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Procedure : 2010/0254(COD)
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Texts tabled :

A7-0224/2011

Debates :

PV 13/12/2011 - 15
CRE 13/12/2011 - 15

Votes :

PV 14/12/2011 - 7.2
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0567

Debates
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

10. Explanations of vote
Video of the speeches
PV
 

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Andres Perello Rodriguez (A7-0224/2011)

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE).(IT) Mr President, the fruit juice sector, through this report which I supported, is a step further on a route which should lead it to greater transparency and trust in its dealings with consumers.

I therefore applaud any initiative which offers even greater clarity to European consumers through labelling, particularly of the origin of fruit content, compared with what was previously approved.

Finally, European fruit juice consumers will be aware of the origin of the fruit content and this will be advantageous to European farmers, above all, those working in southern Europe, who have not previously been able to take advantage of this opportunity.

It is obvious that the additional information – as well as the banning of terms that create confusion – on the main characteristics of fruit juices is an important issue which will be of benefit to all European consumers.

 
  
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  George Lyon (ALDE). – Mr President, I, too, welcome the vote today approving a compromise on the Fruit Juices Directive which aims to improve production standards and set rules for the quality and labelling of fruit juices. This will not only help consumers to make healthier choices, but also improve the added value of European products on the international markets. It is a very good deal for both the UK fruit industry and UK consumers.

From now on, there will be clear rules on what aromas and ingredients can be used. As a result, for example, the practice of labelling as ‘strawberry juice’ a product which contains more than 50% apple juice, and of which strawberries are only a minor ingredient, will now be banned. This will bring an end to marketing strategies that mislead consumers.

The practice of adding sugar to fruit juices will also be prohibited. This will ensure that only genuine fruit juices are marketed as such in the EU. Consumers will now be able to buy these products secure in the knowledge that the labelling accurately reflects what is in the can.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR). – Mr President, when I first worked on this directive, I stopped drinking fruit juice. I stopped trusting what was on the label. One wonders if the labelling of fruit juice has any resemblance to what is in the product.

That is why I am glad the amendments to the Fruit Juice Directive mean that clearer labelling will give consumers more accurate information, not only on the sugar content, but on the actual quantity of fruit in these drinks. Without this directive, manufacturers will be able to label a drink as strawberry juice, for example, when in reality, there is only a touch of strawberry, a lot of flavouring and an apple base.

The public has a right to know what is in the juice: if it is pure, is nectar or is made from concentrate; if it contains added sugar, no sugar, honey or sweeteners. We need to make it easy for customers to make a healthy choice. We need to ensure that there is transparency in the market. I hope the Fruit Juice Directive will result in a high quality of fruit juice as opposed to sugary drinks.

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE). (SK) Mr President, the situation on the market for fruit juices in the EU, where more than 80% of orange juice – the most prevalent raw material – comes from non-European countries and less than 20% from EU countries, requires the laying down of clear rules governing the composition, use of reserved descriptions, manufacturing specifications and labelling of the products concerned. At the general level, I support the idea of bringing the fruit juice sector into line with international law and the Codex Alimentarius. I also agree with retaining the distinction between fruit juices obtained by simply pressing fruit and fruit juices from concentrates, as well as the removal of sugar from the list of authorised ingredients. Unambiguous denomination will particularly help groups of consumers such as, for example, diabetics, children and people with weight problems or obesity to make informed choices when purchasing a product that can influence their health.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE).(IT) Mr President, the proposal for a directive that we voted on this morning aims to amend Directive 2001/112/EC for the second time, since it has already been voted on in Parliament.

I very much welcome drawing a clear distinction between fruit juices and juices from concentrates, which is one of the aims put forward by the directive: the idea is not to mislead the consumer at the moment of purchase; it instead favours informed purchasing, which will also encourage healthier consumption.

On the subject of benefiting citizens, the text sets out the distinction between juice and nectar as depending on the presence or absence of sugars in such products. The term ‘no added sugar’ should be allowed for category 1 fruit juices. With regard to nectar, it was not considered necessary to specify the mandatory presence of sugar. All in all, this is a directive which will be of benefit to citizens and consumers, enabling them to make informed purchases more easily.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, I was unable to support the amendment to the Fruit Juice Directive for reasons relating to its content as well as on formal grounds. Thus, I cannot share the optimism of my fellow Members on this issue. In terms of content, this directive represents a relaxation of the quality requirements for fruit juice products and thus opens the door wide to the possibility of deceiving consumers. On formal grounds, the main reason for my objection is the fact that the current text in no way corresponds to the intentions of the committee responsible. A large part of the report that was agreed on there has not been taken into account in the compromise text that has been tabled. As the amendment to the Fruit Juice Directive therefore entails a reduction in the quality of fruit juices and, moreover, does not adequately reflect the opinion of Parliament, I was forced to reject it.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I voted in favour of the Perello Rodriguez report. The report recommends sensible measures relating to consumer transparency and will allow EU citizens to more easily make informed and healthy choices as regards what they consume. I have to confess an interest here: I am a prolific juice-drinker myself.

Fruit-based beverages which originate from concentrate or have added sugar should be transparently labelled as such so as to prevent them from being mistaken for fresh or pure fruit juices, especially given the sometimes misleading packaging used by some manufacturers. A transitional period of 18 months would allow distributors and retailers to use up current stocks and adjust to the new, tougher guidelines. The report also reiterates the EU’s commitment to maintaining globally recognised labelling standards for fruit juices, which will ensure that EU products remain competitive on the global market.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, I have voted in favour of the report on fruit juices and similar products intended for human consumption, as it quite rightly incorporates more of the provisions contained in the international codes, bringing the EU standards in line with other internationally recognised standards and codes of practice concerning food, food production and food safety.

The report’s proposed amendments to the existing directive make the necessary clear distinction between fruit juices and drinks that have been produced from concentrate. There is more clarity in the labelling, which is critical for those of us who want to make a choice based on healthy options and want to know when there has been sugar added to the drink. This is going to lead to greater consumer choice and hopefully, over the longer term, lead to a healthier population, including in my Welsh constituency.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President, although a lot of people’s minds are focused on the major issues of today, such as the future of the euro and the economic recession, it is important that we continue with the work, especially on behalf of our citizens.

It is difficult to think of an issue closer to our citizens than this, because it is likely that nearly everyone drinks fruit products each day, maybe, or regularly, at any rate. Therefore, it is very important that a distinction is clearly visible between fresh fruit juice and juice from concentrate, and the report assists in achieving that.

It is also important that the label be clear, especially if there is added sugar in the product. And finally, it is very important that the packets themselves be clear and honest. It was shown here last night that many packets were not clear and honest, but they will be so in future.

 
  
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  Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (PPE). – Mr President, I welcome the adoption of a clear definition that distinguishes fruit juice from nectar, as finally the present confusion for consumers is being removed. It is very important for consumers to know if there is added sugar or not and how much real fruit exists in the juices they buy. How many times has it happened to you that you buy fruit juice and then discover that the picture on the package or the name on the package does not really correspond to the quantity of orange, berry or apple juice that you thought was there; you feel cheated.

This directive, therefore, is a very important step forward in our fight against misleading information. It will benefit consumers by giving correct, clear and reliable information. Our task is not to decide for consumers from the top down what they are supposed to eat or drink. Our task is to facilitate free choices by providing correct information. This is very much in line with the fight we had over the Food Labelling Directive.

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, the whole purpose of a free market is to swap on the back of differences. The purpose of the European Union is to have exchange through comparative advantage, but in this report, we see measures being proposed to protect and stimulate European manufacturers at the expense of those elsewhere.

You would have thought, with everything going on in the world at the moment, that we would be aware of the dangers of repeating the mistakes of the 1930s and adding to a downturn with protectionism. The tragedy is that Europe, by cutting itself off from the bits of the world that are still growing, is not only impoverishing consumers directly but is making itself economically irrelevant. We had an awful lot of talk yesterday about Britain being isolated and standing aside. I would be very happy to rejoin the wider world when it is the EU as a whole which is isolating itself.

 
  
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  Syed Kamall (ECR). – Mr President, when reading this report, the phrase that stood out for me was the phrase ‘this report favours the consumption of local products’. So there we have it: let us favour local products at the expense of open trade and instead of helping producers in other countries to create wealth locally. This protectionist strand runs throughout the whole report and what we are going to see is a situation where we continue to support companies that cannot compete globally. When they get into trouble, what will they then do? They will seek a bailout from the European Globalisation Fund because they did not bother to take advantage of global supply chains and compete globally; they sought protectionism.

Of course, we all need to give more information to consumers and I think there is consensus about this across the House. Let us say ‘yes’ to consumer information, let us say ‘yes’ to open trade and consumer choice, but let us say ‘no’ to European protectionism.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE).(SK) Mr President, I welcome the compromise and I have voted in favour of the report. I would like to point out, however, that attempts to artificially limit imports and support domestic production always damage consumers most in the end. We must therefore think very carefully about every change to minimum standards of product quality, as every technological change enforced by law means higher prices. I am in favour of high-quality fruit juices and consistent information for consumers. Where there are two producers of equal quality, I always prefer the European one ahead of the foreign one. I am also in favour of us being informed about whether juice comes from concentrate. At the same time, however, I supported the proposal to continue to allow juice from concentrate to be diluted with drinking water. Fruit juices from concentrate will thus continue to be affordable for children from low income families.

 
  
  

Report: Bill Newton Dunn (A7-0246/2011)

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR). – Mr President, I believe strongly in free market forces. In order for markets to survive, they must develop and advance their products in line with environmental targets.

In the case of laundry detergents, industry has led the way, with almost all washing powders and liquids already free from phosphates. Whilst I support this directive, I hold concerns on the addition of proposals to include dishwasher detergents. The chemicals used in dishwasher detergents are very different to the laundry detergents. However, small traces of phosphates will still be permitted in dishwasher detergents, with a honeymoon period until 2017.

Whilst we all agree that phosphates would ideally not be included, let me sound a warning. The environmental and health impacts of the new chemicals that will be needed to replace phosphates in dishwasher detergents are not yet fully assessed. We must therefore remain open and flexible until the science catches up with the political will.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, I, too, would like to say something with regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 as regards the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents. I think that the report, the proposal and the regulation is attempting to find a good compromise here, namely, on the one hand, to eliminate these phosphates permanently and definitively, so to speak, from the environment. We all know that this is a very hazardous environmental toxin. That is, of course, why phosphates will no longer be used in household laundry detergents.

On the other hand, we obviously also have to face up to reality. Firstly, we need effective alternatives, and, secondly, we obviously also need to examine the environmental impact of these effective alternatives, because there is no point in essentially replacing one pollutant with another one.

That is precisely what this proposal is attempting to do. I have therefore voted in favour of the proposal, and I hope that talks will continue and that we can utilise our environment and our detergents in an increasingly sustainable and environmentally sound way.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE). (LT) Mr President, the regulation on which we voted today is very important for the European Union’s waters. It is also very important news for the Baltic Sea, the water of which is seriously affected by pollution from phosphorus compounds causing algae growth, and this growth is becoming more and more intensive and active every year. According to the Helsinki Commission, if we were to abandon phosphates, algae blooms in the Baltic Sea would be reduced by 24%. Today, we took the first step by setting a limit of 0.5 grams in detergents. The fact that a legal act has been adopted that immediately enters into force will mean that in countries where the use of phosphates is not regulated, people will no longer have to simply rely on the goodwill of manufacturers of maintenance products and consumer awareness, as has been the case until now. The maximum levels of phosphates used in European Union Member States varies considerably and, as a result, approximately 16 000 tonnes of phosphates end up in the Baltic Sea every year. I hope that the Member States will welcome our position and that, following the entry into force of this regulation and the acceleration of waste water treatment, the condition of the Baltic and other seas will improve considerably.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I, too, voted in favour of the Newton Dunn report which deals with the use of phosphates and other phosphorous-based compounds in household laundry detergents. The central purpose of this report was to reduce the often devastating impact of eutrophication on the EU’s rivers, lakes and seas. Eutrophication effectively chokes water of oxygen by encouraging weeds to grow. Phosphates are a kind of fertiliser, thus disrupting the natural biodiversity of bodies of water, and have a huge detrimental effect on aquatic life.

The rapporteur sought to allow legislation effectively to catch up with industrial best practice, as a majority of marketed laundry detergents are now effectively phosphate-free. Despite my initial concerns over the report by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on this matter, such as the short compliance timeline envisaged for its implementation, following the recent negotiations with the Council, I can now agree that this ban on phosphates usage could also be extended to dishwater detergents, with suitable derogations. Realistic and reasonable limits have now been set at 0.5 grams per dose, paving the way for manufacturers to develop more compact and concentrated products to the benefit of our environment.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, phosphates in domestic washing machine detergents end up in our water systems, rivers, streams and lakes.

Phosphorus helps life to flourish and, as a result, algae and other fast-developing plant life proliferate uncontrollably when there is an increased source of phosphorus in water. This excessive growth of algae starves other living organisms of oxygen and can also produce toxins – killing fish, plants, and other species, thereby reducing the quality of the water itself.

I therefore voted in favour of the text put before us today because to clean up Europe’s water, it is desirable to reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching the water of our continent.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, Europe has long recognised the necessity of restricting the use of phosphates in domestic laundry and other detergents to reduce the impact of their use on Europe’s water courses – something which we are all concerned about. Whilst the majority of laundry detergents on the market are already phosphate-free, as dictated by the market and consumer choice, I welcome the rapporteur’s proposal to extend the scope of the proposal to the dishwasher detergent market.

With a phosphate limit being set at 0.5 grams per dose, this will give the manufacturers the impetus to develop more compact products through innovation in the industry. Flexibility in its implementation will, however, be necessary to ensure that consumer choice across Europe is not limited in the interim period.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE). (SK) Mr President, we all want to wear clean clothes and eat from clean plates. That is why we use phosphate detergents. The harder the water, the greater the need for phosphates when washing up or cleaning clothes. We know that the release of phosphates into drains causes excessive growth of algae, thereby also causing the loss of other life forms in our rivers. In other words, phosphate use harms the environment. I would like to ask two questions. Is it possible to wash things clean without phosphates? In principle, yes. Is it possible to stop using phosphates in dishwashers? Not yet. It is therefore right for us to try to limit their use, while at the same time accepting the fact that we need them. I am rather concerned, however, that we cannot even estimate how many jobs are put at risk by the intended harmonisation.

 
  
  

Report: Carl Haglund (A7-0394/2011)

 
  
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  George Lyon (ALDE). – Mr President, I very much welcome the way Parliament voted today on the EU-Fisheries Partnership Agreement when it decided to reject the agreement.

I voted against the report, as it is probably the least successful of all the fisheries agreements currently in force. For a number of reasons, I believe that we should have rejected the report and I am glad the Parliament did. For a start, it is a poor deal for European taxpayers, with a return of only 65 cents for every euro the European Union is investing. From a sustainability point of view, the stocks we are accessing are already overfished, so not only are we heavily subsidising jobs, but we are doing so while exporting ecologically unsustainable fishing practices. On top of that, only 15% of the funds allocated for sectoral support in the agreement have been used to date. There is also remaining legal uncertainty on this agreement under international law as far as the rights of the people of Western Sahara are concerned.

I was disappointed that the Committee on Fisheries voted for the agreement, despite opposition from both the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Development, but I am very glad that today, the Parliament took the right decision. I hope we can strike a better agreement when this will be reviewed once again in February 2012.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). (FI) Mr President, I voted against the report because the present agreement contravenes international law, the human rights of the Sahrawi people and the decision of the International Court of Justice. At the same time, the agreement violates several basic principles of the European Union. The agreement is worrying from the point of view of the sustainable use of fish stocks. It is questionable whether it will benefit the people of Western Sahara at all. The agreement is also ineffectual economically.

The rejection of the report and the ending of the agreement have great symbolic significance. Support for an agreement of this type would damage the EU’s credibility. The EU must stand up for the principles of international law and the sustainable use of fish stocks worldwide. Furthermore, the European Parliament is responsible for safeguarding these basic principles. We cannot compromise on these values.

I hope that the Commission will draft an agreement that is more satisfactory in economic terms and that takes account of both the ecological perspective and the rights of the Sahrawi people in Western Sahara. At the same time, it is important that cooperation between the EU and Morocco continues.

 
  
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  Bendt Bendtsen (PPE).(DA) Mr President, I voted against this agreement today because it has proven to be completely ineffective in relation to the development goals. In my view, there is a really compelling argument for this, and that is the dubious nature of this agreement’s validity in relation to international law. That is an ambiguity that we need to have clarified. Western Sahara has the status of a self-governing territory and is not therefore part of Morocco. The people of Western Sahara must not be prevented from benefiting from their own resources on account of an agreement between Morocco and the EU.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE). (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I cannot support the extension of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Morocco, because the main objectives of the agreement, namely, stabilisation of the EU market and development of the fisheries sector, have clearly not been achieved. On the contrary, numerous fish stocks have been overfished and the financial contribution by the EU has had no significant effect on the Moroccan budget. The participation of the Sahrawi people in connection with the use of their fish stocks and their receipt of a fair share of the proceeds from the fisheries have also not been guaranteed. I will only be able to support a new agreement if a solution is found that complies with international law and respects human rights. In this regard, the subsequent motion for a resolution, to which I have once again expressly given my support, was an encouraging signal for the future that we will hold further negotiations, that we will draw up a new agreement, and that this new agreement will be significantly better than the current one.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco agreed a Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) in May 2006, which came into force in February 2007. The Commission has since conducted negotiations with Morocco in order to renew this FPA by a single initial protocol, which was expiring, and to extend it by one year. A protocol to renew the preceding protocol for the period of 2011 to 2012 has been provisionally applied. However, before it could come into force, it obviously needed Parliament to adopt it.

As it was a time-limited extension to a previous agreement, I could support the Committee on Fisheries’ recommendation. Given the vote, however, we now need to ensure that local people are beneficiaries of all our fisheries policies over the long term and, as such, need to ensure that any agreement on future protocols is subject to stringent criteria as set out in the resolution we agreed and voted on today.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President, I voted in accordance with my group on this report and although there are difficulties associated with it, we must say that we will have a chance to correct that in future and I hope we accept that opportunity.

This agreement costs EUR 36 million each year and, as mentioned, there are major difficulties with Western Sahara, which must be discussed and corrected.

I also voted in favour of the oral amendment in the other report on Morocco in which civil rights, social and environmental standards are emphasised. It is very important and must also be taken into account in future. We have an opportunity to improve this agreement in future on behalf of Morocco, Western Sahara and the Union. We must seize that opportunity.

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, the common fisheries policy is being transformed from a European into a global tragedy; having emptied, exhausted and sterilised our seas, we now export the same practices to more vulnerable and poorer countries and we have the same basic flaw, which is lack of ownership rights which would have incentivised conservation.

There are successful fisheries’ conservation schemes around the world in New Zealand, in Norway, in Iceland, in the Falkland Islands, but all of them are based on giving skippers a sense of property so that they treat fisheries as a renewable resource. We tragically suffer from common ownership which makes it impossible to persuade fishermen to tie up their boats knowing that other nations’ vessels are at large in the same seas. Surely having created this ecological catastrophe in our own waters, we should now draw back before we inflict it on others.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE).(DE) Mr President, I am in favour of swift and constructive negotiations with Morocco. Everyone in this House knows that I am a staunch supporter of human rights. However, if we have technical problems with Morocco, we should actually discuss them at a technical level and not misuse the subject of human rights. If there is a country in North Africa where the balance between freedom and stability, between human rights and constitutional development, has, to a certain extent, been achieved, then it is Morocco. We ought to acknowledge this and not bow to the erroneous arguments of a Polisario lobby. We need to be clear on this: Morocco is an ancient, complex country that is showing positive development. As a result of the new elections, this development has gone a step further in the right direction. I would warn against misusing this matter for other purposes.

 
  
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  Syed Kamall (ECR). – Mr President, given the failure of the common fisheries policy in Europe and the way that our seas do not have sufficient fish, what is interesting about this is the way that, as my colleague said earlier, we now seek to make agreements that are unsustainable with other countries. Because of this lack of ownership rights, which led to the failure of the CFP, we are now seeing the lack of ownership rights in other countries and we worry about the future of fish in those areas.

The real problem here is that where there are no ownership rights, a government seeks that ownership on behalf of its citizens, but in the case of Morocco, not only on behalf of its own citizens, but on behalf of the Western Saharan people, too. In this case, what will happen is that they will plunder those seas and local fishermen will lose out. When local fishermen lose out from such deals, what do they seek to do in many cases? They seek a better life in the West, in Europe. What do we then do in this House? We complain about immigration – when we have destroyed their jobs. Let us make sure we look at the full impact of these agreements and let us not destroy the seas of other countries.

 
  
  

Report: Krzysztof Lisek (A7-0428/2011)

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, the text presented today by Mr Lisek analyses the possible measures to be put into place to reduce defence costs which, in a period of financial crisis, weigh heavily on the EU budget.

The principles put forward have regard to better coordination of defence planning, the pooling and sharing of defence capabilities, support on research and technological development.

I therefore agree with the rapporteur’s position that the economic and financial crisis affecting us can be used as an opportunity for the integration of EU defence policies, providing the impetus for creating and finally implementing ambitious reforms which have long been at a stalemate.

These are the reasons why I voted for the report.

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, if anyone is in any doubt about the militarised and big-business nature of the EU, they should read this report. We are in the midst of a very serious economic crisis. Working-class people are being asked to take cuts in their jobs, cuts to their pay, cuts to their public services, and here we have the Parliament agreeing to a report insisting that the so-called defence sector is protected from any cuts.

Let us be absolutely clear. This is a significant amount of European taxpayers’ money that is being funnelled into the coffers of these makers of weapons of mass destruction or weapons of individual destruction. It is fostering the development of the military-industrial complex within Europe. The biggest weapons corporation in Europe, BAE, made almost EUR 3 billion in profit last year selling weapons to the likes of Saudi Arabia and the Israeli army and selling weapons that are used in Iraq, in Afghanistan and elsewhere to kill ordinary people. Instead of pouring money into their coffers, we should be investing, creating jobs, defending public services. We should take these major corporations into democratic public ownership and we should redeploy the capital and the workers to socially useful industries.

 
  
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  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D). (PL) Mr President, I welcome the report on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector. I wish, however, to draw attention to the fact that this situation will grow worse, and defence will receive less and less funding in the EU Member States as a result of the crisis. We must therefore concentrate this funding.

I think that it should be focused on two areas. Firstly, the Union’s common defence capabilities should be stepped up. Here, I would stress most emphatically that it is not just about the defence capabilities of individual states, but about the fact that the Union has greater capabilities. Secondly, there must be clear progress in one area, in other words, funding for research and modern technologies. In Europe, we spend a mere EUR 2 billion annually on this, while the United States spends 10 times more. Resources must be increased significantly in this area.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR). – Mr President, the financial crisis means we need to make cuts to public spending even in the area of defence. In the UK, this was made worse by the fact that the last Labour government left the present coalition with GBP 38 billion of unfunded commitments. However, in the field of defence, as everywhere else, I do not believe the answer is ‘more Europe’. ‘More Europe’ means more costs as EU bureaucrats create super-structures, with super-budgets to match.

We must avoid expensive duplication of NATO structures and ensure that the EU has nothing to do with defence. I am proud of the British armed forces, which are a symbol of our national sovereignty and security. No matter how bad the economic crisis may be, Britain will continue to defend itself, as I would expect all sovereign nations to do.

 
  
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  Gianni Vattimo (ALDE).(IT) Mr President, despite the serious financial crisis we are bound up in, there are certain economic sectors which are never affected, or rather only minimally affected, by the cuts imposed by the austerity measures adopted by Member States.

For example, the so-called ‘tears and blood’ financial austerity plan put together by the Italian Government is turning out to only be tears and blood for the usual suspects, in other words, workers and pensioners. Military expenditure, on the other hand, seems to be unaffected, ever since the announcement of the purchase of 131 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) bombers, which the Italian Government will still be paying for in 2026 at a total cost of around EUR 15 billion, that is, almost half of the ‘tears and blood’ plan to which we are currently being subjected.

This is just one of the reasons why I voted against the Lisek report. Despite some good ideas aimed at reducing expenditure, it describes cuts to the defence sector as concerning. Ladies and gentlemen, there are many other cuts which should be of greater concern to us at times like this.

I will finish with a rhetorical question: ‘Could it be that tomorrow, we will be forced to use all these weapons we bought today against our citizens in revolt demanding justification for our wicked choices?’

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, the report on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector rightly notes the trend of cuts in the defence budgets of the majority of EU Member States. It also alludes to the possible negative impact that these measures may have on their military capabilities.

However, I believe that the report itself makes the wrong proposals to address this issue, which is why I have voted against the report. It suggests that the strategic autonomy of the EU should be enhanced by acquiring more synergy in defence planning measures, such as through better coordination of defence planning – a laudable objective but one which would require harmonisation of military requirements and significant measures to increase interoperability.

It continues by proposing other measures to pool and share certain capabilities and support structures through EU institutions, which I am fundamentally opposed to. Member States’ defence policies can, of course, be more coordinated if they so choose, but this should be through choice by national parliaments and not be an EU competence.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE).(DE) Mr President, it is more than 60 years since Winston Churchill, here in Strasbourg, proposed the creation of a common European army. It is high time that we realised his vision. I believe that we urgently need a common European foreign and security policy and, of course, also the goal of a common European army and common European defence system. On our way to achieving this, we will be able to save enormous amounts of money. It is particularly important to highlight this during the financial crisis, because if, like the Americans, we Europeans were to acquire and purchase what we need jointly rather than separately, we would be able to save a fifth of our costs in the defence sector. We could increase our efficiency and, at the same time, free up large sums of money for other areas, for social policy for example. It is therefore high time that we very quickly followed the path towards a common European defence policy.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for the report drafted by Mr Lisek because I think that the current financial crisis has also affected the defence sector in Member States. In these circumstances, there is an even greater need for coordinated planning and complementarity between national policies. This will ensure that an optimum cost-benefit ratio is achieved and will increase the EU’s competitiveness. This is why I think that the challenge posed by the crisis can be turned into an opportunity for giving the necessary impetus to a genuine common defence policy.

I should point out the recommendations made in paragraph 22 concerning practical solutions for pooling and sharing military equipment. I should stress the importance of cooperation with the US and NATO to avoid needless duplication of effort and ensure greater efficiency.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President although there are a lot of interesting recommendations in this report, I must say that I and my Irish colleagues in the EPP abstained from the vote on the report and from the majority of this morning’s votes. The reason we did so was because Ireland is a neutral country, and usually and regularly when it comes to defence and military affairs, we abstain. That is all, there is nothing else involved.

As parting words – I did not get the chance this morning – I would like to commend Poland for the good job they did on the Presidency for the past six months, especially Prime Minister Donald Tusk for the fine speech he delivered to us this morning.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). – Mr President, it is clear that what is intended by this report is a greater role for the EU in defence and security policy, and therefore I am unable to support it. I believe that because in all policy areas, my constituents want less Europe and less interference from Brussels, not more. That is especially so in this case, since much of what is talked about in the report is purely a very poor imitation of what we already have in the NATO structures.

It is inevitable that amongst 27 Member States, there will be significant differences in interest and opinion, and these differences should not be feared when they are fair and reasonable. The place for the formulation and implementation of security policy and defence policy is the Member State, not Brussels, and therefore I could not support the report.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0693/2011

 
  
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  Salvatore Iacolino (PPE).(IT) Mr President, there is no doubt that a strengthening in bilateral relations between the European Union and a global power such as Russia will require these meetings – profitable in terms of trade – above all, if Russia finally joins the World Trade Organisation as we expect it to. In this way, we could strengthen relations and, at the same time, a host of entrepreneurs who operate in our Member States would have extra opportunities.

Another useful measure would be the liberalisation of short-stay visas to encourage internal movement, whilst the elections – which the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy described as technically well prepared and administered – represented an important step – but the wind of freedom which continues to blow in Russia has to be encouraged and supported in order to guarantee fundamental rights, the freedom of expression and, above all, those high freedoms which are strictly bound to a legal system which we expect Russia will soon be able to demonstrate.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). (FI) Mr President, the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Russia is very important for developing and stepping up cooperation between the two.

Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in December is also a significant matter for Europe as a whole. It will improve economic relations and promote investment.

Security of energy supply is one of the biggest challenges that Europe faces. We need to cooperate with Russia. The EU must speak with one voice when it negotiates with Russia. The relationship must be based on mutual advantage and common values. European values are represented by democracy and freedom of speech. The Duma elections in Russia have not fulfilled the requirements of democracy, according to observers. Information that has come to light regarding election fraud is extremely worrying.

The European Union is in a difficult situation, because cooperation with Russia in energy and trade is vital for all of Europe, but, at the same time, the distortion of democracy does not fit in with European values. This matter should not be swept under the carpet.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for this resolution because the EU-Russia Summit provides an opportunity to raise openly common interests as well as key differences. I am confident that its potential will be utilised. We must send a strong signal to Russia about the need for it to play a positive, active role in the efforts to settle unresolved conflicts. I welcome, in this regard, the recent resumption of the 5+2 negotiations on Transnistria.

At the same time, consistent and coherent dialogue is required with Russia on the subject of energy. Coordinated action must be taken to address common concerns, such as the proliferation of terrorism and the situation in Afghanistan, while points of agreement also need to be found on Syria and Iran. It is also important for us to stress that we would like Russia to respect the state of law and democratic standards, including in the run-up to and during the elections.

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, on Saturday, a chant echoed right across Russia as people declared ‘Putin is a thief, Putin is a thief’. The regime did its very best to scare people into not attending the protests. There were massive threats of repression, with rumours of extra troops being brought into Moscow. The schools even opened on Saturday to try to prevent people from coming, but nonetheless people courageously came out and protested, in their tens and hundreds of thousands, because of the depth of anger and opposition at the blatant election rigging. One hundred thousand turned up in Moscow and ten thousand in St Petersburg, and there were up to a hundred other significant protests in other cities.

The announcement by President Medvedev of an investigation into election rigging is a very transparent attempt to divert the movement. The same is true of the managed disagreement at the top of society now, supposedly to give the impression of a democratic discussion. In my opinion, these diversions should be rejected by the movement and it should continue to fight for free and fair elections where genuine opposition parties can register and stand.

A real alternative to the parties of the oligarchs and the nationalist and populist forces is needed. That means building a mass workers’ party to fight for the overthrow of the oligarchs and capitalism and for democratic socialist change.

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE). (SK) Mr President, I would like to talk about the continuing growth in cooperation between the EU and Russia. In my opinion, this marks a step in the right direction, and ultimately, we are also, in fact, dependent on this cooperation, bearing in mind the enormous raw materials potential of the Russian Federation, and the fact that, as well as us, individual countries are cooperating with the raw materials giant. On the other hand, I would like to point out that Russia is still not up to scratch, so to speak, when it comes to fulfilling certain criteria which we in Europe consider important and essential. I have in mind the recent elections, where it was clear that a certain deficit still exists in Russia, and I am pleased that … or I would like to call on the EU, I would like to say that it is necessary to point out this dimension of mutual cooperation in talks with Russia, and to call on them to eliminate this democratic deficit.

 
  
  

Report: Mário David, Marek Siwiec (A7-0400/2011)

 
  
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  Salvatore Iacolino (PPE).(IT) Mr President, the review on the European Neighbourhood Policy certainly represents a strong point in relations in so far as the southern part of this important area is concerned, which is the border area in southern Europe.

This is an important issue which does not mark the end of the EU’s actions, but currently the focus is on the Mediterranean: the policy of guaranteeing fundamental rights is an absolute priority, as is the importance of encouraging trade agreements with these border regions in the south of Europe, including the regulation of migration flows, decisively tackling irregular immigration and protecting refugees on the other hand, short-stay visas for the citizens of these regions to develop the wealth and opportunities that arise through mobility, greater circular mobility and a better sharing of the experiences of democracy.

This is the aim which does not only affect the south, but the south is currently the focus.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE).(IT) Mr President, following the Arab Spring and the events in its wake, it has become essential to review European Neighbourhood Policy. It is obvious that in the current state of play, relations with these countries should be based more closely on cooperation in order to guarantee that the focus is on democracy and security on both shores of the Mediterranean.

On this matter, I believe that intercultural and inter-religious dialogue is crucial to enhancing mutual respect and tolerance with and among the neighbourhood partner countries, while helping to combat terrorism and individual forms of extremism at the same time. For these reasons, Mr President, I naturally voted in favour.

 
  
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  Mario Pirillo (S&D).(IT) Mr President, I can only welcome today’s report on the review of European Neighbourhood Policy and, in particular, the vital proposal to strengthen the EU’s Southern partnership, following the historic events which took place last spring, for the democratic consolidation of the area.

Funds for countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean were allocated before the crisis and, in the light of the concrete needs and modernisation of society in these countries, they seem inadequate; I think we should increase support for the instrument for civil society. I will table Parliament’s proposal to establish Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus and Leonardo programmes to the European Commission again, so as to encourage the mobility and the exchange of best practices amongst young people.

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE). (SK) Mr President, the current period of widespread political unrest and uncertainty in the countries of North Africa requires the European Neighbourhood Policy to redouble its efforts at strengthening democracy and developing the rule of law, justice and compliance with human rights, including the rights of minorities and religious freedom. We know that Christians are persecuted there. More than at any time previously, we must place greater emphasis on the internal democratisation and stabilisation of target countries by strengthening state institutions as well as civil society, which should be an important partner in discussions on the future of a given country. As the neighbouring countries of the EU are so diverse in terms of culture, religion and civilisation, the EU must, in accordance with the principle of differentiation, provide proper targeted assistance in order to increase the actual impact of adopted measures. Apart from supporting reform processes, we must discuss and find common solutions to cross-border issues such as immigration, human trafficking and combating organised crime.

 
  
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  Brice Hortefeux (PPE).(FR) Mr President, at a time when Europe is in the depths of an unprecedented financial crisis, which testifies to the interdependency of our economies, and while the countries to the south of the Mediterranean are now pursuing a new political approach following the will of their peoples, it is more essential than ever before to consolidate the relationships of the European Union with its neighbours on the Mediterranean rim and in eastern Europe.

Through the European Neighbourhood Policy, the European Union is seizing opportunities to share its democratic values of the rule of law and good governance. It is supporting the reforms carried out by its partners, who are in the midst of unprecedented political transition.

We have a role to play in this historic upheaval, but we must be careful not to impose a model that does not exactly meet the needs of the peoples who have been brave enough to rise up and reject a system that they no longer found acceptable. The Arab revolutions have redefined the contours of the European Neighbourhood Policy. We must be delighted about that.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Mr President, I believe that the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy is timely and necessary. It can become an important tool for the EU to make a difference in our neighbourhood countries. It needs to be oriented towards supporting values such as broad democratic developments and human rights.

I welcome therefore the more-for-more performance-based approach which gives greater political and financial support to the countries that undertake reforms. Coming from a country which went through such transformation, I am sure that this approach is the right one. I am also glad that the report confirmed new tools such as the European Endowment for Democracy. I hope that such flexible, fast and targeted instruments will be able to effectively support the democratic process in the world; that is the reason I voted for the adoption of the report.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, the European Neighbourhood Policy review acknowledges the challenges faced by the EU and crucially takes into account the recent events of the Arab Spring uprisings. Recently, we have seen the overthrow of long-standing regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and continuing violence in Syria, to name a few countries seeking a new democratic structure.

The report sensibly suggests that our approach should be to support further progress towards deep democracy and to support sustainable social and economic development in our neighbouring countries. It also recognises the need to build effective regional partnerships, as this is in the interests of the EU as a whole and best done collectively. It is for these reasons that I have been able to support this report.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE).(DE) Mr President, the report deals very well with all of the major common issues, from democracy and the rule of law to migration issues and the combating of poverty. We ought to make it very clear, however, that what we fought to achieve, namely, the distinction between the Eastern and Mediterranean Partnership, absolutely must be retained. That was achieved by the Czech Presidency under Karel Schwarzenberg. After all, these countries have a lot in common, but there are also differences. In the Mediterranean, we are dealing with important non-European neighbours, while in the East, we are dealing with European countries which, for various reasons, are not able to be granted candidate status at the present time. Both of these need our support.

There is one issue in particular that I would like to highlight. That is the question of energy policy, renewable raw materials, for example, in Ukraine, and solar energy in the Mediterranean, for example. We have a great deal of work to do here in connection with neighbourhood policy and this work is our joint responsibility. However, as I said, this is a major achievement. We should treat things that are different differently.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for this report because I regard it as a key element in the current shift in the European Neighbourhood Policy.

I support the implementation of the Human Rights Clause and conditionality in the new approach. Compliance with the terms of the agreements with the EU must be verified every year, as we requested in the amendment made to item 8. Strengthening the bilateral aspect for exchanging good practices is important, as we specified in the amendments tabled for items 11 and 12. This will ensure that the necessary instruments are available to settle the unresolved conflicts in the neighbouring regions.

