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Procedură : 2018/0272(NLE)
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PV 11/03/2019 - 21
CRE 11/03/2019 - 21

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PV 12/03/2019 - 9.6
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Stenograma dezbaterilor
Luni, 11 martie 2019 - Strasbourg Ediţie revizuită

21. Acordul de parteneriat voluntar UE-Vietnam privind asigurarea respectării legislației, guvernanța și schimburile comerciale în sectorul forestier - Acordul de parteneriat voluntar UE-Vietnam privind asigurarea respectării legislației, guvernanța și schimburile comerciale în sectorul forestier (rezoluție) (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor

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

- la raccomandazione di Heidi Hautala, a nome della commissione per il commercio internazionale, sul progetto di decisione del Consiglio relativa alla conclusione dell'accordo di partenariato volontario tra l'Unione europea e la Repubblica socialista del Vietnam sull'applicazione delle normative, sulla governance e sul commercio nel settore forestale (10861/2018 - C8-0445/2018 - 2018/0272(NLE)) (A8-0083/2019), e

- la relazione di Heidi Hautala, a nome della commissione per il commercio internazionale, recante una proposta di risoluzione non legislativa sul progetto di decisione del Consiglio relativa alla conclusione dell'accordo di partenariato volontario tra l'Unione europea e la Repubblica socialista del Vietnam sull’applicazione delle normative, sulla governance e sul commercio nel settore forestale (10861/2018 – C8-0445/2018 – 2018/0272M(NLE)) (A8-0093/2019).


  Heidi Hautala, Rapporteur. – Mr President, I am extremely happy to say that the Voluntary Partnership Agreements on forest law enforcement, governance and trade are an excellent example of combining a trade instrument with sustainable development.

There is also a direct link between this Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Vietnam and the European Union and Vietnam Free Trade Agreement: namely, Chapter 13, on sustainable development, of the free trade agreement, which still has to be ratified, has a reference to the implementation of this Voluntary Partnership Agreement. I would like to emphasise that this is an excellent instrument for addressing deficiencies of governance, not only in the forestry sector but in the state system as a whole. I am talking about the functioning of customs, border guards etcetera.

Vietnam is now the third country in Asia that has entered Voluntary Partnership Agreement negotiations with the European Union and I am extremely happy that Vietnam has committed to eradicating illegal timber from its supply chains. I visited Vietnam in January in my role as rapporteur. My hosts emphasised that Vietnam’s aim is to become the world’s biggest producer of timber products. This is all the more reason to ensure that Vietnam sources and processes only legal timber. Vietnam has a new forestry law in force since January this year. It unequivocally prohibits imports of illegal timber. This effectively means that timber imports from Cambodia should no longer take place – and here work needs to be done, including with Cambodia.

In that context, it is also extremely worrying that Global Witness has found a surge in imports from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is known to be a high-risk country. This issue has to be tackled in the course of the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement. It is of critical importance that Vietnam makes sure illegal imports are effectively stopped: simply relocating the sourcing to new high-risk countries is clearly not the solution. I expect Vietnam to enforce its forestry law swiftly and effectively, and it should consult all the stakeholders. The EU is ready to help.

– Mr President, the EU for its part should ensure sufficient resources in supporting Vietnam while it implements the crucial reforms. The EU is also in the process of drafting a new action plan on deforestation and forest degradation. Innovations similar to the Voluntary Partnership Agreements are required in order to address the global challenge of deforestation. As we know, deforestation has become ever more critical as the scientific understanding of its importance to climate change has grown.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreements are a crucial part of the solution, as legal instruments are needed to step up the fight against deforestation globally. The EU needs to put in place strong measures to eradicate fully deforestation from European products that it wants to export to us and from the supply chains. By the way, this approach could also be applied to other risk products such as coffee, cocoa and palm oil. Vietnam is facing a huge task. After the ratification, which is expected to happen tomorrow, it will have to fulfil the commitments of this agreement. I have all the confidence that Vietnam will tackle this challenge with the seriousness that it deserves.

This is not, and certainly cannot be, a mere bx-ticking exercise. Only once this Parliament is fully assured of the complete implementation and once it is convinced of the eradication of illegal timber from Vietnamese wood products will it be able to agree to issue licensees to Vietnam.


  Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, the EU Vietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement is an important milestone in our relations with Vietnam, it is an important step in our battle against illegal logging and deforestation, and it is an important affirmation of the validity of the EU’s longstanding Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade. It is the first voluntary partnership agreement signed with a country that is not only an important exporter but also a significant importer of timber.

