Fuld tekst 
Procedure : 2017/2191(INI)
Forløb i plenarforsamlingen
Dokumentforløb : A8-0049/2018

Indgivne tekster :


Forhandlinger :

PV 18/04/2018 - 24
CRE 18/04/2018 - 24

Afstemninger :

PV 19/04/2018 - 10.16

Vedtagne tekster :


Fuldstændigt Forhandlingsreferat
Onsdag den 18. april 2018 - Strasbourg Revideret udgave

24. Årlig beretning om EU's konkurrencepolitik (forhandling)
Video af indlæg

  President. – The next item is the report by Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, on behalf of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, on the Annual Report on Competition Policy (2017/2191(INI)) (A8—0049/2018).


  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, rapporteur. – Madam President, I would again like to welcome Commissioner Vestager to this Parliament.

First of all, let me thank all the shadow rapporteurs. We have done very good work together. This is my second time as rapporteur of the Annual Report on Competition Policy. The first time was with Commissioner Almunia in 2013. This may be the last competition report of this term. Next year we will have European elections again.

As you know, this is a non—binding report, but it sends a strong political message to the Commission. In the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs this report was approved with 49 votes in favour and only five against. I hope we will have the same huge majority in plenary tomorrow.

I have to say that some of the competition problems are the same as five years ago, among them the Google antitrust case. In the Google case, five years seems an eternity to me. I say to the Commissioner that still hope that we can close some of the cases before the end of the Commission’s mandate.

In this report we strongly support the independence of the Commission and the national competition authorities. Their mission is to shape and enforce effectively EU competition rules for the benefit of all EU citizens. Sufficient financial and human resources are key to achieving this goal. An independent competition policy needs independent competition authorities. Political appointments tend to protect oligopolies and cost millions to European citizens.

In this report we call on the Commission to reallocate adequate financial and human resources to DG Competition, as we did last year. We also call for the modernisation of the Directorate’s electronic and informatic tools in order to cope with the increasing workload and technological progress.

Regarding the issue of data, we have all been shocked by the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal. Well, I am proud. We have been denouncing the utilisation and misuse of data for some years now. Paragraph 44 of this report, written well before the Facebook scandal, states that “big tech companies’ use of personal data is unprecedented. Consumers are often not aware or informed of the extent to which their data is being used, for example in profiling or targeted advertising”. The Commission was well aware of this. To avoid further such scandals in the EU, the new GDPR rules that are coming into force are good news in this respect.

Regarding the Google antitrust shopping case, in paragraph 42 we put the unbundling of Google back on the table as one of the options to restore equal treatment and non—discrimination in search results. We also invite Google’s CEO to a joint IMCO/ECON hearing in Parliament. We can sum up the Google case in a short tweet: inaction brings Google unbundling closer every day.

Commissioner Vestager, I have some questions for you. Would you have updates to give us today on the shopping antitrust case? In addition, what about the Android and AdSense cases. Finally, you were in the US last week. I hope you had interesting meetings. If you could talk to us about them, it would be very well received.

In paragraph 56, we welcome the Commission’s simplification of the rules for public investment in ports and airports. All major infrastructure should be based on a positive cost benefit analysis and long—term economic viability in order to avoid the future financing of ghost airports in Europe. We also raised the issue of airlines’ competition and the concerns with regard to Gulf carriers. We need financial transparency in order to confirm or dismiss alleged public subsidies which break the level playing field among European and third country airlines.

Finally, we also welcome the fact that, from now on, direct flights between Tokyo and Barcelona will be possible. We welcome the fact that the Spanish Government is ready to open up the bilateral agreement between Spain and Russia – which prevents there from being a Barcelona-Tokyo route – as announced by the Spanish Minister of Transport last February. Competition is the best remedy against transport centralism.

I will stop here. Once again, I thank all the rapporteurs for their contributions. I look forward to your comments and our exchange.


  Margrethe Vestager, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, first of all my thanks to Ramon Tremosa i Balcells for this very valuable report, and my thanks also to the House for the support for competition policy. I think that we may disagree in concrete cases, but we do agree that competition makes our economy work better for everyone – that the market serves the customer. That enables our Union to do what citizens expect: that they make sure that they get treated fairly.

