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Procedure : 2013/2776(RSP)
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Document selected : O-000092/2013

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O-000092/2013 (B7-0508/2013)

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PV 21/10/2013 - 13
CRE 21/10/2013 - 13

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Verbatim report of proceedings
Monday, 21 October 2013 - Strasbourg Revised edition

13. EU trade policy towards countries of the Eastern Partnership (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Πρόεδρος. - Το επόμενο σημείο στην ημερήσια διάταξη είναι η συζήτηση επί της ερώτησης με αίτημα προφορικής απάντησης προς την Επιτροπή σχετικά με την εμπορική πολιτική της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης έναντι των χωρών της Ανατολικής Εταιρικής Σχέσης ενόψει της συνόδου κορυφής στο Βίλνιους, του Vital Moreira και της Laima Liucija Andrikienė, εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής Διεθνούς Εμπορίου (O-000092/2013 - B7-0508/2013) (2013/2776(RSP))


  Laima Liucija Andrikienė, author. − Madam President, the Eastern Partnership Vilnius Summit represents a historic opportunity not to be missed for the Union.

The EU may sign an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), with Ukraine. Such an agreement may entail large economic and commercial benefits for this country and tie its laws and standards to our single market. To capitalise on these gains, Ukraine must do two things. Firstly, it must run the last mile in fulfilling the political requirements set by the EU, enabling the EU to prepare the implementation of the DCFTA together with our Ukrainian friends. Secondly, it must prepare the economic ground which would allow the DCFTA to bring the expected results, in particular with regard to the following.

Ukraine still needs to improve its business climate, fight corruption and work together with the EU on fixing the bilateral trade irritants. While I am supportive of the Ukrainian willingness to sign and implement the DCFTA, I worry that not all efforts are being made to actually turn the country towards a more business-friendly environment and towards resolving serious commercial issues, such as the recently-introduced car recycling fee, the delays in VAT reimbursements, etc.

Secondly, the demand by Ukraine to renegotiate its tariffs at the WTO over more than 300 tariff lines, just when it is about to sign and implement a DCFTA which would slash bilateral tariffs, also raises concerns.

Thirdly, Ukraine must broadly reform its economy, not only to prepare for implementing its commitments towards the EU, but also to improve its track record and convince the IMF that it can be a serious and committed recipient of international loans and repay its debts.

This raises concerns, and I know that Commissioner De Gucht went to Ukraine a fortnight ago and that he has regular contacts with the Ukrainian government. But can the Commission quote at least some signs of progress made by Ukraine towards meeting our expectations for the economic reforms?

So I ask the Commission: how can Europe and Ukraine effectively work on the future application of the DCFTA when so many bilateral trade irritants remain?

On Moldova and Georgia, I urge the Commission to find ways to shield these countries from Russian pressure: they must be allowed to prepare for the signature and the application of the DCFTAs in the coming years. There again, the case of Ukraine should serve as a lesson that the EU should not stand still and should be proactive.

I welcome the Commission proposal to increase our autonomous trade preferences to Moldova by removing EU quotas on their exports of wine. This gesture will go a long way towards countering Russian pressure by showing the people of Moldova that the EU can act swiftly and show solidarity.

On Georgia, I remain concerned that the implementation will be complicated by the Georgian Government’s lack of control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But we should note that, despite the world crisis and the conflicts, Georgia has remained an open trading partner which can boast a very good economic record in recent years. Encouraging it to continue on this path should be the key to sustaining the Vilnius momentum into 2014, until the Association Agreement encompassing a DCFTA is signed.

Finally, the upcoming summit is an opportunity to reassess our relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan, two countries which for different reasons are not on track towards signing a DCFTA.

I deeply regret Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union, mostly for geopolitical reasons which have nothing to do with the long-term economic needs and interests of this country, which is already largely integrated with the Customs Union partners through the Commonwealth of Independent States. This course of events determines the necessity not to reduce to zero but to redefine and if possible keep improving our trade relations with Armenia. Surely the Armenian membership of a customs union does not facilitate such a task? But I look forward to hearing from the Commissioner on this issue.

As for Azerbaijan, the EU cannot consider negotiating a DCFTA because this country is not a WTO member. But the Commission should make good use of the opportunity to upgrade the trade-and-investment-related provisions of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and should explore the value of sectoral agreements, for example in the field of trade in energy products. Let us not be dogmatic about the notion of association agreements. After Vilnius we should consider being innovative in proposing new forms of agreements with these two partners.

Finally, regarding Belarus, I look forward to hearing from the Commissioner on the status of Belarus’s WTO accession perspectives.

To conclude, I want this Vilnius Summit to be a success, but it can only be successful if we see it not as an end in itself but as the beginning of the next phase of the Eastern Partnership towards implementing economic integration with the EU and finally seeing things change on the ground for the benefit of the citizens in our Eastern Partner countries.


  Neven Mimica, Member of the Commission. − Madam President, honourable Members, allow me to make one point very clear from the outset: the development of our trade relations with our Eastern Partners is not promoted to the detriment of any other country. These Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas, which are at the heart of our association agreements, will help bring down trade barriers and promote regulatory convergence. This is not to the detriment of economic operators in Russia or elsewhere. Indeed, Russia also stands to gain from the integration of its traditional trading partners into the wider European economy.

Our agreement with Ukraine will mutually open our markets for goods and services. It will be a catalyst for political, economic and social reforms and modernisation and will contribute to economic growth. The Commission clearly considers the artificial trade obstacles and cumbersome customs procedures recently adopted by Russia towards Ukraine as unacceptable. They constitute undue pressure of dubious WTO compatibility.

