Ευρετήριο 
 Προηγούμενο 
 Επόμενο 
 Πλήρες κείμενο 
Διαδικασία : 2010/0323(NLE)
Διαδρομή στην ολομέλεια
Διαδρομή του εγγράφου : A7-0427/2011

Κείμενα που κατατέθηκαν :

A7-0427/2011

Συζήτηση :

PV 14/12/2011 - 18
CRE 14/12/2011 - 18

Ψηφοφορία :

PV 15/12/2011 - 9.8
Αιτιολογήσεις ψήφου

Κείμενα που εγκρίθηκαν :

P7_TA(2011)0586

Πληρη πρακτικα των συζητησεων
Τετάρτη 14 Δεκεμβρίου 2011 - Στρασβούργο Αναθεωρημένη έκδοση

18. Συμφωνία εταιρικής σχέση και συνεργασίας ΕΚ-Ουζμπεκιστάν και διμερές εμπόριο κλωστοϋφαντουργικών προϊόντων (συζήτηση)
Βίντεο των παρεμβάσεων
Συνοπτικά πρακτικά
MPphoto
 

  President. − The next item is the report by George Sabin Cutaş, on behalf of the Committee on International Trade, on the interim report on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of a Protocol to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Uzbekistan, of the other part, amending the Agreement in order to extend the provisions of the Agreement to bilateral trade in textiles, taking account of the expiry of the bilateral textiles Agreement (16384/1/2010 – C7-0097/2011 – 2010/0323(NLE)) (A7-0427/2011).

 
  
MPphoto
 

  George Sabin Cutaş, Raportor. − Parlamentului European i s-a solicitat aprobarea pentru un Protocol de modificare a Acordului de parteneriat şi cooperare dintre Uniunea Europeană şi Uzbekistan, astfel încât comerţul cu produse textile să beneficieze de un cadru juridic adecvat.

Acesta este lacunar în prezent, deoarece textilele au constituit un punct sensibil în negocierile din anii '90 pentru Acordurile de parteneriat şi cooperare cu ţările din fosta Uniune Sovietică. Protocolul în discuţie doreşte să includă textilele în acest acord, astfel încât securitatea juridică a exportatorilor din Uniunea Europeană să fie garantată.

Dincolo de acest context general, se află însă o problemă serioasă, faţă de care Parlamentul European nu poate să nu reacţioneze: acuzaţiile de folosire a muncii forţate a copiilor în câmpurile de bumbac din Uzbekistan. Acesta este principalul motiv pentru care în urma dezbaterilor din Comisie am decis redactarea acestui raport interimar.

Uzbekistanul este pe locul 5 în clasamentul mondial al producătorilor de bumbac şi pe locul 3 în cel al exportatorilor. Potrivit mai multor rapoarte ale Grupului de iniţiativă a militanţilor pentru drepturile omului în Uzbekistan, realizat în parteneriat cu Forumul internaţional pentru drepturile civile, precum şi ale Forumului uzbek-german pentru drepturile omului sau ale organizaţiei non-gvernamentale „Anti-Slavery International”, în Uzbekistan sistemele politice şi economice sunt controlate de stat. Bumbacul este produs în exploataţii agricole private, dar bumbacul recoltat trebuie cedat unor firme deţinute de stat la un preţ stabilit de acesta.

Conform aceloraşi rapoarte, agenţii guvernamentali mobilizează copiii ca o sursă ieftină de forţă de muncă în perioada de recoltare a bumbacului. Estimările variază de la 200 000 până la 2 000 000 de copii cu vârste între 9 şi 15 ani, iar statul este cel care stabileşte cotele pentru bumbac, iar acestea trebuie îndeplinite. Şcolile sunt obligate să trimită copiii pe câmpurile de bumbac. Angajaţii administrativi şi cadrele didactice care refuză să se supună îşi riscă locul de muncă. Familiile copiilor care refuză să muncească sunt supuse la presiuni din partea poliţiei şi a procuraturii. Autorităţile ameninţă că nu vor plăti pensiile şi alocaţiile sociale, că vor întrerupe alimentarea cu curent, gaz şi apă şi chiar că îi vor aresta, reţine şi pune sub acuzare pe membrii familiilor celor care nu se supun. Multe şcoli, în special cele din zonele agricole sunt închise din septembrie până în noiembrie sau decembrie. Astfel, copiii de la şcolile respective pierd 2-3 luni de şcoală anual.

