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P7_TA(2012)0398

Arutelud
Teisipäev, 23. oktoober 2012 - Strasbourg Uuendatud versioon

18. ELi kaubandusläbirääkimised Jaapaniga (arutelu)
Sõnavõttude video
PV
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  předseda. − Na pořadu jednání je rozprava o prohlášení Komise o obchodních jednáních EU s Japonskem.

 
  
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  Karel De Gucht, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, thank you for the opportunity to speak on our trade relations with Japan and the future EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement.

I note with interest the adoption of the motion for a resolution on EU trade negotiations with Japan by the Committee on International Trade two weeks ago. I hope that the European Parliament, in its vote expected later this week in the plenary, will clearly support the launching of EU-Japan FTA negotiations.

Japan is one of our main economic partners, and thus a decision to launch new FTA negotiations has to be based on solid ground. On 18 July of this year the Commission, after thoughtful consideration, decided to approve the draft recommendation to open negotiations with Japan and transmitted this to the Council. The ground for this decision has been prepared well.

We have an agreement with Japan on what both sides expect from the negotiations. The so-called ‘scoping paper’ lays out the scope of our potential discussions. It is the most ambitious paper of this kind that we have ever agreed with any trading partner. This gives us comfort that all our priorities will be addressed.

We have also negotiated – again upfront – a dedicated package that addresses key regulatory barriers, including for the car sector and railway procurement, which constitute the single most important hurdle for EU economic activities in Japan. Japan has also accepted that the phasing-out of tariffs can only take place strictly in parallel with the elimination of regulatory barriers. This means that the dismantling of EU tariffs will only take place once concrete results on the removal by Japan of regulatory barriers have been achieved.

To ensure that Japan continues to make progress in eliminating regulatory barriers, I have suggested to the Council the introduction of a ‘rendezvous clause’ in the negotiating directives. The clause would allow the EU to take stock of the progress achieved within one year of the start of the negotiations and bring them to a halt in the event of our failing to achieve meaningful progress.

I am pleased to note that many EU industry sectors have recently expressed their support for the launch of FTA negotiations with Japan. These include IT, consumer electronics, agri-foods and beverages, wholesale and retail distribution, chemicals, and services – all of them key for the expansion of EU economic interests abroad.

Let us not forget that Japan remains a huge economy, with consumer spending power that is still roughly twice as large as China’s. It is therefore crucial to unlock the potential opportunities for EU companies to sell their products and services to a country that so far has remained fairly protected by non-tariff barriers.

The FTA objective will be to eliminate these trade barriers and create a level playing field for our companies to enter and sell in that market. According to the impact assessment report of the future EU-Japan FTA, potential GDP growth close to 1 % is expected if we conclude this agreement. This is a significant gain, which cannot be ignored – especially at this time of economic difficulties. I hope we can count on your support in this endeavour.

 
  
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  Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Pogłębienie współpracy między Unią Europejską oraz krajami trzecimi jest bardzo istotne dla wzrostu gospodarczego oraz zwiększenia zatrudnienia, szczególnie w dobie kryzysu. Niemniej jednak mandat negocjacyjny powinien być zbalansowany ekonomicznie oraz powinien być mocny politycznie. Przy stole negocjacyjnym powinniśmy wymagać jasnych rezultatów w stosunku do kluczowych postulatów i dlatego poprzeczka powinna zostać pozostawiona wysoko.

Najważniejszymi przeszkodami w obustronnych stosunkach z Japonią pozostają wciąż bariery pozataryfowe. Z tego powodu postulaty powinny być jasno sprecyzowane oraz osiągnięte w ciągu pierwszego roku od rozpoczęcia negocjacji. Ważne jest zagwarantowanie zatrzymania procesu negocjacyjnego, jeśli znacząca liczba barier nie zostanie usunięta w trakcie pierwszych dwunastu miesięcy. Należy upewnić się, że będą istniały zapisy stojące na straży bezpieczeństwa obu gospodarek, w szczególności wrażliwych sektorów, takich jak motoryzacyjny i elektroniczny. Głównym warunkiem ukończenia negocjacji w sprawie umowy powinno być faktyczne oraz całościowe usunięcie powyższych barier, poprawa dostępu do zamówień publicznych dla przedsiębiorstw Unii Europejskiej oraz zawarcie kompleksowego rozdziału dotyczącego inwestycji – w rozumieniu ochrony inwestycji – oraz dostępu do rynku.

W moim przekonaniu umowa powinna być kompleksowa, ambitna oraz całkowicie wiążąca. Umowa o wolnym handlu powinna prowadzić do prawdziwej prawnej otwartości dla przedsiębiorstw z Unii Europejskiej. Bezsprzecznie umowa o wolnym handlu między Unia Europejską a Japonią jest warta starań, ponieważ wzmocnienie współpracy i więzi pomiędzy obiema stronami może prowadzić głównie do pozytywnych rezultatów.

 
  
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  Vital Moreira, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, caros colegas, quero, antes de mais, dar as boas-vindas ao Comissário De Gucht por neste momento bastante oportuno ter vindo informar o Parlamento acerca da situação das pré-negociações, digamos assim, entre a União e o Japão. É oportuno porque esta semana o Parlamento vai votar e, a meu ver aprovar, o relatório do nosso colega Metin Kasak, que é um relator para as relações com o Japão sobre esta mesma matéria.

O grupo socialista apoia o lançamento de negociações e, por isso, vai aprovar a resolução que está no fundamental de acordo com as ideias que nos foram aqui trazidas pelo Comissário De Gucht. De facto, entendemos que o potencial das relações económicas e comerciais entre a União Europeia e o Japão está claramente subaproveitado e que a dificuldade, no caso do Japão, é que o maior potencial de crescimento reside na eliminação das numerosas barreiras não pautais que existem atualmente às trocas comerciais e ao investimento naquele país. Por isso, devemos apoiar um acordo com o Japão porque ele é ó único meio de eliminar efetivamente essas barreiras, pelo menos na sua maior parte, e permitir o acesso ao investimento naquele país, incluindo nos contratos públicos, uma matéria em que essas barreiras são hoje realmente impeditivas.