Given the current advanced stage of the process related to the Association Agreement, the best support we could bring would be by implementing it speedily once it is signed. The EU has repeatedly confirmed its firm commitment to the signing of the Association Agreement with Ukraine, possibly at the time of the Eastern Partnership Summit in November, provided there is determined action and tangible progress by Ukraine on the benchmarks set by the Foreign Affairs Council in December 2012. The Foreign Affairs Council debated this issue again today and reinforced the benchmarks.

In addition, the Commission has repeatedly called on Ukraine to do its utmost to solve current trade issues with the European Union. Our assistance to Ukraine has accompanied the preparation of the agreement and will contribute to the shared goal of its implementation. For example, EUR 40 million from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument is specifically earmarked for institutional reforms linked to the implementation of new agreements with the EU, the so-called Comprehensive Institution Building programme.

As regards our agreements with Georgia and Moldova, the Commission will put all its efforts, including legal revision, into enabling their signature before the end of this Commission’s term. Once signed, we will propose that the agreements with Georgia and Moldova be provisionally applied. To help the implementation of these agreements, we also set transition periods for the approximation of legislation by the partner countries, coupled with technical and financial assistance to support capacity-building and infrastructure. Support for the implementation of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas will remain a core objective under the new European Neighbourhood Instrument.

As regards Armenia, we are in a difficult situation now. Joining the Customs Union with Russia is incompatible with the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union. In spite of this, we remain committed to continue deepening relations with Armenia, and we are pursuing our internal reflection and consultations with Armenia on the best practical way forward. However, it should be clear that enhanced cooperation will be possible only in areas which do not contravene Armenia’s new commitments resulting from its intended membership of the Customs Union. Now that it has made a choice between the Customs Union and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union, the onus is on Armenia itself to propose a new way forward with the European Union.

Finally, let me also say a word on Azerbaijan and Belarus. The EU is currently negotiating an association agreement with Azerbaijan. However, unlike Georgia or Moldova, Azerbaijan is not yet a member of the World Trade Organisation. Hence the trade chapter of the Association Agreement would be limited to an upgrade of the trade chapter of the existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, in order to ensure that fundamental WTO rules and principles apply in our bilateral trade relations. Contrary to the association agreements with Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine, this will not lead to the introduction of any preferential trade treatment, be it in the form of lower tariffs or otherwise, for Azerbaijan.

Belarus is not yet a member of the World Trade Organisation. Its accession process has just resumed after a long pause, and it will not be an easy one, since important economic reforms are still pending. Moreover, Belarus is in a customs union with Russia and another aspiring WTO Member, Kazakhstan. We will support this process, but it will require constructive cooperation by all the Members of the Customs Union.

The EU is working hard on developing its trade relations as part of an overall strategy towards its Eastern Partnership and neighbours. This is being done in a very complex political environment, which, as we have seen in the last few weeks, is rapidly evolving. But our objective is clear: solidly anchoring our eastern neighbours to the European Union, through shared political values and deep economic integration.




  George Sabin Cutaş, în numele grupului S&D. – Summitul de la Vilnius trebuie să reprezinte un moment istoric pentru ţările membre ale Parteneriatului Estic, în efortul lor de apropiere de Uniunea Europeană. Este în primul rând interesul Uniunii Europene să aibă, în folosul propriei securităţi, o vecinătate stabilă politic şi economic. De aceea, sper ca la reuniunea din 28-29 noiembrie să fie semnat Acordul de asociere, care să includă o zonă de liber schimb aprofundată şi cuprinzătoare cu Ucraina şi să fie parafate acordurile cu Georgia şi Republica Moldova.

Avem datoria de a sprijini concret aceste state, în contextul presiunilor continue din partea Rusiei şi vreau doar să amintesc faptul că recentele declaraţii ale Preşedintelui Armeniei, conform cărora ţara sa se va alătura Uniunii Vamale formate din Rusia, Kazahstan şi Belarus, demonstrează eficienţa acestor presiuni.

După ce a fost supusă unui embargo asupra exporturilor de vin, Republica Moldova a fost ameninţată cu întreruperea aprovizionării cu energie în această iarnă. Cu atât mai curajoasă este decizia acesteia de a continua integrarea europeană, cu cât depinde energetic de Rusia.

Doresc să salut, în acest context, reacţia promptă şi eficientă a domnului Comisar Cioloş. Acesta a propus liberalizarea completă a importurilor de vin din Republica Moldova în Uniunea Europeană, înainte de intrarea în vigoare a Acordului de asociere. Am convingerea că Parlamentul European, prin intermediul Comisiei pentru comerţ internaţional, va aproba propunerea Comisiei Europene, dând astfel un semnal clar că susţine determinarea autorităţilor de la Chişinau de asociere europeană.

Nu în ultimul rând, pledez pentru abordarea individuală a ţărilor vizate, astfel încât să fie încurajate proporţional eforturile celor mai activi şi mai consecvenţi parteneri, cu un singur scop – integrarea europeană cât mai rapidă a acestora.


  Метин Казак, от името на групата ALDE. – След разпада на Съветския съюз, събитията в страните от Източна Европа и Южен Кавказ засягат пряко Европейския съюз. Затова съм убеден, че имаме голям интерес да засилим връзките си с държавите от региона с оглед на ролята на Съюза като глобален политически и икономически играч. Макар пътят към сближаване с Европейския съюз да се е доказал като успешна стратегия, всяка една от страните в различна степен провежда политически и икономически реформи. Някои от лидерите в региона все още се изкушават да следват алтернативни модели на развитие, които не са съвместими с принципите на либералната демокрация. Затова смятам, че политиката на Европейския съюз към източните ѝ съседи трябва да бъде силна, активна и недвусмислена, предоставяйки конкретна, всеобхватна подкрепа за демократични и пазарно ориентирани реформи в тези държави и по този начин допринасяйки за политическата и икономическата стабилност на региона.