I should mention at this point the resumption of the 5+2 negotiations between Chişinău and Tiraspol in Vilnius on 30 November. The declaration signed by both sides offers the framework needed to establish the principles for conducting the discussion. This presents Europe with an opportunity to consolidate its position by going from an observer to a fully-fledged negotiator.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). – Mr President, whilst I agree with a number of important principles that underpin the European Neighbourhood Policy, such as supporting progress towards a functioning democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law in neighbouring countries, I did not support this report.

Through the European Neighbourhood Policy, the EU hopes to fuel the economic development of bordering areas. However, as we are in the crucial and dangerous stages of our own crisis, we must ask ourselves: is the provision of an additional EUR 1 billion for the ENP until 2013, and a further proposed budget of EUR 18.2 billion for the period from 2014 to 2020, the best way to utilise this money for the benefit of citizens in EU Member States, especially when the money allocated to the previous policy failed to support those who, in the Arab Spring, fought against merciless dictators, many of whom this House and the leaders of EU institutions had fêted and praised?

 
  
  

Report: Sophia in ’t Veld (A7-0286/2011)

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). (FI) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report. Terrorism and the threat of terrorism are blatant crimes against our society. Terrorism aims to undermine our basic values, human rights and the principle of democracy.

The counter-terrorism strategy takes account of human rights and the protection of personal data. We are already bound by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in this. A respect for human rights is already, in itself, an effective counter-terrorism policy. We cannot surrender our values in the face of terrorism.

We need to give more attention to the matter of the preventive fight against terrorism, since radicalisation is one of today’s greatest threats to our society. Racism and exclusion are linked to the emergence of extremism. Resources need to be concentrated on greater tolerance in societies and the prevention of exclusion. I would also call for an open, broad-based debate, involving society as a whole, on our common European values.

 
  
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  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D). (PL) Mr President, I supported the report on EU counter-terrorism policy. I am deeply convinced of the need to support it since, unfortunately, terrorism and organised crime are today the primary threat to security in Europe. Combating this threat requires cooperation between the Union’s Member States and coordination between the different services – here I am thinking of the intelligence services and the police, but also the judiciary. If it is to be effective, this fight must be conducted not just by one country but by all countries. I therefore also believe that the powers of the EU’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator should be increased. This seems to me to be very important.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). – Mr President, as a representative of Northern Ireland, and having lived through a terrorist campaign waged in our Province for over thirty years, effective counter-terrorism strategy remains a priority in my constituency. Sadly, there remains a rump within Republicanism who still cannot comprehend that their objectives cannot be reached through murder and mayhem.

While it is right that we should prioritise the threat of organisations such as al-Qaeda, we should not forget the threat posed in individual Member States. I condemn unreservedly the shooting of a young man in Londonderry this morning, in my constituency.

Effective anti-terrorism measures are a must. Anti-terrorism measures must be coordinated across national borders and in line with a threat-based approach. The sharing of data is important, as long as the necessary safeguards are in place. There is some merit in this report, but I could not support some aspects of it and therefore I abstained.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, international pressure and cooperation is an invaluable tool in the fight against global and local terrorism alike. I can therefore see the benefits of Member States working together on counter-terrorism measures and the EU has already made significant progress in counter-terrorism work, such as in the sharing of international banking data and air passenger security.

Whilst the report on the EU’s counter-terrorism policy puts forward some sensible measures to the policy, such as a risk-based approach that is tailored to each Member State and the need to examine the costs and the current allocation of European spending, there are still a number of areas that require clarification.

I am not comfortable with permitting the EU institutions to act as the facilitator of intelligence sharing between Member States, as this should not be an EU competence. Issues concerning national security are a Member State competence and should remain so. Terrorists do not respect borders; they act globally. Counter-terrorism measures need equally to reflect a global, not solely EU, focus.

 
  
  

Written explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Gabriele Albertini (A7-0397/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing.(PT) I am voting for this report because we need to support candidate and potential candidate countries for accession to the European Union, notably Iceland, Montenegro and Turkish Cyprus, to enable them to stay in line with European policy. I also support the Commission proposal to make this instrument compatible with other support instruments, like that of cross-border cooperation. I consider this instrument essential for preparing, in due course, for the possible integration of these candidate and potential candidate countries, given that, in the latter cases, there is serious need for reforms, particularly in terms of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 
  
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  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing.(IT) The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) offers support for the period 2007-2013 to countries that are committed to the EU’s accession process. This assistance is provided as part of European partnerships with potential candidates and actual candidates for accession, including the Western Balkan States and Iceland. Iceland and Montenegro have been candidate countries for EU entry since 2010. Since the IPA is quite a flexible tool, it is possible to alter support for beneficiary countries based on the requirements which emerge from the Commission’s evaluations and documents. Here we see two different situations: Iceland, for example, has a per capita GDP which is higher than the European average, whilst the administrative and financial management of Montenegro, due to its different national history, has quite different demands and issues in terms of financial transparency. We therefore need to adapt the allocation rules for IPA financing – Cross-border Cooperation (CBC) and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) – to reflect the new information available on the two candidate countries.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) Candidate countries for accession to the European Union (Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland) receive financial aid through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). Before they are accepted as fully-fledged Member States, the Union prepares them to incorporate the acquis communautaire into their national policies. The IPA is conditional on an obligation to produce results and relates to strengthening institutional capacities, cross-border cooperation, economic and social development and rural development. I voted in favour of the Albertini report which allows Montenegro and Iceland to qualify for assistance under this instrument.

 
  
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  Zoltán Bagó (PPE), in writing. (HU) I approve of the Commission proposal for the amendment of Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 on three points; these are measures that do not entail additional expenses. The first amendment involves Iceland and Montenegro being moved from the list of potential candidate countries to that of candidate countries. The Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) has always supported the enlargement process in countries of the Western Balkans, while Iceland has already begun accession negotiations as it meets the Copenhagen criteria by far. I agree with the Commission’s second proposal for amendment which would limit participation in the CBC programmes, that is, the cross-border cooperation programmes of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), exclusively to local actors. Being a border country of the European Union, it is particularly important to Hungary that participation in tenders is limited to applicants from countries that are involved in the relevant CBC programmes of the IPA. One potential candidate country remains in the neighbourhood of my country, and that is Serbia. I also endorse the third amendment, which was introduced for the purpose of enabling the PHARE Committee to continue to support the Commission in the management of financial assistance granted to the Turkish community of Cyprus.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of this because Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) ((2)) offers assistance to candidate and potential candidate countries in aligning themselves gradually to EU standards and policies, including the acquis, if appropriate, with a view to joining. At the same time, the regulation clearly distinguishes between candidate countries and potential candidate countries.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing.(PT) The Commission is proposing to the Council and Parliament the amendment of Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006, which set up an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, with a view to transferring Iceland and Montenegro from the list of potential candidate countries (Annex II) to the list of candidate countries (Annex I). The purpose of these amendments is to clarify the rules for accessing subsidy agreements financed under the umbrella of the cross-border component, and to ensure compatibility with other external aid instruments, particularly the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.

I welcome this proposal, which recognises the new status of these two countries, and I hope both of them will be able to continue down the path of further integration with Europe.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing.(PT) This report concerns the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 creating the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, whose purpose is guiding the practices of countries wishing to accede to the European Union. With a view to this progressive alignment, the regulation makes a distinction between ‘candidate countries’ and ‘potential candidate countries’; that is, between those nearing accession and those which still have some distance to go. Iceland and Montenegro requested accession to the European Union on 17 June and 17 December 2010, respectively, and the Council decided, on the basis of the Commission’s opinion, that accession negotiations should begin as soon as the conditions set out at the 1993 European Council in Copenhagen were met, when they would merit the status of ‘candidate countries’. I am therefore voting for the amendments to Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 intended to clarify the rules on entering into subsidy agreements under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (cross-border cooperation) and to ensure its compatibility with the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) In its conclusions of 17 June 2010, the European Council stated that Iceland fulfils the political criteria set out by the Council in Copenhagen in 1993, and welcomed the Commission’s opinion on Iceland’s application for EU membership. For these reasons, the European Council decided to begin negotiations with Iceland. Iceland is therefore a candidate country. Later, in December 2010, the European Council approved the Council’s conclusions of 14 December 2010 on expansion, and also accorded candidate country status to Montenegro. The Commission therefore proposed to the Council and the European Parliament an amendment to Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) in view of the transfer of Iceland and Montenegro from the list of potential candidate countries to the list of candidate countries. Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 draws a clear distinction between candidate countries and potential candidate countries. In relation to the clarification of the rules applying to grant contracts financed under the cross-border cooperation element of the IPA, and ensuring cohesion with the other instruments for external cooperation, in particular, the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, it is right to propose an amendment to Article 19 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006.

 
  
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  Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE), in writing. – I welcome the adoption of this report on pre-accession assistance in my capacity as the Chairman of the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The European Council of 17 June 2010, in its conclusions, noted that Iceland meets the political criteria set by the Copenhagen European Council in 1993 and welcomed the Commission’s opinion on Iceland’s application for membership of the EU. On those grounds, the European Council decided to open negotiations with Iceland. Iceland is therefore a candidate country. The European Council of 16-17 December 2010 endorsed the Council’s conclusions of 14 December 2010 on enlargement and agreed to give Montenegro the status of candidate country. I voted in favour of this document because the Commission is proposing to the Council and Parliament that Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance should be amended with a view to transferring Iceland and Montenegro from the list of potential candidate countries to the list of candidate countries.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution, which allows Iceland and Montenegro to be placed on the list of countries qualifying for pre-accession assistance.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This report proposes granting Iceland and Montenegro the financial aid offered to candidate countries for accession to the European Union. This assistance aims to support the implementation of the criteria for membership of the Union. Payment is subject to the obligation to achieve results in the implementation of these criteria, including the establishment of a market economy with free and fair competition, as enshrined in the Union, and the implementation of European regulations and directives. The social consequences of implementing conditions such as these are unacceptable.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour because I think the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is useful and important. The purpose of the IPA is to grant assistance to candidate countries to meet their needs, on the basis of annual strategy reports on the countries in question issued by the Commission. It makes aid for strengthening institutional capacity, cross-border cooperation and economic and social development more effective and coherent by including it in a single framework. Pre-accession assistance promotes the stabilisation of candidate countries and potential candidate countries, while respecting their particularities.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Since 2007, EU pre-accession assistance has been channelled via a standardised instrument which is intended to provide targeted support to candidate countries and potential candidate countries in the areas of support for transition, institution building, cross-border cooperation, regional development, development of human resources and rural development. In the past, there have been frequent occurrences of irregularities. Billions of euro are still going missing because Brussels is not able or willing finally to make lasting changes aimed at putting this instrument in order. With a laissez-faire attitude, Brussels is not even making an effort to demand back the funds that have been wrongly paid out. Again, the will to make changes seems to be lacking. Now we want to include Northern Cyprus as well, even though the Turks there are not even prepared to maintain or renovate the cultural monuments. I therefore voted against the report.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance serves to provide pre-accession assistance to candidate countries such as Montenegro or Turkey. Every year, the European Court of Auditors once more finds irregularities and errors in the payment of the pre-accession assistance. In addition, the accession process for Turkey should generally be stopped, as Turkey is not a suitable candidate country, and it continues to prove this itself impressively again and again. Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus provides one example of this, where, despite EU aid, churches and other cultural monuments are neglected, destroyed or converted into mosques or other facilities. The report advocates an increase in assistance for the Turkish community in Northern Cyprus, which, in view of the situation described above, I consider to be unacceptable.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution, the purpose of which is to transfer Iceland and Montenegro from the list of potential candidate countries to the list of candidate countries. I am pleased that both countries have made huge progress towards EU integration and have fulfilled the political requirements, the Copenhagen criteria. It should be noted that the decision to transfer these countries to the list of candidates will have a positive impact on EU enlargement processes, which are one of the EU’s key priorities. Attention is drawn to the fact that the degree of alignment of Iceland with EU legislation through the European Economic Area Agreement and its level of economic and social development make it an exception among candidate countries. Meanwhile, the candidate status granted to Montenegro is a great step forward for this country. However, in order to ensure that further processes and negotiations run smoothly and swiftly, both countries must continue to make every effort to implement domestic reforms and properly fulfil the requirements for and take on the obligations associated with membership of the EU.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) I agree with the proposal for a regulation for establishing pre-accession assistance for new members of the EU. I think that basic conditions need to be imposed which mean that countries that want to enter the pre-existing Community meet the level of those that are already members so as to avoid too great a distinction, even at the beginning, which could give rise to problems and a more complicated collaboration between these countries.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The purpose of this proposal for a regulation amending the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance is to transfer Iceland and Montenegro from the list of potential candidate countries to the list of candidate countries. This amendment is the result of the decisions of the European Council. The Commission proposal was adopted unanimously by the European Parliament at first reading. I voted for this proposal.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing. (IT) The amendment addresses the concern, expressed by EU Member States involved in cross-border cooperation (CBC) programmes, with regard to participation in calls for proposals. I agree with the Member States that participation in calls for proposals should be limited to applicants from countries participating in the relevant CBC programme, and I therefore voted in favour of the proposal for a regulation on accession negotiations.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing.(PT) The purpose of this Commission proposal is to amend Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006, of the Council, creating an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. The intention behind this text is to support candidate countries or potential candidate countries in their accession to the European Union, helping them to progress further towards the acquis communautaire. The purpose of amending Article 19 is to resolve a dispute that has emerged in the meantime, and entails no substantial changes. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. Having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0446); having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 212(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0208/2011); having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; having regard to Rules 55 and 46(1) of its Rules of Procedure; having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0397/2011), the European Parliament has adopted its position at first reading, taking over the Commission proposal; calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text; and instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR), in writing. – I and the ECR Group which I coordinate on the Committee on Foreign Affairs voted today to support the Albertini report on amending the Instrument for Pre-accession. The enlargement of the EU to 27 Member States has been a great success story, although enlargement fatigue has now set in. I am the standing rapporteur of the Parliament for Montenegro and I am pleased that Montenegro and Macedonia have now been moved from potential candidates to candidates for EU membership under IPA. But I deeply regret that at the European Council summit last Friday, in spite of recommendations from the Commission and – in the case of Montenegro – for reasons of domestic politics in a couple of Member States and – in the case of Macedonia – for reasons of the name the country uses to describe itself, which is objected to by Greece, they have still been blocked in Council as candidates from opening negotiations. This is deeply frustrating to their governments and also deeply unfair to their people.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. – (PT) The Commission is proposing to the Council and Parliament three amendments to Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 creating an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. The purpose of one is to transfer Iceland and Montenegro from the list of potential candidate countries (Annex II) to the list of candidate countries (Annex I), following decisions of the European Council. Another is intended to revise two aspects of Article 19: on the issues of evaluating coherence with Regulation (EC) No 2112/2005 – the ‘Untying Aid Regulation’ – and on the coherence of other foreign aid instruments. The last amends the second paragraph of Article 25(1). The European Parliament adopted these proposals and I voted for them.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) On 17 June 2010, the European Council decided to grant Montenegro and Iceland candidate country status, which also entailed an amendment to the regulation establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). In the second amendment, relating to Article 19 on ‘rules of participation and origin, eligibility for grants’, the demands of the Member States to limit participation in calls for proposals to applicants from those countries participating in the relevant IPA cross-border cooperation programmes were taken into account. The third amendment, relating to Article 25, guarantees that the Phare committee can continue to assist the Commission in the management of the financial assistance to the Turkish Cypriot community.

 
  
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  Iva Zanicchi (PPE), in writing. (IT) The text tabled by Mr Albertini concerns the proposal for an amendment to the regulation establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for those countries with the prospect of becoming members of the EU. The aim is to provide assistance according to the needs of the countries concerned from the current year’s budget, based on the Commission’s annual strategy reports on the countries in question. Given the usefulness of this Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
  

Report: Andres Perello Rodriguez (A7-0224/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report. We need a new support framework for European producers and processing industries, so as to promote more use being made of what we in the European Union produce, which would give income directly to these producers and industries. By way of example, almost 80% of the orange juice consumed in the European Union comes from the United States and Brazil. This cannot be justified, since we produce excellent citrus fruit: we can produce high-quality fruit juice locally and at European level, although in this case, we also need to stimulate production.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption. This product sector represents a sufficiently important part of European Union industry. However, to take just one example – orange juice – it is worth noting that over 82% of the orange juice consumed in Europe is mainly produced in Brazil and the United States. In other words, less than 20% of the orange juice consumed in the EU is produced here. I agree with the rapporteur that it is therefore important to support the European sector, by bringing the directive into line with international law and the Codex and establishing the same rules for all products marketed within the territory of the Community. The aim, as stated in the recitals of the directive, is to contribute towards the free movement of these products. The European Union produces high-quality fruit juices, which contribute to a healthy and balanced diet. They are manufactured according to the sustainability standards supported by our laws. Therefore, from the point of view of businesses operating in the EU, the requirement that all products being marketed in the EU should be subject to the same standards of quality is fair. We also have to consider environmental aspects: local products do not have to be transported over vast distances, generating CO2 emissions. It should be underlined that this document is not about European protectionism, but the continued pursuit of sustainability in all sectors of our economy. The overall quality of a product can also be measured by its ethical quality, its ecological quality and quantitative aspects.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The amendment of the specific provisions of Directive 2001/112/EC on the labelling of fruit juices and similar products is required to protect the interests of consumers and ensure that fruit juices are labelled as clearly as possible. This labelling will have to reflect the new rules on authorised ingredients, such as those relating to the addition of sugars, which is no longer authorised in fruit juices. Consumers must have the opportunity to distinguish between the types of products which have misleading or ambiguous names. This is why I voted in favour of the Perello Rodriguez report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 2001/112/EC relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the new European rules on the ingredients and labelling of fruit juices as laid down in the Perello Rodriguez report. These rules will allow for more accurate information to be provided to consumers on the content of fruit juices. Thus, it will no longer be possible to abuse the claim ‘no added sugars’. Similarly, these new rules will provide protection to the consumer, particularly diabetics, by making a clear difference between fruit juices and nectars which have different sugar content.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this legislative resolution and welcomed Parliament’s position at first reading. The Commission’s proposal seeks to amend, for the second time, the 2001 Council Directive relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption. The directive lays down rules governing the composition, use of reserved descriptions, manufacturing specifications and labelling of the products concerned, in order to ensure their free movement within the European Union. The proposal reaffirms the distinction between fruit juice and fruit juice from concentrate, simplifies the provisions on the restitution of flavour and aroma, provides for the removal of sugar from the list of authorised ingredients and includes tomatoes in the list of fruits used for fruit juice production. I agree that the Commission and the Member States should carry out targeted information campaigns in order to inform consumers of the different categories of juices and similar products introduced by this directive and to make it easier for them to differentiate between juice and nectar for instance.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted for this resolution because I realise that it is vital for consumers to have good information, especially when it comes to food products. Through the relevant labelling provisions, the new regulations provide greater clarity and transparency about the content of fruit juices.

I am thinking, in particular, about the rules on the listing of ingredients, the sugar content and the quantity of different fruits in each product. Clear information on this subject makes an important contribution to consumer health. It will be helpful to some groups of people who suffer from specific disorders, such as diabetes. At the same time, it can also prove to be important for promoting a healthy diet, thereby helping reduce the risks of obesity, for instance. I should stress that these aspects are especially necessary for children who form a large group of fruit juice consumers. Last but not least, I welcome the provisions aimed at mentioning the origin of the juices’ main ingredients. I appreciate that they can help promote fruit originating in the EU, thereby providing support to European farmers.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE) , in writing. (PT) This report makes a second amendment to Council Directive 2001/112/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to fruit juices and certain similar products for human consumption. It lays down new rules on the composition, naming, manufacturing specifications and labelling of fruit juices within the European Union. These new rules reflect new international regulations on permitted ingredients and the addition of sugar, which will no longer be allowed in fruit juices. The new rules, which will apply to all such products sold within the EU, even those imported from third countries, also specify that only juice not containing other fruit juices may be sold as ‘orange juice’. In the case of juices sold as a mixture of two or more juices, the name should also include the proportion of each fruit juice included, in descending order of volume. These measures need to be reinforced by specific information campaigns enabling customers to know exactly what product they are buying. I am therefore voting for this report.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing. (FR) New labelling rules for fruit juices and nectars have been adopted by the European Parliament and they offer consumers greater transparency. The goal is indeed to inform consumers, so that they have clear information about what is a genuine fruit juice and what is not. These rules aim to prevent potentially misleading names being given to mixtures of fruit juices and to define clearly the ‘no added sugar’ claims so that consumers are able to quickly and clearly identify the presence of sugars or sweeteners. Henceforth, a mixture of two juices will also have to be named in such a way that fully reflects its contents. Consumers must be provided with accurate information so that they can make informed choices when purchasing food products such as fruit juices.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I agree that we have to create the conditions to continue to develop the European Union’s fruit juice (and similar products) sector. The EU directive adopted back in 2001 brought major and important changes to the way the industry is regulated and, most importantly, to consumer protection. That is because, under this directive, producers were obliged to indicate on labels whether the juice was produced from concentrate or whether it is genuine pressed fruit juice. It is proposed that this distinction be maintained in the review phase of the abovementioned directive. Another key feature of the revision is that it brings the directive more closely into line with the Codex Alimentarius and determines whether certain processes applied for juices produced in other regions of the globe can be applied for juices produced in the European Union. Take, for instance, the addition of mandarin juice to orange juice, which the European Parliament does not oppose because this not only intensifies the colour and flavour but, in some cases, responds to the demands of certain categories of consumer. Although Parliament is looking more closely at so-called flavour reconstitution, it agrees with the Commission’s position that flavour, pulp and cells obtained by suitable physical means from the same species of fruit may be restored to the juice, but consumers must be informed of this on the packaging.

 
  
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  Vito Bonsignore (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted for Mr Perello Rodriguez’s report. In Europe, fruit juices and certain similar products constitute an industrial sector of considerable size. Nevertheless, taking orange juice as a point of reference, 82% of the juice consumed in the EU comes directly from Brazil and the United States, while less than 20% is produced in Europe.

The European processing industry, unlike that in other countries, is complementary to the fresh produce market and consequently, this results in large-scale importation of fresh produce, leading to high environmental costs in terms of CO2. We must therefore firmly support the European sector, which offers significant added value, not least in terms of employment and improving the quality of produce, including through more sustainable production processes which can also influence producers in third countries.

Furthermore, I also agree with the importance of using wording such as ‘no added sugar’ on packages, since there is considerable confusion surrounding these kinds of products. At the same time, I believe it is right to launch targeted information campaigns to enable consumers to know exactly what they are buying.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. (CS) Fruit juices produced in the European Union are high-quality products which contribute to a healthy and balanced diet and are manufactured according to the sustainability standards supported by our law. It is therefore important that we should ensure the high quality of all products sold on the European market. Without seeking to undermine any import policy, this report, in my opinion, rightly favours the consumption of local products, which do not have to be transported over vast distances, which are produced under social and labour conditions that are acceptable under Community law, and which are manufactured according to the food safety principles of the EU. This is not a matter of European protectionism, but of reflecting the continued pursuit of sustainability in all sectors of our economy. The overall quality of a product can also be measured by its ethical quality, its ecological quality and its social quality. Although I agree with most of the requirements in the draft revision submitted by the Commission, I have some doubts regarding the role of this body in the future, specifically in relation to the delegated acts. For this reason, I agree with the correction to Article 7a paragraph 1a such that the period for the Commission’s delegated powers is amended from ‘an unfixed period’ to five years. I would also like to add that the tacit renewal mechanism should be used if there are no substantial changes after five years justifying a revision of the rules.

 
  
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  Zuzana Brzobohatá (S&D), in writing. (CS) The report is devoted mainly to clarifying the legal environment for the labelling of fruit juices. This primarily involves the definition of terms such as ‘fruit juice’, ‘fruit nectar’, ‘fruit drink’ and ‘lemonade’. The terms in question mainly indicate differences in the content of fruit juice, with the term ‘fruit juice’ itself denoting 100% fruit content, while the fruit content in nectar can be as low as 25%, and in a fruit drink less than 25%. The amendment to the directive also introduces a new obligation to indicate on the packaging, in lettering at least half the size of the product name, whether it is a fruit juice, nectar, drink or lemonade. This measure will help to make consumers more aware of the content of these products, and consumers will more easily understand the quality of a given product. The consumer will also not be confused in future as to whether a product is 100% fruit or whether it contains any substitutes. I consider all of the proposed measures to be beneficial to consumers. Older people in particular will be better able to understand what the actual content of a given product is, and I consider this important in relation to the forthcoming Year for Active Ageing.

 
  
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  Cristian Silviu Buşoi (ALDE), in writing. (RO) The new rules on fruit juices and certain similar products introduce for the first time a clear distinction between natural fruit juices and drinks which contain added sugar. Our aim in adopting this report is not to make a choice for consumers, but only to ensure that they are fully informed at the time of choosing the product. Given that the sector for fruit juices and other similar products is an industry with a considerable market share in the European Union, the revised rules on the composition and labelling of these products and a clear indication of added sugar will ensure the high quality of all products sold throughout the EU and will help improve the internal market.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the proposal for a directive on fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption. It is necessary to support the European sector by bringing the directive into line with international law and the Codex, and establishing the same rules for all products marketed in the EU. The aim is not only to contribute towards the free movement of these products, but also to clarify the legislation on labelling, product classification, authorised ingredients and the admissibility of certain practices.

Therefore, the proposed revision will also benefit imported products already being marketed in the European Union, since the new directive will give producers in third countries the opportunity to improve the quality of their products through more sustainable production processes. The existence of one set of rules for all operators will also prevent fraud and unfair competition and help provide clearer information to consumers.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) This draft legislative resolution amending Directive 2001/112/EC is basically a technical proposal, designed to clarify and simplify the legal framework for production and labelling of fruit juice for human consumption within the European Union. I agree with the compromise reached in the trialogue, which is reflected in the amendments tabled by the rapporteur, so I voted for this report which has now been adopted at first reading.

 
  
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  Marielle De Sarnez (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The vote in favour of clearer labelling of fruit juices and nectars will prevent Europeans being misled as regards the ingredients in these products, particularly when they contain a mixture of several different juices. Consumers will now know, when there is a mixture of juices, the precise proportion of each fruit used in producing this mixture. The name given to these mixed juices will also have to better reflect the ingredients actually used to produce the drink, by indicating the different fruits used. Furthermore, clearer information on sugar and sweetener content in these products will also be included on the labels. Specifically, fruit juices will not include by definition any sweetener or added sugar, unlike nectars. Now, Europeans who are diabetic or who are following a diet will be in a better position to choose the right products for their needs.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this report specifying the ingredients of fruit-based beverages in order to provide our fellow citizens with guarantees with regard to the ingredients of the products that they purchase and thus to allow them to make better-informed consumer choices. There must be complete transparency in all exchanges within the single market.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI), in writing. – Reliable and clear information to consumers is vital and it is welcome that accurate information on fruit juice packaging has been a priority for the rapporteur and those at the negotiating table.

The key factor for me, and I think for many consumers, in this is the clear distinction between a product that is a fruit juice and those that are a fruit juice from concentrate. I am glad this key difference will remain clearly identifiable to the consumer, as indeed the health benefits in terms of vitamin intake can be quite stark between a pure fruit juice and a concentrate. We want fruit juices to be an easy way to reach the recommended five a day of a healthy diet, and that consumers have the information to make an informed choice.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing.(PT) I voted for the report on ‘fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption’ because it contains rules on the composition and labelling of these products, which will give consumers clearer information, particularly with regard to added sugar, which is particularly important for people with diabetes.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Fruit juices account for 10% of all non-alcoholic drinks consumed in Europe. Only a small percentage of these are produced locally, with 82% imported from Brazil. It is important to stimulate European fruit juice production, so as to support our processing industries and producers. It is also crucial to give consumers the information they need, so that they know exactly what kind of juices they are consuming and can make a conscious and informed choice.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. – (PT) The purpose of the Commission proposal is to introduce a second amendment to Council Directive 2001/112/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to fruit juices and certain similar products for human consumption. The fruit juices produced within the European Union are high-quality products, produced in accordance with sustainability standards, and form part of a healthy and balanced diet. It is therefore crucial to ensure the quality of all products sold within the European Union. Without wishing to jeopardise any type of import policy, this report encourages local production, which should not be transported vast distances because of the resulting CO2 emissions, and which is produced under social and working conditions that comply with EU legislation and EU food safety principles. I believe information for consumers is crucial in alerting them to the danger of misreading information, particularly with regard to removing mentions of ‘no added sugar’, without first effectively clarifying them to the consumer. I agree with the rapporteur that we need to give the industry enough time to communicate with and inform consumers.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. – (PT) We are voting for this report, whose purpose is to clarify issues relating to descriptions, flavourings and improved information to consumers in this area. It also proposes to ban the use of potentially misleading or ambiguous descriptions such as ‘natural fruit juice’, which might lead consumers to think, wrongly, that a juice is extracted directly from the fruit, when, in some cases, it is produced from concentrate. That is why there are currently difficulties with, for example, distinguishing ‘juices’ from ‘nectars’, and why the presence or not of added sugar is important, so that consumers can make choices according to their specific needs and wishes. For these reasons, information campaigns on the different categories of juice would be welcome.

However, there are a number of concerns, also expressed in the report, about the delegation of powers to the European Commission, namely, in relation to changes in permitted ingredients. This was the area which presented the greatest problems during negotiations with the Council and which, for this very reason, should not be amended using delegated acts. The proposal for a directive provides for an 18-month period for introducing the new legislation, which enables the industry to make the necessary changes.

 
  
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  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The purpose of the report is to clarify issues relating to descriptions, flavourings and improved information to consumers in this area. It also proposes to ban the use of potentially misleading or ambiguous descriptions such as ‘natural fruit juice’, which might lead consumers to think, wrongly, that a juice is extracted directly from the fruit, when, in some cases, it is produced from concentrate. This is why there are currently difficulties with, for example, distinguishing ‘juices’ from ‘nectars’, and why the presence or not of added sugar is important, so that consumers can make choices according to their specific needs and wishes. For these reasons, information campaigns on the different categories of juice would be welcome.

However, there are a number of concerns, also expressed in the report, about the delegation of powers to the European Commission, namely, in relation to changes in permitted ingredients. This was the area which presented the greatest problems during negotiations with the Council and which, for this very reason, should not be amended using delegated acts. The proposal for a directive provides for an 18-month period for introducing the new legislation, which enables the industry to make the necessary changes.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The fruit juice market in the EU accounts for 10% of total consumption of non-alcoholic drinks. As far as market breakdown is concerned, output of fruit juices from concentrate is greater than that of juices produced directly. In terms of the global market in fruit juices, a large number of EU countries are primarily supplied by Spain and Brazil. In Council Directive 2001/112/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption, specific provisions are laid down regarding the production, composition and labelling of fruit juices and similar products, in order to enhance their free movement within the EU. In my opinion, those rules should be adapted to technical progress and should take account of developments in the relevant international standards. The ordinary legislative procedure set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union will apply to this proposed directive. The redefinition of the powers of the Commission (Articles 290 and 291 of the Treaty) will also be taken into account. As a result of this, the submitted draft directive amends Articles 7 and 8 of the current directive by incorporating all of the implementing measures into the category of delegated acts.

 
  
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  Lorenzo Fontana (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the proposal, in the light of the amendments that were made to it during the trialogue. It is more in line with the recently approved regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, having established that the words ‘no added sugar’ must be written on packaging for a transition period of four and a half years.

 
  
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  Elisabetta Gardini (PPE), in writing. (IT) Over the last two decades, consumption of fruit juices in Europe has almost doubled, owing in part to European awareness campaigns on what constitutes a proper diet. Thanks to the directive adopted today, fruit juice can at last be defined as such only if it contains 100% fruit without any kind of additive, with an indication of the origin of the raw material used. Moreover, Europe must ensure greater transparency for consumers, not least through the indication of the origin of the raw materials used. This is a fundamental fact considering that 82% of the orange juice consumed in Europe comes from Brazil and the United States. Therefore, from now on, we shall no longer be in danger of finding on our tables juices created from mixtures of unknown fruits which are not indicated on the product. Thanks to this new element of the EU’s Codex Alimentarius, I hope that the new directive will improve the quality of European products and promote more informed purchases by consumers.

 
  
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  Françoise Grossetête (PPE), in writing. (FR) It was essential to provide more accurate information to consumers on the different kinds of fruit juice on the market (fruit juice, fruit juices made from concentrates, and nectars) and on their ingredients. I am particularly glad that the option to add mandarin/clementine juice to orange juice without mentioning this on the label has not been adopted. Adding mandarin juice to orange juice, without declaring you have done so, was, to my mind, a fraudulent practice and a genuine deception. It would also have resulted in exposing the orange juice market to distortions of competition. Furthermore, the addition of sugar is now banned in the case of all fruit juices and the directive provides for a specific phrase on the label to inform consumers about this change.

 
  
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  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – I supported this report which will enable European consumers to make more informed decisions.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document because it insists on maintaining the dual denomination distinguishing pressed juices from those made from concentrate. Consumers find it hard to distinguish clearly between the different products covered by the directive. Considerable confusion exists, especially with regard to the difference between ‘juice’ and ‘nectar’. It is particularly important to clarify this difference concerning the presence or absence of sugar in these products because this is an issue of particular concern for consumer groups with specific needs (diabetics, children, people with weight problems, etc.). A single set of standards should be applied to all fruit juices and related products marketed in the EU, and particular attention should be drawn to harmless practices. It is important to support the European sector by bringing the directive into line with international law and the Codex Alimentarius and establishing the same rules for all products marketed within the territory of the Community. The new directive will give producers in third countries the opportunity to improve the quality of their products through more sustainable production processes. The existence of one set of rules for everyone will also serve to prevent fraud and unfair competition and help make clearer information available to consumers.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this report, which represents a compromise with the Council and which allows us to clarify the labelling of fruit nectars containing sweeteners, the labelling of fruit juices containing several fruits, and the use of water in fruit juices.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) I supported the new amendments as they will make juice labelling much clearer in the future. For example, mixtures of juices will feature exactly the proportions making up its composition. Therefore, a mixture of 90% apple juice and 10% orange juice will have to be clearly called ‘apple and orange juice’. At the moment, such mixtures are marketed with the label ‘orange juice’. Labels such as ‘mixture of juices’ will only be used if three or more types of fruit are present. I think that all these clarifications will be extremely helpful to people with diabetes or on a diet.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE), in writing. (PL) The report by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption is a document that contains many important parts. I consider the quality of each product to be its ecological, ethical and social quality, and that European products of a high standard are conducive to health and, in particular, balanced nutrition.

We should not forget, however, that 82% of orange juice comes from Brazil and the United States and that the European processing industry is complementary to the fresh produce market. Although many issues still need to be decided, including terminology, I consider Andres Perello Rodriguez’s report to be well-prepared, and I voted in favour of its adoption.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – The European Union produces high-quality fruit juices which contribute to a healthy and balanced diet and are manufactured according to the sustainability standards supported by our laws. It is therefore fair that we should defend these same high standards of quality for all products being marketed in the EU. Without seeking to question any form of import policy, this report favours the consumption of local products, those which do not have to be transported over vast distances, generating CO2 emissions, which are produced under social and labour conditions which are acceptable under Community law, and which are manufactured according to the food safety principles established by the EU. This is not a matter of European protectionism, but reflects the continued pursuit of sustainability in all sectors of our economy. The overall quality of a product can also be measured by its ethical quality, its ecological quality and its social quality.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The highest level of information possible must be provided in a fully transparent, clear manner in order to protect consumers. It is logical that the rules should apply equally to products made in the EU and to imported products. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. – Over 82% of the orange juice consumed in Europe comes mainly from Brazil and the United States, with less than 20% of the orange juice consumed in the EU being produced here. It is therefore important that the European sector is supported by bringing the directive into line with international law and the Codex and establishing the same rules for all products marketed in Community territory. I voted in favour of this report, which aims to contribute towards the free circulation of these products by clarifying rules on labelling, product classification, authorised ingredients and the admissibility of certain practices.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. – (PT) The European Parliament’s adoption of new rules to ensure greater clarity in consumer information will lead to a clearer distinction between fruit juices and nectars for consumers. Given that the fruit juices and similar products sector is a significant industry within the European Union, the revised regulations on the composition and labelling of these products, the banning of certain practices and the indication of added sugar will enable the high quality of all products sold within the Union to be ensured, with the associated benefit of continued improvement of the internal market.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) This directive aims to prioritise product quality and consumer information. Consequently, the principal product name will have to correspond to the main fruit used and all fruits used must be mentioned in the list of ingredients. Illustrations on the packaging must not mislead the consumer about the real ingredients used in the juice. The most important change with regard to juices is the elimination of sugar from the list of authorised ingredients. Here, the objective is to guarantee the quality of the fruit juices and to promote health. It is also important for consumers to be able to make a clear distinction between different categories of product such as freshly squeezed fruit juice, fruit juices made from concentrates, and nectars. All these measures will need to be accompanied by specific and large-scale information campaigns in order to clear up the confusion that exists at present. Finally, I welcome the fact that the specificity of each national market has been maintained by clear product labelling and that the directive applies as much to products manufactured within the European Union as it does to imported products.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The fruit juice sector is a branch of industry which, globally speaking, should not be underestimated. Within the European Union, too, this sector of industry can be considered to be significant in size. However, it is also the case that, with regard to the production of fruit juices, particularly the popular orange juice, 80% of what is consumed in the EU is imported from North America and Brazil. The production process also differs, since in these countries, all fruits are used in juice processing, whereas throughout the EU, only substandard goods that are no longer of use to the trade are used. For consumers, this means that the origin of the juice needs to be indicated particularly clearly in order to be able to inform them, in an unambiguous manner, of where the product has come from.