A meu ver, o exercício de definição do âmbito que foi conduzido pela Comissão e pelo Governo japonês alcançou garantias satisfatórias, as condições estão reunidas para encetar negociações com boas perspetivas de sucesso. Precisamos de ser exigentes quanto aos objetivos e, por isso, o Parlamento vai votar esta semana, na resolução que já referi, as suas recomendações sobre o mandato de negociação que a Comissão já pediu ao Conselho, no sentido de dar claras indicações mais exigentes ao negociador, ou seja à Comissão, sobre o que tornará o acordo aceitável para o Parlamento, sem cujo assentimento nenhum tratado de comércio internacional pode ser concluído. Esperemos agora, concluo Senhor Presidente, que o Conselho tenha em devida conta as nossas recomendações e que a Comissão as siga à risca.

 
  
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  Metin Kazak, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, as the severe economic crisis frustrates the EU’s common vision, the vote on the Japan trade resolution can take us a step forward towards free trade negotiations with one of the biggest trading blocs in the world and benefit European citizens by maximising the jobs and growth potential under the EU 2020 Strategy.

We cannot accept that our two-way trade with the world’s third-largest national economy amounts to only a quarter of our trade with the US or China. The potential gains are clear. The Commission has estimated that nearly two thirds of such gains under the EU’s trade policy would come from potential agreements with the US and Japan. However, we realise that the negotiations will not be easy and that the Commission must be firm with its Japanese partners. That is why, as rapporteur, I have tabled amendments for a binding review clause within one year of the launch of negotiations to allow for a thorough assessment of the implementation of the 31 roadmaps agreed under the scoping exercise.

Our chief incentive during negotiations has to be the implementation of the commitments made by Japan to eliminate non-tariff barriers in various sectors, particularly the automotive sector. To ensure this I included a provision that if Japan has not delivered on its NTB commitments and has not demonstrated sufficient ambition in meeting the EU’s priority demands, the Commission should stop negotiations, after consultations with the European Parliament and the Council.

With this in mind, as rapporteur and representative of the ALDE Group, I urge the Member States to cast their cautiousness aside. Now is not the time to say ‘let’s wait a few more months’ or ‘we need more concessions’: now is the time to launch negotiations with Japan. Dear colleagues, the ground has been prepared. Let us translate our ambition into action.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, we welcome the effort to start negotiations with Japan on improving our economic partnership. But to me the Kazak report seems to be an almost indecisive report. It gives me the impression of someone who wants to put his foot on the gas pedal and the brake at the same time. We should make up our mind as to whether we want to go forward or sit back for fear of getting into trouble with some industrial players and some industrial sectors that play the protectionist card.

We should strive, not only for mercantilist reasons but also for geostrategic reasons, to make this effort with the Japanese a success. That success should reach beyond merely trade-oriented aspects; it should, if possible, include issues like sustainability.

I do not believe that every single regulatory measure that does not please everybody is, for that reason, a trade or a regulatory barrier. If we were to go by the yardstick of some industrial lobbyists, a night flight ban for Tokyo airport would be considered a regulatory barrier. The Commission was smarter than that and did not include that in its list, but it shows to what extremes some people want to carry the case. We regret that the key car category was considered to be a barrier rather than an opportunity.

One last point: we should go ahead with this Treaty and do so with more transparency than we have done similar things in the past, and clearly with more transparency that the TPP has been pursued with so far.

 
  
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  Syed Kamall, on behalf of the ECR Group. Mr President, Mr Commissioner, the European Conservatives and Reformist Group have always been one of the most pro-trade groups in this Parliament, if not the most pro-trade, and we have wanted as many trade agreements as possible.

In the absence of the WTO or any progress in the WTO and of my second choice, which would be comprehensive plurilateral agreements, we have to fall upon bilateral agreements, given that it is vital that we negotiate bilateral agreements with the largest economies of the world. Japan clearly falls into that category.

One of the things that we should remember in trade – and I say this as a former lecturer in international trade, to apologise for my former academic background – is that there is a myth in trade. Countries do not trade with each other; it is people and businesses that trade with people and businesses in other countries for mutual benefit. All that governments can do is either facilitate by getting out of the way or get in the way with tariff barriers or non-tariff barriers – and all too often we see governments get in the way with these barriers. So surely it is time during this agreement – during the negotiations on this agreement – to reduce as many barriers as possible. However, unfortunately – as other speakers have said – politicians can sometimes be persuaded by entrenched interests, and we are all politicians and are all susceptible to those entrenched interests. We have seen this happen over the course of the last 18 months in discussions about these agreements.

Some industry players have talked about certain barriers, but as one of the previous speakers said, one person’s health and safety standard is another person’s non-tariff barrier. So I think we have to be sensitive to what is a non-tariff barrier and what is not. We have to recognise that the EU-Japan agreement will be complex and that both sides will want to feel that their consumers and their domestic industries are gaining. So my colleagues here clearly wanted no agreement – or no start to that agreement – until we had overcome the whole list of non-tariff barriers. Now that is unrealistic to expect of any trading partner, and I am glad that the Commissioner has been a supporter – as have many of the other groups –of going forward with this agreement.

It is essential that we negotiate all these barriers and perceived barriers, but actually we know that, at the end of the day, we have the ability to stop this deal if we do not feel that enough has been done. Therefore I am pleased, and I hope that we will continue the momentum to launch these negotiations. If it helps – and I think it does help soothe some of those industry concerns – I support the binding review clause which allows the negotiating parties to step back after a year and to look at the agreement and consider whether the other side has done enough. We, the European Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty, have the ability to say that actually, enough has to been done. But at a time when the EU continues to be crippled by an anaemic if not negative growth rate, when we are burdened with debt mountains and when Japan itself has had two lost decades of growth, surely what we should be looking for is an enhanced trading relationship with Japan which is underpinned by a free trade agreement in order to generate a 1% boost in the Union’s overall GDP and up to 400 000 jobs.

