directive" can include programmes broadcast by organisations established outside the EU, such as Al Manar and Al Aqsa, but it is necessary that they use satellite facilities "appertaining to a Member State". It is on this basis, the Council understands, that the regulatory authority of France issued an order in January 2009 against the broadcasting of Al Aqsa on Eutelsat. However, the situation of Nilesat and Arabsat, on which Al Manar is still available, different due to the non-usage of EU satellite facilities. An appropriate EU response is therefore more difficult to establish.

Faced with this situation, the Council is aware that the Commission is exploring ways to highlight this issue in its political dialogue with both Egypt and the Lebanon. The Council will similarly seek to ensure that this question is addressed in its dealings with these countries.

Radicalisation and recruitment has been one of the highly important EU security issues for several years. Specific EU documents have been prepared and approved to deal with this phenomenon, including strategic documents like the European Union Counter Terrorism Strategy and its Action Plan, the EU Strategy to counter radicalisation and recruitment and its Action Plan.

The EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator has been encouraging the development of measures to counter radicalisation in Europe and elsewhere, which is one of the main threats facing Europe as recognised in the Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy delivered to the last European Summit. A revised strategy and action plan to counter radicalisation was adopted by the JHA Council on 27/28 November 2008.

 
 

(1) JO L 322 of 18 December 2007 pp 27 - 45.

 

Question no 25 by Kathy Sinnott (H-0015/09)
 Subject: Leisure fisheries
 

I understand that the Czech Presidency intends to start discussions at working group level on the Commission's proposal for codification of existing EU control and enforcement legislation in fisheries. A certain aspect of the proposal related to leisure and sport fisheries will have significant implications for people in Ireland.

Can the Czech Presidency elaborate on what measures it will be discussing in relation to control of recreational fisheries?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council can confirm that a proposal for a Regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy was submitted to the Council by the Commission on 14 November 2008.(1) The proposal includes measures for the control of recreational fishing, such as the registration of catches or the requirement for authorization.

Discussions at the Working Party level of the Council started on 22 January.

The Council will give its full attention to all aspects of the Commission proposal. However since the Council has only recently begun to examine the proposal, it is no yet in a position to take a substantive view on any measures contained within it.

 
 

(1) Docs. 15694/08 PECHE 312 + ADD 1 and ADD 2.

 

küsimus nr. 26, esitaja Katrin Saks (H-0017/09)
 Teema: Piir Euroopa Liidu, Eesti ja Venemaa vahel
 

1997. aastal soovitas Euroopa Liit Venemaal kiiresti Eestiga piirileping alla kirjutada. 18.5.2005 kirjutasid riigid alla piirileppele, millelt Venemaa võttis oma allkirja tagasi, kuna Venemaa ametivõimud ei nõustunud Eesti parlamendi poolt lisatud omapoolse deklaratsiooniga, milles viidati 1920. aasta Tartu rahulepingule ja Teisele maailmasõjale järgnenud okupatsioonile. 2006. a augusti lõpus tegi Venemaa Eestile ettepaneku asuda läbirääkimistesse uute piirilepingute üle, kus leiaks märkimist, et poolte vahel puuduvad territoriaalsed vaidlused ning kõik endised piiriteemat puudutavad lepingud kaotavad kehtivuse. 25.12.2007 antud usutluses uudisteagentuurile Interfax kutsus Eesti Vabariigi välisminister Urmas Paet Venemaa võime üles piirilepingut ratifitseerima. Ühtlasi on Eesti tervitanud Venemaa ja Läti piirilepingute jõustumist 18.12.2007. Iga edusamm ELi-Venemaa suhete asetamises kindlale lepingulisele pinnale on kogu EL ja ka Eesti huvides. Kui Läti-Vene piirileping jõustus, siis võiks see olla Venemaale julgustuseks ka Eesti-Vene piirilepinguga edasi minna.

Kas nõukogu eesistuja võiks täpsustada oma suhtumist ja kavatsetavaid meetmeid liidu ühe liikmesriigi toetamiseks, kes seisab silmitsi sedavõrd olulise probleemiga, nagu seda on riigipiiride vaidlustamine ja mittetunnustamine?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council has for many years, and in particular since Estonia joined the European Union on 1 May 2004, insisted with Russia on the importance of the signature and ratification of the border agreement with Estonia for EU-Russia relations.

The Council welcomed the signature of the border agreement in May 2005 and the ratification by the Estonian parliament in June 2005, and was looking forward to the ratification of the agreement also by Russia and its early entry into force. The Council therefore expressed its regret when Russia decided to withdraw its signature from the border agreement.

As the matter remains unresolved, the Council will continue to insist with Russia on the importance of the signature and ratification of the border agreement for EU-Russia relations, and regrets that aspects of history have led to difficulties.

Although border issues essentially fall within the competence of Member States, the Council more generally underlines the importance it attaches to the legal certainty of the external borders of the Member states of the EU and neighbour countries, as well as to stable relations between EU Member States and Russia. In this regard, the demarcation of all EU-Russia borders should be completed according to international standards as set out in the Road Map on Freedom, Security and Justice, adopted at the EU-Russia Moscow Summit in May 2005 as an instrument for the implementation of the Common Spaces created in May 2003.

 

Zapytanie nr 27 skierowane przez Krzysztof Hołowczyc (H-0022/09)
 Przedmiot: Bezpieczeństwo w ruchu drogowym
 

Na poziomie wspólnotowym podejmujemy wiele inicjatyw legislacyjnych, których celem jest ograniczenie śmiertelności na drogach UE. Jest to w zgodzie z TWE (art. 6 lit. a TWE). Natomiast szczegółowe regulacje bezpośrednio dotyczące uczestników ruchu drogowego, na mocy Traktatu, najczęściej są regulowane przez kodeksy ruchu drogowego państw członkowskich. Wyjątkiem są tutaj przepisy standaryzacyjne dla produktów odblaskowych, opracowane przez Europejski Komitet Standaryzacyjny, których przestrzeganie w produkcji tychże pozostaje obowiązkiem wszystkich państw członkowskich.

Czy Rada planuje wziąć pod uwagę, że tylko 12 państw członkowskich posiada regulacje dotyczące ochrony uczestników ruchu drogowego przez stosowanie odzieży odblaskowej, wspierając działania na rzecz zwiększenia bezpieczeństwa na drogach UE, również planowane przez Prezydencję w nowym programie bezpieczeństwa drogowego w latach 2011-2020?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council attaches the greatest importance to road safety. Recently, several EU presidencies, including the Czech presidency, emphasised the need to strengthen, at Community level, policy on road safety. In particular, the Work Programme of the Czech Presidency states that there should be an opening of a discussion on the future orientation of the EU policies concerning road safety. However, according to the EC Treaty, the Council can only take legislation action on the basis of a Commission proposal.

On the specific issue raised by the honourable member of the European Parliament - use of reflective clothing - the Council is aware of the fact that twelve Member States have already adopted legislation concerning the use of such clothing. The Commission has so far presented no legislative proposal on the matter on the basis of which the Council could consider taking action as co-legislator with the European Parliament.

 

Question no 28 by Sajjad Karim (H-0025/09)
 Subject: European Blue Card Directive
 

On 20 November 2008, the European Parliament adopted, by 388 votes to 56 with 124 abstentions, a legislative resolution (P6_TA(2008)0557) amending the proposal for a Council directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment (European Blue Card Directive).

Given the significance of this proposal, has the Council set a date for its adoption?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council has reached agreement on the proposal for a Council Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment.

The opinion of the European Parliament has been examined by the competent bodies of the Council and the text of the proposal is still subject to some procedural requirements, namely its finalisation by the Legal-Linguists, with a view to its formal adoption, which is expected to take place in the coming months.

 

Question no 29 by Laima Liucija Andrikienė (H-0030/09)
 Subject: EU strategy in Latin America
 

The European Union and Latin America have enjoyed a Strategic Partnership since the first bi-regional Summit in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1999.

What are the priorities of the Czech Presidency in the Latin America region, especially with regard to EU relations with countries such as Venezuela and Cuba?

What does the Council propose to do to assist the Colombian Government in its efforts to secure the release of hostages held by FARC guerrillas and in the process of peace-building and reconciliation?

Does the Council foresee any changes in the EU's strategy in Latin America after the newly elected US President Barack Obama takes office?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The EU's approach towards Cuba was set out in the Council conclusions adopted on 23 June 2008. Discussions in the Council on how to pursue the implementation of these conclusions continue. At a ministerial meeting on 16 October in Paris, the EU and Cuba agreed on the resumption of a comprehensive political dialogue, including political, economic, scientific, cultural and especially human rights issues, on a reciprocal, non-discriminatory and result-orientated basis. The Council will continue to pursue the objectives set out in the 1996 Common Position and its two-pronged approach: dialogue with the Cuban authorities and with all sectors of Cuban society in order to promote respect for human rights and real progress towards pluralist democracy. The Common Position remains at the core of the EU policy towards Cuba and in particular insistence on a real and measurable improvement of the human rights situation from the Cubans and is the unconditional release of all political prisoners.

The Council continues to monitor closely the situation in Venezuela, and pursues its policy of contacts at all levels with the authorities and the institutions as well as with the opposition in order to contribute to a national dialogue and to prevent moves by any side which might endanger the stability of the country or erode democracy and the state of law. This strategy seems to be fruitful. Both sides in Venezuela acknowledged the value of our contributions.

With regard to Colombia, the Council welcomes and supports continued clear improvements in the security and respect of human rights in the country, including through the recent adoption of legislation. At the same time, the Council remains concerned at the situation in Colombia, and in particular at crimes, such as the recent murder of the husband of Mrs. Quilcué, defender of the rights of the indigenous population. The Colombian authorities have regularly been urged to provide the appropriate means for a successful implementation of the justice and peace law. The Council also reiterates its call to the illegally armed groups to release all their prisoners, to end violence and to respect human rights. The EU will continue its very regular discussions with the Colombian authorities, and will maintain its support for the disarmament, justice and peace process.

It is premature to speculate on the approach of the new US administration towards Latin America. However, the early announcements on the lifting of restrictions on family and other visits as well as on the transfer of money in relation to Cuba are encouraging. These changes respond clearly to requests by Cubans both on the island as well as in the US. These measures are in line with the EU's approach, as set out in the Common Position of 1996. The Council intends to maintain a regular dialogue with the US on Latin America.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 30 του κ. Αθανασίου Παφίλη (H-0033/09)
 Θέμα: Χρήση βομβών λευκού φωσφόρου από τον ισραηλινό στρατό στη Γάζα
 

Ο ισραηλινός στρατός, στις επιθέσεις του κατά των Παλαιστινίων στη Γάζα, χρησιμοποιεί βόμβες λευκού φωσφόρου, οι οποίες είναι ιδιαίτερα επικίνδυνες και έχουν ήδη προκαλέσει σοβαρότατα εγκαύματα και βλάβες ζωτικών οργάνων σε εκατοντάδες μικρά παιδιά και γενικότερα σε άμαχους Παλαιστίνιους. Με τέτοιες βόμβες χτυπήθηκε πριν λίγες μέρες από τον ισραηλινό στρατό και το αρχηγείο του OHΕ στη Γάζα, όπως κατήγγειλε ο επικεφαλής του. H χρήση τους σε κατοικημένες περιοχές είναι -όπως είναι γνωστό- απαγορευμένη από τη Σύμβαση της Γενεύης περί των Συμβατικών Όπλων του 1980.

Καταδικάζει το Συμβούλιο τη χρήση αυτών των όπλων από το Ισραήλ; Θεωρεί ότι η χρήση τους αποτελεί έγκλημα πολέμου και σκοπεύει να προβεί σε ενέργειες στην κατεύθυνση να αποτραπεί η εξακολούθηση της χρήσης τους;

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council joins the Honourable Member in his concerns about the situation in Gaza. We deeply deplore the suffering this conflict inflicted on the civilian population.

The EU reiterates its commitment to a comprehensive and regional approach to the resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

On 26 January the Council called on all parties to the conflict to fully respect human rights and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law. The Council also stated that it will follow closely investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian law and in this regard took careful note of the statement of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to the Security Council on 21 January.

On 15 January the Presidency condemned the shelling of a UNRWA building in Gaza by Israeli artillery and demanded that Israel undertake measures to prevent any recurrence of this attack on civilian or humanitarian targets.

 

Zapytanie nr 31 skierowane przez Ryszard Czarnecki (H-0035/09)
 Przedmiot: Perspektywa pokoju na Bliskim Wschodzie
 

Jak Rada widzi perspektywę pokoju na Bliskim Wschodzie w kontekście ostatnich wydarzeń w tym regionie?

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Council is convinced that currently the situation in Gaza has to be improved by the full implementation of UN SCR. 1860 by both parties, which implies foremost the free and unhindered passage of humanitarian aid to and within Gaza. A durable ceasefire is needed which has to be based on a mechanism taking into account Israel’s security needs by preventing arms smuggling on the one hand, and enabling reconstruction and economic development in Gaza by opening border crossings on the other hand.