Guvernul uzbek neagă existenţa acestor probleme şi declară că este vorba despre activităţi agricole familiale. În urma acuzaţiilor constante privind munca forţată a copiilor, guvernul uzbek a fost obligat să ratifice în 2008 cele două Convenţii OIM privind munca copiilor, după care a aprobat Planul naţional de acţiune pentru aplicarea acestora.

De-a lungul timpului, mai multe organizaţii internaţionale ca ONU sau OIM s-au arătat îngrijorate de utilizarea muncii forţate a copiilor în Uzbekistan. Cu toate acestea, guvernul uzbek nu permite accesul observatorilor internaţionali independenţi în ţară în perioada recoltei pentru a verifica aplicarea convenţiilor OIM.

În calitate de raportor, am încercat să mă întâlnesc cu toate părţile implicate în acest acord. Regret că nu a fost posibil un schimb de opinii în Comisia INTA cu ambasadorul Uzbekistanului la UE, deşi acesta a fost invitat în repetate rânduri. Consider că acesta ar fi putut să ne ofere o imagine a situaţiei din interior. Din păcate, nici întâlnirea bilaterală pe care am reuşit să o am cu ambasadorul nu a fost edificatoare.

Pe de altă parte, doresc să mulţumesc colegilor pentru că s-au arătat deschişi faţă de îngrijorările exprimate de Parlamentul European şi să le mulţumesc pentru contribuţia valoroasă la forma finală.

Consider că am reuşit să obţinem un raport echilibrat prin intermediul căruia solicităm Consiliului să sprijine cererea adresată de OIM Uzbekistanului de a accepta o misiune de observare tripartită la nivel înalt, care să beneficieze de deplina libertate de mişcare, cu scopul de a evalua aplicarea convenţiilor OIM.

Aş dori, în final, să fac referire la petiţia iniţiată de către organizaţia „Anti-Slavery” prin care se solicită încetarea preferinţelor comerciale. Săptămâna trecută am avut ocazia să întâlnesc câţiva studenţi din Isbourne care au venit la Parlamentul European împreună cu membri ai „Anti-slavery” pentru a cere Uniunii Europene să protejeze drepturile copiilor. Şi, trebuie să vă spun, domnule Preşedinte, că după încheierea acestei dezbateri am să vă înmânez o petiţie semnată de 13 379 de persoane care solicită acest lucru.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the Commission. − Mr President, I would like to thank the Committee on International Trade and its rapporteur, Mr Cutaş, for this interim report.

First, the object of this consent procedure is an amendment to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Uzbekistan concerning trade in textiles. Its only objective is to ensure that textile exports from the EU to Uzbekistan would get most-favoured-nation treatment. So let us keep clearly in mind that we are talking about an agreement that gives legal certainty to the EU and does not grant any benefits to Uzbekistan itself.

The Commission is well aware of the problem of child labour in the cotton sector in Uzbekistan and fully shares Parliament’s concerns in this respect. We have already been monitoring for quite some time Uzbekistan’s compliance with its obligations in the field of child labour under the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the relevant United Nations conventions. The EU regularly relays concerns about forced child labour in the country in its political dialogue with Uzbekistan.

The country has taken some steps to address the problem, notably by ratifying two ILO conventions concerning child labour and by setting up a national legislative framework against forced labour and child labour. However, what matters is not only the ratification but the actual implementation of these conventions. In this respect, it is a fact that the use of child labour in the cotton sector in Uzbekistan is still an issue of concern.

Therefore the Commission will, in close cooperation with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, continue to monitor the situation and actively scale up its efforts to urge the Uzbek government to take the necessary steps to fully implement the ILO conventions.

We undertook a mission to Uzbekistan in November 2011. The EU team enjoyed the full cooperation of the Uzbek authorities and discussions with international organisations confirmed some positive changes in certain regions during this year’s harvest.

The Uzbek authorities showed new openness to discuss the issue and there have been some positive signs about cooperation with the ILO. The Uzbek side emphasised that the problem can only be handled by means of a gradual approach, notably by restructuring and diversifying the agricultural sector so as to reduce dependency on the cotton sector.

We fully agree with Parliament – and this has been our message to the Uzbek authorities – that the best way to have a clear and accurate picture of the situation would be to allow the ILO to undertake a mission to the country.

The Commission is open to make the necessary arrangements with Parliament to jointly monitor the situation in cooperation with the relevant international institutions and to regularly assess the situation with a view to resuming this consent procedure as soon as reasonably possible. While we fully understand the justified human rights concerns, we are of the view that an agreement that serves only the EU deserves to receive the consent of the European Parliament in a timely manner.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Cristiana Muscardini, a nome del gruppo PPE. – Signor Commissario, è vero che già dal '90 esiste un accordo bilaterale ancora da formalizzare da parte di questo Parlamento, ma come si fa ad approvare un protocollo sul commercio dei tessili quando rimangono gli inquietanti dubbi espressi così chiaramente dal relatore Cutaş?