Japan has other interests and other options it can pursue, and we have to be careful that we are not played off against other parties negotiating trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership being negotiated between the United States, Japan and a number of other countries. But overall, I think that the EU has a unique opportunity to lay a foundation stone that could bring untold benefits to all of Europe. It is my sincere hope that the European Parliament will show that it can be a responsible and trustworthy partner in an institutional legislative process and will give its seal of approval for the start of immediate negotiations with Japan.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  William (The Earl of) Dartmouth (EFD), blue-card question. – How very gracious, Dr Kamall. You said in your speech – correctly, in my view – that countries do not trade with each other; it is people and businesses that trade with each other. However, the leader of your delegation, Mr Richard Ashworth, said on BBC Television that three million jobs in the UK depend on UK-EU trade. On the basis of what you yourself have just said, do you agree with Mr Ashworth?

 
  
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  Syed Kamall (ECR), blue-card answer. – I am not sure how to address the honourable Member. Can I call you William, or the good Earl? I shall not call you the good Lord, for fear of upsetting all those in this House who are religious, but what I will say to you is that there is no inherent contradiction between those two facts.

It is quite clear, as I have said, that people and businesses trade with people and businesses in another country for mutual benefit, but actually trade agreements can facilitate that and lack of trade agreements can get in the way. But people still trade with people in other countries, even though there may be no trade agreement, so actually there is no inherent contradiction between those two statements. If you think there is I would be willing to have a conversation with you afterwards, maybe over a cup of coffee.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ein intelligentes Abkommen zwischen der EU und Japan würde zu einer verstärkten wechselseitigen Integration beider Ökonomien führen. 128 Millionen potenzielle Kundinnen und Kunden im Hochlohnland Japan sind selbstverständlich in einer ganzen Reihe von Sektoren für europäische Unternehmen und ihre Beschäftigten sehr interessant. Die wechselseitige Integration von Know-how in die Produktionsketten könnte für Tausende von Zulieferunternehmen zu einer verbesserten Stellung im weltweiten Wettbewerb führen. Sie hören, ich spreche im Konjunktiv. Denn sowohl Ihr Bericht heute Abend, Herr Kommissar De Gucht, als auch wichtige Paragrafen in der uns vorliegenden Entschließung des Parlaments sind kein Angebot für eine Partnerschaft, sondern eher sehr einseitige Forderungen an die japanische Seite. Das lässt meines Erachtens für den Beginn einer langfristig gegenseitigen Nutzen bringenden Zusammenarbeit nichts Gutes erwarten. Es geht heute um das Mandat für die Verhandlungen.

Ich bin dafür, die bestehenden Differenzen zwischen der EU und Japan am Verhandlungstisch klar und offen anzusprechen, und zwar ergebnisoffen. Eine reale Partnerschaft kann nicht auf dem Diktat von Vorbedingungen basieren. Deshalb haben wir als Fraktion Probleme mit dem Text der Entschließung. Schauen wir in den Text. In zentralen Elementen wirkt er, als wäre er von der Automobilindustrie geschrieben worden. Wie können wir in Zeiten der Klimakrise ernsthaft eine Selbstverpflichtung der japanischen Regierung einfordern, die Sonderbehandlung von elektrischen und Hybridfahrzeugen sowie Vergünstigungen für Kleinstwagen, wie Kei-Cars, zu streichen, nur damit wir mehr Dieselfahrzeuge exportieren können?

Die Überbetonung der Beseitigung von nicht tarifären Maßnahmen in der Entschließung widerspricht auch den Ergebnissen der Kopenhagen-Studie zum Handel zwischen der EU und Japan. Diese Studie erkennt sehr wohl an, dass viele dieser Maßnahmen der Steigerung des Gemeinwohls dienen, insbesondere in den Bereichen Gesundheit, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz. Wir sollten die fragliche Regulierung von ihrer Aufgabenstellung her analysieren und ein Ergebnis anstreben, das einen gesellschaftlichen Nutzen enthält und dennoch den Handelsaustausch begünstigt.

Zudem äußern die befragten Unternehmen andere Gründe, die sie beispielsweise vor Investitionen in Japan zurückschrecken lassen. Ganz oben rangieren dabei die Sprachbarriere, kulturelle Unterschiede, welche auch die Auswahl der Verbraucher bestimmen, sowie hohe Steuern und hohe Lohnkosten. Wer zögert, Übersetzungsfachleute zu bezahlen, ein in Japan erfolgreiches Marketing zu entwickeln und ortsübliche Löhne und Steuern zu bezahlen, der sollte lieber zu Hause investieren. Diese Handelshemmnisse kann und darf auch ein Abkommen nicht beseitigen. Der INTA-Ausschuss hatte letztes Jahr durchaus interessante Einsichten in dieser Hinsicht in die Strategie des IKEA-Riesen gewinnen können, der sich auf japanische Konsum- und Sozialstandards auch kulturell eingelassen hat.

Wir brauchen ein Abkommen mit nicht tarifären Kooperationselementen. Gemeinsame Programme können Unternehmer und Gewerkschafter, Verbraucherverbände, Wissenschaftler, Verwaltungsfachleute und junge Menschen aus Europa und Japan zusammenführen. Bauen wir doch gemeinsam eine neue Kooperationskultur auf! Darüber ließe sich auch mit Blick auf Energieeinsparung und hochtechnologische Kooperation praktischer Nutzen für europäische kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen herleiten.

