Index 
 Previous 
 Next 
 Full text 
Procedure : 2013/0205(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Select a document :

Texts tabled :

A7-0043/2014

Debates :

PV 26/02/2014 - 18
CRE 26/02/2014 - 18

Votes :

PV 27/02/2014 - 10.4
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2014)0167

Debates
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - Strasbourg Revised edition

18. EU-Indonesia voluntary partnership agreement on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the EU - EU-Indonesia voluntary partnership agreement on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the EU (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. - L'ordine del giorno reca, in discussione congiunta,

– la relazione di Yannick Jadot, a nome della commissione per il commercio internazionale, sulla raccomandazione sul progetto di decisione del Consiglio relativa alla conclusione dell'accordo volontario di partenariato tra l'Unione europea e la Repubblica di Indonesia sull'applicazione delle normative nel settore forestale, sulla governance e sul commercio del legname e dei suoi derivati importati nell'Unione europea (11767/1/2013 - C7-0344/2013 - 2013/0205(NLE)) (A7-0043/2014), e

– la dichiarazione della Commissione sull'Accordo volontario UE-Indonesia sull'applicazione delle normative nel settore forestale, sulla governance e sul commercio del legname e dei suoi derivati importati nell'UE (2013/2990(RSP)).

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Yannick Jadot, rapporteur. - Madame la Présidente, bonsoir Monsieur le Commissaire, bonsoir chers collègues, et merci d'être là ce soir, tard, pour discuter de ce sujet important. Je commencerai par exprimer ma satisfaction quant au processus d'élaboration qui a conduit à un vote unanime en commission du commerce international sur ce sujet. Je voudrais remercier, évidemment, les rapporteurs fictifs, Mesdames Köstinger et Bearder, Messieurs Martin, Zahradil et Murphy pour leur collaboration et rappeler qu'effectivement, nous avons eu un vote unanime sur cette résolution parce que nous considérons, au sein de la commission du commerce international, qu'il s'agit d'un sujet extrêmement important.

Il y avait cette volonté d'envoyer un signal clair à la Commission et au Conseil à propos du sérieux de notre travail et de l'ambition que nous avons en matière de vérification et d'encadrement du commerce du bois et des produits du bois, et du sérieux que nous accordons à ce type d'accord avec l'Indonésie, dans le cas présent, et, précédemment, avec certains pays africains. C'est aussi l'occasion pour moi de remercier les autorités indonésiennes, l'ambassade et tous les acteurs qui nous ont permis de travailler. Comme je l'ai dit, nous avons considéré que ce sujet était sérieux, raison pour laquelle nous avons voulu rencontrer un maximum d'acteurs – à la fois indonésiens et européens – du domaine, pour justement formuler la meilleure des recommandations et faire en sorte que l'accord que nous souhaitons soit le meilleur possible et, surtout, qu'il garantisse que le bois et les produits de bois que nous importerons dans l'Union européenne répondent – évidemment – à des critères de durabilité.

Cet accord de partenariat volontaire avec l'Indonésie est particulièrement important puisque la forêt indonésienne est une forêt immense. C'est l'une des trois plus grandes forêts au monde. Évidemment, elle constitue un enjeu essentiel pour le climat – nous le savons –, pour la biodiversité et, bien sûr, également du point de vue des populations qui vivent dans la forêt ou de la forêt. Et puis, c'est un accord important car nous savons l'importance du commerce du bois en Indonésie, y compris à destination de l'Asie. Il est donc essentiel que les licences FLEGT qui seront accordées puissent, d'une certaine façon, donner les bons critères sur l'ensemble des exportations indonésiennes et, en tout cas, fournir une référence en matière de commerce du bois.

Évidemment, une fois que le Parlement, si le vote en décide ainsi demain, aura donné son accord, il faudra que la Commission décide, sur la base de son évaluation, si le système de vérification de la légalité du bois est pertinent, correct et répond aux critères du Parlement européen. Et nous savons, malgré les efforts entrepris par le gouvernement indonésien, qu'il y a encore des insuffisances, et nous avons voulu les montrer du doigt.