The Council believes, however, that the Gaza crisis has to be seen in its broader context. On the basis of existing policy lines, as elaborated in successive Council conclusions, the Council pursues an active policy in support of both addressing the urgent challenges in the aftermath of the Gaza war as well as the medium-term actions required to renew the prospects for peace in the region. In this regard the Council believes inner-Palestinian dialogue and the resumption of the peace process to be crucial elements.

The Palestinian Authority has proved to be a reliable and efficient partner, preventing further escalation of the situation in the West Bank. The Council strongly encourages inter-Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas which is key for peace, stability and development and supports the mediation efforts of Egypt and the Arab League in this respect.

The Council is convinced that peace in the region can only be achieved by the conclusion of the peace process leading to an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. In order to maintain this perspective the Council reiterates its call on both parties to comply with their obligations under the Roadmap. Considering the Arab Peace Initiative to be a solid and appropriate basis for a comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, the EU is committed to work with the Quartet, the new US-administration and Arab partners to this end. The Council welcomes the immediate nomination and engagement of the new US-special envoy for the Middle East, Mitchell, in the region and is ready to closely cooperate with him.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 32 του κ. Kωvσταντίνου Δρούτσα (H-0037/09)
 Θέμα: Προβλήματα Ελλήνων που ζουν στην Παλαιστίνη
 

Σύμφωνα με καταγγελίες του «Συνδέσμου Ελληνίδων Παλαιστίνης», οι Έλληνες που διαμένουν στην περιοχή βιώνουν και αυτοί όπως και οι υπόλοιποι Παλαιστίνιοι τις απάνθρωπες συνθήκες που επιβάλλει ο ισραηλινός στρατός ως στρατός κατοχής. Πιο συγκεκριμένα, οι αρχές του Ισραήλ αχρηστεύουν τα ελληνικά διαβατήρια βάζοντας την Ισραηλινή σφραγίδα και τον αριθμό της παλαιστινιακής τους ταυτότητας. Με αυτό τον τρόπο, ουσιαστικά τους απαγορεύουν την έξοδο από το αεροδρόμιο του Τελ Αβίβ και τους αναγκάζουν να ταξιδεύουν μέσω Ιορδανίας, υποβαθμίζοντας το ελληνικό διαβατήριο σε ρόλο βίζας. Παρόμοια προβλήματα στις μετακινήσεις τους αντιμετωπίζουν και άλλοι πολίτες των κρατών μελών της Ε.Ε.

Προτίθεται το Συμβούλιο να καταγγείλει το Ισραήλ και να απαιτήσει να σταματήσει αυτή την πρακτική που παραβιάζει βάναυσα το διεθνές δίκαιο, ώστε να προστατευθούν τα δικαιώματα των ελλήνων πολιτών;

 
  
 

The present answer, which has been drawn up by the Presidency and is not binding on either the Council or its members as such, was not presented orally at Question Time to the Council during the February 2009 part-session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The issue raised by the Honourable Member is primarily the responsibility of individual member States.

 

QUESTIONS TO THE COMMISSION
Question no 42 by Eoin Ryan (H-1054/08)
 Subject: Transatlantic relations
 

In light of the recent inauguration of US President Barack Obama on 20 January, what initiatives will the European Commission engage in to promote EU and US relations? What related policy areas will the European Commission be pursuing over the coming months?

 
  
 

The Commission has warmly congratulated President Obama on his inauguration. The Commission welcomes his initial moves to close the detention camp at Guantanamo, reinforce US engagement in the Middle East peace process, and reach out to the Islamic world.

The recovery of the global economy will be the top priority in the months to come. The Commission must make sure that EU and US policies are mutually reinforcing, and boost the transatlantic economy by perpetuating and improving the Transatlantic Economic Council. The Commission should co-operate to counter the resurgence of protectionist voices. The Commission wants to work closely with the US on climate change, above all to engage the emerging economies and achieve real progress in the multilateral negotiations before the end of 2009.

The Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy has written to Secretary of State Clinton setting out the Commission's views on the immediate external relations priorities: a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza, the need to address state-building in Afghanistan in its regional context, and how to promote stability in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood. The Commission must also promote, together, an equitable architecture of international co-operation that embraces the newly emerging powers.

Efforts to set the EU-US relationship on a new footing will build up towards the next EU-US Summit in mid-2009. Once the Commission has established a good dialogue with the new US counterparts on the priority issues, the Commission will also be taking a look at whether the institutional framework of EU-US relations – the New Transatlantic Agenda of 1995 – needs to be updated so as better to serve our mutual objectives.

The EU will have to live up to US expectations by demonstrating that the EU can be an effective partner. The EU must speak with one voice. In that respect, a rapid entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty would deliver a major boost to transatlantic relations.

 

Question no 43 by Jim Higgins (H-1060/08)
 Subject: Upgrading relations with Palestine
 

Could the Commission indicate if it has been contacted by the Irish Government in relation to efforts to secure the upgrading of relations with the Palestinian Authorities and if the Commission supports this proposal in view of the need to help the development of the Palestinian State and its people?

 
  
 

The Commission and the EU Foreign Ministers have been approached by their Irish counterpart in December with a request to enhance the Commission's relations with the Palestinian Authority.

Last year, the Commission created four new sub-committees with the Palestinian Authority to institutionalise the dialogue in the following fields:

1. Economic and Financial Matters, Trade, Customs Issues

2. Social Affairs

3. Energy, Environment, Transport, Science and Technology

4. Human rights, good governance and rule of law.

The Commission organised the first sub-committee (on Human rights, good governance and rule of law) with the Palestinian Authority already in December 2008.

In addition, last December for the first time the Council organised the first political dialogue at the level of senior officials, in addition to the existing political dialogue at ministerial level.

These are important first steps towards deeper bilateral relations. They demonstrate the commitment of both parties to exploring various avenues towards achieving deeper and broader bilateral relations in the light of the joint efforts aiming to create a Palestinian State.

In any case, the Commission's Joint Action Plan with the Palestinian Authority provides many possibilities for enhanced cooperation. The Commission is ready to step up its implementation, by using the four sub-committees just established.

 

Question no 44 by John Bowis (H-1061/08)
 Subject: Ban on cluster bombs
 

The Commission will be aware of the horrendous nature of cluster bombs, not least the hazard they present to children who pick them up thinking they are coloured balls.

Can the Commission confirm that six Member States declined to sign the Oslo Convention against the use of cluster bombs on 3 December, and will it write to these governments explaining the hazard of such weapons and urging them to sign?

 
  
 

The Commission welcomed the opening for signature of the international Convention on Cluster Munitions by Member States of the United Nations (UN) in Oslo on 3 December 2008. In particular, the Commission applauded the immediate adherence to the Convention by 95 of the 193 UN Member States and the swift ratification by four States. This is indeed promising and the Commission hopes that all countries, both those affected by cluster munitions and users and producers of these weapons, will sign and ratify the Convention as soon as possible, so that it can enter into force without delay.

The Convention banning cluster munitions is a milestone towards enhancing the security of victims of conflicts in many regions across the world. The Commission sees the Convention on Cluster Munitions primarily as a humanitarian instrument. At the same time, the Commission realises that such a Convention also has disarmament and defence implications for States, areas on which the European Community and thus the Commission have no specific competence. The question of signing and ratifying this Convention is up to the Member States.

In the context of its development co-operation and assistance the Commission does have an important role to play in supporting effective implementation of the Convention. The Commission plans to continue its comprehensive assistance to countries and populations in all areas of explosive remnants of war, whether it be in countering the affects of cluster munitions, de-mining, mine risk education or victim assistance programmes.

 

Anfrage Nr. 45 von Bernd Posselt (H-1069/08)
 Betrifft: Ukraine und Moldau
 

Wie beurteilt die Kommission die politische und menschenrechtliche Entwicklung in den beiden miteinander verzahnten Nachbarstaaten Ukraine und Republik Moldau, und welches sind die nächsten Schritte zur Stabilisierung dieser geostrategisch wichtigen Länder?

 
  
 

The Commission follows political and human rights developments closely in both Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular, is an essential element in our relationship with both these countries. The Commission has engaged extensively in support of these issues through political dialogue and financial and technical co-operation, including support to civil society organisations. The Commission has not hesitated to express concern where progress in needed, and has repeatedly underlined that the deepening of the EU’s relationship with both countries is dependent upon their progress in meeting international human rights commitments.

The Commission is currently negotiating an ambitious Association Agreement with Ukraine, and planning to start negotiations on a new enhanced agreement with the Republic of Moldova shortly. Both these agreements will contribute to locking in internal reforms in these countries, by way of binding arrangements. They will allow the Commission, in particular, to strengthen our co-operation further on human rights issues. Furthermore, the Eastern Partnership proposal foresees a multilateral track which the Commission expects will contribute significantly to increasing stability in the region. For example it will provide increased opportunities to coordinate our efforts on the Transnistria conflict and on bilateral issues of contention between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova issues, such as the demarcation of their common border.

 

Pergunta nº 46 do Pedro Guerreiro (H-0008/09)
 Assunto: Relações entre a UE e Israel
 

Israel coloniza há mais de 40 anos os territórios palestinianos da Cisjordânia, da Faixa de Gaza e de Jerusalém Leste, assassinando, detendo, oprimindo e reprimindo, espoliando, explorando, negando os mais legítimos e elementares direitos e impondo as mais ignóbeis humilhações e desumanas condições de vida ao povo palestiniano.

Face ao recrudescimento da cruel e injustificada agressão de Israel ao povo palestiniano na Faixa de Gaza, aos horrendos crimes perpetrados pelo exército israelita, ao mais completo desrespeito do direito internacional e dos direitos humanos por parte de Israel nos territórios palestinianos ocupados, que medidas tomou a Comissão para assegurar o premente socorro humanitário ao povo palestiniano na Faixa de Gaza?

Porque não toma a iniciativa de propor a suspensão dos acordos entre a UE e Israel e de qualquer processo que vise o seu reforço?

 
  
 

The Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid travelled to the region last week and on Monday 26 January, announced €32 million emergency assistance to the population in Gaza, to be used for food, shelters, health, and psychological support.

Already earlier this month, the Commission has provided more than €10 million, in response to the humanitarian situation in Gaza. This comes on top of more than €73 million of such aid during 2008. It is focused on food, emergency shelter repairs and further medical support. These are all areas identified as priorities in the United Nations Relief and Work Agency's (UNRWA) Flash Appeal launched on 30 December 2008.

Furthermore, as you probably know, the Commission provides all the fuel to the Gaza power plant. For the sake of better coordination, the Commission has placed a full time official in the Joint Liaison Centre set up by the Israeli government, to help with the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The Commission will also continue to be a predictable donor to UNRWA. This year, the Commission will again provide an early contribution of €66 million to the Agency’s General Fund, and will top up the above amounts with humanitarian and food assistance, as appropriate.

During the coming weeks, the Commission will be called upon to contribute to the emergency relief effort, and later on also to reconstruction work in Gaza. In this respect, the Commission expects that an international donors’ conference, tentatively planned in Egypt on 28 February, will focus on the most urgent needs of the population. The Commission intends to play a major role throughout all this process.

As to your second question on a possible suspension of the Association Agreement with Israel, the Commission recognises the frustration of those who feel that things have gone from bad to worse in particular over the last year. On balance, however, it is the Commission’s judgement (which reflects the views of the EU Foreign Ministers meeting in the External Relations Council) that measures such as suspension of our Association Agreement would make the Israeli authorities less rather than more responsive to the efforts of the international community to promote a lasting settlement.

With regard to the upgrading process, the Commission always stated that this is being influenced by developments on the ground. For the moment, the Commission is entirely dedicated to pursue another priority, i.e. the situation in Gaza, especially after the temporary ceasefire of 18 January. The population in Gaza has immediate basic needs the Commission will have to cater for. 

The Commission considers therefore that the time is not right to deal with this question and will come back to it when circumstances allow us to do so.

 

Fråga nr 47 från Jens Holm (H-0009/09)
 Angående: Upphävning av avtal med Israel
 

Under julhelgen inledde Israel operation Gjutet bly. I skrivande stund har över 900 palestinier dödats och tusentals skadats. I artikel två i samarbetsavtalet EU-Israel krävs att mänskliga rättigheter ska respekteras. Det är mer uppenbart än någonsin att Israel har kränkt detta. I oktober 2005 hävde EU samarbetsavtalet med Uzbekistan med hänvisning till artikel 2.

Är kommissionen beredd att se till att sätta kraft bakom kravet på mänskliga rättigheter i handelsavtalet med Israel och häva avtalet? Vilka övriga åtgärder planeras för att Israel ska upphöra med våldet?

 
  
 

Respect for human rights is one of the fundamental values of the European Union, and an essential element of the EU’s foreign policy. Consequently, the Commission attaches great importance to the protection of human rights in its relations with Israel.

In its meetings with Israeli authorities, the Commission expresses its concerns with regard to the human rights situation of the Palestinians, and in particular in Gaza, and continues to remind Israel of its obligations under international humanitarian law.

On balance, however, it is the Commission’s judgement (which reflects the views of the EU Foreign Ministers meeting in the External Relations Council) that measures such as suspension of our Association Agreement would make the Israeli authorities less rather than more responsive to the efforts of the international community to promote a lasting settlement.

This being said, the Commission is following closely the investigations into the conduct of both parties during the most recent conflict which are currently being carried out.