Vietnam is at the very centre of the global timber products trade. That is why the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Vietnam, once implemented and fully operational, has great potential for creating a positive impact well beyond Vietnamese borders and, at the same time, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits to the Vietnamese people. I am pleased to see that the European Parliament agrees with this assessment, as shown by the two resolutions we have before us today. I can only repeat some of the important points highlighted in the reports. Vietnam has made remarkable progress since the start of the negotiations. One major success has been the open and constructive participation by everyone in Vietnam who was relevant to the process, which we hope and expect will continue in the implementation phase.

Vietnam will introduce mandatory due diligence obligations for its importers. We are proud of this achievement but we are also aware that it will be our duty to ensure that its implementation does not fall short of the high due diligence standards established by our own EU Timber Regulation. The issue of the legality of imports, especially those from Cambodia, has been at the heart of the debates, and rightly so. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely. However, we should remember that import controls are only one element of a comprehensive system designed to ensure timber legality beyond the import points. It also covers harvesting, processing, trade in and export of timber products. Ultimately, the success of this Voluntary Partnership Agreement will be measured by the credible and robust implementation of the timber legality assurance system as a whole. There can be no forest law enforcement, governance and trade licensing without this.

I welcome the overall positive message on this agreement that comes from Parliament’s resolutions. I look forward to our debates on this landmark agreement.


  Jan Zahradil, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Development. – Mr President, as a rapporteur for the Committee on Development (DEVE), I have been fully supportive of this Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between EU and Vietnam. This is necessary, useful and innovative in its mechanism and logic. We know that Vietnam is a major exporter of timber products to the EU and to other countries in the region around Vietnam, like Japan and China, and this VPA will act in the future as an effective instrument to fight against illegal trade and to promote sustainable trade in timber products. However, let me stress one thing. I am happy about the conclusion of this particular treaty, but on the other hand, I remain worried about its sister file, the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement, for which I am EP standing rapporteur. We have delays, obstacles and procedural complications and I would like to urge the Commission to try to push the Romanian Presidency a little bit to move this treaty further on so that we can vote on it before the elections in May.


  Jarosław Wałęsa, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, today we are discussing yet another trade agreement. It’s the last in this parliamentary term after Japan and Singapore. It warms my heart to see that we are opening our markets to high-standard trade. I have always spoken in favour of trade agreements as they boost trade, promote international competitiveness of our companies, as well as create opportunities for investments outside of the EU.

I cannot stress enough the importance of the whole process. We should be proud that we now have over 70 preferential trade agreements in place. One thing is to stimulate economic growth, but we cannot forget about sharing our norms and values, as well as promoting social inclusion and environmental protection. I believe that this House should give its consent as fast as possible to this agreement so that we can focus on the implementation so that everyone can benefit from it as quickly as possible.


  Neena Gill, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I would like to congratulate Ms Hautala on her report. I really welcome this agreement with Vietnam, committing now to only importing and exporting legally harvested timber. This is especially important given that this country is a leader in timber products. Deforestation, as we’ve already heard, is the second leading cause of global warming and this agreement will be key, not only in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but also the Paris climate change goals.

However, I do have some questions for the Commission. Firstly, there is an urgent need to address the regional dimension of the rampant illegal logging. Therefore, I’d like to know: what efforts the Commission has undertaken to tackle illegal timber trade from supplier countries like Laos and Cambodia? Secondly, what is the state of play with the new Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with China, which is also a crucial player in the processed wood industry? Finally, to what extent has the EU Timber Regulation been raised in dialogue with Japan as another major importer of timber and a trading partner of the EU?


  Elsi Katainen, ALDE-ryhmän puolesta. – Arvoisa puhemies, kiitokset Heidi Hautalalle. Metsäkadon ehkäisy ja hiilinielujen kasvattaminen ovat todellakin asioita, joilla on merkittävät vaikutukset ilmastonmuutoksen torjunnassa.

Tätä asiaa täytyy tarkastella todella laaja-alaisesti. On katsottava pitkän aikavälin kehitystä ja myöskin globaalia perspektiiviä. Samalla on pidettävä huoli siitä, että paikallisella tasolla metsät hoidetaan kestävästi, mistä Euroopassa on hyviä malliesimerkkejä muun muassa Suomesta.

