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Processo : 2012/2153(INI)
Ciclo de vida em sessão
Ciclo relativo ao documento : A7-0355/2012

Textos apresentados :

A7-0355/2012

Debates :

PV 21/11/2012 - 15
CRE 21/11/2012 - 15

Votação :

PV 22/11/2012 - 13.14
CRE 22/11/2012 - 13.14
Declarações de voto
Declarações de voto

Textos aprovados :

P7_TA(2012)0459

Debates
Quarta-feira, 21 de Novembro de 2012 - Estrasburgo Edição revista

15. Negociações relativas a um Acordo de Parceria e Cooperação UE-Cazaquistão (debate)
Vídeo das intervenções
PV
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  Der Präsident. − Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Liisa Jaakonsaari im Namen des Ausschusses für auswärtige Angelegenheiten mit den Empfehlungen an den Rat, die Kommission und den Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienst zu Verhandlungen über ein neues verstärktes Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen EU-Kasachstan (2012/2153(INI)) (A7-0355/2012).

 
  
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  Liisa Jaakonsaari, rapporteur. − Mr President, as rapporteur of the EU-Kazakhstan report, I have the pleasure of opening this debate by presenting to you our recommendations on the negotiations. The recommendations we are now dealing with are the result of an intensive process of cooperation with the shadow rapporteurs, including consultation with stakeholders, experts and the valuable debriefings by our chief negotiator, Mr Wiegand. I also would like to thank the INTA Committee for their very good opinion and it has been my endeavour to ensure consistency with our EU policies and strategies on Central Asia and on human rights.

The golden rule that we stressed in Parliament’s March resolution is that economic development must be linked to political development, and therefore progress in the negotiations on the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement must be linked to progress in political reforms. In fact, this meets Kazakhstan’s important commitments and obligations to international and European standards.

However, declarations have to be followed up by tangible and concrete steps. In this regard, it was negative news that the appeal of Mr Kozlov was turned down by the court. This appeal process was open but not fair. A serious concern we took note of is the legal move to shut down and ban the independent media outlets, as we heard yesterday. We are very concerned about the further limitation of political freedoms and the independent media and call on Kazakhstan to repeal the vague criminal charge of ‘inciting social unrest’ in its criminal code.

The recommendations focus on three main topics: first on economic cooperation, second on the political dialogue and cooperation, including with regard to security in the region, and thirdly on the really crucial issue of human rights and democracy.

Indeed, economy, trade, investment, energy and security matter for both partners. To extend trade and foreign investment the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers is necessary. The convergence of standards towards EU standards would favour the modernisation or diversification of Kazakhstan’s economy.

On human rights and democracy, the EU and Kazakhstan still need to find a common language during the ongoing PCA negotiations. Kazakhstan needs to bring its legal system fully in line with international standards. Kazakhstan should draw on the assistance and recommendations of the Venice Commission and finally ensure the full implementation of its very good human rights action plan.

We support visa facilitation between the EU and Kazakhstan. In every sense, we give our strong support for legal, academic and vocational training and for cultural exchange programmes, and we call on Kazakhstan to hold an impartial investigation into all recent allegations of torture and ill-treatment in connection with violence in Zhanaozen.

All in all this is a fair and balanced report.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. − Meine Damen und Herren, ich muss Sie darauf aufmerksam machen, dass wir die Sitzung eigentlich um 20 Uhr unterbrechen hätten müssen. Wir sind insgesamt 45 Minuten in Verzug. Daher bitte ich, alle Wortmeldung so kurz wie möglich zu halten, und ich bitte um Verständnis, dass wir am Ende dieses Punktes heute auf ein Catch-the-eye-Verfahren verzichten müssen.

 
  
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  Erato Kozakou-Markoullis, President-in-Office of the Council, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Mr President, I am pleased to have the opportunity today to brief you on behalf of High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on the latest developments and the European Union’s activities in Kazakhstan. I would like to warmly thank Mrs Jaakonssaari for her excellent report.

Kazakhstan has been an important partner for the EU in Central Asia, not only on trade and economic exchanges, but as a stable country which has a proven track record of inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony and tolerance. The EU has a strategic interest in further deepening our involvement with Kazakhstan and in developing fully the potential for political cooperation; especially considering the rapidly evolving dynamics of regional integration.

