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Procedură : 2013/2626(RSP)
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B7-0560/2013

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PV 11/12/2013 - 3
CRE 11/12/2013 - 3

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PV 12/12/2013 - 12.19
CRE 12/12/2013 - 12.19
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P7_TA(2013)0597

Dezbateri
Miercuri, 11 decembrie 2013 - Strasbourg Ediţie revizuită

3. Pregătiri pentru reuniunea Consiliului European (19-20 decembrie 2013) (dezbatere)
PV
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  Der Präsident. − Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärungen des Rates und der Kommission zur Vorbereitung der Tagung des Europäischen Rates (19./20. Dezember 2013) (2013/2626(RSP)).

 
  
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  Vytautas Leškevičius, President-in-Office of the Council. − Mr President, I am pleased to take part in this morning’s debate on next week’s meeting of the European Council. There is a heavy agenda, with a range of issues covering defence, economic and monetary union, and economic and social policy.

Let me start with defence. Next week’s debate on the common security and defence policy is particularly timely. It comes four years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and takes place against a background of some disillusion about the value of Europe. It presents us with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the added value of Europe, or – to put it differently – to highlight the cost of non-Europe. And I know that this is of particular concern to this Parliament which, together with national parliaments, contributes to the December 2013 European Council debate.

Defence budgets are shrinking and our fragmented European defence industry is struggling to remain competitive. If Member States harmonised their requirements for military capabilities, they would be able to use their resources more efficiently. If they could decide on a shared approach on the use and maintenance of assets, they would benefit from much greater capacity than is available at the national level.

The example of air-to-air refuelling is particularly striking. No single Member State can afford on its own to maintain an adequate refuelling fleet. Through close cooperation among ourselves, but also with our partners, notably NATO, we can increase overall capacity, reduce costs and be more efficient.

This is equally true for the European defence industry. Our technological and industrial base is fragmented. If Europe wants to maintain strategic autonomy and ensure the security of supply, action is needed at European level. Furthermore, creating a more competitive and integrated European defence industry will also stimulate job creation, innovation and growth.

Heads of State or Government will of course also look at the broader political picture and set directions. How can the Union respond in a comprehensive manner to the rapid evolution of Europe’s strategic and geopolitical environment and address new security – notably energy, cyber and maritime – challenges? How can the Union assume its responsibilities as security provider for maintaining peace and security together with its key partners?

Next week’s European Council is likely to identify a number of priority actions built around three axes.

Firstly, to enhance the effectiveness, visibility and impact of our common security and defence policy. The Union’s ability to bring together, in a coherent manner, policies and tools ranging from diplomacy, security and defence to finance, trade, development and justice can still be improved.

Secondly, to enhance the development of defence capabilities. I have already mentioned that cooperation between Member States is crucial. Significant progress in delivering key capabilities can be achieved through pooling demand, harmonising requirements, coordinating defence planning and development of capabilities, and ensuring interoperability including with key partners organisations such as NATO.

Finally, to strengthen our defence industry. To achieve this, we must improve the synergies between civilian and military research and national and EU research. We can also reduce costs, harmonise demand and enhance interoperability by developing defence industrial standards and certification procedures, without duplicating already existing ones. This will also help promote greater access by SMEs, which are a key driver for growth, to these markets.

We are witnessing a gradual recovery in the economy, with a slow return to growth. But with unemployment figures soaring, we cannot be complacent. Further efforts are needed. It is therefore vital that Heads of State or Government put all their weight behind the efforts to consolidate this positive trend.

Next week the European Council will come back to the issue of economic and monetary union and will carry out an assessment of the economic situation in the Member States and the euro area on the basis of the 2014 Annual Growth Survey published by the Commission on 13 November 2013. Work will also continue on reinforcing economic policy coordination. Let me say a few words about this second point.

As you are well aware, over the past three years the EU economic governance framework has been substantially reinforced, with the active support of this Parliament. The European Semester process – which has just started for 2014 – brings together the different strands of economic governance into a coherent process. But there is a need to enhance the effectiveness of the coordination of the economic policies of the Member States and in the euro area by increasing Member States’ commitment and ownership when implementing the country-specific recommendations and the reforms towards competitiveness, growth and jobs that these entail.

For this reason the December European Council will focus its attention on these issues: contractual arrangements and associated solidarity mechanisms. Contractual arrangements and related solidarity mechanisms should facilitate and support the reform process. Our objective is to enhance ownership, effectiveness, democratic legitimacy and accountability. Contractual arrangements will be built on existing procedures and next week’s European Council is expected to decide on the principles which will underpin these arrangements.

Although economic reform is in the interests of Member States, the long-term gains are sometimes difficult to assess immediately. To overcome the short-term economic and political costs, contractual arrangements need to be combined with financial incentives – the so-called solidarity mechanisms. However, conditionality and monitoring based on observable milestones are essential when designing instruments for financial support. It is intended that the European Council will agree on the main features of both the contractual arrangements and solidarity mechanisms.

Let me conclude on this point with a few words on the social dimension of EMU and the completion of the banking union. On the social dimension of the EMU, the European Council is expected to confirm the decision on the use of the scoreboard of employment and social indicators in the Joint Employment Report. The objective is to include the scoreboard in the 2014 European Semester governance cycle. However, the analysis of social indicators should not dilute the aim of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure as a detection, prevention and correction tool for macroeconomic imbalances, which is significant for the functioning of the EMU.

The European Council will also assess progress on completion of the banking union. This is a top priority, since it will help restore normal credit throughout the Union and prevent credit crises in the future. Following the adoption of the single supervisory mechanism, further work is needed on the completion of the architecture of the banking union. This includes the Bank Resolution and Deposit Guarantee Directives on which we are close to agreement.

The Lithuanian Presidency is working very hard to reach a general approach on a single resolution mechanism by the end of this year. You may know that this issue was discussed at yesterday’s Ecofin meeting. As I have already said, we are putting every effort into making it happen before the end of this year. I know that you share our assessment of the importance of this file and the need for us to reach agreement by the end of the end of the current legislative cycle, as well.

The European Council will also assess progress on the implementation of the Compact for Growth and Jobs agreed in June 2012, in particular in relation to Single Market Acts I and II, youth unemployment and the financing of the economy. These are of course issues which are key to delivering a return to prosperity and creating employment.

The European Council will also return to the issue of migration in the Mediterranean, following the tragic accident off the coast of Lampedusa. To avoid such disasters happening again, the European Council requested in October that the Commission-led Task Force identify priority actions for a more efficient use of European policies and tools in the short term.

It also decided to consider migration issues from a longer-term perspective next June, when it will discuss the area of freedom, security and justice. Next week’s European Council will take stock of the operational decisions identified following the work of the Task Force and the discussions by Justice Ministers last week.

I should add, by way of conclusion, that the European Council is also expected to look at enlargement issues – as is usual in December – and to welcome two Energy Council reports on progress to create the EU internal energy market and on developments since 2011 regarding strengthening the external dimension of EU energy policy. The reports will serve as a further impetus to continue our work in the energy sector, which is key to European competitiveness, growth and security of supply.

The December European Council will be a further step towards consolidating growth, creating jobs and improving competitiveness in Europe. We look forward to a constructive discussion and a meeting that will produce results which will show that Europe can make a difference.

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. − Mr President, President Barroso would have liked to be here with you for this important debate, as he usually is prior to each European Council meeting, but he decided to take part in the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest political figures of our time, and therefore I am honoured to be able to present to you the Commissionʼs assessment ahead of next weekʼs European Council.

Over the past twelve months, the Commissionʼs message to you has consistently been the following: enormous efforts in fiscal consolidation, in structural reforms, in financial marketsʼ stabilisation and, last but not least, in active solidarity have been made within the European Union. If we manage to sustain these efforts we will see that our crisis response will ultimately succeed.

As we meet today, we see that it is working already. We are starting to see the results. Economic indicators point towards a slow but significant upturn in both growth and confidence. The situation in all programme countries has improved and stabilised.

This is most visibly emphasised by Ireland’s graduation from its adjustment programme and it is hard to think of a stronger signal, first and foremost to the citizens of Ireland but also to citizens all over Europe, and then of course also to financial markets and international lenders. Ireland’s commitment and sustained efforts are paying off.

This is the right moment to pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the Irish people and their political leaders throughout this process. The Irish example shows that linking responsibility with effective European support and solidarity has proven to be the right answer. We should all see this as an encouragement for other countries under adjustment programmes. The Commission is confident that their hard work, which is ultimately our common hard work, will also pay off in the end.

Latvia adopting the euro as of next month is another indication of confidence in the euro as our single currency. In economic terms 2013 has been a turnaround year in this crisis.

The year 2013 has been a successful year for other reasons too. I am thinking of our joint achievements to agree and adopt the multiannual financial framework. I am thinking of our breakthrough in creating a single supervisory mechanism in the banking sector. We have taken new steps in reforming the European Unionʼs economic governance. I feel encouraged by the way in which the European Semester, and in particular the coordination of national budgets, is developing.

But we must be absolutely clear that we need to maintain our efforts. The recovery cannot be just for some. Unemployment and hardship remain part of a very harsh reality for many European families. So we cannot and will not leave the job half-finished. That will remain the Commissionʼs message to you and also to the European Council next week.

Now, at next week’s summit meeting, we need to take this forward. We have a chance to make 2014 a very successful year. We have to continue on our reform path as set out in the Commission Blueprint for a Deep and Genuine Economic and Monetary Union.

The economic governance framework that we have now fully implemented for the first year with the new tools of the two-pack is a massive improvement on what was in place before the crisis. But it needs to be completed. We should go even further to ensure the sustained stability of the euro area for the coming years. We owe it to our citizens and we owe it to our countries and especially to those who have suffered so much to recover and remove the debris from the last crisis. We know we still have to go further to prevent the next one.

For this, we need to first of all complete the banking union by putting in place a single resolution mechanism and the Single Resolution Fund. The Commission appreciates the efforts made in this House to advance quickly in forming your views on our proposals. Now it is for the Member States to fully engage in the debate and to come to a general agreement this month.

Some progress was made in the Council last night, and I am confident that an agreement will still be reached before the European Council meeting. It is important that we can fully conclude on this crucial piece of legislation before the European Parliament elections.

Linked to this, following last night’s further discussions in the Council, there is good reason to hope that agreement on the two pending proposals on bank resolution and recovery and on deposit guarantee schemes can be achieved in the trialogues before the end of the year.

Completing the banking union must be our most immediate and most important objective. However, the work will not be finished with this. We need to underpin our model with an even more credible and coherent system for coordinating economic policies across Europe, coupled with effective solidarity. The European Council next week will therefore continue the reflections on contractual arrangements and associated solidarity mechanisms.

Contractual arrangements, together with solidarity mechanisms, can be an important tool to ensure that important structural reforms take place in an effective and timely way. These new arrangements would constitute one additional step in our governance to improve the follow-up of country-specific recommendations and they would include the possibility to provide financial incentives to support implementation of the reforms.

The Commission adopted a communication on those instruments earlier this year. But let me stress again that this is not a way for Brussels to make life difficult for Member States: quite the opposite! The disciplinary element is already deeply enshrined in the European Semester and in the Fiscal Treaty. Now it is a question of reinforcing the agreement aspect that allows more involvement by national political actors and stakeholders, and the process should be agreed from the bottom up.

We also need to discuss how to make the solidarity element more concrete, so as to provide the necessary help to finance these reforms – after all these reforms are in the common European interest. This is all about stronger commitment, ownership and implementation, to the benefit of the euro area and the EU as a whole.

The Commission hopes that the European Council can flesh out next week some basic principles on this issue, which would form the basis for further work to be taken forward during the first half of 2014. First and foremost, we need to be clear about firmly anchoring contractual arrangements and solidarity mechanisms in the existing framework of the European Semester.

We need to focus them on those policy areas with the most likely effects on competitiveness, employment and the functioning of the EMU. We need to agree on their scope and engage all euro-area countries, while leaving the mechanism voluntary for non-members.

Financing the solidarity support should come from all participating Member States, whether in the form of budgetary support, grants, loans or guarantees and it should reflect the ambition level of reforms and the shock-absorption capacity of the receiving country.

The second major item on the European Council agenda is the common security and defence policy. The need for a common approach to defence matters has never been so crucial. The Commission has been calling for progress for some time already, notably in this House in all of President Barrosoʼs State of the Union speeches.

With our communication of last July – ʻTowards a competitive and efficient European defence and security sectorʼ – the Commission has pushed this debate higher up the European agenda. We have set forth concrete proposals towards a more competitive and less fragmented European defence industry. We want to sustain and enhance Europe’s military capabilities and the European Union’s autonomous action.

We have to work towards a more cohesive European security and defence policy mainly for three reasons.

Firstly, because we need an effective and visible common security and defence policy as a tangible expression of our international commitments; we need to be able to back up our values and positions with effective security and civilian missions whenever and wherever necessary. Through EU battlegroups and speedy deployment of EU civilian missions, we can show that we are as good as our word.

We also need critical technological expertise and autonomy in key capability areas. New threats and challenges, such as cyber security and trafficking of human beings, make the link between our internal and external security dimensions closer than before.

Secondly, we need to go further in this area also because public budgets across Europe are under pressure. The only sensible way to match increasing ambition and decreasing resources is through more cooperation. Today, more than 75% of investment in defence equipment is still spent nationally.

We need to avoid duplication of programmes; it makes no sense that we need seven models of the same helicopters or sixteen types of frigates serving the same purpose, while the US has just one. We need to share assets and develop common standards or we will risk losing critical expertise and autonomy. Economies of scale and efficiency gains can and should further strengthen our defence capabilities.

Thirdly, also in this area we talk about economic growth and employment. The defence and security sector directly employs 400 000 people and indirectly generates another 960 000 jobs in Europe, with a turnover of EUR 96 billion in 2012 alone and EUR 23 billion of exports in 2011.

To maintain those jobs the need for innovation-driven competitiveness is huge. We want our companies to remain competitive on the world stage. We need to invest in a knowledge-based industrial network able to generate cutting-edge defence technologies, by exploiting the dual potential of research.

We also need Member States to fully implement the 2009 directives opening up defence procurement. We want and we have made proposals to promote greater access by SMEs to defence and security markets. We also intend to do more to develop standards in critical technology areas and to promote a common approach to certification, a key enabler of industrial competitiveness. We are putting emphasis on space and satellite communications, to propose new approaches benefiting the security and defence sector.

This is not a debate for Europe alone. Our common security and defence policy is developed in close cooperation with our partners, notably the United Nations, NATO, the OSCE, the African Union and strategic partner countries and organisations. We owe it to them to make our efforts as focused and as effective as possible because pooling our resources and know-how is the way to do it.

So with the discussion taking place within the European Council, the Commission hopes to generate real ambition and momentum for closer defence cooperation and synergies among Member States. We need a more integrated and competitive industrial base, in cooperation with the European Defence Agency as well.

This House has always been relentless in its support for a stronger, more united European Union, a Union fit to secure and improve the welfare of its citizens, and a Union ready to take up its rightful role in international politics as well.

Issues on which the Commission and Parliament have cooperated over the last months and years – each time raising the bar and adding to the momentum for European action – have recently made real progress.

On migration, for instance, the Commission expects that the European Council will endorse the need to move forward with the concrete actions which flow from the work of the Task Force for the Mediterranean.

The Lampedusa tragedy has made it painfully clear that we need to step up border control operations and enhance our capacity to detect boats in the Mediterranean. It has also underlined the limits of national policies to deal with a large and complex problem such as illegal migration flows, showing the need for more assistance to Member States with particular migration problems and real solidarity.

Let me recall that the Commission is setting aside financial support of up to EUR 50 million including emergency funding, and in support of Italy in particular EUR 30 million has been set aside, including for border surveillance operations under the Frontex mandate. The nature of the problems calls for such support, to the benefit of all of us.

In order to improve the fight against trafficking, smuggling and organised crime, practical cooperation and exchange of information must be reinforced with third countries too. Regional protection programmes can be made stronger, notably for Northern Africa. Our resettlement efforts can be a lot better and, together with Member States, we should explore how to open new or better legal channels to access Europe, for instance for seasonal workers, students or researchers.

Last but not least, we need to step up our cooperation with third countries. For instance, new dialogues on migration, mobility and security should be launched with a number of southern Mediterranean countries, notably with Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Lebanon.

The European Council will also take stock of the progress made in implementing the Compact for Growth and Jobs and the two sets of Single Market Act proposals. There is positive news to report but there are still some important proposals where we can and must make progress still during this term. Member States need to deliver on their commitments. Just to give one example which the European Council will address next week: taxation policy, in particular the fight against tax fraud and tax avoidance.

An Action Plan was adopted a year ago. The Commission has made the necessary proposals for an advanced and comprehensive system of automatic exchange of information between tax administrations, and for tighter corporate tax rules against aggressive tax planning. We are pursuing negotiations on stronger tax agreements with Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Liechtenstein. The European Union is also a key player in shaping the OECD work on global standards. But yesterday, once again, the Ecofin Ministers failed – given the opposition of two Member States – to reach agreement on the Savings Directive.

I hope that together with you we can keep up the pressure to make progress in this area.

Finally, the European Council will hopefully agree on giving concrete impulses to improve companies’ access to finance – and SMEs in particular. We have already made headway. The European Investment Bank has significantly and successfully boosted its activities following the capital increase agreed last year. The EIB and the Commission have together explored further ways to develop risk-sharing instruments that can leverage resources from the EU budget with EIB support. At next week’s summit, the Commission will continue to push Member States in their ambition to use and improve such activities.

Let me conclude with a few remarks on the situation in Ukraine. I know you had a plenary debate on the Eastern Partnership yesterday afternoon. I believe this is a topic which cannot pass unmentioned also in our debate this morning.

Let me recall in clear and plain terms the position of the European Commission: European values and principles must be respected. This is particularly true for the Ukrainian authorities but it is true for everyone, of course. Especially after what happened last night, we have to reiterate that violence is never the answer. The solution must be found by political means, and this solution must be found through dialogue with the Ukrainian opposition and civil society.

President Barroso has already spoken twice with President Yanukovych on the phone after the Vilnius Summit, calling upon him to show restraint in the face of recent developments, not to use violent force against peaceful demonstrations and to respect the fundamental freedoms of Ukrainian citizens.

The High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission Cathy Ashton is in Kiev today, on the ground, in order to assist in finding political and peaceful solutions to the very tense situation that Ukraine is living through today.

The people of Ukraine have clearly demonstrated that they support Ukraine’s European choice. Our offer to Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, remains on the table. But the necessary conditions outlined in the Council conclusions need to be met and the current political tensions need to have a peaceful solution. I welcome that this was also the very large consensus that emerged from your debate yesterday.

On all these things which I have just mentioned, the Commission and Parliament have worked hand in hand for the European common interest and will continue to do so.

 
  
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  Joseph Daul, au nom du groupe PPE. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, d'abord sur l'Ukraine, nous sommes très attentifs à ce qui se passe. Je déplore que le gouvernement n'ait pas signé l'accord d'association. Ce refus a conduit le peuple ukrainien à se mobiliser massivement pour défendre une Ukraine libre et respectueuse des droits fondamentaux.

Je veux aussi dire aux citoyens ukrainiens que nous sommes à leurs côtés et que nous condamnons toute forme de violence contre eux. L'heure est grave. Cela peut exploser et j'appelle de mes vœux une mission de médiation européenne au plus haut niveau politique, tout comme pendant la révolution orange, pour trouver des solutions transparentes et démocratiques.

Les citoyens ukrainiens nous adressent un message. Ils nous disent qu'il faut une Europe forte. C'est d'ailleurs – et je le regrette; enfin, je ne le regrette pas, j'en suis plutôt content – là-bas qu'on voit le plus de drapeaux européens, ce qu'on voit de moins en moins dans nos différents pays.