In response to the outbreak of the Gaza crisis, EU Foreign Ministers held an emergency meeting in Paris on 30 December to develop proposals - the Paris Declaration - to bring the conflict to an end. Shortly after the Council meeting, the EU Troika to the region with the objective of achieving an immediate cessation of hostilities.

Since the beginning of the crisis, and under the instructions of the Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, the Commission has concentrated all its contacts and discussions with Israel on the best way to deal with the crisis. Meetings on other topics have actually been put on hold due to the priority given to the Gaza issue. This has been explained to the Israeli authorities who have understood that Gaza takes precedent to any other matter for discussion at the moment.

Following the establishment of a temporary ceasefire, the Commission is now working to make this ceasefire sustainable. At the same time, the Commission is contributing to improving the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian population, and is enabling the Gaza power plant to operate, however insufficiently.

Last week’s General Affairs and External Relations Council decided to develop an EU work plan. This will focus first and foremost on immediate humanitarian relief for the population of Gaza, and will include support to the prevention of illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition, the sustained re-opening of crossing points, rehabilitation and reconstruction and the resumption of the peace process.

The Commission's priority in its relations with Israel at the moment remains to be Gaza and in particular questions of access and provision of humanitarian aid. For all this matters, dialogue with Israel is essential.

 

Pregunta nº 48 formulada por Willy Meyer Pleite (H-0019/09):
 Asunto: Creación comisión investigación de la UE para investigar violaciones de Derecho Internacional Humanitario en Gaza por parte de Israel
 

El Consejo de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas decidió enviar una misión para investigar las violaciones del Derecho Internacional Humanitario por la potencia ocupante de Israel contra el pueblo palestino en la reciente guerra de Gaza.

¿Tiene previsto la Comisión proponer a la Unión Europea la creación de una misión para investigar las violaciones del Derecho Internacional Humanitario en el territorio de Gaza durante la guerra iniciada el 27 de Diciembre de 2008?

 
  
 

Several international actors and civil society groups have called for a full international investigation into incidents that show failures to comply with international humanitarian law (e.g. shelling of United Nations (UN) schools and facilities, use of white phosphorous in densely populated areas). 

United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki Moon announced that the UN intends to proceed shortly with such an investigation. Israel has also launched its own investigations and we are waiting for the results. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has assembled a special team to deal with international lawsuits against Israeli officials during Operation Cast Lead.

Last Monday’s External Relations Council concluded that the EU “will follow closely investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian law.”

The Commission considers that the extremely serious allegations made by the International Committee of the Red Cross and others about the conduct of both sides during this conflict should be properly investigated. Such an impartial investigation should look at committed breaches and reiterate International Law supremacy.

 

Question no 49 by Laima Liucija Andrikienė (H-0031/09)
 Subject: EU strategy in Latin America
 

The European Union and Latin America have enjoyed a Strategic Partnership since the first bi-regional Summit in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1999.

What are the main goals and objectives for the Commission to attain in the very near future and in the longer term in the region, especially with regard to EU relations with countries such as Venezuela and Cuba?

What does the Commission propose to do to assist the Colombian Government in its efforts to secure the release of hostages held by FARC guerrillas and in the process of peace-building and reconciliation?

Does the Commission foresee any changes in the EU's strategy in Latin America after the newly elected US President Barack Obama takes office?

 
  
 

1. The Strategic Partnership between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean - which will be celebrating this year its 10th anniversary - is articulated on the following objectives: intense political dialogue, the strengthening of democratic governance and the respect of human rights, support to integration processes including the establishment of a network of association agreements, and extensive cooperation to reduce poverty, social inequalities and improve educational levels.

These objectives are constantly adapted to new developments and global challenges, such as the impact of the current financial and economic crisis, the urgent need to tackle climate change and to address energy security.

The Commission will make use of forthcoming meetings, such as the Ministerial Meeting between the European Union and the Rio Group in Prague in May 2009, and preparations for the next Latin American, Caribbean and EU Summit (in 2010 in Spain) to address these issues.

Regarding Venezuela, our objective is to strengthen relations and to establish more regular, open, constructive and structured dialogue on areas of common interest through the development of the economic dialogue and the bilateral cooperation (40 million Euros earmarked for 2007-20013 for two priorities: modernization of the Venezuelan state and diversification of its economy).

Regarding Cuba, following the Council Conclusions in 2008, development cooperation has been resumed between the EC and Cuba. The EC cooperation will, in the short term, be done on an ad hoc basis and channelled through the UN agencies and European and local NGOs. One of the main objectives of this cooperation will be to support the efforts of reconstruction and rehabilitation after the passage of the hurricanes in 2008.

Cuba is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean with whom the EU does not have a contractual framework. The Commission hopes that in the medium term it will be possible to normalise the relations with Cuba.

2. La Commission offre toute la collaboration et solidarité possible au gouvernement colombien pour la libération des otages retenus par les FARC.  Cependant, étant données les expériences passées, le gouvernement colombien a tenu à limiter cette fois-ci la participation d'autres pays ou institutions au Vatican, et c’est une décision que la Commission doit respecter.

En ce qui concerne le processus de construction de la paix, la Commission y participe en consacrant 70% de notre coopération (plus de 160M€) précisément aux efforts de contribution à la paix, au développement alternatif et soutenable, et à la lutte contre la drogue.  En plus, 20% de cette coopération se centre sur le renforcement de l'Etat de droit en Colombie, à travers les institutions de la justice et la promotion des droits de l'homme, entre autres.  Sans doute, la contribution à la paix et à la stabilité demeure notre objectif primordial en Colombie.

3. The Commission maintains good and fluent contacts with the US Administration on Latin American issues. We have a regular political dialogue (twice a year) at the High Official EU troika level with the US, dealing specifically with Latin America and the Caribbean. We are convinced that we will continue this constructive dialogue and cooperation with the new Obama Administration.

President Obama has not yet made substantive statements on the future relationship with Latin America. But the first indications are positive, as demonstrated by the meeting he had a few weeks ago in his capacity as President elect, with President Calderon from Mexico. We have to wait to know more about President Obama’s strategy and engagement towards the region. Possible fields in which we could work for an enhanced cooperation between the US, the EU and Latin America could be the fight against drugs and organised crime.

 

Question no 53 by Mairead McGuinness (H-1047/08)
 Subject: Social progress and the protection of workers' rights
 

The conclusions of the December 2008 European Council meeting included a statement of the concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon as set out by the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen. Can the Commission explain what it understands the Union to mean by attaching 'high importance to social progress and the protection of workers' rights?' Would the Commission set out its work to date on this issue and its plans in the future to addressing those concerns? Does the Commission believe that the current economic situation will make it more difficult, but more essential, to protect and enhance social progress and the protection of workers' rights?

 
  
 

Le progrès social et la protection des droits des travailleurs sont des objectifs qui ont toujours été au cœur du développement de l'Union européenne. C'est ainsi que les politiques en matière sociale et de protection des droits des travailleurs existant dans les traités actuels ont été confirmées dans le traité de Lisbonne et que le rôle déterminant des partenaires sociaux y est reconnu tout à fait explicitement.

Bien évidemment, le contexte dans lequel nous évoluons détermine les mesures à prendre en vue d'assurer ces objectifs. Ainsi, les évolutions profondes de notre société, telles que la mondialisation, le développement des nouvelles technologies, les changements démographiques, le changement climatique ont transformé la nature des questions sociales. Ces changements ont incité l'Union à établir la Stratégie de Lisbonne, à adapter la législation, le Fonds social européen (FSE) ou le Fonds européen d'ajustement à la mondialisation (FEM), à développer la méthode ouverte de coordination (MOC) afin de continuer à assurer, de façon adaptée, les valeurs sociales de l'Union européenne tout en adaptant nos instruments de façon dynamique.

Par ailleurs, en juillet 2008, la Commission a présenté son Agenda social renouvelé pour adapter et renforcer notre modèle social européen face à tous ces changements. Il s'agit, en effet, de donner les mêmes chances à tous pour réussir dans la vie grâce à l'accès à l'éducation, aux services de santé ou aux services sociaux, d'agir en faveur des personnes les plus défavorisées en se fondant sur la solidarité, de favoriser le dialogue social grâce à la directive révisée sur les comités d'entreprises européens et d'améliorer la protection des droits des travailleurs intérimaires.

Aujourd'hui, une crise économique touche toute l’Europe qui a conduit l'Union à prendre des mesures exceptionnelles avec un plan de relance économique qui est la manifestation explicite de l'importance qu'elle attache à protéger le premier droit des travailleurs, qui est celui d'avoir accès à l'emploi. Par ailleurs, la Commission a proposé d'étendre le champ d'application et d'assouplir les critères d'éligibilité du Fonds européen d'ajustement à la mondialisation afin de le rendre plus efficace pour aider les travailleurs touchés par la crise. A ce stade et au-delà de ces mesures à caractère financier, il est clairement devenu urgent de mener à bien les réformes en cours en matière de flexicurité, d'inclusion active et de systèmes de retraite.

Ce contexte de crise ne peut donc que confirmer la Commission dans sa poursuite du progrès social ainsi que de la protection des droits des travailleurs.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 54 της κ. Μαρίας Παναγιωτοπούλου-Κασσιώτου (H-1058/08)
 Θέμα: Διάκριση υπέρ συγκεκριμένων ομάδων
 

Θεωρεί η Επιτροπή ότι η ευρωπαϊκή νομοθεσία επιτρέπει τη θετική διάκριση προκειμένου να αντισταθμιστούν δυσμενείς συνθήκες για γυναίκες, νέους, ηλικιωμένους, αναπήρους, μακροχρόνια ασθενείς, μέλη μονογονεϊκών και πολύτεκνων οικογενειών;

Η θετική διάκριση υπέρ των ανωτέρω κατηγοριών στα ασφαλιστικά συστήματα μπορεί να ισοσταθμίζει μη μετρήσιμη προσφορά εργασίας;

 
  
 

La Commission rappelle, tout d'abord, qu'en ce qui concerne les actions positives à l'égard des femmes(1), des personnes âgées et des personnes handicapées(2), la législation européenne prévoit que les Etats membres puissent adopter des mesures prévoyant des avantages spécifiques destinés à garantir l'égalité entre ce groupe de personnes et les autres travailleurs.

Par contre, la législation communautaire ne prévoit pas de dispositions spécifiques en matière des actions positives concernant les jeunes, les malades chroniques, les membres de familles monoparentales ou de familles nombreuses, faute d'une base juridique pour le faire.

Enfin, la Commission rappelle, que dans les cas où la législation communautaire prévoit la possiblité d'actions positives, il revient aux Etats membres d'en définir les modalités. Néanmoins, la Cour de justice, a fixé, dans sa jurisprudence, certaines conditions à l'adoption d'actions positives à l'égard des femmes:

- le groupe en question doit être sous-représenté dans un secteur d'activité donné;

- la mesure adoptée doit remédier à la situation existante;

- la mesure adoptée doit être proportionnelle par rapport à l'objectif poursuivi.

En tout état de cause, la Cour de justice a déterminé que lesdites actions positives ne peuvent aboutir à ce que la priorité soit donnée aux femmes de manière automatique et inconditionnelle.

 
 

(1) Directive 2002/73/CE du Parlement et du Conseil du 23 septembre 2002 modifiant la directive 76/207/CEE du Conseil relative à la mise en œuvre du principe de l'égalité de traitement entre hommes et femmes en ce qui concerne l'accès à l'emploi, à la formation et à la promotion professionnelles, et les conditions de travail.
(2) Directive 2000/78/CE du Conseil du 27 novembre 2000 portant création d'un cadre général en faveur de l'égalité de traitement en matière d'emploi et de travail.

 

Question no 55 by Claude Moraes (H-1065/08)
 Subject: Multiple discrimination
 

In view of the recommendations from the European Commission report of 2007 'Tackling Multiple Discrimination - Practices, Policies and Laws', that multiple discrimination should be expressly prohibited, why is there no express prohibition on multiple discrimination in the draft Equality Directive (COM(2008)0426), and only one reference to multiple discrimination (in the context of women) in the preamble (i.e. No 13)?

 
  
 

The report to which the Honourable Member refers was drafted by the Danish Centre for Human Rights at the Commission's request.

The Commission considers that multiple discrimination is a social reality which should be addressed in an appropriate manner. However, the body of the proposal for a Directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation(1) adopted by the Commission on 2 July 2008 contains no explicit provision prohibiting multiple discrimination.

There are two reasons for this. First, the proposal concerns discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. Introducing a clause on multiple discrimination on other grounds too(such as gender or racial or ethnic origin) could be seen as going beyond the remit of the Directive. Alternatively, if multiple discrimination concerned only the four grounds of discrimination covered by the draft Directive, then such major forms of multiple discrimination as those involving gender, or racial or ethnic origin would not be tackled. Secondly, when it was preparing the abovementioned proposal, the Commission considered that this issue deserved further reflection.