This of course includes the work that we do on state aid, because if success is about getting the biggest subsidy from government and not about serving customers in a better way, then obviously consumers lose out. So we have decided that Amazon had to pay back some EUR 250 million in unpaid taxes to Luxembourg. We have launched investigations into the tax treatment of Inter IKEA in the Netherlands, and whether the UK rule on tax avoidance involving controlled foreign companies treats some businesses differently from others.

But state aid rules are not just about tax. They are also to make sure that government support for important priorities like research and fighting climate change has the right effect, to make sure that public money does not just replace investment which companies would have made anyway; that aid does not deny innovative companies the chance to compete. But of course those rules should not make it difficult for support where our economy needs support.

In a couple of weeks, the Commission will present a proposal for a new Multiannual Financial Framework, and as part of that we are looking at how we can make state aid rules simpler so that it is easier for European funding from the European budget to link up with national funding. So our common European actions match our ambitions on research, on climate change, on support for small- and medium-sized businesses and on social infrastructure, and I am very keen to discuss the proposal with you once it is complete.

We have also been making sure that mergers do not harm European consumers. In fact, 2017 turned out to be the second busiest year of European merger control. And it is not just about the number of cases: mergers are getting bigger. They are reshaping the entire global economy, so consumers need protection from mergers now more than ever. Last month, we approved the merger between Bayer and Monsanto, and we only did that after the companies agreed to sell off businesses worth more than EUR six billion. That will mean that farmers will still have a wide choice, as they did before, when it comes to suppliers of seeds and pesticides, and it will mean that companies are still driven to innovate, to produce better, safer pesticides.

I know that Members of this House and people in the European public as well have concerns about this industry – concerns that go well beyond competition, but the right way to deal with it is not to extend the competition rules; it is to have strong, effective regulation that makes sure that pesticides are safe.

We also need to defend competition in digital markets so consumers get a fair deal online, and this is why we are watching very closely and analysing in—depth, in the most granular way, to make sure that Google treats rival comparison shopping services fairly. A case is not done with a decision: that is the start of the enforcement of that decision, looking into the choices that Google have made. And we are advancing – to answer your question, Ramon – on our two cases involving Google, both the Android case and the AdSense case.

As the rapporteur said in his weighty and thoughtful report, competition makes a difference in people’s lives and I am very happy to be here today to have a chance to exchange ideas with you.


  Christel Schaldemose, ordfører for udtalelse fra Udvalget om det Indre Marked og Forbrugerbeskyttelse. – Fru Formand! Konkurrencepolitikken er helt afgørende for, at vi har et velfungerende indre marked. Men konkurrencepolitikken i dag er også et område med mange facetter. F.eks. er det afgørende, at alle virksomheder giver et tilstrækkeligt og fair skattebidrag til den fælles kasse, og er der nogen, der snyder på skattebilletten gennem snedige virksomhedskonstruktioner eller ulovlig statsstøtte, ja så skaber det unfair konkurrence for alle de andre.

Konkurrencepolitik er også arbejdsmarkedspolitik, for omgår man udstationeringsregler eller laver social dumping, så konkurrerer man ikke længere på lige vilkår til skade for virksomheder, arbejdstagere og forbrugere. Derfor er det også helt afgørende for konkurrencen, at de nationale konkurrencemyndigheder er med til at sikre en ensartet håndhævelse af EU’s regler, og derfor siger vi også både et stort tak for - og vi er rigtig glade for - det nye ECN+-netværk, der kan være med til at bidrage til at øge de nationale konkurrencemyndigheders uafhængighed.

Og så til allersidst, fru Vestager, tak for, at du tager fat på de store teknologivirksomheder. Men husk også de store og mellemstore virksomheder i Europa. De må ikke blive glemt i kampen for de højtprofilerede sager.


  Tibor Szanyi, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. – Madam President, the EU’s competition policy is an essential instrument for a properly functioning internal market in the Union. It helps us prevent the over-concentration of economic and financial power, and it is also a key tool for moderate prices, better quality products and services, and of course greater choice for the consumers. This competition policy is ensuring a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, as the farming sector is under pressure from constant economic and climate-related hazards.

The colleagues on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development therefore gave a strong signal. A market-oriented common agricultural policy needs to provide support for farmers and grant additional time—limited exemptions from certain competition rules. While competition policy defends consumers’ interests, it has to take account of the interests and difficulties of agricultural producers and rural people too.

