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Procedure : 2009/0076(COD)
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Texts tabled :

A7-0336/2011

Debates :

PV 18/01/2012 - 24
CRE 18/01/2012 - 24

Votes :

PV 19/01/2012 - 10.9
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0010

Debates
Thursday, 19 January 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

11. Explanations of vote
Video of the speeches
PV
 

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution B7-0003/2012

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, I have often felt that this Chamber is out of touch with reality, but observing its reaction to the recent downgrades, I began to feel that lack of touch was toppling into clinical neurosis.

We have seen the downgrading not only of our sovereign countries that make up the eurozone, but of the fund that is supposed to pay for all the bail-outs – and the reaction in this Chamber, as in the palaces and chanceries of Europe, is to try to turn off the volume, to stick fingers in ears, and to pretend that if the ratings agencies do not report what is happening, then there is not really a problem. We had Mr Brok claiming, in an interview in Die Welt, that it was all a wicked Anglo-Saxon plot against the euro, that the ratings agencies are not interested in making money, and that they are trying to drive the euro to destruction.

My friends, there is no alternative to tackling the underlying problem. You cannot improve the weather by turning down the weather forecast. As my countryman Louis MacNeice put it, ‘The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever,/ But if you break the bloody glass, you can’t hold up the weather’.

 
  
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  Ashley Fox (ECR). – Mr President, in relation to the conclusions of the Council last month, I just wish to make the point that we in this Chamber delude ourselves if we think that we are the only democratic voice in Europe. We talk a great deal about the Community method but, in fact, we have to understand that this intergovernmental treaty is signed by 26 democratic governments accountable to their peoples. My government chose not to participate. We do not think it is good for Britain, nor for the eurozone, but we wish the eurozone well as it tries to sort out its problems.

I have to say that the inclusion in our resolution of a reference to the financial transaction tax was entirely inappropriate. This is displacement activity. We should be talking about making Europe more competitive, not about adopting more taxes which actually harm growth within the European Union.

 
  
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  Lena Kolarska-Bobińska (PPE).(PL) Mr President, to explain the reasons for my vote, I would like to say that for many years in the not so distant past, we were discussing the Treaty of Lisbon. It also took us a long time to adopt it by means of various referendums, whereas now, instead of implementing the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon, thanks to decisions taken by certain governments, mainly the governments of France and Germany, we are beginning to pull out of many provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon. At a time of crisis therefore, the Union is now moving back by a few years and a few kilometres. This is very wrong; since instead of strengthening the policies and institutions of the Union, instead of cooperating, we are slowly beginning to dismantle the post-Lisbon order. We have to oppose this decisively.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, in voting against the resolution concerning the intergovernmental agreement, I am not voting against its content. I am voting against this Parliament taking a position on the agreement at all. This is not an EU Treaty and should therefore not be treated as one in this House.

The crisis in the eurozone is continuing and it seems that most of the solutions that have been put forward so far via complicated regulations and ever more complex financial structures have not calmed the markets. An intergovernmental agreement could be faster to agree and simpler for the markets to understand if it were necessary, but as the most important aspects of this treaty are already included in a ‘six-pack’ on economic governance, I do not see any value in Parliament wasting its time on this rehashed agreement.

If it takes an intergovernmental treaty for Member States to live up to these commitments already in secondary EU legislation, then why are we wasting time legislating in this House? If Member States do not trust each other to deliver on agreed legislation, how can investors begin to trust them?

 
  
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  Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE). (FI) Mr President, I fear the worst, and that once again, the EU is creating rules which no one has even any intention of obeying. This is the same sort of rule as when it was decided that Europe was the world’s most competitive area in 2010. I do not believe that the Member States will achieve a 0.5% deficit target. In my view, the most important thing at this stage would have been to establish a programme for achieving this, and, furthermore, there ought to have been more focus on growth and maintaining employment. The EU has not given any attention to how the tax havens can be abolished. How should taxes be collected in the Member States? Now we need real measures such as these.

 
  
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  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE). (FI) Mr President, I think that this position adopted by Parliament is highly important because it is among the European Parliament’s key principles that legislation is formulated, drafted and implemented in the context of the normal Community method, which guarantees transparency and the democratic process. If, for political reasons, we have arrived at a situation where the Member States are out of step with one another in principle, it is extremely important that we achieve implementation in the context of normal Community legislation. After all, we have legislation on the ‘six-pack’ and on the deficits now being discussed here in Parliament. In this way, we can implement what Member States want in the context of an entirely normal legislative procedure.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE).(SK) Mr President, I could not vote in favour of the joint resolution on the conclusion of the last session of the European Council. I do not agree to this Parliament denying Member States the right to agree among themselves, as equal partners, in addressing urgent economic issues. If Europe is to overcome the crisis successfully, the Member States must regain the trust of the financial markets. The only real way of regaining trust is to take responsibility. Seeking other means, such as borrowing money for ineffective national and European projects, is the type of thinking that led us into the crisis. It is a road to new public debts, a road to hell. I cannot therefore support a resolution that promotes the establishment of project bonds, the introduction of a financial transaction tax, and stabilisation bonds.

 
  
  

Recommendation for second reading: Karl-Heinz Florenz (A7-0334/2011)

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, I have been struck by the tone of a lot of the remarks in this Chamber since the recent summit to the effect that Britain is now disengaged from Europe, that we should simply go our own way, return to the sea and so on. They are often delivered in a rather disparaging tone, but I take them as a constructive basis for negotiation.

It seems that if we are not going to be part of this new Treaty on Fiscal Union, this new FU Treaty, then it is logical that this should become the main forum for further integration. It should be, for example, the forum in which any tax harmonisation happens. It should indeed be not only the unit of economic governance, but of wider political amalgamation.

This would leave Britain in, if you like, an outward shell of the EU which would have been drained of its substance, as the weasel was said to suck the contents out of an egg while leaving the shell untouched. It would still be called the European Union, but it would, in practice, have subsided into a free trade area bolstered by a little bit of intergovernmental cooperation. Would that not keep all sides happy? It would certainly please my constituents, and I put it to you, colleagues, that you would lose a bad and grudging tenant, but gain a good and friendly neighbour.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I voted in favour of the Florenz report. The past twenty years or so has seen an increasingly widespread ownership and proliferation of personal household and electrical equipment by our citizens, and technology continues to develop at a rapid rate to satisfy increasing demands for cutting-edge products. As a result, electrical hardware often becomes obsolete after a comparatively short shelf-life and needs discarding.

This report makes out that only a third of such hardware is disposed of in the prescribed manner and recycled. This disposal figure needs to increase and Parliament must continue to support the Commission’s 2020 target of 65%, with an interim target of 45%. I particularly welcome the proposal for retailers to provide collection points for redundant small portable equipment – objects such as our mobile phones. The effect of the poisonous pollutants emanating from the avoidable, incorrect disposal of electronic goods does not respect national boundaries. We owe it to our citizens to have a clean environment throughout the whole of the European Union.

 
  
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  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE). (FI) Mr President, I enthusiastically support this legislation, which is a practical solution for achieving the targets that the Commission and the whole of the European Union are aiming at with their Resource Efficiency Road map and raw materials strategy. At the same time, we have a glaring shortage of vital raw materials, especially precious metals and global resources generally. We need practical tools, such as the recycling of electronic waste, to make these strategies work in practice.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted in favour of this report because I feel that the amendment to the directive will bring about timely changes. I am thinking, in particular, about the clarifications concerning the collection method and the categories of electrical and electronic equipment. Another positive aspect is the emphasis on retrieving strategic raw materials, in addition to the recovery, recycling and reuse activities.

I would like to emphasise the importance of the measures for raising the awareness of and informing the public. This will ensure the success of the waste management schemes. At the same time, I encourage the Commission to promote the exchange of good practices in this area. For example, the Romanian authorities have created a website offering complete information about collecting and recycling electrical and electronic equipment. Another measure was the launch of the national ‘Marea debarasare’ (Big Disposal) campaign in 2007. As a result of this annual event, several thousand tonnes of waste have been collected.

 
  
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  Alajos Mészáros (PPE).(HU) Mr President, waste electrical equipment is one of the fastest growing waste products in the European Union. We must do everything in our power to ensure that it is recycled professionally in order to be able to mitigate our loss of resources. In the interest of preventing environmental and health damage, we must seek to ensure appropriate collection. Impact assessments reveal that although 85% of these waste products are now collected in EU Member States, only 33% of them undergo appropriate processing. By preserving existing and tested systems, all actors involved in collection and treatment must engage in conduct that complies with the directive.

Experience so far has unfortunately shown that Member States differ in their interpretations of the present directive. We must strive to ensure that the new Member States, too, are able to catch up and follow the provisions of the directive. This also includes selective waste collection. Selective collection could also serve to reduce the extensive illegal transport of waste outside the EU. I believe that costs incurred during collection and treatment should be incorporated into product prices so as to serve as an incentive to reduce costs. I, too, voted in favour of this proposal.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, this report on waste electrical and electronic equipment seems to strike the right balance in terms of what should be decided at EU level and what should be left to Member States. For Wales, a key element will be the way in which the collection target will be calculated – the current method being kept until the end of 2013, after which there will be an interim target and then an ambitious target of 65% of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) placed on the market from 2020.

Member States such as my own will now have the choice of opting for a more ambitious 85% target should they wish to do so. Conversely, I welcome the proposal that the Commission will assist those Member States who are struggling to meet the targets, with transitional adjustments. While it is important to increase the amount of EEE being recycled and to reduce the waste, it is equally important that the approach should not be too prescriptive but should give Member States the flexibility to choose the most appropriate and achievable target for them. Delivering a positive result will now be up to the Member States: it will be up to them to demonstrate commitment turned into reality.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President, firstly, I would like to congratulate my colleague, Karl-Heinz Florenz, for the good work he has done, not only on this report, but on a lot of other reports. Truly, it has been a great achievement on his part.

Mr Florenz, who has now departed – thankfully not this life but the Chamber – has done good work and it has been recognised by all the speakers in the House.

This is certainly a huge area for us. As more and more electrical and electronic equipment comes onto the market, it is important that it be disposed of properly and also recycled, and particularly important to end some terrible practices such as exporting waste electrical and electronic equipment to third countries. By abiding by the proposals here, we can help to improve the environment, we can secure secondary raw materials and we can help to improve the health of our citizens. This is another instance of ‘win-win’ for all Europe’s citizens.

 
  
  

Recommendation for second reading: Christa Klass (A7-0336/2011)

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I voted in favour of the Klass report concerning the placing on the market and the use of biocidal products. I believe that the package will be a balanced one, and it will see the Biocidal Products Directive repealed, hopefully, and replaced with a better alternative, while still keeping at the forefront its two main aims. In addition, with the retention of the two-step Biocidal Products Directive, the procedure particularly of assessing chemical active ingredients and the approval system that differentiates between the so-called ‘normal’ and ‘problematic’ substances will still remain in force. This is essential for the legislation to be effective.

I believe the labelling requirements introduced by the compromise package for those materials treated with biocides and the simplification of data protection rules to be positive steps. The mandatory data sharing mechanism is also important and has been put forward in the report. This would mean the avoidance of duplication of vertebrate animal studies and the use of more vivisection which, generally speaking, I reject. I feel that the report will make the rules surrounding the products a lot easier to understand and also to enforce throughout the European Union.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for this report because biocidal products have a wide range of uses, including in the food, cosmetics and textile industries. As a result of this, their use needs to be closely regulated. Simpler authorisation procedures are required. A high level of health protection also needs to be maintained.

I think that the centralised authorisation system will have a beneficial impact at European level. In addition, the measures on the comprehensive labelling of products treated with biocides are timely. They will enable consumers to be better informed and protected.

I welcome the attention being focused on the cumulative effects. At the moment, there is no single accepted definition or analysis criteria. In this regard, including the assessment method in the technical guidance notes presented by the Commission marks a step forward.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, the European Parliament and the Member States today agreed a recasting of the EU Regulation on biocidal products. I very much welcome the fact that there will be EU-wide authorisation for biocidal products, and that non-European producers will also have to seek European authorisations. The result of that is that foreign manufacturers, too, will have to meet high European standards if they want to sell their products in Europe. From the point of view of the agricultural sector, however, it is important that biocides continue to be available for use by our farmers.

A good compromise has been achieved here, and it is one that facilitates the sustainable use of biocides and further reduces potential risks when they are used. The result is that, on this issue too, the process is under way. Clearly, this will not be the last time that we deal with this issue in this House.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, maintaining the use of existing biocidal products in the absence of viable alternatives is vital for industry, households and our communities at large. This report balances usage requirements whilst upholding a high level of protection for human and animal health and the environment. It is important that the process of assessing the active ingredient and the subsequent authorisation of a biocidal product will be maintained at current standards to ensure the highest level of protection.

Coming from a background of biochemistry, I welcome that there will be a regular review of biocides, with the initial approval or subsequent renewals having a limit of 10 years. However, despite the report initially proposing a ban on all carcinogens, it is important that they will still be permitted to be used in a controlled manner particularly with regard to rodent control pesticides, which are widely used by the farming community in my region in Wales. Safe, regulated use is far preferable to an outright ban. I also support the rules for mutual recognition which will, of course, provide for a single market in biocides across the whole of the EU.

 
  
  

Report: José Bové (A7-0421/2011)

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I voted in favour of the Bové report on the farm input supply chain. Given that farming is such a labour- and machinery-intensive, costly industry, and with ever-growing demand for food, it can sometimes be difficult for farmers to always make a profit and this report recognises this as fact.

The report is particularly good in that it also acknowledges that legislation imposed by the EU can and often does decrease the global competitiveness of the farms it is actually trying to help. One of the key elements of the report is the proposition that greening measures in pillar one should be made optional. These measures, which are part of the Commission’s draft legislation on the common agricultural policy post-2013, could pose difficulties to many of our farmers and place an extra unnecessary burden on the farming industry at a time when we should all be striving to implement measures that have exactly the opposite effect.

 
  
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  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE). (FI) Mr President, the issue of waste in connection with resource efficiency and the recycling of electronic waste also relates to how more than half of the food produced is being wasted both globally and in the European Union. I enthusiastically support this excellent report, which is based on the premise that we need measures at every step in the output chain, based on what is produced and how. Where does production take place? What are the transport arrangements? What sort of agricultural system is being supported? How, moreover, do the food production chain, restaurants and public procurement ensure that we use the valuable calorific and healthy nutritional resources occurring throughout Europe in the fairest possible way, while at the same time supporting targets for biodiversity and, furthermore, reducing the impact of food production on climate?

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for Mr Bové’s report because I think that the pricing mechanism on agricultural markets must ensure a fair distribution of profits. Nowadays, a lack of transparency and communication are the main features of the supply chain, not to mention the concentration of large chain stores, rising utility prices and the fall in the public’s purchasing power.

Unfortunately, farmers living in remote, mountain or isolated regions are hardest hit. Due to the difficult natural conditions, they need to invest more in transport and preserving products, while keeping their prices competitive.

I would like to ask the Commission what kind of compensation measures it can offer these farmers. They also need to be informed about the package for remote and the outermost regions offered by the Structural Funds.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, today’s own-initiative report from the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development draws attention to an important problem in agriculture. This is that, in recent years, input and production costs have risen much more quickly than farm gate prices.

We need fair conditions between all market participants. That is, of course, why we have a social market economy. A social market economy means that politicians need to get involved when these fair market conditions are not in place.

One problem that we have in the agricultural sector is that we have a large number of farms and a processing industry made up mainly of medium-sized companies, whereas the retail sector at the end of the chain is highly concentrated into the hands of a small number of operators. The result of this, of course, is that it is the farmers, as the least organised of these sectors, who most often draw the short straw. As a result, we need a great increase in the number of interest groups to obtain market information and to be able to come to agreements about prices. Current anti-trust rules do not do justice to these needs and need to be amended accordingly.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President, once again, I was very pleased to vote for this report, and to listen and take part in the debate we had on it this morning. The debate was excellent indeed.

At the end of the day, we are tackling this huge problem, that of major buyers – especially multinationals – who are making extraordinary profits and farmers who are making little or no profit. This must be corrected. Bad practices must end, especially practices such as hello money, as it is called. If we succeed in correcting this, our farmers will get a fair deal. It is high time for us to do that, as, until now, the major buyers have had a clear run and that is not fair to anyone.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution B7-0006/2012

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, this is very similar to the previous topic and the same issues apply. I just want to emphasise again that we really need to tackle it at producer level and, particularly, at the level of the multinationals. If we do that and establish parity for everybody along the food chain, then we will be doing a good job. It is a big task but we must keep at it until it is complete.

 
  
  

Report: Aldo Patriciello (A7-0431/2011)

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, space has always exerted a pull on the imagination of a certain kind of European integrationist. Space exploration is seen almost in Cold War terms, as a kind of virility symbol, a way of asserting Europe’s place in the world.

One thinks of President Chirac’s description of the Galileo project as a way of breaking the technological imperialism of the United States; one thinks of the obsession of successive French Presidents with putting a Frenchman sur la lune – which, of course, we would all support, although I think there would need to be intergovernmental negotiations on whether to bring him back again, depending on which Frenchman it was.

My friends, space has become an almost perfect symbol of the European Union. In order to publicise the most recent European election in the UK, we had the image of a ballot box in orbit – and there, writ large, is what the European Union has become: disconnected, unworldly, looking down on the rest of us, cut off, remote.

Even as your feet sink into the mire, you, my federalist friends, are still gazing fixedly at the stars.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I voted in favour of the Patriciello report; there are clear merits for the European Union to coordinate its efforts for a better EU space strategy. The combined technical expertise of all our scientists and engineers would serve to improve space technology that aids both the EU economy and improves the quality of life of our citizens. For example, the GPS satellites that millions of motorists rely on across Europe could be enhanced to give further accuracy and innovation for traffic management and secure the passage of merchant shipping, which delivers the bulk of imported goods to our European economy.

I would also support the EU’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme, which aims to create a capacity for earth observation and the environmental benefits we would hope that it would eventually bestow. However, I support the report’s call for the GMES to be funded through the multiannual financial framework, which is preferable to the Commission’s wish that it be funded outside of the European Union budget, placing an added financial burden on Member States during these times of increased austerity.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, the report on space strategy for the European Union makes sound and sensible proposals in an area where shared Member State resources can be made to go further.

Having an EU space strategy facilitates the pooling of resources and intelligence so that we can make real, innovative progress that will benefit the entire EU and beyond. This is particularly important given the increasingly competitive world we are operating in and the spin-offs that space research often delivers for everyday products for our constituents.

An EU space strategy will ensure independent access to space, which is likely to become increasingly important over time. It will also allow further development of Galileo – our satellite navigation system project – and will assist us in developing our own high-precision positioning system in Europe.

This is an area of EU added value.

 
  
  

Report: Salvatore Caronna (A7-0430/2011)

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, Lukashenko’s dictatorship in Belarus is sometimes described as the last surviving piece of Soviet apparatus in Europe, but I think that overlooks the common agricultural policy, with its central plans, with its state support of prices, with its regulation. We have rehearsed many times the case against the CAP, the terrible damage it does to developing countries, particularly in Africa, the way in which it falls disproportionately on the poorest, the inflationary effect it has on our economies through higher food prices, the distortion of incentives in the countryside, the way in which it particularly penalises countries such as mine which are net food importers.

One thing which I think deserves more study is the way in which it funnels money to a particular kind of people in all the Member States – and they are not farmers, or at least not necessarily. The payments have become disconnected from the land. A lot of public sector institutions, NGOs and generally wealthy individuals are now receiving subsidy cheques from the European Union, and that, in a sense, is the point: we have purchased – or the EU has purchased – the loyalty of a powerful and articulate caste of people in every Member State.

I would say this is the best mechanism in Europe for redistributing money from the poor to the rich, but, of course, that honour must now go to our policy of bank bail-outs.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I voted along with my group, the ECR, in favour of the changes suggested by the Caronna report. In the current economic crisis, with the global population increasing at its current rate and with widespread famine in Africa a major problem, the need to reduce food wastage has never been greater. Therefore, exchanging methods of best practice is important, as is better coordination between Member States.

One of the most important matters highlighted by the report is the fact that the rules concerning below-cost selling in our supermarkets are not the same throughout the European Union. It is important to allow retailers to sell food at discounted prices as it nears its ‘sell by’ date: this practice reduces food wastage significantly in countries such as the United Kingdom, where it is permitted. In some of our Member States, believe it or not, there is a ban on below-cost selling – absurdly making this sensible practice illegal. I hope that, with better coordination between Member States, this situation will change.

Lastly, I agree with my colleague, Dan Hannan, that a radical reform of the CAP is essential for the future.

 
  
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  Markus Pieper (PPE).(DE) Mr President, I was very happy to vote in favour of this report. Ninety million tonnes of usable food is thrown away in the European Union every year. It is unforgivable that almost half of all food is disposed of as waste during production and supply. We quite simply have to think of a better way in this regard.

I call on the Commission to produce a more detailed analysis of the causes and we also need to analyse the differences by Member State in much greater detail. If it turns out that we, the consumers, bear the primary responsibility for all this waste, we will simply have to think of something when it comes to policy.

One potential area to tackle is the best before dates on foodstuffs. These are often excessively cautious, which, of course, leads to food wastage. In Poland, instead of a best before date, packaging is printed with ‘best consumed before ...’, while in Austria, a recommended end date for consumption is printed. We should learn from those who make the most sustainable use of their foodstuffs.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE).(RO) Mr President, I voted for the report drafted by Mr Caronna, given the warnings from the FAO about the global imbalances in food production. I think that good-quality agriculture needs to be promoted, backed up by sensible consumption and avoiding wastage. This can help achieve a healthy, nutritional supply. This provides the basis for food security, a new fundamental right for European citizens and others.

While 180 kilograms of food for each European ends up in the rubbish bin every year, Somalia has been ravaged by famine for six months. At the moment, the UN considers that this state has the highest rate of malnutrition in the world, especially among children. I also support designating 2013 as the European Year against Food Waste, thereby raising awareness among the general public.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr (PPE).(DE) Mr President, this week, the European Parliament has been dealing with a key issue in industrialised nations – food wastage. I was very pleased that that has been the case, as, after all, we are talking here about around half of the food produced in the Member States of the European Union, which does not get to where it should, namely, to consumers to be consumed, but is instead thrown away.

I must stress to Mr Pieper once again that we really do just need to come up with more in this area. This report represents a step in the right direction, but we also need truly tangible and acceptable action to be taken.

There is one more point that I would like to highlight, and it is something that repeatedly annoys me, as a farmer. It is that we also need to close existing material cycles. In future, as in the past, we will continue to have foodstuffs that are no longer suitable for human consumption. At present, however, such foods must be destroyed, and cannot be used as animal feed. At this point, once again, I call on the Commission to take steps to ensure that food that is no longer fit for human consumption can at least still be used as animal feed.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). – Mr President, given the pressures that are already being put on our farmers to produce more food with fewer resources, the report on how to avoid food waste seems to strike the right tone.

With the UN estimating that the global population will reach nine billion by 2050, it is only sensible that we reduce food wastage as part of our food supply strategy. I support a coordinated strategy across the EU, with a network being established to facilitate the exchange of intelligence and best practice on how to achieve this reduction. The network should also seek to further coordinate research and development into improved technologies for the treatment of waste products, particularly in energy generation.

The report acknowledges that there is a need for industry to play its part in reducing food wastage, especially in terms of packaging, though I would also like to see more innovative approaches to the actual use of close-to-date food.

We need to ensure that a competitive market delivers our food in an economic and efficient form. However, we need to be careful not to replace market solutions with overly burdensome legislation.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Mr President, the question of food wastage is a growing European problem that is reflected right along the food supply chain.

In this context, I would like to welcome the Commission proposal on food wastage reduction by 2020. I hope that the report we have voted on today, which I supported, will contribute to this objective.

I agree with Commissioner Potočnik that in the recent situation, where many countries of the world have been suffering from food shortages, the food waste produced in Europe is morally, economically and environmentally irresponsible.

Above all, I think that people should be better informed, not only on the causes and effects of waste, but also on ways of reducing it. I support Parliament’s request to declare 2013 the European Year against Food Waste, which would serve as a key information and awareness-raising tool on this important issue.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Mr President, when I researched this matter, I was appalled by the figures. A lot of households throw out up to EUR 1 000 worth of food each year. That is a lot of money, and something must be done about it.

This report is very important. It points out some startling statistics – for instance, that 60% of the food that is thrown out need not be thrown out, and 20% is thrown out due to confusion over dates and product labelling. So that is the first thing we need to get right, and then we need to make consumers aware of it.

We also need to take into account the greenhouse gas emissions entailed in producing food that is not going to be used, and then to look at the other side of this question: at proper biowaste management for food that will not be required. We have a lot of work to do, but this is a basis.

 
  
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  Mitro Repo (S&D). (FI) (The speaker began without a microphone) ... your being elected first Vice-President. I have just voted in favour of the report on the avoidance of food wastage. While almost 80 million EU citizens are living below the poverty line, struggling each day to make a living, and while more than 900 million people around the world are dangerously undernourished, at the same time, food waste here in Europe every year amounts to almost 180 kilograms per person. I weigh 120 kilograms.

It is a completely intolerable situation – ecologically, economically and also ethically – where perfectly edible food is ending up in the waste bin. If edible food is being thrown away, the environmental impact of its raw materials and food processing will also have been entirely in vain, nor does it make any financial sense not to make use of edible food. It is the same as throwing money straight into the rubbish bin.

 
  
  

Written explanations of vote

 
  
  

Report: Louis Michel (A7-0441/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, since it is a simple and necessary technical modification of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009, adopted last year. Specifically, it clarifies the rules on transit through the international zones of airports, increasing legal certainty and transparency, in my view. In short, the amendments are justified because there is, in fact, no need to check a person already holding a visa or residency permit again.

 
  
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  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the proposal to modify the regulation on the Community Code on Visas, since it consists only of several technical changes that will not modify the way Member States implement these provisions. This amendment of the Visa Code will ensure greater legal certainty and the harmonised application of rules. Furthermore, the measures are of practical importance for individual travellers and airlines, which will be able to avoid repeating checks on people who have already been checked and been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. – (FR) Until now, exemption from the airport transit visa (ATV) requirement was unclear and that is why I voted in favour of this amendment to the 2009 regulation. The amendment is only a technical adjustment but it will reduce the administrative burden on the Member States, and simplify the lives of individuals, European airports and airlines. It will principally be of use to third-country nationals, who will henceforth be exempted from the ATV requirement if they hold a visa from a Member State of the European Union, even from a country which is not part of the Schengen zone. As our rapporteur Louis Michel has explained, ‘this change is logical: it is pointless to insist that persons who already hold a visa or residence permit should undergo a further identity check, given that they have already been checked’ and ‘on that basis, have been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration’.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The free movement of people is a fundamental right of citizens of the European Union. However, abolition of internal borders requires increased management of the Union’s external borders, as well as regulation of the entry and residence of third-country nationals. These amendments will enable third-country nationals holding a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State where all the provisions of Schengen have not yet been applied to be exempt from the need to have an airport transit visa. As such, I voted for this report amending the Community Code on Visas with the intention of clarifying the text, ensuring the harmonised implementation of the rules, and reducing the administrative burden on the Member States.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because it makes technical adjustments to the provisions dealing with the air transport visa (ATV). As indicated in the report, this adjustment will not alter the way Member States implement those provisions. This European Parliament report therefore only proposes technical amendments because the amended regulation provides that third-country nationals who hold a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State which does not (yet) apply the Schengen acquis in full (United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania) are to be covered by the ATV exemption. The European Parliament regards this change as logical because it is pointless to insist that persons who already hold a visa or residence permit should undergo a further identity check, given that they have already been checked and, on that basis, have been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration. Furthermore, the proposal should also reduce the administrative burden on the Member States.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour, since I believe the purpose of this report is to clarify, in practical terms, for both passengers and airlines, the rules governing transit through the international zones of airports, thereby contributing to increased transparency and legal certainty. The intention is for third-country nationals holding a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State where all the provisions of Schengen have not yet been applied to enjoy exemption from the need for an airport transit visa.

 
  
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  Nessa Childers (S&D), in writing. – While I supported the S&D Group in voting for this motion, Ireland remains outside the Schengen area, and so will not be affected by this vote.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) It is essential that there be a common visa policy facilitating legitimate travel by third-country nationals and preventing the implementation of measures aimed at facilitating the process of lodging and processing visa applications: simplified issue procedure, reduced costs, use of visas for multiple entries, provision for more adequate periods of validity, etc. The Community Code on Visas, created in 2009, was the decisive factor in making the common visa policy more consistent, enabling the inclusion in a single Code of all provisions governing the issue of visas and decisions relating to refusal, extension, cancellation, revocation and shortening of visas issued. I am voting for this report, which introduces an amendment that is merely technical but is enormously important in practical terms for both passengers and airlines, intended to clarify the rules governing transit through the international zones of airports, so contributing to increased transparency and legal certainty.

It makes provision for third-country nationals holding a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State where all the provisions of Schengen have not yet been applied to enjoy exemption from the need for an airport transit visa.

 
  
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  Ioan Enciu (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report because the amendments made to the Visa Code provide legal certainty for those persons with a visa or residence permits for those EU Member States which are outside the Schengen area. It also clarifies the regulations that apply in airports throughout the European Union and removes the possibility of different standards being applied by the security authorities in Schengen and non-Schengen Member States.

Apart from the technical amendments proposed, this also sends a symbolic message stating that Member States must be treated in an equal, non-discriminatory manner, regardless of whether they belong to the Schengen area or not. I believe that this is also a lesson that can be applied to Romania and Bulgaria joining the Schengen area or in the broader framework of reforming the governance of the Schengen area.

After adopting this report, the Commission must take the necessary measures to amend accordingly the Handbook on processing visa applications, which needs to take the new provisions into account.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report because I advocate the implementation of a Community Visa Code clarifying the rules regarding the movement of passengers transiting in the international zones of airports. This technical clarification brings an end to European passengers’ obligation to hold an airport transit visa. These measures contribute to increased legal certainty and to reducing unnecessary bureaucracy.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) This proposal is limited to a technical amendment involving clarification of the existing text to make explicit that third-country nationals holding a valid visa or residency permit issued by a Member State that does not apply common visa policy in full will be covered by an airport transit visa exemption, and that this will also apply to those holding a valid visa when they travel to the third country that issued the visa, or to any other third country and when, having used the visa, they return from the third country that issued it. The result of the vote in parliamentary committee confirms the consensual nature of this subject, thereby strengthening my non-opposition to this amendment.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Mr Michel, concerns a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009, of 13 July, establishing a Community Code on Visas, commonly known as the ‘Visa Code’. It has been Parliament’s concern to reduce the bureaucratic burden on the European public, specifically by facilitating the mobility of individuals and abolishing the duplication of checks when this does not jeopardise the security of people or goods. I voted for this report, since this proposal is limited to a technical amendment intended to clarify that ‘third-country nationals holding a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State which does not [...] apply the Schengen acquis in full’ – United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania – are exempt from presentation of an airport transit visa, and does not change the practices adopted by the Member States.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report proposes a technical adjustment of practical importance for a certain type of passenger, whom it will exempt from a second security check that is unnecessary, given the check they have already undergone to entitle them to a visa. We voted in favour, since this is a correction that does not change the practices used by the Member States, but is intended simply to make passengers’ lives easier and reduce the administrative burden on the Member States.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the proposal because it consists of a correction that will not alter the way these provisions are implemented in Member States. Instead, it will serve to exempt citizens of Member States that do not yet apply the Schengen acquis in full (United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria) from airport transit visa requirements. I regard this change as logical because it is pointless to insist that persons who already hold a visa or residence permit should undergo a further identity check given that they have already been checked and been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration. The proposal should also reduce the administrative burden on the Member States.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing.(SK) In order to ensure legal certainty and transparency, rules must be established for transits via the international transit areas of airports. Third-country nationals who are required to hold a visa under Article 3(1) and (2) of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 and who hold a valid visa issued by a Member State, Canada, Japan or the United States of America, or who hold a valid residence permit issued by a Member State, Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino or the United States of America, are exempt from the requirement to hold an airport transit visa. The proposal only consists of technical amendments to provisions concerning airport visas. The amended regulation provides that third-country nationals who hold a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State that does not apply or does not yet apply the Schengen acquis in full (the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania) are to be covered by the airport transit visa exemption. It is pointless that persons who already hold a visa or residence permit should undergo a further identity check, given that they have already been checked and, on that basis, have been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration. What is more, the proposal should reduce the administrative burden on the Member States.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) The aim of this report is to partially amend the Visa Code by making a technical adjustment to the airport transit visa requirements. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing. (FR) The aim of this report, which I voted in favour of, is to clarify the wording of part of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas. This regulation of 13 December 2009 simplifies the airport transit of third-country nationals who hold a valid residence permit or a visa issued by a Member State. This is a purely technical amendment which will allow a simpler procedure for exemption from the airport transit visa requirement.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) With the aim of ensuring legal certainty and greater transparency, the regulation establishing a Community Code on Visas needs to be amended to clarify all the rules governing transit through the international zone of airports. The new component introduced to this regulation concerns the exemption from the air transit visa requirement of third-country nationals holding a valid residence permit or a visa issued by one of the Member States which does not apply the Schengen acquis in full.

The relevant states are the United Kingdom and Ireland, which have decided not to apply the Schengen acquis, and Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania, which are in the process of joining the Schengen area. I think that this is a natural amendment, given that the relevant persons have already been checked by an EU authority. It is also a proposal which will reduce Member States’ bureaucratic obligations.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this proposal which makes technical adjustments to the provisions dealing with the ATV. This adjustment will not alter the way Member States implement those provisions. The amended regulation provides that third-country nationals who hold a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State which does not (yet) apply the Schengen acquis in full (United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania) are to be covered by the ATV exemption. I regard this change as logical: it is pointless to insist that persons who already hold a visa or residence permit should undergo a further identity check, given that they have already been checked and, on that basis, have been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration. What is more, the proposal should reduce the administrative burden on the Member States.

 
  
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  Clemente Mastella (PPE), in writing.(IT) We think it is necessary to establish a Community Code on Visas with a view to clarifying the rules governing transit through the international zone of airports and hence guarantee legal certainty and transparency.

It is essential to make a few technical amendments so as to be able to guarantee legal certainty and the harmonised application of the rules. Clarification of this kind is of practical importance for individual travellers and for airlines.

This is a technical adjustment to the provisions dealing with the airport transit visa (ATV). The adjustment will not alter the way Member States implement those provisions. The amended regulation provides that third-country nationals who hold a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State which does not (yet) apply the Schengen acquis in full (United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania) are to be covered by the ATV exemption.

