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Procedura : 2017/2572(RSP)
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Dokument w ramach procedury : O-000008/2017

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O-000008/2017 (B8-0204/2017)

Debaty :

PV 01/03/2017 - 21
CRE 01/03/2017 - 21

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Debaty
Środa, 1 marca 2017 r. - Bruksela Wersja poprawiona

21. Naruszenia obowiązujących praw do swobodnego przemieszczania się obywateli UE mieszkających w Zjednoczonym Królestwie oraz stosowanie wydaleń po sześciu miesiącach (debata)
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PV
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  La Présidente. – L’ordre du jour appelle le débat sur la question orale à la Commission sur les violations de l’actuelle liberté de circulation des citoyens de l’Union européenne séjournant au Royaume-Uni et le recours aux expulsions au bout de six mois, de Sophia in ’t Veld, Catherine Bearder, Gérard Deprez, Cecilia Wikström, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Angelika Mlinar, Louis Michel, Nathalie Griesbeck, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Yana Toom, Renate Weber, Javier Nart, Carolina Punset, Ivo Vajgl, Marian Harkin, Enrique Calvet Chambon et Marietje Schaake, au nom du groupe ALDE, Claude Moraes et Seb Dance, au nom du groupe S&D, Jean Lambert, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE, et Marie-Christine Vergiat, Cornelia Ernst, Barbara Spinelli, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Kostas Chrysogonos, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Stelios Kouloglou, Merja Kyllönen et Paloma López Bermejo, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL (O—000008/2017 - B8-0204/2017) (2017/2572(RSP)).

 
  
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  Catherine Bearder, author. – Madam President, firstly my thanks go to Sophia in ‘t Veld, a D66 MEP who has helped enormously with this issue. This union of sovereign states has been clear over the years that the rights of their citizens are important and are to be protected, with the mutual recognition of qualifications, agreements on health and pension rights, and so on. Like many other MEPs I receive heartfelt emails from citizens living in the UK and across Europe. There are tens of thousands of EU citizens in the UK. They have paid their taxes, they have paid into our pension pots, and they are paying down our debts. They contribute to our society and our economy. The threats from Mrs May’s government must be stopped now. No ifs, no buts. They are doctors, nurses, shopkeepers, students, teachers and others – they are not political bargaining chips.

There are many examples. There’s the Romanian electrician forced to resign after threats and bullying. There’s the Italian beautician who has been resident for 20 years, married to a Brit, but now threatened with deportation as she has no private health insurance. And the lists go on and on. They are real people, with real lives, who are worried and fearful. Is that how we should be treating people we promised we would welcome? My government needs to guarantee the rights of these people immediately and stop uncertainty. We need to protect the UK that I know: open, tolerant and united.

But it is for this House and its MEPs to speak for all European citizens. We are the ones who must fight for the rights that need to be protected. Brexit negotiations will be tough, and we all know it is easier to chop away rights than to protect them. So this House demands the Commission enforces EU rules and the British Government must respect those rules, respect the citizens, and respect the benefit that migrants bring.

 
  
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  Claude Moraes, author. – Madam President, before I say anything else I must put a clear question to Commissioner Jourová, on behalf of EU citizens. Now, and once Article 50 is triggered, will you, as the guardian of the Treaties, take action to ensure that the Free Movement Directive is properly applied in relation to both EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in other EU countries?

Why must we ask this today? Because there is compelling and growing evidence, since the Brexit vote, from our constituency casework, responsible journalism and the voices of EU citizens themselves, that some EU citizens in the UK are experiencing great uncertainty about their position. There is suspicion that, far from protecting their rights in the sensitive transition period, the UK has already begun to use them as bargaining chips. We can detect this from the approximately 28% of EU citizen applicants for UK citizenship since the referendum who have had their applications rejected or declared invalid. It is well known that the procedure for some who have been living in the UK, sometimes for decades, involves having to fill in the notorious 85-page forms, which can often trigger delays and panic.

I do not have time here to recount the stories of heartbreak and stifling bureaucracy but we must ask if this amounts to a UK policy or to negligence in respect of individuals and families whom we are legally obliged to protect. The European Parliament will hold hearings to gather our own evidence and do our job, but the Commission can act right away.