We are still doing more and more in a couple of fields, such as unfair trade practices, and concerning rural development, including its social elements, especially, as much as the conception for smart villages.


  Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, I would like to thank the rapporteur for this excellent report.

We have to recognise that the European Union has good results in the implementation of the competition policy, and the principle merit belongs to the Competition Commissioner and her staff. The report places a heavy accent on the independence of the Commission and national competition authorities but the report also says very clearly that this independence is strongly linked to the availability of human and financial resources.

However, I and many of my colleagues have concerns regarding the fast development of the digital economy and the dominance of the global technology companies. Because of their huge economies of scale these global technology companies perform like real natural monopolies. We need a framework for analysis of these global technology companies and their markets.

We think the Commission and the national competition authorities should focus human and financial resources to get the knowledge and skill to implement the competition rules in the digital economy. The Commission, national competition authorities, and we in this Parliament should understand better how digital platforms work and how competition can be introduced in this digital market.


  Alfred Sant, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, increasingly, competition policy is taking a greater importance in the EU’s profile. One hopes that this is not happening for the wrong reasons.

In principle, competition policy is meant to ensure that free market rules apply to the benefit of consumers all over Europe. In practice, given that historically the role of national governments in Europe has been a crucial element of economic development, the focus has frequently been – and still is, as we have just heard – more on questions relating to state aid than on matters arising from corporate competitive strategies. In this, it has been difficult to avoid one—size—fits—all approaches that failed to discriminate – and still fail to discriminate sufficiently – between north and south, island and metropole, peripheral and central. The privatisation of major infrastructural functions, such as in transport and utilities and now public health, has simply been seen as economically desirable if cast in competitive format.

But the social impact, as well as some economic ones, have not been given sufficient attention. Now, the emphasis is also shifting towards state aid considerations with regard to taxation policies. Such policies are still subject to the sovereignty of Member States, but competition policy is being deployed to oversee and correct for them.

One gets the impression, in fact, that the rules and methods by which this is being done are created on the hoof – basically, on a case-by-case basis. Tax flexibility within Member States under conditions, of course. A full transparency should be considered as an integral part of the competitive situation and is vital for the prosperity of smaller Member States and the single market. It will be a pity if competition policy comes to be driven according to the urgings of the tax populace while pushing for harmonisation of tax policies, and we have no problems with choosing competition policy to achieve this. However, we should watch out. The approach, apparently progressive, could serve to perhaps screen another reality at a time when European economies are again growing well: working and middle-class people as well as pensioners are not being compensated for the sacrifices they had to make during years of austerity. They will not be consoled by being told that, in the interests of competition, taxation within the Union should be harmonised.


  Sander Loones, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Meneer de rapporteur Ramon, dierbare vriend, bedankt voor uw harde en uitstekende werk hier in het Parlement. Mevrouw de Commissaris, het is altijd fijn om uw passie en uw gedrevenheid voor het Europese mededingingsbeleid te zien. U heeft gewoon gelijk. Kijk, eenheid in verscheidenheid is de slogan van de Europese Unie, maar sommigen leggen toch vooral de nadruk op eenheid. We moeten allemaal hetzelfde gaan doen. Lidstaten moeten hun eigenheid gaan overstijgen. De verscheidenheid wordt gezien als een zwakte. We moeten er voor zorgen dat er geen concurrentie kan spelen en al zeker niet tussen landen. Het tegendeel is waar. Het tegendeel is waar, onze Europese beschaving onderscheidt zich van andere, precies omdat wij door heel onze geschiedenis die rivaliteit, die concurrentie hebben gezien. Dat maakt wie we zijn. Die concurrentie tussen koninkrijken, tussen prinsdommen, tussen stadstaten heeft gezorgd dat wij het Europese mirakel tot op vandaag nog altijd beleven en dat het Europees mirakel mogelijk is gemaakt. We zien dat in de resultaten. We hebben steden die bloeien, we hebben handelsnetwerken, we hebben scholen, we hebben universiteiten. We zien de bloei van de filosofie en van de wetenschap, onze literatuur, onze cultuur. Dat is allemaal mogelijk gemaakt door die concurrentie, ook onze ongeziene economische vooruitgang. Niet ondanks onze politieke fragmentatie maar net dankzij het feit dat we verschillend zijn en dat we concurreren met elkaar. Onze diversiteit is een sterkte. Het is geen zwakte en we moeten die koesteren. Vandaag vraag ik dus om die concurrentie te vieren. Laat ons het verslag van onze goede vriend Ramon Tremosa vieren. Laat we ons niet schikken naar enige opgelegde drang van absolute gelijkheid. Eenheid, ja, maar wel in verscheidenheid.