We think it is pointless to insist that persons who already hold a visa or residence permit should undergo a further identity check, given that they have already been checked and, on that basis, have been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration. This should also reduce the administrative burden on the Member States.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Michel. I agree with the amendments put forward on this regulation. We need to eliminate all possible misunderstandings about the rules governing transit through the international zone of airports and hence guarantee legal certainty and transparency.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I disapprove of the excessively restrictive conditions for the granting of short-stay visas and the existence of airport transits. The former imply disproportionate discrimination on the basis of money, the latter discrimination on the basis of country of origin. This is unacceptable. Nonetheless, given that this report technically promotes an increase in the number of exemptions from airport transit visas under European law, I am voting in favour.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) It is a technical adjustment to the airport transit visa (ATV) requirements. This adjustment will not change how Member States operate. The amendment to the regulation provides that third-country nationals holding a visa or residence permit issued by a Member State that does not (yet) apply the Schengen acquis in full (United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania) are to be covered by the ATV exemption. This new provision will allow, for example, someone of Iraqi nationality, holding a visa issued by Bulgaria, to travel without an airport transit visa. This seems to be a logical amendment: it is pointless to insist that persons who already hold a visa or residence permit should undergo a further identity check (who has therefore already been checked and who, on that basis, has already been deemed not to present a risk of illegal immigration). Furthermore, this proposal should also reduce the administrative burden on the Member States. I wholly support this proposal.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The Community Code on Visas has been in force since 10 April 2010. During the process of preparing the Handbook, it became clear to me that the wording of the articles concerning exemption from the airport transit visa (ATV) requirement was unclear. According to the Visa Code, third-country nationals who hold a valid ATV issued by a Member State, Canada, Japan or the United States of America, or who hold a valid residence permit issued by a Member State, Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino or the United States of America, are exempted from the ATV requirement. I support the modifications proposed by the Commission, particularly in order to avoid people who already hold a visa or residence permit covered by the ATV exemption being subjected to further ID checks, when it is clear that they do not present a risk for irregular entry.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The abolition of the visa obligation was already alarming back in 2009 when it applied to countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania. This amendment aims to also include Northern Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria on that list. Northern Cyprus meets the preconditions, both politically and economically, and its inclusion would be something that I would welcome. Romania and Bulgaria, however, are not even close to establishing a functional, corruption-free State apparatus which would reduce crime rates. We will have to fear a massive rise in crime, human trafficking and immigration from these countries. I voted ‘no’ for the reasons I have just set out.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE), in writing. – I voted in favour of the Community Code on Visas because it clarifies some key technical aspects of the visa regime. Following the adoption of this report, third-country nationals who already hold a visa issued by a Member State are also entitled to exemption from the airport transit visa (ATV) requirement by those Member States which do not apply the Schengen acquis. This is a logical step because once such a third-country national has passed all the required identification steps for securing the said visa, he/she should not require a second set of identification checks in order to obtain an ATV.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution. I believe that it is inappropriate and pointless to subject third-country citizens who already hold a visa or residence permit to repeated identity checks because, at the time of the initial check, it was already confirmed that they do not present a risk of illegal immigration. Moreover, in order to ensure legal certainty and transparency, as well as the application of effective provisions on the airport transit visa (ATV), exemptions from the ATV requirement must be set out in a clear and unambiguous manner and applied in accordance with strict requirements. It is also very important to stress that the new provisions of this regulation will bring benefits not just to individual travellers and airlines, but also to the Member States, as they will reduce the administrative burden.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) The text adopted on the amendment of the regulation on the Community Code on the airport transit visa (ATV) consists only of an adjustment to the code that has been in force since April 2010. The amendment refers to third-country nationals who, if they hold a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State which does not yet apply the Schengen acquis in full (United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania), are to be covered by the ATV exemption because they have already been checked by the European bureaucratic apparatus. This changes nothing for Member States and reduces the burdens on the citizens in question, allowing them to travel more easily.

 
  
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  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of the proposal. The purpose of amending the regulation establishing a Community Code on Visas is to clarify the rules governing transit through the international zone of airports and so guarantee legal certainty and transparency. Although this clarification is technical and does not alter the practice applied in the Member States, it makes provision for third-country nationals holding a valid visa issued by a Member State or a valid residence permit issued by a Member State which does not apply (or does not yet apply) the Schengen acquis in full (United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania) to be exempt from the need to obtain an airport transit visa and it is therefore of practical value to passengers. This proposal forms part of the more general debate on the review of the operation of the Schengen Code. The European Parliament is due shortly to take an overall stand on the amendment and updating of the Schengen Code.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report, whose purpose is to amend Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) with a view to clarifying the rules governing transit through the international zones of airports, so guaranteeing legal certainty and transparency.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) The aim of the proposal is to clarify the rules governing transit through the international zone of airports and hence guarantee legal certainty and transparency. I agree with the need to amend the Visa Code in relation to air transport visa (ATV) exemptions so as to guarantee legal certainty and the harmonised application of the rules, thereby also helping to reduce the administrative burden on Member States. Accordingly, I am voting in favour of the proposal.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Regulation (EC) No 810/2009, of 13 July 2009, which established the Community Code on Visas, sought to introduce uniform regulation of passenger transit through airports’ international zones. During the process of preparing the Handbook for the processing of visa applications and the modification of issued visas, however, it was noted that the wording of Article 3(5)(b) and (c)was unclear. The purpose of this amendment is to clarify this rule, thereby increasing legal certainty, on the one hand, and enshrining in law the practice that was being followed, on the other. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The aim of the proposal is to amend Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) with a view to clarifying the rules governing transit through the international zone of airports and so guaranteeing legal certainty and transparency. Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 has been in force since 5 April 2010. In accordance with the Visa Code, instructions on the practical application of the provisions of the regulation have been drawn up by means of the Commission decision establishing the Handbook for the processing of visa applications and the modification of issued visas, which was adopted on 19 March 2010. During the process of preparing the Handbook, it was noted that the wording of Article 3(5)(b) and (c), concerning exemption from the airport transit visa (ATV) requirement, was unclear. As the Handbook cannot impose legally binding obligations on Member States, the Visa Code must be amended to guarantee legal certainty and the harmonised application of the rules. Clarification of this kind is of practical importance for individual travellers and for airlines.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Michel on the amendment to Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 because, although the corrections to the provisions of the regulation do not change the practice already being applied by the Member States, they reduce the bureaucratic burden on them and facilitate the movement of individual third-country passengers holding a valid visa or residence permit issued by an EU Member State. They also facilitate the procedures applied by airlines.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing.(IT) The goal of today’s vote is to clarify the rules governing transit through the international zone of airports and hence guarantee legal certainty and transparency.

Indeed, there are a few gaps in the current regulation. For example, the point on exemptions from the airport transit visa (ATV) is not very clear. Since the Handbook cannot bring in legally binding obligations for Member States, it is necessary to amend the Visa Code to ensure legal certainty and the harmonised application of rules. This clarification is of practical importance for individual travellers and for airlines.

Now, after this vote, third-country nationals who hold a valid visa issued by a Member State which does not apply the common visa policy are to be covered by the ATV exemption.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report is purely technical in nature, since the practice of most Member States is already in line with this amendment, which reduces the administrative burden on the affected Member States. This regulation provides for the Community Code on Visas, for legal clarity on the rules regarding transit through the international zone of airports. This amendment to Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 concerns third-country nationals who hold a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Member State where the Schengen acquis has not been fully implemented, specifically, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Ireland, Bulgaria and Romania. The amendment means nationals of these countries are exempt from the requirement of an airport transit visa.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I voted for this report which slightly amends current EU legislation on visas. This is an extension of visa exemptions, particularly in the case of airport transit visas (ATV), as they often duplicate a single visa requirement. This technical amendment, which removes an administrative burden, has the virtue of facilitating the only freedom of movement that the European Union is struggling to implement: that of people. At a time when there is Fortress Europe, where capital alone is free to circulate without controls, I sincerely hope that this measure will resolve the situation of several thousand people.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) It is not necessary to re-check third-country citizens in possession of a valid visa from a Member State of the European Union by means of a transit visa, since the possible risk of illegal immigration has to be evaluated in advance as part of the visa-issuing process. An amendment of the regulation is therefore urgently needed, not least in order to cut the administrative expenditure of the authorities in the Member States.

 
  
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  Inês Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report proposes a technical adjustment of practical importance for a certain type of passenger, whom it will exempt from a second security check that is unnecessary, given the check they have already undergone to entitle them to a visa. We voted in favour, since this is a correction that does not change the practices employed by the Member States, but is intended simply to streamline the visa procedures which are compulsory for passengers and to reduce the administrative burden on the Member States.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Vital Moreira (A7-0450/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, since its purpose is to give the European Parliament’s consent to a regulation that is important for both producers and for consumers: an agreement between the European Union and Georgia on protection of geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs. I am sure that it will lead to greater protection for the authenticity and quality of European and Georgian products, as well as to the legislation on this issue of other neighbouring countries becoming more similar to that of the EU, since it is the first agreement of this type concluded with a European Neighbourhood Policy partner.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) Since its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2000, Georgia has consistently taken steps towards the European Union. This agreement, aimed at mutually protecting geographical indications, is further proof of Georgia’s desire to extend its trade ties with us. Georgia has already been a party to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Therefore, it recognises the notion of GIs as place names used to identify the origin and quality, reputation or other characteristics of products. This agreement concerns agricultural products and foodstuffs originating in the territories of both Georgia and the EU, and endorses the protection of the characteristics of quality and origin of products coming from both partners. I can only support this initiative, which diversifies the European Union’s trade relations while protecting our producers.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document. The European Union (EU) and Georgia have concluded an agreement aiming at mutually protecting the geographical indications (GIs) covering a wide range of agricultural products such as cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers. Under this agreement, both parties fulfilled a commitment provided for in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which entered into force on 1 July 1999, and its implementation was made possible by Georgia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2000. This agreement will be mutually beneficial. On the EU side, it should help ensure that around 820 food GIs, 1 930 wines and 320 spirits (from 23 Member States) registered by the EU will be protected in Georgia, which is very reassuring for EU agricultural production. The only Georgian GIs concern wines (18 GIs), because wine making is one of the oldest areas of specialisation in Georgia and has a major impact on the country’s entire economy.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) The agreement negotiated by the European Commission with Georgia for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of agricultural products and foodstuffs is the first bilateral agreement for the protection for GIs concluded between the EU and a partner from the European Neighbourhood. The agreement will enable a great many European products to be protected in Georgia, in exchange for the protection of a few Georgian products in the Member States. Accordingly, I cannot but approve of the text that has been negotiated, even though Georgia is not actually a problematic area in terms of the recognition of GIs in the agricultural and food sector. The areas that pose legislative and political obstacles to the progress of bilateral negotiations for the mutual protection and recognition of GIs are other ones entirely. This agreement ought therefore to be welcomed, but the hope is that this is only the first of a number of similar agreements to be negotiated, as soon as possible, with subjects that compete unfairly with European products on a serious and very substantial scale. My vote is in favour of Mr Moreira’s report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this recommendation because the European Union (EU) and Georgia have concluded an agreement aiming at mutually protecting the geographical indications (GIs) covering a wide range of agricultural products such as cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers. This agreement is comprehensive and compatible with commitments made under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement. As indicated in the European Parliament recommendation, the parties agree on the criteria and procedures applied to the registration of a GI on their territory, because new GIs can be added if neither party objects, and a Joint Committee consisting of representatives of both parties will be set up to monitor the agreement’s implementation and improve the terms of bilateral cooperation in the field of GIs. Given that Georgian agriculture is a typical subsistence sector, on which half the Georgian population depends for their livelihood, this agreement is particularly important for Georgia.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. – (CS) I voted in favour of the agreement on protection of geographical indications (GIs) because it has specific advantages for both the EU and Georgia. On the EU side, this bilateral agreement should ensure that around 820 food GIs, 1 930 wines and 320 spirits from 23 Member States, registered by the EU, will be protected in Georgia, which is very reassuring for EU agricultural production, as its characteristics and quality are thus respected. The agreement can also be seen as a positive step for wider EU-Georgia trade relations. Indeed, the EU started negotiations with Georgia in July 2010 over a bilateral association agreement which should have a trade component, that is to say, a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). Before entering into negotiations on a DCFTA, the European Commission expects a set of key recommendations established as part of the Eastern Partnership and endorsed by the Council to be fulfilled by Georgia in order to ensure that this Eastern partner has the legal and institutional capacity to implement a DCFTA. The agreement on GIs therefore establishes the capacity of Georgia to negotiate and conclude with the EU substantial agreements on key, trade-related issues, including technical commitments.

 
  
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  Andrea Cozzolino (S&D), in writing.(IT) The growing number of countries with which the EU has reached an agreement on the protection of geographical indications (GIs) must be welcomed. The results of this go well beyond economic figures and reflect on the prestige and good name of the outstanding products of European agriculture and foodstuff production.

All too often, instances of vacatio legis enable the international distribution of brands that fraudulently imitate the packaging of GI products, even though they do not match their characteristics. This is misleading for consumers and hurts both the profits and the image of businesses that strive every day to keep up the quality standards of protected goods. Recently, a striking case involved the exportation to the United States of fake San Marziano tomatoes.

Even faced with the evidence of this abuse, the Commission admitted it could not step in because there is no bilateral agreement in place with the US for the protection of registered trademarks; for the right to protection to be granted, we would have had to appeal under the relevant US regulations. This is a paradoxical situation, which needs to be sorted out in short order.

By voting in favour of this recommendation, we want to take the opportunity to ask that the time required to manage these agreements be cut down.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR), in writing.(PL) This is a very important document and it is good that Parliament decided to conclude this agreement. It is also important from the point of promoting closer relations with Georgia, which is an important strategic partner of ours. The agreement is not only important in terms of its substance, but also because Georgia is an important partner of the European Union. This agreement constitutes yet another bridge between Georgia and the EU, as well as between the EU and Georgia.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) In the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership, and of Georgia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation, I am very satisfied to see, once again, the Georgian Parliament moving closer to European standards, in this case as regards the protection of geographical indicators (GIs).

Although the 18 GIs relating to Georgian wine making fall well short of Europe’s around 3 100 GIs, with 1 930 relating to wine alone, I hope that, by protecting its GIs, this agreement will work as a stimulus to greater promotion and perception of the quality of Georgian products in foreign markets, particularly those to which it does not traditionally export. I particularly hope this will be the case for agricultural products, which play a decisive role in the subsistence economy of its villages, and exports of which to the EU have increased in the last 10 years.

I also hope that, in the context of the ENP, this agreement will inspire greater legislative integration with other countries neighbouring our Union, and not just in the area of GIs, on which this is the first agreement to be concluded.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this agreement which will allow us to protect our local products by recognising their characteristics and preserving their individual features.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the ‘Agreement between the European Union and Georgia on protection of geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs’, which will ensure reciprocal protection for both parties’ geographical indicators, and will contribute to bringing EU legislation further in line with neighbouring countries.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) This agreement is an important step in EU-Georgia relations and consists of mutual recognition of the geographical indicators of several agricultural products, such as dairy products, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals and drinks. This will mean that the geographical indicators of 820 foodstuffs, 1 930 wines and 320 spirits from 23 Member States will be protected in Georgia, with the necessary gains in safety and quality. It also enables the geographical indicators of countless Georgian products, particularly wines, to be recognised in the EU.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) In this report, Mr Moreira analyses the recommendation on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the agreement between the European Union and Georgia on protection of geographical indications (GIs) of agricultural products and foodstuffs. Although Georgia only joined the World Trade Organisation in 2000, there has been a partnership and cooperation agreement between it and the EU since 1 July 1999. Following time-honoured traditions, the purpose of GIs is to identify the origin, quality and characteristics of given products, linking them to the region where they are produced, so as to guarantee their reputation. I voted for this draft recommendation because I believe that both Georgia and the EU, particularly their farmers, will benefit greatly, since they will see the characteristics of their products – cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers – recognised and protected. I also welcome closer EU-Georgia trade relations.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Geographical indications (GIs) constitute an instrument intended to protect certain names that identify products with a special link to their region of origin. GIs are indications that identify a product as originating in a given territory, in which a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product can essentially be attributed to its geographic origin. In the current international context, marked by deregulation and liberalisation of world trade, by standardisation of production methods, by intensification and homogenisation of production, by the consequent loss of modes of production and traditional products, and by reductions in all types of biodiversity, GIs constitute an instrument that can help preserve and respect the characteristics and quality of certain local and regional products. We support the establishment of GIs for various agricultural products, such as cheeses, fruit, vegetables, cereals, meats, fish and seafood, bread and pastry, and wines and spirits originating in 23 EU countries and in Georgia. However, it should be remembered that this instrument is not a panacea for tackling the damage caused by trade deregulation. What is necessary, then, is calling into question the dogma of free trade. Regrettably, the rapporteur calls – in the same report – for the door to be opened to this.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European Union and Georgia have concluded an agreement aimed at mutually protecting the geographical indications covering a wide range of agricultural products such as cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers. This agreement is a step taken by both partners as foreseen in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and is the first of this kind with a partner from the European Neighbourhood. It can also be seen as a positive step towards wider trade relations between the EU and Georgia, since it establishes the capacity of Georgia to negotiate and conclude a substantial agreement with the EU on key trade-related issues, including technical commitments. Furthermore, Georgian agriculture is a typical subsistence sector, on which the livelihood of half of the Georgian population depends. Every step to enhance the export prospects of agricultural products is therefore welcome. This agreement should further reinforce this trend. Since it offers both partners special benefits, I take the view that it is right for Parliament to approve the conclusion of the agreement.

 
  
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  Jarosław Kalinowski (PPE), in writing.(PL) We should not only agree to sign the agreement with Georgia but we should also support it. The role of the more developed countries of the Union is to promote appropriate solutions among the countries which are only starting to grow their economies. Georgia’s case is a special one due to the county’s turbulent history – including the period when it constituted part of the Soviet Union – and ongoing ethnic conflicts. Georgia is a country of rich tradition, especially in terms of its cuisine and wine. The abundance of crops, local dishes and wines is beyond compare. As honest trade partners, we should therefore help Georgians to protect their unique produce, while at the same time promoting its high quality. Georgia’s wines are worthy of particular note. During the years of Georgia’s membership of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), wine was produced on a mass scale, with an adverse effect on quality. Now is the time to support the revival of Georgian wine, so as to encourage better development of this sector of the economy.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this agreement between the European Union and Georgia which enables us to make substantial progress towards protecting the geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs. The agreement contains an extensive list of mutually recognised indications. In this way, this agreement provides greater protection of the great variety and quality of our local products which are part of our identity and richness.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I welcome the fact that the European Union (EU) and Georgia have concluded an agreement aiming at mutually protecting the geographical indications (GIs) and covering a wide range of agricultural products such as cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers. This agreement is a step taken by both partners as foreseen in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which entered into force on 1 July 1999. It has been made possible by the accession of Georgia to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2000. It has been described as a bilateral agreement for the protection of GIs which is the first of this kind with a partner from the European Neighbourhood.

 
  
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  Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL), in writing. – (CS) The conclusion of the agreement between the European Union and Georgia on protection of geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs should clearly be viewed positively, both in terms of commercial relations between the two parties to the agreement and in terms of improving the protection of rights to indications generally. The agreement is unique, as it is the first bilateral agreement of this kind concluded between the EU and a partner within the framework of the European Neighbourhood. Its benefits to both parties are undisputed: for the EU, it means that 820 food geographical indications (GIs), 1 930 wines and 320 spirits registered by the EU will be protected in Georgia, and for Georgia it means that protection of the GIs of agricultural products and foodstuffs will provisionally apply to ‘only’ 18 indications relating exclusively to wine. It should be remembered, however, that viticulture has an extraordinary tradition and economic impact in Georgia, and the protection of GIs as regards Georgian products in the EU will undoubtedly help to strengthen this.

 
  
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  Clemente Mastella (PPE), in writing.(IT) We welcome the conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and Georgia on the mutual protection of geographical indications (GIs) covering a wide range of agricultural products such as cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers.

It has been described as a bilateral agreement for the protection of GIs – the first of this kind with a partner from the European Neighbourhood. The agreement has specific benefits for both parties. On the EU side, this bilateral agreement should ensure that around 820 food GIs (from 23 Member States) registered by the EU will be protected in Georgia, which is highly reassuring for EU agricultural production since it will ensure that the characteristics and the quality that make it stand out will be respected.

This agreement can also be seen as a positive step for wider EU-Georgia trade relations. Indeed, in July 2010, the EU started negotiating with Georgia for a bilateral association agreement which should have a trade component, namely, a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).

 
  
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  Iosif Matula (PPE), in writing. – The EU-Georgia agreement on protection of geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs is an important step in bolstering trade between these two regions. Upon the entry into force of the 1999 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, Georgia acceded to the World Trade Organisation in 2000 and has since then been party to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The purpose of this EU-Georgia agreement is to safeguard the geographical indications, or place names used to identify origin and quality, reputation and other characteristics of agricultural products and foodstuffs. Exports of Georgia’s products to the EU in the last ten years have not only diversified, they have increased fourfold. While the agreement aims to streamline trade between the EU and Georgia, it also allows Georgia to strengthen its export economy to regions outside its traditional trade route. In the case of my home country Romania, a tool such as this agreement can be quite instrumental for often overlooked countries to gain visibility and recognition in markets abroad.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing.(IT) An agreement between Georgia and the European Union on the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of agricultural products and foodstuffs would bring innumerable advantages. The figures cited by Mr Moreira are heartening: this bilateral agreement should ensure that around 820 food GIs, 1 930 wines and 320 spirits (from 23 Member States) registered by the EU will be protected in Georgia, which is highly reassuring for EU agricultural production since it will ensure that the characteristics and the quality that make it stand out will be respected. My vote is in favour.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) I am voting for the protection of geographical indications for our products and products in general. My vote does not count towards the approval of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Georgia.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – Though the agreement will enable the reciprocal protection of the geographical indications of the respective parties and will contribute to the approximation of legislation among the EU’s neighbouring countries, I voted against, since I do not consider cooperation with Saakashvili’s regime possible.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Over the past 10 years, Georgia has become an increasingly important export partner for the EU. Wine, in particular, which traditionally was exported mainly to Russia, is being produced more and more by European companies and distributed throughout the continent. In order to ensure the mutual protection of the geographical designations of most agricultural products – first amongst these, naturally, being wine – Georgia and the European Union signed an agreement back in 1999 that now forms the basis for other agreements with Georgia. As a result of that agreement, this member of our Eastern Partnership has shown that it has the legal and institutional capacity to establish a free trade area. There would be benefits to both sides of the Union entering into further trade relations with Georgia. I have abstained, as the report fails to clarify what benefits would accrue to the Member States of the European Union as this process progressed.

 
  
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  Claudio Morganti (EFD), in writing.(IT) The recognition of geographical indications (GIs) covering agricultural products and foodstuffs must undoubtedly be seen as helpful for quickly ascertaining the origin, quality, reputation and characteristics of particular products. A satisfying agreement has been reached with Georgia, which will allow 820 food products, 1 930 types of wine and 32 spirits – all outstanding European products – to be recognised as assured products with particular qualities, which will no doubt help in marketing them in Georgia. In return, the EU has undertaken to recognise 18 types of quality Georgian wine, which might well give a genuine boost to an important sector of the area’s economy. The European Union should strive to reach agreements like this with other countries as well, since they bring a range of benefits: on the one hand, we are protecting our best businesses from the dangers of counterfeiting and abuse, while on the other, we are helping the growth and development of neighbouring countries so that their citizens might have better living conditions and work opportunities, meaning they would not have to emigrate elsewhere.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I support this agreement between the European Union and Georgia on the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of agricultural products and foodstuffs. This agreement will be mutually beneficial. Eight hundred and twenty food GIs, 1 930 wines and 320 spirits (from 23 Member States) registered by the EU will be protected in Georgia. Although Georgia does not yet have GIs relating to foodstuffs and the 18 registered indications only regard wines, it should be noted that in the long term, it will be possible to supplement the list of mutually recognised GIs. I believe that the agreement will help Georgia to increase diversification of export markets. At present, Georgia mostly exports to markets in Russia and other CIS countries, but the export of mineral water, wine and foodstuffs to EU markets is gradually increasing. The agreement should strengthen this upward trend, and will also help Georgia to fully integrate in the global system for the protection of intellectual property in the area of trade. The conclusion of the agreement on protection of geographical indications is a step towards the conclusion of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between the EU and Georgia. I hope that negotiations on a DCFTA will begin soon. A further rapprochement in EU-Georgian trade relations is one of the main objectives of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE), in writing. – I voted in favour of this report because, as the ALDE shadow rapporteur for Georgia in the AFET Committee, I understand the significance of moving forward in pursuing closer trade relations with Georgia. This is a positive step in EU-Georgia relations because it will serve to enhance Georgia’s access to a wider share of the EU market, which can only have positive effects on its economy. This agreement on protection of geographical indications ensures Georgia’s capacity to assume key technical commitments and to implement them within a wider Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) The EU has an agreement with Georgia governing the mutual protection of geographical designations for numerous agricultural products such as cheese, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wine, spirits and beer. With Georgia’s admission to the WTO, the country also became a contracting party to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). As a result, Georgia is obliged to recognise place names as geographical designations where they provide information about the origin and quality of a product. An agreement was concluded on this basis, in order to promote mutual trade in agricultural products and foodstuffs, in particular, Georgian wine. European companies have been increasingly investing in Georgian production of wines and spirits. The protection of geographical designations for agricultural products is of key importance for high-value products from the EU. This agreement, however, mainly supports Georgian wine production, whereas the benefits for European producers are harder to discern. I therefore abstained from the vote.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because it is particularly important for both countries to conclude an agreement, which will ensure adequate protection of the geographical indications (GIs) of agricultural products and foodstuffs. It should be noted that the provisions of this agreement will help to ensure that GIs registered by the EU are properly protected in Georgia, and that the specific characteristics and quality of agricultural production are also properly evaluated. It is also very important to note that adequate protection will also be afforded to Georgian GIs regarding wine. I believe that the Georgian wine GIs recognised will undoubtedly have a positive impact on this sector and the agricultural economy, and will also boost progress in the export of agricultural products. I believe that this agreement is a major step towards broader EU-Georgia trade relations. In addition, this is an excellent opportunity for Georgia to negotiate and conclude with the EU a substantial agreement on a key trade-related issue, including technical commitments.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) The European Neighbourhood Policy offers major business opportunities for EU citizens and especially citizens of neighbouring countries. Concluding partnership and cooperation agreements is important in view of future trade relations. The text in question on the protection of geographical indications (GIs) covering agricultural products and foodstuffs aims precisely to straighten out the internal markets of both the EU and Georgia in order to try and keep the quality, origin and name of foodstuffs on the market perfectly clear. This will bring considerable benefits for both parties, namely, transparent relations with consumers and competitive products.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report on the agreement concluded between the European Union and Georgia, whose purpose is protecting the geographical indications of various agricultural products, such as cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers. The geographical indicators of European foodstuffs should be protected at all costs, using both bilateral and multilateral agreements, since there is no sense in maintaining trade relations with third countries if European geographical indicators are not properly safeguarded; specifically, using anti-counterfeiting policies, which should be implemented by third countries wishing to open or maintain trade relations with the EU.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) The bilateral agreement reached by the EU and Georgia on geographical indications (GIs) represents a common understanding to foster trade in agricultural products and foodstuffs from Georgia and the EU, while respecting the quality and origins of products coming from both partners. I have decided to vote in favour of this agreement, since I agree that recognising Georgian GIs can be seen as a positive step for wider EU-Georgia trade relations and also because of the significant increase in exports of Georgian agricultural products to the EU, rising from 10% in 1997 to 40% in 2007.

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera (EFD), in writing.(IT) The agreement signed with Georgia is an important step for the recognition of the quality of our products abroad. It is tangible proof of the fact that partnership agreements can be the driving force behind the protection of geographical indications.

For these reasons, I share in the Committee on International Trade’s unanimous approval of Mr Moreira’s report. If the Commission could manage to strike more agreements like this one – perhaps with countries whose brand culture is not yet like our own – that would be of huge benefit to foreign consumers and European producers.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Since both parties are members of the World Trade Organisation and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, they recognise geographical indicators, both as an instrument for identifying the characteristics of products and as having intrinsic market value. As such, the EU-Georgia agreement – the first of this type concluded with a European Neighbourhood Policy partner – represents a natural step in the context of deepening relations with that country. From the EU perspective, the agreement will protect the geographical indications of around 820 foodstuffs, 1 930 wines and 320 spirits; from the Georgian side, it will protect the geographical indicators of around 18 wines. However, it should be noted that the wine market accounts for a significant proportion of Georgia’s economy. The proportion of the country’s agricultural exports going to the EU increased from 10% in 1997 to 40% in 2007. I voted in favour, in the hope that the agreement will create closer ties between the EU and Georgia.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The European Union (EU) and Georgia have concluded an agreement aiming at mutually protecting the geographical indications (GIs) and covering a wide range of agricultural products such as cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers. This agreement is a step taken by both partners as foreseen in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which entered into force on 1 July 1999. It has been made possible by the accession of Georgia to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2000. It has been described as a bilateral agreement for the protection of GIs which is the first of this kind with a partner from the European Neighbourhood.

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing. (FR) The European Union is the main trading partner of this country (almost 30% of its trade). I voted in favour of this agreement because, given this proportion, it is important to guarantee effective protection for geographical indications in this country. The provisions of this agreement will guarantee this. Indeed, they include a list of geographical indications recognised by both parties, guaranteeing the legal certainties of participants, specific provisions for agricultural geographical indications and an objection procedure open to participants (producers, companies). Furthermore, this is the first time that an agreement of this nature has been concluded with one of the countries within the European Neighbourhood Policy. I supported this initiative in order to send a signal to the European Commission: it must organise and pursue negotiations on this type of agreement with other neighbouring countries.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The European Union and Georgia have concluded an agreement whose purpose is to protect the geographical indications of various agricultural products, such as cheeses, oils and fats, bread and pastry, fruit, vegetables, cereals, fresh meats and meat products, fresh fish and seafood, wines, spirits and beers. The agreement, which is the first of its kind concluded with a European Neighbourhood Policy partner, has specific benefits for both parties. In particular, it should ensure that the geographical indications of around 820 foodstuffs, 1 930 wines and 320 spirits from 23 Member States registered by the EU will be protected in Georgia, and it also represents an important step towards expanding EU-Georgia trade relations. I voted for the document for these reasons.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) In light of the planned free trade agreement between the EU and Georgia, there is an urgent need to improve trade relations. The agreement for mutual protection of geographical indications and products is a first step towards that goal. The agreement ensures that both parties heed marks of quality and origin and makes sure that geographical indications that are protected within the EU are also recognised in Georgia. I voted ‘yes’.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR), in writing. – When British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, attended the Yalta conference in 1945, he was offered a glass of Georgian brandy. The great man was so impressed by the taste that he mistook the Georgian spirit for a French cognac. I voted for this report because it means that geographical indications such as cognac and Scotch whisky will be protected. Georgian brandies will no longer be able to call themselves cognacs. This will make it easier for consumers to make the right choice. Now the only way consumers can be misled is if – like Mr Churchill – they are deceived by the taste of the product.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Vital Moreira (A7-0005/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for the adoption of the draft Council decision for the simple reason that adoption of this harmonised legislation will lead to reduced bureaucracy, particularly for European industry, in this case as regards uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) The World Forum of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) aims to bring together the main motor vehicle producing countries in order to harmonise regulations on their construction, the types of parts used, etc. In this instance, the particular issue concerned is the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. Together with fellow Members of the Group of the European People’s Party (PPE), I voted in favour of this UNECE regulation which will ‘allow for the application of the same standards in many countries by taking away red tape’. Consequently, we authorised the European Commission, the European Union’s representative at the UNECE, to vote in favour of this regulation which will increase the influence of our industry in the global market.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) The draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission proposes a series of purely technical measures for producers that operate on an international scale. As was the case with the 100-plus similar regulations of the past, the aim of these agreements is to bring in rules for the approval of a particular category of products across the global market, thereby cutting the bureaucratic burdens faced by the industry. I agree on the goal set out at the United Nations Economic Commission meeting in Geneva and hence my vote on the draft Council decision is in favour.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I welcome the adoption of this draft decision on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. This regulation will enable the application of the same standards in many countries, so cutting red tape and contributing to the ability of European industry to compete more widely and easily. These technical requirements will be applied in many countries, not just in the EU, but also in third countries in eastern, western and south-eastern Europe, in the Commonwealth of Independent States, in Japan and in North America, which are contracting parties to the 1958 UNECE Agreement. Type-approval that is directly based on internationally agreed standards improves market access and enhances EU industry’s competitiveness.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) So as not to run the risk of repeating myself, I would refer to my explanation of vote relating to the regulation on light emitting diode light sources with respect to scale, to the importance of approving technical regulations at global level, and to praising the work of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. In this explanation of vote on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle, I should only like to highlight the importance of parliamentary unanimity on certain issues, such as this. I agree with the idea that unanimity is worrying in certain circumstances: for example, in oppressive regimes and/or when the election of individuals is at stake. In these matters relating to technical regulations, Parliament’s togetherness indicates that practically all the citizens of our Member States support the economies of scale/safety gains provided by these regulations. As such, why not take on as a priority for our Union the creation of European, initially, and global, preferably, standards for industrial products? Is a single market not one of the primary objectives of our EU? Why not start approaching it now at global level as part of its technical regulations?