The UK Government has a moral, political and legal duty to protect the rights of all EU citizens, not least because they contribute to our communities and our economy. They are vital. As Article 50 is triggered, hundreds of thousands of UK citizens in other EU countries will want the same equality and dignity that is afforded to EU citizens in the UK: not a negotiation, but a guarantee. The UK Government must do what is right. The Commission must engage and we, your MEPs, will represent you.

 
  
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  Barbara Spinelli, Auteur. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, se ci rivolgiamo alla Commissione con questa interrogazione è perché vogliamo dare voce agli oltre 3 milioni di cittadini europei che vivono in Inghilterra e al milione e più di cittadini britannici che vivono nell'Unione.

L'ansia degli uni e degli altri è grandissima e i loro diritti di circolazione, di soggiorno e di lavoro dovranno essere garantiti fin da ora e nella maniera più dettagliata nel futuro accordo di recesso. Contrariamente a quanto affermato dai fautori del Brexit, infatti, sarà estremamente difficile far valere i loro diritti acquisiti. Molte menzogne sono state raccontate in occasione del referendum, troppo silenziosi e reticenti sono stati su questo punto i fautori del "remain" ed è cruciale che la Commissione parli chiaro.

La House of Lords lo ha già detto in modo inequivocabile: in assenza di un accordo negoziato, le conseguenze della perdita dei diritti di cittadinanza europea saranno severe, per questo è importante sapere come la Commissione intende procedere per far fronte alle infrazioni di cui il Regno Unito si è reso responsabile negli ultimi anni con leggi molto restrittive sulla residenza dei cittadini europei in Inghilterra. Fino al giorno in cui si raggiungerà un accordo di separazione, il Regno Unito è soggetto al diritto europeo, alla direttiva sulla libera circolazione, e deve dunque rispondere delle eventuali violazioni unilaterali, allo stesso modo in cui sono obbligati a farlo tutti gli Stati membri. Fino ad allora l'Inghilterra non potrà limitarsi a dire che farà entrare dall'Unione solo "the brightest and the best", oltre naturalmente ai più benestanti come si ripromette di fare dopo l'uscita.

 
  
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  Jean Lambert, author. – Madam President, I think we are all aware that the UK is not the only Member State with issues regarding long-term residence and citizenship. We will discuss the others when the Petitions Committee brings forward their resolution. However, many EU 27 nationals do live in the UK and over a third of them live in my region of London. Some of them are my neighbours. And the lack of certainty over their future is causing huge concern, just as it is for UK nationals living in other Member States. You only have to read the testimonies on the ‘Brexpats’ website.

Much of this uncertainty could certainly be removed by the British Government. I think many of us will welcome tonight’s vote in the House of Lords on the Article 50 bill, asking the government to introduce proposals within three months of the triggering of that Article, to ensure that EU citizens in the UK have the same residence rights after Brexit. In the meantime, as people have said, there are people in the UK from EU countries who have lived, worked, studied and retired there. Some have caring responsibilities and there I think we have an issue with the long-term residents directive. They do not want to be used as bargaining chips; they feel it is insulting and demeaning, and it is. Our government could at least be clear that these people are valued and it should strongly condemn the rising racism and xenophobia we are seeing in the UK.

A lot of the stress and the fear that we are seeing is also being caused by the attitude of the authorities. Certainly in terms of sickness insurance we know there has been a shift in position by the British Government over the last few years on the role of the NHS. We really hope that the Commission will get on, please, and introduce the infringement proceedings that have been hanging for so long. I think many of us would say from the case work that we are seeing, and indeed from the excellent LIBE petitions survey, that when you look at this, we either have a government that is dealing with wilful incompetence or targeted administrative efforts to actually delay, restrict, diminish – all of these words crop up time after time, and we would like some certainty, please, for our citizens and yours.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, freedom of movement is one of the basic rights of EU citizens and the European Commission will continue to defend it as a top priority. The correct application of EU rules on free movement by all Member States is of fundamental importance – correct application by all Member States. And for as long as the UK remains a Member State, all rights and obligations continue to apply.

I am fully aware that EU citizens living in the United Kingdom are concerned about their future rights; EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom deserve to know what their rights will be in the UK after the UK leaves the European Union and, vice versa, the same applies to UK citizens residing in the other 27 Member States. The authors of the oral question are absolutely right: people need certainty and stability and they deserve respect and fairness. That is why I hope that this issue can be addressed as soon as possible. However, it is first for the UK to give effect to the outcome of the referendum vote. There can be no negotiation before notification, as you know. It is therefore not possible to be more precise at this stage.