 
  
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  William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, on behalf of the EFD Group. – Mr President, in principle we strongly favour a trade treaty with Japan, but it has to be fair to both sides. At the moment Japan retains numerous non-tariff barriers. It is very hard for a foreign company to acquire a company in Japan, and there can be undue political influence. The effect is that, while Japan is always keen to export its own goods, it remains a complicated country in which to do business.

Nonetheless, the gross domestic product of Japan is larger than that of France, Belgium and Italy combined. A meaningful trade agreement would be good for everybody. However, as my colleague, Mr Schulz, has mentioned, there are signs that the French and German automobile manufacturers and their lobbyists are seeking to frustrate, or otherwise limit, an EU-Japan trade agreement. That would be wrong.

This brings me to an important related point. Because there are so many different trade interests in the 27 Member States, all of which have to be satisfied in some measure, it actually makes it significantly more difficult for the EU as an entity to conclude trade agreements than it would be for a single nation state on its own. Not easier, as is wrongly - and often - asserted. That is why, for example, Switzerland, with a gross domestic product less than one sixth of that of the UK alone, has had its trade agreement in place with Japan since December 2009, while this evening we are just talking about one.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Syed Kamall (ECR), Blue-card question. – I apologise, dear colleagues, for your not being able to hear my very quiet voice.

I wonder whether I could ask you this question. You rightly said that Japan can be a very complex country, and it can be difficult to access markets in Japan and also to take over companies. But could not the same be said of some countries in the EU? Could it not equally be said that it can be difficult to access some EU countries and take over companies in different EU Member States? Therefore, are you not just another EU protectionist? I wonder how you stand with regard to that accusation.

 
  
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  William (The Earl of) Dartmouth (EFD), blue-card answer. – Let me first of all assure Mr Kamall that his tones, although soft, are both mellifluous and even sometimes musical. To address the very important and interesting point that he made in the next 20 seconds: yes, many EU countries are protectionist. We are concerned in our country that it is not the level playing field that it ought to be, and that is one of the strongest arguments why we in our political party believe that Britain should leave the EU, and that the EU in its present form is unreformed and unreformable.

 
  
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  Daniel Caspary (PPE). - Herr Präsident, geschätzte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir sind in der Mehrheit dieses Hauses der festen Überzeugung, dass wir diese strategische Partnerschaft mit Japan dringend starten und intensivieren müssen. Es gibt wirtschaftliche Gründe, und es ist auch eine Frage der Fairness und eine logische Antwort, dass wir nach dem Freihandelsabkommen mit Korea auch mit anderen Ländern in dieser Region Freihandelsabkommen abschließen, um die Handelsverzerrungen, die ein einzelnes Abkommen mit Korea hervorruft, zu beseitigen. Ich wünsche mir aber, dass wir ein wirkliches Freihandelsabkommen bekommen. Ich sage offen, dass ich da große Sorgen habe, wenn wir sehen, was in den letzten Monaten in der Vorbereitung gelaufen ist. Ich erinnere mich z. B. gut daran, wie wir uns Ende letzten Jahres gefreut haben, dass die japanische Seite uns gegenüber im Bereich Eisenbahn Zugeständnisse gemacht hat, wir aber jetzt bei der Implementierung dieser Zusagen in der Praxis nach wie vor größte Schwierigkeiten sehen. Da ist meine Sorge: Sind die Japaner wirklich in der Lage und willens, ihre Märkte zu öffnen? Oder geht es ihnen darum, den Zugang für japanische Automobilhersteller zu unserem Markt zu verbessern, aber ansonsten auf ihrer Seite nichts zu tun?

Deswegen ist meine Bitte: Wir sollten das erste Jahr bis zu diesem Review nutzen, um zu testen, ob es auf beiden Seiten das Interesse gibt, die Märkte gegenseitig zu öffnen und dadurch Vorteile aus dieser gemeinsamen Partnerschaft zu ziehen.

Zweitens habe ich große Sorgen beim Thema Ressourcen. Sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar, wir haben im Moment über 30 internationale Verhandlungen im Bereich Außenhandel am Laufen, die Ressourcen sind extrem gebunden. Wir sehen das bei den Abkommen, die wir jetzt quasi fertig verhandelt haben – Zentralamerika oder Kolumbien und Peru. Seit dem Abschluss der Verhandlungen hat es eineinhalb bis zwei Jahre gedauert, bis wir endlich das Zustimmungsverfahren hier im Europäischen Parlament hatten, weil die Übersetzung ewig dauert, weil die Rechtsdienste ewig brauchen, um zu prüfen. Sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar, ich wäre sehr dankbar, wenn Ihre Generaldirektion uns für die kommenden Haushaltsberatungen, aber auch für Umstrukturierungen im Rahmen der Kommission, einen Vorschlag vorlegen könnte, wie wir diesen Prozess unbedingt beschleunigen können.

 
  
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  Gianluca Susta (S&D). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la risoluzione che il Parlamento si appresta ad approvare è un atto di indirizzo politico importante, che tiene conto delle ambizioni e delle preoccupazioni che il mondo produttivo europeo non da oggi manifesta verso un paese che rappresenta una straordinaria opportunità per la nostra economia ma anche un grande problema.

Giappone e Unione europea rappresentano insieme più di un terzo del PIL mondiale e più del 20% del commercio mondiale. Già questi due dati fanno capire qual è l'importanza del negoziato che andiamo ad aprire. Avremmo quindi preferito che il negoziato fosse preceduto da segnali più forti da parte del Sol Levante che, a nostro avviso, non sono sin qui pervenuti. Il tema più importante resta quello della rimozione delle numerose barriere non tariffarie da parte giapponese e di quelle barriere normative che non possono trovare giustificazione solo nelle differenze culturali. Questa rimozione deve rappresentare una precondizione per giungere a un accordo equilibrato e vantaggioso per entrambi.