Nella relazione del relatore della commissione per il commercio internazionale e della commissione per gli affari esteri i diversi gruppi politici sono giunti tutti a un compromesso per esprimere con una sola voce la nostra condanna del lavoro forzato minorile e la richiesta del rispetto degli organi internazionali di controllo, come l'OIL, che hanno il diritto di vigilare liberi da ogni costrizione e minaccia.

Che l'ambasciatore non abbia dato risposte e che la stessa Commissione, a distanza di tanti anni, non sia in grado di dare risposte concrete, chiare e certe continua ad alimentare i dubbi che hanno angosciato il nostro dibattito in queste settimane.

Sappiamo tutti che il volume commerciale dei prodotti tessili tra i nostri paesi raggiunge una percentuale residua. Ma la votazione di domani è simbolica, perché permetterà di dare un segnale non solo all'Uzbekistan, ma a tutti i nostri partner commerciali dell'Asia centrale.

Il commercio internazionale è strumento di politica estera, garante del rispetto di regole eque e condivise, necessarie per un mercato corretto e concorrenziale, in grado di sviluppare relazioni economiche mondiali, ma anche di rispettare i diritti delle persone.

Il Parlamento non ha la presunzione di condannare un paese ma vuole, e ha il dovere, di chiedere la sospensione temporanea dell'approvazione del protocollo commerciale fino a quando il governo uzbeko non lascerà entrare sul proprio territorio gli osservatori internazionali. Una volta bloccato provvisoriamente questo accordo, dovremo anche porci il problema di quale deve essere il nostro atteggiamento per qualunque accordo strategico e commerciale con paesi nei quali non vi è la certezza del rispetto dei più elementari diritti umani.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, rapporteure pour avis de la commission des affaires étrangères. − Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, hier, Mme Ashton affirmait que les droits humains allaient dorénavant constituer le fil conducteur de toutes nos actions extérieures.

L'Union européenne est l'un des principaux partenaires commerciaux de l'Ouzbékistan et un grand importateur de coton. Vu les conditions de la récolte du coton, notre Parlement se doit d'endosser sa responsabilité morale et de refuser son consentement à cet accord tant que l'Ouzbékistan n'autorise pas la mission indépendante de l'OIT à se rendre sur le terrain, et tant que cette mission ne confirme pas que des réformes sont mises en œuvre pour mettre fin au travail forcé des enfants.

Pour la première fois, grâce au traité de Lisbonne, ce Parlement peut user de son nouveau pouvoir et refuser d'entériner un accord de commerce au nom des droits humains. Notre action est ainsi cohérente avec les valeurs que nous défendons et conforme aux revendications des ONG, des syndicats et des associations de détaillants de textiles, qui revendiquent une production éthique. La balle est maintenant dans le camp de la Commission, qui doit retirer le système de préférences généralisées à l'Ouzbékistan.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David Martin, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I want to congratulate my colleague, Mr Cutaş, on a very good report and thank the Commissioner for his reply.

It seems that we are all on the same page on this issue. The evidence that has come from a variety of organisations suggests that as many as 200 000 children are used to harvest the cotton in Uzbekistan. Parents and teachers are forced to comply or risk losing their jobs. The police and the prosecution service pressurise families. Families are threatened with the loss of electricity, or loss of social security. There is no question that forced child labour is taking place in Uzbekistan.

So, to accept this proposal would not be in line with our principle of coherence between trade policy and human rights. It would not be in line with our commitments to the international rights of the child, and it would not be in line with our strong line on tackling corruption.

As others have said, we need clear, independent monitoring from the ILO and clear evidence from the Uzbekistan authorities that serious efforts are being made to tackle forced child labour before there can be any question of this issue coming back on our agenda.

I agree with the previous speaker as well that if nothing is done, we also have to look at the GSP+ situation for Uzbekistan. As the Commissioner rightly acknowledges, it is not enough simply to pass and simply to ratify two ILO Conventions. They must be implemented.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Niccolò Rinaldi, a nome del gruppo ALDE. – Signor Presidente, comincio con una poesia di un poeta uzbeco, Jogdor Obid, (traduco dall'inglese) "Piccole mani, piccoli schiavi, sognano delle giornate calde e solari, ma soffrono di tosse e mentre camminano tremano. Piccole mani e piccoli schiavi, pensieri di bambini, sogni di dolcezza, ma tutto questo finisce morto e sepolto". Questa è la testimonianza di Jogdor Obid, che descrive la raccolta del cotone da parte dei bambini in Uzbekistan.