Let me now refer to the individual questions. On the first question, concerning the statistics on the number of residence applications, residence refusals and expulsions from the UK, the Commission does not have up-to-date statistics on this matter. EU law on free movement of EU citizens does not oblige Member States to collect such data and share them with the Commission. Some data on numbers of issued residence documents are in the public domain, but there is little data on refused applications, and there is almost no publicly available data on expulsions and appeal rates.

Ever since the entry into force of the Free Movement Directive in 2006, the Commission has been working closely together with Member States to improve their ability to collect statistical data and share it. Unfortunately, progress is limited due to a lack of commitment on the part of Member States.

With regard to the infringement procedures, I would like to underline that the Commission takes appropriate action to address failures of any Member State to comply with their obligations under EU law. There are currently infringement procedures in this area against eight Member States. The two pending infringement procedures against the United Kingdom relate to access residence rights of economically non-active citizens, and rights of UK nationals returning to the United Kingdom after residing in another Member State. I would like to inform you that the Commission is assessing these cases carefully.

As regards the residence rights of economically non-active citizens, the Commission will take into account in its assessment the recent case law of the Court of Justice concerning the conditions to which Member States can subject the access to welfare benefits by economically non-active EU citizens in order to protect public finances. Please allow me to underline that the Commission is also carefully assessing the compliance with the provisions of the Free Movement Directive of the latest amendments to the UK legislation that came into force in February 2017.

With regard to your last question, the Commission attaches great importance to providing guidance to Member States in order to prevent breaches of EU law. Therefore, since the Free Movement Directive entered into force, the Commission adopted five official guidance documents: in 2008, the report on the application of the Directive; in 2009, guidelines for better transposition and application of the Directive; in 2010, the Handbook for the processing of visa applications; in 2013, the report on free movement and in 2014, the Handbook on marriages of convenience.

In addition to official guidance, the Commission has met experts from Member States twenty-four times in an expert group dedicated to the application of the Free Movement Directive. These meetings are a useful tool to communicate the Commission’s interpretation on issues of practical application of EU law.

Last but not least, I would like to inform you that a few weeks ago, the Commission has made available an e-tool on free movement for national administration, together with its citizenship report issued by the Commission in January 2017. The Citizenship report sets out a number of actions to raise citizens’ awareness of their rights and how to seek help if their rights are not respected.

 
  
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  Roberta Metsola, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, free movement is one of the cornerstones of our European project and we need to be vigilant in order to ensure that there are no unnecessary limitations to it by any Member State. The ‘sufficient resources’ argument is one that requires constant monitoring and, while it is fair that EU migration does not become a burden on the host state, this principle should not be abused by Member States, nor should it be used, as my colleagues have said, as a bargaining chip.

The UK remains a Member State of the EU and the Commission must insist that, until the moment it is not, any and all existing EU acquis needs to be respected, implemented and properly applied. In this respect, it is crucial that the Commission provides Member States, including the United Kingdom, with proper guidance to ensure the correct application of the Free Movement Directive and protect the rights of EU citizens.

This is an issue that is so personal for so many people. I have met countless Maltese citizens who live and work in the United Kingdom, and many UK nationals who live in my constituency of Malta and Gozo. They are worried. They are concerned that the life they have spent decades building is suddenly uncertain, they are anxious that after years of abiding by the law, working and paying taxes, they read reports that make them apprehensive. They should not be made to feel targeted. Their rights must be clarified sooner rather than later.

 
  
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  Richard Corbett, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, on behalf of the Socialist Group and especially the Labour members of the Socialist Group, let me say that the way the British Government appears to be intending to use European citizens living in the UK as pawns in the negotiation is a disgrace.

The good news is that an hour ago, in the House of Lords, the UK Government, the Conservative government, was defeated when the House of Lords adopted an amendment that obliges the government, if it is confirmed by the House of Commons, to settle this question as quickly as possible and in the shortest period ahead. If that is sustained, that is good news. But I fear that the Conservatives will use their majority in the House of Commons to overturn this amendment and go back to the status quo. It is a disgrace and we shall fight it all the way.