In particolar modo appaiono decisivi per la positiva conclusione del negoziato i risultati relativi ai settori degli appalti pubblici e dell'automobile. Il Giappone dovrà rendere il suo mercato altrettanto aperto del nostro, in uno spirito di reciprocità sostanziale, in particolare per quello che riguarda l'auto sulle cosiddette "zoning regulation" e il trattamento fiscale per le key car. Sarà anche importante la questione delle indicazioni geografiche per i prodotti agricoli e alimentari, inclusi i vini e i liquori.

Chiediamo, infine, che il Parlamento sia costantemente informato dell'evolversi del negoziato e che la Commissione effettui una seconda valutazione dell'impatto di un possibile accordo di libero scambio con il Giappone, con particolare riferimento ai settori più sensibili come quello automobilistico o dell'elettronica. Solo così, in questi momenti di crisi dell'economia europea, potremo dire di aver tutelato i settori produttivi europei senza compromettere il nostro impegno per un commercio libero, sostenibile ed equo.

 
  
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  Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Signor Commissario, il tono è un po' cambiato in questa plenaria rispetto alla discussione che avevamo avuto a giugno, quando fummo tra i pochi a favorire un'apertura rapida dei negoziati per un accordo di libero scambio. Il Giappone è un caso estremamente complesso, lo è sempre stato storicamente, più difficile di tanti paesi da maneggiare, da capire, da decifrare.

Oggi ci ritroviamo esposti a forti pressioni da parte dei nostri Stati membri e da parte di numerosi settori, affinché si avanzi quanto più lentamente possibile nella direzione di un accordo di libero scambio, come se il Giappone fosse la minaccia numero uno al sistema industriale europeo.

Consiglio alla Commissione di procedere con un doppio atteggiamento. Da una parte, un approccio improntato alla fermezza: nella nostra risoluzione poniamo tutta una serie di condizioni, che vanno benissimo; naturalmente grande enfasi è posta sull'eliminazione delle tariffe e delle barriere non tariffarie. Occorre però anche prestare attenzione affinché l'accordo in oggetto sia sfruttato quanto più possibile per garantire opportunità per le piccole e medie imprese, affinché vi siano possibilità di cooperazione culturale con il Giappone attraverso questo accordo – è un paese che si presta benissimo e ha un grande potenziale in questo senso – e affinché si punti ad avere una ricaduta in termini di ricerca scientifica comune con uno dei grandi protagonisti dell'innovazione.

Il secondo atteggiamento è quello di grande volontà di successo. Si tratta di un accordo molto più importante di altri in termini geopolitici: può non solo riequilibrare i nostri rapporti con la Corea del Sud ma anche le nostre relazioni commerciali ed economiche con la Cina. Ricordiamoci che è una grande democrazia e questo è un aspetto certamente molto importante.

 
  
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  Amelia Andersdotter (Verts/ALE). - Mr President, the Pirate Party questions the inclusion of intellectual property rights provisions in the Japan negotiation mandate.

The vision of the EU for intellectual property rights in free trade has already failed at domestic level. ACTA was intensely disliked by citizens, and there are now additional concerns about the negotiations the Commission is having with Canada in the comprehensive economic and trade agreement. Why would we also want these complications with Japan? In addition, Japan causes us no concerns in terms of intellectual property rights. This negotiation exercise comes at a time when, at multilateral level in the World Intellectual Property Organisation, we are for the first time ever advancing the rights of citizens instead of the rights of rights holders in the deliberations on the treaty for the blind. Is there a reason why we are choosing to set aside the multilateral system again at this time and for this topic? Surely there must be better options for us.

 
  
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  Bastiaan Belder (EFD). - In deze zorgelijke financiële en economische tijden voor de Europese Unie is het perspectief van een veelbelovende impuls stellig zeer welkom. En die dient zich aan bij de komende handelsbesprekingen tussen de EU en Japan. De ontwerpresolutie duidt heel helder in de paragrafen 2 en 3 op het belang en het potentieel voor de EU van verdieping van de handelsbetrekkingen met de grote mondiale economie van Japan.

Tegelijkertijd benoemt de ontwerpresolutie bijzonder realistisch de grote obstakels op weg naar een vrijhandelsovereenkomst tussen de EU en Japan. Aan Japanse zijde zijn het vooral de zogenaamde NTB's, non-tarifaire belemmeringen, alsmede belemmeringen voor de markttoegang bij overheidsopdrachten.

Dat het Europees Parlement bij het onderhandelingstraject van de Commissie de vinger sterk aan de pols wil houden toont betrokkenheid en verantwoordelijkheid, want voor onze burgers telt uiteindelijk het positieve resultaat. Ik wens de commissaris nog veel succes bij de komende onderhandelingen.

 
  
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  María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora (PPE). - Señor Presidente, estimados colegas, en mayo de 2011 dos de las áreas comerciales más grandes del mundo iniciaron negociaciones con vistas a establecer las bases de un Tratado de libre comercio con el fin de alcanzar un ambicioso acuerdo comercial, un potencial acuerdo de libre comercio que acercaría enormemente la relación existente entre ambas potencias, fortaleciendo sus relaciones económicas, y que incluiría asuntos de gran importancia, como la eliminación de aranceles y barreras no arancelarias.

Mediante este acuerdo ambas economías serán más eficaces y serán más competitivas en un mercado mucho más amplio. Mediante la eliminación de los aranceles y la consiguiente eliminación de trabas aduaneras nuestras relaciones comerciales, sin duda, tenderán a incrementarse.

Pero la Unión Europea debe ser firme y no olvidar los compromisos adquiridos por Japón en materias de gran importancia para el comercio, como la eliminación de barreras no arancelarias, en particular de aquellas que afectan a sectores como el automovilístico, o las trabas al mercado de contratación pública, compromisos que deben convertirse en resultados, siendo condición indispensable para que las negociaciones en curso lleguen a buen puerto.