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) I welcome all legal instruments intended to protect human beings and increase their safety. This is exactly that sort of instrument, ensuring the recognition and reliability of vehicle type-approvals. I hope that the European Union will seek to ensure that its citizens enjoy the highest standards of reliability and security for the vehicles in operation in its territory, thereby contributing to cutting road accident rates, and that it will be able to establish reliable partnerships in this area that ensure the quality of vehicles provided from outside.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The report under consideration, drafted by Mr Moreira, concerns a recommendation on the draft Council decision on the accession of the Union to Regulation No 29 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. The UNECE’s World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations is a standing working group that operates within the United Nations and concerns itself with the regulations applicable to motor vehicles. The safety of all passengers in motor vehicles, both private and commercial, has always been a concern of the EU. To date, the UNECE has adopted 126 regulations and the EU has acceded to 106. It should also be mentioned that Directive 2007/46/EC provides for the possibility of the mandatory application of UNECE regulations on EU vehicle type-approvals. As such, I voted for this proposal for a recommendation, since I am aware that application of the standards mentioned in this regulation to the Member States will not only substantially reduce bureaucracy, but it will also make European industry more competitive.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) There is provision in the 1958 Agreement of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for any contracting party to declare, at the time of accession, that they are not bound by certain UNECE regulations. This report proposes that the European Parliament give its assent to the Union’s accession to Regulation No 29 of the UNECE on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. The technical requirements of UNECE regulations are not only applied to the EU, but also to third countries in eastern, western and south-eastern Europe, Japan and North America, inter alia, which are contracting parties to the 1958 UNECE Agreement. The intention is for type-approvals issued under the UNECE regulations to be considered EU type-approvals, thus avoiding duplication not only in technical requirements but also in certification and administrative procedures; this will cut red tape, to the benefit of both industry and national authorities.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (working party established under Article 29) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) offers a unique framework for globally harmonised regulations on vehicles with participants coming from all over the world, especially the main motor vehicle producing countries. The benefits of such harmonised regulations are tangible in road safety, environmental protection and trade. The working party established under Article 29 is a permanent working party in the institutional framework of the United Nations that works as a global forum allowing open discussions on motor vehicle regulations. Currently, 126 regulations have been agreed within the UNECE framework. The European Union has acceded to 106 regulations to date. So far, however, it has not acceded to UNECE Regulation No 29 on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. I therefore think it is right for Parliament to approve the draft decision on UNECE Regulation No 29 on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle, because this UNECE regulation will allow for the application of the same standards in many countries, taking away red tape and allowing European industry to compete more widely and easily.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. – I welcome this resolution which should be the first step towards improving the safety of vehicles with regard to the safety and protection of the occupants of the cab of commercial vehicles.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) The regulation relating to the European Union’s accession to Regulation No 29 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle is a very good report. I therefore decided to support it.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I support Parliament giving its consent to the draft Council decision on the accession of the Union to Regulation No 29 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle, because this UNECE regulation will allow for the application of the same standards in many countries, taking away red tape and allowing European industry to compete more widely and easily.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – Since this procedure is aimed at giving the EP’s consent to the accession of the EU to Regulation No 29 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle, I supported the rapporteur.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Harmonised vehicle regulations can benefit road safety, environmental protection and trade. Type-approvals under UNECE regulations, which is to say, EC type-approvals and those based on internationally agreed standards, make it possible for the same standards to be used in many countries and obviate the duplication of work, reduce administrative expenditure and could increase the competitiveness of European industry. While measures intended to cut red tape and simplify administration are to be welcomed in principle, in many areas, the EU does take on a pioneering role when it comes to safety, and that ability must not be done away with. For that reason, I abstained from voting.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I believe that it is appropriate and very important to accede to the Regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe establishing uniform standards related to motor vehicles which are applicable worldwide. This will ensure an adequate level of protection in the areas of road safety, environmental protection and trade. It is also very important to note that the inclusion of this regulation in the EU type-approval system for motor vehicles and its effective application will eliminate significant red tape and will create favourable competitive opportunities for European industry.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) Mr Moreira’s recommendation on the accession of the Union to Regulation No 29 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) relates to granting the European Commission the authority to negotiate and vote on behalf of the EU at the UNECE, a global forum allowing open discussions on motor vehicle regulations which the EU has acceded to, deciding to make the application of 62 of the 106 existing regulations mandatory. So far, the EU has not acceded to UNECE Regulation No 29 on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. I voted in favour of adopting the text because it will make it possible for the same rules to be applied in many Member States, thereby cutting bureaucracy and enhancing and improving European industry.

 
  
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  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations is a permanent working party in the institutional framework of the UN which promotes open discussions on motor vehicle regulations. Any member country of the UN and any regional economic integration organisation set up by country members of the UN members may participate fully in the activities of this World Forum and may become a contracting party to the agreements administered by the forum. For its part, Europe has an interest, in addition to other agreements which it has ratified, in ratifying Regulation No 29 of the UN Economic Commission for Europe on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. These regulations will allow the same specifications to be applied in all countries, thereby reducing administrative costs, and will therefore help European industry somewhat in competing more broadly and more effectively at a time which is vital to its economy. That is why I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) The purpose of this report is to adopt the draft Council decision on the accession of the Union to ‘Regulation No 29 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’ on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. I voted in favour because harmonisation of these regulations has tangible benefits for road safety, for environmental protection, and for trade.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is a global forum on motor vehicle regulations. Its aim is to promote uniform technical prescriptions that cut development costs, prevent duplication of administrative procedures for industry and thereby contribute to greater efficiency and lower costs for consumers and society. I agree that this UNECE regulation will enable the same rules to be applied in many countries and that the benefits of such harmonised regulations are tangible in road safety, environmental protection and trade. Therefore, I am voting in favour of the draft Council decision on the EU’s accession to Regulation No 29 of the Economic Commission for Europe on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) In the context of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations seeks to establish uniform regulations that take account of road safety, environmental protection and trade between various countries. To date, the EU has acceded to 106 of the 126 regulations agreed in the UNECE, 62 of which are applied within the Union. It is a regulatory framework also applied in European countries that are not part of the EU, in the Commonwealth of Independent States, in Japan and in North America. As such, and in view of Europe’s robust automotive industry, there is justification for the Union’s accession to ‘Regulation No 29 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’ on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle, whose implementation was already provided for in Regulation (EC) No 661/2009. Therefore, and in light of the Committee on International Trade’s recommendation, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) offers a unique framework for globally harmonised regulations on vehicles with participants coming from all over the world, especially the main motor vehicle producing countries. The benefits of such harmonised regulations are tangible in road safety, environmental protection and trade. WP.29 is a permanent working party in the institutional framework of the United Nations with a specific mandate and rules of procedure. It works as a global forum allowing open discussions on motor vehicle regulations. Any member country of the United Nations and any regional economic integration organisation, set up by country members of the United Nations, may participate fully in the activities of the World Forum and may become a contracting party to the agreements on vehicles administered by the World Forum.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing.(IT) The recommendation that we voted on this morning in this House offers a good example of the work that the European Union does, namely, the global harmonisation of different systems – in this case regarding road safety, environmental protection and trade – in order to achieve regulatory simplification.

The approvals issued under United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) regulations will, henceforth, be considered EU approvals, thereby avoiding duplication not only of technical prescriptions but also of certifications and administrative procedures. This will benefit industry and national authorities, given the advantages resulting from our adoption of the draft Council decision on the Union’s accession to UNECE’s regulation on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is a single framework for the comprehensive harmonisation of these regulations, and has participants from all over the world, in particular, the main countries that produce motor vehicles. Harmonisation of these regulations has tangible benefits for road safety, for environmental protection and for trade. The rapporteur is proposing that Parliament adopt the draft Council decision on the accession of the Union to Regulation No 29 of the UNECE on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle, since it will enable the application of the same standards in many countries, so cutting red tape and contributing to the ability of European industry to compete more widely and easily. That is why I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the Council decision on the accession of the Union to Regulation No 29 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle. The EU’s accession to this UNECE regulation will allow for the application of the same standards in many countries, thereby removing red tape, improving road safety, environmental protection and trade, and helping maintain European industry’s global competitiveness. Type-approvals issued under the UNECE regulations will be considered as EC type-approvals, thereby avoiding duplication not only in technical requirements but also in certification and administrative procedures, to the benefit of industry and national authorities. These technical requirements will apply in many countries located notably in the EU, non-EU Western and Eastern Europe, South-East Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Japan and North America, which are contracting parties to the UNECE 1958 Agreement. Type-approval directly based on internationally agreed standards and applied in so many countries will also be adopted by other third countries, which will further improve market access and enhance EU industry’s competitiveness.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. – Fair international trade and thus distributed access to welfare as well as a strong European automotive industry form part of the focus of this report on which I fully agree. Therefore, I voted in favour of it. Its adoption will improve market access and enhance the European Union’s automotive industry competitiveness.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Vital Moreira (A7-0004/2012)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting in favour. This is yet another report whose purpose is the application of the same standards in various countries, bringing together the EU Member States, in this case in relation to pedestrian safety and light emitting diode light sources. This harmonisation and cutting of red tape will enable European industry to be more competitive on a wider scale.

 
  
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  Roberta Angelilli (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of the Council’s decision on the Union’s position in the negotiations with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the two new draft regulations concerning pedestrian safety and light emitting diode (LED) light sources. I think that the application of the measures set out in the texts will bring further improvements to road safety rules, an area in which much can still be done to reduce the high number of road accident victims. Unfortunately, despite the Member States’ efforts, many people fall victim to these terrible accidents even today. Indeed, in 2009 alone, some 35 000 people were killed and 1.5 million injured, with the latest estimates saying that this includes 16 000 children. For these reasons, the Union – which currently accedes to some 126 UNECE regulations – needs to adapt the provisions currently in force to the more recent measures set out in the UNECE regulations.

 
  
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  John Attard-Montalto (S&D), in writing. – As a new member of the Committee on International Trade, it is fitting that my first speech in the second half of this legislature should be related to a report by this Committee. The Moreira report deals with pedestrian safety and light emitting diodes (LEDs). The introduction of LEDs for pedestrian safety is definitely a subject everyone is in agreement with. Indeed many third-world countries have introduced LEDs into their traffic control systems. It is strange that most European countries have not done the same. The only argument being put forward is that, during a time of austerity, this is not the right time for capital expenditure. I do not agree for three reasons. In the long term, this is cost effective. Firstly, LEDs are energy savers reducing the cost of energy. Secondly, if they help to reduce pedestrian injuries, they reduce the very high costs of hospitalisation and rehabilitation. Thirdly, if they help to prevent death, then the investment in that particular human (i.e. education) will not be lost. But the most important reason is that all human life is sacred and must be protected at all costs.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I also voted in favour of the draft regulation from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on pedestrian safety and the draft regulation on light emitting diodes (LEDs). Here again, the regulation essentially aims at taking away red tape and will allow European industry to be in a position to operate on global markets. Consequently, we authorised the European Commission, the European Union’s representative at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, to vote in favour of this regulation. Finally, in light of its advances in road safety and trade, we can see that this legislation also has an environmental impact.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) offers a unique framework for globally harmonised regulations on vehicles with participants from all over the world, particularly the main motor vehicle producing countries. The benefits of such harmonised regulations are tangible in road safety, environmental protection and trade. Currently, 126 regulations have been agreed within the UNECE framework. The European Union has currently acceded to 106 UNECE regulations, of which it has decided to compulsorily apply 62 in the EU. Two new draft regulations have been drawn up at UNECE level and are ready to be put to the vote: the first concerns pedestrian safety and the second concerns light emitting diode (LED) light sources. I welcome the position of the European Union (the Commission negotiates on behalf of the EU at UNECE level) because these UNECE regulations will allow for the application of the same standards in many countries, reducing red tape and enabling European industry to compete more widely and easily.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) The draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission proposes a series of purely technical measures for producers that operate on an international scale. As was the case with the 100-plus similar regulations of the past, the aim of these agreements is to bring in rules for the approval of a particular category of products across the global market, thereby cutting the bureaucratic burdens faced by the industry. In this case, the text produced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) contains rules that identify common production standards for the approval of vehicles, which were also decided in consultation with manufacturers in the sector. I agree on the goal set out at the United Nations Economic Commission meeting in Geneva and hence my vote on the draft Council decision is in favour.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I welcome the adoption of this draft decision on pedestrian safety and the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe concerning light emitting diode light sources. This will enable the application of the same standards in many countries, so cutting red tape and contributing to European industry’s ability to compete more widely and easily.

 
  
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  Nessa Childers (S&D), in writing. – Given a series of recent road deaths in Ireland, it is crucial to highlight pedestrian safety, and so I call on the Commission and Parliament to redouble their efforts in the wake of this vote.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR), in writing.(PL) I voted for this recommendation since every year, hundreds of pedestrians are killed in my country, and thousands across the whole of the EU. This is an serious problem, since the number of increasingly faster vehicles as well as inexperienced drivers is growing all the time. We need to do our utmost to use all possible technical resources and limit the number of fatalities.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) There are bodies little known by the general public that do work important to our daily lives and should, therefore, be pointed out and exulted. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is one of these. Initially established as a regional organisation of the UN, it is now open to all countries of the world, as well as to professional organisations, NGOs and regional organisations, and today includes more than 70. The UNECE’s World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) debates and approves the global harmonisation of these regulations, particularly for countries that produce motor vehicles. It seems clear to me that there is an economy of scale for our EU in considering these regulations/type-approvals at global level, taking into account not just the interests of producers, but also the safety of users and the general public. This is mainly because, for example, UNECE approvals are considered EU approvals, meaning that it cuts red tape, but it is also because, objectively, it raises the bar in terms of the requirements relating to the quality, safety, environmental protection, reliability, etc. of all products manufactured. As such, I applaud the work of the UNECE in general, particularly the work of the WP.29 and, specifically, this draft regulation relating to light emitting diode light sources.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this recommendation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe because I believe the harmonisation of vehicle regulations contributes to improving road safety and environmental protection in signatory countries.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has produced two regulations that should be voted on soon: one regarding pedestrian safety and another concerning light emitting diode light sources. The Commission requires Parliament’s consent in order to be able to vote for both reports on the Union’s behalf in the UNECE. For my part, I see no problem with authorising the Commission to do so, in order to encourage the removal of bureaucratic obstacles and provide European industry with better competition possibilities.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The UNECE’s World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations is a standing working group that meets three times a year and operates within the United Nations. To date, the UNECE has adopted 126 regulations and the European Union has acceded to 106. It should also be mentioned that Directive 2007/46/EC provides for the possibility of the mandatory application of UNECE regulations on EU type-approvals. It is the Commission that negotiates and votes on behalf of the EU, which necessitates an authorising decision from the Council. However, the Council can only authorise this vote with the consent of the European Parliament. The UNECE has drafted two regulations that are ready to be voted on: one regarding pedestrian safety and the other concerning light emitting diode (LED) light sources. I am voting for this report, drafted by Mr Moreira, concerning the recommendation on the draft Council decision on the position for the Commission to adopt on the EU’s behalf regarding the draft UNECE regulations on pedestrian safety and LED light sources.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has negotiated two new regulations with the European Commission. The first relates to the prescriptions for the type-approval of vehicles as regards pedestrian safety. The second relates to the prescriptions for the type-approval of vehicles as regards light emitting diode light sources. The European Parliament’s consent is needed in order for the Commission to be able to vote on and accede to the regulations. Following accession to the regulation, the EU can decide to make them obligatory when approving vehicles. Similarly to what has already happened with the approval of vehicles with regard to the protection of the occupants of the cab of a commercial vehicle, correction of these UNECE regulations will enable the standards to become uniform across many countries, so reducing bureaucracy. Type-approvals issued under the UNECE regulations will be considered EU type-approvals, thus avoiding duplication not only in technical requirements, but also in certification and administrative procedures. This will cut red tape, to the benefit of both industry and national authorities.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (working group established under Article 29) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) offers a unique framework for globally harmonised regulations on vehicles. The benefits of such harmonised regulations are tangible in road safety, environmental protection and trade. Currently, 126 regulations have been agreed within the UNECE framework, and the European Union has acceded to 106 UNECE regulations to date. Two new draft regulations have been drawn up, which are ready to be voted on: the first concerns the safety of pedestrians, and the second, light emitting diode (LED) light sources. I think it is right for Parliament to approve the draft Council decision on the opinion of the EU regarding the draft UNECE regulation concerning the safety of pedestrians and also the draft concerning LED light sources because these UNECE regulations will allow for the application of the same standards in many countries, taking away red tape and allowing European industry to compete more widely and easily.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. – I commend this recommendation, which should streamline the technical specifications for pedestrian safety and light emitting diode (LED) light sources, not just in the EU, but in many car producing countries.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for Parliament to give its consent to the draft Council decision on the position of the European Union in relation to the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe concerning pedestrian safety and to the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe concerning light emitting diode (LED) light sources, together with its corrigenda, because these UNECE regulations will allow for the application of the same standards in many countries, taking away red tape and allowing European industry to compete more widely and easily.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing.(IT) I also voted in favour of the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on pedestrian safety and its draft regulation on light emitting diode (LED) light sources. My reasons are as before: greater efficiency and less bureaucracy, as well as more competition.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The resolution on pedestrian safety and light emitting diodes will promote the harmonisation of standards in various countries. Consequently, it will open access to new markets and will allow many companies to enjoy new trade exchanges. It will help stimulate competitiveness within the European Union. In addition to this advantage in terms of trading operations, this resolution offers pedestrian safety and shows a concern for environmental protection insofar as light emitting diodes have a long life.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – This proposal is very timely for provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to light emitting diode (LED) light sources. I am in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Harmonised vehicle regulations can benefit road safety, environmental protection and trade. A number of directives relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units are to be replaced by references to the corresponding UNECE regulations. While measures intended to cut red tape and simplify administration are to be welcomed in principle, in many areas, the EU does take on a pioneering role when it comes to safety, and that ability must not be sacrificed. I therefore abstained from voting.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because in order to ensure a high level of pedestrian protection, it is essential to apply uniform regulations not just within the EU, but internationally. Following the entry into force of these regulations, light emitting diodes will be fitted to wheeled vehicles in a uniform manner. It is also very important to note that standardised requirements will eliminate technical obstacles and will ensure a high level of vehicle safety and protection.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) Mr Moreira’s text on the EU’s position on the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) looks at granting the Commission the power to negotiate and vote on behalf of the EU at the UNECE, a United Nations global forum allowing open discussions on motor vehicle regulations, which the EU has acceded to, making it mandatory to apply 62 out of 106 existing regulations. Each year, the Commission sends a document on the activities of the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations to the Council and to Parliament. The topics in this instance were pedestrian safety and light emitting diode (LED) light sources.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report on the European Union position on the draft regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) regarding: 1) pedestrian safety and; 2) light emitting diode light sources. In addition to adoption at EU level contributing in both cases to road safety and environmental protection, it is important to underline that these UNECE regulations will enable the application of the same standards in many countries, so cutting red tape and contributing to European industry’s ability to compete more widely and easily.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is a global forum on motor vehicle regulations. Its aim is to promote uniform technical prescriptions that cut development costs, prevent duplication of administrative procedures for industry and thereby contribute to greater efficiency and lower costs for consumers and society. Since I agree that this UNECE regulation will enable the same rules to be applied in many countries and that the benefits of such harmonised regulations are tangible in road safety, environmental protection and trade, I am voting in favour of the Council’s draft decision on the UNECE’s position on pedestrian safety and light emitting diode (LED) light sources.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) In the context of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations seeks to establish uniform regulations that take account of road safety, environmental protection and trade between various countries. To date, the EU has acceded to 106 of the 126 regulations agreed in the UNECE, 62 of which are applied within the Union. It is a regulatory framework also applied in European countries that are not part of the EU, in the Commonwealth of Independent States, in Japan and in North America. As such, and in view of Europe’s robust automotive industry, accession to the two new regulations that have been tabled relating to pedestrian safety and light emitting diode light sources is justified. In light of the Committee on International Trade’s recommendation, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Moreira because I consider that the proposals of UN WP.29 will make a positive contribution to road safety, the environment and trade, to which every country is committed. Also, the UNECE regulations will facilitate the application of the same specifications in numerous countries, thereby limiting administrative costs and helping to make European industry more competitive.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing.(IT) In recent years, the EU has done much to improve road safety and, in particular, pedestrian safety, while also widening the issue to other world organisations.

The foremost contributor to this process has been the World Forum for the Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations, which has involved the main producer countries of motor vehicles from Europe, as well as from Asia and America. In fact, the sessions of the World Forum saw the ongoing participation of more than 120 representatives.

I hope that today’s positive vote will lead to the two new draft regulations – the first on pedestrian safety and the second on light emitting diode (LED) light sources – having even greater success in terms of safety than the existing results.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) In this document, the rapporteur is proposing that the European Parliament adopt the draft Council decision on the position of the European Union in relation to the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on pedestrian safety and to the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) concerning light emitting diode (LED) light sources, together with its corrigenda. I voted in favour because I believe these UNECE regulations will enable the application of the same standards in many countries, so cutting red tape and contributing to European industry’s ability to compete more widely and easily.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the European Parliament legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the position of the European Union in relation to the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on pedestrian safety and to the draft UNECE regulation concerning light emitting diode (LED) light sources. The European Commission, as the EU’s representative, thinks that both draft regulations relating to pedestrian safety and LED light sources should be included in the European Union vehicle type-approval system. This means that both draft UNECE regulations become part of the European vehicle type-approval system. The aim of the standardised requirements of the draft UNECE regulation on the vehicle approval provisions regarding pedestrian safety and the vehicle approval provisions regarding LED light sources is to remove the current technical barriers in the car trade between the contracting parties to the revised 1958 Agreement (on the technical requirements for wheeled vehicles) and to ensure that these vehicles provide a high level of safety and protection.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. – Pedestrian safety, especially with ever increasing traffic, is of high importance to the European Union and its citizens and therefore this report has to be supported, which I did by my vote in favour. Any technical means like LEDs which support pedestrian safety have to be utilised.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR), in writing. – I voted for this report because I approve of measures which are designed to prevent injuries to pedestrians. The proposals will ensure that cars’ bumpers are designed so as to limit the impact on pedestrians if a collision occurs. The standardisation of LED lights fitted to cars, caravans or trailers will make it easier to see stop lights, indicators and hazard lights, thereby increasing safety on our roads.

 
  
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  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D), in writing.(PL) I supported the recommendation on the draft Council decision on the position of the European Union in relation to the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on pedestrian safety and to the draft regulation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe concerning light emitting diode (LED) light sources. The regulation discussed provides for the application of the UNECE regulations for the purpose of the EC vehicle type-approval on a compulsory basis. This would mean that the type-approval of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, as well as technical components, would be applied without the necessity for further, additional type-approval. This would make it easier for European producers, for authorities in individual states, and for consumers, by avoiding the duplication of technical requirements and certification procedures. The same standards would be used in many countries, which would radically reduce bureaucratic requirements.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Brian Simpson (A7-0448/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting in favour, since this is an agreement whose purpose is to harmonise the 19 already existing agreements between the EU and the Republic of Indonesia, as well as to amend some of their provisions that, according to the EU Court of Justice, infringe EU law. I would stress the importance of preventing discrimination between EU air carriers, and of banning anti-competitive practices; these concerns are rightly expressed in this report.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I am always committed when it comes to ensuring that an agreement is in accordance with European Union legislation. I voted in favour of this agreement between the European Union and Indonesia because it means that we can rectify the national designation clauses in the bilateral agreements which, after a decision by the Court of Justice in 2002, no longer complied with European Union law. Therefore, to avoid any discrimination between European Union carriers, we shall replace the national designation clauses by an EU designation clause. As our rapporteur, Brian Simpson, has pointed out, ‘the objective is to give all EU air carriers non-discriminatory access to routes between the EU Member States concerned and Indonesia’. Furthermore, while traditional bilateral agreements tend to exempt international flights from fuel taxation, this type of taxation is authorised for operations within the European Union. The aim of the agreement is therefore to expand that right of Member States of the European Union to Indonesian airlines wishing to operate intra-Union flights.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this document. International aviation relations between Member States and third countries have traditionally been governed by bilateral air services agreements. In 2002, the EU Court of Justice ruled that national designation clauses in the bilateral agreements infringe EU law. They allow a third country to reject, withdraw or suspend the permissions or authorisations of an air carrier that has been designated by a Member State but that is not substantially owned and effectively controlled by that Member State or its nationals. This has been found to constitute discrimination against EU carriers established in the territory of a Member State but owned and controlled by nationals of other Member States. The Commission has negotiated the agreement that replaces certain provisions in the existing 19 bilateral air services agreements concluded between EU Member States and Indonesia. This agreement aims to ensure that all EU air carriers have non-discriminatory access to routes between the EU Member States concerned and Indonesia, and prohibits anti-competitive practices.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) International relations in the area of aviation between Member States and third countries have been regulated through bilateral air services agreements. The EU Court of Justice ruled in 2002 that national designation clauses in the bilateral agreements infringe EU law, as they constitute discrimination against EU carriers established in the territory of one Member State but owned and controlled by nationals of other Member States. This recommendation, for which I voted, proposes that the Committee on Transport and Tourism should issue a favourable opinion on the conclusion of the report. With this agreement, national designation clauses will be replaced with an EU designation clause, applicable to all EU carriers. The purpose is to give all EU air carriers non-discriminatory access to routes between the EU Member State in question and Indonesia.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing.(IT) The Commission has signed an agreement with the Indonesian Government to replace some provisions in the existing EU-Indonesia bilateral agreements. The provisions that the EU intends to replace relate to the air transport sector, where the aim is to end discriminatory practices against EU air carriers, made possible until now precisely by the nature of the preceding bilateral agreements. As well as being economically damaging for EU airlines, under EU law, these discriminations were a violation of the provisions of the European Treaties on the entitlement to equal treatment of citizens resident in a country other than their country of origin. The Commission’s work is therefore geared towards protecting European airlines and European commercial interests. Accordingly, I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this recommendation because the agreement between the European Union and the government of the Republic of Indonesia on certain aspects of air services aims to ensure aviation safety, avoid discrimination between EU air carriers and ensure compatibility with competition rules. Firstly, to avoid discrimination between EU air carriers, national designation clauses, referring to air carriers of the Member State that are party to the bilateral agreement, are replaced by an EU designation clause, referring to all EU carriers. This clause aims to ensure that all EU air carriers have non-discriminatory access to routes between the EU Member States concerned and Indonesia. As for safety assurance, according to the agreement, safety provisions in bilateral agreements are applicable to situations when regulatory control over an air carrier is exercised by a Member State other than the Member State that designated that air carrier. Thirdly, under this agreement, anti-competitive practices are prohibited. The aim of this agreement is therefore to apply the same rights to Indonesian airlines wishing to operate flights within the European Union as Member States have.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I welcome the adoption of this agreement, whose purpose is to correct situations of discrimination against EU carriers established in a Member State but owned and controlled by nationals of other Member States. International relations in the area of aviation between Member States and third countries have traditionally been regulated through bilateral air services agreements. The purpose of this agreement is to replace certain provisions of the 19 existing bilateral air services agreements concluded between EU Member States and Indonesia, so ensuring compliance with EU competition law.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) This agreement, entirely in line with other agreements between the European Union and third countries, will benefit our airlines by prohibiting any type of discrimination in access to the Indonesian market.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this recommendation, since I support the conclusion of the agreement between the European Union and the government of the Republic of Indonesia on certain aspects of air services. With this agreement, all EU air carriers will have non-discriminatory access to routes between the Member State in question and Indonesia. It safeguards, inter alia, free competition between European airlines.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) The agreement that we are adopting today is an important step in strengthening relations between the EU and Indonesia in the aviation sector. This agreement enables significant gains in terms of mutual recognition of airlines and does not permit discrimination between European companies in terms of safety rules and procedures, or in relation to competition, since any anti-competitive practices between the parties are banned.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This recommendation, drafted by Mr Simpson, concerns a draft decision of the Council regarding the conclusion of the agreement between the Union and the government of the Republic of Indonesia on certain aspects of air services. The Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, substantially changed the powers of several European institutions, particularly Parliament, which, in the new set-up, is called on to rule on matters which were not previously under its jurisdiction, as in this case of an international agreement between the EU and the Republic of Indonesia on air services. It is noteworthy that this agreement, negotiated by the Commission, replaces certain provisions of the 19 existing bilateral air services agreements in force, concluded between EU Member States and the Republic of Indonesia. I welcome the establishment of another agreement whose purpose is to give all EU air carriers non-discriminatory access to routes with Indonesia as their destination, which represents an important step in strengthening relations between the EU and the Republic of Indonesia in the aviation sector; it also covers safety and taxation of aviation fuel.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This draft agreement follows on from several identical agreements already concluded between the EU and other countries. As we mentioned in relation to these other agreements, in the specific context in which civil aviation currently operates, this draft agreement raises serious concerns about its scope and possible consequences. Moves to ‘avoid discrimination between EU air carriers’ with the supposed creation of a level playing field for the various European companies could contribute to facilitating monopolistic concentration within the sector, which is already under way. The reference to the primacy of free competition in Article 4 comes under this heading, seeking to reduce the Member States’ ability to defend their flag carriers, in a sector that is strategic in terms of safeguarding national interests for a number of reasons. However, it should be stressed that, in this case, the possible implications for Portugal will be comparatively less than those of previous agreements already concluded, such as those with Brazil, the United States and Canada.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) International air transport relations between Member States and third countries have traditionally been governed by bilateral air services agreements. The EU Court of Justice ruled in 2002 that national designation clauses in the bilateral agreements infringe EU law. They allow a third country to reject, withdraw or suspend the permissions or authorisations of an air carrier that has been designated by a Member State but that is not substantially owned and effectively controlled by that Member State or its nationals. This has been found to constitute discrimination against EU carriers established in the territory of a Member State but owned and controlled by nationals of other Member States. Thus, the Commission has negotiated the agreement that replaces certain provisions in the existing 19 bilateral air services agreements concluded between EU Member States and Indonesia. It was signed on 29 June 2011 and the two parties have agreed to act in accordance with the agreement from the time of signature until it enters into force. The conclusion of the agreement, however, requires the consent of the European Parliament. I firmly believe that it is right for the Committee on Transport and Tourism to give its approval for the conclusion of the agreement.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. – I welcome this agreement, which replaces provisions in the existing 19 bilateral air services agreements concluded between EU Member States and Indonesia, and thus streamlines the legal arrangement.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) It is what is called a ‘classic’ agreement negotiated by the Commission under its ‘horizontal mandate’. The main aim of this agreement is to give all EU air carriers non-discriminatory access to routes between the Member States of the European Union concerned and Indonesia. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing. (FR) Traditionally, international relations in the field of aviation with third countries were governed by bilateral agreements, that is, from one State to another. However, in 2002, the European Court of Justice censured the presence of national designation clauses in agreements of this kind because that could lead to discrimination between European Union (EU) carriers. The agreement for which I voted plans to replace national designation clauses by a single EU designation clause. From now on, EU carriers will be able to access the Indonesian market without any risk of discrimination.

 
  
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  Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (PPE), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour of the report since, in my opinion, the ensuing new agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Indonesia will ensure protection for EU air carriers against discriminatory access to routes between the EU Member States concerned and Indonesia. Moreover, it secures a number of regulations which guarantee the prohibition of anti-competitive practices.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this proposal. International aviation relations between Member States and third countries have traditionally been governed by bilateral air services agreements. The EU Court of Justice ruled in 2002 that national designation clauses in the bilateral agreements infringe EU law. They allow a third country to reject, withdraw or suspend the permissions or authorisations of an air carrier that has been designated by a Member State but that is not substantially owned and effectively controlled by that Member State or its nationals. This has been found to constitute discrimination against EU carriers established in the territory of a Member State but owned and controlled by nationals of other Member States. This is contrary to Article 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which guarantees nationals of Member States who have exercised their freedom of establishment the same treatment in the host Member State as that accorded to nationals of that Member State. There are also further issues, such as competition, where compliance with EU law should be ensured. Thus, the Commission has negotiated the agreement that replaces certain provisions in the existing 19 bilateral air services agreements concluded between EU Member States and Indonesia.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing.(IT) I am voting in favour of the report by Mr Simpson. It was necessary to conclude an agreement between the EU and Indonesia, particularly in order to allow all EU air carriers to have non-discriminatory access to routes between the EU Member States concerned and Indonesia.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) This new agreement between the European Union and Indonesia on certain aspects of airline services will stimulate economic growth, which has become a crucial issue. Indeed, this policy encourages the exploitation of spatial systems including financial and legislative mechanisms. It will allow us to give impetus to a spirit of initiative and innovation which will drive European competitiveness. This policy will also provide greater coherence within Europe by harmonising and strengthening national spatial programmes. Finally, the replacement of certain provisions in the bilateral agreements will remove discrimination between EU carriers.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The main goal, as we know, is to bring the existing 19 bilateral agreements concluded between Member States and Indonesia in line with EU law. Thus, the agreement amends the bilateral agreements in the areas falling under EU competence. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The European Commission has negotiated an agreement in which certain clauses in the 19 bilateral air services agreements between EU Member States and Indonesia are replaced. The main aims are to ensure non-discriminatory access to the routes for all EU air carriers, for the safety provisions to be applicable not only by the Member State in which the air carrier is domiciled, to apply aviation fuel tax to Indonesian air carriers within the EU and to ban practices that are not compatible with provisions on competition. I did not vote in favour of the report because, in my opinion, the clauses that are to be replaced represent too much interference by the EU in the bilateral agreements of the individual Member States.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this recommendation, which aims to align the provisions of the agreement between the European Union and the government of the Republic of Indonesia on certain aspects of air services with EU law and eliminate existing contradictions. The new provisions will ensure more favourable conditions for EU carriers and will give the right to non-discriminatory access to routes between the EU Member States concerned and Indonesia. I also welcome the proposal giving Member States the right to also make Indonesian airlines, wishing to operate flights within the European Union, subject to fuel tax.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing.(IT) I voted in favour of Mr Simpson’s report on the conclusion of a bilateral agreement between the EU and the Republic of Indonesia on air services because it aims to reach the goal of giving all EU air carriers non-discriminatory access to routes to Indonesia. In general terms, all relations between EU Member States and third countries on air transport are governed by bilateral agreements, and in this instance, the text is nothing more than a supplement to the 19 existing agreements. Greater transport possibilities improve relations between countries and make life easier for citizens, hence I think that in future, we will see an increase in, and constant renewal of, bilateral agreements.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and the government of the Republic of Indonesia on certain aspects of air services. In 2002, the EU Court of Justice ruled that certain clauses included in bilateral air services agreements between EU Member States and third countries violate EU law. Consequently, the Commission has negotiated an agreement which replaces certain provisions of the 19 existing bilateral air services agreements concluded between EU Member States and Indonesia, which is now being adopted.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing.(IT) The bilateral agreements between Member States and third countries in the international air transport sector can cause discrimination against EU carriers established in the territory of a Member State, but which are owned and controlled by nationals of other Member States. I agree with the goal of guaranteeing nationals of Member States who have exercised their freedom of establishment the same treatment in the host Member State as that accorded to nationals of that Member State. I also agree with ensuring compliance with EU law by amending or complementing existing provisions in bilateral air services agreements between Member States and third countries. Accordingly, I voted in favour of finalising the agreement.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) There are currently 19 bilateral agreements on air services in force between EU Member States and Indonesia. However, there are clauses in some of these agreements which, according to EU Court of Justice case-law, violate EU law. That is the case with what are known as designation clauses, which authorise a third country to reject, withdraw or suspend the permissions or authorisations of an air carrier that has been designated by a Member State but that is not substantially owned and effectively controlled by that Member State or its nationals. The purpose of this agreement is simply to ensure the harmonisation of these aspects with EU law. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. International aviation relations between Member States and third countries have traditionally been governed by bilateral air services agreements. The EU Court of Justice ruled in 2002 that national designation clauses in the bilateral agreements infringe EU law. They allow a third country to reject, withdraw or suspend the permissions or authorisations of an air carrier that has been designated by a Member State but that is not substantially owned and effectively controlled by that Member State or its nationals. This has been found to constitute discrimination against EU carriers established in the territory of a Member State but owned and controlled by nationals of other Member States. This is contrary to Article 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which guarantees nationals of Member States who have exercised their freedom of establishment the same treatment in the host Member State as that accorded to nationals of that Member State. There are also further issues, such as competition, where compliance with EU law should be ensured through amending or complementing existing provisions in bilateral air services agreements between Member States and third countries.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Simpson because I consider that non-discrimination between EU air carriers and guaranteeing them equal access to routes to Indonesia are important matters. Also, a vote in favour of the report will help to ensure that competition rules comply with EU legislation and to ensure that aviation fuels are taxed for international flights.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing.(IT) Today’s vote will correct the divergences and anomalies in the 19 existing bilateral air services agreements concluded between EU Member States and Indonesia.