  Michel Reimon, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Frau Kommissarin, willkommen im Europäischen Parlament. Mit dem jährlichen Bericht sollen wir Ihre Arbeit beurteilen. Das ist in den meisten Jahren sehr schnell erledigt damit, dass es konsequente und faire Urteile waren, wo man Ihnen gratulieren kann zu dieser Umsetzung.

In diesem Jahr sollte man vielleicht über die Rolle des Parlaments reden. Es gibt einen Beschluss oder eine Entscheidung von Ihnen, die mich als Grünen natürlich stört: Das ist der Monsanto—Merger. Ich habe mir die Entscheidung genau angesehen. Sie haben richtig entschieden auf der Basis des Gesetzes, des Wettbewerbsrechts der Europäischen Union. Aber wenn ökologische Kriterien keine Rolle spielen, damit man diesen Merger verhindern kann, dann ist das Gesetz das Problem und nicht die Umsetzung. Dann sind wir als Europäisches Parlament gefordert, darüber nachzudenken, ob wir eine Gesetzgebung brauchen, die nicht nur Märkte, sondern auch die Umwelt und die Demokratie schützt.

Damit bin ich bei dem Thema, das hier oft angesprochen wird: digitale Plattformen. Es ist richtig, dass wir das Wettbewerbsrecht darauf anwenden, um unsere Konsumentinnen und Konsumenten, und unsere Unternehmen zu schützen, aber es hat auch einen demokratiepolitischen Aspekt. Wir werden darüber nachdenken müssen, in der Gesetzgebung weiter zu gehen, als nur eine reine wettbewerbsrechtliche Regelung für solche Großkonzerne zu haben.


  Bernard Monot, au nom du groupe ENF. – Madame la Commissaire, même si les actions menées par la direction générale de la concurrence ont été tardives pour lutter contre les hémorragies fiscales des multinationales dans les États européens, il faut reconnaître qu’elles vont dans le bon sens pour les nations. Mais il fallait bien que la Commission européenne se rachète aussi de tous les effets pervers de votre idéologie libre-échangiste et sans frontière, c’est-à-dire les problèmes de dumping fiscal et de concurrence déloyale qui n’existaient pas avant l’Union européenne!

Dans le domaine des services financiers, c’est exactement la même chose: la direction générale de la concurrence devrait empêcher les effets pervers des politiques du SSM (Superviseur unique européen) ainsi que de la BCE sur la concentration forcée des secteurs bancaires dans la zone euro. Le SSM prépare en effet les conditions de prise de contrôle de nos banques nationales par les géants bancaires nationaux. Pour se financer, les particuliers ainsi que les petites et moyennes entreprises de nos États européens n’ont pas besoin de géants bancaires à Wall Street, ni de marchés de capitaux hors sol, ils ont simplement besoin de relations de confiance et de financement bancaire totales et locales.

Le rôle de l’Union européenne est de défendre les intérêts des citoyens contre les intérêts privés des lobbies financiers mondiaux et non l’inverse. C’est cela une Europe proche des Européens.


  Brian Hayes (PPE). – Madam President, I want to congratulate and thank my friend Mr Tremosa i Balcells for his report and welcome the Commissioner to our proceedings. I promise not to talk about tax tonight!

We have one of the most integrated single markets in the world. It is a rules-based single market, and we have got to make sure that our competition policy delivers rules for consumers and for businesses big and small, to make sure it is fair competition, and we need in the Annual Report – as has been said by the rapporteur – to make that very, very, clear. We also need to support national competition authorities – I think you said before, Commissioner, that 85% of all cases are taken at the national level. They need support, they need resources, and they need a legal basis to take cases. I very much support the ECN+ Directive, which is about giving additional support to national authorities.