Accadeva ai tempi dell'Unione Sovietica, qualche cosa è cambiata, qualcosa no. Per esempio non è cambiato il potere, il presidente uzbeco attuale è lo stesso presidente che era nel 1991 a capo della Repubblica socialista sovietica dell'Uzbekistan. Altre cose sono cambiate, la situazione nei campi di cotone per i bambini è peggiorata, è molto peggiorata! Jogdor Obid ci parla in altre interviste di bambini di sette anni che lavorano in stato di schiavitù, di vera e propria compravendita in Uzbekistan, per favorire la raccolta del cotone.

Una situazione intollerabile e le richieste sono quelle già state espresse: accesso agli ispettori dell'OIL; all'Uzbekistan di essere coerente con i valori dei diritti dell'uomo, che pure sono inclusi nella Costituzione del paese; alla Commissione di proporre in meccanismo di tracciabilità sul cotone che viene raccolto, libero dal commercio di bambini e dalla loro situazione di schiavitù; ancora alla Commissione, anche sulla base dei risultati dell'OIL, l'eventuale decisione di avviare la sospensione dei privilegi SPG per l'Uzbekistan. Lo abbiamo con l'SPG+ per lo Sri Lanka, si potrebbe pensarlo anche per l'Uzbekistan.

Naturalmente nessun accordo da parte del Parlamento europeo, forte delle sue prerogative nuove di Lisbona, su questo protocollo, ne va dei valori dell'Unione europea sempre più stretti, anche con la nostra politica di commercio internazionale.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Keith Taylor, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, the Greens on the Committee on International Trade fully support the report’s position, which is calling for Uzbekistan to take concrete and convincing measures to eradicate child labour before the Parliament can give consent to textiles being covered by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. I think it is perfectly right that we should be withholding European Parliament consent to this Protocol with Uzbekistan until those breaches have been stopped.

In relation to the textiles, there is clear evidence of state-sanctioned, systematic and widespread forced labour in the Uzbek cotton fields. Schools are being closed during the harvest period and thousands upon thousands of school children are being forced to work in the fields collecting cotton. This is not the treatment that any child should have to tolerate. We would not tolerate it for our children. Those children in Uzbekistan are our children; we should have a responsibility for them.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paul Murphy, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, let us be absolutely explicit about the situation in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.

According to some NGOs, up to 2 million children, some as young as seven, are forced to work in these fields. They face really horrific conditions – 10-hour working days, exposure to harmful pesticides – and risk physical harm or expulsion from school if they refuse to do it. Despite that and despite the condemnations, including by the EU, of the conditions in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan, the reality is that the government of Uzbekistan still benefits from reduced tariffs under GSP.

Again and again in this House, the gulf between words and actions is great. That gulf should be closed here. The Uzbek Government’s blanket denials are simply not credible, given the multitude of independent reports and the fact that the government refuses to allow access to the ILO.

The attempts by the right wing in this Parliament to water down the report are outrageous in my opinion. They should answer to a 14-year old boy from Uzbekistan who said: ‘We’re really afraid of getting expelled from school. Every September 2, the first day of school, the Director warns us that if we don’t go out to pick cotton we might as well not come back to school. The school administration does everything to create the impression that the schoolchildren themselves are the ones who have decided to go out to the cotton fields. But just try to “voluntarily” not go out to the harvest! We’re all forced to obey this unwritten law.’

No consent should be given to this agreement and there must be no ambiguity about that. Consent can only be considered after the ILO has been allowed access and after the practice of forced child labour has been ended.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Matteo Salvini, a nome del gruppo EFD. – Signor Presidente, noi sosterremo questa relazione e ringraziamo per il lavoro svolto. Sono il settimo o l'ottavo che interviene ripetendo la stessa cosa: se la Commissione veramente ritenesse che quello che si discute in questo Parlamento conta qualcosa, domani interviene, non con qualche relazione, non con qualche minaccia, non con qualche proposta di provvedimento.