In fact, relations between Member States and third countries in the area of international air transport are traditionally governed by bilateral air services agreements. The EU Court of Justice ruled in 2002 that national designation clauses in the bilateral agreements infringe EU law. They allow a third country to reject, withdraw or suspend the permissions or authorisations of an air carrier that has been designated by a Member State but that is not substantially owned and effectively controlled by that Member State or its nationals.

Our vote will resolve this discriminatory situation.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) There are 19 bilateral agreements on air services in force between Member States and Indonesia. The purpose of concluding this agreement is to bring an end to these bilateral agreements and establish a single one governing relations on certain aspects of air services with Indonesia. The Union has been signing a number of agreements of this type, because the EU Court of Justice ruled in 2002 that the traditional national designation clauses included in bilateral air services agreements infringed EU law. As such, to prevent clauses that discriminate against EU airlines and the violation of Article 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union on freedom of establishment, this agreement establishes the principle of the EU designation for all carriers from the EU. Furthermore, the agreement standardises regulatory control over safety, the competition principle and fuel taxation. Adoption of this agreement will reduce geographical distances, and enable closer political and economic relations.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the draft Council decision on the conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and the government of the Republic of Indonesia on certain aspects of air services. The agreement signed on 29 June 2011 replaces certain provisions included in the existing 19 bilateral agreements on air services concluded between EU Member States and Indonesia. Certain provisions in the bilateral agreements on air services between EU Member States and Indonesia contained sections which infringe European Union legislation and must be made to comply with it in order to establish a solid legal basis for air services between the European Union and Indonesia, as well as to maintain the continuity of the relevant air services. The purpose of the agreement is to grant all EU carriers the right of non-discriminatory access to the routes between the relevant Member States and Indonesia. The aim through this agreement is not for the EU to increase the total volume of air traffic between the EU and Indonesia, to upset the balance between European Union and Indonesian air carriers, or to negotiate the changes made to the provisions on traffic rights in the existing bilateral agreements on air services. The agreement contains provisions on safety, taxation of aviation fuel and banning anti-competitive practices.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) Replacing the national designation clauses with an EU designation clause will ensure all EU air carriers non-discriminatory access to routes between the Member States and Indonesia, and thus guarantee freedom of establishment. In addition, the agreement improves the safety provisions.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR), in writing. – Indonesia is one of the largest emerging markets in the world and yet there is no direct flight between Jakarta and my home constituency of London. Direct flights have been shown to help improve trade; firms do more business and invest more in markets which are the most convenient to reach. I hope that the EU-Indonesia Air Services Agreement will help to increase EU-Indonesia trade and that soon we will have a daily flight from Jakarta to Heathrow allowing British firms to tap into an economy which has an annual growth rate of 6.5%.

 
  
  

Recommendation: Brian Simpson (A7-0391/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for the report as it proposes the establishment of a framework for enhanced cooperation between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Any partnership with the ICAO is beneficial, as it is a specialised UN agency, and already has 190 Member States working together in the areas of aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection. It is vital that the EU make the best decisions in these areas, so this cooperation is welcome and merits close involvement from Parliament.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) In the light of previous disagreements with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) because of the confrontation between the European Union and airlines opposed to the inclusion of air transport in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) from 1 January 2012, I think it is necessary for the EU to collaborate with the international community. An international agreement enabling the greenhouse gas emissions of air transport to be taken into account is crucial. I therefore voted for this Memorandum of Cooperation, so that the European Union can use its expertise and resources generally for the benefit of the ICAO. It is essential that the European Union exerts influence on negotiations with the international community on civil aviation and, in particular, on issues of sustainable development.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) is aimed at formalising and enhancing relations and cooperation between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It was signed on 28 April 2011 in Montreal and on 4 May 2011 in Brussels and has been provisionally applied since then. The ICAO was founded by the Chicago Convention of 1944 as a UN Specialised Agency. Its 190 current Member States work together in the fields of aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection. Most ICAO standards and requirements are addressed in EU law or even substantially transposed into European law (e.g. environmental standards for aircraft). Consequently, the EU takes a strong interest in contributing to the ICAO policy-making process, not least for the competitiveness of its own civil aviation industry. I welcomed the conclusion of the MOC, which will ensure greater harmonisation of standards, improved coordination of appropriate action and better use of limited resources.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted for this resolution because cooperation between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) needs to be enhanced. This memorandum supports the basic objectives of Europe’s external aviation policy. It is particularly important that the EU contributes to the decision-making process within the ICAO, given that 190 states are currently members of the organisation. Cooperation should be expanded in such areas as aviation safety, air security, air traffic management and environmental protection. Introducing common mechanisms will help improve coordination in planning programmes and technical assistance. New systems and technologies must be promoted globally. This will increase the competitiveness of Europe’s civil aviation sector. I welcome the mutual commitment to achieving the highest aviation safety levels in the world.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) was established as a specialised UN agency by the 1944 Chicago Convention. The signatory states work together in the areas of aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection This Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) is intended to formalise and enhance relations between the EU and the ICAO, in order to ensure greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of their respective activities. The aim of the MOC is better use of available resources and preventing duplication of efforts, while simultaneously preserving the integrity of both parties. The parties are agreeing close cooperation, with a view to the coordination of their safety activities. This cooperation includes provisions making EU expertise and resources available to the ICAO, and enabling EU observers to participate in the ICAO’s audit missions in EU Member States, with their consent and under the strictest respect for the confidentiality of the audit missions. I voted for this recommendation for these reasons.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), pursuant to its rules of procedure, only allows states to join it as members. However, some years ago, the Commission sought to launch negotiations for the accession of the EU, hoping for an amendment to the ICAO’s rules. Such an amendment did not take place, and the EU is still excluded from full participation. Through the memorandum now proposed by the Council, the EU is trying to get around the obstacles posed by international law, in order to join the ICAO informally and to exert its own influence within it, although it does not legally have the right to do so. In essence, this agreement seems to be a Trojan horse that will allow the Commission to get around international law, and, what is more, at the expense of the EU Member States which, by contrast, are legal and fully-fledged members of the ICAO. Despite this, they could gradually lose their ability to exercise their rights within the ICAO if this memorandum were to enter into force. There would, of course, be specific advantages that would derive from the EU’s greater involvement in the ICAO, but these advantages would be achieved by bypassing the provisions of international law, and passing over the rights legally guaranteed to the Member States. I therefore voted against.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I welcome its primary objective – the strengthening of aviation security, particularly that of civil aviation. The specific aim of this report is to consent to the conclusion of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This MOC is aimed at greater harmonisation of standards and improved coordination of appropriate action. In addition, while preserving the integrity of both parties, the MOC aims to achieve better use of limited resources and avoid duplication of efforts. This MOC has been applied provisionally since 4 May 2011. The ICAO was established in 1994 and today, its 190 Member States work together in the fields of aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection. Most ICAO standards and requirements are addressed in EU law or even substantially transposed into European law. Therefore, the EU takes a strong interest in contributing to the ICAO policy-making process. This would also help increase the competitiveness of the European Union’s civil aviation industry.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I welcome the adoption of this Memorandum of Cooperation, the overall objective of which is to ensure greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of related activities, as well as achieving better use of available resources and avoiding duplication of activities, while also preserving the integrity of both parties. It is vital that there be close cooperation on and coordination of safety activities. This approach is based on mutual commitment to achieving the highest levels of aviation safety worldwide, and the harmonisation of safety standards and recommended practices.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which has been in operation since 1944, currently has approximately 190 Member States. It is crucial that the EU achieve closer relations with the ICAO by concluding this Memorandum of Cooperation, with a view to enabling closer coordination of its activities in the area of aviation security, as well as of air traffic management and environmental protection. It will thus enable the EU to contribute to the ICAO policy-making process, which is important not only for the competitiveness of its own civil aviation industry, but also in order to achieve a higher level of aviation safety worldwide, as well as harmonising the standards and recommended practices.

I am therefore voting for a strengthened EU position within the ICAO, as well as for the establishment of this framework for enhanced cooperation, which currently only sets out arrangements relating to aviation safety, such as the identification of unsafe air carriers. I hope that, in the short term, it will be possible to extend this cooperation to other arrangements in the field of aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection, which should be appended to this Memorandum of Cooperation.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) This Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC), for which we have just voted, is aimed at formalising and enhancing relations between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and has been provisionally applied since 4 May 2011, when it was signed in Brussels. The main aim of this memorandum is to ensure greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of related activities. The MOC is also intended to create synergies in order to avoid duplication of efforts, and it does not seek to replace existing forms of cooperation, such as the safety oversight audit, and security audits/inspections, which are the subject of separate memoranda of cooperation. The scope and areas of cooperation that have just been agreed are well explained in the memorandum, and summed up in the Parliament’s recommendation. In future, other arrangements in the areas of security, environmental protection and air traffic management can be appended to this MOC. Unfortunately, the UN General Assembly, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council are discredited. Happily, however, UN agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, United Nations Children’s Fund and the ICAO do excellent work.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this Memorandum of Cooperation because European law currently takes account of most of the standards and requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in international aviation. It is, therefore in the European Union’s interest to contribute to the ICAO policy-making process if it wants to protect the competitiveness of its own civil aircraft industry, which is a key sector of economic activity and development in the Midi-Pyrénées region.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing. (FR) The report which I voted for relates to a classical agreement, which requires a simple process of approval by the European Parliament, and which is already being applied provisionally. This agreement is designed to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), notably, through the exchange of experts and the implementation of programmes allowing for the upward harmonisation of aviation safety and security standards.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this recommendation as it enhances the EU’s position in terms of its relations with the International Civil Aviation Organisation. This memorandum, which sets out a framework for enhanced cooperation, ensures greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of related activities, as well as enabling more efficient use of the limited resources available.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Our vote today seeks to formalise the application of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation, signed on 28 April 2011 in Montreal and on 4 May 2011 in Brussels, and provisionally applied since then.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This recommendation, drafted by Mr Simpson, concerns the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), establishing a framework of enhanced cooperation, and laying down procedural arrangements related thereto. The ICAO, which was established by the Chicago 1944 Convention, is a specialised UN agency and has 190 Member States, which work together in the following areas: aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection. Although the costs associated with this MOC amount to EUR 500 000 over three years, I agree with the rapporteur’s view that Parliament should contribute to a strengthened EU position within the ICAO. I voted for this recommendation because I believe that the issue at stake is greater harmonisation of procedural standards in aviation and closer coordination of respective activities, and that this will undoubtedly make the EU’s civil aviation industry more competitive.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) The purpose of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) is to formalise and strengthen relations between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The overall goals of the MOC include strengthening relations and the framework for cooperation between the EU and the ICAO, and establishing the terms, conditions and mechanisms for implementing this cooperation, with a view to greater harmonisation of standards and better coordination of related activities. The MOC neither replaces nor negatively affects other forms of cooperation between the parties involved, and establishes closer cooperation in the areas of aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection. While it is not applicable to decisions relating to harmonisation and regulation, it does, however, establish regulatory cooperation in the preparatory stages of these activities, the coordination of audit and inspection programmes, and technical assistance. In the specific context in which aviation activity takes place, the role and pressures on the EU in terms of liberalisation – which, among other issues, always exacerbates security-related issues – are well known, so we have some reservations about these agreements. Moreover, there are some concerns about possible additions to the concept of aviation security, which could affect respect for the rights, freedoms and guarantees of passengers and workers in this sector.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing. (IT) Undoubtedly, formalising and enhancing current relations between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will lead to a strengthening and consolidation of these relations. My fellow Members and I have, to that end, unanimously approved the Memorandum of Cooperation between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The ICAO was established as a specialised agency of the UN and its Member States work together on aviation safety, air traffic management and environmental protection matters. It is therefore not surprising that the EU is interested in contributing to the development of the ICAO’s policies. This Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) aims to achieve greater harmonisation and closer coordination of the relevant activities, and not least to ensure better use of the limited resources available, for instance, by avoiding duplication of effort. Certainly, increased cooperation, such as the possibility of mutual access to databases, will lead to an improvement and a simplification of the system as a whole.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) aims to formalise and enhance relations and cooperation between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It was signed on 28 April in Montreal and on 4 May 2011 in Brussels and has been provisionally applied since then. The ICAO was founded by the Chicago Convention of 1944 as a UN Specialised Agency. Its 190 current Member States work together in the fields of aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management, and environmental protection. The overall goal of the MOC is to ensure greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of respective activities. Thus far, provisions have only been laid down in relation to aviation safety. The parties agree to cooperate closely and to coordinate their safety activities. The approach is based on the mutual commitment to achieve the highest levels of aviation safety worldwide and a global harmonisation of safety standards and recommended practices (SARPs). The identification of unsafe areas and carriers is a common fundamental interest and an important part of shared activities. I believe that Parliament should contribute to strengthening the EU’s position within the ICAO, and it is therefore right that the Committee on Transport and Tourism has given its consent to the conclusion of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which would provide a framework for enhanced cooperation.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. – I welcome this new mutual commitment to achieving the highest levels of aviation safety worldwide and a global harmonisation of safety standards and recommended practices (SARPs). To identify unsafe areas and carriers is of common fundamental interest to all parties to this agreement.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) This agreement is designed to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), notably through the exchange of experts and the implementation of programmes. The idea is to eventually achieve upward harmonisation of aviation safety and security standards. This report does not raise any difficulties. I therefore voted in favour.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing. (FR) In accordance with Rule 81 of its Rules of Procedure, the European Parliament is entitled to give its consent to the conclusion of a Memorandum of Cooperation of the European Union (EU). I voted in favour of the memorandum, which is aimed at enhancing relations and cooperation between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It is essential that the European Union participates in the decision-making process within the ICAO in order to protect the competitiveness of its own industry.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) The purpose of this Memorandum of Cooperation is to regulate and enhance relations and cooperation between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). I think that the European Union needs to attach greater importance to this cooperation as the majority of issues targeted by the Chicago Convention come under the EU’s remit. The ICAO regulates policies on safety, security, the environment and air traffic management. In addition, ICAO standards and requirements provide the basis for EU legislation. In conclusion, I think that it is of paramount importance for the EU to get involved in this activity and in the process of defining ICAO policies, with the aim of helping devise suitable policies for the civil aviation sector. Furthermore, the Memorandum envisages that the parties will share electronic information, data and official publications, and provide mutual access to databases, which will help strengthen relations between the two organisations.

 
  
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  Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (PPE), in writing.(PL) I voted in favour of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation since, in my opinion, it will ensure closer cooperation, especially in the field of passenger safety, which should be guaranteed to the highest degree. The memorandum’s objective is to achieve the highest level of aviation safety worldwide, with the simultaneous harmonisation of the relevant safety standards.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this proposal, which should contribute to a strengthened EU position within ICAO.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The development of an enhanced cooperation framework would rightly allow the European Union to increase its weight within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The memorandum would also be important in ensuring greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of the relevant activities. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – The Memorandum of Cooperation is meant to ensure greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of the parties’ respective activities, as well as a better use of resources by avoiding duplication of effort. Cooperation will also include the sharing of confidential data and the participation of EU observers in initial civil aviation organisation audit missions. Relevant provisions for actions in the field of aviation safety and security, traffic management and environmental protection are an integral part of the Memorandum of Cooperation. I am in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The International Civil Aviation Organisation is a specialised agency of NATO. The aim of this cooperation is to facilitate the exchange of personal data. The EU is making funding available to allow this to take place. There were already concerns that data protection was being trampled underfoot under the guise of combating terrorism. This memorandum is a further step towards mass surveillance. Not only must the EU now hand over the data; it must also pay for the structural framework conditions. I am voting against the memorandum because I want to stand up for the protection of our citizens’ data.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) This Memorandum of Cooperation is intended to formalise and deepen relations and cooperation between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a specialised agency of NATO. The aim is to facilitate the exchange of personal data. To allow this to take place, the EU is to make available annual financial support to the tune of EUR 500 000. In addition, the Member States and the European Aviation Safety Agency are required to top up this amount. I see no reason why the EU should continue to pass on data on innocent citizens to the US under the guise of combating terrorism. Moreover, there is absolutely no reason why the EU should foot the bill for transferring such data. I voted against this report in the interests of citizens’ rights and data protection.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. – (LT) I welcome this resolution on the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC). I believe that the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) need to work particularly closely together to fully harmonise standards and improve the coordination of certain actions in the area of safety. It is also very important to note that the EU has been given an excellent opportunity to exercise the ICAO’s competence and strengthen its position in this international organisation. This MOC will also facilitate the use of limited resources, will help to eliminate duplication of efforts, and will ensure the highest level of aviation safety worldwide.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the proposal to conclude a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), establishing a framework of enhanced cooperation, and laying down procedural arrangements related thereto, since the overall objective of the MOC is to ensure greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of related activities. Moreover, the purpose of the MOC is to make better use of the limited resources available and avoid duplication of efforts, while preserving the integrity of both parties.

 
  
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  Aldo Patriciello (PPE), in writing. (IT) The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) designed to formalise and enhance relations and cooperation aims to strengthen cooperation in the areas of aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection. In view of the strong interest that the EU has in contributing to reinforcing the ICAO’s policies and in view of the many ICAO standards and requirements that are already part of European Union law, I voted in favour of the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of a memorandum providing a framework for enhanced cooperation, and laying down procedural arrangements related thereto.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The purpose of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), part of the United Nations system, is cooperation on aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection. Since most of the provisions adopted in this organisation already form part of Union statute law, cost savings justify a leading role for the EU within the ICAO in seeking to collaborate on the adoption of technical solutions and setting out objectives to be achieved, within the framework of the legislative process. A Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the two organisations is therefore a natural step towards, firstly, strengthening the role of the EU within the ICAO and, secondly, contributing to global air safety through joint efforts. I therefore voted for the conclusion of this MOC.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) I should like to offer my congratulations on the excellent work carried out by Mr Simpson.

By approving this recommendation, Parliament, in view of the proposal for a Council decision, is undertaking to contribute to the reinforcement of the EU’s position within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

It is necessary, as proposed by the Council, for a Memorandum of Cooperation to be concluded between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation and it is necessary, for the purposes of its operation, for the roles that are to be assigned within the joint committee to be actively carried out by the Commission, the Council and the Member States. The committee will become vital for the application of the Memorandum of Cooperation and for the adoption of provisions on collaboration in specific areas.

It will also be necessary to lay down further rules in the spheres of aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection, so as to achieve the highest level of aviation safety in the world.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – I voted in favour. The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) aims to formalise and enhance relations and cooperation between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It was signed on 28 April 2011 in Montreal and on 4 May 2011 in Brussels and has been applied provisionally since then. By letter of 16 June, the Council submitted to Parliament its draft decision to conclude the MOC. Parliament is entitled to give its consent to the conclusion by means of a single vote, in accordance with Rule 81 of the Rules of Procedure. No amendments to the agreement itself may be tabled.

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), in writing. (FR) As guarantor of the mobility, safety and security of its citizens, it is essential for the European Union to become more involved in the international standard-setting process relating to civil aviation. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which is a specialised agency of the United Nations, is a privileged place of decision making and influence. To sit there as a European entity and not as a group of Member States will accompany our efforts and accelerate our Single European Sky project. That is why I voted in favour of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the EU and the ICAO. As these decisions have a direct impact on our Community legislation, we must ensure that they are in line with our strategic orientations and our ethical considerations, first and foremost, our vision of the sustainable development of civil aviation.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Simpson because most standards (such as environmental protection standards) and ICAO requirements are compatible with European legislation. Matters such as in-flight safety, air traffic control and environmental protection are very important and must be regulated as a matter of priority. Also, approval of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the EU and the ICAO is a decision which will serve the interests of the EU, by strengthening its position within the ICAO and safeguarding competitiveness in its civil aviation sector.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) Voting for the approval of the Memorandum of Cooperation will improve relations between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The overall objective of the Memorandum of Cooperation is to ensure greater harmonisation of standards and closer coordination of the relevant activities. In addition, while maintaining the integrity of both parties, the memorandum is intended to achieve better use of limited resources and to avoid duplication of effort.

The Memorandum of Cooperation will provide financial support of EUR 500 000 per year for an initial period of three years based on a contribution-specific agreement in the framework of the financial and administrative framework agreement between the EU and the UN. This budget may be complemented by financial support from Member States or the European Aviation Safety Agency.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) This Memorandum of Cooperation, signed in May of last year, establishes the enhancement of relations between the EU and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a UN agency specialising in the areas of air safety, air security, air traffic management and environmental protection. The aim of this agreement is to harmonise standards in its area of competence and avoid the duplication of efforts by the parties involved. EU law already incorporates most of the ICAO’s standards and requirements. The EU is also seeking a voice in setting out ICAO measures, in view of the importance of the aviation sector for its Member States. I am voting for this agreement, but I regret that Parliament is not more involved in the decisions adopted by the Joint Committee, which comprises the Council, the Commission and the respective Member State representatives.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the European Parliament resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) providing a framework for enhanced cooperation and laying down procedural arrangements related thereto. The overall goal of the memorandum is to harmonise standards, achieve closer coordination of civil aviation activities, use resources efficiently and avoid duplication of effort. According to its decision, and in line with the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Council determines the EU position to be taken within the Joint Committee, as far as the adoption and amendment of the provisions are concerned. The EU is represented in the Joint Committee by the Commission, assisted by representatives of the Member States. The Commission determines the EU position on cooperation regarding working conditions, financial and resources-related issues, consultation and exchange of information, the interoperability of new technologies, and the coordination of audit and inspection programmes. In accordance with ICAO confidentiality rules, the parties share electronic information, data and official publications and provide mutual access to databases. The memorandum provides for financial support of EUR 500 000 per year for an initial period of three years. In future, provisions on aviation security, air traffic management and environmental protection which are adopted beforehand by the Council will be added as annexes to the memorandum.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. – The ICAO has an important role in the coordination of air traffic, thus serving aviation and passenger security, air traffic management, environmental protection and efficiency to the benefit of air passengers and airlines. I voted in favour of this opinion because it is obvious that the European Union should support ICAO fully.

 
  
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  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D), in writing.(PL) I support the recommendation on the cooperation between the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation. It is worth remembering that this organisation has been operating since 1944, and currently comprises 190 Member States. Global cooperation rather than just European cooperation in the field of aviation safety is particularly important. Worldwide harmonisation of safety standards and practices is of great significance. We should cooperate on identifying countries, areas, airports and air carriers where safety levels are insufficient. It is clearly in the interest of passengers residing in the EU Member States.

 
  
  

Appointments to committees

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, as it is in line with the decision taken by the Conference of Presidents and is a balanced proposal, on the basis of experience to date.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The European Parliament oversees virtually all activities of the European Union. The process of appointment to individual positions allows it to exercise a controlling function not only in relation to the European institutions, but also in relation to its other constituents. In recent days, during the current opening plenary session held in 2012, the seats in the various parliamentary committees have been redistributed. Disregarding for a moment their actual composition in terms of the representation of members of various political factions, in my opinion, it is necessary, in particular, to take into consideration expertise or previous experience under all circumstances when addressing issues of responsibility. Finally, it is important to ensure compliance with gender equality, since there are still many issues in various areas of life (social, cultural, political and economic) where women do not enjoy the same conditions as men, despite numerous successes in enhancing the status of women.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) In view of the proposal of the Conference of Presidents, the decision of 15 July 2009 and the decision of 14 December 2010, I voted for the change to the numerical strength of parliamentary committees, as stated in the document, and for the proposal that the committee bureaux may include a maximum of four vice-chairs until the end of the current session.

 
  
  

Recommendation for second reading: Karl-Heinz Florenz (A7-0334/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) In order to combat climate change, prevent environmental damage and remain in control of valuable resources for electronic equipment, we need higher rates of collection, high rates of recycling and appropriate recycling standards, as well as robust legislation against illegal exports, greater producer responsibility, better designed equipment and a fair sharing of responsibilities and costs between producers, consumers and public authorities. This report largely reflects these concerns, so I voted for it.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) The European Parliament is paving the way for the recasting of the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which will enable consumers to return their small appliances to retailers free of charge with no obligation to purchase a new product. Through my vote, I argued in favour of improving the collection and recycling of WEEE. I support this agreement, which is based on ambitious yet achievable objectives. This directive strengthens the objectives of selective collection, broadens the scope and imposes new return and treatment obligations on producers and retailers. It is a significant step forward for the environment and for the consumer. The annual collection target per Member State of 4 kg per inhabitant has been transformed into a collection rate of 45% of the WEEE placed on the market in the three preceding years by 2016, then a collection rate of 65% in 2019. Finally, the directive, while reducing administrative formalities for producers, who are responsible for financing waste management, changes the definition of producer, which now covers any ‘entity placing equipment on the market’.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this important directive. Its purpose is to contribute to sustainable production and consumption, above all, through the prevention of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), and, in addition, the re-use, recycling and other forms of recovery of such waste, so as to reduce the disposal of waste, and contribute to the efficient use of resources and the retrieval of critical raw materials. This directive also seeks to improve the environmental performance of all operators involved in the life cycle of electrical and electronic equipment, such as producers, distributors and consumers, particularly those operators directly involved in the collection and treatment of WEEE. Different national applications of the producer responsibility principle lead to substantial disparities in the financial burden on economic operators, and having different national policies on the management of WEEE hampers the effectiveness of recycling policies. I agree that the essential criteria should be laid down at Union level, and European standards for the collection and treatment of WEEE should be developed.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Today, we can see all the limits of our ‘short-termist’ societies (which are, by the way, on their last legs), where hyper-consumerism and a throwaway culture reign supreme. The issues of the treatment and recycling of waste and of the obsolescence of everyday consumer products are at the heart of the problems we have to manage within our societies. The directive we are adopting today relates to waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Each European citizen is responsible for producing between 17 and 20 kg of electronic waste on average a year. The target is commensurate with the situation: the directive provides for each Member State to increase its collection of WEEE, regardless of whether or not the annual target of 4 kg per person has already been met. This directive is positive for European consumers, who will, from now on, be able to return their small appliances to retailers and businesses with no obligation to purchase a new product. This directive is a further step forward for the recycling and treatment of WEEE in Europe. I very much welcome the stricter checks on the illegal shipping of WEEE to third countries, so as to prevent the treatment of WEEE from endangering workers.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing. (FR) After tough negotiations with the Council, the European Parliament can be satisfied with the ambitious targets it has just imposed throughout the European Union regarding the collection of electronic waste. From 2016, the majority of the Member States will have to collect 45 tonnes of electronic waste for every 100 tonnes of electronic products placed on the market in the three preceding years. The adoption of this agreement is especially important given that it is part of a necessary and urgent European strategy for the procurement of raw materials and rare earth metals. Only by investing in recycling techniques and improving the collection of electronic waste will the European Union be able to reduce its dependence on China, which produces 95% of the necessary raw materials for new technologies.

 
  
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  Zuzana Brzobohatá (S&D), in writing. – (CS) On 19 January 2012, the plenary of the European Parliament adopted a recommendation for second reading regarding the adoption of a directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment. The agreement between the Council and Parliament sets very ambitious targets for Member States and, at the same time, changes the European approach to the issue of recycling. The main benefit of the draft directive is the fact that the obligation to recycle will be extended to the entire spectrum of electrical and electronic equipment, including solar panels. The directive improves the categorisation of individual pieces of equipment for collecting raw materials, in particular, introducing a new category for small IT equipment and telephone apparatus, which will lead to raw materials collected in this way being used in the production of smart mobile devices and similar equipment. The recycling of a natural resource will then be far more effective.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I welcome the new rules for collection and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment adopted today by Parliament. These new rules will improve the collection and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment and prevent their illegal transfer to other countries. As such, the EU Member States will have to improve the collection and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment.

 
  
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  Nessa Childers (S&D), in writing. – This issue only increases in importance as environmental waste and the subsequent environmental damage increase. I was pleased to support this vote.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I am pleased that Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has undergone an extensive revision to correct the inconsistent and contradictory elements that it contained. I consider the objectives identified by the rapporteur relevant and essential in order for the directive to perform better. The revision therefore aims to eliminate the excessive and unnecessary bureaucratic burden, entailing technical, legal and administrative problems, which leads to costs for market participants and the Member States, to ongoing environmental harm, to less innovation in waste collection and treatment, to the absence of a level playing field, and even to the distortion of competition. I should like to highlight the most important of the objectives listed in the report: specifically, that of reducing costs by eliminating all unnecessary red tape, without affecting environmental safety; that of additional efforts towards making the WEEE Directive more effective and applicable by increasing the rate of compliance and reducing free-loading; and, finally, that of reducing the impact of the collection, treatment and recovery of WEEE products on the environment, in order to maximise their net benefit for society.

 
  
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  Andrea Cozzolino (S&D), in writing. (IT) The exponential growth in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) means that hard-hitting changes to the legislation governing its recycling and production cannot be put off.

The growth in the sector is directly proportional to the effect on the Europe 2020 objectives for a resource-efficient economy: to achieve this, national legislation is no longer sufficient; what is needed is systematic European legislation. In line with these objectives, in addition to avoiding further damage to the environment and in order to hold on to precious resources, what we need are high collection rates, appropriate recycling standards, targeted action against illegal exports and a fairer distribution of responsibilities and costs between producers, consumers and public authorities.

Parliament’s amended text seems to be in line with these requirements and, in addition, puts forward two particularly sensitive aspects that deserve attention and support. Firstly, it includes eco-design, not only with regard to energy consumption standards, but also with regard to a simplification of the procedures for dismantling or recovery of raw materials.

Equally important is the requirement for the costs incurred in the recovery and treatment of raw materials to become an integral part of the product’s price, so as to form an incentive for the purchase of products with lower impacts. I voted for this recommendation for these reasons.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) The directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been extensively revised at second reading, following four rounds of trialogues, where Parliament was represented by the rapporteur Mr Florenz, whom I would now like to congratulate on his excellent work. This revision has been carried out for two main reasons, which are well explained in the report. Firstly, it has been revised owing to the experience gained from implementing the directive since it came into force, when some weaknesses were found in its architecture and implementation. Secondly, it has been revised because it faces a number of new challenges, since WEEE is the type of waste that has seen the most growth in the EU. The amendments agreed today will make the directive more effective, enhance its applicability and protect the environment, so I obviously voted in favour.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this text, which sets more ambitious quantitative targets for the reprocessing of waste electrical and electronic equipment. This waste, some components of which may become toxic, needs special treatment to ensure that it is completely safe. This text will also enable our fellow citizens to dispose of their end-of-life equipment more easily without having to incur additional costs.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the ‘making available on the market and use of biocidal products’, as I believe that the compromise reached includes measures intended to protect human and animal health, and to ensure the safe and sustainable use of these products, including requirements relating to environmental and health issues, research and innovation, and the internal market.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Waste electrical and electronic equipment has increased exponentially throughout the EU and its processing and recycling today constitutes a particularly significant problem in Europe. Apart from the environmental and public health issues, which are worrying in themselves, failure to reuse raw materials results in inefficiency and additional cost for the production system, which could be resolved by making better use of the materials employed to make the equipment in question. I would like the EU to make increasingly efficient use of electronic and electrical mechanisms and equipment, and to reuse them in an environmentally safe and socially responsible manner.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) The market for electrical and electronic equipment has grown exponentially over recent decades, particularly for mobile phones, computers and televisions, owing to technological innovation and very aggressive advertising campaigns. This has led to an increase in the tonnes of waste from these products, which are left in open-air dumps or illegally exported. Apart from the environmental problems that this causes, putting human health at risk, this situation constitutes an enormous waste of materials, including precious metals such as gold, platinum and silver, which could help global economic recovery and reduce the extraction of natural resources. This recommendation for second reading, drafted by Mr Florenz, concerns the Council position at first reading on the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on this waste. It is imperative to proceed towards the implementation of measures that encourage selective collection, recycling and/or recovery of these materials, so I voted for this report. I hope that the new directive will be applied as swiftly as possible, and that it will thereby contribute to improving public health and preventing the illegal export of waste electrical and electronic equipment to countries that do not have environmental controls.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This is the final stage in the adoption of a directive establishing measures to protect the environment and human health, preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of the production and management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The reality is that waste flows have been growing within the EU, and that it is therefore necessary to take measures aimed at the collection and treatment of waste, with a view to increasing recycling and reuse, especially in relation to secondary raw materials. The scope of the directive extends to all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), unless explicitly excluded. New definitions have been added to enhance legal certainty and consistency with other EU legislation.

In terms of its targets, within four years, the Member States should achieve a collection rate of 45% of WEEE, taking account of the EEE that has been placed on the market in the last three years. The goals for recovery and combined recycling/reuse will be increased by 5% over the next three years.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was adopted on 27 January 2003 and entered into force on 13 February 2003. Member States were required to transpose the requirements of the directive by 13 August 2004. Neither the drivers nor the rationale for collecting and recycling WEEE have changed since the adoption of the directive. Experience with the first years of implementation of the WEEE Directive has indicated technical, legal and administrative problems that result in unintentionally costly efforts from market actors and administrations, continuing environmental harm, low levels of innovation in waste collection and treatment, a lack of a level playing field or even distortion of competition, as well as unnecessary administrative burdens. The Commission is committed to developing a better regulatory environment, one that is simple, understandable, effective and enforceable. The specific objectives of the review of the WEEE Directive are therefore the following areas: reduced administrative costs without lowering the level of environmental protection; implementation of the directive through increased compliance and reduced free-riding; reduced impacts on the environment from the collection, treatment and recovery of WEEE at the levels where the greatest net benefit to society results. If the necessary measures had not been adopted, the problems and disparities in this area would continue. This was one of the reasons that the directive in question was amended accordingly.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing. (FR) Each year, 8.7 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment are thrown away in the European Union, but only 25% of this waste is collected and treated. Yet components are often found in this type of waste which are particularly dangerous to health and the environment. Current practices in our Member States need to change. It is in this context that I voted for the compromise obtained after many years of negotiations, which sets a waste recovery target of 85% in 2019. As a result, despite opposition from some companies, which complain that a heavy burden is being placed on them, it is expected that the major distributors will have to set up collection points for used telephones and small appliances to encourage consumers to recycle. A new obligation will also be established to prevent European companies from sending potentially dangerous goods outside the EU. Finally, the recycling of precious metals, such as gold, silver and rare earth metals contained in these used products, which will reduce our dependence on external sources for these materials, is another advantage.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. – I welcome the revision of the WEEE Directive. At present, there is a real lack of clarity regarding the products covered by the WEEE Directive and their categorisation, with different interpretations by different Member States and stakeholders. This is an area in desperate need of clarification. The lack of enforcement requirements has resulted in the directive being widely ignored; one cannot help but question the effectiveness of the current WEEE Directive. I support the WEEE Report and voted in favour of this recast but, as always, we must ensure that we do not place overly burdensome regulations on already struggling SMEs and retailers.