Kazakhstan is a pragmatic partner, open to discussions and willing to explore opportunities. The European Union, in return, is a very important trade and investment partner for Kazakhstan: more than half of the total foreign and direct investment in the country comes from EU investors. Over the past years, we have increased cooperation, have had frequent high-level meetings and launched negotiations for a new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

The negotiation of the new agreement proves the importance of Kazakhstan for the EU, and is the recognition of our strong economic and strategic relations. However, as underlined by the Vice President/High Representative on many occasions before, the enhancement of EU-Kazakhstan relations is not independent of the advancement of domestic political reforms and the protection and promotion of human rights in Kazakhstan. This is a priority for the European Parliament but also for the European Union.

The European Union has been observing the political and human rights related developments in Kazakhstan since the tragic events of Zhanaozen in December 2011 with serious concern. This included the monitoring of the trials of the people accused of inciting or participating in the violent events of Zhanaozen, by the EU Delegation in Astana, in line with the Parliament’s appeals to do so in its resolution of 15 March 2012. We have seen several procedural shortcomings in the trial processes and fear that the verdicts given have been mainly based on political activism and the general involvement of the defendants in trade union or opposition movements.

The High Representative/Vice-President Ashton has encouraged, and will continue to encourage, the Kazakh authorities to review the trial processes, in line with the international commitments and obligations of Kazakhstan. The EU has also called for the right to a free, fair and transparent appeal process for Mr Kozlov and all other defendants.

We fully support Parliament when it calls on Kazakhstan as a member of the Venice Commission, and also as a newly elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, to demonstrate its strong commitment to Human Rights, including the freedoms of speech, of assembly, of association and of religion and belief. The European Union will continue to make this point in all bilateral contacts and cooperation fora, as we did just last week again during the EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee meeting and will do during upcoming negotiation rounds on the new PCA.

The respect for democracy, the principles of international law, fundamental freedoms and human rights is an essential component of the new EU-Kazakhstan agreement. This means that, once the new agreement enters into force, the violation of this essential element could lead to the suspension of parts or all of the agreement. This is in line with the report where the Honourable Members of the Parliament stress that, although used rarely, the suspension of the application of any PCA is possible in the case of serious breaches of human rights. In this regard, the PCA will strengthen the dialogue with Kazakhstan on human rights through our regular dialogues. Human rights will undoubtedly be raised by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton during her upcoming visit to Astana next week.

As also called for by the report, the Commission services and the EEAS are doing their utmost to ensure that the new agreement is a comprehensive one, with emphasis on political, legal, economic and social reforms. In line with this, our aim is to broaden the scope of our cooperation with Kazakhstan in a number of areas and also help the Kazakh authorities’ reform and modernisation efforts. This includes encouraging Kazakhstan’s efforts for legislative conformity with the EU acquis and WTO rules. Kazakhstan has the EU’s full support for WTO accession, and in particular an early conclusion of the ongoing negotiations.

It is likely that the negotiations on the new PCA will be concluded following Kazakhstan’s WTO accession, so the negotiations of the PCA are based on this assumption. In this regard, the European Union expects that the customs union between Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus will not constitute a barrier for enhanced cooperation with the European Union – as also stated in the European Parliament report.

The negotiation of a new PCA is not a simple or short process. Through this process, the European Union is committed to standing alongside Kazakhstan and its citizens, both as a friend and as a partner, on the path of political reform and economic development. In this endeavour, we will continue to provide full information to Parliament, as we have been doing so far. We count on the support of Parliament and we look forward to the resolution that you will adopt tomorrow.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). - Mr President, on a point of order, I would like to double-check if you have decided to cancel the catch-the-eye procedure on this issue. If that is the case, I kindly ask you to reconsider your decision, because we have been waiting for this item all day, and – at the very least – all those who have already registered should be allowed to speak. Thank you.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. − Wir werden sehen, wie wir mit der Debatte vorankommen und ob wir die Zeit einhalten, und am Ende der Debatte werde ich dann eine endgültige Entscheidung treffen.

 
  
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  Bernd Lange, Verfasser der Stellungnahme des mitberatenden Ausschusses für internationalen Handel. − Herr Präsident, Frau Ratspräsidentin! Zunächst möchte ich der Berichterstatterin herzlich danken. Ich denke, das ist ein super Bericht, der die vielen Facetten der Beziehung zu Kasachstan hervorragend darstellt. Herzlichen Dank dafür!

Aus dem Handelsausschuss kann ich vier Aspekte ansprechen, die uns besonders wichtig sind: Zunächst – und darauf hat die Frau Ratspräsidentin hingewiesen – geht es darum, dass Kasachstan in die WTO eintritt, letztendlich damit natürlich die Regeln der WTO akzeptiert und umsetzt und auch dem Regime der WTO unterliegt, was Streitschlichtungsverfahren betrifft. Das ist ein wichtiger Schritt, um Transparenz und Fairness zu bekommen.