Se è vero – e qua lo dice tutto l'emiciclo, da destra a sinistra – che centinaia di migliaia di bambini vengono forzatamente avviati a lavorare nei campi di cotone (e mi sembra che ormai le testimonianze ci dicano che è vero) noi votiamo questa relazione. Ma se domani mattina dalla Commissione europea non parte un'iniziativa concreta nei confronti del governo uzbeco vuol dire che abbiamo perso e abbiamo fatto perdere il nostro tempo questa sera, che contribuiamo a far perdere credibilità al Parlamento e alla Commissione e alle istituzioni europee e che abbiamo sulla coscienza qualche centinaia di migliaia di minori, che l'anno prossimo, se il dibattito va avanti così serenamente, continueranno a fare quello che sono costretti a fare da decenni.

Quindi sosteniamo questa relazione, però spero che alle otto, quando il dibattito si chiude, e poi con la votazione di domani, non venga posto in un cassetto il problema e mi auguro che la Commissione intervenga, non dopodomani, ma domai stesso.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Daniel Caspary (PPE). - Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Es wurde mehrfach angesprochen, auf welch schreckliche Weise große Teile der Baumwollernte in Usbekistan gewonnen werden. Als Vater, der selbst zwei Kinder hat, fände ich es äußerst schrecklich, wenn meinen Kindern Ähnliches widerfahren würde, was mit vielen Kindern in Usbekistan geschieht. Aber wir alle wissen und gehen in unserem Bericht auch darauf ein, dass wir nicht alles von heute auf morgen ändern können. Aber ich denke schon, dass es legitim ist, dass wir als Europäisches Parlament – und die Kommission ist hier zum Glück mit uns einig – verlangen, dass sich irgendetwas zumindest im Ansatz ändern muss. Das, was wir verlangen, nämlich dass die ILO sich in dem Land wirklich frei bewegen kann, sich vor Ort ein Bild machen kann, damit wir nicht nur auf die unbestätigten Rückmeldungen etlicher Nichtregierungsorganisationen angewiesen sind, sondern wirklich mal ein objektives Bild der Lage bekommen, ist durchaus angemessen.

Wir alle sollten wissen, dass das ein Prozess sein wird. Wir sollten uns nicht hinter der Kinderarbeit verstecken, sondern ich wünsche mir, dass die Europäische Kommission sich wirklich Gedanken macht, wie wir den Usbeken helfen können, hier herauszukommen. Wir alle wissen, wenn das ein Prozess ist, der sich über eine gewisse Zeit entwickeln muss, dann sollten wir uns überlegen, wie wir ganz konkret der usbekischen Regierung und dem usbekischen Volk Hilfestellungen geben können, den Einsatz von Technik hier zu intensivieren. Das heißt, eine Antwort kann nicht sein, den Handel komplett abzubrechen – denn wer uns keine Baumwolle mehr verkaufen kann, der wird auch kein Geld haben, in Technik zu investieren, um Kinderarbeit beseitigen zu können –, sondern ich wünsche mir, dass die Kommission uns heute schon einen Fahrplan vorlegt, sollten die Usbeken endlich die Beobachter der ILO ins Land lassen, wie wir dann in den kommenden Jahren gemeinsam mit den Usbeken einen realistischen Weg finden, wie wir mit einem realistischen Zeitplan den Usbeken in den nächsten Jahren helfen, dieses Problem Schritt für Schritt zu verbessern. Wir sollten nicht nur fordern, sondern wir sollten in diesem Fall auch ein überschaubares und akzeptables Angebot machen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Μαρία-Ελένη Κοππά (S&D). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, σήμερα καλούμαστε να αποδείξουμε εάν το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο παραμένει πιστό στις αρχές του. Με δεδομένη την κατάσταση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και κυρίως την παιδική υποχρεωτική εργασία θεωρώ ότι είναι αδύνατον να δώσουμε τη σύμφωνη γνώμη μας στην τροποποίηση της εταιρικής σχέσης με το Ουζμπεκιστάν, αν πρώτα δεν διασφαλίσουμε ότι θα επιτευχθούν σημαντικές αλλαγές στις πολιτικές της χώρας αυτής και κυρίως ότι θα λάβει τέλος η καταναγκαστική παιδική εργασία. Οι πρακτικές που ακολουθούνται στην χώρα αυτή είναι μεσαιωνικού τύπου και η κυβέρνηση συνεχίζει να αρνείται ότι υπάρχει πρόβλημα.