In general, labelling of the ingredients of the juice is important, particularly where flavourings and the addition of sugar are concerned. Consumers are also frequently confused by the designations ‘juice’ and ‘nectar’. I voted in favour of the report, as I agree with the rapporteur that clear labelling is essential for the good of consumers.

 
  
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  Claudio Morganti (EFD), in writing. (IT) I decided to vote in favour of this report on the labelling of fruit juices, since it will undoubtedly help to provide greater clarity in this field. Consumers must be well informed about what they are eating and drinking every day: in the past, the indications of the ingredients used to prepare these drinks did not always reflect the product’s true content. However, from now on, we should rest assured that the labels are ‘real’, that is, that they accurately state the content of fruit juices or nectars. I always support rules that help to combat indications that mislead or deceive consumers, and, for this sector at least, we have managed to secure a fairly satisfactory result.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) In the fruit juice sector, we import more than 80% of some varieties, from Brazil or the United States, for example. Where citrus fruits are concerned, rather than being made up of large international producers, the European industry is an auxiliary industry supplementing the processing of fresh fruit. Processing frequently involves selling those fruits which, due to their appearance (size, marks), are not marketed as fresh fruits, although they are perfectly suitable for providing high-quality fruit juices. On account of the environmental costs associated with imports (CO2 emissions), it is essential that we increase our support for the European fruit juice industry. This would also avoid fruits that are less suitable for being sold as fresh fruit from being destroyed and prevent unharvested fruit rotting in the field, which can lead to the spread of disease. This would bring socio-economic added value with the creation of jobs and growth. In addition, labelling, classification, approved additives and practices are to be clarified. In this regard, stringent requirements must also apply to imports that are currently already sold in the EU. This will provide an incentive for third countries to improve the quality of their products using sustainable production processes. Another positive element is the retention of the double designation, which distinguishes between pressed juices made from fresh fruit and fruit juices made from concentrate. Since the report takes these aspects into account, I voted in favour of it.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because it is appropriate to maintain the dual denomination distinguishing pressed juices from those made from concentrate. The implementation of the provisions of this directive will enable consumers to choose a product that has undergone as little processing and is as natural as possible. The dual classification will ensure that consumers are given accurate information and that pictorial representations on packaging do not mislead the consumer as to the actual composition of the juice. It should be noted that the application of the same rules throughout the territory of the Community will facilitate the free movement of these products and will help prevent fraud and unfair competition. Moreover, on the basis of the provisions of this directive and with a view to the use of more sustainable production processes, producers in third countries will be encouraged to improve the quality of their products.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) The amendment of the directive on the consumption of fruit juices and their production in Europe is a sensitive, hotly debated issue which concerns many consumers. The text, which I voted for, seeks to improve current products by protecting consumers through better information. Buyers must have the opportunity to know exactly what kind of product they are buying, its quality, and, leaving aside discussions on the preservation of the fruit used, the saccharin or sugar content and the difference between products which are derived from fruit concentrate and those that are not. I think that the most important factor is precisely the opportunity to have a better end product that consumers are able to choose in a clear and informed manner.

 
  
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  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) Fruit juices and similar products form an important industry within the European Union and account for a large part of the European market. This market, however, needs to be strengthened, by adapting the relevant Community directive to international standards and to the Codex and by laying down rules for all products traded in Community territory. Questions of labelling, product categorisation and permissible ingredients need to be clarified and rules need to be adopted that will prevent any attempted fraud or unfair trading and will help to improve the quality of information provided to consumers. This particular proposal to amend the directive, which I supported, is a move in that direction.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. – (PT) The purpose of the Commission proposal is to amend, for the second time, Council Directive 2001/112/EC of 20 December 2001 on fruit juices and certain similar products for human consumption, setting out rules on the composition, use of reserved descriptions, manufacturing specifications and labelling of the products concerned, so as to ensure free movement of these products within the European Union. The European Parliament has striven to ensure that the criteria included in this directive will be applied under the same conditions both to products produced within the Union and to imported products. Since I, too, advocate this position, I voted for this report.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing. (IT) While the fruit juices and certain similar products sector represents an industry of considerable size in the European Union, it should be stressed that more than three quarters of the products consumed in Europe comes mainly from Brazil and the United States, meaning that a small part of EU consumption is produced in Europe. It is therefore important to support the European sector, by bringing the directive in line with international law and establishing the same rules for all products marketed on EU territory. The aim is to contribute to the free movement of these products. However, it is also important to clarify the rules on labelling, product classification, authorised ingredients and the admissibility of certain practices. In order to support the proposal for a directive, I voted in favour of all the amendments to the directive.

 
  
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  Rovana Plumb (S&D), in writing. – The aim of this legislative proposal is to amend Council Directive 2001/112/EC by incorporating more of the provisions of the Codex Alimentarius standard. The Parliament’s draft report suggests that the rules arising from adaptation of the directive to the Codex should be equally applicable to all products marketed within the EU, regardless of whether they are produced in the EU or imported.

The Commission and the Member States shall carry out information campaigns to inform consumers of the different categories of juices and similar products. Concerning the issue of flavour reconstitution, I support the Commission’s proposal that it should remain optional. The report suggests limiting the Commission’s powers to adopt the delegated acts from ‘an indeterminate period of time’ to five years with the possibility of proceeding to a tacit renewal. Moreover, an 18-month transition period added to the transposition period would serve to use up stock manufactured according to old standards and to adapt to new rules.

Adapting the directive to the Codex Alimentarius standard will allow the same criteria to be applied to products manufactured in the EU and to imported products. Consequently, consumers will no longer be confused on the safety and quality of juices.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) It is noteworthy that around 82% of the fruit juice products consumed within the European Union are produced outside the Union. The main reason for this is that, in the European Union, fruit juices are made from surplus fruit crops and not from fruit grown expressly for juice production. In this way, the European productive cycle manages to optimise the available resources, as well as avoid long journeys in distributing the product throughout the common market. These points should be taken into account in regulation of the fruit juice market. These are the main concerns of the report before the European Parliament for approval, and I believe they are legitimate, with the aforementioned caveats, so I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Europe really does have difficulty in speaking with one voice, even about fruit juices! Germany has opposed the text from the beginning, preferring to protect the concentrated fruit juice industry. For its part, Spain, the leading European orange juice producer, would be happy to see it mixed with mandarin juice. This is a very attractive market, as Europeans drink 300 million litres of orange juice a year, or half of global consumption. In other words, the agreement reached on the Fruit Juice Directive by the European Parliament delegation, of which I was a member, and the Polish Presidency, was hardly a straightforward matter. Henceforth, it will not be permitted to name a juice or nectar after a minor ingredient. We will not be able to use strawberry juice, for example, for a drink where the main fruit is actually apple. A further key provision, here in terms of health, is the following: the practice of adding sugar to fruit juices is now prohibited. However, this legislation promoting quality products and accurate consumer information will be of no use if the Commission, tomorrow, does not promote the activities of European fruit and vegetable producers who are suffering from the crisis and from global competition.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) Today in plenary, we adopted Mr Perello Rodriguez’s report, which refers to the need to adopt the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 2001/112/EC relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption.

The rapporteur highlighted the importance of supporting the European fruit juice sector by bringing the directive into line with international law and the Codex Alimentarius in order to contribute towards the free movement of these products, and also to clarify the rules on labelling, classification, authorised ingredients and the admissibility of certain practices.

The directive must improve the dual denomination distinguishing pressed juices from those made from concentrate; indeed in practice, consumers find it hard to distinguish between the different categories. It is important to clarify this difference in terms of the presence or absence of sugar in these products, which is an issue of concern to consumer groups with specific needs. The rapporteur accepts harmless practices, such as the addition of mandarin juice to orange juice, which can intensify its colour and flavour, in order to encourage the marketing of products. It is important to back up these measures with information campaigns enabling consumers to know what they are buying.

 
  
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  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The European Union must guarantee its citizens access to products which meet high standards of quality, durability and fairness. That is particularly true in the food sector, as consumers are habitually very attentive to their nutrition and health. Therefore, I voted in favour of the report by Andres Perello Rodriguez on the directive on fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption. New rules are indeed necessary. I particularly welcome the measures to clarify the different types of juice, to remove sugar from the list of authorised ingredients, to ensure clear and transparent labelling on the proportions of fruit contained in the juice, and also the rules on the aromas used. Furthermore, it is essential to apply these rules to products manufactured in Europe and to imported products. This report works towards improved information and protection for consumers, seeking the best possible quality in the products that we consume on a daily basis. I am delighted with it.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The ‘fruit juices and certain similar products’ sector represents an industry of considerable size in the European Union. However, to take just one example, it is worth noting that over 82% of the orange juice consumed in Europe comes mainly from Brazil and the United States. In other words, less than 20% of the orange juice consumed in the EU is produced here. The European Union produces high-quality fruit juices which contribute to a healthy and balanced diet and are manufactured according to the sustainability standards supported by our laws. It is therefore fair that we should defend these same high standards of quality for all products being marketed in the EU.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) By adopting this report, the European Parliament is seeking the introduction of a new set of more consumer-friendly labelling rules for fruit juices and nectars. The new rules aim to prevent potentially misleading names for mixed juices and various indications, such as ‘no added sugar’. Our priority is to offer consumers accurate information so that they know what they are buying. The final document highlights the key role played by this House in banning added sugar in products sold as fruit juices and in clarifying the presence of sugars or sweeteners in similar drinks.

 
  
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  Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D), in writing. – We have had many discussions in the Environment Committee over the last few years about the labelling of food and drink. Broadly speaking, I think that EU legislation is ensuring clearer and more accurate labelling for the consumer and is helping people to make informed choices about what they eat and drink. This directive adds to that, specifically by requiring the labelling of natural sugars in fruit nectar and by clarifying the rules around ‘no added sugar’ claims. Clear and honest labelling is one of the main tools we have to tackle diet-related problems in the EU, and whilst the Food Information to Consumers Regulation and the Health and Nutrition Claims Regulation provide most of the legal framework for this, additions are sometimes necessary. I would like to thank the rapporteur for his efforts to negotiate with the Council and congratulate him on this report.

 
  
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  Amalia Sartori (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of Mr Perello Rodriguez’s report, which seeks to improve the quality rules and production standards for fruit juices, products which are purchased on a daily basis by European consumers. The report provides greater product transparency for consumers by indicating the origin of the raw ingredients contained in fruit juices. The report represents a benefit, not only for consumers, who will be able to benefit from more precise information, but also for European farmers, since it will raise the value of European products on the market. I believe that consumers are entitled to know what they are buying and make healthier choices. Indeed, the report requires a distinction to be made between fresh fruit juice and juice made instead from concentrate, or between juice and nectar, depending on the concentration of fruit and sugar that the product contains. We are therefore eliminating the confusion felt by consumers, who will now be able to make informed purchases.

 
  
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  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE), in writing. (PL) The proposed amendments to Council Directive 2001/112/EC adapting methods of fruit juice production to technical progress exclude sugars from the list of ingredients permitted for use in fruit juices, set out provisions on flavours, and also provide clear definitions of finished products and the raw materials and semi-finished products used in their manufacture.

It is important that the amendments to the Fruit Juice Directive should be concerned with health benefits and, above all, regulate the matter of the addition of sweeteners to fruit juice, and that clear labelling of products should make it easier for consumers to distinguish between juice and nectar (for example, as regards the terminology used for blends of juice from two or more fruits). Domestic fruit producers should also be kept in mind. The entry into force of these amendments to the directive will help to improve the quality of fruit juices and nectars which remain on the national market and help harmonise their labelling. The amendments will also enable a harmonisation of quality standards for fruit juices and nectars, which will help improve product quality.

 
  
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  Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I supported this report, primarily because it makes significant improvements for certain groups of consumers, such as people with diabetes, children, or people with health problems due to being overweight.

At a time when diabetes is one of the major health challenges posed in the 21st century, I cannot but be pleased about the improvements made to this directive. In the case of diabetics – I am referring here to people diagnosed with type-II diabetes – blood sugar concentration is of paramount importance. Therefore, I am pleased that after six months of negotiations with the Council, an agreement has been reached which not only improves labelling, but also the quality of fruit juices. The fact that the addition of sugar will be banned from fruit juices marks an achievement not only for those who need to control their body’s sugar intake, but also in terms of improving the health of EU citizens in general.

The measures being proposed benefit both consumers, who will have access to complete information, and juice producers, who have wanted to reinforce the notion that juice is part of a healthy diet and can be consumed as such.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The fruit juice market accounts for 10% of non-alcoholic drink consumption and it is clear that we need new measures in order to protect the interests of consumers and give them as much information as is available on the market. Given that a large percentage of the fruit used for fruit juice is produced outside the European Union, it is imperative to apply the same rules to all producers so as to prevent fraud and unfair competition. I am therefore voting for this report, as I believe it is necessary to adopt uniform rules concerning the ingredients used, the categories used for classifying products and common practices for the companies producing them. I also think it is appropriate to distinguish between the different types of drink on the market, particularly between juices and nectars, to enable consumers to choose those best suited to them in terms of their health and wellbeing.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution on the proposal amending Council Directive 2001/112/EC relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption because I think that the implementation of the new provisions will provide better protection for consumer interests and boost the free movement of fruit juices within the EU. The EU fruit juice market accounts for 10% of the total consumption of non-alcoholic beverages, while the production of fruit juice from concentrate predominates compared to direct juice production (87.6% and 12.4% respectively).

The specific provisions and regulations regarding production, composition and labelling of fruit juices laid down by Directive 2001/112/EC must be adapted to technical progress and take account of developments in relevant international standards, in particular, the Codex Standard for fruit juices and nectars (stipulating quality factors and labelling requirements) and the Code of Practice of the European Fruit Juice Association. The amendments made to the directive are aimed at bringing the current situation into line with these standards and reaffirm the distinction between fruit juice and fruit juice obtained from concentrate. They also simplify the provisions on restoring taste and flavour and include tomatoes in the list of fruits and vegetables used to produce fruit juices.

 
  
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  Thomas Ulmer (PPE), in writing. (DE) I voted in favour of the report because, in my opinion, it entails a clear improvement on the current situation for consumers. Ingredients must be stated clearly and misleading designations must be avoided. The best solution is, of course, the production of our own juices according to our own recipes. I consider a review of efficiency in five years to be reasonable.

 
  
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  Anja Weisgerber (PPE), in writing. (DE) In the European Parliament, we have been fighting for safe, high-quality foodstuffs for many years. The text that we have voted on today provides anything but this, as it waters down the current standards for the quality of fruit juices in Europe. Therefore, I was unable to vote in favour of the compromise package today. However, I would also like to express my criticism of the negotiation process.

It is unacceptable for the opinion of the lead committee to be disregarded to a large extent in the compromise package. The European Parliament fought long and hard to be given equal legislative powers. We must also exercise this responsibility in the negotiations for the good of the citizens of Europe. In the interests of these citizens, I would have liked the result of the vote to have been different today.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) Better information for consumers regarding the content of fruit juices, in particular, the sugar content, is urgently needed. Above all, groups of consumers with special requirements (children, diabetics, people with a weight problem) must be given particular protection against potentially erroneous information and from being misled. Furthermore, it is important to support the European citrus fruit processing industry by harmonising the directive with international standards. In addition to economic benefits and the creation of jobs, strengthening the European citrus fruit sector would also reduce the high environmental costs caused by the high levels of CO2 released in connection with the import of these fruits from overseas.

 
  
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  Glenis Willmott (S&D), in writing. – This report principally concerns updates to the existing legislation for fruit juices. I am nevertheless pleased to have voted for it, as I have worked long and hard for measures to provide greater transparency for consumers in the food and drink that they buy. In order for consumers to be able to make informed choices – on where their food comes from, how it was produced, what it contains or what nutritional or health value it has – they must be given the necessary information in a clear, easy-to-understand way. In this case, that means making sure that what manufacturers label as ‘fruit juice’ is really what consumers understand to be fruit juice and, in particular, distinguishing it from drinks made from concentrate. The updates in this report will provide further clarity for consumers.

 
  
  

Report: Bill Newton Dunn (A7-0246/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report. If we look at the environmental impact of phosphates on European waters, we can see that it is a matter of urgency to make drastic reductions in the amount of phosphates and phosphate-derived products in European waters, which is reducing water quality year by year. As there are alternatives to using this compound, we need more environmental awareness on the part of detergent manufacturers as well as the European public themselves in choosing the products they use.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this important resolution on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents. The aim of the current Commission proposal for a regulation is to reduce the amount of phosphorus used in detergents in domestic washing machines. Phosphates end up in our water systems, rivers, streams, lakes, and notably the Danube Basin, and the Baltic Sea. Phosphorus encourages the excessive growth of algae, which starves other living organisms of oxygen and can also produce toxins, killing fish, plants, and other species, as well as reducing the quality of the water itself. Therefore, in order to clean up Europe’s water, we should reduce the amount of phosphorus entering it, and should do the same throughout the world. I therefore believe that, above all, we need to encourage people to use biological detergents with minimal phosphate content and set a legal limit on the phosphate content of various household laundry detergents. I therefore wish to call on all EU Member States to immediately set about implementing this regulation and to make every effort to stop phosphates being used on an unjustifiably large scale. Otherwise, rather than leaving future generations with a Baltic Sea, a Danube Basin or other waters with varied flora and fauna, we will leave them with swamps.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) As the use of phosphates is bad for our environment, we must gradually learn how to do without them. This has largely been the case in France since 2007. I have voted in favour of this report because it enables the prohibition of phosphates to be extended to the entire European Union for laundry detergents and dishwasher detergents. Thanks to the European Union, our environment and our health are better protected.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this legislative resolution and welcomed Parliament’s position at first reading. The purpose of the Commission’s proposal for a regulation, amending Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 as regards the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents, is to reduce the amount of phosphorus used in detergents in domestic washing machines. There is a particularly large amount of phosphorus in domestic laundry detergents and it ends up in our water systems, rivers, streams, lakes, and notably the Danube Basin, and the Baltic Sea. This results in eutrophication – the excessive growth of algae, which starves other living organisms of oxygen and can also produce toxins, killing fish, plants and other species, as well as reducing the quality of the water itself. The Commission’s proposal is aimed at setting limitations on the amount of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds used in detergents and ensuring that the planned phosphate ban is not easy to circumvent. I agree that it is appropriate to extend the limitations on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents to household automatic dishwasher detergents and to include these in the proposal for a regulation.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted for the report drafted by Mr Newton Dunn because safeguarding water quality is a key element in a healthy living environment. I think that innovation must be encouraged with regard to the chemical substances used in detergents. At the same time, technologies need to be developed on a long-term basis, designed to recover phosphorus from waste water. Given the long life cycle these substances have, measures are needed to mitigate their adverse impact on the water table and marine life. The use of phosphates in detergents must be gradually phased out, supported by progress assessments, as part of an accelerated process of developing green substitutes. I should emphasise the duty to inform consumers properly about the chemical composition of detergents. In this regard, references to recycling and environmental hazards will raise the public’s level of awareness in this area.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Detergents represent the third most important source of waste phosphates in surface waters, after agriculture and sewage. Phosphates are used in detergents in order to reduce water hardness and to improve washing. They are extremely harmful to the ecological balance of lake and river water, and particularly harmful to aquatic life. Indeed, these phosphates promote the growth of algae which kill other aquatic species by depriving them of oxygen. Thus, the vote for a directive which aims to limit the use of phosphates represents one step in our struggle to improve water quality and achieve sustainable development. One step only, because this text at the moment only concerns the quantity of phosphates per wash and will not apply to dishwashers until 2015.

 
  
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  Vito Bonsignore (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this report, which seeks to reduce the amount of phosphates used mainly in detergents in domestic washing machines. Indeed, phosphates damage the already delicate and precarious balance in our ecosystem.

These substances end up in our water systems, rivers, lakes and streams, helping living organisms, such as algae, to flourish, a process leading to eutrophication, which starves other living organisms of oxygen. This phenomenon produces toxins, partly responsible for killing various species of fish.

However, there cannot be a total ban on phosphates, since many come from humans. Nevertheless, their use can be reduced, for example, by including a smaller amount in domestic laundry detergents and automatic dishwashing machine detergents. Moreover, I support the proposal to encourage the use of alternative detergents containing minimum levels of phosphates which already occupy a broad and growing share of the EU market by means of harmonised legislation which will encourage third countries to reduce the level of phosphorus in water, with a view to a future agreement.

 
  
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  Cristian Silviu Buşoi (ALDE), in writing. (RO) When we talk about household laundry detergents and those used in dishwashers, there must be a balance struck between the substances used in detergents to ensure their effectiveness and the relevant substances’ environmental impact. The use of phosphates and phosphorus compounds poses a risk of ecosystem degradation and promotes the growth of algae, which is a risk that needs to be managed. The agreement which has been reached strikes such a balance through the restrictions that have been introduced on the content of phosphates in both laundry and dishwasher detergents, especially by imposing a time limit on their use.

The obvious upshot of restricting the phosphate content is to promote innovation and the marketing of detergents which are just as effective, but with a less harmful environmental impact. We must allow the time needed to develop replacement products of this kind. This is why I give my full support to the solution which has been reached for dishwasher detergents, because the restriction comes into force in 2017, which leaves enough time not only to develop new products, but also for the Commission to draft its report so that we can see whether the proposed limit is appropriate.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. – (PT) Phosphates alter the natural cycle of water systems such as rivers, lakes and streams. In Europe, the Baltic and the Danube basin have been worst affected by the increased use of phosphates, particularly from washing machines and dishwashers. With ever-increasing quantities of this element found in waters, fast-growing plants such as algae are tending to proliferate, infesting other living organisms, depriving them of oxygen, producing toxins, killing fish and plants and reducing water quality: eutrophication. Unlike detergents for hand washing, there are no phosphate-free formulae for dishwasher detergents. As the Commission is setting a date for the introduction of limitations on phosphate content, we will see greater investment in innovation which will accelerate the transition to phosphate-free formulae.

At the same time, the Commission will be making sufficient time available in advance to reduce the negative impact this will have on manufacturers, and will also use a regulation to harmonise the various national level rules. I therefore support Mr Newton Dunn’s report on the use of phosphates and related products in detergents.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the amendment to the regulation on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents. One of the regulation’s main objectives is to reduce the amount of phosphorus used in detergents in domestic washing machines. The Commission has opted for a regulation instead of a directive to harmonise the various national rules more effectively. The quantity of phosphorus which gets into the water on our continent and even throughout the world should be reduced in order to clean up Europe’s water. Phosphorus from household laundry detergents makes a significant contribution to the direct presence of phosphorus in water channels. This is why I welcome the Commission’s proposal.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) I think that manufacturers should be prevented from confusing consumers with product attributes which are actually imposed by EU legislation. I believe that the phosphate-free claim should not be allowed for product categories for which the ban on phosphates is already in force.

 
  
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  Marielle De Sarnez (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The marine environment and the inland waterways of Europe are heavily polluted by the phosphates contained in laundry and dishwasher detergents. Phosphates, when they are unfortunately discharged into waterways or the sea, promote the growth of algae which are harmful for aquatic life. That is why we must reduce as much as possible the amount of phosphorus authorised in washing powders so that we can preserve European marine environments. From 2017, European consumers will benefit from more environmentally friendly cleaning products.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I supported the adoption of this report, which will allow a considerable reduction in the use of phosphates in detergents. This measure will contribute to the French environmental ‘Grenelle’, or roundtable, and the European policy for preserving wildlife by encouraging the use of more environmentally friendly products.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing. (FR) Today, I voted in favour of this report, which stipulates that detergents used for washing machines should henceforth no longer contain phosphates. It should be remembered that phosphates are used in detergents in order to reduce water hardness and to improve washing. However, when they are discharged into lakes and rivers, they promote the growth of algae which kill other aquatic species by depriving them of oxygen (detergents are the third most important source of phosphates discharged into surface waters, after agriculture and sewage, and washing powder is the greatest source of phosphates in the detergents sector). From January 2013, phosphorus compounds used in detergents for washing machines will no longer be able to exceed 0.5 g per wash. These rules will be extended to dishwashers from 2015. These new rules – and I am delighted – will undoubtedly improve water quality and protect aquatic life, which is attacked by phosphates discharged into wastewater.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents, since it contains rules that will eliminate phosphates not only from laundry detergents, but also from dishwasher detergents: a great help towards preserving the quality of water and of the environment within the European Union.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Union is known for its highly detailed legislation regarding the most varied fields of production. The aim of this regulation is often to protect consumers and, at other times, the environment and natural resources, as is the case with this regulation on the use of phosphates in household laundry detergents.

While I recognise that such protection is desirable, I must reiterate that imposing restrictions concerning the use of phosphates on the manufacturers of household laundry detergents will make sense only if the same rules also prevent the entry into the EU of imported detergents that violate these very same rules. We cannot go on demanding more from our manufacturers and industries without imposing similar rules for imported products.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The aim of the current Commission proposal for a regulation is to reduce the amount of phosphorus used in detergents for household washing machines. Phosphates affect water systems, rivers, streams and lakes, causing their eutrophication: that is, an excessive growth of algae which starves other living organisms of oxygen and can also produce toxins, killing fish, plants and other species, as well as reducing the quality of the water itself. Alternatives to phosphates in detergents do exist and, particularly with household laundry detergents, the trend is towards phosphate-free formulations. However, there are also technologies using phosphonates (containing phosphorus, but in much smaller amounts), and, at the moment, these stand in the way of a total ban on phosphorus. Even so, it is essential to set a limit for the maximum amounts of phosphorus that can be used without causing the eutrophication of water systems, rivers, streams and lakes. The Commission opted for a regulation instead of a directive, in order to better harmonise different rules at national levels. The harmonisation of the various national rules regarding phosphates and other phosphate compounds will improve the free circulation of household laundry detergents within the internal market.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The main focus of this report is on the problem of the excessive amount of phosphates and phosphorus compounds from household detergents, which can result in the eutrophication of water channels, rivers and seas: that is, the excessive growth of algae and other fast-developing plants, which markedly reduces the oxygen dissolved in the water, so killing aquatic life in these areas and having a significant impact on biodiversity, with serious consequences for water quality and public health.

Limits for the phosphorus content of household laundry and dishwasher detergents are set out in the report: a maximum of 0.5 g per wash in both cases, and with effect from 1 January 2013 and 2015, respectively. However, this regulation does not apply to industrial or institutional detergents. Given that there are ways in which to minimise the environmental impact of this element, and bearing in mind that there are already effective household detergents that contain a much lower concentration of phosphorus, this regulation has contributed positively towards improving the environment, living conditions and public health.

 
  
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  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The main focus of this report is the problem of the excessive amount of phosphates and phosphorus compounds from household detergents, which can result in the eutrophication of water channels, rivers and seas: that is, the excessive growth of algae and other fast-developing plants, which markedly reduces the oxygen dissolved in the water, so killing aquatic life in these areas and having a significant impact on biodiversity, with serious consequences for water quality and for public health. Limits for the phosphorus content of household laundry and dishwasher detergents are set out in the report: a maximum of 0.5 g per wash in both cases, and with effect from 1 January 2013 and 2015, respectively.

However, this regulation does not apply to industrial or institutional detergents. Given that there are ways in which to minimise the environmental impact of this element, and bearing in mind that there are already effective household detergents that contain a much lower concentration of phosphorus, this regulation has made a positive contribution towards improving the environment, living conditions and public health.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Phosphates from washing powders have a negative impact on the aquatic environment. They contribute to the faster growth of algae and higher plants, and thus disrupt the ecological balance in our water systems, and particularly in very vulnerable areas such as the Baltic Sea and the Danube basin. In 2010, the Commission submitted an amendment for Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 on detergents introducing a restriction on phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household washing powders, and the proposal is very welcome. There is, however, another source of phosphates, and that is cleaning products for automatic dishwashers. The general aim of this proposal is, first and foremost, to reduce the negative impacts of these materials on the aquatic environment. At present, however, national legislation in the EU already reflects the trend to move away from using phosphates in detergents, while some Member States are trying to apply restrictions on the use of washing powders, and some states have already introduced restrictions on the use of such products for automatic dishwashers. I welcome the setting of a sensible time period for limits on phosphorous in detergents, which can thereby encourage the necessary innovation, speeding up the transfer to phosphate-free compounds, while at the same time giving enough time to reduce the negative impacts on producers. This will also ensure harmonisation on the internal market.

 
  
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  Elisabetta Gardini (PPE), in writing. (IT) Thanks to the adoption of the new regulation as regards the use of phosphates in household laundry and dishwasher detergents, the same marketing standards will apply to these products across Europe. By further harmonising this sector, I hope that we shall be able to overcome the fragmentation of the internal market which, until now, has obliged detergent manufacturers to comply with divergent national rules. This is why I believe that with today’s vote, Europe has taken a further step towards the free movement of these goods, while providing, at the same time, greater protection for the environment.

 
  
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  Françoise Grossetête (PPE), in writing. (FR) Phosphates are used essentially to improve the effectiveness of washing. They are largely responsible, with nitrates, for the growth of algae and the phenomena of green and red ‘tides’.

I am delighted that the revision of the regulation which limits by a considerable extent the use of phosphates and phosphorus compounds in detergents has been adopted by a large majority.

Even though this has already been the case in France since 2007, I am very happy that the prohibition of phosphates in household laundry detergents in the EU is being extended to all Member States from January 2013. This is a dual victory because, under pressure from the European Parliament, the Member States have extended the phosphates ban to include dishwasher detergents.

Let me remind you that in France, there are 20 million washes a day and that 88 kg of household detergents are used annually by every French household.

 
  
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  Brice Hortefeux (PPE), in writing. (FR) The environment is a precious resource and we must do everything in our power to preserve it. France had already prohibited phosphates in washing powders by 2007, but this measure was not implemented throughout Europe. The phosphates found in wastewater contribute to algae growth which causes green and red tides and harms aquatic life. This measure, which will be extended to dishwasher detergents, will apply from January 2013. I am delighted about this because if we take the example of France alone, there are 20 million washes a day and 88 kg of household products are used per household per year.

 
  
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  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – I welcome today’s vote on this report which will go some way towards reducing harm to the environment.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed the proposal because it aims to amend Council Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 on detergents, setting limits on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents in order to reduce the contribution of detergents to the general eutrophication of the EU’s surface waters, taking into account the evaluations and impact assessment carried out by the Commission under Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 648/2004.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) I supported this report which strengthens consumer protection and the preservation of the environment by reducing, to minute quantities, the presence of phosphates in laundry detergents within the European Union. The reduction of the presence of phosphorus compounds in wastewater will help to combat the process of eutrophication (growth of algae) in lakes and rivers.

 
  
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  Constance Le Grip (PPE) , in writing. (FR) I voted today in favour of Mr Newton Dunn’s report on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents.

In future, laundry and dishwasher detergents will have to be virtually free of phosphorus. Parliament and the Council also sought to include dishwasher detergents in this legislation, while providing a satisfactory deadline –until 2017 – to industrialists so that they can adapt their products. The deadline for laundry detergents is set at 2013.

Even though provisions such as these have been in force in France since 2007, I am very happy that the prohibition of phosphates is being extended to all Member States, as their discharge into inland waterways leads, along with nitrates, to the proliferation of green algae which asphyxiate fish and destroy other forms of aquatic life.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for tough restrictions on the amount of phosphates that can be used in washing powder, and Socialist MEPs were successful in extending the restrictions to dishwasher detergents. We need to restrict the use of phosphates in detergents because an accumulation of them in the water supply causes excess algae growth. Too much algae causes an imbalance in the ecosystem which can result in ecosystem problems such as dead fish. This has been a big problem in the Baltic Sea, but can affect all rivers, lakes and seas. This is a perfect example of why we need a European Union of twenty-seven nations acting together: you cannot control polluted water in one country if it simply appears in another. We all need the same restrictions. Eutrophication is the unhealthy growth of plants leading to an increase in bacteria and lack of oxygen which results in dead fish and, in certain areas of the UK, has led to dead pets such as dogs. Phosphates are used in varying amounts in laundry and dishwasher detergents. Areas with hard water need them more than areas with soft water.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) I fully agree with the proposal seeking to reduce the amount of phosphorus used in detergents in domestic washing machines. The Commission rightly opted to submit a proposal for a regulation instead of for a directive, since a regulation enables better harmonisation of the different rules in the Member States. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. – I welcome this Commission regulation to better harmonise different rules at national level in reducing the amount of phosphorus used in detergents in domestic washing machines by banning phosphates from consumer detergents from July 2013, and consumer automatic dishwashing detergents from January 2017. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) The aim of this proposal adopted by the European Parliament is to reduce the amount of phosphorus in laundry and dishwashing detergents throughout the European Union. In this way, laundry and dishwashing detergents will become more ecological; this is extremely important for protecting the environment, especially the aquatic environment, and for the proper functioning of the internal market for these products.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Phosphorus, particularly from household detergents such as dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents, makes a significant contribution to the pollution of European water bodies. The phosphates that end up in the water create an excellent nutritive medium for algae and other aquatic plants, which then leads to additional oxygen being removed from the water that other organisms, such as fish, need in order to survive. In the long term, this can lead to the extinction of species, which would cause considerable damage to ecosystems.

The Commission is now considering regulatory measures in order to bring about a reduction in the use of the substance by manufacturers of detergents containing phosphorus. I voted in favour of the report, because I agree with the rapporteur that dishwasher detergents should also be included in the proposal, as, like washing machines, dishwashers have now almost become standard appliances in all households.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) Household agents such as dishwasher or laundry detergents contain phosphorus. This substance softens the water, thus enabling more efficient cleaning. However, phosphorus can have enormous detrimental effects if it ends up in our inland water bodies, such as rivers and lakes. The situation is particularly serious in the Danube Basin. The problem is that phosphorus promotes the growth of algae and other aquatic plants, which, in turn, results in the removal of essential oxygen from the water that is needed by fish and other animals in order to survive. In the medium and long term, many fish species and aquatic organisms are threatened with extinction as a result of the pollution of the water with phosphorus and the ecological balance in the water bodies will be disrupted. The present proposal aims to reduce the amount of phosphorus in household agents, which should, in any case, include dishwasher detergents. I have therefore voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted for Mr Newton Dunn’s report on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents since it reduces the maximum levels of these substances in detergents. Its general aim is to ensure greater consumer safety and environmental protection because these substances can be, and often are, harmful. Pollution of groundwater and various kinds of household accidents are evidence of this. I therefore believe that each Member State must adapt to the new standards as soon as possible by reducing phosphate content as required by the amendment to the regulation in question.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report approves new laws aiming to reduce the amount of phosphorus in laundry and dishwashing detergents throughout the European Union. The aim is to protect the environment, especially the aquatic environment, and the proper functioning of the internal market for these products. In southern Europe, the water is harder and detergents generally contain more phosphates. As the Commission agrees, Portugal is one of the countries that stand to gain most from the change to phosphate-free detergents. For these reasons, I voted for this report.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing. (IT) The different national legislation across the EU on ending the use of phosphates in detergents has led to piecemeal harmonisation in this area at European level, resulting in fragmentation of the internal market in detergents, with different Member States providing for different policies and laws. On the one hand, the Commission’s proposal for a regulation aims to reduce the use of phosphorus in detergents, thereby limiting pollution of our water systems, rivers, streams and lakes, and, on the other, it aims to put in place harmonised rules for the Member States at EU level. With the ultimate aim of cleaning up Europe’s water and promoting an agreement with third countries on reducing phosphorus content in detergents, and since I agree with all the amendments, I voted in favour of the proposal.

 
  
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  Rovana Plumb (S&D), in writing. (RO) Phosphorus helps life, algae and other forms of plant life to flourish, thereby causing eutrophication of the water. Phosphates are used in detergents to counteract hardness in water so as to allow efficient cleaning and enhance the detergents’ cleaning performance.