Zweitens: Wenn man über Transparenz und Fairness redet, geht es natürlich auch um die Frage von Rohstoffen. Angesichts der Situation, dass Kasachstans Ökonomie wesentlich auf Rohstoffe ausgerichtet ist, geht es darum, hier vernünftige steuerliche und finanzielle Rahmenbedingungen zu schaffen, aber auch die Umweltseite nicht zu vergessen, um eine Rohstoffgewinnung im Interesse der Menschen in Kasachstan, aber auch im Interesse der Umwelt zu garantieren.

Dazu gehört drittens zum Beispiel auch die Frage von Phosphor. Es kann nicht sein, dass Phosphor unter Dumpingbedingungen exportiert wird und damit letztendlich Strukturen innerhalb der Europäischen Union in Frage gestellt werden. Wir wollen einen Handel, der muss aber fair, zu vernünftigen Konditionen erfolgen.

Der vierte Punkt: Wie in allen Handelsabkommen, die wir schließen, heißt Handel eben auch faire Wettbewerbsbedingungen im Bereich der Arbeitnehmerrechte und im Bereich der Umweltstandards. Deswegen brauchen wir auch ein solides, belastbares Kapitel der nachhaltigen Entwicklung in dem Abkommen. Das möchten wir in der Entschließung auch einfordern und dafür stehen wir!

 
  
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  Elisabeth Jeggle, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Außenministerin, verehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Herzlich möchte ich der Berichterstatterin, Frau Jaakonsaari, und auch den Schattenberichterstattern danken, mit denen eine konstruktive Zusammenarbeit möglich war.

Als Schattenberichterstatterin der EVP möchte ich mich ausdrücklich für dieses neue und vertiefte Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen zwischen der Europäischen Union und Kasachstan aussprechen. Um der – in politischer, wirtschaftlicher und geostrategischer Hinsicht – äußerst wichtigen Rolle Kasachstans in der Region Rechnung zu tragen, möchten beide Seiten die Zusammenarbeit weiter vertiefen. Unsere Werte wie die Achtung der Menschenrechte und der Grundfreiheiten sind das Fundament für jegliche Beziehung der EU mit unseren Partnern in der Welt. Aus diesem Grund soll auch das Kasachstan-Abkommen eindeutig den Schutz und die Förderung der Menschenrechte gemäß internationalen Standards beinhalten.

Die EU muss die Reformvorhaben verfolgen und aktive, auch technische Unterstützung bei der Implementierung anbieten. Schwerpunkt hierbei soll der Ausbau der aktiven Zivilgesellschaft, einer funktionierenden rechtsstaatlichen Verwaltung und eines Bildungssystems sein. Ein politischer Pluralismus, in dem Oppositionsparteien und die Zivilgesellschaft frei und ungehindert ihre Meinung äußern können, ist eine Grundlage jeglicher Demokratie.

Insbesondere im Hinblick auf eine Diversifizierung der wirtschaftlichen und eine Intensivierung der politischen Beziehungen im Spannungsfeld zwischen Ost und West – und hier gehören Russland und China auch benannt – ist dieses vertiefte Abkommen wichtig.

(Die Rednerin ist damit einverstanden, eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ gemäß Artikel 149 Absatz 8 der Geschäftsordnung zu beantworten.)

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL), blue-card question. – Mr President, I would like to ask Ms Jeggle whether she has seen the statement made by the official representative of the General Prosecutor in Kazakhstan just yesterday: he effectively said that he would issue a lawsuit to ban all of the opposition political forces in the country, as well as all of the independent and opposition media in the country. In light of that, does she not think that she can reconsider her support for a PCA at this stage, and that it should be suspended until there is proven improvement in respect of human rights in the country?

 
  
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  Elisabeth Jeggle (PPE), Antwort auf eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der blauen Karte. – Herr Präsident! Uns ist diese Aussage bekannt. Wir haben die Mail einer NGO gelesen, wir haben uns inzwischen aber auch beim Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienst sachkundig gemacht. Es gibt keine festen Aussagen. Es gibt die Ansage, dass das so sei. Ich weiß vom EAD, dass hier intensive Nachforschungen stattfinden werden. Wir haben gemeinsam gerade in der EVP-Fraktion intensiv darüber diskutiert. Wir haben gemeinsam mit der Berichterstatterin, Frau Jaakonsaari, einen mündlichen Änderungsantrag formuliert, den wir gemeinsam einbringen werden und für den wir um Unterstützung bitten.