 
  
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  Brice Hortefeux (PPE), in writing. (FR) I welcome the adoption of the report on waste electrical and electronic equipment, which seals the agreement obtained with the Council of the European Union at second reading. The principal objective of this revision is to improve the operation of the waste collection and treatment sector. Through this directive and the efforts made by the Member States, annual waste collection will have to amount to 45% of the average weight of the equipment sold within the territory of the Member States. These efforts will have to rise to 65% within four years of the entry into force of the text. This directive will also have an impact on the daily lives of the citizens, since it provides for the obligatory setting up of waste collection points for small appliances in shops selling electrical and electronic equipment. However, this measure safeguards craft businesses, which will not be obliged to have a collection point on their premises on condition that there is a similar system in the immediate vicinity.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) Bringing together new and tougher targets, flexibility, encouragement to re-use equipment and the obligation to set up collection points for small appliances, the report by Karl-Heinz Florenz is balanced. I therefore chose to support the agreement reached at second reading.

 
  
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  Eija-Riitta Korhola (PPE), in writing. (FI) I voted in favour of updating the legislation on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) because I still remember when we were working on the legislation during the last electoral term. My colleague, Mr Florenz, was rapporteur at the time, and I would like to congratulate him for the successful way in which he has continued to deal with this important issue. The report was one of Parliament’s most important achievements in that electoral term, and it is good that it is now being brought up-to-date.

Thanks to legal reform, more and more electronic equipment is being repaired and recycled, something which, in the past, could not even be realised in practice. As I said during the previous WEEE debate, this is exactly how we can ensure that product design is environmentally friendly, and thus guarantee the feasibility of the whole directive. When producers know that they will eventually have to pay for the final phases of the equipment, costs are minimised beforehand, and they will ensure that as little waste as possible is generated and that this small amount is as recyclable as possible. In this way, the entire chain of producers, importers, traders, consumers, waste management operatives and recycling centres, as well as the authorities, are all accountable, just as they should be.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) The resolution on the position of the Council at first reading with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste electrical and electronic equipment was approved today in the Chamber by a large majority. This is a good result, when we think about the long process and difficult negotiations underlying the compromise that has been reached. As is well known, the directive requires the Member States to carry out separated collections of electrical and electronic equipment and sets recovery and recycling targets. The updated version that has been voted on today, and which must be formally adopted by the Council before being published in the Official Journal, lays down ambitious objectives, particularly with regard to the increase in the quota for collection of waste electronic products. On that point, I believe that the decision to grant an extension to those countries which, like Italy, are currently not equipped with adequate infrastructure, is appropriate, and will allow them more time to properly implement the new European legislation.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE), in writing.(PL) The development of European standards for the collection and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is important for recycling that is effective and, more importantly, environmentally friendly. I would like to point out that municipalities and operators of recovery facilities should play a leading role in the implementation of the directive, as they have the most contact with citizens. The new regulations are aimed at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the WEEE management system, and this is one of a number of reasons why I voted in favour of adopting the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste electrical and electronic equipment presented by Karl-Heinz Florenz.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this proposal and particularly support Amendment 10. Collection and treatment costs should be incorporated into the product price so that there is an incentive to reduce those costs. Flat rates reflect neither the actual costs of a product at the end of its service life nor its environmental impact. In the final analysis, consumers receive no information on recyclability and actual treatment costs.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report is intended to prevent the illegal export of waste electrical and electronic equipment. This has been the fastest growing type of waste in the EU over recent decades, and it is often deposited illegally in open-air dumps in developing countries. This situation worsens the EU’s development at the expense of the consumption of natural resources and of the health and environment of the poorest countries. This version, at second reading, improves the proposed legislation, which has improved scope, more ambitious objectives for collection and recycling, and more stringent regulation of exports. Consumers will be able to dispose of very small electrical and electronic waste, such as mobile phones, in various retail stores, without any obligation to buy a new product. I voted for the report for these reasons. However, I believe that nanomaterials should not be subject to the same treatment as other compounds, as they are extremely hazardous to health and the environment, and can be just as dangerous even during the recycling process.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) I am in favour of the text, amended as proposed by the European Parliament. In many cases, the request means going back to the European Parliament’s position at first reading. The clarifications to the directive requested by our institution are very significant. For example, it is crucial for the definition of the concepts to be clarified definitively in the directive itself; it should not lead to a fragmentation of the internal market through diverse national applications and practices.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. – Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) accounts for approximately 9-10 million tonnes of waste in the EU per annum, projected to increase to 12-13 million tonnes by 2020.

I welcome this substantial improvement on the existing directive, outlining broader scope and increased collection and recycling targets. Ireland is a leader in Europe in the field of electrical and electronic equipment collection, already collecting around 9 kg per inhabitant per year – an amount equivalent to 35% of the EEE placed on the market. The target of 45% of EEE placed on the market by 2016 is welcome and should be achievable. In the context of resource efficiency, it is imperative that further efforts are made to increase WEEE recycling and reuse rates.

The final outcome is more ambitious than originally hoped for, and I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing. (FR) This report proposes to set a target for the collection of separated waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) of 85% for 2016. It insists that eco-design requirements be established no later than the end of 2013. It also calls on the Commission to explore the possibility of applying selective treatment for WEEE containing nanomaterials. On account of all these advances, I support this report, although I regret its obsession with compliance with the sacrosanct principle of free competition.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE), in writing. (FR) The society of excessive consumption in which we live requires us to rethink how we recycle waste electrical and electronic equipment. The revision of the relevant directive was necessary both from the economic and the environmental and social aspects. While it is unacceptable to waste raw materials such as gold, silver and palladium, it is also unacceptable to bury toxic products such as arsenic, cyanide, mercury, and so on, or to export them to developing countries, thereby contributing to the growth of illicit dumping grounds. By acting in this way, we are complicit in the export of disguised toxic waste, allowing men, women and children in developing countries to expose themselves, without protection, to the toxic vapours emitted by heavy metals and dioxins during the burning of waste. It is our duty to ensure harmonious, balanced development, which is respectful of our planet, by changing our modern-day practices, so as not to bequeath a plundered and ravaged planet to future generations.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – To tackle climate change, to avoid environmental damage and to keep hold of the valuable resources in electric/electronic equipment, we need high collection rates, high recycling rates and appropriate recycling standards, strong legislation against illegal export, an enhanced producer’s responsibility, better designed equipment and a fair distribution of responsibilities and costs between producers, consumers and public authorities. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) The illegal trade in electrical waste is thriving. Time and time again, waste from Europe ends up in developing countries, where it poisons people and the environment. Around 700 000 tonnes of electrical waste was generated in 2010 in Germany alone; 155 000 tonnes of this is illegally shipped to countries such as Ghana every year. Either disposal companies that have already been paid by the device manufacturers to recycle the waste flog it off to dealers, or citizens are enticed to buy the equipment for a couple of euro from the gates of municipal recycling facilities. The new directive on electrical waste is intended to provide the authorities with a legally binding basis that allows them to define quite clearly what is waste and what is a used product. When fridges or mobile phones are taken out of use, expensive raw materials such as gold, copper or silver should be reused in Europe. Moreover, proper reuse would reduce the amount of electrical waste that poisons people and the environment. The directive has noble aims, but it remains to be seen what impact it has in practice. If dealers are no longer allowed to take back old equipment, then it is to be feared that a lot of electrical waste will be dumped illegally. For this reason, I voted against the report.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) Unless properly handled, electronic waste entails risks both for the environment and human health. On the other hand, the rare elements it contains means that it is also a relatively accessible substitute for expensive resources imported to the European Union. The fact that negotiations on this document lasted so long demonstrates that this issue is indeed relevant – it is important to consumers that producers should be responsible for collection. The directive ultimately adopted today will both set out a clear management system for such waste and, even more importantly, will encourage certain Member States to take the existing disorder and lack of transparency in the electronic waste management sector more seriously.

 
  
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  Katarína Neveďalová (S&D), in writing. (SK) I warmly welcome the proposed revision; the agreement between the Council and Parliament enabled a very important signal to be sent. Europe cares about environmental protection on the European continent and elsewhere. Electronic waste in industrialised countries is growing three times faster than conventional waste as a result of the rapid pace of technological innovation as well as of the short service life of many electronic products. Effective management of electrical and electronic waste is a tremendous opportunity to increase the amount of waste collected. The entire life cycle of these products, from manufacture through distribution to discarding, is a problem that this directive should alleviate. The new objectives really are ambitious, and I therefore consider a further important task to be ensuring that the costs of returning waste do not bring other costs for customers. Controls carried out by the Member States will be of fundamental importance in this area.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution. I believe that we must do everything possible to stop the spread of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), thus contributing to sustainable production and consumption. It is very important to also encourage consumers to actively contribute to the collection of such waste by returning WEEE. Distributors, municipalities and operators of recovery facilities all have an important role to play. The development of common European standards for the collection and treatment of WEEE is also very important for effective, environmentally-friendly recycling. It should be noted that WEEE may have a negative impact on the environment if it is not handled properly, particularly if it is landfilled or incinerated. Consequently, implementing the provisions of this directive will guarantee an adequate level of human health and environmental protection.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) The recasting of the WEEE Directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment requires Member States to develop new techniques for the separate collection and recycling of these materials. I believe that the goal that we are trying to reach is certainly a fine one, given that with a joint scope with the RoHS Directive on hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, and with a mandatory separate collection rate for electrical products set at 65%, a 5% recycling level should be reached by 2016.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for the recommendation for second reading regarding adoption of the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste electrical and electronic equipment. I did so because I agree with the amendments tabled by Parliament, which are all properly justified and thus promote a more balanced directive.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) Directive 2002/96/EC, which has been in force since 13 February 2003, concerns waste electrical and electronic equipment, and is currently being revised. The aim of this is to address some difficulties that have arisen in applying the directive, for example, by setting out the scope of the directive more clearly, as well as seeking a balance between the attempt to ensure a uniform application of the directive and the need to conserve areas of flexibility, which enable the specific needs of each Member State to be addressed. Parliament’s position is part of this effort to find balanced and appropriate solutions in order to meet these objectives. I therefore voted in favour, in view of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety’s recommendation for second reading.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE), in writing. (FR) Belgium is European champion in the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), a title not to be taken lightly with almost 10 kg of domestic appliances collected per inhabitant thanks to the efficiency of the Recupel system, which has existed since 2001. This figure is encouraging for the protection of the environment and much higher than the minimum annual collection target of 4 kg per inhabitant established in 2003 by the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on waste electrical and electronic equipment. Of course, Belgium and Europe can always do better and build on the new and very ambitious collection targets established on the basis of the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council, which was finalised this afternoon with the adoption of the report by Karl-Heinz Florenz: a collection target of 65% for 2019 established on the basis of the volume of WEEE placed on the market in the three preceding years, a new scope extended to photovoltaic panels in six years, and the encouragement of Member States to separate waste so that it can be re-used. For the picture to be complete, the European Union must also set an example beyond its borders by combating the illegal export of hazardous electronic waste to third countries, which is a genuine health and environmental scourge, notably on the African continent.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) During today’s plenary session, we voted on the report by Mr Florenz on waste electrical and electronic equipment.

Today, new environmental targets were approved in agreement with the Council. Updating the 2003 directive on the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) also makes it possible for consumers to return small volume WEEE to retailers, thus cutting red tape for businesses.

The Member States must gradually increase the collection of WEEE: by 2016, they will have to collect 45 tonnes of WEEE for every 100 tonnes of e-goods placed on the market in the preceding three years. By 2019, the figure will have to rise to 65% or, alternatively, it should be possible to collect 85% of WEEE generated.

Ten countries that have to improve their infrastructure, not including Italy, will have an interim target of 40% and will be able to request a postponement until 2021 to achieve the final target. Once the Council has formally approved the new rules, and these are published in the Official Journal, the Member States will have 18 months to transpose the provisions into their national legislation.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – I voted in favour. We (Greens) supported all the points adopted in plenary. We pushed particularly for the collection targets to be based on actual waste quantities arising; for retailer take-back (i.e. for big distributors to take back WEEE without any purchase obligations for the consumer); and for more effective checking of used EEE to ensure that all used EEE earmarked for sending to non-OECD countries is fully functional – so as to end illegal exports of WEEE to non-OECD countries – while allowing shipments to independent third parties for shipment within the EU (our compromise proposal having been adopted in committee at second reading).

We were the only ones to make proposals on nanomaterials: we failed to get information requirements for producers on nanomaterials in EEE, but we managed to have the Commission assess whether selective treatment is necessary for nanomaterials in EEE.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the document in question because the 2003 directive on the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment will thus finally be updated and, from now on, it will be easier to collect and recycle refrigerators, telephones and computer gadgets. I believe it is particularly useful that from today, consumers will be able to return small e-waste items directly to retailers, cutting red tape for businesses and optimising specific collection procedures. Better processing of this waste will also make it possible to recover more efficiently valuable raw materials, such as gold used for electronic circuits, ultimately preventing harmful substances going to landfill.

 
  
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  Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid (PPE), in writing. (FR) In Europe, 9.3 million electrical and electronic items are sold every year. These products include refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, irons, televisions, computers, telephones and compact fluorescent lamps, all of which constitute a large amount of waste that will have to be recycled one day. It is estimated that more than eight million tonnes of electronic waste was produced in Europe in 2005, that is, 20 kg per inhabitant. That total is expected to reach 12.3 million tonnes by 2020. The EU had a duty to fill the regulatory gaps that were preventing this waste from being properly managed, as regards collection, recovery, recycling and combating its illegal export. The collection rate for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in EU Member States should reach 45% of volumes placed on the market in the next four years and 65% in the next seven years. In addition, this directive makes provision for strengthening producers’ maximised responsibility, increasing the collection targets of household and professional WEEE, increasing recycling targets and reducing administrative burdens for businesses. I am therefore in favour of this latest step that is being taken towards an environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient economy.

 
  
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  Amalia Sartori (PPE), in writing. (IT) I fully agree with Mr Florenz’s report on waste electrical and electronic equipment, an issue that is a growing cause for concern, as this kind of waste continues to increase. I voted in favour of this report since I believe it is necessary to do everything possible to guarantee the recycling and recovery of raw materials, avoiding, in any case, harm to health. Awareness and information campaigns for the European public are vital to provide impetus to separate collection, with a significant effect also on prices. The next step will be to bring Member States closer together in terms of implementation of the directive, since for now, different percentages are laid down for recycling targets. I believe, however, that this report strikes a fair balance between the European Union’s duties and what falls to the Member States to regulate.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) In my view, the compromise agreement reached at the informal trialogue on 20 December is a good result in terms of safeguarding the recycling of small household appliances and the resulting protection of the environment.

The WEEE Directive currently in force already requires the Member States to carry out separated collections of electrical and electronic equipment and sets recovery and recycling targets. The old text applies the producer responsibility principle and obliges the Member States to collect an average of at least four kilograms of electrical and electronic waste per inhabitant per year.

The recast we voted on this morning, however, adds important details, such as setting a collection rate of 65% to be achieved by 2016, laying down reuse targets, raising recycling targets by 5%, with a specific target for medical equipment, and reducing administrative costs for producers arising from registration and reporting procedures.

One point that I consider particularly encouraging is the obligation on retailers to collect small items even without the purchase of equivalent new items, limited though only to sales outlets with a surface area greater than 400 m2 with a collection point that can be set up in the immediate vicinity of the shop.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) This directive is aimed at contributing to the reuse, recycling and recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in order to achieve the sustainable production and consumption of such goods. I am voting for this report, as I agree with the development of European standards in the collection and treatment of WEEE, the establishment of eco-design requirements which facilitate the reuse, dismantling and recovery of WEEE, and progress towards the treatment of goods in an environmentally sound way. Finally, I believe that convenient facilities should be set up for the return of WEEE, including public collection points, where private households will be able to make a positive contribution by delivering their waste. It should be stressed that the costs of this should be reflected in the prices of the products, rather than being the responsibility of the European taxpayer.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of Parliament’s position on the directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) because the directive supports the efficient use of resources and recovery of valuable secondary raw materials. Member States encourage cooperation between producers and recyclers and the adoption of measures to promote the design and production of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), particularly with a view to facilitating reuse, dismantling and recovery of WEEE, its components and materials. In the case of WEEE from private households, Member States are creating systems allowing this waste to be returned free of charge. Some Member States, including Romania, may, due to the lack of required infrastructure and the low level of EEE consumption, decide to achieve, within four years of the directive’s entry into force, a collection rate of between 40 and 45% of the average weight of EEE placed on the market in the three preceding years, and postpone the achievement of the final collection rate mentioned in Article 7(1) until a future date which must not be later than nine years after the directive’s entry into force. The Commission calls on the European standardisation organisations to develop European standards for the treatment, recovery, recycling and preparation for reuse of WEEE.

 
  
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  Derek Vaughan (S&D), in writing. – I voted in favour of this important piece of legislation because it is vital to increase the recovery of electronic waste. Dumping electronic and electrical waste in landfill sites causes harmful toxins to be leaked into the environment. This revision of the 2003 WEEE Directive is a positive step in reducing the pollution that this causes by ensuring that large companies and manufacturers play an active role in recycling waste.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this text, which recasts a 2008 directive in order to set more ambitious targets for recycling waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). This directive, although in itself insufficient, is a step in the right direction as regards the aim of bringing about an environmental transformation in our society. It is based on three decisions: producing sustainable equipment, fully reusing materials from end-of-life products, and involving local actors in this recycling process. It is also necessary for this directive to be properly implemented on the basis of specific criteria, such as the ‘creation of convenient facilities, including public collection points, where private households should be able to return their waste at least free of charge’; the implementation by Member States of an 85% minimum collection rate for WEEE; the free provision of information by producers about preparation for re-use and treatment of each type of new EEE placed on the market within one year of the equipment being placed on the market. The environmental transition process also requires this type of policy decision.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) Our ever increasing global population and the growing prosperity of places such as China and Latin America are resulting in ever greater consumption of electrical and electronic equipment. In the case of computers and mobile phones, we are aware of the serious issue of ‘rare earth elements’. For this reason, we should make every endeavour to avoid any squandering of valuable raw materials, and to support recycling and reuse. I therefore voted in favour of Mr Florenz’s report.

 
  
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  Hermann Winkler (PPE), in writing. (DE) A spectre is haunting industry: the shortage of rare metals without which high-tech products from electric cars to solar panels would not be possible. For many of our enterprises – and this is particularly true in my home region of Saxony, one of Europe’s leading centres of research and high technology – these raw materials are therefore indispensable. The extraction of metals from electrical and electronic waste has therefore become an important topic again. Considerable potential exists in electrical equipment such as computers and mobile phones. In Germany, we are already very good at recycling compared with many other Member States, but even here, many important raw materials are lost in electrical waste – whether legally or illegally. That is not just ecologically and socially questionable; it is also increasingly an economic problem. To me, therefore, extracting and retrieving raw materials as effectively as possible while ensuring an end to the illegal shipping of electrical waste to developing countries, where it poisons people, is one of the most important achievements of this directive. In future, then, it is the contractor and not the customs authorities that must prove in controls that the equipment is serviceable and is not electrical waste, so that we can stem the tide of illegal exports. I am therefore pleased that the environment ministers and Parliament have been able to reach agreement on this.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR), in writing. – Electronic waste includes TVs, telephones, computers, white goods, and everyday household electrical items from toasters to toys. These are common items across all EU countries and it is important that they are disposed of properly. Last year, the South London Waste Partnership managed some of the highest performing Reuse and Recycle Centres in the EU, with up to 75% of the electrical waste brought to these sites being reused or recycled. I believe that the existing systems in the UK effectively manage our waste and therefore would normally shy away from any interference from the EU. However, the report has no separate target for reuse and Member States keep significant control over how they deal with WEEE, so I decided to vote in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE), in writing. (SK) I supported the draft of the submitted directive, although sometimes, I feel that we are going about it in the wrong way. We are spending most of our time and energy dealing with the consequences. We see a huge amount of electrical and electronic waste that is, in many cases, highly toxic; we also see that further raw materials are needed for the manufacture of new electronic appliances. We think it fair that the costs of collection and treatment of electrical and electronic waste should be borne by the manufacturer and, ultimately, the purchaser of the product. The submitted draft draws on these considerations. The real problem, however, is the service life of electrical and electronic equipment. Introducing a mandatory minimum warranty period of two years looks like a significant step towards higher quality, until we realise that most manufacturers understand the word ‘minimum’ to mean the threshold beyond which it does not pay to continue because costs would increase. I therefore think that until manufacturers, and consequently consumers, start to see recycling as an item that is comparable in terms of cost with a substantial lengthening of the service life of products, our efforts to bring about the use of electrical and electronic waste will have only limited results.

 
  
  

Recommendation for second reading: Christa Klass (A7-0336/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report because it contributes to protecting human and animal health and the environment through the sustainable use of biocidal products. The fact that the EU is going to have a list of active substances that do not present any risk seems to me to be particularly positive. I also welcome the recommendation that under certain conditions, for instance, in cases of more vulnerable or protected ecosystems, the Member States may have the autonomy to refuse to use a particular biocide. The Azores archipelago strives to protect its ecosystems, and will certainly take this into consideration.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of the draft resolution concerning the making available on the market of biocidal products, which makes provision for strengthening controls in order to guarantee that products do not pose a threat to humans, animals or the environment. In the context of my involvement as a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), I supported the work of my colleague, Ms Klass. In my view, it is vital to regulate the marketing of dangerous substances, and even ban those that are carcinogenic, affect the genes or hormones, or are toxic for reproduction. In accordance with the precautionary principle, authorisation procedures will be simplified, allowing consumers to have safer and more effective plant protection products. This is a significant improvement to current legislation, because it provides the industry with a more effective and reliable authorisation system, both with regard to requirements and procedures, resulting in uniform safety assessments. Finally, additional objectives are the harmonisation of standards, and measures that aim to facilitate mutual recognition with regard to approval between Member States.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I welcomed this document. Biocidal products are necessary for the control of organisms that are harmful to human or animal health and for the control of organisms that cause damage to natural or manufactured products. Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998 concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market (hereinafter ‘the directive’) establishes a harmonised regulatory framework for the authorisation and the placing on the market of biocidal products and the establishment of a positive list of active substances that may be used in biocidal products. The directive’s provisions require the Commission to draw up a report seven years after its entry into force and to submit the report to the Council. The review of the implementation of the directive has indicated that for the evaluation of active substances, the simplified procedures provided for in the directive, notably for low risk products, have no real effect, and that in addition, the data requirements and data waiving provisions may be unclear or inconsistently applied or lead to a disproportionate burden in some circumstances. The new regulation is seeking to improve the existing regulatory framework, without reducing the high level of protection for the environment and human and animal health, to increase the free movement of biocidal products within the Union, and to reduce the administrative burden for companies and public authorities.

 
  
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  Regina Bastos (PPE), in writing. (PT) Directive 98/8/EC of 16 February 1998 establishes the harmonised regulatory framework for authorising and making biocidal products available on the market. This regulation aims to eliminate the shortcomings of the directive in question in terms of authorisation, of improving the authorisation procedure and of streamlining decision making, while developing a high level of protection. The introduction of an EU authorisation system represents a significant step towards a harmonised European market for biocidal products. This regulation will contribute to greater legal certainty and transparency in the use of active substances, will ensure a high level of protection for both human and animal health and the environment, and will improve the functioning of the internal market by harmonising rules on the making available on the market and the use of biocidal products. This regulation will also contribute towards improving protection of European consumers. I voted for this recommendation for these reasons.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing.(FR) Biocides, which are used everywhere in our daily lives, are intended to eliminate harmful organisms such as bacteria or germs. These substances may well be effective, but they are nonetheless dangerous for human health and the environment. On Wednesday, we overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that harmonises the European market for biocidal products and establishes new deadlines for assessing applications in order to better protect human health and the environment. It is unprecedented in its inclusion of specific, comprehensive measures on nanomaterials. There was an urgent need to fill this gap in EU legislation. Those objects sold on the market and treated with biocides will therefore be required to mention on their label all the products used. With regard to substances considered carcinogenic or toxic for genes, reproduction or hormones, these will be strictly prohibited with the aim of protecting citizens and encouraging manufacturers to innovate by developing new, safer products. A word of caution, however. We should remain alert to new authorisations and the granting of renewals for exceptions. Member States will be able to make an exception only when absolutely necessary. Even so, this regulation is another step towards a more sustainable, consumer friendly society.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing.(FR) The legislation on biocides has just been updated so that Europeans can henceforth have access to new plant protection products that are safer and more effective. Treated products – such as furniture treated with fungicides and kitchen worktops treated with antibacterials – are therefore going to be subject to these rules and will have to be labelled as a result. For products containing nanomaterials, safety checks and clear labels are anticipated as a way of alerting people to their presence and possible risks. Adopting this text shows the extent to which our knowledge of the plant protection sector and products is continuously evolving, and therefore requires MEPs to regularly review European texts so as to guarantee that ever safer products are placed on the market.

 
  
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  Cristian Silviu Buşoi (ALDE), in writing. (RO) I supported the agreement at second reading on the regulation stipulating the conditions under which biocidal products can be placed on the market because, in spite of fairly tough negotiations, a satisfactory result has been reached in terms of industrial competitiveness and protection for the users of these products and the environment. I think that introducing an EU-level authorisation procedure is one of the most important advances. Although I would have preferred the agreement to be implemented more quickly than the three-step approach advocated in the agreement and justified by the need to ensure the optimum operation of the European Chemicals Agency, I still believe that this procedure, along with the simplified procedure for low risk products, will reduce considerably the costs which will be incurred by the industry for authorising new products. This will also promote innovation in this area, as it will encourage new products to be placed on the market which are more effective and less harmful to the environment and users. Last but not least, I am pleased that the members of the Council have accepted Parliament’s request to avoid the duplication of animal testing when such tests have already been carried out.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) The introduction of an EU authorisation system represents a significant step towards a harmonised European market for biocidal products. For reasons associated with competition and the internal market, clear and transparent rules on fees are called for, both for the agency and for the Member States. Moreover, a central authorisation system will also have a positive effect on the internal market as it will enable consistent assessments and uniform enforcement of the requirements in all EU Member States, thus helping to improve consumer protection.

 
  
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  Nessa Childers (S&D), in writing. – While it is not always desirable on balance to use biocidal products, on foot of environmental concerns, I supported this vote.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) Biocidal products represent the third largest group of substances that are dangerous to human health and the environment, especially as they are products that people come into contact with on a daily basis. They are often non-biodegradable and are sometimes carcinogenic toxic substances that may prove to be harmful to people, animals and the environment when they are used and then disposed of as waste. They enter the food chain, soil and water. Although the present legislation is the product of a compromise, it has achieved significant progress since it was first adopted in 1998. The following are regulated by law: a drastic reduction in carcinogenic substances and substances classified as toxic for reproduction; the facility for Member States to impose a ban or restriction where specific circumstances so warrant; stricter licensing; improved labelling and a ban on misleading information; a reduction in animal testing; the substitution of safer alternatives for dangerous substances; separate safety tests and labelling of products containing nanomaterials. All these are a sign of positive developments which will benefit public health and the environment and advocate a vote in favour of the new regulation.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I am pleased to be voting for the proposal for a regulation amending Directive 98/8/EC concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products, aimed at eliminating inconsistencies and contradictions. The most important of the amendments proposed by Parliament and accepted by the Council are those of a technical nature, on consistency, throughout the text and in this regulation and other EU legislative texts, on simplifying the text, and on eliminating duplications of legal obligations. I recognise that the introduction of an EU authorisation system is essential; that is, it represents a significant and crucial step towards a harmonised European market for biocidal products. This will undoubtedly be the best and most efficient system for improving the availability of these products, providing incentives for innovation and creating added value for human health and protecting nature. However, I believe considerable efforts must still be made to improve it, with the aim of ensuring that the objectives are achieved, such as eliminating the shortcomings of Directive 98/8/EC on authorisation and streamlining decision making, while developing a high level of protection.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this recommendation for second reading with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products, which will amalgamate into one text EU legislation currently spread over several documents, will eliminate unnecessary red tape, and will extend the scope of EU intervention to products and materials treated with biocides, including supposedly low risk products. This regulation also makes the data requirements for products clearer and more visible, for example, through labelling, while also minimising the possibility of animal testing, increasing the involvement of the European Chemicals Agency and ensuring the uniform application of these rules throughout the EU. I would congratulate my colleague, Ms Klass, on the political compromise which she has managed to achieve with the other parliamentary groups, the Commission and the Council. However, I share her doubts as to the authorisation of active substances/biocidal products, which should move towards greater EU-level centralisation, in order to avoid duplications and increase safety. Like the rapporteur, I also believe training should be promoted for the relevant target groups, particularly professional users.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this text, which restricts the use of products that are dangerous for human health. The reciprocity clause will guarantee our citizens that imported products will be subject to the same rules as EU products and will meet European health security requirements.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing. – (FR) I voted in favour of this report because it provides for the introduction of stricter controls in the EU, not only for pest control products (insecticides, disinfectants and repellents), but also for all products treated with biocides. It also makes provision for a simplified process for authorising the placing on the market and banning of the most harmful substances such as carcinogenic agents. Once this legislation is formally adopted, the updated 1998 legislation (Directive 98/8/EC) will guarantee that treated products, such as furniture treated with fungicides, will be included in the scope of the new regulation. This vote was therefore of the utmost importance for guaranteeing a high level of protection for consumers, which is my main priority. It should be noted that pesticides for agricultural use will continue to come under other EU legislative texts, and this will have to be tackled as well.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on ‘waste electrical and electronic equipment’, as it presents important measures for the better management of this waste, and thus protects the environment and combats climate change, setting out high rates of collection and recycling, as well as strict rules for combating illegal exports and making producers responsible.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) Modern life requires increasingly constant and intensive use of biocidal products. At the same time, these products are required to be ever more effective and aggressive, making them also more dangerous to handle. For that very reason, the approach to regulating the marketing and use of biocidal products has to pay particular attention to consumer and user protection. Again, as I have said on other occasions, the rules on this subject must be uniform and valid throughout the European Union, or we will not be able to effectively guarantee protection for all European consumers or for the environment, which is no less important.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This recommendation for second reading, drafted by Ms Klass, concerns the Council’s position at first reading on the adoption of the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the making available on the market of biocidal products, which amounts to 90 000 tonnes in the EU alone. Biocides, which are products used to combat harmful organisms such as bacteria and parasites, can be used to protect both human and animal health, so they need to be clearly regulated with a framework directive requiring them to be used sustainably. Although their use has a markedly positive effect on our lives, we must be vigilant in order to eliminate carcinogens or products that cause infertility, as well as to cancel out potential side effects. The measures just adopted improve the certification process, reduce bureaucracy and consolidate the single market through standardisation; what is allowed in a country like Italy or France will also be allowed in Portugal or Spain. I therefore voted for this recommendation because it will help to protect human and animal health and will contribute to improving the environment.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Biocides are used in the prevention of, and protection against, pests and other organisms that may threaten human health. However, their uncontrolled use can also be harmful to health and the environment. This report contains some improvements on the first reading, which are the result of the compromise reached in negotiations between the groups. The most important of the positive aspects includes a more obvious concern with ensuring a high level of protection for human and animal health and the environment, as well as matters relating to labelling containing information for the consumer that is not misleading, as in the possible use of nanomaterials. As the rapporteur says, requirements for information on active substances and biocidal products must take into account the latest methods of avoiding experiments on animals. However, some doubts remain as to the rules on fees, both for the European Chemicals Agency and for the Member States.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Biocidal products are necessary to protect against organisms that are harmful to human or animal health and to protect against organisms that cause damage to natural or manufactured products. The purpose of the regulation in question is to increase the free movement of biocidal products within the European Union. In order to remove, as much as possible, barriers to trade in biocidal products that stem from the different levels of protection in the Member States, harmonised rules should be laid down for the approval of active substances and the placing on the market and use of such products, including rules on the mutual recognition of authorisations and on parallel trade. In order to ensure legal certainty, it is necessary to compile an EU list of active substances that are authorised for use in biocidal products, and a procedure should also be established for assessing whether an active substance may be included in that list. The proposal also aims to simplify the rules on data protection, to avoid duplicating the preparation of studies, to improve the harmonisation of charging systems in the Member States, to introduce rules for parallel trade in biocidal products, and to include products or materials treated with biocidal products in the scope of the directive.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing. (FR) The use of biocides is a major issue, because it particularly concerns the protection of consumers and the environment. I therefore welcome the adoption of the text, which I supported. Its aim is to remedy the shortcomings in Directive 98/8/EC of 16 February 1998 on the use of biocides. The new text provides for increased health requirements, not only in the production of biocides, but also in their use. In addition, it establishes the welcome harmonisation of the current rules, which therefore improves consumer safety and environmental protection and eliminates distortions of competition within the internal market. Finally, this text contains a responsibility clause, according to which imported products will be subject to the same health requirements as EU products.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE), in writing.(PL) Today, we voted on the report by Christa Klass concerning the placing on the market and use of biocidal products. The subject is vitally important, since it relates to the new regulations on which the European Union is currently working. Only the products that satisfy all safety standards will be approved for market use. The principles introduce provisions that limit animal testing as well as others that prohibit the use of the most hazardous substances that are dangerous to health and life and that can cause cancer and chronic diseases. I support the new measures, and as I am particularly concerned about the health of our citizens, I voted in favour of the text of the agreement presented by Christa Klass.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – The introduction of a Community authorisation system represents a significant step towards a harmonised European market for biocidal products. It is the best and most efficient system for improving the availability of these products, providing incentives for innovation and creating added value for human health and nature conservation. A central authorisation system will also have an unequivocally positive effect on the internal market as it will facilitate consistent assessments and uniform enforcement of the requirements in all EU Member States. This will, in particular, also improve consumer protection.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This document updates the EU rules on the authorisation, marketing and use of biocides in the EU, making them safer and more restrictive for the environment and human and animal health. The most toxic products will be banned, in particular, carcinogens, which interfere with genes and hormones and harm fertility. Exceptions to this rule will only be permitted if such a substance is absolutely necessary in order to prevent or control a serious danger to public or animal health, or to the environment. I believe the rules governing biocides should be guided by the public interest, in order to protect human and animal health and the environment, so I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The shortcomings of Directive 98/8/EC should absolutely be eliminated, as already demanded previously by Parliament. I agree with the rapporteur on this point, but also on the point that the authorisation in question is the most effective system for improving the availability of these products, providing incentives for innovation and creating added value for human health and nature conservation. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. – I voted in favour of this report and I welcome the calls for continued improvement of the safety of biocidal products used and placed on the market in the European Union, as well as simplification of authorisation procedures, including at EU level.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – A Commission report on the implementation of this directive identified certain weaknesses and areas where updates and improvement are needed. Here are the key elements of the agreement: approved active substances will be included in a Union list; derogation from mutual recognition of national authorisations – under certain conditions, Member States have the possibility to refuse to grant an authorisation or to adjust the terms and conditions of an authorisation for a biocidal product if there are specific concerns; inclusion of a new article on measures to achieve the objective of sustainable use of biocidal products; labelling requirements. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) Biocides are active substances and preparations which contain one or more active substances in the form in which they reach the user, with the intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on harmful organisms by chemical or biological means. This definition is clearly stated in the corresponding European directive. Biocidal products are used in a great variety of areas and applications – for example, as wood preservatives. The European Biocidal Products Directive therefore distinguishes between 23 product types in four main groups (disinfectants and general biocidal products; preservatives; pest control; other biocidal products). Since 2009, biocidal products have been subject to an authorisation and registration procedure which takes place nationally in the individual Member States and which is based on an assessment by the authorities of their efficacy and their risks to humans, animals and the environment. Inadequate efficacy and unacceptable effects should thereby be avoided when the products are used as intended. Authorisation of a biocidal product also includes binding instructions as regards labelling and, where appropriate, directions for use. Where this report is concerned, I spoke in favour of the amendments to the original draft because I consider it important that the active substances that will be subject to a simplified authorisation procedure are now listed in the annex to the regulation.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) I am delighted that the European Parliament has taken another step that guarantees the right of consumers to be properly informed of substances used. One of the many welcome provisions of the directive adopted today is the guarantee that consumers will be provided with comprehensive information about biocides in products. On the other hand, the authorisation procedure set out in the regulation fills gaps in the regulation of chemicals remaining since the adoption of the REACH Regulation.