Así lo hemos manifestado los miembros de la Comisión de Comercio Internacional de este Parlamento en la resolución que será votada el próximo jueves. Si dichas condiciones son respetadas, y tratándose de economías muy maduras, como la europea y la japonesa, este futuro acuerdo será, sin duda, positivo para ambas partes.

 
  
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  Josefa Andrés Barea (S&D). - Señor Presidente, señor Comisario, en un mundo globalizado, Japón y la Unión Europea son socios estratégicos, tienen intereses comunes. Los acuerdos deben de estar basados en la confianza mutua y en la responsabilidad mutua. Se lleva tiempo explorando una posibilidad, pero la penetración en el mercado japonés es una de las más bajas de todos los países industrializados: Japón, un 3 %, mientras que la Unión Europea es un 30 %. Si no hay un compromiso por parte de Japón de bajar sus barreras no arancelarias, si continúa habiendo trabas a la contratación pública, trabas administrativas –y le podría poner algunos ejemplos, como los relativos al cuero y al calzado–, porque solamente hay un día al año para hacer la contratación pública y no se ha movido la cuota desde 1996.

Si hay problemas con los fitosanitarios, con los textiles, también existen problemas con el automóvil. El automóvil es, también en este Acuerdo, el elemento importante a valorar; sobre todo, el automóvil utilitario. En mi país, en España, corresponde a un 10 % del PIB y a un 9 % del empleo.

Por lo tanto, Japón tiene que trabajar para reducir sus barreras arancelarias, pero también tiene que trabajar por intentar ser más transparente y dar oportunidades al mercado europeo.

 
  
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  Kristiina Ojuland (ALDE). - Mr President, Commissioner, I would like to congratulate you on the successful conclusion of the discussions on the envisaged FTA with Japan and the adoption of the recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations.

Mutual commitment to democracy, the rule of law and a free market economy creates a fertile soil for upgrading trade relations. A deep and comprehensive Free Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement would surely contribute to the emergence of new synergy between the partners. Both sides would benefit from such a partnership, which would give an impetus to their respective economies – in particular industry and innovation – at the turbulent time in the world economy in which we find ourselves. Further integration of the European and Japanese economies is also needed to compete with aggressively-growing BRIC nations. There is no time to lose, and I would hope that the Council decision will ensure that you will very soon be able to start negotiations with the Japanese counterparts.

 
  
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  Alojz Peterle (PPE). - Obema poročevalcema čestitam k odlični resoluciji, ki odraža zavest o potrebi po razvoju strateškega partnerstva z Japonsko. Ta čas je to najpomembnejše trgovinsko pogajanje, ki se ga je Evropska zveza lotila do sedaj.

Delim prepričanje, da bo prostotrgovinski sporazum prispeval k okrepitvi gospodarske rasti obeh partnerjev, pa tudi k izboljšanju trgovinske bilance med Evropsko zvezo in Japonsko. Trgovinska liberalizacija ostaja najprimernejši način za stimulacijo gospodarstva.

Na morebitne kratkoročne turbulence zaradi liberalizacije je potrebno gledati z vidika dolgoročnih pozitivnih učinkov sporazuma.

Podpiram jasnost in odločnost resolucije tako glede odpravljanja netarifnih ovir, vključno na področju javnih naročil, kot tudi predlogov glede zaporedja nujnih dejanj, monitoringa in časovnice. Ti predlogi lahko samo okrepijo verodostojnost celotnega projekta.

Pričakujem, da bo tudi to poročilo pomagalo k potrebni atmosferi, da bo dal Svet kmalu zeleno luč za začetek pogajanj. Prostotrgovinski sporazum vidim kot pomemben korak v smeri celovitejšega gospodarskega in političnega partnerstva med Evropsko zvezo in Japonsko.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). - Doresc să sprijin la rândul meu propunerea Comisiei de deschidere rapidă a negocierilor pentru un acord de liber schimb cu Japonia. Această ţară e un important partener comercial şi politic al Uniunii şi una dintre principalele economii mondiale, aşa cum se ştie. Mai mult decât atât, cum au arătat şi studiile realizate de Comisia Europeană, încheierea unui astfel de acord ar putea duce la creşterea comerţului bilateral dintre Uniune şi Japonia, cu 43 de miliarde pentru Uniune şi 53 de miliarde pentru Japonia.

Bineînţeles, sunt de acord că trebuie să fim foarte atenţi pentru a include în acord şi aspecte referitoare la barierele netarifare şi apreciez angajamentul partenerilor japonezi de a rezolva aceste preocupări prin măsuri şi reforme interne.

Aşa cum am subliniat acum câteva zile, într-un articol din Wall Street Journal, fostul prim-ministru Hatoyama, care astăzi conduce delegaţia japoneză pentru relaţia cu Parlamentul European, Uniunea Europeană şi Japonia pot forma de facto o piaţă unică. Împărtăşim cu Japonia un set de valori şi apărăm de asemenea o viziune comună despre ordinea mondială. Acordul de liber schimb ar întări strânsa noastră cooperare.

În mod concret, beneficiile pe care le-am câştiga de pe urma acestui acord acoperă exporturile, locurile de muncă, creşterea economică şi competitivitatea Uniunii. Există şi provocări, dar sunt convins că putem să le depăşim, şi tocmai de aceea trebuie să începem discuţiile cât mai devreme.

 
  
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  Pablo Zalba Bidegain (PPE). - Señor Presidente, Comisario, Señorías, antes de nada quiero destacar mi compromiso con los acuerdos de libre comercio como pilar fundamental para impulsar el tan ansiado y necesario crecimiento económico y la creación de empleo. Además, estos acuerdos suponen también un impulso a las relaciones con nuestros aliados; en este caso, Japón.