L'Europe a besoin d'une forte ambition et en posant les bases d'une vraie union économique, nous avons été ambitieux. Il y a seulement cinq ans, les décisions que nous avons prises étaient impensables. Or, ces décisions furent bonnes. D'autre part, les États membres n'ont rien perdu de leur identité. Le six-pack et le semestre européen fonctionnent. Ce n'est pas parfait, mais, partout, en Europe, nous voyons quand même de petits signes de reprise et nous voyons aussi que nous sommes tous interconnectés. Il faut donc travailler encore plus ensemble, qu'on le veuille ou non. D'ailleurs, regardez les secteurs économiques. Qu'est-ce qu'ils font? Ils travaillent ensemble, et le secteur politique veut se remettre dans un petit coin dans chaque pays. C'est complètement absurde!

Les budgets nationaux ne sont pas extensibles à l'infini et toutes les politiques ne sont pas finançables. C'est le cas de la défense, par exemple, et, là, je rejoins M. Šefčovič. Je sais qu'il est souvent difficile de parler de ce dossier, mais certains États membres consacrent déjà moins des deux pour cent de leur PIB nécessaires à la défense.

Si l'Europe ne s'organise pas au niveau de la défense, nous n'existerons plus dans le nouvel ordre mondial. Nous avons été naïfs. La fin de la guerre froide y a été pour beaucoup. Le monde est en train de changer. Regardez ce qui se passe en Lybie, au Mali, au Kosovo, en Centrafrique. Voyez le massacre des pauvres gens, des citoyens, en Centrafrique. L'Europe a un rôle à y jouer et doit être présente. Ce sont des missions auxquelles l'Europe sera de plus en plus confrontée.

D'ailleurs, les États-Unis considèrent que les Balkans relèvent de notre responsabilité. Si nous ne l'assumons pas, ce n'est pas grave, les Russes le feront pour nous. Il suffit de voir ce qui se passe dans notre voisinage, en Ukraine, en Moldavie. De plus, certains de nos intérêts stratégiques peuvent être menacés par des puissances régionales. Nous devons être prêts – je l'ai dit souvent ici, dans cet hémicycle – non pas pour faire la guerre, mais pour le maintien de la paix. Et je reviens à la Centrafrique, quand vous voyez ces images à la télé... Mais nous n'y arriverons pas seuls et, au cours de la prochaine législature, nous devrons travailler au renforcement de notre politique commune de sécurité et de défense, si nous voulons exister dans le monde.

Si nous voulons protéger nos frontières, cela suppose de renforcer notre capacité de réponse aussi sur le plan militaire et avec des forces mixtes. L'Eurocorps constitue une avancée, mais je sais, ce n'est qu'un début. Les neuf États membres contribuent à notre sécurité commune, mais cela doit changer, ou alors nous acceptons l'ensemble de la misère du monde.

Je ne voudrais pas qu'on s'y méprenne, il convient également d'accroître les aides au développement pour développer ces pays chez eux. Mais pour ce faire – et je reprends l'exemple de la Centrafrique, parce que ces images m'ont choqué cette nuit, quand j'ai regardé la télé, ici –, dans le cas de la Centrafrique, il faut deux chose: il faut maintenant le maintien de l'ordre pour éviter les drames, et il faut une aide au développement digne de ce nom.

J'y reviendrai aussi – vous m'avez pris tout mon discours, Monsieur Šefčovič, ce matin –, l'équipement de nos forces armées doit aussi changer. Il faut mutualiser nos ressources de recherche et de développement. Nous n'avons pas les moyens de continuer à travailler comme nous travaillons. Nous avons – vous l'avez dit – différents types de matériels. Je ne suis pas un spécialiste des matériels, mais nous devons travailler avec l'OTAN pour que nous ayons, là aussi, une industrie de l'armement digne de ce nom qui puisse subsister en Europe. Sinon, ce n'est pas viable.

Nous avons des fleurons technologiques de la défense, il nous reste des fleurons. Il faut agir ensemble au niveau de l'Europe pour que nous puissions les garder et il faut le faire comme nous avons abordé la crise économique. Il nous faut le six-pack de la défense, puisque le six-pack, c'est à la mode, avec des engagements clairs et des objectifs sans tabou.

En parlant d'ambition, aussi, chers collègues, la question qui se pose aujourd'hui quand nous regardons cette évolution, qui est normale, puisqu'après les révolutions, il y a des évolutions, il nous faut aussi repenser – je l'ai déjà dit à certains collègues – le six-pack sur la justice, le fonctionnement des justices en Europe. Je sais, c'est un dossier difficile à aborder. Je ne veux pas dire qu'il faut défendre M. X ou M. Y, mais nous avons des fonctionnements de la justice qui n'ont pas été mis en place après l'entrée de beaucoup de pays, au niveau de l'Union européenne, qui n'ont pas été achevés jusqu'au bout. Nous devons et nous ne pouvons pas négliger cet engagement au niveau de l'Europe. Il nous faut réfléchir en ce moment quand on voit ce qui se passe dans certains de nos pays européens.

L'Europe est une communauté de valeurs, de responsabilités partagées. L'Europe doit se renforcer pour avoir sa place dans le nouvel ordre mondial et, à tous ceux qui veulent moins d'Europe, je dis: "il nous faudra demain plus d'Europe", parce que ceux qui disent qu'il faut moins d'Europe se trompent et le verront très rapidement. Nous devons défendre nos valeurs partagées et aller de l'avant. Nous devons le faire pour l'avenir et la souveraineté de notre continent.

 
  
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  Hannes Swoboda, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I would also like to start with Ukraine. We appeal to all the forces in the country to restrain their activities and not to use violence. It is good that Mr Yanukovych met Cathy Ashton and former Presidents but it is not acceptable that, having met these people and talked about a round table, he then lets the police drag down the demonstrations. This is not acceptable for us and we will fight for the freedom of the people who are demonstrating in the country of Ukraine for European values, because that is what they are fighting for.

(Applause)

Turning to defence, it is absolutely correct that we need more European defence efforts. The USA is engaging increasingly in the Pacific region and less in Europe, so we have to shoulder our task. We cannot be the old forgotten continent. We have to fight together, against terrorism for example. Terrorism will stay in our neighbourhood for a long time. As the Commission Vice-President said, synergies and better cooperation in the defence sector can also help us to save money in our national budgets but at the same time increase our defence efforts. I must say very clearly that if nearly 6 000 jobs are now in danger with EADS, it is partly because the national governments do not cooperate and do not enforce and enhance European defence structures and European defence industries. That is scandalous. So we need more defence efforts, but of course we also need more social cohesion and economic development in order to have the support of European citizens.

With that I come to the economic situation. We have had marvellous news in recent days. The estimated annual growth rate had to be revised up from 2.8% to 3.6%. The unemployment rate fell from 7.3% to 7%, the lowest since November 2008. This is without doubt great news – only that these are the figures for the United States of America and not for Europe. In Europe it is not as rosy as the Commission and the Council described it today. We still have many difficulties and we have shown that another policy is possible with the independent annual growth surveys which we presented. But unfortunately there is no change in the policy of the Commission and of many of the Council. I must say, having been in southern countries in crisis, that the more Mr Rehn speaks and the more he gives interviews, the more anti-European feelings rise in these countries.

I do not want to interfere in the beauty contest between Mr Verhofstadt and Mr Rehn. That is their business. But we have to change the policies. From Mr Rehn’s department in the Commission come figures that cumulative loss of output is equal to 18% for Greece, and 9% for Spain and France. This is what the Commission experts say. What do Mr Rehn, the Commission and the Council say? That Spain will approach the average European unemployment rate in 2033. That is the reality. Do not only cite Ireland, but mention the others as well. How can we live with this social devastation in some of the countries, from Greece to Portugal, highlighted not by us or by political forces but by independent organisations like Caritas? How can the Commission support the Troika when in Greece they are saying that people should be thrown out of their houses if they cannot pay their rent or pay back their credit? And what was the answer from one of the Troika members to criticism of this position? He said: build shelters for the people who have to be thrown out of their houses. This is the reality in some of the countries like Greece and this reality is not acceptable for us.

There are a lot of better ideas. For example I do not know how the Commission would react to this proposal: if we now sanction the banks with a fine of EUR 1.7 billion, why not use that in the fight against unemployment? Rather than just put it in our pockets, use it for the fight against unemployment and raise the Youth Guarantee. That would be a better idea. We have much better ideas for common European policy than the contractual agreements the Commission Vice-President mentioned. With the banking union again, nationalism and intergovernmentalism come into play instead of having a common European economic and monetary policy.

Let me also look at the social aspects of the situation in Europe today. It was more than 40 years ago – it was exactly 40 years ago on 13 November – when the German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, spoke to the European Parliament. He appealed, 40 years ago, in a very visionary speech, for the creation of the social union. He pleaded for equality of social rights and economic growth. Yet still today we have to struggle with the Commission, and with a majority in the Council, to have that social union implemented and to have strong social criteria in the economic and monetary union of the European Union.

Instead of establishing a social union, some of the member countries – and I look, for example to the British Government, but not only the British Government – want to restrict freedom of movement within the European Union and to create new divisions so that you can only travel if you have a high income. But what are we doing to achieve higher income in the poor countries? Instead of having a common strategy to fight against poverty, we fight against citizens from our member countries. So today nationalism again triumphs over social concerns.

Instead of creating jobs for all and reducing the gaps between rich and poor with regard to income and wealth, we again draw these kinds of divisions between nationals and foreigners. Again we speak about foreigners when we mean our co-citizens inside the European Union. Member States again – Britain and others – demand more power and more rights for themselves but instead they should use the rights they have. If there is social benefit tourism and if there is abuse – and it is very small, the Commission showed that – legislate at a national level but do not destroy what we have reached at European Union level, namely the freedom of movement.

There are two concepts of the European Union. One is that it should be restricted to the common market for goods and services, maybe also for the common market in defence goods. But there is another vision of the European Union which includes the freedom of labour and the freedom of movement for everybody. There is another concept of the European Union which says we should fight against poverty and the rising income gap in the European Union. It is true that there is mistrust in the European Union, but the mistrust is here because economic and social problems are not being tackled by the European Union. If we had a stronger common economic policy and a common social union, the people would also enhance the freedom of movement and the freedom of labour. Let us not destroy the Europe we have. Let us change it, let us improve it, but let us create a social union as a basis for trust and confidence inside the European Union.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, first of all I want to thank all the colleagues – and especially Mr Swoboda – who are very interested in the democratic choice we have in the Liberal Group. Obviously it is because it is only in the Liberal Group that there is a democratic choice that everybody is interested in it!

Besides that I want start my intervention by paying tribute to the citizens of Ukraine. I do that because the hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of Kiev are in my opinion today the best answer we can give to the rising Eurosceptic sentiment in Europe today. Inside Europe, nationalists and populists try to explain to us that it is over with Europe, that there is no future for the European Union and yet you see, outside our Union, in the streets of Kiev, people who want to join Europe, want to join the European Union.

My hope is that this pro-European spirit will not only prevail in the streets of Kiev next week, but also in next week’s European Council. It will be necessary because it is not an ordinary European Council. We have in fact three decisive hurdles to overcome in this European Council, six months before our European elections.

The first is on European defence: it is exactly 60 years ago that the French National Assembly made in my opinion a huge mistake, in 1954 if you remember – I was just born one year before, so I do not remember myself – to reject the European Defence Community. Nevertheless we see that, if you carry out a poll in Europe, in all the Member States of the European Union public opinion is in favour of European defence – a majority in favour of European defence, even in the United Kingdom.

If there is one issue in the UK that they think we have to do together it is about European defence. I know, some were laughing ten years ago when in the aftermath of the Iraq war we organised with France and with Germany what they called afterwards the Chocolate Summit. The idea at that time was to build on European defence, based on the St Malo agreement between France and Great Britain. I can only hope that ten years later this idea can blossom again, because certainly in terms of austerity where all the Member States have enormous difficulties with their public finances, we do not have the luxury to do the same thing 28 times, and it is far better to cooperate in that matter.

The second decisive step we need in this European Council is the new economic governance architecture for the eurozone. Let me be very blunt about that, Commissioner. You have defended here the contractual arrangements, but this Parliament does not want this idea of contractual arrangements: the idea that between the Commission and a Member State we should make a contract in which a specific reform – pension reform or labour market reform – is imposed. This system of contractual arrangements will be the death of Europe if you continue with it. It would create resistance in every Member State were you to make such a contractual arrangement, because it would be seen as an intrusion from Europe in a specific national reform. We have said it already – Mr Brok, myself, Mr Gualtieri in the name of the Parliament – in the Sherpa meetings and you are simply continuing with the idea.

The Commission should defend another idea, the same idea as Parliament, the idea of convergence guidelines. There need to be convergence directives that are applicable to all 28 Member States of the Union, and to all the 17 Member States of the eurozone. Naturally, these convergence guidelines will have different consequences in these and other Member States with different reforms. Please stop this idea of contractual arrangements; it gives the impression that the European Union, and specifically the Commission, is in fact intervening and imposing a special national reform while it is still Member States who are responsible for that.

Finally, my third point is the banking union. Let me first of all say what I have repeated already many times here in the plenary: without this banking union there is no solution to this crisis. We shall see exactly the same as what happened in Japan: that is a long period of economic stagnation. We need a real banking union, not merely a banking union, not what I call a loose coordination of national resolution mechanisms. That will not work. We do not need an intergovernmental system, we need a Community system. What I have read in the press this morning about the outcome of the Ecofin meeting last night is again an intergovernmental system that this Parliament hopefully will never accept.

Secondly, it has to be a system paid for not by taxpayers but by the banks themselves because, if it is again a system like the one we had in the past, it will be the taxpayers again who foot the bill. Banks have to pay based on their risk profiles. I hope that in this Parliament we can all give full support to the Commission proposal that precisely corresponds to this. My conclusion: I hope that at next week’s Ecofin meeting and certainly, Commissioner, at next week’s European Council, the same European spirit can prevail as the European spirit we see today in Kiev on Maidan square.

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

 
  
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  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE), question "carton bleu". – Cher collègue, vous avez cité les représentants du peuple français qui ont eu raison de ne pas confier la défense de la nation française à l'Europe car l'Europe, à l'époque, n'était pas prête.

Croyez-vous sincèrement que l'Union européenne, aujourd'hui, est en mesure d'assurer la défense des peuples? Croyez-vous que vous ferez la défense européenne sans les États, et notamment les grands États, qui sont en mesure d'avoir les meilleures armées du monde? Croyez-vous que l'Union européenne soit vraiment prête aujourd'hui?

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE), réponse "carton bleu". – Monsieur Audy, je crois d'abord que la défense européenne est un impératif car c'est un domaine que les États n'arrivent plus à financer sous la forme actuelle. Telle est la réalité. La réalité est que les États européens consacrent 42 % des dépenses américaines à la défense, ce qui est beaucoup, parce que les dépenses américaines au niveau militaire sont énormes. 42 %! Presque la moitié. Mais nous sommes à peine capables d'effectuer 10 % des opérations que les Américains réalisent. Cela signifie, si vous faites un petit calcul, que l'Europe est quatre à cinq fois moins efficace au niveau militaire que les Américains. C'est donc clair, il faut continuer sur la base de Saint-Malo.

Saint-Malo, c'était un accord entre la France et la Grande-Bretagne en vue de lancer la communauté de défense. Ce que je propose, et ce qu'on a fait avec M. Chirac pendant ce sommet, il y a dix ans, c'est justement d'avancer sur ce point et d'en finir avec l'idée idiote qu'il faut faire vingt-trois fois la même chose dans le domaine de la défense de l'Europe.

 
  
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  Rebecca Harms, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Sehr geehrte Herren Präsidenten, sehr geehrte Kollegen! Ich bin froh, dass jetzt – zumindest nachdem bewaffnete Spezialeinheiten die Büros der Oppositionsparteien in Kiew geräumt und zum Teil zerstört haben – dieses Parlament geschlossen dafür eintritt, eine ganz starke Präsenz in Kiew zu organisieren. Letzte Woche war diese Entscheidung ja noch nicht möglich. Ich bedauere sehr, dass es diesen Willen, in Kiew als offizielle Delegation des Parlaments auf dem Maidan zu sein, nicht am Wochenende gab. Wir hätten vielleicht etwas verhindern können. Ich hoffe, dass sich das jetzt ändert und wir die Entschließung, die wir gestern verhandelt haben, heute gemeinsam verabschieden.

In Kiew zeigt sich ja eine große Schwäche der Europäischen Union, nämlich mit einer einheitlichen Politik tatsächlich zu agieren. Was die Ukraine angeht, zeigt sich im Moment immer wieder diese ganz große Schwäche, eine Russland-Politik aus einem Guss zu machen. Ich hoffe nicht, dass diejenigen, die Freiheit und Demokratie in der Ukraine wollen, jetzt für diese Unfähigkeit der Europäischen Union bezahlen müssen.

Zur Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik: Wir sind in der Gefahr, dass Pferd von hinten aufzuzäumen. Ich finde es wirklich richtig, dass mal überlegt wird, wie wir uns unsere gemeinsame Sicherheits- und Außenpolitik eigentlich vorstellen. Wo wollen wir stehen, in fünf, in zehn Jahren? Was lernen wir eigentlich aus militärischen Interventionen? Was lernen wir aus Atalanta? Was lernen wir vom französischen Einsatz in Mali oder aus der Flucht – auch europäischer Soldaten – aus Afghanistan? Was brauchen wir gemeinsam?

Wenn das an den Anfang dieser Debatte gestellt wird, dann hilft das wirklich für eine bessere, gemeinsamere Politik. Angesichts knapper Kassen in der Europäischen Union, angesichts der Situation, dass wir sehr, sehr wenig Geld für gemeinsame Sozialpolitik oder für den Kampf gegen Jugendarbeitslosigkeit in der Europäischen Union in unserem gefledderten Haushalt haben, jetzt die Idee, aus dem europäischen Haushalt Drohnen und anderes Equipment anzuschaffen – mein Gott, was ist denn hier eigentlich los? So kann man die Stimmung in der Europäischen Union bestimmt nicht umdrehen.

In Sachen Gerechtigkeit Bankenunion: Ich weiß nicht, wie oft wir jetzt schon darüber diskutiert haben. Ohne das Europäische Parlament und einige engagierte Kollegen wie z. B. unseren Sven Giegold oder Philippe Lamberts hätten wir nicht die erste Säule der Bankenunion, hätten wir überhaupt nicht die Bankenaufsicht. Und ob wir – was der Gerechtigkeit in Europa sehr dienen würde – diesen Abwicklungsfonds, gespeist von den Banken, bekommen, das steht für mich noch auf einem fast unbeschriebenen Blatt, weil doch schon wieder alles blockiert wird.

Meine Damen und Herren, Herr Verhofstadt hat die Anforderungen angesprochen, die wir brauchen, damit der Euro dauerhaft stabil wird, damit wir aus der Krise herauskommen. Wir müssen in einer gemeinsamen Fiskal- und Wirtschaftspolitik diese wichtigen Schritte tun.

Aber das, was Sie vorgestellt haben, Herr Šefčovič, ist das Gegenteil! Wer will, dass sich die Geschichte von Griechenland wiederholt – eines Landes, das am Anfang der Debatte bereit war, über Reformen zu diskutieren, in dem es eine Reformstimmung gab –, wer will, dass sich diese Geschichte wiederholt und dass aus Reformstimmung einfach nur noch Zukunftsangst wird, dass sich mehr und mehr Menschen nach rechts und in populistische Bewegungen flüchten, weil sie keine Hoffnung mehr auf Europa richten, der muss genau diese Kontrakte, diese Verträge forcieren, wie Sie sie jetzt vorschlagen. Das ist antieuropäisch, das ist undemokratisch und dafür wird es aus meiner Fraktion nie eine Zustimmung geben.

 
  
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  Martin Callanan, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, we have talked about economic policy many times in this Chamber so, this morning, I want to concentrate on defence policy because, when it comes to defence in Europe, the right approach in my view should be one of cooperation, capability and compatibility.

And that is the approach that Europe has developed for over 60 years under the NATO umbrella. NATO is a tried and tested alliance, and yet many here are seeking to undermine it with more EU bureaucracy through the CSDP. They seek to duplicate its roles in order to create an EU army through the back door. And yes, of course, we all recognise that NATO needs to modernise.

When it was first formed in 1949, its first Secretary-General said, and I quote, that its role was: ʻto keep the Russians out, to keep the Americans in and the Germans downʼ. The challenges of the 21st century are, of course, very different to those in 1949. However, NATOʼs strength, ultimately, is the transatlantic security relationship that it embodies. We still need in my view to keep the Americans in.