Some Member States already have restrictions in place for household laundry detergents, with a few also introducing restrictions for ADW (automatic dishwashing machine) detergents. However, legislation is not harmonised at EU level, the internal market for detergents is fragmented, and problems are arising which the EU is tackling in an attempt to sign agreements with Member States on reducing the phosphorus content in household laundry and dishwasher detergents as part of the regional initiatives to clean up water, such as the HELCOM Baltic Sea action plan and the EU strategy for the Danube region.

The inclusion of ADW detergents in the regulation may contribute not only to accelerating the campaign against eutrophication, but also to the loss of jobs in SMEs which make phosphate-rich ADW detergents and do not yet possess the knowledge and technologies required to make them phosphate-free. Since there are no statistics on the number of jobs at risk, I call on the Commission to devise a study for this purpose.

 
  
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  Miguel Portas (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Phosphates affect water channels and water systems, encouraging the fast development of algae and other plants, leading to their eutrophication, and consequently the death of various native species, by reducing the amount of oxygen available and/or possibly by producing toxins. Detergents are largely responsible for introducing phosphate into the aquatic environment, and there are now alternatives to the use of phosphates in detergents. This report greatly limits the amount of phosphates in household laundry detergents. It even calls for a study to be conducted into the feasibility and potential impacts of a phosphate ban for industrial and institutional detergents. These measures better protect rivers, lakes and marine habitats, as well as the entire ecosystem and all wildlife, and that is why I have voted in favour.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) In the words of the rapporteur, phosphates, which are used in laundry detergents, ‘help life to flourish’, and speed up the natural growth of plants. As such, some of Europe’s water resources now contain an excessive amount of algae and other organisms, which ultimately use up the resources they share with fish and plants, whose survival depends on these very resources. The Commission proposal for a regulation therefore aims to reduce the legal amount of phosphates used in detergents of this kind. At first glance, this proposal seems to merit approval, since it appears to offer significant environmental benefits for a small sacrifice. I therefore voted in favour, but there are two points that I am bound to emphasise: on the one hand, the need for a study to research the economic impact of this measure and the time required by industry to adapt to the new rules and, on the other, the need to adopt a technical solution that can satisfy the needs of consumers. In this context, as the rapporteur has already mentioned, I would underline that since the water in southern Europe is harder, there is a greater need to resort to phosphates for an effective wash.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE), in writing.(FR) I am one of the four MEPs who abstained from voting on Mr Newton Dunn’s report on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents. Although I agree with the environmental aim of banning phosphates (which are powerful cleaners but also pollutants) in dishwasher detergents from 1 January 2017, I also feel compelled to emphasise the pitfalls contained in this legislation. Let me express my reservations on two points that are symptomatic of the current state of European regulation. The first is that this agreement does not make adequate allowances for SMEs that manufacture phosphates. For example, near my home town, Liège, Prayon employs 780 staff and is, quite rightly, concerned about the negative impact that this legislation will have on its business. My second reservation is based on common sense: 90% of water eutrophication is caused by other products, not by dishwasher detergents. Therefore, the pollution will continue with or without those detergents. Europe needs to make a great leap forward by legislating on the real issues, not tinkering around the edges: applying the Waste Water Directive more effectively, combating intensive farming and reducing food waste, which are the real culprits when it comes to the eutrophication of European waters.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing.(IT) In today’s plenary, we voted on Mr Newton Dunn’s report on the use of phosphates in household laundry detergents. A reduction in the percentage of phosphoric acid used in household products is a decisive step on the way to controlling and monitoring the development of methods aimed at curbing toxic and polluting manufacturing processes.

The discharge of phosphorus into the sea leads to the excessive growth of several types of plant life that cause a variety of marine animal and other plant species to die. Fighting the excessive use of phosphates in household laundry detergents, fertilisers and white goods means combating the degenerative cycle that the use of non-environmentally friendly products causes to the environment and people’s health, in an effective and concrete manner.

These objectives can be achieved through the promotion of alternative formulas that reduce phosphate-rich washing and provisions that harmonise the various national regulations on the subject. In addition to this, we should establish agreements with third countries so that Europe pledges, within a set timeframe, to reduce the use of phosphorus substances and to encourage the market’s adaptation to new statutory regulations that are more friendly to the European environment.

 
  
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  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing.(FR) The harm done by phosphate waste in our seas has been proven. Sadly, the seas are in real danger from the all-too-familiar phenomenon of ‘green tides’. Full of nutrients, the waste basically triggers algal blooms, which release toxins that endanger marine flora and fauna but also alter the water quality. A not insignificant proportion of these phosphates are generated by discharges of the detergents used in washing machines and dishwashers. Given that alternatives to phosphates can be used in cleaning products, action was urgently needed. That is why I supported Mr Newton Dunn’s report. I value his commitment to setting a ceiling for phosphate levels in products and I particularly welcome his efforts to extend the scope of the regulation not only to laundry detergents – as initially proposed by the Commission – but also to detergents for dishwashers. I also support his call for a future evaluation on extending the scope to include industrial and institutional detergents. I will close by saying that it was very wise to opt for a regulation so as to ensure consistent implementation within the single market.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The purpose of the current Commission proposal for a regulation is to reduce the amount of phosphorus used in detergents in domestic washing machines. The Commission opted for a regulation instead of a directive in order to better harmonise different rules at national levels. Phosphates end up in our water systems, rivers, streams, lakes, and notably the Danube Basin, and the Baltic Sea. Phosphorus helps life to flourish. As a result, algae and other fast-developing plant life proliferate where there is an increased source of phosphorus in water. That results in eutrophication – the excessive growth of algae which starves other living organisms of oxygen and can also produce toxins – killing fish, plants and other species, as well as reducing the quality of the water itself. Therefore, to clean up Europe's water, it is desirable to reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching the water of our continent – and indeed throughout the world.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing.(IT) We can safeguard European waters not least through small habitual actions. With the adoption of this important report on reducing the amount of phosphorus used in domestic washing machine detergents, we are making a valuable contribution to the reduction of pollution in European water systems. Phosphorus from domestic laundry detergents, used to counteract the hardness of water, is a significant contributor to this type of ecological imbalance. A reduction in the amount of phosphorus used in household products at a European level will therefore help to protect our waters and will facilitate trade agreements with third countries in regional initiatives to clean up water, such as the Baltic Sea action plan and the Danube region strategy. The protection of Europe’s waters is a priority as well as a duty we owe to future generations.

 
  
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  Amalia Sartori (PPE), in writing.(IT) I fully support Mr Newton Dunn’s report on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents as, despite its highly technical content, I think that it concerns a subject that is part of everyone’s daily life. While these substances are needed in household detergents to ensure a basic standard of hygiene and health safety, if present in too high a quantity, they can be hazardous for the environment and, in particular, can cause the eutrophication of our waters. Eutrophication promotes the excessive growth of algae and other plants, which flourish disproportionately, starving other living organisms of oxygen and producing toxins that are dangerous for our waters. Every year, 16 000 tonnes of phosphates are spilled into the Baltic Sea alone, and the cost of removing the algae that periodically accumulates is fairly high. I think that we must find a solution by looking into substitutes for phosphates that are equally effective but not as harmful to the environment.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing.(IT) The protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable policies feature amongst the European Union’s priorities. Today’s vote aims specifically at reducing the amount of phosphorus used in detergents in domestic washing machines.

Phosphates often end up in our water systems, rivers, streams and lakes, causing the excessive proliferation of algae and other plant species. This excessive growth of algae starves other living organisms of oxygen and can also produce toxins, killing fish and other species, as well as reducing the quality of the water itself. In order to prevent this damage to the environment, we must reduce the amount of phosphorus used in detergents.

At the same time, we must consider the implications for the small and medium-sized enterprises that produce household automatic dishwasher detergents, who do not yet possess the know-how to make them phosphate free, in order to ensure that job losses can be avoided.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The aim of the Commission proposal is to reduce the amount of phosphorus used in household laundry detergents and to better harmonise the different rules at national level. Phosphates affect water systems and, in order to clean up Europe’s water, it is desirable to reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching the water of our continent. Fertilisers contain the largest amount of phosphates in the European Union, but they are also found in household dishwasher detergents, in order to combat water hardness and enable efficient cleaning, as well as for other functions to enhance cleaning performance. However, water hardness varies depending on the region, which results in different phosphate formulae among the Member States. It is important to establish rules for reducing the amount of phosphate and to take account of the impact on the different Member States and the various existing conditions, with a view to meeting the targets set.

 
  
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  Thomas Ulmer (PPE), in writing. (DE) I voted in favour of the report because laundry and dishwasher detergents have to be virtually phosphate-free in future. Phosphates are the main reason for rampant algal growth in water bodies and for the death of fish. Everywhere where phosphates can be replaced, which is in almost all areas, they must actually be replaced. Elsewhere, the quantities must be drastically reduced. A regulation that is now to be applied by all Member States will create certainty for the industry and consumers.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) This proposal for a regulation is intended to lay down the maximum amount of phosphorus to be contained in household laundry detergents. The background to this is the fact that phosphorus contained in laundry and dishwasher detergents is currently responsible for a large proportion of the pollution of our water bodies. Although there are already phosphate-free liquid laundry detergents, which are increasingly being sold on the market, for dishwashing machines, the market does not currently offer any alternative. Therefore, it is recommended that a specific date be set in the Phosphorus Limitation Regulation in order to create an incentive for the necessary innovation. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Glenis Willmott (S&D), in writing. – I am very pleased that this report on limiting the use of phosphates in household detergents in order to combat eutrophication of water bodies in the natural environment has been passed by Parliament. Eutrophication, which causes the accelerated growth of bacteria, algae and other plant life in a water body, can be a serious environmental problem, killing higher sea life and plants and upsetting the balance of local ecosystems. When eutrophication affects sources of drinking water, there are also risks to public health. Nevertheless, this can be reduced or avoided by limiting the use of phosphates in the detergents we use and switching to alternative ingredients, and these are the aims of this legislation. I am pleased that, because of the input of my Socialist and Democrat colleagues on the ENVI committee, the report was strengthened to include dishwasher detergents, a significant source of phosphates.

 
  
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  Artur Zasada (PPE), in writing. (PL) In an increasing number of households, the standard appliances include not only a washing machine, but also a dishwasher. We are therefore using considerably more detergents containing large quantities of phosphates. They are discharged into water courses and then into reservoirs, which contributes to excessive nutrient loading. Rapporteur Bill Newton Dunn rightly points out that we should do all we can to reduce the risk of eutrophication, which is associated with a reduction in water transparency, the formation of algae surface coatings and the large-scale perishing of aquatic fauna due to insufficient oxygen and light. Overgrown reservoirs cause a significant deterioration in water taste and smell, which rules them out not only as places of sport or recreation but also, and above all, as a source of drinking water.

The imposition of weight restrictions on the amount of phosphate that may be contained in a dose of detergent is an effective approach which forces manufacturers to market more concentrated, compact products. A solution worth considering would be the use of detergents containing a quantity of phosphate dependent on the hardness of the water in a given area, or the introduction of the large-scale production of phosphate-free detergents. Member States should also make every effort to introduce technologies and appropriate equipment to recover phosphorus, given the rarity of its occurrence as an element.

 
  
  

Report: Carl Haglund (A7-0394/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report because the agreement, which, in practice, is intended to last barely another two months, has opened up Moroccan waters to European fleets and it is important that this agreement should be kept in force, not least for Portuguese fishermen. Naturally, all agreements have room for improvement, and this one is no exception. It will therefore be necessary in future to adapt the agreement in accordance with the work carried out by the European Parliament’s Legal Service, so as to widen the range of its benefits to all those involved.

 
  
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  Marta Andreasen (EFD), in writing. – I voted against this resolution on the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) because of economic, legal, environmental and moral reasons. The EU and Morocco concluded a FPA on 22 May 2006. An outside consultancy prepared an ex-post evaluation report, on behalf of the European Commission, which evaluates the first four years of the FPA with Morocco. On a general note, it states that ‘the results of this first four-year period of the new Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco are generally rather disappointing’ as the agreement fails to stabilise the EU market and to develop the fisheries sector. Moreover, the population of Western Sahara, the Sahrawi people who suffer under the unlawful and unacceptable occupation of their country by Morocco, does not benefit from this agreement. Morocco has no right to dispose of the natural resources of a territory which does not fall under its sovereignty. For more than 30 years, the Western Sahara’s problem has been dealt with by the United Nations, but without any progress whatsoever. By rejecting the FPA, the European Parliament sent a strong signal to the Moroccan Government that the EU cannot support an agreement with a country which violates human rights.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. – I voted against the extension of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement for several reasons. The first is that we are facing a clear violation of international law. Morocco is selling the natural resource of an occupied territory. According to the basics of international law, it would be able to do so only if the agreement were in accordance with the benefits and wishes of the local Sahrawi people. The Moroccan Government has failed to show any such benefits or wishes. In addition to that, of all the EU’s ongoing bilateral agreements, the deal with Morocco is the worst.

The rapporteur of the recommendation, along with an independent evaluation produced by the Commission, plus the opinions of the Development and Budget Committees and the assessment of authoritative UN experts, concur that the agreement is a waste of taxpayers’ money, it is ecologically and environmentally unsustainable and it has no significant macro-economic effect on either the EU or Morocco. For all these reasons, I strongly believe that extending this agreement undermines the EU’s credibility as a defender of international law and as an impartial and equal institution.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) By rejecting the renewal of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Morocco, we are sending a negative signal to our Mediterranean neighbour. Under the agreement, 10 Member States were entitled to fish in Moroccan waters in return for which they paid financial compensation to support Morocco in developing fisheries policies. I concur with my colleague, Mr Cadec, a member of the Committee on Fisheries and responsible for producing the opinion of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), who fears that this will mean the end of any new protocol.

 
  
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  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE), in writing. (FR) I regret the European Parliament’s final position on the legislative resolution of 14 December 2011 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of a Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco. I also regret the added opposition to the provisional renewal of the agreement, with some objections being purely political in nature and nothing to do with fishing. I recognise the excellent work done by my colleague, Alain Cadec, MEP, who is a member of the Committee on Fisheries.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing.(IT) I am opposed to the extension of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco. The European Commission’s assessment of the previous agreement, on which a one-year extension has been proposed, is one of the worst ever made on a fisheries agreement.

When put to the test, the agreement is shown to have low cost effectiveness both in terms of its benefit for the economy and for Moroccan maritime infrastructure. Only a small part of the allocated funds have been used to support the Moroccan fisheries sector and the agreement has been shown to be wasteful and has failed to reach the objective of facilitating economic and social development in this North African country.

Therefore, I voted against the proposal in plenary in line with the negative assessment of the agreement in question.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) Now more than ever, Morocco needed the European Union’s support, not only in the context of the ongoing Arab Spring, but also, more specifically, because Morocco is one of our closest partners. This agreement was needed because it allowed 10 Member States to fish in Moroccan waters in return for which they paid financial compensation that was used to develop Morocco’s national fisheries policies. The European Parliament cannot and must not abandon the EU’s longstanding partner. Instead, we should now be doing our utmost to consolidate the partnership agreements with Morocco and propose new agreements based on a new approach in order to support the democratic process that is under way.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) I voted against maintaining the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco for two basic reasons. The agreement conflicts with the rights of the Sahrawi and with international law. The sovereignty of Morocco in the Western Sahara has never been recognised under international law. As, therefore, Morocco is illegally occupying the said area, it has no jurisdiction over its natural resources and, hence, it does not have the right to negotiate agreements against the will and without the opinion of the inhabitants. Moreover, in order for economic activities exploiting natural resources in non-independent territories to be in keeping with international law, said activities must benefit the population of those territories and must be in keeping with its will, which is not the case here. Furthermore, there are serious ecological problems. Many of the marine species in the area are subject to over-exploitation. Some stocks are at risk of complete exhaustion, basically as a result of overfishing by European vessels. Finally, the report evaluating the agreement states that it has not contributed effectively to the development of the fisheries sector and that it does not meet the specific needs of Morocco, either technically or financially. Therefore, not only will suspending it have no serious financial impact; it will also restore the stand that the Union should take.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of the recommendation on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of a Protocol between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco setting out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco. The Protocol sets out the fishing opportunities offered to European Union vessels based on the surplus available, as well as the financial contribution paid by the EU for access rights and for support given to the sector. Another function of the Protocol is to provide a general partnership framework between the two parties, within which a sustainable fisheries policy is to be developed. The fishing industry has been an important economic pillar for Morocco for a very long time, with this country being considered the largest fish market in Africa.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE) , in writing.(FR) As Morocco has made a commitment to sustainable fisheries, and given that hundreds of European fishermen and thousands of Moroccan workers are dependent on the industry, I voted in favour of extending the Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Morocco. Today’s vote against extending the agreement is highly regrettable. There is a danger that the result will now compromise negotiations on the future agreement that the European Union needs, not to mention the negative signal that it sends to one of our most reliable partners.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) By refusing its assent to the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement, the European Parliament has done a disservice to our bilateral relations and, more particularly, to the interests of the Iberian fishing industry. The European Parliament has acted irresponsibly towards a friendly country in which His Majesty King Mohammed VI has been promoting a far-reaching and peaceful transition to democracy, broadly supported by a referendum. What is all the more incomprehensible is that this was done in the same week as the plenary adopted a report on the revised European Neighbourhood Policy for which I was rapporteur and which aims to deepen our relations with neighbouring countries. It is all the more shocking that Portuguese members, in voting as they did, put third-party interests before the national economy. I voted in favour, and therefore profoundly and sincerely regret the outcome.

 
  
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  Proinsias De Rossa (S&D), in writing. – The proposal to extend the current agreement is unacceptable because of its low cost-benefit ratio for the EU, the excessive exploitation of demersal stocks, the very limited contribution of EU funds to the development of local fisheries policy and, very importantly, the failure to demonstrate how it benefits the Sahrawi people. The European Commission should begin the process of negotiating a new economically, environmentally and socially beneficial and sustainable agreement. EU funds for the development of local fisheries policy must be used more efficiently and be more closely monitored. The Commission must guarantee that the new agreement fully respects international law and benefits all affected local populations, including the Sahrawi people.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report because this Fisheries Partnership Agreement is about to expire and to be succeeded by a new agreement more favourable to environmental sustainability, which is already in the process of being drawn up. For this reason, it does not seem right to me that the bilateral relations between these two regions be plunged into crisis and that the rights of European fishermen be put at risk.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Once again, some fellow Members have sought to exploit the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement. The irresponsibility of such behaviour, which this House unfortunately backed, is bound to affect the lives of shipowners and fishermen, some of whom are Portuguese, who fish in Moroccan waters and who are about to be prevented from doing so any longer.

At a time when employment is in decline, it is impossible not to condemn this resolution, which does not resolve anything and even creates unnecessary tensions between neighbours and partners who have everything to gain by remaining so. I can only regret this unfortunate incident and hope that the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco will be able to regain the trust that has been lost and initiate new ways to establish a sound, constructive and fruitful relationship.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Mr Haglund, concerns the draft Council decision on the extension of the Protocol between the European Union (EU) and the Kingdom of Morocco setting out the fishing opportunities in Moroccan waters and the corresponding financial compensations. The rapporteur believes that this draft decision represents a bad bargain for the EU and recommends its rejection on the following grounds: the financial compensations under the previous agreement have not been spent on renovating the Moroccan fishing fleet; the fishing of endangered species has still been allowed; international law has not always been respected; and not all local populations, particularly the Sahrawi people, have equally benefited. Considering that it is a matter only of extending a current partnership agreement up to 27 February 2012, that 119 fishing permits for Community vessels (most of them from the southern Member States, particularly Spain and Portugal) are at stake, that we are dealing with a very fragile sector which needs all the help it can get in order to survive, and that negotiations for a new agreement are in progress, I am voting for this draft resolution, despite the rapporteur’s opposite position.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We welcome the rejection of the extension of this agreement. As we have always said, the agreement that the Commission is now proposing to extend is unacceptable. It is unacceptable that an agreement signed between the European Union and Morocco provides for the exploitation of a natural resource of Western Sahara, a territory illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975. Morocco’s sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara has never been recognised by any country to this day. With this agreement – contrary both to international law and to various UN resolutions on this issue – the EU does implicitly recognise it. This has therefore been the only solution compatible with international law. The Commission ought to take it very seriously. Its attitude has been deplorable throughout the entire process. It should be noted that Parliament can exercise its right of consent only two months before the scheduled expiry date for the end of this extension, which, in practical terms, started in February.

The fact that there is no longer a legal agreement in place to protect fishing activities in that area, as there has been for the past 10 months, now puts us in a difficult position. The Commission is now obliged to rectify the serious issues associated with this agreement, and which we have been denouncing for a long time, in any future agreements.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted against the one-year extension of the Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco, as this Protocol presents a number of problems in terms of both its benefit to the economy and its ecological implications. I would also like to raise the question of Western Sahara. The agreement gives rise to major ecological concerns: we know that of the 11 demersal stocks fished in Moroccan waters, five appear over-exploited, which casts doubt over the fishing activities of European vessels. This fact causes us to question whether the fisheries agreement limited to surplus stocks is being honoured, considering that these are being almost totally depleted. The last and by no means least important point is the widespread problem of discards, catches of sharks and probable catches of marine mammals by trawlers. Fishing in the waters off Western Sahara is a source of controversy, as Article 73 of the UN Charter defines Western Sahara as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and Morocco has never been accepted as the official administering power by the UN. Exploitation activities in Western Sahara should, in my opinion, only proceed if they are beneficial for the local population, and it seems that the agreement does not, in its current wording, allow for this.

 
  
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  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We welcome the rejection of the extension of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement. The rejection highlights the impracticability of this agreement, both from the economic point of view (it is one of the most expensive fisheries agreements that the EU has with a third country) and from the ecological point of view, bearing in mind that the various fish stocks are in a fragile state of conservation. However, we believe the most serious issue raised by this agreement is its implicit recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, over its waters, and over its fishing resources.

From 1975, when the International Court of Justice was established, until the present day, Moroccan sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara has never been recognised. The EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement is illegal and flouts all the relevant UN General Assembly Resolutions and international law. We therefore believe that any future protocol to be negotiated by the Commission must rectify the serious problems associated with past and present protocols.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Kingdom of Morocco is an African country with almost 32 million inhabitants. Morocco is currently a privileged partner of the EU and the largest recipient of EU funds under the European Neighbourhood Policy. The EU is Morocco’s most important export market, its leading public and private external investor, and its most important tourism market. The fishing industry has been an important economic pillar for Morocco for a long time and the country is considered to be the largest fish market in Africa, with the fishing sector accounting for an estimated 400 000 jobs. The European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco concluded a Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) on 22 May 2006 which entered into force on 28 February 2007. On the basis of a mandate from the Council, the European Commission conducted negotiations with the Kingdom of Morocco on the renewal of the Protocol to the FPA by one year, following the expiry of the initial Protocol. A one-year extension is now provisionally applied, but the Council still needs the consent of the European Parliament to adopt the new Protocol. I firmly believe that it is right for the European Parliament to grant consent and, at the same time, to authorise its President to convey this position to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Kingdom of Morocco.

 
  
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  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Today’s vote sends out two strong messages. This Parliament is no longer willing to sign off fisheries agreements regardless of their impact on citizens in countries outwith the EU. And this House respects the right to self-determination – a right which the Moroccan Government has not given to the people of Western Sahara. Morocco has no right, under international law, to sell the natural resources of Western Sahara. It follows, therefore, that the EU should not be paying Morocco for fishing rights in the waters off Western Sahara.

 
  
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  Sandra Kalniete (PPE), in writing. (LV) I voted for the extension of the present agreement because up to now, European fishermen have operated successfully in the waters of the Kingdom of Morocco and this practice should be continued. The desire of the Kingdom of Morocco to receive payment for the fact that European fishermen have the right to use the natural resources of Morocco is justified and should be supported. The European Union pays EUR 36.1 million annually for the right to fish in the waters of the Kingdom of Morocco, which constitutes a tiny amount of the total EU budget compared to the jobs gained by European fishing fleets, contributing to the economic development of EU Member States. Unfortunately, Parliament has today rejected the extension of the agreement and asked the Commission to open negotiations on a new agreement. This is alarming, because the current agreement expires in February 2012.

This means that after that date, European fishing fleets, which have relied on being able to continue fishing in Moroccan waters, will have to review their plans. This may also mean job losses, which we need least of all at present, when the EU is struggling with the deepest crisis it has ever experienced. I urge the Commission to reopen negotiations with the Kingdom of Morocco as soon as possible, so that we have a new agreement with the majority support of Parliament.

 
  
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  Krišjānis Kariņš (PPE), in writing. (LV) I supported the extension of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement because it would allow vessels sailing under the Latvian flag to continue fishing in Moroccan waters and provide jobs and tax revenue. Latvian fishing vessels have been fishing in the Central Eastern Atlantic fishing areas, including the waters belonging to the Kingdom of Morocco, since 2004. In 2009 and 2011, there were two Latvian fishing vessels fishing there, and in 2010 there were even three. The total annual catch obtained was 7 667.5 tonnes in 2009, 8 877 tonnes in 2010, and 5 739 tonnes up to November 2011. Together with the catch in the neighbouring waters of the Mauritanian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), this accounts for more than half of Latvia’s total catch. Therefore, it is crucial that these vessels may continue fishing in Moroccan waters.

 
  
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  Eija-Riitta Korhola (PPE), in writing. (FI) I just voted against the report by Mr Haglund, whom I greatly admire, but then so did he and so did a large number of my fellow Members. Continuing the EU’s Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco would be unthinkable, not just for fish stocks, but also in terms of economics and human rights. The evaluation report ordered by the Commission also came to this conclusion. I do understand the position of some of my fellow Members from Mediterranean countries, where the fishing industry has a financial interest in this matter, but, all the same, the facts do not support the agreement. This is what Parliament and the Committees on Budgets and Development have also said in their statements.

The agreement with Morocco is, in financial terms, the second biggest the EU has (EUR 36.1 million a year). In its evaluation report, the Commission stated, for example, that this agreement is economically the least attractive of all the EU’s trade agreements, as we get back just 65 cents for each euro invested. Fish stocks are, furthermore, fully or overexploited. The agreement is also, in practice, contrary to international law, because the Sahrawi people in Western Sahara will not benefit whatsoever, even though it concerns their territorial waters, rather than those of Morocco, which would not have rights to exploit natural resources in this way.

I would, however, point out that, in voting against the report, I am not voting against Morocco. Cooperation between the EU and Morocco is important in itself, and is engaged in via the neighbourhood policy, as it should be. This is more a matter of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement alone, and about our obligation to examine the extent to which the agreement is in line with sustainable development.

 
  
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  Constance Le Grip (PPE) , in writing.(FR) I supported the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco. Unfortunately, a large majority of MEPs voted against renewing the protocol on fisheries.

We are sending a very negative signal to Morocco here, at a time when we should be supporting this great country as it has begun the process of democratisation, political and economic reform. Parliament’s no vote is all the more awkward given that the agreement is already in force and is due to expire in February 2012. Under the agreement, 10 Member States were entitled to fish in Moroccan waters in return for which they paid financial compensation that was used to develop Morocco’s national fisheries policies.

In practical terms, this means that 120 European fishing vessels will have to cease their activities in Moroccan waters immediately. At the end of the day, this could mark the end of all partnership agreements with Morocco, which would be a pity, as it would seriously hamper Morocco’s development and the relationship that we have built with the country over the years.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this proposal, which was for a one-year extension of the expired Protocol to the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement, in order to give the Commission time to establish whether Morocco is in compliance with international law by providing evidence that the EU’s financial contribution is used to benefit the people of Western Sahara.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of Mr Haglund’s report. The disappointing results of the four years in which this fisheries agreement has been in force means it is essential that we rethink the terms set in 2006. I agree with the possibility of not extending the current agreement.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. – This report proposes a one-year extension of the Protocol to the FPA between the European Community and Morocco. I agree with the rapporteur that this extension could lead to the exploitation of fish stocks and would not provide benefits to the territory of Western Sahara, in whose water the majority of the fishing takes place. Any economic activity related to natural resources should be carried out for the benefit of all of the people of such territories. I therefore voted against this proposal to extend the Protocol to the FPA between the European Community and Morocco.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) The resolution proposes extending the European Union’s access to fishing resources in Moroccan waters for one year. Parliament’s vote comes more or less at the end of the extended access period. We are therefore faced with a fait accompli. I object to this procedure and am calling for an investigation to establish the exact status of the stocks that many organisations claim are over-fished. I am also calling on the European Union to support the development of local fishing, rather than financing European vessels’ exploitation of the resources, which is at odds with the interests of the local population.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this regulation and regret the decision by Parliament to refuse the extension of the fisheries agreement between Portugal and Morocco. Several Portuguese vessels are operating in Moroccan territorial waters, and this is having a serious impact on national interests at a time of profound crisis. What is more is that the decision has come at a time when Morocco has introduced reforms for greater democratic openness, particularly following the approval of a new written constitution. The Portuguese vessels used for fishing in Morocco operated under the protection of an agreement signed in 2007 and extended in the following years, but which expired on 28 February. I now expect that the vessels that have paid for their licences, but cannot now exercise their rights, will be duly compensated for the damage caused.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) It is a shame that the report on the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco has been rejected, even though it was supported by the Committee on Fisheries. I have to dispute certain people’s claims that the agreement offers limited financial benefits. In fact, the accusations made in the extremely negative ex post evaluation report were duly challenged by the Committee on Fisheries. What about the thousands of jobs that have been created on both shores of the Mediterranean? Morocco is a partner on many levels and our rejection of this agreement sends out a very negative signal. If the renewal had been approved, we would have been able to move on and continue to build cordial relationships with our neighbour in the southern Mediterranean. We have therefore taken a seriously retrograde step.

 
  
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  Rareş-Lucian Niculescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted against extending the agreement for the following reasons:

1. It is not acceptable for this agreement to be debated in Parliament two months prior to its expiry. By voting against it, Parliament has indicated its opposition to this kind of practice.

2. The agreement is not commercially viable for the European Union. I am in favour of signing a fisheries agreement with Morocco, but it must be based on a partnership and beneficial to both sides and, above all, it must be signed in accordance with democratic procedures, in other words, with Parliament’s participation.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) The Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco is not only expensive and dubious from the point of view of international law; it is also inefficient. Although the principle of sustainability from both a socio-economic and environmental perspective should also apply outside the territorial waters of the Member States or the EU, in reality, the situation is, unfortunately, rather different. Moreover, large EU fisheries organisations do not manage to adequately represent the interests of small fishermen and they curry favour with large international corporations. For these reasons, I have voted against this report.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) The Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco looks to renew the first fisheries agreement that was reached in 2006 and was valid until February 2011. The agreement allows fishing activities to be undertaken in the waters off the Moroccan coast by a fleet of European fishing vessels, one of which is Italian. In the interests of the European Union, maritime traffic and the fisheries trade, and in view of the importance of relations with non-European countries, I consider it necessary to vote in favour of this partnership agreement.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The external dimension of the common fisheries policy (CFP) and, more specifically, the fisheries partnership agreements with third countries, not only allow Europe’s fleet to enter traditionally frequented external fishing grounds, but are also vital for the acquisition of important fishing products, which help to guarantee the food supply to the European Union, as well as for playing a major part in the economies of third countries. In the particular case of the current agreement, the extension of this Protocol is essential for the EU fleets that are fishing there, especially the Portuguese fleet. It should be remembered that Portuguese vessels had been operating in Moroccan waters for many years thanks, in particular, to the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement, which was in force from 1988 to 1999. Portugal was then banned from operating in Moroccan waters, and had to withdraw several dozen vessels, which had irreversible economic and social consequences for many Portuguese fishing communities. In order to prevent such situations from recurring, and taking account of the aims of the external dimension of the CFP, I am voting for this report.

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera (EFD), in writing.(IT) I am opposed to the conclusion of the agreement with Morocco as it will be beneficial neither for Moroccan fishermen nor for European taxpayers. It will not benefit Moroccan fishermen because it will not create new jobs and it will increase the imbalance that already exists between the local fleet and the fishery potential. It will not benefit European taxpayers because they will spend EUR 13.5 million on subsidising the Moroccan fisheries policy without a guarantee that the money will be used in a worthwhile manner. Furthermore, for every euro invested European taxpayers will only gain back EUR 0.65, which is less than half of the average amount generated by similar agreements.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Kingdom of Morocco is currently the greatest recipient of European Union funds under the European Neighbourhood Policy. This signifies that the link between the two countries goes beyond mere geographical proximity and, to some extent, a shared history: at present, it also includes the economic relations between the two countries. That is the context of the protocol on the fishing opportunities in Moroccan waters and the associated financial compensation. Despite the reservations expressed by the rapporteur on the conclusion of the agreement, I believe, in line with the view of the Committee on Fisheries, that the agreement would offer, on the whole, a positive solution. As such, and taking account of the national interests concerned, I voted for this agreement.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The European Parliament has rejected the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Morocco. A technical agreement has been rejected on the basis of specious arguments, yet, above all, this sends a disastrous political signal. Let us start with fishing: apparently, this protocol offers ‘a very low cost-benefit ratio’.

So Morocco should be compared to our partners in Switzerland, Norway and the United States, should it? Nonsense! Ranked 103rd in terms of GDP per capita, Morocco cannot compete with the world’s heavyweights. We should also accept that this protocol constitutes a form of economic development assistance.

Yet this is not the heart of the matter: we are sending a regrettable political message, and doing so on the very day that the European Parliament is awarding the Sakharov Prize to the leaders of the Arab Spring. It is a signal that we distrust Morocco, one of the most stable countries in the region, the only one to have begun the process of democratisation, albeit imperfect and arguably inadequate, yet with no bloodshed. A country where the king has understood what his people want and has rapidly put forward proposals for substantial reforms.

What is worse, this vote constitutes a victory for Morocco’s critics, in particular, its neighbour, Algeria. It is not just fishing that is at stake here: it is democracy.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. (ES) Against. The members of the Greens/European Free Alliance welcome the result of the vote (326 votes against the agreement and 296 in favour). After months of tense and complex negotiations, deliberations and debates, under significant pressure from some governments, such as the governments of Morocco and Spain, Parliament has finally responded coherently and correctly by rejecting this agreement. If we had supported the agreement, we would have infringed international law and trampled all over the rights of the Sahrawi people. We voted against the resolution on three fronts: legal, ecological and economic. Legally, Morocco was negotiating with resources that do not belong to it as Western Sahara is an occupied territory and, consequently, the agreement ignores the rights of the Sahrawi people, thereby infringing international law. Ecologically, fisheries agreements should be based on stocks with surpluses, whereas the stocks in that area suffer from overfishing. Economically, the profitability of this agreement has proven to be the worst of all such agreements and it is a waste of European money.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing.(IT) This morning’s vote is fundamental as, without renewal, the expiry of the protocol on 28 February 2012 would otherwise risk bringing the fishing activities of the European fleet covered by the agreement to a standstill.

The difficulties in renewing the agreement are rooted in the fact that, while not ruling out the option of fishing in Western Sahara, it does not expressly involve the Sahrawi people in its benefits. Yet, in spite of this situation, on 21 February 2011, the Council approved a mandate for the European Commission to conduct negotiations for a provisional one-year extension of the agreement, in anticipation of more detailed information on the involvement of the local populations in the relative benefits.

The renewal was signed on 13 July 2011 and we have been asked to give our opinion on this agreement this morning. Personally, I expressed my support for the conclusion of the provisional protocol (for a duration of 12 months) in anticipation of clarification on apportionment of the benefits of the agreement.

 
  
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  Bart Staes (Verts/ALE), in writing. (NL) I voted against the extension of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement because Western Sahara is not part of Morocco. Fishing in Saharan waters breaches international law. Making use of a bilateral agreement in order to fish in the waters off Western Sahara goes against international law. Moreover, fisheries in occupied Western Sahara are strictly controlled by the Moroccan security services and not by the Sahrawi population. Apart from the indisputable fact that this agreement violates international law, it also emerges from a Commission evaluation report that the agreement constitutes an enormous waste of European taxpayers’ money and contributes to the destruction of fish stocks. It is the most inefficient and wasteful of all the current bilateral fisheries agreements.