The Commission therefore proposed that the non-discrimination governmental expert group set up recently should work on the issue of multiple discrimination. The tasks of the group, which was established by the Commission decision of 2 July 2008(2), are:

- to establish cooperation between the relevant Member State authorities and the Commission on issues relating to the promotion of equality and the fight against discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation;

· to monitor the development of EU and national policies in this field; and

· to foster the exchange of experience and good practice on issues of common interest relating to non-discrimination and the promotion of equality.

At the group's first meeting in November 2008, the Commission agreed with the group that it would address the issue of multiple discrimination. The Commission has also asked the European Network of Legal Experts in the field of Gender Equality to draft a report on the legal aspects of multiple discrimination with a specific focus on the gender dimension. That report is expected to be completed by June 2009.

 
 

(1) COM(2008) 426 final.
(2) C(2008) 3261 final.

 

Fråga nr 56 från Hélène Goudin (H-1066/08)
 Angående: Definitioner för fackliga stridsåtgärder
 

Nyligen (12/12) presenterades den så kallade Stråthutredningen i Sverige med anledning av EG-domstolens dom i Lavalfallet (mål C-341/05). Enligt utredningen måste de fackliga organisationernas strejkrätt i samband med gästarbete (utstationerade arbetstagare från annat medlemsland) begränsas till att endast gälla minimilönerna och minimivillkoren i branschavtalen.

Delar kommissionen denna tolkning? Hur anser kommissionen att man skall definiera vad som är en acceptabel minimilön enligt branschavtalen? Vilka stridsåtgärder kan de fackliga organisationerna vidta, för att uppnå en enligt dem lämplig lönenivå för utstationerade arbetstagare, enligt kommissionen? Anser kommissionen att Stråthutredningens slutsats förändrar något i sak, jämfört med EG-domstolens dom i Lavalfallet (mål C-341/05)?

 
  
 

It is in principle for the national authorities to assess the potential consequences of the Laval judgment for their national labour markets and to decide what needs to be done in this context in accordance with their own institutional and legal frameworks.

The Commission understands that the Stråth report to which the Honourable Member refers is intended to provide recommendations that may underpin proposals to amend existing national legislation on the posting of workers in Sweden. The Commission cannot comment on preliminary stages in the preparation of legal measures.

That being said, the Commission is ready to assist and cooperate with the national authorities in their task of seeing how best to address and respond to issues of concern and remains committed to discussing bilaterally with them any concrete implementation measures envisaged with a view to ensuring that they comply with Community law.

 

Vprašanje št. 57 , ki ga je predložil Mihael Brejc (H-0004/09)
 Zadeva: Zdravje in varnost pri delu
 

V obdobju gospodarske krize skušajo lastniki podjetij znižati stroške na vsakem področju delovanja podjetja in po naših informacijah se znižujejo tudi sredstva na področju varnosti in zdravja pri delu. Zanima me, ali Komisija zaznava te pojave in kaj namerava storiti, da kljub zaostrenim razmeram ne bi prišlo do zniževanja standarda na področju varnosti in zdravja pri delu.

 
  
 

Il convient d'emblée de constater que la Commission ne dispose pas d'informations auxquelles se réfère l'Honorable Membre et selon lesquelles les entreprises, en cette période de crise économique, seraient, sur une grande échelle, en train de réduire les coûts dans le domaine de la santé et de la sécurité au travail.

S'agissant des préoccupations de l'Honorable Membre sur le fait que la réduction des coûts pourrait entraîner l'abaissement des niveaux existants de protection, il convient de souligner qu'au niveau de l'Union européenne, les dispositions en matière de protection de la santé et de la sécurité au travail - c'est-à-dire celles de la directive cadre 89/391/CEE et de ses directives particulières - sont de nature juridiquement contraignante. Ces directives doivent être transposées et mises en œuvre effectivement par les Etats membres dans leurs ordres juridiques nationaux.

Par conséquent, un éventuel abaissement des niveaux de protection de la santé et de la sécurité des travailleurs sur les lieux de travail ne pourrait en aucun cas porter ces niveaux au-dessous des prescriptions minimales établies par les directives communautaires.

Par ailleurs, la Commission et l'agence de Bilbao pour la santé et sécurité au travail déploient des efforts constants, y compris pendant cette période de crise économique, en vue de sensibiliser les employeurs au fait que, sur le plan économique, les entreprises qui investissent dans la protection de la santé et de la sécurité de leurs travailleurs obtiennent des résultats mesurables: réduction des coûts dus à l'absentéisme, motivation des travailleurs, augmentation de la productivité et de la compétitivité de l'entreprise.

 

Fråga nr 58 från Olle Schmidt (H-0005/09)
 Angående: Europeiska medborgares tillgång till socialförsäkringssystemen
 

I mitt hemland Sverige är det vanligt att arbetstagare i Öresundsregionen pendlar över den dansk-svenska gränsen för att arbeta. I svenska medier (bland annat Sydsvenskan den 22 november 2008 och den 2 januari 2009) har det förekommit uppgifter om hur svenska arbetstagare i Danmark som råkat ut för olyckor inte får tillgång till sjukpenning av sina danska arbetsgivare eller av de danska myndigheterna. Detta trots att EU:s samordningsregler gör gällande att socialförsäkringen ska gälla i det land där man arbetar.

Vad ämnar kommissionen göra för att säkerställa att de europeiska medborgare som arbetar i ett annat land än sitt eget har tillgång till socialförsäkringssystemen?

 
  
 

The Commission draws the Honourable Member's attention to the Community provisions on the coordination of social security schemes as contained in Regulations (EEC) Nos 1408/71 and 574/72. In accordance with those provisions, a person who is solely employed in Denmark but resides in Sweden would normally be entitled to social security benefits in Denmark on equal terms with persons employed and residing in that country. A frontier worker would be entitled to receive sickness benefits in kind either in Denmark or in Sweden, as he or she chooses. However, the obligation to pay sickness cash benefits, which also covers sick pay from the employer (for example in the event of an accident that occurs while the worker is commuting), would fall on the Danish social security system. It would consequently be the employer's obligation to pay sick pay to the employee, even where he or she resides in Sweden.

According to the Commission's information, the way Denmark applies the coordinating regulations does not appear to be in compliance with Community law. This matter has been brought to the attention of the Swedish authorities who have written to their Danish colleagues with a view to resolving the matter.

In view of this development, the Commission feels confident that the matter will be resolved in a manner which is consistent with Community law.

The Commission services will contact the Danish and Swedish authorities to seek information on the outcome of their cooperation and will inform the Honourable Member directly of the result.

 

Question no 59 by Kathy Sinnott (H-0016/09)
 Subject: 1million4disability
 

The 1million4disability petition campaign gathered over 1.3 million signatures throughout the EU in an eight-month period to the end of September 2007. In a closing ceremony on 4 October 2007, attended by hundreds of people with disabilities and their supporters, the signatures were personally delivered to the President of the Parliament and to the Commission through Vice-President Margot Wallström.

It was with dismay that I discovered at a hearing of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs on the Citizens’ Initiative in September 2008 that the 1million4disability petition was in the basement of the European Commission and further that the Commission had contacted the EDF and offered to return the petition to them as it was doing nothing but gather dust.

When can we expect the Commission to deal with the 1million4disability petition and respond to its call for the recognition of disability rights and disability specific legislation?

 
  
 

The Commission is committed to strengthening citizens' participation in the decision-making process and attaches great value to the opinion of civil society.

Vice-President Margot Wallström was present on 4 October 2007 at the closing ceremony for the '1million4disability' campaign, and on 23 January 2008 President Barroso personally acknowledged receipt of the 1 294 497 signatures, which were delivered to the Commission on 22 November 2007. The latter are kept on the Commission's premises.

The Lisbon Treaty, which stipulates that 'not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties', is not yet in force. Nonetheless, the '1million4disability' campaign was an important and highly appreciated citizen's initiative that was taken into account when the Commission drafted its proposal of July 2008 for a Directive(1) implementing the principle of equal treatment outside employment to extend the scope of protection against discrimination.

The proposed Directive, and in particular Article 4 thereof, contains specific provisions on equal treatment of persons irrespective of disability, which guarantee a degree of protection equivalent to that which would have been afforded by a single-ground disability Directive. It is now for the two branches of the legislative authority to translate this Commission proposal into legislation.

 
 

(1) COM(2008) 426 final, http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=477&langId=en.

 

Question no 60 by Proinsias De Rossa (H-0032/09)
 Subject: Ireland's transposition of the Insolvency Directive
 

Further to my written questions E-3295/06, E-3298/06, E-3299/06 and E-4898/06 regarding Ireland's transposition and implementation of the Insolvency Directive, and the 2007 'Implementation Report [on] Directive 80/987/EEC(1) as amended by 2002/74/EC(2) on the protection of employees in the event of the insolvency of their employer in the EU Member States', and the European Court of Justice's ruling of 25 January 2007 in Case C-278/05 (Carol Marilyn Robbins and Others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions), could the Commission outline what correspondence it has had with the Irish authorities regarding possible breaches of the directive by Ireland, particularly in relation to Article 8, and the Irish authorities' response?

What action will the Commission take if it comes to the conclusion that Ireland is in breach of this legislation, particularly in relation to Article 8, in the light of the above ECJ ruling?

 
  
 

In 2008 the Commission published a staff working document on implementation of Article 8 and related provisions of Council Directive 80/987/EEC of 20 October 1980 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the protection of employees in the event of the insolvency of their employer, concerning supplementary company or inter-company pension schemes outside the national statutory social security schemes(3).

The conclusions point out that, in certain cases, issues can be raised as regards the extent to which some of the measures adopted by Member States are sufficient to protect the interests of employees and retired persons in the event of insolvency of the employer. Further investigation is therefore needed in order to address the following issues:

a) how to protect employees and retired persons against the risk of under-funding of pension schemes, and to what extent;

b) how to guarantee any unpaid contributions to pension schemes;

c) how to deal with cases where the supplementary pensions scheme is managed by the employer himself.

d) The Commission is preparing to launch a study to cover those points.

As far as Ireland in particular is concerned, in the wake of the difficulties of the Waterford Wedgwood company reported by the press in mid-January 2009 and the risk for the pensions of its workers the Commission has requested further information from Ireland on the measures adopted to protect them, in particular as regards defined benefit schemes. Should an analysis of the reply show that these measures do not fulfil the requirements of Article 8 of Directive 2008/94/EC(4) as interpreted by the European Court of Justice, the Commission will not hesitate to initiate infringement procedures under Article 226 of the Treaty.

 
 

(1) OJ L 283, 28.10.1980, p. 23.
(2) OJ L 270, 8.10.2002, p. 10.
(3) SEC(2008) 475.
(4) OJ L 283, 28.10.2008, p. 36.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 61 του κ. Αθανασίου Παφίλη (H-0034/09)
 Θέμα: Απροκάλυπτη εργοδοτική τρομοκρατία σε βάρος συνδικαλιστών
 

Η δολοφονική επίθεση με οξύ κατά της συνδικαλίστριας εργάτριας Kωνσταντίνας Kούνεβα, γραμματέα του Παναττικού Σωματείου Καθαριστριών, στις 22 Δεκέμβρη 2008, αποτελεί το αποκορύφωμα μίας σειράς κρουσμάτων απροκάλυπτης εργοδοτικής τρομοκρατίας σε βάρος εργαζομένων που συνδικαλίζονται, διεκδικούν τα δικαιώματά τους, είτε συμμετέχουν σε απεργιακές κινητοποιήσεις των συνδικάτων τους. Το πιο πρόσφατο περιστατικό είναι αυτό του εργαζόμενου Νίκου Νικολόπουλου στην επιχείρηση πώλησης παιχνιδιών «Tζάμπο» από το κατάστημα της εταιρείας στη Βάρη, ο οποίος απολύθηκε γιατί συμμετείχε στην πανελλαδική πανεργατική απεργία στις 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2008.

Καταδικάζει η Επιτροπή τα περιστατικά αυτά της εργοδοτικής τρομοκρατίας σε βάρος των εργαζομένων, που συνιστούν πλέον τον κανόνα στους χώρους δουλειάς των εργαζομένων και έχουν μετατρέψει τους εργασιακούς χώρους σε γκέτο, όπου δεν εφαρμόζεται καμία προστατευτική διάταξη της εργατικής νομοθεσίας παρά μόνο επιβάλλεται με κάθε μέσο η εργοδοτική θέληση και αυθαιρεσία;

 
  
 

The Commission considers attacks against trade unionists as wholly reprehensible and entirely unacceptable, irrespective of whether the workers concerned are legal or illegal immigrants and whether they are from other Member States or third countries.

Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity. Furthermore, everyone has the right to freedom of association, including in trade union matters. Both of these rights are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Articles 3 and 12 respectively).

Freedom of association is protected by the core International Labour Organization (ILO) Labour Standards Conventions, which all EU Member States have ratified and must respect and enforce.

In principle, it is therefore for the national authorities to take the necessary measures in their own countries to combat such acts and punish those who commit them on the basis of the applicable national and international law.