European and North American cooperation is as relevant today as it has ever been. Unfortunately under President Obama, the so-called Pacific President, the USA in my view is in danger of turning its strategic focus to its western coast. We are pushing them away and some may argue that the only solution therefore is to form a common European defence, but such a plan is flawed on many levels.

Firstly of course, European countries simply do not have the resources. NATO spends around USD 1 trillion on defence. Two thirds of that comes from the US. Of the remaining one third spent by EU states, 70% is spent by just four: the UK, France, Germany and Italy. There would not be a European defence because so few countries are actually doing the heavy lifting. And yet even if we add up our total EU-wide spending, it pales into insignificance in comparison to that of the US.

Secondly of course, European countries are not going to hand over command and control of their assets to an EU operational headquarters. Europeʼs biggest defence power is certainly not going to do so and it has already vetoed such an HQ. So we are left with a de facto intergovernmental arrangement where countries cooperate and pledge to defend each otherʼs interests, which sounds to me an awful lot like NATO.

Yet through this duplication of effort, we reduce the resources available for already overstretched military capability. These are resources we could spend on hardware and training rather than on playing with toy soldiers. But the most important consideration lies with our troops themselves. I am sure that everyone in this House has the utmost respect for their own countryʼs armed forces and I pay tribute to those from mine. The bravery and heroism of British troops is marvellous. These people fight for their flag, for their country and, from my country, for their Queen. Do we honestly believe that those same people would have the willingness to fight and possibly pay the ultimate sacrifice for the European flag? I think not.

European countries already have a long and valuable history of bilateral and multilateral cooperation and this should be continued. Of course we have to work together wherever possible. Strategic deficiencies will be overcome through this approach which is already embodied in NATOʼs smart defence initiative. In the recent Mali mission for example, UK transport planes were deployed to assist with lifting French assets alongside UK surveillance planes. But those kinds of bilateral cooperative measures do not need a new bureaucracy at EU level in order to implement them. They just need the willpower of the states concerned.

That will power has not always been forthcoming across all EU Member States; nothing illustrated this point more forcefully than the division caused by the Iraq war a decade ago. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of that conflict, it showed very vividly why national independence is critical to so many states.

In these challenging times we cannot afford to run two defence organisations in Brussels. We have one very successful one already. It has kept the peace for 60 years in Europe. It embodies the transatlantic security relationship and it still represents our best hope for security in the 21st century. Every step we take towards a European common defence, the USA takes one step away from NATO. In an age when rising economic powers are not always liberal democratic states, we must remain absolutely and resolutely united across the Atlantic.

The EU needs to learn the lessons of the euro crisis. We must stop rushing into creating the trappings of European statehood. Instead we should focus practically on what actually works, not on creating new bureaucracies just for the sake of it. NATO works. Let us stick with it and stop this vain attempt to create a European army through the back door. When it comes to defence in Europe, the right approach should be one of cooperation, capability and compatibility, as I said at the start.

 
  
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  Gabriele Zimmer, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Gestern hat die Organisation zum Verbot von Chemiewaffen den Friedensnobelpreis bekommen, und vor einem Jahr hat die Europäische Union den Nobelpreis bekommen. Warum nutzen wir den Gipfel, der nächste Woche stattfinden wird, nicht, um tatsächlich eine Vision zu verkünden, nämlich eine Vision, dass wir – die Europäische Union – die Union sind, die weltweit massiv dazu beitragen wird, das Arsenal an Waffen überhaupt abzubauen? Die Organisation zum Verbot von Chemiewaffen hat bereits 80 % der bestehenden Chemiewaffen weltweit abgebaut. Sie hat jetzt eine der schwierigsten Aufgaben überhaupt: in einem vom Bürgerkrieg geschüttelten Land während dieses Bürgerkriegs die Chemiewaffen abzubauen.

Und was machen wir? Wir organisieren einen Rüstungsgipfel! Wir organisieren – und da bitte ich darum, dass es auch so genommen wird, wie ich das sage – einen Gipfel der Rüstungslobbyisten! Das ist nicht die Aufgabe, vor der wir stehen, und ist nicht das, was die Menschen hier in der Europäischen Union von uns verlangen und von uns erwarten. Es ist, als ob wir in einer Parallelwelt leben würden. Wir haben eine Europäische Union, die von der Krise zerfressen ist, und was machen wir? Wir diskutieren darüber, ob wir die Gelder, die die Haushalte der Mitgliedstaaten der Europäischen Union und der europäische Haushalt bieten können, nicht besser und effektiver nutzen können, um noch teurere Systeme, effektivere Systeme, unbeherrschbarere Systeme zu bauen! Letztendlich ist es doch kein Wunder, dass EADS ausgerechnet vor dem Gipfel jetzt damit ankommt und sagt: Wir müssen einsparen, weil ihr nicht genügend Geld zur Verfügung stellt, weil ihr euch als Mitgliedstaaten nicht besonders engagiert oder nicht entsprechend wirksam werdet. Das ist tatsächlich nicht nur das Pferd von hinten aufgezäumt, das ist die völlig falsche Richtung, in die dieses Pferd trabt. Es kann nicht sein, dass wir in dieser Weise agieren!

Man kann die Zahlen, auf die Sie sich ja berufen, auch völlig anders deuten. Jährlich werden 26 Milliarden Euro für Rüstung ausgegeben, mehr als das, was eigentlich für die nationalen Haushalte veranschlagt ist. Der Spiegel redet von 130 Milliarden Euro, die eingespart werden könnten. Man kann aber auch sagen, man kann völlig darauf verzichten.

Das hat doch alles nur dann Sinn in Ihrer Logik, wenn es so wäre, dass die Politiker der Rüstung sagen würden, was tatsächlich passiert. Es ist aber doch umgekehrt! In unserem Leben, in unserem politischen Alltag, ist es doch so, dass die Rüstungslobby den Politikern sagt, was zu tun ist. Schauen Sie sich doch EADS an: Die sind nicht in der Lage, innerhalb von einem Jahrzehnt den Satellitenfunk in Deutschland einzuführen, seit 30 Jahren geht die Auseinandersetzung um den Eurofighter! Was erwarten Sie denn eigentlich? Und das ist das, was ich nicht verstehe, warum wir hier so blauäugig tun und so tun, als wären wir diejenigen, die jetzt darüber bestimmen würden, dass wir ein effektiveres Verteidigungssystem aufbauen. Solange Rüstung im Spiel ist, wird es weder auf europäischer Ebene noch auf nationaler Ebene eine Möglichkeit geben, das Ganze wirklich nur auf die Verteidigungsbedürfnisse zurückzufahren und wirklich nur die Verteidigung der eigenen Bevölkerung zu sichern. Das ist ein Irrglaube, vor dem ich hier auch deutlich warnen möchte.

Ich möchte Sie noch mal darauf aufmerksam machen: Solange wir auch innerhalb der Europäischen Union nicht die Ungleichgewichte ernsthaft in Angriff nehmen, solange wir beispielsweise auch vom Rat aus nicht mehr Druck ausüben auf die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, damit sie das, was sie zu diesem Ungleichgewicht beiträgt, zurückfährt und das korrigiert, solange wir akzeptieren, dass die Gewinne, die Exportüberschüsse und die Exportgewinne der Bundesrepublik Deutschland die Schulden der anderen sind, werden wir ebenfalls nicht aus dieser Misere herauskommen.

 
  
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  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFD Group. – Mr President, I know it is seasonal to talk about the 12 days of Christmas, but I want to talk about the 21-day count down to the opening of the doors to 29 million poor people from Romania and Bulgaria. It does, I think, mark a pivotal moment in British politics. Very often in Britain, MEPs complain that they do not have a high enough profile with the public. I want to try and change that today because Brigadier Geoffrey Van Orden sitting behind me here, British Conservative, was the rapporteur, the sponsor for Bulgaria joining the European Union and for us having a total open door to all of those people.

So well done, Brigadier, I want all the British people to know who you are and what your achievements are and of course what free movement means – it means free health care; it means free education; it means free access to the benefit system; it means an open door to the criminal gangs and the modern day Fagins who will of course benefit from the fact that London is the most successful and wealthy international city in Europe. Already the situation is so bad that 92% of ATM crime in London last year was committed by Romanians. I am not scapegoating in any way and I know that a lot of people that come from Bulgaria and Romania will be very decent people who want to work hard and want to better their lives, but free movement does not work in the European Union now that we have countries that are poor. For a man that comes from Bucharest and works in London and gets child benefit for the two children back home: that child benefit is worth more than he can actually earn doing a menial job in Bucharest and that is the reason why the numbers that come to Britain will indeed be absolutely enormous.

I have said for some time, and now the British people agree, enough is enough. 80% of the British people do not want those borders to come down in 21 days’ time. It is unfair. It is unfair on working people. It is leading to lower wages. It is leading to higher youth unemployment and it is leading to divided communities. But of course it does not end here, because our Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, with the full support of Labour and the Lib Dems, now wants to extend this principle of open borders, as he says himself, from the Atlantic to the Urals. So it means countries like Kazakhstan, indeed the Ukraine, joining the European Union. I see that Tony Blair is now helping Albania join the European Union. Well good luck to them with that. We even want to extend it to Turkey joining the European Union. Our message is that a turkey is just for Christmas; it is not for political union; we do not want open borders.

And, Mr Cameron, do not, next week at the summit, surrender in any way to deeper European military integration. Many in this room would have bombed Syria had Europe had that capability. Thank God it did not. On open doors, on European armies, the voters will have their say next May, and I think there is going to be a radical change. I think there is going to be an earthquake in British politics next May.

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

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI), blue-card question. – Mr Farage, you claim – or you imply – that you are against immigration. On 4 May 2010, on the Daily Politics show, you said that Britain should issue 250 000 work permits each year. Just now, you referred to Romanians being responsible for ATM crime in London. In fact, you could be more specific. They were Romanian citizens of Roma origin.

 
  
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  Nigel Farage (EFD), blue-card answer. – Mr Brons, thank you for the question. Can I make something clear to you? UKIP is not against immigration. We welcome immigration. We want immigration; but we want an immigration system based, as the Australian one is, on saying we want people who have got skills to bring to our country.

We do not want people who have got life-threatening diseases. We do not want people who have got criminal records – though of course in Australia, in the old days, that was a prerequisite – and we want to make our own decisions on who comes to Britain. We are not discriminatory, we are not scapegoating, we just want to control our own borders and live in our own democracy and we cannot do that as members of this European Union.

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). - Herr Präsident, Herr Ratspräsident, Herr Kommissar, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ein Wort zur Ukraine: Wenn ich sehe, was heute Nacht wieder passiert ist, dass auch die Initiativen von Frau Ashton und den Amerikanern nichts genutzt haben, muss ich fast sagen: Der Eiserne Vorhang geht wieder herunter.

Hier wird durch russischen Druck einem Volk die Freiheit, die Entscheidungsfreiheit geraubt. Und ich glaube, dass wir in unserer Entschließung sehr deutlich machen müssen, dass dies nicht akzeptabel ist. Aber ich stimme mit Frau Harms überein: Das hat auch damit zu tun, dass wir keine wirkliche gemeinsame Russland-Politik haben.

Die Fragen, die im Europäischen Rat anstehen, die Fragen der gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, sind von großer Bedeutung. Wir sind für die NATO. Wir sind der Auffassung, dass die NATO komplementär ist, dass wir die NATO für kollektive Sicherheit brauchen. Aber wir müssen auch eigene Fähigkeiten entwickeln und nutzen. Wenn es keine europäische Rüstungsindustrie gibt, können wir nur woanders kaufen und sind nicht unabhängig. Nicht nur der industriepolitische Ansatz ist hier wichtig.

Wenn wir nicht strukturelle Kooperation, eine Koalition der Willigen haben, werden wir nicht genügend Handlungsfähigkeit bekommen. Die knappen Haushalte zeigen, dass wir zunehmend Armeen haben, die nur aus Bürokratien, aber nicht mehr aus Handlungsfähigkeiten bestehen. Hier Arbeitsteilung durchzuführen, Dinge zusammenzuführen, ist doch von entscheidender Bedeutung.

Wir können nicht darauf warten, dass die Amerikaner in der europäischen Nachbarschaft das über die NATO insgesamt steuern. Wir wollen auch nicht als einzelne Mitgliedsstaaten Vasallen sein. Ich habe den Eindruck, britische Politik wird zum Dackel amerikanischer Politik und ist nicht mehr von Selbständigkeit geprägt. Hier müssen wir eigene europäische Fähigkeiten entwickeln, um auf dieser Ebene die Leistungsfähigkeiten zu bringen. Wir wollen nicht nur global payer sein, wir möchten Global Player sein, und dafür müssen wir die notwendigen Voraussetzungen schaffen.

Meine Damen und Herren, in der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion brauchen wir Gemeinschaftspolitik. Seit das Europäische Parlament tätig ist, haben wir mit der Gesetzgebung für einen besseren Wirtschafts-, Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt, durch einen besseren Sixpack und Twopack und all diese Möglichkeiten höhere Leistungsfähigkeit erreicht – durch das Europäische Parlament!

Deswegen müssen diese Möglichkeiten der Reformprogramme in den Mitgliedstaaten durch ein aufgebautes Europäisches Semester dadurch gestärkt werden, dass das Europäische Parlament die guidelines im Mitentscheidungsverfahren mitentscheidet, um die Schwerpunkte zu setzen. Die nationalen Parlamente müssen das Recht haben, die nationalen Programme, die möglicherweise durch einen Gemeinschaftshaushalt gefördert werden, zu entwickeln und zu entscheiden. Weil es hier um nationale Themen geht, muss hier die ownership der nationalen Parlamente deutlich miteinbezogen werden.

Ich glaube, dass das von großer Bedeutung ist. Aber nur so können wir wirklich Wettbewerbsfähigkeit – in Sozialpolitik eingebunden – durchführen, und das auf der Grundlage der Gemeinschaftspolitik.

Ein letzter Satz, Herr Präsident. Was ich von Herrn Farage – nicht mehr zum Euro, jetzt zur Migration – gehört habe, ist billigster Populismus auf Kosten anderer Menschen. Billigster Populismus!

(Beifall)

Die Europäische Union hat alle Instrumente, um Menschen, die keinen Arbeitsplatz haben, die keinen Krankenversicherungsschutz haben, die keine Selbständigkeit haben, nicht in ein Land hineinzulassen. Man braucht ihnen keine social benefits zu geben. Wenden Sie Europäisches Recht an in Großbritannien, dann haben Sie nicht das Problem, das Sie hier in einer populistischen Weise darstellen!

(Der Redner ist damit einverstanden, eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der blauen Karte gemäß Artikel 149 Absatz 8 der Geschäftsordnung zu beantworten.)

 
  
  

PRESIDE: MIGUEL ANGEL MARTÍNEZ MARTÍNEZ
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  William (The Earl of) Dartmouth (EFD), blue-card question. – Mr Brok, you used the phrase that was translated as ‘the European Union developing capabilities’ several times. Does this mean that you want to see a European army, a European navy, a European airforce?

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE), Antwort auf eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Sehr geehrter Kollege! Dazu gibt es ja gar nicht die rechtlichen Voraussetzungen, selbst wenn ich es wollte. Was das Programm ist, ist die Umsetzung des Vertrags von Lissabon, um europäische Fähigkeiten in Arbeitsteilung zu erreichen. Beispielsweise können wir keine europäische Armee haben – allein aus deutscher Sicht heraus, weil es den Parlamentsvorbehalt meines eigenen nationalen Parlaments gibt. Aus diesem Grund ist das eine Angstmache, die mit der Realität europäischer Politik nichts zu tun hat. Aus diesem Grunde geht es hier um eine Arbeitsteilung, um Geld zu sparen und mehr Leistungsfähigkeit zusammenzubringen.

Auch Sie in Großbritannien sind nicht mehr in der Lage, eine vernünftige Armee allein zu finanzieren. Aber wenn wir hier Arbeitsteilung durchführen, sind wir als Europäer gemeinsam und damit auch Großbritannien besser. Europa heißt pooling und sharing, wie es in diesem Programm der Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik heißt. Durch Zusammenführung unserer Fähigkeiten Souveränität für unsere neuen Völker zurückzugewinnen, die sie allein nicht mehr gewährleisten können. Dieses Projekt verstehen Sie nicht mehr, Sie werden lieber zum Kleinstaat im globalen Kontext, als über Europa noch eine Rolle zu spielen.

 
  
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  Roberto Gualtieri (S&D). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, intanto vorrei dire che questo Parlamento vigilerà attentamente se negli accordi di questa notte sull'SRM il metodo comunitario è pienamente rispettato.

Poi, gli accordi contrattuali sembrano essere l'unico risultato di un esercizio che puntava nientemeno che a tracciare la road map per un'Unione fiscale ed economica. Ci sembra un po' poco e ci sembra che un vero accordo sui principi fondamentali di questo nuovo strumento non sia in vista.

Un coordinamento rafforzato delle politiche economiche può avvenire solo sulla base di incentivi, ma gli Stati membri non sono in grado di definire natura, entità e origine del meccanismo di solidarietà e così, con la consueta strategia dei due tempi, si vuole un accordo sui contratti oggi, mentre sul meccanismo di solidarietà si dice che si vedrà domani. Ma quale valore aggiunto porti un contratto politicamente vincolante – come è scritto – senza incentivi è davvero poco chiaro.

Ma è l'intera logica contrattuale che non risulta convincente. Una logica di tipo bilaterale, la logica dei compiti a casa, che rischia di essere forte con i deboli e debole con i forti. E c'è poi la completa assenza della dimensione sociale di questo esercizio e si insiste su politiche dell'offerta quando la crisi è in primo luogo una crisi di domanda.

Infine, si pretende di decidere all'unanimità su contenuti che dovranno essere oggetto di codecisione. Una posizione critica e scettica è dunque inevitabile. Noi siamo pronti a svolgere il nostro ruolo istituzionale, ma se i principi indicati nella risoluzione che approveremo non saranno adeguatamente tenuti in considerazione, gli accordi contrattuali – se mai otterranno il via libera dal Consiglio europeo – avranno una vita molto dura in questo Parlamento.

 
  
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  Graham Watson (ALDE). - Mr President, this House should welcome the belated commitment of the European Council to craft a common security and defence policy. That policy should build on the good work of the Council’s Political and Security Committee. Its success will be founded less on the bricks and mortar of a military HQ than on the building blocks and cement of a shared purpose. A credible and effective policy will be anchored in the building of a technological and industrial base, using Horizon 2020 funds. It will use the tools of finance, trade, development aid and justice. It will reshape NATO by rebalancing the transatlantic alliance through a trade and investment partnership. A maritime security strategy, a cyber-defence policy and a satellite system must be priorities. As for drones, let us ask first how much they really enhance the security of the USA.

The European Council should not relegate energy policy to the status of a footnote. The switch from fossil fuels to clean energy is essential for security against the impact of climate change and for independence from Russia.

The Council would be wise not to follow Mr Swoboda’s advice. Mr Swoboda attacked Commissioner Rehn for his policy aimed at balancing Europe’s books. Would the Socialist policy be to further burden our Member States with debt service payments, to condemn our children to the debts of their parents, to apply to Europe the policies of Gordon Brown and Zapatero and Hollande? Mr Swoboda, in that case Liberals relish the forthcoming election campaign.

 
  
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  Tarja Cronberg (Verts/ALE). - Mr President, financial constraints are drastically reducing defence spending. Obviously this has a negative impact on our defence capabilities. However, this negative impact hits us much more because of the very poor coordination and cooperation between us Europeans.

Our group strongly believes that our security at home depends on the state of common European – I repeat, common European – defence. We therefore would like to call on Member States to pledge themselves to robust European defence capabilities. We urge them to overcome the fragmentation, the duplication and the overcapacity. We urge them to make European industries more effective and creative through greater coordination.

We need a European Semester for defence issues. We need greater coordination at industry level through harmonisation of standards and certification of defence equipment. What we do not need is research, development, procurement and export of armed, fully automatic and autonomous drones that are apt to kill without human involvement. We need to include unarmed and armed drones in arms control regimes such as the EU common position and the EU dual-use export regimes and a global arms trade treaty.