El antiguo Primer Ministro japonés, Yukio Hatoyama, señalaba recientemente en un artículo en el Wall Street Journal que tanto Bruselas como Tokio tienen estrechos vínculos con Washington, pero en cambio los vínculos entre Bruselas y Tokio no son tan estrechos. Estoy de acuerdo con él en que este acuerdo podría ser una oportunidad para paliar esta carencia.

No obstante, en este momento en el que se evalúa el inicio de negociaciones para alcanzar un acuerdo de libre comercio con Japón, considero que la estrategia comercial de la Unión Europea debe ser consecuente con nuestra estrategia industrial y me gustaría saber la opinión del Comisario De Gucht a este respecto.

Y, si queremos que el peso de la industria pase del actual 16 % al 20 % que nos hemos propuesto en la agenda Europa 2020, sería lógico escuchar, en mi opinión, las inquietudes de la propia industria respecto a la política comercial. Y no hay duda de que una industria clave en este sentido es la industria automovilística. Por tanto, escuchemos sus inquietudes, colaboremos con ellos para que este acuerdo sea una realidad lo antes posible.

 
  
 

Vystoupení na základě přihlášení se zvednutím ruky.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). - Schimburile comerciale dintre Uniunea Europeană şi Japonia au un potenţial foarte mare. Din păcate, acest potenţial nu este încă valorificat. O soluţie ar putea fi negocierea unui acord de liber schimb între Uniune şi Japonia. Va fi însă nevoie de instituirea unor forme de protecţie pentru acele industrii vitale Uniunii şi membrilor săi. Un exemplu este producţia de automobile. Sectorul auto este foarte important şi pentru România. Producătorii români de automobile, precum Dacia, ocupă un loc tot mai însemnat pe piaţa europeană de profil.

În alte domenii, însă, beneficiile unui acord de liber schimb ar fi foarte însemnate. Astfel s-ar deschide noi pieţe de desfacere pentru producătorii europeni. Şi consumatorii europeni ar fi foarte avantajaţi de un astfel de acord. Ei vor putea beneficia de mai multe opţiuni în momentul în care decid să achiziţioneze bunuri.

 
  
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  Jaroslav Paška (EFD). - Uvedomujem si, že Japonsko je napriek svojej technologickej a ekonomickej vyspelosti nie veľmi ústretové, pokiaľ ide o otváranie svojho obchodného priestoru. Napriek tomu je potrebné z našej strany pokračovať v úsilí o rozširovanie bilaterálnych obchodných dohôd, najmä s ekonomicky vyspelými krajinami, kde obchodná výmena prospieva obom zmluvným stranám.

Som presvedčený o tom, že vyvážená dohoda o voľnom obchode môže priniesť ekonomický profit tak našim producentom, ako aj japonskej strane. Preto vítam dosiahnutú dohodu o obsahu otvorených rokovaní a treba len dúfať, že aj japonská strana bude mať záujem na dosiahnutí pokroku v riešení citlivých otázok, akými sú regulačné prekážky v automobilovom priemysle či v železničnej doprave. Naša pozícia by mala byť jasná. Európska únia rovnako ako Japonsko potrebuje nové účinné impulzy na podporu svojho hospodárstva a dobre usporiadané otvorené obchodné vzťahy sú k tomu najlepšou cestou.

 
  
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  Catherine Bearder (ALDE). - Mr President, we have a long tradition of trade with Japan, and this free trade agreement is welcome. But the EU also has a proud tradition of human rights and environmental protection in its international agreements. This free trade agreement is an opportunity to demonstrate our joint commitments and concern for our planet’s wellbeing.

Japan must be aware of our concerns about their continued whaling operations and, despite their own forest protection, they remain the largest importer of illegal timber from Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. So, before we can conclude any trade deals, they need to know that we will expect them to clean up their act. We call on Japan to stop the whaling and the Asian forest destruction.

 
  
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  Franck Proust (PPE). - Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, Mesdames et Messieurs, je ne partage pas entièrement l'optimisme de la plupart de mes collègues. En effet, j'ai peur que nous allions trop vite. Le Japon est certes un partenaire commercial majeur pour l'Union européenne, mais est-ce un partenaire en qui nous pouvons avoir pleinement confiance aujourd'hui?

Pendant des décennies, les Japonais nous ont fermé leur marché au moyen de barrières non tarifaires toujours plus nombreuses et originales. En vue d'un d'accord de libre-échange avec l'Union européenne, le Japon s'est engagé à supprimer un grand nombre d'entre elles, mais les paroles n'ont toujours pas été suivies d'actes. J'aurais aimé qu'avant que nous nous lancions dans des négociations difficiles sur un ALE, nous soyons et donc de la bonne volonté de notre partenaire et de sa capacité à jouer le jeu, certains qu'un nombre important de barrières non tarifaires aient disparu.

Nous allons trop vite et nous allons encore débuter des négociations qui ne vont pas aboutir, comme c'est le cas avec l'Inde ou le Mercosur. Je ne comprends pas pourquoi on s'entête avec le Japon, alors que certains de ses voisins font preuve d'une ouverture autrement plus forte vis-à-vis de l'Union européenne, comme Taïwan, qui est également un partenaire important pour la zone asiatique.

 
  
 

(Konec vystoupení na základě přihlášení se zvednutím ruky)

 
  
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  Karel De Gucht, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, in repeated debates in plenary and also in committee, I have made it clear that I am a staunch supporter of a free trade agreement with Japan, but also that such support is conditional. We have the scoping exercise and we also have agreement on a number of non-tariff barriers that have to be removed. These cannot be dissociated. It is very clear to me that Japan has to deliver on those NTBs, and within a very clear timetable.

We have agreed on the roadmap, setting out how to do this. I must say that I am not very pleased at the moment, in fact, because there were a couple of obligations Japan should have fulfilled by the end of September, and we are now at the end of October. We should stick to our timetable. I will say this very clearly to our Japanese counterparts; I did so as recently as a week ago, and I will say it again. I will also say it to the Council, at the Council meeting of Ministers responsible for trade that will take place on 29 November.