 
  
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  Richard Howitt, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I have to say that my breath is taken away when the Cyprus Presidency tonight calls Kazakhstan, I quote, ‘a pragmatic partner, a friend, having strong strategic relations with the EU’, relations which the Presidency seek to have enhanced.

I met Yevgeny Zhovtis, whom Liisa Jaakonsaari and I campaigned to get released – a human rights leader who has been imprisoned on trumped-up charges. We also met Vladimir Kozlov, the opposition leader, now, as the Presidency rightly says, imprisoned for seven and a half years after a political trial, a trial in which no questions and no exchanges took place in the courtroom and where the judge delivered his verdict in less than two minutes.

Mrs Jeggle, Agence France Presse has confirmed independently that Respublika, Vzglyad, Golos Respubliki, K Plus TV and StanTV are to be banned as supposedly extremist, in what appears to be an attempt to stop independent media.

Mr President, human rights activists would be shocked that the EU is seeking enhanced partnership in these circumstances and I ask the President-in-Office in her reply to confirm there is already a human rights clause in the agreement with Kazakhstan and to say hand on heart that she does not believe it has already been breached.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, first of all, as shadow rapporteur, I want to congratulate Ms Jaakonsaari on this report. Kazakhstan is certainly a big, important country in a strategically vital region for the EU.

Sometimes we choose to work with poor and small developing countries with democratic problems and human rights problems, but countries in Central Asia, and especially this country, are in a different position. Do not forget that they are former Soviet republics. Do not forget that they belong to a different culture. In order to alleviate the situation and to export our standards we must cooperate. If we want to export our values, the key word with a country like this is cooperation. We are asking the impossible if we want them to share these values automatically.

We must certainly criticise; we certainly do not agree with the human rights violations; we are continually calling for the release of political prisoners; but in order to achieve this and to alleviate the human rights situation, we must work together. My position, and that of my group, is that a PCA with Kazakhstan is needed. I believe that it is necessary to work together in the interests of the region through trade, political dialogue and cooperation. I hope we will be able to change and perhaps improve the democratic situation in this country, but if we do not do anything and if we only offer criticism, we are taking a risk that our voice will not be heard. Can you imagine the voice of Russia or China being more powerful in Kazakhstan when it comes to changing the human rights situation? As I have already pointed out, the key issue for relations with such countries is cooperation.

 
  
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  Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Monsieur le Président, les Verts adhèrent au message politique de ce rapport, qui exige de l'Union européenne qu'elle conditionne la signature de l'accord de coopération renforcée avec le Kazakhstan aux progrès réalisés sur le plan de la démocratie, du respect des droits humains et de la liberté de la presse.

Je tiens à dénoncer le verdict de la Cour d'appel de Manguistaou, qui vient de condamner à sept ans et demi de prison l'opposant Vladimir Kozlov. Son procès, observé de près par la communauté internationale, a été qualifié de mise en scène, de procès "à la soviétique". Il n'y a aucune preuve concrète contre M. Kozlov. Il lui est reproché d'avoir diffamé son pays à l'étranger; il s'agit, en particulier, de ses interventions au Parlement européen. Nous ne pouvons pas accepter que des opposants et défenseurs des droits humains, invités au Parlement, soient en danger une fois de retour dans leur pays, voire emprisonnés. Il y va de la crédibilité de notre Assemblée.

 
  
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  Cristiana Muscardini, a nome del gruppo ECR. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, è importante per l'Europa dar vita a un accordo di partenariato e cooperazione con il Kazakistan, Paese che ricopre un ruolo strategico nel processo di modernizzazione dell'Asia centrale e punto di contatto tra il Caucaso e la Russia. Auspichiamo che tale accordo velocizzi le riforme politiche ed economiche necessarie affinché il Kazakistan diventi un membro effettivo dell'OMC e un partner economico importante per lo sviluppo del tessuto industriale, specialmente per le PMI che oggi trovano difficoltà a inserirsi sul mercato asiatico.

Esortiamo il Kazakistan a impegnarsi nella realizzazione del grande corridoio transcaspico, essenziale al rafforzamento della sicurezza energetica. Siamo consapevoli dei progressi fatti dal governo per migliorare la situazione attuale dei diritti ma siamo anche consapevoli di quanto si debba ancora fare. Crediamo perciò nell'aiuto di quest'accordo e anche nell'aiuto efficace dei mezzi di comunicazione e dei media sociali, sostenuti da iniziative transnazionali come lo Eurasian media forum.