 
  
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  Katarína Neveďalová (S&D), in writing. (SK) The protection of the environment and efforts to make agriculture more sustainable and environmentally friendly are among the greatest challenges facing the European Union. I am aware of the economic interests behind this problem and the effect that it will have on thousands of families across Europe. I consider it very important to implement the principle of a cautious approach in accordance with the legislation that is already used for chemical products. I also hope that we will make greater progress in the future, which will be necessary to ensure greater transparency for consumers, enabling informed choices to be made. The potential of biocidal products is clear. Their profitability and scalability in the European Union must be further enhanced and promoted, which could improve the quality of life of our citizens. This must be the cornerstone of EU legislation in this area. I hope that the European Union will continue along this course in the future.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because the placing on the market and use of biocidal products must not have a direct or indirect adverse effect on human and animal health and the environment. I believe that harmonised rules on the placing on the market and use of biocidal products need to be applied in order to improve the functioning of the internal market. I welcome the proposal that, for reasons of legal certainty and transparency, active substances should continue to be included in an annex to the regulation itself and not in a separate document which is not part of the regulation. Owing to their characteristics and methods of use, biocides can pose serious risks, and it is therefore very important to ensure a high level of protection of human and animal health and the environment.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) I should like to congratulate Ms Klass for reaching this compromise with the Council with regard to the use of biocides in products on the market. This regulation defines which are the most hazardous substances present in disinfectants, detergents, paints and so on, and prohibits their use for those products sold on the market. Marketing authorisation will be the responsibility of the European Chemicals Agency, which must seek to raise considerably the level of health and environmental protection that the regulation in question aims to achieve. Products will thus be safer for consumers and, with marketing authorisations, costs will be standardised.

 
  
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  Georgios Papanikolaou (PPE), in writing. (EL) Despite the wealth of proposals by the European Parliament adopted by the Council, important aspects relating to the placing on the market and use of biocidal products have still not been satisfied. Rectifying the weaknesses in the current Directive 98/8/EC, improving authorisation procedures and simplifying decision-taking procedures without affecting the high level of protection are important points, which the European Parliament considers need to be resolved immediately. Moreover, an established Community authorisation system that will help to harmonise the European market in biocidal products still does not exist to a satisfactory degree. Such a system will potentially be an important factor in improving the availability of such products and protecting human health and the environment. It is for these reasons, which I endorse, that I voted in favour of the joint motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report on the placing on the market and use of biocidal products because the safe use of these products requires the adoption of a framework directive on their sustainable use. The positive effects of the framework directive on the sustainable use of pesticides are such that the adoption of an equivalent standard for biocidal products is to be recommended. It is crucial that professional users and consumers of these types of product be informed about using them safely, as well as about possible alternatives.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Council’s position at first reading on the adoption of the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the making available on the market and use of biocidal products took on board about half the amendments proposed by Parliament. However, following the investigation carried out by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, there are still a number of points of a technical nature which need to be improved in order to ensure the adoption of a clearer legal text, and one that is therefore more capable of introducing effective regulation. As this is the direction taken by the amendments tabled by Parliament in the recommendation for second reading, I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Crescenzio Rivellini (PPE), in writing. (IT) During today’s plenary session, we voted on the report on the making available on the market and use of biocidal products.

Today, an important agreement has been reached with the Council, laying down stricter health and environmental controls for insecticides or bactericidal products and common rules for businesses with regard to the marketing authorisation procedure. With this agreement, solutions have been found to improve safety controls and the authorisation procedure, so as to guarantee safer products.

For the new rules to enter into force, formal approval is still required from the Council, with which a prior agreement is in place. The new legislation further harmonises the European market in pesticides and introduces new deadlines for the submission of authorisation applications.

Procedures will also be simplified for recognising authorisations between countries and, from 2013, the possibility will be introduced to request authorisation directly at EU level.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – I voted in favour. It was key for us (Greens) to add to and strengthen the exclusion criteria, and to introduce national safeguards to modify the conditions of use of authorisations (under both mutual recognition and central authorisation). We were the driving force for specific provisions on nanomaterials, clear information on treated goods and the application of the regulation shortly after its entry into force: We influenced the negotiations very significantly on all aspects. While we abstained in the plenary vote at first reading due to certain concerns (about extending the central authorisation procedure while cutting back on scientific rigour and resources for the European Chemicals Agency), we resolved those issues in the second-reading agreement, which represents the best possible outcome.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this document because it will enable stricter controls on pesticides, in both health and environmental terms, and introduce common rules for businesses with regard to the sales authorisation process. I believe that the final text is balanced and capable of improving the current situation, both for producers and for European consumers. Finally, I would like to emphasise the positive tightening of restrictions for hazardous substances, such as carcinogens, which can be used only when their use is absolutely unavoidable, such as in the case of a product that is necessary to guarantee public health.

 
  
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  Amalia Sartori (PPE), in writing. (IT) An agreement has finally been reached between Parliament and the Council on the final text of the regulatory framework for biocides, substances that are widely used in the textile, cosmetics and food industries. I voted in favour of Ms Klass’s report as it presents a balanced package that guarantees safer products that are better controlled and more widespread, the costs relating to marketing authorisations are standardised, and it increases the level of health and environmental protection. I believe that we are making positive progress with regard to relaxing and simplifying rules in this sector. We need to maintain a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment and increase consumer protection by means of clear and specific labelling of products. I also think it is positive that producers from outside the EU must comply with European standards if they want to market their products in Europe.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The proposal for a regulation, adopted by the European Commission on 12 June 2009, aims to review Directive 98/8/EC on biocidal products.

The final compromise package, agreed as a result of the negotiations between the Council and Parliament, seems, in my view, to successfully marry the objective of a high level of protection of human health and the environment with that of a swifter and more efficient authorisation system for the industrial sector.

Among the main objectives of the proposal, I should like to highlight in particular the objective of increasing the level of protection of health and the environment by gradually eliminating the most hazardous substances and extending the scope to articles treated with biocidal products, together with more precise and enhanced procedures with regard to the placing on the market of active substances and biocidal products, updating the authorisation system and introducing simplification and harmonisation.

For this reason, I voted in favour of the measure.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The regulation in question relates to biocidal products that contain or produce one or more active substances in the form in which they are supplied to the user. I am voting for this regulation, as I believe that a list of active substances approved for use in biocidal products should be drawn up. These should be regularly examined to take account of developments in science and technology, and the Member States should be notified well in advance of companies making the products available. Finally, I believe that this regulation will contribute towards greater legal certainty and transparency in the use of active substances, ensure a high level of protection for both human and animal health and the environment, and improve the functioning of the internal market through the harmonisation of the rules on the placement on the market and use of biocidal products.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this report, which aims to regulate the making available of biocidal products, in other words, all the products which, in one way or another, are used to eliminate organisms that are harmful to humans. The report seeks to strike a balance between the use of these types of products in their capacity to improve human health and the fight against their negative impact on the environment and health. In the medium term, all these products must go through three stages of assessment in order to measure the extent to which they are dangerous (particularly if they are carcinogenic or toxic for the hormone system) before being validated by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and placed on the market. With this text, protecting the environment and improving our health score points. Let us hope once again that this will not just be rhetoric.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) A central Community authorisation procedure for biocidal products is an important step towards a harmonised European market in this area. It is the most efficient solution for improving the availability of these products, creating incentives for innovation and ensuring effective protection of human health and the environment. Moreover, central Community authorisation will guarantee consistent evaluations and uniform requirements in all Member States, resulting in a higher level of consumer protection.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR), in writing. – I am pleased to support the compromise package for the regulation of biocidal products. My constituency of London is home to a number of companies who use products such as disinfectant and pest control products, which, for human health and environmental reasons, require a certificate of authorisation. To achieve authorisation, a company has to put together a dossier, including proof that there is no viable alternative. The new regulation introduces a mandatory data-sharing mechanism to avoid duplication of studies which will save money and time for companies requiring such authorisation.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE), in writing. (SK) Biocidal products are intended to destroy, deter and render harmless harmful organisms. Many can be harmful to humans or animals. Therefore, each country monitors their use very closely and takes care that they are used only when necessary and that they do not endanger people. The regulation on biocidal products harmonising the market rules for these products is necessary for two reasons. Above all, it assures EU citizens that each manufacturer must meet the same strict conditions in order for its product to be offered for sale. Producers must therefore maintain the same standards for the protection of human health and the environment. This uniform approach is, however, also beneficial for producers. It reduces the costs of certification of their products and enables them to supply their products to any EU country without having to undergo demanding authorisation procedures many times. This creates room for innovations in biocidal products and improves their availability. Competition is enhanced and this has a positive impact on prices. Moreover, a central authorisation system contributes to better consumer protection.

 
  
  

Report: José Bové (A7-0421/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting in favour because higher food prices do not automatically translate into higher farm incomes, and this report expresses that concern. The steady and marked increase in production costs has not been fairly passed along the food supply chain, and has been particularly affecting farmers’ incomes, leading to a constant feeling of insecurity in agriculture. The situation is of particular concern for farmers in isolated regions, such as the outermost regions, for which the factors of distance and isolation already entail additional costs. As such, it is vital to promote transparency in order to identify what is leading to this situation, so encouraging resilience in the face of price volatility. That is the only way to provide a supply chain that treats all those involved in the process fairly, both up- and downstream, and farmers and consumers in particular.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The report confines itself to describing the problem of falling agricultural incomes because it wants to hide the causes that generate the problem, reduce agricultural incomes and decimate the income of the working and grassroots family with rocketing food prices. Surprisingly, it barely mentions the fact that energy, fertilisers, plant health products, water, seeds, fodder and so on belong to and are controlled by international monopolies, which set the prices and negate the effort made by farmers and working consumers, in order to increase their profits. Subsidised EU programmes promote the concentration of land in large farm holdings within the framework of the CAP and its reform post-2013. The privatisation of water is making it more expensive to use; the same applies to increased charges and prices for energy. The report supports the EU CAP, which is a disaster for farmers of poor and medium-sized holdings, and promotes the ‘competitiveness’ of farming in the EU, which means the concentration of land in large capitalist undertakings and the mass expulsion of poor farmers from their fields. The only way forward for farmers of poor and medium-sized holdings is to fight the CAP and all the EU’s anti-grassroots policies, to join forces with the working class and urban freelancers, and to bring about a radical change in power and the economy.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) This own-initiative report identifies problems upstream of farm production, highlights the ever-growing dependence of farmers on an increasingly concentrated input industry, and suggests a number of measures to be adopted within the upcoming CAP reform.

Farmers need support in improving agronomic and environmental performance in order to address the new climate, environmental and economic challenges. I think that the new CAP must include specific support measures to encourage more efficient agronomic practices and improved, sustainable management of agricultural resources, with the aim of achieving stable and productive agriculture, reducing input costs and nutrient wastage and increasing innovation, resource efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability within farming systems. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) We in the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) have voted in favour of the resolution on the imbalances in the food supply chain, which was given overwhelming support. With this ambitious text, the European Parliament calls on national and European competition authorities involved in production and commerce to take action against abusive buyer practices on the part of dominant wholesalers and retailers. More specifically, for the competitiveness of European agriculture, it was vital to bring up the issue of rising costs of purchased farm inputs over the past decade in the fields of energy, machinery, compound feed, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and water. It is therefore important to avoid distortions of competition and, by solving problems upstream of agricultural production, to improve farmers’ incomes. The overall aim is to have a better distribution policy, to guarantee that all products have the same quality standards within the EU, and to allow producers to have more influence in the food chain. Finally, through this text, I support the EU’s considerable investment in projects that promote sustainable agriculture.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) The report contains interesting points and considerations, with which I agree, on problems that really exist in the European agriculture sector. The vulnerability of the agri-food sector and the volatility of prices, especially of inputs, today make the sector highly unfair and do not help the efficiency and sustainability of the agricultural chain. However, I have to say that references to the issue of climate change, which have nothing to do with the question of farm inputs, are too numerous and insistent. Furthermore, the rapporteur proposes setting up a new European price monitoring agency to prevent and rectify distortions in input prices. One more agency involves increasing EU spending without it being possible to reasonably foresee, in this case as in many others unfortunately, a benefit from its establishment. I therefore chose to abstain.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because I agree that with the growing cost of resources used in agriculture, we need to optimise agricultural production processes and improve resource management as much as possible. In my opinion, this would not only enable farmers to reduce input costs and increase their autonomy and income, but would also be a move to a more sustainable and user-friendly method of farming. For example, energy costs over the last decade have risen by approximately 60%, while farm gate prices have only increased by 25%. This report therefore proposes taking measures to increase the ability of farms to save energy in buildings, farming practices and transport use, and to invest in the production of renewable energy on farms or locally. Another area where management could be improved and savings could thus be made is the use of fertilisers and soil improvers. Solutions include improving farm nutrient analysis and management and better soil fertility analysis and management. Opting to use farm-saved seeds instead of certified seeds is another means of increasing the efficiency of agricultural production proposed by the report. Farm-saved seeds carry not only economic but environmental advantages – on average, they cost 40% less than certified seeds, they allow farmers to grow plants which are adapted to the specific agronomic conditions in their regions, and they often require less fertilisers, while at the same time maintaining crop biodiversity.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. – (CS) There is to be a substantial reform of the common agricultural policy, which must respond to the many major challenges facing farmers. In view of this, I consider it important that this report analyses upstream structures and markets and suggests policy options which can help farmers to reduce input costs, with a view to increasing their autonomy and income, and enabling them to move to the more efficient and sustainable use of production resources. I applaud the call to Member States and the Commission to deliver more data on input and production costs, which should then be analysed and regularly provided to farmers by a European price monitoring agency. Price indices might also improve competition in the input sector, and perhaps help farmers to move out of a ‘squeeze position’ between the increasingly concentrated and powerful agro-industry upstream and downstream of primary production.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I welcome the measures proposed to increase the ability of farms to save energy in buildings, farming practices and transport. Energy efficiency programmes and investment in the production of renewable energy on farm sites or locally, including wind, solar, biogas and geothermal energy, are crucial in order for this to come about. Given the great importance of water to agricultural production, the EU should support Member States in providing improved water storage systems for agriculture, including the improvement of water storage capacities in soils, and water harvesting in dry areas as a precaution against changes in rainfall patterns due to climate change.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) Mr Bové’s report highlights the acute and chronic problems in the farm input supply chain faced by European farmers at a time when farmers’ incomes are shrinking, especially as a result of the global economic crisis. The package of proposals in the motion for a resolution contains general solutions to problems relating to the entire length of the farm input supply chain and also contains specific references to matters such as energy, soil improvers and plant protection products, fodder and farm-saved seed. The proposals in the report to address problems in the input chain are a positive and progressive step in the right direction that will benefit producers and consumers of agri-food and aim to maintain food security at European level. It is for all these reasons that I voted in favour of the report by José Bové.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this new own-initiative report which, in the context of the profound economic and financial crisis and its growing impact on farmers, identifies problems upstream of farm production, focusing on the rising costs of purchased farm inputs in the fields of energy, machinery, compound feed, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and water. In relation to the production sector, this report also notes the impact on farmers, who are becoming ever more dependent on an increasingly concentrated input industry. The aim of this report, which suggests measures to be taken within the upcoming reform of the common agricultural policy, is to analyse structures and markets aimed at creating new strategies which help farmers to reduce input costs, with a view to increasing their autonomy and income, so as to move towards a more efficient and sustainable use of means of production.

I also agree with the rapporteur on the need to support farmers so that they not only improve their agronomic and environmental performance, but also so that they can respond more effectively to climatic, environmental and economic challenges, particularly by adopting ‘greening measures’, and thus invest in greater resilience to climatic instability, increased soil health and fertility, and lower susceptibility to diseases.

 
  
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  Andrea Cozzolino (S&D), in writing. (IT) The report is part of the debate on the CAP 2020 reform, seeking to guide its content, in order to better adapt it to the significant challenges that farmers will face, and seeking to turn those challenges from potential risk factors into opportunities to advance the process to transform agriculture in an environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient way.

To achieve these results, without jeopardising the survival of a large portion of small operators, especially those located in the outermost areas of the continent, it is necessary to take action on those levers that make running farms economically sustainable. The report sets out actions to eliminate distortions which, upstream, limit farms’ profitability.

All Eurostat findings come together to show the disparity between the increase in input costs and that of farm gate prices. The report, which I voted in favour of, has the merit of precisely indicating the sectors for action, both hoping for an enhanced and more constant commitment to tackling the formation of cartels among suppliers of the main inputs (seeds and fertilisers), and setting out an environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial transformation of resource supply systems.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this text, which will enable farmers to reduce their production costs and increase their income. It is vital to safeguard the future of the agricultural sector in order to guarantee an independent European supply.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on the ‘farm input supply chain’ because measures are needed in order to address excessive concentration and ensure transparency in agricultural markets, so as to promote competitiveness and prevent food price volatility.

 
  
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  Göran Färm, Anna Hedh, Olle Ludvigsson, Jens Nilsson, Marita Ulvskog and Åsa Westlund (S&D), in writing. (SV) We abstained from the vote as we do not believe that this report is the appropriate place in which to take a position on the nature of certain aspects of our future agricultural policy. Moreover, a debate on the next research framework programme is currently being conducted in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, which we do not want to pre-empt with this report, either.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) In view of the imbalances in the farm input supply chain in the Union, which is threatening the viability of many farms, the EU needs to monitor market developments closely, particularly in terms of input costs, and properly monitor variations in costs and identify the reasons behind them. I believe that this analysis and regulation of markets should be done in a prudent way and should seek not to introduce additional distortions into a supply chain in which marked asymmetries have already been identified. Having said that, I believe that this evaluation by the EU and the defence of competitiveness should not cease, as a lack of action in this area could jeopardise agriculture production in the EU and reduce the supply of European agricultural produce to consumers as a result. Doing nothing could exacerbate conditions for everyone in the medium term. Agriculture is not just an economic activity; it has an important social and environmental function that must be taken into account and deserves protection.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) This report, drafted by Mr Bové, concerns the farm input supply chain, particularly in terms of its structure and its implications. At a time when the common agricultural policy (CAP) post-2013 is being discussed, it is pertinent to discuss the problems affecting this strategic sector of the EU in order to halt the flow of people abandoning farming, which jeopardises not only the lack of certain agricultural products, but, above all, the ecosystems associated with this activity in rural and mountainous areas. This is an extremely important and topical report and I voted for it, since it draws attention to the real problems existing in the farm input supply chain and identifies the measures to be taken. An economic activity in which input costs have increased by 60% over a decade, while product costs have risen by only 25%, as has happened in the case of energy costs, is not sustainable. Energy efficiency should be a priority in the new CAP. Finally, I welcome the recognition of the need to provide support to farmers under the ‘greening measures’ set out in the new CAP, with the aim of addressing the new challenges in terms of the environment and competitiveness.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) We recognise the need to ‘improve the transparency of farm input prices’, as stated in the report. In the same way, we believe that it is important to improve the ‘analysis of the reasons behind extreme market fluctuations and seek greater clarity on the interactions between speculation and agricultural markets, as well as energy markets and food commodity prices’.

However, the key thing is to advocate any significant measures that benefit small- and medium-scale farmers and the general population, which the report does not mention. These measures should act towards the definition of regulation for the markets and food supply chains which protect national agricultural production and employment in agriculture, thus combating desertification and reducing imports. This report makes little progress towards concrete solutions for improving the current situation in this sector, although it does pose some pertinent questions on this issue, such as those relating to the efficient use of resources, among others.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) In its resolution of 7 September 2010 on ‘Fair revenues for farmers: towards a better functioning food supply chain in Europe’, Parliament adopted a number of recommendations to solve problems downstream of farm production in order to improve farmers’ incomes. Substantial policy changes were proposed in EU competition law and recommendations were made for measures to be included in legislative proposals. The Commission adopted a follow-up note on this resolution in November 2010, in which it announced action in this matter. I believe that it is necessary to provide support for farmers in improving their agronomic and environmental performance, so that they can cope with the new climatic, environmental and economic challenges that they will have to face. Regarding ecological measures, farmers will probably have to reintegrate outsourced production costs associated with better management of biodiversity, water and soil nutrients, and it is for this reason that they will have to be given support. There is, however, an assumption that this initial expenditure will bring benefits to farmers from the long-term perspective, such as resistance to climatic instability, healthier and more productive land, and less vulnerability to disease. If they better learn to exploit the opportunities stemming from these inputs, they will also become more resistant to price fluctuations.

 
  
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  Robert Goebbels (S&D), in writing.(FR) The report on the farm input supply chain provides an often pertinent analysis of Europe’s agricultural shortcomings. Not only is Europe highly dependent on imports of fossil fuels, but also of animal feed, phosphates and other inputs. The report does not provide any solutions, however, apart from asking the Commission for many new reports and more in-depth studies. It calls on the Commission to address the fact that the majority of phosphate rock comes from five countries. Even if the Commission lies down on a map of the world, it is not going to be able to change that situation. The report states that ‘cheaper feed (is) available on the global market’. This is particularly true of genetically modified (GM) soya, which makes up 80% of world production. However, the rapporteur is a figurehead of the anti-GM food movement, and he is fighting against shale gas, which is plentiful in Europe and could help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels if exploited. In light of these contradictions, I abstained.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. – I welcome and thoroughly support this badly needed report. Farming is not a viable option for our younger generation. Only 7% of Irish farmers are under 35 years of age. We now have a world population of 7 billion; in 2027, it is projected that the world population will reach 8 billion, and in 2046, 9 billion! This means that decreasing numbers of farmers will have to double food production, while also battling climate change and maintaining food standards. The total input costs for EU farmers climbed, on average, by almost 40% between 2000 and 2010, while farm gate prices have increased by only 25%. Farmers are living on their overdrafts or savings and that cannot continue. We need to ensure that farming is a real career choice for our young people, in order to ensure food security for future generations.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing. (FR) This own-initiative report identifies problems upstream of farm production, focusing on rising costs of purchased farm inputs over the past decade in the fields of energy, machinery, compound feed, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and water. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) The growing volatility in agricultural commodity and farm input prices is increasing insecurity in farm incomes and in long-term investments by farmers. This has a particularly dangerous impact, above all in isolated, mountain and island regions, for which the factors of distance and isolation entail high additional costs, impacting negatively on the incomes of farmers operating there. I therefore fully supported this report because it is now necessary to improve the transparency of farm input prices and guarantee that competition rules apply and are enforced throughout the food market chain. We therefore call on the European Commission and the Member States to ensure greater scrutiny and better analysis, at EU and global level, of the economic mechanisms at the root of rising food prices, together with interactions between supply and demand fluctuations, as well as increasing interactions between the price movements of energy, inputs and food commodities.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I welcome this new own-initiative report which identifies problems upstream of farm production, focusing on rising costs of purchased farm inputs over the past decade in the fields of energy, machinery, compound feed, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and water. It points at impact on several production sectors, highlights the growing dependence of farmers on an increasingly concentrated input industry, and suggests measures to be taken within the upcoming CAP reform.

 
  
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  Clemente Mastella (PPE), in writing. (IT) We support this report because it has the merit of identifying problems upstream of farm production, focusing on rising costs of purchased farm inputs over the past decade in the fields of energy, machinery, compound feed, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and water.

All this has clear and significant effects on several production sectors. We therefore believe it is vital to support the policy options suggested here by the rapporteur, with the aim of helping farmers to reduce input costs, with a view to increasing their autonomy and income, so as to move to a more efficient and sustainable use of production resources.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report describes the predominance of three companies in the seeds market, which contributes to keeping prices high and has a negative impact on crop diversity. It therefore requests that farmers continue to be able to use seeds produced on their own farms; this possibility is currently under threat. The report calls for incentives encouraging farmers to organise themselves collectively, in order to increase their bargaining power, improve their resource management and reduce their vulnerability to price volatility. It recommends the monitoring of access to land, especially for young farmers, which is compromised by the excessive cost of leases. It also proposes measures for energy saving and a reduction in the use of fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and soil improvers, and local production of crops for animal feed. In short, the report seeks to reduce production costs by proposing measures that break with the concentration of powerful agro-industry in the agricultural market. I voted for the report because I agree with the direction that it is taking, but I believe that it is only one step, and that more measures are needed to ensure a fairer farm input supply chain in social, economic and environmental terms.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Bové. It is right to call on the Commission to encourage more efficient agronomic practices and improved, sustainable agricultural resource management, with the aim of producing stable and productive agriculture, reducing input costs and nutrient wastage and increasing innovation, resource efficiency and effectiveness and sustainability within farming systems.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. – Since 2009, there has been an 11.6% reduction in farm incomes at EU level, whilst total input costs for EU farmers have increased on average by 40-80% between 2000 and 2010. This imbalance has impacted on the overall profitability of farming in the EU. I fully support this report, which examines current market structures and addresses problems regarding the supply of essential farm inputs in the long term, in addition to suggesting policy options aimed at reducing farm input costs.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Mélenchon (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) This report advocates support measures for more efficient resource management, short input and food chains, and the cultivating of protein crops in Europe. It condemns the huge profit margins of big retailers and the abuses of the dominant position of some input suppliers, and calls for sanctions. It expresses concern over the fact that consumers are opting for products of lower quality on account of their reduced purchasing power. I share these concerns and support the recommendations. However, I cannot agree with the support that this text shows for soya imports. I agree even less with the public support measures for biofuels, the call for agriculture to be ‘competitive in the world market’, and the honouring of the G20 and the Europe 2020 strategy that this entails. I abstained out of respect for Mr Bové.

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE), in writing. (SK) The strategic importance of agriculture in ensuring food security in the European Union requires that Member States and the Commission adopt measures and stimuli, effectively and swiftly, for its sustainable development and competitiveness. Although agriculture is subject to the rules of competition, the reality of the market in many Member States shows that abuse of market dominance by suppliers of inputs is widespread. The high concentration in the agricultural inputs sector should therefore be a signal for the national anti-monopoly bodies that anti-competitive activities, such as abuse of market dominance, can be taking place to the detriment of producers and of end consumers. The competent authorities of the Member States should ensure improved competition in agriculture by monitoring the situation in the relevant markets more closely and, where violations are found, by imposing deterrent fines.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – This very timely report identifies problems upstream of farm production, focusing on the rising costs of purchased farm inputs over the past decade in the fields of energy, machinery, compound feed, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and water. I voted in favour

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) Today, we are discussing issues that cannot be examined individually. The increase in food prices linked to the increase in their production costs is just the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile, if we take an integrated approach to this issue and take integrated action, we could reduce these costs while also achieving other positive results. Above all, I am talking about the prudent and efficient use of resources associated with production – energy and fertilisers. A change in the attitude and habits of the producers themselves would not only save resources and reduce costs but would also contribute to environmental conservation – greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced and fewer chemical substances would be released into the soil and water bodies.

 
  
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  Mariya Nedelcheva (PPE), in writing. (BG) I voted in favour of the ‘Report on the farm input supply chain: structure and implications’, drafted by José Bové, because I think that it marks a step forward towards reducing the dependence of farmers on the farm input industry and towards ensuring that their position in the food supply chain is fairer. Farmers are faced with a dire situation, starting with the leasing of land, especially in my country, Bulgaria, where 90% of livestock farmers do not own the land they use, then proceeding to the high prices for resources and materials, and ending with low farm gate prices. We need to adopt a two-pronged approach in order to tackle this situation. One aspect is linked to the work done by the institutions and competition authorities. We need to examine the reasons for the high prices for materials and avoid the situation where agribusiness traders are in a dominant position and engaging in unfair competition. Secondly, we must help farmers themselves to discover alternative ways of offsetting high prices, managing their resources effectively and adopting efficient, energy-saving measures, as well as of encouraging processing. Furthermore, we must not burden producers with other requirements and administrative procedures where fulfilling them will push their costs up even more.

 
  
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  Siiri Oviir (ALDE), in writing. (ET) I voted in favour of Mr Bové’s report on the supply chain of agricultural inputs, its structure and influences, because on the eve of the reform of the common agricultural policy, we should seriously reflect on how it may be possible to raise farmers’ competitiveness and income. I consider it important to emphasise the need for greater cooperation and organisation among farmers – for instance, by collectively purchasing and storing inputs, cooperating in order to improve the use of resources, etc. Another means of increasing farmers’ income is to concentrate on the reduction of production costs – over the past ten years, production has become significantly more costly to farmers due to the overall rise in energy prices. In order to achieve some manner of harmonisation between expenses and income, agricultural producers must implement more and more energy and resource sustainable methods in production processes. As a result, in addition to the gathering of data concerning input and production costs, it would also be necessary to provide European farmers with guidelines regarding the best production solutions and practices, as stated in this report.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because only through joint efforts can we help farmers reduce costs in order to increase their autonomy and income. Furthermore, an effectively functioning farm input supply chain will contribute to a more efficient and sustainable use of production resources. Attention is drawn to the fact that due to resource scarcity, growing demand for food and EU farmers’ limited opportunities to obtain cheaper feed on the world market, upward pressure on input prices is constantly rising. It is therefore very important to ensure that farmers are given proper support so that agricultural and environmental performance improves and new climatic, environmental and economic challenges are addressed. I believe that in the next research framework programme, more funds need to be allocated for research and development in the efficient use and management of farm inputs and improving agronomic efficiency. Enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as farmers’ organisations, should also be encouraged at EU level. In order to increase their purchasing power, farmers must be encouraged to collectively organise the storage and purchase of inputs and to form groups for better resource management and sustainable practices.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) In addition to the difficulties that farmers experience in bringing products onto the market, exacerbated by their weak bargaining position with distributors, they have seen a gradual rise in input prices. While farm gate prices have increased by around 25% over the last decade, energy costs have increased by about 60%, fertilisers and soil improvers by around 100%, seeds and animal feed by about 30%, costs for non-residential farm buildings by around 20%, and plant protection products and other pesticides by 13%. The increased cost of industrial machinery is also noteworthy. In overall terms, costs for European farmers increased by 40% over the same period. It will come as no surprise, then, that EU farm incomes have fallen by 11.6% since 2009, according to Eurostat data. The difficult obstacles that farmers face can only be overcome with a comprehensive response that helps to restructure agricultural production, reducing its dependence on the volatility of demand and the inputs market. I voted for this report and I agree with this approach, and I hope that the next common agricultural policy will provide a response to these problems.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. In its resolution of 7 September 2010 on ‘Fair revenues for farmers: towards a better functioning food supply chain in Europe’, Parliament adopted a number of recommendations to solve problems downstream of farm production in order to improve farmers’ incomes. Parliament suggested substantial policy change in EU competition law and made recommendations for measures to be included in the legislative proposals on CAP 2020 reform. The Commission adopted, on 23 November 2010, a follow-up note on this resolution, which announces action in this matter. This new initiative report identifies problems upstream of farm production, focusing on rising costs of purchased farm inputs over the past decade in the fields of energy, machinery, compound feed, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and water. It points to the impact on several production sectors, highlights the growing dependence of farmers on an increasingly concentrated input industry, and suggests measures to be taken within the upcoming CAP reform.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of the report by Mr Bové because I consider that his proposals are important and will help to improve the agronomic and environmental performance of farmers, which will, in turn, lead to more efficient use of productive resources. In this way, farmers will become independent of the concentration of farm input suppliers and the production costs will be limited, thereby increasing their incomes.

 
  
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  Amalia Sartori (PPE), in writing. (IT) EU legislation often reduces the global competitiveness of European businesses. I voted in favour of the report on the farm input supply chain since I believe that it is strictly necessary to take action at several levels of the supply chain to better understand the workings of what is produced and how. The price mechanism must guarantee proper and fair distribution of income. It is also vital to guarantee transparency for consumers, so that they can make fully informed choices. I also approve of the measures laid down in Mr Bové’s report to support farmers and guarantee their equal treatment.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The report that we have just adopted is vitally important, since it seeks to identify the best way to guarantee that large retailers do not abuse their dominant position and that farmers’ income truly reflects the prices paid for food by end consumers.

EU agriculture is currently highly dependent on input imports (mainly fossil fuels, animal feed and scarce soil-improving minerals such as phosphate) and is vulnerable to price hikes. This has therefore raised major concerns about EU farmers’ competitiveness.

Here, we want to emphasise that the high volatility in agricultural commodity and farm input prices has increased insecurity among farmers with regard to their income and long-term investments. The Member States and the Commission must therefore improve the transparency of farm input prices and guarantee that competition rules are enforced. Greater availability of data on input costs would help farmers.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) Agricultural products have been affected by high market volatility, especially because of the increase in production costs, which is not reflected by an increase in farmers’ incomes. This jeopardises the survival of many enterprises and the maintenance of jobs. I support the initiatives included in this report, particularly those relating to greater transparency of farm input prices, growing competitiveness throughout the food supply chain, promotion of investment in the production of renewable energy, and promotion of rural development programmes, with a growing commitment to ‘greening’ in the common agricultural policy (CAP). I also believe it is crucial that particular attention be given to the outermost regions, in order to ensure the increased sustainability and competitiveness of agriculture in the respective European regions under the CAP for the 2014-2020 period.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution on the farm input supply chain because high volatility in agricultural commodity and farm input prices has increased insecurity in farm incomes and in long-term investments by farmers. According to Eurostat, in the last decade, total input costs for EU farmers rose, on average, by 40%, while farm gate prices increased, on average, by less than 25%. We call on national and European competition authorities to address the abuses arising from the dominant position of agribusiness traders, food retailers and input companies, and to apply EU anti-trust legislation. Member States must improve the systems for collecting agricultural products. We call on the Commission and Member States to examine the role that producers’ organisations and cooperatives could play in organising collective purchases of farm inputs, with a view to strengthening the farmers’ negotiating position. The Commission must inform farmers and consumers about the need for more efficient management of energy, water and natural resources throughout the food chain, so as to significantly reduce the wastage of resources and food.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) This report is the result of a European Parliament initiative to try to redirect certain policies given the imbalances in the distribution chain for agricultural products, particularly commodities such as cereals and fossil fuels (known as inputs). The existence of a balance of power heavily in favour of distributors and to the detriment of farmers is well documented. It condemns many of the latter to misery by no longer allowing them to make a living from their work with dignity. This paper asks, therefore, that we redress the balance and that we promote sustainable agriculture that respects the environment through limited importation and limited use of these input products. Emphasis is also placed on training farmers and agronomists and on technical developments with a view to promoting the European Union’s food sovereignty and protecting Europeans better against food shortages. I am not under any illusion as to how seriously this report will be taken into account by the European institutions, but I think it is going in the right direction: the direction of social justice and ecological transition.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) The ever increasing discrepancy between farm input and production costs, on the one hand, and farm gate prices, on the other, is putting European agriculture at risk of becoming uneconomic. We therefore need to lower the costs to farmers of energy, feeds, fertilisers and seed, to use production resources efficiently and sustainably, and to reduce farmers’ dependence on big business. In addition, farmers need to be supported in their efforts to adapt their farms along ecological lines. Investments in this area pay off in the long term, since damage to the environment is generally very costly.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR), in writing. – I support this report because we need to recognise that farmers are facing increased costs. Rising energy prices, as well as the mounting price of feed, mean that farmers are being squeezed at both ends of the supply chain. However, we need to ask ourselves, how much of farmers’ costs are generated by cumbersome red tape and regulations from Brussels? To help farmers, we need to reduce bureaucracy and make significant reforms to the common agricultural policy. Helping farmers also means there should be no more rewards for failure; the agriculture sector needs to be weaned off subsidies in order to make the European food industry competitive in a global market.