Three particular points in relation to my own country: in Ireland, we have to prove on a criminal charge, which is a very high charge, whether or not an enforcement can be taken. We need to move to a non-criminal basis. Secondly, in Ireland we do not apply a leniency programme, which would encourage national competition authorities to cut deals with people to give evidence so that those cases can be taken in court to reduce fines for those businesses that come forward with evidence. The third point is a Brexit-related issue: as you can understand, in my country we share information with the UK on a daily basis, with their competition authority to our competition authority. We need some agreement in the overall agreement to make sure that that flow of information continues, based on EU rules, and it is important that in the UK actually lives up to the cases that will follow their leaving of the European Union.


  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Madam President, first I would like to congratulate the rapporteur on the outcome of this report. Its importance is highlighted by the essential points raised within – points that this Parliament defends.

I welcome the attention given to the national competition authorities, taking into account the role these administrations play in fighting trusts. Keeping in mind that competition policy is enforced, not only by the Commission but also largely by the national competition authorities, it is a good thing that the report encourages the European Competition Network Plus (ECN+) proposal so we can progress towards the strongest capacity, more resources, autonomy and transparency.

A second point emphasised in this report is the fight for fair taxation. Indeed, tax avoidance hurts fair competition in the single market. It penalises new entrants and small and medium-sized enterprises compared to multinational corporations, which are the only ones with the resources to implement aggressive tax planning schemes.

I am glad to see that the report encourages as well the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base negotiations, pointing out that this would solve Europe’s problem of unfair tax competition. It also specifically mentions the Amazon case – the Commission having recognised that the company benefited from illegal tax advantages.

However, Amazon is not the only company named in the report – there are also several mentions of Google, which has abused its market dominant position by giving an advantage to another of its products, its comparison shopping service, preventing potential competitors from emerging in the search engine sector. It is important to encourage the Commission’s actions towards fairer competition. This is the case with the current investigations into Luxembourg’s ‘sweetheart’ deal with McDonald’s.

Furthermore, the report also points out some shortcomings of the Commission and encourages it to go further. That is the case for the aviation sector. It calls for better protection of consumers in the airline sector as well.


  Stanisław Ożóg (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Zgadzam się ze sprawozdawcą, że inwestycje i innowacje wdrażane w warunkach uczciwej konkurencji mają kluczowe znaczenie dla przyszłości Europy. Trudno jednak zrozumieć, dlaczego konkurencyjne ceny usług i koszty pracy obywateli państw Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej nazywane są często dumpingiem socjalnym. To wręcz toksyczne sformułowanie znalazło się również niestety w tekście sprawozdania, bez żadnego dookreślenia.

Moje zastrzeżenia budzi również fakt, że paragrafy poświęcone polityce podatkowej pośrednio nawołują do harmonizacji podatkowej.

Mam zastrzeżenie również co do podawania nazw konkretnych firm jako przykładów nieuczciwej konkurencji. Przecież Parlament Europejski nie powinien wyręczać czy zastępować Dyrekcji Generalnej Komisji do spraw Konkurencji.

Mając powyższe zastrzeżenia na uwadze, delegacja polska wstrzyma się od głosu.


  Marco Zanni (ENF). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quando penso alla politica di concorrenza dell'Unione europea, capisco perché in questi anni e attualmente il sostegno tra i cittadini europei per questo progetto è ai suoi minimi storici.

Faccio un esempio a caso: il tema degli aiuti di Stato, un tema molto dibattuto oggi e su cui il Commissario ha lavorato molto. È un tema che spesso incide e punisce quelle piccole realtà negli Stati e nelle regioni d'Europa che si trovano in gravi difficoltà.

Mi riferisco al caso di più di trecento piccole imprese e artigiani abruzzesi, una regione del mio paese che è stata colpita nel 2009 da un sisma terribile e che oggi, secondo una decisione sugli aiuti di Stato della Commissione europea, dopo quasi dieci anni vengono invitati a restituire aiuti per agevolazioni che lo Stato italiano aveva concesso a queste imprese colpite dal sisma. Senza questi soldi tali imprese avrebbero chiuso, sarebbero andati perduti posti di lavoro e oggi non esisterebbero più. Se questi imprenditori verranno chiamati a restituire il denaro in questione, avremo una perdita di posti di lavoro, avremo un dramma che si aggiunge all'ulteriore dramma.

Per una volta chiedo all'Unione europea di dimostrare che tiene veramente agli interessi dei cittadini, del popolo europeo, del popolo italiano e non si trinceri dietro tecnicismi, dietro regole che possono essere interpretate, ma veramente dimostri che dietro questa Europa c'è un'anima e aiuti questi imprenditori che oggi sono in difficoltà a continuare a operare su un territorio già devastato da una grande catastrofe.