Конкретен израз на засилващото се влияние на Съюза върху страните от Източното партньорство ще бъдат решенията на предстоящата среща на върха във Вилнюс през ноември 2013 г., където се очаква да бъде подписано споразумението за асоцииране с Украйна, създаването на зона за всеобхватна и задълбочена свободна търговия с тази страна и инициализирането на споразуменията за асоцииране с Грузия и Молдова. При условие, че властите в Украйна постигнат осезаем напредък по политическите показатели, убеден съм, че срещата във Вилнюс би се превърнала в крайъгълен камък в отношенията на Европейския съюз с тази страна. Украйна трябва да направи всичко възможно и спешно да подобри влошения бизнес климат в страната. Но не трябва да забравяме, че споразумението за асоцииране няма да бъде подписано, ако не се намери ефективно решение на случая „Тимошенко“.

Либералите настояваме за работещ компромис по този случай. Ще бъде изключително погрешно да се възприеме, че в светлината на продължаващия натиск върху Украйна да се присъедини към Митническия съюз със страните от ОНД, приложен от страна на Русия, геополитическите интереси ще надделеят в процеса на вземане на решение, пренебрегвайки въпроса за избирателното правосъдие. Убеден съм, че ключов фактор в това отношение ще бъде предстоящото становище на Европейския парламент по бъдещото споразумение за асоцииране, което трябва да бъде представено преди края на настоящия законодателен мандат, което изглежда засега напълно възможно.

Призовавам Комисията да преразгледа съществено позицията си спрямо Армения в контекста на решението на тази страна да се присъедини към Митническия съюз, доминиран от Русия. Европейската комисия не трябва да окуражава с нищо либерализирането на търговско-икономически отношения, които са несъвместими с принципите на един Договор за асоцииране.

Що се отнася до Азербайджан, считам, че преговорите за непреференциално споразумение за търговия и инвестиции следва да се ускорят в подкрепа на членството на тази страна в Световната търговска организация.


  Werner Schulz, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Herr Kommissar, Sie haben gerade noch einmal ausgeführt, dass die Europäische Union mit den Freihandelsabkommen die Handelsbarrieren zwischen der EU und den Staaten der östlichen Partnerschaft niederreißen möchte. Das ist auch bitter nötig, um diese Länder stärker an die Normen und Standards der EU heranzuführen. Aber wie reagiert Russland darauf? Russland versucht, mit Druck, mit Erpressung und mit der Eröffnung eines regelrechten Handelskrieges diese Staaten einzuschüchtern, damit sie sich nicht stärker mit der EU in Verbindung bringen. Das heißt, hier wird Druck ausgeübt, damit Präsident Putin sein ehrgeiziges Projekt einer Eurasischen Union – in gewisser Weise einer Wiederbelebung der Sowjetunion – durchführen kann. Den Staaten der Östlichen Partnerschaft wird allerdings gleichzeitig gezeigt, was sie zu erwarten haben, wenn sie in dieser Eurasischen Union drin sind.

Was können wir dagegen tun? Das ist ja die Frage. Wir haben die Möglichkeiten längst nicht ausgeschöpft, innerhalb der WTO gegen diese Maßnahmen Russlands zu protestieren und uns unsererseits deutlich dagegen zu verwahren. Gerade dagegen, was jetzt gegenüber Litauen stattfindet, das ist ja immerhin ein Mitgliedstaat der EU. Auf der anderen Seite sollten wir stärker über wirtschaftliche Kompensationsmaßnahmen nachdenken, das heißt bessere Absatzmöglichkeiten für die Produkte aus den östlichen Partnerstaaten, vorzeitige Senkung von Zöllen und Tarifen und dergleichen, auch finanzielle Unterstützung für Reformen. Wir haben die Modernisierungspartnerschaften, die sich bewährt haben. Aber auch politische Maßnahmen sind wichtig, etwa Beschleunigung beim visafreien Verkehr, damit sich die Menschen ein Bild machen können davon, was sie in der EU erwartet. Und natürlich müssen wir unsere Kommunikation verbessern und deutlich machen, welche Vorteile man hat, wenn man mit der EU zusammenarbeitet, und was einen erwartet, wenn man dem Druck Russlands nachgibt. Hier könnten wir einiges tun, um uns gegen dieses doch dreiste Vorgehen Russlands zu verwahren.


  Marek Henryk Migalski, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Chciałbym nawiązać do tego, co powiedział pan Schulz. Rzeczywiście tak jest i musimy to sobie uświadomić, że bliska współpraca państw Partnerstwa Wschodniego z Unią Europejską leży zarówno w interesie tych państw, jak i w interesie Unii Europejskiej. Tym, kto na to krzywo patrzy, jest Rosja. Im bliżej będziemy współpracować z tymi państwami, tym większą mają one szansę na niezależność i, własną podmiotowość w stosunku do Rosji. Dodam jeszcze, że silna współpraca, zwłaszcza ekonomiczna, między państwami Partnerstwa Wschodniego a Unią Europejską leży również w interesie Rosji, demokratycznej i wolnej Rosji, która z takimi samodzielnymi, zasobnymi państwami będzie w stanie zbudować przyszłość i relacje oparte na partnerstwie, kooperacji i współpracy gospodarczej. Warto zatem do tego dążyć, bo to klasyczna sytuacja win-win –wygrywają wszystkie strony, zwłaszcza Unia Europejska, ale również państwa Partnerstwa Wschodniego.

Pamiętajmy o tym, żeby inwestować –to jedna z najlepszych możliwości, jakie mamy – i wydawajmy na to europejskie pieniądze, ponieważ to się zwróci i nam, i państwom Partnerstwa Wschodniego.


  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar! Wir richten heute eine Reihe sehr konkreter und auf die Praxis bezogener Fragen an die Kommission. Das finde ich sehr richtig. Der eigentliche politische Hintergrund dieser Debatte ist jedoch das angespannte Verhältnis zwischen der Europäischen Union und Russland. Beide ringen um den Einfluss auf die Staaten und Ökonomien in ihrer Peripherie.