 
  
  

Motion for a resolution B7-0006/2012

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this motion for a resolution, which concerns a key issue for producers and consumers. As the title of the report clearly indicates, unfair imbalances continue to exist in the food supply chain. A large number of the problems that farmers are experiencing are the result of highly punitive behaviour imposed by modern distributors. I am referring, in particular, to abusive buying practices on the part of dominant wholesalers and retailers. Only with the political will to implement the solutions previously tabled by Parliament will farmers and consumers no longer be penalised, as much of the legislation in force needs to be properly implemented.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this important resolution. Employment in the food supply chain, agriculture, the agri-food industry and distribution represents 7% of total employment in the EU and is worth EUR 1 400 billion per year – a figure greater than for any other manufacturing sector in the EU. Recent food and commodity price volatility has raised serious concerns about the functioning of European and global food supply chains and has increased insecurity as regards farm incomes and long-term investments by farmers. Farmers’ income problems are continuing to worsen and the prices paid by consumers for products are not reflected in the prices paid to farmers for their production, which is undermining farmers’ capacity to invest and innovate. This might make many farmers decide to leave farming, slowing down the economic recovery of the whole of Europe even more. I welcome the resolution’s provisions that agricultural policy must enable small and medium-sized farms, including family farms, to earn a reasonable income, to produce sufficient food of appropriate quality at affordable prices, to create jobs, to promote rural development and to ensure environmental protection and sustainability. In addition, given the impact of excessive concentration and abuses in the market, national and European competition authorities must take action against abusive buyer practices on the part of dominant wholesalers and retailers which systematically put farmers in an extremely unfavourable negotiating position.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) For some time, data and research have shown that large imbalances persist in the food supply chain. Parliament therefore calls on the Commission and the Council to do their best in this specific sector to guarantee fair and transparent relationships between producers, suppliers and distributors, and the effective implementation, which is clearly disregarded or distorted in many cases, of the regulatory measures already in force. The Commission must also do everything possible to find a solution as soon as possible to the unfair distribution of profits throughout the agri-food chain, with a particular focus on the profits of agricultural producers. For the good of consumers and the proper functioning of the whole sector, agricultural producers should be put in a position where they can obtain substantial compensation for the major investments they make, and they must be able to produce suitable quantities and quality. The Commission and the Council are therefore called on to do their best to tackle unfair and abusive practices in this sector, which are largely responsible for the imbalances in the chain. For these reasons, I voted in favour of the joint resolution.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this resolution because recent food and commodity price volatility has raised serious concerns about the functioning of European and global food supply chains and has increased insecurity as regards farm incomes and long-term investments by farmers. Furthermore, farmers’ income problems are continuing to worsen and the prices paid by consumers for products are not reflected in the prices paid to farmers for their production, which is undermining farmers’ capacity to invest and innovate. This might make many farmers decide to leave farming. The problem of imbalances in the food supply chain therefore has a clear European dimension, which calls for a specific European solution. Attention should be drawn to the fact that agricultural policy must enable small and medium-sized farms, including family farms, to earn a reasonable income, to produce sufficient food of appropriate quality at affordable prices, to create jobs, to promote rural development and to ensure environmental protection and sustainability. The European Parliament therefore calls on national and European competition authorities and other regulatory authorities involved in production and commerce to take action against abusive buyer practices on the part of dominant wholesalers and retailers, which systematically put farmers in an extremely unfavourable negotiating position.

 
  
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  Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of this particular motion for a resolution because it is a move in the right direction in terms of strengthening small and medium-sized farm holdings, despite the fact that it is not as strong as the initial resolution tabled by the Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left. The resolution has not managed to break out of the mould of ‘the need to regulate competition rules’ and does not include the amendments tabled by our group on the adoption of maximum commercial profit margins, especially for large supermarkets, the immediate adoption of measures to stop dumping between Member States and the maintenance of production quotas in the milk and sugar sectors. However, it does recognise the problem of the unfair distribution of profit in the food chain, especially in terms of an adequate income for farmers, and it does abide by the definition of abusive and unfair practices by wholesalers with a dominant position and insist that they be supervised and penalised. Finally, it focuses on small and medium-sized holdings, including family units, and the need for them to earn a decent wage, to produce quantitatively and qualitatively adequate food at affordable prices to consumers, to create jobs, to promote rural development and to safeguard the protection and sustainability of the environment.

 
  
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  Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (PPE), in writing. – I share the concern that unfair commercial practices and dominant positions need to be dealt with, but I am not in favour of imposing robust legislation. The line adopted last year by Parliament, in its report ‘on a more efficient and fairer retail market’, in favour of self-regulation is producing initial results. We have gone from denial and confrontation to constructive dialogue. Stakeholders have agreed on principles of good practice in B2B relations and are now negotiating on implementing measures. At the same time, the Commission is working on a retail action plan and on a communication mapping and assessing existing rules on unfair practices, and has clearly indicated that it will continue to pursue the strategy of consensus. More needs to be done, but it is important to give the ongoing process a chance. Asking for robust legislation at this stage would risk derailing this and undermining the climate of trust. We will continue to put pressure on all the parties concerned and will evaluate the results at the yearly Retail Roundtable, based on facts and data. If self-regulation and the dialogue framed in the High-Level Forum for the Supply Chain should prove insufficient, all options – including legislation – remain open.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the resolution on ‘imbalances in the food supply chain’ as it advocates that European legislation be strengthened and properly implemented, in order to ensure transparency in agricultural markets, promote competitiveness and avoid volatility in food prices.

 
  
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  Göran Färm, Anna Hedh, Olle Ludvigsson, Jens Nilsson, Marita Ulvskog and Åsa Westlund (S&D), in writing. (SV) We Social Democrats chose to abstain in the final vote. We do not believe that a European Food Trading Ombudsman should be established, and we have our doubts about a European instrument for monitoring food prices.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) There are clear distortions in food markets today, and these have an adverse effect on both producers and consumers. The former, in particular, have seen a constant increase in production costs, while at the same time losing bargaining power vis-à-vis distributors. This imbalance is threatening to jeopardise the viability of many farms, which can only worry policy makers, particularly in the EU, in view of the possibility of the desertification of rural areas and increased unemployment in traditionally less developed regions. This pressure on producers is particularly significant in the outermost regions of the EU. I hope that a fairer and more transparent relationship might be possible between the various stakeholders in this market, without jeopardising its fundamental freedom, as this would guard against abuse of a dominant position and enable greater stability for farmers, as well as healthier competition.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this joint motion for a resolution, pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure, which replaces the motions by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and the Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left, for the following reasons:

Firstly, we all recognise that agriculture is a strategic sector of the EU economy and that, in order to respond to future challenges in terms of food, natural resources and the environment, a certain level of reform of the common agricultural policy is absolutely crucial.

Secondly, there are problems with the food supply chain, from producer to consumer, which need to be resolved, particularly improper trading practices intended only to take money from the producers. I therefore welcome the information from the Commission, under the Single Market Act, on the adoption of a communication on these trading practices and misleading advertising.

Thirdly, as agriculture is the subject of the first integrated European policy, it is essential that it be the focus for resolving the crisis, as the food supply of 500 million Europeans is at stake. There is an urgent need to acknowledge the role of farmers and free them from the stranglehold in which they find themselves, caught between input costs and exploitation by the chains bringing their products to market.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) It is a pity that the majority in this House has missed another opportunity to seriously address the problem of farmers’ incomes and the growing imbalances in the distribution of income in the food supply chain. It has done so with impassioned speeches that acknowledge the problem but do nothing to tackle it, whilst rejecting the proposals of our group, which could truly have added real opportunities for solving the problem. More than forums and high-level groups stating what we have long known, more than the cynical insistence on this fanciful idea of ‘self-regulation’, what was needed were solutions enabling a break with current agricultural and trade policies, which have created the imbalances and injustices that we are once again seeing here. We regret the fact that the majority in this House, including the Portuguese Members from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Democratic and Social Centre – People’s Party (CDS-PP) and the Socialist Party (PS), continue to reject measures such as retaining the system of production quotas; establishing mechanisms to regulate the food supply chain effectively; establishing ceilings for trading profit margins, particularly for large supermarkets and retail businesses, using the price paid to producers as a benchmark; and measures aimed at ending dumping between Member States.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing. (SK) Most farmers and agricultural enterprises currently face too great an increase in production costs, while the prices paid by buyers – especially the large distribution companies – are inadequate to cover these additional farmers’ costs. This threatens the survival of many agricultural enterprises, has serious consequences for the food supply chain in the European Union, and exacerbates the trade balance problem. This results in a growing need for imports and also leads to dependence on unstable foreign markets. It is important to ensure that the relationships between distributors and suppliers are fair, and efforts should be made to eliminate unfair practices in the food supply chain; in particular, it would appear to be appropriate and necessary to make reliable information on food prices available across the EU in order to ensure transparency.

 
  
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  Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), in writing.(FR) Many farmers have seen excessive increases in their production costs, without any possibility of recouping those additional costs through the price paid by buyers, especially big retailers, putting many agricultural holdings at risk and, in the longer term, putting agricultural production as a whole at risk. This is why I supported the joint resolution on imbalances in the food supply chain because I thought that it was crucial to ensure loyal and transparent relationships between food producers, suppliers and distributors. The abusive practices of distributors, who put our farmers at an extreme disadvantage, must be denounced. Moreover, we must improve compliance with producers’ payment deadlines, carry out better and more transparent monitoring of price development and lastly, put in place a food trade mediator in order to share information better between competent authorities in this area.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE), in writing. (IT) I supported the resolution on the imbalances in the food supply chain because I believe it is now necessary to start the process to create European legislation that can regulate relationships within the distribution chain, avoiding weaker bargaining conditions for the agricultural sector. Today, there are many farmers and agricultural holdings facing unbearable increases in production costs. These additional costs are not, however, compensated by the prices paid to farmers by those who buy agricultural products, in particular, by large retailers. Our commitment here in Parliament is aimed at making our European agriculture competitive and, at the same time, at protecting farmers who risk not only losing bargaining power in the distribution chain but also seeing their own profit margins wiped out. We need to tackle these risks and insist on a clear definition of abusive and unfair practices often perpetrated to the detriment of farmers, and conduct an information campaign for farmers on the most common illegal contractual and commercial practices together with the instruments at their disposal to report abuses.

 
  
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  Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE/NGL), in writing. – I voted in favour on Amendment 3 because I do not agree entirely with abolishing the current system of milk quotas. I do believe, however, that we should move to a more flexible system of attribution of milk quotas in the future.

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE), in writing. (RO) I think that food waste has become a widespread problem in the EU without, however, being given proper attention until now. The current situation is unacceptable, especially given that up to 50% of healthy, consumable food is wasted in supermarkets, restaurants and households in the EU every year, while 79 million European citizens are living below the poverty line and 16 million are receiving food from charitable organisations. We are expecting, in the future, a persuasive strategy from the European Commission, which will make EU Member States tackle this problem in a systematic way. However, in the medium term, I think that 2014 should be designated European Year against Food Waste.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this resolution which calls on the Commission to propose robust Community legislation – without distorting the proper functioning of the markets – to make fairer the relationships between producers, suppliers and distributors of food products, and to properly implement the rules already in force, not least because the latest agricultural income figures from Eurostat show that, since 2009, there has been a drop of 11.6% in farm income at EU level.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE), in writing. (IT) The problem of imbalances in the food supply chain has a clear European dimension and so demands a specific European solution, given the strategic importance of the agri-food chain to the European Union. I am therefore absolutely in favour of adopting the joint resolution.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. – A sustainable farm and food sector is vital for EU citizens. For this, all players in the food supply chain must get a fair return and no sector should be allowed to exercise undue power over others. I fully support this resolution which calls for the guarantee of fair and transparent relationships between producers, suppliers and distributors of food products.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – I am confident that the problem of imbalances in the food distribution chain has a clear European dimension, which demands a specific European solution, given the strategic importance of the agri-food chain to the European Union. It is necessary to propose robust Community legislation without distorting the proper functioning of the markets. The Member States should play an active role in establishing consultation fora, with proper representation of the players along the food chain, so as to promote dialogue and establish guidelines to bring about more balanced relationships. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Claudio Morganti (EFD), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of this resolution because it is clear how there are enormous imbalances to be rectified in the food supply chain. Profits remain in the hands of the few, especially large retailers, while farmers often do not receive fair compensation for their work and their product. Consumers are the ultimate victims, since they have to pay a higher price due to the inefficiency of the system. I therefore welcome the efforts made towards developing a short supply chain, which can produce immediate benefits for both farmers and consumers. Those who abuse dominant positions, applying prices likely to destroy competition in the market, will be rightly punished. Farms, particularly the smallest, are part of our heritage to be defended and protected, above all, against the power that today lies in the hands of large retailers. Lastly, I would like to add that I am pleased that the House, by a very large majority, rejected an amendment aimed at reintroducing milk and sugar quotas: that system has shown itself to be disastrous, and even Europe has realised it, although shamefully late.

 
  
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  Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė (PPE), in writing. (LT) There are several weak links in the food supply chain that require more serious protection. While it can be argued that the consumer interest of obtaining safe products is protected following the adoption of various legal acts on product labelling, aspects of pricing are not yet favourable to either consumer or producer. One of the elements of EU competition policy is the regulation of operators in a monopolistic or dominant position, ensuring the functioning of the free market. On the other hand, such regulation should not mean a return to the times of price regulation. While welcoming this resolution in principle, I therefore believe that legislation in this area is still a long way off.

 
  
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  Rareş-Lucian Niculescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of item 4 of the motion for a resolution in the form in which it was presented because we must not reject legislation in the area of relations between agricultural producers and large retailers. The best proof of the need for legislation is the very failure of the attempts made so far to establish self-regulation in this area. Producers need practical, effective measures and, not least, these need to be implemented as quickly as possible.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI), in writing. (DE) Regrettably, considerable imbalances still exist in the food chain with regard to the disproportionate concentration of power in the hands of certain large companies. This, in turn, results in unfair commercial practices such as late payment, unilateral changes to contracts, unfair contract terms, restrictions on market access, lack of transparent pricing, retail price fixing, purchasing cartels and, not least, the unequal division of profit margins across the food chain. Rules on competition urgently need to be implemented more effectively in this sector, in order to uncover and prevent abuses of market power and cartel activity. Moreover, agricultural producers and processors – particularly small farmers and SMEs in the food chain – need to be placed in a better negotiating position as regards price levels within the value chain. Such a disproportionate concentration has a negative effect on product diversity in the medium and long term, on cultural heritage, on small retailers, on jobs and thus, on the livelihoods of many people. For these reasons, I voted in favour of this motion for a resolution.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution because only through joint efforts can we eliminate imbalances in the food supply chain. Above all, we need to ensure fair and transparent relationships between producers, suppliers and distributors of food products and set out an effective regulatory mechanism. It is very important for farmers to be paid fair and profitable prices for agricultural production and for maximum profit margins to be set for large supermarkets. This will promote the fair distribution of added value throughout the food supply chain. I welcome the proposal in which the Commission calls for the retention of the production quota system, which should be adapted to the needs of each country.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of the resolution on the imbalances in the food supply chain because I believe that Parliament, as the direct representative of citizens, has to make its voice heard by the European Commission so that it proposes suitable measures to manage the food market and the whole system surrounding it more efficiently. I believe this is a strictly European problem, the external conditions are absolutely relevant, and the solutions to tackle the imbalances in the food supply chain are proper self-regulation with legislation on competition. Member States will be given the role of promoting the development of better practices for collaboration between all interested parties, from farmers to retailers as well as industry, suppliers and consumer representatives.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The food supply chain is increasingly marked by deep imbalances between producers and distributors. Their economic ascendancy has enabled distributors to impose abusive trading conditions on the contracts that they sign with farmers, for their own benefit, as can be seen in paragraph 10 of the adopted resolution. These practices undermine the normal functioning of the competition market, as trade starts to play a role in which it merely reinforces the stronger position of one party, rather than being founded on negotiation that benefits both; in other words, a positive-sum game. Measures therefore need to be adopted to correct these disparities, such as creating price monitoring mechanisms at the various stages of the supply chain, from producer to consumer, investing in legal information services for producers, and promoting official forums responsible for identifying problems and finding solutions to the imbalances in these trade relations. I voted for this joint resolution as it is a step in that direction.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – In favour. The negotiating position of the Greens was based on the Commission communication of 28 October 2009 entitled ‘A better functioning food supply chain in Europe’ (COM(2009)0591), since it recognises the existence of major power imbalances among operators, although believing that the measures suggested in that communication are not sufficient to deal with the problems involved; That is why we (Greens) wanted to call on the Commission and Member States to urgently address the problem of unfair distribution of profits within the food chain, especially with regard to adequate incomes for farmers; recognises that to stimulate sustainable and ethical production systems, farmers need to be compensated for their investments and commitments in these areas; emphasises that power struggles must give way to cooperative relationships;

 
  
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  Nikolaos Salavrakos (EFD), in writing. (EL) I voted in favour of the joint motion for a resolution because the amendments proposed seek to improve the negotiating power and reduce the income problems faced by farmers and address the problem of imbalances in the food supply chain. I consider that, if the European Parliament attains the objective set in this resolution, this will help considerably in resolving the above problem.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) On several occasions, my colleagues on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and I have stated that it is necessary to diversify production, to reduce costs by increasing the size of small farms, and to invest in the food supply chain by means of marketing strategies.

The food supply chain, agriculture, the agri-food industry and the distribution sector represent over 5% of European added value and 7% of jobs. Moreover, the agri-food industry generates EUR 1 400 billion per year, a figure greater than that generated by any other sector.

In the context of the discussions on the sector’s competitiveness, any dysfunction of the food supply chain can have serious economic and social consequences for farmers, agricultural cooperatives and rural areas, and that is precisely what is happening. Price trends in recent years, both for production and consumption, have clearly shown the imbalance of power that exists within the food chain.

That is a serious threat to the sustainability of the sector, especially for agriculture. At present, European consumers spend 13% of their household income to buy food, as opposed to 30% in the early 1980s. I therefore hope that, with the resolution adopted today, the issue is tackled again, but this time in order to find an effective solution.

 
  
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  Peter Skinner (S&D), in writing. – I have voted in favour of this resolution as this is no doubt an important issue, deserving of my support. While it is only right and proper that the common agricultural policy and other agricultural issues have been a significant focus of this resolution I also believe that the other end of the food supply chain, namely the consumer, ought to be strongly considered with regard to this issue in the future.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) The Commission has drafted a report entitled ‘Better functioning of the food supply chain in Europe’, intended to identify significant bargaining power imbalances resulting in unfair trading practices, such as late payments and restrictions on access to the market. I am voting for this resolution because I agree that concrete and cross-cutting measures with an impact on the development of robust EU legislation should be adopted across all Member States. It is also crucial to improve price monitoring in the EU by developing a more user-friendly interface and clarifying the implementation of competition rules in the agricultural sector. Finally, I believe that an intensive, EU-wide information campaign should be carried out, informing farmers of their contractual rights, with particular emphasis on workers in the outermost regions.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted for the resolution on the imbalances in the food supply chain because the problems relating to European farmers’ incomes are steadily growing, and the prices paid by consumers for products are not reflected in the prices paid to farmers for their products. This undermines farmers’ ability to invest and could make them give up the business. We call on the Commission and Member States to deal urgently with the issue of the unfair distribution of profits in the food chain, especially so as to guarantee adequate incomes for farmers. In order to stimulate sustainable production systems, farmers need to be compensated for the investments they make and for the commitments they also assume in these areas. I welcome the Commission’s proposals on the CAP reform, intended to enhance the position of farmers in the food supply chain by supporting producer organisations and inter-sector organisations and by promoting short chains between producers and consumers, such as local product markets. I think that an information campaign needs to be organised at EU level to inform farmers about their contractual rights, about the most frequent illegal, unfair and abusive contractual and commercial practices, and about the channels available to them for reporting abuses.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL), in writing.(FR) The European Parliament, almost in its entirety, has agreed upon a resolution denouncing the imbalances in the food supply chain (which goes from agricultural producer to consumer) and setting out proposals for remedying them. The European Parliament sets a number of goals: promoting environmentally-friendly production and distribution, transparency regarding the rights of each of the players, particularly in relation to purchase prices at the various stages in the chain, and combating abusive and illegal business practices, in particular, by agri-food wholesalers against the mass of small and medium-sized agricultural holdings. Just as with the Bové report, this is about defending the agricultural sector by, on the one hand, enabling farmers to farm in an environmentally-friendly way but also to make a living from it and, on the other, by facilitating consumer access to all the necessary data. I regret, however, that Parliament has refused to go further by rejecting all the amendments of the Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left concerning, for example, a ban on dumping and selling at a loss and a cap on distributors’ profit margins.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (NI), in writing. (DE) The prices paid by end consumers reflect less and less the prices paid to farmers for their produce, as a result of which farmers are increasingly being forced out of business. Yet the survival of the European farming sector is of the utmost importance for Europe’s food supply. We therefore need to take measures that will guarantee a fairer division of the profits in the food supply chain. For this reason, I voted in favour.

 
  
  

Report: Aldo Patriciello (A7-0431/2011)

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing. (FR) My colleagues and I voted for the European Earth monitoring programme, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), to be funded under the Community budget. For now, this is the case. For the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020, however, the European Commission proposes that the continuation of this programme be funded under an intergovernmental agreement, outside the Community budget. Yet space policy is a key element of the Europe 2020 strategy and we believe that the Galileo programme, the first satellite navigation system in the world designed for civilian use and which will provide a viable alternative to the American Global Positioning System (GPS), cannot be funded without the GMES programme. We must remember that GMES is a state-of-the-art environmental information tool that will enable us, in particular, to respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century and that it is crucial to continue its funding.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) I voted for this report because it is important that the EU has its own navigation system. I think that Europe has to develop space expertise. Europe has a rich space heritage. However, this needs to be utilised. The Galileo global navigation satellite system will boost industries which need secure, accurate positioning services, such as transport, security and medical services. It is estimated that this will have an economic impact for industry of around EUR 90 billion in the next 20 years. I should stress the importance of devising a research and innovation strategy for space policy. At the same time, technological progress should be secured by steady long-term funding. This is why the promotion of public-private partnerships is of vital importance in this area. A competitive space industry would be conducive to European access to space and orbital infrastructures.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) The report has the virtue of reaffirming the importance of the space policy sector as part of European strategy, both from the point of view of innovation and of creating highly skilled jobs. We therefore need to have an ambitious space policy, leading to innovation, research and well-being for our fellow citizens in their daily lives. The rapporteur therefore duly calls on the Commission to complete the legislative and financial framework, with regard to the establishment of the 2014-2020 financial programme. As advocated by the rapporteur, the Commission, on behalf of the European Union, should also try to draw up as broad an international cooperation strategy as possible, in order to step up and further dialogue and exchange of knowledge and expertise, not only with traditional partners such as the United States and Russia, with their satellite measurement and navigation systems, but also with the emerging countries. I therefore voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because with it, the European Parliament aims to contribute to the development of a European space policy, which is one of the most important areas of EU industrial policy. The European space industry has a consolidated turnover of EUR 5.4 billion and employs over 31 000 highly skilled people. It is estimated that currently, 6-7% of GDP in Western countries (approximately EUR 800 billion in the European Union) is dependent on satellite navigation. Therefore, it is essential to develop a legal and institutional environment to enable space policy to continue to develop successfully in the European Union, and markets for space services are seeing rapid growth. In its report, Parliament proposes that the Commission should provide a clear assessment of all the technical options and related costs, risks and benefits. There is also a need for clear governance in relation to space policy, with effective supervisory and coordination mechanisms, in order to harmonise priorities and resources derived from national funding and from the European Union. In its report, Parliament also calls on the Commission to duly complete the legislative and financial framework of the GALILEO programme, particularly with regard to the establishment of the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing.(FR) The European Union is a world leader in high-tech products, research and aeronautics and it is, therefore, essential that the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme, a tool for monitoring the Earth with a view to combating climate change and environmental degradation, be included in the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020, and that Galileo should be able to benefit from long-term funding. Parliament does not intend to allow the European Commission to cause the European Union to withdraw financially. The GMES programme is essential for European citizens because it will make it possible to anticipate storms, flooding and land pollution more effectively and to bring swift relief to people affected by a natural disaster. The European Commission must stand by the commitments it made to promoting research and innovation under the EU 2020 strategy so that the EU can remain competitive.

 
  
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  Antonio Cancian (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour of Mr Patriciello’s report since I believe that the work done in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy has enabled the adoption in plenary of a document that has achieved important objectives to continue the ambitious European space project. However, at the same time, I regret the exclusion of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) from the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, an oversight that risks thwarting the efforts made hitherto, leaving solely in the hands of the Member States an initiative that, in this time of economic crisis, might not be accorded the importance it deserves. I believe the EU’s role is vital in consolidating a space programme to allow Europe to remain the world leader in the sector and to provide a boost to industry, employment and scientific research in space technology and in its direct applications. To that end, I agree with and advocate the idea of project bonds, jointly funded financial instruments, whereby the public and private sectors invest in the future by means of structured and agreed planning.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) I am pleased that Parliament is giving its unreserved backing to the European global navigation satellite system, implemented through the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, aimed at improving the everyday lives of the European public, ensuring Europe’s autonomy and independence, and acquiring a significant share in the worldwide high-tech market dependent on satellite navigation. In my view, it is essential that the Commission develop a space policy specifically tailored to the various areas of the sector, and I would emphasise that this policy should be coordinated not only with the European Space Agency and the Member States, but also with Parliament.

In my opinion, it is crucial that there be a research and innovation strategy in the area of space policy ensuring technological progress, industrial development and EU competitiveness, and which creates jobs within the European Union.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Space policy is one of the key elements of the Europe 2020 strategy: it contributes to the objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by creating highly skilled jobs that currently employ more than 31 000 people, and by stimulating innovation. It also improves public well-being and security by enhancing, inter alia, transport, civil protection, and the development of social services for the elderly and disabled. Space is strategically important for Europe, and it is important to ensure a coherent European approach in this area, which will contribute to a robust, competitive and independent European space industry. These proposals are a step in that direction. It is important to ensure that there is appropriate and clear governance in relation to space policy and related programmes, with effective supervisory and coordination mechanisms, in order to harmonise priorities and ensure the optimal management of resources derived from the EU and its Member States. I support the development of an effective space policy able to respond to major global challenges and which must come about through the consolidation of the Galileo, EGNOS and GMES programmes, which promise enormous social, environmental, economic and strategic benefits. The relevant legislative and financial framework therefore needs to be completed as a matter of urgency.

 
  
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  Rachida Dati (PPE), in writing. (FR) I voted in favour of this report because it recalls the need for the development of a clear and coherent EU global space strategy that is placed at the service of EU citizens. It aims to ensure that the space sector is developed as a springboard for the development of science, technology and EU competitiveness. This report highlights the importance of flagship programmes such as Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), and emphasises the need to include the funding of GMES in the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020. It recalls the strategic importance of the space sector for security and defence, as a guarantee of the European Union’s independence. It strives to ensure that the space sector has an impact on the real economy for EU citizens, industries and services and to secure the place of the European Union in the world.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this text in order to maintain an ambitious European space policy. It will enable the EU to reaffirm its support for the flagship programmes of our industrial policy (Galileo, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)), continued funding for which is being thrown into question by the European Commission. Withdrawal by the European Union from these programmes would represent a direct threat to the interests of our region and to the future of the space industry in Toulouse.

 
  
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  Anne Delvaux (PPE), in writing. – (FR) Space activities and applications (among which the flagship programmes Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) feature) are critical to our society’s growth and development. The European Commission’s communication recognises the paramount role that space plays and marks a first step on the way to an integrated space policy, which will be founded upon the new legal basis set out in the Treaty of Lisbon. The report being voted on today supports the position of the Commission, which proposes strengthening European space infrastructure and calls for increased research in the space sector. Europe already plays a leading role in the strategic sector of satellite communications technology. Nevertheless, in order to maintain that lead and extend it to other sub-sectors related to space, we should step up our industrial and research policy with great care.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report because it advocates a European space policy that contributes to improving the everyday lives of the European public, to promoting economic growth, and to fostering innovation potential. ‘Space solutions’ are vital in order to address today’s important societal challenges, such as natural disasters, climate change and environmental management.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) It is important for the EU to have a defined and achievable space strategy with clear priorities. Two flagship projects are currently running. The Galileo programme is an EU project for a global satellite navigation system, while the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme will provide earth observation data for climate change monitoring and for global security through the Sentinel satellites. Both have worthy goals and mean significant gains for security, climate change monitoring and the European economy itself, making this part of a strategic challenge for the EU.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) Space exploration has always fired the imagination of Europeans, and the Galileo project symbolises Europe’s capacity in this area vis-à-vis the US ‘giant’. This report concerns the EU space strategy at the service of the public at a time of crisis, when financial resources are scarce. However, it is vital that the EU continues to develop its space programme, so as not to undermine the scientific and technological progress that has been made, in particular, through flagship projects like Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security. The rapporteur, aware that space policy is a key element of the Europe 2020 strategy and that the European space industry employs more than 31 000 highly skilled people, with a turnover of more than EUR 5.4 billion, urges the Commission to draw up an international cooperation strategy with the Member States, strengthening dialogue with strategic partners – the United States and Russia – and involving emerging powers, such as China, India, South Korea and Brazil. Since I am aware that better European space capabilities may contribute not only to driving the EU economy, but also to improving the lives of the European public, I voted for this report.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) Space research is undoubtedly an area where cooperation could and should be enhanced, between Member States and with other countries in Europe and beyond. Such research should be aimed at exploiting the potential of space for purely peaceful ends, deepening knowledge and thus seeking new possibilities for solving problems and the current needs of human societies. The report advocates a European space strategy based on a set of programmes that either currently exist or are in development, such as Galileo, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, Single European Sky ATM Research and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). We have funding set aside for these programmes, which relates to their possible use for military purposes. That is the case with the GMES programme, which is aimed at global monitoring for the environment and security, and which includes earth observation and the ‘extraction of precise and useful data’ for preparing military operations and for covert ‘border surveillance’, as well as to ‘support EU External Action’, in addition to risk prevention, emergency management and coastal surveillance. This type of use – for military ends – is of serious concern to us. The Commission, like this report, not only fails to rule this out, but actually opens the door to it.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (PPE), in writing. (IT) New technologies and development in space are the future and a gamble to be taken so as not to remain shut out of a profitable sector with strong international political value. That is why I decided to vote in favour of the European space strategy, including the Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) projects. The Galileo programme provides a satellite navigation system designed for civilian use, for logistics and road safety for transport: essential actions to guarantee the EU’s independence in a strategically important sector. The GMES programme plays a vital role in observation of the Earth, supporting the green economy and long-term investments in technology and infrastructure. It also represents a basis for environmental safety, climate monitoring, emergency management, disaster prevention and many other aspects. It is important to guarantee continuous, long-term funding for these projects. Investments and projects in the space sector have a great impact on many areas such as defence and security, international cooperation, research and development, and the economy. The European space industry has a consolidated turnover of EUR 5.4 billion. With greater investments made by non-EU states, even greater benefits could be achieved.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing.(SK) Space activities and applications are vital to our society’s growth and development. They often have a direct impact on citizens’ daily lives. In this context, space policy is an instrument serving the Union’s internal and external policies. Space generates knowledge, new products and new forms of industrial cooperation. It is therefore a driving force for innovation and contributes to competitiveness, growth and job creation. The sector directly contributes to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, namely, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Space policy thus forms an integral part of the ‘Industrial Policy’ flagship initiative.

The European Parliament has always pushed for an ambitious European space policy, and sets itself the primary objectives of promoting technological and scientific progress, stimulating industrial innovation and competitiveness, and enabling European citizens to reap the benefits of space applications, thus raising Europe’s profile on the international stage in the area of space.

 
  
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  Elisabetta Gardini (PPE), in writing. (IT) With the adoption of this report, we have taken an important step towards drawing up a future European space strategy. A common space policy may contribute significantly to reviving the competitiveness of the European economy, fostering scientific and technological progress and stimulating innovation, as envisaged by the Europe 2020 strategy. The economic importance of the European space industry is evident from a few figures: 31 000 highly skilled employees, EUR 5.4 billion in annual turnover, EUR 800 billion of European GDP from satellite radio navigation. In addition to being an engine of industrial development, space policy plays a critical role in protecting the environment, in combating climate change, and in ensuring security for European citizens. That is why the main programmes it uses, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Galileo, should receive adequate financial support from the EU. It has repeatedly been stressed that GMES is a key programme for crisis management, civil protection and humanitarian assistance operations. I therefore hope that a new strategy will be drawn up as soon as possible, which can unleash the space sector’s potential for economic development and research, as well as that of its earth observation programmes.

 
  
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  Jim Higgins (PPE), in writing. – I voted in favour, in order to boost international cooperation, advance the Galileo project, and increase investment in research and development.

 
  
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  Brice Hortefeux (PPE), in writing.(FR) Taking an interest in space and developing an ambitious and global space programme is a way of ensuring future prospects, of contributing to the growth of our economies in the long term. Indeed, all efforts agreed upon in relation to research and innovation or good governance are important investments, to be sure, but also considered investments. Citizens are not always aware of the impact of space policies on their everyday lives, yet all these investments involve the pursuit of quite specific goals. For example, it is about having the means at our disposal to anticipate natural disasters (storms, flooding and so on) and thus combating the consequences of climate change more effectively. It is also about improving the security of our territories by reinforcing the monitoring of borders through the satellite monitoring programme (GMES). Space policy must be a European priority but it is also by entering into dialogue with our partners (the US, Japan and Russia) and developing cooperation based on reciprocity that we Europeans will reap the rewards of such an investment.