  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE). – Madam President, good competition policy can work only under the rules of fairness, transparency and level playing field. That’s why I would like to concentrate my comments only on market surveillance. During the last electoral period, the Commission proposed a new market surveillance regulation, and Parliament improved it significantly when it comes to pan-European surveillance and effectiveness. Unfortunately, these proposals were stuck in the Council and debates inside there. Frankly, we need to confess to ourselves that the existing market surveillance is not effective: it is almost like a negative lottery to be caught importing forged lighters or designer goods, or indeed a lot of products that can be dangerous for consumers, and all in all are not applying the EU regulation in general.

So I do duly hope that now, when the Commission is looking at this competition policy, it would very speedily come back to the market surveillance regulation that was not in the goods package and try to revoke this process for the negotiations.


  Dariusz Rosati (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pani Komisarz! Chciałbym przede wszystkim podziękować panu sprawozdawcy panu Tremosie i Balcells za bardzo dobre sprawozdanie.

Sprawozdanie stwierdza, że Komisja Europejska wraz z krajowymi organami kontroli konkurencji stanowią bardzo sprawny i efektywny system wdrażania, oceniania i kontrolowania stosowania reguł konkurencji w Unii Europejskiej. Jest to stwierdzenie, które pozwala powiedzieć, że konkurencja służy obywatelom i firmom Unii Europejskiej.

Nie zgadzam się z wcześniejszymi głosami, że Komisja nie myśli o obywatelach – wręcz odwrotnie – konkurencja jest dla obywateli, a nie dla firm. To po pierwsze. Po drugie – zgadzam się również z tym, że uczciwa konkurencja podatkowa ma zasadnicze znaczenie dla integralności rynku wewnętrznego. To między innymi z tej przyczyny uważam, że Komisja powinna mieć prawo do zapoznawania się z decyzjami podatkowymi, informacjami podatkowymi poszczególnych firm znajdującymi się w gestii poszczególnych organów podatkowych po to, żeby sprawdzać ich zgodność z zasadami konkurencji. Jednocześnie chcę powiedzieć, że dla zachowania konkurencyjności konieczne jest zapewnienie prostych i przejrzystych przepisów podatkowych – takich, które nie będą zmierzały do harmonizacji stawek podatkowych, ale będą zmierzały do ujednolicenia bazy podatkowej.

Wreszcie dwie uwagi krytyczne – po pierwsze korupcja, która zniekształca funkcjonowanie rynku. Wzywam Komisję do tego, aby wzmóc działania przeciw korupcji – zwłaszcza w zamówieniach publicznych. I wreszcie – działania antymonopolowe – są zbyt długie, pani Komisarz. Zachęcam do tego, żeby skrócić te postępowania antymonopolowe.


Catch-the-eye procedure


  Michel Dantin (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, je voudrais d’abord saluer le travail effectué par le rapporteur et par l’ensemble du groupe qui a travaillé autour de lui.

Je pense que ce rapport montre bien que nous avons besoin, pour l’équilibre de la société, d’une politique de concurrence qui soit efficace. La question que pose aussi ce rapport et ce qu’il démontre, c’est qu’à un moment, la politique du citoyen consommateur ne doit pas être contraire à l’intérêt du citoyen travailleur.

Au cours de l’année qui vient de s’écouler, nous avons eu l’occasion, avec le texte «omnibus», d’avancer sur un certain nombre de secteurs, notamment celui de l’agriculture. La Commission européenne a proposé la semaine dernière un nouveau texte concernant les pratiques dans la chaîne de distribution. Nous devons effectivement veiller à l’équilibre entre les intérêts de tous.

Alors que depuis des semaines, voire des mois, la Commission a engagé des réflexions sur les ententes, pourquoi n’avons-nous toujours pas le résultat de ces travaux? Or, les ententes pèsent durablement sur les marchés dans le désintérêt de l’économie de notre espace.