 

Întrebarea nr. 62 a doamnei Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (H-1039/08)
 Subiect: Măsuri pentru creşterea eficienţei energetice a clădirilor
 

Uniunea Europeană şi-a propus ca până în 2020 să îmbunătăţească eficienţa energetică, să reducă cu 20% emisiile de gaze cu efect de seră şi 20% din energia utilizată să provină din surse regenerabile. 40% din totalul emisiilor de gaze cu efect de seră provine de la clădiri. Ca urmare, creşterea eficienţei energetice a clădirilor prezintă un mare potenţial de reducere a emisiilor de gaze cu efect de seră. Statele membre pot utiliza, în anumite condiţii, o parte din fondurile structurale pentru îmbunătăţirea eficienţei energetice a clădirilor. Pentru anul 2010 este prevăzută o revizuire, la mijloc de termen, a prevederilor aplicabile fondurilor structurale.

Aş dori să întreb Comisia care sunt măsurile pe care le are în vedere pentru creşterea eficienţei energetice a clădirilor din Uniunea Europeană în procesul de revizuire a prevederilor aplicabile fondurilor structurale.

 
  
 

Enhancing the energy performance of buildings is an important avenue towards reducing climate change and enhancing energy security and the competitiveness of the EU economy. The Commission has taken a wide range of measures to increase the energy efficiency in the building sector, such as legal measures, financial instruments and actions in order to disseminate information. One of the most important legal instruments in this field is Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings, of which the Commission is monitoring the implementation. In order to extend its scope and strengthen some of its provisions, the Commission recently presented a Proposal for recast.

As regards the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund, it should be recalled that in all Member States the current legislation allows a broad range of energy efficiency and renewable energy interventions in buildings other than those serving housing purposes. For the latter, the current legislation foresees limited eligibility of expenditure on housing in the EU-12 depending on conditions relating to the financial allocation, the context of intervention, the type of housing, the zone and type of intervention.

In line with its Communication on the European Economic Recovery Plan(1), on 3 December 2008, the Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) 1080/2006 on the European Regional Development Fund as regards the eligibility of energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in housing. The modification would make all Member States eligible for an amount of up to 4% of the total ERDF allocation as regards expenditure on energy efficiency improvements and on the use of renewable energy in existing housing. The categories of eligible housing will be defined at national level, with the aim to support social cohesion.

Should the modification be adopted , then it is for Member States to decide whether they wish to re-programme their Structural Funds Operational Programmes in order to devote a greater share to energy efficiency investments.

 
 

(1) COM (2008) 800 final

 

Question no 63 by Colm Burke (H-1041/08)
 Subject: EU Member State legislation to eliminate female genital mutilation
 

Measures need to be put in place within the EU to address the needs of women and girls who are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). Ireland made a recent commitment – as one of 15 EU Member States – to launch a national action plan for the elimination of FGM. These 15 EU Member States have committed to enacting a law to place an outright ban on FGM in their respective countries.

Can the Commission recommend to non-participating Member States that they consider such action plans and legislation outlawing this harmful practice? Such a law would send a clear signal to potential practitioners of this tradition that FGM is wholly unacceptable within the EU. Considering that the World Health Organisation estimates that between 100 and 140 million girls and women are living with the consequences of FGM (and three million girls are at risk each year), what is the Commission doing to minimise the detrimental effects of this tradition as part of its external relations policy?

 
  
 

The Commission considers that female genital mutilations (FGM) constitute a serious violation of women's and girls' fundamental rights and that all European countries should take strong measures to prevent such practices from happening both within and outside the EU.

All forms of female genital mutilation are associated with an increased risk of pyschological and physical damage including haemorrhage, infection, infertility, incontinence and mental health problems. Female genital mutilation is also a cause of obstetric complications to the mother and infant including stillbirths, infant death and long term disability. These practices are a serious violation of their fundamental right to physical and mental integrity, which is recognised in all Member States of the EU. Although the Commission does not have competence to propose legislation in this area, it is consistently making Community funding available under the Daphne III Programme to assist European non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local or regional public authorities and institutions to combat FGM.

The Daphne Programme has in particular contributed to creating and supporting the European Network of NGOs fighting FGM (Euronet-FGM), which is the coordinator of the Daphne-funded project that the Honourable Member is referring to. This project is developing national plans of action (PoA) for the elimination of FGM in 15 EU and EEA Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece , Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) and is also exploring the situation of FGM in 10 new Member States. The project ends in June 2009 and a final conference will be organised near the end of the project in order to present, discuss and disseminate the national PoA, to sensitise the international community for the problem of FGM in Europe and for violence against migrant women and girls in general. The Commission will be present at this event and will urge Member States which have not yet developed action plans to learn from the project results and take necessary measure as soon as possible.

In its external assistance to third countries, the Commission has three polices in use against FGM. Firstly, The Commission brings women's empowerment, human rights and women's health issues in political and policy dialogue with partner governments. Secondly, the Commission supports advocacy and lobbying initiatives for the improvement of national legislation and the development of adequate national policies for the promotion and protection of women’s rights and the prohibition of harmful practices. Thirdly, the Commission supports capacity-building initiatives for government officials as well as advocacy and awareness-raising in all sectors of society.

The Commission is currently financing the following projects:

Under the "Investing in People" programme a project aiming at contributing to the abandonment in selected countries of social norms harmful to girls and women is financed in co-operation with the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

In Burkina Faso, the Commission supports a Centre for women's well-being and prevention of FMG. The Centre focuses on prevention and on treatment of FGM consequences, as well as on awareness raising on women's rights.

The Commission will provide support to the justice sector in Nigeria, to a wider variety of non-State actors, to parliamentarians and to mass media. The action will contribute to increase public awareness, to sustain the domestic debate and to promote policy advocacy on key issues concerning good governance and human rights including FGM.

In Senegal, we support a project by the Senegalese association AFELP "Association Femmes Enfant Lutte Contre la Pauvreté" in partnership with the "Secours Populaire Français". The project helps women to fight for themselves against all forms of violence of which they are victims, as well as to help them combat damaging cultural practices and promote the principles of democracy.

Under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights the Commission is funding a project in Somalia, "Somali women's FGM Eradication Plan". The beneficiary organisation is the international civil society organisation Co-operation for the Development of Emerging Countries (COSPE). The Commission also recently finalised a project in Nigeria, carried out by a local organisations addressing violence against women, also including FGM. The aim of the project is to increase the report rate of gender based violence.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 64 του κ. Γεωργίου Παπαστάμκου (H-1042/08)
 Θέμα: Κατασχέσεις παραποιημένων προϊόντων στα σύνορα της ΕΕ
 

Δεδομένης της αύξησης κατασχέσεων παραποιημένων προϊόντων στα σύνορα της ΕΕ, μπορεί να με ενημερώσει η Επιτροπή ως προς την καταπολέμηση της απάτης σχετικά με τα αποτελέσματα των κοινών επιχειρήσεων των τελωνειακών αρχών των κρατών μελών και να παράσχει στοιχεία ως προς το είδος και τον όγκο των κατασχεθέντων προϊόντων;

 
  
 

La lutte contre la contrefaçon et la piraterie constitue une priorité pour la Commission. Celle-ci procède annuellement à la publication d'un rapport statistique des saisies opérées par les douanes des Etats membres. Ce rapport est élaboré à partir des informations transmises par les Etats Membres et selon les dispositions de la législation en vigueur(1). Ils sont disponibles sur le site Europa à l'adresse suivante :

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/customs/customs_controls/counterfeit_piracy/statistics/index_fr.htm" .

Les résultats d'opérations conjointes menées par les autorités douanières des Etats membres sont intégrés dans les résultats communiqués par ceux-ci à la Commission. La base de collecte actuelle des statistiques ne permet pas à la Commission de fournir plus de détails et notamment par rapport aux opérations menées. Toutefois certaines opérations menées par les services de la Commission ont donné lieu à des rapports spécifiques. Ce type d'opération se focalise à chaque fois sur certains produits, certains moyens de transport ou des pays d'origine spécifiques. Les résultats sont dès lors fortement liés aux critères retenus.

Opération "FAKE"

En mai 2005, l'opération douanière conjointe "FAKE", organisée par la Commission avec la participation des autorités douanières des Etats membres de l'Union européenne, a donné lieu à la saisie de 60 containers par la voie maritime et 140 envois par la voie aérienne. Ceci représente au total plus de 2.000.000 objets de contrefaçon (y compris 1.258.110 paquets de cigarettes) en provenance de Chine. Les contrefaçons saisies concernaient essentiellement des textiles, des chaussures, sacs, électroniques, médicaments, cigarettes, et autres produits (lunettes, ceintures, cartouches d'encre, montres, jouets, rasoirs, miel, brosses à dent).

Opération "DAN"

En 2006, l'opération "DAN", lancée à l'initiative de 13 ports communautaires et coordonnée par les services de la Commission, s'est concentrée sur des produits en provenance de Chine, via fret maritime. Cette opération a permis la saisie de 92 conteneurs de produits très variés. Ainsi, parmi les contrefaçons saisies on peut citer des dizaines de milliers de jouets, des centaines de cartons de lunettes de soleil, des millions de paires de chaussures ainsi que de nombreuses imitations de pièces détachées pour voitures, des DVD, des couteaux, des vêtements ainsi que des millions de briquets et de cigarettes.

Opération "DIABOLO"

En 2007, l'opération douanière conjointe "DIABOLO", organisée par la Commission avec la participation des 27 Etats membres de l'Union Européenne et 13 pays asiatiques((2)), ainsi que celle d'Interpol, d'Europol et de l'Organisation Mondiale des Douanes, a permis de saisir approximativement 135 millions de cigarettes de marque contrefaites et 1.089.585 autres produits contrefaits, à savoir produits textiles, chaussures, jouets, meubles, valises et montres. En outre, huit personnes ont été interpelées à l'issue de cette opération.

Le rapport est disponible sur le site Europa : http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/diabolo/i_en.html"

Opération "INFRASTRUCTURE"

Fin 2007, l'opération conjointe "INFRASTRUCTURE", entreprise par la Commission avec le concours des autorités douanières du Royaume-Uni, de l'Allemagne, de la France et de la Belgique et le bureau des douanes et de la protection des frontières des États-Unis (CBP), pour faire respecter les droits de propriété intellectuelle, a permis la saisie de plus de 360.000 circuits intégrés de contrefaçon portant plus de 40 marques différentes et des échanges d'information fructueux. C'était la première action conjointe visant la protection des droits de propriété intellectuelle.

Opération "MUDAN"

En 2008, l'opération douanière conjointe MUDAN, organisée en avril 2008 par la Commission avec le concours des autorités douanières des Etats membres de l'Union Européenne, s'est concentrée sur les colis postaux venant de Chine et a permis de saisir 1.300.000 cigarettes.

En outre, afin de coordonner et supporter les opérations douanières conjointes de toute nature, y compris en matière de contrefaçon, une infrastructure technique permanente de coordination des opérations (Permanent Operational Coordination Unit) a été mise à disposition des Etats membres dans les locaux de l'Office européen de Lutte Antifraude (OLAF) à Bruxelles. Cette infrastructure, qui a été utilisée notamment pour les opérations "FAKE" et "DIABOLO", permet d'assurer la coordination en temps réel de flux d'informations opérationnelles lors d'actions communautaires ou internationales de grande envergure.

 
 

(1) Règlement (CE) N° 1383/2003 du Conseil du 22 juillet 2003 : J.O. L 196 du 2.8.2003 et Règlement (CE) N° 1891/2004 de la Commission du 21 octobre 2004: J.O. L 328 du 30.10.2004.
(2) (Brunei, Burma/Myanmar, Chine, Cambodge, Indonésie, Japon, Corée du Sud, Malaisie, Laos, Philippines, Singapour, Thaïlande et Vietnam).

 

Fråga nr 65 från Nils Lundgren (H-1050/08)
 Angående: På väg mot ett EU-försvar
 

Kommissionen har föreslagit att ett nytt system för tillståndsgivning för överföring av försvarsmateriel ska ersätta dagens 27 nationella system (KOM(2007)0765). Enligt kommissionen utgör de nuvarande skillnaderna mellan medlemsstaternas system ”ett betydande hinder för en europeisk marknad för försvarsmateriel”.

Under beredningsarbetet inför förslaget till direktiv övervägde kommissionen att inrätta en tillståndsfri zon och att låta EU sköta tillståndshanteringen för överföring av försvarsmateriel. Idén övergavs emellertid ”eftersom det inte finns någon gemensam utrikespolitik” och för att den ”politiska integrationen mellan medlemsstaterna är otillräcklig”.

Anser kommissionen att det skulle vara möjligt att inrätta en tillståndsfri zon i EU för överföring av försvarsmateriel om Lissabonfördraget träder i kraft? Anser kommissionen att en tillståndsfri zon skulle vara eftersträvansvärd?

 
  
 

Defence-related products cover a broad spectrum of military goods and services, ranging from low sensitivity components and light arms to complex weapon systems, such as combat aircraft or war vessels, as well as highly sensitive material, such as nuclear, biological and chemical gear.

Member States can currently invoke restrictions to the circulation of defence-related products within the Internal Market on the basis of Article 30 of the EC Treaty. This Article permits certain prohibitions or restrictions on the free movement of goods between Member States on grounds of, inter alia, public policy or public security and the protection of health and life of humans, provided that such prohibitions or restrictions meet the proportionality test. This Article is not amended by the Lisbon Treaty. Two reasons play a particularly important role in this contrext:

1. mber States wish to ensure that such material does not eventually end up in hostile hands or failed states. Reducing the threat of terrorism and the risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a key concern of all Member States.