We call on the upcoming Council on defence to strengthen implementation of the defence package, as proposed by the Commission communication. The EU Member States need to significantly deepen their cooperation and coordination on those aspects of defence which are relevant for an effective CSDP.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR). - Mr President, next week’s European Council has long been trailered in Brussels as a ‘defence Council’ to take some great leap forward in common security and defence policy, and we have heard this morning already the usual sort of mantras at great length from the Council and the Commission, but as far as I can see the actual defence content next week, apart from a list of homework for the Commission, is going to be very modest. Whatever decisions there are, they were nodded through by education and sports ministers at their Council meeting on 25 November. My question to the Council and the Commission is: what important decision on defence is actually going to be taken by Heads of Government at the Council next week?

I believe in fact that on common security and defence policy the tide has now begun to turn – in capitals at least, although I think we still live in a sort of wonderland world in this Chamber. Among the European powers there is now no appetite for an ambitious EU military policy. The emphasis has shifted quite rightly to civil activities in terms of crisis prevention, humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction. Many of us have long campaigned for just such a shift so that the European Union might actually do something useful in terms of complementing, rather than trying to imitate, NATO’s military muscle. It has been a long haul to get to this position.

We have seen the European Union try to place its institutional footprint on an increasing range of defence-related activities, wastefully duplicating staff and structures already very well established at NATO. Few CSDP missions stand up to critical scrutiny. Most of them, as it happens, were civilian. As one top American general put it, ‘the EU installed the plumbing, but there isn’t any water’.

 
  
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  Νικόλαος Χουντής (GUE/NGL). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, αναφερόμαστε στην επόμενη σύνοδο του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου σε μια περίοδο που οι ευρωπαϊκοί λαοί υποφέρουν από τις πολιτικές λιτότητας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, σε μία περίοδο που οι ευρωπαϊκές δημοκρατικές και κοινωνικές κατακτήσεις καταργούνται στο όνομα της ανταγωνιστικότητας και των κερδών. Κύριε Πρόεδρε, στο επόμενο συμβούλιο οι ηγέτες θα μιλήσουν για την οικονομική κατάσταση της Ένωσης, για την οικονομική κατάσταση της ΟΝΕ. Θα ακούσουμε πάλι –πήραμε μια γεύση– για την Τραπεζική Ένωση, για το ευρωπαϊκό εξάμηνο, για την οικονομική διακυβέρνηση. Δεν θα ακούσουμε όμως, γιατί θα αγνοηθεί για άλλη μια φορά, για τα καταστροφικά αποτελέσματα αυτών των πολιτικών. Δεν θα ακούσουμε παραδείγματος χάρη για το ενάμισι εκατομμύριο ανέργων στην Ελλάδα, δεν θα ακούσουμε ότι χιλιάδες νοικοκυριά σήμερα στην Ελλάδα δεν έχουν ηλεκτρικό ρεύμα, δεν θα ακούσουμε ότι στην Ελλάδα –μια χώρα που βρίσκεται κάτω από τη στενή εποπτεία όλων των θεσμών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης– οι φτωχοί γίνονται φτωχότεροι και οι πλούσιοι πλουσιότεροι, ενώ θα συνεχιστούν οι εκβιασμοί για τους πλειστηριασμούς και τις καταθέσεις των ελληνικών νοικοκυριών.

Κύριε Πρόεδρε, μια τέτοια Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, ένα τέτοιο Συμβούλιο, τέτοιοι ηγέτες είναι αναντίστοιχοι των εξελίξεων, δεν ανταποκρίνονται στα συμφέροντα των Ευρωπαίων πολιτών. Εμείς ως Αριστερά θα αγωνιστούμε για ριζικές αλλαγές και ανατροπές, για να μπορούμε να μιλάμε για μια Ευρώπη της εργασίας, της αλληλεγγύης και της δημοκρατίας.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFD). - Ne pirmą kartą Vadovų Tarybos darbotvarkėje įrašyti labai svarbūs ekonomikos augimo ir visuomenės užimtumo klausimai. Vėl bus kalbama apie ekonominę ir pinigų sąjungą, darbo vietų kūrimą. Kalbų lyg ir daug, tačiau jos laukiamų rezultatų neduoda. Turime sąžiningai pripažinti, kad esminio persilaužimo ekonomikos srityje per šiuo metus Bendrijai taip ir nepavyko pasiekti. Augimas yra pernelyg menkas, o pastangos jį skatinti nebuvo pagrįstos jokiomis mokesčių reformomis, išlygomis smulkioms ir vidutinėms įmonėms.

Darbo vietų kūrimo programa valstybėse narėse veikia tik tiek, kiek buvo laisvų darbo vietų šiltuoju metų periodu, tačiau ši problema – tai net ne programa, o laikinas jos sprendimas, kurią sprendė gyvenimas, bet ne vyriausybės – šaltuoju metų laiku įgauna naują pagreitį. Jos neigiamas mastas bus matyti kitų metų vasarą, kai jaunimo nedarbas šoktels dar keletu procentų.

Nelaukiant to, siūlau keletą, mano manymu, efektyvių dalykų. Pirma, Europos Sąjungos finansinė parama ir esminės mokesčių lengvatos Europos Sąjungos šalyse verslui, priimančiam į darbą naujus asmenis iki 30 metų. Antra, valstybių narių remiamos paskolos ir subsidijos jaunimui įsigyti pirmąjį būstą. Trečia, jaunimo užimtumo iniciatyvų programoje numatytas 6 milijardų eurų finansavimas turi būti skiriamas iškart, o ne laukiama 2015 m. Ir būtina gerokai sparčiau mažinti darbo jėgos mokesčių naštą, o jaunų vaikus auginančių šeimų darbo pajamos turi būti apmokestinamos tik minimaliai.

 
  
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  Nicole Sinclaire (NI). - Mr President, well, here we are still in very great economic hardship across the continent, and what does the European Union decide to discuss at the top of the agenda for a Council meeting? Defence. I would argue that across Europe – not just the United Kingdom – defence is way down the list of people's concerns and of what they want to discuss. They want to discuss employment, they want to discuss how much it costs them to live, growing inflation, but that is not what you want to talk about. You want to talk defence.

We have heard the Commission here talking about competing with the USA. Why would you want to compete with the USA? We are 28 sovereign nations. There is no will, in the United Kingdom at least, to be one sovereign nation called the European Union. You have to have the consent of people, but you do not want that. You want to move forward in this one superstate.

We should not be competing with the USA. We should be working with the USA. Why do we want to reinvent the wheel? We have NATO and NATO is tried and tested. We need to reinvigorate NATO. That is what we need to do.

And employment? And the euro? You are congratulating yourself because Latvia is joining. You have had sticking plaster over sticking plaster on your euro single currency and the wound has congealed, and you are putting another one on with Latvia. But we all know what happens when you leave a plaster on. The wound becomes infected and when you finally have to remove that plaster, it is far more painful – and that is as good an analogy as I have for the euro. It will be a painful, slow decline and, when it finally rips apart, it will hurt and it will hurt the people of Europe. Stop this madness now.

 
  
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  Algirdas Saudargas (PPE). - Gruodžio 19–20 d. vyksiančiame Europos Vadovų Tarybos posėdyje bus priimami sprendimai dėl tolesnių bendros saugumo ir gynybos politikos gairių, svarstomi pasiūlymai dėl efektyvesnės ekonominės ir pinigų sąjungos ir didesnio ekonominės politikos koordinavimo, siekiant užtikrinti ilgalaikį Europos Sąjungos ekonominį ir finansinį stabilumą. Europos Sąjungos vadovai taip pat įvertins pažangą, padarytą įgyvendinant priemones, skirtas ekonomikos augimui skatinti ir užimtumui didinti. Tai neabejotinai Europos žmonių gerovei svarbūs klausimai.

Akivaizdu, jog Europos Sąjungos šalių vadovai diskutuos dėl bankų sąjungos kūrimo. Beje, tai yra vienas svarbiausių Lietuvos pirmininkavimo Europos Sąjungos Tarybai darbų. Kaip žinote, jau yra sutarta dėl pirmojo bankų sąjungos ramsčio – bendro bankų priežiūros mechanizmo, kuris užtikrins finansinių krizių prevenciją, todėl tikiuosi, jog vadovai sutars ir dėl antrojo – bankų pertvarkymo mechanizmo, kuris padės spręsti bankų nemokumo problemas, bendrųjų nuostatų. Tai reikš, jog bankams susidūrus su sunkumais, jų pertvarkymo kaštus priimtų patys bankai ir taip būtų apsaugoti Europos mokesčių mokėtojų pinigai. Taigi, sukurta bankų sąjunga leis išvengti galimų finansinių krizių ateityje, pagerins priežiūros kokybę ir atkurs pasitikėjimą Europos Sąjunga tarptautinėse finansų rinkose. Visa tai leis palengvinti skolinimąsi tiek verslui, tiek žmonėms.

Gerbiamas Pirmininke, Europos Vadovų Tarybos posėdyje taip pat bus aptariama pažanga energetikos srityje. Žinome, kad naujajame ES biudžete, kuriam mes praeitą sesiją pritarėme, yra numatyta finansavimo eilutė strateginiams energetinių jungčių projektams, o Europos Komisija yra patvirtinusi bendro intereso energetikos projektų sąrašą. Turint omenyje, kad šiuo metu Europos žmonės už energijos išteklius moka per brangiai, labai svarbu skirti didelį dėmesį tinkamam šių projektų įgyvendinimui, kad būtų užbaigta kurti Europos Sąjungos vidaus energijos rinka ir panaikintos egzistuojančios energetinės salos. Tai padidins Europos ekonomikos konkurencingumą ir užtikrins mažesnes kainas vartotojams.

 
  
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  Enrique Guerrero Salom (S&D). - Señor Presidente, al comienzo de su intervención, el señor Swoboda ha ironizado sobre los datos comparados de crecimiento y empleo entre los Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea. Triste ironía, porque allí son robustos, son positivos, y aquí son o negativos o raquíticos. En realidad, en la Unión Europea hay más de diez países que tienen una tasa de desempleo tan elevada que no conseguirán bajarla del diez por ciento hasta dentro de un par de décadas.

Esto muestra que en 2008 y en 2012 ha habido, y el año que viene habrá, políticas más acertadas en otro continente, no en la Unión Europea. Muestra que la política exclusiva de austeridad no ha dado los resultados positivos que otras políticas están dando en otros lugares. Pero no solamente se trata de políticas. Se trata también de procesos de toma de decisiones. Allí se toman las decisiones de un día para otro cuando se alcanza un acuerdo político rápido. Es verdad que los Estados Unidos han vivido también el llamado «shutdown», es decir, que han estado paralizados durante un buen número de meses.

Pero volvamos a la Unión Europea. Todavía hoy se está discutiendo el mecanismo de resolución bancaria y no sabemos si se alcanzará un acuerdo en el próximo Consejo. Pero los datos muestran que el Fondo Único de Resolución no llegará hasta dentro de una década o hasta 2026. Con ese calendario, es difícil afrontar una unión bancaria realmente comprensible para el resto de las economías mundiales. Por tanto, necesitamos cambiar de políticas y necesitamos cambiar la manera de tomar decisiones en esas políticas.

 
  
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  Andrew Duff (ALDE). - Mr President, the European Council is set to agree a great catalogue of aspirations and intentions on security and defence, but what they could be doing – and ought to do – is taking a decision to deploy the European battlegroup in the Central African Republic to support French troops. I have been to see these battlegroups. They are an excellent example of military cooperation, pooling and sharing a trained network – state of the art, keen and, of course, clean, because they have never been deployed since 2005 when they were first created, subject first to a German and then to a British veto.

If history is to repeat itself, they will never be deployed. Next week we have a chance for a cluster of politically willing and militarily capable states to form a vanguard, to take the lead, to stop talking and start to take collective action to defend and promote the security interests of the European Union.

 
  
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  Jill Evans (Verts/ALE). - Mr President, if we are to make Europe work we must show it has a very clear future role, including internationally. The EU could be a real force for peace if we address all the threats that face people. An effective security policy has to be integrated with policies on poverty, the environment, energy, trade, food and water resources and so on.

We must refocus on building peace, and what better way to do that than to enhance not the military but civilian work – a civilian peace corps – to defuse tension, foster understanding and prevent conflict, working with the United Nations. Now is the time to invest, not in arms, but in people, especially young people, to create jobs, recover and rebuild and enable all the peoples, all the nations of Europe, like Wales, Flanders, Scotland and the Basque country, to play their full part in doing that.

 
  
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  Evžen Tošenovský (ECR). - Pane předsedající, pane komisaři, za jedno z nejdůležitějších témat nadcházejícího prosincového zasedání Evropské rady považuji posílení evropského obranného průmyslu. Nejenže v obranném průmyslu je zaměstnáno zhruba 400 000 lidí, ale zároveň měnící se bezpečnostní zaměření zvyšuje finanční i technologické nároky.

Změna bezpečnostních rizik a stále častější nutnost vojenských humanitárních zásahů, včetně eliminace narůstajících teroristických aktivit, vyžadují nové postupy a přinášejí nové požadavky na techniku. Z důvodu náročnosti akcí, často velmi vzdálených, je nutná účast více členských zemí s požadavky na přepravní prostředky a zajištění nezbytného podpůrného zázemí pro zasahující jednotky.

Proto je důležité zajistit nejen maximální kompatibilitu používané techniky, ale i optimální využití obranných schopností jednotlivých členských států při společných operacích.

Pro členské země při napjatých národních rozpočtech tak může být zajímavé i snížení nákladů na údržbu a provoz. Zároveň se tak vytváří možnost většího rozsahu dodávek pro vlastní obranný průmysl. Velkou roli mohou sehrávat dynamické malé a střední podniky, a snížit tak i závislost na nákupu specializovaných technologií mimo členské země Evropské unie. Je to zároveň i záruka obranyschopnosti do budoucna. Za zásadní však považuji neustálou, maximální koordinaci se stávajícími systémy NATO.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL). - Senhor Presidente, as reuniões do Conselho começam a parecer-se cada vez mais com reuniões de encontro de lobbies ou, pelo menos, onde os lobbies entram com mais força. As reuniões do Conselho respondem cada vez menos às necessidades dos povos europeus. Anos e anos a dar resposta aos lobbies do setor financeiro e, para dezembro, o que os governos se lembram é de acrescentar a esses os lobbies do armamento.

Portanto, quando temos pobreza, desemprego, problemas concretos e reais que as pessoas enfrentam na Europa, o que o Conselho se lembra, ou o que os governos se lembram, é que temos de investir mais em armamento, é que temos de tratar da política de defesa. Mas não se trata dos problemas reais dos cidadãos. Promete-se aos cidadãos a austeridade permanente, a pobreza, não terem casa, cortes na saúde, cortes na educação mas, no entanto, tem de se aumentar a despesa, em quê? No armamento.

Pois é, Senhor Presidente, parece-me que esta União Europeia caminha tragicamente para um futuro sem retorno, ou seja, o da destruição. Às agendas do Conselho Europeu começa só a faltar aquela fase célebre dos filmes do James Bond que diz: este projeto vai autodestruir-se em 5 segundos.

 
  
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  Νικόλαος Σαλαβράκος (EFD). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, βέβαια κάπως σταθεροποιείται η οικονομική κατάσταση στην Ευρώπη, και συμφωνώ σε αυτό, αλλά ανάπτυξη δεν βλέπουμε. Οι ευρωπαϊκές βιομηχανίες κλείνουν η μία μετά την άλλη και επενδύσεις δεν γίνονται στην Ευρώπη. Το ερώτημα είναι: Υπάρχουν στοχευμένες δράσεις στην Επιτροπή και το Συμβούλιο για την αντιμετώπιση του προβλήματος;

Μιλήσαμε για την Ουκρανία. Οι πολίτες εκεί αναζητούν την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Στην Ευρώπη αυξάνεται ο ευρωσκεπτικισμός. Μας προβληματίζει; Μιλάμε σήμερα για κοινή πολιτική άμυνα στην Ευρώπη και πολιτικές απασχόλησης. Την ίδια ώρα η Τρόικα στην Ελλάδα επιμένει στο κλείσιμο των πολεμικών βιομηχανιών και την απελευθέρωση των πλειστηριασμών πρώτης κατοικίας, γεγονός το οποίο δεν έχει κανένα άμεσο ουσιαστικό οικονομικό αποτέλεσμα· μόνον επιδότηση του ευρωσκεπτικισμού επιφέρει.

Ερώτημα: Προτίθεστε να παρέμβετε στην Τρόικα, ώστε να αποσυρθούν οι περίεργες αυτές αξιώσεις τους για την Ελλάδα;

 
  
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  Laurence J.A.J. Stassen (NI). - Voorzitter, de Europese Unie denkt bij zichzelf: laten we het midden in de crisis eens over iets anders hebben, namelijk over meer militaire samenwerking. De crisis mag de pret hier natuurlijk niet drukken en dus zijn er plannen voor EU-gevechtstroepen, een permanent operationeel hoofdkwartier, gemeenschappelijke financiering van operaties en zelfs plannen voor Europese drones. En natuurlijk het liefst allemaal betaald uit de EU-begroting.

Er dreigt een hoop belastinggeld tegenaan gegooid te worden om binnen de EU allerlei militaire instituties en bureaucratie op te richten. De Europese Unie wil maar al te graag de supermacht uithangen. Maar de burger heeft helemaal niets aan deze dure en onzinnige federale hobby's, want de drijfveer achter deze plannen is natuurlijk om een Europese federale staat te creëren die beschikt over een eigen leger.

Voorzitter, de Nederlandse krijgsmacht moet volledig in nationale handen blijven en waar wij samenwerken, doen wij dat bilateraal en in Navo-verband. Een EU-leger, dat nooit! Ik hoop dat de komende top over Europese militaire samenwerking uitmondt in één grote deceptie. Dat is de enige goede afloop én in het belang van Nederland. En speciaal aan de heer Brok zou ik willen zeggen: ondanks uw afkeer van de populistische partijen, the big turning point will be the elections next May and there will be a new wind in the European Parliament.

 
  
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  Giovanni La Via (PPE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, signor Ministro, il prossimo Consiglio sarà l'occasione per i nostri capi di Stato e di governo di avviare riflessioni e considerazioni importanti in vista delle decisioni da assumere nei prossimi mesi per incrementare gli sforzi nella direzione del rilancio dell'economia europea.

Le difficoltà economiche affrontate dagli Stati membri impegnati in sforzi di consolidamento delle finanze pubbliche non devono far dimenticare che la via di uscita dalla crisi è la crescita e non l'austerità, crescita basata su riforme strutturali e su investimenti mirati. Non è più il tempo dell'austerità e del rigore, ma è il tempo di un deciso cambio di rotta verso una vera politica economica e monetaria in grado di far ripartire l'economia.

Mi riferisco, ad esempio, alla necessità di un rinnovato ruolo della Banca centrale europea sulla scorta e con i poteri della Federal Reserve americana, alla possibilità di consentire agli Stati membri di investire nello sviluppo del proprio territorio e di poter scorporare le risorse investite dal calcolo e il rapporto deficit/PIL.

In materia di politica di difesa, credo sia arrivato il momento di abbandonare retaggi personalistici e di mettere a fattore comune le esperienze e le tecnologie di ciascuno Stato membro, dotando l'Unione di un'azione coordinata, spendendo meno, ma spendendo in maniera più efficace e fissando sin da adesso una road map con priorità e scadenze ben definite per una cooperazione di difesa coordinata e veramente comune.

Vorrei infine sottolineare, da siciliano e italiano, il successo dell'iniziativa che ha dato vita a seguito dei tragici eventi di Lampedusa alla task force per il Mediterraneo, volta al rafforzamento e coordinamento dei pattugliamenti nazionali ed europei sulle rotte dei flussi migratori. Grazie a questa iniziativa infatti il tema dell'immigrazione non sarà più considerato un'emergenza degli Stati di primo ingresso, ma un fenomeno strutturale che riguarda la porta di ingresso dell'intera Europa.