Olen tyytyväinen, että EU antaa tällä vapaaehtoisella kumppanuussopimuksella tukensa Vietnamille. Vietnam on ottanut oikeita askeleita metsätalouden kestävyydessä ja sitoutuu nyt osaltaan varmistamaan, että EU-alueelle tuotavat puutuotteet ja puutavara on tuotettu laillisesti. Tämä parantaa metsäsektorin kehitystä myös Vietnamin lähialueilla.

Haluan antaa tukeni myös Vietnamin ja EU:n kattavalle ja hyvin nykyaikaiselle kauppasopimukselle, joka toisi lisää työpaikkoja ja hyvinvointia Vietnamiin ja Eurooppaan. On Euroopan etu saada kauppasopimus nopeasti voimaan, sillä vain näin varmistamme meille tärkeiden standardien toteutumisen.


  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Berichterstatterin! Meine Fraktion begrüßt das Abkommen für nachhaltige Forstwirtschaft mit Vietnam. Es kann sich zu einem internationalen Vorbild entwickeln, wie wir die Schaffung von wirtschaftlichen Perspektiven für die Bevölkerung und den Schutz der Natur und des Klimas in Einklang bringen können. Das ist ein wichtiger Baustein für das Erreichen der Nachhaltigkeitsziele der Vereinten Nationen bis 2030, gerade in Südostasien. Vietnam hat noch einen schwierigen Weg vor sich, den Handel mit illegal geschlagenem Holz tatsächlich zu unterbinden und das Abkommen umzusetzen. Es muss auch die bestehenden Routen für illegales Holz aus Laos und Kambodscha durch Vietnam umfassen.

Wir sollten unsere FLEGT-Partner in Asien und Afrika bei ihrer Arbeit mit Expertise und Finanzmitteln stärker unterstützen, denn die FLEGT-Programme haben den illegalen Handel um 20 % reduzieren können. Aber noch immer muss die UNO den Verlust an Steuereinnahmen durch illegalen Holzhandel auf 15 Milliarden pro Jahr beziffern. Noch schwerer wiegen die Schäden für Artenvielfalt und Klima.

Deshalb sollte die EU-Kommission auf die Kooperation unserer Handelspartner drängen, Raubbau als Geschäftsmodell zu zerschlagen und wirksam nachhaltige Holzwirtschaft in Südostasien zu fördern.


  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to underline the fact that Vietnam is the European Union’s second largest trading partner in the Association of South-East Asian Nations and also one of the most dynamic emerging countries in the East Asia region. This agreement follows on from many previous forest law enforcement governance and trade agreements with countries in Africa and Indonesia, and it builds on the work of the EU Timber Regulation.

As a Member of the Committee on Development, I have to stress here that I support this agreement. The issue of indigenous communities must also be kept in mind. As we know, indigenous communities are often heavily reliant on forests, and very often are the victims of environmental exploitation. It is important to ensure that the agreement complements the EU commitments to environment protection. We do not want these agreements to be seen as a framework for large-scale exploitation of forests. There must be coherence between the agreements and our commitments to prevent mass deforestation.


Procedura "catch the eye"


  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, το Βιετνάμ είναι από τους μεγαλύτερους παραγωγούς ξυλείας στον κόσμο και, βεβαίως, σημαντικός εμπορικός εταίρος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Η εθελοντική αυτή συμφωνία πραγματικά, εάν τηρηθεί και εφαρμοστεί σωστά, θα μπορεί να συμβάλλει στην αντιμετώπιση της λαθροϋλοτομίας. Είναι σίγουρο ότι θα πρέπει να σταματήσει η αποδάσωση, να στηριχθούμε στις προσπάθειες οι οποίες πραγματικά ενισχύουν περιβαλλοντικές συνθήκες που διασφαλίζουν την αντιμετώπιση των προβλημάτων της κλιματικής αλλαγής.

Βεβαίως, υπάρχουν πολλά προβλήματα, διότι γίνεται παράνομη εισαγωγή ξυλείας στο Βιετνάμ από την Καμπότζη και αυτό οφείλεται σε μεγάλο βαθμό και στη διαφθορά η οποία υπάρχει στα τελωνεία, στις τελωνειακές αρχές του Βιετνάμ. Εάν αυτό δεν αντιμετωπιστεί, προφανώς δεν θα μπορέσουμε να έχουμε μία σοβαρή και ορθή εφαρμογή της συμφωνίας την οποία βλέπουμε. Επομένως, είναι θέμα τήρησης εκ μέρους του Βιετνάμ των όρων και των προϋποθέσεων της εθελοντικής αυτής συμφωνίας.