Meine Fraktion erkennt ausdrücklich das Recht souveräner Staaten an, ihre Handelspartner selbst zu wählen und Abkommen auszuhandeln. Wir kritisieren hingegen, wenn die Kommission den Wunsch des Rates nach Einflusserweiterung ungezügelt umsetzt, ohne sich mit den wirtschaftlichen Konsequenzen für die Menschen in den Ländern auseinanderzusetzen, die von diesem Konflikt letztlich betroffen sind.

Wir zwingen diese Länder, sich für den Westen oder für Russland zu entscheiden, indem die Kommission Handelsabkommen mit der EU und den russischen Ansatz der Zollunion für unvereinbar erklärt. Das Gleiche tut auch Putins Russland. Damit wird diesen Ökonomien die Chance genommen, von einer Rolle als Vermittler zwischen den Wirtschaftsräumen zu profitieren.

Bis zu 80 % – wir sprechen hier von Fakten – der ukrainischen Unternehmen sind heute vom Handel mit Russland abhängig. Für Georgien ist Russland der wichtigste Handelspartner, für Armenien ebenfalls. Moldawien wird den Verlust an Weinexporten nach Russland mittelfristig nicht ersetzen können.

Eine sofortige Anwendung der EU-Abkommen würde die Tür vor der russischen Nase zuschlagen. Bestehende Produktions- und Vertriebsketten würden durchschnitten, ohne dass unmittelbarer Ersatz angeboten werden könnte. Hat die Kommission entlassenen Arbeitern in der Ukraine oder in Georgien irgendeine Hilfestellung anzubieten? Das haben wir vor anderthalb Jahren bereits einmal diskutiert, und bis heute haben wir keine konkreten Fakten auf dem Tisch.

Es liegt nicht einmal ein Gesetzentwurf für Schutzklauseln vor, der EU und Partner vor Marktüberschwemmungen schützen könnte. Das macht aus meiner Sicht die geplante provisorische Anwendung des Ukraine-Abkommens schon formal unmöglich.

Wir müssen endlich eine Kohärenz von Außenpolitik, Nachbarschaftspolitik und Handelspolitik herstellen. Bringen wir endlich unser Verhältnis zu Russland zu einer friedlichen und für alle förderlichen Zusammenarbeit. Darin liegt letztlich der Schlüssel für die Entwicklung der Handels- und Wirtschaftsbeziehungen aller 50 Staaten in unserer gemeinsamen Region.


  Jaroslav Paška, za skupinu EFD. – Stretnutie vrcholných predstaviteľov krajín Európskej únie na závere novembra vo Vilniuse bude iste vhodnou príležitosťou na aktualizovanie pozícií Únie v oblasti obchodnej politiky ku krajinám východného partnerstva.

Hlavnou témou iste budú kľúčové rozhodnutia o podpísaní pripravených dohôd s Ukrajinou. Ďalšie krajiny východného partnerstva Gruzínsko, Moldavsko, Arménsko, Azerbajdžan či Bielorusko však tiež prechádzajú svojím politickým vývojom, a preto bude pri tejto príležitosti správne vyhodnotenie ich pripravenosti na uzavretie dohôd o voľnom obchode, prípadne zvažovať alternatívne modely obchodnej spolupráce. V každom prípade na rokovanie vo Vilniuse stálo za to, zamyslieť sa aj nad tým, ako znížiť značné napätie medzi Ruskom a Úniou v súvislosti s narastajúcim obchodným aj politickým vplyvom Únie na bývalom ruskom teritóriu. Možno aspoň verbálna deklarácia napríklad o tom, že Únia považuje za prínosnú iniciatívu prípravy projektu predĺženia širokorozchodnej trate vedúcej z Ázie cez Ukrajinu smerom do Viedne, by Rusom naznačilo, že zmyslom výraznejšej spolupráce Únie s jeho bývalými satelitmi je dopracovať sa aj k čo najlepšej spolupráci s Ruskom. Malo by nám totiž záležať na dobrých konštruktívnych vzťahoch aj s Ruskou federáciou, ktorá je pre nás stále významným strategickým partnerom. No a možnosť využitia transkontinentálnej železnice v centre Európy až k Pacifiku môže byť zaujímavá aj pre mnohých našich exportérov.

Myslím si, vážený pán komisár Mimica, že by sme nemali v čomkoľvek ustupovať. Mali by sme však myslieť na to, že Rusom treba vyslať signály o tom, že si vieme predstaviť aj nové formy výhodnej, efektívnej spolupráce s nimi.


  Ewald Stadler (NI). - Herr Präsident! Ich möchte dort anknüpfen, wo der Kollege Scholz aufgehört hat. Ich glaube, man sollte dieses Assoziierungsabkommen mit der Ukraine unterschreiben. Die Ukraine hat Fortschritte in der Korruptionsbekämpfung gemacht und hat auch Fortschritte im Bereich der Rechtstaatlichkeit gemacht. Auch der Fall Timoschenko wird gelöst werden. Das sollte man anerkennen, und man sollte daher dieses Assoziierungsabkommen im Rahmen des Gipfels in Vilnius unterfertigen.

Man kann nicht dauernd bejammern, dass der Einfluss Russlands auf diese Länder steigt, wenn man ihnen nicht entgegenkommt. Dann wird dieses Jammern zu nichts führen. Letztlich sollte man auch mit dieser Konfliktrhetorik, die auch hier in diesem Haus gegenüber Russland herrscht, aufhören. Wir müssen versuchen, in Russland stärker den Partner zu sehen, und nicht den Konflikt- und Konkurrenzteil auf dieser Welt. Daher bin ich also unbedingt dafür, dieses Assoziierungsabkommen mit der Ukraine abzuschließen.