We have a clear understanding with the Japanese on the scoping exercise and on what needs to be fulfilled and resolved, including for example the zoning problem that has been mentioned by a couple of Members. We should take them at their word, and their words should be followed by deeds.

I think the review clause that a number of Members of Parliament mentioned in their speeches – especially the rapporteur, Mr Kazak – is an essential element. I do not want it to be automatic, however; I do not believe that automaticity is a good negotiating tool. If it should be demonstrated that Japan is not fulfilling its commitments, you should summon me before your Parliament and ask me why I am not putting an end to the negotiations. I do not believe, however, that it is realistic to expect automaticity to work in negotiations.

On sustainability, Mr Bütikofer, that issue will be part of the negotiations and it will be part of the agreements, as by the way it is in the whole new generation of agreements that we have been negotiating. I also believe that, in the case of Japan, there are a number of very important topics in that area that we should address.

Mr Caspary mentioned – although I see that in the meantime he has disappeared – that the only aim of the Japanese is to export more cars to Europe. I do not know about that. It is very interesting to look at their export figures to Europe, because they are gradually going down, not up. They have gone from EUR 900 000 down to about EUR 600 000 over a couple of years. It is also not true that Japan is just exporting smaller cars to Europe. Japan is in fact exporting cars in the mid- and upper range, so we should take care that when we discuss these matters we do so on the basis of the facts.

I have one last remark to make on industrial policy, which Mr Zalba Bidegain mentioned. If I understand his reasoning, it is as follows. If we want industrial production to increase from 16 % to 20 %, then we should take care with the Japanese. I believe this is a very defensive strategy or tactic – whatever you want to call it – for a number of reasons.

First of all, the industrial production share of GDP is not going to go up from 16 % to 20 %. That simply will not happen. To people who make this claim, my answer is to ask what is going down in that case, to make up the full 100 %. What is going down? Services? I cannot see that. Could it be agriculture? I do not think we would like that. Of course, in your country at the moment the industrial sector’s percentage share of GDP is going up, because you have seen a tremendous dip in real estate, which appears in the statistics as services, whilst the industrial sector as such has not changed. What can go up is the output of the industrial sector, and that is in fact happening. If you look locally at Europe, you can see that is what is happening, but not, I believe, in terms of industrial production as a share of GDP. Secondly, I believe the kind of economy that we have can only grow if it is in interaction with the other big players on the world market. We have become very interdependent, and that goes for the United States, Japan, China and also Europe. We have to take that interdependence into account and make sure that our position in that global arena is as strong as possible.

 
  
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  President. − The debate is closed.

Vote: 25 October 2012.

Written statements (Rule 149)

 
  
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  Ivo Belet (PPE), schriftelijk. – De Europese automobielsector, goed voor 12 miljoen banen, heeft zwaar te lijden onder de financieel-economische crisis en kent bovendien een steeds grotere concurrentie vanuit derde landen. Vandaag staan we voor de mogelijke start van onderhandelingen over een vrijhandelsakkoord tussen de EU en Japan. We moeten er hierbij goed over waken dat we de automobielsector niet nog meer onder druk zetten. Kijken we maar naar Ford Genk in België, waar er vandaag grote sociale onrust heerst omwille van de mogelijke herstructurering/sluiting van de fabriek. We moeten ervoor zorgen dat de garantie die we vandaag inbouwen, nl. het wegwerken door Japan van non-tarifaire belemmeringen die een impact hebben op de automobielindustrie, in de toekomst zal worden nagekomen. Enkel op die manier kunnen onze bedrijven eerlijk concurreren met Japanse bedrijven. Binnen het jaar moeten we de opheffing van de non-tarifaire belemmeringen beoordelen en op basis daarvan een beslissing nemen over een toekomstig vrijhandelsakkoord met Japan.

 
  
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  Béla Glattfelder (PPE), írásban. – Japán az Európai Unió harmadik legfontosabb kereskedelmi partnere. A szabadkereskedelmi egyezmény megkötése mindkét fél számára számtalan előnnyel járna. Európa növelni tudná exportját és ezzel új munkahelyek jönnének létre. Magyarország különösen érdekelt a szabadkereskedelmi tárgyalások megkezdésében, mivel az jelentősen megkönnyíthetné a távol-keleti országba irányuló magyar mezőgazdasági exportot. A megállapodás következtében a japán autóipar újabb beruházásokat hajthat végre Európában és Magyarországon, és így új munkahelyeket teremtene.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), par écrit. – Je me souviens qu'il y a un certain temps déjà, nous étions une poignée de députés européens à dénoncer plusieurs pans entiers du traité ACTA. Le texte transgressait volontiers les libertés individuelles ou le traitement des données personnelles, entre autres. En entendant nos arguments, beaucoup nous avaient ri au nez, et le Commissaire De Gucht nous avait raconté qu'il n'y avait pas de quoi s'en faire. Nous étions une poignée mais, à force de travail, nous avons été une majorité à rejeter ce texte liberticide. Ensuite est arrivé CETA, négociation d'un accord commercial entre l'Europe et le Canada. Quelle ne fut pas ma surprise de constater que, dans le traité, on retrouvait des paragraphes entiers d' ACTA. Le Commissaire De Gucht m'a dit de ne pas m'en faire. Force est de constater que, depuis, le texte a été modifié mais contient toujours des passages délicats. Alors vous comprendrez que pour ce nouveau traité dont nous parlons aujourd'hui entre l'Europe et le Japon, je sois à nouveau inquiet d'y retrouver l'un ou l'autre cheval de Troie avec de nouvelles tentatives de blanchiments législatifs à la clef. Les citoyens européens vous seraient reconnaissants d'apaiser leurs craintes.

 
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