Ciò che avviene oggi in Ucraina credo debba essere un monito per tutti; da fuori si vuole entrare, mentre invece noi che stiamo dentro ancora non abbiamo deciso di cambiare rotta per un'Europa diversa e per avere più Europa per uscire dalla crisi.

 
  
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  Μαρία-Ελένη Κοππά (S&D). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, έχουν περάσει δέκα χρόνια από το 2003, όταν αποφασίστηκε η ευρωπαϊκή στρατηγική ασφάλειας, και πέντε χρόνια από τη συζήτηση για την εφαρμογή της. Για τον λόγο αυτό η συζήτηση για την άμυνα στο Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο του Δεκεμβρίου είχε καλλιεργήσει πολλές φιλοδοξίες. Με μεγάλη πλειοψηφία στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο στείλαμε στην προηγούμενη ολομέλεια ένα ισχυρό μήνυμα: ότι πρέπει να προχωρήσουμε και στον τομέα της άμυνας και της ασφάλειας, ότι η κοινή πολιτική άμυνας και ασφάλειας είναι συστατικό στοιχείο της διαδικασίας της ευρωπαϊκής ολοκλήρωσης, ότι, εάν δεν προχωρήσουμε, η Ένωση δεν θα μπορέσει να διαδραματίσει τον ρόλο της ως διεθνής δρών και πάροχος ασφάλειας και θα παραμείνει μόνο μια μεγάλη αγορά.

Τονίσαμε ότι η οικονομική κρίση οδήγησε σε αναγκαίες περικοπές και στον αμυντικό προϋπολογισμό των κρατών μελών, υποχρεώνοντάς μας να κάνουμε περισσότερα με λιγότερους πόρους, και ότι η λύση είναι συντονισμός, συνεργασία και οικοδόμηση εμπιστοσύνης μεταξύ των εταίρων. Είπαμε ότι η κοινή πολιτική άμυνας και ασφάλειας πρέπει να γίνει ορατή, ότι δεν μπορεί να είναι αντικείμενο συζήτησης σε επίπεδο ελίτ αλλά ότι χρειάζεται τη συμμετοχή και στήριξη των πολιτών. Προτείναμε συγκεκριμένα μέτρα: εφαρμογή των προβλέψεων της Συνθήκης της Λισαβόνας για μόνιμη διαρθρωμένη συνεργασία, για το start up fund ή το άρθρο 44 για εντολή σε ομάδα κρατών μελών να αναλαμβάνουν συγκεκριμένες αποστολές. Ζητήσαμε τη θεσμοθέτηση Συμβουλίου Υπουργών Άμυνας, τακτικές συζητήσεις σε επίπεδο Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου, οδικό χάρτη για τα επόμενα βήματα.

Δυστυχώς, από ό,τι έχουμε δει έως τώρα τίποτα από όλα αυτά δεν θα συμβεί. Πέρα από την υιοθέτηση των πέντε πιλοτικών προγραμμάτων, πέρα από την υπόσχεση για επανεκτίμηση της κατάστασης τον Ιούνιο του 2015, τίποτα συγκεκριμένο. Γενικόλογες αναφορές και αναμάσημα γνωστών συνθημάτων για τη σημασία της άμυνας. Η έλλειψη πολιτικής βούλησης, η ατολμία, οι εθνικοί εγωισμοί φαίνεται ότι επικρατούν για άλλη μια φορά και οδηγούν το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο στον κατώτερο δυνατό παρανομαστή.

Είναι κρίμα! Και εδώ η λύση είναι περισσότερη και όχι λιγότερη Ευρώπη αλλά τα κράτη μέλη δειλά αναβάλλουν για το μέλλον αναγκαίες αποφάσεις, μεγάλες αποφάσεις. Επαναλαμβάνω, είναι κρίμα!

 
  
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  Charles Goerens (ALDE). - Monsieur le Président, pour le dire très clairement, nous sommes encore à des années-lumière d'une armée européenne. Ma génération, en tout cas, n'assistera plus à la naissance d'une armée de l'Union européenne.

Pour que cette idée se réalise, de nombreux obstacles de toute nature vont devoir être éliminés. Ces obstacles sont de nature unitaire, économique et technologique, tout le monde en convient. La segmentation dans la production d'équipements militaires reste une source de confusion et de gaspillage inacceptable, particulièrement en cette période de vaches maigres budgétaires. Il en résulte la duplication et l'augmentation des coûts de production de l'armement dues à l'incapacité de la mise en commun des moyens de recherche et d'innovation. Bref, nous nous privons des avantages des économies d'échelle dans ce domaine.

Le problème est bien connu depuis la nuit des temps. Soyons réalistes pour les raisons évoquées à l'instant. Nous voyons l'armée européenne, une industrie européenne de l'armement restructurée, privilégiant la mise en commun de nos moyens respectifs, tout au plus poindre à l'horizon. Pour ce qui est de l'horizon en question, De Gaulle l'avait défini de façon originale, en nous rappelant que l'horizon est une ligne qui recule au fur et à mesure que l'on avance.

Nous allons donc devoir nous contenter de réaliser des objectifs plus modestes. L'acquisition par deux ou plusieurs États membres d'équipements figurant dans le catalogue des capacités, des programmes d'entraînement impliquant des unités de plusieurs États membres sont, certes, des pas importants dans la bonne direction en vue d'améliorer l'interopérabilité de nos forces armées. Mais le problème est avant tout politique. Il ne sert à rien de montrer du doigt l'insuffisance de moyens et de capacités si, à la base, les désaccords entre États membres apparaissent dès que le problème d'une intervention se pose.

Dans le cas du Mali, par exemple, l'Union européenne a réussi à démontrer qu'elle n'avait même pas la volonté politique d'engager les moyens dont elle dispose d'ores et déjà.

 
  
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  Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE). - Voorzitter, op de komende top staat het Europees defensiebeleid, of eigenlijk meer de Europese defensie-industrie, centraal.

Maar ook economische samenwerking en het verder uitbouwen van de Economische Unie staan op de agenda. In dit opzicht worden er wederom fundamentele stappen gezet, net zoals gisterenavond door de ministers van Financiën richting een intergouvernementeel georganiseerd resolutiefonds, naar het voorbeeld van het intergouvernementeel geregeld noodfonds.

Voor volgende week staan bilaterale overeenkomsten tussen lidstaten en de Europese Commissie op de agenda. Telkens weer lijkt de Europese Top blind te zijn voor democratische controle op de Europese Commissie. De Europese Commissie krijgt steeds meer macht en de politieke controle komt steeds meer bij de Europese Commissie te liggen. Wanneer gaan wij er nu echt eens voor zorgen dat de Europese Commissie democratisch gecontroleerd wordt?

Tot slot: een sociaal Europa. Er staan twee magere paragraafjes over een sociaal Europa in de conclusies. Heeft Europa volgens de regeringsleiders een sociale toekomst of niet?

 
  
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  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL). - Mr President, my message to the people of other programme countries is simple: when you are told how successful the Irish programme has been, do not believe it because it is a case of not letting the truth stand in the way of a good story.

Mass unemployment and immigration, increased poverty and the devastation of communities and public services are the legacy of the Troika, all facilitated by a government which enthusiastically embraces the cuts proposed by the Commission and willingly continues the failed policy of austerity.

Not content with devastating the economy of Ireland and other programme countries, the European Council is turning its attention to destruction on a far more ambitious scale. The noises coming from this Chamber about increased military spending and strengthening of the EU military capacity are truly frightening. I hope that wiser heads will prevail and that the European Council avoids a headlong rush into even further militarisation of the EU.

 
  
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  Hans-Peter Martin (NI). - Herr Präsident! Ich versuche es einmal ganz leise, weil dann vielleicht zugehört wird. Das sind doch keine dummen Reden, wenn gesagt wird, dass wir vor einer Richtungswahl stehen. Es ist doch nicht falsch, wenn es heißt, dass wir Gefahr laufen, dass das nächste Parlament von einer extremen Rechtsaußen-Fraktion vor sich hergetrieben wird. Da müssten doch jetzt bei allen Verantwortlichen in der Europäischen Union die Alarmglocken klingeln! Da muss man sich doch fragen: Ist es sinnvoll, in einem solchen Zusammenhang, gerade jetzt das Rüstungsthema so in den Vordergrund zu schieben und die sozialen Fragen so zurückzuziehen?

Seid ihr denn komplett – Punkt, Punkt, Punkt –, fragen sich unheimlich viele Wählerinnen und Wähler. Wähler in dreistelliger Millionenzahl in Europa, werter Rat, werte Kommission, werte Kolleginnen und Kollegen, sind verunsichert. Und wenn wir weiterhin so – Punkt, Punkt, Punkt – agieren, werden wir ein ganz schreckliches Erwachen am 26. Mai erleben. Noch ist es aber nicht zu spät.

 
  
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  Jean-Pierre Audy (PPE). - Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, Monsieur le Président en exercice du Conseil, mes premiers mots seront pour regretter l'absence du président du Conseil européen. J'ai fait la proposition, Monsieur le Président, qu'il soit invité. Je ne sais pas s'il n'a pas été invité ou s'il refuse de venir. Nous n'avons plus de relations avec les chefs d'État ou de gouvernement. Voilà que le Conseil européen se réunit et nous n'avons pas de débat avec eux. Ce n'est pas que je conteste la compétence du Conseil "Affaires générales", mais je regrette qu'il ne soit pas présent.

La politique industrielle de défense est un secteur qui a des caractéristiques particulières, des durées importantes de développement des produits, des obligations de maintien en service des systèmes sur plusieurs décennies et une forte caractéristique de la commande publique. Nous devons avoir une politique industrielle européenne de défense. Je remercie la Commission de son excellente communication. Nous – le Parlement européen – avons proposé la création d'un statut d'opérateurs économiques de défense en Europe, à qui seraient réservés les financements, pour nous assurer que l'emploi soit sur le continent, que la prise de décision de ces entreprises et la production soient sur le continent européen, et que nous puissions y développer des normes industrielles de défense, la certification et être autonomes. Nous avons eu raison de développer Galileo – quand on voit l'espionnage américain – et d'envoyer nos trente satellites. Nous devons faire pareil pour la défense et je salue l'action du président de notre sous-commission, Arnaud Danjean, sur tout ce qui est fait en matière de défense.

Je me demande, d'ailleurs, si nous ne devrions pas avoir une coopération interparlementaire plus accentuée avec les parlements nationaux sur la Défense. Nous devons absolument associer nos parlementaires nationaux et donner un rôle accru à l'Agence européenne de défense.

Je termine sur le semestre européen. J'ai bien entendu la proposition de tableau de bord sur le social, mais il faut aller bien plus loin que cela. Comment n'arrivons-nous pas à mettre en œuvre davantage de convergence sociale sur les minimas sociaux? L'accord politique sur les minimas sociaux qu'il y a eu en Allemagne est une bonne nouvelle. Il faut qu'il y ait contagion à l'ensemble de la Mitteleuropa pour que tous les anciens pays communistes, en fait, aillent vers des minimas sociaux et que nous ayons la volonté politique de les inclure dans la chaîne des prix de revient.

 
  
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  Elisa Ferreira (S&D). - Senhor Presidente, o Conselho de dezembro tem de dar passos decisivos na conclusão da União Bancária, porque está em curso a constituição efetiva da supervisão única dos bancos dos países participantes e a esta supervisão única só pode seguir-se uma estrutura de resolução europeia única com regras uniformes para a imputação de perdas aos credores dos bancos e com o recurso ao fundo comum de resolução financiado por todos os bancos, em função do risco que introduzem no sistema.

Claro que haverá que ter em conta os interesses nacionais, é preciso aplicar o princípio da proporcionalidade, mas o sistema tem de ser único. Mas é um período difícil para pedir aos cidadãos que confiem mais na Europa e há lições a retirar da crise. A primeira é que o método intergovernamental não funciona, ele não funcionou na resolução do problema da dívida soberana, não pode funcionar nos contractor arrangements de que falou o Conselho e, no caso da União Bancária, seria intolerável se fossem os diferentes pesos políticos dos Estados a definir os destinos dos bancos, os conflitos de interesse neste caso seriam óbvios.

A segunda lição é que têm de ser os bancos a financiar a sua resolução poupando os contribuintes. Tal implica a constituição de um fundo robusto único e o recurso a uma linha de crédito para que este fundo se torne operacional desde a sua constituição.

Por último, recordemos que falta a terceira perna do projeto: os cidadãos não compreendem que uma União Bancária Europeia com uma supervisão única, uma resolução única não tenha uma garantia única e comum para os depósitos. Foi a garantia dos depósitos que a América, os Estados Unidos da América escolheram para organizarem o retorno da confiança dos cidadãos após a grande depressão. Criaram para isso a Federal Deposit Insurance Company, o nome explica para que é que ela serve, a FDIC. E as competências desta instituição acabaram de ser reforçadas para responder à crise de 2008.

O Parlamento está pronto para a negociação com o Conselho, é importante que o Conselho garanta que esta União Bancária não vai ser mais um passo a agravar os desequilíbrios económicos e de poder político no interior da zona euro, agravando também a desilusão dos cidadãos.

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI). - Mr President, yes, the Commission wants to see more single market competition for defence procurement on the ground that fragmented markets create red tape and duplication of defence programmes. It is not fragmentation that leads to red tape; it is the EU requirement that defence contracts should be put out to tender.

Britain could, of course ironically, use the Lisbon Treaty to avoid tendering on the ground of protecting its national interest, as Poland has done to its great credit. The Commission will tackle what it calls market distortions, which will probably take away the rights of Member States to protect their national interest in this area. Defence is too important to the national interest to allow free market competition.

Whilst another European war is, we all hope, unthinkable, our world interests might diverge; the UK cannot be dependent for equipment procurement on states opposed, say, to our protecting the Falklands from Argentinian aggression.

 
  
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  Jacek Protasiewicz (PPE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Najbliższy szczyt europejski zajmie się niewątpliwie bardzo ważnymi sprawami. Do nich należy na pewno usprawnienie funkcjonowania europejskiej unii monetarnej czy kwestie związane ze wspólną polityką obronną. Jednak w obliczu tego, co dzieje się dzisiaj w Kijowie, nie tylko dzisiaj, od kilku tygodni, a zwłaszcza ostatniej nocy, nie ulega dla mnie wątpliwości, że najbliższa Rada Europejska powinna również zająć się sytuacją w tym kraju i relacjami pomiędzy Unią Europejską a Ukrainą.

Decyzja o odmowie podpisania umowy stowarzyszeniowej, jaka zapadła niemal w ostatniej chwili przed szczytem wileńskim, była zaskakująca, ale to co dzieje się tej nocy, dzisiejszego poranka, czyli interwencja milicji przeciwko protestującym pokojowo demonstrantom i to w momencie, gdy w Kijowie przebywa wysoka przedstawiciel Unii Europejskiej ds. polityki międzynarodowej i bezpieczeństwa, jest po prostu zdumiewające, więcej jest kompletnie niezrozumiałe, a w każdym razie dla mnie niewytłumaczalne. Dlatego ważne jest, ażeby zarówno dzisiaj z naszego Parlamentu, tu ze Strasburga, jak i w przyszłym tygodniu z Brukseli popłynęły do tych ludzi, którzy gromadzą się w setkach tysięcy na Majdanie, słowa solidarności z nimi, słowa, które potwierdzą, że rozumiemy ich aspiracje, podzielamy ich marzenia i nie dopuścimy do tego, ażeby przemoc w kraju, który aspiruje do stowarzyszenia z Unią Europejską, była sposobem rozwiązywania konfliktów społecznych. Dlatego zaproponuję do rezolucji dotyczącej najbliższego szczytu europejskiego poprawkę ustną, ażeby wezwać Radę Europejską również do zajęcia się kwestią ukraińską podczas przyszłotygodniowego posiedzenia.

 
  
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  Mojca Kleva Kekuš (S&D). - Maja letos smo v podobni sestavi tukaj razpravljali o urgentnosti boja proti davčnim goljufijam in proti utajam davkov. Dotaknili smo se tudi pomembne teme davčnih oaz. Parlament je predlagal okoli 30 zelo konkretnih ukrepov tako za Komisijo kot države članice.

Nekaj dni za tem je Svet sprejel zaključke vezane na tisoč milijard evrov veliko evropsko davčno luknjo. Po petih letih blokade direktive o prihrankih, ki jo je omenil tudi gospod komisar, s strani Avstrije in Luksemburga, smo takrat slišali, da je Svet za končni datum sprejetja te direktive in tako prekinitve davčne tajnosti in izmenjave bančnih podatkov postavil ravno konec letošnjega leta.

Danes ugotavljam, da na dnevnem redu Sveta, ki se bo zgodil naslednji teden, o davkih ni ne duha ne sluha. Zdi se, da predstavniki držav članic še vedno radi podajajo velike obljube na pomembnih svetovnih sestankih, kot je na primer G20. A ko je potrebno dejansko evropsko zakonodajo sprejeti in prevzeti v nacionalno zakonodajo, se stvari nikamor ne premaknejo.

Spoštovani. Davčna luknja, ki je velika kot vsi evropski zdravstveni sistemi skupaj, spodjeda v bistvu zaupanje v naše davčne sisteme in odžira prepotrebni denar za javne investicije. Dejstvo je, da bi morali problematiko davčnih goljufij in izogibanja plačila davkov nujno pripeljati v proces evropskega semestra, kar je tudi gospod komisar omenil in se z njim strinjam.

Zastaviti je potrebno konkretne cilje, tako na evropski kot na nacionalni ravni, in preko evropskega semestra doseči, da bodo države članice davčno vrzel dejansko postavile na politični dnevni red in začele izvajati konkretne ukrepe.

 
  
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  Marine Le Pen (NI). - Monsieur le Président, la directive sur le détachement des travailleurs est le symbole du cynisme et de la folie de votre Union européenne.

Nous sommes, aujourd'hui, confrontés à l'organisation du dumping social intra-européen. Mais c'était votre objectif, double, d'ailleurs: la baisse des salaires et l'effondrement du système de protection sociale des pays les plus avancés en la matière.

Nous vivons socialement un nivellement par le bas et les gesticulations électoralistes des ministres du travail n'y changeront rien. Tout le monde a crié: "Victoire! Ils ont réussi à se mettre d'accord pour lutter contre la fraude". La belle affaire! Nous pensions que la lutte contre la fraude, c'était fait depuis déjà bien longtemps. Mais cela ne remet pas en cause le fond de la directive, qui est ravageur et qui entraîne toujours plus de chômage, plus de concurrence sur le même territoire entre les entreprises et une concurrence agressive de certains pays qui profitent du système pour attaquer leurs concurrents européens.

Croyez-vous sincèrement que les électeurs vont accepter qu'une préférence étrangère soit instituée dans mon pays au détriment des Français et au bénéfice d'autres travailleurs européens?

Je vais vous dire une chose, pour conclure, les choses sont maintenant claires: votre Europe, c'est la guerre! C'est la guerre économique et c'est la guerre sociale!

(L'oratrice accepte de répondre à une question "carton bleu" (article 149, paragraphe 8, du règlement))

 
  
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  Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D), sinisen kortin kysymys. – Arvoisa puhemies, jäsen Le Pen on ymmärtänyt lähetettyjen työntekijöiden direktiivin totaalisen väärin. Direktiivin idea on maksaa samasta työstä samassa maassa sama palkka. Miten Te voitte kääntää tuon asian aivan päälaelleen?

 
  
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  Marine Le Pen (NI), réponse "carton bleu". – Madame, prenez-vous les entreprises françaises et, accessoirement, les électeurs français, peut-être, pour des imbéciles? Eux ont vu les conséquences de cette directive: même salaire – oui, bien sûr – mais des charges sociales du pays d'origine. Et la conséquence de cette directive, Madame, c'est 40 000 emplois perdus. 40 000 emplois perdus dans le bâtiment!

(Protestations)

Madame, si vous avez quelque chose à dire, vous levez le petit carton bleu que vous avez sur votre bureau, d'accord? Merci!

Ce sont 40 000 emplois perdus par le bâtiment. Évidemment, cela instaure une préférence étrangère puisque les entreprises sont aujourd'hui obligées, pour pouvoir être compétitives, de faire appel à des travailleurs dont les charges sociales sont minimales dans certains pays européens par rapport à ceux qui garantissent une protection supplémentaire, c'est-à-dire la France.