 
  
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  Bastiaan Belder, namens de EFD-Fractie. – Voorzitter, terecht staat het Europees Parlement erop (zie aanbeveling (u) in het verslag-Jaakonsaari) dat Kazachstan zijn recente godsdienstwet herziet en een einde maakt aan willekeurige overvallen, verhoren, bedreigingen en boetes voor religieuze minderheden. Want dit overheidsoptreden strookt ten enen male niet met de internationale verplichtingen die Kazachstan is aangegaan, noch met de eigen grondwet.

Nieuwe berichten over voortgaande overvallen op kerken in Kazachstan, zowel geregistreerde als niet-geregistreerde, onderstrepen de zorgen van dit Huis op dit punt. Ondertussen meldt de raad van baptistenkerken dat sommige overheidsfunctionarissen deze zomer nota bene hebben gedreigd met de confiscatie van woonhuizen waar niet-geregistreerde baptisten erediensten beleggen.

Ik hoorde zojuist van de Raad dat de hoge vertegenwoordiger volgende week in Astana overleg zal plegen. Ik verzoek dan ook de vertegenwoordiger van de Raad aan mevrouw Ashton door te geven dat ik graag zie dat deze ernstige gevallen die ik genoemd heb, besproken worden in Astana. Dat is nodig, willen wij werkelijk wat te zeggen hebben over de mensenrechten.

 
  
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  Paolo Bartolozzi (PPE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ritengo che quella di oggi debba essere l'occasione per parlare con obiettività del Kazakistan e dell'importante accordo che il Paese sta negoziando con l'Unione europea. Il Kazakistan è un Paese cruciale per quel che riguarda la stabilità e il futuro strategico dell'Asia centrale ed è indiscutibilmente un importante partner economico e commerciale dell'Unione europea. Si tratta di un paese che ha già avviato un processo di riforme in materia economica e anche un processo democratico ma che deve ancora impegnarsi molto per portare a completo compimento questi processi.

È però un Paese che con questo obiettivo persiste nel dimostrarsi anche pronto a nuove e più salde riforme e credo che il compito dell'Unione europea sia proprio quello di accompagnarlo. Per questo sono certo che la firma di quest'accordo rafforzato permetterà passi in avanti, perché la sua approvazione rafforzerà un rapporto già solido e produttivo e assicurerà un'assistenza costante da parte dell'Unione europea. Rimango inoltre convinto – e questo credo che si sarebbe dovuto ancora più evidenziare nella relazione che voteremo domani – che il miglioramento dei progressi sulla strada della democrazia e i diritti dell'uomo debba essere accompagnato da un rinnovato e reciproco impegno aperto e costruttivo.

Il nostro obiettivo non deve essere quello di porsi in termini negativi con questo e altri Paesi di fronte al mancato immediato compimento di cambiamenti: il nostro obiettivo deve essere quello di sostenere lo sforzo di questi Paesi per realizzare l'obiettivo anche del rispetto del principio dei diritti umani.

 
  
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  Joachim Zeller (PPE). - Herr Präsident, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Vor fünf Jahren wurde die Zentralasien-Strategie der EU ins Leben gerufen. Fragt man heute nach der Bilanz dieser Strategie, so fällt die Einschätzung zwiespältig aus. Wir sehen, wie sich die Mitgliedstaaten einzeln um gute wirtschaftliche Beziehungen insbesondere zu den rohstoffreichen Ländern dieser Region bemühen, andererseits die Anstrengungen, diese Staaten auf ihrem Transformationsprozess zu modernen demokratischen Gesellschaften zu begleiten, nicht vorankommen oder – wie die jüngsten Ereignisse in Kasachstan zeigen – die Entwicklung sogar von Rückschritten gekennzeichnet ist.

Trotzdem oder gerade deshalb müssen die Europäische Union und die Mitgliedstaaten ihren Einfluss in dieser Region stärker gemeinsam zum Ausdruck bringen. Auch und gerade gegenüber Kasachstan, das mittlerweile zu einem Hauptlieferanten von Erdöl für etliche EU-Staaten geworden ist. Eine Isolation Kasachstans durch die EU würde nur dazu führen, dass die Mitbewerber um Einfluss in diesem geopolitisch wichtigen Land, denen das Drängen auf Einhaltung der Bürger- und Menschenrechte nicht so wichtig ist, ihren Einfluss noch stärker als bisher zur Geltung bringen könnten.