Each invested euro of the total of EUR 36 million which the Union pays to Morocco annually gives rise to a negative return of 83%! Moreover, the agreement does not make any contribution whatsoever to the development of the local fishing industry. Finally, the Commission did not consult the European Parliament or sufficiently involve it in the negotiation process. Rejection of this agreement is thus in line with the analysis carried out by the Legal Service of the European Parliament.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR), in writing. – I have taken a strong interest in the EU Morocco fisheries agreement and, with my political group, voted against the proposal. I believe that EU fisheries agreements are often flawed in that they encourage industrial fishing on a scale which threatens conservation of marine resources, as well as allowing European fishermen to deprive local fishing communities of a livelihood. In theory, the money paid to the governments of countries like Morocco should flow back to the local people to compensate. In the case of Morocco, this is not the case and indeed Morocco does not respect the UN resolutions granting the right of self-determination to the Western Saharan people through a plebiscite and has not compensated the Sahrawi people for their loss of fishing rights in proportion to the size of the Western Saharan coastline. For all these reasons, I reject the proposal.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The aim of this recommendation is to extend the protocol relating to the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement for another year. This protocol, signed in May 2006, sets out the fishing opportunities for EU vessels, taking account of the surplus stocks available and, at the same time, the associated financial compensation – the second highest EU tax – and support for the sustainable development of this sector. Despite the various controversial issues relating to the results/consequences of this agreement, not least cost-effectiveness, species sustainability, the environment and the issue of the Western Sahara, I think it is important to extend the agreement for another three months and also to begin negotiating a new protocol to the fisheries agreement, which addresses the aforementioned shortcomings.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR), in writing. – I am sceptical about EU fisheries agreements in general, and am not clear what the benefit to the UK, or indeed to Morocco itself, would be from the proposed EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement. In addition, the scope of this agreement bears particularly on the Western Sahara region, whose international status remains unclear.

However, the Moroccan Government is a friendly government with a helpful counter-terrorism policy and is currently taking steps to improve democratisation in the Kingdom. Therefore, I have very mixed feelings about a number of aspects of a complex issue and I abstained.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) The Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco, which is intended to make fishing grounds in Moroccan territorial waters accessible to 11 EU Member States, is due to be extended. The assessment of the last four years of the agreement revealed that the objectives have not been met. The attempted stabilisation of the market in the EU fisheries sector was not successful and the large amounts of money given to Morocco by the EU for fishing grounds has only brought about a small improvement in the situation of the fishermen. Furthermore, there are serious concerns about emerging environmental problems and conflict with international law. On account of the large number of serious concerns, I voted against the recommendation.

 
  
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  Glenis Willmott (S&D), in writing. – One of the principal aims of the European Union is to promote European values in the world and to set an example to the world on issues such as the rule of law, social justice and the environment. It is for this reason that I and my colleagues in the European Parliamentary Labour Party followed Parliament’s Committee on Development and Committee on Budgets in voting against this report. Evaluations of the agreement have shown it to cause a net economic loss to the EU, whilst failing to aid the development of the fisheries sector in Morocco and failing to prevent over-exploitation and promote sustainable fishing. There are also important, and still unresolved, questions over whether the agreement complied with international law in terms of whether it benefits the people of Western Sahara. Rather than extending the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement, we believe that a new agreement must be brought forward urgently to deal with the serious problems we have seen with the current agreement.

 
  
  

Proposal for a decision on the numerical strength of the standing committees B7-0619/2011

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report. I believe the numerical strength that it proposes for each standing committee is appropriate, in terms of their responsibilities and taking account of the total number of members.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the proposal because the increase in the number of MEPs has made it necessary to adjust the numerical strength of the committees.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) I agree with the amendment to the numerical strength of the standing committees of this Parliament. This is fully justified by the provisions contained in either a Protocol to the Treaties or in our own Rules of Procedure. It would be a shame if this House proved unable or unwilling to adjust its composition and its way of working to the number of its members and, particularly, if this adjustment did not extend to the number of members who make up its committees, which is a fundamental part of its structure.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The proposal for a decision under consideration concerns the numerical strength of the standing committees of the European Parliament and was tabled pursuant to Article 183 of the Rules of Procedure, which reads as follows: ‘On a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, Parliament shall set up standing committees whose powers shall be defined in an annex to these Rules of Procedure. Their members shall be elected during the first part-session following the re-election of Parliament and again two and a half years thereafter’. The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon following Parliament’s elections in 2009, or rather on 1 December 2009, led to only 736 members being elected, in accordance with the Treaty of Nice, and not 751 as had been previously agreed. There were therefore 18 members who found themselves unable to fully exercise their duties, particularly in Parliament’s various committees, since they had to wait for the amendment of Protocol No 36 to the Treaty of Lisbon. Since there is a need to speed up procedures and give continuity to the work carried out by these committees, I am voting for the proposal for a decision on the numerical strength of the standing committees of the European Parliament.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European Parliament, taking into account the proposal of the Conference of Presidents, and also in view of its decision of 15 July 2009 on the number of parliamentary committee members, has decided to amend the number of members of standing parliamentary committees. Following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Lisbon Treaty, the new Members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights. The changes to the number of members have affected 20 parliamentary committees and two subcommittees (the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence). Parliament also decided that the chairmanship of committees may be held by up to four Vice-Chairs. Through its President, Parliament has, at the same time, informed the Council and the Commission of the decision to amend the number of members of standing committees.

 
  
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  Louis Grech (S&D), in writing. – The clause in the Lisbon Treaty for the allocation of the 18 extra seats has taken two years to come into force – an example of the bureaucratic approach which the EU institutions are often criticised for, on the one hand, and a clear lack of initiative on the part of some Member States to push the process for conclusion as quickly as possible, on the other. A decision to amend the number of Members sitting in the various standing committees will mean that constituents from various Member States will start to enjoy a stronger and more broadly-based representation in the House – this being particularly true for smaller Member States like Malta, which has been allocated a further seat in the EP, guaranteeing a louder voice for its citizens within committees. This amelioration of the democratic aspect has come at a particularly difficult but important time for the EU, and the EP must therefore facilitate the realisation of the various economic and social reforms the Union must undergo. Our Members, within the various committees, need to work against this backdrop, be proactive and ensure that the overhaul required with regard to certain aspects of current work practice within committee is effected as soon and as smoothly as possible.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this proposal for a decision because, in view of the proposal by the Conference of Presidents and its decision of 15 July 2009 on the numerical strength of parliamentary committees and of Rule 183 of the Rules of Procedure, there is a need for continuity in Parliament’s business, and following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Lisbon Treaty, new Members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights. Consequently, there is a need to amend the number of members of parliamentary committees and subcommittees.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) I supported this proposal for a decision on resizing the parliamentary committees in order to allow new MEPs to sit on the committees.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this proposal to alter the numerical strength of the standing committees. Following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Lisbon Treaty, the new Members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) With the increase in the number of Members due to the admission of Croatia, there is now a need to amend the numerical strength of the standing committees. As such, I am voting for the proposed amendment.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) With this resolution, Parliament is adopting an amendment to the numerical strength of parliamentary committees, so as to accommodate the new members who are taking office following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Treaty of Lisbon. I voted in favour, since the new members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights, and to fully participate in the committees. Based on the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 9 July 2009, this resolution states that the committee bureaux may consist of up to four Vice-Chairs.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The European Parliament will amend the number of members of parliamentary committees to adapt itself to the new context.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) In view of the need to ensure the continuity of the work carried out by the various committees in the European Parliament, and the fact that, following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Treaty of Lisbon, the new members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights, I voted for the amendment to the numerical strength of the Parliamentary committees, as proposed by the Conference of Presidents.

 
  
  

Proposal for a decision on the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees and delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies B7-0620/2011

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report. I believe the numerical strength that it proposes for delegations and multilateral parliamentary assemblies is appropriate, in terms of their responsibilities and taking account of the total number of members.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) As in the case of standing committees, I agree with the amendment to the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees and delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees, and multilateral parliamentary assemblies. This is fully justified by the provisions contained in either a Protocol to the Treaties or in our own Rules of Procedure. It would be a shame if this House proved unable or unwilling to adjust its composition and its way of working to the number of its members.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The proposal for a decision under consideration concerns the numerical strength of interparliamentary delegations and was tabled pursuant to Article 198 of the Rules of Procedure, which states the following: ‘1. On a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, Parliament shall set up standing interparliamentary delegations and decide on their nature and the number of their members in the light of their duties. The members shall be elected during the first or second part-session following the re-election of Parliament for the duration of the parliamentary term’. The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon following Parliament’s elections in 2009 led to the belated appointment of 18 members who found themselves unable to fully exercise their duties, particularly on the EP’s various bodies. Since there is a need to speed up procedures and give continuity to the work carried out by these delegations in the field of the European Union’s external policy, I am voting for the proposal for the following composition of interparliamentary delegations: 18 members for relations with the Arab Peninsula; 28 members for relations with India; 17 members for relations with the Korean Peninsula; 17 members for relations with South Africa.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European Parliament, taking into consideration Article 198 of the Rules of Procedure, as well as its decision of 14 September 2009 on the number of interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies, has decided to amend the number of members in four interparliamentary delegations; specifically, the Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula, the Delegation for relations with India, the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula and the Delegation for relations with South Africa. At the same time, following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Lisbon Treaty, the new Members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights. At the same time, the European Parliament, through its President, has informed the Council and the Commission of this decision relating to the amendment to the number of members of interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this proposal for a decision because, in view of the proposal by the Conference of Presidents and its decision of 14 September 2009 on the number of interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies, and of Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure, there is a need for continuity in Parliament’s business, and following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Lisbon Treaty, new Members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights. Consequently, there is a need to amend the number of members of interparliamentary delegations.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) I supported this proposal for a decision on resizing the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies in order to allow new Members to sit on these European Parliament bodies.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this report in order to allow the new members to take their place on delegations.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) With the increase in the number of Members due to the admission of Croatia, there is now a need to amend the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies. As such, I am voting for the new composition of these bodies.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) In line with Resolution B7-0619/2011, this resolution aims to accommodate the new Members who are taking office following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Treaty of Lisbon. I voted in favour, since the new members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights, and to fully participate in the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Having regard to the proposal by the Conference of Presidents, having regard to Parliament’s decision of 14 September 2009 on the number of interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies, and having regard to Rule 198 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, the European Parliament has adopted its decision on the numerical strength of delegations.

Whereas there is a need for continuity in its business and whereas, following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Lisbon Treaty, the new Members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights, the European Parliament decides to amend the number of Members in the interparliamentary delegations as follows: D13 - Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula (18 members); D23 - Delegation for relations with India (28 members); D27 - Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula (17 members); D29 - Delegation for relations with South Africa (17 members). It also instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and Commission, for information.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) In view of the need to ensure the continuity of the work carried out by the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies of the European Parliament, and the fact that, following the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Treaty of Lisbon, the new members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights, I voted for the amendment to the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees, delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies, as proposed by the Conference of Presidents.

 
  
  

Proposal for a decision on the numerical strength of the standing committees (B7-0619/2011), and proposal for a decision on the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees and delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral parliamentary assemblies (B7-0620/2011)

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) With the entry into force of Protocol No 36 to the Treaty of Lisbon, there is now a need to amend the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations. Since the proposal tabled here has been agreed upon by the Conference of Presidents, and no objection to it has been raised, I voted in favour.

 
  
  

Report: Sharon Bowles (A7-443/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) Taking account of the nominee’s experience and curriculum vitae, and the fact that standard procedures were followed, I am voting for this appointment.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the Council recommendation to appoint Benoît Coeuré, a French citizen, as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. Mr Coeuré will replace Mr Bini Smaghi, who is Italian. Before the European Parliament voted on this appointment, Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, of which I am a member, voted in favour of appointing Mr Coeuré. The Executive Board is responsible for implementing monetary policy in the euro area.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Central Bank (ECB), founded on 1 June 1998, is the European Union institution responsible for the monetary policy of the Economic and Monetary Union. Its primary objective is ‘to maintain the euro’s purchasing power and thus price stability in the euro area’. The ECB, situated in Frankfurt in Germany, is governed by an Executive Board consisting of a President, a Vice-President and four Members appointed by the Council of Europe, following consultation with the European Parliament and the Governing Council, for a non-renewable term of eight years. In view of Benoît Coeuré’s experience of monetary matters, as has been shown by the unanimous approval obtained at a sitting of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, I support his appointment as a member of the Executive Board of the ECB. Given the importance of the ECB’s role in maintaining the purchasing power and stability of the euro, I hope that the new Member will serve a good term of office and is aware that it is more essential than ever to keep the euro strong and stable, taking account of the crisis that the EU is currently experiencing.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) By means of a letter of 1 December 2011, the European Council consulted with the European Parliament on the appointment of Benoît Coeuré as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank for a term of eight years. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs assessed the qualifications of the proposed candidate, particularly in relation to the conditions laid down in Article 286 paragraph 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the requirement for complete independence of the European Central Bank under Article 130 of the Treaty. Within the framework of this review, the candidate presented the Committee with a CV and answers to written questions addressed by the Committee. On the basis of the foregoing, Parliament agreed with the Council’s recommendation to appoint Benoît Coeuré as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank and, at the same time, authorised its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council and Member State governments.

Benoît Coeuré was Head of the Department of multilateral affairs and development at the French treasury in 2007-2009, and for another two years carried out the role of state deputy to the managing director of the French treasury. Among other things, he was Vice-Chair of the G20 working group for reform of the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (2009), and he was also Vice-Chair of the G20 sub-working group on global liquidity management (2011). In 2005, he was nominated for a prize as the leading young French economist.

 
  
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  Catherine Grèze (Verts/ALE), in writing. (FR) I abstained from the vote on the Council recommendation to appoint Mr Coeuré as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. The fact is that there is not a single woman among the six Executive Board members.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for the appointment of Benoît Coeuré as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank for a term of office of eight years.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) European institutions must be served by the best people. In the case under consideration, the nominee, Benoît Coeuré, has a flawless curriculum vitae and has been approved with distinction at a hearing of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. I therefore wish him every success in his eight-year term of office.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the appointment of Mr Coeuré as a member of the European Central Bank (ECB). With his appointment, the Executive Board of the ECB once again has a representative from every Member State. I believe that at a delicate time such as this, it is important that each Member State, above all, one as important as France, should have its own representative who can contribute their experience and knowledge to the institution’s daily work. Nevertheless, this national representative must not lose sight of or risk undermining the independence that has characterised the work undertaken by the ECB in recent years, and that has been fundamental in managing the crisis, in resisting strong pressures applied by Member States. At the same time, I would like to thank Mr Bini Smaghi for his excellent work during his term of office at the ECB.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the appointment of Benoît Coeuré as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. All the facts that have been presented, on which my decision was based, indicates that the criteria laid down in Article 283(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, specifically, the guarantees of independence, were met, and so I welcome the appointment of Benoît Coeuré to this position.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Council consulted the European Parliament on the appointment of Benoît Coeuré to an eight-year term of office as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. Since 2009, Mr Coeuré has been Deputy Director-General of the French Treasury, and has extensive experience of economic and financial government. Previously, for instance, he was Head of Multilateral Affairs and Development and Head of the Foreign Exchange Policy and Economic Policy Unit, in both cases for the French Treasury. He has also represented France at the G7 and G8 summits. In view of the vast amount of experience he has in this area, I voted in favour, and hope that his activity will be governed by the guiding principles of Union law and, in this way, will be crowned with success.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) By letter of 1 December 2011, the European Council consulted the European Parliament on the appointment of Benoît Coeuré as a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank for a term of office of eight years. Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs then proceeded to evaluate the credentials of the nominee, having received his curriculum vitae as well as his replies to the written questionnaire that was sent to him, and held a one-and-a-half-hour hearing. In view of the favourable opinion of this Committee, I voted for his appointment.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0691/2011

 
  
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  Ole Christensen (S&D), in writing. (DA) The Danish members of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament abstained from voting on the resolution on a new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco tabled by the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance and the Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left. The reason for this is that the Danish Social Democrats have a general policy not to vote for the political resolutions of other political groups. Moreover, the resolution places far too little emphasis on the economic and environmental shortcomings in the current interim protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco. A new and better protocol must include clear improvements with regard to the economic and environmental aspects. We therefore believe that a resolution that calls on the European Commission to work towards a better protocol should make the Commission more aware of the environmental and economic shortcomings in the previous protocol.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Due to its privileged location in North Africa, the Kingdom of Morocco has a vast exclusive sea area, which has been coveted throughout history by various fishing fleets, including European ones. The near continuity of our territories motivated the establishment of privileged economic relations between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco, which became the greatest beneficiary of EU funds under the European Neighbourhood Policy, while Europe became the primary destination for its exports. Sadly, Parliament has just prevented an extension of the Partnership Agreement with Morocco. However, we cannot continue for much longer without a new agreement, otherwise the European fishing fleets that operate in Moroccan waters will go bankrupt and support for Moroccan development will be cancelled. Accordingly, I advocate moving forward with new negotiations to establish a new agreement between the EU and Morocco. I therefore urge the Commission to prepare a new economically, environmentally and socially sustainable agreement with Morocco as soon as possible in order for support to continue to the Moroccan population, which is so dependent on this support, and so that the fishing fleets licensed to fish in that region can resume their operations.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Firstly, we consider that any future fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco must comply with international law, which the one that expired this year, and which Parliament has today refused to consent to extend, did not do. This was one of the reasons why this position was taken.

Since 1975, when the International Court of Justice gave its opinion, until now, the sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara has never been recognised. Morocco, whose occupation of this territory has been illegal since then, accordingly has no right under international law to claim the natural resources of the territory, including its fishery resources. It is regrettable, therefore, that the resolution endorsed by the larger political groups – the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe – simply ignores this question when discussing a future agreement.

We also regret the fact that both our resolution and the two amendments that we tabled, to defend the inalienable sovereign rights of the people of Western Sahara over the natural resources present in their territory, were rejected. It is imperative that the legitimate representatives of the Sahrawi people are heard regarding any agreement involving the exploitation of natural resources in their territory.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing.(IT) I think that the remarks already made on the Protocol in force between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union are fundamental when considering a future Protocol. In light of the financial compensation provided to the fisheries sector, it is essential that the cost-benefit ratio changes and that greater attention be paid to the economic and ecological consequences of the over-exploitation of depleted stocks. On the basis that bilateral agreements should be advantageous for both partners, and that the European Union should not endorse any exploitation of the waters of Western Sahara or other actions that do not respect the rights of the Sahrawi people, I hope that all of the remarks already highlighted in the external report and those that have come out of Parliament will be considered.

 
  
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  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We consider that any future fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco must comply with international law, which the one that expired this year, and which Parliament has today refused to consent to extend, did not do. This was one of the reasons why this position was taken.

Since 1975, when the International Court of Justice gave its opinion, until now, the sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara has never been recognised. Morocco, whose occupation of this territory has been illegal since then, accordingly has no right under international law to claim the natural resources of the territory, including its fishery resources. It is therefore regrettable that the resolution endorsed by the larger political groups – the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe – simply ignores this question when discussing a future agreement.

We also regret the fact that both our resolution and the two amendments that we tabled, to defend the inalienable sovereign rights of the people of Western Sahara over the natural resources present in their territory, were rejected.

It is imperative that the legitimate representatives of the Sahrawi people are heard regarding any agreement involving the exploitation of natural resources in their territory.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Kingdom of Morocco is an African country with almost 32 million inhabitants. Morocco is currently a privileged partner of the EU and the largest recipient of EU funds under the European Neighbourhood Policy. The EU is Morocco’s most important export market, its leading public and private external investor and its most important tourism market. The fishing industry has been an important economic pillar for Morocco for a long time, and the country is considered to be the largest fish market in Africa, with the fishing sector accounting for an estimated 400 000 jobs. The European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco concluded a Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) on 22 May 2006 which entered into force on 28 February 2007. On the basis of a mandate from the Council, the European Commission conducted negotiations with the Kingdom of Morocco on the renewal of the Protocol to the FPA by one year, following the expiry of the initial Protocol.

A one-year extension is now provisionally applied, but the Council still needs the consent of the European Parliament to adopt the new Protocol. I firmly believe that it is right for the European Parliament to grant consent and, at the same time, to authorise its President to convey this position to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Kingdom of Morocco.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because, in order to be compatible with international law, economic activities associated with the exploration of natural resources in a non-autonomous territory must benefit the people of that territory and respect their wishes. It is essential that the legitimate representatives of the people of the Western Sahara should be consulted on any agreement that involves the exploitation of the natural resources of that territory. It is necessary to ensure that the future Protocol fully respects international law, benefits the people of the Western Sahara and is in accordance with their wishes. The fisheries partnership agreements should seek to achieve economic and social objectives on the basis of close scientific and technical cooperation in order to ensure the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources. Any future Protocol has to be economically, ecologically and socially sustainable and mutually beneficial.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution and for Amendment 2 which says that any future protocol should respect the wishes of the people of the Western Sahara.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) I received the text of this resolution barely one hour before voting began. I must protest. The resolution proposes extending the European Union’s access to fishing resources in Moroccan waters. Parliament’s vote comes more or less at the end of the extended access period. We are therefore faced with a fait accompli. I object to this procedure and am calling for an investigation to establish the exact status of the stocks that many organisations claim are over-fished. I am also calling on the European Union to support the development of local fishing, rather than financing European vessels’ exploitation of the resources, which is at odds with the interests of the local population.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution with the intention that, in future negotiations for the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco, the interests of all fishermen who operate in this area are safeguarded, including the 14 Portuguese vessels that had fishing rights under the previous agreement, and which have suffered serious losses through this not being extended.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The various controversies surrounding the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco seem particularly off beam to me. In 2010, the Commission asked Morocco to evaluate the situation and consider what future action could be taken to improve the partnership on fisheries. As a longstanding partner of the European Union, Morocco bent itself to the task and proved that the fisheries agreement had generated benefits in the form of job creation throughout Morocco and for the Sahrawi people. In environmental terms, around 40% of the financial assistance provided under the agreement feeds back into conserving fish stocks and developing the fishing sector. It seems to me that to conclude a protocol using such unflattering terms about our partner, Morocco, is a serious error on the part of the European Union and will impact our bilateral relationship.

 
  
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  Miguel Portas (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The representatives of Western Sahara were neither heard nor considered in the negotiations and the agreement regarding their waters. The UN and the European Court of Justice have declared that the occupied territories of Western Sahara do not form part of Moroccan territory and so Morocco cannot negotiate about something that does not belong to it. I voted against this protocol as it is my view that the European Union must negotiate a protocol with Morocco that fully respects international law and human rights and provides benefits to all of the local population in question.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The tabled motion for a resolution censuring the proposed protocol between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco, which sets out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco, begins with the idea that Morocco does not have the legitimacy to make the agreement because it does not have sovereignty over the territorial waters off Western Sahara. However, irrespective of the underlying position that is eventually taken, I believe this to be a much wider issue that should be considered elsewhere, as soon as possible, so as to address the problem as a whole. Consequently, I voted against the proposal.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Against. To us, it is not acceptable to have such a resolution and not to even mention the Western Sahara.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I voted against renewing the agreement between the EU and Morocco, which has ultimately been rejected by the European Parliament. The EU-Morocco agreement contains a clause on democracy and human rights, as do all agreements concluded by the EU, but as always, this was not taken into account during the negotiations on extending the agreement. Commercial interests were the main focus of discussions and the question of Western Sahara was not even mentioned. What is more, although one of the few improvements made in the Treaty of Lisbon is that the European Parliament has to give its consent to any international agreements, Parliament has barely been involved in the negotiating process. The European Parliament, the only democratically elected European institution, needs to defend that right.

 
  
  

Report: Krzysztof Lisek (A7-0428/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I endorse this report, which confirms the fact that Member States are increasingly making cuts in the area of defence and security as a consequence of the economic crisis we are living through. It is important that this situation does not lead to Europe lacking the ability to act on the international stage, particularly in pursuit of its peacekeeping missions. At this time, more than ever, the solution for improving the effectiveness of the defence sector requires close cooperation between Member States, European institutions and international organisations.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. – I voted in favour of this resolution on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States, which calls for increased cooperation in the field of defence. Member States collectively spend about EUR 200 billion a year on defence, which represents only about a third of the US defence budget alone. European countries are already incapable of carrying out military operations (example, recent Libya intervention) without US support, whose share of all defence spending within NATO has risen to 75%. I agree with the rapporteur that the financial crisis is a global phenomenon and it has also touched the defence sector. There is a common tendency to cut spending on defence in the Member States, which is the subject of our concern. It is true that maintaining these expenditures, when we are in a financial crisis, where there are social pressures, is not an easy task. At the same time, it is important to stress, thinking about our future, we simply cannot afford to neglect basic needs such as security and defence in such turbulent times.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The Greek Communist Party voted against the report because it is based unreservedly on EU aggression and EU imperialist interventions throughout the world. The report, within the framework of the conclusions of the EU Council on the CSDP, calls for the establishment of a general EU military staff and for measures for more direct and effective utilisation of military and non-military resources. The capitalist crisis is using harmonisation of the Member States’ military specifications and resources, alongside coordination with NATO, as a pretext for further strengthening of the European Defence Agency, in order to strengthen the military capabilities of the EU for imperialist wars and interventions. The report calls for the integration of the Member States’ military research programmes within the framework of the EU, the adoption of the Weimar Initiative, the upgrading of battle groups and an increase in the national contribution to spending by EU undertakings via the ATHENA mechanism. It is clear that, against the background of the crisis and alongside support for the NATO anti-missile shield, the EU is preparing for war on an even bigger scale in the Horn of Africa, Africa and Asia.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) In the midst of the financial crisis, the defence sector has not been spared from national budgetary austerity measures. Although budgetary restraint is needed in the defence sector, it should not jeopardise the Union’s strategic autonomy. I therefore voted in favour of the report by Mr Lisek, which advocates greater cooperation in a number of areas. This cooperation will facilitate more intelligent use of spending and will raise the profile of the common security and defence policy.

 
  
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  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the European Parliament resolution of 14 December 2011 on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States. I am committed to defending the notion that a common research policy can, and must, be an essential component in building an industrial base for defence. In the absence of a common European industrial defence policy, the defence market has become very fragmented in terms of demand, supply, regulations and standards. I am pleased that, at my behest, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, having been asked for its opinion on this report, took the view that a European industrial defence policy would be valuable in reinforcing the European Union’s role on the world stage and maintaining Europe’s technological capacity, while also taking into account the specificities in each Member State. Cross-border and transatlantic industrial cooperation can facilitate access to new technologies, promote advanced product development and encourage the adoption of effective measures to reduce costs. The financial crisis means that it is not viable to build a European defence industry at a national level. I welcome the work done by Mr Danjean, as Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States. The Member States collectively spend about EUR 200 billion a year on defence. The spending of most of these funds in the Member States is based on uncoordinated national defence planning decisions, which results not only in persistent capability gaps, but frequently also in wasteful overcapacities and duplications, as well as fragmented industry and markets. In recent times, there have been cuts to the defence budgets of the majority of EU Member States in the wake of the financial, economic and debt crisis. This may have a negative impact on Member States’ military capabilities and on the ability of the EU to fulfil its obligations as regards peacekeeping, conflict prevention and the strengthening of international security. I welcome Parliament’s position that the Member States must seek to compensate for the negative impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States through increased European cooperation and coordination. Uncoordinated defence budget cuts could result in the complete loss of certain military capabilities in Europe. The Member States should therefore exchange information effectively and enhance transparency on current and forthcoming defence budget cuts. We also need to take advantage of potential economies of scale provided by collaborative projects.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR), in writing. (PL) Although we are concerned by the growing tendency to make cuts in national defence budgets and the associated risk of a reduction in Member States’ combat force capabilities, I cannot support the report. Activities relating to the coordination of defence planning, combined potential through joint ownership, enhanced cooperation in research and technological development or the optimisation of military contracts already take place under NATO. There is therefore no need to duplicate them within the Union. I am also sceptical about the possibility of implementing these initiatives as a complement to the coordination of the NATO defence planning process. The Member States spend a total of over EUR 200 billion per year on defence, and this is only one third of the defence spending of the United States, which, at the same time, covers three quarters of NATO’s budget. With excessively low expenditure and, above all, the waste of funds, European members of the Alliance could threaten its continued existence, and this, above all, should focus our attention.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) In the current economic crisis, we need to rein in military spending, with a view to rationalisation on a continent-wide basis. Avoiding costly national duplication in the defence sector, collaborating on scientific research for military purposes, creating a coordinated European system for military action and meeting international commitments in the fight against terrorism and conflict prevention: these are the priorities in a sector, namely defence, which consumes enormous resources every year in Member States and hinders them from acting cohesively and determinedly in crisis sectors. I am therefore voting in favour of the Lisek report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I believe that attention should be drawn to the way in which Member States fund their defence sector during the crisis and economic downturn. This European Parliament own-initiative report was drawn up because there has been a trend in recent times of increasing cuts to the defence budgets of the majority of EU Member States due to the crisis and this is not being coordinated at EU level. As the European Parliament report notes, the security environment both in Europe and worldwide is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable, and it is therefore proposed that European defence capabilities should be maintained at their pre-crisis level and that we should also rely less on the United States to fund defence spending in the North Atlantic Alliance. The latter aspect in particular is stressed in the report because it is felt that a reinforced European defence capability will enhance the strategic autonomy of the EU and provide an important contribution to collective security in the context of NATO and other partnerships.

 
  
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  Sebastian Valentin Bodu (PPE), in writing. (RO) The economic crisis has forced all Member States to reduce their expenditure, and defence has been one of the first areas to be hit. A certain amount of coordination is clearly required at EU level in terms of budget reductions in this area to show the extent of EU military capabilities. On the other hand, the economic crisis is also a good teacher. All European states have learnt fairly important lessons from it. One of these could be that better defence coordination is required at European Union level.

Defence and security are key areas of strategic importance. We can devise common strategies for specific problems relating to the defence industry. We would like to see more cooperation between the EU and NATO, between which we hope to see standardisation and interoperability. I believe that the European Defence Agency should play a more important role in this. I hope that a single European defence market will be established. I am slightly disappointed by the outcome of the last meeting of the Council of Ministers for Defence on 30 November. It did not support the creation of a European general headquarters allowing Europe to act rapidly in cases like the Libyan crisis.

 
  
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  Vito Bonsignore (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report tabled by Mr Lisek. Over recent years, due to the continuation of the economic crisis, Member States have cut their defence budgets, leading to changes in their own responsibility as regards peacekeeping.

Member States spend about EUR 200 billion a year on defence: an amount that is about one third of the US defence budget. The unsystematic and uncoordinated management of these funds makes Europe disproportionately reliant upon the United States, and entails persistent capability gaps, overcapacities and duplication, with the result that the Union has neither the resources nor the necessary influence to be regarded as a credible guarantor of peace.

We must gradually integrate EU defence policies by coordinating defence planning, by sharing capabilities, especially in sectors such as logistics, strategy and tactics, medical support, education and training. It would be desirable, finally, to have an EU White Paper on defence that would develop a European security strategy and better define the Union’s objectives, interests and needs in relation to the means and resources available.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) I voted against the report because it advocates an increase in military spending by the Member States and the European Union, despite the rampant economic crisis and restrictions on social spending and the income and rights of the workers. At a time when the people of Europe are suffering the consequences of the crisis, this specific report helps to serve the interests of the arms industry. By proposing that the arms industry be developed as a way of resolving the unemployment problem, it is endeavouring to intertwine the fate of the people of Europe with the production and export of arms that end up in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere, thereby promoting interests foreign to the people. In perfect keeping with the ‘security’ philosophy, the report is in favour, among other things, of upgrading the operation of NATO and of the Union within it. It gives priority to the military side of the Union and encourages the correlation and equation of civil and military resources, regardless of whether they concern technical infrastructures or research or Union action. The Union must channel resources into social spending and public investments and must formulate its foreign policy on the basis of international law and peaceful principles, instead of providing a profit for the mass production of arms.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) The current economic crisis has had a considerable impact on the defence sector. Numerous armaments programmes are at risk of being cancelled or even have been cancelled. NATO’s recent intervention in Libya has highlighted many of the limitations of EU Member States’ armies. We are obliged to do more, at a faster pace, with the aim of creating a genuine European armaments industry. This would help get rid of a great deal of duplication, avoid wasting resources and ensure better deployment of production capacities.

I believe that more attention is needed on future requirements for equipping the EU countries’ armies, based on the lesson from recent conflicts and the new geopolitical data. In my view, we are aware that our nations will not accept an increase in military spending at a time when swingeing programmes cutting budget expenditure are being implemented. This is why we must spend the money earmarked for defence with the utmost care on well-defined programmes intended to address the challenges which we need to face. With this in mind, the optimum level of military spending needs to be identified, providing us with medium- and long-term security, without wasting human and material resources.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this report, which calls for more pooling and sharing of military capabilities within Europe. Against the backdrop of budgetary austerity, which is also affecting the defence sector, it is imperative that we promote more effective sharing of resources with a view to reinvigorating the European defence sector. In doing so, we will reinforce our military power, an essential factor in keeping our citizens safe and making the Union a force to be reckoned with globally, but, at the same time, we will be supporting an industrial sector that is vital to our economies.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing.(FR) In the wake of the economic and financial crisis, the trend among Member States is to reduce defence budgets. What I would like to highlight, although certainly not in a aggressive manner, is that the uncoordinated defence budget cuts in the EU Member States could result in reduced military capabilities in Europe. Consequently, I believe that more integration and pooling of resources could be a solution. Indeed, there are many areas in which Member States could optimise their resources, such as strategic and tactical transport, logistical support, and so on. Therefore, we need more programmes focused on pooling and sharing transport helicopters, air-to-air refuelling, maritime surveillance, drone flights, protection against chemical, biological and nuclear threats, satellite communications, etc. What is more, I also believe that the European Defence Agency should play a greater role, particularly in the context of EU-NATO cooperation.

 
  
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  Ioan Enciu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report because defence is a public good that affects the security of all European citizens, and all Member States need to contribute in a spirit of cooperation, joint sharing of responsibilities and cost-effectiveness.

Due to the financial crisis, unprecedented cuts have been made to defence budgets in most Member States, which may have a negative impact on the EU’s capabilities for peacekeeping, preventing conflicts and consolidating international security. This is why I believe that a reinforced European defence capability will enhance the EU’s strategic autonomy and make an important contribution to collective security in the context of NATO and other partnerships. At the same time, I think that the economic crisis we are currently facing can be used as an opportunity for the integration of EU defence policies since it can provide the impetus required to create and implement ambitious reforms.

I therefore support the call for the development of EU defence policies, leading to sound research and technological and industrial cooperation among Member States, with the aim of enhancing the competitiveness and resilience of the defence industry.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) The current context of fiscal consolidation has led many Member States to reduce their defence sector expenditure, which may significantly limit the EU’s capacity for military interventions. Accordingly, it is important to strengthen military cooperation between Member States to avoid cost duplication, to provide economies of scale, and to make it easier to develop military technology in the EU. I voted in favour of this report as it meets these requirements.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Like other sectors, defence has not escaped successive cuts motivated by the financial crisis ravaging the European Union. However, it must be said that this sector is not the same as the others and that disinvestment here could have serious consequences for the security and defence of Member States. At a time when the United States of America, the primary guarantor of peace and democracy in the world since the Second World War, is aiming to redefine its strategic role at the global level and it is becoming increasingly clear that it needs to count on the involvement of its partners on missions that affect the security of all, reducing European investment in defence will reduce the quantity and quality of Europe’s military capacity.

In truth, it is increasingly clear that the Union must accept its part of burden sharing amongst western democracies if we do not wish to follow a path towards irrelevance. Saying this does not mean encouraging wastefulness or, much less, warmongering. Europe cannot ignore a timeless rule: si vis pacem, para bellum.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The economic and financial crisis that is generally affecting all Member States demands the re-evaluation of the priorities of a system of governance that has to adopt social and environmental protection measures that do not jeopardise the future, without ignoring the need for economic growth. As the European Union is an enlarging community of States (27+1), the principle of subsidiarity is especially applicable and could result in significant savings in human and financial resources. The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) consists of several areas. If we are to succeed in reducing expenditure without losing effectiveness, we have to identify the most effective projects, such as supervision, maritime surveillance and control of the use of particular weapons, etc. I welcome the adoption of this report by Krzysztof Lisek on the consequences of the austerity imposed by the crisis for the defence sector, on which I voted in favour. Without disregarding the maintenance of the missions in which the EU is involved, such as monitoring in Georgia and the Horn of Africa, protection in humanitarian assistance, protecting ships from hijacking, etc., it calls for agreement among all Member States and better linkage with other organisations and powers, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the United States.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) It is, at the very least, shocking that the proposals and guidelines contained in this report are being put forward in the current context of profound economic and social crisis, which is a pretext for all types of attacks on the workers and the people and for plundering them. What is under discussion is a militaristic agenda and a resumption of the arms race. In this situation of crisis, this forebodes new and dangerous developments for the people of the world.

The report advocates a qualitative leap in the militarisation of the EU, making it increasingly subordinate to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its agenda of global domination. Following the path of the Treaty of Lisbon, it aims to increase EU military spending and to assign a policy planning role to the European Defence Agency. The report goes so far as to propose a type of European Semester defining the priorities to be implemented by each country, or group of countries, in a framework that is not for defence of the countries’ sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, but for their specialisation to strengthen EU interventionism in the world, all of this while simultaneously cutting social expenditure, which is truly putting civilisation into reverse. The military-industrial complex, the war industry, is here speaking through the rapporteur’s words, in order to protect its own interests.