 
  
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  Luis de Grandes Pascual (PPE). - Señor Presidente, los grandes esfuerzos y los sacrificios para garantizar la sostenibilidad de nuestras cuentas públicas y las reformas estructurales emprendidas en los dos últimos años están dando sus frutos. Sin embargo, la recuperación de la crisis todavía es extremamente frágil y persisten retos y preocupaciones.

A nuestro juicio, para salir de la crisis son necesarias, al menos, cinco cuestiones: una consolidación fiscal diferenciada, más flexible y que favorezca el crecimiento; reformas estructurales que nos hagan competitivos y nos permitan crecer y crear empleo; seguir avanzando en la integración europea y adoptar más reformas a escala europea ―en este sentido es vital avanzar con rapidez en la unión bancaria y en el desarrollo del mercado interior y a este respecto hay que decir, en contra de algunas cosas que se han manifestado aquí, que nos parece que los preacuerdos son absolutamente esperanzadores; abordar con decisión la situación del empleo, especialmente de los jóvenes, y que los fondos para la garantía juvenil estén disponibles ya; y resolver los problemas de crédito y liquidez que afectan a las pequeñas y medianas empresas.

De este Consejo Europeo debe salir un acuerdo fundamental para la consolidación de la recuperación de la crisis, la unión bancaria. Urge, Señorías, cerrar un acuerdo sobre un fondo único de resolución y una autoridad única, que podría ser el Consejo o la Comisión.

Celebro, Señorías, que el Consejo Europeo vaya a abordar en profundidad un debate sobre el futuro de la política europea de seguridad y defensa. La Unión no tendrá una política exterior completa hasta que no haya desarrollado plenamente capacidades operacionales en materia de defensa.

Es preciso un liderazgo fuerte, generoso, de los Estados miembros a fin de poder poner en común nuestras capacidades en favor de objetivos compartidos y viables, evitando así duplicidades y carencias. Es preciso, además, Señorías, mejorar en la complementariedad de las acciones civiles y militares de la Unión, a fin de ganar en capacidad de reacción, eficiencia, eficacia y visibilidad, dotando así a la Unión Europea de credibilidad como proveedor de seguridad y estabilidad regional y global.

 
  
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  Pervenche Berès (S&D). - Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Vice-président de la Commission, vous l'avez entendu, ce Parlement ne veut pas de ces contrats. La réalité, c'est que les contrats que vous voulez mettre en place sont des espèces de troïka soft pour imposer des réformes structurelles contre l'équation et la cohésion de certains États membres, d'autant plus que vous nous dites que, peut-être – le Conseil nous dit que peut-être –, un jour, viendront des mesures d'incitation. Nous n'y croyons pas. Nous voulons les deux ensemble.

Sur la résolution bancaire, je m'inquiète des conclusions du Conseil ECOFIN. Ce Parlement européen le sait. En matière de solidarité financière, nous avons besoin de la méthode communautaire. Avec le mécanisme européen de stabilité, vous avez voulu une solution totalement intergouvernementale. Ce n'est pas la voie que nous voulons. Ce n'est pas la voie qui a permis à ce Parlement européen d'arracher le premier pilier de l'union bancaire avec le système de supervision unique.

Monsieur le représentant du Conseil, écoutez-moi et entendez que, sur la dimension sociale, le compte n'y est pas. Est-ce que le représentant du Conseil peut m'écouter? Do you mind listening to me? Thank you!

Sur la dimension sociale, le compte n'y est pas. Vous avez reçu un mandat de vos prédécesseurs dans des précédents Conseils européens pour que la question de la dimension sociale soit traitée. Vous avez demandé à la Commission de mettre sur la table une communication. Cette communication est là. Elle vous dit qu'il faut d'abord mettre en place des indicateurs. Nous vous disons que les indicateurs, vous n'en avez qu'à peine besoin. Il faut les introduire dans la procédure, mais il faut s'en servir, car ce que vont vous dire ces indicateurs, c'est ce que dit Eurostat: 125 millions de personnes sont aujourd'hui menacées de pauvreté et d'exclusion sociale, soit un quart de la population de l'Union européenne. Il est temps d'agir!

Enfin, sur la dimension fiscale, je veux soutenir ma collègue Kleva Kekuš. Nous attendons, dans ce domaine, des résultats, et j'espère que l'évolution au Luxembourg nous permettra enfin d'aborder sérieusement la question de la révision de la directive sur la fiscalité de l'épargne car, sinon, ce sont mille milliards d'euros qui manquent au budget des États membres pour pouvoir réduire à la fois leur déficit public et leur dette.

 
  
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  Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE). - Valóban vannak az Európai Unió gazdaságát illetően biztató jelek. Azt is mondhatnám, hogy jelentős elmozdulást is láthatunk. Azonban ez semmiféleképpen nem jelentheti azt, tisztelt biztos úr, hogy elbízhatja magát a Bizottság, sőt meggyőződésem, hogy éppen ez a helyzet alkalmas arra, hogy értékeljük, hogy az eddigi eredmények az Önök válságkezelő munkájának az eredményei-e, vagy elismerik azt, hogy legalább olyan fontosak a tagállami törekvések, a tagállami önálló munkák, amelyek a szubszidiaritás sérülése nélkül történtek. Úgy gondolom, hogy ennek is itt lenne az ideje.

Ami az ET csúcsot illeti, valóban három nagyon fontos téma van a csúcs napirendjén, azonban nulladik pontként – egyetértek az előttem szólókkal– célszerű, nagyon fontos, hogy Ukrajnát is megemlítsük, szolidaritást vállalva azokkal a tüntetőkkel, akik éppen az Európához, Európai Unióhoz szeretnének tartozni, a mi értékeinket szeretnék magukénak vallani.

Ami a csúcsnak a védelmi típusú napirendjét illeti, azt gondolom, hogy a mi hatáskörünk addig ér, ameddig a novemberi plenáris ülésen a témához kapcsolódó jelentés megengedi. Abban megfogalmaztuk, hogy a belső piac széttöredezettségét, az átlapolásokat, a szétdaraboltságot mindenféleképpen szüntessük meg, és növeljük a hatékonyságot. Túl sok pénzt fordítunk az Európai Unió belső piacán a biztonság és védelem területére ahhoz, hogy ettől el tudnánk tekinteni. Azonban figyelni kell arra is, és szeretném felhívni a Bizottság és a Tanács figyelmét erre is, hogy nehogy bürokratikus túlzásokba essünk e területen.

Ami a GMO-ra vonatkozik, csak megerősíteni tudom azokat a törekvéseket. Tekintsük újra, vizsgáljuk meg az európai szemeszter keretében tett eddigi erőfeszítéseket. Tanuljon a Bizottság abból, hogy az országspecifikus ajánlások tekintetében tett megfogalmazások mintegy 10%-a megy teljesülésbe. Olyan célokat fogalmazzunk meg, amelyek sokkal summásabbak, célratörőbbek, növeljük a tagállamokkal való együttműködést is, és ebbe én be szeretném emelni a nemzeti parlamentekkel történő együttműködést is.

 
  
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  Udo Bullmann (S&D). - Herr Präsident, werte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wenn wir uns heute fragen, welches Organ die wirtschaftliche Erholung der Europäischen Union am meisten blockiert, dann hat dieses Organ einen Namen. Es heißt Europäischer Rat. Das ist der Ort, wo keine klare Politik definiert wird, wo keine Schlussfolgerungen gezogen werden aus den eigenen Fehlern, wo ständig neue Begriffe erfunden werden für eine Pseudopolitik, ohne dass geklärt wird, wer wirklich die politische Verantwortung für die entsprechenden Maßnahmen trägt.

Sie sind doch Fans dieser neuen Vertragspartnerschaften; auch die Kommission hat sich diesbezüglich erklärt. Beantworten Sie einfach klar folgende Fragen: Wer verhandelt dort was mit wem? Von welchem Geld werden die finanziellen Anreize bezahlt? Wer macht die Programme? Wo ist die parlamentarische Kontrolle für eine solche Politik?

Das, was Sie hier ins Haus stellen, führt ausschließlich dazu, dass Sie eine neue Troika-Politik organisieren, eine neue Troika-Politik, eine gescheiterte Politik vollführen, ohne dass Sie die Schlussfolgerungen aus der völlig unbalancierten, marktradikalen, aber unsozialen Troika-Strategie gezogen haben. Sie glauben doch nicht im Ernst, dass Sie die Musik bestellen, dass die Kommission dazu nickt und dass dieses Haus anschließend die Veranstaltung aus dem europäischen Haushalt finanziert. Das wird nicht aufgehen. Das Europäische Parlament wird eine andere Politik von Ihnen einfordern.

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

 
  
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  Rebecca Harms (Verts/ALE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Ich teile diese Kritik des Kollegen Bullmann zu hundert Prozent.

Angela Merkel hatte diese Idee beim letzten Gipfel beim Abendessen angekündigt. Ich würde jetzt gerne wissen, wie die Sozialdemokraten, die Koalitionsgespräche mit Frau Merkel geführt haben, diese Position, die Udo hier vertritt, in der Zusammenarbeit mit Angela Merkel durchsetzen wollen,

 
  
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  Udo Bullmann (S&D), Antwort auf eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Mit Vergnügen möchte ich die Frage beantworten, die die Kollegin Harms stellt.

Rebecca, was glaubst du, warum ich mich so gut mit dem Thema auskenne? Weil ich Gelegenheit hatte, mich so intensiv mit ihm zu beschäftigen. Wir Sozialdemokraten sind der Auffassung, dass diese Politik in die demokratische Kontrolle des Europäischen Parlaments gehört. Das haben wir vor den Verhandlungen gesagt, das haben wir in den Verhandlungen gesagt, das haben wir nach den Verhandlungen gesagt.

Die Kommission muss uns die Frage beantworten, warum sie beispielsweise nicht Manns genug ist zu sagen, dass wir das im Europäischen Semester leisten können. Wir sind nicht der Auffassung, dass man eine undemokratische Politik laufen lassen kann. Im Prozess aller Beteiligten werden wir mit denen, die Verantwortung tragen, darüber streiten, wie demokratische Kontrolle organisiert werden kann. Das ist meine Position, das ist die Position der SPD-Gruppe, und die ist allgemein als sozial-demokratische Position bekannt.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). - Senhor Presidente, gostaria de chamar a atenção o seguinte: eu acho que é fundamental nesta altura que a Europa tenha uma política de defesa e de segurança comum efetiva, que tenha realmente essa política, mas isso não é fácil, como nós vimos na crise síria, como vimos, por exemplo, na crise líbia, onde os países europeus estão bastante divididos e apresentaram até posições diferentes na comunidade internacional e portanto eu considero que é importante nós reforçarmos este núcleo.

Para isso, penso que nós poderíamos iniciar o processo de coesão de uma política de defesa com certas áreas paramilitares ou que estão ao lado da indústria da defesa. Por exemplo, não se compreende que não haja uma fortíssima unidade de proteção civil para as catástrofes naturais, como os incêndios, as inundações, os tremores de terra, na qual poderia haver uma unidade já paramilitar, e não se compreende que as fronteiras externas da União, temos o caso do Mediterrâneo agora muito claro, não tenham já uma força militar europeia para as defender. São duas áreas muito específicas nas quais nós podíamos ensaiar um conceito europeu de defesa.

Eu acho que é extremamente importante que isto também seja feito sempre em coordenação com os nossos parceiros norte-americanos. Não é por acaso que eles incitam a Europa a investir mais na defesa, é porque têm obviamente também hoje outras preocupações no espaço global. Mas nós deveríamos aproveitar justamente esse incentivo a um maior reforço financeiro da Europa nas questões da defesa para criarmos uma verdadeira política europeia de defesa e para fazermos também, isso é verdade, um aproveitamento das infraestruturas que já estão instaladas nomeadamente da capacidade militar inglesa e da capacidade militar francesa, na qual por exemplo, no caso da intervenção do Mali, ou agora na República Centro-Africana, nós devíamos estar de alguma maneira a financiar também esse esforço para que não sejam apenas esses dois países a contribuir para esse efeito.

É justamente com este tipo de pequenos passos que eu penso que nós podermos criar uma verdadeira comunidade de defesa europeia.

 
  
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  Glenis Willmott (S&D). - Mr President, I was really pleased to see economic and social policy included in the upcoming Council summit. I hoped that, for once, Europe’s leaders might be willing to sit down and discuss those measures we can take to protect and improve people’s social and working rights. But what a wasted opportunity to deal with some of the real problems around the Posted Workers Directive.

In recent years the loopholes within the directive have been widened even further by extremely unhelpful court rulings, allowing unscrupulous employers to take advantage by exploiting posted workers and undercutting domestic standards.

This week was a perfect opportunity to show people that we are serious about stopping social dumping and making freedom of movement fair for all. Instead we have an agreement that simply fails to fix the problems. Articles 9 and 12 of the Council Agreement bring less legal certainty and completely fail to deal with the issues of the subcontracting chain, instead, using vague terms like ‘justified’ and ‘proportionate’.

So please excuse me if I sound cynical and pessimistic about the discussions at the upcoming summit. The encouraging words we are likely to get this week on jobs, growth and taxation may sound positive, but the Council needs to act decisively on posted workers. It is actions that count, not rhetoric.

 
  
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  Μαριέττα Γιαννάκου (PPE). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, είναι γεγονός ότι η ατζέντα αυτού του Συμβουλίου έχει εξαιρετικό ενδιαφέρον. Πέρα από την Οικονομική και Νομισματική Ένωση, την οικονομική και κοινωνική πολιτική, αυτό που παρουσιάζει ιδιαίτερο ενδιαφέρον είναι το ζήτημα της άμυνας και ασφάλειας. Δέκα χρόνια μετά τις πρώτες κινήσεις, σήμερα η ατζέντα περιλαμβάνει: πρώτον, το στοιχείο της αξιολόγησης για το ποια είναι πραγματικά η επιτυχία και η απήχηση της μέχρι σήμερα κοινής αμυντικής πολιτικής και πολιτικής ασφάλειας, δεύτερον, πώς αναπτύσσονται οι αμυντικές ικανότητες και, τρίτον, τι γίνεται με τις αμυντικές βιομηχανίες. Όσο αφορά στην αξιολόγηση, υπάρχει ήδη ένα κείμενο της Ύπατης Εκπροσώπου, το οποίο έχει πολύ ενδιαφέρον, αλλά και μια σειρά εκθέσεων του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου. Τα κείμενα αυτά δείχνουν τη σωστή κατεύθυνση, και το Συμβούλιο οφείλει να τα χρησιμοποιήσει. Ακόμη και αν βρισκόμαστε σε εποχή δημοσιονομικής κρίσης, μπορούμε κάλλιστα με λιγότερα χρήματα να έχουμε καλύτερα αποτελέσματα, αν συνεργαστούμε όπως πρέπει, αν λειτουργήσουν σωστά τα «ΕU battle groups», αν λειτουργήσει σωστά το πρόγραμμα ΑΤΗΕΝΑ, αν στην αμυντική βιομηχανία ενισχύσουμε πραγματικά την ευρωπαϊκή βιομηχανία, και όχι μόνο τις μεγάλες επιχειρήσεις αλλά και τις μικρές επιχειρήσεις που βρίσκονται σε διάφορες χώρες και μπορούν να συμβάλλουν στην παραγωγή οπλικών συστημάτων.

Στην ερώτηση εάν σε μια εποχή κρίσης, με τόση ανεργία, εμείς θέλουμε να ασχοληθούμε με την αμυντική πολιτική η απάντηση είναι: Ναι, γιατί αυτό σημαίνει ότι μπαίνουμε στην καρδιά της ύπαρξης μιας πιο ενιαίας Ευρώπης· είναι μείζον πολιτικό θέμα και από την άλλη πλευρά μπορούμε κάλλιστα μέσα από τα δημοσιονομικά μέτρα να ικανοποιήσουμε τις ευρωπαϊκές απαιτήσεις, να δώσουμε περισσότερη ασφάλεια στον Ευρωπαίο πολίτη και περισσότερη αυτοπεποίθηση, κύριε Πρόεδρε, σε σχέση με το τι είναι και τι αισθάνεται πως είναι η Ευρώπη.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). - Señor Presidente, un Consejo Europeo es siempre una reunión política del máximo nivel y el debate en su seno tiene que serlo también. Aquí se ha hablado de la reflexión que se va a concentrar en la política de seguridad y defensa común para incrementar la eficacia, la capacidad de defensa, la potenciación del sector industrial y el refuerzo de la Agencia Europea de Defensa.

Pero es preocupante que la razón sea económica. Los recortes, los recortes presupuestarios, que obligan a optimizar los esfuerzos defensivos en los Estados miembros, porque la razón debería ser política: la creencia en un proyecto compartido. Y exactamente lo mismo hay que decir de los avances que se esperan desde hace demasiado tiempo en la unión bancaria.

No basta con el mecanismo europeo de supervisión ni con la garantía de depósitos. Hay que reforzar los poderes de la Comisión en la gestión de este nuevo sistema de unión bancaria pero también el control democrático que este Parlamento debe ejercer. Esto lo digo porque las elecciones europeas están ya muy cerca, y es imposible perderlas de vista un segundo.

En el año 2014 se va a dirimir una auténtica disyuntiva entre los europeístas y el crecimiento —que ya indican numerosas encuestas— de las actitudes antieuropeas o directamente eurófobas. Por tanto, hay que tener muy claro que las próximas elecciones europeas significan una última oportunidad para relanzar el proyecto europeo, lo que significa que tenemos que revisar la política económica que ha obligado a estos recortes, la política económica que ha conducido a la Unión Europea a la peor hora de su historia, e impulsar de una vez el crecimiento, la agenda social y la generación de empleo.

(El orador acepta responder a una pregunta formulada con arreglo al procedimiento de la «tarjeta azul» (artículo 149, apartado 8, del Reglamento))

 
  
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  Karin Kadenbach (S&D), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Lieber Kollege López Aguilar! Im Rahmen des Sozialinvestitionspakets wurde von der Kommission ja heuer im Februar das Thema „investing in health“ präsentiert. Wenn wir uns jetzt die Zahlen in den Mitgliedstaaten anschauen, gehen überall die Investitionen in die Gesundheit, in die Gesundheitsvorsorge zurück. Glaubst du nicht auch, dass es im Rahmen der Rüstung, im Rahmen der Verteidigung sinnvoll wäre, die Europäerinnen und Europäer zu rüsten gegen Krankheiten, sie zu verteidigen gegen Viren und Bakterien? Das können wir aber nur mit einem gestärkten, sinnvollen Gesundheitssystem. Glaubst du nicht auch, dass diese Investitionen in die Arbeitskraft und in die Gesundheit der Europäerinnen und Europäer auch eine Investition in die Wirtschaft Europas wäre? Die litauische Präsidentschaft hat sich eigentlich dazu verpflichtet, hier Maßnahmen zu setzen.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – Ya lo creo. La respuesta es sí.

Pero la respuesta exige también decir con claridad que no es posible hacer más con menos, que no es verdad que recortando de todas las partidas y también, consiguientemente, obligando a los Estados miembros a recortar el Estado social se puedan proteger mejor el bienestar y los derechos sociales, incluidos el derecho a la salud y el acceso a una sanidad pública de calidad en los Estados miembros.

Y esto es aplicable también, por supuesto, al esfuerzo de aproximación que se está haciendo en la política europea de seguridad y defensa, porque viene impulsado por una lógica economicista. Los recortes obligan a poner en común capacidades de defensa, pero la inspiración no debería ser esa, sino la creencia en un proyecto europeo común y compartido.

 
  
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  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). - Mr President, first of all regarding growth and jobs: I think it is important to underline the fact that those Member States who have applied a policy of spending have got themselves deeper into the crisis while those who have used a policy of reforms are either out of the crisis or slowly coming out of it. I think it is important for the European Council to remember that.


Second, when we discuss the openness of the European Union and the freedom to move and the freedom to work everywhere: we should not see that as a threat. That is the strength of the European Union; a political strength, but also some of our fundamental values that we need to safeguard.