Είναι απαραίτητο λοιπόν να επιτραπεί στους παρατηρητές της Διεθνούς Οργάνωσης Εργασίας να βρεθούν εκεί και να έχουν ελεύθερη πρόσβαση, ώστε να μπορέσει να γίνει μια σωστή αξιολόγηση. Γιατί δεν φτάνει να υπογράφει συμβάσεις το Ουζμπεκιστάν κάτω από τη διεθνή πίεση· πρέπει κιόλας να τις εφαρμόζει. Δεν είναι δυνατόν τα παιδιά να στερούνται της σχολικής εκπαίδευσης για τρεις μήνες για να στέλνονται στη συγκομιδή του βαμβακιού, οι δε γονείς να έχουν αυστηρές κυρώσεις σε περιπτώσεις άρνησης. Για άλλη μια φορά η Ένωση δεν μπορεί να κλείσει τα μάτια και να έχει δύο μέτρα και δύο σταθμά στις πρακτικές της, επειδή ίσως κάποιες ευρωπαϊκές εταιρείες κλωστοϋφαντουργίας επωφελούνται.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Catherine Bearder (ALDE). - Mr President, Jordan, a schoolgirl from my constituency speaking about forced child labour last week, said that this needs to stop. With four other friends she left home at 5.30 in the morning to make a trip to our Parliament with a petition for the President. Jordan went on, ‘I am here to ask the European politicians what they are going to do to stop it’. Well, what are we going to do?

This is something that every MEP should be asking. As the Uzbek cotton harvest ends, there are again reports of children as young as eight being forced to work long hours in the cotton fields. The Khorezm region mobilised 170 000 schoolchildren during the harvest. Eight college directors were reportedly beaten to coerce them to pick cotton.

The Parliament must send a strong message to Uzbekistan that this practice must cease. Uzbekistan has made no credible efforts to end this practice. It does not cooperate with the ILO, despite signing relevant conventions, and it failed to invite ILO observers once again during this harvest. In the Committee on International Trade we bent over backwards to give the government a hearing but they failed to send anyone to speak to MEPs.

This is not acceptable and it cannot be business as usual. We now need to send a strong message. I want to be able to go back to the children in my constituency to say that we heard their voices because they were speaking up for the thousands of silent voices of children in Uzbekistan. The crimes of the cotton fields must stop now.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Inese Vaidere (PPE). - Uzbekistāna tāpat kā pārējās Centrālāzijas valstis ir resursiem bagāts un Eiropas Savienībai nozīmīgs partneris. Tā ir piektā lielākā kokvilnas ražotāja un trešā lielākā kokvilnas eksportētāja pasaulē. Eiropas Savienība ir lielākais Uzbekistānas kokvilnas importētājs pasaulē. Šie fakti sniedz mums iespēju un pienākumu pozitīvi ietekmēt Uzbekistānas attīstību un divpusējo sadarbību, veicināt progresu gan ekonomikas, gan arī cilvēktiesību jomā. Taču ir jāizvairās no pārāk pamācošas retorikas, kas var panākt gluži pretēju procesu. Uzbekistānas iedzīvotāji ir pozitīvi noskaņoti pret Eiropas Savienību, un lai stiprinātu sadarbību, manuprāt, nozīmīga būs Eiropas Savienības delegācijas darbība Taškentā. Darbs pie Parlamenta pozīcijas attiecībā uz protokolu nebija viegls, īpaši dēļ pastāvošajām bažām cilvēktiesību jomā. Gan ziņojumā, gan Ārlietu komitejas atzinumā ir pausts stingrs jebkādu piespiedu darbu nosodījums. Izskatot faktus, esmu nonākusi pie diviem galvenajiem secinājumiem. Pirmkārt, Uzbekistānai ir jānodrošina brīvs Starptautiskās Darba organizācijas darbs valstī. Vienlaikus jāņem vērā, ka Uzbekistāna jau ir veikusi nozīmīgus soļus problēmu risināšanā, ratificējot 13 SDO konvencijas un lielāko daļu ANO cilvēktiesību konvenciju, un šie principi ir iekļauti konstitūcijā. Par krimināli sodāmu ir noteikta bērnu piespiedu nodarbināšana. Otrkārt, ir būtiski panākt, ka tiek modernizēta lauksaimniecības nozare. Tādēļ ir svarīgi noslēgt tekstilizstrādājumu tirdzniecības protokolu ar Uzbekistānu, kam jānotiek bez liekas kavēšanās, tiklīdz Starptautiskā Darba organizācija apstiprinās, ka ir īstenotas konkrētas reformas un efektīvi tiek izskausts piespiedu darbs.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Justas Vincas Paleckis (S&D). - Pritariu pranešėjo pozicijai, kad prekybos tekstilės gaminiais su Uzbekistanu susitarimas neturėtų būti paremtas vien ekonominiais argumentais. Taškentas neigia, kad šalyje naudojamas vaikų darbas, tačiau nenoras įsileisti Tarptautinės darbo organizacijos atstovus ir kitus stebėtojus byloja ką kita. Europos Sąjunga turėtų panaudoti visą savo įtaką, kad pakeistų padėtį. Šalies valdžia nesugeba susitvarkyti žemės ūkyje, užkirsti kelio gamtos niokojimui, vandens švaistymui. ES šalių firmos, supirkdamos net ketvirtadalį šalies medvilnės, norom nenorom palaiko šia nevykusią sistemą.