Ces insuffisances concernent, bien sûr, le manque de vérification d'un certain nombre de bois et de produits du bois issus de la conversion des forêts, que ce soit pour l'agriculture ou, pour la production d'huile de palme. On sait aussi que l'audit du processus de permis tel qu'il est effectué dans le cadre du système de vérification actuel présente de nombreuses lacunes. Et puis, on sait enfin que le processus de vérification de légalité ne fait pas la distinction entre les produits qui ont été certifiés et les produits qui ne sont pas certifiés dans l'ensemble de la filière.

On voit bien qu'il y a des efforts; on voit incontestablement les autorités indonésiennes et l'ensemble des acteurs de la filière en Indonésie et de la société civile faire des efforts. Mais, encore une fois, puisque cela sera la seule occasion pour le Parlement européen d'exprimer très fortement ce qu'il attend de la Commission européenne, nous avons voulu le faire ici, et je voudrais dire que l'objectif du Parlement européen dans cette affaire est véritablement d'obtenir que l'accord de partenariat volontaire et les licences qui seront accordées répondent aux objectifs de protection du climat et de protection de la biodiversité, en assurant, évidemment, le développement durable de l'Indonésie.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Janez Potočnik, Member of the Commission. - Madam President, I am pleased to stand before you at an important point in the journey we are undertaking with Indonesia. It started back in 2006 with the opening of negotiations for the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement by my predecessor, Commissioner Dimas. First, of course, I would first like to thank the rapporteur, Mr Yannick Jadot, as well as the shadow rapporteurs, for the work which has been done. I really appreciate it and I very much value it.

As with all negotiations, the end result is both a compromise between the interests of the parties involved in the process and a compromise between aspiration and realism. We think it is a good result! Hence I was pleased and honoured to represent the Commission at the signature of the European Union-Indonesia FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement on 30[nbsp ]September last year.

I was happy to note that the Committee on International Trade voted unanimously in favour of the legislative resolution to give Parliament’s consent to the conclusion of this agreement. I look forward to the plenary vote tomorrow.

Turning to the resolution now under discussion, I would like to highlight the issue of civil society involvement in monitoring the implementation of the timber legality verification system, called SVLK. This is mentioned in paragraphs[nbsp ]13, 14, 17 and 18 of the resolution. The recognition afforded to civil society in the Agreement is crucial to ensuring the credibility of the system. But for it to be effective, there is a need for capacity-building, for access to information and access to forest areas, as well as to protect monitors. We take good note of the recommendations made by Parliament in this regard.

Some concerns raised in the resolution, such as clarifying traditional forest tenure rights, go beyond the remit of what the Commission can deliver inside the VPA process and are also likely to take a number of years to resolve. So it would not be advisable to link, as suggested in paragraph[nbsp ]21, solutions to these issues with the decision to operationalise the FLEGT licensing scheme. Nor would it be appropriate, as suggested in paragraph[nbsp ]19, for the Commission to directly intervene in the affairs of a sovereign state.

In conclusion, with these clarifications, I welcome highly the overall positive message concerning this FLEGT Agreement and Parliament’s resolution. I look forward to our debate on this landmark agreement and I would like to thank you again for your hard work and for the seriousness with which you have approached this important file.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Kriton Arsenis, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Development. - Mr[nbsp ]President, I am pleased that we are discussing here a FLEGT (Forest Law Governance, Enforcement and Trade) agreement with a very important country, Indonesia, which possesses one of the most important rainforests in the world – albeit a rainforest that is very quickly becoming depleted. The FLEGT agreement is crucial because it gives some hope for a change in the rhythm of depletion of this important natural resource.

A number of specific issues have been mentioned by the rapporteur, Mr[nbsp ]Jadot, and are included in the report. I would call on the Commission to take very close note of the points made with regard to the Indonesian timber legality assurance system: how it is malfunctioning, and the challenges in order for it to function properly and for the FLEGT agreement to work properly.

I would like to take a moment to praise the FLEGT agreements as a form of European policy instrument. Unlike many other trade agreements we have, the FLEGT agreements are, in a way, bilateral trade agreements, which respect the sovereign rights of the nations concerned. As a model of broad stakeholder participation, they could be followed by other types of trade agreement with other partners.