Die Verknüpfung von wirtschaftlichen Interessen mit dem Einsatz für die Wahrung von Bürgerrechten ist der Kernpunkt der Zentralasien-Strategie. Das sollte auch die Grundlage für die weiteren Verhandlungen über ein Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen mit Kasachstan sein. Der vorliegende Bericht bietet dazu eine gute Orientierung.

 
  
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  Inese Vaidere (PPE). - Mr President, Kazakhstan is a significant trade partner in Central Asia and an influential player within the region itself. Therefore the enhanced PCA has to fulfil the following expectations.

Firstly, it is essential for the European Union to strengthen both political and economic ties with the country. The existing cooperation in the fields of energy, education and others is a good basis for further cooperation. It is crucial that the European Union supports Kazakhstan’s moves towards an improved investment climate, diversified exports and tariff negotiations.

Secondly, the European Union should use the enhanced PCA as a platform to promote improvement of relations between Kazakhstan and other countries in the Central Asia region. Furthermore, it is crucial that the PCA contains provisions for interregional cooperation in the Central Asia region.

Finally, although it is important for the PCA to retain our belief in democratic principles and human rights, we should now also focus on cooperation in order to help to make our principles a reality.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. − Nachdem ich gebeten wurde, das Catch-the-eye-Verfahren nicht ausfallen zu lassen, gebe ich nun unter der Voraussetzung, dass wir bis 21 Uhr fertig sind, einigen der auf der entsprechenden Liste eingetragenen Abgeordneten die Gelegenheit, das Wort zu ergreifen.

Catch the eye

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). - Mr President, first of all I would like to thank our rapporteurs for the draft that we have discussed today. I fully acknowledge the time and hard work that have been put into this report.

At the same time, however, my position, Mr President, is that you should consider postponing the vote on this motion, which is scheduled for tomorrow, because yesterday, as has already been mentioned, the Prosecutor-General made a statement in which he labelled as extremist all the main independent media in Kazakhstan and banned them. His statement clearly blames the media for inciting social hatred and calling for the government to be overthrown.

I am extremely worried by this course of action. This statement cannot go unanswered, and so for the benefit of Kazakhstan I think that we should take this issue seriously. Postponement of the vote is possibly the best solution.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). - Kazahstanul este un partener important al Uniunii Europene în Asia Centrală, fiind şi un factor de stabilitate în regiune. Încheierea unui acord de cooperare şi parteneriat consolidat ar fi următoarea etapă în relaţia dintre cele două părţi. Kazahstanul ar putea deveni una dintre principalele surse alternative de aprovizionare cu energie a Uniunii. De asemenea, un acord extins ar putea favoriza fluxurile de investiţii din ambele părţi.

În contextul preţurilor tot mai ridicate la produsele energetice, trebuie să asigurăm diversificarea surselor, pentru a preveni crize energetice precum cele din 2006 şi 2009. Un rol similar îl au şi proiectele Nabucco şi AGRI, care urmăresc să consolideze securitatea energetică a Uniunii, iar Kazahstanul ar putea fi implicat în eforturile de a dezvolta o rută transcaspică de livrare a energiei către Europa. Însă astfel de proiecte au nevoie de întreaga susţinere politică a statelor membre.

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). - Mr President, next month marks the first anniversary of the brutal repression and massacre of striking oil workers and their supporters in Zhanaozen. Since then, repression aimed at the political opposition, trade unionists and human rights defenders has been stepped up dramatically. That took a turn for the worse yesterday with the statement by the Prosecutor-General already referred to. In it he accuses the unregistered opposition of extremist actions. He has also filed lawsuits to ban them, together with a host of independent and opposition media outlets.

This is the country in which some Members here want to suggest that the human rights situation is improving and that it just needs to be given a small push further, which a further enhanced agreement would do. I want to draw particular attention to the case of human rights defender Vadim Kuramshin, who was arrested in January 2012 and cleared of all but one minor charge in a jury trial. He has since been rearrested, and could face up to 14 years in prison. The negotiations should be suspended until there is a profound and proven change in the human rights situation on the ground.

 
  
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  Piotr Borys (PPE). - Szanowni Państwo! Miałem okazję być dwukrotnie w Kazachstanie, monitorować kwestie związane z prawami człowieka. Uważam, że umowa jest potrzebna, dlatego że trzeba regulować kontakty handlowe i gospodarcze. Natomiast nigdy nie wolno nam zapomnieć tego, że opozycja dzisiaj ma wielki kłopot. Władimir Kozłow został skazany na 7 lat więzienia, walcząc o prawa robotników, którzy zginęli w mieście Żangaözen. Dla porównania – milicjanci, którzy strzelali, otrzymali karę 5 lat pozbawienia wolności. W dniu dzisiejszym dowiedzieliśmy się, że prokurator chce zamknąć działalność wszystkich niezależnych mediów: 23 serwisów informacyjnych, telewizji i portali.