But we must do one more thing in this Parliament: we must be vigilant throughout the negotiations and look very closely at the deal that comes back, the so-called divorce deal, because if it does not respect citizens’ rights we should refer it to the Court of Justice to verify its compatibility with the Treaties.

 
  
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  Anthea McIntyre, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, Britain has a long and celebrated history of immigration, a proud record of welcoming people from inside the EU and from across the world, and this will continue long after Brexit. Immigration has made our country stronger, richer and more tolerant. The Prime Minister was very clear about the value she places on the contribution of EU citizens to Britain, to its economy, its society and its culture. That is why securing the status of EU nationals residing in the UK, and of UK nationals residing in the EU, is a top priority for the Prime Minister. Any delay in reaching guarantees on this issue is a consequence of timing and procedure, not of political will.

Why are we not now debating how we can make freedom of movement work better? Why are we not debating how we can rebuild people’s confidence in the principle? Why are we not debating how we can address the concerns regarding its implementation across the whole of Europe? For example, we could be addressing the concerns in Germany about access to public services and benefits. We could be addressing the demographic challenges that many EU countries face.

Our debates do nothing to convince people that we have solutions to the challenges we face – and then we wonder why voters are turning to the fringes of our political system for answers. Debates like this just fuel the scaremongers and spread fear amongst our citizens, who are already unsettled by the changing political landscape. We are missing an opportunity to strengthen our goal of a better Europe, and I am afraid that political point scoring ahead of the triggering of Article 50 will only weaken this House and its credibility.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL), question “carton bleu”. – Tá tú ag caint ar an luach atá Theresa May á chur ar mhuintir na hEorpa. Cén luach atá curtha aici orthusan atá ina gcónaí i dTuaisceart na hÉireann; daoine a vótáil chun fanúint laistigh don Aontas Eorpach, go bhfuil faillí uafásach déanta orthu agus ní hamháin sin, ach go bhfuil baol anois ann go bhfuil comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta curtha i mbaol dá bharr seo? Ní fheicimse agus níl aon iontaoibh agam go bhfuil Theresa May ag tabhairt aon aird nó aon aire dár muintir thuas sa Tuaisceart a bhí ag iarraidh fanúint san Aontas Eorpach.

 
  
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  Anthea McIntyre (ECR), blue-card answer. – The Conservative Party has always been the Conservative and Unionist Party. The Conservatives believe completely in Northern Ireland and in supporting the Northern Irish citizens of Great Britain. We are committed to ensuring that all parts of the country, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, remain as a Union and together solve the problems that are inevitable in this Brexit process.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Seb Dance (S&D), blue-card question. – You say that this debate sends a signal – an unhelpful one, according to you. Surely the Government sends a much stronger signal than we ever could in this House? Is the fact that the Government is refusing now to acknowledge, and to protect, the rights of the three million citizens who live in our country not damaging our economy and damaging our public services – because we are sending a signal to these people that we do not want them? That is not British.

 
  
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  Anthea McIntyre (ECR), blue-card answer. – Were it true, it would not be British, and I would agree with you, but it is not true and you are doing our Prime Minister a great disservice if you think that she does not want to confirm the status of EU nationals residing in the UK. She has made that very clear, but she has also made clear that we want to protect the rights of UK nationals in the other European countries, and those two things go hand-in-hand.

If it were down to our Prime Minister alone, it would already have been sold. It is not Britain that is holding this up. It is other Member States that will not discuss this and will not agree it at this point.

 
  
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  Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea , en nombre del Grupo ALDE. – Señora presidenta, señora comisaria, sí, mientras el Reino Unido siga siendo un Estado miembro de la Unión Europea, su Gobierno está obligado a respetar los Tratados que firmó, y la Comisión debe garantizar que se cumplen y actuar contra quienes lo vulneren.

Ante la colosal incertidumbre que el brexit ha generado, es nuestra obligación dar certezas a todos los ciudadanos europeos que durante años han vivido y contribuido legalmente al Reino Unido y a los países de la Unión. Gracias a la iniciativa de mi colega liberal Sophia in 't Veld, hemos constituido un grupo de trabajo en este Parlamento con un único y claro objetivo común: defender los derechos de los ciudadanos europeos residentes en el Reino Unido y los británicos residentes en la Unión.