On a negative note, however, in my capacity as Parliament’s rapporteur on the Commission Green Paper for Forest Protection, I must mention that the Commission, in this green paper, has neglected all of Parliament’s proposals. It has taken no account of Parliament’s plans on any of the legal tools that Parliament asked it to introduce.

I would like to hear a reply from the Commissioner on this point.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Elisabeth Köstinger, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, geschätzter Herr Kommissar! Wir debattieren heute über ein wichtiges Abkommen, welches als ein Hauptbestandteil der europäischen Strategie zur nachhaltigen Bewirtschaftung des Forstsektors angesehen werden kann.

Die freiwilligen Partnerschaftsabkommen der EU mit Drittstaaten im Handel mit Holz sind in mehrfacher Hinsicht von Bedeutung. Erstens stellen sie einen legalen Holzschlag und eine legale Holzverarbeitung in jenen Drittstaaten sicher, mit denen solche Abkommen geschlossen werden. Zweitens wird so ein nachhaltiger Umgang mit Ressourcen im Speziellen und der Umwelt im Allgemeinen anvisiert und vor allem sichergestellt. Und drittens herrscht mit dem FLEGT-Abkommen eine effektivere Kongruenz der Holzimporte in die EU mit der seit 2013 in Kraft befindlichen EU-Holzverordnung. So gilt es, FLEGT-Abkommen nicht als eigenständige Abkommen zu begreifen, sondern als Teil des Kampfes der Europäischen Union, illegalen Holzeinschlag und vor allem die enormen negativen Folgen daraus zu bekämpfen.

Weltweit wird alle zwei Sekunden eine Waldfläche in der Größe eines Fußballfelds illegal gerodet. Daten von illegaler Waldholzung sind schwer zugänglich. Umweltorganisationen schätzen aber, dass in der EU jährlich illegales Holz im Wert von 1,2[nbsp ]Milliarden Euro verkauft wird. Den Holzerzeugerländern entgehen dadurch schätzungsweise jährlich Einnahmen in Höhe von 10[nbsp ]bis 15[nbsp ]Milliarden Euro, die für die nachhaltige Entwicklung eingesetzt werden könnten.

Die Probleme werden mit Abkommen wie jenem zwischen der EU und der Republik Indonesien angegangen. Indonesien hat viele Schritte gesetzt, die weg von illegalem Holzschlag und hin zu einem zertifizierten, legal geschlagenen Holz führen. Wenn man auf die schwierige Ausgangsposition von Indonesien zurückblickt, kann man die Erfolge, die bereits erreicht wurden, ganz klar erkennen. Logischerweise dürfen wir aber nicht den Fehler machen, die Erfolge Indonesiens mit zweierlei Maß zu messen. Vieles wurde bereits verbessert, einiges gilt es noch zu verbessern. Die Arbeit Indonesiens an der Nachhaltigkeit im eigenen Forstsektor gilt es als positiv in den Vordergrund zu rücken und gut zu heißen. Es wurden viele Anstrengungen gemacht, die Infrastruktur im Forstbereich und darüber hinaus die Kontrollen und die administrative Abwicklung auszubauen.

Ich denke, dass mit der vorliegenden Entschließung die Bedenken des Europäischen Parlaments gut abgedeckt wurden. Wir haben uns dem Zertifizierungssystem gewidmet, welches im Bereich der Effizienz noch verstärkt werden konnte. Wir haben die Interessengruppen und Stakeholder in dem Text verankert und so die Partizipation der Zivilgesellschaft festgehalten. Wir haben uns auch mit den Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt und die indigene Bevölkerung beschäftigt, ohne dabei aus den Augen zu verlieren, dass sich das freiwillige Partnerschaftsabkommen mit Indonesien der Unterstützung des Europäischen Parlaments sicher sein kann.

Ich darf mich bei den beteiligten Personen für die Zusammenarbeit sehr herzlich bedanken!

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David Martin, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, I would like to join other colleagues in thanking Yannick Jadot for his excellent work, not just on this particular report, but on the other similar agreements we have had with Liberia, the Central African Republic and Cameroon. Tackling illegal logging around the world is a huge challenge but it is one we must address if we want to stop deforestation, protect biodiversity and tackle corruption.