Es ist auch ein warnendes Beispiel in Bezug auf Armenien. Wenn man die Verhältnisse zwischen der Europäischen Union und Armenien dauernd am Konfliktfall Berg-Karabach oder Republik Artsach festmacht und dabei übertriebene Rücksicht auf Aserbaidschan nimmt, dann darf man sich nicht wundern, wenn Armenien am Schluss in der eurasischen Zollunion landet. Das heißt also, wir müssen überlegen, ob unsere Politik gegenüber diesen Ländern und gegenüber Russland nicht zu überdenken wäre, und daher ist ein Abrüsten der Worte gegenüber Russland erforderlich und ein stärkeres Auf-diese-Länder-Zugehen, insbesondere im konkreten Fall auf die Ukraine und auf Armenien.

Letztlich erinnere ich bei Armenien immer wieder an die moralische Schuld Europas, und das zwei Jahre vor der hundertjährigen Wiederkehr des Genozids am armenischen Volk, dass Europa gerade gegenüber Armenien und den Armeniern in Nagosny Karabach eine historische und moralische Schuld aufzuarbeiten hat.


  Krzysztof Lisek, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Panie Przewodniczący! Oczywiście nieco mnie Pan zaskoczył, wywołując szybciej do zabrania głosu, ale myślę, że dam radę.

Proszę Państwa, wiele słów, które sam chciałem powiedzieć. padło już wcześniej z ust kolegów. Politycy, szczególnie ci najważniejsi, bardzo lubią w świetle jupiterów podpisywać różne ważne porozumienia, ale trzeba przyznać, że to porozumienie, które – mam nadzieję – zostanie podpisane z Ukrainą a parafowane z Gruzją i Mołdową, jest dla tych państw, ale również dla Unii Europejskiej, porozumieniem o historycznym znaczeniu. To nie tylko polityczny znak, że państwa te dążą do integracji z Unią Europejską, ale również głęboka przemiana ekonomiczna. To powiązanie przyszłości gospodarek tych państw z rynkiem Unii Europejskiej. Jest to również oczywiście – i o tym też musimy tym krajom mówić – otwarcie rynku tamtych państw na towary z państw członkowskich Unii Europejskiej. To również wielka przemiana struktury i systemu prawnego tych państw. Mam nadzieję, że do tego dojdzie, mam nadzieję, że państwa te podołają wyzwaniom i w przyszłości całkowicie zintegrują się z Unią Europejską.

Mam nadzieję, że Wilno nie będzie końcem, lecz początkiem wielkiego historycznego procesu.


  Mojca Kleva Kekuš (S&D). - Sporazum o prosti trgovini bo odnose Evropske unije z vzhodnimi partnericami premaknil v nek nov začetek. Izvajanje sporazuma bo namreč prineslo velike koristi tako za Evropsko unijo kot za partnerske države.

Zelo dobro se strinjam z avtorico vprašanja, ki je opisala situacijo v Ukrajini, glede drugih držav bi pa res rada opozorila na nedopustno ravnanje, ki ga izvaja Rusija in želi s svojim političnim in gospodarskim pritiskom vplivati na ostale države, da ne podpišejo sporazuma z EU.

Zato je pomembno, da v tej dvorani, jaz mislim, da tako Evropski parlament kot Evropska komisija, pošljemo zelo jasen signal, da podpisovanje kakršnih koli sporazumov pod nobenim pogojem ne sme pomeniti, da nosijo kakršne koli negative posledice, izzivanje s strani druge države.

Partnerstvo med članicami Evropske unije in med vzhodnimi partnericami mora temeljiti predvsem na načelu zdrave demokracije, na prizadevanju za trajnostni gospodarski razvoj in na skrbi za dobre oziroma odlične čezmejne odnose, ki smo jih imeli že do sedaj.

Jaz osebno mislim, da je trgovinski sporazum res pomemben korak na tej proti naprej.


  Nikola Vuljanić (GUE/NGL). – Gospodine predsjedniče, trgovinska politika je politika i ne može se razdvojiti od drugih politika, barem ne kod država i asocijacija koje se smatraju demokratskima i kojima su ljudska prava važna agenda. Europska unija to sasvim sigurno jeste i mora biti. U tom kontekstu čini mi se da treba sagledati događanja i situaciju u zemljama o kojima sad razgovaramo pa bih za primjer uzeo Ukrajinu i Armeniju. Ukrajina je postigla značajan, zamjetan napredak u području pravosuđa, u području izbornog zakona, izgleda da će se i slučaj Timošenko riješiti na nekakav recimo kompromisni način, barem prema riječima predsjednika ukrajinskog parlamenta, što naravno ne znači da zakon treba pisati za jednu osobu. Zakon treba biti sveobuhvatan. No s druge strane, ne treba zanemariti niti situaciju da ruske prijetnje postoje i prema Ukrajini i te prijetnje uključuju različite mjere koje mogu biti bolne za ukrajinsko gospodarstvo. Europska unija mora u toj situaciji znati gdje joj je mjesto i na koji način reagirati i na koji način uputiti poruku Rusiji da je to sve što se događa zapravo i u interesu Rusije.

Na drugoj strani, Armenija je pod pritiskom Rusije očito prihvatila članstvo u Euroazijskoj uniji. Vrata ni tim našim susjedima nikad ne treba zatvarati. Susjede ne birate, susjede dobivate i s njima treba živjeti i surađivati. No s druge strane, ugovor bez trgovačkog dijela, a trgovački dio ne može biti uključen, naravno, ne vidim kako bi mogao funkcionirati. U toj situaciji Komisija, čini mi se, mora zauzeti sasvim jasan stav.