Incluso antes del brexit la discriminación de mis compatriotas en el Reino Unido ya era una realidad. Lo conozco bien porque sigo de cerca el grupo de Facebook «Españoles en Reino Unido», que ahora se subtitula «Surviving Brexit». Pero, señora May, lo siento, los derechos no son negociables.

And the european citizens are not a bargaining chip.

 
  
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  Matt Carthy, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Madam President, I absolutely share the concerns of Members here tonight when they outline their frustration and anger at the failure of the British Government to outline its commitment to protect EU citizens living in Britain. But why should we be surprised that the British Government will not commit to protecting the rights of EU citizens in Britain when it will not protect citizens that it claims jurisdiction over? The people of the North of Ireland voted to remain part of the EU.

I am an Irish Republican. I have listened all my life to institutions like these, institutions like those in Westminster, telling me that the constitutional status of the North of Ireland could not change unless the majority of the people acceded to it. We all collectively came together in 1998 and accepted the Good Friday Agreement, which underpinned that principle. Well, we are saying tonight ‘right back at you.’ The people in the North of Ireland wanted, and want, to remain part of the EU. That decision must be respected, and we are depending on the EU to stand up for citizens in the North of Ireland because it is absolutely apparent that we cannot depend on the British Government to do so.

 
  
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  Raymond Finch, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, at a time when the people of Europe are calling for reductions in immigration and for stricter border controls, here you are going on and on, again. While you elitists may not want to accept it, the Brexit vote made a decision: the British people decide who comes to our country and who stays there. As for residence rights, the EU is scaremongering, as are all of you, and treating British expats and EU citizens as bargaining chips. It is an absolute disgrace and it is one more reason why we are glad to be out and why we are confident that we have made the correct decision. May you all suffer for what you are doing to those people.

(The speaker did not agree to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8) by Anneliese Dodd)

 
  
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  Janice Atkinson, on behalf of the ENF Group. – Madam President, I am certainly not in favour of the EU, or the UK, using British citizens as a bargaining chip; it is quite disgraceful. Mrs Merkel and others could actually state very clearly now that they are not using people as bargaining chips, but they are choosing not to do so. What you do not recognise in this place is that the majority of British people said by vote that they are taking back control of their borders.

As Lord Tebbit, my hero, said in the House of Lords this evening: we will be putting British citizens first. He is back. Yes, the Lords did make a decision this evening, but guess what? Our Home Secretary has at least grown a pair of balls recently and is going to rescind it. They are going to overturn it because the British voted for Brexit. Yes, Ms Spinelli, we are going to have the brightest and best from around the world, from China, from India, and we are going to choose who come to our borders. Not you, Labour, you are out for another 20 years, out for a generation, and thank God for that. Roll on, Mrs May.

 
  
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  Jeroen Lenaers (PPE). – Madam President, over eight months have passed since 52% of British voters decided that the UK should leave the European Union. In those eight months the British Government has not triggered Article 50 and they have not opened up the opportunity to actually negotiate how best to arrange our divorce. So what have they done? They have confronted those Europeans who have applied for residence permits with a level of bureaucracy that I can only describe as ironic for a government that has spent so much time complaining about bureaucracy in the European Union. They have published new regulations on immigration and updated policy on the removal and revocation of European citizens, which has only created more fear, more chaos and more uncertainty for those Europeans living in the UK. They have sent letters to European citizens living in the UK for decades, often married to UK husbands or wives, to make sure they prepare for their departure. If this is Prime Minister May’s idea of creating the grounds for a friendly negotiation, if this is the idea of a global Britain, then I would ask her to think again because this is not global Britain; it is certainly not noble Britain: it is Little Britain at its very smallest.

 
  
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  Soraya Post (S&D). – Madam President, many of us have received e-mails from concerned EU citizens in the UK. One group of people have not sent these letters, but they do have a lot to worry about. There are up to 300 000 Roma migrants in the UK. Recently, a report from the Institute for Public Policy Research warned that Roma EU migrants in Britain face a triple whammy of challenges, legal limbo in terms of residency, and an increase in racist attacks of 57% since the referendum. For them, having to leave Britain would mean not knowing if they would have to send their kids to bed hungry.

You will probably not receive any e-mails about this, but I would like to ask you, colleagues, to put some thought and action into the situation of the most vulnerable casualties of Brexit.