The EU, as the world’s biggest market, has a vital role to play in this. We have a responsibility as a community to ensure that we are trading ethically. It is not enough, as some people do, simply to shrug and say we do not know where the timber comes from and ask what we can do. Consumers, our constituents, want to have the confidence to buy timber furniture in the EU and to know that their money is not fuelling massive deforestation or jeopardising the lives of indigenous people in the rainforests.

So I welcome this agreement. As other colleagues have said, Indonesia is the home of one of the world’s biggest rainforests and it faces some of the most significant challenges, particularly in relation to corruption. Like other colleagues, I acknowledge the fact that the current Indonesian Government has taken serious steps to try to tackle the illegal logging. I am pleased that they have also taken steps to monitor imports of timber into Indonesia in order to prevent ‘laundering’, with illegal timber leaving the country.

Like the rapporteur, however, I would encourage Indonesia to go much further. The initiative they have started, in terms of a single online tracking map, is a very important one, but it needs to be further developed, and civil society organisations must be able to monitor the work of the mapping. I also hope that the licensing scheme which has been introduced will be accessible to small traders and local crafters who use timber. I understand from the Indonesian Government that there are moves to enable cooperatives to take advantage of the system.

We have made good progress in signing this agreement. The Indonesian Government is on the right track but I would encourage both it and the Commission to continue to work closely to make the agreement a success.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Catherine Bearder, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – For those of us who have been concerned about wholesale destruction of tropical rain forests, we must today congratulate the Indonesian Government on its efforts to move forward with protection of forest timber and the people, animals and plants that are dependent on it. This Voluntary Partnership Agreement will serve as a clear indication of our commitment to helping and encouraging such actions. This is a commitment by the EU to help regulate the harvesting of tropical timber sustainably and with traceability.

So far so good. But we still have huge concerns over Indonesia’s regulation of its forest resources in what is called the SVLK certification system. It is certainly on the right track and a welcome advance, but SVLK needs more political commitment – to ensure that those who break the code receive strong sentences and that financial penalties are imposed on the perpetrators – before we will fully trust their implementation.

We also need to be aware that only 10% of Indonesia’s tropical timber actually arrives in Europe. Some 90% of it is exported to countries with much lower environmental standards that have built-in corruption and impunity for the illegal trade in tropical forest products – economies that have the philosophy of ‘profit today and who cares about the future?’.

Tropical deforestation and subsequent release of CO2 are issues for all of us and it is Western demand for palm oil and timber products that is also driving destruction.

Let us then be clear: agreeing to this VPA is a small step forward, a step towards traceability, a step towards protection and a step towards helping the Indonesians demand the same standards from their other customers. But for heaven’s sake let us not fool ourselves that it is a case of ‘job done and problem solved’.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paul Murphy, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, Robert Green Ingersoll once said: ‘In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences’. And the consequences of deforestation are life-threatening for biodiversity, indigenous communities and anyone living on this planet.

Deforestation is man-made. It is often directly linked to corruption, fraud, money-laundering and the general greed of a profit-driven system. The scale of deforestation in Indonesia is alarming. Further incentives for palm oil production – the single biggest cause of deforestation in Indonesia – add to the problem. Multinationals such as Ferrero, Unilever, Nestlé, Mondelez (formerly Kraft), L’Oreal, Hershey and Wilmar International are just some of the profiteers responsible. If anything has changed, it is solely down to public pressure.

I am in favour of every step to combat illegal logging and stop illegally logged timber entering the EU market. But I am also in favour – as we are doing now – of Parliament identifying potential flaws in the scheme and not taking the current FLEGT as the be-all and end-all. Independent civil society monitoring is necessary. FLEGT-licenced companies proven to be involved in money-laundering and corruption must have their licences revoked. I have supported the rapporteur’s initial position throughout and rejected any attempts to water it down.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch-the-eye"