  Davor Ivo Stier (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, trgovinska politika Europske unije prema zemljama Istočnog partnerstva doista nadilazi samu trgovinsku ili ekonomsku dimenziju, ona ima jednu stratešku dimenziju i zbog toga doista moramo učiniti sve da krajem studenoga u Vilniusu dođe do uspjeha. Uspjeha koji, naravno, znači poštovati standarde koje smo postavili, znači poštovati vrijednosti za koje se zauzimamo, to ničim ne možemo, ne moramo i ne smijemo ugroziti. Uspjeh, međutim, u smislu jednog strateškog proboja u ovom trenutku znači doista i širenje gospodarskih sloboda, slobodne trgovine prema istoku. To je jedan krupan potez koji je i uzburkao duhove u Moskvi, koja je krenula s politikom pritiska prema zemljama Istočnog partnerstva, pa i prema samoj Litvi koja predsjedava Unijom. Europski parlament i Europska unija su pravilno reagirali protiv takve politike pritiska, ali isto tako se mora reći da Europska unija unatoč svim tim izazovima nije izgubila iz vida onaj strateški cilj koji želimo postići potpisivanjem odnosno parafiranjem sporazuma u Vilniusu, a taj strateški cilj je upravo širenje slobode, širenje prosperiteta i širenje, na kraju, sigurnosti u Europi, ne u suprotnosti prema Rusiji, nego otvoreni i za suradnju s Rusijom jednom politikom koja će zamijeniti staru logiku podjele i konfrontacije novom politikom dijaloga i suradnje.


  Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D). - Panie Przewodniczący! Z dużą uwagą wysłuchałem wystąpienia pana komisarza. Muszę przyznać, że w jednym punkcie nie do końca się z panem zgadzam. Nie podzielam pańskich opinii o istotnych zaległościach Ukrainy w relacjach z Unią Europejską. Uważam, że musimy docenić wysiłek i dokonane już reformy gospodarcze i polityczne ostatnich lat. Nasze oczekiwania moim zdaniem w dużym stopniu zostały spełnione. Kiedy mówimy o polityce handlowej, powinniśmy pamiętać również o instrumencie technicznym umożliwiającym handel, czyli o rozwoju infrastruktury transportowej. Ukraina jest dla nas, Unii Europejskiej, swego rodzaju bramą do Rosji. Jest bramą transportową w korytarzach euroazjatyckich w ogóle.

Panie komisarzu, czy istnieją konkretne plany rozwoju i finansowania korytarzy transportowych, dokładniej mówiąc kolejowych, również z wykorzystaniem linii szerokotorowej od Katowic, a także infrastruktury drogowej? Sądzę, że to by bardzo pomogło obu stronom w procesie podejmowania decyzji o stowarzyszeniu między Unią a Ukrainą.


  Traian Ungureanu (PPE). - Mr President, it is a fact that Russia is openly blackmailing our Eastern Partners. Let me recall the case of Moldova. Its wine exports have been banned from the Russian market since the beginning of September. I welcome the Commission’s initiative to fully liberalise the bilateral wine trade. I want to take this opportunity to express my confidence that we in this House will make all necessary efforts to ensure that the liberalisation of the wine trade comes into effect as soon as possible.

But this is only one way to react to the pressure being exerted by Russia ahead of Vilnius. We should not only react, but also act and have a clear vision on the post-Vilnius period. We should ensure that the Association Agreement, including the DCFTA, is signed and provisionally applied without delay. I call on the Commission to take all necessary steps.

I am equally concerned by the energy component of our relationship with Moldova. Recently the Russian authorities again told Moldovans that they might freeze this winter. How will the EU support Moldova in this regard?


  Ismail Ertug (S&D). - Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Auch ich unterstütze den Ansatz, den wir und die Europäische Union verfolgen, nämlich dieses Handelsabkommen mit der Ukraine zu unterzeichnen, weil ich der festen Überzeugung bin, dass die bilaterale Zusammenarbeit und die Beziehungen zwischen der EU und der Ukraine, z. B. in der Vergangenheit, immer eine Vorreiterrolle eingenommen haben. Aber auch ich möchte gerne noch einmal kurz auf die Rolle und auf das Gewicht Russlands in dieser Debatte eingehen.

Es ist wiederholt erwähnt worden, dass Russland natürlich von seiner Seite her versucht, sofern es möglich ist, die eigenen Interessen zu vertreten. Wir wissen, dass Weißrussland, Georgien und auch die Ukraine genau auf dieser Transitroute der Energieleitungen sitzen, und da ist es natürlich durchaus legitim, dass Russland hier versucht, seine Interessen zu vertreten.

Aber ich möchte noch auf einen anderen Punkt eingehen, der heute noch nicht angesprochen wurde. Herr Kommissar, es gab 2007 eine Schwarzmeersynergieinitiative, die Russland und auch die Türkei beinhaltet. Gibt es letztendlich von Seiten der Europäischen Kommission eine Überlegung, dass man auch diesen Weg beschreiten kann, denn der hätte letztendlich durchaus auch positive Auswirkungen, weil nämlich Vertrauen geschaffen worden ist im Zuge dieser Initiative. Gibt es hierzu eine Initiative von Seiten der Europäischen Kommission?


  Vytautas Landsbergis (PPE). - Mr President, the Union’s programme of European partnership means, first of all, the promotion of European values in our European neighbourhood. Secondly, it means giving preference to European cooperation with neighbours as partners, as well as mutual rapprochement between six, five or four partner states themselves and with the EU, with a view to encouraging peace-building processes where true reconciliation remains necessary and peace is still endangered. The Caucuses is one example.

If the EU is able to convey this message effectively, that would give great meaning to our existence and to our European mission in the contemporary world. We consider the task as a goodwill effort and a chance to build a better world. Unfortunately, there is a stage at which, once it is reached, opposing values and goals prevail. You speak about the promotion of European values in the East of Europe. To hell with your values! We are in favour of Eurasian, post-dictatorial values. Our style and our order must prevail.