2. ember States also wish to ensure that defence equipment is not used by criminals within the EU. The prevention of violent crime and of terrorism within the EU requires a strict control of the circulation of many types of defence-related products.

Furthermore, Article 296 of the EC Treaty may also allow Member States, under certain conditions, to take such measures as they consider necessary for the protection of the essential interests of their security which are connected with the production of or trade in arms, munitions and war material. This Article is also not amended by the Lisbon Treaty.

As such, the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty does not effect the possibility for Member States to introduce restrictions motivated by public security concerns.The proposal for a directive on simplifying terms and conditions of transfers of defence-related products within the Community which the Parliament voted on 16 December 2008 nevertheless constitutes a major step towards a better integrated internal market for defence-related products without jepodizing national security concerns.

While the Commission did not foresee the possibility for the EU itself to issue licences for the transfer of defence-related products, the Directive adopted, has three important provisons which should gradually eliminate or substantially alleviate licensing requirements:

– The Directive allows Member States to exempt transfers of defence-related products from the obligation of prior authorisation in several cases, for example when the supplier or the recipient is a governmental body or a part of armed forces;

– The Directive contains an evolution clause whereby other transfers of defence-related products can be exempted from the obligation of prior authorisation, for example where the transfer takes place under such conditions as not to affect public policy or public security;

– The system of general transfer licences put in place by the Directive is not an individual licence but a general authorisation to suppliers who fulfil the terms and conditions attached to the licence, to perform transfers of defence-related products to be specified in the licence to a category or categories of recipients located in another Member State.

This Directive will abolish many superfluous administrative formalities while allowing Member States to perform the necessary controls in order to prevent the wide dissemination of defence equipment and the risk of diversion.

The Commission will review the functioning of the Directive and submit a report to the Parliament and the Council in which it will evaluate whether, and to what extent, the objectives of the Directive have been achieved, with regard to the functioning of the internal market.

 

Question no 66 by James Nicholson (H-1063/08)
 Subject: Origin of produce / food labelling
 

In light of recent events affecting the pig industry and in order to improve the current situation, which is totally inadequate, will the Commission now bring forward proposals for clear ‘country of origin’ labelling of food so that consumers are able to make clear and informed choices?

 
  
 

The fundamental principle of European Union (EU) food law is that all food and feed legally placed on the market in the EU must be safe, irrespective of where it comes from. A wide range of measures to ensure food safety and to assist in the removal of unsafe food/feed from the market have been introduced under Community legislation.

In accordance with the General Food Law Regulation(1), traceability on EU territory is compulsory for food business operators at all stages of the food chain, from the importer up to the retail level. That means that food operators must have in place systems and procedures to identify food business operators from whom they have received and to whom they have delivered products.

In particular for products of animal origin, including products from outside the Community, the food hygiene legislation enhances further the traceability rules of products of animal origin covered by Regulation 853/2004(2) by requiring the application of a health mark or identification mark on such products.

The Commission does not agree that the system is inadequate. The recent contamination incident of Irish pork and beef with dioxins has demonstrated that the traceability of food of animal origin has significantly improved compared to similar contamination incidents in the past. Once the contamination was known, possibly contaminated Irish pork and beef was withdrawn from the market in 25 Member States and 12 third countries in a very short period of time thanks to the traceability systems in place. The rapid removal of possible contaminated meat from the market is the key to protect public health and to maintain consumer confidence.

As to the mandatory indication of labelling of origin for all foods in general, it must be underlined that origin labelling is not a tool for contributing to food safety. The Commission views origin labelling as primarily an instrument of consumer information, particularly about the characteristics and, as the case may be, about the quality of the food.

Origin labelling is required in cases where consumers might be misled on the true origin or provenance of the foodstuffs, and in application of specific rules such as those for fruit and vegetables, beef, wine, honey and fish. In addition, an indication of origin must be shown for imported poultry meat and, with effect from 1 July 2010, the origin of pre-packaged foodstuffs labelled as organically produced must be shown on an EU product (and on imported products if the Community logo is used).

The recent Commission proposal for a Regulation of the Parliament and of the Council on the provision of food information to consumers(3) does not extend the items to which compulsory origin labelling applies, but provides for rules in order to ensure that voluntary origin indications are based on the same criteria.

In particular, as regards meat different from beef and veal, the draft Regulation foresees that voluntary origin indications should provide information on the different locations of birth, rearing and slaughter of the animal in so far as that animal has not been born, reared and slaughtered in the same country or place.

The Commission is certainly aware that the issue has given rise to further debate. In its Green Paper on agricultural product quality(4), the Commission specifically asked whether an obligatory indication of place of production of primary products, such as 'EU' or 'non-EU', could be useful to ensure a better connection is made between the farming input and the final product. The Green Paper was open for responses from stakeholders and the public. The consultation ended on 31.12.2008.

 
 

(1) Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (OJ L 31, 1.2.2002).
(2) Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin (OJ L139, 30.4.2004. Corrected version in OJ L 226, 25.6.2004).
(3) COM(2008)40 final
(4) (COM(2008 641)

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 67 του κ. Δημητρίου Παπαδημούλη (H-1074/08)
 Θέμα: Σύμβαση των Ηνωμένων Εθνών κατά της Διαφθοράς και μαύρα ταμεία Siemens
 

Η έρευνα που διεξάγουν δικαστικές αρχές για την εταιρία Siemens έχει οδηγήσει σε ομολογίες για την ύπαρξη μαύρων ταμείων από τα οποία δωροδοκήθηκαν πολιτικά κόμματα και άλλα πρόσωπα ευθύνης. Διαπιστώνεται όμως ότι η μικρή περίοδος παραγραφής έχει ως συνέπεια να έχουν παραγραφεί αδικήματα και εμπλεκόμενα πολιτικά πρόσωπα να μείνουν ατιμώρητα. Η Σύμβαση των Ηνωμένων Εθνών κατά της Διαφθοράς, την οποία η Ευρωπαϊκή Κοινότητα υπέγραψε (15.9.2005) και ενέκρινε (25.9.2008), μπορεί να λειτουργήσει ως ένα ακόμη εργαλείο για την πλήρη διερεύνηση και απόδοση ευθυνών στην υπόθεση Siemens, ιδιαίτερα το άρθρο 29 που αφορά στην «παραγραφή» και το άρθρο 30 που αφορά στην «δίωξη, απόφαση, κυρώσεις».

Λαμβάνοντας υπόψη ότι η εν λόγω εταιρία έχει αναλάβει έργα συγχρηματοδοτούμενα με κοινοτικά κονδύλια με τη συμμετοχή και άλλων εταιριών, ερωτάται η Επιτροπή: Ποια κράτη μέλη είναι συμβαλλόμενα στην εν λόγω Σύμβαση; Θα σύστηνε στα κράτη μέλη την προσαρμογή της εθνικής τους νομοθεσίας στην εν λόγω Σύμβαση και ιδιαίτερα στο άρθρο 29, που θεσπίζει μακρά περίοδο παραγραφής; Ποια μέτρα προτίθεται να λάβει για την πλήρη διερεύνηση της υπόθεσης και την απόδοση ευθυνών;

 
  
 

According to the relevant website of the United Nations (UN), apart from the European Communities, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK have signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Italy, Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Cyprus have signed but not yet ratified the UNCAC Convention.

Corruption is a major threat to society and nobody can say this will not happen to us. The Commission's line has always been to invite Member States to sign, ratify and implement UN Conventions and other international instruments that contribute to the fight against corruption.

As regards the conduct of investigation in the matter referred to by the Honourable Member, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the Commission's reply to his oral question H-0746/08, setting out in detail the respective roles that the Commission services, including the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Member States have in this matter. In this regard, the Commission would reiterate that concerning allegations of possible corruption in Member States, it is the responsibility of the competent authorities of the Member States concerned to take appropriate action. The Commission services, including OLAF, stand ready to assist the national authorities if such assistance is deemed necessary and possible under EU law, in particular if EU funds are concerned.

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 68 του κ. Μανώλη Μαυρομμάτη (H-0001/09)
 Θέμα: Βρεφική θνησιμότητα στις χώρες της ΕΕ
 

Σύμφωνα με έρευνα της EURO-PERISTAT που δημοσιεύθηκε το 2008, η βρεφική θνησιμότητα (τις πρώτες 27 ημέρες μετά τη γέννηση) στις χώρες της ΕΕ κυμαίνεται από 2 στις 1000 γεννήσεις σε Κύπρο, Σουηδία έως 5,7 στη Λετονία. Επιπλέον, το ποσοστό γέννησης λιποβαρών μωρών φαίνεται να επηρεάζεται από το γεωγραφικό σημείο της χώρας, εφόσον παρατηρούνται περισσότερες γεννήσεις μωρών κάτω των 2,5 κιλών στις χώρες της Νότιας και Ανατολικής Ευρώπης.

Πώς θα αξιοποιήσει η Επιτροπή τα στοιχεία αυτά; Ποιές δράσεις θα αναλάβει έτσι ώστε στον Δυτικό Κόσμο του 21ου αιώνα, και ειδικά στην Ευρώπη που αντιμετωπίζει έντονο δημογραφικό πρόβλημα, να εξαλειφθούν οι βρεφικοί θάνατοι;

 
  
 

The Commission is glad to have supported the production of this report, which complements the data on infant (including perinatal, late foetal and neonatal) mortality annually collected by Eurostat. It provides a reference point which can guide action by Member States. And as the question identifies, the report shows significant variations across the European Union.

Regarding action to be taken, according to Article 152 of the Treaty, in the health domain the primary responsibility lies with the Member States. It is therefore primarily up to individual Member States to consider what issues this report identifies for them, and to take appropriate action.

Nevertheless, addressing inequalities in health is one of the objectives of the EU Health Strategy. The Commission plans to publish a Communication on tackling health inequalities later in 2009.

The Commission has already taken action in this area. For example, the Commission has supported Member States in their actions aimed at reducing risk behaviours relating to perinatal and infant mortality in their populations. This includes informing women of risks associated with smoking and drinking during pregnancy.

The Commission also supports improvements in healthcare systems, such as through investment under the Structural Funds, and through research into better health technology and techniques under the Research framework programmes.

The Commission will also continue to produce this kind of comparable information on health and health-related behaviour of the population, on diseases, and on health care systems. As this PERISTAT report shows, such information enables benchmarking across Europe and helps to promote concrete action within Member States to help spread best practice throughout the EU.

 

Vraag nr. 69 van Saïd El Khadraoui (H-0006/09)
 Betreft: De toepassing van Verordening (EG) nr. 261/2004 inzake passagiersrechten in de luchtvaart
 

Sinds 2004 bestaat er in de Europese wetgeving een Verordening (EG) nr. 261/2004(1) die de rechten van vliegtuigpassagiers regelt in geval van instapweigering, vertraging of annulering van hun vlucht.

De Commissie erkende in 2007 dat verdere initiatieven nodig waren om de toepassing van deze Verordening in de praktijk te verbeteren en pleegde daarvoor overleg met de nationale luchtvaartautoriteiten en met belanghebbenden. Toen werd besloten om eerst zo nodig waarschuwingen uit te sturen en zo nodig inbreukprocedures op te starten tegen lidstaten die de regels inzake passagiersrechten niet goed of onvoldoende toepasten.

Hoeveel klachten van vliegtuigpassagiers hebben de lidstaten en de Commissie ontvangen na de inwerkingtreding van Verordening (EG) nr. 261/2004? Wat was de aard van deze klachten? Welk gevolg werd er aan deze klachten gegeven? Is het aantal klachten gestegen of gedaald, en zijn er tendenzen merkbaar in de aard en het aantal klachten?

Welke initiatieven heeft de Commissie inmiddels genomen om de toepassing van Verordening (EG) nr. 261/2004 in de praktijk te verbeteren? Hoeveel inbreukprocedures zijn er inmiddels opgestart tegen lidstaten en/of vliegmaatschappijen?

Is de Commissie van plan verdere stappen te nemen om de toepassing van de Verordening te verbeteren? Zijn er nieuwe wetgevende initiatieven gepland om de bestaande Verordening te verbeteren?

 
  
 

1. There is no legal obligation for the Commission or the Member States to keep statistics or to report on the application of Regulation 261/2004. Therefore, the Commission has no information on the number of complaints received by National Enforcement Bodies for the period mentioned by the Honourable Member of the European Parliament.

However, in its role of monitoring the correct implementation of the Community legislation, the Commission made reference to the number of complaints received in 2005-2006 in its Communication of 4 April 2007(2), (page 5 of SEC(2007)0426). Moreover, the European Consumer Centres (ECC) which are co-financed by the Member States and the Commission also issued two reports based on the complaints received by them in 2005 and 2006. These complaints concerned only cross-border cases (no national flights therefore) and also problems with luggage which are not covered by the Air Passenger Rights Regulation. These reports can be found in the Commission web page as well as in any of the ECC web pages.