  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, θα ήθελα να αναφερθώ στο περίφημο θέμα των κρατικών ενισχύσεων και να πω ότι πολλές φορές, επειδή υπάρχουν κρατικές ενισχύσεις, η τιμωρία που επιβάλλεται στις επιχειρήσεις είναι ουσιαστικά να επιστρέψουν αυτά τα κονδύλια. Θα αναφερθώ κυρία Επίτροπε σ’ ένα σοβαρό θέμα στην Ελλάδα. Πρόκειται για την εταιρεία ΛΑΡΚΟ, μία εταιρεία που έχει 1200 εργαζόμενους, μια εταιρεία σημαντική στον μεταλλευτικό τομέα, μια εταιρεία-ανάσα για την Περιφέρεια Στερεάς Ελλάδος. Είναι πλέον υποχρεωμένη να επιστρέψει 136 εκατομμύρια ευρώ τη στιγμή που δεν υπάρχει περίπτωση να βρεθούν αυτά τα χρήματα και ποια είναι η λύση; Να διαλυθεί η εταιρεία, να τριχοτομηθεί, να χωριστεί το εργοστάσιο από τα ορυχεία. Έχουμε δηλαδή εδώ μια παραγωγική μονάδα η οποία πρέπει να επιβιώσει, η οποία πρέπει να δώσει ζωή στην οικονομία και η οποία, στο όνομα της επιστροφής κρατικών ενισχύσεων, διαλύεται και μαζί της διαλύεται η οικονομία της περιοχής. Είναι αυτό οικονομική πολιτική; Δώστε μια συγκεκριμένη απάντηση, διότι αυτό είναι ένα καυτό θέμα για την Περιφέρεια Στερεάς Ελλάδος.


  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Paní předsedající, já jsem tu zprávu prostudoval a s většinou pasáží souhlasím, ale dovolte mi jednu poznámku. Mám problém jako někteří kolegové s těmi pasážemi, které se týkají daňové politiky. Zkrátka a dobře jsou tak obecně napsány, že při určitém výkladu mohou zavdat příčinu k tomu, že jejich přijetím Evropský parlament vyzývá k harmonizaci daňové politiky, a to je pro mě třeba osobně velký problém. Velký problém mám také s pasáží, která se týká otázek sociálního dumpingu. To je velmi citlivé téma, které rozděluje staré členské země EU a nové členské země EU. Je to velké politikum, které u nás v České republice je velmi citlivě debatováno. A já osobně si myslím, že v takovéto výroční zprávě by měla být opravdu shrnuta fakta týkající se politiky hospodářské soutěže a takováto velmi citlivá politická témata, na která nemáme jasný názor, by zde neměla být takto zmiňována.


  Ivana Maletić (PPE). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, pozdravljam povjerenicu i zahvaljujem izvjestiteljima na izvrsnom izvješću. Biti uspješan a ne plaćati ili izbjegavati plaćanje obveza koje konkurenti plaćaju ili dogovarati cijene pa ih na taj način nametati kupcima nije velika mudrost, a takve prakse, naravno, svi smo se složili, uništavaju kvalitetne kompanije, uništavaju inovatore i općenito onemogućuju razvoj poduzetništva.

Zato je izuzetno važan efikasan rad Uprave za zaštitu tržišnog natjecanja, kao i nacionalnih tijela koja treba ojačati kadrovski i financijski. Ono na što želim upozoriti je posebno odnos između nacionalnih tijela i uprave Europske komisije, posebno u slučajevima kada imaju različita stajališta. Mislim da je jako važno međusobno se uvažavati i važno je da uprava Europske komisije ne inzistira pod svaku cijenu i nameće svoja stajališta pod svaku cijenu nego bi takva razmimoilaženja u mišljenjima trebalo partnerski rješavati, a ne samo s visoka upućivati države članice na sud. Pozivam na veću kooperativnost i partnerstvo.


(End of catch-the-eye procedure)


  Margrethe Vestager, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I would like to group my answers, first taking those relating to data, then some of the questions raised on agriculture, then taxation, then addressing the issue of the earthquake support, and then on the proposal to empower national competition authorities.

Regarding the things that we are discussing right now, when it comes to data I think this is the best example of the fact that we need competition law enforcement to the spirit and the letter of our regulation, but we also need new regulation. The two things will have to go hand in hand.

I think this House needs praise for the fact that the new privacy rules coming into effect next month have been done in such a timely manner. This House did not wait for a scandal like the Facebook scandal to unfold. On the contrary, beforehand, this House, knowing how powerless Europeans feel when it comes to privacy, enabled new, simpler, enforceable rules. I think that is very important. We will of course do our part when it comes to misuse of a dominant position if we find cartels or if we find that contracts are being used in a way actually to disable innovation, preventing small and medium—sized businesses from doing their part when it comes to data.