You speak about rapprochement and peace-building which would lead to increased peace and cooperation. To hell! That is your damned colonialism! We others prefer tension, confrontation and conflict, which are beneficial for our policies of manipulation and governance – direct or indirect. Those two stances – the Union’s and the Kremlin’s – are hardly compatible, to say the least.

Therefore, we should not debate as if we were in a competition for some objects of interest. No, ladies and gentlemen – and comrades in the Kremlin – they are not objects to be taken either by the East or the West. They are nation states with the freedom of choice. That should be stated in a very calm and consistent manner. Only in this way may we insist on Russia choosing to prefer partnership with the EU, since hostile confrontations with all and sundry lead eventually to nothing but misery.


  Corina Creţu (S&D). - În legătură cu Parteneriatul estic, iniţiativă a Uniunii Europene care se adresează unor ţări desprinse din fosta Uniune Sovietică, găsesc şi eu că este nefirească nemulţumirea Rusiei faţă de semnarea unor acorduri economice între Uniunea Europeană şi ţări ca Ucraina, Moldova sau Georgia. Reamintesc embargoul Moscovei impus importurilor de vinuri din Republica Moldova, dar şi alte presiuni politice, şantajul energetic, comercial şi militar exercitat în ultimele luni asupra Republicii Moldova. Este regretabil că Rusia, membră a Consiliului Europei şi a OSCE, consideră încă un act de ostilitate la adresa sa aspiraţia europeană a unor state ex-sovietice. Este dreptul suveran al oricărui stat de a-şi defini opţiunile de politică externă.

Felicit preşedinţia lituaniană pentru impulsionarea procesului de asociere şi solicit Comisiei şi Consiliului să susţină în continuare reformele şi consolidarea progreselor democratice în ţările Parteneriatului estic. Este în interesul nostru ca aceste ţări să beneficieze de oportunităţile accesului la pieţele Uniunii, pentru a se dezvolta şi a oferi cetăţenilor o viaţă decentă.


  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). - Summitul de la Vilnius se anunţă ca un moment istoric. Aşteptăm cu toţii semnarea Acordului de asociere şi a Zonei de liber schimb aprofundate și cuprinzătoare cu Ucraina şi, respectiv, parafarea acesteia cu Moldova şi Georgia.

Iată de ce suntem îngrijoraţi de semnalele care vin de la Kiev. Preşedintele Yanukovici trebuie să se ţină de cuvânt şi să ofere o soluţie în cazul Timoşenko. Aici nu e vorba despre o persoană, ci despre un simbol – un simbol al unei justiţii libere, necontrolate de puterea politică.

Semnalele din Georgia sunt şi ele îngrijorătoare, din aceeaşi perspectivă a unei justiţii partizane, pentru că acolo au fost arestaţi, cum se ştie, într-o justiţie dezechilibrată politic, mai mulţi foşti lideri politici. Tot în Georgia asistăm la presiuni politice exercitate asupra mass-mediei.

În acest context, Moldova se evidenţiază ca elevul cel mai bun şi, de aceea, considerăm că, potrivit logicii „mai mult pentru mai mult”, ar trebui să recompensăm Chişinăul. Pentru a consolida evoluţiile pozitive de aici, este însă esenţial ca Acordul de asociere şi al Zonei de liber schimb să fie funcţional cât mai repede, şi anume înaintea încheierii mandatului actualei Comisii.

Închei spunând că sperăm să primim din partea tuturor partenerilor noştri din Est veşti bune, pentru ca summitul de la Vilnius să fie cu adevărat unul istoric.


Catch-the-eye procedure


  Andrej Plenković (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, trgovinska politika Europske unije prema zemljama istočnog partnerstva važan je dio ukupnog političkog i sigurnosnog i gospodarskog odnosa prema Armeniji, Azerbajdžanu, Gruziji, Bjelorusiji, Ukrajini i Moldovi i mislim da je za nas sasvim važno da samit u Vilniusu koji je izuzetno bitan Litvi kao predsjedavajućoj Vijeća u ovom trenutku, u što sam se i sam uvjerio prigodom našega nedavnog posjeta odbora za proračun Vilniusu, bude uspješan. Međutim, on može biti uspješan tako da ne dopustimo da nam zemlje iz našeg najbližeg susjedstva na određeni način otklize iz fokusa prema Bruxellesu, prema onome što će proširiti i demokratske vrijednosti i ojačati pravnu državu, a i u krajnjoj liniji biti korisno za trgovinske odnose tih zemalja s Europskom unijom. S toga mi se čini da je posebno bitno riješiti pitanje Ukrajine i to na način da Ukrajina ispuni nekoliko političkih preduvjeta za sklapanje sporazuma o pridruživanju, a čini mi se da će svojim sadržajem sveobuhvatni i cjeloviti ugovori o slobodnoj trgovini znatno ojačati trgovinske trendove koji trenutno nisu tako značajni u ukupnoj masi trgovine Europske Unije prema trećim zemljama i tu mi se čini da postoji veliki prostor da naše istočno susjedstvo stvarno postane politički prioritet Bruxellesa.


  Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (S&D). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quella di Vilnius è un'occasione importantissima – come il signor Commissario sa bene – non bisogna perderla.

È una delle rare occasioni nelle quali un intervento riguardante il commercio, e dunque indirettamente le attività economiche e produttive, ha un effetto rilevantissimo sulla politica.

Dobbiamo aiutare questi paesi a recuperare un'autonomia che non hanno avuto in precedenza. È evidente che da parte della Russia ci saranno resistenze, tentativi di intromissione e condizionamenti di varia natura, però l'Unione europea deve avere il coraggio di portare fino in fondo i negoziati che si sono avviati e soprattutto di mettere in campo una disponibilità ad alcune soluzioni, compromessi o mediazioni – comunque li si voglia chiamare – che consentano di arrivare rapidamente a instaurare un rapporto con questi paesi, perché dalla loro collocazione futura dipenderà molto della vita della nostra Unione.