 
  
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  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) There are many reasons that led us to vote against this report. Its main objective is to implement a militaristic agenda and resume the arms race. In the wake of the crisis, it forebodes new and dangerous developments for the peoples and countries of Europe and the world. It advocates a qualitative leap in the militarisation of the EU, making it increasingly subordinate to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and its agenda of global domination. It aims to implement and develop tools created by the Treaty of Lisbon, in particular, the increase in EU military spending within the NATO framework and the assignment of a policy planning role to the European Defence Agency. It aims to implement enhanced cooperation and a type of European Semester, defining the priorities to be implemented by each country, or group of countries, in a framework that is not for defence of the countries’ sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, but for their specialisation to strengthen EU interventionism in the world.

In a period in which social expenditure is being drastically cut, stealing the crucial rights and conquests of workers and people, the guidelines proposed here aim to finance the military-industrial complex, whether through direct support and purchasing of arms or indirectly by using European funds to finance research.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) There has recently been a growing trend towards sidelining the defence budgets of most Member States, mainly due to the financial, economic and debt crisis. Such measures then have a negative effect, above all, on the ability of the Union to effectively assume its responsibilities in peacekeeping, conflict prevention and boosting international security, in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter. I consider it important to emphasise that defence is a public asset influencing the security of all European citizens, and all Member States must contribute to it in a spirit of cooperation, burden sharing and cost efficiency. In a more complex and unpredictable security environment, it is desirable for all Member States to cooperate more closely and coordinate their steps against the common threats mentioned in the European security strategy, and to take on their full share of responsibility for peace and security in Europe, the neighbouring regions and the world. Enhanced European defence will contribute to expanding the strategic autonomy of the EU and will be an important contribution to common security within NATO and other partnerships.

The main target of EU efforts in the field of defence in response to the financial crisis should be the European Defence Agency. An increase in its budget, staff numbers, areas of responsibility and overall powers would allow it to work better towards optimising the EU defence sector, and it should also have the task of preventing costly duplications and financially unsustainable defence policies.

 
  
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  Brice Hortefeux (PPE), in writing. (FR) The European Parliament has called for greater cooperation between the EU Member States within the defence sector. The crisis has revealed weaknesses in the common security and defence policy that require far-reaching reforms. Each year, the Member States collectively spend EUR 200 billion on defence, which represents just one third of the United States’s defence budget. The Member States are on an austerity drive and defence budgets are feeling the pinch. Budgetary constraints are limiting the Member States’ defence capabilities and creating an imbalance in relations with our partners, particularly the US, who are having to pay the price of our withdrawal, as we have seen in the case of Libya. There are high-risk pockets in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa that could constitute a threat to Europe. We therefore need to equip ourselves with an ambitious security and defence policy on both the operational and capabilities sides, a well-funded policy that promotes pooling and sharing certain capabilities with a view to optimising our activities.

 
  
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  Juozas Imbrasas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document because defence constitutes a public good that affects the security of all European citizens, and all Member States need to contribute to it in a spirit of cooperation, burden sharing and cost-effectiveness. There have been cuts to the defence budgets of the majority of EU Member States in the wake of the financial, economic and debt crisis, and these measures may potentially have a negative impact on the countries’ military capabilities and on the ability of the EU to effectively fulfil its obligations as regards peacekeeping, conflict prevention and the strengthening of international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, should the Member States fail to make up for that negative impact through increased European cooperation and coordination. Member States urgently need to improve the transparency and openness of their defence markets. We need to increase the competitiveness of the European defence industry and also ensure that the interests of the taxpayer are adequately safeguarded.

 
  
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  Cătălin Sorin Ivan (S&D), in writing. (RO) Significant cuts have been made to defence budgets in most Member States due to the financial crisis. This action may have an adverse impact on the EU’s military capabilities and, therefore, on its ability to take on its peacekeeping responsibilities effectively. I voted in favour of the report drafted by Krzysztof Lisek. An analysis needs to be carried out of the options for giving Member States support in achieving the objectives of the common security and defence policy more cost-effectively. The status quo may result in the loss of certain military capabilities which are vital to European citizens’ security.

 
  
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  Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE), in writing. (FI) I disagree with the rapporteur, Mr Lisek, on two issues. It is irresponsible of Parliament to call on the Member States to increase their defence budgets, while elsewhere, we insist on making savings and on budgetary discipline. We are in the midst of a severe economic and debt crisis. I would also say that the European Parliament should not adopt a position on funding for NATO or on how much European member countries of NATO should cover the costs of NATO. That is something which the NATO countries can adopt a position on in different forums. NATO and the EU are two separate organisations.

 
  
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  Dan Jørgensen (S&D), in writing. (DA) The Danish social democratic Members voted in favour of the report on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States, as it contains many good proposals for improving coordination and cooperation across the EU Member States with regard to defence policy. However, the Danish social democratic Members cannot support those parts of the report that call for an increase in defence budget spending.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this report, which proposes measures for more effective use of the resources of the Member States in defence matters in a context of economic and financial crisis and budgetary austerity.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE), in writing. – I voted in favour of this report. This is a most timely and important initiative. The crucial question will be whether the suggestions of the Lisek report will be taken seriously by the EU governments. This is directly connected to the role and credibility of Europe as a guarantor of international peace and security. Continuing cuts in the defence sector might be popular among certain population groups but seriously undermine the common security and defence policy. The biggest problems of the European defence sector are inefficiency, fragmentation and duplication. Member States need to understand the seriousness of this issue and start sharing and pooling their resources. This should result in targeted investments. Enhanced cooperation and coordination of efforts is especially needed in the field of cyber defence. Sharing information and experience is crucial to prevent and react efficiently to potential threats and attacks.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Lisek because I believe that the defence sector has suffered repercussions that must not be underestimated, especially given its importance. From this point of view, as proposed by the report, we must move towards a pan-European defence framework, capable of optimising costs by taking advantage of coordination between countries and, precisely, at the EU level. This kind of framework, endowed with the appropriate institutions, must also serve to make economic measures affecting the defence sector (cost-cutting and new structural models) clearer and more transparent. I am convinced that this sector, strategic as it is for the future of the EU, deserves due attention, not only as regards economic and funding policy, but also for the measures that need to be taken to promote communication between Member States in order to achieve efficiency and productivity gains.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution which recognises bilateral and regional initiatives such as the 2010 UK-French defence agreements, the Nordic Defence Cooperation and the Baltic Defence Cooperation, as important steps for rationalising the use of resources and fill short-term capability gaps; notes the proposals for similar cooperations in other regions, such as among the Visegrád Group countries; takes the view, however, that significant structural gaps remain which need to be addressed in a coordinated fashion at EU level and that, therefore, at a certain point, these bilateral or regional arrangements need to be integrated into the wider European perspective, making sure that they contribute to the development of CSDP and do not, in any way, run counter to it; in this context, believes that the EDA should be given a role in ensuring overall coherence of efforts and encourages further reflection on how the Treaty provisions on the Permanent Structured Cooperation could be used to provide an overall coordination framework.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) Pooling and sharing of capabilities in the defence sector is not an option any more, but a necessity. The major focus of all EU efforts on defence in reaction to the financial crisis should be the European Defence Agency (EDA). To this end, the agency needs to be restructured. I am voting in favour.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This report states that defence constitutes a ‘public good that affects the security of all European citizens’ and is concerned about the disproportionate reliance on the United States in defence matters. However, it does not draw any lesson from this, since it advocates further liberalisation of the arms market and transatlantic industrial cooperation. Worse still, the report enjoins the Member States to enhance their military capabilities for the benefit of NATO, as required by the Treaty of Lisbon. It even goes so far as to recommend the establishment of a European defence semester under the auspices of the European Defence Agency. I voted against this hypocritical, Atlantist and bellicose report.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) It is worrying to observe the trend in the majority of EU Member States to cut defence budgets in response to the financial, economic and debt crisis. In addition to the potential negative effect of these cuts on the military capability of Member States, they may also reduce the capability of the EU to effectively take up its responsibilities in peacekeeping, conflict prevention and the strengthening of international security. Reinforced European defence capability will enhance the strategic autonomy of the European Union and provide an important contribution to collective security in the context of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other partnerships. Accordingly, the European Commission should carry out an impact assessment of these budget cuts for the development of capabilities in support of the European Security and Defence Policy.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing.(FR) A European defence sector is essential for ensuring not only Europe’s own security and the survival of its social model, but also its credibility on the international scene. However, the crisis has led the governments of the Member States to make cuts in their defence budgets. That is why it is urgent and necessary to organise our defence by making economies of scale. In order to remain competitive and effective, we need to improve our synergies, pool our capabilities and develop effective strategies which will enable the EU to manage the crises in Libya, the Horn of Africa and elsewhere. There must be deeper cooperation between the EU and NATO. The European Defence Agency must be given a bigger budget. Europe can only be a staunch ally of the United States and a reliable partner for China if, as indicated by Pierre Defraigne, it acquires autonomy in foreign policy.

 
  
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  Vital Moreira (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted against the passage in paragraph 3 of this report which ‘notes with concern that recent budget cuts are in addition to a pattern of Member States under-investing and underspending in the fields of security and defence for over a decade’. It seems to me that, in the current circumstances of budget deficits and excessive public debt in various Member States, and the deepening demands of the Union for budget stabilisation, it is healthy for Member States to include the defence sector within public expenditure reductions, particularly in countries where expenditure on defence is relatively high, as in Portugal, and they should not be criticised.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) In the good economic times, not all NATO countries contributed 2% of GDP to defence. The defence budgets of the EU Member States will continue to shrink following the introduction of austerity measures and measures to cut public expenditure in the budget as a result of the economic crisis. A situation has arisen where the contribution of a single NATO member country represents as much as 75% of all NATO’s defence expenditure. Although it is true that large-scale funding does not necessarily guarantee efficiency, we must seek new ways for EU Member States to cooperate in order to prevent cuts in defence expenditure having a negative impact on defence capabilities. The countries of Europe must pool their capabilities and share them in a coordinated manner, and a lot can also be achieved through framework programmes.

 
  
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  Katarína Neveďalová (S&D), in writing.(SK) As a result of the financial, economic and debt crisis, Member States are also cutting budgets in the area of defence and security. We must not lose sight of the main reason why the European Union was created. Thanks to this community, we have enjoyed many years of peace and security in Europe, as well as in neighbouring regions and the wider world. We have also been trying for some time to get all Member States to cooperate more closely, and coordinate their steps against the common threats mentioned in the European security strategy. Without financial support for information sharing, structures, cooperation in research and technological development and so on, neither the desired results nor enhanced European defence will be possible. On the contrary, we will put at risk the expansion of the strategic autonomy of the EU and common security within NATO and other partnerships.

 
  
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  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I supported this report because I am also concerned about European security and declining European influence in the world. In the present economic crisis, the constant defence spending cuts may seem unavoidable, but it is only in complicated situations that we understand that this is not the ideal solution from the point of view of defensive capability. Most European countries have significantly reduced their defensive capabilities since the end of the Cold War, presuming that different wars would remain a thing of the distant past and that the future would be bright. I also believe in a brighter future, one of the foundations of which is the European Union. In order to defend our values, however, we must consider different threats. I consider the present situation, in which Europe primarily relies on NATO’s greatest military power – the United States, consuming security that it does not particularly wish to pay for, to be irresponsible. However, what happens when US taxpayers cease to consider this to be reasonable – after all, they have their own concerns. Present experience in Libya has shown that European countries can no longer cope with events in their near vicinity without US assistance. Only a few countries on the outer borders of the EU, such as Greece and Poland that have a stronger sense of various threats, have contributed more than the average amount to our common security, and my home country of Estonia has also raised its defence expenditures to 2% of GDP. Of course it is not only the amount spent that is important, but how it is spent. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid duplication between Member States by increasing effectiveness and harmonising EU defence policy. Greater unity within Europe will ensure that we are taken seriously and deter those who dare to question our values.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because a common defence industrial policy makes sense economically in terms of reinforcing the role of the European Union worldwide and maintaining Europe’s technological capacity while still taking account of the particular characteristics of each Member State. Attention should be drawn to the fact that a reinforced European defence capability will contribute to collective security in the context of various partnerships, including NATO. I believe that the Member States should implement permanent structured cooperation and define the conditions for the application of solidarity and mutual defence clauses, while improving the transparency and openness of their defence markets. I welcome the proposal that the EU should jointly acquire the most expensive and up-to-date equipment and establish a civil-military EU Operational Headquarters which will not only support international peace and security but will also generate savings for national budgets. It should be noted that research and innovation play a particularly important role in the security and defence sector. Consequently, it is very important to do our utmost to increase synergies between European defence and civilian security research programmes and to enhance the development and independence of these programmes. I believe that the European defence industry and technological base will contribute to the creation of new jobs in this industrial sector.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) We can see from the data presented to us that, as a result of the grave crisis of these last few years, there have also been a number of cuts in defence spending, an area of great importance in order to protect our integrity. My vote in favour of this report is based on the principle that there cannot be cuts in a sector such as defence, which is indispensable for the security of every country. So that we do not run unprepared into situations that could erupt into conflict, given the precarious state of things, it is always better to be well protected as well as ready.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this resolution primarily because I agree with the European Parliament’s request to provide the European Union Satellite Centre with a larger budget. In fact, this centre operates with a modest budget and has demonstrated its efficiency and added value throughout a variety of security and defence operations. I would recall the growing demand for satellite imagery, including in the wake of the recent events in Northern Africa. Considering its civil-military uses, I agree with the proposal that this centre should be funded from the EU budget.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing. (IT) As a consequence of the economic and financial crisis, the ongoing fiscal consolidation across the EU and the reductions in defence budgets in the majority of Member States may lead to substantial programme cuts, shrinkages or delays for almost all Member States, which is likely to continue to affect the European defence industry as well as the EU’s scientific progress in this sector. Furthermore, this may result in job losses in the medium and long term. Bearing in mind the importance of the facts put before us, and finding myself in agreement with all the amendments that have been tabled, I am voting in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera (EFD), in writing. (IT) I fully support the conclusions contained in Mr Lisek’s report. The defence sector is undoubtedly one of those most severely affected by the austerity policies implemented as a result of the economic crisis. At this rate, Europe risks being unable to shoulder its international responsibilities and seeing some of its traditional areas of strategic weakness, such as duplication of military capabilities and its inability to carry out operations without US support, intensify.

In order to prevent such a scenario from occurring, and to avoid draining funds from other important expenditure headings, the only effective solution, as the report indicates, is to move towards greater cooperation within the Union, with due respect for national prerogatives. This cooperation should cover all areas of defence but, in particular, contract liberalisation, technological research, coordination of planning and sharing of certain capabilities. Greater collaboration would, moreover, enable European countries to strengthen their own strategic autonomy and increase their political influence within the Atlantic Alliance.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Despite the large number of States that make up the European Union, the common defence system still has various weaknesses. There is a variety of reasons for this: to the most basic reference to the budgetary weaknesses experienced by various States can be added the lack of integration between the defence policies of the different Member States. In truth, coordinating policy between the various Member States would allow resources to be used more optimally and allow a true European defence force to be created, based on the complementarity of the armed forces of the different States. The rapporteur highlights six priority areas: better coordination of defence planning, pooling and sharing of capabilities, support for research and technological development, construction of a European Defence Technological and Industrial Base, creation of a European market in defence equipment and, finally, seeking new forms of funding. I voted in favour as I believe defence policy is one of the greatest challenges faced by the European Union; without it, our very political sovereignty would appear to be (effectively) threatened.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Against. The text was drafted in a way which called into question directives that seek to increase transparency in the defence market.

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing. (FR) This report is particularly timely: it comes at a time when the Member States, constrained by drastic measures of budgetary austerity, are seeking opportunities to pool and share their initiatives in order to reduce costs. The European Union needs a global approach so that it can examine the areas in which enhanced cooperation would make it possible to move forward in order to do more with fewer resources and to define the measures to help it do that. This report, which I voted in favour of, proposes several measures which I think are reasonable, including the pooling and sharing of capabilities in areas having limited impact on sovereignty: logistical support, maintenance, medical support, among others. European funds should be used to enhance cooperation at the level of education and training. Cadets participating in the ‘military Erasmus’ programme should be given equal treatment with students at civil higher education institutions. Tools must be developed to facilitate the development of a common security culture and approach.

 
  
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  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE), in writing. (PL) The common security and defence policy is an important asset serving the development of freedom and democracy, both so important to the European Union. I think that its role and its Community character take on particular importance at this time of crisis, when various cuts are being made to budgets in order to make savings. We must, however, bear in mind that it is the military sector that we are talking about, and it is the defence industry that generates modern scientific research and innovations which are then absorbed by areas of the civilian economy and which significantly affect their development.

I wish to focus more specifically on two issues. Firstly, I believe that the European External Action Service should include more specialists in fields which represent important Union and global issues, for example, energy security, climate issues and environmental protection, economic, development and financial issues, and many others. This would greatly enhance the quality of its work. Secondly, the European Union should develop its own services and strengthen the coordination of national services providing assistance in the event of various disasters. This should be an important pillar of our activities, complementing those of NATO. I would like to offer my congratulations on a very interesting report.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) Defence is certainly one of the areas of national budgets most subject to cuts during the ongoing economic and debt crisis. However, the trend towards cuts in military spending is limiting the European Union’s ability to effectively shoulder its peacekeeping responsibilities.

In this context, greater coordination among Member States is a necessity, since uncoordinated budget cuts could, in fact, result in the complete loss of certain military capabilities in Europe. Member States must seek to exchange information, as appropriate, and enhance transparency on current and forthcoming defence budget cuts. This vote in favour highlights the need for joint support for technological development in the sector and the priority of establishing the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report has a comprehensive approach that makes it possible to analyse the areas of the defence sector where we can ‘do more with less’, taking the impact of the financial crisis on this sector into consideration. Thus, there are actions proposed in six areas: better coordination of defence planning, better management and sharing of capabilities, increased support for defence research and technological development, construction of a European Defence Technological and Industrial Base, creation of a European market in defence equipment and, finally, seeking new forms of funding. I voted in favour of the document tabled, together with the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), to which I belong.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the European Parliament report on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in EU Member States, which notes with concern that recent budget cuts are continuing a persistent pattern of Member States under-investing and underspending in the areas of security and defence for more than a decade. Promoting a European Defence Technological and Industrial Base can create sustainable jobs for European citizens in EU defence industries.

I should stress that security research needs to be maintained as an independent component in the next Horizon 2020 programme. The scope of the ‘Security’ theme should be expanded to reflect the necessity for innovation and technology transfer between the civilian and the defence industries. Just as the results of civilian research often have defence applications, the spin-offs from defence research frequently benefit the whole of society, as in the case of the Internet and GPS. We think that, in the long run, more specific focus on defence research could be envisaged in the next framework programmes, in order to stimulate European collaborative research and help pool dispersed national funds.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR), in writing. – While it appears to be a well researched report containing much useful information, this report is a manifesto for EU defence integration and so rejected by the ECR Group.

It largely ignores NATO, to which we attach primary importance. It emphasises the very questionable concept of ‘pooling and sharing’ with all the problems of political unreliability that this involves. It seeks to boost the ‘strategic autonomy of the EU’ when importance should instead be attached to operating alongside the forces of our greatest ally, the United States. And the innocent-sounding ‘harmonisation of military requirements’ takes us down the dangerous path of EU procurement of defence equipment.

While we support transparency in offset arrangements, this is a matter best left to individual countries. We are in favour of increased investment in defence R&D, provided this comes from compensating reductions in other EU budget areas. We cannot support the various schemes such as the so-called European Security and Defence College and EU funding of military exchanges and training schemes, which are merely designed to inculcate some bogus idea of a ‘European identity’ to supersede our national identity and loyalty. The entire thrust of the report and its conclusions are misguided.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) Uncoordinated cuts in the defence budgets of most EU Member States on account of the crisis may potentially result in the EU no longer being able to fulfil its international responsibility with regard to security in terms of maintaining peace and avoiding conflict. The report calls for isolated national defence planning to be replaced by structured discussion. I voted in favour of the report as a whole.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution: B7-0693/2011

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I endorse this joint resolution, considering that Russia and the EU are interdependent, both economically and politically, and that dialogue between the two is essential for good neighbourly relations. It is necessary, however, that this summit signals to the world that Russia is ready to provide proof of the democratic legitimacy of its systems through enhanced cooperation with the European Union. On the other hand, it is important that conciliation involves not only the internal affairs of the two blocks and good neighbourly relations, but also enhanced international cooperation in the framework of the United Nations, which I believe is urgent, for example, in addressing issues such as Iran’s nuclear programme.

 
  
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  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of the resolution of the European Parliament of 14 December 2011 on the next EU-Russia Summit. I regret the fact that my proposal of January 2011 to invite the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitri Medvedev, to speak at a formal sitting of the European Parliament, which was accepted by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), was turned down by the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament. The Russian Federation is an important neighbour. Five Member States of the European Union share a border with it. Between Europe and Russia, there have been centuries of relations marked by remarkable successes, but also immense suffering. Our common history is indisputable. It derives from the evolution of our respective peoples, the rise and fall of empires, the links between the royal families, culture, the arts, writers, religions, especially Christianity, military combat against fascism, positioning in respect of communism, and so on. Today, Russia has been overtaken by the success of China and is rediscovering its Western roots. It is and will be the essential link in the dialogue between the West and the East, which will serve as a basis for political negotiations aimed at establishing future global governance.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution on the EU-Russia Summit on 15 December 2011. Enhanced cooperation, good neighbourly relations and a genuine strategic partnership between the EU and Russia are of major importance for ensuring stability, security and prosperity in Europe and beyond. I agree that security of energy supply is one of the biggest challenges for the EU and one of the main areas of cooperation with Russia. The supply of natural resources should not be used as a political tool. It is important to enhance the partnership with Russia in the field of energy and to ensure that the EU speaks with one voice in its relations with Russia and shows strong internal solidarity. I welcome Parliament’s position that the EU must guarantee a reliable and secure energy supply based on equal standards for all EU Member States. We also need to guarantee diversification of channels of transportation and energy providers.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR), in writing. (PL) The latest elections to the State Duma must arouse our concern. The Union’s diplomacy has the task of steering relations with Russia in such a way as to enhance the process of democratisation in that country. Mass protests by citizens against the election results show that there is a complete lack of conviction among the Russian people about the legitimacy of the current government. I therefore agree with calls for the clarification of cases of vote rigging and other electoral offences, the punishment of those responsible and the holding of fresh elections. Of particular concern are onerous election registration procedures leading to the exclusion of several opposition groups, thus denying political pluralism. The registration of candidates in next year’s presidential elections is currently in progress. I support any diplomatic pressure which forces this process to take place according to the standards required of a democracy. In adopting this resolution, I also urge the Russian authorities to respect the ceasefire agreement with, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of, Georgia.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because the European Parliament has reiterated its position on cooperation with Russia and has also expressed great concern over irregularities during the elections to the State Duma held on 4 December 2011. Numerous irregularities were reported on election day, including multiple voting, obstruction of party observers, and ballot box stuffing. The running of the election showed that Russia does not meet election standards as defined by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Parliament is also deeply concerned over reports of fraud and the preliminary findings of the OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) report on procedural violations, the lack of media impartiality, the harassment of independent monitors and the lack of separation between party and state. The European Parliament therefore urges the Russian authorities to address the findings of the OSCE/ODIHR observation report, to reform electoral laws in line with OSCE and Council of Europe standards in cooperation with the Venice Commission, and to comply with those standards in practice in order to guarantee free and democratic presidential elections in 2012 with equal opportunities for opposition candidates.

 
  
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  Sebastian Valentin Bodu (PPE), in writing. (RO) This year marks 20 years since the disintegration of the USSR, an event which redrew the geopolitical map of the whole European continent. At present, we are faced with clear interdependence between Russia and the EU, both politically and economically, at a time when enhanced cooperation and good neighbourly relations between the EU and Russia are considerably important to Europe’s stability, security, prosperity and so on. The EU remains committed to deepening and developing relations with Russia, based, however, on a strong attachment to democratic principles. In order to develop a special relationship with the Russian Federation, a strategic partnership agreement clearly needs to be signed between both parties.

The EU and Russia must take advantage of the forthcoming summit to give new impetus to a comprehensive partnership and cooperation agreement, covering political, economic and social aspects and including every aspect relating to democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. The EU needs to demonstrate strong internal solidarity when negotiating an agreement with Russia, at a time when the security of the entire EU’s energy supply depends on this.

 
  
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  John Bufton (EFD), in writing. – Whilst I support democracy and human rights, I feel the EU has no right to lecture other countries on democracy, as it has an unelected president, ignores referendum results that displease it and appoints unelected prime ministers. I do however, feel the accusations of vote rigging in Russia are serious, and would like to see these allegations investigated by a third party.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Russia is one of the European Union’s most important partners in the development of strategic cooperation and shares not only economic and commercial interests, but also the objective of cooperating closely at the international level. The EU and Russia must make the most of the opportunity of the forthcoming summit to accelerate the negotiations for a new partnership and cooperation agreement. I would like to see a greater effort made to advance the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation, because I believe that modernisation will encourage reforms, provide a new impulse to the EU-Russia relationship, and develop mutually advantageous cooperation in the areas of trade, the economy and energy security, while simultaneously contributing to global economic recovery.

 
  
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  Derek Roland Clark and Nigel Farage (EFD), in writing. – UKIP supports democracy and human rights. However, we feel the EU has no right to lecture other countries on democracy, as it has an unelected president, ignores referendum results that displease it and appoints unelected prime ministers. We do however, feel the accusations of vote rigging in Russia are serious, and would like to see these allegations investigated by a third party.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) The democratisation of political life in Russia is a major issue to which the EU attaches paramount importance. We are certainly interested in who is in charge in Moscow and in what legitimacy and popular support they have.

In the wake of the elections, a section of civil society is casting doubt on the integrity of the elections and is displaying its discontent on the streets. It is important that the government in Moscow clearly addresses their grievances. There is no justification for attempting to make the West the scapegoat for these demonstrations.

The efforts of Russian citizens in moving towards democracy are good news and must be supported. It is also in Russia’s interest to carry out such a process because it will encourage the expansion of bilateral relations. The EU is showing an open attitude to Moscow, respecting its commitments, and expects the Russian side to do likewise.

Russia is an important country, has its place in the architecture of European security and is a significant economic partner for the EU. I hope that the steps taken by the EU will not meet the stereotypical responses which hark back directly to the Cold War years.

We want a partner that we can rely on, one with which we can collaborate in the long term, without ideological or any other kind of constraints. We want a democratic Russia, a Russia of civil rights and freedoms.

 
  
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  George Sabin Cutaş (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament on the EU-Russia Summit. I think that the European Union’s economic and trade relations with Russia are interdependent. It is in our interest to adopt an open attitude to a partner with quite considerable clout in terms of trade relations, being number three behind the United States and China. Russia is an important emerging market which needs Western technology, while the EU, for its part, needs resources and the Russian market.

Let us not forget cooperation in the energy sector, which must be a central plank in the negotiations between both partners. The European Union is the largest consumer of Russian energy, while Russia is the largest energy supplier to the European Union. This interdependence does not justify the Russian Federation arbitrarily cutting off the energy supply. This is why we must have definite assurances from Russia that situations like this will stop recurring.

 
  
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  Marielle De Sarnez (ALDE), in writing.(FR) We call upon Russia to hold new, free and fair elections. Indeed, the initial findings of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) show that the legislative elections held on 4 December were marred by numerous irregularities, including ballot stuffing, manifest media bias, and the repeated intimidation of representatives of civil society. For the first time, the Russian people have decided to express their widespread dissatisfaction with the stranglehold that Vladimir Putin and his political party have had over the country for more than 10 years. The legitimate democratic aspirations of the Russians are to be welcomed and supported by the European Union.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this resolution because it supports the position that the relationship between the EU and Russia must take into account not only economic and energy issues, but also respect for, and the promotion of, democracy and human rights. I believe that new, free and fair elections are required in Russia, that all allegations of fraud should be investigated, and that those judged to be responsible should be punished.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) As I have said before, the path that Russia has followed towards pluralist liberal democracy has not always been smooth, but the progress it has made since the time of the Iron Curtain is undeniable. Nonetheless, it is pointless to deny that there is still a long way to go. The evidence is clear that the European Union and the Russian Federation not only share a historical, cultural and religious heritage, but also common interests and challenges that justify a closer relationship at many different levels. The summit of 15 December could be one more opportunity to follow this path.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) In December 2011, Russia will finally be admitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This situation strengthens a market economy. It will open up the largest economy until then outside the WTO, boost trade and combat bad practices, such as corruption. As we are Russia’s largest trading partner, an EU-Russia partnership is clearly very important for both communities. Therefore, the EU-Russia Summit beginning tomorrow must be an opportune moment for establishing a wide platform of understanding at several levels: political and humanitarian, as well as commercial. Issues such as energy problems, terrorism, Afghanistan and Iran, corruption, respect for human rights and the establishment of democracy must assume a prominent position at this summit. The holding of free and fair elections is fundamental, without opponents being persecuted or the media failing to provide impartial coverage. I voted in favour of this joint motion for a resolution because, despite believing this effort is essential, I think that Russia has to prove that it is prepared to accept the rules of democracy and respect human rights.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The EU powers are greatly tempted to advance and dominate Russia economically. This can be seen, once again, with this resolution. The Russian market and its natural resources are not only attractive, but also necessary to them.

Every political, economic and diplomatic tool has been used: from enlargement of the EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation up to Russia’s borders to economic and political pressure, including interference. Capitalist Russia, which inherited the achievements and gains of socialism, has transformed into a global economic power with its own interests, leading inevitably to conflicts between empires.

As the conflicting interests between capitalist powers come into confrontation, the EU reiterates that the ‘supply of natural resources must not be used as a political tool’. After all, its energy dependency is well known. It also welcomes the completion of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation and its agenda of global free trade. The fact that it highlights electoral fraud is not so much for genuine democratic concerns as to facilitate political changes favourable to its own interests, as it did in other countries of Eastern Europe.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing. (IT) I take great satisfaction in welcoming this resolution on Russia. I consider that it is fundamentally important to continue the partnership in the energy and political fields, especially in the light of the current global situation. Moreover, we must make a decisive effort to achieve the mutual liberalisation of entry visas, bearing in mind, amongst other things, the stream of Russian tourists visiting the Union every year. The recent elections have shown that certain past habits have not entirely disappeared. Paradoxically, this situation is primarily harming the majority United Russia party. Its victory in the elections was in any case predictable, though perhaps with a lower share. We have heard talk of a Russian spring, often from the same people who once sang the praises of Soviet ideology, the consequences of which the Russia of today is still suffering, as it has left strong traces in its structure and within its society. Perhaps it suits these people to misrepresent reality. Currently, there is, in fact, no real alternative for running the country and keeping it among the major global players. I condemn repression and all forms of violence. The right to free speech and the right to demonstrate are inalienable values. They are among the building blocks of the Europe that we all represent. However, I wonder why the reaction to the events in Russia was not the same as that to the recent events in the US concerning the street protests of the Occupy movement.

 
  
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  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This resolution persists in the ongoing attempt of the EU to dominate Russia economically. It is necessary to remember that, after fomenting the counter-revolution in the former Soviet Union, the EU and the United States judged the moment had arrived to subjugate capitalist Russia to its economic interests, in particular, its market and its natural resources. Thus, they have used every political, economic and diplomatic tool: open interference in its internal affairs, EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation enlargement up to Russia’s borders and economic pressure.

Capitalist Russia, the heir to the socialist achievements in the Soviet Union, transformed itself into a global economic power with its own interests, exacerbating tensions between the capitalist powers. As the conflicting interests of capitalist powers come into confrontation, the European Parliament has reiterated that the ‘supply of natural resources must not be used as a political tool’. The energy dependency of the EU is well known and, accordingly, Parliament welcomes the completion of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation and its agenda of global free trade. It highlights electoral fraud more to seize the opportunity to try to destabilise Russia than because of concerns about democracy. In practice, they intend to engineer political changes favourable to their interests, as happened in other countries in Eastern Europe.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Despite the serious and far-reaching consequences of the economic crisis, relations between the European Union and Russia have continued to evolve in recent decades. They are moving towards a complex economic integration and interdependence, and this can be expected to develop further in the future. The conclusion of a strategic partnership agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation is of key significance for the further development and intensification of cooperation between the two partners. For example, security of energy supplies is one of the greatest challenges for Europe, and one of the main areas of cooperation with Russia. Their joint effort should be directed towards the efficient use of energy and energy systems, and towards continuing the appropriate development of this effort. In another area, however, developments in the Russian Federation regarding the observance and protection of human rights and respect for commonly agreed democratic principles, rules and procedures are still a cause for concern. The Russian Federation, as a full member of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations, is committed to the principles of democracy and human rights. I take the view that it is important and necessary to respect these principles.

 
  
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  Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this resolution of the European Parliament on the next EU-Russia Summit of 15 December 2011 and on the results of the Russian legislative elections of 4 December 2011 in order to underline the importance that the Union attaches to compliance, by its strategic partners, with human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law. Russia is undeniably a key partner of the European Union with which we need to strengthen our cooperation in the energy sector while combating climate change, our trade and our negotiations for the resolution of conflicts throughout the world and closer to home. However, in accordance with our principles and values, but also for the security and stability of our neighbourhood, the EU’s stance towards the violations, by Russia, of the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights, the irregularities reported during the latest elections and the ensuing crackdown on demonstrators, must be strong, particularly with regard to conditionalities, in the framework of a possible acceleration of the pace of negotiations on a new partnership and cooperation agreement.

 
  
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  Sandra Kalniete (PPE), in writing. – I support this motion because freedom and democracy in Russia are in the interest of Europe, its neighbourhood and Russia itself. Russia remains one of the EU’s most important partners and has veto power in the UN Security Council. As such, challenges on an international level, in particular, with regard to Syria and Iran, cannot be solved without a coordinated approach. As a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE, Russia has committed itself to the principles of democracy and fundamental rights. Europe must express its strong concerns regarding disrespect for these principles in Russia.

Election violations, treatment of peaceful protestors and the case of Sergei Magnitsky are some of the many vivid examples of Russia’s transgressions. Numerous irregularities in the recent elections reconfirm the need for Russia to comply with election standards set by the Council of Europe and the OSCE. Finally, Russia must work to resolve the so called ‘frozen conflicts’, including fulfilling its obligations in the ceasefire agreement with Georgia.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE), in writing. – I voted in favour of this resolution. The EU has now to deliver a clear message on the occasion of the EU-Russia Summit that continuing violations of rule of law and massive rigging of elections are not acceptable in any circumstances. The point is not just to express traditional toothless concerns but to make it clear that the time for giving Russian rulers the benefit of the doubt have passed. The great majority of Russian people do not support the present regime; Mr Putin’s party has become a minority party. Such a situation will present a serious obstacle to the EU-Russia Partnership Agreement. Obviously, the EU cannot complete the agreement while the Russian Government is breaking international agreements with the Council of Europe and the OSCE, and is selectively implementing the Energy Charter Treaty. Mr Putin’s Russia has not proved to be a reliable partner with which the EU can be sure to stand on common ground. Instead, the EU needs to demonstrate solidarity with the Russian people and support their demands for fair elections and the rule of law. I support the opposition’s call for new elections, and introducing the EU-wide ban on travelling and freezing of bank accounts for those Russian officials who have been involved in the Magnitsky case and in the rigging of the elections.