 
  
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  Емил Радев (PPE). – Г-жо Председател, свободното движение на хора в рамките на Съюза е едно от най-големите преимущества от членството, на което пряко се радват ежедневно милиони граждани на държавите членки. Премахването или ограничаването му би повлияло негативно върху живота на хората. Освен че е една от основните свободи, това е и ключово за развитието на европейската икономика, конкурентоспособност и бизнес.

В този контекст, бих искал директно да заявя, че опитите на британското правителство да ограничи правата на европейските граждани, живеещи или искащи да се установят на острова, са недопустими. Великобритания е и до момента на своето окончателно излизане от Съюза ще продължава да бъде държава член, и трябва да спазва изцяло съществуващото законодателство, включително принципите на свобода на движение и недопускане на дискриминация.

Осъждам опитите чрез лъжливи твърдения да се насява страх в британското общество, че половин България и Румъния ще се преселят във Великобритания. Трудностите при предстоящите преговори не са оправдание подобни безсъдържателни твърдения, касаещи една или друга държава членка, да служат като предлог за нарушаване на договорите и потъпкване правата на европейските граждани. Затова призовавам Европейската комисия да защити всички европейски граждани и да гарантира спазването на техните права за свободно движение и установяване навсякъде в Съюза, в това число и във Великобритания, дори и ако се наложи да се стартира наказателна процедура срещу последната. Необходима ни е повече информация за съществуващи случаи на нарушения и какви действия ще бъдат предприети за тяхното преустановяване.

 
  
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  Victor Negrescu (S&D). – Madam President, there are worrying signs of possible violations of the right to freedom of movement of European citizens in the UK. I made a list of examples in a petition signed by over 30 000 people that I submitted to this Parliament.

If we have this problem now, I am wondering what will happen after Brexit. We have to react from now on, to prevent any abuse, because this affects not only Europeans but also British people. Too often, populists talk in Britain about Eastern Europeans who come to take their jobs. Anyone who believes that we wanted to see 200 000 Romanian professionals – students, doctors and engineers trained in Romania – leaving for the UK is really crazy. At the same time, it is these so—called bad Europeans who buy British products and work with UK companies and will fight to protect the British people after Brexit.

I trust the EU and the British people will not let freedom of movement in the UK disappear, because together we are stronger. We have to give more freedoms and rights to Europeans in order to win against populism.

We do not need five scenarios: we need one good one to make Europe a better place for Europeans and British people, and freedom of movement is at the core of this project for the future.

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Paní předsedající, naváži na své kolegy ze skupiny Evropské lidové strany. Jsem rád, že dnes projednáváme tento bod, protože ve chvíli, kdy Velká Británie je součástí Evropské unie, je třeba, aby Komise učinila vše pro to, aby Britové dodržovali evropskou legislativu. To si myslím, že je základní postulát, který platí, a další debaty, které zde probíhaly mezi jednotlivými britskými poslanci, s tím základním problémem až tak nesouvisí.

Zkrátka a dobře, je zde jasná směrnice o volném pohybu a jasně se ukazuje, že Velká Británie tuto směrnici plně nedodržuje, že její obsah částečně vyprazdňuje. Je trochu škoda, paní komisařko, že nemáme bližší informace, že nemáme více statistik o tom, kolik občanů Evropské unie bylo v posledních letech z Velké Británie vyhoštěno, protože by to jasně potvrdilo to, že současná britská legislativa zužuje svobodu pohybu tak, jak ji upravuje evropská směrnice.

Vyzývám tedy stejně jako kolegové ze skupiny Evropské lidové strany Komisi, abyste tomuto problému věnovali mimořádnou pozornost, protože marná sláva, Evropská unie stojí na čtyřech základních svobodách, svobodě pohybu, svobodě kapitálu, svobodě služeb a svobodě zboží. Pokud bychom byli tolerantní k tomu, že jedna z těchto svobod bude omezována, poškozujeme tím principy Evropské unie nehledě na to, jak dopadne samotný brexit a jaká práva po brexitu budou mít občané Evropské unie na britských ostrovech.

Proto, prosím, věnujte tomuto pozornost, chráníme tím principy Evropské unie.