Pusiau juokais, pusiau rimtai pasiūlyčiau: gal pareikalaukime, kad visos Uzbekistano medvilnę perkančios ES kompanijos ant savo produkcijos pažymėtų: „ji pagaminta galimai naudojant vaikų darbą“? Gal tai padėtų paspartinti permainas šalyje?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Joachim Zeller (PPE). - Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Es ist gerade einmal 20 Jahre her, dass die zentralasiatischen Staaten als Ergebnis des Zerfalls der Sowjetunion ihre staatliche Selbständigkeit erhielten. Aus einer Diktatur kommend bleibt der Aufbau demokratischer und rechtsstaatlicher Strukturen in diesen Staaten dauerhaft eine Herausforderung. Gleichwohl sind diese Staaten aufgrund ihres Reichtums an Bodenschätzen und Rohstoffen wichtige Handelspartner der EU und ihrer Mitgliedstaaten. Es ist deshalb nur folgerichtig, die Beziehungen der EU zu diesen Staaten im Rahmen von Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen zu regeln. Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen sollen der Zusammenarbeit dienen und zu partnerschaftlichem Handeln führen, allerdings nicht zur einseitigen Stigmatisierung.

Kinderarbeit und besonders Zwangsarbeit von Kindern ist ein leider noch in vielen Ländern dieser Welt verbreitetes Übel, das bekämpft werden muss. Ich gebe aber zu bedenken, dass es in vielen landwirtschaftlich geprägten europäischen Regionen üblich war, die Schulferien der Kinder in der Erntezeit zu verlängern, um den Kindern aus Bauernfamilien die Möglichkeit zu geben, bei der Ernte zu helfen, was heute keiner als Zwangsarbeit bezeichnen würde. Sollte es in Usbekistan allerdings Anzeichen von Kinderzwangsarbeit bei der Baumwollernte geben, müssen Konsequenzen gezogen werden.

Dieselbe Konsequenz muss dann aber für alle anderen Staaten gelten, in denen es noch Kinderarbeit gibt, auch für die Staaten, in denen wir wirtschaftliche Interessen ganz anderer Größenordnung verfolgen, wie Indien oder China. Wir sollten hier nicht mit zweierlei Maß messen!

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nicole Sinclaire (NI). - Mr President, I think Mr Murphy has summed this up perfectly; he talks about words and actions and that is what lies before us here. That is the decision that we have to make, or the Commission has to make. This is a question of values and puts into sharp focus Baroness Ashton’s assertion yesterday that human rights will be a thread in all the EU does.

As has been said many times here, Uzbekistan is the third-largest exporter of cotton worldwide; almost half that cotton is picked by state-sponsored forced child labour. Children suffer appalling conditions during the cotton harvest. Many contract hepatitis from insanitary conditions, and there have even been reports of police throwing stones at children who were not picking cotton because they were sick.

So far, the European Union has failed to take action on this issue, but it is clear from all parts of this Chamber that this is an issue of importance that needs immediate attention. I would like to see a plan from the Commission, not rhetoric. Suspension of GSP would be a good start.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Csanád Szegedi (NI). - Tisztelt Képviselőtársaim! Az Európai Uniónak stratégiailag fontos, illetve fontos kell hogy legyen Üzbegisztán. Nemcsak Üzbegisztán, hanem tulajdonképpen az egész belső-ázsiai térség. Három dolgot kell figyelembe venni mindenképpen egy esetleges megállapodás esetén, ha létrejön az Európai Unió és Üzbegisztán között. Az első az, hogy azért az Európai Uniónak annál jobb, minél több lábon áll. Nyilván nem szabad kiszolgáltatottnak lenni a kínai gyapotexportnak sem, ezért jó, ha az Európai Unió a világ – ha jól tudom – harmadik legnagyobb gyapotexportőr országával, Üzbegisztánnal is jó kapcsolatot ápol. Viszont emberjogi szempontból mindenképpen előrelépést kell tennie Üzbegisztánnak, a gyermekmunka tekintetében pedig az Európai Uniónak semmit nem szabad engednie.