That of course leads directly to the question of taxation. So many small and medium—sized businesses pay their taxes, create jobs and have to look at multinational businesses, which can easily afford to contribute to the society where they do their business and which accept or ask for ways to organise their taxation in order to pay very, very little in taxes. This is not fair competition. But, of course, state aid enforcement does not solve this. We need legislation as well. It is also very important to see that the Council has passed legislation in the last two years in order to close loopholes, in order to increase transparency and in order to hold the intermediaries responsible.

But the new proposals on the table are also important, for instance, the proposal that will update a very important concept in corporate taxation to a digital world. On average, digital companies pay 10% in tax. Other companies pay 23-24% in tax on average. It is important to update our taxation to make sure that the business that makes a revenue in a society also contributes to that society. We will of course continue to do what we do, but we also need to work with colleagues who work with legislation in general.

When it comes to agriculture, I think there is a deep and very common understanding of the fact that the bargaining powers in the value chain are very different, from being a small individual farmer to being large retail chains. This is why we have done our best to enable farmers to come together, to have higher prices and lower costs, and are also working very closely with colleagues in the Commission to make sure that, when there is legislation on unfair trading practices, these are targeted and actually help the people that we want to help.

Regarding the question on earthquake and natural disasters, I think anyone can feel the pain of seeing their business, home, village or city destroyed by an earthquake. This is also reflected in our Treaty. Our Treaty allows for help and compensation for damage. That is being done. It was done in the 2009 scheme and it is being done right now with what the Italian Government has put in place due to their earthquakes in 2016 and 2017. But you cannot compensate people who have not had damage. If your business was a letterbox business and you have had no damage, you can have no compensation. If your damage is of a certain size, then your compensation should reflect that and that is what has been raised. The good thing – and I think everyone finds this to be important and a good thing – is that the people who had damage were compensated for this damage in the right way.

On the Greek cases that were raised, unfortunately I do not know the details. It was decided in the previous Commission and this is why. I will be more than happy to report back to you in writing.

Last but not least, I am very happy with the support of the national competition authorities. The approach of this House is to empower national competition authorities to protect citizens in each and every Member State, to make sure that, when they enforce European competition law, they have the independence, the human resources, the resources and ability to have digital evidence, and of course to impose fines that act as a deterrent. I find that this is a very important message from this House tonight. I hope that we can work together to pass this directive within a very short timeframe because it is a signal to citizens that you should not only look to Brussels, but you can also look to your national competition authority and know that they are empowered to protect you in order to have a fair deal in the marketplace.

On that basis, thank you very much for the report. I would like to thank the shadow rapporteurs for the effort that has been put into it. I hope that there will be a successful vote tomorrow.


  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, rapporteur. – Madam President, I couldn’t agree more with the last part of the Commissioner’s intervention. I also fully share the opinion of my colleague from the EPP from the Irish, Mr Hayes, about the importance of national competition authorities, and in this sense the countries in the north of Europe can give some lessons to the southern European countries in this respect. This is why we give a strong mandate to the Commission in this report to take a look at what is going on in some capitals concerning this very important point.

Let me also answer some concerns about the tax competition: of course I believe in tax competition and we can talk about our own edition of the tax base, but I am against tax harmonisation concerning the rate: I think that is a very liberal approach. If we look at the United States, very briefly, they have a centralised monetary policy but a highly decentralised fiscal policy. There is a lot of empirical evidence and a lot of economic literature showing that it is very important to compensate the differentiated effects of the centralised monetary policy. This is why it is needed to have a highly decentralised fiscal policy to compensate territorial and sectoral differentiated effects of the single monetary policy in the US. I think that Europe can learn big lessons from this long experience they have in the US.

Finally, Madam Commissioner, it has been a pleasure to work with you and your team. Your work has been quite impressive, we have to recognise, in the last years. I want you to be successful and end your mandate as well as you have started it. You have raised the bar and I hope you finish your mandate and your job as well as you have started it.


  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Thursday, 19 April 2018.

Seneste opdatering: 5. september 2018Juridisk meddelelse - Databeskyttelsespolitik