 
  
 

Interventions à la demande

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, I wanted to draw attention to the case of homeless European migrants who found themselves destitute and sleeping rough. In my constituency in north-west Manchester the Booth Centre is committed to helping rough sleepers to move off the streets and into stable homes. It is working in close partnership with many organisations, including local authorities, and they are very concerned about the recent increase in British Home Office activity around European migrants who are sleeping rough and at risk of mental health problems. This attack on rough sleeping has coincided with the Brexit campaign where European migrants have been stigmatised and hate crime has increased in my country.

The Booth Centre is actually fully committed to the voluntary assisted reconnection of destitute European migrants and in the last 12 months has organised the return of 141 people. They work with the individual to ensure that they have got a place to stay on their return and are linked to family, medical and social services. But the Home Office is at the moment riding roughshod over this and not working properly with the voluntary organisations that put these people’s well-being at the core of their work.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, το θέμα που συζητούμε είναι ιδιαίτερα σοβαρό, από την άποψη ότι παρατηρούνται πλέον προβλήματα στην ελεύθερη κυκλοφορία των πολιτών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, με αφορμή την απόφαση για Brexit και αυτό είναι βεβαίως πάρα πολύ σοβαρό διότι έχουμε πολλούς πολίτες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης που εργάζονται στη Βρετανία και έχουμε και πάρα πολλούς Έλληνες οι οποίοι εργάζονται στη χώρα και ανησυχούν για τις προοπτικές που έχουν και τις προϋποθέσεις υπό τις οποίες θα μπορέσουν να συνεχίσουν να απασχολούνται στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο.

Υπολογίζουμε βεβαίως ότι η διαδικασία για την ολοκλήρωση της εξόδου της Μεγάλης Βρετανίας από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση θα διαρκέσει δύο έτη. Είναι βέβαιο ότι σε αυτή την διετία θα πρέπει να εξακολουθήσουν οι πολίτες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο και βεβαίως και οι Έλληνες να ασκούν πλήρως τα δικαιώματα τους. Από κει και πέρα, θα πρέπει να υπάρξει πρόβλεψη για το τι θα συμβεί στο μέλλον.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, apprendiamo dal ministro degli Interni britannico che il principio di libera circolazione – come lo conosciamo – è destinato a cambiare in modo repentino, dopo il Brexit.

Resta comunque il fatto che uno dei pilastri fondamentali dell'Unione è il diritto alla libera circolazione e che su questo pilastro si uniforma tutta la normativa primaria, sia comunitaria sia nazionale. Certo, questo equilibrio è appunto messo in discussione dall'avvio della procedura ex articolo 50, ma va sottolineato che il diritto alla libera circolazione è sancito anche dall'articolo 45 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali. La circostanza eleva il livello di tutela del principio ad un rango superiore, in particolare se si considerano i diritti acquisiti e le aspettative di vita di coloro che hanno stabilito di vivere e non solo di risiedere nel Regno Unito.

Mi auguro che queste preoccupazioni non diventino strumento di pressione diplomatica e di trattativa, lasciando spazio alla adeguatezza sostanziale della tutela dei cittadini dell'Unione.

 
  
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  Branislav Škripek (ECR).(rečníka nepočuť, lebo nemá zapnutý mikrofón)… ekonomické slobody sú tou hlavnou výhodou, pretože občania veria projektu európskej spolupráce. Európanmi sa ale budú cítiť len vtedy, ak budú v skutočnosti a naozaj rovnocennými občanmi. Dnes sme ale svedkami vzniku dvoch kategórií občanov. Hovoríme možno o konci Schengenu, hovoríme o rozdielnych pracovných podmienkach, hovoríme o rozdielnej kvalite potravín. Potom sa treba opýtať, či ešte hovoríme o Európskej únii.

V Spojenom kráľovstve takto dnes žije v neistote viac ako 100 tisíc Slovákov. Pracovníci z východnej Európy vždy boli pozitívnym prínosom pre krajiny starej Európy a do verejného rozpočtu Veľkej Británie prispievali viac ako piatimi miliardami eur/libier ročne. Aj Rakúsko chce obmedziť prídavky na deti slovenským pracujúcim, zvlášť opatrovateľkám, ktorých je tam 20 tisíc. Poctivo pracujú a odvádzajú dane v Rakúsku.