A gyermekmunkában nagyon határozottan fel kell lépni! Én is úgy mondom ezt mint akinek kettő gyermeke van. A harmadik, aminek be kell teljesülni az, hogy az európai textiliparnak az érdekeit is figyelembe kell venni.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the Commission. − Mr President, I want to thank the honourable Members for this very serious and important debate.

Let me focus on the course to suspend the generalised system of preferences (GSP preferences). On behalf of the Commission I take note of the references made to the generalised system of preferences of which Uzbekistan is currently a beneficiary. The GSP is an incentive-based tool to support development. Its aim is to help developing countries to advance towards a better respect of international conventions on human and labour rights as well as to lock in essential reforms in these fields.

The GSP preferences can be withdrawn from beneficiaries in cases of serious and systemic violations of the principles that are laid down in international instruments such as the core International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions.

We will continue to keep the situation under review, given that the legal conditions for suspension are not presently met, and we shall act accordingly. In the meantime, we will intensify the constructive dialogue we have with Uzbekistan to help the ILO gain access to Uzbek cotton fields.

We very highly appreciate the cooperation with Parliament in this regard.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  George Sabin Cutaş, Raportor. − În primul rând, vreau să mulţumesc tuturor colegilor care au luat cuvântul în această dezbatere. Le mulţumesc pentru cuvintele pe care le-au spus.

Cred că putem trage o singură concluzie astăzi, în urma acestei dezbateri: Parlamentul nu poate aproba acest acord până nu vom avea certitudinea şi confirmarea unei misiuni a OIM în Uzbekistan.

Nu în ultimul rând, sigur că sunt pentru o abordare constructivă însă, atâta timp cât nu există dialog, atâta timp cât nu există un partener de discuţie cred, domnule Comisar, că trebuie să luaţi în considerare cu toată seriozitatea faptul că Uniunea Europeană ar trebui să demareze o anchetă privind retragerea temporară a drepturilor legate de sistemul generalizat de preferinţe. Nu vreau să mai spun că avem o influenţă destul de mare politică, pentru că exporturile Uniunii Europene în Uzbekistan nu însumează mai mult de 0,5% din total şi, de aceea, cred că putem avea o influenţă destul de mare asupra partenerilor.

Sigur că, aşa cum am spus, este nevoie de dialog şi este nevoie de un partener cu care să poţi discuta. Noi aici, la Parlament, aşa cum am spus, nu am reuşit să avem acest dialog cu reprezentanţii uzbeci. Îmi doresc foarte mult să găsim o soluţie, vă spun sincer, dar, până una-alta, concluzia de a aştepta şi a vedea care este reacţia guvernului uzbec cred că se impune ca fiind necesară.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. − The debate is closed.

The vote will take place tomorrow (Thursday, 15 December 2011).

Written statements (Rule 149)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Elisabeth Köstinger (PPE), schriftlich. Morgen wird sich das Europäische Parlament mit dem Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen zwischen der EU einerseits und Usbekistan andererseits befassen. Der technische Aspekt den es hier zu diskutieren gilt ist klar: Durch das Miteinbeziehen von Handelsbestimmungen zu Textilwaren in das PKA soll vor allem mehr Sicherheit für die europäische Wirtschaft garantiert werden. Da Usbekistan nicht der Welthandelsorganisation WTO angehört, gibt es bei willkürlichen Zolländerungen oder anderen nicht-tarifären Handelshindernissen seitens Usbekistan wenig rechtliche Handhabe. Vor diesem Hintergrund ist die Ausweitung des PKA auf den Textilhandel ein logischer Schritt. Viel mehr Sorgen bereitet mir die Tatsache, dass sich Usbekistan über längere Zeit hinweg mit Vorwürfen der Kinderzwangsarbeit konfrontiert sieht. Diese Vorwürfe gehören ein für allemal aus der Welt geschafft. Internationale Beobachter, wie zum Beispiel von der IAO, der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation, sollen den Status Quo im Land überprüfen und für Aufklärung sorgen. Sollten sich die Befürchtungen bestätigen, darf die EU diesen Zustand nicht durch Ausweitung des Handels unterstützen. Kinderzwangsarbeit sowie die schlimmsten Formen der Kinderarbeit gilt es weltweit zu bekämpfen. Ich unterstütze daher den vorgelegten, von allen Fraktionen mitgetragenen Zwischenbericht des Berichterstatters, der die Zustimmung zur Abänderung des PKA an klare Bedingungen knüpft.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: ANNI PODIMATA
Vice-President

(The sitting was suspended at 19.50 and resumed at 21.00)

 
Ανακοίνωση νομικού περιεχομένου - Πολιτική απορρήτου