 
  
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  Cătălin Sorin Ivan (S&D), in writing. (RO) The European Union must play an important role in drawing up a space policy, in order to promote scientific and technical progress. I support Mr Patriciello’s report as it emphasises precisely this point. At the same time, a legislative, administrative and financial framework is essential for the industry’s investments in research and innovation. It also states that the EU needs to invest to ensure guaranteed European access to space and orbital infrastructures. The report also maintains that, although the strategy put forward by the Commission identifies the priority action areas, they are still unclear. They have to be more explicit and present an assessment of the options, costs, benefits and risks.

 
  
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  Philippe Juvin (PPE), in writing.(FR) This is a good report which calls for an EU global space policy. Whilst highlighting the need to strengthen European space infrastructure, it also emphasises the need to support research and maintain independent access to space. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Agnès Le Brun (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this own-initiative report which highlights how critical space activities and applications are to the growth and economic development of the European Union. I fully support the policy pursued by the European Commission for strengthening space infrastructure and increasing efforts to support research. I think that it is crucial, however, that the European Global Positioning System (GPS) programme, Galileo, and the Earth monitoring programme, GMES, be included within the European space strategy and, accordingly, the European Commission must contribute to their funding.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), in writing. – I voted for this report but with some reservations. Whilst the Commission strategy identifies priority areas of action, they remain in part somewhat vague. They should be made clearer and an assessment of all the technical options and related costs and benefits should be given. Clear governance also needs to be established in relation to space policy, with effective supervisory and coordination mechanisms, in order to harmonise priorities and resources derived from national funding and from the European Union, the ESA and the EDA.

 
  
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  Clemente Mastella (PPE), in writing. (IT) Space policy is a key element of the Europe 2020 strategy and an integral part of the initiative on industrial policy.

It supports the objectives of a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, capable of creating highly skilled jobs, providing commercial outlets, stimulating innovation and improving citizens’ well-being and security.

The proposals put forward by the Commission represent a first step towards a comprehensive European Union space strategy. It is necessary, however, to establish a coherent European approach in cooperation with industry and, in the medium- and long-term, to establish financial and legislative mechanisms in order to boost European industry and enable the necessary continuity to support ambitious, competitive projects within an international framework.

We believe that the priority areas of action are still too vague. They should be made clearer and an assessment of all the technical options and related costs and benefits should be given.

Clear governance also needs to be established in relation to space policy, with effective supervisory and coordination mechanisms, in order to harmonise priorities and resources derived from national funding and from the European Union, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA).

 
  
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  Barbara Matera (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted in favour because reinforcing the European space policy is a key element of the Europe 2020 strategy: on the one hand, it means promoting technical and scientific progress, and, on the other, stimulating innovation and improving citizens’ well-being and security.

I therefore agree with the inclusion of projects such as Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) as priorities of a European space strategy. The EU currently relies on the US global positioning system (GPS). In order to reduce this dependence, it is undisputed that Galileo will offer clear advantages compared to the US GPS, not only in terms of greater accuracy, but also in guaranteeing the service and the strategic autonomy of the European Union.

Galileo may also play a major role in improving the competitiveness and quality of many services in Europe.

 
  
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  Véronique Mathieu (PPE), in writing.(FR) Space policy is a key element of the Europe 2020 strategy for European growth and competitiveness. The aerospace industry relies upon a smart and responsive economy that generates highly-qualified employment. It enables Europe to position itself in the world as an independent continent at the cutting edge of technology and as a leader in innovation. Space policy is also linked to citizens’ well-being and security, however. Accordingly, we need to see a genuine European policy reflected in this area. Galileo is a European success story that we must continue to develop and utilise to the full. Equally, we must identify the potential, risks and costs of the various technological options. Maintaining an ambitious space policy is a key strategic choice. We must continue along this path.

 
  
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  Iosif Matula (PPE), in writing. (RO) The space sector plays a vital role in increasing competitiveness and innovation at EU level. The space infrastructure is a key framework serving the economic, social and strategic interests of EU citizens.

The successful launch of the Galileo project confirms to me that the EU needs an independent space policy which is integrated in the objectives of different development sectors. I think that the key to this policy’s success lies in connecting the space infrastructure with satellite service providers.

Unfortunately, European companies which deploy satellite communication systems are confining their activities to Europe and reducing their staff, while production is being shifted to other continents. The SARTRE programme funded by the Commission, whose aim is to implement technologies allowing vehicles to be driven in platoons via satellite, provides significant added value to research and innovation in the EU. The institutions and companies involved in the project benefit from the European space infrastructure, thereby helping increase safety and ease of use in terms of traffic, with a reduced environmental impact.

Romania has joined the European Space Agency (ESA) and is due to be an institutional partner in Euclid, a scientific space mission. Romania is also having its first experience of space with the launch of the Goliath satellite. The European Space Agency’s space systems enable the development of space applications for agriculture, the environment, transport, disaster assessment and telemedicine.

 
  
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  Alexander Mirsky (S&D), in writing. – Whilst the Commission strategy identifies priority areas of action, they remain in part somewhat vague. They should be made clearer and an assessment of all the technical options and related costs and benefits should be provided. Clear governance also needs to be established in relation to space policy in order to harmonise priorities and resources derived from national funding and from the European Union, the European Space Agency and the European Defence Agency, and to make these priorities and resources available to all EU Member States. I voted in favour.

 
  
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  Andreas Mölzer (NI), in writing. (DE) It is essential that we secure the EU’s competitiveness in the sector of global satellite navigation. The share of the worldwide market held by European industry has been low to date. It is currently based mainly on simple position and time signals, and on services in the area of telecommunications – which, however, have a 75% market share. Smart road transport systems account for 20% of the market, and other applications 5%. The implementation of the Galileo project also serves to create high-quality jobs and ensures our independence from US or Chinese systems. I abstained from voting because, in my view, the intended budget of EUR 7 billion – which, as the report mentions, will almost certainly be exceeded – is too high in times when economic stagnation is a threat.

 
  
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  Katarína Neveďalová (S&D), in writing. (SK) As a politician dedicated to education, I consider research and development to be extremely important, for it is this that leads to innovation. We probably all know that the European Union has considerable reserves in this area. A new space strategy is a great opportunity, as it would help us catch up with the competition. I warmly welcome the Commission proposal COM (2011)0152, which is a first step in a comprehensive space strategy for the EU. However, I consider the lack of clarity in terms of prioritisation to be a problem area. It is therefore necessary for all details relating to the technical options and, especially, financing to be set out clearly. The supervisory and coordination mechanisms should be clearly specified so that the resources that are to come from the Member States, the EU and its agencies – the ESA and EDA – can be harmonised.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD), in writing. (LT) I welcome this resolution on the establishment of a space strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens and which would help to meet EU Digital Agenda targets. It should be noted that space is a source of growth and innovation, helping to increase well-being and opening up opportunities to meet the EU’s needs in social, economic and security spheres. Consequently, space policy must be a realistic policy and we therefore need to increase awareness of the importance of space. Europe must also maintain independent access to space. I believe that we need to strengthen support for Europe’s space infrastructure and research. It is also very important to ensure that the European space programme focuses on those areas providing the greatest added value for the whole of Europe.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone (PPE), in writing. (IT) I voted for the Patriciello report on the space strategy for the European Union because it sets out noble goals that will truly act in the interests of citizens. As well as enabling more appropriate responses in security and defence policy, the European space policy will promote scientific and technological progress, foster innovation and make the industrial system more competitive, not to mention the Galileo satellite radio navigation programme. In the future, we hope to give Europe an important role on the international space scene, guaranteeing citizens the maximum benefits from the projects and investments in the field of space research.

 
  
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  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted for this report on a space strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens. Article 189 of the Treaty of Lisbon gives the European Union an explicit mandate for drafting a policy on the exploration and exploitation of space, in order to promote scientific and technical progress, industrial competitiveness and the implementation of its policies. Parliament is making its contribution with this own-initiative report, and one of its reasons for doing so is the fact that the European space industry has a consolidated turnover of EUR 5.4 billion and employs over 31 000 highly skilled people.

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera (EFD), in writing. (IT) I agree with, and strongly support, the conclusions of Mr Patriciello on the European space strategy, in their expression both of appreciation and of concern.

There is no doubt that space policy is a great opportunity for Europe because it stimulates technological innovation, because it helps to make European citizens more secure, because it creates synergies in a strategic civil and military sector, and, finally, because it creates jobs for highly qualified workers.

It is therefore right that the project should play a key role in the Europe 2020 strategy. That said, it is all too plain that in terms of governance, the Commission could and should have drawn up a more ambitious plan. The failure to include it in the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020 risks undermining the investments made so far. The references to cooperation with the United States, Russia and emerging powers are too weak to frame the space policy in an international context.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE), in writing. (PT) The EU has two flagship projects as part of its policy on the exploration and exploitation of space, pursuant to Article 189 of the Treaty of Lisbon: Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security. Under the first project, satellite navigation, an initial open service, an initial regulated public service and an initial search and rescue service will be provided from 2014 onwards. The GMES programme is aimed at collating earth observation data in order to monitor climate change and global security. Today, this market is highly dynamic: the existing global navigation systems – GPS and Glonass, in addition to Galileo – will shortly be joined by a Chinese system; India and Japan are also developing regional systems. Moreover, the economy is becoming increasingly dependent on these services. A comprehensive strategy therefore needs to be adopted to ensure that the European navigation system will be competitive at global level, as well as being a strategy that, above all, serves citizens.

 
  
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  Raül Romeva i Rueda (Verts/ALE), in writing. – Abstention. The Greens abstained in the final vote because of the rejection of two key amendments, as well as the Greens’ amendment on the detailed costs and specifications that need to be provided by the Commission before Parliament should commit to continue to fund Galileo. The decision not to vote against was taken because the Greens co-signed and supported most of the 22 compromise amendments, which included nearly all of the text proposed by the Greens.

 
  
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  Licia Ronzulli (PPE), in writing. (IT) I believe that the concerns of many of my colleagues are founded as regards the future of the global monitoring system Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and the satellite navigation system Galileo, which are in danger of not receiving sufficient funding for their activities. In particular, Galileo, the first satellite navigation system in the world designed for civilian use, is the only system that could enable the EU to remain independent from the US GPS system, and for this reason, it is necessary to ensure sufficient funds are available to finance its long-term development.

 
  
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  Amalia Sartori (PPE), in writing. (IT) The Lisbon Treaty has given the European Union a substantial role in drawing up a policy on the exploration and exploitation of space in order to promote scientific and technical progress. I voted in favour of the Patriciello report as it provides further development and optimisation for the Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programmes, and I agree with the role envisaged for the latter to provide support for civil protection and maritime surveillance, thereby increasing the services provided to European security. I am convinced that the European space policy will help us come up with better solutions on defence matters and boost the security of European space infrastructures. I believe that the measures envisaged in this report bring together physical resources and expertise for the benefit of the whole EU and that it will also be necessary to properly coordinate the different Member States’ capabilities with regard to the use of space technologies for safety.

 
  
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  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE), in writing. (IT) The European space policy that we are adopting this morning through our vote in favour will help provide more appropriate responses in terms of security and defence for the European space infrastructure.

In the first instance, the priority measures for an EU space policy involve the flagship projects, Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). As regards the use of space technologies for security (monitoring of borders, maritime surveillance, emergency management, humanitarian aid, support for the EU’s external action), the Union will have to coordinate properly the existing capacities of Member States, under conditions to be agreed with Member States owning infrastructure, in order to satisfy operational requirements, which may also include developing new infrastructure.

Space technologies will also have to be protected as infrastructures against damage or destruction by gradually phasing in the sharing of existing Member State capacity, purchasing any capacity not currently available, and properly maintaining and managing it.

The European Union will then be able to play a key role in the field of space exploration, overcoming the dispersion in current interventions, identifying and supporting the development of exploration technologies in the fields of energy, health and support for isolated environments.

 
  
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  Nuno Teixeira (PPE), in writing. (PT) This comprehensive space strategy, which is included in Article 189 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and is an integral part of the flagship initiative on industrial policy in the Europe 2020 strategy, is aimed at enhancing the exploration and exploitation of space. Many areas will benefit from the technological development of the global satellite navigation system. The services and applications developed by the Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programmes will be of enormous benefit to the European economy and to the everyday lives of citizens. It is now necessary to maintain the lead in this area and enable technological development to create business opportunities for European industry. There is also a need to ensure compatibility and interoperability between Galileo and other orbital navigation systems. The potential that this investment will bring requires that the Commission take on some responsibilities, in particular, in terms of financing this strategy and coordinating it with the research programmes being carried out by the Member States. A clear sign of political approval is necessary to increase the interest of private enterprise.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D), in writing. (RO) I voted in favour of the resolution on a space strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens because space policy is a key element of the Europe 2020 strategy and an integral part of the flagship initiative on industrial policy. The aim of EU space policy is to improve the everyday lives of European citizens, enabling economic growth, fostering innovation potential and supporting scientific progress. Space solutions relying on state-of-the-art technologies and a competitive European industrial base are vital for addressing today’s important challenges in society, such as natural disasters, resources and climate monitoring, for developing the telecommunications sector and encouraging relevant applications in the fields of climate change policies, urban planning, environment management, agriculture, maritime safety, fisheries and transport. We call on the Commission to put forward specific proposals in the strategic area of launch vehicles, given the critical financial situation currently facing the launch sector across the globe. The Galileo and EGNOS programmes are vital for creating the Single European Sky and for the safe, reliable management of air traffic in Europe. We call for a firm, ambitious timetable and stable funding for research and innovation, which will ensure technological progress and the growth of industrial capacity. As GMES is an essential tool in combating climate change and environmental degradation, we recommend funding for GMES in the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020.

 
  
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  Niki Tzavela (EFD), in writing. (EL) The European Union needs to develop a space industry in order to promote scientific and technical progress and industrial competitiveness. The Galileo and GMES initiatives are a good start in that direction but, bearing in mind the progress being made in this sector by competing countries, such as China and Japan, these initiatives urgently need to be supported. The economic crisis overshadowing the EU should not act as a brake on financing for the relevant research programmes at a time when, as pointed out in the report, markets of space services are seeing rapid growth and may prove to be profitable. This is an opportunity for the EU to seize the vanguard in this sector, which is why I voted in favour of the Patriciello report.

 
  
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  Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR), in writing. – With over 65 million passengers per year passing through the terminals of Heathrow, my constituency of London is home to the world’s busiest international airport – a great responsibility. The EGNOS and Galileo programmes are both key elements of EU space strategy which makes air travel safer by improving the accuracy of position – the new technology gives pilots their position to within a couple of metres. While I appreciate that new satellite technology can help improve passenger safety, we must be mindful of costs at a time of economic austerity. Last year, the Commission revealed that it would need a further EUR 2 billion to complete the Galileo project. The entire project will cost EUR 22 billion, almost entirely funded by the EU taxpayer. When this system was first proposed, we were told that costs would be considerably lower and that private investment would mean that taxpayers would only have to foot a bill of around EUR 2.5 billion. Space may be the final frontier, but we need to prevent the cost of this project going to infinity and beyond.

 
  
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  Inês Zuber (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) In terms of space-related development, we have no doubts as to the importance of enhanced cooperation between Member States and other European countries – most importantly Russia, which has an invaluable wealth of research – and the whole world. Such cooperation should be aimed at exploiting this knowledge in order to solve problems and address current needs, with a view to development, social progress and human well-being, as well as peaceful ends. The report advocates a European space strategy based on a set of programmes such as Galileo, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, Single European Sky ATM Research and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). One of the objectives of the latter is ‘global monitoring for the environment and security’, which will be achieved through Earth observation and the ‘extraction of precise and useful data’, as well as operations involving ‘border surveillance’, as well as to ‘support EU External Action, maritime surveillance, complex emergencies, humanitarian aid and civil protection’. The resolution also calls for ‘strengthening the ‘security’ component of the GMES programme’. Behind these words lies the real danger that the monitoring-related information obtained from space will be used to carry out military operations, in addition to the clear aim of going further down the path of the obsession with security, violating the fundamental freedoms of citizens. We voted against for these reasons.

 
  
  

Report: Salvatore Caronna (A7-0430/2011)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), in writing. (PT) I am voting for this report, as it sets out measures that take into account the fact that food security is becoming a strategic priority for the 21st century. There is an urgent need to guarantee food wastage and this document may be important in this area. I would highlight the ambitious and necessary goal of reducing wastage by 50% by 2025. Exchanging best practices at European and national level, as suggested by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the proposed awareness-raising campaigns in schools, and the possible choice of 2013 as the European Year against Food Waste, may well also contribute to hitting the targets that we have set ourselves.

 
  
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  Charalampos Angourakis (GUE/NGL), in writing. (EL) The lack of food to meet the food requirements of the population is a serious global problem which also concerns the EU, where 110 million people are living below the poverty line and over 15% of its workers have an income of less than 60% of the average income in the country in which they live. At global level, based on FAO 925 data, millions of people are at risk of malnutrition. In our opinion, food wastage is not the main cause of the global food problem; not that this means that it does not exist. The report conceals the cause of the problem, which is the capitalist method of production, which is not interested in meeting food needs; it is only interested in the profitability of the monopolies and in strengthening large producers at the expense of poor farmers. What food is produced and in what quantities depends on whether the multinationals will make a profit and is not designed to address global hunger. That is why the wish-list in the report cannot address the problem. The only definitive solution to the global food problem is to overturn the capitalist method of production and to replace it with the socialist system, in which food is produced on the basis of grassroots needs, not for the purpose of profit.

 
  
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  Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE), in writing. (RO) Food waste has assumed such proportions in recent years that it can be regarded as a global problem which, unfortunately, has serious repercussions on the food supply chain. There are different reasons for food waste: from losses at the harvesting and storage stages, to insecure transport conditions, labelling errors and end-consumers’ bad habits when purchasing and using food products.

I think that food waste must be reduced along the entire food chain by adopting a coordinated strategy followed up by practical action. An exchange of best practice is also required, at both European and national level, in order to improve coordination between Member States to avoid food waste and make the food supply chain more efficient. Tackling food waste must become a priority on the European political agenda. I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D), in writing. – I fully support this document because we cannot ignore the fact that every year in Europe, a growing amount of food, up to 50%, becomes waste. A study published by the Commission estimates annual food waste generation in the 27 Member States at approximately 89 million tonnes. This evidence is unacceptable if we think that in Europe, 79 million people are still living below the poverty line. Food security is a basic human right and for this reason, the European institutions and the Member States must address, as a matter of urgency, the problem of food waste along the entire supply and consumption chain. Reducing food waste is a vital preliminary step in combating hunger in the world, responding to the increased demand predicted by the FAO and improving people’s nutritional levels. I believe that a good way to start to reduce this enormous problem is to inform people not only about the causes and effects of waste, but also about ways of reducing it. A civic culture guided by the principles of sustainability and solidarity could be the first step in the right direction.

 
  
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  Sophie Auconie (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted in favour of this resolution, which aims to halve food waste by 2025 and to prevent the generation of bio-waste. It is a global problem which must become a priority on the European political agenda and we need practical measures and strategies in order to achieve this. By way of example, Parliament has invited the European Commission to promote measures aimed at halving food waste upstream, such as the discounted sale of goods close to their expiry date and of damaged goods, etc. Parliament also calls for new awareness-raising campaigns along with food education courses in schools. Lastly, the resolution calls for the Commission to amend the public procurement rules on catering and hospitality services, so that when contracts are awarded, priority is given to ‘undertakings that guarantee that they will redistribute free of charge any unallocated (unsold) items to groups of citizens who lack purchasing power (…)’. The European Food Aid Programme for the Most Deprived comes to the aid of 13 million deprived people and food waste must therefore not only be reduced but must also be used to benefit those 13 million Europeans who are cruelly in need of it.

 
  
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  Liam Aylward (ALDE), in writing. (GA) As a shadow rapporteur on this report for the ALDE Group, I give my full backing to its contents, and, since 50% of food waste can be avoided, I ask the Commission to implement the report’s measures.

Irish consumers throw out 30% of the food bought in supermarkets, at a cost of EUR 1 000 each year for every household. This is the same across the EU and unless something is done, food waste in the EU will grow from 90 million tonnes now to 126 million tonnes by the year 2020.

It is an ugly situation that food waste will grow by 40% when problems with the safety of food supply and with poverty are worsening. There is evidence that it is EU households who generate the most avoidable food waste – 42% of the total – and the recommendations of the report in relation to improving consumer knowledge of food labelling and end dates of food (for example, ‘sell by’ and ‘use by’ dates) must be implemented without delay.

I also welcome what it says about extending schemes to distribute unsold food to deprived people and I urge the Union’s sellers to take part in schemes of this kind.

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report. Every year in Europe, an increasing amount of healthy, edible food (some estimates say up to 50%) is lost along the entire food supply chain. A study published by the Commission estimates annual food waste generation in the 27 Member States at approximately 89 million tonnes, or 179 kg per capita. In the European Union, 79 million people are still living below the poverty line. I agree that we need to invest more heavily in means of reducing food waste which would lead to a reduction in the losses incurred by agri-food businesses and a lowering of food prices, thus potentially also improving access to food for poorer sections of the population. Initiatives have already been launched in various Member States aimed at collecting unsold and discarded products locally throughout the food supply chain in order to redistribute them to citizens below the minimum income threshold, and Member States should exchange best practices in this area. The Commission should also determine ways and means to improve the involvement of agri-food businesses, wholesale markets, shops, distribution chains, public and private caterers, restaurants, public administrations and NGOs in anti-waste practices.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Bennahmias (ALDE), in writing.(FR) Almost 50% of edible food is wasted each year, whether it be by households, supermarkets, restaurants or industries. The evidence is there: Seventy-nine million European citizens are living below the poverty line and are often dependent on food aid. This is truly revolting, especially as food wastage in the EU is estimated at 89 million tonnes per year (in other words, 179 kg per capita), which is considerable. If nothing is done, food wastage will increase by almost 40% by 2020. This own-initiative report, to which I gave my support, puts forward good ideas for changing the situation. The objective that we need to achieve is a halving of food wastage by 2025 and thus improve access to food for deprived people. To achieve this massive reduction, new awareness-raising campaigns will have to be introduced, supported by food education classes in schools, and dual-date labelling could be introduced to show the ‘sell by’ date and the actual ‘use by’ date. It is essential to act in order to reduce food wastage in the EU; it is part not only of our economic and social responsibility, but also our environmental duty.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (EFD), in writing. (IT) The Caronna report addresses an important issue, that of the efficiency of the food chain in EU Member States. Food wastage statistics show that, in some cases, almost 50% of healthy edible food is lost along the food supply chain. This has repercussions not only for the sustainability of the food chain and for food production itself, but also for product prices and the eco-sustainability of food waste. The report therefore calls on the Commission, the Council and the governments of Member States to promote measures and policies that first of all foster greater awareness of the problem on the part of citizens. It also calls on the Commission and the Council to declare 2012 the ‘European Year against Food Waste’, precisely in order to raise awareness among institutions and consumers about the various kinds of damage caused by losing massive amounts of food along the food supply chain and, conversely, on the desirability of a change of course in this area. It is also desirable, as the report points out, for the Commission to foster the exchange of good practices among Member States. I voted in favour of the report.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), in writing. (LT) I voted in favour of this report because reducing food waste, responding to the increase in demand predicted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and improving people’s nutritional levels are the first important step in combating global hunger. Every year in Europe, an increasing amount of healthy, edible food is lost along the entire food supply chain, in some cases, all the way up to the consumer, and becomes waste. Furthermore, food waste not only has ethical, economic, social and nutritional implications, but also health and environmental ones, because unconsumed food mountains make a major contribution to global warming and food waste produces methane, which, as a greenhouse gas, is 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The European Parliament therefore calls on the Council, the Commission, the Member States and players in the food supply chain to address as a matter of urgency the problem of food waste along the entire supply and consumption chain and to devise guidelines for, and support ways of, improving the efficiency of the food supply chain sector by sector. The European Parliament also calls on the Commission to assess and encourage measures to reduce food waste upstream, such as dual-date labelling (‘sell by’ and ‘use by’), and the discounted sale of foods close to their expiry date and of damaged goods.

 
  
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  Philippe Boulland (PPE), in writing.(FR) The fight against food wastage must be the subject of an EU strategy to respond to the needs of the 79 million citizens who are living below the poverty line and of the 16 million who are dependent on charities for food aid. This is why my colleagues and I are calling for urgent measures to halve food wastage by 2025 and to improve access to food for deprived people. With the future of the Food Aid Programme for the Most Deprived Persons having been threatened over the course of several months, there is a need to encourage the initiatives of some Member States to recover unsold food and the distributors should also participate in these programmes. That said, food wastage does not only concern the developed countries. It also affects developing countries which are forced to throw away tonnes of food due to a lack of adequate resources to preserve it in the production and distribution chains. We can and we must provide them with our practical support and know-how in this field to avoid the losses of food that are so crucial in some parts of the world. Solidarity must not stop at Europe’s borders.

 
  
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  Jan Březina (PPE), in writing. – (CS) The fight against food wastage must become a priority political programme of the EU. The Commission, Council and Member States should draw up a concrete strategy and measures to halve food wastage throughout the supply chain by 2025, improving efficiency in the sector and increasing public awareness of this issue, many aspects of which are still little known. It is essential that citizens are informed not only about the causes and consequences of food wastage, but also about ways of preventing it. We must support a culture based on the principles of sustainability and solidarity between scientists and other citizens, thus encouraging better behaviour. Experience shows that, where implemented, the spontaneous initiatives of voluntary or professional associations aimed at introducing and raising the visibility of a culture directed against food wastage have considerable success.

 
  
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  Maria Da Graça Carvalho (PPE), in writing. (PT) In view of the fact that an increasing amount of healthy, edible food – some estimates say up to 50% – is lost every year throughout the food supply chain in Europe and becomes waste, in some cases, all the way up to the consumer, I believe that it is crucial to vote for this report in order to prevent this catastrophe. I am voting for this report seeking to reduce food waste. This is a significant preliminary step in combating hunger in the world, responding to the increase in demand predicted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and improving people’s nutritional levels.

 
  
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  Nessa Childers (S&D), in writing. – This topic is one of seminal importance, particularly as the world population recently reached 7 billion. I was pleased to endorse this report, and hope to see far more effort in this field.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), in writing. (PT) Approximately 925 million people around the world are currently at risk of undernourishment. In the EU, 79 million people live below the poverty line, and of these, 16 million survive through food aid from charitable institutions. If we consider that the reduction of food wastage is an important step towards combating hunger in the world and improving people’s nutritional levels, it is unacceptable that almost 50% of perfectly healthy and edible food is lost every year throughout the food supply chain in Europe. There is a need to counter the growing trend of global food waste by adopting additional preventive measures, general guidelines and strategies aimed at improving the efficiency and sustainability of the food supply chain.

This will contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular, with regard to halving poverty and hunger by 2015. Finally, food waste and the production of surplus food as a result also constitutes an environmental and ethical problem, with economic and social costs and implications for the internal market, for both businesses and consumers.

 
  
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  Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (PPE), in writing. (SV) I have been a driving force in this matter and I support this report. In Sweden, we throw away a quarter of the bags of food we take home. That is environmentally, economically and morally unacceptable. With our more energy-efficient modern refrigerators, we could reduce the temperature in the supply chain for refrigerated foods in order to increase durability. We currently do not distinguish between the ‘best before’ date, which relates to quality, and the ‘use by’ date, which relates to safety. I have therefore asked the Commission to clarify these differences. With more types of labelling, we would risk confusing consumers more.

I do not agree with those who want to dictate from above. We must start to act now and not wait for detailed work to be done by the Commission. It is important for us to start at an early stage in schools. We need to teach our children to be careful with food. It is important to involve the food industry in providing information on how people can plan their shopping, store food and reuse leftovers in order to minimise wastage. We need to establish sustainable, informed and moderate consumption without compromising food safety. It is not possible to eradicate this problem with legislation. However, we can shape opinion, stimulate debate and increase awareness. The challenge that we all face is to change our attitudes and lifestyles. Everyone can make a difference, and together we can drive change.

 
  
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  Andrea Cozzolino (S&D), in writing. (IT) That the level reached by the data on food waste has an ethical significance, as well as a social, economic and environmental one, is no longer surprising. Yet, despite the ever increasing amounts – according to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates, it may even reach 50% of the total produced – of goods lost along the entire food chain, in Europe, there is still no clear, unambiguous and uniform definition of the concept of ‘food waste’.

As if that were not enough, just a few months ago, we had to fight a fierce battle to refinance the fund for the distribution of food to the needy. In contrast to this is the data, deplorable in many ways, according to which Europeans and North Americans waste up to 115 kilograms of food per capita. This situation is no longer acceptable but, at the same time, it is hard to resolve.

One of the main virtues of this report is that it does not reduce the problem to its most obvious manifestation – waste generated by the end consumer – which, however deplorable, is but one part of a broader and more complex problem. Conversely, we need to identify intervention strategies tailored to the specific causes of waste for each of the five sectors (production, storage, processing, distribution, consumption) that make up the food supply chain.

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE), in writing. (PT) Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mr Caronna and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on the excellent own-initiative report that they have tabled in this part-session. Secondly, I would like to emphasise the recent words of Commissioner Potočnik on this matter, with which I could not agree more: ‘we have a moral, environmental and economic responsibility to tackle the issue of food waste in the EU’. This is clear. We must act now, before it is too late for humanity as a whole. I therefore support the idea of designating 2013 the European Year against Food Waste. In addition to the comprehensive analysis and striking figures presented throughout this report, various measures are proposed to reduce food waste by 2025. I would emphasise only those that relate to expiry dates and initiatives aimed at encouraging sustainable small- and medium-scale production linked to local and regional markets and consumption. Action must be taken as a matter of urgency. The 50% reduction in food waste by 2020 proposed by the Commission seems to me to be an achievable goal. We will be looking at the way in which the measures that are aimed at achieving the proposed objective take shape and are applied, in the certainty that yesterday was already too late to start.

 
  
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  Christine De Veyrac (PPE), in writing.(FR) I voted for this text as it is high time that the European Union set itself ambitious targets for the reduction of food wastage, which is scandalous from an ethical, economic and environmental point of view. Whilst food aid benefits 13 million people in Europe, and whilst some Member States are threatening to put an end to the European Food Aid Programme for the Most Deprived, it is important to control waste and to reallocate the stocks of available food to the poorest of our fellow citizens.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI), in writing. – I welcome this report into food wastage. Reducing food wastage is a major issue across the European Union. In the United Kingdom alone, we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food from our homes every year, and 4.4 million tonnes of this food could have been eaten. This issue has far-reaching implications for families across the UK, especially in the current economic climate. Food wastage costs the average family with children GBP 680 a year, the equivalent of GBP 50 a month. This brings the value of food wasted in the UK each year to a grand total of GBP 12 billion. Not only are there serious financial implications for the consumer in relation to food wastage, but there are also far-reaching issues surrounding the wastage of water, energy and packaging used in food production, transportation and storage. All of this goes to waste when we throw away perfectly good food.

 
  
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  Robert Dušek (S&D), in writing. – (CS) Food wastage is a serious global problem. It affects the entire food chain, from the producer to the final consumer, stretching from losses at harvest and storage through to poor securing of products during transportation, faulty packaging and the bad habits of final consumers when purchasing and using food. The paradox is that food is wasted both in industrialised and in developing countries. In industrialised countries, wastage occurs mainly during distribution and consumption, and is mainly due to the over-production of foodstuffs. In developing countries, food spoils right from the start of the chain due a lack of technology (for example, refrigeration equipment), the absence of transport systems and infrastructure and the lack of options for safe storage. There is little we can do about many of these factors: industrialised countries will not stop producing surpluses and the whole world cannot have advanced infrastructure and technology. However, we can do something right now about the disposal of food that can no longer be consumed. Most of this food ends up in mixed waste, and humanity thus produces millions of tonnes of mixed waste for which there is no space. The solution is to sort waste and to dispose of food biologically. Food recycled in this way can be returned to agriculture as natural fertiliser or humus. I welcome the start of the debate on this issue, and I will vote in favour of adopting the report.

 
  
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  Edite Estrela (S&D), in writing. (PT) I voted for the report on ‘how to avoid food wastage’, as it sets out measures to halve food waste by 2025, thus helping to ensure food security and a more effective food supply chain, and to combat poverty.

 
  
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  Diogo Feio (PPE), in writing. (PT) According to data provided by the Commission, 43 million people in the EU are at risk of food poverty, making food wastage even more shocking. It is estimated, based on data gathered since 1974, that food wastage around the world has risen by 50%, with the Food and Agriculture Organisation revealing that Europeans and North Americans waste somewhere between 95 kg and 115 kg of food per capita per year. This wastage occurs right along the food supply chain, from farm to fork. The functioning of the food supply chain should therefore be improved as a matter of urgency, allowing foods that would otherwise be wasted to be used, and raising public awareness of this important issue.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE), in writing. (PT) According to a study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, each European wastes an average of 105 kg of food every year. This report, drafted by Mr Caronna, concerns this issue, particularly, the strategies which the EU should adopt in order to improve the efficiency of the food supply chain and thus avoid food wastage. In addition to this problem being ethically untenable, since there are 70 million people living below the poverty line in Europe, it is also unsustainable in economic and environmental terms. Food overproduction has an enormous environmental cost, from energy wastage, water consumption and the depletion of natural resources, to greenhouse gas emissions. As such, it should be given priority in the European institutions by always safeguarding food security. I welcome the adoption of this report, for which I voted. I welcome and support the designation of 2014 as the European Year against Food Waste as a way of raising public awareness, and I hope that the proposed measures will be properly implemented so that the objective of halving food wastage by 2025 can be achieved.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), in writing. (PT) This report addresses a problem that has become increasingly worrying: food wastage. The rapporteur seeks a holistic approach to the problem, covering the various links in the food supply chain and making proposals to make the chain more efficient. However, there are some significant shortcomings and even misunderstandings in the report. The extent of the problem of food wastage today is inseparable from the capitalist mode of production, the intensification of agriculture and the increased size of chains of production and consumption. It is important to note that small- and medium-scale agriculture, short supply chains, and local production and consumption are likely to reduce wastage and increase efficiency. Everything cannot, therefore, be put on the same level, and it is important to make this distinction. Moreover, in the context of current food supply chains, proposals such as food redistribution programmes for those in poverty and the application of discounts for products that are nearing expiry, apart from their charitable and welfare-related nature, mean dangerously opening the door to dumping and manipulation by the big retailers, which we cannot accept.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), in writing.(SK) Food waste has assumed such proportions that it can be considered to be a global problem that is reflected right along the food supply chain. It occurs on farmland, in the processing industry, in distribution companies and in consumers’ homes. Food is wasted in industrialised countries and in developing countries. The wastage of food generates a chain parallel to the production chain and causes a whole series of negative externalities. The issue of food waste conflicts with the fundamental problem of food security, which is seriously compromised by a number of factors, including the limited natural resources compared to the growth in the world population and the meagre access of the poorest population groups to food. Combating food waste must become a priority on Europe’s policy agenda. The Commission, Council and Member States should strive to adopt strategies and specific measures to reduce food waste throughout the supply chain, and to raise public awareness of this problem with a view to remedying the situation. People must be informed not only about the causes and effects of waste but also about ways of reducing it. For this reason, Parliament requests that 2013 be declared the European Year against