Credo sia stato un processo storicamente straordinario quello che ha portato a una disgregazione di quello che veniva considerato un impero. Ora dobbiamo dare a tutti la possibilità di avere una collocazione autonoma e indipendente anche attraverso gli strumenti di cui disponiamo.


  Paweł Zalewski (PPE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Dzisiejsza debata jest niezwykle istotna dlatego, że jest wyrazem solidarności Parlamentu Europejskiego z krajami, które znajdują się pod olbrzymim naciskiem ze strony Kremla, ze strony Federacji Rosyjskiej. Bardzo ważne jest, aby Parlament Europejski zademonstrował, iż z jednej strony bardzo popiera proces stowarzyszenia – tutaj mówimy głównie o Ukrainie, ale przecież mamy w pamięci i to, co się wydarzyło z Armenią – ale z drugiej strony także w bardzo konkretny sposób przeciwstawia się dążeniom Rosji do zablokowania integracji europejskiej krajów Partnerstwa Wschodniego. Te działania rosyjskie: blokada handlowa wobec Ukrainy, a także groźby i blokada części towarów wobec Litwy – to jest krok wymierzony nie tylko w te państwa, ale przede wszystkim w Unię Europejską. Musimy być solidarni, musimy również pokazać partnerom na Kremlu, że dysponujemy istotnymi środkami.

Mam nadzieję, że Komisja nie zawaha się w tej sprawie, podobnie jak bardzo popierała do tej pory podpisanie i wynegocjowanie układów stowarzyszeniowych i układów o wolnym handlu.


(End of catch-the-eye procedure)


  Neven Mimica, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, honourable Members, I am really pleased by the comprehensive debate provoked by this Oral Question. This only reiterates and reinforces the long-standing interest and the contribution which MEPs have been devoting to this issue of strengthening the Eastern Partnership as a political, economic and social concept of the European Union.

Therefore, we very much appreciate the fact that the processes of signing or initialling the Association Agreement, together with the free trade part of this agreement, with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, are advancing. These are the dynamics of the process: meeting the political criteria and trade benchmarks will enable, we hope, speedy progress towards the signing of this Agreement.

For the European Commission, the Eastern Partnership is not only about trade or economic policy; it is a wider and interlinked concept of political and democratic values that the European Union would like to have across the borders of the enlargement and Eastern Partnership policies. Therefore, we are committed to deepening the Eastern Partnership and its development and to stabilising the role that it would bring to the overall European area.

In terms of Russia’s attempts to influence negatively the processes of trade and also the political rapprochement of the countries of the Eastern Partnership, the response or the position of the Commission and the European Union is that we have reiterated on many occasions that Russia must respect the sovereign decisions of states, and we have made it clear that threats from Russia linked to the possible signing of agreements with the EU are unacceptable. We shall continue along these lines.

On some concrete questions – specifically on Moldova’s trade, or banning the wine and spirit trade to Russia – the European Union’s response to this situation is immediate full liberalisation of imports of wine for Moldova, and this will be done under the autonomous trade preferences; on the one hand the European Union’s autonomous trade preferences, which will be granted to Moldova, accompanied by the process in the World Trade Organisation on waiving the tariff rate quotas.

So our overall approach is that we will not only continue to offer and pursue trade-related benefits and preferences for these countries, but we will also seriously take on board all the proposals and views, tabled during this debate, which will assist us in future policy-making in areas other than trade: policy-making in the energy sector partnership and in a transport sector partnership, and other measures which could strengthen the European Eastern Partnership framework.


  President. − The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 149)


  Lena Kolarska-Bobińska (PPE), in writing. – The issue of close cooperation with our neighbouring countries has come a long way since the development of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership. We are now at the point where we are seeing the partnership strengthen in such vital areas as democratic reforms and the rule of law. We have seen reassuring progress in the field of visa-free travel. However, there is still one major obstacle to a successful partnership: trade. The Eastern Partnership markets, especially Ukraine, are the closest markets to our own. But they do not seem to be a priority for our Member States and the Commission. In light of the continued pressure by Russia on the eastern European countries to join their common market project, which has only grown stronger ahead of the Vilnius Summit, the Commission must redouble its efforts to bring the Partnership countries into our European market. The ENP and the Eastern Partnership should not be perceived as a consolation prize for the countries aspiring to access the EU, but rather as an opportunity for cooperation on the road to a closer union. If we can build our trade relationship, the rest will follow.


  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE), în scris. – Parafarea Acordului de Liber Schimb Aprofundat şi Cuprinzător la summitul de la Vilnius din noiembrie confirmă parcursul european ireversibil al Republicii Moldova. În ciuda presiunilor Federației Ruse, Republica Moldova este în continuare fruntașa în materie de reforme din grupul de țări din Parteneriatul Estic.

Conform principiului „mai mult pentru mai mult”, cer Comisiei Europene să facă toate eforturile pentru a răsplăti progresul Republicii Moldova cu acțiuni concrete. În primul rând, Comisia Europeană trebuie să accelereze pregătirea documentelor din Acordul de Liber Schimb Aprofundat şi Cuprinzător pentru semnare înainte de toamna anului 2014. Fiecare lună în plus în care semnarea ALSAC este amânată este un prilej pentru Federația Rusă de a șantaja Republica Moldova cu oprirea exporturilor de gaze, sau, mai grav, reactivarea conflictului din regiunea transnistreană. În al doilea rând, Comisia Europeană trebuie să răspundă presiunilor economice ale Federației Ruse prin crearea de oportunități pentru dezvoltarea comerțului cu Republica Moldova. Un prim pas a fost făcut cu eliminarea cotelor pentru exportul de vinuri; același lucru se poate face și pentru exporturile de fructe și legume din Republica Moldova către Uniunea Europeană.

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