Uważam, że musimy dzisiaj przyjąć określone poprawki, aby w tym sprawozdaniu zasugerować, że walczymy o prawa człowieka. Dlatego apeluję do władz Kazachstanu, a także do administracji Catherine Ashton o podjęcie niezbędnych działań celem wsparcia działalności niezależnych mediów – i wielki gorący apel, abyśmy przyjęli to porozumienie, ale z poprawkami, które będą gwarantowały przestrzeganie praw człowieka w Kazachstanie.

 
  
 

(Ende des Catch-the-eye-Verfahrens)

 
  
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  Erato Kozakou-Markoullis, President-in-Office of the Council. − Mr President, I would like to express my appreciation for the open and interesting exchanges we had on Kazakhstan today.

This debate has been very useful and helps the European Union to inform its policy on Kazakhstan.

Relations between the European Union and Kazakhstan are at a turning point since the joint decision to enhance bilateral relations in 2009 and the start of the negotiations for a new PCA agreement in 2011.

Kazakhstan is one of the key partners of the European Union in Central Asia and with the future deepening of the EU’s cooperation with Kazakhstan, there is a need for such open debates and analyses of the EU’s policies towards Kazakhstan.

The European Union has been supporting the reform process in Kazakhstan both in the political and economic spheres since 2007.

We have not only been looking at economic development and business competitiveness in Kazakhstan but also concentrating on good governance and the rule of law.

In parallel, the European Union has been dedicating considerable efforts to the development of civil society as well as engaging on human rights and rule of law issues with Kazakhstan.

This approach of representing the EU’s interests in seeing progress in political reforms and in deepening our economic engagement with Kazakhstan is a balanced one.

This is why we have been surprised and are concerned by the initiative taken by the Almati Prosecutor-General’s office in declaring the Alta Party and People’s Friend Movement as extremists along with eight independent newspapers and 23 internet outlets and banning them.

Of course the European Union supports efforts to combat extremism and terrorist activities. However, combating extremists should not be used to justify restricting human rights. Human rights and the respect for the rule of law are best secured through open dialogue, political pluralism and a vibrant civil society.

You can be sure that I will pass on your comments and your advice to the High Representative/Vice-President who will make a visit to Kazakhstan next week and remains as committed as ever to ensuring that this partnership develops in a way that promotes both economic development and human rights commitments.

 
  
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  Richard Howitt (S&D). - Mr President, I just wonder if you could ask the President-in-Office to reply to my point factually.

There is a commitment to human rights in the opening of Article 2 of the current 1999 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Therefore, if we have negotiations for an enhanced agreement, is she really saying that the commitments set out in the 1999 agreement have been fulfilled?

 
  
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  Liisa Jaakonsaari, esittelijä. − Arvoisa puhemies, arvoisa puheenjohtaja, Kazakstanin ja EU:n välillä käytävä sopimusneuvottelu on kyllä testi Euroopan unionille siitä, miten Euroopan unionin pehmeää valtaa oikeasti käytetään, ja tämä on testi myös Euroopan parlamentille, miten me käytämme Lissabonin sopimuksen parlamentille tuomaa mahdollisuutta vaikuttaa neuvotteluihin.

Oli rohkaisevaa kuulla korkean edustajan ja puheenjohtajavaltion puheenvuoro siitä, että todellakin neuvottelut voidaan keskeyttää, jos todellakin ihmisoikeustilanne menee siihen suuntaan, mitä eiliset huonot uutiset kertovat.

En pidä äänestyksen siirtämistä minään ratkaisuna, päin vastoin nyt täytyy olla selkeät ohjeet Euroopan parlamentille, miten korkea edustaja, minkälaisia puheenvuoroja ja miten hän suhtautuu asiaan vierailulla ja ennen kaikkea, miten näissä neuvotteluissa edetään. Sen takia Euroopan parlamentilla pitää olla nyt selkeät ohjeet neuvottelulle, ja tärkeää on se, että parlamenttia informoidaan ja ne eilisen huonot uutiset me tulemme huomisessa, kuten Jeggle esitti, huomisessa suullisessa tarkistuksessa vaatimaan näissä esityksissä niin, että todellakin Kazakstanin viranomaiset purkavat ne päätökset, joilla mediavapautta rajoitetaan ja joissa käytännössä opposition toimintaa tullaan entisestään vaikeuttamaan, jopa tekemään mahdottomaksi.