In addition, the Commission has sent a questionnaire to all competent national authorities in November 2008 with deadline 15th of January asking for relevant information, including information on complaint handling on the operation of Regulation 261/2004 in 2007-2008. The answers to the questionnaires are currently under translation and analysis by the Commission services. The Commission intend to send soon a similar letter to the airline associations. The Commission services will compile and analyse all the available data and inform the Parliament about the outcome of this exercise in the second semester of 2009, as it was the case in 2007. The ECC has planned to issue their third report in 2009 on the complaints they have received in 2007-2008.

2. Under article 16 of the Regulation, Member States are in charge of the enforcement and, therefore, it is for the Member States to proceed against the airlines that do not fully apply the Regulation. The Commission only can open infringement procedures against the Member States that do not respect their obligations on enforcement.

The Commission considered in its Communication of 2007 that a period of stability was required to allow NEB, airlines, Member States and the Commission itself to develop a practical, consistent and harmonised application of the Regulation. Further to the Communication, the Commission brought together In 2007, all the stakeholders (notaby airline associations and NEBs) to set up a set of documents that would improve the application of, and adherence to, the regulation. All these documents are available on the Commission's website(3). 2008 has provided us with the necessary period of stability that allowed all stakeholders to put into practice all the procedures and mechanisms that were agreed in 2007.

Since all the NEB were fully committed to this voluntary approach and started improving their enforcement, no infrigment procedures were opened in 2007-2008, during the stability period.

The meeting held in Brussels last 2 December, which gathered together again all the stakeholders, closed the period of stability and initiated the new evaluation phase, in which the Commission will analyse whether and why regulation 261/2004 may still be not adequately respected, and will take the necessary solutions.

In January 2009 the Commission is about to initiate contacts on three files with two Member States in the 'EU Pilot' system for problem-solving, two regarding lack of action of the Italian NEB and one regarding lack of action of the Spanish NEB. Subject to the answer of the competent national authorities in these cases, the Commission may open infringment procedures against them. Secondly, the Commission services will send a letter to several Member States in the coming weeks asking for further information regarding the way they enforce the Regulation vis-à-vis non-national air carriers. If the information to be provided by these Member States is not satisfactory, the Commission will open infringment procedures against them in 2009.

3. Since only a reduced number of passengers which are dissatisfied with the airline or the NEB answers write to the Commission, the Commission considers that these complaints may not be representative of the overall situation in Europe. However, these complaints are very useful for the Commission to monitor how the Regulation is actually applied by member states and the air carriers, and to act accordingly whenever it seems necessary.

The Commission sends to the competent national enforcement authority all the letters of passengers providing information suggesting that the airline does not respect their obligations under the Regulation. The Commission follows up with the National enforcement bodies their work on these cases and keeps informed the passengers that request so.

The Commission encourages NEB to collaborate and to exchange information among themselves to ensure a more homogeneous implementation of the Regulation. To do so the Commission organises regularly meetings with the NEB. The last one took place on 2 December 2009, the next one is likely to take place in May through a joint meeting of the NEB-ECC-CPC networks. Points raised in passenger complaints are systematically discussed during these meetings.

4. The number of complaints received by the Commission has fallen since 2005 and it has stabilised around 2200 letters and mails per year since 2007. The two kind of incidents mentioned by passengers more often are problems related to their luggage (regulation 889/2002 implementing the Montreal Convention), and long delay or cancellation of a flight (Regulation 261/2004). Further to the adoption of Regulation 261/2004, the number of overbooking and downgrading cases has clearly diminished.

5. The Commission intends to provide another report to the Council and Parliament on the operation and the results of Regulation 261/2004 in Autumn 2009. The Communication to be adopted by the Commission on the second semester this year will analyse the 4 years of operation of the regulation in order to assess its success in reducing the number of incidents and improving the protection of air passenger rights. It will also announce the Commission's intentions regarding future legislative measures.

 
 

(1) PB L 46 van 17.2.2004, blz. 1.
(2) COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation [EC]261/2004 on the operation and the results of this Regulation establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights (COM(2007)0168 & SEC(2007)0426)
(3) http://apr.europa.eu

 

Question no 70 by Tadeusz Zwiefka (H-0011/09)
 Subject: Broadcast of outlawed TV station al-Manar
 

Recently, Germany banned the operations of al-Manar TV across Germany. The ban order makes it illegal for anyone to cooperate with al-Manar TV. This follows broadcasting bans on al-Manar TV in France, Spain and the Netherlands because of al-Manar TV’s violation of European audiovisual laws.

According to the ban order, issued on 11 November by the German Federal Minister of the Interior, the 'purpose and activity of al-Manar TV is to support, advocate and call for the use of violence as a means to achieving political and religious aims.' The ban order also describes al-Manar TV as disseminating 'calls for ‘martyrdom’ through suicide bombings' and lists al-Manar TV’s use of verses in the Quran to justify and promote violence.

Did the Commission raised the broadcasting of al-Manar TV into Europe via Nilesat during the EU-Egypt Association Committee meeting on 16 December 2008? If not, can the Commission explain why not?

 
  
 

The Commission shares the concern of the Honourable Member that some of the material broadcast by al-Manar TV amounts to incitement to hatred.

The first meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Committee on 16 December 2008 took stock of progress made on the implementation of the Association Agreement and the joint Action Plan under the European Neighbourhood Policy. Among other items on the agenda, the Association Committee discussed the conclusions of the different sub-committee meetings which were held during 2008; but no specific topic was raised in detail, as this is done in the relevant sub-committee.

The sub-committee on political matters with Egypt is the appropriate mechanism for raising issues related to the fight against racism, xenophobia and intolerance. This includes the undertaking in the joint EU-Egypt Action Plan to “strengthen the role of media in combating xenophobia and discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or culture” and encouraging the media “to assume its responsibilities in this regard”.

The first meeting of the sub-committee on political matters with Egypt on 2-3 June 2008 did not raise the issue of incitement to hatred via the media. In light of the many other pressing developments that had to be addressed, as well as the EU’s priorities for this dialogue, it had been decided with the Member States that this issue would not be discussed in this first sub-committee meeting (see reply of the Commission to oral questions H-0480/08 and H-0491/08).

The Commission has raised the issue of al-Manar's broadcasts on several other occasions: For instance, following an intervention of the Commission at the 2nd EU-Lebanese sub-committee meeting on Human Rights, Governance and Democracy on 17 November 2008 the Lebanese Government made a statement that they had never received an official complaint on al-Manar TV. In addition, the issue was discussed at the meeting of the Working Group of the Audiovisual Media Services Regulatory Authorities(1) on 4 July 2008. At the meeting of the Contact Committee(2) on 16 December 2008, the Commission asked the Member States whether recent evidence exists that al-Manar TV still incites to hatred and, if this was the case, whether they would consider to launch a diplomatic complaint with the Lebanese Government (and inform the Commission thereof).

The Commission continues to follow this issue closely and may raise it on another occasion under the EU’s regular political dialogues with Egypt and Lebanon or at any other forum.

 
 

(1) Established by Directive 89/552/CEE as lastly amended by Directive 2007/65/CE on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services - OJ L 332 of 18 December 2007.
(2) Established by Directive 89/552/CEE as lastly amended by Directive 2007/65/CE on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services - OJ L 332 of 18 December 2007.

 

Zapytanie nr 71 skierowane przez Krzysztof Hołowczyc (H-0020/09)
 Przedmiot: Równowaga konkurencyjna oraz prawa konsumenta we wspólnotowym ruchu lotniczym
 

Celem dyrektywy 2005/29/WE było ujednolicenie w ramach Wspólnoty prawa dotyczącego nieuczciwych praktyk handlowych. Zakres dyrektywy dotyczy harmonizacji prawa o zwalczaniu nieuczciwej konkurencji w obrocie między przedsiębiorcami i konsumentami. Cele dyrektywy (2005/29/WE(1)) są powtórzone w komunikacie Komisji (COM(2007)0099) o strategii polityki konsumenckiej UE na lata 2007-2013.

Respektując pozytywny fakt dynamicznego rozwoju rynku „tanich” przewoźników lotniczych, zachodzi pytanie, jakie działania Komisja podejmuje wobec tych przewoźników w celu zagwarantowania rzetelnej informacji cenowej?

Czy zdaniem Komisji – w związku z powyższym – ciągle występujący fakt naliczania ceny przez irlandzką „tanią” linię lotniczą, wielokrotnie przewyższającej cenę początkowo podawaną do informacji konsumenta w trakcie procesu zakupu biletu w obiegu elektronicznym, nie stoi w sprzeczności z celami dyrektywy?

 
  
 

The Commission is aware of the problem of clear and complete pricing in the airline sector and has taken action in order to ensure that airlines improve their practices. In September 2007, the Commission coordinated with national authorities an EU sweep targeting websites selling air tickets, including airlines websites.

More than 400 websites were checked and the results showed that about a third had irregularities with misleading price information being one of the most common irregularities. Often airfares, sometimes advertised as free, would not include taxes and charges and therefore the final price charged would be substantially higher than the price advertised. 60% of these irregularities were rectified(2) within the subsequent 13 months. The other 40% remain under investigation.

The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive(3) obliges traders to provide consumers with the information they need, in a timely and clear manner, in order to make an informed choice. Traders must also provide clear, complete and final prices, inclusive taxes and other charges, where prices are advertised.

The Directive also states that even where information provided is technically correct, it will be deemed misleading where it deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer. In addition to this, the Directive's blacklist prohibits misleadingly describing a product as free where it is not.

More specifically however, the Regulation on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community(4), which came into force on 1 November 2008, obliges airlines to display complete airfares. These should include taxes and airport charges and all other foreseeable fees.

In November, the Commissioner for Transport and I met with the representatives of the aviation industry to raise the level of compliance of their website with the EU consumer rights legislation. A checklist of compliance for their websites has been provided to the industry and the Commission has informed them that an independent study shall examine this spring which websites are in compliance with the checklist.(5).

 
 

(1) Dz.U. L 149 z 11.6.2005, s. 22.
(2) IP/08/1857
(3) Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC and 2002/65 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Unfair Commercial Practices Directive).
(4) Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community (Recast)
(5) IP/08/1857

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 72 του κ. Γεωργίου Τούσσα (H-0021/09)
 Θέμα: Υποβάθμιση των ακτοπλοϊκών συγκοινωνιών
 

Σύμφωνα με τεκμηριωμένα στοιχεία της ελληνικής Γενικής Διεύθυνσης Ανταγωνισμού, 14 ακτοπλοϊκές εταιρείες, καθώς και η Ένωση Επιχειρήσεων Ακτοπλοΐας, κατηγορούνται μεταξύ άλλων «για οριζόντια σύμπραξη στην τιμολογιακή τους πολιτική, ‘στήσιμο’ δρομολογίων, έμμεσο καθορισμό του ναυλολόγιου και οριζόντια σύμπραξη εντός της ΕΕΑ για περικοπή δρομολογίων προς τα νησιά του Αιγαίου και της Δωδεκανήσου» με σκοπό το κέρδος των ναυτιλιακών εταιρειών. Το νομοθετικό πλαίσιο που διαμορφώθηκε στην Ελλάδα από τις Κυβερνήσεις ΝΔ και ΠΑΣΟΚ, καθώς και στα άλλα κράτη μέλη, με βάση τον Κανονισμό EOK αριθ. 3577/92(1), έχει επιφέρει συνολική υποβάθμιση των ακτοπλοϊκών συγκοινωνιών με σοβαρά προβλήματα για τους εργαζόμενους και τους κατοίκους των νησιών. Είναι απαράδεκτο το γεγονός ότι φτάνοντας στο τέλος της κοινοβουλευτικής περιόδου και ενώ έχουν περάσει 7 χρόνια από την τελευταία δημοσιοποίηση έκθεσης (COM(2002)0203) για την ακτοπλοΐα, η Επιτροπή δεν έχει δημοσιοποιήσει ακόμη νέα έκθεση.

Ποιοι είναι οι λόγοι που η έκθεση αυτή δεν έχει δημοσιοποιηθεί και πότε προτίθεται η Επιτροπή να τη δημοσιοποιήσει; Σκοπεύει να καταργήσει τον αντιλαϊκό κανονισμό EOK αριθ. 3577/92 μέσα από τον οποίο θεσμοθετήθηκε η πλήρης ασυδοσία των εφοπλιστών και των «καρτέλ» στις ακτοπλοϊκές συγκοινωνίες;

 
  
 

The Commission notes the concerns expressed by the Honourable Member regarding the alleged practices of the Greek carriers but would like to highlight the fact that since 1 May 2004(2) the Commission and national competition authorities ("NCAs") as well as national courts of the EU Member States share responsibility for the enforcement of the EC competition rules. The Commission trusts the Greek Competition Authority will apply EC competition law if applicable in the case at hand. In that case, the Greek Competition Authority is obliged to closely cooperate with the Commission (Article 11 Regulation 1/2003).

The purpose of the Cabotage Regulation(3) is to liberalise the maritime cabotage services by applying the freedom to provide these services within any EU Member State to the Community shipowners operating vessels registered and flying the flag of a Member State. It should be noted that the Regulation has liberalised these services while respecting the particular needs for public transport to/from islands by leaving to Member States the choice of whether and to what extent public service should be provided.