 
  
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  Jacek Olgierd Kurski (ECR), in writing. – This month will mark the twentieth anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Two decades later, the Russian people have yet to complete the transition to an open society and a market economy. Nevertheless, there are many brave Russian citizens who demonstrate for an open and democratic Russia. In this context, I call upon colleagues to support measures to foster people-to-people links and the consolidation of trade and good neighbourly relations between Russian and EU citizens – and by that I mean all EU citizens, and not merely those living in border regions, most notably those in regions adjacent to the Kaliningrad oblast. The passing of such measures would be undoubtedly the most effective means by which we can demonstrate concrete support for an open and democratic Russia. Let then our deeds match our words and let us make Kaliningrad a beacon of hope and a shining example of EU-Russian cooperation.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution, which welcomes the demonstrations in Russia as an expression of the will of the Russian people for more democracy; condemns the crackdown by the police on peaceful demonstrations protesting about election irregularities and fraud reported by international observers; urges the Russian authorities to respect freedom of assembly and expression, to leave peaceful demonstrators unharmed and to release immediately and unconditionally all peaceful demonstrators that have been arrested in the context of the elections; calls for an immediate and full investigation of all reports of fraud and intimidation, and penalties for those found responsible, and hopes that President Medvedev’s order to investigate this proves substantial and transparent.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This aggressive text mentions real problems and issues that raise serious questions as regards the situation in Russia. However, it uses this as a pretext for aggressive propaganda against a backdrop of inter-imperialist competition in order to gain control of raw energy materials. This resolution would be better off entitled the ‘anti-Gazprom resolution’. At least that would be clear.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) Russia continues to be one of the European Union’s most important partners in the development of strategic cooperation and shares not only economic and commercial interests, but also the objective of cooperating closely at the international level. Therefore, this summit is an opportunity for accelerating negotiations on a new partnership and cooperation agreement, with a view to achieving a legally binding, broad agreement that covers political, economic and social issues and that includes all aspects of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Democracy and human rights must be an integral part of the agreement with regard, in particular, to the drafting and inclusion of an effective, operational clause on human rights.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Russia is one of the EU’s most important partners in many regards. The numerous political and economic agreements that have been signed with our Russian neighbour are proof that the EU considers it to be a key partner on the international stage. Twenty years ago, the totalitarian regimes of Central and Eastern Europe collapsed. That was a major victory for democracy. Today, however, we are faced with a worrying situation. The last legislative elections were widely criticised for failing to respect proper procedures and ensure the transparency of the results. Respect for democracy is also based on establishing elections that are worthy of the name, freedom of expression, a free political opposition, and freedom of association and demonstration. It is now up to Russia to prove to its long-standing European partner that it is committed to becoming a state of law that is worthy of the name.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) The people of Russia want the right to cast their vote freely in fair elections and feel that they themselves are deciding their country’s future. The European Union wants to develop a strategic partnership with a safe and stable country that respects fundamental rights and freedoms and the sovereignty of its neighbours. We ourselves have to recognise that, in its relations with the EU, Russia is moving forward selectively – things that help economic development are accepted, whereas concern over democracy and human rights violations are simply rejected. We can seek Russia’s friendship but how far are we ready to go to get it? It is hard to imagine the lifting of visa requirements with a country whose state structures protect people who are guilty of crimes against humanity, such as the case of Mikhail Golovatov, while Russia refuses to cooperate in such categories of cases as 13 January and the Medininkai killings, while there is a lack of substantial progress in the case of Sergei Magnitsky and while Mikhail Khodorkovsky is imprisoned. The stirrings of the people of Russia following the State Duma elections are not just a signal to the Tandemocracy in Russia but also to us, showing that civil society in the country is alive, that people know their rights and are ready to demand them. We cannot disappoint the democratically minded part of Russian society.

 
  
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  Kristiina Ojuland (ALDE), in writing. – I am extremely glad that the European Parliament adopted this resolution ahead of the EU-Russia Summit this week. The resolution shows that as Europeans, we will not turn a blind eye when serious human and civil rights violations have taken place. The ballot stuffing and vote rigging in the recent Russian State Duma elections have made the legitimacy of the new composition of the Duma questionable. By adopting this resolution, we sent a clear signal to the Kremlin that we cannot continue with business as usual and the partnership with Russia must be seriously reviewed. If our counterpart does not follow the same principles and values of freedom and justice, then we should first concentrate on solving this problem rather than moving forward to talking about a strategic partnership with the Russian authorities.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) The EU and Russia are dependent on each other both economically and politically. Russia is one of the EU’s most important partners. Consequently, I believe that we should speed up the negotiations on a new partnership and cooperation agreement. It should cover political, economic, social and security issues in detail. Particular attention should also be paid to strengthening partnership in the field of energy in order to ensure security of energy supply. Russia’s WTO accession, which will create a favourable environment for business operators from both parties and will help liberalise trade in the global economy, is to be welcomed.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) The motion for a resolution on the EU-Russia Summit that has been adopted by Parliament looks forward to a summit of historical importance, because it will take place in conjunction with Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation. My position in this respect is wholly in favour, as this new opening will favour both internal development within Russia and the bilateral relations with the EU that will arise from it. The more favourable climate that will be brought about in relations, with the expansion of markets, the opening up to transport, short-stay visa liberalisation, and specific agreements on local traffic across the EU-Russia border, will undoubtedly be positive and profitable for all parties, and will, above all, reinforce foreign and security policy.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of this joint motion for a resolution on the grounds that the principle of good neighbourly relations between the EU and Russia is fundamental for stability, security and prosperity both inside and outside Europe.

 
  
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  Pavel Poc (S&D), in writing. (CS) I am not aware that the European Parliament became intensively involved in the uncertainties surrounding the US presidential elections in 2000. I am not aware that the European Parliament questioned the result of the 2006 elections in the Czech Republic, achieved through the misuse of police operations. The European Union should be a beacon of democracy. Who else can do this in today’s world? I, too, would like the EU to provide support to everyone who is fighting for truth and democracy worldwide. Before we start being such a beacon, however, we should learn to adopt a fair approach vis-à-vis the politics of other countries. If our motive is the favour shown by a political regime for the economic interests of the Member States, we should not venture into the business of mentoring. This applies to election processes as much as it does, for example, to the death penalty, where we also have a different approach depending on the country in which it is applied. Today, we awarded the Sakharov Prize to the Arab Spring. The award should perhaps be accompanied by an exhibition of photographs of leading European politicians embracing Gaddafi and other leaders overthrown in the Arab Spring. I did not vote in favour of the resolution on the EU-Russia Summit concerning the Russian parliamentary elections. According to my convictions and my conscience, I had no right to do this. That is, I confess, something that I regret.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Relations between the EU and Russia are wide ranging: aside from having, at least partially, the same cultural baggage, they have a past that is, in good measure, shared (despite, at times, there being an air of latent conflict). On the other hand, some of the states that belonged to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, of which the Russian Federation was the primary republic, are today Member States of the EU. It can also be seen that these two regions are privileged economic partners, particularly in the energy sector, and that Russia, beyond the links it has with Europe, is, above all, one of the great world powers. All of these elements must be present in the forthcoming EU-Russia Summit, and the EU’s action there should be marked by the following conditions: as an economic partner, the EU must enhance the relationship between the two regions, and as a political partner, or neighbouring political region, it must act in support of fair, democratic elections and the rule of law based on the primacy of the individual. These points are included in the tabled resolution and so I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) Parliament is right to call for an immediate investigation of all reports of fraud and intimidation in the Russian elections held on 4 December, and welcomes the recent demonstrations as an expression of the will of the people.

The running of the election showed that Russia does not meet election standards as defined by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). I should like to express my deep concern at the preliminary findings of the OSCE report on procedural violations such as fraud, lack of media impartiality, harassment of independent monitors, and lack of separation between party and State.

The registration process led to the exclusion of several opposition parties and has seriously undermined freedom of association, political competition and pluralism from the outset. I therefore call on the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to raise the issue at the upcoming EU-Russia Summit on 15 December.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – (DE) I voted in favour. As Werner Schulz declared: ‘Parliament has today adopted the motion tabled by the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance and in its resolution it has expressed its support for new elections to be held in Russia. In this way, we MEPs are showing solidarity and support for the demonstrators on the streets of Moscow and other cities. Ten thousand people protested against the manipulation of the elections. They feel deceived and that their dignity has been violated. They do not want a revolution. They want fair elections and real opposition parties to be permitted. Even Mikhail Gorbachev, who, up to now, has been restrained in his criticism of Mr Putin, is calling for these elections to be annulled and for new ones to be held. We must support this democracy movement and not just sit back and watch. The courage and lack of fear of these people point to a new era. The forthcoming EU-Russia Summit must communicate our message clearly’.

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing. (FR) Reports and conclusions by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) highlight the presence of fraud in the Russian legislative elections of 4 December 2011, as well as procedural violations, a lack of media impartiality, harassment of independent monitors, and the lack of separation between the United Russia party and the State. I voted in favour of this resolution, which calls for new elections to be held in areas where fraud was committed. The recent demonstrations in Russia show the people’s desire to strengthen their democracy, and we must support those aspirations. The police crackdown on peaceful demonstrations is unacceptable. Like the NGOs, I am concerned about the human rights situation and the absence of the rule of law and an independent judiciary. All these questions absolutely must be raised at the EU-Russia Summit this weekend.

 
  
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  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE), in writing. (PL) This is the 26th summit between the European Union and Russia. It is therefore worth asking some questions. What steps should be taken to strengthen our cooperation? Which of the social, political and economic values of which Europe is proud should our representatives take up during talks with Russia? The end of Russia’s negotiations on accession to the World Trade Organisation and the stepping up of activities aimed at the gradual abolition of the visa regime, which would facilitate the mobility of our citizens and develop trade between the EU and Russia, set an optimistic tone. These are signs which allow us to look to the future of economic relations with hope.

However, there are still a number of areas in which there is much to be done. The first is energy and our right to build a competitive energy supply system. An effective European policy on energy issues depends on our taking a joint, unified stance, the position from which we should start any negotiations with our partners from outside the continent and the implementation of the provisions of the new energy programme. The issues of free democratic elections and citizens’ rights to freedom of expression are further important topics that must be taken into account during the summit with Russia, with reference to the concerns regarding the recent elections to the Duma and the public reaction that they provoked.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The second EU-Russia Summit of the year will be held in Brussels tomorrow, 15 December. Important results are expected, above all, by virtue of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which will take place at the same time. This will result, among other things, in the resolution of certain bilateral issues, such as Siberian overflight payments, but more generally, it should encourage a more favourable climate for relations.

In principle, negotiations could be resumed on a new bilateral agreement, in particular, as regards trade regulations. The other important expected outcome is the adoption of the ‘Common Steps’ towards a possible liberalisation of short-stay visas. Essentially, this is a series of measures that reproduce the terms set out in the road maps and action plans adopted for the Balkan and Eastern Europe countries.

In my opinion, we must unreservedly welcome the conclusion of negotiations on the Common Steps: the prospect of future visa liberalisation, encouraging contacts between our peoples, should, in fact, contribute to the modernisation of the country.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The year 2011 is a symbolic year as it marks 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of countries from the dictatorial Communist regime. Over these 20 years, several steps have been taken by both the Russian Federation and EU towards real cooperation. However, the strategic partnership agreement with Russia has not yet been achieved, although it is of the utmost importance given that Russia is a key partner in cooperation at international level. The geostrategic situation of the Russian Federation and cooperation within its regional space are crucial to stability and global security. Nevertheless, the way in which this agreement is implemented should ensure that human rights, the freedom of the press and democratic pluralism are fully respected. The reports of the latest developments in the elections of 4 December must not be repeated in a country that has a seat in the main international organisations. These questions must be tabled at the next summit. Despite the importance of this strategic partner, particularly in terms of energy supply, the EU must speak with one voice, and must not forget its basic principles, which it imposes on other partners.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution on the EU-Russia Summit to be held on 15 December 2011 because enhanced cooperation and good neighbourly relations between the EU and Russia are considerably important to Europe’s stability, security and prosperity. The signing of a strategic partnership agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation is of paramount importance to the development of a genuine strategic partnership.

Energy supply security is one of the biggest challenges facing the EU and one of the main areas of cooperation between the EU and Russia. I should stress the importance of cooperation in the energy sector as it offers an opportunity for deepening economic and trade cooperation on an open, transparent market, taking into account the EU policy on diversification of transport channels and energy suppliers. The principle of transparency must form the basis for this cooperation, together with equal access to markets, infrastructure and investment, as well as a compulsory legal framework guaranteeing the regular, reliable supply of energy to all EU Member States, based on equal standards. We call on the Council and Commission to ensure that the principles of the Energy Charter Treaty and the Transit Protocol annexed to it are included in a new partnership agreement between the EU and Russia.

 
  
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  Inese Vaidere (PPE), in writing. (LV) I am pleased that this resolution, recalling that Russia is a permanent member of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the UN Security Council, and has therefore committed itself to respect and implement democratic principles, has been adopted. Following repeated criticism from the OSCE and EU institutions of the critical human rights situation in that country, of the electoral law and politically motivated court decisions, the European Court of Human Rights this year voiced criticism of the cumbersome procedure for the registration of political parties in Russia. For all that, the elections to the Russian State Duma on 4 December and the oppressive response of the authorities to the subsequent widespread popular protests again highlighted the severe situation with regard to democracy and human rights in Russia, as evidenced by the reports of widespread violations from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. This European Parliament resolution voices a clear and condemnatory signal to the leaders of Russia, hence I supported it.

However, I do not agree that the process of implementing visa-free arrangements with Russia should be welcomed and continued. Firstly, the situation with democracy and human rights in Russia does not meet the standards of a democratic state and the criteria for visa-free arrangements. Secondly, the number of Russian citizens entering the EU is three times greater than the number of EU citizens travelling to Russia, where they are confronted with various administrative and travel restrictions. Thirdly, the results of the visa facilitation regime and its contribution to the dynamics of EU-Russia relations have not yet been evaluated. Any discussion of visa-free arrangements between the EU and Russia is therefore premature.

 
  
  

Report: Mário David, Marek Siwiec (A7-0400/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report because it values the principles of territorial cooperation that are also applicable to external borders, which are fundamental to improving the economic development in the EU, as well as to the general objectives of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), one of which is the promotion of democracy. These goals can only be achieved with the collaboration of civil society and local and regional authorities, in order to find practical ways of meeting the needs of citizens in this area and taking into account the diversity of territorial situations in countries covered by the ENP, while also promoting the principles of subsidiarity and multilevel governance. I would call attention to the importance of ensuring that the outermost regions of the Union participate more actively, as they are active borders with third countries, as well as regions enjoying privileged cultural and historical links with Africa, North America and South America, for instance.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE), in writing. – I voted in favour of the resolution on European Neighbourhood Policy. Its main objective is the absolute necessity of advocating our fundamental values in relations with our neighbouring countries. A new strategy with regard to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), aimed at empowering citizens, people and their organisations, as well as the regional and local authorities, will be put into practice by the EU, adapted to the socio-economic and political realities of each of the EU’s neighbouring countries. I agree with the rapporteur that it is essential to defend a bottom-up approach, stronger conditionality and stronger differentiation of this policy, ensuring a better targeted assistance to each EU neighbouring country and guaranteeing that funding matches political ambition. The EU should increase its support for institution building, civil society and the will to start democratisation processes, supporting organised movements striving for positive democratic changes in their countries: in advancing women’s and children’s rights – in particular, the civic and political participation of women, building and deepening the democratic principles of freedom, fair elections and the rule of law. The immediate economic assistance in order to foster socio-economic changes, which are preconditions for long-term stabilisation and prosperity, is also necessary.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) In promoting the so-called European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), euro-unifying capital is trying to utilise the new situation that has arisen, especially following developments in North Africa, to stabilise and strengthen its imperialist policy and position in the wider neighbourhood of the EU Member States, both in the Southeast Mediterranean and in North Africa and to the east. The EU is funding political parties, NGOs, ‘activists’ and ‘unofficial parties and organisations’ in its neighbouring countries, so that it can use them as the long arm of imperialist ambition and intervention in all third countries in the area. On the pretext of promoting imperialist ‘democracy’, the EU is preparing the ground for the charge of monopoly groups and the conquest of new positions and markets. The EU strategy to promote the interests of the European monopolies is spearheaded by free trade agreements, which leave nothing standing in these countries, with painful consequences for the people. In order to fund its imperialist action, the EU is creating a ‘European Foundation for Democracy’ and a ‘Civil Society Facility’. The EU and its imperialist policy are dangerous and hostile to the people.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this report because I believe that the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy creates an opportunity for the EU to meet its objectives and to acknowledge the mistakes of EU and Member States’ policy with regard, in particular, to the complacent approach towards the former tyrannies of the southern neighbourhood. It is fundamental to stress that the ENP is based on shared values such as democracy, the rule of law, the fight against corruption and good governance. We must consider that it is in the highest interest of the EU to be ambitious in economic cooperation to support the defence of human rights. I also agree on the necessity to improve the role of the European Parliament and to insist on the need to systematically include civil society organisations at all stages of the review process.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). In May 2011, the European External Action Service and the European Commission announced a new ambitious ENP. The proposal presented sets out the main priorities and directions of the renewed ENP strategy – it is aimed at strengthening individual and regional relations between the EU and the countries in its neighbourhood, allocating more funds to implementing broader reforms and increasing mutual accountability. I welcome the proposal to establish a new European Neighbourhood Instrument and to increase funding for the ENP. I agree with the European Parliament’s position that it is important to reinforce the energy cooperation dimension of the ENP. We must guarantee security of energy supply through the diversification of sources and demand management, take effective measures to ensure that the principle of solidarity is applied in the field of energy, and encourage the construction, upgrading and development of smart energy networks and infrastructure interconnections with EU neighbours. The strengthening of the Eastern Partnership will be central to the development of EU border regions.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR), in writing. (PL) In the face of the democratic changes taking place in the countries neighbouring us to the south, and taking into account the aspirations of eastern countries, I welcome the new draft strategy for the European Neighbourhood Policy. The European path for the development of our partners and their commitment to democratisation must have our active and full support. Sustainable economic and social development and the formation and activities of open, democratic political parties and non-governmental organisations also consolidate relations with Brussels and help these countries flourish. Accelerating reform is possible through association agreements, which is why it is so important to conduct negotiations smoothly and quickly. The implementation of this policy must be based on respect for the equality of all partner countries. Another issue of great importance is that of respect for human rights. The need for specific action for the democratisation of Belarus should also be stressed.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) Several parts of the report on neighbourhood policy stress that we should facilitate immigration from countries bordering the Member States. According to the rapporteurs, we must improve conditions for the entry of legal migrants into Europe and facilitate immigration itself by concluding mobility partnerships which take proper account of the demographic, social and occupational situation in both the country of origin and the country of destination.

Moreover, we should view immigration as an opportunity, and not so much in terms of its possible repercussions on security. We therefore ought to facilitate entry visa liberalisation with a view to moving towards freedom of movement, acting in any case so as to make the issue of visas as easy as possible.

The basic principle, namely, that immigration must be seen as an opportunity, regardless of the repercussions on security and the socio-economic fabric of our countries, is one that I cannot agree with. I am also opposed to the basic policy proposed by the report, which aims to facilitate the issue of visas and entry procedures into Europe for immigrants from bordering and neighbour countries. I am therefore voting against the report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I support its position that the road map on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy drawn up by the European Commission is going in the right direction. The European Parliament’s report in particular adheres to the principle of ‘more for more’ and ‘less for less’ proposed by the Commission, which means closer cooperation with the European Union for those neighbouring countries that successfully and actively implement democratic reforms in their countries, and the opposite, the cooling of relations with the EU, for countries that refuse to implement or delay the implementation of the reforms mentioned. As a general provision, I also support the idea that this tool for the exertion of diplomatic pressure is appropriate for encouraging the development of democratic processes in neighbouring countries, but we must act very carefully to ensure that such measures do not harm ordinary citizens in these countries. Indeed, I believe that any assistance and measures focused on strengthening civil society in these countries and, at the same time, putting pressure on the leadership of undemocratic regimes will enable us to achieve the best results by strengthening democracy in neighbouring countries.

 
  
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  Sebastian Valentin Bodu (PPE), in writing. (RO) It is of significant interest to the EU to demonstrate its ambition and pragmatism in economic cooperation as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy, as well as to adopt a mutually beneficial, responsible and flexible strategy. The EU is a living organism that learns from its own failures and mistakes. This is why the European Neighbourhood Policy must obviously be based mainly on values, in other words, on zero tolerance of authoritarian regimes in the southern neighbourhood. We need to move beyond security and immigration control when it comes to non-EU states located on the other side of the Mediterranean and add an important cooperation element to the neighbourhood policy which gives priority to democracy and prosperity.

The states neighbouring the EU have recently been faced with political and social challenges, on top of the economic ones. Apart from the humanitarian objectives, there is a pragmatic objective to help these states to reduce unemployment rates and offer some hope for the future to the population living in the states neighbouring the EU. The EU must foster the European aspirations of some of its non-EU partners and galvanise their commitment to build lasting democracy. To be able to encourage them, a prompt review of the European Neighbourhood Policy is required.

 
  
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  Vito Bonsignore (PPE), in writing. (IT) I congratulate the rapporteurs who jointly produced this important piece of work, for which I voted in favour. The European Union must focus its efforts in relation to neighbourhood policy on an ongoing and attentive dialogue aimed at promoting universal values such as the rule of law, democracy, good governance and human dignity, according to the principles of conditionality and specificity, inasmuch as not all the processes are equal and must be treated differently according to the country concerned.

In particular, for the countries of the Southern Mediterranean, Europe must, in this period of transition, act as a credible interlocutor and as a guarantor of democracy and peace through its support for civil society. Involving young people and women in this process is therefore essential, as they have significant potential for the development of these societies.

Democratic changes must be vigorously supported by promoting cooperation and integration of the countries of these regions, with a view to removing the current obstacles, such as those impeding the free movement of people and goods. Europe must serve as an example, now and in the future, for thousands of young people who are waiting for concrete answers.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. (CS) I welcome the joint communications of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on a new response to a changing neighbourhood. At the same time, I recognise the European aspirations and European choice of certain partners and their determination to build a strong and sustainable democracy, and I would like to emphasise in this context that it is essential to establish new relations between the EU and the countries of the Eastern Partnership and to support their activities for strengthening sustainable democracy and a market economy. I firmly believe that the countries of the neighbourhood should be provided with tangible and compelling incentives to engage in the interest of a common objective in building a stable democracy, and I also believe that differentiation based on political, economic and social factors, and on performance and the results of individual countries, should be based on clearly defined criteria and measurable standards for individual partner countries, which should be regularly monitored. I would like to call on the Commission and the European External Action Service to consider the standards referred to in the joint communication as objectives that ought to be achieved.

 
  
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  Cristian Silviu Buşoi (ALDE), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report, with the view that the strategic review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) should reflect a strong political commitment from all the partners to common values and principles such as democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and good governance.

I firmly believe that this process will give new impetus to this policy and will improve the EU’s relations further with its neighbouring countries. I also think that we need to recognise the European aspirations of partners who have made the commitment to build lasting democracy and ensure a permanent dialogue aimed at encouraging all the reforms which have been initiated, obviously taking into account the level of economic development and specific features of each partner country. Last but not least, I think that the ENP must continue to be reviewed in line with the progress made by these countries and according to certain issues of common interest.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the review of European Neighbourhood Policy, the principal objectives of which are the consolidation of security, democratic stability and wellbeing in the countries bordering the EU. I believe that this review will bring the EU and its neighbours closer together and that the European Neighbourhood Policy will be able to become fairer and more efficient. The EU needs to increase its support for development, for institution building, for civil society and for the processes of democratisation, especially in relation to the participation of women and socio-economic development.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the excellent report by my fellow Members, Mr David and Mr Siwiec, because I agree entirely with the idea that relations with neighbouring countries cannot continue to be centred essentially on security and migration control. It is vital to give equal priority to issues relating to the defence of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and wellbeing.

The negotiation of association agreements provides the ideal opportunity to help drive forward the necessary reforms, whereby agreement will have to be reached on the concrete conditions, timetables and performance benchmarks, but it should be made clear that cooperation between these countries and the Union will be directly subordinate to real democratic progress and respect for human rights in those countries. Migratory issues between the Union and its neighbouring countries cannot be reduced to the security priorities of the EU. It is essential to improve the management and maximise the mutual benefits of migration for development, providing new ways and better conditions for the establishment of legal migrants in the EU and taking account of the demographic, sociological and professional balance on both sides, while at the same time combating the root causes of irregular migration in third countries, and taking judicial action against organisations involved in human trafficking.

 
  
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  Lara Comi (PPE), in writing. (IT) This report deals splendidly with all the most important issues of democracy and the rule of law with regard to immigration, above all, as far as the reduction of poverty is concerned. To this end, I call upon everyone to realise that it is now more essential than ever to consolidate relations between the European Union and our neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean and in Eastern Europe. This new approach is in line with the reforms undertaken by our partners and, at the same time, offers us the opportunity to share our democratic values, which are bound up in the rule of law and good governance. I should like nevertheless to highlight that the values we transmit and the changes themselves must aim to fully satisfy the specific needs of individuals who have had the courage to stand up to oppression, without seeming intrusive, however. I voted in favour for these reasons.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) As part of the European Neighbourhood Policy, development cooperation objectives, especially the eradication of poverty, need to play an increasingly important role in ensuring the stability of these regions exerting a major impact on the European Union. The efforts aimed at establishing democracy are directly conditional upon improving citizens’ living conditions, creating a strong civil society, guaranteeing press freedom and strengthening democratic institutions.

Against the backdrop of the economic crisis, there is the risk that intensive migration from the southern and eastern neighbourhoods to the EU will contribute to internal tension, as happened in the case of the refugee crisis on the island of Lampedusa. We must draw the necessary conclusions from this situation to adapt the relevant EU policies, so as to avoid turning this into a precedent.

There is a strong link between migration and the development of partner countries in the south and east. In this regard, I believe that we can turn migration into a platform for dialogue and cooperation.

Last but not least, I must highlight the need to step up cooperation with our eastern partners to avoid the risk of neglecting this aspect of the neighbourhood policy.

The controversial elections which took place on Sunday in Transnistria remind us that this unresolved conflict, right on the EU’s doorstep, is still a major risk factor for European stability.

 
  
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  George Sabin Cutaş (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the report on the neighbourhood policy review because I felt that the new approach proposed by the European Commission, whereby the European Union is going to provide more support to those states implementing significant democratic reforms, is a positive one. I also support reference criteria being established for analysing the situation in each neighbouring state regarding the implementation of democratic reforms, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

 
  
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  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D), in writing. (RO) One important aspect of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is promoting relations with civil society in third countries. At the same time, I think that it will be beneficial that common projects can be devised and implemented in the states benefiting from the ENP, with the involvement of relevant employer organisations, farmers and women, as well as consumer protection associations, to make them aware of their rights in their respective countries. The European Union already implements programmes which have young people and teachers participating from universities in the states included in the ENP. These programmes must also allow, in the future, cooperation in various areas for training the qualified staff needed to ensure the changeover between the generations.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) In the first place, I would like to thank my co-rapporteur and friend, Mr Siwiec, for his magnificent work on the eastern dimension of our report. I would also add a word of appreciation for the shadow rapporteurs and for all my colleagues for their splendid suggestions, which I believe to have considerably enriched this work. I would also like to praise the excellent work by the secretariat of the Committee on Development and its political advisors. I would also thank the fantastic and constant collaboration that we have had with Baroness Ashton and Commissioner Füle. With this report, we are seeking to ensure that in future, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is based on greater closeness with our neighbours, taking a bottom-up approach with tailor-made policies for each country. This means a focus on stronger differentiation and greater conditionality, and ‘more for more’ or ‘less for less’ in defending the universal values that we share, without trying to impose a set model or formula. It is with enormous satisfaction that I see that the ENP is now based on the pursuit of our common values, and on a commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law and good governance. Now is the time to act, and I hope that action will be taken without delay, for tomorrow will be too late!

 
  
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  Ioan Enciu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report because respect for and the promotion of democracy and human rights are fundamental principles and aims of the EU, which must be common values at the heart of the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The EU has a significant interest in demonstrating its ambition in economic cooperation and in adopting a beneficial, responsible and flexible strategy, based on supporting democratic transitions and protecting human rights. I consider vital the request submitted to the Commission to continue developing the EU strategy for the Black Sea, given its importance as part of the EU’s external energy strategy, and because of its geostrategic role which gives it significant potential in terms of energy security and diversification of supply.

At the same time, I support the importance of cross-border cooperation in the Danube region, given this region’s status as Europe’s gateway to the Western Balkans, as well as the role of the EU strategy for the Danube region in improving neighbourly relations in Central and South-East Europe.

Last but not least, I believe that a well-devised Danube strategy provides an excellent means for the whole EU to develop political and economic cooperation in the Balkans and to help expand and consolidate the European integration process in the region.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report as it advocates a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) based on the promotion of democracy and human rights, in particular, the rights of women, in the struggle against corruption and in the promotion of sustainable development. The strengthening of the ENP must include the creation of a network of institutional agreements that is stable and dedicated to the development of greater economic integration and a political association between the EU and the parties concerned.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) I would like to thank my co-rapporteur, Mr David, for having taken up my suggestion, and, together with other Portuguese Members, for having tabled an amendment to the initial text of the resolution that reiterates Parliament’s support for the EU-Cape Verde Special Partnership, which has had such good results. Cape Verde is exemplary in terms of democracy and human rights, and despite its scarce resources, has brought about real improvements in the quality of life of its people. I can only be thrilled with this support and recall that it was the Parliament resolution on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) of 19 January 2005 that first recognised the uniqueness and historical, geographical and linguistic proximity of Cape Verde to the Union and promoted the adoption of European policies aimed at this country.

This vote of confidence is entirely justified, as is the recognition that the ENP must always endeavour to look further than the here and now if it wishes to have a correct vision of the geopolitical position of Europe. It also justifies the call for the EU to continue to strengthen dialogue and convergence with Cape Verde, and to support Cape Verde’s efforts at political, economic and social consolidation.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The report under consideration, drafted by my fellow Members, Mr David and Mr Siwiec, discusses the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and could not have come at a more opportune moment. Indeed, it comes at a crucial time, at the end of a year during which significant political changes have taken place in many neighbouring countries of the EU, in particular, in Eastern Europe and on the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, with the so-called Arab Spring. The objective of the ENP is to support the development of neighbouring countries without imposing set formulas. However, even as the EU provides financial support, it must continue to demand that these countries make certain commitments, such as respect for human rights and for the freedoms and guarantees of their citizens, the implementation of good governance and of the rule of law, combating corruption, ensuring respect for minorities, environmental protection, and so on. The EU must maintain its contact with neighbouring countries, as we need external borders that are secure yet open to democracy, tolerance and respect. I voted for this motion for a resolution as I strongly believe that this review of the ENP will definitely help the EU to ensure that its values are respected and its objectives achieved.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The objective of this European Neighbourhood Policy has been nothing other than the extension of the economic dominance of the European Union, and especially its big business. The funds that are said to be scarce or simply non-existent whenever the issue is promoting programmes and funds for combating various social problems contrast with the resources and political will that are present when it is a matter of promoting the liberalisation of investment or the control of natural resources and markets by big business in the major powers of the EU.

We are faced with policies aimed at achieving objectives that are quite different from promoting mutual respect and interests between countries. This policy takes on even more power and aggressiveness in times of a crisis of capitalist accumulation. This is why we now find that the majority in this House are promoting support for the development of political parties and the creation of non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations which facilitate and promote their interests. The pace and size of the colossal profits demanded by big business are becoming less and less compatible with the existence of leaders who are keen to defend the interests of their people.

 
  
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  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. – (PT) In a report that deals with neighbourliness, one is tempted to say that with neighbours like these, it would be better to move. However, as the geographical location of different countries does not afford this possibility, we will continue to speak out against a European Neighbourhood Policy whose central thrust is the expansion of the economic area of the EU. There are no funds for expanding the programmes or funds for social problems within the EU or beyond, but there are funds – and they are growing – for policies that are not aimed at promoting respect and mutual interests between countries, but are rather aimed at achieving the liberalisation of investment and the control of natural resources and markets by big business in the major EU powers. In times of a crisis of capitalist accumulation, such policies take on even greater power and aggressiveness.

This is why we have the majority in this House promoting support for the development of political parties and the creation of non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations which will clearly facilitate and promote their interests. The pace and size of the colossal profits that economic and financial groups are increasingly demanding are hardly compatible with leaders who might, even just a little, defend the interests of their peoples.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) There are 16 countries to the east and south of the EU whose future will have a direct and major impact on us. The events of other times draw attention to this fact even more clearly, emphasising the challenges we jointly face. The overthrow of long-entrenched repressive regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, the continuing military conflict in Libya, the recent crackdown in Syria, the continuing repression in Belarus and the unceasing and long-running conflicts in this region, including the Middle East, demand a reassessment of the EU’s relationship with its neighbours. We must also encourage the positive progress achieved by other neighbours, such as, for example, Moldova with its reforms, Ukraine in the talks on an association agreement, or Morocco and Jordan in their communications on constitutional reforms. The Lisbon Treaty gives the EU the opportunity to strengthen its foreign policy. Cooperation with neighbouring countries can now be expanded, thus covering a broader range of issues in a simpler and more effective way. This possibility was the main impulse for initiating the revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the summer of 2010, following consultation with the partner countries and other stakeholders. I firmly believe that the Union should be able to respond adequately to the historic challenges relating to the European Neighbourhood Policy.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Siwiec and Mr David because it provides the EU with ambitious means to pursue a European Neighbourhood Policy that does justice to its commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Indeed, this European Neighbourhood Policy gives priority to the human dimension, and to respect for common values on stability and economic interests, by creating stricter conditions for both Eastern and Southern partners through the establishment of a mechanism that enables concluded agreements to be suspended in the case of violations of the Human Rights and Democracy Clause, and by providing greater support to civil society. Furthermore, I welcome this report because it argues for increased mobility and flexibility with partners by calling for simplified procedures for visa issuance and greater control of readmission agreements.

 
  
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  Lívia Járóka (PPE), in writing. – In order to more effectively promote democracy, human rights, social justice and the rule of law within the wider region, the European Neighbourhood Policy needs to be adjusted following the political and economic developments of the related neighbouring states. As the rapporteurs point out, it is necessary to differentiate between the policy’s southern and eastern dimension to target the specific properties and needs of each geographical area. Those regions that extend beyond the external borders of the EU must be involved in development cooperation in the wider sense, for example, the European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation. Sub-regional and cross-border cooperation needs also to be promoted and Euroregions might serve as a catalyst for realising the goals of cohesion policy with special regard to border regions.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) The review of the European Neighbourhood Policy has become necessary in view of the changes brought about by what is known as the ‘Arab Spring’ in the countries of North Africa, which are currently committed to a long process of economic, political and social reconstruction. I believe that the European Neighbourhood Policy must be redrawn in the light of the developments and changes that neighbouring countries are undergoing and facing as the months go by. In this regard, taking into account the differences and the specific characteristics of individual cases, I consider a more regional approach for this policy to be correct. From this perspective, the European Union must play a key and substantial role in encouraging the emergence of new democratic structures in neighbouring countries. The European Neighbourhood Policy is therefore wide-ranging and relates to all those areas of interest that are actively contributing to the process of building democracy. Protecting the rights of the child, freedom of expression and information, and economic and trade rights are some of the aspects that will be increasingly monitored and encouraged in neighbouring countries, which are experiencing the important and decisive challenges of change.

 
  
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  Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D), in writing. (PL) I voted in favour of this report because I think the neighbourhood policy is very important to the EU Member States from a strategic point of view. The Member States’ implementation of a sustainable neighbourhood policy will contribute to progress and development in building peace and democracy in neighbouring countries. For partner countries, the development of a long-term neighbourhood policy offers hope for stability and creates a desire for EU support in shaping their internal development and social wellbeing.