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Adam Bielan (ECR). - Pani Przewodnicząca! Z zadowoleniem przyjmuję podpisanie przedmiotowej umowy z Indonezją. Poza aspektami handlowymi, jest ona wyrazem starań zmierzających do[nbsp ]poprawy zrównoważonej gospodarki leśnej w skali globalnej. Kraj ten pozostaje ważnym eksporterem drewna, jednakże niekontrolowana eksploatacja prowadzi do niszczenia lasów tropikalnych. Dzięki tej umowie partnerskiej, wprowadzanie indonezyjskiego drewna na europejskie rynki będzie się odbywać z zachowaniem wszelkich gwarancji legalności. Mam nadzieję, że przynajmniej w pewnym zakresie zahamuje to powszechne w gospodarce Indonezji zjawiska korupcji i spekulacji.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Janez Potočnik, Member of the Commission. - Madam President, I would first like to thank the honourable Members of the European Parliament for their support and for bringing their concerns regarding the implementation of the agreement and the situation on the ground in Indonesia to the attention of the Commission.

I have to be clear about this, and many of you stated it very clearly too: Indonesia is an extremely important country. So it was well worth making an effort and we were really happy at being able to reach an agreement.

We know that Indonesia has certain problems which are still there, and we know too that they are trying hard to address them. We are aware of that and I am fully aware too of the fact that implementation will be crucial. I would just like to add that Indonesia will also apply the same system to exports to other markets such as China.

The Commission will, of course, be happy to report to Parliament on progress in the implementation of the FLEGT Agreement with Indonesia and also on how the points which you raised in the resolution are being properly addressed.

Let me just say – because you specifically asked me about the forest strategy – that I would really need to look into the facts that you mentioned, as I can hardly comment without being properly briefed on that. What I can promise you is that you will get a proper answer; I am simply not sufficiently well prepared to answer you now on something which is connected in detail with the forest strategy.

What I can say at this stage is that I know that there were limited possibilities, and whenever we discuss forests we are constantly and consistently reminded by the Member States that this is a subsidiarity issue and we should take their positions into account. But as I said, I will look into the matter and provide you with an answer.

If you would allow me to sum up, I think the message which I have received here from Parliament is clear: together with our Indonesian partners and together with EU Member States which are supporting this initiative, the Commission must chart an ambitious course to implement effectively and also build on this agreement.

This will bring us closer to reaching our ultimate objective, which is without any doubt the sustainable management of Indonesia’s forests and the well-being of those who depend on those forests.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Yannick Jadot, rapporteur. - Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, l'objectif de cette résolution, vous l'avez bien compris, n'était pas d'ajouter de nouvelles conditions juridiques à l'accord de partenariat volontaire qui a été adopté. Il y a un accord, il y a des conditions juridiques qui engagent les parties, et l'objectif du Parlement n'était pas d'en ajouter et de créer une confusion juridique.

L'objectif de ce Parlement est, bien évidemment, comme certains de mes collègues l'ont dit, de nous assurer que les licences[nbsp ]FLEGT qui seront délivrées garantissent aux citoyens européens –[nbsp ]aux consommateurs comme aux autorités européennes[nbsp ]– que le bois provient bien de systèmes durables et soumis à la traçabilité, qui ont été certifiés et légalisés dans de bonnes conditions. Tel est l'objectif.

Vous vous doutez bien que, si on devait constater, à un moment donné, que les licences[nbsp ]FLEGT qui sont délivrées ne correspondent pas au cahier des charges, c'est tout le dispositif FLEGT qui serait remis en cause. D'où l'importance des recommandations du Parlement européen.

Je voudrais vous remercier, je tiens à le souligner, pour votre engagement à venir devant le Parlement européen nous faire part et nous rendre compte des progrès qui sont accomplis, pour ce qui est de la partie indonésienne, dans le système de vérification afin de nous assurer qu'effectivement, nous contribuons, du point de vue du Parlement européen, comme, vous, du point de vue de la Commission européenne, et comme les autorités indonésiennes, du leur, au bon développement de ce pays, à la protection de la forêt, à la protection du climat, à la protection de la biodiversité et de toutes les populations qui vivent dans la forêt ou de la forêt.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. - Comunico di aver ricevuto una proposta di risoluzione conformemente all'articolo 110, paragrafo 2, del regolamento.

La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà giovedì 27 febbraio 2014.

 
Legal notice - Privacy policy