Third, discussing the most fundamental important values of democracy, stability and peace in Europe, I think it is worthwhile to underline that just now, in one of the European capitals, hundreds of thousands of people are demonstrating for the European Union. It is important to remember and to respect, because they see the promises of stability, rule of law, freedom, democracy and transparent societies: they are demonstrating for that. It is a formative time and we need to respond to that.

They are not demonstrating against anything other than those who are trying to impose other forces, other hidden powers. Parliamentary decisions had already been reached that Ukraine should enter a closer agreement with the European Union, but we all know that other decisions have been taken in the dark. We need to support those people and that is also the most important way of safeguarding European peace and security. If we cannot respond to that, we need to further discuss how to best develop the European Union.

 
  
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  Edit Herczog (S&D). - Elnök úr! Az Európai Unió egy békeprojekt, és az is kell hogy maradjon! Békés megoldást, nyitottságot, reményt kell mutatnunk az ukrán népnek. Ugyanakkor tudomásul kell venni, hogy tartósan van egy demokratikus deficit nyugati és egy gazdasági deficit keleti irányba. Ilyen körülmények között kell haladást elérnünk. A védelmi piac, a bankunió, a közös gazdasági kormányzás annak felismerése, hogy a válságra a több Európa a válasz. Miközben a kormányfők több Európáról tárgyalnak Brüsszelben, otthon nagyon gyakran szuverenitásba csomagolt nemzeti politikával átkötött politikát gyakorolnak. Egyértelműnek kell lenni a kormányfőknek. Egységes Európa, befogadás és haladás, vagy a Farage úr által ajánlott bezárkózás, kirekesztés és hanyatlás. Azt kérem a kormányfőktől, legyenek következetesek, azt mondják otthon a lakosságnak, amiben Brüsszelben meg fognak állapodni.

 
  
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  Gay Mitchell (PPE). - Mr President, I have already put on the record some of my thoughts on recovery and growth, but I would like to say a few words today about two issues: common defence policy and common defence, coming as I do from a militarily neutral country.

First of all, can I say that I find it a little bit hard to take a lecture from a Sinn Féin MEP on the use of military resources, because we have had to spend a lot of money on military resources in Ireland – paid for by the taxpayer – counteracting military resources used by Sinn Féin-sponsored organisations – also paid for by the taxpayer, but not withdrawn through the tax system but withdrawn at the point of a gun from banks and the likes.

Secondly, the mayhem and mass destruction and falsehood that followed is the legacy of that organisation and they now want to re-write the history.

Thirdly, the Irish economy is being turned around, despite having the Sinn Féin monkey of doom and gloom on our back constantly, and I think we need to pay credit to the Irish Government and people for the efforts they have made to turn around that economy.

Now, in relation to common defence policy, could I say that it seems to me that in times of austerity, if there were better coordination between the 28 Member States, rather than 28 separate defence budgets on their own, we could actually save money and use that money to assist those who most need it in our economy?

And on the issue of common defence, I think there does need to be solidarity. That solidarity needs to go both ways, but there are concerns about sovereignty and I think the way to deal with this is to say that for those neutral and non-aligned countries that want to sign up for a common EU defence, the Article 5-type commitment of NATO or the WEU, which happens also to be Article 5, will not be automatic. It will be a protocol. It will give those countries the option to opt in or opt out and in that way we would have the prospect of bringing about the best solidarity and common defence, which is a two-way thing.

Let us be very clear about this. Some of our neutral Member States have not provided for the defence of their countries and it is exacerbated by the current austerity ‘measures’, because defence spending has been cut. So we need to use the money we are spending much more effectively. That is what we are meant to do: defend the interests of our citizens and provide security. Let us have this debate in a civilised way.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). - Mr President, look at Lampedusa and look at the spiralling insecurity in Libya, to see the EU in deep political crisis; not just unable to get its act together but its Member States actually acting in rivalry, putting Europe’s security at risk and failing to uphold even the humanitarian obligation to save lives in danger at sea. Energy, cyber and maritime threats, including organised crime and terrorism threats, are not being adequately addressed by the Council, which despite the rhetoric is not investing in the industrial and technological base necessary to build an autonomous and common security and defence policy – just the opposite.

Look at my country, Portugal, dismantling the strategic Viana do Castelo shipyards. Look at the strategic energy production and distribution sectors, put by the tracker privatisation programme under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. Defence, security and national budgets are being blindly cut in total dis-coordination. Fake offsets are rife in corrupt defence procurement contracts. Crucial military capacities are being destroyed.

Look at Mali, look at the Central African Republic. France had to move in fast and alone. Do you want more glaring evidence that the EU Council and the Commission are failing the CSDP, are failing Europe’s security?

 
  
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  Frank Engel (PPE). - Monsieur le Président, chère Ana, il n'y a pas que la sécurité de l'Europe qui est mise à mal par ce Conseil européen, il se pourrait très bien que ce soit le droit européen, lui-même, qui soit mis à mal par ce même Conseil européen.

Mais commençons par le début. Un mot sur l'union bancaire.

Que personne ne croie, quand même, que cette union bancaire mettra, à elle seule, un terme à la crise et à la stupide politique de l'austérité avec laquelle nous continuons de flageller, notamment, le sud de notre continent.

Donc, de grâce, finissons-en, mais faisons en sorte de procéder par la suite à la conception de politiques qui pourraient valoir la peine et qui ont à faire avec la solidarité européenne. Parce que, là, Monsieur le Président, je constate quand même des déviations de membres du Conseil européen que je commence à considérer comme étant scandaleusement problématiques.

Je vois un premier ministre britannique publier des articles où, en falsification brutale de l'état de la loi européenne, il fait comme s'il y avait un tourisme européen des systèmes de sécurité sociale totalement incontrôlé. Alors que, en fin de compte, il ne s'agit que de la possibilité pour les Européens de traverser les frontières nationales pour travailler et pour ensuite bénéficier d'un certain nombre de garanties de solidarité.

Apparemment, M. le premier ministre du Royaume-Uni n'est pas le seul à considérer cela parce qu'il prétend avoir des amis qui voudraient, avec lui, limiter la liberté de mouvement au sein de l'Union européenne.

Monsieur le Président, je trouve cela lamentable, lamentablissime, et je voudrais que le Conseil européen, qui n'est déjà pas connu pour être l'institution la plus efficace, ni la plus européenne dont nous disposons, soit au moins capable de rappeler à l'ordre ceux de ses membres qui, pour des raisons purement populistes et électorales, ne rechignent même plus devant la remise en question des acquis les plus fondamentaux de la construction européenne.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE). - Mr President, one can say that the next major crisis in Europe will, in all likelihood, be a security and defence crisis. Our neighbourhood has become more unstable and unpredictable in all directions. Terrorist attacks are likely to increase and spread. There are new threats of cyber-conflicts, partially sponsored by states.

However, the biggest threat is the inadequacy of the EU to react efficiently to these threats. Defence budgets have become the first victims of austerity. I am worried that the EU as a whole has not been able to react to this dilemma between increased threats and depleted defence capabilities. Pooling and sharing is welcome but cannot be an adequate answer to our security.

I think the Councilʼs first task is to turn the tide of complacency and short-sightedness. Our first job is to regain public support for the renewed defence efforts. In fact our citizens value their security above all other things, but it cannot be provided for free.

Russia poses a major challenge to EU objectives. It continues to modernise its army and spends more than 4% of its GDP on military purposes. We cannot deal efficiently with the present Russian regime, which is engaged in economic and political warfare against eastern partners, which has invaded Georgia and whose military doctrine justifies armed invasion of its neighbours.

If we lack a credible defence capacity, if the EU does not take responsibility, the Kremlin will feel free to advance its own objectives in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and also in the Baltic States.

 
  
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  Othmar Karas (PPE). - Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Zum Ersten zur europäischen Sicherheitsarchitektur: Vor einem Jahr hat die Europäische Union den Friedensnobelpreis erhalten. Dieser hat uns deutlich gemacht, dass das Friedensprojekt Europa erfolgreich ist. Wir haben die Zusammenarbeit, die Rücksichtnahme aufeinander, das Verständnis füreinander, das Miteinander-Probleme-Lösen zum Konzept erklärt.

Vor wem verteidigen wir uns eigentlich noch? Vor uns selbst? Wir sind jetzt dabei, dafür Sorge zu tragen, die Verteidigungsanstrengungen, die Kräfte zu bündeln, damit wir unsere Aufgaben außerhalb Europas und innerhalb Europas gemeinsam lösen können.

Die Studie des Europäischen Parlaments über die Kosten des Nicht-Europas zeigt, dass eine Bündelung der Kräfte auf diesem Gebiet zu einem Einsparungspotenzial von 130 Mrd. EUR maximal, 26 Mrd. EUR minimal führen kann und das zu einer erhöhten Effizienz führt. Ich fordere die Staats- und Regierungschefs auf, diese Effizienzsteigerung der Kostensenkung durchzuführen und den nächsten Schritt zu setzen.

Der zweite Punkt: Die Währungsunion benötigt eine Wirtschafts- und Sozialunion nicht mit bilateralen Verträgen, sondern auf dem Boden des Gemeinschaftsrechts, demokratisch legitimiert durch das Europäische Parlament, demokratisch kontrolliert durch das Europäische Parlament. Die Bankenunion ist eine Voraussetzung dafür, dass die Bankenaufsicht erfolgreich tätig werden kann. Beschließen Sie die Bankenunion vor der Wahl zum Europäischen Parlament! Dann setzen wir ein deutliches Zeichen, dass wir es mit der Antwort auf die Krise ernst meinen.

 
  
 

Intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»)

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). - Mr President, I thank the Commission and the Council for their statements in this debate.

Commissioner, you mentioned Ireland and I thank you for acknowledging the resilience and the determination of the Irish people. It is a very significant week in Ireland. We will exit the bail-out programme. It has been a very tough three years but I do want to put on record that, despite some earlier comments by colleagues in this Chamber, Ireland is a positive news story.

Let me tell you some of the good news. Growth has recovered. The economy is regaining competitiveness. Exports are at an all-time high. We are creating jobs and confidence has improved. Interest rates on our government bonds are now at affordable levels.

There are some for whom economic recovery is not a good news story because they will gain politically from economic failure and that is a terrible thing to have to say in this Chamber.

Let me praise the Irish people but also say, we need continued EU support…

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Ioan Mircea Paşcu (S&D). - Mr President, the long awaited EU summit on defence is approaching fast. There are two major reasons why everybody’s expectations of it are so high.

First, defence has not been addressed since 2008, and second, it is defence which is bearing the brunt of fund-cutting during the current crisis. A combination of deluding ourselves that we have achieved near or never-ending security and the fear of losing the public vote have brought us to this point.

Consequently, it is difficult for our forces to find volunteers for their ranks. The industry is losing qualified workforce. Our inventories are rapidly becoming obsolete. Our technological edge is vanishing and the centrality of Europe’s role in the newly emerging world is gradually being eroded. To avoid passing the point of no return, we need to stop slashing defence budgets and give defence proper attention through a robust follow-up process decided at the upcoming Council.

 
  
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  Νικος Χρυσόγελος (Verts/ALE). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, γι’ αυτά που μιλάμε θα αναφέρω μερικά παραδείγματα:

Για το ευρωπαϊκό εξάμηνο δεν μπορεί να βλέπουμε μόνο τους μακροοικονομικούς δείκτες αλλά πρέπει να συνδέουμε τους δείκτες αυτούς και με κοινωνικούς δείκτες. Παράδειγμα, η επίτευξη δημοσιονομικής εξυγίανσης δεν πρέπει να πλήττει την κοινωνική συνοχή. Στην Ελλάδα έχουμε πάνω από 28% ανεργία, και μάλιστα 60-64% ανεργία μεταξύ των νέων. Ακόμα και εάν πετυχαίναμε δημοσιονομική εξυγίανση, θα ήταν σε βάρος της συνοχής της κοινωνίας, αλλά ούτε δημοσιονομική εξυγίανση πετυχαίνουμε. Η πολιτική λιτότητας τι είχε σαν αποτέλεσμα; Να καταστρέψει την παραγωγική βάση και την κοινωνική συνοχή, αλλά δεν μείωσε το χρέος. Η πρόσφατη έκθεση του ΟΟΣΑ λέει ότι ό,τι πετύχαμε με το κούρεμα και άλλα μέτρα για τη μείωση του χρέους εξουδετερώθηκε με την αύξηση του χρέους κατά ίσο ποσοστό· δηλαδή μειώθηκε το χρέος κατά 38,5% με το κούρεμα και λόγω της ύφεσης αυξήθηκε πάλι κατά 38,5%, δηλαδή δεν πετύχαμε τίποτα...

(Ο πρόεδρος διακόπτει τον ομιλητή)

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). - Mr President, George Orwell gave the following definition of doublethink in 1984: ʻto tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any facts that have become inconvenientʼ. There is no better description of the Commissionʼs tale of the Irish success story.

Let us look, for example, at the so-called return of sovereignty. The inconvenient facts there are all of the locks that will still exist on the neo-liberal straightjacket that constrains the people in Ireland and across Europe. We will have post-programme monitoring from the IMF; we will have post-programme surveillance from the Commission; we will have the excessive deficit procedure, the six-pack, the two-pack, the Fiscal Treaty.

Now you want more contracts for austerity. What is being created is permanent Troika for all across Europe. James Connollyʼs writings on the struggle against British imperialism could equally apply today: ʻIf you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the...ʼ

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Kreowanie i prowadzenie wspólnej polityki zagranicznej, bezpieczeństwa i obronności to wyjątkowo trudne zadanie, wymaga bowiem pogodzenia interesów nie tylko politycznych, ale także gospodarczych wielu krajów członkowskich, a interesy handlowe przeważają nad wartościami. Większość mówców nawiązywała do Ukrainy. A co mamy? Deklaracje, propozycje unijne są mało wyraziste i mało konkretne, a stanowiska wielu krajów członkowskich są milczące, bądź wypowiadane bardzo cicho, aby nie naruszyć swoich interesów z Rosją. Wspólna polityka bezpieczeństwa i obronności Unii Europejskiej ma swój charakter wynikający z wartości, które są podstawą naszego funkcjonowania. Chcę tu wskazać na znaczenie pomocy, jaką niesie Unia w sytuacjach naruszenia bezpieczeństwa, zagrożenia życia ludności na skutek walk, wojen, które wybuchają w różnych ...

(Przewodniczący odebrał mówcy głos)

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). - Gospodine predsjedniče, Manfred Worner je rekao kako je sigurnost kisik za demokraciju. No, poput kisika, i sigurnost često doživljavamo zdravo za gotovo. Budući da je jedan od glavnih ciljeva Europske unije promicanje mira i podupiranje demokracije na međunarodnoj sceni, želim izraziti podršku daljnjem razvitku europskog sigurnosnog i obrambenog sektora. Međunarodnu regionalnu sigurnost ugrožavaju izazovi poput ekstremizma, širenje oružja za masovno uništenje te globalne i regionalne mreže organiziranog kriminala.

Ali sigurnost danas ima sve izraženije socijalne, gospodarske, energetske i ekološke aspekte. Nestabilnost južnog i istočnog susjedstva Europske unije je zabrinjavajuća te iz tog razloga trebamo partnerski raditi na jačanju sigurnosne suradnje u Europi i našem susjedstvu. Hrvatska je tom cilju doprinosila i prije formalnog pristupanja Uniji te aktivno sudjeluje u mirovnim misijama stavljajući pritom naglasak na obuku i mentoriranje. Današnji globalni kontekst odražava potrebu za daljnjim razvojem strategije europske obrane. Zato bih želio pozdraviti sljedeći sastanak Europskog vijeća u prosincu, posvećen sigurnosti i obrani.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). - Mr President, I think we are approaching this summit in a much better place than at any time that I have been here over the last four and a half years. Because, contrary to the prophets of doom, professor know-it-all economists, the euro has not collapsed and the European Union has not fallen apart.

Instead we see the euro being secure and a return to growth, and that is something that is very welcome, and my own country is being seen as an example of success in that regard, thanks to the help we got from the European Union and others.

But I would say one thing. Our debt is peaking at 124% of GDP, which is over twice what is recommended in the fiscal compact treaty and for that reason I think the application of retroactive measures in relation to our debt is very important. It was promised at the summit of 2012. If that is given to us, then we will not need a second bail-out and Ireland will continue to grow and be an example of success at European level.

 
  
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  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D) - Medzi hlavné témy nadchádzajúceho samitu patrí hospodárska menová Únia a hospodárska menová politika. Je nevyhnutné hospodársku a menovú Úniu neustále prehlbovať, čo však vyžaduje nielen intenzívnejší a udržateľný hospodársky rast, ale najmä zamestnanosť a sociálnu súdržnosť. Naša najdôležitejšia priorita teda musí byť podpora zamestnanosti a sociálneho zabezpečenia.

Kolegyne a kolegovia, potrebujeme systémové opatrenia a nielen krátkodobé riešenia. Tie vedú v konečnom dôsledku iba k negatívnym dopadom na zamestnanosť už aj tak ľudí ťažko skúšaných krízou. Musíme preto cielene investovať a posilniť financovanie hospodárstva, musíme prijímať prorastové opatrenia a posilňovať sociálne investície; vytvoriť aj účinný systém sociálneho zabezpečenia.

Je treba zabrániť narastajúcim sociálnym nepokojom, ktoré sú dôsledkom neefektívnych a nefungujúcich opatrení. Občania EÚ si zaslúžia vysokú mieru sociálneho zabezpečenia...

(predsedajúci rečníčku prerušil)

 
  
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  Joseph Cuschieri (S&D). - Jeħtieġ li l-Istati Membri jieħdu l-inizjattiva u b’sens ta’ solidarjeta’ jagħtu sehemhom biex il-kwistjoni tal-immigrazzjoni irregolari fil-Mediterran tirrisolvi ruħha.

L-Unjoni Ewropea għandu jkollha mekkaniżmu li jorbot lil kulħadd biex jagħti sehmu kif inhu xieraq.

Huwa meħtieġ li l-laqgħa tal-Kunsill Ewropew tal-ġimgħa d-dieħla taqbel fuq miżuri operattivi li jwasslu għall-qsim obbligatorju tal-piż bejn l-Istati Membri.

Il-miżuri identifikati mit-Task Force għall-Mediterran għandhom jissarrfu f’azzjonijiet konkreti li għandhom jiġu implimentati b’mod effiċjenti u effettiv. Għandu jkun hemm timelines biex dawn il-miżuri jiġu implimentati.

Ir-responsabilita’ disproporzjonata li Malta kellha terfa' f’din il-problema tidentifika b’mod ċar li hemm bżonn ta’ tiġdid u tibdil tas-Sistema Ewropea Komuni tal-Asil, reviżjoni fis-sistema Dublin u l-ħtieġa ta’ aktar ħidma biex jintlaħqu l-oġġettivi tal-Programm ta’ Stokkolma.

Għandha wkoll tikber iktar il-kooperazzjoni ma’ pajjiżi barra mill-Unjoni Ewropea skont l-Approċċ Globali għall-Migrazzjoni u l-Mobilità (GAMM). Din il-ħidma fuq medda ta’ żmien...

 
  
 

(Fin de las intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»))

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. − Mr President, honourable Members, thank you very much for this debate. I will just try to react very briefly to the topics which have been most frequently raised by Members: the situation in Ukraine, defence, contractual arrangements and the single resolution mechanism.

First I would like to thank you all for your very clear statement on Ukraine. I think it is very important to show that we are with the Ukrainian people. We support their right to the European path and I would like to thank you for your very clear demonstration of solidarity. I agree with parliamentary group leaders who highlighted the fact that the pictures from Kiev from the Maidan square remind us all of the importance of the freedoms and values we have got so used to in the European Union that we just take them for granted.

But as we have already seen this morning, it is very important to defend them. Sometimes it is very strange that we have to defend them here in the European Parliament, but this is, I would say, the ongoing battle against those who want to limit the freedom of movement, freedom of labour – the key features of the European Union because they make our Union so great. They are freedoms which are extremely appreciated by our citizens and I think it is our clear duty to work on this together and to fight for this freedom both, in the Commission and in the European Parliament.