I wish to stress that our concern should be the sustainable socio-economic development of our neighbours. Building the neighbourhood policy will also ensure greater security and economic development for the Union. Events such as the Arab Spring and the situation in Ukraine also require us to adopt a modern approach to conflicts which break out and to pursue a rational financial policy vis-à-vis those countries. On the basis of this draft, we will be able to exert influence on the issue of respect for human rights and resolve the issues of immigration and asylum policy. This document will also make it easier to analyse transfers of financial assistance. It should also be borne in mind that the Member States should be willing to adapt their national interests to the common neighbourhood policy, given that it offers benefits for both parties, but particularly for partner countries.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE), in writing. (PL) The European Union needs a new strategy for the European Neighbourhood Policy which is adapted to the socio-economic and political conditions of each of the countries neighbouring the EU. I believe that we should promote respect for democracy, human rights and democratic governance. We should further strengthen the multilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership and take into account the role of the outermost regions and Euroregions, especially in EU external relations policy. It is on this basis that we will also achieve the objectives of cohesion policy, especially in border regions, and this is why I voted in favour of adopting the report by Mário David and Marek Siwiec on the European Neighbourhood Policy.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution which recognises that, as far as our Eastern Neighbourhood Policy is concerned, the human rights situation should be continuously monitored – with particular regard to the rights of children, women and minorities – and human rights dialogues conducted with all partner countries, and that an annual assessment of the situation as well as the outcomes of the dialogues should be included in the annex to the annual progress report of each partner country with a clear mechanism to reconsider and progressively limit bilateral cooperation if human rights violations are confirmed. It underlines that the approach towards various partner countries regarding the human rights situation has to be credible.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) In the interest of the European Neighbourhood Policy objectives, tangible and credible incentives should be given to the neighbourhood countries to engage in the common goal of building deep democracy. The rapporteur rightly emphasises the importance of follow-up mechanisms and the need to encourage partnership from the bottom up, from society.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This purely declaratory report at least has the merit of criticising the EU’s past complacency towards dictatorships, calling on Member States to uphold the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ and requesting that the eradication of poverty should guide the EU’s external action. These are empty words. The text supports the creation of deep and comprehensive free trade areas (DCFTA), and progressive alignment of rules on free and undistorted competition. It validates the European ambition to gradually include all the countries involved in the EU’s internal market. Worse still, it brings about segregation by anticipating future EU accession for Eastern countries alone, to the exclusion of the Mediterranean countries. This is arbitrary imperialism. I voted against.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) I believe that the strategic review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) should reflect a strong political commitment by all parties to common values and principles, such as democracy, the rule of law, human rights and good governance. This new process will lend a new dynamic to this policy and ultimately help to improve relations with neighbouring countries. We must also recognise the efforts that some partners have made in terms of a commitment to building a sustainable democracy and ensuring permanent dialogue to spur on the progress of all the reforms already under way, while obviously taking into account the specific economic development of each partner country. Finally, I believe that the ENP should be dynamic and seek to make improvements as these countries make progress in confronting certain problems of common interest.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The review of the European Neighbourhood Policy seems to be a necessity and a godsend in view of what has been happening in recent months. The Arab Spring movements have put very important issues on the agenda. Indeed, I believe we must consider establishing a fair, accessible European asylum system that goes hand in hand with a European regime for visa issuance. Migration is a natural phenomenon linked to the human condition. The revised European Neighbourhood Policy is duty bound to establish favourable conditions for partnerships with third countries, bearing in mind the sometimes dramatic situations that affect them. The EU has everything to gain from promoting initiatives that aim to inform migrants of their rights as well as their responsibilities.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) Given the dramatic changes in the south, it was necessary to review the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) for mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and its partners according to the principle of ‘more for more’. I welcome the Commission’s proposal to increase ENP funding by 23% in the new multiannual financial framework. However, we must strike the right balance between the two flanks of the ENP. The Arab Spring has captured political attention all year long. The EU must support development in these countries and the development of civil society, help to restore infrastructure and encourage the processes of democracy and the rule of law in such a way as to keep open the window of opportunity for democracy. Nevertheless, the EU should play the role of sponsor of the relevant reforms, rather than that of instigator. The revolutions have given citizens a greater voice and they must feel that they are in control of the reforms. We must not abandon our eastern neighbours to chance. Many of them are fulfilling their European perspective and making progress carrying out European reforms – we must recognise and assess these efforts. Let us not forget that in the Eastern neighbourhood, many aspects relate to the EU-Russia dialogue, involving issues such as the visa waiver. Decisions must only be adopted on the basis of objective criteria and real progress.

 
  
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  Katarína Neveďalová (S&D), in writing.(SK) The European Neighbourhood Policy is relatively new – it was established in 2004. In its short history, however, it has encountered a number of challenges. These include, for example, the political upheavals in the so-called Arab Spring countries, the repression in Belarus and the final phase of the integration of Croatia. I quite agree with my colleagues – the rapporteurs – that the basic conditions applying to democratic reforms – respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law – must be set out clearly for the European neighbourhood countries. The EU has very few effective instruments for shaping its surrounding environment. The effective use of so-called soft power within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy is one of the few ways to influence neighbouring countries positively with their integration into the EU, or with enhanced cooperation. A policy of ‘more for more’ and especially ‘less for less’ is perhaps one way in which we might penalise any non-compliance with the EU’s key objectives.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) I cannot fail to vote in favour of an issue such as this. The neighbourhood policy is one of the strong points on which we must work but, above all, collaborate. If we fail to support each other, it will be difficult to bring to fruition specific projects that are capable of strengthening and consolidating relations built over time, at times with considerable effort.

 
  
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  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of the report. In addition to its important economic and political aspects, the European Neighbourhood Policy includes immigration, which is a crucial aspect for Greece. It is an instrument for assistance and, at the same time, for promoting cooperation with neighbouring countries, such as Turkey. It is an instrument for cultivating mutual trust and mutual understanding between the EU and neighbouring states.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report because I believe, as do the authors of the report, that a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy represents an opportunity for the EU to achieve its objectives effectively and respect its own values, as enshrined in Articles 2, 3, 6, 8 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). I would like to congratulate my colleague, Mr David, for the work that he has carried out in connection with this report.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) Given that the Union for the Mediterranean was established with the ambitious objective of being a permanent instrument for strengthening relations with the Southern neighbourhood countries, we need to highlight the differences that may constitute a barrier to relations. In this context, relations with these countries should be given fresh impetus, based on cooperation focusing on democracy and prosperity on both shores of the Mediterranean, and not only security and migration control. In light of these reasons, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera (EFD), in writing.(IT) There are many points with which I agree in the report tabled by Mr Siwiec and Mr David: from its emphasis on trade, to the importance it attributes to cultural ties between the younger generations in neighbouring countries and Europe; however, I do not feel I can support it. I do not agree with some of the few conclusions on immigration. The proposal to undertake a rapid liberalisation of the visa regime, for example, seems to be a proposal that will cause hardship both to the indigenous populations and to the migrants, at least until the economic and social systems of Europe and neighbouring countries resemble each other. The same holds true for the idea of separating the issues of immigration and security, a key connection helping to prevent social tensions in poverty-stricken areas.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Neighbourhood Policy provides a common frame of reference for relations between the European Union and its neighbouring countries. Given the characteristics of this policy, its review essentially offers the opportunity to ponder its model, namely, the creation or consolidation of a prosperous and peaceful political space underpinned by respect between the different countries, recognition of the rule of law and the primacy of the individual, and economic cooperation as a means of bringing peoples closer together. In a word, this means bringing the Community acquis to bear at the level of relations with neighbouring countries. Conversely, it also seeks to enrich the common heritage with elements offered by the different traditions of neighbouring countries. This being the general meaning of the proposal, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) We voted today in plenary on the own-initiative report, which highlights the role that cohesion policy plays in reducing economic, social and territorial disparities, creating new jobs, increasing growth, building infrastructure and ensuring the cohesive development of the EU through its specific objectives and instruments, thus satisfying the economic and social needs of European citizens.

Cohesion policy was among the first policies to adopt a regional dimension, representing its added value and helping to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability. The way in which each Member State takes advantage of the opportunities arising from its membership of the single European market depends on its maturity and its level of development, factors that vary from country to country.

It follows that each Member State has the responsibility for identifying the most effective measures to enable its economy to function within the global system. The report proposes new directions for the future architecture of the policy in order to improve its performance and to ensure strong sustainable growth and increased competitiveness on a global scale.

 
  
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  Robert Rochefort (ALDE), in writing. (FR) This report calls for a new approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy. In the context of the recent Arab revolutions, I hope to see this policy become more ambitious than ever, founded on the principles of differentiation and evaluation, political conditionality and shared values. Today’s text is a step in that direction, which is why I voted in favour of it. It contains elements that I believe to be key, particularly those that aim to strengthen democracy in the EU’s neighbouring countries and establish differentiation according to the political, economic and social situation in each country, and its performance. In addition to strengthening democracy, special attention should be paid to human rights, especially freedom of religion. This will enable us to demand that absolute, real respect for the right to freedom of religion, particularly for all the religious minorities living in the region, should be established as a priority of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The European Parliament welcomes the joint communications of the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on ‘A new response to a changing Neighbourhood’ and ‘A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean’ and the approach presented therein, in particular, regarding the principles of mutual accountability and shared commitment to universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as well as conditionality, a tailor-made approach towards the partner countries, the advancing of multilateral and sub-regional cooperation, and the principle of further involving societies within the ENP policy.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) The new European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument aims to strengthen bilateral relations with partner countries and bring tangible benefits in areas such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law, bilateral, regional and cross-border cooperation. The new guidelines for future EU cooperation affect its neighbours to the east, but also nine others on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. There are several components at the heart of the new guidelines, starting from the principle of ‘more money for the most virtuous’ in the area of reforms associated with the process of democratisation. Another priority is to reduce the complexity and duration of the intervention planning process, simplifying the requirements for implementing EU projects. Another requirement will be to concentrate European support on key objectives and strengthen cooperation between Member States and partner countries along the EU’s external borders.

 
  
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  Oreste Rossi (EFD), in writing.(IT) The report on the European Neighbourhood Policy focuses on the relationship between the EU and neighbouring countries, recalls the importance of building a partnership with the civil societies of these countries in order to promote the democratisation process, and focuses on the need to create free trade areas.

Unfortunately, the text notes that the EU needs to improve the management and maximise the mutual benefits of migration for development purposes, encouraging legal labour immigration and facilitating the visa regime. At a time of crisis like today, where EU workers risk losing their jobs, such intentions are misplaced. I therefore voted against the report.

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing. (FR) The review of the European Neighbourhood Policy is needed now more than ever, firstly, in the light of the developments that will inevitably lead to an Arab Spring in the South, and secondly, in view of the new wave of violations of fundamental rights in some Eastern countries. The solutions proposed in the report are inspired by lessons learned from the past, and take into account the specific characteristics of the two regions of our neighbourhood. That is why I supported it in the plenary vote. However, this vote is only part of the process. I shall be keeping a close watch on the distribution of funding earmarked for neighbourhood instruments, and on the implementation of new instruments that have been announced, such as the European Endowment for Democracy, for which I have been appointed shadow rapporteur by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats). Above all, we should monitor the way in which these funds are used. The European Commission should ensure there is regular monitoring based on a similar method and similar criteria for all recipient countries.

 
  
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  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE), in writing. (PL) I believe that we should strive to strengthen the European Neighbourhood Policy in its political, financial and economic dimensions. I support efforts to maintain a balance between the development of EU relations with its eastern and southern neighbours, while recognising their different aspirations and needs. It seems to me that the development of political contacts, economic convergence and the abolition of trade barriers, in particular, the reduction or abolition of visa requirements, are of particular importance.

The strategic goal of the neighbourhood policy is to stimulate economic growth. Another important task is to eliminate administrative and legislative barriers and improve competitiveness, but no less vital is the aim of fighting corruption. A clear benefit is the improvement of the situation regarding the right of association, an increase in media freedom and the observance of the rights of national minorities. There remain many issues which require further action on the part of the European Parliament, and we are faced with many challenges, but I am convinced that all the challenges facing the European Neighbourhood Policy will be resolved.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing.(IT) The review of the European Neighbourhood Policy should, first and foremost, strengthen EU support for countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, especially in the current crisis, both in terms of allocated resources and how they are used.

I agree with the goal of attaching greater importance to democratic reforms and rule of law issues but, as I see it, an approach based merely on differentiation according to merit or performance is not without risks of marginalisation for less virtuous nations, which pose greater problems in terms of security and stability.

The redirection of funds into areas of political reform and governance, where not accompanied by an increase in overall resources, could paradoxically lead to a reduction in aid in those socio-economic sectors which sparked the revolts in the south. The Union’s neighbourhood action must continue to be guided by uniform principles and criteria, these being the expression of a single policy, without envisaging privileged paths for some neighbours to the detriment of others.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The document addresses the EU’s relations with its neighbouring countries to both the south and east, and the transition to democracy that is in progress in the countries of the Arab Spring, calling for greater involvement by local communities and civil society, as the implementation of our European Neighbourhood Policy can only be guaranteed maximum effectiveness if they participate. This new strategy recognises the limited results achieved in the past and places major emphasis on the promotion of human rights and democracy, particularly through support for the transition to democracy and the adaptation of institutions, to which end it is vital to include all actors in civil society.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the European Parliament resolution on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which acknowledges that this review provides the EU with a good opportunity to meet its obligations effectively and to promote its values. The report focuses on strengthening democracy and partnership with companies, on sustainable economic and social development, on association agreements, sectoral cooperation, mobility and the regional aspect and, last but not least, on funding for the European Neighbourhood Policy.

We think that the new ENP approach must take account of the EU’s macro-regional strategies. The potential of the EU macro-regions, which include EU neighbouring countries, should be fully utilised for better coordination of priorities and projects of common interest to the EU and the ENP countries in order to achieve mutually beneficial results and optimise the resources invested. In this regard, I should point out the importance of the ENP both to the successful implementation of the EU strategy for the Danube region and to a future EU strategy for the Black Sea.

Parliament regrets that a high percentage of the ENP funds available are spent on consultancy instead of going towards projects and programmes, and calls, in this respect, for a quick rebalance in their use under the new instrument.

 
  
  

Report: Sophia in ’t Veld (A7-0286/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report as a serious and concerted commitment is needed at European level to combating every form of terrorism, which has unfortunately happened on a number of occasions in Europe. Anti-terrorism policies must be coupled with the EU security strategy that is currently being drafted. In order for the EU’s approach to be more consistent, the measures put into practice must be in harmony with national initiatives. However, priority should, in fact, be given to the pursuit of close judicial collaboration. Clearly, these policies should be developed in accordance with the provisions of primary EU law. Priority should especially be given to the rights set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Finally, all these efforts must be subject to ongoing assessment, with the aim of improving the strategy.

 
  
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  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing. (IT) Terrorism is a serious threat to international stability and to the security of European society. The first decade of the twenty-first century was marked by counter-terrorism. The sense of security among the European population has decreased significantly following the attacks on European soil, such as the one in Madrid in 2004 or London in 2005. The fight against terrorism therefore requires a coordinated international response and a global approach based on intelligence, police, the judiciary, political instruments and, in exceptional circumstances, military ones too. The EU’s counter-terrorism policy must therefore be in line with its foreign policy and internal security strategy. Nevertheless, especially at a time when the neighbouring Arab countries have moved closer to democracy, the EU has a duty to serve as a moral compass, and not only for its own citizens. EU counter-terrorism policy, moreover, shall always be required to act in full respect of human rights and of the fundamental freedoms of all its citizens.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The report is a dangerous and vulgar attempt to disorientate and dupe the people in the midst of the merciless attack being carried out by the euro-unifying and national mechanisms to repress democratic rights and grassroots freedoms. The report supports the EU’s basic ‘counter-terrorism line’, which views ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ as the main sources of ‘terrorism’, in order to repress and use any means to strike at the working class/grassroots movement.

While unreservedly supporting the entire ‘EU counter-terrorism policy and strategy’, it sheds crocodile tears for ‘fundamental rights’ and ‘democratic freedoms’, calling on the repressive mechanisms to render account to the European Parliament and the national parliaments. This is a very defiant call. The EU is asking the secret services and the various mechanisms of the bourgeois state and para-state to present activity reports to the European Parliament. There is now an urgent need for the people to step up their fight to defend and extend democratic rights and freedoms, in order to achieve power to the people, so that they can enjoy real freedom, which is achieved by abolishing the exploitation of man by man.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. – I voted in favour of this resolution because it clearly underlines that the Union’s external actions to combat international terrorism should be aimed at prevention. The text also highlights the need to promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding among different cultures, civilisations and religions. Tracking and prosecution of terrorist activities must be part of a systematic approach based not on emergency but on a coherent, necessity-founded strategy. At European level, I believe that one of the biggest problems is the absence of proper evaluation of EU counter-terrorism action. This evaluation should be carried out by an international multilateral body involved in crime and criminal law. The Commission must fully assess the set of counter-terrorism policies and focus on future challenges, including the reform of Europol and Eurojust in the light of the new potentialities offered by the Lisbon Treaty.

 
  
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  Zoltán Bagó (PPE), in writing. (HU) I voted against the report on the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy because its contents do not agree with the political ideas of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats). The report criticises the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy in a one-sided, hostile and biased manner. The report points out the lack of a strategic concept, as it believes that the prevention, detection and prosecution of acts of terrorism are critical policies at EU level and must be part of a systematic approach based not on emergency norms but on a coherent, necessity-founded strategy. It highlights the need to expand and develop counter-terrorism-related strategic partnerships, on the condition that these partnerships must fully respect human rights. The setting of such a condition would imply that current European counter-terrorism activities are in violation of human rights.

The report calls for a more accurate assessment of the counter-terrorism measures already taken, extending also to fundamental rights and budgetary aspects. This remark hints at overly high costs, which is an unfounded assumption. All in all, the publication of the secret service data examined by the report would fundamentally endanger European security.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR), in writing. (PL) Despite many years spent combating terrorism, this phenomenon still exists in the modern world. The recent tragic events in Norway show that the security threat to European countries may also come from their own citizens. Terrorism is used by both organised groups and individual extremists. Terrorist activity is constantly changing in terms of its criminal nature. We should therefore systematically improve the legal framework and mechanisms to combat all of its manifestations, which means that measures also need to be taken for its effective prevention. The Union should not, however, be the coordinator for the exchange of intelligence information. National security is the responsibility of the Member States. The report in its present form does not reflect a real sense of danger. It does not specify ways of improving policy and judicial cooperation. It does not formulate concrete measures to ensure public safety and prevent various forms of extremism in the Member States. I abstained from voting.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing.(IT) The report on counter-terrorism policy comes to plenary after being discussed by the Commission, which did not allow the inclusion of important and critical amendments that aimed to make the text more incisive and more consistent with the real needs of counter-terrorism in Europe.

The need to update and improve the databases with appropriate technological means was not included, nor was the need to safeguard the victims of terrorism with proper national and EU policies. It was decided not to include awareness raising amongst European citizens, with regard to the emergence of terrorism in our society, in the EU’s counter-terrorism priorities.

The text does not acknowledge what is a well-known fact, namely, that uncontrolled immigration and youth unemployment, especially in some immigrant communities, offer privileged recruitment opportunities for terrorist activities and transnational terrorist organisations.

I therefore voted against the report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because in this century, the European Union is increasingly facing terrorist attacks, the damage they cause and the threat they pose to the public. The threat posed by terrorism has increased, links to crime are spreading, and new and some of the most dangerous terrorist attacks include cyber-terrorism, narco-terrorism and the activities of small terrorist groups, including extortion, money laundering and illegal funding. Parliament’s report notes that, in the last decade, terrorism in the EU has taken on a new dimension and consequently is no longer simply a matter of national security in the Member States affected. The report therefore notes that in future, there needs to be a common EU approach to terrorism and the establishment of a common policy because terrorist operations are often pan-European and terrorists take advantage of European diversity in laws and anti-terrorism capabilities and the abolition of border controls when committing their acts.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. (CS) I welcome the Commission’s communication ‘on the EU’s counter-terrorism policy: main achievements and future challenges’, and I would like to emphasise that the communication must be linked to the EU’s forthcoming internal security strategy. I consider it an error, however, that its scope is rather narrow, is limited to the implementation of agreed policy measures, and does not cover national counter-terrorism policies or national measures that transpose policies agreed at European or international level. I also regret the fact that there has not been a more thorough investigation of possible legal loopholes or the possible overlapping or duplication of counter-terrorism actions and instruments adopted at EU level. Unfortunately, the communication does not sufficiently cover and develop in greater detail the measures taken by Directorates General other than Justice, Freedom and Security (such as the Mobility and Transport, Enterprise and Industry or Internal Market and Services Directorates General) and it does not give a clear idea as to how the measures interact and where there are overlaps or gaps. It is also necessary for all the above levels to be considered, as European, national and international measures are complementary, and the assessment of individual measures does not provide a complete picture of the impact of counter-terrorism policies in Europe. The European Commission also owes EU citizens an explanation as to how certain EU counter-terrorism instruments, such as data retention, passenger name records and the Swift Agreement, for example, fit into the EU counter-terrorism strategy.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) EU citizens want their security guaranteed both inside and outside the EU, so the EU has an important role to play in this area. I voted for the report on the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy because I believe that terrorism is a phenomenon that is constantly evolving and must therefore be combated with a policy that responds to this constant change. I also believe that it is essential to deepen and develop the four essential aspects of the strategy for combating terrorism strategy, namely preventing, protecting, pursuing and responding.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Although terrorism is not a recent phenomenon, in recent decades, it has taken on new forms and terrorist networks have become more complex in terms of structure, means and financing, rendering the terrorist threat more complex, and its consequences more devastating.

Terrorism is a phenomenon that is constantly changing and must be combated properly, with a focus on four essential aspects: prevention, protection, pursuit and response. Thus, counter-terrorism policies both at EU level and in the individual Member States must also be able to keep abreast of this constant change, while maintaining full respect for fundamental rights.

A coherent approach is needed in the EU and its Member States in relation to initiatives adopted in the area of internal security, in particular, terrorism and organised crime, so that any remaining gaps and any overlapping or duplication of counter-terrorism actions and instruments may be identified. Terrorism can potentially affect the security of the entire Union, so the EU and its respective institutions have the responsibility of combating it and ensuring respect for the values on which our free, open and democratic societies are based – values that enable every citizen to live in safety and without fear.

 
  
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  Lara Comi (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of this wording of the EU counter-terrorism strategy. The threat of terrorist attacks in the European Union remains high and the links between terrorism and organised crime are increasing. Terrorist acts seriously jeopardise human rights, threaten democracy and aim to destabilise legitimately constituted governments, thus undermining pluralistic civil societies. I therefore emphasise the need for the EU, its Member States and its partner countries to base their counter-terrorism strategy on promoting dialogue, tolerance and understanding among different cultures, civilisations and religions. We must therefore expand existing strategic counter-terrorism partnerships with non-European countries as well as create some new ones. The prevention, investigation and prosecution of terrorist activities are critical policies at EU level and must be part of a systematic approach based on a coherent strategy. It is important that these strategies be purpose- and cost-effective, avoiding duplication of measures and function creep on the part of competent institutions, agencies and bodies.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), in writing. (RO) One observation made in the report should give us the most cause for concern: the expansion and strengthening of links between terrorist circles and organised crime. This is a major challenge for the institutions tackling counter-terrorism and combating organised crime, requiring even broader cooperation between these services at European level.

I also think that Member States urgently need to harmonise their legislation in the areas featuring in the report to facilitate their activities in combating terrorism and organised crime. I am pleased to note the focus on tackling the sources of funding for terrorism and cyber-terrorist networks.

I totally endorse the call made to the European Commission to fully assess the set of counter-terrorism policies and measures adopted and focus on future challenges. These include the reform of Europol and Eurojust in the light of the new opportunities offered by the Lisbon Treaty, as well as the need for uniform standards for obtaining evidence and conducting investigations, full implementation of joint investigation teams, a stronger EU framework for judicial and police training, and proper inclusion and integration policies.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) Terrorism is a latent threat that is unfortunately still hanging over our society, as stated in the Europol EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report for 2011 (TE-SAT 2010). This document, quoted by the rapporteur, proves that ‘the threat of terrorist attacks in the EU remains serious, and that the links between terrorism and organised crime appear to be growing’. It was, therefore, with satisfaction that I received the Commission communication, although like the rapporteur, I feel that it should be more closely linked to the internal security strategy and that it could have been even more comprehensive, especially in regard to creating conditions aimed at greater coordination and cohesion between EU policies and the policies of each of the Member States, and even at international level. From the text of the report, I would also like to emphasise the idea that the Charter of Fundamental Rights should, in principle, act as a reference for the policies of the EU and its Member States in this area, as well as in regard to cooperation with third parties and countries. In view of what I said earlier and the scope and relevance of the report, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Cornelis de Jong (GUE/NGL), in writing. – I would like to underline forcefully that, by voting in favour of this report, I by no means accept the reference to the definition of ‘terrorism’ as it is formulated in Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism. I wish to state clearly that I reject such a broad definition, which could include virtually every act that has some element of organisation or planning, and which raises the legitimate question of whether this instrument has built-in ‘function creep’ in order not only to combat terrorism, but also to extend the definition in such a manner as to cover most public order situations and more common criminal acts, as they apply under national law.

 
  
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  Marielle De Sarnez (ALDE), in writing. (FR) In response to the events of 11 September 2001, advanced counter-terrorism policies have been applied across EU territory. Police and judicial cooperation between Member States has therefore been developed, with one of its aims being to combat terrorism. Nevertheless, although the EU does need a high-quality counter-terrorism mechanism, it is just as important for its cost, its effectiveness and its impact on the civil freedoms of European citizens to be assessed. So far, there are no studies that provide a comprehensive list of the European counter-terrorism policies established since 2001. That is why the Commission should publish a full, detailed assessment indicating the cost, the concrete results and the procedures used for monitoring the European counter-terrorism policies that are currently in force. The actions carried out as part of the fight against terrorism should come under democratic scrutiny, with an assessment of everything from their conception to the real impact they have on the daily lives of EU citizens.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report because I believe that the EU, its Member States and its partner countries should adopt a strategy for combating international terrorism while maintaining undiminished respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights. The EU’s external action in this area must have prevention as its overriding objective, by promoting dialogue, tolerance and understanding between different cultures, civilisations and religions.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) This year, 10 years will have gone by since the terrible attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States. Before that day, the world had never perceived the borderless and completely global nature of the terrorist threat. Next came the attacks on Madrid and London, which brought the terror within our borders with a level of violence never before seen on European soil. Ten years on, terrorism is one of the greatest threats to the life of modern societies, and thus merits not only the most emphatic repudiation, but also the greatest possible joint efforts to eradicate it.

It is now clear that the Member States are not capable of addressing an increasingly global threat, and that this can only be diminished if they join forces and share information swiftly and efficiently, and if they join up effectively when it comes to resources and personnel.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Modern societies which enjoy a high level of comfort and sophistication should be synonymous with security. Yet, as we have seen, in this first decade of the 21st century, technology was the vehicle for what is considered to be the most severe and violent terrorist attack of all time: the attacks of 11 September on the United States. However, Europe did not remain unscathed. In 2004, there were attacks in Madrid, and in 2005 in London, not to mention what happened this summer in Norway, and, during this very plenary, in Belgium. In addition, there has been religious terrorism, especially in the Islamic countries, such as the events in Egypt. The feeling of insecurity among the public is great and no one can guarantee that he or she is safe from a terrorist attack. This is an enormous threat to international stability and calls for a response on a global scale, because it is a scourge that knows no borders. International cooperation at the level of a good intelligence network, along with an effective police, judicial, political and – in some circumstances – military system, could help to weaken terrorist activity. I welcome the adoption of this report, which harmonises the European security strategy with the internal security strategy in the fight against terrorism.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The so-called war on terrorism has been used over the last decade as a pretext to justify security taking a sidetrack that has opened the way for unacceptable restrictions on the rights, freedom and guarantees of citizens. This escalation receives theoretical and ideological support from the false dichotomy of security versus freedom, and from the deliberate confusion between security and defence.

The consequences of this fight against terrorism are well known: the invasion of sovereign countries, hundreds of thousands dead, millions of refugees, the creation of concentration camps, a global network of secret prisons and even the adoption of legislation that restricts or provides for the suspension of fundamental democratic rights. These abuses, in which the EU has at times connived, are an integral part of this war on terrorism. This report, like the resolution that has just been adopted, is part of this vision. We vehemently reject it because it contributes nothing to the battle against real terrorism and the cross-border crime with which it is associated. On the contrary, it entails real dangers for security and the fundamental freedoms of the citizens of the different Member States. The resolution that has been adopted also whitewashes what the fight against terrorism has been about over these ten years, concealing the causes that feed terrorism and omitting terrorism by the state.

 
  
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  Ilda Figueiredo (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Ten years after the crime against the people of the United States that was the attacks of 11 September, reality is showing us how imperialism has put it to use, triggering paranoia over security that has served to spread the false dichotomy of security versus freedom. The most serious consequences of this are well known: the invasion and occupation of sovereign countries, hundreds of thousands dead, millions of refugees, the creation of concentration camps, a global network of secret prisons, and even the adoption of legislation restricting and providing for the suspension of democratic rights. These abuses, for many of which the EU shares responsibility or in which it at least connived, are an integral part of the strategy for the supposed fight against terrorism –which we reject, yet which has found its way into this report – as it contributes nothing whatsoever to combating genuine terrorism and the cross-border crime associated with it. On the contrary, it entails real dangers to the security and fundamental freedoms of citizens of the different Member States. What is more, this report whitewashes what these ten years of the fight against terrorism have effectively been about, in that it conceals the causes that fuel terrorism and omits terrorism by the state. That is why I voted against this report.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) In the EU strategy for combating terrorism and the action plan being implemented, a broad approach is applied when defining the measures and instruments that may contribute to combating terrorism. One of the main challenges is to prevent the radicalisation and recruitment that leads to a willingness to commit terrorist acts. The Europol Terrorism Situation and Trend Report for 2010 shows that many terrorist and extremist organisations are supported by active organised groups of young people, who represent a major problem in some states as potential disseminators of radicalisation and terrorist recruitment. Extremist ideologies continue to attract attention from unstable people who are inclined to commit criminal acts, and the risks associated with the radicalisation of young people are still large. In recent years, the EU has introduced many important political measures aimed at preventing radicalisation and terrorist recruitment, and efforts to implement and support these measures continue. I firmly believe that it is vitally necessary always to achieve the best possible balance between, on the one hand, the duty to protect citizens from harm and guarantee their safety, and, on the other, to respect and preserve their individual rights.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing. (FR) Ten years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, we need to assess the implementation of the EU counter-terrorism strategy by learning lessons for the future in terms of the cost-effectiveness of the measures adopted, and by making sure they respect democratic principles.

I regret the European right’s opposition to the slightest criticism that might happen to question the usefulness of a particular measure. In order to be in a better position to judge this issue, I voted in favour of requesting a detailed report of measures (including budgetary) in the Member States, their shortcomings and the prevention measures that are anticipated.

I also supported the strengthening of democratic scrutiny, which should, in particular, include access to information for national parliaments and the European Parliament, and rights over the modification of counter-terrorism proposals; it should provide for an evaluation of the proportionality of measures when these come under review, and give an overview of classified documents, the guidelines used for that classification, and access to counter-terrorism data.

 
  
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  Mikael Gustafsson (GUE/NGL), in writing. – I would like to underline that by voting in favour of this report, I by no means accept the reference to the definition of ‘terrorism’ as it is formulated in the Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism. I wish to state clearly that I reject such a broad definition which could virtually include every act that has some element of organisation or planning and that legitimately raises the question whether this instrument has a built-in ‘function creep’ in order not only to combat terrorism, but to extend the definition in such a manner as to cover most public order situations and more common criminal acts as they apply under national law.

Like other legislation of this nature (in the US, for instance), we must be very careful to not leave any room for draconian measures to enter by the back door to control political dissent, demonstrations, protests, and we must be very vigilant that it will not be used to curb the freedom of expression.

 
  
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  Ágnes Hankiss (PPE), in writing. – My reservations to the report are twofold: a matter of both principle and practical approach. The text’s tone is infiltrated and determined by prejudices and accusations that counter-terrorism simply keeps violating human rights, that it operates with excessive budgets and exaggerates threats. These propagandistic concepts are based on hypotheses to which no evidence was provided by the rapporteur.

On the other hand, goals laid down in the report are hardly feasible in practice. One example of many: with data being classified for security reasons, to what extent and on which benchmarks should the proportionality between the cost of a preventive counter terrorism operation and the threat level be assessed?

Why does the rapporteur believe that either secret services of Member States or EU security agencies would grant civilians access to their most sensitive data, thus putting European security at risk? How could we assess proportionality without the knowledge of these extremely sensitive bits of information?

As staunch supporters of accountability, the EPP Group stands for overseeing counter-terrorism policies, however, within the established competence of designated authorities. Demoralising counter-terrorism, especially nowadays, is proof of irresponsible behaviour and thus I am not in a position to support the report.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. – This report is a dis-service to the war on terrorism, the victims of terrorism and the services battling to end terrorism. The EPP have consistently voiced their concern over this report. I personally debated with the rapporteur on live television. I impressed upon her, among other things, the need to recognise and support the victims of terrorism and the need to balance data protection with security and justice. The report uses a cost-benefit analysis; this is both over-simplified and highly insulting to those who have lost their loved ones due to terrorist acts. Both the EPP and Commissioner Tajani have expressed our concerns with this report; as the report remains unchanged, our negative stance remains unchanged.

 
  
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  Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE/NGL), in writing. – I would like to underline forcefully that by voting in favour of this report, I by no means accept the reference to the definition of ‘terrorism’ as it is formulated in the Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism.

I wish to state clearly that I reject such a broad definition which could virtually include every act that has some element of organisation or planning and that legitimately raises the question whether this instruments has a built-in ‘function creep’ in order not only to combat terrorism, but to extend the definition in such a manner as to cover most public order situations and more common criminal acts as they apply under national law.

Like other legislation of this nature (in the US, for instance), we must be very careful to not leave any room for draconian measures to enter by the back door to control political dissent, demonstrations, protests, and must be very vigilant that it will not be used to curb the freedom of expression.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The European Union has been an ever-growing target for, and victim of, terrorism in the last century, and the threat is now greater than ever. Terrorism continues to pose a serious threat to peace and international stability and to Europe’s societies. A coordinated, global response is therefore required between the EU and its strategic partners. This must be achieved with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Counter-terrorism also requires a comprehensive approach based on every means available: intelligence, police, judiciary, political and, in some cases, even military. The European Union’s role in managing the crises and disasters caused by terrorism will have to continue to be strengthened. This can be done in particular through developing an EU rapid response capability based on existing civil protection and humanitarian instruments.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for Amendment 1 which was carried and, as a result, the whole resolution fell.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The scope of the Commission communication is extremely narrow. The rapporteur is right to point out that national counter-terrorism policies or national measures that transpose policies agreed at European or international level must also be considered. My vote was in favour.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This alternative report has the merit of requesting an evaluation of the EU’s counter-terrorism policy. Its demands are minimal, whereas the initial report called for a detailed assessment of that policy since September 2001. It makes no criticism of the Passenger Name Record (PNR) and SWIFT agreements and promotes the theory of the clash of civilisations. Worse still, it establishes that the free movement of persons within the EU benefits terrorists. This is ridiculous and paranoid. I cannot give it my vote.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted against this report in order to support the position of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) as I believe that the report takes the wrong approach to how to combat terrorism. The rapporteur includes a series of ideological considerations in the text with which I cannot agree. Only the significant amendments to the text, tabled by the PPE Group, would enable the regulation to be improved in such a way that I would be able to vote for it.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) In the EU, we are merrily continuing to reduce democracy under the guise of combating terrorism. With regard to the passing on of data to the United States for the purpose of combating terrorism, the EU has simply rolled over and given in. The United States has also put pressure on the Member States individually and forced them to hand over or provide access to all manner of data – a disaster in terms of data protection law. This they have done, even though there is still no proof that this whole stack of information can in any way guarantee the success in the combating of terrorism that is being used to justify the circumventing of elementary fundamental rights. Instead of spying on EU citizens, it would be better for the EU to devote more attention once again to combating organised crime, which is flourishing, and promoting projects that are important for security like the Schengen Information System. The proposed measures, which appear, in effect, to mean that anytime anyone does not hold the same opinion as the mainstream media, he will end up on a black list, must in any case be rejected.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) Terrorism is a multifaceted phenomenon and its causes vary, while the type of people who commit terrorist acts range from lone ‘suicide bombers’ to well organised international mafia-type structures. It has so far been impossible to accurately define the concept of terrorism. The scale of the impact of terrorism and the response to these many faces demand an appropriate variety of anti-terrorist measures by states and international organisations and adequate coordination of actions.

 
  
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  Katarína Neveďalová (S&D), in writing.(SK) I would like to congratulate the rapporteur for a very ambitious report, and to applaud her approach, as this is a very sensitive topic. I also welcome the intensive and open dialogue with the political groups. I therefore voted in favour of this common decision. I would just like to emphasise that, to combat terrorism more effectively in the EU, it is essential to strengthen cooperation between the judiciary and the police, which we have finally achieved at European level. It is also important to enhance the democratic oversight of the European Parliament and national parliaments, as well as transparency and access to documentation in this area throughout the EU. For all this, we need new and, above all, effective legislative measures, as well as an effective and comprehensive legislative framework in the EU, which will also ensure a high level of data protection.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) On the pretext of combating international terrorism, the United States is exerting pressure on the EU and its Member States to hand over data. This essentially places all EU citizens under blanket suspicion instead of using a method of collecting specific data on individuals in cases where there are strong grounds for suspicion. Moreover, there is absolutely no proof that the wholesale transmission of data will actually help to combat terrorism. This report restricts data protection, citizens’ rights and the freedom of expression and is therefore to be rejected.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) In the light of the last ten years of counter-terrorism in the wake of the 11 September attacks, I think it is important to reiterate, along with all of you, the main strands of the fight against terrorism. Furthermore, I believe that the EU should avail itself of a common counter-terrorism policy and render it effective through prevention, protection of citizens, prosecution of terrorism-related crimes, and response to such acts; a policy with firm positions that requires very cohesive views, as expressed in the resolution of Ms in ’t Veld that I supported and that seeks to defend both the State and fundamental human rights.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) This own-initiative report entitled ‘The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges’ calls on the Commission to draw up a complete and detailed map of all existing counter-terrorism policies in Europe, with a special focus on EU legislation and how it has been transposed and implemented at EU level. I believe that this measure, among others, is important, so I voted for this report.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) Following the atrocious attacks of 11 September 2001, the first decade of the 21st century was characterised by the ‘War on Terror’, given that in recent years, the European Union has been a greater target for, and victim of, terrorism and now faces an ever-present threat.

However, the absence of a