Kiitän lämpimästi mielenkiintoisesta keskustelusta ja toivon ja pidän tärkeänä, että parlamenttia informoidaan koko ajan neuvottelujen etenemisestä, ja huomenna me annamme sitten eväät, mitä tulevissa neuvotteluissa pitää tehdä.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. − Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Donnerstag, 12 Uhr, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 149 GO)

 
  
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  Vilja Savisaar-Toomast (ALDE), kirjalikult. Lugupeetud juhataja, lugupeetud kolleegid! Tunnustan Kasahstani poliitilist tahet ja praktilist tegevust partnerluse süvendamiseks Euroopa Liiduga ning läbirääkimiste alustamist ELi ja Kasahstani partnerlus- ja koostöölepingu üle. Siinkohal on kindlasti vaja tagada, et see uus partnerlus- ja koostööleping oleks laiaulatuslik raamistik suhete edasiseks arendamiseks kõigis esmatähtsates valdkondades, sealhulgas inimõigused, õigusriik, demokratiseerimine; noored ja haridus; majandusareng, kaubandus ja investeeringud; energeetika ja transport; keskkonnasäästlikkus ja vesi ning ühiste ohtude ja raskustega võitlemine.

Kindlasti tuleb Kasahstaniga teha tihedat koostööd Kesk-Aasia piirkonnas rahulike ja progressiivsete suhete arendamiseks, et tagada antud piirkonnas positiivsed arengud. Esile tasub tõsta eriti selliseid valdkondi nagu veemajandus ja ressursside juhtimine, piirihaldus, võitlus ekstremismi vastu ja terrorismivastane võitlus. Uue partnerlus- ja koostöölepingu teemaliste läbirääkimiste lõpuleviimine mõjutab positiivselt majandusliku koostöö süvenemist ELi ja Kasahstani ettevõtete, sealhulgas VKEde vahel ning suurendab mõlema osapoole üldist majanduslikku kasu. Tähelepanu tuleb pöörata ka ELi Kesk-Aasia veealgatuse raames Kasahstanile antavat tehnilisele abile vee kaitse ja veevarude üldise haldamise valdkonnas, mille peamiseks eesmärgiks on parandada suhteid piirkonnas nii üles- kui allavoolu paiknevate riikide vahel ja saavutada jätkusuutlikud vee jagamise kokkulepped. Loodetavasti saavutatakse uue lepinguga ka märkimisväärne edasiminek.

 
  
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  Joanna Senyszyn (S&D), na piśmie. Wszystkim nam zależy, aby Kazachstan stał się stabilnym demokratycznym krajem, aby nic nie stało na przeszkodzie do wzmocnienia naszych relacji gospodarczych. Cieszy mnie, że Kazachstan wykazuje wolę polityczną i zaangażowanie na rzecz dalszego pogłębiania partnerstwa z UE. Martwi sytuacja w zakresie praw człowieka. W Unii Europejskiej prawa człowieka nie podlegają negocjacjom. Dlatego poszanowanie wolności, demokracji i właśnie praw człowieka stanowi podstawę dla pogłębienia wzajemnych relacji państw trzecich z UE. W grudniu br. zorganizowałam seminarium nt. procesów działaczy opozycyjnych w związku z grudniowymi wydarzeniami w mieście Żangaözen. Z niepokojem wysłuchałam głosów mówiących o pogarszającej się sytuacji w dziedzinie praw człowieka w Kazachstanie. Dlatego, w ślad za rezolucją, apeluję do władz kazachskich o zwolnienie więźniów skazanych z przyczyn politycznych oraz o zobowiązanie się do pełnego dostosowania systemu prawnego do standardów międzynarodowych. Wszystkie zalecenia rezolucji są kluczowe i niezbędne do rozpoczęcia negocjacji w sprawie umowy o partnerstwie i współpracy między UE a Kazachstanem. Prawa człowieka i zasady demokracji wymagają wprowadzenia konkretnych, mierzalnych, osiągalnych, ściśle określonych w czasie celów, którymi są podniesienie poziomu poszanowania podstawowych wolności i praw człowieka oraz wzrost praworządności. Nasza rezolucja zawiera pierwszy zestaw takich celów. Teraz kolej na działania władz kazachskich.

 
  
  

(Die Sitzung wird eine Minute unterbrochen.)

 
  
  

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ: ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΣ ΠΑΠΑΣΤΑΜΚΟΣ
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