Nízke mzdy na Slovensku prinútili slovenských otcov a matky hľadať prácu za hranicami, aby ich deti mali lepšiu perspektívu. Voľný pohyb osôb členským krajinám neuškodil, ale pomohol. Chcem vyzvať Európsku komisiu, aby hájila záujem všetkých občanov EÚ, a lídrov členských štátov, aby hľadali rozumnú dohodu a kompromis.

 
  
 

(Fin des interventions à la demande)

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I would like to reassure you that the Commission is taking all necessary action to make sure that EU law is fully respected. Until the Treaties cease to apply to a Member State that has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the Union, in accordance with Article 50, such a Member State remains a member of the EU, with all rights and obligations. EU law continues to apply in full to the United Kingdom and in the United Kingdom until it is no longer a member of the European Union.

 
  
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  La Présidente. – Le débat est clos.

Déclarations écrites (article 162)

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE), in writing. – Free movement – which includes the rights of people to work and reside in other EU Member States is enshrined in the EU Treaties, including Article 21 of the TFEU and Article 45 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which reads that every EU citizen has a right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States. I believe this is a fundamental principle and that the UK, as a full member of the EU, must duly comply with this clause. I call on the Commission to provide us with any necessary statistics of any cases of unjustified expulsion or refusal and to ensure that the UK upholds the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), por escrito. – A liberdade de circulação e residência é um pilar fundamental da União. É a expressão maior da cidadania europeia. É o maior sucesso de e para os Europeus. É a maior conquista da Europa dos Cidadãos.

Para um país como Portugal, que sempre se voltou para o exterior, esta conquista reveste particular importância. A números de 2015, são mais de duzentos mil os portugueses que vivem no Reino Unido e que, enquanto cidadãos europeus, puderam beneficiar – sem serem discriminados pela sua nacionalidade – de todos os direitos acessíveis aos ingleses.

Assim, os relatos de que as autoridades britânicas estão a dificultar, por via administrativa, a residência de europeus, não podem passar impunes. Por enquanto, o Reino Unido permanece um Estado-Membro de pleno direito e, por isso, tem de respeitar as regras comunitárias. Em nome dos europeus, mas em particular dos milhares de portugueses que lá residem, este Parlamento tem de velar pelo estrito respeito dos direitos dos cidadãos europeus.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D), in writing. – Let me be clear: for the time being and at least for the next two years, the UK is a member of the EU, and therefore must apply EU freedom of movement laws. In case of breaches, the Commission must launch infringement proceedings and take the necessary measures to guarantee the full and unreserved implementation of EU law and, in this particular case, the respect for one of the Union’s core principles.

Whenever the UK Conservative Government finds the courage to act on the result of the referendum that it called for and triggers Article 50 – nine months and counting! – the result of the exit negotiations will determine which rules will be applicable to EU citizens residing in the UK. Again, let me be clear: their protection is our absolute priority, as is protection of the values that should guide every decision taken by the Union. Please note: the promotion of fear, hate and xenophobia is not acceptable in this Union.

 
  
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  Ева Майдел (PPE), в писмена форма. – През 2016 г. ЕС беляза прогрес по ключовите си проекти, свързани със защитата на външните граждани, борбата с тероризма, единния цифров пазар, енергийния съюз, Фонда за стратегически инвестиции. През 2017 г. продължаваме да работим за сигурността и благосъстоянието на гражданите на Съюза, борим се за нови свободи, като например свободното движение на данни.

През 2016 г. гражданите на Великобритания избраха да не бъдат част от всички тези проекти и процеси след излизането си от ЕС. Преди „Брекзит“ да бъде факт обаче, Великобритания остава пълноправен член на ЕС. Едно от произлизащите от членството задължения е ангажиментът гражданите на ЕС да се възползват от свободното движение в Съюза. Важно е правата на трите милиона европейски граждани, живеещи във Великобритания, да бъдат гарантирани както сега, така и след „Брекзит“.

Заставам зад решението на Камарата на лордовете и разчитам, че то ще бъде финално. Един от фундаментите, на които е базиран ЕС, е принципът на правовата държава – той трябва да бъде спазван и отстояван без изключения. Недопустимо е граждани на ЕС да бъдат лишавани от правото си легално да работят и пребиват във Великобритания. Спазването на тази свобода следва да бъде зорко следено от Европейската комисия, а нарушаването ѝ – строго наказвано.

 
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