On defence, I think it is very important to recall to some Members that the common security and defence policy development is already provided for in the Lisbon Treaty, and it is quite clear that we need progress here to be able to deploy European Union security and civilian missions. We already have dozens of them abroad and the further development of our capabilities would help us to assume even better our global responsibility, which is of course something that is expected of the European Union.

We need better coordination to tackle new threats like cyber-security, like the trafficking of human beings. We need it for economies of scale and of course to avoid duplication.

Several of the speakers also highlighted the very important economic impact of the defence industry on the European economy, and therefore I think it is really up to the European Union to invest effort and energy in the development of better cooperation and coordination in this area. In my opening remarks I think I made it very clear that the European Union wants to proceed in close cooperation with NATO and with other international partners like the UN and OSCE. But if everything is as great as was suggested by some of the speakers, in that case why do we still have problems with duplication in aircraft, in ships, in frigates, in different kinds of armament? Why do we still have very closed procurement procedures? Why do we have fragmented markets in defence products?

I think that we have to tackle all these issues to benefit from economies of scale and from pooling resources to really produce better products and really to pool resources which are very scarce. So I think this topic at the European Council deserves a lot of attention and I hope that we will really achieve tangible and much needed progress.

On contractual arrangements, I think that here we need to continue the debate on this issue, because I think the Commission’s approach to the contractual arrangement was not fully understood and we should engage with the European Parliament to explain it more in the future. Because I think we have all agreed, and I have seen it in very big support from the European Parliament for six-pack and two-pack measures, that what we need is to improve economic governance. We have seen how the European Semester has been evolving and how we are trying to improve it every year. With these contractual arrangements, we want to add the element of motivation, the element of financial support for reforms which are sometimes very difficult, which are costly, which of course are not easy to implement.

Of course we want to respect fully the democratic scrutiny rights of the European Parliament and of the national parliaments, because the proposals for these contractual arrangements should come from the Member States themselves. They should propose what they want to do, if they want to come into the reform, and of course we need to look for the ways we can help finance these reforms in the future.

Of course these arrangements would have to fully respect all new elements we have added to the social dimension of the EMU, and convergence is one of the key factors in economic governance and in application of the European Semester.

Lastly, on the banking union, I think that here we are at an absolutely crucial stage. There will be two trialogues today on the deposit scheme guarantees and on the Bank Resolution and Recovery Directive, and of course we hope for progress because we really believe that we need to complete these two very important negotiations before the parliamentary recess so that we can really start the new legislature with the banking union already in place.

As some of you already mentioned, the discussion on the single resolution mechanism is very difficult. As you know, the Commission is advocating Article 114 as the right legal basis for all issues including the fund, but the negotiations are very difficult and, as you know, the negotiations between the Finance Ministers in the Ecofin formation will continue next week and we will work very hard for the final compromise and for the important role of the European Parliament in this process.

But at the same time I think we also have to acknowledge that this is a process of putting the system together which would take years, and now I think we have to overcome this very important hurdle. We have to trigger the mechanism, we have to start it, because this would be a very important signal to the financial markets, it would be a very important signal to our businesses, to our citizens that we have finally closed all the gaps and we have got our banking system under proper control and on safe ground. This, I hope, will help us to restart financing the economy, which is one of the key problems that explains why our growth is not picking up in a more robust way, which of course all of us would very much prefer.

 
  
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  Vytautas Leškevičius, President-in-Office of the Council. − Mr President, I am grateful to all those who have participated in this debate. I have heard a range of views expressed, and I will of course ensure that these are relayed back to the Council, and to the European Council and its President.

Many of you mentioned Ukraine and I am very grateful for this. As Minister Linkevičius said very early this morning, last night the Ukrainian authorities demonstrated that they seem to be taking a non-European path. The oppressive police action shows a clear disrespect for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. These are at the core of our European values. We are all the more grateful to the High Representative that she is seeking a political solution with a direct engagement in Kiev. As President Barroso stated recently, in these difficult hours we cannot leave the Ukrainian people on their own. I would like to thank this House for its support and welcome the fact that a resolution on this matter is be put to the vote tomorrow.

Finally, on Ukraine, as I said during yesterday’s debate, it is also very important simply to be there, with them, showing that they have not been left alone. Some MEPs, notably Mr Swoboda and Ms Berès, made particular mention of a social dimension. Of course it is clear that growth alone cannot remedy the social situation in the EU, because growth needs to be rich in jobs. Hence the Member States are ready to address the challenges exposed by the crisis, through increased efforts to better balance economic and social objectives. There is broad agreement that the social dimension of the EMU has to be strengthened. A properly functioning EMU needs the Member States to work together to address, in a balanced and coordinated way, economic, employment and social imbalances which have implications for monetary union as a whole. A strong social dimension would ensure that priority is given to policies to lead the EU towards full employment. The social dimension should therefore be built around a renewed effort to deliver the relevant employment, education and social inclusion targets of Europe 2020.

Most Member States are in favour of the introduction of a scoreboard of key employment and social indicators within the framework of the European Semester and consider it a useful instrument. Such a scoreboard could provide a more focused analysis for reinforced multilateral surveillance of employment and social policies. Member States also support the proposals to improve the mechanisms for involving social partners in the coordination of policies at EU and national levels.

The Commissioner mentioned the Savings Directive. It is true that Ecofin did not reach a political agreement yesterday. I would like to stress that the Lithuanian Presidency has been doing everything possible for a Savings Directive to be adopted before the end of the year, as requested by the European Council. The file was on the agenda of Ecofin in November and December this year, but it has not been possible to reach agreement at this stage, due to reservations on the part of a couple of our Member States. But the report, which will be forwarded to the European Council, will present the outcome of the Ecofin discussion. It will then be for the European Council to decide what kind of signal it wishes to send to the Council on the follow-up to be given to this file.

Mr Van Orden and Ms Gomes made some concrete points on European defence. Let me say that this week’s European Council will be about achieving concrete deliverables. In the area of defence I could name just a few, such as the call to adopt the EU cyber defence policy framework in 2014 and to adopt a maritime security strategy in the same year. To enhance the development of capabilities, the European Council will encourage further development of remotely piloted aircraft systems in the 2020-2025 framework and more development of air-to-air refuelling capacity, the creation of a next-generation governmental satellite communication and the development of a road map, as well as projects to improve civil and military cooperation on the basis of the EU cyber-security strategy.

Some of you also mentioned the EU-NATO relationship. Let me stress that NATO is a key partner organisation for the EU and the European Council is expected to underline this. In its conclusions on CSDP the Council encouraged further implementation of practical steps for effective EU cooperation with NATO, while keeping the overall objectives of building a true organisation-to-organisation relationship. This also includes avoiding duplication and ensuring complementarity.

Next week’s meeting covers a range of different issues, but they are all of direct concern to our citizens. Common security and defence is about protecting our families and homes, and helping to ensure that we provide for a more stable and secure neighbourhood and world. Our continuing effort to strengthen economic and monetary union is about a different sort of security: security from economic uncertainty and security from the fear of long-term unemployment.

Banking union is also in the end about protecting our livelihoods from the threat of yet another financial crisis. We all depend on the strength and solidity of the banks whom we trust with our hard-won savings.

Finally, tackling migration in the Mediterranean is concerned with protecting those who risk great danger in the search for a better life. We owe it to them to ensure that the disaster we witnessed in October is never again repeated.

As we look forward to the European parliamentary elections next year, we can point to these and many other issues where Europe is indeed making a difference, and where results depend ultimately on cooperation and solidarity.

 
  
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  El Presidente. − Para cerrar el debate se han presentado 4 propuestas de resolución(1) de conformidad con el artículo 110, apartado 2 del Reglamento.

Se cierra el debate.

La votación tendrá lugar el jueves 12 de diciembre de 2013.

Declaraciones por escrito (artículo 149 del Reglamento)

 
  
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  Claudette Abela Baldacchino (S&D), bil-miktub. Il-laqgħat tal-aħħar xhur tal-Parlament Ewropew kienu dominati minn diskussjonijiet dwar il-probelma tal-immigrazzjoni irregolari li qiegħda tolqot lil Malta u lill-Italja. Dan ġara għax ftit ġranet qabel iltqajna kien hemm żewġ traġedji qrib Malta u Lampedusa – traġedji li ħallew mijiet ta' vittmi, fosthom nisa u tfal – f'qiegħ il-baħar Mediterran. Dawk kollha li ħadu sehem fid-diskussjonijiet kienu kelma waħda: L-UE kellha terfa' responsabbilta' kollettiva biex tinstab soluzzjoni għal din il-problema. Saru diversi appelli lill-Kunsill Ewropew biex jieħu l-problema aktar bis-serjetà u mill-kliem jgħaddi għall-fatti. Ma nistax ngħid li dawn l-appelli waqgħu fuq widnejn torox għax grazzi ghall-inizjattivi tal-Gvern Malti u l-Prim Ministru Joseph Muscat, saru passi importanti 'l quddiem meta l-Kunsill qabel li jridu jittieħdu deċiżjonijiet operazzjonali fi żmien ftit ġimgħat. Huwa ta' sodisfazzjon li t-Task Force tal-Mediterran ressqet lill-Kummissjoni Ewropea numru ta' proposti biex tittieħed azzjoni konkreta. Id-dokument tat-Task Force jinkludi diversi punti importanti li għandhom iwasslu biex tal-anqas il-problema tittaffa. Insemmi biss il-proposta biex pajjizi terzi jingħataw għajnuna biex l-immigranti jaqsmu lejn l-Ewropa b'mezzi legali u mhux b'dgħajjes b'periklu għal ħajjithom. Jidher li mill-kliem bdejna ngħaddu għall-fatti. Minn diskorsi biss għaddejna għal impenji konkreti. Nittamaw li issa ngħaddu għal azzjoni konkreta bl-ewwel pass ikun it-twettiq tad-dokument tat-Task Force tal-Mediterran.

 
  
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  Ivo Belet (PPE), schriftelijk. Er is nogal wat politieke opschudding over het feit dat Bulgaren en Roemenen op 1 januari a.s. vrije toegang krijgen tot de arbeidsmarkt, op gelijke voet met alle EU-burgers. Hierover worden veel halve waarheden en verzinsels verkondigd. Het is goed om eraan te herinneren dat het vrije verkeer binnen de EU niet onbeperkt is, concreet: EU-burgers moeten aantonen dat ze beschikbaar zijn voor de arbeidsmarkt en hun aanvraag voor sociale steun kan worden geweigerd, als blijkt dat ze er onrechtmatig beroep op doen. Sommige regeringen, met name in Londen, lijken deze handhavingsinstrumenten over het hoofd te zien en geven de indruk dat de opening van de arbeidsmarkt een bedreiging vormt.

Diezelfde regeringen verzetten zich in de Raad Sociale Zaken tegen de invoering van efficiënte controles en inspecties tegen onrechtmatig gebruik van de detacheringsrichtlijn. Daarom is het recente akkoord over de handhavingsrichtlijn zo belangrijk: het maakt duidelijk dat Europa wel degelijk een vuist kan maken tegen frauduleuze constructies van malafide ondernemingen. Het akkoord is een belangrijke stap naar eerlijke concurrentie en humane werkomstandigheden voor gedetacheerde werknemers. Met dergelijke concrete besluiten kunnen we de burgers ervan overtuigen dat Europese samenwerking een goede zaak is voor ons allemaal.

 
  
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  Ágnes Hankiss (PPE), írásban. Védelempolitika az Európai Tanács napirendjén – Kis lépések politikája

A decemberi Európai Tanács napirendjén – 2008 óta először – biztonság- és védelempolitikai megfontolások is napirendre kerültek. A közelgő tanácsi vita apropóján újra aktuális a kérdés: képes-e az EU önálló, stratégiailag autonóm geo- és védelempolitikai szereplővé válni a nemzetközi színtéren? Indokolt, hogy Európa rendelkezzen önálló védelmi stratégiával és olyan hatékony biztonság- és védelempolitikával, amely, ha szükséges, önálló fellépést is lehetővé tesz a konfliktusok megoldása érdekében. Olyan átfogó uniós megközelítést kell kialakítani, amely minden (régi és új) rendelkezésre álló eszközt számbavesz a konfliktusmegelőzés és a válságkezelés érdekében. A 2003 óta érvényben lévő, 2008-ban aktualizált európai biztonsági stratégia felülvizsgálata is megkerülhetetlen feladat a változó biztonsági fenyegetésekkel és különösen az EU-val szomszédos országok biztonsági helyzetével összefüggésben. A polgári és katonai képességeket a jövő szükségleteihez kell igazítani. Ez indokolhatja a biztonság- és védelempolitikai fehér könyv kidolgozására tett javaslatot, mely – felmérve az egyes tagországok kapacitásait – a polgári és a katonai képességek összehangolásában is szerepet játszhat. Üdvözlendő, hogy a tanácsi ülés a legmagasabb politikai szintre emelte ezeket a kérdéseket, elősegítve ezzel az önálló európai védelempolitika koncepciójának a felülvizsgálatát. Tekintetbe véve azonban a tagállamok eltérő gazdasági és politikai érdekeit, a tanácsi ülésen megvitatandó elképzelések megvalósulását csupán apró, konkrét lépések vihetik előre.

 
  
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  Моника Панайотова (PPE), в писмена форма. В момент, когато ЕС е на стратегически кръстопът, изборът на правилната посока за развитие на ОПСО е от ключово значение за военните му способности.

Европа е необходимо да развие пълния набор от собствени способности, ако иска да остане адекватна на своите стратегически интереси и да отговори навременно на новите геостратегически предизвикателства. Затова решенията на предстоящия Съвет, включително по отношение на индустрията и технологиите, ще имат дългосрочно отражение в бъдеще.

Военната индустрия и технологиите в ЕС са все още фрагментирани и с ниска конкурентноспособност на глобалния пазар на въоръженията. Същевременно, европейските отбранителни индустрии са не само важни за сигурността, чрез осигуряване на въоръжените сили с бойна техника и материални средства, но те са и източник за създаване на нови работни места, за иновации и икономически растеж.

Индустриалната база на ЕС следва да бъде конкурентна и иновативна. Изследванията и иновациите в сферата на отбраната са ключът към повишаване на конкурентноспособността на европейската отбранителна индустрия. Потенциално решение в тази посока е насърчаване развитието на технологиите с двойна употреба посредством новата програма за изследвания и иновации Хоризонт 2020.

Сътрудничеството и недублирането с НАТО ще мултиплицира ефекта. Държавите членки също следва да задълбочат сътрудничеството си във военно технологичното развитие на двустранна и многостранна основа.

 
  
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  Pavel Poc (S&D), písemně. Poslední letošní summit Evropské rady se bude zabývat pilíři evropské integrace – společnou bezpečnostní politikou a hospodářskou a sociální politikou. Právě společná hospodářská a sociální politika je dlouhými lety krize nahlodána a vnímána v jednotlivých členských státech jako nedostatečná, a tudíž i selhávající. Členské státy by proto na tomto summitu Evropské rady měly klást důraz především na otázky hospodářské a sociální politiky: na podporu zaměstnanosti mladých lidí, na řešení hospodářských problémů, které jsou vždy na pozadí sociálních tenzí vytvářejících rizika pro bezpečnost. Právě vnitřní a sociální bezpečnost Evropy je ohrožena, ne její vnější bezpečnost. Proto realizace společné bezpečnostní politiky EU by neměla mít kompetitivní charakter se zbytkem světa, ale měla by se realisticky zaměřit především na harmonizaci a užší integraci těch oblastí bezpečnosti, které jednotlivé členské státy mají podobné a kde může dojít ke zvýšení efektivity a snížení nákladů. Za příklad nadějné praxe regionální spolupráce můžu uvést společný vzdušný prostor České republiky, Slovenska a Maďarska. Tento summit by měl posilovat především společnou sociální politiku, pomocí které můžeme efektivně snižovat ta bezpečnostní rizika, kterým musí čelit dnešní Evropa – vnitřní společenské napětí a sociální exkluze.

 
  
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  Csaba Sándor Tabajdi (S&D), írásban. Az Európai Tanács idei utolsó ülésén az Európai Unió jövője szempontjából kiemelt fontosságú kérdések kerülnek napirendre. Az egész Unió érdekében áll, hogy az állam- és kormányfők végre megegyezésre jussanak a bankunióval és az egységes bankszanálási alappal kapcsolatban. A törékeny fellendülés ellenére az Európai Unió gazdasága továbbra is komoly problémákkal küzd. A bankunió jelenlegi állapotában képtelen ellátni feladatát, hiszen az Egységes Bankfelügyeleti Rendszer nemsokára megkezdi működését, azonban a bankszanálási alap továbbra sem áll az Unió rendelkezésére. Elképzelhető, hogy Szlovénia mentőcsomagra szorul, Portugália újabb hitelmegállapodás felé sodródik, míg Görögország képtelen csökkenteni államadósságát. Hazámban a gazdasági növekedés lassú és törékeny, a munkanélküliség pedig a régiós átlaghoz képest kiemelkedően magas. Felhívom a figyelmét mind az európai biztosoknak, mind pedig EP-képviselőtársaimnak, hogy mandátumunk még nem járt le! Jelen gazdasági és társadalmi helyzetben megengedhetetlen, hogy az európai polgárok érdekeit félretéve kizárólag a jövő évi kampányra koncentráljunk! Felszólítom tehát képviselőtársaimat, az európai biztosokat, valamint az állam- és kormányfőket, hogy ne halogassák a bankszanálási alap létrehozását! A kisbetétesek, az európai adófizetők védelme, valamint a biztonságos pénzügyi rendszer kialakítása mindannyiunk érdeke!

 
  
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  Dominique Vlasto (PPE), par écrit. – Après la crise de 2007, la mobilisation en urgence de fonds publics pour renflouer les banques européennes été très mal vécue par les citoyens, qui nous ont demandé, à juste titre, de mieux encadrer ces institutions financières. Aujourd’hui, je crois pouvoir dire que nous sommes en train de satisfaire ces revendications. Après avoir adopté de nouvelles exigences pour les banques en matière de fonds propres et d’endettement, et confié à la BCE le rôle de gendarme bancaire, nous sommes sur le point de créer un mécanisme de renflouement privé des banques en difficulté. À l’avenir, plutôt que de solliciter les contribuables, ce sont les dirigeants, actionnaires, créanciers des banques qui seront mobilisés. Si cela ne suffit pas, un fonds de résolution bancaire alimenté par des taxes sur les banques d’environ 50 ou 60 milliards d’euros interviendra pour aider à la restructuration. Le Mécanisme européen de stabilité (MES), conçu initialement pour aider les États qui connaissent des difficultés pour se financer, pourra éventuellement intervenir pour compléter le renflouement. Le contribuable ne pourra donc être sollicité qu’en dernier ressort.

 
  
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  Angelika Werthmann (ALDE), schriftlich. Bei der kommenden Ratstagung geht es um die gemeinsame Sicherheits- und Außenpolitik, die Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion, Erweiterung und Energie. Aufgrund der nach wie vor anhaltenden Strukturkrise ist es durchaus neben den vertraglichen Gegebenheiten ratsam, sich Gedanken zur GASP zu machen. Jedes Land hat seine besonderen Stärken – im Sinne der vielfachen (Kosten-) Effizienz ergibt es durchaus Sinn, gerade jetzt solche Überlegungen anzustellen. Die wirtschaftliche Lage des Euro-Währungsgebiets zu analysieren, halte ich für unumgänglich, allerdings kann unmöglich daraus resultieren, unseren Bürgerinnen und Bürgern noch mehr finanzielle Bürden aufzuhalsen – wir haben schon mehr als genügend Leute, die sich bis zum Monatsende „durchkämpfen“. Geben wir ihnen zuerst Perspektiven und unzähligen von ihnen eine Arbeit! An dieser Stelle sei auch erwähnt, dass die jetzige EU eben aus wirtschaftlichen und finanziellen Gründen nicht fit ist, realistisch an weitere Erweiterungen zu denken.

 
  
  

(La sesión, suspendida a las 11.50 horas, se reanuda a las 12.20 horas)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. ROBERTA ANGELILLI
Vicepresidente

 
  

(1)Véase el Acta.

Aviz juridic - Politica de confidențialitate