  Dobromir Sośnierz (NI). – Panie Przewodniczący! Cieszę się z tej rezolucji. Moi wyborcy w Polsce są bardzo zainteresowani sprawą lasów w Wietnamie. Ludzie w moim kraju takich debat słuchają z wypiekami na twarzach po prostu. Połowa jest za ograniczeniem kontyngentów z Kambodży, połowa jest przeciw, więc teraz z wypiekami na twarzy właśnie kibicują tej naszej debacie. Jest to lepsze niż mi Liga Mistrzów. Naprawdę warto płacić podatki na ten Parlament.

Ale nie tylko wyborcy – umówmy się, nie ukrywajmy tego– cały świat nadstawia uszu, co Unia Europejska ma do powiedzenia w kolejnej swojej rezolucji. Cieszę się, że tu jest siedmiuset pięćdziesięciu takich mędrców, którzy na wszystkim się znają, na każdy temat mają coś mądrego do powiedzenia, nie ma dla nich ten świat żadnych tajemnic, nie mają w słownikach takiej frazy, jak „nie wiem”.

Zdaję sobie sprawę, że ja tutaj zaniżam poziom. Zdaję sobie sprawę, że mogę tylko świecić światłem odbitym od Państwa, ale mimo to cieszę się z takiej możliwości. Jest jedna prośba – zbiory miodu w Paragwaju. Polscy wyborcy na ten temat bardzo czekają. Nie udało się w tej sesji, mam nadzieję że w kolejnej się uda, tak że brawo – idziemy do przodu, liczę na to, ciśniemy, super.


(Fine della procedura "catch the eye")


  Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to thank the honourable Members for their support and for bringing the Commission’s attention to their concerns about the implementation of the Agreement and the situation on the ground in Vietnam.

There was a question about the regional initiative dimensions. There is a voluntary partnership agreement process with Laos, a dialogue with Cambodia, and a bilateral cooperation mechanism with China, where the legality of timber is a priority. We are also having a dialogue with Japan.

The messages that I have heard today are clear: we must work with our Vietnamese partners to set out an ambitious course for this Agreement to be implemented effectively. I can assure you that the Commission is committed and ready to do this. At the same time, the Commission looks forward to building on the positive experience with the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in the context of our broader relationship with Vietnam. This includes our future EU—Vietnam trade and investment agreements and the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreements. The Commission will of course be happy to inform the Parliament on progress in the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Vietnam and on how the points raised in the resolution are being addressed.

Finally, I would like to recall that, by giving your consent, you are not only supporting this Voluntary Partnership Agreement. You are also reaffirming the importance and relevance of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan, which since 2003 has shaped the EU’s fight against illegal logging – a significant driving force behind deforestation.

This support is valuable to us as we see this Action Plan as a prime example of environment, development and trade policies acting in a mutually supportive way. We also need this kind of policy coherence to address broader deforestation challenges, and it will guide our approach as we further develop our policies in this area.


  Heidi Hautala, Rapporteur. – Mr President, I want to thank you, Commissioner, and your colleagues. We did a great job together, and it is a pleasure to see that the whole Parliament is likely to support this Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the EU and Vietnam. This is probably the most effective trade instrument we have in order to combat the negative developments that are making it impossible to implement true sustainable development.

So let us use this instrument and see that there is, as the Commissioner and colleagues have pointed out, this regional dimension: we have to be aware that Southeast Asia is one of the three hot spots of deforestation in the world. The second is the Congo Basin and the third one is Latin America.

In all these areas, we have Voluntary Partnership Agreements under way. I expect the Commission to take the recent revelations of organised crime, illegal logging and illegal timber trade in Southeast Asia extremely seriously. This has been shown by the Environmental Inspection Agency in Myanmar, and we now have credible allegations that Vietnam has started to replace imports from Cambodia with imports from the DRC. The DRC is something that we have to look into in terms of the illegal timber trade.

I am very happy to hear from the Commission that it will inform the European Parliament about the different steps in the implementation of this Voluntary Partnership Agreement. I believe that the two committees that have been most involved – the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Development – will gain more and more interest in this instrument. Thank you very much and I hope that tomorrow we can ratify the agreement and the accompanying non-legislative resolution.


  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà martedì 12 marzo 2019, alle 12.30.

Ultima actualizare: 10 septembrie 2019Aviz juridic - Politica de confidențialitate