The Commission is monitoring the application of the Cabotage Regulation very closely. Furthermore, pursuant to Article 10 of the Regulation the Commission has an obligation to submit a report on its application to the Council every two years. As noted by the Honourable Member, the last (fourth) report covering the period 1999-2000 was adopted in 2002. In agreement with the Council(4) the Commission decided to cover by the fifth report a longer period in order to fully analyse the evolution of cabotage market within the Community, including Greece, which was the last country benefiting from the derogation. The Commission is currently preparing this fifth report. In the framework of this exercise the Commission intends to consult the stakeholders before adopting the report and, if necessary, submitting additional proposals.

 
 

(1) ΕΕ L 364 της 12.12.1992, σελ. 7
(2) Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 on the implementation of the rules of competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty, OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1.
(3) Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 of 7 December 1992 applying the principle of freedom to provide services to maritime transport within Member States (maritime cabotage), OJ L 364, 12.12.1992, p.7.
(4) Council conclusions of 5.11.2002

 

Ερώτηση αρ. 73 του κ. Kωvσταντίνου Δρούτσα (H-0023/09)
 Θέμα: Καταστροφικές συνέπειες από την εμπορική κρίση στα αγροτικά νοικοκυριά
 

Η εφαρμογή των κανονισμών που προέκυψαν από τη λεγόμενη ενδιάμεση αναθεώρηση στα επί μέρους προϊόντα είχε σαν αποτέλεσμα την κατάρρευση των τιμών τους σε βαθμό που να μην καλύπτουν ούτε το κόστος της παραγωγής. Χαρακτηριστικά παραδείγματα η τιμή του σκληρού σιταριού που από 0,50 ευρώ το κιλό το 2007 έπεσε στα 0,30 ευρώ το κιλό το 2008. Στο βαμβάκι που από 0,40 ευρώ το κιλό το 2007 έπεσε στα 0,20 ευρώ το κιλό το 2008. Στο λάδι που από 3,5 ευρώ το 2007 έπεσε στο 2,4 ευρώ το κιλό το 2008 κ.ο.κ.

Επειδή οι μειώσεις αυτές απειλούν με χρεοκοπία τα περισσότερα αγροτικά νοικοκυριά της χώρας μας σκέφτεται η Επιτροπή να πάρει μέτρα για να αντιμετωπισθούν οι καταστροφικές συνέπειες της εμπορικής κρίσης, και ποια είναι αυτά;

 
  
 

After a sharp and rapid increase at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008, the prices of many agricultural commodities fell drastically due mainly to the strong production development in 2008 at EU and world level. They are now back to levels similar at or even below those before the price spikes. Furthermore, the price decline has been exacerbated by the increased nervousness and uncertainty about the economic outlook and the general turbulence in the global financial system.

The price drop led to some income decline in 2008 in many EU Member States, although higher input prices (in particular energy and fertilisers) were in fact the main driving factor behind the fall in agricultural income. In Greece, the agricultural income per worker declined by 7% in real terms, despite a 3% rise in the value of agricultural products (resulting from a 4% increase in output volume and a slight fall of 1% in output prices).

In spite of these unfavourable price trends, the income of farmers in Greece in 2008 were substantially supported by the granting of the EU decoupled direct payments, which are paid regardless of the prevailing market price environment and which make up for around 40% in Greek agricultural factor income. Furthermore and in an attempt to countervail the current trend of decreasing agricultural market prices, the Commission has recently adjusted its market management in the dairy sector.

 

Question no 74 by Sajjad Karim (H-0026/09)
 Subject: Cross-border video-conferencing
 

On 18 December 2008, the European Parliament adopted a resolution with recommendations to the Commission on e-Justice. As regards the current system of gathering criminal evidence in other Member States, the resolution states that it is still based on slow and ineffective instruments offered by mutual assistance in criminal matters, and that, where appropriate and only where it would not be detrimental to the legal position of the person giving testimony, the use of technological tools such as video-conferencing would be a great step forward in the taking of evidence at a distance.

However, no statistics are yet available on the practical application of video-conferences and it appears that video-conferencing is still not being fully exploited.

Does the Commission envisage specific measures with regard to full exploitation of video-conferencing, including providing a list of countries and concrete locations where video-conferencing may take place?

Does the Commission agree that there is a specific need for appropriate safeguards to be put in place to ensure that the rights of citizens and the integrity of justice systems are protected?

Will the Commission consider or even acknowledge the disadvantages of video-conferencing?

 
  
 

1. The Commission shares the view that the possibility of using videoconference for the taking of evidence in cross-border cases could be a way to facilitate procedures for citizens concerned by such cases.

European legislation already provides for possibilities and rules for using videoconferencing in cross-border cases:

· Council act of 29 May 2000 establishing in accordance with Article 34 on European Union the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union

· Council Regulation 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil and commercial matters

· Council Directive 2004/80/EC of 29 April 2004 relating to compensation to crime victims

· Regulation 861/2007 of the Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure

The 2001 Regulation enables a Court from one Member State to request a Court in another Member State to take evidence in another Member State. This Regulation provides for the use of the most advanced technological means and privileges videoconference. To support the implementation of this regulation, 50 000 copies of a practice guide on this Regulation were disseminated at the beginning of 2007 and served to raise awareness among the judiciary on these provisions.

In criminal matters, the 2000 Convention indicates that Member States shall agree to a request from another Member State about hearing a witness or an expert by videoconference, provided that it is not contrary to the fundamental principles of their national law and that they have the technical means to carry out the hearing.

The judicial authority of the requested Member State summons the person to appear in accordance with its national law. During the hearing, a member of the judiciary of the requested Member State has to be present. The person may claim the right not to testify in accordance with the law of the requested or requesting Member State.

These rules apply only to the hearing of witnesses and experts. However, Member States may also agree to apply the rules to the hearing of accused persons in accordance with national law and relevant international instruments.

The 2003 Agreement on mutual legal assistance between the European Union and the United States of America also includes provisions for the use of videoconference.

The Parliament's Resolution and the Council's Action Plan on e-Justice encourage consideration of all possible uses of videoconference tools in court cases.

2. On 5th December 2007, the Commission adopted a report on the application of the Council Regulation 1206/2001(1). To prepare this report, a survey was carried out and published in March 2007(2). It showed that, regarding the use of advanced communication technology in the taking of evidence,

· 62,2 % of the legal professionals indicated that it was rarely used,

· 17,7% had seen it being sometimes used and

· 4,2% often.

The use of advanced communication technologies was considered by 24,3% of these professionals as of interest to improve the efficiency of evidence-taking, to cut costs and to significantly reduce timescales.

Current discussions in the e-Justice Working Party of the Council have shown that, while videoconference is not yet widely used, recent efforts in all Member States have resulted in a much more widespread equipment of courts and increased interest in the use of videoconferencing facilities for cross-border cases.

A survey organised by the Council has shown that the equipment installed in different Member States respects the same international technical standards. However, organisational (such as contact points, testing phases, etc) and legal questions (sufficient understanding of another legal system and structure) may constitute stumbling blocks or hurdles to more widespread use of videoconference in cross-border cases.

3. The Atlas of the European Judicial Network (EJN) in civil and commercial matters(3) includes a directory of Courts of all Members States. If the national Contact Point of the EJN has provided the information, it is possible to identify which courts are equipped with videoconferencing tools and to get in contact with them.

The future European e-Justice portal which is expected to be presented at the end of December 2009, will include more detailed information about the use of videoconference and location of videoconferencing equipment in Courts.

4. European e-Justice is a priority for the Commission. In discussions regarding the use of IT tools to improve efficiency in cross-border cases the protection of the rights of victims and defendants is a key element. The organisation and legal background of the use of videoconference in national cases is the responsibility of Member States.

However, the Commission welcomes all comments and proposals aimed at improving the integrity of justice systems and protecting the rights of citizens. The Commission has direct contacts with European as well as national organisations of legal practitioners. In 2009, the use of videoconference in cross-border cases will be discussed at one of the meetings of the Justice Forum(4). The purpose is to stimulate exchanges of experiences and discussions on the best use of this tool.

5. It is necessary to assess properly the benefits and potential negative consequences of the use of videoconference in cross-border cases. It is essential to ensure full respect of citizens' rights and to ensure that the quality of legal professionals' work is not negatively affected, and to take due account of the needs of citizens and legal professionals when adapting to a tools.

For example, in cross-border cases, the procedure may take place in a multilingual context. Quality of interpretation is thus a crucial issue, which has to be considered in detail, both for on-site interpretation and remote interpretation.

The Commission supports research on the specific needs of interpreting in the framework of videoconference exchanges.

To achieve the full potential offered by videoconferencing and to ensure best use it is necessary to assess and promote best practice, to understand the difficulties and to provide practical answers. Additional legislation might be needed at a later stage, but it does not constitute the main barrier at the moment.

 
 

(1) COM (2007) 769 final
(2) http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/doc_centre/civil/studies/doc/final_report_ec_1206_2001_a_09032007.pdf
(3) http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/judicialatlascivil/html/index_en.htm
(4) http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/news/information_dossiers/justice_forum/index_en.htm

 

Pregunta nº 75 formulada por Mikel Irujo Amezaga (H-0027/09):
 Asunto: Mapas con denominación correcta de Euskal Herria
 

El diputado Sr. Pomés Ruiz, en su pregunta P-6678/08, afirmaba erróneamente que el término «Euskal Herria» no era válido. El artículo 1 del Estatuto de Autonomía del País Vasco (Ley Orgánica 3/1979) reza exactamente de esta manera «El Pueblo Vasco o Euskal Herria, como expresión de su nacionalidad, y para acceder a su autogobierno, se constituye en Comunidad Autónoma dentro del Estado español bajo la denominación de Euskadi o País Vasco, de acuerdo con la Constitución y con el presente Estatuto, que es su norma institucional básica». Además, su artículo 2 dice textualmente que «Álava, Guipúzcoa y Vizcaya, así como Navarra, tienen derecho a formar parte de la Comunidad Autónoma del País Vasco».

Entonces queda claro que el término Euskal Herria es reconocido por una norma de rango superior como la citada Ley Orgánica y que incluso dicho término engloba Navarra.

A la luz de estas nuevas aportaciones, ¿ha tenido en cuenta la Comisión que no se trata de ningún error técnico tal y como indica la Sra. Wallström en su respuesta a la citada pregunta?

 
  
 

The maps of Europe published by the Commission for information purposes give only the official names of Autonomies and follow the territorial division as decided by the Member State.

 

Zapytanie nr 76 skierowane przez Ryszard Czarnecki (H-0036/09)
 Przedmiot: Postęp walki z korupcją w krajach bałkańskich
 

Jak Komisja ocenia postęp walki z korupcją w krajach bałkańskich kandydujących do Unii Europejskiej?

 
  
 

Combating corruption is one of the key issues closely monitored and promoted by the Commission with regard to candidate countries and potential candidates in the Western Balkans. This is done in close cooperation with other major stakeholders, such as the Council of Europe, International Financial Institutions as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In our annual Progress Reports we refer in detail to the developments in this area. Fight against corruption is also a key benchmark for the visa liberalisation dialogue.

Overall, despite considerable efforts made in some countries, corruption remains a serious problem in most of the Western Balkans. In particular, conviction rates for corruption cases are usually low, leading to allegations of corruption within the judicial system. Financing of political parties, privatisation and public procurement are areas most vulnerable to corruption, but also other sectors such as education and health care are affected.

With regard to the candidate countries, there is some further progress:

In Croatia, the legal framework to combat corruption is now largely in place and the Office for the Fight against Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) continues to become more active. However, corruption remains widespread. Further efforts are required in tackling and prosecuting high level corruption as well as in the field of public procurement. A culture of political accountability is lacking.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has made some progress in implementing anti-corruption policy and improved some of its anti-corruption laws. However, the fragmented legal system that has resulted from the large number of legislative acts continues to make implementation and monitoring difficult. Overall, corruption remains a particularly serious problem. Further steps are necessary, in implementing provisions on financing of political parties and election campaigns.

With regard to the potential candidates, the situation is as follows:

In Albania, progress in the fight against corruption remains slow. A new anti-corruption strategy for 2007-2013 with an action plan was adopted in October 2008. Implementation needs to start and monitoring mechanisms remain to be assessed. Corruption in Albania remains a particularly serious problem.

As regards Bosnia and Herzegovina, progress also remains slow. The Commission highlighted in meetings with BiH political leaders the need to demonstrate political will and take determined action to fight corruption. The country needs to improve its anti-corruption legislation and more vigorous investigation and prosecution.

In Montenegro, efforts have been stepped up in monitoring, awareness raising and the adoption of the necessary legal framework for fighting corruption. However, corruption continues to remain a serious and widespread problem, with limited results in securing adequate prosecution and convictions.

Serbia has made some progress in fighting corruption and developing a comprehensive anti-corruption policy. The legislative framework improved, and specialised departments within the courts and prosecution offices were set up. However, practical results in fighting corruption so far have been limited and corruption continues to be widespread and to pose a serious problem in Serbia.

In the case of Kosovo, under United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1244/99, corruption is still widespread and a major problem. This is due to insufficient legislation and implementing measures as well as a lack of clear political determination and the weakness of the judicial system.

 
Aviso legal - Política de privacidade